LEGAL NEWS 20.07.2014

NGT concerned over rampant air pollution in Uttarakhand
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 20, 2014 Last Updated at 09:55 IST
Concerned over rampant air pollution caused by industrial units in Uttarakhand, the National Green Tribunal has constituted an expert committee to look into violation of prescribed standards for emission by iron industries in the state.

A bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar pulled up the Uttarakhand State Pollution Control Board (UPCB) for failing to monitor the industries causing air pollution which already have consent to operate.

“We are afraid that if this be the state of environmental check and control of pollution by the Pollution Control Board then less say the better,” the bench said.

The tribunal had on February 18 directed the UPCB to close all industrial units in Jasodharpur Industrial Area (JIA) that are functioning without the consent of the board.

The green bench constituted a special inspection team consisting of the Environmental Engineer from the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), senior environmental engineer from the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board (UPPCB) and officer from UPCB.

“This team shall conduct a surprise inspection of all eighteen industries carrying on the business of iron/foundry industries in that area and are allegedly found seriously polluting and it will be ensured that every industry which is inspected is operating at its optimum capacity,” the bench said.

The tribunal also held that the inspection report shall clearly indicate the functioning of these units along with the stack and ambient air quality samples and the analysis be included in the report.

“It shall also be stated as to whether the slag used by these industries is being stored and how it is managed,” the bench said.

According to UPCB, out of 18 industries, 10 have been granted consents to operate till 2014-2015, while the other eight have not been granted consent and their applications are pending before the board.

The tribunal’s order came while hearing a petition by Shiv Prasad Dabral who had alleged that several industries are operating illegally, without consent from the state pollution control board or an environmental clearance in JIA near Kotdwar.

The petition had said that these industries are also major source of air pollution in the area and are a public health hazard.

The plea had alleged that the units have also been flouting industrial pollutant discharge norms by dumping the foundry slag on the banks of the Sigaddi Srot river.

Delhi youth suffers disability, gets 34 lakh compensation
Last Updated: Sunday, July 20, 2014, 08:47

New Delhi: A youth, who was hit by a rashly driven truck in 2012 and suffered 85 per cent permanent disability due to amputation of his right leg, has been awarded a compensation of over Rs 34 lakh by a motor accident claims tribunal (MACT) here.

MACT Presiding Officer Ajay Kumar Jain asked Bharti Axa General Insurance Company Ltd, with which the offending truck was insured, to pay compensation of Rs 34,08,612 to 20-year- old Ram Kumar who had suffered grievous injuries after being hit by the truck here.

According to the petition, on June 6, 2012, Kumar and his brother reached Okhla where a truck driven in a rash and negligent manner hit them. Kumar suffered injuries and was taken to AIIMS trauma center.

The tribunal, in its order, relied on a March 1 report issued by the medical board of a hospital which was of the opinion that Kumar had suffered 85 per cent permanent disability due to amputation of his right lower limb above knee.

During the adjudication of the plea, the insurance firm contended before the tribunal that truck’s owner breached the terms and condition of the insurance policy and the driver was not holding any licence at the time of accident so it was not liable to pay any compensation.

The counsel, appearing for the insurance company, also said that Kumar was walking in the middle of road and the accident was caused due to his own negligence.

The tribunal, however, dismissed the contentions of the insurance firm saying, “Insurance company (was) unable to prove this fact through positive evidence. Furthermore, driver was not examined to substantiate the fact that accident (was) caused due to the negligence of the petitioner (Kumar).”

“In view of the above discussion (in the order), further as no contrary evidence came against the petitioner (Kumar), it stands proved that the petitioner had suffered injuries due to rash and negligent driving of respondent number 1 (truck driver),” the MACT said, adding, “it cannot be inferred that accident (was) caused due to self negligence of petitioner.”


First Published: Sunday, July 20, 2014, 08:47

Tribal commission for probe in maid’s suicide
Ambika Pandit, TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 12.03AM IST

NEW DELHI: Taking note of the alleged suicide by a 20-year-old tribal woman working as domestic help in west Delhi’s Kirti Nagar, National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has asked LG Najeeb Jung to institute an enquiry.

In its letter, NCST cited a TOI report dated July 15 about the alleged suicide of a girl named Dhuntia Munda. Going by the police report, the woman from Dhubri district in Assam was found hanging from the ceiling fan of her room. The employer informed police and the body was sent to DDU Hospital for postmortem. A suicide note was also recovered where Munda had asked her employer to pay her dues to her brother.

NCST chairperson Dr Rameshwar Oraon reasoned the commission’s intervention in his letter by saying that that Mundas aren’t listed as STs in Assam, but in the rest of the country they are.

Oraon said that some NGOs engaged in protection and welfare of tribals had approached him and raised their doubts that the case may not be investigated properly as she was a poor girl. “I therefore request you (LG) to ask Delhi Police to investigate the matter,” Oraon wrote.

NCST has listed some its key concerns that it thinks needs to be investigated. These include her background, her coming to Delhi, who got her a job, how long she worked here, how was her age determined, and if her employers had verified her with the local police station.

The commission also wants to know if Munda was placed by an agency and if she was exploited. The details of paid monthly wages have also been sought to establish if she was being paid minimum wages or not.

Munda’s parents passed away in 2010 and her younger brother was working in Bangalore. Police said on the day of the incident that there was no evidence to suggest that she was being ill-treated by her employers.

NCW for action against CCIT for harassment
Dalip Singh, New Delhi, July 19, 2014, DHNS
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has suggested that the Union Finance Ministry take action against a former chief commissioner income tax (CCIT) for allegedly sexually harassing and harming the career of a woman IRS officer who refused to comply with his “advances” and administrative highhandedness.

On July 2, NCW deputy secretary Raj Singh wrote to the Revenue Secretary requesting “appropriate action” against former IRS officer Satyaprakash.

NCW member Shamina Shafiq, who authored the report that has also been sent to the ministry, also slammed the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which governs the Income Tax (I-T) Department, for refusing to initiate action against the former CCIT despite repeated complaints by the victim since 2008.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi is understood to have been perturbed by the case.

Agreeing with the complainant, the NCW in its report said Satyaprakash began harassing her after she refused to do his bidding during her posting in Siliguri.

Satyaprakash had vehemently contested the charges before the commission, saying the complaints lacked merit and were lodged long after the alleged incidents, as the complainant did not get the desired ruling from the CAT or any other court.

He counter-alleged that the officer was “highly indisciplined at work”, and was prone to “making wild allegations when things did not go her way”.

Satyaprakash, who retired in 2012, was posted as CCIT in Jalpaiguri in January 2008. Her alleged ordeal began when she, along with other revenue officers, received him at an airport when he arrived to take charge as CCIT in Jalpaiguri.

During the introductory conversation, Satyaprakash allegedly became personal. Discovering that she was staying alone in Siliguri, he proposed to come to visit her. The complainant told the commission that she politely declined.

The CCIT also allegedly demanded that she ensure a certain amount reached him every month, which too she declined. Thereafter, she reportedly started getting memos from Satyaprakash, who subsequently recommended her transfer. To humiliate her, he allegedly started communicating directly with her subordinates.

She was finally transferred in October 2008 when she was on leave. The relieving order was posted to her address, which she claimed she never received. She obtained a stay on the transfer from the CAT, but she was not allowed to rejoin duty.

Meanwhile, a report by the CCIT allegedly stalled the promotion of the officer and her subordinates. A court intervention got her posted to Kolkata, despite the department siding with the CCIT. She approached the CAT again, even as the department started an enquiry against her on a six-year-old complaint by Satyaprakash.

He personally approached the high court to get tribunal verdict stayed, allegedly saying that he did it on the directions of the CBDT chairman, but there was nothing on record to substantiate his claim.

Also, after she joined duty backed by the CAT order, he got a police case registered against her. Slamming the CBDT for its insensitivity towards offences against women, the NCW said it was left with no option but to conclude that the complainant had been harassed.

NHRC seeks report from Odisha on Baleswar infant deaths
Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 19:
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has directed the Odisha Health Secretary and Superintendent of Police, Baleswar to submit details including post mortem reports of the two infants, who allegedly died after taking oral polio drops provided by the local Anganwadi and Asha workers onJanuary 20 last year.

Acting on a complaint filed by human rights activist Subash Mohapatra, the Commission asked the Health secretary and SP to furnish the report within six weeks so that it can hear the matter during its sitting to be held at Bhubaneswar during the second or third week of August.
“Let the Principal Secretary, Department of Health & Family Welfare, Government of Odisha be asked to submit within six weeks a copy each of the post mortem report, viscera & histopathological examination report and final cause of death of both the deceased children. The Principal Secretary also be asked to send a copy of the report to the Commission if samples of the polio vaccine were sent for chemical analysis in order to rule out any contamination,” said the commission.
It has also asked the government to furnish the reason, if no chemical analysis was made.
The commission has directed the Baleswar SP to apprise it of the status of the investigation of the cases registered in different police stations of the district and similar death cases, if any, in the district during that period.
It is to be noted that two infants – Satyajit Biswal and Manasi Mallick – died barely hours after oral polio drops were administered to them in the district on 20 January last year.
However, the post mortem examination report of Satya stated that death was suspected due to pesticide. The viscera was preserved for chemical examination.
In the other case, the report stated that Satyajit Biswal, who was chronically ill with diarrhoea and was grossly malnourished, have semi solid food particles in his respiratory passage along with collection of fluid in the pleural cavity.
As per the post mortem report, the cause of death was possibly due to aspiration of food particles leading to asphyxia. The viscera and body parts were preserved for chemical analysis and histological examination.

Compromise can lead to setting aside convictions, says High Court
Family members convicted by trial courts and sentenced to imprisonment in cases related to harassment of married women can approach the High Court and get their conviction set aside by entering into a compromise with the complainants even though the offence is legally non-compoundable, the Madras High Court Bench here has ruled.
Justice G.M. Akbar Ali passed the ruling while allowing a petition filed by two individuals to quash the conviction and two year rigorous imprisonment imposed on them by a judicial magistrate court at Nilakottai in Dindigul district in 2010. The Magistrate’s decision was taken on appeal, but got confirmed by an Additional Sessions Court on November 21, 2013.
After the pronouncement of the judgment by the Sessions Court, the convicts filed an application before the same court urging it to either discharge or acquit them on the basis of a compromise reached with the complainant, who was the wife of the first convict. The woman too told the court that she could not lead a peaceful life unless the convicts were acquitted.
However, the Sessions Court rejected the application on the ground that Section 498 A (husband or relative of a husband subjecting a woman to cruelty) of the Indian Penal Code was a non-compoundable offence and hence the present petition.
Mr. Justice Ali agreed with the petitioners’ counsel, G. Thalaimutharasu, that though the conclusion of the Sessions Court was “technically right,” the High Court could always exercise its power under Section 482 of the Code of Criminal Procedure and quash even cases booked under non-compoundable offences if they were related to matrimonial disputes.
He also said that the proper course to be adopted by convicts in such cases was to approach the High Court, with a plea to set aside the conviction and sentence on the basis of a joint compromise memo, and not the trial courts or the Sessions Court because they become functus officio (becoming devoid of power) after the pronouncement of the judgment.

High court to hear appeal by brother of former President in Jalgaon murder case
Swati Deshpande, TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 12.13AM IST
MUMBAI: In a reprieve to former p0resident Pratibha Patil’s brother G N Patil, the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay high court recently said it would hear his appeal against an order of the Jalgaon sessions court that had summoned him to face trial as a murder accused in a 2005 case.

The sessions court order had added Patil as a new accused along with Ulhas Patil for the murder of a rival Congress politician Vishram Patil.

The high court this week issued notices to Vishram Patil’s widow, Rajani, the CBI and others in the matter. It will hear the appeal soon.
The Jalgaon sessions court had held that there was “prima facie evidence on record” to indicate the involvement of the Patils in the murder conspiracy.

G N Patil refuted the allegations and contended the order was incorrect and the judge had erred. He questioned the power to issue him summons under section 319 of the Code of Criminal Procedure when the CBI had already ruled out his involvement in the case.

Sessions court refuses stay on deportation
Jul 19, 2014 |
• Age Correspondent
• A sessions court on Friday refused to grant a stay on the deportation order issued against Siraj Murad Khan Pathan, a resident of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) who is staying in India since age 10.
Additional sessions judge H.S. Mahajan on Friday observed, “On going through the provisions of Citizenship Act as well as aforesaid Act (Foreigners Act) it reveals that so far as respect of nationality or citizenship is concerned, this court does not have jurisdiction at all to enter into said area as jurisdiction of the same is vested exclusively with the authorities of Central government.” In these circumstances, citing inability to pass any order with respect to deportation, the judge did not grant interim stay on the expatriation order.
Pathan’s lawyer Tanvir Nizam told this newspaper that now they are planning to approach the high court in this regard. He also said that the court has admitted his client’s appeal against his conviction.
On January 4 this year, the Bhoiwada court had convicted Pathan for staying illegally in India for many years without valid papers or a visa. He has undergone the six-month imprisonment awarded by the local court and filed an appeal only now. The court accepted his explanation that he was not aware of the legal process and did not have enough money to hire a lawyer, which is why he filed an appeal after six months.
Pathan was 10 years old when he ran away from his home in district Manshera in PoK. He boarded the wrong train and landed in Amritsar instead of Karachi, where his uncle lived. He later settled down in Mumbai and married an Indian girl. The couple has three children. Now, 19 years later, he faces the prospect of being sent back to his PoK without his family after being convicted under the Foreigners Act 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Rules.

Section 498A: Has Supreme Court taken a retrograde step by diluting an anti-harassment law?
Samanwaya Rautray, ET Bureau Jul 20, 2014, 04.00AM IST
A Supreme Court pronouncement last week has shocked women’s rights activists. The apex court claimed that disgruntled women were using Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code as a “weapon” to harass their husbands and in-laws. Section 498A protects women from harassment by husbands and his family.
Justices CK Prasad and PC Ghose asked policemen not to automatically arrest anyone under this section but only if it was necessary — meaning if there were chances of the accused fleeing, not cooperating in the investigation or tampering with evidence. Punishment under the section carries a jail term of up to three years.

Section 498A has been under fire from certain sections of society. Introduced in 1983, it is non-bailable, cognizable (ie police can arrest without a warrant) and non-compoundable (cannot be settled between complainant and the accused).
Justices Prasad and Ghose quoted liberally from “Crime in India 2012 Statistics” published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), to buttress their claim that “mothers and sisters of husbands were liberally included in [the] arrest net”.
“On the face of it, there’s nothing wrong with the court ruling,” says Ranjana Kumari, director, Centre for Social Research (CSR). “However, the court should not have made the sweeping remarks against women — implying they are vindictive and vicious. It is wrong to call suffering wives, disgruntled wives,” she says.
Different Set of Numbers
However, if one were to look at the absolute numbers cited in the NCRB data, only 47,951 of the 197,762 persons arrested in 2012 were women. Contrast this to the fact that 5 crore married women were victims of violence and abuse in their matrimonial homes. A study by NGO Ekta, conducted in Tamil Nadu, showed a 20% increase in dowry deaths from 2002 to 2008, whereas there was a 65% jump in incidents of cruelty under 498A. Another 2005 study by CSR shows only 0.1% of cruelty cases are reported.
A CSR study confined to four regions — Delhi, Karnataka (Bangalore and Mysore), Rajasthan ( Jaipur and Ajmer) and West Bengal (Kolkata and South 24 Parganas) — showed that on an average a woman faced constant harassment for three years before complaining. Only 6.5% of the complaints turned out to be false after investigation.
An Oxfam India study in Odisha, conducted over a period of 10 years, showed that 90% of dowry cases were quashed at the outset. Those which resulted in acquittals were not challenged. Only those which resulted in convictions went to the appellate courts which routinely reduced the punishments. Activists are stumped when the top court falls back on NCRB data showing a 9.4% increase in the number of arrests in 2012 over 2011 to claim misuse of the law. Many believe that the higher numbers can also represent a spike in the reported cases of harassment in a matrimonial home.
While charge sheets were filed in 93.6% of the cases, the conviction rate was only 15%, the lowest across all heads, the NCRB data shows. Of the 372,706 pending cases, 317,000 may result in acquittals, the court said, using the figures to claim that false cases were being filed. CSR’s Kumari says the high acquittals imply women don’t get justice in such cases. “The courts are biased, the investigation is poor and the women uneducated,” she says.
Santosh Paul, a Supreme Court advocate, says the lower classes did not benefit from 498A. On the other hand, the middle and upper classes misused it to get settlements or maintenance, the arrests prompting the in-laws to settle rather than fight. “This ruling is a reaction to the misuse,” he says. Contrary to claims by policemen and pro-men groups that “independent, educated women” misused the law, it is their semi-literate, dependent counterparts who approach the nearest police station to file an FIR under 498A, the Ekta study revealed. Educated, independent women directly approached the courts for relief.
The study also busted another myth that the law was used to indiscriminately drag in every member of the in-laws’ family: the arrest of children under 18 years was negligible; percentage of senior citizens arrested was 3.9%; one woman was arrested for every three men and parents-in-law were not roped in all the cases. Some observers blame the top court of doing exactly what the NGO accused lawmakers and law implementers of doing — failing to help victims in their over-arching concern to save a marriage.
Domino Effect
Supreme Court’s ruling that there would be no immediate arrests in cases of matrimonial harassment, in a single stroke also placed a host of other offences such as cheating and theft in the nebulous zone of police discretion. What’s worse for women is the fact that the court unwittingly knocked the teeth out of a slew of other anti-women offences, created post-Nirbhaya, such as stalking, voyeurism, sexual harassment and attempt to throw acid.
“If a person is stalking a woman and cannot be arrested immediately what is the point of having such a law?” asks Paul. The apex court’s eagerness to uphold the sanctity of marriage and family is indeed laudatory. But by defanging Section 498A has it unwittingly taken a retrograde step?

National Green Tribunal asserts independence, is Environment Minister listening?
by Pallavi Polanki Jul 19, 2014 14:41 IST
In a significant judgement, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asserted its powers to enforce environmental rights, clarifying that it has “the complete trappings of a civil court” and that its power of judicial review is “implicit and essential for expeditious and effective disposal of the cases”.
In a strong message to those with doubts about its independence, the NGT in a judgment passed on Thursday said, the “Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) is merely an administrative Ministry for the National Green Tribunal to provide for means and finances. Once budget is provided, the Ministry cannot have any interference in the functioning of the National Green Tribunal.”

Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar better take notice.
These observations by the NGT were made in response to objections raised by respondents in the Vizhinjam International Seaport Project case that the NGT did not have powers of judicial review and that for it to examine the constitutional validity of a legislation (in this case a 2011 notification on coastal zone regulation) “would tantamount to enlarging its own jurisdiction by the Tribunal.”
In its 142-page judgment that drew heavily from Supreme Court judgments on judicial powers of tribunals and on the NGT Act itself, the NGT said, “It will be travesty of justice if it was to be held that the Tribunal does not have the power to examine the correctness or otherwise or constitutional validity of a Notification issued under one of the Scheduled Acts to the NGT Act. In the absence of such power, there cannot be an effective and complete decision on the substantial environmental issues that may be raised before the Tribunal, in exercise of the jurisdiction vested in the Tribunal under the provisions of the Act.”
Leaving no room for doubt about its statutory powers, it added, “The scheme of the NGT Act clearly gives the Tribunal complete independence to discharge its judicial functions, have security of tenure and conditions of service and is possessed of complete capacity associated with Courts.”
This explicit clarification by the NGT that its functions and powers on matters concerning the environment are on par with that of a civil court has been welcomed by environmental lawyers for the message it sends out and also the clarity it has brought on NGT’s powers to review the constitutional validity of a legislation.
“The judgment is progressive in the sense it makes it clear that one can challenge Acts and notifications as well. The NGT is made up of experts and judicial officers and when you are raising issues with respect to environmental legislation, such matters are best served by the NGT,” said Rahul Chaudhary, an environmental lawyer.
Asked whether this would in any way create tension between the NGT and the Ministry of Environment, he said, “I don’t think the government will have any problem. If aggrieved by an order, a party will exercise his right. He will go the NGT or to the High Court. Either way, it will be challenged. The benefit for the aggrieved person in as far as the NGT is concerned is that the redressal will be simpler and also faster. In NGT, you can get a judgment in two years, maximum. In some cases, judgements even come within three months.”
The judgment is also significant, say lawyers, for the message it sends out.
“For a lot of people, the general idea is that if you are going before a tribunal, you are going before a weaker forum. Whereas the law technically makes no distinction… In a way, it gives confidence that NGT is an independent institution not bound by orders of the Environment Ministry, that its members are independently appointed and therefore it is a forum where you get orders uninfluenced by the government.
It was important to send that message. For a large section of the public, a court in the traditional sense has a greater chance of justice, whereas a tribunal is seen as a subordinate body under the control of the ministry. I think this judgment makes it very clear that the ministry only provides the budget. That does not make it subordinate to ministry,” said environment lawyer Ritwick Dutta.

Legal luminaries say Centre has little power to intervene
Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, July 19
Many legal experts insist that the Centre has little power to intervene after it asked the Haryana Governor to withdraw his assent to a Bill paving the way for a separate SGPC.
A day after the Centre shot off a letter claiming that the state Assembly did not have the legal authority to enact such a law, a majority of legal eagles The Tribune talked to said the Union Home Ministry’s directive to have the Bill withdrawn lacked jurisdiction.
The opinions have given rise to a legal debate not just on the contentious legislation, but also on the Centre’s powers to intervene and issue directives to the state governments on enactment of laws by the state Assemblies. The dispute is being seen as first signs of a long-drawn battle that is threatening to shift from political turf to legal grounds.
Manjit Singh Khaira, senior advocate-cum-expert on Sikh issues, says the Centre has “no such powers”. Going back in time to explain the existing standoff between Punjab and the Centre on one side, and Haryana on the other, Khaira says the Union Government has little to do with the issue.
“The Sikh Gurdwaras Act was passed by the Punjab Council in 1925. At that time, the area which is now under Pakistan was also included. Later, Patiala and East Punjab States Union was also added. Between 1925 and 1961, 30 amendments were carried out in the Act by the Punjab Assembly. In 1966 came the Punjab Reorganisation Act. The Act makes it clear that the SGPC was to remain common till the state came out with its own Act. The Centre now cannot come out with such directives, particularly when the Gurdwara Act was not even a Central Act,” Khaira said.
Advocate NS Bhinder says the Centre has traversed its powers while giving directions for the withdrawal of the Bill. He makes it clear that Haryana Assembly has powers and jurisdiction to pass the Haryana Sikh Gurdwara (Management) Bill, 2014, by virtue of entry 32 of the Concurrent and entry 28 of the State List of the seventh schedule of the Constitution, coupled with the provisions of Section 72 (3) of the Reorganisation Act.
“Once the State has passed separate SGPC Act, the Centre has no powers to issue directions under Section 72 (1 & 2) of the Act, as those powers are exercisable qua the Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, till Haryana passes its own Bill. After the passing of the Bill, the Centre is divested of the powers under the Reorganisation Act as the state Assembly has passed an independent Act for Haryana. No directions are required to be issued by the Centre after passing of the Act,” he said.
Punjab’s ex-Advocate-General Harbhagwan Singh says the Centre’s directions hold little meaning as the Governor can’t withdraw his assent. He says once the Governor has appended his signatures, it becomes a law and even he loses right to withdraw it.
Their point of view
The Centre’s directions hold little meaning as the Governor cannot withdraw his assent.
Harbhagwan Singh, Punjab’s Ex-A-G
Once the state has passed separate SGPC Act, Centre has no power to intervene under Sec 72 of the Act, as those powers are exercisable qua Sikh Gurdwara Act, 1925, till Haryana passes its Bill.
NS Bhinder, Advocate
The Centre cannot come out with such directives, particularly when the Gurdwara Act is not even a Central Act, which was originally passed by the Punjab Council.
Manjit Singh Khaira, Senior Advocate
The law is already in place since 1925 and there is no justification for Haryana to have passed a law on the same subject matter.
Mukul Rohtagi, Attorney General

Legal literacy on passive euthanasia is a powerful tool in an individual’s arsenal: Pinki Virani
Interview with human-rights activist and author
Avantika Bhuyan
July 19, 2014 Last Updated at 20:25 IST
In response to a petition by NGO Common Cause, theSupreme Court recently sought the responses from all states and union territories on the need to legalise ‘living wills’. The court’s action triggered a debate over passive euthanasia, which was legalised by the apex court in 2011 but with strict guidelines to prevent abuse. The 2011 verdict itself had been in response to the plea of activist-author Pinki Virani in December 2009 to grant euthanasia to her friend Aruna Shanbaug, a nurse who had been lying in a permanently vegetative state for 40 years at KEM Hospital in Mumbai.Avantika Bhuyan speaks to Virani about the latest development

Your initial reaction to this development? How has this taken the apex court’s 2011 judgement forward?

I am delighted that we Indians get a chance, again, at understanding what ‘passive euthanasia’ actually means. I thank the Supreme Court for widening the discourse. The last time – when Justice Markandey Katju heard my public-interest litigation as “next friend” for both Aruna and other patients in similar irreversible conditions and gave the judgement-law on passive euthanasia – it was the very first time since 1947 that most people had even heard of the difference between passive and active euthanasia. Generally, it was assumed that the “right to die” was some sort of quick-fix, and therefore a brutal process, because it was confused with active euthanasia. This time, the debate is going to the next step, to that of the living will. It is good becauselegal literacy on passive euthanasia is a powerful tool in an individual’s arsenal.

Could you explain the concept of ‘living wills’?

‘Living wills’ are exactly like regular ‘wills’. They can be changed as often as you like while you are of sound mind and body. The safeguards to be taken are equally similar: witnesses, copies of the living will and a legal mind kept in the loop. The difference would be that in a living will, additionally, one would need to verbally inform whoever one trusts of its contents. Obviously, the contents would need to conform to the law of the land. The conditions under which passive euthanasia is permitted are when one is brain dead and when one is in a persistent vegetative state. A living will, created when a person is of sound mind and body, can lay down instructions for, say, when the ventilator should be turned off or feeding stopped. Plus, one can stipulate the period after which the passive euthanasia process is to be initiated – for instance, ventilation should be stopped after 10 days or feed tapered off after six months. These are random time-frames, but the point is the choices are completely those of the person writing the living will.

The Law Commission of India, while reviewing the Supreme Court’s decision of 2011, had said: “…for incompetent patients who have not taken ‘informed decision’, a doctor can take a decision to withhold or withdraw medical treatment if that is in the best interests of the patient…” How are the ‘best interests’ determined?

The best interests of any patient in any irreversible condition are determined through a living will by the patient before he or she goes into that condition. However, if there is no living will, then the best interests are determined by the closest family members or loved ones or “next friend” in conjunction with the patient’s doctors. And both, the patient’s near and dear ones and doctors, would do best if they simply put themselves in the patient’s place. Ergo, do unto that vulnerable body on the bed what you would want compassionately done to you.

How are the guidelines for passive euthanasia in India different from those in Western Europe or parts of the United States where it is legalised?

Instead of getting into loads of legalese, let me give you an example of the landmark Terri Schiavo case from the US. While Schiavo lay in permanent vegetative state in a hospital for over a decade from 1990, her husband wanted to terminate life support to her while her parents opposed such a move. They went to court against each other. The court ruled in Schiavo’s best interests and allowed her feed to be tapered off. An internationally prescribed method was followed and in doing so, Schiavo did not suffer starvation and dehydration and her death was not painful or sudden. Feeding was lessened systematically, painkillers and palliatives were added gradually and she, after horrific years of being both un-alive and unhealthy, legally died in 2005 in the comfort possible under such circumstances. Suffice to say that since we are still understanding passive euthanasia, we have not reached the point that Western Europe or parts of the US have. They view an irreversibly ill patient being forced to linger on as a human rights violation.

HC issues NBW against ‘dead’ murder accused
Last Updated: Saturday, July 19, 2014, 00:20

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued fresh non-bailable warrant (NBW) against a murder accused who had jumped bail and allegedly connived with his family members to show an unidentified body as his own to get him declared dead by the Uttar Pradesh police.

However, during investigation the police had found out that the accused’s finger prints, which were on record, did not match with that of the body which was identified as that of the accused by his family members.

Shocked by what the probed had revealed, the high court had directed the police to conduct a thorough investigation into the whole matter including the role played by the family members as well as the police officers who had handed over the unidentified body to the accused’s relatives.

The court had on May 23 also issued NBW against the accused, which was returnable for July 18, as well as directed police to file a status report.

Thereafter, police had filed its report saying that since the identity is in doubt, the ashes have been sent for a DNA test, result of which is awaited to ascertain the claims of the kin of the accused. The report also said they were putting in efforts to trace the accused.

Police had said investigation showed three constables of Ghaziabad police were involved in the conspiracy and it has proved the “finger prints taken were not of the unclaimed body but of some other body”.

After perusing the report, a bench of justices Kailash Gambhir and Sunita Gupta today asked the police to file a fresh status report along with the DNA analysis result of the body that was shown to be that of the accused.

It asked the police to expeditiously complete the probe into the disappearance of the accused, Rajbir Singh.

The court fixed October 10 for further hearing in the matter.


First Published: Saturday, July 19, 2014, 00:20

HC for giving wide publicity to govt approved price lists told to take decision on opening fair price shops in Srinagar, Jammu in first instance
Srinagar, Jul 19: In what could help contain the scourge of overcharging and hoarding, Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution Department (CAPD) to take decision on opening of fair price shops in the first instance in the twin cities of Srinagar and Jammu to be followed by expanding the facility to other tehsil headquarters.
A division bench comprising chief justice M M Kumar and justice Hasnain Massodi passed the direction after a suggestion was made to the bench in this regard.
“The suggestion is worth serious consideration and the decision be taken in this regard before the next date of hearing,” the bench said.
It was pleaded before the bench that there are 32 wards in SMC and a 2-member team in the Enforcement department is sufficient to check the overcharging, hoardings and profiteering in two wards.
The director CAPD in his status report submitted that digital boards installed at the main gate of directorate and in the office complex of Deputy Commissioner here are displaying the rates of the essential commodities.
Meanwhile, the bench was told that the Enforcement Wing CAPD is checking the market on regular intervals and has requested SSP Srinagar to depute at least five security personnel with the CAPD team on rotational basis for security purpose.
The counsel representing SMC Firdous Ahmad Mir informed the court that as a social obligation the corporation would not charge for hoardings displaying price information.
On the suggestion of the AG that hoardings be erected at grand mosques, shrines and several other places also, the court directed SMC to identify 20 places in consultation with some other departments in the city for erecting such hoardings.
The AG also submitted that a communication has been sent to Railways for setting up hoardings who have recommended the case to higher authorities in Delhi for sanction.
“It should be known to public through television and radio that the fair price lists are available and can be downloaded and even cell phones could be used for checking the price. Such a course would enable members of general public to have access to the information so that the profiteering and overcharging is given burial,” the court directed.
“A direction is issued to the television as well authorities (Doordarshan Srinagar) to permit CAPD to publish and announce the price commodities,” the court said.
After the court was informed that announcement on radio is made only in respect of few commodities and no comprehensive publicity is being given, the AG assured the court that CAPD Department will take effective steps in this regard.

HC no to priests’ plea for sole rights to puja at Satara temple
Shibu Thomas, TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 12.13AM IST
MUMBAI: No custom is valid if it’s against public policy and the law of the land, the Bombay high court ruled in an order while dismissing a plea by the Badave community to declare that it has exclusive rights to conduct puja and collect the ‘dakshina’ offered to the deities of the Shikhar Shingnapur temple near Satara.

Justice Ravi Deshpande was settling a 30-year-old dispute between the Badave family, which said it had exclusive rights since time immemorial to conduct pujas in the temple and the Jangam community which disputed that.

“A custom is a long drawn, practice which has been followed by the members of community or religion interested in it,” said Justice Deshpande, adding, “But no custom is valid if it is illegal, immoral, unreasonable or opposed to the public policy.”
The high court also referred to Supreme Court rulings in such matters.

The Badaves are a Brahminical sect that conducts pujas in many temples in Maharashtra, including the Pandharpur temple, while the Jangam community belongs to the Lingayat sect.

In 1985, the Badaves had moved the civil court seeking a declaration that only they could perform puja, archa, dahibhat, abhishek and other pujas before the deity Shri Shambu Mahadeo, Amruteshwar and the other deities of Shikhar Shingnapur Devsthan as priest and to take dakshinas offered. They also sought a restraining order against the Jangam and other communities from objecting to the Badaves’ rights.

Udayan Raje Bhosale, the land owner and descendent of Chhatrapati Shivaji, had supported the Badaves’ claims.

The high court said, “It is not the case that according to the tenets of religion, only the Badaves are well-versed and qualified to perform the religious rites and rituals in a manner conducive and appropriate to worship of the deities and are the only persons authorized to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the temples.”

HC quashes rape case as girl says she married accused
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 19, 2014 Last Updated at 16:29 IST
The Bombay High Court has quashed a rape case after the victim took a stand that she had married the accused and was now happily staying with him.

The ruling was delivered by a bench headed by Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode which last week set aside a rape complaint filed against a city resident by his girl friend.

The boy had filed a petition in the High Court seeking quashing of FIR dated February 18, 2014, at Khar police station for offences of alleged rape and cheating.

Counsel for the petitioner Mahesh Vaswani submitted that the girl and the boy had a love affair and the complaint was filed by the former due to some misunderstanding. Now, both are happily married and were staying together, he argued.

The girl, who was also present in the court, said she had no objection to the quashing of the complaint filed by her as she had married the petitioner and was staying with him. Her lawyers Latika Nevrekar and Dharni Nagda also filed an affidavit making the same submission.

The judges noted, “We are otherwise satisfied that the offence punishable under Sections 376 (rape) and 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code is not made out, even if the allegations made in the complaint are accepted at its face value.”

“Respondent No 2 (the victim) was 22 years old when she had an affair with the petitioner and she had given consent for having physical relations with the petitioner. Under these circumstances the petition is allowed and the complaint filed by her is quashed and set aside,” said the judges.

Madras HC mercy for CISF constable with TB
A Subramani, TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 03.42PM IST
CHENNAI: The removal of a ‘constable dhobi’ working with the Central Industrial Security Force on the ground of indiscipline has been quashed by the Madras high court, after it was brought to the court’s notice that P C Damodaran was a chronic tuberculosis patient, and that his wife had cancer, while his son was a disabled person.
A division bench of Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar and Justice K Ravichandrabaabu, converting the removal of Damodaran from service into a case of compulsory retirement, as it would entitle him to full pension benefits, said on Monday: “Inspite of narrating the status of his family, the appellate authority and the revisional authority (of the CISF) have not chosen any sympathy. Considering peculiar facts in this case, as well as 31 years of service rendered by Damodaran, who is now aged 55 years, and also the nature of charges levelled against him, namely over-staying after medical rest, which is not willful, we are of the view that this is a fit case to interfere with the proportionality of punishment, as the punishment imposed is excessive.”
Damodaran joined the CISF as constable dobhi in February 1978 and he had completed 31 years of service, when he chose to avail himself of medical leave for 310 days from October 2009 to August 2010 for his TB treatment. Noting that he had received several reward certificates from top officers of the CISF, he said he could not attend the duties due to ill-health. However, his long leave was viewed seriously by the authorities who issued him a charge memo in March 2010. He was later removed from service, and the punishment was confirmed in two appeal proceedings in the department.
In his present petition, his counsel said Damodaran had TB, his wife was battling bone cancer, their one son was a disabled person, his father was deaf and blind person and his mother too had some heart ailments. His whole family, including his other children were dependent on his income. Though Damodaran submitted all medical records to prove his ailment and treatment, authorities removed him from service. If the punishment is mofidied into one of compulsory retirement, he would be eligible for terminal benefits, he said.
The CISF counsel, on his part, said Damodaran had been punished earlier for indiscipline and that he had been imposed punishment at least 10 times.
The judges said Damodaran had furnished enough evidence for his sufferings and that all he wanted was compulsory retirement, which was reasonable. They directed the authorities to pay him his terminal benefits within four weeks.

Transformers on footpaths: HC pulls up BESCOM
Saturday, 19 July 2014 – 6:02am IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent
Questioning the act of BESCOM officials in a matter pertaining to the installation of transformers, the Karnataka High Court lashed out at them asking if they are installing them properly. Justice Rammohan Reddy was hearing a petition filed by Ashwini Manoj Patil who lost her husband by electrocution in Church Street area in 2013. She had approached the court asking for a compensation of Rs 29 crore.
When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the court asked the BESCOM officials as to what was the purpose of installing transformers on footpath. He also asked who is the political leader behind this. He observed that if the member (of legislative assembly) doesn’t know the law, he will make him understand that. He said that transformers have to be installed on BESCOM properly, and it should be removed from the pedestrian path. BESCOM officials said that the transformers are not placed on footpaths. Following this, the judge said that they have to prove it by the next hearing. The matter has been posted to July 23.
The matter in question is a transformer situated allegedly on footpath in Church Street near a restaurant cllaed Kaati zone. Last year, a person called Manoj Kumar Patil had died after alleged electrocution from the transformer. Later Ashwini patil approached the court questioning the negligence from BESCOM officials and asking for compensation.
During the previous hearings the court had also asked BBMP and BESCOM officials to do a spot inspection and submit a report. The court had also expressed anxiety on the safety of pedestrians.

Decide Gurgaon farmhouse owners representation: HC asks police
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 17:29 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked the city traffic police to decide within six weeks a representation by 170 farmhouse owners in Gurgaon who have alleged their society roads are being used as a thoroughfare by heavy vehicles going towards Rajokri village here.

A bench of Justice Suresh Kait passed the order on a plea by Westend Green Farms Society, representing the farmhouses, alleging no action has been taken on their representations sent to the traffic police and various other authorities.

It had alleged that heavy motor vehicles are using their society roads to reach Rajokri village despite there being an alternate route to reach the area, located near National Highway-8.

The society has contended that the movement of the heavy vehicles has resulted in an increase in air and noise pollution in the area and had sought directions to the traffic police to put a stop to it.

After perusing the plea of the society, the high court directed the traffic police to decide on the representation within six weeks and disposed of the petition.

SC declines to interfere with HC order on Guru
The Supreme Court on Friday declined to interfere with a Madras High Court order quashing the preventive detention of ‘Kaduvetti’ Guru, PMK leader, for his hate speech made in April 2013.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices Kurian Joseph and Rohinton Nariman dismissed a special leave petition filed by Tamil Nadu against the order dated December 4, 2013.
Appearing for the State, Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar assailed the order. However, the CJI told the SG “even if there is slightest non application of mind on passing the detention order, the benefit must go to the detenu.”
In its SLP, the State said due to the hate speech of Mr. Guru on April 25, 2013, there were widespread violence and riots by the followers of PMK who damaged the public property and set fire to the transport buses. Therefore the sponsoring authority forwarded all the relevant documents to the detaining authority seeking an order of detention.
The High Court erroneously allowed the Habeas Corpus Petitions and set aside the detention order passed against Guru and directed him to be set at liberty.
The High Court was erroneous in setting aside the detention order passed by the detaining authority on the ground that the same was passed on surmises and no materials were available to show that the violence was due to the hate speech of the detenu.
Refuting this finding, the State said the provocation led to the destruction of 40 buses and other vehicles, and prayed for quashing the High Court order.

Quake threat to Puri echoes in HC
– High-rise buildings along shoreline show signs of tilt
Cuttack, July 19: Orissa High Court has initiated a public interest litigation (PIL) on the earthquake threat to Puri where the sea level has risen and high-rise buildings along the shoreline show signs of tilting possibly due to tectonic movements.
Taking suo motto cognisance of a report in The Telegraph on the issue, the division bench of Justice Pradip Mohanty and Justice Biswajit Mohanty issued notices to the revenue and disaster management secretary, home secretary and the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The report “ASI team visit inspects Jagannath Temple — Visit follows earthquake” was published on May 23, a day after an earthquake hit the state.
Official records indicate that the high court’s concern was triggered as the report alleged that the state government officials played down the impact of the earthquake on May 21 though eminent geophysicist and former deputy director-general of the Geological Survey of India P.N. Nayak had said Puri was sitting on a time bomb.
“The rise in water level of the sea in Puri on May 15 is the precursors of a disaster and now the earthquake hit the state, affecting the coastal belt,” Nayak had said.
The PIL committee consisting of Justice Indrajit Mahanty and Justice B.R. Sarangi said: “The matter relates to threat of earthquake and consequent rise of the sea level. In view of constant upcoming of high-rises by the seashore in Puri, a holy and tourist place, the matter needs consideration regarding safety measures and precaution to avoid any unfortunate incident or death toll. Thus, the matter involves important question to the safety of the Puri inhabitants, therefore, the same may be treated as a PIL.”
The seashore buildings of Puri town were observed to be tilted towards northeast by Nayak, retired deputy director-general (geophysics).
The Telegraph had also carried a news report on the issue on February 22, 2012. A team of professors and research scholars of IIT, Kharagpur, had visited Puri to study the tilted structures.
Nayak attributed it to the impact of the 2004 tsunami or the rise of the earth’s mantle material through the oceanic ridges between Brahmagiri and Sakhigopal near Puri. The ridge extends to over 1,600km connecting Sri Lanka.
“The tilted buildings are either caused by pressure transferred from the oceanic crust after 2004 Sumatra quake or the up welling (an oceanographic phenomenon that entails rising of cold, usually nutrient-rich waters from the ocean depths to the warmer, sunlit zone at the surface) of mantle material through the ridge that may result in further tilting of the buildings and disastrous crustal movements,” Nayak had said.
The road running parallel to the shore in Puri had been breached by a massive surge of the sea in 2007, a phenomenon generally attributed to global warming but which, it now appears, could also have been connected to the oceanic crust movements in the wake of the Sumatra tragedy. The road has developed not only cracks, but also elevations and depressions of more than 1 metre at certain points.
While the already-visible tilt in the buildings make them disaster-prone, Nayak felt that in the event of an earthquake, the destruction could be minimised if a prediction programme was implemented.
The tilt in the buildings is hardly noticeable if viewed from the beach road, extending from Banki Muhan in the east to Baliapanda on the western side. One has to trudge through the golden sands and look at the buildings from the south-western side, or drive up to the Baliapanda side at least to the point where the road bends for the tilt to be visible.

Anurag demands state to send proposal for setting up HC bench at Dharamsala
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times Shimla, July 18, 2014
First Published: 20:03 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 20:04 IST(18/7/2014)
Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) president and Hamirpur Lok Sabha member Anurag Thakur wrote a letter to chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Friday asking him to immediately send a proposal to the union government for setting up the Himachal Pradesh High Court bench at Dharamsala.

Thakur said he had written to law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad and had raised the matter in the Lok Sabha under Rule 377.
“In response to my letter, the law minister said that according to the recommendations made by Jaswant Singh Commission and the decision of the Supreme Court in 2000, the Centre can establish a high court bench only after the state government sends a complete proposal and chief justice of the concerned high court also gives his assent to the proposal,” said Thakur.
“The law minister also said his ministry hasn’t received any proposal from the Himachal Pradesh government till date to establish a high court bench at Dharamsala,” he said.
In his letter to Virbhadra Singh, Thakur said this was a matter of utmost public importance and therefore the state government should immediately take a step forward and send the proposal to the Centre so that he can further pursue the matter at his own level.
Thakur said the people of Kangra and members of the district bar association had been raising the demand for long. He said the people from Chamba district have to travel all the way to Shimla for legal matters which not only consumes time but also puts financial burden on them.

After 16 years, man to get relief for son’s death after HC intervention
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 04.38AM IST
MADURAI: Sixteen years after the death of his son, his father S Arockiasamy from Trichy is going to get Rs 2.25 lakh compensation with an interest of 12% annum soon with the help of the Trichy district collector, thanks to the intervention of the Madras high court Madurai bench.

Arockiasamy’s son Napolean was a construction worker. He died on January 2, 1998 when he was engaged in some construction activity in a building belonging to one P Selvaraj.

Claiming compensation under the Workmen’s Compensation Act, the father approached the tribunal for workmen’s compensation in Trichy in 1999. After due inquiry, the deputy commissioner of labour passed an award on November 9, 2001, directing the building owner to pay Rs 2,25,220 with interest at the rate of 12% per annum.
But, the owner did not comply with the said order.

Thereafter, the deputy commissioner sent a letter to then district collector on August 20, 2003 requesting him to recover the amount from the building owner under the Revenue Recovery Act.

As no steps were taken by the collector, the deputy commissioner sent several reminders. But, the efforts went into vain. Thereafter, the father issued a legal notice on March 31, 2005, which the collector received on April 5. But, his attempt proved futile.

Hence, he knocked on the doors of justice by way of filing a writ petition.

The matter came up before Justice R Mahadevan after several adjournments. After hearing the concerned sides, the judge has now passed orders directing the district collector to recover the said sum of Rs 2.25 lakh with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of death till the date of deposit, by invoking revenue recovery proceedings and pay the same to the petitioner, within a period of three weeks from the date of receipt of a copy of this order.

The court further specifically directed the collector not to cause any delay in this issue.

Bringing Kids to Care Homes not ‘Trafficking’: State to HC
By Express News Service
Published: 19th July 2014 08:04 AM
Last Updated: 19th July 2014 08:05 AM
KOCHI: Stating that bringing children from outside the State cannot be termed as ‘trafficking’, the State Government on Friday submitted before the Kerala High Court that so far there were no specific cases of orphanages exploiting children.
In a counter affidavit, L A Gregorious, deputy secretary to the government, Social Justice Department, stated that transferring of children by parents for care, protection and education cannot be treated as an offence. The State made the submission when petitions seeking a CBI probe into the trafficking of 578 children from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal to orphanages in Kerala came up for consideration.
The police had registered a first information report (FIR) under Section-370(5) of the IPC, which states that recruiting, transporting, harbouring or receiving a person, using threat or force for the purpose of exploitation is an offence.
‘Exploitation’ shall include any act of physical exploitation, any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or forced removal of organs. The affidavit stated that so far no exploitation by the institutions was reported. It further noted that of the 578 children, 271 were former inmates and students of orphanages in Mukkam and Malappuram.
Hence, at present, it cannot be considered as ‘trafficking’. However, the Special Wing of the State Police will promptly probe whether any incident of exploitation was unearthed during the initial investigation, it said.

All four convicted under IT Act in India are from AP: says top cop
Need more punitive action against cyber security violators, say experts
K Rajani Kanth | Hyderabad
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 15:26 IST
While 4,356 (including 635 in the combined state of Andhra Pradesh) cyber crimes were registered nationally since the IT Act came into force, 2,098 persons (296 in AP) were arrested.

Of these, only four were convicted under the IT Act, and all the four were from AP, according to T Krishna Prasad, additional director-general (crime investigation), Telangana government.
Delivering his special address at a conference on ‘Cyber security: Counter measures to face the threats’ organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here on Friday, he said more punitive action was required to deal with cyber security violators.

This issue has not been addressed by the National Cyber Security Policy of 2013. All the state governments, including Telangana, should take this up with the Centre, he added.
“No single investigating agency can handle this cyber security threat especially in the current scenario where we have 134 ISPs (Internet service providers), 100 million Internet users and 1,000 million mobile users. We need to have coordinated efforts between the industry and investigation agencies. Also, the industry should share the tools that they develop to counter cyber security threats with the police, free of cost,” Prasad said.
Stating that the crime investigation department (CID) already had a cyber crime cell and a lab in Hyderabad, he said the CID was currently training officers at the district level in tackling cyber crime and that the department was contemplating setting up cyber labs in every district of Telangana.
Earlier, addressing the gathering, KT Rama Rao, IT and panchayat raj minister, Telangana, said the industry should collaborate with the government in tackling cyber crime. “We need to collaborate with private players in the area of cyber security,” he said.
According to R Srinivasa Rao, Hyderabad centre head, Wipro Limited, and convenor, CII Andhra Pradesh ICT panel, cyber fraudsters were increasingly targeting small and medium enterprises. “To mitigate risks, companies should focus more on newer technologies,” he said.

Finally, SC-ST students get post-matric scholarship back
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 01.07AM IST
CHANDIGARH: A few days after recipients of the post-matric scholarship scheme were asked to pay up for study at Panjab University’s various departments, the university on Friday withdrew its decision to charge fee from such students.

PU’s special committee for SC-ST and the dean student welfare ( DSW) communicated to the Ambedkar Students’ Association (ASA) the decision to not charge fees from SC-ST students with a family income less than Rs 2.5 lakh per annum and withdrew the notice regarding the same.

The decision will also be in effect for PU’s regional centres.
On July 1, PU’s SC-ST cell issued a notice to charge fee from SC students of Punjab and, according to ASA, ‘violated the norms of the state government’. On July 11, ASA members and SC-ST students met vice chancellor Arun K Grover, who assured that he will look into the matter of implementation of the Post-Matric Scholarship Scheme. Under the scheme, SC-ST students from Punjab are exempted from fees and are required to pay only the security deposit.

“After going through all documents and decision of the Punjab & Haryana high court, the decision to implement the scheme was taken. This is a big achievement for ASA since all eligible students will now get the benefits of this scheme,” said vice chairperson Prabhjot.

High court dismisses Gujarat judge who tried her own husband
Saeed Khan, TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 06.06AM IST
AHMEDABAD: Terming the act as “outright misconduct”, Gujarat high court on Friday upheld the dismissal of a chief metropolitan magistrate who had tried her husband’s case in her own court. Judge SV Shah, who was dismissed from service in 2009, had filed a petition in the high court.

The HC upheld the punishment given to her by Gujarat HC’s administrative division and the state government. The high court observed: “The act of conducting the cases in which her husband was an accused is mischief on part of the judicial officer. Such an act cannot be said to be a negligent act, but it is outright misconduct.”

Shah was made Ahmedabad’s chief metropolitan magistrate in August 2000 and remained till January 2002. She was suspended over charges of conducting the trial of cases in which her husband Vijay Shah, the-then managing director of Comfort Knit Wears Ltd, was an accused.
Shah faced an inquiry because instead of transferring her husband’s case to another judge, she took up the cases for hearing two weeks before they were scheduled to be heard in 2000. She ordered implication of another director in the case, undertook the process illegally, and separated her husband’s trial, according to the HC chargesheet. She imposed only a fine on her husband, while the others were punished with jail terms by another judge. She fined her husband with 50 paise for each day’s default.

The HC’s administrative side said, “She acted in the most illegal favourable manner and blatantly misused her powers.”

In 2001, the Rs 800 crore Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank (MMCB) scam surfaced. She granted default bail to two office bearers. Before the deadline for filing the chargesheet ended, she entertained the application and illegally released the two.

Besides, Shah released Ketan Parekh on bail on the simple condition of depositing a sum of over Rs 16 lakh.

Another judicial officer, DT Soni, inquired into the allegations and held her guilty in both cases—Shah’s husband’s trial and MMCB.

The HC’s administrative side heard her and recommended her dismissal. Accordingly, she was removed from judicial service in 2009, after which she had filed the petition in the HC.

High Court quashes case booked for pasting posters
The Madras High Court Bench here has quashed a police case registered against a village youth for having pasted posters announcing a one-day hunger strike demanding action against those responsible for the suspicious death of a government higher secondary school student during school hours at Pannaipuram in Theni district in December 2010.
Allowing a petition filed by the accused, M. Vijayakumar, Justice G.M. Akbar Ali held that the prosecution launched against him was an abuse of the process of law.
The judge quashed the criminal proceedings though it was represented that Kombai police in Theni district had already laid a charge sheet in the case before a Judicial Magistrate court in Bodinayakannur.
The police had booked the petitioner under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959, based on a complaint lodged by a Village Administrative Officer.
They contended that the petitioner had not obtained prior permission for pasting the posters in the village and that he had condemned the State government in those posters. It was also the case of the prosecution that the posters did not contain the name and address of the press where they were printed and that the petitioner had not obtained the consent of the owners of the properties concerned before pasting the posters on their walls.
These acts amounted to commission of offences under various provisions of the 1959 Act, they claimed.
However, Mr. Justice Ali said a person could be prosecuted under Section 3 of the Act only if he had displayed ‘objectionable advertisement,’ a term which had been defined in the legislation itself to mean advertisements likely to incite violence, those intended to outrage religious feelings, grossly indecent or obscene or those which obstructed traffic.
The Act also categorically stated that an advertisement should not be deemed to be objectionable merely because it criticised a law or policy or administrative action of the government with a view to getting it altered or redressed through lawful means, the judge said. He also pointed out that every citizen enjoyed freedom of speech and expression subject to reasonable restrictions.

Bombay high court cracks down on corruption in lower judiciary; 2 clerks face suspension
Sunday, 20 July 2014 – 6:30am IST | Agency: DNA
Mustafa Plumber
For the first time in the history of the state judiciary, two judicial clerks of Borivali and Kurla magistrate courts are facing suspension for demanding money from officers of the high court who posed as litigants and approached them for favours during an anti-corruption check.
The clerks are Sudham Mhaske of the Kurla metropolitan court and Nandkumar Sankhe of the Borivali metropolitan court. The suspension orders were given to them on Tuesday by the chief metropolitan magistrate and a departmental inquiry will soon be conducted against them. If the charges are proved, the officers can be dismissed from service.
Senior officers of the high court had gotten in touch with the two accused earlier in this month. Posing as litigants (those involved in a lawsuit), the officers had asked them for favours like moving the dates of their cases, providing them with original copies of court order, getting their documents processed faster etc., which the judicial clerks can perform at their levels. These duties don’t need permissions or a go ahead from the sitting magistrates. The judicial clerks are entrusted with administrative work before and after the passing of orders by the magistrate and other day to day functioning of courts.
The two decoy officers kept in regular touch with the accused, who sought money in return for the favours, and then reported the matter to the high court, which in turn directed the suspension of the clerks. A high court officer, on condition on anonymity, said, “This exercise will continue in other courts across the state.”
“This is the first time that the high court has acted proactively. We want to send a message to the judicial staff that corruption and misconduct won’t be tolerated. This is the first step to ensure a hassle-free procedure for litigants at the lower judiciary level,” said a senior high court official. Normally, the court acts after a litigant lodges a complaint with the registry, and then a Special Investigating Team puts the officer on notice and acts against him/her by issuing a chargesheet.

20 years on, high court clears way for colonel’s court martial
Ajay Sura, TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 06.10AM IST
CHANDIGARH: Twenty years after a general court martial held Colonel RBS Bisht guilty of committing irregularities in local purchases during his posting as commandant of the ammunition deport near Chandigarh, the Punjab and Haryana high court finally paved the way for the Army chief to take a decision on his dismissal from service.

A division bench comprising justices Hemant Gupta and Fateh Deep Singh held that the HC cannot examine the maintainability of the court martial till the verdict is confirmed by the Chief of Army Staff. “The petitioner has the right to file a petition post confirmation and also the statutory rights of appeal before the Armed Forces Tribunal. Since the petitioner has effective alternative remedy, we do not wish to examine arguments raised at this stage,” held the bench, disposing of the petition in a July 10 order.

In his petition, Col (retd) Bisht challenged the court martial against him on the grounds that he cannot be made subject to the Army Act, 1950 in 1994, since he retired and was re-employed from January 15, 1993. The retired Colonel, who lives in Uttarakhand at present, has been accused of purchasing substandard stores at exorbitant rates and against requisite instructions during his posting as commandant of the ammunition depot at Dappar near Chandigarh in 1992.
Recommending the court martial, Army’s court of inquiry in its September 11, 1992 report held that Bisht made the local purchases not because it was needed but because it could facilitate personal benefits.

Bisht challenged findings of the inquiry before the high court, which, on January 16, 1995, restrained Army authorities from taking action against him. The matter was pending for a long time before the high court till it was shifted to the Chandigarh bench of the Armed Forces Tribunal in 2010.

Recently, AFT allowed court-martial proceedings against Bisht, which ordered to dismiss him from service. Bisht challenged his dismissal before the AFT on the grounds that he could not be court-martialled after his retirement.

On April 28, AFT dismissed his petition and held that even after retirement, Bisht could be subject to court martial for the illegalities he committed during his tenure. Thereafter he moved the HC. If the Army chief confirms his dismissal, Bisht will lose all retirement benefits.

Frame Digha Acquired Land Settlement Act in 2 months: Patna high court
Anisha Anand, TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 12.34AM IST
PATNA: With the Patna high court’s final verdict directing the state government on Friday to frame rules for the four-year-old Digha Acquired Land Settlement Act, 2010, in two months, the long-pending dispute over the settlement of 1024.52 acres in Digha area seems nearing an end.

Petitioners Dwivedy Surendra and Council for Protection of Public Rights and Welfare in their PIL had demanded enforcement and implementation of the Act, published in the gazette on April 26, 2010.

In an earlier hearing, counsel for Bihar State Housing Board submitted the rules and necessary schemes for enforcement of the Act had been prepared and sent to the state government for approval. On Thursday, one of the petitioner’s counsel, Brajesh Kumar informed the court that rules still did not exist and the state counsel had no answer to the court’s query when the rules would be notified. The bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha on Thursday had given a day’s time to the state urban development department secretary to file his reply.
On Friday, the state counsel informed the court that at least two months’ time was required to finish all the formalities related to notification of rules and schemes. The bench disposed of the case giving the state two months’ time to frame rules, schemes and the executing authority. It also warned the state of contempt proceedings in case of failure to comply with the court’s order.

The Act was passed in the assembly in 2010, but was notified on November 27, 2013, only after a contempt case in the Patna high court. It aims at categorization of land and through it, unauthorized occupants are to be regularized by way of final settlement of plots after payment of penalty amount by them.

The rules and schemes are to broadly prescribe provisions for regularizing houses on 600 acres of the encroached land on the eastern side of Ashiana-Digha road by taking a penalty on the basis of one’s annual income and the area on which construction has been done. These will also prescribe for reacquisition of around 300 acres on the western side of the road by paying compensation and ex gratia amount to landowners and repayment to allottees.

It is learnt the government had acquired plots in this area from farmers in 1974 at the rate of around Rs 2,200 per kattha. The Bihar State Housing Board had also deposited Rs 17.42 crore with the Patna district collector towards acquisition of the land. Of the 1,024.52 acres which were to be developed by the board, around 600 acres were sold by the erstwhile owners or farmers to other parties, making it quite impossible for the board to execute the project.

UT declined premature release of Beant assassins, high court told
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 06.09AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Chandigarh administration has stated before the Punjab and Haryana high court that it had declined premature release of Shamsher Singh and Gurmeet Singh, both convicted for assassinating former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

A communication regarding the refusal to release Shamsher and Gurmeet, lodged in Chandigarh’s Burail jail, was submitted before the court by Chandigarh administration on Friday. The two convicts had approached the high court seeking premature release on grounds that they had spent more than 14 years behind bars and were entitled to be freed.

In response to their petition, the UT administration told the court that it had taken the decision, considering the nature of “heinous crime” committed by the two.
However, the Union government informed the court that in such matters, opinion of the presiding judge of the trial court, which had convicted the accused, was required before taking any decision. Hearing this, the high court asked the Central government to specify on what issue the government wanted the advice of presiding judge. The case has been fixed for August 6 for further hearing.

Gurmeet and Shamsher, along with co-convict Lakhwinder Singh, were released on parole in December 2013 after former militant Gurbaksh Singh Khalsa sat on a fast-unto-death for their release. They were sentenced by a special CBI court in the high security Burail jail on August 1, 2007 for their role in the assassination of former Punjab CM Beant Singh in August 1995. Two others, Balwant Singh Rajoana and Jagtar Singh Hawara, were also convicted in the case and are lodged in central jail, Patiala and Tihar jail, Delhi respectively.

CIC upholds PMO decision on not releasing secret Netaji files
Press Trust of India | Kolkata
July 19, 2014 Last Updated at 16:29 IST
The Central Information Commission has upheld the Prime Minister’s Office contention that releasing secret files about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose’s wife and daughter may upset foreign countries.

Chief Information Commissioner Rajiv Mathur has disposed the appeal by researcher Chandrachur Ghose which challenged the PMO’s decision of not giving access to the letters written by Netaji’s wife and daughter to the government.

“In view of the above, and CPIO’s submission that due diligence has been exercised, we uphold the decision of the CPIO/AA in denying the information,” the CIC said in its decision.

In 2013, the PMO had said that these files are exempt from disclosure under Section 8(1)(a) read with section 8(2) of the Right to Information Act, 2005.

“The three files in question are classified and disclosure of the documents contained in them would prejudicially affect relations with foreign countries,” the PMO said in its reply.

Ghose, who is writing a biography on the nationalist leader, said, “Keeping these files secret would also fuel conspiracy theories, in view of controversy regarding Netaji’s marriage in certain quarters”.

When under house arrest by the Britishers, Netaji had escaped from India in 1941 to seek international support for India’s freedom struggle. After organising the Indian National Army with Japanese help he went missing in 1945, fuelling one of the most debated and puzzling mysteries.

RTI query: Has the SPG become a Hindu outfit?
TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 04.47AM IST
NEW DELHI: Has the SPG — tasked with protecting the Prime Minister and his family — recruited people from only a specific community or religion after the assassination of former PM Indira Gandhi?

This was an RTI query filed by Gurgaon resident Aseem Takyar. The controversial application was rejected by the Central Information Commission (CIC) on the grounds that the Special Protection Group (SPG) was an exempted organization and the information sought was neither related to a human rights violation nor allegations of corruption under section 24(1).

Takyar also sought to know whether it was a human rights violation to recruit personnel only from one community and demanded a list of police personnel recruited in the SPG from each religion and community.

According to the RTI Act section 24(1) the SPG is an exempted organization “provided that the information pertaining to the allegations of corruption and human rights violations shall not be excluded”. The section also says that if it is a case of allegations of human rights violation the information shall only be provided after the approval of the CIC and within 45 days from the date of receiving the application.

Takyar filed an appeal with the appellate authority, which was also rejected. He then filed a second appeal with the CIC. Hearing the issue, chief information commissioner Rajiv Mathur directed: “The commission sees no merit in the submissions made by the appellant. The SPG is an exempted organization under section 24 of the RTI act and hence we find no reason to interfere with the orders of the CPIO/appellate authority.”

Former PM Indira Gandhi was shot down by two of her bodyguards in October 1984 in the aftermath of Operation Blue Star, where the Indian army stormed the Golden Temple — the holiest Sikh shrine — to take out terrorists holed up inside.

26/11: Two police versions for Cama hospital firing put Maria in CIC line of fire
Written by Zeeshan Shaikh | Mumbai | July 20, 2014 1:16 am
There is a difference of five minutes in the timings recorded for the firing behind Cama hospital during the November 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, which claimed the lives of three senior police officers. The timing of the firing given by the police to the wife of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte after her Right to Information (RTI) query is 23.53 hours, while the time mentioned in the chargesheet filed by the Mumbai police in the 26/11 terror attack case is 23:48 hours.
Maharashtra State Chief Information Commissioner (SCIC) Ratnakar Gaikwad has highlighted the discrepancies in timings and failure of the Mumbai Police to preserve the hard disk of the voice logger, which recorded the conversation between police officers on the night of the 26/11 attack.
In an order passed on July 9, Gaikwad raised doubts on whether Mumbai police Commissioner Rakesh Maria was trying to hide information about the 26/11 attacks by withholding and providing misleading information about the call logs of wireless conversations between the police control room and Kamte’s van on the day of his death. He had also asked the state government to institute a commission to inquire why misleading information was provided.
Documents accessed by The Indian Express show that in reply to an RTI query filed by Kamte’s wife Vinita, the Mumbai police provided her with details of call logs in November 2009. These logs listed the first report of firing at St Xavier’s College, where Kamte and the three officers were killed, at 23:53 hours. Yet another RTI reply to Kamte in February 2010 makes no reference to any incident at 23:53 hours. However, the Mumbai police’s chargesheet filed in the 26/11 case lists the timing at 23:48 hours, five minutes earlier than what Kamte had been told.
There is a difference even in the time mentioned in two RTI replies to the query on when the first Quick Response Team was sent to provide help to the three martyred officers. In the first RTI reply given to Vinita, the time is stated to be 23:53 hours. The second RTI reply states the time at 23:52 hours, while the police chargesheet states the time as 23:48 hours.
The state blamed the discrepancy in the timings given to Kamte through RTI on constables who were drafting the transcripts.
However, the state has failed to explain to Vinita why there was such a glaring time difference in the first RTI reply and the Mumbai Police’s chargesheet.
“They are yet to explain how there was a difference in the time given to me and the time listed in the chargesheet,” Vinita said.
Vinita’s lawyer Dhairyasheel Patil, representing her before the State Information Commission, pointed out that there were serious discrepancies in the time given by the police, which was suspicious.
“There is a huge disparity of up to six minutes in the timings of the incidents that took place on 26/11. The original hard disk of the voice logger has not been retained. There seems to be large-scale manipulations in the call records for some unknown reason,” Patil has been referred to have said according to the proceedings listed by the SCIC.
Gaikwad took cognisance of all the questions raised by Vinita and her counsel. He said there were serious doubts about manipulation being done.
“It would be improper to say that the questions raised by Vinita about the information provided to her are incorrect. It is questionable why in such a serious incident the voice logger with the hard disk was not preserved. Also, how can it be said that there was no manipulation when a CD was created from the original video logger,” Gaikwad said in his order.
Gaikwad also said the government had stated that information on the hard drive was only saved for a specific period of time and after that it was automatically destroyed. Vinita has raised an issue on how the hard disk documenting an incident of such grave magnanimity could be overwritten.
“It was said that the memory was stored for a limited period and that an expert opinion of a manufacturer would be presented before the Commission. However, it has been almost two weeks now and no such opinion has been presented before us,” Gaikwad said.
Maria refused to comment, saying the police would file a reply with the state CIC.

Councils clear reworked FYUP curriculum
TNN | Jul 20, 2014, 12.01AM IST
NEW DELHI: With the academic and executive councils clearing the restructured curriculum for the four-year undergraduate programme, DU colleges are good to go. Teachers now know for sure what they will be teaching once colleges reopen on Monday.

“We pointed out that courses haven’t been passed by the faculties and that the DU administration couldn’t have sent the structure to the committees of courses without getting them cleared by the academic council,” says Amitava Chakraborty, elected member of the academic council.

Names of the courses run by Cluster Innovation Centre have also changed. “BTech in humanities”, the CIC’s much-touted “flagship” four-year programme, is now a three-year one?BA (honours) in humanities and social sciences. The concept of meta college and meta university remains. Five postgraduate courses have been approved for CIC and two business programmes run by the commerce department are now “MBA” courses. However, the CIC courses were not tabled.

Meanwhile, a group of 12 members had attempted to move a resolution regarding appointment of ad hoc teachers but as Chakraborty puts it, “discussion of the resolution was not permitted”. The restructuring of the course happened days after the rollback was announced and the meetings of the councils were also left to the last minute. The delay in the process led to a chaos on the ad hoc recruitment front.

DU administration has given just two days July 19 and 21 for appointments. There are roughly 4,500 ad hoc teachers in the university and Delhi University Teachers’ Association members argue that it will be impossible for all of them to appear for interviews over these two days.

“If ad hocs work on the last working day before summer break and the day the college reopens, they get a summer salary,” explains DUTA’s Vijaya Venkataraman. If they can’t join on the first day, they’ll lose the salary even if they have worked through the summer months.

“We demanded that ad hocs already appointed be allowed to remain and be replaced later or that the academic council condones the gap considering the situation.” The resolution, however, wasn’t accepted.

DU Clears Three Year Format for UG Courses

NEW DELHI | JUL 19, 2014

Delhi University’s Academic and Executive Councils today approved the courses restructured from the Four-Year Undergraduate Programme to fit the old three-year format.

Emergent meetings of the two statutory bodies of DU were today held to clear the resolution on approval of the courses in order to facilitate the commencement of the academic session on July 21.

“The restructured courses were passed at the meeting today. However, no Cluster Innovation Courses (CIC) were placed before the EC. Also, there will be no change in the examination/internal assessment,” Executive Council member Abha Dev Habib said in a text message.

However, DU Teachers’ Association slammed the varsity’s administration for delaying the process of restructuring and also hit out at the Vice Chancellor.

“The AC, the authority for designing courses, was not consulted on the model of restructuring: the Committees of Courses (comprising subject experts), were deprived of their right to decide on the best possible papers by making it mandatory to select papers only from the erstwhile FYUP,” DUTA President Nandita Narain alleged in a statement.

Slamming the varsity’s administration for not presenting the CIC courses before EC, Nandita said, “This is also evident from the fact that five new courses under the Cluster Innovation Centre -– also established through grave statutory violations –- were placed and approved in the meeting while the necessary amendments in the Statute, required for establishing new centres etc., is due for years now.”
FILED ON: JUL 19, 2014 22:36 IST

Family court asks wife to pay alimony to ex-cricketer husband
Press Trust of India | Gandhinagar
July 19, 2014 Last Updated at 16:36 IST
In a rare judgement on a divorce petition, a Gujarat courttoday ordered a woman to pay alimony to her physically challenged husband, a former cricketer, who accused her of causing physical and mental torture.

Gandhinagar family court magistrate D T Soni directed Rajvinder Kaur to pay her husband Dalbir Singh, who played with Sachin Tendulkar at Under-17 level and the cost of whose surgery in 2010 was borne by the cricket icon, Rs 10,000 per month as alimony.

Dalbir’s promising career was cut short in 2002 when he metwith a road accident.

In his petition, the ex-cricketer had alleged that his wife, whom he had married in 2006, used to confine him in their sector 22 house and harassed him physically and mentally. He also said Rajvinder would not allow him even to walk inside the house with the help of crutches.

While pronouncing his judgement, the magistrate relied on the accounts given by the couple’s neighbour and a police officer.

The couple’s neighbour Kamlesh Trivedi has told the court that Rajvinder used to tie Dalbir up with ropes, while a police officer said the former cricketer, locked up in a room, was taken out after neighbours complained about ill-treatment by his wife.

Court dismisses husband’s petition for restitution of conjugal rights under Mohammedan Law
Monday, 21 July 2014 – 6:05am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
• Urvi Mahajani
The family court has dismissed the petition filed by a husband seeking decree of restitution of conjugal rights under section 281 of Mohammedan Law observing that the relationship had broken beyond repair and hence it would be awkward to allow the petition.
Principal Judge Laxmi Rao dismissed the petition by the husband saying: “It is an awkward situation as to why the petitioner is seeking a decree of restitution of conjugal rights. On his own saying, relationship between the parties has broken beyond repair. Under such circumstances, I am not inclined to allow this petition for restitution of conjugal rights.”
The couple married on May 29, 2010 at Ikhar, a village in Gujarat and Nikahnama was executed. They do not have any children.
According to the petition filed by husband through advocate Firoz Shaikh, the wife behaved normally. However, later on, at the insistence of her family members, the wife made his, his mother’s and sister’s lives “miserable”, alleged the petition. He further alleged that she would pick quarrels with him without any just reason.
Despite his requests, she did not mend her ways, stated his petition. He further alleged that she would often leave her matrimonial house without any just reason and used to stay at her parental place.
On April 15, 2012, she left her matrimonial house along with her father and brother and went to stay at her paternal place with all her ornaments and belongings, the husband has claimed in his petition.
In June 2012, the husband alleged, that his father-in-law, assaulted him and he had lodged an FIR to the effect.
Despite all this, the husband expressed sincere desire to lead a married life with his wife. As she did not return from her paternal house, he filed the petition before the family court seeking restitution of conjugal rights. Following the court’s notice, the wife appeared once for counseling.
Judge Rao observed: “The contents of the petition and affidavit of evidence show that the respondent has not lived peacefully with the petitioner and his family members from the date of their marriage i.e. 29.5.2010 till the date of the separation i.e. 15.4.2012. Plenty of allegations have been made against her and her family members by the petitioner.”
Dismissing the petition, judge said: “Under such circumstances, I am not inclined to allow this petition for restitution of conjugal rights as filed by the petitioner even though it is proceeded without written statement of the respondent-wife. As there are only allegations against the wife, this petition is not maintainable.”

PIL challenges sops for Backward Classes
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 20, 2014, 04.07 am IST
Hyderabad: A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Hyderabad High Court challenging GO Ms No 9 issued on May 17, 2011, by the united Andhra Pradesh government, providing extension of reservations for a period of 10 years from June 1, 2011 to May 31, 2020 to Backward Classes in education and employment.
C. Sai Vishnuvardhan, a resident of the city, moved the plea stating that the government had failed to conduct periodic revisions of the BCs list in accordance with Section 11 of the Andhra Pradesh Commission for Backward Classes Act, 1993, prior to the issuance of the government order.
He contended that giving extension of reservations twice was a violation of the Act. He said that providing reservation without excluding the creamy layer and identification of Backward Classes violated the Constitution.
He urged the court to stay operation of the GO and to direct the governments of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to conduct periodic revision of the BCs list.
He requested the court to direct both the states to establish a separate geographical zone, and to declare it as “reservation free zone.”

Guwahati Municipal Corporation trains lens on marriage halls
Pranjal Baruah, TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 10.28AM IST
GUWAHATI: The Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) has sent sealing notice to 20 wedding halls for failing to furnish essential permissions.

The GMC had sought the documents from the marriage halls, following an order by the Guwahati high court. The high court, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) against one of the wedding-cum-function halls, issued a notice to GMC, Pollution Control Board (PCB) and Guwahati traffic police and directed them to take strong action against the violating halls.

On Friday, GMC joint commissioner Syed Isfaqur Rahman said, “There are 89 marriage halls in GMC area. About 62 halls have been asked to furnish the ?no objection certificate’ obtained from GMC and traffic police, as well as their trade license.”
Counsel of the petitioner, advocate B D Konwar said the marriage halls have not made any arrangements for the disposal of garbage which is a health hazard in the area. “About 42 wedding halls have submitted their documents. But 20 failed to do so. GMC plans to send sealing notices to the defaulters,” said Konwar.

In the petition, locals sought the high court’s intervention and complained that these wedding halls are constantly violating laws by using loudspeakers and firecrackers late into the night.

National Green Tribunal pulls up authorities over unauthorised borewells in Delhi
Taking a serious note of “water scarcity” in Delhi, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday pulled up the authorities for failing to perform their statutory administrative obligation in ensuring adequate water supply.
Irked over unauthorised and illegal borewells operating here, a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar directed Delhi Jal Board, Central Ground Water Authority, government of NCT of Delhi and corporations concerned to set up committees which shall visit and seal industrial areas extracting water illegally.
“Water scarcity in Delhi is a fact of which tribunal can take judicial notice, and equally it cannot be denied that these authorities i.e. corporations, DJB and government of NCT of Delhi have statutory and even a public administrative obligation to ensure that adequate water supply is made to various parts of Delhi and there is no illegal extraction of ground water in any manner whatsoever,” the bench said.
It also ordered that such committees shall prepare a complete and comprehensive report as to how many bore-wells were operating in industrial pockets, including at Bawana and Narela, and whether they have the permission from competent authority or were registered with the Delhi administration.
“We direct the Delhi Pollution Control Committee and DJB to submit a complete and comprehensive report as to why they have not fixed any meters for calculating cess,” the green bench said.
“We make it clear that all the senior officers shall be responsible for ensuring that the order of the Tribunal is implemented without demur and delay,” it said and fixed the matter for hearing on August 22.
The tribunal on September 3 last year had set up a panel to collect data of all illegal and permissible borewells in NCT of Delhi as well as to ensure that the cases of illegal extraction of ground water were prosecuted and water meters were installed for measuring consumption of underground water.
Thereafter, on November 12 and December 19 last year respectively, the tribunal had expressed dissatisfaction over the report submitted by the panel and had termed it as “poor and vague”.
The tribunal was hearing petitions filed by the NGT Bar Association and Raj Hans Bansal opposing the illegal use of groundwater in Delhi.

Kaliasot builders spurn National Green Tribunal
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 12.00PM IST
BHOPAL: Mindless construction on embankment of Kaliasot river in Kolar area is posing a big risk to its existence. It came to light on Friday after an official of Madhya Pradesh Pollution Control Board (MPPCB) on directions of National Green Tribunal (NGT) went to inspect the river in Mandakini Colony, Kolar Road.

Environmentalist Subhash Pandey who is an applicant, submitted on Friday that despite the order directing to maintain status quo, construction work is in progress on banks of Kaliasot river in Kolar area, which is a violation. Justifying his claims, Pandey presented latest video and photographs.

Kolar municipality chief municipal officer S S Dhakre, who was present in the court, was shown photographs and videos filed by the applicant. He, however, stated that it was an old photograph and does not reflect the present stage. On this, Pandey insisted that the work is under progress and also submitted that the residents of locality are present in court to assert the same.
In view of submissions made by applicant and denial by the municipality, NGT directed MPPCB assistant engineer Brijesh Sharma to inspect disputed premises on Friday. NGT also directed Sharma to find out whether any construction activity is going on and submit a report before the tribunal on July 22. NGT added that Sharma need not to serve any notice to parties.

Acting on NGT directions, Sharma and a team, accompanied by a team of media persons, went to the spot. Though Sharma did not make any statement to media regarding inspection by him, rampant construction on both sides of river was clearly visible.

Pandey claimed that builders in Kolar area have encroached upon the river bank. Now the width of river is reduced to 100 feet from 250 ft at several spots. “Kaliasot river stretched up to 250 ft and rule said there should not be any kind of construction up to 100ft on either side of bank. Anyone can see builders are doing construction without any fear,” Pandey said.

Sources said MPPCB assistant engineer Sharma was highly disappointed after seeing construction. “He has written in his report that Kaliasot river has been encroached by builders on both banks,” sources said.

Bailable warrants issued against officials of Town and Country Planning, Kolar municipality and disaster management institute for not following the May 27 order in which they were asked to demarcate the green-belt, present an inspection report about construction around Kaliasot river. Warrant was issued on July 11 and it was executed. All officials released on Rs 10,000 bond each.

Power ordinance in Parliament a litmus test for Sebi
Jul 19, 2014, 11.27AM IST
By Vaneesa Abhishek
These are exciting times for the Indian capital market. ASupreme Court Judge recuses himself from the Sebi Sahara matter, CBI sparks a debate on regulatory autonomy, reforms are under way to revive IPOs, and the regulator is attaching properties and bank accounts of violators. Market participants as well as the regulator are being made accountable. Amid all this, a slew of legislative changes in securities laws, through three ordinances, will become permanent law. Though the ordinance is well intentioned, it’s imperative that some of its provisions be debated to provide more clarity.

It is rare that an ordinance – an emergency law making power with the President – is promulgated thrice providing a regulatory authority powers retrospectively. But extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and cases like Sahara and Saradha may justify the use of this extraordinary power.
The ordinances validate the regulator’s power to consent and settle matters, disgorge unfair gains or averted losses, enter into MoUs with foreign regulators, all retrospectively. It also provides Sebi with enhanced power to call for information from any person regarding investigations, clamp down on collective investment schemes, attach assets, and set up special courts to try offences.
A Bill to replace the ordinance is likely to be tabled soon. One of the issues that Parliament should debate is the widely worded section 11AA(2A) that allows Sebi to specify conditions for any scheme or arrangement to be considered as a collective investment scheme, without providing any guidance on the criteria Sebi may use. In its current form, this may be considered to be excessive delegation if it comes up for review before courts.
On the other hand, there is much hoopla that the ordinance empowers Sebi chairman to authorise search and seizure operations on a suspect’s premises. This is a power enjoyed by any investigating officer under Criminal Procedure Code and something that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has been seeking since 2012. It should be noted that in the case of CCI, maintaining status quo was recommended by the Standing Committee of Finance for the reason that CCI is still at the stage of infancy and no instance could be cited before the committee where exercise of such powers by CCI through a judicial magistrate resulted in delay or leakage of confidential information.
This may not be the case with Sebi, a mature regulator, which recently celebrated its silver jubilee. Moreover, the Securities Laws Ordinance provides safeguards whereby Sebi chairman has to be satisfied that search and seizure is necessary and records reasons thereof. Such a safeguard was missing in the Competition Bill.
In the wake of changing market dynamics and myriad ways to evade regulatory fiat, these powers are not only essential, but a life-saving injection for Sebi to be an effective regulator.
Parliament should also deliberate on whether other provisions such as refinement of penalty provisions in securities laws, and enhancement of powers of the Securities Appellate Tribunal are required in the Bill.
Ideally, it should be clarified that all the powers bestowed on Sebi through the ordinance are also appealable before the tribunal, including orders of search and seizure, or attachment and recovery.
In a recent case, the tribunal expressed inability to entertain an appeal from an order of Sebi in view of a provision of the ordinance, which provides that no appeal can be made from an order passed by Sebi in settlement proceedings. Earlier, there was a bar only in those cases where the order was passed with the consent of parties.
These ordinances are a step in the direction the Supreme Court wished in the matter of `N Narayanan vs Sebi (2013)’ stating that Sebi has to deal sternly with companies and their directors indulging in manipulative and deceptive devices, insider trading etc.
or else they will be failing in their duty to promote orderly and healthy growth of the securities market. Sebi has already used powers derived from the ordinance. One can only hope that the ordinance is passed after examining some of these issues.
Author is Former legal officer, Sebi, & a practising lawyer. Views expressed are personal.


LEGAL NEWS 19.07.2014

NHRC seeks report from MP government over reports of autopsies being done in open in residential colony
Press Trust of India
Jul 18, 2014 at 07:20pm IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Firday issued notice to Madhya Pradesh government following reports that autopsies were being done in an open room in the middle of a residential colony in the state’s Sagar district.
According to an official statement, a notice has been issued to the Principal Secretary (Health), Government of Madhya Pradesh, calling upon him to submit a detailed report within four weeks in this connection. The notice was issued after the commission took suo motu cognizance of a media report which said that for over three years, the residents of Bhagat Singh Ward in Garhakota Town of Sagar district had been leading a ‘hellish life’ as autopsies were being done in an open room of a collapsed building of the government hospital. Despite repeated complaints, the hospital authorities had failed to address the issue.
Reportedly, this building, located right in the middle of the residential colony, had collapsed over three years ago and since then seven to ten post-mortems were being done every month at an open dilapidated room. “The residents do not go on the roof top for the fear of seeing the bodies being cut open and internal organs hanging out. The foul smell of rotting flesh hangs in the air. Stray dogs and pigs bring out human body parts,” the statement said.

On NHRC’s recommendations, the UP government pays Rs 3 lakh as relief rape survivor
Ashish Tripathi,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 06.49 PM IST
LUCKNOW: On the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, the government of Uttar Pradesh, after initially denying to provide financial assistance to a minor rape survivor by a police constable, finally paid Rs 3 lakh as monetary relief to her, when the Commission, through its show cause notice said that a public servant had violated the victim’s human rights for which the state was liable.

Earlier, in response to the Commission’s notice, the state government had said that there was no provision in the police department to provide financial assistance to the victim. In its communication to the Commission, the state government said that a criminal case under Section 376 IPC was filed against the accused constable and he was arrested and sent to jail.

The incident had happened on September 5, 2012, in Janaki Nagar, under police station Kotwali Nagar in Gonda district. The girl had gone to drop her younger brother to school. While coming back home, she was waylaid by the Constable who dragged her to a bush and physically assaulted her.
The commission has observed that the contents of the newspaper report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of right to health.

Two Declared ‘Passed’ after They Pass Away
By Express News Service
Published: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM
Last Updated: 19th July 2014 09:09 AM
BALASORE: Several innocent lives lost and fate of over a thousand still uncertain, an apathetic State Government is yet to wake up from its slumber. So much so that despite faulty evaluation of matriculation papers wreaking havoc with students, even taking two lives in the process, neither the Government nor the Board of Secondary Education (BSE) has deemed it proper to reply to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The NHRC had sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) within four weeks over the negligence that led to suicide of two girls who were shown to be failed at the first instance. They were declared to have passed in the exams following revaluation, but it was too late by then. The deadline has crossed, but no response has been filed.
The commission had called for the ATR pursuant to three petitions filed by Supreme Court lawyer and rights activist Radhakanta Tripathy. The deceased Rinki Dehury of Kumanda village in Angul district and Rashmita Sahoo, a student of Government Girls High School in Khurda, had taken the extreme step after being declared failed by the BSE.
Tripathy has appealed to the commission to direct the Government to pay compensation to all the students who have been the victims of wrong evaluation of the BSE. A special package may be ensured to the bereaved family for loss of their children.

Sessions court refuses stay on deportation
Jul 19, 2014 |
• Age Correspondent

A sessions court on Friday refused to grant a stay on the deportation order issued against Siraj Murad Khan Pathan, a resident of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK) who is staying in India since age 10.
Additional sessions judge H.S. Mahajan on Friday observed, “On going through the provisions of Citizenship Act as well as aforesaid Act (Foreigners Act) it reveals that so far as respect of nationality or citizenship is concerned, this court does not have jurisdiction at all to enter into said area as jurisdiction of the same is vested exclusively with the authorities of Central government.” In these circumstances, citing inability to pass any order with respect to deportation, the judge did not grant interim stay on the expatriation order.
Pathan’s lawyer Tanvir Nizam told this newspaper that now they are planning to approach the high court in this regard. He also said that the court has admitted his client’s appeal against his conviction.
On January 4 this year, the Bhoiwada court had convicted Pathan for staying illegally in India for many years without valid papers or a visa. He has undergone the six-month imprisonment awarded by the local court and filed an appeal only now. The court accepted his explanation that he was not aware of the legal process and did not have enough money to hire a lawyer, which is why he filed an appeal after six months.
Pathan was 10 years old when he ran away from his home in district Manshera in PoK. He boarded the wrong train and landed in Amritsar instead of Karachi, where his uncle lived. He later settled down in Mumbai and married an Indian girl. The couple has three children. Now, 19 years later, he faces the prospect of being sent back to his PoK without his family after being convicted under the Foreigners Act 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Rules.

Supreme Court asks Delhi HC to nominate sessions judge to try coal allocation case
Sneha Srivastava/Mint New Delhi:
Paving the way for a structured and consolidated prosecution in the coal block allocation case, the Supreme Court on Friday asked the Delhi high court to nominate a sessions judge for a special court to look into offences under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA), Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) and “other allied offences”. A bench consisting of chief justice R.M. Lodha and justices Madan B. Lokur and Kurian Joseph passed orders requiring the Delhi high court to submit a name from the Delhi higher judicial services to be appointed special judge by 25 July. Prashant Bhushan, appearing for non-governmental organization (NGO) and petitioner Common Cause, had asked for the setting up of a special court as had been done in the case related to alleged irregularities in the 2008 allocation of 2G spectrum. Bhushan also asked the court to appoint a special public prosecutor to assist the special court. A rejoinder filed by Bhushan, a copy of which has been reviewed by Mint, states that a special court is required for “swift trial by a court of competent jurisdiction.” At present, different cases are being tried in different courts, which could lead to delay, it stated. There was much debate on what the role of a special public prosecutor would be because the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) didn’t want an outsider overseeing charge-sheets and closure reports filed by the agency. Senior lawyer Amrendra Sharan, appearing for the investigating agency, said there couldn’t be a “supercop” above CBI. The apex court appeared in favour of appointing an independent special public prosecutor who could scrutinize the material available with CBI. The court pointed out that a senior public prosecutor with CBI (with its prosecution department) can scrutinize charge-sheets before they are filed with court and comment on final reports, according to the CBI manual. Similar powers would, in this case, also be available with an independent special public prosecutor. This was contested by CBI, which said a senior public prosecutor’s opinion on charge-sheets and final reports went through several levels of consideration like the deputy legal officer, legal officer and finally the director of prosecution. It was only the director of prosecution who decides whether to proceed with the prosecution or not, CBI submitted to the court. The court added that in a court-monitored probe, the assistance of parties involved is paramount. It highlighted that it had not appointed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) or a special investigative team (SIT). CBI has consistently challenged any move for outsider intervention into its investigation. CBI lawyer Sharan said the agency’s concerns over a special public prosecutor looking into its investigation had been “vindicated”. “The decision to file closure reports or charge-sheets is still with CBI. It decides whom to prosecute and whom not to. The person concerned (the special public prosecutor) will assist the court.” he said. “No lawyer can overturn the decision of the investigative agency.” he added, citing this as the reason for the apex court to not allow the special prosecutor powers to access CBI investigation material. Bhushan said: “The special public prosecutor will have access to all the material.” He added that it was still unclear whether it would be before or after filing of the charge-sheet. In an earlier hearing, the court had asked for suggestions on potential candidates for appointment as a special prosecutor. Manohar Lal Sharma, the main petitioner in the case, suggested senior lawyer Gopal Subramanium’s name. Subramanium had served as a special public prosecutor in the Parliament attack case of 2001. More recently, he stopped practising in the apex court after withdrawing consent to be a Supreme Court judge. Bhushan stated that the court was in favour of Subramanium being the special public prosecutor, if he accepted the post. Three other names had been proposed by Bhushan. He declined to disclose the names to Mint. Alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks could have led to a notional loss of Rs.1.86 trillion to the exchequer, the government auditor, the Comptroller of Auditor General (CAG), said in a report in 2012, uncovering what has been dubbed “coalgate” by sections of the media. The case will be heard next on 25 July.

Judge accuses advocates of committing fraud
Complaint lodged with Mangalore North Police on the directions of the Principal District and Sessions Court
The Principal District and Sessions Court here has accused some advocates, including a Mangalore-based advocate, who are dealing with motor vehicle accident cases, of committing fraud by withdrawing prematurely fixed deposits of several accident victims with the support of false court orders.
In a complaint filed with the Mangalore North police, Chief Accounts Officer K. Prafulla has accused advocate A.C. Jayaraj of producing forged orders of the court to Dena Bank in Kankanady for premature release of fixed deposits related to petitioners who have been granted relief in accident cases.
Ms. Prafulla said that similar forged court orders had been produced by a few other advocates.
The complaint was filed on the directions of Principal District and Sessions Judge Uma M.G.
The judge’s direction came following an inquiry after the manager of Dena Bank’s Kankanady branch came to the court with letters bearing the seal and signature of the Principal District and Sessions Judge directing the bank to prematurely release fixed deposits of accident victims.
These fixed deposits are created on the directions of court using a part of the total compensation granted in accident cases.
The letters presented by the advocates to the bank sought for premature release of fixed deposits stating that the fixed deposit receipts kept in the court custody were lost. Some of these letters were submitted by Mr. Jayaraj.
On inquiry, the judge found that the letters submitted by the advocate bore forged signatures of the then Principal District and Sessions Judges B.V. Prakash and Chaudapurkar Arun. Ms. Uma also found that the fixed deposit receipts were in the custody of the court. These presiding officers had not sent any such orders to Dena Bank, the inquiry revealed.
The Mangalore North police have registered case against Mr. Jayaraj and the other advocates involved. The case is pending before the II Additional Senior Civil Judge Court.

Special court to hold trial in the coal block allocation scam
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 7:09pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered setting up of a special court to exclusively hold trial of the coal blocks allocation scam and asked the Chief Justice of Delhi High Court to nominate a judge, who will deal with the cases arising out of the investigation conducted by the CBI and Enforcement Directorate.
A bench headed by Chief Justice R M Lodha also decided to appoint an eminent lawyer as Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for conducting the trial proceedings before the special court in the national capital for which the Chief Justice of the High Court has been asked to nominate a judge within a week. “As of now we direct the Secretary General of the Supreme Court to write to the Registrar General of the Delhi High Court to take orders from the Chief Justice to nominate an officer from the Delhi Higher Judicial Service as Special Judge to deal with coal block allocation matters registered under the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act, Prevention of Money Laundering Act and other allied offences,” the bench, also comprising justices M B Lokur and Kurian Joseph, said. The bench said the Registrar General will communicate the decision to the apex court before July 25 when the matter will be taken up again for hearing.
Meanwhile, the bench asked all the stakeholders to hold consultation for unanimous choice on the appointment of SPP, for conducting the trial of cases arising out of the probe in the coal blocks allocation scam. “We want a person of impeccable integrity and with free legal mind,” the bench said and the name of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium was mentioned as the first choice among others.
While lawyers, appearing in the matter, were in agreement with Subramanium’s name being suggested as SPP, the CJI said there would be a need to persuade him to take up the assignment. “If I failed in something you (lawyers appearing in the matter) should persuade him,” CJI Lodha said in an apparent reference to the controversy which led Subramanium withdraw his consent from the apex court collegium for his appointment as the judge of the Supreme Court.
However, two-hour long hearing on the issue of SPP, witnessed the Centre supporting the CBI in its stand opposing the apex court’s suggestion and that of the petitioner NGO that the SPP would be allowed to scrutinise and examine the case materials before the filing of the charge sheets. Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar concurred with the contention of CBI counsel Amarendra Sharan that scrutinising and examining of the materials was the task of in-house prosecutors and the role of SPP would come after filing of the charge sheets before the designated court which can seek the opinion of the SPP wherever required. The bench, which initially favoured that any lawyer appointed as SPP would be entitled to scrutinise documents before filing of charge sheets, later relented as there was a view that people in CBI can refuse to accept the opinion of the SPP.
“It will put the person (SPP) in an embarrassment if his opinion is not accepted by the people or officials in the CBI. We want to appoint a person of stature as the SPP who will feel comfortable before the court rather than taking a position before the department people,” the bench observed. The bench also dropped the idea of SPP dealing with the CBI people before the filing of charge sheets as Solicitor General suggested that such a step could prove as “game changer” in the criminal justice system. “It will have a wide-ranging implication on the entire criminal justice system. It will open a pandora box,” Kumar said while CBI counsel was trying to impress the bench that such authority lies with the prosecutors working in the agency

Bail petitions of 4 involved in fake passport racket dismissed
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 22:39 IST
Bail petitions of four persons, including three Sri Lankan Tamils, arrested and lodged at Puzhal prison here in connection with a recent fake passport racket, were dismissed by a court today.

Principal Sessions Court Judge N Authinathan rejected the petitions, saying the investigation is at the preliminary stage.

City Public Prosecutor M L Jagan who opposed enlarging the accused on bail, contended that six persons, including five Sri Lankan Tamils, were arrested near Egmore railway station here on June 23 following an alert from Interpol and were later detained at Puzhal prison.

Krishamoorthy, kingpin of the racket, who was one among the arrested, used to send Sri Lankan Tamils to various countries, including Australia and Canada using fake visas and fake Indian passports over the years. The four petitoners had collected between Rs four to Rs six lakh from each Sri Lankan Tamil for sending them abroad, the CPP said.

He submitted that they had committed a crime against the country and noted that police had alerted the respective embassies about Sri Lankan Tamils who had left the country using fake documents.

He also submitted that police were yet to receive information about the same and prayed that their petitions should therefore be rejected.

Meanwhile another accused, Sivarangan moved the Madras High Court for bail.

1993 Surat Bomb blasts: Supreme Court acquits all accused
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 2:40pm IST | Agency: ANI
The Supreme Court on Friday acquitted all of the accused in the 1993 Surat bomb blasts case, in which one girl was killed and more than 40 people were injured.
Quashing the TADA court judgement, which had convicted 11 people in 2008 and sentenced them to imprisonment for up to 20 years, the apex court bench headed by Justice T S Thakur acquitted all of the accused. “We have appealed against the judgement of the TADA court, in which the accused were convicted for the blast. So, we had appealed before Supreme Court,” said lawyer Sanjay Jain. “The major contention that we took before the court was the approval under Section 20 (A) of TADA. It appears that court has accepted our arguments and given its judgement,” Jain added.
The apex court judgement comes as a shock to the Gujarat Government which had appealed for enhancement of punishment of some of the accused and had also challenged the acquittal of some of the accused.
Two blasts had rocked Surat in 1993. On January 21, a bomb had exploded near Sadhna School in Mini bazar in Surat’s Varachha area, in which a female student Alpa Patel was killed. 11 other people had sustained injuries.
The very next day, another bomb exploded at the Surat Railway station, injuring 38 people. The TADA court, while delivering its judgment, had observed that all of the accused had carried out the attacks in an apparent retaliation for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.

Switzerland raises legal issues on list of illegal bank a/c
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 18:01 IST
Swiss authorities have raised some legal issues after Indiawrote to them for providing a list of illegal bank account holders in Switzerland, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said today.

Jaitley gave this information in the Lok Sabha while asserting that Government was making all efforts to procure the list of the illegal bank account holders in Switzerland and that it was collecting evidence in this regard.

He also said that India was in the process of communicating with the Swiss authorities and enter into an agreement which was in the best interest of the country within the parameters of Swiss laws.

The Minister told the House that Swiss authorities have raised some legal issues after India sought the list.

“We are in the process of communication with the Swiss authorities, and whatever is the best agreement, within the parameters of their law, we are going to enter into,” he said replying to a supplementary on illegal Swiss bank accounts.

Jaitley said the treaty between India and Switzerland on sharing of information on illegal bank account holders was of future and prospective in nature and that is why the European country was not cooperating on the previous lists of such account holders.

“The treaty between India and Switzerland is that of the future and prospective in nature and that is why they will not cooperate on the names previously given.

“But we will make all effort with the Swiss authority in this regard. Indian government is taking all efforts to get evidence required to support the list,” he said.

Jaitley said India had received a list of 700 illegal Swiss bank account holders, which was procured from the French government on the precondition that the names would not be made public.

India had earlier received another such list from Liechtenstein bank following which the government had initiated the process of identifying Indians, he said.

Income tax and criminal proceedings have been initiated against all such persons identified, Jaitley said.

Allahabad HC issues notice to PM Narendra Modi on petition challenging his election from Varanasi
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 4:43pm IST | Place: Lucknow | Agency: PTI
The Allahabad High Court on Friday issued a notice to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a petition challenging his election from the Varanasi Lok Sabha constituency in Uttar Pradesh.
Justice VK Shukla, while passing the order on the election petition of Congress MLA Ajay Rai, who had contested as the party’s candidate from Varanasi, fixed September 5 as the next date of hearing in the matter.
Rai has alleged in his affidavit that Modi had left blank columns relating to his wife Jashodaben’s PAN card details and her income, which violated Supreme Court’s directions.
Rai has also alleged that though the Election Commission had laid down that a candidate in a Lok Sabha poll must not spend more than Rs 70 lakh during electioneering, crores were spent during Modi’s campaign.
He has also alleged that T-shirts and caps bearing Modi’s name and image were distributed among the people on a large scale which was in violation of the Model Code of Conduct. Rai, who is an MLA from Pindra assembly segment of Varanasi district, had finished third in the Lok Sabha election wherein he also ended up losing his deposit.
Modi, contesting his first election outside Gujarat, registered a stunning victory by defeating his nearest rival Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party by a massive margin of nearly 3.71 lakh votes.
After assuming Prime Ministership, Modi had resigned from the Vadodara seat from where he had won by a record margin of 5.70 lakh votes, retaining Varanasi.

HC asks MC to start cleanliness pilot project from Sector 16
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 14:50 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 14:53 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed the Chandigarh municipal corporation to start a pilot project from Sector16 to maintain cleanliness of the sector to avoid roaming of stray dogs mainly near to the garbagedumping areas.
As per the HC orders, before starting of such pilot project, survey of stray dogs in Sector 16 should be undertaken and after maintenance of proper cleanliness of the sector area for a complete month, again survey about number of stray dogs in the sector should be carried out and the report be submitted to the court.
The court was of the view that it was mainly because of the lack of cleanliness, scattered garbage as well as eatables in various sectors that stray dogs menace is uncontrollable.
However, the municipal corporation, in its reply submitted to the HC that from June 8-11, a team, headed by city mayor Harphool Chander Kalyan, and six councillors and corporation officials had visited Nashik inMaharashtra to study dog menace and measure taken by the municipal body to control the same.
After the study tour, the committee made several recommendations like creation of own infrastructure for sterilisation and operation of dogs, association non-government organisation for conducting sterilisation operations and postoperative treatment, creation of common incineration facility for dead dogs and other animals to dispose them off scientifically.
It was also informed that the issue of dog menace was also discussed in the general house meeting of the corporation on May 13. The case will now come up for hearing on July 27.

HC order on teacher merit list puts education dept in a fix
Vivek Gupta, Hindustan Times Chandigarh , July 18, 2014
First Published: 12:03 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:08 IST(18/7/2014)
A recent order by the Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) that directed the education department to prepare a fresh merit list of the 536 teachers hired in 2009, on the basis of the revised criteria, seems to have opened the Pandora’s Box for the department.
The court recently found out that five marks assigned in the descriptive test were illegal and the new merit list was to be prepared by deducting those five marks from the criteria, finalised on July 21, 2009.
Ashok Yadav, a candidate, recently submitted a representation in the Directorate of Public Instruction (Schools) office, claiming appointment as trained graduate teacher (TGT) mathematics on the basis of revised criteria set by the HC.
He insisted that the department prepare a fresh merit list for teaching posts for mathematics because according to the revised criteria, he was now eligible for
the regular appointment.
This representation might escalate the department’s problems, which has been so far shying away from preparing merit lists for all subjects, even as the court has specifically directed it to do so.
The department has so far prepared a new merit list for posts for social studies only.
It argued that the writ petition that forced the department to revise the criteria and draw a new list involved petitioners of this subject only.
The department has already served termination at a month’s notice to two regular school teachers after the department redrew its fresh merit list for social studies and found the two ineligible.
However, according to sources, the department would not touch the merit list of other subjects unless it was directed to do so by the court’s order.
“As for the merit lists of other subjects is concerned, we will certainly adhere to any further court order, if any, on this issue,” Kamlesh Kumar, director of public instruction (schools), recently told HT.
Yadav, on the other hand, has already made up his mind to move a petition in the Chandigarh administrative tribunal next week.
He is expecting a favorable order regarding his regular appointment.
Meanwhile, many serving teachers of 2009 batch are in a lurch demanding that the department take a lenient view of the issue.
A school teacher, wishing to remain anonymous, said the department must absorb those teachers who were likely to get terminated by virtue of a fresh list.
“If it doesn’t do so, disqualified teachers would have no option but to knock on the court’s doors for justice,” he added.

HC raps Punjab on non-disbursal of post-matric scholarship
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 22:18 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:20 IST(18/7/2014)
Noticing that the Punjab government had failed in the timely disbursement of payments on account of the post-matric scholarship for Scheduled Caste students, pending since 2007-08, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday said there was no use of making such schemes on paper.

“If you cannot implement it, don’t make such schemes only for populism,” said chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul while hearing a public interest litigation filed by the Association of Volunteers for Students’ Rights (AVSR), Chandigarh.

The court further observed, “The very objective of such a welfare scheme is made illusionary by not disbursing the funds at the relevant stage of time. If the state government is not interested or incapable of implementing the scheme, it must say so instead of only making the scheme on paper and then not providing funds to the beneficiaries entitled to it.”

The court has thus granted six weeks’ time to the Punjab government to provide data for each financial year, university-wise, as to how many claims are still pending for disbursement, making it clear that within this time the state should also make efforts for the disbursement of payments.

The state government has sent an anticipated proposal for 2014-15, amounting to Rs. 360.13 crore, for benefiting 2.37 lakh Scheduled Caste (SC) students to the union ministry of social justice and empowerment for approval and release of central assistance to the tune of Rs. 299.34 crore, the court was informed by Paramjit Singh, director, welfare of Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes.

At the same time, the court was told by Lovely Professional University (near Jalandhar) that its Rs. 1.79 crore under the scheme was still pending for release from the welfare officer, Chandigarh, even including the 2007-08 academic session.

The petitioner association had sought directions to the Punjab government to strictly implement the post-matric scholarship scheme. The Centre had come out with the scheme, as per which SC students whose parents’ income does not exceed Rs. 2 lakh per annum, are eligible for scholarship after matriculation.

The case would now come up for hearing on September 26.

HC refuses to grant relief to ex-UPTU registrar
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 04.15 AM IST
LUCKNOW: The high court on Friday declined to grant relief to former Uttar Pradesh Technical University registrar US Tomar and directed him to approach the Chancellor of the university under the rules.

Dismissing Tomar’s petition, a bench of Justice Sanjai Mishra and Justice BK Srivastava held that the petition was not maintainable.

Tomar had filed the petition demanding that his suspension order passed by the vice-chancellor on July 3 be declared null and void as it was passed under political influence.

Appearing on behalf of the vice-chancellor, advocate LP Mishra while opposing the petition contended that Tomar was working on class three post in HBTI, Kanpur. Due to political clout, he was appointed as UPTU registrar in 2007, whereas a government order (GO) issued in 2003 clearly states that only a senior PCS rank officer can be appointed on that post. The counsel charged Tomar of granting many affiliations illegally to the university.

In 2013, the Supreme Court had restrained Tomar from granting affiliations but he did not comply with the orders of the apex court. On directions of the court, a committee headed by former judge of high court Justice Alok Kumar Singh was constituted which submitted its report against Tomar.

HC seeks LDA reply on levelling of ponds

Lucknow: The high court has directed the Lucknow Development Authority to submit reply within four weeks on the allegations that it was levelling ponds in Behsa village near Amausi airport. The order came on a PIL filed by Jan Utthan Samiti , Behsa. The local Samajwadi Party MLA Sharda Pratap Shukla is patron of the society. The petitioner alleged that LDA acquired illegally the pieces of land bearing gata numbers 1018, 1019 and 1021 recorded as pond in the revenue records, and of late it had started levelling them.

Government tells HC about refugee citizenship nod
Pranjal Baruah, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 10.53AM IST
GUWAHATI: The state government on Thursday submitted before Gauhati high court that it advocates granting of citizenship to refugees who fled Bangladesh following religious persecution. The response to the HC notice comes a day after the state cabinet proposed granting of citizenship to these people.

The PIL was filed by one Gopi Ghosh in 2012, where he sought the court’s intervention in granting of Indian citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists and Christians, who migrated to India from Bangladesh after 1971 because of “social persecution and religious disturbances”. He prayed before the court that these people should be treated as “displaced” and not illegal migrants and it was the duty of the Indian government to give them citizenship.

The high court then issued notices to ministry of home affairs, state chief secretary, department of Assam accord implementation and Assam police, asking them to reply on the status of “displaced migrants” from Bangladesh.
State home and political department joint secretary Madhaw Prasad Sharma, who filed the government’s affidavit, said, “The central government is the sole authority to grant the citizenship under the Citizenship Act. However, considering the issue raised by the petitioner, the state government has requested the Centre to frame a policy for granting asylum to those persons, originally subjects of British India at the time of partition, who have had to face religious prosecution or discrimination later and as a result, compelled to come to India for shelter.”

The state government representative submitted before the court that the state government has earlier submitted a memorandum to then UPA government in 2012 that the post-1971 refugees should be given Indian citizenship.

The petitioner’s counsel, Debashish Sur, told TOI, “This (the state government memorandum) is only an executive order. The state government can’t give citizenship to anyone. We have sought the court’s intervention for granting Indian citizenship to the minority Hindu community in Bangladesh, who had no other option but to come to Assam after being driven out of that country.”

Sur said the PIL also contended that like Gujarat and Rajasthan, where the Citizenship Rule was amended and the displaced are being given protection, Assam should also have the same rule.

He added that the issue of Hindu migrants should be considered sympathetically, as victimization of minorities in Bangladesh continued even after the cut-off date set in Assam Accord, which is midnight of March 24, 1971.

HC orders issue of notice to former Madurai police officials
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Madurai bench of the Madras High court today ordered issue of notice to four former police officials of Madurai on a petition filed by a “land grab” victim seeking to implead them in the case and to transfer the matter to the CB-CID.

Justice T.Sivagnanam, admitting the petition filed by one R.John Sundarapandian, ordered notice to the former SP of Madurai V.Balakrishnan, ADSP K.Gopalsamy, DSP Unnikrishnan and Inspector M.Muthukumar (Oomachikulam Police Station).

The petitioner submitted that he had borrowed Rs.1.50 crore from one Balamurugan, and had also given his property document on the condition that it be returned if the loan was repaid.

He alleged that Balamurugan and others demolished a part of the compound wall of the property in November 2011 and though he gave a complaint to police no action was taken following which he moved the Magistrate court. Cases were registered under several IPC sections but no further action was taken and subsequently the Inspector had closed the case as ‘mistake of fact’. He alleged that the then SP had supported Balamurugan.

He alleged that henchmen again demolished the compound wall in the presence of the Inspector in January this year and felled coconut trees in the land in March.

On the High Court orders, the inspector registered a complaint. Though he gave a complaint to the Home Secretary and the DGP,they also did not take any action, the petitioner alleged.

He alleged that it was clear case of land grabbing with Police assistance.As the local police were not effective,the case should be transferred to CB-CID,the petitioner said.

The court directed the petitioner to implead the former police officials of Madudrai by mentioning their names, in the case and the impleading petition was filed. It was admitted with a direction to issue notice.

HC direction to High Level Committee on backlog of vacancies
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:16 IST
The Madras High Court today directed the High Level Committee, constituted by the state government, to complete the exercise of reviewing and arriving at the shortfall of vacancies for SC and ST in government departments and submit a report within a period of six months.

The First Bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Sathish K. Agnihotri and Justice M.M. Sundresh, recorded the Government Pleader’s submission that a High Level Committee had been set up to review the backlog of vacancies in SC and ST in all government departments.

It also took note of the stand taken by Home Secretary and Adi Dravidar and Tribal Welfare Department’s submission that a High Level Committee had been constituted as per the government order dated January 5,2012.

“…We deem it fit to direct the High Level Committee constituted as per the Government order to finalize the process within a period of six months,” the court said, disposing of the petition filed by S.Karuppiah, founder of Central and State Government Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Employees Federation, Chennai.

In the PIL, the petitioner sought a direction to the authorities to conduct special drive to fill the backlog of vacancies which are available for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes within a reasonable time in order to achieve the constitutional goal. The petitioner alleged that inspite of the representation the authorities are not filling up the backlog vacancies of SC and ST.

In reply, authorities submitted that a Government Order was already issued and the matter was already dealt by the High Level Committee constituted by the Government as per the Government order which is continuing the process.

After hearing both sides, the Bench passed the order.

HC stays AICTE’s order refusing approval to 14 institutions
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:46 IST
In a relief to 14 technical institutions in Maharashtra, the Bombay High Court has stayed orders of the All India Council of Technical Education refusing them “extension of approval” and placing them in “no admission” category for the current academic year (2014-15).

Division bench of Justices A V Mohta and Amjad Sayed, on July 14, granted a stay, observing that “prima facie we find that the manner and haste in which AICTE has passed the orders is unjustifiable….There are infirmities in decision-making process in passing the impugned orders.”

The court was hearing petitions filed by 13 of these institutions challenging the orders of AICTE.

The judges, however, made it clear that these institutions can grant only provisional admissions as of now, and they must inform the students that admissions would be subject to the final decision of the court on the petitions.

“The petitioners and the students shall not claim any equity (rights) on the basis of this order,” the HC said.

AICTE is empowered to ensure that all the institutions recognised by it possess complete infrastructure, staff and other facilities.

There are about 1,800 private aided and non-aided institutions in Maharashtra which impart technical education. The court noted that since 2009 AICTE has not inspected the institutions in the state within the timeframe.

HC seeks scheme to protect children of jailed parents
TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 03.11 AM IST
KOCHI: The high court on Friday asked the state government to formulate a special scheme for rehabilitation and protection of children whose parents are in jail in line with the child protective services in developed countries.

A division bench comprising Justices Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and P B Suresh Kumar asked director general of prosecution T Asaf Ali to consult the government and take urgent measures on the issue, while considering a petition filed by a mother jailed for murdering her husband. In the petition seeking suspension of her jail term, the mother had pointed out that there was nobody to take care of her two daughters.

The petition said she had two daughters, aged 11 and 18, and that she was anxious of their safety. The children had to stop their education and they were alone at home, she said.

The court directed the government to come up with a comprehensive scheme for rehabilitation and protection of children in cases where parents are in jail and the children were not able to lead their normal lives for no crime of their own.

It asked the DGP to study the UN conventions on rights of children and suggest ways and means to protect children of those detained. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child of 1992 had declared that providing a standard of living adequate for the child’s development is a fundamental right of the child. However, the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, which is the most comprehensive law on child care in India, does not include children whose parents are in jail under its scope. The DGP promised the court to inform about the government’s stance on the issue after consulting the chief minister and officials.

HC rejects interim bail plea of ex-councillor in graft case
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 17:28 IST
The Delhi High Court today dismissed the interim bail plea of former MCD councillor Hiren Tokas who is serving a five-year jail term in a bribery case.

Tokas had sought interim bail for two months to take care of his ailing parents, saying there is no one to take care of them.

Justice S Muralidhar passed the order after perusing the status report filed by CBI and the affidavit of Tokas’ younger brother who has stated that he does not live with their parents but resides separately with his wife and children.

CBI in its status report has said that his parents are not well while Tokas’s younger brother Nalin has said he no longer resides with his parents at the ancestral property in Munirka village here and lives in a flat at Vasant Kunj in south Delhi with his wife and two children since March 1999.

He has also stated Hiren’s family resides at the ancestral home with his family.

“The court has perused the status report as well as the affidavit of the brother, Nalin Tokas, of the appellant. The court is not inclined to accept the prayer for grant of interim bail. The application is dismissed.

“The court is inclined to accept the prayer of the appellant for advancing the date of hearing of the appeal itself. List on October 14, 2014,” the bench said.

The court had on July 14 asked Nalin to file an affidavit stating whether he is staying with his parents as his elder brother had sought bail on the ground that there is no one in his family to look after their elderly parents.

CBI, however, had opposed Tokas’ contention and said Nalin resides in the same house in which their parents currently live.

HC gives MBBS aspirant 6 days to challenge UT policy
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh , July 18, 2014
First Published: 11:30 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:11 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday granted six days’ time to one of the MBBS admission aspirants in Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Sector-32, to challenge Chandigarh administration’s reservation policy framed in 2003.
According to the policy, a candidate must have passed the qualifying examination, Class 12 , from schools situated in Chandigarh for being considered against 85% MBBS seats in GMCH reserved for the Chandigarh pool.
Appearing for the petitioner, Akanksha Mehra, advocate Rajiv Kataria requested the court for some time to challenge the policy stating it as ridiculous and without any condition of domicile. He submitted that the policy was unjustified since it allowed a student who had studied for 11 years outside Chandigarh for being eligible for 85% UT quota just by passing plus two from Chandigarh school. Mehra had earlier approached the court challenging UT administration’s decision of not accepting her application for admission in GMCH under state quota, after which the administration had informed the court that it already had a policy on the subject framed in 2003.
Despite being a bonafide resident of Chandigarh and having done her schooling till Class 10 from schools in the city, the petitioner had become ineligible for admission to Chandigarh pool MBBS seats since she had passed Class 12 from a school in SAS Nagar. In All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT) 2014, the petitioner had been declared successful and her ranking for Punjab medical colle ges was 313 and for Chandigarh seats as 40.The case will come up for hearing on July 22.

PIL in HC demanding Vaidik’s arrest for meeting Hafiz Saeed
Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Published: Jul 18 2014, 19:13 IST
SUMMARYA plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan earlier this month.
A plea was today filed in the Delhi High Court seeking the arrest of journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed in Pakistan earlier this month.
The PIL also seeks a probe by National Investigation Agency or Intelligence Bureau into the matter, saying it pertains to national security.
The matter is likely to come up for hearing next week.
The PIL filed by an NGO, Gharib Nawaz Foundation, has sought directions to the central government to “immediately arrest Vaid Pratap Vaidik on the charges of sedition, treason and to investigate the reason of his meeting Saeed, the world’s most wanted terrorist, mastermind of 26/11 Mumbai attack and President of banned organisation, Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD), at his residence in Lahore.”
The petition, filed through advocate Nawal Kishore Jha, also seeks cancellation of Vaidik’s passport.
According to the petition, Vaidik was touring Pakistan with a group of politicians like Mani Shankar Aiyar, Salman Khurshid and others when he had met Hafiz.
The petition also submits that USA and UNO have declared Hafiz a global terrorist and a bounty of USD 10 million has been placed on his head.
USA has also piled sanctions on Jamaat-ud-Dawa, allegedly a front for LeT, the petition has said.
The NGO has also sought directions to the Centre to frame rules for citizens not to compromise national security while they are on tour abroad.

HC directs diversion of funds for Dal de-weeding
Says the order shall not be subject to any ‘bureaucratic booby traps’
• Saturday, 19 July 2014 0:00
• Written by: Marouf Ahmad Parray
• Srinagar: As weeds virtually engulf the Dal lake amid drought of money for its cleaning, the J&K High Court has directed diversion of Rs five crore out of the funds meant for ‘land acquisition’ to tide over the situation.
The direction by a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi followed submissions by amicus curie, senior advocate Zaffar A Shah and perusal of status report by acting vice-chairman of Lakes and Waterways Development Authority (LAWDA), Shafat Noor Barlas.
Shah drew the attention of the court to unprecedented weed growth in the lake, which is attributed to free flow of untreated discharge, like sewage, urban and agriculture runoff.
He also pointed out that funds for de-weeding have not been released by the government, compounding the growth of weed which has spread virtually in whole of the lake, the flagship of Kashmir’s tourism.
On the other hand, the status report by acting V-C of LAWDA revealed that there is no European weed like Azolla, to which the court said, “We are not interested in finding out the nature of weed. However the fact remains that there is wild growth of weed throughout the lake and this has to be removed.”
There is indication in the report filed by the V-C, court observed, that a Detailed Project Report (DPR) is being sent to the government for according technical and financial sanction. At the point, Advocate General M I Qadri submitted that the same would mature within four days.
The V-C’s report further stated that funds under the head ‘Operations and Maintenance (O&M)’ were not available. However, a sum of more than Rs 83.00 crore is available under head ‘land acquisition’.
The court discussed the issue of diverting a sum of Rs 5 crore from the head ‘land acquisition’ to the Account Head ‘O&M’ in order to tide over the situation of clearing weeds from the lake and to ensure that the operation of STPs do not come to a standstill.
“There is no serious objection, and the only thing which has been mentioned is that as and when the funds are released under the O&M head, the same be readjusted by recouping, repaying the amount under the head ‘land acquisition’,” the court said.
Accordingly, the bench was persuaded to take the view that a sum of Rs 5 crore from ‘land acquisition’ be diverted to ‘O&M’ head, so as to start the de-weeding process and to ensure the functioning of STPs.
“This order shall not be subject to any other bureaucratic booby traps and the diversion of the funds under the signature of Shafat Noor Barlas would be sufficient, because any further delay would not be in the interest of maintaining the lake and its beauty,” the court said.
However, the court said, diversion of funds by its order should not be construed that no funds under O&M head are required to be released.
“The funds should be released as per the statement made by Advocate General, and the compliance report be filed before next date of hearing,” the court said and posted the case next week.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Sheikh Tahir Iqbal, then a law student, in July 2002 to save the Dal.
Meanwhile, the court kept “pending” the issue regarding reengaging of Irfan Yasin Shah as LADWA’s V-C.
The issue regarding continuation of Irfan Yasin was brought to the forefront by advocate Shah by referring to various court directions in this regard.
Advocate General stated that the proposal has already been initiated by the General Administration Department and the same is under consideration of the Chief Minister.
The Advocate General, who made the statement on the instructions of Feroze Ahmad, Additional Secretary to Government, GAD, also submitted that needful shall be done within four weeks.
At this point, advocate Shah said that no concession should be shown to state because there is no plausible explanation for the culpable delay caused in passing the order of extending tenure of Irfan Yasin as V-C of LAWDA.
“We do not express any opinion on the aforesaid issue and keep the same pending,” the court said.

HC gives Punjab 2 months for finalising PSHRC recruitment rules
HT Correspondent Chandigarh, July 18, 2014
First Published: 22:15 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:17 IST(18/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Friday granted two months to the Punjab government to finalise recruitment rules for employees of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PSHRC), failing which the principal secretary of the department of home affairs would have to remain present on the next date of hearing (October 10).

The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari while hearing a public interest litigation filed by advocate Dinesh Chadha. The PSHRC was allegedly recruiting employees through non-transparent methods, the petitioner had alleged.

During the hearing of the case on Friday, the court also showed its disapproval of the Punjab government’s conduct of not finalising the recruitment rules despite taking several opportunities.

Parliament Attack: HC rejects CRPF jawan’s plea for award
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 22:19 IST
The Gujarat High Court has rejected a plea filed by a Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawan, who had played a role in fighting against the ‘2001 terror attack’ on the IndianParliament, demanding an award of Rs 50,000 as announced by the Lok Sabha speaker.

The two-judge bench of the High Court comprising Justice Akil Qureshi and justice Mohinder Pal had rejected the CRPF jawan Mafatlal Makwana’s plea on Wednesday, due to contradictory versions of the incident from the petitioner and the union government.

The division bench observed in its judgement, that the court cannot go into such highly disputed facts in a writ petition. The court observed that the Central government could take a decision on Makwana’s representations.

The petitioner Mafatlal Makwana, who hails from Sonarkui village of Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district, had filed the plea in the year 2005.

As per his petition, Makwana was posted at Gate Number 5 on December 13, 2001 when the five terrorists allegedly made a ghastly attack on Parliament.

Makwana had also sought that he should be awarded with the Shaurya Chakra, for protecting parliamentarians.

Makwana claimed in his petition that he had confronted the terrorists and fired 18 rounds at them, after they tried to enter the Parliament, firing indiscriminately.

Responding to Makwana’s petition, the additional DIG of the CRPF, had stated that the award for the brave act of 76 personnel was announced by the government, but that decision was cancelled in February 2002.

Makwana took voluntary retirement from service in the year 2004.

Bombay HC directs former Goa minister to undergo 6 months imprisonment
17.07.2014 (UNI) The Bombay HC at Goa today set aside the earlier order passed by a lower court releasing Nuvem MLA Mickky Pacheco on probation in the case of assault on junior engineer in state electricity department Kapil Natekar and directed him to undergo six months imprisonment.
On December 13, South Goa Additional Sessions Judge Vijaya Pol had released Pacheco on probation in the Natekar assault case.

Justice A R Joshi today directed Pacheco to surrender before the Margao JMFC within two weeks and undergo six months imprisonment and pay a fine of Rs 1,500.

Last December, Advocate Aires Rodrigues in his petition before the High Court had challenged release of Pacheco under the Probation of Offenders Act.

The High Court, after hearing Adv Rodrigues, had converted the petition into a suo motu petition and had issued notice to Pacheco.

Adv Rodrigues had stated in his petition that the order of the Judge Pol releasing Pacheco was without jurisdiction as she had no powers to revise an order passed earlier by the Assistant Sessions Judge.

He also drew the attention of the High Court that despite the first information report (FIR) having been lodged in 2006, no action was taken by the police to charge sheet Pacheco till 2009, on account of his political connections.

Adv Rodrigues also submitted that only after he served a legal notice on the government in May 2009, did the Police immediately charge sheeted the then Tourism Minister Pacheco.

The then Judicial Magistrate First Class, Margao D M Kerkar by an order on April 27, 2011, had convicted Pacheco for the offence under Sections 353 of Indian Penal Code and had sentenced him to simple imprisonment for one year with a fine of Rs 5,000.

Against that conviction and sentence, Pacheco had on October 5, 2011 appealed in court of South Goa Assistat Sessions Judge Irshad Aga, who upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence of imprisonment to six months with a fine to Rs 1,500. UNI

HC prohibits waste dumping in Gulmarg forests, seeks report about damage to trees
Directs for report on ‘illegal constructions’ by Himalaya Khyber Resort
• Saturday, 19 July 2014 0:03
• Written by: Marouf Ahmad Parray
• Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir High Court High has directed Executive Officer Municipal Committee Tangmarg to ensure that no waste is dumped in the forests of Gulmarg, the most frequented tourist destination in Kashmir Valley.
Hearing an application, a division bench of Justice M M Kumar and Justice Hasnain Massodi also directed the Forest Department to furnish comprehensive report about the damages caused due to the dumping of the municipal waste in the forest area.
The direction followed submission by advocate Tawheed Ahmad for applicant that hundreds of trees have dried up due the dumping of the waste and the forest department may be directed to furnish the list.
Meanwhile the court asked law officer of State Pollution Control Board, Mohammad Maqbool Shah, to visit Hotel Himalaya Khyber Resort and furnish a report in light of an application filed by a lawyer, alleging raising of illegal construction and “willful and deliberate violation of orders passed by the High court” by the hotelier.
“The (SPCB) law officer, who is present in the court, has acceded to our request to personally visit the spot known as Hotel Himalaya Khyber Resort and furnish a report with regard to the allegation made in the application,” the court said.
Advocate Salman Mattoo, the applicant, would accompany him, the court said and directed him to submit the report within one week.
Meanwhile, the court also issued notice to Gulmarg Development Authority which was accepted by its standing counsel, advocate Mohsin Qadri.
The court directed him to file a complete status report with regard to the allegations made in the application.
Both the applications came up during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation filed by one Rafiq Ahmad Zargar, seeking directions from the court for ensuring planned development and protection of environment and ecosystem of Gulmarg.
Later the court brought Srinagar, Pahalgam, Katra, Patnitop, Jammu and other areas in its purview.

Quota for disabled; HC asks Centre to modify OM on vacancies
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014, 20:38

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Centre to modify its 2013 office memorandum after considering the representation of NGO National Federation of Blind on computation of seats to be reserved for disabled persons in four category posts in government departments.

“We are of the view that the modification made to Para 14 of Office Memorandum dated December 29, 2005 alone vide fresh OM dated March 03, 2013 is not in compliance with the directions of the Supreme Court. Therefore, there shall be a direction to the respondents (Centre) to make further modifications to OM dated December 29, 2005,” a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw said.

The court asked the NGO to make the representation to the Centre within four weeks and the authorities will have to “consider the same and issue a fresh OM within six weeks thereafter” on the methodology of computation of vacancies in all Group A, B, C and D in government sector.

The apex court had said that the computation of vacancies “shall be in case of Group A, B, C & D posts in an identical manner and that the same shall be on total number of vacancies in the cadre strength”.

The high court said the 2013 office memorandum on computation of vacancies in government departments to provide three per cent quota to disabled persons was not in compliance of the apex court direction.

The court’s verdict came on a fresh plea of National Federation of Blind seeking reliefs including modification of office memorandum to provide for computation of posts to be reserved for disabled persons.

The NGO had also sought issuance of fresh OM to “all the establishments and PSUs” asking them to launch of special recruitment drive to fill the backlog vacancies.

Earlier, the High Court had passed a slew of directions to the Centre for providing quota for disabled persons.

It had asked the Centre to form a committee officials, including the Chief Commissioner for Disabilities (Chairman), and others to do various acts to work out backlog of vacancies for disabled persons.

It had also asked the Centre to undertake special recruitment drive to fill the backlog of vacancies by 2010.

Later, the Centre filed an appeal in the apex court against the high court order.

The Supreme Court issued various directions that included the order to amend 2005 OM on computation vacancies in all categories of posts.

“We hereby direct the ‘appropriate government’ to compute the number of vacancies available in all the ‘establishments’ and further identify the posts for disabled persons within a period of three months from today and implement the same without default,” the apex court had said.

The NGO moved the high court alleging the orders of the high court and the apex court have not been complied with by the government.


First Published: Friday, July 18, 2014, 20:38

HC Talks Tough on Those Blocking Trash Segregation
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
Last Updated: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
BANGALORE: The High Court on Thursday directed City Police Commissioner Raghavendra H Auradkar to take strict action against those obstructing garbage segregation.
A special division bench comprising Justice N Kumar and B V Nagarathna observed that the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has to take up initiatives to solve people’s problems. Those interested can join the BBMP if they want to help, but nobody should obstruct the officials from carrying out their duties. The police should provide security if such cases are reported. The court asked Auradkar to be present at the next hearing.
Later, when the bench was informed that out of the city’s 198 ward committees, 60 have not held meetings, it directed the commissioner to spread awareness on the importance of ward meetings. And if the committees don’t hold meetings even after this, the court will order action against them.
The bench also directed BBMP to name on it website councillors who are not working for the welfare of the people. This will help the common man make a better choice the next time he or she votes, the HC said.
Meanwhile, BBMP Special Commissioner (SWM) Darpan Jain, who too was present in court, sought six months to set up dry waste management centres in the city. The bench directed the civic body to continue using the Mavallipura waste segregation unit but forbade it from dumping trash there.

Diplomat attack case; HC seeks govt’s response on NIA court
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:16 IST
The Delhi High Court today sought a response from the city government on a plea of Sayed Mohd Ahmed Kazmi, an accused in the case relating to attack on an Israeli diplomat in 2012, seeking a direction to constitute more than one special NIA court.

“The counsel for GNCTD (Delhi government) shall obtain instruction on the issues raised in the petition including creation of more than one special courts under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act,” a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Vipin Sanghi said.

Kazmi, in his plea filed through lawyer Mehmood Pracha, has challenged an administrative order of the Delhi High Court, passed on August 03, 2013, constituting one special trial court under the NIA Act in the city to try all the cases probed by the Special Cell of Delhi police.

“There is only one court in Delhi to deal with one class of offences and it takes away my right under the CrPC to seek transfer of the case from the court on the grounds of bias and apprehension of bias against the accused. My right to seek transfer is being hampered,” Pracha said.

“If you are alleging apprehension of bias without substantiating it, then we cannot deal with a hypothetical situation,” the bench said, adding the accused has legal remedies against the orders or the verdict of a special court.

The counsel for Kazmi also referred to an order of the apex court. The bench then issued the notice to Delhi government.

“The petition involves a substantial question of law having general public importance that whether designation appointment of only single judge to handle a class of cases, investigated by a particular investigating agency, takes away the right to apply and seek relief under section 407 & 408 CrPC and whether appointment of only one judge to the post of Special Court as required by …Of the NIA Act takes away a legal right to apply and seek transfer…,” the plea said.

Kazmi, arrested on March 06, 2012 allegedly from outside Indian Islamic Cultural Centre here, is an accused in the case relating to the attack on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua Koren on February 13, 2012.

Koren, travelling in an Embassy vehicle near Aurangzeb Road-Safdarjang Road Crossing, and three others were injured when the vehicle caught fire after allegedly being attacked.

BBMP to HC: Bescom transformer on Church Street encroached footpath
The BBMP told the Karnataka High Court on Friday that Bescom had installed an electricity transformer on Church Street by encroaching on a huge portion of the footpath. The transformer was allegedly the cause of “electrocution” of a 37-year-old engineer in May last year.
The BBMP Commissioner brought to the notice of the court that Bescom neither sought permission from the BBMP to install the transformer nor had the BBMP accorded permission.
The BBMP pointed out that two 990 kVA transformers, circuit breakers, and other components were installed by encroaching on the footpath to the extent of six feet in width and 34 feet in length.
The report was filed following an earlier direction of the court during the hearing of a petition filed by family members of victim, Manoj Kumar Vasanthrao Patil, who was the vice-president of Sundaram Auto Components.
Compensation sought
The petitioners have sought Rs. 29.81 crore as compensation for the loss that they had suffered due to his death.
They have alleged that Manoj was “electrocuted” due to negligence of Bescom.
However, the BBMP, in its objection, has stated that the petition was not maintainable as disputed facts required to be settled in a civil court through a suit.
Justice Ram Mohan Reddy said that Bescom had failed to submit documents providing correct information on installation of the transformers on Church Street.
While counsel for the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission told the court that it had no role to play in such issues, counsel for Bescom stated that a copy of the BBMP’s report was not made available to them.
Bescom had denied the allegation of the petitioners and had contended that the post-mortem report does not categorically attribute the cause of death to electric shock but only states that death was due to cardiac arrest and that “electrocution being one of the reasons [for cardiac arrest] cannot be ruled out”.
Further hearing has been adjourned till July 23.

PIL questioning law secy continuing in post dismissed
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 23:06 IST
The Madras High Court today dismissed a PIL questioning the authority of the state Law Secretary continuing in his post and imposed costs of Rs 5,000 on the petitioner.

Dismissing the PIL by one P Subburaj, the first bench, comprising Justices Satish K Agnihotri and M M Sundresh, said various pronouncements by the apex court and exposition of law made it clear that issuing a writ of quo warranto is a limited one and can only be issued when the person holding the public office lacks eligibility criteria or when the appointment is contrary to the statutory rules.

It said the basic purpose of a writ of quo warranto is to confer jurisdiction on the constitutional courts to see that a public office is not held by usurper without any legal authority.

Subburaj, who appeared in person, alleged that Law Secretary Jayachandran’s statement in the application seeking appointment to the post of District Judge in 2005, that he has 15 years practice an advocate, was factually incorrect.

He contended Jayachandran could not have practiced law while pursuing higher studies and prayed for issue of a writ of quo warranto (under what authority he holds office)

The bench, after persuing the records, noted Jayachandran has done his law degree in 1988, obtaining third rank in the University. He was also a gold medallist in the M.L. Degree course in 1990 and did his M.A. From Madras University in 1993 passing in second class. He then did his doctorate in Law in 2001.

It noted that Jeyachandran, in his application filed for the post, had stated he has enrolled as an advocate on October 28, 1988 and had 15 years service in the bar and duly enclosed appropriate certificates.

The bench while discussing about the issue of quo warranto on a petition, said “it cannot be issued for the sake of mere asking. The test to be satisfied is that there should be either lack of eligibility or the appointment should have been made contrary to the statutory rules. Thus, a writ of quo warranto cannot be entertained as a matter of routine.”

It dismissed the petition and directed the petitioner to deposit Rs 5,000 to Tamil Nadu State Legal Services Authority within four weeks.

Supreme Court raps Madras High Court over child custody case, says ‘girl child is not a chattel’
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 7:59pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
• Supreme Court of India RNA Research & Archives
‘A girl-child is not a chattel,’ said the Supreme Court while lamenting the order of the Madras High Court which treated a four-year-old as a “shuttle cock” in a custody battle between her parents.
“We are sorry the way the High Court has handled. She is treated like a shuttle cock that she has to be with mother for four days and with father for three days. Agony of the child should not be put in the manner the High Court has put. We are not satisfied with this arrangement. This has to be corrected,” the bench, also comprising justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman said.
“The arrangement of the High Court is something which is shocking the conscience of this court,” the bench said, adding that “this arrangement can’t be permitted to continue”.
The bench was hearing the battle for the custody of the daughter, whose mother alleged that she was snatched from her by her estranged husband. At the outset, the bench expressed its displeasure over the arrangement made by the High Court which allowed the girl child out of the custody of her mother.
“A girl child is not a chattel. She can’t be lifted and taken away. She cannot be removed from her mother. Law takes into account what is paramount welfare of the child,” the bench observed before passing a formal order by which the father who is presently having the custody of the child “bring her” to the apex court on July 21.
“You bring the child here on Monday,” the bench said while appointing two women apex court lawyers Madhavi Divan and V Mohana as mediators to resolve the custody dispute. The bench said the two lawyers would sit with the girl child and talk with her and are also free to take whatever way they think fit to arrive at some solution and thereafter in-chamber hearing will take place.
However, during the hearing, the bench expressed unhappiness over the entire episode and asked senior counsel for the mother and father, Nalini Chidambaram and Abhishekh Singhvi respectively, that techinical issues should not be pressed in such matters.
“Technical things does not matter. The core issue is a child who is hardly four-year-old,” the bench said, adding, “We are very concerned that this is not the way a girl child has to be treated”. “We are firmly on the facts of the case and the issue of law can be deferred,” it added.
While Singhvi was making submission, the bench said, “There is no justification for you (father) to take away the child from the mother when she was in the custody of the mother”.
“We are of the view prima facie that the child should be with the mother,” the bench said but warned the couple that if they don’t take corrective measures their daughter may be put in the child care home.
The case pertains to the couple who was married in 2001 and have two daughters with the elder one staying in a boarding school.

Madras high court stays two Madurai Kamaraj University appointments
L Saravanan, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 07.03PM IST
MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Friday stayed two recent appointments made by the Madurai Kamaraj University.

Acting on the writ petitions filed by R Sekar from Chidambaram and G Kalaivanan from Namakkal, Justice K K Sasidharan gave an interim stay on the appointments to the posts of associate professor in political science and assistant professor in English. The appointments were made on July 7.

The judge also ordered to issue notices to the vice-chancellor and the registrar of the university.
Both petitioners belong to the Arunthathiar community, which is a Scheduled Caste. Sekar had applied for the post of associate professor in political science while Kalaivanan had applied for the post of assistant professor in English. Both claimed they attended interviews in May 2014, but the varsity appointed non-Arunthathiar candidates to the said posts.

They said they came to know that the varsity had not followed the Arunthathiar Internal Reservation Act and a related government order while filling the posts.

High Court seeks reply on petition challenging voting rights
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 9:39pm IST | Agency: PTI
The Allahabad High Court has asked the Uttar Pradesh government to file a counter-affidavit on a petition challenging an amendment in state’s urban local self-government laws giving nominated members right to vote in meetings of municipalities.
The order to file the counter-affidavit was passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gupta. The petition was filed by Neera Chandra, hailing from Meerut, who had contended that the provision was in violation of Article 243R of the Constitution which “specifically provides that nominated members shall not have a right to vote in meetings of the Municipality”.
Issuing notice to the state’s Advocate General, the court fixed July 31 as the next date of hearing even as it directed that nominated members of the Nagar Palika Parishad, Mawana, Meerut, “may participate in the meetings but they shall have no right to vote”.

Misunderstanding a good judgment
The Supreme Court ruling on fatwas is mindful not only of the law of the land and the deplorable condition of Indian Muslims but also of religious sensitivities in the country
“Historical judgment in India: Fatwas, Shariat courts illegal, says Supreme Court”, “Supreme Court slams Shariat Courts, says fatwas are ‘illegal’”, “‘Shariat courts not legal’” — these are some of the headlines that were carried by national dailies in India. As the media went hammer and tongs in its pursuit to make people believe that shariat courts have, indeed, been banned by the apex court, ill-informed ‘experts’ hailed this exceptional “Constitutional victory”, and Muslim clerics refuse to tolerate “judicial interference” in their religious affairs.
Has the Supreme Court really held that shariat courts and fatwas are “illegal”? A bare reading of its judgment delivered on July 7 in Vishwa Lochan Madan v. Union of India would suggest otherwise.
Resolving disputes

At the outset, both the Court and the petitioner have confused two issues. The first is of fatwas being issued by clerics, and the second is of shariat courts. The two issues are independent and distinct. A fatwa is an opinion on a religious matter which ought to be sought from and delivered by a well-read religious scholar. In practice, however, Muslims seek such opinions from maulvis presiding over small mosques in every nook and corner of the country, who are often far too ignorant to even lead prayers, much less render scholarly opinions on sensitive inter-personal issues. Clerics, both well-read and ill-informed, have been rendering such opinions on a variety of issues ranging from the correct method of cooking food to the pre-requisites of a valid divorce. As is the case with every opinion, it is up to the querist to accept or reject it. Undoubtedly, the religious flavour of such opinions read with the religious sensitivities of Indian Muslims demands that, at the very least, strict self-regulatory rules ought to be framed in this matter.
From the early twentieth century, an institution called the Dar-ul-Qaza, known in common parlance as the shariat courts, has been operating in many parts of the country. The Dar-ul-Qaza is devised as a permanent alternative dispute resolution (ADR) mechanism to resolve family disputes of consenting parties. Like in arbitration, if both parties agree, instead of a civil court they may approach the Dar-ul-Qaza for resolution of their disputes. The Dar-ul-Qaza does not issue fatwas. It also does not administer criminal law; it simply resolves family disputes by applying principles of Islamic law, which even civil courts are bound to apply in cases where both parties are Muslim (just like if both parties are Hindu, the disputes will be resolved in accordance with Hindu law). Muslims, like all other citizens, continue to be governed by the law of the land and be subject to the jurisdiction of Constitutional courts in equal measure.
Issue before the Supreme Court

In 2005, a 28-year-old uneducated Muslim woman named Imrana was allegedly raped by her father-in-law in a village in Western Uttar Pradesh. A local Muzaffarnagar-based journalist approached the well-known Islamic seminary in nearby Deoband and, without disclosing the facts of this particular case, sought a general opinion (fatwa) on the status the marriage of a woman who has been raped by her father-in-law in a hypothetical case. An ill-informed cleric who had no business to render opinions in such sensitive matters, opined that, in such a case, the victim’s marriage with her husband would stand dissolved. He founded his opinion on the Quranic edict which commands men to “marry not the woman whom your father married”. It is needless to accentuate how bizarre the opinion was and how misplaced was the reliance on this salutary Quranic edict. The fatwa was, rightly, rubbished by scholars across the board. The matter rested there was never taken to the Dar-ul-Qaza.
Appalled by the absurdity of the fatwa and its ramifications, a Delhi-based lawyer approached the Supreme Court by way of a public interest petition and alleged that Muslim clerics who have set up shariat courts all over the country are rendering judgments like courts in the form of fatwas and are, thus, running a ‘parallel judiciary’ in the country. Somewhat confusingly, he clubbed together the two different and distinct issues of fatwa and establishment of shariat courts. In his petition, he impleaded as Respondents the Union of India, some States where Dar-ul-Qaza were running, and some Muslim religious organisations like the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, and sought declarations from the Supreme Court to the effect that the very establishment of the Dar-ul-Qaza was illegal and the fatwas so issued were void. He also sought a direction to the Union of India and the States concerned to forthwith take steps to disband all Dar-ul-Qazas throughout the country.
In response to the petition, all the Respondents took a common stand. Broadly speaking, their argument seemed two-fold — first, that the Dar-ul-Qazas were not in the nature of civil or criminal courts but were, in fact, institutions devised as ADR mechanisms. Like other ADR mechanisms, this could also be used by consenting parties to resolve their private disputes out of court; no one can be forced to acquiesce to the jurisdiction of the Dar-ul-Qaza. Second, fatwas issued by clerics were merely their opinions on given queries and like any other opinion they were not binding on anyone.
After seven years, the matter came up for hearing in the Supreme Court early this year. The Court did nothing to do away with the confusion between the two issues of fatwa and the establishment of Dar-ul-Qaza, perhaps because it was not asked to. It agreed with the Respondents that a fatwa is merely an opinion and neither a fatwa nor a decision of the Dar-ul-Qaza can be enforced like a court decree. According to the Court, for this reason, neither a fatwa nor a decision of the Dar-ul-Qaza has any “sanction under our Constitutional scheme.” However, it categorically upheld both the establishment and functioning of the Dar-ul-Qaza as well as the practice of issuing fatwas, adding that “this does not mean that existence of Dar-ul-Qaza or for that matter, practice of issuing fatwas are themselves illegal. It is (an) informal justice delivery system with an objective of bringing about amicable settlement between the parties. It is within the discretion of the persons concerned either to accept, ignore or reject it.” Holding that fatwas and shariat court decisions were not legally enforceable, the Court refused to grant any of the prayers sought in the petition.
A sensible decision

However, the Court was disturbed by the practice of clerics issuing fatwas on the request of third parties who were strangers to the dispute in question, like in the Imrana case. Mindful of the fact that “since fatwa gets its strength from religion… it causes serious psychological impact on the person intending not to abide by that” and “has the potential of causing immense devastation”, the Court “advised” clerics, and rightly so, that in inter-personal disputes, fatwas ought not to be issued at the request of strangers. With these observations, the Court rejected the prayers. Shariat courts were not declared illegal, fatwas were not declared void and directions were not issued to the government to disband the shariat courts.
The Supreme Court judgment, though it could have been better-worded, is sensible. It is mindful not only of the law of the land and the deplorable condition of Indian Muslims but also of religious sensitivities in the country. It seeks to strike a judicious balance among all three. However, the judgment does not make any practical difference to the legal position as it existed till the day it was delivered. It will neither stop the self-seeking ignorant mullas from issuing bizarre fatwas, which are an onslaught on the basic tenets of Islam, nor prevent ill-informed people from publicly expressing their ostensibly anti-Islamic prejudices under the garb of supporting the cause of equality before law.
(Saif Mahmood is an advocate of the Supreme Court. )

Supreme Court notice to govt over bungalow squatters
Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 19, 2014, 05.30 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Centre to respond to ex-CAG Vinod Rai’s allegation that there was indiscriminate abuse of discretionary powers by urban development minister and secretary to allow politicians and others to overstay in government bungalows in Delhi’s Lutyens’ zone.

A bench of Chief Justice RM Lodha and justices Kurian Joseph and RF Nariman treated Rai’s five-page letter accompanied by newspaper reports as a public interest litigation, issued notice to the Centre asking it to respond within four weeks and appointed senior advocate Shaym Divan as amicus curiae.

A newspaper had on May 8 reported that “22 ex-ministers including A Raja, Dayanidhi Maran and Lalu Prasad are in the list of VIPs and they stay in violation of the SC order” in SD Bandi case. The SC had ordered that a grace period could be given to a Union minister or MP to vacate the house after he ceases to hold office. If he did not vacate after the specified period, then he should be evicted, the court had said.

Others in the list of squatters prepared by the newspaper included ex-Union ministers Pawan Bansal, SM Krishna, Mukul Wasnik, Agatha Sangma, CP Joshi and Harish Rawat. It had also reported that Lalu Prasad was staying in the bungalow on the ground that he was undergoing treatment for a heart ailment in AIIMS. He had also said that his grandson was in a nearby school and his daughter was undergoing treatment.

Rai’s letter was placed in chamber before Justice HL Dattu, who opined that it be treated as a public interest litigation.

The former comptroller and auditor general said the VVIP squatters were blocking the bungalows in brazen violation of the apex court’s July 5, 2013 judgment in SD Bandi case. He had asked, “What are the norms/power which entitles government or a minister to exercise discretion in allotting type VI and above category of houses out of turn?

“How can government permit its chosen few to overstay the legitimate tenure? Should government be not a model in impartiality and uniform application of norms to all its employees.”

Referring to Lalu’s case, Rai asked, “Is it a legitimate ground to overstay in a government accommodation merely to ensure the education of a grandchild? This appears to be the reason given by a member of Parliament who has been disqualified due to criminal prosecution.”

The ex-CAG said the other reasons for overstay in government bungalows included “memories of a deceased father” and “to retain it as a memorabilia” at public expenses.

DLF moves Supreme Court against Rs 630-Crore Penalty
Press Trust of India | Updated On: July 18, 2014 19:53 (IST)
The Supreme Court today issued a notice to Competition Commission of India(CCI) on a plea of DLF challenging its order imposing a fine of Rs 630 crore for allegedly resorting to unfair business practices and restrain it from taking coercive action against the firm till August 7.

A bench of justices Ranjana Prakash Desai and N V Ramana also sought responses from Haryana government, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) and the resident’s association on whose plea the competition watchdog had imposed the penalty on the company.

It posted the case for further hearing on August 7.

The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by DLF challenging Competition Appellate Tribunal’s order passed on May 19 upholding the penalty of Rs 630 crore imposed by the CCI.

In August 2011, the Commission had found DLF violating fair trade norms and imposed a fine of Rs 630 crore on it following a complaint by a Belaire Owners’ Association in Gurgaon.

It was in May 2010 that the buyer’s association had complained against DLF.

Haj vaccine: CCI slams health ministry for favouring MNCs
Jul 19, 2014 – TEENA THACKER |
• New Delhi
• The Competition Commission of India has pulled up the Union health ministry, accusing it of “limiting the competition to multi-nationals” after the ministry recently changed the criteria of buying meningococcal meningitis vaccine required for the Haj pilgrims.
Every year 1.75 lakh doses are required for the Haj pilgrims travelling from India for the largest annual pilgrim. While, the ministry has been buying the vaccine from a Ghaziabad-based Bio-med Private Limited company.
This year it changed the conditions of purchase in its tender floated in June, which has resulted in the litigation. While there is a huge shortfall of vaccine needed urgently for the Haj pilgrims, to sort out the matter the Union health minister has now formed a committee.
According to sources in the ministry, only 35,000 doses are available in the country against the requirement of 1.75 lakh doses.
“If nothing is done on urgent basis, it may lead to crisis. The ministry will have to do away with the new tender condition, if this is not done huge amount of money will unnecessarily be spent for buying the vaccine from foreign companies,” sources said.

PIL on Noida land scam disposed off
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 09.33AM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday disposed off a PIL seeking probe into a case of land embezzlement in NOIDA, Gautam Budh Nagar after it was informed by the state government that a probe headed by principal secretary (revenue) had already been instituted to inquire into the matter. It was alleged that one SB Singh, who was posted as consolidation officer, had embezzled land worth crores of rupees belonging to gram sabha in Afzalpur, Jaganpur, Ata-Fatehpur and Gankaur villages of GB Nagar and transferred it in the name of his relatives.

Taking the submissions made by the state government on record, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dr Dhananjaya Yeshwant Chandrachud and Justice Dilip Gutpa disposed off the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Jitendra Goyal.

As per the previous direction of the court, the commissioner (consolidation) as well as the district magistrate, Gautam Budh Nagar, appeared before it and filed an affidavit on behalf of the state government. In the affidavit, they made the above-mentioned submissions and urged the court to exempt their personal appearance on future dates. The court accepted their request and exempted them from personal appearance in future.
It was alleged in the PIL that then consolidation officer of Gautam Budh Nagar SB Singh had transferred land worth crores of rupees belonging to gram sabha in the name of his relatives and had made them owner of the land. Subsequently, when the land was acquired by the state government for the construction of road, these persons obtained crores of rupees as compensation for the land, which actually belonged to the gram sabha.

Later, this PIL was filed alleging huge embezzlement of land in connivance with the then consolidation officer, which has caused loss to the revenue of the government. The court at one stage had directed the authorities concerned to appear before it and also apprise it about the steps taken in this regard. However, when the authorities concerned apprised the court about the present status, the court disposed of the matter with the direction that the principal secretary revenue who is heady the probe would continue the monitoring of the investigation.

PIL seeks action against Sharad Pawar for luring voters to vote twice
Last Updated: Friday, July 18, 2014, 19:53

Mumbai: A petition in Bombay High Court has sought action against NCP Chief Sharad Pawar for luring voters to take advantage of phased schedule in Lok Sabha polls which concluded recently and vote first in Satara on April 17 and then in Mumbai on April 24 by removing the indelible ink.

The PIL, filed by activist Hemant Patil, is expected to come up for hearing for the first time on July 24.

The petition said that Pawar, in a public speech just before the Lok Sabha polls, had advised Mathadi workers from Agriculture Produce Market Committee market in Navi Mumbai to vote twice by taking advantage of the phased polling. Later, Pawar had clarified that his remarks were in lighter vein.

Such comments are, in effect, an advise to violate the Indian election laws that allow only one vote for one person, said the Pune-based petitioner.

The PIL said that Mathadi workers mostly hail from Satara in Western Maharashtra which is considered as a citadel of NCP.

The petitioner said he had made complaints to the Home Minister R R Patil, Pune Police Commissioner, Union Government and Election Commission of India against Pawar. But no action had been taken against the NCP leader so far, said the PIL.

The PIL also urged that the authorities may be asked to produce before the court a taped version of Pawar’s speech.

A similar PIL filed by activist Praveen Wategaonkar was dismissed recently by the Bombay High Court which held that it would not interfere in the poll schedules fixed by the Election Commission.


First Published: Friday, July 18, 2014, 19:53

CJI wants Gopal Subramanium persuaded to prosecute coalgaters
Chief Justice of India (CJI) RM Lodha said that senior counsel Gopal Subramanium, who recently withdrew from the process to become a Supreme Court judge after government leaks about his suitability, should be the special public prosecutor in the Coalgate scam cases, reported thePTI.
Lodha, who had expressed his regrets about Subramanium’s withdrawal from the judgeship process, told the bar appearing before him and two other judges: “If I failed in something you [lawyers appearing in the matter] persuade [Subramanium]… We want a person of impeccable integrity and fine legal mind.”

To beat LoP hurdle, govt to tweak judicial jobs bill
Pradeep Thakur, TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.23AM IST
NEW DELHI: The NDA government is considering amendments in the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill to get over a provision that says leader of the opposition in the Lok Sabha shall be a member of the selection committee that will choose the panel. The JAC is set to replace the Supreme Court’s collegium system of appointing judges for the apex court and high courts.

The JAC Bill provides that the commission shall comprise the Chief Justice of India (CJI), two senior most judges of the apex court, the law minister and two eminent persons to be nominated by the Prime Minister, the CJI and the leader of the opposition in the LS.

Since the government has decided not to grant the leader of the opposition (LoP) status to any political party in the LS, the provision in the JAC bill could cause an impasse on selection of two eminent members of the JAC.
Law ministry sources said the government is considering amendment in the JAC Bill on the lines of the Central Vigilance Commission Act that provides for leader of the largest political party in LS as member of the selection panel in case there is no recognized LoP.

The NDA government has decided not to grant leader of opposition status to any party in the Lok Sabha.

The section 4(1)c of the CVC Act says the central vigilance commissioner shall be appointed by the President on the recommendation of a committee consisting of the PM, the home minister and the leader of the opposition in LS. It clarifies that when there is no LoP recognized, this shall include the leader of the single largest group in opposition in the LS.

The government is likely to call an all-party meeting over the JAC bill towards the end of this Parliament session to evolve a consensus on changes it may propose to the original bill.

Besides the ruling BJP, some other political parties had earlier expressed reservation over the composition of the proposed selection panel when consultations were held under the aegis of the previous regime.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The JAC Bill was referred to the parliamentary standing committee on law which had also recommended certain amendments in the original bill, part of which the UPA government had agreed to incorporate before tabling it in the previous Lok Sabha.

In its final report, the standing committee had recommended that the JAC should be made part of the main Constitutional amendment bill and not taken up separately; also the selection panel headed by the CJI should be a seven-member commission instead of six as proposed in the original bill.

The parliamentary panel had suggested having three eminent citizens instead of two. Sources said odd numbers would avoid a possible deadlock in case of a tie while taking a decision. The standing committee said one of the three eminent members should either be a woman or a member from the minority community or SC/ST by rotation.

Centre ruled out options for AIS officers
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 18, 2014, 03.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The Union of India on Thursday made it clear before the Hyderabad Bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal that it will not give any option to the existing All India Service officers in AP and Telangana states to choose a state of their choice to serve.
G. Jayaprakash Babu, counsel representing the Union of India, submitted before a two-member Bench comprising B.V. Rao and Ms Ranjana Chowdari that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has out rightly rejected the requests of All India Service officers to choose a state of their choice to serve.
The Bench was hearing a petition by two senior IPS officers S.A. Huda and T.P. Das challenging their provisional cadre allotment made to Telangana state.
When the matter came up for hearing on Thursday, the Bench questioned the Centre about its stance. The Centre’s counsel replied that the process of cadre division among the two states was over and that it will be communicated to both the states in the next few days.
Despite objections from the counsel appearing for the petitioner granting of time, the Bench granted a week’s time to the Centre to file its counter and warned that it would finalise the matter in the next hearing even if the Centre fails to file its counter by then.
CMs asked to ensure HC split
A. Narasimha Reddy, chairman of Bar Council of the AP on Thursday urged the Chief Ministers of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh to take steps for immediate bifurcation of the existing High Court and Bar Council for the state of Telangana.
Addressing a press conference along with member of the Bar Council of India N. Ramachandra Rao, he said, “any delay in this matter will obstruct the smooth functioning of the judicial system and will create unavoidable problems. Immediate bifurcation will promote good will and understanding among the members of the legal profession in both the state”.
Justice Vilas Afzulpurkar of the Hyderabad High Court on Thursday directed the police of Nellore not to arrest B Raghavendra Reddy, ZPTC member of the YSR Congress, till the completion of elections to the Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman posts, Nellore district, scheduled for July 20.
The judge granted order while dealing with the plea by Mr Reddy alleging that he was implicated in false cases to prevent him from participating in elections. The judge made it clear that the petitioner shall appear before the investigating officer concerned on July 21.

Defence tribunal to sit in City
Bangalore, Jul 15, 2014, DHNS :
 To enable the litigants from Karnataka to file cases coming under the purview of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, the Chairperson of Armed Forces Tribunal has announced regular bi-monthly sitting in Circuit Bench in Bangalore.

The next sitting of the Tribunal’s Regional Bench Kochi in Circuit Bench, will be held at the Parachute Regimental Training Centre (PRTC), near Doordarshan Kendra, JC Nagar, Bangalore from July 28 to August 1. There will be no sitting on July 29 due to Id-ul-Fitr (Ramzan), a defence ministry release said.

The Armed Forces Tribunal was set up under the
provisions of the Armed Forces Tribunal Act, 2007 for the adjudication or trial of disputes and conditions of service in respect of persons subject to the Army Act, the Navy Act and the Air Force Act.

The objective was also to provide for appeals arising out of orders, findings or sentences of Court Martial held under the said Acts and for matters connected there with or incidental there to.

National Green Tribunal raps Delhi Metro over dumping construction waste into Yamuna
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.41AM IST
NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal directed DMRC to explain why they dumped construction waste on Yamuna floodplains and why they shouldn’t be fined Rs 5 lakh for it.

NGT had issued a show-cause notice to DMRC after petitioner Manoj Misra submitted several photographs of concrete dumped on the riverbed along NH- 24, opposite CWG Village.

The bench also co-opted two new members — professors from IIT Delhi and IIT Roorkee — to a committee that was formed earlier to study drains in Delhi that directly discharge waste into the Yamuna. The committee that was formed last month was to include an officer, not below the rank of joint secretary, from the ministry of environments and forests, member secretary of Central Pollution Control Board, engineer in chief of DDA, member secretary of DPCC, member (drainage) of DJB, two chief engineers from South Corporation and East Corporation, professor Gosain, and professor Brij Gopal of IIT-Delhi.
The terms of reference (ToR) for the committee was to study drains and gather data on stormwater drains, natural drains, and how many of them carry sewage. On Thursday, the bench broadened the TOR for the committee and asked them to deliberate on two major points — whether it is advisable to install sewage treatment plants of various sizes in all outlets small and big, or is it more beneficial to prohibit discharge of any sewage into the Yamuna by connecting all drains to a new major drain which can carry all the waste of Delhi to a treatment plant.

The bench also directed the committee to file its report, at least the interim report, on the issue within two weeks. The bench was very stern about meeting the deadline and directed all agencies, especially DDA, to furnish the committee with required information.

“In the event, submission is not within requisite time or extension is asked for by concerned officer, we shall treat it as violation of the orders of the Tribunal,” the order said. It will result in initiation of contempt of court proceedings, it added.

National Tax Tribunal: Spotlight on tribunalization at SC hearing–Spotlight-on-tribunalization-at-SC-h.html
The court says the proposed National Tax Tribunal would either take away judicial powers or make a mockery of judicial procedure
Shreeja Sen

The apex court asked attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi what the value of a tribunal decision substituting that of a high court would be. It then observed that if found binding, the tribunal decision would result in judicial power being taken away and if not, it would just be a mockery of the procedure.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday said the proposed National Tax Tribunal (NTT) would either take away judicial powers or make a mockery of judicial procedure, while the Union government defended it as a “restructuring of dispensation of justice”. The apex court was hearing a writ petition challenging a 2005 proposal to set up the tribunal. The case is being heard by a Constitution bench of five judges headed by chief justice R.M. Lodha and justices J.S. Khehar, J. Chelameswar, A.K. Sikri and Rohinton F. Nariman. The hearing veered towards the core debate of “tribunalization”, even though the petition challenges a quasi-judicial body deciding “substantial questions of law” in appeal. Tribunalization refers to the increasing creation of alternative forums to decide cases, which could take away judicial powers, as submitted by the Madras Bar Association, a petitioner in the case. Section 260A of the Income Tax Act says substantial questions of law will be decided by the high court. The NTT, however, looks to substitute that in order to reduce pendency of cases. A “substantial question of law”, according to precedent, is one which is of general public importance or significantly and directly affects the rights of the parties involved. Article 323B of the Constitution, which talks about the creation of tribunals by the executive, was also challenged as being violative of the concept of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary. The NTT Act allows the executive “extensive control” with regard to appointments of members and procedure of the tribunal. The apex court asked attorney general of India Mukul Rohatgi what the value of a tribunal decision substituting that of a high court would be. It then observed that if found binding, the tribunal decision would result in judicial power being taken away and if not, it would just be a mockery of the procedure. Rohatgi said the decisions of the NTT should be binding on all tax issues it decides, subject to the apex court’s decision. Calling it a “restructuring of dispensation of justice”, he submitted that the NTT would be a cohesive body deciding appeals from various ITATs, instead of multiple proceedings in various high courts. Chief justice Lodha added the efficacy of the NTT law could be questionable if the tribunal consisted of only one judicial member in the form of the chairman and 59 other members with non-judicial backgrounds. Justice Khehar noted that the tribunal would have “far reaching consequences on the financial health of the country”. Hearing will resume on 22 July.

NGT has trappings of a court, has wide powers: Tribunal chief
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 19:07 IST
Giving itself wide powers, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has held it has all the trappings of a “Court” as the distinction between a court and a tribunal is getting thinner day by day.

The green bench in a order held that the word “Tribunal” is a word of wide import and the words “courts and tribunals” embrace within them the exercise of judicial power in all its forms.

A bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar said the Tribunal has the complete trappings of a civil court and satisfies all the stated features for acting as an independent judicial Tribunal with complete and comprehensive powers.

“In our considered view, the NGT has all the trappings of a court and is vested with original, appellate and special jurisdiction, performing exclusively judicial functions and hence is a Court,” it said.

The bench, in its 142-page order, said the very object and the purpose of the NGT Act would “stand defeated” and “frustrated” if every question relating to examining the validity of delegated legislation is first examined by a Constitutional Court and not the Tribunal.

It, further, held that there is nothing in the provisions of the NGT Act that directly or even by necessary implication is indicative of any external control over the NGT in discharge of its judicial functions.

“Minister of Environment and Forests(MoEF) is merely an administrative Ministry for the NGT to provide for means and finances. Once budget is provided, the Ministry cannot have any interference in the functioning of the NGT,” it said.

A senior MoEF official noted that NGT was constituted to help reduce the burden of litigation on green issues in the higher courts but declined to comment on the Tribunal’s order.

The official also noted that NGT is a specialized body constituted to handle green disputes and multi-disciplinary issues.

Ruling on the issue of territorial jurisdiction, the NGT bench said that the Chairperson of the Tribunal, as per provisions of the NGT Act, is vested with the power to transfer cases from one bench to another.

The Tribunal’s order came on two sets of petitions filed before the NGT, demanding withdrawal of environment clearance given to the Vizhinjam Port Project in Thiruvananthapuram and the second one challenging the coastal regulation zone notification of 2011.

The project in Kerala involves the construction of quays, terminal area and port building and is expected to be completed in three phases.

NGT dismisses plea for making Env studies a compulsory subject
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 18, 2014 Last Updated at 15:07 IST
The National Green Tribunal has dismissed as “unmaintainable” a plea seeking direction to University Grants Commission (UGC) and others to ensure that Environmental studies is taught as compulsory subject by qualified teachers who are post graduates with specialisation.

Stating that it did not have the jurisdiction to entertain the issue, a bench headed by Justice Swatanter Kumar rejected the petition filed by M C Mehta seeking compliance of a 1991 Supreme Court order, in which it had directed UGC and central and state governments for providing compulsory environmental education to students of schools and colleges throughout the country.

“We are of the considered view that the present application filed by the applicant under Section 14 of the NGT Act is not maintainable and the Tribunal has no jurisdiction to entertain and grant the reliefs prayed for by the applicant….

“In our considered view it would not fall within the ambit of Section 14 of the NGT Act as neither does it raise any substantial question relating to environment nor does the implementation of the Scheduled Acts arise.

“This application is, therefore, dismissed as not maintainable,” the bench said.

The petition had sought directions to UGC, All India Council of Technical Education, Ministry of Human Resource Development and state education boards to ensure that Environmental studies is taught by eligible teachers to the students from academic session 2014.

According to Mehta, none of the universities, colleges or schools has appointed teachers as per guidelines. The syllabus for postgraduate courses in environmental studies has not been framed either.

“Issue direction to the respondents to ensure that compulsory subject of Environmental studies is taught by the qualified/eligible teachers/Astt professors having specialisation in post graduate degree in terms of UGC guidelines…,” the plea had said.

The plea had also sought appropriate action against the respondents for not providing environmental education properly in the educational institutions, thereby, not implementing the Supreme Court order.

Mehta had, further, alleged that except for holding the meetings, the state governments have not taken any concrete steps for compliance of the same.

NHRC issues notice to UP Govt over snake bite deaths in Balia
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 22:20 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Health Department and District Magistrate taking suo motu cognisance of a media report about a 30-year-old man dying of snake bite due to non-availability of anti-snake venom injection at Balia district hospital.

Azad, a resident of Village Manikpur under the Fepana Police Station, was bitten by a poisonous snake and died on the July 1.

According to media reports, the doctors informed the relatives of the man that anti-snake venom injection was neither available in the District Hospital nor in the entire district.

Reportedly, many people had died in the district due to non-availability of anti-snake venom injection.

“The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of the residents of the district,” a statement issued by the NHRC said.

A notice has been issued to the Principal Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Uttar Pradesh Government and District Magistrate, Balia calling for a factual report within two weeks.

LEGAL NEWS 18.07.2014

Natarajan gets bail from sessions court
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.12 AM IST
CHENNAI: M Natarajan, husband of chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s friend N Sasikala, who was arrested in a criminal case, was granted bail by a principal sessions court on Thursday.

The principal sessions Judge N Authinathan has directed him to appear before the Central Crime Branch Police in Vepery everyday for two weeks.

Natarajan was arrested on July 7 for wrongful confinement and criminal intimidation of Karate Master Shihan Hussaini, who is also sculptor.

Hussaini had been commissioned to create a statue as part of the Mullivaikal Ninaivu Muttam in Thanjavur. In his complaint he alleged that he had been assaulted and confined in a room when he refused to complete the statue because he had not been paid the full amount promised.

RSS leader gets anticipatory bail
Press Trust of India | Mangalore
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 16:48 IST
The District and Sessions Court here has granted anticipatory bail to a senior local RSS leader, Kalladka Prabhakar Bhat in connection with a case of delivering an allegedly communally provocative speech at the Hindu Sangama at Gurupur on January 5 last.

The Sessions Court judge Uma M G had earlier issued a non bailable arrest warrant against Bhat in the wake of a charge sheet filed against him on the basis of a complaint by one Mohammad, alleging that he had made a speech which hurt the sentiments of Muslims.

Police had filed the charge sheet against Bhat and the court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant.

Bhat’s counsel argued that the speech only stressed the need to create laws which treated all classes of people equally and sought opinion of all sections of people in this regard. It was not aimed at hurting the religious sentiments of any community, he said.

Custodial torture can’t be tolerated: Court
Sana Shakil,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.51 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Cases of custodial torture in the capital have been increasing over the years due to the insensitivity of jail officials and ineffective implementation of court directives. This was observed by a trial court while hearing two cases of custodial violence. The court rapped the authorities and said the judiciary must show zero tolerance in such cases.

In the first case, the jail authorities did not even report the matter to court. Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau found out about the incident when one Sanjay, an inmate of jail number three of Tihar Jail and facing trial in a dacoity case, was produced before her and she noticed his physical condition: his left hand was fractured; there were stitches on his left leg and swelling in both legs; and bruises and scratches on his entire back.

Following this, the court asked Sanjay about his condition and he alleged that he was assaulted by prison staff and that there was an attempt by jail authorities to cover it up.

The court ordered an inquiry into the incident and forwarded the complaint to the chief metropolitan magistrate. An FIR was registered against constable Praveen and Durga (head wardens) and undertrials Vinod, Sunny and Veeru on Sanjay’s complaint.

The court directed the jail superintendent to preserve all the CCTV footages of September 14 and 15 and also the relevant records relating to duty rosters of the jail staff. “I may observe that custodial violence in any form is a serious issue and the courts are required to exhibit zero tolerance for the same being violative of human rights as well as the statutory rights of a person in custody. The manner in which the incident has been concealed raises a doubt in the mind of the court,” the judge said.

The court also took serious note of another case of custodial violence reported by an undertrial named Anil, also lodged in jail number 3. The court forwarded the complaint to chief metropolitan magistrate. Anil claimed that he was beaten up in jail by two inmates, who did so on deputy superintendent Jitender Bhargav’s instructions. Anil alleged that Bhargav wanted to extort Rs 30,000 from him and when he refused, he was beaten up. On being produced before the court, it was noticed that there were injuries on his head and neck.

Around 12,000 people have died?either in jail or in police stations?in the last five years, and 3,532 cases of custodial violence have been reported between 2007 and 2012. Last year, Supreme Court had come down heavily on the authorities for ineffective implementation of its directions to curb such incidents. As of now, Delhi has no special court to try such cases. for allegedly subjecting Sanjay to custodial violence and causing injuries to him. FIR was lodged under sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 308 (attempt to culpable homicide), 34 (common intention) of the IPC and under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Convict to undergo life sentences together
A convict whose death sentence had been commuted to life imprisonment by the President can be ordered to undergo the punishment concurrently along with sentences imposed on him in other cases, the Madras High Court Bench here has ruled.
Justice G.M. Akbar Ali passed the order on a direction petition filed by the brother of C. Selvam, a convict in the 1997 murder of a gangster in a court hall at Nagercoil in Kanyakumari district.
The petitioner, C. Vijayakumar, said the murder led to the conviction of seven persons by a Sessions Court at Tirunelveli on October 5, 1998. While four were awarded life imprisonment, Selvam and two others — Sheik Meeran and Radhakrishnan — were awarded the death sentence.
Court building bombed
According to the prosecution, the convicts had inflicted 12 cut wounds on the face and head of the gangster in the court hall before dragging his body to the compound wall in public view. They had also hurled a country bomb on the court building before escaping.
The Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai confirmed the death sentence on April 30, 1999, and the Supreme Court dismissed a Special Leave Petition from the convicts, on June 21, 1999, as the execution was scheduled for July 15, 1999.
Mercy petition
However, the convicts escaped the gallows following a mercy petition submitted by them to the President, who, on June 25, 2012, commuted their sentence to life imprisonment under Article 72 (power of the President to grant pardon) of the Constitution.
Another case
Counsel for the petitioner T. Lajapathi Roy said a sessions court at Kanyakumari convicted Selvam on January 6, 2003, in another murder case, also filed in 1997, and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
Since the Kanyakumari court did not mention that the sentence should run concurrently with the punishment awarded in the other case, counsel feared that letting the sentences run consecutively would prove detrimental to the possible release of the prisoner in future on account of good conduct.

Mangalore sessions court dismisses SAC bail application in house demolition case.

Mangalore, July 16: A press release circulated by DK PUCL to news channels on July 16, is reported below:

“The Second Additional Sessions Judge, Mangalore has dismissed an Anticipatory Bail Application filed by Two Priests, Fr. Almeida and Fr. Cyril, both of whom are the principal Accused in the John Baptist Lewis case.

On the afternoon of 26th June 2014, these two Priests along with the Rector – Fr. Denzil Lobo and their Lawyer – M.P. Noronha, brought a JCB and demolished the residential house in which Lewis and his daughters were residing since decades and the family has been on the streets since that date. A group of over 40 persons who included anti-social elements and students of the college physically manhandled the old man and his young daughters and demolished the structure burying everything that belonged to them in the debris after taking away all the original documents which belonged to Lewis. The dispute was subjudice before the Civil Court, despite which position, this act was carried out. The Police have only arrested the JCB Driver and the three workmen and the Sessions Court has refused to release them on Bail through the Order passed today.

Though the Applicants are Priests and are regular residents of the college, the Police have avoided arresting them and after a period of two weeks, they applied for Anticipatory Bail. Their Application was strongly opposed by JUSTICE M.F. SALDANHA who has taken up the case in the public interest. In his Affidavit, he pointed out to the Court that these Priests have not only acted high handedly and illegally but that they have been using their money power and influence to avoid arrest. It is demonstrated that they have no respect for the Law or for the pending cases or for the Court(s) and that they have committed Contempt of Court and are disqualified from any relief. Also, JUSTICE M.F. SALDANHA has pointed out to the Court that these are serious offences in which Bail cannot be granted and that their arrest and custodial interrogation is essential to trace out and prosecute the remaining 40 persons who had participated in the offence, one of whom is the Vice Principal of the College by the name of D’Silva who is also absconding. The Court has upheld these contentions and dismissed the Anticipatory Bail Application filed by the Priests.

In a strongly worded Notice addressed to the Police Commissioner, Justice Saldanha has pointed out that this incident which has sent shock waves in the public mind indicates a total breakdown of Law and Order and that after today’s Court Order, the Police must arrest all the Accused persons immediately.

PIL referred to Principal seat
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Madras High Court bench here has referred to the Principal Seat a PIL seeking a direction to the high court Judicature of Madras to prepare a new judges panel list up to its full strength and seek approval of the Law Secretary.

Referring the PIL filed by the Joint Secretary of the Madurai Bench Advocates Association, a Division Bench of justices M Jaichandran and R Mahadevan said such issues would have to be decided only by a Full Bench of five judges.

The petitioner submitted that 16 vacancies in the Madras High Court should be filled within the timeframe as 36000 writ petitions had been filed in the Principal Seat, and 22000 writ petitions in Madurai Bench last year.

The total strength of the Madras High Court was 60, but there were 16 vacancies. The approved strength of high court judges was 75. The approved strength also had not been taken up for implementation. Now there were only 12 judges in Madurai bench. It should be actually 20, as one third of the cases were being heard here, the petitioner said.

A few months ago Registrar General of Madras High Court had prepared a list and it was sent to the Supreme Court Registrar General and Law secretary for approval.Subsequently the proposal was withdrawn by the Law Secretary for preparing a fresh list. Meanwhile four high court judges retired.

The Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association passed a resolution to increase the strength of the high court judges up to to approved limit of 60. But there was no remedy except knocking at the doors ot the court. Hence the PIL, the petitioner said.

PIL against me politically motivated: Bhujbal
Minister favoured a firm in return of financial favours: AAP
Senior NCP leader and Maharashtra Public Works Department Minister Chhagan Bhujbal on Thursday challenged the maintainability of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition alleging kickbacks to him to the tune of Rs. 82 crore. The PIL filed by the Aam Aadmi Party last year accused Mr. Bhujbal of favouring a firm in return of financial favours to him and his family members, including son Pankaj and nephew Sameer.
Mr. Bhujbal told the Bombay High Court that the petition was filed for getting publicity, and was politically motivated. “We wish to challenge the maintainability of this petition,” advocate Prasad Dhakephalkar, appearing for Mr. Bhujbal, told a Division Bench led by Chief Justice Mohit Shah.
The court has given him four weeks to file an affidavit placing the objections on record. The matter will be heard on August 28.
The PIL claimed that various authorities including the Central Vigilance Commission, the Enforcement Directorate, the Maharashtra Governor and the Chief Minister and the Director-General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau did not take any action against the Minister despite various complaints.
The petition alleged: “Mr. Bhujbal has misused his position for illegally amassing huge wealth for him and his family members in clear violation of the oath he took as the MLA and Minister.”

HC throws out PIL on allowing bikers access to Mumbai’s JJ flyover
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 11.20 PM IST
MUMBAI: Bikes will continue to stay off JJ flyover as the Bombay HC on Thursday upheld the Mumbai traffic police’s ban on two-wheelers on the bridge.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sonak dismissed a petition filed by a citizen, Asif Siddique, challenging the ban on the 2.4-km flyover from CST to Byculla.

This is the second time that the ban was challenged in the high court; a similar petition was thrown out in 2010.

Assistant government pleader Milind More said that the traffic police had banned two-wheelers following a spate of fatalities, and with a view to protect human life.

The flyover has three sharp, accident-prone curves where bikers are unable to control their vehicles, leading to accidents. The advocate pointed out that between 2002, when the flyover was thrown open to the public, and 2010, there were as many as 254 accidents, with 183 involving two-wheelers. Around 31 bikers were killed in those eight years, while 159 were injured.

Even after 2010, when the ban was upheld, there were accidents on account of errant bikers riding on the flyover. As many as five bikers died on the flyover each year since 2010. In the last three years, the traffic police have apprehended over 10,000 errant bikers on the flyover collecting over Rs 2.5 lakh in fines. Bikers have alleged discrimination and claimed hardship as they have to navigate through the heavy traffic on Mohammed Ali Road.

HC Notice on PIL against Movie Poster
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:49 AM
CUTTACK: Acting on a PIL filed by Cuttack-based lawyer Shivsankar Mohanty on obscene use of Indian Tricolour on film posters, a division bench of Orissa High Court comprising Acting Chief Justice P Mohanty and Justice B Mohanty has issued notice to Union Ministry of Home Affairs.
The petitioner has appealed to the court for banning further dissemination of the first look poster of the movie ‘Dirty Politics’ in its promotion campaign in print, electronic and social media. The poster of the upcoming movie by KC Bokadia shows actor Mallika Sherawat wrapped in Tricolour, that too below the waist.
The petitioner alleged that the State Emblem of India has been used for cheap publicity and the actor has been indecently represented by the filmmaker. “The poster violates the provisions of The Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950; the Prevention of Insults to National Honour Act, 1971; Flag Code of India, 2002; The State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005 and The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986,” the petitioner stated.

HC seeks NMCH’s land records
Anisha Anand,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.02 AM IST
PATNA: Patna land acquisition officer’s statement before the Patna high court on Thursday that the records related to Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) land are traceless, made the Patna high court bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha rap the state government for its inappropriate ways of governance. The bench has summoned Patna DM along with the records on Friday. The land acquisition officer (LAO) too will have to be present before the court.

Petitioner Dinesh Kumar had moved the Patna high court against the state government’s notice which classified his construction on the NMCH premises as encroachment and ordered its demolition. His case was being heard along with one Uday Shrivastava’s petition and Guddu Baba’s PIL. Guddu Baba, in his PIL, had appealed for removal of encroachments from six government medical colleges of Bihar, including NMCH.

The other two petitioners had submitted that their respective constructions were not made on the hospital’s land but on their own. However, earlier the court had put an interim stay on the demolition order of Uday Shrivastava’s construction. The bench, in its last hearing, had asked for proper records of the hospital’s land, but the Patna LAO expressed his helplessness in producing the papers. The bench observed that the state government was playing hide and seek with the court and instead of assisting the court in its proceedings, it was hindering the course of justice.

Besides NMCH, Guddu Baba’s PIL is related to S K Memorial Medical College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur, Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur, A N Magadh Medical College and Hospital, Gaya, and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned here that a few years back, the same case after getting disposed by one of benches of Patna high court, went to the Apex Court. The Apex Court, finding the case and the cause significant, forwarded it again to the high court and asked it to do proper monitoring.

“It happens only in Bihar that records get traceless,” observed the bench and added it will take direct action against the officials concerned if the records are not placed before it on Friday.

Form policy to compensate blast victims’ families: Bombay High Court tells Centre
Friday, 18 July 2014 – 6:20am IST | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday told the union government that it was dissatisfied with the system of awarding a standard compensation amount to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. It directed the government to instead come up with a workable policy to determine the quantum of compensation.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by advocate Rajeshwar Panchal. Panchal argued that a just and fair amount should be given as compensation to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. He contended that the income of the deceased, the social status of his/her family, and the number of dependents should be taken into account while deciding the compensation. The advocate pointed out that the Motor Vehicles Act and the Workmen’s Compensation Act laid down a formula to work out such a compensation.
In June, the high court had observed that giving suitable compensation to the victims of terror attacks or blasts is a liability of the state and that such relief cannot be ex-gratia. On Tuesday, the union government informed the court that it had come out with a circular announcing an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh to the families of those killed in bomb blasts. An affidavit filed by the government stated that Rs 3 lakh would be given by the Centre, and the rest would be contributed by the respective state government.
However, the bench was not satisfied with the affidavit filed by the government and asked the Centre to file a fresh affidavit by July 30. It said that the government should come out with a policy to compensate blast victims and a standard figure in the form of ex-gratia would not serve the purpose. The judges also directed advocate general of Maharashtra Darius Khambata to appear in the matter to assist the court.
Panchal’s PIL claims that 724 people had died in terror attacks and blasts in Mumbai from 1993 till the Zaveri Bazaar blasts on July 13, 2011. It says that the victims and their families had failed to get “just compensation” from the respective state governments. “After every dreadful terror attack, the ministers concerned make empty promises to prevent such incidents and eventually declare some ex-gratia, which is always a tiny amount for the victims and their family members, that too as if they are obliging the victims,” the PIL states.
The PIL also urges the HC to declare that the Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution included the right to secured life or the right to live with safety.

Land developers move Gauhati HC against waterlogging
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.40 PM IST
GUWAHATI: The Assam Real Estate and Infrastructure Developers’ Association (AREIDA) in a PIL moved the Gauhati high court and urged the court to intervene in solving the age-old waterlogging problem in the city on Wednesday.

The high court clubbed the association’s prayer to another similar PIL that questioned the unscientific road designs of the city leading to artificial floods. It has decided to hear both the cases on July 30.

The developers urged the court to monitor all measures taken by the government in solving the problem. “Every year after the roads are submerged, various government agencies take up certain temporary measures. But the problem again erupts in the next monsoon. AREIDA wants a permanent solution to this issue and prayed that the high court strictly monitors the government’s measures so that there is a conclusive and affective solution,” said AREIDA president Pranab Kumar Sharma.

This year too, artificial floods have claimed at least 12 lives in the city and damaged property worth millions. Subsequently, the state government decided to conduct an eviction drive to clear encroachments, water channels and wetlands.

The eviction drive was on its 17th day on Wednesday and continuing. The Kamrup (Metro) district administration claimed that it has so far cleared over 85% illegal constructions in and around the water bodies.

The petitioners apprehended that like previous years, the administration may contemplate abandoning the eviction drive ‘half way’ without bringing the process to its logical conclusion for extraneous reasons. “We welcome the eviction drive but it should not just end with the season. Thousands of public money are spent in these drives and it should not be wasted like previous such efforts. With no scientific steps being taken, a single shower can once again fill the already cleared waterbodies with heavy silt and mud. Hence, there should be a scientific approach towards the entire process,” Sharma added.

Pranab Kumar Sharma |AREIDA president

Every year after the roads are submerged, various government agencies take up certain temporary measures. But the problem again erupts in the next monsoon. AREIDA wants a permanent solution to this issue.

HC seeks govt reply on rules for Digha land Act
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.03 AM IST
PATNA: The Patna high court on Thursday ordered the secretary, urban development and housing department (UDHD) to reply when the rules for the Digha Acquired Land Settlement Act, 2010 would be notified.

Hearing a PIL of Dwivedi Surendra, the bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice P K Jha gave only one day’s time to the secretary to file his reply. The state government had acquired plots in Digha from farmers in 1974 at the rate of around Rs 2,200 per kattha. The state urban development and housing department had also deposited Rs 17.42 crore with the Patna district collector for the acquisition.

The petitioner informed the court though the Act was notified long back, the related rules were not. Any kind of purchase or sale of land and fresh construction is totally prohibited on disputed land in Rajeev Nagar-Digha area from the day the Act was passed.

Govt reply sought: Hearing a PIL related to consumer forums, the same bench directed principal additional advocate general (PAAG) to seek reply from the state government by which time these forums will be made functional. Petitioner Prashant Sinha informed the court many forums in the state were non-functional for want of staff.

The petitioner had also pointed out that an advertisement was issued by the government for the recruitment of grade III and IV employees for different forums, but no appointment was made. Giving a day’s time, the court also directed the PAAG to seek reply from the state by when the employees will be appointed.

Mumbai HC throws out PIL against PSA terminal in JN Port
in Port News 17/07/2014
The Bombay high court dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to prohibit Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd from constructing a new container terminal with an investment of Rs.7,915 crore at Union government-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai. The dismissal of the petition will remove the uncertainty and potential delays surrounding the construction of the new facility, billed as the biggest single foreign direct investment (FDI) in an Indian port project.
“The PIL has been dismissed,” said N.N. Kumar, chairman of JN Port, India’s busiest container gateway. However, a Mumbai-based lawyer familiar with the case said that the petitioner may take the case to the Supreme Court. The petitioner, Mandar Narhari Parab, could not be reached immediately for comment. Through the PIL, the petitioner, a journalist, had sought a court order prohibiting PSA from developing the new facility, as the firm’s failure to fulfil its obligations on winning the same project in an earlier round of auction in 2010 raised the project cost by Rs.1,215 crore. The delay in building the terminal resulted in a loss to JN Port, thereby compromising public interest, according to the PIL. The petitioner contended that PSA should have been black-listed by JN Port and barred from participating in the re-tender because of its failure to abide by the tender conditions in the earlier round.
Though, JN Port subsequently encashed the bid security of Rs.67 crore submitted by PSA in the earlier auction for the Rs.6,700 crore project that was designed to load 4.8 million standard containers a year, the petitioner said that this loss for PSA was “minuscule” as compared to the “loss caused to the country in monetary terms as well as opportunity costs”. In its price bid submitted in 2013, PSA has offered a revenue share of 35.79% compared with 50.82% in 2010. “By forfeiting a measly amount of Rs.67 crore, PSA made a huge killing on the re-tendered project,” the petitioner submitted. Hence, awarding the project again to PSA would be “counter-productive and against national interest”, the petitioner contended.
“Awarding the contract to PSA would amount to setting a bad precedent whereby bidders would be encouraged to take a chance in respect of submitting bids and walk out with measly forfeiture of bank guarantee and put the exchequer to huge loss as has happened in the present case,” Parab contended in his petition, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint. The petitioner also sought the court’s directive to black-list PSA from submitting a bid on any tender issued by the government and also to initiate legal proceedings against PSA to recover losses incurred by JN Port. When contacted, PSA said it had no comment to offer. In May, PSA International signed a so-called concession agreement with JN Port to build a Rs.7,915 crore container loading facility at the port that handles more than half of India’s container cargo shipped through its ports. The project involves FDI of about Rs.3,100 crore. A concession agreement sets out the terms and conditions of a port contract and puts the project in motion.
PSA emerged the highest bidder for the project by quoting the highest revenue share price bid of 35.79%. Port contracts at Union government-controlled ports are decided on the basis of revenue share—the bidder willing to share the most from its annual revenue with the government-owned port gets the contract, typically stretching over 30 years, according to the port privatization policy of the government. PSA International, the world’s biggest container port operator by volumes, is fully-owned by Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. PSA handled 61.81 million standard containers in calendar year 2013, according to its website. In October 2012, JN Port withdrew the letter of award given to a consortium led by PSA after the group failed to sign a concession agreement a year after it was awarded the project in September 2011 in a public auction. The consortium of PSA and local firm ABG Ports Ltd was awarded the project after it quoted a then record high revenue share of 50.828% in a public tender. The winning bidder has to sign the concession agreement within 30 days of accepting the letter of award for the project, according to tender conditions.
The new project, the fifth at JN Port, is key to the port’s capacity expansion plans, as it will double the container loading capacity of the port and help it position as a hub port on India’s western coast.
Source: LiveMint

In HC, Govt admits land grab at Gulmarg
Violators in possession of land without allotment
Srinagar, Jul 17: In a startling revelation, the J&K government has admitted before the High Court that some persons are in possession of hundreds of kanals of land without proper allotment in the famed Ski resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir.
The Gulmarg Development Authority (GDA) in its status report has stated that notices have been issued to 31 persons for occupying more land than leased while eviction notices have gone to 11 persons to vacate the land in 21 days.
While the division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice HasnainMassodi took on record the status report, it asked the counsel representing the GDA, MohsinQadri, to present the encroachments in a tabular form by the next hearing.
The report reveals that land has been occupied by some persons without any authority while others have stretched the original allotment to hundreds of kanals illegally.
It divulges that the GDA has issued notice to six establishments or organizations “in possession of land with structures without any valid document.”
Interestingly, four of them have pleaded in their response that they are in possession of the land for four decades and the area stands developed by them on the strength of permission granted by then Town Area Committee. The GDA has however sent their cases for legal opinion to the Law department.
Some persons who have occupied land in excess of leased area and against whom the GDA has issued notices include:
Umar Khaleel c/o Hotel NedusGulmarg possesses 101.4 kanals against 2 kanals and 3 marlas leased in his favour; Enar smith c/o Hotel Palace Platinum is in excess of 7 kanal 6 marlas; Ahmad Sofi c/o Hotel Hill Top Gulmarg 3 kanals 7 marlas; Qutub Din c/o Hotel Zehgeer 2 kanals 11 marlas; Bakshi Bashir Ahmad c/o 119 No. Hut, 0.9 marlas; GhulamQadir C/o Hotel ZumZumGulmarg 7 marlas; S TejBahadur Singh c/o Hotel Affarwat 10 marlas; SardarAmarjeet Singh 3 marlas; Muhammad Afzal Khanday c/o Hotel Alpine Ridge 19 marlas; Ajaz Ahmad Murtaza c/o Rose Wood Hut Gulmarg 16 marlas; Shabir Ahmad Malik c/o Khilan Hut Gulmarg 12 marlas; Ghulam Ahmad Khanday c/o Falak Hut Gulmarg 3 marlas; Ali Muhammad Khanday c/o Hotel Florence Gulmarg 10 marlas; Dr M H Basu c/o hotel OC Road Gulmarg 15 marlas; Ghulam Muhammad Qazi c/o Shanoo Lodge 1 kanal 3 marlas; Ali Shah c/o Hotel Vintage 1 marla; Haji Ahmad Shahdad and Sons c/o Hotel welcome Gulmarg 4 marlas; BenjiNedous c/o Hotel High lands 5 marlas; QaziNizam Ahmad c/o Hutson OC Road 2 kanals 1 marla; PrithviNath c/o PrithviNath Hut 14 marlas; Matoo Brothers c/o Hotel Khaleel Palace 12 marlas; Muhammad Abdullah c/o Hotel Pine Spring 3 kanals, 1 marlas; Abdul Rashid c/o Hotel Shaw-In Gulmarg 1 kanal 14 marlas; Muhammad Ibrahim c/o Hotel Green Heights Gulmarg 1 kanal, 12 marlas; Imtiyaz Muhammad Yasin c/o Lupin Resort 7 marlas; Abdul Hamid Dar c/o Hotel Mama Gulmarg 1 kanal, 1 marla; GhulamMohidinKhanday c/o Pride Resort 17 marlas; Sham Kak c/o Serendipity Hut 4 marlas and Mansoor Ahmad c/o Falcon Hut 1 kanal 2 marlas.
The GDA has also sent eviction notice to Agriculture Department. It has issued notice to eight lease holders where term of the lease has expired and lessees have failed to raise any construction. Besides, notices have been issued to nine lease holders where term of lease is alive but the lessees have failed to raise any construction.
None among the lease holders have responded to the notices and appropriate action will follow sooner, the GDA said.
Meanwhile the bench directed Advocate General, M I Qadri to collect information regarding land-grabbing at other places and produce the same to the High Court.
The court was assisted by Amicus Curie Ajez Ahmad Chesti.

HC allows consumer body to challenge auto fare hike in Mumbai
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:06 IST
The Bombay High Court today allowed the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a prominent consumer rights body, to challengeMaharashtra government’s recent decision to hike fares of auto rickshaws and taxis for the city and neighbouring Thaneand Navi Mumbai.

A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, adjourned the hearing to July 28, stating that MGP, which had opposed a hike through a PIL two years ago, can amend it to challenge the latest (proposed) hike.

The High Court is currently hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which wants a court’s direction to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) to implement its decision to effect a hike.

MMRTA has proposed a Rs 2 increase for both rickshaws and taxis. Accordingly, the minimum fare of auto rickshaw would go up from Rs 15 to Rs 17, while that for taxi would increase from Rs 19 to Rs 21.

The court has yet to approve it.

MGP had moved the court two years ago on the issue of fare hike, following which the court asked the government to form a committee to look into issue.

The HC had then ruled that in future fare hikes by MMRTA shall not be implemented without the court’s permission.

MGP’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar has opposed the hike saying that quality of service offered by auto rickshaws and taxis is extremely poor and the hike should be avoided when inflation is raging.

HC directs UT to control stray dog menace
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.12 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday directed Chandigarh administration to launch a special drive, beginning from Sector 16, to control stray dog menace in the city.

While directing the UT administration to start it as pilot project from Sector 16, the HC asked the administration to launch a cleanliness drive in the sector so that the vulnerable spots, where stray dogs are found assembled for most of the time, could be identified and cleaned.

The court also asked the administration to launch an awareness drive in the sector asking residents to not throw eatables or other food waste in the open. It asked the UT to conduct a survey of the sector before launching the drive.

The administration has also been asked to submit before the HC a report on the drive within one month. Next hearing in the case has been fixed for August 27.

The matter had reached the HC through a petition filed against stray dog menace in the city by local resident Gurumukh Singh.

Highlighting the menace of street dogs in the city, particularly the Rose Garden in Sector 16, the petitioner had submitted before the court that, on February 1, 2014, he was chased by certain street dogs while on a morning walk and saved by other persons present there.

The municipal corporation has already informed the HC that 8,199 incidents of dog bites have been reported in the rabies vaccination clinic in Sector 19 between January 2013 and April 2014. Out of these, 1,823 incidents pertained to bites by pet dogs and 6,376 to bites by stray dogs.

HC upholds life term of man for raping five-yr-old girl
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 17:07 IST
The Delhi High Court today upheld the life term awarded to a man for raping a five-year-old girl saying that the minor’s statement had a “ring of truth” and there was no reason to disbelieve her.

A bench of justices P K Bhasin and J R Midha dismissed the appeal of Om Prakash and upheld the sentence given by a trial court here in 2011 saying the evidence of witnesses has remained unshattered in their cross-examination.

“Evidence of all the witnesses remained unshattered in their cross-examination and all of them render full credence to the prosecution case. In fact, the accused-appellant himself did not explain in his statement under Section 313 CrPC (recording of statement of accused) as to how he came to be apprehended by the public,” the court said.

“We are, therefore, of the view that there is no merit in this appeal and accordingly it is rejected,” it said.
Om Prakash, a resident of Aman Vihar here, was awarded rigorous imprisonment for life by the trial court which had also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 under section 376 (2)(f)(rape on a woman under twelve years of age) of IPC.

He had approached the high court challenging his conviction and sentence on the ground that the version of the child witness was contradictory in nature.

Relying on the statement of the child, the bench said the trial court, after being satisfied that the child was capable of giving evidence, had recorded her statement and her evidence was accepted.

The bench said there was nothing that could make her testimony doubtful.

“… Her version had a ring of truth and there was no reason to disbelieve her,” it said.

According to the prosecution, on June 6, 2009, the victim was playing outside her house with her four-year-old brother and another boy.

After some time, when the victim’s mother came out, she could not find her kids there.

During search, her son came and apprised her that one ‘buggiwala’ (Om Prakash) had taken his sister with him towards the fields.

When the woman went to the house of Om Prakash, who lived nearby, she saw her daughter crying in his lap. She snatched her daughter from the man and informed the police. He was then arrested by police.

HC stays proceedings in AERAAT over airport charges
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 20:00 IST
The Delhi High Court today stayed proceedings in the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority Appellate Tribunal (AERAAT) in relation to a plea challenging BangaloreInternational Aiport Ltd’s (BIAL) decision to start collecting aeronautical services charges from airlines.

Common User Terminal Equipment (CUTE), Common User Self Service (CUSS) and Baggage Reconciliation System (BRS) charges, categorised as aeronautical services, were to be recovered from airlines from July 1, 2014 as per a June 10 tariff order of Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA).

A two-member bench of the Tribunal had on July 1 directed that the status quo be maintained with respect to the recovery of these charges on an urgent plea by the Federation of Indian Airlines (FIA).

The high court today stayed the proceedings in the Tribunal on a plea by BIAL which has contended these charges are being collected by other airports in the country, so there is nothing new about the same.

BIAL has alleged that airlines, despite getting a status quo order preventing recovery of the charges from them, are collecting the same from passengers.

Senior advocate and former Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, appearing for BIAL, contended this practice of collecting the charges from passengers and not paying it to the airport amounts to “unjust enrichment”.

He also questioned how a two-member bench of the Tribunal can pass the order when, as per the statute, a three-member quorum has to preside over the matter.

He also contended that the tenure of one of the members of Tribunal had expired in 2013 and thus the bench does not exist in the eyes of law.

This view was supported by AERA, represented by senior advocate Atul Nanda.

However, the Federation of Indian Airlines, represented by senior advocate A S Chandhiok, opposed the claim of BIAL and said the Tribunal was competent to pass the order of July 1.

The court will hear the matter on July 28.

HC issues notice to MLA
Press Trust of India | Cuttack
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 23:39 IST
The Orissa High Court today issued a notice to Chilika MLABibhuti Bhusan Harichandan of BJP and seven others in connection with an election petition filed by BJD leader Raghunath Sahu.

Sahu, a former MLA who lost to Harichandan by a margin of 541 votes in the assembly elections held in April this year, has challenged the entire process of election and the counting of votes in his constituency.

Taking up the petition of Sahu, Justice Raghubir Dash issued notices to the respondents and fixed the next hearing of the case on August 12. While BJP leader was declared elected by polling 69433 votes, Sahu had polled 68892 votes.

Justice Dash had on Wednesday also issued notices to Khurda MLA Rajendra Kumar Sahu of BJD in another election petition filed by a voter of the assembly segment. Urging the HC to annul the election of Sahu to the assembly, the voter Upendra Kumar Routray had alleged that there have been lot of discrepancies in the affidavit submitted by the BJD leader along with his nomination papers.

Around 19 petitions have been filed in the High Court challenging the election of several MLAs and an MP.

Taking up at least four such petitions, two separate benches of the High Court had issued notices to respective respondents including four MLAs on Tuesday.

HC allows consumer body to challenge auto fare hike in Mumbai
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
The Bombay High Court today allowed the Mumbai Grahak Panchayat, a prominent consumer rights body, to challengeMaharashtra government’s recent decision to hike fares of auto rickshaws and taxis for the city and neighbouring Thaneand Navi Mumbai.

A division bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, adjourned the hearing to July 28, stating that MGP, which had opposed a hike through a PIL two years ago, can amend it to challenge the latest (proposed) hike.

The High Court is currently hearing a petition filed by Mumbai Taximen’s Union, which wants a court’s direction to the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Transport Authority (MMRTA) to implement its decision to effect a hike.

MMRTA has proposed a Rs 2 increase for both rickshaws and taxis. Accordingly, the minimum fare of auto rickshaw would go up from Rs 15 to Rs 17, while that for taxi would increase from Rs 19 to Rs 21.

The court has yet to approve it.

MGP had moved the court two years ago on the issue of fare hike, following which the court asked the government to form a committee to look into issue.

The HC had then ruled that in future fare hikes by MMRTA shall not be implemented without the court’s permission.

MGP’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar has opposed the hike saying that quality of service offered by auto rickshaws and taxis is extremely poor and the hike should be avoided when inflation is raging.

HC asks SECR to regularize 152 parcel porters
Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 01.38 AM IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court has directed the South East Central Railway (SECR), Nagpur, to absorb 152 parcel porters as per vacancies available. The court decision comes as a big relief for the porters who were fighting the legal battle for regularization of their services since 1994. They have won after 20 years.

Interestingly, SECR is paying Rs 7 lakh per month towards interim relief to the porters as wages under Section 17-B of the Industrial Dispute Act (IDA) 1947, from April 2012. IDA’s Section 17-B states: “Where in any case, a labour court or tribunal directs reinstatement of any workman and employer prefers any proceedings against such award in a high court or Supreme Court, the employer shall be liable to pay full wages last drawn by the workman during the pendency of such proceedings in the courts.”

In 2010, the Central Government Industrial Tribunal (CGIT) has twice ordered regularization of services of these porters but SECR has been buying time by going into appeals. The decision was challenged and the matter was pending in the high court. Disposing of the petition on July 9, Justice ZA Haque refused to grant interim relief to SECR considering the facts on record. The court said as per submission made by the counsel for SECR RS Sundaram that vacancies of parcel porters are not available, it directed the railways that as and when vacancies are available, the workmen concerned will be absorbed as per the CGIT award, according to seniority.

Senior advocate KH Deshpande along with NW Almelkar appearing for the respondent Parcel Porters Sanghatana (PPS) said SECR was depositing the wages with the registry of the high court, which was being disbursed to the workmen. Deshpande also submitted that of the 152 workmen, four, who are beneficiaries of the impugned order have expired and their legal representatives are entitled for the amount. The court supported the view and directed SECR that legal representatives of such workmen be paid from April 2012 till death of the workmen concerned.

Though all appeals of the SECR in the matter have been dismissed, it is still reluctant to absorb the porters. Divisional commercial manager (DCM) Tanmay Mukhopadhyay said, “They were licence porters not selected as per rules and recruitment process. We will communicate the court order to the headquarters at Bilaspur. We will also challenge the order in Supreme Court.”

On April 18 last, a three-judge bench headed by then Chief Justice of India (CJI) Altamas Kabir, Justices Aftab Alam and Vikramjit Sen did not entertain the special leave petition (SLP) for non-payment of wages filed by SECR and dismissed it at admission level.

Rajesh Supatkar, general secretary of the Sanghatana, said, “We will file contempt petition against the SECR. The railways is paying us without any work and is also paying crores of rupees to private contractors for loading and unloading work, which is criminal.” He further said a complaint has already been filed with SK Roy, assistant labour commissioner (Central) SECR, for violating Section 10 of Contract Labour (Regulation and Abolition) Act, 1970, that prohibits deployment of workers for perennial nature of work.

HC directs Bengal govt to file affidavit on opposing BJP plea
Press Trust of India | Kolkata
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:07 IST
The Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengalgovernment to submit an affidavit stating reasons for its opposing the state BJP’s prayer to be added as a party in a petition by State Election Commission, which proposed dates for holding polls for 17 municipalities.

The SEC, which has been at loggerheads with the state government for some time, has prayed for direction to the state to hold election to the municipal bodies, the terms of which are due to finish by the end of this month.

The state opposed the BJP’s application for being added as a party in the matter, supporting the SEC petition to hold the municipal elections in time.

Justice Soumitra Pal directed the state government to file an affidavit by July 24 stating why it was opposing the BJP’s prayer.

The SEC counsel submitted a proposal before the court for holding the elections by August 31 and complete the process by September 11.

According to the proposal, the elections are to be notified on July 31.

The matter would be taken up for hearing by the court again tomorrow.

The SEC and the state government had been embroiled in a legal tussle in 2013 over holding of panchayat elections in West Bengal.

HC seeks NMCH’s land records
Anisha Anand,TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 05.02 AM IST
PATNA: Patna land acquisition officer’s statement before the Patna high court on Thursday that the records related to Nalanda Medical College Hospital (NMCH) land are traceless, made the Patna high court bench of Justice V N Sinha and Justice Prabhat Kumar Jha rap the state government for its inappropriate ways of governance. The bench has summoned Patna DM along with the records on Friday. The land acquisition officer (LAO) too will have to be present before the court.

Petitioner Dinesh Kumar had moved the Patna high court against the state government’s notice which classified his construction on the NMCH premises as encroachment and ordered its demolition. His case was being heard along with one Uday Shrivastava’s petition and Guddu Baba’s PIL. Guddu Baba, in his PIL, had appealed for removal of encroachments from six government medical colleges of Bihar, including NMCH.

The other two petitioners had submitted that their respective constructions were not made on the hospital’s land but on their own. However, earlier the court had put an interim stay on the demolition order of Uday Shrivastava’s construction. The bench, in its last hearing, had asked for proper records of the hospital’s land, but the Patna LAO expressed his helplessness in producing the papers. The bench observed that the state government was playing hide and seek with the court and instead of assisting the court in its proceedings, it was hindering the course of justice.

Besides NMCH, Guddu Baba’s PIL is related to S K Memorial Medical College and Hospital, Muzaffarpur, Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College and Hospital, Bhagalpur, A N Magadh Medical College and Hospital, Gaya, and Darbhanga Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned here that a few years back, the same case after getting disposed by one of benches of Patna high court, went to the Apex Court. The Apex Court, finding the case and the cause significant, forwarded it again to the high court and asked it to do proper monitoring.

“It happens only in Bihar that records get traceless,” observed the bench and added it will take direct action against the officials concerned if the records are not placed before it on Friday.

HC: ‘weed out’ councillors who thwart trash-disposal plans
It is the time Bangaloreans “weed out” BBMP councillors, who come in the way of effective implementation of plans to solve the city’s garbage menace, by voting against them, the High Court of Karnataka said on Thursday.
The court also said that NGOs should inform people about the hurdles caused by the councillors in solving garbage problem in their wards and create an awareness to vote against such councillors.
‘Resisting initiative’
A Division Bench comprising Justice N. Kumar and Justice B.V. Nagarathna made observations in this regard in its order on the public interest litigation petitions that many councillors were resisting plans to collect waste in segregated form though the residents were willing to cooperate.
“When the councillors, who solve people’s problems, become the hurdle, it speaks about the sorry state of affairs and the helplessness of the public. This situation should be an eye opener for the voters in the city. These councillors are unfit to hold the post and they should be shown the door,” the Bench observed.
The court also expressed serious displeasure after noticing that 60 ward committees, headed by the councillor of the respective wards, had not held meetings since their constitution more than a year ago.
“It is the failure of the respective councillor and members. We are aware whether the meetings were not held deliberately or they were not aware of the rules…,” the Bench said while directing BBMP Special Commissioner (Solid Waste Management) Darpan Jain to educate the councillors and members on their responsibilities.
To a query by the Bench, BBMP Commissioner M. Lakshminarayana said that city MLAs were cooperating in the implementation of waste management plans.
During an earlier hearing, the court had castigated the MLAs as it was complained that they were preventing setting up of waste processing units in their constituencies besides supporting contractors’ cartel.

UT to HC: Forensic reports to be drawn up within 15 days
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 17, 2014
First Published: 16:47 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 16:51 IST(17/7/2014)
The Chandigarh administration informed the Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday that after the expected approval of the centre government in the coming days for the new narcotic drug division, the central forensic science laboratory (CFSL), Sector-36, would be able to prepare final reports within 15 days.
The information was submitted before the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari by Prerna Puri, additional secretary of home department, Chandigarh.
It was informed that soon sanction from the centre government is expected for three posts for the establishment of narcotic drug division.
During 2013, the CFSL received approximately 4,000 cases and examined 2,727 cases of all disciplines, including under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act from Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Chandigarh, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
The court was informed that the time limit to examine a case depends upon the analysis of a number of samples/exhibits that are actually analysed one by one by the examiner.
It was also submitted that last year, the CFSL had examined 100 NDPS cases of Chandigarh, eight from Punjab and six from Delhi and other states.
As many as 177 cases, including 101 under the NDPS Act, are pending with the laboratory as on June 30 and the tentative goal of the laboratory to dispose of all these cases is December 31.
As of now, there is no separate narcotic drug division in CFSL, Chandigarh, for probing NDPS cases and such cases are being examined by its chemistry division.
It was also informed that recently, the centre government has sanctioned about ? 285 corore under 12th five year plan for the upgradation of existing disciplines as well as establishment of six new divisions for all the six CFSLs at Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Pune. Disposing of the case, the high court granted six months time to the Chandigarh administration to file compliance report.

Mumbai HC judgement to give fillip to nutraceutical industry
Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA) says food producers can now continue unhindered manufacturing of nutraceuticals
BS B2B Bureau | Mumbai July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 16:44 IST
The Mumbai High Court’s judgement on June 30, 2014 terming the Product Approval (PA) advisories issued by the Food Safety & Standards Authority of India as illegal is likely to give a boost to nutraceutical industry, according to Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association (IDMA), which recently organised a press meet to discuss the implications of the judgement.

As per the judgement, the advisory seeking PA dated May 11, 2013 (which supersedes all previous advisories) has no force of law and is not within the ambit and scope of the power conferred on FSSAI under the provisions of the Food Safety Standards (FSS) Act, the Rules and the Regulations framed thereunder. The judgement was issued in a case filed by Vital Neutraceutical, a Mumbai-based food business operator (FBO), and IDMA.

The FSSAI introduced PA advisory in January 2012 and thereafter amended the system more than 8 times and last such Advisory was issued in May, 2013. These Advisories required mandatory product approval for all proprietary products (for which standards were not specified) as a precondition for issuing food license, although there was no such requirement in the law. Many FBOs manufacturing and selling products for decades were suddenly asked to file product approval applications to continue their established businesses.

The order passed by the Mumbai High Court now paves the way for issuance of food licenses as per the existing licensing regulations and allows the units to continue selling their well-established products. The discontinuing of the PA system will allow unhindered manufacturing of nutraceuticals, market for which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 18%. Also, product-wise approval for proprietary food (nutraceuticals) will not be required and now cannot be demanded or enforced. The judgment is applicable for not only the existing ones but all FBOs.

“The consumers will have safe and natural options for their healthcare similar to the Over-The-Counter (OTC) products in most countries,” said IDMA.

IDMA added, “The FSSAI claimed that for safety of consumers the PA was imposed; however, there is no such requirement for the same category of products in most regulated markets such as US. Any new ingredient for the first time included in a product in the country, and not mentioned in Codex needs to undergo ‘ingredient approval’. Hence, the FSS Act has already provided a mechanism to ensure safe consumption of products.”

HC bans transfer of Thachankary’s assets
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 12.54 AM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Thursday ordered to prevent former IG Tomin J Thachankary from transferring assets involved in a case of amassing wealth disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Justice K Ramakrishnan ordered for attaching property worth around Rs 1 crore involved in the case of amassing disproportionate wealth for two months while considering a petition filed by the state government.

The court has also asked the state government to file an application before Thrissur vigilance court, where the case on disproportionate wealth is pending, for attaching the property involved.

It was found in a vigilance enquiry that the senior IPS officer had gained property worth Rs 1.64 crore between January 2003 and January 2005. Out of this, property worth around Rs 1 crore was unaccounted for, the probe had found. Though Thachankary had furnished a bank guarantee and got interim custody of the property earlier, he had later withdrawn the guarantee.

In the petition filed by vigilance SP V Muraleedharan Nair, it was alleged that Thachankary is trying to sell the property that is involved in the case without furnishing any other guarantee.

HC CJ recuses from hearing PIL on vacancies in lower judiciary
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 20:12 IST
Delhi High Court Chief Justice G Rohini today recused herself from hearing a PIL seeking a direction to the high court administration to advertise all existing 262 vacancies of lower court judges.

The Chief Justice said that the matter be listed before another bench on July 22.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate R K Kapoor seeking direction to the Registrar of Delhi High Court to “notify/advertise” all the existing vacancies as were existing on February 18 for recruitment to the Delhi Judicial Service (DJS).

According to the plea, a notification was published in the newspapers on February 22 for recruitment to DJS by which only 80 seats were advertised although there were about 262 vacancies.

Kapoor, in his plea, has also sought direction to the high court, Delhi government and others to create requisite infrastructure so that all vacant posts can be filled up in one go.

“Issue a writ order or direction including a writ of mandamus directing the respondent High Court of Delhi, the Delhi government and other respondents to take urgent steps, to create infrastructure within a time-bound programme,” the plea said.

“Issue a writ order or direction including a writ of mandamus directing the Union of India to provide sufficient financial support for creating infrastructure,” it added.

The petition alleged that although an undertaking was given by the Delhi government to the Supreme Court but till date the infrastructure to fill all the existing vacancies is lacking.

HC notice to govt, 5 newly nominated MLCs
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 02.12 AM IST
BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday ordered issuance of notice to five newly nominated legislative council members in response to a petition.

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri ordered notice to MLCs VS Ugrappa, K Abdul Jabbar, Dr Jaimala Ramachandra, Ivan D’Souza and Iqbal Ahmed Saradagi and also the secretaries of the governor and DPAR in a petition filed by S Rajendran, former two-time MLA from KGF.

The notices were issued after advocate general Prof Ravivarma Kumar clarified that a petition seeking writ of quo warranto (removal) is maintainable even before a single bench.

According to the petitioner, as per the mandate under Article 171(5), the governor has to nominate persons with special knowledge or practical experience in literature, science, art, cooperative movement and social service. The said persons nominated do not fall under any of these categories, he said.

60 corporators yet to hold ward meeting

BBMP’s 60 ward committees, constitutional bodies vested with the responsibility of overseeing solid waste management and other duties, haven’t held a single meeting yet, the high court was informed.

“Of the 198 ward committees, only 138 have held a meeting. Sixty committees, particularly 39 of the 44 wards in East Bangalore, have not held any consultations,” the court was told during the hearing on a batch of PIL on Bangalore’s garbage mess.

“Why have they not conducted any meeting? Are they doing it deliberately or are they not aware of their duties? If things don’t improve, then we will pass further orders,” a special division bench of Justices N Kumar and B V Nagarathna told Darpan Jain, special commissioner (solid waste management). As per the rules, these ward committees have to hold monthly meetings.

Luxury tax row; HC asks Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay Rs 1.45 cr
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 19:40 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked Delhi Gymkhana Club to pay Rs 1.45 crore, out of total Rs 2.92 crore for three accounting years since 2009, as luxury tax to the city government.

A bench of justices B D Ahmed and S Mridul asked the club to make part payment of the tax due to the government as a pre-condition to hear its plea that it cannot be levied as the club serves to members only.

The court, meanwhile, asked the Delhi government to lift attachment order passed against the club and issued notices to the Excise, Entertainment and Luxury Tax Department.

The order led to attachment of three bank accounts of the club.

“Issue notice. Counter affidavit be filed by Respondent (Commissioner of the Tax department) within four weeks and rejoinder, if any, thereafter by the petitioner in two weeks,” it said and fixed the matter for arguments on October 15.

“Meanwhile, Delhi Gymkhana Club will deposit 50 per cent (Rs 1.45 crore) of the total amount due to Deputy Commissioner of the department of Delhi government by July 21,” it said.

Delhi government opposed the court’s order saying that 50 per cent formula should not be adopted and “It should have been considered only if they have come to this court after winning the tax case in courts/tribunals below.”

The court, however, did not entertain the submission and said it will deal with it later.

It was hearing a petition filed by Delhi Gymkhana Club alleging that the order passed on July 1 asking it to pay tax of Rs 2.92 crore within seven days under the Delhi Tax on Luxuries Act is “wrong and was done without hearing it”.

The petitioner said it is a social club, governed by the principle of “mutuality”.

“They (Government dept) have considered the club as a hotelier and demanded the luxury tax on the amount collected from its members for making available accommodation to them.

“…No luxury tax is payable on its transaction because it is providing its facilities to member. There cannot be any transaction between petitioner and its members because it is organising its activities as per the principle of mutuality,” the counsel for the club said.

HC transfers 6 judges in Haryana
HT Correspondent Chandigarh, July 17, 2014
First Published: 22:52 IST(17/7/2014) | Last Updated: 22:54 IST(17/7/2014)

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued transfer orders of six judges in Haryana.

Civil judges (senior division) who have been transferred include Sunil Kumar (Jhajjar to Nuh), Sunil Jindal (Tohana to Fatehabad), Rohit Wattas (Gohana to Jhajjar), Madhulika (Karnal to Tohana) and Nidhi Bansal (Jagadhri to Gohana).

Civil judge (junior division) Mahendra Singh has been transferred from Gurgaon to Sohna.

HC Quashes BDA’s Land Acquisition
By Express News Service
Published: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
Last Updated: 18th July 2014 08:19 AM
BANGALORE: The High Court has quashed the Bangalore Development Authority’s (BDA) notification to acquire around 4,000 acres for the formation of Nadaprabhu Kempe Gowda Layout.
Justice Anand Byrareddy, who allowed a bunch of petitions filed by hundreds of landowners challenging the acquisition, observed, “The acquisition proceedings are held to be bad in law and consequently the impugned notifications are hereby quashed.”
It was impermissible for the BDA to authorise its Land Acquisition Officer to proceed with the acquisition in the absence of government’s approval for the final scheme.
Justice Reddy observed that the government had prematurely approved the scheme on April 2, 2008, which is prior to the issuance of preliminary notification, under Section 17 of the BDA Act on May 21, 2008.

HC annoyed over non-appearance of political parties
PTI | Jul 18, 2014, 02.30 AM IST
Representatives had been asked to be present for hearing on PILs against illegal hoardings

The Bombay High Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over ‘no show’ by lawyers or representatives of political parties which had been asked to appear in the hearing on public interest litigations (PIL) against illegal hoardings, banners and posters in public places.
The bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka had last week issued notices to prominent political parties, but no lawyer representing any of them turned up on Thursday. The bench issued fresh notices seeking appearance of representatives of political parties on July 24 without fail.

Last week, the court had slammed state municipal corporations for not filing compliance reports on its earlier order to remove the illegal hoardings. The court has also made the Election Commission of India (ECI) a party and asked its representative to appear at next hearing.

On February 21, another bench of the High Court had asked the municipal bodies to file compliance reports on the steps taken to remove illegal hoardings, prosecute the culprits and to recover taxes and fines.

Every careless act of doctors not criminal: HC
TNN | Jul 18, 2014, 03.22 AM IST
HYDERABAD: In what might sound music to the ears of the medical fraternity, the Hyderabad high court has held that when a patient agrees to go for medical treatment or surgical operation, every careless act of the medical staff cannot be termed as criminal.

Justice B S Ravi Kumar gave the ruling while allowing a plea by Dr P Malathi and Dr L Sudhakar, who sought suspension of a criminal complaint against them in a lower court of the city. While delivering the verdict, the judge relied upon the decision of the British House of Lords in RV Adomako case, in which the they held that a doctor cannot be held criminally responsible for the death of patients unless his negligence or incompetence showed such disregard for the life and safety of his patient as to amount to a crime against the state.

Applying the findings to the present case, the judge said, “It can be termed criminal only when the medical man exhibits a gross lack of competence or inaction and wanton indifference to his patients’ safety and which is found to have arisen from gross ignorance or gross negligence.”

The present case arose when a woman brought for treatment at Shalini Nursing Home in the city died while under treatment. Her husband and parents initially moved the consumer forum, which held that there was no negligence on part of the doctors. The husband then moved the AP Medical Council and its Ethical and Malpractices Committee, which also ruled out negligence and said the woman had died due to a rare complication of Amniotic Fluid Embolism. The husband also moved the Medical Council of India against Dr Sudhakar and the MCI passed an order against the doctor, which was later set aside by the AP high court.

Later, the patient’s parents initiated criminal proceedings against the doctors before a lower court in the city. After perusing the evidence on record and the legal position

, the judge found that the patient’s body was taken away by her family members without conducting the post-mortem. The judge also noted that the incident took place on March 6, 2003 and the complaint before the court was filed on Feb 12, 2004. If death was doubted, the complainant should not have waited for such a long time, they felt.

The judge pointed out that “it is not in dispute that the complainant is a senior advocate and the husband of the deceased a senior bureaucrat and both of them have not insisted on the post mortem and took the dead body, but have not raised even their little finger nearly for a year on this aspect”

Quashing the criminal proceedings, Justice Ravi Kumar said, “I am of the view that there is no material showing gross negligence or recklessness on the part of these two petitioners for the death of the deceased and the ingredients of Section 304-A of IPC are not at all attracted against the petitioners.”

HC stays arrest of YSRCP ZPTC member

The Hyderabad high court on Thursday directed Nellore police not to arrest B Raghavendra Reddy, YSRCP ZPTC member from Nellore, till elections to the Zilla Parishad chairman and vice-chairman posts in the district are over.

Justice Vilas V Afzulpurkar made the order in a plea by Reddy seeking directions to the police not to arrest him in a criminal case registered against him at Kavali rural police station at Nellore on July 11 till completion of elections. The petitioner’s counsel alleged that the police have colluded with the ruling TDP members and are trying to arrest him by filing petty cases in order to prevent him from casting his vote in the polls.

The counsel for home said there were cases relating to kidnapping against the petitioner and sought the court’s direction to make him appear before the investigating officer to record his statement before the election day. After hearing both the parties, the judge directed the police not to arrest the petitioner till the day of election and directed the petitioner to appear before the investigating officer after the polls.

AP bar council seeks separate HC for Telangana

AP bar council chairman A Narasimha Reddy on Thursday urged the state and central governments to divide the existing high court forthwith and sought the constitution of a separate high court and bar council for Telangana. “Any delay in this matter will obstruct the smooth functioning of the judicial system and create unavoidable problems. Immediate bifurcation will promote goodwill and understanding among members of the legal profession in both states,” Reddy said.

Reddy, along with Bar Council of India member N Ramachandra Rao, told the media that the Telangana government has promised to create a Rs 100 crore welfare fund for the benefit of advocates of the state. However, it would not be possible to identify the beneficiaries of the scheme if immediate bifurcation of the bar council is not implemented.

At present, there are about 88,500 members of the united bar council, he said. While thanking Telangana CM K Chandrasekhar Rao for promising the fund, he appealed to AP chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu to announce a similar fund for the benefit of advocates of Andhra Pradesh.

Criminal case registered against police inspector
Two more accused arrested; two others at large
The police on Wednesday filed an FIR against Pulakeshinagar police inspector Mohammad Rafiq for not registering the rape complaint under the relevant clauses given by the 22-year-old student, who was sexually assaulted in Bangalore on July 11.
Home Minister K.J. George told the Legislative Assembly on Thursday that a criminal case had been registered against the inspector, who had already been suspended, under the amended section 166 (A) of the Indian Penal Code.
He refused to give in to the demand of the Opposition for an immediate arrest of the inspector. “Neither the Supreme Court nor the legislature can direct the police to arrest a person with respect to an investigation. Only the investigating officer has the authority to decide on when to arrest the accused,” he said.
He also said two more accused, identified as Mohammed Ali and Wasim Khan, were arrested on Thursday. Another two are at large.
Opposition unhappy
The Legislative Council saw a ‘war of words’ between the Congress and the Opposition, with the latter demanding the immediate arrest of the inspector.
Mr. George’s reply that an FIR had been filed against him failed to mollify Opposition Leader K.S. Eshwarappa. He accused the government of “taking shelter under the law”.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah intervened to say the government was not trying to protect anyone “whoever he is, whatever influence he wields and whatever caste or community be belongs to”.

Govt’s duty to protect gay rights, says Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan New Delhi, July 17, 2014 | UPDATED 18:25 IST

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan on Thursday said that is the responsibility of the government to protect the rights of the gay community.
“Everybody, including gays, has human rights. It is the job of the government to protect their rights,” he said on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi. He, however, declined to make further comments when asked to explain his position as his party, Bharatiya Janata Party, had supported the Supreme Court judgment which had upheld the validity of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code, criminalizing sex among homosexuals.
BJP, which was in opposition when the Supreme Court judgement came in 2013, had said it was for the government to decide the next course of action over the matter, and the party would take a position depending on the official move. The Supreme Court is at present hearing a curative petition on the matter.
Senior BJP leaders have spoken in different voices over the issue. Home minister and then party presidentRajnath Singh had termed gay sex “unnatural”. Another senior leader and present finance minister Arun Jaitleyhad taken a more liberal position, saying he tended to agree more with the Delhi High Court order decriminalizing gay sex, which was later overturned by the apex court.

Abu Salem challenges Supreme Court on conviction in fake passport case
Thursday, 17 July 2014 – 7:01pm IST | Agency: PTI
Underworld don Abu Salem today approached the Supreme Court challenging his conviction and seven-year jail term for possessing fake passport.
A bench headed by Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, before whom the case came up for hearing, however, recused herself saying that she had earlier heard the Bombay blast case in which Salem was also an accused.
The case would now be listed before another bench.
Salem, 46, was convicted and awarded seven-year rigorous imprisonment by a special CBI court in Hyderabad in a fake passport case in 2013. He was held guilty under different sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC) for obtaining a passport under a fictitious name and address, from Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
Salem had procured the fake passport under the fictitious identity of Ramil Kamil Malik by submitting forged documents to the Hyderabad Regional Passport Office, in connivance with some government officials and private persons in 2001.
Salem had obtained three passports – one for his first wife Sameera Zumani, another for his companion and actor Monica Bedi and a third for himself.
Salem and Bedi were extradited to India on November 11, 2005, after a marathon legal process lasting three years.
The fake passport case was transferred to CBI from AP police in October 2002, and a charge sheet was filed in 2004 against 10 accused.
His girlfriend has already been convicted in fake passport case and spent around two and half years behind bars as punishment.
The apex court in 2010 upheld the conviction of Bedi in the case but reduced her sentence to period of jail term she had already undergone.
She was awarded five years sentence by a sessions court in Hyderabad and but it was reduced to three years by the Andhra Pradesh High Court.

NHRC issues notices to Delhi Govt and Police
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 18:01 IST
National Human Rights Commission today issued notices toDelhi government and Police seeking report over “filthy” atmosphere and “insecure” surroundings of an orphanage for Muslim girls at Matia Mahal in Old Delhi.

According to a statement released today, a notice has been issued in this regard to the Chief Secretary, Government of NCT of Delhi and Commissioner of Police, Delhi calling upon them to submit detailed reports within four weeks.

The notices were issued after the Commission took suo motu cognizance of a media report that the girls of an orphanage, ‘Bachchiyon Ka Ghar’ for Muslim girls at Matia Mahal in Old Delhi, are facing problems due to shortage of space, filthy atmosphere and insecure surroundings.

The orphanage, built in 1891, is one of the oldest buildings in the National Capital and is approached through congested, filthy and dark by-lanes.

The Commission has observed that the contents of the press report, if true, raise a serious issue of violation of human rights of girls living in the orphanage.

Housed in a three-storeyed building, the orphanage, consisting of one hall, six small rooms, is rat infested. The rats reportedly often bite the girls during their sleep on the floor.

The hall serves multi-purposes of a drawing room, dining room, bedroom, reading room and entertainment room. More than 50 girl inmates, aged from seven to eighteen years, cannot play outside as the narrow streets approaching the orphanage are always full of vagabonds who chase them till their school and back.

“These vagabonds also hit them with elbows and hurl unspeakably filthy invectives in their ears, snatch their dupatta and catch hold of their hands. When these girls resist their attempts, false complaints are filed against them. Hence, chances of happening of any untoward incident are always there,” the statement said.

Judges of higher judiciary not govt servants: Madras HC RG
Last Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 17:58

Chennai: Judges, particularly those of the higher judiciary are constitutional functionaries and not government servants or officials and so no direction can been issued to them, the Registrar General of Madras High Court on Thursday said.

He stated this in a counter affidavit in response to a petition by Prisoners Rights Forum, seeking a direction to constitute a special bench for speedy disposal of Haebas Corpus petitions arising out of the Goonda’s Act, under which prisoners a

The Registrar General contended it is the exclusive prerogative power of Chief Justice or Acting Chief Justice to constitute any bench for speedy disposal of Haebas Corpus petitions and the representation made by the forum addressed to the RG was forwarded to the CJ or ACJ.

He said though the petition was filed supposedly against the high court represented by him, in essence it was filed to issue direction to the ACJ to constitute a special bench.

The Registrar General contended that such a prayer is not maintainable as the exclusive prerogative power to constitute benches is saved under Article 225 of the Constitution.

The word prerogative necessarily implies a high degree of discretion having been vested in the authority enjoying the prerogative, which excludes existence of any duty, he said.

He also stated that in case of discretion, no direction can be issued and the petition was bound to fail.

He further said judges of higher judiciary in India are not ‘persons’ or ‘authorities’ or ‘government’ against whom directions can be issued under Article 226 and that an action to enforce Fundamental

Rights under Article 14 and 21 cannot be sustained as against the judiciary.

He said there are 1632 Haebas Corpus petitions pending before the high court as on May 31, of which 1579 are under Act 14 (Goondas Act). Even during normal course of hearing the division bench disposes of Haebas Corpus petitions commensurate to cases filed daily, drastically reducing pendency, achieved in the absence of any special bench.

Hence there was no need to constitute a special bench to deal with Haebas Corpus petitions, he said and sought dismissal of the petition.


Centre hikes cap on condoms by 22 pct, prices set to rise
PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 17 2014, 20:06 IST
The Centre today told the Delhi High Court that it has increased the cap on prices of all brands of condoms in the country by 22 per cent.
However, the increase in prices comes to Rs 1.48.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw which was hearing a plea by pharma firms Reckitt Benckiser and J K Ansell Ltd (JKAL) who have challenged the government’s decision to put a ceiling on the prices of condoms.
During the proceedings, the central government’s Standing Counsel Sumeet Pushkarna handed over to the bench a July 10, 2014 notification issued by the National Pharmaceuticals Pricing Authority (NPPA) as per which the ceiling on condom prices was increased from Rs 6.56 to Rs 8.04 per condom.
Pushkarna also said that pharma firms are, however, selling condoms at much higher prices like Rs 46 per condom despite there being no stay on the government notification.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal, appearing on behalf of the firms, agreed that they have been selling at higher prices but contended that their products are ‘devices’ not ‘medicines’ and thus would not fall under the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO) and therefore, no cap can be put on their prices.
Reckitt and JKAL have also sought clarification regarding the basis for the price revision, asking what all aspects, including other brands and prices, were considered by NPPA.
The firms have claimed their products are luxury products “meant for pleasure” and have also sought clarification on whether the current ceiling would apply to only utility condoms and whether NPPA proposes to fix a separate cap on “pleasure condoms”.
They also contended that since the prices have been revised by NPPA, admittedly after taking into consideration prices of some other brands — like Durex and Kohinoor — an exercise which was not conducted back in 2013 when the cap was fixed at Rs 6.56, hence, the companies are entitled to be compensated for selling their condoms Rs 1.48 cheaper from December 2013 till date.
The court will now hear further arguments on July 24.
The companies had challenged the November 5, 2013 notification as per which the ceiling on condom prices was fixed at Rs 6.56.
They have contended their objections to the earlier notification are applicable in respect of the latest one as well.

I want NCW on par with NHRC: Maneka
Mohua Chatterjee, TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 06.53AM IST
Women and child development minister Maneka Gandhi has her priorities worked out. She proposes to make the National Commission of Women more effective and already sent it to the law ministry besides uploading it on the internet to seek views from the public. Unless NCW gets teeth, women will not get justice, she told TOI in an exclusive interview.

Q: You are trying to empower NCW. Will it work?

A: The NCW has no powers. It does not even have the power to punish those who have been called by it. As a result, women who complain to the NCW spend their own money to appear as witness while many of the accused just stay away.
Q: Could you give an instance?

A: A very high ranking income tax officer was allegedly molested 6 years ago and because she refused to give in, the accused- her senior-destroyed her career. She has been fighting in the courts and has spent over Rs 10 lakh on lawyers and travel. When we took up the case with CBDT, its chairman said he had no time to come to NCW, nor did the accused. There are two lakh such cases pending. On my email (, I get 8-10 complaints a day. Unless those refusing to appear or send relevant files are fined, we will never get justice for any woman.

Q: What are the qualifications for NCW members?

A: The commission has become a parking lot for women who are political appointees. They are good women who come in to do something and then after a while find that everything they do is cosmetic, so they go after easy celebrity issues, which attract media attention. But what this country wants at this moment, in this climate of violence against women, is a court of refuge and the NCW can provide that if its powers are enhanced.

Q: How do you want the NCW to work?

A: I want it (NCW) to be at par with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

Q: But the NHRC has judge on board.

A: So put a judge on this body. There are many women judges if you want to have only women on board. I am changing the criteria so that only lawyers and those with a background of public service for at least 10 years are selected as members.

Q: How will that help?

A: I want to make this change so that if the NCW cannot solve your problem, it can at least tell you what to do legally.

Q: Where have you moved on this so far?

A: Within two weeks of my assuming office, I reworked the NCW Act and sent it to the law ministry and other ministries concerned to begin its journey to Parliament. We put the draft on our website two weeks ago and received thousands of letters of support already.

Q: Suppose there is resistance to what you are trying to turn the NCW into from within the government?

A: I don’t think there will be resistance because the Prime Minister has repeatedly announced his commitment to women’s empowerment and giving them access to justice is the first step. It serves another purpose by taking a lot of load off the courts.

NHRC Asks Maharashtra Govt To Pay Rs. 50,000 Each To The Girls Arrested In Palgarh Facebook Case
By Vinaya Naidu | July 16th, 2014| In News
In a press release dated July 15th 2014(reported by Medianama), the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) stated that “it has reiterated its recommendations in yet another reminder that the Government of Maharashtra pay Rs.50 thousand each to the two girls, who, it held, were illegally detained by the police following a Facebook post after the death of Shiv Sena Chief Balasaheb Thackeray. The Commission has held that their detention was in violation of freedom of speech and expression of views guaranteed in the Constitution of India.”
On November 19, 2012, the police had arrested a 21-year-old girl from Palgarh who had questioned the rationality of the total shutdown in the city for Thackeray’s funeral on her Facebook account. Another girl was also arrested in the same case since she had “Liked” the post on Facebook.
The Facebook account and the post which was soon deleted, was reported to have – “people like Thackeray are born and die daily and one should not observe a bandh for that”, according to the
The girl and her friend were booked under Section 295 A of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for ‘deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings or any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs’. They were later also charged under Section 505 (2) of the IPC for making‘statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes’.
The police later added Section 66 (A) of the Information Technology Act 2000 on them. Section 66 (A) deals with – messages sent via computer or communication devices which may be “grossly offensive,” have “menacing character,” or even cause “annoyance or inconvenience”.
The NHRC conducted an enquiry into the Facebook post and observed that the police had no reasonable ground for invoking Section 505(2) IPC. The girl’s comment only indicated that the bandh was not necessary as a mark of respect to the departed leader and that the city was shut down due to fear and not due to respect. It stated that bandhs had already been declared as illegal by the court.
NHRC has also observed that every citizen can interpret these comments as per his/her thoughts. However, these did not have any contents to attract provisions of the Information Technology Act, 2000. As per Article 19 of the Constitution of India, every individual has a right to freedom of expression, which is a Fundamental Right and therefore, their arrest was a serious violation of human rights.
The NHRC has asked the Chief Secretary of the State to submit the compliance report along with the proof of payment within four weeks failing which, it may be constrained to take recourse to coercive process under Section 13 of the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. This has been issued after the Commission received no response to its notice and reminders to show cause why monetary relief should not be paid to the victims of human rights violation.

NCW holds CBDT guilty in I-T officer sexual harassment case

New Delhi: After an Income Tax officer from West bengal alleged that she was sexually harassed by her superior and her complaints to the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) were ignored, the National Commission for Women (NCW) has held the CBDT guilty.
The NCW said that the lady officer was indeed harassed. She had approached the NCW two months ago after her complaint to CBDT was overlooked.
The I-T officer had alleged that she was penalised twice and not promoted. The officer being accused of harassment has already retired

NHRC summons Odisha education secretary
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 03.12 PM IST
BHUBANESWAR: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the school and mass education secretary for denial of education to children in 2,197 government school, despite the Right to Education Act being in force in the state.

Expressing concerns over allegations of lack of basic infrastructures such as school building, water system and toilet in these schools, the rights commission has sought report from the secretary and asked for her personal appearance before it.

“The commission has directed the secretary to submit a report on January 13, 2014, whereas you have failed without any lawful excuse to submit the report within the prescribed time. Now, therefore, you are directed to appear in person before the commission on August 8 with the requisite report,” read a letter from NHRC.

In a petition filed in the NHRC in December 2013, Global Human Rights Communications, a voluntary organization, alleged that there are no basic infrastructures such as school buildings, water system and toilets. Besides, after a survey conducted by the state government, the 2,197 school buildings were identified as unsafe and teaching in these schools have been stopped in view of the safety of school staff and students.

“A few schools run in open air, but teaching in these schools was affected due to rain, winter and cyclone Phailin. Though the classes are not conducted, the authorities falsely reported that mid-day meals are provided,” the petition said.

The petition further alleged that of the total 58,438 government-run primary schools in the state, the infrastructure at 15,493 schools are in a very bad condition. Of these, about 474 schools are in Nayagarh district, 411 are in Angul district, 197 schools are in Kendrapada, 298 in Keonjhar district, 356 in Nuapada and 61 schools in Sonepur district.

It was also alleged that about 2,514 teachers’ posts are vacant in government schools and the regular posts are being abolished and they are being filled up by hiring contractual teachers.

“It is shocking that basic right of children has been denied and the purpose of RTE act was completely defeated in the state,” the petition said, urging the NHRC to intervene in the matter.

Usha Rani Parida, a teacher, said, “This is really unfortunate that the state government wants quality education but does not provide basic infrastructure and adequate teachers in schools. Every year, we come to know that huge amount of money is being allocated for school education. If this is the ground reality, then where is the money going?”

Even though the commission directed the school and mass education department to submit a report within four weeks of getting a notice in January this year, he department did not respond to it. The commission again sent a reminder in June, which the department ignored again, following which the commission summoned the secretary.
The secretary was not available for comments.

Man disabled in road accident gets over Rs 36 L compensation
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 17, 2014 Last Updated at 14:29 IST
A man, who suffered a permanent disability in a road accident after the bus he was travelling in fell into a ditch, has been awarded a compensation of over Rs 36 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The tribunal directed the Oriental Insurance Company, with which the offending vehicle was insured, to pay Rs 36,95,136 as compensation to Krishan Kumar, who was on his way to Katra from Jammu with his family when the bus fell into a ditch due to the rash driving by its driver.

“Since the petitioner (Kumar) suffered injuries in the road accident due to rash and negligent driving by the driver, he is undoubtedly entitled to compensation,” MACT Presiding Officer S C Malik said.

The tribunal relied on Kumar’s testimony and documents on record. It also took into account Kumar’s medical reports which stated that his left hand was crushed and had to be amputated.

The disability certificate showed that Kumar had suffered 65 per cent disability in his left hand.

According to the petition, the accident took place when Kumar, a Delhi resident, was on his way from Jammu to Katra in the bus on December 10, 2005, with his wife, son and friends to visit Vaishno Devi shrine.

It said that Mahender, the driver of the bus, was driving at a high speed and in a negligent manner and despite repeated requests from passengers, he did not slow down. He instead told them that he had another trip to manage after dropping them so he had to drive fast, it said.

The driver lost control of the vehicle near Katra and it fell into a ditch leading to death of three persons– Kumar’s wife and two friends, it said.

Remaining passengers suffered grievous injuries and were rushed to a nearby hospital. Three days later they all were brought to Safdarjung hospital here, where Kumar underwent treatment and his left hand, which was crushed in the accident, was amputated.

Kumar, who worked as a pharmacist with the health department of MCD on a salary of Rs 19,000, had filed a petition seeking compensation of Rs 50 lakh for loss of future earnings.

The driver and owner of the bus were proceeded ex-parte, while the insurance company, through a written statement, had claimed the petition was without any cause of action.

LEGAL NEWS 17.07.2014

Supreme Court Issues Notices to States on Legalizing Passive Euthanasia
All India | Agencies | Updated: July 16, 2014 14:44 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today issued notices to all states seeking their views on whether a terminally ill person can execute a living will that life support system be withdrawn if he or she reaches a vegetative state with no hope of revival.

The states have to respond to the notices within eight weeks.

An constitution bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha, Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar, Justice J Chelameswar, Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman issued the notice on a plea filed with it, saying the question of passive euthanasia (mercy killing) needs a comprehensive examination as there was no authoritative judicial pronouncement on the issue.

Prashant Bhushan appearing for ‘Common Cause’, an organisation which had filed the plea, argued that it is a fundamental right to die with dignity.

Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi told the Court that the issue entirely concerns the legislature and the judiciary should not take it up. The government also told the Court that passive euthanasia is a form of suicide which cannot be allowed.

The Court has appointed former Solicitor General TR Andhyarujina as amicus curiae to assist it in the case.

dnaEdit: Showing mercy
Thursday, 17 July 2014 – 6:05am IST Updated: Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 9:43pm IST | Agency: DNA
For those who thought the passive euthanasia debate had been settled, the Supreme Court order will come as a huge setback
By issuing notice seeking responses from the states on legalising passive euthanasia, the Supreme Court’s five-judge Constitutional Bench has turned its back on a 2011 two-judge bench decision in the Aruna Shanbaug case that sanctioned this procedure and had even laid down guidelines. Wednesday’s decision comes, rather ironically, on a petition which sought to push the envelope beyond the 2011 judgment. The petitioner pleaded that terminally-ill persons could execute a “living will” requesting withdrawal of life support if medical opinion rules out recovery or they go into a permanent vegetative state. In 2011, the Supreme Court had interpreted the Constitutional Bench judgment in the 1996 Gian Kaur case — which ruled that the “right to life does not include the right to die” and that the “right to live with dignity included the right to die with dignity” — to authorise passive euthanasia. The judgment allowed doctors or near relatives of such patients to approach high courts with passive euthanasia requests and prescribed norms for high courts to follow until Parliament enacted a legislation.
But in February the Supreme Court noted that the Gian Kaur judgment had not “approved” of passive euthanasia and found the 2011 judgment’s reliance on Gian Kaur to sanction passive euthanasia “factually incorrect”. Though the Gian Kaur judgment had left the question of passive euthanasia hanging without stating any opinion about it, it is unfortunate that mere technicality has felled the 2011 judgment which was hailed as yet another example of the judiciary’s courageousness and progressive credentials. At stake is the individual’s sovereignty over the body to which no State can lay claim. Supporting the 2011 judgment, the Law Commission in a 2012 report said: “Rational and humane considerations fully justify the endorsement of passive euthanasia. Moral or philosophical notions and attitude towards passive euthanasia may vary but it can be safely said that…such considerations do not come in the way of relieving the dying man of his intractable suffering, lingering pain, anguish and misery.”
If the sanctity of life is paramount for the State while arguing against passive euthanasia, it then entails a larger debate. Would the Indian State agree to forsake capital punishment then? The “possibility of misuse” argument has no merit either. The 2011 judgment privileges high courts rather than doctors or relatives to decide passive euthanasia requests. The Law Commission draft Medical Treatment of Terminally-ill Patients (MTTP) Bill further supplements the safeguards in the 2011 judgment. For long, Parliament has painfully lagged the judiciary in filling gaping lacunae and flaws in our laws — be it on Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code, the Vishakha guidelines on sexual harassment at workplaces, or the latest on passive euthanasia.
With the Supreme Court undertaking an exercise, akin to reinventing the wheel, Parliament should seize the initiative and enact the MTTP Bill. Alternatively, the Constitutional Bench has the opportunity to surpass the 1996 Gian Kaur judgment that had recriminalised suicide and rectify the minor inconsistencies in the 2011 judgment. By equating passive euthanasia with suicide in the Supreme Court, the Centre has effectively locked out Parliament from another debate. Dubbing a terminally-ill person’s desire to die, or a near relative opting for passive euthanasia for a vegetative person, as suicide or illegality ignores individual and social realities. No social contract can sanctify the State’s tendency to regulate every aspect of a person’s life or their choices.

Husband is bound to give maintenance to separated wife, says Supreme Court
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 7:44pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
It is the sacrosanct duty of husband to provide financial support to separated wife even if he is required to earn money with physical labour with “no escape route”, the Supreme Court has said while holding that maintenance must be enough for her to lead a dignified life.
The apex court said it is the obligation of the husband to see that the wife does not become a destitute, a beggar and directed family courts to dispose of cases of maintenance, divorce, custody of child, property disputes as expeditiously as possible to ameliorate the agony and financial suffering of a woman who left her matrimonial home.
“In fact, it is the sacrosanct duty to render the financial support even if the husband is required to earn money with physical labour, if he is able bodied. There is no escape route unless there is an order from the Court that the wife is not entitled to get maintenance from the husband on any legally permissible grounds,” a bench of justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said.
Holding that wife is entitled in law to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have lived in the house of her husband, the bench said social status be also considered while fixing amount of maintenance.
“The concept of sustenance does not necessarily mean to lead the life of an animal, feel like an unperson to be thrown away from grace and roam for her basic maintenance somewhere else. She is entitled in law to lead a life in the similar manner as she would have lived in the house of her husband.
“That is where the status and strata come into play, and that is where the obligations of the husband, in case of a wife, become a prominent one. In a proceeding of this nature, the husband cannot take subterfuges to deprive her of the benefit of living with dignity,” it said.
The apex court said it is impermissible that a wife is compelled to resign to her fate and “think of life dust unto dust”, considering the solemn pledge at the time of marriage and also in consonance with the statutory law that governs the field.
“It is the obligation of the husband to see that the wife does not become a destitute, a beggar. A situation is not to be maladroitly created whereunder she is compelled to resign to her fate and think of life ‘dust unto dust’. It is totally impermissible,” the bench said.
The bench passed the order on an appeal filed by a man challenging the Rajasthan High Court order directing him to pay maintenance from the day his wife filed an application in a family court which took nine years to pass order.
The bench expressed displeasure over the delay in proceeding in family court, saying it is unfortunate that the case continued for nine years before the Family Court which is against human rights.
“This delay in adjudication by the Family Court is not only against human rights but also against the basic embodiment of dignity of an individual,” the bench said.
“The approaches, as we perceive, not only defeat the command of the legislature but also frustrate the hope of wife and children who are deprived of adequate livelihood and whose aspirations perish like mushroom and possibly the brief candle of sustenance joins the marathon race of extinction,” the bench said.

Steering change, with a driving licence
When Bangalorean Akkai Padmashali got a driving licence on June 26 this year, she was elated. Not just because she would be able to drive a scooter but because, she claims, she is the first member of the transgender community to have got a driving licence after the Supreme Court judgment this year recognising the third gender.
Ms. Padmashali, member, Sexual Minorities Forum, said she checkmarked ‘female’ in the box for gender in the application form, which had three boxes to choose from: male, female and transgender.
She said, “The Supreme Court judgment is a blessing. It protects me. Here, I decided my gender.”
For 15 years, she did not get a driving licence as she dreaded filling the application form which would ask for her gender. She did not go ahead to apply for a licence though her father kept telling her he could help her.
Now, three other members of the community, following her instance, are conquering their fears and getting licences.
Sana, a member of the transgender community, said that she had applied after being inspired by Akkai’s success. Ms. Padmashali said while transgenders have got licences before the SC ruling, she is the first to have got it post the ruling.
The procedure to get the licence was in contrast to the time when she had applied for a passport, where she had to answer a barrage of questions about her gender.
The Supreme Court in its judgment issued in April 2014 stated: “Self-determination of gender is an integral part of personal autonomy and self-expression and falls within the realm of personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.”
She has a word of appreciation for the official at Yeshwanthpur Regional Transport Office (RTO) who issued the licence. She said he was considerate and treated her with respect.

NGOs seek proper deliberations on new Juvenile Justice Bill
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 11:37pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
A group of 58 NGOs and individuals working for children’s rights in the country on Wednesday urged the Centre to carry out proper deliberations before deciding to repeal and re-enact the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
The coalition – ProChild Network – has offered to help the government find a solution to the problems of crimes like sexual violence by juveniles, by giving professional suggestions based on evidence and research.
The group comprises 58 NGOs including the Aangan Trust, Centre for Child and the Law, NLSIU-Bangalore, CRY, HAQ:Centre for Child Rights, Leher and Save the Children. “We strongly condemn all sexual violence, be it by adults or juveniles… But we also condemn pitching human rights of women against human rights of children since that will not provide an answer to creating a healthy society. All we want is a dialogue with the government before a final decision in this regard is taken,” said Bharti Ali, Co-Director of HAQ:Centre for Child Rights.
On June 18, the Ministry of Women and Child Development stated their intent to repeal and re-enact the Juvenile Justice Act and invited feedback from stakeholders and civil society groups on the draft Juvenile Justice Bill, 2014.
According to the ministry’s proposal, while trying the juvenile, in the age group of 16-18 years, involved in heinous crimes such as rape and murder, the Juvenile Justice Board will decide whether the juvenile should be sent to observation home or required a trial under a regular court.
“We firmly believe all human beings, especially growing children, need to be taught that there are consequences of their action and that they need to be accountable for their behaviour,” a statement issued by the group said.
“However, we assert that the means for ensuring such accountability should be grounded in child and adolescent psychology, the rights of children and a deeper understanding of the circumstances that lead to such behaviour or action, be it indiscipline, anti-social or criminal behaviour,” it adds.
The government move comes over a year after the role of a juvenile in the December 16 gang rape case sparked off a debate over lowering the age limit for juveniles involved in heinous crimes.
As per the National Crime Records Bureau statistics, in 2013, as many as 33,707 rape cases were registered in the country as against 24,923 cases in 2012. As many as 1,884 juveniles were involved in rape cases in 2013.

Amend Juvenile Justice Act: NCW chairperson
IANS | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 19:02 IST
Pressing for a debate on the issue of juveniles who commit rape, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma Wednesday called for amending the Juvenile Justice Act.
“Forty-five percent of rapes are committed by juveniles, and by sending them to correctional homes, we are just encouraging them… Until juveniles are brought under the purview of law, I do not think there will be a change in the situation,” Sharma said during an interaction at the Indian Women’s Press Corps (IWPC) here.
“There is a need for an amendment in the Juvenile Justice Act now… This is because times have changed over the past 20 years,” she added.
Sharma, however, added that the issue is “debatable” and said there be proper consultation.
“To think that four people sit together and talk about amendment is not correct. It is a technical issue and needs to be looked at in a social context,” she added.
Quoting the Dec 16, 2012 Delhi gang rape case, Sharma said despite the victim herself stating that the juvenile was the most “brutal”, he was spared based on a mere school certificate.

“I believe that if there were proper investigation and tests, it may have been proved that the boy is not a juvenile. And even if he was, I believe that in such cases there should be an amendment in the act and the accused should be punished,” she said.
Sharma added that the minors who commit such crimes should be sent to reform houses and schools where they live a “hardened” life and are given “proper counselling”.
Stating the importance of sex education, she said children aged 16 these days are “fully grown up” and need to be made aware.
“… Initially when families used to live in a joint set-up, children were made aware by grandparents. But now, in a nuclear set-up, parents don’t have time… so in such a scenario, I feel that sex education is a must and will only prove to be helpful,” she said.

Juvenile justice? Supreme Court calls for stricter Juvenile Justice Act just before two minors, convicted for gang rapes, were sentenced to three years
Calling for a stricter Juvenile Justice Act, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said, “You can’t have a cut-off date for crime like you have for government jobs”. The statement came just before two minors, convicted for the gang rapes of a photojournalist and telephone operator in Mumbai’s Shakti Mills case, were “sentenced” to three years in a borstal school to learn “good behaviour”. Just in case the absurdity is unclear: two rapists, repeat offenders no less, have been sent to a reform school to get “education” and “vocational training”. Juxtapose that with the offence these men, and let us not be naive enough to call them teenagers, have committed and one wonders who the law is meant to protect. Human rights, child rights, and all other assorted rights activists, allege that “children” can be reformed. Such is the thinking that leads to criminals being sent to reform schools instead of jails. Such is the thinking that sees rape at par with a child caught cheating in an exam.

CJI R M Lodha blames government for public perception that judges are hungry for posts
By ET Bureau | 17 Jul, 2014, 05.06AM IST
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NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India RM Lodha blamed the government’s insistence on having judicial members on tribunals and regulatory bodies for creating a public perception that retired judges were hankering for these posts. “The majesty of the law must prevail. The judiciary functions on the faith and trust of the people,” the chief justice said on Wednesday while hearing a petition challenging increasing tribunalisation at the cost of the judiciary.

“The government enacts all these laws insisting that they be headed by judicial members. This creates a perception among the public that retired judges are running and running and running after tribunals” Justice Lodha said, prompting quite a few chuckles in the court.

At one point, he dared the government, represented by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, to do away with all such laws which provide that a judicial member would head these quasi-judicial and regulatory bodies. “Do it tomorrow,” Justice Lodha told the AGbut stopped short of passing such an order.

Justice Lodha is part of a five judge bench – other members are Justices JS Khehar, Jasti Chelameswar, AK Sikri and RF Nariman – which is hearing the petition filed by the Madras Bar Association.

Core judicial functions cannot be outsourced, said the lead counsel for the association, Arvind Datar.

He was challenging the central government’s move to create, among other things, a National Tax Tribunal and a Companies Appellate Tribunal.

These bodies will now decide substantial questions of law, he said, adding that no tax issue, whether direct or indirect, will now go to high courts. The first tribunal was set up in India 25 years ago to take the load off high courts. At last count, there were 93 specialised tribunals in India, DatarBSE 0.00 % said.

The latest that the government intended to create, a 61-member Companies Appellate Tribunal, he charged, would deal with only 3,199 such pending cases.
The constitution bench was, however, reluctant to halt the process of setting up tribunals on the ground that they were encroaching on core judicial functions. “They are just adding another layer to the existing hierarchy,” Justice Lodha said.

The discussion will continue on Thursday when the court would decide on whether or not to interfere with the government move to create additional tribunals. Rohatgi said the government would go ahead with its plans.

Maha CIC orders judicial probe against top cop Rakesh Maria
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 16:59 IST
In a major embarrassment for Mumbai police chief Rakesh Maria, Maharashtra’s transparency watchdog has recommended a judicial inquiry against him for “withholding and giving misleading” information to the wife of an IPS officer killed during the 26/11 terror attack.

Chief Information Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad, in a recent order, asked the state government to institute an inquiry headed by a sitting or retired judge under Commission of Inquiry Act to go into why “misleading” information was provided to Vinita Kamte, wife of slain IPS officer Ashok Kamte, by Maria.

“Considering the information available, it looks like in this matter misleading information was provided, deliberately no information was shared or information was destroyed, delays were caused in providing information etc. And the Commission agrees with the doubts raised by the complainant (Vinita Kamte),” Gaikwad said in a scathing 3-page order passed on July 9.

“Hence, I order the state government through the Chief Secretary to initiate an inquiry under the Commission of Enquiry Act 1952 headed by a sitting or retired judge,” the order said.

Maria as Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) had led the probe into the brazen terror assault launched by 10 Pakistani terrorists on November 26, 2008 and was heading the police control room for some time during the 59-hour siege.

Vinita Kamte had under RTI sought call logs of wireless conversations between the control room and Kamte’s van in which he was killed with Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar.

She had alleged the details were first denied to her. However, when information was provided in November 2009 and February 2010, there were “serious discrepancies”.

“Maria did not allow information to be shared with Vinita Kamte. It is highly irresponsible. Is he trying to hide some information in the matter? It looks like if an impartial inquiry is not initiated then Vinita and the public will not be able to receive true information,” the order that read like a virtual indictment of Maria, who took over as Mumbai Police Commissioner in February this year, said.

Vinita has accused Maria of not telling her who sent her husband towards Cama Hospital where he was killed even though he was in charge of the main control room during the first few hours of the attack.

CIC should maintain records: Activist
Jul 17, 2014 – Anand Mishra |
RTI activists have demanded that the central information commission (CIC) maintain records of murdered, harassed or threatened RTI applicants across the country so that a national level debate can be initiated with participation of the Parliament.
The demand resurfaced following CIC’s denial about having any such information in reply to an RTI query filed by Pune-based activist Vihar Durve.Mr Durve had sought information related to harassed, attacked and murdered RTI applicants to which CIC replied it did not keep records of such cases. Instead, the commission passed the buck to the department of personnel and training (DoPT), saying it was the nodal ministry for implementation of the RTI Act and framing of rules and regulations.
Upset over CIC’s response, Mr Durve wrote letters to top authorities such as the human rights commission and hundreds of RTI activists across the country including Aruna Roy, Narayan Verma, Shailesh Gandhi, Subhash Agrawal, Bhaskar Prabhu, Anil Galgali and Chetan Kothari and initiated a campaign to protect RTI activists in this manner.
“In fact, the chief information commissioner of all states and central commission should maintain records of such atrocities on activists and submit annual reports to the concerned comptroller and auditor general of the state so that CAG can take cognisance in its report that will fetch some seriousness, in turn solving the matter,” said Mr Durve.
Importantly, an earlier RTI query filed by Mr Durve found 151 cases of RTI activists being attacked, murdered, physically or mentally harassed across the country. At the time, the DoPT informed Mr Durve that Maharashtra (35) topped the list of atrocities against RTI activists followed by Gujarat (24) and Delhi (12)

Govt seeks applications for Information Commissioners in CIC
The last date for sending application is August 19
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 18:35 IST
The government today decided to fill vacant posts of Information Commissioners in Central Information Commission (CIC) and sought applications from eligible candidates.

“It is now proposed to appoint more Information Commissioners in the Commission,” said a circular issued by the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT).

The RTI Act provides that the Information Commissioners shall be persons of eminence in public life with wide knowledge and experience in law, science and technology, social service, management, journalism, mass media or administration and governance.

“Further, the Information Commissioner shall not be a Member of Parliament or Member of the Legislature of any state or union territory, as the case may be, or hold any other office of profit or connected with any political party or carrying on any business or pursuing any profession,” the DoPT said citing some of the mandatory requirements.

The DoPT had in February this year issued a circular for the same.Those who have applied need not apply afresh, it said.

The last date for sending application is August 19.

At present there is one Central Information Commissioner and seven Information Commissioners (ICs). The RTI Act provides for one Central Information Commissioner and ten ICs.

Woman, paramour among three get life term for murder
PTI | Jul 16, 2014, 06.34 PM IST
KARIMNAGAR: A local court on Wednesday convicted a woman and her paramour for murdering the former’s husband and awarded them rigorous life imprisonment.

The 4th additional sessions judge G. Venkata Krishnamraju also held an aide of the duo guilty for murder and handed him down the rigorous life term under various charges, including hatching a criminal conspiracy, of Indian Penal Code.

The court has imposed fine of Rs 500 on each of the three convicts.

The court examined 14 witnesses in the 2001 case in which accused Aruna (32), a resident of Bommareddypalli village in the district, hatched a conspiracy to murder her husband, Gaddam Ravinder Reddy (35) with the help of her lover Singireddy Sudhakar Reddy (34).

The couple has two children. According to the prosecution, Singireddy with his friend Kyatam Pritviraj (20) axed Reddy to death while he was on his way to kothur village on May 18, 2001, and dumped his body into bushes at the spot.

Aruna later lodged a missing person’s complaint with police.

Complained filed in court against Ved Pratap Vaidik
Press Trust of India | Indore
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 22:48 IST
A complaint was filed today in a local court by two Congressleaders against journalist Ved Pratap Vaidik for his controversial meeting with 26/11 Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Mohammad Saeed in Pakistan and also for his alleged statement on the issue of “freedom” for Kashmir.

Congress local unit’s two secretaries Vivek Khandelwal and Mohan Kasera filed the complaint against Vaidik in the court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) V P Sharma under Section 124 A (treason) and Section 132 (inciting armed forces to revolt) of the Indian Penal Code.

The court will hear the complaint on August 5 to record the statement of the two complainants, Advocate Ashish Shrivastava who representing the Congress leaders said.

Quoting the complaint, he said Vaidik had met the matermind of the 26/11 (2008) Mumbai attack without informing the government of India and also gave a controversial interview to a Pakistani television channel on the issue of “freedom” for Kashmir, which is “highly condemnable” and therefore, a case of “treason” and “inciting forces to revolt” should be filed against him.

Stir against common High Court gains momentum
DC | S.A. Ishaqui | July 16, 2014, 02.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The demand for a separate High Court for newly formed Telangana state has been snowballing in the capital city of Hyderabad.
Advocates in Telangana, who have been opposing the concept of notifying the existing AP High Court as the common High Court for both states till the notification of a separate High Court for the residuary state, have begun their direct action.
They are staging protests and conducting relay hunger strikes in subordinate courts as well as the High Court in the city.
Advocates practicing in lower courts of the city organised a relay hunger strike at lower courts on Tuesday.
High Court advocates also organised a relay hunger strike in front of the High Court on Tuesday, demanding separate High Courts for the two states.
Purushotham Reddy and Badrinath, leaders of the Telangana High Court Employees Association, expressed their solidarity with advocates of Telangana carrying out their struggle for a separate High Court.
Bar associations across Telangana also decided to participate in the struggle for bifurcation of the High Court and formation of separate High Court in Telangana.
Office bearers of the High Court Advocates Association — Pasham Krishna Reddy, Jalakam Sampath Kumar, B. Yuvraj, Bargav, A. Giridhar Rao, K. Venu Madhav, D.L. Pandu, S.V. Bharatha Lakshmi, Sarasani Satyam Reddy senior advocate and JAC chairman M. Rajender Reddy — participated in the relay hunger strike.
Mr Satyam Reddy said they will intensify their struggle in the coming days to achieve their legitimate demand of having a separate High Court guaranteed under the Constitution for every state.

Retired SC judge asks Chhattisgarh high court to probe fake letter
Anuja Jaiswal,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 09.49 PM IST


RAIPUR: Retired Supreme Court judge, justice BS Chauhan, has asked the chief justice of Chhattisgarh, justice Yatinder Singh, to initiate an inquiry into a fake letter, purportedly written by him, to the state DGP recommending closure of a dowry harassment case against an accused. The judge has also stated that his signatures on the letter, which bears a stamp of the apex court, have been forged.

Justice Chauhan, who relinquished office on July 1 this month, wrote to the chief justice on Wednesday after TOI brought to his notice the existence of the fake letter. This development comes even as the Chhattisgarh police are making attempts to verify the veracity of the letter purportedly sent by Justice Chauhan.

In his letter (copy available with TOI) to the chief justice, justice Chauhan has said, “somebody has written this letter forging my signatures and it also bears the seal of the Supreme Court and appears to have been sent as a DO letter”. He said the matter should be inquired and action taken in accordance to the law.

The purported letter from justice Chauhan was received by the DGP office and forwarded to IG Bilaspur zone on July 4. The letter, which is dated June 25 when justice Chauhan was still serving in the Supreme Court, is written in Hindi on a plain paper.

The fake letter directs the DGP to close investigations in FIR No 282/2014 registered at Kotwali Raigarh police station under section 498A/34 of the IPC on March 28 this year. The letters states, “iss mukadme ke darj hone se poorav mein hi sara prakaran hammarre sangyan tha. Issliye aapse shifarish avum apeksha karni hai ki iss mukadme to tatkal bund kiya jaana hi nayahit mein uchit hai (The facts of the case have been in my knowledge even before it’s registration. In the interest of justice I recommend that this case may be closed immediately).

According to police officials, they suspected that the letter was forged and were in the process of writing for its verification to the Registrar of Supreme Court. “The fact that the letter was in Hindi and written directly to the DGP on a plain paper raised suspicions”, said a senior official.

The officials also revealed that the Raigarh collector office had received a somewhat similar written recommendation on April 28 from the secretary, National Women Commission (NWC) in the same case. The forged letter from the NCW directed the collector to close the case on grounds that the Commission had already investigated the matter.

The NCW letter was too written in Hindi. Officials said the Commission had verbally confirmed that they wrote no such letter.

The said case of dowry harassment pertains to a complaint by one Neha alias Jyanti Singhal, a resident of Raigarh. Nine members of her deceased’s family including his parents, his brothers and sisters were booked in the case. While all the female members have been granted bail, other members of the family are still absconding.

Justice Chauhan’s secretary, Meena Sareen, told TOI that besides sending a letter to the Chhattisgarh chief justice for an inquiry, they were also informing the Supreme Court about it.

Incidentally, this is the second such incident of a fake letter/order from the Supreme Court that has been sent to the Chhattisgarh government in the recent past in an attempt to stall on going proceedings in various departments.

On Monday only, TOI had reported that a fake Supreme Court order was received by post at the Raipur Medical College, staying the recent transfer of 41 doctors by the Chhattisgarh government. Justice HL Dattu had purportedly issued the so-called order. The government is already inquiring into the matter.

High court allows amendment in PIL for Chandrapur Government Medical College
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 01.28 AM IST
NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday allowed the petitioner to amend his PIL challenging the apex medical education body’s refusal to conduct inspection of Chandrapur Government Medical College. The move comes after petitioner’s counsel Anil Kilor pointed out to the court that the Maharashtra government had sanctioned Rs 100 crores for the new GMC in Baramati by going out of the way, but failed to replicate same efforts for GMCs at Gondia and Chandrapur. He said this was once again meting out step motherly treatment to Vidarbha.

He said that though the GMCs at all three places would not start from the current academic session due to MCI’s refusal, the huge grant of Rs 100 crore would help at least erect infrastructure as per stringent norms of the apex body.

The PIL for the Chandrapur GMC was filed by Rajesh Pugaliya, son of former MP Naresh Pugaliya. In case of Gondia GMC, it was filed by Congress MLA from Gondia Gopaldas Agrawal, citing delay on the part of the Maharashtra government to file documents related to compliance of all conditions prescribed by MCI for setting up of GMC in Gondia.

Last week, the Supreme Court had declined to interfere in MCI and union health ministry’s decisions on establishing GMC in Gondia. A division bench comprising justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhyaya and justice Sharad Bobde pointed out that as the deadline to finalize all proposals for new GMCs was July 15, it didn’t want to interfere with the decision-making at the last stage.

Delhi’s ‘death trap’ parks: High Court claims city’s green spaces ‘violate children’s human rights’
PUBLISHED: 00:21 GMT, 17 July 2014 | UPDATED: 00:22 GMT, 17 July 2014

Dilapidated neighbourhood parks across the city have caught the attention of the Delhi High Court for their abysmal maintenance.
Rapping the civic bodies on their knuckles, the court stated that the agencies seemed to be failing in their task of maintaining parks and recreational spaces across the Capital.
The court also suggested that the Resident Welfare Associations (RWAs) and corporate firms be roped in for the purpose.

Saying that civic agencies did not seem equal to the task, a Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R.S. Endlaw suggested that other stakeholders, including RWAs, be taken on board to come up with ideas, and to participate in maintenance of green spaces and parks across Delhi.
The court’s observations came during a hearing whereby the court had taken suo moto cognisance of a letter sent by Justice Joseph Kurien of the Supreme Court about the poor conditions of children’s parks in the city.
The court also invited suggestions from senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta, appointed as the amicus curiae to assist the court.
During the hearing, Gupta submitted photographs of various parks in the city, and said that except two – at India Gate and Sarojini Nagar – the rest are in poor condition.
Gupta had also dismissed the status reports of New Delhi Municipal Council and North Delhi Municipal Corporation, stating that the same were merely perfunctory.
In their status reports, the civic bodies had submitted that the parks in question have been repaired and are functional. Gupta submitted the status reports were “incorrect and misleading”.
“The civic bodies have placed on record various photos. However, these have been taken from a distance so as to suit their stand. I have personally visited most of these parks and their condition is deplorable. The swings and other rides are broken. There are exposed nails and dangerous wooden planks that act almost as death traps for children,” Gupta said.
He made the submission after visiting parks at places like Vasant Vihar, Vasant Kunj, Greater Kailash and India Gate.
Gupta cited the standards followed by various countries in maintaining parks and amusement facilities. He submitted that considering that India is a signatory to several international environmental agreements, it is the responsibility of the central Government to ensure upkeep of the green spaces.
The High Court has now directed Gupta to take on board other stakeholders and come up with suggestions for better upkeep of the parks by the next date of hearing.

The court is likely to take up the matter on August 13. In his letter dated April 12 to the acting Chief Justice of HC, Justice Joseph said the condition of city parks was a “serious violation of human rights of children” as it was “their right in their tender times to have a decent environment to play and frolic around.”
By converting the letter into a PIL, the HC expanded the scope of its intervention to all children’s parks in Delhi, asking the agencies to give details regarding the number of such parks and their proposed action plan to upgrade, maintain and repair facilities.
It also directed the New Delhi Municipal Council to take immediate measures to maintain, upgrade and repair facilities at parks in India Gate and Sarojani Nagar.
Parks a ‘violation of human rights’
In a letter to the Delhi High Court Chief Justice on April 12 , Supreme Court judge Justice Joseph Kurien said the condition of city parks were a “serious violation of human rights of children” as it was “their right in their tender times to have a decent environment to play and frolic around.”
Justice Joseph said he visited Children’s Park near India Gate and a few days later the Lake Park near Sarojini Nagar.
“To my shock, I found all slides were partially damaged and children were getting injured. Swings were not maintained properly. The fountain was not working,” he wrote.
The judge added that the Lake Park no longer had a lake and the condition of the playing area was deplorable with “potholes around the slides and the ground shaky and muddy with children getting injured.”
The apex court judge even suggested that the HC rope in the Delhi Legal Services Authority to do something and requested the Chief Justice to “visit incognito the parks and see for yourself the deplorable conditions.”
“In both the parks, I could infer that there was no responsible authority maintaining it. There was no one to guide the children,” Justice Kurien said in his letter.
By converting the letter into a PIL, the HC expanded the scope of its intervention to all children’s park in Delhi, asking the agencies to give details regarding the number of such parks and their proposed action plan to upgrade, maintain and repair facilities.
The HC said that exercise should be done within two weeks. While this exercise is being conducted, all corporations and others including the DDA shall rectify deficiencies, if any.

NDMC and DDA defend green space regulations
By Mail Today Bureau
While the High Court rued the fact that the civic bodies have failed to maintain green spaces and parks in Delhi, those authorities stepped up to challenge the court’s views.
According to the New Delhi Municipal Council and the Delhi Development Authority, all green spaces under their jurisdiction are routinely supervised and maintained.
“The matter of the children’s park and the Sarojini Nagar park being in a deplorable condition was brought to our notice in April. We immediately visited these parks and fixed the problems,” NDMC chief engineer Anant Kumar said.
“We also conducted checks across all our parks. While we have over 100 neighbourhood parks, 70 of these have swings, rides and other play equipment installed for recreation of children. All these equipment have been re-checked and touched up. A status report has also been filed in this regard,” Kumar said.
DDA maintained that all its parks were in perfect condition.
“The biodiversity parks like Millennium Park, Swarnajayanti Park, Hauz Khas Park etc. are all checked and maintained regularly. The maintenance of the smaller, neighbourhood parks meanwhile, is the responsibility of the MCD,” said DDA spokesperson Neemo Dhar.
On April 17, the High Court had directed the civic bodies to submit a detailed report on all children’s parks in Delhi.
The status report was to be filed by May 30 but the civic bodies, including the DDA and the three corporations, failed to do so.
Following which the court asked the agencies to submit the report by July 16.
Meanwhile, deputy mayor of North Corporation Ravinder Gupta indicted the officials at the horticulture department after visiting the Ajmal Khan Park.
Gupta directed the officials to clean-up the park on a priority basis and plant more trees.

Dhoti controversy goes to High Court
Is PIL petition maintainable, asks Acting Chief Justice
The controversy over the TNCA Club denying entry to a sitting judge and two advocates for coming to a function here in dhoti came up before the Madras High Court on Wednesday.
A city advocate has filed a public interest litigation petition for a directive to the State government to regulate the functioning of clubs in the State. He also wanted the government to suspend the licence of the TNCA Club.
In the petition, S. Karthik of Chromepet said the judge (Justice D. Hariparanthaman) and two senior advocates went to the club on July 11 for a book release function. Newspapers reported that the three were refused entry into the function hall as they were attired in dhoti, a traditional dress.
The action was against the fundamental rights and civil and cultural rights of Tamils. Clubs could not frame rules or regulations prescribing the dress code, which were without any legal sanctity. Dhoti was a traditional dress and the insignia of Indian heritage. The tradition of wearing dhoti was being followed since time immemorial, the petitioner said. Mr. Karthik submitted that the rules framed by clubs infringed on the fundamental rights of individuals, and they were illegal. The rules of the club that restricted a person solely on grounds of his personal attire were liable to be struck down since discrimination in any form could not be allowed to be practised in India, the petitioner said.
When the matter came up before the First Bench of the Acting Chief Justice (ACJ), Satish K. Agnihotri, and Justice M.M. Sundresh, the ACJ asked counsel how the petition was maintainable. Counsel said the club’s action amounted to violation of fundamental rights.
The ACJ observed that the association was a private body, and it had framed the rules. He wanted to know how it would affect the rights. When counsel pointed out that the matter was raised in the Assembly, he said the legislature was the competent authority to look into the matter.
The Bench later ordered that the petition be posted before some other Division Bench on which Mr. Justice Sundresh will not sit.

High court flays cops for inaction against Shreesurya group
Vaibhav Ganjapure,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.41 AM IST
NAGPUR: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Wednesday pulled up the city police for delay in taking action against the Shreesurya group asking them why they had failed to act when the scam was first exposed by the media in February last year.

A division bench of Justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Chandrakant Bhadang directed the government and police to file a comprehensive affidavit within two weeks on all types of transactions made by the Shreesurya owners chairman Sameer Joshi and his director wife Pallavi since February last year. It included cash and property transactions made by the couple before they were arrested and their agents. These respondents were also told to inform about the progress made in the investigations and action taken against the Shreesurya agents after petitioner – Shreesurya Pidit Thevidar Kruti Samiti through its secretary Shriram Dagwar – filed the petition in March this year.

The court’s directives came after petitioner’s counsel Anil Kilor pointed out that had the police machinery acted in February last year, many depositors would have been saved from being duped. He contended that the first complaint was filed on September 13 last year, six months after the media reported it. Subsequently, chairman Sameer Joshi was arrested by the Crime Branch’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on October 15, after a month’s delay.

Kilor added that in this period, Shreesurya owners and agents allegedly siphoned off all funds and also disposed of the properties. The cops managed to seize only Rs 5.50 lakh from their accounts. Citing Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999 (MPID), he argued that the EOW could have taken action at the initial stage itself as per Section 4 of the Act by attaching their properties.

The aggrieved investors under the aegis of Kruti Samiti approached HC praying for a CBI enquiry. Contending that the Joshi couple had duped thousands of gullible investors by promising astronomical returns, they demanded offences be registered against firm’s agents and to attach properties of all persons involved in the offence. They also insisted on action against the police officers who failed to lodge the FIR against accused and later deliberately delayed arrest of Joshi couple so they could tamper with documentary evidence.

Making Maharashtra home secretary, Nagpur collector and commissioner of police, and EOW, as respondents, the petitioners demanded stringent punishment to the guilty. EOW had detained three agents for interrogation – A Suryawanshi, Nishikant Mayee and P Dange – but no progress has been made since then. Recently, Pallavi was granted bail by the high court.

What was the scam?

Shreesurya Group began operations with blessings of Anjangaon Surji-based godman from 2005 inviting deposits from the public at large promising returns as high as 30 to 70% per annum through its various schemes. The group is run as a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) to avoid coming under Companies Act. It also floated a plan to double the investment in two years and an insurance scheme without approval from Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA).

The fraud came to light after an NGO got replies through RTI queries that none of the schemes floated by Joshi were recognized by Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). The Joshi couple and their agents collected funds from over 5,000 investors, many of them senior citizens. The schemes collapsed as Shreesurya began defaulting on returns. As a result, many complaints were lodged at Pune, Amravati and Akola, besides Nagpur, which led to arrest of Joshi couple.

Criminals in polls: Kerala high court seeks central govt view
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 05.14 AM IST
KOCHI: The high court of Kerala on Wednesday sought the Central government’s view on a petition that accused it of amending an Act to overcome a Supreme Court ruling, which banned criminals from contesting the elections.

Petitioner Basil Attipetty prayed to a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon to declare the amendment unconstitutional, null and void.

The Supreme Court had on July 10, 2013, held that the statutory right to vote would legally be suspended in case of persons in police custody, or those convicted in criminal cases. The court had then ruled that a person, whose right to vote has been suspended, was not qualified to contest in polls.

The apex court gave the ruling in the Chief Election Commissioner vs Jan Chaukidar case of 2004.

The section 62(5) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, which dealt with the right to vote, was later amended on September 20, 2013. The amendment changed the sub-section, saying those in the electoral roles would remain an elector even if he or she has been jailed or in police custody.

The amendment also clarified that the changes made would remain, and no court or judgment could alter it. Further, the amendment was made effective retrospectively from July 10, 2013, the day on which the Supreme Court had barred criminals from contesting polls.

Challenging the amendment, Attipetty argued in the high court that parliament had no authority or legal sanction to circumvent a Supreme Court ruling.

The petitioner argues that parliament had no authority and sanction of law to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. Through the amendment, parliament exceeded its powers and usurped the dominion of the judiciary, he said.

A division bench comprising of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice PR Ramachandra Menon was considering a petition filed by advocate Basil Attipetty.

On July 10th last year, the Supreme Court had held that right to vote is a statutory right and such right is taken away by law temporarily in the case of persons under lawful custody of police. Persons convicted of crime are also kept away from elections. When it comes to contesting in elections, a person who does not have the right to vote is not qualified to contest, the apex court had held in Chief Election Commissioner vs Jan Chaukidar case of 2004.

In the petition filed to the Kerala high court, an amendment brought to the Representation of the People Act, 1951 on September 20th last year is challenged.

The amendment included altering section 62(5) of the Act, which deals with Right to Vote. The subsection had laid down that a person confined to a prison, whether serving a prison term or under the lawful custody of police, cannot vote. Through the amendment, this was changed to the effect that a person who is already in electoral roll shall not cease to be an elector due to the prison term or police custody.

Further, the amendment declared that the Act, as amended, shall be deemed to have been in effect and in force at all material times notwithstanding anything contained in any judgment, decree, or order of any court.

Above all, the amendment declared that it will be deemed to have come into force on July 10th last year, which is the date on which the apex court ruled against criminals contesting elections.

The petitioner argues that the Parliament had no authority and sanction of law to circumvent the Supreme Court’s decision. Through the amendment, the Parliament exceeded its powers and usurped the dominion of the judiciary, it is contended.

A court order declaring the amendment as unconstitutional, null, and void is being sought by the petitioner.

CBI probe in solar scam case not necessary: Govt to HC
Last Updated: Wednesday, July 16, 2014, 19:34

Kochi: The Kerala Government today informed the High Court that a CBI enquiry was not necessary into the solar scam case, which had rocked the state last year.

The affidavit in this regard was filed on a PIL by opposition leader V S Achutanandan, seeking a CBI probe in the Solar panel case.

The affidavit, filed by investigating officer, V Ajit, Deputy Superintendent of Police, stated that no evidence could be collected against any other person other than the present accused.

There was no loss to the state exchequer. Investigation of the case was almost complete and files have been placed before the trial courts concerned, he stated.

The petitioner had also sought a probe involving the Enforcement Directorate, corporate affairs department and IT department.

Achuthanandan contended that in order to inspire confidence among the public regarding justice delivery system, a fair and impartial enquiry was required in the solar case. The money trail involved in the case has to be found out in the interest of the state’s economy, he had submitted.

The Opposition leader also sought an investigation into ‘sabotaging’ the statement given to the magistrate court here by one of the prime accused, Saritha S Nair.

The earlier investigation by the crime branch was not impartial, he stated. No efforts were taken by the investigating team to trace the amount collected by the accused, he said.

The scam involving a fraudulent solar company- Team Solar had taken a political turn after a close personal aide of Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was arrested for his alleged links with the accused. Two other personal staff of his office were also removed in connection with the scam.

The opposition CPI(M) led LDF had stalled assembly proceedings for several days and had also launched agitations, demanding Chandy’s resignation over the issue.


PIL on dhoti issue cannot be entertained, Madras high court says
A Subramani,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.10 PM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Wednesday observed that a public interest litigation (PIL) on the dhoti issue could not be entertained as no constitutional provision had been violated.

The issue relates to the denial of entry for a Madras high court judge, Justice D Hriparanthaman, and two senior advocates by the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association club last week because they were wearing the dhoti. The judge went to the club on the invitation of a retired judge for a book release function.

The entry denial has triggered a controversy in Tamil Nadu with various political parties and social activists, besides advocates, unanimously condemning the club rules.

The state assembly also discussed the issue. On Wednesday, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa indicated that the government would enact a law to curb the clubs undermining the importance of traditional dress.

On Wednesday morning, advocate Saravanan Dakshinamoorthy argued the matter before the first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice M M Sundresh and said the entry denial to a high court judge was an unfortunate incident.

Justice Agnihotri, however, wondered as to how a PIL could be entertained on the matter. “It is a private club and we cannot force them to change rules,” he said.

When the advocate said the judge was at the club for a public function and the Tamil culture had been humiliated, Justice Agnihotri said it was a book release function and not a public function. The judge was there as an invitee and not as a judge, he said.

When the advocate said the assembly itself discussed the issue, Justice Agnihotri said: “The legislature is the competent authority. They can do something about it. But we cannot treat it as a PIL, and this court is inclined to dismiss it.”

The bench, however, posted the matter before some other bench for hearing at a later stage.

HC notice over women lock-ups
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.50 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued notice to the Centre and the Delhi government on a PIL, seeking separate police lock-ups for women detainees in order to protect them from “sexual abuse” and “ill-treatment”.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw sought responses from the ministry of home affairs, the Delhi government and the commissioner of Delhi Police by September 10. The court’s order came a plea filed by advocate Avadh Kaushik which said that there was an urgent need to bring down the sexual abuse, harassment, ill-treatment and torture committed upon women detainees in police lock-ups.

The PIL comes at a time when a trial court judge had sent a letter to the chief justice of the Delhi HC on the issue and it had cited two cases where women accused were illegally detained and abused. TOI had first reported on June 3, 2014 about the plight of these three women and that the letter has been sent.

In the petition filed before the court on Wednesday, it was pointed out the two criminal cases registered in Rohini, where those three women were arrested at night without proper permission from the magistrate courts concerned.
He said that they were arrested by male police personnel, and were produced before the magistrate courts the next day.

In both cases, the women alleged they were sexually abused, harassed, humiliated, and tortured at the hands of male police personnel, the plea said.

“Direct police commissioner to deal with the complainants and information received regarding violation of human and women rights by police officers in lock-ups promptly, seriously and with heavy hands in a deterrent manner to prevent the abuse of power by police officers,” it said.

The petition also asked for suitable “sensitization programmes” to make metropolitan magistrates more trained, sensitive and judicial with respect to granting permission to police to arrest a woman at night.

Surat: Sessions court rejects Narayan Sai’s bail plea in rape case | Jul 16, 2014, 19:34PM IST
Ahmedabad/Surat: A Surat sessions court on Wednesday rejected bail plea of controversial godman Asaram’s son Narayan Sai. Rape accused Narayan Sai will now move high court.

According to reports, the court has observed that Sai can tamper with evidence and harm the witness in the case, if released on regular bail at present.

“The state police have filed the charge sheet in the month of March which indicates that the probe in the rape case has been completed,” Sai submitted in the bail plea.

Sai had further said in the regular bail plea that the complaint of rape was filed against him after a time-span of 11 years with malafide intentions. “There is nothing substantial in the facts of the case, so the applicant (Sai) should be released on the regular bail,” the bail plea said.

However, the court has not granted the submission of Sai and sent him to judicial custody after rejecting his bail. The police had charge sheeted Sai with the charges of rape under section 376, unnatural sex under section 377 and criminal conspiracy under sections 120(b)of IPC.

He was also booked under IPC sections 346 for wrongful confinement of the victim, 356 for physical assault, 506 for criminal intimidation, 148 for attempting deadly attack and 153 for rioting. Two sisters had lodged complaints against Sai and his father Asaram of rape, sexual assault, illegal confinement and other charges.

In her complaint, the younger of the two had accused Sai of repeated sexual assault between 2002 and 2005 when she was living at the Surat ashram managed by the father-son duo. The elder sister had filed a rape complaint against Asaram and a separate case is going on against him in the Gandhinagar court.

(With PTI inputs)

Court denies leniency to man who molested minor
A man aged 60 years and sentenced to one year imprisonment for molesting a minor has been denied leniency by a Delhi court which felt that his case deserves no consideration.
“There is no reason to interfere with the order of conviction and sentence passed by the trial court. The depraved action of the accused with a girl child old enough to be his granddaughter deserves no consideration and speaks of the increasing malaise in society which needs to be curbed with an iron hand,” District and Sessions Judge Ina Malhotra said.
Convict Gopal Yadav, a native of Uttar Pradesh, had moved Sessions court challenging his conviction.
The allegations against him were that on July 31, 2012, in the afternoon, he molested a girl of seven years by forcibly hugging, kissing and disrobing her.
The victim had told the police and the court that on the day of the incident, she had gone out to call her friends for tuition. Yadav, who was working as a servant at a nearby dairy, took her to a side and misbehaved with her. She also disclosed that he had misbehaved with her two months ago too and had given her Rs.4.
In the instant case, the girl said the convict let her free as she started screaming out of pain when the man molested her. She said he threatened to stab her if she disclosed the incident to anyone.

Arrest warrant against MS Dhoni recalled by AP High Court
By Press Trust of India
July 16, 2014, 10:19 pm
Anantpur: Jul 16, 2014
A local court on Wednesday recalled a bailable warrant it had issued last month against cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni in connection with a complaint which accuses him of hurting the religious sentiments of Hindus. Dhoni’s lawyers Pankaj Bhagla and M. Vishnuvardhan Reddy on Wednesday filed a “vakalatnama” before the sessions court judge.
Vijayakumar who accepted it and withdrew the warrant before posting the matter for final hearing to July 25. The lawyers told the court that Dhoni came to know about the warrant against him only through the media.
The complaint in this regard had been filed in June last year by Gopal Rao and Shyam Sunder who reportedly belonged to a right wing Hindu organisation. The duo had said Dhoni was shown in the form of a Hindu deity on the cover page of a business magazine, holding among other things a shoe in his hand, which they said was “hurting the religious sentiments.”
They also wanted registration of an offence against the then editor of the magazine. In his counter affidavit filed before the court on Wednesday, the then editor said the complaint, filed under section 295 (injuring or defiling place of worship with intent to insult the religion of any class) of IPC, was not maintainable and there are no grounds to restore the plaint.
“The publication neither destroyed, damaged or defiled any place of worship or any object. The complainant has also failed to establish the intention to insult any religion or the knowledge of the same on the part of the accused.
“The magazine page has to be seen in consonance with the article published inside the magazine, which does not mention about any God directly or remotely not has it made any attempt to portray Dhoni as Lord Vishnu…It is purely a work of art,” he said in the affidavit filed through his advocate V. Yagna Dutt. The affidavit will also be heard next week

• Bail plea of accused rejected by Muzaffarnagar court
10:39 HRS IST
Muzaffarnagar, July 16 (PTI) The bail plea of five riot accused has been rejected by a court here in a case of murder of three youths here.

District and Sessions Judge Vijay Laxmi yesterday rejected the bail plea of five accused Rajender, Saran, Harher, Arvind Kumar and Sahenserpal, saying there is no case of bail.

Three youths were murdered in Husainpur village in the district during the riots.

Law secretary goes back to court
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 02.15 AM IST
PANAJI: Law secretary Pramod Kamat has been appointed district judge and additional sessions judge, North Goa, as his deputation to the government ended on Wednesday. Principal secretary R K Srivastava has been given additional charge as law secretary.

Kamat was appointed law secretary on July 16, 2010, on deputation from court. His term was extended by the Congress and BJP governments.

As per the order issued by the registrar general of the high court, Kamat has been appointed district judge II and additional sessions judge. Sources said he will take charge on Thursday. They added he may soon be appointed at a Ponda court.

Sources at the secretariat, opined that being an upright officer, Kamat will not be influenced by his former political masters.

Trial court can hear all Adarsh cases: State
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 11.52 PM IST
MUMBAI: The state government on Wednesday told the Bombay high court that the CBI had filed its chargesheet in the Adarsh housing society case and hence the court should no longer monitor the probe. It also said that all Adarsh-related matters can now be raised before the trial court.

The government’s counsel, Anil Sakhare, placed the state’s stand while seeking dismissal of a plea filed by public interest litigant Pravin Wategaonkar who demanded that former CM Sushil Kumar Shinde be added as an accused in the Adarsh case on charges of misconduct. The counsel for Adarsh society also informed a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudesai that the HC need no longer monitor the probe.

Meanwhile, ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, has sought appointment of a special investigation by the CBI to probe an alleged conspiracy to shield former CM Ashok Chavan, an accused named in the original FIR, whose prosecution the state governor refused to sanction.

High court upholds man’s life term for setting ablaze wife
PTI | Jul 16, 2014, 05.51 PM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a man for setting ablaze his wife, saying that the trial court was right in relying on the victim’s dying declaration.

A division bench of justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Mukta Gupta upheld the life term given to Delhi resident Shailender by a trial court here in 2010 and dismissed his appeal.

“The totality of the evidence compels us to accord our approval to the view taken by the trial judge. The appeal is dismissed,” the bench held.

“The fact that there was past acrimony between the two would be indicative of the fact that in a fit of rage, the appellant set his wife on fire…,” it said.

Shailender was awarded rigorous imprisonment for life by the trial court which had also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him on September 15, 2010 under section 302 (murder) of IPC.

He had approached the high court challenging his conviction on the ground that burnt clothes of his wife were seized but were not sent for forensic examination and kerosene oil was also not detected on her scalp hairs.

According to the prosecution, Shailender was married to Manju in 1996 and had two children. Initially, the couple lived happily but after a year, he started harassing her under the influence of alcohol.

He used to beat his wife and in 2007, she had lodged a complaint with the police.

On the intervening night of April 22-23, 2008, Shailender had a quarrel with his wife. Thereafter, he brought a can of kerosene oil from the kitchen and poured it on Manju and set her on fire, it said.

Manish Kumar, the couple’s son who was sleeping in the adjacent room, woke up on hearing the commotion and rushed to the house of his maternal grandfather, who lived nearby, and told him about the incident, it added.

An ambulance was called which took her to LNJP Hospital where she died the next afternoon.

Trial court can hear all Adarsh cases: State
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 11.52 PM IST
MUMBAI: The state government on Wednesday told the Bombay high court that the CBI had filed its chargesheet in the Adarsh housing society case and hence the court should no longer monitor the probe. It also said that all Adarsh-related matters can now be raised before the trial court.

The government’s counsel, Anil Sakhare, placed the state’s stand while seeking dismissal of a plea filed by public interest litigant Pravin Wategaonkar who demanded that former CM Sushil Kumar Shinde be added as an accused in the Adarsh case on charges of misconduct. The counsel for Adarsh society also informed a bench of Justices P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudesai that the HC need no longer monitor the probe.

Meanwhile, ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, has sought appointment of a special investigation by the CBI to probe an alleged conspiracy to shield former CM Ashok Chavan, an accused named in the original FIR, whose prosecution the state governor refused to sanction.

HC issues notice to J’khand govt on foeticides in state
Last Updated: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 02:07

Ranchi: Jharkhand High Court has issued a notice to the state government seeking details of the steps taken by it to check instances of illegal abortion and foeticide in the state.

Taking suo motu cognisance of media reports on the rising incidence of foeticide in the state, a bench of Chief Justice R Banumathi and Justice Amitabh Kumar issued notices to the Jharkhand government chief secretary and its health secretary in this regard.

HC has asked these officials to explain in two weeks’ time whether these reports were true and, if so, what are the steps which have been taken by the state government to check such practices.

HC also asked the state government to provide details of registered and unregistered ultrasound centres in Jharkhand.


First Published: Thursday, July 17, 2014, 02:07

HC orders one-stop relief in rape cases
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.46 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Rape survivors will not have to wait for months to get compensation from the government. In an order that would expedite the rehabilitation process, the high court on Wednesday asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority (DSLSA) and the Delhi government to devise a “single-window” mechanism for providing immediate compensation to the survivors.

“We feel that victims need to be immediately awarded the amount and for this purpose there has to be a single window where they can take the receipt and get the money,” said a division bench of Justice B D Ahmed and Justice S Mridul.

Observing that it was “not satisfied” with the way disposal of compensation was being done, the high court asked the Delhi State Legal Services Authority to work out the modalities with the divisional commissioner and place a concrete proposal on the disbursal of compensation before the court by August 6, the next date of hearing.

“We feel victims ought to be compensated immediately after it is awarded by the legal services authority. For this we feel there should be a single window, where award can be presented and compensation can be paid. For this to materialize, it is necessary that a payment mechanism is available at each legal services authority office,” the bench said.

The court, which had taken suo motu cognizance of the December 16 gang rape, expressed its displeasure over Delhi government’s status report on funds disbursed to rape survivors and the time taken for the same, saying even now there is a delay of four to six months in disbursal of funds.

The court said that in case there is a delay on the part of divisional commissioner, he shall remain present in person to explain the same.

The court passed these orders after hearing the submissions of advocate Meera Bhatia; district and sessions judge Dharmesh Sharma, member secretary, DSLSA; and ASJ S S Rathi, officer on special duty, DSLSA.

On April 16, 2014, the court had termed as “unacceptable” the delay in payment of compensations to rape survivors and had asked Delhi government to ensure that they are paid within two weeks after the issue is decided by the DSLSA.

HC backs youths’ church service offer, quashes murder bid case
Rosy Sequeira,TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 01.02 AM IST
MUMBAI: Service to the church will make them better citizens, said the Bombay high court while quashing an attempt to murder case against two youths from Hariyali Village, Vikhroli (E).

A division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode made the observation following an offer made by the youths’ advocates that they are willing to do community service as a form of repentance. The bench was hearing an application filed by Johnson (27) and Conrad (23) Doraiswamy (names changed), urging to quash the proceedings before a magistrate.

On February 6, 2010, one of the two youths had held their neighbour Deepak Pawar (25) by his hand and the other had hit him on his head with a hammer for objecting to their playing cricket.

A complaint was registered under Section 326 (grievous hurt by dangerous weapon or means) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code. Subsequently Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC was added. The youths’ petition urged the court to quash the proceedings by saying that they had ended their dispute with Pawar and had agreed mutually to withdraw the case.

Public prosecutor Sandeep Shinde submitted that the offence is of Section 326 and not of Section 307 as the wound was not grievous and Jadhav was not admitted to a hospital. The judges noted the Supreme Court has held that where an offence is registered under 307 but evidence is otherwise, the court may permit the parties to settle. They noted that the Doraiswamys are “youngsters and do not possess a criminal record” and the act was committed in a fit of anger. Quashing the complaint, the judges directed them to pay cost of Rs 15,000 to the Tata Hospital Cancer Research Society.

Nothing that the Doraiswamys have offered to do community service to the church for two weeks, the judges said although they have no power to issue such direction, but the offer must be supported. “In our view, service to the church will make them better citizens and they will not be provoked into committing such offences in future,” they said. Allowing their plea, the judges said the “boys are of impressionable ages and should control their anger”.

HC notice to Delhi agencies over boy’s death
The parents of a seven-year-old boy, who drowned in an open manhole in Kondli area of East Delhi earlier this year, have moved the Delhi High Court seeking compensation of Rs.20 lakh. The petitioners have alleged that negligence by authorities had led to the mishap.
Justice Manmohan on Tuesday issued notices on the writ petition which has named the East Delhi Municipal Corporation, Public Works Department, Delhi Home Secretary and Delhi Police as respondents in the case. The Court sought response from all of them while posting the matter for hearing on November 5.
Mohammed Aslam Khan and Talat Jahan, parents of Sadaf, stated in their petition that their son was rushed to Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital after he fell in the open manhole while playing with another boy in Harijan Basti on January 31 this year. He was declared “brought dead” at the hospital and his post-mortem report revealed asphyxia as the cause of death.
“The manhole, which was old and in a dilapidated condition, was open for a long time. No action was taken to cover it and no safety measures were taken despite the fact that it was [situated] in a residential area,” stated the petition.
Mr. Khan and Ms. Jahan alleged that Sadaf had died as a result of negligence by the authorities. The police were also liable under the Delhi Police Act, 1978, they said, while pointing out that though the matter was reported immediately at the Ghazipur police station, no action was taken.
After a lot of endeavour, the area Sub-Divisional Magistrate gave a financial assistance of Rs.1 lakh to the boy’s parents, but it was described as insufficient by the petitioners.

SC stays Allahabad HC order against SBI Life
fe Bureau | New Delhi | Published: Jul 16 2014, 01:41 IST
SUMMARYIn a relief to SBI Life Insurance, the Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad High Court order that asked the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) to scrutinise all policies of the private life insurer and direct discontinuation of its policies and winding up of its business if it detected any regulatory breaches.
In a relief to SBI Life Insurance, the Supreme Court has stayed the Allahabad High Court order that asked the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda) to scrutinise all policies of the private life insurer and direct discontinuation of its policies and winding up of its business if it detected any regulatory breaches.
A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi stayed the HC judgment of May 29 that held that the Centre “will do well to ensure that the investors are not cheated in a manner, as in the present case, in which the entire investment of the senior citizen has been lost on the pretext of the policy being in tune with Irda guidelines”. The HC further held that the insurance contract in the present case was “arbitrary, illegal and void document”.
The court noted that SBI Life is a joint venture between State Bank of India and BNP Paribas Cardif and that “SBI Life Unit Plus II – Single”, a unit-linked product on a standard form of contract, did not have the Irda approval to its twin options in which the higher option reduced the entire investment of a senior citizen with high rate of mortality charges. “It was an unconscionable contract and was thus arbitrary, illegal and void document. It did not bind the petitioner,” said the court.
Irda is at present looking into the order and trying to see how to implement the order.
The HC order had come on a petition filed by one SBI Life customer, Virendra Pal Kapoor, who had invested R50,000 in 2007 in SBI Life’s Unit Plus II-Single, a Ulip with an option of a limited term of five years, for a sum assured or insurance cover of R3,12,500 (625% of the investment), with a choice of investment in a growth fund. But on maturity, he was paid a mere R248.
SBI Life in its appeal argued that State Bank of India has been created by State Bank of India Act, 1955, and hence it is a statutory body. Any company created by a statutory corporation, having more than 50% share, is a ‘State’ within the meaning of Article 12 of the Constitution of India.
The HC also observed that Kapoor was misled into entering into a contract without the individual knowing the finer details and without him being explained the contents of the policy.

HC fumes over slow induction of cops
TNN | Jul 17, 2014, 12.50 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Wednesday expressed its dissatisfaction with the steps taken by the authorities in implementing its orders with respect to setting up of forensic labs and recruitment of additional personnel in Delhi Police.

On April 16, the court had asked the Centre, the city government and cops to create and fill additional posts in the police, saying a “great shortage” was felt. The court noted that the Centre had received a proposal for inducting 14,869 cops in Phase I. “We hope the entire process… is expedited, so that Phase II can be rolled out,” the court said. A bench of justices B D Ahmed and S Mridul rejected the Centre’s defence that the delay was due to change in government. Regarding forensic science labs, the court directed the government to set up facilities in rented buildings till land was allocated.

Medical tests: HC dismisses Nithyananda’s plea
The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday gave the green signal to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to interrogate Nithyananda of Nithyananda Dhyanapeetam, besides subjecting him to medical tests to find out if he was capable of having sexual intercourse, and to collect his voice sample.
Justice S.N. Satyanarayana passed the order while dismissing Nithyananda’s petition, in which he had questioned the 2012 order passed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) of Ramanagaram.
The CID in February 2012 had filed charge sheet against him for offences such as rape, unnatural sex, criminal intimidation, and criminal conspiracy based on a complaint from a devotee.
As the CID, after filing of charge sheet, received complaint from more women devotees alleging rape, the investigating officer decided to continue the investigation and sought the court’s direction to Nithyananda to appear before the investigating officer and subject him to medical tests.
The CJM’s court on June 18, 2012 allowed CID’s plea and directed Nithyananda to subject himself to medical tests. However, on Nithyananda’s plea, the High Court stayed the permission granted to the CID by the CJM’s court in Ramanagaram.
While dismissing Nithyananda’s plea, the High Court on Wednesday upheld the order of the CJM’s court and permitted the CID to interrogate him.
Meanwhile, the High Court also dismissed the petitions filed by the other accused in the case — Nithya Bhakthananda, Nithya Sadananda, Manithya Sachitananda, and Nithya Sachitananda, who were said to have aided Nithyananda in committing the alleged crime.

HC Impleads Government in Plea against Stray Dog Menace
By Express News Service
Published: 17th July 2014 08:21 AM
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday impleaded the state government, Director, Health and Family Welfare Department and Managing Director, Kerala Medical Services Corporation Ltd, as respondents in a petition seeking to curb the menace of stray dogs in the state.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon issued the order when a petition filed by Basil Attipetty seeking a directive to the state to appropriate measures to prevent the menace, came up for hearing.
The petitioner submitted that section 438 of the Kerala Municipality Act, 1994, had empowered the municipalities and corporations to capture stray dogs.
The petitioner further pointed out that there were reports with regard to the non-availability of rabies vaccine and medicine for the treatment of dogbite victims in government hospitals.
The price of medicine is around Rs 2,500, but when the victim of stray dog bite approached, the government hospitals will not have the medicine. The victims may not be able to afford buying the vaccine from private shops, therefore the government has the duty to supply rabies vaccine and other medicines in government hospitals through Kerala Medical Service Corporation, the petitioner pointed out.

Tandoor case: Delhi HC refuses parole to convict
Submitted by IANS on 16 July 2014 – 7:31pm
New Delhi : Sushil Sharma, who is serving life imprisonment for murdering his wife Naina Sahni and throwing her body into a Delhi restaurant’s tandoor, Wednesday withdrew his parole plea after the Delhi High Court refused to grant him parole.
Justice Pratibha Rani said: “I am not inclined to grant parole. The petition is dismissed as withdrawn.”
Sharma had sought parole for three months, saying he needs to take care of his ailing mother who has been advised to undergo a knee surgery and physiotherapy.
Sharma, a former Youth Congress leader, was convicted for murdering his wife Naina Sahni, whom he suspected of infidelity.
He shot her with his licensed revolver July 2, 1995, took her body to a restaurant, chopped the body into small pieces and tried to burn it in the restaurant’s tandoor (oven).
A city court convicted Sharma Nov 7, 2003, and awarded him the death penalty.
The high court upheld his death sentence in February 2007. The Supreme Court, however, commuted the death penalty to life imprisonment Oct 8, 2013.

HC orders notice to BSY
Bangalore, Jul 16, 2014, DHNS :
The High Court of Karnataka on Wednesday ordered notice to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, his son B Y Raghavendra and former deputy chief minister K S Eshwarappa in connection with alleged illegal denotification of forest land at Hunasekatte in Bhadravathi taluk of Shimoga district.

Vinod Kumar, a Shimoga-based advocate, had filed a complaint alleging that Yeddyurappa had misused his position to denotify 69 acres of land in Bhadravathi in 2010. The Lokayukta had dismissed his complaint following which Kumar had approached the High Court.
The Court too had dismissed his review petition stating that he had not obtained sanction for prosecution from appropriate authority. However, the petitioner approached the court after obtaining necessary sanctions.Justice S N Satyanarayana ordered issue of notice.

Rs 1 lakh crore undisclosed income detected
TNN & Agencies | Jul 17, 2014, 02.19 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The income tax department’s search and survey operations last year unearthed over Rs 1 lakh crore of undisclosed income, data shared by the finance ministry with the Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money has revealed.

According to reports, Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), under the finance ministry, shared data disclosing that the I-T department’s survey operations on many big business houses and some high net worth individuals in 2013-14 had unearthed undisclosed income of more than Rs 90,390 crore.

Both search and survey operations together revealed undisclosed income of Rs 1,01,181 crore. This was more than three times the Rs 29,628 crore disclosed during the previous year as a result of the I-T department’s search and survey operations.

READ ALSO: Some in govt against unearthing black money, Jethmalani says

In its report, CBDT said seizure of jewellery, fixed deposits and cash during its search operations were alone worth more than Rs 800 crore. More entities were covered under the I-T department’s search and survey operations during the last fiscal compared to the previous year.

In 2013-14, the I-T department executed 4,503 search warrants covering 569 entities besides surveys on 5,327 others. In the previous year, 3,889 search warrants were executed besides surveys on 4,630 entities.

Agency reports said over Rs 71,000 crore of undisclosed income was reported by only one corporate house involved in the energy sector. The matter is under dispute at present.

The black money which was seized from a garment shop in Thiruvananthapuram on Wednesday.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) on black money was notified by the finance ministry in the last week of May under instructions from the Supreme Court. It is headed by retired SC judge M B Shah with heads of all enforcement and intelligence agencies as its members. According to the SIT’s terms of reference, it will have access to all cases investigated by the I-T department, Enforcement Directorate, CBI and the Financial Intelligence Unit related to unaccounted money and tax evasion.

The SIT has also set up an investigating unit of its own with officials drawn from agencies like CBI, I-T, ED, Intelligence Bureau, FIU and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office.

This ‘separate infrastructure’ of the SIT will conduct and coordinate a multi-agency probe on cases of black money both within and outside India, said a top finance ministry official.

“All these investigation reports will be submitted to the Supreme Court which will decide whether names of people investigated should be disclosed,” the official said.

LEGAL NEWS 16.07.2014

Opening of new DRTs alone will not speed up bad loan recovery’
Judicial reforms that cause delays in the recovery process of Asset Reconstruction Companies must be addressed first
The banking sector was expecting a huge relief on the bad loans front from the Budget. But all it got was an earnest acknowledgement of the growing bad loan menace and the setting up of six new Debt Recovery Tribunals (DRTs).
But the opening of new DRTs alone cannot help speed up the recovery of bad loans, given the existing issues and delays in the functioning of the DRTs.
Judicial interventions that cause delays in the recovery process of Asset Reconstruction Companies (ARCs) must be addressed first.
“At present, there are 33 DRTs in the country. While the opening of an additional six is a welcome move, this alone will not help,” says P Rudran, Managing Director and CEO, Asset Reconstruction Company of India (ARCIL), the first ARC set up to buy distressed assets from banks.
ARCs were set up under the SARFAESI Act to enable faster recovery without the intervention of the court, as the Debt Tribunal or civil courts present earlier were not very effective and fast. But in reality, judicial interventions and the inefficacy of DRTs have prevented a speedy recovery.
60-day notice
ARCs, when set up, had the right to send a 60-day notice to the borrower asking him to pay the dues, failing which ARCs could take possession of the mortgaged assets. If the borrower had an objection he could go to the DRT or the High Court. The DRT was then supposed to adjudicate the matter within 180 days.
“But currently these cases take a long time and sometimes even years to decide, says Rudran. The court decisions too are unpredictable which causes the delay in the recovery process.”
Most of the times instead of adjudicating the matter, courts issue a stay order which delays the process further.
“Many of the smaller courts are also issuing stay orders against SARFAESI action. If they must issue a stay order, the least they can do is to ask borrowers to pay minimum 75 per cent of the dues as deposit. At present, some DRTs ask for a deposit of a modest 10-15 per cent and in some cases even ex parte stay is granted without any deposit being insisted upon,” Rudran adds.
The opening of new DRTs is secondary. First, the existing ones need to be adequately staffed. Many of the DRTs do not have a presiding officer or recovery officer. “In Mumbai’s Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal (DRAT), for instance, there was no presiding officer. The officer who presides over the Calcutta DRAT was looking after the Mumbai DRAT. Only recently a presiding officer was appointed in Mumbai DRAT,” he adds.
(This article was published on July 15, 2014)

KFA dues: Service Tax Dept seeks its share from banks’ pie
Last Updated: Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 20:06
Mumbai: Unable to recover over Rs 50 crore dues from Kingfisher Airlines, the services tax department has moved courts to get a share from sale of securities being undertaken by lenders.

“What we are pleading to the court is that whatever money bankers will get from the sale of shares and properties of the airline, we should also be given our dues,” Services Tax Commissioner Sushil Solanki told reporters on the sidelines of a FICCI event here.

The services tax department, which in the past had frozen accounts of the Vijay Mallya-promoted airline, has filed intervention applications in the Debt Recovery Tribunal and the Karnataka High Court in pursuit of the same around three months ago, he said.

A consortium of 17 banks, which had collectively lent over Rs 7,000 crore to the airliner, have initiated recovery proceedings under the available legal avenues using the underlining securities which they had.

The securities included shares in multiple group companies and real estate like the corporate headquarters in the financial capital and a beach villa in Goa.

When asked about the dues owed by the grounded airliner to the department, Solanki said it is over Rs 50 crore plus interest and applicable penalties.

Kingfisher Airlines, which stopped operations in October 2012, allegedly did not deposit the service tax collected on ticket sales with the department, and diverted the money to other purposes.

The airlines’ dues to the service tax department had gone up to Rs 140 crore at one point of time and a slew of measures, including freezing its bank accounts to regulate fund flows, have resulted in it coming down. The department is in possession of two of the grounded aircraft of Kingfisher.

The services tax department had discovered that the modus operandi of Kingfishers was also adopted by other companies. The department had recovered nearly Rs 250 crore from such companies, Solanki said.


First Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 20:06

SC Constitution Bench to decide on `living will’ to die with dignity
The Supreme Court would decide whether to issue notice to all the States or refer the matter to the Law Commission of India.
A five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court will take up for consideration on Wednesday a petition seeking to declare the execution of a `living will’ of persons, suffering from chronic terminal diseases and likely to go into a permanent vegetative state, to refuse treatment to pave way for their death.
On Tuesday a Bench comprising Chief Justice R.M. Lodha and Justices J.S. Khehar, J. Chelameswar, A.K. Sikri and Rohinton Nariman hearing a petition filed by NGO Common Cause told counsel Prashant Bhushan and Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi that the court would decide whether to issue notice to all the States or refer the matter to the Law Commission of India.
The PIL was referred to Constitution Bench by a three-judge bench. Mr. Bhushan submitted that when a medical expert opined that the person afflicted with the terminal disease had reached a point of no return, then they should be given the right to refuse being put on a life support system to prolong their agony. The issue had been wrongly referred by three judges as one concerning euthanasia, he said and added that it pertained only to execution of living will to die with dignity when there was no hope of survival.
Mr. Rohatgi said the issue had lot of legal, social and moral aspects concerning the humanity as a whole. He said right to die merely because of pain and suffering would not be in the interest of society as it was against public policy. Any change in the law could be brought about only by Parliament, he added and said the ruling in `Aruna Shanbaug’s case’, which upheld the validity of passive euthanasia, was wrong.
CJI told Mr. Bhushan that execution of will would arise only after the death of a person. As the issue concerned all the States, they should be given notice and heard, he added and said the Law Commission’s view also could be sought.
At this juncture Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar brought to the court’s notice that in November 2012 the Law Commission had already submitted a report relating to passive euthanasia and `living will’. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on Wednesday asking the parties to throw light on the Law Commission’s report.

HC asks railways to check tout menace
Smriti Singh,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.03 AM IST
NEW DELHI: In a direction that would benefit railway passengers, the Delhi high court on Tuesday directed the railway ministry to devise a mechanism for preventing the practice of the touts of blocking the large number of berths in bogus names and then making them available to wait-listed passengers willing to pay premium.

“We direct the railways to devise ways and means for preventing the practice, if any, in vogue of the touts for their own gain blocking the seats/berths by making reservation therefore in bogus names and then making such seats/
berths available to bona fide passengers willing to pay premium,by allowing them to board the train on the basis of wait-listed tickets in physical form and occupy the seats/berths of the bogus reservation” said a division bench comprising Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw while giving the ministry six months to devise a plan.

The HC’s order came while hearing the petition of a man, who alleged discrimination by the railways between the wait-listed passengers who have purchased e-tickets through the internet and the wait-listed passengers who have purchased tickets physically from the reservation counters.

In his plea, the petitioner contended that while the wait-listed passengers holding e-tickets were prohibited from boarding the train and their tickets immediately stood cancelled in case it wasn’t confirmed in the final chart, the wait-listed passengers holding tickets in the physical form were entitled to board the train and take a chance of occupying any berths available owing to “no-show of the passengers in whose name the confirmed booking exists.

While court held that “no case of discrimination was made out” as the mere fact that the passenger holding a ticket in the physical form is entitled to take such a chance even though not entitled under the Rules & Regulations”, the bench said that such a passenger was taking a risk of being de-boarded at a distant station unless of course the train has an unreserved compartment and the passenger opts to travel in the same.

It however, suggested a solution to this problem by asking the ministry to provide an option to an e-ticket purchaser as to whether he wants his ticket to be cancelled or not in the event of its non-confirmation.

“One suggestion which comes to our mind is, to give an option to passengers purchasing e-ticket, to not have their tickets cancelled automatically at the time of preparation of the final chart before departure of the train and to if so desire take a chance by going to the Railway Station and availing of the seats / berths of the passengers holding reservation and who fail to show up,” it said.

The HC asked the Railway ministry to resolve alleged anomaly which allowed waitlisted ticket holders, who purchase them from counters, to board a train while denies the same to waitlisted e-ticket holders.

HC upholds Natco’s plea on cancer drug Nexavar
Bayer had approached the Bombay High Court after it lost an appeal in the IPAB in Chennai last year
BS Reporter | Mumbai
July 16, 2014 Last Updated at 00:50 IST
The high court here on Tuesday upheld the compulsory licence granted to Hyderabad-based Natco Pharma to manufacture an affordable generic version of Nexavar(sorafenib tosylate), a kidney cancer drug patented by German drug major Bayer AG.

The Nexavar issue dates back to March 9, 2012, when the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks had granted a compulsory licence to Natco in this regard. At that time, the Centre had said under World Trade Organization (WTO) norms, it could issue compulsory licences to overcome barriers to a cheaper version of a patented drug, without the consent of the company holding the patent.

While Natco said it was “pleased” with Tuesday’s court’s ruling, Bayer said the decision left it disappointed. A Bayer spokeswoman said the company would continue to defend its intellectual property rights in India.

On Tuesday, the Natco Pharma stock closed at Rs 1,061.7 on the BSE, up four per cent. The court order came a few minutes before the markets closed.

Bayer had approached the Bombay High Court after it lost an appeal in the Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) in Chennai last year. The board had upheld the compulsory licence issued to Natco. Bayer held the patent for Nexavar in India until 2020 and wanted to defend its intellectual property rights within the Indian legal system, Bayer had said at that time.

In its verdict in March 2013, the IPAB ruled the government was using its rights under WTO norms to issue compulsory licences. It added though Bayer had obtained a patent for Nexavar in India in 2008, it could not make available the kidney and liver cancer drug on a large scale and at an affordable price, within the stipulated time.

Rejecting the IPAB ruling, a Bayer spokesperson had said the drug maker had produced sufficient quantities of Nexavar to meet the demands of Indian patients using the medicine.

The patent office had asked Natco Pharma to make a monthly dose of 120 tablets of Nexavar available to cancer patients at Rs 8,800, compared with Rs 280,000 charged by Bayer.

• On March 9, 2012, the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks had granted a compulsory licence to Natco
• The Centre had said under WTO norms, it could issue compulsory licences to overcome barriers to a cheaper version of a patented drug, without the consent of the company holding the patent
• In its verdict in March 2013, the IPAB ruled the government was using its rights under WTO norms to issue compulsory licences

HC okays 40% cut in non-TP private land
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.50 AM IST
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court on Tuesday upheld the provisions of deducting 40% of the land from private occupiers in non-TP areas, where the development plan is yet to be applied. The HC said that looking at the future needs for the town planning, taking away a chunk of land from occupiers for public purpose is valid and not in violation of the constitutional rights of the owners.

The court observed that the action of deducting 40% of land from occupiers and developers before the area falls under a TP scheme does not amount to land acquisition. “Looking at the future need and providing amenities like roads, drainage, garden and parking in micro-planning, competent authority can direct concerned land parcel holders to deduct 40% area. The authority has power to enforce such a regulation,” a division bench said, while turning down a PIL by Vadodara Shaheri Jilla Khedut Mandal.

The PIL had challenged provisions of General Development Regulations (GDR) issued by the urban development authority and state government. “For development, where the town planning scheme is not declared, the competent authority shall enforce owners or applicants to contribute land admeasuring up to 40% in aggregate of its plot or building,” reads the GDR rule.

In December last year, the HC had approved similar provision of taking away 40% of land from private occupiers for granting development permission in the development plan area of a city. The court had then observed that this deduction is not ‘deprivation of property’ but for a larger public interest. The same petitioner had questioned the rule and argued that depriving the land owners in this fashion is violation of Article 300-A of the Constitution. But the court disproved the contention.

HC to health department: Set up teams for surprise checks
Rajesh Kumar Pandey,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 10.16 AM IST
ALLAHABAD: In order to check private practice by teachers of medical colleges, the Allahabad high court has directed the state health authorities to set up one or more special teams to conduct surprise check at the state medical colleges so as to find out whether any teacher working therein is engaged in private practice or not.

This directive was passed by a division bench of Allahabad high court comprising Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice Suneet Kumar on a PIL filed by one Ravi Singh.

The court directed to list this matter along with other connected matters before the appropriate court on October 28. In other important order, the court directed the commissioner, Allahabad division, to constitute a committee to conduct surprise inspection/checking to find out whether any or more teachers of medical college in Allahabad is/are doing private practice or not. The committee would collect evidence if it finds otherwise and submit periodical report along with collected evidence, if any, through the commissioner to this court within six weeks, it was directed.

In order to put effective check on menace of private practice, the court directed that all the teachers of the medical college in Allahabad shall file their personal affidavits stating as on oath as to whether they are doing any private practice or not. In case, they are engaged in private practice, they will give details whereof. Such affidavits shall be filed by July 31 with the Principal of the medical college, who shall file an affidavit himself verifying these facts.

The court directed the health authorities concerned of the state to file their respective replies giving details of the conditions of other state medical colleges functioning in UP. Regarding question of private practice by teachers in other medical colleges, the health authorities shall specify the position and what effective steps have been taken to curb the menace of private practice, the court directed.

The PIL has highlighted pathetic condition of medical college in Allahabad and its associated hospitals. The petitioner has also alleged that quite a number of teachers of this medical college are engaged in private practice.

HC seeks records pertaining to land acquisition for metro work
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 19:09 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked the Land AcquisitionCollector (LAC) to produce the records relating to award of compensation payable to residents whose plots have been handed over to DMRC for metro-related construction here in south Delhi.

A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul issued the direction to LAC after it failed to show that notices were given to the house-owners before handing over their property to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Phase-III maintenance depot here.

“In case the record is not availiable before this court, he (LAC) will have to be present in person before this court with proper explanation,” the bench said and posted the matter for August 4.

The court’s direction came on a plea filed by Residents’ Welfare Association of Shram Vihar Abdul Fazal Enclave here, who had alleged land was never acquired in accordance withlaw nor notices were served to them.

The petitioner-counsel Bahar-u-Barqi contended before the court that compensation has not been paid, by DMRC, DDA or LAC to the recorded owners.

DMRC opposed the petitioner’s contention saying the land was given to them by DDA and LAC has to look into it.

DMRC counsel B L Wali contended the court had earlier also directed LAC to produce the record but they failed to do so.

He further stated that the project was supposed to be completed by December and this is the only land we were able to acquire after great difficulties.

To which, the court said LAC needs to find out and give them an update as “the fact is that DMRC is on the site”.

“You cannot deprive them (residents) without proper compensation. You (LAC) accquired land, but you have to do it in accordance with law.

“This is a public project which is hanging in balance. We cannot allow it to hang for long,” the bench said.

DDA had in December 2012 handed over the land for a depot at Kalindi Kunj in south Delhi on permanent basis for construction of Janakpuri (west) to Botanical Garden corridor (Lines-8) of the DMRC Phase-III project.

HC upholds dismissal of women’s commission chairperson
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 06.48 AM IST
SHIMLA: Himachal Pradesh high court, on Tuesday, dismissed the petition filed by former chairperson of the State Women’s Commission Dhaneshwari Thakur challenging the decision of the state government to remove her. The court said the petitioner was appointed at the pleasure of the government and was removed by the same pleasure and she cannot claim that the order of removal is a breach of the principle of natural justice.

Through her petition, Dhaneshwari Thakur sought court directions to allow her to serve as commission chairperson for the period she was appointed in terms of notification, dated January 7, 2012. She also sought compensation on the grounds taken in the memo of the writ petition. In her petition, Thakur maintained that she was removed illegally, in violation of the principle of natural justice as she was removed without following the due process of law and without giving her an opportunity of being heard.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Tarlok Singh Chauhan, while hearing the case, said in the order, that the petitioner came to be appointed due to political considerations and there is no need to issue prior notice. The concept of the principle of natural justice is not applicable in the given circumstances, more so, when appointments have been made without following any selection process and procedure, but at the pleasure of the government. “Applying the test in this case, the petitioner was also appointed at the pleasure of the government and came to be removed by the same pleasure and cannot now claim that the order of removal has been passed in breach of the principle of natural justice,” the court observed.

HC for policy to compensate terror victims’ families
Press Trust of India
Jul 15, 2014 at 06:38pm IST
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday suggested the Centre to come out with a policy to adequately compensate families of those killed in terror attacks instead of paying a standard amount by way of ex-gratia.
A division bench comprising Justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar asked the Union government to file a fresh affidavit by July 30 detailing steps it intended to take to compensate the victims’ families.
The court’s order came after the Union government, in an affidavit, said it has come out with a circular under which an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh would be made to such families. While the Centre would pay Rs three lakh, the remaining would be contributed by the respective state governments.
The bench also asked Advocate General Darius Khambata to appear in the matter to assist the court. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rajeshwar Panchal, an advocate, who sought a just and fair amount to be given as compensation to the families of people killed in terror attacks.
Panchal argued that the income of the deceased, the social status of the family and the number of dependents needed to be taken into account to determine the compensation.
He said Motor Vehicles Act and Workmen’s compensation Act laid down a formula to arrive at such a compensation. The High Court had earlier observed that giving suitable compensation to the victims of terror attacks or blasts is a liability of the state and such relief cannot be ex-gratia (done from a sense of moral obligation rather than because of any legal requirement).

HC rejects PIL asking permission to capture live snakes during
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 19:31 IST
The Bombay High Court today dismissed a petition seeking permission to capture live cobras from forests during the forthcoming Nagpanchmi festival for worshipping the snakes, observing it was against the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act.

The plea to capture snakes from the forests was rejected by a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar which said such practice was not an essential requirement in Hindu religion.

The bench opined that instead of capturing live cobras for worship, their idols or photographs should be used by the devotees during the Nagpanchmai festival, which is celebrated every year in August.

The petition was filed by “Battis-Shirale Gram Sabha” of Sangli district. Villagers of Battis-Shirale catch live cobras from the forests during Nagpanchmi and worship the reptiles before leaving them back in their natural habitat.

The court also ordered formation of a committee to create an awareness among the people about protecting wildlife and framing a policy on the issue. The Collector of Sangli and Superintendent of Police shall be members of the committee, which has been asked to submit a report by August 31.

Counsel for Battis-Shirale Gram Sabha, J Shekhar, argued that capturing snakes is a socio-religious ceremony under the Hindu law. Therefore, Wildlife Protection Act interfered with articles 25 and 26 of the Indian Constitution which gives right to citizens to practice religion, activities and ceremony.

However, the High Court said that capturing live snakes and subsequently releasing them would cause them harm and was against the law. Under the Constitution, the citizens were duty bound to protect creatures, the bench observed.

HC to Gujarat state: Provide BPL cards to 1.45 lakh applicants
Press Trust of India | Ahmedabad
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 19:39 IST
The Gujarat High Court directed the Gujarat state government here today, to provide below poverty line (BPL) cards to 1.45 lakh applicants from Junagadh district, after processing their applications within two months, in response to a public interest litigation (PIL).

The two-judge Gujarat High Court bench of Chief JusticeBhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala directed the state government to process all the application and provide BPL cards to them.

The court gave this order after hearing a PIL filed by aCongress MLA Jawahar Chavda from Manavadar constituency, in March this year.

However, the high court did not accept allegations by the petitioner that Gujarat Chief Minister Anandi Patel allegedly gave oral instructions not to process applications or forms submitted through Chavda.

The high court also did not heed the Chavda’s demand to probe denial of BPL cards to poor people and to fix the responsibility for doing so, on Gujarat government authorities.

Earlier, the Gujarat state government had submitted before the high court that the Anandi Patel, who was then revenue minister did not give any oral direction to any official in connection with the BPL card issue.

The petitioner had submitted that 1.45 lakh applications were filed through Chavda on behalf of people from Socially and Economically Backward Classes (SEBC) in 2012.

“Applications and forms were submitted to get benefits from several Gujarat state government and central government housing schemes. However, despite making several representations to various authorities, no respite was offered to the poor people,” Chavda’s PIL said.

HC notice to Centre, MCI on plea against nomination of members
PTI Jul 15, 2014, 01.41AM IST
MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court today ordered a notice to the central government, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and others on a plea seeking to reconsider the nomination of 42 persons as members of the CCIM, the Medical Council of India and the Central Council of Homeopathy.

HC seeks timeframe for submitting forensic reports
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 15, 2014
First Published: 15:26 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 15:34 IST(15/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Chandigarh administration to inform as to how much time would be required by the central forensic science laboratory, Sector 36, to submit forensic reports if Punjab and Haryana authorities analyse their samples on their own.
The directions came from the division bench comprising chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice Ajay Tewari on Friday. The orders came when in an ongoing case Prerna Puri, additional secretary of home department, Chandigarh, informed the court that due to work pressure from the neighbouring states delay was caused in obtaining forensic reports from the laboratory.
The officer submitted that on an average it took five to six months’ time in preparation and finalisation of the forensic report from the laboratory. According to the data submitted by Puri, the laboratory in some cases even took more than an year’s time to submit its report.
Puri also advocated the need for improvement of infrastructure in the laboratory to cater to the requirements of Chandigarh administration in cases under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
The high court had taken suo motu notice of lack of sufficient forensic science laboratories in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh because of which undertrials under the NDPS Act were languishing for years in jails. The case will now come up for hearing on July 16

HC judge watches video of speech by Trinamool MLA

“Why did it take such a long time for the police to file the charge sheet?”
A Judge at the Calcutta High Court watched on Monday the video footage of Trinamool Congress MLA Monirul Islam where he is seen threatening a local Congress leader and admitting that he had crushed three other persons to death.
Hearing a petition demanding a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the murder of three brothers at Labhpur in Birbhum district in 2010, Justice Dipankar Datta directed that the controversial video footage where Mr. Islam is seen admitting these crimes be played in his chamber. Justice Dutta watched the video in presence of counsel of both sides and the investigating officer in the case.
“Bapi Dutta, it would not even take me a minute to behead you,” Mr. Islam was seen saying in a video footage that came to fore in July 2013 before the panchayat elections in the State. In the video, he has also admitted to having ‘crushed under his feet three people who had indulged in atrocities against women’.
The family members of the three victims moved the High Court after the charge sheet filed by the State police did not name Mr. Islam, though the incident occurred at his residence. The charge sheet was submitted a few weeks ago.
During the proceedings, Justice Datta asked why it took such a long time for the police to file the charge sheet. He also pointed out that it was the duty of the State to ensure that the three citizens got justice.

Labhpur: HC admits CBI probe plea
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.26 AM IST
KOLKATA: Calcutta high court on Tuesday admitted a petition seeking CBI inquiry into the murder of three CPM supporters at Birbhum’s Labhpur in 2010, for which the victim family accused local Trinamool Congress MLA Manirul Islam.

Justice Dipankar Datta on Tuesday directed the state to file an affidavit by August 1 after questioning the investigating officer in camera (behind closed doors). The judge asked outsiders and the media to move out of the courtroom at the insistence of government lawyer Samrat Sen and heard the investigating officer in his chamber. The court took a similar stance while hearing a petition over the inheritance of matinee idol Uttam Kumar’s property.

The bone of contention was the Bengali transcript of the recorded video clippings of a public speech by Manirul Islam at Sainthia on July 23, 2013, where he allegedly claimed to have “crushed three under his feet”. Justice Datta handed over the clippings along with the transcript to the government lawyer and said: “Are you disputing it?”

The lawyer instead asked the judge if the transcript was a correct representation of the video recording. Saying so, he pointed to four lines of the transcript to place the reported portion in context. The four lines that the lawyer pointed out bore out how a woman was tortured in Labhpur.

Justice Datta then wanted to interrogate the investigating officer who was present in the courtroom. At this, the government lawyer pleaded that the judge should take it up in his chamber instead of the courtroom. Government lawyer Samrat Sen submitted that outsiders (including the media) may make a mountain out of molehill the next day, resulting in embarrassment of the government. The judge accepted the lawyer’s plea and held the interrogation in camera.

Petitioner’s lawyer Subrata Mukhopadhyay said the court directed the state to file the affidavit clarifying Manirul Islam’s speech and the reasons why the state doesn’t want a CBI inquiry.

The Birbhum police dropped the Trinamool MLA’s name from the chargesheet of the Labhpur murder case apparently based on a confidential magisterial statement by the victim’s brother saying that Manirul is not responsible for the murder. However, later he complained to the Birbhum SP that he made the statement under pressure. Local Trinamool leaders had allegedly threatened him with dire consequences against naming Manirul.

When the court proceedings were on, a Left Front delegation was meeting the victim family in Bunedangal village. Surjya Kanta Mishra later told mediapersons: “The prime accused is found sitting next to the chief minister, the home secretary and the DGP on the dais. Police are afraid to take action against Islam; his name has been dropped from the chargesheet. All these cannot happen without the support of the chief minister. I don’t know if the home secretary and the DGP have any self-respect. The victims’ family members are being continuously threatened. An FIR should be lodged against every incident of threat. We shall write to the district SP and others concerned. If there’s no result, we will move court.”

Apart from Mishra, former Bolpur MP Ramchandra Dome and Nalhati MLA Dipak Chatterjee met the family members. The victims’ mother Jarina Bibi and other family members told Mishra that they were being threatened and felt insecure.

Manirul Islam had shifted to Trinamool from Forward Bloc before that incident. According to local sources, there was a long-standing dispute over the control of the ‘balighat’ (sand-collecting point of the local river), which led to the murders. Though Manirul Islam was arrested in November 2010, he was released on bail because the police failed to frame charges against him within the stipulated period. The Left was in power then.

Dome said: “It is true that Manirul Islam was granted bail because the chargesheet was not submitted within three months of his arrest. The delay was not political. There might have been some technical reason for which police could not file the chargesheet. But now, the delay is completely political.”

HC asks Centre to solve anomaly over waitlisted ticket holders
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 20:29 IST
The Delhi High Court today asked the Railways Ministry to resolve alleged anomaly which allows waitlisted ticket holders, who purchase them from counters, to board a train while denies the same to waitlisted e-ticket holders.

A waitlisted ticket, purchased from counters, allows a person to board a train even if it remains unconfirmed while the waitlisted e-ticket gets cancelled automatically, the plea had said.

“We direct the Railways to consider within a period of six months from today, the matter in the perspective…And to devise ways and means for preventing the practise, if any, in vogue of the touts/unscrupulous elements for their own gain blocking the seats/berths by making reservation therefor in bogus names and then making such seats/berths available to bonafide passengers willing to pay premium, by allowing them to board the train on the basis of wait-listed tickets in physical form and occupy the seats/berths of the bogus reservation,” the court said.

The court, which did not find it “discriminatory”, also suggested a solution to this problem by asking the Ministry to provide an option to an e-ticket purchaser as to whether he wants his ticket to be cancelled or not in the event of its non-confirmation.

“One suggestion which comes to our mind is to give an option to passengers purchasing e-ticket to not have their tickets cancelled automatically at the time of preparation of the final chart before departure of the train …,” it said.

The bench did not agree with the plea that the system was discriminatory saying “in our opinion, the mere fact that the passenger holding a ticket in the physical form is entitled to take such a chance even though not entitled under the Rules & Regulations to do so would not make out a case for discrimination.

“Such possibility has emerged from the difference in the nature of e-ticket and ticket in the physical form. No case of discrimination can be said to have been made out.

HC raps woman doctor for meeting examiner after entrance exam
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 20:48 IST
The Delhi High Court today pulled up a woman doctor of Safadarjung Hospital for allegedly meeting her examiner after giving an entrance exam for post-graduation in medical science from Vardhman Mahavir Medical College here.

The doctor, who had moved the court alleging bias by her professors in marking her, found herself on the receiving end with the bench of Justice Manmohan restraining her from speaking to the examiner in future with regard to her performance before, during and after the examination, saying she could be dismissed from the course if she does so again.

“You are not supposed to meet the examiner. Who gave you the permission? The student has no right to approach. Please understand where are you going. It’s a zero tolerance area. Tomorrow you will meet the judge and ask about the cases,” the court said.

The court made the remarks while hearing a plea filed by the doctor, appearing for her doctor of medicine (MD) entrance exam from Vardhman Mahavir Medical College under Safdarjang Hospital here, alleging that the department head and the professors were biased against her and were deliberately giving her less marks in the practicals.

She, through her counsel, submitted that she and her father had made a video recording in which the concerned professor had informed them that she did well in her practicals.

“The action of the professors are politically motivated against the interests of the student. She has been failed by the professor deliberately in order to cover up their misdeed and act of vengeance,” the doctor’s counsel told the court.

However, advocate Sumeet Pushkarna, who appeared for the Centre and the hospital, opposed the doctor’s contention and said the woman’s act is absolutely wrong and also questioned how she can make such type of a video recording.

“The petition is based on bias. It’s not maintainable,” Pushkarna contended.

HC directs Chief Educational Officer to file report
The petitioner P Sangeetha in her petition said another teacher Girija was transferred to Tiruppalai in her place
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 18:40 IST
The Madras High Court today directed the Chief Education Officer here to file a report on the allegations made by a teacher, who was transferred from Sivaganga district to Tiruppalai, that the officials had hidden facts to the court by claiming that she did not join the new school even after one month of her transfer.

The petitioner P Sangeetha in her petition said another teacher Girija was transferred to Tiruppalai in her place.

The Chief Education Officer (CEO) told the court that she did not know why Girija, who did not participate in the counselling, was transferred to Tiruppalai school when Sangeetha had been transferred as per Government Order after she participated in the counselling.

Sangeetha submitted that the transfer order was passed in her favour on Jully 24, 2012 in the counselling. The CEO of Madurai suppressed all the facts regarding the transfer to the court, she contended.

She contended that the Madurai CEO said that the transfer order would be communicated to the CEO of Sivaganga for relieving her from Puzhithipatti school. But he did not convey the transfer order to the Sivaganga CEO. This had been confirmed by Sivaganga CEO and also the Headmaster of the school where she was working, the petitioner said.

She said the CEO of Madurai was not correct when she said that she did not join the Tiruppalai school till August 22, 2012.

She was not relieved from Puzhipatti.

Justice S Nagamuthu refused to accept the statement of the CEO that she was new to Madurai and asked the CEO office superintendent if he did not know the truth behind the sudden transfer of another person.

The Judge directed the CEO to consult the Director and Joint Director and file a report tommorow. The judge said officials had violated the Government Order which said transfer should be done only for those who participated in the counselling.

HC ire over late FIR in pregnant woman’s assault
Rosy Sequeira,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 10.47 PM IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay HC on Tuesday rapped the police for delay in registering the complaint of a pregnant woman who was allegedly assaulted by her husband’s cousins.

Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode heard a plea by Bandra (E) resident Afreen Sandole seeking direction to the police to add sections, including 307 (attempt to murder) and file a chargesheet against her husband’s four cousins. Cops applied sections, including voluntarily causing hurt with a weapon and intentional insult to provoke breach of peace.

Sandole’s lawyer Najafiya Shroff said on November 20, 2013, Afreen was kicked on the belly by the accused and her arm slashed. She said Afreen was made to sit all day at the police station. The FIR was lodged in the evening on a senior inspector’s intervention. “A seven months pregnant lady is assaulted and you (police) don’t take any action?” said Justice Kanade.

HC to issue ‘contempt’ notice to collector, CEO
— By FP NEWS SERVICE, July 15, 2014 01:55 am
Ujjain : The Indore bench of High Court (HC) has directed to draw contempt proceedings against Ujjain collector BM Sharma and Ujjain Development Authority chief executive officer Shivendra Singh in connection with construction of Simhastha Fair Authority (SFA) office on a disputed land.
A double bench of the HC comprising Justice Shantanu Kemkar and Moolchand Garg on Monday heard a contempt case (546/2014) pleaded by counsel PK Saxena and LR Bhatnagar on behalf of Manthan Parmarthik Sanstha president Bakirali Rangwala. The bench heard the question of admission of the contempt case. In its order, the HC said, “Issue notice to the respondents to show cause as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them”.
According to Rangwala, the HC also heard an interim application (6341/2014) and directed to issue notice to the respondents. In addition, the petitioner was also permitted to serve ‘humdast’ notice on the respondents and fixed July 30 as the next date for hearing. According to the petitioner, on November 18, 2013, the respondents had given an undertaking to the HC that they would take permission to construct the SFA office under Section 27 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
Rangwala further informed that the HC had allowed the respondents to take permission for the construction of the office under the said provision within a month from the State government and till then the constriction work was stayed. But, the respondents got the permission under Section 23 (A) of the Act violating their undertaking. The petitioner further said that as per the Master Plan, the land in question is reserved for a garden and its land use cannot be changed.

HC notice to Chandumajra on plea seeking disqualification
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 15, 2014
First Published: 23:11 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:14 IST(15/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday issued a notice of motion to Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) member of Parliament (MP) from Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra on an election petition seeking his disqualification on the grounds of issuing election advertisements on television channels seeking votes in the name of religion and not declaring the exact amount spent on advertisements.
Rupnagar resident Harbhag Singh has challenged Chandumajra’s election, on which the court has directed the latter to file his reply by August 27. The petitioner alleged that Chandumajra had shown an amount of Rs. 58.69 lakh only as his election expenditure but had not included Rs. 8 lakh spent on advertisements.
The petitioner has alleged that Chandumajra released advertisements by using religious symbols, Sikh religious places and the national flag to appeal to Sikh voters of Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency to vote for him in the name of religion.
As per the allegations, advertisements were aired on some TV channels repeatedly during the election campaign, right from the filing of nomination papers on April 7 till the end of the campaign on April 28. It has been alleged that Chandumajra committed a corrupt practice as defined under Section 123 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, and should be disqualified as an MP.

HC takes up four poll petitions, issues notices to respondents
Press Trust of India | Cuttack
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 21:37 IST
Taking up four election petitions for adjudication, the OrissaHigh Court today issued notices to opposite parties and decided that the next hearing would be held in the first week of August.

Two separate single judge benches took up the petitions that challenged the elections results of Rengali, Bijepur, Bhawanipatna and Jharsuguda assembly constituencies declared on May 16.

While Justice Debabrata Dash issued notices to the respondents in the petitions filed by Rengali BJP leader Nauri Nayak, Bijepur BJD leader and former minister Prasanna Acharya and Bhawanipatna Congress leader Dushmant Naik, the bench of Justice S K Mishra issued notices to the respondents in Jharsuguda BJD leader Kishore Mohanty’s petition.

The respondents were asked to file their counter affidavits within three weeks.

BJP leader Nauri Nayak lost the elections by 1830 votes to BJD’s Ramesh Patua in a nine-corner contest in Rengali.

Senior BJD leader Prasanna Achrya challenged the election of Congress’ Subal Sahu in Bijepur segment.

Senior BJD leader Kishore Mohanty challenged the election of Congress’ Naba Das from Jharsuguda segment where Mohanty lost to Das by a margin of 1563 votes in a nine-corner contest.

In the petition pertaining to the election results of Bhawanipatna segment, Congress’ Dushmant Naik challenged the victory of BJD’s Anam Naik.

West Bengal files affidavit against SEC’s poll writ
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.22 AM IST
KOLKATA: The state government on Tuesday filed its affidavit in Calcutta high court against the State Election Commission’s (SEC) writ on the municipal polls. The SEC had sought an order to direct the state to hold the elections in 17 municipalities by July 31, 2014.

In the affidavit filed in the court of Justice Soumitra Pal, the state described that the SEC petition was not maintainable. Special secretary, municipal affairs, B Patra, affirmed the affidavit saying that the constitution had vested powers in the concerned state government to fix the date for civic polls. The SEC can only conduct the election.

The crux of the state’s affidavit said that the rearrangement of certain municipalities, the tenures of which will expire by July 31, will take time. The process of reconstitution of certain municipal corporations have been started, which will also take some time. Above all, the monsoon is in full swing and so the election of those municipalities and corporations cannot be held soon.

The government affidavit also stated that due to Lok Sabha polls, all development work of municipalities had been totally stopped, causing great difficulty to citizens. It argued that the state is always duty bound to conduct civic polls, but it also has to maintain equilibrium regarding its duty to ensure uninterrupted development of the state. And hence, the civic polls should be held only after this process of restructuring of the municipalities and corporations are over, it stated.

The affidavit also cited the case of Siliguri municipality for which an administrator was appointed when its term got over in 2004 because the elections were delayed.

During Tuesday’s hearing, SEC’s counsel L C Bihani and Amrita Pande pointed out that in 2009, Lok Sabha polls were held in April-May and the civic polls were held in June-July. So, the Lok Sabha election should not be a grounds for not holding the civic polls, they argued. The hearing will continue.

Chhattisgarh probes fake SC order staying transfer of doctors
Anuja Jaiswal,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 12.21 PM IST
RAIPUR: An ostensibly fake Supreme Court order, received by post at the Dr BR Ambedkar Medical College, Raipur, staying recent transfer of 41 doctors by the Chhattisgarh government has caused a flutter in the state.

Government is verifying credibility of the order that is full of spelling mistakes.

Order, purportedly issued by Justice H L Dattu, does not even have the names of the respondents on it. Even the word “Supreme Court” has been spelled as “Supirime Court” on the order copy.

The writ petition number, 5165/2014, mentioned in the fake order, is non-existent and there is no record of it on the apex court’s website. The website also has no reference to the so-called judgement of Justice Dattu, which was purportedly delivered on July 4. Interestingly while writ petitions in the apex court are classified as criminal or civil, the fake order refers to the writ petition as “service”.

The so-called order, received by the Raipur Medical College on July 7, has names of five doctors — Dr Navin Agarwal, MO Civil hospital, Raigarh, Dr Abdul Wasim, MO, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Smriti Chikitsalaya, Raipur, Dr DK Tandon, MO, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Smriti Chikitsalaya, Raipur, Dr Anusuiya Datta, MO, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Smriti Chikitsalaya, Raipur, and Dr Shashank Kumar Gupta, MO, PHC, Surajpur — as the petitioners. Three of these doctors — Dr Abdul Wasim, Dr DK Tandon, Dr Anusuiya Datta — were transferred from Raipur Medical College in the reshuffle effected by the Health Department on June 30.

The so-called fake order, which names one Sudhir Gupta, as the counsel for the petitioners, dubs the June 30 transfer orders of the “41 petitioners” as being “against the guidelines of the Chhattisgarh government” and directs the respondents to cancel the same and maintain “status quo”.

Interestingly, the fake order also refers to an Oct 27, 2009 directive of the Bilaspur High Court. The reference isn’t very clear, as it is full of grammatical errors and incorrect English. It reads, “The order DT 27.10.2009 which is passed by Chhattisgarh high court, Bilaspur, directed to the respondents to stop acting head to give promotion, upgrade salary. The court ordered to the respondents to cancel the order DT 30/6/2014 and maintained status quo by the parties. The court also ordered to the respondents to stop acting head, to give promotion, to grant upgrade salary within 3 months from the receipt of this order”.

When contacted, Dr DK Tandon, MO, Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Smriti Chikitsalaya, Raipur, one of the purported petitioners, told TOI that he had not filed any writ against the transfer orders. “I have conveyed this to the Medical Superintendent too”, he said, expressing surprise at his name being linked to the controversy. Dr Abdul Wasim, so called petitioner also denied having anything to do with the order.

According to Dr A Chandrakar, Dean Raipur Medical College, they had got the so-called order examined from their legal department and they were convinced that it is fake. “We are looking into the matter and have written to the three doctors mentioned as the petitioners to provide the copy of the writ and the order”, he said.

Meanwhile Dr Alok Shukla, Principal Secretary (Health), told TOI that though he was not aware of the matter, it would be certainly looked into. “Action would be taken as it is an attempt to defraud the government”, he said.

“Govt. staff entitled to back wages after getting conviction set aside”
The judge said it was not fair to deny wages to an employee who was actually prevented from working though he was willing to work.
Government servants, dismissed from service on being convicted by trial courts in criminal cases, are entitled not only to reinstatement in service but also back wages from the date of dismissal if an appellate court sets aside their conviction, the Madras High court Bench here has held.
Justice R. Mahadevan passed the ruling while allowing a writ petition filed by a government high school teacher. Rejecting application of “no work, no pay” principle in such cases, the judge said it was not fair to deny wages to an employee who was actually prevented from working though he was willing to work.
He said the petitioner, A. Rajagopal, was convicted by a Sessions Court here on May 6, 2002 in connection with the suicide of his wife on July 15, 1997 when he was serving as a B.T. Assistant in a school at M. Kallupatti near here. The court sentenced him to five-year rigorous imprisonment.
On September 23, 2003, the Joint Director of School Education passed an order removing him from service on the sole ground that he had been convicted in the criminal case. Meanwhile, the teacher preferred an appeal against his conviction and the High Court acquitted him of all charges on August 14, 2008.
Then he urged the school education authorities to reinstate him in service. But there was no reply. Hence, he filed a writ petition in 2008 and obtained favourable orders. In compliance with the court order, the Joint Director reinstated him in service from February 17, 2009.
However, the petitioner was denied back wages from the date of his dismissal till the date of reinstatement and hence the present writ petition. Mr. Justice Mahadevan directed the officials to disburse the amount to the petitioner within four weeks.

Court seeks details of freezing of APNGO society account
Justice Vilas Afzulpurkar of Hyderabad High Court directed the police to respond to the writ petition of filed by APNGO’s mutually aided cooperative housing society challenging the freezing of its bank accounts.
The petitioner society, represented by its secretary N. Chandrasekhar Reddy, filed the writ petition complaining that the functioning of society came to a halt and that they were unable to pay salaries to the staff. The developmental activities in the society too came to a standstill due to non-payment of various bills.
The police had directed the bank to freeze its account based on a complaint lodged by the district cooperative officer.
The society requested the court to direct the police and bank authorities concerned to permit it to operate the account. The judge asked the government pleader to get the details and posted the case to Thursday.

Court turns down cops plea on transfers
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 01.51 AM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a writ petition filed by a number of constables and head constables working in civil and armed police, who had challenged the order of their transfer on the ground that in view of a GO dated April 18, 2013, they were entitled to be posted in their home district or in adjoining district, as they were going to retire within the next two years.

Dismissing the writ petition filed by Kamal Singh and 21 others, Justice Manoj Kumar Gupta was of the view that at present there is no provision which permits posting of an incumbent near his home district if he is due to retire within next two years and dismissed the writ petition.

Earlier, appearing on behalf of the state government, state counsel Piyush Shukla submitted before the court that the transfer order was passed on the basis of GO dated June 7, 2014.

Plea seeks CBCID inquiry against VC
TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 10.06 AM IST
MADURAI: A writ petition has been filed at the Madurai bench of the Madras high court seeking a CB-CID investigation into a complaint against Madurai Kamaraj University (MKU) vice-chancellor Kalyani Mathivanan and others.

A Srinivasan, a retired Tamil professor at the MKU, filed a petition contending that the Nagamalai Pudukottai police on May 16 registered a case against MKU vice-chancellor, registrar Muthumanickam, youth welfare department head Chelladurai, public relation officer Arivazhagan, retired university employee S V K Selvaraj and two hooligans on an attempt to murder complaint he filed on May 16.

“But, the police did not investigate the case properly. Besides, the police are going to close the FIR,” he said.

According to the petitioner, he along with other retired professors and non-teaching staff formed an organization — Save Madurai Kamaraj University Coalition — to fight against corruption and other malpractices at the university.

The organization questioned the corrupt practices in the appointments of teaching and non-teaching staff, which the university did not tolerate, according to the petitioner.

The petitioner said two persons brutally attacked him with deadly weapons on May 16, after the organization had questioned the MKU administration’s malpractices.

“The police are not conducting the investigation properly. They failed to collect call details of the hooligans who were arranged by Selvaraj, the close aid of the VC. Further, I understood that the police are going to close the cases against the varsity persons. If the local police are allowed to continue the investigation, there will not be justice,” the petitioner said.

Hence it is necessary to transfer the case to the CB-CID, he said. Insisting that a representation in this regard was sent to the state’s home secretary, director general of police, superintendent of police and other concerned officials on June 29, the petitioner said that no action was taken so far.

When the matter came up for admission before justice T S Sivagnanam on Monday, the court directed the petitioner to include MKU’s registrar, youth affairs head and public relation officer and others as parties to the case and adjourned the matter.

Law ministry rejects one more judge’s name
Posted by Ayyappa Prasad on July 15, 2014
New Delhi, July 15 (TruthDive): Law ministry has for the second time rejected a name suggested by the Supreme Court collegium on transfer of High Court judges.
The Law Ministry asked Supreme Court to reconsider its choice of Karnataka High Court judge K L Manjunath to be Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. Sources said Ravi Shankar Prasad took the decision in view of an adverse note written by a senior Supreme Court judge, who objected to the move to elevate Manjunath, to the Chief Justice post.
CJI Lodha had consulted the senior judge before preparing the list at the collegiums’ meet. He has sent a written reply to CJI about Manjunath but the collegium had ignored it.
The senior SC judge, who was consulted by Chief Justice of India R M Lodha before the collegium’s meeting, sent a detailed note listing the reasons why he opposed the move. Despite this, while recommending Manjunath’s appointment, the collegium overlooked this adverse note without citing any reasons. The note reached the Law ministry and Prasad consulted the PM and decided to send back Manjunath’s name for reconsideration.
Around nine judges in various High Courts are being transferred or promoted. Manjunath was to replace Chief Justice Sanjay Kishen who is transferred to Madras High Court.
This is the second time that the Law ministry has sent back a choice made by the collegium. Earlier, the government had been in the dock for unilateral separation of ex-Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium from the four names recommended by collegium for appointment as Supreme Court judge.
Gopal backed out after the Law ministry said that CBI and IB had given adverse remarks. Gopal was amicus curiae in fake encounter case involving Amit Shah. The report led to a CBI probe. CJI who was out of town during the controversy, returned to pull up the Law ministry to avoid unilateral removal of names. The Law ministry stuck to its gun.
Later, Uday Lalit, a senior most lawyer’s name was given by CJI. It was then widely reported that Lalit was counsel for Amit Shah in the encounter case but it turned out that it was Ram Jethmalani who was the lawyer.
Pinky, the lawyer for Gadkari was made Solicitor General. Manjunath as judge in Karnataka while hearing the ISKCON case produced a letter which alleged that he was a devotee of Bangalore ISKCON and received a memento. Manjunath was hearing a plea by ISKCON Mumbai that it was the owner of the Bangalore temple. The Law Ministry has not reacted.

Snatching to be non-bailable offence in state
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 15, 2014
First Published: 12:04 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 12:07 IST(15/7/2014)

Snatching would become a non-bailable offence in Haryana with a higher quantum of punishment after the state assembly passed two Bills on Monday to amend the Indian Penal Code and Code of Criminal Procedure.
As per the Code of Criminal Procedure (Haryana Amendment) Bill, 2014, the quantum of punishment for snatching would now be five years, which may extend to 10 years, along with a fine of Rs.25,000.
In case of snatching with hurt or wrongful restraint or fear of hurt, the quantum of punishment would be 10 years, which may extend to 14 years, and fine of Rs. 25,000. Earlier the quantum of punishment was two years, or with fine, or with both. Also, the trial in these matters will be conducted by a court of sessions.

Food Security Act: Odisha govt accepts eight exclusion criteria
The eight exclusion criteria have been fixed on the basis of socio-economic status schedule prepared by panchayati raj dept
BS Reporter | Bhubaneswar
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 20:12 IST
Inching closer to the implementation of the National Food Security Act in the state, the Odisha government has given its nod to the eight exclusion criteria considered as the important factors for identification of beneficiaries.

The eight exclusion criteria covers monthly income, income tax payee, persons having four wheelers or two three wheelers, business with TIN (tax payer identification numer), electric consumption above 300 units, any state government or central government employee, persons having tractors, power-tillers, fishing boats or other heavy vehicles, persons having entrepreneurship and professional tax payees.

Based on the criteria, the government has decided to delete all bogus ration card holders and APLs (above poverty line) counted as BPLs (below poverty line) due to erroneous registrations to facilitate streamlining of the process for implementation of the Act in the state.

The eight exclusion criteria have been fixed on the basis of socio-economic status schedule prepared by panchayati raj department. The exclusion will have simultaneous effect of automatic inclusion of persons like beggars, destitute, pension holder widows, particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PTGs) and persons having disabilities of 40 per cent or above. In urban areas, beggars, rag-pickers, domestic workers, street vendors, construction workers, home-based workers and rickshaw pullers among others will be included in the process. The final beneficiary list will be prepared through mapping with the National Population Register and applying the eight exclusion criteria. The Naveen Patnaik led government had recently faced heat in the assembly from the Opposition Congress over delay in implementation of the National Food Security Act in the state.

Raising the issue during the zero hour on last Friday, Leader of Opposition Narsingha Mishra had said, “Though there is a provision under the law that the Act passed in the Parliament need to be implemented in states within one year, the same has not been done within the stipulated time.”

Three-fourths of the state’s population have been denied its Right to Food due to non-implementation of the Act in the stipulated time frame, he rued. The state government has nothing to lose since the central government will supply foodgrains to be distributed among the poor and deserving people, Mishra added. The government clarified that delay in implementation of the Act was due to the general elections and the provision of deletion of the beneficiaries. Accordingly, the government had requested the Centre to extend the time-limit.

Land Act to lose its bite, to give industry back its stride
fe Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: Jul 16 2014, 01:05 IST
With major states including those ruled by parties outside the ruling alliance raising objections to a host of unworkable provisions in the new Land Acquisition Act, the Modi government has put the Act, which came into force just six months ago, under a comprehensive review.
Although there are minor differences among the states on the amendments needed in the Act or the emphasis given to resolution of any particular issue, their proposals nevertheless reflect a broad political consensus on the need to make the Act more investor-friendly. This would make it easier for the government, which is in a minority in the Rajya Sabha, to carry out the amendments.
Even if the Congress, the proponent of the Act, refuses to support the changes, other major parties outside the government like the AIADMK, with 11 members in the Upper House, and the Samajwadi Party, with 10, could come to the rescue of the government. Congress-ruled states including Maharashtra, Assam and Kerala have also sought major relaxations of the consent and social impact assessment (SIA) clauses.
Rural development minister Nitin Gadkari, sources said, has already sent a note to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), indicating his view that the law be amended to make land acquisition less cumbersome for industry.
The move, which could gather pace in the next few weeks with inter-party dialogues, could primarily result in a major dilution of the restrictive consent clause for public-private partnership (PPP) projects and limit the mandatory SIA to only projects above an investment threshold.
The idea is to try and make the changes in the current session of Parliament.
A broadening of the “urgency clause” under which land can be acquired compulsorily for the purposes of defence/ national security or in the event of natural calamities is likely. However, it remains to be seen if the states’ demand that they also be allowed to invoke this clause be met. Currently, only the Centre can decide whether a situation demands use of the urgency clause.
The review could also lead to a narrower definition of affected families eligible for rehabilitation and resettlement — for this, the term “primary source of livelihood” could be revised to reduce its scope, sources added.
These industry-friendly relaxations in the land Act, coupled with easing of labour norms for specific sectors could give a boost to the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors that have also received a lot of incentives in the recent Union Budget.
FE on Tuesday reported the plans to relax Mines Act to provide more flexibility to oil companies in deploying workers “on and off” oil blocks and amend the Industrial Disputes Act to make retrenchment of workers in the National Investment Manufacturing Zones easier.
Industry has been up in arms against the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. It feels the elaborate requirements of local peoples’ consent stipulated in the law have, for the short period of its existence, proven to be onerous. The new law, Confederation of Indian Industry, has said, jacked up land acquisition cost by three times, rendering projects unviable and thwarting investments.
Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, two of the country’s largest states, have asked for doing away with the “consent clause” for PPP projects as the land is taken only for those projects that serve “public purpose”. While Gujarat government has also asked for “re-look” at the consent provisions, Haryana has proposed that either it be abolished or the consent requirement could be only of 50% of the affected people. States such as Chhattisgarh and Kerala too have asked for re-examining the provision.
The Act stipulates mandatory consent of at least 70% of the affected people for acquiring land for PPP projects and 80% for private companies involving projects serving public purpose.
Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra have asked for abolition of SIA and public hearing, saying these could lead to delays in industrial projects.
In general, however, states have not opposed the compensation amounts prescribed in the law — double the market value of the land in urban areas and four times in rural areas, although Kerala, being an evenly urbanised state, said the disparity could lead to disputes.
Madhya Pradesh and Kerala have asked for abolition of impact assessment in the case of small projects like road widening, construction of new roads, canals and schools.
States have also asked for scaling down the “retrospective clause”, (which allowed higher compensation for land acquired five years before the implementation of the new Act but compensation hasn’t been paid), saying this could lead to litigation. The provision which stipulates that land acquisition proceeding would lapse in case compensation is not paid or physical possession is not taken should be modified, the states said.

Madras High Court adjourns PIL seeking fishing rights of Indian fishermen in Katchatheevu
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 9:28pm IST | Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI
The Madras High Court on Tuesday adjourned to August 5 a PIL seeking to direct the Centre and Tamil Nadu governments to establish the traditional rights of fishermen of India for navigatgion and fishing in Katchatheevu.
The first bench, comprising acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice MM Sundresh, adjourned the case accepting a request from the Centre.
The court also gave liberty to the petitioner, Peter Rayan, President Fisherman Care, Chennai, to file a rejoinder, if any, to the counter filed by the Centre.
In its counter, the Centre submitted Katchatheevu is a sovereign property of Sri Lanka and the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India. “Under the agreements of 1974 and 1976, Indian fishermen and pilgrims will enjoy access to Katchatheevu and will not be required by Sri Lanka to obtain travel documents or visas for these purposes. The right of access is not to be understood to cover fishing rights around the island to Indian fishermen”, the Centre had said.
The Fisherman Care contended that the agreements had clear provisions for allowing Indian fishermen to fish around the island.
Disputing the claim, the Centre said the boundary between the two countries had already been clearly delineated and it would not allow Indian fishermen to cross over and exploit the marine resources in the waters of another country.
It said the fishermen could rest, dry their nets and attend the annual St Antony’s festival. However, India had continuously emphasized to Sri Lanka that there was no justification for use of force against Indian fishermen even though almost all instances of alleged harassment of fishermen occur in Sri Lankan waters.
Customary rights which were enjoyed from time immemorial cannot be taken away by mere executive instructions, that too without legislative sanction, the petitioner said.

Birla Sun Life-ING deal gets Competition Commission approval
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 20:22 IST
Fair trade watchdog CCI has cleared the proposed deal between Birla Sun Life entities and ING in the mutual fundsspace, saying the transaction was unlikely to have an adverse impact on competition.

The deal involves acquisition of the trusteeship, right to manage and administer the schemes of ING Mutual Fund as well as the right to manage portfolio management services accounts of ING Investment Management (India) Pvt Ltd.

The acquirers are Birla Sun Life Trustee Company Pvt Ltd and Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company Ltd. The former is the trustee company of Birla Sun Life MF.

Birla Sun Life Asset Management Company is the asset management firm of Birla Sun Life MF.

Giving its green signal, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said the proposed combination “is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India”.

“Post combination, the ING Mutual Fund schemes would become schemes of Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund and portfolio management clients of ING AMC will continue as the clients of Birla Sun Life AMC,” the order, dated July 3 and made public today, said.

The total size of the market in terms of the asset under management for all the portfolio management services in India was around Rs 7,68,326 crore at the end of March this year.

“It is observed that the share of the ING Portfolio Management Services in the total AUM is also insignificant. Therefore, the acquisitions of ING entities by the acquirers do not provide any significant addition in the market share of the acquirers,” the order noted.

For the transaction, Birla Sun life Trustee, Birla Sun Life AMC, ING AMC, ING Investment Management Holdings NV and the Board of Trustees of the ING Mutual Fund had entered into a transfer agreement on May 15.

High Court for policy to compensate terror victims’ families
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 6:12pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
• The Bombay High Court has suggested the Union Government to come out with a policy to adequately compensate families of those killed in terror attacks instead of paying an ex-gratia amount.
The Bombay High Court today suggested the Centre to come out with a policy to adequately compensate families of those killed in terror attacks instead of paying a standard amount by way of ex-gratia. A division bench comprising Justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar asked the Union government to file a fresh affidavit by July 30 detailing steps it intended to take to compensate the victims’ families.
The court’s order came after the Union government, in an affidavit, said it has come out with a circular under which an ex-gratia payment of Rs four lakh would be made to such families. While the Centre would pay Rs three lakh, the remaining would be contributed by the respective state governments.
The bench also asked Advocate General Darius Khambata to appear in the matter to assist the court. The court was hearing a PIL filed by Rajeshwar Panchal, an advocate, who sought a just and fair amount to be given as compensation to the families of people killed in terror attacks. Panchal argued that the income of the deceased, the social status of the family and the number of dependents needed to be taken into account to determine the compensation. He said Motor Vehicles Act and Workmen’s compensation Act laid down a formula to arrive at such a compensation.
The High Court had earlier observed that giving suitable compensation to the victims of terror attacks or blasts is a liability of the state and such relief cannot be ex-gratia (done from a sense of moral obligation rather than because of any legal requirement).
The PIL, while calling for a policy decision on the issue, sought judicial intervention for Protection of Right to Life guaranteed under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, in relation to victims of terror attacks. The PIL claimed that 724 people had died in terror attacks in Mumbai between the serial blasts in 1993 and triple coordinate explosions on July 13, 2011. It said the victims and their families had failed to get a “just compensation” from the government.
“After every such dreadful and gory terror attack, the ministers concerned condemn the incident. They make empty promises to prevent such incidents and eventually declare some ex-gratia, which is always a tiny amount for the victims and their family members, that too, as if they are obliging the victims,” the PIL stated.
The PIL also urged the HC to declare that Protection of Right to Life and Liberty under Article 21 of the Constitution includes right to a secure life or the right to live with safety.

CBI tells Kerala High Court it is willing to probe child trafficking case
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 6:37pm IST | Place: Kochi | Agency: PTI
• Central Bureau of Investigation RNA Research & Archives
The CBI on Tuesday informed the Kerala High Court that it is willing to take over the investigation of the case relating to the recent trafficking of 588 children from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal to the state.
The submission in this regard was made by CBI counsel before a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice PR Ramachandra Menon. The counsel said that the agency is willing to take up the investigation, considering the vulnerability situation of the children and inter-state ramifications of the case.
The bench, which described as ‘shocking’ the manner in which the young children were brought to kerala, observed that this was the first time CBI was coming forward to take up a case. It also asked the government about the progress of the investigation so far in the case.
“We did not see any progress’, the bench held while considering a PIL, seeking a CBI investigation into the case. The bench did not permit impleading of Association of Orphanages in the case and said ‘we are not against any orphanages and Association was showing over anxiety’.
“When matters relating to juvenile cases come up, the court has to act as guardian. The children are vulnerable and sensitive, who cannot speak for themselves. Somebody should take their responsibility”, the bench said.
The bench also wanted to know if the children have parents and whether they were given voluntarily and if they were solicited from anyone from Kerala.
Meanwhile, Amicus Curiae Devan Ramachandran recommended a detailed investigation in the case and submitted that investigation was required on the aspect of how and why the children were brought to the state. The case will be further considered on Friday.
Over 580 children from Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, meant to be brought to two orphanages in the state, were detained by police at a railway station in Palakkad early in June after it was found many of them did not have any proper documents.
The issue had snowballed into a major row in the state with IUML, the key partner in UDF,taking objection to treating the incident as a case of child trafficking.
Taking serious note of the incident, Kerala State Child Rights Protection Commission had directed the state government to take necessary steps to send the children back home.
The children are now kept at state-run juvenile homes of the Child Welfare Society in Palakkad, Malappuram and Thrissur.

Bombay high court asks Maharashtra government to provide generators in schools during exams
Wednesday, 16 July 2014 – 6:25am IST | Agency: DNA
• Urvi Mahajani
• The Bombay high court has asked the Maharashtra government to provide generators, inverters and solar systems to schools so that students don’t have to write papers in dark due to load shedding.
A division bench of justices Abhay Oka and AS Chandurkar were hearing a contempt petition filed by activist Vishnu Gawli, alleging that the government had not implemented the earlier court orders in 2008, of supplying uninterrupted power supply to schools which conduct HSC and SSC examinations.
In 2008, Gawli had written a letter to the HC, which was converted into a suo moto PIL, highlighting that students were forced to take their exams in the dark.
On February 27, 2009, the HC had directed the government to ensure supply of around 40,000 generators to school conducting examinations. In addition, the court had asked the Maharashtra State Electricity Board (MSEB) to ensure that there is no load shedding at the time of exams.
The HC had asked the authorities concerned – Maharashtra government, Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission (MERC), MSEB and education department – to have a meeting and find a solution.
However, till date none of the authorities have had a meeting following which Gawli had filed a contempt petition in 2009.
Gawli, arguing in person, informed the judges that till date the government has not taken any steps to see that any provisions are made for the students, especially during the exams.
To this Justice Oka observed that the finance department should have taken the necessary steps.
The judges have asked MSEB to file affidavit by August 4.
In 2009, the HC has directed for formation of a committee to conduct surprise checks to ensure that there are backup generators. The HC had clearly stated that the action of those centers, which are not following the order, will be treated as contempt of the court and will accordingly have to face the consequences.
According to affidavit filed in 2009 by Tukaram Supe, the board’s secretary, 287 examination centers have gen-sets or inverters. As many as 2,608 centers are not affected by load shedding, either because there is no power cut in those areas or the centers are airy enough, and have natural light, the affidavit had said.

High Court rules out re-investigation into Shopian case
Srinagar, July 15: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has ruled out re-investigation on the basis of Jan Commission report into the ‘double rape and murder’ case of Asiya Jan and Neelofar whose bodies were found near Rambiara Nallah in Shopian district of South Kashmir in 2009.
“The very basis of the medical and other evidence, whereupon the Jan Commission had based its findings and conclusions, has been found to be absolutely false in the investigation by the CBI. Therefore, Jan Commission report itself cannot form a basis for this Court to order fresh investigation into the entire episode,” ruled a division bench of Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice D S Thakur in their 42-page judgment which was reserved for decision in August last year.
“We feel that (since) the investigating agency, the CBI, has completed its investigation and presented the charge-sheet, no further monitoring is required by this Court,” the bench said.
The bench however made it clear that should there be any additional evidence or factor available other than the one on record which has an important bearing in the case, nothing would prevent the trial court in examining the same in accordance with the powers exercisable by it under Section 173(8) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Citing the CBI investigation, the bench said, the report of the Jan Commission even though not a binding on an investigating agency was based on evidence the substance whereof was shaken by the investigation conducted by the CBI.
“The CBI in its investigation has pointed to the falsification of various post-mortem reports and fudging of evidence by the doctors involved in the post-mortem examination of the two deceased ladies. The slides sent for scientific examination were allegedly fabricated,” the court said.
The victim family had filed the petition through Advocate G N Shaheen pleading that given the dissatisfaction of the family with the earlier investigations, the court should order reinvestigation of the case through an agency comprising officials “whose integrity is above reproach.”
Seeking reinvestigation of the case on the analogy of probe in the Best Bakery Case in which the Supreme Court appointed a Special Investigation Team of the officers of integrity, Shaheen submitted that a SIT of officials of impeccable integrity needs to be constituted to reinvestigate the Shopian case.
Underscoring the need for reinvestigation, the family’s counsel had contended that there are contradictions in the investigations carried out by SIT, CBI and the Commission of Inquiry headed by Justice Muzaffar Jan.
On May 29, 2009, Asiya Jan, 17, and her sister-in-law, Neelofar, 22, had left for their orchard at Degan Batpora village of Shopian, failing to return home in the evening. Next day their bodies were found near Rambiara Nallah. The death triggered massive protests across the Valley following which the government ordered probe by SIT and the Judicial Commission. The CBI took over the case on September 17, 2009.
On December 14, 2009, the CBI concluded death of the two women “due to drowning”, which was in contradiction to the one-man Judicial Commission headed by Justice (retired) Muzaffar Jan. The Commission said it was impossible for someone to drown in water level of knuckle height in the stream—Rambiara Nallah—from the banks of which the bodies were recovered.
The one-man commission of inquiry submitted a 400-page report to the government in which it called for more investigation into the role of forces in the incident.

Delhi High Court seeks records pertaining to land acquisition for metro work
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 7:12pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI
• RNA Research & Archives
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Land Acquisition Collector (LAC) to produce the records relating to award of compensation payable to residents whose plots have been handed over to DMRC for metro-related construction here in south Delhi.
A bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and Siddharth Mridul issued the direction to LAC after it failed to show that notices were given to the house-owners before handing over their property to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) for Phase-III maintenance depot here.
“In case the record is not availiable before this court, he (LAC) will have to be present in person before this court with proper explanation,” the bench said and posted the matter for August 4.
The court’s direction came on a plea filed by Residents’ Welfare Association of Shram Vihar Abdul Fazal Enclave here, who had alleged land was never acquired in accordance with law nor notices were served to them.
The petitioner-counsel Bahar-u-Barqi contended before the court that compensation has not been paid, by DMRC, DDA or LAC to the recorded owners.
DMRC opposed the petitioner’s contention saying the land was given to them by DDA and LAC has to look into it. DMRC counsel BL Wali contended the court had earlier also directed LAC to produce the record but they failed to do so.
He further stated that the project was supposed to be completed by December and this is the only land we were able to acquire after great difficulties. To which, the court said LAC needs to find out and give them an update as “the fact is that DMRC is on the site”.
“You cannot deprive them (residents) without proper compensation. You (LAC) accquired land, but you have to do it in accordance with law. “This is a public project which is hanging in balance. We cannot allow it to hang for long,” the bench said.
DDA had in December 2012 handed over the land for a depot at Kalindi Kunj in south Delhi on permanent basis for construction of Janakpuri (west) to Botanical Garden corridor (Lines-8) of the DMRC Phase-III project.

Mumbai HC throws out PIL against PSA terminal in JN Port Dismissal of PIL to remove uncertainty around construction of new facility by Singapore’s PSA International at Jawaharlal Nehru Port
P. Manoj inShare Daily Newsletter
The Bombay high court on Tuesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to prohibit Singapore’s PSA International Pte Ltd from constructing a new container terminal with an investment of Rs.7,915 crore at Union government-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port near Mumbai. The dismissal of the petition will remove the uncertainty and potential delays surrounding the construction of the new facility, billed as the biggest single foreign direct investment (FDI) in an Indian port project. “The PIL has been dismissed,” said N.N. Kumar, chairman of JN Port, India’s busiest container gateway. However, a Mumbai-based lawyer familiar with the case said that the petitioner may take the case to the Supreme Court. The petitioner, Mandar Narhari Parab, could not be reached immediately for comment. Through the PIL, the petitioner, a journalist, had sought a court order prohibiting PSA from developing the new facility, as the firm’s failure to fulfil its obligations on winning the same project in an earlier round of auction in 2010 raised the project cost by Rs.1,215 crore. The delay in building the terminal resulted in a loss to JN Port, thereby compromising public interest, according to the PIL. The petitioner contended that PSA should have been black-listed by JN Port and barred from participating in the re-tender because of its failure to abide by the tender conditions in the earlier round. Though, JN Port subsequently encashed the bid security of Rs.67 crore submitted by PSA in the earlier auction for the Rs.6,700 crore project that was designed to load 4.8 million standard containers a year, the petitioner said that this loss for PSA was “minuscule” as compared to the “loss caused to the country in monetary terms as well as opportunity costs”. In its price bid submitted in 2013, PSA has offered a revenue share of 35.79% compared with 50.82% in 2010. “By forfeiting a measly amount of Rs.67 crore, PSA made a huge killing on the re-tendered project,” the petitioner submitted. Hence, awarding the project again to PSA would be “counter-productive and against national interest”, the petitioner contended. “Awarding the contract to PSA would amount to setting a bad precedent whereby bidders would be encouraged to take a chance in respect of submitting bids and walk out with measly forfeiture of bank guarantee and put the exchequer to huge loss as has happened in the present case,” Parab contended in his petition, a copy of which was reviewed by Mint. The petitioner also sought the court’s directive to black-list PSA from submitting a bid on any tender issued by the government and also to initiate legal proceedings against PSA to recover losses incurred by JN Port. When contacted, PSA said it had no comment to offer. In May, PSA International signed a so-called concession agreement with JN Port to build a Rs.7,915 crore container loading facility at the port that handles more than half of India’s container cargo shipped through its ports. The project involves FDI of about Rs.3,100 crore. A concession agreement sets out the terms and conditions of a port contract and puts the project in motion. PSA emerged the highest bidder for the project by quoting the highest revenue share price bid of 35.79%. Port contracts at Union government-controlled ports are decided on the basis of revenue share—the bidder willing to share the most from its annual revenue with the government-owned port gets the contract, typically stretching over 30 years, according to the port privatization policy of the government. PSA International, the world’s biggest container port operator by volumes, is fully-owned by Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd, the sovereign wealth fund of Singapore. PSA handled 61.81 million standard containers in calendar year 2013, according to its website. In October 2012, JN Port withdrew the letter of award given to a consortium led by PSA after the group failed to sign a concession agreement a year after it was awarded the project in September 2011 in a public auction. The consortium of PSA and local firm ABG Ports Ltd was awarded the project after it quoted a then record high revenue share of 50.828% in a public tender. The winning bidder has to sign the concession agreement within 30 days of accepting the letter of award for the project, according to tender conditions. The new project, the fifth at JN Port, is key to the port’s capacity expansion plans, as it will double the container loading capacity of the port and help it position as a hub port on India’s western coast.

Punjab & Haryana High Court to deliver justice over virtual private network
By Raghav Ohri, ET Bureau | 16 Jul, 2014, 04.43AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana HC has come up with a novel solution to save time and energy in accessing bulky case files which are crucial for judges to author their rulings.

In a first, the court has obtained a secure virtual private network (VPN) that will enable judges to quickly go through voluminous case records, make footnotes and prepare judgments. Unlike the existing system that requires judges to spend hours in the courtroom sifting through files, they can now access case files by using a hyperlink on their laptops from anywhere.

The network, made available by the National Informatics Centre ( NIC) on a special request of the court, can be accessed only by judges who have been given individual IDs and unique passwords.

The court, in association with a private firm, has already scanned and prepared soft copies of over 10 crore pages and 15 lakh cases. A little over 2.5 lakh cases are pending in the HC, a majority of which have been scanned and stored for easy and quick access.

In its quest to become the first paperless high court in the country, it will set up touch screens in courtrooms, facilitating access to files. Instead of pencils, judges will use a stylus to prepare notes. The court has purchased 10 monitors measuring 32 inches, two of which will be used for training purposes.

The court has now decided to launch e-filing of petitions by next month. Justice Hemant Gupta, a senior judge who was instrumental in making the changes, has asked lawyers to start e-filing for all categories of cases from July 15.

Supreme Court reserves verdict on issue of review of death sentences
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 9:17pm IST | Agency: PTI
The Supreme Court today reserved its verdict on a plea challenging the apex court rule which comes in the way of allowing open court oral hearing for re-examining its verdict on death sentence through review petition.
The issue was examined by a five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha which will also pronounce its verdict whether the appeal in the cases of death sentence should be adjudicated by three-judge bench or should be referred to five judge-bench.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions in which these issues are raised by some condemned prisoners including Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Mohammed Arif alias Ashfaq, who is facing the gallows for his involvement in the 2000 Red Fort attack case in which three people, including two Army jawans, were killed.
The common issues have also been raised by death row convict in the 1993 Mumbai blast case – Yakub Abdul Razak Memon and three such convicts Muniappan, Nedunchezhian and Ravindran in the Dharmapuri bus burning incident of Tamil Nadu, in which three college girls were killed.
Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar submitted that there was no need to tinker with the constitutionality of Order 40, Rule 3 of the Supreme Court which deals with adjudication of Review Petition through circulation in death penalty cases.
He said that allowing oral hearing in open court would lead to rehearing of the case and further it would amount to an appeal of the verdict of the apex court itself.
“The exercise of review jurisdiction is not the exercise of the appeallate jurisdiction. Review petitions only concerns relook matter,” he told the bench also comprising justices JS Khehar, J Chelameswar, AK Sikri, and RF Nariman.
The law officer said there should be a finality to a case which is decided after continuous judicial application of mind from the trial court to High Court and then finally in the Supreme Court.
He also said there was no need to refer the appeal in death penalty matters to five-judges bench.

Supreme Court allows Yes Bank plea but refuses stay on HC proceedings
The firm is challenging a order on the maintainability of a suit filed by Madhu Kapur, widow of Yes Bank co-founder Joel Rebello | Khushboo Narayan
Yes Bank Ltd on Tuesday approached the Supreme Court challenging an order by a two-judge bench of the Bombay high court on the maintainability of a suit filed by Madhu Kapur, the widow of Yes Bank co-founder Ashok Kapur. The Supreme Court admitted the bank’s plea and has scheduled a hearing in January 2015, Yes Bank said in an emailed statement on Tuesday. But the court declined to stay the ongoing proceedings in the Bombay high court. “Yes Bank had filed a statement before the court to demonstrate that the valuation of the shares held by the Late Mr. Ashok Kapur’s family has increased manifolds and the original investment of Rs.52 crores today has increased to Rs.2,450 crores. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has found merit in the contention of Yes Bank and has listed the matter in January, 2015 to examine it in further detail,” the bank said in an emailed statement. Yes Bank was represented by senior counsels Kapil Sibal, Abhishek Singhvi and Soli Cooper in the apex court. The lender is a respondent in a year-old case in the Bombay high court filed by Madhu Kapur. The next hearing of the case in the Bombay high court is on 23 July. Madhu Kapur and her family took Rana Kapoor and Yes Bank to court in June 2013, demanding the right to nominate a director to the bank’s board, citing the articles of association of the bank. Shagun Kapur Gogia, the daughter of Madhu Kapur, declined to comment on the development. Yes Bank’s contention has been that since the directors of the bank were elected by shareholders and under section 10 A (6) of the Banking Regulation Act, the court had no jurisdiction to hear the plea —which was struck down first by a single judge and then by a two-judge bench. On 9 May, the two-judge bench of the Bombay high court said that it had jurisdiction to hear the case. Madhu Kapur holds an 11.91% stake in the bank, while Rana Kapoor, directly and through other family-owned ventures, holds a 13.64% stake, according to the shareholding pattern of the bank as of 31 March. Shares of Yes Bank rose 1.57% to close at Rs.532.15 on Tuesday on BSE, while the exchange’s benchmark Sensex gained 0.89% to 25,228.65 points and the banking index, Bankex, gained 2.76% to close at 17,053.82 points.

Vigilance charge-sheets JE in bribe case
Srinagar, July 15: Vigilance organization has produced charge-sheet against a junior engineer before a sessions court Baramulla in a bribe case. A junior engineer Abdul Rashid Hajam Was booked under prevention of corruption act in 2012 after he was caught accepting bribe of Rs 5000 from a complainant for processing bill against the work executed by him.
Hajam was then posted as JE in R&B, Special Sub Division (SSD) Uri.
After completing charge-sheet, the vigilance charge-sheeted the JE in the Court of Addl District & Sessions Judge Baramulla after procuring sanction for his Prosecution from the competent authority.

Court lets off three in fake currency case in Muzaffarnagar
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 1:33pm IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
• RNA Research & Archives
Three persons, who were accused of supplying fake currency notes, were acquitted of the charge by a local court here as it was found that most of the cash seized from their possession was real.
The court of Additional District Sessions Judge Mayank Chouhan yesterday acquitted Ibrahim, Shamim and Israeel.
The seized notes were sent to Kanpur branch of Reserve Bank of India which in its report has said that the currency amounting Rs 80,000 was real while the remaining notes of face value Rs 1,000 were fake.
The three had been arrested with the currency notes from Khatoli town on June 28, 1999, the prosecution said.
It was on the request of the three accused that the court directed the currency notes to be sent for examination to RBI’s Kanpur branch. In their plea, they also accused the police of falsely implicating them.

Family to pay Rs 50L for not producing 100 kg ivory articles
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 12:19 ISTA Delhi court has upheld the order of a magisterial court imposing a penalty of Rs 50 lakh on a family, facing proceedings in a wildlife case, for failing to produce over 100 kg of ivory articles before it.

Special CBI Judge J P S Malik, while upholding the January 2014 order of the trial court, also allowed the Wildlife inspector to adduce evidence estimating the market price of the property (ivory articles) during the trial, so that the remaining amount may be recovered from the accused persons for causing alleged disappearance of the items.

The sessions court was hearing an appeal filed by Delhi residents, R K Jain, his wife Sarita and mother Sushila against a trial court order directing them to pay Rs 50 lakh for failing to produce before it the large quantity of ivory articles, allegedly recovered from their residence in 1999.

“The impugned order passed by trial court in the matter suffers from no legal infirmity or illegality, as the trial court was left with the only option to ensure the production of the case property (ivory) before it to facilitate the continuation of the proceedings in the matter,” the special judge said.

The family had told the court that in May 1999, a debt recovery officer had visited Jain’s house in Darya Ganj here to carry out attachment proceedings as his father was part of a firm which had failed to repay credit facilities to a bank.

During the visit, the officer had allegedly found ivory articles and seized them. Jains claimed it all happened in their absence and they denied having any such articles.

As per the complaint filed by the wildlife inspector, the articles were released to the family by the presiding officer of the debt recovery tribunal on ‘Superdari’.

The inspector in his complaint alleged that the family members were in possession of ivory articles without licence.

As per the complaint, Sushila Jain was sent a memo asking her to produce the legal source of the ivory articles released to them and a licence to keep them, but she failed to reply.

It was also prayed in the complaint that the ivory articles involved in the case be produced before the court.

The appellants contended before the sessions court that they never possessed any such property and they had not received any ivory articles on ‘Superdari’.

After the family members failed to produce the released ivory articles before it, the trial court had imposed Rs 50 lakh penalty on Jains.

The trial court had noted that in their application seeking quashing of the complaint in 2004, Jains had admitted their possession of the ivory articles having been received pursuant to the order of the debt recovery tribunal.

Bank manager to pay Rs 10,000 monthly maintenance to minor son
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 13:39 IST
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A bank manager has been directed by a Delhi court to pay Rs 10,000 per month as maintenance to his minor son, who has been living with his estranged wife.

Additional Sessions Judge Anil Kumar dismissed the man’s appeal filed against a magisterial court order directing him to pay the amount to his son, who is nearly three-year-old.

“Keeping in view status of the parties and monthly and annual income of the man, I am of the opinion that interim maintenance granted by the trial court to the minor cannot be said to be excessive.

“There is no infirmity or irregularity or illegality in the order passed by the trial court for grant of interim maintenance to the minor. Hence, the order of August 31, 2013 qua the minor is upheld,” the judge said, adding that the man’s appeal was without any merits.

While upholding the maintenance amount, the court noted that the man, who was a manager at Reserve Bank of India, was earning more than Rs 53,000 per month.

The court also disposed of the appeal of the woman who was denied alimony by the trial court on the ground that she was employed and was earning.

The sessions court said the order of the trial court was a non speaking order regarding the woman’s plea for alimony and remanded the case back to the magistrate with a direction to decide the interim maintenance application.

The man, a resident of Vaishali in Ghaziabad, said in his appeal that his aged parents are dependent on him and he has to give them Rs 10,000 per month and it is the joint liability of his and his estranged wife to take care of their minor son.

The woman, a resident of Dwarka, had said in her plea that that she had got married to the man in January 2011 and huge amount was spent by her parents on her marriage.

She had said her in-laws used to taunt her and when she became pregnant, her husband refused to take care of her and was ill-treated by them. She had left her matrimonial house during her pregnancy itself and has been residing with her son at her parental house, she had said.

Summon doctors who grant fake certificates for adjournments: HC
Vaibhav Ganjapure,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 01.46 AM IST
NAGPUR: While imposing a heavy cost of Rs 10,000 on a tenant for seeking repeated adjournments, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court asked the trial courts to summon doctors who provide bogus medical certificates to petitioners/respondents on the basis of which they seek adjournments.

“The trial court becomes helpless when adjournments are sought on medical grounds and may grant it in the larger interest of justice when the applications are supported by the medical certificate. However, in such cases, if the trial court is suspecting that medical certificate may be meant mislead the judiciary, it can go ahead by summoning the doctor who gave that certificate if there is tendency to seek adjournments repeatedly on medical grounds without genuine medical advice and prescription requiring bed rest,” a single-judge bench justice Ashok Bhangale ruled.

“Seeking repeated adjournments without any just and reasonable cause should be deprecated and discouraged,” the judge added while asking petitioner E Khara, to pay Rs 10,000 to respondent N Mahajan.

Mahajan is seeking Khara’s eviction through a civil suit pending before Additional Small Causes Court, here. On February 25, the trial judge closed evidence of Khara as he sought repeated adjournments. The petitioner challenged this order in the high court contending at least one opportunity could have been given to him by the trial judge to lead evidence. Respondent Mahajan pointed out that the petitioner repeatedly sought adjournments by producing medical certificates of alleged fever with an ulterior motive to prolong the proceedings. The trial judge was also fed up due to same reason and finally decided to close the evidence.

Justice Bhangale observed both parties were expected to cooperate and assist the court to lead evidence when the suit is fixed for hearing. The petitioner then assured the court he would not seek further adjournments and would cooperate in early disposal of the suit. “Without going into merits of the grounds for adjournment, I think if reasonable cost of Rs 10,000 is imposed upon the petitioner as a condition precedent for leading evidence by way of final opportunity, it would serve the ends of justice. The trial judge shall, within 15 days of receipt of the writ, fix the suit for hearing by allowing the petitioner to lead evidence subject to payment of cost,” the judge stated while allowing the plea.

Court pulls up IO for misusing power to falsely implicate man
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 03.08 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Police officers who misuse their powers to implicate innocent persons deserve highest form of castigation and disciplinary action, a trial court has said while reprimanding a Delhi Police investigating officer for falsely implicating a man in a case of rash and negligent driving.

“The facts of the present case reveal how the emboldened, unscrupulous field investigation officers go on a rampage and curtail the liberty of innocent citizens by gross misuse of their powers by implicating them falsely for the reasons best known to them,” metropolitan magistrate Ashok Kumar said.

The court’s remarks came while acquitting Delhi resident M C Rastogi, who was accused of injuring pedestrian Chandan Das on April 30, 2011. An FIR was lodged against Rastogi for rashly driving his car near Vikas Sadan.

Shocked by the brazen misuse of power by the IO, the court said, “The complainant might have been in the dock and the accused a free man. Instead, much to the astonishment of the court, the IO has misused his powers, so much so that exactly the reverse has happened.”

“This brazen misuse of power deserves the highest form of castigation and disciplinary action in a way which has the tendency to create an example to such like field officers who intend to use their power to the detriment of innocent citizens,” the magistrate said.

While acquitting Rastogi of the charges of rash and negligent driving and injuring a person, the court in its judgment said it was clear from the facts and circumstances that he has been “deliberately and falsely implicated by the IO ” The court also issued show cause notice to the IO and a head constable, asking why adverse action be not taken against him.

Govt cancels selection of info commissioners
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 12.39 AM IST
PANAJI: The government has stopped the selection process for the posts of state information commissioners (SICs) to the Goa state information commission “due to technical reasons”. The posts will now be re-advertised, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said on Tuesday.

This further delays the full-fledged functioning of the information commission as the posts of state information commissioners has been vacant since August 2012. Chief information commissioner Leena Mehendale, who has been functioning alone, will be due for retirement on January 10, 2015.

The government had earlier this year shortlisted four names for the post of SICs and the cabinet was to finalize two names last week. The decision was differed.

Parrikar said the selection had to be cancelled due to a technical problem. He said that according to directions of the Supreme Court, at least one of the information commissioners has to have experience in the field of law and that this has to be mentioned in the advertisement for the posts. The government had not mentioned this requirement when it advertised the posts earlier. Hence, the selections have been cancelled, Parrikar said, adding that they will now be re-advertised.

The sad saga of the Goa state information commission has been dragging on for some time now. While the post of SIC has been vacant since August 2012, the commission was also without the chief information commissioner for almost 15 months from July 30, 2012 till October 24, 2013.

In July 2013, the government announced names of persons who figured in the shortlist for the posts of CIC and SIC. Mehendale, a retired IAS officer and former Maharashtra additional chief secretary, was selected as CIC. Prabhudesai and Coutinho were selected as SICs.

In August 2013, the high court of Bombay at Goa issued a notice to the government over the appointment of second SIC following a petition filed by social activist. On August 14, 2013, the cabinet cancelled appointments of Prabhudesai and Coutinho as SICs but approved Mehendale as CIC. Mehendale was sworn in as CIC on October 24, 2013.

Law Minister says NDA Government ‘wants consultation’ on controversial Uniform Civil Code
PUBLISHED: 21:26 GMT, 15 July 2014 | UPDATED: 21:26 GMT, 15 July 2014
The National Democratic Alliance government has made it clear that the option of implementing a Uniform Civil Code is open.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Tuesday said there is a need for wide consultations with stakeholders on the issue of a common law irrespective of religion.
The debate was reignited when BJP MP Yogi Adityanath asked the government in the Lok Sabha about the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code across the country.
In his written reply, Prasad indicated the government was willing to bring in a uniform code in line with a constitutional provision, but only after consultations.
“Provisions of Uniform Civil Code are there in Article 44 of the Constitution. Wide stakeholder consultation would be required for further steps in this regard,” Prasad told Parliament.
His response indicated that the government is ready for a debate on the controversial subject.
The stand of the previous government has thus been completely turned around. The Congress-led United Progressive Alliance had maintained in Parliament that its government would not touch the subject.
Stand changed
The stand taken by the law minister has left the door wide open for a discussion on the Uniform Civil Code. Though NDA ministers have made similar statements to the media in the recent past, this is the first time that the government has put forth its stand on the controversial issue in Parliament.
It’s a minefield, however. The NDA government faced strident criticism in May after junior minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Jitendra Singh, reignited the debate on Article 370 by calling it a “psychological barrier”, and Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh went a step further soon after by saying there was no harm in having a debate on Article 370 of the Constitution that gives Jammu and Kashmir special status and a Uniform Civil Code.
“Why should we shy away from weighing their pros and cons?” he had said.
Prasad has recently said the government will come out with a structured response on the issue in due course.
Diverse India
The Congress continues to maintain that the government should not tinker with personal laws, a necessity for bringing in a Uniform Civil Code.
“The Uniform Civil Code has been on the agenda of the RSS ever since its inception. But let’s not forget that India is a diverse country where people follow their own personal laws which have been evolved through traditions and customs going back thousands of years,” said Congress leader Manish Tewari.
Article 44, included in Part IV of the Constitution of India, lists the Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State policy that cannot be enforced by any court.
The Uniform Civil Code was part of the BJP election manifesto. The party believes there cannot be gender equality till India adopts a uniform code which protects the rights of all women.
In the manifesto, the BJP reiterated its stand on drafting a uniform code while “drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with the modern times”.
Goa is the only state in the country to have adopted a common law, called the Goa Civil Code. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earlier spoken in favour of a Uniform Civil Code, clarifying that a common law would not mean that all citizens of the country would be brought under a Hindu code.
The Supreme Court, in the famous Shah Bano case of 1985, granted alimony to a woman abandoned by her husband, and stressed the need for a Uniform Civil Code.
Regretting that Article 44 of the Constitution had remained a “dead letter”, the court had said a that Uniform Civil Code would help the cause of national integration.

Separating police’s law and order duties from crime probe a priority: SC
TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 04.24 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Eight years after ordering a series of important changes in the police set-up, the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would focus on implementation of its direction to separate police’s law and order duties from investigation of crime.

On a PIL filed by former police officer Prakash Singh in 1996, the Supreme Court in 2006 had delivered a landmark judgment directing implementation of radical reforms – merit and transparency in selection of state police chiefs, assured tenure for senior officials to make them immune from the threat of transfer at the hands of the political executive and separation of investigation work from law and order maintenance duties.

The court had given states the option of three models for police reforms proposed by Ribeiro Committee, National Human Rights Commission and Soli Sorabjee Committee that would have drawn out the police force from the shadows of colonial era laws governing its administration.

A bench of Justices T S Thakur, C Nagappan and Adarsh Kumar Goel said it was not undermining the directions given by the apex court in 2006 but felt the direction to separate law and order duties from criminal investigation must take priority over others.

“Direction for separation of law and order duties from criminal investigation has a direct bearing on the administration of criminal justice system. A policeman trained to maintain law and order will not be equipped to carry out a thorough and professional probe into a murder case. If the case is not investigated, the results of the trial would shake the faith of people in the criminal justice system,” the bench said.

“We are not undermining the importance of other directions. We want to prioritize so as to enhance confidence of common man in the criminal justice system by taking up the issue of separating law and order duties from criminal investigation,” the bench said.

Appearing for Prakash Singh, advocate Prashant Bhushan suggested tasking the high courts with taking up the implementation of SC judgment on police reforms in the state concerned. Singh said the 15 states which have enacted legislation on police reforms have only done it to step around the apex court’s judgment.

Singh said these legislations to neutralize the SC directive for police reforms had been challenged in the apex court. Additional solicitor general P S Patwalia said the issue needed detailed hearing. The bench posted the matter for further hearing on August 26 saying it would examine validity of the laws enacted by the states.

Juvenile justice: Punitive or corrective?
Arindam Ghosh,TNN | Jul 16, 2014, 01.44 AM IST
JHANSI: The government’s decision to repeal Juvenile Justice Act-2000 and re-enact a new law by the same name in 2014, is making child right’s activists quite jittery. The new act proposes the age of juvenile to be lowered down from 18 years to 16 years. Not only this, but a provision is also being made that the offenders may be tried under stringent sections of rape, murder and narcotics with regular criminals.

As per the experts, the new act will be less of pro child and will go more against them. They feel that maximum crimes committed by boys of this age are due to impulse and under the influence of adults. Unmindful of the repercussions, they are lured into the world of crime. It becomes very important that the law is more reformative than punitive and for this it is better that the age is not lowered down, rather more stress should be given for their rehabilitation by stressing more on better reformative homes. On the other hand those adults who push adolescents towards crime should be dealt more strictly, opine experts.

The lowering of age got momentum after the December 2012 Nirbhaya case, but despite this, Justice Verma Committee, specially formed for this was against lowering the age and recommended for compliance with the UN Convention. In July 2013, Supreme Court dismissed eight petitions brought by the public pleading for trying juveniles under adult laws for committing heinous crimes. In this, a three-judge bench said that barring a few rarest of the rare crimes in which people below 18 years of age who are involved in serious heinous crimes, rest are not that serious and their fate will be affected too.

As per the statistics of the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB), only 1.2% of the entire FIRs filled have juveniles involved in them. Another important aspect which is missing in the new law is the removal of the age determination through medical examination. This may prove fetal in the sence that even children of lesser age than 16 yrs may be tried as adults by manipulating their age by the police, said Tushar Anchal, a child rights activist.

As per the Juvenile data of 2011, of the total juveniles detained under various acts, 6122 (18%) were illiterate, 12803 (38%) were educated till primary, 10519 (31%) were non matriculate and 4443 (13%) were matriculate. This shows how education plays an important role in the behaviours of the children and this fact is not being stressed upon.

Anchal said, “The new law will be very harmful for the society, it will rather push small children for repeating crime because once they are tried with hardened criminals, there are ample chances of their drifting towards the world of crime. The government should emphasis more on their rehabilitation rather than increasing their punishment.”

“Most of the rehabilitation homes are not working as per norms. There is no compulsory education for the detainees despite the law exists for the same. If the government gives more emphasis on their rehabilitation rather than finding ways to punish them, I think we will have a better society and these children a better future,” said Anchal. Similarly, Sanjay Gupta, drector, CHETNA, a Delhi based NGO working on child rights, feels that “the new law is being governed by emotions and is being misled by unfortunate rape incidents.”

He said that till 1986, age limit in JJ Act was 16yrs but later on when certain mistakes were realized, the age was increased to 18 years. But, now it is again being reverted back to 16. “This shows a clear lack of philosophy. To me, it’s just an eyewash.

” The society has to be more sensitive towards adolescents and for this, the government has to act proactively in rehabilitate such children and curb crime at grassroots level rather than getting reactive with stringent punishments pushing them to the wall.”

Collegium stands firm on Justice Manjunath
The Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice R.M. Lodha on Tuesday stood firm on its recommendation to elevate Karnataka High Court Justice K.L. Manjunath as Chief Justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. It rejected the Law Ministry’s objections, in having returned the Karnataka judge’s file for reconsideration, as baseless and unfounded.
“Not collegium’s view”
Sources pointed out that the note enclosed in the original recommendation was by one of the apex court judges who was familiar with the working of the Karnataka High Court but not part of the collegium and his opinion reportedly against the elevation of Justice Manjunath could at best have only persuasive value and would not amount to the view of the collegium.
With the recommendation having been reiterated, the Centre is bound to accept the collegium’s decision to elevate Justice Manjunath. At the most, the government can delay the process of appointment.
Justice Manjunath was recommended for elevation along with the transfer of the present incumbent Sanjay Kishan Kaul as Chief Justice of Madras High Court. While the shifting of Justice Kaul had been cleared by President Pranab Mukherjee, the file relating to Justice Manjunath was returned to the collegium seeking clarification/reconsideration.
The Ministry wanted to ascertain from the collegium whether certain allegations in the complaints received were considered before making the recommendations.
The Centre had earlier put on hold the elevation of senior advocate Gopal Subramanium as a Supreme Court judge. The CJI had criticised the government for unilaterally segregating his file and approving the elevation of three High Court Chief Justices. The collegium accepted Mr. Subramanium’s letter withdrawing his consent and put an end to the controversy.

Tribunal approves review plea of HM
The Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT) has approved a review petition submitted by K.K. Oormila Devi who was transferred out of her position as Principal Headmistress of Cotton Hill Girls’ High School following allegations that she was disrespectful to Education Minister P.K. Abdu Rabb during a public function at the school in May.
At first, Ms. Devi was transferred to the government school at Ayilam by the Directorate of Public Instruction (DPI), but an order was issued on June 30, saying she would be posted as headmistress of Government Model HSS, ‘a convenient posting’, taking into account her ‘physical ailment’.
The petitioner argued that she never made such a case and only requested reinstatement as Principal Headmistress at the Cotton Hill school. The DPI’s second transfer order to Model School was labelled ‘irregular, illegal and liable to be set aside’ for it is ‘not true to the facts’. The review petition says she only requested the Chief Minister to reinstate her. Her amended petition says that the two transfer orders (the first saying she should move to Ayilam and the second allowing her to be posted at Model School) are ‘based on totally inconsistent reasons’ and are ‘illegal and unsustainable’.
Ms. Devi has requested the KAT to direct the DPI to cancel the second order as well and reinstate her at Cotton Hill.

NHRC recommends five lakh as monetary relief to family of stunt biker killed in police firing
ANI | New Delhi
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 20:50 IST
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recommended the Delhi Government to pay five lakh rupees as monetary relief to the next of kin of Karan Pandey, who was killed in police firing on the stunt bikers.
Pandey was killed when the police fired on bikers at Windsor Place, Ashoka Road, in the intervening night of July 28-29, 2013. The Commission has asked the Delhi Government’s Chief Secretary to submit the proof of payment along with the action taken report on the departmental proceedings initiated against the delinquent police officials within six weeks.
The Commission had taken cognizance of the incident on the basis of an intimation received from the New Delhi Deputy Commissioner of Police and complaints. On the basis of material on record, the Commission observed that the enquiry Magistrate had found that there was negligence and error of judgment on the part of an Inspector to open fire at the rear tyre of the bike which resulted in the death of Karan Pandey who was pillion riding the bike driven by Puneet Sharma.
The Commission also noted that there was unnecessary use of force by opening fire which was disproportionate to the amount to threat to PCR officials’ life.
It further noted that the entire incident of heavy stone pelting on police party is highly doubtful in the light of CCTV footage and statements of witnesses which could have caused life threatening risk to PCR officials.

LEGAL NEWS 15.07.2014

HC stays POTA case proceedings against Vaiko
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 21:08 IST
Madras High Court today stayed all further proceedings in a special court related to a Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) case filed against MDMK leader Vaiko and six others until further orders.

A division bench comprising Justice S Rajeswaran and Justice P N Prakash gave the interim order on a batch of appeals by Vaiko and others challenging a September 2004 order of the special court at suburban Poonamalee dismissing the Public Prosecutor’s application seeking withdrawal of the case.

The Q Branch CID police, Madurai, had registered the POTA case in 2002 against Vaiko and others on the basis of a speech he made at a public meeting in favour of banned LTTE.

The Special Court in 2003 took cognisance of the offence under POTA Act and framed charges and proceeded with trial.

In the meantime, allowing an application by Vaiko and others, a Review Committee, set up by the Central Government, held prosecution under POTA was not necessary and issued a direction to theTamil Nadu Government to withdraw the case.

Accordingly, the Public Prosecutor on August 8, 2004, filed an application under Section 321 of CrPC to consider withdrawal of the prosecution, but this was rejected by the special court.

Aggrieved, Vaiko and others moved the Supreme Court which on October 8, 2004, stayed the trial court proceedings.

When their appeal came up for hearing before apex court after nine years on March 5 this year, the court observed that there was an appeal provision before High Court under Sec 34 of POTA and permitted them to withdraw their plea before the apex court.

Hence, they filed the present appeal before the High Court contending that the impugned order of the Special Court in rejecting the withdrawal application made by the Public Prosecutor was erroneous and therefore liable to be set aside.

When the matter came up for hearing today, Additional Public Prosecutor Maharajan sought time to file counter, which was objected to by the counsel for Vaiko.

The counsel further added that already Vaiko and other appellants enjoyed the benefit of stay on the proceedings granted by the Supreme Court for more than nine years, and since the apex court has given a direction to approach the High Court they have filed the present appeal. Hence, he pressed for a stay on the proceedings.

Concurring with the submissions, the bench stayed the proceedings before the special court until further orders.

HC seeks government reply on PIL alleging siphoning of funds
Press Trust of India | Mumbai
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 19:36 IST
The Bombay High Court warned the Maharashtragovernment of contempt action today, if it did not file its reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) which has alleged siphoning of funds and non-implementation of schemes meant to financially help scheduled castes to conduct business or trade.

Hearing the PIL, a bench headed by Justice Abhay noted that the Maharashtra government had earlier sought time to file an affidavit, but has not yet filed its reply.

Despite a last chance given to the Maharashtra government, it has once again failed to file any affidavit. If no affidavit is filed on August 1, then the Bombay High Court would be compelled to take action against the Secretary of the Social Justice Department of Maharashtra, for contempt of court, the judges said.

The PIL filed by Chetan Kamble, who heads Bhimshakti Vichar Manch, alleged that the Maharashtra government had announced a scheme to provide financial help to members of the scheduled caste (SC) community to do business or trade.

Under the scheme, a society of such SC members is supposed to contribute five per cent, the Maharashtra Government contributes 35 per cent, another 35 per cent would be sanctioned as long term loans and the balance 25 per cent would come from financial institutions as a long term loan.

Though the scheme benefited members of societies of scheduled caste communities during the period 2004-05 to 2010-11, it was noticed that monies were siphoned off and funds disbursement was stopped by the authorities under one pretext or the other, the PIL alleged.

The petitioner prayed for a directive to the Maharashtra state government to implement the scheme for the benefit of scheduled caste members.

HC: Notaries can’t give marriage certificates

TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 02.58 AM IST
BANGALORE: The Karnataka high court on Monday directed the law secretary to issue a circular restraining notaries from issuing certificates solemnizing marriages.

A division bench headed by justice KL Manjunath also asked the registrar, City Civil Court, Bangalore, to issue a similar order. The bench gave the directions while hearing a petition wherein a person had produced a certificate issued by a notary in Bangalore (May 2012) and sought production of “his wife” before the court.

The court summoned the registrar and the notary who had issued the ‘marriage certificate’. “We are noticing notaries issuing such certificates in respect of declaration of marriage. In fact, they are playing with the lives of people. People should not misunderstand this. It is not a valid document,” the bench observed. The judge asked the government advocate to inform the law secretary to issue a circular to notaries across the state.
Only a sub-registrar has the power to register a marriage.

The notary apologized to the court. Interestingly, the petitioner’s counsel was absent during the hearing. The police on investigation found the woman in question, a divorcee, had not married the petitioner. She had in fact decided not to marry the petitioner after she felt that she would not be comfortable with him. She had also left her job in Bangalore and shifted to Chennai.

Manoj, the petitioner, had urged the court to issue a direction to the police to produce his ‘wife’ before the court. He had claimed that she had been missing for two months and he felt her mother and brother-in-law were keeping her in illegal custody. In support of his marriage claim, he had produced the certificate issued by the notary.

HC raps state for delay in framing steps against drunk driving
Rosy Sequeira,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 11.57 PM IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday slammed the government for a delay of nearly 11 years to inform about the measures it will take to prevent drunk driving.

A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice A S Chandurkar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by journalist Nikhil Wagle and two others after the Salman Khan hit-and-run case in which one person was killed and four people were injured when the actor allegedly rammed his Land Cruiser into the American Express Laundry on Hill Road in Bandra (W) around 2.45am on September 28, 2002. The PIL sought compensation for the victims and enhancement of Salman’s sentence under Section 304 A (death by negligence) of the IPC from the current two years.

Petitioner’s advocate Ameeta Kuttikrishnan submitted that subsequently, section 304 II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) was applied against Salman. She said the government had not complied with the October 7, 2002, order when the then advocate-general had stated that the government would adopt stern measures to tackle drunk driving. “As of today, we find there is no reply filed by the government, setting out compliance of the assurance made by the advocate-general in a statement recorded nearly 11 years ago,” the bench said.

The judges said the issue, which is about steps for tackling drunk driving cases as well as preventive measures, is considered important. They noted that the Centre has also not filed its reply. “Both the governments ought to have responded,” the bench added. The judges also questioned if the victims had received compensation. “Most have not taken at all. The very purpose is frustrated,” said Justice Oka. On October 7, 2002, the HC had directed Salman to pay Rs 19 lakh as compensation, which he deposited. The judges directed the HC registrar to submit a report saying if the money has been withdrawn.

HC stays appointment of temporary teachers by MKU
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 22:31 IST
The Madras High Court today stayed the appointment of temporary teachers for various departments in colleges run by Madurai Kamaraj University.

Justice K K Sasidharan of the bench here stayed the appointment of the temporary teachers for whom walk-in interviews were held yesterday.

He was admitting a petition by M Rajarajan, a syndicate member, and Nagarajan, a part-time teacher of physics working for the past nine years on consolidated pay.

Rajarajan submitted the approval of the syndicate had not been sought by Vice-Chancellor of the University Kalyani Mathivanan and she was trying to usurp the powers of the syndicate and appoint temporary teaching staff for extraneous considerations as quickly as possible.

The syndicate members had protested the action of the VC, whose appointment was quashed by the high court recently but stayed by the Supreme Court.

He said notification had called for candidates who could come for a walk-in interview. There was no mention about basic qualification, age limit, communal roster.

Nagarajan said he was working for nine years and he feared he would be sent out if new persons were appointed.

He also sought to quash the notification for appointments when already many were working as part time lecturers, he said.

HC orders NHRC to explain inaction
Staff Correspondent
The High Court yesterday asked for an explanation from the National Human Rights Commission about its alleged inaction in taking steps regarding the rape of a girl in Comilla last year even after receiving prayers for doing so.
In response to a writ petition, the court ordered the NHRC chairman and its secretary to submit a report containing their explanations before it by September 10.
Petitioner’s lawyer Barrister Abdul Halim told The Daily Star that the girl at Basantapur village in Chouddogram upazila was raped on August 29 last year.
The following day, a case was filed with the Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Comilla in this connection.
During the trial, the tribunal on February 24 this year granted bail to the accused on the condition that he would marry the rape victim within two weeks.
Hearing that the rapist got released from jail on bail, the victim escaped to Dhaka and approached rights organisation Children’s Charity Bangladesh Foundation and applied to the NHRC for getting a certified copy of the court order that asked the rapist to marry the victim.
However, the NHRC did not respond to the request even after the victim applied twice on April 3 and May 18 this year, the lawyer said.
Interestingly, the NHRC chairman in his introduction to its annual report of 2011 mentioned that rape, murder and acid violence would not be considered as human rights violation unless they are committed by any state agencies or their employees, Halim said.
The victim’s mother in June this year filed a writ petition with the HC seeking necessary orders against NHRC.
The HC also asked the government and commission to show cause as to why the NHRC chairman’s statement in its 2011 annual report about the killing, rape and acid throwing should not be declared illegal.
Published: 12:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014

HC seeks assistance from lawyers to handle fake order case
Jayanta Gupta,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 09.16 PM IST
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Monday asked two lawyers to assist it in dealing with complaints against a man accused of faking its orders. Bikash Singh, the accused, who claims to be a lawyer, was arrested a few days ago on directions of the high court. It has now come to light that Singh not only faked two orders of the high court, he also faked one of the Supreme Court.

“This is a matter against this court so government pleader Samrat Sen and counsel for the petitioner Phiroze Edulji should sit together at 4.30pm and decide on what needs to be done to assist the court. The matter will appear again on Tuesday at 2pm,” Justice Dipankar Datta directed.

The matter first came to be known, when one Santana Roy, a resident of Lake Town, moved the high court claiming that the police haven’t taken any action against Singh though he supplied her with a fake order of a division bench of the court to get her brother released on bail from the Presidency Correctional Home. Though Roy had lodged a complaint at the Girish Park police station on May 21, the authorities dragged their feet on the matter.

Justice Datta expressed his displeasure at this and directed the police to file a report within 10 days. Singh was arrested within that time. After his arrest, it came to be known that Singh had been accused of a similar fraud earlier. A complaint had then been lodged at the Hare Street police station. In that incident, he had produced a fake order of a single bench of the high court, granting bail to an undertrial.

On Monday, Edulji informed the court that another complaint had been lodged against Singh in the Girish Park police station on March 5 for faking an order of a Supreme Court division bench. The police had refused to take cognizance. “First, it was a single bench of the high court. Then, it was a division bench of the high court. Now, it is a division bench of the Supreme Court. The judges he has named are not even in the Supreme Court,” the counsel for the petitioner said. The government pleader also said that this is a very serious matter after which Justice Datta passed his direction.

HC notice to Centre, MCI on plea against nomination of members
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 23:14 IST
The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court today ordered a notice to the central government, the Central Council of Indian Medicine (CCIM) and others on a plea seeking to reconsider the nomination of 42 persons as members of the CCIM, the Medical Council of India and the Central Council of Homeopathy.

When the PIL came up before them for hearing, Justices M Jaichandran and Justice R Mahadevan ordered notice returnable within two weeks to the Union Health Secretary, the Secretary to the Department of AYUSH (Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy) and the MCI among others.

The 42 members were nominated by the government through notifications on February 28,2014, on March 3, 2014 and November 11,2013.

Contending that there was corruption and irregularity and extraneous considerations in matter of nomination of members of the CCIM, the CCH and the MCI, the petitioner Muralidharan of Thanjavur also sought to restrain the 42 members from discharging their functions till the disposal of the petition.

The petitioner submitted that the high court had already questioned the mode of appointing members to the CCIM and asked the government to review the appointment of one Dr.Vanitha Muralikumar for the CCIM.

The central government appointed 30 per cent of members. There was no guideline to assess the special knowledge or practical experience of a person. It could consider any person as one with special knowledge and practical experience and nominate him or her in the council. This was nothing but an arbitrary power left to the whims and fancies of the individuals, the pettitioner charged.

HC asks ex-MCD councillor to give fresh affidavit for bail
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 19:39 IST
Delhi High Court today asked ex-MCD councillor Hiren Tokas, who is serving a five-year jail term in a bribery case, to file an affidavit stating that his younger brother is not staying with their parents after he sought bail to take care of them.

A bench of Justice S Muralidhar gave the direction while hearing Tokas’ bail plea in which he has submitted that there is no one in his family to look after his elderly parents.

CBI, however, opposed Tokas contention and said that his younger brother Nalin resides in the same house in which their parents currently live.

His younger brother resides with their parents and can take care of them, the agency said.

Thereafter the court asked Tokas to file an affidavit stating that his brother does not live in the same house with their parents.

The court has now fixed July 18 for further hearing in the matter.

Tokas had moved the court seeking bail on the ground that he is still in pain as a result of fracture he suffered in February this year and needs follow up medical treatment at a hospital of his choice.

He had also cited the poor health of his parents as a ground for availing the relief, saying his father is suffering from cancer and undergoing chemotherapy, while his mother is visually impaired.

Tihar jail authorities, on the other hand, have said in their report that Tokas is now in a stable medical condition.

A CBI court had on May 29 awarded five years jail term to Tokas, the then MCD councillor of ward number 15 in R K Puram here, for taking a bribe of Rs 20,000 from a shopkeeper in 2003.

HC directs Punjab to decide parole of Kandahar plane hijack convict
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 14, 2014
First Published: 23:55 IST(14/7/2014) | Last Updated: 23:57 IST(14/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Punjab government to take a decision within three weeks on the parole application moved by Abdul Latif Adam Momin, one of the convicts in the 1999 Kandahar plane hijack case.

Momin, a life convict, had approached the high court seeking parole on the ground that he had been behind bars for the last over 15 years and wanted to meet his mother aged 74 who is suffering from old-age ailments. The court was informed that the petitioner had already submitted his parole application to the state government long back but there had been no response.
In Patiala jail since December 30, 1999, Indian national Momin is linked with Pakistan-based militant outfit Harkat-ul-Mujahideen (HuM). On February 25 this year, the high court had upheld the life sentence awarded to Momin by the special anti-hijacking court in Patiala on February 5, 2008.
After taking off from Kathmandu en route Delhi on December 24, 1999, the IC-814 Indian Airlines flight with 179 passengers, including 24 foreign nationals, and a crew of 11 on board was hijacked and made to touch down in Amritsar first before being flown to Lahore for refuelling and then landed in Dubai and, later, Kandahar in Afghanistan.
At Dubai, the hijackers released 26 wounded passengers along with the body of murdered Rupin Katyal. The remaining hostages, including 20 foreign nationals, were released after eight-day ordeal on December 31, 1999, at Kandahar, and flown back to India in a special aircraft.

HC denies bail to folk dancer-turned sandalwood smugglers
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 22:57 IST
Madras High Court today dismissed bail petitions of two former folk dancers, arrested on charges of sandalwood and red sanders smuggling.

Rejecting the petitions by Mohana, from whose house police seized Rs four crore cash last month, and her sister Nirmala, Justice P.Devadass said, they “are involved in many criminal activities and there is strong prima facie case against them. They have association with other criminals.”

He also said they have the tendency to abscond and if let out on bail, there was every possibility of them interfering with the investigation and fleeing away from justice.

The prosecution case is that when a raid was conducted in the rented premises of Mohana in Vellore, more than Rs.Four crore of currency and various items of jewels and fixed deposit receipts were seized by police.

The two sisters who were absconding subsequently surrendered before a court. From their confessional statements, it came out that Mohana, Nirmala and her son Saravanan in association with one Babu and other accused were involved in smuggling of sandalwood, red sanders, extortion of money and lending money at exorbitant rate of interest and harassing debtors and money laundering, prosecution said.

Now the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence was also conducting Investigation as to violation of Income Tax Act and Money Laundering Act against the accused.

HC bench recuses from plea on Belekeri eco damage
Bangalore, Jul 14, 2014, DHNS :
 A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice H G Ramesh on Monday recused from hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to check environmental damage at Belekeri port in Uttara Kannada district.

One of the petitioners in the PIL had written to the Chief Justice of India seeking to transfer the matter to the Supreme Court.

Dr Sayyed Murtaza Muazzamsha, a native of Belekeri and a co-petitioner in the PIL filed by Uttara Kannada Consumers’ and Citizen Welfare Association, had sought transfer of the case to the apex court. The HC bench had mentioned about it during the previous hearing and directed Dr Muazzamsha to appear in person. However, he filed an affidavit on July 7 stating that he was unable to appear before the court due to his old age, poor health and Ramzan fasting. During the hearing on Monday, the division bench set-aside its earlier orders in the matter and recused from hearing the petition saying that it should be heard by some other bench.

Previously, the bench had directed amicus curiae Hareesh Bhandary to submit a list of experts to form a committee for assessing the environmental damage caused at the port due to illegal dumping of iron ore. Bhandary had suggested the job could be entrusted to National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Bangalore, Jul 14, 2014, DHNS :
 A division bench comprising Chief Justice D H Waghela and Justice H G Ramesh on Monday recused from hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to check environmental damage at Belekeri port in Uttara Kannada district.

One of the petitioners in the PIL had written to the Chief Justice of India seeking to transfer the matter to the Supreme Court.

Dr Sayyed Murtaza Muazzamsha, a native of Belekeri and a co-petitioner in the PIL filed by Uttara Kannada Consumers’ and Citizen Welfare Association, had sought transfer of the case to the apex court. The HC bench had mentioned about it during the previous hearing and directed Dr Muazzamsha to appear in person. However, he filed an affidavit on July 7 stating that he was unable to appear before the court due to his old age, poor health and Ramzan fasting. During the hearing on Monday, the division bench set-aside its earlier orders in the matter and recused from hearing the petition saying that it should be heard by some other bench.

Previously, the bench had directed amicus curiae Hareesh Bhandary to submit a list of experts to form a committee for assessing the environmental damage caused at the port due to illegal dumping of iron ore. Bhandary had suggested the job could be entrusted to National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI).

Raj HC issues contempt notice to lawyers for boycott call
Press Trust of India | Jaipur
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 21:37 IST
The Rajasthan High Court has issued contempt notice to some lawyers, including the president of Bar Association, in connection with the boycott call given by advocates of lower judiciary.

Justice Bela M Trivedi took suo motu notice of the boycott call and issued notices.

The lawyers had given the boycott call demanding that Additional District and Sessions judge Mahnendra Choudhary, who had allegedly refused to favour lawyer Bharat Bhushan in his personal case, be transferred.

Issuing criminal contempt notices to Bar Association president Gopeah Kumbhaj, former general secretary Rajesh Choudhary, lawyer Bharat Bhushan and others, the court ordered judicial inquiry into the matter by Registrar Administration of the high court. The response has to be filed by July 23.

Justice Trivedi also sent a copy to the Bar Council of Rajasthan and Bar Council of India for necessary action against the lawyers.

The bench also sent a copy of the order to the president of High Court Bar Association with a direction to resume work immediately.

Spl educators: HC asks govt to consider age-relaxation plea of
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 20:00 IST
The Delhi High Court has directed the city government to consider the plea of a man seeking age relaxation in recruitment to the post of Special Educators for differently-abled students in government schools here.

Currently, the government provides age relaxation of 10 years to female applicants while recruiting special educators.

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and Vipin Sanghi said that though the court has not been called upon to decide the legality of age relaxation which is exclusively based on gender it is apparent that there is a crying need to fill such posts.

The bench said it implies that all candidates who are otherwise eligible but not women should not be discriminated against, at least with their request for age relaxation.

“Concededly, this court is not called upon to decide the legality of such a blanket age relaxation, exclusively based on gender. What is apparent, however, from such general order is that the respondents themselves are alive to the fact that there is a crying need to fill the posts and need to take one general measure, identifying all female candidates being eligible for age relaxation for 10 years.

“This implies that all candidates who are otherwise eligible but are not women should not be discriminated against at least with respect to consideration of their request for age relaxation,” the court said in a five-page judgement.

The verdict was delivered on the plea of Syed Mehedi, a qualified Special Educator holding BEd qualification which he acquired in 2009, who had challenged the Central Administrative Tribunal’s order rejecting his plea for age relaxation in recruitment of special educators to government schools.

The court noted that the age relaxation criteria was factored into the rules as the advertisement for recruiting special educators to all government schools was taken in 2013 pursuant to the 2009 High Court order directing the same.

Worship, but protect cobras: HC to State
By Vijay Chavan, Pune Mirror | Jul 15, 2014, 02.30 AM IST

Weeks before Nag Panchami is celebrated on August 1, the Bombay High Court (HC) has directed the State government to draw up a comprehensive plan and establish machinery to take constructive steps for educating the public and implementing the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to ensure that the festival is celebrated as per tradition but without causing harm to snakes.

King Cobras captured for worship are often ill-treated, defanged and force-fed milk, have their venom glands removed and mouths stitched — activities exacerbated by their worship during Nag Panchami.

Thursday’s HC order came after a request from a wildlife lover to ban the practice of capturing Indian cobras for worship, as this violates the Act, which dictates that trapping snakes or even attempting to do so is punishable with imprisonment extending to three years, or a fine extending to Rs 25,000, or both.

During last week’s hearing, a division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandorkar said that while there is no restriction on the worship of cobras, the problem lies in their capture. They also directed the State government to take the help of NGOs working for wildlife welfare to raise awareness across the state.

The bench was hearing a writ petition in reply to a PIL filed last year by Sangli-based wildlife lover Ajit Patil, seeking the implementation of the Act’s provisions, and requesting the HC to direct the State to take steps to end the capture of cobras.

Thereafter, villagers of Battis Shirala in Sangli district, known for worshipping live King Cobras after capturing them from surrounding forests, last month filed a writ petition against the PIL.

They prayed that the word ‘hunting’ be defined in Section 2 (16) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, in accordance with articles 25 (freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion) and 26 (freedom to manage religious affairs) of the Constitution, and that permission be granted to worship live cobras before and after Nag Panchami.

After hearing arguments from both sides, the HC directed the State to come up with a comprehensive plan to implement the Act, taking care that religious sentiments are not hurt, giving rise to a law and order situation. The judges also told the government pleader to inform the court what steps are being taken to educate the public, so that live Indian cobras are not captured.

Additionally, they asked the State to inform the court how many more forest officers would be required to be deployed across the state during Nag Panchami to protect snakes. The court has posted the matter for its final hearing on July 15.

Naturalist, wildlife researcher and curator of the Pune Snake Park and Animal Rescue Centre, Deepak Sawant, explained to Mirror, “As a Nag Panchami ritual, we technically worship snake caves (varul) and not live cobras.

While the worship of live cobras has never really been a tradition in the state, after the 1972 Bangladesh war, several Bangladeshi immigrants who came here adopted this profession as their livelihood, prompting the worship of live cobras on Nag Panchami day. If the Forest department takes action and NGOs launch awareness drives, such activities will definitely be curbed.”

27 years later, HC holds captain not guilty of smuggling, dumping gold bars into sea
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 11.58 PM IST
Mumbai: It was the heydays of the gold smuggling business in pre-liberalization India in 1987, when the customs, in a sensational operation, recovered 53 gold bars worth over Rs 1.68 crore from the bottom of the sea off Hay Bunder. Twenty-seven years later, the Bombay high court on Monday upheld the acquittal of the captain of the cargo vessel Rajendra Jyoti, who was arrested for smuggling the gold and throwing the bars before it docked.

“The recovery of gold is in a very peculiar manner as it is found in the ocean. It is necessary for the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the recovery was made at the instance of the accused,” said Justice Mridula Bhatkar, adding, “The defence was successful in creating doubt in the mind that the vessel was not the only one berthed at Hay Bunder that time. Nearly 25 vessels had arrived and the possibility that any other person may have thrown the tin filled with gold bars in the sea could not have been overruled.”

The court ruled that the Esplanade magistrate’s court was right in acquitting the accused, Ebrahim Sodha, for lack of evidence.

The court noted that the panch witness, who was the only independent one (the others were customs officers) did not corroborate that Sodha had confessed to throwing the gold. The court said the customs could not prove that the crew had implicated the captain as they had not been examined and neither the scribe who took down their statements was called in as a witness.

The customs officers had claimed that in May 1987 they received information that the vessel was carrying contraband gold either sealed in the vessel or in the luggage of sailors. The vessel was intercepted off Mumbai’s coast but a search yielded nothing. The officers claimed that after Sodha was interrogated he confessed that he had thrown the bars in a tin into the sea before the vessel entered Hay Bunder. Divers recovered the gold from the bottom of the sea and charged Sodha under customs laws for smuggling gold. The trial court acquitted Sodha in 1994 and the customs filed an appeal, which came up for hearing recently before the high court.

Three medical colleges move HC for reinspection
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 14, 2014 Last Updated at 19:13 IST
The Delhi High Court today agreed to hear pleas of three medical colleges seeking implementation of the Centre’s direction to MCI to inspect such institutes and see if they are complying with all norms prior to granting them permission to admit students.

Shree Chhatrapati Shivaji Education Society, Gold Field Shiksha Sanstha and another college have also sought quashing of MCI’s order rejecting their applications for renewal of permission to induct students to MBBS course for academic year 2014-15.

The petitions also contain a letter purportedly written by Secretary, Union Health Ministry on July 8, asking MCI to carry out the requisite inspection so that the number of seats in MBBS courses in the country does not come down on mere ground of technicalities.

“I am also informed that approximately 150 cases have been referred to MCI for review and a majority of these colleges are government colleges. The government cannot afford to accept the possibility of losing such large number of MBBS seats on the basis of mere technicalities.

“In view of this, to provide opportunity to more students to get MBBS seats in all medical colleges in the country it is suggested that MCI may file an IA in Priya Gupta case before the Supreme Court to get order dated June 6, 2014 modified to the following extent to ensure that MCI has adequate time to carry out compliance verification assessment wherever necessary,” a letter written by Lov Verma, Health Secretary, said.

The health secretary has requested MCI to take immediate steps in “larger public interest” to ensure that the authority “is not seen working against the public interest”.

Justice Manmohan, before whom the matters were listed today, said he needs to go through the voluminous petitions and thus, will hear them tomorrow.

Senior advocate Nidesh Gupta, appearing for Gold Field Shiksha Sanstha, cited the letter when he mentioned the matter in the morning seeking an urgent hearing.

Shifting of GAIL pipelines: HC asks Centre to file reply
TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 02.08 AM IST
HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad high court on Monday directed the Central government to file its reply within three weeks to a petition that sought the shifting of gas collecting station (GCS) and pipelines of Gas Authority of India ltd (GAIL) from Nagaram area of East Godavari district.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar also issued notices to ONGC and GAIL to explain their stand on the scathing attack made by the petitioner on the official apathy being displayed by them vis-a-vis proper maintenance of pipelines and preventing fatal mishaps etc.

The bench was dealing with a plea by Dr. R S Ratnakar, a resident of Nagaram village of East Godavari district, who wanted the pipeline and the gas station to be immediately shifted in view of the negligent conduct of both ONGC and GAIL authorities. According to the petitioner, GAIL had established a GCS in Tatipaka village of the district and that ONGC had also set up a low capacity refinery at the village. GAIL has laid a pipeline from Tatipaka to Kondapalli at Vijayawada that passes through several villages and thickly populated habitations.

Charging the official machinery with apathy towards the lives of people, he said it has become a common phenomenon for villagers to live with regular gas leaks from pipelines which are poorly maintened. Owing to negligence by the authorities, 19 persons lost their lives while several others sustained injuries in the fire accident in Nagaram village on June 27, he said. Noting that the damage caused was indeed huge, the bench said it is high time authorities are made answerable and therefore issued notices to the Centre, AP government, GAIL, ONGC, and directed them to file their versions on the plea.

Kaul to take oath as Madras HC CJ on July 26
HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times Chandigarh, July 15, 2014
First Published: 08:10 IST(15/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:11 IST(15/7/2014)
The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday received the transfer orders of chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul to the Madras high court as its chief justice.
Justice Kaul would take oath of Madras high court chief justice on July 26 and till the new chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court is appointed, justice Ashutosh Mohunta (seniormost judge) would work as acting chief justice.
As per information, July 22 would be the last working day of chief justice Kaul in the Punjab and Haryana high court.
Justice Kaul, 55, who had taken oath as the 32nd chief justice of Punjab and Haryana high court on June 1 last year, has spent over 14 months in Chandigarh.
Born on December 26, 1958, justice Kaul obtained an LLB degree from Delhi University in 1982. He practised in the Delhi high court mainly in commercial, civil, writ and company matters. He was designated as senior advocate in December 1999 after which he was elevated as additional judge of the Delhi high court on May 3, 2001. He became the permanent judge on May 2, 2003.
During his tenure as chief justice, among various initiatives, justice Kaul had been successful on bringing down pendency of cases in all the courts across Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
He is also known for discouraging filing of frivolous public interest litigations and effectively implementing the system of holding of courts by high court judges as per their respective rosters as well as seniority on the same floor of the building.
The step had also come as a big relief to the advocates since they had earlier been shuttling between one building of the high court and another. In an initiative to clear long-pending cases in the high court, chief justice Kaul had also dedicated Wednesdays and Thursdays for hearing such cases.

MCA challenges nod to Sesa Sterlite by Goa Bench of Bom HC
The tax department is concerned over Rs 1500 crore repayable to Sesa Sterlite on the date of approval, which is the point of contention. There is confusion whether the date of approval is the date at which the agreement was formalized or the date at which it was approved by Bombay HC ASHMIT KUMAR Reporter, CNBC-TV18 More about the Expert… 1 1 0Google +0 0Comments (1) Halftime Report The MCA has challenged the approval granted to Sesa Sterlite by the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court. Sesa Goa – Sterlite deal has been in a battle between the tax department, shareholders and MCA. Also Read: How current gold tax regime is costing government billions Ever since the approval has been granted by the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court (HC), there have been concerns by the tax department over a sum of Rs 1500 crore which becomes repayable to Sesa Sterlite depending on the date of approval, which is a point of contention. There is confusion whether the date of approval is the date at which the agreement was formalized or the date at which it was approved by Bombay HC. That has been a cause of concern over which the tax department had expressed concerns to the MCA and what we understand is that the MCA moving at the behest of the tax department has infact filed an SLP, has moved the Supreme Court where they have expressed concerns, where they have alleged at least on paper the intent behind structuring of this deal, structuring of this device in order to enable tax evasion. So that is one concern that we understand has been expressed by the MCA before the SC. More clarity is awaited on the matter, which comes up for further hearing as MCA makes its further arguments and that is expected on July 17. That is when we can expect to hear more from both the parties.

Submit seats’ info by July 15: HC
Vishwas Kothari,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 01.39 AM IST
PUNE: Minority educational institutions offering professional and technical degree and diploma courses have to submit the details of the seats remaining vacant from their 51% quota, to the state government by 4 pm on July 15.

The Bombay high court on Monday passed an order to this effect after Pune-based G H Raisoni Educational and Medical Foundation and five other institutions challenged the minorities’ development department’s (MDD) July 6 circular asking them to complete their quota admissions and surrender vacant seats to the government by July 15.

The court order mandates the director of technical education (DTE) to include, by 7.30 pm on July 15, the vacant seats conveyed by these institutions in the CAP Round-I allotments for the given courses. The high court has laid the time-bound schedule in the wake of the Supreme Court’s directions on June 26 that the CAP Round-I must be completed by July 15 and the ensuing CAP Rounds II and III have to be completed by July 22 and 29, respectively.

For academic year 2014-15, the MDD’s circular has listed 118 religious and linguistic minorities institutions which offer courses ranging from health sciences to undergraduate as well as postgraduate engineering, management and pharmacy, agricultural science, education degree and diploma studies.

The list carries details such as overall sanctioned student intake, number of seats to be filled through the 51% quota, number of admissions effected and number of vacant seats from the quota which have to be filled by July 15.

As many as six writ petitions were filed in the high court on July 10 against the MDD circular and the same was listed for hearing towards the fag-end of the court proceedings on July 11 before the division bench of Justices Anoop Mohta and A A Sayed. The court was then informed about the apex court’s June 26 directions in the Jayamatha college of engineering vs Union of India case. Assistant government pleader A I Patel also submitted that he needed to take instructions from senior MDD officials in relation to the matter. The court then directed the respondent state government and the DTE to follow the Supreme Court order and also directed priority hearing of the petitions on Monday.

During the proceedings on Monday, the lawyers representing the petitioner institutions and the government arrived at a consensus over a draft order suggested by the court. Based on such consensus, the court passed the order laying the time-bound schedule for the institutions to convey the details of their vacant seats and for the DTE to include the same in the CAP Round-I allotments.

Accusing wife of ‘special relations’ with another man cruelty, says HC
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 12.58 AM IST
MUMBAI: Twenty-two years after a Bandra resident sought to separate from her husband over his allegations that she was “carefree” and had a “special relationship” with another man, she was given divorce on grounds of cruelty.

Geeta Singh, 50, was granted divorce from husband Prakash Singh, now in his 60s, when the Bombay high court upheld a 2006 family court order. A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed said making unsubstantiated allegations against the wife doubting her fidelity and besmirching her character was cruel and a ground for divorce.

“He made indecent and defamatory allegations against the wife. The allegation is of maintaining extra-marital relationship (and it) is a grave assault on the character, honour and reputation of the wife,” said the judges. “He failed to substantiate (the allegations). The family court has rightly passed a decree of divorce on the grounds of cruelty on the basis of the said unsubstantiated allegations regarding character of the wife.”

The high court had asked the couple, who have two grown-up children, to explore the possibility of settling the matter, but the efforts came a cropper. The court confirmed the trial court’s order allowing Geeta and her two children to occupy the Pali Hill apartment and asked Prakash to return the ornaments that she had brought from her parental home at the time of their marriage.

Geeta had moved the family court in 1992 seeking divorce on the grounds of cruelty and that Prakash was of unsound mind as he had been treated for schizophrenia. She had cited Prakash’s statements in his affidavit alleging that she was carefree and used to have a “special relationship” with one Vikas Singh, who used to visit the house in his absence and spend the night. Prakash claimed he had been told of this by a neighbour, but no witness was produced.

In the HC, Prakash said he had never made allegations against Geeta’s fidelity and had only said his wife spent time with relatives. Pointing to Prakash’s earlier statements, the HC ruled the family court was right in granting divorce. But it did not agree that Prakash was of unsound mind.

Prakash told the court the ornaments Geeta claimed were of his sister. The court noted Prakash had not called his sister as a witness to prove this and asked him to return the jewellery.

(Names changed to protect identity)

Changes to Motor Vehicle Act delayed; Nitin Gadkari seeks more time
Jul 14, 2014 at 02:01pm IST
New Delhi: The amendment to the Motor Vehicle Act is likely to be delayed by a couple of months as the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has said it needs three months to review the current Act and thereafter will introduce it afresh in Parliament.
The Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Bill, which could be passed only in the Rajya Sabha in May 2012, proposes hefty penalties for traffic rule violations and drunken driving.
Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said, “We need three months to study the (Motor Vehicle) Act in its totality and then we will try and bring it in Parliament in its next session.”

He added that the Act should be as per international standards. Gadkari, on June 5, had said that the government in a month’s time will re-draft the Motor Vehicle amendment bill, which will be in sync with six advanced nations – US, Canada, Singapore, Japan, Germany and the UK, and thereafter will introduce it in Parliament.
Repeated violations of traffic rules resulting in cancellation of driving license is likely to be one of the major amendments to the Bill. “If anyone violates the road rules more than three times, his driving licence will be suspended for six months and if he continues to violate after that, then the driving licence will be cancelled. These are some of the considerations as part of redrafting the Motor Vehicles bill,” the Minister had said.
Several provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act of 1988, especially those related to penalties for violations, have not been found to be effective in checking road accidents. The last time the Act was amended was in 2001.

Court convicts 12 for duping customs department, main accused get 5 years in jail
Express News Service | Mumbai | July 15, 2014 2:29 am
CBI had identified properties in Mumbai and Karnataka which were allegedly bought out of fraud money in the year 1998.
A sessions court on Monday convicted a tax assistant from the refunds section of the Mumbai customs and 12 others for cheating the customs by preparing as many as 87 refund order cheques to the tune of Rs 1.74 crore.
The court sentenced the main accused Iona Furtado(53) and Suresh Pinto(48) to five years and the rest to three years imprisonment.
The 12 were found guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), including cheating, dishonestly inducing delivery of property, causing disappearance of evidence of offence, forgery for purpose of cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servant.
According to the prosecution, Furtado, in her own handwriting prepared, issued and got the cheques signed by one assistant chief accounts officer, S N Havnur. The cheques were issued in the name of 21 private persons including her husband, parents and relatives on the basis of fake documents to support the refund claims. Among the accused, initially 21, three names were fake names that Furtado had allegedly used to create fictitious bank accounts.
Havnur was later discharged in the case. The case against four accused was abated, one was acquitted, one was discharged and the trial of an absconding accused was separated. Furtado, along with her now deceased husband, Walter Furtado was arrested on December 30, 1998 after the fraud was detected by the CBI’s anti-corruption branch. The CBI had filed a case against Furtado, for possessing assets disproportionate to her known sources of income. The CBI had found Rs 1.08 crore in three bank accounts held by Walter.
The CBI had, in 1998, identified properties in Mumbai and Karnataka which were allegedly bought out of fraud money. These included four flats in the western suburbs, then valued at around Rs 60 lakh. Two shops were also allegedly purchased, albeit in benami names.
A priest, Anthony P Furtado, related to Walter Furtado, was also accused in the case. According to the CBI’s chargesheet, Anthony had three bank accounts containing Rs 5.11 lakh, that was allegedly illegally amassed wealth.

Increased workig hours can work successfully: CJI
Press Trust of India
Jul 14, 2014 at 08:50pm IST
New Delhi: Dispelling doubts of lawyers’ bodies on his proposal to increase court’s working hours to reduce pendency of cases, Chief Justice of India RM Lodha on Monday said that the proposal was successfully first tried in Patna High Court when he was heading it.
Justice Lodha said that after getting Bar Associations of Patna High Court into confidence, he had increased working hours of the HC by half an hour and for subordinate courts by 45 minutes to one hour which led to large number of disposal of cases.
The CJI, who had served High Court from May 13 to December 17, 2008, expressed “dismay” on that practice being scrapped after he left the High court on being elevated to the apex court.

“The 365-days working proposal, which the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) had rejected was first conceptulized at Patna High Court, during my stint as chief justice,” Justice Lodha said.
Speaking at a function to bid farewell of Justice Chandermouli Prasad, who retired on Monday, he praised Prasad’s contribution in making that proposal of increased working hours successful.
“During my stint as chief justice of Patna High Court, I had found that there were more than 30,000 bail applications pending before the court. I had then asked my fellow judge Justice Chandermouli Prasad to talk to the Bar Associations for increasing the working hours of court.”
“I was surprised, when the very next day Justice Prasad came up to me with three letters saying that Bar Associations have agreed to increasing the working hours of court,” said Justice Lodha.
Justice Lodha said the practice of increased working hours of courts abruptly ended once he moved out of the Patna High Court.
“In India everyone knows, institutions are individual based and once I left the Patna High Court, the increased working hours to my dismay were done away with and they all reverted back to the old time schedule,” added Justice Lodha.
Justice Prasad shared his experience and said that it is never easy to become a ‘great’ judge.
He advised the Bar to take up the cases of death convicts. “During my stint as Supreme Court judge, I have found that many lawyers does not wish to take up the cases of death convicts. I urge the members of Bar that this practice should be done away with and cases of death convicts should be take up so that no innocent goes to the gallows,” said Justice Prasad.
Attorney general Mukul Rohatagi lauded Justice Chandermouli Prasad saying that his two recent judgements one on stopping immediate automatic arrest of husbands under anti- dowry act and other on holding that Fatwa has no legal sanctity will go a long way.

SC stays death of two convicts in Delhi gangrape case
Supreme Court stayed the death sentence of Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur, the two remaining convicts in the December 16, 2012 gangrape case.
Almost five months after it stayed the execution of two of the four convicts in the Delhi gang rape case, the Supreme Court gave identical relief to the two remaining condemned persons on Monday.
A Bench of Justices Ranjana P. Desai and N.V. Ramana stayed the execution of Vinay Sharma and Akshay Thakur. On March 15, the court stayed the execution of Mukesh and Pawan Gupta. “The execution of Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma is stayed until further notice,” Justice Desai observed in the order.
“Extremely fiendish”
All four convicts had approached the Supreme Court after the Delhi High Court upheld the death penalty awarded to them.
The High Court had termed the offence “extremely fiendish” and “unparalleled in the history of criminal jurisprudence.”
The 23-year-old paramedic, on the fateful night of December 16, 2012, was brutally assaulted and gang-raped by six persons on a moving bus in South Delhi and thrown out of the vehicle with her male friend. She died in a Singapore hospital on December 29.
Prime accused dead
Prime accused in the case Ram Singh was found dead in Tihar Jail in March last year and the trial against him was abated.
The sixth accused, the juvenile was on August 31, 2013, convicted and sentenced to a maximum of three years in a reformation home by the Juvenile Justice Board.
In their petitions before the Supreme Court, Mukesh and Pawan pleaded that they could not be denied a fair trial “to satisfy the political scenario and personal sympathy.”

SC asks MoEF to decide grant of clearance to Adani SEZ within 8 weeks
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to take a decision on grant or denial of clearances to Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) within eight weeks.
A forest bench headed by Justice J S Khehar, expressing unhappiness over delay, said this will be the last chance to the ministry and if the task is not completed the Secretary, MoEF will be personally held responsible.
The apex court while allowing operations at the functional units in the SEZ had in January asked the environment ministry to take decisions in three months. The time was extended by 8 weeks but today the court was informed that decisions are yet not taken.
tam Adani. Reuters
Meanwhile, the court said that its earlier order allowing work at operational units will continue.
Earlier, on January 27, the apex court had granted conditional permission to industrial units within the Adani Port Special Economic Zone (APSEZ) in Gujarat to resume operations asking them to desist from carrying out any further construction until environmental clearance from the Centre.
The apex court had retained the high court order which had said that the Centre has to decide within 30 days whether the environmental clearance should be granted.
The high court had said, “There shall not be any further activity in the form of construction, etc, including the functioning of the units in the area in question.”
The PIL filed in the high court by villagers of Navinal in Mundra tehsil of Kutch district, where the SEZ is located, alleged that companies located within the zone were operating and even importing and exporting goods though they do not have environmental clearance from the MoEF.
In February 2013, the court asked Ahlstom Fiber Composites, Adi Oil, Empezar, Avesta Eng, Ashapura Garment, Terram Geosynthetic, Theramax, SKAPS Industries, Oilfield Warehouse and Services, Dorf Ketal Specialty Catalyst, Anjani Udyog and Oriental Carbon Chem to stop operations at the Mundra Port in Kutch district, pending clearance from MOEF.
The high court in its order had said, “According to the Environment Impact Assessment notification, 2006, in order to have right of creation of infrastructural facilities over the land allotted, prior approval of the central government is necessary before making any construction, and without having acquired such right, the APSEZ, the allottee from the government, could not have conveyed such rights to its lessee.”
Further, the court had said, “While taking into consideration the issue of grant of environmental clearance, it would be open for the central government to even take into consideration the Sunita Narain Committee report as discussed in our judgment.”
The committee had been appointed by the MOEF earlier to inspect the project.

SC wants roadmap for DNA profiling of all unclaimed bodies
Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 06.02 AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday pressed the Centre for a roadmap on mandatory DNA profiling of all unclaimed bodies to ascertain if they were of missing persons.

A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and V Gopala Gowda said it would like the Centre to “think it over seriously so that an appropriate roadmap is brought into existence on making it (DNA profiling) functional that would echo the voice and cry of the feelings (of relatives of missing persons).”

About 40,000 unidentified bodies are disposed of every year by authorities in India. And every year, thousands go missing. A PIL by Lokniti Foundation had requested the court to direct the Centre for DNA profiling of unclaimed bodies to explore their possible link to missing persons.

Petitioner’s counsel Ashok Dhamija said unidentified bodies could be due to serious crime and “since the bodies cannot be identified using traditional methods, perpetrators of possible crime remain untraced and the families, to which the victims belong, never come to know about the fate of their near and dear ones”.

Appearing for the government, additional solicitor general N K Kaul said the “Centre was seized of the matter and looking into possibilities as it would involve huge infrastructure, large expenditure and manpower”. Kaul said it also involved issues relating to privacy.

The bench said, “Without expressing any opinion, we require the additional solicitor general to obtain specific instructions as to what steps actually have been taken in this regard, within eight weeks.” The court posted the matter for further hearing on September 22.

The petitioner had claimed that though the Centre had been considering a proposal for DNA profiling of unidentified bodies since 2007, no decision was taken yet. As per data compiled by the National Crime Records Bureau, the number of unidentified bodies recovered and inquest conducted was 37,282 in 2007, 37,668 (2008), 34,902 (2009), 33,857 (2010) and 37,193 (2011).

In 2011, the highest number of unidentified bodies was recovered in Maharashtra (6,313), followed by Tamil Nadu (4,479), Uttar Pradesh (4,084), West Bengal (3,704), Delhi (2,748), Andhra Pradesh (2,639), Karnataka (2,440), Gujarat (2,099), Madhya Pradesh (1,191), Rajasthan (1,170), Haryana (1,159) and Punjab (1,004).

It said a total of 11,846, 13,586 and 13,268 people went missing in Delhi alone in 2006, 2007 and 2008 respectively. From Andhra Pradesh, a total of 47,936 went missing during 2009-12 and in Gujarat another 37,395 were reported missing during 2007-11.

High Court to frame issues in Syedna succession row
Tuesday, 15 July 2014 – 7:35am IST | Agency: DNA
• DNA Correspondent
• The high court will frame issues in the petition challenging the appointment of the Syedna next month.
On Monday, the court said it will frame the issues to be decided while hearing the suit filed by Khuzaima Qutbuddin challenging the succession of the 53rd Dai Ul Mutlaq, Mufaddal Saifuddin.
During the hearing in June, Justice Gautam Patel had said that he would decide on the main suit instead of deciding on interim relief.
“My suggestion is that there is very little point in keeping the motion pending. You will be allowed to function subject to the outcome of the suit,” said Justice Patel.
The court made these observations while hearing the plaint filed by Qutbuddin challenging the succession of his nephew, who is now the incumbent 53rd Dai Ul Mutlaq. Qutbuddin has filed a declaratory suit seeking that he be declared as the 53rd Dai and the opponent be restricted from having any authority over the properties.
Saifuddin, through his elder brother Dr Qaidjoher Ezzuddin, who is appointed as the Constituted Attorney, opposed reliefs sought in the declaratory suit filed by Qutbuddin, stepbrother of the late 52nd Dai, Mohammed Burhanuddin.
In an affidavit of 400 pgs filed in response to Qutbuddin’s petition in HC, Qaidjoher contented, “The suit is based on false and untenable cases. Bohras across the world have given misaq (oath of allegiance) to Mufaddal…only a handful from the community have not accepted him.”
As proof, the affidavit annexes several photographs depicting the late Syedna falling back on Mufaddal and leading him in prayer meets held during Muharram. Further, the affidavit denies all levelled charges of falsehood committed by Mufaddal and others in making him the Syedna.
Among other rebuttals are those on claims of threats made to Qutbuddin and his family. “Defendant has not threatened the plaintiff or his family. They are not deprived of entry in Saifee Mahal in his capacity as a member of the community, but is opposed to him seeking entry into the Mahal as the 53rd Dai and seeking injunction against Mufaddal’s entry,” stated the affidavit.
In June 2011, Mufaddal Saifuddin was nominated successor, according to the press statement from the community. Qutbuddin publicly challenged the succession first time after the death of Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin on January 17.
Qutbuddin claimed that he did not challenge the false claims made by Syedna Mufaddal until now because he (Qutbuddin) had been asked to maintain his appointment in confidence by Syedna Burhanuddin and was waiting for the late leader to get well to take up the issue with him.

High Court Raps Bengal Govt for Inaction in Murder Case
By Express News Service
Published: 15th July 2014 06:00 AM
KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Monday pulled up the West Bengal Government for inaction against a ruling Trinamool Congress legislator who is an accused in a murder case. by Zarina Bibi and her son Sanwar Sheikh demanding a CBI inquiry into the murder, Justice Dipankar Datta asked government lawyer Samrat Sen why the state police had not apprehended the main culprit when it was their responsibility to do so.
TMC MLA Monirul Sheikh was arrested in 2010 as he was the main accused in the murder of Zarina’s three sons who were CPM members at Labhpur in Birbhum district.
Monirul was then in Forward Bloc, which was a constituent of the CPM-led Left Front government. Monirul, however, got bail as the state police failed to file the chargesheet within the mandatory period of 90 days. Monirul joined the TMC and successfully contested the 2011 state Assembly polls. On July 23 last year, he delivered a speech at Saithia during a TMC public meeting where he proudly claimed to have ‘smashed the three men’ and even said he needed the head of a local Congress leader Bapi Datta.
The Judge wanted to know whether the police had watched the video footage of Monirul’s speech and asked the government lawyer to arrange for its screening at his chamber. Since the police did not include Monirul’s name in the chargesheet filed last week though he was the prime accused in the FIR, the judge observed that there were many precedents in rulings of the Supreme Court that if not satisfied by the police investigation, the high court could order an additional chargesheet.
The lawyer for the petitioners Subrata Mukherjee said,
“Since a noted politician of the ruling TMC is involved, we want a free and fair trial and a re-investigation. The state machinery is not acting independently and as such my clients want a CBI inquiry.”
Reacting to the case, former BJP state president Tathagata Roy said, “There is an original flaw in the police system in this state. The police has become slaves of the ruling TMC and is serving its interests.”
Judge Sen and lawyer for the petitioner Subrata Mukherjee watched the video footage of Monirul’s speech and Justice Datta is expected to give his ruling in the case on Tuesday.

No security cover for lower court judges in Punjab
By Raghav Ohri, ET Bureau | 15 Jul, 2014, 04.47AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The Punjab government has withdrawn the security cover provided to judges in the lower judiciary, a decision that comes after taking sessions judges into confidence and follows the Supreme Court’s directive to all state governments last year to review their security policy.

Of the 575 police personnel deputed to provide security to judges in various districts, the state government has for the first time withdrawn nearly 250, officials familiar with the matter told ET.

The government wrote letters in this regard to all district and sessions judges, the officials said on condition of anonymity, adding that in certain cases senior superintendents of police of the districts concerned met the sessions judges to explain the revised policy to avoid a stand-off between the judiciary and the State.

The move to do away with provision of security cover on the grounds of the position held by the individual impacts sub judges, senior sub judges, chief judicial magistrates and additional district and sessions judges. Punjab is the only state apart from Haryana that had been providing security to the lower judiciary.

“The endeavour is to bring the security policy of Punjab in line with policies of other states in the country,” Dinkar Gupta, additional director general of police (security) told ET. “Moreover, the decision has been taken in pursuance to apex court’s directions.

The security guards withdrawn will be put to use for effective policing and curbing crime in the state.”

In its revised security cover policy notified on September 2 last year, the state government had decided to prune the security provided to lower court judges, among others. Prodded by deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, who held a review meeting about a fortnight ago, the state police department has also withdrawn more than 650 personal security officers or PSOs deputed to guard politicians, bureaucrats, senior police officers and others.

Court expresses concern over Paoni tree felling
Vijay Pinjarkar,TNN | Jul 15, 2014, 01.53 AM IST
NAGPUR: The court of district & assistant sessions judge VB Kulkarni on Monday witnessed strong arguments over rejection of forest custody remand (FCR) by a Ramtek court to the accused in large-scale teak tree felling in Paoni range under Nagpur forest division. Though the arguments between special counsel for forest department Kartik Shukul and defence Kailash Dodani remained inconclusive at the end of the day, the court expressed serious concern over wanton tree felling.

The judge seemed to be well aware of the dense forest area in Paoni. Incidentally, this is perhaps one of the biggest cases of felling of trees in which 177 trees were illegally cut.

The forest department has challenged rejection of FCR of the accused Prem Dashmer, who was involved in felling these 100-year-old trees. Forest officials had filed preliminary offence report (POR) and thereafter arrested Dashmer after his role was ascertained.

Under the Indian Forest Act (IFA) 1927, the offence is non-bailable, yet the Ramtek judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) granted bail to the accused without giving an opportunity of hearing to the prosecution.

Shukul told the court that custody of accused is wanted as several others are involved in the crime. Looking at the gravity of the offence, it doesn’t look to be the handiwork of an individual. The forest department also needs to seize vehicles and equipment used in the crime.

The accused felled trees in protected forest assuming that he would get permission to fell them. Dashmer had forwarded the application to fell trees knowing well that it cannot be entertained.

Paoni RFO MD Jaiswal, forester SR Lanjewar and forest guard TS Mohammed have already been suspended for negligence of duty. A FIR has also been registered against them. Moreover, then deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) PK Mahajan has also been issued a memo. “An explanation has been sought from him,” said senior officials.

Defence counsel Dodani, however, flatly denied role of Dashmer in tree felling. He also argued that the forest department application was not maintainable. However, the court has adjourned the matter for further arguments and order on Tuesday.

Delhi court questions the meaning of ‘victim of crime’
‘Should include persons who are victims of false accusations’
Who all can be considered victims of crime, are victims only those who have suffered some physical injury at the hands of the offender as a direct result of crime? Or does it also include those falsely accused of rape or those who were wrongly arrested?
The question was raised by a Delhi court presided by Additional Sessions Judge Dr. Kamini Lau, who was hearing a rape case where the man accused of the crime had told the court that the victim had implicated many others in similar cases. The man was granted bail by the court.
“I may observe that, in so far the meaning of the term ‘victim of crime is concerned, the Indian Legislature does not define the term under any law…” the court said.
United Nations’ declarations
Placing reliance on the United Nations General Assembly Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victim and Abuse of Power adopted in November 1985, Dr. Lau said it would include persons who are victims of false accusations and those who have suffered incarceration on account of the same, since wrongly being arrested on false accusation is an offence under the Indian Penal Code.
Question of compensation
The court also dealt with grant of compensation to the victims who have suffered incarceration due to false accusations.
It also emphasised that it becomes an obligation for the Court to ensure that there is no abuse and misuse of the Special Laws relating to women and to deal with such cases in a realistic manner and with the sensitivity which they deserve otherwise the common man may lose faith in the judiciary itself, which will be a sad day.
Checklist and safeguards
Dr. Lau also said, “There has to be some checklist and safeguards devised to prevent such an abuse of Special Legislation in favour of women.”
The ASJ welcomed the suggestion of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Outer) that one of the safeguards in such cases where there exists a history of civil and other disputes and repeated complaints where allegations involve offence against women, then as a matter of abundant caution, the arrest of the accused should be after application of mind by the senior officers.
The court, here, added that this did not mean offenders would be given undue advantage, and that it should only be a rule of caution.

Missing Kids: Supreme Court Directs States to File Compliance Reports
All India | Press Trust of India | Updated: July 14, 2014 22:27 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court today directed all states and Union Territories to file their compliance reports — of its verdict for registration of FIR and conduct of probe — in every case of missing child.

A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu asked the states to file the report and supply a copy of them to NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan on whose petition it had passed a slew of directions on January 17 last year.

The apex court had directed that a special officer be appointed in every police station across the country to deal with juveniles in view of growing number of minors getting involved in various offences.

The court had passed the order on a PIL filed by the NGO alleging that for over 1.7 lakh children have gone missing in the country between January 2008-2010, many of whom were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labour.

Plea against farm loan waiver dismissed
DC CORRESPONDENT | July 15, 2014, 03.07 am IST
Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Monday dismissed a PIL seeking direction to the Telangana and Andhra Pradesh governments not to proceed with the waiver agricultural loans availed from banks.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar was hearing the plea by Adusumilli Jayaprakash, a former Telugu Desam MLA of Vijayawada.
The petitioner submitted that the TD, which came to power in the residuary state of AP, has promised a total waiver of loans not only to farmers, but also loans to self-help women groups called DWAKRA, and Telangana Rashtra Samiti, which came to power in Telangana state, has promised waiver of farmer loans up to Rs 1 lakh.
The Chief Justice asked whether the petitioner had the recommendations of the committee constituted by the AP for loan waiver. When the petitioner replied in the negative, the CJ said that no order can be passed with regard to the loan waiver either in AP or in Telangana and it is premature for the courts to intervene in the matter

Drowning of J’khand girl: PIL seeks Rs 20-L compensation
Press Trust of India | Chennai
July 15, 2014 Last Updated at 00:28 IST
A PIL has been filed in Madras High Court seeking Rs 20 lakh compensation for the family of a 12-year-old girl fromJharkhand who drowned after falling into a drainage-cum-rainwater canal last month in Vellore.

The first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Satish K Agnihotri and Justice MM Sundresh issued a notice in this regard to the state municipal administration secretary, water supply department, the district collector and the commissioner of Vellore Municipal Corporation returnable by three weeks.

The petitioner, a lawyer from Vellore, submitted that Priyanka, who had come with her parents for treatment of her younger sister, fell into the canal near Christian Medical College Hospital (CMC) on June 2.

The girl, daughter of one Indrajeet Mukherjee of Makatpur in Jharkhand, was washed away and her body was recovered only after a 60-hour search by local civic workers aided by the National Disaster Response Force.

Her father, who is a school teacher, had submitted a representation on June 16 to the District Collector seeking financial help.

Godhra train burning case: Salim Yusuf Zarda opposes hearing of appeal by High Court judge
By PTI | 14 Jul, 2014, 10.58PM IST
AHMEDABAD: One of the 31 convicts in the 2002 Godhra train burning case in which 59 people lost their lives today wrote a letter to the Gujarat High Court Chief Justice opposing the hearing of his appeal by Justice Sonia Gokani.

Salim Yusuf Zarda, given death penalty by the special trial court in March 2011, submitted his letter in form of an application through his counsel before a Division Bench of justices A S Dave and Gokani.

In his plea to Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya, he said hearing of appeal filed by him should not be conducted before Justice Gokani as she had also presided over trial in the case under POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act).

Gokani presided over a special POTA court, which handled the train burning case, between 2003 and 2008 after which she was elevated to the Gujarat High Court. After 2008, another judge heard the case and gave the verdict in 2011.

She had sent him to police custody and rejected his bail application on different occasions, the convict said.

As trial court judge, Gokani went through the opinion of POTA Review Committee in 2006 and later rejected a police report seeking discharge of a few accused in the case under CrPC Section 169 (release of accused when evidence deficient), the letter said.

Defence counsel S M Vatsa moved the application before the bench, which fixed September 2 for next hearing since the letter is pending for consideration of the Chief Justice.

The high court has started final hearing on appeals of the convicts against the verdict and also the State’s plea seeking enhancement of punishment of some of those found guilty.

The court will also hear an application filed by the convicts who sought to place video footage of a sting operation by ‘Tehelka’ as additional evidence in the case.

The footage, aired in 2007, purportedly showed how witnesses in the case allegedly gave false statements on instructions of prosecution to establish the conspiracy angle.

Accepting the theory of criminal conspiracy behind the burning of S6 coach of Sabarmati Express near Godhra on February 27, 2002, the trial court gave death penalty to 11 accused and life term to 20 others.

Special judge P R Patel had acquitted 63 accused for want of evidence against them in the carnage, which had triggered widespread communal riots in Gujarat.

LEGAL NEWS 14.07.2014

A case of tight-fisted executive and over-worked judiciary
Business Standard experts take a look at the challenges thrown by the Budget in growing financial stress in the judiciary, matters relating to tax administration, harnessing foreign investors’ sentime
M J Antony
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 22:35 IST
Even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was presenting a grudging budget for law & justice and the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice was saying the judiciary’s workload was “excessive and uncontrolled”.

Though successive finance ministers who have been senior lawyers are aware of this, they have ignored the judiciary’s long-standing gripe that it has been consistently ignored, securing only 0.2 of the Budget pie.

For 2014-15, the expenditure of the law & justice ministry is pegged at Rs 1,205 crore (Plan Rs 261 crore; non-Plan Rs 944 crore). This is less than last year’s provision of Rs 1,973 crore and marginally higher than in 2012-13 (Rs 1,183 crore). Allocation to the Supreme Court was also poor – a provision of Rs 134 crore, about the same as last year.

The law ministry and the Supreme Court aren’t the only ones facing a paucity of funds. There are about 40 central tribunals that deal with various taxes, company affairs, consumer rights and other vital segments. However, there were only nominal increments for these entities. For instance, theIncome Tax Appellate Tribunal (which once operated from an Ambassador car, till a picture in this regard went viral) got Rs 56 crore, Rs 4 crore more than last year. The National Tax Tribunalreceived Rs 4 lakh, against Rs 5 lakh last year. The Appellate Tribunal for Foreign Exchange received Rs 8.25 crore, Rs 25 lakh more than last year, while the International Centre for Alternative Disputes Resolution was granted Rs 5.5 crore, the same as last year.

These days, at public functions, ministers and judges cite the mantra of computerisation of district and subordinate courts. However, in the Budget, the allocation towards this fell to Rs 58 crore from Rs 78 crore last year. Fast-track courts were granted a mere Rs 5 crore. For some reason, the column for ‘infrastructure facilities for judiciary’ was left blank; last year’s Budget provided Rs 800 crore towards this.

The ministry’s overall budget includes expenses on conducting elections, which has spiralled phenomenally these days, with more state elections due soon. Also, the ministry has a number of institutions to look after, such as the National Mission for Justice Delivery and Legal Reforms, the Study of Judicial Reforms and Assessment Status and SAJI (Strengthening Access to Justice-India).

The Union Budget has set a bad example. The Centre and states have always been haggling over sharing the expenses in running the legal system. Now, states have a model (rather an excuse) to be equally tight-fisted. The litigant’s journey, right from subordinate courts, will be even more agonising.

In the legal segment, about 330 million litigants and those languishing in jail, as well as their families, have reason to be jealous about the Budget’s munificence towards other ministries. Considering the high defence budget for a country that hasn’t fought a war in a long time, it is the battle for justice that we seem to be losing.

MCA must be wary of pitfalls: Sai Venkateshwaran
The government’s announcement to adopt new Indian Accounting Standards (Ind-AS) converged with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is very welcome. With voluntary adoption slated for 2015-16, and mandatory adoption the year after, there isn’t much time before these standards become applicable and there is a lot of ground to be covered to get there. The timelines for the financial services sector, including banks and insurance companies, will be finalised later.

As the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) and India Inc prepare for this, they should learn from pitfalls encountered in the implementation effort in 2011 – lack of transition time, lack of clarity on tax, too many carve-outs, etc. There are three aspects that need to be addressed urgently.

Implementation road map
The MCA should announce the road map immediately, and should implement these standards in a phased manner for listed and other public interest entities, giving companies adequate time for a smooth transition.

The time and effort that companies require for transition will vary, depending on the complexity of their business model, group structure, inorganic growth history, financing arrangements. Further, changes may be required in the reporting systems and process, management information system, business and financing arrangements, etc.

Update standards and minimise carve-outs
MCA should also issue the updated Ind-AS standards at the earliest, as the drafts published in 2011 are outdated as the corresponding IFRSs, including on key areas such as revenue recognition, consolidation, financial instruments, etc, have undergone a significant change. The MCA should also minimise the carve-outs from IFRS to ensure global acceptability of Ind-AS; else the very purpose for this convergence with IFRS would be defeated.

Another challenge that the MCA should evaluate closely is the timing of introduction of Ind-AS; while India looks at 2015-16 for transition, several new IFRS standards are becoming applicable only in 2017 – eg, revenue recognition, financial instruments, etc. So the MCA should consider an early adoption of these IFRS standards rather than having a major revision in a couple of years.

Notify tax accounting standards
The Central Board of Direct Taxes should notify tax accounting standards at the earliest, as that would delink the calculation of taxable income from accounting income, as both are prepared using different frameworks. Taxation was the most significant concern leading to the pushback to adoption in 2011, as Ind-AS brought in use of fair values without clarity on how it impacts taxable income.

In all of the above, time is of essence, and the MCA should act fast.
Sai Venkateshwaran
Partner and Head – Accounting Advisory Services, KPMG in India
Focus on speedy dispute resolution: Sarosh Zaiwalla

The finance minister has produced a balanced Budget to accelerate the country’s economic recovery and bring it back on track. But he could have done more.

India needed a Budget that would capture the imagination of foreign investors, following the buzz generated in the international investment market by the arrival of the National Democratic Alliance government, headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. For this, the Budget ought to have indicated the government’s preparedness for a new visionary approach to convert India into one of the world’s leading, stable economic markets through the next few years.

What foreign investors are most concerned about is the long-term security of their investment. For this, it is necessary to have a content population in the long run to avoid turmoil such as those related to Naxal insurgencies. This can only be achieved by the government’s emphasis on creating new jobs to address the large unemployment in India. For this, priority ought to be given to foreign investment, which will increase the job market in India.

The Budget’s focus on infrastructure development is a positive step in that direction, as is the commitment to desist from retrospective taxation. The rise of foreign investment in the defence and insurance sectors – from 26 per cent to 49 per cent – is a welcome sign. Now, the government should make it clear it will take various steps to remove the regulatory hurdles inherited from the old colonial regime and make it easier for foreign investors to invest in the country.

Foreign investors always want to be assured of the existence of an independent and speedy mechanism to resolve disputes, just in case things go wrong with their investment in India. In the near future, the government will also need to focus on this.
Sarosh Zaiwalla
Senior Partner, Zaiwalla & Co
Investors in wait-and-watch mode: S M Sundaram
I was in meetings with a series of investors before the presentation of the Budget, and soon after. Frankly, there was not anything in the Budget to make these investors sit up, and take notice of India. For foreign investors, the risk premium for India has shot up substantially over the last three-four years. This arose largely out of investor perception emanating from issues like retrospective taxation, the government’s indecisiveness on many policy-related issues, tax administration, among others. This Budget has not done enough to mitigate India’s risk profile among the investor community. Investors are still in the wait-and-watch mode. The Budget missed out on an opportunity to communicate better with foreign investors on what the policy road map would be over the next few years, along with assurances of its stability.

The government has been vague about pending tax litigation related issues. Though the finance minister did make references to the issues of retrospective taxes, and on the need for an effective transfer-pricing regime, along with provisions of advance ruling, he did not give a clear signal to foreign investors on how he plans to deal with over $70billion stuck in tax-related litigation.

Uncertainty around tax administration continues to exist. The resources – currently locked-up in litigation – would be better utilised in various government developmental projects. Importantly, any policy initiative to unlock this resource would have given a clear message to foreign investors that the government means business, and does not believe in sitting over investor’s funds.

Though the Budget has tried to unleash a spirit of entrepreneurship by facilitating growth of start-ups through a Rs 10,000 crore fund, it perhaps misses out on a big-bang booster shot that would make investors sit up, and take note.
S M Sundaram
Partner & CFO, Baring Private Equity Partners India
Don’t use it to meet fiscal deficit targets: Koushik Chatterjee
Amid high expectations from the Union Budget and the very difficult and challenging economic conditions, the new government has defined a road map premised on economic expansion and restarting the capital formation cycle through public investment in infrastructure, including roads, ports and urban housing.

It is also based on the premise of increased spending by public sector undertakings, enabling the banking system to fund infrastructure more effectively, as well as development of industrial corridors and reviving special economic zones.

The finance minister has also focused on making Indian manufacturing globally competitive through a policy framework that facilitates the creation of competitive capacity in the manufacturing sector and enables inclusive growth, with sustainable and employment-oriented growth. The manufacturing sector will keenly track the government’s policy moves in this direction.

While tax collections for this year will be crucial to meeting fiscal deficit targets, I hope the approach to tax administration will change towards a more stable, non-litigious and transparent regime. A robust tax policy that is forward-looking and in tune with best-practices, along with an efficient and objective tax administration framework, can be a great catalyst for new investment in the country, for both domestic and international investors. Most investors see taxation as a fair and equitable cost of investment. However, it is equally important for the government and the tax authorities to focus on efficient and fair tax administration, and not use it as a lever to meet the targets of fiscal deficit.

Creating an environment of speedy disposal of litigation and avoiding needless disputes, through clear and unambiguous legislative provisions, will make the entire system of tax governance more robust. The finance minister’s focus on a flexible and effective transfer-pricing regime, along with provisions of advance ruling, will go a long way in developing a transparent and friendly tax regime for companies. Equally important is the proposal to implement the new Indian Accounting Standards, which will facilitate the convergence of the financial reporting standards to the global level.

To summarise, the government has been prudent and practical in its Budget announcements and has demonstrated a sense of purpose to ensure India’s economic priorities are appropriately aligned to the aspirations of the people. I will certainly give credit to the prime minister and the finance minister for sending the right message to stakeholders, though the Budget may be short on specifics.
Koushik Chatterjee
Group ED (Fin & Corp), Tata Steel
Can government mandate a business to carry out a non-business activity?: Shardul Shroff
The finance minister whilst introducing the Finance Bill (No. 2) of 2014 in Parliament has clarified longstanding doubts on the tax treatment of corporate social responsibility (CSR) expenditure under Section 135 of the Companies Act, 2013.

Chambers of industry and commerce had contested the introduction of CSR through the Companies Act as a mandatory expenditure, contending that it would be akin to a money Bill and an exaction in the nature of tax and would be ultra vires the Constitution of India or the pith and substance of company law. The company law could not propose a two per cent Corporate Expenditure Tax, on basis of a turnover or net worth or net profit basis as that is arbitrary and ultra vires whilst re-enacting company law.

The government in the Finance Bill has proposed an amendment to Section 37 of the Income Tax Act. Any expenditure (not being an expenditure of the nature described in Sections 30 to 36 of the Income Tax Act) and not being in the nature of capital expenditure or personal expenses of the assessee, laid out or expended wholly or exclusively for the purposes of the business or profession, shall be allowed in computing the income chargeable under the head “Profits and Gains of the Business or Profession”.

In the matter of CSR, the government has made it clear and beyond doubt that it considers CSR expenditure, (being an application of income) as an expense not incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of carrying on business and hence a disallowable deduction in computing taxable income.

The government’s memorandum for the Finance Bill makes it abundantly clear that the object of CSR under the Companies Act is to share the burden of the government in providing social services by companies eligible and required to participate in CSR. It reasons that if expenses are allowed as a tax deduction, this would result in subsidising of around 1/3rd of such expenses by the government by way of tax expenditure.

The memorandum provides the reason for disallowance by stating the CSR expenditure (being an application of income) is not incurred for the purposes of carrying on business. The amendment, therefore, to Section 37 of the Income Tax Act is based on the general principles of expenditure allowable for deduction for business or professional activities and clarifies and provides certainty on the issue of non-deductibility of CSR expenditure as expenditure not deemed to have been incurred for the purposes of business. This amendment to the Income Tax Act is to be effective from April 1, 2015, and applicable in relation to assessment year 2015-16 onwards.

Now, therefore, the basic question of whether the government by law can mandate a business or professional company to carry out a non-business or non-professional activity such as CSR through the Companies Act remains a question at large.

If a board of directors or a committee of CSR declares a policy to be adopted for CSR activities, can an ordinary shareholder challenge the provisions of Section 135 as an ultra vires intrusion on companies and consequently violating his fundamental right to carry on business by mandating CSR expenses for a non-business purpose.

The present provisions of Section 135 contemplates that if the company does not expense the two per cent of average net profit of the company, the company has to merely specify the reasons for not spending the amount.

Can the shareholder or the board of a company otherwise within the eligibility net object that since the CSR is not a business object, CSR as an activity cannot be a corporate business object mandatorily required to be performed by a business company? If CSR is a mandatory requirement for a company to carry on business in India, then it is an integral part of the right to do business and a condition required to be fulfilled to enable a company to carry on business after attaining certain thresholds of turnover, net worth or profit prescribed. If such a condition is mandatory for carrying on business in India, it has to be considered as business expenditure for tax law and to contend otherwise is contrary to common sense.

NGOs and industrial groups through the chambers of commerce require to focus on the impact of the amendment to Section 37 of the Income Tax Act. They must highlight the anomaly, which necessitates that all CSR expenditure which is directed to be carried out by a company, as a condition of carrying on business, must be in the nature of a business expenditure, and not a disallowable expenditure. A company cannot be mandated either to perform a charitable expenditure or a disallowable CSR expenditure without business purpose, as such disallowance of expenditure would be an exacted tax in the nature of a corporate expenditure tax, which expropriates two-thirds of two per cent of a company’s net profit, contrary to our Constitutional Law.
Shardul Shroff
Managing Partner, Amarchand & Mangaldas & Suresh A Shroff & Co

Let law graduates preside over traffic courts: Law panel
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 09:05 ISTWith traffic challan cases constituting 37.4 per cent of the 2.68 crore cases clogging the lower courts, the LawCommission has come out with a novel way to deal with the situation by recommending appointment of law graduates to preside over special traffic courts.

In its latest report submitted to the Law Ministry, the panel has said if law graduates preside over special traffic courts, judges in the lower judiciary can take care of other pressing cases.

“Recent law graduates may be appointed for short duration (three years) to preside over these special traffic courts. These special courts should only deal with cases involving fines. Cases which may involve imprisonment should be tried before regular courts in order to ensure fair process,” it said.

The report ‘Manpower Planning in Judiciary: A Blue Print’ said facilities should be made available for online payment of fines as well as the payment of fines at designated counters in thecourt complex to reduce pendency of cases.

The panel, which advices government on complex legal issues, has also recommended that special morning and evening courts be set up for dealing with traffic and police challan cases which constitute 37.4 per cent of all pending cases in the last three years before the subordinate judiciary.

Referring to 270 vacancies in the 24 high courts, the Law Commission said there was an urgent need to increase the strength of judges in the high courts to ensure that appeals and revisions from additional cases disposed of by subordinate courts is dealt with timely.

It said the high courts are already burdened with backlogs and increase in the strength will help them overcome the problem.

The report said the recruitment of new judges should focus, as a matter of priority, on the number of judges required to break even and to dispose of the backlogs in a three-year timeframe.

Human Trafficking Should be Dealt with Harshly, Says Ex-CJI
By Express News Service
Published: 14th July 2014 08:51 AM
KOCHI: Justice K G Balakrishnan, chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission and former Chief Justice of India, on Sunday said that human trafficking was a severe offence that should be dealt with harshly.
He was speaking at a two-day workshop here on ‘Human Trafficking – a Myth or Reality’, which was jointly organised by the Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association and the National Human Rights Commission.
Balakrishnan said that compared to the nature of human trafficking incidents in the other states, the situation in Kerala was better.
The workshop was attended by students of four law colleges in the city. At the workshop, the students took a decision to set up anti-human trafficking clubs on the campus to fight the menace.
The clubs will be set up at the Government Law College, Ernakulam, the SN Law College, Poothotta, the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, and the School of Legal Studies at Cusat. The Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association offered to extend all the possible cooperation, and monitor the activities of the club. The students also pledged to seek timely rehabilitation of the trafficking victims.
The club members will have quick and direct access to police officials in-charge of monitoring the trafficking cases.
The workshop was attended by human rights activists, lawyers, law students and teachers.

Make serving on bench mandatory for senior counsel
Submitted by IANS on 13 July 2014 – 12:49pm
By Parmod Kumar,
Judicial vacancies will always be a headache in this country as long as senior lawyers are queasy about crossing over from the bar to the bench.
Being a practicing advocate has its advantages: One is free to take up cases one likes, there’s more money to be made, not to speak of the freedom from reading monotonous briefs and leading a secluded private life.
Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad is perhaps one of those acutely conscious of the need to fill up judicial vacancies to clear pendencies and arrears that have of late eroded public confidence in the institution.
On July 11, he told the Rajya Sabha that he had written five letters to Chief Justice of India Justice R.M. Lodha to fill vacancies in the high courts.
His push coincides with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s focus on “minimum government maximum governance”, which goes without saying, needs a robust justice delivery system.
However, such epistolary flourishes may not help if lawyers are loathe to cross over.
As of today, the sanctioned strength of the high courts is 906 judges – against a strength of just 640 judges and a staggering 266 vacancies. That means the high courts are functioning at 64 percent of their sanctioned strength. Pendency as on September 30, 2013, stood at 45,89,920 cases (Supreme Court – Court News, October-December 2013).
These are existing vacancies and not Prasad’s proposed 20 percent hike in the existing strength of high courts that will add another 181 judges, taking the strength to 1,086.
If Justice Lodha has to get rid of the 266 vacancies, he must get that many competent legal minds of impeccable integrity who are willing to make the logical transition from the bar to the bench.
Besides being lawyers of capability and redoubtable integrity, they must have served as judicial officers for ten years or practised as a lawyer in a high court for ten years – a constitutional requirement.
Besides these, the qualifications outlined by the current Finance Minister Arun Jaitley – himself an eminent lawyer – as Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha on August 18, 2011, in a debate on a motion to impeach Justice Soumitra Sen of the Kolkata High Court (who has since resigned) too have to be factored in.
Slamming the existing collegium system of judges of appointing judges as short on criteria and akin to the “sharing of spoils” system in a -residential system of government wherein the best were unwilling to become judges, Jaitley outlined the threshold “objective” criteria for appointment of judges.
“What is your academic qualification? How bright were you during your academic days? What is your experience as a lawyer? If you are a judge, how many judgments have you written? How many have been set aside? How many have been upheld? How many juniors have you trained? How many cases have you argued? How many cases have been reported which you have argued? Have you got laws laid down? Have you written papers on legal subjects?”
One thing that was left unsaid and should perhaps be said after the Gopal Subramanium controversy: Recommended persons shouldn’t be inconvenient to the government, otherwise their names are likely to be returned.
Another problem that both the CJI and the law minister are aware of is the dearth of talented people willing to shift base – possibly because it is far too lucrative to be a part of the lawyer community.
Justice Markandey Katju, a retired Supreme Court judge who now heads the Press Council of India, once said in court that there are three stages in an individual’s legal career.
In the first stage “it is all work no money, second stage some work some money and in the third stage no work and all money.” It is at the last stage that the senior lawyers have to be picked for judgeship and the hesitation is obvious.
In other counties, like in Britain, the Queen’s Counsel (equivalent to senior advocate here) is mandated to serve on the bench for a fixed period and just can’t refuse. This practice is laudable and must be replicated in India and every lawyer upon being designated as a senior must at some stage devote a few years of his legal career to the bench.
This practice would not only address the question of the judiciary finding competent people to dispense justice – like Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman – but will develop appreciation of many a problems that judges face.
CJI Lodha said on July 10 that if senior lawyers, even for a short time, take the onerous responsibility of sitting on the bench, they will understand the burden that judges shoulder.
If vacancies have to be filled up and the justice delivery mechanism galvanized, then writing letters to the chief justices of the high courts will not suffice.
It will require a gargantuan effort on part of the law minister and the CJI to get senior counsels to sit on the bench, rather than argue at the bar.
(Parmod Kumar is a legal affairs writer. The views expressed are personal. He can be contacted at

Modi govt to give legal backing to Aadhaar
Mahendra K Singh,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 12.49 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Ending speculation over the fate of Aadhaar numbers, the BJP government is set to push legislation to ensure legal sanctity to Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which was set up to generate unique identification numbers for 1.2 billion residents of the country.

The government is expected to soon approach the Supreme Court and seek vacation of the stay on government’s move to make Aadhaar mandatory for availing benefits of welfare schemes.

After getting a thumbs up from PM Narendra Modi, UIDAI is set to accelerate the project to ensure Aadhaar enrollment for around 930 million people by the end of next year.
READ ALSO: NDA’s national ID cards may kill UPA’s Aadhaar

So far, UIDAI has given Aadhaar numbers to 640 million residents, with 177 million coming from the National Population Register (NPR).

“We are getting cooperation from state governments. UIDAI has already opened 3,000 stations in UP and 1,000 in Bihar. Soon, more stations will be opened to speed up enrollment process in these states,” said Rajesh Bansal, assistant director general of UIDAI. These two populous states are crucial for complete rollout of Aadhaar-linked direct benefits transfer (DBT) schemes, he added.

The agency also completed authentication, or de-duplication, for 10 crore people last week.

An official present in a meeting held recently said Modi has asked finance minister Arun Jaitley to try and resolve all legal issues surrounding Aadhaar.

The PM had conveyed his government’s intention to continue with UIDAI and sought speedy rollout of DBT scheme, aiming to check duplication and leakages in welfare schemes.

The strong message from Modi is expected to end the turf war, which had raised questions about the survival of the UIDAI project.

Under the UPA regime, both NPR and UIDAI had been given the mandate to collect biometric details of Indian residents. As per the formula worked out to end the turf war between the home ministry and UIDAI, NPR was mandated to enroll 60 million people while UIDAI was to enroll the rest of the population.

The fast-tracking of Aadhaar schemes by the Modi government came after the realization that subsidy burden could be reduced only by checking duplication and leaks in welfare schemes.

UIDAI officials emphasized that the authority was a “bona fide legal entity” administrated “like any office” of the government and was “fully accountable” to Parliament and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India.

“As far as biometric safety is concerned, we are governed by Information Technology Act,” Bansal said.

There was speculation about the fate of UIDAI under the Modi regime since it was conceived by the Congress and BJP’s manifesto seemed in favour of the National Population Register (NPR) project.

To accelerate the scheme, the Modi government’s first budget allocated around Rs 2,039 crore for the unique identification project in the current fiscal.

HC sets aside selection of 9 asst profs in DU’s Buddhist dept
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 09:55 IST
The Delhi High Court has set aside the selection of nine assistant professors in the Department of Buddhist Studies of Delhi University and asked the varsity to conduct the employment process afresh.

“The writ petition is allowed. The selections made pursuant to advertisement dated January 11, 2012 are set aside. The University of Delhi would be at liberty to recommence the procedure for filling up the posts of Assistant Professors in the Department of Buddhist Studies from the stage of receipt of applications. The entire process will be completed expeditiously though not later than eight weeks from today,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher said.

The court allowed the plea of four persons, who had earlier worked as Assistant Professors in the Department of Buddhists Studies for several years on ad-hoc basis, that they were not considered for regular employment on the sole ground that they did not secure 50 per cent marks in their graduation level examinations.

It found fault with the change in criteria of selection process by the Screening Committee.

The court said once the Executive Council of the DU has framed the selection criteria, the Screening Committing has no right to change it.

“The question… Is: Could the Screening Committee stipulate a criteria contrary to the one, which had already been put in place by the EC of the University of Delhi. In my view, the answer has to be in the negative…,” the judge said.

“The Screening Committee cannot put in an eligibility criteria for shortlisting if, the criteria is already stipulated in the advertisement or in attendant document by one of its premier bodies, i.E., the EC.

“As facts have emerged in the present case, the EC had in fact put in place a screening criteria as per which even a candidate who had secured a third division at the graduation level was required to be called for an interview if, he fulfilled other eligibility conditions required for the post,” it said.

The university, in 2012, gave an advertisement for filing up 50 posts of assistant professors in its departments and nine posts were to be filled up in the Department of Buddhist Studies.

HC acquits mother-son duo in honour killing case
The prosecution alleged that the accused killed Farzana when she refused to shift to her matrimonial home to stay with her husband
The Delhi High Court has acquitted a mother-son duo in an honour killing case in which the prosecution had charged them with killing the wife of her other son at Shahdara in 1995. The prosecution alleged that the accused killed her when she refused to shift to her matrimonial home to stay with her husband.
The trial court had held them guilty and sentenced each to life imprisonment.
The victim worked in a school run by the accused. During her employment, she fell in love with Deepak, one of the two sons of the woman. They got married and the victim left the job and joined a college for further studies.
The trial court had acquitted Deepak of the charge of murdering his wife.
According to the prosecution, the motive for the murder of Farzana was her refusal to stay with her husband at the matrimonial home till her elder sister got married.
Her family feared that by marrying into a Hindu family, Farzana might come in the way of the marriage her elder sister. The prosecution further alleged that Deepak, his brother Anil Kumar and their mother Bimla Devi were enraged over Farzana’s refusal to stay with her husband.
The prosecution alleged that Deepak had called Farzana at his residence and he along with another accused, who was also acquitted by the trial court, assaulted her with a metal pestle on her head causing her death on the spot.
The mother-son accused, Bimla Devi and Anil Kumar, were charged with dragging the body out of the house to dispose it. However, they were caught with it at the entrance of their house with blood stains on their clothes, the prosecution alleged on the basis of statements by the parents and brother of the victim.
However, according to a Division Bench of Justice P.K. Bhasin and Justice V.P. Vaish, the prosecution failed to prove any of the circumstances on which it sought conviction of Bimla Devi and Anil Kumar.
Acquitting the two on an appeal against their conviction by the trial court, the Bench said: “We are of the view that the prosecution cannot be said tohave been successful in establishing a chain of circumstances leading to the only conclusion that the present two accused-appellants were the killers of the deceased Farzana. So, this appeal filed by them deserves to be allowed.’’

Delhi HC upholds conviction and sentence of five rapists
Sunday, 13 July 2014 – 10:12am IST | Agency: PTI
The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of five men for gangrape of a woman after luring her to an isolated building here on the pretext of a job interview.
Justice Mukta Gupta said it was apparent that the woman had been “rendered helpless” and raped by the five persons – Surinder Singh, Dharambir, Manoj Kumar, Kapil Kumar and Prem – “one after the other”.
The high court also said merely because she did not use any force against any of the accused to repel them at the time of the incident does not mean she was a consenting party when she had protested in other ways.
Justice Gupta observed “no woman would consent to having sexual intercourse with a number of people at such a secluded place”, while rejecting the appellants’ challenge to the trial court’s assumption that a lady cannot consent to having sexual intercourse with so many men at one point of time.
The court also refused to reduce the eight-year jail term awarded to the convicts, saying the trial court had taken a lenient view by not awarding them 10-year imprisonment, the minimum sentence prescribed for such offence.
The appellants, apart from challenging their conviction and sentence, had also sought reduction of their jail term to seven years.
The high court also rejected their contention that no test identification parade (TIP) to identify the woman’s assailants was conducted, saying since the appellants had been named in the FIR there was no requirement for TIP.

HC orders state to probe sexual harassment charge against Sheopur collector
TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 10.52 AM IST
BHOPAL: Gwalior bench of Madhya Pradesh high court has ordered the state government to conduct a probe into allegations of sexual harassment levelled against district collector, Sheopur, by a woman data entry operator in the district. The woman had filed a petition on April 29, last year.

On February 2013, she lodged a complaint with chief secretary, Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission and state women’s commission, alleging the collector, Gayneshwar Patil, was harassing her. She alleged he would make obscene gestures, call her at odd hours and used his influence to withhold her salary.

Counsel for the petitioner, V D Sharma, told the court “the petitioner is being harassed by her senior. She made several complaints to police, but in vain. Due to police inaction, we are seeking direction for investigation and registration of case.”

On Thursday, the court of Justice B D Rathi stated – State government is directed to go through the complaint and lodge an FIR if there’s a cognizable offence. Sheopur collector Gyaneshwar Patil could not be contacted for comment.

HC orders Police chief to investigate Rs 200-crore theft
Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi | July 14, 2014 2:27 am
Setting an example for other courts to nip plastic-money crime in the bud, the Delhi High Court directed the Delhi Police Commissioner to investigate an “ATM card cloning” matter in which the complainant lost more than $ 39 million (over Rs 200 crore). The complainant in the case — a software developer — had approached the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi Police in June 2013, alleging that his computers had been hacked and ATM cards had been cloned to withdraw more than $ 39 million.
Noting the “magnitude and complexity” of the alleged crime, the High Court said “no visible progress had been made” in the case in the last one year. “This court is of the opinion that since India is one of the leaders in the Information Technology industry, it is imperative that the alleged crime should be investigated by police with ‘alacrity’. Consequently, the Commissioner of Delhi Police is directed to personally examine the matter and ensure that the complaint is investigated expeditiously and properly,” Justice Manmohan said in an order earlier this week.
The High Court order comes at a time when cyber crimes and online fraud has become a major issue in the country. According to data provided by the Reserve Bank of India, nearly one-fourth of the complaints received by banking ombudsman in 2012-13 pertained to net-banking, ATM, debit and credit card frauds.
According to the data, banking ombudsman received 70,541 complaints in 2012-13, of which 25 per cent — 17,867 — pertained to netbanking and ATM, debit and credit card frauds. Over 21 per cent (14,492 cases) of the total complaints in 2011-12 and 24 per cent (17,116 cases) in 2010-11 pertained to plastic money fraud.
In a paper authored by RBI Deputy Governor K C Chakrabarty in July 2013, the total loss from technology-related fraud in the last four years, till March 2013, was put at over Rs 357 crore. Of this, over Rs 183 crore was reported from new private sector banks. Foreign banks reported a loss of over Rs 145 crore in the same period.
Chakraborty had said the predominance of the new private sector banks and the foreign banks in the number of such frauds was “intuitive” as they lead the technology enabled service delivery in the Indian banking sector. “There have been several instances wherein fraudsters have employed hostile software programmes or malware attacks, phishing, vishing (voicemail), SMSishing (text messages), whaling (targeted phishing on high networth individuals) apart from stealing confidential data..,” Chakraborty wrote in the paper.
Speaking to Newsline, an official in Delhi Police’s Cyber cell said instances of card cloning had increased as most fraudsters bought credit card information from online hackers. “Hackers often use information from bank accounts or email IDs of customers. Unfortunately, people do not even realise that their ATM or debit or credit cards have been cloned till they are notified of the theft. There are no detection mechanisms to tell if a card has been cloned,” the official said.

Activist challenges HC order on contempt against Salman Khan
Monday, 14 July 2014 – 5:30am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
A social activist has in a petition before the Supreme Court, challenged a Bombay High Court order quashing his contempt complaint against actor Salman Khan, for posting updates on cases he is involved in on his website.
The activist, Hemant Patil, has stated in a special leave petition that the HC was incorrect in dismissing his complaint and must be set aside.
Patil had in his complaint before the Bandra metropolitan magistrate alleged that by putting the court proceedings, including the 2002 hit-and-run case, on his website ( the actor was committing contempt as the matters were sub judice.
However, in his appeal against the contempt complaint, the actor had argued that his intention was accurate reporting of the cases that pertained to him.
Salman also pleaded that the hit-and-run case was with the session’s court and that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to issue notice to him on the contempt complaint.
The HC while quashing the contempt complaint also imposed a cost of Rs2,000 on the complainant, observing that it was necessary to deter people from wasting the time of the court with such frivolous complaints.

Don’t commit mistakes, HC tells TNPSC
After the Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) admitted to committing a mistake in the selection of assistants in various departments, the Madras High Court sternly told the recruiting agency that it was not a mere procedural irregularity but an illegality depriving the meritorious candidates of their rights.
Justice S. Nagamuthu made the observation while allowing petitions by three candidates who said their non-selection for posts included in the Combined Subordinate Services Examination-I was illegal.
“It is certain that many candidates like the petitioners who ought to have been selected have not been selected, whereas many candidates who ought not to have been selected have been unduly selected,” he said.
“If the TNPSC commits a single mistake, it may result in a huge loss and mental agony to many deserving candidates,” he said.
The judge, however, said it was not possible to repair the loss or make amends for an error committed by the TNPSC fully or cancel the entire selection (as nearly four years had passed since the exam).
A. Mathiarasi and two others, all graduates, filed writ petitions, saying they appeared for the Combined Subordinate Services Examination-I for the post of assistants in various departments such as Registration, Highways, Prison, Police, Transport and Commercial Taxes.
The advertisement was issued in December 2010. They cleared the written examination. Four others who secured fewer marks were called for certificate verification for non-interview posts and selected. The petitioners said they were not called for certificate verification and not selected.
The TNPSC submitted that the non-selection of the petitioners was a “genuine mistake.” They would be accommodated in the next phase of counselling.
After the TNPSC admitted that the petitioners had been illegally rejected and they would be selected in the next phase of counselling, the judge said he did not want to probe further and hoped that the commission would not commit such mistakes in future.

Refusal of entry to dhoti-clad HC judge triggers controversy
PTI | Chennai | Published: Jul 13 2014, 18:37 IST
SUMMARYRefusal of entry to a dhoti-clad Judge of the Madras High Court at a club here has stoked a controversy, with political parties including DMK condemning the incident
Refusal of entry to a dhoti-clad Judge of the Madras High Court at a club here has stoked a controversy, with political parties including DMK condemning the incident, as CPI(M) vowed to take up the issue in the Tamil Nadu Assembly, which is in session, tomorrow.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi and TNCC president BS Gnanadesikan said the government should step in to remove any kind of dress code in public functions.
Karunanidhi said ‘vaetti’ (dhoti) was a symbol of Tamil culture and it was ‘condemnable’ that one was barred entry at a public function for wearing the traditional attire.
“To prevent recurrence of such incidents the government should suo motu advise (the concerned) on removing provisions on dress code for persons attending functions in public,” Karunanidhi said in a statement today.
Madras High Court Judge, Justice D Hariparanthaman was denied entry into the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association Club recently for wearing dhoti.
When he alighted from his official car at the club premises to participate in a book release function organised by T S Arunachalam, a former Chief Justice of the High Court, some staff of the club told him that he could not enter the premises wearing dhoti as they had instructions from the office-bearers not to allow anyone in the premises who violated the club’s dress code.
The judge has termed the incident as “unfortunate”.
Gnanadesikan said it was “regrettable” that a High Court Judge was denied entry for wearing dhoti.
“It is not important who went there wearing dhoti, but a rule barring the entry into a club (for a dhoti-clad person) in Tamil Nadu is unacceptable,” he said.
He said if at all there was a dress code for a club, it would not be binding on persons who were not its members and sought removal of any such existing rules in clubs.
CPI (M) Floor Leader in the state Assembly, A Sounderrajan, told PTI that the party will take up the matter in the House tomorrow by calling for a motion.
PMK founder S Ramadoss wanted an end to such British-era practices and expressed regret that even former Supreme Court Judge Justice V R Krishna Iyer was denied entry in 1980s in the Gymkhana Club here leading him to write a protest note in the guest book.
He demanded that the state government move necessary amendments to ban clubs that do not honour Tamil culture.

Swindling complaint against bank manager: HC orders probe
Press Trust of India | Madurai
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 15:20 IST
The Madras High Court has directed Crime Branch of police to investigate a complaint that a bank manager swindled Rs four lakh by forging signature and encashing a cheque.

Admitting a petition by Chinnadurai of Aruppukottai in Virudhunagar district, Justice G M Akbarali of Madurai bench ordered the Ramanathapuram District Crime Branch to investigate his complaint.

“If there is prima facie matter in the complaint given by the petitioner, after investigation, FIR should be registered and action taken against the bank manager and cashier,” he said.

The petitioner, working as a software engineer in Kerala, submitted that his mother died in an accident on May 21, 2013 and had insured herself for Rs four lakh with SBI LifeInsurance.

He duly claimed the insurance money.

As the amount was not settled, he had sent a reminder and later contacted officials, who informed him that a cheque for the amount had already been sent by post to his residential address and the same had been encashed in neighbouring Mutukulathur Branch of State Bank of India.

He alleged that the cheque had been encashed using forged signature by the manager and the cashier. Though he lodged a complaint with police, they did not take any action. Hence he moved the court.

Wild allegations against hubby’s dad is cruelty, ground for divorce: HC
Shibu Thomas,TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 11.44 PM IST
MUMBAI: Making wild, unsubstantiated allegations against father in-law’s character is mental cruelty against husband, the Bombay high court told a Pune resident. Dismissing a petition filed by Geeta Karnik, a division bench of justices Abhay Oka and A S Chandurkar upheld the divorce granted by a family court in 2006 to her spouse Manish Karnik on grounds of cruelty.

“If one party makes wild and reckless allegations as regards the character of the other party or of any near relative of the other party and such allegations remain unsubstantiated then the same amounts to causing cruelty,” said the judges. “From the material on record, it is clearly proved that Geeta made wild and reckless allegations as regards the Manish’s father but failed to prove the same …and having failed to substantiate the same, such conduct resulted in causing cruelty,” added the judges.

Manish had moved the family court in 2004 for divorce from Geeta, claiming she would not help his mother in household work, she would taunt him about his financial status and threatening to commit suicide or have an abortion and also making allegations against his father. While the other grounds were dismissed by the family court, it ruled against Geeta on the point of subjecting Manish to cruelty by making allegations against his father.

Geeta had alleged that Manish’s father used to dress in short pants and vest at home, and whenever she was sleeping would enter the room on one pretext or the other. She claimed that her father had touched her inappropriately during an argument and would stare at her with “ill feelings”. The trial court held that her allegations had resulted in mental cruelty—one of the grounds on which divorce can be granted—to Manish and granted him divorce in 2006. Geeta challenged the order.

The HC said that Geeta had not furnished any evidence to back her allegations and had not even cross-examined her father-in-law during the trial when he denied it. “The finding recorded by the trial court cannot be faulted and the decree of divorce cannot be set aside,” said the HC.

(Names of the couple changed to protect their identities)

To have passport, travel abroad is fundamental right: HC
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 09:40 IST
Every citizen has a fundamental right to go abroad and have a passport issued in his name, the Delhi High Court has observed while directing the Centre to re-issue passport to a man, who had lost it thrice.

A bench of Justice Manmohan directed the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and the regional office concerned to re-issue passport in favour of petitioner A Vikash.

The bench, however, asked Vikash to pay Rs 50,000 to the Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital here, apparently as charity, observing that he has been negligent in taking care of his passport.

“Having heard counsel for petitioner and having perused the paper book, this court is of the view that every citizen has a fundamental right to travel abroad and to have a passport issued in his name,” it said.

“Consequently, present writ petition and application are allowed and respondents are directed to re-issue passport in favour of the petitioner or in alternative issue fresh passport in favour of the petitioner,” the court said.

“Since the petitioner’s brother is also stated to be settled in Australia, this court is of the view that not issuing a passport to the petitioner would amount to violation of his fundamental right,” the bench said.

The court also noted that no material has been placed on record to show that there was any mala fide intent on the part of the petitioner.

According to the petitioner, he lost his passport thrice and was issued a fourth one by the regional office. He, however, returned it to the office in a damaged condition.

He told the court that he had not intentionally misplaced or damaged his passport and had peacefully visited various foreign countries for short terms for recreational purposes on visitor visas.

The MEA, however, opposed the petition contending that the petitioner has failed to keep a valuable government document safely.

The bench did not accept the contentions of the MEA saying, “In the present case, no material has been placed on record to show that there was any mala fide intent on the part of the petitioner. No incident or event showing misuse of any of the lost/damaged passport has been placed on record.

Centre stops Justice Manjunath’s appointment as CJ of Punjab and Haryana high court
Ajay Sura,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 06.41 AM IST
CHANDIGARH: The appointment of Justice KL Manjunath of Karnataka high court as new chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana high court has been stalled.

Sources confirmed to TOI that the Central government has called back the file pertaining to elevation of Justice Manjunath as chief justice of the HC.

However, present incumbent chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul of the Punjab and Haryana high court is all set to join as new chief justice of Madras high court. The transfer order of Justice Kaul could arrive anytime.

With the withdrawal of Justice Manjunath’s name, justice Ashutosh Mohunta, who has been recently transferred from Andhra Pradesh high court to Chandigarh, is expected to take over as acting chief justice.

Justice Mohunta was transferred to Andhra Pradesh high court on October 28, 2010 but he has returned on June 26 and joined the high court at Chandigarh. He is at present the first puisne judge (senior-most after the CJ) of the Punjab and Haryana high court.

• Gangrape of woman: HC upholds 8-year sentence of five–HC-upholds-8-year-sentence-of-five.html
9:49 HRS IST
New Delhi, Jul 13 (PTI) The Delhi High Court has upheld the conviction and sentence of five men for gangrape of a woman after luring her to an isolated building here on the pretext of a job interview.

Justice Mukta Gupta said it was apparent that the woman had been “rendered helpless” and raped by the five persons — Surinder Singh, Dharambir, Manoj Kumar, Kapil Kumar and Prem — “one after the other”.

Justice Mufti Bahauddin Farooqi
Posted on: Monday, July 14th, 2014
The justice-turned-activist who shone in the murky nineties of Kashmir breathed his last recently. Known for his remarkable work in Kunan Poshpora mass-rape case, Justice Mufti Bahauddin Farooqi was a noted legal luminary and the erstwhile Chief Justice of J&K.
The deceased was the architect of Hurriyat constitution and was known for his contribution in the dispensation of justice in J&K. His demise was widely condoled. He was 87 and is survived by a daughter and three sons.
A law alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, the deceased started practice at district court Islamabad along with his friend and former chief minister of state, Mir Qasim. He later served as law secretary in the GM Sadiq’s government.
In 1971, he was elevated as high court judge. During his tenure, he passed a number of landmark judgments. His judgment regarding anti-defection was the first to be passed by any high court in India. The law became the basis for anti-defection law ratified by the Parliament of India. But the same law put him under tremendous pressure from Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who wanted him to rule the judgement in their favour, but he refused the same.
Justice Farooqi was appointed as the 12th Chief Justice (CJ) of Jammu and Kashmir on March 7, 1983. But five months after in August 23, 1983, he resigned as CJ of J&K high court in protest to his transfer to Sikkim high court. He believed that New Delhi had no jurisdiction to transfer a J&K high court judge to any part of India as the state had a special status under Article 370.
He constituted first ever civil society after his resignation. Justice Farooqi served as chairman of the ‘Peoples Basic Rights Commission’, an independent body investigating human rights violations committed by Indian forces in Kashmir, and seeking their prosecution.
He led a fact-finding mission to Kunan Poshpora. Over the course of his investigation, he interviewed 53 women who claimed to have been raped by army men. And he tried to determine why a police investigation into the incident had never taken place.
On June 15, 1990, Barbara Crossette, a former New York Times correspondent, reported that Justice Farooqi and his son have begun documenting allegations of human and civil rights violations against Kashmiris.
Known for his integrity, Justice Farooqi went to court as a litigant to challenge the controversial laws like TADA and PSA in Kashmir soon after his retirement. He kept advocating right to self-determination till his breath.
– Bilal Handoo

Sikhs For Justice appeals US court’s dismissal of lawsuit against Sonia Gandhi
New York, USA (July 13, 2014)— After dismissal of its rights violation suit against Congress president Sonia Gandhi last month by a US Federal Court, rights group Sikhs For Justice (SFJ) and two survivors of November 1984 Sikh massacre have filed an appeal with the United States Circuit Court challenging the dismissal of the suit.
SFJ challenged Judge Brian M Cogan’s ruling before United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Court that Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) did not create any liability of Sonia Gandhi for “shielding and protecting” those Congress party members who perpetrated genocidal violence against Sikhs.
“Sikh group’s appeal is based on established principles of international law that those who cover up a crime are just as guilty as the ones who commit it. The allegations against Sonia Gandhi include shielding and protecting Kamal Nath, Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar who lead death squads during November 1984,” said SFJ legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun.
Brooklyn Federal Judge Brian M Cogan on June 9 had granted Sonia Gandhi’s motion to dismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. However the judge denied Congress president’s motion for “anti suit injunction” seeking to prevent human rights group from filing any further law suits.
However Gandhi’s counsel Ravi Batra said “genuine victims deserve a lawsuit they can win, not one that only generates false hope and meaningless publicity, as publicity isn’t justice”.
Sikh group legal advisor Gurpatwant Singh Pannun said “since the dismissal of the law suit against Sonia Gandhi, scores of 1984 victims have approached the rights group urging to appeal the dismissal of rights violations charges against Congress president as international courts are the only hope for them.”
A class action suit was filed against Sonia Gandhi in September 2013 by Sikhs For Justice and victims of 1984 under Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) and Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) for shielding and protecting Congress party leaders who organized genocidal violence against Sikhs.

Court acquits man of charges of raping,forcibly marrying woman
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 10:30 IST
A man, accused of raping a woman and forcibly marrying her by threatening to post her obscene pictures on social networking sites, has been freed by a Delhi court.

The court acquitted the Delhi resident as the woman retracted from her earlier statement and was declared hostile.

“Since the prosecutrix has not supported the case of the prosecution and there being no other eyewitness to the incident, it was found futile to carry on trial of the case any further,” Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt said.

The court also acquitted the man of various charges including kidnapping and extortion.

An FIR was registered on July 11 last year, at Dabri Police Station on a complaint of the woman against the man alleging that he had raped her. The man’s friends were also named in the FIR.

In her complaint, the woman alleged that the man was her engineering college friend and on May 26, 2012, he offered her a sedative laced soft drink and raped her at a hotel in Vaishali in Ghaziabad in the presence of his friends who had videographed the act.

She had alleged that she was threatened by the man that he would post her obscene video clips on social networking sites, if she did not agree to marry him and was forced to tie the knot with him at an Arya Samaj temple near Kashmere Gate here.

She also alleged that her family and she were blackmailed and extortion was done from time to time to pay him various amounts.

The man was arrested and a charge sheet was filed. The accused had pleaded not guilty.

During the trial, the woman resiled from her earlier statements and said that the man had neither raped her nor threatened her.

She also deposed that they had fallen in love and had solemnised their marriage at an Arya Samaj temple in Delhi with her consent and without any pressure or coercion.

Supreme Court’s ruling on fatwas is faulty
PUBLISHED: 22:31 GMT, 13 July 2014 | UPDATED: 22:31 GMT, 13 July 2014

My reverend guru, the legendary Duncan Derrett, reacted to pretentious judgments from the Supreme Court personally, by skipping breakfast or lunch – or both – in remonstrance.
That no one heard of this gesture thousands of miles away was irrelevant.
After reading Justice C.K. Prasad’s judgment in the ‘Muslim Fatwa’ matter, I adopted a Derrettian protest.
Our present legal system is Anglo-Indian in nature, based on English law and enclosed by a Constitution. Much as the British wanted the Anglo Indian codes to be all pervasive, it was a foolish wish
True, the learned judge’s knowledge about these and other matters is pedestrian.
But to deliver a judgment on such an important matter with such faulty ease does not reflect well on a judge of the Supreme Court.
The petition arose from a broad spectrum public interest law petition against Muslim fatwas and institutions of Islamic learning by advocate Vishwa Lochan Madan, whose locus standi to file the petition was never examined – as it should have been.
The Writ Petitioner seems to have stressed two points: (i) Muslims run a parallel legal system of which the fatwa is a part; and, that (ii) some fatwas are obnoxious – such as that of Darul Uloom Deoband, which dissolved Imrana’s marital status because she was allegedly raped by her father-in-law; and in respect of Asoobi who was also allegedly raped by her father-in-law.
The Imrana and Asoobi fatwas were decried by many Muslims and recognised as contrary to Muslim law. You cannot judge a religion or its custodians by picking out mistakes.
But the main contention of petitioner Lochan was that a parallel Muslim legal system could not be allowed to exist.
Our present legal system is Anglo-Indian in nature, based on English law and enclosed by a Constitution.

Much as the British wanted the Anglo Indian codes to be all pervasive, it was a foolish wish.
In the 1870s, J.H. Nelson warned Chief Justice Innes of Madras of this folly and paid the price by remaining a District Judge, albeit more distinguished than his Chief.
We follow the British juristic policy of requiring personal laws to be eventually interpreted by the courts, but recognising their autonomous existence.
There is no legal system in the world that can silence alternative dispute settlements.
Religious systems are protected by Article 25 of the Constitution to a reasonable extent.
To say that they don’t exist, or should not exist, is a fool’s dream.
Even after the advent of the Constitution, India’s courts went one step further in protecting religious autonomy.
Justice Gajendragadkar led the field in a Bombay judgment (1952) that personal laws could not be tested against Fundamental Rights, and operated in their own sphere.
This was reiterated by the Madras (1952) and Allahabad (1957) High Courts.
In the Ahmedabad Women’s Group case (1992) a challenge to Muslim polygamy in the Supreme Court was not permitted.
With this authority, Justice Prasad’s judgment seemed like a catapult that was taking pot shots at the institution of the fatwa and indeed, against Islam.
This was contrary to authoritative law.
The fatwa have their own place in Islam, much like the Pope’s missives to his Catholic adherents.
Many may disagree with both fatwas and institutional declarations – as, indeed, they might with the pronouncements of Hindu shankracharyas.
Our legal system stays clear of challenging religious authority, leaving it to civil society to critique the declarations of religious authorities.
The petitioner wanted all declarations by various Muslim bodies to be declared illegal, illegitimate and unconstitutional; and to take steps to disband all Muslim adjudicatory decision makers.
The writ was so absurd that it should have been dismissed immediately.
But Justice Prasad’s judgment. said the power to adjudicate was only for those who were authorised by statute and the fatwa “has no place in … India’s … constitutional scheme”.
He used Imrana’s case as an “eye opener” and concluded that a fatwa “has the potential of causing immense devastation”.
In his view, a fatwa was not authoritative and such pronouncements can only be given to individuals who ask for it.
Such a gratuitous and dismissive abolishment of religious practices and processes was wholly uncalled for by a nondescript judgment.
Not only was the judgment populist, it was deficient in its understanding of the constitutional dispensation.
It put Islam as a faith on the defensive and its institutions on trial. In 1962, in the Dawoodi Bohras case, the Supreme Court upheld the power of the Dai-al-Mutlaq of the Dawoodi Bohras community to ex-communicate a follower for violations of religious wrongs.
Surely Justice Prasad should have examined this Constitution Bench decision and many others before delivering his verdict.
What needs to be emphasised is that religious legal systems exist and they do so lawfully with constitutional protection.
They are both part of the faith and respected as such. No judicial verdict can wish them away. S
ome need reform which India’s constitutional system leaves to the faith.
Religious fatwas and schools of thought like Darul Uloom of Deoband are part of the faith.
They are not to be demonised as has been the case with khap panchayats and other goonda forms of justice
This of course does not mean that fatwas cannot be criticised. But to throw these legal systems into non-existence is myopic and absurd.
In my opinion, Justice Prasad’s judgment plays to the Hindutva gallery with its agenda on Article 370, and the Uniform Civil Code.
If judges like him cannot be wise, it is up to the rest of us to be instead.
The writer is a Supreme Court lawyer

‘Court can add as accused even those whose names police have dropped’
Swati Deshpande,TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 11.53 PM IST
MUMBAI: The Jalgaon sessions court summoned Congress leaders Dr G N Patil and Ulhas Patil to face trial in a nine-year-old murder case of another Congress leader, holding that the law allows the trial court to add as accused even those whose names the investigating agency may have dropped during its probe.

“There is strong prima facie evidence on record to indicate their involvement,” said Jalgaon sessions judge D J Shegoka while adding as fresh accused G N Patil, brother of former Indian President Pratibha Patil, and his alleged co-conspirator, Ulhas Patil, for the murder of former Congress district president Vishram Patil in Jalgaon.

The Jalgaon court overturned findings of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which had given a clean chit to G N Patil, who was Jalgaon district Congress president (2004-05) before the victim. The CBI had also exonerated Dr Ulhas Patil, who was also with the Congress then.

The sessions judge had relied on Section 319 of Criminal Procedure Code, under which a court can try a person unnamed in an FIR or chargesheet if evidence emerges against him during trial. The court noted that, as observed by the Supreme Court, the section covers “even persons dropped by police during investigations, but against whom evidence showing their involvement comes up before the criminal trial court”.

The CBI’s findings were upheld by the Bombay high court in July 2009. But the victim’s wife, Rajani, persisted in the lower court, with her application in 2006 to make the two Patils accused.

Eight years later, the sessions court held that Vishram death on September 21, 2005 was a case of homicide, but the testimony of four witnesses was compelling to summon G N Patil to face a murder trial.

Vishram had sustained seven knife injuries in his abdomen and neck.

Rajani had stressed that G N Patil, Ulhas and the four accused, including two shooters (one of them, Raju Mali, died in custody), had hatched a plan to murder her husband due to intra-party rivalry.

She said G N Patil was upset that her husband was elected in 2005 and had passed a resolution to sack him. In 2005, G N Patil had collected Rs 2 lakh from the public on behalf of the Congress (I) for tsunami relief. But they got “annoyed’ when G N Patil “misappropriated funds” and her husband complained about it to the party bosses.

Rambhau Pawar’s evidence helped the court decide that G N Patil must be tried. He was on his way to Jalgaon from a village early morning that day, when he saw two persons assaulting Vishram. “When I tried to intervene, the short person threatened me and the tall one told me to leave, stating that big lenders like Dr Ulhas Patil and Dr GN Patil stood by them,” he said. He identified the assailants, Mali and Raju Sonawane.

Shantaram Gaikwad, deputy superintendent of police, who had taken over investigations, said interrogation of the two Rajus “revealed that the main accused, Mali, took Sonawane to the house and hospital of Dr Ulhas Patil prior to the crime, where they had a discussion before heading to G N Patil’s house in Jalgaon”.

The conduct of an accused before and after a crime is pertinent, said the judge, rejecting the CBI’s objections. A fresh trial will now be conducted against the two.

SC ruling must lead to a Muslim personal law code’
Bader Sayeed,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 07.28 AM IST
The Supreme Court has once again come as a saviour to give a voice to the Muslim woman of our country. Though it has no objection to the continuance of shariat courts, the Supreme Court has ruled that their decisions will have no legal force. The Supreme Court has not touched upon Muslim personal law. But the court has ruled that fatwas that are often issued by shariat courts are not decrees and cannot be enforced. The court has also said that the fatwas are not sanctioned in our constitutional scheme.
Muslim women including in Tamil Nadu have been hit hard by the conservative, inhuman, cruel fatwas that are given on every aspect of their lives and that restrict their freedom and liberties. The Supreme Court has held that a fatwa has no legal validity.

However the jamaaths and the khazis who derive their power from ill-defined sources continue to precipitate a situation where economically marginalised Muslim women are pressured into following their diktats. The women don’t realize that the jamaaths and khazis are not the final court of appeal. Instead these fatwas are used by the khazis and the jamaaths to increment their hold on Muslim civil society without legal sanction.

I must state here that the jamaaths are elected bodies under the supervision of the state Wakf boards and exert a significant influence on Muslim civil society. This is a situation which needs correction.

The jamaaths take their toll on the individual insisting that their decision be obeyed and if this does not happen they hold the threat of excommunication and social boycott which is patently inhuman.

Excommunication and social boycott has the effect of denying freedom of speech and movements, access to livelihood, freedom to bury their dead in the local graveyards and preventing those that have been excommunicated

from participating in matrimonial functions of the family. Yet, despite court judgments that such social estrangement is not valid and against constitutional rights they continue to be practised. In Islam the “khazi” is considered as the keeper of the faith and the law since most khazis are highly educated and are scholars of Muslim law. This can hardly be held true in our country though there are exceptions.

The khazis can conduct and register a marriage. But they are not legally authorised to finalise a divorce or perform judicial functions. Yet the reality is that the khazis validate and issue fatwas regarding divorces with total impunity towards the rights of Muslim women. But the final decree of divorce should carry the judicial stamp which will decide over all other allied issues that ariseout of a divorce.
The function of arbitration carried out by the sharia courts has not been inhibited by the Supreme Court. But the court makes it very clear that what emanates from the shariat courts has no legal binding. Yet due to patriarchal attitudes, societal pressures and lack of access to civil courts Muslim women are caught in the web of the khazis, jamaaths and the shariat courts to seek redress which they never achieve.

This judgement should precipitate rapid codification of Muslim personal law, which is the need of the hour.

We owe it to our Muslim sisters that this happens. Silence on this subject will be catastrophic for Muslim society.

Orissa High Court gets panel report on safety of devotees
The Odisha Government on Thursday submitted in the High Court the entire report of Justice P K Mohanty Commission that had made several recommendations to ensure safety and security of lakhs of devotees visiting the Sri Jagannath Temple in Puri throughout the year.
While the report was submitted in a sealed cover, the State government failed to submit the action-taken report (ATR) on it, which the High Court had sought last month while adjudicating on a PIL concerning the issue. Asking the government to positively submit the ATR within a week, the Division Bench of Justices A K Rath and B R Sarangi posted the matter to be taken up again on July 18.
Retired judge of Orissa High Court Justice P K Mohanty was appointed by the State government to head the one-man Judicial Commission to probe the November 2006 stampede in the Puri temple, in which at least six devotees died. Justice Mohanty was also asked to make recommendations to ensure the safety and security of devotees.
While the report along with the recommendations was submitted in 2009, it was tabled in the Assembly and later accepted by the State government. However, alleging that the government has completely ignored the recommendations of the Judicial Commission, social and political activist Chitta Ranjan Mohanty filed a PIL questioning the government’s motive.
Mohanty in his petition had alleged that due to improper security management by the State government, the historical marvel of the country is now under the scanner of terrorists. Annexing a newspaper report, the petitioner referred to recent video clips in the social media showing aerial views of the temple and the temple town.
The petition also questioned the “mismanagement” and “maladministration” of temple in disciplining the priests and servitors of the temple for which there have been lots of criticisms both inside the State and outside.

High Court Bench orders auctioning of PDS rice as cattle feed
72 tonnes unfit for human consumption due to prolonged legal battle
The Madras High Court Bench here has ordered for the auction of 72.65 tonnes of Public Distribution System (PDS) rice as cattle feed since it had become unfit for human consumption due to a prolonged legal battle between Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation (TNCSC) and five of its hulling agents in Thanjavur since last year.
A Division Bench of Justices V. Ramasubramanian and V.M. Velumani also ordered that the rest of 166.30 tonnes of rice out of the total consignment of 239 tonnes, which had been a subject of dispute between TNCSC and the hulling agents, could be distributed through ration shops after re-polishing so that it also does not end up getting spoiled.
The orders were passed while allowing five writ appeals preferred by TNCSC against a single judge’s decision to quash show cause notices issued by it to the five rice mills appointed as its hulling agents in Thanjavur district.
The notices had accused the agents of having supplied rice other than the one obtained through hulling paddy handed over to them.
According to the appellants, the job of the agents was to hull the paddy procured by the Food Corporation of India and hand over the rice to TNCSC for distribution through ration shops.
But when they supplied unconnected rice in June 2013, the corporation chose to initiate action.
Immediately, the rice mill owners filed individual writ petitions and got the show cause notices quashed in July 2013.
Holding that the single judge had quashed the show cause notices on an erroneous ground that the analysis of the rice samples was not done within a day, the Division Bench said that TNCSC’s Quality Control Manual mandated only drawing of samples within a day though the analysis thereafter could take time since it involved a scientific process.
“From the calendar, the appellants have been able to demonstrate that there was no delay in drawing the samples and sending them to regional laboratories. Therefore, the delay in analysing the samples cannot be put against the appellants,” the Bench said and set aside the single judge’s order.
It also directed the mill owners to submit their replies to the show cause notices within two weeks.
In the meantime, since the Thanjavur Collector had reported that huge quantity of the rice, stored in various warehouses, had already become unfit for human consumption, the judges ordered for the disposal of the entire consignment without prejudice to the rights of the appellants as well as the mill owners.

Despite high court order, Prabhadevi building still not redeveloped
Nauzer Bharucha,TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 11.42 PM IST
MUMBAI: Fourteen years ago, more than four dozen families were evicted by the Maharashtra housing area development authority (Mhada) after their building, Bhagirthi Bhuvan at Prabhadevi, was declared dilapidated and dangerous. Dumped in transit camps in Sion and Mahim, over 200 people continue to languish there as the Mhada-appointed builder has failed to reconstruct the building and rehabilitate them.

Despite four court orders over the past decade, the tenants say they have been left high and dry by the builder and Mhada. Even the transit camps they live in are in poor condition.

Last July, a division bench of the Bombay high court ordered the builder, Sanjay Jain of Ackruti Developers, to complete the building within 12 months. Possession was to be given by July 4, 2014. But a year later, just the skeleton of 10 of the 19 floors is finished. The work was abandoned over a year ago.

Jain told TOI that he faced a financial crunch, but work would start within the next fortnight and the tenants rehabilitated soon after. “I have already given an undertaking to Mhada,” he said.

Mhada vice president Satish Gavai said the housing board issued a notice to the “NOC holder” (builder) early this month. “He has been given a week’s time to respond, failing which we will take necessary action,” he said. But tenants said Mhada has issued four such notices in the past year. “All of them were ignored by the builder and Mhada officials kept silent,” one tenant said.

The plight of the tenants of Bhagirthi Bhuvan is a case study of why people living in crumbling buildings stubbornly refuse to vacate despite the authority’s warnings. They fear that once they move out it will be difficult to get their homes back because of Mhada’s past reputation, experts said.

Tenants of Bhagirthi Bhuvan are at their wits’ end despite using their meagre resources to file court cases and running around to file RTI applications to procure information about their building.

“In 2004, Mhada acquired our property so that it could rebuild itself. But on the same day that year, it gave a no-objection certificate (NOC) to the developer to redevelop the property. A property once acquired by Mhada cannot be given away to a builder. It was illegal,” said Gopal Naikar, a tenant. “In fact, we had made representations to Mhada not to allow any builder to redevelop our property.”

The then housing secretary stayed Mhada’s NOC to the builder as there is no provision in law to issue such a certificate for an acquired property, a source said. Later, a Mhada official lifted the stay, the source added, allegedly at the behest of a politician.

Last April, the builder wrote to tenants that it had sold the saleable component of the project to a purchaser, who “committed serious defaults in making payments and breached agreements with us”. “We suffered immense losses due to non-payment. However, we assure that we will complete the rehabilitation building as soon as possible and accommodate all tenants,” said the builder.

No further probe needed if witnesses back out: Kerala high court
Mahir Haneef,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 03.39 AM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court has held that if majority of witnesses in a criminal case backs out from statements given to police, a further investigation cannot be ordered by the court directly to bring out the truth. The court also held that such hostile witnesses have to be dealt with by trial courts during their examination and if a false case is foisted by the de facto complainant, the trial court can take appropriate action against him.

The ruling was given by justice K Ramakrishnan after considering a petition filed by Thajumuddeen M of Vallakadavu in Thiruvananthapuram seeking further investigation in a case in which he is the first accused.

On the basis of a statement given by Valiyathura sub inspector, police had registered a case against the petitioner and two others in 2012 accusing them of uttering obscenity in a public place, wrongful restraint, and causing hurt. After police filed final report last year, the case is pending before Thiruvananthapuram judicial first class magistrate – II.

Along with the petition filed to the high court by Thajumuddeen, affidavits filed by two of the three eyewitnesses mentioned in the final report were produced. As per the affidavits, the witnesses claimed that they haven’t given any statement before any police officer and they have not seen the alleged incident.

The petitioner’s counsel Vishnu Babu argued that a further investigation is required to bring out the real nature of the alleged incident. Opposing the petition, public prosecutor P Maya submitted that the affidavits cannot be considered by the high court at this stage as it is a matter to be considered at the time of trial by the magistrate by evaluating the evidence given by those witnesses.

Such hostile witnesses have to be dealt with by trial courts during their examination. If a false case is foisted by the de facto complainant, the trial court can take appropriate action against him, the court held.

The ruling was given by justice K Ramakrishnan after considering a petition filed by Thajumuddeen M of Vallakadavu in Thiruvananthapuram seeking further investigation in a case in which he is the first accused.

On the basis of a statement given by Valiyathura sub inspector, police had registered a case against the petitioner and two others in 2012 accusing them of uttering obscenity in a public place, wrongful restraint, and causing hurt. After police filed final report last year, the case is pending before Thiruvananthapuram judicial first class magistrate – II.

Along with the petition filed to the high court by Thajumuddeen, affidavits filed by two of the three eyewitnesses mentioned in the final report were produced. As per the affidavits, the witnesses claimed that they haven’t given any statement before any police officer and they have not seen the alleged incident.

The petitioner’s counsel Vishnu Babu argued that a further investigation is required to bring out the real nature of the alleged incident.

Opposing the petition, public prosecutor P Maya submitted that the affidavits cannot be considered by the high court at this stage as it is a matter to be considered at the time of trial by the magistrate by evaluating the evidence given by those witnesses.

Declining to order a further investigation, justice Ramakrishnan held, “As rightly pointed out by the learned public prosecutor, this court cannot now consider the versions mentioned by the witnesses by a way of affidavit before this court as that is a matter to be considered by the trial court when they were examined before that court. Further, ultimately if the trial court found that it is a false case, the accused can insist for taking action against the de facto complainant and the magistrate can take appropriate action against the de facto complainant if it is found that it is a false case foisted by the de facto complainant against the petitioner and others. So, under the circumstances, I don’t think that there is any necessity for a further investigation to be conducted in this matter as the court itself can consider those matter at the time of trial and pass appropriate orders.”

High court grants bail to two police sub-inspectors
Jul 14, 2014 |
The Bombay high court has granted bail to two police sub-inspectors from the Rajasthan police in the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
Justice Abhay M. Thipsay granted bail to Himanshu Singh Rajawat and Shyam Singh Charan, who were posted as sub-inspectors in the Udaipur district at the time of the incident.
The judge granted them bail on ground of parity as their superior officer who is facing more grievous charges in the same case was granted bail by the apex court.
According to CBI the role of both the applicants was that they were part of the four-member special team headed by M.N. Dinesh, superintendent of police. The team came from Rajasthan to Gujarat, purportedly, for apprehending Sohrabuddin.
The investigating agency said the applicants did not come to apprehend Sohrabuddin, but to kill him and they were present on the spot at the time of his death. The court had earlier rejected bail applications of both the applicants, but this time they said there was change in circumstance and the three accused, including Dinesh, have been granted bail.
The court, while rejecting their bail plea, had granted them liberty to file a fresh bail plea in the event of the trial not being concluded within a specified time, that is by February 2014.
The court noted that one year has since passed, but the trial had not progressed at all.
Though the judge was of the opinion that there was prima facie case against them, both of them were working under the control of Dinesh and this team was working at the instance of several superior police officers, who allegedly were acting at the instance of politicians.
However, since Dinesh had been granted bail the high court accepted the plea of Rajawat and Charan.

Stop abuse of women safety laws: Court
TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 11.59 PM IST
NEW DELHI: Observing that the abuse of laws related to crimes against women needs to be checked, a trial court has granted bail to a man in a rape case filed by a woman who has registered similar cases against 10 other people.

Additional sessions judge Kamini Lau granted bail to Narender Pal Kashyap on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 after noting that the DNA exhibits of Kashyap did not match with those from the woman. The court was also hearing a complaint filed by Kashyap’s father who claimed that the complainant in the case is a key member of an extortion gang and has filed more than 10 false cases in order to “extort money from innocent men.”

“There has to be some checklist and safeguards to prevent such abuse of special legislation in favour of women,” the court said. The DCP (outer district) who appeared in court suggested that in such cases, officers must “exercise abundant caution before making an arrest”.

During the last hearing, the court had directed Delhi Police to file a detailed status report in the matter. The court welcomed the DCP’s suggestion and said, “This court is highly appreciate of the suggestion given by the DCP and it would be desirable that in cases involving property, civil or other disputes between various parties there should be due application of mind at a senior level before the arrest is affected.”

It, however, clarified that this does not mean that undue leverage be given to the offender. “This is only a rule of caution…the senior officer of the district applies his mind to the necessity and desirability of such an arrest which ought to be made only after grant of a specific permission in this regard, which should be done to avoid allegations of connivance or bias at the local level and of illegal detention on the basis of false accusations,” the court said.

CIC lets off MHA official who didn’t furnish info in 10 months
Press Trust of India | New Delhi
July 13, 2014 Last Updated at 11:00 IST
In a strange step, the Central Information Commission has dropped penalty proceedings against a Home ministry official who did not furnish any information to an applicant even after 10 months of filing of RTI.

According to the RTI Act, if the information is not furnished within a month of filing the application, without giving any reasonable cause, CIC is bound to impose a penalty of Rs 250 per day on the officer concerned from the date information became due till the date when it was furnished to the applicant.

Various high courts have said in their orders that it is mandatory for CIC to impose penalty on the CPIO when information is not provided without giving any reason.

The case pertains to an information sought from Home Ministry on the Bhandara rape and murdercase. No reply was furnished to the applicant even after 10 months without giving any reasons.

During the hearing arising out of complaint filed by the applicant, Information Commissioner Vijai Sharma issued a show cause notice to the Central Public Information Officer after concluding that Ministry officials did not respond to the RTI application and they had “contravened” the legal provisions.

But six-months after the hearing, Deputy Registrar V K Sharma in the office of the Information Commissioner sent a communique saying response of the CPIO has been accepted and show cause notice has been dropped.

An E-mail seeking his reaction and reasons for dropping the proceeding from the Deputy Registrar remained unanswered.

When contacted former Chief Information Commissioner A N Tiwari told PTI over phone: “Cases where CPIO does not provide any information, CIC has no option but to impose penalty. The CPIO cannot remain quiet over an application. If there is no information available, applicant must be informed else penalty becomes inevitable.

Law grads snub court practice for corporate jobs
TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 06.30 AM IST
BANGALORE: One of the biggest criticisms that the 25-year-old National Law School of India University (NLSIU) faces after every placement is that its graduates give the heave-ho to court practice and opt for corporate jobs. It’s true of most other law campuses too.

The 2014 batch of NLSIU saw just four of its 75 graduates opt for litigation. Of these, three are in the courts and the fourth is in the litigation department of a law firm. The 2015 batch, whose placements are nearly complete, has less than 10 students heading for litigation. Around 50 are getting into corporates, a few are targeting civil services and a couple of them are looking at entrepreneurship.

It’s a similar trend in Christ University’s School of Law too, where 70% of the students are giving the nod to corporates. “Only students whose immediate family members are practising lawyers take up litigation. The trend has been the same for the past five years. What matters is settling down fast,” says Somu C S, HoD, School of Law. In the last batch, 70 students opted for placements. Of these, around 40 were in corporates and many others with NGOs.

Money is the driving factor, says Vidyasree K S, placement coordinator, MS Ramaiah College of Law. “A student placed with a corporate gets a starting salary of Rs 20,000 per month. In litigation, they’d initially earn only some Rs 8,000. Last year, five students got into litigation but they quickly switched over as they did not find it lucrative,” she says.

However, the University Law College, Bangalore University, continues to have most of its students heading to courts. “We have the tradition of producing some of the best lawyers in town. About 70% of our students still get into litigation. The students are from a mixed background and do not mind the rigorous and non-remunerative side of court practice. Many of them want to do social service,” says Suresh V, faculty. The institute is getting a placement cell where students can register for placements next year.

Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights deplores rape of 13-year-old girl in Bokaro
Sunday, 13 July 2014 – 4:40pm IST | Place: Jamshedpur | Agency: PTI
• Commission for Protection of Child Rights deplores rape of 13-year-old girl in Bokaro
The Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (JSCPCR) on Sunday strongly deplored the Swang Gulgulia Dhoura village incident in Bokaro district, where a 13-year-old girl was raped on the diktat of the panchayat head on Tuesday, and demanded stringent punishment against the culprits.
Reacting to the nature of the incident,Shamina Shafiq, a member of National Commission for Women had said, “Action should be taken in matters where these regional panchayats do injustice to women. Inhuman things are happening this way. Why doesn’t the district administration make people aware of things? NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) should come first in it as it’s the matter of a girl child. If they will not take any action, then NCW will get involved in this.”
Chairman of the JSCPCR, Roop Laxmi Munda said a two-member JSCPCR team comprising members Ranjana Kumari and Sunita Katyayan had visited the village on Saturday to probe the incident. A detailed report of the findings by the members would be submitted to the commission within the next few days and the commission would recommend the Jharkhand government to take action accordingly in this regard.
Describing the incident as “inhumane and barbaric”, Munda told PTI that JSCPCR would demand that action be initiated against the culprits under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012. She advocated concrete steps to check recurrence of such incidents and assured that JSCPCR would ensure that the victim gets adequate compensation as the commission did for the four gang-rape victims in Pakur district about a year ago.
Describing the incident as “heinous”, Ranjana Kumari said lack of awareness, literacy and basic amenities in the village forced around 250 Pasi community members to lead a miserable life. Kumari said the accused village head, Ghosal Pasi was not an elected panchayat chief but a self-styled Mukhia (village head), who is a powerful man among the community.
Asked when the report would be submitted to the commission, Ranjana Kumari said it would take about three to four days as the team was preparing a detailed report as well as the recommendations to be made.

UN Tribunal Resolves 40-Year-Old Maritime Dispute Between India and Bangladesh
All India | Reported by Anchal Vohra (With inputs from agencies), Edited by Amit Chaturvedi | Updated: July 13, 2014 00:13 IST
New Delhi: Ending a 40-year-old dispute, a United Nations tribunal delivered its verdict on Tuesday on India and Bangladesh’s maritime boundaries in the Bay of Bengal, awarding nearly four-fifth of the 25,000 sq km of the exclusive economic zone to Bangladesh.

The verdict, binding on both countries, opens the way for Bangladesh to explore for oil and gas in the Bay of Bengal, and ends a dispute over a sea border with India that has ruffled ties between the neighbours.

So has India lost out? NDTV has accessed an internal government of India note that suggests otherwise.

Even though India believes the delimitation has been done in an arbitrary fashion, it is not the loser. Control of the disputed New Moore Island and concomitant access to Hariabhanga river is a significant gain. The island, supposedly rich in oil and natural gas, has been a traditional sore point between the two neighbouring countries.

The Hariabhanga river, which flows around the Sundarbans in West Bengal and borders Satkhira district of Bangladesh, and the region holds twice the amount of hydrocarbons as compared to the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh.

The verdict is also a good news for the fishermen of both countries who now have access to a larger area for fishing.

Both the governments have called it a win-win situation. “It is the victory of friendship and a win-win situation for the people of Bangladesh and India,” Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said on Tuesday after the ruling of the Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA).

“The settlement of the maritime boundary will further enhance mutual understanding and goodwill between India and Bangladesh by bringing to closure a long-pending issue,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

Incidentally, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj chose Bangladesh as the destination of her first standalone visit, which perhaps goes on to show the importance India attaches to its relationship with Bangladesh.

Teacher moves HC against vacant posts at university and college tribunals
TNN | Jul 13, 2014, 01.25AM IST
NAGPUR: A Yavatmal teacher moved the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court contending that posts of presiding officers were lying vacant at all five university and college tribunals in Maharashtra. A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Gavai and Sunil Shukre, on Wednesday, issued notice to secretary of higher and technical education department.

Taking serious cognisance, the judges directed the government to make a statement as to when at least one tribunal could become functional. They asked on whether constitution of single tribunal, headquarters in Mumbai, and circuit benches at other places, would be a feasible option to reduce the cost.

According to petitioner’s counsels – Mohan Sudame and Sunil Pande – presiding officers’ posts at Aurangabad, Mumbai, Nashik, Nagpur and Pune are not being filled up for long, thus leading to pendency of cases. They pointed out that the litigants and public, especially teaching and non-teaching staff of university and affiliated colleges, were put to inconvenience as their appeals were not heard and decided.
Petitioner Manisha Mulkalwar’s services were terminated by her college and when she approached the HC, she was directed to resort to alternate remedy of approaching University and College Tribunal. However, since all posts of presiding officers were vacant, she knocked the judiciary’s doors. The presiding officers are usually retired HC judges appointed by the state government in consultation with the Bombay High Court.
(With inputs from Yash Ahuja)

CAT finds illegality in law against sexual harassment at workplace
Recommends that the Union government take corrective measures
The manner of appointing members to the internal committees to probe complaints under the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013, has been termed “unconstitutional” by the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) Bangalore Bench.
The tribunal said the appointment process was “biased” as two members of such committees should be “committed to the cause of women,” and hence “destroys the concept of fairness” embedded in the process of adjudication.
However, as tribunals have no power to strike down the law, it has recommended to the Union government to look into Sections 4 and 7 of the Act, under which committees are constituted to hear complaints of sexual harassments, and take corrective steps in compliance with the Constitution of India.
“If members of the adjudicatory committee are to be committed to an ideology [cause of women], their mental frame will be such that it would give an opportunity for unwelcome bias and their finding also will be in resonance of their personal commitment,” said a Bench comprising judicial member K.B. Suresh (as he then was) and administrative member P.K. Pradhan last week.
“Sections 4 and 7 of the Act can be termed unconstitutional because once an adjudicatory body is to be determined as slanted in its sway, it destroys the fairness concept embedded in adjudication,” said the Bench while dealing with four cases of dismissal of employees from service by different government agencies based on the findings of committees on sexual harassment.
The tribunal said that in all the four cases — related to KIOCL Ltd., National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Employees State Insurance Corporation, and the Department of Posts — the employees were erroneously found “guilty.”
In one of the cases, the complainant had not even alleged sexual harassment, and in another, a whistleblower was “targeted” through a few women employees to eliminate him from service, the tribunal said while pointing at a series of flaws in the conduct of inquiry proceedings and failure to give chance of cross examination to the accused employees.
Apparently, the climate of fear, caused due to public outcry on several incidents of assault on women, had created a “terror situation’ among senior echelons of administrative authorities of these agencies, leading to the dismissal of employees, the tribunal said.

‘Govt. has alternative plans for fishing harbour expansion’
The State government has alternative plans for the expansion of the Old Fisheries Harbour at Bunder, J.R. Lobo, Mangalore South MLA, has said.
He told presspersons here on Saturday that a meeting was held recently in Bangalore where alternative plans were worked out in view of the petition pending at the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal. The Bench ordered a status quo on the construction work, which was estimated to cost Rs. 57.6 crore, following a petition filed by city-based activist Octavia Albuquerque and others. The tribunal had found, prima facie, that the project was filling up a creek in violation of Coastal Regulation Zone rules.
Mr. Lobo said the government granted approval for works estimated at Rs. 60 crores as part of the third phase of the expansion work. A sum of Rs. 5 crore had been granted for a new jetty at Sultan Battery.
Approval had been granted for a jetty at the northern part of the Old Fishing Harbour at a cost of Rs. 48 crore for boats transporting goods and construction material to Lakshadweep.
Mr. Lobo said steps were being taken to push forward the ambitious Corniche (road along the beach) project on Jeppinamogaru – Kulur – Gurupura Bridge stretch.
Mr. Lobo said the long-pending work on a suspension pedestrian bridge across the Gurupura estuary near Sultan Battery connecting it with Bengre would be executed by the Public Works Department. As a part of works related to development of Costal Circuit for boasting tourism, the State government would improve facilities at beaches in Mangalore. A Rs. 150-crore action plan had been planned for improving roads and pavements in Mangalore, he added.

Guj HC holds Appellate Tribunal has power to extend stay beyond 365 days
The Hon’ble Gujarat High Court in a case decided on 09.07.2014 has held that the Appellate Tribunal has power to extend the stay beyond 365 days, if the delay is not at all attributable to the assessee. The Hon’ble Court agreed with the view of Hon’ble Bombay HC in the case of Navrang Overseas Pvt. Ltd. but dissented with the view taken by Hon’ble Karnataka HC in Ecom Grill Coffee Trading Pvt. Ltd.

The Hon’ble Gujarat Court held :

” it is held that in case and having satisfied that delay in not disposing of the appeal within 365 days (total) from the date of grant of initial stay is not attributable to the appellant / assessee in whose favour stay
has been granted and that the Appellate Tribunal is satisfied that such appellant / assessee has fully cooperated in early disposal of the appeal and/or has not indulged into any delay tactics and/or has not taken any undue advantage, the learned Appellate Tribunal may, by passing a speaking order as observed hereinabove, extend stay even beyond the total period of 365 days from the date of grant of initial stay. However, as observed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in the case of Kumar Cotton Mills Pvt. Ltd (supra), it should not be construed that any latitude is given to the Appellate Tribunal to extend the period of stay except on good cause and if the Appellate Tribunal is satisfied that the matter could not be heard and disposed of by reason of the fault of the Appellate Tribunal for the reasons not attributable to the assessee. It also may not be construed that the Appellate Tribunal can extend stay indefinitely. On expiry of every 180 days the concerned assessee / appellant is required to submit an
appropriate application before the learned Appellate Tribunal to extend the stay granted earlier and the Appellate Tribunal may extend the stay for a further period but not beyond 180 days at a stretch and on arriving at the subjective satisfaction, as stated hereinabove, the Appellate Tribunal may extend the stay even beyond 365 days from the date of grant of initial stay and even thereafter. Meaning thereby after 180 days, the
Appellate Tribunal is required to review the situation and consider the application for extension of stay appropriately. Thus, on expiry of maximum period of 180 days the assessee / appellant is required to submit application for extension of stay each time and the Appellate Tribunal is required to consider the individual case and pass a speaking order, as stated hereinabove. By the aforesaid it may also not be understood that the Appellate Tribunal may go on extending the stay indefinitely and may not dispose of the appeals within stipulated time i.e. within 365 days from the date of grant of initial stay and/or at the earliest. All efforts shall be made by the learned Appellate Tribunal to dispose of the appeals at the earliest more particularly in a case where stay is operative against the revenue. The learned Appellate Tribunal and/or registrar of the Appellate Tribunal is required to maintain separate register with respect to the appeals in which stay has been granted fully and/or partially and appeals in which no stay has been granted and the Appellate Tribunal must and shall give priority to the appeals in which stay has been granted, continued and/or extended.”
To read complete text of judgement, click here Guja HC holds

Most Information commissions fail transparency test
Himanshi Dhawan,TNN | Jul 14, 2014, 05.41 AM IST
NEW DELHI: Information commissions — watchdogs for the transparency regime under theRTI Act — are some of the most opaque organizations according to an independent report.

Of the 29 commissions in the country, only 17% have the facility of online filing of appeals and complaints, 42% do not display information on the cases that will be heard that day or that week, 58% do not display the updated status of pending appeals and complaints while 35% do not have a system of making their orders public within a reasonable timeframe.

The report prepared by Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) also revealed that there was a steady increase in the number of RTI queries in 2012 as compared to the previous year. While Gujarat and Odisha saw a 46% increase in applications, Karnataka witnessed 29% increase. There was a 19% increase in RTI appeals with the Central Information Commission (CIC).

More than three-fourths of the commissions do not have a website in the local language. The CIC and state information commissions of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh have local language websites.

Only 17% of information commissions provide online facilities for submitting appeals or complaints or both. While the CIC, Gujarat and Tripura commissions accept online filing of both appeals and complaints, their counterpart in Bihar provides this facility for filing second appeals only.

About 42% of information commissions do not display cause lists on their websites that will help the public know what cases are likely to be heard by the commission. These include commissions in Assam, Bihar, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Sikkim that continue to resist the idea of displaying cause lists on their websites, the report said.

About 58% of commissions including Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal do not provide data on disposal of cases and pendency of appeals and complaints.

Nineteen of the 29 commissions have made their orders public but the commissions of Arunachal Pradesh, Goa, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur and Uttar Pradesh do not have updated information for the last 2-4 years. Incidentally, this comes at a time when there has been a sharp increase in RTI applications. Gujarat and Odisha have seen a 46% increase in applications while Karnataka has recorded 29% increase. At 26%, Chhattisgarh witnessed the third highest increase in the number of RTI applications received in 2012 followed by Mizoram at 20%.

Claim to be juvenile to escape law: Lashkar tells its cadres
By PTI | 13 Jul, 2014, 03.47PM IST
SRINAGAR/NEW DELHI: Declare your age below 18 years if you are caught by security personnel–this is a new diktat from Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit sent to its cadre in Jammu and Kashmir.

Details of this LeT tactic was given by arrested Mohd Naveed Jutt alias Abu Hanzala, who was subjected to age determination test as he had claimed to the interrogators that he was 17 years old, official sources said.

After sustained questioning, Jutt, whose age turned out to be 22 years, said his ‘masters’ across the border had instructed him to give his age as 17 years.

Jutt said the LeT top brass has been telling the new recruits, who are mainly school dropouts or having criminal background, that they should behave as someone who is below 18 years so that they are tried under the Juvenile Justice Act and not normal Indian Penal Code.

The maximum punishment under Juvenile Act is three years.

Jutt, a resident of Multan in Pakistan arrested by police in the third week of last month in South Kashmir, said that he had come along with six boys in October, 2012 through North Kashmir’s Keran sector, the sources said.

Son of a retired Army driver, Jutt was trained in various madrassas owned by Jamaat-ul-Dawa (JuD), a front organization for LeT.

He said that during the training, Lashkar top brass used to look for talent and then classify them into areas where they would be operating, the sources said, adding linguistic courses were held for the Lashkar trainees who were taught Chechen, Syrian and Iraqi language.

Jutt is accused of killing many policemen in South Kashmir and carrying out sensational attack on army and polling parties and making an assassination bid on a ruling National Conference (NC) MLC from Wachi, Showkat Ganaie.

After initial training, Jutt underwent “Daura-e-Sufa” (training cadre for religious indoctrination) at Maksar Aksar Camp in 2009, the sources said.

Treat juveniles accused of rape on par with adults: Maneka Gandhi
Bringing juvenile into the purview of the adult world will scare them, says women and child development minister PTI Tweet 0 inShare 0 Comments Subscribe to: Daily Newsletter Breaking News World Cup News World Cup final: Germany beats Argentina 1-0 to become champions World Cup: Luiz Felipe Scolari leaves decision on future to Brazil’s federation World Cup 2014: Talismanic Louis van Gaal takes Holland beyond expectations World Cup: Brazil lays on best World Cup soap opera Putin inherits World Cup baton, promises ‘unforgettable’ 2018 Latest News 10:47 AM IST World Cup 2014: Five of the best goals 10:26 AM IST Asian shares edge higher, oil nurses losses 10:24 AM IST Narendra Modi seen driving 40% jump in overseas borrowing 09:55 AM IST Sensex falls around 100 points ahead of WPI, CPI inflation data 09:25 AM IST Rupee trades higher at 59.92 per dollar ahead of inflation data Editor’s picks Domestic investment banks gain on ‘bulge bracket’ foreign rivals New rules of engagement Venture capitalists, PE investors to attract more tax on unlisted capital assets How the current budget priorities differ from the UPA’s Maneka Gandhi (centre) said according to the police, 50% of all sexual crimes are committed by ‘16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it.’ Chennai: Minister for women and child development (WCD) Maneka Gandhi on Sunday favoured treating juveniles accused of heinous crimes like rape on par with adult offenders. Speaking to reporters, she said according to the police, 50% of all sexual crimes are committed by “16-year-olds who know the Juvenile Justice Act so they can do it.” “But now for premeditated murder, rape, if we bring them into the purview of the adult world, then it will scare them,” she said. Former WCD minister Krishna Tirath during the previous United Progressive Alliance regime had proposed that juveniles above 16 years guilty of heinous crimes be treated on par with adult offenders. The move was however opposed by various NGOs and National Commission of Protection of Child Rights which stated that such a proposal was against child rights.

Congress should not politicise Leader of Opposition status: Venkaiah Naidu
Sunday, 13 July 2014 – 4:51pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: PTI
Hitting out at the Congress, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Venkaiah Naidu today said it should not politicise the issue of Leader of Opposition status in Lok Sabha.
“Till day before yesterday, they had not asked for the recognition from the Speaker and have been going around criticising the government. They seem to have given a letter only day before yesterday,” he said.
“This blame game is not going to help. They should understand. They have so much to answer. There was no Leader of Opposition during Jawaharlal Nehru’s period,” he said, adding, there was none during Indira Gandhi’s or Rajiv Gandhi’s tenures too.
A decision on the Leader of Opposition will be taken by the Speaker soon, he said. “There are precedents, conventions and rules and regulations through which Speaker decides such things.”
Asked whether the government will offer Deputy Speaker’s post to AIADMK, Naidu said, “We have not offered (to AIADMK). We are discussing it. We are thinking of giving Deputy Speaker’s position to the Opposition – which party… because there are number of parties in the opposition also.”
On Hizbul Mujahideen’s reported threat against five individuals in Jammu and Kashmir, Naidu said terrorists and their masters will not be allowed to do what they want to.
“They want to create some panic, and at the same time Government of India is alive to the situation. They are taking all steps that are required to maintain peace and security in the country,” he said.
On Congress’ remarks that the budget is a continuity of the previous regime, Naidu said continuity is required for growth as coming to power does not mean the new government should cancel everything what the Congress did or UPA did.
“Whatever they could not do we are trying to improve upon that, and we have come out with our vision,” he said.
He accused Congress leaders of indulging in double speak over the budget presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.
“On one hand, Congress President (Sonia Gandhi) says that it is a copy of UPA policies and on the other hand, Congressmen are condemning the budget. How can these two things go together? This is nothing but double-speak as usual,” he said.
On the opposition taking jibe at “Acche Din” slogan, the Minister said good days do not come in one night, but the beginning has been made in this direction by drafting a roadmap to bring the economy back on track.

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