Legal press news for 27.08.2008

HC fines ex-IA pilot for misuse of PIL



NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has decried litigants who resort to filing PILs as a tool to settle personal scores or for publicity. Dismissing a PIL filed by a former Indian Airlines pilot claiming that unsafe landing procedure is thrust on IA pilots resulting in aircraft being flown in a hazardous manner, a division Bench of Justice Manmohan Sarin and Justice Manmohan recently slapped a cost of Rs 10,000 on him and termed it as a misuse of PIL.The present petition is without merit and is a misuse of public interest litigation,” HC noted while refusing to intervene on one Captain P N Sharma’s PIL relating to the emergency landing procedure of A-320 Bogie aircraft of IA. The court added, All the different agencies, authorities and the manufacturers have found the aircraft (A-320 ) airworthy and the suggestions made by the petitioner are neither feasible nor acceptable…. The suggestions of the petitioner had been given due consideration by the manufacturer Airbus Industrie, who after a comprehensive evaluation of the suggestions found that these were not practically feasible.”

HC was clear that since the landing procedure had been certified as correct and safe by the experts in the filed petition , the matter need not be pursued further. We are of the view that the matter must rest with the finding and opinion of the above experts and not permitted to be agitated any further.”

The petition was dismissed after the airlines convinced the judges that Sharma , who claimed to have 30 years experience of 16,000 flying hours, flying on various aircraft such as DC-3 , AVRO, Boeing 737, Airbus A 320, had moved this PIL because he entertained a sense of grievance against it and its staff. The airlines stated in the court that Sharma’s professional background has been such that he has tried to implicate his seniors who had found his job performance to be unsatisfactory.”

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, IA reminded HC that attractive


brand name of PIL should not be allowed to be used for suspicious products of mischief . It should be aimed at redressal of genuine public wrong or public injury and not publicity oriented or founded on personal vendetta.”Taking into account Sharma’s attitudinal problem and depression, the Bench refrained from imposing any hefty penalty on him and restricted itself to slapping a token cost of Rs 10,000 on Sharma. In these circumstances we would give to the petitioner the benefit of doubt that it may be the action of a person who misdirected him.”

While dealing with the case it emerged that Sharma had also filed a civil suit against IA and its top honchos and demanded a compensation of Rs 2.6 crores for cutting short his

career by 10 years by relentless harassment at work place” . The Bench made it clear that its observations in Sharma’s PIL would have no effect on the civil suit.toireporter@timesgroup .com



18 Jun 2008, 1605 hrs IST,TNN



Delhi High Court goes wi-fi



The Delhi High Court is all set to go high-tech as its premises is soon going to get a wi-fi facility.     

“We have identified 10 hot spots where the instruments would be put in place so that lawyers and others could have wireless internet access in the court premises without facing any glitches”, Delhi High Court Bar association’s president K C Mittal said.     
Apart from wi-fi, all the lawyer chambers will soon be connected through intercom and lawyers could contact their colleagues by just dialling the concerned chamber number, he said.     

“MTNL is working on the projects and we hope that at the end of this month wi-fi would be functional and all the chambers would be connected through intercom,” Mittal said, adding that he has been consulting various authorities to implement an e-filing system so that petitions could be filed through internet.    

Mittal said steps were also being taken to spruce up the security in the court complex in view of the recent terrorist attacks on court premises in different parts of the country.     

“Security is a major concern for us and it is also being spruced up with scanning machines being set up at the gates so that unwanted elements could be prevented from entering the court premises,” he said, adding that a railway reservation counter was also being set up inside the court premises.

Press Trust of India / New Delhi June 18, 2008, 18:15 IST



High Court rejects re-trial plea in Haren Pandya murder case

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has rejected a petition requesting for re-investigation and re-trial into the murder of the former Minister of State for Home, Haren Pandya, in which 12 people have been already convicted and sentenced to five years to life term by the special Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act (POTA) court.

A Division Bench of the comprising justice J. R. Vora and justice M. R. Shah found no case for re-trial and no reason to condone the delay in filing the application after the CBI opposed the petition. The petition was filed by the slain former Minister’s father, Vithhalbhai Pandya, who also wanted the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, be included as a respondent in the re-trial of the case.Mr. Pandya had right from the beginning maintained that his son’s murder was politically-motivated and was committed at the behest of Mr. Modi. He was unhappy that either the Detection of Crime Branch, Ahmedabad, which had initially investigated the murder case, or the CBI, which was handed over the responsibility after a few days of the incident, did not interrogate the Chief Minister or considered him as a possible suspect.

. Pandya was murdered on March 26, 2003, near Law Garden in Ahmedabad when he was alighting from his car for a morning stroll in the park. The CBI later arrested 12 people including three from Hyderabad, who were claimed to be contract killers and executed the job to take revenge for the killing of some Muslims in the post-Godhra communal riots in the State the previous year, even though Mr. Pandya was not holding the Home portfolio at the time of the communal holocaust.

The special POTA court judge, Sonia Gokani, on June 25, last year, pronounced the 12 accused as guilty in the case sentencing nine of them, including the Hyderabad-based alleged contract killers to life imprisonment and three others to five to seven years imprisonment. However, Pandya’s father felt that the POTA court’s judgement did not punish the “real culprits.”

Wednesday, Jun 18, 2008

Special Correspondent

Writ petition filed


Madurai, June 18 A writ petition was filed in the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court today seeking a direction to the Human Resource Department of the Central Government to collect data about the population of socially and educationally backward classes in the country.

A Division Bench, comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice M Venugopal, admitting the petition, directed the central government advocate to seek the government’s explanation on the issue.

The Petitioner, N Elango, an advocate here, submitted that proper data was required for the purpose of making adequate special provision for reservation for the advancement of the backward class.

According to the Petitioner,after 1931,there was no census of backward class people on the basis of caste. Besides, though the population of BCs was more than 70 per cent,the Mandal Commission had recommended only 27 per cent reservation.Hence it was not adequate compensatory provision for the large and major populated section of s were also trying to fix ceiling on percentage, it was submitted

Even the Supreme court had earlier pointed out that there was no material on head to fix the percentage.It would be arbitrary to say that the reservation should not exceed 40 per cent or 50 per cent or even sixty per cent. “To determine sufficiency or insufficiency of reservation up-to-date data is absolutely necessary,” the petitioner said. The National Commission for Backward Classes and State Commission for Backward Classes have prepared a list based on elaborate guidelines which had been framed after studying the criteria/indicators framed by the Mandal Commission and various other commissions.

The petitioner submitted that the respective commissions held 236 public hearings,and recommended 297 requests for inclusion.At the same time 288 requests for inclusion of the main castes had been rejected.The court accepted 27 per cent resevation, accepting the findings of the Mandal commission. But the petitioners in that case did not produce documents to show that BCS are less than 27 per cent,vis-a-vis the total population of the country or that there was no requirement of 27 per cent reservation for them, the petitioner contended

Published: Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Allahabad HC rebukes LDA for Sahara demolition





The Allahabad High Court today pulled up the Lucknow Development Authority for demolition of Sahara Sahar during the night without prior notice and asked the Uttar Pradesh government to restore possession of land to the Sahara Group company.    
Taking strong exception to the demolition drive being carried out by LDA late last night, the Lucknow bench of the high court directed the state government not to carry out such drives after 5 pm and before 9 am.    

The division bench comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Balkrishna Narain passed an interim order on a writ petition by Sahara India Commercial Corporation Ltd (SICCL) and gave the Chief Secretary a day’s time to comply.

Press Trust of India / Lucknow June 19, 2008, 16:24 IST


HC for recruitment rules in Meghalaya assembly

Shillong (PTI): The Gauhati High Court has observed that failure on the part of Meghalaya Assembly to frame recruitment rules for its employees led to allegations of biasness in recruitment of the assembly staff.

A Shillong bench of the court headed by Justice B D Agarwal observed that although the Meghalaya Legislative Assembly is a seat of framing rules, despite being constituted in 1972, it is yet to frame recruitment rules for the secretarial staff.

“Had there been rules, there would have been no scope for whimsical and excess appointment on temporary basis,” Justice Agarwal noted.

The bench was hearing petitions filed by 179 employees of the assembly secretriat in three groups following their termination of jobs after the change of government.

The employees were terminated from their jobs after the NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance wrested power from the Congress in the March three assembly elections.

The employees alleged that their services were dispensed with on flimsy ground of ‘over staff’ and that there has been discretion while retaining some of the employees.

The court, however, refused to entertain the petitions as “the cases stem out of termination of persons appointed against substantive posts and were not cases of ‘temporary appointees.’

Thursday, June 19, 2008

HC blow for UP govt, ‘Sahara Shahar’ can erect wall

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has said that Sahara India Pariwar has the right to construct the wall at ‘Sahara Shahar’ – the business conglomerate’s multi-crore complex in Lucknow.

On Wednesday, a team of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and Public Works Department (PWD) officials had demolished the outer walls and a watch tower of ‘Sahara Shahar’.

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to knock the Supreme Court against the HC verdict.

The Allahabad HC had on Thursday summoned LDA Vice-Chairman Ram Bahadur and his team along with the state PWD, which carried out the demolition work following a petition of Sahara India Commercial Corporation Limited.

The demolition drive is seen as the tug-of-war between the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP).

On behalf of Sahara, its counsel Virendra Bhatia contended that no further demolition should be taken and status quo maintained.

Another counsel for Sahara, Gaurav Bhatia said outside the court, that as of now they want an interim relief from the court and “contempt of the court matter would be taken at an appropriate time”.

Officials say the demolition drive started in an attempt to remove alleged encroachments by the Sahara group.

Published on Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 16:23, Updated at Thu, Jun 19, 2008 in Nation section

Stamp paper convict moves HC to reduce sentence


Chennai, June 19 One of the convicts in the multi-crore fake stamp paper scam today moved the Madras High Court seeking to reduce the sentence awarded by the CBI Special Court in the case.

The appeal petition was filed by C S Balaji, who was handed down seven years Rigorous Imprisonment (RI) in the fake stamp paper scam case, involving the kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi.

Balaji was lodged in Bangalore Central Prison.

In his petition filed by his counsel C S S Pillai, he also wanted the court to fully waive the fine of Rs two crore imposed on him by the trial court. Admitting the petition, Justice T Suthanthiram ordered notice to the CBI and posted the case for final hearing after two weeks.

In his petition, Balaji said he pleaded guilty in the trial court at the insistence of the CBI, which said the court would give lesser sentence.

”But I was given seven years RI by the trial court,” he said and pleaded the High Court to reduce the sentence.

After Special Public Prosecutor for CBI N Chandrasekaran, who was present, personally took cognisance of the notice, the Judge posted the matter for final hearing after two weeks.- Bureau Report

Published: Thursday, June 19, 2008

Nearly one-third posts vacant in Bombay HC



NEW DELHI: The High Courts in India are grappling with huge backlog of cases. Even the Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand HCs — which have moderate pendency compared to others — need urgent filling up of posts if the judiciary and the government do not want the arrears to inflate.The situation in the

Bombay HC, the second largest in terms of size and volume of work after Allahabad HC, is no better. The data released by the SC shows that of the 75 sanctioned posts, nearly one-third — 24 — are vacant. 25 out of 68 posts lying vacant in Punjab and Haryana HC.Vacancy against sanctioned posts in Andhra Pradesh HC is 19 out of 49, in

Calcutta HC, 18 out of 58; in Patna HC, 16 out of 43; in Delhi HC, 14 out of 48; and in Kerala HC, 13 out of 38. In all, the 21 HCs in different states should have had 876 judges, but only 594 of them are in place.The large number of vacancies is sure to tell on the speed of the justice delivery system, which is groaning under the load of 37.43 lakh pending cases in the HCs alone, not to talk of the 2.54 crore cases pending in the trial courts.

Allahabad HC accounts for a major chunk of the total pendency in HCs with an arrear of 8.19 lakh cases. The pendency in other major HCs is: Madras HC — 4.2 lakh; Bombay HC — 3.6 lakh; Calcutta HC — 2.8 lakh. In contrast, Delhi HC has less than one lakh pending cases.

Last year, the Centre had increased the strength of Allahabad HC from 95 to 160 to tackle the huge pendency of cases. But it has not improved matters as vacancy has gone up from 14 to 92. Over 57% of the sanctioned posts of judges are lying vacant. Chattishgarh HC has a sanctioned strength of 18 judges, of which 11 posts are lying vacant. In the Jharkhand HC, 11 of the 20 sanctioned posts are lying vacant.


19 Jun 2008, 0502 hrs IST,TNN



HC seeks reply from retd IPS for denying cancer drugs to ex-wife



NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has sought an explanation from a retired IPS officer as to why despite his previous assurance to court, he has failed to purchase and supply a key drug at subsidised rates to his ex-wife battling breast cancer. The life-saving drug’s exorbitant price has made treatment unaffordable for the woman.Justice S N Aggarwal has sought a reply from one Jai Kishan Balani whose divorced wife Vimla had moved HC earlier seeking directions to him that he pay a monthly amount of Rs 1.5 lakh to her so that she could continue taking the drug which otherwise is beyond her means.

The judge has also asked the DG of Central Government

Health Scheme (CGHS) to inform if the expensive drug needed for the Vimla’s treatment is available with it or not as Balani had earlier promised to foot the bill by procuring the drug through CGHS scheme at a subsidised rate.Accusing her husband of dragging his feet in providing her with the drug at a cheaper rate, Vimla, who has also challenged the divorce decree of a lower court separating the couple after 50 years of marriage, demanded that he cough up Rs 1.5 per month. The couple were divorced in November 2007.

Vimla, who was diagnosed with stage-3 breast cancer in 2007, requires a drug, Herceptin, to survive. Claiming she was forced by “economic compulsions”, Vimla appealed to the court to direct Balani to provide the drug either through his CGHS coverage or from the open market. Though Balani had earlier assured HC through his counsel that he would arrange for the drug, when this allegedly didn’t happen for four months, Vimla approached the HC again.

She alleged that during these four months the cancer cells in her body had become malignant and spread due to lack of Herceptin. Both Balani and the CGHS chief have to table their response before HC by June 23.


19 Jun 2008, 0502 hrs IST,TNN



HC mulls fines for failure on garbage



PANAJI/MARGAO: The high court of Bombay at Goa is seriously considering the imposition of a fine of Rs 1000 to Rs 5000 per day on local bodies till they start proper garbage disposal methods. The local bodies have been asked to start composting stations and until then the advocate general and advocate Norma Alvares, appearing as amicus curae in the case, are to file as to what steps can be taken to solve the garbage issue. If the local bodies fail to start proper garbage disposal, they would be liable to pay the fine.


The high court’s direction may help to bring in line erring civic authorities, especially in Margao, who have for long been ignoring the grave problem.

This direction assumes significance as it comes at a time when the situation at Sonsoddo garbage dump has worsened and has been welcomed by a number of NGOs and citizens of Margao.  

Margao First chairman and activist Vinayak Mordekar said, “This is a positive gesture. A small state like Goa can have a centrally located solid waste treatment plant but lacks government initiative. The intervention of the high court may activate the government to take appropriate measures.”

Mordekar has been instrumental in drawing strategies in dealing with garbage and demanding a solid waste garbage disposal plant for Goa. His project report entitled ‘We Love Margao’ highlights problems faced by citizens of Margao and incorporates suggestions and solutions. “Penalizing the civic authority is a good gesture. The high court taking cognizance of the grave concern afflicting Goa in recent years is in itself a partial success,” stated social activist Albert Fernandes.

Meanwhile, garbage in numerous wards of Margao and Fatorda remained uncollected on Wednesday. While citizens complained of a stench, MMC officials spoke of non-availability of workers and drivers.


19 Jun 2008, 0502 hrs IST,TNN



Why no case filed against Pune top cop, asks HC


Mumbai, June 18 The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked why the Anti-Corruption Bureau had not registered a case against Pune police commissioner Jayant Umaranikar for allegedly travelling to New Delhi at an accused person’s expenses in 2006.

A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice S S Shinde summoned the ACB investigation officer to the court on the next hearing on July 2. An NGO, Citizens’s Organisation For Public Opinion, filed a PIL alleging corruption in the Crime Investigation Department (CID) last year.

As an instance, it alleged that Umaranikar, who was

earlier Additional DGP of CID, had travelled along with the family to Delhi at the expense of one Sanjay Randive, a travel agent, who was a suspect in a case that CID was probing.

The PIL alleges that CID officers pressurized him to buy air tickets for their superior.

Today, public prosecutor Satish Borulkar argued that Randive did not have to bear the cost personally, as Umaranikar repaid him Rs 56,000 out of “secret service fund” of the police.

To this, Justice Nazki said, “It still amounts to misappropriation of public money.” The court has now said that it will ask the investigating officer why no case has been registered in this regard.

Express News Service

Posted online: Thursday , June 19, 2008 at 12:50:52
Updated: Thursday , June 19, 2008 at 12:50:52


HC asks CP to inquire into detainment of woman after sunset


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the Commissioner of Police to conduct an inquiry into a petition filed by a woman complaining that she was arrested by an officer after sunset, which is in violation of law.The petition filed by one Bharti Khandhar came up for hearing before Justices-B H Marlapalle and J H Bhatia who directed the Commissioner to submit a report on the inquiry conducted within three months.

Khandhar says that on June 13 last year, she was asked to accompany police officer Maruti Jadhav to Matunga police station. She asked Jadhav to first call a lady constable, which he did. Khandhar was taken to the police station and made her to sit in one corner, without disclosing why she was detained.

Later, Jadhav asked another officer Anant Gurav to arrest her, which was at 20.45 hours.

Khandhar”s sister, who accompanied her to the police station, then asked Jadhav why she was arrested. He informed that Allahabad court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Khandhar.

“Section 46(4) of the Criminal Procedure Code states that a woman cannot be arrested after sunset and before sunrise unless there are exceptional circumstances,” argued counsel Raja Thakare and advocate Shriram Shirsat on behalf of Khandhar.

Also, under exceptional conditions, the arrest has to be made by a lady officer after she has prepared a written report and sought permission from judicial magistrate, they added.




In fact, the magistrate court where she was produced the next day had observed in its order that there has been violation of Section 46(4), the lawyers contended. Khandhar and her husband are accused in some cases under Negotiable Instrument Act, Consumer Protection Act and the Maharashtra Protection of Investors and Depositors Act.The Allahabad court had issued NBW in one such case.

Maruti Jadhav, however, has said in his reply that Khandhar was making false allegations against him as she was in the police station from 17.45 hours.

The arrest was shown at 20.45 hours because Anant Gurav had the copy of the NBW. But he was on leave and was specifically called to execute it. He arrived only at 20.00 hours.

The officer has also stated in his affidavit that he had informed Khandhar about the NBW when he stopped her car on June 13 last year. She had then tried to speed her car to escape but he overtook her and asked her to accompany him.

They had waited till a lady constable had arrived and then proceeded to the police station.

He had only executed the order as part of his duty, Jadhav stated.



(MyNews Network)

Publication Date  18/6/2008 10:54:19 PM(IST)  

HC orders govt to act on water deal with India


Dhaka, June 19 ( – The High Court Thursday ordered the government to explain why the concerned authorities were not being directed to take steps to ensure procurement of water from the Ganges in line with an agreement with India. The court also ordered the government to take initiatives to reconsider the Ganges water sharing treaty through international forums, including the United Nations, according to international law and conventions.

It also sought an explanation from the government why authorities should not be directed to set up a Ganges/Padma barrage as an alternative source for ensuring adequate water supply.

A HC bench of justices Nazmun Ara Sultana and Md Rezaul Haque made the order following a public interest litigation petition filed by Supreme Court lawyers MK Muraduzzaman and Faruk Hossain.

The cabinet secretary, foreign secretary, secretary to the president, secretary to the ministry of forestry and environment and secretary to the ministry of disaster and relief were ordered to give their explanations within four weeks.

Advocate Tazul Islam, who stood for the petitioners, told the court that Bangladesh was supposed to get 67,516 cusecs (cubic feet of water per second) during each specified ‘period’. The Bangladesh-India treaty divides each month into three periods.

Bangladesh received only 55,556 cusecs in the first ten days of January, 2008, losing almost 12,000 cusecs during this period, he said.

Advocate Tazul added that the deal was supposed to be reviewed at least every five years, and sometimes less, according to the conditions of the water sharing pact.

There was scope in the treaty for Bangladesh to propose the time for a review, he cited.

But no such step has been taken in the past 12 years since the deal was signed, the lawyer said.

India breaches the conditions of the deal by depriving Bangladesh of water every year through the Farakka dam, Tazul said.

Supreme Court lawyers MK Muraduzzaman and Faruk Hossain filed their petition with the High Court on June 8, this year.

Deputy attorney general Idris Khan represented the state.

The 30-year Ganges Water Sharing Treaty between Bangladesh and India was signed on Dec 12, 1996.



Thu, Jun 19th, 2008 3:54 pm BdST



Centre formulating plan on climate change




The Centre is formulating a national action plan to find out measures to help adapt to consequence of climate change, Shyam Saran, special envoy of the Prime Minister said on Wednesday.”The plan will look at science behind the phenomenon of climate change, risks it poses to the country and to achievement of its economic and social development objectives”, Saran said at the Clean Air Summit being held in Bangalore.

The plan, expected to be released by the Prime Minister later this month, was formulated after deliberating with the academic institutions who are studying the subject closely.

”There will also be a strategy to enable India to pursue, in a significantly enhanced manner, sustainable development, which means a development pattern that assumes a graduated shift from fossil fuels to non-fossil fuels, non-renewable to renewable sources of energy and conventional to
non-conventional sources of energy”, he said.

”This would enable the country to stabilise its greenhouse gas emissions at a lower and more sustainable level and eventually reduce them significantly”, he said, adding the national action plan will also contain mechanisms for implementation of various policy measures.

”We envisage a key role for private sector and would welcome public-private partnerships to achieve the objectives of the plan”, he said.

There will also be an acknowledgement that in several areas reliance on market mechanisms may be more efficient in delivering results than administrative processes.

”There will be a focus on improving fuel efficiency and emissions standards for vehicular traffic and for promotion of mass public transportation in general”, he said.


Press Trust of India

Wednesday, June 18, 2008 (Bangalore)



Sahara allowed a breather, courtesy SC


It is time the RBI prohibited residual non-banking companies from collecting daily deposits. Banks anyway have such a deposit scheme in place and they are better placed to administer it. The scheme helps banks in achieving financial inclusion..


The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has allowed Sahara India Financial Corporation (SIFCL) to take a breather, courtesy the Supreme Court order dated June 9. The apex court advised the RBI to provide a personal hearing to SIFCL, although it observed that the RBI had complied with the rules of natural justice while passing its order of June 4, 2008 which prohibited SIFCL from accepting deposits from the public. The RBI order also directed SIFCL to repay the depositors upon maturity of the deposits and comply with all its directions.

However, the relief is available only upon fulfilment of certain conditions by SIFCL. The company has been directed to reconstitute its board within the next 30 days. Independent directors should be inducted into the board and they will ensure that the depositors are repaid in full. The new directors will have to be approved by RBI. The company already has on its board, inter alia, former RBI deputy governor, Amitabh Ghosh, former UP chief secretary Brijendra Sahay and ex-member of SEBI, Madhukar.

In spite of two former senior regulators and a former top bureaucrat being on the board, it is surprising that the company violated the RBI guidelines repeatedly. In the circumstances, whether the independent directors that the RBI speaks of will be able to justify the faith reposed in them by it is the question. ‘Active’ rather than ‘passive’ directors are needed. Passive directors, even if they have excellent credentials, will not be of much help.

Further, the company has to shut shop by 2015. In other words, its outstanding deposits should come down to zero by 2015; but it can resume collection of deposits and these deposits should mature by June 30, 2011, at the latest. Simultaneously, it has to progressively bring down the outstanding deposits in the next few years. What must have upset RBI in the first place is the fact that a large number of SIFCL accounts had turned irregular due to non-payment of instalments in recurring and daily deposit accounts where the investor can pay as little as Re 1 per day.

It is time the RBI prohibited residual non-banking companies in general from collecting deposits on a daily basis. Banks anyway have such a deposit scheme in place and they are better placed to administer this deposit scheme. The daily deposit scheme helps banks in achieving financial inclusion. This cannot be said of residual non-banking companies which collect deposits on a daily basis.

They do not have the same kind of expertise that banks have in administering the daily deposit scheme. The money collected through the daily deposit scheme is liable to misuse and abuse by the collection agents themselves. Given that the depositors subscribing to these schemes are from the poorer strata of society and are mostly uneducated, they do not understand the nitty-gritty of the scheme.

Thus, it becomes easier for vested interests to misuse and abuse the money. Eventually, it may snowball into a law and order problem for the state government once the depositors realise that they have been gypped. It is high time therefore that the RBI prohibited residual non-banking companies from accepting daily deposits.

CJ: S Shivakumar, merinews


‘Chandrachud, a multi-faceted personality’

New Delhi: The former Chief Justice of India, Y.V. Chandrachud, had pronounced a large number of landmark and notable judgments having far-reaching implications and made a rich and everlasting contribution to the legal history of the Supreme Court, said Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Friday.

In a Full Court reference to the demise of Justice Chandrachud (who died on July 14 at the age of 88) held in the First Court Hall, Mr. Justice Balakrishnan described the former CJI as a multi-faceted personality and it would not be easy to fill the void created by his death.

Justice Chandrachud became a judge of the Supreme Court in August 1972 and was appointed CJI in February 1978. He had the longest tenure as CJI and demitted office in July 1985.

Recalling some of the judgments in which Justice Chandrachud was a party, Mr. Justice Balakrishnan said that in the Shah Bano Begum case, he upheld the right of a divorced Muslim woman to get maintenance under Section 125 Cr.PC. He held that the provision was aimed at preventing vagrancy and destitution and cut across the barriers of religion professed by the parties or the state of the personal law by which “they are governed.”

In the Kesavananda Bharati case, Justice Chandrachud held, “if the State fails to create conditions in which the fundamental freedoms could be enjoyed by all, the freedom of the few will be at the mercy of the many and then all freedoms will vanish.”

In the Minerva Mills case, he said: “Constitution is a precious heritage; you cannot destroy its identity. This harmony and balance between fundamental rights and Directive Principles is an essential feature of the basic structure of the Constitution.”

In the Maneka Gandhi case, he held that “Indian citizens are entitled to exercise right to free speech and expression wherever they choose, regardless of geographical limitations and the Constitution does not confer any power on the executive to prevent the exercise of such a right on foreign soil.”

Justice Chandrachud was a rare combination of unquestionable integrity, erudition and friendliness, who earned respect from all who interacted with him, the CJI said.

Attorney-General Milon Banerjee also paid tributes to Justice Chandrachud.

Krishna Iyer’s remark

President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, P.H. Parekh, recalled the landmark judgments pronounced by Justice Chandrachud. He recalled Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer’s remark on Justice Chandrachud – “Justice Chandrachud was the rarest of rare as an accessible Chief on the Supreme Court Bench. He was a great judge. His vision was progressive, judgments were lucid, his jurisprudence was sound, his diction was exquisite and his performance on the Bench was perfect.”

Mr. Parekh said, “I adopt every word of Justice Krishna Iyer.”

Saturday, Jul 26, 2008

J. Venkatesan


HC ups software security



CHANDIGARH: Functioning of the Punjab and Haryana High Court registry has come under the scanner following indications that software may have been tampered and manipulated purportedly to ‘‘fix petitions’’ so as to avoid their placing before benches likely to give an adverse decision.On its part, the high court has acted quickly and gone into damage-control mode, taking a slew of initiatives to nip the evil in the bud. Importantly, even as the HC is moving very cautiously on the issue asserting that it is still to find any ‘‘credible’’ evidence of mischief, it has already pressed top-notch IT experts, some of them from abroad, to devise a fool-proof

security mechanisms. The move is aimed at insulating the HC registry’s computer network against attempts at unethical hacking and also to rule out any tinkering with authentic NIC-installed software.Though the HC dubs this as a pre-emptive step, there is talk that the move has come apparently in view of some serious lapses in the registry.

Sources disclosed to TOI that a request has been made to IT experts to install state-of-the-art software security tools, anti-virus devices and software security assurance kits that would assign a proper sensitivity category to data, records and other information.

The experts are said to be mulling over a configuration management and corrective action process to provide security for the existing software and to ensure the proposed changes do not inadvertently create security violations.

Brainstorming is also on to improve the software development process with fewer vulnerable aspects. Evaluation of various software packages like Firewall, etc, that are available to support software security assurance activities is also underway. Importantly, the issue would have got buried under the routine ‘‘technical fault’’ theory so often belted out by officials concerned but for the judiciary’s dogged efforts to get to the truth and save the image and integrity of the institution.

This is not all. Sources revealed that some cops were called initially to ‘‘scare’’ the staff into reveal the truth though no FIR has as yet been lodged and the entire matter is still shrouded in secrecy.

The Bar has always been rife with talks, howsoever unsubstantiated, of ‘‘fixing’’ petitions that indicate manipulation of the listing system in the registry.


26 Jul 2008, 0350 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma,TNN



HC to take up Stephen’s case



NEW DELHI: A petition challenging St Stephen’s College new reservation policy for appointment of teachers is likely to be taken up as a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) by Delhi High Court next week.The petition, filed by Sanjay Kumar Singh, a former student of the college and a lawyer by profession, has been listed for hearing before a Bench headed by Chief Justice on Monday.

Singh’s petition recently came up for hearing before Justice Vipin Sanghi who said, it was in fact “more in the nature of a PIL” which ought to be dealt by the Bench hearing PILs.

The judge came to this conclusion after realising that the issues raised by Singh were not connected to him but were in public interest. Seeking directions to Delhi

University that it bars reservation of seats for teachers in his former alma mater, Singh argues in his petition that the nature of functions of the college is of “overwhelming public import and significance.”“St Stephen’s College falls in the public domain,” adds the petition saying the public nature of functions makes it an institution of national importance where

teaching standards can’t be allowed to deteriorate – something which seems to have made the court earmark it as a PIL.Blaming the college administration for reserving seats at its “whims and fancies”, Singh predicts this would lead to “drastic and cascading decline” in teaching standards, impinging on the future of students. Pressing for rollback of reservation policy, the petition further argues that when the

college’s reputation has been built by equal contribution from citizens of all communities, the limit of freedom allowed to minority running the affairs of this college need to be restricted.Singh has also differentiated between quota for minority students and for teachers. “Impact of a teacher is always comprehensive on all whom he teaches and can’t be diluted… it is vital in that it can lessen the standards of an otherwise highly meritorious student or lift the standard of an average one.”


26 Jul 2008, 0131 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg,TNN


Girl need not remain unwed to claim dad’s job, says HC



CHENNAI: Should a girl claiming her deceased father’s job on compassionate grounds remain unmarried till the appointment formalities are completed?Not necessary, justice N Paul Vasanthakumar of the Madras high court has said.

Setting aside an order passed by the Directorate of Rural Development, rejecting the claim of G Girija, the judge said it was settled law that she was entitled to be considered for appointment, irrespective of the fact that she got

married during the pendency of her request.Girija’s father Udhayakumar was a junior assistant in the office of the assistant director of panchayats in Kancheepuram. He died in February 1991. Girija applied for compassionate appointment in June 1997. As she was the eldest in the

family, which had no other employed member, she was eligible for appointment. The department informed her that her representation could not be considered due to a ban on recruitment.When the ban was lifted in February 2006, Girija was asked to submit some more particulars. After complying with the requirements, she got married in September 2006, and informed officials about it. This time, the department rejected her claim by an order on December 7, 2007, stating that as she was married now, she was not entitled to get appointment on compassionate grounds.

Setting aside this order, Justice Paul Vasanthakumar, cited a division bench order, which said: “If an unmarried daughter, after getting employment on compassionate grounds has liberty to

marry, we fail to understand as to why an unmarried daughter, who makes such an application and is otherwise eligible, would be deprived of the right of getting employment.”The judge pointed out that Girija too was entitled to appointment. He asked the department to pass necessary order within four weeks.



26 Jul 2008, 0248 hrs IST, A Subramani,TNN



HC restores sailor’s honour

Digg it

Add to

Google bookmarks

Yahoo! bookmarks

Add to Newsvine

Add to Reddit

G Raghuram, a sailor whom the Indian Navy declared a deserter 10 years back, did not abandon his ship after all.

His wife Pratibha and her then three-month old child, who were asked to vacate their Navy-Nagar home in 1999 by the navy, may finally see light at the end of a long legal battle.

The Bombay High Court on Friday quashed the navy’s order declaring Raghuram deserter and said that he should have been assumed to be dead as he had been missing for a decade.

Under the Indian Evidence Act, a person is assumed to be dead if he/she has been missing for over seven years.

According to Pratibha’s advocate Satish Shah, the court said Pratibha would be entitled to her husband’s arrears and allowances from the navy as the quashing of the navy’s order declaring him deserter means that he had died performing his duty on the INS Viraat.

Raghuram who joined the navy in 1987, worked as a leading electrical mechanic aircraft radio (LEMAR) in the electrical department. However, while sailing aboard the INS Viraat, he reportedly went missing from Goa on November 10, 1998.

On December 15, 1998, Pratibha who then lived in Mumbai with her three-month old son, received a letter from SK Damle, commanding officer of INS Viraat stating that an arrest warrant for Raghuram was issued as he had deserted the ship. In February 1999, Pratibha was asked to vacate the navy quarters as the “deserter” label given to her husband had stripped her off all the benefits of a serviceman’s wife.

Pratibha had written to Damle stating that Raghuram, who had excellent service record, could not have deserted the ship. Nonetheless, she was evicted from her house. She moved court in 1999 and later moved to Warangal, Andhra Pradhesh to her father’s house.

While hearing reserving their order in the case in April, Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice AP Bhangale had remarked, “Every desertion may be absence but every absence cannot be desertion.”

Arguing her case, advocate Shah pointed out to the court that when the ship reached Goa on November 10, 1990 and the sailors had stepped out on the shore a head-count was conducted at the time of arrival and departure. Shah contended that the officers on the ship knew that he had not returned, yet no steps were taken to find him.

Mayura Janwalkar

Saturday, July 26, 2008  03:56 IST


Mangalore: HC dismisses case against wildlife activist


Mangalore july 26:  The State High Court has dismissed a defamation case filed by the Kudremukh Wildlife Division former DCF Anitha S Arekal against the proprietor of Athree book centre in the City, G N Ashokvardhan who also leads ‘Arohana Mountaineers and Adventurers’.

In reaction to a press statement by Mr Ashokvardhan that the DCF was withholding official information even when applied for as per the Right to Information Act, Ms Arekal had filed a defamation case against him in the Udupi District and Sessions Court early in 2004.

The court had dismissed the petition on September 14, 2004. However, Ms Arekal appealed the judgement in the High Court later. In its order dated September 21, 2007, the HC said: “It is difficult to know what was the nature of allegations or imputations made by the respondent-accused (Mr Ashokvardhan) against the petitioner (Ms Arekal) and in what manner such statement had affected her esteem and respect in public,” informed a release.
Thus the HC has upheld the judgement of the Udupi Sessions Judge, the release added.





HC notice to Gurgaon SDM for delay, contradictory orders



Chandigarh, July 25 The Gurgaon Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) is in the dock for allegedly sanctioning 22 adjournments in a case without any substantial reason and then passing two contradictory orders in the same case in a day.

A petition demanding action against J S Sangwan, the SDM, was filed today in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vijender Kumar Jain thus issued notices to the SDM; Financial Commissioner, Haryana Civil Secretariat and the Haryana government.

M Kumar, a resident of Gurgaon, sought action against the SDM for malafide intention in preparing an incorrect record of proceedings of the case.

The petition stated Sangwan did not sign the jimni orders of the case and also announced two orders on the same date, in complete contradiction to each other. The case pertains to encroachment of a panchayat land, which was forwarded to the SDM by Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner.

It has been alleged that the SDM did not take up the case and gave 22 adjournments. When he finally did take up the case, he passed two orders on the same day. While one order stated that the case had been adjourned for spot inspection, the other order claimed that the spot had been inspected.

The petitioner sought directions from the High Court that the records of the case be sealed and stay granted on the proceedings being presided over the SDM. Directions for registration of FIR against the SDM under Section 219 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) have also been sought.

Express News Service

Posted online: Saturday , July 26, 2008 at 01:00:25
Updated: Saturday , July 26, 2008 at 01:00:25


Axed for harassment, ex-official gets no reprieve from HC


New Delhi, July 25 The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to give any relief to a senior Central government official sacked for sexually harassing his office stenographer.

The court decision comes nine years after Deepa Sharma gathered courage to break her silence with a long letter to the Comptroller and Auditor General (C&AG) against her boss — then Principal Director of Audit, Dr Y R Midha. Sharma had complained to C&AG on two occasions in August 1999 against Midha.

She had recounted that the principal director made it a point to give her “special treatment”, and even prepared her horoscope, through which Midha allegedly insisted that she would leave her husband and child. She stated in the letter that Midha had repeatedly hurled abuses at her when she refused his overtures and even persuaded her to leave her family for him.

“I was always afraid and kept quiet,” said Sharma in her letter to the C&AG, “But strict action should be taken against him. If such people are left alone, they will inflict mental tension to many other girls.

An inquiry panel to probe her allegations found a prima facie case of sexual harassment against Midha. In its report dated November 19, 1999, the panel stated: “It was Midha’s duty as the head of the office to prevent sexual or any other kind of harassment to a woman employee.… But he was himself indulging in it with subordinate staff who had no recourse to protection.”

The committee termed Midha’s conduct “reprehensible”.

A second investigation by the disciplinary authority initiated on the basis of the panel report recommended the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) that Midha should be dismissed.

Subsequently, the senior official was dismissed in September 2001.

A challenge put up by Midha against his dismissal before the Central Administrative Tribunal went in vain. Following this, the former official approached the High Court.

Appearing before a Division Bench led by Justice Mukul Mudgal, the dismissed official argued that Sharma’s complaints against him were “motivated”, and the inquiry findings “perverse” to an extent that evidence linked to show his innocence were completely ignored.

But dismissing his petition as untenable under law, the court took offence with the fact that Midha had subjected his victim to a “cross-examination” for about 10 hours during the departmental inquiry hearings. “It was a departmental inquiry and not a criminal trial,” the Bench observed. “A cross-examination of the complainant (Sharma) in a sexual harassment case cannot be used to harass and outrage her modesty further.”

Express News Service

Posted online: Saturday , July 26, 2008 at 01:00:25
Updated: Saturday , July 26, 2008 at 01:00:25


HC directive to Govt

 GUWAHATI, July 25 – The Gauhati High Court today directed the State Government and its agencies to carry detained ULFA leader Pradip Gogoi to his ancestral house at Baghsu Maut Gaon on July 28 to pay homage to his deceased elder brother Dharmeswar Gogoi. The court of Justice I A Ansari, however maintained that the ULFA leader be carried keeping him under detention, with such arrangements of security, as may be necessary, to his ancestral house on July 28 for such period as may be deemed reasonable by the respondents/authorities concerned.For this purpose, the petitioner (Gogoi) may be carried to and be kept detained at any such place or places, where according to the respondents/authorities concerned, the petitioner may, for reasons of security and other relevant reasons be kept, said the court in its order.

It needs mention here that Gogoi had petitioned the court under Article 226 of the Constitution of the country for issuance of appropriate direction to the authorities concerned for his temporary release to enable him to pay homage to his deceased elder brother Dharmeswar Gogoi who died on June 29 last at his native village.

Advocates BK Mahajan, A Choudhury, R Ali, P K Das and NJ Das represented Gogoi while Government Advocate of the State represented the State Government and its agencies in the court.


By A Staff Reporter





Reservation Reservoir: A balloon that is set to burst




NEW DELHI: The balloon of quota goodies seems to be made of strong elastic. More and more groups are muscling in, yet the balloon seems to be allaccommodating . Logically, a stage will come when everyone is in the balloon and none without! And that is when the balloon will burst, and we all will have a great fall — humpty-dumpty like.

The recent Gurjars agitation provided ample symptoms of a country entrapped in the caste paradigm and its deep malaise, an internecine fighting with a potential to wipe each other out like the proverbial Kilkenny cats which fought till none survived.  

The Supreme Court was constrained to term these events “a national shame” . Tolerating, condoning or rewarding such lawless xenophobia has only caused it to spread and become more extreme and more ugly, breeding acrimony, hostility and enmity that saps the vitality and splits the society. None in any party wants to be labelled, as they perceive, as an elitist. The pusillanimous leadership is seen invariably caving in. Even those who tout Gandhi and Nehru as their lodestars choose to remain oblivious of their presciene and wisdom, of Panditji clearly maintaining, “in reservation lie not only folly, but disaster.”

The 14th amendment to the Constitution provides explicit exceptions for benefits to the SCs/STs outside the Hindu caste system and OBCs. The last proviso especially has created opportunity for many other groups to get themselves collectively designated among the OBCs. In 1997, organised efforts were begun to seek preferential treatment for India’s 15 million eunuchs. In 2001, a rally in Rajasthan protested against the inclusion of new groups among OBCs, demanding, “separate fixed quotas for original backwards” so that “new entrants” would not reduce the existing benefits for which the preferences were created.


A clamour for proliferation of benefits has been widespread, a ceaseless yearning to grossly increase the number to eke benefits as it happened in the US, for example , the number of individuals identifying themselves as American Indians in US Census during the affirmative action era, or among the aboriginal population between the 1981 and 1986 censuses in Australia. In the 1990s, more than 10 million Chinese proclaimed their ethnic minority status in order to gain preferential treatment, such as in college admissions.

World’s largest multi-ethnic society and the most socially fragmented, that India is, has been buffeted. Severe anomalies have cropped up. People who were not born SCs held a majority of the seats set aside for SCs in Rajasthan, for example. At one time, 16 of the 28 legislators holding seats reserved for SCs in the state had acquired SC certificates by being adopted. Group polarisation has tended to increase in the wake of preferential programmes; and fraudulent claims of belonging to the designated beneficiary groups have been widespread. India has had quotas and reservations for decades, for jobs in government and in PSUs. Disparities among OBCs and SCs/STs have been glaring, and growing. Those at the bottom of the ladder have not gained from the quotas. Many places have been filled disproportionately by the more fortunate members of the less fortunate groups. Reservations and quotas have created an elite minority among the disadvantaged masses. Some families, now into the third generation or more, have been benefiting from reservations. It is they who now look for opportunities at the top of the pyramid.

Marc Galanter in Competing Equalities points out that, in Tamil Nadu, the highest of the so-called ‘backward classes’ legally entitled to preferences, constituting 11% of the total ‘backward classes’ population in the state, received almost half of all jobs and university admissions set aside for these classes.

In Malaysia, where there are preferences for the indigenous bhumiputras (‘ sons of the soil’ ), Malay students , whose families were in the top 17% of the income distribution, received just over half of all scholarships awarded to Malays. Malay masses provided the political support for preferential policies that benefited the Malay elite – in the name of the masses. Likewise, in Sri Lanka, preferential university admissions for people from backward regions benefited primarily students from affluent families in those regions.

The quota concept runs contrary to the goal of social upliftment, of an egalitarian society. It runs counter to self-esteem of the beneficiary as well. The SC/ST label in government and private sector employee goes to keep the SC/ST person permanently segregated. A look at stigmatised ‘underclass culture’ in American cities enables seeking a product of that oppressive history perpetuated now via discrimination. People with particular race-markers become stigmatised – seen by their fellows as ‘damaged goods’ . Preferences stigmatise the beneficiaries by creating the impression that they could not succeed without being given some advantage over others.

There are lessons to learn. As the noted US sociologist Thomas Sowell puts it, if studying history is one way to avoid repeating it, there is much in the history of affirmative action policies that should never be repeated. The poverty rate among blacks in US was cut in half before there was affirmative action and has changed little since then. The empirical evidence is clear that most blacks got themselves out of poverty in the decades preceding the civil rights revolution of the 1960s and the beginning of affirmative action in the 1970s.

The aim to have an ‘inclusive’ and ‘equitous’ social order is laudable, even noble. We want to right a horrible wrong of history and give a leg up to our weaker fellow humans. Lending a hand to a weak person (and in this quota context, we are talking of economically weak) is fine. But should we lend a hand to a person who has employment, sends his children to school, and eats his three square meals a day only because he belongs, in birth and name only, to a weaker section? ‘To each according to his needs’ should be the motto, and all links of creed, colour, caste, sub-caste , region, history, and sentiment and, above all, politics ruthlessly severed. The quota regime testifies James Buchanan’s theory of vote maximisation behaviour of the politician with a ‘short fuse’ . Sowell’s global findings on the error of such a ‘quick fix’ are indeed revealing. The political masters look for facile ways out, politically attractive ‘quick fix’ , instead of arduous and less glamourous path of sustained development of the disadvantaged through human capital formation. As Sowell succinctly says, every evil of past generation and past century will remain indelibly and irrevocably evil, in spite of anything that we can do now. Acts of symbolic expiation among the living simply create new evils.

Populist politicians should not be allowed to deflect the attention from the central question how to redress complex inequalities, both social and economic. Our sovereign masters, as they claim to be, need to introspect why even after a long half a century and more, there has been no review of the policy. There is need for a whole new look at reservations and quotas. Are quotas expected to last in perpetuity? And expand too? Dr B R Ambedkar himself emphasised the provisions made for SCs/STs would need to be temporary, and as the duration of preferential treatment was to be limited, so was its scope to be limited.


In other spheres, we have been doing away with quotas . And we have done well with the declining phenomenon of licence-quota raj. Why must be have the reservation-quota regime in the ascendance? In fact, there is need even for parliamentary and state legislatures to review the separate electoral status for SCs/STs. While quotas have enabled the representation of SC/ST groups in Parliament, policy outcomes for them have been far from adequate.

There is need to redefine backward class independent of caste; there is an urgent need for the electoral process to let rural segments be weaned away from caste bias; there is need to effectively eliminate the creamy layer, as there is need to establish a research centre with eminent social, economic and political scientists to look into the entire gamut, to evolve a framework for alternative broadbased affirmative action programmes. (The author is a freelance writer)


5 Jul, 2008, 0434 hrs IST,Raghu Dayal,







SC judge for more awareness on intellectual property rights

Chennai (PTI): There should be more awareness among the advocates and the general public on intellectual property rights, Supreme Court Judge Justice Altamas Kabir said on Saturday.

“Intellectual Property rights is not a new concept, its age old one but still there is not much awareness among advocates and common public,” he said at the inauguration of the Judges’ Round Table on Intellectual Property Rights Adjudication organised by the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

“Today there are a lot of developments in trade and we have opportunities to know about the laws on Intellectual Property in various countries. But, there is not much awareness,” he said.

“There are 75 cases on patent rights (pending) in the Delhi High Court and some cases in Mumbai and Chennai High Courts and the law provided for imprisonment of three years,” he said referring to a case won by an Indian in United States on patent rights on Basmati rice.

The judge asked state governments to play a vital role in balancing the cost of medicines to common man, as some companies holding the patent rights sold them at high cost.

FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council Chairman M Rafeeque Ahmed said “Receving the benefits of intellectual property rights is not automatic. It requires favourable legal, regulatory and policy frameworks.”

There was need to have enforcement, not merely at the Central Government level but also at the state level – the state police, the state judiciary, the customs all have to get involved in better enforcement, he added.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Govt to SC: What’s the exact grievance on power?



NEW DELHI: Delhiites, reeling under long unscheduled power outages, will not appreciate this tongue-in-cheek reply from the Delhi government on Friday in the Supreme Court, when it sought details of the steps taken to get over the continuing power crisis in the Capital.The Sheila Dikshit government’s counsel Ashok Bhan said: “What is the exact grievance? We have filed an affidavit detailing how Delhi’s power situation is going to be augmented by 2011, making it a power-surplus state.”

Amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar told a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi that despite the petition on power crisis in Delhi pending for the last nine years, the government has not been able to arrange adequate power to meet the demand, which keeps increasing every year.

He said with the government deciding to regularise 1,400-odd unauthorised colonies and several illegal structures, the demand would increase rapidly. This would only worsen the power situation in the capital, where residents at present face three to four hours of power cut every day.

Apart from reeling out figures for future augmentation of power, the Delhi government has said nothing in its affidavit to meet the crisis, which gets acute during peak hours, Kumar said.

In response to the amicus curiae’s power chargesheet against the government, Bhan repeated his argument: “We have filed an affidavit responding to the apex court’s query. What is the exact grievance? If anyone has any grievance, let them file an affidavit stating the same and we would reply to it.”

The nonchalant response, despite a specific grievance being made about the government’s silence about steps to improve the present power situation, irked the Bench, which said: “The exact problem is power shortage. What else did you think it is?”

Bhan explained: “Delhi has a peculiar problem. The government will file an affidavit in two weeks explaining the problem.”

The court, which had taken suo motu notice of the power crisis in the capital in 1999, had on May 5 last year asked the government to give details of the demand and supply position as well as future plans to augment power generation. Conceding a wide gap between demand and supply, the government had said: “Generation/availability within Delhi could not be increased to keep pace with the demand due to various constraints such as environmental considerations and non-availability of any fuel such as coal, gas and hydro within the vicinity of Delhi.”

Thus, Delhi is unable to add anything to the current generation capacity, it added.

However, it did present a detailed chart on the availability of electricity, with the commissioning of several power stations by 2011-12 and said: “Delhi may become a power surplus state by the end of 11th Plan, that is 2011-12. However, during the period 2006-07 to 2009-10, additional power is required to be arranged to meet peak hour shortages as is being done at present.” It had also said the entire country is going to be integrated to a single electrical network by 2008-09 through the formation of a National Power Grid. “The additional power requirement of the region could be met through any sources situated in other regions,” it said.



26 Jul 2008, 0140 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN



SC breather for Maya in DA case



NEW DELHI: Excessive work-load on the Chief Justice’s bench has given UP chief minister Mayawati an unexpected breather in the disproportionate assets case, in which the CBI had expressed its keenness to chargesheet her. Mayawati who has emerged as the unanimous leader of the third front had a pleasant surprise in store on Friday when the DA case, which was scheduled to be heard on July 28 by a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, was suddenly dropped from the list and is now posted for hearing on November 3.

The CBI, whose affidavit against the Uttar Pradesh chief minister is seen by many as influenced by the rapprochement between her rival, Samajwadi Party and Congress, was expected to seek SC’s nod on July 28 to file the chargesheet against her.

Detailing the disproportionate assets amassed by Mayawati and her relatives between 1998 and 2003, CBI had expressed its readiness to chargesheet her claiming to have gathered ‘unimpeachable evidence’.

Mayawati, who saw a plot in the Congress-led UPA government’s plan to ‘leak’ the affidavit when the political tension were rising during the run-up to the trial of strength in Parliament on the nuke deal, was waiting for government’s fresh moves as she weighed the option whether or not to file a rejoinder to the CBI affidavit.


She did not have to do anything. “We have moved no application after CBI filed its affidavit,” said UP additional advocate general Shail K Dwivedi. However, the Supreme Court on its own deleted her petition from the July 28 list of cases and assigned a new date more than three months later.

The listing branch has assigned a commonly cited reason for the deletion – ‘excess cases before the Chief Justice on July 28’. This means, the CBI may not be able to file the chargesheet till November 3, if it does not seek an early hearing to press for going ahead with the challan against her. On May 15, Mayawati had filed a writ petition before the apex court seeking quashing of the DA case against her alleging that CBI had become a tool in the hands of the Congress-led coalition at the Centre to persecute her and harass her politically.

She had also sought defreezing of her account containing Rs 2 crore and doing away with the condition to seek prior permission of the special judge before undertaking any foreign tour.


Responding to the petition, CBI in its affidavit had turned the heat on her by accusing Mayawati and her relatives of having bought over 90 plots in five years and opening more than 90 bank accounts to keep the unaccounted money and for illegal transactions.


26 Jul 2008, 0140 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN



SC reserves judgement on Vedanta’s mining project in Orissa news


Mumbai: The Supreme Court today concluded hearings on a case filed by local people against Vedanta Resources’ open-cast mine project in the Niyamgiri hills in Orissa.

The bauxite is meant to feed the aluminium smelter of Vedanta subsidiary Sterlite Industries there.

The court is expected to issue a written order on the ”modalities and conditions” under which mining could proceed,  ActionAid, which has been campaigning against the mine, said.

The Supreme Court, however, did not give a date for delivering the judgement.

The court had earlier asked Sterlite to draw up a rehabilitation and environmental protection package as a condition for giving the green light to the mining project.

Sterlite has agreed to pay compensation to tribals displaced by the mine and has promised to spend five per cent of the profits from the bauxite mine and its smelter nearby, on rehabilitation.

ActionAid, however, said the tribals and conservationists would continue their fight against the mine irrespective of the judgement.

They said their struggle is not just about financial gains or losses, but is more about environment and livelihoods in general.

The local Dongria Kondh tribe and their conservationist friends say the mine will destroy hills they consider sacred, force them out of their homes and destroy their forest-dependent livelihoods.

They also criticised the government for wholesale sell-off of precious minerals for a pittance.

Counsels appearing for the tribals also demanded a more detailed rehabilitation package.

26 July 2008






Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: