Daily Legal News, 28.07.08

SC rejects petition on Gujjar agitation

New Delhi, June 19: The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed a petition that sought action against members of the Gujjar community for holding several parts of the country to ransom by indulging in violence on the issue of community’s demand for ST status.
A vacation bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and G S Singhvi directed the petitioner Lakhan Singh to approach the Rajasthan High Court for appropriate remedy as the latter was already dealing with the issue.
The bench also questioned Pallav Shishodia, counsel for the petitioner, as to why he did not approach the apex court immediately after the agitation turned violent a year ago.
It pointed out that since the petitioner had moved a petition before the High Court, he was bound to wait for its verdict on the issue.
Lakhan Singh in his petition before the apex court had alleged that the Rajasthan Government despite specific directions from the High Court to act tough in preventing violence had been going soft on the community’s agitators due to political compulsions.
Singh in his petition submitted that the Gujjar leaders like Kirori Singh Bainsla and Roop Singh had committed contempt of the Rajasthan High Court by defying the various orders passed by it.
According to the petitioner, the Rajasthan High Court in a series of directions had restrained the Gujjar community from indulging in violence, “rasta roko” and bandhs that could violate the Fundamental Rights of the citizens.
But despite the directions, the Gujjar community, had resorted to large scale violence in Rajasthan and several other northern States to put pressure on the Government for granting it ST status.
Posted online: Thursday , June 19, 2008 at 06:49:01Updated: Thursday , June 19, 2008 at 06:49:01

Raje’s quota sops ignite legal debate

After raining reservation sops, the Raje government is now getting ready to give them some concrete shape by handing out a total of 19 per cent new quotas to Gujjars and the economically weak among the Upper Castes.With this move, the Raje government has surprised everyone. And now it’s looking for ways to escape the legal tangles. “We will try to remove all legal hurdles. Besides the Gujjar agitation, lots of other caste organisations like those of Rajputs and Brahmins have been agitating for reservations. We have given all these benefits to prevent clashes and promote social justice,” said Ghanshyam Tiwari, Law Minister, Rajasthan.But these government’s claims don’t convince legal experts. They say the five per cent quota to Gujjars has breached the Supreme Court ceiling of 50 per cent and can’t be implemented without a constitutional amendment.They also claim that under Article 16 of the Constitution, there’s no provision to grant reservations on an economic basis and the promise of quotas for the poor among the Upper castes is meaningless. “The government will not be able to give any quotas for the Upper Castes or for Gujjars as they have no right to create any new categories of reservations. These decisions violate the norms of the constitution and are little more than dramatic gestures,” said Justice Pana Chand Jain, Retd Judge, Rajasthan High Court. The ‘please all’ plan of handing out additional quotas is a shrewd move to garner votes for the election-bound Raje government. But if all this was possible and is legally permissible, the big question is why was the Gujjar agitation that’s made countless people suffer; allowed to simmer for almost a month. Rajan Mahan
Friday, June 20, 2008, (Jaipur)

Transfer judges whose kin practice in the same HC: Bar Assn http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Transfer_judges_whose_kin_practice_in_the_same_HC_Bar_Assn/articleshow/3147578.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court Bar Association today passed a resolution requesting the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and Supreme Court Collegium to transfer all the judges of the Gujarat High Court whose children or kin are practicing in the same institution, officials in the association said. They, however, refused to divulge the reason behind the move. It has also requested the Bar Council of Guajrat and the Bar Council of India to clarify or amend it, if needed, the Rule 6 of the Council which deals with the transfers of judges, they added. The resolution has futher requested the CJI and the SC Collegium to transfer all the High Court judges posted in Gujarat from outside, if their children or kin start practicing in the Gujarat High Court, they further said. The resolution was passed unanimously with only four members out of the 643 opposing it, general secretary of Gujarat High Court Bar Association Sandeep Bhatt said. According to Association President Yatin Oza, they will be making representation in this regard to the CJI in form of a prayer soon. Oza said that they will not declare the reasons for their such demands to the media but would represent it to the CJI. “The president and general secretary have been authorised by the members to make representation to the CJI. The representation will be made in consultation with five member committee of the Association comprising of senior advocates of Gujarat High Court,” Oza said. “It will be an oral representation where we will put forward the reason behind this resolution,” he said.
20 Jun, 2008, 0933 hrs IST, PTI

Lawyers’ forum plea to CJI
KOLLAM: Bharatheeya Abhibhashaka Parishad has called upon the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan not to receive the LLD degree offered to him by Kerala University.In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Parishad state general secretary R Rajendran said that the organisation doubt that dubious intentions were behind the university move to offer a degree to the Chief Justice as the university was reeling under the cloud of many allegations.
Thursday June 19 2008 12:10 IST
Express News Service

Thiruvananthapuram: HC adjourns petitions relating to Golf Club takeover

The Kerala High Courthas adjourned petitions relating to the Thiruvananthapuram Golf Club takeover case till June 30.
The petitions that came up before Justice S Sirijagan included those filed by the club authorities on the review petition filed by Revenue Priciple Secretary Nivedita P Haran.
The State Government informed the court that they would file a counter affidavit within ten days on the petition, challenging the eviction of Thiruvananthapuram Golf Club.

LDA to file writ petition challenging Allahabad HC order

Lucknow, June 20: Lucknow Development Authority today said it would file a writ petition challenging the Allahabad High Court order rebuking it for demolitions in the Sahara group-promoted mega project Sahara City here and directing restoration of possession of land to the company. The LDA alleged that the Sahara India management has wrongly stated in the media that the action was taken without any prior notice or an opportunity of hearing and that officers of LDA had violated the up planning and development laws.”The construction by Sahara India Group on the alignment land of scheduled Zonal road and green belt under Lucknow Master Plan was completely illegal and the vice-chairman of LDA had called a meeting on June 13, in connection of encroachment removal, in which Amithabh Rai and J C Kukreti participated on behalf of Sahara Group.”In this meeting, the representatives of the Sahara Group accepted that it had illegal possession on 30 metre wide road and they agreed for removal of the illegal construction, in lieu of which the Sahara Group itself demolished 1,400 metre long wall on the night of June 17 but it did not remove the illegal construction on the Zonal road which had been removed by the LDA later on,” the spokesman said in a release.The spokesman said a decision has been taken to immediately file a writ in the Supreme Court against the order passed by the Lucknow Bench of the High Court. The statement of Sahara Group that it had not received any notice regarding the action of encroachment removal is “completely baseless and false”, the spokesman alleged, adding the LDA had given the directives to the representatives of Sahara Group, from time to time, for removal of encroachment but it did not “pay any heed”.The LDA spokesman also said that action of encroachment removal had been taken at several places in Lucknow and others parts of the state earlier too and there was no question of any discrimination with regard to taking action.He refuted the allegation that the action was taken due to political malice and added the action taken by the LDA was in accordance with the law and in public interest.The spokesman also termed the statement of Abhijeet Sarkar as “baseless and false” that LDA had taken the illegal action with a view of expanding Ambedkar Park and for it some part of the 15 year’s old Sahara city construction had been demolished. Bureau Report

HC notice to TNCA

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered notice to the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) on a suit seeking a permanent injunction restraining the TNCA from giving effect to its letter of recognition to a list of office-bearers of the Thoothukudi District Cricket Association (TDCA), and consequently recognise the duly-elected members of the petitioner’s association.
According to R. Muthu Manoharan, president of the Thoothukudi District Cricket Association, he being a member of TNCA was entitled to attend and vote in the AGM of TNCA apart from certain other benefits and concessions.
The elections for the TDCA for 2007-2010 was held on December 19 last year under the supervision of three eminent local people and it was conducted in a manner known to law and office-bearers were elected.
He sent a letter to the TNCA with the list of elected office-bearers, but there was no reply. Later, one V.R. Sivakumaran claiming to be the secretary of the TDCA sent a circular stating that TNCA had approved his (Sivakumaran) list of office-bearers by a letter dated January 25 this year. The petitioner said the action of the TNCA was highly arbitrary.
When the matter came up before Justice V.R. Ramasubramanian he ordered notice to the respondent. He posted the matter for June 24 for filing counter.
Special Correspondent
Friday, Jun 20, 2008

HC tells UP govt to back off on Sahara demolitions

LUCKNOW: It’s been a season of close shaves for the Sahara group. First, it won a reprieve from the RBI that had disallowed Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd (SIFCL) from accepting fresh deposits from investors and then rescinded that order. On Thursday, the Allahabad High Court pulled up the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) for ordering demolition of large portions of Sahara Shahar and ordered the Mayawati’s government to restore the possession of the land to Sahara group. While LDA standing counsel P N Gupta said the civic body will file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the order, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court’s censure is pretty strong. Describing Wednesday night’s demolition job at Sahara Shahar as a “blatant abuse of power by LDA officials”, the court said the group could make necessary constructions on the said land to safeguard its property. However, it added a caveat saying any construction by Sahara would be subject to final outcome of the regular suits against it pending in local civil courts. Without any prior notice, LDA bulldozed the Sahara property to clear alleged encroachment on a zonal road that is part of Lucknow’s Master Plan. The exercise took place in the presence of heavy security armed with tear gas and in riot control gear. Onlookers were cleared out from the vicinity. Taking serious note of earlier demolition drives by the state government in wee hours, a vacation bench comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice Bala Krishna Narayana directed that henceforth the administration “would not initiate to demolish any building or structure whether it belongs to public body, corporation or state without passing and serving a written order in advance before 9 am and after 5 pm”. This isn’t the first time that Subroto Roy’s Sahara Shahar has faced the heat from the state government. According to the petition filed by the counsel for Sahara, Raghvendra Singh, the Kalyan Singh-led BJP government in UP had prepared a plan in 1997 to demolish the structures within Sahara Shahar. It was against this move that Sahara had filed regular suits in the civil court and subsequently got stay on various occasions. According to the petition (moved on the intervening night on June 18 and June 19, 2008), the civil court on September 1, 1997 had told the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) that Sahara would not be dispossessed of the property “illegally”. The civil court then in September 1997 had directed Lucknow Development Authority “not to disposess Sahara” of the property. Almost eight months later, in May 1998, the civil court maintained that “no hindrance would be created with regard to that land and any structure would not be raised illegally.” Once again, the civil court on December 19, 1998 maintained the status quo.
20 Jun 2008, 0339 hrs IST, Ravi Singh Sisodiya,TNN

ONGC wins legal battle in Australia

NEW DELHI: $21.5 million or Rs 100 crore is the fruit of a sweet legal victory which Oil and Natural Gas Corporation earned in the Federal Court of Australia against Perth-based Clough Engineering this week. This ruling legally arms ONGC, which had accused Clough of non-performance in the development of deep sea blocks in the Krishna-Godavari basin off the Andhra Pradesh coast, to encash the performance guarantee given by the Australian firm. The Perth-based firm, in its contract with ONGC, had agreed to settle any difference with the Indian PSU through arbitration in accordance with Indian laws and to the exclusive jurisdiction of courts in India. But when its performance guarantee was revoked by ONGC in 2005, Clough moved the Federal Court in Australia in breach of its earlier commitment and got an injuction against the PSU, said ONGC counsel R Sasiprabhu. The present ruling from the Federal Court marks an end to a year-long battle by Clough to maintain the interim injunction, which related to a dispute over ONGC’s unfinished $215 million contract for the development of G1 (deep sea) and GS15 field in the K-G basin, from which Clough was fired in 2005, he said. ONGC contested the claim of Clough before the Federal Court that the Indian PSU was not entitled to encash the bank guarantee and that it would not be illegal to invoke the jurisdiction of the Australian courts under the Trade Practices Act of Australia. After hearing the warring parties, the Federal Court ruled that ONGC did not engage in unconscionable conduct by invoking the performance guarantee and castigated Clough as the real culprit which breached the contract agreement relating to extension of guarantees and insurance policies, Sasiprabhu said. In addition, the Australian court has also asked Clough to pay litigtational cost to ONGC. It said: “The performance bank guarantees were unconditioned on any actual breach and did entitle to call upon them for their full amount.”
27 Jul 2008, 0437 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

Taxation : Tax payers can pay income tax through any bank account

Tax payers can now deposit income tax from the bank accounts of any person in addition to credit and debit cards, the Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) said. The decision has been taken following representation from certain domestic and foreign taxpayers, who said they were facing difficulties in complying with the mandatory e-payment of taxes. Earlier, the CBDT had made it mandatory for companies, and businesses and professionals covered under audited results, to electronically pay taxes with effect from April this year. “An assessee can make electronic payment of taxes also from the account of any other person. However, the challan for making such payment must clearly indicate the Permanent Account Number (PAN) of the assessee on whose behalf the payment is made,” said a CBDT notification. Tax authorities said that it was not necessary for taxpayers to pay taxes from their own accounts in an authorised bank. Further, payment of any amount by a deductor by way of tax deducted at source (TDS) or tax collected at source (TCS) would also be accepted. Foreign assesses said since they do not have a presence in India, they were unable to meet the know-your-customer norms of the banks and thus open bank accounts and make payment of taxes, through the electronic mode. The tax authorities said tax payers could pay taxes electronically through internet banking facility of authorised bank, credit cards or debit cards as well. The sources said the department has also received complaints from number of domestic companies that they were facing difficulties in availing internet banking facilities of the authorised banks. By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Personal_Finance/Pay_income_tax_through_any_bank_ac/articleshow/3274435.cms
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Criminal Law : Banks liable in cheque forgery cases

A Mumbai resident recently filed a case in the consumer court against a bank for negligence and deficiency in service. He alleged that his cheque book was misused and fraudulently Rs 40 lakh was withdrawn from his account when someone forged his signature on the cheque leaves. According to Mumbai consumer activist Jehangir Gai, the bank admitted that it hadn’t uploaded the consumer’s signature on its system. Due to this lapse, the signatures on the cheques could not be verified. Consumer organisations and bankers say that cheque frauds are not uncommon. They are most likely to happen when an individual is careless with his cheque book, or forgets to cross a cheque leaf. Then there are rising instances of drop-box cheque frauds too. “Many banks don’t have the practice of listing cheques dropped in boxes,” says a banking ombudsman official.Bejon Misra of Delhi’s Consumer Voice cites another case where a cheque for Rs 10,000 bearing forged signatures was cleared by the bank staff without verification. The bank said the complainant was negligent with his cheque book, and thus, it should not be held liable. However, says Misra, “the district forum held that the bank’s act constituted deficiency in service under the Consumer Protection Act. The state commission concurred with the district forum’s views and dismissed the bank’s appeal with costs”. Kirti Bhatt of Ahmedabad’s Consumer Education and Research Centre says if a signature is found to be fraudulent, the bank is liable to recoup the losses to the account holder. “There are a number of judgements (in such cases). Banks have argued that since a consumer has left the cheque book carelessly around, 50% of the losses should be borne by him. But courts have ruled that this doesn’t absolve the bank from the liability of verifying signatures.” In the event of suspected fraud, consumers stand confused about whom to approach for redressal. They usually file a criminal case and request the particular bank’s nodal officers and senior officials to investigate the case. A senior banker says such cheques are sent for signature verification to the government examiner of questioned documents (GEQD). If the bank fails to provide redressal, many now head to the banking ombudsman. However, consumers may note that cases where fraud is established are passed on the RBI’s department of banking supervision. They no longer come under the ombudsman’s purview, clarifies an ombudsman official. “Otherwise, if there has been negligence on the part of the collecting bank, it is asked to do the needful, and the amount has to be made good.” Significantly, however, once a case is filed in the criminal or consumer court, the ombudsman or RBI cannot intervene, say bankers and consumer organisations. The ombudsman official says cases of fraud could be minimised if a certain cheque truncation project, which is being tried out in Delhi, is extended elsewhere.The RBI website says that, in this process, the physical instrument is truncated and an electronic image of the cheque is sent to the drawee branch along with the relevant information. Thus movement of the physical instruments across branches would not be required, except in exceptional circumstances. “Cheque truncation speeds up collection of cheques and therefore enhances customer service, reduces the scope for clearing related frauds, minimises cost of collection of cheques, reduces reconciliation problems, eliminates logistics problems etc.” By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : Times of India – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/rssarticleshow/msid-3278200,flstry-1.cms
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Taxation : TDS may be waived for rental income up to Rs 2 lakh

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) is likely to increase the exemption limit for tax deducted at source on rental income to Rs 2,00,000 a year from Rs 1,20,000 at present.The move will go a long way towards reducing the tax burden of individuals and companies earning rental income. Professionals, small businesses and companies paying rent above Rs 1,20,000 annually are statutorily required to deduct TDS.The TDS rate is 15 per cent for individuals and 20 per cent for companies earning rental income from land, buildings (including factory buildings) and furniture. The rate is 10 per cent on rental income from machinery, plant and equipment.The move to increase the rental income limit has become necessary after the basic exemption limit from income tax for individuals was raised to Rs 1,50,000 a year in Budget 2008, officials said.”The move will be a great relief to pensioners and retired people whose only source of income is from immovable property like house rent,” said a tax consultant.By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : Business Standard –
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Business Law : RIL vs RNRL: Hearing to continue

Harish Salve, the counsel of Reliance Industries, will continue arguments in the second day of successive hearing of gas dispute between Ambani brothers in the Bombay High Court today.On Thursday, Harish Salve argued that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the brothers cannot be taken as the basis for allocation of gas to Anil Ambani promoted Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL). He suggested that the MoU should be produced in the court.The division bench of Justice JN Patel and KK Tated will continue hearing the case betwee 12 noon and 2 pm. Ram Jethmalani, the RNRL counsel, is also expected to be in the court today.By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : Business Standard –
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Business Law : SC reserves order on Sterlite Industries’ plea

The Supreme Court today reserved its order on the plea of Sterlite Industries that it should be allowed to pursue their aluminium and refinery projects in Orissa as they have complied with the conditions set by the court some months ago.A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan heard the company, the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and the state government regarding the crucial issues like the role of the special purpose vehicle, setting up of a fund for the development of the scheduled area, and how the contribution of the company for this purpose should be calculated. The order is likely to be delivered next week.Sterlite Industries, the parent firm of the London-listed Vedanta Resources, wants clearance for mining bauxite from eco-sensitive Niyamgiri hill area for its proposed Rs 4,000-crore aluminium project. Sterlite has sought clearance to the forest diversion proposal, submitted by OMC, for diversion of 660.749 hectare of forest land to undertake bauxite mining for its alumina plant. This has led to violent protests by displaced persons.The company has agreed to deposit with the special purpose vehicle — Lanjigarh Scheduled Area Development Foundation — five per cent of the annual profits before tax and interest from Lanjigarh project, consisting of bauxite mining and alumina refinery, or Rs 10 crore per year, whichever is higher. It would make a payment of the net present value of Rs 55 crore and Rs 50.3 crore towards wild life management plan for conservation and management of wildlife around the mine and Rs 12.2 crore towards tribal development.By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : Business Standard – http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c_online.php?leftnm=10&bKeyFlag=IN&autono=43240
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Business Law : Audited annual reports may face scrutiny

The ministry of corporate affairs is working on a proposal according to which audited annual accounts of companies would be scrutinised on a regular basis. Currently, the government directs special audits only in cases where irregularities come to light. The development follows a proposal from a high-level committee on financial sector reforms. The Planning Commission constituted panel, chaired by former IMF chief economist Raghuram Rajan, had proposed that a review of such annual accounts would result in greater public confidence in company reports. Emergence of large financial conglomerates and holding companies makes such a system of supervision a necessity, goes the argument. Even as the proposal is at a deliberative phase, government officials say that in case the panel’s recommendations are accepted, amendments will have to be made to the Company Law. At present, companies are mandated to submit their accounts to the registrar of companies (RoC). The accounts are required to be audited by an authorised chartered accountant before they are submitted to the RoC. The present law does not call for review of all accounts submitted before the RoCs, but it has a provision wherein suspect companies go through a special audit. In cases where the government is of the opinion that a company is being mismanaged or its financial position is endangering its solvency, the government can order special audits. While acknowledging that regular review could lead to harassment for companies, the panel has also called for setting up of a monitoring mechanism to ensure that corporates do not face difficulties. While the ministry of corporate affairs is supposed to review the accounts of unlisted companies, capital market regulator Sebi should take up the review of listed companies. Strengthening ties between the ministry and the Sebi has also been recommended for effectiveness and greater coordination. By Ms.Bobby Aanand, Metropolitan Jury
Tags : Source : – http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/Audited_annual_reports_may_face_scrutiny/articleshow/3276826.cms
Posted on : 26 July 2008 by Ms. Bobby Anand

Labour & Industrial Law : HPCL’s petition dismissed in labour dispute http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/7/hpcl_s_petition_dismissed_in_labour_dispute.asp

Chennai, Jul 24 The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition filed by the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and imposed costs on the public sector company in a labour dispute case.Allowing a writ petition filed by eight workmen of HPCL, the court said they were entitled to regularisation from the date they completed 480 days of service within a period of 24 months, together with 50 per cent of back wages ordered by the Central government Labour Court-cum-Industrial Tribunal (CGIT). It also ordered payment of Rs 1,000 to each of the workmen towards the cost of litigation, pending since 1998. The HPCL, represented by its Chairman-cum-Managing Director, had challenged a March 2005 award of the CGIT, Chennai, granting relief of regularisation to the workmen from the date of their retrenchment with all the attendant benefits, including back wages. The workmen had challenged the denial by the CGIT, in the same award, of regularisation of their service from the date of completion of 480 days of service.In February 2004, the Centre had referred the industrial dispute to the CGIT, Chennai, for adjudication. The point for adjudication was whether the industrial dispute raised by the Petroleum Workers Union against the HPCL management for regularisation of service of the workmen and relief claimed by them was justified, and, if so, what relief they were entitled to.The CGIT concluded that the workmen were HPCL employees and entitled to relief of regularisation from the date of their retrenchment with attendant benefits, including 50 per cent of the back wages.
Tags : Source : uni –
Posted on : 25 July 2008 by SANJAY DIXIT

Criminal Law : SC slams Centre on row involving encroachers of Govt houses http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/7/sc_slams_centre_on_row_involving_encroachers_of_govt_houses.asp

The Centre’s opposition to amending the criminal law to enable jailing those unauthorisedly occupying govt accommodation, evoked a strong rebuke from the Supreme Court which directed the Union Cabinet to reconsider the matter. “Take it seriously. We know how to deal with the matter. If you can’t take a decision we can pass the direction,” a three-judge bench of Justices B N Aggrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi observed.The Government’s plea that only a minuscule “.03 per cent of persons are defaulters” only further infuriated the bench.”The Government does not want to act because big bosses are involved. They will be affected and you don’t want them to be jailed,” Justice Aggrawal speaking for the bench observed.The apex court made it clear that it wanted the Government’s answer only through “Union Cabinet”and not any “Secretary-level decision”.The bench snubbed the Additional Solicitor General Amarander Saran who tried to reason that the Centre had after “due consideration” decided against amending Section 441 IPC (criminal trespass) to facilitate imprisonment of unauthorised occupants, including those who overstay in official flats or do not pay dues.During an earlier hearing, the apex court had asked the Union Government and the States to file affidavits on their views for invoking Section 441 IPC against those persons unauthorisedly occupying government accommodations.While several states had agreed to amend the Act suitably, the Centre in its affidavit asserted that the existing Public Premises Eviction Act was sufficient to take care of the unauthorised persons.But the affidavit angered the apex court which questioned the Centre for its reluctance to make the unauthorised occupation a penal offence.When the ASG during the hearing today tried to repeat his argument, the apex court warned that it would haul up those responsible for contempt.”We shall put them behind bars and haul them up for contempt,” the bench retorted.The bench questioned Saran as to who had taken the “conscious decision”not to amend the Act as directed by the court.”Is it at the Cabinet level or Secretary level. When we directed the Union Government to do it it for the Union Cabinet to decide,” the bench observed while listing the matter for further hearing in the second week of August.Tags : Source : india.gov.in –
Posted on : 25 July 2008 by SANJAY DIXIT

Business Law : RBI to issue final guidelines on M-Banking within two-weeks http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/7/rbi_to_issue_final_guidelines_on_m_banking_within_two_weeks.asp

The Reserve bank is likely to finalise guidelines on mobile banking within two weeks to enable banks to roll-out cellphone-based payment services to their customers. “We are presently examining the comments received in response to the draft guidelines issued. Based on this, the final guidelines will be issued within a period of two weeks,” Reserve Bank’s Executive Director R B Barman told reporters in Mumbai on Friday on the sidelines of a seminar.Issuing the draft guidelines for M-banking in June, the apex bank had proposed that the lenders may allow customers to perform transactions even using the most basic handsets.As per the draft guidelines, customers could use SMS- based facilities to make small payments of up to Rs 1,500.A host of lenders, including leading public-sector banks, State Bank of India and Union Bank, are on the final stages of launching their M-Banking services, which would help millions of customers to transfer money through mobile phones.However, recently, the apex bank asked banks to put their mobile-payment services on hold till the time it issued the final guidelines on the matter.”We have to see the various aspect of the mobile-payment service, especially the security aspects of such transactions prior to allowing banks the implementation. We would also examine the functioning of similar services by those banks who presently offer the service,” Barman said. Foreign banks such as Barclays and a few private sector lenders like Yes Bank and ICICI Bank are presently offering mobile-payment services to customers but have put the services on hold following the Reserve Bank directive.”We have put our mobile-payment services on hold following the RBI directive and will resume the services once the apex bank issues the final guidelines,” a Yes Bank official said.State Bank, which had earlier scheduled its M-banking roll out by June-end, is also expected to announce the launch once RBI finalizes its guidelines.Besides, nearly 53 banks in the National Capital Region of Delhi have joined in the check truncation system, a solution for image-based inward and outward clearing of bank checks, Barman said.
Tags : Source : india.gov.in –
Posted on : 25 July 2008 by SANJAY DIXIT

HC notice to Delhi University for not implementing OBC reservation http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Jul272008/national2008072781226.asp?section=updatenews

The Delhi High Court has sought an explanation from University of Delhi for not implementing Centre’s OBC reservation policy in medical collegesJustice Vipin Sanghi issued notices to the University and the Medical Council of India and asked them to file their response on why reservation was not being provided in some medical colleges of the University.
The Court passed the order on a petition filed by a group of medical aspirants who alleged that colleges run by Delhi University refused to grant reservation to them on the ground that they have not been allowed to increase the number of seats.
The students who belong to the OBC category alleged that despite Supreme Court upholding the government’s policy of providing 27 per cent reservation for them, the University refused to implement it.
The petitioner alleged that out of three medical colleges, the University has allowed OBC reservation in only Lady Hardinge Medical College while in remaining two — Maulana Azad Medical College and University College of Medical Sciences — it has refused to give reservation.
“The University has erroneously denied the reservation to the candidates belonging to OBC. As the OBC reservation has been upheld by the apex Court, the decision of the University is liable to be set aside,” advocate Amit Kumar appearing for the students contended.
Kumar pointed out that the University decided not to provide reservation for OBC after it was not granted permission by the Medical Council of India refused to increase the number of seats in the colleges.
New Delhi, PTI:
Sunday, July 27, 2008

HC restrains local firms from making fake products of US co

New Delhi (PTI): In a reprieve to the US automotive giant ABRO, the Delhi High Court has restrained local manufacturers from making and selling spurious products under the ABRO trademark.
“The illegal and unlawful activities of the defendants (local manufacturers) and defendants’ selling and passing off their spurious/sub-standard products as the products of the plaintiff (ABRO) have resulted in creating confusion in the minds of the public at large and have caused loss and damage to the reputation of plaintiff,” Justice Reva Khetrapal said.
The interim order was passed on a petition filed by the US company ABRO through its counsels R S Mittal and Rayner Vishal Dass of the corporate law firm Titus and Co seeking injunction restraining eight local firms from infringing the registered trademark ‘ABRO’.
Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cops under HC scanner

Cuttack, July 26: So far, Cuttack police has failed to bring the city’s road congestion under control and is fearing judicial reprimand since they are unlikely to do so within the August 7 deadline.
Several stretches of thoroughfares in Cuttack city come to a standstill during the daytime due to traffic congestion aggravated by encroachments and indisciplined parking.
The situation has already led to severe embarrassment for the police as a deputy commissioner and two inspectors-in-charge had to make personal appearances in the state high court on Wednesday.
The court was apparently infuriated on finding that its orders to decongest Kanika Road, Mahammadia Bazar as well as Biju Patnaik Chowk had not been complied with by the authorities.
“It is common to find the road at the Kanika Chowk area practically closed during the afternoon due to illegal parking. On both sides of the road leading from Sati Chaura to Kanika Chhak motorcycles and cars are parked there illegally. This leads to severe inconvenience to the general public and no effective steps are being taken by the police despite repeated directions given in this regard,” the court had observed.
“The police constables and home guards, who are posted at various locations in the city, could be seen sleeping…It has made a mockery not only of the court’s orders but also the directions of their own authorities,” a visibly exasperated two-judge bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice M.M. Das said.

HC deportation orders on 49 Bangladeshis

GUWAHATI, July 26 – Close on the heels of its recent judgement directing deportation of a Bangladeshi national who had been residing in Assam and even holding a passport, the Gauhati High Court has ordered deportation of 49 illegal Bangladeshi settlers from the State. The Court order delivered by Justice BK Sharma, dated July 25, while disposing off as many as 23 writ petitions filed by the 61 people adjudged as Bangladeshis by the Foreigners’ Tribunals, upheld the Tribunals’ verdict in most of the cases and directed the respective police stations to keep the petitioners in custody till they were deported to Bangladesh.The Court also directed the respective superintendents of police (SPs) to furnish report as to the implementation of the directions contained in the judgement towards deportation of the petitioners.In addition, the court asked the Home Department and the State DGP to furnish report about action plans towards detection and deportation of foreign nationals from Assam. The Court further asked the State Government in the related departments to furnish report as to the action plan and the time limit within which the names of illegal voters finding place in various voters’ lists would be deleted.
By A Staff Reporter

HC comes to teacher’s help

MADURAI: A woman teacher placed on consolidated pay since there was a delay in government granting her recognition was ordered to be made permanent by the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court here on Friday.In her petition before the Bench, Padmasheela Rani, a teacher at the TELC Middle School in Usilampatti, had said that she was appointed as a secondary grade teacher in 2002. The school management had written twice to the Assistant Elementary Education Officer (AEEO) for regularising her employment. But no action was taken.On June 1, 2003, it was ordered that the vacancies would be filled with teachers on consolidated pay. She was also appointed to fill one of the vacancies. But before that, she was selected for permanent appointment, she said. A single judge who heard her plea held that the petitioner had been appointed in 2002. But the AEEO had not approved her appointment. Under these circumstances, appointing her on consolidated pay was wrong and ordered that she be given permanent appointment.
Sunday July 27 2008 00:12 IST
Express News Service

SC dismisses IT Dept’s appeal against Max India

The Supreme Court has dismissed the income tax department’s appeal seeking to impose a penalty on Max India for failing to deduct TDS on perquisites given to its employees.
A bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia upheld the Delhi High Court’s judgement that held that the question of penalty for not deducting tax does not arise.
According to the department, the failure to deduct TDS in respect of perquisites at the hands of employees could not be said to be a bonafide lapse and would attract penalty under Section 271C of the Income Tax Act 1961.
The circulars issued in this regard specifically stipulated that TDS was required to be deducted by employers in respect of perquisites at the hands of the employees, Solicitor General GE Vanhanvati said.
During the course of survey conducted in February 2000, the company was found providing car and furnishing to its employees under its scheme and the assessee was purchasing the same under its name.
Under the scheme, the assesee after the prescribed period had allowed its officials to purchase the items at a price mutually agreed between them and in some cases the agreed prices were lesser than the market value or written down value (WDV) of the items.
Press Trust of India / New Delhi July 27, 2008

PIL filed to expedite river linking projects

BHUBANESWAR, July 27: Several critical river linking projects in the state have been hanging fire since long. Mr Rama Chandra Panda, former Deputy Speaker of the Assembly who had also led the Rushikulya Bachao Manch has filed a PIL seeking judicial intervention to expedite the process.Reliable sources said notices have been issued to the Centre and state governments as well as the National Water Development Agency. The petitioner has referred to the Mahanadi-Rushikulya link project and transfer of surplus water of Mahanadi to Rushikulya by way of the Subalaya barrage.Ganjam district, one of the water scarcity zones, would be benefited imme-nsely by such projects as it is entirely dependent on the Rushikulya river and the river remains dry for most part of the year.Since three decades the district has received less than average rainfall. People are migrating and all major towns like Berhampur, Chatrapur, Gopalpur, Aska face acute scarcity of water.Less than 21 per cent of the agricultural land is irrigated during khariff and less than six per cent during rabi season, stated the petition.”The viable solution as evolved by experts is to implement the Subalaya barrage project to transfer surplus water of Mahanadi to Rushikulya. A memorandum to this effect had been submitted to the Centre in the year 2000 and in 2003, the state minister assured to take up the project on war footing. Even the national water development agency had acknowledged that the project is viable,” said Mr Panda.Subsequently, the state government had also decided to implement a separate project – Vamsadhara Rushikuly saline project and foundation stone for it was laid at Gudari in 2005. It may be noted that last year, Mr Panda had led a farmer rally under the banner of Rushikulya Bachao Manch to demand the expeditious implementation of the river link project. n sns

Colleges run by DSGMC to implement OBC reservation: HC

New Delhi, July 25: Delhi University colleges run by Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) will have to provide reservation for OBC students in the current academic year as the Delhi High Court has turned down their plea for exemption on the ground that they were minority institutions. Justice Vipin Sanghi after going through the institutions’ bye-laws found that though they are run by a religious group, they do not provide any reservation to the students of Sikh community which is an essential ingredient for the functioning of minority institutions. “The petitioners (colleges run by DSGMC) shall be bound to implement the reservation policy in respect of Other Backward Classes by providing 27 percent reservation,” Justice Sanghi said. The Court said that theses colleges will have to provide reservation till they are declared as minority institutions. The colleges had approached the Court after the University had directed them to implement OBC reservation in the current academic session. Senior Advocate K T S Tulsi appearing for the colleges contended that being minority institutions they were exempted from implementing the reservation policy as the Supreme Court in its recent judgment had held that the Minority Educational Institutions (MEI), whether they are aided and unaided, are exempted. Claiming that the minority status enjoyed by the colleges was given by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution, the colleges had contended, “The UGC and DU cannot direct the MEIs established by DSGMC to implement the reservation policy in the matters of filing up of teaching posts and admissions.” Bureau Report

Court asks minority colleges to admit OBC students

NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Friday directed a group of colleges of Delhi University (DU), which claim to be run by minority institutions, to reserve seats for Other Backward Classes (OBC) in the current academic year. The colleges run by the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) had approached the court, seeking exemption from the stipulated 27 percent reservation for OBCs in institutions of higher learning. Justice Vipin Sanghi, after going through the bye-laws of the institutions, found that though they are run by a religious group, they do not provide any reservation to students of the Sikh community – an essential clause for running minority institutions. The court said that these colleges would have to provide reservation until they are declared minority institutions. The colleges run by the DSGMC, a body constituted under the Delhi Sikh Gurdwaras Act, contended that the reservation policy was not applicable to their institutions in view of a recent Supreme Court judgement. The apex court had held that the Minority Educational institutions (MEI), whether they were aided or unaided, were exempted from OBC reservation, the colleges said in their petition. The Supreme Court had in April upheld the central government’s decision of reserving 27 per cent quota for OBCs in institutions of higher education.
25 Jul, 2008, 2139 hrs IST, IANS

PIL filed on Rushikulya Mahanadi Link project

Ramachandra Panda, ex-deputy speaker of Orissa legislative assembly and president of ‘Rushikulya Banchaoo Manch’ has filed a Public Interest Litigation on early implementation of Rushikulya Mahanadi Link project..

A PUBLIC Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by one Ramachandra Panda, ex-deputy speaker of Orissa legislative assembly and president of ’Rushikulya Banchaoo Manch’, in the Orissa High Court on early implementation of Rushikulya Mahanadi Link project. The state and Union government as well as the national water development agency are made parties.
The honourable court directed to all concerned parties on July 14 to file their affidavit before the hearing. Panda has mentioned in his petition that over the last three decades, rainfall in Ganjam district has been erratic – less than state’s average. While hardly 21 per cent of the cultivable land is irrigated in Khariff and less than six per cent in Rabi. Besides, 75 per cent of the district population that is living in Rushikulya basin and its distributaries as well as the live-stock is dependant on Rushikulya river for domestic and irrigation need, which in fact is the life line of the district.
Due to climatic change and untimely rainfall, the river bed remained dry from January to June, making wells dysfunctional in several areas. So the cultivation becomes non-viable resulting in migration of farm labour.
All major towns of Ganjam district namely Berhampur, Chhatrapur, Gopalpur, Aska etc get drinking water from deep bore wells located on the river basin, which are experiencing water scarcity due to less supply on account of fall in ground water level.
Berhampur city alone is hardly receiving 70 per cent of water of what it needs during summer. Thus Rushikulya, being the lifeline of the district is unable to meet rising water need for domestic and irrigation needs while no new industry is coming up to meet this water scarcity. With this background, Panda after consultation with PK Mishra, a retired chief engineer of water resource department of Orissa – had submitted a memorandum to the government of Orissa and eventually assured Orissa assembly to take up the project on war-footing.
CJ: Dipti Ranjan Kanungo ,

L&T moves court over dividends for Grasim

MUMBAI: The ongoing legal tussle between Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Grasim Industries has taken a fresh twist. The country’s largest engineering company has moved the Bombay High Court seeking permission for depositing dividends payable to Grasim in an escrow account. The case will come up for hearing in August. Both the parties are already at loggerheads over the price at which Grasim has to sell its shareholding in L&T to L&T Employees Welfare Trust. The contentious issue of dividend payment does not have much of a financial implication for either of the warring parties. But Grasim, an Aditya Birla Group firm, is not willing to accept dividends on its 0.62% shareholdings in L&T from an escrow account as, it thinks, this would mean its shareholding in L&T is disputed which “is not the correct position,” said a source in the Birla group. L&T chairman AM Naik and Grasim Industries’ whole-time director DD Rathi confirmed L&T had moved the court. “We have been asking for dividend payment from L&T for the past three years but L&T refused to oblige. And now it chose to take legal recourse to pay the dividend through an escrow account. Non-payment of dividend is a punishable offence under the Companies’ Act, 1956,” said the source in the Birla group. Incidentally, Grasim had received L&T’s bonus shares on its stake in 2006. The genesis of the bitter corporate battle between Grasim and L&T can be traced back to events six years ago when Grasim took over Reliance Industries’ stake in L&T and raised it further to 15.73%. Grasim subsequently had made an open offer to L&T’s shareholders. But the AV Birla Group’s attempt to assume control of L&T was resisted by the “professional” management of the engineering company. Following intervention by the Chennai-based chartered accountant, S Gurumurthy, who acted as a mediator, both the companies decided to smoke the peace pipe. L&T’s cement division, which was later rechristened as UltraTech — was hived off and sold to Grasim. Grasim had, in turn, sold its 14.95% stake in L&T at Rs 120 a share in favour of L&T Employee Welfare Trust, a trust belonging to the L&T’s employees. The latest tiff flared up over the price at which the remaining stake held by Grasim (which was 0.87% then, but later came down to 0.62% because L&T expanded its equity base) was to be sold. L&T claimed that the Grasim stake should be sold to L&T Employees’ Welfare Trust at “a predetermined rate of Rs 240 a share” as per the agreement. Grasim said that it will sell L&T’s shares at the market rate. L&T and the employees’ trust even claimed damages of Rs 441 crore from Grasim and moved the High Court.
28 Jul, 2008, 0000 hrs IST,Dev Chatterjee & Kausik Datta, ET Bureau

Court notice to Delhi University over OBC reservation

NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has issued notices to Delhi University over its alleged failure to implement reservation for the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in some medical colleges of the capital. Justice Vipin Sanghi issued notices to the university and the Medical Council of India Friday and asked them to file their response on why reservation was not provided in some medical colleges of the varsity. The court was hearing a petition filed by a group of medical aspirants who alleged that colleges run by Delhi University refused to grant reservation to them on the ground that they have not been allowed to increase the number of seats. The students alleged that despite the apex court upholding the government’s policy of providing 27 percent reservation for OBC candidates, the university refused to implement it. The petitioners said that out of three medical colleges, the university has allowed reservation in only Lady Hardinge Medical College. In Maulana Azad Medical College and University College of Medical Sciences it has refused to give reservation, they alleged.
27 Jul, 2008, 1703 hrs IST, IANS


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