Daily News 02.08.2008

Notice to Centre, TN govt.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Chennai (PTI): The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered a notice to the Centre and Tamil Nadu government on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee, seeking “protection to life and liberty of Tamil refugees guaranteed under the Constitution of India.”

A Bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kallifulah, before whom the petition came up for hearing, directed the state government to file an affidavit within three weeks and ordered the Additional Solicitor General to appear.

In the PIL, Gnanaprakasam of Sri Lankan refugee camp at Mettupalayam had submitted that the state government had initiated an action restricting the refugees staying in the state from holding any immovable and movable properties, including holding driving licence and bank accounts.

The government started confiscating the title deeds of immovable properties, forcing the refugees to sell them at throwaway prices, he contended.

He submitted that the refugees opened bank accounts to save some amount to meet certain contigencies like rainy season and days without employment. Some had obtained driving licence under the Motor Vehicles Act to seek employment as driver.

He submitted that the refugees were also restricted from rearing any animals. “The Centre has accorded refugee status providing us the security of life and full protection. No discriminatory treatment against us could be justified. The government’s actions threaten the life, survival and existence of the refugees in various camps in the state,” he submitted.


HC seeks details from education dept



MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the state government to furnish the marks scored by the last student admitted in every college in Maharashtra. Hearing a PIL challenging the controversial percentile formula, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande also asked the education department to submit details of the total seats available for first year junior college in the state, as well as the number of students admitted and the list of vacant seats by August 4.

Even as the state on Thursday floundered while answering the queries by the court, the ICSE board alleged that the state had unilaterally taken a decision to implement the percentile formula for FYJC admissions this year. “The government resolution (for the percentile system) was hurriedly passed, was arbitrary and lacked any justification ,” said advocate Naushad Engineer, counsel for ICSE. The advocate pointed out that the percentile formula as implemented would mean that while a student with 90% in the SSC board would secure a percentile rank of 93.63%, an ICSE student obtaining 90% would score 92.02%.

Senior advocate Rajni Iyer, counsel for the Maharashtra ICSE board, also alleged that the percentile formula was prepared by Ruparel college and adopted by the state without any data to justify the need for it. Iyer further contended that the system was a violation of Article 14 of the Constitution guaranteeing a fundamental right to equality. “This (the percentile formula) was no policy decision, but an executive fiat and a classic case of arbitrariness that must be struck down,” said Iyer.

Earlier during the hearing, state counsel Jyoti Pawar informed the court that over 43,000 FYJC seats were still vacant in the city, but admitted that no seats were available in any of the premium colleges. To the judge’s query about details of the colleges and seats in the state, the government was unable to provide the data. “What was the data before you when you took a decision on the percentile formula. Even after three weeks of court hearings you still are unable to provide the necessary data,” admonished the judges.

1 Aug 2008, 1017 hrs IST,TNN




DND scheme: SC directs Centre to cancel the unregistered telemarketing companies licenses

The Supreme Court today directed the Center to cancel the licenses of all those telemarketing companies which do not get themselves registered under the Do Not Disturb (DND) scheme.

A bench headed by Justice A K Mathur issued the direction to the Center to start canceling the licenses of all those telemarketing companies, which were not registered under the DND, from tomorrow.

The directive was issued on a PIL seeking to ban unsolicited calls on mobiles.

Lately, the telemarketing companies have started making calls which have objectionable messages.

The petitioners had sought directions from the apex court to these companies not to make any unsolicited calls.





Supreme Court for cancellation of licences of unregisterd telemarketers news


The Supreme Court yesterday ordered the cancellation of licences of all telemarketing firms who have not registered themselves with the telecom ministry.

This order comes after complaints that consumers who had registerd with ”the do not call registry” continued to receive unsolicited calls.

 A Supreme Court division bench comprising Justices A K Mathur and Dalveer Bhandari came down heavily saying that some telemarketing companies who had been making the calls despite their registration with the registry were violating privacy, a fundamental right of every citizen.

Since the do not call registry has failed miserably it was better to have a ‘call registry’ instead, which means, those who wish to receive calls can register themselves on the call register, they noted.

The court noted, “persons interested in commercial calls must volunteer and get registered. Those who do not wish to register should not be disturbed.”

Telemarketing companies would then be in a position to call only subscribers who have registered themselves in ”call registry”. With this system in place then any calls made to subscribers other than those listed under the ”call registry” will be illegal.

The bench directed the government that each telemarketing company be given a distinct number so any unsolicited calls generated from these companies will be easily identifiable.

The apex court had given all telemarketing companies three months time to register themselves with the Department of Telecommunication’s on the ‘Do-Not-Call’ scheme. The court has now ordered to terminate the licences of those companies who had not registered and even of those who continued to call consumers inspite of having registered themselves with the ‘do-not-call register’.

Additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam was given six weeks to implement this order and report to the court on the status of it.

An irte subscriber Harsh Pathak had hauled mobile companies to court by filing a PIL that accuses them of selling their client data base to the telemarketing companies, who in turn made unsolicited calls.

As a result of the PIL the court has threatened to pass an order if the government did not implement the ”do not call” registry rigorously.

01 August 2008



Land deal gone sour, entrepreneurs stuck


Jamshedpur, Aug. 1: A land deal between the government of undivided Bihar and the forest department has gone sour, leaving in the lurch several small and medium-scale enterprises in the Adityapur industrial area.

At least 25 industrialists can not expand or set up new units as they are being denied lease documents of the land they had been allotted after the deal was signed in 1982 and subsequently payments made.

Many industrialists are sitting on expensive equipment they bought to upgrade their units. But in the absence of land papers they are not able to access bank loans.

According to sources, the Adityapur Industrial Area Development Authority (Aiada) had bought 320 acres from the forest department in 1982. Situated in phase II of Adityapur industrial estate and Gamharia, the land was meant to set up new units and also help existing units expand. But as the Aiada began allotting plots to entrepreneurs in 2005, a Delhi-based NGO filed a PIL in the apex court, claiming Aiada was violating the Conservation of Forest Act by allowing industry on forest land. The NGO cited the Act enacted in 1980 — it prohibits the use of forest land for any other purpose, including industrial activities — and asked how forest land could be handed over to industry.

As a result of the PIL, last year the forest department stepped in and forced the entrepreneurs to stop work, claiming industrial activity of any kind was illegal.

H. N. Ram, the Aiada secretary, said there has been no progress in the case. “We are hard-pressed for acquiring land to meet the demand of a surging number of entrepreneurs willing to set up units here. The situation has been aggravated with many industrialists unable to expand their units on land allotted by the Aiada,” he said.

Ram said the apex court had referred the matter to the Central Empowered Committee, but it was yet to decide on the matter. Aiada, he added, was pursuing the case intently.

S.N. Thakur, the president of Adityapur Small Industrial Unit (ASIA), revealed Aiada had transacted the deal through the Bihar government and had already paid the forest department against acquiring 320 acres of forest land in 1982.




British paedophiles case taken to SC



Last week Bombay High Court acquitted two British nationals accused of paedophilia in a Mumbai orphanage. Now the decision has been challenged in the Supreme Court.

In the year 2006 Trial Court in Mumbai had declared, “Let paedophiles all over the world know that India should not be their destination.”

But this year Bombay High Court declared a decision contradictory to the previous one. “Duncan Grant and Allan John Waters are acquitted because the witness testimony against them is unreliable,” the court said.
But despite their acquittal on Friday the SC admitted the case and asked the Mumbai Police not to release their passports and ensure that the British High Commission does not issue them duplicate passports.

Duncan and Allan ran the Anchorage home in South Mumbai till 1995 and disappeared soon after reports of abuse surfaced.

In 2004, Waters was arrested in the US and extradited to India and Grant surrendered after a red corner notice.

It had taken years for children at Anchorage to muster up courage and testify against their alleged abusers.

Nicole, of NGO Childline said, “What is the message that we are trying to give to the world, that we are not serious on issues of child abuse? India is a signatory and if you issue a red corner notice and get someone extradited and say sorry our victims are not reliable, who is going to take India seriously?”

Anuja Gupta, who counsels victims of child sexual abuse said, “We need a system where the ones working on this know what they are dealing with. You need to be patient to draw a child out so they can speak, even adults aren’t coherent and articulate when in trauma, so its ridiculous to say that the testimony is unreliable.”

Perhaps its time we start recognising that children also have rights, the most important one being their right to safety.
Manu Sharma

Friday, August 01, 2008, (Mumbai)




Commissioner appears before HC



Police commissioner Shankar Bidari today assured the High Court that he would set right the licensing issues of discotheques immediately.

The commissioner said he would look if the discotheques were flouting norms and would set the issue right. Like live bands, discotheques too can’t be opened near places of worship or schools.

Live bands or dance bars were banned in Bangalore in 2005, rendering many women jobless

By: Savie

Date: 2008-08-01



HC directive to expedite trial



PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday issued a directive to the district and sessions judge, Bhojpur, to expedite trial of the case relating to the murder of five BJP workers and supporters in Ichri village under Jagdishpur police station on March 29, 1993.

A single bench presided over by Justice Samarendra Pratap Singh issued the directive while hearing a criminal writ petition of Gupteshwar Singh who was one of the fourteen BJP supporters who were injured in the firing by alleged henchmen of then IPF MLA from Jagdishpur, Sribhagwan Singh Kushwaha, in which the five BJP workers and supporters were killed.

The petitioner’s counsel, Ashutosh Ranjan Pandey, submitted that Sribhagwan Singh Kushwaha, who is at present the rural development minister in the NDA government, allegedly hatched a criminal conspiracy for the murders, and he is facing trial in the case.

He had earlier been granted anticipatory bail by Patna High Court in this case. Justice Singh directed the state police to protect the 17 witnesses of the case and arrest the absconding accused.

1 Aug 2008, 0231 hrs IST,TNN



HC appoints retired judge to monitor gaushalas in Haryana



Chandigarh, July 31 Chief Justice has also directed that Rs 15 should be spent on each cow per day

Taking a strong note of the pitiable condition of gaushalas (cow sheds) in Haryana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has today appointed a retired District and Sessions Judge (DSJ) to monitor all the gaushalas in the state.

Chief Justice Vijender Kumar Jain also said that on a daily basis Rs 15 should be spent per cow by the state. And the state government should ensure that proper feed is provided to them.

Moreover, a committee will be constituted by the Haryana government to look into the issue and ameliorate the conditions of gaushalas.

The directions have been issued on a petition filed by Lok Pratham, an NGO based in Haryana. The petitioner had sought interim grant in aid to gaushalas across Haryana in an effort to save cows. The petitioner had submitted that in Hisar district, 25 gaushalas are giving shelter to 24,536 cattle.

The petition stated that a cow requires a minimum of Rs 9,125 for their welfare and maintenance on a monthly basis.

However, only a sum of Rs 1,500 is earned by selling milk whereas Rs 550 get adjusted on account of in house fodder.

The petitioner has contended that there is a short fall of Rs 7,075 per cattle in a year. The total number of cows in Haryana is 24,536 and their expense per day is Rs 25. Moreover, an amount of Rs 347 crore per annum is required for cattle welfare in Haryana.

Express News Service

Posted online: Friday , August 01, 2008 at 02:44:40


HC dismisses Reliance plea against Brakel


Shimla, July 31
The Himachal Pradesh High Court today dismissed the writ petition filed by Reliance Energy Limited against allotment of the 960-MW Jangi-Thopan Powari hydro power project to Netherlands-based Brakel Corporation. Allotment of the project to Brakel was surrounded in controversy after it failed to pay the upfront money on time and later when some facts raised by Reliance in its petition cast aspersions on the allotment process and on its antecedents.

While deciding on the petition, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Bhalla and Justice Sanjay Karol observed that the Himachal Pradesh government has already sought an explanation from Brakel on the alleged misinformation, for which a show-cause notice has been issued to the company. The court said it was not necessary for it to intervene at this point of time.

With this decision, now the ball is in the government’s court. In a Cabinet meeting on July 7, it was decided to issue a show-cause notice to Brakel to explain as to why the allotment of the hydro power project should not be cancelled. The company would have to submit its reply to the government within 21 days of receiving the notice or August 21, whichever is earlier.

Brakel was allotted the Jangi-Thopan Powari hydro project in December 2006. Later, the company did not deposit its upfront premium installment, resulting in delays and loss to the government. After the government issued a notice to Brakel, it deposited upfront premium of Rs 173.43 crore. The government’s latest action to propose cancellation is based on the report submitted to it after a Vigilance inquiry that made certain critical observations regarding the company.

In addition to cancellation of the project, the government, in one of its Cabinet meetings in June, has set four options in addition to cancellation, which included re-advertisement of the project for global bidding, forfeiting entire amount deposited by it and registering cases under Section 420 of the IPC as recommended by the Vigilance Bureau.

Express News Service

Posted online: Friday , August 01, 2008 at 01:10:31



HC raps govt, power company



NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Thursday came down heavily on the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MSEDCL) and the state government over indiscriminate load-shedding putting citizens to a lot of inconvenience. A division bench comprising justices Dilip Sinha and A P Bhangale was hearing all petitions against load-shedding filed by various organisations.

Taking cognisance of continuous load-shedding, the court also directed MSEDCL to furnish all records regarding power generation, distribution, demand and supply, shortfall, criteria for load-shedding in various areas, plans to tackle problem and steps initiated in this regard among others. The two companies of government Mahagenco and Mahatransco have been asked submit these records through an affidavit within two weeks.

The bench, while lashing out at the government for its failure to check load-shedding, observed that prompt and effective steps were must to solve the problem. “The situation is going from bad to worse. We hope and trust all respondents will consider the seriousness of the issue and submit affidavit with relevant information and suggestions within stipulated time to tide over the crisis,” the court observed.

While taking cognisance of demands by petitioners that despite generating highest number of units, Vidarbha gets raw deal as compared to Mumbai, Thane and Pune with upto 12 hours of load shedding, the court asked the government to justify discrimination in load-shedding hours.

1 Aug 2008, 0410 hrs IST,TNN




HC questions grounds for UP’s Chief Information Commissioner’s suspension

Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court questioned the grounds and law under which the Uttar Pradesh government suspended Chief Information Commissioner M A Khan.

A bench comprising Justices Pradeep Kant and Abhinav Upadhyay pronounced the decision on a petition filed by Mr Khan.

Mr Khan had alleged that his suspension by the UP government on July 9 was against law.

He said under section 17 (1) and 17 (2) of Rights to Information Act, his suspension was “unconstitutional”.

However, the government’s prosecutor contradicted the charges saying, the suspension was constitutional.

The court has fixed August 18 for next hearing in the case.






Kerala HC rules entrance exam by Medical colleges invalid


The Kerala High Court today held that an entrance test conducted by a consortium of self-financing medical colleges in the State on July 27 was violative of the Medical Council of India (MCI) rules and directed that students be admitted to 35 per cent of the management seats on the basis of the exam conducted by the Common Entrance Commissioner.

Justice S Sirijagan observed that the MCI rules, which were ratified by the Supreme Court, state that entrance exams should be over by May 30, and by July 31, the first phase of counselling should be completed.

The entrance exam conducted on July 27 by a consortium of self-financing medical colleges, which had entered into a contract with the State Government, was thus violative of the MCI rules.

Hence, students should be admitted from the CEE which was conducted before May 30, the court held.

The order was issued on a petition filed by one Fathima Hasina, who challenged the entrance test on the ground that it was against the MCI rules and also in violation of a judgment of the apex court, which made cross-subsidy illegal.






HC slams Mumbai advocate for `frivolous` PIL; slaps fine


Mumbai, July 31: The Bombay High Court, irked with an advocate for filing a “frivolous” petition on the Indo-US nuclear deal, on Thursday imposed a cost of Rs 5,000 on him.

A Division Bench of Chief justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande fined M V Holmangi, former President of Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court Bar Association, in connection with a PIL over the nuclear deal.

Through the PIL, filed ahead of the July 22 confidence motion in the Lok Sabha, Holmangi wanted the court to postpone the trust vote sought by the UPA Government after the Left parties withdrew support over the nuclear accord.

“The petitioner, as a lawyer and an officer of the court, is obliged to act with great sense of responsibility and realise the consequences of filing such a frivolous petition,” the Bench observed.

“It is unfortunate that a practising advocate has opted to act in such an irresponsible manner and instituted the present petition primarily with intent of publicity.”

Holmangi had appealed to the court to interpret the 123 Agreement (nuclear deal) signed with the US in the national interest, remove all “misunderstandings” and give necessary advice on resolving the political crisis (after Left withdrew support to UPA).

This petition obviously deprived hearing of other needy litigations, the court further said.

The court noted that Holmangi had filed another frivolous petition in the past, where he had sought apology from the governments of the UK and Australia for allegedly brandishing Indians as terrorists in wake of the Mohammed Haneef case.

Haneef, an Indian doctor working in Australia, was cleared of terror charges after spending several days in custody in that country last year.

“Such repeated attitude of the petitioner ostracises him from that class of lawyers,” the Judges stated.

“After dismissal of the first petition, the court would have expected the petitioner to ameliorate his professional skills, but unfortunately he has taken a retrogative step.”

Bureau Report



Retailers get HC relief over service tax on rented properties


MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has granted interim relief to members of Retail Association of India on levy of service tax on rented properties.

A Division Bench of Justices D K Deshmukh and J P Devadhar gave order yesterday while hearing a petition from members challenging the constitutional validity of service tax on rented properties from where retailers operate.

“The members have to file a written undertaking that in case their application against such tax was disallowed, they will pay the (pending) amount in accordance with the statutory provisions,” the court observed.

The court held that if such an undertaking was filed by the RAI members, no coercive steps would be taken to recover the tax. Members giving the undertaking cannot transfer interest in the said property without prior notice.

If the tax authorities do not take objection on such notice within two weeks, the interest in the property can then be transferred, the Bench said. But if the tax authorities do take objection, then the members will have to seek the court’s approval for the proposed transfer, it said.

“We are delighted by the court order. We had earlier made representations to the Union Ministry of Finance to withdraw the tax,” RAI Chief Executive Gibson G Vedamani said in a release here. – PTI

Business Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, August 1, 2008


DGP Pande apologizes before HC



AHMEDABAD: The director general of police PC Pande had to tender unconditional apology to Gujarat High Court in connection with a contempt petition against him for not following court order.

As per case details, Laxman Meghwani from Vadodara submitted a written application on October 19, 2006 to the DGP for registering a criminal complaint against the Vadodara police commissioner. Meghwani , who was instrumental in exposing the Rs 9-crore land scam in Vadodara city, complained against several police officers for allegedly lodging false complaints against him. Despite reminders, the DGP didn’t act.

In 2007, Meghwani approached the high court complaining against police inaction. The court directed the DGP to take decision within a week. When nothing happened, Meghwani moved court again earlier this year, and Justice MR Shah directed CID (crime) to register his complaint and look into the issue in two months. When police didn’t act, Meghwani filed a petition claiming that the DGP’s inaction in this regard be considered as contempt of the court. The court issued notice to the DGP, who sought unconditional apology by filing an affidavit saying that the police is responsible for delay in completing the inquiry.

1 Aug 2008, 0430 hrs IST,TNN




Top court to hear PF scam case today



July 31: A three-judge special bench of the Supreme Court, sans the Chief Justice who has recused himself, will on Friday hear the controversial Uttar Pradesh multi-crore provident fund scam allegedly involving a sitting top court judge and others. Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, who has recused himself after objections from certain quarters, has constituted the special bench comprising Justices B.N. Aggrawal, V.S. Sirpurkar and G.S. Singhvi for hearing the matter.

Justice B.N. Aggrawal is the senior-most judge in the top court after Chief Justice Balakrishnan, who had recused himself from the matter after former law minister Shanti Bhushan had requested him to do so.

Mr Bhushan’s argument was that since the CJI had already passed certain administrative orders vis-à-vis the probe in the scam, he should not hear the matter on the judicial side.

The Chief Justice had earlier issued notices to the Centre and the UP government on a petition by the Ghaziabad Bar Association seeking investigation into the provident fund scam.


31 July, 2008 04:18:21




Lawyers defend appointment as commissioners



NEW DELHI: Lawyers appointed as court commissioners by the Delhi High Court to monitor MCD’s demolition drive against illegal construction in the Capital, on Thursday justified their appointment and said it was well within the provisions of law.

Appearing before the Division Bench of Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Manmohan, advocates Kirti Uppal and Rakesh Khanna countered the MCD’s argument that the appointment of nine advocates as court commissioners means setting up a parallel body of the MCD which is against the statutes and Constitution. HC on its part also observed that observations made by Supreme Court with respect to PILs were not binding in nature as clarified later by the CJI.

The lawyers argument was in response to an application filed by MCD challenging the power delegated to court commissioners by the High Court in connection with the demolition case.

In July 2006, while hearing a petition seeking directions to the civic agency to remove illegal encroachments, the Bench had appointed court commissioners to visit their respective zones and monitor the demolition drive against illegal constructions.

On Thursday the court commissioners defended the decision of HC to put in place a monitoring mechanism. Lawyers submitted that the Court was empowered to appoint court commissioners and monitoring committee members for better implementation of the provisions of law. ‘‘The direction of HC was not to substitute the statutory authority (MCD) officers but to observe that the MCD officers strictly comply with the court’s order,’’ the counsels submitted, pressing for continuation of the monitoring panel. The advocates maintained that it was failure on part of the MCD which forced the court to appoint such a panel.

1 Aug 2008, 0236 hrs IST,TNN



CJI withdraws from PF scam hearing


NEW DELHI, JULY 31: The multi-crore provident fund (PF) scam unearthed from a Ghaziabad court will be heard by a special three-judge Bench of the Supreme Court on Friday. Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, who heard the matter in the earlier hearing, has now recused himself from it and placed the matter before the Bench headed by Justice B N Agarwal. The other two judges are Justices V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi.

The CJI is already seized of the matter on the administrative side as the Ghaziabad police chief had sought his permission before proceeding to question several High Court judges and an apex court judge, who have been named in the scam.

In the previous hearing, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan appearing for Delhi chapter of Transparency International had objected to the CJI hearing the matter on judicial side, even when he is seized of the matter on the administrative side.

The court has issued notices to the Centre and Uttar Pradesh Government on a petition by the Ghaziabad Bar Association seeking investigation into the scam.

It has been alleged that 26 members of judiciary, including an apex court judge, seven Allahabad HC judges, six retired HC judges and 12 judges from subordinate judiciary in the state, were beneficiary of crores of rupees allegedly withdrawn from the PF account of Class III and IV staff in Ghaziabad region between 2001 and 2008.

Express News Service

Posted online: Friday, August 01, 2008 at 2355 hrs



Hospital fined Rs 7 lakh for negligence



LUCKNOW: In a significant judgement, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has slapped a fine of Rs 7 lakh on a private hospital and its surgeon for medical negligence.

The doctor allegedly erred in removing the organ during the course of treatment without following the set medical procedures.

The forum in its judgement dated July 22, 2008, has termed the case regarding Urmila Singh and her husband Virendra Singh versus Lucknow Hospital and its surgeon Dr S Munshi, to be that of medical negligence.

The judgement has observed that emergency, howsoever acute, does not require the doctor to do something which is not in his domain and treatment procedure should first determine if the case under consideration is to be handled by a general or a specialised surgeon.

Given the order, opposite parties (hospital and the doctor) will have to pay the complainants a sum of Rs 4 lakh as compensation within a period of two months from the date of judgment.

Besides, they will also pay an interest over this amount with effect from August 25, 2001 (date of filing the complaint) at the rate of 10% per annum. The total amount of compensation will hence settle down close to Rs 7 lakh.

The complainants in their version submitted at the forum had stated that Urmila Singh had sought consultation of Dr S Munshi at Lucknow Hospital on January 25, 2001 over a gynaecological problem that she was suffering from.

She was admitted in the hospital and was tested for her blood samples. Then on, the doctor told her that a tumor had been noticed in her uterus and hence the organ will have to be removed.

The patient, taking the advice of the doctor, underwent surgery a day after getting admitted to the hospital.

However, the post-operation pathological report showed that the removed organ was malignant.

1 Aug 2008, 0216 hrs IST, Neha Shukla,TNN



Govt wants panel to probe corrupt judges



The Government on Thursday said it would not remain a silent spectator if the judiciary failed to take action against judges facing allegations of corruption and misconduct.

Ahead of Friday’s hearing in the Supreme Court on the Ghaziabad provident fund scam allegedly involving 36 judges, the Law Ministry said judiciary’s reluctance to take action against corrupt judges is tarnishing its image.

“Allegations of corruption against judges are on a steady rise. Ghaziabad scam is an example, where names of judges right from the district level to the Supreme Court have cropped up. There should have been a system to look into it, we cannot be silent spectators in such a serious matter”, a senior ministry official said.

Faced with criticism for its reluctance to take steps to make the judiciary accountable, the government is likely to push for the passage of the Judges Inquiry Bill during the Monsoon session. The bill provides for a five-member panel of judges to probe allegations against the judiciary.

The ministry wants the judiciary to take an initiative and form a judges panel itself.

The demand for it gained momentum after the Ghaziabad scam came to light in which 36 judges — a sitting Supreme Court judge, 11 judges of Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts, and 24 district-level judges of Uttar Pradesh — have been named as alleged financial beneficiaries.

Asked about the government’s stand in the Ghaziabad case, in which the Supreme Court has sought its opinion on what sort of probe should be ordered, the official said: “The Law Minister has always maintained that allegations against judges should be looked into by a committee of judges. He is against external interference, but the judiciary has been reluctant to take steps.”

Law Minister HR Bhardwaj is learnt to have conveyed his views to Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan that there was an urgent need to constitute a permanent committee of judges to probe allegations of corruption and misconduct against the judges, sources said.

Presently, a probe against a Supreme Court or High Court judge can only be ordered if 100 Lok Sabha MPs or 50 Rajya Sabha MPs move a motion for impeachment against the judge.

Though the CJI and High Court Chief Justices can initiate a probe against judges facing corruption and misconduct allegations by activating an in-house procedure, this mechanism has failed to deliver so far.

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times

New Delhi, August 01, 2008

First Published: 00:25 IST(1/8/2008)



HC on traffic snarls


Acting Chief Justice Deepak Verma of Karnataka on Wednesday expressed his ire over the traffic situation in Bangalore.

“I come to the court by 9.30 am everyday, almost one hour advance. I start early in the morning because I can be delayed due to traffic jam in the City. I am caught in traffic snarls at least once everyday,” he said.
His remarks came while hearing a PIL opposing the magic boxes that is triggering traffic chaos in the city.
The Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed by a former Syndicate member of the Bangalore University K L Bhagavan.

The petitioner said that the magic boxes are unmagical as they are hindering traffic instead of solving the chaotic traffic.

Not useful
He requested the High Court that there should be regular underpasses in place of the magic boxes. Giving an example of the poor traffic situation at the Cauvery Junction, the petitioner said the magic boxes are not serving the purpose.

Set up a panel
He also said that the government or the BBMP should constitute a committee of think tanks comprising engineers, architects and scientists who can suggest the best ways for the easy flow of traffic in Bangalore City.
The Court has issued a notice to the BBMP Commissioner in this regard.


posted by The Bangalorean @ 7/31/2008 07:49:00 PM

Thursday, July 31, 2008

DH News Service, Bangalore:




Notice to BBMP over magic boxes



BANGALORE: A division Bench of the high court has ordered notices to be issued to the state and the BBMP over PIL seeking stay on construction of magic box underpasses in the city under the present design.

K N Bhagawan, former Bangalore University Syndicate member, said magic boxes are not the solution to traffic chaos.

“At the Cauvery Junction magic box underpass, vehicles have to take U-turn to reach the main road. Instead of allowing free flow of traffic, these boxes are hindering movement of vehicles. The present practice of closing gaps with boulders on either side is outdated. The authorities should consider erecting inverted cone-shaped structures, which create parking space. The BBMP is not able to cope with the increasing traffic in the city. It should be directed to set up think-tank committee consisting of experts, scientists and architects . Work on underpasses should continue only after the advice of this committee is considered,” the petitioner said.

Retirement age hike challenged

A city advocate has moved the high court, challenging implementation of the order enhancing retirement age of government employees from 58 to 60, effective July 17.

“The order was issued without amending Karnataka Civil Service Rules. The government did not call for objections from the people concerned before taking this decision. This will also ruin prospects of young job aspirants ,” the petitioner claimed.

Notice to state

A division Bench has ordered notice to the state on PIL filed by city advocate Y N Nagaraja , challenging the appointment of H N Krishna as state information commissioner.

Petitioner’s counsel X M Joseph told the court that Krishna is facing charges of involvement in a recruitment scam related to Groups A and B posts during his stint as KPSC chairman.

He added that under Article 319(b), a former chairman of a public service commission cannot be employed by either central or state governments after retirement.

Techie and husband reunited

The habeas corpus case involving an IBM techie was solved on Wednesday morning when the police produced her in court.

Shrutha Rokhade, a software engineer, told the court she is willing to live with her husband and colleague, Mohit Mohan. They married on April 29 at the Arya Samaj. He approached court claiming Shrutha’s parents illegally detained her.

Caveat filed in apex court

Bangalore: Karnataka Unaided Schools Managements Association (KUSMA) has filed a caveat in the Supreme Court, after the state government filed a special leave petition, challenging a high court order allowing unaided schools in the state to choose their medium of instruction.

31 Jul 2008, 0443 hrs IST,TNN




Ex-BJP MLA files PIL against MLA Machhar


AHMEDABAD: A public interest litigation has been filed in Gujarat High Court by a former BJP MLA from Jhalod complaining against the sitting MLA, Ditabhai Machhar of usurping land allocated to tribal families for cultivation.

In his PIL filed through advocate Banna Dutta, Bhurabhai Katara has alleged that the sitting MLA grabbed plots of land from many people each measuring 10 gunthas in forest area near Jhalod and registered the land in his own name.

“Machhar has got the papers in done his name and has accordingly got changes made in official documents in connivance with local authorities,” said the advocate.

Taking up the issue of local tribals, Katara has complained against the authorities and sought direction from the court to return the plots to those entitled to have them.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice MS Shah and Justice DH Waghela issued notices to the secretary, the collector Dahod, the mamlatdar and concerned talati-cum-matris and asked them to file their replies by the end of August, when next hearing in this case is scheduled.

31 Jul 2008, 0606 hrs IST,TNN




VCMDWA to file PIL against double taxation


Approaches Supreme Court for the removal of value-added tax or service tax

NAGPUR, INDIA: The Vidarbha Computer Manufacturers and Dealers Welfare Association (VCMDWA) plans to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court (SC) against the government’s double taxation policy on software. Prashant Ugemuge, President of VCMDWA said, “The government has levied double taxation on software. The first is value-added tax (VAT) and then we have to shell out for service tax (ST). Paying two types of tax is becoming difficult for end-customers and our dealers.”

He gave the instance of selling software like Windows, where a dealer has to pay four percent VAT and 12 percent service tax.

“Besides this, customers also deduct 12 percent as tax deducted at source (TDS). The TDS can be retrieved from the government, but it often takes a couple of years to get it back during that time, the dealer’s working capital is blocked. This is why the association has decided to take this extreme step of filing a PIL,” he added.

According to market sources, two types of tax on the same product are unconstitutional. Ugemuge said, “The SC has declared that there should not be double taxation on single product, which justifies our fight.”

“This fight is to protect the interest of customers as well as dealers. According to our legal experts, we have all the grounds to file a PIL in court. We are hopeful that the judiciary will take this matter into consideration and bring a stay order on double taxation policy of the government or allow for a single tax system,” added Hitesh Parikh, VP, VCMDWA.

VCMDWA hopes that other channel associations across the country also join it in this fight. Ugemuge said, “This initiative may not be a big success without the participation of other people from the country.”

Meanwhile, the association had organized a blood donation camp and free medical health check up for its members and their family last week. Nearly 170 people participated in the camp and 67 people donated blood.

VCMDWA is also organizing a fun-filled event on August 8,2008 for its members and their families on being voted as one of the best associations in India by The DQ Channels.

Singer Penaz Masaani has been invited as the chief guest for the evening.


Archana Swamy

Thursday, July 31, 2008



High Court fines lawyer


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The Bombay High Court on Thursday fined a lawyer and dismissed his PIL seeking the court’s intervention in the nuke deal.

“Petitioner as a lawyer is also an officer of the court. He is obliged to act with a great sense of responsibility and realise the consequences of filing such frivolous petition,” the court said in its order.

Former president of Bombay City Civil and Sessions Court Bar Association MV Holmagi had filed a PIL urging the court to advise the government to stop pursuing the deal with the US, as measure of judicial activism. “It is unfortunate that a practising advocate has opted to act in such an irresponsible manner and has instituted the present petition primarily with the intent of publicity”, read the order. The court has fined Holmagi Rs5,000.

Holmagi had filed another PIL seeking an unconditional apology from the governments of UK and Australia for allegedly terming Indians terrorists after Dr Mohammed Hanif was arrested in Australia in a terrorist case. “Such repeated attitude of the petitioner ostracises him from the class of lawyers.”

Mayura Janwalkar

Friday, August 01, 2008  00:08 IST



SC issues notice to Magnum Equity, NSE


New Delhi (PTI): Market regulator SEBI has moved the Supreme Court challenging the sectoral tribunal’s ruling that set aside its decision to levy fresh registration fee from stock broking firm Magnum Equity Services Ltd.

A bench headed by Justice Tarun Chatterjee sought reply from National Stock Exchange, stock brokers Magnum Equity Services Ltd, Magnum Capital Services as to why fee continuity benefit should be granted to it.

Securities Appellate Tribunal had held that the fee continuity benefit can be granted even if any partner of the erstwhile partnership firm becomes a director in the new corporate entity after its conversion.

The tribunal, while setting aside the SEBI order, had observed that all the partners need not become whole-time directors of the new corporate entity and “if any one of the partners of the erstwhile partnership firm” becomes a director in the corporate entity after its conversion, then the fee continuity benefit can be granted.

The tribunal’s stand was contrary to SEBI circular.

While challenging the SAT ruling that allowed fee continuity benefit to Magnum, SEBI submitted that the tribunal failed to appreciate as to what was being converted, whether the entity of a partnership as a whole or any individual partner of the firm.

Thursday, July 31, 2008


Pesky calls: SC asks govt to introduce \’Do Call Register\’


Pesky calls made to unsuspecting cellphone users by telemarketing companies have not stopped completely despite government’s efforts, the Supreme Court today noted while suggesting introduction of a new ‘Do Call Register’ facility to curb the menace.    

The court observed that cellphone users’ fundamental right to privacy was being violated by some telemarketing companies which have been calling them up despite their registration with the `Do Not Call Register’ of Trai.    

The court proposed introduction of ‘Do Call Register’ facility to enlist the names of cellphone users who wish to receive calls related to promotional schemes. Telemarketing companies would be allowed to call only these cellphone users.     

Once such a facility is in place, unsolicited calls made to all those cellphone users who do not register for it would become illegal.      

A bench headed by Justice A K Mathur directed the government to introduce the new facility in view of the failure of the recently-introduced ‘Do Not Call Register’ facility which was aimed at allowing consumers, who did not want to be disturbed by telemarketing executives, to sign up.      

The bench asked the Centre to file a compliance report within six weeks stating that the new mechanism was being adopted by it to check unsolicited calls made to cellphone users across the country.      

It also asked Department of Telecommunications to disconnect the unregistered telemarketing companies which had failed to register themselves within the three months’ time given to them in March this year.

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi July 31, 2008, 18:55 IST



HC clears results of Rajasthan PMT-2007



JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court has allowed the Rajasthan University of Health Science to declare the results of Rajasthan Pre-Medical Test (RPMT) 2007 counselling and grant admission for the present academic session.

The results were so far withheld due to the directions of the court on the petitions challenging the marking system adopted for the exam.

Justice Dalip Singh on Wednesday allowed the results to be declared. About 1,100 students underwent counselling after the RPMT-2007 written examination results were declared last month and were to be granted colleges for their studies in particular stream of medical science.

The petitioners had challenged that the marking was erroneous and that the bonus marks were wrongly given to even those candidates who have not attempted the incorrect questions in the exams.

“There was no illegality in the marking system adopted by the university and that all candidates have been equally treated so far the allotment of bonus marks was concerned. No additional advantage has been adduced to any candidate,” additional advocate general Bharat Vyas submitted before the Bench.

31 Jul 2008, 0226 hrs IST, Abhinav Sharma,TNN



UP mills challenge HC ruling on cane price


The Uttar Pradesh sugar mills have challenged the Allahabad High Court’s recent ruling, which restored the Rs 125-130 state-advised price (SAP) of sugarcane for the 2007-08 season (October-September) in its final judgement.

The Uttar Pradesh Sugar Mills’ Association (UPSMA), on behalf of the sugar mills, on Wednesday filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the Supreme Court, said industry sources.

In a judgement on July 7, the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had dismissed the UPSMA petition, challenging the 2007-08 SAP for sugarcane. The Bench restored the SAP of Rs 125-130 a quintal and struck down the interim price of Rs 110 a quintal that it declared in November last year. Mills were directed to pay the difference of Rs 15 a quintal within a period of two months.

While at a price of Rs 110 a quintal, sugar mills were required to pay Rs 8,211 crore to farmers for the sugarcane purchased, an SAP of Rs 125-130 would require mills to make an additional payment of about Rs 1,100 crore.

The industry is reluctant to make this additional payment. “We are making marginal profits at Rs 110 a quintal since sugar realisation is low. At Rs 125, our bottom lines will turn red and have long-term impact on the industry’s financial health,” said a UP miller.

All UP sugar companies had accounted for a sugarcane price of Rs 110 a quintal while declaring their results in the October-December and January-March quarterly results. Interestingly, most had declared a profit at this price.

In the 2007-08 season, mills had refused to crush at the SAP and began crushing after a month’s delay only after the court declared an interim price of Rs 110 on November 15. Due to the delay in mills’ crushing, farmers were forced to dump cane at the gur and khandsari units in a bid to vacate their fields for sowing wheat.

The Allahabad court dismissed the writ after finding that there was no defect in the recovery proceedings along with the fact that the writ petition challenging SAP announced by UP had already been dismissed by the Lucknow Bench of the HC on July 7, 2008.

The counsel for the cane grower’s cooperative societies, Ravindra Singh, pointed out that the petitioner failed to comply with the court directives, including those of the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, in another case filed by the SBEC Sugar Mill in Malakpur of the Baghpat district, the court has directed the mill to pay one-fourth of the collection charges. The mill is owned by the Modi Group.

The petitioner had challenged the collection charges of about Rs 8 crore (10 per cent of the recoverable amount of Rs 89 crore), pleading the same as excessive and arbitrary.

However, SBEC had already paid the sugarcane dues within the time fixed by the SC (June 30, 2008). The above orders were passed by a division bench comprising Justices Janardan Sahai and Sudhir Agrawala.

Ajay Modi & Virendra Singh Rawat / New Delhi/lucknow July 31, 2008, 3:41 IST




Bombay HC admits plea challenging Termination of Pregnancy Act

The Bombay High Court has admitted a petition, challenging the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act and adjourned its hearing till August 1 while asking the government Medical experts to give their opinion on it.

Admitting the petition yesterday, a division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tatde directed a committee of doctors to examine a 25-week pregnant woman and admit her for termination of pregnancy.

The court gave the direction during the hearing on the plea moved by a couple who reside at Bhayendar in Thane district, identifying themselves in court papers only as Mr X and Mrs Y. The woman, who is 25 weeks pregnant, has urged the court to allow the abortion after they discovered that their unborn child suffers from a congenital heart condition, since according to the current law, pregnancy cannot be terminated beyond 20 weeks.

The petition, beside challenging the Act, had also sought permission to amend the MTP Act, regarding termination of pregnancy in exceptional cases beyond the stipulated period if the mother faces a fatal risk.

The woman, who is expecting her first child, found out only in the twenty-fourth week of her pregnancy that the fetus had a congenital heart block. Doctors told her that the child would need a pacemaker right from the time of birth and the quality of its life would be poor.

During the hearing, their gynecologist Nikhil Datar, who has also intervened in the petition, told the Court that some ailments in the fetus are detected only between the 20th and the 24th week of pregnancy. However, an abortion at this advanced stage is illegal, and hence medical practitioners refused to abort the child.





Employee\’s job cannot be downgraded on being transferred: HC


An employee’s job status cannot be downgraded on being transferred, the Delhi High Court has said while quashing Air India’s decision of demoting a cabin crew member after she was transferred from Mumbai to Delhi.     

“An order of transfer cannot deprive anyone of the existing right. If order of transfer substantially affect the status of an employee, the same would be violative of conditions of service and thus will not be sustainable and transfer must be made to an equivalent post,” Justice Sunil Kumar said.     

The Court’s order came on a petition filed by Chitra Sharma challenging the decision of Airline Allied Services Ltd (AASL), a subsidiary unit of Air India, which had demoted her from the post of check cabin crew to cabin crew on being transferred from Mumbai to Delhi on compassionate ground.     

Justice Kumar, while quashing the decision of the airline, directed that Sharma be appointed to the same post she was holding before being transferred.     

“The respondent (AASL) is directed to appoint Sharma to the post of check cabin crew from the date of the transfer,” the Court said in its ruling.     

Sharma, who has been working for the airline for the last 12 years, was holding the post of check cabin crew in Mumbai.     

She was transferred to Delhi in 2005 but after working for six months she was demoted to the post of cabin crew on the ground that there was no vacancy for the post she was holding in Mumbai.     

The Court after perusing the record found that these post are different in status and an employee can’t be given lower status job on being transferred from one city to another.

Press Trust Of India / New Delhi July 31, 2008, 11:12 IST



HC asks Bihar to enforce ‘Domestic Violence Act



PATNA: Patna High Court has directed the NDA government in Bihar to initiate steps to enforce the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha and Justice K K Mandal passed the order after hearing a public interest petition by senior advocate Shruti Singh on Wednesday.

Singh had complained that the delay in appointment of protection officers, creation of safe shelters, recording of incidents of domestic violence in prescribed format as also lack of awareness on the provisions of the Act were coming in the way of women who seek safety under the Act.

The state government had not framed the rules for effective implementation of the Act, he alleged.

The court further directed the state to appoint protection officers and service providers in every district of Bihar by November 30.

It ordered the state to make available one ‘safe shelter’ in each district for women affected by domestic violence, besides arranging programmes to train the police officers to handle the cases relating to domestic violence.

The Act came into force on October 26, 2006 with the objective to protect women from domestic violence such as abuse or threat of abuse, harassment of any nature like physical, sexual, verbal, emotional and economic.

Appearing on behalf of the Department for Woman and Child Development, Centre, its counsel Sanjay Kumar reasoned that the state governments must take immediate steps for implementing the Act to check incidents of domestic violence.

31 Jul 2008, 1452 hrs IST,PTI



Alleged govt-GMR collusion: HC reserves orders




HYDERABAD: Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy of the AP High Court reserved his orders on a petition that accused the state government of colluding with the GMR industries in merging their village, Kothavalasa, in the newly formed Rajam municipality (Nagar Panchayat) in Srikakulam district.

The petitioner in the case is Simma Jagannatham, a former sarpanch of Kothavalasa. He contended that merging of the village, located five kilometres away from the municipality, was unwarranted. He said the GMR group had two jute and twine mills in the village besides 20 acres of real estate land, he said.

In order to help their value go up, the group pressurised the government to merge the village with Rajam municipality, Jagannatham alleged.

Though the adjoining villages of Rajam are very close to it, they were not merged because the GMR group has no business interests there, he alleged.

The petitioner sought the suspension of the government order in this regard.

Breather for ex-serviceman’s daughter, Justice B Seshasayana Reddy of the AP High Court on Wednesday directed the authorities to allow a student, Nemalidinne Keerthi, who is the daughter of a deceased ex-service man from Karnool district, to appear for Eamcet counselling this year.

While filing her application online, she could not submit the details of her father issued by the district sainik welfare officer. The authorities earlier refused to consider her case under the children of armed personnel (CAP) quota.

31 Jul 2008, 0237 hrs IST,TNN






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