Daily Legal News 03.08.2008

Assam: Pak citizen fought Assembly poll



Sharing a border with Bangladesh has often meant that Assam has had a problem with illegal immigration. However, the story is really a shocker of how a Pakistani immigrant managed to contest the 1996 Assembly elections from Assam.

While passing two judgements on the deportation of 50 odd illegal Bangladeshi settlers, the Guwahati High court mentions of a Pakistani citizen to have contested the 1996 Assembly elections in Assam once again raking up the issue of illegal migration in the state.

The Guwahati High Court in a 95 page judgement on Wednesday has mentioned that Mohammad Kamaruddin, a Pakistani citizen, had contested the state Assembly elections in 1996.

The judgement also said that it is possible only in a place like Assam.

Since the 1970s, illegal migration has been the most emotive issue in the state and a huge political platform. Today, it is a common fact that there is illegal migration from neighbouring Bangladesh and now it seems that they are even slipping through the law to contest elections. However, despite such revelations, is there enough political will to stem the rot?

“The border is still porous. Along with illegal Bangladeshis, ISI, Jehadis and other fundamentalist groups are entering through Assam,” said Samujjal Bhattacharya, advisor, AASU.

But the minority leaders are contesting the judgement.

“A Kamaruddin cannot be an example for all communities. They don’t maintain their documents properly. We need to find out whether he has got his passport before or after 1971. If it’s before 71, he is a rightful citizen of India,” said Hafeez Rashid Choudhury, advocate and leader, United Minority Front.

The judgement is once again likely to bring the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh back to the centre stage of Assam, an issue that has been predominant for more than three decades.

Gayatri Bhattacharjee

Saturday, August 02, 2008, (Guwahati)



HC endorses ‘rotation’ principle


KOLKATA, Aug. 2: To pronounce a judgement legal precedents are often referred to. But besides referring to principles of law, Mr Justice Soumitra Pal of Calcutta High Court set aside the appointment of a life member in the managing committee of Haripur High School in Midnapur (east) as it goes against the principle of rotation after referring to Shorter Oxford Dictionary for the meaning of the word rotation in the context of “regular and recurring succession in office, duties etc of a number of persons”.
A distinction should, therefore, be made between “rotational” that is recurring succession and “non-rotational” that is ordinary lineal succession, the nine-page judgement stated. Incidentally, the counsel who was justifying the nomination of a respondent in the managing committee submitted that the primary duty of a court of law is to find the natural meaning of the word ‘rotation’ used in the context in which it occurs.
The issue of rotation does not arise when there is one life member and when the second such member enters the fray, the membership of the committee naturally alternates between these two members.
Tirthankar Mitra


Abortion case: Now, every day counts


Mumbai: Niketa Mehta has forced us to take a fresh look at the 37-yearold rules that control abortion by going to the Bombay High Court, pleading for a medical termination of pregnancy after the 20th week. But informed medical opinion has it that she may have put herself at some risk in the process.

Harsh and Niketa’s petition, filed on 22 July, said she had been carrying the foetus for about 24 weeks at that time. Eleven days have passed since then, which means she is well into the 25th week of pregnancy now, as the court waits for a clearer report from the J J Hospital panel of doctors.

Gynaecologists say Niketa faces some risks to her physical well-being even if she has her way in court (if the judges decide that she may go in for medical termination of pregnancy to abort the baby that may carry a serious cardiac condition lifelong).

“A medical termination of pregnancy after 25-26 weeks is not advisable for the woman’s sake,” a senior city gynaecologist said on Friday. “There may be severe complications ,” he added.

The Bombay High Court, in deciding whether or not to grant Niketa’s request, has already defined its role. The judges have observed that they can only interpret the law and not add to it.

High courts, legally speaking, can “read into’ ‘ a law and bring out its intent. If the section it is debating, for instance, is plain in meaning and the language is clear then high courts have no power to add words and can only strike it down if it is found to be constitutionally invalid, legal experts say. The Supreme Court has held in several judgements that the power to interpret is to bring out the real meaning or prevent irrationality , absurdities or unintended hardships.

Besides, as the abortion debate rages on in other parts of the world, legal experts say the issue here is really a question of ethics, right to life and personal choice.

But doctors also said the issue of the health of the unborn foetus was also of paramount importance.

Indian Journal of Medical Ethics editor Arun Bal said the law was very clear. “It says that abortion is legally allowed till 20 weeks. If later, then there has to an incurable condition that must prompt it. So experts have to assess whether the foetus’s condition is incurable,” he said on Friday. “They also have to assess the percentage risk of the child born with incurable problem; factors such as quality of life and survival rates have to worked out. Moreover, one cannot use a generalised approach to such problem. The decision has to be on a case-tocase basis,” Bal felt. “From the information I have, this could be a case of congenital complete heart block,” Jaslok Hospital director of cardiology A B Mehta said.

“Many such babies may require or may not require pacemakers . The baby could have little or no problem if there is no structural or functional abnormality of the heart. Many such babies, whose defects are not known, may or may not require a pacemaker immediately after birth. However, some of them have corrected transposition of the great vessels; that condition is compatible with natural and normal birth,” he added on Friday after the court said it would wait for a clearer report from J J Hospital doctors before adjudicating.

Hinduja Hospital paediatrician Indu Khosla said a complete heart block at birth was not a common condition but was known.

“There are two issues here: first, whether to give permission to abort at 25 weeks in case of a medical condition and, second, whether the condition is such that it warrants an abortion,” the paeditrician told TOI on Friday.

“There are many medical conditions that present themselves in a spectrum of symptoms, some serious and others not so serious. One often cannot decide how severely a child could be affected by just doing an antenatal scan. Moreover, what if the baby is born alive? Will one let it die? What if the child goes to a good centre and survives? There are many such issues to be sorted out before a decision is taken,” Khosla added.


Government-run J J Hospital has given a report to the Bombay High Court on the foetus that Niketa Mehta is carrying. But the judges have asked for a report that has more clarity.


These are the salient features of the first J J Hospital report The foetus is 24 weeks old. There are very fair chances that the child will be born incapacitated and handicapped (for survival). A sonogram has shown a complete heart blockage with low ventricular rate. The great artery (sic) is malpositioned but the heart is without any other structural damage and is viable for normal life provided there is no other anomaly in the heart. Only a small percentage of kids will exhibit symptoms of the condition and will require implantation of a pacemaker, costing less than Rs 1 lakh, which can be replaced by an adult pacemaker at a later date that will help the person lead a normal life.

The private gynaecologist’s findings may not be cent per cent correct .

Medical reasons do not substantively support the finding that doctors will have to resort to termination of pregnancy.


The J J Hospital committee, which prepared the report, comprised three specialists – gynaecologist Ashok Anand, cardiologist N O Bansal and pediatrician Neeta Sutay – who examined the status of the foetus.

The report was signed and submitted by J J Hospital dean B M Subnis. Of course I was excited about my first pregnancy. I still am excited. But I want a healthy baby. I want a normal baby. I don’t want to spend for the treatment of the child. We didn’t expect this delay. The J J Hospital committee has given a safe report. The issue here is of choice.

Niketa Mehta | PETITIONER

2 Aug 2008, 0507 hrs IST, Malathy Iyer & Swati Deshpande ,TNN http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com


SC looks for way out in PF scam


NEW DELHI: The Rs 23crore illegal PF withdrawal scam in the Ghaziabad judiciary, allegedly involving judges of all three-tiers — subordinate, high court and Supreme Court — is disturbing, admitted the SC on Friday, but it groped for a balance between independence of the judiciary and need to proceed against judges facing corruption charges.

The dilemma became evident as a three-judge bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, V S Sirpurkar and G S Singhvi, which on Friday began hearing the case after CJI K G Balakrishnan recused himself from the Bench that heard the case on July 17 and had issued notice to the Centre and the UP government.

The bench asked a pertinent question: “Can the judiciary maintain its independence if police is given a free hand to question and arrest judges of the subordinate judiciary on charges of corruption? If so, then no judge would be able to give impartial judgment as he would fear a complaint filed against him and resultant questioning by the police.”

At the same time, it was pricked by the facts of the case brought before it by the Ghaziabad Bar Association seeking a CBI probe into it on the ground that no station house officer would dare to question a sitting judge.

“What about retired judges? Why should they be not questioned? The probe under supervision of the Allahabad HC had not moved an inch since February and no sitting or retired judge allegedly involved in the scam had been questioned,” were the few questions he asked.

2 Aug 2008, 0334 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN


HC orders demolition of Garia Club’s building


KOLKATA, Aug 1: How much land does a man require? Arguably, the members of Garia Sabuj Dal club never gave it a thought though they had been forcibly occupying nearly 102 acres of land for years. Mr Justice Jayanta Biswas of Calcutta High Court today directed the Kolkata Municipal Corporation to pull down a two-storied house built on a portion of this large plot as soon as possible and further directed the police to extend cooperation to the civic body.
Way back in 2004, the civic body had served a demolition notice on the club. It had been renting it out to social functions, it was learnt. The club authorities had moved Calcutta High Court which did not set aside the demolition order. The Supreme Court upheld this order.
For enforcing the demolition order Ms Biprasri Guha, a co-owner the civic body had again moved the Calcutta High Court. The municipal authorities have every right to seek cooperation of the police for the implementation of the demolition, Mr Biswarup Bhattacharya and Mr Billadal Bhattacahrya submitted.
The building is located on a plot of land which has been vested, Mr Subrata Mukherjee appearing for the club. Mr NC Behani appeared for the civic body.




HC grants relief to retailers on rent service tax


MUMBAI: Bringing some cheer to modern retailers in an otherwise troubled market, the Bombay High Court granted interim relief from payment of service tax on the rents of immovable property. Retailers will not have to pay service tax till the final order in this regard is issued by the Supreme Court (SC).

The petitioners will have to file a written undertaking stating that in the event the challenges against such tax was disallowed, they will pay the amount due in accordance with the statutory provisions, the court observed. The Retailers Association of India (RAI) had filed a writ petition challenging levy of service tax on property as unconstitutional. The matter came up for hearing in the Bombay High Court on July 30, 2008.

The provision to levy 12% service tax on commercial rentals came into force on June 1, 2007 as part of the 2007-08 Union Budget. Future Group CEO Kishore Biyani said, “There is some clarity on the matter now. It is a relief for the retailers as this dispute had been there for some time now.” RAI CEO Gibson Vedhamani said, “We had earlier approached the Finance Ministry, Government of India to withdraw the particular tax. This is welcome relief to all our retailers.”

Industry watchers say the relief may be temporary since a stay order by the Bombay High Court essentially means that till the date of issue of order by the SC, retailers need not pay sales tax. “If the SC order favours the government, retailers would be required to cough up a significant sum as sales tax between the time of the stay order and judgement.”

Real estate developers too are upbeat over the move. “Easing the sales tax burden on retailers will help us negotiate the rentals better. Given the current market scenario, it is certainly a great relief,” said Sandeep Runwal, director, Runwal Group.

2 Aug, 2008, 0337 hrs IST, ET Bureau



HC slaps fine on petitioner who sought adjournment


Chandigarh, August 01 Bhiwani resident asked to pay Rs 25,000

The Punjab and Haryana High Court slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on a Bhiwani resident for a “highly deplorable” conduct.

The petitioner, Sabha Chand, got a property-dispute case listed before a division bench claiming it to be of a very urgent nature this year.

After the HC enlisted the case for hearing, the petitioner sought adjournment instead of arguing the case.

With the petitioner evading argument and seeking adjournment for over one-and-a-half months, the High Court decided to penalise the offender.

The case pertains to a plot of land in Bhiwani, Haryana. 

The petitioner, Sabha Chand claimed that the land belonged to his ancestors and had been wrongly transferred in the name of the Gram Panchayat.

He moved the Court seeking permission for correcting the revenue records and thereby taking possession of the land. With the case pending for long, Sabha Chand filed an application in the HC during the summer break for enlisting the case urgently for interim relief.

The Court listed the case for hearing on the same day. When the case came up for hearing, the counsel for the petitioner, however, sought adjournment, as instructed to him by Chand.

On the following day—-July 24—- the petitioner again sought adjournment and did not argue the case. It was brought to the notice of the High Court by the government counsel that the land in question was in dispute.

Expressing deep regret and shock over the conduct of the petitioner, the High Court observed:

“All that can be done is to express our shock and anguish at the tactics adopted by the petitioner to get a favourable order without reference to controversy”.

Terming the conduct of the petitioner as “highly deplorable” and ensuring that the jurisdiction of the Court is not abused in the future, the High Court slapped a penalty of Rs 25,000 on Sabha Chand


Posted online: Saturday , August 02, 2008 at 05:55:31
Updated: Saturday , August 02, 2008 at 05:55:31


HC admits PIL against 4 MPs


BANGALORE: The high court on Friday admitted PIL filed by city advocate S Vasudeva, seeking probe against four MPs from the state – H T Sangliana, M Shivanna , Kunnur Manjunath and Manorama Madhwaraj – who either cross-voted or abstained from voting in the Union government’s trust vote on July 22.

A division Bench, headed by acting Chief Justice Deepak Verma , ordered notices to the parliamentary secretariat , state, chief election commissioner , state election commission, CBI director, chief commissioner of income tax and the four MPs.

“Three of them voted in favour of the government and one abstained, ignoring the whip issued by their parties and attracting provisions of the antidefection law.

Though a complaint was filed on July 25 with the Speaker by BJP MPs, alleging Rs 3 crore each was offered for cross-voting or abstaining, there is no time frame to decide upon these complaints.

toiblr.reporter@timesgroup .com

2 Aug 2008, 0526 hrs IST,TNN



Fearing for his life, Halim’s wife moves HC


AHMEDABAD: Fearing danger to Abdul Halim’s life, his wife Noor Saba on Friday moved the Gujarat High Court expressing concerns about safety of the cleric, who was arrested by the city crime branch immediately after the serial blasts from his home in Danilimda.

Halim has been arrested in connection with a 2002 case for conspiring to incite 33 Muslim youths to take to arms and of sending them to terror training camps near Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. However, while seeking his remand, the crime branch claimed that his interrogation was needed in order to get leads in the recent blasts. In her petition filed by advocate Hashim Qureshi, Noor Saba has sought direction from the court to the crime branch to follow guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court. The apex court has given general directions to police that a person cannot be put to torture in custody.

Noor Saba has also requested the court to permit her to meet her husband. She has narrated in her petition how a police team raided her house and picked Halim without giving any reason. Upon the advocate’s requests, Justice AS Dave directed the public prosecutor to get the details, and kept further hearing on August 5.

2 Aug 2008, 0440 hrs IST,TNN



HC suspends judge over corruption complaints http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/HC_suspends_judge_over_corruption_complaints_/articleshow/3317116.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court has suspended a fast track court judge in Rajpipla after receiving several complaints of corruption and favouritism against her.

Rajpipla fast track court Judge DL Desai was suspended on Thursday evening after a primary inquiry held by the court’s vigilance department said that the complaints against her had substance. Further inquiry against her will be conducted by the department. Besides the complaint of favouritism in Rajpipla, where she was presently posted, the Desai was also accused of similar charges and issuing certificates without proper verification in Bharuch, where the she was discharging her duty as a principal district judge, the High Court authorities said.

The HC administration seems to be seriously taking the issue of corruption prevailing in Gujarat’s judiciary, as Desai’s is the fourth suspension in last three months. Earlier in May, a judge in Surat’s court, AN Vinjhola was suspended after similar complaints against him. The court administration also found him in possession of property out of proportion considering his known sources of income. Last month, two judges were suspended on charges of corruption. The Ahmedabad city civil Judge NM Thakor and KV Kakkad were also suspended by the HC after holding preliminary inquiry into complaints against them.

All the four suspended judges are now facing departmental inquiry.

2 Aug 2008, 0424 hrs IST,TNN



HC reserves order on Maoist’s plea


HYDERABAD: Justice P Swarup Reddy of the AP High Court on Friday reserved his orders on a petition filed by a senior Maoist leader Malla Raji Reddy.

The Maoist questioned the slapping of a second case against him based on a confession he allegedly made before the police.

He contended that cases cannot be booked based on such confessions.

Public prosecutor C Nageswara Rao argued nothing would stop the police from registering cases based on the information they get.

It was for the courts to decide whether such confessions were admissable or not at the stage of trial, he said.

2 Aug 2008, 0817 hrs IST,TNN



HC notice to Mahanta on defamation suit by Assam CM

New Delhi, Aug 2: The political rivalry between Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his predecessor Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has reached the Delhi High Court which issued notice to the Asom Gana Parishad (P) leader on a defamation suit filed by the Congress leader.

Gogoi has filed Rs one crore defamation lawsuit against Mahanta and the editor, resident editor and reporter of a national daily for publishing a news story in which he has been described as “corrupt public servant”.

Justice Hema Kohli admitted the petition and issued summons to Mahanta.

“The plaint is registered as a suit. Issue summons to the defendents (Mahanta and others) on filing of process fee within a week,” Justice Kohli said in the order.

Gogoi in his petition sought Rs one crore as damages from Mahanta and others for “loss of face, reputation, mental agony on account of the derogatory and defamatory statement.”

Posted at Saturday, 02 August 2008 18:08 IST




HC to decide on Niketa’s plea on Monday 


Not satisfied with the medical report from JJ hospital in the Niketa Mehta case, the Bombay High Court has directed the hospital’s special committee to give an additional confirmed opinion on this case by Monday (August 4) morning.

The Bombay High Court had asked a panel of doctors to clarify their stand in the case of a 25-weeks pregnant woman and give it a “positive and firm” opinion whether the abortion should be allowed owing to a risk to the foetus.

A Division Bench of Justices P B Majumdar and Amjad Sayed passed the order as the report submitted by the panel was contradictory, supporting the contention of the petitioner for abortion and opposing it at the same time.

Niketa and Haresh Mehta along with their doctor Nikhil Datar had moved the High Court seeking permission to abort the couple’s first child as it had a congenital complete heart block. The couple, coming from a middle class background, told the court that the pacemaker, which costs about one lakh rupees has a limited life. Changing the pacemaker every five years was not economically viable for the family.

Also, life would be traumatic not only for the couple but also for the child, said the couple’s counsel Jamshed Mistry. The couple wanted to have one healthy child, they told the court. The court had earlier ordered the dean of state-run JJ hospital to set up a panel of three experts to examine Niketa and submit its opinion to the court whether abortion was necessary in her case owing to anomaly in the foetus’ heart.

The report submitted today stated “sonography report shows that the foetus has a congential complete heart block,” but opined that abortion was not necessary. The consensus of the panel was that “there are very fair chances that the child will be born handicapped”. However, the report further stated that “on medical reasons, the committee feels the findings observed do not have substantive significance to resort to termination of pregnancy”.

The petitioners had contended that the child would need a pacemaker right from the time of birth and the quality of its life would be poor, so they wanted to abort the child. Niketa had found out only in the twenty-fourth week of her pregnancy that the foetus had a congenital heart block.

The couple’s gynaecologist Nikhil Datar told the court earlier that some ailments in the foetus are detected only between the 20th and the 24th week of pregnancy. However, an abortion at this advanced stage is illegal, so medical practitioners refused to abort the child.

According to the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act, the foetus can be aborted after 20 weeks only if there was a fatal risk to the mother and not the foetus. The petitioners also sought an amendment to the MTP Act to allow abortion beyond 20-weeks if a serious anomaly was detected in the foetus.

Niketa has also been permitted to consult independent experts apart from the panel if she wanted to, the court said. The report after reconsidering the case papers has to be submitted to the court on August 4, when the matter will come up for further hearing.

(With inputs from PTI)

8/2/2008 7:19:22 PM



Insurance firm to pay Rs 13 lakh for ‘infringing legal right’



Ludhiana, August 01 The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has directed the United India Insurance Company to pay the claim of Rs 13,31,181 lakh to one Prem Lal, a proprietor based in Jawahar Nagar, Ludhiana.

Forum president T N Vaidya and members D S Bakshi and Jagjit Kaur Mander also asked the company to pay an interest at the rate of nine per cent on the claim amount from the date of filling the complaint.

The forum held that the company wrongly filed the complainant’s claim as ‘no claim’, thereby infringing its legal right.

It also held that the complainant is entitled to claim the loss suffered to the insured goods by fire.

Prem Lal, proprietor of M/s Naveen Sales, Jawahar Nagar, Ludhiana, dealt in sofa materials. In his complaint, he told the forum that that he had taken a standard fire and special perils policy, valid from 17.03.2004 to 16.03.2005.

He alleged that on September 18, 2004, when he was in Dera Beas, his shop caught fire. The entire goods lying in the shop were damaged, causing a loss of Rs 21 lakh.

He said that the company was intimated about the fire on September 20 along with all valid documents. He alleged that the company failed to settle the claims for a long time, before repudiating it vide letter dated March 31, 2005.

On his part, the lawyer of the insurance company said that the report of the surveyor had claimed that the general condition of the insurance policy, taken by the complainant, had been violated.

After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the forum directed the insurance company to pay the aforesaid amount and Rs 12,000 as litigation expenses.

Express News Service

Posted online: Saturday , August 02, 2008 at 05:22:09
Updated: Saturday , August 02, 2008 at 05:22:09


Patient’s mother moves HC for extending Venugopal’s term


New Delhi, June 26: A woman, whose nine-year-old son’s heart ailment is being personally looked into by AIIMS director P Venugopal, has moved the Delhi High Court for a direction to the Centre for extending his term in office by six months to help her son receive his final treatment.

Venugopal’s term as Director of the Institute shall end on July 2 this year. However, the final treatment of petitioner’s ailing son is unlikely till that date due to Venugopal’s busy schedule.

Filing a petition through her counsel Sugriv Dubey, the petitioner Meera Mishra said her son’s treatment remained incomplete during the period Dr Venugopal was removed from the post earlier this year and it may remain so if his term in office is not extended.

Following the AIIMS (amendment) Bill 2007, passed by the Parliament in November last year, Venugopal was out of the office of Director but the Supreme Court in its judgement reinstated him on May 8.

She said that her son was suffering from heart problem as one of the heart valve was not working properly and Venugopal and his team has been giving treatment to the boy since his birth and assured that the final treatment would be given to him during January this year, she added.

When she had approached the hospital for final treatment in January, she was told that the noted heart surgeon was removed from the post, she said.

Following the Supreme Court judgement reinstating Venugopal to the post of AIIMS Director, Mishra claimed she approached the hospital for the treatment of the child. However, she said, Venugopal’s term will come to end on July 2 – again before the completion of her son’s treatment.

The vacation Bench of Delhi High Court would hear her petition tomorrow. Posted at Thursday, 26 June 2008 20:06 IST



HC snub for ex-worker who wanted job back after losing election


Mumbai: Bombay High Court today refused to grant relief to a former employee of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking, who quit to contest elections, but wanted his job back after losing.

Raghunath Kottarry, a deputy engineer with BEST, resigned in January 2007 as he wanted to contest the elections for Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai.

However, he lost the election, so he applied to the BEST, seeking re-employment.

He relied on a 1992 circular which said that if an employee quits to contest election (as employees are not allowed to contest elections as per the BEST rules), and applies for re-employment later, his/her application should be “considered with sympathy”.

However, BEST administration rejected his application without giving any reason, following which he moved the High Court.

In the High Court, BEST produced his service record since 1989 to 2003, which had many adverse remarks.

The BEST”s lawyer also pointed out that 1992 circular has been superceded by a new circular in 2007, which lays down, as a policy, that employees who quit to contest elections would not be taken back.


The division bench of Justices Swatanter Kumar and V M Kanade held that in the light of the new circular, Kottary’s claim does not survive. Moreover, even going by the 1992 rules, he had no right to re-employment but a mere right to consideration for re-employment, the Court said.

His service record was unsatisfactory, the fact which he did not challenge, the Court said, dismissing his petition.


Publication Date  26/6/2008 8:02:46 PM(IST)



HC direction to special court to conclude trial in 3 months


Chennai,June 26: Madras High Court has directed a Special Court to conclude trial of two bomb blast cases involving an accused, who is in judicial custody for the last eight years, within next three months.

Passing orders on a petition filed by M Riaz-ur-Rehman, owner of Indian Explosives Corporation Limited, seeking bail from the trial pending before the Special Court here, Justice R Reghupathi observed that “It is unfortunate to note that the accused is kept in custody for more than eight years and no efforts were taken to complete the trial at the earliest.” “Though it has been submitted by the government that the accused have also contributed for the delay, steps should have been taken to conduct the trial on a day to day basis,” the Judge said.

“In the event of failure on the part of prosecution to complete the trial as stipulated, the petitioner is at liberty to approach this court for grant of relief,” the judge said.

The petitioner, who was implicated in the Coimbatore serial bomb blast case, surrendered before the police on March 2, 2000 and was remanded in judicial custody. He was also implicated in Udumalaipet bomb blast, Pandian Express bomb blast at Tiruchirapalli and Veppery compound wall blast case.

While he was acquitted in Coimbatore and Udumalaipet blast cases, he remained an accused in the other two cases for which a trial was on at the Special Court.

In all the cases, the charge against the petitioner was that the explosive materials used for the blast were procured from his shop. – Agencies

Published: Thursday, June 26, 2008


Row over TN Bar Council Chairman post goes to HC


Chennai (PTI): The row between two members of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry over the Chairman post has reached Madras High Court with one of them filing a petition seeking a direction to the Bar Council Secretary to conduct fresh election for the post and restrain the incumbant from acting as the Chairman.

In his petition, D Selvam, a member of the council, submitted that an election to the Chairman post was held on November 11, 2005 and he had agreed to the request of R K Chandramohen to suport him as no one had a clear majority in the 25-member executive which elects the Chairman.

Selvam submitted that an understanding was reached between the two wherein they decided to share the post among themselves. While Chandramohen would assume the Chairman’s office for the first half of the five-year term, he (Selvam) would take over for the second half.

However, when Chandramohen’s tenure ended as per the agreement on May 30, 2008, he was reluctant to vacate his post and instead disputed that he had entered into an agreement to share the post.

Selvam alleged that considering the following events, “Chandramohen is consistently inconsistent on his stand and is holding to the post of Chairman to suit his convenience”.

Thursday, June 26, 2008



HC allows Shahabuddin to go to AIIMS for check-up


Patna, June 26: The Patna High Court today granted three days’ permission to jailed RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin to undergo a medical check-up at AIIMS, Delhi, but directed the police party that would accompany him to bring him back after the stipulated time, even if it required use of force.

“Permission (to go to AIIMS) is granted after the petitioner furnishes an undertaking to return after three days or else the police party is required to bring Shahabuddin back to Siwan jail by using minimum force,” a division bench comprising Justices Shivkirti Singh and Abhijit Sinha said in an order.

Hearing the petition filed by the controversial MP from Siwan seeking permission to go to the premier hospital for check-up they said the permission granted was “a one time order” and directed the delhi police to extend all help to the police escort from Bihar if Shahabuddin insisted on overstaying.

The bench directed the state government to make necessary arrangements for taking Shahabuddin to AIIMS and bringing him back to Siwan jail within the next two weeks.

Posted at Thursday, 26 June 2008 22:06 IST



HC gives girl hope


The high court has asked the West Bengal Council for Higher Secondary Education to show the mathematics answer script of a girl who twice failed in the subject but cleared the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination this year.

Justice Soumitra Pal on Thursday asked Paramita Mukherjee to deposit the answer script in court as soon as she received it from the council.

The order came in response to a petition filed by Paramita’s father Kishore Mukherjee, who believes that his daughter would not have cracked the entrance test had she been weak in mathematics. He appended Paramita’s Higher Secondary marksheets to the petition.

A student of Chandernagore Krishnabhabini Nari Siksha Mandir, the girl’s scores in the 2007 examination were 61 in Bengali, 63 in English, 33 in chemistry, 42 in physical science, 71 in biology, 87 in environment science and 22 in math.

“As she could not succeed in mathematics in 2007, Paramita appeared again in Higher Secondary this year. She got 85 in Bengali, 69 in English, 63 in chemistry, 63 in physical science, 73 in biology, 95 in environment science and 19 in mathematics,” advocate Abhijit Chakraborty, counsel for the Mukherjees, said in court.

“In this year’s exam, Paramita’s marks in each subject increased, except in mathematics, and she could not pass the exam. But the same student appeared in this year’s All-India Engineering/Architect Entrance Examination and her national rank in the said examination was 24,126. She was ranked 982 in the state.”

Chakraborty requested the court to ask the council to show the mathematics answer script, saying it was the only way to remove the Mukherjees’ doubts about the fairness of the evaluation process. “Paramita’s father wants to know whether her paper was properly assessed or not,” the lawyer said.

Paramita, he pointed out, was sure she would pass Higher Secondary last year itself. “After publication of the results in 2007, she felt her math paper had not been assessed properly. But still, she decided to take the test again.”

Counselling of students for admission to engineering colleges is slated for July 9. “It will be unfortunate if Paramita is not allowed to be part of the process,” Chakraborty said.OUR LEGAL REPORTER

 Friday , June 27 , 2008



Jails like old-age homes: CJI Balakrishnan


Hyderabad, June 25: The Chief Justice of India, Mr K.G. Balakrishnan, said on Wednesday that jails in the country would soon become old-age homes because of the long delays in conduct of trials.
Addressing a seminar organised by the Retired Judges Association on crime and punishment here, Justice Balakrishnan said that inordinate delay in trials was resulting in overcrowding of jails with under-trials and prisoners.
“Most of the cases are pending for decades and a majority of the under-trial prisoners do not get bails on time,” he said. “A large number of them have attained the age of 70 or 80. If the situation continues like this, our jails will turn into old-age homes.”
The Chief Justice said that he was not in favour of the death penalty for rape. “There is every possibility of convicting an innocent with the help of a clever advocate and stage-managed evidence in our system.”
He also opposed severe punishment for accused in road accident cases keeping in view the condition of roads. “If we impose severe punishment, majority of drivers will land in prisons,” he said, and sought a public debate on the issue.
Justice Balakrishnan expressed concern at judges awarding different kinds of sentences to similar crimes and said these disparities need to be regulated.
“Most of the judges in the country are soft in nature,” he said.
“We hardly find judges who are strict in awarding deterrent punishment to the accused who are proved to be guilty.”
The Chief Justice said that judges should elicit the family background as well as the economic, social and educational profile of an accused during the course of trials.
“This system is prevalent in the West and will enable proper judgment,” he said
The CJI opposed severe punishment for accused in road accident cases.Keeping in view of road and other conditions it was very difficult to impose severe punishment in accident cases in the country.
“If we impose severe punishment on drivers majority of our drivers will land in prisons,” he observed. He wanted a public debate conducted on this.
Justice A R Lakshmanan , Chairman National Law Commission said that police machinery has miserably failed to keep their functioning transparent and in ensuing equal treatment to the citizens.
“The lack of judges is not sole reason for the delays. It is the long procedures, cumbersome processes and the lack of accountability of the criminal justice system,” he added.
Justice Lakhmanan did not favour the death punishment in dowry death cases. He argued that the life imprisonment for accused is justifiable in such crimes.
Justice Arijit Pasayat of Supreme Court said ” imposition of sentence without considering its effect on the social order in many cases may be in reality a futile exercise”.
Justice A R Dave, Chief Justice of the AP High Court emphasised for deterrent punishment in heinous crimes


Thursday, June 26, 2008

By Shariff Amreeuddin Ishaqui





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