Daily Legal News 06-07.08.08

Irish becomes the first women to head UN legal department
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/244D76C1347E84676525749E002BF450?OpenDocument
United Nations, Aug 7 (PTI) Patricia O’Brien of Ireland has become the first woman to head the United Nations legal department.O’Brien, 51, who replaces Nicolas Michel of Switzerland, had previously served as Senior Legal Adviser to the Irish Attorney General and as Legal Counsellor at Irish Permanent Representation to European Union in Brussels.Since 2003, O’Brien has been serving as Legal Adviser to the Department of Foreign Affairs in Ireland. She provided counsel on legal issues arising in Irish foreign policy, particularly in the domain of public international law, human rights law and European Union law.The new Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and UN Legal Counsel brings to the job “an extensive experience of law and international affairs to integrate the legal dimension in the internal decision-making processes,” UN spokesperson Michele Montas said announcing O’Brien’s appointment.It will also promote the rule of law in international relations, and contribute to the strengthening of the culture of the end of impunity,” he said. PTI
www.ptinews.com

Ban lifted on SIMI
http://in.reuters.com/article/topNews/idINIndia-34846120080806
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Delhi High Court on Tuesday lifted a ban on the Students’ Islamic Movement of India or SIMI, accused of deadly bomb attacks, saying there was no evidence to brand it an unlawful organisation.
Since it was banned in 2001, SIMI has been blamed by police for almost every major bomb attack, including explosions two years ago on commuter trains in Mumbai in which 187 people were killed.
The group is also being investigated over last month’s bombings in Gujarat which killed 45 people.
But a tribunal of the Delhi High Court turned down a government request to extend the ban by another two years, saying there was no evidence to show SIMI was unlawful.
The ban, extended three times since 2001, was challenged by SIMI this year.
“The government had nothing in support of its claim,” Trideep Pais, SIMI’s lawyer, said. “They had nothing to prove SIMI was unlawful or dangerous.”
A Home Ministry official said the court had rejected its appeal to extend the ban on “technical grounds”.
SIMI started in 1977 as an offshoot of Jamaat-e-Islami-Hind, a moderate religious and social organisation of Muslims with a strong network of members and scholars across India.
It stated that the Koran was its constitution, that jihad or a holy struggle to protect Islam was its path and martyrdom its desire.
SIMI attracted little attention until 2001 when the then ruling Hindu nationalist government banned it, blaming it for inciting religious hatred and riots.
Many SIMI activists were detained and others went underground after the ban.
Security officials say some were pushed into the folds of militant groups fighting Indian rule in Kashmir and crossed over to Pakistan for training in camps run by militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The Home Ministry official said the government would challenge the lifting of the ban in a higher court. SIMI had been outlawed under a law on the prevention of unlawful activities.
Wed Aug 6, 2008 7:57am IST
http://in.reuters.com

Protection of sea turtles: HC directs Chief Secretary to file affidavit http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20080806095316&Page=Q&Title=Orissa&Topic=0
CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Tuesday directed the Chief Secretary of the State to file a fresh affidavit on the steps taken by the Government for protection and conservation of sea turtles along with details of the request made to the Centre for special funding and other measures in the direction.The division bench comprising Chief Justice BS Chauhan and Justice BN Mohapatra rejected the affidavit filed by the Chief Secretary terming it mechanical and not based on the queries of the court. The fresh one should be filed in two weeks to which the Centre would respond on the steps taken by it on the State’s request.The PIL was filed by one Rajiv Dasgupta.
Wednesday August 6 2008 09:53 IST
Express News Service
www.newindpress.com

SC dismisses Dhariwal plea on excise levy
http://sify.com/finance/fullstory.php?id=14735220
The Supreme Court has rejected Dhariwal Industries’ challenge to the Central government’s notifications proposing levy of excise duty on pan masala and gutka makers on the basis of their installed capacity rather than production capacity.
A bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia, while rejecting the plea, observed that the state might have taken the measures ‘to stop the gutka industry’.
Dhariwal had challenged the Bombay High Court’s interim order that refused to stay the three notifications issued on June 1, 2008 under Section 3A of the Central Excise Act 1944. The high court, therefore, authorised the Central government to notify certain goods and make rules for determination of the production capacity of a machine and charge excise duty on the basis of such determined capacity.
The company challenged the validity of the notifications proposing to amend the basis of assessment of the tax liability based on the installed capacity of the manufacturer.
Under normal procedure, tax was levied on the actual production of the manufacturer that was determined on the basis of the goods removed from the factory premises.
Pointing out that there was no basis for arbitrarily fixing such deemed capacity, the gutka major said the impugned notifications had subjected it to make ‘astronomical exise duty’ payment.
“The manufacturing capacity of a machine has been assumed almost five times than its actual capacity” without any reference to factors like the quality of machine, level of automation, power consumption, number of shifts, market conditions, availability of raw material, etc., the company said.
On June 1, 2008, the Centre notified that Pan Masala Packing Machines (Capacity Determination and Collection of Duty) Rules, 2008 which provided that the relevant factor for the production of notified goods pan masala and gutka shall be the number pouches that would be produced per packing machine per month. It also prescribed rates of duty on pan masala and gutka.
Under license from www.3dsyndication.com
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA MONEY Wednesday, 06 August , 2008, 17:23
http://sify.com

SC stays tribunal order lifting ban on SIMI
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/68743BD8F2BC59D76525749D0043D1CC?OpenDocument
New Delhi, Aug 6 (PTI) The ban on SIMI will continue with the Supreme Court today staying a special tribunal order lifting restrictions on its activities after the government warned of “serious consequences” if the outfit was allowed to operate.The government moved the petition challenging the tribunal’s order delivered yesterday before a bench headed by by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan which issued notice to SIMI and posted the matter for hearing after three weeks.Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium had to press hard to secure a stay on the tribunal’s order as the Bench was initially inclined to order status quo on the issue.The ASG said the tribunal set up under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act, in its 263-page order has not expressed anything on the merits of the case even when the government has provided Intelligence Bureau reports pointing towards members of SIMI indulging in terrorist activities.”Being a group of students and youth, SIMI is easily influenced by hardcore Muslim terrorist organisations operating from Jammu and Kashmir. Hizb-ul-Mujahideen and Lashker-e-Toiba have successfully penetrated into SIMI cadre to achieve their goals,” the petition said.Subramanium objected to the tribunal’s order which said that it was not going into the merits of the case, saying when it was the merit which was to be gone into.”Tribunal has done something over and above the law,” the ASG said and added that the order has to be stayed as “it will have serious consequences”.The tribunal headed by Delhi High Court judge Justice Geeta Mittal had yesterday quashed the February 7 notification of the Centre extending the ban on SIMI till 2010 saying no new evidence was placed against the organisation to justify the ban. PTI
www.ptinews.com

SC slams media over Aarushi case
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080060409&ch=8/6/2008%2010:47:00%20PM
The Supreme Court has strongly criticised the media for the manner in which the murder of teenager Aarushi Talwar was reported. Aarushi was found murdered in her house in Delhi’s suburb Noida on May 16. Initially, her father was accused of her murder, but the CBI later said there was no evidence against him.Accusing the media of running a parallel trial in the case, the Supreme Court said, “Media is a super investigating agency. If some high persons are involved in a case, media run the show the whole day. Irretrievable damage has been done to the couple who lost their only daughter. This is unthinkable in any democracy.”
NDTV Correspondent
Wednesday, August 06, 2008, (New Delhi)
www.ndtv.com

Bombay HC removes Ratan Tata`s name from suit against TCS http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=460265&sid=REG
Mumbai, Aug 04: The Bombay High Court today removed the name of TATA group chairman, Ratan Tata from a civil suit seeking compensation from Tata Consultancy Services. Dileep Ghosh moved High Court after his son Randip Ghosh, a TCS employee, died in road accident in Boston, USA, in 2000. Randip was sent to Boston by the TCS, so his father sought compensation of Rs 30 lakh from the company. Ghosh had also made Ratan Tata, Tata group chairman, a respondent in the suit. Tata’s lawyers argued that accident had nothing to do with TCS and moreover Tata personally can not be held vicariously liable for the accident. Upholding this argument, Justice R Y Ganoo directed that Ratan Tata’s name be removed from the suit, which is pending before the High Court. Bureau Report
www.zeenews.com

Dowry Act: HC unhappy over casual manner in which rules framed http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/4F08A9426185B9E76525749D0012FA9F?OpenDocument
Chennai, Aug 5 (PTI) The Madras High Court today expressed dissatisfaction over the “very casual manner” in which the Centre had framed rules under Section 9 of the Dowry Act and measures taken to implement the provisions of the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.Passing orders on a Public Interest Litigation, seeking to restrain police officers from usurping the statutory powers of dowry prohibition officers as under Dowry Prohibition Act and Rules, a Division Bench, comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kallifulla, also ordered issue of notice to implead the Centre as a party to the proceedings.The Bench also directed the government pleader to file a detailed affidavit within four weeks, indicating how many cases had been filed by the Dowry Prohibition Officers in the state for initiating prosecution as contemplated under the above Act and Rules.The affidavit, the bench said, should also indicate whether Rule 27(3) has been complied with the Dowry Prohibition Officers, which stipulates that a pledge should be administered on Dowry Prohibition Day (November 26) to students in schools and colleges and by those in government service, not to give or take dowry. PTI
www.ptinews.com

Madras HC issues notice on Committee for Classical language http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?f13dc13e-3a94-435a-a84f-c6945604e290
Madras High Court has issued notice to the Union Government on a writ petition challenging the setting up of a Central Committee to consider granting Classical Language Status to Telugu and Kannada as “it has not been appropriately constituted and therefore, should be restrained.” The First Bench Comprising Chief Justices A K Gangully and F M Ibrahim Kallifulla admitted the petition filed by Senior Advocate R Gandhi and directed Assistant Solicitor General P Wilson to file the counter within two weeks.In his petition, Mr Gandhi submitted, the expert committee, constituted by the Union Government, was not that of erudite scholars and it could not take an “objective decision free from sentimental affinity and external pressure, including aggressive threats.” Pointing out that the committee had two members each from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, he said “with the present composition, one cannot expect an objective evaluation of these two languages to see whether they fulfill the criteria for being accorded the status.” The petitioner also noted that the expert committee constituted by the Center to consider the case of Sanskrit and Tamil did not have any member from Tamil Nadu.”They made their recommendation on the basis of universal recognition of classical status enjoyed by Sanskrit and Tamil,”he added.Mr Gandhi said members from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were threatened and could not take any decision other than recommending granting of classical language status to the languages.”The appointment of a retired chief justice of a high court or a retired judge of the Supreme Court as chairman alone would ensure that the committee was free from subjective attachment,” Mr Gandhi contended.The petitioner also wanted the court to constitute a new committee comprising erudite scholars and restrain the Center and the Sahithya Akademi from convening the meeting of the present committee.UNI
8/6/2008
www.indlawnews.com

Delhi HC lifts ban on SIMI Govt to challenge order in SC http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?3cfd386f-4d98-45ce-962e-c52d16d619af
The Union Government today suffered a major setback when a single judge tribunal of the Delhi High Court lifted the ban on Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), an organization facing allegations of involvement in several bomb blasts in the country.The tribunal found the evidence produced by the Union Home Ministry insufficient to justify the ban on SIMI. It may be noted here that SIMI was banned for the first time on September 27, 2001. The organization had challenged in the Delhi High Court the extension of the ban imposed on February 7 this year.UNI
8/6/2008
www.indlawnews.com

JeI hails HC verdict in favour of SIMI
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200808061763.htm
Jaipur (PTI): Hailing the specially-designated tribunal’s verdict lifting the ban imposed on SIMI, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind said that the decision to proscribe the organisation was wrong.
“Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s stand on the issue was clear from the beginning that the ban was wrong,” president of the JeI, Rajasthan unit, Mohammed Saleem, said in a statement here.
He said the government could not furnish any solid evidence against the organisation in seven years and continued banning it merely on the basis of suspicion.
Saleem said one can understand the NDA government banning the SIMI, but carrying on with the ban by the UPA government, that claims to be secular, seems to be only due to its “balancing policy”.
He suggested that the UPA government should change its communal mindset or show some tangible evidence in support of the ban before the people.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
www.hindu.com

RTI case: Goa HC stays Information Commissioner’s order on Governor’s report
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?4fbf4a2c-a52f-484e-b9b6-3017ced8e6e2
The debate whether Goa Governor S C Jamir’s confidential report to the Center on political developments in the state come under the purview of the Right to Information (RTI) Act for public disclosure or not, has now reached the Bombay High Court in Panjim.Admitting an appeal against the State Information Commission’s order, the court’s single judge bench of Justice N Britto yesterday stayed the order, directing the joint secretary to the Governor of Goa to supply information related to the Governor’s report to the Center pertaining to political crisis between July 24 and August 14, 2007, to the Opposition leader Manohar Parrikar.The court also served notices to the respondents Mr Parrikar and the Goa Information Commissioner in this regard. The appeal against the order was filed by Dr N Radhakrishnan, Public Information Officer, who is also joint secretary to the Governor of Goa.Advocate General Subodh Kantak, pleading on behalf of the petitioner, told the court that the petition raised the issue whether the Governor’s office was a public authority as defined under the RTI Act for disclosing reports of confidential nature between the Governor and the Center.UNI
8/6/2008
www.indlawnews.com

Nalini Case: HC asks Union, State Govts to file counter http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?54d1f0c5-7e98-4ec0-96b1-1968cb689a7f
The Madras High Court today directed the Union and State Governments to file their counter on or before August 11 on a petition filed by Nalini, life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, seeking early release from prison.Ms Nalini filed two writ petitions. The first one in 2006 and the second in 2008 after Mr Gandhi’s daughter Priyanka met her in the Vellore Prison. Both the petitions came up for final hearing before Justice A Nagamuthu after which the Union and State Government Advocates sought further time to file counter.Following this, the Judge gave time and posted the matter to August 11 for final hearing.Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy, who opposed her early release, filed an impleading petition which was dismissed by the court.Opposing the impleading petition, the State Government cited a Supreme Court order which said “imprisonment of life lasts until the last breath of the convict” and Nalini could not seek premature release on the ground she had already served 17 years in prison.Nalini was awarded capital punishment in the case but secured clemency when the State Governor commuted her death sentence to life on her mercy petition, it recalled.UNI
8/6/2008
www.indlawnews.com

SC reverts tribunal order, upholds ban on SIMI
http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/10365
New Delhi, Wed, 06 Aug 2008 NI Wire
A day after Delhi High Court Special Tribunal’s decision to lift ban on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), the Supreme Court on Wednesday came up with different approach maintaining ban on the organisation.
The bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan allowing a petition from the Centre seeking a grant of interim stay overturned the tribunal’s order and issued a notice to SIMI.
The bench posted the matter for next hearing after three weeks. CJI Balakrishnan agreed with the Centre’s contention that lifting of ban was not in national interest.
SIMI, a controversial organisation allegedly involved in deadly bombings was given benefit of doubt by the tribunal headed by Delhi High Court Judge, Geeta Mittal, who on Tuesday had refused to extend seven-year ban on the organisation, saying the government had been unable to present any new evidence in support of its claim that SIMI was indulged in illegal activities.
The tribunal repealed the 7th February notification issued by the Union Government extending the ban on SIMI beyond 6 months under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act. It said the Centre failed to provide fresh evidences that could justify its claim on prolonged banning.
Justice Mittal noticed that government’s claim of extending ban was merely based on Malegaon blast in 2006, which was not sufficient to issue notification regarding extension of ban.
The ban was first imposed on the SIMI in 2001 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and since then it has been extended after every two years.
The last notification on the ban, which was issued by the Home Ministry on February 7 this year and had to be in operation till 2010, met with challenge in the tribunal.
Soon after passing the judgment on Tuesday by the tribunal, the Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal had on early Wednesday said he would defy the order in the Supreme Court, if necessary. He said prima facie it seems the objection was made on technical grounds.
Within hours of issuing statement a petition was filed in the Apex Court.
www.newstrackindia.com

Nod for admissions under Muslim quota
http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/06/stories/2008080661401200.htm
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Andhra Pradesh government to admit students under the 4 per cent Muslim quota law in engineering, medical and other courses for 2008-2009.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal, while giving the nod for the Muslim quota, made it clear that the admissions so made would be subject to the outcome of the decision on the writ petitions before a seven-judge Bench of the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the constitutional validity of the law.
Interim order
A Bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, on May 16, passed an interim order permitting the State to go ahead with the counselling of students under the Muslim quota law, but not to make admissions. In the meanwhile, the Bench asked the High Court to hear the main petition. The court had passed the order on a special leave petition filed by the State challenging an order passed by the High Court restraining the government from admitting students under the Muslim quota law.
Senior counsel K. Parasaran and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian, appearing for the State submitted that the government should be allowed to go ahead with the admission of students under the Act as counselling had been completed.
Mr. Gopal Subramanian submitted that the 4 per cent quota had been extended to the backward sections of Muslims after careful consideration based on the report of the Andhra Pradesh Commission of Backward Classes.
He submitted that the Act should be allowed to operate this year otherwise, about 1,100 students who had completed their counselling would suffer. Senior counsel Ramakrishna Reddy, appearing for the petitioners, opposing the Muslim quota contended that as the High Court had already stayed the operation of the Act, the State could not implement the quota in any form.
The CJI told the counsel that the only question to be considered was whether the Muslim groups brought under the ambit of reservation could be considered under backward classes.
“If the State had considered them as backward, how can you deny them the benefit of reservation,” the CJI asked.
J. Venkatesan
www.hindu.com

Home Ministry to challenge SIMI order in Supreme Court
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200808061440.htm
New Delhi (PTI): Embarrassed by the lifting of ban on SIMI by a special tribunal for lack of evidence, the Union Home Ministry on Wednesday said it would challenge the order in the Supreme Court if necessary.
“If needed, the government will challenge in Supreme Court the order of the Special Tribunal,” Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal told reporters here.
The Ministry is studying the order and eliciting views of legal experts and a decision will be taken on the basis of their advice, he said, adding that prima facie it appeared that the objection was on technical grounds.
Jaiswal did not subscribe to the view that the tribunal order lifting the ban imposed by the Centre on the activities of the Students Islamic Movement of India was a setback to Home Ministry.
“I don’t think so,” was his reply when asked if the order was a setback to the ministry at a time when there is speculation of SIMI’s role in the serial blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore.
The specially-designated tribunal headed by Justice Geeta Mittal of the Delhi High Court had yesterday noted in its order that there was no fresh evidence to justify the extension of the ban first imposed in 2001.
On BJP blaming the “incompetence” of the Central government for the revocation of the ban on SIMI, Jaiswal said one should not expect anything else from the saffron party.
In the order, the judge held that the Centre had given no new evidence against the SIMI to warrant the extension of the ban and asked the Centre to justify the measure.
The order came at a time when the Home Ministry is facing flak over its handling of the internal security situation.
According to the judge, the government only came out with the evidence of Malegaon blast in Maharashtra in 2006 to show the complicity of the organisation in unlawful activities which was not sufficient to come out with the notification to ban it.
The government, however, maintains that the outfit is still an unlawful association.
The ban was first imposed on the SIMI in 2001 under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and since then it has been extended after every two years.
The last notification on the ban, which was challenged in the tribunal, was issued by the Home Ministry on February seven this year and was supposed to be in force till 2010.
The tribunal during the hearing had asked the government to bring new facts to justify its decision.
The SIMI had challenged the notification issued by the government contending that there was no fresh evidence against it and the ban cannot be continued on the basis of previous evidence.
During the proceedings the tribunal had expressed its dissatisfaction with the notification saying that there were no fresh facts given by the government for extending the ban on the SIMI.
www.hindu.com

Supreme Court stays tribunal order lifting ban on SIMI
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200808061543.htm
New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the controversial order of a special tribunal lifting ban on activities of the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).
A petition challenging the tribunal’s verdict was mentioned before the bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, which agreed with the Centre seeking a grant of interim stay.
The Court issued a notice to the SIMI and posted the matter for hearing after three weeks.
The tribunal headed by Delhi High Court judge, Justice Geeta Mittal, had yesterday quashed the February 7 notification issued by the government extending the ban on SIMI under the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act.
The Tribunal had held that the Centre has failed to come up with any new evidence to justify the ban on the organisation.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
www.hindu.com

Mother & Child http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Opinion/Editorial/TODAYS_EDITORIAL_Mother__Child/articleshow/3330479.cms
The Bombay high court’s ruling, that Haresh and Niketa Mehta cannot legally abort the couple’s 25-week-old foetus, has brought into sharp relief the need for a public debate on the abortion laws in India. Part of the reason why this case received the kind of publicity it did was that the Mehtas chose to appeal for exemption legally, instead of clandestinely opting for the abortion route, like many people in this country do. For this, they must be highly commended. The debate over abortion in India is not cast in the same mould as it is in most of the advanced countries, nor is it as contested or political. The pro-choice versus pro-life battle in the West has been around for a while and is made of a complex set of religious, ethical and political issues. In India, however, except for times when cases like that of the Mehtas make the headlines, abortion is not an issue that captures the imagination of the public and our political class. India is among those countries which have fairly liberal abortion laws, provided for by the Medical Termination of Pregnancy (MTP) Act of 1971. It allows termination of the pregnancy even beyond the 20th week, if there is a threat to the mother’s life. However, it does not extend that provision to cases where the child’s health after birth might be under adverse risk. It was this lacuna that the Mehtas were challenging as their unborn child runs the risk of being born with congenital heart ailments. The judges stuck to the rule book and turned down their plea. Health minister Anbumani Ramadoss has said that the law has been around for a long time and needs no amendment just because of exceptional cases like this one. But it is precisely because there are many exceptions that the law — dating back to almost four decades — needs to be revisited. There are valid concerns that in a country like India where female foeticide is a real problem, any further relaxation of abortion laws could be misused. However, that argument must not hold reasonable reforms to the MTP Act to ransom. There is a separate law — the Pre-Natal Diagnostic Tests Act — to address the issue of female foeticide. Its enforcement is poor; government would do well to get its act together in that area. Given that monitoring of pregnancies in India is poor, the MTP Act itself could be amended to increase the cut-off period to 24 weeks, as is the case in many other countries. After the cut-off period, abortions could still be allowed based on a medical determination of life-threatening risk to mother or child.
6 Aug 2008, 0000 hrs IST
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Delhi High Court tribunal lifts ban on SIMI
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080060271&ch=8/5/2008%2010:52:00%20PM
A specially-designated tribunal on Tuesday lifted the ban imposed by the Centre on the activities of Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI).Justice Geeta Mittal of the Delhi High Court, who headed the tribunal, held that there was no new evidence submitted by the government against the SIMI to justify the extension of the ban, a top law officer said.The government only came out with the evidence of Malegaon blast in Maharashtra in 2006 to show the complicity of the organisation in unlawful activities, which was not sufficient to come out with the notification to ban it.The ban was first imposed on the SIMI in 2001 under Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act and since then it has been extended after every two years.The last notification on the ban, which was challenged in the tribunal, was issued by the Home Ministry on February 7 this year and was supposed to be in force till 2010.The tribunal during the hearing had asked the government to bring new facts to justify its decision.The SIMI had challenged the notification issued by the government contending that there was no fresh evidence against it and the ban cannot be continued on the basis of previous evidence.During the proceedings the tribunal had expressed its dissatisfaction with the notification saying that there were no fresh facts given by the government for extending the ban on the SIMI.The tribunal had directed the Home Ministry and Intelligence Bureau to place before it all evidence against the organisation.Initially, the tribunal had conducted the proceedings in an open court but later it decided to hear the matter in-camera in the presence of Home Secretary and senior IB officials who placed all the documents collected by the government against SIMI.
Press Trust of India
Tuesday, August 05, 2008, (New Delhi)
www.ndtv.com

Court restores ban on provocative SMS in J&K
http://www.hindu.com/2008/08/06/stories/2008080651781400.htm
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday restored the ban imposed by the Jammu and Kashmir government on spreading provocative SMS (short messaging service) through mobile phones to curb violence in the State.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal stayed an order passed by the J & K High Court on August 4 lifting the ban. State Advocate General Altaf Naik made an urgent mention before the Bench seeking stay of the High Court order as the ban was essential since the violators were aggravating the violence.
He also questioned the direction of the High Court asking the district administration to treat press identity cards issued to media persons as curfew passes to enable them to perform their professional duties.
In the special leave petition, the State government contended that the High Court failed to appreciate that it had become absolutely necessary to curb violence, which allegedly was also being perpetuated through SMS.
It said that the curbs imposed on the two TV channels in Jammu, by the District Magistrate on August 3, was withdrawn the same evening.
The SLP said the petition filed by the Bar Association of Jammu was heard at the residence of one of the judges and an interim order was passed lifting the ban. The association had contended that the restrictions imposed on sending SMS and not honouring the curfew passes issued to media was violation of fundamental rights of citizens. The SLP said the ban on SMS was imposed as it was being used to whip up communal tension through rumours. It sought quashing of the impugned order and an interim stay of the contentious directions.
Legal Correspondent
Wednesday, Aug 06, 2008
www.hindu.com

SMS ban in J&K will continue: SC
http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14734402
New Delhi: Jammu and Kashmir residents’ freedom to freely communicate through SMS messages has proved short lived as the Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed a High Court order to lift the ban imposed by the state government on SMS services.
Within a day of the Jammu and Kashmir High Court offering concessions to residents, the apex court restored the restrictions imposed by the state government on SMS services which were allegedly being used for spreading rumours during the ongoing violent protests on Amarnath land transfer row.
A Bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, agreed with the contention of the state government that the curb on SMS services was necessary as it was allegedly used for aggravating violence by spreading rumours about protest.
The Bench stayed the High Court direction asking the district administration to treat press identity cards issued to media persons as curfew passes to enable them to perform their professional duties.
In the hurriedly moved petition, the state government contended that the division Bench of the High Court on Monday failed to appreciate that it had become absolutely necessary and essential to curb and curtail violence which allegedly was also being perpetuated through SMS messages in circulation in the state.
The state government clarified that the curb imposed on the two TV channels in Jammu, by the district magistrate on August 3, was withdrawn in the evening itself.
The division Bench of the High Court, which on Monday heard the issue at the residence of one of the judges, had allowed a petition filed by the Bar Association of Jammu that the restrictions imposed on SMS services and not honouring the curfew passes issued to media was violation of fundamental rights of citizens.
The Jammu and Kashmir government contended that the High Court should not have passed the ex-parte interim order and instead notice should have been issued to it for being heard.
The state government imposed a ban on the SMS services on Sunday on the ground it was being used to whip up communal tension through rumours. Tuesday, 05 August , 2008, 18:12http://sify.com

Even God cannot save this country: SC http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/DB2D8BB1218EAE016525749C0046700F?OpenDocument
New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) “Even God will not be able to save this country,” a fuming Supreme Court today said while slamming the Government for its refusal to amend the law for launching criminal prosecution against those who illegally occupy official houses.”We are fed up with this Government,” the apex court said, adding “They don’t have the guts to differ with the opinion of the clerks.” “Even God will not be able to save this country. In India even if God comes down he cannot change our country. Our country’s character has gone. We are helpless,” a bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and G S Singhvi observed.The apex court said PILs are being filed before it by people who are vexed with the approach of the Government on various issues.”You complain about judicial activism when you are in power. When You are not in power you come to us for remedy,” the bench remarked.The bench gave vent to its anger as the Additional Solicitor General Amarender Saran bluntly told the court that the Union Government has decided not to amend Section 441 IPC (criminal trespass) for prosecuting squatters of Government accommodation in the country.The Government took the stance that the existing provisions provided under the Public Premises Act was sufficient to evict those unauthorisedly occupying Government accommodation. Moreover, it claimed that out of 99,100 government houses only 300-odd dwellings were under unauthorised occupation for which had been made to evict them.But this did not satisfy the apex court which said the Government does not have the guts to take on the offenders. PTI
www.ptinews.com

SC judgement on ‘crown debts’ issue soon http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/ED7C9A22E01F61566525749C004B8B63?OpenDocument
New Delhi, Aug 5 (PTI) The Supreme Court will soon decide who between the government and a state financial corporation has the first right to recover dues, be it tax or outstanding loans, from a defaulting entity.A bench headed by Justice SB Sinha has reserved the judgement on a petition filed by the Centre that contended that the state had the first right to recover tax dues, as without funds it would not be able to discharge its functions efficiently.It further said that the apex court had in various cases recognised the principle of giving priority to the debts due to the crown or state.Citing the five-judge decision in Builders Supply Corporation vs UoI matter, it said that the apex court had held that the state, as a Sovereign, should be able to discharge its primary government functions efficiently for which it should be in possession of necessary funds and this consideration emphasised the necessity and the wisdom of conceding to the state the right to claim priority in respect of its tax dues.Challenging the Bombay High Court judgement that held that state financial corporation’s dues will get the priority over the tax dues, the Revenue Department said that “the High Cought ought to have appreciated that the basis of justification for the claim of the priority state debts is rule of necessity and wisdom of conceding to the state the right to claim priority in respect of its tax dues.” While the department in 1988 had initiated recovery proceeding against Mumbai-based Nihal Cast Nylon Private Ltd demanding differential excise duty liability of around Rs 67 lakh, it had requested SICOM Ltd (respondent) not to dispose off the plant and machinery of the assessee unless the latter paid the government its dues. PTI
www.ptinews.com

AP Muslim quota: SC permits admissions under controversial Act
http://www.indianexpress.com/story/344995.html
New Delhi, August 5:: The Supreme Court on Tuesday allowed the Andhra Pradesh government to go ahead with admissions in educational institutions under the controversial law that provides four per cent reservations to backward Muslims.
However, a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, made it clear that the admissions will be subject to the outcome of a bunch of petitions in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the validity of the Act.
The validity of the controversial AP Reservation in Favour of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes of Muslims Act, 2007, is being examined by a seven-judge Constitution Bench of the High Court.
Senior advocate K Parasaran and Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium submitted that the state be allowed to go ahead with the admission process as envisaged by the Act as counselling, which was permitted by the apex court by its May 16 order, has been completed.
Subramanium contended that the four per cent quota has been extended to the backward section of Muslim after careful consideration based on the report of the Andhra Pradesh Commission of Backward Classes.
He urged the Bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal, to take a pragmatic view since counselling has been completed and allow the operation of the Act subject to its final outcome of the matter pending in the High Court.
However, senior advocate Ramakrishna Reddy, appearing for the anti-reservation petitioners, opposed the stand of permitting admission contending that since the Act has come under challenge and the High Court had already stayed its operation, the state government cannot implement the provision of extending four per cent reservation in any form.
Reddy, who commenced the argument by accusing the state government of appeasing the minority community for political gain, faced several questions from the Bench which also said the admission process can go on as nobody has challenged it for the academic year 2008-09.
“The students for 2007-08 are not concerned with the academic year 2008-09. There is no aggrieved party,” the Bench said ignoring his contention that since the Act was under challenge it could not be brought into operation.
The Bench said the only question which has to be examined is whether the Muslim groups brought under the ambit of reservation can be considered under backward classes.
It said the petitioners have to show that there was some illegality in considering them as backward Muslims.
Reddy, who was countering the arguments of several advocates, said Muslims have been enjoying the benefit of reservation for almost three decades.
The state government has challenged the stay imposed by the Andhra Pradesh High Court on providing four per cent reservations to backward Muslims.
In its petition, Andhra Pradesh government submitted that the reservation sought to be provided to backward Muslims was Constitutionally valid and hence it be allowed to implement the quota policy formulated under the Act.
A seven-judge Bench of the High Court on April 29 had restrained the government from implementing the four per cent quota for backward Muslims until the bunch of writ petitions filed before it was disposed of.
The state government in its special leave petition has said the Act was brought in after taking into consideration the report of the Andhra Pradesh Commission of Backward Classes on the basis of which the backward Muslims were identified for the purpose of extending the benefits of reservation.
Agencies
Posted online: Tuesday, August 05, 2008 at 1922 hrs
http://www.indianexpress.com

Development of Infrastructure Facilities for the Judiciary
http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=41026
The Central Government has been implementing a scheme called Development of Infrastructure Facilities for the Judiciary since 1993-94. The scheme is operated on a 50:50 basis
• Till date an amount of Rs.794.44 crore has been provided to the States and Uts to augment their resources for construction of courts and residential accommodation for the judiciary. The State Governments are expected to contribute a minimum amount equal to the Central assistance provided to them though they are free to spend higher amounts. • As per information complied, the States had reported a total expenditure of Rs.1442.95 crore upto 30.6.2007. • State Governments have completed construction of 1037 court buildings and reported having 986 buildings under construction. 2061 numbers of residential accommodation had been completed and construction was ongoing in respect of 1410 buildings. In addition, 300 residences of Judges of High Courts had been taken up out of which 125 had been completed and 175 are under construction. • The Eleventh Plan outlay for the scheme is Rs.701.08 crore. • In 2007-08, Rs.103.08 crore was provided to the States. • For 2008-09, an amount of Rs. 133 crore has been provided in the Budget for the scheme. Computerisation of District and Subordinate Courts: • The Central Government has already computerized city courts in metropolitan cities and State Capitals or cities where the principal seat of the High Court is located. • In the period 2000-01 to 2003-04, Rs.42 crore was spent for computerization of 1600 such courts. • A scheme of comprehensive computerization of all district and subordinate courts in the country and electronically linking them with the High Courts and the Supreme Court is under implementation since February 2007. • This scheme known as ‘E-courts’ is being implemented in phases and the first phase is to be implemented at a cost of Rs.442 crore and is expected to be completed by February 2009. • The scheme is under implementation and certain components have already been completed like – Nearly 13365 Judges have been provided with laptops and 12074 laser printer have been provided – Connectivity through broadband has been provided at the residences of 9524 Judges. 478 District Court complexes and 1203 Subordinate Court complexes have been provided with such connectivity. – 11005 judicial officers and 44020 court staff have been trained in the use of ICT tools. – Computer rooms are under construction at various locations and work is expected to be completed by 31.10.2008. – Courts are to be provided with technical manpower to provide ‘handholding support. – Software application is being developed. o An amount of Rs.187.05 crore has already been provided to the National Informatics Centre for meeting the cost of the project. o BE 2008-09 is Rs.125 crore. o The Eleventh Plan outlay is Rs.740.60 crore. VLK/ska
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
http://pib.nic.in

HC relief for Ratan Tata in TCS staffer’s death case http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_relief_for_Ratan_Tata_in_TCS_staffers_death_case_/articleshow/3326546.cms
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday allowed an application made by Ratan Tata to have a suit against him rejected. The company got the relief with the court holding that he can’t be held vicariously liable for actions which TCS should have taken or did not as alleged. Tata had moved the high court in response to a legal battle waged by a man after his son’s death to ascertain its cause and seek damages. He wanted his name removed from the court case on the grounds that there was no cause for action against him. In 2000, Randeep Ghosh, an employee of TCS, died allegedly in a fatal road mishap in Denver, USA. In 2004, his father Dileep sued TCS and Ratan Tata seeking damages. A case was filed against TCS and Tata personally. Ghosh alleged that TCS did not do enough to probe the cause of the death. But the court has now held that merely because he is the chairperson Ratan Tata can’t be held liable. Besides, the court said there were no specific allegations against Tata and that Ghosh “failed to prove vicarious liabilities against the company and also failed to prove that the acts of omission and commission of officers of TCS were at the instance of Tata.” Darius Khambata, counsel for Tata, said Ghosh accepted $50,000 towards insurance claims after accepting that his son died in a road accident. The HC imposed costs on Ghosh and said he did little to probe the death. A request by Ghosh’s lawyer Anita Castellino for a stay of the court order was rejected.
5 Aug 2008, 0432 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande ,TNN
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Kerala HC declares entrance test by college consortium invalid
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200808051340.htm
Kochi (PTI): Kerala High Court on Tuesday declared as invalid the entrance test conducted by six self-financing medical colleges in the state on June 27 this year.
The order in this regard was issued by Justice S Sirijagan on a petition by Fathima Haseena challenging the constitutional validity of the admission granted by the six colleges on the basis of the rank list prepared after conducting the examination.
The six colleges had entered into an agreement with the state government on seat sharing and fee structure.
The court held that the entrance test conducted by the management consortium was not “fair, transparent all on the basis of the merit” and they cannot make admissions on the basis of the entrance test conducted by them.
The court had earlier directed the six private college managements not to admit students in the 35 percent management quota on the basis of the rank list prepared after the June 27 test but to give admission on the basis of the state government’s common entrance test rank list.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
www.hindu.com

HC asks CPM leaders to file reply for flaying N`gram ruling http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=460350&sid=REG
Kolkata, Aug 05: The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday asked CPI(M) West Bengal state Secretary Biman Bose and two other senior party leaders to file replies in a contempt of court case relating to the March 14 firing at Nandigram. The case was filed by the High Court Bar Association and the Bar Library Club after Bose, along with Benoy Konar and Shyamal Chakraborty, termed the court’s ruling on police firing unconstitutional. The division bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, however, exempted the three from personal appearances till the filing of affidavits after the Durga Puja vacations. On Novemeber 27 last year, the High Court had issued a criminal contempt notice to Bose, Konar and Chakraborty and asked them to submit their replies by January 31 explaining their public statements in which they had condemned the court ruling. In their petition, the High Court Bar Association and the Bar Library Club had said the trio had made derogatory remarks in public meetings to malign and undermine the judiciary. Bureau Report www.zeenews.com

SC stays HC order on SMS on J&K
http://www.hindustantimes.com/storypage/storypage.aspx?sectionName=&id=4dabad33-e91e-4651-9462-5feba672302e&MatchID1=4728&TeamID1=2&TeamID2=3&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1191&PrimaryID=4728&Headline=SC+stays+J%26amp%3bK+High+Court+order+on+SMS&strParent=strParentID
The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Jammu and Kashmir High Court’s order lifting the ban on SMS services, which allegedly was aggravating the violence by spreading the rumours during the on-going protest on Amarnath land transfer row.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also stayed the High Court direction asking the district administration to treat press identity cards issued to media persons as curfew passes to enable them to perform their professional duties.
The state government had imposed a ban on the SMS services on Sunday on the ground it was being used to whip up communal tension through rumours.
Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, August 05, 2008
First Published: 15:13 IST(5/8/2008)
www.hindustantimes.com

HC ups ante on convicted employees in govt service
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/HC_ups_ante_on_convicted_employees_in_govt_service_/articleshow/3326974.cms
CHANDIGARH: For governments that are pathologically lax on as grave an issue as corruption, here comes a stern wake-up call from Justice JS Khehar, the acting chief justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The acting CJ, while heading a division bench that included justice AK Mittal also, deftly warded off delaying tactics by the respondents , including the state of Punjab and its various departments , on a matter that essentially hinged upon a question of law as to whether an employee convicted of graft could be retained in service or not. The Bench also directed the state of Punjab to place a complete list of the employees , who have been convicted on charges of corruption, before the Court. The division bench gave no space to the respondents to buy time in the garb of seeking adjournments to file statements by asserting that questions of law didn’t require any such replies. The division bench pointed out that in one of its earlier judgments given a year back (in Gurnam Singh’s case), it had directed the state of Punjab to re-examine cases of all such convicted employees, who had been taken back in service despite being removed earlier on conviction on charges of corruption . The apex court also opined that in such cases it was not appropriate to await for the decision of appeal or revision , as the case may be, and if the government servant was eventually reinstated, the order could always be revised and he would be entitled to all the consequential benefits. When the counsel for Rajesh Bhalla, a convicted employee , submitted that his client had been granted a stay against conviction recently , the Bench was unruffled as it observed that a division bench of the same Court (Justice Khehar’s Bench) had recently held that conviction could not be stayed in cases under the Prevention of Corruption Act. At the repeated request of counsel for respondents, the Bench very reluctantly adjourned the cases to August 13, while stating clearly in its order that arguments in these cases shall be heard on that date, and no adjournment would be granted for non-filing of written statement . The observations came in the wake of hearing on various PILs filed by advocate HC Arora, wherein he had sought removal of three convicted employees of various departments of the Punjab Government. The three under scanner are Barnala DSP Pargat Singh; Industrial Promotion officer in the Directorate of Industry and Commerce, Inderjit Singh Tandi; and JE in Municipal Corporation , Jalandhar, Rajesh Bhalla. The said judgement was based on the apex court’s view in Nagoora’s case, wherein the apex court had held that the appropriate course of action to be taken in cases where an employee was convicted on charges of corruption was to remove him on the ground of his conduct under clause (ii) of Article 311 of the Constitution.
5 Aug 2008, 0753 hrs IST,TNN
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com

Bangalore Forensic lab directed to send Narco CDs to HC
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200808051759.htm
Kochi (PTI): The murder case of Sister Abhaya took a new turn on Tuesday with the Kerala High Court directing the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Bangalore, which conducted narcoanalysis test of three suspects,to directly send copies of the CDs of the investigations,to it with immediate effect.
While treating the matter as urgent, a close confidentiality should be maintained during the process of downloading the CDs and forwarding the same to the Registrar General S S Satish Chandran, Justice V Ramkumar said. The direction was issued on a petition filed by Abhaya’s father M Thomas, seeking the progress of investigation into his daughter’s death.
The case relates to the mysterious death of Sister Abhaya, an inmate of the St Pius convent in Kottayam, whose body was fished out from the well of the convent in 1992. The Court said the FSL Director should not allow any person, including CBI, to have access to their system and the CDs should not be forwarded through CBI.
After viewing the CDs of the Narco analysis test conducted on two priests and a nun on August 4 last year,, the court observed that there appears to be some suspicion as to whether CDs reveal the complete process of examination conducted on the suspects.
In order to have a clearer picture, the court directed the investigating officer to appear in person in the court on August 12 at 1.45 PM along with the case diary and all relevant documents regarding the case. He has also been asked to submit written answers to 14 questions put forth by the court which should also be duly signed by him.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
www.hindu.com

Ambani family MoU before demerger not binding on RIL: HC told http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=595986
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) among Ambani family matriarch Kokilaben, her sons Mukesh and Anil Ambani prior to the split in the Reliance Group is not binding on RIL, its counsel told the Bombay High Court today.
Harish Salve, arguing for Reliance Industries Ltd in the dispute between RIL and RNRL, contested the lower court’s observation that the gas purchase master agreement (GSMA) between the two should be in line with MoU signed by the brothers and their mother in 2005.
Anil Ambani’s RNRL is locked in a legal dispute over the terms of GSMA with RIL, controlled by his elder brother Mukesh. By the disputed GSMA, RIL agrees to supply gas to RNRL for latter’s power-generation projects.
When the matter came up before a single judge of the High Court last year, RNRL contended that MoU had spelt out details of GSMA, but the GSMA that was finally offered by RIL was not a “bankable agreement”, as there was no certainty of tenure, price and quantity of gas to be supplied.
After failing to do so, both parties filed appeals before a division bench.
Arguing for RIL, Salve said, “There was no private MoU which is binding on the board of directors of RIL.”
MUMBAI, AUG 5 (PTI)
www.outlookindia.com

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