Sound and fury in SC: Judge pulls out of PF scam hearing http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Sound_and_fury_in_SC_Judge_pulls_out_of_PF_scam_hearing/articleshow/3339200.cms
NEW DELHI: Angered by grave charges from senior advocate and former law minister Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant, Supreme Court judge B N Agrawal recused himself from hearing the Rs 23-crore provident fund scam case. Law minister Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant had been accusing the apex court of protecting the judges involved in the scam. ( Watch ) ‘‘I cannot hear such arguments. It is not expected of a former law minister and an eminent jurist with vast experience to advance arguments like a street urchin. You are behaving like a street urchin in this case. You are arguing as if it is your personal case. You must behave properly. Otherwise, I will recuse myself from hearing the case,’’ said Justice Agrawal. The senior-most judge of the country’s top court after the CJI, was reacting to what he said were serious charges from Shanti Bhushan that the ‘‘Supreme Court judges are protecting corrupt judicial officers’’. Justice Agrawal relented after an apology from the former law minister before Shanti Bhushan’s son, Prashant, provoked him again. Bhushan Jr, a senior lawyer, charged Justice Agrawal with distorting the comments of his father. ‘‘You are here only to abuse the judges, which is most unfortunate. What business does Prashant Bhushan have to shout at the judges when a senior counsel is arguing? You said that SC judges are giving protection to corrupt judges. It is not possible to hear this matter. I am not such a sanyasi that I will be able to keep my cool when abused in this manner. The way the Bar is behaving, I do not appreciate. Today, you do not have any respect for any judge of the Supreme Court,’’ said Justice Agrawal. The dramatic scenes were yet another confirmation that the PF scam was turning out to be too hot for the apex court. Justice Agrawal was assigned the case last month after the former law minister nudged CJI K G Balakrishnan to withdraw himself from the hearing. The minister had argued that since the CJI had already dealt with the administrative side of the case, it would be improper for him to be on the Bench hearing it. Shanti Bhushan, who had annoyed Justice Agrawal with his strong remarks, was unrelenting on Thursday. Appearing for NGO Transparency International (India), he reiterated that the apex court was trying to shield the judges involved in the PF scam by relying on ‘‘wrongly decided’’ judgment in the Veeraswamy case that prevented police from registering FIRs against judges of the high courts and SC.
8 Aug 2008, 0029 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN

SC refuses to hear GPF scam plea
NEW DELHI, Aug. 7: Taking umbrage at the allegation that “the Supreme Court of India is trying to protect corrupt judicial officials”, an apex court bench refused to hear a petition seeking a high-level probe into the Rs 7 crore treasury scam case of Ghaziabad district court. A three-judge bench of Justices Mr B N Agarwal, Mr VS Sirpurkar and Mr G S Singhvi transferred the case to Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan for marking it to some other bench for hearing after the petitioner’s counsel contended before the bench that the judiciary was trying to protect its corrupt officials. The bench referred the case to the CJI after counsel for Transparency International Mr Prashant Bhushan made the allegation against the bench that the judges were trying to protect 36 judges including one sitting Supreme Court judge, 11 High Court judges and 24 district and sessions judges of Ghaziabad who are facing allegations of being beneficiaries of the Rs 7 crore General Provident Fund scam. Earlier, the Chief Justice had withdrawn himself from the hearing of the case in which several retired and sitting judges are alleged to be beneficiaries of over Rs 7 crore siphoned off from the Ghaziabad district court treasury. n OuR LEGAL Correspondent

Supreme Court approves Vedanta mining in Orissa
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – The Supreme Court allowed Britain’s Vedanta Resources Plc on Friday to mine bauxite in sacred hills in Orissa where tribal people and voluntary groups strongly oppose it.
“The application of Vedanta is allowed,” the Supreme Court bench said in a statement.
Vedanta wants to dig open-cast mines in the Niyamgiri hills in Orissa to feed an alumina refinery it has already built in the area, as part of an $800 million project.
The local Dongria Kondh tribe says the mine will destroy hills they consider sacred, force them from their homes and destroy their forest-dependent livelihoods.
“We will not allow the company to mine our land, our sacred place,” Jitu Jakaka, a tribal activist of the Dongria Kondh tribe, told Reuters outside the court after hearing the ruling.
After protests, the Supreme Court temporarily barred Vedanta in November from mining bauxite in the Niyamgiri hills.
But it left a window ajar for the project by asking Vedanta’s Indian unit, Sterlite Industries, to come back with a fresh proposal on safeguarding the rights of local tribal people through a new investment firm.
Environmentalists say the open-cast mine would also wreck the rich biodiversity of the remote hills and disrupt key water sources that supply springs and streams in the area and feed two rivers that irrigate large areas of farmland.
Vedanta has been running its refinery with bauxite brought from other Indian states.
The state and central government both back the mining plan, as part of efforts to industrialise and exploit the mineral resources of underdeveloped eastern India.
Fri Aug 8, 2008 3:46pm IST

By Bappa Majumdar
Dowry cases: HC put curbs on arrest of in-laws, relatives http://www.zeenews.com/articles.asp?aid=460815&sid=REG
New Delhi, Aug 07: Bringing hope to thousands of people allegedly harassed by married women and unscrupulous policemen through misuse of anti-dowry provisions, the Delhi High Court has said family members of a man, facing such charges, cannot be arrested without the approval of a DCP. Ordering strict implementation of the guidelines issued by the police commissioner, Justice Kailash Gambhir said the “co-accused like relatives of husband (facing dowry harassment complaint) should be arrested only after approval of a DCP on file.” “Arrest of main accused (husband) should be made only after thorough investigation has been conducted and with the prior approval of an ACP or DCP,” the court said. “No case under section 498-A of IPC (Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty) should be registered without prior approval of DCP,” said Justice Gambhir. Directing the police to scrutinise complaints filed by the wife carefully and then register the FIR, the court said the FIR should be registered if there is strong possibility of of physical or mental cruelty against the complainant woman. In addition, the police should make all efforts for reconciliation before registration of FIR, the court said in the guidelines and women staff in Crime Against Women cell should try to persuade the women from lodging such cases with a motive to save the institution of marriage. Besides the police, the court issued guidelines to NGOs, lawyers and trial courts saying they have a greater responsibility in this regard. Justice Gambir issued the guidelines while hearing a joint anticipatory bail application filed by in-laws of a woman in a matrimonial dispute case lodged by their daughter-in-law. He suggested to the parties in the case to settle the issue on August 11 at 4.30 pm. Bureau Report

HC directs NCT govt to ban use of plastic in shopping centres
New Delhi, Aug 7 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today asked the NCT government to take immediate steps to ban use of plastic in shopping and marketing centres in the city.The government should bring notification in order to prevent the use of plastic in main market and local shopping centres apart from hotels, hospitals and malls, a division bench headed by Justice T S Thakur said.The court’s order came on a PIL seeking its directions to ban the use of plastic in the capital.The Court also directed the government to close all the recycling units of plastic illegally operating in the city. PTI

Allahabad HC rules technical experts opinion in Electricity Theft casehttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?d9f08755-1105-423f-bc51-d710f285c6c4
In the matter of tampering with the meters and theft of electricity, the Allahabad High Court ruled that opinion of technical experts while making assessment has to be taken into account by the court.But where such opinion is going to cause serious stigma on the conduct of the citizens, besides fiscal liability and guilty of committing an offence, such technical opinion must be backed by relevant and cogent material, the court further stated.Giving the above ruling, a division bench comprising Justice Anjani Kumar and Justice Sudhir Agarwal were of the view that non technical and untrained consumers cannot be thrown at the vagaries of such authorities, otherwise it will wide open the victimization of innocent people and will encourage corruption.The judgment has been passed, while deciding a number of writ petitions filed challenging assessment orders made under Section 126 of the Electricity Act 2003 as well as demand notice on the basis of said assessment.Quashing the impugned assessment as well as the notices the High Court has observed that the kind of notices issued to the petitioners mentions only that on 15 January, 2008 departmental officers/enforcement squad from excess load/theft of energy/other irregularity and, therefore as per UP electricity code 2005, the assessment to the following effect is made and if they want to give any objection, may file the name within seven days, failing which recovery proceeding would be initiated, the court said. UNI
Scriptwriter moves Bombay HC against Shah Rukh, Farah
Mumbai, Aug 7 (PTI) A scriptwriter has moved the Bombay High Court against actor Shah Rukh Khan, director Farah Khan and others alleging that the script of film ‘Om Shanti Om’ is a copy of the one he wrote.Ajay Monga, scriptwriter of films like ‘Corporate’ and ‘Fashion,’ has alleged that his copyright has been infringed.Monga claimed he had given a copy of the script to Shah Rukh Khan-owned Red Chillies Entertainment in December 2005 and wanted Khan to play the lead role in his film, but did not get any response.After the film was released in November last year, Monga filed a complaint with the Cine Writers’ Association (CWA) in December, he said. But his application was rejected by the Association.However, when he learnt that the film will be telecast on television on August 10, he decided to move the High Court.On Wednesday, Monga’s lawyer sought an injunction from the court to stop the telecast of the film on Sony Entertainment Television on August 10.He pointed out that the satellite release of the film amounts to a fresh act of piracy and infringement of Monga’s copyright.Justice V M Kanade, however, has not stayed the telecast of the film but asked the parties to file their reply within four weeks.Monga’s story was that of a junior film artist falling in love with a superstar, who was engaged with another actor. At a point he saves her life. Later there is a rift between her and her fiance and the junior actor wins her over in the end, the suit says. PTI

SC judge angrily walks out of high-profile case

Judging judges seems to be a really difficult process. The second senior most Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice B N Agarwal has angrily opted out of a high profile corruption case allegedly involving senior judges, saying he is not a sanyasi who can maintain his cool.Justice Agarwal was furious after senior lawyer Shanti Bushan accused the court of protecting corrupt judges.Two top Supreme Court judges have already opted out of the case.A fortnight ago, the Chief Justice withdrew from the Ghaziabad treasury scam and now Justice B N Agarwal, the number two in Supreme Court, has also walked out.Justice Agarwal protested to Shanti Bhushan’s accusation and then another lawyer, Prashant Bhushan, started arguing loudly. The judge promptly walked out of the case.”I am not a sanyasi that I will be able to maintain my cool. The way in which the bar is behaving, you don’t have respect for judiciary,” said Justice Agarwal.”We have to say unpleasant things. This is our duty. We have to fight corruption,” said Shanti Bhushan, lawyer for Transparency International.NDTV had exposed the Ghaziabad Treasury scam, in which a clerk siphoned off Rs seven crore of Employees Provident Fund to bribe judges from the Supreme Court as well as High Court.Chief Justice withdrew from the case after Shanti Bhushan questioned his decision to send a UP Police questionnaire to the accused judges.The scam had led to the Chief Justice issuing a code for the judiciary against accepting any private hospitality. The hearings have seen much bitterness in the courtroom.”There is tension between the bar and the bench. It is inevitable. But there can’t be a breakdown,” said senior lawyer of Supreme Court Rajeev Dhavan.Now, the Chief Justice of India will appoint a new panel of judges to hear the case afresh. However, it is likely to delay the adjudication of the case.
A Vaidyanathan
Thursday, August 07, 2008, (New Delhi)

Ganga pollution: SC notice to Centre
New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday issued a notice to the Centre on the allegation that it was not performing its statutory duty related to checking pollution in the Ganga.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan sought a response from the Ministry of Environment and Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) on allegations that they were not performing their statutory duty under the Water Pollution Control Act by monitoring the functioning of State Pollution Control Boards.
The application filed by advocate Krishan Mahajan, who is assisting the court as amicus curaie in the matter, said that State Pollution Control Board of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal were not performing their duty to prevent the pollution in the river.
The Bench, also issued notice to the Chief Secretary of these four states and responses within four weeks.
Mahajan said seven towns — Haridwar, Varanasi, Allahabad, Bhagalpur, Munger, Kolkata and Hawraha — in these four states, accounted for 66.4 per cent of sewage falling into the Ganga.
He said if the pollution level of river in these seven towns are checked then half the battle would be won.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
SC notice to Motorola for failing to meet export obligations7 Aug, 2008, 1936 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has issued notice to leading pager manufacturer Motorola India on a plea alleging that the company had failed to fulfil its export obligations and had fraudulently diverted its duty free goods imported under advance licences issued by the government. A bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia sought reply from Motorola on a petition filed by the Excise Department challenging the Karnataka High Court ruling which held that there was no unjust enrichment and the tribunal was justified in ordering refund of around Rs 88.35 lakh plus interest at the rate of 12 per cent to the assessee from the date of its filing of refund application. Motorola India, which has a manufacturing facility in Bangalore, had obtained several advance licences for duty-free import of parts and components required for manufacture and export of pagers. The company had undertaken duty-free imports as per the advance licence granted to it by claiming exemption from payment of customs duty and had exported pagers through Bangalore Air Cargo Complex under shipping bills. The Department of Revenue Intelligence, Bangalore, after recieving information about the same had found that Motorola had obtained Export Obligation Discharge Certificate without fulfilling the export obligation and had diverted the duty free goods imported against several advance licences, the department said. While Motorola India had deposited more than Rs 3.19 crore during investigations, the Commissioner of Customs had given refund of more than Rs 88 lakh to Motorola.
Jaya moves SC to retrieve island from Sri Lanka
New Delhi: Former Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the Central Government to retrieve from Sri Lanka the Kachatheevu island off Rameshwaram that India ceded in 1974.
The AIADMK chief contended that then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi gave away Kachatheevu without suitably amending the Constitution, mandatory for effecting any change in Indian territory.
The Opposition leader in the Tamil Nadu Assembly sought the court’s direction to the Central Government to restore the rights of the fishermen to visit the island with their fishing vessels for fishing.
In her lawsuit, filed through counsel Srikala Guru Krishnakumar, Jayalalithaa said that Kacahtheevu, in the narrow Palk Strait that divides India and Sri Lanka, “was historically the part of Raja of Ramnad jamindari (landholding) and after the abolition of jamindari system in 1948 it became the part of Madras presidency.” But the Indian government, acceding to an unjustified Sri Lankan territorial claim over the island, being made since 1921, ceded it to Sri Lanka in 1974, she said.
She said that the “island was used by the fishermen of both the countries to dry their nets, to rest and to pray in St Antony’s Church, built by an Indian fishermen of Ramnad on the island.”
Jayalalithaa said that there was even an annual pilgrimage to the island by the fishermen of both countries.
Stating that the fishermen from both India and Sri Lanka used to undertake fishing in the waters around the island without any animosity, Jayalalithaa said that the island was of “strategic importance and special significance for fishing operations.”
She said that despite consistent protests by the locals and their representatives in Parliament, the Indian government ceded the island to Sri Lanka. The decision has not been ratified by Parliament till date.
She said that the Indian government in 1976 even surrendered the rights of the Indian fishermen over the island, affecting their livelihood.
Today, she said, due to the hostile attitude of the Sri Lankan Navy, the fishermen feared to go fishing near Kachatheevu.
Thursday, 07 August , 2008, 19:39
Now Shah Rukh’s Mannat courts trouble
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Another court battle is on the cards for actor Shah Rukh Khan. A PIL alleging 32 violations of law in the construction of his bungalow in Bandra was filed in Bombay High Court on Thursday.
The PIL, filed by social activist Simpreet Singh, sought the disconnection of water and electric supply to Mannat — Khan’s home, which is a landmark in Bandra Bandstand. It stated that the construction behind Mannat had been carried out by merging 12 flats, originally meant to house the poor. The PIL also alleged that the construction on the open space inside the premises was not permissible under law.
It was alleged that Khan was bringing up the structure in a space originally reserved for an art gallery. Also, as per the PIL, the land Khan’s property stands on had been wrongly notified as a liberal Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ)-II, even though it fell within the highly restrictive CRZ-I.
The petition stated that it “stems from the grievance of the petitioners, whereby people holding substantial power and sway in the society are able to mould and then flout the laws meant for the society’s benefit for their own pecuniary gain.”
YP Singh, advocate for the petitioner said, “We will mention the PIL before a division bench next week and it will be heard subsequently.”
The PIL also contended that Khan, who purchased the property from Nariman Dubash in 2000, wrote a letter to the Chief Minister in 2003, seeking dereservation of the land earmarked for an art gallery within the premises of Mannat. Khan, the PIL stated, wrote in his letter, “Art galleries are not required in suburbs, and the same should be in the city.” He had also mentioned in the letter that a ‘Public Art Gallery’ on his bungalow compound would “disturb his privacy and affect his security.” In September 2003, the government accepted Khan’s letter and directed BMC to start the process of deletion of the reservation, the PIL added.
In 2004, Khan sought permission from the heritage committee to construct a ground plus six-storey structure on the land behind his existing bungalow, which was marked heritage property. The PIL alleged that the actor never told the panel that he had illegally demolished two heritage structures, which stood there.
The PIL further alleged that party respondents, including the ministry of environment and forests, state government, BMC, have all failed to exercise their powers and allowed the violation of Development Control Regulation, CRZ notifications, Environment Protection Act, 1986, and other laws.
Mayura Janwalkar
Friday, August 08, 2008 04:10 IST
Bihar varsity strike ends after HC steps in
PATNA: What the Bihar government could not do in 40 days, the Patna High Court did with a single stroke of pen on the very first day of hearing a PIL. Minutes after the court on Thursday ordered the state government to implement its July 2007 agreement with Bihar State University and College Employees Federation within a month, the 33,000 non-teaching staff of the universities and colleges in the state called off their 40-day-old strike. The HC’s order was passed on a letter written by a Siwan college student, Sunny Prakash, to Chief Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha. In the letter, which the HC treated as a PIL, Sunny narrated how the strike was jeopardising his career. Chief Justice Lodha and Justice Ravi Ranjan, after hearing the representatives of the state government and the non-teaching staff, expressed shock over the non-implementation of the previous agreement which was the raison d’etre of the strike and resultant academic chaos. Necessary steps be taken to ensure normal functioning of all colleges and universities from Monday, the judges ordered and directed the government to appear before the court on September 8 and apprise it of the implementation of the July 2007 agreement. Following the HC directive, the Bihar State University and College Employees’ Federation, which was spearheading the current agitation, decided to call off the strike. “We have directed all the non-teaching staff to resume their duties within 48 hours by Saturday,” said federation general secretary Ganga Prasad Jha. Patna University Teachers’ Association president U K Sinha and general secretary Randhir Kumar Singh also hailed the HC directive. The terms of July 2007 agreement include merger of 50% DA with the basic pay, provision of assured career promotion, redesignation of head assistants and accountants of colleges as section officer, revision of payscale of assistants to Rs 5,500-9,000, UGC scale for PTI and assistant librarians, payscale of Rs 4,000-6,000 to library assistants, sorters, correspondence clerks and routine clerks, 240 days’ earned leave on a par with the government staff and removal of anomalies in the payscales of university engineers, assistant engineers, junior engineers and electricians.
8 Aug 2008, 0427 hrs IST, B K Mishra & Ravi Dayal,TNN

‘Continue drive against unauthorised parking ’

CUTTACK: Even though the drive against unauthorised parking in Cuttack city has met with public opposition in certain areas, the Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the police authorities to continue with the action against violators.The division bench of Justices BP Das and MM Das which is hearing the Cuttack PIL, however, instructed the Collector, Commissioner of CMC, DCP and district engineering heads to find out alternative parking spots in the city.The bench also directed the executive engineers of various departments in charge of road construction including the Municipal Engineer to file affidavit on the status of road conditions.In another order, the bench instructed immediate shifting of the daily market at Deulasahi to Krushak Bazaar at Bidanasi. Rejecting the petition of Deulasahi Village Committee for allowing to continue, it imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh per month if the directions were not heeded to.
Express News Service
Aug 8, 2008

Garden plan for Jogeshwari caves

Mumbai: If the Maharashtra government has its way, then the area around the 6th century AD Jogeshwari caves-infested with encroachments-may soon sport a sprawling garden. The state on Wednesday submitted an action plan to the Bombay high court that proposes to remove unauthorised structures and designate the land freed from encroachments as a “garden” . A division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tated, which is hearing a PIL seeking the protection of ancient caves, has restrained subordinate courts from entertaining any application filed by the affected encroachers for a stay on their eviction. This means that such persons will have to approach the high court. The court has asked the state to submit a progress report in three months. Government pleader Dharyasheel Nalavade submitted an affidavit by Manu Srivastava, urban development department, which details the action to be jointly implemented by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), state government and the BMC for removing the unauthorised structures and rehabilitating eligible slumdwellers. If the land owners opt for building rights in the form of TDR, then they will be responsible for rehabilitation. If they do not opt for TDR, then the state will acquire the land and rehabilitate those living in protected structures. The ASI, would simultaneously approach the government to notify the demarcated area as a ‘garden’ . The Jogeshwari caves is one of the biggest rock-cut cave temples in India. Over the years, the surrounding area has been encroached upon. In a report, the ASI had mentioned that a slum colony exists on top of the caves and sewage water from the slum had chipped away the temple’s soft volcanic ash rocks. TNN 7 Aug 2008, 0530 hrs IST,TNN

High Court rap on dowry law misuse
Strongly criticising the use of anti-dowry law as a “weapon of harassment”, the Delhi High Court has expressed concern over the growing trend of married women charging virtually every member of the husband’s family on frivolous grounds.
The court said from now on, family members of the man facing dowry harassment charges — father, mother, brother and sister — can be arrested only after prior approval from Deputy Commissioners of Police of the zone concerned. The court also said “no case under section 498 A of the IPC (dowry harassment) should be registered without the prior approval of DCP/Additional DCP.
Justice Kailash Gambhir was critical of the increasing trend of the complainant wife’s family colluding with police officials to harass the entire family of the husband.
The judge said the main accused (husband) will be arrested only after thorough investigation and with the prior approval of an ACP or DCP.
Justice Gambir issued the guidelines while hearing a joint anticipatory bail application filed by the in-laws of a woman in a matrimonial dispute case lodged by their daughter-in-law. Directing the police to scrutinise complaints filed by the wife carefully, the court said the FIR should be registered if there is strong possibility of physical or mental cruelty against the complainant woman.
In addition, the police should make all efforts for reconciliation before the registration of FIR, the court said in the guidelines.
Besides the police, the court issued guidelines to NGOs, lawyers and trial courts, saying they have a greater responsibility in this regard.
Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, August 07, 2008
First Published: 23:01 IST(7/8/2008)

HC reserves judgement in EC’s contempt case
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday reserved judgement on a petition filed by state election commissioner Nand Lal against the jail term awarded to him by the state legislature’s privilege committee for contempt. A division bench of Justices RMS Khandeparkar and Amjed Sayed is likely to pronounce the judgement on August 13. Nand Lal was held guilty by the privilege committee in March this year for not appearing before it with regard to a breach of privilege motion moved against him by Congress MLA Janardan Chandurkar. Mr Lal had refused to appear before the committee, but sent a written reply. However, the committee held him guilty of contempt for not appearing, and sentenced him to two days’ civil imprisonment. Mr Lal later moved the high court, challenging the legality of the sentence. His lawyer Shrihari Aney argued that though the court cannot go into the merit of the privilege committee’s decision, it can examine whether the procedure adopted by committee was legal. According to Mr Aney, the committee should have given Mr Lal a show-cause notice when it decided to punish him. The state assembly has not been represented by anybody in this case, as it resolved not to entertain any notice from the high court in this case. But senior lawyer Rafiq Dada, who assisted the court as an ‘amicus curiae’ (friend of the court), pointed out that from the outset, Mr Lal had not responded to the committee’s summons. He had been asked by the committee to appear before it and defend himself on charges of breach of privilege three times, but did not appear, Mr Dada said. The breach of privilege notice was moved against Nand Lal following his notification that state government can not conduct elections to the local bodies as it was the EC’s prerogative. Nand Lal had earlier crossed swords with chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh over the delimitation of Deshmukh’s Latur constituency. His petition alleges vendetta by Deshmukh as a reason for action against him.
8 Aug, 2008, 0314 hrs IST, PTI
Cyriac Joseph, Supreme Court judge
New Delhi: The President on Friday appointed Karnataka High Court Chief Justice Cyriac Joseph judge of the Supreme Court.
With this appointment, the strength of judges in the apex court has gone up to 24 against the sanctioned 26, including the CJI.
Mr. Justice Joseph (61), who hails from Kerala, will have a tenure of three years and seven months. He was appointed judge of the Kerala High Court in July 1994 and after about a month he was shifted to the Delhi High Court. He was sent back to the Kerala High Court in September 2001, and after serving there till March 2005, he was elevated Chief Justice of the Uttarakhand High Court. In January 2006, he was transferred to Karnataka.
Dinakaran to become Karnataka CJ
Justice P.D. Dinakaran of the Madras High Court is to be elevated as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court shortly.
Saturday, Jun 28, 2008
Legal Correspondent

HC orders notice to bar council of TN, Puducherry


Chennai, June 28: The Madras High Court on Friday ordered notice to the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry on a petition seeking a direction to the Bar Council Secretary to conduct fresh elections for the Bar Council Chairman’s post and restrain the incumbent from acting as the Chairman.
Passing orders on a petition filed by D Selvam, a member of the council, Justice V Ramasubramanian directed the Bar Council Secretary to file a counter on July 7.
The issue over tussle for the Chairman’s post between incumbent Chairman R K Chandramohen and Selvam came up before the court after the latter submitted that an understanding was reached between the two, whereby they decided to share the post among them after none of the members got a majority.
As per the agreement, Chandramohen would assume the Chairman’s post for the first half of the five-year term, while Selvam would take over for the second half.
However, when Chandramohen’s tenure ended on May 30, 2008 as per the agreement, he refused to vacate the post and contended that he had never entered into an agreement to share the post.
Selvam alleged that Chandramohen was holding on to the post of Chairman ‘to suit his convenience. – Agencies
Published: Saturday, June 28, 2008
Aspiring neta says 3rd kid a mishap, HC unimpressed
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The state government’s two-child norm for candidates contesting municipal and panchayat polls has survived a unique challenge.
Baliram Deokate recently moved Bombay High Court, challenging his disqualification from contesting Panchayat Samiti elections for having a third child after the cut-off date of September 12, 2001. Deokate argued that his third child was born on August 20, 2002, due to failure of his wife’s tubectomy operation and therefore, owing to “circumstances beyond his control”.
Deokate’s argument, however, failed to move the judges. Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice SR Dongaonkar dismissed his petition stating, “As the ground of child born on account of reasons beyond the control due to operation failure or for whatever reason is not envisaged by the statute, accepting that argument of the appellant (Deokate) would inevitably result in diluting the mandate of the provision relating to disqualification – if not rewriting the same, which cannot be countenanced.”
As per a 2000 amendment to the Maharashtra Zilla Parishads and Panchayat Samitis (MZPPS) Act, 1961, persons having more than two children were disqualified from contesting panchayat polls. Providing a one-year window period, the government set September 12, 2001, as the cut-off date for the two-child norm.
The judges observed that it was an admitted fact that Deokate had only two children prior to the enactment of the two-child norm. Also, it was not challenged that Deokate’s third child was born on August 20, 2002, which is after the cut off date of September 12, 2001. The explanation given by Deokate did not fall within any of the exceptions provided in the MZPPS Act.
Anshika Misra
Saturday, June 28, 2008 03:15 IST
Restore temple tank, orders HC
The green bench of Calcutta High Court on Friday directed the Howrah Municipal Corporation and Howrah police superintendent to remove illegal structures constructed after filling up a part of a tank belonging to Ramraja Temple Trust at Ramrajatala.
Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice P.C. Ghosh of the bench also directed the civic body to restore the tank to its original condition within two months.
The court order followed a petition by residents of Ramrajatala. They alleged that despite repeated appeals, the district police had not taken action against traders operating out of the illegal structures.
The petitioners stated that the 0.85-acre tank, commonly known as Nonapukur, belongs to the temple trust but “at least 60 illegal structures have been erected by filling up a major portion of it”.
They claimed that preparations for offering puja used to be made beside the tank before the temple was built. “Residents consider the area holy, and, hence, it should be maintained properly.”
The advocate appearing for the state pollution control board told the court that his client had issued eviction notices to the encroachers.
The lawyer appearing for the civic authorities stated that the claims of the petitioners were genuine.
The bench observed that filling up the water body was an offence. “The settlers will have to leave the place. The Howrah civic authorities should take measures so that the tank might be restored to its original form,” stated the judgment.
According to the petitioners, the temple was founded by the zamindar of Santragachhi in 1740.
Remove IIPM`s name from fake university list, HC tells UGC
New Delhi, June 27: The University Grants Commission (UGC) on Friday agreed before the Delhi High Court to remove the name of Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) from the list of fake universities on its website. The IIPM also agreed to make it clear in its advertisements that the institute offers only certificate courses. The institute would also clarify that its courses were aimed at making the students eligible for degree courses like – MBA and BBA – provide under International Management Institute (IMI), Belgium. Justice Rajiv Shakdher, in an interim order, asked both UGC and IIPM to continue the protem arrangement till the final disposal of the writ petition and posted the matter for August 28. “In view of the settlement between parties, UGC shall remove the name of IIPM from the list of fake university,” Justice Shakdher said. The order came after IIPM and UGC arrived at the settlement as an interim arrangement following the court’s earlier direction to sort out the dispute amicably after the regulatory body declared the IIPM as a “fake university”. The court was hearing a petition filed by IIPM seeking direction to UGC to withdraw its declaration that the technical management institute was a “fake university” from its website. Earlier, the institute had contended that it was imparting technical education and offering certificate course to make the students eligible for degree courses like – MBA and BBA – provide under IMI, Belgium. It was alleged by IIPM that the UGC took the decision without giving it a chance to present its views before the regulatory body. The UGC, however, opposed the contention and said that the management school representative failed to appear before it to clarify their position. Bureau Report


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