Punjab and Haryana HC notice to Punjab, Haryana, UT on Judges Phone tapping case
The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notices for September 18 to the state governments of Punjab and Haryana besides the Chandigarh administration through their respective Home Secretaries for filing affidavits about the media report relating to alleged tapping of phones of Judges.The notices were issued by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Surya Kant.The order came on the note submitted by Justice Ranjit Singh who took suo moto notice of the media report carried by an English daily published from here on August 30.Justice Ranjit Singh’s note was treated as public interest litigation (PIL) by the HC Bench. In his note, Justice Ranjit Singh sought action against the state agency and the service provider involved in bugging.UNI
Bush administration steps up efforts to expedite vote for deal http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bush_admn_steps_up_efforts_to_hasten_N-deal/articleshow/3459993.cms
WASHINGTON: The Bush administration on Monday began the process of consultations with key legislative committees and staffers to bring the US-India nuclear agreement before Congress for a final up-down vote amid signs that even the little remaining opposition to the deal was fading. State department and White House officials liaising with the legislative committees are discussing ways to get around the 30-day period that the agreement was to have rested in Congress before being taken up for a simple yes/no vote. Because the Congress will be in session only from September 8-26, the administration wants to fast-track the vote. Key lawmakers have indicated they are open to a fast-track vote if the administration convinces them it conformed to the Hyde Act passed by Congress. In one such development, Congressman Howard Berman, whose release of the Bush administration’s ”secret” letter last week muddied the issue, reiterated on Sunday that he supported cooperation on civilian nuclear energy with India, but is opposed to policies that would lead to a nuclear arms race or undermine proliferation standards. ”Before we vote, Congress needs to study the NSG decision, along with any agreements that were made behind the scenes to bring it about. If the Administration wants to seek special procedures to speed congressional consideration, it will have to show how the NSG decision is consistent with the Hyde Act as Secretary Rice promised, including which technologies can be sent to India and what impact a nuclear test by India would have,” Berman said in a statement on Sunday. ”The burden of proof is on the Bush Administration so that Congress can be assured that what we’re being asked to approve conforms to US law,” Berman said. The way Berman and his aides see it, the Hyde Act and the Atomic Energy Act require that after the Administration submits the US-India civilian nuclear cooperation agreement to Congress, 30 days of continuous congressional session must elapse before a resolution of approval can be introduced. Only by first passing new legislation could Congress set aside the 30-day requirement. So in effect, there will be two votes in Congress on the nuclear deal — one to get around the 30-day issue, which will involve plenty of debate, and when it passes as it is expected to, a straight yes/no vote on the Hyde Act itself. Things are a little more complicated in the Senate, which also needs to approve the deal. A Senate aide explained that if the 30-day rule is waived in the Senate, the bill loses its ”privileged status” – which means it becomes open to debate, filibuster, and amendments. The Hyde Act was passed 85-12 in the Senate so the administration and supporters of the deal will have to work on the dozen Senators who opposed not to use the one legislative weapon that can delay the clearance — filibuster, a legitimate legislative tactic of obstruction. All 12 Senators are Democrats and they include Edward Kennedy, but not Barack Obama and Joe Biden, both of whom supported the deal. ”I’d say the chances of it getting past the senate are 50-50,” a Senate aide said. ”Senators are good at tying things up in knots and we don’t have an enforcement mechanism.” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington DC by September-end is premised on the US Congress giving its final approval to the nuke deal.
8 Sep 2008, 2139 hrs IST, Chidanand Rajghatta,TNN
Advocates in Puducherry to boycott court proceedings today http://archivenews.blogspot.com/2008/09/advocates-in-puducherry-to-boycott.html
In protest against new recruitment rule for post of civil judge
PUDUCHERRY: The Pondicherry Bar Association has decided to stay away from proceedings of the local court here on Monday to protest the inclusion of a provision in the Puducherry Judicial Service (Cadre and Recruitment) Rules, 2008 allowing law graduates not enrolled as advocates also to be appointed as civil judge.
Association president M. Nakkeeran, in a release, said the new recruitment rule provided that “law graduates working in Group A, B and C posts in any Court of Law in Tamil Nadu or equivalent post i.e., Grade-1, 11 and 111 in any Court of Law in the Union Territory and who have not enrolled themselves as advocates” are qualified for being appointed as civil judge in Puducherry.
The association wanted the government to give preference to advocates who had their residence in the Union Territory for appointment to the Puducherry Judicial Service, he said. Pointing out that residents of Puducherry were not considered for selection by Tamil Nadu, he said the Puducherry government should insert a clause in the recruitment rule to give preference to those having residence here.
Mr. Nakkeeran said they were also in favour of relaxing the age limit in the selection of civil judge under the Puducherry Judicial Service (Cadre and Recruitment) Rules, 2008 in the manner followed by Tamil Nadu for similar posts.
He said a Pondicherry Bar Association delegation called on the Lieutenant Governor, the Chief Minister and the Law Minister on Friday and apprised them about the problems they faced.
Monday, September 8, 2008
© Copyright 2000 – 2008 The Hindu
Delhi HC reserves judgement in NDMC funds misuse case
The Delhi High Court reserved its judgement on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a lawyer seeking a probe into misuse of funds by non-official members of the New Delhi Municipal Council(NDMC).After hearing the arguments from the petitioner, Monica Arora, and two Additional Solicitor Generals, Vikas Singh and Prayag Tripathi, who appeared for NDMC, a bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar reserved the order.The petitioner has alleged that four non-official members of the NDMC are misusing the funds of the civic body and drawing perks to the tune of Rs 1.75 lakh which includes a posh bunglow at Pandara Road, car, driver, salary and other entertainment allowances whereas there is no such provision. All that they are entitled is Rs 3000 per month, that too if they attend the meetings, Ms Arora said.On the other hand, Mr Singh and Mr Tripathi argued that there is no specified terms as to the entitlements. The NDMC Chairman has unlimited discretionary powers to sanction the budget for the members, they added.UNI
SC ruling on cane arrears +ve for sugar cos: Experts
The Supreme Court has fixed the price of cane at Rs 110 per quintal in the sugarcane arrears case. It has asked Uttar Pradesh sugar mills to pay FY08 arrears of Rs 578 crore in four weeks time. This payment represents 62% of total cane arrears.
What do experts read into this court judgement?
SP Tulsian of sptulsian.com feels this ruling is positive for sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh as they don’t have to pay anything extra. “They have paid Rs 110 per quintal. So, there won’t be any new liability. However, I would wait for the final judgement of the Supreme Court. This could just be an interim relief. The expiry of differential payment happened on September 6. If they would not have pronounced this judgement, the State government might have gone ahead with the recovery. I think this is just a clarification to avoid any coercive recovery process by the State government.”
Vijay Banka, CFO, Dwarikesh Sugar Industries, said the interim judgment is positive. “Cane price at Rs 125 per quintal, which the State Government had fixed and confirmed by the High Court, would have had disastrous consequences. There should be subjectivity. I am hope for the sugar industry with this interim judgement.”
According to CNBC-TV18’s Abhijit Neogy, this is an interim order by the Supreme Court. “The contention in UP was that there was a State Advised Price, or SAP, of Rs 125 per quintal that cane farmers demanded from mill owners. There was a conflicting judgement by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court, which said that these arrears could be paid at a much lesser rate of Rs 85 per quintal, which is the price fixed by the Centre. Mill owners paid about Rs 110 per quintal, with the balance amount remaining outstanding. The Supreme Court has questioned why arbitrators fixed the SAP of Rs 125 per quintal. Sugar mill owners are not exactly upset about it as this is something they have paid out and factored-in. That is why sugar stocks have been rising. Within four weeks, not only do private sugar mills have to pay up but states and cooperatives owned by the state government also will have to pay up. The entire payout would be around Rs 755-800 crore. Though it may be an interim order, it is a significant judgement.”
PK Bhalla, ED, Mawana Sugars, said the contrary judgement by two coordinate benches of the apex court was a severe proprietary issue. “There was no doubt about the matter getting admitted for consideration by the Supreme Court. In February, the Supreme Court had, as an interim measure, passed an order asking sugar companies to pay Rs 110 per quintal. They have maintained the order subject to actually examining the whole matter in detail. However, it is too early to pass any judgement on the price front.”
What will the Supreme Court do next?
According to SP Tulsian, the Supreme Court will decide on the power of the State government to fix the State Advised Price (SAP). “If they upheld the power of the state government to fix SAP, then it will decide on the equation to arrive at SAP. However, it may not take a stand as it will only go into the legal aspects.”
According to Dwarikesh Sugar’s Vijay Banka the final hearing is eight weeks from now. “When the matter is finally heard and decided, rationality would prevail and augur well for the industry.”
Mawana Sugars’ PK Bhalla said the state or respondents to the case have been asked to file their replies within four-weeks and then the petitioners will file rejoinders in two-weeks. “The Supreme Court would hear the matter based on this and determine what the right price is. It is not the jurisdiction of the court to determine the price. The apex court has to determine whether the process adopted by the state government for fixing the price was right or not. So, the next hearing may take 3-6 months.”
Balrampur Chini’s Vivek Saraogi said there were two special leave petitions in question. “First, by the UP government against the Bajaj Hindusthan order. Second, by the industry against the Lucknow High Court order, which ruled that cane prices should be fixed at Rs 125 per quintal. The Supreme Court said the interim price of Rs 110 per quintal is going to be the price as of now. Obiviously, merits have been found in the fact that the season has run at Rs 110 per quintal and it is going to be the price. The matter would come up for regular hearing from now on.”
Road ahead for sugar companies:
At present, SP Tulsian said, all sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh have stopped crushing. “They are selling inventories at cost or about Rs 14 a kg. Since the commodity is getting sold anywhere close to Rs 17-18, there is an element of profit. However, one will have look at the price to be decided for 2008-09, which will start in the middle or end of October, to work out profitability. Right now, mills will definitely be making profits for the next 2-3 months on account of their inventories.”
Dwarikesh Sugar’s Vijay Banka sees healthy margins in the current quarter. “This judgement is only for 2007-08 prices. For most sugar companies, the year ends on September 30. As far as 2007-08 is concerned, these prices would definitely have an impact on the industry. 2008-09 will be a new year and one will have to see what price is decided for that year.”
According to Mawana Sugars’ PK Bhalla, cane price have stayed at Rs 110 per quintal without making any deduction or adjustment for transport. Therefore, there is no immediate cash outflow from Mawana, except it has to probably show it as a contingent liability till the matter is finally decided.”
Published on Mon, Sep 08 at 13:50 , Updated at Tue, Sep 09 at 16:34 Source : CNBC-TV18
London Mining Co served a writ in Marampa iron ore project
London Mining Plc announced that its Sierra Leonean subsidiary London Mining Company Limited has served a writ in Sierra Leone on SLDC Exploration Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of African Minerals Limited.The claim relates to London Mining Plc’s iron ore project at formerly producing Marampa mine in Sierra Leone. It has a 25 year mining lease from the government of Sierra Leone over the old Marampa mines area previously mined by DELCO.London Mining is seeking a declaration that its mining lease coordinates are valid and subsisting, an injunction preventing African Minerals from entering its mining lease area and damages for trespass on the mining lease area.African Minerals is asserting that certain areas within London Mining’s Mining Lease area fall within its exploration license. African Minerals has recently announced that it is intending to sell a stake in the company containing the Marampa Exploration License to Cape Lambert Iron Ore with an option for Cape Lambert to purchase African Minerals’ entire Marampa interests.The disputed area covers approximately 30% of the area of the Company’s Mining Lease and includes areas where the company has been carrying out mining operations over the past year. It should be noted that, while the exclusion of this area would reduce the potential total mineable tonnage, it would not affect the planned production rate or the timing of start up of mining operations at the Marampa mine.Mr Graeme Hossie director of London Mining said that “London Mining invested in Sierra Leone 3 years ago as it was a country that had make a clear commitment to building long term economic growth with overseas companies. Its legislative structure has been set up to protect all companies under Sierra Leone law and we have every confidence that this dispute can be resolved to our satisfaction through the courts.”
September 09, 2008
HC disposes plea against Adani SEZ in Mundra
AHMEDABAD: In a relief to the Adani Group, Gujarat High Court, on Monday, disposed of the petition filed by a group of fishermen against the Mundra Port Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ) seeking a stay on the alleged construction activity on creeks in the southern coast of Kutch. A division Bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice MS Shah disposed of the application after Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) and the Kutch collectorate, in a combined report, gave a clean chit to the company ruling out that the three disputed creeks near Mundra were being filled by the company in a bid to develop Rs 7,500 crore SEZ. The court refused to entertain petitioners’ claims that the report filed by GMB and collectorate could not be considered as ‘gospel truth’ ,since they too were the respondents in the PIL.However,the court assured the petitioners that it would constitute a committee to look into the matter, but it could not grant any stay on the construction work that is taking place in the SEZ. Supreme Court and then Gujarat High Court, too, allowed the construction work in SEZ, but stayed the filling of creeks pending the PIL alleging the company of violating the environment norms as well as putting up construction in the coastal regulation zone. But, the petitioners claimed that the company was going ahead with filling activity in the Baradi Mata-2 , Kotdi-2 and Zharpara creeks and sought stay on construction as well as contempt proc e e d i n g s against the company for violating the court’s direction. The government report exonerated the company after the Mundra Port officer, the resident district collector and GMB’s executive engineer of Morbi inspected the sites on August 18 and submitted their report denying the charges levelled by the fishermen. After disposing of this petition , the court has kept October 6 for further hearing in the PIL, wherein it has sought explanations from the company about the allegations regarding reduction of mangrove cover as well as about the Centre’s permission for construction in the CRZ-1 .
9 Sep 2008, 0728 hrs IST,TNN
PIL seeks removal of pickets on campus
Ranchi, Sept. 8: Education has taken a back seat as gun-toting men occupy classrooms, a PIL filed in the high court has claimed.
People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), which has filed the petition, has sought a court directive to the state government for withdrawal of paramilitary camps in schools.
The rights body has argued that the presence of security personnel on campus hamper education. It has also sought compensation for the students, whose academic performance has suffered.
“The presence of paramilitary camps in schools creates an atmosphere of fear. A child’s right to education is compromised with,” said Shashibhushan Pathak, the general secretary of PUCL (Jharkhand unit).
Government records show that the forces currently occupy 40 schools in 13 districts. The oldest camp was set up in 1989 at a primary school in Taljhari, Dumka, while the most recent came up at a government middle school in Tala, Palamau, in March this year.
The state government, while replying to the RTI application of PUCL, had said that the pickets were set up in school buildings since there was no other alternative and fighting the Naxalite menace in rural belts was a must.
Don’t extend court timings, cut down on lunch break, stop tea breaks: Bar
Chandigarh, September 08: Strongly protesting against the extension in court timings by the Full Court, various speakers addressing the General House today demanded that the tea break taken by the judges be stopped.
Expressing strong resentment against the decision taken by the Full Court without taking the High Court into confidence, the General House passed a resolution on Monday.
The resolution stated that the duration of lunch be reduced by five minutes and the practice of tea break be put to an end. In future, any decision concerning the administrative functioning of the High Court be taken in consultation with the High Court Bar by the Full Court, the resolution further read.
It was also resolved by the General House that the court working hours remain from 10 am to 4 pm, as laid down in the High Court rules.
The speakers also questioned the rationale behind implementing only one direction of the Malimath Committee report. The Full Court had stated that the extension in court timings was a result of the Malimath Committee report. Reading out various chapters of the report, which was out in November 2003, the advocates questioned as to why the directions pertaining to judges were not being implemented.
Addressing the General House, Rupinder S Khosla, president of the High Court Bar, shared his conversation with Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and other Judges of the High Court regarding the issue.
“The Malimath Committee report dates back to 2003 and is not binding on the courts,” Khosla said. He added that most of the judges do not hold the court till 3:45 pm.
Advocate J S Toor, speaking on the occasion, said the advocates do not want to impress that they do not want to work but any decision to be taken in this regard will have to be taken after taking the High Court Bar into confidence.
On the other hand, strongly resenting on the absence of senior advocates in the General House, Advocate A K Sinha said: “It is surprising that there is hardly any senior advocate of the Bar present to attend a meeting on such a sensitive issue.”
Expressing deep concern over the Judge-bribery case which recently shook the High Court, the advocate questioned as to what actions were being taken by the Chief Justices to transfer judges who are prima facie found guilty of misconduct.
The speakers refused to accept the move calling it completely unacceptable and a forced decision.
“Let the judges take their tea or coffee inside the court rather than retiring in their chambers and consuming 15 to 30 minutes,” said Advocate Naveen Chopra.
What does the Malimath Committee report read with regard to Courts and Judges?The Chief Justice of the High Court may issue circulars:
A. That immediately below the cause title of the judgment order the following particulars will be entered* Date of conclusion of arguments.* Date of reserving the judgment.* Date of pronouncement of the judgment.
At the bottom of the judgment, the following particulars will be entered:* Date when the dictation was completed.* Date when typing was completed and placed before the Judge* The date when the judge signed.
B. The Court Officer shall enter in a separate register:* The time when the Judge assembled.* The time when the Judge rose.* Copy of this record shall be sent to the Chief Justice on the same day and put up on the notice board.
Malimath Committee’s report on JudiciaryThe Committee is deeply concerned about the deterioration in the quality of judges appointed to the courts at all levels. The Constitution of a National Judicial Commission is being considered at the national level to deal with appointment of the judges to the High Courts and the Supreme Court and to deal with the complaints of misconduct against them. The mere entrustment of the power of appointment to the National Judicial Commission will not ensure appointment of competent and upright judges. We need a process to ensure objectivity and transparency in this behalf.
Cash at judge’s door: Judgment on Bansal’s bail application deferredThe Court of Special CBI Judge Jagdeep Jain today deferred the judgment over the regular bail application filed by former Haryana additional advocate general Sanjeev Bansal in the “Cash-at-judge’s-door” case. The orders have been deferred till September 18 after the defence counsel sought time and requested the court not to pronounce the orders. The defence counsel sought time on the ground that they want to wait till September 16, the date on which the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is to file its reply against the anticipatory bail filed by co-accused Ravinder Singh. “We requested the court not to pronounce the orders and grant us time so that the final outcome of the anticipatory bail filed by Ravinder Singh can be seen,” said Advocate N K Nanda, one of the defence counsels for Bansal.
Bansal and the other three accused in the case will be produced in the Court on September 13. The bail application of Sanjeev Bansal and arguments on bail application filed by Rajiv Gupta will come up for hearing on September 18.
Express News Service
Posted online: Tuesday, September 09, 2008 at 0226 hrs
SC verdict a great gift: M F Husain
NEW DELHI: It’s probably the best birthday present he could have ever received and artist M F Husain is graciously thanking the country’s highest court. “The Supreme Court has shown it is actually supreme… What a great gift” said Husain, who turns 93 on September 17. Over the phone from Dubai the artist added, “At last they have understood the dignity of Indian contemporary art. This is not a victory for me only but one for the Indian contemporary art movement. In fact, it is the collective force of this movement that has finally been recognized by the SC.” Husain, who has been in self-imposed exile since January 2006 when right-wing groups threatened him with dire consequences, says he misses his country and can’t wait to get back. “I want to have khus chai at an Irani cafe in Mumbai and eat jalebi sitting in the CCI club lawns. I also miss having Dilli ka paan…” he said, promising to return soon. India’s artist community came together to congratulate the living legend. Friend and fellow-artist Tyeb Mehta, though hardly able to speak, insisted on coming on the phone after he was informed of the good news. “The SC has lifted what was a national shame. I’m very happy for Husain and for the artist community. Please convey my good wishes to my friend,” said Mehta. Most artists, of course, welcomed the decision but said it should have come earlier. Said Delhi-based artist Ram Kumar, “This is good news but it should have happened much earlier.” Added Krishan Khanna, “I’m so thankful this decision has come in Husain’s lifetime. This ridiculous state of affairs has gone on too long but better late than never.” Gallery owner Arun Vadehra is ecstatic. “Husain has been a dear friend. My faith in the judiciary has been restored with this verdict.” Anjolie Ela Menon, who met Husain a few months ago in Dubai, is rejoicing. “He has the energy of a young man and his life is to paint everyday. I’m sure Husain never meant any insult to anybody. Which other Indian painter has made 300 paintings of the Mahabharat? I think this self-appointed moral police needs to stop. Husain is undoubtedly the grand old man of Indian contemporary art and we must get him back here.”
9 Sep 2008, 0534 hrs IST, Anubha Sawhney Joshi,TNN
SC lawyers collect Rs 60L for flood victims
PATNA: Aid for flood relief continued to pour in with lawyers of the Supreme Court under the banner of Supreme Court Bar Association collecting Rs 60 lakh to donate to the Chief Minister Relief Fund. Senior lawyer and BJP MP Ravishankar Prasad told TOI over phone from Delhi that he also contributed Rs one lakh as a member of the association. Besides, Prasad has donated Rs 25 lakh from MPLAD fund to the CM Relief Fund.IFCO director KL Singh on Monday donated a cheque for Rs 25 lakh while a Jamshedpur-based organisation, Vardan Jyoti, donated a cheque for Rs 3.75 lakh to the CM Relief Fund. Rameshwar Puri of Annapurna Temple (Varanasi) donated Rs 1 lakh while Faiyaz Ahmad of Madhubani donated Rs 2.5 lakh. Retired DG G Narayan, representing Retired IPS Officers’ Association, donated Rs 51,000 while state agriculture minister Nagmani and his wife Suchitra Sinha donated Rs 16,000. Bodh Gaya Temple Management Committee secretary N Dorje donated Rs 10 lakh. NHPC Limited has contributed Rs 2.5 crore to the PM Relief Fund for the rehabilitation of flood victims. It included corporate contribution and one day’s salary of NHPC employees. The cheque was handed over to Union minister for power Sushil Kumar Shinde by NHPC CMD SK Garg. For the flood-hit taking shelter in Forbesganj relief camps, the Art of Living (AoL) on Monday started trauma relief sessions. The sessions are being conducted by Rishi Vidyadhariji. An AoL release said Dr Achutamba from West Bengal treated 600 ill persons and distributed medicines at Batani village. Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team has set up three more relief camps. It earlier opened 10 such camps. SSB has deployed 18 motorboats at the camps set up in Araria.
9 Sep 2008, 0411 hrs IST,TNN
Credit card interest can’t be over 30%: SC
NEW DELHI: Credit card users can breathe easy for the moment, with the Supreme Court refusing to stay a national consumer forum directive that banks cannot charge more than 30% interest per annum on defaults on card payments. This will protect consumers from exorbitant charges, which are as high as 49% in some cases. Banks had appealed against the consumer court order and asked for a stay on it. Admitting appeals filed by MNC banks — HSBC, American Express, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank — challenging the consumer forum order, a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi issued notice to Reserve Bank of India and the NGO ‘Awaz’, on whose petition the limit on interest rate was imposed. What is revealing is the banks listing as many as 27 factors why they needed to charge higher interest rates and these included calls made from service centre to seek new customers. It would appear that almost all costs involved in banking activities over telephone and internet were to be charged to the hapless credit card holder, going by the banks’ submissions to the SC. When banks pressed for a stay on the ground that they are regulated by the RBI regulation guiding interest rates, the Bench merely issued notice on their applications and sought responses within three weeks. But the threat of a higher interest has not gone away as the banks — HSBC, American Express, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank — have teamed up to persuade the SC of what they said were their compulsions in charging between 36% and 49% interest. The July 7, 2007 order of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) had ruled that “charging of interest rates in excess of 30% per annum from credit card holders by banks for the former’s failure to make full payment on the due date or paying the minimum amount due, is unfair trade practice”. It had also said that penal interest could be levied only once for the period of default and should not be capitalised, while also terming the practice of computing interest on monthly basis as “unfair trade practice”. Among the factors listed by the banks justifying the exorbitant rates was the cost of calls. In other words, calls made randomly by the bank’s authorised call centres incessantly to persuade people to take a credit card, is also taken into account for realisation through charging of penal interest from a defaulting card holder. The other notable factors listed are: Processing cost for setting up a new card in operating system Cost of courier and cost of embossing the card Cost of providing phone banking service Cost of sending monthly statements Cost of providing internet banking facility Cost of waiving charges for service reasons Cost of marketing and promotional offers Cost of rewards and loyalty programme “The National Commission has failed to appreciate that the rate of interest on defaulted or partial payments of dues is determined by taking into consideration various factors, including the risks of default, and therefore, this commission may not determine the issue as to whether the interest at the rates of 36% to 49% per annum is excessive,” the banks said.
9 Sep 2008, 0308 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN
SC asks UP mills to pay cane price of Rs 110/qtl
The Supreme Court on Monday asked the state-owned and the private sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh to pay the cane farmers a price of Rs 110 a quintal for the current season.
In its interim order, the bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat asked the sugar mills to make the payment within a month.
On September 1, the apex court had refused to stay the Allahabad High Court judgement that asked sugar mills to pay the state-advised price (SAP) of Rs 125 to 130 a quintal for the 2007-08 season. The high court while upholding the SAP of Rs 125 to 130 a quintal had modified its interim order that asked mills to pay Rs 110 a quintal. It had also asked the sugar mills to pay the difference of Rs 15 a quintal by September 6.
The Supreme Court had earlier refused to accede to the request of sugar mills to extend the time by two more days for making the payments till the matter is heard on Monday. Press Trust Of India / New Delhi September 9, 2008, 3:09 IST
SC asks UP mills to pay cane dues at Rs 110 a quintal
The apex bench has given four weeks’ time for filing of counter affidavits and another two weeks for rejoinders.
New Delhi, Sept. 8 The Supreme Court has directed sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh — private, co-operative and State-owned — to pay up all outstanding cane arrears to growers for the 2007-08 crushing season (October-September) at the rate of Rs 110 for a quintal within the next four weeks.
This is lower than the State Advised Price (SAP) of Rs 125 for a quintal fixed by the UP Government for the current season. There is a catch though. The Rs 110 rate payable by factories would be without any deduction of cane transport costs borne by mills.
Mills till recently were allowed to deduct Rs 5.75 a quintal from the SAP for the cane they transported from the primary collection centres to the factory-gate. The transport rebate was further increased to Rs 10.58 a quintal by the Allahabad High Court in an order dated April 21.
However, the Supreme Court, in its order on Monday, has fixed the Rs 110 a quintal price for 2007-08 as a net price to be paid by mills to farmers without deducting any transportation costs. Thus, the cane price to mills at the gate works out to Rs 115.75 a quintal (Rs 120.58, if the higher transport deduction was allowed), which is still below the SAP of Rs 125 a quintal.
The apex court’s order, passed by a bench headed by Mr Justice Arijit Pasayat, is an interim one. The final ruling is likely to take a couple of months, as the apex bench has given four weeks’ time for filing of counter-affidavits and another two weeks for rejoinders.
UP mills owe about Rs 733 crore to farmers against the cane bought at Rs 110 a quintal. The bulk of this is on account of co-operatives (Rs 337 crore) and State Government mills (Rs 241 crore), which have so far made only 59 per cent and 38 per cent of the payments due, respectively. On the other hand, private mills owe around Rs 155 crore, representing hardly two per cent of outstanding payments.
“We are happy that the apex court has made it clear to the State Government that it is bound to ensure that the dues of co-operative and State mills are also cleared within four weeks,” said Mr V.M. Singh, a farmer leader and Convenor of the Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan.
The Supreme Court’s latest interim order comes in the wake of two conflicting rulings of the Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow Bench.
The Lucknow Bench, on July 7, upheld the SAP of Rs 125 a quintal fixed by the UP Government. But on August 18, the Allahabad High Court passed a contrary order, quashing the SAP and allowing mills to pay the lower Rs 81.18 a quintal Statutory Minimum Price (SMP) set by the Union Government.
The High Court’s contention was that while the State Government had the right to fix the SAP, it has to be backed by reasons giving adequate outlines of norms, criteria or guidelines. The SAP cannot be decided unilaterally. The big question now is: will the UP Government announce an SAP for 2008-09, with the new season set to commence next month? According to one miller, the fact that the Supreme Court has not stayed the Allahabad High Court’s August 18 judgment would mean that no new price can be fixed till the former gives its final ruling on the issue.
Bhardwaj backs permanent mechanism on plaints against judges
New Delhi (PTI): The alleged financial misconduct matter involving Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen is a reason “all the more” for putting in place a “permanent mechanism” in law to take up such complaints, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj said on Monday.
“There is a need to have a kind of `letter box’ in which every citizen can put a complaint in matters related to alleged judicial misconduct,” he told PTI.
The complaints can later be looked into for their genuineness by the judiciary on its own, he said.
Referring to the case of Justice Sen, who is alleged to have parked a sum of Rs 32 lakhs held by him in his capacity as court receiver in his personal bank account over 10 years ago, the minister said the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan himself had intervened and wrote to the Prime Minister’s Office for action in the absence of any letter box-type provision.
“Now, it seems the judiciary shall also ask the Government to legislate on the issue,” he said.
“The Government is already thinking of bringing in a law to put a permanent mechanism in place to deal with grievances against judges,” he said.
Pointing to the Judges (Inquiry) Bill 2006, which was referred to a parliamentary standing committee, Bhardwaj said, “our bill is pending, we are trying to get amendments incorporated and come back to Parliament.”
Bhardwaj hinted that one such matter relating to the Allahabad High Court is being heard by the Supreme Court and added “I would always like to take the judiciary along with me.”
It would also serve their (judges’) cause as the judiciary would be reflected in a good light and help retain the people’s “faith and confidence” in it, he said.
Monday, September 8, 2008
Delhi: Sheila Dixit appreciates the role of judiciary at the inauguration of the Dwarka Court complex
Appreciating the role of judiciary, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said that with multiplicity of authorities in the capital, the courts have always come to the resce of their government. Speaking at the inauguration of the Dwarka Court complex, she said there was a strong resistance against the bifurcation of courts and three years ago, when the Rohini court was inaugurated not many people were happy about it, which is not so today.Ms Dikshit announced that the Saket court will also be functional soon.She suggested to the legal luminaries to modernise the existing Patiala House Complex, especially the parking area and assured all help to modernise the Patiala House courts.Chief Justice (CJI) K G Balakrishnan, who innaugurated the Dwarka Court Complex, also appreciated the role of the Sheila Dikshit government for spending more than 1 per cent of its yearly budget for the legal set up.Justice Balakrishnan said, “We as the judicial heads, judges and all-others in the set up should make use of the facilities provided by the state government and give it back to the society. Whatever public money is utilised should be delivered to the public by efficient and quick justice delivery system.” The CJI said, “We are short of qualified manpower to back the sub ordinate judiciary, since many do not qualify the exams. We could get only 40 judges, whereas there is a vacancy for 350 sub ordinate judges last year.” The Delhi High Court judges, Supreme Court judges, Chief Metropolitan Magistrates (CMM) of the four district courts, officials of the bar associations of all the four district courts and High Courts were present on the occasion.Senior Lawyer Fali Nariman, additional solicitor general P P Malhotra and others were also present at the inauguration of the Dwarka court complex.B S Rana, chairman of the Delhi Bar Council, said the elections of the Dwarka bar association will be held shortly, meanwhile the Patiala House Bar Association will manage the affairs of the Dwarka Court Complex.UNI
Calcutta HC judge to face impeachment proceedings
New Delhi (PTI): Tainted Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen will face impeachment proceedings in Parliament with the Government accepting Chief Justice of India’s recommendation to the Prime Minister for his removal on charges of serious financial “misconduct”, the second-ever such action against a member of the higher judiciary.
“The CJI has recommended initiating impeachment process so we shall have to go to Parliament on the matter,” Law Minister H R Bhardwaj told reporters here on Monday.
In an internal inquiry held by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan on the matter, Sen, then a practising lawyer, was allegedly found to have indulged in a financial misconduct prior to his elevation as High Court judge in December, 2003.
He is said to have received Rs 32 lakhs as court- appointed receiver in a lawsuit between Steel Authority of India Ltd and Shipping Corporation of India and accused of depositing the amount in his personal account.
In 1991, the first-ever impeachment action was initiated against Supreme Court judge V Ramaswami for misconduct in furniture purchase when he was Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The motion was admited by Lok Sabha Speaker and a vote was called but it fell through after the ruling Congress abstained.
The CJI’s suggestion for action against Sen, who continues to be in office without any work being allotted to him, was sent last month to the Prime Minister’s Office which, in turn, sent it to the Law Ministry for advice.
“I have received the papers a few days ago. We are examining them and preparing to take necessary action,” Bhardwaj said adding “no body can stop it because it (suggestion) came from the CJI.”
In his letter, the Chief Justice said Sen was asked to appear before a three-member collegium and advised to submit his resignation or seek voluntary retirement on or before April two, 2008.However, Sen expressed his inability to tender resignation or seek voluntary retirement.
Monday, September 8, 2008
HC reserves order on Warner Bros’ plea on film ‘Hari Puttar’
New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today reserved its order on Hollywood production house Warner Bros’ plea seeking to restrain the release of Bollywood film ‘Hari Puttar: A Comedy of Terrors’ for allegedly using a title similar to Harry Potter.Warner Bros, the owner of Harry Potter trademark, sought the court’s intervention to restrain the producer of the film, from releasing the movie under its present title.Warner Bros submitted before the bench of Justice Reva Khetrapal that title of the film is identical and deceptively similar to popular trademark Harry Potter.Contending that it would create confusion amongst viewers, senior advocate Sudhir Chandra, counsel for Warner Bros, said producers of the film are deliberately creating confusion to gain big commercial advantage.Chandra said the producers intentionally chose the title ‘Hari Puttar…’, which sounds phonetically and structurally similar to popular trademark Harry Potter.However, producer of the film, Mirchi Movies Limited, the entertainment arm of Times group, refuted the allegations that their film’s title is in any way similar to Harry Potter because it is based on an original literary work having no resemblance of Potter.The title Hari Puttar is not associated with Harry Potter and Hari Puttar means (both in Hindi and Punjabi) God’s son, senior advocate Arun Jaitely appearing for the producer contended.Warner Bros also rejected suggestions of the producer that the present title could be retained with a disclaimer that it has no connection with Harry Potter.The movie is scheduled for release globally both in Hindi and English on September 12. PTI
HC Stays Shifting Of Shabbir Shah To Kathua
Srinagar, Sep 08, KONS: The state High Court has shot down the government move to shift detained Hurriyat leaders, Shabir Ahmad Shah, Muhammad Ashraf Sahrai and two others outside the state, asking it to explain why the Public Safety Act had been invoked on the foursome. The president of the High Court Bar Association, Mian Abdul Qayoom, had filed petition in the High Court, challenging the invoking of the Public Safety Act on Shah, Sharai, Aasiya ANdrabi and Merajuddin Kalwal. The petition had cited a Supreme Court judgment saying that under ordinary circumstances no detainee should be shifted out of native environment, but he should be allowed to meet his relatives and friends and even call for food from home. According to the Supreme Court, the government does not have the right to shift a detainee from one place to another, except in extraordinary circumstances. Qayoom told the KNS that the petition was heard in the court of Justice Imtiyaz Hussian today, who citied the Supreme Court precdent to stay the government’s move to shift Shah and other to the Kathua jail. The next hearing of the case has been fixed for September 16, he said. He said that he in the petition he had challenged the PSA detention of all the four leaders and presented strong arguments in support of his contention. Qayoom said that the High Court had issued notices to the principal secretary home, the district magistrate of Srinagar, and the superintendent of the Srinagar Central Jail, giving the government two days to explain why the PSA was invoked against the detainees.
Delhi HC summons Deputy Commissioner of Police for keeping 4 youths in illegal custody
The Delhi High Court summoned Deputy Commissioner of Police(DCP) Sharad Agarwal to explain the reason behind registering an alleged false case against four youths and keeping them in illegal custody for four months.Justice Kailash Gambhir directed DCP Agarwal to remain present for the next date of hearing on September 26, as the case was of serious nature, which involved fundamental rights — liberty and freedom of the citizens.The youths approached the court to quash an FIR against them, which they say is false and fabricated.According to lawyers Ajay Kumar Pipania and Parvez Kumar, the four boys were picked up by police(Uttam Nagar) in March this year claiming that they had kidnapped a boy. The FIR was registered against them and were put behind bars.Deepak Kumar, Deepak, Sujit and Panna Lal were detained by police for kidnapping one RajKumar.Rajkumar told the court that the four arrested were his friends and were picked up by police on a complaint lodged against a bystander, who was against someone else.Police did not verify the facts and put the boys behind bars. Mr Kumar said the high-handedness of police is increasing as innocent people are being implicated and their extortion racket is flourishing.Justice Gambhir said the matter required a serious probe and directed the DCP to be present in the court with the status report on the next date of hearing. UNI
Tamil Nadu HC: Lawyers boycott courts
Functioning of various district courts, including civil, criminal and other judicial fora, was severely affected to a day’s strike called by Federation of District and Sub-ordinate Court Bar Association of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in protest against three judicial orders passed by Madras High Court.In Madurai, the functioning of District Court was severely hit. A group of agitating lawyers staged a demonstration in front of the court complex this morning. Police made tight security arrangements in and around the district court complex to lawyers strike. However, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court (HC) was functioning as usual as the lawyers decided not to participate in the strike. As a precaution, police pickets have been posted in the High Court complex. According to reports reaching here, lawyers practicing at district courts in Tirunelveli, Ramanathapuram, Dindigul, Theni and Virudhunagar also stayed away from courts.The practice of a judge asking the accused to execute bonds to the satisfaction of the police officers instead of the Magistrates while granting bail, a Division Bench order making it mandatory for convicts to file affidavits for petitions seeking suspension of sentence and demand for affidavits to curb the practice of filing fresh petitions seeking suspension of sentence by suppressing the disposal of similar petitions filed in earlier sparked off the agitation.UNI
Govt to move motion in P’ament to impeach Calcutta HC judge
New Delhi, Sep 8 (PTI) The Government is preparing to move a motion in Parliament for impeachment of Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen, following Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan’s recommendation for his removal on charges of “misconduct.” The CJI’s suggestion for action against Justice Sen, who continues to be in office without any work being allotted to him, was sent last month to the Prime Minister’s Office which, in turn, sent it to the Law Ministry for advice.”I have received the papers a few days ago. We are examining them and preparing to take necessary action,” Law Minister H R Bhardwaj said today.”The CJI has recommended initiating impeachment process so we shall have to go to Parliament on the matter,” he said.”No body can stop it because it (suggestion) came from the CJI,” he said. This will be the second-ever impeachment process against a member of the country’s higher judiciary.In the internal inquiry held by the CJI on the matter, Justice Sen was allegedly found to have indulged in a financial misconduct prior to his elevation. He is accused of receiving Rs 32 lakh as court-appointed receiver in a lawsuit between Steel Authority of India Ltd and Shipping Corporation of India and deposited the amount in his personal account.The CJI-appointed three-member committee found Justice Sen guilty of misconduct in depositing the money in his personal account and preferring to retain it even after being elevated to the High Court in 2003.The Government will now move an impeachment motion either in Lok Sabha or in Rajya Sabha. The presiding officers of the Houses shall then set up a peers committee to look into the matter and if the charges are found true, both the Houses will have to pass the motion. PTI
Madras HC seeks details on registering marriage agreements
A Madras High Court (HC) bench here has sought details from the Tamil Nadu government about the illegal practice of registering marriage agreements between couples. While passing interim orders on a habeas corpus petition seeking production of a couple who eloped, entered into a wedding agreement and also got it registered, a division bench comprising Justice M Satyanarayanan and Justice D Murugesan said there was no provision for registration of such agreements. The judges ordered notice to the Inspector General of Registration, Government of Tamil Nadu, seeking details about such registrations before September 26. The judges appointed Advocate M Ajmal Khan as amicus curie, who contended that such registrations could be misused by criminals involved in sexual exploitation and women trafficking. He also questioned how the sub-registrars could entertain such kind of agreements. Stating that there was no sanctity to such marriage agreements, he said it was not contemplated either under the Hindu Marriage Act or the Indian Christian Marriage Act. He further said the Special Marriages Act, which provides a unique form of marriage for all Indian nationals irrespective of their religion, requires that the couple wishing to marry should issue a notice to the marriage officer who should display it in his office for 30 days. Hence, the couple who co-habitated on the basis of the marriage agreements should be punished under Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sec 493 (cheating a woman by making her believe that she is legally married), he said. UNI
Kerala delegation meets Prime Minister on HC Bench issue
A high-level Kerala delegation led by Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan and Leader of the Opposition Oommen Chandy met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sought his intervention to meet the long pending demand for a bench of the Kerala High Court in Thiruvananthapuram.Kerala Law Minister M Vijayakumar, and Varkala Radhakrishnan and Panniyan Ravindran, both MP’s, were also part of the delegation.Dr Singh assured the delegation that he would talk to Law Minister H R Bhardwaj in regard to the Thiruvananthapuram bench issue and see if procedures could be started in this regard, Mr Vijayakumar and Mr Chandy told mediapersons.
CJI: Impartiality in justice promotes growth of nation
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said the ‘impartiality in meting out justice’ was a major factor behind attracting foreign investment and accelerating the growth of a nation.Delivering his valedictory speech in a workshop on ‘Planning and Management for timely justice’, Justice Balakrishnan said quality and impartial judgement was an important component in accelerating the country’s growth pace.‘In its report, the World Bank has noted that impartial and quality judgement is a major factor in attracting foreign investment in a country which also contributes in accelerating the pace of growth’, Justice Balakrishnan pointed out.‘The disposal rate of pending cases in the Supreme Court has increased by 10 per cent. But at the same time the filing rate of new cases has also jumped by 23 per cent’, he said, adding, it was difficult to bridge the gap.Speaking on the occasion, Chief Justice of Patna High Court R M Lodha said it was not only important to deliver the judgement speedily but also its quality should also be maintained. Bihar Governor R L Bhatia said steps should be taken to minimise the cases pending in various courts.Mobile courts and other forum for redressal of grievances should be encouraged to achieve the goal.Addressing the workshop, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said the state government would provide all infrastructural facilities to minimising the cases pending in the courts.Referring to the law and order situation in Bihar, Mr Kumar said it had remarkably improved with the increase in conviction rates.‘In the year 2006, 6839 accused were convicted under various provisions. In 2007, the number increased to 9853 while till August 2008, 7552 accused have already been convicted’, he said, adding, it had resulted in an improvement in the law and order situation in the state.UNI
Bhardwaj to CJI: Check corruption in Judiciary
“The government does not want to interfere as it feels the CJI is competent and has sufficient powers to deal with such practices, but options like a new law for judicial accountability are always available for us,” says the law ministerNew Delhi: The cash-at-judge’s door scam in Chandigarh and the Ghaziabad provident fund are “test cases” for the judiciary to prove it is serious in taking action against corrupt judges, the government said on Thursday.Breaking its silence on the two high-profile cases, which have rattled the judiciary and the government, the Law Ministry asked the Chief Justice of India (CJI) to take “effective measures,” a ministry official said. Law Minister HR Bhardwaj conveyed the government’s concern to CJI KG Balakrishnan, the official said. The government has welcomed the CJI’s action of forming a three-member panel of judges to probe the cash-at-judge’s door, but it also wants the judiciary to form a permanent committee to probe allegations against judges. “After the disturbing cases recently, both of Chandigarh and Ghaziabad, nobody can say the judiciary is free from corruption. A permanent mechanism in the form of a judges committee is immediately required,” Law Minister HR Bhardwaj told HT.“The government does not want to interfere as it feels the CJI is competent and has sufficient powers to deal with such practices, but options like a new law for judicial accountability are always available for us,” he said. Bhardwaj said a retired CJI went on record, saying a third of the judiciary was corrupt and effective corrective action is required. “Government has been cautious in reacting to reports of corruption in judiciary, but it can’t ignore them. We will wait for the judiciary’s response in these two cases before finalising our next step,” he said. Rejecting the argument that the UPA had shelved the Judges Inquiry Bill under pressure from its allies and to avoid confrontation with the judiciary, Bhardwaj said, “The bill… is ready from our ministry’s side, but the government does not want to push it in a hurry, without consulting all authorities concerned. We would like the judiciary to take an initiative on accountability measures.” In the cash-at-judge’s-door scam, a former Haryana law officer and three others are in custody for allegedly trying to bribe a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge. The latter has since proceeded on leave.Both the CBI and a judges’ panel formed by the CJI are separately probing the cash-at-judge’s-door scam.The Ghaziabad PF case is a multi-crore affair implicating as many as 36 judges.Friday, September 05, 2008
Copyright 2008 HT Media Ltd. All rights reserved.
Punjab cops face complaint deluge after Supreme Court order
CHANDIGARH: With the Supreme Court “cracking the whip” on cops refusing to immediately lodge FIRs on receipt of complaints, the Punjab police are getting the same in heaps. Emboldened, and wielding newspaper clippings, complainants are actually browbeating the personnel into registering FIRs, saying a failure to do so would attract contempt of court and jail term. “We are getting complaints, and yes, newspaper clippings. Now, they (complainants) are telling us to register cases without an inquiry,” DGP NPS Aulakh told The Times Of India. “Following the apex court’s July 14 order, we have instructed our SSPs to register cases without delay.” Though an empowering tool, the order has its blind spots, like the unfair-minded people getting others framed to settle scores. Though it will add to the workload of investigating officers and the judiciary, it may help cleanse the criminal justice system. However, for that to happen, the Punjab Police Rules (PPR) will have to be amended. “According to PPR, a police officer can hold an inquiry ahead of the registration of a case. With the Supreme Court order, there is no choice now,” IG (Border Range) Rajpal Meena said. Aulakh added, “For the purpose, we have asked for more personnel from the government.” SSPs are already preparing for the challenge as the number of cases registered has shot up by three times. SSP, Kapurthala, Rakesh Agrawal said, “Since it may lead to a surge in arrests, I have asked the officers to make arrests only after my permission.” He added that the district police will try to follow the CBI on arrests, prepare challan and then arrest a culprit, unless it is a heinous crime and the offender is dangerous.
5 Sep 2008, 0341 hrs IST, Sanjay Sharma,TNN
Reconsider requests of live bands: HC
BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday directed the Bangalore police to reconsider applications filed by live band operators seeking licence to perform at least eight weeks after their applications are scrutinized.
Justice N K Patil gave the order after hearing several petitioners who alleged the police have put “unreasonable restrictions” and rejected their applications on “flimsy grounds,” a move they claimed has violated their fundamental rights.
In May, the police rejected the applications citing “lack of proper infrastructure” to support live band performances. The police also released a set of conditions for obtaining the licence on August 16. One of the conditions included the time frame required to process applications. Notices over HAL airport closure A division Bench has issued notices to the Union civil aviation ministry, AAI, HAL and BIAL after the Airport Authority Employees’ Association filed PIL challenging the closure of HAL airport. The PIL questioned the constitutional validity of the “concessional agreement” between BIAL and the government. The petitioners claimed many equipment at HAL airport were being dismantled and people might take advantage of the process with a profit-making motive. The Bench directed the petitioners to bring all BIA-HAL related petitions under one umbrella. The next hearing is on the third week of October. Coffee growers’ plea The high court has issued notices to the Union finance ministry, NABARD and others on a petition filed by coffee growers of Kodagu seeking benefits under the Prime Minister’s Vidarbha Scheme. The scheme has provisions to waive interest on farm loans taken before July 1, 2006. Under the scheme, loan repayment by marginal farmers and landless farmers can be rescheduled. The petitioners, who have taken loans to set up farmhouses, have challenged the rejection of their request to waive interest by a local bank, from where they had borrowed money a decade ago. The petitioners said they were eligible for the PM’s scheme. firstname.lastname@example.org
5 Sep 2008, 0537 hrs IST,TNN
Court issues notice to SRK
Bombay high court on Thursday issued notices to all respondents, including actor Shah Rukh Khan, in a PIL alleging 32 violations of law in the construction of Khan’s bungalow in Bandra.
Chief justice Swatanter Kumar and justice AP Deshpande have asked the respondents, including Khan, the state government, the BMC, the ministry of environment and forest, and the heritage committee to respond in two weeks.
The PIL filed by social activist Simpreet Singh sought the disconnection of water and electric supply to Mannat, Khan’s home in Band Stand, Bandra. The PIL stated that the construction behind Mannat had been carried out by merging 12 flats meant to house the poor. Moreover, the PIL said that the construction within the open space in the premises was also not permissible under law.
The PIL also alleged that Khan was bringing up the structure in a space that was originally reserved for an art gallery. Also, as per the PIL, the land that Khan’s property stands on was wrongly notified as a liberal Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) – II when it falls within the highly restrictive CRZ-I.
Counsel for the petitioner YP Singh said that the PIL will be heard further on September 19.
The PIL also contended that Khan after purchasing the property from its owner Nariman Dubash wrote a letter to the chief minister seeking deletion of the land reserved for the art gallery. In September 2003, the government accepted Khan’s letter and directed the BMC to start the process of deletion of the reservation, the PIL said.
Friday, September 05, 2008 04:04 IST
HC clubs two PILs against Shahrukh Khan
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court will hear two different PILs alleging violation of various laws in the construction carried out by actor Shahrukh Khan. The first PIL, filed by Bhrashtachar Nirmulan Sanghatana, alleges that the construction of six-storey building – in the rear side of Khan’s bungalow ‘Mannat’ – has spilled onto the space for a proposed adjacent road. The width of the proposed road was curtailed to accomodate Khan’s construction, it alleges. Another PIL, filed recently by Simpreet Singh and others, alleges violation of Urban Land Ceiling Act and Coastal Regulation Zone rules in the same construction. Petitioners alleges total of 32 irregularities. High Court today decided to hear both the cases simaltaneously, and adjourned the hearing to September 19. Khan is yet to file reply to Singh’s petition, so are the government authorities.
Source : PTI
Thursday, September 04, 2008 21:21 [IST]
Yousuf case in Bombay High Court adjourned for Sept 9
The Bombay High Court has adjourned the hearing on the appeal filed by Pakistan’s senior batsman Mohammad Yousuf against the stay order which restrained him from playing in the Indian Premier League.
Pakistan Cricket Board’s Legal Counsel Tafazzul Rizvi said on Thursday that the single bench of the Bombay High Court heard the arguments on Tuesday for some time before adjourning for September 9.
Yousuf has prayed to the High Court to remove the stay order passed by a Mumbai arbitrator on a petition filed by ‘rebel’ Indian Cricket League (ICL) against him last year for breach of contract.
The batsman first signed a contract to play for the ICL but under pressure from the PCB dumped it and moved to align with the official IPL.
Yousuf, who is being supported by PCB in his legal battle against ICL, claimed that he had returned the advance money to the ICL immediately through their common agent so there was no contractual binding on him.
Rizvi said their lawyer told the High Court that the arbitrator was biased against his client and the stay order was issued in the absence of the defendant.
“We have argued that this stay is even against the Indian law as it restrains a professional cricketer from earning his bread and butter,” Rizvi said.
Rizvi said since his client had returned the money paid to him by ICL, the ‘rebel’ league had no justification in filing a suit against Yousuf.
Press Trust Of India
Karachi, September 04, 2008
First Published: 23:08 IST(4/9/2008
SC order paves way for redevelopment of Mumbai
MUMBAI: South Mumbai, the most expensive property market in the country, may change for ever. A Supreme Court order has paved the way for redevelopment of the entire city, the impact of which would be primarily felt in South Mumbai, dotted with old, crumbling mansions. While the decision would free vertical growth in a city that’s clamouring for space, it would put an enormous strain on Mumbai’s already creaky infrastructure. On Thursday, the apex court upheld the Maharashtra government’s development control rule 33(7) (or, DCR) that allowed builders to avail of three to seven times the Floor Space Index (FSI) while re-developing old, cess buildings in the city. The FSI fixes the extent to which an open space can be developed. The SC order brings to an end a protracted legal battle over one of the most contentious issues in Mumbai. Close to 19,642 old, cess buildings in South Mumbai will be available for redevelopment — a possibility that could be a windfall for many builders. It’s unclear whether the extra supply in the coming days would have any significant impact on property prices. Even though property markets in several cities have crashed, the extent of correction has been rather insignificant in Mumbai. According to the amended rules, developers can get up to 2.5 or even higher FSI for re-development of chawls constructed before 1940. For chawls constructed after 1940, developers will get, as an incentive, 50% additional FSI of the utilised area for rehabilitating existing tenants. The builder community believes that the SC decision may throw open large housing stock in the market and eventually soften property prices. “This was one of the biggest hurdle in Mumbai’s development. Now, with SC settling the issue once and for all, the city will have as much as 200 acres of land open for re-development in the next 10 years. It’s a very significant development,” said Orbit Corporation director (finance) Ram Yadav. “Not only builders; even the residents of Mumbai’s crowded suburbs like Thakurdwar, Zaveri Bazaar, Chira Bazaar and Grant Road wanted these rules to be made effective. With the apex court upholding them, it will bring in considerable relief to lakhs of residents of old, dilapidated buildings,” said Vardhman Group managing director Rajesh Vardhan. The goup is active in the housing re-development space. The present turn of events owes its origin to the state amendment of DCR 33(7) four years ago, which left redevelopment at the discretion of builders. While the need for redevelopment was widely felt, many objected to the way the state government went about changing the rules. Several city-based activists feared that it would lead to indiscriminate development in the island city. Former Mumbai municipal commissioner JB D’Souza, along with Cyrus J Guzder and Shirish Patel, challenged the state’s decision in a public interest litigation before the Bombay High Court. The petitioners said the amended rules can allow builders to undertake redevelopment of even strong and comparatively new buildings. “This is bound to put a massive strain on infrastructure like transport, water supply and sewerage,” they had argued, while pleading with the Bombay High Court for quashing the order that amended the DCR 33 (7). The petitioners had sought the HC directive to set up a panel of experts for certifying redevelopment of only dilapidated and structurally-unsound structures. The then Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, Dalvir Bhandari, and Justice DY Chandrachud had not only upheld the petitioners’ contention but ordered an interim stay on all redevelopment projects falling under DCR. The high court also had ordered the formation of a structural committee comprising three engineers to review “weak” buildings and decide whether these need redevelopment. Thursday’s Supreme Court verdict will once again upturn all this.
5 Sep, 2008, 0557 hrs IST, ET Bureau
SC notice to Punjab, UP on medical quota
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday sent contempt notices to the medical education directors of Punjab and Uttar Pradesh on finding that they have not only failed to report vacant all-India quota medical seats, but also filled them by state candidates. This violation of the apex court’s August 28 order, which directed assimilation of vacant seats and extended counselling, made a bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi to issue notices to the state education directors asking them to show cause why contempt proceedings be not initiated against them. It also stayed the concerned admissions made by these two states. Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam had reported to the court that 70 out of 117 medical colleges and 22 out of 27 dental colleges have not furnished information about the vacant seats. The bench had on August 28 ordered an extended second counselling on September 13 and 14 for the all-India quota seats and said: “We do not find any justification as to why other medical and dental colleges have not furnished the required information which they were obliged to furnish.” It directed the Director-General of Health Services (DGHS), which conducts the counselling, to seek out the vacant seats from each college latest by September 5 for this academic year. “By 12th September 2008, the DGHS will see that the entire information received is compiled and thereafter, extended second counselling is done on 13th and 14th September, 2008, at Delhi,” the bench ordered. This is the first time that the malpractice of hiding the vacancy position was brought up before the apex court by a group of students who moved a petition through counsel A D N Rao.
5 Sep 2008, 0132 hrs IST,TNN
HC directs army to produce Colonel in 2 weeks
Srinagar, Sept 4: The High Court on Thursday directed the army to ensure presence of colonel Kishore Malhotra involved in alleged disappearance of chemist before the investigating team in Srinagar within two weeks. The Court rejected the application of the Army, which stated that the Colonel Malhotra couldn’t come to Kashmir from his present posting in Drass sector of Kargil. The single bench of the High Court passed directions in a case of enforced disappearance of chemist Manzoor Ahmad Dar son Haji Ali Muhammad. Army on the evening of January 19, 2002 picked up Manzoor during a raid and subsequently subjected him to enforced disappearance. The CJM Budgam who conducted inquiry into the case held Colonel Kishore Malhotra responsible for subjecting Manzoor to disappearance. The Colonel was then Major with 35RR and he was regularly assuring the family members of Manzoor that he would be released. Later he denied his arrest. Meanwhile, the family members filed petition in the Court seeking whereabouts of Manzoor. Pleading the case of petitioner’s family, Mian Abdul Qayoom said colonel Kishore Malhotra has failed to present himself before the investigating team of police and for last so many years army was resorting delay delaying tactics. In response, the assistant solicitor general Anil Bhan said that the concerned colonel Kishore Malhotra has to remain present in the Drass sector of Kargil and he couldn’t be moved from there. He said due to infiltration attempts in the State, the officer couldn’t be come to Srinagar. He said the army colonel was not using delaying tactics to avoid the investigation by police. However, the senior additional advocate general Muhammad Amin Rathore opposed the argument of the army counsel and said the Court has constituted a team under the SSP Srinagar to investigate the case. He said the colonel should be brought to Srinagar to face investigation. The Court after hearing arguments of lawyers and the Army counsel rejected the Army application. The Court directed the army to present Colonel Kishore Malhotra before the SSP Srinagar in two weeks. The Colonel Kishore Malhotra is also wanted in enforced disappearance case of Manzoor Ahmad of Qamarwari. The crime branch of the State police is investigating the case.
CBI reprimanded by HC over handling of Abhaya case
Kochi, Sept 04: Coming down heavily on CBI over the handling of the Sister Abhaya murder case, Kerala High Court today said the agency was “still a prisoner of those who wield political and bureaucratic power” and directed that the probe be handed over by the Delhi unit to its Kochi counterpart. “There is every reason to suspect that an unseen hand is at work to jettison the truth,” Justice V Ram Kumar said in his 44-page order while disposing of a petition filed by Abhaya’s father, M Thomas, seeking a factual report on the investigation by the CBI and the subsequent narco analysis test of three suspects.The body of Abhaya, a nun of the St Pius convent, Kottayam, was found in the well of the convent on Mar 27, 1992.Passing strictures against the officials investigating the case, the judge said: “It is a matter of shame that officers of this prestigious organisation could disintegrate to such level as to mortgage their conscience. They have the audacity to state before the court matters which are palpably wrong.”If they are under the impression that they can take the court for a ride, they are thoroughly mistaken,” he said. Destruction of vital piece of evidence and a statement by former CBI investigation officer Varghese P Thomas that he had been “pressurised” to do things against his conscience cannot be viewed as mere coincidence, the court pointed out. It was unfortunate the CBI, which is the premier investigating agency in the country, “is still a prisoner of those who wield political and bureaucratic power”, the court observed. Bureau Report
HC questions Govt on PIL over N-deal, intl treaties
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has pulled up the Centre for not filing its response on a petition filed by a former IRS officer seeking to restrain the government from entering into international treaties, including the Indo-US deal, without parliamenta ry approval.
Granting a last opportunity to the Centre to file its reply, a Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah observed that “it is not a routine matter and the Centre should be made aware about the serious issue involved in the case”.
The bench also comprising Justice S Muralidhar directed the Centre to file its reply by November 12 when the matter would be taken up for final hearing.
The court was hearing a PIL questioning constitutional competence of the government to enter into treaties with World Trade Organisation (WTO) and going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal without the approval of Parliament.
“A lot of treaties are being signed by our executive government through its opaque system. Indo-US Nuclear Deal is one of them. It is hence most essential that this court lays down the law governing the ambit and parameters of its treaty making competenc e,” the petitioner, who is a former Indian Revenue Service Officer, said.
The petitioner Mr Shivkant Jha also questioned the constitutionality of India’s acceptance of the obligations under the WTO without Parliamentary consent.
He cited the findings of the ‘Report of the People’s Commission on GATT,’ prepared by a committee consisting of former Supreme Court and High Court judges, which said that “our acceptance and ratification of the Uruguay Round Final Act was clearly uncons titutional”. – PTI
HC notice to civic officials http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/HC_notice_to_civic_officials_/articleshow/3442242.cms
AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court on Tuesday issued notices to nine officials of various civic bodies as well as the chief secretary in connection with non-implementation of laws by the respective municipal corporations and municipalities. Acting on a PIL filed by one Dipal Kothari through advocate Amit Panchal, a division bench of acting Chief Justice M S Shah and Justice D H Waghela asked the chief secretary, the secretary of urban development department , the corporations of Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot, Vadodara and the Mehsana development authorities to file their explanations by September 30. The petitioner has sought a status report in respect to roads under construction and maintenance in different cities and to point out the steps taken to complete the pending work in order to maintain public convenience. The petition has also sought explanation by the civic bodies for non compliance of HC’s earlier directions to properly implement the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporation Act and other developmental laws.
4 Sep 2008, 0408 hrs IST,TNN
HC directs LDA & LMC to conduct survey
LUCKNOW: The HC has directed the LDA, municipal corporation, Jal Sansthan, Jal Nigam and power corporation to constitute a joint team to survey the new colonies, which the LDA has recently handed over to the municipal corporation. The bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Ved Pal has asked the authorities to estimate the cost of development of these colonies, which are 16 in number, including certain areas of Gomtinagar, Aliganj and Jankipuram etc. The court further directed the concerned authorities to release the estimated amount to the municipal corporation and Jal Sansthan in order to improve the basic civic amenities of the colonies like roads, drains, park, sewage and street light. The bench said that the common public had the right to basic necessities of life, which included civil amenities .
4 Sep 2008, 0528 hrs IST,TNN
Make scheme to prevent exploitation of minor girls: HC to NCT
New Delhi, Sept 4 (PTI) Expressing concern over the growing number of cases of exploitation of minor children employed in households, the Delhi High Court has suggested that the NCT government formulate a scheme to end such a practice.”The monitoring of functioning of placement agencies would have to be undertaken on a far more rigorous scale to ensure that minors are not allowed to be employed and placed in households. We would suggest to the GNCTD (Delhi government) to seek the involvement of the Child Rights Commission at the Centre and State level to formulate a scheme in the area,” observed a Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar.To provide free legal aid to the minors under the Juvenile Justices Act, the Bench recommended that the Legal Services Authorities constitute a special panel of advocates with the requisite degree of sensitivity for such cases on a daily basis in the proceedings in the Juvenile Justice Board and the Child Welfare Committee(CWC).”They should be available round the clock on call and a complete list of names with their telephone and mobile numbers should be available to these authorities for the purpose,” the Bench said.The court order came following a letter received from the Chairperson of CWC challenging a Metropolitan Magistrate’s order dismissing its application for a baby’s custody and allowing a couple to adopt a baby whose mother was a minor maid and a rape victim. PTI