Daily Legal News 21.09,2008

Income tax clean chit to Mayawati challenged
The government on Friday challenged in the Delhi High Court the clean chit the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal has given to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on “donations” worth Rs.6.5 million she has received from her supporters.
Additional Solicitor General Parag Tripathi contended that the genuineness of donations and gifts worth the Rs.6.5 million allegedly given to Mayawati by her supporters could not be established.
He contended that the Income Tax Department found that many people, who allegedly gave her gifts worth millions of rupees, were not well-off.
The court, however, did not pass any order after Mayawati’s counsel contended that senior advocate Harish Salve, who had appeared for her in the case, was not available.
The court was hearing a petition by the Income Tax department challenging the tribunal’s decision Nov 30, 2007 give Mayawati a clean chit.
The high court had April 2 issued notice to Mayawati on the petition.
The tribunal had held that gifts amounting to Rs.6.5 million were given to Mayawati by her supporters “out of love and affection” and they could not be treated as taxable income.
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, September 20, 2008

Montek Singh wants a tribunal for regulating energy sector
Montek Singh Ahluwalia, deputy chairman, Planning Commission today called for setting up a tribunal for regulating energy sector.
A meeting of the Planning Commission chaired by Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh was held today to discuss the draft of Integrated Energy Policy. The draft is based on the recommendations of an expert committee constituted earlier under the chairmanship of Kirit Parikh, member (energy), Planning Commission.
The Planning Commission has now revised the draft and will propose it to the Cabinet for approval.
Bs Reporter / New Delhi September 20, 2008, 15:26 IST

High court notice to Madhya Pradesh on child deaths
(IANS) The Madhya Pradesh government has now been pulled up by the state high court for over 160 alleged child deaths due to malnutrition, a day after a Supreme Court panel reprimanded it for neglecting the health of children.
A division bench of Chief Justice A.K. Patnaik and Justice Ajit Singh Friday issued a notice to the government and sought a reply by Sep 25 while hearing a petition filed by the NGO, MP Right to Food Campaign (MPRTFC).
The MPRTFC had brought to the notice of the court that 163 children had died in Satna, Khandwa, Shivpuri and Sheopur dstricts in the past four months due to alleged malnutrition.
The court asked the government to give details of the immediate steps taken with regard to the child deaths and also long-term plans to ensure that such incidents do not recur.
Lawyer Raghvendra Kumar is pleading the case on behalf of the NGO, which had filed the petition in May 2007. The NGO’s petition said despite a high court notice in December, the state government had failed to file its reply till date.
It was brought to the notice of the court that the government had also not put forth its stand on the deaths in January and August this year.
The state government’s counsel Vijay Kumar Shukla told the court that officials were touring the affected districts and reports were being compiled.
Seema and Prakash of Spandan Samaj Sevi Sanstha, who have been working in Khandwa and are co-petitioners in the PIL, have said the child deaths were not sudden but were fallout of different factors like failure of the government to provide work to poor families under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS).
They also cited the reduction of the quota of food grain for below poverty line families from 35 kg to 20 kg in violation of a Supreme Court order.
Petitioner Sachin Jain has termed the deaths of the children as “state-sponsored” as the deaths are continuing despite several warnings to government regarding the situation.
He said during the last 40 months as many as 97,000 children under the age of one year had perished in the state. Jain said the government wanted to shirk its responsibilities but people and civil society organisations would force it to respond.
Earlier, in a letter written to State Chief Secretary R.C. Sahni, two Supreme Court commissioners who monitor the implementation of food and employment related schemes in the country have also pointed out the state’s failure to implement welfare schemes, particularly in districts where malnutrition deaths have been reported in the past four months.
Besides Satna and Khandwa, where at least 80 deaths have taken place in the past four months, there have been similar reports and complaints from Chhattarpur, Panna, Rewa, Tikamgarh, Sheopur and Shivpuri as well.
“The media reports have been even more grave, reporting much higher figures – the death of more than 125 children under six years of age in four districts of Madhya Pradesh since May 2008,” said the letter written by N.C. Saxena and Harsh Mander.
Sat, Sep 20, 2008

SC upholds sections of MCOCA challenged by train blast accused
Mumbai, September 20 Last month, while adjourning the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by 7/11 train blasts accused Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman, a division bench of the Supreme Court had observed that the judgment was due in the Bharat Shah case which also deals with the constitutional validity of the Maharashtra Control Of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and it would have a bearing on it.
With a three-judge bench of the apex court earlier this month upholding Section 2(1) (e) of MCOCA, 1999, that refers to “promoting of insurgency” as earlier ruled by the Bombay High court, to be valid and not making inroads into the legislative powers of the Union Government, the stay imposed on the 7/11, Malegaon blasts case and the Aurangabad arms seizure case is likely to be lifted, legal experts feel. The next hearing in the Supreme Court in these three cases is scheduled for October 14.
According to the judgment, Section 2 (d), (e) and (f) of MCOCA, were in accord with the findings of the High Court that they were not ultra vires of the Constitution. The apex court said it did not find any reason to take a different view from that of the High Court while upholding the validity of these provisions.
Rehman had in his SLP, which had been rejected by the Bombay High Court, challenged section 2 (1)(e), stating that the state of Maharashtra did not have the legislative competence to enact the section which deals with “promoting insurgency”.
Mustafa Plumber
Posted: Sep 21, 2008 at 0100 hrs IST

HC allows prosecution of Raj Thackeray
Ranchi, Sept 20 (PTI) Jharkhand High Court has allowed a lower court to hear a case against MNS chief Raj Thackeray for his alleged remarks against north-Indians, rejecting the leader’s plea to transfer the case to itself or Mumbai High Court.Justice Amersehwar Sahay, who reserved his order on Thursday, gave permission to the court of chief judicial magistrate, Jamshedpur, yesterday to hear the cases against Thackeray under IPC 298 (hurting one’s religious sentiments) and IPC 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot).The directive came after Thackeray’s counsel pleaded for transfer of the case to Jharkhand High Court or Mumbai High Court.The petitioner, advocate Hameed Razza Khan, had alleged before the Jamshedpur court that the Maharastra Navnirman Sena president had hurt the sentiments of the people of Bihar by passing adverse remarks against them and challenging them to perform ‘chhath puja’ in the western metropolis.The High Court also directed Thackeray’s counsel to seek permission from the lower court for the transfer of the case.The petitioner field a complaint in Jamshedpur civil court in May against Thackeray seeking issuing of an arrest warrant against him for his failure to turn up before it even after issuance of a notice. PTI

HC refuses to grant stay order
KOLKATA, Sept 19 : The Division Bench of Mr S S Nijjar, Chief Justice and Mr Justice Maharaj Sinha of Calcutta High Court today refused to grant stay on the order of a Single Bench of this court, directing the CBI to file charge-sheets against Mr Ashok Todi, Mr Pradip Todi, Mr Anil Saraogi, Moinuddin alias Pappu. Three city police officers namely, Mr Ajay Kumar, Mr Sukanti Chakraborty and Mr Krishnendu Das were held on charges of abetting the suicide of Rizwanur Rehman. Rizwan’s lifeless body was found on the railway tracks near Dum Dum station on 21 September last year following which widespread protests of the civil society engulfed the city. The appeal regarding the matter would be heard after six weeks. On 14 August, Justice Mr Dipankar Dutta of this court had held that the CBI can proceed against the accused in this case. Ever since Rehman had married Priyanka, the daughter of Mr Ashok Todi last year, he had been subject to threats. He had been summoned to Lalbazar, the city police headquarters several times and threatened with dire consequences by men in uniform. Though Rukbanur Rehman, the deceased’s brother did not spell it out, the complaint he made at the local police station expressed suspicion that Rizwan’s in-laws had a hand in his death. Even if no foul play was involved in Rizwan’s death the interference was to break his marriage with Priyanka, it was contended. The death of the computer graphic artist led to sharp political polarisation and the humble dwelling of the Rehmans was marked by the footfall of none other than Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, chief minister and Miss Mamata Banerjee, the principal Opposition leader. Miss Banerjee’s visit, incidentally preceded that of Mr Bhattacharjee. Justice Mr Dutta had observed that Kolkata police was “unnecessarily involved in the matter and did not disassociate itself when they found that Priyanka was not missing, but legally married”. The complaints of the common man without any contacts are not given any importance, it was further observed.
Statesman News Service

Khurshid row: HC directive to DPS Society members
NEW DELHI: The Delhi HC on Friday, asked three members of the Delhi Public School society to help amicably settle the issues raised by senior Congress leader Salman Khurshid, who was expelled from the society for objecting to the style of functioning of society’s management. Justice Hima Kohli advised that Khursheed and society members, A R Kidwai, Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Sharda Nair meet and try to resolve differences between the society’s management and the former Minister of State for External Affairs. The court asked the counsel for the parties to inform it if any settlement is arrived at by September 30, the day from when Khursheed’s membership apparently ends. Khurshid, who challenged his September 1 expulsion order, claimed, that he had pointed illegal and irregular acts of the working committee due to which he was being shunted out.
20 Sep 2008, 0453 hrs IST,TNN

HC asks state to make Land Transfer Act effective
Kolkata, September 19 A division Bench of the Calcutta High Court has set aside a notification that made a 1993 Act on land transfer ineffective since its issuance in 1998.
During the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Kolkata resident, Himangsu Haldar, the bench comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Sanjib Banerjee on Friday also directed the state Government to formulate rules and schemes to revive the Act again.
The West Bengal Land (Regulation of Transfer) Act, 1993, was introduced by the state government to regulate all kinds of land transfer in a legal manner. But the Act had become ineffective after the government issued a notification on March 23, 1998.
Advocate General Bolai Roy admitted that the notification was wrongly issued. He sought three months time from the court to formulate rules and schemes to make the Act effective, which was allowed by the Bench.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 20, 2008 at 0202 hrs IST

Implement NHRC recommendations on Salwa Judum, Supreme Court asks Chhattisgarh government
Commission report painful; it says the self-defence group is armed and committing atrocities . The Hindu reports.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Chhattisgarh government to implement some of the recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission, which went into the activities of the Salwa Judum (self-defence group) set up by the State to tackle naxal menace.
Earlier, the NHRC submitted, in a sealed cover, a report to the court, which had asked it to probe the allegations that the Salwa Judum, which had been provided with arms, was committing atrocities on innocent people.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal was hearing a petition filed by Nandini Sundar, Ramachandra Guha and E.A.S. Sarma. They challenged the setting up of the Salwa Judum which, they alleged, was indulging in killings and committing atrocities on tribals in the guise of countering the naxal movement.
The Chief Justice, who perused the NHRC report, told senior counsel K.K. Venugopal, appearing for Chhattisgarh, that the commission “has done a meticulous work. It has given a series of recommendations. It is very painful to read the report. It says there is arson and looting, people are armed and they [Salwa Judum] are committing serious offences. It says people who are subjected to serious problems are still afraid of coming out.”
The Chief Justice observed: “When somebody [Salwa judum] is given arms, he claims to be a pseudo police. Once he is given arms, he will commit an offence though he has no right to do any such act. Some remedial measures have been suggested in the report and the State may consider implementing them. Whatever is urgently required to be done, do it.”
Mr. Venugopal assured the court that the government would implement the recommendations “which are of immediate concern.”
The Bench asked the Registry to supply copies of the NHRC report to the parties and asked them to file their response, and posted the matter to October 23.
The petition said the Salwa Judum was launched to combat naxalites but in reality these activists conducted frequent raids on villages and attacked and killed suspected sympathisers of naxalites, torched their houses and looted livestock.
In defence of Salwa Judum, the Chhattisgarh government said: “It is not state-sponsored, but a people’s initiative to combat the menace of naxalites. The State is committed to resolving the problem of naxalism, and any peaceful movement which resists violent methods definitely gets support of States.”
Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam appeared for the Centre and counsel Nithya Ramakrishnan, for the petitioners.
Saturday, September 20, 08
Posted by cpjc under News Reports, Salwa Judum

URA files plea against BMIC
BANGALORE : The Supreme Court on Monday admitted PIL filed by Jnanpith awardee U R Ananthamurthy against the BMIC Project. The PIL said some government officials in collusion with BMIC had allowed the company to get 8,000 acres of additional land that was more than necessary to build the Bangalore-Mysore expressway.
Further, the whole act was a fraud worth more than Rs 30,000 crore. A Bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam ordered that the PIL be heard before a Bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat along with other writ petitions and contempt petitions filed by NICE Ltd. The hearing is on September 17.
2 Sep 2008, 0410 hrs IST,TNN

Export firm moves High Court for protection
BANGALORE : A Doddaballapurbased export firm dealing in floriculture and horticulture has moved the HC seeking police protection against threats from BJP workers. A JKM Research Farm Ltd official said the police ignored their pleas despite a request for protection. Another senior company official said BJP leader and former CMC president Hanumatharayappa and his men on August 23 threatened to “wreak havoc” on the farm premises. Justice N K Patil, who heard the matter , posted the case for Tuesday. Metro Rail hearing adjourned A division Bench has adjourned to September 19 the hearing on PIL challenging the Namma Metro project’s alignment on CMH Road.
2 Sep 2008, 0405 hrs IST,TNN

Infocity challenges state move in high court
AHMEDABAD: Creative Infocity Ltd has approached Gujarat High Court challenging the state government’s decision to oust it from Gandhinagar’s ‘Infocity’ , which it has developed. In its petition, the company has objected to the termination notice dated August 12 given by Gujarat Informatics Ltd, a state government department. The government has served a notice on the group, telling it that its concession contract and master lease agreement would be terminated on September 4. The company has claimed that the government had not given a hearing to them before deciding to cancel the contract and issuing the termination notice. The state has submitted that the department had written letters to the company, but there was no reply. Ultimately, the government decided that it cannot work with this company and issued termination notice. In April last year, the state had issued preliminary termination notice after some highly disputed facts in relation to contract.
However, in May, there were attempts from both the sides to reach to some amicable solution. After hearing both the parties, division bench of Justice R M Doshit and Justice S D Dave have kept its order reserved for Tuesday.
2 Sep 2008, 0535 hrs IST,TNN

Millers, U.P. govt move Supreme Court on cane price
LUCKNOW, India (Reuters) – Sugar mills and the government of Uttar Pradesh, a leading sugar producer, have filed separate appeals before the Supreme Court challenging lower court orders on sugarcane price.
The Supreme Court will hear both the appeals on Sept 8, a senior state government official and the secretary of the U.P. Sugar Mills Associaton said on Monday.
The first appeal has been filed by the Indian Sugar Mills Association (ISMA), a trade body, challenging an order of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court that directed the mills to pay 125 rupees per quintal to cane farmers for 2007/08 season.
The state government challenged another Aug. 18 order of the Allahabad High Court, that had asked mill owners to pay at the rate of 86 rupees per quintal.
In a third petition in the Supreme Court the state government has sought to set aside an earlier decision that upheld a High Court order that laid the price 110 rupees per quintal for the 2007/08 season.
“The conflicting orders of the (High) Court had created much confusion as most of the farmers had already been paid at the rate of 110 rupees in accordance with the Supreme Court’s order”, Uttar Pradesh Sugarcane Commissioner Harsharan Das told Reuters.
Uttar Pradesh Ganna Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (UP Sugarcane Farmers Action Committee) convenor Pritam Singh told Reuters over telephone from Meerut “we hope the Supreme Court will resolve this problem.”
Tue Sep 2, 2008 12:06am IST

SC ruling on MCOCA sections could’ve a bearing on 7/11 trial
Mumbai, September 01 The apex court ruling in the Bharat Shah case, setting aside a Bombay High Court order that had struck down certain sections of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), could have an impact on the stayed trial of the 7/11 serial train blasts case.
An accused in the serial blasts case, Zameer Ahmed Latifur Rehman, had filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) challenging a specific part of the Section 2(1)(e) of the Act, which talks about “promoting insurgency.” While the next hearing on the application is slated for October 14, a division bench of Justice L S Panta and Justice R V Raveendran had on August 26 suggested that the defence wait for a decision in the Bharat Shah case.
“It might have a bearing on the cases (in question),” the bench had said.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thackeray said: “If the apex court has upheld the constitutional validity of certain sections of the MCOCA which was quashed by the Bombay High Court in the Bharat Shah case, then it is not wrong to interpret that the application of Rehman also does not stand.
The claim made by Rehman is that the state does not have the legislative competence to enact a section on insurgency in state law. It was termed as a case of “colourable legislation,” since all anti-insurgency laws fall under the Central list.”
Thackeray, however, quickly added that since the detailed judgment of the apex court was not available it would be premature to comment.
However, defence lawyer Shahid Azmi who has filed the SLP on behalf of Rehman, says: “The charges of insurgency has not been argued in the apex court in Shah’s case. Only the sections 13 to 16 of MCOCA, which deal with telephonic conversations, were the bone of contention. Thus, if our appeal is looked in totality, the Shah case verdict won’t have any bearing on us.”
Meanwhile, the judgment is bad news for Shah as now the 32 alleged telephonic conversations between him and wanted gangster Chhota Shakeel which were earlier discarded by the special MCOCA court can now be used against him in the Bombay High Court where the state’s appeal is pending. The state government had appealed against the one-year sentence to Shah by the MCOCA court in 2003.
Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian said: “Now these transcripts can be used against Shah and our appeal will have more weight. Our claim that Shah was conniving with the underworld and using the ill-gotten money to make films can be proved now,” she said.
Express News Service
Posted online: Sep 02, 2008 at 0412 hrs

SC orders extended second counselling for medical students
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has decided to give a fresh chance to meritorious students, who had qualified the tough medical entrance examination but did not get admission to colleges. This was after the apex court discovered that many medical and dental colleges had not reported a substantial number of seats for the 15% all-India quota. There was virtually no hope for these students as the second counselling for the all-India quota seats in medical and dental colleges was over and there was no provision for a third counselling. But a petition filed by a number of aspiring doctors through counsel A D N Rao stated that colleges across the country have not contributed as many as 700-odd seats this year to the all-India quota depriving many students figuring in the common entrance merit list to get their desired course and institution. Appearing for the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam agreed with the petitioner as the facts bore out the allegations of the petitioners — 70 out of 117 medical colleges and 22 out of 27 dental colleges have not furnished information about vacant seats. Ordering an extended second counselling on September 13 and 14 for the all-India quota seats, a bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, H S Bedi and G S Singhvi 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 find out the number of 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. And this is also the first time that counselling is taking place for a substantial number of seats even after the formal completion of the second counselling for the all-India quota. The writ petitioners had stated that the non-reporting of seats has “led to an enormous situation wherein nearly 750 to 800 seats, which should have been part of the 15% all-India Pre-Medical/Pre-Dental quota, have not been made part of the same thereby resulting in depriving petitioners and similarly placed students from opting for the said courses/institutions”.
2 Sep 2008, 0330 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN

HC rejects rehab plea of Sanjay Gandhi Park slum dwellers
Mumbai, Sep 01: The Bombay High Court has rejected the rehabilitation plea of around 10,000 Ketakipada slum dwellers living on the border of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The state is already in the process of giving alternative tenements to the pre-1995 encroachers living inside the national park.In the ruling passed last week, Division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande said that this scheme cannot be extended to fresh applicants, even if their claims were ‘genuine’. The Court, dismissing the petitions filed by Rajendraprasad Chaube and Ketakipada-Dharkhadi Nagrik Seva-sangh, held that “if everyday new applicatiion would emerge, despite the fact that this matter is pending before the court since 1995, it will be difficult to implement the (earlier) court orders. In 1995, Bombay Environmental Action Group had filed a PIL seeking removal of encroachments from the national park which occupies a large part of North Mumbai. Then the government identified encroachers inhabiting the park since before 1995 and came up with a scheme to provide them alternative tenement on payment of Rs 7,000 each. In the last three years, the High Court passed various orders, forcing the government to expedite the rehabilitation. Last such order was passed by the court on August 7, when the authorities were asked to remove all the encroachers. Court said that present applicants have given no proof that they were eligible for rehabilitation, and in any case the date for applying for the rehabilitation scheme lapsed long back. Bureau Report

Bangla apex court upholds HC order granting bail to Zia`s son
Dhaka, Sept 01: Bangladesh Supreme Court on Monday rejected a government appeal seeking to stay a High Court order granting bail to the son of detained former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia while his lawyers said his release was now imminent. “Pleas for staying bails to (Tarique Rahman) are refused,” chamber judge of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court Justice Mohammad Joynul Abedin said but asked the government to file regular appeal for full bench hearing of the Apex court. The Supreme Court, however, is now on a vacation and is due to resume activities on October 12. The government and the Anti-Corruption Commission had filed appeals against the High Court order that granted bail to 43-year old Rahman in 12 graft or criminal cases. “He is expected to be released later today,” Rahman’s lawyer Mahbubuddin Khokon said. Rahman, also the senior joint secretary general of Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), was arrested as part of a massive anti-graft campaign launched by the current interim government soon after its installation with crucial military support following the January 11 proclamation of emergency. His mother and younger brother Arafat Rahman Koko too were arrested later as part of the crackdown. Koko was freed on bail last month on a High Court order and was sent to Thailand where he is being treated for respiratory problems while Rahman was under treatment at a specialised medical facility with injuries on the spinal cord under jail custody. Zia earlier demanded release and treatment abroad of her ailing sons accusing the interim government of torturing them in custody amid claims that Rahman’s spinal cord was “broken”. The government earlier released on an “executive order” Zia’s detained archrival Sheikh Hasina of Awami League to be treated in the United States for hearing impairment. Several government leaders in recent weeks said a process was underway to release Zia and her son following the instance as analysts and media reports said the interim administration was trying to negotiate with BNP to ensure its participation in the planned general election December this year. But BNP said they wanted their leader be freed on a court ruling instead of a government order. Bureau Report

SC refuses to stay Allahabad HC’s judgement on cane price
NEW DELHI: Sugar mills in Uttar Pradesh will have to pay farmers extra Rs 1,480 crore following the Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Allahabad High Court’s judgement that upheld the state price of cane at Rs 125-130 per quintal.
The additional sugarcane payment to farmers will also have to be paid by September 7, since a bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat did not give any extension of time sought by millers.
Earlier, East UP Sugar Mills Association and Mawana Sugars had moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court’s judgement that upheld the state-advised price (SAP) of Rs 125-130 fixed by the state for 2007-08 season.
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court had asked the sugar mills to pay the difference of Rs 15 a quintal by September 7. The High Court while upholding the SAP had modified its interim order that asked mills to pay Rs 110 a quintal.
According to sources, the sugar mills in UP will have to pay an estimated Rs 1,480 crore to the farmers by September 7, after the apex court’s refusal to extend the time.
The Uttar Pradesh government had fixed Rs 125 a quintal as SAP for common variety sugarcane and Rs 130 for early variety canes for the 2007-08 season.
Sugar season runs from October to September. – PTI
Monday, September 1, 2008

A sick company can not escape from current liability: HC
Allahabad High Court in a significant judgment has ruled that where a industrial company continues its activities in spite of a reference pending before the BIFR and liabilities are incurred subsequent to the cut-off date those liabilities will have to be honored by the concerned company ,the court held that these liabilities will not become a part of the scheme or of the package of rehabilitation.
The court has further held that sugarcane is being purchased as a raw material subsequent to the cut off date, the price there fore will have to be paid.

Allahabad High Court in a significant judgment has ruled that where a industrial company continues its activities in spite of a reference pending before the BIFR and liabilities are incurred subsequent to the cut-off date those liabilities will have to be honored by the concerned company ,the court held that these liabilities will not become a part of the scheme or of the package of rehabilitation.

The court dismiss the writ petition preferred by the Dewan Sugar Mills Ltd located at Moradabad District Challenging recovery of sugarcane price and consequential proceedings on the ground that petitioner sugar mill is a sick unit registered under BIFR on 3rd Feb 2005, a draft scheme has been submitted on 21st April 2006 and Allahabad Bank has been appointed as a operating Agency.

The court has held that sugarcane is being purchased as a raw material subsequent to the cut off date, the price there fore will have to be paid. The above judgment has been passed by Chief Justice H.L.Gokhle and Mr. Justice. Vineet Saran JJ after hearing at length .Senior Advocate Mr Bharat ji Agrawal appearing for the sugar mill, Mr. S.P. Kesharwani for State of Uttar Pradesh and Mr. Ravindra Singh Counsel representing the concerned cane growers’ co-operative societies supplier of sugarcane to the mill.

Senior Advocate Mr. Agrawal submitted to the court that coercive measures be injuncted in view of provisions of section 22 of the Sick Industrial Companies (special provisions) Act,1985.The Cane commissioner of Uttar Pradesh on June 14th issued the recovery certificate for recovery of cane dues amounting to Rs 15.68 crores.

Mr. Ravindra Singh submitted before the court that under Sugar Cane Control Order ,1966, Order 3(3A), the factory has to make the payment within 14 day’s of the delivery of sugarcane failing which 15% interest per annum is payable for the period of delay. If the sugarcane is purchased, the company can not turn back and say that it can not pay and the farmers may go to BIFR. He submitted that Protection of section 22 is not applicable in the present case, as sugarcane purchase’s were made with full knowledge of the proceedings of SICA.

Agreeing with submissions of Mr. Singh and state counsel the court observed that there can not be any escape for preventing the recovery of the amounts of sugarcane by coercive method will therefore have to be rejected. The court took the note of the facts that sugarcane price was to be paid as per Luck now Bench order@110/per quintal and the Apex Court in appeal on15 th May 2008 directed that the rate fixed by Luck now Bench will be applicable(Now the petition in the Luck now Bench has been disposed off on 07.07.2008 and the SAP has been fixed at Rs.125/ per quintal .It is to be paid within two months from the date of the order.
(Ravindra Ssingh) Publication Date 1/9/2008 1:17:48 PM(IST)

Delhi HC issues notices to TRAI, I&B Ministry on cable fees
The Delhi High Court issued notices to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting on a petition filed by a TV channel seeking directions to the authorities not to allow cable operators in Delhi to charge carriage fees from them.Justice G S Sistani issued the notices yesterday on the petition filed by Total TV. Sunder Khatri, lawyer for the TV channel contended that the carriage fees charged by the cable operators, multi-system operators (MSO), direct to home operators (DTH) and other distributors of channels was illegal and unconstitutional.He also cited one example in which a cable operator in Lajpat Nagar was charging Rs 18 lakh for three months as disbursement fee from TV channels as he had over 5,000 connections in his area.This fee was being charged forcibly from TV channels to relay their programmes on cable TV.The High Court has given four weeks time to the respondents to file their replies.UNI

HC relief for insurance firms in mishap cases
MUMBAI: Holding that the owner and insurer of a car can’t be held liable to pay compensation to the driver of the car who died in a road accident, which was the result of another oncoming vehicle driver’s rashness, the Bombay high court has directed that any amount paid by them can be recovered from the offending vehicle owner. A division bench of the high court on August 27, upheld an enhanced compensation of Rs 4 lakh awarded by a single judge to a car driver, who passed away in 1987 in an accident on the expressway after a truck rammed into the car. The accident tribunal had awarded a compensation of Rs 1.5 lakh to be paid by the insurer of the truck whose driver was found to be at fault. Not satisfied, the driver’s family went to the high court where a single judge upped the amount to Rs 4 lakh and the difference was paid by the insurance company which had insured the car. However, the car insurer challenged the order. The division bench headed by Justice Ranjana Desai held that though the car insurance company was not liable to pay compensation, as it had already been paid, it is entitled to get the amount back. The firm was at liberty to recover the amount from the truck owner, the bench said. The high court held that the truck insurer company’s liability was also limited to Rs 1.5 lakh. The car insurance company suggested that the court should direct the truck insurance company to pay them the amount and recover it from the owner of the offending truck. The high court held that, in all cases, if an insurance firm is not bound by law to pay compensation, then it can’t be asked to shell out the money and recover it. toireporter@timesgroup.com
1 Sep 2008, 0656 hrs IST,TNN

Insurance co not liable to pay 3rd party to driver: HC
MUMBAI : An insurance company is not liable to pay a third-party insurance to the driver of the vehicle which it has insured, the Bombay High Court held in a case recently. A third party insurance — which is mandatory under Motor Vehicles Act — places the responsibility of paying compensation to a ‘third person’ who is injured because of insured vehicle. Driver of the insured vehicle is not a ‘third party’, held division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R P Sondurbaldota. In the present case, a Maruti car belonging to M/S Traders Pvt Ltd was hit by a truck coming from opposite direction at Chembur in suburban Mumbai, in December 1987. However, the car’s driver Krishna Machivale died on the spot. The Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal held that the truck driver was at fault, and truck owner and its insurer must pay the Machivale’s family Rs 2.98 lakh in total. But Machiwale’s widow and other members of the family filed appeal before single Judge of High Court seeking compensation of Rs four lakh. They also claimed that the Oriental Insurance Company, which had insured the car for third-party claims, should also pay them compensation. Single Judge of the High Court raised the compensation figure to Rs four lakh. Moreover, the Judge held that not only the truck owner and truck’s insurer but the car’s insurer too was liable to pay a part of this compensation. Oriental Insurance, which had insured the car, challenged the order before division bench.
31 Aug, 2008, 1634 hrs IST, PTI


3 Responses

  1. >Issue of Transport Rebate by Sugar Mills is still open for interperation –Says Ravindra Singh Counsel for Ganna Sangh/ Cane Unios
    As per Central Govt order dated 22nd March, 2004 passed under sugarcane Control Order ,1966 maximum rebate could only be to the extent of Rs 5.83/quintal of sugarcane for carrying the sugarcane from purchase centre to factory , that too after liquidation of sugarcane price .However in the petition filed by the Bajaj group Allahabad High Court allowed deduction of 10.58/ by observing that , “we are of the opinion that the rate of 10.58 per quintal per km. is fairly reasonable as against the demand of the petitioner of Rs. 13.33 per quintal which should be paid to the petitioner or petitioner should be made entitled to deduct the same from the minimum price payable by the petitioner for the sugarcane purchased by petitioner and this is based on the basis of cost supplied by petitioner till the rate of transportation rebate is worked out on the basis of material as mentioned in Clause 3-A of the Control Order periodically preferably yearly.

    We therefore, direct that it is fairly reasonable that the petitioner should be made entitled to deduct the amount Rs. 10.58 per quintal per km. towards the minimum price payable by the petitioner for the sugarcane delivered at the purchase centre till the rebate of transport is worked out on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Central Government in accordance with the provisions of Clause 3-A of 1966 Control Order.

    In the result, writ petition is allowed. The circular dated 4th January, 2007 withdrawing the rebate at the rate of Rs. 5.75 per quintal is quashed. The rate of rebate fixed earlier at the rate of Rs. 5.75 per quintal per kilometer is not applicable to the current crushing season. The petitioner is entitled to be paid or the petitioner is entitled to deduct the same at the rate of Rs. 10.58 per quintal per kilometer for transportation of sugarcane till the rate of transportation rebate is worked out on the basis of materials mentioned under Clause 3-A of the 1966
    Control Order, and in view of law laid down in this judgment periodically, preferably every year on the commencement of crushing season”. .In the above petition order of central government dated 22nd March, 2004 was not challenged and only an unamended provision was challenged by BAJAJ GROUP .State govt challenged the aforesaid judgment by preferring an SLP(civil) 8500/2008 before Hon’ble Supreme Court & the Supreme Court vide interim order dated June 30th 2008 directed the Bajaj Group to pay the cane price @ 110/ without deducting the Transport charges Their after three writ petitions were preferred by the West U.P Sugar Mills association, Modi & SBEC sugar mills bearig WP No 26171/08,25014/08,25016/08 wherein the c order of Central Govt dated 22nd March, 2004 was challenged The divison bench presided over by the same Hon’ble Sr judge Hon’ble Mr. Justice Anjani Kumar did not pass any interim or final order and the writ petitions are still pending in the High Court. In the mean time these petitioners preferred Transfer Petition (Civil) 614/2008 before the Supreme Court wherein notices has been issued to the concerned parties. Restriction imposed by Supreme Court on deduction of transport charges has again been reiterated by the Supreme Court on 14.11.2008.
    To the point of view of the cane grower’s the provision of transport rebate is discriminatory and unconstitutional & is hit by Art 14. It is discriminatory amongst the cane growers supplying the cane from purchase center to Mill and sugarcane field to Gill Gate ,as provision of transport rebate is applicable for transportations of sugarcane from purchase centre to factory alone. Such facility/rebate is not available in other agricultural produce, say for example, producer of packed milk whether it is Amul or Mother Dairy or Parag can not say that since they are carrying the raw milk from long distance they will pay the less prices to the seller as there is huge expenses in transporting the raw milk or in marketing the packed milk from Gujrat to Uttar Pradesh or from Haryana to Delhi by AC vehicle. Similar is the position with other agriculture produce then why a sugarcane grower whose cane is being purchased by the Sugar Mill owner from purchase center is to suffer, transportation of raw material has nothing to do with the cost of production of sugarcane Now the time has come that Government should reconsider the above provision of rebate that it should continue or not ?

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  3. A friend of mine just emailed me one of your articles from a while back. I read that one a few more. Really enjoy your blog. Thanks

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