Daily Legal News 23.09.2008

Raigad SEZ: Maharashtra had ignored objections
MUMBAI: The state is planning to declare Raigad SEZ area a green zone if the referendum goes against Mukesh Ambani’s mega SEZ plans. The issue of land in the command area was discussed at length at a high-level meeting on February 2, 2006, including the fact that part of the land proposed to be acquired for the SEZ was in the green zone, the CRZ area and the area of the proposed international airport. The objections were ignored at that time, and the collector was asked to issue a notification for land acquisition. Meanwhile, a senior irrigation official has confirmed that due to the paucity of funds, the department has not been able to complete the canal work on the Hetwane dam which was approved in 1981 for Rs 15.36 crore. So far, the department has spent Rs 329 crore on the project, but no land in the command area has been irrigated. The dam was planned for irrigating nearly 7,000 hectares of land, but the water has instead been used largely for drinking and industrial purposes. The Reliance group has already challenged the opinion process, saying it has no legal validity. A writ petition challenging the referendum is likely to come up for hearing on September 23. “Since the referendum process is over, we have no comments to offer. We have filed a writ petition before the high court,” a Reliance official said.
23 Sep 2008, 0709 hrs IST,TNN

Contempt case against officials closed http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?artid=fw0M3ukH2Cc=&Title=Contempt+case+against+officials+closed&SectionID=vBlkz7JCFvA=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=EL7znOtxBM3qzgMyXZKtxw==&SEO=
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Monday closed the contempt of court petition against the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) and the Regional Transport Officer (RTO), Kanchipuram. The court had sought to punish them for not obeying the court’s earlier orders.
According to advocate B Vivekavanan, the First Bench of the Madras High Court ,while passing orders on a public interest writ petition from S Sukumar of Nandhivaram village on April 1, 2008, had directed the duo to consider within six weeks, his plea for providing minibus transport facilities to his village. In view of the RTA cancelling the permit given to an operator, a division bench comprising Justice Prabha Srideven and Justice V Periakaruppiah closed the contempt case
BAIL REFUSED TO BANU: Principal Sessions Judge P Devadoss on Monday refused bail to N Banu Sridharan (38), the principal of Janaki Ramachandran Matriculation School in Vadapalani.
Banu was arrested in connection with the murder of Vijayan, a close relative of former chief minister MG Ramachandran.
The charge against Banu, Vijayan’s sister-in-law, was that she had masterminded the murder. The PSJ refused the relief since the investigation was at the preliminary stage.
QUO-WARRANTO AGAINST ANANTH FAILS: The Madras HC on Monday dismissed a quo-warranto writ petition questioning the authority with which Dr M S Ananth continued to hold the post of Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.
“The petitioner had moved the SC for a similar relief, with a similar set of facts and the same has been allowed to be dismissed as withdrawn.
Now the petitioner cannot once again re-agitate the same matter before this court, especially without obtaining the leave from the Supreme Court,” Justice K Venkataraman said.
LABOUR DEPARTMENT RESTRAINED: The Madras HC on Monday restrained the Registrar of Trade Unions and the Deputy Commissioner of Labour from approving and registering the amendments to the byelaws of the Simpson and Group of Companies Workers Union, unless the amendments were approved by the majority of the workers.
Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar granted the injunction while passing interim orders on a writ petition from A Lakshmipathi of Perambur, a member of the union.
Express News Service
23 Sep 2008 03:39:00 AM IST

BPL cell service gone haywire: Users
MUMBAI: If you have patched up with your girlfriend and still receive a nasty SMS from her, please check the date when the message was sent-especially if you are a BPL mobile subscriber. For all you know, that SMS might have been sent days before you made peace with her. For the past few days, BPL customers are finding funny things happening to their cellphones. On Sunday, this correspondent received an SMS sent to him by a friend on July 2, 2008. Another subscriber, A K Gopal, said: “When I send an SMS I get a report stating that it has been delivered. But the addressee doesn’t get the SMS for hours together. I wonder if SMS should be re-termed Snail Messaging Service.” Another subscriber said he landed up at a hotel for a party in a suburban hotel, but found no one. He checked his SMS invite and realised that it was a stale one. There are also complaints of bunching of SMSes, especially at night, when the mail traffic is less. “I wondered who this crazy guy was who was sending SMSes very late in the night, but then I found out that they had been sent during the day but delivered well past midnight,” another subscriber observed. A spokesperson for BPL, which has 1.5 million customers in Mumbai, insisted that nothing was wrong with the network. “BPL-to-BPL users are facing no problem,” he claimed, “the problem could be with other networks.” But sources in the company admitted that there were indeed technical problems. “We are upgrading our switches because of which we are facing teething problems. The problems should be taken care of by this month-end,” he said,a adding, “in fact we are thinking of sending a letter from our CEO explaining the facts to the customers.” Meanwhile, mobile users continue to face problems of call drops, network congestion, fall in voice clarity and suchlike irrespective of who their service provider is. Atul Shirodkar, a businessman, echoed the views of many when he said, “Using a mobile has become a frustrating experience these days. The companies are expanding their subscriber base without proportionately upgrading their infrastructure. I am planning a PIL against these firms.” balakrishnan.s@timesgroup.com
23 Sep 2008, 0723 hrs IST, S Balakrishnan ,TNN

Freedom fighters’ treatment: UT gets 2 mths to examine feasibility
CHANDIGARH: A miffed high court on Monday asked the UT administration to “examine the feasibility” of framing a scheme for freedom fighters to enable them to get the benefit of free medical treatment. The division bench, headed by justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Surya Kant, expressed surprise over the UT administration’s failure to put in place such a scheme even as UT of Pondicherry had already got one. Importantly, the Chandigarh Administration had stated in its reply that “there are no rules or instructions for providing free medical facility to freedom fighters”. The judges directed the administration to examine within two months the feasibility of framing such a scheme for providing free medical treatment in its hospitals to freedom fighters living in Chandigarh, said HC Arora, petitioner. The administration was free to draw from schemes framed in other parts of the country, including Pondicherry. The orders came during the resumed hearing on the PIL on the subject by HC Arora with the latter bringing it to the court’s notice that in Pondicherry, the freedom fighters and their spouses were entitled to free medical treatment, including hospitalization in class-A wards of state and central government’s institutions. This is not all. Pondicherry resident freedom fighters were are also given free passes for travelling in buses registered in Pondicherry.
23 Sep 2008, 0539 hrs IST,TNN

PIL seeking ban on acquisition of agricultural land dismissed
NEW DELHI: The Raigad referendum may have seen farmers casting their vote against acquisition of agricultural land, but that did not deter the Supreme Court on Monday from dismissing a PIL seeking a direction to the government to acquire only barren land for SEZs and other public purposes. Listing the repercussions of acquiring agricultural land, a PIL filed by one Donald Fernandez argued before a bench that the government be restrained from acquiring agricultural land and jeopardising foodgrain production. Unimpressed, the bench said the plea for acquisition of only barren land was fraught with practical difficulties. “If the government wants to establish a hospital or a post office and is allowed acquisition of barren land 100 km away from the locality, will it serve public purpose,” the bench asked. This means, the apex court refused to put any fetters on the government from acquiring agricultural land provided all other preconditions for such acquisition were met. However, the same bench refused to dispose of a PIL complaining of faulty agricultural policies of the government, arguing that they had led to a spate of suicides by farmers.
23 Sep 2008, 0327 hrs IST,TNN

Guj HC asks police to file FIR against 22 Asharam followers
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the police to register FIR against 22 followers of Asharam Bapu who had allegedly attacked media persons and people living near the Ashram on July 18.
The order was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice M S Shah, before disposing off the PIL filed by NGO Jan Sangarsh Manch (JSM) last month.
The court has asked the police to register FIR against 22 people whose name were supplied by JSM as per its earlier directions.
It further ordered that investigation in the case be conducted by DSP Gandhinagar, under whose jurisdiction the Ashram falls.The PIL had asked for formation of Special Investigation Team to probe into the attack on media and people living near the ashram by supporters of religious guru Asaram Bapu during the bandh call given on July 18.
Incidences of violence were reported in the city during the bandh call given over the mysterious deaths of two boys, Abhishek and Dipesh Vaghela, whose bodies were found from the bank of river Sabarmati on July five.
The case is being investigated by state CID (crime).The government has also ordered an inquiry commission headed by a retired judge into the case.
Monday, Sep 22, 2008
© Copyright 2008 PTI. All rights reserved.

Farmer suicides: SC to consider policy issues raised by PIL
New Delhi, Sept 22: Two years after a PIL was filed questioning the country’s agricultural policy in view of a spate of suicides by farmers, the Supreme Court today said it would consider the issues raised in it and asked the petitioner to respond to the stand taken by the Centre. A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan also allowed the Centre to file additional documents in the matter. At the outset advocate Sanjeev Bhatnagar, who had filed the petition in 2006, said that the notice was issued to the Centre and four states — Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala — when it was pointed out that more than 10,000 farmers had committed suicide. Bhatnagar said that the gravity of the situation and the high number of countrywide suicides by farmers burdened with debts had been conceded by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi but no effective steps had been taken to stop the incidents involving farmers under distress. He submitted that though a notice was issued two years ago, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala had not yet responded. The petitioner had sought a direction to the government to modify its agriculture policy with greater focus on the interests of farmers to check suicides. The PIL said in the last five years over 10,000 farmers had killed themselves, and Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala were the worst affected. Farmers in various States were ending their lives unable to repay loans. Bureau Report

SC declines to entertain PIL on Indo US Nuke deal
The Supreme Court has said courts cannot interfere in the policy matters as it is the job of Parliament or the government to frame a policy.The position was clarified by a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan while dismissing a petition seeking directions to the government to take Parliament into confidence before going ahead with the Indo-US nuclear deal.Other judges on the bench were Justice P Sathasivam and Justice J M Panchal. The apex court had on September 19 dismissed the petition filed by Manohar Lal Sharma, an advocate who had contended that it should be a deal between the two sovereign countries and the Hyde Act must be discussed in Parliament. The Left parties had withdrawn support from the UPA government at the Centre on the nuke deal and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had to take the Vote of Confidence in the Lok Sabha before proceeding further on the pact.9/22/2008

High court allows Himachal to cut dangerous trees
SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Monday granted permission to the state government to axe trees that were posing threat to life and property of the people in Shimla town. However, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Jagdish Bhalla and Justice Deepak Gupta imposed a condition that for every felled tree, four trees would have to be planted by the government. The court refused to grant blanket permission to the government for felling 150 trees which were termed dangerous by the forest department. The state filed an affidavit wherein it had annexed the list of 414 trees by terming them as ‘green dangerous’, ‘green tilted dangerous’, ‘dry dangerous’ and ‘dry standing trees.’
23 Sep 2008, 0620 hrs IST,IANS

High Court upholds city school’s disciplinary action against student
Ahmedabad, September 22 Justice Jayant Patel of the Gujarat High Court on Monday upheld the decision of the St Xavier’s High School, Loyola Hall, not to allow Simardeep, a standard XII student of the school, to attend classes but allow him to appear as an internal candidate of the school in the final board examinations. The school would also make arrangements for ‘internal examination’ of the student.
Simardeep, who had been suspended from school for misbehaving with two teachers, had earlier moved the civil court levelling religious bias against him. The court, however, appointed the district education officer (DEO) as an arbitrator in the matter. The DEO ruled in favour of reinstating the student.
The school, however, did not implement the DEO’s order, owing to the serious nature of allegations levelled by him. Meanwhile, Simardeep moved the high court requesting that the decision of the DEO be implemented. The school also moved the court saying that it will not allow the student to attend classes.
In the meantime, both parties came to a mutual agreement. While Simardeep did not insist on being allowed to attend classes, the school agreed to allow him to appear as an internal candidate of the school in the board examination to ensure that his career is not in jeopardy.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0344 hrs IST

High Court postpones hearing of 2002 riot accused till September 26
Ahmedabad, September 22 The Gujarat High Court has postponed the hearing on the bail plea of Bhavin Patel, one of the accused in the Deepada Darwaza mass massacre case of the 2002 post-Godhra riots, till September 26. Justice M R Shah pronounced the verdict on Monday.
Patel was among the eight accused booked for burning alive 11 people in a house in Deepada Darwza area of Visnagar town in Mehsana district in March 2002. Although he was granted bail by the High Court along with the other accused, another FIR was registered against him in March 2004 for threatening and intimidating complainant Iqbal Baloch to withdraw the case.
On Baloch’s complaint, Patel was arrested again, but subsequently released by the Mehsana district court. However, when the Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted to probe the 10 most heinous cases of the 2002 riots including Deepada Darwaza, Patel was arrested again in July this year.
After his bail plea was rejected by the Mehsana district court, Patel moved the High Court.
Express News Service Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0405 hrs IST

Hari Puttar: HC dismisses Warner Bros’ plea
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 22 Delhi High Court says Harry Potter and Hari Puttar are like chalk and cheese. “To put it differently,” said the court, “the possibility of an unlettered audience viewing a Harry Potter movie is remote, to say the least. An illiterate or semi-literate movie viewer, in case he ventures to see a film by the name of Hari Puttar, would never be able to relate the same with a Harry Potter film or book.”
With this, the Delhi High Court on Monday dismissed the challenge thrown by Warner Brothers against the title of the Punjabi comedy Hari Puttar—A Comedy of Terrors, saying it was too close for comfort with their franchise Harry Potter, the adolescent wizard created by British author J K Rowling.
The multinational entertainment company had moved the court for an interim restraining order on the release of the Punjabi comedy, of which producers were “guilty of infringing the Warner Brothers trademarks” for choosing to name their movie Hari Puttar–a name “visually and phonetically similar to Harry Potter.”
Justice Reva Khetrapal, who heard the case on Monday, put the controversy to rest by pointing out that the target audience of Harry Potter books and films were quite different from the Indian film’s.
Krishnadas Rajagopal Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0142 hrs IST

No unconstitutionality in changing Tamil New Year, says High Court
“Expert committee could suggest changes in 60-year cycle of Tamil calendar”
MADURAI: There is no unconstitutionality or illegality in the State legislation to change Tamil New Year from the first day of the Tamil month of Chithirai (mid-April) to first of Thai (mid-January), the Madras High Court has ruled.
Dismissing a writ petition filed in the Madurai Bench by Tamil Nadu Muruga Baktha Peravai, Justice K. Chandru said that it was not new for the government to change its calendar or adopt a particular calendar for its working.
He recalled that the State government had adopted Tiruvalluvar Era as the basis of its official calendar only after the advent of the Constitution. Earlier, the land of Tamils had seen adoption of Salivakhana Era, Hijiri Era, Christian Era and Sakha Era.
“The present land in which the Tamils are living was overrun many times by different rulers professing different faiths. Depending upon the desire or decree by the rulers, the calculation of years by era had changed from time to time,” he said.
The petitioner had attacked the legislation on the ground that Tamils believed that Lord Brahma had created the world on the first of Chithirai. It was also submitted that the Tamil Hindu calendar with a cycle of 60 years followed ‘Nirayana’ vernal equinox.
To this, the Judge said it was “most unfortunate” that the petitioner had attempted to bring a religious flavour to the issue by claiming that the right to offer special worship in temples on the first day of Chithirai was an essential religious practice. “It should be proudly noted that Tamilians all over the world, irrespective of their religious affinity such as Hindus, Muslims, Christians and even non-believers celebrate the Tamil New Year without any discrimination or religious fervour,” he said.
Mr. Justice Chandru pointed out that there was great debate regarding the origin of the 60-year-cycle and how it contained Sanskrit names for each year.
“This had not been explained by any scholar so far. Therefore the debate is inconclusive.” He suggested that the government consider appointing an expert committee to suggest and make changes in the cycle of 60 years of Tamil calendar.
A majority of the people in the Indian sub-continent adjusted their linguistic calendars with a cycle of 365 days only after the entry of Westerners and the introduction of a calendar based on Christian Era.
“Even some months in the Tamil calendar were made to have 32 to 33 days in making such adjustments. But at the same time, they fixed the dates of festivals and rituals based upon the position of sighting of moon (lunar calendar),” he added.
Tuesday, Sep 23, 2008
Staff Reporter

Gopichand breathes easy high court stays order
Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh high court Monday stayed the state government’s order taking back three out of five acres of land allotted to badminton ace Pullela Gopichand for setting up an international badminton academy.
Aggrieved by the state government’s move, the 2001 All England badminton champion had approached the court, which granted the stay on the order issued last week.
The prime land in Gacchibowli area here was given on lease in 2003 by the then Telugu Desam Party government but the Congress government last week issued an order taking back three acres of land on the ground that it was not utilised by him. The government said it would use the land to start a sports college of its own to train players for the London Olympics of 2012.
Gopichand Saturday called on Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, urging him to review the order as he planned to use the entire piece of land for developing the academy. He had claimed that the chief minister responded positively.
The main building of the academy with eight courts is already operational and Saina Nehwal, who is creating waves in international badminton circuit, and other national players are undergoing training here.
When completed, the academy is expected to become the fifth best in the world to be run under the guidance of Badminton World Federation (BWF) and the best in Asia.
Gopichand said his dream project was yet to be completed. He clarified that cross training in other sports and swimming were integral part of coaching and denied that he was building a tennis court. His clarification came as government officials justified their action on the ground that that he was planning to build a play area for children, a tennis court and a swimming pool, which were not central to the academy.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 07:49 [IST]
Source : IANS

SC overturns Madras order on photos on condom packets
NEW DELHI/CHENNAI: ‘Sexy pictures’ on condom packs will remain, at least for the time being , the Supreme Court said on Monday. It stayed a Madras high court order which had virtually banned such pictures on condom packets, terming them as “indecent, obscene” and an affront to Indian ethos. The HC order had left Hindustan Latex, the largest manufacturer and marketer of contraceptives and condoms, so worried that it requisitioned the services of solicitor general G E Vahanvati to get it out of the sticky situation. Other private condom manufacturers were more than eager to join hands with the PSU in appealing against the HC order. The SG said, “To promote the usage of condoms in a customer friendly manner, Hindustan Latex has adopted the strategy of attractive sales and marketing policy, which has resulted in remarkable sales.” The Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal was quick to fathom the importance of the matter and the need to encourage use of condoms in a country battling against AIDS. The Bench wasted no time in staying the HC’s July 24 order , which had directed the Advertising Standard Council of India to scrutinise the ‘sexy pictures ‘ circulated with condom packets and had ordered that no picture would be carried on condom packets without the council okaying it. The films promoting condom sales also had come under the HC scanner. It had asked the Censor Board to discharge its duties while clearing films for condom promotion. The PSU, in its appeal before the SC, said, “The HC failed to appreciate that pictures on the packets of condoms manufactured by foreign companies are more explicit but are being legally imported and sold in India and the pictures on the packages of such condoms are neither considered indecent nor obscene.” Defending the pictures on its products, Hindustan Latex said, “On the retail packs, only a part of the picture is visible to the general public and the entire picture would only be visible to the person buying and opening the packets, which in any event are made available only to adults.”
23 Sep 2008, 0550 hrs IST,TNN

Anand, Khan let off lightly, says SC
NEW DELHI: Senior advocates R K Anand and I U Khan, punished for contempt in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case, will continue to suffer the ignominy of being barred from practising in the Delhi High Court and the lower courts in the Capital. The apex court refused to stay the punishment awarded to both — debarring them from practising in the HC and lower courts for 4 months and a recommendation to strip them of their ‘senior advocate’ designation. Worse, it hinted that they have got away lightly if the charges were actually true. ‘‘If the HC judgment is correct, then the HC has been very lenient towards them.’’ The two noted in the field of criminal law pleaded for a stay on the August 21 Delhi HC order, terming the verdict as extra-constitutional, in breach of natural justice and without jurisdiction. But it did not have any impact on a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi, which rejected their plea for stay of the HC order. It ordered listing of their appeals for detailed hearing on October 14, by when almost half of their punishment period would be over. Surprisingly, the arguments saw fissures between Anand and Khan, who were known in legal circles to be close friends for decades and who jointly argued many a case in the SC, HC and the lower courts. Appearing for Khan, senior advocate P P Rao read out portions of the transcript of the sensational TV sting operation, which was relied upon by the high court to nail the duo for contempt for influencing a key prosecution witness in the BMW case, and said the guilt culled out from the sting pointed to Anand and not to him. ‘‘There is nothing in the conversation in the sting operation to implicate Khan, who was the special public prosecutor. His case is completely different from that of R K Anand. The HC did not see the difference and painted both with the same brush,’’ Rao said making the court respond sarcastically that ‘‘you (Khan) enjoyed a very high reputation’’. Anand’s counsel, senior advocate Rajiv Dhawan, was least amused and did not betray his client’s feeling when he said: ‘‘Now that they (Khan) have attacked us, it would be better if the petitions can be heard separately.’’ Dhawan forcefully argued on three legal points — HC acted in excess of its judicial powers, did not follow the due process of law, and did not consider serious questions about the admissibility of evidence presented in the form of chips from hidden cameras. He said the senior advocate was condemned without a proper hearing and without proper evaluation of the admissibility of the evidence, especially when the TV channel which conducted the sting operation was not sure how many chips were there and admitted that they have been formatted. He said neither the SC nor the HC had any power to debar a professional from practising. ‘‘Suspending the right of a professional to practice is not recognised in common law nor is part of the contempt jurisdiction,’’ he said. ‘‘However, grievous or light, the offences under contempt laws may be, the SC or HC do not have power to take away from an advocate his right to practice,’’ he said citing rulings of constitution Benches of the apex court. The Bench said it was within its discretion whether or not to grant any interim relief, and posted it for hearing on October 14 while calling for all records pertaining to the case from the high court. (dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com)
23 Sep 2008, 0433 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

‘Sexy’ pictures on condom packs to stay, orders SC
NEW DELHI: ‘Sexy pictures’ on condom packs will remain, at least for the time being, the Supreme Court said on Monday. It stayed a Madras high court order which had virtually banned such pictures on condom packets, terming them as “indecent, obscene” and an affront to Indian ethos. The HC order had left Hindustan Latex, the largest manufacturer and marketer of contraceptives and condoms, so worried that it requisitioned the services of solicitor general G E Vahanvati to get it out of the sticky situation. Other private condom manufacturers were more than eager to join hands with the PSU in appealing against the HC order. The SG said, “To promote the usage of condoms in a customer friendly manner, Hindustan Latex has adopted the strategy of attractive sales and marketing policy. This strategy has resulted in remarkable sales.” Simply put, Vahanvati was most guarded in letting out the trade secret — the ‘sexy pictures’ had increased the sale of condoms remarkably. But, the Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal was quick to fathom the importance of the matter and the need to encourage use of condoms in a country battling against AIDS. The bench wasted no time in staying the HC’s July 24 order, which had directed the Advertising Standard Council of India to scrutinise the ‘sexy pictures’ circulated with condom packets and had ordered that no picture would be carried on condom packets without the council okaying it.
23 Sep 2008, 0052 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

SC asks Centre: Can STs skip med entrance test?
NEW DELHI: In what could open a flood of identical requests from socially backward classes, the Supreme Court on Monday gave four days to the Centre to respond to its question: “Can ST students be exempted from the rigours of entrance test for admission to MBBS and BDS courses?” The question to additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramaniam came from a Bench headed by CJI K G Balakrishnan after five ST students from the CJI’s home state Kerala said they had fared pretty well in the plus-two examination but had not been able to get even 40% in the common entrance test as they could not afford special coaching classes. It appealed to the Bench, which asked Subramaniam to get back to the court with a response from Centre whether ST students, could be admitted on the basis of their board marks.
23 Sep 2008, 0438 hrs IST,TNN

Governor rejected ex-CJ’s candidates for HC judges
CHANDIGARH, September 22 Just before he retired, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice V K Jain recommended names of six District and Sessions Judges for elevation to the high court, a move strongly opposed by Punjab Governor Gen (retd) S F Rodrigues.
In his recommendation, Jain said that the senior-most judge, Justice J S Khehar, had reservations about some of the names, while the judge second to him in seniority, Justice Mehtab Singh Gill, felt no more appointments should be made in view of the lack of requisite infrastructure. However, he didn’t include a written record of their views.
Neither did Jain put in writing the views of the next two judges in order of seniority, Justice K S Garewal and Justice Ashutosh Mohunta, who he claimed agreed with his recommendations.
General Rodrigues also felt that when Jain was on his way out and Tirath Singh Thakur was set to take over as the new Chief Justice, he should not have made these recommendations.
RAGHAV OHRI Posted: Sep 23, 2008 at 0025 hrs IST

HC slams police in Riz case, asks CBI to chargesheet 7 accused
In remarks critical of the role of then Kolkata police commissioner Prasun Mukherjee in the Rizwanur Rehman death case, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday directed the CBI to chargesheet all the seven accused including three police officers.
Those to be chargesheeted are–industrialist Ashok Todi, father-in-law of Rizwanur, his brother Pradip Todi, their cousin A Saraogi, Pappu, a friend of Rizwanur’s family, then DCP (Detective Department) Ajay Kumar, ACP Sukanti Chakraborty and SI Krishnendu Das (of anti-dowry unit).
Computer graphics teacher Rizwanur, who was under tremendous pressure to get separated from his wife Priyanka, daughter of Ashok Todi, ever since their marriage, was found dead along a rail track on September 21, last year.
Taking a strong exception to Mukherjee’s role, Justice Dipankar Datta observed that he had not stated at his press conference the fact that Todi had met him and that Rizwanur and Priyanka had been called at the city police headquarters at Lalbazar.
It is conclusively inferred that the police had favoured the Todis and the then police commissioner did not respond with correct facts, Justice Datta said in his 120-page order.
Holding that the city police had taken a partial attitude and had failed to discharge it duty while handling the case, he said that the police power had been misutilised.
Rizwanur’s death had sparked off widespread furore following which the High Court directed CBI to conduct a probe into the case.
The CBI submitted its report on February 28 to the court stating that Rizwanur had committed suicide, but recommended action against senior city police officers including the then Police Commissioner.
The judge kept its order in abeyance for three weeks to enable the accused to appeal.
The judge also slammmed the CID, which initially probed the case, for going for a preliminary inquiry without filing an FIR.
The CID, he observed, wasted precious 14 days which was enough to provide favour to the accused and sufficient for tampering with evidence.
This was not in accordance with the law and thus the CID had acted irresponsibly which was not expected of them.
About the CBI’s way of initiating the inquiry into the case, the judge observed that it was absolutely legal because it had filed the FIR on the basis of certain writ petitions, affidavits and documents available.
However, the court criticised the CBI for recommending a departmental inquiry by the state government against the accused police officers.
Press Trust Of India
Kolkata, August 14, 2008

HC refuses relief to slum-dwellers on Mafatlal land in Kalwa
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to grant any interim relief to slum-dwellers who are occupying the land belonging to Mafatlal company in Kalwa, in neighbouring Thane. Slum-dwellers have filed appeal against the order of the single judge of the High Court, Justice R Y Ganoo, which allowed Thane Municipal Corporation to demolish slums obstructing demarcation between Mafatlal land and government land. Appellants sought stay to the demolition, but division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A P Deshpande refused a stay, adjourning the hearing till September 24. Government claims 25 hectares of and total 60 hectares of the land which belongs to now liquidated Mafatlal Industries Ltd. Company was liquidated in 1999. Thereafter financial institutions, including Kotak Mahindra, moved High Court and got a receiver appointed for sale of land, to get back their dues. Government then filed petition, seeking to stop the sale of land which it claims. High Court upheld government’s claim. Thane inspector of land records filed report in the High Court last week saying that demarcation between government land and Mafatlal land was not possible without removing some of the slums. Therefore single judge ordered removal of these slums. There are around 9,000 slums on the land.
22 Sep, 2008, 2201 hrs IST, PTI

Uphaar fire tragedy: Day-to-day hearing commences in HC
NEW DELHI: A Delhi High Court judge, assigned the Uphaar fire tragedy appeal matter by the Chief Justice following a Supreme Court direction, on Monday started hearing the final arguments on a day-to-day basis. Atleast 59 people, including children and women, were killed due to asphyxia after a fire broken out in Uphaar theatre during screening of movie “Border” on June 13, 1997 afternoon. Appearing for Sushil Ansal before Justice S Ravinder Bhat, noted senior lawyer, Ram Jethmalani attempted to shift the blame on Delhi Vidyut Board (DVB) for the mishap. He stated that the owners should not be held guilty for the incident as the DVB officers were responsible as they had failed to replace the defective transformer. The Supreme Court, in its September 10 order cancelled the bail of Ansal brothers and four others and asked the High Court Chief Justice to constitute an “appropriate” bench for the appeal proceedings. The trial court on November 20, 2007 had convicted the Ansal brothers along with three others under Section 304-A IPC (causing death due to rash and negligent act) and awarded two year jail term. Seven others, including Ajit Chowdhary and Nirmal Chopra, managers of the theatre, were convicted under Section 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Others convicted under section 304 IPC were — Radha Krishan Sharma, Manmohan Unniyal (cinema’s gatekeeper), Brij Mohan Satija, A K Gera and Bir Singh (all DVB officials). The High Court on January 4 had granted bail to the Ansal brothers and two other accused.
22 Sep, 2008, 2130 hrs IST, PTI

Madras HC grants bail to Sarvana Stores owners
Chennai (PTI): The Madras High Court on Monday granted bail to the owners of Saravana Vessel Stores, who had surrendered before a magistrate court following arrest warrants issued against them in connection with the fire accident in their stores in the city.
Two employees were charred to death in a recent fire mishap at the store in T Nagar here.
Justice R Regupathi ordered the release of S Yogarathinam, S Rajarathinam and Shanmughaduari on bail on each of them executing a bond for a sum of Rs 25,000 with two sureities each for the like sum to the satisfaction of 17th Metropolitan Magistrate, Saidapet.
The Court also directed the trio to report before the police daily for a period of one week until further orders.
Earlier, the High Court granted bail to the Sales Manager and Supervisor of the Store, who were arrested in connection with the incident.
Monday, September 22, 2008

Social Justice Ministry launches helpline for disabled
New Delhi (PTI): With a view to help families grappling with disabilities of their wards, the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment today launched a helpline.
Launching ‘Abiline’ along with Association for Rehabilitation under National Trust Initiative in Marketing (ARUNIM), former President A P J Abdul Kalam today asked for serious efforts to help disabled persons become contributing members of the society.
By dialling on the helpline number, parents can get all information regarding any disability problem and also get the knowledge of avenues for help to disabled persons.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Trust, Atul Prasad stressed, “Abiline is not like any other helpline. It’s a helpline with a lot of difference.”
A release of the ministry said that the helpline has been launched for the counselling of the parents of the disabled, NGOs and people with special needs.
Minister of State for Social Justice & Empowerment, Subbulakshmi Jagadeesan was also present during the launch.
Monday, September 22, 2008

Mangalore: Peoples Tribunal to probe attacks
Mangalore Sept 23: Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) has constituted a Peoples Tribunal having Justice (retd) M F Saldanha as its chairman in order to conduct a private probe into the attacks on places of worship and Christians.
Addressing media persons after a fact-finding team comprising of PUCL Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and Arasarai Human Rights Organisation visited the violent-hit areas in and around the City on Monday, PUCL district unit president P B D’Sa said since they do not trust the judicial probe ordered by the government, they have formed their own team to conduct a private investigation into the incidents.
“We are not hopeful of the results of the government’s Commission. We even do not trust the retired High Court judge appointed by the State government,” Mr D’Sa said.
Justice Saldanha will arrive in Mangalore on September 27 and will meet various persons and places related to the incidents.
The ‘tribunal’ will finalise its fact-finding report within 5 weeks, he said.Tamil Nadu PUCL State Secretary Bala Murugan, who visited different affected places with his team since yesterday, said communal hatredness growing among the police is not a welcome development.
“The attacks on Kulashekhar and Permannur church are jointly done by Bajrang Dal and police. Panic and insecurity are increasing among Christians,” he said, adding that the Sangh Pariwar is not the sole representative of Hindu community.
He said since police are biased, the probe responsibility should be handed over to an independent and impartial agency.


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