Daily News 3-5.10.2008

Brothers get lifer for muder of 3 shepherds, robbery http://www.risingkashmir.com/?option=com_content&task=view&id=7251
Srinagar, Oct 04: The Principal district and sessions judge Saturday awarded life imprisonment to two brothers for brutally murdering three shepherds and stealing their flock of sheep in the forests of Kangan, Ganderbal eight years ago.An air of sombreness filled the courtroom as Judge Hasnain Masoodi pronounced the sentence convicting Abdul Latif and Abdul Gani of Wangath of murder. “There were two options available with the court- capital punishment and life imprisonment. A lenient view had to be taken as the guilty have already spent eight years in jail,” the judge said, adding, “The sentence had to be awarded because the fruits of crime were recovered from their possession”. Solemn looking Kaniza, wife of Latif was present with her two minor children Rafaqat and Tazima at the time of the announcement of the judgement. Defending counsels G M Dariyal and B A Jalu told Rising Kashmir that the case would be appealed for in the high court. “We will study the judgement and accordingly plead the case,” they said. Syed Maqbool, the state attorney welcomed the judgement and said that the sentence will prove to be a deterrent to “strayed minds.”The guilty brothers murdered three shepherds, Javid Iqbal and Mehboob Khatana of Rajouri and Gulam Mustafa Bajran of Wangath Kangan in the intervening night of October 18 and 19, 2000 in the forests of Kangan. The trio bore marks of torture and were later strangulated to death according to investigators. Their bodies were concealed under rocks and could hardly be recognised. The deceased were entrusted a flock of 49 sheep by a mutton dealer of Srinagar city. The convicts colluded with four other burglars of the area including Muhammad Ashraf Khatana, Abdul Aziz Pakhtoon, Younis Bajran and Muhammad Latif Pakhtoon, all hailing from Wangath. They made a surprise attack on the victims and killed them near Behak Kati Nallah in the thick of Wangath forests. Their flock was stolen and dead bodies hidden under boulders. The news of the crime spread within hours of its perpetuation. The flock was recognised by a butcher near Kangan town. The butcher instantly informed the city wholesaler that his drove was in strange hands. The later informed the police which arrested the two brothers. The stolen sheep were recovered from their possession and an investigation was taken up. The two were charged under Sections 302 (murder), 392 (robbery), 120B conspiracy and 201of RPC (destruction of evidence).After a prolonged trial, the two brothers were found guilty while their four accomplices exonerated because of feeble evidence against them. Rashid Paul

Ban likely on spitting, hookahs in Rajasthan
Ban on smoking has been enforced. An NGO has sought a ban on paan and gutka spitting in public places and hookah smoking in Rajasthan. The NGO had filed a PIL in 1994 against those who indulge in such misconduct at public places..

ON THE heels of the enforcement of ban on smoking in public and work places, the pitch is rising for the implementation of tobacco ban in Jaipur. A local NGO in the city, Asthma Care Society, had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Rajasthan High Court in 1994 for ban on spitting in public places. Now, it has demanded the ban to be enforced strictly.

Paan and gutka spitting on walls is common in Rajasthan. It has defiled public buildings and turned those into ugly sights. Consequent to the PIL in 1994, a report from the Central government was sought by the court and the Tobacco Control Act, 1994 was formulated. Despite the Act, no efforts have been made to implement the ban.

A study by the doctors of Swai Man Singh Medical College on the deadly effects of hookah smoking has been highlighted in local newspapers. One drag of hookah leads to inhalation of 100 to 200 times more carbon monoxide as compared to a single drag of a cigarette. Of late, a craze for hookah smoking among teens and youth has emerging in local hookah cafes. They think that the practice is safer than cigarette smoking.

The NGO has mounted pressure on the state government to implement the anti-tobacco Act. The demands of the NGO are: A well-monitored ban on the use of gutkas in public and work places, a ban on spitting and provision of challans on doing so.

If the efforts of the NGO lead to a public outcry and media support, it will be possible to implement the Tobacco Control Act and the no-smoking Act, simultaneously.

Know the facts about homosexuality and make up your mind on gay rights
A PIL was filed by the gay rights activists sometime ago in the Delhi high court to decriminalize homosexuality and accord the gay rights. The court has pulled up the Goverment of India (GOI) for two of its ministries filing contradictory affidavits.

The present provisions of the laws of the land treat homosexuality as a criminal offence.

Fast facts on current legal provisions

IPC position: Homosexuality is a criminal offence
Operative IPC section: 377
Punishment provisions: Up to life imprisonment
Contending view holders: Health ministry and home ministry
Bases: Creates breach of peace and causes health hazards due to the spread of HIV-AIDS
Gay: A more respectful word

Gay is now accepted as sobriquet for a homosexual. The word gay has become a part of scientific vocabulary is being used regularly in various journals and textbooks.

Views and counterviews

In various debates and reports, the following views and counter-views are often reported.

Views against homosexuality

Homosexuality is an unnatural act and needs to be banned. If granted as a right it would break the social fabric of the society.
It amounts to role reversal and would give a jolt to the feminist traits which need to be respected and honoured.
It adds to the risk of spreading HIV-AIDS to a great extent.
Homosexuality is an outcome of a mental disorder called ‘gender dysphoria’ in which a person feels a mental discomfort and distress with the people of opposite sex.

It is a deviation from ones normal state of gender identity and requires medical and clinical care for rehabilitation rather than giving a license to behave in an abnormal way.
Views in favour of homosexuality

The diversity in sexual preferences needs to be respected

The denial of the gay rights is the perpetuation of an antisocial bias that has been made prevalent for ages by the dominant groups for their vested interests.
Homosexuality is a harmless manifestation of sexual preference of a person and requires an equity status with the heterosexual preference.

Homosexuality is a choice of freedom and should be treated as an equitable social skill of forging relationships.

In many countries the gay rights have been accorded and have strengthened the social fabric and made the society more colorful.Publication Date 4/10/2008 2:19:52 PM(IST
(Dr. Lalit Kishore)
© 2008 mynews.in

High Court issues showcause notices to Bindra’s father
Chandigarh, October 04 Dr A S Bindra, the managing director of the Punjab Meats Limited (PML) Industries, is in thick soup. The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued showcause notices to Dr A S Bindra, father of ace shooter Abhinav Bindra, asking him to explain as to why contempt of court proceedings cannot be initiated against him.
The directions have been passed by Justice Permod Kohli on a petition filed by one Dr Joseph K Masih, a resident of Mohali. Masih, who was working with the PML Industries, moved the High Court demanding contempt of court proceedings against Bindra.
Due to certain reasons, Masih was dismissed from service. Aggrieved of this, Masih moved the court of Labour Commissioner, who passed the order in 2001 in favour of Masih and directed the company to reinstate him.
Challenging the order, the PML Industry moved the High Court which stayed the order of Labour Commissioner with the condition that the company will comply with Section 17-B of the Industrial Disputes Act.
Express News Service Posted: Oct 05, 2008 at 0233 hrs IST

Retrieve land from encroachers in 6 months: High Court tells MC
Chandigarh, October 4 Taking strong note of the perennial problem of encroachments in Ludhiana, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today passed detailed directions to the Punjab Government and Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, to remove the encroachments within six months and take stern action against encroachers.
A division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Surya Kant today passed the judgment arising out of a suo moto notice taken by the High Court in relation with encroachments in Ludhiana.
A survey was conducted by the Punjab government and Municipal Corporation, Ludhiana, after the High Court had ordered them to do so.
On December 6, 2003, the MC informed that in a large number of cases, encroachments could not be removed due to restraint orders passed in about 200 cases pending in different civil courts at Ludhiana.
Express News Service Posted: Oct 05, 2008 at 0032 hrs IST

SC teachers face caste abuse in Mumbai
Despite police inaction and harassment, they continue to fight for justice
Mumbai: For over a year, Asha Chimedia, a Mumbai teacher, went knocking at the doors of State-run Mahila Ayog, the National Human Rights Commission and the Maharashtra State SC/ST Commission, in vain. Now she has decided to go on a hunger strike against State authorities.
Chimedia, a former teacher from Hindi School Ramnagar, Dombivli, Thane district, is a victim of caste abuse and sexual harassment. She has filed two cases in a local court in Kalyan, Thane district, against each offence.
‘Chamar,’ ‘bhangi’ (both Scheduled Castes), ‘neech jaati ke log (lower caste people) were the abusive words used against me by the principal Chandrajeet Singh,” she alleges.
Following a police complaint two years ago, Chimedia lost her job promptly. “The police have not even recorded the witness’ statement,” she said.
Despite police inaction, Chimedia continued her fight for justice. She took recourse in law, met State authorities and sent countless number of letters to top Ministers, including Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh and Deputy Chief Minister and Home Minister R.R. Patil.
However, all her hard work has been lost on an unheeding State machinery.
‘Dual discrimination’
Many Dalit teachers in the metropolis, haunted by dual discrimination, share Chimedia’s plight. Chetna Birje, a lawyer from India Centre for Human Rights and Law (ICHRL), in charge of Chimedia’s case is currently looking into five other cases of caste and sexual harassment of Dalit teachers.
Abusive, sexually explicit language, ogling and sexual innuendoes form part of their work environment by and large. Many keep mum out of fear of losing their jobs. Belonging to the “lower castes,” these women are stripped of their social and personal dignity and space. “Are you an upper caste woman?” This is what Maruti Narayan Mhatre, principal of Amarkar Vidyalay, Mumbai had allegedly said to Sunita Kamble, another teacher, when she resisted his advances. This has been recorded in Kamble’s FIR. She too lost her job. Her case is in the Bombay High Court.
“Who would have thought that after years one would suddenly lose one’s job one day? I am sitting at home because I have followed the law, because I have self respect and choose not to bear injustice like other women,” proclaims Kamble, former teacher at Amarkar Vidyalay, Mumbai.
Verbal attack
For 17 years, she dodged several attempts of the school authorities to expel her from office. These include forged resignations, unlawful suspension and a continual onslaught of caste abuse and sexual harassment. One day, Kamble just collapsed after she was verbally attacked for two-and-a-half hours at a stretch. Both Chimedia and Kamble belonged to private-aided schools. The principals there are also the owners. Their authority is final, they have autonomy in management, they are not accountable to the government and there is always an autocratic environment in such schools.
“The offenders are working even after being proven guilty, but I am the one who is sitting at home,” says Kamble. Instead of taking action, authorities have told the teachers to take back the cases if they want their jobs again.
The Rashtriya Mahila Ayog, in Mumbai, meant to look into crimes against women has been of no help. Chimedia has made many futile trips to meet IAS officer Vijayalakshmi Bidari Prasanna, head of the Ayog. “Every time the attendant says, ‘Madam has gone to court,’” says Chimedia. This correspondent filed an application for data on abuse cases at the Ayog. It has been pending since July.
With all paths caving in, the teachers feel they are fighting a losing battle. Financial troubles compound their woes.
Sunday, Oct 05, 2008
Rahi Gaikwad

Women’s groups move Bombay HC against 9.30pm deadline
Womanist Organisation of India and Bharatiya Bar Girls Union have submitted a petition in the Bombay High Court seeking the abolition of the 9.30 pm deadline on women working in bars and restaurants.
“Women are now working round the clock in airlines, hospitals, call centres, MTNL and other government and semi-government establishments,” the petition said.
“The deadline is absurd. In all offices women are seen working till late and call centres have night shifts,” said Veena Thadani, the organisations’ counsel.
The two organisations have also challenged the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949, which prohibits women from working in permit rooms after 8.30 pm.
After the ban on dance bars came into effect, women working in restaurants and bars are not allowed in the establishments after 9.30 pm. The petition said the women “are harassed and arrested and falsely charged for indecent behaviour”. Women singing in live orchestras are also not allowed to perform after 9.30 pm.
The petition alleged that false cases are lodged against restaurant owners if they protests against police action.
The union has been actively involved in helping women against contracting sexually transmitted diseases like Aids and living a life of dignity.
Urvi Mahajani, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Mumbai, October 04, 2008

Drunkard driver is like a ‘human bomb’: HC
New Delhi, October 4: A drunkard driver is like a ‘human bomb’ which can explode and kill innocent people along with himself, the Delhi High Court said on Saturday and suggested changes in law to curb driving under the influence of liquor.
“A drunkard driver not only risks his life but endangers the lives of others as well. Such a drunkard driver is no less than a live human bomb prepared to blast himself and innocent people on roads and pavements including friends and relatives riding in his vehicle,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said.
The HC’s observation came while dismissing the bail plea of Sanjeev Nanda, grandson of ex-Naval Chief S M Nanda, who is undergoing five years of rigorous imprisonment for mowing down six persons in 1999 while driving a BMW car in an inebriated condition.
“This court is of the view that it is high time that legislature undertakes a re-look at the present law so as to prevent drunken driving which is taking a toll of precious human lives,” the court said adding that alcohol plays a major role in social ills in the society.
“Alcohol has been found to play a major role in social ills in almost all countries across the world but foremost amongst the ills produced by alcohol is its role in traffic crashes,” Justice Gambhir said.
“The spectacular increase in the number of motor vehicles has created a major social problem more particularly when large number of road accidents take place due to excessive intake of alcohol endangering the precious lives of citizens mostly belonging to poor strata of society,” he said while dismissing the bail plea of Nanda.
Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 1915 hrs IST

BMW hit-and-run case: HC rejects bail plea of Sanjeev Nanda http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/362E92407A632618652574D8003B709E?OpenDocument
New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today rejected the bail plea of Sanjeev Nanda, son of former naval chief S M Nanda, who was sentenced to five years’ rigorous imprisonment for mowing down six persons in BMW hit-and-run case of 1999.”I am of the view that the applicant (Nanda) does not deserve suspension of sentence during the pendency of the case,” Justice Kailash Gambhir said.The Court, however, was of the opinion that Nanda’s appeal challenging his conviction and quantum of sentence be heard on a day-to-day basis for early disposal of the case.Nanda filed the bail plea in the High Court along with an appeal following his conviction by the trial court on September 5. PTI

Delhi HC dismisses bail plea of Sanjeev Nanda
The Delhi High Court on Saturday rejected the bail plea of Sanjiv Nanda in the BMW hit-and-run case. He was sentenced to five years jail term by a city court for mowing down six persons with his BMW car in 1999.Earlier, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the city police on a petition filed by Nanda challenging a lower court’s decision to sentence him to five years.
04 October, 2008 07:30:13

HC bench upholds rejection of pension plea
Madurai,Oct3: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today upheld the rejection of “Mozhi Por tyagi”(Tamil language martyr) Pension,for a petitioner,based on the recommendation of the High power committee which held that remaining in prison for just one day was not sufficient and cannot be said to be suffering within the meaning of the Act for grant of pension.
Justice K.Chandru pointed out that that one factor for sanctioning the pension was the nature of suffering either by way of suffering or otherwise undergone by the applicant.
Only if the Government was satisfied about the eligibility of the person,it could consider sanction of pension grant or scholarship. The government had also constituted a high power committee(HPC) and it had decided that those who were convicted and imprisoned in various jails for more than 14 days alone shall be considered for sanction of pension.
The Petitioner had not denied the averment that he was in jail only for one day,though in the “type set” it had been shown that he was in jail for a month as an Undertrial.
Though it was argued that HPC could not lay down guidelines by prescribing a minmum number of days of conviction and imprisonment,the said issue was not relevant in this case. If the petitioner felt that he was put to suffering it was for him to convince the government about it by placing material facts.He suggested that the petitioner,T.Mahadevan,could give fresh application,and set out the circumstances for grant of pension,he said. – Agencies
Published: Friday, October 03, 2008

Bombay HC sets aside FDA order against Subhiksha warehouse
NEW DELHI: Bombay High Court on Friday set aside all the orders of the FDA in respect of the Bhiwandi Mumbai Warehouse of Subhiksha.
FDA had in August this year passed orders of cancellation of license against 3 of Subhiksha’s Vendors and a 20 day suspension order on Subhiksha itself. The orders of FDA were originally stayed by the High court on 15th Aug and subsequent to the hearings the Court yesterday set aside the FDA orders against all 4 companies as bad in law. Further in respect of Subhiksha the Court was of the view that though the order passed by Commissioner could not be sustained, it remanded the matter to the Commissioner with the direction to decide the matter in accordance with law. Welcoming the judgement, R Subramaniam, MD Subhiksha said, “Subhiksha’s stance that there was nothing wrong with its warehouse operations or the hygiene of the products sold by it and that justice would be done by the High Court has been vindicated by these orders of the High court. As the country’s largest supermarket chain we remains committed, as always, to providing only the best quality products at the lowest prices.”
4 Oct, 2008, 1415 hrs IST, ECONOMICTIMES.COM

B’lore: Attack on Churches – HC Issues Notices to State, Centre Govts
Bangalore, Oct 4: The divisional bench of the state High Court, which took up the petitions filed by several Catholic Christian organizations, demanding to hand over the probe relating to the incidents of attacks on churches to the Central Bureau of Investigation, ordered issuance of notices to the state and the union governments on Friday October 3.
Seven organizations including The Catholic Sabha of Diocese of Mangalore, The Catholic Sabha of Diocese of Mysore and others had filed public interest petitions in the High Court, demanding for handing over the cases of attacks on churches to the CBI.
The divisional bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran asked both the central and the state governments, to file complete details of the incidents. In addition, notices have also been issued to the state chief secretary, state director general of police and the state home department.
Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore (SP)
Saturday, October 04, 2008 11:47:20 AM (IST

HC notice to Centre, State http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?artid=EJuGptkdd1A=&Title=HC+notice+to++Centre,+State&SectionID=7GUA38txp3s=&MainSectionID=oHSKVfNWYm0=&SectionName=zkvyRoWGpmWSxZV2TGM5XQ==&SEO=
BANGALORE: The High Court has issued notice to the Central and State Governments regarding a petition seeking a CBI inquiry into the recent attacks on churches in Karnataka.
Hearing the Public Interest Litigation filed by the Catholic Sabha of the Diocese of Mangalore, Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice Mohan Shantan Gowder orally suggested to the authorities not to precipitate the matter.
“The Judiciary does not want to politicise the issue, but it cannot be a mute spectator when democracy is targetted. It is the duty of the State to ensure the security of every one,” the Chief Justice said. “The State Government has failed to protect the rights of the Christian minorities. The Karnataka Government led by the BJP has failed to prevent such attacks and allowed further precipitation. BJP has a religion-based hidden agenda, which is violative of the Government’s Constitutional obligations,” the petitioner argued.
The State Government has appointed a Commission of Inquiry headed by a retired High Court judge of Andhra Pradesh. But, he hails from Shimoga district, from where the Chief Minister was elected, the petitioner contended.
The petitioner has pressed for a CBI inquiry in to the matter or a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court or Supreme Court judge. The petitioner has also sought direction to the Election Commission to consider either banning or derecognising national parties having affinity with religious fundamentalist organisations.
Express News Service
04 Oct 2008 10:09:00 AM IST

Justice for Soumya Vishwanathan launched
New Delhi (PTI): Journalists and colleagues of TV producer Soumya Vishwanathan on Saturday launched a campaign to protest her killing and bring the culprits to book.
They will submit petitions before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Congress President Sonia Gandhi, demanding justice for Soumya who was shot dead in the wee hours on September 30 while returning home from work.
Soumya’s colleagues condoled the death of the young journalist by lighting candles. Former classmates from Kamala Nehru College, teachers, close friends and journalists from different organisations also participated to show their solidarity with her family members.
As part of the campaign, ‘Justice for Soumya’, an on-line networking forum has also been launched to mobilise civil support for her.
The journalists also criticised Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit for her comments that “one should not be adventurous”.
“We have not been able to come to terms with the tragedy of Soumya’s death. There is an eerie silence in the newsroom. We will continue our crusade for her and urge the whole journalist community to support us,” said Rahul Kanwal, Editor of the Headlines Today.
“Her death is just not another story. It is about someone who was one of us,” he added.
“Please keep the campaign alive. Let this incident not go down as just another tragic incident,” said Vidisha, a journalist and classmate of Soumya.
Senior journalist Jyoti Malhotra demanded that the government should ensure safety of working women.

Rice comes but deal still not on table
NEW DELHI: US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice travelled across the world for a celebration that was not to be. She was denied the last hurrah on the Indo-US nuclear deal because of some 11th-hour muscle-flexing by India. On Saturday, after a day of otherwise unremarkable talks between foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee and Rice, India stopped short of signing the 123 agreement, indicating that it preferred to wait for US president George Bush to sign it into law first. Sources said Rice was disappointed, especially because the US state department had been saying that the president’s signature was not a pre-requisite for Rice to do the honours in Delhi. Saturday’s event could have been managed with more grace to avoid the “underwhelming” experience of a deal that both governments consider a triumph. To make Rice’s last visit a little more memorable, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited her to dinner, an honour normally reserved for heads of government. Sources said it was Singh’s way of thanking Rice for all the heavy lifting she has done for the deal, particularly before approval from the NSG and the US Congress. India is holding out for the presidential signature because it expects him to address the riders that have been introduced into the new Bill. There has been much disquiet about Washington’s new line that fuel supply assurances were “political” not “legal” commitments, which seemed to make them less than cast iron. India is jittery about this, because it appears to undermine the very basis of the deal. Rice addressed this issue briefly, saying, “The US intends to honour all its commitments.” Earlier, at a lunch for Rice, Mukherjee was fulsome in his praise for her. Mukherjee will probably have to travel to the US once again to sign the document after it bears the president’s signature. At a joint press conference after the talks, Mukherjee said, “After the signing by the (US) president (of the legislation into law), the process will be complete. And after the process is complete, we will be in a position to sign (the 123 agreement).” Rice also spoke along similar lines. “Let me be clear, the 123 agreement is done. It is a matter of signing and so I don’t want anyone to think that we have open issues. We, in fact, don’t have open issues. We have administrative matters of signing agreement.” She added, “The president is looking forward to signing it very soon.” In response to a question, she said, “The Hyde Act is completely consistent with 123 agreement…. 123 agreement is consistent with the Hyde Act. The US will keep its commitments to both.” Mukherjee said, “No secretary of state of the United States has done more for this relationship than you have. You had conceptualized it even before taking office, and have seen your ideas implemented in action. This is a rare achievement in practical politics…. This outcome would not have been possible without the personal commitment of President Bush and your unremitting efforts. We are now in the last lap. We look forward to cooperating with the US in signing and bringing the 123 Agreement into effect, and moving on to the commercial arrangements.” In the normal course of things, the deal could have gone through without the amendments, which are a source of concern for India. The deal would have gone through an up-down vote, leaving no room for the insertion of amendments. But the long delay by India, with the government taking its own time to decide when to defy Left, meant that everybody else had to jump through hoops to clear the deal in virtually record time. This also required the US Congress to introduce a new law to waive the 30-day mandatory standing period that had been agreed upon, opening the door for amendments. Though the amendments did not touch the negotiated text of the 123 agreement, a couple of other riders introduced discomfort in India long touched by mistrust. The Bush administration assured the visiting prime ministerial delegation in Washington DC last week that these issues would be dealt with. With Parliament opening here later this month, government here decided to play safe and wait for the presidential signature, to avoid criticism that it was in a “desperate” hurry to sign the According to the terms of the new law in the US Congress, the Bush signing of the authorizing legislation will be accompanied by two presidential certifications — that the agreement is consistent with US obligations of the NPT and that it is the US policy to cooperate with international efforts to further restrict transfer of technology related to uranium enrichment and the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel, a commitment made to Howard Berman to secure his consent for the law. But while the caution may have been justified, it is being felt that the no-show on Saturday could have been avoided. Sources in the government also concede that the celebrations could have easily been been put off by another week, particularly as both Rice and Mukherjee, having painstakingly worked for the deal, deserved that moment of popping flashbulbs in India. In an interview to American journalists aboard her aircraft, Rice reportedly said: “This is a relationship that has now a firm foundation to reach its full potential. It removes for India a barrier to full integration on a whole range of technologies, and it opens the way for closer US-India cooperation in other areas such as defence, agriculture and education.”
5 Oct 2008, 0054 hrs IST, Indrani Bagchi,TNN

Hyde Act to come into play if India tests again’
Washington: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has indicated that while the US would honour its commitments to India regarding their civil nuclear deal, the contentious Hyde Act would come into play if India tests again.
“I think we’ve been very clear about US views on this issue,” she told reporters Friday on way to New Delhi following Congressional approval of the implementing 123 agreement when asked if it was part of her mission to deliver a warning message about not testing.
“The Indians have a lot at stake here,” said Rice without explicitly saying how would the US react in the event of an Indian test. ” And they have made very clear that what they want to do is they want to move on to civil nuclear cooperation. And I think they understand the grounds on which we’ve done this.
N-deal may not be inked during Rice’s visit
“The United States is going to remain true to its commitments under the Hyde Act (the US enabling law) and true to the commitments that President (George W) Bush has made to Prime Minister (Manmohan) Singh,” she said. “And I know that the Indians will do the same.”
Asked if the India deal would in any sense serve as a model for other countries seeking a similar deal, Rice said: “I think India is really ‘sui generis’ (of its own kind). It is a state that has had – really, very good proliferation record.
“Obviously, it posed some challenges because of its strategic nuclear programmes,” she said but believed that approval of the deal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Suppliers Group, and ultimately, the US Congress, was a recognition of what the nuclear watchdog agency’s head had said.
Rice cited IAEA Director General Mohamed ElBaradei to suggest that “bringing India and Indian civil nuclear programmes and facilities and their future into the IAEA framework is a win for the proliferation regime as a whole.” “I think India is, in many ways, sui generis in that regard,” she added.
N-deal, defence sales different channels: Rice
Rice said she was “very much looking forward to going to India, really to just affirm the extraordinary progress that we’ve made in US-Indian relations under the visionary leadership of” Bush and Manmohan Singh.
“I think this is a relationship that has now a firm foundation to reach its full potential,” said America’s top diplomat who is considered as the prime architect and driving force behind the nuclear deal.
“In bilateral terms, of course, the Civil Nuclear Agreement is important, but I think we can now draw a line under that and talk about the breadth of this relationship,” she said noting the areas of cooperation.
“And really, in everything from defence cooperation to educational cooperation to agricultural and economic cooperation, this is a relationship that is very strong and broad and deep.
“And it’s, of course, a relationship that’s based first and foremost on values; the Indian and American democracies, both great multiethnic democracies,” she said. “With all of the excitement and cacophony that comes with that, it is really an extraordinary moment for US-Indian relations.”
The two countries can now move from this foundation to global issues, Rice said noting, “We are working together on Afghanistan. We’ve worked together on humanitarian relief, as evidenced in what we did at the time of the Indonesia events. And there is much more that the United States and India can do together.”
“So I look forward to going and spending, unfortunately, a short time in India. But I think it does show that the relationship is now ready to move to this new level and to exploit all the things that we can do together,” Rice added.
“I think India is, in many ways, ‘sui generis’ in that regard,” she added.
Saturday, 04 October , 2008, 15:06
Last Updated: Saturday, 04 October , 2008, 15:10

Allahabad HC moves SC against its own order
NEW DELHI: A red-faced Allahabad High Court rushed to the Supreme Court on Friday seeking a stay on the proceedings before its two-judge bench entertaining a PIL challenging the elevation of Satish Chandra as a judge of the HC. What put the HC in a piquant situation is that the bench not only entertained the PIL filed by M C Gupta but also embarked on a judicial scrutiny of the allegation — that Chandra was not qualified to be elevated as a judge — by asking the HC to place in a sealed cover details of the consultation process that preceded the appointment. Appearing for the HC, senior advocate Harish Salve, said the bench clearly exceeded the jurisdiction as details of the collegium consultations — which involve top judges of the HC and the SC including the CJI — could not be made public and be made a part of judicial record. The SC bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices V S Sirpurkar and P Sathasivam stayed the HC bench’s order seeking details of collegium consultations and issued notices to the PIL petitioner. The SC order may have averted an embarrassing incident but is bound to shrill the demand for transparency in judicial appointments.
4 Oct 2008, 0225 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra ,TNN

Ministry bats for stronger SC/ST Act
New Delhi: Aggrieved over the acquittal of 8 accused in the 2006 Khairlanji massacre under the SC and ST Act, Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Meira Kumar has proposed amendments to the existing Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act with a view to making it more stringent.
Sources in the Ministry said that the proposal for amendments to the 1989 Act had been forwarded to the National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) for their views. The Ministry is trying to table a bill in this regard during the forthcoming session of Parliament, sources said. The Ministry has learnt to have proposed amendments in Sections 14 (1) and 21 of the Prevention of Atrocities Act by inclusion of one sub section in each. While Section 14 deals with Special Courts under the Act, Section 21 is regarding the duty of the Government to implement the provisions of the Act.
Taking strong note of the acquittal in the Khairlanji case, Kumar had written separate letters to Home Minister Shivraj Patil and MOS for Personnel, Prithviraj Chavan demanding a “review” of the case with a view to filing an appeal. Kumar had also shot off a letter to Maharashtra CM Vilasrao Deshmukh urging action against police officers found guilty of dereliction of duty.
Express news service Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 0102 hrs IST

SC stays HC order on judge’s appointment
New Delhi, October 3 The Supreme Court on Friday ordered an interim stay on the proceedings in Allahabad High Court related to a petition challenging the appointment of Dr Satish Chandra as judge of the High Court.
While perusing the petition, the Bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, also issued notices to the Centre and advocate Mahesh Chandra Gupta, who has challenged the appointment of Chandra as the judge contending that he lacks the essential qualification. The apex court has also sought response from Chandra, who is now the sitting judge of the High Court.
Chandra was appointed as the judge of the High Court on August 6.
The Allahabad High Court has challenged the order of its judicial side contending that its Division Bench has exceeded its jurisdiction.

HC raps PU: ‘Why is the university ignoring meritorious students?’
Chandigarh, October 03 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today expressed its surprise and despair over the Panjab University “favouring” certain individuals while ignoring meritorious students at the time of admissions. “What is wrong with the university? Shall we impose a fine now?” the division bench questioned.
The division bench, headed by Justice Hemant Gupta, made the observations while pronouncing orders on a few petitions filed by students. The admissions in question were cleared by Dean University Instructions (DUI) S K Kulkarni.
In the first case, the High Court allowed a petition filed by Gursimran Sekhon, a resident of Mohali, against PU and chairman of the Department of BPharmacy.
Sekhon (who placed third in the sports category list) was demanding admission against the two reserved seats for the sports category. The petitioner had sought permission for reconsidering her candidature after one of the seats fell vacant.
The petitioner alleged that someone else was granted admission even though she had higher merit.
In the second case, Hina Gupta, a resident of Sector 7, Panchkula, filed a petition against the chairperson of the joint admission committee, demanding that the admission of Piyush Jand in a BPharma course be quashed.
The petitioner submitted that she placed higher in merit than Piyush, “who was granted admission only on the basis of his Class XII marks”. The High Court allowed the petition and expressed shock over the admissions granted by the university.
Express News Service
Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 0014 hrs IST

HC directs police to let lawyers, relatives visit blast accused
New delhi, October 3 The Delhi High Court on Friday directed the police to grant access to lawyers representing five suspects arrested in the September 13 serial blasts.
A Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar passed the order while hearing a petition filed by Zia-ur-Rahman, one of the five persons arrested by the Special Cell in connection with the blasts last month, through his counsel Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan.
Listing the case for hearing on October 15, the court provided “liberty” to any of the persons concerned to approach the High Court any time before the scheduled date of hearing. The court allowed the suspect’s sister and two lawyers to meet him for an hour at 7 pm on Friday at the office of Assistant Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Kumar Yadav on Lodhi Road. The court observed that if a “similar request is made on behalf of any other arrested person, the person shall have access to two lawyers as well as one relative on similar lines.”
The court has also agreed to allow the same right of access to another of the five accused, Saqib Nissar, who had filed a criminal petition in this regard before the High Court. In his petition, Rahman said lawyers and relatives who approached the police on October 1 and 2 were denied access.
“It is stated that the police on October 1, 2008 asked the sister of Zia (Rahman) to come to the police station on October 2 at noon. However, when she went along with her lawyer, she was denied access,” the Bench quoted from the petition.
Defending the police, counsel Mukta Gupta said Rahman was taken for “investigation” at the time of the lawyers’ visit on October 1. The counsel submitted that no one had turned up for the meeting on the next day despite the police informing the family.
“Though his (Rahman’s) relations were informed that they could visit him at 5 pm on October 2, none visited him on that day,” Gupta contended. She submitted on record that the police had no objection about today’s meeting. Both accused were arrested on September 21. They have been suspected of providing logistics support for the serial blasts which claimed over 20 lives.
NEW DELHI: Relatives of Zia-ur-Rehman and Saqib, arrested for their alleged involvement in Delhi blasts, had come to meet the duo at the Special Cell office in Lodhi Colony on different occasions, their lawyers said. While Saqib’s relatives arrived to meet him at about 6 pm, Zia-ur-Rehman’s sister and maternal uncle arrived at 7.05 pm — the time given to them by the court. Both families remained inside the police station for about half-an-hour today.
Zia-ur-Rehman’s advocate Prashant Bhushan said, “The family members have met him and he seems to be fine.” Asked whether Zia was tortured, he said, “There were no such signs and he looked fine.”
Bhushan added that his family members didn’t even know that Zia has been kept in the Cell’s office and they came to know it through the media. “The relatives didn’t know about their rights that they could meet him in custody,” he said. “We filed a petition in High Court and got the order to meet him.”
Zia’s relatives did not want to talk to the media.
Express News Service
Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 2358 hrs IST

HC raps govt over crunch in human rights panel
Chandigarh, October 03 The Punjab State Human Rights Commission, which receives around 15,000 complaints on human rights violations every year, and hears around 80 complaints daily, is running with only two members (instead of five), comprising a Chairman (Retd Chief Justice R S Mongia) and a non-judicial Member (K K Bhatnagar).
The Commission decides on matters like custodial deaths, custodial torture, custodial rape and illegal detention, among others in division benches. In case the Commission decides to make any recommendation to the state Government on any matter, it has to constitute a larger bench (of at least three members). One post of a member fell vacant in August 2007, and two more posts fell vacant on May 4, 2008, leaving only two members in the panel. Recently from July 31 to August 15, the working in the panel came to a halt as under the rules, a single member cannot take cognisance of new matters. All new cases had to be adjourned.
The petitioner had sought directions to the state government to fill up the vacant posts and the PIL came up for a resumed hearing today. The chief justice repeatedly asked the Additional Advocate General as to what steps had been taken by the Government for filling up the three vacant posts, but the response could not satisfy the Bench.
The law officer informed the Bench that the Government has initiated a proposal before the Cabinet for reducing the strength of members from existing five to three. At this, the Chief Justice asked the law officer: “Then why the third post has been kept vacant so far?”
Express News Service Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 0055 hrs IST

Haryana govt to HC: No attempts to tap judges’ phones
Chandigarh, October 03 The Haryana Government submitted in the Punjab and Haryana High Court today that none of its agency or officer has ever attempted to tap mobile phones of judges.
The government’s reply was filed in wake of a suo moto notice taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on a news item in an English daily. The reply filed by S K Joshi, IAS, Special Secretary to Government of Haryana, stated: “The state government is fully aware of the constitutional position of the judges of the superior judiciary. It is an article of faith with Haryana government that the dignity of institution be maintained at all costs. The state holds the institution in high esteem and accords it the highest respect.”
Similar replies have already been filed by the Punjab government and the UT Administration denying allegations of tapping mobile phones of any of the High Court judges. Taking on record the replies of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Surya Kant disposed of the petition.
The news item had claimed that after the judge-bribery case, a few judges suspected that their mobile phones were being tapped and that someone was eavesdropping on them.
Express News Service Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 0056 hrs IST

HC seeks reply on illegal admission in dental colleges
Chandigarh, October 03 The Punjab and Haryana High Court has given four weeks’ time to the Dental Council of India (DCI) and MD University, Rohtak, to file an affidavit regarding the action taken against dental colleges in Haryana giving back door admissions to students.
The directions were passed in wake of a petition pending in the High Court. The petitioner had made the allegations against certain dental colleges in Haryana after which the High Court had constituted a committee to look into the matter.
The committed, after an inquiry, stated that the DCI be approached to take a strong action against the institute and trust, Sri Guru Govind Singh Tercentenary Dental College and Research Institute, Budhera and Dasmesh Educational Charitable Trust, New Delhi. It further called for de-recognition of the institute. The colleges were directed to deposit Rs 1 lakh per student within 10 days, an order that has not been compiled with till date.
Express News Service Posted: Oct 04, 2008 at 0043 hrs IST

HC appoints observer for chief priests selection
Kochi (PTI): The Kerala High court on Friday appointed former judge K S Padmanabhan Nair as observer to oversee selection process of Chief Priests of the Sabarimala Lord Ayappa temple and Maligapura temples even as the state government expressed willingness to appoint a high power committee for the smooth conduct of the coming pilgrimage season.
A Division bench, comprising justices P R Raman and T R Ramachadnran Nair, directed the observer to file a report regarding the selection proceedings. The court also re-constituted the selection committee consisting of eight members, by including former ‘Melsanthi,’ Vedic experts, TDB President and members.
The appointment was made while considering a Sept 29 report of Devaswom Ombudsman by which court was informed that the committee constituted for selection of Melsanthi in Sabarimala was not in accordance with report of the justice K S Paripoornan commission recommendation.
Melsanthi interviews have been slated for Oct 6, 7 and 10.
The court said at the conclusion of the interview a panel of nine names among the person qualified for each post– Sabarimala and Maligapura melsanthis– should be prepared and lots taken to be drawn in front of the sanctum sanctorum.
The government committee headed by additional chief secretary, includes DGP, Additional DGP and senior officers of various departments. Court directed the board, government and devaswom ombudsman to submit their suggestions regarding the functioning of the high power committee.
Friday, October 3, 2008

Private news broadcasters set up redress authority
As a measure of self-regulation
Authority to be headed by former CJI J.S. Verma
All nine members will hold office for two years
NEW DELHI: Under pressure from various quarters, the News Broadcasters Association (NBA) – a collective of 14 private broadcasters representing 30 news channels – on Thursday set up the News Broadcasting Standards Disputes Redressal Authority as a measure of self-regulation.
The nine-member authority will be headed by the former Chief Justice of India (CJI), J.S. Verma. Four of the other members will be editors from different news channels and the remaining four from a category titled ‘eminent persons’ drawn from different walks of life. All nine members will hold office for two years.
The four members who make up the ‘eminent persons’ category are historian Ramachandra Guha, the former NASSCOM president, Kiran Karnik, sociologist Dipankar Gupta and economist Nitin Desai. The four editors included in this self-regulation mechanism are Vinod Kapri of India TV, B.V. Rao of Zee News, Milin Khandekar of Star News and Arnab Goswami of Times Now.
Ahead of setting up the authority, the NBA had adopted a Code of Ethics & Broadcasting Standards for itself. This code also came into effect from Thursday.
Briefing mediapersons, Mr. Justice Verma was optimistic of television channels abiding by the code. “Since the television channels have agreed to the code, I am assuming that everyone will follow it. If not, I will leave,” he said, when asked how he was optimistic of self-regulation working in India when it failed in most parts of the world. “Just because self-regulation has not succeeded in other places, it does not mean that we should not try it,” the former CJI said. In his view, social sanction and peer pressure are more effective than legal sanction.
Asked whether the fee of Rs. 1,000 per complaint would not act as a deterrent, Mr. Justice Verma said it was important to keep away frivolous complaints. The News Broadcasting Standards (Disputes Redressal) Regulations mandate that every complainant should pay Rs. 1,000 towards the functioning of the authority, which has the power to impose costs of up to Rs. 10,000 in favour of or against complainants.
The complainant has to first seek redress from the broadcaster. Once with the authority, the attempt will be to address a complaint within three months. If the complaint pertains to a channel which has its representation on the authority among the four editor members, then that individual will have to step aside for that particular case. All cases can be decided only if five members including the chairman are present. And, among the members, both categories have to be equally represented.
The authority has been set up in response to renewed efforts by the government to put in place a regulatory framework for broadcasters through legislation. This was stiffly resisted by the media in general and television channels in particular. In turn, the NBA – set up over a year ago – offered to come up with its own self-regulation guidelines to ensure broadcasting standards.
Friday, Oct 03, 2008
Special Correspondent

Wireless Laws in India: The Expert Speaks
Wireless connectivity has become a big cause of concern for the Indian Government. The Government is not only conscious but also worried about the way wireless communications operate. India needs good Crisis Management Strategies to deal with emergency situations like terrorist attacks and their use of wireless connections. Mr. Praveen Dalal of Perry4Law has contacted the Prime Minister’s Office, President of India, Ministry of Science and Technology (MST), Ministry of Information Technology (MIT), etc in this regard. Fortunately, his suggestions regarding bringing suitable amendments in the Information Technology Act, 2000 (IT Act, 2000) and securing Wireless Networks have been accepted by the Indian Government and they are planning to amend the IT Act, 2000 and introducing rules, regulations and provisions to ensure a safe and secure wireless connectivity and its use.Information technology (IT) has changed the way we behave and work in the present society. However, it has also raised certain law enforcement problems. Though India has enacted the IT Act, 2000 as the sole cyber law of India yet its effect is far from satisfactory. Similarly, the telecommunication laws in India are also deficient when it comes to IT security in India.The frequent use of wireless networks by the terrorists and cyber criminals has forced the Indian Government to give a relook to the present cyber security condition of India. The Department of Telecommunications (DOT), Department of Information and Technology (DIT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are jointly working in the direction of providing safe and secure wireless norms and regulations in India.Further electronic surveillance has also been enhanced by India to curb the menace of cyber terrorism and cyber crimes in India. Senior officials in New Delhi who are aware of the Government’s policy regarding cyber terrorism are of the opinion that effective mechanisms have been put in place to sniff and monitor the domestic Internet traffic at various points for suspected terror emails and other communication.[1]According to Praveen Dalal, the Leading Techno-Legal Specialist of India, “There is inadequate cyber security in India particularly for the wireless networks. This makes “wireless hacking” possible and that is often used for committing cyber crimes and other purposes. Wireless hacking is, generally, a four step process that includes wardriving, victim identification, passwords and encryption keys sniffing and finally hacking. If MAC filtering is in place the offender may go for the MAC address spoofing to trick the authentication process”.This means that we must pay more attention towards issues like cyber security and wireless security where India needs to work effectively and constructively. We must pay special attention towards securing the wireless networks and connections. Suitable provisions must also be incorporated in the IT Act, 2000 as well.
“Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) was the first security option for 802.11 WLANs. However, it allows a hacker to crack the WEP key by exploiting the WEP vulnerability. Although a hacker can attempt to crack WEP by brute force, other “soft techniques” are also available. WPA employs the Temporal Key Integrity Protocol (TKIP)—which is a safer RC4 implementation for data encryption and authentication. TKIP rotates the data encryption key to prevent the vulnerabilities of WEP and, consequently, cracking attacks. WPA2 is similar to 802.11i and uses the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to encrypt the data payload. AES is considered an uncrackable encryption algorithm. WPA2 also allows for the use of TKIP during a transitional period called mixed mode security” suggests Praveen Dalal.Because of its numerous weaknesses, WEP shouldn’t be used as the sole security mechanism for a WLAN. An early security solution in WLAN technology used MAC address filters. However, as per Praveen Dalal “If MAC filtering is in place the offender may go for the MAC address spoofing to trick the authentication process. Even an access point (AP) can be spoofed and a rouge AP may pretend to be a legitimate one by using the same configurations, SSID settings or network name. However, it is always advisable to use these security mechanisms as they reduce the chances of vulnerability exploitation to minimum”.India must concentrate upon stringent cyber law, robust cyber security, capable cyber forensics workforce and sound and stringent crisis management strategies to tackle terrorist attacks with an iron hand. A stringent law with educated and aware public is the safest bet against misuse of insecure wireless networks in India.
About Mr. Praveen Dalal- Mr. Praveen Dalal is the Managing Partner of Perry4Law and heading its PTLB, PTLITC, and other Techno-Legal Divisions that are providing Cyber Law, Cyber Security and Cyber Forensics Assistances and Services. Perry4Law is the First and Exclusive Techno-Legal and ICT Law Firm in India and is in operation since 2002. It deals with legal issues associated with ICT and use of ICT for legal purposes. PTLB and PTLITC are few of the Techno-Legal ICT initiatives of Perry4Law and are in the process of upgradation and formalisation. Mr. Praveen Dalal’s specialisations include areas like Cyber Law, Cyber Security, Cyber Forensics, Digital Evidencing, Corporate ICT Compliances, etc.
[1] http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1192217&pageid=0
Friday, October 3, 2008

Tamil Nadu told to dispose PIL on unregulated cable TV
In Tamil Nadu state, the issue of unregulated local cable television networks that telecast films, news and advertisements in various districts, came to the notice of the Madras high court when a public interest writ petition asked for such networks to be streamlined. Passing orders on the petition filed by Voice Consumer Care Council, the first bench comprising chief justice A K Ganguly and justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla said the state and central government authorities must dispose of a representation given to them on September 5. They shall give reasons while disposing of the representation, it added. In his petition, the trustee of Voice Consumer Care Council, R Sureshkumar, submitted that several cable operators were telecasting entertainment and news programmes in many districts in violation of the provisions of the Cable Television Network Act. Claiming that they were not duly registered under the Act, he said the guideline required a licence from the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. As per the guidelines, these operators must pay Rs 1.5 crore to the ministry as deposit, and they shall pay additional sum of Rs 1 crore for every additional channel. After the first five years, these operators must pay Rs 1 lakh for each channel, besides Rs 5 lakh as registration. The guidelines also stipulate advertisement codes and penal consequences for violation of the rules. But in Tamil Nadu “some operators, who have only a registration with the postmaster-general, indulge in private channel business without proper licence.”The Act provides for seizure and confiscation of materials used for telecasting such information in districts, he said, adding that inaction on the part of the competent authorities had rendered the provisions meaningless. He named nine cable operators in Kancheepuram, Puducherry, Cuddalore and Chidambaram areas, and wanted action against these unregulated ventures.
Friday – Oct 03, 2008
Meher Khanna – Televisionpoint.com

High Court reprimands govt for doing away with fishing tenders
Ahmedabad, October 2 For the first time in July, the govt did away with its policy on tenders and awarded fishing contracts for 54 reservoirs
The Gujarat High Court has reprimanded state Fisheries Minister Purshottam Solanki’s practice of doing away with floating tenders for fishing rights contracts in the state reservoirs. The High Court said the move was illegal and was being done on extraneous ground.
Fishing contracts for 54 reservoirs were allotted to different individuals and groups in July, for the first time, doing away with the Government Leasing Policy for Reservoirs of Inland Fisheries — 2004, which insists on tenders. The contracts were instead fixed on the basis of upset prices.
Hiral Dave Posted: Oct 03, 2008 at 0045 hrs IST

Commercial surrogacy legal and industry in India: SC
NEW DELHI: Japanese surrogate baby Manji may have thrown up a huge debate between purists and the needy about the ethicality of surrogacy, but the Supreme Court not only validated “commercial surrogacy” but also termed it a virtual industry in India. In its judgment in the Manji case on Monday, the apex court allowed the child’s biological grandmother to approach the Centre for travel documents to take the baby to Japan, but at the same time put its stamp of approval on ‘commercial surrogacy’. A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma said in ‘commercial surrogacy’ a gestational carrier was paid to carry the child to maturity in her womb and was usually resorted to by well off infertile couples who could afford the cost involved or people who save and borrow in order to complete their dream of being parents. “This medical procedure is legal in several countries including India where due to excellent medical infrastructure, high international demand and ready availability of poor surrogates, it is reaching industry proportions,” said Justice Pasayat, writing the judgment for the bench. And this is precisely the apprehension expressed by NGO ‘Satya’, which through advocate Abhinav Sharma, argued that the absence of law has left such an important social and emotional field open to abuse by middlemen, who are increasingly being approached by rich foreign couples to arrange for poor surrogates.
3 Oct 2008, 0413 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

Baby lifting: HC asks Govt, GTB hospital to pay Rs 5L to woman
New Delhi, Oct 2 (PTI) A woman, whose new born baby went missing from a bed in GTB hospital within hours of its birth in 2003, has been awarded Rs five lakh compensation by the Delhi High Court.”The pain and suffering of the parents whose child is dead would be less than the pain and suffering of the parents whose child is lost and not found,” observed the court.Directing the NCT government and the GTB hospital to pay the money jointly, a Division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice J R Midha dismissed an appeal filed by the city government challenging a civil court’s October 2007 order awarding the compensation to the woman.”The government of NCT, Delhi and the GTB hospital are held jointly and severally liable to pay Rs five lakh to Sudha Devi, the mother. They shall additionally pay her the cost incurred in the appeal,” the court said in a judgement on Wednesday.The court allowed the appeal filed by the Central government seeking deletion of its name in the case and set aside the suit filed by the woman against Union of India.”The human mind finds solace in death by believing that the body is free from troubles of life and the soul has found comfortable abode in some other form. But where a child is lost but is in the world of living, the trauma of well-being of the child is suffered by the parents each year of their life,” the court said.”Every joyous occasion, festival and holiday brings back the memory of the missing child,” the court said. PTI

HC order on kids with ‘disabilities’
NEW DELHI: Taare Zameen Par might have highlighted the plight of kids with learning disabilities, but here is an intervention which promises to address issues concerning them and others who are differently abled. A concerned Delhi High Court on Wednesday demanded a detailed schoolwise and classwise census of kids enrolled in MCD and Delhi government schools who suffer from such disabilities. The government has two weeks time to table the data before a bench comprising Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar. The bench also sought information on the kind of disability a child suffers from, and how the school takes care of him/her to ensure education is imparted in a sensitive manner. HC was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO alleging there had been little or no efforts on the part of government authorities to bring such children to mainstream school system or to provide them with requisite educational environment so that they can study. Appearing for the NGO, advocate Ashok Aggarwal argued before the court saying, “there are no qualified teachers in schools for such kids and by denying them special facilities, the government was denying them right to education.” The bench wanted to know if there is any commission established to look into disability related grievances. Standing counsel for Delhi government Najmi Waziri informed court that a disability commissioner is incharge of examining all complaints and is aided by five major NGO’s. Waziri also said that as part of governments efforts, training was being imparted to teachers of government schools to sensitize them on teaching students with disabilities. “We will be more than happy to place all the information before the court. The state government is already implementing a policy effected by the central government in this regard,” Waziri said.
Oct 2008, 0507 hrs IST,TNN

HC listens to kid, grandma wins custody battle
KOLKATA: Listening to five-year-old Abhishek Chatterjee, Calcutta High Court on Wednesday awarded his custody to his grandmother – and not his mother. The court allowed the child’s grandmother Rina Chatterjee of Serampore to take charge of Abhishek on the grounds that the child refused to stay with his mother Dipali. Justice Sadhan Gupta quashed criminal proceedings moved by Dipali against Rina and brother-in-law Iman. However, the judge granted Dipali the liberty to approach the appropriate forum to claim custody of her child as his natural guardian. Dipali had complained before the judicial magistrate of Serampore, Hooghly, that Rina and Iman had wrongfully and illegally confined her son. The case is still pending in a Serampore court. Dipali, a resident of Howrah, had married Kalyan Chatterjee of Sheoraphuli in August 2001. Abhishek, their only son, was born in June 2002. On June 6, 2007, Kalyan committed suicide by hanging himself at his residence. Complaining of abetment to suicide, Kalyan’s mother Rina lodged an FIR with Serampore police station, holding Dipali responsible for her son’s death. After the FIR, Dipali was arrested and later released on bail. She countered her mother-in-law by moving the Serampore judicial magistrate’s court, accusing her and Iman of wrongful and illegal confinement of her minor son. The magistrate passed an order on August 16, 2007, in Rina’s favour, allowing her to have interim custody of the child. While granting custody to Rina, the court considered the child’s willingness and desire as he had, in open court, refused to stay with his mother. The judge observed that in the best interests of the child, the court was inclined to hold that the child should be handed over to his grandmother. Aggrieved with the order, Dipali moved high court praying for setting aside the lower court’s order. On the other hand, through advocate Pushpal Satpathi, Rina, too, approached the high court seeking the quashing of criminal proceedings pending against her in a Serampore court. The high court, while quashing the proceedings against Rina, held that there was no illegality in the Serampore court’s August 16, 2007, order.
2 Oct 2008, 0349 hrs IST,TNN

NREG finest social security scheme, says CJI
New Delhi (PTI): Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Thursday said the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) was one of the finest social security measures for the poor and asked the legal fraternity to spread awareness about it.
“We have tried to fight poverty by various means, but have met with little success. So what India needs is something more lasting than patchwork policies to help its millions of poverty-stricken people. The NREG Act is one of the means which can solve the problem, given that it has the potential to provide livelihood to millions,” the Chief Justice said.
In his presidential address at the inauguration of “Initiative on supporting the NREGS through the State Legal Services Authorities,” attended by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, the Chief Justice of India said the scheme bridges the gap between the country’s rich and the poor.
“The National Rural Employment Guarantee Act is no doubt one of the finest social welfare enactments, with the aim of improving the purchasing power of rural people, primarily semi or un-skilled people living below poverty in rural India,” he said.
He said the success of any scheme depends upon its implementation and awareness among the beneficiaries and it was here the State Legal Services Authorities (SLSAs) should step in to create awareness among the rural poor.
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Primary health centres defunct: Supreme Court
NEW DELHI: In a strong indictment of the country’s rural healthcare infrastructure, the Supreme Court on Wednesday said that primary health centres (PHCs), conceived as the pillar of the system providing medical care in the countryside, had become totally defunct. ”In rural areas, there are no doctors. They (PHCs) are functioning only on paper. There is no facility at PHCs. Hospitals function without any doctor,” a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Ashok Bhan and P Sathasivam, said. The remarks came as the bench was approving plans of the health ministry headed by Anbumani Ramadoss for fresh initiatives on AIDS. The new AIDS control programme, largely authored by additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam and adopted by National Aids Control Organisation (NACO), was cleared after the ASG himself gave a power-point presentation. The programme would go a long way in containing AIDS. But the government’s satisfaction was marred by the bench’s observations on the poor state of India’s the healthcare system. As Subramaniam pointed out that PHCs in rural areas would be linked with the ART (anti-retroviral treatment) centres so as to widen the net of the AIDS combat programme, the bench asked the health ministry to carry out a reality check on facilities available at PHCs. Interrupting Subramaniam as he offered an explanation, the bench asked: ”What to talk of PHCs, the state of affairs in government hospitals in the cities is no better. Go to Delhi’s Safadarjung Hospital. What is happening there and what is the status of healthcare facilities there?” The bench added: ”If you want to get a real picture of the rural healthcare system, go to Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. You will realise the ground reality. Now you are linking this scheme with PHCs. But have you noticed that certain areas of the country have more people living with HIV/AIDS compared to others. You should focus your attention to those areas.” Sensing an exit route from a sticky situation, Subramaniam grabbed it and said the government had precisely done that and established more ART centres in areas where there were higher rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence. Though the health ministry has already issued an office memorandum to all players concerned, the ASG urged the bench to put the apex court’s stamp of approval so that it could be effectively enforced. The court directed the states and Union territories to implement the 14-point scheme for ”Comprehensive Care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLAHAs) at Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Centres” and asked National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) to submit status reports on the implementation every four months.

2 Oct 2008, 0046 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra,TNN

Tribunal declines to stay removal of ADC to BSNL
In a setback to state-owned telecom giant BSNL, telecom tribunal Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) has declined to stay the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (Trai’s) directive to remove levy paid by private telecom operators to the PSU on incoming international calls in rural areas.
The TDSAT said since the main petition, in which the telecom PSU had challenged the phased reduction of levy known as Access Deficit Charge (ADC), was still pending, there was no urgent need to stay Trai’s decision to do away with ADC at this stage.
Meanwhile, the tribunal also pointed out that if it ruled in favour of BSNL, the private telecom operators would have to pay the ADC on incoming international calls in retrospect, as mandated in the main petition.
“…Application is disposed of with a direction that the parties will abide by the decision of the main Appeal and will be bound by the same,” said TDSAT.
Access Deficit Charge is a levy paid by private telecom operators to BSNL for meeting the cost of unprofitable operations in rural areas for below the cost wire line and mobile services.
In the application, BSNL has submitted that as per the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India guidelines, ADC payable to it was ending from September 30, 2009 and this was hampering its revenues.
“Trai has reduced ADC payable on international incoming calls from Rs 1 to Rs 0.50 and this would phase out the same from October 1, 2008. Even ADC payable to BSNL on incoming calls would be completely stopped,” said BSNL in its application.
Terming it as ‘irrational and arbitrary decision’ of Trai, the PSU giant further submitted that to fund its rural obligations and to compensate the incurred losses, ADC should be allowed.
Press Trust Of India / New Delhi October 3, 2008, 0:15 IST


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