LEGAL NEWS 14.11.2008

Rahul Raj’s father to file petition in Supreme Court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Rahul_Rajs_father_to_file_petition_in_Supreme_Court_/articleshow/3713964.cms
14 Nov 2008, 1718 hrs IST, IANS
PATNA: Unable to meet President Pratibha Patil to seek justice, the father of Rahul Raj, the Bihar youth shot dead by police in a bus in Mumbai last month, now plans to file a writ petition in the Supreme Court. “I will file a writ petition in the Supreme Court to seek immediate arrest of the Mumbai police officials involved in Rahul Raj’s killing in fake encounter”, a disappointed K.P. Singh said here on Friday after returning from Delhi, where he tried to meet the president but was unsuccessful. “Now, for us, the Supreme Court is the last hope for justice,” Singh said at his residence in Kadamkuan, a middle class locality here. Singh said that he had already approached senior lawyer Praveen Parikh, who is also Supreme Court Bar Association president, to file his petition. Earlier he was to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) but after the Supreme Court issued notice to the Maharashtra government on this case in response to a PIL earlier this week, he decided to file a writ petition. “We want action against police officials responsible for killing of Rahul Raj in a fake encounter as the post-mortem report has revealed the bullets were fired from close range,” he said, adding he has lost faith in politicians in view of the justifications being bandied around for his son’s killing. Singh said that two weeks after the incident, he was yet to receive his son’s autopsy report or a list of the items police had recovered from Raj’s possession. The Maharashtra government’s delay in ordering a judicial probe into the incident was frustrating, he added. “I fail to understand their hesitation in ordering a judicial probe into the case. It shows that the so-called encounter was fake,” he added. Singh said his son was innocent and had nothing to do with politics. Police shot dead Raj, 25, on Oct 27 after he allegedly attacked the conductor of a bus in Mumbai and fired at a passenger with his revolver. Before being shot dead, Raj had said that he wanted to kill Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for inciting his party workers to attack youths from Bihar who were in Mumbai for a railway recruitment examination. The killing sparked a row between politicians of Maharashtra and Bihar with several parties demanding a judicial probe into the incident. Maharashtra chief secretary Johny Joseph is conducting an independent probe into the incident while the Mumbai police crime branch is also conducting an internal enquiry into it.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Rahul_Rajs_father_to_file_petition_in_Supreme_Court_/articleshow/3713964.cms

Madras HC orders notice to govt on Law college violence
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?0b85d038-17d8-41ac-8bc4-0f7524919cbd
11/13/2008
The Madras High Court issued notice on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition, seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu government to take suitable action against police personnel who were present when violence took place in the Dr. Ambedkar Law College on November 12, in which four students sustained serious injuries.A practicing lawyer of the High Court K Balu, who filed the emergent PIL, also sought the court to grant an interim injunction order restraining the press and electronic media from publishing, broadcasting and the incidence of violence which took place in the college premises.When the matter came up for hearing before first bench comprising Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, the Government Pleader (GP) Raja Kalifulla, submitted that the government has taken stringent action in the matter and against the police officials.One Assistant Commissioner of Police, and an Inspector were suspended, while four other police officials, who were on duty were transferred, the GP said.‘The government has also ordered a judicial probe,’ the GP said.While ordering notice to the government, the court cannot impose restriction on press and media. ‘The press has to exercise self restrain,’ the bench observed and posted the matter to November 18, for further hearing. UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?0b85d038-17d8-41ac-8bc4-0f7524919cbd

Divorced men filing PIL for shared parenting
http://legalfighter.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/divorced-men-filing-pil-for-shared-parenting/
By – Vineeta Pandey
‘Children need a father too, why favour women only when deciding custody battles?’
NEW DELHI: The best thing a child can have is love, affection and the company of both parents. But that seldom happens if the parents are locked in bitter courtroom battles.
To prevent children from going through the ordeal of choosing one parent, an NGO called Children Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting (CRISP) is filing a PIL in Supreme Court seeking guidelines for judges to determine the best interest of children while deciding child custody matters.
Bitter about the fact that mothers are generally favoured over fathers in child custody cases, over 500 aggrieved fathers, including NRIs, have joined hands to prepare the petition while expressing their wishes to change nappies and be with their children.
The group has recommended that due consideration be given to the presence of a father in the child’s upbringing. It wants India to be a signatory to the International Hague Convention for honouring foreign court judgments in India.

The NGO has also demanded that courts be sensitive to the fact that grandparents too have love for their grandchildren and should not be deprived of that. Guardianship courts should be opened specifically for custody matters so that they are not mixed up with marital problems.
“It is just impossible for a single parent to fulfil the rising demands of children so both parents have to co-operate in raising their children in spite of separation,” said Kumar Jahgirdar, who is leading the campaign. Jahgirdar is locked in a custody battle for his daughter with former wife Chetna, now cricketer Anil Kumble’s wife.
Child psychologists feel that unless there is a clear case of abuse, violence or neglect, there is no reason why one parent should be kept away from the child. “Children from broken families go through a lot of upheavals. Young teenagers who are away from fathers often develop complex behavioural problems. Hence, it is extremely important for the child to get the balance of both parents,” said Dr Shelja Sen, a psychologist and family therapist at Sitaram Bhartia Institute, Delhi.
CRISP has suggested various models for shared parenting: In case where both parents reside in the same city, the child can stay with one parent during the weekdays and with the other during weekends. If parents are not in the same city, custody can be given on a 50-50 basis. Small children may be given to the mother but with generous visitation rights to the father.
“The institution of marriage in India is crumbling. Two out of five marriages end in divorces in Mumbai and 10 divorces are filed daily in Delhi. Since children become the objects of the ego war between erring parents, the custody battle becomes a heinous poison which strangulates innocent childhood,” Jahgirdar said.
Posted by legalfighter on November 14, 2008
http://legalfighter.wordpress.com/2008/11/14/divorced-men-filing-pil-for-shared-parenting/

Jharkhand High Court to hear Raj Thackeray’’s petition
http://www.bjp.com/2008/11/14/jharkhand-high-court-to-hear-raj-thackerays-petition/
Submitted by admin on Friday, 14 November 2008
Ranchi, Nov.14 (ANI): The Jharkhand High Court is hearing a plea from Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) President Raj Thackeray to transfer a complaint case from a Jamshedpur court to Mumbai.
The petition had been filed last month after a case was filed against Thackeray in June this year for insulting religious beliefs.
Jamshedpur judicial magistrate A K Tiwari has already issued an arrest warrant against Thackeray after he failed to appear before it. This forced him to move the high court for transfer of the case from Jamshedpur to Mumbai. The High Court had adjourned the hearing on October 24th.
Thackeray is faced with seven complaint cases, including four in Jamshedpur and three in Jharkhand (Jamtara, Garwah and Dhanbad) for his anti-north Indian accusations and attacks on them by MNS activists. (ANI)
http://www.bjp.com/2008/11/14/jharkhand-high-court-to-hear-raj-thackerays-petition/

SC no to PIL for making political parties file I-T returns
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200811141782.htm
New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a petition seeking direction for making it mandatory for political parties to file income tax returns.
The apex court expressed its displeasure that the PIL on the issue was filed on the eve of the elections for publicity.
“It is a publicity interest litigation on the eve of the elections,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan observed while declining the plea that action should be taken against political parties which are not disclosing their income.
“We don’t think this is our duty to do so,” the Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam, said when the counsel for the petitioner repeated the submission that the apex court judgement of 1996 itself speaks that political parties must file income tax return.
The PIL filed by an NGO, Association of Democratic Reforms, said that despite the settled law, a majority of the political parties have not complied with the apex court judgement for filing tax returns.
Advocate Kamini Jaiswal, appearing for the NGO, said that information gathered through RTI application disclosed that major national political parties have failed to comply with the apex court direction.
However, the Bench was not inclined to pass any direction and said it was for the income tax department to look into the issue.
“Why should we interfere into it,” the Bench said questioning the NGO for approaching the Supreme Court.
“Why have you come to this court for specific direction (against the political parties),” the Bench said and added “if any political party is not filing the returns, it will face the consequences”.
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200811141782.htm

Demand for scrapping of SC/ST Atrocities Act
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/60141350.htm
NAGPUR: Alleging gross misuse of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes Atrocities Act, founder of Kranti Sena party and MLA Shalini Patil has demanded scrapping of it.
“Its a tool of blackmail as some people who lodge complaints under the Atrocities Act later agree for out of court settlement in lieu of some consideration,” Patil, widow of late Maharashtra chief minister Vasant Dada Patil, told reporters here yesterda y.
“It is high time Atrocity Act is scrapped,” she said citing an example of her constituency Koregaon in western Maharashtra where a backword community person violated the religious sentiments of majority community and lodged complaint under the act.
She said Kranti Sena will contest about 125 Assembly seats in the forthcoming State elections next year adding Akhil Bhartiya Chava Maratha Yuwa Sanghatana has merged into her party. A section of dalit community staged a protest when she was addressing the newsmen yesterday against her opposition to reservation on caste basis and demand for scrapping of SC/ST Atrocities Act. – PTI
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/60141350.htm

HC modifies its order
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=HC+modifies+its+order&artid=dogRaURCDWk=&SectionID=7GUA38txp3s=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=zkvyRoWGpmWSxZV2TGM5XQ==&SEO=
Express News Service
First Published : 14 Nov 2008 09:39:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 14 Nov 2008 12:17:26 PM IST
BANGALORE: The High Court has modified its earlier interim order that stayed the supply of coal to Karnataka Power Corporation to tide over the power crisis in the state.
It may be recalled that a single bench of the High Court on October 23 stayed the notification of the Power Department regarding supply of six lakh tonnes of coal to KPC.
While admitting the Government’s appeal, Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice V G Sabhahit directed that the order of the single bench not come in the way of the quantity of coal that was already supplied to KPC.
The matter has been referred to the single bench for early disposal and the court has directed the registry to post the matter for hearing before the single bench on November 18.
The Power Department on July 24, 2007, permitted KPC to import two lakh tonnes of coal from MMTC company.
Later, the Government enhanced the supply order to six lakh tonnes without calling a tender.
The supply order was questioned by the Knowledge Infrastructure System in the High Court leading to the stay.
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=HC+modifies+its+order&artid=dogRaURCDWk=&SectionID=7GUA38txp3s=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=zkvyRoWGpmWSxZV2TGM5XQ==&SEO=

Delhi HC directs Delhi govt to provide uniforms, books to poor students
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?64ce83dc-2bfd-48f8-8750-bad0afdfb161
11/12/2008
The Delhi High Court pulled up the state government for not adhering to its orders of providing uniforms and books to students belonging to weaker sections of society.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar directed the state government to reply by January 7 as to why they have not paid for the uniforms and books of those poor students, who have been given free seats in the freeship quota of the government-aided schools.Hearing a petition filed by one Ashok Agarwal of Social Jurist, who said despite the Court directions, the Delhi Government has not given the aid in grant to the poor students for their books and uniforms.After the Court order, which directed the government-aided schools in the Capital that have been allotted land at concessional rates to provide 20 per cent free seats to the Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) students, the Delhi Government was directed to bear the cost of uniforms and books. The state government has been directed to pay Rs 1000 per child per annum as one time payment towards cost of uniforms and books.But no amount has been paid so far.UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?64ce83dc-2bfd-48f8-8750-bad0afdfb161

Madras HC Judge recieved threat letter from muslim fundamentalists
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?3c1b2625-c679-405d-b146-14153cba4763
11/12/2008
Madras High Court Judge Justice K Chokalingam has received a threat letter allegedly from Muslim Fundamentalists warning him against hearing the appeal in the 1998 Coimbatore serial bomb blast cases.After the trial court in Coimbatore convicted Al-Umma Chief S A Basha and others in connection with the blasts case, the accused preferred an appeal in the Madras High Court.When the case came up for hearing, Justice Chokalingam told the open court that he had received an anonymous telegram threatening him with dire consequences if he heard the appeal petitions.The letter said the Judge was an Hindu Chauvinist and that he should not hear the case.Disclosing this, the Judge referred the case to Chief Justice A K Ganguly to be posted before some other Judge.The Judge told the Counsel for the accused that they could have themselves told him that he need not hear the case instead of sending such telegrams.UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?3c1b2625-c679-405d-b146-14153cba4763

Orissa HC directs SP to inquire police refusal to accept fir
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?2d0796be-e456-4ac4-a84e-c852844d6a9a
11/12/2008
Orissa High Court has directed the Jajpur district Police Superintendent to inquire so as to why the police refused to accept an FIR of a father who wanted to lodge it about his missing son.According to reports, Chandrakanta Panda (18), son of one Sridhar Panda, a resident of Mugapala village under Dharmasala police station, was missing since April last.Mr Sridhar Panda said when he went to the police station to file an FIR, the police refused to accept it.Even his appeal to the senior police officials failed to yield any result.Finding no other alternatives he moved the high court seeking a direction to the police to accept the FIR.UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?2d0796be-e456-4ac4-a84e-c852844d6a9a

Kerala HC admits petition challenging selection of films for IIFK
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?3647ba13-6e7e-462d-a03a-c876fd44bc09
11/12/2008
The Kerala High Court admitted a petition challenging the selection of films to the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) to be held at Thiruvananthapuram from December 13.Mr Justice V Giri issued notices to the respondents including State Chalachitra Academy Festival Director, Secretary to the Department of Cultural Affairs, Selection Committee Chairman and members. The petition was filed by director Arun R Nath alleging that the constitution of the selection committee was not in accordance with law. The petitioner submitted that the committee did not include experts in every field. UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?3647ba13-6e7e-462d-a03a-c876fd44bc09

Punjab & Haryana HC: Petitions admitted Amritsar land Scam
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?974563e5-0b58-4dee-9f73-1cb2b4dc546a
11/12/2008
The Punjab and Haryana High Court while admitting various writ petitions filed against exemption to some land from the residential scheme of Amritsar Improvement Trust, during the regime of former Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh, ordered that the status quo on the land would continue. The division bench of the justices M M Kumar and Jora Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court admitted petitions by Maj General Sukhdeeep Singh Randhawa and others, praying for quashing the notification vide which a little over 32 acres of the total 188 acre residential scheme of the Trust had been exempted from the scheme as the same had been given to Veer Builders amidst allegations of kickbacks and irregularities. The decision of exemption had been probed by a special committee of the present Punjab Vidhan Sabha and following adoption of its report, Capt Amarinder Singh had been expelled from the house. The petitioners have also sought directions to quash the notification vide which the 188 acre residential scheme of the Trust had been published as after the exemption, it had lost its original character due to the alterations. However, the bench while admitting the bunch of petitions for hearing by a division bench, has not fixed any date for hearing the same. UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?974563e5-0b58-4dee-9f73-1cb2b4dc546a

Madras HC quashes petitions challenging inspector of factories order
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?a1dea088-3525-41b2-b250-a6d74890d7e3
11/12/2008
The Madras High Court has dismissed as misconceived and devoid of merit, writ petitions challenging an order of the Inspector of Factories, Mettur, that directed powerloom factories in Salem to comply with an earlier legal notice issued to them for allegedly violating the law by engaging child labourers.Justice K Chandru, in his order, said the official had acted on the Supreme court’s directive, which was binding on all authorities. There could be no exception to either the show cause notice or the final order passed by the Inspector of Factories.The grievance of the petitioners, who were either proprietors or partners of power loom factories at Taramangalam, was that they received a legal notice from the Inspector in November 1997, stating that they had employed child labourers in violation of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act. The name and age of the child and the father’s name were mentioned and the petitioners attention were drawn to a Supreme court judgment. The respondent inspected the factories and directed the petitioners to deposit Rs 20,000 towards the child labour rehabilitation-cum-welfare fund in ten days.In one case, the petitioner sent a reply in which it was stated that the worker concerned was 17 years old and she was working in the petitioners address as an independent weaver. The person, who came for inspection had not determined her age. A demand was made to re-inspect the factory and cancel the notice. Notwithstanding the reply, the Inspector sent the final order, dated March 2004, asking the powerlooms to comply with the notice, which the petitioners challenged. Justice Chandru said the petitioners had not raised any dispute with regard to the age of the children in question. After the Child Labour Act came into force, the burden of proving the children’s age did not vest only with the Department.In the present cases, the show cause notices definitely came out with the age of the children as ascertained during the inspection. It also mentioned that if any employer wanted to dispute the age, he ought to come out with a specific plea and records, if any, maintained by the factory. Even otherwise, the supporting documents from the parents of the children could have been produced. As they did not raise any dispute, the petitioners could not rely upon Section 10 of the Act (dispute pertaining to age) for the purpose of shifting the burden to the respondent to prove the age of the children, the judge said.UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?a1dea088-3525-41b2-b250-a6d74890d7e3

Delhi HC castigates 3 hospitals
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?7c0139d5-9f54-40ab-a138-4384b5d70cf8
11/12/2008
The Delhi High Court pulled up three hospitals of the capital which despite court orders are not providing free beds to the weaker sections of society.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar issued notices to Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute & Research Centre, Mool Chand Hospital and St Stephen’s Hospital and sought their replies by November 19 as to why despite being allotted land at concessionary rates to serve the poor, they are not providing free treatment to the poor.The bench was hearing a public interest petition filed by a lawyers group, Social Jurist, which brought to the notice of the court that despite the rules of allotment and subsequent court orders the hospitals are not providing treatment to the poor. The petitioner sought to initiate contempt of court proceedings against these hospitals.According to rules, all hospitals and nursing homes, which have been allotted land at concessionary rates, will serve the general public with at least 25 % beds reserved for the poor.The petition states that Rajiv Gandhi Hospital is obliged to provide 24 free beds, Mool Chand 19 and St Stephen’s 60, but no such rules are being followed by them.In a separate petition, Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute has submitted to the court that it does not fall under such a category as their land allotment rules have no such clause of free treatment to the underprivileged patients.UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?7c0139d5-9f54-40ab-a138-4384b5d70cf8

Punjab & Haryana HC grants bail to Barjinder in Moga sex scam
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?c1b4a551-acbb-4386-85e5-e5231388415a
11/12/2008
The Punjab and Haryana High Court granted regular bail to Barjinder Singh, son of former SAD minister Tota Singh in Moga sex scam involving police, politicians and call girls for allegedly extorting money from people by threatening to implicate them in exploitation of women. The CBI Special Court had remanded Barjinder Singh into 14-day Judicial custody. Justice A N Jindal pronounced the order on Barjinder Singh’s bail plea, which had been reserved after the conclusion of arguments on November 6.On November 6, Justice Jindal had ordered the accused to appear before the trial court for deciding the issue of his custodial interrogation sought by the CBI. Earlier, the accused had approached the Supreme Court which stayed his arrest till October 30, while directing him to approach the appropriate court for grant of regular bail. The accused was recently elected as the president of the municipal council, Moga.As the special CBI court at Patiala declined him bail, Barjinder had moved the High Court against its orders. UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?c1b4a551-acbb-4386-85e5-e5231388415a

Allahabad HC directs CBI to investigate CCSPG college firing case
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?c6a1b5f5-df72-4e67-9f8f-6d2d485b9ac6
11/12/2008
The Allahabad High Court has directed the CBI to investigate the Chaudhary Charan Singh P G College (CCSPGC) case in which police had broken the gate of the college and had resorted to firing, leaving a student dead and several others injured.A division bench consisting of Justices Imtiaz Murtaza and R M Chauhan directed the CBI to submit its report within three months before the court for appropriate action.The court asked to list this case in the first progress report.The judges, however, directed that police officers named in the FIR be immediately transferred from Etawah.The order was passed on a writ petition filed by Ram Gopal, an employee in the college, who had moved the Court seeking an inquiry by an independent agency. The petitioner has alleged that the incident had taken place on January 9, 2008 but police had registered an FIR in this matter, when an order was passed by the magistrate. The police had submitted a final report in the matter to safeguard the high police officials.The FIR was lodged against Siya Ram Saran Aditya, SSP Etawah, and Ram Pal Gautam, ASP Etawah, and others. UNI
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?c6a1b5f5-df72-4e67-9f8f-6d2d485b9ac6

Corruption in judiciary
http://www.centralchronicle.com/20081114/1411322.htm
Mukherji’s article on Judiciary (CC 12.11.08 ) suggests mechanism to contain corruption in the Judiciary. If there is no one to bribe then the question does not arise. It is as simple as that. In the recent case, cannibilasation arose because the employees did not, perhaps have Pass-books from a Bank showing GPF money accrued.
The affected employees must have, otherwise, raised hue and cry resulting in action u/s 110 Cr.P.C. Either which way, the bungling was unearthed. But the moot point is whether the hard earned and accrued money of the employees could be swiftly recovered from those who misappropriated the same? Our sole aim is to ensure safety of the GPF money and also thereby scope for such scams is eradicated. The CAG / Accountant -Generals should monitor crediting of GPF money from various Departments of the Government. Heavy shortfalls of revenue from GPF and other heads of account should attract attention of these watchdogs every quarter if not every month. The CBI may have looked into these loopholess so that prohylactic measures could be taken.
SN Patra, Bhopal
http://www.centralchronicle.com/20081114/1411322.htm

The judiciary doesn’t get it http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=The+judiciary+doesn%E2%80%99t+get+it&artid=dolKrQNIH6Q=&SectionID=RRQemgLywPI=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=XQcp6iFoWTvPHj2dDBzTNA==&SEO=RTI,Additional,%20Solicitor,%20General,%20Right%20,%20to,%20%20I
First Published : 14 Nov 2008 12:23:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 14 Nov 2008 08:34:37 AM IST
That the point behind a rule for public access to the official record isn’t quite understood by even guardians of democracy is highlighted by two recent happenings. One was an argument on behalf of the Supreme Court made by the Additional Solicitor-General in a case before the Central Information Commission, the appellate authority for enforcing the national Right to Information Act (RTI). At issue was an SC resolution, made by the entire court in 1997, that every judge is to make a declaration to the Chief Justice of India of all assets or investments held in their name or that of a spouse or dependent.
High courts have been directed to follow a similar procedure. The case has been filed by someone who wanted access to these declarations and was refused. Asked why, the ASJ contended that allowing such access would be a “breach of confidentiality”, as declarations were made to the CJI in his personal capacity! An amazing argument and the CIC indicated as much, but the matter goes deeper. For, judges from the SC downward have repeatedly made clear that the judiciary is bound to only a limited extent by the RTI. The argument is that this ensures independence of the judiciary and its high public image. We’ll return to this point, but consider for now the secrecy assertion before the CIC with what the CJI just told a prominent daily in connection with the provident fund scandal in the Ghaziabad courts, which involves 34 judges from all tiers of the judiciary. Detailing the strong action he proposed to take, the CJI added that “Every step will be taken to rid the judiciary of corrupt elements…corruption cannot be tolerated (here), whatever the cost.” But it is precisely to address this and other negatives that is the idea behind ensuring public access to official records and decisions.
Knowing your record and functioning is open to public scrutiny has proven, through history, to be the most effective check to ensure probity and efficiency. And the satisfaction has to be of the user of the service, in this case the public, not of the supplier. The refusal to abide by this basic discipline of accountability causes much of the rot in our system. And till this mindset is reversed, nothing basic will change very much. And, unfortunately, as the judges have repeatedly shown, our protectorsare part of the problem.
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=The+judiciary+doesn%E2%80%99t+get+it&artid=dolKrQNIH6Q=&SectionID=RRQemgLywPI=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=XQcp6iFoWTvPHj2dDBzTNA==&SEO=RTI,Additional,%20Solicitor,%20General,%20Right%20,%20to,%20%20I

Judges are not money lenders collection heads: CJI
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2008/nov/131108-CJI-KG-Balakrishnan-said-judges-handling-petty-cheque-bounce-cases-are-not-money-lenders.htm
By: MK Tayal
Date: 2008-11-13
Delhi:
The Chief Justice of India, KG Balakrishnan, said on Wednesday judges handling petty cheque bounce cases were wasting their time as “collection heads of money lenders”.He made this observation while inaugurating six evening courts in Delhi. The evening courts will mainly deal with cheque bounce cases under the Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act.”Section 138 is a problem. Cheque bounce cases have been on the rise in the country. In Delhi, there are around six lakh cases and in Mumbai around 8 to 10 lakh cases,” Balakrishnan said in the Patiala House Courts.”Judges handling these cases have become mere collecting head of money lenders,” the senior most judicial officer said. The CJI explained that as most of the litigants who file cheque bounce cases want their money back, the judges end up acting like “collection heads”. As a solution, he wants the evening courts to handle these cases. “Though at present we are starting six evening courts that will function from 5 to 7 pm, the number will increase to 30. And apart from handling cases under Section 138, these courts will attend to traffic challans and other petty matters,” said Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah. He said the Indian courts were not public-friendly without toilets or even proper sitting space for people.
http://www.mid-day.com/news/2008/nov/131108-CJI-KG-Balakrishnan-said-judges-handling-petty-cheque-bounce-cases-are-not-money-lenders.htm

HC inquiries not a private affair, open to RTI scrutiny: CIC
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_inquiries_not_a_private_affair_open_to_rti_scrutiny_cic.asp
Posted on : 13 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
The findings of internal inquiries of High Court are not a “private affair” and can be sought under the RTI Act, the Central Information Commission has ruled.Judges are public persons and hold public posts so they cannot be said to be within the purview of a private employer-employee relationship, held the Commission.It rejected the argument of Delhi High Court that inquiry and investigations against an officer is an internal matter between employer and employee and disclosure thereof is not in public domain.Social worker Pratap Singh Gandas has sought details of a vigilance inquiry ordered by Registrar Vigilance of Delhi High Court, on his complaint, against three metropolitan Magistrate.His request was denied by the High Court saying that the application cannot be said to involve an information which can be in “public domain” within the meaning of expression under its RTI rules.His appeal was also rejected by the High Court saying that “inquiry and investigations against an officer is an internal matter between the employer and employee and disclosure thereof is not in public domain.”The CIC said that an investigation ordered by an institution as august as the High Court cannot be construed as private activity.”We cannot agree that disclosing the results of an investigation in which the name of the party investigated is cleared will tarnish the name of that party when such an action is compared to any effort to keep such information exempt from disclosure which can only lead to the rise of the unwarranted suspicion and mistrust implying concealment,” said CIC while ordering the High Court to provide the necessary information to Gandas.The Commission, however, agreed that some information which could constitute breach of any confidentiality that may have been part of the understanding of investigators and witnesses in conducting the investigations.”It will be open to CPIO therefore to sever such part of the information sought that is considered otherwise exempt by exercising severability under…RTI Act,” said the CIC.
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_inquiries_not_a_private_affair_open_to_rti_scrutiny_cic.asp

Classical Language case: Madras HC allows application by AP Offical Language Commission
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/impleading_applications_filed_by_andhra_pradesh_official_language_commission_allowed_by_madras_hc_in_classical_languages_case.asp
Posted on : 13 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
Chennai, Nov 13: The impleading applications filed by the Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission and Deepak Thimmaya, a scholar from Karnataka respectively were allowed by the Madras High Court in the writ petition filed by Shri R.Gandhi, Senior Counsel questioning the Committee of Linguistic Experts constituted by the Central Government to find whether Telugu and Kannada qualify to be declared as Classical languages. Advocates K.V.Dhananjay and Y.Prakash appearing for the impleading applicants said that the Honourable First Bench comprising of the Chief Justice and Justice Ibrahim Kalifullah allowed the intervening applications and the case is now adjourned to 27th November 2008 for filing their objections to the writ petition.The main objection raised by Andhra Pradesh Official Language Commission and Shri Deepak Thimmaya is on the jurisdiction of Madras High Court to entertain the writ petition. Further the locus standi of the writ petitioner to maintain the writ petition is challenged and therefore dismissal of the writ petition is sought for. It is pertinent to point out that the Union government on Friday gave classical language status to Telugu and Kannada but the same would be subject to the verdict of the above writ petition pending before the Madras High Court.
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/impleading_applications_filed_by_andhra_pradesh_official_language_commission_allowed_by_madras_hc_in_classical_languages_case.asp

SC evades comment on PMO action
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/sc_evades_comment_on_pmo_action.asp
Posted on : 13 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
The Supreme Court has refused to comment on the decision of the PMO to return the file containing the collegium’s recommendations for the appointment of three apex court judges. A top Supreme Court official said that the file was not yet returned to the apex court by the Union Law Ministry.After the file was received the collegium comprising three senior most Judges — Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices B N Agarwal and Arijit Pasayat would take stock of the situation in its next meeting.Three senior-most High Court chief justices — A P Shah, A K Patnaik and V K Gupta — had been ignored and judges junior to them were promoted to the Supreme Court.The Manmohan Singh government pointed out that the Supreme Court collegium had overlooked seniority, regional and gender representations in its latest round of recommendations for the three high court judges to the apex court. Of the three judges cleared for promotion — Justice A K Ganguly figures fourth in the seniority list, Justice R M Lodha is seventh, while Justice H L Dattu is 27th in the all-India seniority list of high court judges.
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/sc_evades_comment_on_pmo_action.asp

HC directs criminal proceedings against BCCI chief and others
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_directs_criminal_proceedings_against_bcci_chief_and_others.asp
Posted on : 12 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday directed initiation of criminal proceedings against Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sashank Manohar, former Board President Sharad Pawar and four top officials for filing false affidavits in the Jagmohan Dalmiya expulsion case.Justice Nadira Pathariya passed the order eight months after Dalmiya, a former BCCI president, moved a case of perjury against Pawar and Board officials and prayed for criminal proceedings against them for allegedly producing false documents in court.The court passed the ex parte order and directed the Registrar (Original side) to initiate criminal proceedings under section 195 of CR P C (prosecution for contempt of lawful authority of public servants for offences against public justice and for offences relating to documents given in evidence), at an appropriate court.The court then reserved its judgement. The other Board officials were Ratnakar Shetty (Chief Administrative Officer), Niranjan Shah (former secretary), N Srinivasan (Secretary) and Chirayu Amin, junior Cricket Committee Chairman.
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_directs_criminal_proceedings_against_bcci_chief_and_others.asp

HC seeks Govt response on spectrum allocation policy
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_seeks_govt_response_on_spectrum_allocation_policy.asp
Posted on : 12 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
he Delhi High Court sought a response from the Centre on Wednesday on a petition challenging its first come-first serve procedure adopted in spectrum allocation.A Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar asked the government to file its response within three weeks and posted the matter to December 10 for hearing.The petition had challenged the Centre’s policy of allocating 2G spectrum and alleged it had caused a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer.The PIL alleged that the procedure followed by the government was non-transparent, and was intended for thebenefit of some private players in the telecom industry.”The telecom ministry’s deliberate inaction on the recommendations of the finance ministry, Prime Minister’sOffice and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has benefitedprivate parties at the expense of public exchequer,” individual petitioner Arvind Gupta said.He also referred to an earlier judgement of the High Court delivered in 1993 by which the court had said that “first come first serve” policy is unreasonable and unfair.”The basis of first come-first serve for allotment of time slots on satellite channels is arbitrary. It is unreasonable, unjust and unfair,” Gupta said quoting the High Court judgement.He questioned the government’s intention of not following a competitive bidding procedure.”The proximity of real estate developers to corridors of the department of telecom has enabled even real estate developers to overnight turn into telecom entrepreneurs.Indian real estate developers and infrastructure promoters have also become Indian telcom players,” Gupta alleged in his petition.
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/hc_seeks_govt_response_on_spectrum_allocation_policy.asp

SC seeks details from AIADMK on contempt plea on TN bandh row
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/sc_seeks_details_from_aiadmk_on_contempt_plea_on_tn_bandh_row.asp
Posted on : 12 November 2008 by Y.Prakash
The Supreme Court asked the AIADMK to cite specific instances for justifying contempt action against TN Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, Union Transport Minister T R Baalu, and other officials for organising a state-wide bandh on 1st October, 2007 over the Sethusamudram project row.A bench of Justices B N Aggrawal and G S Singhvi hearing the contempt petition said it appears that the Chief Minister immediately on receipt of the court’s order had issued a statement “about the withdrawal of the call for ceasation of work.””He (Chief Minister) did not say that inspite of our order, the bandh will take place. There was no injunction on holding a fast,” the bench remarked, while posing searching questions on the bandh row.On 30th September, last year, despite it being a Sunday, the apex court held a rare sitting and restrained the Tamil Nadu government from going ahead with the State sponsored bandh on 1st October, on the Sethusamudram project issue.The AIADMK had subsequently moved the apex court alleging that inspite of the injunction against the bandh, the Karunanidhi Government enforced the bandh thus committing contempt of court.The arguments on the contempt petition commenced on Tuesday after the Chief Minister, Baalu and other contemnors filed affidavits denying the allegations and maintained that the hartal call was withdrawn and only a token fast was observed by the leaders.Guru Krishna Kumar, counsel, appearing for the AIADMK submitted that there was total bandh in the State as the public transport services, which were under the Government control, were crippled due to the officially-sponsored bandh.To this the bench remarked, “If the trade unions ask the workers not to come for work, can the Transport Secretary compel them to work?” The Transport Secretary has also been made a contemnor in the proceedings by the AIADMK.The apex court also asked the AIADMK counsel to produce evidence to prove that bus services were crippled in the State on account of the bandh.The bench pointed out that as per the affidavit filed by the State Transport Department, it earned a revenue of Rs 483 lakh on the day of the said bandh, which is contrary to the allegations that public transport services were totally crippled in the State.The arguments will resume on Wednesday
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/sc_seeks_details_from_aiadmk_on_contempt_plea_on_tn_bandh_row.asp

FIR BELATED
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/fir_belated.asp
Posted on : 11 November 2008 by K.C.Suresh
SC: Convicting a person on the basis of belated FIR is dangerousIn a significant ruling, the Supreme court has held that it is unsafe to convict a person on the basis of an FIR lodged belatedly without explaining the delay.A bench comprising Justices C K Thakker and D K Jain upheld the judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court dated April 12, 2006, acquitting her husband in a case of dowry harassment.The apex court observed, ‘We are convinced that in the light of the overall evidence analysed by the High Court, the order of the acquittal of the respondent is well merited and does not call for interference, particularly when the FIR was lodged by the complainant more than 1 month after the alleged incident of forcible poisoning.’ ‘Time and again, the object and importance of prompt lodging of FIR has been highlighted. Delay in lodging the report more often than not, results in embellishment and exaggeration, which is a creature of an afterthought,’ the apex court noted.‘A delayed report not only gets benefit of the advantage of spontaneity, the danger of the introduction of coloured version, exaggerated account of the incident or a concocted story as a result of deliberations and consultations, also creeps in, casting a serious doubt on its veracity,’ it said.‘Therefore, it is essential that the delay in lodging the report should be satisfactorily explained,’ the court added.In the present case, 3 members of in-laws family were acquitted by the trial court but husband M Madhusudan Rao was sentenced to 1 year imprisonment with a fine of Rs 8000.The High Court, however, acquitted the husband also. The SC dismissed the appeal of the AP government.UNI
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/fir_belated.asp

TNHRC v TN
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/tnhrc_v_tn.asp
Posted on : 11 November 2008 by K.C.Suresh
Human Rights Comm. directs Tamil Nadu govt to pay compensationTamil Nadu Human Rights Commission has directed the state government to pay Rs 20,000, as compensation to a person who was harassed by the police in a civil matter.In its order, a Commission Bench, comprising Chairperson Justice A S Venkatachalamoorthy and Member K Mariappan, said after making the payment, the state government should recover the amount from an Inspector of Police, Perambalur Town police station Balaguru, in instalments. It also recommended that the Director-General of Police (DIG) should take necessary departmental action against the erring official in the light of the Commission’s findings.One S Selvaraj of Papanacherry in Ariyalur taluk in Perambalur district complained to the Commission that in August 2002, the Inspector came to his house, took him to the station and detained him in connection with a civil dispute with his brother Arulraj. UNI
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2008/11/tnhrc_v_tn.asp

When preventive detention is illegal, why should court stay its hand?
http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/14/stories/2008111456551300.htm
J. Venkatesan
Right of liberty cannot be easily transgressed: apex court
If order is illegal, why should a person be compelled to go to jail?
Reputation is a facet of right to life
NEW DELHI: The reputation of a person is a facet of his ‘right to life’ under Article 21 of the Constitution and to protect this right, illegal preventive detention orders can be quashed even at pre-execution stage through habeas corpus petitions, the Supreme Court has held.
“If a person against whom a prevention detention order has been passed can show to the court that the order is clearly illegal, why should he be compelled to go to jail? To tell such a person that although such a detention order is illegal he must yet go to jail and he will be released later is a meaningless and futile exercise,” said a Bench consisting of Justices Altamas Kabir and Markandey Katju on Wednesday.
Writing the judgment, Justice Katju said: Article 21, which gives the right of life and liberty, is the most fundamental of all Fundamental Rights in the Constitution. Though, no doubt, restrictions can be placed on these rights in the interest of public order, security of the state, etc, they are not to be lightly transgressed.”
The Bench said: “If a person is sent to jail then even if he is subsequently released, his reputation may be irreparably tarnished. The liberty of a person is a precious fundamental right under Article 21 and should not be transgressed.”
Quoting a sloka from the Gita which says, “For a self-respecting man, death is preferable to dishonour,” the Bench said: “If a person against whom a preventive detention order has been passed comes to court at the pre-execution stage and satisfies that the order is clearly illegal, there is no reason why the court should stay its hand and compel the petitioner to go to jail even though he is bound to be released subsequently [since the detention order was illegal].”
Writ of habeas corpus
On the contention that a writ of habeas corpus would lie only when there was illegal detention, the Bench said: “We regret we cannot agree. Firstly, Article 226 and Article 32 permit the High Court and the Supreme Court to not only issue the writs which were traditionally issued by British courts but these Articles give much wider powers to this court and the High Court. Hence, even if the petitioner is not in detention, a writ of certiorari and/or mandamus can be issued.”
The Bench said: “The celebrated writ of habeas corpus has been described as ‘a great constitutional privilege of the citizen’ or ‘the first security of civil liberty.’ The imperative necessity to protect those precious rights is a lesson taught by all history and all human experience. Our founding fathers have lived through bitter years of the freedom struggle and seen an alien government trample upon the human rights of our citizens.”
Detention set aside
In the instant case, the Maharashtra government passed a detention order, dated May 22, 2008, against Deepak Gopaldas Bajaj under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act. He challenged the order directly in the apex court contending that his reputation would be tarnished if it was executed. Quashing it, the Bench said: “The detention order in our opinion was clearly illegal and deserves to be set aside.”
http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/14/stories/2008111456551300.htm

Land acquisition in Korukkupet upheld
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Land+acquisition+in+Korukkupet+upheld&artid=1HSNHRamcY8=&SectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&MainSectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&SEO=Prof+I+Elangovan&SectionName=rSY%7C6QYp3kQ=
Express News Service
First Published : 13 Nov 2008 05:08:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 13 Nov 2008 09:40:31 AM IST
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has upheld the action of the State acquiring land for construction of a subway on Thyagapaa Chetti Street in Korukkupet by invoking the emergency clause under Section 17 of the Land Acquisition Act.
“Considering the overall situation and the facts and circumstances of the case, I am of the opinion that the petitioners have not made out any case for quashing the Sec 4(1) notification issued by the Municipal Administration and Water Supply secretary, which was published in the government gazettee on December 10, 2007 and the consequential notice issued under Sections 9(1) and 10 of the Act,” Justice K Venkataraman observed on Wednesday.
The Judge was dismissing a batch of writ petitions from N Abdul Bakhid and others challenging the acquisition.
Dismissing the petitions, the Judge observed it might not be proper for this court to go into the factual disputes by exercising the writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution.
Whether the overbridge and the subway had to be constructed simultaneously or otherwise had to be decided by the government on getting the opinion from the experts.
WRIT FOR 19% RESERVATION FOR SC/STS IN JOBS The Madras High Court has ordered notice on a writ petition praying for a direction to the authorities concerned to provide 19 per cent reservation for candidates belonging to SC/STs in the appointment of teaching and non-teaching staff in the government aided minority colleges.
In his writ petition, Prof I Elangovan of Vellore submitted that there were 60 government aided minority colleges in the state. There were 9,866 teaching and 5,326 non-teaching posts and only 3,992 teaching and 2,064 nonteaching staff was appointed in these colleges.
The petition said there was not even a single teacher or non-teaching staff in them, as rule 11(1-A) of the Tamil Nadu Private Colleges (Regulation) Act exempted the minority colleges from the rule of reservation for SC/STs.
It said the rule was opposed to Articles 16(1) and 46 of the Constitution. The appointment of SC/STs would in no way deny or interfere with their right to establish and administer educational institutions of their own choice.
They would not lose their minority character, he said.
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=Land+acquisition+in+Korukkupet+upheld&artid=1HSNHRamcY8=&SectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&MainSectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&SEO=Prof+I+Elangovan&SectionName=rSY%7C6QYp3kQ=

Delhi High Court to hear PILs twice a week
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1206123
PTI
Thursday, November 13, 2008 17:52 IST
NEW DELHI: In view of the rising number of Public Interest Litigations being filed in court, the Delhi High Court has decided to hear them twice a week instead of having just one PIL day on Wednesday.
The court took the decision as it was getting difficult to entertain all the PILs in a day, resulting in many of them getting adjourned without a hearing.
“Most of the cases go unheard because of the long board (number of cases listed for hearing),” a bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah, which hears PILs, said.
The Bench, also comprising Justice S Muralidhar, directed the court officials to list such cases for hearing on Thursdays as well.
The Court also sought co-operation from the advocates in adjusting the dates of PILs.
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1206123

State has not cleared encroachments near varsity’s Kalina campus’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/State_has_not_cleared_encroachments_near_varsitys_Kalina_campus_/articleshow/3705994.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0224 hrs IST, Hemali Chhapia, TNN
MUMBAI: MNS activists met Mumbai suburban collector Vishwas Patil on Wednesday to take up the issue of encroachment on the 30-acre plot adjoining the University of Mumbai campus at Kalina. The activists informed Patil that the state government was not doing anything to clear the encroachments, which were hampering the university’s
expansion. After a PIL filed in 2007, the Bombay high court had directed the state to clear the encroachments within a month and hand over the land to the university. The state, however, asked for an extension till December 31, 2007 to carry out the job. The HC extended the deadline, but in December, the state approached the court again and got another year’s time to clear the slums. However, MNS activists alleged that the state has not even started clearing the encroachments and feared the government would approach the court to revise the deadline.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/State_has_not_cleared_encroachments_near_varsitys_Kalina_campus_/articleshow/3705994.cms

Delhiites not litigious: Study
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Delhiites_not_litigious_Study_/articleshow/3705890.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0125 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: On the basis of statistics, Delhiites may give an impression as being very litigatious. For, Delhi with only one per cent of the country’s population accounts for four per cent or 9 lakh of a total 2.3 crore cases pending in trial courts. In addition, one lakh fresh cases are filed in the city every year. Do not jump to a conclusion. For statistics can be very misleading. A judicial survey on pendency of cases, the number of available judges and ways and means to tackle the huge backlog has thrown up an interesting fact “Delhiites are, at most, one-quarter as litigatious as the Australians.” This is reflected in the “Report of Task Force on Judicial Impact Assessment” submitted by retired Supreme Court (SC) judge M Jagannadha Rao to the government on the need for identifying the increase in litigation with the passage of every new legislation and a corresponding increase in the number of courts. A copy of this report was filed before the SC in a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) dealing with speeding up justice delivery system. Amicus curiae K Vishwanathan on Wednesday sought adjournment of hearing on the PIL and requested before a Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal and G S Singhvi to direct the Centre to file its response to various recommendations given by the task force. The task force in its June 2008 report to the government, a copy of which was filed before the apex court, did a case study comparing the judge/population ratio in Delhi and Australia. The report stated while Delhi with 13.8 million people has 21.5 judges per million, Australia with 20 million population has 50 judges per million. That means, there were 2.5 times more judges in Australia than in Delhi. “In Delhi, the number of cases disposed per million of population is 150. The comparable Australian figure is 665, or almost four and a half times greater. This suggests the population of Delhi is, at most, one-quarter as litigatious as the Australian population,” the report concluded. Discussing judicial workload as an indicator to compare the scenarios in Delhi and Australia, the task force said in the Delhi district courts 153 judges were needed to dispose one lakh cases, whereas the comparable figure in Australia would be 66 judges. This means, Australian judges have double the disposal capacity of the Delhi judges. Why is there so much of disparity in the disposal rate, the task force wanted to find out. “The likely reason for these discrepancies are that Australian judges preside over courts which generally have high pre-trial settlement rates (and high plea rates in criminal courts) and much shorter case delays. Thus, the average Australian judge can dispose of cases faster and with less effort,” said the report. Point to ponder, My Lords!
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Delhiites_not_litigious_Study_/articleshow/3705890.cms

HC declines to stay elections
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?Date=13_11_2008&ItemID=27&cat=6
Jammu, Nov 12: The Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High Court (Jammu) today dismissed a CMP filed by Sheikh Abdur Rehman, state president Samajwadi Party seeking stay on holding forthcoming legislative assembly election in the state till the delimitation of assembly constituencies in the state in terms of representation of Peoples Act 1957. After hearing Advocate General DC Raina with Adv Vishal Bharti appearing for the state respondents dismissed the petition with the observation since the election process has already commenced and is in progress, therefore, the prayer made in the CMP does not deserve to be allowed and this CMP is accordingly dismissed. In Public Interest Litigation, the DB observed that replied to PIL has been filed. The petitioner if chooses may file rejoinder within a period of two weeks. Regarding the constitution of Delimitation Commission, a PIL was filed by Sheikh Abdur Rehman in which he challenged the 29th constitutional amendment 2002 whereby the Constitutional democratic has been barred and deferred till 2026 means that this exercise would remain suspended till 2031 for the period of three decades. The DB on April 11, 2008 granted two week’s time to Advocate- General for filling objections. This CMP filed through Adv S.H. Shah Ashrafi submitted that serious constitutional crises are inevitable in the state in case the elections are held without delimitation of territorial assembly constituencies, in so far as preceding decades the delimitation of constituencies has not been done and on the other hand the 29th amendment provides that till 2026 and subsequently till 2031, the mandatory constitutional exercise of delimitation of Assembly Constituencies by the Delimitation Commission shall not be conducted.(JNF)
http://www.greaterkashmir.com/full_story.asp?Date=13_11_2008&ItemID=27&cat=6

Big cellphone companies cheating nation: Amar Singh
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/big-cellphone-companies-cheating-nation-amar-singh/78020-3.html
CNN-IBN
Published on Wed, Nov 12, 2008 at 21:51 in Nation section
New Delhi: General Secretary of the Samajwadi Party (SP), Amar Singh has raised a storm over the Rupees 51,000 telecom spectrum allocation scam.
Singh has alleged that he had been offered a huge sum of money to keep quiet over the entire issue.
Amar Singh and SP chief Mulayam Singh met the Prime Minister on Wednesday and officially informed the PM that telecom companies are using far more spectrum than has been allotted to them.
Singh also alleged that companies like Vodafone, Airtel and Idea are violating Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) norms on spectrum ulitilisation.
Opposition parties including the Left and the BJP have alleged that there were irregularities in government’s first come – first served procedure adopted in spectrum allocation.
Amar Singh told media that the telecom companies have made phenomenal profits, by the misuse of spectrum and that, a representative of a cartel offered him a huge sum to play down the controversy.
“Me and Mulayam Singh met the Prime Minister. The sole purpose of meeting him was to apprise him of the spectrum scam. This is a scam because they (the telecom companies) are using much more spectrum than what is allotted to them. Because of this additional misuse of spectrum, their economic growth has been phenomenal. A representative of the cartel wanted to pay an obscene amount of money for our silence to keep my mouth shut,” said Amar Singh.
Meanwhile, the Delhi High Court has also sought a response from the Centre on a petition challenging its first come-first serve response procedure adopted in spectrum allocation. The HC has asked the government to file its response within three weeks and posted the matter to December 10 for hearing.
The PIL has challenged the Centre’s policy of allocating 2G spectrum. 2G is a cell phone network protocol. The PIL alleges that the 2G spectrum allocating policy was not transparent, thus causing a loss of crores of rupees to the exchequer.
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/big-cellphone-companies-cheating-nation-amar-singh/78020-3.html

Life for CPM Singur activists in Tapasi murder case
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Life_for_CPM_Singur_activists_in_Tapasi_murder_case/articleshow/3706245.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0107 hrs IST, ET Bureau
KOLKATA: CPM activists Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik were on Wednesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a fast-track court of Chandannagore, in the Hooghly district on Wednesday, for the murder of Singur resident Tapasi Malik. His charred body was found in Singur on December 18, 2006. The court had on Tuesday convicted the duo in the murder case. The CPM, however, refused to accept the verdict against the party activists. This despite additional chief session judge Amar Kanti Acharya mentioning in his judgement that the murder took place because of personal reasons and that it could not be called a political murder. Suhrid Dutta was a former Singur zonal committee secretary and Debu Malik a party supporter. The case was handed over to the CBI following allegations of cover-up by the state CID. The Trinamool Congress and Congress are gearing up to run a campaign against the ruling CPM and are very likely to use the court order as a tool to sharpen their attacks. Both parties have welcomed the judgement and the punishment given by the court to the CPM activists. Congress Legislative Party leader Manas Bhunia told a press conference that “this is a historic judgement and we welcome it.” He also said that the CID which was assigned by the state government to probe the case, had attempted to shield CPM activists involved in the case. “The judgement given by the court clearly suggests that Tapasi Malik was murdered by CPM activists and this is shameful for the chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee who had attempted to protect his partymen by engaging the CID to probe the case,” added Bhunia. A rally was organised at Bajemelia in Singur. The local people of Bajemelia also welcomed the judgement and punishment given to the CPM activists by the court. But CPM sources in Singur reiterated on Wednesday that they will move the high court against the verdict.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Life_for_CPM_Singur_activists_in_Tapasi_murder_case/articleshow/3706245.cms

SC quotes Bhagavad Geeta to give relief to COFEPOSA accused
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/3BA5834D55D2331465257500003F1CE9?OpenDocument
New Delhi, Nov 13 (PTI) Quoting a sloka from the Bhagavad Geeta that death is preferable to dishonour, the Supreme Court has held that a person cannot be arrested or detained by police without sufficient cause as it would cause incalculable harm to his or her reputation.A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir and Markandeya Katju cited the holy text to drive home the point that wrongful confinement, detainment or arrest would cause incalculable damage to the reputation of a person, which is worse than death.”The existence of the power to arrest is one thing. The justification for the exercise of it is quite another. The Police Officer must be able to justify the arrest apart from his power to do so. Arrest and detention in police lock-up of a person can cause incalculable harm to the reputation and self-esteem of a person,” the apex court observed.The apex court passed the observations while holding that courts can intervene to quash a preventive detention order against a person even at the pre-execution stage.In this case the accused, Deepak Bajaj, had challenged his detention under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act by the Maharashtra Government.Citing a number of its earlier ruling, the apex court said that illegally detaining or confining a person in custody is violative of Article 21 (Right to Liberty). PTI
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/3BA5834D55D2331465257500003F1CE9?OpenDocument

SC rejects bail plea of POTA accused arrested by Gujarat cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC_rejects_bail_plea_of_POTA_accused_arrested_by_Gujarat_cops/articleshow/3709335.cms
13 Nov 2008, 1647 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: A double-speak by a POTA accused arrested in Gujarat has resulted in rejection of his bail plea in the Supreme Court which took exception to the fact that initially he claimed that he had made no confession and later took a stand that he had retracted from the confession. The apex court rejected the bail plea of Gulam Mohd alias Gulal Shaik, booked under the Prevention of Terrorist Activities (POTA) Act for allegedly aiding and abetting Pakistan-based terrorists, adding that the question of retraction would not arise if there was no confession. The accused in this case had taken a contradictory stand by first claiming that he had not made any confession and then submitting that he retracted the confession and was hence entitled to bail. “When the appellant (Shaikh) was produced for confirmation of the so-called confessional statement there was no allegation that the same was obtained under pressure. It is claimed that there was retraction on August 9 2003. If in reality there was no confession, the question of any retraction does not arise,” a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and P Sathasivam observed. The Sessions Court and the Gujarat High Court had both earlier dismissed his plea, following which he appealed in the apex court. In this case, Shaikh had claimed that he was picked up by the Crime Branch of Gujarat police on April 3, 2003 along with four others from a park in Ahmedabad City on charges of aiding and abetting terrorists based in Pakistan by concealing their weapons for subversive activities and providing them with other help.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC_rejects_bail_plea_of_POTA_accused_arrested_by_Gujarat_cops/articleshow/3709335.cms

Curbs can’t ease traffic woes: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Curbs_cant_ease_traffic_woes_HC/articleshow/3706011.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0222 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
Shibu Thomas I tnn Mumbai: Keeping your vehicle at home for one day a week could solve a lot of the city’s traffic ills, an NGO told the Bombay high court on Wednesday. A division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice S K Kathawalla was hearing a public interest litigation by the NGO, Smoke Affected Residents, which among other things seeks the implementation of a traffic restraint scheme (TRS) for the island city. The state government has already shot down the TRS idea, saying that its priority is to undertake infrastructure projects that will ease the congestion, rather than making restrictive laws. “Projects are only published in newspapers, not implemented on time,” said the judges, adding that the government needs to address ego hassles between bureaucrats. The judges emphasised greater coordination between various departments to implement huge infrastructure projects. The TRS scheme was first proposed in 2001 by the then transport commissioner V M Lal. According to the scheme, during peak hours vehicles with number plates ending with 1 and 2 would be barred entry into the island city on Mondays, those ending with 3 and 4 on Tuesdays, 5 and 6 on Wednesdays, 7 and 8 on Thursdays and 9 and 0 on Fridays. Advocate Shiraz Rustomjee said that around 350 new vehicles were added to the city roads every day, and of the 1.6 million vehicles on Mumbai’s roads, 90% were private vehicles. “Measures like TRS and congestion tax on vehicles are necessary to provide incentives to people to go for car pooling and increase the number of air conditioned buses,” said the advocate. The state government has termed the TRS as impractical and said that it had various projects including the MUTP rail projects, to flyovers, Metro Rail and the BRTS to address Mumbai’s traffic problems. The court has scheduled further hearing in the case on January 21, 2009.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Curbs_cant_ease_traffic_woes_HC/articleshow/3706011.cms

HC raps state for condition of consumer
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_raps_state_for_condition_of_consumer/articleshow/3705985.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0225 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: It is over 20 years since the Union Government enforced the Consumer Protection Act, however, the state government is yet to ensure smooth functioning of consumer forums. The condition of consumer forums across the state invited the wrath of the Bombay high court on Wednesday. “If the government has money to put out advertisements in newspapers and television, why does it claim paucity of funds when it comes to providing infrastructure for courts,” said a division bench of Justices J N Patel and S J Kathawalla. Admonishing the government for its lack of seriousness on the issue, the judges reminded the state that such forums were meant for dispensing justice to the public. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Consumer Court Advocates’ Association, which had raised the issue of lack of proper infrastructure and shortage of staff at the 34 consumer forums in the state. Over 17,000 cases are pending in the various courts, with some applications dating back to 1990. While 10 new consumer complaints are filed daily, around 40 to 60 appeals are lodged every day. According to the PIL, the Act, introduced in 1986, provides that the consumer courts have to dispose of the cases within 90 days. In reality, however, this rarely happens, states the petition. “There is no plan, no vision, no seriousness,” said the judges. “Show us a single case that was disposed of within 90 days.” Assistant government pleader R K Sonawane informed the court that the food and civil supplies department had sought a provision for Rs 50 lakh for upgrading infrastructure at the consumer courts, but the state finance ministry had shot it down. “Though the law says that a retired HC judge should be appointed as president of the consumer forum, the government is appointing retired district court judges,” said advocate Uday Wavikar. According to Wavikar, at many forums, there is inadequate space and lack of facilities. The state is also unable to fill the vacancies for members of the consumer forums, resulting in the backlog of cases. “Consequently, new cases sometimes take up to a year to be heard by the consumer court,” he added. The judges have now given the principal secretary (food, civil supplies and consumer protection) three weeks’ time to file an affidavit on the issue, listing out the problems faced by the courts and measures to be taken to ensure their smooth functioning.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_raps_state_for_condition_of_consumer/articleshow/3705985.cms

Delhi HC clears the way for stalled highway projects
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_Business/Delhi_HC_clears_the_way_for_stalled_highway_projects_/articleshow/3706084.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0010 hrs IST, Mahendra Kumar Singh, TNN
NEW DELHI: Rejecting charges of discrimination levelled by a highway builders’ body, the Delhi High Court has upheld the Centre’s decision to remove a “controversial” clause from new project norms, clearing the way for work to start on 60 stalled highway projects across the country. The builders’ association had moved the HC after the Centre decided to delete a clause which entailed a two-stage qualifying process at the Request for Qualification (RFQ) stage. The association wanted the decision put into effect retrospectively so that they were not “discriminated” against. The HC order has come as a huge relief to the UPA government, which is keen to kickstart the highways project before elections in order to create a visible impact in the infrastructure sector. With the court’s green signal, work on nearly 8,000 km of highways with an investment of Rs 50,000 crore will begin soon. “All roadblocks for accelerating highway projects have been removed with the court’s ruling,” said an official of the National Highways Athourity (NHAI), adding that this will now allow award of 60 highway projects as all procedures for allocating the work had already been completed. Rejecting the National Highway Builders Federation’s petition, the HC said, “The government of India’s decision to prospectively delete the clause and retain the same for 60 road projects, wherein RFQ bids have been received, evaluated and shortlisting processes completed, is legal and valid.” Builders federation had sought deletion of RFQ clause to provide a level-playing field to all bidders for 60 projects. Under controversial clause, which was deleted by government after bids were received for these 60 projects, applicants are required to win ranking on basis of their respective aggregate experience score and then get shortlisted for submission of bids.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India_Business/Delhi_HC_clears_the_way_for_stalled_highway_projects_/articleshow/3706084.cms

HC seeks sequence of events in Kalyan court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_seeks_sequence_of_events_in_Kalyan_court/articleshow/3706034.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0240 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday sought a chronology of events at the Kalyan court on the day MNS leader Raj Thackeray was released on temporary bail. Hearing an application by the state government challenging the Kalyan court’s order, Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani gave Raj’s lawyers time till the next date of hearing on November 25 to file a reply. The time-line sought by the HC assumes significance because of the dispute between the prosecution and the defence on the sequence of events between 2.30 pm__when Raj was brought to the Kalyan court__and 5 pm__when he walked away a free man__on October 22. Raj was initially produced before the Kalyan magistrate’s court by the Manpada (Dombivli) police who sought his custodial interrogation in connection with beating up of candidates who had come to take railway recruitment board exams. Even as the arguments concluded, the Greater Railway Police (GRP) appeared before the magistrate. The GRP asked the court to transfer his custody to them so that they could arrest the MNS chief for an offence in connection with the assault on north Indian students at Kalyan railway station. According to the prosecution, by this time the magistrate had already granted him bail in the Manpada case, and ordered him to be transferred to the custody of the Kalyan GRP. Subsequently, the magistrate recalled his transfer order, claiming it was a clerical mistake. The defence said it had simultaneously moved an anticipatory bail application before sessions judge K K Tantrapale, whose court was in the same complex. As per the defence version, the sessions judge granted interim bail to Raj and also stayed the transfer warrant of the GRP. Advocate Rajendra Shirodkar, counsel for Raj, argued that the magistrate had waited till the sessions court passed its order. The prosecution has, however, contested this version of events. Special public prosecutor Amit Desai argued that the magistrate had no power to recall his order. Further, the prosecutor contended that since the magistrate had already handed over Raj’s custody to the GRP, the anticipatory bail application had become in fructuous. The sessions court had no jurisdiction to stay an arrest, Desai said. Justice Tahilramani told the prosecution that the HC would only look into the orders passed by the magistrate. Since the anticipatory bail application was pending before the sessions court, the prosecution could still put forward its arguments before the sessions judge, added the justice.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_seeks_sequence_of_events_in_Kalyan_court/articleshow/3706034.cms

HC hauls up Apollo over free treatment
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC_hauls_up_Apollo_over_free_treatment/articleshow/3705893.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0126 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The State government and Apollo Hospital came under fire in Delhi High Court on Wednesday on the issue of according free treatment to poor patients. A division bench of Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar, fumed at Delhi government’s inability to take care of poor patients and properly refer them to private hospitals, like Apollo. The court also took a dim view of Apollo’s argument that it was a private hospital and therefore, couldn’t suffer losses in the process of according free treatment to patients. “People are sleeping in corridors in government hospitals like AIIMS and Safdarjung, why can’t you refer them to private hospitals?,” HC demanded to know from the government counsel and sought number of “references made by government hospitals to Apollo.” The court was hearing a complaint by NGO, Social Jurist, in its petition pointing out that despite the High Court order and agreement with the government, hospitals like Apollo are not providing free treatment to poor patients. HC also asked a three-member committee, constituted to monitor if its orders were being followed, to inspect Apollo Hospital and submit a report of allegations that it had created a separate “free ward” for poor patients and charged them for medicines, was true. “Why don’t you take action against hospitals for charging poor patients,” the court asked the government and warned, “It is a very sad affair and we are not going to spare them.” In its defence, counsel for the private hospital had protested, saying it is an organisation which has to make profits to survive and consumables like medicines were not manufactured by it, but were infact purchased. “Our objective is to make profits,” lawyer for the hospital told HC, alleging even government hospitals charged for medicines. This prompted the bench to ask Apollo to furnish its annual expense of purchasing medicines for patients who pay to get treated. The court also asked the government to “clarify” if its hospitals too, charged poor patients.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC_hauls_up_Apollo_over_free_treatment/articleshow/3705893.cms

Check corruption in judiciary
http://www.centralchronicle.com/20081113/1311301.htm
The judiciary has suddenly attracted much attention not only for its various judgements against the government and its long list of pending cases but also because of corruption charges against some judges. Recently, none other than Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan made it clear that he would not hesitate to permit prosecution of corrupt judges if investigating agencies presented unimaginable evidence against them. Perhaps, an obvious reference to a recent case of impeachment against a Calcutta High Court judge and a CBI inquiry into a Provident Fund scam involving judges.
Lately, the powerful judiciary has witnessed instances of some black sheep in the system. Whether it was Punjab’s PPSC scam, Mysore’s sex sleaze case (2002), the DDA scam (2003) or misuse of the official position by a former CJI among others, names of various High Court judges have been figuring in the media from time to time. And, it cannot be denied that the public’s confidence on the judiciary has indeed been shaken by occurrence of such unfortunate incidents.
To address the problem of corruption, the time has come to test the efficacy of the existing mechanism for appointment of judges. It may be mentioned here that judicial service is not a service in the sense of employment. Indeed, the judges discharge their functions by exercising the sovereign judicial power of the State. As such, there should be no compromise on honesty and integrity of the person holding such office.
The impeachment system is generally regarded as cumbersome and unsuited to the present general atmosphere. However, the CJI said there was scope for simplification of the procedure but added in the same breath that “if it is made very simple then the lives of judges will be rendered miserable as any aggrieved party will attempt to invoke impeachment system”. Recall, the only case for impeachment of a judge of the Supreme Court was in 1993 (Justice V. Ramaswamy case), but it failed miserably owing to the ruling party’s decision to abstain from voting.
In 2002, the National Commission to Review the Working of Constitution (NCRWC) had recommended the setting up of a National Judicial Commission and a peer committee, comprising three senior-most judges of the apex court, to examine complaints of deviant behaviour of all kinds and also of incapacity against judges of the Supreme and High Courts. This committee was supposed to hold a preliminary scrutiny to ascertain whether there was any substance in the complaint and if it called for investigation.
The detailed enquiry/investigation was recommended to be conducted by a permanent committee to be constituted by the President, similar in composition to the one prescribed under Judges (Inquiry) Act 1968 which, on the contrary is an ad hoc committee. If this committee came to a conclusion, it would furnish a report to the CJI, who in turn would place the same before a committee of seven senior-most judges of the Supreme Court for a final decision on the punishment to be awarded on the errant judge.
But the UPA government did not accept the idea and instead adopted a statutory route by tabling the Judges (Inquiry) Bill 2006 which provided for the setting up of a National Judicial Council. The Bill, however, did not find adequate support from the judiciary for various reasons and is still awaiting passage in Parliament.
At such a time, there is need to maintain a somewhat unblemished record of the higher judiciary as it is still respected by most citizens, regardless of religion, caste, creed or place of birth. However, there are reports of alleged corruption in the lower judiciary and an intervention at this level is urgent to bring down the alleged corruption levels to the extent possible.
Moreover, a problem that needs serious attention is the growing political influence in the judicial system, which again is more pronounced at the lower levels. There are instances where political influence has allegedly subverted justice in the true sense, with corrupt leaders having been successful in bypassing the law, thanks to the power they wield. It would be pertinent to add here that the ‘largely-corrupt’ police machinery in our system has more or less always aided and abetted political heavyweights and thwarted the law from taking its course.
Meanwhile, the CJI has shown the way by constituting an in-house committee comprising three senior High Court judges to probe into the Chandigarh scam (in addition to the investigation being conducted by the CBI). The Chief Justice also deserves appreciation for framing a code of conduct for adoption by all subordinate judges across the country as well as by requiring all high court judges to submit details of their assets periodically. If such details are made public and put on the website of the apex court, it would silence critics and repose faith in the higher judiciary.
However, one has to agree with the views expressed by noted jurist and President of the All India Lawyers Forum for Civil Liberties, OP Saxena that there are only a few cases of corruption in the higher judiciary. According to him “if we devise a mechanism like that of forming a National Judicial Commission, having in it judges, former judges, senior advocates and highly reputable social activists, the problem could be tackled effectively”. Many others have backed the formation of such a Commission to look into matters pertaining to appointments, transfers and punishments of judicial officers.
This apart, the Commission is expected to look at the large number of pending cases at all tiers of the judiciary and ensure that these are brought down to the extent possible. As per available statistics, there are 48,838 cases pending in the Supreme Court till end-August 2008 and the figure in High Courts would easily be double if not treble. The Parliamentary Standing Committee in its report ‘The Supreme Court (Number of Judges) Amendment Bill 2008’ has rightly recommended that the government should take every measure to reduce pending cases in the apex as well as other courts. We all do know the saying: “Justice delayed is justice denied”. An impeccable judiciary should strive towards not allowing this to happen.
An important point that needs to be reiterated here is the fact that the judiciary needs to maintain its neutrality – free from any influence of the government. Though this is easily said, it doesn’t always happen. The constitution of the National Judicial Commission would also go a long way in ensuring the independence of the judiciary by taking action against those found to be hobnobbing with those close to the powers-that-be and the anti-socials. Time to hear the plea.
Dhurjati Mukherjee, -INFA
http://www.centralchronicle.com/20081113/1311301.htm

CJI opens evening courts, wants ambit widened
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/CJI_opens_evening_courts_wants_ambit_widened/articleshow/3705888.cms
13 Nov 2008, 0125 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan on Wednesday said that the magisterial courts are more concerned with criminal offences to maintain law and order. Expressing his concern over the large number of pending cheque bounce cases in the district courts, as they do not receive due attention, Justice Balakrishnan said the concept of evening courts would help address the problem. “It is disappointing to have a pendency of over 5.5 lakh such cases in Delhi alone. It is a big problem for magistracy,” said Justice Balakrishnan, while inaugurating evening courts in the Capital to deal with cheque dishonour cases. He suggested extension of the mechanism of evening courts to include cases relating to petty offences, maintenance and traffic challans. “Cheque bounce cases do not have an impact on the society. They do not improve the criminal justice system. The courts should not become collecting agents of money lenders,” Justice Balakrishnan expressed, referring to Bangalore where 7,000 cases of cheque dishonour were filed in a day. He also said that 160 additional posts are being created in the lower judiciary to clear large number of pending cases. Chief Justice of Delhi High Court, Justice A P Shah said that out of the total nine lakh pending cases in the magistrate’s courts in Delhi till October this year, 5.7 lakh cases, related to the dishonouring of cheques, have virtually chocked the system. The evening courts would help utilise the infrastructure optimally since the situation has become serious with regard to the pendency of cases, Justice Shah said, referring to the unprecedented spurt in cheque-bounce cases under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. Three evening courts started functioning today from the Patiala House Courts and Karkardooma Court complex for two hours from 5 pm to 7 pm. The courts would initially deal with cases where the cheque amount is up to Rs 25,000 and the complainant is a financial institution. Evening courts were first mooted in the 125th report of the Law Commission and again recommended during the Conference of Chief Justices held in April, 2007 as one of the means to deal with pending cases. Delhi High Court judges, Justices Madan B Lokur and Mukul B Lokur, said the evening courts would hopefully come as a relief for the lower judiciary which is burdened with cases under Section 138 Negotiable Instruments Act.
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/CJI_opens_evening_courts_wants_ambit_widened/articleshow/3705888.cms

Supreme Court refers Kanshi Ram institute row to another Bench
http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/13/stories/2008111355290700.htm
One of the judges questions the opposition to the project
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday referred to a “different Bench” a petition opposing the Mayawati Government’s decision to build Kanshi Ram Research Institute in Ambedkar Park in Lucknow, even as one of the judges questioned the opposition to the project.
Justice Altamas Kabir, heading the Bench which was to decide on the recall of its May 1 order vacating the Allahabad High Court stay, abruptly referred the matter to another Bench, even as the other judge, Justice Markandeya Katju, questioned the opposition of the project by the Gomti Nagar Jan Kalyan Mahasamithi.
“It’s a democratically-elected government and it can take up construction activities. You can vote them out if you are not happy with it,” Justice Katju observed, while stating that there was nothing wrong in the UP Government’s decision, as it did not violate any statute or rule.
Justice Katju, asked the Mahasamithi’s senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi to spell out the rules, guidelines or any law that has been violated by the UP Government.
“We (judges) are not political. We are neutral,” Justice Katju observed.
It was then Justice Kabir, after having a few words with Justice Katju, passed an order stating that the matter be placed before the Chief Justice of India to be referred to a “different Bench.”
The Mayawati Government had earlier triggered a controversy by changing the land use of 35 acres area of Bhim Rao Ambedkar Park and starting construction activities for setting up the Institute in the green area.
A bench of Justices H. K.Sema (now retd.) and Markandeya Katju in an interim direction on May 1 stayed the orders of the Allahabad High Court which had earlier imposed a blanket ban on construction/renovation of government buildings in the State.
The Bench while staying the High Court’s direction issued notices to the Gomti Nagar Jan Kalyan Mahasamithi and others who had challenged the Government’s move to carry out construction activities claiming that these were in violation of the city’s Master Plan. PTI
http://www.hindu.com/2008/11/13/stories/2008111355290700.htm

IF TRIBUNAL PASSED AN ORDER IN ABSENCE OF APPEARANCE BY THE APPELLANT, IT HAD TO PASS THE ORDER ON MERITS.
http://incometaxcaselawsindia.blogspot.com/2008/11/november-12th-2008-issuing.html
Posted by kanoisandeep Thursday, November 13, 2008
November, 12th 2008
Issuing Authority/Forum: HC (Gauhati)
Rajendra Prasad Borah vs ITAT and Ors.
Citation 302 ITR 243
Duty of Tribunal – Passing ex-parte order
Where the Tribunal passed an order in absence of appearance by the Appellant, it had to pass the order on merits. The Tribunal could not dismiss the appeal for default appearance by the appellant. The case was remanded to Tribunal.
A.K. Roy Choudhury, S. Roy Choudhury and Manash Haloi for the Petitioner
U. Bhuyan, B. Chakraborty and K. Medhi for the RespondentJUDGEMENTAmitava Roy, J –
This petition under article 226 of the Constitution of India registers a challenge to the order dated August 23, 2007, passed by the learned Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Guwahati Bench, Guwahati (hereinafter referred to as “the Tribunal”), dismissing four appeals being I. T. A. Nos. 29/Gau/2006, 30/Gau/2006, 35/Gau/2006 and 36/Gau/2006 filed by the petitioner-assessee before it against the assessment orders dated December 21, 2005, December 21, 2005, December 20, 2005 and December 20, 2005, for the assessment years 1990-91, 1991-92, 1988-89 and 1989-90, respectively.
I have heard Mr. A. K. Roy Choudhury, senior advocate, assisted by Ms. S. Roy Choudhury and Mr. Manash Haloi, advocates, for the petitioner, and Mr. U. Bhuyan, learned standing counsel, for the Revenue assisted by Mr. B. Chakraborty and Ms. K. Medhi, advocates.
The unrebutted pleaded facts in short as would be necessary for disposing of the present petition are that, the petitioner-assessee being aggrieved by the aforementioned orders of the Assistant Commissioner of Income-tax, Circle II, Guwahati, preferred the above appeals before the Tribunal under section 253 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”). The learned Tribunal by the impugned order dismissed the appeals solely on the ground that the appellant-assessee had failed to appear before it on the date fixed for hearing. This course of action of the learned Tribunal, as the impugned order reveals, was purportedly by invoking rule 19(2) of the Income-tax (Appellate Tribunal) Rules, 1963 (hereinafter referred to as “the Rules”). The learned Tribunal also sought to draw sustenance for its decision from the verdict rendered by the Income-tax Tribunal, Delhi Bench, Delhi, in CIT v. Multiplan India (P.) Ltd. [1991] 38 ITD 320.
Mr. Roy Choudhury has argued that having regard to the prescription of section 254 of the Act and the state of law as contained in rule 24 of the Rules, the impugned decision suffers from patent error of law and is liable to be adjudged non est, ineffectual, null and void. According to learned senior counsel, even if the appellant-assessee was absent before the Tribunal, the only course open to it was to dispose of the appeal on the merits. In any view of the matter, therefore, Mr. Roy Choudhury urged that the impugned order on the face of the record is illegal and liable to be interfered with in the interest of justice. In support of his contention, learned senior counsel has placed reliance on the decision of the apex court in CIT v. S. Chenniappa Mudaliar [1969] 74 ITR 41 as well as of this court in The Assam Tribune v. CIT [2006] 285 ITR 452.
Mr. Bhuyan, learned standing counsel, for the Revenue does not dispute the proposition of law as projected by learned senior counsel for the petitioner and contends that, in the facts and circumstances of the case, the appeals may be ordered to be disposed of on the merits by the learned Tribunal. After hearing learned counsel for the parties and on a perusal of the provisions of law referred to hereinabove, it is more than apparent that the course adopted by the learned Tribunal in disposing of the assessee’s appeals in the manner as delineated in the impugned order, cannot be sustained. Apart from the fact that, section 254 (earlier section 33) of the Act makes it incumbent on the learned Tribunal to dispose of the appeals on merits as has been enunciated by the apex court in CIT v. S. Chenniappa Mudaliar [1969] 74 ITR 41, rule 24 as it stands, per se does not empower the learned Tribunal to dismiss an appeal for default in the absence of the appellant. The learned Tribunal’s reliance on the decision of the Income-tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi, rendered in CIT v. Multiplan India (P.) Ltd. [1991] 38 ITD 320, is apparently misplaced in the teeth of the decision of the apex court in CIT v. S. Chenniappa Mudaliar [1969] 74 ITR 41.
In the above view of the matter, the impugned order of the learned Tribunal is interfered with and is quashed. The learned Tribunal would decide the appeals on the merits in accordance with law. As the assessment amongst others relates to the assessment year 1988-89, the learned Tribunal would make an endeavour to dispose of the appeals as expeditiously as possible, preferably within a period of six (6) months herefrom. No costs.
http://incometaxcaselawsindia.blogspot.com/2008/11/november-12th-2008-issuing.html

Film on N Indian’s struggle in Mumbai canned in Maharashtra
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Mah_bans_film_on_north_Indians_life/articleshow/3706463.cms
13 Nov 2008, 1031 hrs IST, Yogesh Naik & Bharati Dubey, TNN
MUMBAI: The state government on Wednesday banned the Hindi film `Deshdrohi’, saying it would create a divide between north Indians and Marathis. The low-budget movie by Bhojpuri film-maker Kamal Khan, who also plays the lead, is about a north Indian migrant’s struggle in Mumbai. It was banned under Section 6 of the Bombay Cinema Regulation Act, 1963, which empowers the state or police
to suspend screening – even if the film is cleared by the censor board – if they think it can create a law-and-order problem. Mumbai police commissioner Hasan Gafoor said, “We had found certain scenes in `Deshdrohi’ objectionable and had informed the government about it.” He confirmed on Wednesday night that he had received the ban order from the state government. After the weekly cabinet meeting on Wednesday, chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said the ban should not be viewed as “moral policing”. The initial idea was to ask the producer-director to remove the controversial scenes, but finally, the cabinet decided to ban the film, he said. Additional chief secretary (home) Chitkala Zutshi told TOI that the film dwelt on issues which had created trouble between communities in the recent past. “The government felt it would inflame passions and emotions further, hence we decided to ban the film for 60 days.” Last week, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena had asked for a ban on the film after watching its promos on TV but after Akhilesh Chaubey, MNS leader Raj Thackeray’s lawyer, watched the film at a special screening, he said there was “nothing objectionable” in it. “The promos are misleading.” Soon after the government’s announcement that it would ban the film, MNS spokesperson Shirish Parkar demanded legal action against Kamal Khan, the producer-director of `Deshdrohi’. “The exhibition of this film should be stayed for some time. It should not be screened as long as the campaign to spread hatred between communities and Marathis and North Indians does not stop,” Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Sanjay Nirupam said. Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh said such films spreading hatred must be banned. In fact, they should not be made. He said that Marathi plays spreading hatred should also be banned. One such play is `Bhaiyya Haath Paay Pasari’, which shows how a poor north Indian migrant comes to Mumbai and ends up buying the entire building in which he had rented a room. Producer Kamal Khan said on Wednesday that he would challenge the ban in the high court. “It’s a story about an unemployed youth who is used by politicians and eventually becomes a criminal. Maybe that’s what some politicians didn’t like in my film.” However, someone who has seen the film told this paper, “There are some derogatory remarks against north Indian and Maharashtrians which may create problems. Had the film not got so much publicity, it would’ve gone unnoticed.” It was not easy for Khan to get censor clearance. The executive committee of the Mumbai board had given ten cuts and an `A’ certificate to the film. But the producer got his film cleared from the appellate tribunal in Delhi with five cuts and a UA certificate. Vinayak Azad, regional officer of the Censor Board in Mumbai said, “We have certified the film for public exhibition but law and order is a state subject and the state can stop the exhibition of the film if it thinks it will create a law and order problem.” Mahesh Bhatt said, “It’s a shame that those who claim to be the crusaders of freedom have violated the rights of freedom of speech of the film-maker. They are no different from any repressive regime. You can’t use the pretext of law and order to ban a film.”
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Mah_bans_film_on_north_Indians_life/articleshow/3706463.cms

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3 Responses

  1. dear sir,

    greetings!

    plz help me how to proceed further with cheque bounce case , almost 9 yrs old.

  2. Dear Tabassum,

    As I could see that you are an advocate and your profession deals with issues in court and not in media.

    However, if still you think it is necessary in public interest that people may be aware and informed of corrupt police officials you may contact media institutions for same.

  3. Dear Sir,
    Please let me know how to publish a article/information about a corruptive Police Inspector Mr. Ratnakar Shetty, Attached to Sampige Halli Police Station, Bangalore.

    I look forward to hear from you.

    Thanks
    Tabassum
    Advocate

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