LEGAL NEWS 15.11.2008

Jumbo deaths: HC gives 3 weeks for probe
Express New Service
First Published : 15 Nov 2008 09:14:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 15 Nov 2008 12:27:19 PM IST
BANGALORE: The High Court on Thursday directed the Centre and State governments to complete the investigations into the mysterious deaths of elephants in Bandipur and Nagarahole National Park limits within three weeks, and asked the authorities to submit a comprehensive report to the court.
The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and Justice V G Sabhahit allowed the government to take time to file a report on cause of deaths of elephants. The court has adjourned the hearing to December 9.
Advocate General Uday Holla, assisting the court in the matter, submitted that they have already prepared a draft report. “But we want to file a comprehensive report after consulting experts, environmentalists and NGOs,” he informed the court.
Before adjourning hearing, the court directed the forest officials to take action against culprits responsible for the death of elephants. “Media reports say that cyanide might be the cause of death of these elephants. But how did it happen? What about the wound on the elephants?” the court questioned the forest officials.
“People can live in the forest like Tarzan but they have no right to kill animals.
This is not a man-animal conflict, this a social issue,” the bench observed.
In reply, the government advocate submitted that cyanide was mixed with ragi balls and after consuming them, elephants went in search of water and died on the banks of Kabini canal.
“We should be ashamed for calling ourselves human beings. We have become beasts. The forest land has been encroached by the villagers, we have trespassed into their (elephants’) domain,” the Chief Justice observed.
Meanwhile, senior counsel M R Naik and retired chief conservator of forests Dr Basappanavar came forward to assist the court in the matter.
Four elephants were found dead under mysterious circumstances near Kappsoge in Nanjangud taluk on November 5. The carcasses of two elephants were found in the Kabini right bank canal.

Delhi HC directs MCD to allot plots at old rates
The Delhi High Court directed the MCD to allot the plots at the old rates, as per their own notification, and only on the remaining 37% of the amount. A bench comprising Justices A K Sikri and Reva Khetrapal directed the MCD to adhere to their own notification and charge the penalty only on the balance amount as the party had paid 63% of the amount earlier.Petitioner Satish Dawar was alloted a plot of 440 sqm in the Sanjay Gandhi Transport Nagar under the MCD’s rehablitation scheme.The Corporation had demanded Rs 425 per sqm as the cost of the plot.He, however, deposited the amount of the plot at the rate of Rs 270 per sqm, which was 63% of the total payment of the plot.This payment was deposited prior to the allotment of the plots after which, one was alloted to him in 1995 after due process.The remaining 37%, that is, Rs 155 was to be paid later on, which he somehow could not pay.The MCD, later in 2005, passed a resolution that all those who had failed to deposit the payment could do so at the rate of Rs 4500 per sqm on the balance amount.Lawyer for the petitioner, Mahinder Rana, contended that the MCD has erred in demanding the balance amount and despite depositing the entire money in the court, Mr Dawar did not get the plot as the Corporation demanded Rs 4500 per sqm on the entire amount, which was wrong.More than 216 plot-holders were affected by MCD’s order, Mr Dawar said.The High Court held the that the MCD, according to its own notification, has admitted that they will charge the penalty only on the balance amount, and hence it be followed, the court directed.UNI

Maharashtra: Girl child moves HC over mother’s death
A six-year old girl has moved the High Court, through her uncle, seeking action against9 doctors for their alleged negligence that caused her mother’s death.Deepali Ravindra Desai has moved the court, through her maternal uncle Sachin Vairagade, a resident of Anjangaon Surji in Amravati district. Deepali was born on July 1, 2002, and her mother died the next day.Justices Dilip Desai and Ashok Bhangale have sought a report from the Amravati District Mothers Death’s Detection Committee on the same. The court has also adjourned the hearing on the petition for8 weeks, pending submission of the report.Through her petition, Deepali has complained that she had been deprived of her right to her mother’s milk, and sought the court directives for booking the9 doctors who she has named and also an enquiry into the death.The petitioner has also sought a compensation of Rs 10 lakh for the death of her mother. UNI

PIL filed in Patna HC On public distribution system lapses
A Public Interest Litigation Petition(PIL) was filed in Patna High Court today complaining irregularities in food-grains supply to below poverty line (BPL) and above poverty line(APL) families under the Public Distribution System (PDS).The petitioner Samajik Shaktiyon Ka Samanvay Samiti urged the court intervention to ensure supply of food grains to all persons belonging to the BPL, APL and Antyodaya categories as was being done earlier and not on the basis of new survey. The new list was prepared for the beneficiaries of PDS system after the new survey contained erroneous names of either father or husband or individuals, the petitioner charged. He claimed in the petition that due to defective list prepared after new survey and direction of special rationing officers, the eligible persons are deprived of their quota of ration (food- grains) mainly cereals and kerosene oil.UNI

HC issues notice to govt on petition on phone tapping
Chennai, Nov 14: The Madras High Court today ordered issue of four weeks notice to the Tamil Nadu government and state police on a public interest litigation to restrain them from engaging private agencies in tapping telephones of citizens on behalf of the state.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice A K Ganguly and Justice F M Ibrahim kallifulla ordered the notice when the petition by an advocate P Pugalenthi came up for hearing.
The petitioner also sought a direction to the government to constitute a watchdog committee comprising eminent social scientists and technocrats to ensure that the norms prescribed by the Supreme Court regarding telephone tapping were scrupously followed.
According to the petitioner city based firm ‘D3D Technologies Private Ltd.’ floated its profile in a web-site, which claimed that a number of reputed central and state government law enforcement agencies were its clients.
He contended that when the power to tap a telephone could be exercised only in the interest of the soverignity and integrity of the country and state such power could never be allowed to be exercised by private agencies like ‘D3D’.
Contending that such a right to privacy could be curtailed by the state only by means of a fair and reasonable procedure established by law, the petitioner said he had filed the petition to put an end to the practice of allowing private agencies to deal with the right of the citizen to privacy. – Agencies
Nov 15, 2008

HC asks rly to compensate mishap victim
15 Nov 2008, 0344 hrs IST, Kartikeya, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has ordered the railways to pay a migrant labourer’s family Rs 4 lakh as compensation because he fell off a crowded local train and died while he was in Mumbai looking for work. The Railway Claims Tribunal had refused to provide any monetary help, saying Rajusingh Pawar was a ticketless traveller who died while crossing the tracks at Sion. The high court on Monday reversed the decision and also ordered the maximum compensation amount the railways was liable to pay in cases of “death due to an untoward incident” under provisions of the Railways Act. The clinching testimony came from Pawar’s friend and a fellow migrant from Yavatmal, Amrut Pangadale, who maintained that he had seen Pawar buy a ticket at Kurla station. “The evidence of Amrut has not at all been shaken in the cross-examination,” observed Justice A B Chaudhari. Pawar boarded a local at Kurla around 9 pm on December 19, 2003, to go to Byculla to look for a job. Pangadale, who came to the station to see him off, said Pawar bought a ticket for Rs 10 and boarded the train. Evidence showed that “there was heavy rush on the local and Pawar stood near the door of a compartment. Near Sion railway station, due to a jerk, he fell from the running train, came under its wheels and died on the spot”. Pawar’s wife, Kusum Pawar, came to know of his death only 15 days later from the Dadar Government Railway Police. She first asked the railways for compensation but, in March 2006, the latter refused to pay anything as Pawar was “not a bona fide passenger and his death did not fit the description of an untoward incident”; he was run over by a local while trying to cross the tracks, it said. Pawar’s wife then moved a writ in the high court along with her three minor children as appellants and demanded that justice be done. The court wondered why the stationmaster of Sion station was not produced before the tribunal to support the railway theory. “It appears that, after the deceased was seen off by Pangadale, he fell off the train somewhere near Sion station and died,” observed the judge, ordering a compensation of Rs 4 lakh for Pawar’s family. A senior railway official said the amount was “usually” paid to the family within a stipulated time in such cases unless the railways decided to appeal against the order in the Supreme Court.

HC orders probe into sand auction
15 Nov 2008, 0418 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The AP High Court on Friday ordered a high-level inquiry into the sand auctions in East Godavari district, an issue which saw one cabinet minister levelling charges of corruption against another. Justice L Narasimha Reddy, after hearing the petitions alleging irregularities in sand mining in the district, passed the order directing the chief secretary to appoint an inquiry committee headed by a secretary-level official. The judge said the committee should look into the auction of sand reaches in the Godavari river in East Godavari district that took place on April 25 this year. The committee should find out if there were any irregularities in the sand auction, Justice Reddy said. It should also probe any laxity on the part of the authorities when non compliance with the conditions was noticed. The committee should also verify whether there was any justification in granting temporary permits even in case of those tenders that did not comply with the conditions, he said. The judge said that the committee should submit its report to the chief secretary within three months. Earlier in the day, when the hearing was going on in the case where in one petitioner, K Venkata Raju of Vemagiri in Kadiyam mandal of EG district charged the officials of having adjusted his deposit amount to other contractors, several issues like sand syndicate, lowering the tender price etc came to the fore.
K Chidambaram, counsel for Fishermen co operative society which succeeded in winning the auctions in 9 sand reaches, said they paid Rs 95 lakh towards the bid amount. N Shobha,counsel for Venkata Raju accused the authorities of adjusting their deposit money to others.The judge observed that the entire process needs to be set aside and ordered for an inquiry.

`Deshdrohi’ maker moves HC today
15 Nov 2008, 0332 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: Producer Kamal Khan will move the Bombay high court on Saturday with a demand to lift the ban on his film, Deshdrohi. The state government on Wednesday banned the film saying it would create a divide between north Indians and Marathis. As we got a little delayed on Friday, we will move court on Saturday, said Khan. The film by Bhojpuri film-maker Kamal Khan, who also plays the lead role, is about a north Indian migrants struggle in Mumbai. It was banned under Section 6 of the Bombay Cinema Regulation Act, 1963 for 60 days. Meanwhile, there is a demand for a ban on the Marathi play, Bhaiyya Haath Paay Pasri. Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh and NCP leader Mangleshwar Tripathi have demanded a ban because of its alleged anti-north Indian flavour. Tripathi said, “I will meet Sharad Pawar to discuss the matter.”

Do not threaten society, HC tells doctors
15 Nov 2008, 0309 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Strongly condemning the four-day strike by government doctors all over the state, the high court on Friday asked the government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) to file a report in 10 days about what action they propose to take in this matter, both at the departmental as well as professional level. “Medical profession is a noble profession. We respect that. But they can’t threaten society like this. Will they compensate the pain

and sufferings of poor patients? Will the government compensate? When advocates can’t go on strike, doctors are not an exception. Nobody is indispensable, including us. What action have the government and the MCI taken? They should take the issue seriously and take action, thereby sending a strong message. We feel the government also acted lethargically and contributed to this fiasco. “Now, we have taken judicial note of this calamity caused to the public. Therefore, we direct the government and the MCI to file a report by November 24 regarding what action they propose to take against these doctors for causing irreparable damage, pain and suffering to patients in government hospitals,’’ the division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran observed. Earlier, the government advocate told the court that the four-day strike had been withdrawn after the government held four rounds of talks with the striking doctors. Madan Gopal, state health secretary, and others were present in the court. S Vasudeva, city advocate, and B Krishna Bhat, in their PIL, have sought for enforcing provisions of the Essential Services Management Act (ESMA) on the striking doctors.

HC issues lookout notice for ‘kidnapper’ dad
Mayura Janwalkar
Saturday, November 15, 2008 03:31 IST
Manpreet Kaur, 29, has spent nearly the whole year longing to be with her one-and-a-half-year-old son Guruashish Singh. However, the Bombay High Court, on Friday, issued a search alert for her husband Nanaksingh Biji, 31, who allegedly absconded with their child.
Justice SB Mhase and justice RV More came down heavily on the police officers from Ambad in Nashik for their inability to execute a search warrant issued on January 22 by a magistrate in Nashik. The court then asked for the photographs of Biji and the child to be sent to the police headquarters of every state in the country and from there to every police station.
Filji Frederick, Manpreet’s advocate, told the court that the Regional Passport Office should also be alerted. Accepting his request, the court directed the country’s check-posts at the borders of Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh to be alerted to identify Biji and the child, if spotted. The court asked the police to display pictures of the two on all Doordarshan television channels.
Separated from her son Guruashish on January 16, Manpreet had filed a habeas corpus petition in March this year seeking her child’s custody.
Manpreet and Biji had an arranged marriage on February 19, 2006, after which they lived in Nashik. Their son was born on January 9, 2007. “My husband tried to push me down the stairs and harassed me. After that I had to be hospitalised in January,” Manpreet told DNA.
She alleged that while she was recuperating in the hospital, her father-in-law Avinashsingh snatched the child from her mother and then Biji disappeared with him. Manpreet believes that Biji, who has a road-construction business, and his family are in Nashik. “If he has stepped out of Maharashtra then he may have gone to Punjab,” she said. The court has extended the execution time of the warrant by six weeks.

Cabinet Approves Judges Inquiry (Amendment ) Bill
The Union Cabinet approved the Judges Inquiry (Amendment) Bill, 2008, on October 8, 2008. The new Bill makes Supreme Court and High court Judges accountable for their acts, including corruption and incapacity . With the introduction of this bill, the Judges Inquiry Bill, 2006 would be withdrawn.The Bill provides for establishing a National Judicial Council (NJC) to investigate and inquire into allegations of misbehavior or incapacity on the part of a judge of the Supreme Court or of a High court as well as regulate the procedure for investigation and inquiry. Thus , the provisions of the new Bill would bring about transparency in the functioning of the judiciary by making judges more accountable and would also enhance its prestige.Any person can complain to the NJC against judges of the Supreme Court (except the CJI), and the Chief Justices and judges of the High Courts . If the complaint is against a Supreme court Judge, the NJC will consist of the CJI and four seniormost judges of the apex court . If it is against the CJI , the CJI will not take part in the proceedings and the President shall nominate the next seniormost judge.In the new Bill, there is a provision for preliminary scrutiny and verification by the NJC . if a judge is proved guilty, the NJC can recommend his or her removal through impeachment by the parliament. However, where the proved misbehavior does not warrant removal , the NJc can impose minor measures such as issuing advisory , requesting retirement, stoppage of assignment of judicial work for a limited time, and warning censure or admonition (public or private). The NJC cannot impose or recommend any minor measure in the case of a reference by the Speaker of the Lock Sabha or the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha on a motion for removal.


2 Responses

  1. Dear Sir/Madam:

    This letter is written in response to the irresponsible comments made by local Maharashtra MLA Shalini Patil. Her comments appeared in regional newspaper – Lokmat; however the newspaper did not printed out my response to the news article. This article is directly addressed to her. Please publish this article. Thank you,


    I read the news article about your views on Dr. Ambedkar and how petty and selfish he was. I was perplexed for a moment and could not figure out what the objective of such remarks is? By making disparaging remarks about Dr. Ambedkar, what you have achieved? My feeling is that, by making disparaging remarks you must have had an orgasmic pleasure because you can hurt the sentiments of millions of people who practically worship Dr. Ambedkar. If your true intent is just to divide Indian people and create more hostile environment, please be aware, you will be more insecure in such environment. My evaluation of you as a MLA is more or less like a frog in a pond. The frog believes that the world is as big as his pond is. You know what MLA is and how powerful he/she is? I shouldn’t have responded to your comments, but then I thought you might perpetuate your insanity further. I consider your assertions on Dr. Ambedkar are more symptomatic of “foot in the mouth disease”. I was shocked how brazenly public officials in India can disparage historical figures and how they openly exhibit their immaturity and shallow understanding of the contribution of architect of India’s constitution.

    By summarizing Dr. Ambedkar’s contribution in petty terms and generalizing that all the scheduled caste peoples are not intelligent, clearly reflects your level of intelligence. To be honest, I was appalled at your assertion; I have to lower my IQ to understand what you have to say! Isn’t it ironical, that United States, the most powerful country on the face of this planet, elects its President from the minority (black) that has been, and even today (in some states) being racially discriminated. Like India, United States does offer some safeguards through affirmative action which is more akin to the reservation given to the backward classes in India. United States rose above those pettiness and prejudices to elect and embrace the minority in a way that no nation on this planet could even experiment with. I am positive; India will never ever be an egalitarian society and never ever will mature to appreciate any contribution by a minority. The petty, self seeking, politicians like you, will use perpetuate the religious agenda by appealing to emotions rather than logic and reason. It is because of regional politician like you, that India can never ever usher into an era of cohesive society; it will more or less like a jig-saw puzzle hold together by million pieces each exhibiting its own differences. So my recommendation to you is: Jump out of the pond. Think that the world is much larger, sophisticated and well educated (yes even the scheduled castes are much educated nowadays! I bet I have better education than you) where appealing to emotion will no longer work.

    Shalini, embrace the differences amongst different minorities but restrict it to cultural differences only. Don’t sit on the judgment chair and label one minority as biologically predisposed to be inferior to other. By now, you must have realized that scheduled castes are not genetically predisposed to perform poorly in any aptitude test and Brahmins or Maratha’s for that matter are not gifted by birth to excel. The ability depends on access. I am aware that several scheduled caste students have topped the Nagpur Board and University as well. It is this continued progress and constitutional safeguards that the persecuted minorities such as SC/ST/NT/VJ and OBC’s have managed to in education and employment. If such positive safeguards are not constitutionally mandated then, I am sure the backward classes would have been subjugated to and cursed to live a sub-human life.

    I am sure you will appreciate my comments positively. If positive discrimination or affirmative action or reservation has helped anyone, then I am a classic example. For the record, I am a Scheduled Caste and a John and Susan Mathes Graduate of Environmental Engineering with 3.8 GPA on 4.0 Scale. I am licensed Professional Engineer in the State of Ohio and won other scholarships and honors notably, the first prize in the 2005 World Water Environmental Resources Congress held in Anchorage, Alaska. This should have NEVER EVER been possible in India, because the scale is different, the parameters are different. I would have for all reasons, deprived access and an opportunity to excel! Kudos to the Architect of Indian constitution – Dr. Ambedkar; for providing constitutional safeguards and protecting the underprivileged castes from the onslaught of petty politicians like you.

    Sudarshan Kurwadkar, Ph.D., P.E., CHMM

    1730 East Elm Street, P O Box 176

    Jefferson City, MO 65102

  2. In the sand scam, the A.P. High Court ordered that a Secretary level top bureaucrat should probe into the matter and submit the report. The findings may not ravel the correct position and it is apprehended that the report would be doctored as many IAS are highly corrupt and nothing can be achieved from their reports. A person of the calibre of Dr Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta and some other Social worker of unquestionable integrity also should be associated with the probe.

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