LEGAL NEWS 7.12.2008

Court halts perjury moves against India’s top officials
2 days ago
NEW DELHI (AFP) — India’s Supreme Court on Friday stopped criminal proceedings against the country’s top cricket officials on perjury charges, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported.
The Calcutta High Court had last month ordered police to file the charges against six officials of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) in a case linked to ex-president Jagmohan Dalmiya.
The officials were alleged to have given false evidence against Dalmiya, a former head of the International Cricket Council (ICC), who was expelled from the BCCI in 2006 accused of financial irregularities.
But the Supreme Court stayed proceedings after accepting the officials’ plea that the Calcutta High Court had not heard their side of the case before passing judgement, PTI reported.
The officials included Sharad Pawar, who takes over as ICC president in 2010, his successor as BCCI chief Shashank Manohar, and former and present secretaries Niranjan Shah and N. Srinivasan.
The other two were BCCI vice-president Chirayu Amin and chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty.
The BCCI had argued in the Calcutta High Court that Dalmiya was expelled under new rules framed by it and that those rules were properly registered.
Dalmiya, however, filed another case against the BCCI that the rules had not been registered as claimed, and therefore his expulsion was invalid.
The court ruled that the six officials had submitted a false affidavit, which amounted to perjury.
Dalmiya, who heads the Cricket Association of Bengal, ruled the BCCI for more than a decade before being overthrown by the Pawar faction in a bitter election in 2005.
The BCCI, one of the richest cricket bodies in the world, generated income of 205 million dollars in 2007-08.

Vodafone International vs. UOI (Bombay High Court)
ON : 06 December 2008
Where the assessee, a Dutch company, purchased shares of a Cayman Company (which in turn held shares of an Indian company ‘Hutch Essar’) from another foreign company (HTIL) and the AO issued a notice asking the assessee why it should not be treated as an assessee in default for failure to deduct tax at source and the assessee filed a writ petition to challenge the same on the ground that a transaction between two foreign companies did not attract the provisions of the Act, HELD dismissing the writ petition that:
(a) Prima facie, the subject matter of the present transaction between the assessee and HTIL is nothing but transfer of interests, tangible and intangible in Indian companies and not an innocuous acquisition of shares of a shell Cayman Islands Company;
(b) As there was admittedly a transfer of controlling interest in the Indian company by the transferor in favour of the transferee, there was an “extinguishment of rights” and “relinquishment” by the transferor in the shares of the Indian company which constituted a “transfer”;
(c) Apart from controlling interest the assessee had acquired other interests and intangibles rights in India such as an interest in a joint venture between HTIL and the Essar group and became a co-licensee with the Essar group to operate mobile telephony in India;
(d) In this case, the shares in the Cayman company were merely the mode or the vehicle to transfer the assets situated in India. The choice of the assessee in selecting a particular mode of transfer of such assets will not alter or determine the nature or character of the asset;
(e) As the assessee had wilfully failed to produce the primary/original agreement and other prior and subsequent agreements/documents it was impossible to appreciate the true nature of the transaction and the constitutional validity of Income-tax provisions could not be gone into;
(f) It is settled law that a writ cannot be entertained against a mere show-cause notice unless the Court is satisfied that the show cause notice was totally non est in the eye of law for absolute want of jurisdiction of the authority to even investigate into facts. The assessee has not been able to demonstrate absolute want of jurisdiction in the AO.

HC revokes Roche’s patent :FIRST OF ITS KIND JUDGEMENT
06 December, 2008
In a first-ever instance of a patent being revoked after being granted, the Madras High Court has set aside pharma major Roche’s patent on key drug, valganciclovir on procedural grounds. A patent on valganciclovir was granted to the company in June 2007.
Valganciclovir is a treatment for cytomegalovirus (CMV), a virus that often attacks the retina of people with lower immune systems, such as AIDS patients. In addition, it is crucial for prevention of CMV infection in patients who have received organ transplant.
The court has cited the failure of the Indian patent office to comply with the patent law and remanded the matter back to the Patent Controller. The judgment was delivered on a petition filed by civil society groups — Indian Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (INP+) and Tamil Nadu Networking People with HIV/AIDS (TNNP+), who had challenged the Indian Patent Offices decision to grant a patent without hearing the pregrant opposition filed by them.
In July 2006, INP+ and TNNP+ had filed a pre-grant opposition before the Chennai Patent Office objecting to the grant of patent to Roche and requested for a hearing. Under the Indian law, if an opponent requests a hearing, the patent office is required to provide the opponent an opportunity to be heard. However, this was not done.
At Roche’s maximum retail price of over Rs 1000 per tablet, a patient who has to take a treatment course of approximately four months for CMV retinitis in India would have to pay over Rs 2.5 lakh. This puts the treatment unafforable for those who need them.
The grant of patent to Roche allowed it to continue charging exorbitant prices and also prevented the entry of generic versions of valganciclovir. Hwoever, in May this year, Cipla launched the generic valganciclovir in the domestic market at a price of Rs 245 for a tablet. Under law, a generic producer can challenge the patent by taking the risk of launching a generic version after obtaining marketing approval.
In response, Roche filed an infringement suit against Cipla in the Bombay High Court in September seeking an injunction, which is till pending. The dispute between the companies hinges on ‘‘patentability” of the drug. The validity of the patent is in question under the country’s patent laws that do not allow patents on new forms of old drugs, also known as Section 3(d). Experts pointed out that valganciclovir is a hydrochloride salt of an old drug ‘ganciclovir’ and hence not patentable.
The generic producers of the drug, Matrix, Ranbaxy and Cipla have also filed post grant oppositions. While the opportunity to oppose the application is only granted to the patient groups, it is likely that Roche’s injunction proceedings against Cipla for launching the generic version will no longer have a legal basis as the patent is now revoked. Whether the Mumbai court will keep the infringement proceedings pending remains to be seen, legal experts say.Source:-The Times of India Delhi 6 December 2008 P.21For any query:-
Posted by Deepak Miglani

SC green light to Games Village
5 Dec 2008, 2330 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The shadow cast on the 2010 Commonwealth Games has moved away. The Supreme Court on Friday stayed an order of the Delhi High Court, which had virtually stalled construction of the Games Village near the Yamuna river. In addition to this relief, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam also stayed further hearing before the HC on a PIL which had challenged the Commonwealth Games Village project on environmental grounds. The Centre had made the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) rush to the SC challenging the HC order as it was seriously concerned about the fate of its sovereign guarantee for holding the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi. Solicitor general Goolam E Vahanvati launched a scathing attack on the HC judgment right at the beginning of the hearing. He said the judges on the division Bench held diametrically opposite views on the PIL but, as a postscript, agreed to make the village constructions subject to the outcome of the PIL. He said the site was selected by the NDA government in 2003 adjacent to the Akshardham temple, a Rs 500-crore project which was also challenged in the Supreme Court on identical grounds. SC had dismissed the petitions against the temple project. He said while the temple was 1.7 km away from the river bed, the Games Village was 1.2 km away and that the project, being constructed under public-private participation, had all environmental clearances, including that from NEERI. If the HC kept the project subject to the outcome of the PIL, then nobody would come forward to buy the flats in the Games Village making the private partner quit the project, Vahanvati said. Appearing for the private construction company in charge of the Games Village, senior advocate Arun Jaitley said it had invested Rs 2,000 crore and would be seriously handicapped if the HC order was not stayed. Vahanvati said, “By delivering a judgment after almost eight months of conclusion of the hearing, the judges of the division Bench of the Delhi High Court have in effect created uncertainty and cast a shadow over the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.”

vNano land allotment: High Court to hold simultaneous hearing of two PILs–High-Court-to-hold-simultaneous-hearing-of-two-PILs/394814
Express News Service Posted: Dec 06, 2008 at 0040 hrs IST
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court will hold simultaneous hearing of two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) challenging the allotment of land to Tata Motors for its Nano car project in Snand, on December 18.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi on Friday adjourned the matter on the request of senior advocate Yatin Oza during the hearing of a PIL filed by Rashtriya Kisan Dal (RKD) leader H K Thakar.
Oza argued that if any order was passed on this PIL, it would affect a previous litigation filed by him on behalf of the farmers adversely affected by the land allotment. He requested the court to conduct simultaneous hearing of the two PILs.
Earlier in the day, Thakar objected to the Government allotment of 1,100 acres of land to the Tatas, saying the company was allotted only 600 acres for the same project in West Bengal. He said the government’s action was anti-farmer, as it acquired agricultural land without giving them a chance to be heard.
The RKD leader said the government has advanced a loan to the tune of Rs 9,570 crore to the Tatas to be repaid after 20 years at an annual interest of 0.1 per cent. In contrast, the farmers were given loans at 14 to 18 per cent interest, he said.
He also submitted that the government had earlier refused to allot land for a car project at Sanand to one Ugarchand Panchal. Thakar also objected to the government selling land to the Tatas at Rs 900 per square metre, even as its value was yet not been calculated by the government.
He pointed out that as the land in question was earlier allotted to the Anand Agricultural University (AAU), a charitable institution, for agriculture research purposes, it could not be allotted for any other purpose under the state’s land acquisition rules.
In an affidavit, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi submitted that the land in question belonged to the government since 1912. Pointing out that a survey conducted in 1927 showed the land as a government wasteland, he informed the court that 1,100 acres of Northcotepura land was allotted for the Nano car plant at Rs 900 per square metre. The amount is to be paid in six annual instalments, starting after two years from the date of possession, he added.
He told the court that over 2.5 lakh cars would be produced in the first phase and another 2.5 lakh in the next phase, generating direct employment for 2,000 people and indirect employment to another 8,000.

Religion saves animal sacrifice- Gauhati High Court chickens out on enforcing ban
Guwahati, Dec. 5: Gauhati High Court today declined to ban sacrifice of animals at religious places, saying any such order could have serious repercussions.
The Assam chapter of People for Animals (PFA), an NGO, had filed a public interest litigation,seeking a ban on sacrifice of animals at religious places and strict implementation of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
Hearing the PIL, a division bench, comprising Chief Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice Iqbal Ahmed Ansari, stopped short of imposing the ban as it felt that judicial interference in religious practices could lead to “cultural clash”. The court suggested that the petitioner may modify the PIL by leaving out its plea for a ban on animal sacrifice at religious places.
“The high court expressed its unwillingness to interfere in animal sacrifices at temples and other places of worship. However, the court said it might consider our prayer for stricter implementation of the PCA Act if we modify our petition,” the chairperson of the Assam chapter of the PFA, Sangeeta Goswami, said.
The NGO is now contemplating moving the Supreme Court. “We fail to understand why the high court is unwilling to intervene in this issue,” she said, citing the ban on animal sacrifice in public view at the Kalighat temple by Calcutta High Court in 2006. “Sacrifice of animals has already been banned in states like Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka,” she added.
The PFA had protested against the sacrifice of animals at the Kamakhya temple by Samajwadi Party legislator Kishore Samrite in July this year and by Nepal’s King Gyanendra in 2002.
“We want a ban on animal sacrifice in public places and places of worship because the archaic ritual involves bloodshed and a problem of hygiene. The directive principles of state policy (Article 51-g) states that as part of our fundamental duties, citizens of India need to have compassion for living creatures,” Goswami said.
In keeping with the high court stand, a senior government official said it would not be advisable to enforce a blanket ban on animal sacrifice in religious places, as it would interfere with the right to freedom of religion of those who believe animal sacrifice is an integral part of their faith.
He said the PCA Act granted exemption in case of sacrifice made for religious purpose. Quoting Section 28, he said, “Nothing contained in this act shall render it an offence to kill any animal in a manner required by the religion of any community.”

HC orders check on mining
Ranchi, Dec. 5: Jharkhand High Court today asked Palamau deputy commissioner to furnish a report on the safety of residents in the wake of mining activities on Plot No 310.
A PIL had been filed by one Sanjay Pathak, who said that humans and animals are under threat due to the extensive explosions taking place on the mining site.
The court had directed the Palamau chief judicial magistrate to conduct a spot verification and submit his report.
The officer said there was no immediate threat to the life and property of the residents. But now he has to estimate the quantum of damage caused.
The matter will be again taken up on December 11.

HC refuses to issue order on PIL against VIP security
06 December, 2008
Even as politicians come under criticism for diverting security personnel for their own protection, Delhi High Court on Wednesday refused to be drawn into the controversy, saying it wasn’t an issue on which courts should issue any directions.
HC was hearing a PIL assailing the tendency of politicians to surround themselves with impenetrable security cover which robs the common man of his right to be protected, as was evident in the Mumbai terror attack last week.
The PIL, which was filed a few years ago, points out that a large number of Delhi police personnel are deputed for security of VIPs and VVIPs, which leaves very few policemen available for policing the capital. However, a division Bench of chief justice AP Shah and justice S Muralidhar said it was not an issue for courts to issue any direction or take a decision.
HC noted that the recent attacks have made internal security a very sensitive issue for the center and state governments and the very concept of the word security had changed, hinting it wouldn’t wish to intervene.
During the hearing, petitioner and lawyer Rajeev Awasthi argued that the latest attack had again highlighted the issue raised in the PIL and sought strict division in the police force for law and order duties and investigation. Awasthi recalled how after every terror strike ministers appear on news channels and call for the need to revamp general security. Though nothing actually translates on the ground.
But this didn’t impress the bench which asked him to stick to prayers made in his petition. HC also asked Awasthi to complile a list of previous orders passed on his PIL by different HC benches and place it before it on the next date of hearing.
In his arguments the lawyer maintained that even though the Ministry had last year drawn up recommendations to make it tougher for one to get VIP security which were yet to be finalized. On its part the central government assured the bench that these recommendations were being given final touches and the home ministry was already revamping the capital’s security.Source:-The Times of India Delhi 4 December 2008 P.6For any query:-
Posted by Deepak Miglani

Judges’ AppointmentIt’s for govt to take a decision: CJI
R. Sedhuraman/Legal Correspondent
New Delhi, December 6Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan today sought to stay away from the controversy over the appointment procedure for high court and the Supreme Court judges, stating that it was for the government to take a decision on the Law Commission recommendation for a review of the collegium system.
Law minister H.R. Bhardwaj had last week ruled out any immediate review as the time was not ripe for the exercise which involved a colossal amendment to the Constitution, but made it clear that he would go by the views of the Supreme Court, particularly the Chief Justice.
“Judges don’t express their views on such matters” which was the case in Europe as well, the CJI told The Tribune when asked about his comments on the minister’s statement made at the Law Day function here.
The Chief Justice was talking to the correspondent after inaugurating the third Lok Adalat organised by the Supreme Court. About 70 cases, mostly road accident claims, were disposed of today.
The controversy over the issue had cropped up recently following the government’s hesitation in accepting the recommendations of the collegium, headed by the CJI, for the appointment of three judges for the Supreme Court. The debate on the issue had generated much heat following the reported involvement of judges in the Ghaziabad PF scam and corruption charges against Calcutta High Court judge Soumitra Sen.
Asked about possible ways to reduce the mounting pendency of cases in courts, he said opening of more and more courts and holding evening courts were the only solution to the problem.
Efforts were already on in this direction. In Delhi alone, 160 more courts were being set up and in Mumbay 20 additional courts had started functioning. Further, states were gradually coming forward to facilitate evening courts, he pointed out.
Such steps would at least help dispose of petty cases involving minor offences such as not wearing seat belts which accounted for a staggering 1,58,000 in Bangalore city alone, he said.
Asked about the poor response to the plea bargaining move, he said apprehensions had been raised over its potential at the conceptual stage itself.
On the collegium system, Bhardwaj had said it had proved to be expeditious, while the proposed National Judicial Commission was bound to be time consuming involving serious debates. Also, the type of people with no legal background trying to get into the proposed commission would not be conducive to its smooth functioning.
The minister said he had received the recommendations of the Law Commission for changing the collegium system. Since similar suggestions had been received from various people, the government would definitely consider it. However, the CJI would have a greater say in the issue as he “is the indisputable leader” of courts and nothing should be done to “destroy or weaken” the office of the Chief Justice, the minister said.
Any change in the present system should take into account the views of the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru that the judges should be “independent and men of integrity who can go against us (politicians or executive) if the occasion comes,” the minister clarified.
Also, he felt offended when a visiting legal delegation said the Indian judiciary had political judges. This was the result of propaganda spread systematically by “our own people,” he regretted.

Vodafone challenged HC decision in Supreme Court
Submitted by Gaurav Mehra on Sun, 12/07/2008 – 06:07.
Telecom giant Vodafone, approached the Supreme Court against the recent decision of the Bombay High Court on tax issue. The I-T department had asked it to pay income tax of $1.7-billion over its acquisition of Hutchison. Bombay High Court had pulled the telecom company for suppressing facts and granted eight weeks to file any appeal.
The bench of justices S Radhakrishnan and Anand Nirgude, in its ruling of 165 pages, said, “The petition totally lacks particulars as to the nature of agreement dated on February 11, 2007 and all other agreements preceding or following the same, entered into by Hutchison Telecommunications International (HTIL) and the petitioner (Vodafone International). The essential facts, supported by the necessary documents as proof of such facts, have been conveniently kept away from this court.”
The company brought 67% stake in Hutchison Essar from HTIL in February 2007 by paying $11.2 billion. I-T department had asked it to pay income tax in its show cause notice on September 19, 2007 and warned it to consider as “assessee in default”.
Tax expert, T P Ostwal said that the company will have to pay huge amount if the company loses the ongoing tax dispute in India. Maximum potential penalty of up to 300% can be imposed as per Indian law which can increase the amount substantially. He, however, hoped the department would not levy penalty beyond 100%.

HC jails and frees man at same time
7 Dec 2008, 0254 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: In an unprecedented incident, the case of an Adilabad man charged with harassment for dowry and murder of his wife was heard by two division Benches of the A P High Court almost concurrently. And while one of the Benches pronounced him guilty on both the counts, the second one acquitted him on the charge of murder and ordered that he be set free immediately. The bizarre saga began when one Abdul Raheem went to the Bhainsa police station in Adilabad district on April 13, 2003, and lodged a complaint against his son-in-law, Hymad Pasha, accusing him of killing his daughter Rayeesa Begum. “I gave him my daughter, Rs 15,000 cash as dowry, some gold ornaments and household articles and performed the marriage on April 17, 2000,” the father said in his complaint. But 15 days into the marriage, Hymad started harassing his wife to bring in more dowry. Two more demands of Rs 3,000 were met while the third one for Rs 10,000 could not be. On April 13, 2003, the father said he received a call from the house of Hymad that Rayeesa was dead. After the inquest was over, a post mortem was conducted and Hymad was charged with dowry harassment and murder of his wife. The trial court in Adilabad, after examination of the evidence on record, both oral and documentary, held Hymad responsible for the death of his wife and in 2006, sentenced him to life imprisonment for murder along with Rs 1,000 as fine and imposed another three years imprisonment plus Rs 500 fine for harassing his wife for additional dowry. The accused has been serving prison term since then. Meanwhile, the relatives of Hymad approached S Surendar Reddy, a lawyer in Hyderabad and through him, got a criminal appeal filed in 2006 in the AP High Court against the judgment of the trial court. Around the same time, Hymad too wrote a letter to the authorities of the high court seeking their help in engaging the services of an advocate for preferring an appeal over the trial court verdict. The high court, through its legal aid wing, allotted lady advocate Shanti Neelam to argue his case. The criminal appeal by Hymad’s relatives went to a two-member division bench comprising Justice A Gopal Reddy and Justice B Seshasayana Reddy while Hymad’s own appeal went to another two two-member bench comprising Justice D S R Verma and Justice K C Bhanu. The judgment on the appeal by relatives holding the accused guilty on both counts was delivered on March 7, 2008, while the verdict on Hymad’s appeal acquitting him on the charge of murder was given on September 29, 2008

HC orders Shiyal Bet talati to attend office twice a week
Express News Service Posted: Dec 07, 2008 at 0243 hrs IST
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has ordered the talati-mantri of Shiyal Bet island, two nautical miles off the Pipavav port in Amreli district, to attend his office in the village every Tuesday and Friday.
In his orders, Justice Jayant Patel asked the village panchayat to complain to the Taluka Development Officer (TDO) if the talati did not turn up for duty within 48 hours of the passing of the orders. He further directed to complain with the District Development Officer (DDO) in case the TDO failed to take action in the matter within 48 hours after lodging a complaint.
If both the TDO and DDO failed to follow the orders, he asked the panchayat to move the high court and the latter would initiate a contempt action against the concerned authorities.
The order was issued on Friday on a petition filed by Nanjibhai J Shiyal and Chittarbhai Shiyal, sarpanch and deputy sarpanch, respectively, of the village. The petitioners told the court that the talati had not attended his office since the new panchayat came into existence in March this year.
As per the provisions of Gujarat Panchayat Act and Nagar Panchayat Rules 1963, the talati, who is virtually a secretary of the village panchayat, is required to maintain records like birth registration, below poverty level certificates, accounts and meeting registers, and land records among others.
The petitioners had submitted that the talati living in Jafrabad, the mainland, had been asking villagers to go to his residence for getting things done. Villagers said they had made several representations to the taluka development and district development officers over the issue, but all in vain.
As the talati in question has not been attending his duties, most of the villagers do not have birth certificates, needed for ration cards, seeking fishing and boat licenses. Over 500 fishermen from the village recently approached the judicial magistrate’s court at Rajula, pleading it to issue directions to the talati to perform his duties.
As the villagers, mostly from the Koli community, are engaged in fishing without licences, they are not eligible for insurance claims in case of any accident or death during fishing.
Most of 10,000 villagers, living in the island for generations,
depend on fishing to eke out their living. The village does not have electricity supply, health facilities, drinking water and sanitation
system. Schemes like the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, Indira Awas Yojana or food security programmes could be implemented in the village owing to the talati’s absence and reported indifference of the district administration.

Prove cruelty by in-laws in dowry death case: HC
7 Dec 2008, 0312 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Every suicide by a bride cannot be taken to be a dowry death. Cruelty by in-laws and/or the husband has to be proved in such a case, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court ruled recently. “Sentiments apart, there has to be some evidence to show that the appellant had subjected the victim to cruelty, which led her to commit suicide, in order to sustain his conviction,” said Justice R C Chavan, acquitting a Yavatmal resident, 24-year-old Vithal Lakbande, of charges of abetment of suicide of his wife. The prosecution’s charge that Kaveri’s suicide was “unexplained” did not find favour with the court, which agreed with the defence that the possibility that she could have decided to end her life for some other reason could not be ruled out. Kaveri killed herself in December 2005 by consuming poison, barely ten months after her marriage to Lakbande. Following a complaint by her mother, the police arrested Lakbande, his parents and brothers. While his family members were acquitted by the trial court, Lakbande was sentenced to ten years’ rigorous imprisonment. In the high court, Lakbande’s lawyers argued that except for the statements of Kaveri’s mother and uncles, there was no evidence that the bride had been harassed by her husband or in-laws. “Though the suicide is inexplicable, since the allegations of cruelty had surfaced only after the victim’s death it’s difficult to hold that the victim was subjected to cruelty, when such allegations do not receive any corroboration from the neighbours or other independent sources,” contended the defence lawyer.

Diamond jubilee celebration of Gauhati HC
Source: Hueiyen News Service / Newmai News Network
Imphal, December 06 2008: DESPITE THE varied laws and customs of the region, the Gauhati High Court has played a catalytic role in extending the system of justice in the North East region with distinction, said Manipur Chief Minister O Ibobi on the occasion on the Diamond Jubilee of the high court on Saturday afternoon in Imphal.Organised by the Diamond Jubilee organising committee at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal West the jubilee was graced by Chief Minister Ibobi as chief guest, Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court Jasti Chelameswar as president of the function and other dignitaries of the state and the court including Law lecturers.
Hailing the notable work of the High Court, Ibobi hoped that despite about 8000 cases pending in the court, the legal fraternity would strive to carry forward the legacy of justice in a democratic society.Perhaps Manipur has the highest number of pending cases next to Assam, pointed out the Chief Minister.The Chief Minister also informed that the state government had requested the ministry of law and justice, government of India for a full fledge Manipur High Court and added that the construction of the new court building would be completed within 2009.There are about 5000-6000 workers working in full swing to meet the dateline, conveyed the chief minister.The Chief Minister also maintained that a good relation between the judiciary and the government was much needed for the development of the court.On the occasion of the Diamond jubilee of the court, judges of the court including those retired were felicitated.Ibobi also released a souvenir on the occasion of the jubilee.Several Judges and retired judges attended the programme.

Court’s staff return to work after HC’s assurance
7 Dec 2008, 0001 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Work in the five district courts of the Capital started on Saturday after a section of court staff called off their strike. They had launched an agitation on Friday demanding action against a judicial officer whose remarks, they alleged, had forced a clerk posted with a judge in Karkardooma to attempt suicide. “The staff returned to work following an assurance from the Delhi HC that they will look into their grievances,” District and Sessions Courts Employees Welfare Association president, Rakesh Yadav said. The court employees went on strike demanding action against a Metropolitan Magistrate who allegedly used a casual remark against a record-keeper, Narender Kumar Gautam, that forced him to jump from the second floor of Karkardooma courts complex. “The office-bearers of the Association were called for a meeting with the Chief Justice of Delhi HC on Friday night, where an assurance was given to the staff that proper action against the MM will be taken, following which the strike was called off,” Yadav said. “We have also been promised that Gautam would be granted paid leave and free medical aid,” he maintained.

Orissa HC seeks report on cases against IAS officer
6 Dec 2008, 1739 hrs IST, PTI
CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court has asked the state vigilance directorate to submit a report on the status of corruption cases pending against an IAS officer. The High Court order came while adjudicating over a petition filed by the IAS officer, Vinod Kumar, to drop the vigilance cases pending against him. The vigilance sleuths have registered more than 10 cases against the former managing director of Orissa Rural Housing Development Corporation (ORHDC) for allegedly amassing wealth disproportionate to his known source of income. The bureaucrat was arrested by the anti-corruption wing and was sent to jail. He was also placed under suspension twice by the state government. The senior IAS officer is now facing various charges under the IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly conniving, forging documents and sanctioning Rs 1.22 crore to two Rourkela-based builders fraudulently during his tenure as MD of ORHDC in 2001.

12 yrs after mishap, Rs 20L for victim’s family
7 Dec 2008, 0008 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Twelve years after the death of a man in an road accident, the Delhi High Court has directed the insurance company to pay compensation amount of more than Rs 20 lakh to the victim’s family. Dismissing a petition filed by National Assurance Co Ltd, Justice V B Gupta upheld the Motor Accident Claim Tribunal’s (MACT) December 2006 order awarding Rs 20,50,000 to Neelam, widow of deceased Jagjit Singh. “I don’t find any reason to disagree with the findings of tribunal on this ground that the onus was on the insurance company and it has failed to discharge it and as such the appellant (company) cannot be exonerated from its liability,” said court in its judgement. The court rejected the insurance company’s submission that Tribunal awarded a huge amount as compensation and the victim’s family did not deserve so much amount as the widow has got a job in Maruti Udyog Ltd and also has been getting family pension of Rs 3,200. The court rejected this argument and asked the insurance company to honour the MACT judgement passed two years ago. On December 8, 1996 while driving a scooter, Singh met with an accident when a vehicle was parked on the wrong side of the road with its head lights off. He was declared brought dead by the medical authority. A shocked family then sought compensation from the accident claims tribunal, arguing that it was negligence on part of the owner of the vehicle which led to Singh’s untimely death. The insurance company argued that no liability rested with it, but the MACT court calculated the compensation amount taking into account that at the time of his accident Singh was the sole bread winner of the family.

State could get its own High Court soon: chief minister
The Imphal Free PressIMPHAL, Dec 6: The state will most likely have its own separate High Court in the state as the Union law minister has taken serious count of the demand for establishing a separate High Court for the state.This was mentioned by the chief minister O Ibobi Singh while attending the Diamond Jubilee celebration of the Guwahati High Court Imphal bench this afternoon at the JN Manipur Dance Academy hall. The function was organised by the celebration committee of the Guwahati High Court Imphal bench and the chief minister was the chief guest of the function.The state chief minister further said that it had become a must for the state government to establish a separate High Court for the state considering the number of cases lodged with the Imphal bench of the Guwahati High Court.The chief minister further mentioned that the Guwahati High Court Imphal bench had been established on January 21, 1972, and now the state was in the process of constructing a High Court complex attached to the Capitol project at Chingmierong in Imphal. The state government as a consequence is now planning to have its own separate High Court in the state and the Centre was ready to give its green signal, he said.The chief minister further said there was a move by the state for installing the High Court as soon as the existing High Court complex is completed at Chingmeirong. Establishing such a separate High Court in the state would reduce the grievances of the people who are in need of better legal aids and also would assist in finding ways for maintaining peace and harmony in the state by delivering justice to the people.In connection with the observation, the chief minister released a Diamond Jubilee souvenir of the Guwahati High Court, Imphal bench.Justice Jasti Chelamesware, chief justice of the Guwahati High Court, in his presidential speech, observed that it was a must for the court to deliver justice on every appropriate complaint put before the courts and sometimes it may hamper the government activities. All democratic countries use judicial powers for protecting the rights of the citizens and truth remains the cherished objective for all such countires, he added.The function was attended by many retired judges of the state, advocates and other officials of the state law department.

Ethical hackers plan PIL, want govt to counter terrorism
Chandan Haygunde
Posted: Dec 07, 2008 at 0155 hrs IST
Pune The ethical hackers have come up with a public interest litigation (PIL) to force the government to take stern steps to counter terrorism. The ‘hackers’ came together for a discussion on ‘cyber terrorism’ at ClubHack 2008 — the second international convention of hackers at the International Convention Centre on Senapati Bapat Road on Saturday.
In the wake of the recent terror attacks in Mumbai, a panel discussion on cyber terrorism was held during the convention. The panel comprised of US computer security expert Chris Goggans, who broke into the FBI criminal database in six hours while doing a penetration testing in May 2008, cyber law expert Rohas Nagpal and founder of ClubHack Rohit Srivastwa.
Nagpal appealed to the ethical hackers to pen down what they think that the government should do for cyber security and countering terrorism and then file a PIL with the Bombay High Court. “The court might order the government to take up proper measures to address these issues,” Nagpal said.
“Earlier, a lot of work was initiated by the government on environment issues following the court orders based on the PILs filed by citizens. Similarly, we need to file PILs on national security,” he said.
The ethical hackers also debated on ‘cyber terrorism’. US expert Goggans said that there is no such concept as cyber terrorism. “If we receive a piece of paper carrying a threat message, we don’t call it paper terrorism. Similarly, there is no cyber terrorism. There can be terrorism including cyber aspects,” Goggans said.
However, Nagpal and some ‘hackers,’ said that they believe that cyber terrorism does exist. For example, a terror mail, which was received after the Mumbai terror attack, threatened to blow up the Bombay Stock Exchange. This is a kind of cyber terrorism,” said a ‘hacker’.
Srivastwa observed that use of cyber space for wrong purposes may or may not be cyber terrorism, but it is certainly a crime. The panel, as well as hackers, agreed after which the discussion focused on giving solutions to the problem when Nagpal put forth the idea of filing PIL.
Goggans shared information about information security systems in the US and other countries. Earlier, experts like Aditya Sood, Ajit Hatti, Aseem Jakhar, Karmendra, Atul Alex, Nibin, Jhonson and Harshad Patil spoke on various information security issues during the first day of convention. Sessions on cyber crime investigations and wireless security will be held on the second day of convention on Sunday.
Earlier, a lot of work was initiated by the government on environment issues following the court orders based on PILs. Similarly, we need to file PILs on national security Ethical Hackers

Silence is Golden and a Human Right – SC on Noise Pollution
Farhd K. Wadia v. Union of India & Ors., Civil Appeal No. 7131 of 2008. Date of Judgment 5-12-08Sunday, December 7, 2008
Dismissing an appeal against the rejection of a petition for certiorari, seeking direction to the Maharashtra Government to grant permission for music concert in “silence zone” (as per Rules 2 (e) and 2(f) The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000,) the SC reminds us about the value of silence.
Interference by the court in respect of noise pollution is premised on the basis that a citizen has certain rights being `necessity of silence’, `necessity of sleep’, `process during sleep’ and `rest’, which are biological necessities and essential for health. Silence is considered to be golden. It is considered to be one of the human rights as noise is injurious to human health which (sic) is required to be preserved at any cost.
The court highlights the judgment of the Calcutta High Court in Om Birangana Religious Society v. State of West Bengal [decided on 11th August, 1998] and the guidelines issued therein”(a) There will be complete ban on the use of horn type loud-speakers within city residential areas and also prohibit the use of play back of pre-recorded music etc. through such horn type loud- speakers unless used with sound-limiter.(b) In cultural functions which are live functions, use of such pre-recorded music should not be used excepting for the purpose of announcement and/ or actual performance and placement of speaker boxes should be restricted within the area of performance facing the audience. No sound generating devise should be placed outside the main area of performance.(c) Cultural programmes in open air may be held excepting at least before three days of holding Board/ Council Examinations to till examinations are completed in residential areas or areas where educational institutions are situated.(d) The distance of holding such functions from the silence zones should be 100 meters and in so far as Schools, Colleges, Universities, Courts are concerned, it will be treated as silence zones till the end of the office hours and/ or the teaching hours. Hospitals and some renowned and important Nursing Homes will be treated as silence zones round the clock.”
The present appeal was rejected on a technical ground. The rejection of permission to conduct the concert by the Government was because of the decision of the HC of Bombay on 25.09.2003 in a PIL filed by Dr. Yeshwant Trimbak Oke & Ors. Which sought direction to the State to curb noise pollution in general in the city of Mumbai and particularly during the festive seasons. The present appellant is not a party to that suit and nor has the petitioner of the PIL is impleaded in this proceedings. Therefore when “[t]he High Court in the earlier public interest litigation, being Writ Petition No. 2053 of 2003, admittedly passed an order of injunction. If the said order was required to be modified or clarified and/or relaxation was to be prayed for and granted in regard to Rang Bhavan, the appellant should have filed an application in the said proceeding. An independent public interest litigation to obtain a relief which would be contrary to and inconsistent with the order of injunction passed by the court was not maintainable. Inter alia, the doctrine of comity or amity demands the same.”
Posted by Jasmine Joseph

Safety breather for bike makers
New Delhi, Dec. 6: Bike companies have moved the Supreme Court against a Madhya Pradesh High Court order banning sale of motorcycles in the state unless they had handgrips for the pillion in the middle rather than the rear.
The manufacturers won a reprieve after an apex court bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan stayed the order yesterday.
Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the bike makers — including Bajaj Auto and Hero Honda, two of the country’s largest bike manufacturers — said a grip in the middle would make the pillion susceptible to groin injury whenever a rider brakes hard.
“World over the handgrip for the pillion rider is provided at the back (above the tail light). Even in scooters, the earlier middle grip is now gone,” Rohatgi said. “The high court it seems is yet to outgrow that feature.”
He also questioned the court’s powers to pass such an order and said it was up to automobile experts to decide the positioning of the grip.
The apex court then issued notices to all the parties in the case and fixed December 19 for the next hearing.
This is not the first time that a high court has intervened in matters concerning those riding pillion. On August 24, Kerala High Court urged the Centre and states to consider a ban on wearing saris while riding pillion. It said saris could be risky while riding pillion as they could get entangled in the wheels.
The court also suggested that the pillion straddle the back seat rather than perch on one side, making it difficult for the rider to maintain balance.
Manufacturers later installed sari-guards for women.
A petition is also pending in Bombay High Court. The PIL followed a newspaper report that said there had been a rise in the number of bike accidents in the state. The petitioner, Gyan Prakash, 60, said manufacturers were putting lives at risk by not providing adequate safety features.

Human Rights Race in Delhi on Sunday
New Delhi (PTI): To commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) is organising a Human Rights Race here on Sunday.
The Commission will also release a postage stamp on December 10 as part of the commemoration function.
Tomorrow’s race being organized in collaboration with the Directorate of Education, Delhi, will be flagged off by Commission member G P Mathur, an NHRC release said.
Direct interaction with the field-level functionaries in 28 districts with a view to spreading human rights awareness at the grassroots is one of the major programme being pursued by the Commission during its year-long campaign to commemorate the anniversary, it added.


2 Responses

  1. I am petitioner in PIL resulting ban on registration of motorcycle and respondent in SC on 5\12\2008..
    The practice in SC is violative of SC Rules therefore filing a PIL against Committee For Amendment in Supreme Court Rules 1966.
    The Patent Error is that Form 28 for SLP does not have any provision for Statement of Facts as required under SC Rules. Without facts there can not be case and supporting affidavit.
    Similarly most of the SC Rules are being violated in SC Practice.
    Intrested individuals\ legal forums can seek more information from me.

  2. Dear,
    You are doing a good job here. Now I am a daily reader of your blog.

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