LEGAL NEWS 16.12.2008

If judiciary fails, god will do justice, says Kandhamal priest
By Saroj Kumar Pattnaik, K. Nuagam (Orissa), Dec 14: The priest at a pastoral centre, the blackened remains of which are a testimony to the horror of anti-Christian riots in Kandhamal district, says the community has full faith in god and is confident that the nun who was raped by a rampaging mob will get justice soon.
“We are a peace-loving people and believe in god. We have full faith that the almighty will give justice even if the judiciary fails,” Father Dushmant Nayak of Divya Jyoty Pastoral Centre in K. Nuagam village in Kandhamal told IANS, giving his account of the rape of the centre’s 29-year-old nun and the trauma the community has gone through in the past three months.The Catholic nun was allegedly raped by armed rioters Aug 25, two days after the murder of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and four others in his ashram at Jaleshpatta, about 55 km from the pastoral centre. The spiral of violence against Christians and their properties in Orissa had just begun.”All was good and brotherhood prevailed in our place until the swami (Laxmanananda) was killed by some criminals for some reasons,” Nayak said, rubbishing the claims by Hindu groups that some Christian organisations had engineered the plot to kill the religious leader.”As I said, we are peace-loving people and I don’t believe that anyone from our community could be behind the murder. As a representative of the Christian community, I strongly condemn the killing,” he said.On Maoists claiming responsibility for killing Laxmanananda, Nayak said he and his community had no idea who killed him and why. “But, it is a crime and I condemn the murder,” he said.When asked why the nun was avoiding an identification parade, he said: “She has completely lost faith in the local administration and police, who chose to remain mute spectators when the mob was parading her naked on the road.””How would you trust those who had turned deaf to your screams for life?” he said, noting that over a dozen policemen were present at the police outpost where she and Father Thomas Chellan were dragged and severely beaten up.Chellan, who left Kandhamal following the incident, is now recuperating in his hometown in Kerala and could not be contacted over phone.According to Nayak, hundreds of people participating in the funeral procession of Laxmanananda Aug 24 stopped at the centre and started ransacking the building, putting everything on fire.”The burnt walls of the building and the heap of ash and debris inside each room are the chilling testimony to that horrific incident,” he said, adding that all those who were present in the church at that time fled into nearby forests to save their lives.Chellan and the nun however were given shelter by a Hindu family near the church. But the next afternoon a mob of 50-60 people stormed the house and dragged them out before physically and sexually assaulting them, Nayak said.

India Criminal laws and procedures – overview
The criminal justice system descends from the British model. The judiciary and the bar are independent although efforts have been made by some politicians to undermine the autonomy of the judiciary. From about the time of Indira Gandhi’s tenure as prime minister, the executive has treated judicial authorities in an arbitrary fashion. Judges who handed down decisions that challenged the regime in office have on occasion been passed over for promotion, for example. Furthermore, unpopular judges have been given less-than-desirable assignments. Because the pay and perquisites of the judiciary have not kept up with salaries and benefits in the private sector, fewer able members of the legal profession have entered the ranks of the senior judiciary.
Despite the decline in the caliber and probity of the judiciary, established procedures for the protection of defendants, except in the case of strife-torn areas, are routinely observed. The penal philosophy embraces the ideals of preventing crime and rehabilitating criminals.
Criminal Law and Procedure
Under the constitution, criminal jurisdiction belongs concurrently to the central government and the states. The prevailing law on crime prevention and punishment is embodied in two principal statutes: the Indian Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973. These laws take precedence over any state legislation, and the states cannot alter or amend them. Separate legislation enacted by both the states and the central government also has established criminal liability for acts such as smuggling, illegal use of arms and ammunition, and corruption. All legislation, however, remains subordinate to the constitution.
The Indian Penal Code came into force in 1862; as amended, it continued in force in 1993. Based on British criminal law, the code defines basic crimes and punishments, applies to resident foreigners and citizens alike, and recognizes offenses committed abroad by Indian nationals.
The penal code classifies crimes under various categories: crimes against the state, the armed forces, public order, the human body, and property; and crimes relating to elections, religion, marriage, and health, safety, decency, and morals. Crimes are cognizable or noncognizable, comparable to the distinction between felonies and misdemeanors in legal use in the United States. Six categories of punishment include fines, forfeiture of property, simple imprisonment, rigorous imprisonment with hard labor, life imprisonment, and death. An individual can be imprisoned for failure to pay fines, and up to three months’ solitary confinement can occur during rare rigorous imprisonment sentences. Commutation is possible for death and life sentences. Executions are by hanging and are rare–there were only three in 1993 and two in 1994–and are usually reserved for crimes such as political assassination and multiple murders.
Courts of law try cases under procedures that resemble the Anglo-American pattern. The machinery for prevention and punishment through the criminal court system rests on the Code of Criminal Procedure of 1973, which came into force on April 1, 1974 Arial'”>, replacing a code dating from 1898. The code includes provisions to expedite the judicial process, increase efficiency, prevent abuses, and provide legal relief to the poor. The basic framework of the criminal justice system, however, was left unchanged.
Constitutional guarantees protect the accused, as do various provisions embodied in the 1973 code. Treatment of those arrested under special security legislation can depart from these norms, however. In addition, for all practical purposes, the implementation of these norms varies widely based on the class and social background of the accused. In most cases, police officers have to secure a warrant from a magistrate before instituting searches and seizing evidence. Individuals taken into custody have to be advised of the charges brought against them, have the right to seek counsel, and have to appear before a magistrate within twenty-four hours of arrest. The magistrate has the option to release the accused on bail. During trial a defendant is protected against self-incrimination, and only confessions given before a magistrate are legally valid. Criminal cases usually take place in open trial, although in limited circumstances closed trials occur. Procedures exist for appeal to higher courts.

India has an integrated and relatively independent court system. At the apex is the Supreme Court, which has original, appellate, and advisory jurisdiction (see The Judiciary, ch. 8). Below it are eighteen high courts that preside over the states and union territories. The high courts have supervisory authority over all subordinate courts within their jurisdictions. In general, these include several district courts headed by district magistrates, who in turn have several subordinate magistrates under their supervision. The Code of Criminal Procedure established three sets of magistrates for the subordinate criminal courts. The first consists of executive magistrates, whose duties include issuing warrants, advising the police, and determining proper procedures to deal with public violence. The second consists of judicial magistrates, who are essentially trial judges. Petty criminal cases are sometimes settled in panchayat (see Glossary) courts.
Trebuchet MS’; mso-bidi-font-family: Arial”>Data as of September 1995
NOTE: The information regarding India on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of India Criminal Law and Procedure information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about India Criminal Law and Procedure should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.

Govt asked to reply on co-op Act amendment
16 Dec 2008, 0154 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday directed the state government to file a counter-affidavit to a writ petition challenging an amendment to the Bihar Cooperative Societies Act 1935. A division bench comprising Chief Justice R M Lodha and Justice K K Mandal issued the directive on a writ petition which submitted that the amendment to the Bihar Cooperative Society Act had been brought about in violation of a provision of this Act and the Indian Constitution which required assent of the President. Proceedings cancelled: The high court on Monday quashed the proceedings of a special meeting of the Karpi Panchayat Samiti in Arwal district held on August 19 early this year. In the meeting, panchayat pramukh Parvati Devi had defeated a no-confidence motion moved against her. The quashing was ordered by a single bench presided over by Justice R K Datta while allowing a writ petition of a member of Karpi Panchayat Samiti, Kela Devi.

Govt tables Bill to set up National Investigating Agency
16 Dec 2008, 1727 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Rattled by the Mumbai terror attacks, government on Tuesday introduced two Bills to set up a National Investigating Agency (NIA) with special powers and to amend the law to provide for more stringent action to deal with terrorism effectively. The National Investigating Agency Bill 2008 and The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Bill were moved by home minister P Chidambaram in the Lok Sabha, a day after the Union Cabinet gave its nod to such measures. The NIA Bill provides for setting up of special courts for speedy trial of terror-related offences, with hearings to be held on day-to-day basis. Any case pending in any special court can be transferred to any other special court. Notwithstanding law and order being the state subject, officers of the NIA above the rank of sub inspector will have special powers to pursue and investigate any offence related to terror across the country. Officers of the agency would enjoy all powers, duties, privileges and liabilities which the local police officers have in connection with cases related to terror. The Bill to amend the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act has stringent provisions including detention period of 180 days instead of 90 days now and denial of bail altogether to a foreigner accused of terrorism in the country. Even an Indian national accused in a terror-related case cannot be released on bail or on his own bond unless the public prosecutor has been given an opportunity of being heard on the application for such release. The Bill says that the court shall presume, unless the contrary is shown, that the accused has committed an offence for which he has been arrested, including possession of arms or explosives with a belief that these or such substances were used in the commission of a terror act. It also provides for freezing, seizing and attaching funds and other financial assets or economic resources held by individuals or entities engaged in or suspected to be engaged in terrorism. A new section has been inserted in the Bill which says that those using explosives, firearms, lethal weapons, poisonous chemicals, biological or radiological weapons with the intention of aiding, abetting or committing terror act “shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to ten years”. The Bill says that anyone in India or in a foreign country who directly or indirectly raises or collects funds or provides funds for a terrorist act shall be punishable with at least five year imprisonment, which may extend to life. A similar punishment has been provided in the Bill for those organising camps for training in terrorism, and also for those recruiting persons for commission of a terrorist act. The Bill says that every offence punishable under this Act shall be deemed to be congnizable offence. It says that if it is not possible to complete the investigation within 90 days, it may be extended upto 180 days. Besides, no person accused of a terror-related offence, if in custody, would be released on bail or on his own bond.

Notice to government on Swamy’s petition
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Tamil Nadu government on a petition filed by Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy seeking transfer of his writ petition, challenging the release of 1,405 convicts in the State, pending in the Madras High Court to the apex court.
A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam issued notice after hearing Dr. Swamy, who submitted that since a similar petition pertaining to Andhra Pradesh was pending in the apex court, his writ petition raising the same legal issues should be heard along with that matter. He said that it was a serious issue as some of the convicts who were released had committed murder and heinous crimes and the apex court should decide it expeditiously.
In his transfer petition, Dr. Swamy said there were substantial questions of law of public importance as to the power/misuse of power by a State Governor/government in effecting the epidemic of large scale premature release of prisoners without due consideration and sometimes with mala fide motive merely to celebrate some occasions. He said the High Court had permitted the Tamil Nadu government to carry out the release of convicts after taking due safeguards to ensure their speedy incarceration, if the writ petition was allowed.
He said if the transfer was not allowed there was a possibility of conflicting orders being passed by the High Court and the apex court. Further, no prejudice would be caused to any of the parties if his writ petition was transferred from the High Court to the apex court, he said and sought a direction in this regard.

Malegaon blast probe: Rahirkar remanded to police custody
16 Dec 2008, 1549 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: The special MCOCA court here on Tuesday remanded Ajay Rahirkar, an accused in the September 29 Malegaon blast case and treasurer of right-wing group Abhinav Bharat, to police custody till December 20. Eight other accused including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur have been sent to judicial custody till December 29 by the court. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, who is presently in the custody of Matunga police in a forgery case, was today remanded to judicial custody till December 18 by the Kurla Metropolitan Magistrate. Another accused Rakesh Dhawde is presently in the CBI custody for his involvement in the Nanded blast.

Cash-for-vote: Somnath recommends probe against 3 accused
16 Dec 2008, 1420 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on Tuesday recommended a probe by the home ministry into the role of three persons who were named in the alleged ‘cash-for-votes’ scam that rocked Parliament during the Confidence Motion in July. The Speaker referred to the Home Ministry the matter related to Sanjeev Saxena, alleged aide of Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh, Sudheendra Kulkarni, a close aide of senior BJP leader L K Advani, and Suhail Hindustani, a day after the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee said that there was need for further investigation into the roles played by them. In its report submitted in Lok Sabha on Monday, the Inquiry Committee, headed by V Kishore Chandra Deo, had given a clean chit to Amar Singh and Ahmed Patel, political adviser to Congress President Sonia Gandhi, saying the “material on record does not conclusively prove” that they had sent money to three BJP MPs for the “purpose of winning” them over for the Confidence Motion. “The Committee has, however, found the evidence given before the Committee by three persons involved in this episode as unconvincing and the Committee have suggested that their role in the matter needs to be investigated by investigating agencies,” Chatterjee noted in the House today. “I am, accordingly, referring the matter pertaining to the said three persons to the Honourable Minister of Home Affairs for appropriate action in the light of the recommendations of the Committee,” the Speaker said.

House panel exonerates Amar Singh
Neena Vyas
NEW DELHI: The Kishore Chandra Deo parliamentary committee has given a clean chit to Samajwadi Party MP Amar Singh and Congress MP Ahmed Patel in the “cash for votes” scam.
It, however, recommended further investigation by appropriate investigative agencies into the role of Sudheendra Kulkarni (political aide of L.K. Advani), Sohail Hindustani (Bharatiya Janata Party Yuva Morcha activist), and Sanjeev Saxena (aide of Samajwadi Party general secretary Amar Singh), who handed over bundles of currency notes to three BJP MPs ahead of the trust vote in Parliament on July 22.
No direct evidence
While damning Mr. Saxena as a “bribe-giver wittingly or unwittingly,” the report said the source of the money could not be established. Thus, Mr. Amar Singh has been let off the hook for there was “no direct evidence against him.” But his party MP Rewati Raman Singh has been criticised by the panel for allowing himself to get involved in “such shenanigans.”
Mr. Raman Singh’s role seemed “limited to persuading the members [BJP MPs] to meet Mr. Amar Singh.” As for the political secretary to Sonia Gandhi, Ahmad Patel, the committee said there was “not an iota of evidence [against him] either in the tapes or in the depositions made by witnesses who appeared before committee.”
The panel submitted the report to Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on November 12. The 467-page report with unedited transcriptions of audio-video tapes and depositions of witnesses was tabled in the House on Monday. The report carries three dissenting notes from V.K. Malhotra (BJP), Mohammad Salim (CPI-M) and Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party).

337 kids die of malnutrition in Amravati
16 Dec 2008, 0203 hrs IST, Vaidehi More, TNN
AMRAVATI: Melghat is synonymous with tigers but unfortunately also with high rate of child mortality due to malnutrition. Despite tall claims by various government agencies, malnutrition deaths continue to haunt this tribal belt. As many as 337 children died of malnutrition between April and November, according to the data catalogued by the Zilla Parishad health department. According to the data, out of 337 malnutrition deaths, 230 kids were from 0-1 age group while 80 from 1-3 years and 27 from 3-6 years age group. Currently, Melghat has a child population of 34,888. Out of these, 13,540 children enjoy good health, 14,131 kids are in stage one of malnutrition, 6,750 children — stage two, 417 — stage three while 50 kids are suffering from extreme malnutrition. This despite the fact that there are 11 primary health centres (PHCs) in Melghat, various schemes like Child Development Centres, Day Care Unit, Matrutva Anudan scheme, Pada volunteers scheme focusing on the overall health of the tribals. Taking cognisance of the alarming number of malnutrition deaths, social activists Dr Ravindra Kolhe and Rajendra Burma had filed a petition in the High court which in turn had directed the additional chief secretary Chandra Iyenger to visit Melghat and take stock of the situation. Iyenger accompanied with district officials and director health service visited some villages of Dharni and Chikhaldara tehsil in Melghat on October 22 and 23. Earlier, district collector Dr Purshottam Bhapkar had also conducted a health camp for the children in the region in August. Private doctors were taken to Melghat to render their expert services to the tribal population there. Despite this, the situation in Melghat with respect to malnutrition deaths continue to be very alarming. Experts have pointed out that despite various schemes and PHCs, deficient qualified staff had resulted into poor health services in Melghat.

One of those arrested in Orissa nun rape case is blind: BJP MLA
15 Dec 2008, 2300 hrs IST, PTI
BHUBANESWAR: One of the 10 accused arrested for the alleged rape of a nun in Kandhamal district was blind, claimed an MLA in Orissa assembly on Tuesday. Karendra Majhi, a BJP MLA from Baliguda, made this claim while participating in the debate on the killing of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati and the situation thereafter. “I had been to Baliguda jail recently to meet some innocent people forcibly detained by police. There I found Gajendra Digal who is blind,” Majhi said. Claiming Digal to be innocent, the MLA said it is improper to arrest a blind person on charge of rape. Digal, a resident of K Nuagaon and aged between 45 and 50 years, could be present at the spot when the mob struck. But how can a blind person rape someone, he asked. Alleging that police arrested some people without any valid reason, Majhi said that one father-son duo was also arrested on the alleged nun rape case. Majhi stated that arrest of the blind man indicated how sincerely the police arrested people in connection with Kandhamal violence.

Higher income ceiling for OBC creamy layer falls foul of court order: petition
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on writ petitions challenging the revision of the income criterion for the creamy layer among the Other Backward Classes from Rs. 2.5 lakh to 4.5 lakh for admission to educational institutions.
In his petition, P.V. Indiresan pointed out that in the Ashok Kumar Thakur (OBC) case, the court had explicitly said non-exclusion of the creamy layer and inclusion of forward castes in reservation violated the right to equality under Articles 14, 15 and 16 as well as the basic structure of the Constitution.
However, the Centre, on October 13, issued an ‘Office Memorandum’ increasing the income ceiling for the OBCs. Thereafter, it attempted to fill vacant seats in Central institutions by OBC candidates contrary to the court direction that vacant OBC seats go to general category students.
The petitioner said: “It is clear that this has been done with the sole mala fide intention of granting the elite sections of the OBCs a wider pool for purposes of reservation, which would subvert the clear dictum of the Constitution Bench judgment.” The effect of the Office Memorandum was that those excluded from the benefit of reservation “are a negligible group, rendering the very reservation policy questionable as providing caste-based benefits was contrary to the scheme of Articles 14, 15 and 16.”
If the Office Memorandum was allowed to prevail, it would lead to a fractured social system where “unequals are treated equally, and the very concept of the creamy layer evolved as a check on prohibited classification will be defeated,” Prof. Indiresan said.
In its petition, the Nair Service Society said: “The creamy layer class in OBCs, despite having reached the level to compete with the so-called forward class, would continue to derive the benefits of reservation by such unreasonable increase in the income limit.” The petitioners sought quashing of the Office Memorandum.

Cash-for-votes scam: three MPs give dissenting notes
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Kishore Chandra Deo parliamentary committee, probing the “cash for votes” scam, carries three dissenting notes from V.K. Malhotra (BJP), Mohammad Salim (CPI-M) and Ram Gopal Yadav (Samajwadi Party).
Mr. Malhotra disagreed with and distanced himself from the observations and conclusions of the report. He noted that Hashmat Ali, the driver who took the three BJP MPs – Faggan Singh Kulaste, Mahavir Bhagora and Ashok Argal – to Mr. Amar Singh’s residence had failed to appear before the committee; a mysterious man in a yellow shirt frequenting Mr. Amar Singh’s residence who carried the bags containing cash into Mr. Argal’s residence had not been identified; and Mr. Amar Singh was exonerated even before further investigations, which could establish that the money had indeed come from him.
Mr. Salim’s main objection was that the committee had restricted the scope of further investigation by excluding “some important names.” It should have recommended that the entire matter be further probed. Further, he felt that the Speaker could ask the Rajya Sabha Chairman to look into the alleged roles of Mr. Amar Singh and Ahmad Patel, a point also made by Mr. Malhotra.
As for Mr. Yadav, he pointed out that Mr. Kulaste had clearly stated “only Arunji could disclose the source of the money,” and this shows there is no confusion at all, not an iota of doubt, about the source of funds. He also pointed out that the BJP MPs had first said a particular car with a certain number-plate was involved in the operation and four days later had changed their version to signal a different car with a different number-plate. This, he said, was done with malafide intention.
The name of CPI leader A.B. Bardhan, who wrote to the committee saying “his MPs are being bought and sold at Rs.25 crore a piece,” came in for comment.
Sudheendra Kulkarni (political aide of L.K. Advani) and CNN-IBN, which was involved in the sting operation, admitted that his comment inspired them to find a way to do the story. Mr. Kulkarni admitted that he was the “facilitator” of what he described as a whistle-blowing operation and “worked with” the three BJP MPs.
In fact, some committee members described him as the “mastermind” of the entire operation. It was also revealed that BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley helped to get the CNN-IBN team on board.
Against rules
Mr. Kishore Chandra Deo explained that parliamentary rules did not permit this committee to call Rajya Sabha MPs Mr. Amar Singh and Mr. Patel to depose before it. “Even if the Rajya Sabha Chairman were to agree, he would have to ask leave of the House, and even after that the MPs whose depositions were sought need not have deposed before a Lok Sabha committee. Perhaps those rules need to be changed, he noted.
Besides Mr. Deo, Mr. Malhotra, Mr. Salim, Mr. Yadav, other members of the committee were Devendra Prasad Yadav (Janata Dal-United), C. Kuppusami (DMK) and Rajesh Varma (Bahujan Samaj Party).
The Speaker indicated that he was yet to decide what he intended to do with the report. There was no clarity whether indeed he would suggest a further probe to the government.

Parliament approves setting up of Jute Board
16 Dec 2008, 0014 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Parliament on Monday approved a legislation paving the way for setting up a National Jute Board to promote cultivation, manufacture and marketing of jute and jute products with the Rajya Sabha returning a bill to this effect with voice vote. The National Jute Board Bill, 2008, was passed by the Lok Sabha in October. Moving the bill for approval in the Upper House, textile minister Shankarsinh Vaghela said, “The creation of the board will enhance coordination between agencies associated with jute growing and jute products in the country for the greater welfare of farmers.” Changes in the nature and character of the board, if needed, can be brought about in the future as per requirement, he added. Taking part in the debate before the passage of the bill, BJP MP Vikram Verma voiced concern over the lack of adequate representation of farmers in the board. He also demanded that the board should be involved in acquiring the unused lands of the jute mills so that these do not fall into the hands of wrong people for commercial use. Verma also called on the minister to allocate more funds for research and development in the jute sector.

Education Bill tabled in Rajya Sabha
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Monday by Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development (HRD) M.A.A. Fatmi.
The introduction of the Bill came after several abortive efforts to draft the enabling legislation without which the fundamental right — enacted in December 2002 — cannot come into effect. Besides giving every child in the 6-to-14 age group the right to free and compulsory education, the Bill also seeks to evolve norms and standards for primary education; complete with minimum qualifications for teachers, pupil-teacher ratio, and a ban on private tuitions by teachers.
It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that every child in the target age-group has access to a school in the neighbourhood within three years of the enactment of the law, the Bill also tries to rope in the private sector in this endeavour.
Private schools will have to reserve 25 per cent of seats in Class I every year for children from the disadvantaged sections of society in the neighbourhood. The government will reimburse these schools.
The Bill prohibits collection of capitation fee, screening of either the parent or the child at the time of admission, detention or expulsion in any class till completion of elementary education, and physical punishment.
The Bill provides that no child be denied admission for lack of age proof.

More people committing suicide in south India: Report
16 Dec 2008, 0058 hrs IST, Kounteya Sinha, TNN
NEW DELHI: South Indians aren’t coping well with stress, be it the uncertain times affecting our economy or the pressures at home. And it’s showing in the National Crime Records Bureau’s latest figures on suicides in the country. Even though Maharashtra recorded the highest number of suicides committed in 2007 — 15,184 — four of the top six states with the highest suicide rates are from South India. While Andhra Pradesh recorded 14,882 suicide deaths, Tamil Nadu registered 13,811 deaths followed by Karnataka (12,304) and Kerala (8,962). What’s worse, of these four states, three have recorded an increase in the number of suicides in 2007 compared to 2006. They include AP with a 12.1% increase, TN (11.5%) and Karnataka (0.8%). Experts claim that earlier studies have never pointed to geographical factors behind increased suicide rates. However, they admit that poor mental health programmes in some states of South India and its subsequent failure to identify and treat people with illnesses like depression could have led to the spike in the number of suicides. The NCRB report confirms the explanation. Mental illness was found to be one of the major causes behind people committing suicide in South Indian states. Around 1,982 of those who committed suicide in TN, 637 in Karnataka and 1,384 in Kerala were suffering from mental illnesses. Psychiatrist Dr Samir Parekh from Max Hospital said, “Untreated mental illnesses are the significant reason behind suicides. States which have recorded high suicide rates must immediately starting district level mental health programmes.” A psychiatrist at AIIMS told TOI, “Reputation and economic status holds tremendous value in southern states. People don’t take it very well when they fail to cope with a fall in such standards.” The four southern states recorded large instances when people committed suicide after being unable to cope with illnesses. Andhra recorded 629 such cases, Karnataka (109), Kerala (86) and Tamil Nadu (42). Love affairs gone bad was also a big killer in south India. Andhra recorded 316 suicides due to sour relationships while TN recorded 437, Karnataka 88 and Kerala 81. Poverty was another big reason causing 1,205 suicides in Andhra, 344 in Karnataka and 164 in TN. The health ministry admits that suicide has become a serious health problem which mental health programmes till now did not pay much attention to. “We are now ready with a special suicide prevention strategy for schools and workplaces. Teachers can now to identify students with mental health problems and those who are likely to take drastic steps in ending their lives. Training will be given to MBBS doctors to identify as well as counsel patients suffering from mental health problems at district and sub-division levels,” an official said. India and China now have the highest suicide rates in the world. In China, for every 100,000 people, 99 commit suicide annually. In India, it is 98 for every 100,00 population. Japan, China and India account for about 40% of the world suicides.

India for humane treatment to two sailors
Special Correspondent
NEW DELHI: India has reiterated the need for humane treatment to the two Indians jailed in South Korea for their alleged role in an oil spill and expressed its disappointment over the harsh sentences imposed on them.
It hoped that the court would take into account the complete circumstances of the case and also consider the impact of the judgement on the maritime community while hearing the appeals planned to be filed by the lawyers of both Indians.
These sentiments were expressed by senior Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official N. Ravi when he met the South Korean Ambassador here on Monday.
Captain J. S. Chawla and Chief Officer Chetan Syam were given prison sentences in connection with an accident involving the ship ‘Hebei Spirit’ off the Korean coast last year.
They had maintained that their crude carrier was safely anchored when a crane barge being towed by another ship broke free in the rough waters and rammed their ship, leading to one of the worst oil spills off South Korea’s coast.

Disclose how many given security cover, HC to Punjab
15 Dec 2008, 2247 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN
CHANDIGARH: A day after TOI highlighted how VIPs in Punjab, many of them still using threat perceptions during days of terrorism as an excuse, had lavished a huge number of securitymen on themselves and kin, Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday sought names of those who have armed guards. Visibly perturbed, Justice Hemant Gupta and Justice Nawab Singh, after going through the TOI report placed before them by a petitioner, also asked the state government to disclose details of “threat perception” to such persons. The details — the names of those who get security cover and the number of security personnel on such duty — will have to be placed in a sealed cover before the high court on or before December 22, the next date of hearing. TOI had reported how the Punjab chief minister and his kin had an astounding 1,000 security personnel to cover them. Overall, about 900 leaders and 350 officers have 7,284 gunmen looking after their security needs. This, when internal security, which has come into sharp focus after the Mumbai attacks of November 26, exposed sieve-like loopholes. The significant directions, which may cause quite a bit of embarrassment to the state government once the data start rolling off, came in the wake of a plea filed by SGPC secretary Raghbir Singh who claimed that despite serious threats to him and his family Punjab had withdrawn security cover provided to him on March 3, 2007. During the course of hearing, Raghbir Singh’s counsel hammered on the fact that a large number of security personnel were provided to various influential people “without proper examination of threat perception to them”. Such persons included SGPC members, industrialists, hoteliers, bureaucrats and even medipersons. Surprisingly, police do not have proper records showing how many personnel are attached with which VIP. Depending on the clout they have in the establishment, politicians manage security guards from various police wings like Punjab Armed Police, Indian Reserve Battalion, Punjab Commando Police and 82-Battalion.

3 judges appointed
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil on Monday appointed Chief Justices A.K. Ganguly (Madras High Court), R.M. Lodha (Patna High Court) and H.L. Dattu (Kerala High Court) as judges of the Supreme Court. They are likely to be sworn-in on Wednesday. With their elevation, the strength of judges in the court has risen to 24, against the total strength of 26, including Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

High Court annuls own judgment, orders probe
Legal Correspondent
HYDERABAD: A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice D. S. R.Varma and Justice K. C. Bhanu on Monday declared that the judgment rendered by it in a criminal appeal does not ‘exist in law’ as a ruling had already been rendered in the same case earlier. It directed the High Court Registrar to conduct an inquiry into the lapses by the staff in this regard.
It may be recalled that one Ahmed Pasha was convicted by a court in Adilabad district and had sent a petition to the Legal Services Authority seeking legal aid. His relatives, meanwhile, arranged for an appeal to be filed on his behalf, which came up before a Bench of the court and was dismissed confirming the punishment.
After some time, the appeal that was processed through the Legal Services authority came up for hearing before the present Bench which acquitted him.
Later, it came to light that the two judgments were rendered by two different benches of the court in the same case. This was brought to the notice of the Bench comprising Justice Varma and Justice Bhanu.
Expresses dismay
The Bench expressed dismay over the attitude of the registry which failed to check the appeals being filed against the same judgment and not bringing the same to the notice of the court. The Bench dictated the judgment in the court hall till 6.15 p.m. beyond the working hours. It said that the second appeal, which it had adjudicated, was not maintainable and does not have the sanction of law.

Pension Adalat
VIJAYAWADA: As many as 55 cases were resolved and payments to the tune of Rs.60,000 made at the 23rd Pension Adalat organised by the Vijayawada division of the South Central Railway at the Railway Institute on Monday.
In response to a notification issued earlier by the Vijayawada division of the SCR, 55 representations were received and all were admitted. The payment of Rs.60,000 made pertained to 43 cases of these 55 cases. The adalat also attended to the 27 cases received on the day of last adalat held on February 17, 2007. In addition, 42 new cases were registered.

All set for Child Census 2008
Staff Correspondent
4.6 lakh houses to be covered in three days
Primary schools to remain closed from
December 18 to 20
5,358 enumerators, 559 supervisors to be involved in collecting data
MANGALORE: Various government departments in the district, as well as non- governmental organisations (NGOs) are gearing up for the State-wide “Child census 2008”, scheduled for December 18, 19 and 20.
The government, government-aided and private primary schools will remain closed on these three days. The primary school teachers will be engaging themselves in the door-to-door collection of data about children below 14.
The child census programme of the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) aims at indexing three major pieces of information: The number of children, who will become eligible for school or class 1 by June 2009; the number of children between six and 14 who are out of school; and the number of children below the age of 14 involved in child labour.
The census will attempt at finding reasons as to why children below 14 have stayed away from school.
Geetha Shetty, assistant project officer for Dakshina Kannada for SSA, said that the census would provide crucial indicators for the enrolment drive to be launched in June next.
The data would help in identifying the thrust areas for the residential bridge courses. These bridge courses were designed to prepare the drop-outs for mainstream schooling. Tent and mobile schools would be set up in areas with high density of drop-outs based on these statistics, she said.
A joint coordination committee, chaired by the Deputy Commissioner, will carry out the census operation in the district.
The committee will comprise representatives from the Department of Women and Child Development, Labour Department, Mangalore Urban Development Authority, Social Welfare Department and some NGOs. Ms. Shetty said that 5,358 enumerators and 559 supervisors would span out in the district to collect the data from an estimated 4,59,000 households.
Least drop-outs
According to the previous child census conducted in January this year, Dakshina Kannada, together with Udupi, had the distinction of having the lowest number of school drop-outs. It had been found that only 450 children were out of school in these districts.
According to Ms. Shetty, only three of these 450 continue to be out of school. A majority of the out-of-school children in the district were from migratory workers’ families. A substantial number of these children were bed-ridden, physically or mentally challenged, she added.

Court declines to quash charge sheet
KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Monday declined to quash the charge sheet and further proceedings initiated against the former Electricity Minister C.V. Padmarajan and others in a corruption case relating to the award of contracts for the Brahmapuram diesel power plant.
Justice V. Ramkumar, while disposing of petitions filed by Mr. Padmarajan and R. Narayanan, former KSEB Chairman, challenging the Vigilance case, held that the Thiruvananthapuram Vigilance Court alone had the jurisdiction to take cognizance and try the case.
The court ruled that the Thrissur Vigilance Court, where the case was pending, had no jurisdiction to issue summons to the accused and proceed with the case.
The court ordered that the Thrissur Vigilance Court return the police report and connected records for presentation of the case to the Thiruvananthapuram court.
As regards the contention for quashing the case, the court observed that it was too early to accept the ground put forward in support of the same. The court said that the question of prosecution sanctions under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code was “relegated to the trial stage.” Both sides were at liberty to raise all the contentions before the court during the trial of the case.
Revenue Secretary Niveditha P. Haran who appeared before a Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Monday submitted that she would file an affidavit detailing circumstances under which the government could not fully disburse the compensation for the land acquired for various purposes.
The Secretary told the court that compensation to the tune of Rs.300 crore had to be awarded in various land acquisition cases.

Social justice not ensured: SNDP leader
Staff Reporter
ALAPPUZHA: Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam general secretary Vellappally Natesan has alleged that social justice was not ensured in the distribution of tsunami rehabilitation funds in the coastal region of Alappuzha.
Inaugurating a dharna in front of the Aryad South village office as part of the SNDP’s Ambalapuzha union’s agitation against the ‘misuse’ of tsunami funds, Mr. Natesan alleged that a particular community had hijacked a lion’s share of the funds, particularly scholarship funds.
Officials had bent their knees before this particular community.
The SNDP was not against any community, but at the same time would agitate to any extent to ensure that the Ezhava community was not neglected by the authorities.
Accusing politicians of playing vote bank politics while doling out largesse to a particular community during the tsunami rehabilitation process, Mr. Natesan also said that this community had formed a pressure group to gain all possible benefits.

Supreme Court extends stay on High Court order
J. Venkatesan
Stalling construction in the Commonwealth Games village
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday extended the interim stay of the orders passed by the Delhi High Court stalling constructions in the Commonwealth Games village on the banks of river Yamuna in the Capital for holding the Games in 2010.
During ‘mentioning’ on December 5, a Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam had stayed till Monday the orders dated November 3 and all further proceedings relating to the constitution of a committee to go into the environmental aspects on the construction activities in the village.
On Monday, the bench extended the stay. Regarding constitution of a committee to examine the constructions in the village, the Bench said it would take up the issue later and pass appropriate orders.
When the matter was taken up Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati, appearing for the Delhi Development Authority submitted that the High Court had passed the orders about nine months after reserving judgment.
If the order was given effect to, it would seriously jeopardise the very conduct and holding of the Commonwealth games, for which a commitment had been made to the Commonwealth Federation.
“Shadow on the Games”
He said the direction on setting up of a committee would virtually put a halt on the constructions and had created an uncertainty and cast a shadow on the Games.
Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanian, appearing for the organising committee said that 71 countries would participate in the Games and “we are going to face claims from all the competing countries if the Games are not held as scheduled and we are under an obligation to pay damages.”
Senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina, for the Union Sports Ministry, senior counsel Abhishek Singhvi for the Delhi government and senior counsel Harish Salve and Arun Jaitley, for private builders explained how the impugned orders would jeopardise the Games.
In its special leave petition, the DDA said the directions issued by the High Court seemed to suggest that the CWG was being constructed on a river bed/flood plain. It said when expert and scientific bodies had given a categorical finding that the site in question was not a river bed or a flood plain.
On the direction to appoint a committee, the DDA said the fate of the CWG village could not be left to be decided by the committee which had no expertise in matters relating to the classification of the site in question.
The SLP sought quashing of the two orders and the related proceedings in the High Court.

Salwa Judum victims assured of relief
J. Venkatesan
Chhattisgarh Government says it has passed order in this regard
New Delhi: The Chhattisgarh Government has admitted in the Supreme Court that Salwa Judum and security forces had burnt houses and looted property and compensation has been ordered to the families of the victims of these atrocities.
In its response to a petition filed by Nandini Sundar and others highlighting the atrocities, Chhattisgarh Government said it had passed an appropriate order that residents of uninhabited villages would be rehabilitated and that residents of camps would be given rations and health protection.
Further, it said that security forces should not occupy schools or ashram buildings, which had been a long standing demand of the human rights movement in different parts of the country.
The order said: “Necessary action be ensured for rehabilitation of uninhabited families by District Level Rehabilitation Committee constituted under the chairmanship of Collector. Necessary scheme/proposal with respect to rehabilitation be sent to State Level Rehabilitation Committee. Necessary relief money be given in cases of properties damaged by Salwa Judum activists/security forces, besides naxalite violence, after village wise analysis.”
“Security forces be not allowed to stay in school/ashram buildings. Construction of barracks etc. required for stay of police force, be got carried out with the help of Police Department/Authority. Facilities of ration distribution, public distribution system, health toilet etc. in the relief camps be ensured. Inquiries and sudden inspection of complaints be carried out with respect to black-marketing of ration-distribution and kerosene. Proceedings on the aforementioned suggestions be commenced and its monthly report of steps taken be sent.” The case comes up for further hearing on Tuesday.

Demand for reservation in private sector
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: Under the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations banner, employees, officers and supporters of reservation from across the country organised a protest march in the Capital on Monday.
After assembling at the Ramlila Grounds here, the protesters marched to Jantar Mantar with bullock-carts and other animals to demand reservation in private sector and higher judiciary. They also demanded filling up of backlog posts, enactment of Reservation Act, strict implementation of Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act, besides a host of other demands.
Addressing the rally, the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations National Chairman Udit Raj said earlier there used to be at least a discussion about reservation in the private sector. Dr. Raj said as long as industrialists were pressurised by the Government, they were ready to bear some social obligations but now they have almost retracted.
“Liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation have eroded opportunities for SC/ST and marginalised people to retain the gains already achieved, what to talk about pacing with time and space.”

Lawyers protest against terror attacks
NEW DELHI: A large number of Delhi lawyers took out a silent march here on Monday in protest against the Mumbai terror attacks, demanding concrete action against terrorists and their training camps.
The march was organised by the Delhi High Court Bar Association and lawyers belonging to all district courts’ bar associations participated in it.
The protesters carried placards expressing condolences to the martyrs killed in the attacks as well demanding a firm action against the perpetrators and the sponsors of the crime.
The march started from the High Court premises and terminated at the India Gate.

‘Child labour hampers education in villages’
Staff Reporter
BHUBANESWAR: Political parties must incorporate issues relating to development of children in their manifestos, said students who came from different parts of the State here on Monday.
At a State-level interface of leaders of different political parties with children organised by ‘Orissa Alliance on Convention on Rights of Child (OACRC)’, students, who were earlier sensitised on various children’s issues, apprised leaders from different political of problems faced by them. “Increasing rate of child labour has hampered the education in village level. Government should stop it by constituting a parallel children body at grassroots,” said one Kabita Sahoo, a class-VII students, from Koraput district. Similarly, Sonali Dandasena from same district said primary health care units should be located nearer to villages so that they would not have to take additional pain for availing of those services. “While some leaders accepted that sufficient attention was not given on children’s issues in the election manifestos, others however were of the opinion that rights of children needed to be strengthened further,” OACRC Convenor Ranjan Mohanty said.

High Court rejects Ray’s plea
CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Monday declined to interfere in the disproportionate asset case against senior Congress leader Dilip Ray and rejected a petition of Ray.
The Congress leader, against whom the anti-corruption wing of the police had filed an FIR in 1996, had moved a petition in High Court in 2002 to quash the same.
The High Court after adjudicating over the petition had reserved its judgment last year.
Single judge bench of High Court presided over by Justice B P Das pronounced the judgment and rejected the petition declining to interfere.
his means, the senior Congress leader would now face the trial to be conducted by special vigilance court.
According to reports, the vigilance wing had detected disproportionate assets to the tune of more than Rs 4 crore and an FIR was filed in this connection in 1996. However, when charge-sheets of the case were not filed till after eight years, Ray moved the court to quash the FIR filed against him.
However, Vigilance directorate filed the charge sheets in 2007 and informed the High Court that the anti-corruption wing sleuths have in the meantime have collected several evidences in connection with the case.

CJI didn’t consult collegium over appointments: Govt
Press Trust of India
Tuesday, December 16, 2008, (New Delhi)
The Chief Justice of India did not consult the collegium while recommending the names of 351 additional judges for being made permanent, the Rajya Sabha was informed on Monday.Union Law minister H R Bhardwaj said in a written reply that the appointments were made between January 1, 1999 and July 31, 2007.He said on March 3, the apex court directed the Union of India to bring on record the memorandum of procedure for appointment of permanent judges and the government had complied with the direction. The matter has now been heard and the judgment is reserved.Replying to other questions, the minister said there is no proposal to change the present system of appointment of judges in the higher judiciary, though suggestions have been received from various quarters to make changes in the present procedure.The government has proposed a revision in the salaries and allowances of Supreme Court and High Court judges and for improvement of retrial benefits of former judges, the Minister said, adding that the government orders on the issue will be issued after effecting amendments in the relevant legislation.On a question related to a proposal to set up a panel to make appointments and to deal with errant judges, the minister told the House that the Judges (Inquiry) Bill 2006 aimed at setting up a National Judicial Council to examine complaints against judges was introduced earlier.The Bill was examined by the department related parliamentary standing committee and its report was examined in the department. It has now been decided to withdraw this Bill of 2006 and introduce another Bill titled – Judges (Inquiry) Amendment Bill 2008, the minister said.

BMW case: Delhi HC issues notice to cops on Nanda’s bail plea
16 Dec 2008, 1330 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday issued notice to the police on a bail plea filed by Sanjeev Nanda, a convict in the BMW hit-and-run case undergoing five-year prison term for mowing down six persons in 1999. Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani, appearing for Nanda, pleaded for bail on the ground that his grandfather S M Nanda, ex-Naval Chief, was not well and wanted to see him as he was his only grandson. Justice Kailash Gambhir, however, expressed reservations saying that the criminal appeal filed by Nanda had already reached the final stages. Jethmalani while seeking bail for Sanjeev referring to “excellent” service rendered by Nanda’s grandfather to the nation. “He (S M Nanda) was a man of excellent credentials, who served the nation throughout his life. He was the man who took a boat and went alone to Karachi in 1971 (during the Indo-Pakistani war) to bomb the city. “He is now above 90 years of age and is losing his memory. Whenever he gets back his memory, he remembers his only grandson,” Jethmalani said, while seeking bail for the convict. The court then agreed to hear the plea and issued notice to Delhi Police. Nanda, son of arms dealer Suresh Nanda, was sentenced to five-year jail term on September 5 for killing six persons including three policemen by his BMW car in the wee hours of January 10, 1999 at Lodhi Colony here.

1933 Hari masjid police firing: HC asks reasons for no FIR
16 Dec 2008, 0414 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The high court on Monday asked the state government why it had failed to register a first information report in the 1993 Hari Masjid police firing case. A section of society should not feel that despite disclosing a cognisable offence, the police are not registering their complaint, said a division bench of justices F I Rebello and R S Mohite, adding, We also cannot allow the police to be demoralised. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Farooq Mapkar, a victim of the firing at Hari Masjid on January 10, 1993, that killed seven persons. Mapkar has urged the court to direct the police to book assistant police inspector Nikhil Kapse for murder and also hand over the probe to the CBI. Kapse, then a police sub-inspector attached to the RAK Marg police station, had ordered the firing in the masjid at Sewri. The complaint (made by Mapkar) on its own, along with the (Srikrishna Commission) report, prima facie discloses a cognisable offence, observed the judges. Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar told the court that a Special Task Force, appointed by the state government to look into the commissions report that probed the 1992-93 Mumbai riots, had said that no offence was made out. During Mondays hearing, it was, however, revealed that the STF had not even examined any of the injured or other witnesses of the firing or recorded any statements. It was said constables at the spot as well as the driver of the then DCP K L Bishnoi had told the commission it was Kapse who ordered the firing. The wireless messages also supported the version that the firing had started before Bishnoi arrived at the place, and not afterwards as claimed by the police. Further arguments in the case will be held on Tuesday.

HC raps police for allowing scribe to talk to accused
16 Dec 2008, 0649 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Taking a serious view of security breach which allowed a journalist to interact with an alleged terrorist nabbed during the Batla House encounter even as he was being led to a nearby police station, Delhi High Court on Monday slammed the Delhi Police. “In such sensitive case you take the accused to a place where everyone can come and go. How can you secure the safety of accused. It is a serious breach of security,” a bench comprising chief justice A P Shah and justice S Muralidhar said. “You say it was a chaotic environment when they were arrested but the alleged confession is elaborate which prima facie seems not possible,” the court added, while hearing a petition filed by an NGO seeking action against police officials who allegedly leaked the information pertaining to investigations into the case to a news magazine. In their response to an HC query the Delhi Police had denied they allowed any scribe access to the arrested terrorists and said it must have been during the chaos as onlookers and bystanders thronged the Jamia Nagar area that in ensuing chaos some journalist might have managed access to one of the arrested men. Additional solicitor general Gopal Subramanium contended that since a large crowd was following the accused so the journalist might have got an opportunity to talk to them. “As large number of people constituting of local leaders, RWA members among others also started questioning these detainees. The journalist might have managed to talk to them while they were in police custody,” he said. But HC wasn’t convinced and noted, “It’s an elaborate interview and prima facie it was difficult to believe that the journalist conducted the interview while they were being arrested by the police and taken to the police station to interrogate them. HC also wondered why the terror suspects were questioned in a temporary structure. “It is surprising that interrogation was carried out at Jamia Nagar police station which doesn’t even have a lock up facility, this itself is a breach of security,” the judges quipped. The court was hearing a petition which alleged that “Delhi Police is leaking information which was obtained by them in course of their interrogation into the case to the media. Also, the manner in which media publishes such information, apart from being defamatory in nature, affects the fundamental right of accused to a fair trial.” HC however, turned down the plea of judicial inquiry into the Jamia Nagar encounter and said that NHRC, which is looking into the matter, is competent authority to handle the case. “A similar matter seeking judicial inquiry came up before Supreme Court which was not entertained. The NHRC is efficient enough to proceed in the case,” the bench observed and sought a reply from the police on its affidavit filed before NHRC. Five accused were arrested by the city police for their alleged involvement in September 13 serial blasts in the Capital which killed 26 people. Rehman, Nissar and Shakil were arrested by the police from Jamia Nagar on September 20, a day after two alleged militants were gunned down in an encounter. Mohd Saif and Zeeshan were arrested on the day of the encounter.

Teen driver may get away lightly
16 Dec 2008, 0649 hrs IST, Medha Chaturvedi, TNN
NEW DELHI: Being a minor seems to have come to the aid of the 16-year-old boy who was allegedly behind the wheels of the Scorpio which rammed into a Maruti 800 a little past midnight on Friday, killing five members of a family in Keshavpuram area of north-west Delhi. According to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000, no case will be registered against the accused if the section applicable invites punishment for a maximum of seven years. However, if the section applicable is a more serious one entailing punishment over seven years, then the Act provides for a maximum of three years protective custody in a reformatory home. In the Keshavpuram incident, although the case registered is under section 304 of IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), the maximum punishment likely will be three years’ protective custody. “The law states that a juvenile is a person in conflict with law, and hence must be dealt with compassion. We cannot go against the law in trying to punish a minor. If three years is the maximum punishment he faces, then three years will be what he will get,” said a senior police official. Now, the father of the accused can face a maximum punishment of imprisonment for three months or Rs 1000 as fine or both. “I have lost my brother and his family and my daughter in the accident. Do you think that a penalty of Rs 1000 or three months or even three years in prison are enough? I agree that being a child, the accused has only committed a mistake, but what about his father? Why is he not being booked under a harsher section? Is the value for five lives of our family only Rs 1000 or three months’ imprisonment? What kind of an unfair law is this?” said Mukesh Gupta, deceased Rakesh’s brother. He added that the accused’s father did not even talk to the victims’ family once. Advocate YP Singh, who has dealt with many cases pertaining to the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act said, “If cops have registered a case under Section 304, it is clear that he is accused of causing death with intent. Section 304 is applicable when there is reasonable evidence to suggest that the driver knew that his actions would cause hurt or death to someone. In this case, the boy did not have a licence and he was overspeeding knowing fully well that this could result in an accident. However, the law favours a minor.”

Courts clear 67 of 300 adoption cases
16 Dec 2008, 0650 hrs IST, Deeksha Chopra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Following the HC directive to clear all pending adoption
cases in four weeks, 67 cases have been disposed of since November 15 until date by the district and sessions judge Mamta Sehgal. As many as 300 adoption cases had been pending with the district courts. Further these cases have now been divided among two other district judges in an effort to lighten load and expedite proceedings in the timeframe. Earlier, all adoption cases were being dealt with by district and sessions judge Mamta Sehgal. In a further move, all new adoption cases would now be divided among the nine district courts. As a reaction to a TOI report on November 14, Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah called a meeting with Coordinating Voluntary Adoption Resource Agency (CVARA) and concerned district and sessions court judges and gave a deadline of four weeks to district courts to dispose of all 300 pending cases and submit a report to him at the end of this period. The action followed a TOI report on November 14 on how adoption cases were being held up for six months to a year in the Delhi district court, despite a Supreme Court judgment and directive, making it mandatory that all adoption cases be disposed of within two months. As a result, things have started moving quite swiftly in district courts. Already, 67 cases have been disposed of since November 15 until date by the district and session’s judge Mamta Sehgal, who was earlier single-handedly looking after adoption. Now, some of the pending cases with her have been transferred to two other district judges in Tis Hazari. The other two district judges, who are now also handling adoption cases, are M L Mehta of North district and Rakesh Kapoor of West district. Said district judge Rakesh Kapoor: “The old adoption cases will be handled between the three district judges in Tis Hazari and the new cases filed will be divided between the nine district judges in all courts. About 200 cases of adoption and guardianship will be transferred to my court. Now that cases have been divided, they will be disposed of expeditiously. Previously, only one judge was dealing with them.” Meanwhile, when TOI tried contacting district and sessions judge Mamta Sehgal, she refused to comment on the matter. Leila Baig, hony secretary CVARA, told TOI that agencies and lawyers are very happy with this move and are quite positive that held up cases in the district court will now be cleared: “We are very happy with the prompt move by the hony Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and district court judge after TOI published the report on long delays in adoption cases. Many adoption agencies have contacted us, expressing their gratitude. Lawyers have also noted that cases are moving faster.” Lawyers have applauded this direction and say that cases are now being decided very swiftly. “I had at least 40 adoption cases pending in Tis Hazari court, but in the last 20 days itself, 20 of those cases have been cleared by the judges, which is a phenomenal rate. I personally am quite pleased with the rate at which cases are now being disposed of and hope it will continue,” said advocate Mohinder Singh.

Hasan Ali surrenders in fake passport case
16 Dec 2008, 0427 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: Hasan Ali Khan, a Pune-based businessman, on Monday surrendered before the Bhoiwada court in connection with a fake passport case against him. He was arrested and remanded to police custody till December 19. Khan, who is also accused of being involved in a multi-crore hawala racket, was declared a proclaimed absconder by a court in April this year. Worli police officers said Khan was produced before the Bhoiwada court which remanded him to police custody till December 19. “We had registered a case against Khan as he had procured three passports after furnishing fake documents. We are questioning him now,” said Bharat Worlikar, senior inspector of Worli police station. In February 2008, the regional passport office (RPO) lodged a case against Khan, alleging that he had procured three fake passports from Hyderabed, Patna and Mumbai. Khan had also made two separate applications for fresh passports from Chandigarh and Guwahati. He has been booked for cheating under sections of the Indian Penal Code and under sections of the Passport Act, which deals in cases in which false information is furnished to procure a passport. Ali is wanted by the Pune police after a joint raid by the income tax department (IT) and Enforcement Directorate (ED) revealed he had stashed huge amounts abroad. Police said Khan is believed to maintain bank accounts in Switzerland, UAE and the UK. He is also suspected to have stashed huge amounts of money in Swiss bank accounts. Officials also said Ali’s friend, Switzerland hotelier Philip Anandraj, was suspected to be the man who knew about his foreign transactions. Khan also has a history of petty criminal cases in Hyderabad, from where he moved to Pune several years ago. According to the investigating agencies, Khan’s wealth is believed to be about Rs 35,000 crore and most of it is unaccounted.

Frame-up: Closure report challenged
16 Dec 2008, 0650 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi police on Monday sought time from a session court to file its written submissions on the closure report filed by the CBI, which recently gave a clean chit to two Kashmiri youth accused of being members of militant outfit Al-Badr. Additional Sessions Judge Satendar Kumar Gautam deferred the hearing till December 24 giving time to the special cell to file its objections on the CBI’s recommendation to the court that three sub-inspectors of the Delhi Police’s special cell be formally charged for framing Mohd Irshad and Morif Qamar in 2006, by fabricating evidence that linked them to an elaborate terror network. The two were brought to the court following the ASJ Gautam had issued a production warrant against them on the previous date. Earlier, arguing before the court, special cell counsel Rajiv Mohan challenged the closure report. “CBI started fresh investigations in the case. However, the SC’s ruling clearly states that no fresh investigation, re-investigation can be conducted,” he said, adding that CBI was only suppose to further investigate the case. On discharge of the accused, the prosecution said, “in the light of further investigations, the CBI cannot ask for discharging of the accused.” The CBI, however, argued on the loopholes of the investigation done by the special cell and said, “no independent witness has been cited by the local police.” Meanwhile, the defence counsel sought discharging of the Irshad and Qamar on the grounds that the closure report proves them innocent and they have been kept in custody for no reason. The court, however, denied the defence’s request and put their discharge on hold till the objection of the prosecution is filed. The special cell of the Delhi Police had arrested the two in February 2006, from ISBT at Kashmere Gate. The police had at the time claimed that pistols, RDX, detonators and other ammunition had also been recovered from their possession. However, on November 11 this year, the CBI submitted a closure report in the court seeking their discharge as “nothing adverse could be found” against the two. Seeking their discharge, the agency had also sought permission from the court for taking action against three Delhi Police officers posted with the Special Cell, who had played a key role in the arrest at the time. Acting on the directions of the Delhi High Court, the CBI questioned the three officers – Vinay Tyagi, Ravinder Tyagi and Subash Vats. The agency has demanded the three be booked for lying under oath and creating “false” evidence.

HC summons health dept principal secy
16 Dec 2008, 0501 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The high court on Monday summoned the principal secretary, health, and director general (medical and health) for December 18 to explain as to why the court should not direct the governments to provide ante haemophilia factors (a kind of protein) in government hospitals. The order came from the bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Hasnain on the public interest litigation filed by the secretary of Haemophilia Society, Lucknow, Vinay Manchanda, and a third year law student of Dr Ram Manohar Lohia University, Nimisha R Bahadur. The PIL seeks availability of medicines and anti-vaccines in the hospitals so that the life of patients suffering from haemophilia could be saved. The court had earlier directed to constitute an expert committee. It met on December 3 and 4 to discuss that positive steps be taken to provide better and more effective treatment to haemophiliac patients. There are 2,693 diagnosed haemophiliac patients in the state. Out of it, 1,594 are registered with the petitioner society. It was informed to the court on Monday that infusion of factor VIII (one of the protein contents of blood serum) is the appropriate treatment of the haemophiliac patients. But since the Factor VIII is not manufactured in India, such patients could be treated by providing cryo-precipitate blood component. The counsel for the petitioners, Rakesh Srivastava and Sudeep Seth, however, rejected the alternative therapy to the haemophiliac patients and demanded that the government must ensure supply of factor VIII and IX in the government hospitals in the state. The PIL will come up for hearing on December 18.

RTI clears decks for SEBI to obtain info from stock exchange
15 Dec 2008, 0254 hrs IST, Viju B, TNN
MUMBAI: This will come as a big relief to lakhs of investors who have been trying to procure information from the Bombay Stock Exchange through the Right to Information (RTI) Act. In a landmark order, the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) appellate authority has directed its own public information officer (PIO) to obtain information from the Bombay Stock Exchange which the regulator has access to, but does not have any third party interest. The order came after RTI applicant Yogesh Mehta filed a slew of appeals with the Central Information Commission (CIC) in July this year. The CIC had directed SEBI’s appellate authority to hear appeals filed by Mehta who sought details of BSE’s Investor Protection Fund (IPF), and BSE’s compliance report of implementation of SEBI’s order. When the appeal came up for hearing, the BSE officials said that though they do not have any objection in providing information to SEBI, they contended that the regulator cannot seek information from BSE for the purpose of providing the same to the citizens under the RTI Act. The BSE officials argued that though various sections of RTI Act do provide citizens the right to get information which is under the control of the public authority, it does not provide the same right to the public authority to collect information from private bodies. “The disclosure of information will also affect the pending legalproceedings. We also fear the information will be misused by the applicant,” the BSE official argued. But when it came up for hearing, the BSE refused to furnish details of court cases which would adversely affect this case. The SEBI’s appellate authority, on hearing the appeal, said it is clear the BSE holds some of the information sought by the applicant and such information also comes under SEBI’s ambit. “There is no prohibition on BSE in providing such information to SEBI or on SEBI accessing such information from BSE for the purpose of RTI. SEBI can also access such information from BSE under the securities laws,” the order said. The SEBI’ s appellate authority, M S Sahoo, in the 15-page order, also noted that if such information is not exempted under section (8) of the RTI Act and if BSE does not have objection to third party disclosure, then the information should be provided to the applicant. While directing the SEBI’s PIO to procure the information from BSE, the appellate authority said he regretted that the information could not be disposed of within the time period specified by the CIC. “This is because of the non-cooperation of SEBI’s PIO and BSE,” Sahoo noted.

HC sees jungle raj in untamed cop inaction
Statesman News ServiceKOLKATA, Dec. 15: Calcutta High Court has often stepped in to prevent breakdown in dispensation of justice owing to police inaction, but seldom has it rubbed it in as it did today. “If Calcutta High Court does not interfere at this moment, jungle raj would prevail.” Mr Justice Dipankar Dutta of this court observed while passing directions in a case of police inaction in North-24-Parganas during the day. The inspector-in-charge of Basirhat police station was directed to ensure that the family members of Mr Netiapada Ghosh could enter and leave their house with police assistance. Permanent deployment of police near their house was also directed, till the disposal of the case. Mr Ghosh, a resident Basirhat in North-24-Parganas had moved Calcutta High Court after he and his family members were prevented from entering their own house by the members of two local clubs. Accused of complicity in the death of Jhuma Ghosh who allegedly committed suicide, Ghosh and other members of his family had been granted bail by sub divisional judicial magistrate, Basirhat. But even after being released on bail, life became an ordeal for the Ghosh family. On their return from court, they were beaten up and prevented from entering their home by some members of Nabasri and Matrika, two local clubs. No steps were taken to ensure their entry and stay in their own home even after a complaint was lodged with the Basirhat police station and information to the superintendent of police, North-24-Parganas was informed, it was alleged. Ghosh moved the court after some of the club members allegedly ransacked his house and looted it.

HC ignores bona fide requirement
Rakesh Bhatnagar
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 02:12 IST
NEW DELHI: While the Delhi high court has said that a landlord can evict his tenant if he wishes to build a pooja room or a guest room to accommodate visiting married daughters and sons, a landlord here was denied this bona fide right by the rent control tribunal and then the HC.
A landlord wanted to evict a tenant who has been occupying the ground floor of his spacious house in the posh Jangpura area since 1973. While the current market rent of the premises stands at Rs15,000 a month, this tenant has been paying the landlord the old rent amount — Rs500.
The tenant then shifted his family to Ludhiana and also purchased a sprawling farm house in Delhi, but refused to vacate from the landlord’s house. The landlord has been living with his ailing wife in a one bed room premises on the first floor of the said house.
The landlord then approached the rent control tribunal to get the tenant to vacate the house. Even though he established that the tenant now owned a house and a farm house of his own and he now needed a pooja room for himself and a guest room for his married daughter and sons living abroad, the rent control tribunal rejected the landlord’s plea.
Dejected, the landlord then moved the HC to challenge the rent controller’s order.
But recalling a supreme court judgment in the case of a landlord Malpe Vishwanath Acharya from Maharashtra, the HC quashed the order.
Giving a boost to harassed landlords, the HC held that “the rent control act was enacted by the legislature to protect the interests of the tenants”.
“This enactment was considered necessary in view of the paucity of accommodation in a city like Delhi. The purpose of the act was not to give a tool in the hands of tenants to trouble the landlords,” a bench of Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra said.
However, “the purpose is not to give a tool in the hands of tenants to exploit the landlords. That is why, the legislation categorically provides under section 14(1) (h) that if the tenant acquires residential accommodation, the landlord can evict him. It is settled law that merely non mentioning of the provisions of law, is not a fatal defect and the court can take note of correct provision of law and give relief”, justice Dhingra added.

HC shield for family out on bail
Calcutta, Dec. 15: The high court has told police to provide security to a family after they were prevented from entering their home by villagers despite securing bail in a case of abetting their daughter-in-law’s suicide.
Justice Dipankar Dutta said policemen should be posted in front of Nityapada Ghosh’s house in Barasat till the end of trial. “If this court does not intervene, jungle raj will prevail,” he said.
The order came after a plea from Ghosh, a trader in bell metal utensils. He was held with his wife, two sons and two daughters after daughter-in-law Jhuma allegedly jumped into a pond. “They got bail in June but local residents prevented them from returning home and beat them up,” lawyer Anjan Bhattacharya said.

SC questions decision to defer tobacco warnings…/398973/
Express news service Posted: Dec 16, 2008 at 0126 hrs IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Ministry of Health to explain why the proposed display of pictorial warnings on packets of cigarettes and other tobacco products has been deferred to May 31, 2009. The graphic warnings were originally meant to be implemented on December 1 but the Union Cabinet decided to defer the move last month. The court gave the Ministry of Health four weeks to file the reasons for the decision and thereafter adjourned the matter.
The notice seeking the Government’s response came from the Bench of Justices B N Agarwal and G S Singhvi, acting on an application filed by an NGO, Health for Millions, which had questioned the delay.
Senior advocate Indira Jaisingh, appearing for the NGO, alleged that Government authorities delayed the implementation of the notification due to pressure from the tobacco lobby. The Centre had earlier issued two notifications directing tobacco manufacturers to print pictorial warnings.

Govt plans new legislation on medical devices: Sibal

BS Reporter / New Delhi December 15, 2008, 15:29 IST
The government is working on a legislation to regulate the quality of medical equipment being marketed in the country, Kapil Sibal, Minister for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences said.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the fifth India Health Summit on the theme “Optimizing Healthcare Delivery in India: A Patient Centric Approach”, Sibal said the new regulation will help standardization of the quality of medical devices manufactured in India.
“Most of the medical equipments in India are imported and the medical devices industry in India has not grown much. The government of India is working on Medical Devices legislation, in order to standardize the quality of Indian manufactured medical devices,” he said.
Sibal identified four key areas—R&D in the field of technology and genomics focussed on target drugging, vaccinations & innovative solutions, manufacturing & managing medical devices domestically, delivery of quality human resource and affordability—as the major challenges before healthcare sector.
Speaking on the occasion, Prathap C Reddy, Chairman, CII National Committee on healthcare & Chairman – Apollo Hospitals Group, said: “The task before us is how do we rapidly fill the huge deficit for quality healthcare, which is inaccessible to many. We should look at innovative healthcare models, work on standard definition and working environment for PPP. Skills availability in healthcare sector is not upto the mark; the government should now look at healthcare’s requirement to quickly multiply the number of healthcare professionals in India.”
Highlighting on the aspects of corporate social responsibility, Pervez Ahmed, Chairman, 5th Indian Health Summit & Executive Medical Director, Max Hospitals Group said solutions to healthcare should follow a proximity approach which is customized to the local community. Integrating research and technology aligning healthcare delivery should be given immense importance, he added.

Ghost of Punjab encounters resurfaces
Ajay Bharadwaj
Monday, December 15, 2008 02:17 IST
CHANDIGARH: The onerous task of identifying bodies cremated by the Punjab Police after encounter killings during the height of militancy has thrown up some chilling reminders. Some 1,000 applications have been received from across Punjab while the authorities are trying to identify 657 bodies in Amritsar.The Kang committee, headed by financial commissioner NS Kang, was constituted in September to confirm identities of 657 unidentified bodies the police cremated in Amritsar between 1984 and 1994. The committee was constituted at the behest of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after the CBI ascertained the identity of about 1,350 bodies in the district. All of them had been cremated by police at three cremation grounds in Amritsar during the said period without establishing their identity.After the NHRC awarded compensation to families of about 1,350 persons who were cremated as unidentified, the Kang committee was to complete the task of identifying the remaining 657 bodies.But till this week the committee had received applications from about 1,000 people in Punjab. A senior officer said that the rush of applications indicated that the number of people who went missing in Punjab was much higher than thought.Kang, however, clarified that since his committee was looking into cases pertaining to Amritsar alone, the rest of the applications would be turned down. He said, former district judge KK Garg, a member of the committee, would identify cases pertaining to Amritsar within a month.The matter of mass cremations undertaken by police in Amritsar had come to light in the mid-nineties after which the supreme court asked the CBI to fix responsibility. The CBI investigation found that 194 persons had died in police custody whereas over 1200 “unidentified” bodies were cremated at the three cremation grounds in the district.The NHRC awarded Rs1.75 lakh in compensation to the next of kin of 1,051 individuals for violation of “dignity of the dead.” In these cases, the police did not admit custody of the individual prior to death and cremation.The NHRC also awarded Rs2.5 lakh to the next of kin of 194 individuals for the violation of the right to life, where the Punjab Police admitted custody prior to death but did not admit to the unlawful killing.The NHRC had then clarified that it was not expressing any opinion about culpability, yet the entire matter has been a major embarrassment for the Punjab Police.

SC refuses to entertain IMA plea against ayurvedic doctors
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 20:09 IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a PIL challenging the permission given by several state governments to ayurvedic doctors allegedly practising allopathy.
The apex court also pulled up the Indian Medical Association for filing the petition in which it had made list of 25 prayers and several respondents as party.
“You should not file this sort of a petition. You have made 25 prayers and named too many respondents,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said while disagreeing with the submission of senior advocate Nidhesh Gupta that allowing ayurvedic doctors to practice allopathic medicine was in violation of the provisions of the Indian Medical Council Act.
The advocate had cited a judgement of the apex court to buttress his submission but the bench declined to accept it.
“We are not going to look into the judgement given by this court,” the Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivam said adding that “it is not possible for this court to supervise the whole system”.
The court suggested that the IMA can approach the Medical Council of India with its plea.
“We cannot give general directions. You have sought wide directions which are not possible,” the Bench said.
Realising that the Bench was dismissing the petition, the advocate sought to withdraw it with a liberty to approach an appropriate court.

Indian screenwriters lay protocol for proactive future
updated on: 15/12/08

MUMBAI: The Film Writers Association’s second Indian Screenwriting Conference was held on 13 and 14 December in Mumbai.The conference took up the issues like the standard and uniqueness of Indian scriptwriting, the politics of a script, screenwriters’ professional and legitimate rights, standard of remuneration, credit protection, royalties, problems confronting the writer-director and the writer-producer relationship and writing for TV amongst others.Convenor of the conference Anjum Rajabali said, “In the last two and a half years, the number of producers have increased by 25 percent, but their ability to understand screenplay is questionable.”The Film Writers Association’s treasurer Subhash Jetly also listed various proposals that have been worked upon and implemented since last year’s Indian screenwriting conference. Some of which include a moral contract to govern writers’ rights, protect writers’ interest in public eye- especially at award functions where best writers’ award will now be given after best supporting actor at the Filmfare and Screen awards, writers’ workshops and seminars be organized in 2009, proactive and dynamic interactions between young and old writers. Additionally, the TV writers contract is underway.During the panel discussions while some writers expressed their concern over lack of fresh and influencing movie script ideas in this time and age, others acknowledged the steady rise in the quality of Indian scripts with a large infusion of fresh talent into the field that takes screenwriting very seriously.Writer turned director Abbas Tyrewala said, “We only talk about what should be done and not about what should not be done, take for instance copying of scripts.”The conference saw in attendance various writers and directors such as Kamal Hasan, Amol Palekar, Rajkumar Hirani, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Prakash Jha, Govind Nihalani, Kamlesh Pandey, Rohan Sippy, Sanjay Gadhvi, Sriram Raghavan, Sridhar Raghavan, Aatish… Kapadia, B R Ishara, Vinay Shukla amongst many others.

British rape victim approaches SC against HC relief to convict
Tuesday, December 16, 2008 19:59 IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to examine the petition of a British tourist challenging the bail granted to a guest house owner who was sentenced to life imprisonment for raping her in Rajasthan’s Udaipur district.
A bench of Justices Tarun Chatterjee and V S Sirpurkar, which had earlier issued notice to accused Parbat Singh and the Rajasthan Government, posted the matter for final disposal in the second week of January 2009 after counsel Vikram Chowdhary mentioned the matter in the court.
Parbat Singh, proprietor of Pardesi Guest House in Udaipur’s Ambamata region, raped the British woman who is a freelance journalist on December 23, 2007 on the pretext of giving her an extra blanket.
Though the Fast Track cum Sessions Court, Udaipur, on May 1, 2008 convicted and sentenced Singh to life imprisonment, the Rajasthan High Court in July this year suspended the sentence and granted the convict bail, pending disposal of the appeal filed by him.
Questioning the suspension of the sentence and the grant of bail, the victim in her petition before the apex court submitted that granting such a relief to the convict has not only wrecked her psychologically and shattered her spirits, but would also seriously erode India’s image as a tourist destination.
The British victim submitted that granting bail and suspending the sentence imposed on Singh involved in such a heinous offence amounted to rewarding a convict and hence the High Court’s order should be quashed.
According to the petitioner, the High Court’s order granting such a relief to the convict was both against the law and principles of equity.

Wives accused of adultery must get alimony
The National Commission for Women has asked the government not to amend section 497 (Anti-Adultery Act) and treat women as ‘victims’ of adultery, thereby paving the way for payment of alimony to adulterous wives. .
CALL IT “unbelievable” if you wish. But, the National Commission for Women has decided to contest in the Supreme Court of India, section 125 of CRPC. Amongst the provisions that the Commission wants a review is an increase in the amount of interim maintenance for women by not less than 30 per cent of the husband’s monthly income. The Commission also wants the provision that deprives a wife from claiming maintenance if she is living in adultery to be deleted. “This provision is mostly misused and adultery cases framed against a woman to deny her basic expenses,” NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said. It has also decided against making Alimony Act gender neutral since, according to the NCW, a majority of households still have men as breadwinners.
Outrageous, insulting and unjust, one may say, but the NCW is doing every bit it can do and is trying every trick in the rule book to ensure that adulterous women get away with their crime and their unfortunate husbands are made to pay maintenance to them. In another recommendation, it has asked the government not to amend section 497 (adultery) and treat women as ‘victims’ of adultery. Under IPC 497, men alone can be prosecuted; women cannot be punished for adultery.
Some people may argue in favour of the NCW plea with regard to misuse of the said provision relating to denial of alimony quoting adultery. It is like saying, “I have a cold and as a solution, I will chop-off my nose.”

It is high time civil society wakes up to this growing tendency of the NCW going overboard in the guise of women empowerment. Men in particular, need to be organised in order to fight and defend their rights.


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