LEGAL NEWS 30-31.01.2008

More judges in high court sought
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/More_judges_in_high_court_sought/articleshow/4043481.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0519 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The convener of the coordination committee of three associations of lawyers of Patna High Court, Yogesh Chandra Verma, has demanded an increase in the sanctioned strength of judges in Patna High Court from 43 to 60. The coordination committee in its resolution urged the Bar Council of India (BCI) to consider the latest amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) and take appropriate steps which would be abided by the legal fraternity across the country. Verma said the amendment to CrPC was carried out along with the passage of 11 other Bills in the Lok Sabha in just 20 minutes was a mockery of democratic functioning. He said lawyers across the country are sore over the amended provision in Section 309(b) of CrPC which makes an adjournment of hearing of criminal cases impossible even when the pleader concerned is attending another case in another court. Another amended provision in Section 309(c) of CrPC giving the court discretion to “record the statement of the witness and pass orders as it thinks fit dispensing with the examination-in-chief (recording of evidence given by the witness) and cross-examination of the witness” has been passed hurriedly, Verma said. He added that such discretion is given to the court “in case the witness is present in the court, but a party or his pleader is absent, or if the pleader present in the court is not ready to conduct examination-in-chief or cross-examination. But in totality, this would mean miscarriage of justice as examination-in-chief and cross-examination of witnesses are important for giving a correct verdict in a criminal case, Verma said.

CEC recommends removal of Navin Chawla
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/CEC_recommends_removal_of_Navin_Chawla/articleshow/4056239.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0955 hrs IST, TIMESOFINDIA.COM
NEW DELHI: The Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami has recommended to the government removal of the other Election Commissioner Navin Chawla. The BJP had alleged that Chawla was close to the Congress party. The recommendation comes about three months before Gopalaswami is to demit office on April 20 and is based on a petition by the BJP which had complained against the “partisan” functioning of Chawla. In 2006, leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L K Advani and 204 MPs had submitted a petition to then President APJ Abdul Kalam seeking the removal of Chawla as Election Commissioner on the ground of alleged partisanship. The main opposition party also took the matter to the Supreme Court. Gopalaswami in his affidavit to the apex court had claimed that the CEC had suo motu power to recommend the removal of an Election Commissioner. Following which the BJP withdrew its petition in the apex court and again took up the issue with the CEC. Government had maintained in the Supreme Court that the CEC had no suo motu power power to remove an Election Commissioner. “I did my job. The report has been given,” Gopalswami told PTI but declined to elaborate. The Chief Election Commissioner’s recommendation ahead of the general elections brings to the fore the differences among the three-member body which has often been marred by clashes over crucial decisions. Only last year, Chawla had raised serious objections to the holding of the Karnataka assembly elections in May but was over ruled. Similarly, he is believed to have also had reservations over the conduct of assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh in the summer of 2007. Under the provisions of the Constitution, the recommendation of the CEC was required for the removal of an Election Commissioner. But it is not clear whether the government would act on the suo motu recommendation of the CEC for removal of Chawla. Sources said that Gopalaswami has believed to have given the recommendation but he was not sure whether the government would accept it. The Commission works on the principle of consensus and in case of differences, it goes by majority opinion. Gopalaswami is understood to be of the view that Chawla and the other Election Commissioner S Y Qurashi could get together and ensure that the Lok Sabha elections could very well start after April 20 once he is out of the Commission. This is for the second time that removal of an Election Commissioner is coming up before the poll panel. In 1990, soon after the National Front government came to power, it removed two Commissioners appointed by the Rajiv Gandhi government by reducing the number of Commissioners from the three-member Commission just before the 1998 polls.

Intricate issues involved in CEC’s recommendation: Congress
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Intricate_issues_involved_in_CECs_recommendation_Congress/articleshow/4056624.cms
31 Jan 2009, 1206 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Saturday said that Chief Election Commissioner N Goapalaswami’s recommendation for removal of Navin Chawla involve “several intricate issues of law”, including the “very jurisdiction of the CEC to exercise such powers on a colleague”. “We have no official notice of the recommendation or its content,” Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi said. “There are several intricate issues of law involved including the very jurisdiction of the CEC to exercise such powers on a colleague,” he said. “Since press reports suggest that the matter is in the domain of the Central government, it would be premature to comment further till a considered view is taken keeping in mind all legal aspects at the Centre’s level,” he said.

BJP demands firm action on CEC’s recommendation on Chawla
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/BJP_demands_firm_action_on_CECs_recommendation_on_Chawla/articleshow/4056627.cms
31 Jan 2009, 1208 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: With Chief Election Commissioner N Gopalaswami recommending the removal of his colleague Navin Chawla, the BJP today demanded “firm action” on the issue saying the “credibility” of the poll panel is “at stake”. “The credibility of the Election Commission is at stake with the CEC asking for the sacking of one of its members to the President,” BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said. He also demanded firm action on the issue, saying the development poses a threat to the democratic fabric of the country. “The Election Commission is now mired in controversy. In absence of a firm action, the fairness of the Commission would become a suspect, posing a threat to democracy and Constitution,” he added. Gopalaswami has recommended the removal of the other Election Commissioner Navin Chawla to the government. The recommendation comes about three months before Gopalaswami is to demit office on April 20 and is based on a petition by the BJP which had complained against the “partisan” functioning of Chawla. The BJP had alleged that Chawla was close to the Congress party.

CIC members refuse to declare assets in public
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/CIC_members_fail_to_raise_transparency_bar/articleshow/4054732.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0102 hrs IST, Himanshi Dhawan, TNN
NEW DELHI: Information commissioners have chosen not to disclose their own assets’ declaration on the CIC’s website, in a development which may cause many to wonder whether the transparency watchdog has trouble following what it preaches to others. In a candid admission, chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said, “All information commissioners have declared their assets but they felt that this information should not be put on the commission’s website. They did not want it on the CIC website.” Queried further why the transparency watchdog was not keen on disclosure of its assets, Habibullah said, “The commissioners felt that they could put up the information on their personal website.” Crucially, none of the eight commissioners have their own website. A recent CIC meeting saw information commissioners, save a couple of exceptions, vigorously contesting the idea of full public disclosure of their assets. They felt that giving income details would force state commissioners to follow suit, giving opportunity to those who wish to “embarrass them”. Sources said that since it was not “legally binding”, the commissioners decided to reject the idea. Though the law does not require the commissioners to make their assets public, information rights activists including Shailesh Gandhi, a commissioner himself, feel that the CIC should not take shelter behind technicalities. In fact, commissioners have often frowned upon and ruled against those who have cited procedures and conventions to resist demands that their assets be put in the public domain. The decision comes days after a CIC order in which it ruled that the Chief Justice of India is a public authority and information held by the CJI’s office — including the number and names of judges who have filed their assets — should be made public. The decision has been challenged by the SC in the Delhi High Court. The issue of declaration of assets by information commissioners was first raised by activist-turned-CIC member Shailesh Gandhi who has made his property statement public. In November 2008, a Pune-based applicant sent an e-mail to Habibullah asking information commissioners to reveal their personal income. In his reply, Gandhi gave details of his personal income and family wealth amounting to Rs 5.38 crore. He also wrote to Habibullah suggesting that other commissioners should, in public interest, follow suit. While making public details about his income, Gandhi said in response to an RTI appeal, “I believe that my decision to transparently declare my income and assets is right.” Times View
The CIC owes its very existence to the principle of transparency in public life. It must therefore go beyond just what the law mandates in furthering the cause of transparency. While passing orders on others it will be restricted by what the law says, in its own case it would do well to set a moral example for others to follow. This could be done by pro-active disclosures that may not, strictly speaking, be legally required. Hopefully, this will also shame other public bodies into following suit.

HC says RIL can sell gas, but subject to final verdict
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/HC_says_RIL_can_sell_gas_but_subject_to_final_verdict/articleshow/4053533.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0107 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: Accepting the Centre’s plea, the Bombay high court on Friday vacated all earlier interim orders and allowed Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) to sell gas from its KG basin at government-approved price of $4.20 per mmBtu as an interim measure. The HC passed the interim order while reserving its judgment in the legal fight between the Ambani brothers over the gas supply agreement. Younger brother Anil Ambani’s RNRL has been contending that RIL should sell it gas on the same terms that RIL had agreed with NTPC – at $2.34 per mmBtu. RNRL had dragged RIL to the company court in 2006 which, in May 2007, restrained RIL from creating third party right on the gas to be produced from the KG basin. It is essentially against this order that the matter came into appeal before the HC bench where many hearings took place since july 2008 and concluded only on Friday. The HC lifted the stay on sale of gas by RIL in the larger public interest after observing that the company said it expected natural gas production by February end. As a result, till the final pronouncement of the judgment, which is expected by mid-March, RIL can now sell gas as per the priority list prepared according to gas utilisation policy and on price approved by the Empowered group of Ministers (EGoM). RIL which had also been seeking the vacation of the stay, however, did not seem entirely happy as it now has to sell first to the users in the government priority list which include the fertilizer sector, LPG plants and the power plants in that order.

Mumbai gangster acquitted of wife’s murder
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Mumbai_gangster_acquitted_of_wifes_murder/articleshow/4054388.cms
30 Jan 2009, 1958 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: In the last of the cases pending against him in the city, gangster Ashwin Naik was on Friday acquitted by a special MCOCA court of ordering the murder of his wife in 2000 after suspecting her of infidelity.
Naik, who had 16 trials against him in the city, was acquitted by a special MCOCA Judge R G Avachat of hatching the conspiracy to have his wife Neeta killed.
Neeta, a corporator in the city’s civic body, was shot multiple times by two persons on November 13, 2000 at her residence in central Mumbai and died the following day.
The murder was allegedly planned by Naik since he suspected his wife Neeta of having an extra-marital relationship with a former policeman, Laxman Ziman.
Naik, who was heading his deceased brother Amar Naik’s gang, was lodged in the Delhi Tihar jail in connection with another case at the time of the attack.
“After this acquittal there are no other trials are pending against him in the city,” Kirti Dabir, Naik’s lawyer, told PTI.
The gangster, who is presently in Kalyan jail in neighbouring Thane, could however have some cases against him in other cities, she said.
Three persons were convicted and two acquitted for their alleged role in the conspiracy to carry out the murder.
One of the shooters, Sunil Jadhav, was sentenced to life imprisonment, while Manoj Bhalekar and Nilratan Mukherjee were sentenced to seven and five years in jail respectively by the court. Another alleged shooter in the murder, Santosh Pangrekar, was killed in a shootout with the police.

Judicial probe plea shot down
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Judicial_probe_plea_shot_down/articleshow/4043976.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0211 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL seeking judicial intervention in the DDA house allotment scam probe.
A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna dismissed the PIL which also sought a stay on the entire allotment process, alleging widespread misuse. HC was of the view that a police probe into the scheme and its system of allotment was already on so there was no need to intervene at this stage. The court asked the petitioner to approach it once the police investigations get over and if he wished to draw the court’s attention to some specific aspect of the case. In his PIL, the petitioner alleged that the police and DDA were both not competent enough to conduct a thorough impartial probe into the scam and demanded judicial scrutiny of the case. Seeking HC’s intervention, he argued that the entire allotment ought to be stayed till a judicial inquiry had unearthed all facts.

HC summons official over deaths of tribal children’s deaths
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/490007/National/1/20/1
Published: January 29,2009

Mumbai , Jan 29 Taking cognisance of a letter about deaths of five tribal children, the Bombay High Court today converted it into a PIL, and summoned the concerned officer.
The deaths had occurred between September-October 2007 in Dahanu area of neighbouring Thane district.
One Suresh Shinda had written to the Chief Justice in December 2007, informing about newspaper report that five tribal children at government-run boarding school (ashram shala) were not provided medical aid when they fell sick.
Report alleged that instead of treating them, authorities handed them over to the parents. All the five children later died.
The school is run by the State Tribal Development Department under the Integrated Tribal Development Project. Ironically, this project aims at curbing infant mortality in the six tribal districts of the state.
The court was also informed about a report in a city tabloid last week which said that superintendent of another residential school in Dahanu had sexual relations with a minor student, which led to her pregnancy.
The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Dhananjay Chandrachud has asked the concerned project officer in charge of ashramshalas in Thane as well as the reporter of the city tabloid to remain present in the court tomorrow.
Source: PTI

Slumdog Stars Sued
http://www.bollyspice.com/view.php/2351-slumdog-stars-sued.html

By Rima Bhatia – BollySpice.com28 Jan 2009
It may be a Golden Globe award winner; it may also have Oscar nominations creating a lot of buzz in the media across the world. However, on this occasion, Slumdog Millionaire is in the press for all the wrong reasons, especially in India.Andheri Sessions Court in Mumbai has disclosed a PIL by Andheri Corporator Nicolas Almeida which asserts that the film’s title is distasteful and it should be altered from Slumdog Millionaire to Slum Dash Millionaire.”I have no objection against the film but why were we called dogs in the film,” Almeida wanted to know.The bad news doesn’t stop there either. General Secretary Tapeshwar Vishwakarma of Slum-dwellers’ Joint Action Committee filed a defamation case against AR Rahman and Anil Kapoor in a local court in Patna, alleging that Slumdog Millionaire was a poor representation of slum-dwellers.”It’s an insult to everyone who is living in slums in India. This film should not run in this country. They called us dogs,” Vishwakarma said.The hearing for the PIL case will be held on February 25 in Mumbai, three days after finding out whether their nominations in the Oscars turn into actual awards. It seems as though Slumdog Millionaire will be in the media for a while. Whether it enjoys this kind of attention or not is a different story altogether.

Push for vote-for-none option
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090129/jsp/nation/story_10454071.jsp
SAMANWAYA RAUTRAY
New Delhi, Jan. 28: The poll panel today told the Supreme Court ballot papers and EVMs should have a “none of the above” option for persons unwilling to vote for any candidate, but the Centre has trashed the demand as “impractical”.
“The last clause of a ballot paper and the last button on EVMs should have a ‘none of the above’ option,” Election Commission lawyer Meenakshi Arora said during a hearing on a PIL filed by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties.
The demand for the “NOTA” option has grown louder since the November 26 Mumbai attacks, which saw a backlash against politicians for failing to protect the common people.
A court order authorising the poll panel to insert the clause cannot be implemented rightaway because of logistical reasons. Till a law is put in place, such an order would suffice as a stopgap arrangement.
Under existing rules, people not wishing to vote for any candidate can do so by informing the polling officer, Arora said. The voter would have to sign in the polling register and give reasons for his/her decision.
But the problem with this method was that the voter would have to make his dissatisfaction with candidates public, she said.
“All the people around, the polling officers, the agents and other voters, will come to know that he has not exercised his vote,” she said.
Before EVMs came into currency, people would cancel their votes by scribbling things like “sab chor hai (all candidates are thieves)”, Arora said. But this would only render the ballot papers invalid.
Arora said the right to vote was part of a citizen’s right to freedom of expression and included the right to refrain from voting or stating that he/she was averse to voting against any candidate.
The counsel for the Centre said such a clause would not help under the Indian system of voting. He said the right to vote was a statutory duty, not a fundamental right.
Arguments in the case will continue tomorrow.
Row over poll dates
A day after election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi declared in London that the general election would be held between April 8 and May 15, the poll panel clarified no dates had been decided yet.
“The Election Commission has not met so far to decide any dates for the general election. Any story quoting dates has no authenticity,” a spokesperson said today.
Later, chief election commissioner N. Gopalaswami repeated this. “The commission has not met on the dates,” he said, adding that the meetings would begin next week.
Several political leaders, including railway minister Lalu Prasad, complained to the commission against what they said was an announcement of poll dates on foreign soil.

JPSC under vigilance glare
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090129/jsp/frontpage/story_10453215.jsp
SUMAN K SHRIVASTAVA
Ranchi, Jan. 28: Governor Syed Sibtey Razi has ordered a vigilance probe into alleged irregularities in examinations conducted by the Jharkhand Public Service Commission to recruit 60 deputy collectors, thereby setting the tone of the kind of administration he would like to head under President’s rule.
According to a communiqué issued by Raj Bhavan today, the governor approved a proposal mooted by the personnel department to have the state vigilance inquire into JPSC’s bungling while conducting the first “limited examinations” for recruiting deputy collectors from among government staff in April 2006.
Today’s move comes after the former Shibu Soren government ignored Raj Bhavan’s earlier directive to conduct a probe into allegations of foul play levelled by the special branch.
But, the personnel department swung into action after the imposition of President’s rule and resurrected the issue, leading to Razi himself ordering a vigilance probe in the matter.
The results of the competitive examinations, in which over 7,500 government employees appeared, had to be withheld after .P. Khare, the then IG, Special Branch, reported that examinees at three centres — RTC High School, Anita Girls’ High School, Kanke and Hinoo United School — had resorted to malpractice.
Thereafter, Ratan Tirkey, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Party president, filed a PIL in high court seeking a probe. The court, however, rejected his petition.
The JPSC, too, did not evaluate the papers.
As a result, state government employees who took the exams were denied promotions to the rank of deputy collector for over three years.
According to sources in the JPSC, soon after the IG’s letter was made public, the JPSC sought a report from the district administration as well as the exam superintendents at the three centres.
But, all of them refuted the inspector-general’s allegations.

Janaagraha gives suggestions
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Janaagraha_gives_suggestions/articleshow/4044059.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0035 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : A division Bench on Wednesday adjourned hearing on PIL filed by Janaagraha, seeking to codify rules and regulations on holding rallies in Bangalore. The court asked the authorities to consider suggestions given by the petitioners and merge the points in the final notification. In the draft notification, Bangalore police had stated that it would not permit any rally comprising more than 15,000 people. Suggestions by Ramesh Ramanathan of Janaagraha * Applicants must be told to identify the meeting place, plus the area where the rally will end if the participants plan to move from one place to another * Licence should show the number of participants, which can’t be more than 15,000. It should also show duration, venue, route, etc. Rallies should be held during non-peak hours * Licence should show usage of loud speakers and permissible decibel levels depending on the venue * Number of vehicles (taking part in the rally) should not exceed 500 (buses) and 750 (light motor vehicles). The total number of vehicles (all classes) should not be more than 750. Ban open-roof trucks during rallies * Applicants should state in the licence that they shall clean the venue immediately after the event is over, failing which they will be penalized * For political rallies, license should be granted subject to deposit of a refundable amount, which should be determined based on the number of participants. This amount should not be less than Rs 20 lakh. Breach of licence terms will give the licensing authority to forfeit the security deposit * Authorities should set up a system to tow away vehicles that break down during rallies

Satyam Scam: SEBI files writ against local court order
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Software/Satyam_Scam_SEBI_files_writ_against_local_court_order/articleshow/4046490.cms

29 Jan 2009, 1244 hrs IST, PTI
HYDERABAD: The SEBI on Thursday filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court questioning the validity of the orders passed by a local court rejecting their request to record the statement of B Ramalinga Raju of Satyam Computers. The 6th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had rejected SEBI’s request on the ground of lack of proper authorisation. The case will come up for hearing before the High Court tomorrow.

Delhi serial blasts: HC issues notice to police
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/34A10078BBDF82BF6525754E00294F52?OpenDocument

New Delhi, Jan 30 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today issued notice to city police on a bail plea of a suspected terrorist allegedly involved in the Delhi serial blasts who wants to appear for an MBA exam next month.Saquib Nisar, who has been in custody since he was arrested on September 20, 2008, pleaded that he should be granted bail to appear in MBA third semester examination which is to begin from February 7 in Delhi.”The gravity of the allegations cannot and should not bar the right of any accused to pursue his studies,” Saquib’s counsel, Vikas Padora pleaded before the Court.Justice Reva Khetrapal asked the Delhi police to verify whether Saquib is a second year management student of Sikkim Manipal University and asked it to file a response by February 4 when the matter will be taken up for further hearing.The police have already filed chargesheet against Saquib Nissar and other accused – Mohd Saif, Zeeshan Ahmed, Zia-ur Rehman and Mohd Shakeel in the September 13 serial blasts. They have been accused of waging war against the nation under the Indian Penal Code.According to the police, all the accused who have been named in the chargesheet were also involved in the serial blasts in Jaipur and Ahmedabad.They had visited Ahmedabad before the July 26 serial blasts under fake names which came to light during the investigations and was confirmed by examining the railway tickets and reservation chart, the police said in the chargesheet. PTI

Lok Adalats can decide cheque bouncing cases: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Lok_Adalats_can_decide_cheque_bouncing_cases_HC/articleshow/4049416.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0013 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: In an important judgment, the Bombay high court has held that Lok Adalats can decide cheque bouncing cases, and their verdict is final in such matters. Dismissing a petition that challenged the application filed by a creditor seeking implementation of the award passed by the Lok Adalat, Justice Anoop Mohta said that parties cannot go back on their word once the tribunal grants an order. “Having obtained an award from Lok Adalat, the party is not permitted to resile from the same. It attains finality to the dispute between the parties finally and binds all,” said the judge. Legal experts say the order is welcome given the large number of cases of cheque bouncing pending before the criminal courts. Under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act, a person held guilty for a dishonoured cheque can be imprisoned for up to a year and/or fined twice the amount of the cheque. Though such cases have to be decided within six months, at last count, there were over 5.6 lakh cheque bouncing cases in courts across Maharashtra. Efforts to bring down the backlog with exclusive courts have yielded little result. Further, the government’s recent decision to hike court fees payable on cheque bouncing cases from Rs 200 to a maximum of Rs 1.5 lakh, makes it more difficult for victims. In such cases, taking the matter before alternative tribunals like the Lok Adalat’s can lessen the burden of the existing courts. Under the law, matters, including that of cheque bouncing cases, can be heard by the Lok Adalat if both the parties in the dispute voluntarily agree to settle the issue. The present case relates to a dispute between Solapur resident S J Unnad who had lent Rs 5 lakh to a garment firm M/s Subhash Narasappa Mangrule. When a cheque issued by the firm to repay the money bounced, Unnad approached the courts in 2001. Two years later in July 2003, the matter was transferred to the Lok Adalat, where the parties reached a compromise and the firm agreed to pay Rs 4 lakh to Unnad. The firm however failed to keep its end of the bargain, forcing Unnad to approach the civil court for executing the Lok Adalat’s award. The firm challenged Unnad’s application on the ground that the it was not maintainable as the award was passed in a criminal case. When the issue reached the HC, it dismissed the firm’s contentions. The judge cited section 21 of the Legal Services Authorities Act which mandates that “every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decreed of Civil Court and the same shall be final and binding on all the parties. “Such order is not even appealable,” said the judge. “The parties were fully aware that under the Act, the District Legal Services Authority may explore the possibility of holding pre-litigation Lok Adalats in respect of the cheque bouncing cases. The compromise in such cases would be treated as Award having force of a decree,” said the judge, adding that objections now raised by the debtor was “untenable”. shibu.thomas1@timesgroup.com

Set up new AIDS treatment hospital in one year: HC tells Centre
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Set_up_new_AIDS_treatment_hospital_in_one_year_HC_tells_Centre/articleshow/4049262.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0203 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Union government to set up a new building of AIDS Research and Treatment Centre in Navi Mumbai within a year. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud passed the order on a suo motu public interest litigation based on a letter sent by an HIV-positive

person against the closure of the AIDS research centre in Vile Parle. The AIDS centre, which was run by the Regional Research Institute of Homeopathy, had been operating for around two decades from the CMP Homeopathy Medical College campus at Irla in Vile Parle. RRIH is a part of the Union Central Council for Research that conducted research on HIV/AIDS with the scientists from the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre. Last year, the medical college asked RRIH to vacate the premises by December 2008 as it needed the space for its own activities. A Santa Cruz resident, who has been availing of HIV treatment since 1992 from the Irla centre, wrote to the Chief Justice, stating his plight and urging the court to stop the closure. According to him, around 2,500 patients would be affected if the was shut down. “Several poor AIDS patients will die for want of treatment as allopathic medicines are not affordable,” the letter stated. The petitioner added that it was the constitutional obligation of the authorities to look into the needs of AIDS patients and provide space as well as necessary medical treatment for the life threatening disease. If the government failed to provide the facilities it would be a violation of the fundamental rights to life under the Constitution, he said. Assistant government pleader Rajeev Chavan, representing the Union government, told the court that Cidco had offered 2,000 sq m of land in Nerul or Kharghar for a new building for the RRIH. The government further sought two years’ time to construct the building. The court, however, directed the Centre to complete construction and relocate the AIDS centre within a year. The judges also asked the Centre to furnish an undertaking to the court that they would vacate the Irla premises in a year. shibu.thomas1@timesgroup.com

Petition in HC over allotting Kadapa road contract to Maytas Infra
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Petition_in_HC_over_allotting_Kadapa_road_contract_to_Maytas_Infra/articleshow/4049235.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0218 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: A petition was filed in the AP High Court on Thursday asking it to declare the entrustment of a road formation work worth Rs 121 crore in Kadapa district to Maytas Infra, a sister concern of scam-hit Satyam Computers as illegal. The petitioners P Narayana Reddy and two others of Obannapeta village in Kondapuram mandal of Kadapa district sought to know the urgency involved in entrusting this work to Maytas infra on a nomination basis by the R and B wing of the state government when several state governments like Karnataka, Maharashtra are withdrawing the works that were already allotted to this company in view of the inquiries launched against Maytas Infra in connection with the Satyam scam. The state government has allotted through G O Rt No 1830 on December 20, 2008 to Maytas the formation of this 30 km road from Mangapatnam to K Sugumanchipalli of Kadapa district. The petitioners also brought to the notice of the court that this Maytas Infra was allotted several contracts worth hundreds of crores of rupees in the construction of more than 20 irrigation projects in the state. The matter is likely to come up for hearing on Friday.

BAS exam row: HC reserves order
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/BAS_exam_row_HC_reserves_order/articleshow/4049060.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0344 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday reserved order on writ petitions of 150 aspirants for posts of Bihar Administrative Service (BAS). They had challenged the result of the preliminary tests for the 48th to 52nd combined competitive examinations conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC). A single bench presided over by Justice Navin Sinha reserved the order after hearing counsel of the candidates and BPSC. The court said that the order would be pronounced on January 30 as the main examination of the 48th to 52nd competitive test is scheduled to begin from February 2. The writ petitioners submitted that the result of the BPSC preliminary test was untenable as many questions were faulty while some model answers were also wrong. Some petitioners also said that the numbers of question sets given to the aspirants varied and, hence, the preliminary test proved to be discriminatory.

HC fiat to cops over gun licences
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_fiat_to_cops_over_gun_licences/articleshow/4049308.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0250 hrs IST, TNN
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Mumbai police to furnish complete details of the gun licences issued between 2005 and 2008.
Hearing a petition filed by a lawyer representing the blast accused challenging the denial of a license to him, a division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice Anoop Mohta asked the police to submit the document within a week’s time. The lawyer Khan Abdul Wahab had applied for a license in 2005. The Kurla police claimed that Wahab had never complained of receiving threats or that there was a threat perception.
The court, however, pointed out that under the rules, a gun license can be denied only for three reasons – if the person applying is of unsound mind, or if it is prohibited under the law or if the police have reason to believe that it will affect public peace.

‘Proof to nail HC judge in land scam’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Proof_to_nail_HC_judge_in_land_scam/articleshow/4049858.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0244 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra , TNN
NEW DELHI: Justice Nirmal Yadav of Punjab and Haryana High Court had cited her immense wealth to brush off charges in the infamous ‘cash-at-door’ scam and replied to a notice from the Chief Justice of India with a curt “look within for the culprit” response. But evidence collected by CBI indicating her involvement in the Solan land purchase and registration scam will make it very hard for her to find an alibi to shrug off the charges of grave judicial impropriety. The preliminary probe report submitted by CBI to CJI K G Balakrishnan reveals how Justice Yadav played a key role in the purchase and registration of land at Solan, allegedly in connivance with a Delhi-based hotelier-industrialist and others. CBI, which is seeking the CJI’s permission, mandatorily required, to register a regular case into the land scam, suspects that Rs 15 lakh, “wrongly” delivered at the residence of another judge Nirmaljit Kaur, was actually meant as a consideration for the official influence Justice Yadav exerted over local bureaucrats to get land registered in the name of her daughter and 17 others, including family members of a Haryana cabinet minister. The registration “happened smoothly” despite purchasers providing fictitious addresses and pseudo-names, thanks to Justice Yadav’s diktat to the Solan tehsildar, the CBI alleged. This allegation figures prominently in the report against the judge, who has been on leave since August last year after the scam became public. The CBI has recorded the tehsildar’s statement, giving details of phone calls made by Justice Yadav to him to see that the land registration went off smoothly. The three-member judicial committee — comprising two Chief Justices and a senior judge of different HCs — had also got wind of the tainted Solan land deal and mentioned this in their report to Justice Balakrishnan. Justice Yadav had cried foul at being “framed” and in her response to the CJI, had defiantly sought a probe into the committee’s ancillary finding that “a judge of the SC and a senior judge of the Punjab and Haryana HC may have been present in Justice Kaur’s house at the time of delivery of cash”. She had alleged that “it is a patent case of travesty of justice that the judge from whose custody the cash is recovered should continue to sit on a Bench and I should be made a scapegoat only because a judge of the SC and a senior judge of the HC are found to be interfering in the investigation and creating a wrongful assumption by the committee that the inquiry is only required to be conducted against me”. But with the Tehsildar ready to depose against Justice Yadav, the CBI appears to have a water-tight case against the judge.

Maoists’ killing: HC asks govt to exhume bodies
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Maoists_killing_HC_asks_govt_to_exhume_bodies/articleshow/4049862.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0246 hrs IST, TNN
RAIPUR: The Chhattisgarh HC on Thursday asked the state government to exhume bodies of some of the 15 tribals who were killed during an encounter at Shimgavaan village in Dantewada district on January 8. Responding to a petition by an NGO, Vanvasi Chetna Ashram, the HC directed the state government to conduct an autopsy on these bodies. While the petition alleged that the tribals were killed in a fake encounter, the police maintained they were ‘armed Maoists’. Sources said that as per tribal practice some of the bodies were cremated, while others buried. The petition argued that the post-mortem of the deceased were not performed. The state, however, did not oppose the application. The court directed the authorities to conduct post-mortem on February 1.

HC issues arrest order on Golden Freesia
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/HC_issues_arrest_order_on_Golden_Freesia/articleshow/4049367.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0110 hrs IST, Jaya Menon, TNN
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has ordered the arrest of a Korean ship flying Panama flag, for its failure to pay wages and maintenance arrears to its 19 crew members. The ship had declared bankruptcy and expressed its inability to pay up dues. Justice M Jeyapaul issued the arrest orders on Thursday, after the sailors’ counsel S Vasudevan submitted that the crew had not been paid wages since September 2008. They had joined the ship — MT Golden Freesia – in May 2008, he said. It arrived at Chennai Port on December 10. The owners of the ship had also failed to pay port and bunkering charges to the Chennai-based shipping agent. The agent had also been supplying provisions for the crew. This suit was filed by Hay Man Soe (28 years), Nay Myo Linn (21) and Aung Myo Win (33), who represented 16 others as well. According to them, though the ship’s owners were in Panama, it was being managed by M/s First Shipping Company Limited in Seoul. They said their salary dues amounted to 19,763 US dollars, which worked out to about Rs 9.59 lakh in Indian rupees at the exchange rate of Rs 48.5 per dollar. Despite several telephone calls and reminders, the owners did not pay up the arrears though they promised payment, the suit contended. The crew members, who signed contract and joined the vessel at a port in China, said the owners of the vessel were liable to provide air ticket, visa charges and accommodation for the crew, besides their monthly salary and repatriation charges. The ship entered the Chennai waters, carrying Palmoil. Even after the cargo was discharged, the owners of the vessel failed to pay wages, they said, adding that they approached International Transport Workers Federation office at Chennai as well as the Seamen Welfare Officer at Chennai for help. On Thursday, Vasudevan told the judge that the crew members were in great distress and that supply of fuel and other essentials were dwindling aboard the vessel. The ship required attention to maintain sea-worthiness, he said, adding that the master of the vessel had borrowed money from some of the crew members for purchase of essentials for the survival of the crew. Essentials available on board will last only for a few more days and unless the owners supply these necessaries immediately the vessel and its crew will suffer, he said. He wanted the court to arrest the ship and order its sale, so as to pay the crew and other dues out of the sale proceeds.

HC: Is threat to life necessary for a gun licence?
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1226183
Mayura Janwalkar
Friday, January 30, 2009 3:29 IST
Mumbai: “When there is danger, the police does not protect,” justice Bilal Nazki said on Thursday while hearing a petition filed by a criminal advocate who apprehended a threat to his life but was refused an arms licence.
The petitioner advocate Khan Abdul Wahab, has defended two accused in the Gateway and Zaveri Bazaar blast case and is now defending Emile Jerome in the Neeraj Grover murder case. Wahab had applied for a gun licence in August last year stating that he apprehended a threat to his life.
Additional public prosecutor Pradeep Hingorani told the court that after receiving his application, the state home department that sanctions had inferred that there was no threat to his life.
The court, however, was of the view that there is “no application of mind” in the police’s decision to refuse Wahab a licence. “Is it necessary to have a threat to life? Does that mean that all the people who have been given a licence had a threat to their life?” Nazki asked.
Justice Nazki and Anoop Mohta have sought a list from the state with names of persons who were given an arms licence between 2005 and 2008 and the reason for the same.
Arguing for Wahab, his counsel SR Chitnis said that there have been attacks on criminal advocates like Majeed Memon and two advocates who were killed — Liaqat Ali and Kishore Sutrale — were undefended. He pointed out to the court that under section 14 of the Arms Act, 1959, having no threat to life is no ground to refuse someone a licence. Under the Act, only a person of an unsound mind or a person who can be a threat to public peace and safety can be refused a licence.

Maoists’ killing: HC asks govt to exhume bodies

http://birlaa.com/news/maoists-killing-hc-asks-govt-to-exhume-bodies/33118
The Chhattisgarh HC on Thursday asked the state government to exhume bodies of some of the 15 tribals who were killed during an encounter at Shimgavaan village in Dantewada district on January 8.

‘Proof to nail HC judge in land scam’
http://birlaa.com/news/proof-to-nail-hc-judge-in-land-scam/33119
Justice Nirmal Yadav of Punjab and Haryana HC had cited her immense wealth to brush off charges in the infamous ‘cash-at-door’ scam and replied to a notice from the CJI with a curt – look within for the culprit – response.

JUDICIARY can’t be squarely blamed for pendency in court cases’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Judiciary_cant_be_squarely_blamed_for_pendency_in_court_cases/articleshow/4049245.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0601 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: The judiciary can’t be squarely blamed for the pendency in court cases, as the state itself accounts for most of the delay. That’s how P D Dinakaran, Chief Justice, High Court of Karnataka, reacted to the general concern over delayed justice in the country, on Thursday. Speaking at an event organized by the Karnataka Advocates’ Society (KAS), the Chief Justice pointed out that governments were major litigants fighting cases in the courts and called for a “change in the attitude” from governments as well as the people, to ensure that justice is not delayed. Highlighting land acquisition cases, Justice Dinakaran said there was no meeting point on the stands taken by the state and public. “The judiciary is not delaying justice. If the attitude of the state and the public is changed, 50% of the cases could be disposed of,” he said. While agreeing that sometimes courts also accounted for the delay due to inefficient time-management practices, the CJ said creation of new courts and tribunals was imperative in delivering timely justice. Responding to the contention that access to justice is limited in the country, despite it being a democracy, he underlined that the country was independent and democratic only politically, and social and economic independence were still not attained. `Act sensibly’ Earlier, delivering a talk on `Democracy and Access to Justice’, K Venkatapathy, minister of state for law and justice, also pointed out that governments at various levels were the largest ligitants. “It may not be avoidable in a functional democracy. But at least a part of such litigations can be avoided if public servants and law-enforcing authorities act sensibly and use their authority with responsibility,” he said. The minister highlighted that around three crore cases were pending in the country (cases in Supreme Court, high courts and subordinate courts put together).

Dighi port: High court tells state to file reply in 7 days
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Dighi_port_High_court_tells_state_to_file_reply_in_7_days/articleshow/4049390.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0009 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the union ministry of forest and environment, the Maharashtra government, the Raigad collector, Maharashtra Maritime Board, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and the Dighi Port Trust to reply within a week to a petition seeking cancellation of the sanctions given for the development of Dighi Port. The petition has raised the challenge on grounds of large-scale environmental damage, illegal reclamation of the sea and violation of the villagers’ right to life. The little scenic coastal hamlet in Raigad district had shot into limelight after it was discovered that explosives used in the 1993 serial blasts in the city were smuggled into the country through Dighi. Villagers are concerned about the illegal blasting of hills and the resultant denuding of large swathes of green forest cover by Dighi Port Limited, a private venture constructing the medium-sized port. A PIL filed by the Dighi Koli Samaj has sought a stay on the development work until the damage caused to the mangroves, flora and fauna and traditional fishermen is assessed, reversed and prevented. The villagers, mostly fisherfolk and agriculturists, said Dighi Port Limited has been violating the Environmental Act. They claim the firm has also been flouting the stringent norms laid down in the September 2005 environmental clearance for the project. On Thursday, when the matter came up before a bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, the petitioner’s lawyer R K Mendadkar showed photographs of massive destruction being caused to the hills, the forest and coastline. The judges asked Iqbal Chagla, counsel for Dighi Port Limited, if the graphic images of hills being razed illegally were true. Chagla said all permissions were in order for the first phase of the port development. He sought time to file a reply. The villagers had earlier approached the environment ministry through their lawyer. They said they were “kept in the dark” about the Dighi Port Development project. Pointing out that about 250 metres of land was reclaimed along the coastline, the villages said this was in gross violation of the project approval conditions. In February 2008, the ministry, acting on the villagers’ complaint directed the chief conservator of forests, Bhopal to inspect the project site and verify compliance of the environmental clearance. However, some villagers, allegedly under duress, signed “consent terms” with the private port developer. The petition pointed out that although a year has gone by since their complaint to the environment ministry, no action has been taken. s.deshpande@timesgroup.com

Lawyers engage in war of words over Srikrishna report
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Lawyers_engage_in_war_of_words_over_Srikrishna_report/articleshow/4049388.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0310 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Muslim organisations for long have been urging the Supreme Court to ensure in toto the implementation of Srikrishna Commission’s caustic report on 1992 Mumbai riots, but their counsel – both reputed senior advocates – had a bitter face-off in full public view in the Chief Justice of India’s courtroom on Thursday. Seconds after a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal left the courtroom for lunch after adjourning hearing in the case, senior advocates Rajeev Dhawan and Colin Gonsalves traded charges. Gonsalves, who was unhappy over the way the other senior advocate was conducting himself during the hearing, charged Dhawan of “compromising the case”. An angry Dhawan, generally erudite in his arguments on constitutional issues, was equal to the task with a below the belt remark, calling Gonsalves “an entrepreneur of minority rights”. Responding angrily to the continuing muttering by Gonsalves reiterating that his colleague had “compromised” the stand of the petitioners in the case, Dhawan termed his opponent as “the tail piece in the tale”, indicating the latter’s late entry into the riot case litigation in SC. The two grey haired lawyers were finally dissuaded from a full fledged war of words by another, who said, “It does not look nice when two seniors fight in the court.” Though both left the courtroom without looking at each other, the verbal sniping continued till they were out in the open. Before breaking into the slanging match, Gonsalves, representing Shakil Ahmed, made a serious grievance before the bench about the manner in which the prosecution and judiciary had discriminated between the two inter-linked events – 1992 Mumbai riots and 1993 serial blasts. “While trial in blast-related cases have been over, majority of the accused convicted and handed down death, life and other harsh sentences, there has not been a single conviction in riot-related cases,” he said. In the 1992 riots, over 900 people were killed and the commission indicted several policemen, yet there were only acquittals and no action against the erring policemen, he complained. Maharashtra counsel Ravindra Adsure raised a technical objection. Verdicts of trial court acquitting the accused had to be challenged in proper forum and the SC could not entertain a PIL on this issue, he said. Agreeing with him, the bench said the apex court could at best issue some general guidelines relating to the manner in which these cases could be dealt by the police, prosecution and the trial court. It adjourned further hearing on the case, pending since 1998, to March 19. Gonsalves alleged that as many as 30 officers were indicted for their involvement in the riots and most of them had been recommended to be dismissed from service, but though the state government has accepted the recommendations, it has instead given promotions to these officers. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

Govt stand on mining lease sought
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Govt_stand_on_mining_lease_sought/articleshow/4049434.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0056 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: In response to a PIL filed by Goa Foundation, the high court of Bombay at Goa on Thursday directed the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MEF) to explain its stand on the validity of the mining lease of an iron and manganese ore mine at Caurem-Rivona. The petitioners have challenged the validity of the mining lease granted to the mine owned by one Salim Sheikh. In their petition, they have complained that the mine is running sans Central government approval, even after the lease period had expired in 1987. During the hearing, petitioner’s advocate Norma Alvares said that the mine owner continues to extract ore without renewing the mining lease. The mine owner had applied for a renewal of the lease somewhere in November 1988, however, his applications are still pending before the state government and the MEF, she said. She said that the mine consists of forest land and requires clearance by the Ministry under the Forest Conservation Act (FCA), 1980. The Division Bench of Justices P B Majmudar and N A Britto has asked the MEF to clarify whether the mine can continue operating in a forest area without the approval of the Central government FCA.

Shankar Nag accident: Family to get Rs 26.8 lakh
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Shankar_Nag_accident_Family_to_get_Rs_268_lakh/articleshow/4049219.cms
30 Jan 2009, 0605 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: A division bench headed by Justice K Shridhar Rao awarded Rs 26,80,155, plus interest at 6%, to Arundhati Nag, wife of Shankar Nag, the popular Kannada actor who died in a car crash about 20 years ago. The Bench gave this finding on an appeal filed by her, challenging the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal (MACT) order which had awarded Rs 25,62,131 as compensation. Shankar Nag, of Malgudi Days fame, died in a car crash at Anagodu village on the outskirts of Davanagere town on the morning of September 30, 1990, while proceeding to Dharwad with his wife and daughter Kavya, for the shooting of his film Jokumaraswamy. Arundhati had claimed Rs 1.25 cr in compensation before the tribunal.

Nithari killings: first judgement on Feb 12
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/C8870DD8405948A66525754E003F73B3?OpenDocument
Ghaziabad, Jan 30 (PTI) Over two years after the grisly Nithari killings came to light, the special CBI court will give its first judgement in the matter on February 12 as it has completed proceedings in the Rimpa Haldar murder case.Special Judge Rama Jain completed the proceedings after the re-cross examination of former Noida police officer Dinesh Yadav on January 27 and the recording of statements of the prime accused — Moninder Singh Pandher and his servant Surender Kohli.Victim’s counsel Khalid Khan had made a request two days back about the conviction of both the accused.The CBI had filed the chargesheet against Kohli in May 2007, and given a clean chit to Pandher saying he was in Australia when Haldar was raped and murdered.However, during the trial, victim’s advocate got the same charges pressed against Pandher stating there was no specific date of murder of Haldar on record and to give the benefit to to Pandher was not justified by the CBI.A total of 19 cases of killings, mainly of girls and women, were registered at the Noida police station in December 2006 and all the cases were transferred to CBI for investigation. The agency till date had filed chargesheets in 16 cases and in all, it gave a clean chit to Pandher while framed charges against Kohli.Haldar was a married woman and was called by Kohli to work at Pandher’s bunglow as a maid servant. She was reportedly missing before the disclosure of the Nithari killings. PTI

SC grants bail to Ansal brothers
http://keralaonline.com/news/sc-grants-bail-ansal-brothers_19330.html

New Delhi, Friday 30 January 2009: The Supreme Court has granted bail to the Ansal brothers — Sushil and Gopal — who were convicted and sentenced to one-year imprisonment in the Uphaar fire tragedy case.
A bench, headed by Justice S B Sinha, also issued notices on the cross appeals filed by the Ansals and Association of the Victims of the Uphaar Tragedy (AVUT) challenging the one-year sentence imposed on the accused by the Delhi High Court.
The bench ordered that the Ansal brothers be released on the personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.
While the Ansals had challenged the sentence imposed by the High Court, the victims’ association had sought enhancement of the punishment on the ground that the offence fell under the purview of section 304 IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder).
The High Court had earlier reduced the sentence to one-year prison term from the two years imposed by the Sessions Court. (Agency)

Consumer Forum remains paralysed
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=10&theme=&usrsess=1&id=242125
Statesman News ServiceSILIGURI, Jan. 29: The functioning of the Siliguri District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum or the district consumer court, as is known commonly, is completely paralysed due to the lack of a judge for over a month now. The previous judge (president) incumbent of the Consumer Forum, Mr Justice Himadri Guha Roy, completed his tenure on 24 December last year and since then, the post is lying vacant, largely hindering the disposal of Consumer justice to the public. This is even as on an average, the Siliguri Consumer Forum admits 12-15 complaints a month and at least 52 cases are pending before it right at this moment. The Consumer Forum that deals with the grievances of all consumers, functions through a three-member forum or Bench. Such a forum is normally headed by a retired judge not below the rank of an additional district judge, while of the rest two members; one must be a female non-judicial individual. The appointed retired judge functions as the president of the forum, while the rest two assist him/her in their capacity as forum members. The Consumer Act makes it mandatory that the forum president and at least one member out of the two must be present for a hearing into some consumer dispute. Now, in case of the Siliguri Consumer Forum, currently only the female member-seat is occupied while the posts of both the president and the second member is vacant bringing functioning of the forum to a standstill. According to advocate, Mr Suresh Mitruka, a specialist in consumer affairs, the non-functioning of the Consumer Forum is frustrating the complainants, who want quick redress to their grievances against product or service providers. “If this situation prevails, common people may no longer approach the forum over their grievances and thus spoil the persistent efforts by the Union government to raise the level of consumer awareness in the country,” Mr Mitruka said. Meanwhile, bringing in the improper functioning of the Siliguri Consumer Forum to fore, the joint secretary of the state consumer affairs department has issued a show-cause to the forum clerk-cum-typist Mr Dilip Biswas, for not providing certified copies of the forum orders and other allied documents to plaintiffs. The show-cause was issued in the first week of January, setting a specific deadline for response. While the accused staff declined to make any comment citing disciplinary obligation, well-informed sources said that the clerk was not issuing any certified copies at the direction of the previous forum judge. The judge had done so apparently due to the lack of a cashier at the Siliguri Consumer Forum to receive the specified fees against the issuance of certified order copies

PRESS DIGEST – India Commodity News – Jan 30
http://in.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idINBOM43327920090130
Fri Jan 30, 2009 10:00am IST

MUMBAI, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Indian newspapers carried the following stories in their print or Web editions on Friday. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
BUSINESS STANDARD (www.business-standard.com)
* The National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange has filed a writ petition against the Forward Markets Commission, which regulates commodities markets challenging its authority to intervene in the levy of transaction charges.
FINANCIAL EXPRESS (www.financialexpress.com)
* The impasse between the government and National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation (Nafed) over a demand for a 20 billion rupees interest-free loan has brought the cooperative on the brink of default on its overseas import bill.
Looking for more information from local sources? Factiva.com has 25 sources. For details about our products, please call your local help desk. To find out more about ThomsonReuters visit http://www.thomsonreuters.com.
(Compiled by Sourav Mishra & Siddesh Mayenker; Editing by Ramya Venugopal))
Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Transaction charge row: NCDEX drags FMC to court
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/transaction-charge-row-ncdex-drags-fmc-to-court/02/42/347443/

Dilip Kumar Jha / Mumbai January 30, 2009, 0:06 IST
The National Commodities and Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX), the country’s second-largest commodity futures exchange, has filed a writ petition against the Forward Markets Commission (FMC), the regulator for the business, challenging its authority to intervene in the levy of transaction charges.
When contacted, FMC Member Rajeev Agarwal said, “A writ petition has been filed in the Bombay High Court. On Monday, the court will decide if the petition is admissible. We are finalising our arguments, which will be submitted to the court on the day of hearing.”
The latest dispute – the second in a month — started yesterday when NCDEX informed members about its decision to reduce transaction charges by splitting the working hours. It decided to allow trades in farm products between 10 am and 5 pm and non-agro commodities between 5 pm and 11.30 pm.
The bourse also reduced uniform transaction charges to Rs 3 per lakh of value of all trades in all commodities between 10 am and 5 pm.

Money delivered at Kaur’s house was not for me: Justice Nirmal Yadav
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013159871300.htm
J. Venkatesan
She requests Chief Justice of India to reject in-house committee findings
New Delhi: Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has categorically said Rs. 15 lakh in cash delivered at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur in Chandigarh on August 13, 2008, was not meant for her and that she was targeted because of a similarity in their first names.
Asserting that the three-member in-house committee conducted a probe by restricting the scope of enquiry and confining it to allegations against her, Justice Nirmal Yadav said: “I have a right to reject the report as the same has been conducted in a lop-sided manner. Unless an enquiry is ordered into all allegations against all judges concerned, I refuse to submit to such informal procedure.”
In her second reply sent to the Chief Justice of India on January 27, she said: “The proposal of in-house procedure was rejected by the Full Court of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Therefore, it does not have any binding force.”
Responding to the show-cause notice, the judge, in her first reply sent on January 7, requested the CJI to furnish certain documents relied on by the committee and after some of them were supplied she sent the second reply.
She said: “I am thus left with no option but to believe that the committee left out best evidence that could be available to it and acted on a self-imposed inhibition of enquiring only against me and not the others. I wonder if this course of action was resorted to protect and prevent exposure of the involvement of a Supreme Court judge.
She said: “There is no scope of any error in delivery of the packet to Mrs. Nirmaljit Kaur in view of the categorical statement of Prakash Ram [who delivered it] to the effect that ‘I heard it was to be given to Nirmaljit [staying in Sector 11].’
“To the committee, Prakash Ram said: ‘I did not deem it necessary to enquire as to who this Nirmal was since I knew madam Nirmaljit Kaur whose residence I had visited twice or so when she was an advocate.’ Despite this, the committee chooses to ignore his statement and the fact that I live in Sector 24 about 5 km away from Sector 11.”
Justice Nirmal Yadav said: “I do not know, nor am I aware till now, whether the sum of Rs. 15 lakh delivered at Mrs. Nirmaljit Kaur’s residence was for her or for someone else. But I am certain it was always intended to be delivered at her residence.”
The reply said: “The committee has chosen to accept the statement of Mr. Sanjiv Bansal [advocate] even when in his own words he admits to have ‘concocted a story to save the situation [regarding one Mr. Nirmal Singh].’ It is unknown to the annals of law to accept the statement of a person who himself claims to have concocted and changed his version at his own convenience in order to screen himself from the penal consequences.”
Justice Nirmal Yadav requested the CJI that the injustice done to her be remedied and that she be assigned normal judicial work at the earliest.

CIC members refuse to declare assets in public
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/CIC_members_refuse_to_declare_assets_in_public/articleshow/4054732.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0102 hrs IST, Himanshi Dhawan, TNN
NEW DELHI: Information commissioners have chosen not to disclose their own assets’ declaration on the CIC’s website, in a development which may cause many to wonder whether the transparency watchdog has trouble following what it preaches to others. In a candid admission, chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said, “All information commissioners have declared their assets but they felt that this information should not be put on the commission’s website. They did not want it on the CIC website.” Queried further why the transparency watchdog was not keen on disclosure of its assets, Habibullah said, “The commissioners felt that they could put up the information on their personal website.” Crucially, none of the eight commissioners have their own website. A recent CIC meeting saw information commissioners, save a couple of exceptions, vigorously contesting the idea of full public disclosure of their assets. They felt that giving income details would force state commissioners to follow suit, giving opportunity to those who wish to “embarrass them”. Sources said that since it was not “legally binding”, the commissioners decided to reject the idea. Though the law does not require the commissioners to make their assets public, information rights activists including Shailesh Gandhi, a commissioner himself, feel that the CIC should not take shelter behind technicalities. In fact, commissioners have often frowned upon and ruled against those who have cited procedures and conventions to resist demands that their assets be put in the public domain. The decision comes days after a CIC order in which it ruled that the Chief Justice of India is a public authority and information held by the CJI’s office — including the number and names of judges who have filed their assets — should be made public. The decision has been challenged by the SC in the Delhi High Court. The issue of declaration of assets by information commissioners was first raised by activist-turned-CIC member Shailesh Gandhi who has made his property statement public. In November 2008, a Pune-based applicant sent an e-mail to Habibullah asking information commissioners to reveal their personal income. In his reply, Gandhi gave details of his personal income and family wealth amounting to Rs 5.38 crore. He also wrote to Habibullah suggesting that other commissioners should, in public interest, follow suit. While making public details about his income, Gandhi said in response to an RTI appeal, “I believe that my decision to transparently declare my income and assets is right.” Times View
The CIC owes its very existence to the principle of transparency in public life. It must therefore go beyond just what the law mandates in furthering the cause of transparency. While passing orders on others it will be restricted by what the law says, in its own case it would do well to set a moral example for others to follow. This could be done by pro-active disclosures that may not, strictly speaking, be legally required. Hopefully, this will also shame other public bodies into following suit.

‘Information Commission not in conflict with judiciary’
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013154391300.htm
Special Correspondent
NGOs have done a lot in spreading awareness about RTI
“RTI limits not tested yet”
NEW DELHI: Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah on Friday said the Information Commission was not on a collision course with the judiciary. It was interested only in enforcing the Right to Information (RTI) Act in letter and spirit.
At a “Meet the Press,” organised by the Press Association here, Mr. Habibullah said RTI was still evolving and its “limits were not yet tested.” Ruling out any suggestions for amendments in the RTI Act, he said both the Commission and the judiciary would come to a common goal for the benefit of the people.
He called upon the media to act as a partner of the commission in creating awareness about RTI and also preventing its misuse by frivolous elements.
Call to media
Admitting that under the RTI Act it was the duty of the government to popularise it, which had failed to come up to the expectations, he said that media should step in to fulfil its role as it would go a long way in changing people’s attitude towards “use and misuse” of RTI.
Non-governmental organisations have done a lot in spreading awareness about RTI.
Mr. Habibullah said the Commission was often faced with situations relating to intrusion upon one’s privacy as there were no laws on protecting a citizen’s right to privacy.
The Commission had to take guidance from laws relating to privacy from the U.K., which at times led to “some contradictions” in the rulings. “Laws relating to privacy are in fact sister laws of RTI and they should go hand in hand,” he added.

HC declines to hear Sebi plea in Rajus’ absence
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/HC_declines_to_hear_Sebi_plea_in_Rajus_absence_/articleshow/4055289.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0255 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High court on Friday declined to hear Sebi’s petition seeking custody of Satyam scam accused B Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju without hearing the two brothers, and posted the matter for February 9. Justice B Seshasayana Reddy ordered notices to be issued to the Raju brothers through the Chanchalguda jail superintendent to present their case with reference to the Sebi plea. Appearing for Sebi, solicitor general of India G E Vahanvati said the High Court should allow Sebi to interrogate the accused and record their statements because it is the relevant agency to look into this technical scam and that it is empowered to do so under Section 11(c) of the Sebi Act. However, Justice Seshasayana Reddy said that he would not hear Sebi’s petition in the absence of the accused being represented in the matter. The judge said that he would not hear the petition especially when the accused had secured a favorable order in the lower court. To this, the solicitor general said that the lower court had only dismissed the plea of the Sebi to interrogate the accused. “This does not mean that the lower court has given the accused a clean chit and hence it cannot be called a favourable order to the accused. Moreover, no prejudice would be caused to the cause of the accused if Sebi questions them for a few hours,” Vahanvathi said. When Justice Seshasayana Reddy still insisted that Sebi’s plea cannot be heard until the accused are present, its counsel urged the court to give the same in writing which the court did. Vahanvati had on Thursday found fault with the lower court which has rejected its plea to question the accused on technical grounds. The magistrate’s reasoning that Sebi is not an investigating agency is also not correct, the solicitor had said. While hearing the Sebi petition on Thursday, Justice Seshasayana Reddy had questioned the Sebi counsel as to why he chose to file a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution which means invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of the court against a lower court order when the agency can file a criminal revision under Section 397 of Cr PC. The judge also made it clear that he would not go into the actual case of the petitioner without deciding the issue of maintainability first. “The High Court cannot relegate us to other remedies when it has powers under Art. 226,” Vahanvati had insisted. When the judge sought to know as to how Sebi will be at a disadvantageous position if it seeks the relief under a revision petition, the counsel replied saying that now the lower court may say that its order is not a final one and that it is only an interlocutory one making Sebi ineligible for filing a revision. This time, the judge insisted that he would record a finding to the extent that the lower court’s order is a final order and there will not be any problem for filing a revision and posted the matter to Friday for finalising the issue of maintainability.

PF scam: HC asks govt to file affidavit
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/PF_scam_HC_asks_govt_to_file_affidavit/articleshow/4055497.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0450 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has asked the state government and the mill authorities to file counter-affidavit and fixed February 27 for further orders in a PIL filed regarding the provident fund scam of Rs 2.51 lakh in Sahkari Chini Mills Ltd, Tilhar. The bench comprising Chief Justice HL Gokhale and Justice Dilip Gupta passed the order on a PIL filed by the Chini Mills Karmachari Kalyan Sangh. The bench has also issued notices to the provident fund commissioner, Kanpur and deputy labour commissioner, Bareilly division to file replies in the case. Dinesh Rai appearing for the petitioner had pointed out that provident fund amount deducted from the salary of the employees was embezzled. The petitioner has also demanded for an inquiry into the case by the CBI. Arrest stayed: A division bench of the high court comprising Justice S Harkauli and Justice Rajesh Kumar has stayed the arrest of chief proctor and professor of Banaras Hindu University SCS Rathore and NK Singh in connection with an FIR lodged against them with Lanka police in Varanasi. The FIR was registered by the police over an allegation that they had committed negligence in the treatment of a student, who died. The court has also issued notices to the opposite parties, asking them to file their reply in the case.

HC allows RIL to sell KG gas
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-allows-ril-to-sell-kg-gas/417335/0
Express news service Posted: Jan 31, 2009 at 0121 hrs IST
Mumbai: After a long-drawn legal battle between the Ambani brothers, the Bombay High Court today allowed the Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd to sell gas from KG basin at $4.20.
In an interim order, the High Court vacated the stay which had restrained RIL from selling gas to third parties, after Anil Ambani’s RNRL dragged it to court over the gas supply master agreement between the two companies.
Division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tated, however, clarified that today’s interim order would operate only till the pronouncement of judgement, and won’t affect parties’ rights. The judgement in the case has now been reserved.
The court noted that lifting of stay was necessary as per RIL’s projections; gas production in KG basin may start by February-end.
Both RIL and the Government had sought vacation of stay. Following the hearing, additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran said that due to today’s order, “the gas would not go to waste. RIL will have to sell gas as per the government’s utilisation policy, at $4.20 per mmBtu”.
The order states, “The sale of gas would be made by RIL at uniform price of $4.20 to all parties including public sector undertakings and to others in the order of priority as stipulated by the government in the approved gas utilisation policy.”
RIL can enter into contracts with other parties for the term of up to five years.
Gas Supply Master Agreement (GSMA) between RIL and RNRL was a fall-out of demerger of Reliance group in January 2006. By this agreement, RIL was to supply 28 MMSCMD of gas to RNRL for Anil Dhirubhai Ambani group’s proposed power plant at Dadri.
But RNRL was not happy with the terms of the GSMA, so it moved the High Court. RNRL’s grouse was that GSMA was not in accordance with the memorandum of understanding between Anil, Mukesh and their mother Kokilaben Ambani, which set out how the Reliance group will be divided between the brothers.
A single judge of High Court, in 2007, ruled that GSMA was not bankable, and asked both sides to negotiate new contract. But parties failed to work it out, and filed appeals before division bench.
The case took a new turn when the government intervened and stated that it had the right to fix the price, and even dictate to whom RIL should sell gas.
Later, government stated that price of KG gas for all the buyers could not be less than $4.20. RNRL said this was not acceptable, as government had not right to decide terms of contract between RIL and RNRL.

HC appoints Deloitte, Wipro as auditors in FT-NSE case
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News_By_Industry/Services/HC_appoints_Deloitte_Wipro_as_auditors_in_FT-NSE_case/articleshow/4055623.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0252 hrs IST, Ram Narsinghdev Sahgal, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court appointed Deloitte Haskins & Sells and Wipro to conduct a systems audit of Financial Technologies’ (FT) front-end trading solution (CTCL). The NSE had put the exchange solutions provider on a watch list in October 2008 due to alleged flaws in the software, following which FT dragged NSE to court. Significantly, Justice Anand Nirgude directed NSE to provide demonstrations, approvals and trading ID passwords to existing and new and purchasers of FT products in equity and equity F&O segments, for which FT was empanelled as a vendor by NSE. FT’s counsel Janak Dwarkadas earlier contended that the company and its product users’ businesses were affected, with the NSE putting approvals and issuance of trading IDs on hold on ground that the “watch list” issue was being contested in court. Justice Nirgude directed the third-party auditors to submit their report to the high court on or before March 1, 2009. Before undertaking the audit, the auditors will decide on the reference terms and send a notice asking both FT and NSE to file their submissions and objections. Both parties will share the fees of the third-party auditors, in equal measure. The court held that since FT’s products enjoyed an 80% market share among the stock brokers, denial of approvals or trading IDs would ultimately hurt the users and affect the exchange’s business. “He (FT) has been supplying the trading solutions for many years. I don’t want to disturb the arrangement,” observed Justice Nirgude. “This is a product he (FT) is selling to run your (NSE) system… If the product is not good, you (NSE) and the purchaser will suffer,” he added. FT claimed that it suffered daily losses of Rs 60 lakh since October.

HC orders medical test for pregnant teen
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_orders_medical_test_for_pregnant_teen/articleshow/4055083.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0206 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has ordered medical tests on a minor inmate at an ashram who was found to be pregnant. She had accused the superintendent of the ashram shala (resident school) at Dahanu of allegedly raping her repeatedly. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud ordered the tests to be conducted at JJ hospital. The tests would reveal whether the 15-year-girl had been pregnant and if she had undergone an abortion and also whether it was forceful or natural. The report has to be submitted to the court on the next date of hearing on February 5, said government pleader Pradeep Patil. The court was hearing a suo motu PIL based on a letter filed by a social activist Suresh Shinda.

HC sets aside BPSC prelims test results
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/HC_sets_aside_BPSC_prelims_test_results/articleshow/4055447.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0107 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: In a major development, Patna High Court on Friday set aside the preliminary test result of the 48th to 52nd combined competitive examination conducted by the Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) in May last year. The court directed the BPSC to hold the preliminary test afresh in accordance with law. The exam was conducted for various gazetted posts, including those of the Bihar Administrative Service (BAS). The single bench of Justice Navin Sinha observed that the entire preliminary test was vitiated. The court delivered the judgment a day after the completion of hearing on a batch of writ petitions filed by 150 unsuccessful candidates. The result of the preliminary test was declared in September last year. The BPSC declared a total of 19,318 candidates successful and the main examination was scheduled to commence from February 2. The petitioners had submitted that the result of the BPSC preliminary test was untenable as many questions were faulty while some model answers were also wrong. Some petitioners also said that the numbers of question sets given to the aspirants varied and, therefore, the preliminary test was also discriminatory.The court refused to accept the point put forward by advocate general (AG) P K Shahi on behalf of the BPSC. Shahi pleaded that the BPSC had deleted the wrong questions while evaluating the answersheets. Besides the AG, Sanjay Pandey defended the BPSC in this case while senior advocates Dinesh Kumar Singh, Rajendra Prasad Singh, Chitaranjan Sinha and Ganesh Prasad Singh appeared on behalf of the unsuccessful candidates. Meanwhile, the BPSC has decided to postpone the main examination for the time being in view of the HC judgment. “We will seek legal opinion before taking any step on this front,” a top BPSC official said.

Mannat case: Court seeks explanation from BMC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Mannat_case_Court_seeks_explanation_from_BMC/articleshow/4055205.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0215 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday directed a civic engineer to present himself before the court on February 27 to explain how a balcony in Shah Rukh Khan’s Bandra bungalow was allegedly jutting out on to the road. The court was hearing a Public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bhrastachar Nirmoolan Sanghatna, an NGO, against alleged violations by the actor. Advocate Shakuntala Joshi, appearing for the petitioner, submitted an affidavit which alleged that DC regulations pertaining to open space has also been violated by Khan and that it was “clear that the balcony of the building is stretching on the road.” Darius Khambata, counsel for the actor, denied all contentions. Shah Rukh Khan’s wife Gauri, in an affidavit to the court, affirmed that their residence complied with all the rules.

Case filed against SRK’s company
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Case_filed_against_SRKs_company/articleshow/4055207.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0218 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: Neha Joshi, daughter of Sharad Joshi, a scriptwriter of the 1984 comedy show on Doordarshan- Yeh Jo Hai Zindgai, has filed a petition against Shah Rukh Khan’s company, Red Chillies Private Ltd, NDTV Imagine channel and the Oberois for copying their show without prior permission. According to the petition, the same serial by the name Ghar Ki Baat is starting on the channel from Friday. Joshi’s advocate said: “We came to know that the SRK show has copied our show after we saw one of his interviews. The script was written by Sharad Joshi and the show was then produced by Oberois. They have now sold it to the actor’s company and are releasing the show without the family’s permission. We have filed the case under the Copyright Act.” The court has asked Red Chillies to file its reply by February 14. The matter will now be heard on February16.

SC stops felling of trees at Siri Fort Games site
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/SC_stops_felling_of_trees_at_Siri_Fort_Games_site/articleshow/4054793.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0403 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday stopped felling of trees around the basketball and squash court complexes for Commonwealth Games at Siri Fort as the Delhi Development Authority failed to put on record its response to an expert panel’s report blaming DDA of violating the green code. A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Arijit Pasayat and S H Kapadia saw through the delaying efforts of DDA, which was asked on January 23 to put a response within a week. When additional solicitor general Amarendra Saran again sought time to articulate DDA’s response, counsel M L Lahoty sought a stay saying felling of trees around the Games complex was continuing. Though the Bench did not pass any order, it told the ASG to take care that not a single tree was felled till next Friday, by which time DDA should file an affidavit responding to the damning report of Central Empowered Committee (CEC). CEC in its report to the court had said there was little or no application of mind on the part of DDA either in selecting the site or planning the construction, both of which grossly violated green laws. It had said that though ideally the structures should be demolished, the site reclaimed and afforestation done, considering the constraint of time, the structures should remain on the condition that DDA paid a fine of Rs 5 crore, which should be utilised to revitalise the environment. The CEC had also found true the charges of mindless felling of trees at Siri Fort and concretisation of a large patch of green area. It had suggested alternative plans and approach roads for VVIP movement and temporary parking without destroying the golf driving range, children’s park, trekking track and other greens inside the sports complex. This suggestion was agreed to by DDA, Delhi Police and other authorities.

LIC fined for denying disabled cops’ claim
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/LIC_fined_for_denying_disabled_cops_claim/articleshow/4054857.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0404 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The state consumer commission has hit out at Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) for rejecting the rightful claim of a poor consumer on a flimsy ground. LIC denied the claim of a disabled police constable on the grounds that he had not suffered permanent disability. Disagreeing with this, the commission has asked LIC to pay Neeraj Kumar his entitled claim that covers permanent disability benefits to the tune of Rs 1.5 lakh and a compensation of Rs 25,000. Kumar, a resident of Burari, suffered an electric shock following which his right arm below the elbow had to be amputated. After obtaining a permanent disability certificate from doctors of Safdarjung Hospital, he filed a claim with the company. Despite the doctors assessing permanent disability to the extent of 69%, LIC rejected his claim on the ground that he was capable of earning wages, since he was allowed to continue working with Delhi Police for compassionate reasons. The commission, headed by Justice J D Kapoor, observed that had the consumer applied for the post of constable now, he would not have got the job. Therefore, to reject such a claim on such a premise was nothing but logic chopping, oppressive and malafide interpretation of beneficial contract, the commission observed. “Merely because a person with permanent and total disability continues to be employed on compassionate basis does not mean that he has forfeited the benefit of permanent disability arising from the insurance policy,” Kapoor added. Justice Kapoor also asked the insurance sector not to adopt such an approach and be consumer friendly. The consumer should not be made to run from pillar to post or else they should be ready for the consequence of recovery of compensation amount from the salary of the officials, he said.

CBI court finds ACB inquiry lax
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/CBI_court_finds_ACB_inquiry_lax/articleshow/4055096.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0405 hrs IST, TNN
new delhi : A special CBI court pulled up the anti-corruption branch (ACB) for its lax investigation into the purchase of sub-standard ayurvedic medicines worth over Rs 4.5 crore for the Municipal Corporation of Delhi-run hospitals. The court has asked the probe agency to file a detailed report on the investigation by February 10. Irked that the probe agency’s investigation did not mention anything about the owners of the ayurvedic company that manufactured the sub-standard medicines, the court said that the ACB had to mend its ways and arrest the main culprits. Meanwhile, the court sent the serving deputy health officer (DHO) and the retired deputy health officer arrested in the case, to judicial custody till February 10.

Ban quarrying near bridges: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Ban_quarrying_near_bridges_HC/articleshow/4055108.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0412 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : The high court on Friday directed the government to not allow quarrying within a 1-km radius of any bridge in the state, to prevent disasters. A division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by residents of Bethri village in Virajpet taluk. “Why has the government not taken any measures? We already have the instance of one bridge collapse. Do they want such disasters to continue?” the Bench asked. The petitioners complained that despite circulars banning it, sand quarrying continues in the Cauvery river basin.

‘Everybody should be accountable under PC Act’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Everybody_should_be_accountable_under_PC_Act/articleshow/4055123.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0416 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Continuing his tirade against corruption, Lok Ayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde says every constitutional body should be accountable under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PC Act). Excerpts from an interview on Friday, a day after he trapped BJP MLA Y Sampangi: How do you view corruption? Collecting a bribe is literally robbing another person. It is an immoral act. The person who takes a bribe is infringing on another person’s legitimate rights and property. What is the punishment you suggest for corrupt persons? Under the PC Act, the punishment is maximum of 7 years of imprisonment maximum and minimum of six months. The maximum punishment is fine. However, we’ve got to change the law and make it more stringent. The onus of proving innocence should be on the corrupt official, not on the investigating officer. Do you feel that all the constitutional bodies, including the judiciary, should be made accountable under the PC Act? Of course. Everyone should be accountable under the PC Act. As a matter of fact, there should be more stringent laws to make all public servants accountable. In Dec. 2008, the government brought an amendment to the PC Act, which is in favour of corrupt people. It’s been 60 years since we got Independence but corruption is growing manifold. At this juncture, the government, instead of making everyone more accountable, is helping corrupt public servants.

HC declines to hear Sebi plea in Rajus’ absence
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/HC_declines_to_hear_Sebi_plea_in_Rajus_absence_/articleshow/4055289.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0255 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High court on Friday declined to hear Sebi’s petition seeking custody of Satyam scam accused B Ramalinga Raju and B Rama Raju without hearing the two brothers, and posted the matter for February 9. Justice B Seshasayana Reddy ordered notices to be issued to the Raju brothers through the Chanchalguda jail superintendent to present their case with reference to the Sebi plea. Appearing for Sebi, solicitor general of India G E Vahanvati said the High Court should allow Sebi to interrogate the accused and record their statements because it is the relevant agency to look into this technical scam and that it is empowered to do so under Section 11(c) of the Sebi Act. However, Justice Seshasayana Reddy said that he would not hear Sebi’s petition in the absence of the accused being represented in the matter. The judge said that he would not hear the petition especially when the accused had secured a favorable order in the lower court. To this, the solicitor general said that the lower court had only dismissed the plea of the Sebi to interrogate the accused. “This does not mean that the lower court has given the accused a clean chit and hence it cannot be called a favourable order to the accused. Moreover, no prejudice would be caused to the cause of the accused if Sebi questions them for a few hours,” Vahanvathi said. When Justice Seshasayana Reddy still insisted that Sebi’s plea cannot be heard until the accused are present, its counsel urged the court to give the same in writing which the court did. Vahanvati had on Thursday found fault with the lower court which has rejected its plea to question the accused on technical grounds. The magistrate’s reasoning that Sebi is not an investigating agency is also not correct, the solicitor had said. While hearing the Sebi petition on Thursday, Justice Seshasayana Reddy had questioned the Sebi counsel as to why he chose to file a writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution which means invoking the extraordinary jurisdiction of the court against a lower court order when the agency can file a criminal revision under Section 397 of Cr PC. The judge also made it clear that he would not go into the actual case of the petitioner without deciding the issue of maintainability first. “The High Court cannot relegate us to other remedies when it has powers under Art. 226,” Vahanvati had insisted. When the judge sought to know as to how Sebi will be at a disadvantageous position if it seeks the relief under a revision petition, the counsel replied saying that now the lower court may say that its order is not a final one and that it is only an interlocutory one making Sebi ineligible for filing a revision. This time, the judge insisted that he would record a finding to the extent that the lower court’s order is a final order and there will not be any problem for filing a revision and posted the matter to Friday for finalising the issue of maintainability.

Agitating lawyers barge into CJ’s court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Agitating_lawyers_barge_into_CJs_court/articleshow/4055156.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0334 hrs IST, A Surbamani, TNN
CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu advocates’ agitation in support of Sri Lankan Tamils reached an unpleasant crescendo on Friday, when a large, rudderless group of advocates barged into courts, booed judges and dragged out law officers. Worse, a senior advocate, who dared to argue his case before the First Bench comprising the acting chief justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice V Dhanapalan in defiance of the court boycott, was manhandled right in front of the acting chief justice. Microphone-wielding advocates, shouting slogans against the UPA convenor Sonia Gandhi, prime minister Manmohan Singh and external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, even climbed on court tables and snatched away case bundles of the senior advocate Chellaiah even as his horrified wife, who is also an advocate, was looking on. The scene was no different in other courts. A special government pleader, who was reluctant to walk out was dragged out of the court by the agitators, who called out the name of a judge in a court. An unidentified advocate shouted, “Will you sit like this if the modesty of your family member is outraged?” in another court hall. Even association leaders like R C Paul Kanagaraj of the Madras High Court Advocates Association and S Prabakaran of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association had tough time controlling the angry rallyists, most of whom young lawyers. A battery-operated megaphone found its way into courts for the first time and many judges resented the noise it generated. The agitating lawyers headed to NSC Bose Road, where they yet again hijacked’ an MTC bus and commandeered it to Kolathur to attend the funeral of Muthukumar, who committed self-immolation on Thursday. (The funeral did not take place on Friday, and is expected to be held on Saturday). They also burnt a picture of Sonia Gandhi. As most of the judges experienced the embarrassment, the acting chief justice convened the Full Court meeting in the evening. After debating various options to rein in the rampaging advocates, the meeting decided to give the erring advocates “another chance.” Perhaps reminded of the 25-point Code of Conduct which triggered a fresh round of agitations on the campus in 2004, the Full Court decided not to do anything that would precipitate the situation. The meeting, however, resolved to invite leaders of various advocates associations and have a detailed discussions on the issue. A select group of judges would interact with the advocates with a view to ensure that no such incidents take place inside the court premises in future.

Ex-cop told to pay Rs 1lakh for wasting court’s time
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Ex-cop_told_to_pay_Rs_1lakh_for_wasting_courts_time/articleshow/4055215.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0338 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has imposed a cost of Rs 1 lakh on a retired inspector of police for “wasting the valuable judicial time” by filing petition after petition to drag on an Enforcement Directorate case against him. Justice R Regupathi, directing A Abdul Samadh to pay the cost within two weeks, said that if the retired officer failed to deposit the amount, the Economic Offences Court-II at Egmore could cancel his bail and commit him to custody till the end of the trial. According to the Enforcement Directorate, their officials had recovered crores of rupees from the residence of Samadh. Though initially he had confessed to the crime and stated that a Singapore-based friend had been sending him gold and silver and that he sold them, Samadh retracted the statement later. He had also filed several cases since July 1993, when the case was registered. The present petitions were filed after the trial court refused to summon the persons he had named as defence witnesses and his plea for transfer of the case to another court was turned down. Justice Regupathi, slamming the former inspector for approaching the high court “at the drop of a hat, whenever the trial moved in swift pace,” said: “No litigant should be allowed to exhaust the court’s time and public money for pointless and frivolous litigation…He has taken the law of the land for granted and continued to abuse the criminal justice system to such an extent that if not prevented at least now, he would succeed in making it a laughing stock.” The judge also observed that a litigant is expected to approach the court not only with clean hands but with clean mind, clean heart and with clean objectives.

Court boycotts are common in TN
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Court_boycotts_are_common_in_TN/articleshow/4055154.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0333 hrs IST, A Surbamani, TNN
CHENNAI: Campus rallies and court boycotts are not uncommon in this state. Last year alone, 13 man days were lost in the Madras High Court alone. Compare this with the position of a neighbouring state, where there was just one court boycott in the entire 2008. The Madras High Court lists around 2,500 cases daily, and days lost in boycotts lead to huge accumulation of backlog. For instance, the 28 judges whose courts were interrupted by advocates on Friday might not be available to hear the same list of cases for many more weeks, as many of them are part of some other benches. At least in the High Court the litigant-public are not required to personally attend the proceedings, except in case of habeas corpus petitions. Improptu court boycotts in subordinate courts hit litigants hard, as witnesses and accused persons have to come at a later date for deposition. On Friday, a businesswoman had come all the way from Coimbatore to Chengalpattu to attend a sessions proceedings. “Today my counsel expressed his inability to represent me in court. Now I have to plan another visit,” she said. In the Harish Uppal case, the Supreme Court had declared that strike by lawyers is illegal. However, not foreclosing the right completely, the court had said that boycott could be done for one day, in the case of rarest of rare necessity. Clarifying the issue further, the apex court had said that three factors should be kept in mind by striking lawyers. First, they should give sufficient notice to the authorities and inform them well in advance about their agitation plan. Two, it should be rarest of rare cause. Three, those who opt to appear in court should not be obstructed in any manner. On Friday, the agitating lawyers neither gave sufficient notice nor desisted from interfering with the administration of justice in the High Court. This is the second incident in recent years wherein a designated senior advocate was manhandled by advocates. “The court has many options before it, including contempt of court proceedings. But we are unlikely to take a tough stand this time, as we apprehend backlash,” said a judge before leaving for the Full Court meeting of judges, convened by the acting chief justice S J Mukhopadhaya. While the former chief justice B Subhashan Reddy tried out, unsuccessfully, a Code of Conduct route to ensure campus peace, another chief justice A P Shah had issued a set of guidelines banning all forms of campus protests and political meetings in the premises. He even issued a contempt notice to advocate S Prabakaran after the latter took out a pro-reservation rally inside the campus. Supreme Court judge Justice Markandey Katju, who had a 10-month stint here as chief justice, did not miss any slightest opportunity to caution advocates against taking to the road even for the drop of a hat. But all these efforts have had nil-effect on the legal fraternity, which has violated the Supreme Court judgement in the Harish Uppal case at least 100 times in Tamil Nadu. “The higher judiciary should think of compensating the days lost in boycotts by having additional working days. Otherwise, the mounting arrears of cases and delays in disposals would bog down the entire justice delivery system,” lamented a senior advocate.

Dr Shah murder case: Sleuths bank on call records
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Dr_Shah_murder_case_Sleuths_bank_on_call_records/articleshow/4055276.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0101 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: With conventional interrogation techniques failing, investigating officers in the Dr Hitesh Shah murder case are now relying on mobile call records of Dr Shah, Tilottama and three others under police custody, including two of Tilottama’s lovers. Officials believe that these call records can be used as corroborative evidence to support the case. According to sources in city police, call tracing experts from crime branch and city police have been given a list of call records to find the location and duration of calls made from various numbers specially Dr Shah and Tilottama Solanki.
“We have already started analysing some of the numbers and have corroborated some of the facts. Tilottama did call Dr Shah twice that day after Dr Shah called her. We have also found five other numbers that Dr Shah called that night. The last call was received around 10pm. We are checking details of the conversation and whether he had spoke to any of the people suspected that evening,” said a senior city police official. He added that the team is also trying to find the exact location of Tilottama’s mobile phone which was thrown after the incident. “We are sure that the SIM has been deactivated from Tilottama’s friend’s mobile phone. We will get the last location on the basis of calls made. The calls will also establish where the suspects were when the incident took place,” said the official.

KMC doctor chargesheeted
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/KMC_doctor_chargesheeted/articleshow/4055715.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0359 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: KMC chest clinic superintendent Atanu Mukherjee was chargesheeted on Friday, the day he was to retire, for financial irregularities committed in 2004-05. Mukherjee, now in-charge of the KMC’s Strand Bank Road chest clinic, has been charged with buying tuberculosis medicines worth Rs 35 lakh at a much higher rate than usual and also for failing to produce utilisation certificates for funds spent on the state-run leprosy programme in 2004-05. The doctor said he would comment only after reading the chargesheet. Mayor-in-council member overseeing the KMC health department, Subodh De, said the charges were serious and would be probed.

Held to ransom by Citu, HHI in court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/Held_to_ransom_by_Citu_HHI_in_court/articleshow/4055745.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0413 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Call it vandalism or militant trade unionism, it hardly makes any difference to the corporates and foreign dignitaries who cancelled their bookings at Hotel Hindusthan International due to regular disruptions by the Citu-affiliated hotel employees’ union that won’t even pay heed to the high court. And the state bureaucracy could do little to restrain the agitators, who went the whole hog against the hotel authorities, mindless of the damage they were doing to the state’s sagging image. The result was obvious. The guests changed their minds, shifted elsewhere, like the Tatas had done months ago. Within five days between January 23 and January 27, a total 21 corporates cancelled their banquet bookings in the hotel. Things went worse from January 25, when agitated workers squatted at the hotel entrance, shouted slogans, pasted demand-posters and hung banners within the hotel’s boundary wall. Sensing the mood, the British Council cancelled its bookings for 40 rooms from January 29 onwards to accommodate foreign guests. The hotel authorities submitted this in writing to the high court on Friday, with an account of the loss in business they had to suffer in the days of slowdown.

Citu’s HHI protest in direct defiance of court orders
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/Citus_HHI_protest_in_direct_defiance_of_court_orders/articleshow/4055724.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0404 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Citu, led by president Mohammad Nizamuddin, CPM’s Kolkata district secretariat member, took on the Hotel Hindusthan International (HHI) authorities even after a court order. Acting on a petition from hotel authorities, Justice Sanjib Banerjee passed an order on January 15 asking agitators to desist from such activities within 50 metres of the hotel. He had also asked police to ensure that the union complied with the order. But militant Citu leaders continued with their armtwisting. The situation went beyond control on January 28, when hotel authorities sought police help, but to no avail. Protesters did not remove the posters and refused to move out of the premises. “So what if the management has moved court? We have the majority of hotel employees with us. The hotel owner has been ignoring our demands and making agreements with its puppet union. We’ll place our views in court,” said Nizamuddin. With police being of no help, the HHI authorities on Friday filed a contempt application against home secretary Ardhendu Sen, police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, the OCs of the police stations concerned and Citu union leaders, namely Mohammad Nizamuddin and T K Sengupta. The court was urged to showcause the administration and the union leaders for violating its order.

7 civic bodies face contempt proceedings
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/7_civic_bodies_face_contempt_proceedings/articleshow/4055671.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0329 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Friday issued show cause notices to seven municipal councils in the state seeking to know why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for failure to comply with the court’s orders regarding segregation and composting of garbage. The seven civic bodies are Cuncolim, Margao, Curchorem, Pernem, Sanquelim, Valpoi and Quepem. The court had taken suo motu cognizance of garbage disposal in 2007 and after monitoring the land acquisition for dumping of waste, the court had directed the civic bodies to work on segregation, composting of wet waste and baling of plastic. The court had, on July 9, 2008, asked the Goa State Pollution Control Board to inspect the municipal garbage dumping sites to check on compliance. During the hearing of the case, GSPCB filed a detailed inspection chart. The chart revealed that Cuncolim, Margao, Curchorem, Pernem, Sanquelim, Valpoi and Quepem municipal councils have not complied fully with the directions. GSPCB also informed the court that it is contemplating issuing notices to the chairpersons and chief officers for non-compliance of the Municipal Solid Waste (management and handling) Rules, 2000. On studying the chart, a division bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice N A Britto issued show cause notices for contempt against the municipalities and directed their chief officers to remain present on February 12 to show cause as to why they should not be fined for non compliance of the court’s orders. On the issue of disposal of bio-medical waste, the GSPCB filed an affidavit stating that out of 133 medical establishments in the state, 15 have not replied to the show cause notices issued by it. The board is in the process of closing these 15 establishments. The show cause notice was issued for not complying with the bio-medical waste (management and handling ) rules. Taking note of this, the court granted the GSPCB six weeks to inform the court about action taken by it regarding the bio-medical waste disposal. Apart from this, amicus curiae Norma Alvares pointed out that the government authorities had turned a blind eye to the issue of disposal of bio-medical waste. State advocate general Subodh Kantak replied that the sites suggested for waste dumping have been rejected either by the town and country planning department or by the GSPCB leading to a stalemate.

No role of Goa Home Ministry in Scarlett murder: Lawyer
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/No_role_of_Goa_Home_Ministry_in_Scarlett_murder_Lawyer/articleshow/4056953.cms
31 Jan 2009, 1415 hrs IST, PTI
PANAJI: Nearly a year after British teenager Scarlett Eden Keeling’s body was found on Anjuna beach, the lawyer representing her mother has said that there is no evidence against the home ministry’s involvement in her murder. “I have not seen any evidence so far that home ministry is involved,” Vikram Varma, counsel for Fiona Mackeown, mother of Scarlett, said. Scarlett’s body was found on Anjuna beach on February 18 last year and thereafter Fiona had launched a campaign seeking justice for her daughter. During the press conference, she had accused state home minister Ravi Naik’s son being involved in drug trafficking which was related to death of her daughter. Varma, however, did not rule out the possibility of nexus in selling drugs on Goan shores. “There is no possibility of some drug being given freely on beaches unless there is nexus. The fact that the drugs were given to the child (Scarlette) also proves this fact that people who provided drugs are ruthless,” he said.

NCB files case against Saji Mohan
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/NCB_files_case_against_Saji_Mohan/articleshow/4054444.cms
30 Jan 2009, 2010 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI/CHANDIGARH: Tainted IPS officer Saji Mohan has landed in further trouble as Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Friday registered a case of cheating with the Chandigarh police against the bureau’s former zonal director, arrested by Mumbai ATS with 12 kg of heroin.
NCB has also found evidence of “swapping” of narcotics with material of equal weight by the now disgraced official.
According to top NCB sources, the case was registered against the Jammu and Kashmir cadre IPS officer after an internal investigation found Mohan had bungled accounts to the tune of over Rs 13 lakh with regard to a particular case cracked by the agency during his tenure.
“During our investigation, which is still on, we found that he had misrepresented facts and had bungled over Rs 13 lakh in one particular case and hence an FIR has been registered. We are now scrutinizing all cases of the zone,” a source said.
The NCB has also found that Mohan, a 1995-batch police official arrested by the ATS on January 24 and currently posted with the Enforcement Directorate in Cochin had swapped certain narcotics stored in the agency’s zonal godown with material of “equal weights” to cover up syphoning of heroin.
“We have come across evidences which show that he had swapped some narcotics with material of equal weight. We would soon approach the court to grant us the permission to break open the seal and go in for proper testing of the contraband stored,” a source said.

No end to strike in sight as govt refuses to budge
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/No_end_to_strike_in_sight_as_govt_refuses_to_budge/articleshow/4055306.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0100 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: Even as the indefinite strike of the over 2.5 lakh strong non-gazetted employees, secretariat staff, grade four employees and several other groups and associations entered the 24th day on Friday, both CM Nitish Kumar and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi did not appear too keen on engaging the trade unions in talks to end the stalemate. After the conclusion of the oath-taking ceremony held at Rajbhawan for the restoration of former transport minister Ramanand Singh to his post, CM Nitish Kumar, when asked about the ongoing indefinite stir, evaded a direct reply, saying that Modi was in the saddle to handle it. “Modiji kahenge us par (Modiji will make a statement on that),” Nitish said, and turned to come out of Rajbhawan. Modi, however, chose not to get drawn into it. The implied meaning was that the government had already explained its position on the demand of the striking employees and staff with regard to implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations for them. The government, having explained the financial stakes involved, has resorted to punitive measures to bring the strikers in line. To add to that, Modi had earlier said that strike had been going on under the influence of the Left-inspired trade unions. The Left Front government in West Bengal had constituted a committee to look into the demands of the employees for the implementation of the Centre’s pay package and removal of anomalies for its staff and employees. The Bihar government has also taken the same route, Modi has been reiterating. Meanwhile, the striking employees, present in large number in front of the Vikas Bhawan (New Secretariat), held protest demonstrations and rallies, and also burnt effigies of the Nitish Kumar government. Their leaders, including Rambali Prasad, Anil Kumar Singh and Manjul Kumar Das, appealed to the government to abandon “rajhath (state power’s obstinacy)” and not resort to repressive measures. Significantly, Uttarakhand (Parvatiya) Karmachari Shikshak Sangathan has given its fraternal support to the ongoing strike here. Its general secretary Navendu Mathpal appealed to the government to take immediate measures for the amicable solution to the demands of the strikers. Besides, Employees’ & Officers’ Association of Patna High Court also extended “moral support” to them and their cause.

HC notices to staff unions
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/HC_notices_to_staff_unions/articleshow/4055305.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0059 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: Patna High Court on Friday issued notices to three unions of state government employees which have given a call for an indefinite strike to press for pay revision on the lines of the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations. A PIL was filed a few days back by Jan Chowkidar, a social organisation, urging the high court to declare the ongoing strike illegal. The notices would be served on these unions by the petitioner’s counsel.

HC issues show cause notice to govt
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Rajkot/HC_issues_show_cause_notice_to_govt/articleshow/4054667.cms
30 Jan 2009, 2259 hrs IST, TNN
GANDHINAGAR: Gujarat High Court on Wednesday slapped charges of contempt of court on state government and issued a show cause notice, hearing a petition filed by Ishaq Maradiya. Maradiya has accused the state government of indulging in favouritism and issuing contracts for 56 water bodies owned by the state to certain fishermen without inviting tenders. Incidentally, he had filed the same petition earlier, following which HC had issued an order cancelling contracts issued by the government and asking it to float fresh tenders. However, though the government invited tenders, it did not open them on the scheduled date of January 13 and forced the fisheries department to put the tenders in a sealed box, raising hackles in the fishermen community. This prompted Maradiya to move court again. This time, he alleged in his petition that despite repealing of the government’s decision, fishermen awarded the contract by the government continued to fish in the water bodies.

NHRC should not shield terrorists
http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=15708822
Those who indulge in terrorism or are involved in drug trafficking or peddling illicit liquor or in espionage or manufacture, stocking and distribution of spurious medicines or adulteration of baby food etc should not come under the ambits of NHRC..

A SENIOR judge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday (Jan 27) found similarities between a terrorist and an animal and has expressed his opinion that the guidelines of the NHRC should not be binding on those who resort to shooting down innocents in cold blood. He said that terrorists who kill innocent people are like animals and they cannot be allowed to take benefits of human rights. “Those who violate the rights of society and have no respect for human rights cannot be a human,” the honorable judge made these scathing remarks in the capital at a seminar on terrorism. Those who killed innocent people can by no stretch of imagination be regarded as human beings. They are animals.

This view should be given serious consideration.

Those who indulge in acts of terrorism or are involved in drug trafficking or peddling illicit liquor or in espionage or manufacture, stocking and distribution of spurious medicines or adulteration of baby food etcetera should not come under the ambits of the NHRC.

We have to wake up to realities and shed our hypocritical stand – the NHRC is there to protect the rights of law abiding citizens – let us make it applicable to teachers who punish their wards or to families who are subjected to mental and physical torture by their relatives or to orphanages and women’s homes where the inmates are denied the basic amenities. Let us make it applicable to children who do not care about the well being of their parents and to doctors who refuse to attend to sick patients. Let us make it applicable to members of political parties who hold the common man to ransom by organising bandhs and road blocks or stoppage of traffic.

Those who swear by the human rights should put their heads together and work out suitable formats that will give a boost to different aspects of humanity and not treat the NHRC as a shield behind which those with criminal intentions can take shelter.

Violence against women and security
http://justswarna.blogspot.com/2009/01/violence-against-women-and-security.html
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Published in InfochangeIndia.org on November 25, 2008
As the Violence Against Women fortnight kicks off internationally on November 25,Swarna Rajagopalan analyses why women’s physical survival and safety must be viewed as a security issue and why violence against women is as much a social concern as war, famine or terrorism
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, there is consensus that something important has shifted in the real world that necessitates a shift in security thinking.
It is now acknowledged that more wars take place within States than across them. State-building has been identified as a leading source of insecurity (for States by some, for everyone by others). Famine on a large scale challenges the survival of societies; as do disasters that can disrupt the fabric of social relationships. Climate change threatens small island-states like the Maldives, whose new president is now shopping for land to resettle his people in anticipation that the atoll-state will be consumed by rising sea-levels.
Those who write on non-traditional security admit migration and trafficking into their research agendas, understanding that these challenge the very foundations of the nation-state system. Struggles over land, livelihood and food are also now recognised as admissible into this agenda in the same way as militancy is. The reconstruction of society after a conflict, somewhere at the conjunction of the old nation-building and development agendas, is also accepted as a security subject.
This catholic embrace stops short of women’s bodies. Violence against women is still not quite a security issue, unless it occurs in the context of one of the above situations or a traditional security crisis. Common, garden variety threats to the physical survival and safety of women are where the line is drawn, either out of an ingrained sense that home and person are not appropriate objects of interest for this field or as a compromise in the face of the protest that no field can include everything.
As a prelude to analysing this discourse that excludes women’s physical survival and safety, let us take a quick look at some of the things we include under the ‘violence against women’ (henceforth, VAW) rubric. Women experience physical insecurity both by virtue of their position within a given socio-economic structure and by virtue of where they find themselves physically.
Patriarchal societies value women first and foremost as mothers. Maternal health is therefore a useful point of departure for this review. A Unicef report states that one woman dies every five minutes of a pregnancy-related complication.(1) One in every 70 women is at risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes and the risk is even greater for women below 24.(2) The Maternal Mortality Ratio for Indian women is estimated at anywhere between 300 and 500 per 100,000 live births, depending on the source you consult.
Debates over the woman’s right to choose versus the foetus’s right to be born are entering Indian discourse, obscuring the continuum between a prenatal death sentence by virtue of sex and the woman’s lack of reproductive autonomy. In India, statistics about sex selective abortions begin with the dramatic figure of about 10 million such abortions being performed over the last quarter-century and end with the horrific count of 3 million female foetuses being aborted annually. Both the right of the girl-child to be born and the long-term consequences for women and society are the issue here.
Discrimination in matters of nutrition, healthcare and schooling apart, girls in situations of poverty are at risk of trafficking and early marriage. A majority of girls become victims of trafficking at a very early age, and about 35% of them blamed their families for their fate. Families are also responsible for forcing girls into early marriages. More than half of India’s girls marry before 18, and experience much greater risk of pregnancy-related complications as well as domestic violence. Add to this the threat of child sexual abuse, mostly at the hands of family members, and Indian girls do not seem to lead very secure lives.
A serious impediment to simple improvements in a girl’s life is the threat of street sexual harassment. Being followed on the way to school, cat-calls at the bus-stop, being groped or pinched on a bus or being stalked foreshadow sexual violence. The threat of being harassed intimidates girls and, in a society that places a premium on virginity, persuades parents to stop their schooling at puberty. Lacking education, confidence or self-esteem, the girl has no inner defences against exploitation and society provides no external protections either.
Marriage is seen as a solution to the problem of protecting a girl from the dangers of the public arena. Dowry, however, is one of the core causes of male-child preference. The practice of demanding and giving dowries has been spreading to communities where it was hitherto unknown. Dissatisfaction and avarice have combined to create social conditions where over 6,000 girls lose their lives annually in dowry-related deaths, according to the NCRB.(3) Strict laws do not seem to deter families from demanding nor from feeling like their prestige is attached to giving.
A shamefully large percentage of Indian women experience domestic violence. Nearly 37% of married women have experienced violence at some point and, perhaps more alarming, 54% of Indian women believe husbands have the right to beat their wives, according to the National Family Health Survey.(4) Social and economic compulsions keep women in abusive marriages and, given the magnitude of the problem, there are still too few helplines and shelters.
Infamous advice from India’s mythical lawgiver, Manu, enjoins women to seek the protection of their fathers, husbands and sons. Where fathers and husbands fail women, sons often do so as well. The abandoned widows of Brindavan and Varanasi are only the most dramatic instance of the cruelty of Indian society towards its elders. In homes around the country, senior citizens, particularly elderly, widowed women, are often subject to neglect and emotional abuse. Where cultural mores still constrain many from actually abandoning their ageing parents, what seniors surveyed described as ‘disrespect’ in fact borders on physical abuse.
This random review illustrates how unsafe women are in a variety of settings and roles. Considering that they constitute almost half a population of 1 billion, why does the survival and well-being of nearly 500 million citizens not find a place in security agendas?
One reason is the binary view of the public and private spheres which security as a field inherits from traditional political philosophy. On the contrary, feminists argue that the personal is political. The contemporary exercise (reflected in this series of articles) of redefining security is the search for a middle ground between these positions. Somewhere between a social perspective that will not cross the threshold of a home or a relationship and one that would dismiss the distance between the two sides of the threshold, is an older political debate relating to personal freedom and privacy. How do we define where the limits lie in the relationship between the individual and the collective? Once crossed, what is an appropriate issue for intervention and what is off-limits?
New security thinking has added a plethora of new referents for ‘security’ (a confounding plethora, traditionalists might say). That is, when we ask the question ‘whose security,’ we now answer with a much longer list than ‘State’ or ‘nation-state.’ Moreover, when we ask who creates insecurity, security scholars or policymakers shy away less from adding the State itself to the list. However, our view of who should create security still somehow ends up being State-centric.
This blindsides us. Where we will not let the State step in, whether from a minimalist State perspective or otherwise, we still challenge its inaction (and its inability to act). Can the State enter kitchens in an anticipatory exercise to prevent kerosene from being poured over new brides? Can the State be a presence in the bedroom when a wife is repeatedly raped by her husband? Should the State uphold the mother’s right to choose to have a child or should it allow her to decide not to have a girl-child?
Some of these questions have been resolved in practice. The Pre-Natal Diagnostic Techniques (Regulation and Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1994 is an example, as is the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2006. But their failure to completely stop the practices they condemn suggests that even a State with tremendous reach, awesome enforcement capability and reasonable political will cannot stop individuals from perpetrating violent acts sanguinely. Neighbours, extended family and alert local civil society organisations can go much further than a battery of laws and a police force. Social pressure and ostracism are greater deterrents than the likelihood that the victim or her supporters will term their experience as ‘abuse’ and report it to the police. Those who mistreat women must take comfort in the lack of social support options available to them, so that they must return to the site of abuse sooner or later.
The next frontier in this exercise of re-imagining security then is to explore the role of civil society in creating security (and insecurity). Citizen-driven initiatives are the order of the day with regard to most other issues, be it mohalla committees to preserve communal harmony or neighbourhood environmental groups like EXNORA. What is the scope for citizen action to create security for women within and outside the home? What ethical and political issues are involved with initiating such action? Realistic assessments of what can be achieved are also needed, for which documentation of existing civil society efforts is important.
There is another factor: cultural relativism and the reluctance of contemporary State and society in an age of political correctness. Patriarchal politics makes of women’s bodies easy shorthand for the politics of group identity. Women then carry the burden of socialisation, cultural preservation and physically standing for the community’s integrity and survival. If attacks on women are an easy way of expressing hostility towards a community, restrictions on women are a way for the community to articulate its borders—“We are X-Y-Z and therefore we require this or that of our women.” The rationale is ‘protection’—of the women, ergo, the community. A strange liberal inhibition prevents us from completely challenging these for fear of offending others or limiting the right of each community to define itself uniquely. Eggshell-walking and dogma are both inimical to an idea of security that is equitable as well as liberal.
Why would we want to include violence against women in the security agenda? The most obvious reason is a political argument that anything that affects the survival of such a large part of society belongs in any discussion about survival and well-being. Second, using the term ‘security’ adds political leverage to any issue—visibility is greater, resources flow more easily and a sense of urgency is generated that may otherwise be lacking. Third, where violence is involved, collective attention and consideration are a must, and whether it is the State or society, it is imperative that one kind of violence merits the same attention as another. We cannot choose to which category of violence we will pay attention on the basis of motivation or victim identity.
Arguments can also be made that link violence against women to larger consequences for society and State. Unbalanced sex ratios increase the likelihood of violence in society. Violence against women has epidemic qualities that place a large burden on the public health system. Fewer adults able to work optimally and children desensitised to violence are other consequences. However, these instrumental arguments—take care of this so you can move on and do other things—are less persuasive than the argument that the security of female citizens is intrinsically a good thing and as much a social concern as war, famine or terrorism.
From intellectual and political standpoints, a discussion about violence against women as insecurity raises very interesting questions. Are there drawbacks to ‘securitising’ violence against women? Who will act to assure their security? What can we say about the relationship between State, society and female citizens based on the level of willingness to take action on this issue? Violence against women and women’s security also provides another instance for debating the freedom versus security, private versus public, universal versus relativist and minimalist versus pro-active State binaries that are actually among the oldest questions in politics. Thus, what we have been calling an exercise of redefinition or re-imagining ‘security’ is in fact also an exercise of remembering those fundamental political questions revisiting which is a pre-requisite to alert, vigilant citizenship.
Endnotes
1. Roopa Bakshi, Maternal Mortality – a woman dies every 5 minutes in childbirth in India, UNICEF India, http://www.unicef.org/india/health_1341.htm.
2. UNICEF. India. Statistics. accessed athttp://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/india_statistics.html, on November 3, 2008.
3. Sample Registration System, Maternal Mortality In India: 1997-2003: Trends, Causes And Risk Factors, Registrar General, India, New Delhi, 2006. Accessed athttp://ideas.repec.org/p/ess/wpaper/id753.html on November 3, 2008. UNICEF. India. Statistics. accessed at http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/india_statistics.html, on November 3, 2008.
4. P M Kulkarni, Estimation Of Missing Girls At Birth And Juvenile Ages In India, UNFPA, September 2007, Page 16. Accessed atHttp://Www.Unfpa.Org/Gender/Docs/Studies/Missingirlsatbirth_India.Pdf on November 3, 2008.
5. P M Nair, A Report on Trafficking in Women and Children in India 2002-2003, Volume 1, NHRC-UNIFEM-ISS, 2004, page 104, Accessed athttp://nhrc.nic.in/Documents/ReportonTrafficking.pdf on November 16, 2008.
6. Centre for Social Research, Child Marriage Prohibition Act openly flouted, as the practice continues unabated, Press Release, February 1, 2008, Accessed athttp://www.csrindia.org/Child%20Marriage%20Prohibition%20Act%20openly%20flouted,%20as%20the% 20practice%20continues%20unabated%20,New%20Delhi,%2001%20February%202008.htm on November 16, 2008.
7. National Crime Records Bureau 2006.
8. National Family Health Survey 3, 2005-2006,National Fact Sheet India, Accessed athttp://www.nfhsindia.org/pdf/IN.pdf, on November 16, 2008.
(Swarna Rajagopalan is a Chennai-based political scientist specialising in security, broadly defined. She is the founder of Prajnya Initiatives for Peace, Justice and Security, a new Chennai non-profit (http://www.prajnya.in))

NCW team gets it all wrong
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/NCW_team_gets_it_all_wrong/articleshow/4055812.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0431 hrs IST, TNN
MANGALORE: When there is a national outrage over the attack on girls in a Mangalore pub, the National Commission for Women has nothing much to say about it. An NCW team that visited Mangalore on Friday — the purpose was to enquire about the girls’ welfare — was, instead, more concerned about whether the pub had security in place to handle such eventualities. Team leader Nirmala Venkatesh said: “I could not locate and meet the girls as no complaint has been filed. The only complaint filed is by the pub owner. They, too, have no clue about the girls.’’ After visiting the sub-jail where the accused Sri Rama Sene activists have been lodged, Nirmala said they told her the girls were from outside Karnataka; some belonged to rich families in Mangalore. “We can identify the girls, but don’t want to spoil their reputation,’’ she quoted the accused as saying. The only harsh observation she made was about the lack of security at the pub. “They should not run the pub if they can’t provide security. The NCW will suggest to the authorities to make security arrangements mandatory for issuing licences to pubs, bars and hotels.’’ The NCW advised the police to look into the misuse of licence.

Court rejects plaintiff’s objections in rape case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/Court_rejects_plaintiffs_objections_in_rape_case/articleshow/4055509.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0500 hrs IST, TNN
BAHRAICH: The final police report in the Gudia Pathak rape case has been accepted by the court. The objections raised by the plaintiff were rejected. Gudia levelled rape charges against a former additional superintendent of police (ASP) and former labour minister. It may be noted that on an application filed by Gudia Pathak, a resident of Kanchar in Bisheshwarganj police area, a case of rape was registered against former ASP Heeralal and former labour minister Waqar Ahmed Shah, under Section 120 of IPC, on August 18, 2007. During investigations, the investigating officer found the allegations to be untrue. The ASP, Balrampur, who was made the investigating officer, found the case false and submitted his report to the court on December 10, 2007. Superintendent of police, Bahraich, finding fault in the final report, requested the court to return it. The chief judicial magistrate returned it. On the orders of the DIG, Devi Patan range, the case was referred to ASP, Shrawasti for re-investigation. During re-investigation, the allegations were again found to be baseless. Gudia appeared in the court and raised objections over the final report of re-investigation. The court, however, rejected the objections raised by her.

PF scam: HC asks govt to file affidavit
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/PF_scam_HC_asks_govt_to_file_affidavit/articleshow/4055497.cms
31 Jan 2009, 0450 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has asked the state government and the mill authorities to file counter-affidavit and fixed February 27 for further orders in a PIL filed regarding the provident fund scam of Rs 2.51 lakh in Sahkari Chini Mills Ltd, Tilhar. The bench comprising Chief Justice HL Gokhale and Justice Dilip Gupta passed the order on a PIL filed by the Chini Mills Karmachari Kalyan Sangh. The bench has also issued notices to the provident fund commissioner, Kanpur and deputy labour commissioner, Bareilly division to file replies in the case. Dinesh Rai appearing for the petitioner had pointed out that provident fund amount deducted from the salary of the employees was embezzled. The petitioner has also demanded for an inquiry into the case by the CBI. Arrest stayed: A division bench of the high court comprising Justice S Harkauli and Justice Rajesh Kumar has stayed the arrest of chief proctor and professor of Banaras Hindu University SCS Rathore and NK Singh in connection with an FIR lodged against them with Lanka police in Varanasi. The FIR was registered by the police over an allegation that they had committed negligence in the treatment of a student, who died. The court has also issued notices to the opposite parties, asking them to file their reply in the case.

Money delivered at Kaur’s house was not for me: Justice Nirmal Yadav
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013159871300.htm
J. Venkatesan
She requests Chief Justice of India to reject in-house committee findings
New Delhi: Justice Nirmal Yadav of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has categorically said Rs. 15 lakh in cash delivered at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur in Chandigarh on August 13, 2008, was not meant for her and that she was targeted because of a similarity in their first names.
Asserting that the three-member in-house committee conducted a probe by restricting the scope of enquiry and confining it to allegations against her, Justice Nirmal Yadav said: “I have a right to reject the report as the same has been conducted in a lop-sided manner. Unless an enquiry is ordered into all allegations against all judges concerned, I refuse to submit to such informal procedure.”
In her second reply sent to the Chief Justice of India on January 27, she said: “The proposal of in-house procedure was rejected by the Full Court of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Therefore, it does not have any binding force.”
Responding to the show-cause notice, the judge, in her first reply sent on January 7, requested the CJI to furnish certain documents relied on by the committee and after some of them were supplied she sent the second reply.
She said: “I am thus left with no option but to believe that the committee left out best evidence that could be available to it and acted on a self-imposed inhibition of enquiring only against me and not the others. I wonder if this course of action was resorted to protect and prevent exposure of the involvement of a Supreme Court judge.
She said: “There is no scope of any error in delivery of the packet to Mrs. Nirmaljit Kaur in view of the categorical statement of Prakash Ram [who delivered it] to the effect that ‘I heard it was to be given to Nirmaljit [staying in Sector 11].’
“To the committee, Prakash Ram said: ‘I did not deem it necessary to enquire as to who this Nirmal was since I knew madam Nirmaljit Kaur whose residence I had visited twice or so when she was an advocate.’ Despite this, the committee chooses to ignore his statement and the fact that I live in Sector 24 about 5 km away from Sector 11.”
Justice Nirmal Yadav said: “I do not know, nor am I aware till now, whether the sum of Rs. 15 lakh delivered at Mrs. Nirmaljit Kaur’s residence was for her or for someone else. But I am certain it was always intended to be delivered at her residence.”
The reply said: “The committee has chosen to accept the statement of Mr. Sanjiv Bansal [advocate] even when in his own words he admits to have ‘concocted a story to save the situation [regarding one Mr. Nirmal Singh].’ It is unknown to the annals of law to accept the statement of a person who himself claims to have concocted and changed his version at his own convenience in order to screen himself from the penal consequences.”
Justice Nirmal Yadav requested the CJI that the injustice done to her be remedied and that she be assigned normal judicial work at the earliest.

Charge sheet filed in Lakshmanananda case
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013157221200.htm
Special Correspondent
BHUBANESWAR: A day after filing the charge sheet in the Kandhamal nun rape case, the Crime Branch of Orissa police on Friday filed the charge sheet in the case relating to the murder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Lakshmanananda Saraswati.
The charge sheet was filed in the court of the Sub-Divisional Judicial Magistrate at Baliguda in Kandhamal district naming seven persons accused.
The seven accused, who were arrested in the case earlier, are Budhadev Naik, Duryodhan Sanamajhi, Bijay Sanaseth, Gananath Seth and Bhaskar Sanamajhi, Sanatan Badamajhi and Munda Badamajhi. While Naik is a Maoist, the remaining accused are Maoist supporters belonging to Kandhamal.
The VHP leader was killed at his Jalespata ashram in Kandhamal along with four others on August 23 last year. A large group of suspected armed Maoists were involved in the case. The assailants had used automatic weapons to commit the crime.
According to Crime Branch Superintendent of Police Yatindra Koyal, the accused were charged under Sections 34, 120(B), 302, 380, and 449 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.
The investigation in the case was still in progress and a supplementary charge sheet would be filed the after the arrest of other accused and completion of the probe, Mr. Koyal said.
The murder of the VHP leader had led to anti-Christian violence in Kandhamal and other parts of the State after the Sangh Parivar claimed that members of the minority community had committed the crime.
Under fire
The Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition government headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had come under severe criticism from various quarters when the violence continued in Kandhamal for several weeks.
The communal violence in Kandhamal ended only after the Maoists reiterated their claim that they had committed the crime.
The arrest of several Sangh Parivar leaders had also helped the administration in controlling the situation.

Advocate arrested
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013154240600.htm
CHENNAI: A special team investigating the murder of a woman in a beauty parlour in K.K. Nagar here on October 10 arrested the prime accused, Koteeswaran (38), an advocate. He was arrested in a village near Virudhunagar on Wednesday.
Police said that it was under the instruction of Koteeswaran that Ilango and Ravikumar, already arrested in the case, went to the beauty parlour and attacked Chitra, the victim. She was also robbed of her valuables. The victim succumbed to serious injuries. Koteeswaran was produced in a city court and remanded to judicial custody.

Advocates boycott courts
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013154000400.htm
CHENNAI: An indefinite boycott of courts by advocates to protest against the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka began on Friday. The boycott, which is also to condemn the Centre for supplying arms to Sri Lanka, followed a decision by the general body of the Madras High Court Advocates Association. Advocates took out a procession on the High Court premises and raised slogans. — Special Correspondent

Lawyers flay killing of Tamils
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013157760300.htm
Special Correspondent
MADURAI: Advocates practising in the Madras High Court Bench and at the district courts here abstained from work on Friday in protest against the killings of Tamils in Sri Lanka.
A section of advocates staged a demonstration in front of the Doordarshan Kendra in K.K. Nagar. They shouted slogans against the Sri Lankan government for the killing of innocent Tamils.
A group of college students, who attempted to block road traffic near Periyar statue off Corporation of Madurai, staged a demonstration near the Passport Office on Race Course Road around noon.
Vehicular movement was diverted for sometime in these areas, police said.

High Court dismisses plea on maintainability
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013161120300.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court had on Wednesday dismissed a petition by Chetana Kumble, wife of former Test cricketer Anil Kumble, contesting the maintainability of a petition seeking reopening of a child custody case.
It had not dismissed her former husband V. Jahagirdhar’s petition, as reported in these columns.
Mr. Jahagirdhar was the respondent in the case before the High Court.
Ms. Chetana, in her petition, had challenged a Family Court order reopening the custody case relating to her and Mr. Jahagirdhar’s daughter.
Justice Rammohan Reddy had heard the matter on the maintainability issue and not on deciding the custody of their daughter.
The judge had remanded back to the Family Court the main matter — continuation of trial and disposal of case on merits — on an application by Mr. Jahagirdhar seeking exclusive rights of his daughter.

Court rejects IAF plea
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013161460400.htm
BANGALORE: Residents of Yelahanka, Jalahalli and surrounding areas on Friday heaved a sigh of relief when the Karnataka High Court rejected an application by the Indian Air Force to restrict entry of public vehicles on the road from Gangamma Circle and Zum Zum Point near Jalahalli, Bangalore, in view of the recent Mumbai terrorist attack. In an interlocutory application , the Centre and Air Officer Commanding, Air Force Station Jalahalli, had urged the court to modify an earlier order it had passed permitting public transport vehicles on the road. — Staff Reporter

Criminals losing fear of law Law & order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013161340300.htm
The audacious act of the notorious Satte gang in opening fire at a police team and engaging them in a gun-battle for nearly 30 minutes in the busy Green Park Extension area of the Capital recently once again reinforces the growing perception that criminals no longer fear the police and the law.
Delhi has seen several instances of such desperate criminal acts in recent times. Before his arrest on January 19, Satya Prakash alias Satte, who is involved in over two dozen criminal cases, unleashed terror in the Capital along with his gang members, allegedly targeting banks, cash vans and businessmen in the last quarter of the previous year. Several people were injured in those incidents.
In mid-2008, a gang of bikers led by Om Prakash alias Bunty earned instant notoriety by committing a series of senseless murders and robberies. Over a dozen incidents were reported within a span of 15 days and it all stopped with his elimination in an encounter with the police on the outskirts of the city a month later. In Shakarpur, a shopping mall employee was riddled with bullets during a robbery outside a bank in broad daylight last year. In yet another sensational incident, underscoring the audacity of the criminals, a young man was shot dead and another seriously injured during a snatching in Nand Nagri early last year.
Even senior police officers admit that criminals are getting more and more bold and unafraid of the police and the law. “Though there are no parameters to measure it, criminals appear to have become fearless these days. Not to talk of the common man, now they do not even hesitate to challenge the police. Most hardened criminals are acquainted with the functioning of the police and loopholes in the legal system and have lost the fear of both,” says a senior police officer.
Hard-core criminals have their own battery of lawyers to take care of all their legal issues. So despite their involvement in crime, the case fails to stand legal scrutiny for want of evidence. “Thanks to their understanding of the law, they know that recoveries could go against them in court and do not spill the beans during police custody. The job of the police becomes all the more difficult when no one dares to come forward to depose against them. The confessional statements made to the police are not admissible in court. A habitual criminal thus knows that conviction is hard to come by and he can get away with anything,” says the officer.
Such habitual criminals do not mind spending a few months behind bars waiting for bail, especially when a slew of jail reforms over the years have made life in captivity not that uncomfortable. They even resort to making false complaints of harassment and torture against the police thus putting them on the back foot. Some senior police officers feel that there is a need to amend the law to make some distinction between a habitual criminal and a novice. “The bail provisions are same for one committing crime for the first time and a habitual offender. Also, hard-core criminals should be treated more strictly than other inmates inside jails and kept in solitary cells,” sums up another senior officer.
Ashok Kumar

Held guilty of contempt of court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013156390400.htm
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has held an accused in a cheque bouncing case guilty of contempt of court for not complying with his bail condition that he would repay the loan amount.
Justice Manmohan held Rajeev Kapoor guilty of contempt of court for not complying with an undertaking given to the trial court for repayment of the loan saying that “it is a case of wilful breach of the undertaking given to the court”.
The Court will pronounce the quantum of sentence on March 9.
The accused approached the High Court after the lower court had issued a non-bailable arrest warrant against him, cancelling his bail for not complying with the undertaking. He had sought quashing of the warrant.
The lower court had later ordered attachment of the property of the accused when he failed to appear before it following issuance of the warrant.
The mother of the accused, Santosh Kapoor, had filed a separate petition in the High Court seeking quashing of the order for attachment of the property saying that her son had no share in the property as she had disowned him. However, the Court dismissed both petitions.
The accused owed Rs.1.61 lakh to a private company here. He had given a post-dated cheque to the creditor company for repayment of the loan amount but it had bounced.
The creditor company then moved a lower court for his prosecution for cheque bouncing.

Court seeks information on LPG sites
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013161300300.htm
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Delhi Development Authority to inform it when and where it would provide alternative sites to three LPG cooking gas dealers to shift their existing depots so they could continue to cater to their consumers staying in North Delhi and Central Delhi.
The Delhi Development Authority had on January 19 cancelled the allotment of sites at Majnu ka Tila in North Delhi to the dealers — Priyanka Gas Service, Emal & Sons and C. Lal & Sons — on the ground that they came in the way of alignment of western approaches to the Signature Bridge that would come up over the Yamuna at Wazirabad.
It had asked these dealers to vacate the sites and hand them over to it by January 30.

Court imposes fine on two top officials
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/31/stories/2009013153660300.htm
Correspondent
IAS officer, educationist convicted in contempt case
CUTTACK: In a significant judgment, the High Court on Friday convicted a senior IAS officer and an educationist in a contempt case and slapped a fine of Rs. 10,000 on each. In the event of non-payment of fine within seven days from the date of communication of the order, both the contemnors shall undergo simple imprisonment of one month each, the HC ordered.
State Higher Education Department secretary Madhusudan Padhi, IAS and the director of higher education Dr. Suman Mohapatra are held guilty under Section 12 of Contempt of Court Act-1972 for wilful violation of the High Court order that was passed in September 2008.
Reading out the five-page order and the sentence in a packed courtroom, the Bench of Justice B.P. Das and Justice R.N. Biswal expressed serious concern over the disrespect shown by both the officials towards the orders passed by the court. Both the officials were present inside the courtroom when the verdict was pronounced.
The matter inter alia pertains to a State Education Tribunal order passed way back in July 2006 in which the Tribunal had directed the government to pay grant-in-aid dues to one Debendranath Barik, presently working as Laboratory Attendant in Jawaharlal Nehru College in Kuanpal of Cuttack district.
When the government did not implement the Tribunal order for nearly two years, Barik approached the High Court in a writ petition in July 2008 stating that he was badly in need of his arrear dues as he is suffering from a serious ailment.
The HC on September 9, 2008 disposed of the writ application with a direction to the Higher Education Department Secretary-cum-Commissioner and to the Director to comply with the order of the Tribunal within three weeks. Despite this specific order from HC, the officials did not respond to the matter and Barik continued to be deprived of his legitimate dues. Finding no other alternative, Barik was forced to file a contempt case against both the officials on October 17, 2008 urging the HC to award exemplary punishment to the contemnors for violation of court orders.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the State government was planning to move the Supreme Court against the order passed by the High Court on Friday.

LEGAL NEWS 28-29.01.2009

Plea for probe into charge against ATS rejected
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012854601300.htm
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a public interest litigation petition seeking a judicial probe into allegations of custodial torture, including third degree methods, inflicted on Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur by the Anti-Terrorism Squad probing the Malegaon bomb blast case in Maharashtra.
The writ petition filed by advocate Kaushal Kishor Chaudhary also sought a direction to summon the authorities of the Maharashtra government and the Mumbai police (ATS) to get their response.
A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam dismissed the PIL at the admission stage. The CJI told the petitioner that he could move the trial court.
The petitioner alleged that Sadhvi Pragnya was picked up from her residence in the night without showing her the arrest warrant and was illegally detained for over 10 days.
The Sadhvi filed an affidavit in the trial court stating that she was physically tortured by the ATS. She alleged violation of the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court relating to the arrest of women during the night.
The petitioner said the State police failed to provide information to the Sadhvi’s parents and others about the grounds of arrest.
The ATS conducted narco analysis tests twice on the Sadhvi, but when nothing came out of that, it invoked the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act, he said.

Bail for Sena MP charged with rioting
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012859741300.htm
Staff Reporter
Mumbai: Rajya Sabha MP and Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut, who led a riotous morcha to a city hotel, walked free on Tuesday after a court here gave him bail.
He was arrested and produced in court around 11.15 a.m. and left the premises by 2.30 p.m. amid loud cheering by party supporters.
On January 21, hundreds of Sena members vandalised the lobby and kitchen of Lalit Group’s Intercontinental Hotel in suburban Andheri to protest against employee layoffs. “Raut was leading the morcha. We arrested him from his residence at 9.05 a.m. on Tuesday,” police said.
“The court held that the sections 452 [house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault or wrongful restraint] and 506 (2) [criminal intimidation] of the Indian Penal Code were not applicable, because a notice about a legal morcha had been issued [to the hotel],” Mr. Raut’s lawyer Manohar Nayak told the media. “It was the duty of the police to maintain law and order. They are capable of doing it.”
The Sena’s “legal morcha” resulted in damages to the tune of Rs. 18 lakh.
The Metropolitan Magistrate earlier remanded Mr. Raut to judicial custody till February 5. However, he was granted bail for Rs.5,000 when his lawyers filed an application, on the condition that he present himself before the court when required.
Two others released
Along with Mr. Raut, two other Sena members — president of Sena-led Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) Suryakant Mahadik and Sena corporator Tukaram Nikam — were also released on the same grounds.
The police arrested 42 Sena men on January 21 and 11 more on January 25 for the offence. In all, 56 persons were arrested in the case. All the 56 are now out on bail.

High Court seeks government’s stance
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012854950100.htm
Special Correspondent
Petition seeks to declare that no nod needed to prosecute Pinarayi in Lavalin case
Advocate-General told to inform the court of government’s stance
Division Bench adjourns hearing on the petition to February 2
Kochi: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Tuesday directed the Advocate-General to inform the court about the State government’s stance with respect to a writ petition seeking to declare that no government sanction was needed to prosecute Communist Party of India (Marxist) State secretary Pinarayi Vijayan and others in the SNC Lavalin case.
The Bench of Acting Chief Justice J. B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri gave the oral direction when the petition came up for hearing. The court adjourned the hearing on the petition to February 2.
Closing a pending petition filed by T.P. Nandakumar, Editor, Crime magazine, seeking to expedite the investigation in the case, the court said it did not intend to open the progress report submitted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a sealed cover as the CBI had already submitted that it had completed the investigation.
It was contended that there was no need for obtaining the sanction of the government as the accused were not public servants now.
KPCC demands action
Special Correspondent adds from Thiruvananthapuram:
The Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) urged the State government to recommend to the Governor to grant sanction to the CBI to launch prosecution proceedings against the CPI(M) State secretary.
The KPCC Political Affairs Committee, which met here on Tuesday, said the CPI(M) Polit Bureau should give the political clearance to the State government to take recourse to this action. The KPCC panel also wanted the CPI(M) to subject itself to judicial scrutiny in order to clear doubts about its State general secretary’s role in the Lavalin deal.
Addressing a press conference soon after the PAC meeting, KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala said the Chief Minister’s silence on the issue was stronger than any words he might utter. The PAC, he said, condemned the responses of CPI(M) ministers to the CBI report.

CBI counsel replaced in assets case against Mulayam Singh
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012859831500.htm
Legal Correspondent
Mohan Parasaran to appear for agency; final hearing on February 10
My earlier opinion for withdrawal of CBI application is no longer relevant: Vahanvati
He wants court to allow CBI to take a decision on Mulayam’s representations
New Delhi: Even as the Central Bureau of Investigation changed its counsel in the disproportionate assets case against the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh, the Supreme Court on Tuesday posted the final hearing to February 10.
During the hearing on January 6, Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam appeared for the CBI and the court grilled the investigating agency for its flip-flops. When the matter was taken up before a Bench consisting of Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph on Tuesday, Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Parasaran informed the court that he was appearing for the CBI in the place of Mr. Subramaniam.
Solicitor-General G.E. Vahanvati, appearing for the Centre, said: “I had given an opinion in this case in November last [for the CBI to withdraw its earlier application] and it is no longer relevant.” He said his opinion was on the point of law. Mr. Vahanvati said detailed representations were made to the government by Mr. Singh and others and these were forwarded to the CBI. He wanted the court to allow the CBI to take a decision on these representations.
Justice Kabir told Mr. Vahanvati, “That we shall do only after hearing the matter and not now.”
Noticing the absence of Mr. Subramaniam, Justice Kabir asked Mr. Vahanvati whether he was appearing for the CBI or not. Mr. Vahanvati said Mr. Parasaran was appearing for the CBI.
On March 1, 2007, the court, acting on a public interest litigation petition from Vishwanath Chaturvedi, directed the CBI to conduct a preliminary enquiry against Mr. Singh, his sons Akhilesh Yadav, MP, and Prateek Yadav; and Dimple Yadav, wife of Mr. Akhilesh Yadav, into the allegations that they had amassed assets disproportionate to the known sources of their income, and to submit a report to the Centre.
CBI volte-face
In October 2007, the CBI filed an application for modification of the direction on the ground that it was not bound to submit a report to the Centre as it was an independent body. In its affidavit, the CBI said it was willing to place a status report in the court, if necessary. It sought a direction to proceed in the matter in accordance with the law without any further reference to the Union or State government.
However, in December last the CBI sought withdrawal of this application.
Senior counsel Harish Salve appeared for Mr. Mulayam Singh and senior counsel K.T.S. Tulsi appeared for the petitioner.

BJP will make access to water a fundamental right
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012859641200.htm
Neena Vyas
NEW DELHI: After Leader of Opposition L.K. Advani held a meeting with experts on water here on Tuesday, the Bharatiya Janata Party announced that if it came to power it would make access to drinking water a fundamental right and conservation of water a fundamental duty.
Party leader Sushma Swaraj briefed reporters on the outcome of the meeting held at Mr. Advani’s residence. It was part of a series of interactions Mr. Advani has organised with experts in different areas. The party wants to include some of these issues in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
Ms. Swaraj said if a National Democratic Alliance government was formed after the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, a drinking water and sanitation mission would be set up under the Prime Minister.
Among the experts present were Director-General of The Energy and Resources Institute R.K. Pachauri, the former chairman of the Central Ground Water Board D.K. Chadha, Chairperson of the Centre for Science and Environment Sunita Narain and the former head of the gastroenterology department at the AIIMS, B.N. Tandon.
It was noted that safe and clean drinking water was not yet available to 10 per cent of India’s population. This was responsible for a large number of diseases. The other related problem of sanitation also needed attention.
Experts felt that India had adequate water resources to meet demand. However, it needed to increase its storage capacity and draw up plans to use the resource in a sustainable and efficient manner.
Minimum mandatory standards for the quality of drinking water should be laid down and it should be made available free for all. It was felt that 20 litres of water per capita per day should be ensured to cover the need for water for uses other than drinking.
Some experts pleaded for removal of inequities in the supply of water.
Mr. Advani assured the experts that a BJP-led government would make water and sanitation an important part of its programme.

Additional Judicial Magistrate Court inauguration on February 1
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012853340300.htm
Staff Reporter
Law Minister, High Court Chief Justice to take part
KRISHNAGIRI: High Court Chief Justice (In charge) S.J. Mukopadyaya would inaugurate the Additional Judicial Magistrate Court (JMC) in Krishnagiri on February 1, said the District Judge C. Raghavan here on Tuesday.
Mr. Raghavan told reporters here that the present jurisdiction of the JMC would be bifurcated and he would handle 2,270 cases and rest 1,574 cases would be handled by the new Additional Judicial Magistrate Court.
He said Law Minister P. Duraimurugan, High Court Judge P. Murugesan would participate in the function
The judges would also distribute cheques to the affected families through mutual settlement arrived at the Lok Adalats conducted in Krishnagiri and Hosur.
He said that Lok Adalat would be conducted weekly twice. Lawyers attached to the Krishnagiri courts are cooperating for the speedy disposal of family cases, cases relating to insurance claims from various private and public sector insurance firms. About 249 cases were settled during the special Lok Adalats conducted during last three weeks. The settlement amounts to over Rs. 2 crore in 221 cases in Krishnagiri and over Rs. 45 lakh in 28 cases in Hosur.
Two major accident cases were also solved across the table, as one victim claimed Rs. 15 lakh as compensation, it was settled at Rs. 6.90 lakh and another case was settled at Rs. 5.96 lakh as against their claim of Rs. 10 lakh.
Mr. Raghavan said two public sector insurance firms, Oriental Insurance Corporation Limited and National Insurance Corporation, are cooperating with the judicial authorities for speedy settlements through Alternative Dispute Redressal System. B.A. Asokan, president, Krishnagiri Bar Association said E.G. Sugavanam, MP, has allotted Rs. 7 lakh through MPLAD fund for construction of multi-purpose building within the court complex and T. Senguttuvan, MLA, allotted Rs. 7.50 lakh for construction of arch for the court complex.
Additional District Judge S. Kumaraguru, Public Prosecutor K.C. Krishnan, Government Pleader M. Thanikachalam and Advocate V. Yuvaraj, coordinator for Lok Adalats were present.

Life sentence confirmed
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012859100700.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has confirmed the life sentence awarded to a woman in a case relating to the death of her daughter-in-law, an advocate.
The prosecution case was that Tarakeshwari got married to Balaji in August 1998. She was living with her husband and in-laws at Perambur. There used to be frequent quarrels between Tarakeshwari and her mother-in-law Shyamala. Tarakeshwari died in November 2000. The sessions court held that she died of strangulation, and her body was set ablaze to make it appear as a case of suicide. It awarded life sentence to Shyamala. Hence, she preferred the present appeal.

Repeal Land Acquisition Act for it is antiquated: farmers
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012850410300.htm
Special Correspondent
“Indiscriminate land acquisition has only promoted real estate business”
CUDDALORE: The Tamil Nadu Uzhavar Periyakkam, founded by PMK leader S.Ramadoss, has urged the government to repeal the antiquated Land Acquisition Act 1894 since it is detrimental to the interests of the farmers.
The Periyakkam that organised a consultative meeting with the representatives of various farmers’ associations here recently passed a resolution in this regard.
The indiscriminate acquisition of land had only promoted real estate business rather than industries, whereas, the land providers were reduced to penury.
Therefore, it called upon the government to bring out a white paper on the status of those who had given lands for various projects.
It said that the government should not act as a middleman in acquiring lands for private industries.
Demand to offer market price
If the government ought to acquire land for important projects it should offer market price and also provide jobs to the land providers and extend all benefits offered by the departments concerned.
The private companies should share profits with the land providers, besides giving them suitable jobs.
Therefore, to make provision for such benefits the Land Acquisition Act should be jettisoned and a new legislation should be passed in its place.
In another resolution the Periyakkam noted that the educational institutions and other companies had acquired hundreds of acres of land, denying access to the farmers to common water sources and pathways. Hence, it called for suitable remedial measures.
In yet another resolution, the Periyakkam voiced concern over the excessive use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides that had ruined the soil and also caused health problems to the consumers.
Separate farm varsity
Therefore, a separate agricultural university should be set up either in Cuddalore or Villupuram district to promote the safe and natural agricultural practices.
Prizes should be instituted for the farmers adopting natural farm practices for raising crops and the System of Rice Intensification.
It called upon the government to fix the procurement price of Rs 1,250 for a quintal of paddy, Rs 2,000 for a tonne of sugarcane, Rs 25 for a litre of milk, Rs 4,000 and Rs 5,000 for a bag (80 kg) of groundnut and cashew.
It urged the government to give the flood relief of Rs 7,500 a hectare (fixed for paddy famrers) for those raising groundnut, banana, cotton, brinjal, chillies, flowers and jowar.

Affidavits mandatory for anticipatory bail pleas
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012853960400.htm
Staff Reporter
Bench orders arrest of an accused for suppressing facts
Registry directed not to take on file anticipatory bail applications without supporting affidavits
Accused obtained advance bail from sessions court at Kanyakumari on January 5
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has made it mandatory for those seeking anticipatory bail to submit sworn affidavits stating that they have not filed similar applications either in the same court or lower courts.
Justice P.R. Shivakumar laid down the stipulation while disposing of an application filed by an accused in a case of attempt to murder, who had obtained advance bail from a sessions court, but did not comply with the conditions.
Such suppression of facts could not be tolerated, the judge said. “This court directs that the Office (Registry), in future, shall not number [take on file] anticipatory bail applications without supporting affidavits.”
The judge said the High Court was accepting bail and anticipatory bail pleas and other such petitions without affidavits only because of “representations made by the Bar.” At present, it insisted on affidavits only in writ petitions and writ appeals, among others.
Mr. Justice Shivakumar also cancelled the advance bail granted by the sessions court to J. Saleem Kumar (32) of Kanyakumari district and directed the Tiruvattar police to immediately arrest and remand him to judicial custody.
The petitioner, along with two others, was accused of having assaulted a mason with a knife and stick owing to enmity. He sought anticipatory bail from the High Court, claiming he was falsely implicated. However, during the arguments, Government Advocate P. Rajendran brought to the court’s notice that the accused had obtained advance bail from the sessions court at Kanyakumari on January 5. The prosecution produced a copy of the lower court order.
After perusing the order, Mr. Justice Shivakumar said: “Suppression of fact is a ground for cancellation of anticipatory bail obtained by the petitioner.”

PIL seeks action against cinema theatres in the city
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012858830300.htm
Staff Reporter
MADURAI: A public interest litigation petition has been filed before the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to the district administration and the Corporation to act against alleged irregularities in cinema halls in and around the city.
A Division Bench of Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla and Justice P. Murgesen ordered notice to the Collector, Corporation Commissioner, police officials, the Films Division and managers of 15 theatre complexes returnable by four weeks.
Petitioner S. Saravanan, a practising lawyer, claimed that the theatres charge more than government prescribed rates, do not provide proper air-conditioning facility and fail to maintain toilets in hygienic condition.
Public money was swindled without providing basic amenities as per the pre-condition for grant of licence for theatres. The violations were being perpetrated with the knowledge of the Government officials concerned, he alleged.
“I further submit that I am informed that the authorities by taking illegal gratification and bribe money from the theatre owners or managers wilfully and deliberately refuse to discharge their statutory duties,” the petitioner’s affidavit read.
His counsel W. Peter Ramesh Kumar contended that his client had sent representations to the officials on December 11 to initiate action against the offenders. But there was no response or reply from the authorities.

‘Implement CrPC amendments’
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012857860200.htm
Staff Reporter
Hyderabad: The recent amendments made to Section 41 of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), which aims at ending arbitrary arrests and detention by police, has found strong support from Save Indian Family Foundation (SIFF), a city-based NGO.Members of the foundation demanded the government to implement the CrPC amendment, thereby putting an end to arbitrary arrests, during a press conference here on Tuesday.
They wanted a three member committee to be formed with powers to summon and punish errant police officers so that the load on criminal judicial system was reduced. “The amendment is expected to reduce corruption and extortions in police stations and will also decrease the number of false complaints,” said Uma Challa, member of SIFF. If the law was notified in the Gazette at the earliest, police would be free from involvement in personal and political disputes, she said .
Ms. Challa said more than 1,23,000 women were arrested and jailed in the last four years without investigation under the Section 498A of IPC.

YMCA felicitates new High Court Judges
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012861150300.htm
Staff Reporter
KOCHI: Technicalities and procedures should not impede the delivery of justice, the Acting Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court J. B. Koshy has said.
The larger picture should be seen, so that those deserving justice are not denied it, he said, at a function organised here on Tuesday by the Ernakulam YMCA to felicitate four new judges of the Kerala High Court.
“The poor and downtrodden must get justice, even if they cannot afford a leading lawyer. Judges must never get egoistic and must take note of the fact that a bigger judge (God) is watching their actions. Only God Almighty can help the Judge assess whether a witness or a party to the case is speaking the truth or a lie.”
Justice Koshy said that ever since he was sworn in as a judge, he had not taken leave even for marriages of close relatives. “One should not take unnecessary leave when around a lakh cases are pending before the court.”
The others who spoke include the four new judges – K. Surendra Mohan, P. R. Ramachandra Menon, C. K. Abdul Rahim and C. T. Ravikumar; the YMCA general secretary J. Ommen and president Babu C. George.

Court dismisses Mahant’s plea
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012854331000.htm
Staff Reporter
‘Order to prosecute him justified’
Mahant had sold DDA land fraudulently
Court also imposes fine on him and his counsel
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed an appeal by the “mahant” of Kalkaji temple here seeking quashing of a judgment by a Single Bench of the Court rejecting his plea for a decree in his favour declaring him the owner of 22.15 bighas of land at Bahapur village in South Delhi.
Perjury case
Dismissing the suit of Mahant Surendra Nath as withdrawn, the Single Bench of Justice S.K. Kaul had ordered prosecution of the mahant, his counsel and others for committing perjury by putting in wrong averments in the suit and asked the Delhi police to register an FIR against them for selling the land fraudulently.
Dismissing his appeal, a Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice Suresh Kait said: “The directions for initiating action by filing a complaint under Section 340 (perjury) of the Code for Criminal Procedure and registration of an FIR by the Economic Offences Wing of the Delhi police are perfectly justified as ingredients for proceeding under the aforesaid provisions have been satisfied, prima facie, in this case.”
The Court also imposed a cost of Rs.25,000 each on the mahant and his counsel. The Division Bench said it was limiting the cost to Rs.25,000 only because there was already a cost of Rs.1,50,000 imposed by the Single Bench on the mahant.
The Centre had transferred the land in question to the Delhi Development Authority in 1983 but the “mahant” subsequently had sold it fraudulently to his four relatives in 1999.
The mahant had filed the suit when the DDA started fencing the land.

Senior Delhi officer gets anticipatory bail
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012854341000.htm
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday granted anticipatory bail to a former Joint Director of the Delhi Government’s Social Welfare Department in a case pertaining to an alleged scam in purchase of various articles for destitute children put up at a Safety Home at Majnu Ka Tila in North Delhi.
Justice M.C. Garg granted bail to Shashi Kaushal on her furnishing a bail bond of Rs.25,000 with one surety of like amount. He also asked her to join the investigation as and when required, not to leave the country, and undergo a lie detector or narco test as directed by the investigating agency.
The allegation of the Delhi Government’s Anti-Corruption Branch, investigating the case, was that the Joint Director had a direct hand in the scam.

Five accused convicted in German woman rape case
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/28/stories/2009012857310400.htm
Quantum of punishment to be pronounced by Chandigarh court today
All accused present in the court
Charges against were framed on December 22
Chandigarh: In a speedy trial that lasted just a week, a local court on Tuesday convicted five accused of raping a 20-year-old German tourist here in September.
The court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Raj Shekhar Attri convicted the accused, all of whom were present, and posted the matter for Wednesday when the quantum of punishment will be pronounced.
Pankaj Punia, Manvir Singh Jolly, Harpreet Singh Dalli, Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi and Sompal were convicted under Section 376 (2) (g) (gang rape), 366-A (kidnapping for illicit sex), 473 (forgery) of the Indian Penal Code.
The accused were booked for kidnapping the woman from outside a five star hotel here on September 28 and taking her to a farmhouse in Haryana’s Samalakha area where she was gangraped. The in-camera proceedings in the case were held on January 16-17. The recording of statement and cross- examination of the German girl, who had specially flown to India to depose in the case, was completed on January 17.
The day-to-day hearing in the case had resumed last Monday. The victim spoke in German during recording of her statement and was helped by three interpreters including one from the German Embassy. The woman had deposed before Additional District and Sessions Judge ’s court and had gone back to her home on January 18. The Chandigarh administration had borne the cost of her airfare.
Meanwhile, Public Prosecutor Manu Kakkar said it was a record of sorts that the trial had ended in such a short span in a regular court.
“It is definitely going to be among the cases where quick disposal has happened,” he told reporters.
Mr. Kakkar said the victim had been maintaining that she was raped and because of the language problem she could not communicate it to the police initially. “The argument given by the defence that the girl had gone on her own will with the boys fell flat. The girl had sustained 26 injuries, which was unexplainable in case the whole thing was with her consent,” Mr. Kakkar said.
Implementing provisions of CrPC and Evidence Act, the victim’s statement was recorded under in-camera proceedings wherein media, police and other litigants were barred entry inside the courtroom.
Charges against the five accused were framed on December 22 after which the case was adjourned for January 16. The prosecution had zeroed in on 16 witnesses in the case.
The police had submitted a 300-page charge sheet aiming that the trial proceeds at a fast pace during the hearing that was fixed on January 16-17.
A report of the Central Forensic Sciences Laboratory here submitted to the police a month after the crime had established rape. The report had said that blood stains, hair strands, cigarette butts, semen swabs and condom samples recovered from the vehicle used for abducting the woman were that of the accused.
The German woman came to Chandigarh on September 23 to attend her friend’s wedding. PTI

Bail petitions of Rajus dismissed
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012957750100.htm
M. Rajeev
Defence counsel to explore other options
Order on the bail petition of Gopalakrishnam Raju reserved
SEBI files plea in HC for permission to record statements
HYDERABAD: The bail applications of the former Satyam chairman, B. Ramalinga Raju, his brother B. Rama Raju and ex-chief financial officer Srinivas Vadlamani were dismissed by a city court on Wednesday.
‘Causing evidence to disappear’
The prosecution, represented by K. Ajay Kumar, opposed the bail on the ground that the accused were causing disappearance of evidence even while in jail. There was a possibility of their tampering with evidence, besides causing disappearance of other suspects vital to investigation.
Defence counsel S. Bharat Kumar later said they would explore other options to secure bail. They would either renew the petition in the same court or approach the next higher court to secure the release of the Raju brothers, in custody since January 9.
The Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate D. Ramakrishna, however, reserved for Thursday his order on the bail petition of another accused, D. Gopalakrishnam Raju, general manager of SRSR Advisory Services. The bail applications of Price Waterhouse partners S. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri will also be taken up the same day.
‘Hand in glove’
Earlier, the court heard the arguments on the bail petition of Mr. Gopalakrishnam Raju. The prosecution urged the court to extend his custody claiming that only custodial investigation would help to ferret out facts of the self-confessed offence of pocketing the “sweat and blood” of lakhs of investors.
It said the accused had been associated with Satyam since 1984 and “hand in glove” with Mr. Ramalinga Raju. This was evident from the fact that the land assets of the former Satyam chairman were in his custody.
Meanwhile, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) filed a petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking permission to record the statements of the Raju brothers.
The SEBI urged the court to declare the magistrate’s order dismissing its application to record the statements as violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
In the absence of permission to record their statements, the SEBI would be severely handicapped in investigating violations committed by the brothers, who were in judicial custody and beyond its reach.
Observations contested
The market regulator contested the magistrate’s observations about the SEBI’s role as an investigating agency. It claimed it had powers equivalent to that of a civil court and the magistrate had wide powers “to authorise even the detention of the accused in such custody as he thinks fit,” the petition said.

Petition seeks provision for negative voting
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012952671100.htm
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court is hearing a petition seeking a direction to the Centre and the Election Commission to have a provision for “negative” voting in the Representation of the People Act, giving the voter the right to register his “rejection” of the candidates.
A Bench of Justice B.N. Agrawal and Justice G. S. Singhvi on Wednesday heard arguments from senior counsel Rajinder Sachar for the petitioner, People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), for such a direction and Additional Solicitor-General Amarendra Saran, appearing for the Centre, strongly opposing it. Counsel for the Election Commission will make her submission on Thursday.
Mr. Sachar pointed out that under Rule 49 O of the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, a voter who wanted to exercise the right not to vote had to inform the returning officer, who would register his name and address in an election book, thus violating the code of secret ballot.
He said the Commission should make a specific provision in the EVM to enable the voter to choose ‘None of the Above’ (NOTA) option.
The Rule says: “Elector deciding not to vote. — If an elector, after his electoral roll number has been duly entered in the register of voters in Form 17A and has put his signature or thumb impression thereon as required under sub-rule (1) of rule 49L, decided not to record his vote, a remark to this effect shall be made against the said entry in Form 17A by the presiding officer and the signature or thumb impression of the elector shall be obtained against such remark.”
Mr. Sachar argued that the rule is ultra vires the Constitution and violated Article 19 1 (a) on freedom of speech and expression. He said Article 324 gave ample power to the Election Commission to fill the lacuna.
Mr. Saran argued that the expression ‘voting’ would not include abstaining from voting or non-voting. There was no need to maintain secrecy in the case of abstaining from voting or non-voting under Section 128 of the RP Act and Rule 49 O was intra vires the Constitution.
In its response, the Centre said “the suggestion of a negative or ‘NOTA’ vote does make a lot of sense intellectually and as a matter of principle. It may, however, not at all be a practicable proposition as it is negative in character.”
Arguments will continue on Thursday.

Court rejects review plea against Husain
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012952681100.htm
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to review its order declining to initiate criminal proceedings against noted painter M.F. Husain for allegedly hurting public sentiments through some of his paintings, including the one on ‘Bharat Mata,’ that were termed obscene.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal dismissed the review petition filed by Maharashtra-based Dwaipayan Venkateshacharya Varkhedkar against the dismissal of his special leave petition on September 8, 2008.
The Bench said there was no merit in the petition.
The petitioner had challenged a Delhi High Court verdict quashing the criminal proceedings initiated against Mr. Husain in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. The paintings, allegedly depicting Bharat Mata and Hindu gods and goddesses in an obscene manner, had created a furore and he received threats from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal. As a result, the painter is living in a self-imposed exile in Dubai.
The proceedings against the painter were initiated on the basis of complaints filed in Panderpur (Maharashtra), Rajkot (Gujarat) and Indore (Madhya Pradesh).

“Comply with laws before focussing on corporate social responsibility”
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012959590800.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a useful paradigm for social development, but corporates would do better to first concentrate on complying with their legal requirements as business entities, T. V. Somanathan, secretary to the Chief Minister (Monitoring), said on Wednesday.
At a meeting organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on ‘Understanding CSR in its totality,’ Nachiket Mor, president, ICICI Foundation for Inclusive Growth, presented different perspectives on CSR. He argued that altruistic CSR was actually bad corporate governance, as companies were only shells created by individuals for a specific purpose.
Value creation
Instead, a more robust use of CSR would involve companies taking a long-term perspective of their strengths and looking at value creation, instead of profit maximisation, as their goal. This would tie their business strategy and social strategy together, resulting in social development along with corporate growth.
However, Dr. Somanathan said that any CSR activity aimed at benefiting the company in the long term was not necessary.
“The business of business is business,” he said. The government could take care of social development.
The social laws in India were well ahead of their practice, and social development goals could be achieved by strictly adhering to them. The first duty of companies would be to follow all the laws in letter and spirit before embarking on CSR ventures. While discharging their functions as corporate entities, companies were already benefiting society, and if they decided to do more, it would be welcome, he said.
He said companies could not trade off incentives from the government to fund such activities. But, this was more of a governance issue. While companies wanted to maximise stakeholder returns and could demand concessions and try to subvert market forces, it was the government’s duty to understand which incentives were necessary.
Earlier, Manikam Ramaswami, chairman, CII-Tamil Nadu State Council, said that the CII was looking forward to participating closely with the government in various social ventures including skill development and public health.

High Court security arrangements
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012955340400.htm
CHENNAI: New security arrangements came into effect at the High Court on Wednesday. Entry into the court premises, which also houses the Sessions Courts, is being regulated. Two out of the 10 gates on the campus have been closed permanently. Police personnel have been posted at the gates to check entry.
A court official said that identity cards had been issued to all staff members. — Special Correspondent

High Court criticises Sivaganga Municipality
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012959510600.htm
Staff Reporter
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here criticised the Sivaganga Municipality for cancelling the licences granted to two individuals for collecting fee at a daily market even as a lower court was seized of the matter.
Dismissing the civil revision petitions filed by the President and Commissioner of the local body, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar said: “The action of the Municipality… is an act of interference in the administration of justice.” The Judge refused to accept the officials’ contention that the licences were cancelled on November 10 because the District Munsif Court had not passed any interim orders in the civil suits filed by the licensees on October 17.
Admittedly, notices issued by the lower court in the interlocutory petitions were served on the Municipality on October 20. Thereafter, the petitions came up for hearing on October 23 and the Commissioner sought time to file his reply.
“Without filing counter affidavits… the Municipality cancelled the licences. It has to be treated as overstepping to frustrate the court proceedings and non-suit the respondents who are the plaintiffs in the original suits,” the judge said.
“The action of the Municipality cannot be condoned and if such kind of over reaching the court proceedings are allowed, the litigants may tend to ignore the court proceedings and act according to their whims and fancies,” the Judge added. Further, pointing out that all documents, relied on by the revision petitioners to cancel the licences, were dated after the filing of the suit, he said that the materials were of no significance as per a 2002 Supreme Court judgement.
Alternative remedy
The Judge also said that the Municipality ought not to have filed the present revision petitions against the interim injunction granted by the Munsif on November 26 because there was an alternative remedy of filing appeals before the District Court.

Marad case: juvenile board to summon 14
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012954420300.htm
Staff Reporter
Testimonies to be taken on February 2, 9
Seven persons to be summoned to identify materials
All the prosecution witnesses to be examined
Kozhikode: The Kozhikode Juvenile Justice Board has decided to issue summons to 14 persons for collecting their statements in connection with the trial of five juveniles charge-sheeted for the killing of nine fishermen at Marad seaside village on May 2, 2003. Their testimonies will be taken on February 2 and 9.
At its sitting here on Wednesday, the board comprising Kozhikode Chief Judicial Magistrate K.V. Gopikuttan, and assisted by members Nazir Chaliyam and K. Shiny decided to re-summon seven persons to identify the material objects (swords) in connection with the trial. The fresh list of witnesses include K. Shyamala, an eye-witness, who said she saw the juveniles carrying the swords at Marad and K. Subramaniyan, who made swords for the assailants.
The Special Additional District Sessions Court (Marad cases) had earlier acquitted Subramaniyan, a blacksmith from Malappuram district, who turned approver in the case. But the court had treated his evidence as “ tainted evidence.”
Testimonies of T.V. Kamalakshan, Superintendent of Police, Crime Branch-Criminal Investigation Department; V. Devarajan, P.P. Unnkrishnan and P. Abdul Hameed, senior officers, who were part of the investigation team during the initial stages of the case, will also be taken.
Special prosecutor P.D. Ravi submitted the list before the board. All the prosecution witnessed will be examined on February 2 and February 9.
Materials
Earlier in June 2007, the board had suspended the proceedings in the trial after Mr. Ravi moved a petition stating that material objects (swords) were required to proceed further with the trial and examination of witnesses.
During the process of trial all materials were in the custody of the Special Court at Eranhipalam.
The Special Court had pronounced the judgment on January 15 sentencing 63 guilty in the case. It had also ordered that the material objects be transferred to the board.
The board obtained the material on January 16.
Several months ago, the High Court of Kerala had ordered that the materials should be transferred to the board only after the Special Court completed all proceedings in connection with the trial.
Witnesses
Nearly, 80 witnesses had been examined by the board so far in connection with the trial. The prosecution had submitted a list to examine 147 witnesses in the case. Among those who deposed included the former Kozhikode Collector T.O. Sooraj, the former Kozhikode Revenue Divisional Officer P. Balan, the former Kozhikode Tahsildar P. Koyakutty and the former Beypore village officer K.V. Sundaran Nair.
One of the juveniles charge-sheeted had fled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Later, the board had directed the parents of an absconding juvenile, to produce their son before the board within 20 days. Since the parents failed to produce their son the surety amount was recovered from them.
Some police personnel attached to the Kozhikode Special Branch are also facing charges in connection with the juvenile securing a passport to flee to Saudi Arabia.

House panel seeks amendment to captive elephant management rules
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012953860300.htm
Staff Reporter
Thrissur: The Subordinate Legislative Committee headed by Jose Thettayil, MLA, held a sitting at Thrissur Collectorate on Wednesday to evaluate the implementation of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 on the care and management of captive elephants. Forest officials, elephant owners, mahouts, and elephant lovers presented their views at the meeting.
The meeting urged the government to amend the Captive Elephant Management and Maintenance Rules without affecting the festival ceremonies. The elephant owners raised objection to the Forest Department’s order asking them to seek permission from district administration three days ahead of parading their elephants at festivals.
They also asked the government to make arrangements to provide sufficient supply of palm leaves for elephants.
The Elephant Owners’ Association suggested opening of diagnostic laboratories to detect the common diseases of elephants. The State did not even have x-ray facilities for elephants in case of injuries in accidents.
The association suggested framing guidelines for management of elephants by a group of veterinary doctors, researchers, elephant owners and traditional experts.
Mahouts who attended the hearing said that on some occasions while trying to restrict people from mounting the elephants they had to face physical assault from the public.
They urged the committee to have strict provisions to check untrained people from mounting the elephants.
Elephant Lovers’ Association asked the government to ensure that the elephant handlers strictly followed the rules and regulations.
The committee, which included MLAs Muraly Perunnelly, Simon Britto, V. Chentamarakshan, and Thomas Unniadan, also visited Anakotta (elephant yard) of the Guruvayur Devaswom.

Court orders probe into trafficking
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012956800400.htm
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Crime Branch of Delhi Police to investigate alleged trafficking in minors by placement agencies in the Capital.
A Division Bench of the Court comprising Justice A.P. Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna passed the direction while hearing a PIL by a non-government organisation seeking a direction for prosecution of placement agencies guilty of the offence.
The Saraswati Vihar police had recently registered a case of breach of trust against some placement agencies for not paying wages to some minors who had got employment through them. The police had registered the case following rescue of these children from the custody of the placement agencies during raids at their offices. The Bench had last week given one week to the Delhi police to take effective steps in the matter. Earlier, North-West Deputy Commissioner of Police appeared before the Court and submitted a status report about the investigation conducted so far but the Court rejected it and handed over the investigation to the Crime Branch. The DCP in his report said the IO had recorded statements of the children before Metropolitan Magistrates and their only complaint was they had not been paid their wages.

‘Right to life means right to live with dignity’
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/29/stories/2009012956460200.htm
Correspondent
Workshop on social and economic justice begins
People need to consciously exercise their human rights
Need for maximum public participation important: member
KORAPUT: ‘Right to life means the right to live with dignity’ Justice R. K. Patra, Chairperson, Human Rights Commission, Orissa, said at Koraput on Wednesday. He was attending the inaugural ceremony of the two-day long workshop to generate awareness on issues concerning social and economic justice to all citizens.
While there were many rules and laws framed and executed in the country to enable the people to enjoy the basic human rights it was needed for the people to become conscious in exercising their human rights. Keeping this in mind and to create widespread awareness on the subject the commission had come out with the initiative of organising sensitization workshop all across the state. The workshop at Koraput was the beginning, he added. Further, while highlighting the efforts of NGOs in spreading messages on different issues especially in the tribal dominated Koraput region, he requested them to take an active part in the mission to reach the grassroots with the message on human rights.
R.N.Bahidar, member of the commission, speaking to the participants however stressed on the need of maximum public participation for bringing out fruitful results to the efforts. While seeking the basic rights for the self, everyone should pay respect to the rights of others too, he added. Himadri Mahapatra, another member of the commission while describing the procedure to seek restoration of human rights from the commission, said that the commission was only a body to recommend the government to compensate the losses rather than forcing them to take action.
However till date the government had given due respect to the suggestions of the commission and many people have been granted compensation, he added.
Among others, leading advocates Sasananda Mishra, T.N.Murty and Nihar Ranjan Patnaik spoke. The workshop was attended by Padmanav Sethi, Additiona District Magistrate, Koraput along with many other district level officials and civil society members.

PWD engineer murder: HC rejects plea of BSP MLA’s wife, 2 others
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/PWD_engineer_murder_HC_rejects_plea_of_BSP_MLAs_wife_2_others/articleshow/4041927.cms
28 Jan 2009, 1518 hrs IST, PTI
ALLAHABAD: Voicing “extreme disquiet” over “close nexus” between police and “criminalised politicians and their goons”, the Allahabad High Court has rejected petitions of the wife of BSP MLA Shekhar Tiwari and two others seeking a stay on their arrests in connection with the murder of a PWD engineer. Rejecting the petitions on Tuesday, a division bench comprising justice Amar Saran and justice R N Misra observed that “at this stage the court cannot reach an inference that there is no prima facie material against the accused so as to justify quashing the FIR or the investigation or to stay the arrests of the petitioners”. The court, however, directed that “investigation and trial in this case be concluded within six months”. PWD engineer Manoj Kumar Gupta was beaten to death allegedly by the MLA and his supporters who had dragged him out of his house in the early hours of December 24, 2008. The court also remarked “we must record our extreme disquiet at a feature which has again been revealed in the case, viz, the close nexus of police officials with criminalised politicians and their goons”.

From Feb 14, three more daily Lok Adalats at HC
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/from-feb-14-three-more-daily-lok-adalats-at-hc/416036/
Express News Service
Posted: Jan 28, 2009 at 0510 hrs IST
Chandigarh With an aim to clear the increasing backlog of cases, six daily Lok Adalats will be made functional in the Punjab and Haryana High Court from February 14 onwards, said Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Tirath Singh Thakur while speaking to mediapersons recently on the eve of Republic Day.
This is double the number of Lok Adalats functioning in the court at present.
All the courts in the High Court have been directed to dispose of the cases or appeals pending prior to 1988 on priority, said the Chief Justice while adding that a blue print of Samadhan 2009 is being chalked out.
“We are trying to find out as to which category of cases were among the maximum solved during Samadhan 2008. A state-level conference with all the judges will be held in order to prepare the format of Samadhan 2009,” said Justice Thakur.
In Samadhan 2008, conducted in December last year, more than two lakh cases in all the districts of Punjab and Haryana were disposed of by the judges.
Justice Thakur added that court rooms for six session judges, whose names have been recommended for elevation to the post of High Court judges, are being constructed.
The Chief Justice also made it clear that no more names will be sent for elevation of posts till adequate infrastructure (court rooms) is made available for more High Court judges.
On the controversy of declaration of assets by judges, the Chief Justice said the Judiciary should be “forthcoming” towards the issue. He added that the declaration should be made when one is elevated to the position of a High Court judge.
He further said that Parliament should come out with a law if the issue assumes high significance.
Thakur also added that a decision has been taken to fill all the vacancies in the Fast Track Courts of Punjab and Haryana.
The Chief Justice said that all the district courts of Punjab and Haryana have been directed to make a list of 200 of the oldest cases pending in their respective courts.
All the courts in a district court will prepare the list and dispose of the oldest cases on priority basis, added Thakur.
CJI to lay foundation of court rooms, parkingChief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan will lay the foundation stone on February 14 for the sixteen court rooms to be constructed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. He will also lay the foundation stone for the multi-level parking.

Residents in HC for stay on Port corridor
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Residents_in_HC_for_stay_on_Port_corridor/articleshow/4038912.cms
28 Jan 2009, 0540 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: A public interest writ petition seeking a stay on the implementation of the 1,468-crore elevated corridor project from Chennai Port to Maduravoyal, has been filed in the Madras High Court. Four Maduravoyal residents, who have already lost their lands to acquisition proceedings for the Koyambedu-Maduravoyal road expansion project, have moved the court now, stating that their lands have again been targeted by the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) for acquisition. They contended that in August 2005, their lands were acquired for a road-widening scheme, to complement the Golden Quadrilateral project. “We received the amount and handed over the lands to the highway authorities, who had now taken possession of the land.” Again, in July 2008, the petitioners noticed certain paint marks on their walls, without information or intimation. Only then did they come to know that the lands had been identified for the proposed elevated corridor project, for which the prime minister laid the foundation earlier this month. Noting that they had just modified or built new structures on their lands, after a portion of the old buildings had been razed for the road expansion project, the residents sent representations to the highway authorities asking them to reconsider their decision to take over patta lands on which new residential buildings had been constructed. If the corridor is aligned along the banks of Cooum river there is no need to divest residents of their patta lands, they said, adding that the authorities too need not invest much on acquisition proceedings. Charging the authorities with ignoring the genuine grievances of the landowners, the petitioners said acquisition proceedings were going ahead mechanically. The matter, listed before the first bench for hearing, could not be taken up on Tuesday and it is expected to come up for hearing on Wednesday, said additional advocate-general P Wilson.

HC: Make arrangements before dumping
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_Make_arrangements_before_dumping/articleshow/4038951.cms
28 Jan 2009, 0402 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the corporation of the city of Panaji (CCP) to refrain from dumping garbage at the Bainguinim site without making proper arrangements for its treatment and disposal. The court also directed the CCP to desist from operating the garbage disposal plant at the site without obtaining the relevant permissions from the Goa state pollution control board (GSPCB). A division bench comprising justice P B Majmudar and justice N A Britto passed the directions while hearing of a petition filed by Sunshine educational trust, which complained that the site is within 300 metres of the institute managed by them. Sunshine also alleged that in spite of the GSPCB not granting the CCP permissions, the corporation continued to dump garbage at the site without taking steps for its treatment. Sunshine’s advocate, Amey Kakodkar said that, “The site is in total contravention of the rules.” He told the court that garbage is being dumped at the site without arrangements made to treat it, posing a health hazard to the residents of the area. The court disposed of the petition, while directing the CCP to comply with the court’s earlier directives with regard to segregation and treatment of garbage.

Identify private forests, HC to FSI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Identify_private_forests_HC_to_FSI/articleshow/4038957.cms
28 Jan 2009, 0358 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has sought the assistance of the Forest Survey of India (FSI), Dehradun, for completing the identification and demarcation of private forests in the state, a process that was scheduled to restart in October, 2008. A division bench comprising justice P B Majmudar and justice N A Britto were hearing a petition filed by non government organisation Goa Foundation. The NGO had prayed for a direction to the government to complete the work of identification and demarcation of private forests in the state, which were identified by the Sawant and Karapurkar committee. When the matter came up for hearing, the petitioner’s advocate Norma Alvares moved an application proposing to the court that the FSI could help in expeditiously completing the balance work of identifying private forests in Goa. Advocate general Subodh Kantak told the court that the FSI does satellite imagery of the ground and so it would not present a clear picture of which areas qualify as private forests. Subsequently the court issued notices to the FSI and posted the matter for hearing on February 17.

Muzaffar alias Patni case: HC tells foster, biological parents to cooperate
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/muzaffar-alias-patni-case-hc-tells-foster-b…/415889/
Express News Service Posted: Jan 28, 2009 at 0049 hrs IST
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Tuesday directed the foster as well as the biological parents of Muzaffar alias Vivek Patni to cooperate with each other in the interest of the boy.
Justice D H Waghela said in his order that the boy be sent to his biological parents every Saturday evening and kept there till Sunday evening to help him acclimatise to the new environment.
Justice Waghela also reprimanded the foster mother for not sending the boy on two occasions to his biological parents since the court order on December 30, 2008. The court had directed to send the boy to his biological parents every Sunday, but the foster mother sent him only on two Sundays.
Today, Justice Waghela directed that the boy be sent to his biological parents once a week under any circumstance. The next hearing is scheduled on February 20.
Muzaffar was two-and-a-half years old when he went missing during the attack on Gulberg Society in 2002 where his parents had been living. He was found by a policeman, who handed him over to Vikram and Veena Patni, after his biological parents could not be traced immediately.
Six months ago, activists belonging to the Citizens for Peace and Justice (CPJ) traced the boy during reinvestigation of the case by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT).
A DNA test conducted at the SIT’s initiative confirmed that Salim Sheikh and his wife Zaibunnisa were the biological parents of the boy. But the Patnis refused to give up the boy when the Sheikhs made a claim. Armed with the DNA report, the Sheikhs then moved the court, seeking custody of the boy. But a magisterial court awarded Muzaffar’s custody to the Patnis after the boy expressed his wish to live with his foster parents.
The Sheikhs then moved the Gujarat High Court through legal help provided by the CPJ of Mumbai-based activist Teesta Setalvad. As it was an emotional issue for both parties, Justice Waghela, before whom the matter came up for hearing, promoted interaction between the two families. He directed the two parties to help the boy become familiar with his biological parents before any final decision.
The boy is presently studying in Class III.

HC reserves order in DGP appointment case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_reserves_order_in_DGP_appointment_case/articleshow/4039046.cms
28 Jan 2009, 0144 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday concluded the hearing in the case pertaining to the validity of A N Roy’s appointment as the director general of police (Maharashtra) last February. A bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Sharad Bobde declared the matter as “reserved for orders” after 18 hearings in the appeals filed by both Roy and the state against an October 2008 order passed by the central administrative tribunal which had quashed Roy’s appointment. S Chakravarty__the DGP who lost out to Roy as DGP (state), had challenged the appointment. The matter in the HC, both for and against, had crossed into the realm of serious interpretation of a landmark Supreme Court judgment passed in Prakash Singh’s case that governs such appointments across states. The HC’s judgment in the case could impact future appointments now as it is will interpret the SC judgment as well as the laws and rules which forms the basis of the appointment of the four DGPs in the state.

Tourist guides move HC for licence
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Tourist_guides_move_HC_for_licence/articleshow/4038707.cms
28 Jan 2009, 0354 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: At a time when the Capital is all set to roll for the Commonwealth Games, an association of tourist guides has approached the Delhi HC complaining that despite an acute shortage of guides, the government isn’t issuing them licences. Challenging the government’s recruitment process for intake of guides, the petitioner have also sought permission to carry on with their work as self employed tourist guides till a proper selection process is in place. Agra Tourist Guides Welfare Association an umbrella group of foreign language travel guides has moved HC against the tourism department and ASI, alleging gross mismanagement in the recruitment process and violation of HC guidelines on this issue. Justice Ravindra Bhatt on Tuesday sought a response from the government on the petition, filed by advocate Anjana Gosain on behalf of the guides. Drawing HC’s attention to know how the guides were being denied licences and being barred from working, the petitioners said an examination process initiated in 2007 for guides has suddenly been scrapped even though it was set in motion under HC orders. Moreover, even those who were selected under the half baked scheme have not begun their training yet, as they can’t work till they finish training under official auspices. “Out of 3,000 applicants, only 300 have been selected for the training. There cannot be any limit on the number of guides as tourism has grown by leaps and bounds. The scheme is not for recruitment but for self employment hence restriction on number ought to be lifted especially because the government doesn’t have to spend money on these candidates who have to generate work after clearing the examination,” Gosain argued. The petitioners allege that despite an earlier court order that those candidates who scored 40% be allowed to start working even though they get training, the government has debarred them.

HC blasts state for appointing cops as SEMs
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_blasts_state_for_appointing_cops_as_SEMs/articleshow/4044244.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0536 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas , TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court recently rapped the Maharashtra government for its decision to appoint police officers as special executive magistrates. Hearing a petition filed by a Pune resident, challenging proceedings initiated against him by the police, a division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice Anoop Mohta questioned the manner in which the authorities had acted in violation of rules. The court quashed the chapter proceedings against Anirudha Mirgunde as “arbitrary and without jurisdiction”. The court, before parting with the case, had some strong words for the police machinery and the state. “The magistrates, who have power in Maharashtra under chapter proceedings, are unfortunately police officers,” said the judges, adding: “When they exercise their powers, they forget that they are working as magistrates. This is a dichotomy which is seriously hampering the judicial system in the state.” “Time and again, we have expressed the desire that the government should reconsider the decision and the powers of the magistrates should not be in the hands of police officers. But, unfortunately, the government has not done anything so far,” said the judges. The CrPC says a chapter proceeding is a preventive law, where the police seek a bond of good behaviour from a citizen who they believe to be capable of causing public nuisance. The decision to seek a bond is made by the additional commissioner of police following a report sent by the local police station. In the present case, the police pasted a notice outside Mirgunde’s residence in Pune asking him to be present in the office of the deputy commissioner of police, who was also officiating as the special executive magistrate. Mirgunde’s lawyer contended that the chapter proceedings were initiated without following procedures. The court agreed the order was illegal.

Law tough on dealers and prosecution
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Law_tough_on___dealers_and_prosecution/articleshow/4044221.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0522 hrs IST, Kartikeya, TNN
MUMBAI: The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act is often called a Draconian law on account of its severity: the minimum jail sentence for a first-time offender is 10 years in jail, and any subsequent conviction invites a mandatory death sentence. Legal experts, however, say that the very severity of the law means that judges demand foolproof evidence before they can hold an accused guilty. “Even the slightest glitch in the investigation can see a person walk free,” said a special prosecutor who has dealt with several narcotics cases. “After all, it is a question of depriving a man of at least 10 years of his freedom, and it is no surprise that courts want to be absolutely sure of the evidence.” NDPS is also different from other laws in the sense that it places the burden of proof on the accused to show how he came in possession of the contraband. “However, often witnesses turn hostile or minor discrepancies creep into the paperwork, which is filed by the officers. There have been instances in Mumbai where the cases came up for trial after several years and by then many of the witnesses were untraceable. These are all contributory factors to an acquittal,” the prosecutor said.

Cops challenge court report on encounter
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Cops_challenge_court_report_on_encounter/articleshow/4044248.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0544 hrs IST, S Ahmed Ali , TNN
MUMBAI: The D N Nagar police, who were part of the team that shot dead Chhota Rajan aide, Ramnarayan Gupta in 2007, have challenged the chief metropolitan magistrate railway court’s report that the encounter was staged. Srikant Bhatt, defence lawyer for inspector Pradeep Suryavanshi, now a senior inspector at Andheri, cited two SC judgments, including that of the Javed Fawda encounter case, to strengthen their argument that the report of a magistrate could be challenged. Bhatt contended that the report of magistrate R K Shaikh, was faulty. The Bombay high court was hearing a writ petition filed by Gupta’s brother, Ramprasad Gupta, in which he had alleged that his brother was picked up from his residence at Navi Mumbai and killed in cold blood. In February 2007, the high court had directed a magistrate to probe the case. On Friday, the defence argued that the petition was not maintainable and hence there is no value for the inquiry report. Chief justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud asked the state why it had not registered an FIR against the policemen, despite the report of the magistrate. The defence asked for time to challenge the report. The matter will now be heard on February 9. The report prepared by Magistrate Shaikh, found that Gupta was shot dead in police custody. The encounter dates back to November 11, 2006 when the officers of D N Nagar police station shot dead Gupta near Nana Nani park in Andheri.

No one happy, legal action not ruled out
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/No_one_happy_legal_action_not_ruled_out/articleshow/4043954.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0210 hrs IST, Neha Pushkarna, TNN
NEW DELHI: Schools are angry, parents are disappointed. The fee hike decision hasn’t gone down well with anybody. While schools are adopting a tough posture by threatening to resort to legal action, parents are concerned about clearing the burden. Col Ramesh Laddha, director, Birla Vidya Niketan, Pushp Vihar, said: “We have to pay arrears of Rs 2.5-3 crore to teachers. However, we can now charge only 30%-40% of that amount from parents. We have no option but to take legal course.” The school currently charges tuition fee of Rs 1,660 and it can raise its fee by Rs 300. National Progressive Schools’ Conference (NPSC), a body of 110 schools in the city, also held meeting on Wednesday. “The general reaction from all schools was that the hike is not enough. We have decided to wait for the notification from the government after which all schools will meet. Legal option is always open,” said L V Sehgal, secretary, NPSC and principal, Bal Bharti School, Ganga Ram Hospital Marg. Schools had earlier demanded a fee hike of 50% and arrears of about Rs 8,000 from the parents. “We will run into losses if this is the only hike allowed. This is specially unfair for smaller schools, which have been allowed even lesser hike. By doing this, government is forcing them to indulge in malpractice,” said D K Bedi, principal, Apeejay School, Pitampura, which charges Rs 1,800 as tuition fee and can increase it by Rs 300. RC Shekhar, director, Gyan Bharti School, Saket, charging Rs 1,600 as tuition fee, agreed. “We were in loss by keeping our fee lower. The slabs should have been inversely proportional. We will not be able to pay the increased salaries,” said Shekhar. However, schools like DPS and Tagore International are planning go ahead with the hike after informing the parents about it. Shyama Chona, principal, DPS RK Puram, said, “We will go by the government’s decision as we have to think of the parents’ budget also. We have no problem with the approved hike.” Madhulika Sen, principal, Tagore International, Vasant Vihar said, “We will be able to meet our fee bill. However, we may have to use our reserves to pay arrears. Once we get a direction from the government, we will inform the parents.” The school is expected to increase the fee by Rs 500 as its tuition fee is Rs 2,100 as of now. Francis Thomas, administrator, Ryan International also said that the school will consult the Parent Teachers’ Association before deciding on the hike but there would be a problem as the school had no reserves. Parents, however, are counting their options now. “I will have to pull out my children from the private school now. I was as it is struggling to make the ends meet to send my children to a good school. Recession has also cut down my income,” said Amit Agrawal, whose two children study in a south Delhi school. Another parent, Neelu Malhotra said: “Arrears for teachers should be a liability of the school. They already charge a lot of extra funds. Where do I get more money from. I can’t even augment the family income to pay the increased fees as there are no jobs.”

Judicial probe plea shot down
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Judicial_probe_plea_shot_down/articleshow/4043976.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0211 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a PIL seeking judicial intervention in the DDA house allotment scam probe. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna dismissed the PIL which also sought a stay on the entire allotment process, alleging widespread misuse. HC was of the view that a police probe into the scheme and its system of allotment was already on so there was no need to intervene at this stage. The court asked the petitioner to approach it once the police investigations get over and if he wished to draw the court’s attention to some specific aspect of the case. In his PIL, the petitioner alleged that the police and DDA were both not competent enough to conduct a thorough impartial probe into the scam and demanded judicial scrutiny of the case. Seeking HC’s intervention, he argued that the entire allotment ought to be stayed till a judicial inquiry had unearthed all facts.

50-yr-old gets RI for rape, abduction
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/50-yr-old_gets_RI_for_rape_abduction/articleshow/4043803.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0202 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: A 50-year-old man was on Wednesday, sentenced to seven years rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court for kidnapping and raping a minor girl. Finding the offence “gruesome” and “abhorring”, the court held Manish Kumar guilty of rape, kidnapping and criminal intimidation under the IPC. “While keeping the girl confined in a room, on one hand, the accused was making her address him as `papa’ and introducing her as daughter and niece, on the other hand, he was sexually assaulting her,” additional sessions judge Pratibha Rani said. “How traumatic the experience could be for a little girl aged 12-13,” the court noted, while imposing a fine of Rs 11,000 on the accused, Manish Kumar, a resident of Amritsar. “The act of convict was gruesome and abhorring, leaving a permanent scar on the child, obstructing her growth as healthy human being and breeding a sense of shame and guilt throughout her life for something which she could not be blamed for,” the court observed in its judgement. The victim, who was taken to Faridabad by accused, was rescued on July 27, 2007 when she contacted her uncle two days after her father lodged a missing complaint with Patel Nagar police station in west Delhi. The girl had gone missing after she left home to fetch her younger brother from school. In her deposition, she said the accused took her to Faridabad and raped her. The accused who alleged implication and sought leniency, could not impress the court after the prosecutor informed that out of the five cases pending against him since 1992, four were related to sexual assault. “In this case, the fact that the accused appears to be habitual offender, casts a duty upon the court to award adequate sentence so that at the age of 50, it could have deterrent effect on him,” the court said.

NBWs out against Deepak aides who ‘funded’ fraud
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/NBWs_out_against_Deepak_aides_who_funded_fraud/articleshow/4043997.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0211 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Nearly a month after the alleged DDA housing scam came to light, the Delhi Police’s economic offences wing (EOW) issued non-bailable warrants against two people believed to have played the role of financiers. The NBWs were issued against Suresh Kumar Meena and Vijay Kumar, associates of arrested accused Deepak Kumar. Police said Suresh and Vijay provided the money required to submit 1,000 forms under the ST category and pumped in close to Rs 60 lakh in the operation. Suresh had invested nearly Rs 35 lakh which he procured after selling his flat in Rohini, while Vijay, also a property dealer, invested around Rs 25 lakh. “We have got NBWs issued against the accused, but efforts are still on to arrest them. In case they do not appear before court, we will take necessary action,” said additional CP (EOW) SBK Singh. Meanwhile, CFSL Hyderabad, from where the forensic report on the software used in the DDA housing draw was awaited, has asked for more details about the software. The police said they have seized the server and original copy of the software and was sending the same to the lab for final analysis. The Delhi Police was also scanning call details of 18 people, who were named by mastermind M L Gautam (64), a former DDA staffer now in custody. “We are scanning the call details of all these persons between September 1 and December 20 for more leads,” added another officer. The police also said the two accounts which belonged to Gautam had been frozen and there was around Rs 2 lakh in both the accounts. Raids were being conducted to apprehend the others named by Gautam, the officer said. Police have also received replies from several allottees who were sent questionnaires. Many sent their replies through post and some had even appeared for verification. Till now, six people have been arrested for their alled involvement in the scam. Meanwhile, chairman of All India Association of SC/ST, Uditraj, staged a protest at Jantar Mantar and called for a hungerstrike. Reiterating his demand for a probe against corrupt DDA officials, Uditraj said, “The authortiy should be dismantled and people from Delhi including SC/ST should be allowed to apply in the draw.”

Sebi seeks HC nod to quiz Raju bros
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Sebi_seeks_HC_nod_to_quiz_Raju_bros/articleshow/4044103.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0204 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Sebi on Wednesday moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court with the plea to be permitted to interrogate former Satyam chief Ramalinga Raju and his brother Rama Raju. Solicitor
General Goolam E Vahanvati is expected to appear on behalf of the regulatory body. Sebi moved the High Court after its earlier petition in the Nampally court of sixth additional chief metropolitan magistrate D Ramakrishna was rejected on grounds of maintainability. In its petition before the HC, Sebi contended that it has the power and obligation to interrogate the erring corporate officials. The writ petition is likely to come up for admission on Thursday. Even the question of the maintainability of the petition is likely to be argued.

HC orders CS to appear in court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/HC_orders_CS_to_appear_in_court/articleshow/4044105.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0207 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Justice Goda Raghuram of the AP High Court on Wednesday ordered the personal appearance of chief secretary P Ramakanth Reddy in the court on February 28 and purge himself of contempt allegations. Earlier, the court had impleaded the chief secretary as party to a writ petition complaining of large scale violations in the construction of Yogi Vemana University. K R Chandra Reddy, the petitioner, had alleged large-scale lapses leading to danger to public life. Admitting the petition, the high court had by an order dated February 25, 2008, directed the chief secretary to initiate a detailed inquiry into the circumstances of such illegal construction. The judge had also directed the chief secretary to initiate prosecution and necessary action against erring individuals responsible for the illegal constructions. The chief secretary was also required to submit the action taken report in his present application. The petitioner alleged that there was total violation of the court order. He complained that the chief secretary failed to initiate an inquiry much less prosecute the persons responsible.

A N Roy case: High Court reserves judgement
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/488246/National/1/20/1
Published: January 27,2009

Mumbai , Jan 27 The Bombay High Court today reserved its judgement on petitions filed by State Director General of Police Anami Roy and the State government against CAT&aposs order setting aside Roy&aposs appointment to the top post.
The arguments concluded today — three months after Central Administrative Tribunal&aposs order — before division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Sharad Bobde.
Earlier, Suprakash Chakravarti, an IPS officer who is senior to Roy, had moved CAT alleging that Roy had superseded three IPS officers — Chakravarti himself, J D Virkar and S S Virk (former Punjab DGP).
The CAT, in its order, had said that as per the Supreme Court directives in the Prakashsingh case, the three senior most officers should have been considered for the DGP&aposs post since Roy did not figure in the top three.
CAT had also asked the State to find Roy&aposs replacement within a month, but the High Court later extended this period till further orders.
Source: PTI

City lawyer arrested in beautician murder case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/City_lawyer_arrested_in_beautician_murder_case/articleshow/4044135.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0259 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Police on Wednesday arrested a 38-year-old lawyer in connection with the murder of Chitra, a beauty parlour owner, at her parlour in KK Nagar on October 10 last year. The police team nabbed the lawyer, Kotteswaran, from a village in Virudhungar. Police said the accused, a resident of Nungambakkam, had shifted his house to Shanthi Colony in Anna Nagar after the murder. When the police narrowed down on the two other accused, Ilango, Kotteeswaran’s nephew and a third-year law student and his accomplice Ravikumar, Kotteeswaran left for his in-laws’ place in Virudhunagar. Police said they cracked the murder case after stumbling upon three men accused in a chain-snatching case. Latha of Sridevi Kuppam had approached the KK Nagar police and complained that a five-member gang barged into her house and snatched a 12-sovereign gold chain from her. Following this, police nabbed Raja, Kumar and Arun Babu. Based on their confession, police arrested Ilango and Ravikumar, who later confessed that they were involved in Chitra’s murder. During interrogation, the accused revealed that Kotteeswaran was also involved in the murder. He had instructed the others to get the chain from Latha. It was also on Kotteswaran’s instruction that Ilango went to Chitra’s beauty parlour to get Rs 50,000. When Chitra refused to pay up, Ilango assaulted her with an iron rod and fled the scene. The murder came to light when the victim’s father, Ramasamy, came to the parlour to see his daughter. Preliminary inquiries revealed that Kotteeswaran has been in touch with Latha through a vendor in Burma Bazaar, where she frequented to purchase cosmetics. It was during one of his visits to Latha’s place that he instructed Ilango to collect the money from Chitra. Latha had overheard the conversation. Kotteeswaran was taken to the XXIII metropolitan magistrate court in Saidapet and remanded in judicial custody. He was later taken to Puzhal prison.

Security system debuts at HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Security_system_debuts_at_HC/articleshow/4044189.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0327 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: A credible security system made a quiet and incident-free debut at the Madras high court on Wednesday. Private vehicles, autorickshaws and call taxis were denied entry into the premises, and litigants not carrying the now-mandatory visitor’s pass were let off with a curt warning that such leniency would not be shown from Thursday onwards. Attributing the success of this round of access control measures to cooperation from lawyers, the Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA) president R C Paul Kanagaraj said the system has brought more parking space for lawyers. “Over the years, the number of vehicle-owning advocates has increased on the campus, but the space remained the same. This is the best possible solution to the problem,” he said. Also, the security threat to vital installations, including courts, in the country too is high on the minds of advocates, Kanagaraj said. City commissioner of police K Radhakrishnan and the jurisdictional deputy commissioner of police Vijayanand Sinha were in the premises till afternoon to ensure the smooth enforcement of the new security protocol. High court police said 250 police personnel were on duty from 7 am to 7 pm and all entry points had door-frame metal detectors. As the Aavin gate has become the pedestrian-only gateway, every person was made to go through the metal detector and frisked by police constables. “We were surprised that advocates and litigants waited politely for their turns to gain entry,” said a registry official. The court’s security committee, headed by a senior judge, Justice D Murugesan, had worked out every detail to make it a fool-proof security system, he said.

HC upholds petrol pump fee increase
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/HC_upholds_petrol_pump_fee_increase/articleshow/4044192.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0330 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Thanks to an intervention of the Madras high court’s judgment on Wednesday, the Chennai Corporation is all set to receive an enhanced licence fee from petroleum and LPG dealers 49 years after the civic body took the decision. On March 24, 1960 the Chennai Municipal Corporation passed a resolution enhancing the annual licence fee for petrol bunks from Rs 300 to Rs 6,000. Fee for the attached service stations were raised from Rs 540 Rs 9,000. After keeping quiet for over 39 years, the dealers filed a writ petition, stating that the 20-time hike in the fee was unjustified and that the petroleum companies did not enhance their commission during the period. Admitting the plea in 1999, the High Court gave a conditional stay order, stating that the dealers shouold continue to pay the existing fee, but have to show bank guarantees for the differential sum. The dealers did not comply with the order. Justice K Chandru, lambasting the dealers for having moved the court after a lapse of 39 years, said they had not even bothered to comply with the High Court’s order. Instead they continued to remit their own rates depending upon the horse power of motors used in their outlets. Justice Chandru said the non-payment of licence fees for years could not have happened without the collusion of corporation officials, and added that but for an audit objection the issue of non-recovery of fees would not have come to light at all. He said the dealers could not claim it to be an excess levy even 49 years after the original resolution was passed. The judge also dismissed a similar petition filed by LPG dealers association challenging the rise of yearly licence fee from Rs 450 to Rs 2,000.

Central nod mandatory for Siddha institutes, says HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Central_nod_mandatory_for_Siddha_institutes_says_HC/articleshow/4044234.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Siddha medical institutions can be established only with the prior permission of the Central Council of Indian Medicine, and the Tamil Nadu government’s legislation paving the way for establishment of such colleges/courses with a mere state approval is unconstitutional, the Madras High Court has ruled. Justice K Chandru, passing orders on a batch of writ petitions against the Tamil Nadu Siddha System of Medicine (Development and Registration of Practitioners) Act 1997, said that clothing the state legislation the power to grant or withdraw approval for siddha institutes is illegal. The petitioners, who included the India Siddha Medical Association, said the Tamil Nadu government’s legislation empowering itself to grant or withdraw approval for establishing siddha institutes was in contravention of a piece of central legislation in the same field. If state governments are allowed to handle issues concerning approval of institutions, qualification of students and faculty, and award of diplomas or degrees, it would whittle down the standard of education. Justice Chandru, referring to the settled proposition of law that a central law would override a state legislation, said Tamil Nadu could not legislate in a field already occupied by a Central Act. He, however, brushed aside the petitioners’ opposition to the government’s move to establish a Tamil Nadu Siddha Medical Council, including a provision for a state register containing the names of practitioners. It is for the development of siddha system of medicine and regulating the practitioners of the system in Tamil Nadu.

Arrest warrant against Medha Patkar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Arrest_warrant_against_Medha_Patkar/articleshow/4043489.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2016 hrs IST, PTI
AHMEDABAD: An arrest warrant was issued against activist and Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) leader Medha Patkar in a defamation case by a local court. The bailable warrant was issued by the Metropolitan Magistrate R G Chaudhary on Tuesday after Patkar failed to appear before the court despite being summoned four times. The case was filed by the President of National Council for Civil Liberties (NCCL), V K Saxena, alleging that Patkar had in a television interview in 2006 claimed that the former was “getting civil contracts from the Sardar Sarovar Namada Nigal Limited (SSNNL)”. The court ordered the police to investigate the matter and submit a detailed report to it. The report was submitted in July 2007 following which Patkar was summoned to appear before the court.

Court seeks report on dialysis facilities in Delhi hospitals
http://www.sindhtoday.net/health/57101.htm
Jan 28th, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday directed the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) to file a detailed status report on the lack of facilities, especially for dialysis, in government-run hospitals.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna expressed surprise when the MCD informed the court it had three machines for dialysis and the Delhi government admitted that it has 11 machines for the same purpose. The bench then asked them to file a detailed action-taken report within a week.
Expressing surprise over the lack of medical facilities, the court asked the Delhi government what steps it has taken so far to treat the rising number of kidney patients in the capital.
The government counsel submitted that it has passed a proposal for increasing the number of machines in the government hospitals in the capital.
“The matter is of serious concern. Lakhs of kidney patients visit the capital every year and you have only these many machines to treat them,” said the court.
The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by Salekh Chand Jain through his counsel Sugreev Dubey seeking direction to authorities to ensure availability of dialysis facilities.
The petitioner alleged kidney patients in some areas of the city were not able get proper treatment due to the lack of medical equipments, including machines for dialysis, and the government had failed to take steps to provide adequate facilities.
He contended that in some hospitals the dialysis machines were lying unused. There was no mechanism to improve their condition. As a result, poor patients were forced to go to expensive private hospitals.
“At the moment the LNJP and GTB Hospitals have dialysis machines. While the LNJP hospital has seven machines, GTB has only four and surprisingly, in west Delhi, there is not a single government hospital which provides this facility,” says the petition.

Court directs Pepsi to compensate for condom in bottle
http://www.indiaprwire.com/businessnews/20090128/37417.htm

Noting that ‘legal remedies are going beyond the reach of the common man’, a consumer court here has asked soft drink giant Pepsi to pay Rs.23,000 as compensation to a man who suffered health problems after consuming a bottle of adulterated beverage produced by the company.
Hearing a plea by Pepsi earlier this month, the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission headed by Justice J.D. Kapoor said: ‘Legal remedies are going beyond the reach of even middle class, what to talk of the common man. Therefore, service providers and traders should be ready to shell out some amount for the agony and torture suffered by the consumer in seeking redressal of grievance.’
In 2003, Sudesh Sharma, a resident of Ujhani village in the national capital, had purchased two bottles of Pepsi from a retail shop near Kashmiri Gate.
Sharma started suffering from severe dyspepsia and headache followed by insomnia after drinking from one of the bottles. His condition worsened over a period of time and he had to seek medical help.
On inspecting the bottle from which he had drunk, Sharma found dirt and other contaminants inside it. He was also shocked to find a condom inside the other Pepsi bottle, which was still sealed.
Sharma approached the District Consumer Forum, which ordered Pepsi to pay him Rs.23,000 along with punitive damages of Rs.100,000 in 2006.
Staunchly denying any negligence on its part, Pepsi challenged the District Consumer Forum order in the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Maintaining that the bottles may have contained spurious products illegally marketed under its brand name, Pepsi argued that Sharma had not submitted any proof of purchase of the bottles.
However, the commission observed that it was not a practice among shopkeepers in the open market to issue a receipt or cash memo whenever a person purchased one or two bottles.
‘We have come across a few cases of identical nature wherein similar pleas are being raised by the manufacturers. In our view, howsoever foolproof may be the manufacturing process, if the end product is found to contain any foreign substance or such material that renders the drink or eatable unfit for human consumption, the inference of the goods being defective have to be necessarily drawn against the manufacturer whose name is printed on the packaged product,’ Kapoor said.
The commission ordered Pepsi to pay Sharma Rs.23,000 but gave the company some relief by setting aside the punitive damages of Rs.100,000.
‘So far as compensation to a consumer is concerned, it should also be kept in mind that the consumer has been forced by the service provider to approach a legal forum to seek redressal of his grievance. It is a tortuous process as it causes mental agony, harassment and financial pressure as legal remedy is becoming costlier by the day and it is time consuming,’ Kapoor observed.
– By Kanu Sarda

HC restrains PCL
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/HC_restrains_PCL/articleshow/4044664.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: A division bench of the high court comprising Justices UK Dhaon and Satish Chandra in a writ petition no. 146 (S/B) 2009 passed an order on Wednesday for listing the petition along with the writ petition no. 62 (S/B) of 2009 as the petitioners are also entitled for the interim order passed by this court in WP No. 62 of 2009. The court further ordered that till the next date of listing, the opposite party – UP Power Corporation Limited – would not make promotions on the basis of the final seniority list issued on January 25, 2009. The court, however, allowed the UPPCL to update the seniority list of the years 2000-2008 in accordance with law. It may be mentioned that the high court on January 22, 2009 had passed an interim order in WP No. 62 of 2009 staying the consequential seniority list of executive engineers issued by UPPCL. The petitioner through another writ petition No. 146 of 2009 had challenged the list of order of seniority of superintending engineers, chief engineer level-2 and chief engineer level-1.

Journalist’s wife moves Habeas Corpus writ petition

http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/489207/National/1/20/1
Published: January 28,2009

Bangalore , Jan 28 A division bench of Karnataka High Court today directed the government advocate to take notice on a habeas corpus writ petition submitted by the wife of Editor of eveninger” Karavali Ale”, B V Seetharam, who has been arrested in connection with a defamation case.
Rohini, wife of Seetharam, Editor of the Kannada eveninger has submitted that the detention of her husband was unlawful and violative of his fundamental rights and also sought a direction to the authorities to set him free.
Seetharam was arrested in Udupi on January 4 in connection with a defamation case.
Justice S R Bannurmath and Justice A N Venugopal Gowda, constituting a division bench, directed the Government Advocate to take notice and file a report.
The bench adjourned the petition for further hearing to February 2.
Source: PTI

SEBI files writ against local court order

http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/489254/National/1/20/1
Published: January 29,2009

Hyderabad
The SEBI today filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court questioning the validity of the orders passed by a local court rejecting their request to record the statement of B Ramalinga Raju of Satyam Computers.
The 6th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had rejected SEBI’s request on the ground of lack of proper authorisation. The case will come up for hearing before the High Court today.
Source: PTI

Interfering in the ‘Security of the State’
http://thesocialblog.wordpress.com/2009/01/28/interfering-in-the-security-of-the-state/
January 28, 2009 by Aditya
Soli Sorabjee’s writ petition in the Supreme Court asking it to order the government to take measures to effectively deal with terrorism has created quite an interest amongst legal circles. Law and Other Things has detailed posts on it and Abhinav Chandrachud gives and interesting analysis on the ‘Right against Terror’ here.
I also have written here that the petition rests on the rationale that there is a Constitutional duty of the State to protect its citizens under Article 21; where as the Court earlier hasn’t stated any such duty.
In this post, I would like to explore another dimension to this writ. If the contentions in the writ be accepted then it is my opinion that it would have serious consequences on the way the government is run under the Constitution. My argument is that while judicial interference in legislative and executive functions already takes place, doing so in matters of policy and security of the State is warranted neither by the Constitution nor Constitutional law and doing so would belittle the idea of constitutional supremacy.
A reading of Article 355 would allow us to infer that it is the foremost duty of the central government to defend the borders of the Country. This also includes a duty to prevent any internal disturbance and maintain law and order. However, in as early as 1959, the Supreme Court in Memon Haji Ismail’s case held that declarations of war & matters concerning the defence of India are instances on which a Court cannot form any judgment. ‘defence of India’ could include both external aggression and internal disturbance. It could also be that they are to be considered as matters of policy and the Court cannot in any way tell the centre as to how the Government should be run.
Having established that the defence of the Country is exclusively in the realm of the Central Government, in State of Rajasthan v. Union of India, the Court held that it cannot assume unto itself powers the Constitution lodges elsewhere or undertake tasks entrusted to the Constitution to other departments of the State which may be better equipped to perform them.
“Questions of political wisdom or executive policy only could not be subject to judicial control. So long as such policy operates in its own sphere, its operations are immune from judicial process.”
Thus, asking the Centre by a writ to better equip the police and forces with the latest weapons would be interfering into a realm exclusive to the executive.
But in my opinion, the starkest revelation to the dangers of what may happen have been put forth by Justice BN Shrikrishna’s article titled ‘Skinning the Cat’ (2005) 8 SCC (jour) 3 where in he says;
“I wish to point to a recent and disturbing trend of using the judiciary to second guess unambiguously legislative and executive powers. Indeed, our judges have succumbed to the temptation to interfere even with well- recognized executive powers such as treaty making and foreign relations. …
One Shudders to think whither this trend could lead- whether, for example, the constitutionality of a declaration of war or peace treaty (or matter concerning the defence of the Country) could also be questioned in a Court of law? If the courts were to strike down the peace treaty as being unconstitutional, would the armed forces be compelled to pursue the war under judicial mandamus?
Indeed my mind boggles at such eventualities, however improbable they may appear, given the new found enthusiasm for judicial activism in areas that are inarguable no pasaran (they shall not pass) for the judges”
Perhaps Justice Shrikrishna’s fears may just come true with this case.
Sarabnanda Sonowal v. Union of India, (2005) 5 SCC 665.
(1977) 3 SCC 592

Consider resident’s pleas while aquiring land, HC tells NHAI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Consider_residents_pleas_while_aquiring_land_HC_tells_NHAI/articleshow/4044190.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0329 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Choosing not to interfere with the Rs 1,600-crore Chennai Port-Maduravoyal elevated corridor project, the Madras high court has asked the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to consider the pleas of residents who would lose their lands to their project. Justice K Suguna disposing of a writ petition filed by project-affected people on Wednesday, said additional advocate-general P Wilson had informed the court that the question of considering the representation of the residents did not arise at all, as the matter was yet to be notified formally. She said the foundation stone laying ceremony was the proof for the project, and added that the authorities had conducted the function without even complying with mandatory formalities. The representations of the residents should be disposed of within a week, the judge added. The petition contended that many Maduravoyal residents had already lost their lands to acquisition proceedings for the Koyambedu-Maduravoyal road expansion project. Their lands were acquired in August 2005, and they received the compensation amount before handing over lands to the authorities. In July 2008, the residents noticed paint marks on their walls and realised that the lands had again been earmarked for acquisition, this time for the ambitious port connectivity project. Noting that they had just modified or built anew after the first acquisition proceedings, they said that if the proposed project was aligned with the banks of Cooum river, it would reduce acquisition costs as well as inconvenience to residents.

HC frowns over prolonged delay in Bar case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/HC_frowns_over_prolonged_delay_in_Bar_case_/articleshow/4044127.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0226 hrs IST, Saeed Khan, TNN
Ahmedabad : This is a case where it is not the litigant who is shouting Tarikh pe tarikh, tarikh pe tarikh’ on repeated adjournment as Sunny Deol does in a famous court scene in the Bollywood film Damini’. Here, aggrieved party is Gujarat High Court, which has been expressing its reservations over seeking adjournments for last decade. And the litigants, here are the esteemed bar. A Bar association from Palanpur had filed this petition against High Court after a separate joint district court was created in Banaskantha district for Deesa block. Lawyers in Palanpur had a problem against this extension of court and case has already been adjourned 106 times. Palanpur Bar Association in 1999 approached High Court challenging establishment of a court in Deesa and claimed that this is in violation of Bombay civil Act. High Court admitted petition soon, but since last 10 years, the lawyers hit a century of adjournments. In the very next year of filing petition, the Bar began seeking adjournments. This led the court to criticise the concerned advocate’s practice of remaining absent by observing, “Looking to nature of the reason which is submitted before us, it is but natural that he was aware about the reason that he would not be in a position to remain present before court during this hearing, and therefore, he should have taken appropriate date on that date. We depreciate this method of seeking adjournment.” In 2006, a division bench dismissed the petition as Bar’s advocates didn’t prosecute the case and kept seeking adjournments. In May 2007, court warned Bar that it would not grant any more adjournment, since it was already 85th adjournment. Meanwhile, Bar association’s counsel Tushar Mehta left the case, as he was appointed as additional advocate general last year. And another advocate Avani Mehta moves in. In last November, counsel appearing for High Court reminded it about an application moved by Deesa Bar Association in 2000 seeking permission to join as a party in this case. On Wednesday, the case was kept for final hearing, but adjourned again for some other day. Next time when the case comes up on board, it will be 107th adjournment.

HC rally ban: Govt gets a week to reply
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/HC_rally_ban_Govt_gets_a_week_to_reply/articleshow/4044661.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0250 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Wednesday gave an ultimatum to the state government for failing to file affidavit-in opposition on the complaint of flouting a court order during a DYFI rally on December 20, 2008. The court gave the government one-week time to reply to the complaints made by environmentalist Subhas Datta. On December 22, 2008, Datta told court that DYFI had violated the court order while holding a rally at the Maidan on December 20. Furnishing a number of photographs, Datta submitted that the entire Maidan had been converted into a picnic spot where food was cooked and served by the DYFI supporters using open ovens. Incidentally, the high court had banned the use of open ovens on May 8, 2008, within a three-kilometre radius of Victoria Memorial. The division Bench of Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice R N Banerjee observed that it was the last chance failing which the court will presume that the state had nothing to say on the allegations. On Wednesday, counsel for the state, Tulsidas Maity, expressed his inability to file an affidavit-in-opposition because his client had not contacted him further on the issue. Asked whether he had informed the government about the court order, Maity said the state’s representative was present in court when the order was passed.

NCB men not joining inquiry: UT SSP tells HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/NCB_men_not_joining_inquiry_UT_SSP_tells_HC/articleshow/4044269.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0327 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: UT SSP Sudhanshu Shekhar Srivastava has filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on behalf of Chandigarh administration and police department, mentioning steps taken to curb drug mafia-cop nexus as alleged in a public interest litigation by Hemant Goswami of Burning Brain Society. The affidavit, dated January 25, was taken on record on Wednesday by the division bench of chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Hemant Gupta. The most significant aspect of the affidavit was regarding two Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) inspectors – Ganesh Balooni and Raminder Singh Sethi – who, the SSP disclosed, had failed to join inquiry till date despite summons being served through their senior officers. The affidavit also revealed that as many as 123 NDPS cases had been registered at various UT police stations from January 1 to November 30, 2008. Also, as many as 131 persons had been arrested for various narcotics-linked offences. It also contained details about nature and quantity of drugs seized during the period. The SSP asserted in his affidavit that a disciplinary inquiry was underway against sub-inspector (SI) Harinder Singh Sekhon, and head constables (HCs) Sukhjinder Singh, Bachhitar Singh, Baljit Singh, Mohan Singh and Kuldeep Singh for their alleged links with known drug peddlers like Harpal Singh Raju and Suresh Kumar and for ‘’facilitating them in their business by taking money from them as established prima facie in a preliminary inquiry report, dated October 7, 2008, by DSP (traffic)’’. The SSP also stated that the said officials were under suspension. Also, another disciplinary probe was on against inspector Rajesh Shukla, HC Sanjeev Kumar and Constables Kuldeep Singh and Sewa Singh on basis of a preliminary report by DSP (lines) dated October 8, 2008. The SSP also disclosed that a special task force, headed by ASP Madhur Verma, had been constituted to tackle the drug menace in the city. Also, a special helpline number – 9915973100 – had been set up for the public to provide information regarding drug peddlers and abusers. It may be recalled that on July 25, HC had issued a notice to the Union home ministry, NCB, Central Bureau of Investigation, Chandigarh administration and UT police on Goswami’s plea.

Shut down units if they are polluting Buddha Nallah: HC
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/shut-down-units-if-they-are-polluting-buddha-nallah-hc/416473/0
Express News Service Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 0357 hrs IST
Chandigarh: Pollution control board hauled up for not taking action against erring industries
SHUT down units if they are not adhering to the norms,” Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Tirath Singh Thakur today made it clear to the Punjab Pollution Control Board (PPCB). The observation was made in the wake of an ongoing PIL demanding cleaning of the Buddha Nallah in the city.
The Chief Justice took a strong exception to the fact that despite norms laid down by the P Ram Committee, dyeing units were reportedly discharging effluents in the Buddha Nallah. The Chief Justice questioned the PPCB as to why these industrial units are not being shut down. “What is the impediment? If you find something wrong, what stops you from closing these units? Have you told any unit to shut down which is not adhering to the norms?” the Chief Justice asked the senior standing counsel of PPCB, Advocate A R Takkar.
The court observed that rather than going into the finer details, it wanted Punjab Chief Secretary to look into the matter. On the other hand, law officer for Punjab Government sought a week’s time for filing the status report. The court made it clear that if the court finds that the Chief Secretary has not done anything wrong, then the court will take appropriate action. “If we find that he has not done anything wrong, then we will do something about it,” the Chief Justice observed. The Chief Secretary has been given a week’s time to file the status report with regard to the drain.
Advocate Takkar, who is also the counsel for the P Ram Committee, requested the court to monitor the case. He submitted that if the Buddha Nallah is to be saved, then zero-liquid discharge is the only solution. “Zero-liquid discharge is the only solution. The court has already ordered that no treated or untreated water should be discharged into the nallah. Neither Buddha Nallah nor the Satluj have enough water to take on heavy load of pollutants. Nothing can be added into the Buddha Nallah,” said Advocate Takkar.
Earlier, the Court took the dyeing units to task for taking the plea that they were discharging liquid into the nallah since all the other industrial units were doing so. “Do you have any fundamental right to pollute the nallah and make the lives of people miserable?” asked the Chief Justice.
Meanwhile, in a scathing report submitted by the Citizens Council, Ludhiana, the NGO has strongly disapproved the functioning of Punjab government and the interference of politicians. The NGO has stated that whenever the Punjab Pollution Control Board orders for disconnection of electricity of the offending units, politicians don’t let it happen by directing the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) not to terminate the electricity connection. The NGO has highlighted the pitiable condition of people who are left at the mercy of politicians and insensitive government.

HC issues notice to Jaisu
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_issues_notice_to_Jaisu/articleshow/4044556.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0429 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday issued a notice to Jaisu Shipping Company Pvt Ltd after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by residents of Candolim for removing the MV River Princess, grounded off the Candolim beach for the last 8 years. At the same time, the court also instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to apply to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay at Goa for transfering to the Division Bench a related arbitration appeal, pending before the single judge. The Division Bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice N A Britto were hearing a PIL filed by the locals of Candolim under the banner of the River Princess Hatao Manch. The Manch prayed that the grounded vessel be immediately towed away as it adversely affected the fragile ecosystem of the Sinqueirm beach besides being an eyesore for tourists. During the hearing, the court observed that the “problem of the grounded vessel is a grave one” and inquired from the advocate general of the state (AG) Subodh Kantak why the state is unable to remove the vessel even after 8 long years. The AG replied that the state government had tendered the work for removal of the vessel, but all its attempts have been futile because the contractors defaulted in complying with the terms of the contract. The AG also informed the court that Jaisu Shipping Co Pvt Ltd, which was awarded the last contract to tow away the vessel had defaulted and therefore the government had forfeited the bank guarantee of Rs 5.5 crore. Subsequently, the Bench instructed the petitioners to serve the notice upon Jaisu by February 5 so as to prevent further delay in the matter, while adjourning the hearing to February 9.

‘Hardline’ Crime Branch men can’t handle sensitive cases, HC told
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/hardline-crime-branch-men-cant-handle-sensitive-cases-hc-told/416293/
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 0012 hrs IST
New Delhi The Delhi Police describes its ace Crime Branch officers as “hardliners”, who are unable to deal with women’s issues.
The revelation came from senior Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta, who blamed the gruff nature of the Crime Branch officers to their professional hazard of having to largely deal with “gangsters and kidnappers”.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Northern Range) Karnal Singh was in court on Wednesday when Gupta made the comments.
Chief Justice A P Shah, however, ruled that the Crime Branch should be asked to investigate allegations of child-trafficking and exploitation of 35 girls and four boys. The youths, most of them minors, were rescued from various placement agencies on January 13 by teams from the Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) and an NGO.
In an attempt to dissuade the court from ordering the investigations to be given to the Crime Branch, Gupta said, “Crime Branch officers are hardliners. (They) get to deal with only gangsters and kidnappers (and) may not be the right department to handle this sensitive investigation, which has to deal with women’s issues.”
What also comes as a handicap, the counsel argued, is there are “very little or almost no women police officers in Crime Branch to interact with the rescued girls in a friendly manner”. But the court ordered, “The JCP (Crime Branch) will draw women officers from the Crime against Women Cell.”
The court insisted on a Crime Branch probe after it found, during hearing, that the girls had accused their placement agents of various criminal offences like “forced labour, illegal confinement and beating” to a two-member team of advocate Sunita Tiwari and DCW representative Reny Jacob on January 24. But the same girls opted to remain quiet merely three days later when they were brought by the police to record their sworn statements before four different magistrate courts.
“It is strange that these girls had nothing to say before the magistrates, when they had opened up in front of the team of experts,” the Bench observed. “Their (stands) are diametrically opposite in both instances… have they been tutored by police officers?”
The Bench also criticised the “mechanical” way in which the magistrates had recorded their statements without lending a thought to why the girls had changed their version so abruptly. “Either the police or the court has not applied their minds to the plight of these girls,” it said.
The girls are presently housed at Nirmal Chayya, a home run by the Social Welfare Department.

HC asks police to file affidavit on DYFI rally within 7 days
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-asks-police-to-file-affidavit-on-dyfi-rall…/416454/
Posted: Jan 29, 2009 at 0313 hrs IST
Related Stories:
Expressing displeasure on the failure of the Kolkata police in filing an affidavit on the Brigade Parade Ground rally organised by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) on December 20, 2008, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday asked it to do so within seven days. The case will again come up for hearing on February 9.
On December 22, environmentalist Subhas Dutta had told the High Court that the organisers of the rally had openly flouted an HC directive, which bans open ovens on the ground.
Dutta said the DYFI rally was like a picnic, during which, participants dug up the ground for setting up ovens and filled it up after the rally. The High Court had asked the police to file an affidavit on the steps it has taken to comply with its earlier order on holding rallies on the ground, but the police failed to file it in due time.

HC issues notice to Jaisu
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_issues_notice_to_Jaisu/articleshow/4044556.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0429 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday issued a notice to Jaisu Shipping Company Pvt Ltd after hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by residents of Candolim for removing the MV River Princess, grounded off the Candolim beach for the last 8 years. At the same time, the court also instructed the Ministry of Environment and Forests to apply to the Chief Justice of the High Court of Bombay at Goa for transfering to the Division Bench a related arbitration appeal, pending before the single judge. The Division Bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice N A Britto were hearing a PIL filed by the locals of Candolim under the banner of the River Princess Hatao Manch. The Manch prayed that the grounded vessel be immediately towed away as it adversely affected the fragile ecosystem of the Sinqueirm beach besides being an eyesore for tourists. During the hearing, the court observed that the “problem of the grounded vessel is a grave one” and inquired from the advocate general of the state (AG) Subodh Kantak why the state is unable to remove the vessel even after 8 long years. The AG replied that the state government had tendered the work for removal of the vessel, but all its attempts have been futile because the contractors defaulted in complying with the terms of the contract. The AG also informed the court that Jaisu Shipping Co Pvt Ltd, which was awarded the last contract to tow away the vessel had defaulted and therefore the government had forfeited the bank guarantee of Rs 5.5 crore. Subsequently, the Bench instructed the petitioners to serve the notice upon Jaisu by February 5 so as to prevent further delay in the matter, while adjourning the hearing to February 9.

NHAI project director out of HC contempt loop
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/NHAI_project_director_out_of_HC_contempt_loop/articleshow/4044284.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0402 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) administrator-cum-project director Lt Col KP Sharma heaved a huge sigh of relief on Wednesday when the division bench of justices Uma Nath Singh and AN Jindal put an end to the contempt notice issued to him during a previous hearing on the matter. Haryana government’s counsel ML Saggar said that the high court had also ordered tenants sitting along the highway on Panchkula-Parwanoo stretch be issued notices after due publication. In case the tenants didn’t hand over possession, authorities concerned were at liberty to act in an appropriate manner. The judges had also perused an affidavit filed by Brahm Dutt, secretary, Union department of road transport and highway. However, they were not apparently satisfied with the same and asked the secretary to file a supplementary affidavit by February 5. The bench wanted the road transport secretary to clarify as to whether escalation in the cost of the project was included in the toll fee collected from road users and details regarding rate of increase in toll fee from dates of opening of toll plazas. The Centre?s counsel had then told the bench that Dera Bassi toll plaza’s term would expire on March 14, 2009, and would not be extended further. District and sessions judge, Panchkula, also had submitted a report on the matter as sought by the HC. The next date of hearing is March 16. During the previous hearing, justices Uma Nath Singh and AN Jindal had issued contempt notice to Sharma for ‘delay in issuing cheques towards payment of compensation to land owners’. The payment was to be made to persons whose land was acquired for construction of bypass around Zirakpur-Parwanoo road. The NHAI counsel had then submitted before the bench that the valuation report for structures on the acquired land was received on January 1, 2009 but the cheques were issued after a lapse of 18 days on January 19 only. This had infuriated the judges who asked Sharma as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him.

Law to make elderly ‘secure’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Law_to_make_elderly_secure/articleshow/4044274.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0337 hrs IST, Vibhor Mohan, TNN
CHANDIGARH: With family bonds weakening and respect for elders gradually disappearing from among the younger generation, law has come to the rescue of senior citizens. Acting on the guidelines of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007, abandoning parents or childless relatives above 60 years of age has been made a punishable offence in Chandigarh, which can invite an imprisonment of up to three months or a fine of Rs 5,000. A notification to this effect has been issued by home secretary Ram Niwas, who is also the secretary, social welfare. The states of Punjab, Tripura, Maharashtra, Goa and Himachal Pradesh have already implemented the Act with retrospective effect from August 27, 2008. According to it, any senior citizen who is unable to bear the expenses of his basic needs, from his own earning or from property owned by him, will be entitled to make an application against one or more of his children or grandchildren, who are not minors. A childless senior citizen can file a case against his relatives. It further states that children are obligated to provide basic amenities like food, clothing, residence, medical attendance and treatment to their parents. More so, to ensure its effective implementation, sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) have been authorized to sit in judgment for cases from their jurisdiction, as maintenance tribunals and appeals against the orders passed by them can be made to the DC, who has been made the appellate authority. It states, ‘’If children or relatives of applicants fail to comply with the orders, the Tribunal may, for every breach of the order, issue a warrant for levying the amount due in the manner provided for levying of fines and if the maintenance remains unpaid, may imprison the accused for a term which may extend to one month.’’ The Act further reads, ‘’If children or relatives neglect or refuse to maintain a senior citizen, the Tribunal may, on being satisfied of such neglect or refusal, order such children or relatives to make a monthly allowance at a monthly rate for the maintenance of elderly, as the Tribunal may deem fit.’’ The law extends to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir, and applies to all citizens outside the country. However, it will come into effect only after the government issues a gazette notification

HC order to Siwan DM in arms licence case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/HC_order_to_Siwan_DM_in_arms_licence_case/articleshow/4044314.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0523 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday directed the Siwan district magistrate to pass a final order in four months on petitions of Siwan MP Md Shahabuddin’s father, S M Habibullah, and his wife, Hena Saheb, challenging cancellation of their arms licences. A single bench presided over by Acting Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad passed the order while disposing of the criminal writ petitions of Habibullah and Hena. It may be recalled that Shahabuddin is incarcerating in Siwan jail at present. Besides, he is facing criminal trials in some cases lodged with Hussainganj police stations regarding recovery of arms from his residence in Pratappur village. The cancellation of the arm licences of his father and wife was the result of the criminal cases filed under provisions of the Arms Act.

Lawyer sets girl on fire over property dispute
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/Lawyer_sets_girl_on_fire_over_property_dispute/articleshow/4044147.cms
29 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: It was a nightmarish experience for Kumari Rekha, the 25-year-old girl who was set ablaze by her neighbor and his driver over a property dispute, on Wednesday in Sanjay Circle police station area. Rekha has sustained 60 per cent burn injuries and is presently undergoing treatment at SMS Hospital, where her condition is said to be critical. Police have arrested three persons, including an advocate, and registered a case against them in this regard. A team of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) officials also visited the house and collected evidences, including fingerprints and cloths, from the spot of incident. According to the police, Ritusudan, a lawyer, and Kumari Rekha are neighbours who stay in rented houses. In her statement, Rekha has alleged that On Wednesday, when she went to the terrace after taking shower, Ritusudan, his driver and driver’s wife caught hold of her. The trio then poured kerosene all over her and set her on fire. Enveloped in flames, Rekha cried for help. By the time her parents could reach and douse the fire, she had already sustained 60 per cent burn injuries and was rushed to SMS Hospital. Doctors at the hospital said that her condition is critical and she has been put under constant observation. Investigating officer Dharam Veer said that the police have recorded the statement of victim and her parents, who claimed that the advocate would often ask them to vacate the house and threatened them with dire consequences if they don’t do so.

Jadeja’s bail plea rejected
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Rajkot/Jadejas_bail_plea_rejected/articleshow/4043784.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2150 hrs IST, TNN
Supreme court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of former MLA Jayrajsinh Jadeja serving sentence in the murder cases of Rajkot district BJP leader Vinu Shingala and Nilesh Raiyyani of Gondal.
The court postponed his bail till March and extended the deadline for the proceedings of the case for further six months. As it has already been six months since SC had ordered for the hearing of the case to be completed, Jadeja appealed for a bail citing inordinate delay in case proceedings.
Source: Sandesh

High court source of livelihood for many
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/High_court_source_of_livelihood_for_many/articleshow/4043181.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2146 hrs IST, Sandeep Banerji, TNN
ALLAHABAD: Administration of justice, extending legal aid, mediation by the Allahabad High Court notwithstanding, the fact remains that the existence of the high court in Allahabad has been a major source of revenue earnings for the business class as well as service providers. Whether it be the hoteliers or auto/bicycle rickshaw pullers, even the roadside tea stalls and dhabas or as for that matter porters at the railway station and travel agents – everybody stands to gain- albeit indirectly owing to the presence of Allahabad high court. As a matter of fact, several trains running at NCR including Sangam Express, Nauchandi Express and the newly introduced Allahabad-Mathura Express are running into profit owing to the overwhelming number of litigants arriving from western UP on a daily basis. In addition, private tour and taxi operators stationed in close proximity of the court make a fast buck by luring these litigants for a guided tour of the city for nominal monetary considerations. The list of such dependents can be unending if a study was to be conducted at a sub-microscopic level, but at the outset, law book publishers, book binders, hoteliers, photocopy machine and PCO owners, paan/tea stall owners, and even rickshaw pullers stand to gain by the presence of the temple of justice in the city. Says Asim Abdeen, a law book publisher, “The city proudly boasts to be the hub of law book publishers in the state. Had it not been for these publishers, the lawyer fraternity would have been hard pressed to find reference materials used during arguments of cases.” Nodding in agreement, general secretary of High Court Bar Association, Veer Singh stated that the presence of publishers, and that too just across the high court road proves to be of immense help. “At times, we merely send down a peon or ourselves visit the book shops to consult a particular book wherein references of a particular case have been cited,” he informs. For advocates residing outside the city, the presence of these publishers is the only source of seeking and upgrading their information on any aspect of law. The photocopy shop and PCO owners are hard pressed for time during the duration the courts sit from 10 am to 4 pm. “The rush of customers is so immense that we hardly get time to have lunch,” states Praveen Prakash, owner of a PCO in vicinity of the high court. Had it not been for the restaurants and `lai-chana’ stalls around the court, most of the lawyers perhaps would have to go hungry, claimed Vikash Bhatnagar, an advocate. A three-star hotel that has come up in close proximity of the court too owes a major portion of its clientele in the restaurant during afternoon to the lawyers and litigants whereas the rooms are usually occupied with other litigants who have to appear in court. The last in the chain are the rickshaw pullers who are more aware of the residential places of the lawyers in the city than anybody else. The work of these rickshaw pullers begins from the railway junction and bus station. In some cases, these people also provide the much needed advice to the litigants who are unable to find the counsel at their residence. The high court was shifted to Allahabad from Agra in the year 1869 and the name was subsequently changed to High Court of Judicature at Allahabad from the earlier name High Court of Judicature for the North West Frontier Province.

Court issues notice to forest dept over elephant’s death
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Court_issues_notice_to_forest_dept_over_elephants_death/articleshow/4043621.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2054 hrs IST
The court of special chief judicial magistrate Kanpur nagar has sought report from the forest department over the death of an elephant, over the custody of which it had been fighting a case with Mahant Bhuwaneshwar Das of Kanpur. Mahant had claimed that the elephant had been donated to him but the forest officials were keeping it confined in Kanpur zoo. The elephant died on January 11 and Mahant moved court claiming that it had been tortured to death. He sought the dead body of the elephant so that he could perform all the traditional rituals for its cremation. The court sought report from the forest department and asked it to submit the same within 24 hours.

Bail of rape accused rejected
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Bail_of_rape_accused_rejected/articleshow/4043622.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2054 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: District and session judge Kanpur Nagar, Subhash Chandra on Wednesday, rejected the bail application of one Himanshu Katiyar involved in a gang rape case. Rejecting the bail application the presiding judge observed that the act of accused comes under the ambit of explanation 1 of 376 (g) IPC. Since there was no sufficient ground to release him on bail, his bail application was rejected. According go case file the prosecutrix (rape victim) a resident of Kalayanpur locality had charged four boys including Hemant Katiyar for committing gang rape. The victim in her report, said that she had given some money to Hemant. Hemant called her to his friends room to clear the debt when she had demanded her money. The victim went to the address given by Hemant at 10.15 am on December 13, 2008 and found Hemant along with his three friends Himant Katiyar, Ankit Katiyar and Ankit Shukla in the room. They called her inside the room and as soon as she entered the room they bolted the room and exploited her physically. During the exploitation they took photograph to black mail her. Since she was terrorised she did not lodge the report for next two days. The defence counsel in support of his claim argued that victim had not supported the version of FIR. In her statement recorded under Section 164 Cr.P.C by the police she had clearly said that Hemant was outside the room. Hence, Hemant should be granted bail as he had not committed any crime. The government counsel strongly opposed and said that prosecutrix had clearly stated the role of accused in her statement. But he could not reply when he was asked why the victim refused to charge Hemant for committing rape. During the hearing a private counsel appeared for victim and filed an affidavit of victim and submitted that Hemant was involved in gang rape. The judge under the provisions of 376 (G) I rejected the bail application. According to provision where a women is raped by one or group of persons acting in furtherance of their common intention each of the persons shall be deemed to have committed gang rape.

Full backing for Judum: Raman Singh
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Full_backing_for_Judum_Raman_Singh/articleshow/4034595.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0529 hrs IST, ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: Chhattisgarh government on Monday gave its full support to Salwa Judum, the forest dwellers movement against Naxalite violence. In his

Republic Day speech, chief minister Raman Singh said, “It was because of such people and their movement that the country’s Republic is secured today” . He said the state government would take steps to secure the livelihood of these tribal people and added that steps for their rehabilitation would also be taken forward. Salwa Judum had become controversial following Left-liberals support charge that it was a state-sponsored militia. The “human rights” activists, who have been regularly making media interventions against Salwa Judum, had last year approached the Supreme Court seeking its ban. The SC, on its part, had asked the NHRC to file a status report. This status was a dampener of sorts for the activist crowd. “The state cannot be said to have sponsored Salwa Judum, but it has certainly extended support to it by way of providing security to the processions and meetings of Salwa Judum and also to the inmates of the temporary relief camps” . The NHRC came close to backing the Salwa Judum in its report. “The tribals cannot be denied the right to defend themselves against the atrocities of Naxalites, specially when the law enforcers are themselves ineffective or not present” . It had also denied charges of displacement on account of Salwa Judum. At the SC, the Centre, too, had opposed the disbanding of the Salwa Judum. “To assume that the Salwa Judum was an army of people with weapons and asking for it to be disbanded will be no more than asking for these people to be pushed out to be killed (by the Naxalites ),” additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramanium had told the court when it heard a batch of petitions seeking to have it disbanded. Activists Kartam Joga, EAS. Sarma and Ramachandra Guha had in their petition alleged widespread rights violations by members of the Salwa Judum.

Karnataka Police arrests Ram Sena leader
http://www.topnews.in/karnataka-police-arrests-ram-sena-leader-2116140
Submitted by Mohit Joshi on Tue, 01/27/2009 – 13:13.
Bangalore, Jan 27, : Karnataka Police on Tuesday arrested the State convener of the Sri Ram Sena, Prasad Attavar for his role in the attack on women at a pub in Mangalore.
The Police also arrested Pramod Muthalik, the president of the Karnataka unit.
Public anger prompted the law enforcement authorities to arrest Attavar.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) has constituted a three-member team to investigate the attack.
The NCW has also asked the director general of police (DGP), Karnataka, to send an action taken report to the commission in the matter.
NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the commission would decide on the future of course of action after Karnataka Police sends its report.
“This is a horrific crime and strict punishment should be meted out to the culprits,” Vyas said.
Twenty seven people have been arrested so far.
Karnataka Chief Minister B. S. Yeddyurappa on Tuesday said the police is gathering evidence on top functionaries.
“The government will not tolerate people taking law into their hands and indulging in criminal activities. Police is gathering evidence on the top functionaries for the arrest,” he said.
Yeddyurappa also ruled out any link between the Ram Sena and the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
“I am telling this honestly, the party has nothing to do with the Sena, who have brought disgrace to the state,” he added. (ANI)

Residents demand relocation of business establishments
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ludhiana/Residents_demand_relocation_of_business_establishments/articleshow/4043501.cms
28 Jan 2009, 2018 hrs IST, Manvinder Singh, TNN
LUDHIANA: What could more precisely define the municipal corporation’s (MC) indifferent attitude towards the problems faced by Kucha Sukhram and Karim Pura residents than the fact that the civic body has not bothered to act upon even the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directives given more than three months ago. The residents had in a complaint to the NHRC alleged that they had been forced to relocate themselves from the area as the wholesale cloths and business mafia in connivance with the MC officials were allegedly converting the residential locality into godowns for their inflammable wares. The residents rued that the traders encroached on the streets having a width of 5 metres allegedly just to store their flammable goods, due to which a grave threat posed to their lives and properties. Citing Gur Mandi, Khud Mohalla, and Fielgunj fire incidents that broke out a few years back, they feared similar incidents in their localities as fire brigade could not enter the narrow streets. They urged the NHRC to take notice of it and relocate the business establishments to some safer place. Acting upon this, the commission’s complaint bench comprising chairperson Justice RS Mongia and member KD Bhatnagar had vide order number 6273/10/08/PSHRC/2008/J-051405 issued on September 23, 2008, directed the MC commissioner and the district deputy commissioner to look into the complaint and dispose it of in accordance with the law. However, narrating their woes to the TOI, residents — Vipin Kumar and Makiat Singh — alleged that despite the orders, no officials had ever bothered to look into their problems.

Court transfers human trafficking case to Crime Branch
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/57092.htm
Jan 28th, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, Jan 28 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday transferred a case of illegal trafficking of youth through placement agencies to the Crime Branch of Delhi Police after pulling up local police for shoddy probe.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna was angry when Delhi Police filed the statements of 16 girls.
“You (Delhi Police) have produced the statements of girls and it appears that the statements have been taken in a cyclostyled manner and only the names are changed, the rest is the same,” said the bench.
The court then transferred the case to Crime Branch and asked the cell for Crime Against Women (CAW) to help in probing the case.
Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta objected to the court’s decision and said that the probe should remain with Delhi Police as the Crime Branch was not equipped with women personnel.
The court, however, rejected all objections. It also sought a detailed explanation from the four Metropolitan Magistrates, who have recorded the girls’ statements, asking why they all are similar.
The court also asked the home ministry and the National Commission for Women (NCW) to reply within a week.
The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by an NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, alleging that placement agencies were responsible for the illegal trafficking of girls and sought a direction to the state government for compulsory registration of all such agencies.
According to the NGO, early this month about 35 girls and four boys were rescued from various placement agencies in the national capital.
Last week, the court had asked police why they had not registered the case under the appropriate sections of law against the placement agencies.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Northwest) N.S. Bundela told the court they had taken legal advice before registering a first information report (FIR) on the charges of criminal breach of trust against the placement agencies for illegal trafficking of young boys and girls on the pretext of providing them jobs as domestic help.

LEGAL NEWS 27.01.2009

Tiger catch: Dept wants it dead, minister wants it alive
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1225056
Deepak Gidwani
Monday, January 26, 2009 2:35 IST
Lucknow: Who will bell the cat? Or rather, fell the cat? That’s the question racking the brains of the top brass in the UP forest department (UPFD) nowadays. The poser relates to the fate of a two-and-a-half-year-old tiger, who has strayed from its natural habitat in the Dudhwa National Park reserve forest area and has already killed three persons in the past one month.
The UPFD is now in a quandary. While the department has issued a death warrant against the man-eater, forest minister Fateh Bahadur Singh said the tiger would be captured alive. Even the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has also opposed the shooting order.
To add to the tangle, there’s also a legal angle now. Three petitioners from Lakhimpur Kheri, from where the tiger originally strayed, have filed a PIL before the Allahabad high court seeking quashing of the death warrant.
The confusion is further confounded as there are not one, but three tigers who have gone astray in different parts of the state. While the tiger facing a death sentence is lurking near Faizabad, another tiger has wandered out of the forests in Lakhimpur Kheri near Dudhwa. The third one sauntered into east UP’s Ghazipur from Bihar’s Kaimur forest range. But it is the young tiger which is proving to be the toughest challenge. “I have asked my officials to catch it alive,” Singh told DNA.
When asked about the death warrant, he said: “We are reconsidering it.” However, UPFD principal chief conservator of forests BK Patnaik said: “The tiger has turned into a man-eater. We can’t allow it to take any more innocent lives. It has to be killed.” He also said that the tiger had lost its ‘conservation value’ as after killing human beings, it could not be released into the forests.
But a retired forest official, insisting anonymity, said that as per NTCA guidelines, a tiger can be labelled ‘man-eater’ only after it has been established that the animal has refused to have its natural prey, and has instead opted for human beings.
Meanwhile, petitioners, who have filed the PIL, have also accused the UPFD of shirking duty and passing orders for the tiger’s death “without making sincere efforts to tranquilise and trap it”.The tiger has managed to outsmart all the manoeuvres this far.
Four ace-shooters authorised to kill the errant beast have been following its spoor atop trained elephants. More than a hundred UPFD men are on its trail, over a hundred tranquiliser darts have been blunted and a dozen cage traps dodged.

Hope for students of second shift polytechnics
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/Hope_for_students_of_second_shift_polytechnics/articleshow/4031192.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0434 hrs IST, Vishwas Kothari, TNN
PUNE: A recent order by the Supreme Court (SC) granting an interim stay on the Bombay High Court’s order of October 16, 2008, which had stayed the state government’s approval to 29 unaided second shift polytechnics, has revived hopes of over 6,000 students who continue to wait for writing their first semester examinations. Three of these 29 new second-shift polytechnics (sanctioned for 2008-09) are run by two Pune-based academic institutions at campuses in Hadapsar, Wagholi and Katraj. Maharashtra State Board for Technical Education (MSBTE), the state’s exam conducting body for technical institutions, had issued a notice on October 18, 2008, declaring that it won’t conduct the first semester winter exam at these 29 second-shift polytechnics, subject to the outcome of the legal tussle in the Bombay High Court. Thus, putting a question mark over the fate of students admitted by the shift-polytechnics. The Teachers Association for Non-aided Polytechnics (TAFNAP) had filed a PIL (No. 126/2008) in the high court, which is due for hearing on February 10. At least 22 of these shift-polytechnics had moved independent special leave petitions (SLPs) in the Supreme Court against the high court order. Following a hearing on January 16, 19 and 23, the apex court issued an order granting the interim stay and posted the next hearing for February 13. The interim stay is subject to condition that the concerned polytechnics admitted students upto the numbers approved by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), states the order passed by an apex court bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam. “In view of the SC order, we are now approaching the MSBTE with a plea to conduct the first semester winter exam for our students,” said K S Bandi, project director of the Nashik-based K K Wagh education society’s polytechnic, which led the move to the SC. MSBTE director G B Dhanokar told TOI, “We haven’t been approached yet by any of the concerned shift-polytechnics nor have we got any fresh directives either from the state government or any court on the matter.” Dhanokar said, “As of now, we are in the process of finalising results for the ongoing semester, which takes 40 days after the theory exams are over.” He said, “In case of any fresh directive that we may receive, we will call the board’s meeting to take a final call on the matter.” Dhanokar said, “On a previous occasion, before they moved the SC, the shift-polytechnics had approached the board, seeking a reconsideration of the latter’s decision regarding semester exam. We had then referred the issue to the state director of technical education (DTE) and the government, but we did not receive any response so far.” In its PIL before the high court, the TAFNAP has alleged irregularities in the process of allotment of these shift polytechnics, thereby causing contempt of the court’s order of August 22, 2008. The court then ruled that only those new institutions, which were sanctioned before June 30, should be allowed to go functional from 2008-09 while those sanctioned after June 30 be made operational from 2009-10. The state government’s special leave petition (SLP) against the high court’s August 22, 2008, order is pending in the Supreme Court. The AICTE’s clearance to the shift-polytechnics came on August 26, 2008, following which the state issued a government resolution (GR) on September 1, 2008, allotting shift polytechnics at 33 government-run and 29 unaided institutes. All unaided institutes completed their admissions within 10 days of the AICTE’s clearance and started running their classes.

Jaipur High Court Bar Association has defended its call
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/Jaipur_High_Court_Bar_Association_has_defended_its_call/articleshow/4031375.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0355 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: Jaipur High Court Bar Association has defended its call for the lawyers to take a decision on defending the terror accused in courts according to their conscience following the Jaipur serial blasts on May 13. Speaking to TOI, Jaipur High Court Bar Association president Madahav Mitra said, “We have given only a call and not forced anybody either accept or reject cases. The resolution upheld lawyers right to accept or reject according to the conscience of the lawyer when cases of the terror accused were offered,” he added. His reaction follows the issuance of notice by the Supreme Court on Friday to four Bar Councils of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra on the plea of laying down guidelines for protecting the rights of lawyers to defend terror accused as four advocates in a PIL alleged that they were forced to withdrew their vakalatnama’ for defending the serial blasts accused in their states and were subjected to harassment by the bar associations. Four lawyers Mohd Shoeb, from Lucknow , Zamal Ahmed from Faizabad, Noor Ahmed from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Surender Gadling from Maharashtra charged that the resolutions by Bar Associations barring lawyers from defending the accused were illegal and unprofessional. Mitra said, “We are waiting for the notice to reach us and we will defend our decision. It seems the petitioners might have misquoted our resolutions. We have not forced any of the lawyers on either way (accept or reject) the cases. We have given only a call and some advocates are already defending the terror accused in courts.” He said there was no cases of manhandling of advocates as mentioned in the petition reported here. Rajasthan Bar Council president Nasir Ali Naqvi said, “We have not received the notices and give a response only after going through the notices.”

Case history
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090126/jsp/frontpage/story_10425014.jsp

Only once in its 59-year history has the Supreme Court showed signs of almost buckling under. It was during Emergency, when it upheld the detention of Jayprakash Narayan, Morarji Desai, Bhimsen Sachar and Madhu Limaye under the much-dreaded Maintenance of Internal security Act, often called Misa.
Four judges, including Justice P.N. Bhagwati who later went on penitently, perhaps, to introduce public interest litigation (PIL), toed the government line when they said the right to life ceased to exist during Emergency.
One man, Justice H.R. Khanna, gave a dissenting view. It cost him the post. Indira Gandhi got him superseded. “That was the lowest point in Indian judicial history,” said former additional solicitor-general Altaf Ahmed.
Since then, the court has redeemed itself, regaining much lost ground when it came up with its “basic structure” (of the Constitution) doctrine that cut short Indira’s dreams to switch to a Presidential system.
That no one could touch the “basic structure” has been a thorn in the side of all subsequent governments.
Proactive judges, such as Justice Bhagwati and V.R. Krishna Iyer, have also changed the way courts function, making them more accessible to the poor. The courts found a way of getting around red tape and encouraged “public-spirited” individuals or groups to take up issues affecting people through PILs.
“The court’s rulings, expanding the scope of right to life to include clean air, water, surroundings, health, education, employment and sleep, touch the lives of millions,” says Ahmed.
Judiciary watchers also speak of the Mandal judgment, backing reservations for the backward classes, as an example of affirmative action.
“Judges, mostly from the higher castes, pushed the case of reservations,” Ahmed said, reflecting on the institution’s maturity.
A “mild-mannered” Chief Justice of India (V.N. Khare) gave a whip-lashing to the Gujarat government for failing to stick to its “Raj Dharma” at a time riots there posed a threat to Indian secularism, he added.
“Indian judiciary’s biggest achievement has been to ensure that democracy and rule of law are read together,” said constitutional expert Rajeev Dhavan. He contrasted this with the situation in Pakistan. “Pakistan’s judiciary developed a ‘usurper’ jurisprudence that justified any usurper of power, coup after coup…. As a result there’s no respect for rule of law there.”
In India, he said, “the judiciary told the executive clearly it cannot abandon the discipline of rule of law, placing us on a par with the best judiciaries in the world”.
Lawyer Prashant Bhushan singled out the Best Bakery carnage in which 14 Muslims had been burnt alive. In an exemplary instance of intervention, the apex court transferred the case from Gujarat to Maharashtra for re-trial. But Bhushan lamented that such examples were few.
The court’s response to new-era terror has been hopelessly “inadequate”, he said. “It has upheld draconian anti-terror laws and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act without addressing human rights concerns.”
“They (Supreme Court judges) have allowed victimisation and prolonged incarceration of peaceful and selfless activists like Binayak Sen (Chhattisgarh doctor who the state claims is a Naxalite sympathiser),” he said.
“This has resulted in a culture of impunity among police…. The message is that peaceful protest and resistance are useless, forcing many activists to rethink their strategy.”
Ahmed disputes the argument. He cites the examples of the Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi murder cases to argue that the institution has stood its ground on human rights. “(The) two Prime Ministers fell to terror. But many were acquitted for lack of evidence.”
The only other possible “aberration” was the Union Carbide case, where the court let those guilty of causing the world’s biggest industrial disaster walk free in return for a compensation that was inadequate, a keen judiciary watcher said. Three lakh people died in that incident but no one was taken to task, said an old-timer.
Dealing with dissent has been another challenge. Arundhati Roy’s faceoff with the apex court was “symptomatic” of the court’s “intolerance to dissent”, Ahmed said.
Burgeoning costs of litigation and delays have added to public disillusionment with the system. Corruption has become an issue after one former chief justice famously said that 20 per cent of judicial officers were “suspect”.
More recently, the court has tied itself in knots over its refusal to reveal assets of judges under the right to information act. “The judges, who are in the business of judging others, should also be willing to be judged,” Ahmed said.
Bhushan has other grievances against the system. “It is anti-poor,” he said. The apex court has time and again refused to recognise the rights of slum-dwellers. “It is pro-capitalist. Whenever it has had to choose between human rights and environment, it has chosen environment. But whenever it has had to choose between human rights/environment and corporate development, it has chosen corporate development.”
Another judiciary watcher said: “Criticism-wary judges go by the letter of the law and not the spirit, denying justice to many.”
Bhushan, an active campaigner for change in the judiciary, was emphatic that the institution was on the “decline”.
So will Justice Khanna’s “spirit of law” prevail and the judiciary correct itself or its status be reduced to, in Justice Stable’s words, “mice squeaking under a chair in the Home Office”?
Much will depend on how the judiciary responds to public demands to ensure quick, transparent justice. “If they (apex court judges) can ensure that criminalisation of politics is addressed, they will make a major breakthrough,” Dhavan said.
“Besides, they should put their house in order. They should not give the impression they have something to hide,” Ahmed added.
SAMANWAYA RAUTRAY

WHO CAN ROOT OUT THIS MAFIA?http://bangalorebuzz.blogspot.com/2009/01/who-can-root-out-this-mafia.html
Tree-cutting is lucrative business. A timber lobby claims a significant stake in every tree that is cut in and around the cityMini Joseph Tejaswi TNNBangalore: Is the Garden City in the grip of a timber mafia? Given that the city and its outskirts lost around 2 lakh trees (medium, large and very large) in the past 12 to 18 months to various development activities, it definitely seems so.While a sizable number of the trees cut were hardwood like mahogany, jackfruit, mango, millentonia, rain tree, etc, which are very expensive, a majority were softwood like jacaranda, cassia spectabilis, gulmohar, casuarina and others.The timber value of hardwood inthe market is very high, with the average price ranging between Rs 10 and Rs 40 lakh a piece. Softwood fetches between Rs 50,000 and Rs 2 lakh per tree.And here’s the scam. Bangalore’s municipal corporation sells a large 20-30 year-old tree for a mere Rs 3,000, irrespective of size or quality of the tree! Not surprisingly, the city corporation has received a princely sum of Rs 10 lakh from timber sales in the past two years.This bizarre scenario has spawned a timber lobby that claims a significant stake in every tree that is cut in and around the city. Worse, a similar timber mafia is active across the state as thousands of decades-old healthy trees are being felled mostly along state highways en route to say Tumkur, Hassan, Chikmagalur, Shimoga and Mangalore.“Certain officials from the BBMP, PWD and other departments are hand in glove with timber contractors. When the BBMP gets paid Rs 3,000 or so even for a large tree, some government officials who function as mediators (agents) get a huge ‘cut’ in the range of Rs 20,000 to Rs 50,000 per tree,” alleges a contractor.The defence for this situation comes from M R Suresh, tree officer of the BBMP, who says: “It’s tough to find tree cutters. Cutting and clearing involve a lot of labour. Also it’s mostly done at night to avoid traffic, so the labour becomes a bit cheaper.”How does the timber mafia work? Well, it’s an interesting operation. A group of tree surveyors tour the city to identify ‘vulnerable’ trees, that are on the footpath or closer to the brim of the road. They also scout for trees that are of high timber value, like mahogany, silver oak, mango tree, jackfruit, etc. “After this recce, with the blessings of certain government officials, they start manipulating the position of the tree, bring it as close as possible to the main road by thinning down the footpath, so that the tree can ‘lawfully’ fall under the axe,” says a BBMP gardener, who once was part of a recce team.Here’s a recent tree-cutting incident. There was a very large-spread ficus tree near the Queen’s statue in Cubbon Park. A small branch broke due to strong wind a month ago, but the tree was intact with other branches being sturdy.A few days later, the tree was fully chopped off. “I even got into a scuffle with the cutter, who told me he had bought it for Rs 2,000 from BBMP and given another Rs 20,000 to certain officers there. He also told me that if suddenly the corporation decides not to cut it, yielding to public pressure, his money would be lost. By the way, as per horticulture department, the wood value of the tree was Rs 6 lakh,” says a protester.The government’s enthusiasm to cut trees in the name of development and road widening shows no signs of abating. In over 60% of the cases the felling is not needbased, say observers.STORY OF MAHOGANY ON ST MARK’S ROADOn St Mark’s Road, right in front of Hard Rock Cafe, is a large-leaved mahogany tree. The height of its trunk is 7.5 metres, and the girth at breast height is 4.5 metres. It produces virgin oxygen worth Rs 1.5 lakh per annum and its timber value may be Rs 1 lakh. A few years ago, the corporation decided to cut this tree as part of its footpath width reduction exercise. When the woodcutter came in the night to cut the tree, a group of people including Prem Koshy of Koshy’s restaurant strongly protested. Later, Justice M F Saldanha passed a court order preventing the removal of the tree. So the tree is standing tall till date. “This probably is the only tree in the city that is saved by a court order. The timber value of a tree is hardly anything compared to the amount of oxygen it releases,” says Koshy. In this case, the woodcutter paid Rs 3,000 to the corporation as cost of the wood, and was planning to sell it for Rs 6 lakh to a timber merchant, who in turn estimated the value of the tree at Rs 20 lakh. HOW GOVT BODIES KILL TREES WHEN THEY DON’T CHOP THEMWhile BSNL and BWSSB cut the roots of the trees, Bescom cuts the branches. PWD pours boiling tar mixture onto the base of the trunk and roots, partially burning it and giving it no space to breathe or grow roots. A BBMP rule insists that a couple of feet of space should be left around each tree while laying roads.BACKGROUND In June 2008, the Karnataka High Court constituted a committee (on a PIL filed by a citizen group) to ensure that all transport (roads, flyovers, underpasses, Metro) work happening in the city will be cleared by it and a decision will be taken only in consultation with the public. Subsequently, the PIL moved the committee in July to ensure that all development projects comply with the court directive, failing which the project should be stayed. But as the committee never took up the PIL for hearing, the complainants were forced to go to the Lok Adalat, whose first hearing on November 24 was inconclusive. VOICES Tree-felling has been flourishing in the city. Irreparable damage has been done already. No green talk is transpiring into action on the ground. Green studies and seminars conducted by universities and other agencies are mere classroom subjects, with no implication/impact whatsoever on the ecology. — N Nandini READER AND PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE, BANGALORE UNIVERSITYIn most cases, cutting of trees is not required and is illegal. It’s not done with genuine intention. The government is talking about widening 91 roads in the city. With just five roads, we’ve lost thousands of trees. — Leo Saldanha COORDINATOR AT ENVIRONMENT SUPPORT GROUP
posted by The Bangalorean @ 1/26/2009 08:41:00 AM

Showcause to State on ADC elections
http://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=10..260109.jan09
Source: The Sangai Express / Newmai News Network
Imphal, January 25 2009: Following the move of the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench to have passed an order show-causing the Government of Manipur on January 22 as to why elections to the six Autonomous District Councils in the hill areas could not be held in the past 19/20 years, the Indigenous Democratic Front (IDF) has expressed hope that the action of the Court would mean a path for the grass-root level self governance.Former ANSAM vice president and current president of Indigenous Democratic Front (IDF) Ngachonmi Chamroy had filed a writ petition in the form of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) under Article 226 of the Constitution of India in the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench on December 19, 2008.Advocate R Daniel is the counsel for the petitioner.The hearing of this case was held in the division court of Justice BD Agarwal and Justice Mutum Binoykumar on January 22 after which the double bench, Gauhati High Court had passed an order show-causing to the Government of Manipur to explain within two weeks time as to why elections to the Autonomous District Council in the hill areas could not be held for all these years i.e 19/20 years.As per order of the Court, the State Government is supposed to give necessary response by February 4 to the High Court.Meanwhile, informing Newmai News Network, the Indigenous Democratic Front (IDF) has asked as to what had the State Government done during the last two decades when there has been the existence of Manipur District Council Act, 1971 and that the supersession period order of the government was only for six months.The six Autonomous District Councils are Churachandpur, Tamenglong, Sardar Hills, Senapati, Ukhrul and Chandel.The Indigenous Democratic Front (IDF) has further informed that the January 22 move of the Gauhati High Court will ‘create a big room for the people to participate in self governance at the grass-root level.’ The IDF then warned that in the event of the State Government failing to oblige to the order of the Gauhati High Court, the Front will fight tooth and nail to deliver goods by staging sternest forms of agitation in the State.IDF claims that its area of operation covers the whole state of Manipur.

Foreign law firms may be allowed in India on reciprocal basis: CJI
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/foreign-law-firms-may-be-allowed-in-indiareciprocal-basis-cji/01/09/347126/
Press Trust Of India / New Delhi January 26, 2009, 0:28 IST
Joining the intense debate over the opening of legal services on which the country’s legal fraternity is divided, Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan has said foreign law firms may be allowed to enter India on a reciprocal basis.
“They (foreign-based law firms) could only be allowed entry here if they do the same for us. It has to be on the basis of reciprocity,” Balakrishnan told PTI in an interview. He said the debate over allowing foreign-based law firms was going on for a long time but “until and unless other countries open the field for our lawyers, they cannot be given entry”.
According to Balakrishnan, unilateral permission to allow foreign lawyers practice in India would not be a wise step. “How could you allow them when you are not permitted to work in other country?” the CJI questioned. Speaking on the issue, Union Law Minister HR Bhardwaj last week had said Indian lawyers would gain with the opening of the legal sector to foreign companies.
“Initiatives taken by the law ministry (with regard to opening of the legal sector to foreign firms) would cause no harm to the Indian bar,” Bhardwaj had said. The government is facing enormous pressure from World Trade Organization (WTO) and other organisations to open the legal sector in the country for foreign-based law firms.
The commerce and industry ministry, which is the nodal ministry to deal with the WTO had floated a paper in May, 2006, and sought opinion from the legal fraternity and also sought the view of the law ministry. The commerce ministry is still awaiting the response of the law ministry on this issue as there is a division among the legal fraternity on opening of the legal services.
Although many large Indian law firms having international clients and are pitching for the entry of foreign firms, the litigating lawyers and advocates are opposing the move.

Our Constitutions 60th birthday!!
http://pathkikhoj.blogspot.com/2009/01/our-constitutions-60th-birthday.html
Monday, January 26, 2009
Saare Jahan Se Acha Hindustan humara….Since its very first mention by Mr. Muhammad Iqbal( he then swung like a pendulum and proposed a 2 nation theory ), this phrase has been immortalized by the utterances of many.60 years ago we formally adopted our constitution and the nation presented itself a sacred document that was to guide us into a new era. It promised us a LOT!WE, THE PEOPLE OF INDIA, having solemnly resolved to constitute India into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens:JUSTICE, social, economic and political;LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship;EQUALITY of status and of opportunity;and to promote among them allFRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.
Can we proudly sing about the achievement of these ideals?We have been successful in our holding of “free and fair elections”. Nehru sowed in us the democratic ideals pretty well and the “fledging and largest democracy” is what we are reaping.
The document has been fairly respected for what it is, but what about the justice, liberty, equality and the fraternity it visions for ALL its citizens. What seems prevalent is the Justice, as talked about by Thrasymachus in Plato’s Republic, as “the interest of the stronger” . The Jessica Lall case and then the elevation of the judge S L Bhayana to the High Court,the Saumitra Sen episode and the remarks of our CJI drives home the point.
We do enjoy our Liberty of expression.Mr Hussein has had to flee the country and take refuge in some other nation, exactly because of this liberty that we enjoy and he thought he had. Of course we enjoy our liberty of religion and faith. Are we proud of what happened in Kandhamal and the numerous communal riots that have been waged in our country?Is this the fraternity and secularity our sacred document is talking about?
We are proud of our country and the ideals that it stands for, but things at times don’t look that good and glossy. At times all that is shining is not the true and the incredible India.Where the mind is without fear and the head is held highWhere knowledge is freeWhere the world has not been broken up into fragmentsBy narrow domestic wallsWhere words come out from the depth of truthWhere tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfectionWhere the clear stream of reason has not lost its wayInto the dreary desert sand of dead habitWhere the mind is led forward by theeInto ever-widening thought and actionInto that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.Rabindranath TagoreGeetanjali(1912)

HC rejects plea of accused in trafficking case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/HC_rejects_plea_of_accused_in_trafficking_case/articleshow/4034090.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0319 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The efforts of an accused in an immoral trafficking case, Mohan Reddy, to get out of jail failed with the Madras high court dismissing his habeas corpus petition last week. A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice R Subbiah rejected the petition, pointing out that an identical petition filed by Reddy’s wife had been dismissed by the court earlier. Noting that there were no new grounds or facts to entertain the new petition, the bench said Reddy had failed to show that there was no requirement for his continued detention. The Chennai city commissioner of police passed an order to detain Reddy on June 11, 2008 under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Prevention of Dangerous Activities of Bootleggers, Drug Offenders, Forest Offenders, Goondas, Immoral Traffic Offenders, Sand Offenders, Slum Grabbers and Video Pirates Act, 1982. The order was passed after the city police arrested him in connection with criminal cases, which led to the rescue of two girls from his custody. His wife Jyothi moved a habeas corpus plea which was dismissed by the high court in October 2008. While no appeal has been filed against that order, Mohan Reddy preferred the present petition stating that there were new facts and circumstances. Dismissing it, the judges said typographical errors in detention orders could not be construed as contradiction, and that other grounds of challenge such as variation in the time of arrest, confession statement and arrest report could have been raised before the earlier bench where the first habeas corpus petition was filed. Rejecting Reddy’s claim that he did not know Tamil and that he had been furnished all documents in Tamil, the judges referred to the prosecution statement that Reddy was facing a criminal trial in a magistrate court since 2003 and that he never asked for copies in Tamil.

Court notice to Boyle to change Slumdog…’s title
http://ibnlive.in.com/news/court-notice-to-boyle-to-change-slumdogs-title/83795-8.html
CNN-IBN
Published on Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 17:08, Updated on Tue, Jan 27, 2009 at 18:15
New Delhi: Slumdog Millionaire maybe creating waves across the globe but it’s title has landed the film’s makers in a soup.
According to reports, Andheri Corporator Nicolas Almeida had filed a PIL in court against the allegedly offensive name of the film earlier this week.
In reaction to the PIL, now a court in Andheri, Mumbai, has issued a notice to the makers of Slumdog Millionaire.
The accusation suggests that the film Slumdog Millionaire calls Indians dogs and slum dwellers, slum-dogs and has demanded the makers change the film’s title to Slum-dash Millionaire.
And that is not all. The film also ran into trouble with the Hindu Jan Jagriti Samiti which held a demonstration at Dadar against what they call is an offensive depiction of Lord Ram in one of the film’s scenes. This incident took place earlier last week.
The Samiti has also sent a petition to the Censor Board, requesting them to delete this scene. They had also claimed that it may incite communal passion.

River networking project a non-starter
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/River_networking_project_a_non-starter/articleshow/4033781.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0028 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra , TNN
NEW DELHI: After seven years and much water having flown down, the fate of the ambitious Rs 5,00,000 crore river networking project proposing linkages between major rivers by the year 2016 has virtually remained a non-starter and the detailed project report (DPR) is virtually in cold storage. Frustrated with the slow progress in the matter for last three years and the reluctance of the UPA government to give shape to the project born under the NDA regime, the Supreme Court had on November 25 last year told the Centre “to file a status report indicating the Bar Chart also”. But, two months has not been enough, as was before, for the Centre to respond to the Supreme Court’s order. Neither the Bar Chart nor the status report has been filed before the court, which would again take up the case for hearing for the 19th time since it first issued notice on the matter on October 29, 2002, acting on a PIL filed by amicus curiae Ranjit Kumar. The project is aimed to end droughts and control floods, but many states, including Orissa, Maharashtra, Haryana and Delhi, have not even bothered to mark their attendance in the hearing of the case in the last seven years, the Supreme Court registry noted in its latest report. Kumar had filed the petition following then President A P J Abdul Kalam’s Independence Day-eve speech to the nation suggesting inter-linking of rivers to curtail shortage of water and control floods. Inter-linking of rivers was an idea put forth in the NDA’s election manifesto, but it was brought to the court’s notice for the first time by Dravida Peravai general secretary N Nandhivarman in 2001 who recalled that inter-linking of the Ganga and Cauvery was first mooted in 1972 by then Union irrigation minister K L Rao. Acting on the SC order, the NDA government in December 2002 set up a task force headed by Suresh Prabhu which focused on earlier identified 30 links and prepared a time-table for its implementation. The preparation of plans and alternative plans were to be completed by July 2003 and the feasibility study of the inter-linking routes by December 2005. A Detailed Project Report (DPR) for each link was to be ready by December 2006 and they were to be implemented in the next 10 years, that is by the year 2016. In 2003, the NDA government had told the apex court that “river networking has been taken up with utmost priority and that work has started to link rivers Betwa and Parvati in the states Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh”. But the latest office report submitted to the apex court by its registry presents a gloomy picture. It said despite reminders, the Centre has not filed the status report. “States of Kerala, Tamil Nadu have not filed affidavits,” it said. Maharashtra, which was directed by the SC to submit an affidavit relating to signing of certain memorandum of understanding (MoU) relating to inter-linking work, has also not filed anything, it said. And there are other states, which are even more unconcerned about this massive project though they face flood and drought almost every year. Orissa, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana and Delhi have not even bothered to register their presence during the hearing formally by filing of `Vakalatnama’, the registry noted. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

Why Kerala politicians see red & yellow in his journalism
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/why-kerala-politicians-see-red-&-yellow-in-his-journalism/415578/0
Shaju Philip Posted: Jan 27, 2009 at 0249 hrs IST
Thiruvanananthapuram: Journalists in Kerala may be reluctant to count Thekke Palangadu Nandakumar as one among them but no other editor has tormented the state’s political class as the 45-year-old has.
For the past 12 years, his magazine, Crime, brought out from a three-room rented building in Kozhikode’s Puthiyara, has haunted Kerala’s politicians of all hues and religious leaders. Fortnight after fortnight, Nandakumar’s Crime, which was a soft-porn magazine till he bought it over in 1997, hits the newsstands with exposes—some real, others far-fetched but all sensational.
Last week, the former activist of the CPM’s youth wing had reasons to sit back and smile. One of his cover stories, followed up with a public interest litigation (PIL), had just hit the most powerful politician in Kerala, CPM’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan. “Crime was the first to expose the SNC Lavalin scam in 2001, with a report about the worthlessness of the equipment imported. Several documents regarding the scam were given by the late CPM leader E Balanandan, whose expert committee had advised Pinarayi against the deal. Balanandan was concerned that corruption should get exposed as no other media would dare to take on the powerful CPM,” says Nandakumar.
But for Nandakumar, the case would have died a natural death. It was his PIL that led to the CBI probe and whenever he felt the agency was developing cold feet, he would move the court again, and again—as many as seven times. “In 2005, I wrote about Pinarayi’s shady dealings in the Lavalin contract. Crime also said it was the late CPM leader Harkishan Singh Surjeet’s son who linked Pinarayi with Lavlin. Enraged by the expose, CPM activists set the magazine’s Kozhikode office on fire. Valuable documents were destroyed. Copies of Crime were seized from all bookstalls across the state and burned,” he says.
Nandakumar says the party has gone after him ever since. “Several bookstalls were threatened with dire consequences if they sold Crime. The bookhouses run by the party daily Deshabhimani were banned from selling Crime. One of its staff members was expelled for selling Crime. Now, the circulation (of Crime) has come down from 3 lakh to 60,000,” says Nandakumar.
Nandakumar had filed a petition in the High Court, alleging that Pinarayi had threatened to “finish him off.” The HC has referred the case to the lower court which is hearing the case on the attack on the magazine’s office.
*Pinarayi is not Crime’s lone target in the CPM. M A Baby, state minister and Central Committee member, filed a defamation case against him on a 1998 report which alleged that Baby misused his position as an MP to raise funds for a cultural organization that he ran.
*Nandakumar has filed another petition in the High Court seeking a probe into the wealth of Pinarayi, Baby and state Finance Minister TM Thomas Isaac.
*It’s not just the Left. Crime’s 1997 report on the Kozhikode ice cream parlour sex racket blew the lid off the scandal in which Muslim League leader P K Kunhalikutty was involved. The story was picked up by the mainstream media and the Left.
*In 2002, Nandakumar reported that Congress leader Shobana George was behind a fake intelligence report, leaked to a news channel, which linked her party colleague K V Thomas to a hawala racket.
*His reports on the alleged sexual harassment at the Catholic church-run Divine Retreat Centre in Thrissur led to a Government inquiry and court intervention.
But his “investigative journalism” is often spiced up with a mix of sex and sleaze. Nandakumar proudly talks about an issue which chronicled the “perversions” of rich girls in a Kerala college that sold around “10 lakh copies.” Crime has published 60 “love letters” to “various girls” written by Kerala’s foremost public intellectual Sukumar Azhikode and now plans to bring out a collection.
“Crime is a yellow magazine. It does not even deserve the name of journalism. Crime’s growth and market should be seen as part of a systemic degeneration,” says a senior CPM leader. Says media analyst B R P Bhaskar: “Nandakumar has been engaged in muck-raking journalism which has its role in society. On many occasions, the mainstream media has been forced to follow up the scandals he brought out. Apart from exposing the scandals, he also takes the issues into the court, which give his stories more publicity.”
Nandakumar has so far faced 22 cases—mostly for defamation—but says he has only been “convicted only in three.” His appeals against convictions are pending in the High Court. Nandakumar says the allegation that his magazine—which has 25 employees including eight journalists on its payroll—peddles porn is baseless. “Crime has not carried obscene pictures or porn. To show my publication in poor light, several magazines were brought out under the same title. I went to the court and got them banned,” he says.

Kiliroor: Hearing on PIL today
http://keralaonline.com/news/kiliroor-hearing-pil-today_18807.html
Thiruvananthapuram, Tuesday, January 27, 2009: The Thiruvananthapuram Judicial First Class Magistrate Court will today begin it’s hearing on the Public Interest Litigation filed by advocate P.S.Nagaraj in connection with the missing of files pertaining to Kiliroor sex scandal case.
Earlier, the Cantonment Police on Thursday registered a case against six persons, including Health Minister P.K.Sreemathi and two members of the Chief Minister’s personal staff in connection with an alleged attempt to torpedo the Kiliroor sex scandal case.
Sreemathi has been named as the sixth accused and sons of two State Ministers have been named as the fourth and fifth accused in the case. Chief Minister’s Private Secretary S.Rajendran, Political Secretary K.N.Balagopal and Latha Nair are the first, second and third accused respectively. The case has been registered under the IPC Sections 120B (punishment of criminal Conspiracy), Section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information), Section 379 (punishment for theft), 304(a) (causing death by negligence) and Section 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention).

High Court seeks advocate general’s views on Lavalin case
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/56527.htm
Jan 27th, 2009 By Sindh Today
Kochi, Jan 27 (IANS) A division bench of the Kerala High Court Tuesday sought Advocate General C.P. Sudhakara Prasad’s views on a petition filed by an NGO for prosecuting Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan, accused in a multi-million rupee scam by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
The CBI, in its detailed report last week to both the Kerala High Court and the CBI court in Kochi, accused Vijayan and 10 others of having been involved in wrongly awarding the contracts to renovate two hydro-power projects to Canadian company SNC Lavalin 12 years ago.
Vijayan was state electricity minister in 1997 when SNC Lavlin was given the contract in which the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) had found irregularities.
The division bench of acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy and Justice V. Giri asked Prasad for his views to be filed before next Monday.
Kochi-based NGO People’s Council for Civil Rights had last week filed a petition to prosecute Vijayan, stating that no sanction was required from the prosecution side.
The NGO had filed the petition after reports surfaced that the CBI, to proceed against Vijayan, has to get a sanction from the prosecution since he is a former minister.
The NGO said no such sanction was required, citing Supreme Court rulings.
The CBI, meanwhile, told the court that their investigation was complete and handed over the findings in a sealed cover.

CONSUMER NEWS
http://consumersright.blogspot.com/2009/01/consumer-news.html
Government agencies to coordinate sale of onion in Delhi:NAFED, Mother Dairy, Kendriya Bhandar and Delhi Government’s Food and Supplies Department would act in coordination with each other and continue their present market intervention measures for sale of onion in Delhi.Ahmedabad Consumer Forum asks United India Insurance to pay compensation:The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Ahmedabad District (Rural), has ordered United India Insurance Company

to pay compensation of over 5,000 US dollars to one Smruti Bhasker Patel in an overseas medical claim policy.Chair on consumer law and practice to be set up at NLSIU, Bangalore:A Chair on Consumer Law and Practice will be set up at National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. An agreement to this effect was signed here today between Department of Consumer Affairs and NLSIU in the presence of Shri Sharad Pawar Minister for Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution and Agriculture.Gold hallmark to be made mandatory next year:To protect consumer interest, the Bureau of Indian Standards will soon make the presence of Hallmark on gold jewellery mandatory starting next year

Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Republic Day (26th January) http://dalitindia.blogspot.com/2009/01/dr-b-r-ambedkar-on-republic-day-26th.html
Sunday, January 25, 2009Dr. B. R. Ambedkar on Republic Day (26th January) On 26th January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics, we will have equality and in social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril. We must remove this contradiction at the earliest possible moment else those who suffer from inequality will blow up the structure of democracy which this Constituent Assembly has so laboriously built up. “I feel that the constitution is workable, it is flexible and it is strong enough to hold the country together both in peacetime and in wartime. Indeed, if I may say so, if things go wrong under the new Constitution, the reason will not be that we had a bad Constitution. What we will have to say is that Man was vile.” “There is no nation of Indians in the real sense of the world, it is yet to be created. In believing we are a nation, we are cherishing a great delusion. How can people divided into thousand of castes be a nation? The sooner we realise that we are not yet a nation, in a social and psychological sense of the world, the better for us.” “Independence is no doubt a matter of joy. But let us not forget that this independence has thrown on us greater responsibilities. By independence, we have lost the excuse of blaming the British for anything going wrong. If hereafter things go wrong, we will have nobody to blame except ourselves. There is a greater danger of things going wrong. Times are fast changing,” “Our object in framing the Constitution is rally two-fold: (1) To lay down the form of political democracy, and (2) To lay down that our ideal is economic democracy and also to prescribe that every Government whatever is in power shall strive to bring about economic democracy. The directive principles have a great value, for they lay down that our ideal is economic democracy.” http://www.youtube.com/dalitjade

NCW takes notice of Mangalore incident
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/NCW_takes_notice_of_Mangalore_incident/articleshow/4034505.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0352 hrs IST, TNN
National Commission for Women (NCW) on Monday condemned the attack on girls in a pub in Karnataka’s coastal city of Mangalore by a self-styled moral brigade called Sri Rama Sene. The commission has taken suo moto cognizance of the incident and member in-charge of South India will be flying to Karnataka to hold a meeting with DGP Karnataka to probe the case. Nirmala Venkatesh, member in-charge of South India, has reacted sharply saying it was violation of a woman’s individuality and freedom. She said the existing Section 354 IPC needs an amendment: “The section outraging a woman’s modesty needs to be amended. There should be a more stringent punishment than just two years’ imprisonment and instead of being a bailable offence with some fine, the offence should be made non-bailable… so that there is stronger deterrent and hooligans don’t get off the hook that easily.” Recalling another incident where women were assaulted by drunken men on New Year’s eve in posh south Mumbai, Venkatesh said the culprits had got off easily at that time. “One has to set some precedent and come down harshly on such anti-social elements. And due action needs to be taken against them. The culprits arrested should actually be booked under 307 (A), attempt to murder. It was obnoxious sight to see how the young girls were dragged and punched by men, and shoved out of the bar. Two women had to hospitalized as well.” Barkha Singh, chairperson of Delhi Commission for Women, also condemned the attack on the girls. “This is a violation of individual freedom. Who are they to stop girls on the grounds of culture? Nobody has a right to behave as culture police. It should be taken seriously and culprits should be punished severely,” she said.

Yeddyurappa answerable for Mangalore attack, says Renuka Chowdhary
http://www.newstrackindia.com/newsdetails/65114
National,Politics, Mon, 26 Jan 2009 IANS
New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) Union Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhary Monday said that Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa is answerable for the attack on women at a pub in Mangalore by members of a self-styled pro-Hindutva group.
Demanding an explanation from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) state government, Chowdhary directed the National Commission for Women (NCW) to investigate the incident.

Activists of a group, calling itself Shri Ram Sena, barged into a pub Saturday afternoon and bashed up and molested a few young women for ‘violating traditional Indian norms’.

‘The Karnataka chief minister is answerable for the attack. I will go to Mangalore, if required,’ Chowdhary told a TV channel.

At least two girls were punched and pulled by their hair by the activists Saturday at the pub Amnesia – The Lounge in Mangalore city.

Critising the incident, Chowdhary said it was an attempt by the radical Hindu group to ‘Talibanise India’ and it was unacceptable.

The attack on the girls has been widely condemned by activists, politicians and people from different walks of life.

Describing it as a shocking incident, NCW Chairman Girija Vyas said members of the self-styled moral brigade alleged obscenity by the girls, but were themselves found ‘misbehaving and molesting’ the girls.

‘All of them should be punished,’ she said.

The national leadership of the BJP has condemned the attack and said the culprits did not belong to their party or the Sangh Parivar.

BJP president Rajnath Singh told reporters that he would discuss the matter with the Karnataka chief minister.

‘The culprits must be booked and brought to justice,’ Singh said.


Techie’s kin get Rs 9L in mishap case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Techies_kin_get_Rs_9L_in_mishap_case/articleshow/4034005.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0033 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Motor Accident Claim Tribunal (MACT) awarded a compensation of Rs 8.76 lakh to the family of a techie, who was crushed to death by a tractor
four years ago. Stating the accident as act of “negligence” as the driver of the tractor was driving beyond the permissible speed limit, MACT judge ordered that the amount should be divided among the deceased’s wife, children and parents. A sum of Rs 8,76,000 along with simple interest at 7.5 percent per annum is passed in the favour of deceased’s family, the court said, while directing the insurance company to put a part of the amount in fixed deposit in a nationalized bank for the family. The incident happened on April 8, 2005, when 30-year-old Subhash Chand, a computer techie, was coming from Shahpur Chowk on a bicycle when a speeding tractor from the opposite direction hit his bicycle. Due to the impact, Subhash fell on the road and was crushed by the tractor. Subhash suffered multiple injuries and expired on the same day at the GTB Hospital. The victim’s family filed a case against the driver, owner of the tractor and claimed damages of Rs 10 lakh. The prosecution contended that the National Insurance Company Ltd, with which the offending vehicle was insured, be liable to pay the amount. The insurance company, in its defence, said that the driver was liable to pay the amount as during investigation, it was revealed that the driver of the offending vehicle didn’t had a valid licence. Rejecting the insurance company’s contention, MACT judge said, “The driving licence in question was very well showing the holder to be qualified to drive a heavy goods vehicle as well as heavy passenger motor vehicle….even otherwise, a person qualified to drive a heavy goods or passengers vehicle would obviously be entitled to drive a tractor as well.

Terrorists are ‘animals’: SC judge
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Terrorists_are_animals_says_Supreme_Court_judge_/articleshow/4038562.cms
27 Jan 2009, 2130 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: A senior judge of the Supreme Court on Tuesday likened terrorists killing innocent people to “animals” and said they cannot be allowed to take benefit of human rights. “Those who violate the rights of society and have no respect for human rights cannot be a human,” Justice Arijit Pasayat said at a seminar on terrorism here. “We should not talk about human rights violation of terrorists because terrorists are the people who kill innocent people with AK-47 and AK-56,” he said, adding that “those who killed innocent people by no stretch of imagination are human beings. They are worth not more than animals.” Pasayat stressed the need for effective implementation of the new terror law and said that “investigators and prosecutors should be trained properly in this regard”. He said cases relating to terror attacks should be taken on priority basis as “it is the object of the Act”. Solicitor General G E Vahanvati while referring to the November 26 terror attacks in Mumbai said as a lawyer it would have been difficult for him to defend lone surviving terrorist Amir Ajmal Kasab. “If I would have been asked to defend Kasab, probably I would have refused,” Vahanvati, who hails from Mumbai, said. The solicitor general said he could not defend a person against his conviction. “If I go and defend a person against my conviction it would be unfair,” he said.

I-T department begins probe into Satyam scam
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Satyam_scam_I-T_department_begins_probe/articleshow/4036264.cms
27 Jan 2009, 1348 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: The Income Tax department is independently probing the Rs 7,800-crore accounting fraud in Satyam with a focus on tax deducted at source and benami deals. “We are conducting an independent probe into the Satyam case,” Central Board of Direct Taxes chairman N B Singh told reporters here on Tuesday. The I-T department will look into tax deducted at source and benami deals, if any, by Satyam, he said. He, however, declined to give a timeline for the completion of the probe, saying, “The duration cannot be fixed, but we will try to hasten up the process.” Already, the Andhra Pradesh police, market regulator SEBI and the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) are investigating the fraud disclosed by Satyam founder Ramalinga Raju on January 7. The SFIO has been given three months to complete its probe, although the investigating team has not been able to access Raju and others for interrogation yet. Raju, his brother Rama Raju, the company’s former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas and two representatives of the company’s auditors, PricewaterhouseCoopers, are in judicial custody.

Noida encounter: Many loopholes in police theory
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Noida_encounter_Many_loopholes_in_police_theory/articleshow/4034140.cms
27 Jan 2009, 0200 hrs IST, Lalit Kumar & Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN
NOIDA/LUCKNOW: Talk about coincidence. Two terrorists, out to stage a Republic Day attack in Delhi, stopped at a tea stall to ask for directions from a man ― who just happened to be a police informer, related to a constable. Not just that, the barrel of an AK gun was peeping out from their bag. The hawk-eyed informer spotted this and promptly told the cops. Too pat for comfort? Well, that’s the version of the UP ATS. And that’s not the only thing that raises increasing doubts about the veracity of the pre-dawn Noida encounter. The two alleged Pakistani terrorists who were gunned down on Sunday morning weren’t carrying either a satellite phone or a mobile, the UP Anti-Terrorist Squad said on Monday. This would make it a first among major terror strikes in recent times where the attackers had no means of communicating among themselves or receiving instructions from their handlers. Experts say, for terror outfits, communication is a crucial element of any operation, be it the 26/11 Mumbai attack or the Delhi serial blasts. That’s not all. It now surfaces that there are two versions on where the ATS team started chasing the militants. The ATS says the pursuit began from Amity checkpost in Noida, which is around 6km from the spot where the alleged terrorists, Farookh and Ismail, were killed. A press note issued by the director general of police headquarters in Lucknow said that after the vehicle was spotted near the Amity police outpost and the ATS men waved it to stop, the Maruti took a right turn and tried to speed off. A hot pursuit, exchange of fire and final assault by the men in uniform finally brought the curtains down on the ambush, it added. Noida police sources, however, maintain that the terrorists ― who “confessed” before dying that they were from Pakistan ― were chased for 25km starting from Lal Kuan area in Ghaziabad, where the informer first spotted their “suspicious activities”. The nature of the tip-off too raises doubts. Asked how the police informer became suspicious, deputy inspector general (ATS) Lucknow, Rajiv Krishna, said he had seen them with an AK rifle. The barrel of the rifle was sticking out of an unzipped portion of a bag, he explained, adding that the informer was actually a relative of a police constable. “The barrel of AK rifles has a typical `A’ shaped target guide. The informer saw the bag and noticed that ‘A’ jutting out,” explained Krishna. It appears from this version that the terrorists were incredibly indiscreet about the arms they were carrying for the mission. According to the ATS, the informer had even communicated to them his perception that the two suspects did not appear to be locals and their dialect had a `Muslim touch’. “Actually, the two suspects stopped at a tea-stall near Lal Kuan, and by sheer luck, they asked our informer about the route and distance to Delhi,” Krishna said. The terrorists, with gun jutting out of a bag, asking an informer about the route to Delhi on Republic Day eve! Sheer coincidence or a badly constructed tale? If you add to this the claim that the terrorists were trying to enter the Capital in the early morning of R-Day ― when security was likely to be at its tightest ^ the version appears incredible. The ATS, however, is sticking to its guns. Said Brij Lal, additional director general of police, law and order, Crime and Anti-Terrorist Squad, “There is a bullet mark on the vehicle that was leading the chase. One of our jawans even suffered a bullet injury on his leg and is still in hospital. In fact, a surgery had to be performed on his wound on Monday to help it heal faster.” “As far as the suspects’ car is concerned (which has no bullet marks), the cops chasing them targeted the lower portion of the car and it was because of this that one of the rear tyres was punctured, forcing them to abandon the vehicle and run for cover in the open,” Brij Lal said. Interestingly, the encounter site in sector 97 Noida is the same spot where a criminal, Narendra, alias Kalu, was shot dead on December 18, 2008. He had allegedly murdered three businessmen in Baghpat a few weeks earlier. That’s not all. Three other criminals, including gangster Birju Pahadi, were gunned down at exactly this spot on April 17 last year. A Noida police officer said, “Well, that is a lonely spot where criminals can hide, absolutely undisturbed. Besides, these may just be a coincidence.”

Shiv Sena MP arrested for attack on hotel, granted bail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Shiv_Sena_MP_arrested_for_attack_on_hotel_granted_bail/articleshow/4034860.cms
27 Jan 2009, 1500 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Shiv Sena MP and Saamna executive editor Sanjay Raut was on Tuesday arrested for allegedly “leading the attack” on a five-star hotel in Mumbai last week but was later granted bail by a local court. The Rajya Sabha member was arrested by the Mumbai Police and produced before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate, which remanded him in judicial custody till February 5. Raut’s lawyers then filed a bail application before the same court, which released him on a personal bond of Rs 5000. Raut was booked under IPC sections related to rioting, said a senior police official from Sahar police station. He was arrested on Tuesday morning in connection with the attack on Hotel Intercontinental in suburban Andheri by Shiv Sena-led Bhartiya Kamgar Sena (BKS) on January 21. At least 53 BKS members, who were arrested in the case, were also granted bail of Rs 5000 each by the court. The mob had vandalized the lobby and kitchen of the hotel to protest the sacking of 21 employees of the hotel by the management.

Recent Judgments
SC invokes public trust doctrine
http://practicalacademic.blogspot.com/2009/01/recent-judgments.html
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd. v. Minguel Martins, Civil Appeal No. 4154 of 2000. Date of Judgment 20-01-09
An interesting case where the attempt of the petitoner to secure a part of seashore as private beach is set naught by the SC. The court has discussed the ‘doctrine of public trust’ and found that the action of the petitioner is in violation of the doctrine.
Make sure your driver is having a valid license, or be ready to pay the compensation in case of accident
National Insurance Company Ltd. v. Meena Aggarwal, SLP(C ) No. 19513 of 2006. Date of Judgement 23-01-09
SC reversed the order of the State and National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commissions directing the insurance company to pay compensation to the victims of the accident. The undisputed facts reveal that the driver had no licence and he was plying the vehicle on commercial purpose, whereas it was registered as private vehicle. The holding of the commissions was based on the reasoning that there was no fundamental breach of the terms of the policy.
SC reversed the order highlighting an earlier decision of the court where it was held that “[t]he owner would be liable for payment of compensation in a case where the driver was not having a licence at all. It was the obligation on the part of the owner to take adequate care to see that the driver had an appropriate licence to drive the vehicle.”
Apprentice is not an employee in the common parlance of the term
New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. M/S. Abhilash Jewellery, Civil Appeal No. 7972 OF 2002. Date of Judgment 22-01-09
The respondent had a policy called Jeweller’s Block Policy for Rs.1,15,00,000/- with the appellant. During the pendency of the policy the repsondent lodged a claim for the loss of jewellery. The loss was occasioned from the custody of an apprentice . The relevant clause in the contract reads thus
S. 11(a) property insured whilst in the custody of the insured, his partner or his employees.
The decision of the case depended upon the interpretation of the expression ’employee’, which was not defined in the contract. The National Commission determined the issue in favour of the respondent holding that an apprentice is an employee as per the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act and the Employees State Insurance Act.
The SC reversed this decision on the reasoning that “[t]he present case is covered solely by the contract of insurance.That contract of insurance no doubt uses the word ’employee’, but it does not say that the word ’employee’ in the contract of insurance will have the same meaning as in the Kerala Shops and Commercial Establishments Act or the Employees State Insurance Act or any other enactment.”
Since the contract has not defined the term, the term employee has to be understood in the common parlance. In common parlance, an apprentice is not considered as an employee. At the best he is only a trainee and there is no master – servant relationship even if stipend is paid.
Recall Petition
Asit Kumar v. State of W.B. Writ Petition (civil) No. 110 of 2008. Date of Judgment 21-01-09
The SC distinguished between petition under Article 32, review petition and recall petition in the following words
“There is a distinction between a petition under Article 32, a review petition and a recall petition. While in a review petition the Court considers on merits where there is an error apparent on the face of the record, in a recall petition the Court does not go into the merits but simply recalls an order which was passed without giving an opportunity of hearing to an affected party.”
On the right of private defence
Ranveer Singh v. State of M.P., Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.3905 of 2008. Date of Judgment 21-01-09
“Section 96, IPC provides that nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of the right of private defence. The Section does not define the expression `right of private defence’. It merely indicates that nothing is an offence which is done in the exercise of such right. Whether in a particular set of circumstances, a person legitimately acted in the exercise of the right of private defence is a question of fact to be determined on the facts and circumstances of each case. No test in the abstract for determining such a question can be laid down. In determining this question of fact, the Court must consider all the surrounding circumstances. It is not necessary for the accused to plead in so many words that he acted in self-defence. If the circumstances show that the right of private defence was legitimately exercised, it is open to the Court to consider such a plea. In a given case the Court can consider it even if the accused has not taken it, if the same is available to be considered from the material on record. Under Section 105 of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 … the burden of proof is on the accused, who sets up the plea of self-defence, and, in the absence of proof, it is not possible for the Court to presume the truth of the plea of self-defence. The Court shall presume the absence of such circumstances. It is for the accused to place necessary material on record either by himself adducing positive evidence or by eliciting necessary facts from the witnesses examined for the prosecution. An accused taking the plea of the right of private defence is not necessarily required to call evidence; he can establish his plea by reference to circumstances transpiring from the prosecution evidence itself. The question in such a case would be a question of assessing the true effect of the prosecution evidence, and not a question of the accused discharging any burden. Where the right of private defence is pleaded, the defence must be a reasonable and probable version satisfying the Court that the harm caused by the accused was necessary for either warding off the attack or for forestalling the further reasonable apprehension from the side of the accused. The burden of establishing the plea of self-defence is on the accused and the burden stands discharged by showing preponderance of probabilities in favour of that plea on the basis of the material on record.”
What amounts to be an extra judicial confession
Shiva Karam Payaswami Tewari v. State of Maharashtra. Arising out of SLP (Crl.) No.1700 of 2008. Date of Judgment 21-01-09
Posted by Jasmine Joseph at 7:46 PM

Major High Court Decisions: Dec2008-Jan2009
http://indianlawupdates.blogspot.com/2009/01/major-high-court-decisions-dec2008.html
Monday, January 26, 2009
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Challenge to the order of dismissing application to issue summons to the Inspector of Police which had been filed to demonstrate how the records had been tempered in other proceedings between the parties including the vakalat of the revision petitioner and also the order of the High Court while ordering for police investigation – Suit had been filed for relief of specific performance against revision petitioner/first defendant and also a relief of permanent injunction and nearly 14 years had lapsed from the date of filing of the suit – Held, in law, a party/litigant is entitled to produce the best evidence to substantiate his case, this cannot be prevented – Petition allowed.
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Petition to challenge order dismissing application filed for direction to respondent/plaintiff to surrender all original documents – Held, respondent/plaintiff at the time of cross examination, he is ready to produce the originals before the trial Court to compare the same with that of the certified copies, therefore civil revision petition is liable to be dismissed – Petition dismissed.
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Whether trial court was justified in dismissing application filed for passing order to send Exs A24 and A25 to the Forensic Department for the purpose of verification of the signatures in the said documents? – Held, in view of the fact that the revision petitioner/first defendant is not connected with Exs A24 and A25 and since these documents relate to the tenant, when he vacated the house, after receiving the amount and inasmuch as the respondent/plaintiff is willing to examine the witnesses, who affixed their signatures in Exs A24 and A25, Court is not inclined to allow the revision petition in the interests of justice – Petition dismissed.
(1) G. Lakshmi Ammal; (2) Bakthavatsalu Naidu vs (1) District Collector, Villupuram; (2) Special Tahsildar, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
S. Swaminathan vs State [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
CrPC, 1973, s. 438 – While passing an order of anticipatory bail whether either Sessions Court or High Court can direct the accused even at the pre-arrest stage to appear before the concerned Magistrate and to execute bond thereby preventing the police officer from arresting the accused? – Held, ‘any person accused of a non-bailable offence, on appearance before the Magistrate concerned is also entitled to be released on bail, if he is granted the relief u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 – High Court or the Sessions Court can very well give directions to release an accused on bail in the event of arrest or his appearance before the concerned Magistrate Court to execute the bond and sureties – Directing the accused to execute sureties before the concerned Court would not at all prevent the police officer from arresting and taking into custody of the accused only in the event of arrest the order u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 comes into operation and as such the concerned accused comes under the protective umbrella of the order passed u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 at the very moment of the arrest and he shall be released immediately on bail after executing bonds and furnishing sureties without being sent to jail – Petition disposed of.
V. Ravi @ P. V. Ravi vs (1) V. Balakrishnan; (2) V. Sreeraman; (3) V. Chamumdeeswari; (4) V. Suresh; (5) V. Arun Kumar; (6) V. Salammal; (7) V. Kausalya; (8) Purusoth; (9) Gayathri; (10) Veeraraghavan @ Veeraraghavapillai; (11) Veeraraghavan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Whether trial court was justified in allowing application for impleading of parties? – Held, concept ‘ plaintiff is the dominus litus’ is not an absolute rule – Power of a Court to implead the parties to the proceedings cannot so only depend on the question whether he has interest in the suit property – Proper question to be addressed by the Court is whether the right of the litigants or persons may be affected if they are not arrayed as parties; such right will however necessarily include an enforceable legal right – The only reason which makes him a necessary party to an action is so that he/she should be bound by the result of the action and the question to be settled, therefore, must be a question in the action which cannot be effectively and completely settled unless he/she is a party to the case – Respondents 1 to 9 are proper parties to the proceedings, since they claim some semblance of direct substantial right as remaining co-owners/joint owners etc in the suit properties – Petition dismissed.
Rethinaboobathy Ammal vs (1) District Collector, Thanjavur; (2) Special Tahsildar, Thanjavur; (3) Pakkirisamy [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
Pravin vs (1) State of Maharashtra; (2) Maharashtra Public Service Commission [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Bombay Judicial Service Recruitment Rules – Petitioner appeared for the LL.B. Final Year Examination held in April-May, 2004 but result was declared on 3rd July, 2004, petitioner came to be enrolled with effect from 23rd August, 2004 – Whether the petitioner was eligible to apply in Category ‘B’ – “Fresh Law Graduates as set out in the Explanation below Rule [4] (4) (iii-A) (f) of the BJSRR as on 10th August, 2007” for the post of Junior Civil Judge? – Held, explanation and the Instructions must be read down so as to be in conformity with the intention to enable bright law graduates, who did not have the minimum of three years’ standing and those who are eligible to be enrolled as advocates, whether enrolled or not, to enter the judicial service, and such talented law graduates should not be prevented from entering the judicial service by adopting a hyper-technical approach while considering the requirements of eligibility in terms of “Category ‘B’ for fresh law graduates”, as held by the Supreme Court in the case of Sanjay Dhar – Though the petitioner cannot be said to have a minimum three years of practice as an Advocate, at the same time, he cannot be excluded from the “Category of Fresh Law Graduates”; he was eligible to apply for the post of Junior Civil Judge in response to the Proclamation/Advertisement published on 4th July, 2007 by the MPSC, in the category of “Fresh Law Graduates”, namely Category ‘B’, in keeping with the requirements of Rule 4 (4) (f) (iii-A) of the BJSRR – Petition allowed.
K. P. Murali vs Vitan Departmental Stores, Chenni [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 – Petition for quashing of proceedings initiated u/s. 138 of NIA, 1881 – When first notice having been returned with postal endorsement ‘left’ and second notice issued after cheques were dishonoured second time with endorsement ‘intimation delivered’, whether complaint on return of second notice maintainable? – Held, there can be only one cause of action and such cause of action, has already arisen and as such the complaint filed on the basis of the second cause of action ought not to have been taken cognizance of by the learned Magistrate – Petition allowed.
M. Venkataraman vs (1) District Collector, Sivagangai; (2) Special Tahsildar, Sivagangai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
(1) C. Balakrishnan; (2) R. Santhamoorthy vs (1) Principal District Judge, Kancheepuram; (2) Deputy Director, Handlooms and Textiles, Kancheepuram; (3) Kancheepuram, Pillaiyarpalayam Moovendar Handloom Weavers; (4) G. Anbazhagan; (5) Rathinavelu; (6) Mohanavelu [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 11 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1983, s. 87 – Whether surcharge proceedings against petitioners u/s. 87 of TNCSA, 1983 justified? – Whether non completion of enquiry within six months u/s. 87 vitiates the proceedings? – Division Bench in its decision in S.V.K.Sahasramam -vs- Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Tiruvannamalai Circle, Tiruvannamalai and others held that in a case where there are allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, the members of general public who have been cheated have no control over those who hold the enquiry in respect of the time limit and to hold that such an enquiry which has been continued beyond the time limit is bad would cause great injustice, therefore if such enquiry is continued beyond the time limit mentioned in the relevant statute, the said time cannot be held to be – Held, when once the loss has been proved for not following the rules and regulations, certainly, s. 87 will get attracted – Above precedent rendered by the Division Bench binding – Petitions dismissed.
K. R. Palaniswami vs (1) Co-Operative Societies Special Tribunal, Erode; (2) Deputy Registrar, Co-Operative Societies, Erode; (3) Lamp Co-Operative Society, Erode; (4) A. Balasubramaniam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 11 Dec 2008]
Whether surcharge proceedings against petitioners justified? – Whether non completion of enquiry within six months vitiates the proceedings? – Division Bench in its decision in S.V.K.Sahasramam -vs- Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Tiruvannamalai Circle, Tiruvannamalai and others held that in a case where there are allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, the members of general public who have been cheated have no control over those who hold the enquiry in respect of the time limit and to hold that such an enquiry which has been continued beyond the time limit is bad would cause great injustice, therefore if such enquiry is continued beyond the time limit mentioned in the relevant statute, the said time cannot be held to be – Held, it is not as if Section 87 of the Act is only confined to certain categories of misdemeanors which require mens rea on the part of the person proceeded against; by the same provision even if any deviation from the procedure which causes loss to the society can also be recovered – Petitions dismissed.
World Wide Brands Inc., Gurgaon vs (1) Central Wearhouse, Bangalore; (2) Trade Marks Registry, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Trade Marks and Merchandise Act, 1958 – Challenge to the registration of the trade marks “camel collection” in favour of the respondent – Held, excepting the fact that Exhibits bear the brand name “camel”, there is no other indication that the petitioner World Wide Brand Inc had any connection with those documents – There is absolutely no evidence placed either before the registering authority or the appellate Board, as to how the petitioner became the owner of the trade mark, except producing some list of registrations – When there is a specific finding that the petitioner had totally failed to produce any evidence with regard to the commercial publicity either in the magazines or otherwise the appellant mark in India, the contention relating to transborder reputation should be negatived – Even relating to the advertisement, it is seen that the petitioner had produced two calendars which are in Spanish Language and were not in circulation in India and the same cannot be relied upon for the purpose of advertisements of camel brand cigarettes in India – Petitions dismissed.
(1) M. Palanivel; (2) A. Paulraj; (3) V. Govindaraj; (4) K. Anbazhakan; (5) D. Vijayan; (6) K. Murugesan; (7) E. Ponnammal; (8) M. Paramasivam; (9) G. Arumugam; (10) G. Devan; (11) B. Narayanan; (12) R. Vadivelu; (13) D. Dhanalakshmi; (14) D. Dorai Kannu; (15) M. Boologam; (16) V. Devi; (17) K. Kuppan; (18) K. Ayyappan; (19) B. Santhakumari; (20) M. Kuraldasan; (21) D. Kuppan; (22) D. Augastin vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu; (2) Tamil Nadu Housing Board [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act, 1961 – Eviction notice – Whether fixing of interest at the rate of 18% and EMI spread over to 15 years for cost of the plot to be charged from petitioners who were living either doing domestic help or involved in some petty employment/trade, arbitrary? – Held, considering the fact that the petitioners have been rendered homeless due to a fire tragedy and the State had promised to re-locate them in a proper place and had also promised that they will be provided with small plots of land over which they could make their own construction of an house and the fact that all the petitioners belong to economically weaker sections (EWS) and living out on daily wages, the action of the respondents in charging arbitrary interest almost at usurious rates cannot be permitted – Eviction notice quashed and direction issued to calculate EMI at the rate of 9% interest – Petitions disposed of.
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board vs Venkatalakshmi Textiles Private Limited, Tirupur [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 – Whether the amended Clause 31.02 of the Terms and Conditions of the Supply of Electricity, as was notified vide proceedings of the Full Board as contained in Permanent BP(Ms)No.110 stands clarified by the proceedings as contained in Permanent BP(Ch).No.203? – Held, any clarification can be made even by a competent authority properly explaining the decision if taken by the superior authority, therefore, it was open for the Chairman of the TNEB to clarify any decision of the Full Board of the TNEB, as he is also a member of the said Full Board, but such clarification should be in consonance with the decision of the original authority and cannot be contrary to the decision of the original authority – A specific decision having been taken by the Full Board of the TNEB, it was not open for the Chairman of the TNEB to give a different meaning to the word “expansion” for the purpose of Clause 31.02 of the Terms and Conditions of the Supply of Electricity, contrary to the decision of the TNEB in its proceedings in Permanent BP(FB).No.110 – The said explanation given by the Chairman of the TNEB in Permanent B.P.(Ch).No.203, being contrary to the decision of the Full Board of the TNEB in Permanent B.P.(FB).No.110, issued in exercise of the powers conferred by s. 49 of EA, 1948, the proceedings in B.P.(Ch).No.203, are illegal and void – Appeal allowed.
S. Manokaran vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Director General of Police, Chennai; (4) District Collector, Salem; (5) Deputy Inspector General of Police, Salem; (6) Commissioner of Police, Salem; (7) Inspector of Police, Salem; (8) S. Veerapandi Arumugam; (9) K. Noor Mohammed; (10) P. G. Ganesan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Petition for direction to respondents 1 and 2 to constitute a Committee consisting of senior I.A.S. and I.P.S. cadre Officers and direct them to visit the Salem City and examine the vital aspects of the violation against the order of High court – Held, when High Court of Madras had passed final orders in the earlier writ petitions and if the present petitioner finds that there was any violation, the only course open to the petitioner is to file a contempt application – It is not known as to how the petitioner being an advocate and a civil libertarian can come forward to file the writ petition, seeking direction of this Court to appoint a Committee of senior Civil Servants to go into the issue of violation of this Court’s order; the violation of High Court’s order has to be ascertained only by High Court and not through a Committee consisting of senior I.A.S. and I.P.S. Officers – If the petitioner has information that his associates were threatened by any person or his civil liberties are hampered, it is well open to him to move the appropriate police station by making a specific complaint, and failing which, to move the Criminal Court with a private complaint – Petition dismissed.
(1) M. K. Ayyanar; (2) K. Periasamy; (3) A. Muthulingam; (4) S. Vallimayil; (5) A. Pasupathy; (6) G. Balasundaram; (7) S. Ramalingam; (8) K. Annamalai; (9) K. Malathy; (10) K. Senthil Kumar; (11) M. Panneerselvam; (12) T. Thenmozhi ; (13) B. Sudha; (14) B. Gurubagiam; (15) K. Balasikhamani; (16) G. Sivagurunathan; (17) S. V. Amuthan; (18) A. G. Kadarkarai; (19) Gnanatheepam; (20) M. Mariammal vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Special Deputy Collector, Chennai; (3) Special Tahsildar, Chennai; (4) Chennai, Metropolitan Development Authority Schemes [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Limitation Act, 1963 – Whether Award proceedings were hit by the limitation provided u/s. 11A of LAA, 1894? – Held, no Award could have been passed when a Division Bench of Madras High Court has set aside the notification u/s. 4(1) by its final order dated 29-10-1991, therefore, no proceedings was pending till the Supreme Court by its judgment dated 10-11-1995 allowed the Civil Appeal and restored the s. 4(1) notification; the day in which the s. 6 declaration was made alive was by a judgment of the Supreme Court dated 10-11-1995, the limitation will have to be calculated in terms of proviso to s. 11A of LAA, 1894; if calculated from that date, the final Award has been passed on 31-10-1997, which is well within the limitation prescribed under LAA, 1894 – In a case where the entire proceedings have been quashed and given life only after the final judgment of the Supreme Court, then the proviso alone will apply – Plea of innocent purchase made by a buyer has no place while impugning a land acquisition validly made under LAA, 1894 – Petitions dismissed.
S. Srinivasan vs (1) Karnataka Bank Limited, Tirupur; (2) M. A. Tex Technology Private Limited, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Whether appellate tribunal, in view of contention that Company may prefer a separate appeal having different entity, was justified in rejecting petition filed by petitioner-guarantor to transpose company-borrower as second appellant? – Held, it is always open to the borrower and guarantor to join together to challenge a common order passed by DRT, the borrower having granted loan by the Bank and guarantor having given guarantee with regard to the said loan – Petition disposed of.
(1) R. Saravanan; (2) K. Rangasamy vs Tamil Nadu Housing Board [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Whether appellant having applied for allotment of flat prior to 30-12-2000 was eligible for the benefit of waiving interest as per G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001? – Held, State Government was very clear while issuing G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001, it wanted to allot and sell the houses to those, who had not applied for such house prior to 30-12-2000; those who have applied prior to 30-12-2000, allotted their respective flats and reached agreement for sale prior to 22-01-2001, and paid installments for such payment, including the appellants, who have paid such installments upto Aug., 2001, thus, G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001 is not applicable to them nor the appellants can derive any advantage of the same – Appeals dismissed.
Tass Womens Group Federation, Vellore vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu; (2) District Collector, Vellore; (3) Local Planning Authority, Vellore; (4) Commissioner, Vellore [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 – Petition for quashing of public auction notice and for direction to 4th respondent-Commissioner to allow the petitioner Federation – a Women Self Help Group to maintain the bus stand, at least for one year from 29-10-2008 – Held, State Government and the Local Authorities shall grant financial assistance to the non-Governmental organisations for the rehabilitation of disabled persons – Petitioner Federation is a non-Governmental organisation, viz, Women Self Help Group, therefore the 4th respondent is statutorily bound to help the petitioner Federation to promote the welfare of its members, particularly disabled, numbering 47 – Federation is prepared to pay the highest bid amount, thus, no loss is to be sustained by the 4th respondent by permitting the petitioner to do the works, at least till 31-03-2009 – Direction issued – Petition disposed of.
Salem, Periyar Kudiyiruppu Nala Sangam vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Tamil Nadu Housing Board; (3) V. K. O. Ramanathan; (4) V. K. O. Varadarajan; (5) O. Soundarajan; (6) T. Obulisamy; (7) T. Vijayaraghavan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 15 Dec 2008]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Whether Court was justified in dismissing writ petition at admission stage filed for challenging vires of Government Order? – Whether decree passed in suit filed for declaration that respondents 4 to 8 were entitled for allotment of 50 cents of land was void ab-initio and whether it can be challenged in a collateral proceedings by filing a writ petition? – Held, pursuant to the decree passed in suit, respondents 4 to 8 took execution proceedings and also obtained possession of the land and thereafter, respondents 2 and 3 made a request to the first respondent-Government for conveying the land after fixing up the land value, which was also accepted by the Government which culminated in Government Order; in pursuant to the said Government order, the land cost was also paid – Decree obtained in suit by the original land owners cannot said to be void or nullity as they have not challenged the original land acquisition proceedings – Court executing the decree cannot go beyond the decree between the parties or their representatives and it must take the decree according to its tenor and cannot entertain any objections that the decree was incorrect in law or on facts and only it has to be set aside by the appropriate proceedings in appeal or revision – An erroneous or illegal decision, which is not void, cannot be objected in execution or collateral proceedings – Appeal dismissed.
(1) P. Chengaiah; (2) P. Sarojanamma; (3) P. Ravikumar; (4) P. V. Prasad; (5) R. Subhasri vs D. Chandra [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 15 Dec 2008]
CPC, 1908 – Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Applications filed attaching the suit property and also order detention of the respondent/defendant in civil prison for disobeying the order of injunction – Whether, in contravention of a prohibitory or injunction order passed by the court, respondent committed a fraud in transfer of immovable property in name of third party? – Held, respondent has fraudulently clinched a compromise deal with third party and carried out the fraud to the portals of the court while inviting a compromise decree as though the compromise clinched between the parties was a true and genuine one; having persuaded the court to trust her, the respondent has obtained a compromise decree; she has chosen to execute the sale deed despite a prohibitory order against her, therefore respondent has committed a contempt of far reaching consequences which virtually takes away the very right of the applicants to agitate usefully and purposefully before the court of law – Confidence reposed by the public in the majesty of law will be shaken if the alienation made by the respondent pendente lite against the spirit of the restraint order is allowed to continue – Court will have to exercise its inherent jurisdiction u/s. 151 of CPC to nullify the sale deed – Considering respondent’s age and her health profile and the decision already arrived at by this court to declare the sale deed executed by the respondent as null and void, the court is not inclined to punish her for civil contempt – Order accordingly.
(1) Anna Mathew; (2) D. Hariparanthaman; (3) Sudha Ramalingam; (4) K. M. Ramesh; (5) S. S. Vasudevan; (6) C. Vijayakumar; (7) Dr. V. Suresh; (8) Balan Haridas; (9) S. T. Varadarajulu; (10) S. Sathiachandran; (11) D. Geetha; (12) R. Jaikumar; (13) P. Pugalenthi; (14) P. Vijendran; (15) S. Rajanikanth; (16) S. Sengodi; (17) T. Maheshkumar; (18) P. Kalyani; (19) K. Thilakeswaran; (20) Ajoy Khose; (21) M. Muthupandian; (22) R. Kamatchi Sundaresan; (23) V. Porkodi vs (1) N. Kannadasan; (2) Government of Tamil Nadu; (3) Union of India, Delhi; (4) High Court, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Constitution, 1950 – Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Whether an additional Judge who is not confirmed and ceases to be an additional Judge on expiry of the initial term of appointment can be considered as a “person who has been a Judge and could be appointed as the President of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission? – Whether the requirement of consultation with the Honourable the Chief Justice had been fulfilled? – Whether the appointment of Respondent No.1 can be declared illegal and invalid on the ground that such appointment was against public interest? – Whether the resolution of the Full Court resolving that Respondent No.1 may be considered as a retired Judge is legal and valid? – Held, what art. 224A envisages or the Supreme Court in Ashok Tanwar’s case recognises is that a Judge who lays down office under normal circumstances on attaining the age fixed would be eligible, but an additional Judge who has not been confirmed and whose term has not been extended, obviously cannot be considered as a retired Judge or “has been a Judge” or “has held the office of a Judge” – Panel of three former Judges has been suggested by the Honourable the Chief Justice even without being made aware of the circumstances under which there was non-continuation / non-confirmation of Respondent No.1; since an onerous duty has been cast on the Honourable the Chief Justice to render ‘consultation’ which is a statutory requirement, there cannot be any doubt that before rendering such “consultation” all the relevant factors were required to be considered; when it is apparent that the Consultee has failed to discharge such onerous duty, the resultant appointment obviously becomes vulnerable – It is not for High Court to decide about the suitability of Respondent No.1 for the post of President of the Consumer Commission as that was a matter for the State Government to decide in consultation with the Chief Justice; if the appointment of a person is otherwise legal, the Judiciary may not be justified in interfering with such appointment on the ground that it is against public interest – Resolution of the Full Court in its administrative side cannot at all control the legal interpretation to be given in any matter to be decided on the judicial side – Petitions disposed of.
Beela Devi and Others vs Sumer Singh and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Tribunal awarded the total compensation of Rs. 4, 69, 000/- with interest @ 6% per annum – Appeal for enhancement – Held, Tribunal was fully justified in assessing the monthly income of the deceased as Rs. 3, 000/- in absence of any documentary or cogent evidence on record – Tribunal is required to pass an award under s. 168 which appears to be just, fair and reasonable – Every method or mode adopted for assessing the amount of compensation has to be considered in the background of “just” compensation which is the pivotal consideration – Appeal dismissed.
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited vs (1) M. Murugayan; (2) Labour Court, Salem [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Whether labour court was justified in setting aside the order of dismissal and directing petitioner Corporation to reinstate the first respondent? – Held, petitioner Corporation has not shown sufficient cause or reason to interfere with the award of the labour Court – Labour Court had found that the punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent workman was disproportionate to the misconduct committed by him; enquiry officer had not considered the medical certificate produced by the first respondent workman; proper reasons have been given by the second respondent labour Court to come to its conclusions for invoking s. 11A of IDA, 1947 to reduce the punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent to that of stoppage of increment for one year, with cumulative effect – Petition dismissed.
Raj Kumari and Others vs Mahendra Singh and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Accident Claims – Tribunal awarded a total compensation of Rs.4, 02, 000/- with interest at the rate of 9% per annum – Appeal for enhancement of the amount of compensation – Held, in absence of any cogent documentary evidence with regard to monthly income of the deceased, the Tribunal assessed the same as Rs.3, 000/- – Tribunal has not committed any illegality – Compensation must be “just” and it cannot be a bonanza; not a source of profit but the same should not be a pittance – Appeal dismissed.
K. Ambalanatha Doss vs (1) Kanyakumari District Central Co-Operative Bank; (2) Assistant Commissioner, of Labour, Tirunelveli [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 – Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1993 – Whether court was justified in holding that appellant or the applicant for the revision may apply for the review for any order passed u/s. 152 or u/s. 153 of TNCSA, 1993 and u/s. 156, there is a bar of jurisdiction of civil Courts as far as these proceedings were concerned, therefore, the Controlling Authority under PGA, 1972 was at liberty to approach the Registrar u/s. 153 of TNCSA, 1993 but not the Bank? – – Held, when a special law creates a right as well as remedy, the party must be directed to go before that Forum and not any other Forum – Even the reference to the provision of revision u/s. 153 and review u/s. 154 may not be a satisfactory Forum and there is a dispute relating to entitlement of gratuity including the difference in the gratuity amount; Central law holds the field in respect of gratuity and there being no other provision under the said law excluding the operation of Central law the order of Judge cannot be countenanced – Appeal allowed.
Jagat Singh Rathore vs State of Rajasthan and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Rajasthan Municipality Act, 1959 – What is the scope and ambit of Bye-laws 1991?; How are bye-laws 4(1) & 4(2) to be interpreted?; What is the scope and ambit of ss. 170 and 203 of the Act of 1959?; Are these provisions applicable to the petitioner’s case?; Does the Board have the power to seal rooms or to demolish illegal construction/ encroachments?; Under the principles of natural justice is the giving of notice an essential requirement?; What are the requirements dealing with giving of notice?; Can the Board demolish the alleged illegal construction within the period specified in the notice for removing the illegal construction/ encroachment?; Whether the brutal use of force by the State, in demolishing the building and sealing the rooms, has violated the petitioner’s fundamental rights under arts. 14, 19, 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India or not? – Held, notice was issued under bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991 – Therefore, the said notice could not have covered the hotel run by the petitioner – Moreover the said notice gives a threat that the hotel would be seized – But the power to seize the hotel has not been bestowed under the Bye-laws 1991 – Therefore, the said notice is ultra vires the powers of Bye-laws 1991 – While bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991 contains an absolute bar, bye-law 4(2) give a limited power to the Executive Officer of the Board “to control, supervise and to issue necessary directions” for the functioning of hotels, restaurants and other institutions – In the garb of exercising its power under bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991, the Executive Officer over stepped his jurisdiction to cover the petitioner’s hotel – Set aside the impugned notice dated 28-4-2006 and declared the action of the Board as illegal – Petition allowed.
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited vs (1) Manickam; (2) Labour Court, Salem [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Whether Labour court was justified in setting aside the order dismissing the first respondent from service and directing petitioner Corporation to reinstate first respondent – Whether first respondent had committed a grave misconduct by absenting himself without obtaining the prior permission of the petitioner Corporation and without leave being sanctioned? Held, petitioner Corporation has not shown sufficient cause or reason to interfere with the award of the second respondent – Even though a second show cause notice had been issued to the first respondent, with regard to his past conduct, no particulars had been given therein, thus, it was found that the extreme punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent workman was disproportionate in nature – Petition dismissed.
Nathu Lal vs Dinesh Kumar and Another [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, s.168 – Tribunal awarded a total compensation of Rs.25, 172/- with interest at the rate of 6% per annum – Appeal for enhancement – Held, Tribunal is required to pass an Award under s. 168, which appears to be just, fair and reasonable – Every method or mode adopted for assessing compensation has to be considered in the background of “just” compensation which is the pivotal consideration – Amount of compensation awarded in the present case is just, fair and reasonable and no interference in it is called for – Appeal dismissed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Sujan Singh and Another [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in awarding an amount of Rs. 4, 10, 000/- as compensation to the parents of deceased who was 15 years old at the time of his death? – Held, as nothing has been brought on records by the appellants to prove that the deceased was unhealthy, sick or a rickety child and a bad student so, in view of law laid down in Lata Wadhwa and ors vs. State of Bihar and ors, it is appropriate to take the annual contribution of the deceased to his parents at Rs. 24, 000/- per annum – Adopting 10 as against the prescribed multiplier of 11 for the age group of the persons like the mother of the deceased, the compensation payable to the respondents-claimants would come to Rs. 2, 65, 000/- which includes the conventional amount of Rs. 25, 000/- for loss of love and affection – Appeal allowed.
Kuldeep Singh and Another vs Jagbir Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether Tribunal erred in deducting 2/3rd out of the established income of the deceased, a bachelor? – Held, benefits accruing to parents under the social legislation of MVA, 1988 providing for compensation to such parents for the death of their sons and daughters in a motor vehicular accident cannot be denied to them – In view of the provisions of sch. II issued u/s. 163A of MVA, 1988, the evidence led by the appellants in the case proving that they were wholly dependent on the income of their unmarried son and the trend noticed in the judgments of Supreme Court of India, deduction of 2/3rd from the income of the deceased to determine appellants’ dependency was unjustified – Appeal allowed.
Karam Chand vs Union of India and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, s. 168 – Whether Tribunal had erroneously scaled down the prescribed multiplier while assessing compensation payable to the appellants? – Held, compensation assessed by the Tribunal at Rs.2, 13, 400/- does not appear to be the just compensation in terms of s. 168 of MVA, 1988, in that, the amount, if kept in a fixed deposit, would not yield by way of interest so much of the amount which the deceased had been found to be contributing for the sustenance of his family – In order to recompense the appellants for the death of their bread-winner, they are required to be paid such amount by way of compensation interest component whereof per month may be near about the same amount which the deceased had been spending on the family, had the amount been kept in a fixed deposit – Appropriate multiplier for assessing the amount of compensation for the appellants should be 10 – Appeal allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Mangal Dei and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing average monthly income of the deceased by taking his prospective income into consideration, when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, when no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income, to determine the dependency of the family on the income of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Oriental Insurance Company Limited vs Amarjit Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the amount which would have been spent by an injured on himself for his sustenance and pleasure, had he not met with the accident, is required to be deducted, while assessing his future loss of income? – Held, net income of the injured available to support himself and his dependants is required to be ascertained before selecting appropriate multiplier keeping in view the one suggested in sch. II issued u/s. 163A of MVA, 1988 so that the amount so calculated, in terms of the Multiplier Method, which has come to be accepted as a fair method of determination of compensation under MVA, 1988, enables him to take care of himself and his dependants in the same manner he would have done it, had he not received injuries – No deductions may, be permissible from out of the amount assessed as loss of his future income because despite being disabled he will continue to spend for the sustenance and development of his body, mind and soul – Appeal disposed of.
Union of India and Others vs Gopu Ram and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in awarding compensation to the grand-parents? – Held, as the claimants have not led any evidence to prove the dependency of the grand parents on the income of deceased so they may not be entitled to claim compensation for his death additionally because being class 2nd heirs under Jammu and Kashmir Hindu Succession Act, 1956, they cannot maintain claim petition seeking compensation for the death of their grand child in the presence of his surviving mother – Appeal allowed.
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Kumbhat vs J.N.V. University, Jodhpur and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Rajasthan Technical Education Service Rules, 1973 – Seniority – Held, inclusion of previous service for determination of the term for grant of selection grade is having no relevance so far as the seniority is concerned – Seniority of the petitioner and the respondent No.3 is required to be determined as per notification dated 7.1.1984 which prescribes that the seniority of the teachers in each category of posts shall be determined by the date of order of substantive appointment on a post in that category – Grant of selection grade by taking into consideration the previous service is not at all relevant for determination of seniority – Claim made by the petitioner relating to his seniority for appointment as Head of the Department is absolutely misconceived – Petition dismissed.
Union of India and Others vs Ram Nath and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing monthly income of the deceased while calculating the amount of compensation payable to the respondents-claimants, by taking his prospective income into consideration when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, as no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income to determine the dependency of the family on the income of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Sujan Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing monthly income of the deceased at the time of his death by taking his prospective income into consideration when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, when no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income to determine the dependency of the family on the earnings of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Gk Harihara Rajan vs (1) Neethi Devi; (2) Lillian James; (3) Robert James [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 30 Dec 2008 ]
CPC, s. 24 – Joint trial – Held, all the Courts including the courts constituted under the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920 have no jurisdiction to try the cases registered under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1997 – S. 7 of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors Act 1997 speaks of the procedures to be followed by Special Courts in making the order of ad-interim attachment of Government absolute or refuse to make absolute the order of ad-interim attachment of the Government – It is not open to the revision petitioner to file the present revision petition as against the return of M.P.S.R.No.23397 of 2008 (to reopen the matter) since admittedly, no proceedings are pending – Petition dismissed.
Kbc Pictures vs A.R. Murgadoss and Others [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 26 Dec 2008 ]
Plaintiff seeks injunction restraining the defendants from infringing his copyright in the story, screen play and dialogs in the Hindi remake of the Tamil film “Ghajini” – Held, as the plaintiff has not proved even prima facie that the defendant no.1 has executed the agreement and receipt, it cannot be said that he has proved that he is the owner of the copyright in the story, screenplay and dialogs for the Hindi version of the film “Ghajini” – Plaintiff has not made out a strong prima facie case for grant of injunction – Interim relief is refused – Order accordingly.
United India Insurance Company Limited, Dharmapuri Town vs (1) Nagammal; (2) Unnamalai; (3) V. B. Krishnan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the Insurer can be directed to pay compensation to the claimant in a case where the deceased and/or the injured was travelling as a gratuitous passenger in a goods vehicle and recover the same thereafter from the owner of such goods vehicle? – Held, u/s. 147 the Insurance Company is not statutorily required to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle unless such passenger is the owner or agent of the owner of the goods accompanying such goods in the concerned goods vehicle – Since there is no statutory requirement to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle, the principle of ‘pay and recover’, as statutorily recognised in s. 149(4) and s. 149(5), is not applicable ipso facto to such cases and, therefore, ordinarily the Court is not expected to issue such a direction to the Insurance Company to pay to the claimant and thereafter recover from the owner – Appeal disposed of.
V. Elumalai Naicker vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu, Revenue Department; (2) Principal Commissioner and Commissioner Land Reforms, Chennai; (3) Assistant Commissioner, Urban Land Ceiling, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Tamil Nadu Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1978 – Tamil Nadu Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999 – Challenge to the land acquisition proceedings on ground that opportunity of being heard was not given to petitioners before order acquisition of suit property – Held, respondents has not shown, from the records available, that the notice, u/s. 11(5) of TNLUL, 1978, calling upon the petitioner to hand over the possession of the land, had been served on him; there is nothing to show that actual physical possession of the land had been taken by the respondents or that the compensation had been paid to the petitioner, therefore land acquisition proceedings, would stand abated, in view of the coming into force of TNULRA, 1999 -Petition allowed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.
(1) A.D. Sudhindhra; (2) V. Narayanaswamy; (3) D.S. Srinivasan; (4) S. Venkatanarayanan; (5) R. Suresh Kumar vs (1) Inspector of Police, Mumbai; (2) State Bank of India, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, ss. 120-B read with 420, 409, 468, 471; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, 13 (2) r/w 13 (1) (C) – Petition to quash the First Information Report – Held, no loss whatsoever has been caused to the second respondent-Bank and that it is the reason why the second respondent has not chosen to initiate any civil or criminal proceedings against the petitioners herein or any disciplinary or departmental action against its employees namely the first and second accused – In such circumstances, any further continuance of the proceedings will cause great and incalculable damage to M/s DTL and its shareholders as its banking operations have come to a stand still – Petitions allowed.
Ramar vs State By Inspector of Police, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860 s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Held, in view of the circumstances attendant, the act of the accused cannot be said to be one premeditated or pre-planned or intentional, but it was due to sudden quarrel and provocation – Hence the act of the accused would attract the penal provision of s. 304(I) – Appeal dismissed.
(1) Pandiyan; (2) Suresh; (3) Murugan vs State By Inspector of Police Krishnagiri [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Challenge to the order of conviction and sentence – Appellants convicted and sentenced u/s. 302 r/w s. 34 of IPC, 1860 – Held, ocular testimony adduced through P.Ws.1 to 3 was fully corroborated by the medical evidence; pursuant to the confession made by A-2, the weapon of crime has been recovered – Act of the accused was neither intentional nor premeditated but only due to the quarrel and also provocation. Hence they have got to be found guilty not for murder, but for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, thus A-2 and A-3 have also got to be found guilty u/s. 304 (Part II) r/w s. 34 of IPC, 1860 – Appeals dismissed.
Mohammad Naseem Khan vs State of Andhra Pradesh, Public Prosecutor, High Court, Hyderabad [ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Whether the prosecution has proved its case, against the appellant-accused, of the offence punishable under s. 302, beyond all reasonable doubt? – Held, when a statement is made by a person as to the cause of the death explaining the circumstances of the transaction, which resulted in his death, in case in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question, is relevant under s. 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – If the dying declaration is found to be true and trustworthy and not an outcome of tutoring or prompting by any of the relatives of the deceased, then it can be acted upon even without corroboration, to base a conviction – Sessions Judge after appreciation of evidence on record, rightly found the accused guilty of the offence punishable under s. 302 – Appeal dismissed.
Bakelite Hylam Limited, Hyderabad vs (1) Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal, Chennai; (2) Commissioner of Central Excise, Hyderabad [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Central Excise Act, 1944 – Central Excise Rules, 1944 – Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 – Whether Tribunal, after given a finding that the classification lists filed during the period June, 1988 to February, 1993 were approved, ought to have applied the decision of Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. and had not confirmed the penalty levied on the petitioner u/r. 9(2), 173Q and 226 of CER, 1944? – Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. has held that when clearance had been made in terms of an approved classification or a price list there can be no short-levy – Held, Tribunal had not considered all the issues arising for its decision, especially, the applicability of the first proviso to s. 11A of CEA, 1944, to the petitioner, in the light of the decision of Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. decided by the Supreme Court and the effect of the amendments brought about by the Finance Act, 2000, which was in the form of a Bill in the Finance Bill, 2000, at the time when the final order was passed by the first respondent Tribunal, and considering the fact that certain aspects had not been considered, when the first respondent Tribunal had passed the impugned order, the final order of the first respondent Tribunal, is set aside – Petition disposed of.
(1) Harshad Keshavlal Kothari; (2) City Channel Network, Aurangabad vs (1) State of Maharashtra; (2) R.S. Khaire, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Police Headquarters, Aurangabad [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Administrative; Criminal – CrPC, 1973, s. 144 – Petition to challenge order passed u/s. 144 of CrPC, 1973 on ground that before passing the order no opportunity was given to the applicant No. 1 to explain as to why he should not be externed – Held, applicant has made out the case and demonstrated that the order u/s. 144 of CrPC, 1973 by the respondent No. 2 was in utter disregard to the principles of natural justice, no opportunity was given to the applicants to explain their case, therefore, the externment order passed by the respondent No. 2 was without following any procedure, the said order is not sustainable – Application allowed.
Ajodhya (Since Deceased) and Others vs D.D.C., Allahabad and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Land & Property – U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 – Whether petitioners whose names were recorded in the Revenue record, became Sirdar after the abolition of Zamindari?- Held, the fact remains that the disputed Khata was mortgaged by the sons of ancestor of the contesting respondents and the petitioners are claiming their rights through the mortgagees; mortgagees will also not get the Sirdari rights as was held in the earlier litigation, therefore if the mortgagees will not get the Sirdari rights, the petitioners who are claiming through mortgagees, will not get better right, title or interest than that of the mortgagees; on the basis of wrong or incorrect entry in the Revenue record, they will not acquire Sirdari rights – Even if they were not parties in the earlier litigation wherein the mortgage was established, the petitioners would not become Sirdar – Licensee of a mortgagee is not a sub tenant within the meaning of sub-tenant as defined in U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 and he would not get Sirdari rights on the commencement of U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 – Petition dismissed.
Ghoora (Since Deceased) and Others vs Deputy Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Land & Property – Whether petitioners had exclusive tenancy rights in the suit property? – Held, petitioners do not belong to the family of contesting respondents and they are outsiders, and even if they are members of the respondents’ family, they have lost their rights as they are not in possession of disputed Khatas and living separately since long – Commencement of a consolidation operation in the village will not provide them a new forum to put forward a claim which has already been lost by the passage of time – Petition dismissed.
Gk Harihara Rajan vs (1) Neethi Devi; (2) Lillian James; (3) Robert James [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 30 Dec 2008 ]
CPC, s. 24 – Joint trial – Held, all the Courts including the courts constituted under the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920 have no jurisdiction to try the cases registered under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1997 – S. 7 of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors Act 1997 speaks of the procedures to be followed by Special Courts in making the order of ad-interim attachment of Government absolute or refuse to make absolute the order of ad-interim attachment of the Government – It is not open to the revision petitioner to file the present revision petition as against the return of M.P.S.R.No.23397 of 2008 (to reopen the matter) since admittedly, no proceedings are pending – Petition dismissed.
Kbc Pictures vs A.R. Murgadoss and Others [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 26 Dec 2008 ]
Plaintiff seeks injunction restraining the defendants from infringing his copyright in the story, screen play and dialogs in the Hindi remake of the Tamil film “Ghajini” – Held, as the plaintiff has not proved even prima facie that the defendant no.1 has executed the agreement and receipt, it cannot be said that he has proved that he is the owner of the copyright in the story, screenplay and dialogs for the Hindi version of the film “Ghajini” – Plaintiff has not made out a strong prima facie case for grant of injunction – Interim relief is refused – Order accordingly.
United India Insurance Company Limited, Dharmapuri Town vs (1) Nagammal; (2) Unnamalai; (3) V. B. Krishnan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the Insurer can be directed to pay compensation to the claimant in a case where the deceased and/or the injured was travelling as a gratuitous passenger in a goods vehicle and recover the same thereafter from the owner of such goods vehicle? – Held, u/s. 147 the Insurance Company is not statutorily required to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle unless such passenger is the owner or agent of the owner of the goods accompanying such goods in the concerned goods vehicle – Since there is no statutory requirement to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle, the principle of ‘pay and recover’, as statutorily recognised in s. 149(4) and s. 149(5), is not applicable ipso facto to such cases and, therefore, ordinarily the Court is not expected to issue such a direction to the Insurance Company to pay to the claimant and thereafter recover from the owner – Appeal disposed of.
Mohammad Naseem Khan vs State of Andhra Pradesh, Public Prosecutor, High Court, Hyderabad [ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Whether the prosecution has proved its case, against the appellant-accused, of the offence punishable under s. 302, beyond all reasonable doubt? – Held, when a statement is made by a person as to the cause of the death explaining the circumstances of the transaction, which resulted in his death, in case in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question, is relevant under s. 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – If the dying declaration is found to be true and trustworthy and not an outcome of tutoring or prompting by any of the relatives of the deceased, then it can be acted upon even without corroboration, to base a conviction – Sessions Judge after appreciation of evidence on record, rightly found the accused guilty of the offence punishable under s. 302 – Appeal dismissed.
Bakelite Hylam Limited, Hyderabad vs (1) Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal, Chennai; (2) Commissioner of Central Excise, Hyderabad [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Central Excise Act, 1944 – Central Excise Rules, 1944 – Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 – Whether Tribunal, after given a finding that the classification lists filed during the period June, 1988 to February, 1993 were approved, ought to have applied the decision of Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. and had not confirmed the penalty levied on the petitioner u/r. 9(2), 173Q and 226 of CER, 1944? – Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. has held that when clearance had been made in terms of an approved classification or a price list there can be no short-levy – Held, Tribunal had not considered all the issues arising for its decision, especially, the applicability of the first proviso to s. 11A of CEA, 1944, to the petitioner, in the light of the decision of Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. decided by the Supreme Court and the effect of the amendments brought about by the Finance Act, 2000, which was in the form of a Bill in the Finance Bill, 2000, at the time when the final order was passed by the first respondent Tribunal, and considering the fact that certain aspects had not been considered, when the first respondent Tribunal had passed the impugned order, the final order of the first respondent Tribunal, is set aside – Petition disposed of.
Ramar vs State By Inspector of Police, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860 s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Held, in view of the circumstances attendant, the act of the accused cannot be said to be one premeditated or pre-planned or intentional, but it was due to sudden quarrel and provocation – Hence the act of the accused would attract the penal provision of s. 304(I) – Appeal dismissed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.

(1) Nine Paradise Hotels Private Limited, Mumbai; (2) Rajan Chourse, Mumbai vs (1) National Textile Corporation Limited, Mumbai; (2) Union of India, Ministry of Textile [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Contract & Commercial; Administrative – Whether action of respondents in canceling bid on ground that highest tendered was 40% lower than reserved price was arbitrary? – Held, decision has been taken on commercial principles that the bid offer was 40% less than the reserved price and the Corporation cannot be compelled to expose itself to any financial losses in face of the fact that it had already fixed the reserved price – Merely because the Respondents have taken a decision not to invite any of the parties for negotiation does not render their action arbitrary – Merely because the Petitioners had submitted a tender which happened to be the highest and had furnished a Bank Guarantee of Rs.150 crores per se does not render the decision of the Respondent Corporation to cancel the tender process arbitrary – Inviting tenders is merely an invitation to offer and does not vest any indefeasible or legal right in the applicant-bidder to claim that he alone should be awarded the contract – There is no concluded contract between the parties as the Respondents had taken a decision at the threshold itself upon opening of the financial bid to cancel the tender processes – Petition dismissed.
Merind Limited and Another vs Prescribed Authority (Under Payment of Wages Act) Bijnor and Assistant Labour Commissioner, Bijnor and Another [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 – Whether in the wake of provisions of s. 1(6) of 1936 Act, the provisions of the said Act shall apply to employees of scheduled employment by virtue of notification issued under s. 22 (F) of the 1948 Act, who are drawing wage over and above Rs.1600/- per month? – Held, notwithstanding anything contained in the 1936 Act, the appropriate Government may by notification in the official Gazette direct that all or any of the provisions of said Act shall apply to the wages payable to employees of scheduled employment – Provisions of s. 1(6) of the 1936 Act provides for ceiling limit as to wages of employees so as to exclude from the purview of the said Act, therefore, persons whose wages exceed such ceiling limit, any provisions of the 1936 Act shall not apply to them – Respondent no.2 who was admittedly drawing Salary Rs.13, 825/- per month is excluded from the operation of provisions of the 1936 Act by virtue of the provisions of s. 1(6), irrespective of fact whether he is workman or not by virtue of s. 6(2) of the 1976 Act – Petition allowd.
Prakash Solanki vs (1) Tek Singh; (2) Mistri Achla Ram [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
CPC, 1908, O. 21 r. 97 – Appeal against an eviction decree – Held, object of O. 21 r. 97 to 103 C.P.C. is to provide mechanism to decide the dispute as to right, title or interest in the suit property in execution proceedings itself and to bar separate suit, even if such objections are raised by a stranger to a decree – Question of title is not relevant in the eviction matter and therefore, the relationship of landlord and tenant between the decree holder and judgment debtor was not upset by the claim of the present appellant who claimed to be a stranger and in possession of the suit premises in his own right as tenant – No substantial question of law arises – Appeal dismissed.
Committee of Management of Krishak Seva Samiti, Uchauri, Ghazipur and Others vs State of Uttar Pardesh. and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
Societies Registration Act, 1860 – Writ petition against order directing for holding fresh election of office bearers of society – Held, since the writ petition involves factual dispute of membership of general body of society, therefore, cannot take different view than that of taken by the Prescribed Authority by appreciating any evidence and material on record as a court of first instance – Petitioners can approach civil court by filing a suit – Petition dismissed.
Shanmugam vs Banumathi [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Tamil Nadu Buildings(Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960, s. 18(1) – Whether appellate court was justified in holding that appeal to challenge order of execution under TNBA, 1960 is not maintainable? – As per s. 18(1) pf TNBA, 1960 an order passed in execution u/sub-s. (1) shall not be subject to any appeal or revision – Petition dismissed.
(1) Shantaram; (2) Sou. Damyantibai; (3) Vijay; (4) Sanjay; (5) Ajay vs Eknath [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
CPC, 1908, O. 23, r. 1(4) – Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947, s. 24 – (A) Whether withdrawal of the previous two suits without permission to file afresh suit would create legal bar as provided under O. 23, r. 1(4) of CPC, 1908? – Held, it is difficult to say that the plaintiff is precluded from filing afresh suit when the subsequent cause of action does not correspond to the previous cause of action available to him at the time of filing of the earlier suits – (B) Whether mere admissions of the defendant during implementation of Consolidation Scheme would create legal right in favour of the plaintiff? – Held, s. 24 would make it amply clear that the ownership certificate tantamount to statutory transfer in respect of rights of incidental nature which are either transferred on account of payment of compensation or by mutual consent as the case may be – Considering these aspects, the right to draw water to the extent of half share was bestowed on the plaintiff under the statutory provisions in view of mutual consent of the parties – Appeal partly allowed.
Guddu @ Dinesh vs State of Uttar Pardesh and Another [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
CrPC, 1973, s. 125 – Writ petition against order of maintenance – Held, trial Magistrate elaborately discussed the statement of O.P. No.2 and nothing has been shown by which it could be said that the trial court had wrongly assessed the evidence of O.P. No.2 and the conclusion drawn by the Magistrate is wrong – Quantum of maintenance awarded also appears to be reasonable and justified – Petition dismissed.
National Insurance Company Limited, Salem vs (1) Thangasamy; (2) Sasikala; (3) Cor, Cambridge Matriculation School, Krishnagiri [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Motor Accidents Claims – Tribunal granted Rs.2, 45, 000/- as compensation – Appeal by Insurance company – Plea that multiplier of 15 adopted by the Tribunal in a case of 9 years old student is on the higher side – Held, in a claim for compensation in the case of death, the claimants are granted compensation under conventional heads, like loss of love and affection, funeral expenses and miscellaneous expenses and for loss of estate in the case of death of an earning member – Entitlement of the claimants for compensation on conventional heads cannot be disputed – Compensation in a sum of Rs.2, 45, 000/- is justified as also the interest granted at 7.5% as the accident happened in the year 2004 and the award was passed in the year 2007 – Appeal dismissed.
M. Balan vs Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Service; Criminal – Whether order placing petitioner under suspension and not allowing him to retire due to pending criminal case was justifiable? – Held, action of the respondent Board in placing the petitioner under suspension and not allowing him to retire on the basis of probable disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated after the criminal case ends in conviction is absolutely irrational – Attitude of the respondent Board is not only mala fide, but also amounts to harassing the petitioner, as held by Supreme Court and more so, it is certainly a human right violation, because keeping the petitioner under suspension after the period of superannuation on the basis of anticipated disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated, if the criminal case ends in conviction, especially in the doubted circumstances, would amount to depriving the petitioner of his right of livelihood – It is only the respondent Board which has chosen to sleep over the issue – Contention of the learned Additional Advocate General that in the event of conviction, there will be possibility of framing of fresh charges against the petitioner on the basis of such conviction and therefore, the petitioner has not been allowed to retire and placed under suspension has absolutely no meaning and it is unknown in service law – Petition allowed.
Committee of Management vs State of Uttar Pardesh and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
U.P. Basic Education Act, 1972; U.P. Junior High Schools (Payment of Salaries of Teachers and other Employees) Act, 1978 – Plea that alleged appointments of respondents no. 6 to 9 were nullity in the eyes of law as they did not possess the requisite minimum educational qualification necessary for appointment to the post of Assistant Teacher – Held, for a valid appointment to the post of teacher in a recognised junior high school one must possess the requisite minimum qualification prescribed in r. 4 and salary for payment of such a teacher of a recognised junior high school shall be the liability of the State Government – Appointment of a person who does not possess requisite qualification prescribed in the rules is illegal since its inception – Respondents no. 6 to 9 do not possess requisite minimum qualification – It is difficult to hold that they have any iota of right to hold the post of Assistant Teacher in the school or to claim salary merely on the ground that ignoring this necessary aspect of the matter the educational authorities have granted approval to them – Appeals allowed.
Music Choice India Private Limited vs (1) Phonographic Performance Limited; (2) Super Cassettes Industries Limited [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 22 Jan 2009 ]
Media and Entertainment – Intellectual Property – Civil Procedure – Copyright Act, 1957, ss. 31 and 33(3) – Plaintiff is Broadcaster of sound recordings – Defendant is Assignee of the copyright in sound recordings – Plaintiff sought licence from Defendant to allow the Plaintiff to broadcast their sound records – Rejected by defendant – Plaintiff being aggrieved filed application for compulsory licence u/s. 31(1)(b) of the Act – Thereafter, plaintiff also filed civil suit for the grant of injunction against the defendant – Whether Civil Court has jurisdiction for determination of disputes with regard to declaratory and injunctive relief, otherwise in the domain of Copyright Board – In this case the Act creates a statutory right and remedy u/s. 31(1)(b) of the Act – It provides forum for enforcement of remedy too – Rights under the Act can be enforced before the Copyright Board by following the procedure prescribed by that law – Held, Court does not have inherent jurisdiction to try the Suit, it being impliedly barred by s. 31(1)(b) of the Act, it having to be exclusively granted by the Copyright Board, and that position having been expressly admitted by the Plaintiff by virtue of its own application before the Copyright Board – Suit is dismissed for want of this Court’s inherent jurisdiction – Further held, remedy of injunction cannot be granted to Plaintiff by the Civil Court pending the Plaintiff’s application before the Copyright Board – Plaintiff may make such application as it deems fit for expedition or for grant of interim reliefs in its application before the Board – The Board may consider such application, if made, on merits – Order accordingly.
Pradeep Tak vs State of Rajasthan and Another [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 17 Jan 2009 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 406 – Whether trial court committed error in rejecting application filed for acquitting accused u/s. 406 IPC, 1860 even when compromise between complainant and petitioner had been attested by District Judge and decree u/s. 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was passed? – Whether accused has the right to file application for acquittal when complainant did not file compromise? – Held, until and unless the compromise is filed by the complainant, the trial court had no occasion to attest compromise u/s. 406 IPC and acquit accused-petitioner of that offence – Merely because compromise has been verified by District Judge, proceedings u/s. 406 IPC could not have been dropped by the trial court u/s. 406 IPC – Complainant cannot be directed by the trial court to submit compromise particularly when the petitioner himself has not filed compromise or withdrawn all the cases filed against complainant – Petitioner himself has not carried out terms of compromise and parties have no where requested to compound the offence and the petitioner has not prayed relief for quashing the proceedings before High Court – Petition dismissed.
Commissioner of Income Tax Delhi (Central) II vs Pawan Kumar Garg [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 132(1) – Authorization for issuing warrant – Panchnama – Reckoning of limitation period – Whether the Additional Director (Investigation) had the requisite jurisdiction to authorize any officer to effect search and seizure in purported exercise of his power conferred upon him u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961? – Provisions of s. 132(1) refers to Director General or Director as well as Joint Director or Joint Commissioner; while the first two authorities fall within the first category, which were empowered by the statute itself to authorize action u/s. 132(1), the latter two authorities, namely, the Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, can only authorize action if they are specifically empowered by the Board in that behalf – Words “Director General” or “Director” be construed in the limited sense and not in the inclusive sense as defined in s. 2(21) of ITA, 1961 – When the legislature has specified the authorities who may be empowered as being the Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, we cannot extend the same by employing the definition given in s.2 (28D) to extend it to Additional Directors of Investigation – High Court of Delhi in Dr Nalini Mahajan v. Director of Income-tax (Investigation) has held that Additional Director or Income-tax (Investigation) did not have any power to issue any authorisation or warrant u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961 – Held, mere re-designation of a class of officers does not translate to the specific empowerment which is required u/s. 132(1) of ITa, 1961 – Issue entirely covered by the decision of of Dr Nalini Mahajan – Appeal dismissed.
Commissioner of Income Tax Delhi (Central) II vs Capital Power Systems Limited [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 132(1) – Authorization for search and seizure – Notification empowering Joint Director – Whether the Joint Director of Income-tax (Investigation was empowered to issue the warrant of authorization for search and seizure operations u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961? – Held, a specific notification u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961 would necessarily have to be issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes if it wishes to empower any Joint Director to authorize action to be taken u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961; in the absence of any such specific empowerment by the board, Joint Director is not empowered to issue any authorization – Application disposed of.
Commissioner of Income Tax (Tds) vs Ikea Trading Hong Kong Limited [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Tax deduction at source – Penalty proceedings – Penalty order passed beyond six months – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 271(1)(c) – Whether ITAT was correct in law in deleting the penalty imposed by assessing officer u/s. 271C of ITA, 1961, on the ground that penalty order was passed beyond the time prescribed by s. 275(1)(c)? – Where penalty proceeding does not emanate from any other proceeding, then only six month period from end of the month of initiation of penalty proceeding would be available – Penalty proceeding u/s. 271C is independent of any other proceeding – If there is a failure to deduct or pay the tax deducted at source, penalty proceedings can be initiated; this is irrespective of any order being passed u/s. 201(1)/201(1A) of ITA, 1961 – The “other” proceeding mentioned in s. 271(1)(c) must be a legitimate proceeding having due recognition under ITA, 1961 such as an assessment proceeding – Held, since only one period of limitation would be applicable, the expression “whichever period expires later” would have to be read as that very period of limitation, therefore, the period of limitation for passing the penalty order expired on 31-12-1999 being six months from the end of the month in which the penalty proceeding was initiated by issuance of the show cause notice dated 26-06-1999; penalty order was passed on 16-03-2000 which was clearly beyond the time prescribed u/s. 275(1)(c) of ITA, 1961 – Appeals dismissed.
Paint Employees Union, Mumbai vs Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited, Mumbai [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s. 25(O) – Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 – Whether Specified Authority erred in referring the matter to the Tribunal in exercise of its power u/s. 25O (5) of IDA, 1947, having rejected the application for review? – Held, Specified Authority can on its own motion or on an application made to it, review its order or refer the matter to the Industrial Tribunal – Once review application is disposed of there is no scope for further making a reference – If review jurisdiction is exercised and review application is rejected then there can be no further order of reference – Once Specified Authority considers the application of the appellant union merely because the decision of the Specified Authority is against the appellant union it cannot contend that it was deprived of the valuable right of review – Appeal dismissed.
Ramanlal Kantilal Doshi, Pune City vs (1) Lalchand Hemraj Nahar, Pune; (2) Hargovinddas Jagmohandas Gandhi, Pune City [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Rent Control – Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, s. 5(11) – Unauthorised sub-tenancy – Residential premises changed into non-residential – Bonafide need – Decree of possession reversed, hence petition – Held, even assuming for a moment that the landlord mentioned in the termination notice that defendant no.1 let out the premises to defendant no.2 unlawfully since 1.7.1971, still the protection as claiming u/s. 5(11) of BRHLHRCA, 1947 on the footing that defendant no.2 is in possession of the said room before 1.2.1973 cannot be extended being unauthorised occupant for want of consent or permission from the landlord and secondly, no material and evidence of defendant no.1/original tenant to support the authorised sub-tenancy or licensee – Merely because landlord let out the premises and adjusted his cousin that itself cannot be the reason that after his marriage his case of bonafide need in view of subsequent developments cannot be considered – Petition allowed.
(1) Naim, Aurangabad; (2) Dheeraj, Aurangabad vs State of Maharashtra [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 – Challenge to the order of conviction and sentence – Appellants convicted for offence punishable u/s. 8(c) r/w s. 20(1)(b)(ii)(C) of NDPSA, 1985 – Held, report of the Assistant Chemical Analyser leaves no manner of doubt that the contents of each sealed packet showed presence of ganja; report further makes it manifest that it was contraband substance within the meaning of Section 2(iii)(b) of NDPSA, 1985 – Unless there is some tangible material to infer that the Police Officer was interested in tampering with the seals of the sample packets due to some enmity with the accused or for some other reason, it is difficult to say that there was intentional breach of s. 55 of NDPSA, 1985 – There is adequate material to attribute “conscious possession” at least to appellant no.1, inasmuch as he was found transporting the contraband ganja in the Ambassador car vehicle.; it can not be even remotely said that without his knowledge the ganja bundles were being transported in the Ambassador car vehicle; circumstances on record go to prove his custody and control over the gunny bags containing huge quantity of the contraband ganja; considering the huge quantity of ganja (91 Kgs.) found in his custody, the sentence awarded to him is also quite proper – Nothing was seized from appellant no.2’s custody; he was not found to possess any document to show that he was concerned with the gunny bags containing the contraband ganja; his mere presence in the Ambassador car vehicle will not be an act of culpable nature, therefore impugned conviction and sentence rendered against him is set aside – Appeals disposed of.
(1) Nine Paradise Hotels Private Limited, Mumbai; (2) Rajan Chourse, Mumbai vs (1) National Textile Corporation Limited, Mumbai; (2) Union of India, Ministry of Textile [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Contract & Commercial; Administrative – Whether action of respondents in canceling bid on ground that highest tendered was 40% lower than reserved price was arbitrary? – Held, decision has been taken on commercial principles that the bid offer was 40% less than the reserved price and the Corporation cannot be compelled to expose itself to any financial losses in face of the fact that it had already fixed the reserved price – Merely because the Respondents have taken a decision not to invite any of the parties for negotiation does not render their action arbitrary – Merely because the Petitioners had submitted a tender which happened to be the highest and had furnished a Bank Guarantee of Rs.150 crores per se does not render the decision of the Respondent Corporation to cancel the tender process arbitrary – Inviting tenders is merely an invitation to offer and does not vest any indefeasible or legal right in the applicant-bidder to claim that he alone should be awarded the contract – There is no concluded contract between the parties as the Respondents had taken a decision at the threshold itself upon opening of the financial bid to cancel the tender processes – Petition dismissed.
(1) Subhash Narasappa Mangrule; (2) Narasappa Baburao Mangrule; (3) Parameshwar Narasappa Mangrule vs Sidramappa Jagdevappa Unnad, Solapur [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 14 Jan 2009 ]
Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, s. 21 – CPC, 1908, O. 27, r. 22 – Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 – Parties entered into compromise on dishonour of cheque – Whether Darkhast is maintainable for execution of award passed by Lok Adalat on non compliance of compromise order in criminal case and whether trial court was justified in issuing notice under O. 27, r. 22 of CPC, 1908 – Held, compromise in question as recorded is within the framework of law and the record – S. 21 mandates that every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decreed of Civil Court and the same shall be final and binding on all the parties; such order is not even appealable – Other party/ Judgment Debtor/ accused if refused to make the payment pursuance to the award, the decree holder / Respondent/ Complainant has no choice but to file such execution application – Once the parties entered into compromise before the Lok Adalat, & at that time no question of any pecuniary jurisdiction raised and or required to be considered by the Lok Adalat, therefore, once the award is passed, it is executable under CPC, 1908 – Petition dismissed.

Major High Courts Decisions: Dec2008-Jan2009
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Challenge to the order of dismissing application to issue summons to the Inspector of Police which had been filed to demonstrate how the records had been tempered in other proceedings between the parties including the vakalat of the revision petitioner and also the order of the High Court while ordering for police investigation – Suit had been filed for relief of specific performance against revision petitioner/first defendant and also a relief of permanent injunction and nearly 14 years had lapsed from the date of filing of the suit – Held, in law, a party/litigant is entitled to produce the best evidence to substantiate his case, this cannot be prevented – Petition allowed.
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Petition to challenge order dismissing application filed for direction to respondent/plaintiff to surrender all original documents – Held, respondent/plaintiff at the time of cross examination, he is ready to produce the originals before the trial Court to compare the same with that of the certified copies, therefore civil revision petition is liable to be dismissed – Petition dismissed.
Sundaramoorthy vs M. C. Kalaithangam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 04 Dec 2008]
Whether trial court was justified in dismissing application filed for passing order to send Exs A24 and A25 to the Forensic Department for the purpose of verification of the signatures in the said documents? – Held, in view of the fact that the revision petitioner/first defendant is not connected with Exs A24 and A25 and since these documents relate to the tenant, when he vacated the house, after receiving the amount and inasmuch as the respondent/plaintiff is willing to examine the witnesses, who affixed their signatures in Exs A24 and A25, Court is not inclined to allow the revision petition in the interests of justice – Petition dismissed.
(1) G. Lakshmi Ammal; (2) Bakthavatsalu Naidu vs (1) District Collector, Villupuram; (2) Special Tahsildar, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
S. Swaminathan vs State [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
CrPC, 1973, s. 438 – While passing an order of anticipatory bail whether either Sessions Court or High Court can direct the accused even at the pre-arrest stage to appear before the concerned Magistrate and to execute bond thereby preventing the police officer from arresting the accused? – Held, ‘any person accused of a non-bailable offence, on appearance before the Magistrate concerned is also entitled to be released on bail, if he is granted the relief u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 – High Court or the Sessions Court can very well give directions to release an accused on bail in the event of arrest or his appearance before the concerned Magistrate Court to execute the bond and sureties – Directing the accused to execute sureties before the concerned Court would not at all prevent the police officer from arresting and taking into custody of the accused only in the event of arrest the order u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 comes into operation and as such the concerned accused comes under the protective umbrella of the order passed u/s. 438 of CrPC, 1973 at the very moment of the arrest and he shall be released immediately on bail after executing bonds and furnishing sureties without being sent to jail – Petition disposed of.
V. Ravi @ P. V. Ravi vs (1) V. Balakrishnan; (2) V. Sreeraman; (3) V. Chamumdeeswari; (4) V. Suresh; (5) V. Arun Kumar; (6) V. Salammal; (7) V. Kausalya; (8) Purusoth; (9) Gayathri; (10) Veeraraghavan @ Veeraraghavapillai; (11) Veeraraghavan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Whether trial court was justified in allowing application for impleading of parties? – Held, concept ‘ plaintiff is the dominus litus’ is not an absolute rule – Power of a Court to implead the parties to the proceedings cannot so only depend on the question whether he has interest in the suit property – Proper question to be addressed by the Court is whether the right of the litigants or persons may be affected if they are not arrayed as parties; such right will however necessarily include an enforceable legal right – The only reason which makes him a necessary party to an action is so that he/she should be bound by the result of the action and the question to be settled, therefore, must be a question in the action which cannot be effectively and completely settled unless he/she is a party to the case – Respondents 1 to 9 are proper parties to the proceedings, since they claim some semblance of direct substantial right as remaining co-owners/joint owners etc in the suit properties – Petition dismissed.
Rethinaboobathy Ammal vs (1) District Collector, Thanjavur; (2) Special Tahsildar, Thanjavur; (3) Pakkirisamy [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
Pravin vs (1) State of Maharashtra; (2) Maharashtra Public Service Commission [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Bombay Judicial Service Recruitment Rules – Petitioner appeared for the LL.B. Final Year Examination held in April-May, 2004 but result was declared on 3rd July, 2004, petitioner came to be enrolled with effect from 23rd August, 2004 – Whether the petitioner was eligible to apply in Category ‘B’ – “Fresh Law Graduates as set out in the Explanation below Rule [4] (4) (iii-A) (f) of the BJSRR as on 10th August, 2007” for the post of Junior Civil Judge? – Held, explanation and the Instructions must be read down so as to be in conformity with the intention to enable bright law graduates, who did not have the minimum of three years’ standing and those who are eligible to be enrolled as advocates, whether enrolled or not, to enter the judicial service, and such talented law graduates should not be prevented from entering the judicial service by adopting a hyper-technical approach while considering the requirements of eligibility in terms of “Category ‘B’ for fresh law graduates”, as held by the Supreme Court in the case of Sanjay Dhar – Though the petitioner cannot be said to have a minimum three years of practice as an Advocate, at the same time, he cannot be excluded from the “Category of Fresh Law Graduates”; he was eligible to apply for the post of Junior Civil Judge in response to the Proclamation/Advertisement published on 4th July, 2007 by the MPSC, in the category of “Fresh Law Graduates”, namely Category ‘B’, in keeping with the requirements of Rule 4 (4) (f) (iii-A) of the BJSRR – Petition allowed.
K. P. Murali vs Vitan Departmental Stores, Chenni [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 – Petition for quashing of proceedings initiated u/s. 138 of NIA, 1881 – When first notice having been returned with postal endorsement ‘left’ and second notice issued after cheques were dishonoured second time with endorsement ‘intimation delivered’, whether complaint on return of second notice maintainable? – Held, there can be only one cause of action and such cause of action, has already arisen and as such the complaint filed on the basis of the second cause of action ought not to have been taken cognizance of by the learned Magistrate – Petition allowed.
M. Venkataraman vs (1) District Collector, Sivagangai; (2) Special Tahsildar, Sivagangai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 03 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Harijan Welfare Schemes Act, 1978 – Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Challenge to the acquisition of land u/s. TNALHWSA, 1978 – Held, there is neither any reference to any Government’s instruction nor the Collector being directed by the Government; on the contrary, it clearly shows the Collector’s independent application of mind as required under the TNALHWSA, 1978 – Form II prescribed is a mechanical reproduction of the Form used under LAA, 1894, thats why the Full Bench cautioned the Courts to go by substance and not by Form while deciding the validity of the acquisition; it is high time the State Government modifies the Form prescribed in tune with the spirit of the TNALHWSA, 1978; issue raised by petitioner based on the printed Form cannot clinch the issue in favour of the petitioner – Constitutional validity of TNALHWSA, 1978 was upheld by the Supreme Court in the year 1995 and a Full Bench of High Court of Madras has settled the controversy on the modalities of the procedure involved in the Land Acquisition for Harijan Welfare Schemes in the year 2006 – Direction issued to District Collector to expedite the implementation of the scheme in right earnest – Petition dismissed.
(1) C. Balakrishnan; (2) R. Santhamoorthy vs (1) Principal District Judge, Kancheepuram; (2) Deputy Director, Handlooms and Textiles, Kancheepuram; (3) Kancheepuram, Pillaiyarpalayam Moovendar Handloom Weavers; (4) G. Anbazhagan; (5) Rathinavelu; (6) Mohanavelu [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 11 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1983, s. 87 – Whether surcharge proceedings against petitioners u/s. 87 of TNCSA, 1983 justified? – Whether non completion of enquiry within six months u/s. 87 vitiates the proceedings? – Division Bench in its decision in S.V.K.Sahasramam -vs- Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Tiruvannamalai Circle, Tiruvannamalai and others held that in a case where there are allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, the members of general public who have been cheated have no control over those who hold the enquiry in respect of the time limit and to hold that such an enquiry which has been continued beyond the time limit is bad would cause great injustice, therefore if such enquiry is continued beyond the time limit mentioned in the relevant statute, the said time cannot be held to be – Held, when once the loss has been proved for not following the rules and regulations, certainly, s. 87 will get attracted – Above precedent rendered by the Division Bench binding – Petitions dismissed.
K. R. Palaniswami vs (1) Co-Operative Societies Special Tribunal, Erode; (2) Deputy Registrar, Co-Operative Societies, Erode; (3) Lamp Co-Operative Society, Erode; (4) A. Balasubramaniam [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 11 Dec 2008]
Whether surcharge proceedings against petitioners justified? – Whether non completion of enquiry within six months vitiates the proceedings? – Division Bench in its decision in S.V.K.Sahasramam -vs- Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies, Tiruvannamalai Circle, Tiruvannamalai and others held that in a case where there are allegations of embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, the members of general public who have been cheated have no control over those who hold the enquiry in respect of the time limit and to hold that such an enquiry which has been continued beyond the time limit is bad would cause great injustice, therefore if such enquiry is continued beyond the time limit mentioned in the relevant statute, the said time cannot be held to be – Held, it is not as if Section 87 of the Act is only confined to certain categories of misdemeanors which require mens rea on the part of the person proceeded against; by the same provision even if any deviation from the procedure which causes loss to the society can also be recovered – Petitions dismissed.
World Wide Brands Inc., Gurgaon vs (1) Central Wearhouse, Bangalore; (2) Trade Marks Registry, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Trade Marks and Merchandise Act, 1958 – Challenge to the registration of the trade marks “camel collection” in favour of the respondent – Held, excepting the fact that Exhibits bear the brand name “camel”, there is no other indication that the petitioner World Wide Brand Inc had any connection with those documents – There is absolutely no evidence placed either before the registering authority or the appellate Board, as to how the petitioner became the owner of the trade mark, except producing some list of registrations – When there is a specific finding that the petitioner had totally failed to produce any evidence with regard to the commercial publicity either in the magazines or otherwise the appellant mark in India, the contention relating to transborder reputation should be negatived – Even relating to the advertisement, it is seen that the petitioner had produced two calendars which are in Spanish Language and were not in circulation in India and the same cannot be relied upon for the purpose of advertisements of camel brand cigarettes in India – Petitions dismissed.
(1) M. Palanivel; (2) A. Paulraj; (3) V. Govindaraj; (4) K. Anbazhakan; (5) D. Vijayan; (6) K. Murugesan; (7) E. Ponnammal; (8) M. Paramasivam; (9) G. Arumugam; (10) G. Devan; (11) B. Narayanan; (12) R. Vadivelu; (13) D. Dhanalakshmi; (14) D. Dorai Kannu; (15) M. Boologam; (16) V. Devi; (17) K. Kuppan; (18) K. Ayyappan; (19) B. Santhakumari; (20) M. Kuraldasan; (21) D. Kuppan; (22) D. Augastin vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu; (2) Tamil Nadu Housing Board [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Tamil Nadu Housing Board Act, 1961 – Eviction notice – Whether fixing of interest at the rate of 18% and EMI spread over to 15 years for cost of the plot to be charged from petitioners who were living either doing domestic help or involved in some petty employment/trade, arbitrary? – Held, considering the fact that the petitioners have been rendered homeless due to a fire tragedy and the State had promised to re-locate them in a proper place and had also promised that they will be provided with small plots of land over which they could make their own construction of an house and the fact that all the petitioners belong to economically weaker sections (EWS) and living out on daily wages, the action of the respondents in charging arbitrary interest almost at usurious rates cannot be permitted – Eviction notice quashed and direction issued to calculate EMI at the rate of 9% interest – Petitions disposed of.
Tamil Nadu Electricity Board vs Venkatalakshmi Textiles Private Limited, Tirupur [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 – Whether the amended Clause 31.02 of the Terms and Conditions of the Supply of Electricity, as was notified vide proceedings of the Full Board as contained in Permanent BP(Ms)No.110 stands clarified by the proceedings as contained in Permanent BP(Ch).No.203? – Held, any clarification can be made even by a competent authority properly explaining the decision if taken by the superior authority, therefore, it was open for the Chairman of the TNEB to clarify any decision of the Full Board of the TNEB, as he is also a member of the said Full Board, but such clarification should be in consonance with the decision of the original authority and cannot be contrary to the decision of the original authority – A specific decision having been taken by the Full Board of the TNEB, it was not open for the Chairman of the TNEB to give a different meaning to the word “expansion” for the purpose of Clause 31.02 of the Terms and Conditions of the Supply of Electricity, contrary to the decision of the TNEB in its proceedings in Permanent BP(FB).No.110 – The said explanation given by the Chairman of the TNEB in Permanent B.P.(Ch).No.203, being contrary to the decision of the Full Board of the TNEB in Permanent B.P.(FB).No.110, issued in exercise of the powers conferred by s. 49 of EA, 1948, the proceedings in B.P.(Ch).No.203, are illegal and void – Appeal allowed.
S. Manokaran vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Director General of Police, Chennai; (4) District Collector, Salem; (5) Deputy Inspector General of Police, Salem; (6) Commissioner of Police, Salem; (7) Inspector of Police, Salem; (8) S. Veerapandi Arumugam; (9) K. Noor Mohammed; (10) P. G. Ganesan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Petition for direction to respondents 1 and 2 to constitute a Committee consisting of senior I.A.S. and I.P.S. cadre Officers and direct them to visit the Salem City and examine the vital aspects of the violation against the order of High court – Held, when High Court of Madras had passed final orders in the earlier writ petitions and if the present petitioner finds that there was any violation, the only course open to the petitioner is to file a contempt application – It is not known as to how the petitioner being an advocate and a civil libertarian can come forward to file the writ petition, seeking direction of this Court to appoint a Committee of senior Civil Servants to go into the issue of violation of this Court’s order; the violation of High Court’s order has to be ascertained only by High Court and not through a Committee consisting of senior I.A.S. and I.P.S. Officers – If the petitioner has information that his associates were threatened by any person or his civil liberties are hampered, it is well open to him to move the appropriate police station by making a specific complaint, and failing which, to move the Criminal Court with a private complaint – Petition dismissed.
(1) M. K. Ayyanar; (2) K. Periasamy; (3) A. Muthulingam; (4) S. Vallimayil; (5) A. Pasupathy; (6) G. Balasundaram; (7) S. Ramalingam; (8) K. Annamalai; (9) K. Malathy; (10) K. Senthil Kumar; (11) M. Panneerselvam; (12) T. Thenmozhi ; (13) B. Sudha; (14) B. Gurubagiam; (15) K. Balasikhamani; (16) G. Sivagurunathan; (17) S. V. Amuthan; (18) A. G. Kadarkarai; (19) Gnanatheepam; (20) M. Mariammal vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Special Deputy Collector, Chennai; (3) Special Tahsildar, Chennai; (4) Chennai, Metropolitan Development Authority Schemes [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 10 Dec 2008]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Limitation Act, 1963 – Whether Award proceedings were hit by the limitation provided u/s. 11A of LAA, 1894? – Held, no Award could have been passed when a Division Bench of Madras High Court has set aside the notification u/s. 4(1) by its final order dated 29-10-1991, therefore, no proceedings was pending till the Supreme Court by its judgment dated 10-11-1995 allowed the Civil Appeal and restored the s. 4(1) notification; the day in which the s. 6 declaration was made alive was by a judgment of the Supreme Court dated 10-11-1995, the limitation will have to be calculated in terms of proviso to s. 11A of LAA, 1894; if calculated from that date, the final Award has been passed on 31-10-1997, which is well within the limitation prescribed under LAA, 1894 – In a case where the entire proceedings have been quashed and given life only after the final judgment of the Supreme Court, then the proviso alone will apply – Plea of innocent purchase made by a buyer has no place while impugning a land acquisition validly made under LAA, 1894 – Petitions dismissed.
S. Srinivasan vs (1) Karnataka Bank Limited, Tirupur; (2) M. A. Tex Technology Private Limited, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Whether appellate tribunal, in view of contention that Company may prefer a separate appeal having different entity, was justified in rejecting petition filed by petitioner-guarantor to transpose company-borrower as second appellant? – Held, it is always open to the borrower and guarantor to join together to challenge a common order passed by DRT, the borrower having granted loan by the Bank and guarantor having given guarantee with regard to the said loan – Petition disposed of.
(1) R. Saravanan; (2) K. Rangasamy vs Tamil Nadu Housing Board [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Whether appellant having applied for allotment of flat prior to 30-12-2000 was eligible for the benefit of waiving interest as per G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001? – Held, State Government was very clear while issuing G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001, it wanted to allot and sell the houses to those, who had not applied for such house prior to 30-12-2000; those who have applied prior to 30-12-2000, allotted their respective flats and reached agreement for sale prior to 22-01-2001, and paid installments for such payment, including the appellants, who have paid such installments upto Aug., 2001, thus, G.O. No.29 dated 22-01-2001 is not applicable to them nor the appellants can derive any advantage of the same – Appeals dismissed.
Tass Womens Group Federation, Vellore vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu; (2) District Collector, Vellore; (3) Local Planning Authority, Vellore; (4) Commissioner, Vellore [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 08 Dec 2008]
Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 – Petition for quashing of public auction notice and for direction to 4th respondent-Commissioner to allow the petitioner Federation – a Women Self Help Group to maintain the bus stand, at least for one year from 29-10-2008 – Held, State Government and the Local Authorities shall grant financial assistance to the non-Governmental organisations for the rehabilitation of disabled persons – Petitioner Federation is a non-Governmental organisation, viz, Women Self Help Group, therefore the 4th respondent is statutorily bound to help the petitioner Federation to promote the welfare of its members, particularly disabled, numbering 47 – Federation is prepared to pay the highest bid amount, thus, no loss is to be sustained by the 4th respondent by permitting the petitioner to do the works, at least till 31-03-2009 – Direction issued – Petition disposed of.
Salem, Periyar Kudiyiruppu Nala Sangam vs (1) State of Tamil Nadu; (2) Tamil Nadu Housing Board; (3) V. K. O. Ramanathan; (4) V. K. O. Varadarajan; (5) O. Soundarajan; (6) T. Obulisamy; (7) T. Vijayaraghavan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 15 Dec 2008]
Land Acquisition Act, 1894 – Whether Court was justified in dismissing writ petition at admission stage filed for challenging vires of Government Order? – Whether decree passed in suit filed for declaration that respondents 4 to 8 were entitled for allotment of 50 cents of land was void ab-initio and whether it can be challenged in a collateral proceedings by filing a writ petition? – Held, pursuant to the decree passed in suit, respondents 4 to 8 took execution proceedings and also obtained possession of the land and thereafter, respondents 2 and 3 made a request to the first respondent-Government for conveying the land after fixing up the land value, which was also accepted by the Government which culminated in Government Order; in pursuant to the said Government order, the land cost was also paid – Decree obtained in suit by the original land owners cannot said to be void or nullity as they have not challenged the original land acquisition proceedings – Court executing the decree cannot go beyond the decree between the parties or their representatives and it must take the decree according to its tenor and cannot entertain any objections that the decree was incorrect in law or on facts and only it has to be set aside by the appropriate proceedings in appeal or revision – An erroneous or illegal decision, which is not void, cannot be objected in execution or collateral proceedings – Appeal dismissed.
(1) P. Chengaiah; (2) P. Sarojanamma; (3) P. Ravikumar; (4) P. V. Prasad; (5) R. Subhasri vs D. Chandra [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 15 Dec 2008]
CPC, 1908 – Contempt of Courts Act, 1971 – Applications filed attaching the suit property and also order detention of the respondent/defendant in civil prison for disobeying the order of injunction – Whether, in contravention of a prohibitory or injunction order passed by the court, respondent committed a fraud in transfer of immovable property in name of third party? – Held, respondent has fraudulently clinched a compromise deal with third party and carried out the fraud to the portals of the court while inviting a compromise decree as though the compromise clinched between the parties was a true and genuine one; having persuaded the court to trust her, the respondent has obtained a compromise decree; she has chosen to execute the sale deed despite a prohibitory order against her, therefore respondent has committed a contempt of far reaching consequences which virtually takes away the very right of the applicants to agitate usefully and purposefully before the court of law – Confidence reposed by the public in the majesty of law will be shaken if the alienation made by the respondent pendente lite against the spirit of the restraint order is allowed to continue – Court will have to exercise its inherent jurisdiction u/s. 151 of CPC to nullify the sale deed – Considering respondent’s age and her health profile and the decision already arrived at by this court to declare the sale deed executed by the respondent as null and void, the court is not inclined to punish her for civil contempt – Order accordingly.
(1) Anna Mathew; (2) D. Hariparanthaman; (3) Sudha Ramalingam; (4) K. M. Ramesh; (5) S. S. Vasudevan; (6) C. Vijayakumar; (7) Dr. V. Suresh; (8) Balan Haridas; (9) S. T. Varadarajulu; (10) S. Sathiachandran; (11) D. Geetha; (12) R. Jaikumar; (13) P. Pugalenthi; (14) P. Vijendran; (15) S. Rajanikanth; (16) S. Sengodi; (17) T. Maheshkumar; (18) P. Kalyani; (19) K. Thilakeswaran; (20) Ajoy Khose; (21) M. Muthupandian; (22) R. Kamatchi Sundaresan; (23) V. Porkodi vs (1) N. Kannadasan; (2) Government of Tamil Nadu; (3) Union of India, Delhi; (4) High Court, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Constitution, 1950 – Consumer Protection Act, 1986 – Whether an additional Judge who is not confirmed and ceases to be an additional Judge on expiry of the initial term of appointment can be considered as a “person who has been a Judge and could be appointed as the President of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission? – Whether the requirement of consultation with the Honourable the Chief Justice had been fulfilled? – Whether the appointment of Respondent No.1 can be declared illegal and invalid on the ground that such appointment was against public interest? – Whether the resolution of the Full Court resolving that Respondent No.1 may be considered as a retired Judge is legal and valid? – Held, what art. 224A envisages or the Supreme Court in Ashok Tanwar’s case recognises is that a Judge who lays down office under normal circumstances on attaining the age fixed would be eligible, but an additional Judge who has not been confirmed and whose term has not been extended, obviously cannot be considered as a retired Judge or “has been a Judge” or “has held the office of a Judge” – Panel of three former Judges has been suggested by the Honourable the Chief Justice even without being made aware of the circumstances under which there was non-continuation / non-confirmation of Respondent No.1; since an onerous duty has been cast on the Honourable the Chief Justice to render ‘consultation’ which is a statutory requirement, there cannot be any doubt that before rendering such “consultation” all the relevant factors were required to be considered; when it is apparent that the Consultee has failed to discharge such onerous duty, the resultant appointment obviously becomes vulnerable – It is not for High Court to decide about the suitability of Respondent No.1 for the post of President of the Consumer Commission as that was a matter for the State Government to decide in consultation with the Chief Justice; if the appointment of a person is otherwise legal, the Judiciary may not be justified in interfering with such appointment on the ground that it is against public interest – Resolution of the Full Court in its administrative side cannot at all control the legal interpretation to be given in any matter to be decided on the judicial side – Petitions disposed of.
Beela Devi and Others vs Sumer Singh and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Tribunal awarded the total compensation of Rs. 4, 69, 000/- with interest @ 6% per annum – Appeal for enhancement – Held, Tribunal was fully justified in assessing the monthly income of the deceased as Rs. 3, 000/- in absence of any documentary or cogent evidence on record – Tribunal is required to pass an award under s. 168 which appears to be just, fair and reasonable – Every method or mode adopted for assessing the amount of compensation has to be considered in the background of “just” compensation which is the pivotal consideration – Appeal dismissed.
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited vs (1) M. Murugayan; (2) Labour Court, Salem [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Whether labour court was justified in setting aside the order of dismissal and directing petitioner Corporation to reinstate the first respondent? – Held, petitioner Corporation has not shown sufficient cause or reason to interfere with the award of the labour Court – Labour Court had found that the punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent workman was disproportionate to the misconduct committed by him; enquiry officer had not considered the medical certificate produced by the first respondent workman; proper reasons have been given by the second respondent labour Court to come to its conclusions for invoking s. 11A of IDA, 1947 to reduce the punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent to that of stoppage of increment for one year, with cumulative effect – Petition dismissed.
Raj Kumari and Others vs Mahendra Singh and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Accident Claims – Tribunal awarded a total compensation of Rs.4, 02, 000/- with interest at the rate of 9% per annum – Appeal for enhancement of the amount of compensation – Held, in absence of any cogent documentary evidence with regard to monthly income of the deceased, the Tribunal assessed the same as Rs.3, 000/- – Tribunal has not committed any illegality – Compensation must be “just” and it cannot be a bonanza; not a source of profit but the same should not be a pittance – Appeal dismissed.
K. Ambalanatha Doss vs (1) Kanyakumari District Central Co-Operative Bank; (2) Assistant Commissioner, of Labour, Tirunelveli [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Payment of Gratuity Act, 1972 – Tamil Nadu Co-operative Societies Act, 1993 – Whether court was justified in holding that appellant or the applicant for the revision may apply for the review for any order passed u/s. 152 or u/s. 153 of TNCSA, 1993 and u/s. 156, there is a bar of jurisdiction of civil Courts as far as these proceedings were concerned, therefore, the Controlling Authority under PGA, 1972 was at liberty to approach the Registrar u/s. 153 of TNCSA, 1993 but not the Bank? – – Held, when a special law creates a right as well as remedy, the party must be directed to go before that Forum and not any other Forum – Even the reference to the provision of revision u/s. 153 and review u/s. 154 may not be a satisfactory Forum and there is a dispute relating to entitlement of gratuity including the difference in the gratuity amount; Central law holds the field in respect of gratuity and there being no other provision under the said law excluding the operation of Central law the order of Judge cannot be countenanced – Appeal allowed.
Jagat Singh Rathore vs State of Rajasthan and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Rajasthan Municipality Act, 1959 – What is the scope and ambit of Bye-laws 1991?; How are bye-laws 4(1) & 4(2) to be interpreted?; What is the scope and ambit of ss. 170 and 203 of the Act of 1959?; Are these provisions applicable to the petitioner’s case?; Does the Board have the power to seal rooms or to demolish illegal construction/ encroachments?; Under the principles of natural justice is the giving of notice an essential requirement?; What are the requirements dealing with giving of notice?; Can the Board demolish the alleged illegal construction within the period specified in the notice for removing the illegal construction/ encroachment?; Whether the brutal use of force by the State, in demolishing the building and sealing the rooms, has violated the petitioner’s fundamental rights under arts. 14, 19, 21 and 300A of the Constitution of India or not? – Held, notice was issued under bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991 – Therefore, the said notice could not have covered the hotel run by the petitioner – Moreover the said notice gives a threat that the hotel would be seized – But the power to seize the hotel has not been bestowed under the Bye-laws 1991 – Therefore, the said notice is ultra vires the powers of Bye-laws 1991 – While bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991 contains an absolute bar, bye-law 4(2) give a limited power to the Executive Officer of the Board “to control, supervise and to issue necessary directions” for the functioning of hotels, restaurants and other institutions – In the garb of exercising its power under bye-law 4(1) of Bye-laws 1991, the Executive Officer over stepped his jurisdiction to cover the petitioner’s hotel – Set aside the impugned notice dated 28-4-2006 and declared the action of the Board as illegal – Petition allowed.
Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation Limited vs (1) Manickam; (2) Labour Court, Salem [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947 – Whether Labour court was justified in setting aside the order dismissing the first respondent from service and directing petitioner Corporation to reinstate first respondent – Whether first respondent had committed a grave misconduct by absenting himself without obtaining the prior permission of the petitioner Corporation and without leave being sanctioned? Held, petitioner Corporation has not shown sufficient cause or reason to interfere with the award of the second respondent – Even though a second show cause notice had been issued to the first respondent, with regard to his past conduct, no particulars had been given therein, thus, it was found that the extreme punishment of dismissal from service imposed on the first respondent workman was disproportionate in nature – Petition dismissed.
Nathu Lal vs Dinesh Kumar and Another [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, s.168 – Tribunal awarded a total compensation of Rs.25, 172/- with interest at the rate of 6% per annum – Appeal for enhancement – Held, Tribunal is required to pass an Award under s. 168, which appears to be just, fair and reasonable – Every method or mode adopted for assessing compensation has to be considered in the background of “just” compensation which is the pivotal consideration – Amount of compensation awarded in the present case is just, fair and reasonable and no interference in it is called for – Appeal dismissed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Sujan Singh and Another [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in awarding an amount of Rs. 4, 10, 000/- as compensation to the parents of deceased who was 15 years old at the time of his death? – Held, as nothing has been brought on records by the appellants to prove that the deceased was unhealthy, sick or a rickety child and a bad student so, in view of law laid down in Lata Wadhwa and ors vs. State of Bihar and ors, it is appropriate to take the annual contribution of the deceased to his parents at Rs. 24, 000/- per annum – Adopting 10 as against the prescribed multiplier of 11 for the age group of the persons like the mother of the deceased, the compensation payable to the respondents-claimants would come to Rs. 2, 65, 000/- which includes the conventional amount of Rs. 25, 000/- for loss of love and affection – Appeal allowed.
Kuldeep Singh and Another vs Jagbir Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether Tribunal erred in deducting 2/3rd out of the established income of the deceased, a bachelor? – Held, benefits accruing to parents under the social legislation of MVA, 1988 providing for compensation to such parents for the death of their sons and daughters in a motor vehicular accident cannot be denied to them – In view of the provisions of sch. II issued u/s. 163A of MVA, 1988, the evidence led by the appellants in the case proving that they were wholly dependent on the income of their unmarried son and the trend noticed in the judgments of Supreme Court of India, deduction of 2/3rd from the income of the deceased to determine appellants’ dependency was unjustified – Appeal allowed.
Karam Chand vs Union of India and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, s. 168 – Whether Tribunal had erroneously scaled down the prescribed multiplier while assessing compensation payable to the appellants? – Held, compensation assessed by the Tribunal at Rs.2, 13, 400/- does not appear to be the just compensation in terms of s. 168 of MVA, 1988, in that, the amount, if kept in a fixed deposit, would not yield by way of interest so much of the amount which the deceased had been found to be contributing for the sustenance of his family – In order to recompense the appellants for the death of their bread-winner, they are required to be paid such amount by way of compensation interest component whereof per month may be near about the same amount which the deceased had been spending on the family, had the amount been kept in a fixed deposit – Appropriate multiplier for assessing the amount of compensation for the appellants should be 10 – Appeal allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Mangal Dei and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing average monthly income of the deceased by taking his prospective income into consideration, when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, when no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income, to determine the dependency of the family on the income of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Oriental Insurance Company Limited vs Amarjit Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the amount which would have been spent by an injured on himself for his sustenance and pleasure, had he not met with the accident, is required to be deducted, while assessing his future loss of income? – Held, net income of the injured available to support himself and his dependants is required to be ascertained before selecting appropriate multiplier keeping in view the one suggested in sch. II issued u/s. 163A of MVA, 1988 so that the amount so calculated, in terms of the Multiplier Method, which has come to be accepted as a fair method of determination of compensation under MVA, 1988, enables him to take care of himself and his dependants in the same manner he would have done it, had he not received injuries – No deductions may, be permissible from out of the amount assessed as loss of his future income because despite being disabled he will continue to spend for the sustenance and development of his body, mind and soul – Appeal disposed of.
Union of India and Others vs Gopu Ram and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in awarding compensation to the grand-parents? – Held, as the claimants have not led any evidence to prove the dependency of the grand parents on the income of deceased so they may not be entitled to claim compensation for his death additionally because being class 2nd heirs under Jammu and Kashmir Hindu Succession Act, 1956, they cannot maintain claim petition seeking compensation for the death of their grand child in the presence of his surviving mother – Appeal allowed.
Dr. Rajendra Kumar Kumbhat vs J.N.V. University, Jodhpur and Others [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Rajasthan Technical Education Service Rules, 1973 – Seniority – Held, inclusion of previous service for determination of the term for grant of selection grade is having no relevance so far as the seniority is concerned – Seniority of the petitioner and the respondent No.3 is required to be determined as per notification dated 7.1.1984 which prescribes that the seniority of the teachers in each category of posts shall be determined by the date of order of substantive appointment on a post in that category – Grant of selection grade by taking into consideration the previous service is not at all relevant for determination of seniority – Claim made by the petitioner relating to his seniority for appointment as Head of the Department is absolutely misconceived – Petition dismissed.
Union of India and Others vs Ram Nath and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing monthly income of the deceased while calculating the amount of compensation payable to the respondents-claimants, by taking his prospective income into consideration when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, as no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income to determine the dependency of the family on the income of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Union of India and Others vs Sujan Singh and Others [JAMMU AND KASHMIR HIGH COURT, 22 Dec 2008]
Whether Tribunal erred in assessing monthly income of the deceased at the time of his death by taking his prospective income into consideration when neither any such case had been projected nor proved during the currency of the claim petition? – Held, when no evidence had been led by the appellants to controvert the case set up by the claimants as to their dependency on the income of the deceased, rather than deducting one third out of his income, one fourth of his income needs to be deducted from his monthly income to determine the dependency of the family on the earnings of the deceased – Appeal allowed.
Gk Harihara Rajan vs (1) Neethi Devi; (2) Lillian James; (3) Robert James [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 30 Dec 2008 ]
CPC, s. 24 – Joint trial – Held, all the Courts including the courts constituted under the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920 have no jurisdiction to try the cases registered under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1997 – S. 7 of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors Act 1997 speaks of the procedures to be followed by Special Courts in making the order of ad-interim attachment of Government absolute or refuse to make absolute the order of ad-interim attachment of the Government – It is not open to the revision petitioner to file the present revision petition as against the return of M.P.S.R.No.23397 of 2008 (to reopen the matter) since admittedly, no proceedings are pending – Petition dismissed.
Kbc Pictures vs A.R. Murgadoss and Others [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 26 Dec 2008 ]
Plaintiff seeks injunction restraining the defendants from infringing his copyright in the story, screen play and dialogs in the Hindi remake of the Tamil film “Ghajini” – Held, as the plaintiff has not proved even prima facie that the defendant no.1 has executed the agreement and receipt, it cannot be said that he has proved that he is the owner of the copyright in the story, screenplay and dialogs for the Hindi version of the film “Ghajini” – Plaintiff has not made out a strong prima facie case for grant of injunction – Interim relief is refused – Order accordingly.
United India Insurance Company Limited, Dharmapuri Town vs (1) Nagammal; (2) Unnamalai; (3) V. B. Krishnan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the Insurer can be directed to pay compensation to the claimant in a case where the deceased and/or the injured was travelling as a gratuitous passenger in a goods vehicle and recover the same thereafter from the owner of such goods vehicle? – Held, u/s. 147 the Insurance Company is not statutorily required to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle unless such passenger is the owner or agent of the owner of the goods accompanying such goods in the concerned goods vehicle – Since there is no statutory requirement to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle, the principle of ‘pay and recover’, as statutorily recognised in s. 149(4) and s. 149(5), is not applicable ipso facto to such cases and, therefore, ordinarily the Court is not expected to issue such a direction to the Insurance Company to pay to the claimant and thereafter recover from the owner – Appeal disposed of.
V. Elumalai Naicker vs (1) Government of Tamil Nadu, Revenue Department; (2) Principal Commissioner and Commissioner Land Reforms, Chennai; (3) Assistant Commissioner, Urban Land Ceiling, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Tamil Nadu Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1978 – Tamil Nadu Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Repeal Act, 1999 – Challenge to the land acquisition proceedings on ground that opportunity of being heard was not given to petitioners before order acquisition of suit property – Held, respondents has not shown, from the records available, that the notice, u/s. 11(5) of TNLUL, 1978, calling upon the petitioner to hand over the possession of the land, had been served on him; there is nothing to show that actual physical possession of the land had been taken by the respondents or that the compensation had been paid to the petitioner, therefore land acquisition proceedings, would stand abated, in view of the coming into force of TNULRA, 1999 -Petition allowed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.
(1) A.D. Sudhindhra; (2) V. Narayanaswamy; (3) D.S. Srinivasan; (4) S. Venkatanarayanan; (5) R. Suresh Kumar vs (1) Inspector of Police, Mumbai; (2) State Bank of India, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, ss. 120-B read with 420, 409, 468, 471; Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, 13 (2) r/w 13 (1) (C) – Petition to quash the First Information Report – Held, no loss whatsoever has been caused to the second respondent-Bank and that it is the reason why the second respondent has not chosen to initiate any civil or criminal proceedings against the petitioners herein or any disciplinary or departmental action against its employees namely the first and second accused – In such circumstances, any further continuance of the proceedings will cause great and incalculable damage to M/s DTL and its shareholders as its banking operations have come to a stand still – Petitions allowed.
Ramar vs State By Inspector of Police, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860 s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Held, in view of the circumstances attendant, the act of the accused cannot be said to be one premeditated or pre-planned or intentional, but it was due to sudden quarrel and provocation – Hence the act of the accused would attract the penal provision of s. 304(I) – Appeal dismissed.
(1) Pandiyan; (2) Suresh; (3) Murugan vs State By Inspector of Police Krishnagiri [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Challenge to the order of conviction and sentence – Appellants convicted and sentenced u/s. 302 r/w s. 34 of IPC, 1860 – Held, ocular testimony adduced through P.Ws.1 to 3 was fully corroborated by the medical evidence; pursuant to the confession made by A-2, the weapon of crime has been recovered – Act of the accused was neither intentional nor premeditated but only due to the quarrel and also provocation. Hence they have got to be found guilty not for murder, but for culpable homicide not amounting to murder, thus A-2 and A-3 have also got to be found guilty u/s. 304 (Part II) r/w s. 34 of IPC, 1860 – Appeals dismissed.
Mohammad Naseem Khan vs State of Andhra Pradesh, Public Prosecutor, High Court, Hyderabad [ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Whether the prosecution has proved its case, against the appellant-accused, of the offence punishable under s. 302, beyond all reasonable doubt? – Held, when a statement is made by a person as to the cause of the death explaining the circumstances of the transaction, which resulted in his death, in case in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question, is relevant under s. 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – If the dying declaration is found to be true and trustworthy and not an outcome of tutoring or prompting by any of the relatives of the deceased, then it can be acted upon even without corroboration, to base a conviction – Sessions Judge after appreciation of evidence on record, rightly found the accused guilty of the offence punishable under s. 302 – Appeal dismissed.
Bakelite Hylam Limited, Hyderabad vs (1) Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal, Chennai; (2) Commissioner of Central Excise, Hyderabad [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Central Excise Act, 1944 – Central Excise Rules, 1944 – Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 – Whether Tribunal, after given a finding that the classification lists filed during the period June, 1988 to February, 1993 were approved, ought to have applied the decision of Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. and had not confirmed the penalty levied on the petitioner u/r. 9(2), 173Q and 226 of CER, 1944? – Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. has held that when clearance had been made in terms of an approved classification or a price list there can be no short-levy – Held, Tribunal had not considered all the issues arising for its decision, especially, the applicability of the first proviso to s. 11A of CEA, 1944, to the petitioner, in the light of the decision of Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. decided by the Supreme Court and the effect of the amendments brought about by the Finance Act, 2000, which was in the form of a Bill in the Finance Bill, 2000, at the time when the final order was passed by the first respondent Tribunal, and considering the fact that certain aspects had not been considered, when the first respondent Tribunal had passed the impugned order, the final order of the first respondent Tribunal, is set aside – Petition disposed of.
(1) Harshad Keshavlal Kothari; (2) City Channel Network, Aurangabad vs (1) State of Maharashtra; (2) R.S. Khaire, Deputy Commissioner of Police, Police Headquarters, Aurangabad [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Administrative; Criminal – CrPC, 1973, s. 144 – Petition to challenge order passed u/s. 144 of CrPC, 1973 on ground that before passing the order no opportunity was given to the applicant No. 1 to explain as to why he should not be externed – Held, applicant has made out the case and demonstrated that the order u/s. 144 of CrPC, 1973 by the respondent No. 2 was in utter disregard to the principles of natural justice, no opportunity was given to the applicants to explain their case, therefore, the externment order passed by the respondent No. 2 was without following any procedure, the said order is not sustainable – Application allowed.
Ajodhya (Since Deceased) and Others vs D.D.C., Allahabad and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Land & Property – U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 – Whether petitioners whose names were recorded in the Revenue record, became Sirdar after the abolition of Zamindari?- Held, the fact remains that the disputed Khata was mortgaged by the sons of ancestor of the contesting respondents and the petitioners are claiming their rights through the mortgagees; mortgagees will also not get the Sirdari rights as was held in the earlier litigation, therefore if the mortgagees will not get the Sirdari rights, the petitioners who are claiming through mortgagees, will not get better right, title or interest than that of the mortgagees; on the basis of wrong or incorrect entry in the Revenue record, they will not acquire Sirdari rights – Even if they were not parties in the earlier litigation wherein the mortgage was established, the petitioners would not become Sirdar – Licensee of a mortgagee is not a sub tenant within the meaning of sub-tenant as defined in U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 and he would not get Sirdari rights on the commencement of U.P.Z. & L. A. Act, 1950 – Petition dismissed.
Ghoora (Since Deceased) and Others vs Deputy Director of Consolidation, Varanasi and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 05 Jan 2009 ]
Land & Property – Whether petitioners had exclusive tenancy rights in the suit property? – Held, petitioners do not belong to the family of contesting respondents and they are outsiders, and even if they are members of the respondents’ family, they have lost their rights as they are not in possession of disputed Khatas and living separately since long – Commencement of a consolidation operation in the village will not provide them a new forum to put forward a claim which has already been lost by the passage of time – Petition dismissed.
Gk Harihara Rajan vs (1) Neethi Devi; (2) Lillian James; (3) Robert James [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 30 Dec 2008 ]
CPC, s. 24 – Joint trial – Held, all the Courts including the courts constituted under the Presidency Towns Insolvency Act, 1909 and the Provincial Insolvency Act, 1920 have no jurisdiction to try the cases registered under the Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1997 – S. 7 of Tamil Nadu Protection of Interests of Depositors Act 1997 speaks of the procedures to be followed by Special Courts in making the order of ad-interim attachment of Government absolute or refuse to make absolute the order of ad-interim attachment of the Government – It is not open to the revision petitioner to file the present revision petition as against the return of M.P.S.R.No.23397 of 2008 (to reopen the matter) since admittedly, no proceedings are pending – Petition dismissed.
Kbc Pictures vs A.R. Murgadoss and Others [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 26 Dec 2008 ]
Plaintiff seeks injunction restraining the defendants from infringing his copyright in the story, screen play and dialogs in the Hindi remake of the Tamil film “Ghajini” – Held, as the plaintiff has not proved even prima facie that the defendant no.1 has executed the agreement and receipt, it cannot be said that he has proved that he is the owner of the copyright in the story, screenplay and dialogs for the Hindi version of the film “Ghajini” – Plaintiff has not made out a strong prima facie case for grant of injunction – Interim relief is refused – Order accordingly.
United India Insurance Company Limited, Dharmapuri Town vs (1) Nagammal; (2) Unnamalai; (3) V. B. Krishnan [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 – Whether the Insurer can be directed to pay compensation to the claimant in a case where the deceased and/or the injured was travelling as a gratuitous passenger in a goods vehicle and recover the same thereafter from the owner of such goods vehicle? – Held, u/s. 147 the Insurance Company is not statutorily required to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle unless such passenger is the owner or agent of the owner of the goods accompanying such goods in the concerned goods vehicle – Since there is no statutory requirement to cover the liability in respect of a passenger in a goods vehicle, the principle of ‘pay and recover’, as statutorily recognised in s. 149(4) and s. 149(5), is not applicable ipso facto to such cases and, therefore, ordinarily the Court is not expected to issue such a direction to the Insurance Company to pay to the claimant and thereafter recover from the owner – Appeal disposed of.
Mohammad Naseem Khan vs State of Andhra Pradesh, Public Prosecutor, High Court, Hyderabad [ANDHRA PRADESH HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Whether the prosecution has proved its case, against the appellant-accused, of the offence punishable under s. 302, beyond all reasonable doubt? – Held, when a statement is made by a person as to the cause of the death explaining the circumstances of the transaction, which resulted in his death, in case in which the cause of that person’s death comes into question, is relevant under s. 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872 – If the dying declaration is found to be true and trustworthy and not an outcome of tutoring or prompting by any of the relatives of the deceased, then it can be acted upon even without corroboration, to base a conviction – Sessions Judge after appreciation of evidence on record, rightly found the accused guilty of the offence punishable under s. 302 – Appeal dismissed.
Bakelite Hylam Limited, Hyderabad vs (1) Customs, Excise and Gold (Control) Appellate Tribunal, Chennai; (2) Commissioner of Central Excise, Hyderabad [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Central Excise Act, 1944 – Central Excise Rules, 1944 – Central Excise Tariff Act, 1985 – Whether Tribunal, after given a finding that the classification lists filed during the period June, 1988 to February, 1993 were approved, ought to have applied the decision of Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. and had not confirmed the penalty levied on the petitioner u/r. 9(2), 173Q and 226 of CER, 1944? – Supreme Court in Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. has held that when clearance had been made in terms of an approved classification or a price list there can be no short-levy – Held, Tribunal had not considered all the issues arising for its decision, especially, the applicability of the first proviso to s. 11A of CEA, 1944, to the petitioner, in the light of the decision of Collector of Central Excise, Baroda Vs. Cotspun Ltd. decided by the Supreme Court and the effect of the amendments brought about by the Finance Act, 2000, which was in the form of a Bill in the Finance Bill, 2000, at the time when the final order was passed by the first respondent Tribunal, and considering the fact that certain aspects had not been considered, when the first respondent Tribunal had passed the impugned order, the final order of the first respondent Tribunal, is set aside – Petition disposed of.
Ramar vs State By Inspector of Police, Villupuram [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
IPC, 1860 s. 302 – Appeal against conviction and sentence – Held, in view of the circumstances attendant, the act of the accused cannot be said to be one premeditated or pre-planned or intentional, but it was due to sudden quarrel and provocation – Hence the act of the accused would attract the penal provision of s. 304(I) – Appeal dismissed.
Dr. E. Muralidharan vs (1) Union of India, Delhi; (2) I. I. T, Madras [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 23 Dec 2008 ]
Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 – Petition questioning the authority of the second respondent to hold the post of the Director of Indian Institute of Technology, Madras – Held, it is only the Council which can appoint an eminent person as the Director on contract for a period not exceeding five years – When a selection was notified by the first respondent, the second respondent cannot be said to be continuing in service de hors the statutory provisions – When the I.I.T.s are supposed to enjoy autonomy from Governmental interference, it is unthinkable that a Minister for HRD can nominate or approve a Search Committee for the purpose of selecting the Director for I.I.T – Appointment of the second respondent was not by the Council but by a smaller body, which was not authorised to make the appointment either by the Act or by the Rules framed under the IT Act – Petition allowed.

(1) Nine Paradise Hotels Private Limited, Mumbai; (2) Rajan Chourse, Mumbai vs (1) National Textile Corporation Limited, Mumbai; (2) Union of India, Ministry of Textile [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Contract & Commercial; Administrative – Whether action of respondents in canceling bid on ground that highest tendered was 40% lower than reserved price was arbitrary? – Held, decision has been taken on commercial principles that the bid offer was 40% less than the reserved price and the Corporation cannot be compelled to expose itself to any financial losses in face of the fact that it had already fixed the reserved price – Merely because the Respondents have taken a decision not to invite any of the parties for negotiation does not render their action arbitrary – Merely because the Petitioners had submitted a tender which happened to be the highest and had furnished a Bank Guarantee of Rs.150 crores per se does not render the decision of the Respondent Corporation to cancel the tender process arbitrary – Inviting tenders is merely an invitation to offer and does not vest any indefeasible or legal right in the applicant-bidder to claim that he alone should be awarded the contract – There is no concluded contract between the parties as the Respondents had taken a decision at the threshold itself upon opening of the financial bid to cancel the tender processes – Petition dismissed.
Merind Limited and Another vs Prescribed Authority (Under Payment of Wages Act) Bijnor and Assistant Labour Commissioner, Bijnor and Another [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
Payment of Wages Act, 1936; Minimum Wages Act, 1948 – Whether in the wake of provisions of s. 1(6) of 1936 Act, the provisions of the said Act shall apply to employees of scheduled employment by virtue of notification issued under s. 22 (F) of the 1948 Act, who are drawing wage over and above Rs.1600/- per month? – Held, notwithstanding anything contained in the 1936 Act, the appropriate Government may by notification in the official Gazette direct that all or any of the provisions of said Act shall apply to the wages payable to employees of scheduled employment – Provisions of s. 1(6) of the 1936 Act provides for ceiling limit as to wages of employees so as to exclude from the purview of the said Act, therefore, persons whose wages exceed such ceiling limit, any provisions of the 1936 Act shall not apply to them – Respondent no.2 who was admittedly drawing Salary Rs.13, 825/- per month is excluded from the operation of provisions of the 1936 Act by virtue of the provisions of s. 1(6), irrespective of fact whether he is workman or not by virtue of s. 6(2) of the 1976 Act – Petition allowd.
Prakash Solanki vs (1) Tek Singh; (2) Mistri Achla Ram [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
CPC, 1908, O. 21 r. 97 – Appeal against an eviction decree – Held, object of O. 21 r. 97 to 103 C.P.C. is to provide mechanism to decide the dispute as to right, title or interest in the suit property in execution proceedings itself and to bar separate suit, even if such objections are raised by a stranger to a decree – Question of title is not relevant in the eviction matter and therefore, the relationship of landlord and tenant between the decree holder and judgment debtor was not upset by the claim of the present appellant who claimed to be a stranger and in possession of the suit premises in his own right as tenant – No substantial question of law arises – Appeal dismissed.
Committee of Management of Krishak Seva Samiti, Uchauri, Ghazipur and Others vs State of Uttar Pardesh. and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 12 Jan 2009 ]
Societies Registration Act, 1860 – Writ petition against order directing for holding fresh election of office bearers of society – Held, since the writ petition involves factual dispute of membership of general body of society, therefore, cannot take different view than that of taken by the Prescribed Authority by appreciating any evidence and material on record as a court of first instance – Petitioners can approach civil court by filing a suit – Petition dismissed.
Shanmugam vs Banumathi [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Tamil Nadu Buildings(Lease and Rent Control) Act 1960, s. 18(1) – Whether appellate court was justified in holding that appeal to challenge order of execution under TNBA, 1960 is not maintainable? – As per s. 18(1) pf TNBA, 1960 an order passed in execution u/sub-s. (1) shall not be subject to any appeal or revision – Petition dismissed.
(1) Shantaram; (2) Sou. Damyantibai; (3) Vijay; (4) Sanjay; (5) Ajay vs Eknath [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
CPC, 1908, O. 23, r. 1(4) – Bombay Prevention of Fragmentation and Consolidation of Holdings Act, 1947, s. 24 – (A) Whether withdrawal of the previous two suits without permission to file afresh suit would create legal bar as provided under O. 23, r. 1(4) of CPC, 1908? – Held, it is difficult to say that the plaintiff is precluded from filing afresh suit when the subsequent cause of action does not correspond to the previous cause of action available to him at the time of filing of the earlier suits – (B) Whether mere admissions of the defendant during implementation of Consolidation Scheme would create legal right in favour of the plaintiff? – Held, s. 24 would make it amply clear that the ownership certificate tantamount to statutory transfer in respect of rights of incidental nature which are either transferred on account of payment of compensation or by mutual consent as the case may be – Considering these aspects, the right to draw water to the extent of half share was bestowed on the plaintiff under the statutory provisions in view of mutual consent of the parties – Appeal partly allowed.
Guddu @ Dinesh vs State of Uttar Pardesh and Another [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
CrPC, 1973, s. 125 – Writ petition against order of maintenance – Held, trial Magistrate elaborately discussed the statement of O.P. No.2 and nothing has been shown by which it could be said that the trial court had wrongly assessed the evidence of O.P. No.2 and the conclusion drawn by the Magistrate is wrong – Quantum of maintenance awarded also appears to be reasonable and justified – Petition dismissed.
National Insurance Company Limited, Salem vs (1) Thangasamy; (2) Sasikala; (3) Cor, Cambridge Matriculation School, Krishnagiri [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Motor Accidents Claims – Tribunal granted Rs.2, 45, 000/- as compensation – Appeal by Insurance company – Plea that multiplier of 15 adopted by the Tribunal in a case of 9 years old student is on the higher side – Held, in a claim for compensation in the case of death, the claimants are granted compensation under conventional heads, like loss of love and affection, funeral expenses and miscellaneous expenses and for loss of estate in the case of death of an earning member – Entitlement of the claimants for compensation on conventional heads cannot be disputed – Compensation in a sum of Rs.2, 45, 000/- is justified as also the interest granted at 7.5% as the accident happened in the year 2004 and the award was passed in the year 2007 – Appeal dismissed.
M. Balan vs Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board, Chennai [MADRAS HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
Service; Criminal – Whether order placing petitioner under suspension and not allowing him to retire due to pending criminal case was justifiable? – Held, action of the respondent Board in placing the petitioner under suspension and not allowing him to retire on the basis of probable disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated after the criminal case ends in conviction is absolutely irrational – Attitude of the respondent Board is not only mala fide, but also amounts to harassing the petitioner, as held by Supreme Court and more so, it is certainly a human right violation, because keeping the petitioner under suspension after the period of superannuation on the basis of anticipated disciplinary proceedings that may be initiated, if the criminal case ends in conviction, especially in the doubted circumstances, would amount to depriving the petitioner of his right of livelihood – It is only the respondent Board which has chosen to sleep over the issue – Contention of the learned Additional Advocate General that in the event of conviction, there will be possibility of framing of fresh charges against the petitioner on the basis of such conviction and therefore, the petitioner has not been allowed to retire and placed under suspension has absolutely no meaning and it is unknown in service law – Petition allowed.
Committee of Management vs State of Uttar Pardesh and Others [ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT, 09 Jan 2009 ]
U.P. Basic Education Act, 1972; U.P. Junior High Schools (Payment of Salaries of Teachers and other Employees) Act, 1978 – Plea that alleged appointments of respondents no. 6 to 9 were nullity in the eyes of law as they did not possess the requisite minimum educational qualification necessary for appointment to the post of Assistant Teacher – Held, for a valid appointment to the post of teacher in a recognised junior high school one must possess the requisite minimum qualification prescribed in r. 4 and salary for payment of such a teacher of a recognised junior high school shall be the liability of the State Government – Appointment of a person who does not possess requisite qualification prescribed in the rules is illegal since its inception – Respondents no. 6 to 9 do not possess requisite minimum qualification – It is difficult to hold that they have any iota of right to hold the post of Assistant Teacher in the school or to claim salary merely on the ground that ignoring this necessary aspect of the matter the educational authorities have granted approval to them – Appeals allowed.
Music Choice India Private Limited vs (1) Phonographic Performance Limited; (2) Super Cassettes Industries Limited [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 22 Jan 2009 ]
Media and Entertainment – Intellectual Property – Civil Procedure – Copyright Act, 1957, ss. 31 and 33(3) – Plaintiff is Broadcaster of sound recordings – Defendant is Assignee of the copyright in sound recordings – Plaintiff sought licence from Defendant to allow the Plaintiff to broadcast their sound records – Rejected by defendant – Plaintiff being aggrieved filed application for compulsory licence u/s. 31(1)(b) of the Act – Thereafter, plaintiff also filed civil suit for the grant of injunction against the defendant – Whether Civil Court has jurisdiction for determination of disputes with regard to declaratory and injunctive relief, otherwise in the domain of Copyright Board – In this case the Act creates a statutory right and remedy u/s. 31(1)(b) of the Act – It provides forum for enforcement of remedy too – Rights under the Act can be enforced before the Copyright Board by following the procedure prescribed by that law – Held, Court does not have inherent jurisdiction to try the Suit, it being impliedly barred by s. 31(1)(b) of the Act, it having to be exclusively granted by the Copyright Board, and that position having been expressly admitted by the Plaintiff by virtue of its own application before the Copyright Board – Suit is dismissed for want of this Court’s inherent jurisdiction – Further held, remedy of injunction cannot be granted to Plaintiff by the Civil Court pending the Plaintiff’s application before the Copyright Board – Plaintiff may make such application as it deems fit for expedition or for grant of interim reliefs in its application before the Board – The Board may consider such application, if made, on merits – Order accordingly.
Pradeep Tak vs State of Rajasthan and Another [RAJASTHAN HIGH COURT, 17 Jan 2009 ]
IPC, 1860, s. 406 – Whether trial court committed error in rejecting application filed for acquitting accused u/s. 406 IPC, 1860 even when compromise between complainant and petitioner had been attested by District Judge and decree u/s. 13B of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 was passed? – Whether accused has the right to file application for acquittal when complainant did not file compromise? – Held, until and unless the compromise is filed by the complainant, the trial court had no occasion to attest compromise u/s. 406 IPC and acquit accused-petitioner of that offence – Merely because compromise has been verified by District Judge, proceedings u/s. 406 IPC could not have been dropped by the trial court u/s. 406 IPC – Complainant cannot be directed by the trial court to submit compromise particularly when the petitioner himself has not filed compromise or withdrawn all the cases filed against complainant – Petitioner himself has not carried out terms of compromise and parties have no where requested to compound the offence and the petitioner has not prayed relief for quashing the proceedings before High Court – Petition dismissed.
Commissioner of Income Tax Delhi (Central) II vs Pawan Kumar Garg [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 132(1) – Authorization for issuing warrant – Panchnama – Reckoning of limitation period – Whether the Additional Director (Investigation) had the requisite jurisdiction to authorize any officer to effect search and seizure in purported exercise of his power conferred upon him u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961? – Provisions of s. 132(1) refers to Director General or Director as well as Joint Director or Joint Commissioner; while the first two authorities fall within the first category, which were empowered by the statute itself to authorize action u/s. 132(1), the latter two authorities, namely, the Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, can only authorize action if they are specifically empowered by the Board in that behalf – Words “Director General” or “Director” be construed in the limited sense and not in the inclusive sense as defined in s. 2(21) of ITA, 1961 – When the legislature has specified the authorities who may be empowered as being the Joint Director or Joint Commissioner, we cannot extend the same by employing the definition given in s.2 (28D) to extend it to Additional Directors of Investigation – High Court of Delhi in Dr Nalini Mahajan v. Director of Income-tax (Investigation) has held that Additional Director or Income-tax (Investigation) did not have any power to issue any authorisation or warrant u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961 – Held, mere re-designation of a class of officers does not translate to the specific empowerment which is required u/s. 132(1) of ITa, 1961 – Issue entirely covered by the decision of of Dr Nalini Mahajan – Appeal dismissed.
Commissioner of Income Tax Delhi (Central) II vs Capital Power Systems Limited [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 132(1) – Authorization for search and seizure – Notification empowering Joint Director – Whether the Joint Director of Income-tax (Investigation was empowered to issue the warrant of authorization for search and seizure operations u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961? – Held, a specific notification u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961 would necessarily have to be issued by the Central Board of Direct Taxes if it wishes to empower any Joint Director to authorize action to be taken u/s. 132(1) of ITA, 1961; in the absence of any such specific empowerment by the board, Joint Director is not empowered to issue any authorization – Application disposed of.
Commissioner of Income Tax (Tds) vs Ikea Trading Hong Kong Limited [DELHI HIGH COURT, 16 Jan 2009 ]
Income Tax – Tax deduction at source – Penalty proceedings – Penalty order passed beyond six months – Income Tax Act, 1961, s. 271(1)(c) – Whether ITAT was correct in law in deleting the penalty imposed by assessing officer u/s. 271C of ITA, 1961, on the ground that penalty order was passed beyond the time prescribed by s. 275(1)(c)? – Where penalty proceeding does not emanate from any other proceeding, then only six month period from end of the month of initiation of penalty proceeding would be available – Penalty proceeding u/s. 271C is independent of any other proceeding – If there is a failure to deduct or pay the tax deducted at source, penalty proceedings can be initiated; this is irrespective of any order being passed u/s. 201(1)/201(1A) of ITA, 1961 – The “other” proceeding mentioned in s. 271(1)(c) must be a legitimate proceeding having due recognition under ITA, 1961 such as an assessment proceeding – Held, since only one period of limitation would be applicable, the expression “whichever period expires later” would have to be read as that very period of limitation, therefore, the period of limitation for passing the penalty order expired on 31-12-1999 being six months from the end of the month in which the penalty proceeding was initiated by issuance of the show cause notice dated 26-06-1999; penalty order was passed on 16-03-2000 which was clearly beyond the time prescribed u/s. 275(1)(c) of ITA, 1961 – Appeals dismissed.
Paint Employees Union, Mumbai vs Kansai Nerolac Paints Limited, Mumbai [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, s. 25(O) – Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of Unfair Labour Practices Act, 1971 – Whether Specified Authority erred in referring the matter to the Tribunal in exercise of its power u/s. 25O (5) of IDA, 1947, having rejected the application for review? – Held, Specified Authority can on its own motion or on an application made to it, review its order or refer the matter to the Industrial Tribunal – Once review application is disposed of there is no scope for further making a reference – If review jurisdiction is exercised and review application is rejected then there can be no further order of reference – Once Specified Authority considers the application of the appellant union merely because the decision of the Specified Authority is against the appellant union it cannot contend that it was deprived of the valuable right of review – Appeal dismissed.
Ramanlal Kantilal Doshi, Pune City vs (1) Lalchand Hemraj Nahar, Pune; (2) Hargovinddas Jagmohandas Gandhi, Pune City [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Rent Control – Bombay Rents, Hotel and Lodging House Rates Control Act, 1947, s. 5(11) – Unauthorised sub-tenancy – Residential premises changed into non-residential – Bonafide need – Decree of possession reversed, hence petition – Held, even assuming for a moment that the landlord mentioned in the termination notice that defendant no.1 let out the premises to defendant no.2 unlawfully since 1.7.1971, still the protection as claiming u/s. 5(11) of BRHLHRCA, 1947 on the footing that defendant no.2 is in possession of the said room before 1.2.1973 cannot be extended being unauthorised occupant for want of consent or permission from the landlord and secondly, no material and evidence of defendant no.1/original tenant to support the authorised sub-tenancy or licensee – Merely because landlord let out the premises and adjusted his cousin that itself cannot be the reason that after his marriage his case of bonafide need in view of subsequent developments cannot be considered – Petition allowed.
(1) Naim, Aurangabad; (2) Dheeraj, Aurangabad vs State of Maharashtra [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 – Challenge to the order of conviction and sentence – Appellants convicted for offence punishable u/s. 8(c) r/w s. 20(1)(b)(ii)(C) of NDPSA, 1985 – Held, report of the Assistant Chemical Analyser leaves no manner of doubt that the contents of each sealed packet showed presence of ganja; report further makes it manifest that it was contraband substance within the meaning of Section 2(iii)(b) of NDPSA, 1985 – Unless there is some tangible material to infer that the Police Officer was interested in tampering with the seals of the sample packets due to some enmity with the accused or for some other reason, it is difficult to say that there was intentional breach of s. 55 of NDPSA, 1985 – There is adequate material to attribute “conscious possession” at least to appellant no.1, inasmuch as he was found transporting the contraband ganja in the Ambassador car vehicle.; it can not be even remotely said that without his knowledge the ganja bundles were being transported in the Ambassador car vehicle; circumstances on record go to prove his custody and control over the gunny bags containing huge quantity of the contraband ganja; considering the huge quantity of ganja (91 Kgs.) found in his custody, the sentence awarded to him is also quite proper – Nothing was seized from appellant no.2’s custody; he was not found to possess any document to show that he was concerned with the gunny bags containing the contraband ganja; his mere presence in the Ambassador car vehicle will not be an act of culpable nature, therefore impugned conviction and sentence rendered against him is set aside – Appeals disposed of.
(1) Nine Paradise Hotels Private Limited, Mumbai; (2) Rajan Chourse, Mumbai vs (1) National Textile Corporation Limited, Mumbai; (2) Union of India, Ministry of Textile [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 15 Jan 2009 ]
Contract & Commercial; Administrative – Whether action of respondents in canceling bid on ground that highest tendered was 40% lower than reserved price was arbitrary? – Held, decision has been taken on commercial principles that the bid offer was 40% less than the reserved price and the Corporation cannot be compelled to expose itself to any financial losses in face of the fact that it had already fixed the reserved price – Merely because the Respondents have taken a decision not to invite any of the parties for negotiation does not render their action arbitrary – Merely because the Petitioners had submitted a tender which happened to be the highest and had furnished a Bank Guarantee of Rs.150 crores per se does not render the decision of the Respondent Corporation to cancel the tender process arbitrary – Inviting tenders is merely an invitation to offer and does not vest any indefeasible or legal right in the applicant-bidder to claim that he alone should be awarded the contract – There is no concluded contract between the parties as the Respondents had taken a decision at the threshold itself upon opening of the financial bid to cancel the tender processes – Petition dismissed.
(1) Subhash Narasappa Mangrule; (2) Narasappa Baburao Mangrule; (3) Parameshwar Narasappa Mangrule vs Sidramappa Jagdevappa Unnad, Solapur [BOMBAY HIGH COURT, 14 Jan 2009 ]
Legal Services Authorities Act, 1987, s. 21 – CPC, 1908, O. 27, r. 22 – Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 – Parties entered into compromise on dishonour of cheque – Whether Darkhast is maintainable for execution of award passed by Lok Adalat on non compliance of compromise order in criminal case and whether trial court was justified in issuing notice under O. 27, r. 22 of CPC, 1908 – Held, compromise in question as recorded is within the framework of law and the record – S. 21 mandates that every award of the Lok Adalat shall be deemed to be a decreed of Civil Court and the same shall be final and binding on all the parties; such order is not even appealable – Other party/ Judgment Debtor/ accused if refused to make the payment pursuance to the award, the decree holder / Respondent/ Complainant has no choice but to file such execution application – Once the parties entered into compromise before the Lok Adalat, & at that time no question of any pecuniary jurisdiction raised and or required to be considered by the Lok Adalat, therefore, once the award is passed, it is executable under CPC, 1908 – Petition dismissed.

Posted by Reach Mentor at 9:51 AM

LEGAL NEWS 26.01.2009

Republic Raj
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Sunday_TOI/Republic_Raj/articleshow/4028213.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0154 hrs IST, Manoj Mitta, TNN
This is how the first black occupant of the White House put it in his inaugural address last week. “A man whose father less than 60 years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.” India could have made a similar breakthrough in pluralism 30 years ago. It lost the opportunity when President N Sanjiva Reddy declined to swear in Jagjivan Ram, a Dalit, as prime minister despite the support he evidently had of more than 200 MPs from his own party. The jury is still out on whether Reddy was justified in dissolving the Lok Sabha in August 1979 rather than letting the leader of the largest party in the House take charge. The one-month-old Charan Singh government had collapsed. Ram could have been PM. But the episode demonstrates the intensely political role played on occasion by the President, despite being seen as a titular head. There is more to the presidency than occupying the most sprawling mansion in the Capital, taking the salute at the Republic Day parade, being the supreme commander of the armed forces, receiving credentials from ambassadors, granting pardon to those on death row on the government’s recommendation and delivering an annual address to Parliament on behalf of the government. In fact, there are at least three recurring situations in which the office of the President, which came into existence on January 26, 1950, exercises discretionary powers. One is obviously when the head of the state is called upon to decide between rival claimants to form the government. Reddy had the choice of either inviting Ram to become PM or dissolving the Lok Sabha at the request of other parties. That he took the second option influenced the course of India’s history, for better or for worse. The Andhra leader, incidentally, was the first President ever to have exercised this discretionary power. And he did so twice in 1979. The first was when Reddy acquiesced to the tail-wagging-the-dog arrangement in which Charan Singh became PM with barely 60 MPs of his own and the coalition was dependent on outside support from Indira Gandhi’s group. And when she withdrew her support within a month, Reddy rejected Jagjivan Ram’s bid. The President’s office exercised this discretionary power for the first time in 30 years of Independence. But, it became routine in the coalition era, post-1989. This trend has, however, embroiled Rashtrapati Bhawan in political controversy. President R Venkataraman’s conduct in 1989, for instance, was no less controversial than Reddy’s in 1979. Though Rajiv Gandhi lost his parliamentary majority in an election that threw up a hung House, it was he that Venkataraman first invited to form the government in a mechanical adherence to the largest-party principle. It was only when Rajiv declined that Venkataraman saw fit to call V P Singh. In 1996, President Shankar Dayal Sharma, followed the precedent set by Venkataraman and extended the first invitation to Atal Behari Vajpayee despite evidence that a majority of MPs were disinclined to support the BJP. But because Vajpayee did not follow Rajiv’s precedent of declining the invitation, he suffered the mortification of seeing his government fall in just 13 days. Another major discretionary power enjoyed by the President is giving assent to a Bill passed by Parliament. Regardless of their merit, hundreds of Bills have been signed by successive Presidents. It was in 2006 that any incumbent first exercised the option of returning a Bill for reconsideration by Parliament. APJ Abdul Kalam did so with the controversial attempt to bail out Sonia Gandhi and others hit by the office-of-profit rule. The intervention served little purpose — the Manmohan Singh government ensured that Parliament passed the Bill all over again, leaving Kalam with no option but to give his assent eventually. It was precisely to avoid such a setback that in 1986 President Zail Singh came up with the ploy of withholding his assent indefinitely to a Bill empowering the government to intercept letters. The third significant area of discretion relates to the appointment of constitutional office holders. Here again, Kalam was assertive: on more than one occasion, he objected to dubious recommendations for judicial appointments. But his intervention could only delay those appointments, not stop them altogether. In one such case pertaining to Justice S L Bhayana, who had acquitted the killers of Jessica Lall in a shocking miscarriage of justice, Kalam was forced to clear his promotion when the judiciary reiterated its recommendation. In the case of Justice Jagdish Bhalla, whose wife was found to have bought prime property in Noida at a throwaway price from the land mafia, the judiciary waited for Kalam to retire before making a fresh recommendation to promote him as chief justice of another high court. His successor, Pratibha Patil, has so far displayed no signs of assertiveness and may well end up reinforcing the stereotype that the President is a figurehead. In reality, the extent to which this high office fits into the larger scheme of checks and balances depends on the incumbent as well as the politics of the time.

Importance of liberty & democracy in India
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012650640900.htm
Markandey Katju
Crime and terrorism cannot be eliminated by harsh and draconian laws, which will curb liberty, violate the Constitution, and impede India’s scientific and economic progress.
In view of the recent incidents of terrorism in some places in India, some people have started saying that to combat terrorism it is necessary to curtail civil liberties and introduce draconian laws. To my mind, this is a dangerous idea. Hence it is necessary to explain the importance of liberty and democracy for our country’s progress. Nobody denies the need to oppose terrorism. But in my opinion, by passing draconian laws, terrorism and crime will not be reduced. Instead our country’s progress will be obstructed.
What is our national aim? It must be to make India a highly prosperous country for all its citizens, not just for a handful of people of our country. For that, it is necessary to have a high degree of industrialisation.
Even setting up and running a single primary school requires a lot of money, for buying land, erecting the school building, and providing for the recurrent expenditure for salaries of teachers, staff, and so on. We need to set up not just one but hundreds of thousands of primary schools; tens of thousands of high schools and colleges; and engineering colleges, technical institutes, medical colleges, scientific research centres, hospitals and libraries.
Where is the money for all this to come from? It can only come from a highly developed industry. Rapid industrialisation alone can generate the wealth we need for the welfare of our people; abolish poverty and unemployment, which are the main causes of crime and terrorism; and give us respect in the world community.
For industrialisation, the development of science is absolutely necessary, and for that freedom is absolutely necessary — freedom to think, freedom to write, freedom to discuss with others, freedom to explain, freedom to criticise, and freedom to dissent.
Need for supportive values
The growth of science requires certain supportive values, particularly liberty. This is because the thought process cannot develop without freedom. The values of a scientific community, namely pluralism, tolerance, individual freedom, and free flow of information, are very similar to the values of democratic society (see Science and the Making of the Modern World, by John Marks, Heinemann, 1984).
A democratic society permits freedom of speech and expression, freedom to practise one’s own religion, which is based on tolerance, and freedom to dissent and criticise. These are precisely the values of the scientific community. In scientific matters authoritarianism and dogmatism are wholly out of place. Scientists must be left to govern themselves, and have large amounts of freedom, which is necessary for innovation and creativity. Democracy and liberty go hand in hand with the growth of science because both are based on tolerance, individual freedom, and the free flow of ideas. In democracy, as in a scientific community, there is freedom to speak, freedom to discuss, freedom to criticise, and freedom to dissent.
As early as 1927, Justice Louis D. Brandeis, of the U.S. Supreme Court observed in Whitney vs. California 274 U.S. 357: “Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the State was to make men free to develop their faculties; and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary…They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognised the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law — the argument of force in its worst form.”
In 1949, Justice William O. Douglas in Terminiello vs. Chicago (337 US 1) made a crucial point when he noted that a “function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”
Function of free speech
The method of Shastrarthas was developed in ancient India. These were debates in which the thinkers of those times had full freedom to speak and to criticise their opponents in the opponent’s presence, and also in the presence of a large assembly of people. There are thousands of references to such Shastrarthas in our epics and other literature. It was this freedom to freely discuss and criticise that resulted in a tremendous growth of knowledge — in philosophy and grammar but also in scientific knowledge in mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and so on. The names of Aryabhatt, Brahmagupta, Bhaskar, Sushrut, and Charak are well known. With the aid of science, we built mighty civilisations, beginning with the Indus Valley Civilisation at a time people in Europe were living in forests.
Modern European history is also instructive. England was the first country in the world to industrialise and modernise. This economic process was accompanied by the political struggle for liberty and democracy in the 17th and 18th centuries, which was particularly a struggle between the King and Parliament. Parliament’s triumph laid the foundation of freedom and civil liberties in England, which was necessary to create the atmosphere science needs to prosper. In pre-revolutionary France, the thinkers of the Enlightenment — Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Holbach, and several others — who attacked feudalism and religious dogmatism paved the way for the Revolution of 1789, which destroyed feudalism and led to scientific progress.
On the other hand, in Italy, Spain, and some other countries, the Inquisition stifled free thinking and thereby scientific growth. All scientific ideas not consistent with the Bible were regarded as crimes, for example, the theory of Copernicus, which stated that the earth moved around the sun and not the sun around the earth. As a result, these countries were left far behind England and France, and remained in the feudal dark ages for centuries.
The struggle to establish the scientific outlook was not easy. Scientific ideas were initially condemned because they were regarded as opposed to religious dogma. Voltaire and Rousseau had to fly for their lives to other countries. The Church persecuted the greatest scientists with blind cruelty, burning them at the stake (for example, Bruno), torturing them (for example, Galileo), and forbidding or destroying their works. As recently as 1925, the teaching of Darwin’s theory of evolution was forbidden in the state of Tennessee in the United States and a teacher, John Scopes, was tried in the famous ‘Monkey Trial’ for teaching that theory. For centuries, the Church in Europe played an extremely reactionary role and fought pitilessly against the scientific conception of the world, and against the democratic movements.
In India, if we are to progress and rise as a world power, we must spread the scientific outlook to every nook and corner of our country, and destroy the superstitions, for example, the belief in astrology and palmistry, and the feudal ideas of casteism and communalism.
Science is that knowledge by which we can understand nature (and human society) and use the knowledge for our benefit. For doing so, the scientists rely on reason, observation, and experiment. This obviously cannot be done on the dictates of anyone (though the government can certainly create the atmosphere where these can flourish). Science and democratic values go hand in hand.
In science, there is no final word, unlike in religion. Science questions everything and does not take anything for granted. Obviously, this approach is not permitted in an undemocratic society, for example, a feudal society (which is governed by religion) or a fascist society (in which there is a dictator). Thus, Hitler, with his Nazi racial philosophy, caused an enormous setback to science in Germany by persecuting Jewish scientists and banning their works (for example, Einstein). We have, no doubt, to oppose the terrorism of modern times, which is, in fact, medieval obscurantism. What else is the bombing of schools or the closing down of existing girls’ schools by the Taliban? But to fight such terrorism, we must not give up our modern values of liberty and freedom. Obscurantism can only be opposed by modern scientific thinking.
In India, after the Constitution was adopted in 1950, there was an atmosphere of liberal freedom in view of the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution: the right to free speech (Article 19), to liberty (Article 21), to equality (Articles 14 to 17), to religious freedom (Article 25), and so on. This helped the growth of science and technology, because it created an atmosphere of freedom where people, including scientists, could freely discuss and dissent. If we compare our country with our neighbours, it becomes clear that they lagged far behind in economic growth precisely because such freedoms were lacking.
Further, the advanced sections of society who want to take the country forward, and have the knowledge to do so, must have a lot of freedom to discuss, debate, and criticise each other. They are the pioneers and are entering into a new field, much of which is unknown. Hence, they must have freedom to think, discuss, and criticise.
Freedom to dissent
As John Stuart Mill argued in his celebrated essay ‘On Liberty,’ all progress, the advancement of knowledge and progressive change, and the improvement of old ways of thinking, old behaviour patterns, habits, customs and traditions can come only from free individual dissent, dissensions, and innovations, which are at first usually resisted by inert or conservative people (usually the vast majority), and by free competition between the old and new ideas. Ordinarily in any society, he pointed out, the majority shares old thoughts and traditions. There is a strong tendency to insist on conformity and collective unity or solidarity, to repress dissent and innovation, and to tolerate only what the majority agrees with. This inevitably works to prevent any progress and to thwart the creative impulses of the more creative and original minds. Extensive freedom to dissent and innovate, in all spheres of life, activity, culture and thought in all directions, including expressing ideas initially thought strange and often disliked by the conservative, tradition-bound majority, is indispensable to progress. The intellectually advanced and creative individuals are often in the minority, and are regarded as non-conforming eccentrics and deviants, and there is often a tendency to suppress them. This is why liberal democracy, majority rule but qualified and limited by firm protection of minorities, and individual rights and liberties, even against the governing majority, is essential for progress.
The importance of the judiciary in India needs to be highlighted in this connection. In two key decisions, Govt of A.P. and others vs. P. Laxmi Devi [2008 (4) SCC 720, JT 2008 (2) 639] and Deepak Bajaj vs. State of Maharashtra and others [JT 2008 (11) SC 609], the Supreme Court of India has emphasised the importance of liberty for progress, and observed that the judiciary must act as guardians of the liberties of the people, protecting them against executive, or even legislative arbitrariness or despotism.
India needs democracy and scientific knowledge, and that means patiently spreading scientific ideas among the vast masses, raising their cultural level, and involving them actively in the task of nation building.
To my mind, harsh and draconian laws will curb liberty. That will not only violate the right to liberty granted by Article 21 of the Constitution. It will also lead to great evils such as an increase in corruption in the police and other law enforcing agencies, which will have much more opportunity to extort money from the citizens, apart from impeding scientific and economic growth.
To my mind, crime and terrorism cannot be eliminated by draconian laws. They can be eliminated only by the abolition of poverty and unemployment, which are the main sources of crime. Only rapid industrialisation can abolish poverty and unemployment, which will largely eliminate crime and terrorism.
(Justice Markandey Katju is a Judge of the Supreme Court of India.)

Parliamentary Secretaries case, Caveat filed in SC
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?a16fc437-0df5-4cc8-b1f5-cee94e59aae6
1/24/2009
Social activist Aires Rodriges filed a caveat before the Supreme Court praying that no appeal filed by the Goa government challenging the High Court order here on the Parliamentary Secretaries be entertained without he being heard.It might be recalled that Goa-bench Bombay High Court had on January 22, in its 108-page verdict, had set aside the appointments of Parliamentary secretaries while disposing of a public interest litigation filed by Mr Rodriges.The high court, which held that the appointments were arbitrary, unjustifiable and unconstitutional, however, gave four weeks to the state government to file an appeal against the order in the apex court.Meanwhile, Mr Rodriges demanded the state government to recover entire expenditure incurred for over the last 18 months on the parliamentary secretaries Nilkanth Harlankar and Francisco Silveira. He said he was also moving the Supreme Court on the issue of cabinet status bestowed on EDC Chairman Agnelo Fernandes, Deputy Chairman of Goa Planning Board Wilfred De Souza and Commissioner of NRI affairs Eduardo Faleiro with the High Court not dealing at length on the issue in the January 22 verdict.The court in its order upheld the confermenty of cabinet status on the three politicians and rejected the plea of Rodriges for nullifying the appointments.‘If the trend of giving cabinet status goes unchecked, the government will appoint politicians as chairman of various corporations and confer them with cabinet status thus defeating the very intent of the 91st amendment to the Constitution by doing indirectly what cannot be done directly,’ Mr Rodriges averred.In his PIL, he maintained that the appointments were a ‘fraud on the constitution and a heavy burden on the state exchequer’.UNI

Clubbing of consumer cases necessary for quick trial: Judge
http://www.yahind.com/newsportal/uncategorized/clubbing-of-consumer-cases-necessary-for-quick-trial-judge_5437.html/
January 25th, 2009
Chandigarh, Jan 25 (IANS) In order to make the working of various consumer forums throughout the country faster and more streamlined, the consumer redressal commission is introducing a system of clubbing similar cases, a member of the judiciary said here Saturday.
“Although we try for an early disposal of cases coming to various consumer forums but still the number of pending cases is very huge. To address this problem we are introducing a system of clubbing of cases,” said Justice Ashok Bhan, president of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
“The verdict announced for one case in a particular category will be applicable for all other cases of that category. This will save precious time and make the trial process quicker,” said Bhan, a retired judge of the Supreme Court.
Bhan was in Chandigarh Saturday to inaugurate the second bench of the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission here.
“Some of the appeals and complaints are piled up in the courts for over five years. There is immense workload and we are also short of staff. Moreover working in a consumer forum is also not a lucrative job. So there is need for some changes and gradually things will certainly improve,” Bhan said.
Bhan said that the creation of the second Punjab bench was needed in order to give speedy justice to consumers.

[prpoint] Beware: Customer un-friendly ATM systems of Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC Bank
http://pr-discussions.blogspot.com/2009/01/prpoint-beware-customer-un-friendly-atm_25.html
Sunday, January 25, 2009
dear friendsI had circulated in prpoint and new media forum groups about the horrible experience of one of our journalist friends while using ATM card of Kotak Mahindra Bank in HDFC ATM Machine. I had also requested Ms Usha Thorat, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India to examine the issue on a ‘vigilance angle’ as to why these banks are demanding45 days for settling the claim. We had also cautioned that India does not want to see another ‘Satyam’. I am happy to inform you that she has responded to our mail saying that she was looking into it and would revert. (her mail given below)We are confident that RBI would take this matter seriously and prevent the Banks from harassing the innocent customers.We have also already published her speech in audio in one of the meetings organised by Indian Banks’ Association and Consumers Association of India. For the benefit of our members, I am again giving the following link. Please listen to her presentation on therole and responsibilities of Banks and the customers.http://www.poduniversal.com/2008/10/rights-and-responsibilities-of-banks.htmlI am endorsing the copies of this mail to Ms Usha Thorat, and to the available email ids of Kotak Mahindra Bank and HDFC Bank.SrinivasanModerator———- Forwarded message ———-From: Thorat, Usha <ushathorat@rbi.org.in>Date: Sun, Jan 25, 2009 at 4:21 PMSubject: RE: Beware: Customer un-friendly ATM systems of KotakMahindra Bank and HDFC BankTo: Prime Point Srinivasan <prpoint@gmail.com>am looking into it and will revert________________________________________From: Prime Point Srinivasan [prpoint@gmail.com]Sent: Saturday, January 24, 2009 11:44 AMTo: Prpoint Group; New Media New Media ForumCc: Thorat, Usha; Kotak Mahendra; Kotak.Mahendra; Desikan (consumergorup); cust.serv@kotak.com; n.premanand@hdfcbank.comSubject: Beware: Customer un-friendly ATM systems of Kotak MahindraBank and HDFC Bankdear friendsYesterday, I wrote about the horrible experience of one of our journalist friends with Kotal Mahindra Bank and HDFC ATM systems. Today, i found one more similar complaint in MouthShut dot com in the following linkhttp://www.mouthshut.com/review/Kotak_Mahindra_Bank-156571-1.htmlThe complainant says that when he had a similar expereince of ATM card of Kotak Mahindra in HDFC ATM machines, the account was debited without his getting cash. It took 50 days for Kotak Mahindra to re-credit the amount.It is surprising for me that how come similar complaints are seen uniformly in all centres and Kotak officials say that it would take 45 days for settling the amount.This raises an alarm bell. I think some where these two Banks must be playing wrongly. I am endorsing a copy of this mail to Ms Usha Thorat, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India with a request that the ATM system operations of both these banks may be investigated thoroughly in a ‘vigilance’ angle.I am also endorsing this to Mr Desikan, Chairman, Consumer Association of India for his knowledge.If any of the Corporate communication Managers or PR Agencies or Media persons in this group, know the top Management of both these banks, kindly alert them. While I am able to get the RBI deputy Governor’s email id, I am not able to get the id of any top officials of these banks. We cannot afford to have few more ‘satyams’SrinivasanPrime Point94440 50273———- Forwarded message ———-From: Prime Point Srinivasan <prpoint@gmail.com>Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 7:01 PMSubject: Beware: Customer un-friendly ATM systems of Kotak MahendraBank and HDFC BankTo: New Media New Media Forum <new_media_forum@yahoogroups.com>,Prpoint Group <prpoint@yahoogroups.com>Cc: “RBI Dy. Governor Usha Thorat” <ushathorat@rbi.org.in>, KotakMahendra <nodalofficer@kotak.com>, judy franko <judyfranko@gmail.com>Private sector Banks promises sky. When a problem comes, they are unable handle the issue smoothly.A Chennai based journalist friend of mine Mr Judy (see his mail below) gets the salary through Kotak Mahendra Bank. Kotak Mahendra Bank permits their ATM card users to use other ATM Machines. He wanted to withdraw money from his account on 9th Jan 2009 and went to HDFC ATM machine. After inserting his ATM card, he wanted to withdraw 14,000/-. He got the slip debiting his account. But the cash did not come out.Immediately, he lodged a complaint with Kotak Mahendra Bank, his banker. They had told him that it would take 45 days.When Judy telephoned to me this morning that even after 15 days, there is no response from Kotak Mahendra Bank, I accompanied him to the Bank to find out the problem. The desk Manager is helpless. He could not give any convincing answer. They lack experience.Normally, as a matter of rules, all the Banks are required to display a notice board prominently furnishing the names of senior officers with whom, you can appeal for redressal of grievances. Since, I could not see any notice board there prominently, I asked the Officer to show me the board.The board at their T.Nagar Chennai branch was displayed 10 feet from the ground, so that none could see the board. Also, the fonts were very small, one cannot read that. Mr Judy climed up and got the phone number of one Nodal Officer by name Milind Wagle (Mumbai) with his mobile number 9819466365. We spoke to him over mobile to know why there was a huge delay in settling the issue. He could not give proper answer. He was only telling that Judy was using HDFC ATM Machine, as if it was crime. We told him that only Kotak Mahendra Bank had been promoting that customers could use other ATMs also. He was going on telling us “please understand our position”. I was surprised, why a customer with a genuine grievance should understand their position, instead of the Bank understanding the problem of the customers.Normally, in any public sector banks, you can get the contact details of even the highest official like Chairman. When we asked them, who were the next higher authorities, they were unwilling to give any contact details.Though these banks like Kotak, HDFC and others promise sky and moon, when the customer gets into difficulties, they are unable to handle them well.On enquiry with other Public Sector Banks, we learnt that they were able to settle such claims within four or five days. Even if there is some problem, a customer can go up to the Chairman level by getting the details from the branch or from website.Now, after the introduction of NEFT (National Electronic Funds transfer) system by all the Indian Banks, one need not restrict to one bank for salary purposes. Your account can be credited to any Bank within India within few minutes.I am endorsing a copy of this mail to Kotak Nodal Officer. If they give any response, we will share in the group. I am endorsing copy of this mail to Ms Usha Thorat, Deputy Governor of Reserve Bank of India who is handling customer grievances for the entire country. (Members may recall that we had even published her speech in our podcast)Please read the mail sent by Judy to me. (given below)srinivasanPrime Point94440 50273———- Forwarded message ———-From: judy franko <judyfranko@gmail.com>Date: Fri, Jan 23, 2009 at 6:24 PMSubject: Customer un-friendly Kotak mahendra Bank and HDFC BankTo: Prime Point Srinivasan <prpoint@gmail.com>The private sector banks often promises world class service and claims to offer the fastest banking solutions.I too believed in this theory until this incident happened to me couple of weeks ago.on january 9, 2008, I tried to withdraw Rs 1,40,00 from HDFC ATM on the Anna Salai byusing my my Kotak Bank ATM card. Since Kotak has had given its customers the luxuryof using the Kotak ATM card across the HDFC ATM centres with any additional charge,I approached the ATM to withdraw money but to my disappointment, the ATM machine did not vent out cash. Though the transaction got processed, and the money I wanted withdraw got debited from my balance, the ATM did not vent out the money instead the money got credited in the bank. When I approached the bank saying that and narrated what happened, I was asked to give them formal complaint in writing which I did and the service manager at the T. Nagar branch of the bank said that that my case was not the first one and they had at lease two similar cases in the recent past and the HDFC bank usually take maximum of 45 days to solve issues like that. I was wondering like why should 45 days?Again I called the service manager after couple of days and he said that the HDFC would take would take 13 days to put the cash back to my account. However, when me and one of my friends approached the bank esquiring about the money and when it would be credited, the response from both the service manager and nodal officer, with whom I spoke over phone, was not positive. It’s sad that that private sector banks which promises a lot fail to deliver in times of crises.

Profile: Subhash Chandra Agrawal
Sunday, January 25, 2009
http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.com/2009/01/profile-subhash-chandra-agrawal.html
Subhash Chandra Agrawal is an ordinary man with extraordinary determination. His RTI appeal to the CIC resulted in the latter’s direction to the CPIO, Supreme Court, to share the information sought by him on the submission of details of assets held by the Supreme Court Judges. His latest appeal has resulted in another landmark decision from the CIC directing the Department of Justice, Government of India, to share information relating to the appointment of Chief Justice Bhalla of Himachal Pradaesh High Court. The latest decision cites Agrawal’s original RTI application which recalls Paragraph 81 of the S.P.Gupta Judgment of the Supreme Court in its support to show that there is no immunity against disclosure of documents relating to appointment or non-appointment of a Judge. In response to my request to share with us the highlight of his RTI saga, he wrote as follows:”Delhi High Court is designated court to entertain writs against decisions of Central Information Commission. Counsels for public-authorities usually obtain ex-party stay-orders against CIC verdicts and thereafter continue getting adjournments after adjournments in our adjournment-based judicial system, thus harming the very cause of implementation of ‘Right-To-Information Act’ for providing a petitioner required information in a time-bound period. Otherwise also, many-a-times, cases against CIC verdicts do not come for hearing because of over-stretch of earlier cases listed for hearing on that day. “Necessary reforms are utmost necessary at Delhi High Court to overcome this situation at a time when RTI Act is getting momentum fast. Firstly since CIC verdicts provide sufficient time to public-authorities for implanting CIC order, RTI petitioners should be served notice first avoiding any ex-party stay-orders against CIC verdicts. Interestingly even caveats are not entertained from RTI petitioners in probability of public-authority filing a writ at the Court!”Secondly, a particular day in the month say first Monday of every month may be fixed at Delhi High Court when the concerned bench may hear writs only against CIC verdicts in a manner that next adjournment in any such case may not be more than a month. Department of Justice obtained an ex-party stay-order against CIC verdict on one of my RTI petitions in April 2007, and the case has not moved further even an inch in last 21 months with 12 adjournments! Central Information commission should be taken as role-model where requests for adjournments from public-authorities are usually not entertained till petitioner agrees.”Surely, our readers will find a lot about him and his contribution from his website, which he shares with his wife, Madhu Agrawal, also an RTI activist. CIC’s website carries one of his articles here. Two more recent landmark decisions from the CIC on the basis of his RTI applications can be read here and here.
Posted by V.Venkatesan

Supreme Court judges’ two-day winter retreat concludes
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200901252063.htm
New Delhi (PTI): The two-day winter retreat of Supreme Court judges concluded today with a clarion call from the Chief Justice of India K G Bala Krishnan for expeditious disposal of cases in the country.
The Chief Justice, who chaired the meeting, shared a wide range of views on the latest policy decisions and legislations with other judges.
At the close door meeting attended by several judges of the Supreme Court, eminent jurist K Parasaran and former Union Law Minister Arun Jaitly, experts from the National Judicial Academy submitted various policy inputs and recent research material for the benefit of the gathering.
According to the sources the retreat was essentially an academic exercise aimed at enriching the legal expertise of the judges to enable them deal with the day to day disposal of cases.
It was stated that since the judges had hectic workload with little time for getting acquainted with the government policies and legislations, the retreat provided a forum for honing up the requisite knowledge.
The sources said that focus of the retreat was mainly intended to bolster the administration of justice particularly the criminal justice system.

SC sowed seeds of right to information about assets in 2002
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC_sowed_seeds_of_right_to_information_about_assets_in_2002/articleshow/4030828.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0132 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: French poet, playwright and novelist Victor-Marie Hugo, exponent of `Romantic Movement’, wrote the immortal words — “invasion of armies can be resisted, but an invasion of ideas cannot be resisted” — in his mid-19th century novel `The History of a Crime’. Exactly 150 years after Hugo wrote his book, the Supreme Court in 2002 delivered its path-breaking judgment on electoral reforms [Union of India vs Association for Democratic Reforms (2002) 5 SCC (294)]. It knew the necessity of new ideas to sustain the health of a democracy and sowed the first seeds of right to information. It mandated the Election Commission to seek information on the antecedents — including assets, educational qualification and criminal background — of candidates in the fray to enable voters to exercise informed choice. The central idea behind this judgment — the voter’s informed choice being the key to democracy — was distilled long ago by Sir Winston Churchill, who had said, “At the bottom of all high-sounding tributes paid to democracy is the little man, walking into a little booth, with a little pencil, making a little cross on a little bit of paper. No amount of rhetoric or voluminous discussion can possibly palliate the overwhelming importance of the point.” Nonetheless, it sparked a brand new idea in the Indian context. It was about time to arm the voters, either muscled or misled by money, with information. And no one, not even an army of politicians, could resist it. For the idea was fortified by a sound legal principle — “you be ever so high, the law is above you”. The rapturous applause that followed the 2002 judgment had numbed even the most cunning among unscrupulously powerful politicians. Despite finding it unpalatable, they bowed before the idea of empowering voters. And the seed of the idea sown in 2002 has now grown into a huge tree through the Right to Information Act, 2005. In a short span, it has helped many citizens to dig out hitherto forbidden official data to apprise themselves of the perspective, mindset or hidden agenda behind important decisions touching their daily lives. Now, the fruits of the apex court’s effort have come back to haunt it in the form of a directive from Central Information Commission (CIC) wanting to know whether judges of Supreme Court declare their assets periodically to the Chief Justice of India as per a 1997 judicial resolution. The SC, as an institution, has so far resisted an answer to this query on the ground that the information sought was not in public domain but in the private domain of the CJI, to whom the judges voluntarily provide details of their assets. One is not sure of the reasons behind the resistance to collective disclosure of assets by judges, though the CJI has given freedom to individual judges to do so on their own. What are they scared of — breaking a tradition, fearful of misuse of such data or is it something else? The public reaction, as seen in the views of constitutional experts like Fali S Nariman, Soli J Sorabjee and Ram Jethmalani, is fast turning the idea into a storm as the debate invariably ends in `those who preach should practise’. At this juncture, those who can should convince tradition-respecting judges that nothing untoward would happen if they declare their assets. It would only help raise their stature and respect, still intact to a large extent among public and litigants, and silence judiciary baiters. There is another advantage. Once judges reveal assets, which in a majority of cases would be so meagre that it would make people realise how difficult it was for judges to live on the lowly salary they were paid till the recent hike. Moreover, successive CJIs, including incumbent Justice K G Balakrishnan, have unequivocally declared both from the Bench and in public that `black sheep’, deadwood and corrupt have no place in judiciary. Everyone knows that a minority among judges bring a bad name to the judiciary. When it is so, declaring assets would provide a means to identify the `black sheep’ and get rid of them. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

Facing criminal case, woman says cops raped her
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Cops_raped_me_Chandigarh_convict/articleshow/4031830.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0455 hrs IST, Supriya Bhardwaj, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Narrating her tale before a local court, a 38-year-old woman supported prosecution’s allegation and claimed she was raped by two CBI officials — an inspector and a constable — in the year 2007. Court sources said the woman mentioned she was exploited by the duo, who was investigating a case wherein the woman and her husband were accused. “The victim stated that she was raped repeatedly by the accused in a guest house,’’ said a court source. An FIR was registered in July 2007 in Sector 39 police station under sections 376 (rape) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code. It claimed that the woman’s husband was a bus driver and in year 1998 a criminal case was registered against them in Hisar. Later, the matter reached the high court, which handed over the case to CBI. The prosecution alleged inspector Subhash Kundu along with constable Mohinder Singh went to woman’s Hisar-based house in year 2001 for investigations. Singh allegedly called her and stated Kundu had asked her to meet him at the rest house, but the victim refused. However, it was claimed, upon this Kundu threatened her that in case she didn’t come he would spoil her case. It was further added when the woman reached the guest house, the two men, who were under the influence of liquor, confined her in a room and later raped her. Informing that the victim supported prosecution’s allegations, defense counsel AS Sukhija said, “During her cross-examination, the prosecutrix admitted she had referred to only one incident where she was called to a rest house in Hisar by the accused and was allegedly raped. But when we questioned as to why her complaint to the SSP didn’t mention about the other incidents, she could not explain that. She also skipped a few dates when the incidents reportedly occurred.’’ The defense counsel added when he confronted the prosecutrix with her complaint addressed to the Chandigarh SSP dated April 23, 2007, she agreed that in the complaint she had mentioned only about one incident, which occurred after two-three days of the order passed by the high court for entrusting the case to CBI that Kundu and Singh called her to the rest house at Hisar.

Govt on Mangalore pub assault: Don’t Talibanise India
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Govt_on_Mangalore_pub_assault_Dont_talibanise_India/articleshow/4030660.cms
25 Jan 2009, 2244 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Women and child development minister Renuka Chowdhury has termed the assault of girls and boys in a Mangalore pub allegedly by a Hindu group as an attempt to “Talibanise India” and sought an explanation from the Karnataka government. “I am absolutely horrified at the insensitivity on the eve of Republic Day. I will seek an explanation from the state government as well as self-styled Sri Ram Sena,” Renuka said. “This incident is an attempt to Talibanise India. There is no place for these kinds of acts in India as it is a democracy,” Chowdhury said, adding that BJP leaders should condemn the incident. The minister also said it was time for chief minister B S Yeddyurappa to “wake up” and take action against the culprits. She said she would speak to Yeddyurappa on the incident. About 15 to 20 activists, reportedly belonging to Sri Ram Sena, barged into the pub late on Saturday night and assaulted boys and girls dancing there, accusing the teens of behaving in an “obscene manner”.

Ignoring RTIs costs him dear
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Ignoring_RTIs_costs_him_dear/articleshow/4031268.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0547 hrs IST, Viju B, TNN
MUMBAI: For the first time, a public authority has proactively penalised its officer for sitting on a number of appeals filed under the Right to information (RTI) Act. Deputy municipal commissioner of BMC Sudhir Naik has imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on A B Khanolakar, who during his tenure as an assistant commissioner, delayed replying to 67 RTI appeals. Naik, in his inquiry report, also said the officer was fined “as part of imparting education to the erring official who had violated provisions under the RTI Act”.Citizens and RTI activists have hailed this order as till date, it has been the State Information Commission (SIC) and the Central Information Commission (CIC) who have been penalising public information officers for not providing information under the RTI Act.
“We now feel that government agencies, like BMC, are becoming increasingly proactive, which is good for the long-term survival of the RTI Act,” said S K Nangia, who has been crusading for speedy issuance of RTI replies. Nangia had asked for a copy of the report after he learnt that the civic administration had started an inquiry against ward officer A B Khanolkar for delaying the replies. “During his tenure as the assistant commissioner in Dadar-Mahim (G-north), he did not take up 67 RTI appeals for hearing. He never bothered to even look at those pending appeals. This was a blatant violation of the RTI Act,” said Bhaskar Prabhu of Mahiti Adhikar Manch, an NGO working for RTI replies. Prabhu had filed an RTI query, seeking details of pendency of appeals across wards after he came to know that public information officers and appellate authorities were delaying in giving out information, which they are supposed to provide within 30 days. Nangia, coordinator of NGO AGNI, then followed up on the matter. He filed an RTI query asking what action had been taken against Khanolkar. “I got a reply from deputy municipal commissioner Sudhir Naik, saying a showcause notice had been issued against Khanolkar, asking him to explain the lapses,” Nangia said.

SC allows GAIL to lay RLNG pipeline
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/28261491.htm
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has allowed public sector GAIL (India) Ltd to lay a pipeline for transportation of natural gas to a power project that will supply electricity for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi next year.
The pipeline, which will transport regasified liquefied natural gas (RLNG) from Vijaipur to Dadri, will also supply gas to Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.
A special forest bench headed by Chief Justice, Mr K G Balakrishnan allowed the public sector to go ahead with its Rs 3,306-crore project, which required laying of the pipeline through wildlife sanctuary areas in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, on certain conditions imposed by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
The bench passed the order after GAIL undertook to comply with the recommendations given by the apex court-appointed committee. Besides, it said the original topography of the area would be restored and the safety norms prescribed by the Oil Industry Saf ety Directorate would be strictly adhered to.
The 505-km pipeline, with a maximum diameter of 48 inches, will pass through Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.
CEC had recommended that the apex court may permit underground pipeline over a distance of 2 km in the National Chambal Sanctuary at Morena and 3.5 km in the Ramsagar sanctuary subject to certain conditions.
It recommended that GAIL should deposit 5 per cent of the estimated cost of more than Rs 36 crore (i.e. Rs 1.8 crore) in the compensatory afforestation fund for the conservation and protection works in the sanctuaries.
Besides, it said that the NPV at the rates applicable for the land use falling within the national park and sanctuary will be deposited by the applicant. – PTI

Raj Kapoor’s wife need not pay wealth tax on his films: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Raj_Kapoors_wife_need_not_pay_wealth_tax_on_his_films_HC/articleshow/4031283.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0557 hrs IST, Kartikeya, TNN
MUMBAI: A division bench of the high court has ruled that legendary actor Raj Kapoor’s wife, Krishna, need not pay wealth tax on the rights she holds for films produced by him. Kapoor, who passed away in 1988, produced 17 films from 1948 to 1982 including classics such as Barsaat, Awara, Shree 420, Sangam, Mera Naam Joker and Bobby. He married Krishna at the age of 22 in 1946 and after his death, she got the rights of his cinematic works as she was his legal heir and representative. The income tax department sought to charge wealth tax on over Rs 2 crore for the rights of these films that Krishna held. However, Justice F I Rebello and R S Mohite held that under statutory provisions of the Wealth Tax Act, the tax could not be levied on any rights that were held under “a patent or a copyright”. “In the present case, there is no dispute that Raj Kapoor was the owner of the copyright now represented by his legal representative, Krishna,” said the court. So, it was made clear that no wealth tax could be levied on the ownership of Kapoor’s works by his wife. The court took into consideration various amendments that have taken place in the Wealth Tax Act of 1957 before passing its order. This also means that the tax cannot be levied on the copyrights of books and literary works that are held by their authors. Wealth tax is a direct tax which is charged on the benefits derived by a person by virtue of ownership of property. It is to be paid every year on the same property at its market value whether it yields any income or not. Thus it may be levied on ownership of jewellery, bullion, yachts, boats and aircraft or urban land. Principally, it is charged on assets that are lying idle and have not been put to any commercial use by the owner.

Excise officials cannot loiter in Mantralaya
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Excise_officials_cannot_loiter_in_Mantralaya/articleshow/4031292.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0526 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN
MUMBAI: For motor vehicle and excise inspectors, loitering in the corridors of power without written permission from transport or excise commissioners, as the case may be, will prove costly, as their entry to Mantralaya has been banned with immediate effect. Transport and excise secretary C S Sangitrao on Friday wrote an official letter to both transport commissioner Deepak Kapoor and his excise counterpart I S Chahal, saying that a large number of inspectors of motor vehicles and excise departments were loitering in Mantralaya without having any official work. “If they are found there without any official work, disciplinary action should be taken against them,” Sangitrao said in his strongly-worded letter. A senior official said, approximately 25 inspectors of the motor vehicles department (RTO) and an equal number of excise inspectors were found to be loitering in Mantralaya, particularly near the office of transport minister Swarupsinh Naik, excise minister Ganesh Naik and chief minister Ashok Chavan. The official said the warning issued by the transport and excise secretary was a welcome move, but whether his office had a network to check the presence of excise and RTO inspectors was still questionable. “The transport and excise department will have to depute intelligence officials to detect loitering excise and RTO inspectors. In the event of them being caught, what action will be taken against them? The department can only initiate a departmental probe against such officials,” he said. One of the main reasons for the presence of a large number of excise and RTO inspectors in Mantralaya was the ensuing transfer season. Both the excise and transport departments are currently in the process of drafting a list of officials due for transfer. Official orders will be issued in the last week of March. “Officials holding non-executive posts attempt to get executive assignments and officials on executive posts make efforts to secure plum posts. To achieve their goal, they put pressure. In fact, even a section of cabinet ministers takes a keen interest in the postings as well as transfers of excise and RTO inspectors,” he added. According to reports, nearly 100 officials of the RTO and 200 officials of the excise department will be shifted in the annual exercise. “The new transfer rules are very clear. Officials, who have completed a three-year tenure, will be shifted. In addition, there are mutual transfers and transfers on medical grounds,” the official said. As per the provisions of the Maharashtra civil service rules, putting political pressure for securing a transfer, amounts to violation of discipline. Despite the fact that many politicians recommend the transfers of transport and excise officials, disciplinary action is very rarely taken against erring inspectors.

Abandoned by ‘gay’ man, wife seeks maintenance
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Abandoned_by_gay_man_wife_seeks_maintenance/articleshow/4030840.cms
25 Jan 2009, 2328 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: A woman filed a maintenance case against her husband recently, alleging that he was involved in a homosexual relationship with his best friend and had left her and their child when she found out about it. As per the case, the couple got married in 2004 but the problems started when the woman’s husband was spending more time with his best friend, who is also his business partner. The woman alleged that her husband was earlier working with his elder brother but quit the family business and started a small business with his best friend. Earlier, the woman had filed a complaint against her husband in 2008 asking for maintenance. The court, last year referred the case to the mediation centre in order to counsel the couple in order to settle the case out of court. Opposing his relationship with his friend, the husband said that he was into a business with his friend and he earned his living by the work. Therefore, he would not leave his business at the behest of his wife. With no hope of reconcilaton, the case was then transferred to the court of metropolitan magistrate Sunaina Sharma as her husband refused to pay her monthly allowance. In her petition, the woman said that she got married in 2004 and they were living happily for some time. But she soon realized that her husband was not showing any interest in her and used to enjoy the company of his friend. The woman said that her husband refused to give up his friend’s company and she was sent back to her parent’s house within few months of her marriage while she was pregnant. She also alleged that her husband refused to accept his daughter who was born after the couple got separated.

CJ cautions against misuse of law
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/CJ_cautions_against_misuse_of_law/articleshow/4031243.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0520 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, is an important law for protecting women against abuse. But its provisions, if not interpreted properly, could cause injustice to the alleged perpetrator. Chief justice of Karnataka High Court Justice P D Dinakaran stressed on need for awareness about the Act in rural India, sensitization of authorities including police and social workers, and the need to exercise caution while implementing the law. Its implementation has not been very effective, he said on Sunday while addressing high court judges and lawyers at a workshop on domestic violence. Rural women, who need access to the Act more than those in cities, don’t have enough avenues to avail it. “It’s been just two years since it came into force. We don’t know how well it is being implemented. We should be cautious so that there is no misuse,” he said. The Act protects women in live-in relationships too, and is considered a strong measure for women’s protection. However, chairman of the sub-committee for implementation of plan of action for welfare of women, Justice B V Nagarathna, stressed that caution needs to be exercised in most cases. For instance, there is a clause that asks the victim to submit a `domestic incident report’, which is like a petition about the complaint. The judge should not take the petition for granted because it could be a tool of misuse. “Similarly, Section 19 of the Act, which directs the respondent to keep away from the household of the victim, could lead to harassment of men if not implemented with caution,” he said. Justice Nagarathna added counselling is an important part of reconciliation in any case, marital or non-marital. In family courts, 90% of the cases fail to reach the reconciliation stage even though it is a good option.

Lok Ayukta report on mining issues final: CM
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Lok_Ayukta_report_on_mining_issues_final_CM/articleshow/4031260.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0521 hrs IST, TNN
Haveri : The government does not want another report on mining activities from the forest department, according to chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.
“The report submitted by Lok Ayukta justice N Santosh Hegde on the issue is final. I’ll meet Hegde and discuss the matter with him within a week. A talk with the cabinet will follow,” chief minister Yeddyurappa said on Sunday. On the just concluded Belgaum legislature session, Yeddyurappa said Congress and JD(S) members wasted time during the 9-day session by discussing only mining issues. “I’m glad the BJP has made a beginning in developing North Karnataka as per the Nanjundappa report. Towards this objective, I’ve allocated Rs 1,464 crore for the region during the Belgaum session,” he explained. The government will set up a `spice park’ and a food processing unit in Haveri.

Cheating case against IT firm
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Cheating_case_against_IT_firm/articleshow/4031367.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0213 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: SR Nagar police registered cases against the owners of an IT firm for allegedly cheating its employees on Sunday. According to SR Nagar police, `5M-Techheads Software Solutions,’ was started an year ago by Narasimha Rao and Surya Prasad at Leela Nagar in Ameerpet. SR Nagar SI Tirupathi Reddy said that the company has recruited about 200 employees by collecting money from them. “Since some time, they stopped paying salaries,” Tirupathi Reddy said. On Sunday about 10 employees approached the SR Nagar police and lodged a complaint against the management.

Court case updates now on your mobile
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Court_case_updates_now_on_your_mobile/articleshow/4031123.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0146 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: Now, litigants in Gujarat High Court have got one more tool to keep a tab on their lawyers. They can know what is happening to their cases through cell phones only. After successfully providing complete information on cases and judicial orders on internet, the high court administration is launching the facility of knowing the case status, including the next date of hearing through SMS. This facility will be available from January 26, and the number for sending message for details is 56767989. All the SMSes to be sent to this number have to start with keyword ghcs’ followed by the case category and the case number. The chief justice will formally inaugurate this facility during the flag-hoisting ceremony on Republic Day.

Intention of information seeker not important: SIC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Intention_of_information_seeker_not_important_SIC/articleshow/4031673.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0317 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The intention of the citizen asking information under the right to information act should not be the concern of the information officer, is what a recent order of the Goa state information commission (SIC) says. Stating that, “the citizen’s intention in asking information need not be gone into as per the provisions of the RTI Act”, the SIC dismissed arguments by the Mapusa municipal council’s information officer, in connection with an RTI application by Ribandar resident Kashinath Shetye. MMC had alleged that the appellant was “harassing all the municipalities and corporations in Goa and hence, the request for information is made with mala fide intention”. The commission, in its order issued on December 30, 2008, also directed the appellant to approach the chief officer to get the information requested by him on payment of additional fees as informed by the chief officer. The commission further directed the chief officer to “give the appellant an opportunity to inspect all the documents and a letter to be sent fixing the date of inspection within the next 10 days.” The commission also noted that there was sufficient force in Shetye’s argument that the letter dated November 6, 2008 sent by the chief officer could have been sent within 30 days from the date of the request. “The chief officer should take note of this and deal with the request for information under the RTI Act immediately and in any case within the time limit allowed under the RTI Act,” the commission noted. When Shetye did not receive the requested information from the chief officer within the prescribed 30 days, he filed his first appeal before the director of municipal administration on October 21, 2008. Only then did the chief officer ask Shetye to appear in his office “to discuss the matter and scrutinize required documents” as the information requested was voluminous. When Shetye did not approach the council, the director of municipal administration passed an order directing the information be given within 10 days and also allowed inspection of records by Shetye. In his detailed reply to Shetye on November 6, 2008, the chief officer also asked Shetye to pay an amount of Rs 56 and Rs 900 for the copies of the documents requested. But Shetye said he had not received the letter and stated that the chief officer could have sent the letter even before the first appellate authority had decided the first appeal. That is when the Mapusa chief officer made his allegation that Shetye was “harassing all the municipal councils and corporations in Goa” and hence, the request for information was made with mala fide intention. Interestingly, Shetye has made quite a number of appeals under the RTI to the SIC. The commission’s website shows that the commission has dealt with at least eight appeals by Shetye against the Corporation of the City of Panaji in December 2008 alone. Shetye has also made appeals against the directorate of panchayats, the law under secretary, and has represented Sanyogita Shetye (also of Ribandar) in her RTI application seeking details of the chief secretary’s annual property returns, log books of vehicles used by him, his promotion to a post outside Goa and his continuation in Goa by a set of 11 questions.

SC issues contempt notice
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/SC_issues_contempt_notice/articleshow/4031178.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0308 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The Supreme Court has issued contempt notices to principal secretary, finance, Anup Mishra, vice-chancellor, Agra University, Prof KN Tripathi and finance controller of the SN Medical College, Agra.
The notice was issued on the petition filed by Agra University finance officer, AQ Ansari, who was transferred to another place last year. Ansari filed the petition after the three officers refused to implement the Supreme Court order dated December 12.
The finance officer had claimed that his transfer from the university was not justified and for over a month his office has been locked thus preventing him from discharging his duties.

Jaipur High Court Bar Association has defended its call
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/Jaipur_High_Court_Bar_Association_has_defended_its_call/articleshow/4031375.cms
26 Jan 2009, 0355 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: Jaipur High Court Bar Association has defended its call for the lawyers to take a decision on defending the terror accused in courts according to their conscience following the Jaipur serial blasts on May 13. Speaking to TOI, Jaipur High Court Bar Association president Madahav Mitra said, “We have given only a call and not forced anybody either accept or reject cases. The resolution upheld lawyers right to accept or reject according to the conscience of the lawyer when cases of the terror accused were offered,” he added. His reaction follows the issuance of notice by the Supreme Court on Friday to four Bar Councils of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra on the plea of laying down guidelines for protecting the rights of lawyers to defend terror accused as four advocates in a PIL alleged that they were forced to withdrew their vakalatnama’ for defending the serial blasts accused in their states and were subjected to harassment by the bar associations. Four lawyers Mohd Shoeb, from Lucknow , Zamal Ahmed from Faizabad, Noor Ahmed from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Surender Gadling from Maharashtra charged that the resolutions by Bar Associations barring lawyers from defending the accused were illegal and unprofessional. Mitra said, “We are waiting for the notice to reach us and we will defend our decision. It seems the petitioners might have misquoted our resolutions. We have not forced any of the lawyers on either way (accept or reject) the cases. We have given only a call and some advocates are already defending the terror accused in courts.” He said there was no cases of manhandling of advocates as mentioned in the petition reported here. Rajasthan Bar Council president Nasir Ali Naqvi said, “We have not received the notices and give a response only after going through the notices.”

Flesh trade: Police rescue 11 girls
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mysore/Flesh_trade_Police_rescue_11_girls/articleshow/4030772.cms
25 Jan 2009, 2233 hrs IST, TNN
MYSORE: Mysore city police have rescued 11 girls from a lodge on Seebaiah Road and arrested 11 persons engaged in flesh trade in city on Friday. The arrested have been remanded to judicial custody till further enquiry. Acting on a tip-off, a team led by DCP (law and order) V S D’Souza raided the lodge around 10.30 pm and took all the persons into custody. The girls, aged between 18 and 25 years, were sent to rehabilitation centre in the city.

Lawyers protest against inhumane treatment of prisoners in Kanpur jail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Lawyers_protest_against_inhumane_treatment_of_prisoners_in_Kanpur_jail/articleshow/4030791.cms
25 Jan 2009, 2206 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: The local unit of All India Lawyers Union on Saturday pointed out the prevailing corruption, atrocities and irregularities in Kanpur Jail and urged the district magistrate to take action at the earliest. In a memorandum addressed to the district magistrate, Sayeed Naqvi, advocate and state general secretary, alleged that jail authorities are violating the provisions of Article 23 of Indian constitution, an act punishable under section 374 of IPC. Explaining his point, he said that about 90 per cent undertrials are lodged in Kanpur Jail and jail authorities are forcing them to perform inhuman tasks against their will. Moreover, they are not being paid their minimum wages prescribed under Minimum Wages Act. Naqvi, who is a senior criminal lawyer, said that there are some convicts who have been punished with simple imprisonment but the jail authorities force them also to perform tasks against their will. They are also not being paid for their work. Rampant corruption was cited as the reason behind the atrocities being committed on undertrials and convicts. Those who give `suvidha shulk’ to the jail authorities get the required facilities while those who fail to do so are being tortured. The convicts are not medically examined, he alleged. Suresh Singh Chauhan, president of the local unit apprised the district magistrate that there is no secluded space for the advocate and client to have a meeting inside the jail. Moreover, any person visiting the jail to meet a undertrial has to wait for hours outside the jail with there being no place to sit down or provide shade from the sun. Kareem Ahmad Siddiqui, advocate and general secretary, local unit, submitted that the undertrials being brought to Kanpur court for judicial remand or for the hearing of their case by van were pushed and filled inside the vehicle like cattle. He also alleged that the lock-ups in Kanpur court were like hell. Neither there was any ventilation nor any civil facility. The union in its memorandum requested to DM to take appropriate action against jail authorities for violating the law and provide the necessary facilities to the undertrials.

Enact law to protect jobs, says Yechury
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012652561200.htm
M. Rajeev
HYDERABAD: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) has demanded that the Centre enact a legislation to protect jobs of employees in the private sector, including those in Information Technology and Services who are facing the threat of retrenchment due to the economic recession.
The CPI(M) wanted the Centre to invoke provisions of the Contract Labour Law imposing penalties on the companies wherever there are violations and asked the government to introduce the Bill for protecting jobs in the ensuing session of Parliament.
“The government, which is keen on pushing through the Bill on foreign direct investments in the insurance sector, should take steps to protect the existing jobs if it cannot create new ones. People and their security are more important than economic liberalisation,” CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said.
Mr. Yechury, who was here on Sunday, told reporters that the statistics presented by the Reserve Bank of India, the Planning Commission and other agencies projected the growth rate to be around 7 per cent and this could decline further before the end of the fiscal. The government had, no doubt, announced a financial stimulus of Rs. 20,000 crore but it would not be sufficient to minimise the impact of recession on the economy.
The package should be enhanced to Rs.1 lakh crore and investments should be made in social infrastructure like roads and railways.
“The crisis arose because of the wrong diagnosis and wrong prescription. There is a need for rectification.”
On the political front, he said the Left parties were working for a “secular non-Congress alternative” at the Centre with an alternative policy direction. Accordingly, the Left was looking at parties that support economic policies laying emphasis on ‘people before corporates,’ unflinching stand against communalism unlike the “vacillating Congress” and independent foreign policy where “we will not be an appendage” to the United States.

Pay statutory minimum bonus: High Court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012654990700.htm
K.T. Sangameswaran
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the Pondicherry Housing Board (PHB) to pay the statutory minimum bonus guaranteed under the Payment of Bonus Act to its employees from the accounting year 1997-98.
Allowing a writ petition by the PHB Employees Union and the PHB Staff Union, Justice K. Chandru said while paying the minimum bonus, the board was entitled to adjust the exgratia/gift.
If the board workmen wanted something more than the statutory minimum bonus, the only remedy open to them was to raise an industrial dispute. He directed the board to implement the court order within three months.
The petitioners sought a direction to the board to pay statutory minimum bonus of 8.33 per cent every year besides ex-gratia on a par with employees of public sector undertakings of Puducherry government. They submitted that they sent a representation in October 1998 demanding minimum statutory bonus.
The board replied that the employees were not eligible for bonus for 1997-98 and they would be paid only the gift as announced by the territorial government.
Mr. Justice Chandru said the plea of exemption under the Bonus Act by the board must necessarily fail on account of Supreme Court decisions in the Haryana Housing Board and TWAD Board cases.
Once the statutory exemptions pleaded under the Bonus Act by the government and the board failed and there being no other exemption granted by the State government under the Act, the necessary corollary was that the Act would apply to the PHB.

Adalat
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012657750300.htm
‘Bhavishya Nidhi Adalat’ will be conducted at the Regional Office by the Regional Provident Fund Commissioner–I on February 10 for redress of public grievances on matters concerning the provident fund. Members of Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation, employers, and other stake holders can send their grievances along with name and address of the establishment, and EPF account number to the Public Relation Officer, EPFO, Regional Office, Dr.Balasundaram Road, Coimbatore – 18, on or before February 5.

High Court Bench works on Sunday
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012656820400.htm
Mohamed Imranullah S.
Judge arrives on motorcycle and takes up an unnumbered petition for hearing.
MADURAI: Sunday was a day of many firsts for the Madras High Court Bench here. It worked on a holiday, a judge came to the court on a motorcycle, an unnumbered petition was taken up for hearing and the court functioned with just two employees.
P. Rathinam (62), a human rights activist and a lawyer, had sought permission from the Superintendent of Police here to conduct ‘Aadhikka Ozhippu Samathuva Vizha’ (Equality function to eradicate oppression) at Melavalavu near here on Sunday.
Activists from Chennai, Namakkal, Tiruchi and other districts were slated to participate in the function in which it had been planned to name a locality as Revolutionary Ambedkar Nagar and to treat the participants with beef as a mark of protest against dominant caste groups.
The representation submitted to the SP on Thursday was forwarded to officers down the hierarchy, leading to an order passed by a Sub-Inspector refusing permission. The rejection order was served on the lawyer on Saturday evening.
Faced with a difficult situation at the eleventh hour, Mr. Rathinam decided to file a writ petition challenging the Sub-Inspector’s order on the ground that it was in violation of the right to assemble without disturbing public order.
“I spoke to the Personal Secretary of the Acting Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya in Chennai over phone early in the morning and obtained special permission to place the matter before Justice A. Selvam, the senior-most judge in Madurai Bench,” he said.
His counsel T. Lajapathi Roy prepared the petition and affidavit in no time. Government Advocate D. Sasikumar was requested to attend. The case was heard in the Judge’s chambers and the Sub-Inspector’s order was stayed at 2.45 p.m.

SC and ST Atrocities Act being misused: panel chief
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012651940500.htm
Staff Reporter
‘Police can act against false complainants’
Misuse of the Act affecting genuine victims: chairman
Panel to act tough against those filing false cases
NELLORE: Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Commission chairman M. Nagarjuna on Sunday expressed concern over misuse of SC and ST Atrocities Act by some people in the State.
The increase in false cases in the recent past under the Act was affecting genuine victims he said and appealed to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes not to file false cases.
Speaking to the newsmen here, Dr. Nagarjuna said the commission gave instructions to the police and the revenue officials to act immediately on complaints. However, the commission would not tolerate false cases being filed, misusing the Act.
“There are reports of false cases being filed under the Act. If the investigating agency finds any person filing false complaints the police can take action against them and the commission will not intervene into the matter. The SC, ST Commission will extend support to genuine victims and ensure justice for them,” he said.
Recommendations
The commission prepared about 238 recommendations on providing employment, scholarship, loans, distributing lands and other issues and the list would be submitted to the government soon. Recently, the government increased scholarships to 30 per cent for SC and ST students based on the recommendations.
Plea to State
The commission appealed to the State government to set up more special courts and appoint police officers for speedy investigation of SC and ST atrocity cases, the chairman said.

Commentary on Portuguese Civil Code released
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012651280300.htm
Special Correspondent
PANAJI: A new commentary on the Portuguese Civil Code of 1867, prepared by the Institute of Juridical Cooperation (IJC), University of Lisbon, was released at V.M. Salgaocar College of Law here on Saturday. The commentary, prepared under the guidance of IJC director Dario Mauro Vincente, was released by Vice-Chancellor of the Goa University Dileep N. Deobagkar on the occasion of the inaugural of “Lex Novitas – 2009” at the college.
Prof. Vincente said that the civil code of 1867 had been analysed and commented upon in the context of the 21st Century. Though the code was not in force in Portugal, a substantial part of it was applicable in Goa, and therefore the commentaries in the present day context had become very relevant, he said and added that this was one of the main reasons why the IJC decided to release the book at the law college, which in association with the institute was conducting a certificate course in civil code.

Water Adalat
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012660150300.htm
Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board (BWSSB) will hold a Water Adalat on Tuesday between 9.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the office of the Assistant Executive Engineer of West-4 sub division on West of Chord Road. According to a press release, the grievances of consumers under the jurisdiction of the West of Chord Road 1 and 2, Basaveshwaranagar 1st to 4th blocks, Industrial Town, Dasarahalli, Kamakshipalya, Kamalanagar, Manjunath Nagar, Shivanagar, BEML Nagar Service Station limits will be heard and settled at the adalat. For details, call Ph: 22945171 or 22945184.

Amendments to land Acts will only help encroachers: CITU leader
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012651070300.htm
Staff Correspondent
‘Recovered encroached land should be given to the poor’
HASSAN: The secretary of the State unit of Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and State Secretariat member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), S. Prasanna Kumar, has alleged that the amendments to the Karnataka Land Revenue Act and the Karnataka Land Reforms Act will only help multi-national companies and land grabbers as the earlier restrictions on land conversion have been removed. He told The Hindu here on Sunday that the land value in and around Bangalore was high and the Government’s land policy was unscientific. Its decision to form a government land corporation at the State-level and land banks at the district-level, and to sell the recovered encroached land in and around Bangalore through tenders would only help encroachers to regularise their encroachments.
He said that CITU had been staging a dharna in Bangalore since January 20 demanding that the encroached land identified by the Ramaswamy committee be distributed among the landless.
Though the Government had acquired land for establishing special economic zones through out the State, it had not been handed over for the purpose for which it was acquired. He accused the Government of doing real estate business. This policy would affect food production.

Law reforms panel’s suggestions debated
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012659010200.htm
Special Correspondent
KOCHI: Remember the hullabaloo over the Law Reforms Commission’s recommendations, particularly over the proposals for regulating the vast properties of Church establishments, Muslim polygamy and euthanasia? Remember the fiery speeches, rallies, marches and press statements by dozens of organisations?
Well, none of these noises was echoed and none of the leaders of the protesting organisations was present at a seminar organised by the commission here on Sunday to underscore its message of social change through law reform and explain its stand on the various recommendations. Not a single protesting organisation bothered to send its representative to hear the views of legal experts, including N.R. Madhava Menon. In fact, there were only a few dozen people in the audience to hear about the commission’s recommendations that, if enacted into law, have the potential to drastically impact Kerala’s social life. V. R. Krishna Iyer, in spite of his 94 years and waning health, made it to the seminar and made a passionate plea for debate on the recommendations to generate new ideas and improve upon the recommendations made by his commission.
The commission has made proposals for 65 new laws, amendments to 30 Acts and changes to nine important existing rules. The commission took 13 months to complete its mission.
Unlike other commissions, the chairman and members of the Law Reforms Commission did not accept any remuneration, the commission did not have an office, the members had no official cars or residences. Mr. Iyer himself, the vice-chairman T.V. Ramakrishnan and other members worked out of Mr. Iyer’s home with very limited facilities.
Among the Bills made by the commission is the Kerala Christian Religious Trusts Bill, proposing to put the entire properties, running into billions of rupees, owned by the Christian church in the State, under registered trusts. These trusts have to be run by democratically elected committees of the faithful, and not by a single bishop or parish priest. Canon law will not be applied to the properties. “Canon law will apply only to matters of religious beliefs or spiritual matters and will not be applicable to ownership and management of properties and all other matters affecting temporal matters of the church,” the commission has stated.
Another law proposed is the Kerala Muslim Women (Relief on Irretrievable Breakdown of Marriage and Prohibition of Talaqul Bidaat) Bill which will take away the Muslim husband’s right to divorce at will.
The Kerala Muslim Marriage and Dissolution by Talaq (Regulation) Bill puts strong curbs on Muslim husbands taking a second wife. If the Bill is made into a law, a Muslim man will have to get his wife’s written permission made before a legal authority to take a second wife, that too in accordance with certain strict norms.
Christian and Muslim organisations had made a lot of noise over the proposals. But, at the seminar, none of them showed up to hear the view of the commission.

Jurist calls for quick reforms
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012656900400.htm
Special Correspondent
Wants people-oriented law reforms
N.R. Madhava Menon: many laws outdated
‘Law reforms not on political agenda’
KOCHI: N.R. Madhava Menon, jurist, has urged the State and Central governments to undertake a comprehensive reform of laws in the country on a war footing.
“A number of archaic and outdated laws will continue to govern our lives for a long time to come unless comprehensive law reform is undertaken by the Centre and the States on a war footing,” Mr. Menon said at a seminar on “Law reform as an instrument of social engineering,” held here on Sunday.
The seminar was organised by the Law Reforms Commission, Kerala, a day ahead of its scheduled presentation of its recommendations to the government.
Mr. Menon, a member of the Commission on Centre-State Relations, said that more than 60 years after Independence, India was still largely governed by laws made to serve British colonial interests. Law reform was not yet on the agenda of political parties. “There has been no conscious effort to look comprehensively on the pre-Independence laws to bring them in tune with the constitutional philosophy, fundamental rights’ requirements and the mandate of the Directive Principles of State Policy.” Hence, law reform could not cope with people’s aspirations and constitutional promises.
Initiated by people
Mr. Menon, a former member of the Law Commission of India, said what India needed was a people-oriented law reform, initiated by the people or civil society activists. The objective of such a reform process should be directed to social change for the removal of human sufferings and social injustice. In partnership with public interest lawyers, social activists should identify the causes for denial of justice to the people and seek to draft socially relevant legislative proposals. “One supreme example of law reform of this type in recent times is the Right to Information Act developed by a group of civil rights activists.”
If law reform were left to governmental bureaucracy, the result would be laws which would only serve the interests of the dominant group in society, Mr. Menon said. He said the recommendations of the Law Reforms Commission on a variety of socially relevant issues were people-sensitive and constitutionally-informed. The work of the commission, headed by V.R. Krishna Iyer, was perhaps the first attempt at law making with people’s participation, he said.
Mr. Krishna Iyer said law reform was very crucial, as rule of law governed law of life. Law reform was the most peaceful method of social reform and social engineering. N.K. Jayakumar, Vice-Chancellor, NUALS (National University of Advance Legal Studies), N.S. Gopala Krishnan, head of the Intellectual Property Rights study centre at Cochin University of Science and Technology and Meenakshi Thampan, women’s activist, spoke.

Transparency: critical role of digital signature
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012650681400.htm
The regulator can make it mandatory for corporates
When the company physically held itself most of the assets owned by it, the management and auditors played a key role in actually verifying them and reporting them to the shareholders.
As the Satyam fraud unfolds with all its ramifications, a simple question keeps popping up in discussions among even laypersons. How could someone show in the books a non-existent bank deposit? The audacity apart, it requires co-operative minds to do so. More often than not when a bank balance is ascertained, the number that gets into it is the one stated by the management and certified by the auditor. They together can decide to be less than truthful. In the case of Satyam, this is what appears to have happened.
A business is constantly in the process of creating assets, converting them into one form to the other, expending them, creating liabilities and extinguishing those liabilities. The balance-sheet is a snapshot of this ongoing activity on a given date. On the date of the balance-sheet, the business could be owing money to others. Or, it could itself being owed money by others. The surplus money, if any, should remain as some form of asset or be represented as a loss up to that date.
Except fixed assets, companies hold very little in the form of assets with themselves. Practically, someone else holds everything else in custody and is represented as a debt owed to the company. Thus, cash in the bank is not really held with the company. It is in the form of debt owed by the bank. Similarly, the securities and other investments owned by the company are actually represented by debt owed by a depository, a mutual fund or other institution. Even the liabilities to shareholders are represented by entries in the depositories and stock exchanges to a large extent.
Role of auditors
When the company physically held itself most of the assets owned by it, the management and auditors played a key role in actually verifying them and reporting them to the shareholders. Since the role has evolved into certifying the account entries and verifying statements from the debtors, it could provide ammunition for temptation.
“This is not a unique problem, but one that arose in several other situations and was satisfactorily solved in many of those cases,” says B. Robert Raja, a former I-T (income-tax) sleuth, who formed part of the team that cracked the securities scam of the early 90’s. “It usually pays to remove the source of temptation to violate than provide punitive measures. Traffic authorities know it all the time. It is much easier to enforce lane discipline by constructing a median wall rather than penalising drivers for crossing the yellow line,” says Mr. Raja.
In this context, he cites income-tax deduction at source (TDS). Until recently, one who deducted the tax paid the money into the Government account and then certified such payment by way of a TDS certificate.
This certificate was then issued to the person on whose behalf the tax was deducted, who, in turn, furnished this as proof of tax payment along with his I-T return. The I-T Department has since plugged the hole by relying on the receipt side accounting rather than the deduction certificate.
“Now it is recognised as a tax payment only if the money had come into the Government coffers. The Government gets its assurance from the bank (and National Securities Depository Ltd. (NSDL), which does the book-keeping for this) that actually received the money from the one who deducts tax at source. The one who deducts the tax or the eventual taxpayer has no means of manipulating the amounts,” points out Mr. Raja, who is also an information security expert.
He also cities stock ownership and stock trading. When the settlement was through physical delivery and where the settlement cycles were long, there were possibilities for non-deliveries and mischief. “The dematerialisation of stock certificates and shortening of the cycles have reduced the opportunity for the mischief to a significant extent. From an information perspective, in the earlier model, the information flow was so slow and the parties had a longer time to make good any untruth they may have uttered. This automatically led to a licentious atmosphere,” he points out.
Verification
NSDL has started intimating its actual holdings to the holders of depository accounts and is also offering them a facility to verify their balances directly from the depository. “This is actually the defined role of the depository participants — but when they do not add value to the information they receive from the depository and pass it on to the clients, a direct intimation from the depository substantially reduces the opportunity for mischief by a participant,” Mr. Raja points out.
The current system of audit and publication of corporate accounts require a similar solution. “While there are aspects of accounting where the management and the auditors do have a role to play, they are merely restating or attesting numbers when it comes to many of the assets and liabilities. In these cases, they are unnecessary and temptation-prone middlemen,” he argues.
Along with their accounts, companies could also be asked to publish direct statements from the creditors and debtors. Perhaps, a threshold on value or type of account may be placed on that. But how do companies manage the logistics of accurately reproducing and distributing the statements from multiple parties? And how can one ensure that the management does not manipulate it? The country already has a legislatively sanctioned digital signature infrastructure, says Mr. Raja. “It would be a simple matter for the companies to obtain a digitally signed balance confirmation as on the last date of the year and publish the document as an annexure to their annual accounts. The same digitally signed statements can also be submitted to the exchanges and other regulators. The statements can be simple PDF documents with the digital signature of the party and this would ensure easy verification by any shareholder or investor. This will also discharge a rather onerous burden of the auditors as at present and bring in a lot more transparency into the system,” Mr. Raja points out.
Mindset change
Well, this could actually bring down the cost of compliance to companies. Auditors can now focus on items that call for their professional expertise rather than act as a mere attesting agency with the attendant risks. Investors, too, can feel happy that they are getting the most accurate information directly from its source.
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) could step in here too as it had done recently in the case of pledging of shares by the promoters. The regulator could make it mandatory under the listing agreement for corporates to file digitally signed certification of balance deposits from banks.
A similar requirement could be made in the case of other assets too. More than the regulation, a mindset change is all that required to implement this. Well, this mindset change is inevitable as is important in the light of what had happened in Satyam.

Circulars on charities cannot go beyond law
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/26/stories/2009012650741500.htm
Even if the Circular is implemented in the true spirit, only some of the institutions may not be affected but not most others.
Can the Circular be taken as honouring the statement of the Finance Minister that all genuine organisations will not be affected by the amendment?
There are a number of objects, some of which are even recognised by Article 51A of the Constitution as part of Fundamental Duties, such as promotion of harmony between different citizens transcending religious, linguistic, regional and sectional diversities, preservation of the heritage and composite culture, protection and improvement of industrial environment, developing of scientific temper, humanity and spirit of reform, protection of public property and promotion of non-violence. These are all objects of general public utility. So are those engaged in the promotion of employment, safe driving, animal welfare, sports, widow marriage, fine arts such as music, research, community services, maintenance of public halls and parks, promotion of language and literature and many other such objects rendering yeoman service for the public charging some fee incidental to their activity to augment their resources from persons who can afford to pay for the services rendered by them.
Automobile associations for example ensure safe driving, while charging fees for some services rendered by them by way of road information or getting driving licences for members. Though promoting music is a recognised purpose, collections for performance of popular artistes would risk exemption. Those trusts and institutions engaged in the promotion of fine arts and literature may bring out publications at a price. Such public associations, which would lose exemption, are numerous. Revenue gain from such association may be minimal, but they will deprive resources for deserving institutions.
What is worse is that the tax is not limited to income from such activity. There will be total loss of exemption for such institutions, including income from investments made out of donations, because amendment had been placed wrongly in the definition of charitable purpose and not under Sec. 13, which already prescribes conditions for exemption for business income under Sec. 13(1)(d)(iii) and earlier under Sec. 13(1)(bb). Any amendment to the former section or restoration of the latter so as to target only commercial profits was what was required even in the light of the objective of withdrawal of relief on “commercial” profits relating to objects of general public utility.
Another unexplained offshoot is that such institutions, which earn small profit would lose exemption under Sec. 80G as well so as to deplete the only other or the main source of income. The advice given in the Circular from these damaging consequences is that such institutions should give up such “commercial” activity.
In the result, the Circular has not kept up the promise that genuine institutions will not be affected. But then, what else could Circular do to undo the damage done by the amendment? Circular cannot go beyond the law.
What is the advice you would give for such institutions affected by the amendment withdrawing relief for those covered by the fourth object with commercial activities?
The Circular, no doubt, tries to interpret relief of the poor liberally so that some of the institutions relating to rural development or orphanages or old age homes may not be vulnerable, if some charges are levied for incidental service. Similarly, educational and medical institutions may not be vulnerable, even if some incidental activity is understood as commercial activity by revenue. But then, such a liberal interpretation was not given in the past. Even for promotion of handicraft now conceded, the assessee for example in Victoria Technical Institute v Addtl.CIT (1991) 188 ITR 57 (SC) had to go to the Supreme Court, which came to the assessee’s rescue reversing the decision of the High Court not on the ground that the assessee was engaged in relief of poverty but on the ground that promotion of handicraft satisfies the fourth condition of general public utility. Even objects such as education has been understood too narrowly so as to deny exemption even for public sector undertakings engaged in publication of school text books or an institution not imparting formal education as for tutorial colleges and training for chartered accountant’s course. Even if the Circular is implemented in the true spirit, only some of the institutions may not be affected but not most others.
Even if the objective is to tax income from such activities in the case of such institutions engaged in the objects of general public utility, the proper course was to shift the amendment to Sec. 13 so that they may not altogether lose exemption even on their investment income or right to recognition of deductions in contribution of their patrons under Sec. 80G. This change needs attention of the Government at the time of formation of the next Finance Bill or Amendment Bill.
Meanwhile, the advice at the end of the Circular itself is worth notice. It is in following words:
“Assessees, who claim that their object is “charitable purpose” within the meaning of Sec. 2(15), would be well advised to eschew any activity which is in the nature of trade, commerce or business or the rendering of any service in relation to any trade, commerce or business.”
In other words, the advice is to stop all fund-raising activities, which smack of business as in cases where charges are levied for some incidental service or consideration is received incidentally for parting with goods. The next best course for them is to delink such activity and transfer such activity to another trust or institution, which can pay tax, but still the main trust can save tax on income from investments and non-controversially on their income from non-corpus donations.
S. RAJARATNAM

Big city glamour leads children to desert homes: NHRC committee http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-01-26/501587news.html
New Delhi, Jan 25: A large number of children who run away from their homes include mainly those lured by the glamour of big cities, school dropouts and children with difficult domestic conditions, a committee instituted by the National Human Rights Commission has revealed. “There are some studies conducted by both government and non-government organisations, which bear testimony to the fact that a large number of girls and boys, who run away from their homes or are said to have run away from their homes, are mainly school dropouts or children, who get fed up with domestic conditions,” the NHRC committee said in its report. The glamour and lure of big cities make many of these children blind to the stark realities of urban life, the committee observed. A committee headed by NHRC member P C Sharma was set up last year to examine the problems of missing children in the country. The committee has stated that a previous study by the NHRC on “trafficking” has shown that an average of 44,000 children are reported missing and of them as many as 11,000 remain untraced in any given year. The finding said that children being vulnerable fall prey to false promises of careers in films or modelling and eventually end up as sex workers, domestic help and labourers doing hazardous works. Many of the run-away boys and girls also become victims of organised begging rackets, pick-pocketing and drug peddling among others, the committee stated. Bureau Report

LEGAL NEWS 25.01.2009

Charitable institutions exempted from property tax
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Charitable_institutions_exempted_from_property_tax/articleshow/4023943.cms
24 Jan 2009, 0245 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: A charitable institution, such as an hospital, need not pay property tax to the local body concerned, the Madras High Court has held. Justice K Chandru, allowing a writ petition of Aravind Eye Hospital at Kalapatti in Coimbatore on Friday, also directed the panchayat to refund the property tax collected from the trust running the hospital. The matter relates demand notices and reminders issued by the Kalapatty town panchayat to Govel Trust running Aravind Eye Hospital. After the failure of writ petitions, appeals and special leave petitions against property tax assessment notices of the local body, the trust had paid over Rs 50 lakh in three instalments as interim compliance. On Friday, Justice Chandru pointed out that the trust was entitled to tax exemption under Section 86(e) of the Tamil Nadu District Municipalities Act. Noting that the trust’s hospitals in Madurai and Tirunelveli too were exempted from tax, the judge set aside the demand notice as well as the resolution of the local body in April 1999. As the hospital is not liable to pay property tax, the town panchayat must refund the amount collected from the trust, he added.

NLUs to have uniform syllabus, fee structure
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/NLUs_to_have_uniform_syllabus_fee_structure/articleshow/4024175.cms
24 Jan 2009, 0128 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: After Combined Law Admission Test (CLAT), the national law universities in the the country are gearing up to constitute a collegium and implement uniform syllabus, examinations, nomenclature of degrees and fees besides linking their libraries through satellite and starting virtual classrooms. New speciality course are also in the pipeline to face the global challenge. A crucial meeting in this regard has been convened on January 31 by Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishana, who is also the visitor of most of the national law universities (NLUs). The agenda of the meeting, to be attended directors and vice-chancellor of the NLUs, includes forming of a collegium of NLUs’ heads, financial viability of NLUs particularly after implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission, interlining of libraries, faculty exchange, teachers training, uniform academic calender, faculty salary structures at par with IITs and IIMs and university syllabus, nomenclature of degrees and fees. It was on the directions of the Supreme Court and personal interest taken by the CJI that made CLAT a reality. Now CJI, who takes lot of interest in legal education in the country, wants NLUs to form a consortium and take measures to improve standards of legal education in India and prepare for the global challenge as sooner or later foreign law schools would be landing in the country. Another important item introduced in the agenda on CJI’s initiative is setting up of legal aid clinics in NLUs to provide free legal aid to the needy. The step would also provide students field exposure. “Its necessary to a have a collegium of NLUs like in IITs and IIMs so that we can enhance legal education in India. Finance would be a serious problem after implementation of the Sixth Pay Commission. “So far there has been no Central agency to coordinate between NLUs,” Prof Jai Govinda, vice-chancellor, NLUIS, Bangalore, told TOI on phone. Prof Balraj Chauhan, vice-chancellor, RMLNLU, Lucknow, was of the view that the initiative taken by the CJI will shape the future role of NLUs. “We need to prepare ourselves collectively for the global competition ahead and future need and challenges,” he said. The uniform nomenclature of degrees, curriculum, examinations and will help over 5,000 students in 12 NLUs in Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Jodhpur, Gandhinagar, Bhopal, Raipur, Patiala, Kochi, Delhi and Patna. The main objective of the consortium is to provide benefits of legal education to lower rung law schools. All the NLUs will be lined through video-conferencing and virtual classrooms will be started enabling student of a NLU to attend lectures of another NLU, thus expertise of one will be able to all. It will also work to attract more foreign students and teachers to join NLUs. The consortium will also work to develop skills in research, publication and teach teachers about pedagogy. Students will get variety of choices for specialisation at undergraduate and postgraduate level as plans are also on the anvil to start new courses such a maritime laws, air and space law, atomic energy laws, security laws, laws of terrorism, international business laws, investment laws, displacement laws, laws on mineral and mines, international economic laws, comparative federalism, constitutional laws, global administrative law, environment law, energy laws etc.

SC stand on judges’ assets harms RTI http://www.zeenews.com/Nation/2009-01-24/501411news.html
New Delhi, Jan 24: In the backdrop of a legal tussle over disclosure of assets by judges, the head of a Parliamentary panel has hinted that the apex court registry’s move to challenge in High Court a CIC order on the issue may have a serious impact on the Right to Information Act. “The RTI Act is the second independence movement for the people in practising democracy. Hence, the Supreme Court registry may use its wisdom to save the RTI Act by not pressing the writ petition before the High Court,” E M S Natchiappan, chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievance and Law and Justice that deals with implementation of RTI told reporters today. “The RTI Act is like a small baby, we all have to preserve the baby,” he said, favouring a rethink on pursuing the matter in the HC. The High Court had on January 19 stayed an order passed by the Central Information Commission asking the Supreme Court’s information officer to give information to an RTI applicant on whether judges of the apex court have declared their assets to the CJI. On a petition filed by the information officer of Supreme Court challenging the January 6 order passed by CIC, Justice S Ravindra Bhat fixed February 12 as the next date of hearing of the matter. Noted jurist Fali S Nariman who was asked to assist the court as amicus curiae (friend of court) refused to take up the responsibility. In the petition, the Supreme Court said that information relating to declaration of assets by the apex court judges to the CJI was not a mandatory exercise under the law. Objecting to the CIC order, the petitioner said the order is excessive and without jurisdiction and the appeal made distinction between the apex court as an institution and the office of the CJI. “Neither is the office of CJI a public authority nor does the information relating to judges’ assets come in the public domain,” the Supreme Court said. The apex court supplied a copy of May 1997 resolution to the CIC and the registry said that there is nothing under the Constitution or any law which required the judges to declare their assets to CJI. Filing an application under RTI Act, Subhash Chandra Aggarwal sought an information as to whether the apex court judges comply with the 1997 resolution and declare their assets to CJI. In the application he also sought to know whether the judges of High Courts disclose their assets to their respective Chief Justices. Bureau Report

Is there a lacuna in Article 74?
http://lawandotherthings.blogspot.com/2009/01/with-prime-minister-dr.html
Saturday, January 24, 2009
With the Prime Minister, Dr.Manmohan Singh having been hospitalised, he will be virtually absent from office on health grounds for a month at least. My friend, Manoj Mitta has suggested in Today’s Times of India (Unlike U.S., India has no 2-in command) that Article 74 of the Constitution has a lacuna in that it does not provide for a No.2 in the Council of Ministers to officiate as the PM in his absence. However, he adds after reproducing Article 74, as follows: “Therefore, the cabinet can carry on even when the Prime Minister is temporarily absent”. A literal reading of Article 74 does not sustain Manoj’s position. I am also inclined to disagree with him that the Prime Minister is only first among equals in his cabinet consisting of elected representatives. I outline my take as follows:1. There is no lacuna in Art.74: Having provided in Art.65 that the Vice-President can officiate as President in the absence of the President, did the Constitution-makers forget to include a similar provision in the case of the Prime Minister? In the U.S., the electors of the President know who is the Vice-Presidential candidate, who will take over as the President if there is a vacancy. Therefore, the U.S.Constitution provided for such a succession. In India, which follows Parliamentary democracy, voters do not know who the Prime Minister will be after the elections, let alone his successor, in case of a sudden absence of the PM. Therefore, our Constitution-makers wisely refrained from copying the American model. Instead they worded Article 74 to require that there ought to be a Council of Minister headed by the Prime Minister all the times. That is, the two ingredients of Article 74 are inseparable twins. The Constitution does not envisage an absentee Prime Minister. Like every one, Manoj agrees that the PM is absent, and will be absent for a month at least. Therefore, the right course would be for the PM to resign, and let his successor be sworn in as the next PM, in accordance with what his party decides. 2. Why does our Constitution not recognise an officiating PM?: The answer lies in Manoj’s own story where he claims, apart from other things, the PM also access to the nuclear button. Can such a responsibility be entrusted to someone who is just officiating – whether legally or through a formal/informal mechanism, as Mr.Pranab Mukherjee does now? In 1948, the question of access to nuclear button might not have arisen, but the Constitution-makers did know that the office of the PM is endowed with serious and onerous responsibilities, and it requires a full-fledged leader who enjoys the confidence of the House. An officiating PM cannot enjoy the confidence of the House, even if the Constitution had sanctioned it. Therefore, they expected the ruling party or coalition to quickly move in, elect a new leader, and ask that leader to accept the office of the PM, in case there is a sudden vacancy. A vacuum in the office of the PM, even for a few hours, is a serious matter. Remember 1984 when the nation took a few hours to choose Indira Gandhi’s successor? What we are likely to witness is vacuum for several days, which is ominous. Here, precedents may be cited – Vajpayee when he was hospitalised or even MGR when he went to the U.S. for treatment as the Chief Minister for nearly a month. Well, these were flawed precedents which did not correctly reflect the spirit of Article 74. 3. Is the Prime Minister first among the equals? A bare reading of the Constituent Assembly Debates on December 30, 1948, when it discussed draft article 61 (corresponding to the current article 74) suggests that the office of the Prime Minister was conceived as the supreme one, and an inevitable concomitant of Parliamentary democracy. One Member K.T.Shah wanted deletion of the words “with the Prime Minister at the head’ from draft Article 61(1), but the amendment was rejected after a lengthy reply from Ambedkar. Ambedkar said:”Supposing you have no Prime Minister; what would really happen? What would happen is this, that every Minister will be subject to the control or influence of the President. It would be perfectly possible for the President who is no adidem with a particular Cabinet, to deal with each Minister separately singly, influence them and thereby cause disruption in the Cabinet. Such a thing is not impossible to imagine. Before collective responsibility was introduced in the British Parliament you remember how the English King used to disrupt the British Cabinet. He had what was called a Party of King’s Friends both in the Cabinet as well as in Parliament. That sort of thing was put a stop to by collective responsibility. As I said, collective responsibility can be achieved only through the instrumentality of the Prime Minister. Therefore, the Prime Minister is really the keystone of the arch of the Cabinet and unless and until we create that office and endow that office with statutory authority to nominate and dismiss Ministers there can be no collective responsibility. “…I have not been able to understand why, for instance, Prof. K. T.Shah thinks that the Prime Minister ought to be eliminated.If I understood him correctly, he thought that he had no objection if by convention a Prime Minister was retained as part of the executive. Well, if that is so, if Prof. K. T.Shah has no objection for convention to create a Prime Minister, I should have thought there was hardly any objection to giving statutory recognition to the position of the Prime Minister. In England, too, as most students of constitutional law will remember, the Prime Minister was an office which was recognised only by convention. It is only in the latter stages when the Act to regulate the salaries of the Minister of Cabinet was enacted. I believe in 1939 or so, that statutory recognition was given to the position of the Prime Minister, Nonetheless, the Prime Minister existed. “I want to tell my friend Prof. K. T. Shah that his amendment would be absolutely fatal to the other principle which we want to enact, namely collective responsibility. All Members of the House are very keen that the Cabinet should work on the basis of collective responsibility and all agree that is a very sound principle. But I do not know how many Members of the House realise what exactly is the machinery by which collective responsibility is enforced.Obviously, there cannot be a statutory remedy. Supposing a Minister differed from other Members of the Cabinet and gave expression to his views which were opposed to the views of the Cabinet, it would be hardly possible for the law to come in and to prosecute him for having committed a breach of what might be called collective responsibility. Obviously,there cannot be a legal sanction for collective responsibility. The only sanction through which collective responsibility can be enforced is through the Prime Minister. In my judgment collective responsibility is enforced by the enforcement of two principles. One principle is that no person shall be nominated to the Cabinet except on the advice of the Prime Minister. “Secondly, no person shall be retained as a Member of the Cabinet if the Prime Minister says that he shall be dismissed. It is only when Members of the Cabinet both in the matter of their appointment as well as in the matter of their dismissal are placed under the Prime Minister, that it would be possible to realise our ideal of collective responsibility. I do not see any other means or any other way of giving effect to that principle. Supposing you have no Prime Minister; what would really happen? What would happen is this, that every Minister will be subject to the control or influence of the President. It would be perfectly possible for the President who is no adidem with a particular Cabinet, to deal with each Minister separately singly, influence them and thereby cause disruption in the Cabinet. Such a thing is not impossible to imagine. “Before collective responsibility was introduced in the British Parliament you remember how the English King used to disrupt the British Cabinet. He had what was called a Party of King’s Friends both in the Cabinet as well as in Parliament. That sort of thing was put a stop to by collective responsibility. As I said, collective responsibility can be achieved only through the instrumentality of the Prime Minister. Therefore, the Prime Minister is really the keystone of the arch of the Cabinet and unless and until we create that office and endow that office with statutory authority to nominate and dismiss Ministers there can be no collective responsibility.” Not all of Ambedkar’s fears may be relevant now. But they help us to understand why the Constitution-makers considered the office of the Prime Minister and the President differently, and did not provide for an officiating Prime Minister.
Posted by V.Venkatesan at 7:39 PM

Ramadoss to appeal against HC’s verdict
http://www.timesnow.tv/Newsdtls.aspx?NewsID=27562
1/25/2009 11:08:39 AM
Despite the Delhi High Court striking down the ban on depiction of smoking in films, Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss remains firm in his beliefs and said that he will be taking up the issue to the Supreme Court.He said, “”We will be moving to the Supreme Court on this issue and we will be giving them a lot of evidence including scientific details.””I am confident because the Supreme Court has upheld the smoking ban in public places. There are studies showing that 52 per cent children or youngsters who start smoking it is directly attributed to the movies,” he added.Two days ago, the Delhi High Court today (January 23) quashed the Centre’s notification banning smoking scenes in films, saying it violated film-makers’ fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression. (Read more)But the Union Health Minister, who has been crusading against the consumption of tobacco has said that his ministry will appeal against the Delhi High Court’s verdict in the Supreme Court.

Kapil recalls career’s highs, fumbles on the lows in HC
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/D5B83DDC781AEAA66525754900238F2A?OpenDocument

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Former cricketer Kapil Dev distinctly remembers the 1983 World Cup victory under his leadership along with several other highs of his career, but the iconic player fumbles on questions about the poor show of the team when he was its coach.The captain of the Indian team appeared to be on the back foot recently in the Delhi High Court defending a series of bouncers from a lawyers who tried to question him on the dismal show of the team under his coaching.”But we won the World Cup in the year 1983,” was the former cricketer’s response when the lawyer, during his questioning, reminded him about the poor show of the team in a number of cricket series in 2000 when he was the coach.”No, I don’t remember the scoreline of the test series against South Africa in 2000 (when he was coach of the team)… But we won the world cup in the year 1983,” Dev said while BCCI counsel Amit Sibal informed him that the team lost the series 2-0.Kapil is being cross examined over the allegations levelled by him against the Board for taking punitive action against former players who joined the BCCI’ rival in 20-20, Indian Cricket League.He had made the allegations in his affidavit filed in the court on the on-going legal battle between Subhash Chandra-promoted ICL and BCCI’s IPL.The former Test captain also expressed ignorance about the overall performance of the Indian team during his tenure as coach.”Must be, if it is in the record book,” he replied when Sibal said during his tenure as a coach India lost 16 matches out of 25. PTI

Govt seeks review of HC order to demolish unauthorised construction
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Govt_seeks_review_of_HC_order_to_demolish_unauthorised_construction/articleshow/4028014.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0049 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: Bowing to pressure from lobbies of builders and mall-owners, the state has sought a review of a Madras High Court order against the government’s amnesty schemes for violators who put up buildings without adhering to the mandatory development control norms. The government filed the review petition last week, more than two years after a bench comprising the then Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice K Chandru quashed three regularisation schemes. The landmark judgment was delivered on August 23, 2006. Digging out excuses ranging from the predicament of middle class house owners and traders to “grave law and order problem,” the government stopped short of pleading its inability to implement the order, which would require it to raze hundreds of unauthorised constructions. There would be confusion and grave law and order problem if the government were to pull down about three lakh structures built in violation of the norms, it argued. The review plea, filed jointly by the secretaries of law, housing and urban development and municipal administration, besides the Chennai city commissioner of police, also questioned the high court order stripping the Chennai Metropolitan Development Authority (CMDA) of its powers and appointing a monitoring committee. “The high court has exceeded its jurisdiction by constituting a monitoring committee…The monitoring committee has usurped the powers of the chief planner…The constitution of the committee is not justifiable and it interferes with the administrative authority vested with the CMDA,” it said. The administrative power of the CMDA has been negated and the entire statute has been made a farce, it said. The bench did not differentiate between commercial and residential buildings, it complained, adding that the amendments extending the regularisation scheme should be upheld so that the buildings put up before February 28, 1999 could be regularised. If multi-storeyed commercial complexes are demolished, a large number of small traders eking out a livelihood would be affected, it said, adding that one particular complex alone housed 116 shops run by small-time traders. The August 2006 order specially barred civil courts from entertaining any plea from violators questioning demolition or showcause notices issued by the CMDA or Chennai Corporation. Assailing this clause, the review plea said it affected the fundamental rights of citizens and that it would increase pendency before the high court. Further, the order did not discuss the fate of regularisation fee already collected by the CMDA and those who made illegal constructions but did not apply for regularisation, the petition said. After listening to the submissions of additional advocate-general PS Raman, assisted by additional government pleader I Paranthamen last week, the first bench comprising Acting Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice V Dhanapalan stayed the direction barring civil courts from entertaining petitions from violators. It also issued notice to the Consumer Action Group, Traffic KR Ramasamy, CMDA, Chennai Corporation and the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board.

Record reasons for deferring evidence: HC to trial courts
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Record_reasons_for_deferring_evidence_HC_to_trial_courts/articleshow/4028363.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0249 hrs IST, Ramesh Kapila, TNN
CHANDIGARH: To check inordinate delays in conclusion of trials, the Punjab and Haryana high court has mandated the subordinate judiciary in Punjab, Haryana and the union territory of Chandigarh to henceforth explain reasons for deferring the recording of statements by witnesses in writing. Giving this order while hearing a plea seeking more time to wrap up a trial which was to conclude last December, justice S D Anand observed that some courts record examination-in-chief of witnesses on one date and adjourn it for cross-examination on another. “There have been instances where such a witness would turn hostile on getting back to the trial court for cross examination. Also, there might well be an eventuality where a trial court, for a valid cause, required to adjourn cases after recording testimony of a witness. In that eventuality, an interim order/evidence sheet must compulsively note down the reasons for deferment,” the order, passed on Friday, stated. According to justice Anand, while disposing of a bail plea of an undertrial, Ranjit Singh, lodged in Ludhiana jail in connection with an FIR registered on June 27, 2006, at police station Raikot (Ludhiana) under various sections of IPC and arms Act, the court had directed the lower court to conclude trial by December 31, 2008. While forwarding the trial court’s request for one-year extension, the district and sessions judge, Ludhiana, had stated that delay was caused on account of non-production of the undertrial by the authorities at Tihar jail, Delhi, where the accused is presumably to be lodged in connection with some other trial against him in the national capital. Reacting to the ruling, a section of the city-based lawyers claimed “it would help make the trial court accountable”. The time gap between the witnesse’s examination and cross examination has often been seen as that of “tutoring”, said advocate H C Arora. “It invariably aids cover-up on the part of the witness, who learns tactics of manipulation in the intervening period.” Advocate Tanu Bedi, the defence counsel in a Panchkula murder case of a retired Army officer and his wife, claimed, “The process of recording witnesses evidence, among other things, should indeed be carried on a day-to-day basis. The new high court order would help expedite trial,” he said. Expressing similar sentiments, advocate Divya Godara added that speedy justice would be good for both ^ the litigants and witnesseses ^ who invariably feel harassed after repeated visits to the court.

HC rules in favour of sick drugs firm
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=6&theme=&usrsess=1&id=241307
Tirthankar Mitra KOLKATA, Jan. 24: Law is common sense. And in keeping with this adage, the Calcutta High Court cleared the way for M/s Duck Bill Drugs Pvt Ltd, an ailing pharmaceutical firm, to grab lifeline by setting aside the rejection order of financial assistance which this firm had made to the state government. Mr Justice Soumitra Pal of Calcutta High Court upheld the contention of the petition of the firm that there was no delay in furnishing the application for financial assistance which it had dropped in the “drop box” as the box had been kept for receiving the application. Moreover, there was no denial that it was dropped, it was to be presumed that that the application was dropped in time, it was further held. The pharmaceutical firm had challenged an order of the director, policy planing unit and ex-officio special secretary, state finance department whereby the application for financial assistance under West Bengal Industrial Promotion (Assistance to Industrial Units) Scheme, 1994, which was rejected on ground of delay. The court set aside the contention of the state that the application was rejected as the firm is supposed to file the application for financial assistance with the designated authority within four months from the end of the quarter in question, it could have also filed the application with the assessing authority. Even assuming the petitioner had dropped the application in the “drop box” on time, he could have also filed the application with the assessing authority, the counsel of the state government contended. Since it was not done, the order under challenge is just and proper, it was further submitted. The state authorities have instituted a procedure for receiving the applications by filing it on the “drop box” and the petitioner on oath has stated that it had been dropped in it. One cannot deny the fact of such deposit and thus the state is precluded from denying the fact of such filing, it was held. The statement that the application was dropped on time in the “drop box” has to be accepted, as it appears there was no procedure for granting receipt for filing such application. The contention of the state government counsel that the registered dealer could have filed the application before the appropriate assessing authority is at best an option, it was further held.

Guide book is not plagiarised: HC to publisher
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Guide_book_is_not_plagiarised_HC_to_publisher/articleshow/4027832.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0001 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: Holding that the “pattern and use” of guide books is different from the prescribed course books, the Delhi High Court has turned down a civil suit filed by a well-known publishing house against a guide book publisher, alleging plagiarism. Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw held that guide books can’t be a substitute for course books “for a serious student” and noted how even a guide book like that of the defendant is compiled with “sufficient labour.” “It can’t be said that the defendants, without any effort or input of skill merely copied the books of the plaintiff and marketed the same to the detriment of the latter,” HC concluded while declining the plea of Cambridge University Syndicate Press to restrain MBD from selling Guides. The University Press invoked copyright laws to claim MBD merely copied from its course book and was causing losses. Interestingly, it was admitted there was a huge pricing difference between the two types of books. While the course book costs Rs 95, the guide comes at a much higher price of over Rs 600. HC took note of this fact to strike off University Press’s claim that it was incurring losses. The court also took into account the different layout of both the books to hold that “the use of the two books are different.” Justice Endlaw observed, “While the course book is meant for a student to educate himself and understand the nuances of English Grammar first by reading the text and then practicing the exercise, the guide only gives exercise with answers… the guide only wanted to provide to students one single book for cracking the English paper.” HC further pointed out how the books of the plaintiffs had been prescribed by a university and since questions based on the book had to be answered in an examination they fall in public domain.
abhinav.garg@timesgroup.com

Fresh trouble for judiciary
http://sify.com/news/fullstory.php?id=14844359
By a Sify Correspondent Saturday, 24 January , 2009, 18:07
New Delhi: Faced with dissidence from a section of judges on the issue of declaration of their assets, the Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan has now said that it is up to individual judges to decide whether they should go public with their declarations.
The CJI’s statement on Friday was aimed at diffusing trouble in the higher judiciary over the contentious issue, but recent moves by the Central Information Commission (CIC) and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) indicate that another storm awaits the judicial fraternity.
While the CIC has questioned the controversial elevation of Justice Jagdish Bhalla as the Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh, the CBI is gunning for a sitting judge of Punjab and Haryana High Court, Justice Nirmal Yadav, for her role in the cash-at-door scam.
Cabinet clears Bill for probe panel against judges
For the judiciary, which is already facing flak over the judges’ reluctance to make public their assets, the turn of events is a cause for concern. As a measure to put some checks and balances on the system to rein in corruption, a full Bench of the Supreme Court is expected to meet shortly.
A suggestion has emerged that the judges of the high courts and the Supreme Court should submit the details of their assets to the President of India and she, being their appointing authority, be allowed to take a call on making these public.
The CIC’s direction came in connection with a plea by RTI activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal wherein he sought documents, comprising correspondence between the Union Law Minister and other constitutional authorities, related to Chief Justice Bhalla’s appointment.
The CIC, in its order passed on Friday, directed the Law Ministry to disclose all information and file notings on the appointment of Chief Justice of Himachal Pradesh Jagdish Bhalla, whose role in an alleged land deal became a controversial affair.
Controversial HC judge refuses to resign
Chief Justice Bhalla, who was earlier the acting Chief Justice of Chhattisgarh, was elevated to the Supreme Court from the Allahabad High Court amidst allegations that his wife got prime plots in Noida at throwaway prices in violation of norms. Despite the Supreme Court collegium clearing his name as the Chief Justice in 2006, his appointment came under the scanner after the then President APJ Abdul Kalam returned the file to the Law Ministry.
Trouble also brewed for Justice Nirmal Yadav, whose role in the cash-at-door scam is being probed by the CBI. The premier investigating agency is reported to have unearthed “sufficient” evidence for framing a case against her for allegedly accepting bribe from a Delhi-based hotelier.
A CBI spokesman said on Friday that the probe had been completed in the case relating to the delivery of Rs 15 lakh at the residence of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur, another sitting judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 13, 2008. It was later found out that the bag containing the cash was sent by Additional Public Prosecutor Sanjeev Bansal, who stated that the money was mistakenly delivered to Justice Kaur, though it was meant for Justice Yadav, since they both shared their first names.
Judge accused of misbehaving with woman
The CBI spokesperson confirmed that in its report submitted to the Government and Chief Justice of India, the agency has claimed incriminating evidence to establish links between Justice Yadav and the hotelier who claimed to have supplied the amount. The CBI began investigating the case following a request made by the Chandigarh administration after the Chandigarh police registered a case on August 16, 2008.
The CBI has sent the report to the Department of Personnel and Training for seeking the necessary sanction, which has to be accorded by President Pratibha Patil in consultation with the Chief Justice of India.
An in-house judicial committee formed by the Chief Justice of India, after allegations in this regard appeared in a section of the media, also found Justice Yadav guilty. The CJI has already sought a response from Justice Yadav in this regard, and she has reacted by stating that she was being victimised.

SC judges to interact with Ansari, Montek, Jaitley and others
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC_judges_to_interact_with_Ansari_Montek_Jaitley_and_others/articleshow/4023421.cms
24 Jan 2009, 0227 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: With economics, finances and politics playing a significant role in litigations, the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court judges are bracing for a two-day rigorous interactive session on major current issues with top dignitaries and professionals. Interestingly, this interactive session is called the “Retreat”. Vice-President Hamid Ansari will be the first to interact with the judges at Vigyan Bhawan on Saturday and will probably share his perception of issues faced by judiciary as well people’s expectation of it. If Ansari is expected to mirror the face of executive at the interactive session, Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia would talk about the global financial meltdown and its effect on India. While perceptions of the Bar of the judiciary would be shared with the judges by senior advocate K Parasaran, who is also a highly respected constitutional expert, the political parties would express their views through BJP’s Arun Jaitley and Congress leader Salman Khurshid, both of whom are senior advocates. The two-day-long retreat would also discuss the emerging challenges before the judiciary, a topic, which given the present context, should include the raging debate over making public the assets of judges of high courts and the Supreme Court. Law minister H R Bhardwaj, who is also scheduled to interact with the `My Lords’ on Saturday, is likely to discuss the executive’s perception about the process of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

Double murder: HC commutes death sentence to life term
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/double-murder-hc-commutes-death-sentence-to-life-term/414718/
Express News Service Posted: Jan 24, 2009 at 0111 hrs IST
Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court today commuted the death sentence awarded to two accused for the murder of Major General (Retd) K C Dhingra and his wife Sangeeta to life imprisonment.
The third accused in the case has been acquitted.
A Division Bench pronounced the judgment, holding that the murder did not fall under the ‘rarest of rare’ category.
Anand Kindo, Dhingra’s driver who also worked as their domestic help, and his friend Rajan were awarded death on June 13, 2008. Kindo’s wife Sandhya was given four years’ imprisonment for conspiring and destroying evidence. The fourth accused, Ajit Topu, is still absconding.
The court acquitted Sandhya on Friday owing to lack of evidence. The couple was found murdered at their first-floor residence in Sector 25, Panchkula, on May 13, 2007.
The crime came to light when a UT constable went to the Dhingras’ house to enquire about a car with a Tamil Nadu registration number. The car belonged to Dhingra, which the accused had allegedly stolen after killing the couple. The car met with an accident in Chandigarh soon after the crime.
While Topu gave a slip to the officers, the police detained Kindo and Rajan on charges of rash driving. They were later released.
The police had recovered a few documents from the car bearing Dhingra’s name. The constable informed the Panchkula police after he discovered a foul smell coming out of Dhingra’s residence.
The bodies bore multiple injuries on the heads and the house was found ransacked. The three were later arrested from different places.
The defence counsel had submitted that the police foisted a false case citing robbery as the motive. He had argued that gold jewellery of the deceased was recovered from their house and thus, robbery could not be a ground for murder.

Punjab sets the ball rolling for Educational Tribunal
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/punjab-sets-the-ball-rolling-for-educational-tribunal/414891/0
Sameer Kumar Sharma Posted: Jan 25, 2009 at 2316 hrs IST
Ludhiana: The state Government became the first in the region to have set the ball rolling for an Educational Tribunal.
R L Anand, a retired judge of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, took charge as the chairman of the Tribunal on Friday.
Employees of aided and unaided educational institutes in the state, caught in various disputes with their managements including those of promotion or pay scales, will soon be able to approach the Tribunal.
The state government’s decision to set up an Educational Tribunal comes years after the Supreme Court ordered for its setting up in states across the country. The apex court passed the order on October 31, 2002, acting on a writ petition, TMA Pai Vs State of Karnataka.
Five years later, the Punjab government introduced the bill, which was incorporated into the gazette on February 25, 2008.
The Tribunal will have two members, one from the administrative background not below the rank of principal secretary of the state government and the other from academic background who must have held the office of a college principal for a minimum of one year before retirement. The names of these members have not been announced so far. Besides, the government is yet to induct staff to make the Tribunal functional.
As per notification by the state government, the Tribunal will have the same powers as vested in the appellate courts by the Civil Procedure Code (CPC). It will thus have the power to stay operations of any order appealed against on such terms as it may think appropriate and the orders passed by it will be final.
It is expected that once the Tribunal becomes functional, cases being heard by the High Court or at the departmental level may also be transferred to it.
Justice Anand, who was a member of the Punjab State Human Rights Commission for five years after retirement from the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2003, said the tribunal will have jurisdiction to hear all cases of disputes between managing committees and employees as defined in the Punjab Affiliated Colleges Security of Services Act 1974, and in Punjab Privately Managed Recognised Schools Employees Security of Services Act, 1979.
In May 2008, while hearing a case between a principal and a Mohali-based school management, the Punjab and Haryana High Court had pressed on the state government to constitute an educational tribunal. The court had also issued notices to the Punjab government on July 15, 2008, in the case and directed it to expedite the process of setting up the tribunal.
The state government has amended the Punjab Affiliated Colleges Security of Service Act, 1974, to incorporate the Educational Tribunal. The amendments have been made in Section 7 and the Tribunal has been substituted in clause 7A of the Act.

Tribunal reserves verdict, Asif blames eye drop
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/AD328D34F2F4C06365257548005CF137?OpenDocument

Karachi/Mumbai, Jan 24 (PTI) Indian Premier League’s Drug Tribunal today completed hearing in Mumbai but reserved their verdict on dope-tainted Pakistani pacer Mohammad Asif who blamed an eye drop, containing Nandrolone, for failing a dope test during the IPL last year.In a statement, Asif claimed both the medical experts from his defence counsel and the prosecution agreed that he had taken “Keratyl”, an eye drop containing Nandrolone, and this was the reason for testing positive during the IPL last year.”Although the minimum sentence for using a banned substance is two years under WADA rules, but since Asif used by mistake an eye drop containing Nandrolone, the tribunal has decided to take a few days before giving its verdict on the case,” the statement said.The three-member tribunal comprised former Indian cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, ex-Vice Chancellor of Maharashtra University of Health Sciences Dr Ravi Bapat and leading legal expert Shirish Gupte, who heard testimony from a host of witnesses besides Asif’s lawyer Shahid Karim’s representation.”No decision has been taken on him and the tribunal will meet again,” Gupte, who chaired the meeting, said.The final verdict by the Tribunal would be announced shortly, a media release said.International Cricket Council representatives were also present in the hearing. PTI

Despite ban, kids playing with Chinese toys
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Despite_ban_kids_playing_with_Chinese_toys/articleshow/4029666.cms
25 Jan 2009, 1222 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: India may have banned import of Chinese toys till June, but children will continue to be exposed to risks of liver damage or disruption of mental health due to alarming levels of toxic lead and cadmium found in toys that are still being sold, experts maintain.
“And with 130 million children in India under the age of six, it is time the government makes it mandatory for Indian manufacturers to adopt the toy safety standard that at present is voluntary and followed only in the organised sector,” they add.
“Dangerous levels of lead and cadmium were found in PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and soft toys sold in India,” said Ravi Agarwal of non-government forum Toxics Link, which conducted a widely-published study on the safety of toys sold in the metros.
“We found that all toy samples examined contained varying concentration of lead and cadmium,” Agarwal told IANS, adding the study was recently presented to the United Nations Environment Programme and the Indian government.
“We did not differentiate between Chinese and Indian toys in the study. But we can say that since the materials used by Indian manufacturers are similar – like paint that has lead and PVC that has cadmium – the toxicity will also be similar.”
He said lead and cadmium are proven poisons, being neurotoxins and nephrotoxins. Neurotoxins are agents that can cause toxic effects on the nervous system while nephrotoxins can cause toxic effects on the kidney.
Even the tiniest amounts can have long-term and measurable effects on children, while at the same time displaying no distinctive symptoms. And in the case of lead, some amount is filtered out but the rest is distributed into the blood stream, liver, brain, kidneys and bones.
The Toxics Link study tested 111 toys. It found that 77 had toxic PVC materials; 88 samples that were further tested were found to contain lead and cadmium in varying concentrations.
The results of the study were so alarming that the matter had also figured in parliament last year, when Minister of State for Health Panabaka Lakshmi said in a written reply that the government was seized of the matter concerning toxic toys from China.
As per various estimates available from non-government organisations and industry bodies, the Indian toy market is worth $2.5 billion, of which $1.5 billion is the output of the unorganised sector, over which the government has little control.
While 30% of the market is accounted for by soft toys – which along with plastic toys pose the maximum health hazard – imports account for 40% of toy merchandise, the bulk of it from China.
“We sell more Chinese toys than Indian, mainly because they are cheaper and give value for money. The bulk of the toys we sell are made of plastic and then come soft toys,” Pawan Lal, who owns Lal Cycle and Toys in central Delhi, told IANS.
Now the ban on just Chinese toys, even though Indian toys may also have similar levels of toxicity, has left parents here worried.
“For my daughter – she is just one – everything goes into the mouth. I am going to stack away all her toys and let her play with kitchen utensils. Sounds cruel, but what else can I do?” queried P Ganesan, a teacher in a play school.
“My colleagues and seniors at school are also concerned. Even though we only buy branded toys from known companies, we are not too sure. We may ban at least soft toys and those made of plastic at our school,” she said.
Her concern is understandable since Mattel Toys had to recall a host of popular merchandise from India for posing health hazard, like Barbie accessories, Batman figures, Cookie Monster, Soccer Elmo, Ernie and Oscar the Groush.
Globally, Mattel had to make its third major recall announcement in little more than a month because of excessive amount of lead paint in Chinese-made toys and had said some 8,000 pieces would be affected by the announcement.
According to a senior commerce ministry official, the government will soon take a call on a similar ban on Indian toys in consultation with the consumer affairs ministry and the Bureau of Indian Standards.
“Since China is also a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), all imports from China are entitled to national treatment. We cannot appear to be imposing a non-tariff barrier,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
According to Raj Kumar, president of the Toy Association of India, the ban on Chinese toys, although welcome, came as a surprise. “Chinese toys had captured more than 60% of the Indian toy market,” he said.
“We are taking all necessary precautions to provide safe toys to children. Our own children also use these toys. We are very sensitive to this cause. But I cannot say about the unorganised sector.”

‘SC stand on judges’ assets may harm RTI Act’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/SC_stand_on_judges_assets_may_harm_RTI_Act/articleshow/4027246.cms
24 Jan 2009, 1945 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: In the backdrop of a legal tussle over disclosure of assets by judges, the head of a parliamentary panel has hinted that the apex court registry’s move to challenge in High Court a CIC order on the issue may have a serious impact on the Right to Information Act. “The RTI Act is the second independence movement for the people in practising democracy. Hence, the Supreme Court registry may use its wisdom to save the RTI Act by not pressing the writ petition before the High Court,” E M S Natchiappan, chairman of the Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievance and Law and Justice that deals with implementation of RTI on Saturday said. “The RTI Act is like a small baby, we all have to preserve the baby,” he said, favouring a rethink on pursuing the matter in the HC. The High Court had on January 19 stayed an order passed by the Central Information Commission asking the Supreme Court’s information officer to give information to an RTI applicant on whether judges of the apex court have declared their assets to the CJI. On a petition filed by the information officer of Supreme Court challenging the January 6 order passed by CIC, Justice S Ravindra Bhat fixed February 12 as the next date of hearing of the matter. Noted jurist Fali S Nariman who was asked to assist the court as amicus curiae (friend of court) refused to take up the responsibility. In the petition, the Supreme Court said that information relating to declaration of assets by the apex court judges to the CJI was not a mandatory exercise under the law.

Girls assaulted at Mangalore pub; NCW promises justice
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Girls_assaulted_at_Mangalore_pub_NCW_vows_justice/articleshow/4029791.cms
25 Jan 2009, 1954 hrs IST, Times Now
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has reacted sharply to the shocking incident of assault on girls at Mangalore pub allegedly by Sri Ram Sena, saying the NCW will be taking up the case suo motto. Nirmala Venkatesh, Member NCW said that the National Commission for Women will take up the issue and make sure that the girls get justice. Around 40 people, on Saturday, reportedly barged into a pub on Balmatta Road and viciously attacked girls who were at the pub. At least two girls have been hospitalized and are being treated. Reacting angrily to this horrifying incident, Women’s Rights activist Madhu Kishwar said that the attackers have good political links and are a part of extortionist gang. She went on to add, “The attack is an attempt to spread terror amongst restaurant owners in the city. They cannot just keep expressing their anger over Americanized lifestyle in this manner.” Ranjana Kumar, another Women’s Rights activist condemned the attack and strongly said that the men involved in this attack should be charged for assaulting women. She said, “This is an outrageous and a horrible incident. No one has the right to infringe on other’s freedom. Such kind of acts is absolutely unacceptable. Those responsible should be immediately arrested and strict action should be taken against them.” “Because these kinds of attackers are let free, such attacks continue all across the country. I don’t think these people had any business to get involved in others lives,” added the activist. “Take stringent action on those who assaulted pub customers.” The assault on customers of a pub by the Ram Sena activists was an act of “inhuman behaviour” and stringent action should be initiated against the culprits, senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily said. “It should be condemned by all and the culprits should be punished with stringent action”, Moily told. People who take law into their own hands should be dealt with severely, he said, adding, it is the duty of police to look into “illegal activities”. On Saturday evening at around 4 pm, two people approached the front desk of the pub and requested permission to enter the premises. They said that they wanted to see what was going on inside. Soon, nearly 40 people barged into the pub and targeted a group of five girls, who had placed a lunch order. Subsequently, another group attacked three other girls in the pub. According to one staff member, some of the assailants molested the girl customers. Some of the staff members and the men, who were accompanying the women, were assaulted when they came to the rescue of the girls. Claiming responsibility for the attack, state deputy convenor of the Sene Prasad Attavar said that it was a spontaneous reaction against women, who flouted traditional Indian norms of decency. He said these girls were Hindus who dared to get close to Muslim men. The reports suggested that Sri Ram Sena and the Bajarang Dal have also separately claimed the responsibility for the attack.

Delhi lawyer offers to defend Kasab
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Delhi_lawyer_offers_to_defend_Kasab_/articleshow/3917373.cms
31 Dec 2009, 0656 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: Believing in the basic premise of justice and fairplay that every accused is entitled to the best defense, a Delhi lawyer says he is willing to fight for Ajmal Amir Kasab, the lone terrorist caught alive in the Mumbai attack.
M. Shanwar Khan, who has successfully defended six people accused in terror-related cases, believes it is for the courts to decide whether a person is a terrorist or not. “I believe in strengthening our legal system, so there is nothing wrong in defending Kasab. The court has to decide whether he is a terrorist or not, and till then he has a right to request for legal assistance,” said Khan.
“I have defended 20 people accused of being terrorists and have been successful in getting six of them acquitted. The rest of the cases are pending in various courts of Delhi,” Khan said, adding that Section 202 and 203 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) of India says that an accused in India is entitled to the right to defense.
“If people like Dara Singh (convicted for the murder of Australian missionary Graham Staines), Lt Col Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya (accused in Sep 29 Malegaon blast) and Nalini (serving life imprisonment for involvement in Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination) can all be given legal aid, then why not Kasab?” he asked.
Khan started his practice nine years ago along with his father M Khan and says he has learnt a lot from him. “People often misunderstand my father, but I know him as one of the finest lawyers and a good human being. He often fought cases without charging anything. He believed in the legal process and didn’t discriminate between cases,” said Khan of his late father.
His list of clients includes those accused of planting improvised explosive devices near the Border Security Force (BSF) headquarters and Sena Bhavan in the capital in 2002.
On what he feels about terrorism, Khan said: “I am also hurt when terrorists kill innocent people as they did in Delhi and Mumbai. Anyone who commits such acts of terrorism against our country must be given the harshest punishment.”

Rat in meal: 3 MCD officials suspended, probe ordered
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Rat_in_meal_3_MCD_officials_suspended_probe_ordered/articleshow/4027796.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0010 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Two days after a rat was found in the dal served to students of an MCD school, municipal commissioner suspended three officials and ordered a vigilance inquiry into the incident. On Thursday, a dead rat was found floating in the mid-day meal dal served to students in the MCD school in Kondli A-block in Shahdara (south). Commissioner Mehra has directed the chief vigilance officer to submit a report within three days to ascertain the truth and fix responsibility on guilty officials. Meanwhile, the commissioner placed under suspension with immediate effect three officials for dereliction of duty. These include S P Solanki, school inspector, Shahdara (south); school principal Dharamveer Singh Tyagi and Satpal Singh, assistant teacher and mid-day mean in-charge for the school.

Wife moves Delhi court after finding husband is gay
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Wife_moves_Delhi_court_after_finding_husband_is_gay/articleshow/4029401.cms
25 Jan 2009, 1039 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: Like every newly wed, Radha (name changed) too had visions of leading a happily married life. But in just a few months, her dreams were shattered when she found out that her husband was having an affair with his best friend – a man. When she confronted him, her husband Rahul (name changed) refused to break his relationship and instead shunned her. A heartbroken Radha went back to her parent’s house, where she gave birth to a girl. She was married in 2004. Thinking that the birth of the child would change things between them, Radha met her husband for a reconciliation. But Rahul, who is in his late 20s, refused to accept her and the child. Seeing their daughter, he said: “I hate girls.” Now, Radha is fighting a case against her husband for alimony and hopes for an early relief. A city court will hear her plea next month. In her petition, she said that she married Rahul in 2004 and they were living happily for some time. But she soon realized that her husband was not showing any interest in her and used to enjoy the company of his friend Imran (name changed). When she complained to Rahul about this, he told her bluntly that he doesn’t like women and asked Radha not to interfere in his life. When she objected to Imran’s presence in the house, Rahul thrashed her and threw her out. Radha was pregnant at the time. Radha went to her father’s house and started living there and gave birth to a girl. Fed up with her husband’s behaviour, Radha filed a complaint against her husband in 2008 asking for maintenance. Hoping for a patch-up between the two, the court last year referred the case to the mediation centre, which aims to counsel couples so that the case can be settled out of court. The counsellors at the centre, however, came to the conclusion that the couple could not live together and transferred the case to the family court on her plea as Rahul refused to accept Radha and the child and turned down the offer to pay her monthly allowance and end his relationship with Imran. Rahul and his elder brother were in a business together, but Rahul quit and started a small business with Imran.

Attempt to murder case against MLA Mumtaz Khan
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Attempt_to_murder_case_against_MLA_Mumtaz_Khan/articleshow/4027952.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Even as Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen distanced itself from the Friday night attack on Siasat editor Zahed Ali Khan, the city police on Saturday booked an attempt to murder case against MIM MLA Mumtaz Khan and began investigation. South Zone Deputy Commissioner of Police Atul Singh said, “We have registered a case against Mumtaz Khan but did not arrest him. We are investigating the case and would arrest if a case against him is established prima facie.” MIM President Asaduddin Owaisi said, “MIM and its MLA had no role in the attack on Zahed Ali Khan.” Meanwhile, a stream of leading politicians and senior mediapersons called on Khan who is recuperating from injuries at Care Hospital, Moazzam Jahi Market. The visitors who condemned the attack while meeting Khan included Congress spokesman and Rajya Sabha member K Keshav Rao, CPM leader B V Raghavulu, CPI MP S Sudhkar Reddy and Prajarajyam leader Vinay Kumar. Based on a complaint by Khan, the police booked cases against 14 persons that includes MIM floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi. Khan said in his complaint that he was attacked by Mumtaz Khan by the butt of a revolver. He also said Mumtaz assaulted him along with 20 other persons. He named Akbaruddin Owais in his representation to the Hussainalam police. In the meantime, G Anjaneyulu, secretary of AP Working Journalists, and M S Hashmi, president, Hyderabad Union of Journalists, submitted a memorandum to DGP S S P Yadav. The mediapersons said the assault on Zahed Ali Khan and two of his reporters–Athar Moin and M Mubasharuddin Khurram–was an attack on the freedom of press. They demanded immediate arrest of all the assailants. The Old City bandh call given by opposition parties on Saturday in protest against the attack was peaceful. Nearly 500 workers belonging to TDP, CPM, CPI led a rally from Charminar to TDP’s party office in Shalibanda. The protesters raised slogans against government and MIM party like “Gundagiri nasinchali”. City police commissioner has provided a gunman for the security of Khan.

42 issued challans for smoking
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/42_issued_challans_for_smoking/articleshow/4027873.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0208 hrs IST, TNN
PANCHKULA: Three-and-a-half months after a nation-wide ban on smoking, district administration on Saturday challaned 42 persons for lighting up in the open. Of these, 20 were issued to those puffing away at three hangout joints in the city, out of which, two eateries ‘ Cuppa Mocha and Smog ‘ too got the authorities’ rap.
The challans were issued by a team led by Panchkula DC Rajinder Kataria and including SP Sandeep Khirwar, SDM Ashok Meena and other officers. The drive began from Sector 9-based ‘Cuppa Mocha’, where many youngsters were spotted smoking openly. The team also found that the place had not put up a warning sign against smoking. The DC immediately issued challans against the owner and recovered the amount there and then.
Following this, Sector-8 joint ‘Smog’ was raided, where officials saw narcotics being used in the ‘hookah’. As many as five challans were issued against the bar owner. However, the youngsters were let off after a warning.
Both these places have become favourite destinations for youngsters post the UT administration’s ban on ‘hookah bars’ in Chandigarh.
The officers then proceeded to Haryana Billiards in Sector 11 and issued two challans against the owners.
The team also penalized people found smoking at bus stops and at other places in the city.
Talking to TOI, Kataria said, “We had received many complaints regarding drug abuse and scuffles at these two places ‘ Smog and Cuppa Mocha ‘ which had become a safe haven for addicts after the ban in Chandigarh.”

CASH-IN-BAG: CBI fails to file status report, IO stays away
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/CASH-IN-BAG_CBI_fails_to_file_status_report_IO_stays_away/articleshow/4028373.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0252 hrs IST, Supriya Bhardwaj, TNN
CHANDIGARH: A day after it claimed having completed its preliminary inquiry into the cash-in-bag scam against a judge of the Punjab and Haryana high court, the CBI failed to back it up with evidence on Saturday. Not only did the agency fail to file a status report in the district courts but even the investigating officer stayed away from the day’s proceedings. Instead, CBI officials engaged themselves in filing replies to miscellaneous applications moved by the accused on earlier occasions. This came barely hours after CBI had stated in New Delhi that it had forwarded a report to the Union government and Supreme Court for permission of the chief justice of India to register a regular case against the judge. Regarding an application on the release of articles seized during probe, CBI told the court, “Investigation is pending and presently at a very crucial stage.” Irked by the attitude of officials, the judge said, “CBI was expected to file a status report as per the orders passed on the previous date. Instead of giving it (details of investigation) to the media, file the status report in the court.” The court gave the probe agency a week’s time to file the report and fixed January 31 as the next hearing date. The court of special CBI judge Jagdeep Jain had asked CBI to file a detailed status report on December 10, 2008. A battery of lawyers representing former Haryana additional advocate general, Sanjiv Bansal, co-accused Nirmal Singh, Prakash Ram, Rajeev Gupta and Delhi-based hotelier Ravinder Singh referred to media reports regarding the completion of investigation. On Bansal’s application regarding his four computers, the public prosecution said CFSL reports are awaited and the equipment can only be handed over after it is ascertained on which CPU the agreement to sell a piece of land which was produced before UT police was made. Defense counsel N K Nanda, said, “CBI is not serious about the case. Why did they not file a status report even after availing the opportunity (to file report)? They said the IO has been changed. It is strange that media reports suggested that the investigation is complete and in the court they (CBI) are pleading that CFSL reports are still awaited.” The case relates to Rs 15 lakh cash found at a sitting judge’s door last August, allegedly routed by Bansal via Prakash at the behest of Delhi hotelier.

Govt mulls ESMA, NSA against striking docs
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Govt_mulls_ESMA_NSA_against_striking_docs/articleshow/4027895.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0007 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The state government is contemplating strict action against teachers of Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU) who went on a flash strike on Saturday. The action may include invoking Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) and arrests under National Security Act (NSA). “We are keeping a close watch on the developments and will take all possible measures to curb the strike for the sake of poor patients,” Harbhajan Singh, secretary medical education, told TOI. The CSMMU administration, too, has decided to get tough with the agitating teachers, many of whom also serve as senior doctors in the hospitals associated with the university. Teachers went on a flash strike after Dr Naim Ahmad, teachers’ association general secretary, was slapped by Circle Officer, Chowk police, Vinay Chandra. The incident took place when the police used force to drive out angry group of teachers led by Dr Naim, who had barged into the office where CSMMU vice-chancellor along with some external experts and senior faculty members was taking interviews for appointments and promotions. The teachers are demanding time-bound promotions under Tikku Commission. Whereas, the CSMMU Act prescribes selection committee process in which performance of a teacher is evaluated by external experts. Despite clear provisions in the Act, in previous regimes some teachers managed to get time-bound promotions. But when incumbent vice-chancellor Prof Saroj Gopal Chooramnai took charge in March 2008, she decided to go as per the law. The teachers, however, continued to mount pressure and forced the university to defer the selection process twice since October last. Prof Gopal was twice summoned by the chancellor’s office and categorically told not to deviate from the Act. She, however, found a middle-path and decided to give legal sanctity to promotions done earlier under Tikku Commission by allowing teachers to face the selection committee. But teachers rejected the offer and continued their stir. On Saturday, selection committee’s meeting for appointments on vacant posts in the cardiology department and promotion in operative dentistry was scheduled. As soon as Dr Pramila Verma from operative dentistry, was called in for the interview, agitating teachers barged into the room and alleged that Dr Verma had been forced to appear for interview since she had earlier rejected the offer. The angry group of teachers accused the V-C of using pressure tactics. According to eye-witnesses, Dr Naim along with some supporters barged into the office and started creating ruckus. Teachers, it was alleged, misbehaved with experts and even pushed the V-C who fell on the sofa. Another teacher in the group caught a teacher present in the interview session by collars when the latter tried to stop Dr Naim from misbehaving with the V-C. The police were forced to intervene to prevent the situation from turning ugly. Despite repeated requests from V-C and the police, agitated group led by Dr Naim refused to leave the office. At this Prof Gopal asked the police to drive out the rowdy lot so that proceedings of the selection committee could be continued. When the police tried to push out the group, the latter entered into a scuffle. In the heat of the moment, Circle Officer Chowk slapped Dr Naim. The slap added fuel to fire. Soon a large number of teachers descended on the venue, sat on a dharna and announced the indefinite strike. Resident doctors also came out in support of Dr Naim. However, after an hour, many doctors joined services when they came to know about the entire incident. Though they slammed the police for slapping their colleague but at the same time also criticised Dr Naim for misbehaving with CSMMU V-C. Later, on the complaint of Prof Gopal, police registered an FIR against Dr Naim and 25 others for obstructing public officer from conducting his/her duties. Police said that it can also make some arrests, if doctors tried to create ruckus again. Meanwhile, interviews continued peacefully thereafter. Later, Prof Gopal convened a meeting of senior faculty members and heads of the departments and appealed to them not to go on strike. But this was turned down by the teachers’ association. Later, the general body of the association decided to continue with strike till the police officer who slapped Dr Naim was not punished. They also demanded that Prof Gopal should defer selection committee as their leadership was holding talks with the government to make amendments in the CSMMU Act allowing time-bound promotions. “We want the university to wait till government clear its stand,” they said. Dr Naim said that Dr Pramila was forced to appear before the selection committee by Prof Gopal who threatened Dr Pramila that if she refused this time, she will not get a promotion for next two years. Dr Pramila, however, was not available for comments. Dr Naim said, “V-C has lost the confidence of doctors. Barring emergency services, strike will continue in all other departments. We will meet at 4 pm on Sunday to decide the future course of action.” This is not the first time that teachers have displayed such rowdy behaviour over time-bound promotions. Earlier, in 2004, when Nityanand committee constituted by the administration had recommended selection committees for promotions, then also teachers’ association office-bearers had created ruckus in the hall where meeting was taking place and had misbehaved with their senior colleagues and the then vice-chancellor.

Law set aside, child labourers toil at SMC fair
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Surat/Law_set_aside_child_labourers_toil_at_SMC_fair/articleshow/4027588.cms
24 Jan 2009, 2312 hrs IST, Yagnesh Mehta, TNN
SURAT: It was an irony of sorts at Surat Municipal Corporation- organised Vidya-Suman-IT (book, horticulture and information technology) fairs here on Saturday. While hundreds of children were participating in drawing competition, there were some others working at stalls at the same venue. They were spotted by two rescued child labourers who questioned their employers. But, employers in the horticulture section were least bothered. “I was looking at plants and flowers in the horticulture section when I spotted a boy younger than me. On closer watch, I spotted a few more. I brought this to my teacher’s notice,” said Sharda Rathod, 13, a rescued child labour at Pratham, an NGO working for child education. Similarly, Arti Patel, 13, also found a few children working there and informed her teacher. “When stall owners were contacted, some asked the children to leave the place and hide. Others were not bothered and children continued with their work,” said Visha Pradhan, project officer, Pratham. Later, TOI contacted Tanmay, 11 and Hitesh, 10, who were employed by different nursery owners. While Tanmay was employed at Kolkata Nursery owned by Kolkata-based Surjit Das, Hitesh was employed at Bilimora Nursery owned by Arvind Patel. Both the employers who were unaware about prohibition on employing children said they are not worried about any action. SMC had on January 18 organised a convention on child rights in association with Indian Academy of Paediatrics (IAP). SMC commissioner S Aparna had spoken on child rights at the convention. Aparna and deputy commissioner special PJ Zala were unavailable for comments. yagnesh.mehta@timesgroup.com

Judges are not above the law: Lok Ayukta
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mangalore/Judges_are_not_above_the_law_Lok_Ayukta/articleshow/4027327.cms
24 Jan 2009, 2227 hrs IST, TNN
MANGALORE: Lok Ayukta Justice N Santhosh Hegde on Saturday regretted the Supreme Court judges hesitating to make public details regarding their assets. “Why judges are hesitating to declare details about the assets they possess. Judges are not above the law. Why can’t they be transparent,” he said while delivering a speech on `corruption and society’ at the 4th Mangalore Today Conclave here on Saturday. Hegde, who was critical about the Lok Ayukta powers, said the Lok Ayukta Act contains several lacunas and he had suggested several amendments. About the government hesitating to bestow more powers on Lok Ayukta, he said: “The job of Lok Ayukta is not confined to fighting corruption. It is an institute overseeing good governance. But the government looks at it as an aggressive body and not as an institution helping them in good governance.” Lamenting over the level of corruption in the society, he said it was unfortunate that the society itself had accepted maladministration and corruption as way of life. “We have forgotten differentiating between the legitimate and illegitimate wealth. Whoever had wealth was respected in the society irrespective of the source of wealth. Nothing would change unless this attitude in the society changes,” he said. Blaming greed as the reason for growing menace of corruption, Hegde said if people developed a sense of satisfaction with legitimate income, definitely the level of corruption would come down. Hegde also honoured A G Kodgi, chairman 3rd Finance Commission, Karnataka, with Lifetime Achievement Award 2009 instituted by Mangalore Today on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Kodgi said the panchayat raj institutions and urban local bodies have to be strengthened to ensure effective functioning of democracy in the grass-roots level. To help the local administrative bodies, the commission had suggested increasing the statutory grants to the gram panchayats from the existing Rs 6 lakh to minimum Rs 9 lakh and maximum Rs 15 lakh. Simultaneously it had recommended releasing to the taluk panchayat grants of Rs 1 to 4 crore, he said.

Court issues notice to minister
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Court_issues_notice_to_minister/articleshow/4027329.cms
24 Jan 2009, 2007 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: A sessions court of Kanpur Nagar on Saturday issued notice to state cabinet minister RP Tyagi to appear before the court to adduce his evidence in KDA executive engineer Tyagi murder case being tried here. The additional district and sessions judge XVIth Vinod Kumar Srivastava in his order directed that notice should be served through the speaker, Legislative Assembly and fixed March 7 as the next date of hearing. Inspection of court file revealed that the court had also sent a notice to the minister through the speaker earlier but that could not be served. It is worth mentioning that in this case the presiding officer had received life threats a couple of months before and he was asked to keep himself away from the trial. Before him the same threats were given to additional district government counsel Mahendra Singh. The district police administration has provided security to the presiding officer and strengthened the internal security in the court premises to check any untoward incident. KDA EE TPS Tyagi was shot dead by the miscreants at the gate of Kanpur Development Authority building on October 15, 1998 at 6 pm when he was going to sit in his car. The assailants had shot him dead from very close range. The defence battery today completed the cross examination of Dr DPS Chauhan who had conducted the post-mortem of the body of Tyagi. The doctor confirmed in his statement that Tyagi was shot from very close range as a result he died. The minister is prosecution witness in this case and the court had summoned him several times to adduce his evidence but he was not appearing before the court. Show cause notice to DM: The additional district and sessions judge second of Kanpur Dehat on Saturday issued show cause notice to the DM for not complying with the court orders and asked him to explain within a week as to why action should be not be taken against him. The court had issued a recovery certificate to a claimant in a motor accident claim case on December 10, 2008 to get realised the amount mentioned in the recovery certificate. The presiding judge in its order said that the court had asked the DM to realise the money and inform the court before the next date. But the DM had neither recovered the amount in stipulated time nor apprised the court what action he had taken. Signature campaign: The judicial officials and advocates on Saturday appeared in a signature campaign to fight against terrorism. Union minister of state for home Sri Prakash Jaiswal inaugurated he campaign by signing on a sheet of paper. Thereafter judicial officials under the leadership of district judge Kanpur Nagar and Dehat Subhash Chandra and Sandhay Bhatt made their signatures with remarks. Kanpur Bar Association officials and a large number of advocates also signed to express their solidarity to fight against terrorism. The programme was organised by the Legal Aid Development and Research Association.

Man gets RI for dowry death
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Man_gets_RI_for_dowry_death/articleshow/4027600.cms
24 Jan 2009, 2300 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: Additional district and sessions judge, Kanpur Dehat, CM Dixit, on Saturday convicted a man and his parents for dowry death and sentenced them for ten years rigorous imprisonment, along with a fine of Rs 2,000 on each. The sentenced persons were identified as Nagendra (husband), Phool Singh and Phoolmati, residents of Takipur under Chaubeypur police station. Nagendra was married to Ruby on May 10, 2006. He and his parents were demanding a motorcycle and a sum of Rs 50,000 as dowry. When Ruby’s parents failed to fulfil their demands, they set her on fire on February 16, 2007. She died on the spot. Sentenced: Metropolitan magistrate, Kanpur Nagar, Ravindra Kumar Gupta, on Saturday, convicted a property dealer identified as Rizwan Khan, under Negotiable Instrument Act and sentenced him with one-year imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 80,000. The judge said that complainant would receive a sum of Rs 75,000 from the fined amount while remaining Rs 5,000 would be deposited in the state government’s account. Preeti Gupta had given a sum of Rs 50,000 to Rizwan on March 2006 as advance to purchase a property. When Rizwan failed to provide Preeti a property, he returned the amount to her through a cheque on August 23, 2006. The cheque bounced as there was no sufficient money in the account of Rizwan. The complainant sent a legal notice to Rizwan which was duly served on him but he neither replied nor paid the amount. During the trial, he admitted that he had received a sum of Rs 50,000 for purchasing the shares but returned the sum by a cheque. The presiding judge found him guilty under Section 138, Negotiable Act and punished him accordingly.

Men outrage modesty, punished 5 years later
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nagpur/Men_outrage_modesty_punished_5_years_later/articleshow/4028405.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0304 hrs IST, Soumittra S Bose, TNN
NAGPUR: Two persons were recently convicted of entering into a scuffling with a woman on the road and in the process outraging her modesty, by tearing her blouse, five years after the incident took place. Tenth judicial magistrate first class P G Deshmukh delivered the verdict after holding the accused — Dilip Hande and Ashok Tadas —guilty and sentencing them to simple imprisonment for two months and fine of Rs 1,000 each on a petition filed by the complainant Jyoti. The court examined seven witnesses before pronouncing the judgment which highlighted that the accused caused mental harassment to Jyoti and it could have also damaged her image. Hande and Tadas were convicted for offence punishable under section 354 read with 34 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) section 255(2) of Criminal code of Procedure. The complainant, who owned a stationary shop at Borkhedi village in Hingna district, had a dispute with the accused. Jyoti was at her shop when she was abused by the accused at 7.30pm on January 31, 2004. Jyoti had also claimed that the accused had doled out life threats and subsequently lodged a complaint at Buti Bori police station. On February 1, 2004, Jyoti was confronted by the accused, who entered into a scuffle with her and in the process her blouse was torn. Jyoti’s husband Prakash, who was one of the witnesses, accompanied her to the police station when she filed a complaint claiming that stating her modesty had been outraged. The defence counsel argued that the prosecution failed to prove the seizure of the torn blouse. The judgment underlines the testimonies of the witnesses, including that of the complaint and her husband, which stated that the accused used criminal force against the victim. The verdict states that there was no evidence on record to suggest that Jyoti was issued life threats.

Murder accused gets life term
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/Murder_accused_gets_life_term/articleshow/4027917.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0014 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: Fast Track Court I judge K M Srivastava here on Saturday awarded life term to one Subodh Singh and seven years imprisonment to other two co-accused, Pramod Singh and Vinod Singh, in more than two-decade old case of murder and attempt to murder. The court found Subodh guilty of murder of one Rajkumar Singh and Pramod and Vinod guilty of attempt to murder Mathura Singh and Mithilesh Singh on August 2, 1988. The reason behind the murder was a land dispute between the co-villagers concerned of Dhanarua in Patna district.

Woman bootlegger confesses, out on bail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Woman_bootlegger_confesses_out_on_bail/articleshow/4027763.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0357 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : “Yes, I sell liquor.” This bold confession from a 30-year old woman baffled the magistrate. But it disturbed her advocate the most. However, the court allowed her to go on bail after slapping a fine of Rs 400. Sunitakaur Gill was arrested on Saturday morning from her house at Sardar on Tekro in Juna Wadaj area by Naranpura police. Police found her in possession of 10 litres of country-made liquor worth Rs 200. Police arrested her and produced her in the metropolitan court in the evening. In the meantime, she managed to hire an advocate also, who filed a bail plea for her. But, when her turn came, the public prosecutor SD Bhavsar didn’t want to offend her and was polite enough to ask her about her business, to which she replied that she is a homemaker. And before he could proceed, Sunita’s advocate loudly asked, “Do you sell liquor?” The high pitch of the advocate confused her and she confessed her crime before the magistrate. Everybody realised that the advocate’s direct questioning had misfired. Now, he had the only option left to plead for bail without any argument. Magistrate RD Adhvaryu imposed fine of Rs 400 on her for the offence.

Bar Council’s secretary removed for siphoning funds
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Bar_Councils_secretary_removed_for_siphoning_funds/articleshow/4027754.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0357 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : The Bar Council of Gujarat on Saturday removed its former secretary and one more staffer after an enquiry committee confirmed that they had misappropriated Council’s funds to the tune of Rs 32 lakh. Secretary AD Vyas and an accountant Sanjay Panchal were accused of siphoning off the funds during their tenure during 1997 to 2004. After this scam came to the fore, the executive committee suspended them and set up a three-member enquiry committee. The BCG also lodged a complaint in Sola police station and investigation was carried out by the CID (crime). Criminal proceedings in this regard are pending before them in Ahmedabad’s rural court. Moreover, the Council had also initiated a civil suit against both of them asking them to repay the amount with interest, said the Bar Council in a statement.

Illegal deals rampant in Bangalore hamlets
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Illegal_deals_rampant_in_Bangalore_hamlets/articleshow/4027704.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0356 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : In Hongasandra and Singasandra villages of Bommanahalli, primarily agricultural land belts, you will not find a single piece of land that has been transacted legally. Hamlets around Bangalore stretching over 1,000 acres to 1,500 acres have not been converted from agriculture to non-agricultural purpose, but have been sold and developed haphazardly. Worse, survey numbers of large tracts of lands are missing though they have been registered. The Lok Ayukta probe into irregularities in the registration of revenue properties in and around Bangalore has put 27 sub-registrars in the dock. The investigation revealed that discrepancies are not confined to Hongasandra and Singasandra alone — nearly 1,000 villages have registered illegal property transactions. Following a confidential report by the then Inspector General of Stamps and Registration department H Shashidhar, who recommended a probe into the irregularities and action against sub-registrars, the case was handed over to the Lok Ayukta in May 2008. The probe, conducted by a one-man committee comprising retired special deputy commissioner Somashekar, looked into 1 lakh documents (property registrations) over nine months — between April and December 2007. It found that over 60,000 transactions were unauthorized. The report will be submitted to the government by this month-end. In the hamlets added to Greater Bangalore, an acre has been split into guntas and registered as tiny plots. If 1 acre is split into 40 transactions, then the purpose is meant to be residential. This without land conversion. “In several villages, the entire tract of agricultural land has been sold without conversion and registered. There is no approval from the planning authorities for the development. Even if the government decides to regularize revenue land, who will set things right? The damage has been done,” Lok Ayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde told TOI. However, there is a hitch in framing charges against the sub-registrars. While the Karnataka Land Revenue Act restricts officials from registering revenue properties, the Registration Act does not have any such riders — sub-registrars are bound to register any document and need not verify the credentials. “There is some ambiguity between the two Acts — the Land Revenue Act and Registration Act. The rules are not complementary to each other. We are analyzing whether or not to frame charges against the sub-registrars. As per one Act, the sub-registrars have committed a violation. But the other Act does not put the officials in the dock,” Justice Hegde added.

CIC’s role in hearing plea questioned
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/CICs_role_in_hearing_plea_questioned/articleshow/4027831.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: Can the Chief Information Commissioner first furnish a legal opinion on the applicability of the RTI Act to a so-called private body through a letter and then preside over a CIC Bench to decide the same issue in appeal? Faced with such an instance of what is allegedly a case of judicial indiscipline, the Delhi High Court has asked CIC Wajahat Habibullah to “consider the appropriateness of his participation” in hearing an RTI appeal. The appeal challenges a single information commissioner’s ruling that Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund (JNMF) a trust isn’t covered under the RTI Act and an Indian citizen can’t seek information from the trust. CIC then closed the case. Justice S Ravindra Bhat, in his order, also asked the CIC to rehear the appeal and constitute a three commissioner Bench to “decide whether JNMF is a public authority and covered under the Act after hearing the petitioner.” HC’s order came on a petition filed by B R Minhas, a senior citizen pursuing a law degree from DU, who drew HC’s attention to a curious circumstance where CIC Habibullah had heard his appeal even though he had earlier rendered a legal opinion to the trust through his legal advisor. Justice Bhat, who incidentally is also hearing Supreme Court’s appeal against CIC’s order in the judges’ assets declaration case, asked the CIC to reconsider Manhas’ appeal and hear his arguments. The case stemmed from an RTI Minhas moved before JNMF in November 2006 seeking to know “year-wise financial grant given to it by HRD ministry and for what purpose.” The trust wrote to the CIC to know if “charitable trusts set up in memory of national leaders come under the RTI Act.” CIC Habibullah replied through a letter that the RTI Act didn’t apply to the fund. Minhas, meanwhile, decided to approach CIC with fresh evidence contained in an RTI reply received from the HRD ministry on how much amount had been granted to the trust. He argued that since it received government funds and was housed within a government property Teen Murti House it couldn’t be outside RTI’s ambit. When his case came before the information commissioner, O P Kejariwal took serious note of non-response and summoned the PIO to appear in person and explain why the trust refused information. JNMF, on its part, waived CIC Habibullah’s letter to claim immunity from RTI Act. Accordingly, a division bench of IC’s was constituted, comprising Kejariwal and Habibullah, to review CIC’s decision, prompting protests by Minhas on inclusion of Habibullah in the bench when he, through his legal advisor, had already made up his mind in the matter. The anomaly of the situation then made Minhas move the HC, which has asked CIC to constitute the Bench and left it to Habibullah to take a call if he should be a part of it.

Staying beyond lease period? Pay double
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Staying_beyond_lease_period_Pay_double/articleshow/4028507.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Tenants who fail to vacate a flat at the expiry of the leave-and-licence agreement period are liable to pay double the rent as damages until the time they move out, the Bombay high court has said in a judgment that will affect countless tenant-landlord disputes. “(When) the licensee, in spite of the expiry of the licence agreement and notice, does not deliver possession of the premises to the landlord and continues to be in possession of the licensed premises, he should pay damages at double the rate of the licence fee or charge of the premises fixed under the agreement till he is dispossessed by the competent authority,’’ Justice Anoop Mohta said while recently deciding a case involving a sprawling flat on Carmichael Road. The judge asked the licensee to pay Rs 9.6 lakh as arrears and Rs 40,000 as damages every month until the time she vacated the flat. The leave-and-licence agreement for the flat at Bhagwati Bhawan, signed between owner Manju Singh and Janaki Ammanraj, expired in November 2006. Singh moved the authorities to get her flat vacated and filed an application seeking orders to Ammanraj to deposit double the rent amount as compensation until the litigation was decided. The competent authority rejected the plea and Singh approached the high court. The law, laid down in Section 24 of the Maharashtra Rent Control Act, says that if the licensee fails to leave at the end of the agreement, the owner can move the authorities to get the flat vacated. The provision goes on to say that such a licensee, “till he is dispossessed by the competent authority, shall be liable to pay damages at double the rate of the licence fee or charge of the premises fixed under the agreement of licence’’. Even if the licensee raised a dispute, he would still have to pay “double the amount of the agreed rent/occupation or licence fee’’ after the expiry of the agreement. Lawyers have welcomed the order, saying it acts as a deterrent for tenants who attempt to stay on after the leave-and-licence term expires. Flat owners nowadays prefer to enter into leave-and-licence agreements rather than renting out the flats, they say. “Leave-and-licence agreements are time-bound and stringent provisions under the law mean there is little incentive for the licensee to stay on,’’ advocate Vivek Khemka said. Evicting a legitimate tenant, on the other hand, can involve decades of litigation and prove costly. Rent laws mandate that the landlord has to prove that he needs the premises for a legitimate use to evict a tenant. As opposed to this, on the expiry of the leave-and-licence agreement, the balance tilts towards the landlord.

Do not boycott court: acting Chief Justice
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012552290300.htm
Staff Reporter
KODAIKANAL: “Do not boycott court and strike work over petty matters,” said S.J. Mukhopadhaya, acting Chief Justice, Madras High Court.
He made this appeal to lawyers after inaugurating a new court building constructed on an outlay of Rs.2.27 crore and a camp sub-court here on Saturday.
Resorting to a strike was a recent phenomenon. Lawyers must think about it. A majority of the litigants approached only subordinate courts. Only a few approached the High Court, he said. “If people appreciate you, (lawyers in subordinate courts), they will appreciate us. Your prestige is our prestige,” he said.
The ACJ also appreciated the State Government for sanctioning more funds for development of infrastructure for judiciary. Kodaikanal court had only two judges. But it would accommodate 10 judges and as many court rooms in the future.
Stating that Kodaikanal bar members were numbering 35 to 50, he said the strength of the bar was not the question. The quality of the bar was vital. They must perform well and set an example for their counterparts in subordinate courts, he said.
High Court Judge R. Regupathi said that pendency of cases was alarming from sub-courts to Supreme Court. Kodaikanal court alone had 2,005 civil cases and 1,227 criminal cases pending. Despite establishment of alternative resolution methods by Lok Adalat and conciliation and mediation, arrears in courts could not be cleared, he said.
“Judicial officers and advocates must react to this reality, reject unnecessary litigation and avoid casual adjournments. Courts can function efficiently only with lawyers’ assistance. If we are vigilant, we can thrash out unnecessary litigations at the grass root level to give justice within a reasonable period and cost.” Stating that subordinate courts were the backbone of judicial system, Justice Regupathi said that litigants and the public would get a good impression only through better functioning of courts. People who were fed up with political and administrative maladies only would knock the doors of judiciary.
Avoiding frivolous litigation and preventing lengthy litigation by the bar would help judiciary to scale down backlogs. “If you adopt innovative and novel methods to prolong proceedings, people will lose hope in judiciary.” .
Minister I. Periasamy assured that the Government would sanction funds without delay for infrastructure development.
High Court Judge S.K. Krishnan said that the new court building had all modern facilities.

Only 26% of burglaries solved
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Only_26_of_burglaries_solved/articleshow/4027776.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, Somit Sen, TNN
Homes in Mumbai have been among the least safe in the country, with the city recording the highest number of break-ins among major metros for the past five years. There were more burglaries at residences, offices and shops in Mumbai than in Delhi, Bangalore or Kolkata. Police statistics show that there were 3,171 house-breakings in Mumbai in 2005, 3,102 cases in 2006, 2,845 in 2007 and 2,803 cases in 2008. In comparison, Delhi had 1,940 burglaries in 2008 and Bangalore 1,590 cases. Region-wise statistics show that most of the burglaries were in the western suburbs, like Bandra, Khar, Santa Cruz, Andheri, Jogeshwari, Goregaon, Kandivli and Dahisar. While the west region had 753 house break-ins in 2008, the number of cases in the north region was 571. Overall, only 26% of cases were solved, with several cases involving cash, ornaments and valuables worth crores of rupees remaining unsolved. Police say that the maximum number of house break-in incidents occur when the occupants of the flat were away on long vacations, normally from March to May and during October-November.

PwC auditors held for Satyam fraud
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/PwC_auditors_arrested_for_Satyam_fraud/articleshow/4026675.cms
25 Jan 2009, 0806 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: In an incident thought to be the first of its kind in India, partners of the auditing firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) were arrested on Saturday for their alleged role in the Satyam scandal. ( Watch ) Senior partners S Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas Talluri were booked by Andhra Pradesh police CID on charges of fraud (Section 420 of the IPC) and criminal conspiracy (120B) in the Rs 7,800 crore scam. A conviction for fraud, if proven, carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and that for criminal conspiracy can range from a few years to life imprisonment. They were remanded in judicial custody till February 6. Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas were called in for questioning late on Friday evening, and the process continued through the night. The arrests were announced on Saturday but happened at 10 pm on Friday night. They were then produced at the residence of eighth additional chief metropolitan magistrate. A lawyer to represent the PwC partners was flown in from Chennai. The CID had swooped down on the PwC office in posh Jubilee Hills and searched for two days immediately after B Ramalinga Raju wrote a letter to shareholders admitting massive fraud. Both Gopalakrishnan and Srinivas had been questioned on a few occasions in connection with the scam. The functioning of auditors has come in for sharp scrutiny since the Satyam scam broke, with comparisons being made between PwC and Arthur Andersen, the auditing company than went down with Enron. PwC initially claimed client confidentiality. But later, sought to absolve itself of all responsibility. Those sympathetic to the company are insisting that collusive fraud is extremely difficult to detect but others say that the auditing company cannot be absolved of charges of not revealing the true financial position of the company especially since they were its auditors from 2000 to 2008.

Pension Adalat
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012550700200.htm
Staff Reporter
COIMBATORE: Regional Level Pension Adalat of Western Region (Tamil Nadu) will be conducted on February 13 at 12 noon at the Conference Hall of the Office of the Postmaster General, Western Region.
The pensioners can approach the adalt only for cases which could not be settled at the divisional level.

High Court imposes cost on Collector
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012551110200.htm
Staff Reporter
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Friday imposed a cost of Rs.10,000 on the Pudukottai Collector and a Special Tahsildar for not paying full compensation to a person whose 3.9 acres of land was acquired in 1989 for Adi Dravidar welfare schemes.
Dismissing a civil revision petition filed by the two officials against an order passed by a lower court to attach properties of the Collector’s office, Justice N. Paul Vasanthakumar directed them to pay the costs to the landowner before February 16.
“This court is pained to see the attitude of the respondents in not paying compensation though the land was acquired and an award was passed as early as on July 31, 1990. The award was also confirmed by this court on December 11, 2000,” the Judge said. He stated that the Government had initially fixed a compensation of Rs.78,000 for the total extent of land. The quantum was challenged and a sub-court in 1990 fixed the land value at Rs.40 per square foot to be paid with interest at 9 per cent per annum.
Immediately, the officials challenged the award through an appeal suit in the principal seat of the High Court in Chennai. Disposing of the case after a decade, a Division Bench in 2000 fixed the final value at Rs.11,63,248 per acre.
The amount was not paid and hence the landowner filed an execution petition before the sub-court for releasing the money and to attach the properties in the Collector’s office. Only thereafter, the officials began paying the amount in instalments.
A memo was filed in August 24, 2006 stating that a substantial amount had been paid and the balance amount of Rs.2,49,233 would be deposited within a month. But contrary to the submission, the balance was not paid even after three months.
Consequently, the sub-court on December 12, 2006 ordered attachment of Collectorate properties.

High Court stays re-tendering of road project
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012555550600.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court stayed the re-tendering of six-lane Bangalore-Mysore-Nanjangud highway project.
The State Government last year called for tenders to the tune of Rs. 300 crore that would link Bangalore with Nanjangud. The current road between Bangalore and Mysore and the road from Mysore to Nanjangud was proposed to be expanded to accommodate traffic on six lanes.
Although 12 organisations had expressed interest, only four had shown interest. During bidding in August, only one firm-KMC-had come forward to execute the project. The State had then decided to call for tenders saying that it would not be appropriate to award contract to only one firm.
The State then called for fresh tenders to the project. Aggrieved by this order, KMC had moved the High Court. It said it had submitted its tender on merits and that it could not be faulted if no other company had come forward to take up the project.
It urged the court to stay the re-tendering project.
Justice Ravi Malimath stayed the re-tendering project and adjourned hearing of the case.

Delhi High Court Bar backs CIC order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012554120400.htm
Staff Reporter
On disclosure of assets by judges of Supreme Court, High Courts

The resolution said the judges should set an example of fair conduct
NEW DELHI: Joining the issue of disclosure of assets by judges of the Supreme Court and High Courts and their family members to bring in transparency and accountability in the judiciary, the Delhi High Court Bar Association has adopted a resolution in support of the Central Information Commission’s orders.
The Commission in its orders this past November had directed the Supreme Court Registry to provide information to a Right to Information activist on whether judges of the apex court and the high courts had declared their assets.
Refusing to provide the information on the ground that the information sought was not in the public domain and as such the application filed by the RTI applicant was not at all maintainable, the Supreme Court Registry last week moved the Delhi High Court against the Commission’s orders.
The High Court, meanwhile, has stayed the operation of the Commission’s orders.
The Bar Association under its president K.C. Mittal also decided to move a petition in the High Court to intervene in the pending petition against the Commission’s orders.
The resolution said the judges should set an example of fair conduct by declaring their assets and those of their families.
The resolution said certain developments in the judiciary over the past few years like the Ghaziabad Provident Fund scam involving some judges of the Allahabad High Court and a judge of the Supreme Court and an alleged attempt to bribe a Punjab and Haryana High Court judge had shaken the common man’s faith in the judiciary.

Court refuses bail to cop
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/25/stories/2009012552040300.htm
Nirnimesh Kumar
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has refused to grant anticipatory bail to a Delhi Police sub-inspector in a corruption case, holding that investigations into the allegations against him are still on.
The Anti-Corruption Branch of the Delhi Government had registered the case this past month on a complaint by a parking lot contractor in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area. The complainant, Ajit Singh, alleged that Sub-Inspector Sanjiv Mathur used to extort Rs.3,000 every month from him in lieu of allowing him to run the parking lot.
The Anti-Corruption Branch lodged the case when the complainant was able to record his conversation with the police officer while demanding money from him.
The police officer had earlier moved a lower court for anticipatory bail but it rejected his plea.
Sub-Inspector Mathur sought bail submitting that the allegations against him were false as there was no independent evidence against him. Opposing his submission, counsel for the prosecution submitted that the accused was likely to tamper with evidence if he was granted bail as the probe was in the initial stages.

LEGAL NEWS 22-24.01.2009

Y S Ratra,PSEB Chairman favours unbundling of Punjab State Electricity Board
http://www.kseboa.org/news/y-s-ratrapseb-chairman-favours-unbundling-of-punjab-state-electricity-board.html
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 13:24 News
PSEB Chairman says that PSEB will perform better if unbundled
Stating that unbundling of the Punjab State Electricity Board (PSEB) would encourage competition among the various departments of the Board, Mr Y S Ratra, Chairman of the PSEB called for implementing the recommendations of the Electricity Act 2003. “Although, it is up to the state government to decide on the issue of unbundling of the board, but I personally feel that such a move will definitely improve the functioning of the electricity department”, Mr Ratra, who was inaugurating an electronic billing machine, said.Asked, about the status of request submitted by the state government to the Centre to seek another extension after November 2008 for unbundling of the board, Ratra said that it was a matter between the state government and Centre.“Till now the Centre has not replied to the request for extension by the state government and deadline expired on November 30”, Mr Ratra said. Pointing out that the fall out of the unbundling in Delhi and Orissa, Mr Ratra said, “States, in which move of unbundling was done half-heartedly, the experiment has failed but in some states such as Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan, the move was very fruitful as it drastically improved the functioning of the board”. Under Electricity Act 2003, all state electricity boards will be cease to exist and several states have unbundled their SEBs into Generation, Transmission, Trading and Distribution companies. Kerala had decided not to unbundle the Board into different companies, but to keep it as a single public sector company. The Punjab government has already attained extension eight times, on one pretext or another as trade unions were opposing the move. Trade unions are not against any reforms. Employees including PSEB Engineers Association had already demanded Kerala model reforms in the state.Source – Hindu Businessline

VC, HRD officials told to work out payment modalities
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Patna/VC_HRD_officials_told_to_work_out_payment_modalities/articleshow/4008268.cms
21 Jan 2009, 0216 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Tuesday directed vice-chancellors (VCs) of all universities in the state, including Rajendra Agriculture University (RAU), principal secretary and additional secretary of the human resources development (HRD) department to appear before the court on January 27 in connection with a case related to payment of retiral dues and pension to a bunch of 142 writ petitioners. A single bench presided over by Justice Jaya Nandan Singh issued the directive adding that VCs of the universities, HRD principal secretary and additional secretary should first work out modalities of payments in consultation with the advocate general. The petitioners are retired teachers and non-teaching employees of all the universities. As the 142 writ petitions are of similar nature, the court is hearing the case together. And in view of this, modalities of payment of retiral dues and pension to retired teachers and non-teaching employees have to be worked out university-wise in consultation with senior HRD officials before the matter is heard by the court. The role of the advocate general in working out the modalities has been stressed by the court.

Judge assets: CIC wonders why SC opposing ‘innocuous’ order
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/judge-assets-cic-wonders-why-sc-opposin…/413758/
Seema Chishti Posted: Jan 22, 2009 at 0055 hrs IST
New Delhi: Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah has said that while the Supreme Court was “well within its right” to contest an order under the RTI Act asking whether its judges had revealed their assets to the Chief Justice, “the order was something quite innocuous”.
“The only thing we wanted to ensure was if the courts, like all public bodies, are making information about the judges available, and are essentially under the ambit of the RTI,” Habibullah told The Indian Express.
On January 6, the Central Information Commission had asked the Supreme Court to disclose, under the RTI Act, if judges of SC and HCs declared their assets. The apex court had appealed against the order to the Delhi HC, and the latter stayed it two days ago. The apex court’s stand is that information relating to declaration of assets by the SC judges to the CJI is not a mandatory exercise under the law. However, a full court resolution of SC on May 7, 1997, required every judge to declare to the CJI assets including properties or any other investment in the name of their spouse and any person dependent on them. Challenging the CIC order, the SC said the order is excessive and without jurisdiction and the appeal made a distinction between the apex court as an institution and the office of the CJI. “Neither is the office of the CJI a public authority nor does the information relating to judges’ assets come in the public domain,” the Supreme Court said.
The next hearing in the Delhi HC is on February 12. It is unclear who will represent the CIC, but it is looking to make its point that all public bodies, “unless excluded by Section 8”, are subject to the RTI, and cannot claim immunity.
Meanwhile, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee has said the judges of the higher judiciary should also be subjected to accountability on issues like the declaration of assets and on PILs. Referring to the controversy over declaration of assets by SC judges and the right of public to access this information, he said while even MPs were not required to make their assets public under law, “when a law (RTI Act) was made, I respect the law”. He said he had allowed access to information about MPs’ assets to anyone who sought it.

HC penalises top cop in surety case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_penalises_top_cop_in_surety_case/articleshow/4013726.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0755 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday ordered an assistant commissioner of police to shell out Rs 10,000 as fine for asking a person to obtain surety from a sitting corporator in a chapter proceedings case. Hearing a group of four such cases, a division bench of justices Bilal Nazki and Anoop Mohta issued a notice to a sessions judge in another case. Of the four cases, in two, the court allowed the state to withdraw the chapter proceedings and issue a fresh notice. The third case was related to the chapter proceedings initiated against a person who had got into an altercation with an RTO officer. The ACP from Nashik asked the person to submit a surety from an RTO officer. A sessions court upheld the order. The person had to remain in custody for three days as a result. The HC has issued a notice to the ACP and also the sessions judge. In the last case, an ACP from Pune asked the person to submit a surety of a sitting corporator. Unable to get any corporator to stand surety for him, the detenue had to spend 21 days in custody. The HC criticised the the ACP’s conduct. It issued a showcause notice and also asked him to pay Rs 10,000 as fine.

Frame rules to deal with bandhs: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Frame_rules_to_deal_with_bandhs_HC/articleshow/4013699.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to enact regulations to tackle “bandhs” called by political parties. Irked by the fact that a 2004 judgment of the high court had been ignored by the state, a division bench of Justices J N Patel and K K Tated said the government should have incorporated the court’s guidelines in its laws. “When a leader gives a call for a bandh, the entire responsibility belongs to him,” said the judges. “He cannot come up with an excuse that his workers indulged in violence. The leader should pay compensation for the damage to public life and property.” In 2004, the high court had ordered the Shiv Sena and the BJP to pay a fine of Rs 20 lakh each for a bandh called on July 30, 2003, following a series of bomb blasts in the city. The money was to be put in a common fund that was to be used to pay compensation to people whose property had been damaged during violence unleashed by party activists. The court had said that authorities must ensure that the group calling a bandh does not “stop or interfere with free movement of citizens on the roads”. It had further directed the police to record violent incidents during such agitations so as to nail the miscreants. The high court had also recommended that the authorities submit an action taken report with the sessions court. “Why has the State not taken the directions of this court’s order seriously,” asked the judges. The judges said the government ought to have incorporated the 2004 guidelines in to the existing laws. The sweep of such a law should extend not just to registered political parties but also to unregistered groups that indulge in violent protests. The court was hearing a case filed by advocate Varsha Deshpande against three bandhs called by different groups within a span of three months in Satara. The judges cautioned the state authorities that failure to comply with the orders may be seen as contempt of the court. The matter will now be heard on February 18, 2009.

Remove all illegal vendors from stations: HC to railways
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Remove_all_illegal_vendors_from_stations_HC_to_railways/articleshow/4013789.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0009 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed Central and Western railways to remove all illegal hawkers from foot-overbridges and platforms at stations across the city. A division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice K K Tated passed the oral directive, warning the railway authorities that failure to comply with it would invite suo motu action against the top officers of the railways. “Illegal hawkers are not entitled to any protection,” said the judges, adding that it was the duty of the railways to ensure the security of commuters using the stations. The judges said the common man was put to great inconvenience as foot-overbridges were crowded with hawkers. “You have the Government Railway Police and the Railway Police Force (guarding railway property). However, no action is taken against unauthorised hawkers who squat and encroach on bridges and stations.” The court’s orders came during the hearing of a petition filed by six hawkers based outside Kurla station who were resisting their removal. Advocate Suresh Kumar told the court that despite a series of orders going against the hawkers, they refused to budge. “The land (occupied by the hawkers) is required for ensuring free movement of the commuters,” said Kumar. The court refused to grant any interim protection to the hawkers. Also, it did not indulge the petitioners’ plea for rehabilitation at an alternative site. The railways did not have a rehabilitation policy for encroachers, the court was told. Advocate Kumar said periodic action was taken against hawkers, but the court was not satisfied. The advocate also informed the court that more than 124 hawkers outside Thane station had been rehabilitated due to an agreement with the municipal corporation. The court scheduled the matter for further hearing on January 27.

HC relief for 7 convicts languishing in jail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_relief_for_7_convicts_languishing_in_jail/articleshow/4013728.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday ordered the release of seven convicts who were languishing in jail even after serving their 14-year life sentence. A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice Anoop Mohta asked chief secretary Johny Joseph to conduct an inquiry into the delay and fix responsibility. “Prisoners should not be made to stay even a day more than they are supposed to,” said the judges. The court’s order came as a reply to a petition filed by murder convict Vishwajeet Khanvanekar whose release from prison was delayed for over eight months after he competed his life sentence of 14 years. The court had then sought a report from the state on prisoners whose release had been delayed, despite having completed their jail terms. Deputy inspector general Rajneesh Seth, who was summoned by the judges, told the court that the seven prisoners lodged in the state central jails had served between 14 and 16 years. There were 258 other prisoners who had completed 12 years of their 14-year life term. Additional public prosecutor Pradeep Hingorani said that once the convicts complete 12 years in prison, the authorities start processing their files and seek the advisory committee’s as well as police reports on the detenue. The files are then sent to the home department which classifies the prisoners in different categories depending upon the seriousness of the charges and recommends early or later release. The court told the state to ensure that in future, the files are processed in time and no prisoner is forced to overstay in jail.

All BEd degrees from RBU till 2001 invalid: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/All_BEd_degrees_from_RBU_till_2001_invalid_HC/articleshow/4014320.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0348 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: West Bengal has managed to make a mess out of its teacher training programmes. After controversy over primary teacher training institutes, Calcutta High Court on Wednesday declared as invalid all BEd degrees from Rabindra Bharati University (RBU) between 1995-96 and 2000-01. This is because the university did not follow the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) norms during the period. The HC passed the order as it turned down a petition by schoolteacher Durba Sanyal Bhattacharya, who got her BEd degree from the university in 1999. The court also imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on RBU for the loss and hardship the candidate had to suffer. The HC directed the university to return the tuition fees Bhattacharya had deposited while pursuing the course. The order does not apply to those who pursued the BEd course in RBU on and from 2000-01, when the university complied with NCTE norms. The anomaly came to light after Durba, now a teacher at Sahapur Girls High School in New Alipore, applied for the School Service Commission (SSC) examination for recruitment of principals to state-sponsored high schools. The SSC authorities rejected her application because her BEd degree wasn’t recognized by NCTE. Durba then moved court against RBU, saying that a university recognized by the University Grants Commission should have ensured that its BEd degree got NCTE recognition.

HC raps 3 panchayats over NDZ violations
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_raps_3_panchayats_over_NDZ_violations/articleshow/4013892.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0029 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday severely reprimanded the panchayats of Chicalim, Velsao-Pale and Naquerim-Betul for not doing enough to abide by the court’s earlier directives, with regards to structures built in the No Development Zone (NDZ) after February 19, 1991. The division bench comprising of the Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice N A Britto directed the three panchayats to “recover personally” from their respective sarpanch and secretary a penalty of Rs 10,000 each, within two weeks for laxity on the issue. When the suo motu petition came up for hearing on Wednesday, amicus curiae Norma Alvares disclosed that these three panchayats were not represented by any advocates and had not filed any affidavit as per the court’s directives. Issuance of show cause notices to these offensive structures was the only action taken by the panchayats and the court’s earlier directives have not been complied with at all, she pointed out. The bench thereafter expressed its dismay over the “sheer carelessness and irresponsibility” by the panchayats and observed that this was “least expected from the persons in charge”. Subsequently, the court issued show cause notices under the Contempt of Courts Act to the erring panchayats for not taking “definite steps as per the last orders” of the court and has directed the panchayats to file replies before the next date of hearing. The matter will be heard after four weeks. The court also issued directions to the directorate of panchayats stating that cases pertaining to the illegal structures should not be kept pending for more than two months. During the hearing, Alvares submitted a list to the court indicating the number of illegal structures and the action taken by the respective panchayats. Colva panchayat topped the list with 196 demolition orders issued, which included two structures belonging to the tourism department. According to the list, the Calangute panchayat has in its jurisdiction 331 illegal structures, however all that has been done so far is to issue show cause notices.

Fresh HC move on franking machines in courts
22 Jan 2009, 0519 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday directed the secretary and inspector general of registration, Bihar postal circle’s chief post master general and registrar general of the high court to hold a meeting with the advocate general on January 23 for chalking out the modalities of installation of franking machines for stamp-printing the petitions and affidavits in the courts across the state. All the four officials were present on Wednesday before a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice Shyam Kishore Sharma on a directive issued earlier. The court fixed January 30 as the next date of hearing of the case. The order was passed on a suo motu contempt of court proceeding initiated earlier on non-compliance of the order of a division bench for installation of franking machines in all the courts in the state by December 31, 2008. Encroached land: The same bench on Wednesday directed the state government to file a counter affidavit to a PIL which alleges delay on the part of the road construction department (RCD) in removing encroachment from a piece of land in Gulzarbagh which was allotted to Government Girls’ College in 1989. The PIL has been filed by local ward councillor Dayanand Paswan who submitted that the college is the only women’s college of the government in Patna City sub-division but it is being run from the premises of BNR Training College, Gulzarbagh. Petitioner’s counsel Brijesh Kumar submitted a sum of Rs 14.5 crore has already been sanctioned by the state government for construction of the building of this college, and the chief minister was to lay its foundation on July 25, 2007. But this move was frustrated as the RCD has a hotmix plant on the land, he said. Appointment challenged: A single bench presided by Justice Navin Sinha on Wednesday directed the additional director (vigilance) to take all the documents regarding the examination for selection of lower division clerks in the state assembly so as to investigate the allegation of irregularities in selection. The order was passed on writ petitions of some unsuccessful candidates. Earlier also a similar order was passed by the court but the vigilance department was yet to collect the documents, said the counsel of legislative assembly, M P Gupta.

HC orders release of port officials held for bribe
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/HC_orders_release_of_port_officials_held_for_bribe/articleshow/4013869.cms
22 Jan 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: A port health officer, who was arrested by the CBI last month while accepting a bribe of Rs 6,000 from a customs house agent to clear a fruit consignment, was ordered to be released on bail by the Madras high court. Justice T Sudanthiram granted bail to V V Sairam Babu, the port health officer, after his counsel submitted that the trapped official was in jail since December 19 and that two others arrested with him had already been released on bail. Opposing the relief to the official, government advocate S S Jayanthi contended that Sairam Babu had accepted illegal gratification from several custom house agents and importers. According to her, the arrested official did not cooperate with the investigation so far, and that probe was yet to be completed. In his order, the judge pointed out that the official was in prison for over a month now, and that a major portion of the investigation was over. Granting bail to Sairam Babu, the judge asked him to execute a bond for Rs 25,000 with sureties each for a like sum, and directed him to report to the CBI daily at 10 am for a period of four weeks.

HC slams state over bandhs
http://www.bombayblasts.com/2009/01/21/hc-slams-state-over-bandhs/
By -January 21, 2009
In 2004, the high court had fined the Shiv Sena and the BJP Rs20 lakh each for losses suffered by the state during a 2003 bandh. This time the state govt may have to face the music.
This post is provided to you by BombayBlasts.com

HC slaps cost of Rs 25,000 on man for filing frivolous PIL
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/484523/National/1/20/1
Published: January 22,2009
New Delhi, Jan 22 The Delhi High Court today slapped a cost of Rs 25,000 on a man for filing a”frivolous”PIL seeking to quash a tender floated by it for installation of CCTV in a district court in south Delhi.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna imposed the cost on Kumar Sanjay while observing that the PIL appeared to be”sponsored”by some one else.
Sanjay, who appeared before the Bench, admitted that he had studied till Class IX only and had no technical knowledge about the Close Circuit Television (CCTV).
The court also slammed Sanjay&aposs lawyer for not verifying his antecedents before filing the PIL. He told the court earlier that the petitioner was a journalist but later found himself in an embarrassing situation when the court wanted to know the name of Sanjay&aposs organisation.
After going through the technical details mentioned by the petitioner, the court wanted to know from his lawyer as to whether Sanjay is a technical expert and also inquired about his qualification.
Yesterday, the Bench told Sanjay to personally appear in the court after perusing of his PIL. He had questioned the technical specification in the tender floated by the High Court for its installation in the upcoming district court in Saket.
Source: PTI

HC questions police why no inquiry was held into Jamia encounter
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200901221778.htm
New Delhi (PTI): The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought an explanation from the Delhi Police for not initiating a magisterial inquiry into the Jamia Nagar encounter, despite NHRC guidelines to do so.
“NHRC has been asking from the day one for compliance with the guidelines (for magisterial inquiry). Tell us what has been decided by the Lt Governor on the issue,” a bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said, directing the police to file an affidavit.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy, seeking a judicial inquiry into the encounter on September 19 in which two suspected terrorists allegedly involved in Delhi serial blasts and a police inspector were killed.
Advocate Mukta Gupta, appearing for the police, said it has sought permission from the L-G for an inquiry in the case. “The entire matter has been sent to the L-G who has sought certain clarification on the issue,” she said.
She also informed that the police has submitted detailed investigation report on the encounter to the NHRC.
Earlier on December 22 last year, the NHRC had also sought a response from city police over issues linked to the encounter.
Two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid were killed and two other terrorists, Mohd Saif and Zeeshan, were arrested in the encounter in the Batla House area. The incident took place a week after serial blasts rocked the Capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.
Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma was killed in the operation.

PIL filed against killing order of UP tiger
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Earth/PIL_filed_against_killing_order_of_tiger/articleshow/4016850.cms
22 Jan 2009, 1617 hrs IST, IANS
LUCKNOW: A wildlife activist moved a PIL (public interest litigation) here against the government decision to kill a tiger that had strayed out of its habitat in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit region two months ago. Wildlife enthusiast and member of the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board, Kaushlendra Singh, filed the case before the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court headed by Justice U.K. Dhaon. The judge, meanwhile, directed the state government counsel to seek instructions from the chief wildlife warden and return to the court Thursday. Justice Dhaon expressed concern over the petitioner’s claim that as against nearly 30,000 to 40,000 tigers that roamed the Indian sub-continent few decades ago, there were just around 1,500 tigers left today. Singh blamed the state wildlife authorities for “allowing the genocide of tigers over the years”. The tiger had sneaked out of its habitat in the Pilibhit area some two months ago. It had also killed a person few days ago. Authorities had initially tried to capture the animal alive but later ordered that it be killed when repeated attempts to capture it failed. The big cat has been prowling in the forest areas in various districts, including Shahjahanpur, Bahraich, Sultanpur, Faizabad and some parts of Lucknow. Currently, it was reported to be hiding in a forest area near Kumarganj in Sultanpur district, some 130 km from here. Singh pointed out that the declaration of the stray tiger as a “man-eater” by the state authorities was in violation of the established norms. “Uttar Pradesh’s chief wildlife warden had declared the two-and-a-half-year-old tiger as man-eater after it killed a human some days ago. The victim had gone to a field where the tiger was hiding,” he said. He added that: “I seek the court’s intervention simply because the wildlife department has authorized the shooters to kill the animal. Instead of doing that, they could have tried to capture the animal alive and transport it back to its natural habitat.” Singh said: “Since the tiger is young, the animal is capable of producing at least 30-40 cubs during her life time.”

City transgenders hail Delhi PIL
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1223780
Humaira Ansari
Thursday, January 22, 2009 2:16 IST
Mumbai: While the plight of the transgender community continues to be abysmal in the country, the recent public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court by a eunuch from Ajmer demanding recognition and acceptance is being seen as a step in the right direction. The transgender community in the city is supportive of the demands that have been outlined in the PIL. “It’s high time that the authorities pay heed to our demands and take our community seriously,” says Simran, an active volunteer of Dai Welfare Society, an NGO working for eunuchs. A transgender herself, Simran feels that the basic problem confronting their community for long is the problem of gaining identification. Tamil Nadu is the only state in the country that has recognised the transgender community, given them a third option in the sex category, hence not forcing them to choose between the two sexes only. “We want other state governments to take cue. Not only in Mumbai, but eunuchs all over India want to live with dignity. And this is not possible unless we have our own identity, independent of the two conventional sexes,” she adds.
Besides demanding recognition and acceptance of the community, the PIL also demands reservation in local bodies, legislative assembly as well as the Parliament. “It is hard for any change to come about in the community unless our community representatives have power and say in the decision making process,” says Nandini, another eunuch working for the transgender community. Working part time as a make up artist, she swaps back into her sari, the attire she is more comfortable in. “We don’t get jobs easily. So I wear my jeans and t-shirt and tie a scarf or bandana to cover my hair while at work. I can’t afford to lose my job,” she says. After the death of her father, her brothers disowned her, denying her the property rights as well. But she approached the human rights commission and got back her share of the property. Nevertheless, she is quick to admit that not everyone from the community is ready to fight for their rights and even if they do, the resources are meagre and the attitude of the authorities is extremely discriminating. “Neither the society nor the government has done anything for us. To them a hijra is someone who you can laugh and mock at. It all starts and ends there,” she states.
However Simran points out that of late many from the community have taken to petty crimes. “Although discrimination and violence meted out to the community cannot be cited as a justification for these wrongdoings, they nevertheless are indicators and are not very pleasant,” says Simran.
The initiation of an education programme for transgenders is also one of their demands and Nandini feels that there is a dire need for it. Drawing a parallel with the gay community, she says that many gays are educated and have financial support as well as independence, but this is not true for eunuchs. “There is a sea of difference in our lifestyles and appearance. We are far more vulnerable than they are,” she says, adding that the media coverage of the eunuchs is also far less favourable than that given to the homosexuals.
Being immune to constant discrimination, mockery and violence, Nandini is optimistic about the results of the PIL, but she is also unsure if their demands will be heard and catered to. “It seems dream like, but I am hoping that it comes true, as hope is one thing that we have counted on for several years,” she concludes.

Gowda’s letter: NICE files plea against order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/22/stories/2009012255401100.htm
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ltd. (NICE) on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court against the Karnataka High Court decision to treat the letter written by the former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda, to judges as a public interest litigation petition and posting it for hearing on February 2.
In its special leave petition, NICE said that on January 12 the High Court, after adjourning connected matters, informed counsel that the members of the Bench had received personal letters from Mr. Gowda, together with a copy of booklet titled “Bangalore – Mysore Infrastructure Corridor Project – a case study in fraud and collusion to defeat the end of justice and defraud courts.”
The Division Bench of the High Court treated the letter as a PIL and directed that it be placed before the Bench for hearing on February 2 along with the connected writ petition. The SLP is directed against this order.
“The letter was a clear case of substantial interference with due course of justice and was, therefore, criminal contempt within the meaning of Section 2(c) of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971,” the SLP said. “During the course of proceedings, hundreds of persons unconnected with any case were present in the court room thus giving an impression that they represented the author of the letter and the Janata Dal (S) of which he is the president.”
Seeking a direction to quash the High Court’s decision, the SLP said the approach adopted by the High Court was not conducive to the administration of justice. “The letter by no canon of law could be treated as a PIL as per law declared by the apex court in a catena of decisions since it was clearly guided for personal gain, political motive and oblique consideration designed to bypass the finality of the judicial process attained with the passing of the aforesaid judgment,” it submitted.

Tax heat on ex-ministers – Department issues notices
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090122/jsp/jharkhand/story_10424542.jsp
CHANDRAJIT MUKHERJEE
Ranchi, Jan. 21: The income-tax department today issued notices to politicians involved in the disproportionate assets case pending before the high court.
The department, in an affidavit filed before the court, said that former ministers Bandhu Tirkey, Dulal Bhuiyan, Bhanu Pratap Sahi and Chandra Prakash Choudhary have not furnished their balance sheets, mandatory for recording their assets and liabilities.
Income-tax officer Ranjit Kumar Lal told the court that the department has analysed the information and details available in the PIL related to assets disproportionate to incomes of ministers. The data has been closely examined to identify the assessment years that require further scrutiny.
Lal’s report has been filed one day prior to the date fixed by the division bench headed by Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra.
The matter will be taken up for hearing tomorrow and the court had ordered the department to file a status report in the matter.
In compliance with the court order, the department today provided details of the scrutiny undertaken to assess the income and assets of the ministers.
Lal said that the ministers had been filing their tax returns regularly, but they defaulted during some years for which a mandatory notice was issued by the department according to the provisions of the Income Tax Act.
The returns filed by the ministers are being analysed to ascertain whether they are in proportion to their incomes, Lal said in the affidavit. The ministers will be called for at the time of assessment to explain irregularities and furnish necessary documents, if any.
The details available for the acquisition of assets and investments by the ministers has not been specified. In the present case, the details mentioned by the ministers in their declaration forms at the time of filing their nomination forms for the elections in 2006-07 has been regarded as the base year for all tax calculations.
The matter came to the fore in a PIL filed by Durga Oraon, alleging disproportionate assets of some ministers.
Oraon has also filed a separate petition to nail former chief minister Madhu Koda and power broker Binod Sinha. Oraon alleged that the duo own and possess assets more than known sources of income.

It’s premature to reveal 3G spectrum availability, Govt to HC

http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/483835/Business/4/20/4
Published: January 21,2009
New Delhi, Jan 21 The government today informed the Delhi High Court that it is premature to reveal about the total availability of the 3G spectrum, which is set to be auctioned, as of now.
Solicitor General G E Vahanvati submitted before the bench, hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, that it was premature to reveal about the total availability of the 3G spectrum, which is yet to be auctioned.
Earlier, a bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah asked,” What is the availability of the 3G spectrum as of today and why you (Centre) are not being transparent.”
Vahanvati further submitted that the matter is now placed before the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs to look into all aspects of the issue.
Later, the court directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit by next date of hearing and posted the matter for February.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Society for Awareness and Development, which said”the auction (of spectrum) is being conducted in a completely non-transparent and an unfair manner, only with a view to favouring certain identified parties.
Source: PTI

Air India asked to pay Rs.26,000 to a passenger in damages
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/54691.htm
Jan 22nd, 2009 By Sindh Today Category: India
Indore, Jan 22 (IANS) A Madhya Pradesh consumer forum has asked Air India to pay a compensation of Rs.25,000 to a passenger for not informing her about the precautions before using dry ice to kill a pain during a flight.
The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum has also asked the airlines to pay additional Rs.1,000 as cost of the complaint.
Business woman Seema Sanghi, 52, complained to the forum that she had an acute back pain while travelling on Air India’s lA 432 flight from Kuala Lampur to India March 13, 2007.
She asked a flight steward for painkiller tablets and ice for fomentation. The flight steward gave her painkiller and carbonated dry ice wrapped in plastic bag, about whose use she was ignorant.
She fomented her shoulder with dry ice bag for about 20 minutes but when she landed at the Mumbai Airport, her back had become stiff and shoulder had burnt.
She had to undergo treatment first at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai and later at a dermatologist clinic in Indore.
‘And all this happened because the staff of the airlines did not inform me about the precautions to be taken while fomenting my back and shoulder with dry ice,’ Seema said in her complaint.
Dry ice is solidified carbon dioxide having temperature of 20 to 40 degree Celsius below freezing point and can burn the skin similar to frostbite if used without insulated cover.
The forum dismissed the plea of the airlines that dry ice was wrapped in plastic cover and then placed inside a pillow cover and, therefore, the complaint be dismissed.
The forum also rejected the plea that the passenger never complained of burns during the flight.
Asking the airlines to pay the fine, the forum held Air India guilty of not doing its duty to properly caution the passenger.

Firm fined for selling poor quality seeds to farmers
http://www.4jat.com/jat_community_article.asp?jat_community=927&category=News&keyword=UT_State_Consumer_Disputes_Redressal_Commission
The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has upheld the order of the Bhiwani district forum, passed in 2001, wherein a seed company was directed to pay compensation for providing poor quality seeds……
Source: indianexpress.com
Updated on: 1/22/2009

The UT State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has upheld the order of the Bhiwani district forum, passed in 2001, wherein a seed company was directed to pay compensation for providing poor quality seeds to three Bhiwani-based farmers in separate cases.The complainant, Nathu Ram, purchased three bags of wheat foundation seed manufactured by the appellant Haryana Seeds Development Corporation at Rs 360 per bag at a total cost of Rs 1,080. It was stated that the seeds were sown in 1997 after mixing with urea as per directions given by the appellant. A total expense of Rs 5,422 was incurred on purchasing the urea, seeds and the process of irrigation.Ram alleged that the seeds did not germinate and he later discovered that the seeds were of inferior quality. An investigator assessed the loss, and reported to the Deputy Director, Agriculture, Bhiwani, that the seeds indeed were inferior. “If the seeds supplied had been up to the mark, I would have obtained 24 quintals of wheat per acre, earning about Rs 16,000 per acre,” stated Ram. In its reply, the Haryana Seeds Corporation stated that the seeds were of high quality. The firm further hinted that their seeds may not have been sown at all, with the complainant using seeds purchased from some other outlet, as they had not been informed at the time of sowing. It was further averred that germination depends upon many factors and it is possible that the seeds were not paid due care and the complainant failed to carry out proper irrigation.Announcing the verdict, the forum directed the seeds company to pay Rs 16,000 to the complainant towards loss of crop, Rs 2,000 for mental agony and Rs 500 towards litigation charges.In the second case against the same company, Ajit Singh was held entitled to Rs 40,000 for loss of crop, Rs 5,000 for mental agony and Rs 500 towards costs of litigation. The third complainant, Kailash Chand, was awarded Rs 16,000 towards loss of crop, Rs 2,000 towards mental agony and Rs 500 towards costs of litigation.The forum held: “The seeds have been certified to be defective as the marketing officer of the Seeds Certification Authority had conducted a spot survey and accepted the complainant’s plea that the seeds did not germinate due to poor quality.”

NRI Jailed For 21 Years For Killing Sons In Scotland
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/1/nri_jailed_for_21_years_for_killing_sons_in_scotland.asp
Posted on : Thursday, January 22, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
NRI Jailed For 21 Years For Killing Sons In Scotland22 Jan 2009, 1045 hrs IST, PTI LONDON: An Indian-origin man who murdered his two children before trying to set their bodies afire last year, has been sentenced to at least 21 years in jail. Ashok Kalyanjee, 46, slit the throats of sons Paul (6) and Jay (2) in his car at a beauty spot in the Campsie Fells, and then tried to torch the vehicle with himself and his victims inside. Sentencing Kalyanjee at the High Court in Paisley, Lord Brailsford told him, “This is as grave a crime as can be imagined. This crime was premeditated, planned, organised. “You used deceit and lies to persuade the children’s mother and the children to go out with you that afternoon. You purchased the murder weapon in advance and acquired petrol. Kalyanjee pleaded guilty to the charge, was reportedly consumed with hate for Giselle Ross, his Scottish ex-wife, and for Scotland. Born in India, he has been in the UK since 1991. He married Ross in 2001 and the couple divorced in 2004. “The victims were defenceless. No doubt they loved you and assumed you would take care of them as a father should. One of the victims witnessed what happened to his brother,” Lord Brailsford said. “I cannot imagine the suffering he must have endured. There is no mitigation for a crime of this enormity.” Kalyanjee showed no emotion as the sentence was pronounced, but his ex-wife Giselle Ross yelled at him in the court, “They were my babies. They never even loved you anyway”. Kalyanjee killed Paul and Jay on May 3 last year at a car park in the Campsie Fells near Lennoxtown, north of Glasgow. His sons did not want to spend the day with him but he lured them into his silver Mercedes with promises of toys.
Source : PTI –

CBI Wants Time To Probe ’84 Anti-Sikh Riots Case
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/1/cbi_wants_time_to_probe_84_anti_sikh_riots_case.asp
Posted on : Thursday, January 22, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
CBI Wants Time To Probe ’84 Anti-Sikh Riots Case22 Jan 2009, 1529 hrs IST, Smriti Singh, TNN NEW DELHI:The CBI on Thursday sought 30-days’ time to file its final status report in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case involving Jagdish Tytler. Submitting a status report in a sealed cover before Additional Metropolitan Magistrate Rakesh Pandit, the agency said investigation in the case is still going on and they needed another month to wind it up. CBI also told the court that the statements of US-based Jasbir Singh and Surinder Singh, witnesses in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, have been recorded.

Uttering To Oneself Or Someone Can Be Termed As Confession: SC http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/1/uttering_to_oneself_or_someone_can_be_termed_as_confession_sc.asp
Posted on : 22 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Uttering To Oneself Or Someone Can Be Termed As Confession: SC 22 Jan 2009, 2115 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has observed that in extra-judicial confessions a written note by an accused or even a casual statement uttered by him to himself and overheard by a third person can be the basis for his conviction. “An accused might have been over-heard uttering to himself or saying to his wife or any other person in confidence. He might have also uttered something in soliloquy. He might also keep a note in writing. All the aforesaid nevertheless constitute a statement. “Such a statement is an admission of guilt, it would amount to a confession whether it is communicated to another (person) or not,” a bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Ashok Kumar Ganguly observed. The apex court passed the observation while rejecting the appeal of Shiv Karam Payaswami Tewari sentenced to life imprisonment in a murder case. Tewari while working in a hotel in Mumbai had murdered his manager Muttukumar after a fight. He was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by the sessions court on the basis of a supposedly self-incriminating statement made by the accused to a friend which was treated as an extra-judicial confession to convict him. The sentence was affirmed by the Bombay High Court upon which he appealed in the apex court. In the appeal before the apex court, Tewari took the plea that his purported extra-judicial confession has no evidentiary value and hence the conviction was unsustainable.

Benami Deals Under Govt Lens
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/1/benami_deals_under_govt_lens.asp
Posted on : 22 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Benami Deals Under Govt Lens22 Jan 2009, 0119 hrs IST, Pankaj Doval, TNN NEW DELHI:Government has trained its guns on the benami transactions of Satyam’s disgraced former chairman B Ramalinga Raju and other tainted directors and officials. It received a ‘restraint order’ from the Company Law Board (CLB) against key promoters and former whole-time directors of the company, including Raju, his brother B Rama Raju and ousted interim-CEO Ram Mynampati, barring them from selling any assets under their control. The move points out to the fact that funds of Satyam might have been siphoned off for personal gains, sources in the government said. “They have been directed that they shall not alienate, charge, mortgage or sell any of their shares, securities and fixed assets, without leave of the CLB,” corporate affairs minister Prem Chand Gupta said. The government filed the petition in the CLB to ensure that the persons managing Satyam’s affairs previously do not profit or otherwise gain from any diversion or siphoning of funds. Apart from the Rajus and Mynampati, others who have come under the scanner are Satyam’s former CFO Srinivas Vadlamani and company secretary G J Jayaraman. They have been asked to forward to the CLB particulars of their bank accounts, movable and immovable properties in India or elsewhere by February 20. According to those in the know, government is tightening its grip on the tainted promoters, directors and officials, and possibly their relatives and close associates, who may now come under the scope of investigations. They said the government would look into possible benami transactions the tainted top brass may have entered into to divert funds from Satyam for their personal gains. Official sources, however, refused to confirm.
Source : TNN –

MUMBAI HC PENALISES TOP COP IN SURETY CASE
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/1/mumbai_hc_penalises_top_cop_in_surety_case.asp
Posted on : 22 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
MUMBAI HC PENALISES TOP COP IN SURETY CASE22 Jan 2009, 0755 hrs IST, TNN MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday ordered an assistant commissioner of police to shell out Rs 10,000 as fine for asking a person to obtain surety from a sitting corporator in a chapter proceedings case. Hearing a group of four such cases, a division bench of justices Bilal Nazki and Anoop Mohta issued a notice to a sessions judge in another case. Of the four cases, in two, the court allowed the state to withdraw the chapter proceedings and issue a fresh notice. The third case was related to the chapter proceedings initiated against a person who had got into an altercation with an RTO officer. The ACP from Nashik asked the person to submit a surety from an RTO officer. A sessions court upheld the order. The person had to remain in custody for three days as a result. The HC has issued a notice to the ACP and also the sessions judge. In the last case, an ACP from Pune asked the person to submit a surety of a sitting corporator. Unable to get any corporator to stand surety for him, the detenue had to spend 21 days in custody. The HC criticised the the ACP’s conduct. It issued a showcause notice and also asked him to pay Rs 10,000 as fine.
Source : TNN –

Full Court meet on making declared assets public
http://www.hindu.com/2009/01/23/stories/2009012361041500.htm
J. Venkatesan
Meeting sequel to Nariman declining to be amicus curiae
Now, disclosure by judges is purely voluntary
New Delhi: Stung by the criticism of judges’ refusal to disclose their assets, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan has convened a Full Court meeting for next week to ascertain the views of brother judges on the need for making public the assets declared by judges to the CJI.
Privileged sources told The Hindu that the CJI has called the meeting so that the Full Court could come out with a decision whether or not judges should make the declaration of assets public. At present, disclosure is purely voluntary and judges cannot be compelled to furnish such information to the CJI.
The meeting is a sequel to jurist Fali Nariman declining to be amicus curiae to assist the Delhi High Court, which on January 19 stayed an order passed by the Central Information Commission directing the Supreme Court Registry to furnish information in the possession of the CJI on disclosure of assets by the judges.
Mr. Nariman informed the High Court that as he did not agree with the stand of the judiciary, he could not be a friend of the court. The former CJI, J.S. Verma, has also openly criticised the stand of the judiciary not to make public the assets disclosed by judges voluntarily to the CJI.
It was during Justice Verma’s tenure that the Full Court passed a resolution in May 1997, asking Supreme Court judges to disclose the assets to the CJI and High Court judges to give such information to the Chief Justice concerned.
Justice Balakrishnan, in his interview to The Hindu a few days ago, contended that “the information about declaration of assets by judges is personally kept with the CJI and the Chief Justices of High Courts. The public will have a right to know these details if there is a legislative mandate. But at present there is no such legislation.”
According to the CJI, “the fact that this is done under an informal resolution dated May 7, 1997 shows that it is purely voluntary and not required to be given under any legal provision.”

Cash-for-judge scam: CBI nails Justice Nirmal Yadav
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090081088
Sunetra Choudhury
Friday, January 23, 2009, (New Delhi)
It’s the case which saw sitting judges being interrogated by CBI investigators for the first time. Both the judges under the scanner were female judges — Nirmal Yadav and Nirmaljit Kaur.Fifteen lakh rupees had been delivered to Kaur but Kaur said it wasn’t for her, it was for Nirmal Yadav. Who was telling the truth?The CBI’s verdict is out — Nirmal Yadav is the guilty one and agency says she should be booked for corruption but they need sanction from the government and CJI, who has already found her guilty after a judicial enquiry indicted her.Now because it’s case against a judge the CBI has to be careful about all its evidence. They say they have it primarily in the form of phone calls. The hotelier who’d sent her money, Ravinder Singh, apparently knows her for the last 5 years. They are apparently always in touch, speaking 5 times a day sometimes. The CBI has also written in its report that the judge had accepted hospitality from Ravinder in return for judicial favours.About the second judge, Nirmaljit Kaur, the CBI says she’s not involved and the carrier, a former advocate general Sanjay Bansal, only got confused and went to Kaur’s place. The CBI says Kaur does not know the bribe giver and is a relatively new judge and part of a double bench. So she has less influence on judgements.So, CBI if it gets permission will start judicial probe against Nirmal Yadav and she could face upto 5 years in prison.

Smoking in films allowed, rules Delhi High Court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Smoking_in_films_allowed_rules_Delhi_High_Court/articleshow/4021114.cms
23 Jan 2009, 1331 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday struck down the Centre’s October 2006 notification banning smoking scenes in films, saying onscreen smoking was part of an artist’s creative license. Today’s judgement came after a two-judge bench had given a split verdict last year on a petition of film director Mahesh Bhatt challenging the curbs imposed by the government. “Director of films should not have multifarious authorities breathing down their necks when indulging in creative act,” Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul said striking down the rules framed by the Centre, quoted PTI.

Apex court refuses to stop screening of ‘Deshdrohi’ in Maharashtra
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/55158.htm
Jan 23rd, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, Jan 23 (IANS) The Supreme Court Friday threw out a Maharashtra government’s lawsuit seeking to stop the screening of film ‘Deshdrohi’, lampooning the sectarian politics of Maharastra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, in the state.
A bench of Justice S.B. Sinha and Justice Mukundkam Sharma dismissed Maharastra government’s lawsuit saying that ‘the Bombay High Court must have lifted the ban on release of the film after examining various pros and cons.’
Maharashtra government approached the apex court, challenging a Bombay High Court ruling, which had on Jan 9 scrapped a Nov 12 order banning the film in the state for two months.
The bench dismissed the fears of the State Intelligence Department which said ‘the MNS workers have still not reconciled to their stand regarding son-of-the-soil versus outsiders.’
‘There is every likelihood of MNS workers indulging in vandalism, if movie ‘Deshdrohi’ is screened in the theatres of the state,’ said the intelligence report, but the bench dismissed the fears.
Film ‘Deshdrohi’ was made by O.K. International’s owner Kamal R. Khan soon after the sectarian violence against north Indians, referred as ‘Bhaiyya’ in the state, gripped Maharashtra last year in September-October.
Appearing for the Maharashtra government, Solicitor General Goolam E. Vahanvati contended before the bench that the high court was not right in lifting the ban on the film, while questioning the veracity of the intelligence report.
The bench, however, did not pay heed to the government’s senior law officer’s argument.

Delhi HC summons police chief over trafficking of maids
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200901231424.htm
New Delhi (PTI): Slamming the police for not registering a case under appropriate sections of IPC in a case of alleged human trafficking of maids by placement agencies, the Delhi High Court on Friday summoned the Commissioner of Police for giving an explanation.
“Have you taken a legal advice before registering a case in a very serious case like this?” the division bench of Justice A P Shah and Sanjeev Khanna asked the DCP north west N S Bundela, who was present in the court.
The senior officer Bundela told the bench that legal advice was taken over the telephone before registration of FIR on the charges of criminal breach of trust against the placement agencies for illegal trafficking of young boys and girls on the pretext of providing them jobs as domestic help.
However, he failed to answer a court query about the name of the law officer.
The bench failed to get satisfactory response from the police and summoned the Commissioner for his personal appearance in the case on January 28.
The court expressed its displeasure after the petitioner’s counsel H S Phoolka submitted that the case also attracted various other sections of IPC like the charges of trafficking, kidnapping and exploitation of juveniles, whereas the police registered a case under section 406 of IPC (criminal breach of trust) only at Saraswati Vihar police station.
“This is a deliberate attempt on the part of police to let a culprit to go scot-free,” Phoolka added.
The court had yesterday asked the city police to give its reply on a matter related to the growing number of cases of trafficking in children who are promised jobs as domestic help.

Delay has NHAI man in HC contempt loop
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Delay_has_NHAI_man_in_HC_contempt_loop/articleshow/4018966.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0737 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Lt Col KP Sharma, administrator-cum-project director of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI), who had once broken into tears before a jampacked courtroom and volunteered to quit from the highway widening project, landed in the Punjab and Haryana High Court’s contempt loop on Thursday. The division bench of justices Uma Nath Singh and AN Jindal issued a contempt notice to Sharma for “delay in issuing cheques towards payment of compensation to land owners.” The payment was to be made to persons whose land was acquired for construction of bypass around Zirakpur-Parwanoo road. The NHAI counsel had submitted before the bench that valuation report of structures and constructions existing on the said acquired land was received on January 1, 2009 but the cheques were issued after a lapse of 18 days on January 19 only. The infuriated judges asked Sharma as to why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for the delay for which no ‘plausible’ explanation was coming forth. In fact, the judges observed that NHAI seemed to be more interested in impeding the early execution of the highway project “for reasons best known to authorities.” The judges were miffed at the NHAI laxity which, they felt, flew in the face of public concern over traffic jams and increase in the number of fatal accidents which has taken a toll of 17 lives so far. However, there was some reprieve for Sonepat deputy commissioner and tehsildar who were discharged from contempt charges even as Haryana counsel ML Saggar assured the bench that permits would be issued expeditiously for digging of RE soil. The judges also perused an affidavit filed by Brahm Dutt, secretary, Union department of road transport and highways. However, they were not apparently satisfied with the same and asked the secretary to file a supplementary affidavit by February 5. The bench wanted the road transport secretary to clarify as to whether escalation in project cost was included in the toll fee collected from road users and details regarding rate of increase in toll fee from dates of opening of toll plazas. Importantly, the Centre’s counsel told the bench that Derabassi toll plaza’s term would expire on March 14, 2009, and would not be extended further. District and sessions judge, Panchkula, too has submitted his report on the matter as sought by the HC. The next date of hearing is March 16. During previous hearings on the issue, the HC had directed Haryana, Punjab and NHAI to sort out all vexed matters regarding the project immediately lest the court was forced to intervene. Peeved with official bottlenecks that pop up often, much to the detriment of the project, the judges warned various authorities concerned that project should not stop at any cost even in the face of procedural hassles.

Accused can be forced for brain mapping test: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Accused_can_be_forced_for_brain_mapping_test_HC/articleshow/4019036.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0541 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The high court ruled on Thursday that an accused can be forced to undergo the brain mapping test in order to find out material and evidence in a criminal case. The high court held that it is in the purview of the constitutional provisions that the investigating agency can demand the custody of the accused to conduct such tests on him. With the above ruling, Justice BA Zaidi dismissed the application of the alleged mafia Abhai Singh, who challenged the magistrate’s order allowing the Bazar Khala police to conduct a brain mapping test on him in a double murder case. Abhai’s counsel had argued that forcing an accused to give evidence against him was against the provisions of article 20 (3) of the Constitution of India and also violative of article 21, which protects life and liberty of a person. The judge, however, followed the suit of Gujarat and Chennai high courts and held that, in the present matter, it was not violative of article 20 (3) to direct an accused for brain mapping.

Section of HC judges threaten suo motu declaration of assets
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Section_of_HC_judges_threaten_suo_motu_declaration_of_assets/articleshow/4018579.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0247 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: The growing popular pressure for across-the-board transparency in public appears to have blown judiciary’s resistance to the demand for declaration of judges’ assets, with a section of Delhi High Court judges declaring their intent to make the disclosure on their own. The HC judges who voted for transparency at a full court meeting last week are determined to go ahead with the move despite reservations among peers who are still arguing what they call judicial exceptionalism. But even as the status quoists continue with the resistance, the move by the reformists, combined with the bold refusal of veteran constitutional lawyer Fali S Nariman to be the amicus curiae in the case arising from judiciary’s challenge to CIC order for disclosure, promises to be the trigger for the Supreme Court to revisit the issue soon. Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan is learnt to be mulling a proposal to make it mandatory for judges of the HCs and the SC to declare their assets to the President, their appointing authority. This will be in sync with the practice in government, where employees declare their assets to their appointing authority. This goes hand in hand with pro-transparency groundswell in the Bar. Constitutional experts and senior advocates are fully in support of Nariman’s views, which was intimated to the Delhi HC along with a blunt refusal to become the amicus curiae in the petition filed by SC challenging a Central Information Commission order to make public the fact whether or not judges periodically declared their assets. Former law minister Ram Jethmalani told TOI that his views were well known and he was unhesitatingly in favour of judges declaring their assets. Former attorney general Soli J Sorabjee was cryptic yet to the point, when he said, “Whether legally bound or not, in the fitness of things, the judges should declare their assets.” Senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, agreeing with Sorabjee and Jethmalani, said he fully endorsed Nariman’s belief that judges must be amenable to good practices (declaration of assets). The fresh proposal being deliberated upon by the CJI signals a significant departure from the earlier stubbornness in the judiciary that under the May 7, 1997 resolution passed at the Chief Justices conference, there was voluntary declaration of assets by SC judges to the CJI. Similarly, the HC judges declared their assets to the respective CJs. In fact, last year, the CJI had written to the chief justices of HCs asking them to ensure that judges adhered scrupulously to the 1997 resolution and declared their assets periodically to them. However, there was strong opposition to making public the details of their assets on the old-fashioned argument that it would impinge upon the independence of judiciary. This stand had been under stress since the enaction of the Right to Information Act in 2005 and there had been numerous applications seeking a peep into the hitherto forbidden data. Though the public had been debating this issue, the real progress towards bringing down the iron curtain was taken by the CIC recently when it directed the SC Registry that it should at least give information whether or not judges declared their assets periodically, as was envisaged under the 1997 resolution. A section of judges was forceful in advocating that `My Lords’, who expect transparency from the government and the litigants, should also submit themselves to identical norms. They even proposed that there should be a website where the judges could declare their assets suo motu. But, the debate ended in a stalemate with many opposing the idea on the ground that data relating to judges’ assets could be misused by unscrupulous elements. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

HC hands over ANR’s ‘surrendered’ land to relative
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/HC_hands_over_ANRs_surrendered_land_to_relative/articleshow/4019080.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0253 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Justice L Narasimha Reddy of the AP High Court has declared veteran Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao’s alleged surrendering of 25 acres surplus land in Nuzividu of Krishna district as invalid and directed the authorised officer of the land reforms department to hand over this land to ANR’s relative Akkineni Venkataratnam immediately. Delivering the judgment on a petition filed by Venkataratnam, the judge said the government is free to take over the actor’s share of 25 acres which fell on the southern side. The petitioner challenged the takeover of his land under the guise of ANR’s surplus land saying that the family settlement deed gave the surrendered 25 acres which fell on the northern side to him and not to the actor. A Giridhara Rao, government pleader for revenue, objected to the petitioner’s dissent at this stage and raised doubts about his intentions as to why he kept quite for 12 years and challenged it in 2008 when the surrender was effected in 1996 itself. The agony for the government is doubled because it spent huge amounts on levelling this land for the purpose of constructing sports stadium, hostel

buildings and driving test tracks in this land ever since it was vested with them after the actor surrendered this land. As per this judgment, the state government has to now surrender this southern share of 25 acres and the authorities have to hand over the levelled northern share to Venkataratnam.

Private institutes question HC order
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Private_institutes_question_HC_order/articleshow/4019177.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0412 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Private self-financing institutions offering teacher training
courses have questioned a single judge order of the Madras high court, upholding a set of regulatory norms laid down by the state government in May 2008. Admitting a writ appeal preferred by the Self-Financing Private Teacher Training Institutes Association, represented by senior counsel R Muthukumaraswamy and R Suresh Kumar, the first bench comprising the acting chief justice S J Mukhopadhaya and justice V Dhanapalan has issued notice to the school education secretary and others. The impugned May 3, 2008 order pertained to grant affiliation for diploma-level teacher training institutes, besides staff strength and student intake. When the institutes filed a writ petition against the GO, a single judge dismissed the petition in October 2008, stating that the petition was misconceived and devoid of merits. He had upheld all provisions of the order, except the one pertaining to admission through the single window system. The association has filed the present appeal assailing the single judge order on the grounds that the order was not in consonance with the settled legal position.

BPL Mobile moves HC against panel order on fresh share issue
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News_by_Industry/BPL_Mob_moves_HC_ag_share_issue/articleshow/4019338.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0150 hrs IST, Rashmi Pratap & Dev Chatterjee, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: BPL Mobile Communications has filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court against an arbitration panel order that stops the company from issuing any fresh shares. The arbitration order was passed in September ‘08, after Vodafone Essar (VEL) requested the panel to prohibit the issue of any new equity by the company. “The appeal is because BPL is not able to raise money for expansion due to the embargo on issue of fresh equity. It needs money for network rollout. With injunction on fresh issue as well, the company is unable to expand operations,” legal sources told ET. The arbitration order, stopping issue of new share have prevented BPL from raising money for expansion of services as well as network rollout of 100% subsidiary Loop Telecom. BPL Mobile is majority (61.4%) owned by another company with a similar name called BPL Communications. The latter is 80% owned by Santa Trading, a holding company owned by Kiran Khaitan, sister of the Ruia brothers, the promoters of the Essar Group. The appeal is expected to come up for hearing in the next few weeks. “The arbitration panel has a meeting in February. This appeal will be heard before that,” said the sources. VEL declined to comment. In response to an e-mail, a BPL spokesperson said: “The September order in its present form restricts BPL Mobile’s ability to fund its expansion and growth plans. The appeal is yet to come up for hearing in the court.” An Essar group spokesperson said: “This matter pertains to BPL and VEL and we would not like to comment on the same.” The VEL Board held its quarterly review meeting in Mumbai on Wednesday, attended by the Ruias and Vodafone’s global CEO Vittorio Calao. The Essar Group spokesperson said the matter of BPL was not discussed at the meeting. A person close to the Ruias, the promoters of Essar said that the “dispute was a historical legacy left over from the time when Hutchison partnered Essar. Since this particular matter could not be resolved when Vodafone came into the picture there is a mutual agreement that the law should take its own course. There is no dispute whatsoever between the Ruias and Vodofone on account of this. The JV, Vodafone-Essar, is working absolutely fine”. The person explained that a strategic partner would eventually be inducted into Loop Telecom, the subsidiary of BPL. The court filings show that BPL Mobile filed the appeal in the Bombay HC on October 24, 2008 against the arbitration panel order, which banned any further issue of fresh equity in BPL Mobile as well as 100% subsidiary Loop Telecom, which has a pan-India licence to offer telecom services. The HC injunction on sale of shares was given after a plea by Vodafone-Essar. However, since it did not restrain fresh issue of shares, BPL Mobile issued new equity to a Mauritius-based entity, called Gypsy Rover. This gave Gypsy a 17% stake in BPL, triggering fears that BPL ownership may change so drastically over time that VEL will not be able to lay any claim on it. As a result, the arbitration panel ordered embargo on fresh equity as well. Gypsy Rover had picked up 17% in BPL Mobile for around $80 million in three transactions executed between October ’07 and July ’08. After fresh issue of shares to Gypsy, the Ruias hold 8.21% in BPL, Mauritius-based investment company CapitalGlobal 13.36%, while BPL Communications has the remaining 61.43%.

Doctors can’t go on strike: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Doctors_cant_go_on_strike_HC/articleshow/4019350.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0156 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Government doctors cannot go on strike, directed the Karnataka High Court here on Thursday. Pulling up the state government for its lenient approach towards government doctors who went on statewide strike for four days in November, the court took note of the government ignoring the provisions of the Karnataka State Civil Service Prevention Of Strikes (Act) and asked it to take stringent action against striking doctors. “If a doctor is assaulted, the proper thing is to file a case and proceed under general law. That is not a ground for going on strike. So, whatever be the reason, even if it is bona fide grievances, it is not proper for government servants, that too doctors who are to serve the poor, to resort to strike. They can adopt other statutory measures available to them but not strike. If anybody resorts to strike, the government may act against them strictly as per law. The government should also look into their reasonable demands and fulfil them,’’ the division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran observed. The court complimented the honesty and sincerity of those doctors who served the patients during the strike period and asked the government to reward them. Earlier, the government advocate told the court that salaries of the 4,015 doctors who went on strike between November 10-13 had been cut. “Doctors have a duty to save people. When advocates cannot go on strike, the doctors also cannot. We are not happy with the government. Why are you afraid of them,’’ the court asked. The counsel for the Karnataka Medical Officers’ Association told the court that since 2006 they had given representations 19 times with regard to pay disparity, non-filling of 4,000 posts and attacks from the public. There are about 4,000 government doctors and about 3,000 are on contract basis, he explained to the court. S Vasudeva, city advocate who has filed the PIL, told the court that in 2005 the high court had directed the state government to take adequate steps to prevent recurrence of such strikes by looking into the reasonable demands.

DU to appeal HC ruling on admissions
http://www.bdnews24.com/details.php?id=74442&cid=10
Dhaka, Jan 22 (bdnews24.com) – Authorities will appeal against a High Court ruling declaring illegal Dhaka University’s admission criteria to seven departments. “An appeal will be filed in the coming week,” new DU vice-chancellor Prof AAMS Arefin Siddique told reporters on Thursday. The decision came from a meeting of the DU deans committee chaired by the VC, after a High Court bench ruled illegal requirements for admission to seven DU departments of minimum two 100-mark courses in both Bangla and English at higher secondary level. Prof Siddique said according to a 1973 ordinance, departments under different university faculties can decide independently on admission criteria and the seven departments had taken their decisions under the rules. The deans will also announce the schedule for viva voce as the admissions process had remained halted following an earlier HC order, the VC said. A two-member High Court bench, of justices Mir Hasmat Ali and Shamim Hasnain, gave the ruling on Tuesday on a writ petition by aspiring DU entrants. The petition was filed by five madrassa students challenging the legality of the admissions criteria that barred them admission. Seven DU departments imposed the conditions last year: Bangla, English, Economics, Mass Communication and Journalism, International Relations, Linguistics, and Gender and Women Studies. The HC on Dec. 2 halted the admissions process of the seven departments for the 2008-09 session. bdnews24.com/jf/khk/rah/2256hours

PIL against ‘Ghajini’ disposed of
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/485492/National/1/20/1
Published: January 23,2009
Mumbai , Jan 23 A PIL filed by a city-based activist against Amir Khan-starrer&aposGhajini&aposwas disposed of by the Bombay High Court today.
Central Board for Film Certification (CBFC) told the court that a letter written by Pratibha Naithani – who had filed a petition in High Court – had been forwarded to Information and Broadcasting ministry.
Naithani&aposs case was that&aposGhajini&aposhad too much violence and it was not fit for children&aposs viewing.
She had earlier written a letter to CBFC in this regard, objecting to the film&aposs U (universal viewing) certificate, but got no response.
Her lawyers had said that as per Cinematograph Rules, it was mandatory for CBFC to forward such a letter to I&B Ministry.
Since CBFC today stated that it had done so, the court disposed of the petition.
Whatever decision government may take on Naithani&aposs letter, it will have to state reasons for it, said her lawyer Jamshed Mistry.
Source: PTI

SC notice to BCI on protecting lawyers’ rights in terror cases http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-01-23/501218news.html
New Delhi, Jan 23: The Supreme Court Friday sought a response from Bar Council of India (BCI) on the plea for laying down guidelines for protecting the rights of lawyers to defend accused in terror attacks. The apex court also issued notices to the Bar Associations of Uttar Pardesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Rajasthan where resolutions were passed not to defend the accused of recent terrorist acts. A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan was hearing a PIL alleging that State Bar Associations and other lawyers’ bodies in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra have passed resolutions that members of the bar would not defend the accused in terror cases, particularly those involved in last year’s serial blasts cases. Four advocates — Mohd Shuaib from Lucknow, Zamal Ahmed from Faizabad, Noor Ahmed from Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh and Surender C Gadling from Maharashtra — had alleged that not only illegal resolutions were passed by their respective Bar but they were forced to withdraw their vakalatnama for defending the serial blast accused. They alleged they were manhandled by other advocates when they appeared in the court to defend some blast case accused. Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves appearing for the advocates said it was necessary for the BCI to come up with guidelines on the issue. The Bench, also comprising Justice P Sathasivan was in agreement with him that BCI can come out with some guidelines. Gonsalves had earlier said that complaints made to the BCI and the police have not yielded any result, forcing the advocates to approach the apex court seeking a direction for the BCI to come out with a comprehensive code of conduct to deal with the rights of advocates on their right to appear and defend accused in terror-related cases. Bureau Report

SC refuses to direct SEBI to cancel Satyam stocks transactions
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/SC_refuses_to_direct_SEBI_to_cancel_Satyam_stocks_transactions/articleshow/4023106.cms
23 Jan 2009, 1926 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to give any direction to market regulator SEBI and the Bombay Stock Exchange to cancel transactions in shares of scam-tainted Satyam Computer and Chennai-based entertainment firm Pyramid Saimira as sought in a case of Public Interest Litigation. PIL, filed by Mohan Lal Sharma, a practising advocate, had sought cancellation of all the transactions between January 6 and 7 on the ground that innocent investors were lured by these companies on buyback announcements and a fraud was committed on them. The petitioner’s arguments failed to impress a Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan-headed bench, which observed, “Make a complaint to SEBI. This is not an appropriate forum.” The advocate said on January 6, media had widely reported about Satyam proposing to buyback its shares and its decision to take up the issue in the board meeting. According to him, before the decision was taken by the board, IL&FS had sold about 246.6 lakh shares in the market at Rs 176 per share. However, the Satyam shares crashed to close at Rs 30 after Satyam Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned from the board and confessed to Rs 7,800 crore fraud, he added. The petition further added that Pyramid Saimira, which was in the news recently for serious fraud allegations wherein the company was sent a forged letter of SEBI asking its co-promoter PS Saminathan to make an open offer to minority shareholders to buy 20 per cent at Rs 250 a share. Various investors, including Sharma, had bought the shares following the receipt of the latter by the company. Within one hour of disclosure, the shares went down to freeze at Rs 61.15 per share, he said, adding SEBI, NSE and BSE had failed to take any action to get purchased shares cancelled.

Court order govt to explain on non-conduct of ADC elections
http://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=31..230109.jan09
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, January 22 2009: IMPHAL BENCH of the Gauhati High Court today has serve notice to the state government to submit an explanation note on why the elections to the district autonomous council held up for more than 15-year within two-week time.The notice has been served by the court after hearing to case filed by a social worker named Ngachonmei Chongloi hailing from Ukhrul against Manipur government represent by the state chief secretary, commissioner (hills), commissioner of tribal development and other backward classes and chief electoral officer as public interest litigation, PIL.The hearing of the case was held in the division court of Justice BD Agarwal and Justice Mutum Binoykumar today and passed the order.Advocate RK Dinesh, the counsel of the petitioner during the hearing said that various grievances are facing by the people of the five hill districts of the state, Ukhrul, Senapati, Churachandpur, Tamenglong and Chandel for more than 15 years since 1998.He urged the court to give a direction to the Manipur government for holding elections as early as possible considering the long suffering of the people.On the other hand commissioner of hills, LP Golmei has appeared before the court of the same division bench in connection with a case related with the non-construction of building of Leihaoram LP School inspite of issued of the allotment order filed by the chief of the Laihaoram village H David through advocate R Daniel.

Quantum of solace in new 70:30 quota pill
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Quantum_of_solace_in_new_7030_quota_pill/articleshow/4019048.cms
23 Jan 2009, 0013 hrs IST, Anahita Mukherji, TNN
MUMBAI: Quotas will be back in junior college admissions, but in a far more palatable format. While the previous 70:30 reservation policy, which made it mandatory for all junior colleges to reserve 70 per cent seats for students from the same district, had students crying all the way, the new system has provided some solace. The earlier policy divided Mumbai into three districts-South Mumbai, suburbs and Greater Mumbai- the government has now announced that the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region will be considered a single district. Last year, when the policy was announced, students from the suburbs found themselves at a disadvantage while applying to South Mumbai colleges, as they could not make it in the local quota. Similar was the case with Thane students applying to Mumbai colleges. That will change this year. Both teachers and students agreed the new rule was more student-friendly. “Expanding the 70 per cent quota to include students from the MMR will include a wider selection for colleges,” said Kirti Narain, principal of Jai Hind College, Churchgate. “It will be good for all students, whether or not they live near colleges of their choice,” said Shivika Poonglia, a Class X student from Fort. “If colleges are unable to fill in 30 per cent of the seats with outside students, they can fill in the vacant seats with local students. The same goes for the 70 per cent quota,” said state education secretary Sanjay Kumar. For Mumbai students, it will mean stiff competition for a junior college seat, as they will have to compete with students from Thane and Navi Mumbai in the local quota. “This system will make it tough for Mumbai students to get a seat in a good college,” felt Vishesh Sharma, a class X student from Andheri. Students from other parts of the country, such as Delhi or Bangalore, will benefit from the system as they will only compete with other students from outside the region and not the brightest students from Mumbai while applying to a college. The cut-off will be different for local students and outside students. The 70:30 reservation policy, based on a little-known government resolution passed in 2003, came to prominence in 2008 thanks to bparents of a student who didn’t get admission in the first merit list. The government then asked colleges to follow the order. Thane corporator Pratap Sarnaik filed a PIL against the 70:30 system in the High Court last year, after which the government withdrew the order, faced with stiff resistance from the public. WHO WINS OR LOSES Colaba Then: While applying to a South Mumbai college, a Colaba student would have had an edge over his suburban counterparts as there was a 70 per cent reservation for students from the South Mumbai district. If applying to a suburban college, he would have been at a disadvantage as suburban students would have been given preference. Now: The Colaba student will be part of the 70 per cent quota for local students, irrespective of the college he applies to, within Mumbai city, suburbs as well as Navi Mumbai and beyond. But seat in a South Mumbai college might get a trifle tough as he will be competing with students from the entire Mumbai Metropolitan Region, including Navi Mumbai and Thane. Borivali Then: The Borivali student was at a distinct disadvantage while applying to South Mumbai colleges, including those in Sion and Matunga. He would only be able to apply under the 30 per cent quota set aside for students from outside the district. He would, however, have an edge while applying to suburban colleges. Now: The student will not only be part of the 70 per cent quota for locals in suburban colleges, but also those in South Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and Thane. However, with students from these regions also included in the definition of a `local student,’ there will be stiff competition getting into either a South Mumbai or suburban college. Thane Then: The student would have been at a disadvantage while applying to any college in Mumbai, whether South Mumbai or the suburbs, as he would have been considered an `outside’ student, for whom only 30 per cent of seats were set aside. Now: The student has an added advantage when compared with the previous system, as well as the regular admission system sans the 70:30 quota. He will be considered a local student when compared to a Mumbai college and will be part of the 70 per cent quota for locals. Student from outside the MMR Such a student will not be con