LEGAL NEWS 06.01.2009

Sc Admits Pepsico’S Plea Seeking Tax Exemption In Kerala
Posted on : 06 January 2009 by Y.Prakash

New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme court on Monday admitted a petition filed by Pepsico India Holding challenging the Kerala High Court judgement that denied sales tax exemption to the soft drinks major.A bench headed by Justice S B Sinha while admitting the plea posted the matter for final hearing on March 3. It also directed the state government not to take any coercive measure till then. Earlier, the court had ordered a status quo till today.The Kerala Government had issued notification in 1993 giving sales tax exemption to new small-, medium- and large-scale industrial units for seven years from the date of starting commercial production.However, the state government withdrew the exemption except for those that had taken steps to set up industrial units prior to January 1, 2000, or which had commenced commercial production on or before December 31, 2001.According to Pepsico, the High Court had upheld the Deputy Commissioner of Commercial Tax’s order though it started production much before the scheduled date.It further contended that the High Court failed to appreciate its genuine exemption claim.The company said that sales tax exemption is given as an incentive for promoting industrialisation, and economic growth and development, and that any subsequent notification should further the objective.The soft drinks major said it had acquired more than 50 acres on lease for 90 years for Rs 2.77 crore from the government for setting up a plant for manufacturing aerated and non-aerated beverages and other food products and their packaging material.

CJI Issues Notice To Justice Nirmal YadavPosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
CJI Issues Notice To Justice Nirmal Yadav6 Jan 2009, 0347 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN CHANDIGARH: The cash-in-bag controversy revolving around Punjab and Haryana High Court judges has entered another intriguing stage with chief justice of India KG Balakrishnan reportedly issuing a notice to justice Nirmal Yadav following the submission of report by the three-member panel constituted to probe the sensational incident. Having perused details submitted a few days ago by the committee headed by Allahabad High Court chief justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale and comprising Justice KS Radhakrishnan (chief justice of Gujarat High Court) and justice Madan B Lokur (Delhi High Court), the CJI is believed to have issued the notice “through proper channel” on December 26, 2008, seeking a detailed reply from justice Yadav given the backdrop of “judicial impropriety” highlighted in the report. Justice Yadav’s connection with the Solan land deal had also come under the panel’s scanner. Not finding any tangible material to fix corruption charges against justices Nirmaljit Kaur and Nirmal Yadav, the committee had concluded that it could not be established that Rs 15 lakh which landed at justice Kaur’s residence on August 13 evening (subsequent developments suggested the money was meant for justice Yadav) was aimed at influencing the course of justice and procure a favourable decision. This major conclusion, said to be based on CBI “status” reports as the panel lacked powers to conduct a criminal investigation, had come as a reprieve to the two beleaguered woman judges, especially justice Yadav, as it took them out of the corruption loop that could have resulted in their removal. While justice Yadav has consistently denied allegations against her, calling herself a victim of conspiracy, sources said the December notice might be a prelude to an “indictment” in context of the 16-point ‘Restatement of Values of Judicial Life’ code of conduct adopted by the apex court in 1997.
Source : TNN –

Chairman Of Nagarjuna Group,K.S.Raju Moves Hc For BailPosted on : Tuesday, January 06, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Chairman Of Nagarjuna Group,K.S.Raju Moves HC For Bail6 Jan 2009, 0219 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: The chairman of Nagarjuna group, K S Raju, and its CEO P K Madhav on Monday filed a criminal revision petition in the AP High Court praying to it to grant them bail. They were earlier arrested by the CCS police on the allegation of duping the depositors of Nagarjuna Finance and swallowing public funds to a tune of nearly Rs 100 crore. A trial court in Nampally has already rejected their bail plea, and aggrieved by this they approached the HC. Their petition is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.
Source : TNN –

Prp, Bjp Move Hc Over BanPosted on : Tuesday, January 06, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
PRP, BJP move HC Over Ban6 Jan 2009, 0219 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: The Prajarajyam party and BJP on Monday filed separate writ petitions in the AP High Court seeking suspension of the circular memorandum of the DGP, which imposed a blanket ban on political roadshows in the state. PRP general secretary Allu Arvind and BJP floor leader G Kishan Reddy moved the vacation court with a plea that this `unlawful’ memo was disabling them from addressing the citizens of the state at a time when the state was heading towards elections in the next two months. They claimed that the DGP had no legal competence to issue the circular as he had no power, authority or jurisdiction to do so. Defending the concept of roadshows, the petitioners said this was introduced only to lessen the inconvenience of the people. This was the reverse process of a stationed public meeting to bring the leader to the masses and not vice versa, they said. When there is no prohibition on padayatra (the one that the present chief minister YSR undertook in 2004) or `Chalo Assembly’ __ which are also associated with participation of respective supporters in crew __ there cannot be any different treatment to a roadshow, they said. Though the DGP’s circular talks about notifying certain roads where limited convoys of leaders are allowed, the leaders said in their petition that the police authorities were registering cases against political leaders even before notifying such roads. A circular cannot override the existing statutes and it cannot supplant the law, they said. Though this circular has not come from the legislature, it has already taken the shape and the colour of a law, they said. The petitioners also wanted the court to declare the Police Act, 1861 as unconstitutional because it has no legislative sanction in view of certain provisions of the seventh schedule of the constitution.
Source : TNN –

Sc Issues Notices To Centre, Tamil Nadu On Kachathivu IssuePosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED

SC issues notices to Centre, Tamil Nadu on Kachathivu issue1/5/2009The Supreme Court issued notices to the Union Government and the state of Tamil Nadu on a petition filed by AIADMK chief and former state Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa seeking direction to the government to retrieve Kachathivu island from Sri Lanka.Earlier, counsel for the petitioner submitted before a bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Markandey Katju and P Sathasivam that the island which was given to Sri Lanka in 1974 should be taken back as Indian fishermen were not being allowed to go for fishing in the island.The petitioner also contended that no part of the Indian territory should be given to any other country and the treaty under which the island was handed over was illegal and unconstitutional.UNI
Source : UNI –

Bombay Hc Serves Notice On Petition Against Eligiblity Rules For JudgesPosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Bombay HC serves notice on petition against eligiblity rules for judges1/5/2009The district bench of Bombay High Court has served notice to Maharashtra government and authorities concerned on a writ petition challenging the eligibility rules for civil courts judges (junior) and judicial magistrates first class (JMFCs).The petition, filed by Advocate Padmabhushan Paratwagh, Siddarth Pandit, Virendra Jahagirdar, Kiran Kulkarni and Aditi Godbole through advocate Satish B Talekar, challenged the rules prepared by the governor on August 25, 2008, based on which the applications were invited on December 17, 2008 for the 200 posts of judges and JMFCs.According to the petitioners, the new rules, which includes that candidate should have cleared five years (new syllabus) or three years (old syllabus) in first attempt (each year) and his age should not be more than 25 years if the candidate has not practiced in the court after completion of the course, would deprive several law graduates from appearing for the exams for the posts. They said the condition of clearing the law course in first attempt is discriminating, as the posts of deputy collector, tehsildar, registrar, medical officers and others are filled through MPSC, where graduation is required, but with out conditions on number of attempts. Vacation judge Justice P R Borkar on January three issued notices to the state government, Bombay High Court, Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) and other respondents, and fixed the next hearing on January 9.UNI

Shanmugham Commission To Commence Oral Examination From Jan 7 In Dr Ambedkar Law College IncidentPosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Shanmugham Commission to commence oral examination from Jan 7 in Dr Ambedkar Law College incident1/5/2009The Justice P Shanmugam Commission of Inquiry, constituted to inquire into the incidents of violence at Dr Ambedkar Law College, would commence oral examination of witnesses from January 7.An official release said the Commission would commence oral examination of 45 witnesses on a day-to-day basis.There were three sets of witnesses, consisting mostly of College officials, police officers and students. The inquiry was open to the public and advocates for the parties would be permitted to cross examine the witnesses, the release added.UNI

Madras Hc Orders Notice To Policemen In Puducherry Violent IncidentPosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
Madras HC orders notice to policemen in Puducherry violent incident1/5/2009Madras High Court ordered issuance of notice to 64 policemen, including some Home Guards, allegedly involved in the violent incident on the Puducherry Court premises on December 19 last year.While ordering notice, the Division Bench comprising Ms Justice Praba Sridevan and Mr Justice K Chandru directed the authorities to explain as to why contempt notice should not be issesd against them.The bench also said the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Puduchery, should issue notice to all the 64 persons, mainly policemen.When the matter came up for hearing, the Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) for Puduchery Government T Murugesan submitted that as ordered by the High Court earlier, the Chief Secretary, Collector, IGP and the Two Senior Superintendent of Police have submitted their reports to the court.He also said that 64 police personnel were involved in the violent incident on that day. The Chief Judge of the Puduchery had also submitted his report, following the court order.The bench said in addition to the 64 personnel, the IGP should issue notice to 13 persons, whose names were mentioned in the report of the Chief Judge.The Chief Secretary of the Puduchery Government Ms Naini Jayaseelan in her affidavit submitted stated that on the day of the incident she rushed to the spot and directed the IGP and Senior SPP’s to deal with the agitating police personnel and others firmly and ensured that the crowd was dispersed from the court complex immediately.She also submitted that she had instructed the Collector, Ragesh Chandra to coordinate with the police and bring the situation to normalcy at the earliest.She further said that it appeared to her that the situation might escalate further and might need further force of policemen from the neighbouring state.”Attempts were also made to obtain extra force from Tamil Nadu, But unfortunately the Home Secretary of the Tamil Nadu Government could not be contacted,” Ms Naini added.Following the request of the Puduchery Government, the Union Government dispatched extra companies of para military forces and the situation was brought under control, she contended.UNI

Sc Asks School To Bear Cost In Principal’S Sexual Harrasment CasePosted on : 06 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
SC asks school to bear cost in principal’s sexual harrasment case1/5/2009The Supreme Court has imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the Management of General B C Joshi Army Public School, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand for not following the Court’s guidelines regarding sexual harassment of women at workplace.A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Cyriac Joseph also directed the Uttarakhand High Court to constitute a three member committee headed by a lady to inquire into the allegations of sexual harassment made by the Principal of the school, Vimi Joshi, against the School’s Vice-Chairman Colonel Hitendra Bahadur who was posted as Deputy Commander, 69 Mountain Brigade Pithoragarh at the relevant time.The apex court in its judgement said, ‘as no complaint committee has been constituted, which was imperative in character, the High Court may appoint a three member committee headed by a lady, and in the event it is found the writ petitioner was subjected to sexual harassment, the report thereof may be sent to the Army authorities for initiation of disciplinary action against the appellant herein on the basis thereof.’ ‘The appeals are disposed of accordingly,’ the Court said. The Court also asked the high Court to consider the desirability of disposing of the writ petition as expeditiously as possible.As the school Management is guilty of violating the guidelines issued by this Court in Visakha Vs Rajasthan case, the Management may pay and bear all the cost of the first respondent, the court ruled.Counsel fee is assessed at Rs 50,000.Col Bahadur stationed at Sonmarg for providing security cover to pilgrims of Amarnath Yatra, allegedly wrote a letter to Ms Joshi confessing his love for her.The services of Ms Joshi were terminated by the school Management on December 4, 2004 when she lodged a complaint with the chairman of the school Brigadier D S Grewal.The apex court also referred to a bill called protection of women against sexual harassment at workplace Bill, 2007, which is yet to be introduced in Parliament.UNI

Sc: Individual Liberty Not At The Cost Of Community SecurityPosted on : 05 January 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED

SC: Individual liberty not at the cost of community security1/3/2009The Supreme Court has held that security of the community is supreme and liberty of a citizen can not be preserved at the cost of the peace and tranquillity in society.A bench comprising Justices Dr Arijit Pasayat and Dr Mukundakam Sharma while dismissing the appeal of an alleged smuggler of antiques against an order of Rajasthan High Court rejected the bail application filed by appellant Vaman Narayan Ghiya.Dismissing the bail plea the bench noted, ‘Personal liberty is fundamental and can be circumscribed only by some process sanctioned by the law.’ ‘Liberty of a citizen is undoubtedly important, but this is to be balanced with the security of the community. A balance is required to be maintained between the personal liberty of the accused and the investigational right of the police.It must result in minimum interference with the personal liberty of the accused and the right of the police to investigate the case.It has to dovetail two conflicting demands namely on one hand the requirements of the society for being shielded from the hazards of being exposed to the misadventures of a person alleged to have committed a crime and on the other hand the fundamental cannon of criminal jurisprudence that is the presumption of innocence of an accused till he is found guilty,’ the supreme court said.The apex court concluded in its 13-page judgement by noting the law of bail like any other branch of law has its own philosophy and occupies an important place in the administration of justice, and the concept of bail emerges from the conflict between the police powers to restrict liberty of a man who is alleged to have committed a crime.An accused is not detained in custody with the object of punishing him on the assumption of his guilt.Bail may thus be regarded as a mechanism whereby the state devaluates upon the community function of securing the presence of prisoners, and at the same time involves participation of the community in administration of justice.’ Dr Pasayat writing judgement for the bench however also ruled that a blanket order should not generally be passed while granting anticipatory bail to an accused under the Section 438 CrPC as it would serve as a blanket to cover or protect any and every kind of alleged unlawful activity. Individual liberty is neither a passport to the commission of crime nor a shield against any and all kinds of accusations likely or unlikely.The apex court dismissed the bail application of Ghiya.UNI

PIL questions state failure to protect Dalits
6 Jan 2009, 0513 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Over 1,000 cases are filed every year under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, but the conviction rate has been a minuscule 5%.
Around 3,000 cases under the special law to protect scheduled caste/tribes are pending before the courts in the state. A public interest litigation (PIL) has now been filed focussing on the state’s failure to act on alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state. The PIL filed by National Dalit Movement for Justice has, among other pleas, sought the appointment of special courts to hear cases dealing with attacks on Dalits. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Sharad Bobde, that heard the PIL recently, has asked additional public prosecutor Rajeshree Gadhvi to file an affidavit in the case. “A number of anti-discrimination statues and positive provisions exist in the Indian law for the protection and benefits of Dalits, but their implementation and enforcement has been very poor,” said the petitioner. NDMJ claimed in its affidavit that there were a number of ways the laws were frustrated, including refusal to register an FIR, not booking the accused for appropriate offences, implicating the victims in false counter cases, failing to arrest the perpetrators or mention necessary details in the FIR, threatening the Dalit victims, not filing charge sheets on time and not filing appeals in time. A study by NDMJ found that last year, despite complaints, no FIR was registered by the police for over 200 cases. In five cases, though FIR was registered, the accused were not arrested. The PIL is scheduled to come up for hearing in the first week of February.

Kasab again seeks legal aid from Pak
6 Jan 2009, 1936 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Mohammad Ajmal Amir Iman, the lone terrorist arrested during the November 26 terror attacks, on Monday once again asked for consular access and legal aid from Pakistan, a top police official said. He sought legal aid for the second time and has been informed that his letter requesting for consular access earlier has been handed over to the Pakistan High Commission. “We have informed him that the letter has been sent to Pakistan mission and they have received it,” Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Rakesh Maria said here. Maria further said Ajmal has not responded to various offers made by city lawyers to defend him and has said that his first choice is consular access from Pakistan. Ajmal was, earlier in the day, remanded to further police custody till January 19 for his role in the shootout at the Cama and Albless Hospital in South Mumbai. Ajmal and his slain accomplice Ismail Khan had attacked the Cama and Albless Hospital in South Mumbai killing seven persons there. The 22-year-old, who has been in the custody of the Crime Branch since his arrest, was not produced before the court due to security concerns. Additional Metropolitan Magistrate N Shrimangale and Additional Public Prosecutor E B Dhumal, along with court staff, went to the police lockup where Ajmal is being kept.

SC pulls up CBI for flip-flop in Mulayam case
6 Jan 2009, 1806 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Attacking CBI for its flip flop over its decision to change its stand in the disproportionate assets case against former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, the Supreme Court on Monday said it would not like the agency to become an instrument of the government. The apex court put some searching questions to the investigating agency for its decision to withdraw the plea of filing the report of the probe before the apex court. A Bench headed by Justice Altamas Kabir expressed surprise over the CBI’s decision and wanted to know “what was wrong with the prayer in the application”. The investigating agency on December 6 last year had moved the apex court to withdraw its earlier application of October 2007 in which it had sought permission to place a status report before the court instead of submitting it to the Central Government as per the March 1, 2007 order. The Bench, also comprising Justice Cyriac Joseph, said “you asked for justiciable order. Why do you (CBI) want to withdraw it”. “We are inclined to modify our order,” the Bench said, referring to its judgement in which CBI was asked to submit the report to the central government. The Bench noted that when CBI had filed an application for modification of the March 1 order, it had said that it was an independent body and not under the control of the Centre so it wanted to file the report of the probe before the court. Justice Kabir said “the direction in the judgement to submit the report to the Centre was possibly a mistake”. “We do not want CBI to become an instrument of the Central Government,” the judge observed and repeatedly asked Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium “why you (CBI) want to withdraw the application (earlier application) seeking to file the report before the court”.

Kasab remanded to police custody till January 19
6 Jan 2009, 1208 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Mohammed Ajmal Amir Iman, the lone terrorist arrested for his involvement in the November 26 Mumbai terror attacks, was on Tuesday remanded to police custody till January 19 by a Magistrate court here. ( Watch ) Ajmal was remanded for his involvement in the Cama hospital firing registered in the Azad Maidan police station at south Mumbai. However, Ajmal, who had no legal representation, was not produced in the court citing security reasons. “We argued that we (police) have to investigate about the incident at Cama hospital where the firing took place,” Additional Public Prosecutor E B Dhamal said. Seven persons, including two police personnel, were killed in the shooting at Cama hospital on November 26. Ajmal is presently in judicial custody in three other cases.

FBI will confront Pak with evidence on Mumbai attacks: US
6 Jan 2009, 0135 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The US ambassador to India, David C Mulford, on Monday said that the FBI will confront Islamabad with evidence gathered during the investigations in the Mumbai terror attacks. Soon after India announced that crucial evidence pertaining to the involvement of Pakistani nationals in the attacks had been handed over to Pakistan, Mulford said that the US would take the probe to its logical conclusion. “The FBI will pursue the evidence and eventually take it to Pakistan. Under our law, if Americans are killed, then the US has a duty to investigate the killing. The US will pursue the matter to its logical conclusion,” stated Mulford, adding that Washington has helped India all along in bringing the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to justice. Mulford’s comment is significant because it dispels the notion that the US is dependent on Pakistan for furthering its investigations and that it won’t act on its own. The US envoy also expressed Washington’s displeasure with a reported move by the banned militant outfit Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD), a public front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), to regroup itself under a new banner. He said that a leopard cannot change its spots. Mulford made the comments during a function to mark the 50th year of the opening of the United States Embassy chancery building in Chanakyapuri. The ambassador was replying to questions about the evidence handed over to Pakistan by India earlier in the day. “The US is supporting India,” he said when asked whether or not US will force Pakistan to hand over the suspects to India.
“The FBI has been in Mumbai since early December and has, I must say, been welcomed there. The level of cooperation offered to the FBI is very very significant and very much appreciated by the United States,” he added. The ambassador commemorated the 50th anniversary of the building’s opening, which took place on January 5, 1959.
“The US-India partnership is broad, deep, and flourishing. This building has served generations of American diplomats working in its service. Even after 50 years, it remains a powerful symbol of the relationship’s future prospects,” said Mulford.

EC notice to DMK, AIADMK on model code violation
6 Jan 2009, 0147 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Election Commission on Monday issued notice to both DMK and AIADMK for distributing money during campaigning for bye-election to Thirumangalam assembly constituency. Reacting to a video clip of DMK leader M K Stalin distributing money and soliciting votes and on a complaint against Amman K Dhandapani, district joint secretary, MGR Mandram, EC has asked them to explain within two days why action should not be taken under Election Symbols (Reservation and Allotment) Order 1968, for violation of model code of conduct. Apart from violation of model code of conduct, distributing money is a corrupt practice under section 123 of the Representation of People Act, 1951. A news channel clip with EC shows Stalin and his party workers distributing money among voters of Thirumangalam town and other parts of the city on January 3. In case of AIADMK, there are allegations that on December 31, partymen distributed money among voters and solicited votes. During this exercise, some papers slipped from the pocket of Dhandapani which indicates that he had deposited Rs 45 lakh in bank in five different names on December 11 including in his own name. A police complaint has also been lodged against Dhandapani.

President alone can act on CBI’s report on Subba’s identity: SC
6 Jan 2009, 0241 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: This could be an alarm for controversial Congress MP Mani Kumar Subba from Assam. The Supreme Court on Monday said the President alone could take a decision whether or not to disqualify him from the Lok Sabha on the basis of a CBI probe report accusing him of forging his date of birth and expressing grave doubts about his Indian citizenship. A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Markandey Katju and P Sathasivam dealt extensively on the CBI report and remarked: “Prima facie it appears that the certificate he has produced is not genuine.” When petitioner Bipendra Nath Singh’s counsel pressed for Subba’s disqualification, the Bench said: “The Supreme Court is not empowered to do it. There is a procedure provided under Article 103 of the Constitution, which vests the discretion with the President. You have the CBI report with you. So why don’t you approach the President for appropriate action?” “On the basis of the CBI inquiry report, you can pursue the matter. You can use the report and activate the mechanism under Article 103,” it added. CBI had said that on the basis of evidence collected so far there was prima facie commission of cognisable offences under Sections 193 (false evidence), 420 (cheating), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating) and 471 (using as genuine forged documents) of Indian Penal Code. It also said a case was made out against Subba under Section 12 (knowingly furnishing false information) of Passport Act. However, additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam said the CBI wanted to investigate the matter further as Subba’s counsel, senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi, has given a few additional documents. The SC granted him six more weeks and asked the agency to place the report in a sealed cover. As per the CBI report with SC, nothing could be more mysterious than Subba’s date and place of birth — as is evident from the Lok Sabha records, his own affidavits and the information supplied to him to the passport authorities — for it kept changing from year to year. The Lok Sabha records put his year of birth, as given by Subba in different times, at 1950, 1951 and 1958. If the dates of birth kept changing, so did the place of birth — from Tezpur in Assam to Siliguri in West Bengal. The Lok Sabha records, examined by CBI, shows three different date of births for Subba, who started as a Congress MLA before getting elected from Tezpur, Assam, to the Lok Sabha for four consecutive times. This report was submitted to the Supreme Court by CBI in response to the order to probe the allegations levelled by the petitioner accusing Subba of being none other than Moniraj Limboo, a citizen of Nepal who after conviction in a murder case by Nepalese courts had fled to India. Though CBI could not access the certified copies of the Nepalese court orders, it traced an affidavit dated October 3, 1985, by Subba before the executive magistrate of Tezpur, stating that “Mani Kumar Subba and Maniraj Limboo are one and the same person and that there was a criminal case against him in the name of Maniraj Limboo in the court of the judicial magistrate, first class, Dibrugarh.” Like the date and place of birth, the educational qualification of the Congress MP — 8th pass — is also termed doubtful by CBI. Subba had claimed in an affidavit before the Supreme Court that he passed 8th standard from Gandhi Vidyalaya, Bordubi, Tinsukia district, in the year 1972. On investigation, the agency found that the school started functioning only from January 1, 1973, with classes up to 6th. This means, Subba passed the 8th class a year before establishment of the school.

Can’t protect minorities, then quit office: SC tells govts
6 Jan 2009, 0250 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court’s judicial conscience, pricked heavily by the ugly violence against Christians in Orissa’s Kandhmal district last year, appears to be still raw despite peace returning to the area and Christmas and new year celebrations passing off peacefully. In an unusual outburst, after passing several orders which were being obeyed by the Naveen Patnaik government and the Centre, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Markandey Katju and P Sathasivam gave a general ultimatum governments — sectarian violence and persecution of minorities would not be tolerated. “If your government is unable to protect minorities, then you quit office,” said Justice Katju, who for the first time was part of the Bench headed by CJI which had been hearing a petition by Archbishop Raphael Cheenath. “We can’t tolerate persecution of religious minorities. If your government cannot control such incidents, then quit office,” came the second salvo from Justice Katju as a shocked senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the Orissa government, said things were peaceful in the area and that the state has implemented earlier orders of the apex court in letter and spirit with cooperation from the Centre. However, Venugopal tried to wriggle out of the messy situation by shifting the focus towards the Centre by complaining to the court against the latter’s decision to withdraw its forces despite the situation still being sensitive in Kandhmal district, which erupted after the killing of Swami Lakshmananand. Without allowing the matter to veer away from the earlier course, the Bench directed the Union home secretary and the state home secretary to coordinate and resolve the number of troops to be stationed. At this point, the CJI asked Cheenath’s counsel about the infamous gangrape case pertaining to the nun and said he had been flooded with queries from different countries about it. The counsel, senior advocate Colin Gonsalves, told the Bench that the nun, after initial reservations against a probe by the local police, was now cooperating in the investigations and had participated in the test identification parade to nail the culprits. However, he alleged that the state government was delaying payment of damages to churches which were over 50 years old. He said though the total loss to churches and their properties amounted to nearly Rs 6 crore, the government had agreed to pay a compensation of about Rs 45 lakh. Reiterating its earlier view, the Bench asked the Naveen Patnaik government to take a generous view while granting compensation and make early payments.

Mulayam case involving CBI flip flop is a contentious one: SC
6 Jan 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The CBI’s flip flop in the alleged disproportionate assets case against Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav — eagerly seeking his prosecution till about a year ago and subsequent timidness in seeking its closure — did not escape the Supreme Court’s sharp eyes on Monday. When the agency’s application for withdrawal of its earlier plea for proceeding against the SP leader came up before a Bench comprising Justices Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph, advocate Satyakam requested the court to take it for hearing at the end of the day’s proceedings saying additional solicitor general Gopal Subramaniam was busy in another court. Picking up the file, Justice Kabir spontaneously remarked: “Oh! It is that contentious case.” With the case being taken up late in the day not suiting the counsel for the SP leader, they agreed for an adjournment of the hearing to Tuesday. After the political equations at the Centre changed and the SP became a key ally of the UPA government, the CBI wanted withdraw its earlier plea, in which it had sought SC’s permission to lodge a regular case against Yadav and his kin on charges of amassing disproportionate assets. While seeking to withdraw the earlier plea, CBI said: “Representations were received from respondents (Yadav & Co) and legal advice was sought. In view of the legal advice and directions of the Union of India, the interlocutory application filed by CBI may be allowed to be withdrawn.” The Centre had virtually celebrated when the SC had on March 1, 2007, ordered a preliminary probe by CBI into the alleged disproportionate wealth of Yadav and his relatives mentioned in a PIL filed by one Vishwanath Chaturvedi.

Charges in Grover case likely to be filed on Tuesday
6 Jan 2009, 0530 hrs IST, AGENCIES
MUMBAI: Charges in the sensational Neeraj Grover murder case are likely to be filed by the prosecution in the sessions court on Tuesday. It’s been eight months since the murder of Grover (25), creative head of TV production house Synergy Adlabs, allegedly by Kannada film actor Maria Susairaj and her naval officer fiance Emile Jerome. A chargesheet has already been filed against the two and the framing of charges is the first step in the trial. While Susairaj has given her confessional statement to a magistrate, Jerome has maintained silence in the case. In her confessional statement, Susairaj has claimed that it was Jerome who killed Grover and that she had tried to stop him. Susairaj had also filed for bail on these grounds but it was rejected by the court reasoning that there was enough evidence to prove her involvement in the murder. Once the charges are framed, it will be clear if Susairaj will be charged for murder and conspiracy or just for the destruction of evidence. According to the prosecution, on May 7, 2008 Susairaj and Jerome killed Grover at Susairaj’s residence. The duo then chopped his body into pieces and took it to an isolated spot at Manor in Thane, where it was burnt. The police have charged the duo under Section 120(b) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for conspiring to kill Grover, under Section 302 of the IPC for killing him, under Section 201 of the IPC for destroying evidence and Section 34 of the IPC for common intention. The prosecution has lined up 96 witnesses.

Now, medical insurance for labourers
6 Jan 2009, 0523 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: In a bid to provide succour to economically weaker sections during illness, the state cabinet on Monday cleared health insurance cover for labourers below the poverty line in 17 districts, including the city. It will provide labourers cash-less treatment in any private or public hospital in the state. Officials said the scheme would largely benefit labourers working in farms, the construction industry, irrigation and infrastructure projects as well as household domestic help. Many unorganised labourers in Mumbai, working in hotels and small-scale units, may qualify for benefits. However, the maximum health cover will be limited to Rs 30,000 under the Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY).

PIL questions state failure to protect Dalits
6 Jan 2009, 0513 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Over 1,000 cases are filed every year under the Prevention of Atrocities Act, but the conviction rate has been a minuscule 5%. Around 3,000 cases under the special law to protect scheduled caste/tribes are pending before the courts in the state. A public interest litigation (PIL) has now been filed focussing on the state’s failure to act on alleged atrocities against Dalits in the state. The PIL filed by National Dalit Movement for Justice has, among other pleas, sought the appointment of special courts to hear cases dealing with attacks on Dalits. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Sharad Bobde, that heard the PIL recently, has asked additional public prosecutor Rajeshree Gadhvi to file an affidavit in the case. “A number of anti-discrimination statues and positive provisions exist in the Indian law for the protection and benefits of Dalits, but their implementation and enforcement has been very poor,” said the petitioner. NDMJ claimed in its affidavit that there were a number of ways the laws were frustrated, including refusal to register an FIR, not booking the accused for appropriate offences, implicating the victims in false counter cases, failing to arrest the perpetrators or mention necessary details in the FIR, threatening the Dalit victims, not filing charge sheets on time and not filing appeals in time. A study by NDMJ found that last year, despite complaints, no FIR was registered by the police for over 200 cases. In five cases, though FIR was registered, the accused were not arrested. The PIL is scheduled to come up for hearing in the first week of February.

Indian-Hindu Terrorists Killed ATS Chief To Stop Probe: Indian Ad
by pakistanpal January 5, 2009 at 01:11 am
Indian-Hindu Terrorists Killed ATS Chief To Stop Probe: Indian Advocate
Mr. Narayan Rane, an Indian-Hindu leader of Indian National Congress (INC) and former Maharashtra Chief Minister, has disclosed that Indian- Hindu politicians of India provide logistical and financial support to terrorists.
Information Press –
Lawyer Claims Karkare Shot By Hindutva Terrorists
New Delhi, India, 16 December 2008 (Mail Today) – A Mumbai-based lawyer has moved the Bombay High Court, seeking an independent investigation into the circumstances under which Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad [ATS police] chief Hemant Karkare was killed.
Amin Solkar filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on December 11 [2008], mainly because Karkare was investigating the countrywide Hindutva terror network. The PIL has asked the Court to appoint a special investigating team under its supervision.
Karkare had unearthed an alleged Hindutva terror plot while probing the Malegaon blasts case. The Muslims in Malegaon have always claimed Karkare was killed by Hindutva militants and not by [Ajmal] Qasab.
Solkar’s petition is expected to be heard on Thursday. The PIL wants former CM [Chief Minister] of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh, to file an affidavit disclosing the names of [Indian-Hindu] political leaders who wanted Karkare out of the ATS.
Former [Maharashtra] Revenue Minister Narayan Rane will also have some explanations to do. “A week after 26/11 [2008], he said some [Indian- Hindu] politicians had provided logistical and financial support for the [Mumbai] attack,” claimed Solkar.
PIL Asks Rane to Expose Politicians Helping Terrorists
Mumbai, India, 12 December 2008 (PTI) – A PIL [Public Interest Litigation] filed in the Bombay High Court has demanded that suspended [Indian National] Congress [INC] leader Narayan Rane be asked to reveal names of the [Indian-Hindu] politicians who were allegedly in cahoots with terrorists.
Rane, licking his wounds after being not given the [Maharashtra] Chief Minister’s post following Vilasrao Deshmukh’s resignation, had alleged on December 6 [2008] that terrorists were getting logistical [and financial] support from [Indian-Hindu] politicians.
“The terrorists are provided logistical and financial support from such [Indian-Hindu] politicians,” he had charged but refused to substantiate his allegation and to clarify whether he was referring to any Congress politician.
Avisha Kulkarni, a social activist, has filed a petition, saying Rane must be made to reveal the names of these [Indian-Hindu] politicians.
Rane, who has been a [Maharashtra] Chief Minister when he was in [Indian-Hindu terrorist] Shiv Sena, and a [Maharashtra] Revenue Minister after he joined Congress, is “guilty of suppression of information,” Kulkarni’s petition says, seeking action against him.
Rane as well as the state police have been made respondents in the PIL. Police must question Rane, it says.
Rane was suspended by Congress after he lashed out at the top [INC] party leadership on being pipped to the post by Ashok Chavan in the race for the [Maharashtra] Chief Minister’s post.
The PIL is expected to come up for hearing next week.
Another PIL Against Narayan Rane Over Terror Allegations
Mumbai, India, 17 December 2008 (PTI) – Another PIL has been filed against [Indian National] Congress [INC] leader and former Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane, seeking that he disclose the information about [Indian-Hindu] politicians’ alleged links with the terrorists.
Rane, who was recently suspended by the [INC] party, had alleged in a press conference on December 6 [2008] that terrorists who attacked Mumbai last month [November 2008] got “logistical and financial” support from some politicians without revealing any names.
Purushottam Barde, Solapur district President of [Indian-Hindu extremist] Shiv Sena, on Wednesday filed PIL in the Bombay High Court, saying that Court should direct Rane to reveal more information regarding this.
Also, action should be taken against Rane if the information proved to be false, PIL says.
It also mentions Rane’s another allegation that former [Maharashtra] Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh had links with a person connected with [Indian business executive] Dawood Ibrahim. Rane should be forced to reveal information regarding this too, it says.
Earlier Dr. Avisha Kulkarni, a social activist, had filed PIL with identical demands following Rane’s allegations.
Both PILs might come up for hearing on Thursday.
Rane, a former [Indian-Hindu extremist] Shiv Sena man, fell out with Congress leadership after being denied [Maharashtra] Chief Minister’s post when Vilasrao Deshmukh resigned.
PIL Filed Against Narayan Rane
Mumbai, India, 12 December 2008 (ST) – A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Bombay High Court against suspended [Indian National] Congress [INC] leader Narayan Rane demanding Rane to disclose the names of the [Indian-Hindu] politicians, which he alleged had provided logistics and financial aid to the terrorists.
Advocate Amin Solkar filed the PIL on Thursday stating that if Rane had all the details, it is mandatory for him to disclose them. “Under section 39 of [India] Criminal Penal Code (CrPC), it is mandatory for an individual to reveal any information that could be a cause to any offence in future. If Rane knows the politicians, then he should have disclosed their names much before, at least the terror attacks could have been avoided,” he said.
In his petition, he has also prayed that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) should be constituted to conduct probe into such kind of cases.

Metro rail put on fast track
Special Bench to clear cases delaying the project in three days’ timeSrikanth Hunasavadi & Senthalir S. BangaloreA special bench headed by Chief Justice PD Dinakaran will hear the two public interest litigations (PIL) against the Metro, which had almost brought the project to a standstill. Hearing for the PILs will begin on Wednesday and the petitions will be disposed of in three days.The traders’ welfare associations of CMH Road have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the Metro scheme itself, claiming that it is not in accordance with the Constitution.The petitioners hold that while the scheme should fall under the Indian Railway Act, it now falls under the Indian Tramways Act, 1902, giving them inadequate compensation. They have also demanded an alteration in the alignment of the project. Another PIL challenges the very Metro scheme itself.If these two PILs are cleared, other cases will automatically be resolved. All other 21 cases relate to land acquisition and other matters which will be decided on the basis of these public interest litigations. Legal experts opine that the Metro issue involves constitutional objectives, so its resolution will take time.The much-anticipated ‘Namma Metro’ project has been mired in legal tangles right from the start. Its implementation has been delayed on account of litigation around land acquisition and felling of trees; there are also disputes about the alignment of the Metro lines.For sorting out land acquisition cases, a special bench has been constituted headed by Justice KL Manjunath.This bench is expected to begin hearing cases shortly to clear legal hurdles, thus expediting the project.Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited officials feel that though the Corporation has been blamed for the delay in implementation of the project, legal hurdles have been slowing down the work so far.

SC directive to Orissa govt ‘Quit if you can’t protect the minorities’
R. SedhuramanLegal Correspondent
New Delhi, January 5The Supreme Court today directed the Orissa government to ensure protection of the Christian community in the state and asked the Centre to consult the state before taking any decision on the withdrawal of paramilitary forces.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan passed the order after Colin Gonsalves, counsel for the Cuttack Archbishop who has filed a PIL, informed the court that only “deceptive calm” was prevailing in Kandhmal district where anti-Christian violence occurred in August, September last year.
Gonsalves said the state government was offering only Rs 40 lakh for the reconstruction of about 140 damaged churches, against the estimated cost of Rs 6 crore. Also, the state was refusing compensation to several churches, which were 30-50 years old, raising questions on the ownership of the land.
Counsel KK Venugopal, appearing for the state government, said the churches should not be reconstructed on government or forest land. The court merely recorded their statements.
The court has been monitoring the law and order situation in Orissa since the violence erupted in the wake of assassination of Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati, a VHP leader and head of a local ‘mutt’. Venugopal agreed with the petitioner that the situation was sensitive and “could flare up again”.
In the course of arguments, Justice Markandey Katju, who was part of the Bench, made oral observations such as: “What kind of government you are running in Orissa? Quit office, if you can’t protect the minorities in a secular country… Both the Centre and the state government are equally responsible for protection of minorities.”
Venugopal sought a direction to the Centre not to carry out the phased withdrawal of paramilitary forces until the elections to the Assembly and the Lok Sabha were over. Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam said the Centre would deploy the forces “generously”. Justice P. Sathasivam was the other judge on the three-member Bench that heard the case.

Auto ban: State to approach Calcutta High Court this week
Express News Service
Posted: Jan 06, 2009 at 0137 hrs IST
Kolkata This week, the state government is planning to file a fresh petition in the Calcutta High Court urging for the extension of the deadline on the ban on two-stroke auto-rickshaws that came into effect from January 1.
Announcing this on Monday, Subrata Mukhopadhyay, the junior standing counsel of the state government, said the government would seek the extension citing inadequate number of LPG and CNG fuelling stations in the city.
The decision was taken after state Home secretary Ardhendu Sen and Kolkata police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakraborty discussed the situation arising after the initial crackdown on autos with state advocate-general Bolai Roy.
Environmentalist Subhas Dutta, who had filed a PIL in March 2007 complaining that auto-rickshaws in the city were polluting the environment by emitting gases that cause pollution, told The Indian Express that government’s move to seek extension would create more problems. “The decision of the government to approach the court for an extension of the time limit will ultimately create a lot of problems,” said Dutta.
“The extension of the time limit is not enough.The government should prepare an action plan on the conversion of the autos to LPG mode. It should place a progress report before the court on the implementation of the action plan,” said Dutta.
He also said that while issuing the notification, the government had fixed the December 31, 2008 time limit for the conversion of the autos to LPG or CNG mode. He said that at least one year would be required for the conversion of autos to the LPG mode.
New package to replace two-stroke autos on anvilThe government will come up with a fresh scheme for replacing two-stroke autos in addition to the existing one. This was decided at a meeting on Monday attended by transport secretary and state home secretary. Sources in the transport department said that the new scheme
would be more lucrative than the present one and would be finalized by the end of this week. State home secretary Ardhendu Sen said that till the next order of the High Court, the seizure of autos would remain at a slow pace.

HC seeks status report from govt
6 Jan 2009, 0311 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday directed the state government to file a status report regarding action taken against government officials who gave permissions for illegal hill cutting activities at Siolim. A division bench comprising justice P B Majmudar and justice N A Britto were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Satish Benaulikar who complained of illegal hill cutting at Siolim. During the hearing, advocate general of the state, Subodh Kantak, told the court that criminal trial of the officials will proceed and that chargesheets have been filed in the cases against them. The court had earlier issued directions to take action against the concerned town and country planning officials as well as the violators. A show cause notice had been issued to the developer while a formal complaint was lodged with the police seeking action as envisaged under the Town and Country Planning Act. The matter will now be heard on January 23.

Time plea a smoke screen
6 Jan 2009, 0456 hrs IST, Krishnendu Bandyopadhyay, TNN
KOLKATA: The state transport department may be looking for a breather by planning to ask the high court for three months to implement the ban on two-stroke autorickshaws, but automobile experts and environmentalists say the 12-week plea makes no sense. The question environmentalists are asking is how can a government, which did practically nothing to stop polluting autos

for the last eight years, promise to deliver in three months. Even auto manufacturers find the time-frame absurd. Given the government’s track record, many find the request for more time ominous. “It is a highly impractical proposition. Politicians can never fix the time-frame for such a mammoth task. The very suggestion of seeking three more months reflects how misguided the government is. They need to involve the stakeholders and technocrats to understand the ground reality. An illogical time-frame will cause more violations. If the government pleads for more time, its honesty of purpose would be in doubt,” said green crusader Subhas Datta. In the last week of December, transport minister Subhas Chakraborty had first mentioned the possibility of seeking an extension of three months from the court. A few days later, he recanted, saying the government could not possibly seek a “review” of the court order. On Saturday, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee announced that the government was indeed planning to appeal for more time. In reality, the situation will be even more difficult three months later since the government would then have to enforce the ban on all pre-’93 commercial vehicles, as well as ensuring that all autos including four-stroke ones switch to LPG. “The government is making a mess of the two-stroke auto problem. How can it take on the entire fleet?” asked environmentalist Tanmoy Rudra. What’s more, Bajaj Auto estimates that even if the government works on a war-footing, it would take at least eight months to a year to convert all to LPG. “Though we have a dedicated assembly-line for LPG autos, a 100-fold increase in production is not possible. At best, we can supply 4,000 to 5,000 green autos a month,” said a Bajaj Auto official. “Applications will have to scrutinized and processed. After the loans are sanctioned, these applicants will come to us to have their autos scrapped. Each of these processes takes time. Nothing is possible overnight,” said Bajaj national sales manager Hari Haran. “I moved a PIL in Calcutta High Court in 1999 after which the court recommended that autos shift to clean fuel and set deadlines. The government missed each of them and did nothing to reduce automobile pollution that is the biggest killer in the city. The three-month extension is an eyewash. The government is buying time. But there must be a conversion roadmap,” said auto-emission consultant S M Ghosh. “If the government is indecisive, auto operators will be even more so. If the government is firm on implementing the decision, auto operators will definitely follow suit. Formulating a roadmap will reflect the government’s decisiveness,” said transport economist Ardhendu Gupta.

Raju moves HC for bail
6 Jan 2009, 0219 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The chairman of Nagarjuna group, K S Raju, and its CEO P K Madhav on Monday filed a criminal revision petition in the AP High Court praying to it to grant them bail. They were earlier arrested by the CCS police on the allegation of duping the depositors of Nagarjuna Finance and swallowing public funds to a tune of nearly Rs 100 crore. A trial court in Nampally has already rejected their bail plea, and aggrieved by this they approached the HC. Their petition is likely to come up for hearing on Wednesday.

Case stalls plan for playground
6 Jan 2009, 0021 hrs IST, Bhama Devi Ravi, TNN
CHENNAI: An ambitious project for an adult playground, comprising two cricket pitches and separate courts for different games, in north Chennai has hit a roadblock because of a civil suit challenging ownership of a patch of land. On Monday, residents of Officers’ Colony, where the sports complex is to come up, were shocked when a notice board came up, indicating that 37 cents of land within the designated area (survey no 377) belonged, not the Ambattur Municipality, but to a private individual, and that the Tamil Nadu Housing Board (TNHB) and the Ambattur Municipality were summoned to court to prove that the site in question was indeed part of the original survey and owners are paid due compensation. Only two months ago, the neighbourhood was upbeat when works to the compound wall began. From being an eye sore, a stinking garbage dump that was home to pigs, buffaloes and stray dogs, the sprawling 96 grounds was to transform into one of the best sports complexes in the country. Most of the land belonged to the Tamil Nadu Housing Board and was handed over to Ambattur Municipality in 1985. According to Ambattur Municiplaity town planning officer Bhaskaran, the civic agency has filed a counter in the court on Monday. “We are producing details of the documents handed over to us by the TNHB. It is up to the board to prove that everything is in order and that compensaiton was paid to the land owners,” he said. The sports complex, according to the plans, will comprise a swimming pool, two cricket pitches, courts for football, basketball and indoor facilities for shuttle badminton and table tennis. “The council was about to approve the project when the legal issue arose,” said Anu George, the recently appointed chairman of Ambattur Municipality. “It may now take a little longer for the project to take off.”

14-day police custody for Surat bomb planters
6 Jan 2009, 1837 hrs IST, PTI
AHMEDABAD: Two suspects in Ahmedabad serial blast cases, brought from Mangalore, were on Tuesday sent to 14-day police custody by the designated court hearing the cases related to terror attack in the city and planting of bombs in Surat. The two accused — Mohammad Naushad and Abu Bakar Bawa — were produced before the court which conducted the proceedings at the Sabarmati Central Jail here for security reasons. They were brought by Surat Police from Manglore in Karnataka, on a transit warrant on Monday. The court sent Naushad and Bawa to 14-day police custody till January 19 in a case of planting bombs in the Kapordar area of Surat city, following the terror attacks in Ahmedabad. Enumerating the grounds for remand of the duo, Surat Police said both were allegedly involved in transportation of explosives to Surat from Karnataka. They had allegedly made bombs which were planted in various parts of Surat. Some of the explosives brought by them from Karnataka were then sent to Ahmedabad via Bharuch, the remand application stated. Their police custody was sought to further investigate their role in the serial blast and planting of bombs. Meanwhile, police custody of nine other accused in the serial blasts case, including Usman Agabattiwala and Sibli Abdul Karim, was extended till January 12 by the court.

Custodial death, family alleges torture
6 Jan 2009, 1832 hrs IST, PTI
KOLKATA: A man picked up by the police for allegedly running an illicit liquor joint died in police custody but his family alleged death to due torture by the men in uniform. 44-year-old Lalu Prasad Biswas, who was arrested during raids after the death of 26 persons at the West Port police station, ran a hooch joint behind the New Market complex in central Kokata and was picked up by the police last night in the course of the police crackdown on liquor dens. According to the police, the man was drunk and sent to the Calcutta Medical College and Hospital for a stomach wash where he died. The man’s relatives, however, alleged he had died as a result of torture in the New Market lock up. “The body has been sent for post mortem and if anyone is found guilty then action will be taken,” a senior police officer said.

INLD seeks Hooda’s resignation in wake of HC judgement on notified land
Punjab Newsline Network
Tuesday, 06 January 2009
CHANDIGARH: Welcoming the Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment regarding the release of the notified land the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) has demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and his government.

Calling the selective release of land a massive and persistent land scam that became a hallmark of the Hooda Government, INLD further demanded that a sitting Judge of the High Court be appointed to enquire all such land deals that have taken place during the past four years and filing of criminal charges against Chief Minister Hooda and his associates. It further demanded that all such released land be immediately returned to the original owners of the land.
Former Finance Minister of the State and national spokesman of the INLD, Prof. Sampat Singh alleged that in connivance with the lobby of the colonizers, land sharks and group of land Mafia the Hooda Government has been using the tool of notification of Section 4, 6 and the Award to compel the farmers to sell off their ancestral land at throw away prices. Once the hapless farmer has been shortchanged into selling his land, the Hooda Government has been quick to selectively release the same land only to sanction the new buyer the license to raise colonies.
Hailing the ruling of the Punjab and Haryana High Court that restrained the Government from issuing licenses for such lands to colonizers as historical, Prof Sampat Singh said that the INLD stood vindicated. It had been accusing the Government of arm twisting the farmers into selling land by using the Section 4 and 6 of the Land acquisition Act and had even pointed out instances where even after the notification of the Award the land had been released and then license issued so that the colonizers could mint crores of rupees. He further added that charges against the Chief Minister should be framed for the economic offence against the farmers and the State. He pointed out that in the name of SEZ in Gurgaon, the Hooda Government is guilty of perpetrating a scandal involving more than one lakh crore of rupees. He reminded that Reliance Industries had been handed over 1,500 acres of land on platter for a mere Rs. 200 crores whereas the adjoining 4 acres of land in Manesar were sold by the HSIIDC for the same amount.
The national General Secretary of the Party, Prof. Singh recalled that for the housing and commercial needs of the workers of IMT Manesar, the process of land acquisition of 950 acres had been in the advanced stage with Section 4 and 6 notified when just before the Award, the Government halted the process. Here again this was done so that a few colonizers who had bought the said land even after the notification process could make a commercial kill.

Release body, court to hospital
6 Jan 2009, 0431 hrs IST, TNN
The Alipore court CJM ordered CMRI hospital to release the body of advocate Rajib Das on Monday. The hospital had allegedly held back the body as his family could not pay the fees after he died on Sunday. The family moved court on Monday. Accident death: An unidentified cyclist died after a trailer hit him on Hide Road on Monday afternoon. While the trailer was seized, the driver is still absconding. Jawan falls off train, dies: BSF jawan Mohammad Irfan (38) died after he fell off a train on Monday morning between Palta and Barrackpore stations. He was going to his native village Bansberia in Hooghly. 80% polling in Sujapur: Barring a few complaints, the Sujapur by-election passed off peacefully on Monday. Till 5 pm, over 80% votes had been polled. The huge turnout has enthused both Congress and CPM.

State has no answers on illegal autos
6 Jan 2009, 0421 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Home secretary Ardhendu Sen is worried that phasing out all two-stroke autos at one go would inconvenience commuters. “When the (court) order was being implemented, there was an auto strike that caused a lot of problems for commuters,” he pointed out on Monday. “Around 25,000-30,000 autos have to be phased out. So, substitute arrangements have to be made.” The number he referred to was the legal autorickshaws. “Those autos that are plying illegally in the city will have to go anyway,” Sen said. However, neither the home secretary nor the police commissioner had any explanation about why the 40,000-odd illegal autos were violating all norms and still plying on the streets. Joint commissioner of police (administration) Pradip Chattopadhyay said the drive against two-stroke autos was still on. “Fifteen autos were seized in Ballygunge and Beniapukur on Monday. Raids are going on,” he said. Though the advocate-general did not comment on the matter, junior standing counsel Subrata Mukhopadhyay said the state would plead for an extension as a phase-out was time consuming. “Once the court has passed an order, the state is bound to comply with it,” he added. Mukhopadhyay had no explanations to why the government had failed to display urgency prior to the deadline. Calcutta High Court had passed the order on July 18, allowing the state five-and-a-half months to comply with the order.

Delhi High Court stays GAIL officers going on strike
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has restrained executives of state-run gas utility GAIL (India) Ltd from going on indefinite strike from tomorrow for higher wages.
“We had approached the Delhi High Court, which stayed the strike by GAIL officers,” company Chairman and Managing Director Mr U D Choubey said here. GAIL executives, 2,200 in number, are part of the Oil Sector Officers Association (OSOA), which has give n an indefinite strike call from tomorrow to protest against a pay increase smaller than what was demanded by the organisation.
A strike in the oil sector can cripple the already fragile economy and companies like GAIL had been approaching courts for restraint orders to keep fuel supply lines operating.
The High Court had earlier stayed a strike in fuel retailing companies – Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum. Officers man the aviation refuelling points at all the airports in the country and their withdrawal from duty would within minu tes disrupt air services.
Similarly, officers are in charge of dispatching auto and cooking fuel as well as natural gas through pipelines. A strike in GAIL, the monopoly gas distributor and marketer, would have impacted users in the power and fertiliser industries.
Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC), the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, is also moving court today for a similar stay to keep its operations running. – PTI

Former deputy home secy set free in visa scam
6 Jan 2009, 0229 hrs IST, Asseem Shaikh, TNN
PUNE: In yet another setback to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Pune, a magistrate court quashed charges against retired deputy secretary home department Shankar Sonawane and desk officer Shalaka Khanvilkar in the infamous visa scam. The officials were discharged by judicial magistrate first class A K Mandavgade on the grounds that the state had not yet accorded any sanction for prosecuting them under section 197 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. In 2008, the district and sessions court had discharged deputy inspector general of police Madhav Sanap and six police officers in the scam also because the state government did not accord sanction for prosecuting them. The CID had arrested Sonawane and Khanvilkar for illegally extending visas of several foreigners between 2001 and 2004 on August 8, 2005. A chargesheet against them was filed before the magistrate court on July 31, 2007. Defence lawyers Sureshchandra Bhosale, Amol Jadhav and Sukhada Kulkarni told the court that their clients were not entrusted with the responsibility of extending visas of foreigners involved in the scam. They pleaded to discharge their clients as the CID had failed to obtain the mandatory sanction for initiating prosecution against their clients. Opposing the discharge applications, assistant public prosecutor Harishchandra Doiphode submitted that there was prima facie evidence against the home department officials and that there was no need for a sanction because they have misused their official position. Doiphode argued that the CID’s proposal for obtaining sanction against the officials was pending before the competent authority of the government. The prosecution contended that it should be given an opportunity to lead evidence against them and prayed to reject the discharge applications. However, the court upheld the defence lawyers’ plea that sanction to prosecute a government official was required under section 197 of the CrPc. All the charges against the duo were dropped on January 2. Reacting to the developments, CID deputy superintendent of police Anil Bagalkot said, “I am pursuing the matter with the government for granting sanction to prosecute the officials.” On the discharge of DIG Sanap and others, Bagalkot said, “The CID had submitted a proposal to the state law and judiciary department in Mumbai for preferring an appeal in the Bombay high court, but its request was declined on the grounds that it was not a fit case for preferring an appeal.” It may be recalled that the additional sessions judge Sangitrao Patil while discharging the policemen had observed in its order that they can be charged again if the government accords sanction for prosecuting them.

Inspect hospital waste disposal, HC to GSPCB
6 Jan 2009, 0315 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: A division bench of the high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday directed the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) to inspect the disposal of bio-medical waste by hospitals and laboratories in the state and file a detailed report after taking action against erring parties. While pulling up the GSPCB for failing to act with “more vigour”, a bench comprising justice PB Majmudar and justice NA Britto said, “it is their (GSPCB) duty to see to it that the interim measures (of the court) are complied with”. The bench further observed that “unless bitter dose is given, patient is not cured” while hinting at “shutting down” hospitals that do not comply with the courts earlier directions. The court has also directed the GSPCB to comply immediately with the earlier orders of the court. During the hearing of the suo motu writ petition on Monday, nine municipal councils in the state filed detailed affidavits regarding disposal of bio-medical waste. The court had at the last hearing directed the municipal councils in the state to file affidavits indicating the number of hospitals, dispensaries and pathological laboratories where bio-medical waste is generated and the steps taken for disposing off the same. The matter will now be heard on January 23.

HC changes life term of four to 10 yrs’ RI
6 Jan 2009, 0517 hrs IST
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday converted the life sentences of four Govandi residents to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment. The reason was that the assailants had killed the father of the intended victim when the former had tried to intervene in the fight. The defence had argued that the quartet had no intention of killing the father. The case dates back to February 1992, when a quarrel over Shivjayanti celebrations in the locality led to the murder. The main accused, Prakash Pendnekar, president of a Shiv Shakti mandal, had asked Kishore Patil (19) to join his organisation. When he declined, Pednekar along with the other accused Suresh Chavan, Rajesh Tawade, and Shridhar Panchal attacked him with swords. Kishore’s father Atmaram (42) tried to intervene, but was stabbed 22 times. Atmaram died on the spot and a sessions court in 2002 convicted all four for the murder. In the high court, the defence argued that the quartet had no intention of killing Atmaram and the murder charges should be changed to culpable homicide, which attracts a maximum punishment of 10 years.

HC stays appointment of three selected lecturers
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, January 05 2008: STRENGTHENING the belief that there had been some hanky-panky dealings in the recruitment of college lecturers by the Manipur Public Service Commission (MPSC), the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench today directed the MPSC not to issue appointment orders to three selected candidates for the post of lecturers of Computer Science.In an interim injunction passed today by Justice T Nandakumar of Gauhati High Court Imphal Bench, the MPSC has been directed not to make effective the selection of the three candidates as lectureres of Computer Science, whose names were in the selection list as declared on December 15 .Admitting a writ petition filed by one Dr Akoijam Ashakumar of Thoubal Nongangkhong challenging the selection of the three candidates as lecturers, Justice Nandakumar issued the interim injunction.The order directed the MPSC to submit its answers within four weeks.Advocate Kh Tarunkumar, who was the counsel for the petitioner, observed in the court that the notification for recruiting some posts of lecturers of different subjects in government colleges, was published on December 30 of 2006.The notification included six vacant posts of lecturers for Computer Science.According to the notification of the MPSC, the eligible educational qualifications of the candidates for taking part in the recruitment examinations were MA/MSc with 55% of marks in the relevant subjects and also should have passed National Elegibility Test (NET) or GRF or should hold M Phil or PhD.The MPSC declared the result of the recruitment examinations on December 15, 2008.In the list of selected candidates, names of three candidates were found in the unreserved category for Computer Science.Counsel for the petitioner argued that the three candidates selected by the MPSC as lecturers for Computer Science did not possess the requisite qualifications for candidature as announced in the advertisement issued by the MPSC.Therefore, their selection should not be valid, the Counsel argued on behalf of the petitioner.Counsel Tarunkumar further argued that the first among the three candidates selected as lecturers for Computer Science, Ambika Yengkokpam has not obtained an MPhil or PhD or NET or JRF, therefore she is not a qualified candiate.The second candidate, Anand Yendrembam had not submitted his dissertation for PhD to the Manipur University till the last date of submitting form for the examination.The counsel maintained that there are strong suspicions that the third candiate also would not have been a qualified candidate.It may be recalled here that the MPSC issued an advertisement on October 18, 2006 calling applications for the post of 186 lecturers in government colleges.The last date for submitting application forms was Novermber 30 the same year.And advertisement of MPSC calling applications from candidates for the post of lecturers of Home Science, Computer Science and Economics was published on December 30, 2006 and last date for form submission was March 19, 2007 .AMSU and DESAM had alleged a few weeks back that the examination conducted by MPSC for recruiting college lecturers was done in the interest of certain influential and powerful persons, and was conducted under heavy under-hand dealings.

HC seeks status report from govt
6 Jan 2009, 0311 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday directed the state government to file a status report regarding action taken against government officials who gave permissions for illegal hill cutting activities at Siolim. A division bench comprising justice P B Majmudar and justice N A Britto were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Satish Benaulikar who complained of illegal hill cutting at Siolim. During the hearing, advocate general of the state, Subodh Kantak, told the court that criminal trial of the officials will proceed and that chargesheets have been filed in the cases against them. The court had earlier issued directions to take action against the concerned town and country planning officials as well as the violators. A show cause notice had been issued to the developer while a formal complaint was lodged with the police seeking action as envisaged under the Town and Country Planning Act. The matter will now be heard on January 23.

HC rules against Coca-Cola in transfer pricing case

6 Jan 2009, 0148 hrs IST, M Padmakshan, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Punjab & Haryana High Court has ruled against Coca-Cola India’s contention that the proof of profit transfer outside India is a precondition for applying transfer pricing rules. Coca-Cola had approached the high court after it was served a notice on transfer pricing. The soft drink company had an agreement to offer advisory services to Britco at the rate of cost plus 5%. Coca-Cola’s main contention was that transfer pricing rules cannot be applied in the absence of prima facie evidence of profit transfer outside India. The high court said that India’s transfer pricing rules can be applied to any cross-border transaction between associated enterprises, irrespective of profit transfer outside India. The court said the only requirement is income generation in a cross-border transaction and income has been computed at arms length. Coca-Cola told the court that transfer pricing rules were meant to check profit erosion outside India and therefore could not be applied in cases where there is no prima facie evidence of profit transfer outside the country. The high court did not accept this view. It held that existence of a cross-border transaction and computation of the resultant income at arm’s length price are sufficient grounds for applying transfer pricing rules. According to Coca-Cola, the transfer pricing provisions have been incorporated in the Income-tax Act by the Finance Act 2001 and the applicability of these provisions has been limited to situations involving profit diversion outside India. There is no material evidence to show that profits have been diverted outside India, the company said. The court said that it is the prerogative of the income-tax department to issue such a notice and expressed its inability to intervene in the matter. Coca-Cola was assessed under I-T Act in 2004 for the year 1998-99. The dispute arose after the income-tax department concluded that the income had escaped assessment under the Income-Tax Act.

CJI, law minister to attend seminar on ADR promotion
6 Jan 2009, 0321 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN
CHANDIGARH: With formidable backlog figures that refuse to scale down despite best efforts by judges, alternate dispute resolution (ADR) in its various avatars is fast emerging as the new buzzword in the region. Taking the cue, the International Centre for Alternate Dispute Resolution (ICADR) is organizing an important seminar in the city on February 14 that will be attended by CJI KG Balakrishnan, law minister HR Bhardwaj and various apex and high court judges. The high-profile event is aimed at giving a push to the nascent ADR movement in Punjab and Haryana that boast of a rather litigation-prone population. Significantly, the seminar comes close on the heels of the region getting as many as 17 mediation and conciliation centres (9 in Haryana and 8 in Punjab). These centres were launched through video-conferencing in December 2008 by Supreme Court judge SB Sinha who will also be attending the proposed seminar. Driving home the message, justice Sinha had during the launch ceremony hammered that mediation and conciliation centres were the best bet to bail out a backlog-struck judiciary out of its predicament. Importantly, chief justice of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Tirath Singh Thakur also has repeatedly asserted that traditional litigation methods alone will not suffice in meting out justice to ever-burgeoning population. Justice Mahesh Grover of the high court has also taken major steps to streamline the mediation machinery. Given the willing judiciary and legal fraternity, the ICADR, which is a nodal body under the aegis of the Union law ministry with CJI as its chief-patron, now wants to rev up the ADR infrastructure in the region with Chandigarh as the hub. Its governing council member, Ashwinie Kumar Bansal, said the leitmotif of the seminar would be “need for amendments in the Arbitration and Conciliation Act” so that the Act could be finetuned to meet demands of modern times. He disclosed that the elite gathering would mull over the finer details of ADR and arbitration and make appropriate recommendations to the Union government. “One of the significant points of debate will be legislation on mediation. So far, there is no law that makes a settlement between parties through mediation enforceable without the court’s order which is unlike the situation under arbitration or conciliation. A settlement under arbitration or conciliation is enforceable per se without requiring a court’s nod,” Bansal stressed. Another ADR expert, Vikas Chatrath, said mediation and conciliation was the in-thing that opens up avenues of a quicker and hassle-free end to disputes. Delhi to have PCA centre The Union law ministry is acting on a November communication by the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), Hague, that has signed an agreement with India to open its regional facility in New Delhi. The communication raises issues like office space, residential accommodation, etc., for PCA staff.

With no stringent law, liquor shops flourish in residential areas
6 Jan 2009, 0420 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: Around six months ago, locals of Rajni Khand in Aashiana police circle may have managed to get a country-made liquor shop shifted to a different area by assaulting the owners but there are many localities in the city where residents face similar hazards as the law does not permit them to take charge. According to SC orders there should be no liquor store set up within 100 metres of an education institution as well as a place of worship but the rule with regards to the setting up of such a store in a residential locality is that a liquor store can only be shut down if it leads to nuisance in the area. According to lawyers, the term nuisance had not been defined in the law and for that every case had to be dealt differently and this left little scope for the removal of such stores from residential localities. Talking to TOI, lawyer Ratnesh Chandra said, “According to the law, it is clearly mentioned that no liquor store can operate within hundred metres of a religious place or an education institution but as far as the guidelines for residential localities is concerned, it is mentioned that a liquor store in a residential localities can only be shut if it is becoming a cause of nuisance there.” Chandra added that the term nuisance was not defined as to what would be considered a nuisance. Areas where there are liquor stores in close proximity to an education institute as well as religious place include even the city’s hub, Hazratganj. Other areas where liquor business is flourishing are Lucknow Development Authority’s (LDA) corporation flats in Niralanagar market near IT crossing, Sector Q in Aliganj, Gol market in Mahanagar police circle etc. Residents of LDA flats in Niralanagar, who had earlier resorted to non- violent measures to get a country-made liquor store closed in the area are feeling helpless after the owner of the store managed to get a stay from the court. Another problem what they claim to have been facing is that hardly any authority concerned in connection with the matter have visited the place to look at the nuisance caused due to the store. Talking to TOI, Sanjay Malhotra, a resident of Niralanagar said,” After the HC stay on the shifting of the shop, the situation is back to what it was – one can easily find drunkards standing right outside our houses and drinking. Over and above that none of the concerned authorities have bothered to come and see the situation here.” Caught in similar situation, Beeru Srivastava of Aliganj said, “Although it is sometimes uncomfortable for my family members to go out of the house as there is a liquor store right next to my house but as no other person is willing to object, we have also kept quite.” District Magistrate Chandra Bhanu talking to TOI earlier even claimed that a new circular was issued to identify all the liquor stores in residential areas and those near education institutes but even as months have passed the situation has not changed. Chandra Bhanu talking on the matter said that efforts were still on to identify such stores. Senior Superintendent of Police Akhil Kumar said that the police had started a drive against illegal liquor store owners and if anybody was found violating the norm he would be severely dealt with.

SC chides HC for reducing sentence of rapist
New Delhi, Jan 5 (PTI) The Supreme Court has chided the Madhya Pradesh High Court for reducing the sentence on an accused who kidnapped and raped a minor girl after confining her to a secluded place for several days.The apex court rejected the reasoning of the high court that it was not a case of rape but of consensual sex as the victim was a sensible girl and had initially not complained about the incident.”It is difficult to comprehend as to on what materials the High Court opined that ‘she was a sensible girl having age of 15 years, she did not complain to anybody and lived for several days with the respondent (accused) at Chhatarpur,” a bench of Justices S B Sinha and Cyriac Joseph observed.According to the apex court it was not proper for the courts to reduce the punishment to a period less than the minimum sentence prescribed in the statute as such powers can be used only sparingly.”The power conferred on the court to impose a sentence less than the minimum prescribed must not only be supported by any reason but adequate and special reasons ought to be mentioned therefor,” the apex court said.The bench passed the ruling while upholding an appeal filed by the Madhya Pradesh government challenging the High Court’s decision to reduce the sentence to four years and two months already undergone by the Bablu Natt. PTI

HC asks State to furnish answer scripts
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, January 05 2008: In a significant verdict, the Imphal Bench of the Gauhati High Court has asked the State respondents to furnish the answer scripts of 136 candidates who have been selected for the post of Sub-Inspector in the State Police Department for rechecking before the Court.In his Imphal Bench sitting today, Justice TNK Singh passed the verdict following a writ petition field by one Thokchom Roson Singh (26) of Kongba Bazar.Advocate M Hemchandra Singh who is appearing on behalf of Roson said that the writ petition has been filed against alleged mark tampering, gross material irregularities, illegality, bianess, malafide, favourtism and nepotism in the selection process.Roson has filed the petition after going through his own answer sheet extracted from the Government though the Right to Information Act praying before the Court to quash the Government notification dated June 17, 2008 of selecting 137 candidates and 14 waiting list candidates for appointment as SIs and put on hold the issuance of appointment orders to them till the disposal of the writ petition, the Advocate informed.Accepting the petition, the Court has directed the State respondents to produce the answer scripts under seal cover so that an expert body can recheck them and that of the petitioner.Passing the verdict, the Court has also declared that the appointment order of the selected candidates for the post of SI shall be subjected to the outcome of the present writ petition.The State represented by the Chief Secretary, Principal Secretary (Home), Director General of Police along with the selected candidates and some others who are in the waiting list are the respondents in this case.While issuing the rule to the State making its returnable within four weeks, the Court has also directed that the appointment order of the last selected candidate (137th position) namely Pradeep Kangabam shall not be issued till the disposal of the writ position.Roson said that his answer sheet ‘was tampered with and manipulated, marks were not given for questions he had answered correctly and correct answers were deliberately crossed as false apart from the fact that even if the marks were given they were inadequate’.

NHRC: Apprise us about inquiry into Batla House encounter
Published: January 6,2009

New Delhi, Jan 6 The National Human Rights Commission has asked Delhi Police to apprise it about the magisterial inquiry being conducted into the controversial shootout in which an Inspector and two suspected Indian Mujahideen militants were killed last year.
The Commission in its order dated December 22 last sought the response of city police within six weeks on the decision taken by the Lt Governor regarding magisterial probe into the encounter in south Delhi&aposs Jamia Nagar on September 19 last year, an NHRC release said today.
This direction follows an interim report received from Additional Commissioner of Police (Vigilance), the release said.
The Additional Commissioner had informed NHRC that the case, which was initially investigated by local police, was handed over to Crime Branch on October one.
In his response dated November 19, 2008 the senior police official had said that the”issue regarding the magisterial probe in the events relating to the incident has been referred to Lt Governor of Delhi”.
Two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid were killed in a shootout with police in Batla House on September 19, a week after serial blasts rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 133 others.
Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma also sacrificed his life in the operation, which police claimed came after a tip off that terrorists involved in the serial blasts were residing in Batla House.
The NHRC issued notice to Delhi Police on September 23 to submit a report on the encounter after it received a complaint from an NGO.
Source: PTI


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