LEGAL NEWS 08.01.2009

Supreme Court urged to ban Tamil Nadu’s post-Pongal bullfight
Jan 7th, 2009 | By Sindh Today |
New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) The Supreme Court, which had last year temporarily allowed Tamil Nadu’s post-Pongal traditional sport Jallikattu involving bullfights, Wednesday faced a renewed plea by an animal rights panel to ban the sport for good to avoid cruelty to animals.
The Animal Welfare Board of India told the apex court that despite its order last January to hold the traditional sport under various precautionary and safety measures, the annual event had resulted in widespread injuries to both humans and animals.
The sport involves first taming of the bulls, then feeding liquor to them and finally throwing chilly powder into their eyes to make them furious and excited.
The event, besides leading injuries to both humans and animals, often turns fatal for both.
An apex court bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan had Jan 15 last year temporarily allowed the holding of the event, bowing to the immense pressure of the central and state governments. It had also said it would later take a final decision on the desirability of continuing with the age-old tradition.
The various security and safety measures prescribed by the court for holding the bullfight included erection of a double barricade around the enclosure to separate the participants from the spectators and the provision for distinct outfits for the participants.
The court had also directed the presence of Animal Welfare Board officials and other responsible government officers at the site of the event to ensure that no injury or cruelty was inflicted upon the animals.
The Animal Welfare Board of India, in its application filed in the apex court Wednesday, said that despite all the court directions, the event last year had led to serious injuries to hundreds of people and animals all over Tamil Nadu.
The board had sought the immediate banning of the event. The apex court is likely hear the petition Friday.

The views of Save Family Foundation on these amendments in CrPC are:

1. This is an insult to the Honb’le Apex court of India by Lawyers themselve. The amendments in the CrPC, sections 41 to 60A in the present bill are actually the formal introduction of the “guidelines for making arrest” by the Honb’le apex court in its various judgements like:

1. “SHRI D.K. BASU VS STATE OF WEST BENGAL [1997] S.C.C. (crl) 92″ and
2. “JOGINDER KUMAR Vs. STATE OF U.P. – 25/04/1994 (CITATION 1994 AIR 1349 1994 SCC (4) 260 JT 1994 (3) 423 1994 SCALE (2)662)”.

2. Lawyers are protesting just because it is a blow to their bussiness of extortion in hand and gloves with the state police. As the guidelines by the apex court were never followed by the investigating agencies and the arrest is just made on the whims and fancies of the concerned investigating officers but now these guidelines are being made a part of the Code of Criminal procedure of India , lawyers and police are feeling cold.

3. The amendments in section 41 to 60A are actually the basic human rights of any accused under the human rights convention also worldwide.

4. If the bar asociations, as they are saying (that these amendments are anti human and anti society as per them), are really worried about the litingants, they should have protested about the section 21(b) of the proposed amendment, which relates to CrPC section 309, which states that:

“the fact that the pleader of a party is engaged in another Court, shall not be a ground for eeking adjournment”.
Although this provision is being to introduced to preed fast in a trial but this will rob the illiterate and the poor litigants from justice as they could not hire a reserve advocate if the advocate hired by them is genuinly busy in another court (more difficult now in Delhi after de-centralization of the district and session courts).

4. Compundability of adultery: Adultery. IPC section 497, According to this amendment, ”The husband of the woman can compound the offence..- Now here again a woman is being treated as the property of her husband. What if the woman herself do not want to let the accused go, if she is a victim of the offence (as per the present lw woman is still being treated as a victim)?

5. The provision of a woman judge everwhere in case of investigation and trial of offences under IPC 376 to 376-D, is just an indirect way of creating gender discrimination in the judiciary as the demand of reservation of the women judges in the higher judiciary was straightforward rejected by the Honb’le CJI.

6. Why according to section 1(2) of the act, “different dates may be appointed for different provisions of this Act” for this act to come into the force? So, It is already anticipated by the so called law makers that these amendments will be opposed. So, as per the then political equations and negotiations, individual provisions will be picked up.
By sanesociety

By nagmysr
e – Voice Of Human Rights Watch – e-news weekly
Spreading the light of humanity & freedom
Editor: Nagaraj.M.R….vol.5 . issue.01……03/01/2009
Judging the Indian Judges – citizens of india vs supreme court of india
Crimes Chief Justice of Supreme Court Of India , Union Home Secretary & Director-General of Police for Karnataka – RTI Act violations , constitutional rights & Human rights violations
The above stated public servants have failed to provide full information to us ie HRW as per RTI Act , thereby covering up the criminals. The requested informations were no state secrets , no defense secrets but the accountability of above stated public offices. The information was requested for public welfare , to secure equitable justice to public , to stop corrupt practices in public service , in exercise of my FUNDAMENTAL DUTY as a citizen of India. However the above stated public servants preferred to violate law themselves & to protect the criminals.
The public servants & the government must be role models in law abiding acts , for others to emulate & follow. if a student makes a mistake it is excusable & can be corrected by the teacher. if the teacher himself makes a mistake , all his students will do the same mistake. if a thief steals , he can be caught , legally punished & reformed . if a police himself commits crime , many thieves go scot-free under his patronage. even if a police , public servant commits a crime , he can be legally prosecuted & justice can be sought by the aggrieved.
just think , if a judge himself that too of apex court of the land itself commits crime – violations of RTI Act , constitutional rights & human rights of public and obstructs the public from performing their constitutional fundamental duties , what happens ?
it gives a booster dose to the rich & mighty , those in power , criminals in public service to commit more crimes. that is exactly what is happening in india. the educated public must raise to the occasion & peacefully , democratically must oppose this criminalization of judiciary , public service. then alone , we can build a RAM RAJYA OF MAHATMA GANDHI’S DREAM.
Our motherland India & our democracy faces greater threat to it’s unity , integrity , national security , economy , from our internal enemies – corrupt public servants.
In India no constitutional authority is supreme or unaccountable. Citizens of India are supreme an every constitutional authority is accountable to them. Here with whole hearted respects to all constitutional authorities , we request the honourable chief justice of India to study all articles in this news paper in detail & to answer all questions in public. Questionnaire is available at , , , , ,
jai hin. Vande mataram.
Your’s sincerely,

Don’t ostracise AIDS-affected kids, says CJI
New Delhi, January 3
Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan today asked NGOs to serve AIDS and HIV- affected patients and to ensure that children afflicted with the deadly ailment are not socially ostracised. He complimented Keraleeyam, a voluntary organisation of philanthropic-minded Malayalees, to continue with their good work of serving HIV/AIDS-afflicted patients, particularly children in the country.
His remarks came in the backdrop of reports that children afflicted with HIV/AIDS were denied admission by some schools in Kerala. He said it was for the organisations like Keraleeyam to ensure that there was no social ostracism of children suffering from AIDS.
The CJ made the remark while presenting the annual Kerala Ratna Puraskaram-2008 awards to six individuals at a ceremony held at the AP Bhavan. He said he was happy to see that Keralites had been doing exceptionally well in various fields. The awards are given annually to prominent Keralites in recognition of the philanthropic activities carried by individuals. — PTI

Urgent need for new pay commission for lower court judges: CJI
8 Jan 2009, 0418 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: After getting respectable salaries for himself, Supreme Court and High Court judges, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan is focused on getting the lower court judicial officers their due, for they get a monthly take home that is even lower than their counterparts in the executive.

But, he knows from his bitter experience in the implementation of the first National Judicial Pay Commission (NJPC) recommendation that it would be an uphill task to make the cash-strapped states, who pay the salaries to the lower court judges, to agree for a salary hike.

“The only way out is appointment of a fresh NJPC. It could be done through a judicial direction by the Supreme Court which got the first NJPC’s recommendations implemented through judicial fiat, though it took nearly five years,” he told TOI.

So, in the new year, the lower court judges, getting pittance of a salary, can expect some good news — the constitution of the second judicial pay commission whose recommendations like the first one would be applicable to all judicial officers in the subordinate courts.

The first NJPC headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty was constituted on March 21, 1996, and it gave its recommendations in November 1999. It had recommended a salary hike that entitled a civil judge (junior division) a starting salary of Rs 11,775, a civil judge (senior division) Rs 15,200, district judge (entry level) Rs 20,800 and district judge (super-time scale) Rs 23,850.

But, this was recommended keeping in view the then salaries of HC judges which was fixed at Rs 26,000 and that of an HC CJ at Rs 30,000, SC judges Rs 30,000 and CJI Rs 33,000.

The salary structure for the higher judiciary recently got changed with the government agreeing to revise the salary of HC judges to Rs 80,000, HC CJ Rs 90,000, SC judges Rs 90,000 and CJI Rs 1 lakh.

Though the recent hike in the salaries of higher judiciary judges fell a notch below their expectations, this has spurred the CJI to take a fresh look at the low salaries of the trial court judges, who work the most given the massive pendency of cases in the subordinate judiciary.

The concern of the CJI for the lower court judges stems from his recent public speech where he had said that though he did not exercise administrative control over them, he was morally responsible for their welfare and weeding out corruption in the subordinate judiciary.

HC clears hurdles for roadshows
8 Jan 2009, 0208 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: A vacation bench of the AP High Court on Wednesday suspended the diktats of the state DGP on Road Shows and said the political parties and the process of democracy need not be stalled through such circulars.

The division bench comprising justice D S R Varma and justice V Eswaraiah, after hearing the petitions filed by Allu Aravind of Prajarajyam, legislator G Kishan Reddy of BJP and T Kumar Babu, an advocate of the AP High Court, suspended the three key guidelines that banned the road shows. This was followed by the argument forwarded by the senior counsel Vedula Venkata Ramana who appeared on behalf of Prajarajyam and told the bench about the non-availability of such powers to a DGP under the existing statutes.

These guidelines were issued by the DGP in the form of a circular memorandum recently during the pendency of a petition that wanted these road shows to be banned on the ground that they were causing inconvenience to the people.

The circular contains several restrictions on rallies, processions and public meetings apart from containing a blanket ban on road shows.

The bench suspended only those three guidelines in this circular which constitute a ban on road shows.

Political parties and their leaders were, through this DGP circular, prohibited from addressing the people with or without public address system along the roadside. These leaders should not address them even if the crowd comes forward voluntarily and these leaders were also not permitted to mobilise people to such roadshows. It was this part of the circular that is suspended by the HC on Wednesday which means that the political parties are now free to organise road shows. However, the police can use their powers under the existing Acts to regulate the same, the bench said. Moreover, other restraints regarding conducting political processions and other activities imposed in the circular will remain good even after the HC’s Wednesday interim order.

The matter would come up for hearing again on January 21.

SC refuses to entertain PIL seeking CBI probe against Lalu
8 Jan 2009, 0349 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to entertain a PIL seeking a CBI probe into charges that Union minister Lalu Prasad has amassed wealth at the cost of the railways, asking the petitioner to wait for the vigilance inquiry into the complaint.

The PIL filed by known Lalu-baiter and JD(U) leader Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan alleged that the railway minister had amassed wealth and land in exchange of commercial contracts and doling out of jobs in the world’s largest railway network.

However, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam ruled out any CBI probe at this juncture when the Prime Minister has assured a fair probe into the charges and a railway vigilance inquiry is pending.

“You pursue the matter with PMO and await the outcome of the vigilance inquiry. What is the reason that you would have no faith in the vigilance inquiry? There is no question of ordering a CBI probe when an inquiry is on,” the Bench said forcing Lallan’s counsel senior advocate Rajeev Dhawan to withdraw the petition.

The petitioner had alleged that Prasad had “amassed collosal wealth in his name and in the name of his family members, disproportionate to their known sources of income”. This was done through:

* securing lands in lieu of providing jobs in the railways

* securing lands in lieu of awarding commercial railway contracts

* securing lands from relatives who had secured land from the state on the ground that they were landless persons

* securing land from party colleagues for favours done to them

Host of new institutions in govt scheme to give scholarships to SCs
8 Jan 2009, 0419 hrs IST, Akshaya Mukul, TNN
NEW DELHI: The new IITs/IIMs/NIITs, new law schools and host of other new educational institutions run by various government ministries will soon be included in the list of top class educational institutes so that scheduled caste students can avail of government scholarship.

Even non-government and semi-government engineering and managament institutes are proposed to be included. BITS Pilani, BIT Mesra, KIT Bhubaneswar, VIT Vellore, Thapar IET Patiala and a few others are already part of the `top class educational institute’ scheme.

The number of such institutes will increase from the present 125 to 184 with the HRD ministry agreeing with the request of social justice ministry. Other ministries like health, tourism and agriculture are also likely to agree with the proposal.

Social justice ministry had requested that all six newly-opened IITs in Punjab, Orissa, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh as well as two new NITs at Agartala and Raipur be made part of the `top class educational’ scheme. In case of IIITs, the new one at Kanchipuram is proposed for inclusion.

The Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology, Ludhiana, has been proposed for deletion from the list as it is a research institute and does not provide degree/diploma. But Delhi College of Engineering is likely to be included. Now, there will be 58 engineering institutes under the scheme, an increase of 10.

Among IIMs, the new one at Shillong will also be part of the scheme. Social justice ministry has also proposed to HRD that the management course in IITs be included. While the managament course of five IITs (Delhi, Chennai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Mumbai) is part of `top class education’ scheme, IIT Roorkee’s management course is proposed to be included.

Semi-government management institute like MDI Gurgaon would also be part of it. There will, thus, be an increase of six institutes in the management category taking the total to 29.

In the medical stream, institutes to be part of the scheme would be JIPMER (Puducherry), PGIMS (Chandigarh and Lucknow), Maulana Azad Medical College, Lady Hardinge Medical College (both Delhi), IMS (BHU-Varanasi), MMC (Chennai) and KEMMC (Mumbai). The non-government medical colleges to be part of the scheme would be CMC Vellore and CMC Ludhiana.

In law education, four new National Law Institutes would be made part of the scheme which will also include 11 new National Institutes of Fashion Technology and 18 new institutes of hotel management. More institutes in the field of agriculture and disability would also be part of the expanded list.

Kerala law commission in favour of euthanasia
8 Jan 2009, 0317 hrs IST, Ananthakrishnan G, TNN
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The high literacy state Kerala could become the first in India to allow mercy killing if a recommendation by the state law reforms commission gets the government’s nod.

The proposal in favour of euthanasia is part of a report to be given to the state government on January 24 by the commission, headed by former Supreme Court judge Justice V R Krishna Iyer, a known civil rights activist.

Euthanasia is legal in some regions of Australia, the US, Belgium and Netherlands to name a few.

Among the other radical recommendations of the commission is a law to make it mandatory for all groups holding hartals to give at least one week’s notice to the authorities and compensation for damage from those organising them.

Another proposal to prevent polygamy by making it mandatory for a man to seek his first wife’s permission for a second marriage has drawn protests from a section of the Muslim community. Kanthapuram Aboobakker Musaliar, a Muslim leader, said the community would oppose any move if it violates the Shariat.

The report, the details of which are not yet known, will also ask the government to appoint people from lower castes as temple priests. Another controversial suggestion is bringing all properties of the Catholic church under a trust like the Devasom Board that administers temple properties in the state. The panel doesn’t say if like the Devasom Board, the trust for churches should also be under the state control.

State law minister M Vijayakumar, who met Justice Iyer on Wednesday, said the government would act on the report once it was submitted.

SC stays arrest warrants against Raj Thackeray issued by Jharkhand court
8 Jan 2009, 0318 hrs IST, TNN

NEW DELHI: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray on Wednesday got the relief from Supreme Court which he had failed to get in July last year — stay of non-bailable arrest warrants issued against him by a Jharkhand court for inciting anti-north Indian violence in Mumbai.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and P Sathasivam not only stayed the arrest warrant against the MNS chief but also issued notice on his petition seeking transfer of all eight cases against him on the same issue — five in Jharkhand and three in Bihar — outside the states.

His counsel, senior advocate U U Lalit, pleaded that the atmosphere in Jharkhand and Bihar was so surcharged that his client feared not getting fair trial and also about his personal safety if he appeared in those courts.

In July last year, Thackeray had approached the apex court with a similar request — quashing of the case filed against him at Jamshedpur for allegedly making defamatory statements against north-Indians, especially Biharis.

The complaint, filed by an advocate, had urged slapping of charges under sections 153-A and 153-B of the Indian Penal Code accusing Thackeray of promoting disharmony among communities. The petitioner also accused Thackeray of defaming the community in his speeches. However, the Jharkhand HC had quashed charges under sections 153-A and 153-B while allowing proceedings under section 504 of IPC (defamation).

Before dismissing the petition, a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and M K Sharma had in July expressed displeasure over the nature of statements allegedly made by Thackeray early last year.

It had said, “This sort of statements may incite problem everywhere. Here, the incitement was against a certain community.”

Apart from the July proceedings, the apex court on Monday had expressed strong views against sectarian and communal violence while dealing with a petition on violence against Christians in Kandhmal district of Orissa. It had said that if a government was not able to protect minorities, it would be better for it to quit.

Girl abuses, beats up boyfriend in HC
8 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN
NAGPUR: A teenaged girl thrashed her 35-year-old boyfriend inside the court for disowning her after forcing her to abort the foetus.

The girl chased the boy in filmy style, dragged and beat him using choicest expletives. The cops on the spot rescued the boy and took him to the main gate of the court from where he fled in his car.

Meena (name changed) was a class Xth student of a city convent school. After two year of persuasion, Rajesh managed to win over Meena and they decided to marry. The girl’s family ruled out any such alliance as firstly she was a minor and secondly, the boy was from different caste and was also 16 years older. Even the boy’s family was against their union.

But Meena fled with Rajesh on March 26, 2006 to Chandrapur when her SSC exams were underway. They reportedly tied the knot at a local temple and started living at a rented room.

Soon, tiffs and arguments became regular between Meena and Rajesh. Rajesh who was working as lab incharge in a company, found it difficult to make ends meet. In the meanwhile, Meena got pregnant, but Rajesh and her in-laws mercilessly thrashed her and forced her to abort the child.

Rajesh then allegedly told her to leave him as he was “no more interested in her”, but Meena vehemently opposed. After nine months of their marriage, Rajesh fled and went into hibernation for three months leaving her to fend for herself.

A dejected Meena returned to her parents’ home and as expected, earned their wrath. Meena’s father had lodged a police complaint against Rajesh for kidnapping his daughter, but for some reason no action could be taken against Rajesh (Meena alleged that Rajesh used his political clout to suppress police action against him).

Sara Sahara case: BMC rejects Phatak’s recommendations
8 Jan 2009, 0145 hrs IST, Sharad Vyas, TNN
MUMBAI: The BMC’s standing committee on Wednesday did not clear municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak’s recommendations for punishment to officials who had been found guilty by an internal committee in the multi-crore Sara Sahara case.

“Phatak’s recommendations were referred back to him for changes because there was inequitable distribution of punishment,” said a member. The committee was discussing the commissioner’s decision on the report that had earlier found 12 engineers belonging to the BMC’s building proposal and development plan department guilty of committing irregularities while allowing construction of the Sara-Sahara shopping complexes near Crawford Market some years ago. The shopping centres, which allegedly belong to gangster Dawood Ibrahim, are situated on government land.

The members were irked that Phatak had increased the quantum of punishment for executive engineer Hasmukh Shah, even though the panel report had suggested three of his increments be stopped. But Phatak, in his final verdict, said Shah should be demoted.

“We are not against the panel report, but some sort of reason should be given for these changes,” said Bhalchandra Shirsat, a member.

26/11 witnesses called to identify terrorists’ bodies
8 Jan 2009, 0000 hrs IST, S Ahmed Ali, TNN
MUMBAI: Some of those who had seen the terrorists on 26/11 were summoned by the crime branch on Wednesday to identify their bodies kept at the JJ Hospital morgue.

Sources said this was done to ensure that no one could raise doubts about their identities once their bodies were disposed of. Besides, this could also serve as important evidence as far as the terror attacks were concerned.

Sources said that on Wednesday, around two dozen witnesses, who had seen the terrorists at the Taj, Oberoi, Nariman House, CST and Girgaum Chowpatty-identified the bodies.

While there are around 50-60 witnesses, the police said only those who were not scared should come forward to identify the bodies. Among those who attended the identification were guests at the Oberoi and Taj, including a managing director of a bank who was stuck at the Taj on 26/11. “Another set of witnesses, many of them security and police personnel, including NSG officials, and Leopold Cafe employees will visit the morgue on Thursday to complete the procedure,” said additional commissioner of police Deven Bharti.

TOI spoke to a couple of witnesses who identified two terrorists at Nariman House. Kamal Singh, a Shiv Sena shaka pramukh from Colaba, said, “I am otherwise a strong person but when I saw the bodies of Nasir Akasha and Abu Rashid Umar, I could feel the terror on their faces. There was a strong stench of disinfectants in the morgue. I do not know how I spent the 10 minutes there. The memories of Nariman House suddenly rushed back to my mind.”

Sriphad Hatti, his friend, said, “The only difference was that the terrorists were armed back then but disarmed and dead at the morgue. Abu Rashid Umar had an innocent look on his face.”

Singh recalled that he and his friends, Hatti and Hari Avad, had shouted from the stairs of Nariman House not knowing that the attackers were heavily armed. “I abused and asked them to come out. But they hurled a grenade and said, `ye le kafar’,” claimed Singh. He said the terrorists were at a distance and they managed to run away. “We were lucky to escape,” he added.

The witnesses said the bodies of the nine terrorists were tagged with a red ribbon, containing their names, so that there was no confusion.

HC quashes permits for 291 DEd colleges in state
8 Jan 2009, 0127 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande & Kartikeya, TNN
MUMBAI: The rampant mushrooming of teaching colleges in the state might soon cease. The Bombay high court on Wednesday in one stroke quashed permissions to set up 291 new Diploma in Education (DEd) colleges in Maharashtra and directed that a study be undertaken on the demand and supply of primary teachers before April 2009. The colleges are of various language mediums.

A division bench at Nagpur, comprising justices B H Marlapalle and A H Joshi, noted that recognition was being granted to too many DEd courses without paying any heed to recommendations on the subject by various committees set up by the central government as well as the rules framed under the National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE) Act.

The petitioners — teachers from Chandrapur district — asked for quashing of recognition granted to newly recognised DEd courses while pointing out that Maharashtra had the largest number of unemployed DEd holders who took their examination in the Marathi medium. The number stood at a staggering 41,763 while it was only 55 for those whose medium was Gujarati and 160 in Kannada.

At the same time, the state has continued to churn out DEd holders in the thousands every year. The pass percentage for such courses is as high as 90% so that almost everyone who enrolled got the diploma but not a job because of the glut in the sector.

The high court was also informed that the number of DEd colleges was set to go up to 1,089 in the coming year as against 788 in 2008. This would translate into an intake capacity of 72,300, going up from 57,452.

The crux of the petitioners’ argument was that the capacity was being created without any accompanying increase in the absorption capacity of primary schools that would employ these teachers.

The court perused all the evidence and quashed the establishment of 291 new DEd colleges and asked for completion of a study on demand and supply of teachers in the state by April. This study will be placed before the central government’s ministry of human resource development for further directions on the issue.


Medium — number of unemployed DEd holders (from employment exchanges)

Hindi: 1,110

English: 1,232

Marathi: 41,763

Gujarati: 55

Kannada: 160

SC quashes HC order directing CBI probe in NAFED case
New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a Delhi High Court order directing a CBI probe into the alleged financial irregularities of around Rs 900 crore by National Agricultural Marketing Federation of India (NAFED) officials in procurement of mustard seeds.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, while quashing the order asked the high court to proceed with the matter. With today’s developments, the court also vacated its September 2007 order that stayed the CBI probe on a plea by NAFED.
It had earlier issued notice to one Vikas Jain, on whose petition the high court had passed its interim order. The high court had directed the investigative agency to register a case against erring NAFED officials, after a CAG report indicted them for alleged financial irregularities of Rs 900 crore.
NAFED had stated that government’s policy regarding procurement of mustard seeds should be revised.
According to the Supreme Court , the high court erred in deciding the issue as it acted on an inspection report without giving an opportunity to the procuring agency to file its reply. Besides, it equated losses with misappropriation which was baseless, it added.
NAFED procures oilseeds at much higher price than the market rate to ensure timely payments to farmers, it said, adding this was a significant measure for farmers’ welfare.
However, Jain’s counsel Sugriv Dubey argued that NAFED had divested around Rs 3,700 crore, meant for farmers, to its other businesses. He also suggested that a monitoring committee should be formed to look into the affairs of the federation.
While the high court had observed that “the erring officials should be put behind the bars,” the Comptroller and Auditor General in its report had stated that under the Price Support Scheme (PSS), major loss was incurred in the mustard seed stock in comparison to other commodities during the period 2000-2006.

Delhi HC asks GSK to file suit before Bombay HC against Heinz

Thursday – Jan 08, 2009 Correspondent | Mumbai
The legal advertising battle between Heinz India and Glaxo Smithkline Beecham Healthcare (GSK) over advertising claims of their respective brands Horlicks and Complan took a new turn on Wednesday, with the Delhi High Court asking GSK to file a fresh suit before the Bombay High Court.

The suit in the Delhi High Court had been filed by GSK in response to advertisements by released by Heinz in December last year. GSK had alleged that the advertisements of Complan were disparaging their brand Horlicks by calling it ‘cheap’ which it said implied that the brand was of inferior quality.

GSK had moved the Delhi High court after Heinz had filed a case in the Bombay High Court against the former, challenging the claims made by Horlicks in its ads. Heinz had objected to GSK filing a case in the Delhi High Court, arguing that it was an inappropriate forum.

The health food drinks market is growing at 20% and is estimated at about Rs 1,800-crore as per AC Nielsen data. Horlicks leads the category with a dominant market share.

Heinz had first objected to advertisements for Horlicks showing both brands in direct comparison. The ads highlighted the nutritional content and price gap between the two rival brands, and showed Horlicks as a better and more inexpensive health drink. Heinz had said that the ads were impacting its sales and approached the Bombay High Court.

Both companies have backed their claims by scientific research data. While Heinz released a study by Department of Food Science and Nutrition at Avinashilingam University in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, GSK’s ‘taller, sharper and stronger’ claim is backed by scientific data from the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), a Government body under the aegis of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

HC asks CBI to produce factual report
Kochi, Thursday, January 08, 2009: Kerala High Court Judge R Basant has asked the CBI to produce factual report on the meeting that took place between the three main accused and their lawyers when the accused where still in CBI custody.
The Court has directed the CBI and the lawyers of the three accused to to produce factual report next Thursday.
Meanwhile, the director of Bangalore Central forensic Lab has send a letter to High Court demanding the Court to remove the dissray over CDs which contained the Narco analysis test performed on the three accused in Sister Abhaya case. The Kerala High Court single division bench, Justice K Hema had held that the narco CDs had been tampered with at the Forensic science laboratory at Bangalore, but Justice V Ramkumar, who had heard the case before had observed that it was CBI which had tampered with the CDs.

Ban on ‘Deshdrohi’ to continue
8 Jan 2009, 0056 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: If the state has its way, Kammal Khan’s Deshdrohi may not hit the screens for a long time. The state’s advocate on Tuesday informed the Bombay high court that there was a proposal to extend the ban on the film in view of the forthcoming elections. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud was hearing a petition filed by Khan challenging the ban.

The 60-day ban on the film, imposed in November last year, expires on January 11. A decision whether to extend the ban would, however, depend on the HC verdict which is scheduled for Friday.

The film was banned following anti-north Indian protests by the MNS. Assistant government pleader told the court that the ban should be extended to prevent the likelihood of a breach of public order at the time of elections. The court rapped the state for the manner in which it had suspended film’s screening. “You are curtailing the right of a citizen, in this case the fundamental right to freedom of expression, but say that you won’t be able to rein in political leaders,” the court said. The court’s observation came when it found that one of the grounds to recommend a ban was that politicians were likely to create problems if the picture was released.

Another startling ground was that the movie shows a Maharashtrian girl falling in love with a north Indian boy and this is likely to cause ill feeling among Maharashtrians. The other reasons for the ban was that it may lead to disharmony between communities and some of the characters in the movie resemble political leaders.

The court also expressed surprise over the fact that no proper records were maintained relating to the intelligence inputs on the problems likely to occur if the movie is released.

“In most of the films, there is usually the portrayal of enmity between two groups and in such cases every film would have to be banned,” claimed Khan’s advocate Ashok Sarogi.

Magistrate pulled up for taking case on file in “cavalier” fashion
Special Correspondent
“Supreme Court principles given the go-by”
Magistrate had been pulled up earlier
CHENNAI: Noting that a city Magistrate has taken on file a case which is essentially of a civil nature but given a cloak of criminal offence, the Madras High Court has said that it feels that stringent action should be taken against her.
Allowing a petition seeking to quash the complaint and proceedings on the file of the X Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore, the High Court also ordered costs of Rs.25,000 to be paid by the complainant to two petitioners in equal proportion.
In his order, Justice K.Mohan Ram, said that as pointed out by the Supreme Court, criminal proceedings were not a short cut to other remedies available in law. Before issuing process, a criminal court had to exercise a great deal of caution.
For the accused, it was a serious matter, but the Magistrate had given the go-by to the principles laid down by the Supreme Court and had taken the complaint on file without application of mind in a mechanical and cavalier manner.
Such conduct on the Magistrate’s part was condemnable.
If complaints of this nature, which were purely civil in nature, frivolous and vexatious, were taken on file indiscriminately without application of mind, the litigating public would not only be put to harassment, but would lose faith in the very judicial system.
The Judge said that on an earlier occasion on coming to know of the indiscriminate manner in which private complaints filed under sections 156 (3) and 200 Cr.P.C. were being entertained by Judicial Magistrates/Metropolitan Magistrates in the State and after calling for details, Justice R. Regupathi, by a common order, had come down heavily on such Magistrates and one among them was the X Metropolitan Magistrate, Egmore. But subsequent to the aforesaid directions also, some instances had come to the notice of the High Court that the Magistrate was adopting the same procedure.
Mohan Nair and C.V. Ramesh filed a petition before the High Court seeking to quash the complaint filed for alleged fraud and cheating. The petitioners said they were served with summons from the X Metropolitan Magistrate court in August last year. The complainant’s name was given as M.S.Margasagayam.
The petitioners submitted that the Magistrate had issued summons against them on the basis of a complaint in which there were no allegations whatsoever to show as to how and in what circumstances and in relation to what matter, the petitioners were alleged to have committed fraud and cheated the complainant.

Bombay Dyeing slaps Rs 501-cr suit against former employee
8 Jan 2009, 0052 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande , TNN
MUMBAI: It is a fight which could send shivers down any top corporate honcho’s spine. The Nusli Wadia-promoted Bombay Dyeing has slapped a Rs 501-crore suit for damages against one of its former executive directors in the Bombay high court with a demand to restrain him from divulging the company’s confidential and trade information to its competitors.

Mehar Karan Singh, an IIT and IIM alumni, who worked with Bombay Dyeing as its executive director of the real estate division, is now fighting a court battle against, what he says are purely baseless allegations.

On Wednesday, Darius Khambata, counsel for Bombay Dyeing, informed the high court that there was evidence in the form of an e-mail sent out by Singh, which was recovered from his laptop that showed he had sent out confidential trade information about a software to a competitor, in violation of his service contract. Singh had joined the company in 2005, and his contract had a confidentiality clause. Khambata urged the court to restrain Singh, who he said had been terminated from service last May, for revealing the company’s secrets.

“What is the threat to you now that he has gone away?” Justice A V Nirgude asked Darius. “He will divulge trade information from which the company’s competitors would profit…What better asset than to offer the firm’s trade secrets if he sets up a consultancy.”

In response, the judge asked: “Assuming an injunction is granted, how will you ensure it is implemented?” Khambata admitted that it might be difficult to monitor Singh’s activities, but said he was entitled to an injunction.

But Singh’s counsel Rajiv Kumar suggested that there was more to the matter, and said that Singh would not be able to reveal secrets he does not even have. He added that Singh, in fact, resigned in October 2007, and had been threatened with dire consequences by Wadia and a few other company members when he was called in for some advice last June. “His laptop and diary was forcefully taken from him. He was wrongfully confined in a room for six hours only to find that his car was broken into and all papers missing,” said Kumar. Khambata immediately refuted the allegations as being “completely false” and said he would “deal with them point by point.”

But Kumar added that Singh was bold enough to mention in his affidavit that he had received a threat that he would get the same treatment as two other prominent industrialists who had crossed paths with the company in the past. In fact, Singh’s affidavit said he was “under tremendous tension and fear of reprisal including imminent danger to his and his family’s life.” He added that the attempt of the legal battle was to defame him and deprive him of any other job
, but Khambata said that the company has no such intentions. “The company is not saying he can’t work elsewhere, but he can’t get a job based on the company’s secrets.” The matter will continue on Friday.

High Court stays strike
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday restrained officers of GAIL (India) from going ahead with their proposed strike from Wednesday seeking a hike in wages.
Justice Anil Kumar stayed the strike on a petition by GAIL (India), which submitted that the officers’ decision was in violation of an order of the Supreme Court.
The High Court had stayed strike by public sector oil companies’ employees. Mr. Justice Kumar adjourned the matter for further hearing to March 2.

Caught unawares, litigants fume
8 Jan 2009, 0327 hrs IST, Smriti Singh , TNN
NEW DELHI: On Wednesday when Murari Jha (74) arrived at Tis Hazari courts for hearing into a maintenance case against him, it was one of the countless such visits he had made in last six years. Weary from the long court battle, all he wishes is for the case to get over as soon as possible but with lawyers on strike, on Wednesday his protracted trial just got prolonged for another few months.

“With no lawyers present, the court deferred my case for March 26,” said Murari. “It’s business as usual in the courts. Lawyers go on strike at their whims and we are the ones who suffer.”

Thousands of litigants got deferred dates on Wednesday after lawyers went on strike to protest a proposed amendment in the CrPC. The amendment will allow cops to decide whether to arrest or not arrest an accused in offences punishable up to seven-year jail term.

Premises of all five district courts wore a deserted look with lawyers missing from action. Harried litigants were seen flocking outside the courtrooms getting new dates for hearing. While some litigants were informed about the strike by their lawyers on Tuesday, others got to know about it only after they reached courts.

“I had my case listed for the day and when I came here I got to know that lawyers are on strike. My lawyer did not even bother to inform me about it. They have no business harassing litigants like that,” said Anil Thapa.

The strike was also criticized by some judges. “Already there is a backlog of cases and then the lawyers go on strike. We are bound to give further dates in absence of lawyers but they don’t seem to care,” said a judge on the condition of anonymity.

Lawyers defended the strike by saying that it has been called in public interest. “We don’t want criminals to roam free on streets. If required, we will go on a nationwide strike opposing the amendment,” said Rajiv Khosla, president of Delhi Bar Association. He added a meeting of all bar associations in NCR would be held soon to decide the future course of action.

Earlier in the day, some advocates had appeared in courts but officials of bar associations said it was due to lack of communication. They said that since the decision to strike was taken late on Tuesday evening, everyone among the legal fraternity could not be told about it.

ESMA imposed on third day of truckers’ strike
8 Jan 2009, 0336 hrs IST, Dipak Kumar Dash, TNN
NEW DELHI: To avoid scarcity of essential commodities in the Capital before things get out of control, the Delhi government imposed Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) on the third day of the truckers’ and transporters’ strike on Wednesday. The government warned of strict action against the strikers if they don’t fall in line. There are also reports of transporters surrendering their permits to the government.

Though the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) officials at Azadpur mandi claimed the entry and exit of trucks was normal, retail prices of fruits and vegetables shot up. Meanwhile, operators at Azadpur mandi said there has been an overall decline in truck arrival by 30-40%.

Increase in fruit prices has been more significant than vegetables. Prices of apple, kinnow and orange have increased by Rs 5-10 per kg. “If the strike continues, vegetables such as capsicum, onion and potato would go beyond people’s reach,” said Sangeet Kumar, a vegetable vendor.

Meanwhile, there has been a reverse trend at mandis with wholesale prices of cabbage, cauliflower and tomato decreasing. “These are perishable items coming from NCR. Since truckers are not loading vegetables for other states, we are selling them at low prices here,” said a farmer from Bulandshahr.

Since commission agents can no more hold back tomato stocks, they were also seen selling them at relatively lower rates. “We are running out of stock and are not getting enough supply from other states. However, potato prices are shooting as its supply can be held back,” said a tomato dealer.

The total arrival of potato came down to 1,305 tonnes in comparison to Tuesday’s 1,387.5 and that of onion shot up from 1,247 tonnes to 1,324.5 tonnes. Tomato supply was recorded at 516.3 tonnes on Wednesday compared to Tuesday’s 655 tonnes.

Lawyers strike to bail themselves out
8 Jan 2009, 0326 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: For all their public posturing and indignation against the CrPC amendment vesting greater discretionary powers with the police in making an arrest, lawyers privately admit their opposition to it because the changed law will reduce bail cases.

Though loathe to come on record, lawyers across various district bar associations in Delhi which struck work on Wednesday predicted a drastic fall in bail cases due to the CrPC amendment. Since it gives greater leeway to an investigating officer (IO) to decide if an arrest is warranted or not in offences which carry a maximum sentence of seven years’ imprisonment, observers say number of arrests for such crimes is likely to come down and so will the corresponding bail matters ending up before courts.

The bar associations, however, have wrapped their grievances in dire warnings of lawlessness and increased crimes against women, since a molester can now walk away secure in the knowledge that he might not be arrested. Still, was going on strike the solution, given that every judicial authority from the Supreme Court to Delhi High Court has repeatedly directed lawyers to refrain from this option?

“It isn’t a strike on principle and policy,” says senior lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, referring to Wednesday’s protest. She said it was the loss of clients due to less bail pleas that was causing heartburn to most district lawyers, “Litigant had nothing to do with the amendment but it is he who suffers the most because of such strikes. Even when SC has termed strike as `gross misconduct’ lawyers resort to it, this is extremely unfortunate. If we take a fee we are dutybound to provide legal service to our clients,” she said.

While the bar associations claim the amendment will lead to increase in crimes like kidnapping, stabbing, forgery etc, lawyers like Ashok Arora see nothing wrong in the amendment, concluding it will in fact “help administration of justice”. He added, “Whether bail matters will be reduced or not shouldn’t be concern of any profession. As lawyers our aim should be to help in administration of justice.”

Even the judges, speaking on condition of anonymity, maintained the bar striking work at the drop of a hat on every issue was unacceptable. “In district courts, many lawyers are dependent on fighting cases for anticipatory or interim bail. Therefore this amendment has left them fuming,” added an HC judge familiar with the workings of lower courts.

It was left to Delhi High Court Bar Association president K C Mittal to stand by his lower court counterparts and back their demands. “Amendment does suffer from many defects which will have consequences like escalation of crime. Giving discretion to police to arrest or not means there will be no deterrence,” Mittal told TOI. When asked if going on strike was a good way to protest against this change, Mittal claimed it was being done only to warn the public of what trouble lies ahead due to the changed CrPC. “How do we raise a point? We keep shouting, sending representations, letters, etc but no one listens.”

MLA files bail petition
MADURAI: R. Samy, Member of the Legislative Assembly representing the Melur constituency, and 51 other AIADMK workers have filed a bail petition before the Madras High Court Bench here. They were arrested on December 30 in connection with an attempt to murder case registered against them during the Thirumangalam by-election campaign.
— Staff Reporter

Petition seeks higher compensation for boy
Special Correspondent
He was injured in accident caused
by ONGC pumping machine
CHENNAI: Justice K.Suguna of the Madras High Court on Tuesday ordered notice on a writ petition filed by a casual labourer seeking compensation for injuries suffered by his son in an accident caused by a pumping machine.
The court ordered that the notice was returnable by January 12.
In his petition, filed by counsel P.Vijendran, the petitioner, D.Narayanasamy of Koodur in Tiruvarur district, submitted that his son N.Jayaprakash, was studying in Standard XII in the Government Higher Secondary School, Pulivalam.
During an NSS programme last month at Perungadi village, near Pulivalam, Jayaprakash went to answer nature’s call near an unprotected and unmanned pumping machine, owned by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, and met with an accident.
He sustained severe injuries below the hip.
The NSS officer and others admitted him to a hospital at Tiruvarur. After first aid, he was referred to another hospital at Thanjavur.
Mr.Narayanasamy said he had already spent more than Rs.1.2 lakh on treatment.
The ONGC gave him Rs.50,000, which was immediately paid to the hospital, which had informed him that the expenditure would be more.
The petitioner said his son was a meritorious student. He expected him to score more marks in the higher secondary examination.
He sought interim direction to the respondents, particularly the company, to pay him Rs.2 lakh to save his son’s life, pending disposal of the writ petition.
He prayed for a direction to the respondents – Tiruvarur District Collector, District Educational Officer, Headmaster of the school and The Asset Manager, ONGC Niravi, Karaikal – to pay Rs.10 lakh as compensation.

Justice Somashekhar begins hearing on church attacks
8 Jan 2009, 0311 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Justice Somashekhar Commission, which is probing into attacks on various churches in the state, began its hearing on Wednesday here.

More than 700 affidavits have been filed before the commission, which has marked 117 documents relating to church attacks.

On Wednesday, the commission recorded statements of Athibele inspector L Purushotham, Rajarajeshwarinagar inspector Chandrashekhar, Amruthalli sub-inspector Santhosh, Kolar Gulpet inspector Sardar and CoD deputy SP Srinivas.

The hearing has been adjourned to Thursday.

Dak Adalat on January 9
COIMBATORE: Department of Posts will conduct a Dak Adalat and customers’ meet at the office of the Superintendent of Post Offices, Tirupur Division, on January 9 at 3 p.m. –
Staff Reporter

SC files PIL challenging delay in appt of judges
7 Jan 2009, 0023 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday admitted a public interest litigation challenging the delay in the appointment of 19 vacant judge posts in the AP High Court and nearly 200 posts of judicial officers in the subordinate courts.

The bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Sadasivam admitted the petition filed by the AP High Court Advocates Association.

Madras high court judges to get Honda civic for official use
8 Jan 2009, 0247 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: The government has allocated Rs 4.26 crore for purchasing 36 Honda Civic sedans for the official use of Madras high court judges. A government order, making the budgetary outlay, was passed by the Home (Courts) Department on December 26.

In the next few days, a total of 36 Honda Civic sedans will be made available to the official use of the Lordships. A government order, making a budgetary outlay of Rs 4.26 crore, was passed by the Home (Courts) Department on December 26, and the copies were sent to the high court a couple of days ago.

Pointing out that the proposal to buy Honda Civic cars came from the high court represented by its Registrar-General, the government order said a sum of Rs 4,25,88,000 had been allotted to purchase 36 cars. Each car shall cost Rs 11.83 lakh, it said.

Though Honda Civic cars in the open market enjoy only two-year free maintenance, the company dealer, TVS, has thrown in two more years of extended warranty for this batch of vehicles. “It is almost maintenance-free arrangement, as the norms for government vehicles fixed in 2003 holds that a vehicle would be eligible for replacement if it either completes five years or logs one lakh kilometre, whichever is earlier,” said an official.

The new batch of 36 vehicles will replace as many Honda City cars, which are long past their prime. Now, the old vehicles will be used by the Public (motor vehicles) Department for internal allotment. “The old vehicles are in poor shape, and we send up a prayer each time we get inside these cars,” said a judge, adding that heated exchange of ideas preceded decision on the new Honda Civic sedans.

While some judges pitched in for Toyota Innova, a couple of Lordships wanted Tata Safari or Scorpio for all judges. “Honda Civic found favour with a majority of judges for its elegance and poise,” said another judge. After a brief debate, the judges settled for a modest white instead of royal black suggested by some judges.

The high court’s sitting strength of judges as on date is 43. So, who will not get the new car? “The junior-most seven, of course,” said a judge, adding that orders for more cars would be placed once the 14 new additional judges, whose appointment is expected in the next few weeks, assume charge.

It was the then chief justice B Subhashan Reddy who ushered in an era of comfort and opulence in 2002, when he got a batch of 31 Honda City cars for judges. The state government had allotted Rs 1.78 crore for the vehicles. Though the then open market rate for the vehicle was Rs 7.5 lakh each, the court got it for Rs 5.75 lakh each, thanks to discounts by the company and tax waiver by the then government.

Shanmugam commission grills legal studies director on law college violence
8 Jan 2009, 0229 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The Justice Shanmugam Commission of Inquiry, constituted to probe into the violence on the campus of the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Government Law College, commenced hearing and cross-examination of witnesses here on Wednesday.

The counsel for the backward community students who were injured in the incident grilled the director of legal studies J Jayamani, who is also a former principal of the Dr Ambedkar Law College for more than two hours. The counsel through a series of questions sought to hold Jayamani responsible for the violence saying that the latter had acted in a grossly negligent manner while dealing with the student affairs of the institution. He said that Jayamani, as the de-facto chief hostel warden, had failed to periodically inspect the hostel and weed out outsiders from the hostel premises.

However, Jayamani denied all charges and said that he could not be held responsible for whatever happened inside hostels. “Both the male and female hostels have deputy wardens who are responsible for the affairs. I had taken charge as director of legal studies only recently. I visited the hostel occasionally but it is not possible to inspect each and every room,” he said.

Jayamani denied any knowledge of the students celebrating Thevar Jayanthi inside the college premises but admitted that a section of the students had celebrated the birthday of Ambedkar.

Former Chennai police commissioner R Sekar who was shifted out after the violence and other senior police officers were also present during the hearing. However, since the cross-examination of law college authorities went on till late afternoon, Justice Shanmugam decided to call the police officers for examination on Friday.

In all 18 persons have been cited as witnesses to the violence and 19 persons have listed as “affected parties.” Last month, police officers, students, college authorities and one member of the public had filed written depositions in the matter.

PCB not to seek more time from high court
8 Jan 2009, 0440 hrs IST, Satyabrata Das, TNN
KOLKATA: The state government may be seeking some more time to enforce the high court auto ban, but not the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (PCB).

“Our stand is clear. The state environment department has passed the order of phasing out of old commercial vehicles with the PCB’s consultation. There is no question of seeking modification of the court’s order or extension of time for banning two-stroke autorickshaws on our behalf. Till now, I did not get any instruction on the matter from the authority,” said Kollol Mondal, the PCB counsel, on Wednesday.

PCB is a party to the writ petition pending before the high court, in which the government is supposed to make an application seeking extension of time.

On the other hand, legal experts think that the state can seek extension of time for complying with a court order under court proceedings. To avoid contempt of court for violating the order, it can seek a modification or extension of time. “There is a Supreme Court directive, that at the time of passing an order, the high court should consider the practical difficulties for complying with it,” said junior standing counsel Subrata Mukhopadhyay.

In this instance, the state cannot seek a modification of the order, as the order was passed by the government itself. The only way is to seek a time extension, feel experts.

“The state can seek extension of time to carry out the court order, which had also happened at the time autos converted to CNG in Delhi. The authority had sought extensions time and again from the court, which were granted,” said Mukhopadhyay.

Case against Hazare deferred to Jan 29
8 Jan 2009, 0300 hrs IST, TNN
PUNE: Judicial magistrate first class Rakesh Wanwadi granted complainant Hemant Patil one last chance on Wednesday after he failed to appear before the court.

Patil has filed a private criminal case of alleged misappropriation against social activist Anna Hazare and the Hind Swaraj Trust for squandering Rs 2.5 lakh on Hazare’s birthday in 2005.

The judge directed that Patil appear before the court in two days and the case was deferred for hearing till January 29.

Hazare’s lawyer, Milind Pawar, filed an application to dismiss the case, since Patil failed to turn up whenever the matter came up for hearing and his client had to repeatedly come to court. Patil’s lawyer Vrunda Karande, however, filed an application seeking adjournment on the grounds that her client could not appear before the court because he was busy at work.

After examining the case papers, the court observed that the complainant had failed to lead evidence against Hazare for six months, whereas Hazare’s lawyer has remained present on all dates.

After giving Patil one more chance, the court disposed of the application filed by his lawyer.

APERC hearing put off by a day
HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission’s public hearing scheduled to held on January 8 has been postponed to the next day in view of the Government declaring holiday on that day. A press release issued by the commission here on Tuesday said the hearing on renewable power purchase obligation would be held at 11 a.m. in its court hall on January 9. –Special Correspondent

Two years after death, CID registers case
8 Jan 2009, 0255 hrs IST, TNN
PUNE: Two years after Amritsingh Pyarasingh Sandhu (55) of Pune was thrashed to death by the public in Bhosari after it was suspected that he was a thief, the state criminal investigation department (CID) has registered a case against unknown persons for causing his death.

Deputy superintendent of police, S S Belam of the CID’s flying squad (Solapur unit), has registered a case against unknown persons under section 304 (a) of the Indian Penal Code with the Bhosari police station.

Belam told TOI that the CID had taken over the investigation because Sandhu had died in police custody.

According to Belam, members of the public severely beat up Sandhu and then handed him over to the police for further investigations on January 2, 2007.

The policemen on duty had placed him under arrest and he had been kept in the lock-up of the Pimpri police station. After Sandhu collapsed and become unconscious, he was admitted to the Yashwantrao Chavan Memorial hospital for medical treatment.

“The medical examination revealed that Sandhu had developed a blood clot in his head which was severely swollen because of the beating. Sandhu died eight days after the incident. Since there was no evidence of torture against the policemen who were present at the relevant time of the incident, the CID has registered a case against unknown persons for causing his death,” Belam added.

Water adalat
BWSSB Central-1 subdivision will hold a water adalat on Wednesday between 9.30 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the office of the assistant executive engineer at Chikkalalbagh. Disputes of consumers coming under the jurisdiction of Chikkalalbagh, LLR and Bashyam Park Service Station limits will be heard and settled. Call 22945187 or 22945188 for details.

Abhaya case: High Court reserves order
Monitoring of CBI investigation
Court says that observation of Justice K. Hema should be read in a realistic manner
CBI says judge’s observation in the bail order has caused difficulties to the probe team
Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Tuesday reserved its order regarding the monitoring of Sister Abhaya murder case investigation.
Justice R. Basant decided to pass the order on the issue in the light of the observations made by Justice K. Hema that the investigation should be conducted only “under the strict and immediate guidance and supervision of a more competent and experienced senior officer or a team of officers of CBI.”
While hearing the arguments on the clarification petition filed by the CBI on the issue, Justice Basant orally said that he was a little perturbed over the action of the CBI in stopping the investigation.
The court orally observed that the observation of Justice Hema should be read in a realistic manner. The observation in the bail order did not conclude that the investigation should be stopped. The court had not specially issued any direction.
What the Single Judge had intended was that investigations should be supervised by a competent officer. The CBI was “assuming something.” The court orally said that every righteous person had the right to know who murdered the nun. If the CBI was aggrieved by observations, it could file an appeal before the apex court. The court wondered whether the CBI was finding the observation as an excuse to stop the investigation.
No comment
The court also orally observed that judicial discipline demands that this court should not make any comment on the observations made by the judge in the bail order. There appeared to be some incongruities in the observations of Justice Hema and Justice Ramkumar on the authenticity of the narco-analayis test CDs. Therefore, the court would decide whether this court should monitor the investigation or place the matter before a Division Bench.
CBI counsel submitted that the observation in the bail order had caused difficulties to the investigation team. The order was passed when the team had made headway in the investigation. The CBI also told the court that the investigation was being conducted under the direct supervision of DIG, CBI, Chennai, and under the overall supervision of Joint Director (South).
The CBI submitted that though it had suspended the investigation for two days, it had now restarted the investigation.
Counsel for Thomas, father of Sister Abhaya, said that Justice Hema had directed that until the unedited narco-analysis test CDs were retrieved, the CBI should not act on them.
The counsel also said that this court should continue to monitor the cases as it had already passed many orders in the case.

Court restrains BYPL from recovery of 52-lakh bill
Staff Reporter
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has restrained the Capital’s power distribution company BSES Yamuna Private Limited (BYPL) from going ahead with recovery of a pending electricity bill for Rs.52 lakh from an industry.
Justice Vipin Sanghi passed the stay order on a petition by Plaza Pipe Industry submitting that it had been wrongly slapped with the bill accusing it of tampering with the meter.
Counsel for the petitioner industry, Falak Mohammed Meo, submitted that the alleged tampered meter belonged to another private industry that was running a factory manufacturing window panes for cars in the commercial premises which it (petitioner) had later taken on rent at Karawal Nagar in North-East Delhi.
He submitted that earlier his client was running the factory manufacturing pipes in the Patparganj Industrial Area of East Delhi. He said his client had later shifted the factory to the new premises in Karawal Nagar and informed the power distribution company about this.
In fact, the owner of the premises had on a request by the factory owner applied for a new power connection of 60 kW. The power distribution company had sanctioned his request and installed a new meter in the factory and taken away the old one, Falak Mohammed submitted.
BYPL had later sent the old meter to a lab to examine whether it had been tampered with. The meter was found to be tampered. On the basis of the test report, BYPL issued a show-cause notice with a bill for Rs.52 lakh to the Plaza Pipe Industry.
In reply to the notice, the petitioner denied that any bill was pending against it. It requested BYPL to recover the dues, if any, from the owner of the old factory in the premises. But the power distribution company dismissed the reply. Thereafter the petitioner industry moved the High Court.

Animal board moves SC, seeks ban on Jallikattu

Published: Wed, 07 Jan 2009 at 20:55 IST
New Delhi, Jan 7: The Animal Welfare Board of India today filed a fresh application in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on the traditional “Jallikattu” (bull fights) festival held in Tamil Nadu every January as part of Pongal celebrations.

The festival is mainly conducted during the three-day Pongal festival which falls between January 13-15.

It is alleged that bulls are starved or fed intoxicated substances before being provoked to fight men trained for the purpose.

According to the application, during the festival last year some persons were killed and several others were injured, apart from the cruelty against animals.

The Board through its secretary D Rajasekar has alleged that the Tamil Nadu government and the organisers committed contempt of court by failing to comply with the guidelines framed by the apex court on January 15 last year.

By the said order, the apex court had directed the Government to ensure that the age-old fight was held in the presence of observers of the Board.

It was submitted that the Government failed to ensure the presence of the observers for the fights at most places, excluding Madurai, Sivaganga and Pukukottai districts.

The application stated that bull tamers crowd around the animal in the ring to provoke and terrorise it for a combat. In the process, the animal is beaten with sticks and its movements are curtailed by using ropes, it said. Moreover it was alleged that the festival was not restricted during the Pongal celebrations in January as claimed by the Government, but is also organised during other months.

The Board also complained that the organisers were obtaining permission for organising the bull fights by approaching the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court.

According to the Board, the high court was also granting permission for the festival without insisting on compliance of the guidelines framed by the Supreme Court.

NOIDA rape case: Renuka gives tongue-lashing to Mayawati, NCW constitutes probe committee
Posted by admin in National
NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh), Jan.7 (AN): Even as Union Minister of State for Women and Child Development (Indepedent Charge) Renuka Chaudhary came down heavily on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati for not doing enough to protect women in the state,t he National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday constituted a two-member committee to probe the gang rape of an MBA student in NOIDA.
The NCW team comprising members Neeva Konwar and Wansuk Syiem today visited NOIDA to inquire into the incident, officials said.
The 24-year old MBA student claimed that she was gangraped by ten young men in Sector 39 near a shopping mall in NOIDA. Five of the ten have been arrested.
Earlier,Chaudhary said such incidents put a question mark on the role of the State Government in maintaining law and order.
She demanded that none of the five arrested boys be given bail.
“How did they think that they can do such a thing and get away? And when that question arises you start questioning the Government. So, I think we have to start questioning the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh…what she has to say about this,” Chaudhary said.
“You have Nithari and Arushi cases, you have NOIDA rapes. And that is sad if you can”t solve the problem. I think you (Mayawati) should stop dreaming of being the Prime Minister,” she added.
Asked what punishment did she think should be given to the culprits, Renuka said, “It is a non-bailable offence that should be…that none of them should get bail and after that I believe that the people have to believe that there is a genuine investigation and what kind of people we are that we cannot protect our daughters.”
Mayawati and Chaudhary had recently engaged into a war of words in relation to the Arushi murder and the Nithari child killings. (ANI)

Goa team asks PM for tribunal on Mhadei
8 Jan 2009, 0358 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Chief minister Digambar Kamat, leading an all-party delegation, on Wednesday presented a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Delhi demanding the constitution of a judicial tribunal to sort out the Mhadei water dispute with Karnataka.

Water Resources minister Felipe Neri Rodrigues told TOI from Delhi that the PM was sympathetic to Goa’s demands and had promised to take up Goa’s case with the central water resources ministry.

Rodrigues said the Goan delegation apprised the PM of the facts regarding the Mhadei water dispute starting with the work by Karnataka on the project to Goa filing a suit before the Supreme Court.

“We have demanded the setting up of a judicial tribunal under the interstate river water dispute Act, 1956. We also reminded that we have been demanding a judicial tribunal from 2002. We have highlighted that our memorandum is a reflection of the strong sentiments of the people of Goa and also our strong protest against the illegal and arbitrary action of Karnataka for starting diversion works on the disputed project,” Rodrigues said.

In the 30-minute meeting with the PM, the Goan delegation also brought to the notice that the union government had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court expressing its willingness to constitute a judicial tribunal for the Mhadei water dispute. The delegation also explained all consequences of the proposed water diversion.

Rodrigues said the PM has taken cognizance of the fact that, for the first time, all political parties in Goa have unitedly approached the Centre to seek its intervention in the Mhadei dispute.

Other than Kamat and Rodrigues, the delegation comprised of home minister Ravi Naik, panchayat minister Manohar Azgaonkar, PWD minister Churchill Alemao, health minister Vishwajeet Rane, education minister Atanasio Monserrate, transport minister Ramkrishna Dhavalikar and revenue minister Jose Philip D’Souza. The BJP was represented by deputy opposition leader Francis D’Souza and Mormugao MLA Milind Naik. Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik and chief secretary J P Singh were also part of the delegation.

The PM advised the Goan delegation to show extra vigilance in enforcing security of the coastline. In response, the CM informed Singh that the minister of state for home, Sriprakash Jaiswal, who recently visited Goa, had assured to fulfil all of Goa’s demands to modernise the police force and enhance the security apparatus.

Govt wants flyover at Baina to save houses
PANAJI: Chief minister Digambar Kamat also presented a memorandum to the prime minister regarding the 4-lane connectivity to the Mormugao port from Verna. The memorandum urges that the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to construct a half kilometre long flyover from Baina to berth number nine of the Mormugao port to avoid demolition of about 170 houses in the area.

The Mormugao BJP MLA Milind Naik told TOI that the Goa legislative assembly during its August 2007 session, had unanimously passed a resolution that the 4-lane connectivity road be diverted and instead a flyover from Baina to berth number nine be constructed to save the houses from demolition. A copy of the assembly resolution has been attached to the memorandum for the Centre’s consideration.

Make Indian acid attack laws gender neutral
The current laws only protect women like the anti-dowry law and the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and they have been misused in almost 98 per cent of instances in collusion with the police and judiciary. .
CJ: Arnab Ganguly ,
THE LOGIC behind the recent acid law being framed by the National Commission of Women (NCW) is hard to understand. In the law the victim can only be a woman or child and never a teen or an adult male. Time and time again it has been proved beyond doubt that men and their male family members have been victims of brutal acid attacks which have scarred them for life. Most recently, the Australian police arrested an Indian woman who burned her husband by throwing acid on him. Many a times these heinous crimes are caused by the wife’s family to extract revenge. The current laws only protect women like the anti-dowry law and the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 and they have been misused in almost 98 per cent of instances in collusion with the corrupt police and judiciary to unleash “legal terrorism” on the husband and his family.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) is once again doing what it does best; draft biased one sided laws that benefit only women. The fundamental ideas behind all NCW drafted laws is basically the same:

1. Whatever the woman/wife claims to be the truth must be accepted as the truth and the accused be arrested and harassed
2.The woman will be immediately allowed to extort compensation from the accused even if the case has not yet begun or still not proven.

What does a man do if he is brutally attacked by his wife or any estranged woman or her hired henchmen with acid? Numerous cases have come to light where the father-in-law of the husband has hired professional gangsters to brutally beat/harass the husband.

Acid attacks are equally brutal for either gender, no matter if it a woman’s skin or a man’s, it is equally painful to both. The life of an acid attack victim changes for worse irrespective of the gender. The acid law must be made gender neutral so that any person who has been victimised in an acid attack can be entitled to equal justice under this law.

Women’s commission probes Noida gang rape
January 7th, 2009 – 9:09 pm ICT by IANS
Noida, Jan 7 (IANS) A National Commission for Women (NCW) team Wednesday came here to inquire into the alleged rape of a young woman by 10 men that has shocked residents of the Indian capital and surrounding areas. The team visited the Sector 39 police station in Noida, where the case was registered, and also met the victim, according to a commission member.
“We met the victim and her family members to collect details,” Neeva Konwar of the NCW told IANS.
The team also collected details of the incident from the Noida police, besides inquiring about the status of investigation.
The victim, a management student from south Delhi, had gone with her friend Amit Pawar, to the Great Indian Place Mall in Sector 18 market for shopping Monday.
According to the police, the girl and her friend in their WagonR car were returning to their homes in Delhi, when around 10 men intercepted them. They raped the girl after thrashing Pawar.
The men, in their early 20s and residents of Garhi Chaukhandi village in Sector 58, were returning after playing a cricket match. They were riding a Scorpio SUV and two motorcycles.
Police have arrested five of them while five are still at large.

Britons seek help from commission
8 Jan 2009, 0333 hrs IST, Preetu Nair, TNN
PANAJI: The two British nationals, against whom the Mumbai enforcement directorate (ED) acted for “illegally” purchasing property in Goa, have written to the British high commission for help. The ED action has unnerved other foreigners who fear confiscation of their home or even eviction.

“For the last six months we have been worried about our home being confiscated and us being rendered homeless and bankrupt. We are living a nightmare and the situation is mentally destructive, nerve wrecking and emotionally disturbing,” said 53-year-old British national Jean (name changed), who was issued summons by the ED to present her home registration documents.

Jean bought a 162 sq m apartment in Arpora in 2002 after selling her UK property and “after fulfilling all requirements under law to purchase property in India”.

Another Dutch national, who purchased an apartment in Kevim in 2004, is still awaiting clearance from the investigators. “The impression we get is that the Goa government may like to have us as tourists but not as residents. If that’s the case then I am willing to sell off my property in Goa and I promise never to return here. But it would be wrong to snatch everything away from us when we have spent money on lawyers and paper work to ensure that everything is done legally.”

The Dutch national says she spent time researching local property laws and talking to people who had already bought in Goa. “We have always tried to do what is legal. If our house is snatched and we are wrongfully fined for illegalities we never committed, then we will be literally in the gutter,” she added. They are on a five year X visa.

Meanwhile, the two British nationals Nicholas Joseph Papa and his friend Michael Denis Cooper who have a house in Corona, North Goa, have written to the British high commission, Mumbai, seeking intervention and help. “We feel that our government should investigate and intervene to help us as we have not done anything illegal. They should take up the matter with the Indian government as we wouldn’t be investing our life’s savings in something that is illegal,” said Papa.

Papa said that they were on a business visa when they purchased their first house on May 25, 2001, after a stay of 231 days, which they later sold. “We purchased the second house in September 2006 when we were on a five year X visa (permission to reside in a country without employment or business for a longer period) after staying in the country for 339 days. We never purchased property while on a tourist visa,” said Cooper.

Incidentally, even though North Goa additional collector in his letter to the ED on September 23 said that “unless a conversion sanad is obtained, the property continues to be agricultural though it falls under R-zone/settlement zone’ as per zoning under the town and country planning department,” the fact remains that several sale deeds were done by sub-registrars and foreigners were given house number, house tax and provided electricity.

Advocate Vikram Varma dealing with cases of foreigners who have invested in property in Goa said, “The government has misinterpreted the provisions of FEMA. I have examined the documents and find no violation of FEMA in letter or spirit.”

Joint secretary of the state government Anupam Kishore said, “There has been no misinterpretation of FEMA and action has been initiated against foreign nationals who have contravened FEMA regulations. They also have a right to defend themselves. Most of them have given an affidavit before sub-registrars’ that they were residents in India, which was false.”

Benaulim p’yat to appeal against dy director order
8 Jan 2009, 0345 hrs IST, TNN
MARGAO: Close on the heels of the Curtorim gram sabha’s resolution rejecting the order of the additional director of panchayat directing the panchayat to approve a mega project, the Benaulim panchayat on Wednesday also decided to appeal against an order issued to it by the deputy director of panchayat to approve a construction project promoted by a former Benaulim sarpanch Agnelo Fernandes. The decision was taken at the special panchayat body meeting chaired by acting sarpanch Stanley Fernandes.

The plot of land on which the construction of a residential cum commercial land is proposed to be constructed by Agnelo Fernandes is the same land which the panchayat had proposed to acquire for the purpose of developing it into a recreational space.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Stanley Fernandes informed that the panchayat would appeal against the order before the appropriate authority and seek legal counsel in the matter. “It was decided to retain the open space for recreational purpose. The gram sabha has already adopted a resolution that the land be acquired by the panchayat. The panchayat body is keen in acquiring the 600 sq m of land in question,” Fernandes said.

Significantly, what has raised eyebrows of the villagers is the fact that Agnelo Fernandes, during his tenure as the sarpanch of Benaulim in 1989, had prevailed upon the gram sabha to acquire only 1500 sq m of land instead of 2100 as was earlier proposed. Accordingly, the panchayat bought the 1500 sq m of land from the owner at the rate of Rs 100 per sq m in 1992. However, it is this adjoining 600 sq m of land that the former sarpanch is eyeing.

“The space has been used for centuries together for football matches and various social and cultural activities. The villagers will be deprived of any space for recreational purpose if a construction project is allowed to come up here,” Rudolf Fernandes, a Benaulim resident said.

Ajay Devgun to be penalised for smoking at airport
8 Jan 2009, 2035 hrs IST, PTI
CHANDIGARH: Bollywood actor Ajay Devgun, who was found smoking at the city airport two days ago, will be penalised for his act.

“Yes, we will serve him a challan,” Chandigarh’s IGP S K Jain told reporters on Thursday.

Devgun and fellow actor Salman Khan are currently in the city for the shooting of “London Dreams”.

On Wednesday, after receiving legal opinion from deputy district attorney, SSP S S Srivastava had asked DSP (south) Jaswant Singh Khaira to verify the facts.

A city-based NGO had moved a complaint that Devgun had smoked at the airport when he arrived here for the film’s shooting. Smoking is prohibited at public places.

Ironically, the same NGO had on Wednesday moved another complaint with the Railway Police alleging that both Devgun and Salman had “smoked” at the Kurali railway station in Punjab, where the movie was being shot.

It sought immediate action against the two.

Dog bites can hurt civic bodies legally
8 Jan 2009, 0434 hrs IST, Supriya Bhardwaj, TNN
CHANDIGARH: When a dog bites a man, it’s not news, they say. But it certainly can be a court case, chip in legal experts. The defendant will of course not be the stray canine, but the municipal corporation whom the complainant can ask for compensation.

Legal experts say residents can go to the consumer court after such incidents and civil cases can be filed in district courts.

“Such dog-bite incidents show negligence on part of MC and it is liable to pay damages. It should take strict action or people should head towards district courts under Law of Torts,” said District Bar Association president advocate NK Nanda.

National Consumer Commission had clarified that services rendered by civic bodies fell under the ambit of Consumer Protection (CP) Act through its judgment in the Consumer Education & Research Society & Others versus Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation & Others case of 2008.

The court had added that residents could also sue civic bodies if they found any problems with
roads, streetlights, parking lots, water supply, public parks and services, etc.

Advocate Neeraj Sharma said, “It is the duty of civic bodies to ensure that stray animals don’t harm or injure anyone. The Consumer Protection Act allows people to seek compensation claiming deficiency on the part of MC in providing safe amenities and environment to people.”

Experts said there were as many as 8,000 stray dogs in the city till February 2008 and their number had forced MC to create dog bylaws, start sterilization drives and launch a helpline.

However, many questions arose about the MC’s implementation of these bylaws when a rabid stray mongrel bit district court and sessions judge KK Garg on Monday and died afterwards.

Punjab serves chargesheet on DGP Virk
8 Jan 2009, 0444 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN
CHANDIGARH: In an unprecedented move against a DGP-rank officer, Punjab government on Wednesday served a detailed chargesheet upon Sarabjit Singh Virk accusing him of “politicking and misuse of official position”. Copies of the document were then despatched to ministry of home affairs (MHA) and Maharashtra home secretary.

The chargesheet comes in the wake of a June 8, 2008-letter from MHA under secretary K Natarajan which clearly stated that under All India Service Rules-1969 the authority to institute disciplinary proceedings and impose penalty on an erring officer was vested with the state government with which the officer was serving. Thus, it was for the Punjab government to probe Virk’s misconduct and, on finding cogent evidence, initiate disciplinary proceedings against him.

“Though a copy of the chargesheet has been sent to Maharashtra government, it is only to serve the same on Virk who, in any case, has been sent a copy separately. It is the Punjab government that will impose a major penalty, read dismissal from service, on him,” said a top government source.

As disclosed by TOI earlier, Virk, presently posted in Maharashtra, faced Punjab government’s ire for allegedly indulging in “politicking” and concealing facts related to property. The ruling Akali-BJP coalition has now framed `eight articles of charge’ to pin down the 1970-batch IPS officer perceived to be close to former Congress CM Amarinder Singh.

The most damaging charges relate to Virk’s alleged “unethical” role as a “political strategist and fund-raiser” to further partisan interests of a national party and “for repeatedly lying and concealing information in annual property returns, misusing official position, constructing and managing illegal resort, opening 35 bank accounts in assumed names, preparing false medical certificates, etc”.

The chargesheet says, “You (Virk) have not maintained integrity and devotion towards duty and have done series of misconducts which is unbecoming of a member of All India Services”.

Significantly, there is an annexure that refers to a hand-written political note and diaries of Virk. The said note, titled `Actionable points for Lok Sabha elections-2009′, was allegedly recovered from the officer’s briefcase when he was arrested by government agencies in September 2007.

Sources said the note, allegedly “hand-written” by Virk after the Akali-BJP government had already come to power, contained suggestions like “activating S S Mann, creating parallel BSP in the state, how to divide votes along caste lines, earmarking of candidates expeditiously, key contacts with Dera head, etc”. The note is also said to refer to “young MLAs like Sukhpal Khaira, Jassy (Jaspal) Khangura, Pabby (Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu)” who are “active and have money”, thereby the need to win them over.

Virk had a few days back said veracity of the note was doubtful. “There can’t be two disciplinary authorities in my case as I was repatriated to Maharashtra in April 2007,” he said.

Adviser bends rules to favour Congress leader
8 Jan 2009, 0421 hrs IST, Vibhor Mohan, TNN
CHANDIGARH: In the continuing slugfest between UT administrator Gen SF Rodrigues and adviser Pradip Mehra, a document, copy of which is in possession of TOI, seems to point out how Congress spokesman Amarjeet Singh Sethi benefited from Mehra’s quasi judicial powers.

The report shows how Mehra violated rules to favour Sethi by reviewing a petition even as he declined to do so in another case, citing the law.

Sethi had the power of attorney for the plot of a steel industry in Industrial Area, Phase II, which was resumed by the Estate Office (EO). Despite EO representatives pointing out that it was a second review petition and ‘not maintainable under Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation) Act, 1952’, Mehra preferred to condone the delay in deposition of penalty (forfeiture) of Rs 680 by the petitioner.
According to law, the adviser cannot review any decision made by him or any other adviser, leaving the aggrieved person with the only option of moving the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Even as Mehra admitted in Sethi’s order that the benefit was against two previous orders of the court of adviser on January 2, 2008, and April 19, 2006, but he justified it on the grounds that circumstances in the case were peculiar in nature. “The petitioner has already complied with orders of this court substantially and only the amount of forfeiture was not deposited within time,” read the order passed on March 19, 2008.

But the adviser was well in the know of his lack of powers to review an earlier decision as demonstrated in another order in connection with review petition number 54 of 2007. While rejecting it, Mehra’s order read, “I find that the present petition is a review petition against the order of this court dated 11.10.2006. No rule of the law has been cited under which this court can modify or clarify its own order. If the petition is aggrieved by any aspect of the order, the proper course of action will be to file an appeal at an appropriate forum.”

The order further read, “This review petition is not tenable under the Capital of Punjab (Development and Regulation Act, 1952 and is therefore, dismissed being not maintainable.”

Interestingly, some months later, on December 25, 2005, Sethi participated in a press conference organized by the Congress against the administrator. Rallying behind Mehra, Sethi stated that the adviser was being victimized by the retired general.

Defending the adviser,Sethi said, “The adviser, too, has said that the review petition was not maintainable but since all violations had been removed and it was only the question of delay in depositing the amount, he found it fit to review the previous order.”

He said his participating in a press conference to defend Mehra’s stance on issues which pointed a finger at Rodrigues was purely incidental as he did not even know Mehra personally. However, Mehra refused to comment.

Doctor acquitted of miscarriage charges
8 Jan 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN
The court of additional district and sessions judge SK Aggarwal on Wednesday acquitted a doctor, who was booked for causing miscarriage and grievous hurt to a Kajheri resident in the year 2007, when the complainant couple turned hostile.

Allegedly the doctor from Aman Nursing Home operated upon a 26-year-old pregnant woman, who had gone to the clinic for a check-up.

However, Kiran’s husband Shiv Shankar lodged a complaint in the Sector 36 police station in January 2007 claiming that doctor operated upon her without their consent and this led to other complications.

A case was registered but in the court Shankar resiled from his earlier statement by stating that he along with his wife Kiran never visited the clinic for any treatment.

Prof gets Rs 20K as damages
8 Jan 2009, 0413 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: UT consumer forum found Tata AIG General Insurance Company guilty of deficiency in services with regard to one of its customers – Arun K Lall – and three policies he held with it. The forum directed the company to provide a penal compensation of Rs 20,000 to Lall and pay him Rs 2,200 as cost of litigation.

It also told the company to reverse all the entries related to the premium, interest, late fee charges and penalties imposed on Sector-12 resident Lall. According to his complaint, Lall had enrolled for policies with the company in December 2007 with an assurance that he could discontinue those later after reviewing documents without any financial implication.

It was added that under the scheme, Rs 10 per month were to be deducted for first two months and later Rs 329 per month were to be charged as premium from his credit card account after confirmation of continuation.

Lall alleged he had communicated to the company that he was not interested in the policy through an email sent in March 2008. He also asked the company to not debit premium from his account. However, he alleged that even after that, the company contacted him for review of another health plan. He accepted the plan at first, but later told the firm that he was not interested in it. However, the firm still continued charging premium from his credit card account.

Alleging deficiency in services, Lall filed a complaint under Consumer Protection Act.In reply, the company pleaded that after Lall cancelled the policies, the premium amount was refunded as per terms and conditions.

The forum headed by Jagroop Singh Mahal held, “It was an unfair trade policy adopted by the insurance company to debit the amount to complainant’s credit card where non-payment entailed a higher rate of interest and late payment charges besides any other penalty which may have been imposed by (Lall’s) bank. The insurance company had been negligent in issuing instructions for debiting the amount even after Lall had given instructions to it for cancelling the three policies.”

Gupta murder accused deny confession
8 Jan 2009, 0427 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: All the six accused arrested in connection with Auraiya PWD engineer Manoj Gupta murder case, on Wednesday vehemently refuted police claims of having confessed to their involvement in the cold-blooded murder. Though the volte-face did not come as a surprise for the investigators, who expected nothing different from the day’s development, conviction in the case will now depend on the authenticity and quality of evidence collected in the case.

All the six accused — including the prime accused, sitting BSP MLA Shekhar Tewari — were produced before the court of chief judicial magistrate (CJM) Auraiya, Samar Pal Singh on Wednesday after their police remanded concluded. As the accused were produced before the court, the investigating officer (IO) tabled the statements of the accused recorded under the provisions of Section 161 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).

After going through the statements, the CJM asked the accused individually if they had: committed the crime? If the charges levelled against them were correct? and if they admitted to having committed the crime? All the six accused expectedly answered in the negative. Hence the court ruled that there was no requirement for recording of statements of the accused under Section 164. If recorded under Section 164 of the CrPC, it is regarded as the official and true statement of the person concerned. The prosecution government counsel Mahaveer Sharma also did not press for the recording of statements of the accused under Section 164 CrPC.

Meanwhile defence counsel Dewendra Tripathi contested before the court that all the statements which the police claim to have recorded, were extracted under duress. “Not a single word uttered by the accused as shown in the videographs — a copy of which was presented to the court by the IO — was a wilful statement,” said Dewendra Tripathi talking to TOI. “Some of the accused were even made to speak at gunpoint. While they were made to learn by heart and read out the so called confessional statements, which were actually pared by the police, cops stood at a distance training their guns at the accused while the statements were video graphed,” Dewendra said.

Dewendra also submitted before the court applications seeking bail for all the six accused. The court fixed January 19 as the next date for hearing the bail application. Subsequently, all the accused were sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Dohre’s statements recorded

LUCKNOW: Auraiya police on Wednesday grilled Yogendra Dohre, the second prime accused in Manoj Gupta murder case, in several phases on his first day in police remand. Several sets of SIs and constable clerks were involved in the exercise.

Yogendra was made to narrate the entire sequence of events before, after and during the murder before each set of officers, which was noted down verbatim by the constable clerks. Yogendra was made to recapture the entire episode for at least six times. Then all the teams involved in recording of statements, matched his statements and the mis-match thus located helped the investigators to identify the extent of lie in Dohre’s statements.

Investigators are likely to grill Dohre on Thursday too to extract from him details of the steel horse-she studded leather whip, which he had allegedly used to torture Gupta. Investigators, quoting the statements of the accused taken into police custody earlier, say that Dohre had brought the whip himself and took it away after the crime was committed. Recovery of the whip at the instance of Dohre was sure to provide a handle to the investigators to press their claims of Dohre’s involvement in the crime.

Witness identifies killers in Baathe case
8 Jan 2009, 0402 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: Deposition of prosecution witnesses in infamous Baathe massacre case continued on Wednesday in the court of the additional district and sessions judge III, Patna. Prosecution witness number IV Dudhnath Choudhary was examined by prosecution counsels.

Choudhary, in his deposition, said that he was an eye witness to the massacre as he had gone into hiding when armed marauders forcibly entered his house and shot dead his sister-in-law (bhabhi) Sona Devi and his two nieces Savita Kumari and Anita Kumari. In torchlight, he identified Phainish Singh, Ashok Singh, Dharma Singh, Girija Singh and Bijendra Singh.

Choudhary also identified Bijendra Singh, Dharma Singh and Girija Singh who were present in the courtroom as one of those involved in killing of his family members. He also said that he could also identify the other accused.

The case relates to killing of 58 Dalits at Baathe village in Arwal district on December 21, 1997. The marauders had forcibly entered 14 houses of the village at gun point and gunned down the victims inside their houses.

Vijit files anticipatory bail application
8 Jan 2009, 0350 hrs IST, Abhinav Sharma, TNN
JAIPUR: The accused in the hit-and-run case, Vijit Singh, on Wednesday filed a reply to the bail cancellation application that was filed by the police. Vijit Singh, step grandson of Rajmata Gayatri Devi, was arrested and quickly released on bail. He had been driving a Volkswagen Touareg V6 TDI in a drunken state and had hit a group of students at Gandhi Nagar.

A girl student from Kota, Babita Chaudhary (20), was killed on the spot while four others sustained injuries. A scion of Jaipur royal family, Vijit Singh is the director of Jaipur’s Rambagh Palace Hotel. Babita’s family also appeared in court on Wednesday to press for cancellation of Vijit’s bail.

Vijit was expected to appear before the court and file his reply on last Friday but he could not make it then. His counsel had appeared on his behalf and requested for five days to file the reply which was granted to him by the court.

In his reply Vijit alleged that he had been booked under stringent provisions of law only due to political pressure and intervention. When the FIR was lodged against him, Vijit had been booked under a bailable offence. He has not violated any rule of the bail bond, therefore, there is no requirement to cancel the bail as the law does not allow such prosecution to stand.

After reinvestigating the matter, the local police concluded that essential knowledge’ was present in the whole chain of incidents. For when Vijit mowed down the girl he did not stop to ratify his mistake, rather he tried to win over the eye witness as well.

The charges against Vijit were, therefore, converted to stringent provision of Section 304 part II of the IPC (culpable homicide not amounting to murder), as was done in the other cases of VIPs like Salman Khan, Sanjeev Nanda’s BMW case and Alistair Pereira’s case, besides others. Vijit was earlier booked under less stringent bailable provision of Section 304 A of IPC.

The provision contained in Section 304-II amounts to a heinous crime against the society and has a prescribed maximum punishment for 10 years of rigorous imprisonment whereas the maximum punishment under 304 A was for two years.

The police then moved the city trial court for cancellation of the bail under Section 439 (2) of code of criminal procedure followed by a show cause notice issued to the accused Vijit in the matter. The court will hear the anticipatory bail application of Vijit as well as bail cancellation application filed by police on Friday.

MGP against amendment to power regulations
8 Jan 2009, 0010 hrs IST, TNN
Mysore: The Mysore Grahakara Parishat (MGP) has taken objection to amendment of the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory (Fees) Regulations, 2004, arguing that non-conventional and renewable sources of energy need to be encouraged.

In a reply filed before the Karnataka Electricity Regulatory Commission (KERC) for draft amendments, it pointed out that non-conventional and renewable energy sources do not contribute heavily to carbon emission.

MGP chief Maj Gen S G Vombatkere (retd) stated that they have no objection to raising the fee from Rs 1,000/MW to Rs 5,000/MW for conventional fuel-based plants if the power regulator is okay with it.

“However, we strongly urge that the fee for Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) in respect of non-conventional and renewable sources of energy including cogeneration should not be raised from Rs 500/MW to Rs 5,000/MW as proposed in the draft amendment. In the context of global warming, it is accepted that carbon emissions are to be reduced. Since the electric power sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of the global carbon emissions, non-conventional and renewable sources of energy, which do not contribute heavily to carbon emissions, need to be encouraged vigorously so that the issue of global warming is addressed effectively,” he stated.

“We strongly recommend that the fee applicable to PPAs of non-conventional and renewable sources of energy, including cogeneration, be retained at Rs 500/MW to encourage investors in such generation stations,” the MGP noted


One Response

  1. Hi sir,

    how to curb the misuse of 498a. In my case the fatherinlaw stated in FIR and 161statements that he has given ?? lakhs of dowry, ??tulas of gold and ?? lakhs of marriage expenses.

    THese statements have been reiterated in several other complaints like DVC, crpc125 and 354 cases.

    NOw can I file DP 3 complaint on them. suggest me the best way to start with.


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