LEGAL NEWS 16.01.2009

HC asks Govt for EGoM’s decision on gas supply
MUMBAI: The fate of gas supply from RIL’s KG basin will be decided next week, when the Bombay High Court takes a decision on the current stay on third party sales of the industrial fuel.
Division bench of Justices J N Patel and K K Tated, which is hearing a gas supply dispute between RIL and RNRL and had stayed third party sale of the gas, said that it will decide about the stay next week, when the arguments will possibly conclude.
The judgement will come out — tentatively — by March 16, Justice Patel today said. Meanwhile, the court sought to know from the Centre the decision of an Empowered Group of Ministers regarding supply of gas from Reliance Industries KG basin field to A nil Ambani group promoted Dadri Power Project.
Additional Solicitor General Mohan Parasaran said that he was not aware of any decision taken by the EGoM, whose minutes were yet to be finalised, and promised to get the information by tomorrow.
A newspaper report had earlier this week said that the EGoM decided to “allocate” gas from KG basin for Reliance Natural Resources Ltd’s Dadri Power Project. During the argument, RIL said through its counsel Harish Salve that it was willing to supply g as to the government (or its nominee) for five years as an interim arrangement.
“It will be subject to outcome of RIL-RNRL case,” Salve said, adding that he would agree to such a solution “under protest.” The court had stayed sale of gas to third parties till RIL-RNRL case gets over. But the union government has sought vacating o f the stay, saying power and fertiliser sectors need gas. – PTI

HC seeks details on PP affidavit
16 Jan 2009, 0619 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The high court on Friday sought details from the Chhatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University (CSMMU) on the number of doctors who have not submitted affidavits promising not to indulge in private practice (PP). The court gave CSMMU counsel Devendra Upadhyay two week’s time for filing the reply. Such an affidavit was sought by an earlier order of the court. The court fixed January 27 for next hearing in the case. The order was passed by the bench of Justices Pradeep Kant and Shabihul Hasnain on the PIL of Shiv Pratap Singh. The PIL seeks ban on PP by government doctors.

HC limits speed of call centre cabs
16 Jan 2009, 0513 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
new delhi : Call centre cabs in Delhi will now have to adhere to 40kms/hr speed limit or run the risk of being challaned after the Delhi High Court (HC), on Thursday, dismissed their challenge to fixing of a speed limit. Upholding a traffic police order which stipulates 40kms/hr as the speed for call centre cabs in the Capital, a division bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Muralidhar tossed out a petition filed by `All Haryana Tourist Transport Welfare Association’ seeking increase in speed limit for such cabs. “Notwithstanding the number of challans issued to private cars, it is seen that the call centre cabs are indeed involved in a large number of traffic violations. A substantial number of these challans are for dangerous driving and driving without the use of a speed governor,” HC bench noted, agreeing with Delhi Police that call centre cabs were fit to be subjected to such a speed barrier. Interestingly, the traffic cops had been spurred into action by HC itself which, while hearing the Blueline menace case, instructed the police to strictly enforce the speed limit and comply with a previous Supreme Court ruling. To prevent cab drivers from violating traffic rules, the HC in October 2007 passed an order directing the Delhi police to strictly comply with the 1997 notification against the cab drivers. The petitioners, who claimed they comprised of more than 100 members and spoke for “the interest of a large number of cab owners” sought quashing of a circular issued by the Delhi Police (Traffic) asking them to fix the speed limit for their cabs at 40 kmph. Challenging the notification of traffic police, the call centre cab drivers association approached HC stating the police move was “arbitrary.” They argued they were willing to take steps to reduce accidents by checking the speed on their own but couldn’t be bracketed within light commercial vehicles for the purpose of fixing a speed limit, alleging it was discrimination against them. Urging HC to relax the limit, the cab owners sought its increase to 65 kms/hr as allowed in the Motor vehicles Act, claiming valuable man hours would be lost if they drove at reduced speeds. But HC was unimpressed, making it clear that classifying call centre cabs differently from private vehicles was fully justified because it aimed to ensure safe driving of these cabs.

Visit village: HC to top official
16 Jan 2009, 0457 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday ordered N Arumugham, principal secretary , (social justice department ) to visit villages Ghana, Makhala and Kohna in Melghat , Amravati, which had seen the maximum infant mortalities due to malnutrition. The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud made it clear that in the event of the principal secretary failing to file a report on his findings in these villages, the chief secretary, the additional chief secretary of the state as well as the union secretary (health) will be summoned to the court. “Maharashtra is not a backward state where people should die of malnutrition,” said the judges. The court remarked that the progress of the state in tackling malnutrition and infant deaths was “hardly satisfactory’ ‘ and the ground reality was that Maharashtra has failed in its Constitutional duty. “If 500 malnutrition deaths are reported in an area, then obviously negligence has crept in somewhere,” said the court, when the state’s advocate told the judges that all child deaths were being examined. “If the state had been doing what it is supposed to do, there wouldn’t have been so many deaths.Has any disciplinary action been taken against officers at any level,” the judges asked. The judges were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two Amravati-based doctors -Dr Ravindra Kolhe and Dr Rajendra Barmaabout the plight of tribals. The PIL claimed that more than 11,000 children had died due to malnutrition in Melghat area in the last 16 years. Despite several court orders, there were no facilities, anganwadis, or gynaecologists in the area, alleged the PIL. The court asked the government why MBBS doctors were not sent to the region.

Outages drive Mohali industry to HC doors
16 Jan 2009, 0533 hrs IST, Amit Sharma, TNN
MOHALI: Industrialists of the “IT destination of Punjab” reeling under frequent outages which force them to shut industrial units for eight-days in a month have decided to knock on Punjab and Haryana High Court’s doors against state government’s inability to provide sufficient power to the industrial sector. With the crisis leading to closure of around 150 industrial units here, Mohali Industries Association (MIA) has finally decided to approach the court. Referring to the government’s priority, RP Singh, vice-president, MIA, said at a time when farmers are getting free power the industries have to generate their own for production. “Industries are facing the worst-ever situation due to the power cuts, and are left with no option but to approach the court,” said Singh. Members of MIA will also be meeting the chief minister when he visits Mohali in the coming few days to submit a memorandum to him. Pointing out the difference in what chief minister and other top brass’ claim about Mohali during their visits to other states for seeking investment and the actual situation, he said who would like to invest in a place with bad roads and inadequate power supply. BS Anand, president, MIA, said with power generation inputs pushing up the cost of production three-fold, industrialists have decided to move to Baddi, barely 35 km away, for enjoying additional benefits like relaxation in income-tax payment for 10 years and excise duty, as well as sufficient power supply.

Vacate kiosks by Feb 10: HC to owners
16 Jan 2009, 0415 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Thursday directed gadda owners in the city to vacate their kiosks by February 10 and occupy the spaces allotted to them at the new market complex by the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP). The direction has been passed on the condition that kiosk owners will file an undertaking within a week’s time stating that they would be shifting to the new market by February 10 without any hindrances or grievances.’ The court has also directed the Corporation that it would be free to take necessary action as per directives if the kiosk owners fail to vacate within the given time period. A division bench comprising justice P B Majmudar and justice N A Britto passed the directions during the hearing of a petition filed by kiosk owners challenging the CCP’s decision to relocate them on the first floor of the market complex. They have prayed for relocation to the ground floor of the complex as, according to them, shifting to the first floor would fail to bring them customers. The petitioners’ advocate, Marvin D’Souza, informed the court that the kiosk owners are “ready to shift to the spaces allotted to them by the CCP on the first floor of the new market complex”. “But, if there are any vacant spaces on the ground floor, the CCP should allow us (kiosk owners) to shift there”, he argued. The CCP’s advocate, Atmaram Nadkarni, told the court that the Corporation will consider their case as and when any spaces are empty.

Vet approaches HC to implement birth control for dogs
16 Jan 2009, 0028 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: India is home to over 27 million stray dogs that are responsible for 17 million dog bites every year. The country spends over Rs 1,500 crore on rabies vaccination annually. Nearly 40% of dog bite cases go unreported. These are the statistics submitted before the Madras high court by a veterinary doctor, who wanted the court to direct the government to form mandatory monitoring committees to implement the Animal Birth Control (ABC) programmes effectively. The first bench, comprising acting chief justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice V Dhanapalan, has ordered notice to the government. The matter has been adjourned to January 28 for further hearing. In his affidavit, B Manivannan, a veterinary doctor from Theni district, said rabies was the 10th leading cause of death due to infection in humans. Pointing out that the victims were mostly poor people in developing countries, he said Tamil Nadu reported the maximum number of rabies cases in the country. According to him, the stray dog population in India was kept under check till 1998 when the civic authorities used to impound and kill unclaimed dogs. But, because of pressure from animal welfare activists, the government introduced the animal birth control (ABC) programme under which stray dogs are surgically sterilised and then released back in the area from where they were picked up. The doctor said the success of the programme hinged on the sterilisation of 70% of stray dogs in a given area within six months, when the next reproductive cycle begins. “Otherwise, the entire exercise would be negated,” he said, adding that this target is difficult to achieve in view of the large number of dogs and the minimum resources available with civic authorities. The petitioner said that though Rule 4 of Animal Birth Control (Dogs) Rules mandated formation of monitoring committees to ensure effective implementation of the programme, most of the civic bodies did not have any such mechanism. Quoting statistics, the veterinarian said 95% of municipalities and village panchayats never carried out ABC programme till date. According to him, Theni district alone reported 1,348 incidents of dog bites during the last five months. He wanted the court to direct the rural development secretary to constitute the monitoring committee as prescribed by Rule 4 of the ABC (Dogs) Rules, and direct the health and family welfare secretary to initiate the ABC programme in a timebound manner so as to achieve a rabies-free Tamil Nadu.

HC orders removal of state election commissioner
16 Jan 2009, 0304 hrs IST, Ravi Dayal, TNN
PATNA: In a major jolt to Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar, the Patna High Court on Thursday restrained State Election Commissioner (SEC) J K Dutt from performing his duty with immediate effect and ordered his removal saying his appointment, made by the chief minister, was not in accordance with law. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice Ravi Ranjan issued the directive while allowing a PIL of Servers of Society secretary Sunil Kumar Tiwary. Holding Dutt’s appointment as illegal due to procedural defects, the court, however, made it clear that the salary paid to him would not be realised from him. Nor the works done during his tenure would be undone. For, Dutt was not responsible for his appointment. Petitioner’s counsel Ashutosh Ranjan Pandey submitted before the court that the appointment of SEC could be made only by the governor as per the Constitutional provision and under the provisions of Bihar Gram Panchayat Act 2006. Advocate general P K Shahi, however, took the stand that the chief minister was empowered to appoint the SEC under rules of executive business and, hence, he signed the order of appointment of Dutt. The court, however, maintained that the council of ministers, and not the CM alone, has the power to appoint the SEC. After the judgment, the state cabinet may have to initiate a fresh procedure if it wants to reappoint Dutt. Meanwhile, RJD spokesman Shyam Rajak said Nitish should resign on moral grounds after the judgment.

HC rejects Mylarappa’s application
16 Jan 2009, 0005 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE : The high court on Thursday rejected an interlocutory application filed by B C Mylarappa, seeking vacation of the October 31, 2008 stay on his reinstatement as director of correspondence studies, Bangalore University. K N Mahendra, the incumbent director, had approached the court and obtained the order. “If the IA is allowed, the petition will not survive. The petitioner, who claims to have been appointed in September 2007 for a three-year term, needs to be heard,” the court observed in its order. The apex court had ruled in Mylarappa’a favour in its judgment dated October 3, 2008 and the university had decided to reinstate him on October 25.

Apna Ghar: High court takes reports as PIL
16 Jan 2009, 0423 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Observing that the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act are “not being followed in letter and spirit” in Goa, the high court of Bombay at Goa has clubbed reports by the principal district and sessions judge, Panaji and a story published in the The Times of India’ on the Apna Ghar and registered these as public interest litigation. Notices has been issued to the state government through the secretary of women and child development to disclose on an affidavit what action it proposes to take to rectify the deficiencies pointed out and the implementation of the other provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act so that “children both delinquent and neglected are properly taken care of so that they live a healthy life with freedom and dignity and become law abiding citizens”. The court observed that the “report published on Times of India’ shows that the conditions are unhygienic and although there is erratic water supply, there is ankle deep water in the toilets and there are not enough beds – so much for the care which is expected to be taken by the state government”. TOI, in its issue dated October 22, 2008, had reported about the conditions in which children at the Apna Ghar live. It further said, “The statement of Snehalata Bhatikar, one of the juvenile justice board members, if true, is disturbing. She has opined that Apna Ghar is like a prison. It is like a jail from which small- time juveniles leave as big- time criminals so much for rehabilitation”. Referring to TOI’s report and those submitted by the principal district and sessions judge, Panaji the court observed that they show that the provision of the Juvenile Justice Act are not being followed. The court added, “The very title of the Juvenile Justice Act shows it was enacted with a view to provide for proper care and treatment by catering to the needs of those children who were delinquent and neglected pursuant to the state’s responsibility under the relevant articles of the Constitution of India”. The principal district and sessions judge, Panaji in his reports dated March 10, 2008 and October 4, 2008 said, “We also visited the main building of the institution. Everything was found alright except that the toilets were dirty”.

PIL filed against Bihar minister
Patna, (Bihar Times): A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Mumbai high court against Bihar’s excise minister, Jamshed Ashraf.According to the petitioner, Atul Bhagat, a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activist, he submitted false documents to procure arms licence. The petition said that the Navi Mumbai Police gave him the licence of revolver some years back. The police have been asked to submit the reply within four weeks.The minister on the other hand told media that he is falsely being implicated by MNS activist simply becaue he is a Bihari. “I had been living in Mumbai for 30 years before I returned to Bihar to contest assembly election. I have a business there and my family still lives in Mumbai. I took the licence when I used to live there and surrendered it before returning to Bihar, Jamshed Ashraf said.

PIL on national emblem display
16 Jan 2009, 0414 hrs IST, Satyabrata Das, TNN
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court has directed the Centre and the state government to submit their stands on an allegation that India’s national emblem — the Ashok Stambh — is being displayed in an incorrect manner by some government departments. In a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by one Kamal Dey, it has been alleged that a number of central and state government offices and institutions display the national emblem incorrectly. The petitioner has also submitted a number of photographs along with his petition. Considering the importance of the matter, the division Bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder has directed the Centre and the state government to reply through affidavits within three weeks. Appearing for Dey, advocate Rajat Bandyopadhyay pointed out that while the three lions mounted on a circular stand with the Dharma Chakra between a bull on the right and a galloping horse on the left is displayed correctly, many government offices fail to put in the inscription Satyameva Jayate (truth prevails) below. This quote from the Mandukya Upanishad is an integral part of the national emblem. Those cited by the petitioner to have misused the emblem include offices and institutions like Bikash Bhavan, National Library, Indian Customs house, Kolkata, office of the director of Foreign Post, office of the South 24-Parganas district magistrate, office of the South 24-Parganas superintendent of police, Gariahat police station and Howrah Collectorate. The petitioner argues that all these offices have displayed the emblem without the words Satyameva Jayate. The PIL hinges on negligence of duty and failure to correctly use the state emblem, violating the Emblem and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950; the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper Use) Act, 2005; the Prevention of Insult to National Honour Act, 1947; and violation of Fundamental Duties as prescribed under Article 51A (a) of Part IV of the Constitution. Though the counsel appearing for the state objected to the writ petition being treated as a PIL, the court observed that there was no reason why it should not be otherwise “since the issue raised is of such vital importance”.

Plea against ZIL dismissed
16 Jan 2009, 0435 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: A division bench of the high court of Bombay at Goa dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking de-commissioning of the ammonia storage tank of Zuari Industries Limited (ZIL), at Zuarinagar, Vasco. Concerned Citizen, a non-governmental organization, had filed the PIL seeking de-commissioning of the 5000 MT ammonia storage tank set up by ZIL citing safety reasons. The tank was commissioned in early 2002 on land belonging to Mormugao Port Trust. The petitioners had alleged that the location of the tank was close to residential houses and posed serious danger to human lives in the event of any disaster — natural or man made. The company in its reply to the petition stated that ammonia was an essential raw material for production of fertilizers. ZIL also stated that it had impeccable safety records and had received various awards for its safety standards.

Ensure appointment of principals, DTE tells tech institutes
16 Jan 2009, 0225 hrs IST, TNN
PUNE: State director of technical education (DTE) S K Mahajan has issued a circular to the regional joint director (technical education) asking them to ensure compliance of the Bombay High Court’s order regarding appointment of full-time principals by academic institutions in their respective region before the court’s deadline. In a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL), the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court passed an order on December 3, 2008, laying a time-bound programme for all government-run, aided as well as unaided colleges to ensure that they appoint full-time principals by March 31. The court order provides for an extension of the deadline upto May 31, although the discretion of such extension lies with the state university concerned and the genuineness of the institute’s effort to fill the post. The order came in the wake of media reports highlighting ad hocism in the state-run academic institutes and B.Ed colleges that were functioning for long without regular principal. The scope of the PIL was widened after it was brought to the court’s notice that a similar situation prevailed in large number of aided and unaided colleges in the state. On January 12, the DTE issued a circular mentioning the court order in details and asked the concerned joint directors to see that the institutions were complying with the court’s directive. Of the six regional offices under its belt, the DTE’s Pune regional office regulates 65 engineering, 47 pharmacy, 12 architecture and 4 hotel management and catering technology (HMCT) colleges. However, the DTE officials here had no immediate answers to the number of institutions running without full-time principals. “We don’t have these details right now. May be we can give the same tomorrow,” joint director (Pune) G P Chaudhari told TOI on Thursday evening. The court’s order has set-off concern among the technical institutions vis-?-vis the source from where they can secure Ph.D-qualified candidates for the post. Gajanan Ekbote, chairman, Progressive Education Society, said, “The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) norm makes it imperative for an institution to have a qualified professor (Ph.D holder) filling the post of principal. Even if we consider the overall national scenario, there just are not sufficient number of Ph.D students in the technical streams coming out of the institutes, to meet the demand. The case of Maharashtra is no different.” The Maharashtra state principals federation of non-governmental colleges has, meanwhile, decided to deliberate the entire issue at its upcoming state-level meet at Chandrapur. The meet is to be attended, among others, by Maharashtra governor and chancellor, S C Jamir. Federation president Nandakumar Nikam said, “We will make a representation to the Governor seeking no let up in the implementation of the high court order.”

Bihar minister says he surrendered arms licence issued in Maharashtra
16 Jan 2009, 0259 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Bihar minister Jamshed Ashraf on Thursday claimed that he has surrendered his arms licence, issued by Raigad police in Maharashtra, after contesting and winning assembly elections in Bihar. An MNS activist on Thursday filed a PIL in Bombay High Court, alleging that Ashraf obtained arms licence from Nhava-Sheva police station in neighbouring Uran taluka of Raigad. Being a minister in Bihar, Ashraf could not have been a permanent resident of Uran and obtained the arms licence, the PIL filed by Atul Bhagat, a member of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, said. Bhagat’s PIL also mentions one Rajesh K Dhage, a corporator of Nalasopara Municipal Council, who allegedly got arms licence from Mumbai police. This is illegal as Nalasopara is in Thane district and outside Mumbai police’s jurisdiction, it added. However, a statement released by Ashraf said that he obtained the licence in Uran five years ago as he was living in nearby Navi Mumbai at that time. He added that his family has been living in Mumbai for the last 30 years. Further, the Bihar minister in a statement said, he surrendered his licence when he returned to Balia in Bihar for contesting election. A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Dhananjay Chandrachud adjourned hearing on the PIL till March 5, asking Navi Mumbai police to file a reply.

SC seeks Centre’s report on deportation of Bangladeshi migrants
16 Jan 2009, 0233 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: At a time when India is cautious in its bilateral dialogue with the newly-formed Sheikh Hasina government of Bangladesh, the Supreme Court on Thursday sought a status report on the deportation of illegal Bangladeshi migrants. It minced no words and was categoric in expressing its displeasure over the manner in which the government has proceeded so far at a snail’s pace in giving effect to the apex court’s order for identification of illegal migrants in Assam through adequate number of tribunals under the Foreigners Act. “Illegal migrants appear to get more facility than Indian nationals. It has become very difficult to control their increasing numbers,” observed a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan after hearing counsel O P Saxena and C D Singh appearing for PIL petitioner. Dealing with two PILs on the issue, the Bench asked additional solicitor general Amarendra Saran pointed questions on the number of tribunals set up till date and the progress in identification of illegal migrants and their deportation. The Bench also remembered in time the 2006 affidavit of the Centre promising implementation of an ambitious National Citizens’ Register and issuance of Multi-Purpose Photo I-Cards to citizens to make detection of illegal migrants easier. In a 2005 judgment, the apex court had termed that Assam virtually faced external aggression and the Centre had failed to discharge its duties under Article 355 of the Constitution to protect a state from such a situation, which had arisen due to massive influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh virtually changing the demographic pattern in many districts of the north-eastern state. Granting eight weeks time to the Centre to file a fresh status report, the Bench asked it to also detail the progress made in fencing the Indo-Bangla border, which is a virtual reiteration of its January 5, 2007 order. In the 2007 order, the apex court had said: “Union of India is directed to file an affidavit giving complete details of the time schedule for completion of the fencing of the Bangladesh border, the number of foreigners’ tribunals which have been constituted subsequent to the decision in the Sabnanda Sonowal Vs Union of India and other details of the steps being taken to prevent infiltration of Bangladeshi nationals.” “It will be indicated in the counter-affidavit as to how many Bangladeshi nationals have actually been detected and deported from India in the last three years,” the Bench had said in 2007 on PILs filed by the All India Lawyers Forum for Civil Liberties and Image India Foundation.

Graft frame-up: Ex-councillor faces contempt
16 Jan 2009, 0016 hrs IST, TNN
new delhi : A former woman councillor of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) faces contempt of court charges after Delhi High Court on Thursday found she lied on oath and levelled unsubstantiated allegations, sending both the court and Delhi Police on a wild goose chase for two years. HC took her claims so seriously it even appointed a retired judge as court commissioner to probe the allegations against MCD. Now, the ex-councillor from Burari, Sadhana Sharma, has also been slapped with a cost of Rs 1.5 lakh for misleading the court by filing a PIL alleging corruption against officials of the civic agency without being able to prove any of these. While Rs 1 lakh of the amount is payable to MCD, remainder shall go in the account of Delhi HC Legal Services Committee. Asking Sharma to appear before it on February 1 and face the music, a division bench comprising chief justice A P Shah and justice S Muralidhar observed, “We find that the petitioner (Sharma) has been constantly changing her stand which has not only resulted in wastage of precious time of the court but has constituted an inexcusable abuse of process of law.” It was also found that Sharma first claimed her signature was forged, then retracted her statement blaming MCD officials for conning her into signing a blank paper, convincing HC that her shifting stands meant she was being economical with truth. Sharma had filed a PIL accusing MCD officials of being involved in corruption in matters pertaining to construction of roads in the city. She first pitched the scam to involve Rs 120 crore, then scaled down the figure to Rs 1.2 crore (claiming a clerical mistake made 1.2 look like 120) and then failed to back up her allegations with evidence when HC, taking her seriously, appointed a court commissioner to probe the affair. “We are prima facie of the view that the petitioner should be made liable for criminal contempt for making false statement on affidavit and abusing the process of court with a view to interfering in the course of administration of justice,” the two judges held, taking a serious view of wastage of both court and other agencies efforts. As per probe by Delhi Police and MCD, Sharma stated incorrect facts in the petition and also made false statements before the court to pursue her PIL against some MCD officials. The court took exception to her stand that in her petition initially, she pointed out that there was a huge scam to the extent of Rs 120 crore in MCD in connection with the road constructions numbering 112 works. Soon after the police filed its report, she changed her stand. “When the petitioner found the report of police did not substantiate most of her allegations, she filed an affidavit limiting her charge as to non-execution of works to 29 items only,” the court observed in the order while rejecting her claims. She alleged in her PIL that MCD officials had cleared contractors’ bogus bills deposited in the name of construction of roads.

Bihar minister says he surrendered arms license issued in Maha
Published: January 15,2009
Mumbai , Jan 15 Bihar minister Jamshed Ashraf today claimed that he has surrendered an arms license, issued by Raigad police in Maharashtra, after contesting and winning assembly election in Bihar.
A MNS activist today filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court, alleging that Ashraf obtained arms license from Nhava-Sheva police station in neighbouring Uran taluka of Raigad.
Being a minister in Bihar, Ashraf could not have been permanent resident of Uran and obtained arms license, the PIL filed by Atul Bhagat, a member of Raj Thackeray-led Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, said.
Bhagat&aposs PIL also mentions one Rajesh K Dhage, a corporator of Nalasopara Municipal Council, who allegedly got arms license from Mumbai police. This is illegal as Nalasopara is in Thane district and outside Mumbai police&aposs jurisdiction, it added.
However, a statement released by Ashraf said that he obtained license in Uran five years ago as he was living in nearby Navi Mumbai at that time.
He added that his family has been living in Mumbai for the last 30 years.
Further, the Bihar minister in a statement said, he surrendered his license when he returned to Balia in Bihar for contesting election.
Source: PTI

SC rejects PIL filed by the ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’
Submitted by topnews on Thu, 01/15/2009 – 10:42
The Supreme Court rejected the PIL filed by the ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’ and declared it redundant in the case concerning the appointment of P C Pande as Gujarat Director General of Police (DGP). The court ruled that the appointment of government servants is the prerogative of the particular government.
Citizens for Justice, an NGO has expressed doubts about the suitability of the Pande for the post of DGP in view of the allegations against him. The said officer came under a cloud for his alleged role in the 2002 post-Godhra riots. He was the Police Commissioner of Ahmadabad during the communal riots, which had rocked the state in the aftermath of the train burning incident in which over 50 kar sewaks were burnt alive.
In the PIL filed in 2006, the NGO has offered that a fair and free investigation of the communal riots would be hindered if Pande was the chief of police of the state. The NGO also claimed that the GDP will have undue influence in the courts where the trial against the riot accused is in progress.
A bench of Justices Markandey Katju and V S Sirpurkar expressed confidence in judicial process of the state and taking into account the very short remaining tenure of the officer, dismissed the PIL. “We do not think that such a thing can be said either about Pandey or even the trial courts in Gujarat. We do not have any reason to believe that Pandey, in his remaining tenure of about three months, would take any such step. We do not think that the trial courts in Gujarat are capable of being pressured in the manner expressed in the writ petition,” the apex court observed.
The apex court however invited the petitioner to approach the court if they have any grievance against the investigation of any case related to the 2002 communal riots.
Pandey is Due to retire from the active service on March 31, 2009.

Steps taken to protect Sher Shah Tomb
Shweta Singh – January 16, 2009
SASARAM : Authorities in Rohtas district have finally banned discharge of polluted water and immersion of idols in the tank surrounding the 16th century tomb of Afghan king Sher Shah Suri in district headquarters Sasaram.
The historical tomb was declared a national heritage site under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and the ASI given the responsibility for its preservation and protection.
The tank around the five-storey tomb in Sasaram town, about 150 km from here, is filled with acidic industrial discharge while illegally constructed buildings have come up all around it.
Last year in November the Patna High Court expressed unhappiness that the monument has fallen into disrepair due to years of neglect and exposure to pollution, while some parts have also been encroached upon. It directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the Rohtas district administration to take measures to preserve the monument.
The court’s order came in response to public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a Sasaram resident, who contended the state government was not taking adequate steps to preserve the tomb.
An alternative place for the immersion of idols is on search. The district administration would construct a big pond at the new location for idol immersion. As a temporary measure, the immersion of idols would take place in a nearby canal.
The district administration also ordered a detailed project report to stop polluted water from the town from entering the tank. Industrial discharge has made the water in the tank acidic, which is threatening the structure.
An ASI official said the body had last year warned the state government about the ecological threats to the tomb.
It had also moved the Patna High Court to seek removal of illegal constructions around the tomb. The ASI had also approached the district administration for revival of inlet and outlet channels of the tank, and to prevent the immersion of idols, washing of clothes and bathing in the water body.
The state spends about Rs 7, 00,000 on the tomb’s maintenance each year.

Debt Recovery Tribunal official arrested
Published: January 16,2009
New Delhi, Jan 16 The CBI today arrested an official of Debt Recovery Tribunal and an advocate for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe to settle the auction of a property in Ahmedabad.
Inspector Anil Kumar Sharma who worked at the Debt Recovery Tribunal, Ahmedabad and advocate Amit Kotak were allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs three lakh from a person to settle the auction issues of his property and stop the documentation of his properties already auctioned.
The matter reached the CBI after a complaint was filed by the person whose property was to be auctioned. The complainant told CBI that the duo wanted a bribe of Rs three lakh for this favour, an official spokesperson said.
After receiving the application, CBI registered a case on the allegations of conspiracy and demand of illegal gratification, the official said.
The CBI team laid a trap and arrested both the accused red-handed while they were accepting bribe of Rs one lakh from the complainant at the Ashram Road area today, he added.
Source: PTI

NHRC notice to Chh’garh after teacher blinds class 2 student
Published: January 16,2009
New Delhi, Jan 16 Taking suo motu cognizance of newspaper reports that a teacher allegedly blinded a class II student by piercing her eye with a pin, NHRC today issued notice to Chhattisgarh government describing the incident”a serious issue of violation of human rights.”
The shocking incident is reported to have taken place in a private school Saraswati Shishu Vidya Mandir in Korba district of the state.
Narrating the sequence of the incident, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headed by Justice S Rajendra Babu said,”The student (Shweta) was severely beaten up by her teacher Parasram Bhaina as she could not properly answer a question. In a fit of fury, the teacher snatched a pin from Shweta and stabbed her right eye with it.”
She was immediately taken to the state capital but according to the team of eye specialists treating her the injury was too deep to regain sight,”the NHRC release added.
The Commission has issued the notice to Secretary, Department of Primary Education of the Government of Chhattisgarh and sought a factual report in the matter within two weeks from the date of the receipt of the notice.
“The Commission considers it a serious violation of human rights of the victim Shweta,” NHRC said.
Source: PTI

NHRC asks report from Delhi govt on boy getting HIV infection
15 Jan 2009, 1929 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Taking suo motu cognizance of media reports of a boy getting HIV infected blood at a hospital here, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued notice to the Delhi Government for a “factual” report on the matter within two weeks. Considering it as a serious issue of violation of human rights of the victim, the commission issued the notice to the secretary, Health of the Delhi Government on January 12 for sending a factual report within two weeks, said a release issued by NHRC. Media reports had alleged that on January 9, a 13 year old boy being treated for lung cancer at Guru Tegh Bahadur Hospital was allegedly transfused with HIV infected blood. Reports said he is being treated at the hospital for eight months, and has been diagnosed with HIV+ and Hepatitis B+.


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