26-27.03.2009

Indian activist wins Stockholm Water Prize
http://blog.taragana.com/n/indian-activist-wins-stockholm-water-prize-21797/
Ians
March 25th, 2009
STOCKHOLM – Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement and inventor of a toilet system credited with improving sanitation across India was Wednesday named the winner of the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize.
The award, worth $150,000, was created in 1990 to recognize achievements in water science, water management, water action or awareness building.
Pathak, born in 1943 in the state of Bihar, is credited with developing a simple twin pit, pour-flush toilet system used in more than 1.2 million residences and buildings.
The facilities, which are pay-per-use, offer ‘an economically sustainable, ecological, and culturally acceptable solution to hygiene problems in crowded slum communities and public places.’
Waste from these toilets is converted into bio-gas for heating, cooking, and generating electricity.
The technology has since been recommended by the United Nations HABITAT and Centre for Human Settlements, as well as the United Nations Development Programme, UNDP.
‘The results of Dr Pathak’s endeavours constitute one of the most amazing examples of how one person can impact the well-being of millions,’ the jury said in its citation.
The award is to be presented at a ceremony in Stockholm during the World Water Festival in August.
Sulabh International Social Service Organization has also launched operations in Bhutan and Afghanistan. Sulabh has, together with UN-HABITAT, trained engineers, architects and others from 14 countries in Africa.
Sulabh is planning to work in Ethiopia, Cambodia, Laos, Angola, Madagascar, Dominican Republic, and Tajikistan.
Pathak has also written and lectured on public health and hygiene.
Last year, Professor John Anthony Allan of King’s College London and the School of Oriental and African Studies was awarded for launching the concept of ‘virtual water’ that ‘measures how water is embedded in the production and trade of food and consumer products.’
Recent winners include: Indian-born Asit K. Biswas, for contributions to global water resource issues; US researcher Perry L. McCarty, for developing water and wastewater systems; and the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), an Indian non-governmental organization, that campaigns for better water management by using traditional rainwater harvesting.

Eight firms allowed to make bids for Andhra road project
http://www.livemint.com/2009/03/25234101/Eight-firms-allowed-to-make-bi.html
The Supreme Court in its judgement on Tuesday directed NHAI to provide equest for proposal documents to all the eight candidates
Posted: Wed, Mar 25 2009. 11:41 PM IST
Rahul Chandran
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has asked the National Highways Authority of India, or NHAI, to allow two consortia it had removed from the shortlist of a Rs1,460 crore highway project in Andhra Pradesh to make price bids for the project, people close to the matter said.
According to lawyer Anupam Lal Das, who represented the consortium led by Soma Enterprise Ltd, which had filed a special leave petition contesting its removal from the final shortlist, the court suggested that top eight contenders be allowed to submit price bids for the highway between Hyderabad and Vijayawada.
“The Supreme Court in its judgement on Tuesday directed NHAI to provide RFP (request for proposal) documents to all the eight candidates,” Das said. “The financial bids of the eight parties will have to be considered by NHAI.”
Besides Soma Enterprise, the companies/consortia that will be on the new shortlist are GMR Infrastructures Ltd, GVK Industries Ltd, Madhucon Projects Ltd, Shapoorji Pallonji and Co. Ltd, Larsen and Toubro Ltd, Hindustan Construction Co. Ltd and Maytas Infra Ltd.
The apex court is yet to publish its judgement, but a senior NHAI official said he had been told by the authority’s lawyers that the court had suggested extending the shortlist. “That is our understanding, but without seeing the judgement, it is very hard to say anything.” He declined to be identified.
Interestingly, one of the companies in the shortlist—Madhucon Projects—has been debarred by NHAI for non-performance on another highway stretch, but it was not immediately clear whether they would be allowed to bid for this project.
“Since it is only a qualification stage and not the final bidding, they have increased the size of the list (allowing all eight bidders to put in final bid documents),” said an official with Soma Enterprise on condition of anonymity.
The government’s earlier shortlisting criteria allowed bids from only five-seven top bidders based on prior experience. The criteria, first introduced in May 2007, were removed in September 2008 following legal challenges from bidders and a trade body representing highway contractors. NHAI continued using the criteria for some 60 projects that were already being evaluated.
(Malathi Nayak contributed to this story.)

CBI may oppose Sanjay Dutt’s plea in Supreme Court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/CBI-may-oppose-Sanjay-Dutts-plea-in-Supreme-Court/articleshow/4315680.cms
25 Mar 2009, 2137 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: CBI is likely to oppose in Supreme Court the petition of Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who is seeking suspension of his conviction in connection with 1993 Mumbai serial blasts to contest coming Lok Sabha polls. The petition will come up for hearing in the apex court on March 30 as a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan issued notice to the CBI and sought its reply on the plea of Dutt. Dutt is the Samajwadi Party candidate from the Lucknow parliamentary seat. CBI sources said the prosecution department of the agency was in favour of opposing the plea as it did not want to set any precedence. Dutt was held guilty under the Arms Act by a Mumbai TADA Court which has sentenced him to six years of imprisonment in July 2007. The Bollywood star has spent 18 months in jail during the pendency of the trial. The actor sought suspension of the conviction on the grounds which were considered by the apex court while staying the conviction of BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu in a road rage death case. Dutt, 50, has pleaded with the apex court to consider the fact that he was absolved of the serious offence under TADA and there was not a single case registered against him before the Mumbai blasts.

Submit details of DA case to govt, HC tells I-T dept
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ranchi/Submit-details-of-DA-case-to-govt-HC-tells-I-T-dept/articleshow/4315104.cms
25 Mar 2009, 2208 hrs IST, TNN
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday directed the income-tax department to provide details of investigation that it had carried out against seven former ministers of the state in a disproportionate assets (DA) case to the government. A division bench of Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice D K Sinha directed the I-T department to provide details of the former ministers’ assets before adjourning the hearing of the public interest litigation (PIL) to April 16. The PIL filed by one Durga Oraon last year demanded CBI inquiry against the seven former ministers who had allegedly amassed wealth disproportionate to their known sources of income. The court issued the directive after the I-T department refused to hand over the investigation report of the assets of the seven ministers Dulal Bhuiyan, Bandhu Tirkey, Chandra Prakash Choudhary, Kamlesh Singh, Bhanu Pratap Sahi, Enos Ekka and Harinarayan Rai during the last hearing of the case on March 18. Advocates of Bhuiyan and Tirkey, who were present during the hearing, however, were not allowed to take part in the proceedings. According to the advocate of the petitioner, Ritu Kumar, the division bench turned down the request of Bhuiyan and Tirkey to put forward their argument, saying that since the court has not issued any notice to their client, they cannot intervene in the proceedings. “The Chief Justice turned down their request, saying that only after the court is satisfied that a clear-cut case stands against them, they would be allowed to take part in the proceedings,” Kumar said.

Station fire tender at Sonsoddo, HC tells MMC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Station-fire-tender-at-Sonsoddo-HC-tells-MMC/articleshow/4316169.cms
26 Mar 2009, 0454 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the Margao Municipal Council (MMC) to keep a fire tender at their Sonsoddo garbage disposal site from Thursday onwards to prevent recurring fire incidents at the site. The division Bench comprising Justices P B Majmudar and U D Salvi were hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Goa Foundation praying for directions to be issued to the MMC to treat the piling garbage at Sonsoddo. When the PIL came up for hearing on Wednesday, advocate Norma Alvares appearing for the NGO, informed the Bench that the recent fire incidents at the site were a serious matter. She pointed out that there is a likelihood of the garbage dump at Sonsoddo catching fire again as the garbage is still smouldering underneath. The MMC should be directed to take appropriate steps for preventing recurring fire incidents at the site, she argued. At this juncture, advocate S D Padiyar appearing for the MMC told the court that the council would make necessary arrangements for the dumping site, including providing a fire tender for extinguishing any fires at Sonsoddo. The Bench thereafter directed the MMC to provide a fire tender at the site immediately from March 26 onwards. The council has also been directed to maintain this arrangement until the monsoons set in. The court has also directed the MMC to file their reply explaining the council’s stand on the treatment of the huge dump of untreated waste lying at the site. The court will hear the matter further after two weeks.

High fees: HC seeks response from govt
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/high-fees-hc-seeks-response-from-govt/439222/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 26, 2009 at 0202 hrs IST
New Delhi The Delhi High Court on Wednesday called the recent decision by private city schools to hike fees “highly objectionable” and asked the government to examine whether the institutions followed “mandatory provisions of law” while increasing fees.
In a PIL challenging the recent fee hike by private, unaided schools in the city, the Bench led by Chief Justice A P Shah issued notice to the Delhi government through its Education Department to look into the conduct of the schools. The court sought the government’s reply on April 29, when the case will be heard next.
“Have the schools followed the mandatory provisions of law with regard to their account?” the Bench asked. “This action is highly objectionable. Let there be some examination of the whole aspect.”
The court’s poser was prompted by a submission by advocate Ashok Agarwal, representing the parents’ association that filed the PIL, that the hike violated recommendations of the government-constituted S L Bansal committee that examined implications, including fee hikes, of the Sixth Pay Commission for recognised unaided schools.
The court has asked the government to place on record the committee’s report before it by the next date of hearing.
Filed on March 20, the PIL seeks judicial intervention to quash the Education Department’s February 11 notification permitting schools to raise tuition and development fees with retrospective effect from January 1, 2006.
The government contended before the Bench that the Bansal panel recommendations formed the bulwark of the February 11 notification.

We are in no way secure
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/wein-no-way-secure/352976/
Vijay Mukhi / March 26, 2009, 0:34 IST
Two events have changed India in the last four months — 26/11 and Satyam. Our response to both these major events has been the same. We, as a country, have done absolutely nothing. The 26/11 episode affected our life, Satyam our wallets. It’s been four months after 26/11 and I am yet to meet a policeman on the roads of Mumbai who is carrying a gun that can take on the might of a terrorist. I am yet to meet a policeman who has gone through a rigorous training programme that will prevent another hostage attack. I am yet to see a boat that would protect the coasts of Maharashtra. I could go on and on. Why have we failed to come together?
Let’s start with the judiciary. A spate of PIL(s) were filed in the Mumbai High Court in the chambers of the Chief Justice, which heard them immediately. I was present in the court that fateful day as I had also filed a PIL. Most of us wanted some mechanism to be created by the courts that would monitor the security systems in place for our safety and security. The state and Centre vehemently opposed the creation of any such body on various grounds, but to the credit of the high court, they could sense the anger and frustration of people and went ahead and created a citizens’ committee, headed by Justice Srikrishna. This committee met twice and debated a large number of security issues, but as the Centre and state have gone to the Supreme Court against the High Court’s decision, things are in a state of limbo. Score 1 for the judiciary.
The industry reaction to 26/11 has been to say the least a big joke. They have gone ahead and tried to spend their way out of the problem. They have not thought precisely what they should be doing in this space. For example, most five-star hotels in the city check your car for explosive devices by looking at three places, underneath your car, in the bonnet or the boot. They believe that no terrorist will carry bombs in the back seat of the car. They, along with the malls, have installed what we call Door Frame Metal Detectors (DFMDs in industry jargon) at all entry points. These can check for the minutest traces of explosives. Unfortunately, in our country, most of the DFMDs do not work when one passes through them, and now someone has to physically check you again. One five-star hotel actually checks you twice.
We believe, if we have physical frisking, for some reason, it is better than a machine checking you, which is not what the world thinks. They want to remove people from the security process. The world uses technology to remove people from the process of security.Doing the same job over and over again leads to fatigue and tiredness, and this is where a security breach happens. For some reason, the industry wants to take the role of a policeman, which is not their job. The industry has also not been proactive in lobbying governments. Score 0 for industry’s response.
The security business is booming in India and we see a large number of business delegations coming to India to source our security. We are seen as the fastest-growing country in security spending. There is a new security company formed in India every two days. Companies are spending a lot of money on physical security, but very little is being done as far as e-security is concerned.
Industry associations and the society at large initially make all the right noises and then fatigue creeps in. I see no more meetings being held or press releases from associations or citizen groups. It seems the flame has died out, as if 26/11 never happened. The frustration and anger among the people still remains. In the last month, the Indian Merchants Chamber hosted two delegations from Israel and the UK. These days, it is difficult to get people to attend a seminar, but both these security seminars were full of people and the question and answer sessions were very emotional and aggressive. People did not really ask the foreigners questions, they were more interested in talking about 26/11 and its aftermath. People are scared and worried as they do not see any movement on the ground, but lack a way of getting their point across to the powers that be. The problem with citizen groups is that very rarely do we see them come out with actual workable suggestions. State bashing is a good thing up to a point. Score ½ for the response of citizens groups and Industry Associations.
The politicians have realised and felt the anger of people and are willing to discuss security at the drop off a hat. As they are close to people, they understand their feelings and anxieties. The IAS officers at the very top are also willing to talk about security. This group is at least willing to talk about security. The only problem is that they do not control the bureaucracy today. Score ½ for the response of the politicians and senior IAS officers.
So far, all the sections of society we have spoken about, judiciary, citizens, industry, citizens groups , politicians, etc are sincere in their approach and are thinking towards security. Then where is the bottleneck?
There is a huge mass of bureaucracy that is answerable to no one and all and this is the stumbling block that is making things happen. They do not believe that anything different has happened at all after 26/11 and, for some reason, no one wants to tame them.
The only way out for the civil society is to get together and make the courts hold the government accountable for security on a day-to-day basis. The courts or the state must set actual deadlines for action to take place on the ground. US President Barack Obama has come out with a site that says Do Not Trust Us, Track Us. We must have a similar system in India, using a technology called xBRL, where we can use software to track what the state is doing. This way they cannot make promises and get away with it. They have to be held accountable.
The author is a security practitioner, a member of the 66-member Maharashtra State Security Council and chairs the sub-group on Cyber Security and Communications.

Maintain updated records of encroachments: HC tells MCGM
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/532386/National/1/20/1

Published: March 25,2009

Mumbai, Mar 25 The Bombay High Court today told the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to maintain a “contemporaneous” record of unauthorised constructions in all the wards. The division bench of Justices J N Patel and V K Tahilramani was dealing with the PIL filed by NGO Janhit Manch against encroachments along water pipelines across the city. To the court’s shock, the MCGM’s latest report on anti-encroachment drive revealed that a 2000 sq ft bungalow had come up along the pipeline in suburban Bhandup (S ward). The bungalow, wholely illegal, was demolished. The court said that MCGM must have an updated record of unauthorised constructions in each ward, and must take steps to remove them from time to time. “You should not act only on the receipt of complaints or on the court orders,” Justice Patel said. The judges also asked whether any disciplinary action was taken against the ward officers who allowed encroaches to settle on municipal land. Tell your ward officers that here onwards action shall be taken against them,” Justice Patel said. According to MCGM, some 2,240 illegal structures along with the water pipelines have been removed so far.
Source: PTI

PIL against violation of human rights in Gujarat jail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/PIL-against-violation-of-human-rights-in-Gujarat-jail/articleshow/4315669.cms
25 Mar 2009, 2100 hrs IST, PTI
AHMEDABAD: A public interest litigation (PIL), in connection with the alleged violation of human rights of prisoners of the Central jail in Sabarmati here, has been filed in the Gujarat High Court. In the PIL, the petitioner — Jan Sagharsh Manch (JSM) — has contended that it has received complaints from relatives of certain jail inmates, that prisoners of the jail were subjected to severe torture and inhumane treatment by IPS official V Chandrashekhar, who is a jail superintendent. During the visit of the petitioner’s representative, it was found that the official concerned had created an atmosphere of terror in the jail premises, the PIL stated. JSM, which works for the protection of human rights of marginalised communities, also gave examples of several prisoners who were being meted out severe and harsh treatment by the jail authorities, in the PIL.

JSM files PIL to voice grievances of prisoners
http://news.chennaivision.com/index.php/2009/03/jsm-files-pil-to-voice-grievances-of-prisoners/
By chennaivision at 26 March, 2009, 10:38 am
JSM member Shamshad Pathan filed the PIL through his Advocate S H Iyer to draw the attention of the Court on gross violation of human rights, statutory rules, orders and directions by the Jail Superintendent.
The petitioner prayed the High Court to direct the respondents — State of Gujarat and Jail Superindent — to strictly comply with the earlier court directions dated May 7, 2004, in this regard.
He also prayed that court be pleased to direct the state to forthwith remove/transfer respondent number 2 — Jail Superintendent V Chandrashekhar, IPS officer, and to inquire into the allegations made against him and take appropriate departmental action.
Pending admission and final disposal of this petition, the Court be pleased to appoint a Court Commission to inquire into the allegations of atrocities committed by respondent number 2 and submit its report to the Court for further action. It also appealed to the court to issue necessary direction to the State to send the prisoners who have suffered assault in jail to the Civil Surgeon for immediate medical treatment.
The petitioner informed the court that he had acted following the complaints received from the relatives of certain prisoners of the Central Jail at Sabarmati Jail, that they were subjected to severe torture and inhumane treatment by respondent No 2.
The petitioner visited the Central Jail on March 14 to ascertain true facts. The petitioner met several prisoners and to utter shock and surprise, the petitioner came to know that the respondent No 2 in violation of all the norms of civilized society and humanity, had in fact created an atmosphere of terror in the jail.

Court-appointed committee to study basketball stadium proposal
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/79715.htm
Mar 26th, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Thursday set up a committee to study the ecological effect if construction of a proposed indoor basketball stadium at Ajmal Khan Park in west Delhi for the 2010 Commonwealth Games is allowed.
The committee will be headed by the chairman of the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). He and four others members will study the ecological effect the construction would have on the area.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked the committee to submit a detailed report within six months.
The court had last month stayed construction of the stadium.
The court acted on a public interest petition filed by voluntary organisation Paryavaran Evam Jan Uthan, which challenged the construction on the ground that it was not environment-friendly.
The NGO alleged that a 100-tonne AC would be installed at the stadium, which is very hazardous for the environment.
The proposed stadium, being constructed by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi at a cost of Rs.60 million, would be world-class with 3,000-seat capacity. It would have 10 rooms for players and an ultra-modern gym.
[SU]

HC asks IGIMS to pay fine of Rs 50K to doc
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-asks-IGIMS-to-pay-fine-of-Rs-50K-to-doc/articleshow/4320720.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0256 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday imposed a cost of Rs 50,000 on the Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS) for causing loss to a writ petitioner, Dr Sunil Kumar, by “awarding” him the MD degree in community medicine, which was not recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI). The petitioner’s plea was that he had invested three years in completing MD in community medicine at IGIMS which did not select him for the post of assistant professor, community medicine, on the ground that MCI did not recognise its degree. The court maintained that the fine of Rs 50,000 imposed on IGIMS is payable to the petitioner. A single bench presided over by Justice Navin Sinha dismissed the writ petition of Dr Sunil who had challenged the IGIMS decision not to appoint him. The petitioner’s counsel, Umakant Shukla, submitted that the petitioner had spent three years in getting the degree and still found himself nowhere when IGIMS did not select him. IGIMS’s plea was that it had started the course in anticipation that MCI would give recognition to it but that did not happen. The court said the IGIMS board of governors should hold an inquiry and fix responsibility on the persons responsible for conducting the MD course in community medicine without MCI recognition. It also gave liberty to the board to recover the cost paid to the petitioner from the persons found responsible for this lapse.

PIL filed against shifting IPL to South Africa
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/pil-filed-against-shifting-ipl-to-south-africa/57417/on

Press Trust of India / Jaipur March 26, 2009, 20:46 IST
A public interest litigation (PIL) petition against the holding of Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 tournament in South Africa has been filed in Rajasthan High Court which will hear it on Monday.
The petition filed by President of All India Karate Federation Rameshwar Nirvan before a Division Bench comprising Justice R C Gandhi and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati claims that the shifting of the venue will cost huge revenue loss to the nation besides depriving entertainment to cricket fans.
The petition also said that it was a national shame to shift the tournament which gave a message that the government was incompetent in fighting terrorist threats.
It has been contended in the writ that general elections does not mean that the entire public life should come to a standstill.
The petition demands that the IPL matches should be held in the country and the Central government should be directed to provide the necessary security, if necessary by providing para-military and armed forces to assist the police.

HC cancels Maya Kodnani’s bail in Gujarat riot case
http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20090088908&ch=3272009112300AM
NDTV Correspondent
Friday, March 27, 2009, (Ahmadabad)
The Gujarat High Court has cancelled the anticipatory bail of Gujarat Child Welfare Minister Maya Kodnani.The High Court rejected the defence counsel’s plea to stay the judgement for a period of six weeks. Now decks are clear for the arrest of Kodnani.The Supreme Court had appointed a special investigation team that is reinvestigating nine riot cases in the state.The special investigation team wants to arrest Kodnani in connection with the Naroda Patiya case in which about 100 people were killed.

Poll code hit couples get HC respite
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nagpur/Poll-code-hit-couples-get-HC-respite/articleshow/4321141.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0218 hrs IST, Vaibhav Ganjapure & Diwakar Phatak, TNN
NAGPUR/GONDIA: The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has stayed a government order of March 21, and allowed funds to be released for mass marriage programmes under the Shubhmangal Samuhik Vivah Yojana even while the code of conduct is in force for the general elections. A social organisation had petitioned the HC against the order on behalf of 43 couples who were denied funds to hold a mass marriage programme on March 29 at Sangrampur in Buldhana district. These 43 couples had planned their weddings for an auspicious time that day, after getting all the requisite permissions, and expected to get a fixed amount and household utensils etc from the government at the ceremony. However, officials of the women and child development department cited the circular and refused government aid. A division bench comprising justices Dilip Sinha and Ashok Bhangale stayed the effect and operation of the government circular thus paving the way for mass marriages to take place anywhere in Maharashtra until further orders are passed. The bench has issued notices to all respondents and will hear the case four weeks later. Leaders of various communities, which organise the popular mass marriage programmes across the region, had protested the government circular.

HC wants Dadar med-aid project in 14 days
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC-wants-Dadar-med-aid-project-in-14-days/articleshow/4320742.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0338 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Giving relief
to victims of railway accidents, the Bombay high court in an important order, on Thursday told the railways to implement a pilot medical-aid project at Dadar station. The project has to be set up in two weeks and if successful, would be replicated at all stations across Maharashtra, said a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud. The court has appointed a committee to be headed by divisional regional managers of Central Railway and Western Railway, J N Lal and C P Sharma who would oversee the implementation of the project. Dadar railway station has witnessed around 34 accidents in the past six months, according to the railways. One of the first things that the court has asked the railways to set up is a well-equipped emergency medical room on the platform so that victims of an accident can be provided with first aid. A doctor will be on call for any emergency and the medical room would have a round-the-clock attendant. The court also told the railways to upgrade the first-aid boxes at railway stations, which at present, have “various types of ointments and bandages.” The judges said that medical experts should recommend appropriate things in the first-aid kit “keeping in view fatal accidents as well as medical emergencies” that take place at a railway station. The authorities will have to make arrangements for oxygen cylinders. Another major requirement, that of a well-equipped ambulance at the railway station, has been met with the authorities tying up with a private NGO, which will provide a vehicle at the station. The court directed the officer concerned to ensure that the ambulance is given parking space and also has an unobstructed right-of-way near the station. The railways will put up the names of the injured, nature of accident, hospital admitted to and if necessary, even photographs on its website. The court’s orders came after a public interest litigation was filed on the rising number of deaths on the tracks and the inadequate medical aid provided by the railways to victims. “Life is valuable,” the judges said, asking the railways to ensure that the project was set up for the “safety and welfare of passengers and victims of railway accidents.”

HC draws up schedule for mining truck
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC-draws-up-schedule-for-mining-truck/articleshow/4320787.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0244 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: In a significant order granting relief to the residents of Curchorem, the high court of Bombay at Goa on Thursday drew up a schedule for truck owners to operate their vehicles in the area. The court directed truck owners to begin their operations only after 8 am in the morning and stop their movement by 8 pm in the evening, with an added interval from 1 pm to 2 pm. A division Bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice U D Salvi passed the order following a petition filed by Goa Foundation, John Pereira and others. The petitioners had complained that people living in Curchorem were affected by uncontrolled dust pollution due to loading and unloading of ore in the vicinity of residential areas. Advocate Norma Alvares appearing on behalf of Goa Foundation told the court that dust pollution in Curchorem had reached serious levels. “Activity at the Curchorem railway yard begins at 4.30 am and goes on all through the day, sometimes even up to 9 pm,” she pointed out. Subsequently, Alvares submitted a list of suggestions for regulating the truck owners’ activities and prayed that the court pass orders by way of interim relief in view of the seriousness of the problem. At this point, the Bench granted three of the five suggestions put forth by Alvares. Besides regulating the truck timings, the court also directed the mining truck owners to cover their wagons with tarpaulin before leaving the yard. The court also dealt with the problem of ore stacks at the yard and directed that the stacks be covered and their height be limited to 5 m. Alvares had also suggested that the Curchorem railway yard be fully enclosed within a shed to control dust pollution. On this count, the court directed the Ministry of railways to conduct a survey of the yard and file its report in the court within two weeks. Another suggestion for tarring of a 200 m stretch of road frequented by mining trucks was ruled out as advocate general Subodh Kantak pointed out that the code of conduct was in force. The petition will now come up for hearing after two weeks.

BMC wants HC nod to hack mangroves for dump site
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/BMC-wants-HC-nod-to-hack-mangroves-for-dump-site/articleshow/4320755.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0319 hrs IST, SUKHADA TATKE, TNN
MUMBAI: The BMC has prepared a fresh affidavit, requesting the Bombay high court to allow hacking of 11.6 hectares of mangroves, as it fears a delay in getting court permission for one of the most important projects dealing with scientific disposal of garbage. The BMC got the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) clearance from the Centre for the Kanjurmarg dumping site last week. But there is one more hurdle to overcome before the site can be used for dumping; environmentalists have filed a petition in court against the felling of mangroves on 80 hectares of the 141-hectare plot. “We are requesting the court to allow us to remove these mangroves so that we get an additional 20.76 hectares which will be useful for processing increased generation of waste upto 2030. We hope the court will give permission in the larger interest of the city and its waste management,” said additional municipal commissioner R A Rajeev. The BMC is also currently facing a contempt petition regarding the Deonar dumping ground. “If the BMC implements its plan of scientific management of waste and sanitary landfill and also closes the present dumpsite at Deonar, it only requires Kanjurmarg landfill permissions from court. The sooner we get the premission, the better it will be for us. This is critical as citizens are also protesting against the Mulund dumping gorund,” he added. Currently, 2,000 tonnes of waste are being dumped daily at Mulund and 4,000 tonnes are going to Deonar. Civic officials say Deonar will take only 2,000 tonnes a day and Mulund will only 500 tonnes once the projects are implemented. “Kanjurmarg will then require to take in 4,000 tonnes daily,” a civic official said.

State to HC: Panel to probe poor construction of roads
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ranchi/State-to-HC-Panel-to-probe-poor-construction-of-roads/articleshow/4319560.cms
26 Mar 2009, 2151 hrs IST, TNN
RANCHI: The state government has set up a committee to probe the alleged irregularities in the way a few roads were built some time ago, Jharkhand High Court was told on Thursday. A division bench, comprising chief justice Gyan Sudha Misra and justice D K Sinha, heard a PIL filed by an NGO called Jan Kalyan Morcha, which had alleged poor quality in the construction of Adityapur-Kandra and Kandra-Saraikela roads in Saraikela-Kharsawan district. The PIL, which demanded action under Bihar Prevention of Corrupt Practices Act, stated that sub-standard materials were supplied for the 38-km stretch even Rs 32.06 crore was spent on it. The NGO said patches and potholes surfaced a few months after the work was over. On March 5, the high court asked the state to lodge an FIR against the contractor and engineers and also sought details of bank accounts and the mode of payment. The court has been adjourned till April 16 for the next hearing. Another petition, filed by Mohammad Tahir alleging multi-crore bitumen scam, has demanded a vigilance probe. It said the comptroller and accountant General (CAG) of India and accountant general (AG) found irregularities in bitumen procurement worth Rs 100 crore. The PIL mentioned a number of roads like Godda- Panjwara, Ason Bani-Patamda, Ranchi Ring Road, Adityapur-Kandra, Ranchi-Daltonganj, Chandarpura-Bokaro, Hatia-Chaibasa Road which suffered because of “corrupt practices”. The division bench asked the state to file a counter affidavit by April 16.

HC reserves order on Pappu’s plea
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-reserves-order-on-Pappus-plea/articleshow/4320781.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0255 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday reserved order on a petition of the controversial RJD MP from Madhepura Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav, seeking suspension of the life sentence given to him in the CPM MLA Ajit Sarkar murder case. Pappu was recently granted bail in the case by the high court. Sarkar had been shot dead in Purnia in 1998. A division bench comprising Justice Shivakirti Singh and Justice D D Jha reserved the order after hearing arguments of Pappu’s counsel R K Anand. As his criminal appeal challenging the order of a special CBI court sentencing him to life imprisonment in the Sarkar murder case is pending in the high court, Pappu filed an interlocutory petition seeking suspension of the sentence so that he could file nomination for the upcoming parliamentary elections

SC stays HC order on suspension of 2 Megahalaya MLAs
http://www.totalnews.in/sc-stays-hc-order-on-suspension-of-2-megahalaya-mlas/7204.html
The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the interim order of the Gauhati High Court which had put on hold the decision of the Meghalaya Assembly Speaker to suspend two legislators during the controversial trust vote.
“The Speaker can go ahead with the disqualification process,” a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said when a petition against the High Court order was mentioned.
The NCP-led Meghalaya Progressive Alliance has challenged the March 20 order of the High Court staying Speaker B M Lanong’s ruling placing two MLAs Paul Lyngdoh of KHNAM and Limison Sangma (independent) under interim suspension.
The petition in the apex court was filed by MPA spokesman Conrad Sangma.
The alliance has also challenged the Centre’s decision to put the state under President’s rule and accused the Governor of acting in biased manner.
The Meghalaya government headed by Chief Minister Donkupar Roy was formed on 19th March 2008.
After formation of the government, two independent MLAs had joined the coalition taking its strength to 33 in the 60-member House.
On 9th March, the two independent MLAs withdrew the support to the MPA government and later a member each of NCP, HSPDP and KHANAM defected which, the petitioners alleged, was engineered by Congress, reducing the government to a minority
This entry was posted on Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 5:22 am and is filed under India.

I-T department moved SC challenging relief given by Bombay HC seven and half year back to Amitabh Bachchan in a case related to KBC
http://www.taxguru.in/income-tax/i-t-department-moved-sc-challenging-relief-given-by-bombay-hc-seven-and-half-year-back-to-amitabh-bachchan-in-a-case-related-to-kbc.html
In what may strain the already troubled relations between the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, the Income Tax (I-T) department on Wednesday moved the Supreme Court challenging a seven-month-old order of the Bombay high court, which gave relief to superstar Amitabh Bachchan in a case related to Kaun Banega Crorepati.
The move to appeal against the old order, given the closeness of the Bachchan family to SP leaders Mulayam Singh Yadav and Amar Singh, may have its political fallout.
The I-T department assailed the HC order saying Bachchan could not have claimed benefit under Section 80RR of the Income Tax Act which provides 30% tax relief on income of artistes from outside India.
Bachchan had contended that as per Section 80RR, 30% of the earnings that accrued to him were not taxable since he was an artist and the remaining 70%, which went to the account of Amitabh Bachchan Corporation Ltd (ABCL), could be taxed.
However, the I-T department was of the view that Bachchan was an anchor and not an artist in the popular television show. Moreover, the income to be categorised under Section 80RR must have either come from abroad or the artist must have performed outside India.
According to the I-T department, the entire show was shot in a Mumbai studio provided by Star India Pvt Ltd and, hence, no tax relief should be granted. The dispute over taxation is on a total earning of Rs 13 crore which Bachchan earned from the mega show.
Bachchan’s spouse, Jaya, is a SP member of Rajya Sabha. SP leaders have in the past linked the actor’s troubles with the taxman to their opposition to Congress.
In the earlier round of litigation, the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal had asked the department to reconsider the assessment. Later, the Bombay high court upheld Bachchan’s contention and dismissed the IT department’s plea.

Disposes Of PIL Seeking Court Intervention To Tackle Crunch Causing Problems
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Disposes-Of-PIL-Seeking-Court-Intervention-To-Tackle-Crunch-Causing-Problems/articleshow/4320887.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0417 hrs IST, Ajay Sura, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday directed PGI and Union ministry of health and family welfare to fill up all posts of technical staff lying vacant in the hospital’s department of radiology within a period of three months. At present, there are 12 posts of supervisor and senior and junior technicians that are lying vacant. A division bench headed by chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice Hemant Gupta passed these orders while disposing of a public interest litigation filed by Mohali-resident Ishwar Singh. In his petition, Singh had asked the court to intervene as shortage of staff was causing huge backlog of cases leading to harassment of patients, apart from non-utilization of equipment worth crores. Ishwar had further stated that PGI provided medical facilities to many poor patients from the northern part of the country. He added that the staff crunch at the hospital was leading to harassment for patients. The petition mentioned that around 200-250 X-ray images were processed daily in the PGI’s emergency section. It stated that MRI, dexa scans were conducted at PGI three-four months after they were prescribed, which was quite late. PGI authorities pleaded that the institute’s governing body, after restructuring the selection procedure, had decided to fill these vacancies through promotions. The institute’s counsel informed the court that decision of the PGI governing council had been communicated to the Union ministry of health on January 30 for its approval, based upon which the final decision regarding filling the vacancies would be taken. After hearing both the parties, the bench asked the ministry to decide on the submitted proposal within three months. HC has also directed that if the ministry failed to decide on their representation within the stipulated period, the PGI director should immediately fill these posts according to the existing policy of direct recruitment.

SC notice to govt on water crisis
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/SC-notice-to-govt-on-water-crisis/articleshow/4320146.cms
27 Mar 2009, 0257 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday suo motu enlarged the scope of an eight-year-old PIL seeking protection of vanishing wetlands in the country and asked the Centre to detail within four weeks the steps it has taken to solve the growing water crisis faced by the people. A Bench headed by Justice Markandey Katju, who is known for his strict approach towards PILs and his conviction that administration cannot be run by the courts through such litigation, issued notice to the ministry of science and technology to tell the court about the follow-up action it has taken since his recommendations on February 6 in an inter-state water dispute case. The reaction of the Bench, also comprising Justice V Sudershan Reddy, may have surprised counsel Gopal Shankaranarayan, who appearing for petitioner M K Balakrishnan had been toiling for the past couple of years to convince the apex court for some urgent action to protect the disappearing wetlands vitally affecting the water table, flora and fauna. But, he would not complain for the Bench while expanding the scope of the PIL said that the prayers would include all methods needed to solve water shortage problems, including converting sea water into fresh water and water in snow cap peaks. “The present case relating to conservation of wetlands, in our opinion, would include ponds, tanks, lagoons, creeks, water channels, reservoirs, rivers, lakes, etc,” observed Justice Katju. “There is an acute water shortage in our country and one main reason is that all water resource bodies have been built up in recent times by commercially minded greedy persons and such persons have filled up water resources and constructed buildings and shops. Our ancestors were wise people who realized there may be droughts. Hence, as water harvesting method they constructed ponds, tanks attached to temples so that people do not suffer,” he said. “Unfortunately, people have forgotten the wisdom of our ancestors by making constructions. As a result, there is a severe water shortage and people suffer terribly during summer months. There is road block, chakka jam and traffic blocks due to water shortage. This court has already directed the Centre to constitute a committee of experts to solve the water shortage problem. Let notice be issued to ministry of science and technology which should file counter giving details of what steps have been taken to solve the water shortage problem. List the matter on April 28,” the Bench said. When Shankaranarayan suggested that notice should also be issued to the water resources ministry in addition to the ministry of science and technology, Justice Katju remarked: “They won’t do anything. We know. Water resources ministry has only PWD engineers.”

Court shows concern over child exploitation
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Court-shows-concern-over-child-exploitation/articleshow/4315784.cms
26 Mar 2009, 0307 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed serious concern over the condition of children exploited by placement agencies or as child labourers. Advocating strict regulation and punishment of errant placement agencies in the capital, HC said it was receiving a rising number of complaints of trafficking and exploitation against such agencies. A division bench of HC observed that regulation was but the first step to reign in agencies indulging in exploitation of minors, adding that there must be a specific scheme to punish the guilty ones. HC pointed out how only a census by way of regulation was not going to be helpful and observed, “If agencies enroll themselves under the Shops and Establishment Act, you will merely know how many agencies exist. There should be some penal provision wherein errant agencies can be punished once a complaint against them is proved. The court said it was necessary to involve the Child Welfare Committee with assistance from government so that both can think of some policy to monitor these agencies. Citing an example the judges said their records can be periodically called for to gauge the exact number of children enrolled by them. It also said the government and petitioner NGO Shamjeevi Mahila Samithi ought to come up with suggestions by the next date of hearing when HC might come out with certain guidelines aimed at regulating placement agencies. In a similar vein, HC stressed while hearing another PIL on child labour, the need for rehabilitation of rescued victims. Asking that a “holistic approach” be adopted by the Central and Delhi governments, HC pointed out only rescue was not enough, ticking off the state labour department for its tardy effort in this regard. The judges made it clear that the responsibility of the state also included educating the rescued children and rehabilitating them.

SC to hear petition against courts’ power to suspend convictions
http://www.livemint.com/2009/03/26214405/SC-to-hear-petition-against-co.html?h=B
Posted: Fri, Mar 27 2009. 12:56 AM IST
The apex court will hear SP candidate Sanjay Dutt’s plea to suspend conviction in the 1993 blasts on 30 March
Malathi Nayak
New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan will hear on Friday a petition that questions the power of courts to suspend convictions of politicians found guilty of criminal acts.
A public interest litigation (PIL) filed by three Lucknow-based lawyers—Hanuman Tripathi, Krishna Saran and Alok Saran—has expressed concern that “hard core criminals found guilty of abductions, murders, extortions and even terrorism are getting suspension of their convictions from courts”, based on a 2007 judgement of the apex court that suspended a criminal conviction of former cricket player Navjot Singh Sidhu, who is now a member of Parliament representing the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Indian law places restrictions on persons with criminal convictions who want to contest polls.
Section 8 of the Representation of People’s Act bars individuals convicted for crimes that attract sentences more than two years from contesting elections.
Its sub-section 4, however, says that for incumbent members of Parliament the disqualification starts three months from the date of conviction to allow them to file an appeal.
“I had argued then (in 2007) that this (Sidhu’s case) would set a wrong precedent,” said senior counsel Sushil Kumar Jain, who represented the Union government in the lawsuit and opposed his petition.
Section 389 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, allows appellate courts discretion to suspend sentences of convicted individuals.
In the case of Sidhu’s appeal, the apex court interpreted this section to conclude that courts could not only suspend sentences but also expanded its scope to suspend convictions.
“The Criminal Procedure Code only allows for suspension of sentences with a view to preserve a person’s liberty, pending appeal. The Sidhu judgment was an expansion or bending of the Representation of People’s Act to that extent,” said advocate Nitya Ramakrishnan.
She added that the PIL raises a relevant question. “I am not of the opinion that merely because a person is convicted, he should not contest elections. But there have to be some clear legislative guidelines on this. What are the parameters? What categories of convictions can be suspended?” she asked.
A recent survey by non-profit group National Election Watch has found that, as on 18 March, out of about 500 candidates for the Lok Sabha election announced by the BJP, Congress party, Bahujan Samaj Party, the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, and the Samajwadi Party, there are at least 42 candidates with criminal convictions that range from offences such as holding unlawful assemblies to murder.
Actor and Samajwadi Party candidate Sanjay Dutt’s petition seeking a suspension of his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case by a special court will come up for hearing before the Supreme Court on 30 March.
“We have finalized his (Dutt’s) name as our candidate for the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat and there is no alternative candidate for him. It is Sanjay Dutt for Lucknow and no one else for us,” the party’s general secretary Amar Singh said.
On Monday, senior counsel and Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi represented Rashtriya Janata Dal member of Parliament Mohammad Shahabuddin and secured an order from the apex court directing the Patna high court to take up Shahabuddin’s case on the suspension of his conviction promptly before the phase for filing of elections in his constituency in Bihar would end on 30 March.
The Patna high court on Tuesday dismissed Shahabuddin’s plea.
PTI contributed to this story.

CBCA voting issue: Apex court extends stay on HC’s ruling
http://www.infoahmedabad.com/2009/03/cbca-voting-issue-apex-court-extends.html
AHMEDABAD: As the issue of legality of voting rights of 50 individual members in the Central Board of Cricket Ahmedabad (CBCA) has reached Supreme Court, the Apex Court on Thursday extended the stay on Gujarat High Court’s ruling till April 2.The high court last month had held that these 50 members cannot vote during elections, and with this decision, Narhari Amin’s group was to lose its grip over Gujarat Cricket Association also. However, this group challenged the decision in the Apex court and a Bench headed by the Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan heard the case.Appearing for CBCA, senior advocate Rohington Nariman urged to extend the stay order of the high court, which actually ends on March 27. Senior counsel Soli Sorabjee is arguing for the Amit Shah group, which has already won the legal battle in the city civil court as well as the high court.The apex court has kept April 2 for further hearing in this case. Source: timesofindia

NoMarriage
http://nomarriagewithgirl.blogspot.com/2009/03/donot-vote-congress.html
No marriage is th only solution to avoid 498a, domestic violance law. maintenance is powerful than Pension Scheme. Marriage is the short term pension plan to young Girl. Today Girl as soon as get the title of wife,she get the money automatically.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
I strongly oppose to give the power of court to NCW no more stupid Law(No maintenance to qualified wife like MSc BE, and professional qualification)( NCW is gender biased and male hater society and congress is the only supporting party to them.)NCW is already had drafted and law like 498a, domestic violence. The result of the law as per the data NCRB mentioned is 98% false cases. it is not figure. I want to elaborate the figure.98% Husband harassed for 4 to 5 years continuously. Congress support such law98% sister suffered due to trauma of lengthy cases. Congress supports such law98% husband jobs and carrier are at danger. Congress supports such law.98% Mother had seen the loosing health’s and tension bearing son’s in spite of she had taken care of that son from the childhood, she had given polio doses regularly to him at childhood so that in future he should stand on his own legs and give support to older parents. but she don’t know NCW\ with congress effort will remove her older age support from the parents. Now she is afraid why I give birth to son and why till time keep him alive.?98% police investigation was wrong as per the NCRB data, it is the misuse of police infrastructure. just to harassed the husband and to show how to dominate men’s’.98% court time was wasted due to such useless law.98% child become father less. It is all because of stupid Law maker(congress)98% father are childless. It is all because of stupid law maker(congress)You k now who had paid the money to government infrastructure they are income tax payer. Payment of the taxpayer you are using to satisfy the ego of charterless women I.e. NCW. Head of today’s NCW leader are either divorced or unmarried. The leader of NCW should be such lady who had seen complete cycle of family, she should successful grandmother. Her family matter had not come to court that can be the good women for such post. analyse yourself how many such member present in NCW. Think again NCW cannot maintain the data of what they claimed.I am pasting the same example which has given front page of application.“Claim NCW went ahead and published that in 70 % of cases women are denied maintenance on grounds of adultery. SIFF activists when filed for data to support the claim made by NCW, through an application under Rights to Information Act, 2005, NCW in its reply categorically denied maintaining any such data. It was a white lie published by NCW and a delirious attempt by NCW to fudge statistics and present an otherwise picture to realize vendetta best known to it. Such a body severely lacking integrity and accountability does not deserve such a position.Simple data they cannot maintain and asking for power.No maintenance to educated wife. Why the government consider that educated wife like MSc, BE, computer science, teacher professional courses, medical professional courses, most of them donot want to work for the betterment of there own life, discord in married relation it is doesnot means she should seat ideal at home . Even if they had qualification they seat at home so that they can get husband hard earned money. Allowing maintenance for such women is injustice to nation , your multiple law created Lazy people. Then what is the use of there education you had wasted one seat of university on which wo was needy may get education and can use it in there life.All marriage related law should be in the syallabus of 10 the onward every branch of education so that before husband enter into married relation he should know each and every clause of Law. Let they should know each and every law.NCW is till time misguided government. How you can believe on such organization.?NCW are creating more & more law so that Indian joint family system should be break. They want to create more fatherless child, childless father. Giving power to NCW means CALLING GOD TO YOUR HOME FROM TEMPLE AND GIVE BRIBE. NO ONE SHOULD MARRY TO INDIAN GIRL BECAUSE OF NCW LIKE NATIONAL CRIMINAL WIVES (NCW) WAS PRESENT IN INDIA AND GOVERNMENT IS ENTERTAINING THEM. Husband suicide is not considered as husband harassment even after the suicide note mentioned the harassment.I strongly oppose to give the power of court to NCW and review the Law like Domestic Violance and 498a. Maintenance given to post graduate and graduate wife, which court consider they are unable to earn.PROPOSALS TO AMEND WOMENS PROTECTION LAWS1. Section 498A of IPC should be made Non-Cognizable and Bailable. Marriage is not a crime and marital disputes are not crimes either. Where there is no evidence of physical harm to limbs, the police should not be allowed to arrest anyone. The police should not be allowed to randomly summon a husband and his family members to the police station in the name of counseling or questioning in case of marital disputes. We propose that the IPC section 498A be made non-cognizable and Bailable.Misuser of the Law should be heavily punished.2. Government to pay maintenance to destitute and vagrant women A plethora of laws providing for maintenance is creating confusion and leading to undue delay in matrimonial proceedings. The recently enacted PWDV Act has self contained provisions for interim maintenance as well final maintenance to every woman. Hence provision made in other acts have become redundant and must be repelled. The execution of interim maintenance through court proceedings are cumbersome and orders become unenforceable. It is the bounden duty of the government to protect the woman We propose the government pay the ordered interim maintenance amount forthwith and when husband is proved to be wrong may recover from Husband as arrears of Land Revenue.3. Section IPC 304B : Should be made applicable to all Women instead of wife only Most tyrannical provision among all Indian statutes and unconstitutional. Very highly age biased. Women do commit suicide or die under unnatural circumstances irrespective of age and maritalstatus. We believe that the protection available to a wife for seven years immediately after marriage should also be available to every woman. It is again tyrannical, illogical and absurd besides being unconstitutional only to protect a wife that too for seven years from her marriage. The death under suspicious circumstances of every woman irrespective of age, marital status should be brought under this section. The Siblings and parents of the women should indeed to be made responsible for her death. We propose amending Sec 304B IPC so as to bring in every women dying under suspicious circumstances Even Afsal Guru or Godse who committed the gravest of crimes were not asked to prove their innocence to escape punishment. The law require that the offence under this section is deemed to have been committed by husband.Then asking him to prove his innocence is unheard of anywhere in the world. Even worst of the ruler had hanged Subjects without trial only. We propose the provisions in Evidence Act regarding onus of proof be repealed4. Domestic Violence Law should be renamed Domestic Harmony ActA CRIME IS A CRIME whether committed by man or women. Excluding women from punishment is atrocious and mockery of Governance. Even minor physical, verbal, emotional, sexual, and financial abuses which are always sought be projected as Violence, War, Battle Terror would always lead to terrorising Families. Minor skirmishes happening within the four walls of the home is sought to be projected as violence, battle, war, arson, terror etc.,We proposea) The name of the legislation be changed to Domestic Harmony Act.b) The word `woman’ in the definition of aggrieved person shall be replaced with the word `person’.c) The word `any adult male person’ in the definition of respondent shall be replaced with `any adult person’d) The words `Provided that an aggrieved wife or female living in a relationship in the nature of a marriage may also file a complaint against a relative of the husband or the male partner’ in thedefinition of respondent shall be deleted.e) The word `violence’ wherever appears shall be replaced with `discord’.f) The jurisdiction for proceedings under this Act shall be the District Munsif Courts or Court of Small Causes as the case may be and trial may be conducted according to Civil Procedure Code.g) The words in section 28 “Code of Criminal Procedure,” be replaced with “Civil Procedure Code”h) Section 31 should be deleted and Section 31A may be inserted as below Section 31A – Penalty for breach of protection order by respondent. A breach of protection order, or of an interim protection order, by the respondent shall be shall be punishable with a fine which mayextend to twenty thousand rupees.g) Section 32 should be deleted.5. Perjury and False Complaint be made punishable. Misuse of the process of law not only costs the public exchequer dearly, but also destroys the personal lives of many innocent citizens. Misuse of law should be treated as a serious crime, and persons who use should be severely punished (at least to the maximum cumulative terms of the misused provisions). We propose the bar under section 195 of Cr P C be removed and perjury and false complaint be made a cognizable offence.6. Section 9 and 10 of Hindu Marriages Act be repealed The provision for Restitution of Conjugal Rights in Marriage laws are redundant and unenforceable on human beings women protection laws as weapons for settling personal scores in marital disputes. A woman cannot be ordered to live with an unwilling husband by a court order and vice-versa, as emotional involvement is required. Ordering human beings to live together is barbaric and against nature which may even results in crimes being committed. The order on judicial separation is equal to divorce for a limited time. In fact if the order is not enforced it a ground for Divorce only.We propose the provisions in Hindu Marriage Act for Restitution of Conjugal Rights and Judicial Separation be repealed.7. Irretrievable breakdown of marriage be made as grounds for divorce No state or court can saddle a woman or a man to live with a practically Dead marriage or a marriage that has broken down beyond repair. The Supreme Court of India had held breakdown of marriages as a ground for divorce and infact recommended to the government to enact the same. We propose including breakdown of marriages as a ground for divorce.8. Make the Provision under Section 21 B of Hindu Marriage Act Mandatory The statue provides for completion of proceedings under Hindu Marriage be completed within Six Months on proceedings be held on a day to day basis. Even the Supreme Court directed framing of rules to fi time frame in this regard. Courts take years, in fact decades to render decisions. Right to life includes “Right to Speedy trial. Youth and Vigour lost due to delay by women and Men can never be restored. We propose the closure of Family Courts and establishment of Family Tribunals through the Country similar to Debt Tribunal or Tax Tribunal to render speedy disposal of Cases9. Ensure the provisions of Family Court Act be followed in its Spirit The mandatory provisions in Family Court Act with regard to Method of recording of evidence, Exclusion of Advocates, Admissibility of Evidence etc are totally breached with impunity. But the provision with regard to “in Camera” proceedings are taken as umbrage and only chamber hearings conducted keeping general public out. The Act provides for speedy for disposal and informal enquiry and trial. TheJudiciary all over the Country abuse these provisions more in breach creating hell for the women and man. None of the Courts High Courts have framed and implemented Rules under the Act even after the NCW has framed a draft rules in this regard. Neither requirements of laware followed nor the recommendations of the NCW implemented and the Judiciary has failed thoroughly. We propose that the Government should establish Family Tribunal and appoint efficient and qualified Members from all walks of life and who can respect emotional equirements of Men and Women in Matrimonial conflictI strongly oppose to give the power of court to NCW and review the Law like Domestic Violance and 498a. Maintenance given to post graduate and graduate wife, which court consider they are unable to earn.
Posted by Ganesh at 11:59 AM

Women’s groups demand action
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1242674
Anil Anand & Vineeta Pandey
Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:44 IST
New Delhi: Women’s organisations in the country are up in arms against Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav for making disparaging comments against Mainpuri district magistrate Ministhy S.
“We don’t take such remarks kindly, whether they are passed by a political leader or a common man. Yadav should have chosen his words carefully. He should be more gender sensitive. The election commission should take strong action against such leaders,” Sudha Sundaram, secretary All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA), said.
The National Commission for Women (NCW) said the EC should take immediate action against Singh and stop politicians from making comments or gestures that reflect gender bias. “Singh’s remarks against a woman poll officer were shameful. Since the code of conduct is in place, we expect the EC to take strong action against the SP leader,” NCW member Manju Hembrom said.
In a similar incident last November, Madhya Pradesh tourism minister Tukoji Rao and BJP candidate from Dewas Phool Chand Verma were arrested and jailed for misbehaving with a woman returning officer before the state assembly polls.
Sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Sanjana Jain lodged a complaint against them for obstructing official work and threatening her following a dispute over a poll-related issue. Both were booked under sections 353 and 504 of the Indian Penal Code.

Indian Court Opens Trial on Terror Attacks on Mumbai (Update1)
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a_5hkspzhYpY&refer=asia
By Jay Shankar
March 23 (Bloomberg) — An Indian court began the trial of three people charged over last year’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai, which killed 164 people, as the lone surviving gunman told the court that he’s a Pakistani national.
Mohammed Ajmal Kasab spoke before Judge M.L. Tahiliyani today via a video link from his cell in a Mumbai jail and said he would accept a lawyer appointed by the government to defend him, public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said in a telephone interview from Mumbai.
Kasab is charged with “waging a war against India and murder,” Nikam said. Two alleged accomplices, Sabahuddin Mohammad and Fahim Ansari, who face more than a dozen charges, also appeared via video link. The next hearing will be held on March 30 to examine the appointment of a lawyer.
India has charged 47 people, including 45 Pakistani nationals, with planning and executing the Nov. 26-29 assault. The government in New Delhi has blamed the Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba for the attacks and is demanding the extradition of suspects.
The attacks interrupted a five-year peace process between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan, which have fought three wars since independence from Britain in 1947.
The trial will shift from the Mumbai court to a courtroom inside the prison where Kasab is held within three weeks, Nikam said. “We have serious apprehension about the security provided to him,” he said.
Public Pressure
“The court must come out with a verdict as soon as possible,” Suba Chandran, deputy director of the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies, said in a telephone interview from New Delhi. Public pressure for a verdict means the case “should not drag on.”
The trial is expected to be completed in six months, Nikam said.
India alleges that 10 gunmen entered Mumbai on speedboats. Armed with guns, grenades and explosives, they attacked 13 sites across the city, including two luxury hotel complexes, a Jewish center, a cafe and a railway station. Prosecutors filed an 11,280-page charge-sheet last month.
Pakistan last month acknowledged for the first time that its territory was used to plot the attacks and said eight suspects have been charged.
A legal team from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation is scheduled to arrive in India within the next two days to hold discussions with Law Ministry officials and will frame its own charges, the Press Trust of India reported. Six U.S. nationals were killed in the assault.
To contact the reporter on this story: Jay Shankar in Bangalore at jshankar1@bloomberg.net.
Last Updated: March 23, 2009 07:33 EDT

Rights group hails upcoming polls as disabled friendly
http://blog.taragana.com/n/rights-group-hails-upcoming-polls-as-disabled-friendly-20939/
Ians
March 24th, 2009
NEW DELHI – Pleased with the special provisions for handicapped to vote in the upcoming general elections , rights groups Monday said the 2009 Lok Sabha polls have been made disabled friendly.
In a Public Interest Litigation before the polls in 2004, Javed Abidi, convenor of the Disabled Rights Group (DRG) wrote to the Chief Justice of India to make the polling process more disabled friendly.
‘Four years later, I am very happy that the Election Commission has taken steps to make polling booths more accessible to a disabled person, keeping in mind the Supreme Court guidelines,’ Abidi said.
‘One of the important steps taken was the introduction of the Electronic Voting Machines (EVM) with Braille numerals by the side of the ballot buttons to assist the visually impaired,’ Abidi said.
The Election Commission has also ordered that polling booths will have different queues for handicapped people, and proper ramps to be constructed for easy accessibility. Poll personnel are being sensitised to handle the special needs of handicapped.
‘The Election Commission, in an affidavit, assured us that all these provisions will be put in place,’ Abidi said.
Ravi Verma, who works with an NGO for the visually impaired, added: ‘These provisions will be a big boost to the seven percent disabled population of our country to come out and vote.’

UN High Commissioner visits NHRC
http://www.duniyalive.com/?p=7858
Posted on March 23rd, 2009 in Latest India News
New Delhi, Mar.23 (ANI): The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ms Navanethem Pillay, today visited the National Human Rights Commission of India.
She was welcomed by the NHRC Chairperson, Mr. Justice S. Rajendra Babu.
During her about half an hour stay in the Commission, Pillay held discussions with the NHRC Chairperson, Members and Senior Officers on Human Rights related issues.
She showed keen interest in Commission’s activities in its effort to promoting and protecting human rights.
Pillay appreciated that the National Human Rights Commission of India is paying close attention to Economic, Social and Cultural rights of the people.
Later talking to media persons, she said that the National Human Rights Commission of India is very important Commission for the entire region and not just for India.
She said it should work with other National Human Rights Commissions to form a strong body to protect and promote the human rights of the people.
She also appreciated the fact that the National Human Rights Commission of India asserts its independence from the Government and the NGOs while protecting and promoting the human rights. (ANI)

Highlights of the Election Commission order indicting Varun Gandhi
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/77888.htm
Mar 22nd, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, March 22 (IANS) The Election Commission Sunday found Varun Gandhi, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nominee for the Lok Sabha polls from Uttar Pradesh, guilty of violating the model code of conduct by creating “feelings of enmity and hatred” between different communities.
Indira Gandhi’s grandson and the late Sanjay Gandhi’s son, Varun Gandhi has been at the centre of a raging storm since Tuesday with a criminal case filed against him for his alleged anti-Muslim inflammatory remarks.
Following are the highlights of the Election Commission order asking the BJP to drop him from the list of candidates:
– The commission considered the speeches (by Varun Gandhi in Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit constituency) as a grave violation of the provisions model code of conduct
– The commission strongly condemns and censures Feroze Varun Gandhi.
– Varun does not deserve to be a candidate at the present general elections.
– The commission cannot impose disqualification on Varun Gandhui and debar him from contesting elections unless he is convicted or held guilty by a competent court of law.
– The commission would be keeping a close watch on the progress in the investigation and would also be taking all legally permissible steps for the expeditious trial of the matter till it reaches its logical conclusion.
– The commission expects that the BJP will deny the party nomination to Varun Gandhi as its candidate
– Any sponsorship of his candidature by the BJP, or any other political party at this election would be perceived as endorsing his unpardonable acts of inciting violence and creating feelings of enmity and hatred between different classes of citizens of India.
[LM1]

Competition Commission to start operations in 3 months
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1241558
Sreejiraj Eluvangal
Sunday, March 22, 2009 23:49 IST
Mumbai: Even as a section of corporate India has apprehensions over its possible misuse and corruption, the central government is all set to enforce the five-year-old Competition Act.
According to a source close to the development, two new members, Geeta Gauri, an economist with the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission, and Prem Parashar, a lawyer, will join the existing three-member Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The selection for the Competition Appellate Tribunal is also going on.
“The government has sanctioned the staff requirement a few days ago and the Commission is expected to start recruitment of economists, lawyers and analysts anytime now,” said an official connected with the setting up of Commission.
With the two new members, the apparatus will now have five members, including the chairman Dhanendra Kumar, former executive director of the World Bank, who was appointed three weeks ago. With this, the Commission is likely to start its enforcement work in three months, according to the official.
The CCI was set up in 2003 and has powers to penalise companies for price fixing and cartelisation, besides reviewing mergers and acquisitions to check whether they would adversely affect competition in the sector.
After the watering down of the MRTP (the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices) Act in 1991, the Indian corporate sector has functioned without any competition regulator.
While any consumer organisation or company can lodge complaints related to price-fixing, all mergers and takeovers will have to be referred to the Commission for approval if both companies individually have turnovers in excess of Rs 600 crore in India.
The Act, which has seen considerable amendments since it was passed in 2003, has been stiffly opposed by a large part of corporate India. “The law, if implemented in the current form, will cause immense damage to the Indian industry,” Bharat Vasani, general counsel for the Tata group, said.
Vasani, speaking on the sidelines of a conference, felt that the new mechanism will push India back to the pre-liberalisation, licence quota raj, giving an edge to unscrupulous companies. “The MRTP Act successfully kept India growing at 3%. Companies that cannot ‘manage’ clearances in Delhi will have a tough time under the new set-up,” he said.

Andhra Pradesh Court ruling : Police must file FIR after encounter
http://sanhati.com/news/1295/
By Suresh Kumar
Over the last four decades, the Andhra Pradesh police have killed 6,000 people in fake encounters. Some 2,000 were killed in just the last decade. Yet, no policeman was prosecuted. The reason: the police never book the policemen involved in the encounter. Every time an inquiry by an executive magistrate accepted the police version that the police returned fire after being shot at. Case closed.
Not any more. In a historic judgment on February 6, on a petition filed by the Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), the Andhra Pradesh High Court ruled that the police must file a First Information Report (FIR) every time a death occurs at their hands, and bring the case before a judge. The court said the local police officer’s report would only be an “opinion” and not a conclusive finding. Importantly, the court ruled an executive inquiry won’t be the final word on such deaths.
This ruling is a sterling blow in favour of India’s human rights movement. It is important to quote the five Justices: G Raghuram, VVS Rao, R Subhash Reddy, Ramesh Ranganathan, and G Bhawani Prasad.
“Where a police officer causes death of a person acting or purporting to act in discharge of official duties in self-defence as the case may be, the first information relating to such circumstances shall be recorded and registered as FIR, enumerating the relevant provision of the law, and shall be investigated.
“The existence of circumstances bringing the case within any of the exceptions in IPC [Indian Penal Code], including the exercise of the right of private defence, cannot be conclusively determined during investigation. The opinion recorded by investigating officer in the final report to the magistrate is only an opinion. Such opinion shall be considered by the [judicial] magistrate in the context of record of investigation together with the material and evidence collected during the course of the investigation. The [judicial] magistrate shall critically examine the entirety of the evidence collected during investigation to ascertain whether the opinion of the IO [Investigating Officer] is borne out by the record of investigation. The [judicial] magistrate has the discretion to disregard the opinion and take cognisance of the offence.
“A magisterial inquiry [inquest] is neither a substitute nor an alternative to the obligation to record the information as FIR and to conduct investigation into the facts and circumstances of the case, if necessary to take measures for the discovery and arrest of offenders.”
APCLC filed the case before the High Court after the police killed eight people, including Communist Party of India (Maoist) leader Madhav, in a fake encounter on July 22, 2006, in the Naramalla forests of Prakasam district. Those killed included five women.
The judges, however, said it was “not necessary” to rule on our plea that the policemen who took part in the encounter be named. The Andhra Pradesh police do not mention their names even in the post-encounter reports.
This judgment will change the face of the encounter business in Andhra Pradesh. So far there has been no punishment for the police. In 1996, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) probed six encounter cases brought by the APCLC and ordered that FIRs be registered in five of them. At the time of the NHRC inquiry, police officers would threaten witnesses to discourage them from testifying.
In June 2006, a CrPC amendment said judicial and not executive magistrates shall probe deaths caused by the police. But police all over India refused to put this into practice. The latest judgment will hopefully trigger a nationwide movement to deter the police from killing innocent people.
Kumar is a civil rights lawyer with APCLC. This article appeared in Tehelka, Feb 2009
******************
Conviction is possible even if proof deficient: SC
The Statesman, March 9 2009
The Supreme Court today ruled that conviction of an accused was possible even if evidence though not sufficient was credible and cogent. “It would be open to the court to convict an accused notwithstanding the fact that evidence has been found to be deficient, or to be not wholly credible,” a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundakam Sharma observed. They said it was the duty of the justice delivering body to separate grain from chaff where it can be separated.
The SC passed the ruling while dismissing the appeal of a person, who along with six others was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a sessions court in Tamil Nadu for the murder of a woman, Prabha. The sessions court had convicted the accused on the basis of the eyewitness account of Murugammal, mother of the deceased who was hacked to death by the accused.The accused came in appeal to the SC after Madras High Court confirmed the sentence for the seven but acquitted one of them. In the appeal before the apex court, the accused took the plea that as seven of the witnesses failed to give sufficient evidence to prove the involvement of the accused and one of the accused had been acquitted, they too were entitled to acquittal under the maxim “falsus in uno falsus in omnibus” (if part of the evidence is unbelievable then the rest should also be discarded).”
The SC, however, rejected their appeal and said the maxim had neither general acceptance nor has occupied the status of rule of law in the country.

Court rejects Ansals’ Uphaar plea
http://keralaonline.com/news/delhi-court-rejects-ansals-uphaar-plea_26873.html
New Delhi, Saturday 21 March 2009: The Delhi High Court has rejected the plea of Uphaar Cinema owners and real estate tycoons the Ansal brothers for handing over to them the cinema hall, which was sealed after a fire tragedy that killed 59 people in 1997.
In their plea, the Ansals stated that they wanted the cinema hall for its productive use.
Rejecting the petition seeking the court’s order on an application they had filed before their appeal was heard by him last year and was tagged along with the appeal, Justice S Ravinder Bhat on Friday said when he pronounced his verdict on their appeal in December last year, neither the accused nor their counsel pointed out to him about this application.
The court asked Ansals to move their application before the apex court for consideration as the matter is pending before it.
Sushil and Gopal Ansal, sentenced to two years in jail by the trial court which was later reduced to one year by the high court, said in their application that the property should be handed over to them as the trial in the fire tragedy case was over. The Ansal brothers are on bail now.(Agency)

LEGAL NEWS 23-25.03.2009

Police officers move Supreme Court against High Court order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/22/stories/2009032250100100.htm
J. Venkatesan
It had suggested their suspension in connection with lathi charge on lawyers
SLP stated that the order had been passed in violation of natural justice
NEW DELHI: Two senior Tamil Nadu IPS officers, whose suspension was suggested by the Madras High Court in connection with the lathi charge on lawyers on February 19, moved the Supreme Court on Saturday seeking to quash the March 18 order.
The special leave petition (SLP) filed by A.K. Viswanathan, Additional Commissioner of Police, Law and Order, Chennai, and M. Ramasubramani, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Coimbatore Range (he was the Joint Commissioner of police (North), Chennai on the day of the incident), also sought interim stay of operation of the order.
The SLP stated that the order had been passed in violation of natural justice and in a manner so as to placate the striking High Court lawyers. The High Court finding about the petitioners being at the helm of affairs was without factual basis since no inquiry had been held and no material placed before it to come to such a conclusion.
The officers stated that they had been ordered to be suspended, thereby punishing them without affording an opportunity of hearing. They were not parties to the suo motu writ petition. “Moreover, it is surprising how the High Court came to the conclusion on a prima facie basis that the petitioners were at the helm of affairs, under whose direct supervision the operation was carried out, when the Justice Srikrishna Report (submitted pursuant to the orders passed by the Supreme Court) had clearly held that unless a detailed enquiry was held, it would be difficult to pinpoint the responsibility of each individual.”
The SLP stated that when the prayer for suspension had been declined by the Supreme Court, there was no occasion for the High Court to act on the same list of officers given by the lawyers and without notice to the petitioners.
“The petitioners are apprehensive of even entering the High Court premises since a large number of lawyers are always present in the court room and are in an agitated mood. They have a threat to their lives and no advocate will be willing to appear for them in the High Court,” and hence they were constrained to move the Supreme Court.
The SLP raised substantial questions of law including whether a High Court could suo motu take cognisance and order suspension of persons who were not parties before it. The High Court had failed to appreciate that the direction passed by it would cause grave prejudice since their service record would be marred and leave a stigma for all times to come. “This will be entered into the service records of the petitioners and will affect their future growth in their service which, hitherto, is unblemished,” the SLP said.

PIL in SC to purge polls of convicts
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/PIL-in-SC-to-purge-polls-of-convicts/articleshow/4298434.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0318 hrs IST, Ashish Tripathi , TNN
LUCKNOW: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed in the Supreme Court (SC) for not allowing convicts contest the elections may spell trouble for film actor-turned-politician Sanjay Dutt and others like him who are aspiring to contest elections despite being convicted in criminal cases. Convicted for illegal possession of firearms in 1993 Mumbai blast case, Dutt has been nominated by SP for prestigious Lucknow Lok Sabha seat. The actor has filed application before SC for permission to contest elections but has started campaigning without waiting for apex court’s clearance. Similarly, Shahabuddin, mafia-turned-politician from Bihar, has also been convicted in a criminal case but is planning to contest. But now the PIL listed for hearing on March 27, is dangling on their heads. Filed by K Saran and Alok Saran, both residents of Lucknow and advocates by profession, the PIL has sought directions from the apex court that in matters related to election and Representation of People Act (RPA) 1951 suspension of conviction in a criminal case should not be permitted for contesting elections. The petitioners have also prayed that the case of former cricketer and BJP MP Navjot Singh Sindhu should not be treated as precedence in other cases as it is only an interim order and cannot be treated as law. The petitioners have cited two SC judgments to support their contention for not allowing convicts to contest elections. In BR Kapur vs state of Tamil Nadu 2001 case, a five-member constitution bench had quashed appointment of AIADMK supremo Jayalalithaa as chief minister of Tamil Nadu. The Bench held that Jayalalitha was ineligible to contest assembly elections under section 8(3) of the RPA because of her conviction under the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA) with a punishment of imprisonment in excess of two years. Again in K Prabhakaran vs P Jayarajan 2005 case, a five-member constitution bench of the apex court had upheld that a convict awarded more than two years of imprisonment as punishment cannot contest elections as per section 8(3) of the RPA. The bench subsequently also quashed Jayarajan’s election from Kuthuparamba assembly constituency of Kerela on the appeal of K Prabhakaran. Jayarajan was convicted under Prevention of Damage to Property Act 1984 and was awarded a term of 29 months imprisonment by the trial court. Petitioner’s counsel Harjot Singh said that it has been clearly laid down in the section 8 (3) of the RPA that a convict awarded imprisonment of more than two years cannot contest elections unless an appeal against the conviction has been allowed by a superior court or has been set aside. But, both Dutt and Shahabuddin have sought permission from the SC for contesting Lok Sabha elections citing the case of Sidhu, who also was convicted in a road rage case, but allowed to contest elections by the apex court. Singh said that Sidhu’s case cannot be treated as a precedence because he was already a sitting MP at the time when the a trial court convicted him in the road rage case. “Though it was not legally binding on Sidhu, he resigned from Parliament on moral grounds and filed an appeal in the superior court against his conviction before coming to the SC for permission to contest bye election. Sidhu’s case was described as an exceptional one by the SC in its interim order while allowing him to contest bye election,” he added. Singh clarified that the PIL was not against any individual but to uphold the law which aims to check criminalisation of politics and to bar entry of convicts in Parliament. However, he said that he was sorry to see Dutt campaigning in Lucknow without even waiting for SC’s clearance. “Dutt’s case would be taken up by the apex court on March 30 but it seems that he has taken the law lightly and has launched his election campaign presuming that the court will grant him permission,” he said.

HC clears Naroda hurdle on BRTS route
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-clears-Naroda-hurdle-on-BRTS-route/articleshow/4298006.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0419 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : Finally, Gujarat high court gave a green signal on Saturday for demolition drive in order to widen roads for the ongoing BRTS project in Naroda area. Earlier, acting on a PIL filed by members of Sindhi community through A’ Ward General Panchayat-Kubernagar, a division Bench headed by Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan had on January 17 barred Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) from demolishing houses and establishment at Naroda-Patia locality. The residents had approached high court demanding to quash AMC’s order to evacuate the area and shift to the place allotted to them for rehabilitation. They had argued that the deputy estate manager of AMC had wrongly interpreted laws regarding displacement. They also claimed that the Centre has powers to form a displacement scheme, and there is one in place. Hence, AMC should adhere to that. However, after AMC filed a detailed affidavit stating that from Narol cross-roads to Naroda-Patia, the road widening process is over, no road has to be laid down from Patiya onwards, and this is an important junction which connects NH 8. AMC claimed that some 127 occupiers did not have residential premises, but they are dealing in different businesses, while original allotment was made in favour of those having residences. The court asked them to raise the issue before proper authority. The stretch between Naroda-Patia and Naroda Bethak near Dehgam Road is to be widened to 200 ft to lay down exclusive tracks for BRTS in the second phase of the project. But, local residents and businessmen in the area raised objections. Now, with the high court lifting the stay on demolition, AMC can continue with the project without any hassles.

CEC appointment solely govt’s prerogative, says SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/CEC-appointment-govts-prerogative/articleshow/4293888.cms
21 Mar 2009, 0240 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Exactly a month before Naveen Chawla takes over as chief election commissioner (CEC), the Supreme Court on Friday cleared all legal hurdles by dismissing a PIL challenging his appointment and the process adopted by the Centre to give him the top post. In a matter of minutes, the apex court snuffed out the feeble challenge posed by the PIL filed by United Communist Party questioning Chawla’s appointment as CEC, which followed after the UPA government rejected the present CEC N Gopalaswami’s recommendation for the EC’s removal on grounds of bias. A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice V S Sirpurkar spread a web of questions around counsel Sugreev Dubey, also the secretary of the petitioner organisation, a registered political party. After an initial scrutiny of the locus standi of the petitioner to file a PIL, the Bench focussed on the first prayer — seeking implementation of Gopalaswami’s recommendation. “It is infructuous since the government has already rejected it and you have not challenged the Centre’s decision,” the Bench said. The rest of relief — implementation of Veerappa Moily headed Administrative Reforms Committee’s report — sought by the petitioner could not be granted, the Bench said before dismissing the petition. Dubey contended that the government should have taken care to implement the Moily committee recommendation to follow the collegium system for selection of the CEC, an important constitutional post requiring good knowledge in law. Now, the IAS lobby has made sure that one of them gets appointed to the important post in succession which may not augur well for democracy, Dubey argued while suggesting appointment of retired judges as election commissioners. Unimpressed with this argument, the Bench said, “The Constitution already provides the procedure for appointment of the CEC and we have no intention to re-write it.” Rejecting the petitioner’s demand for implementation of the collegium system to select CEC, it said, “Moily committee has given many recommendations, apart from that on CEC selection process. This court cannot be directing the Centre to implement all those recommendations.”

Lawyer threatened for filing PIL against Sanjay Dutt
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Lawyer-threatened-for-filing-PIL-against-Sanjay-Dutt-/articleshow/4297313.cms
21 Mar 2009, 1939 hrs IST, PTI
AURANGABAD: A city-based lawyer, who has filed a Public Interest Litigation against actor-turned-politician Sanjay Dutt in the Supreme Court seeking a bar on him from contesting Lok Sabha elections, was today allegedly threatened by two unidentified persons. The duo allegedly warned the lawyer with dire consequences if he does not withdrew the PIL soon. Advocate Sagar Ladda has filed a complaint against the unidentified persons with the Cantonment police station. In his PIL, the petitioner sought that the Election Commission be directed by the apex court not to accept the nomination papers of Dutt. Persons convicted for more than two years under the provisions of Sections 8 (1), (2) and (3) of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1951 can’t contest elections, the lawyer said his PIL. In his complaint filed with the police, Ladda said two unidentified persons driving a bike without registration number threatened him to withdraw the PIL or he will have to face loss and that he himself will be responsible if any thing goes wrong with him or his family members. Police registered a case against the two unidentified persons and further investigations are on.

Fund for minorities not to be used for religious acts: Gujarat HC
http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-03-22/516760news.html
Ahmedabad, March 21: Dismissing a PIL against Central government’ 15-point-programme for minorites, Gujarat High Court has directed that funds should not be used for promotion of any religious activities or advancement of religious teaching of a particular minority community. High Court chief justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi yesterday directed that state should ensure that funds are not utilised for inculcating any religion or advancement of any particular religion affecting the constitutional requirement of neutrality. The court ordered that the Centre has to ensure that the money should be utilised only for social welfare activities of minorities. The Court dismissed the petition observing that funds used to minimise inequalities among minority communities by adopting various social and welfare activities does not violate the constitutional principles. PIL filed by former BJP MP Vijay Patel had challenged the steps taken by Union government to earmark Rs 1900 crore in favour of a Muslim community by way of 15-point programme of Central government on recommendations of Sachar committee. Petitioner had in the PIL questioned the wisdom of utilisation of national resources in favour of a particular minority community, which according to the petitioner, was contrary to the constitutional mandate. Bureau Report

SC to hear PIL on criminal candidates on march 23
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?1864d54f-05f6-40f9-833d-9f00585415ac
3/20/2009
The Supreme Court will hear on March 23 a PIL praying not to stay the conviction of those candidates who are under trial for serious offences and have criminal antecedents.Three advocates have approached the Supreme Court in view of the large number of politicians with criminal background approaching the courts to get their conviction stayed to contest the coming Lok Sabha election.The apex court is also going to hear a similar petition filed by RJD MP from Siwan Mohamad Syed Shahabuddin, who has been convicted in a murder case and in an attempt to murder case. He has been given life imprisonment in the murder case and ten years imprisonment in the other case.The petitioners said all the criminals-turned-politicians were rushing to this court relying on the judgment in Navjot Singh Sidhu case in which his conviction was stayed by the Supreme Court in a road rage case, in which he was sentenced to three years imprisonment by Punjab and Haryana High Court.According to the petitioners, Siddu’s case cannot be treated as precedent in case of these hardened criminals who have a large number of criminal cases pending against them.Another RJD MP Pappu Yadav is also seeking similar relief from Patna High Court as he is also serving life imprisonment in a murder case.Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt, who has been nominated by Samajwadi party from the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat, is also seeking stay of his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial Bomb Blast case in which he has been given six year imprisonment by TADA court for possessing illegal arms.The apex court has, however, rejected similar prayer by another gangster Bablu Srivastava who is serving life imprisonment in a murder case.According to the petitioners, these criminals can at least be kept away from the election arena by refusing to stay their conviction, which will be a right step to check criminalisaton of politics in the country.As per the Representation of People (RP) Act, a person who has been awarded a sentence of more then two years cannot contest election unless and until his conviction is stayed by the appellate court.UNI

Frequent stays in RTI cases prompts CIC to meet Delhi HC CJ
http://www.zeenews.com/states/2009-03-22/516992news.html
New Delhi, March 22: In the backdrop of some of its decisions being stayed in the court, Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah is likely to meet the Delhi High Court Chief Justice to convey that such orders were hampering citizen’s rights to seek information.The decision to undertake such a visit was taken during an internal meeting of the commissioners at the Central Information Commission where the issue of writ petitions being pending in the Delhi High Court were discussed. “Commission suggested that Habibullah may like to pay a visit to Chief Justice of Delhi High Court and present before him the concern,” minutes of the meeting said. The meeting was called after the CIC found that public authorities appeal in the High Court and get stay to certain orders passed by the Commission. The CIC said the High Court stay delays the information seeking process. “The Enforcement Directorate managed to get a stay from the Delhi High Court while the proceedings were on at CIC. This was just one of the many cases which are lingering in Courts across India,” the official said. The case relates to oil-for-food scam in which one RTI applicant sought a document in this regard, held by Enforcement Directorate – an organisation excluded from RTI Act. The ED refused to give the documents related to the inquiry even to the CIC and got a stay from the Delhi HC in this regard. The Commissioners expressed concern that the pending cases, were hampering the citizens right to get information from government and other public authorities. “In the absence of final orders in these cases citizens are not getting any information from the Public Authorities which have challenged the decisions of the Commission on their status as such,” the minutes of the meeting reveal. “Keeping this in view, mention to this effect in the form of a prayer for an early hearing be considered for submission to the High Court of Delhi,” the Information Commissioners said during the meeting. Bureau Report

Book cable operators for illegally telecasting movies: HC
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200903221184.htm
New Delhi (PTI): Cable operators in the national capital are under the scanner after the Delhi High Court directed city police to deal with them strictly if they telecast movies in violation of the Copy Right Act.
Issuing notice to the Special Commissioner of Police, Justice Sunil Gaur directed the Economic Offence Wing to take action against the copy right violators. Counsels of the state submitted that police have registered FIRs against some of the operators and if more complaints come, immediate action would be taken against operators for violating the Act.
The court directive came while disposing a petition filed by Novex Communications Pvt Ltd, appointed by M/s Shemaroo Entertainment Pvt Ltd (SEPL), alleging that local cable operators in Delhi were telecasting movies of which the exclusive copy rights were with the petitioner company.
“Some cable operators in the area of Hauz Khas, Rajouri Garden, Vasant Vihar, Darya Ganj, Ashok Vihar, Rohini, Mehrauli, Green Park and other areas of Delhi, though not granted any permission/licence for exhibiting the films and programmes of SEPL”, have telecast them, the petitioner contended.

HC for action on lawyers featuring in ads
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-for-action-on-lawyers-featuring-in-ads/articleshow/4297981.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0204 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: Advertisement by advocates in any form is prohibited, and State Bar Councils must take strict action against advocates who print their photographs in political hoardings, the Madras high court has said. A division bench comprising justice Elipe Dharma Rao and justice R Subbiah, passing orders on a habeas corpus petition filed by advocate S Sengkodi on behalf her imprisoned client, also said: “…It is rather painful to note that some members of the noble profession are printing their photographs in the huge hoardings of political leaders, virtually at the feet of such political leaders, thus indicating that they are associated with such leaders. It also amounts to publicity, which is prohibited under Rule 36 of the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules.” Noting that the rule was being given a go-by day in and day out by advocates, the judges said, “this violation should be viewed seriously and the State Bar Councils should not allow such practices to be carried on. They should come out with strict action against such advocates so as to maintain the dignity and decorum of the noble profession.” Justice Dharma Rao, writing the judgment for the bench, then went on to specifically direct the chairman of the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry to take all steps to implement the BCI Rules strictly in their true letter and spirit. In the petition, Sengkodi’s counsel R Sankarasubbhu contended that Maoist Sundaramoorthy had been kept in unlawful detention and that mandatory provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure had been violated in his case. The additional public prosecutor N R Elango, however, questioned the very maintainability of the petition, on the ground that Sengkodi could not file the case as she was peculiarly interested’ in the detenue, and hence barred by Rule 18 from entering appearance. Concurring with his submissions, the bench said that as per Rule 9 and 18, an advocate is barred from entering appearance, act, plead or practice for persons to whom the advocate is related or peculiarly interested. Such a bar has been created to maintain the decorum of the noble profession of advocacy, justice Dharma Rao said. Pointing out that Sundaramoorthy also filed a supportive affidavit permitting Sengkodi to enter appearance for him, the judge wondered why the detenue or his blood relatives did not file the plea. If a practising advocate enters the shoes of his client it will lead to undesirable consequences, he said, adding, “if such a situation is permitted, then there may not be any client-advocate relationship, but only a client-defacto client relationship between the party and his counsel, adversely affecting the dignity and decorum of the profession, besides running contrary to the standards of professional conduct and etiquette prescribed by the BCI Rules.”

Funds for minorities not to be used for religious acts: HC
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/funds-for-minorities-not-to-be-used-for-religious-acts-hc/437539/
Press Trust of India
Posted: Mar 22, 2009 at 0147 hrs IST
Ahmedabad The Gujarat High Court has dismissed a Public Interest Litigation against the Central government’s 15-point-programme for minorities, and has ordered that funds should not be used for the promotion of any religious activities or the advancement of religious teaching of a particular minority community.
The PIL was filed by former BJP parliamentarian Vijay Patel, who had challenged the steps taken by the Union government to earmark Rs 1,900 crore in favour of the Muslim community by way of the 15-point programme of the Central government on the recommendations of the Sachar committee.
The petitioner had also questioned the wisdom of utilisation of national resources in favour of a particular minority community, which according to the petitioner, was contrary to the constitutional mandate.
High Court Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi on Friday ordered the Centre to ensure that the money should be utilised only for social welfare activities of the minorities.
On its part, the state should ensure that the funds are not utilised for inculcating any religion or advancement of any particular religion affecting the constitutional requirement of neutrality, they said.
The Court dismissed the petition, observing that funds used to minimise inequalities among minority communities by adopting various social and welfare activities did not violate constitutional principles.

Evidence points to corruption, says HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Evidence-points-to-corruption-says-HC-/articleshow/4298122.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0018 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: In a landmark ruling, the Bombay high court has upheld an order directing Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co Ltd (MSEDCL) to shell out over Rs 185 crore plus interest as compensation to private firm DSL Enterprises for breach of contract; the amount awarded by the arbitrators is one of the largest ever. More importantly, Justice Roshan Dalvi held that the responsibility for the breach of contract lay with government officers and suggested that the payout be recovered from the officials concerned (MSEDCL). “The breach has been committed by MSEDCL officers,” the judge said. “The evidence points to the dirty malaise of corruption, which has permeated every fibre of our country and corroded its character to the core.” Rejecting the plea of leniency by MSEDCL, which said the money would have to come from state coffers, Justice Dalvi said, “The public need not pay for the actions of the officers. MSEDCL would do well to recover the amount lost to the petitioner by way of damages from the officers’ earnings and benefits.” Law firm S Mohmedbhai & Co, which represented DSL, said the amount payable (along with 10% interest) on March 31 would stand at over Rs 271 crore. The court also asked MSEDCL to pay an additional Rs 1 lakh as litigation costs to DSL. “Despite the strain on public resources, the MSEDCL has challenged the award without any justifiable ground and only to delay the inevitable payment under the award,” the judge added. The case relates to a contract between MSEDCL (then MSEB) and DSL in 1997 to instal low-tension load management system for improving the rural distribution of electricity network at 47,987 locations across Maharashtra. DSL installed 17,294 panels and manufactured 14,206 more panels for further installation. It also procured raw material for the remaining panels. However, according to DSL, MSEDCL failed to provide the exact locations where the panels were to be installed despite repeated reminders. Subsequently, DSL terminated the contract in 1999. Three retired judges, V D Tulzapurkar, S C Pratap and M L Pendse, were appointed as arbitrators to mediate between the parties. The arbitrators fixed the responsibility for breach of contract on MSEDCL and, in June 2004, asked it to pay over Rs 185 crore along with 10% interest per annum. MSEDCL challenged the award. Senior advocate S Rai, counsel for MSEDCL, contended that DSL had waived the requirement of proving the list of locations and there was no breach of the contract. To this, the judge said, “Was (DSL) expected to go to the spot when the spot was not spotted?” Senior advocate Rafiq Dada, representing DSL, said MSEDCL’s failure to provide the list of locations constituted a fundamental breach without which it would not be able to perform its part of the contract. The judge agreed and pointed out that the letters by senior officers of MSEDCL to their juniors on the failure to provide the list reflected “a state of affairs that can point to nothing other than corruption”.

HC wants an Indian encore to Slumdog Millionare
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-wants-an-Indian-encore-to-Slumdog-Millionare/articleshow/4298008.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0419 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire has not only swept the Oscar jury off its feet, but also charmed chief justice of Gujarat high court, K S Radhakrishnan. Enamored with the characters of the film, a bench of chief justice Radhakrishan and justice Akil Kureshi stated that a situation should be created wherein more kids from slums get opportunity like little stars of Slumdog Millionaire’, who hail from Dharavi. In a judgment over the issue of the central government earmarking an amount of Rs 1,900 for development of minorities, the division bench has observed, “Right to live in a clean, hygienic and safe environment is a right flowing from Article 21. Recently two slum-kids Rubina Ali and Azharuddin Ismail, members of minority community, depicted their talents in an OSCAR (sic) award winning movie Slumdog Millionaire. Efforts must be made to bring out such talents to the mainstream of our society”. “Every child has the right to reap whatever benefits he can drive from his nature and capabilities, but state is bound to give a platform to him to come up in life.” Earlier too, this division bench had praised the film for highlighting the reality of our society in beautiful manner. “Film has furnished us with tools and inspiration needed to cope with momentous problems faced by slum dwellers, poverty, police excess, blinding of boys and so on,” the court had said.

HC irked over booster pump use
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-irked-over-booster-pump-use/articleshow/4297706.cms
22 Mar 2009, 0405 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN
NEW DELHI: Taking serious note of a complaint that usage of booster pumps is rampant in a Dwarka locality hindering supply of water to its inhabitants, the Delhi High Court has asked Delhi Jal Board and DDA to remove these. Justice Kailash Gambhir has granted two days time to both the civic agencies to remove all booster pumps from a locality in Sector-6 in Dwarka phase 1. HC’s order came while it was hearing the petition filed last year by a senior citizen. In it he had drawn HC’s attention to violation of court’s previous order asking DDA and DJB to ensure proper supply of water to Dwarka residents. Though Nawal Singh, 69, assured HC that now water supply to his flat was adequate and regular ever since court’s intervention, he claimed no steps had yet been taken to redress the grievance of residents of that colony. He alleged a lot many were brazenly using booster pumps, including 8-10 DDA officials who lived there due to which water supply got affected. Asking both agencies to act within two days, HC also said they should submit a comprehensive status report on steps taken to ensure proper water supply so that “residents of Dwarka do not face any kind of hardship due to onset of summer very soon.” Singh had last year stated in court that as per norms of Public Health Engineering and Environmental Organisation, 270 litres of water is required per person per day but lack of supply to his flat has meant that he has to fetch water from outside. `The petitioner has been suffering great hardship as daily he has to fetch water from a distance of about 50 metres and then carry the same to his first floor flat to meet basic needs for himself and family members. It is humanly impossible on daily basis,” Singh pleaded before HC. The DJB on its part claimed Singh’s area had not yet been transferred to it by DDA and it was the latter which was responsible for interim arrangements on water supply. Unhappy with such passing of buck HC has ordered DDA to supply portable water to him daily as an interim measure till further directions in the matter.

Court order not binding on me: Meghalaya Speaker
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/22/stories/2009032261141100.htm
Special Correspondent
Guwahati: Meghalaya Assembly Speaker Bindo M. Lanong on Saturday said the Gauhati High Court order staying his interim order for suspension of two legislators was not binding on him.
Mr. Lanong told Hindu The that he had passed the interim order of suspension of the five legislators under the 10th Schedule of the Constitution, which gives full power to the Speaker.
“Moreover, Article 212 of the Constitution clearly states that the judiciary is barred from interfering with the proceedings of the House. So how can I accept the court order on my interim order,” he asked.
The Shillong Bench of the High Court on Friday stayed the interim suspension of Khun Hynniewtrep National Awakening Movement (KHNAM) legislator Paul Lyngdoh and independent legislator Limison D. Sangma.
The court has fixed Monday for hearing the petitions of the other three suspended legislators — Advior Pariong of the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), Deputy Speaker Sanbor Shullai belonging to the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and independent legislator Ismail R. Marak.

Competition Commission to start operations in 3 months
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1241558
Sreejiraj Eluvangal
Sunday, March 22, 2009 23:49 IST
Mumbai: Even as a section of corporate India has apprehensions over its possible misuse and corruption, the central government is all set to enforce the five-year-old Competition Act.
According to a source close to the development, two new members, Geeta Gauri, an economist with the Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission, and Prem Parashar, a lawyer, will join the existing three-member Competition Commission of India (CCI).
The selection for the Competition Appellate Tribunal is also going on.
“The government has sanctioned the staff requirement a few days ago and the Commission is expected to start recruitment of economists, lawyers and analysts anytime now,” said an official connected with the setting up of Commission.
With the two new members, the apparatus will now have five members, including the chairman Dhanendra Kumar, former executive director of the World Bank, who was appointed three weeks ago. With this, the Commission is likely to start its enforcement work in three months, according to the official.
The CCI was set up in 2003 and has powers to penalise companies for price fixing and cartelisation, besides reviewing mergers and acquisitions to check whether they would adversely affect competition in the sector.
After the watering down of the MRTP (the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices) Act in 1991, the Indian corporate sector has functioned without any competition regulator.
While any consumer organisation or company can lodge complaints related to price-fixing, all mergers and takeovers will have to be referred to the Commission for approval if both companies individually have turnovers in excess of Rs 600 crore in India.
The Act, which has seen considerable amendments since it was passed in 2003, has been stiffly opposed by a large part of corporate India. “The law, if implemented in the current form, will cause immense damage to the Indian industry,” Bharat Vasani, general counsel for the Tata group, said.
Vasani, speaking on the sidelines of a conference, felt that the new mechanism will push India back to the pre-liberalisation, licence quota raj, giving an edge to unscrupulous companies. “The MRTP Act successfully kept India growing at 3%. Companies that cannot ‘manage’ clearances in Delhi will have a tough time under the new set-up,” he said.

Clean canal order
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090323/jsp/jharkhand/story_10709154.jsp
OUR CORRESPONDENT
Cuttack, March 22: When Supreme Court lawyer and environment activist M.C. Mehta raised the pollution issue in context of the Taladanda canal in April 1992, Orissa High Court had reprimanded authorities, stating a possibility of an “apocalypse in the future”.
After 16 years, the high court has advanced a step further. It has constituted a high-level committee to make a field study on alleged contamination of the waterway by untreated water sewage generated in Cuttack and submit a report by April 8.
While issuing the orders on Friday, the court has warned that legal proceedings would be initiated against committee members if the report is not submitted by that day.
Taladanda, the state’s longest canal, starts at Jobra (Cuttack) and links the Mahanadi with the Bay of Bengal at Paradip. Parts of the 83km canal were dug up in 1862 by the East India Company as a waterway. It was taken over by the British government that completed it in 1869.
This time the high court is taking cognisance of a PIL, filed by Maitree Sansad, seeking a survey of the canal pollution problem according to a parliamentary standing committee survey conducted in 2005.
A two-judge bench, of Justice Laxmikanta Mohapatra and Justice Indrajit Mohanty, has constituted a committee. The committee includes health secretary, urban development secretary, Cuttack collector, Cuttack Municipal Corporation mayor, CMC commissioner, CMC executive engineer, superintendent of SCB Medical College Hospital, director of Acharya Harihar Regional Cancer Research Centre and executive engineer PHED, Cuttack.

PIL questions human rights body’s inaction
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1241597
Mayura Janwalkar
Monday, March 23, 2009 2:58 IST
Mumbai: Answer this: If the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) has received over 28,000 cases of human rights violations, how many would it have recommended for action? If the reply is a few thousands, or even hundreds, you have got it wrong.The correct answer is 39. And, of them, action against the erring public servants was taken in only eight cases.
These amazing statistics are mentioned in a public interest litigation (PIL), filed by Dombivili businessman Pushkar Damle, in the Bombay High Court. Damle’s PIL, which is supported by information sought under the Right to Information Act, has urged the court to take action against the erring officers, saying the figure for action recommended and taken are improbably low.
As admitted by MSHRC, it had 28,083 complaints as on June 30, 2008, of which 24,032 were summarily dismissed while 39 complaints were recommended for action and of them, in only eight were action taken against the public servants. The PIL, which also lists other irregularities at the MSHRC, has been filed and is likely to be heard in the first week of April. As per the HR Act, the Centre issued a notification to Maharashtra government to appoint special public prosecutors in the human rights courts. The PIL says that even after eight years, that has not been done.

Om Prakash most favorite for Mahanga MLA seat
http://www.odishatoday.com/politics/Om_Prakash_most_230309-8451202365986475.html
By Anurjay Dhal
Bhubaneswar ( Orissa) : Lawyer turned social activist OM Prakash would easily win the Mahanga Assembly seat if BJD give him a ticket, said locals. Prakash, a former student of Delhi University, has been active in the undivided Cuttack district and serving people without hoping any return. Born to AC Nayak of Dharpur in Mahanga under Cuttack district on January 3, 1977, Prakash has been outstanding and completed his B.A.LLB from Utkal University and PGHR from Delhi University. “In fact, right from childhood, I was interested in politics to serve people. If people of Mahanga voted me to power, I would devote my entire life for them,” Prakash, who fights cases in Supreme Court and High Courts, added. The Mahanga Press Club and civil societies have unanimously resolved to nominate the name of Om Prakash to contest the ensuing Assembly Election from Mahanga Assembly constituency as a BJD nominee. They have requested BJD chief Naveen Pattnaik and senior leader Pyarimohan Mohapatra to recommendation of the name of Prakash.. The local BJD leaders have strongly recommended the candidature of Prakash failing which all the BJD grass root level workers including PRI functionaries will be forced to resign from the party en-mass. Prakash is an expert on Civil, Labour and Industrial Laws, Consumer Laws, Criminal Laws, Service Laws, Constitutional Laws like Writ, PIL Habeas Corpus. According to locals, Prakash tried hard from the younger days to champion the cause of the common man in the society. The voice of the people undergoing pitiable predicament was highlighted by him to mitigate the menace. Prakash as a columnist in the National and vernacular dailies reflect a critical analysis of various issues affecting the sustenance of the people at the grass root level. These include developmental paradigms as well as Administrative Reform initiatives like Right to Information Act and e-Governance. Awakening the masses on aforementioned issues continue to receive priority in the agenda of Prakash. He has been successful in launching RTI campaign in the State of Orissa. Apart from legal profession, Prakash is also working as visiting faculty of Gopabandhu Academy of Administration, Biju Patnaik State Police Academy and faculty to RTI for training to APIO, PIO and 1st Appellate Authority on Govt. of India Project ‘Capacity Building for Access to Information’ funded by UNDP. Prakash is also a life member of National Book Trust, All India Equality forum and Indian Society of Criminology, All India Human Rights Association, People’s Union for Civil Liberty.

JD(S) not to contest polls:VeerendraKumar
http://keralaonline.com/news/jds-contest-pollsveerendrakumar_27069.html
Kozhikode, Sunday 22 March 2009: The Janata Dal (S) has decided not to field any of its candidates in the coming Lok Sabha polls, said party state chief M P Veerendra Kumar. Talking to reporters after the party state council meet, he said the LDF as well as the CPM had cheated them.
The CPM kicked the party, who were with the Front for the past forty years, without any reason, he said. The party has decided to convene political briefing meets on March 26 in all constituencies to expose the approach of the CPM. A resolution has been passed by the party to vote against the CPM in the polls, he said.
Asked whether they are leaving the LDF after the formation of a third front, he said CPM general secretary Prakash Karat should reply for it.Some heated exchanges were witnessed in the meet held in Kozhikode today. Mathew John was asked to leave the party meet by the chief.

SC grants bail to accused who threw slipper at judge
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/18231520.htm
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to the four who were sent to judicial custody for hurling a slipper at an apex court judge while hearing a contempt charge against them.
A three-judge Bench of Justices B N Agrawal, G S Singhvi, H L Dattu posted the matter relating to the contempt charge against the four to April 14.
On Friday, one of the accused had hurled a slipper at Justice Arijit Pasayat, who was heading a Bench, while hearing the contempt charge against them. Those sentenced to custody on Friday were Leela David, Annette Kotian, Pavitra Murli and Sarita Parekh. – PTI

SC asks Shahabuddin to approach Patna HC
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200903231440.htm
New Delhi (PTI): The Supreme Court on Monday asked the jailed RJD MP Mohammed Shahabuddin to approach the Patna High Court with his plea, seeking stay on his conviction in an attempt to murder case to contest the coming Lok Sabha polls.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan asked the High Court to hear his petition expeditiously keeping in view the fact that the last date of nomination for Siwan constituency is March 30.

SC quashes law on unregistered partnership
http://www.caclubindia.com/forum/messages/2009/3/28861_sc_quashes_law_on_unregistered_partnership.asp
ON : 23 March 2009 at 16:40 The Supreme Court has quashed the law which debarred a partner of an unregistered firm in Maharashtra from filing a suit for dissolution of such a firm. The apex court also held as illegal the law prohibiting the partner to sue for accounts of the dissolved firm or realise properties of such dissolved firm, unless the duration of the firm was only six months or its capital was up to Rs 2,000. “In our opinion sub-section 2A of section 69 (of the Indian Partnership Act, 1932) inserted by the Maharashtra Amendment violates Articles 14, 19(1)(g) and 300A of the Constitution of India,” said a bench comprising Justice Markandey Katju and Justice GS Singhvi. The court said, “a partnership firm, whether registered or unregistered, is not a distinct legal entity, and hence the property of the firm really belongs to the partners of the firm. Sub-section 2A virtually deprives a partner in an unregistered firm from recovery of his share in the property of the firm or from seeking dissolution of the firm.” “Sub-section 2A virtually deprives a partner of a firm from his share in the property of the firm without any compensation. Also, it prohibits him from seeking dissolution of the firm although he may want it dissolved,” court said. The court further said that the law was clearly unreasonable and arbitrary since by prohibiting suits for dissolution of an unregistered firm, for accounts and for realisation of the properties of the firm, it creates a situation where businessmen will be very reluctant to enter into an unregistered partnership out of fear that they will not be able to recover the money they have invested in the firm or to get out of the firm if they wish to do so. There is no legal requirement, unlike in England, which makes registration of a firm compulsory, rather in India it is voluntary. Both registered and unregistered are legal though of course registration and non registration have different legal consequences, court noted in its judgment. The bench set aside Bombay High Court order. It said, “The high court was of the view that the object of the Maharashtra Amendment was to induce partners to register and it was intended to protect third party members of the public. We cannot see how sub-section 2A of section 69 in any way protects the third party members of the public. It makes it virtually impossible for partners in an unregistered firm to dissolve the firm or recover their share in the property of the firm. Hence it is totally arbitrary.” The apex court said that the primary object of registration of a firm is protection of third parties who were subjected to hardship and difficulties in the matter of proving as to who were the partners. Under the earlier law, a third party obtaining a decree was often put to expenses and delay in proving that a particular person was a partner of that firm. The registration of a firm provides protection to the third parties against false denials of partnership and the evasion of liability. Once a firm is registered under the Act the statements recorded in the register regarding the constitution of the firm are conclusive proof of the fact contained therein as against the partner. – http://www.economictimes.indiatimes.com

Gujarat HC order on SIT plea against Maya’s bail on Mar 27
http://www.samaylive.com/news/gujarat-hc-order-on-sit-plea-against-mayas-bail-on-mar-27/615069.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 at 20:35 IST
F Prev Next L
Ahmedabad, Mar 23 : The Gujarat High Court today fixed March 27 for giving its ruling on Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) plea for cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to State Minister Maya Kodnani in connection with the 2002 riot cases.The Supreme Court-appointed agency, investigating some of the post-Godhra riot cases afresh, had challenged a lower court order allowing bail to Kodnani and former VHP leader Jaydeep Patel, both accused in the riot cases.Justice D H Waghela, after hearing arguments of the prosecution and the respondents, scheduled pronouncement of the order on the matter for March 27.Kodnani is accused in Naroda Patiya and Naorda Gam riots, while Patel is wanted in the Naroda Gam case. Over 106 people of the minority community were killed in the riots at Naroda Patiya and Naorda Gam areas here on February 28, 2002, a day after the torching of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra.Among other charges, the two had been accused of instigating the rioting mob.Summarising the arguments, Kodnani’s lawyers said their client was not present in the spot at the time of the incidents. They refuted the SIT’s charges of mob instigation and unlawful assembly against the BJP leader.They said the statements of the prosecution witnesses were inconsistent and do not corroborate with the mobile phone records placed before the court by the SIT. (More)

Dyeing units anticipating favourable HC orders
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ludhiana/Dyeing-units-anticipating-favourable-HC-orders/articleshow/4301567.cms
22 Mar 2009, 2159 hrs IST, TNN
LUDHIANA: Dyeing units that are in the dock for polluting Buddha Nullah are hopeful of getting relaxation in time for constructing a Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP) as they have made a plea in the high court. Court had asked these units to install online monitoring system and upgrade ETP before March 31, but then as the deadline drew closer, units decided upon the option of a CETP. To project its seriousness, the Tajpur Dyeing Units’ Association has already started pooling in money that it would be spending as its share for the project. “There was a misperception that dyeing units were trying to buy some more time with talks of CETP, instead of individual online monitoring systems and upgradation of ETPs in units,” commented Bobby Jindal, general secretary of the association. He informed units have to spend Rs 3.5 crore on the project. We have already collected Rs one crore and rest we would be able to do before March 30, said Bobby, informing that the court has announced to hold another hearing in the case on March 30. He said the court had asked the public prosecutor to confirm whether the subsidies claimed by the association were available to CETPs. Recently, the association had requested state government to provide five acres land for the plant. We have made a project of 20 MLD at this stage and the state government has assured to provide us the land, said Ashok Makkar, president of the association claiming that they were serious to control pollution. He added that in order to assure whether they were serious or not regarding the CETP, court had asked for the association’s bank statement. “We have started regular meetings and members have been asked to deposit their share,” he added. According to the policy statement for Abatement of Pollution 1992, by ministry for environment and forests, state and Central government have to contribute 25% each for CETP in addition to providing 30% loan, so practically, the units would have to contribute only 20%, informed Iqbal Singh Ratta, advocate, on behalf of the association.

Bombay HC rejects MSM’s interim relief
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News-By-Industry/Media–Entertainment-/Media/Bombay-HC-rejects-MSMs-interim-relief/articleshow/4306466.cms
23 Mar 2009, 1924 hrs IST, ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected interim relief to Multi Screen Media (formerly known as Sony Entertainment Television), which sought to restrain Board of Cricket Control for India (BCCI) from implementing its obligation under the agreement transferring telecast rights of Indian Premier League Season 2 to World Sports Group-Mauritius. Justice SJ Kathawala held that the court could not grant relief to MSM as the same would impact WSGM, which had not been made a party to the litigation. MSM had dragged BCCI to court after the latter had terminated its 5-year agreement of media rights for IPL a week ago. While MSM wanted to restrain BCCI from discussing the same with any other party, BCCI already entered into another agreement for the telecast rights with WSGM. The court has asked MSM to alter its application and make WSGM a party if it wanted relief that will effect the rights of WSGM. The next hearing is scheduled for March 30.

Bombay HC refuses interim relief to Sony TV in IPL case
http://www.moneycontrol.com/india/news/current-affairs/bombay-hc-refuses-interim-relief-to-sony-tvipl-tussle/389961
Published on Mon, Mar 23, 2009 at 18:50 , Updated at Tue, Mar 24, 2009 at 10:14 Source : CNBC-TV18
The Bombay High Court has refused interim relief to Sony TV in its ongoing legal tussle over telecast rights with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for the Indian Premier League (IPL). It is a minor setback for Sony TV in this hugely controversial case and a green signal for BCCI. CNBC-TV18’s Legal Correspondent Ashwin Mohan reports.
It was a setback for Sony TV today at the Bombay High Court in the tussle over the telecast rights for the Indian Premier League, which it has with the BCCI.
The much-anticipated order has been reserved for almost a week by the Bombay High Court. There are two things which Sony TV had contested against BCCI––Sony TV has challenged the termination of contract by BCCI and Sony wanted relieve which would restrain BCCI from entering into any third party agreement for IPL telecast rights.
The court clearly, and categorically, said that there will be no ad interim relief for Sony TV. This implies that right now any restrain on BCCI, which existed earlier in terms of entering into contracts with a third party does not exist. There has been no relief for Sony BCCI though.
However, other details are expected a little later in the day when the detailed judgement will come out from the Bombay High Court. But prima-facie there is a minor setback for Sony TV in this hugely controversial case and a green signal for the BCCI from the Bombay High Court.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court has said that Sony will amend its petition within two days. The court added that the case will come up for admission on March 30.

SC reverts back BPCL’s security threat issue to Bombay HC
http://www.zeenews.com/nation/2009-03-23/517305news.html
New Delhi, March 23: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Bombay High Court to decide within three months the Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s plea alleging a security threat from nearby high-rise residential buildings to its refinery, Tata Electricity Company’s plant and Bhaba Atomic Research Centre. However, without refusing to stay construction of high-rise residential buildings overlooking the BPCL and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd’s refineries, Tata plant and the BARC located in Mahul, Chembur and Mumbai, respectively, the apex court restrained the private developers from giving occupancy of the flats. A bench headed by Justice Arijit Pasayat, while disposing of the PSU’s plea, said the Bombay High Court should decide the matter within three months. While stating that any construction activity within these three months would be subject to final outcome of the petition, Justice Pasayat said “no occupations are permitted to be be made.” Earlier, the court had issued notice to the Centre and Maharashtra government. BPCL had challenged the High Court’s interim order admiting its petition but refused to restrain the state government from going ahead with the construction work. “It is prudent that no new residential accommodation is allowed to be constructed and/or occupied near the refinery and the land be reserved and designated as a ‘No Development Zone’ by modifying the Development Control Plan of the state government,” the PSU stated. Bureau Report

IPL can go to other broadcasters for TV rights: HC
http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k9/mar/mar229.php
Indiantelevision.com Team
(23 March 2009 4:30 pm)
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has put Sony Entertainment Television India (now known as Multi Screen Media) on the back foot, allowing the BCCI today to renegotiate the IPL television rights with other broadcasters.
In an afternoon verdict, the court lifted the injunction imposed on the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on 15 March. Justice S J Kathawalla said that Sony can’t be given interim relief, as it had not made World Sports Group (Mauritius) a party.
It may be recalled that BCCI had entered into a new contract with WSGM on 15 March, after terminating the contract with Sony the earlier evening.

Fitness firms must live up to advertised claims
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1241528
MS Kamath
Monday, March 23, 2009 2:33 IST
Mumbai: Increase in height, improving colour of skin, weight loss, beautiful hair in days, and the list goes on. Promises like these abound in the market. There is, however, an implicit contract between the statements made in an advertisement and the advertiser is bound to deliver the services or goods advertised, says a judgment of the Union Territory of Chandigarh Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in Shipra Sachdeva vs VLCC Health Care Ltd. and another.
Shipra read an advertisement from the companythat announced a package in which one could reduce 20 kgs within 5 to 8 months. Shipra paid Rs 33,060 and joined. She was given a set of exercises and diet regime. However, the desired result was not achieved at the end of 8 months. When she talked to the management, she was told that she would have to join an additional package for Rs 6,480. Shipra paid the amount and underwent extra nine months of treatment, but to no avail. When she complained, she was told that the results vary. She asked for a refund but the request was turned down.
Shipra took the matter to the District Forum at Chandigarh alleging deficiency in service. She demanded Rs 15 lakh in compensation. In response, the company replied that the consumer had given an undertaking at the time of joining that she was aware that results could vary. They further stated that the consumer weighed 92.30 kgs at the time of joining the programme and weighed 75.90 kgs at the time of the last session. They stated that the consumer had taken breaks in the programme in which she gained weight. Based on this, the District Forum dismissed the complaint.
The consumer then took the matter to the State Commission. The commission noted that the consumer had lost only 18.1 kgs in total. The commission found that there was no mention of which part of the programme was missed out by the customer.
Since she had taken a package in which there was a stipulation of loss of 20 kgs for the amount paid, this was clear deficiency of service, the commission held. The consumer was awarded Rs 25,000 as compensation.

State orders cancellation of pvt forest land use rights
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/state-orders-cancellation-of-pvt-forest-land-use-rights/438297/
Shalini Nair
Posted: Mar 24, 2009 at 0328 hrs IST
Mumbai Asks district collectors to revoke permissions, inform civic body to cancel rights on such land
In a bid to preempt any more construction on private forest land, the state government has ordered all non-agriculture permissions issued on such lands to be revoked.
The state Revenue and Forest Department issued orders last week to all district collectors asking them to not only revoke non-agriculture (NA) permissions granted on private forest lands, but also inform the concerned civic body to cancel any building permissions issued on such land. NA permission is the basic permission that allows developers to exploit such a land commercially for residential, commercial or industrial purpose. The move is bound to deal a severe blow to several powerful landowners which includes some of the state’s political heavyweights also.
More than three decades ago, about 2.58 lakh hectare of forest land was acquired by the state under the Private Forest (Acquisition) Act 1975. Of this, 87,000-odd hectares of private forest land was soon restored to the land owners with the rider that non-forest activities would not be permitted.
However, the land records failed to reflect the status of these tracts of lands as private forest land as the Revenue Department never made the entries. As a result, the respective district collectors issued NA permissions for carrying out construction on thousands of hectares of private forest land.
“We have issued the orders after the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) brought to our notice that district collectors are still issuing these permissions,” said joint revenue secretary Ramakant Asmar, whose department issued the circular on March 18.
In Mumbai and Thane, several ongoing and existing residential projects spread over 1,200 hectares were declared as illegal after a PIL, by the Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG), brought to the Bombay High Court’s notice the state government’s failure to protect the designated forest land. While the case is currently being heard in the Supreme Court, the Forest Department officials state that they want to prevent any further cases by canceling the NA permission itself.
“We have asked for all NA permissions on private forest land in Maharashtra to be cancelled after a recent incident in Pune where in about four to five cases, the collector has issued NA permission on private forest land,” said an official from the PCCF’s office.
BEAG’s Debi Goenka terms the move as a “long overdue step”. “This is something they should have done three years ago and not when they know that the case is slated for hearing in the Supreme Court on March 23. Since the time the PIL was filed, action was taken against construction projects in Mumbai, but in Pune and elsewhere in the state there was no such attempt,” Goenka said.

Religion in poll symbols? We can do nothing: SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Religion-in-poll-symbols-We-can-do-nothing-SC/articleshow/4306790.cms
24 Mar 2009, 0108 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Many an election symbol in India, where religion is intrinsic to the way of life, can be associated either with God or his elements. Can these symbols be used by political parties without being accused of wooing voters in the name of religion, which is a grave electoral malpractice? This question came up before the Supreme Court on Monday as a PIL filed by ‘Youthmen Hindu Association’ questioned the use of the `rising sun’ symbol used by DMK in Tamil Nadu. Though ironically DMK did not believe in the existence of God, it was accused by PIL petitioner’s counsel K Biju of falling foul of Section 123(3) of the Representation of People Act which prohibited wooing of voters by means of religion or religious symbols. He argued that sun, right from the vedic age, has been worshipped by Hindus as a God and the DMK’s election symbol could “exploit sentiments of illiterate and poor people”. He demanded an immediate freeze of the symbol. Far from being impressed with this argument, a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam chided the petitioner for coming to the court 57 years after the `rising sun’ was allotted to DMK as its election symbol. Before the threat of dismissal forced the counsel to withdraw the petition, the Bench said there are at least 15 to 20 election symbols like tree, cow, moon etc, which could be classified as having some link or the other to the religion. “Does this mean every such symbol needs to be banned,” the Bench asked. The symbols which have some religious connotation are — elephant which is the election symbol of BSP, lotus (BJP), bow and arrow (JMM), conch (BJD). Apart from the national and state parties, there are 1,000 registered unrecognised parties in India, the latter being asked to choose from 59 free symbols. Though the counsel repeated his arguments basing it on Section 123(3) of RP Act, he did not mention the proviso to the section, which read: “Provided that no symbol allotted under this Act to a candidate shall be deemed to be a religious symbol or a national symbol for the purpose of this clause.” A similar unsuccessful attempt was made by one Shaheen Parvez last week before a Bench headed by CJI to challenge the `lotus’ symbol allotted to BJP. Her contention was that lotus was a national symbol and no political party could make use of it.

HC pulls up LMC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-pulls-up-LMC/articleshow/4307056.cms
24 Mar 2009, 0149 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: Taking cognizance of the TOI report highlighting the plight of an eleven-year-old boy who was attacked by a group of stray dogs on March 16, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court pulled up the Lucknow Municipal Corporation (LMC) on Monday. The court has asked the government and municipal corporation, Lucknow (LMC) as to what steps they are taking to curb nuisance being caused by stray or/and ownerless dogs and other stray animals in the capital. The order came from the bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Husnain on a public interest litigation in this context. The court fixed April 8 as the date of next hearing of the PIL filed by a local lawyer Manoj Dubey. To recall, eleven-year-old Zaid was attacked by a group of some 10-12 dogs near Jaipuria school of the posh Gomtinagar area. The boy had gone to attend nature’s call at a patch of land marked with heavy vegetation. A rickshaw-puller, who was passing by, heard the cries of the boy and saved him after rigorous efforts. Zaid suffered scratch and bite injuries at 18 different places on his body. Doctors had to put 40 stitches to seal the wounds, which were bleeding profusely. The TOI report published on March 17 also swung the LMC into action. The dog squad of LMC caught some 22 dogs besides issuing directions to area authorities to sustain the drive against stray dogs for several days. The PIL sought directions so that no such incidents could be repeated. Citing section 115 of the UP Municipal Corporation Act, litigant Dubey maintains that municipal corporations have ample powers to take action against such stray animals and dogs. In view of the same, he demanded killing of animals causing nuisance and stray or ownerless dogs in the city. Residents of Gomtinagar — where the incident came to light — claim that stray dogs were a menace for not only the inhabitants but also animals. “Who does not know about dogs chasing your two or four-wheeler at night… if you are not careful, you are sure to lose control of your vehicle,” claims Mohan Chandra of Vinay Khand-3, where the injured Zaid lives. Guess estimates made by various agencies show that the population of stray dogs in the city stands at 50,000. This may also be an indicator of the problem being quite explicit in other parts of the city as well. No wonder, the incident caught the LMC on a wrong foot. It also exposed the reality of the extensive birth control drive initiated by LMC to check population of dogs in the city. Nonetheless, the agency offered its set to reasons to hide its ineptitude. “What can we do? There is only one vehicle to catch the stray dogs in the city,” cribbed an officer. “Then catching stray dogs is just a temporary measure. We cannot kill them as animal activists start making a hue and cry. All that we can do is re-locate them somewhere outside the city limits,” he said.

CJI for more courts in country
http://keralaonline.com/news/cji-courts-country_27311.html
Panaji, Monday 23 March 2009: Chief Justice of India Justice K G Balakrishnan has stressed on the need to improve the justice delivery system in the country by establishing more courts for speedy disposal of pending cases.
Speaking at the concluding function of the Silver Jubilee Celebration of High Court of Bombay at Goa, held at Kala Academy, the CJI said there was a need to improve the judicial infrastructure in order to bring in effectiveness in the functioning of the judiciary, an official release said on Monday.
“A system has been evolved for disposal of pending cases through Lok Adalat, Evening Courts and Mediation Centres, Balakrishnan said. This has significantly helped to reduce the number of cases and give speedy justice,” he said.
He called for the need of proper training to judges and prosecutors to improve their efficiency. “Police officials should also investigate the cases properly and help the judiciary to avoid undue delay in dispensation of justice,” he added.
“There are instances of laboratories not giving reports in time,” Balkrishnan said, stressing the need to have a complete prosecution system.

Chandigarh, March 24: HC issues directions against dengue
http://www.livepunjab.com/news/chandigarh_march_24_hc_issues_directions_against_dengue-216322.html
by Maria S – March 24, 2009 – 0 comments
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued instructions to the concerned authorities in Punjab regarding effective steps to fight dengue on long-term basis. The directions were issued by Division Bench comprising of Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta.
These directions by the high court include proper drainage and increased awareness for controlling the malady in the state of Punjab, especially Ludhiana, which incidentally has the largest number of dengue cases.
The high court ruling said, “A reading of it shows a number of steps have indeed been taken which would hopefully eliminate the menace of the dengue.
“All the same, we need to emphasise that the problem of dengue arises almost every year on account of numerous factors like stagnated water, lack of awareness amongst the citizens and lack of fumigation etc.”

HC orders security for Matua Mahamela
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata-/HC-orders-security-for-Matua-Mahamela/articleshow/4307640.cms
24 Mar 2009, 0353 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court, on Monday, directed the North 24-Parganas superintendent of police and officer-in-charge of Gaighata police station to provide sufficient police protection for the Matua Mahamela at Thakurnagar. The fair will commence on March 24 and continue till April 4. Matua community members, Subir Maitra, Anup Bain and Sanjay Biswas, filed a writ contending that in view of the threat of terrorism across the country, they felt insecure, especially considering the huge gathering at the fair. They claimed about 2-2.5 million people come to the fair from various parts of the country and even from neighbouring Bangladesh. But the police arrangement is not enough to prevent a law and order problem, if any, the petition said. Appearing for the petitioners, advocates Tapas Ghosh and Liton Maitra contended before Justice Sanjib Banerji that goons have committed offences at previous fairs, taking advantage of the huge gathering. In view of the ensuing Lok Sabha election, the Matua Mahamela, popularly known as Thakurnagar Mela, has come to the limelight after leaders of various political parties held meetings there to bag the votes of the Matua community members. Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee reached the Mandirpukur area in Gaighata on Monday on the eve of the Matua Mela. “We have released our election manifesto on an auspicious day when the Baruni Utsav of the Matuas is about to begin,” she said to win the hearts of the Matuas that constitute a majority in Gaighata. The Trinamool chief also took a dig at the ruling CPM. “They had promised a special train for Matuas. Where is that train? Our Matua brothers and sisters are coming from far-off places without proper arrangement. The CPM does not bother about it,” Mamata said after paying her respects to Barama, the Matua guru. The organisers have often requested the administration to take steps but to no avail. On February 27 and again on March 16, the organisers made representations before the local police and the district police superintendent, seeking deployment of sufficient force during the fair. But as the representations did not yield any result, their clients moved court, the counsels submitted.

HC judge seeks CJ role on murderous khaps
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/HC-judge-seeks-CJ-role-on-murderous-khaps/articleshow/4307801.cms
24 Mar 2009, 0407 hrs IST, Ajay Sura, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Concerned over an increasing number of cases pertaining to diktats issued to runaway couples by khap (caste) panchayats of Haryana, justice Rajan Gupta of Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday sought special intervention of the chief justice on the issue. Observing that an issue of larger public interest had arisen before the court, he said, “It would be appropriate if the matter is put before the chief justice for necessary action.” This comes merely two days after TOI ran a story on panchayat ordering death for a couple, which, unable to bear separation forced on them by an angry 14-village committee for having broken the “brotherhood” rule, decided to elope. Gupta sought the CJ’s intervention while hearing the petition of the same couple even as he directed the UT administration and Haryana government to protect the married couple and their parents.

Shahabuddin’s poll hopes dashed by Patna High Court
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200903241913.htm
Patna (IANS): In a final blow to Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP Mohammed Shahabuddin’s election hopes, the Patna High Court on Tuesday dismissed his plea to suspend his conviction in a criminal case so that he can contest the Lok Sabha election.
A division bench of the court dismissed Mr. Shahabuddin’s plea after hearing the case. The Supreme Court had on Monday directed the Patna High Court to hear the case before March 30, the last date for filing nomination for the Siwan Lok Sabha constituency in Bihar.
The RJD had already nominated his wife Hina Sahab to contest from Siwan.
A Siwan court had convicted Mr. Shahabuddin on May 5, 2007, for kidnapping and trying to kill a Communist Party of India-Marxist-Leninist (CPI-ML) activist, Chote Lal, in 1999. The court in August 2007 sentenced him to 10 years in jail.
Under India’s electoral laws, anyone convicted of a criminal offence and sentenced to jail for more than two years is barred from contesting the polls.
Mr. Shahabuddin was convicted in 2006 in another case and sentenced to a two-year jail term for carrying out an armed raid on the CPI-ML office in 1998. However, his conviction in this case does not jeopardise his right to contest an election.

High Court advocates resume work after more than a month
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/24/stories/2009032455880100.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Advocates resumed work on Monday ending their boycott of courts, which lasted more than a month, bringing relief to the litigant public.
However, the High Court complex was sans police personnel and the recently introduced security system.
But in a sign of return of normality, the High Court gate on Esplanade Road, by the side of the police station, which remained locked for the past several days, was opened on Monday.
The boycott of courts by advocates started on January 30 to protest the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka and to demand a ceasefire in the island nation. Lawyers resumed attending courts on February 10 but on the same day they decided to boycott courts again till February 17 seeking the Union Government’s intervention to immediately stop the killing of Tamils in Sri Lanka. They participated in a nation-wide boycott of courts to protest the amendments to Cr.P.C. on February 18.
On February 19, there was a clash between the police and the advocates on the High Court premises, resulting in injuries to several persons. The attack on lawyers provoked them to boycott courts again. Following an order of a Full Bench suggesting that the Chennai Additional Commissioner of Police and the then Joint Commissioner of Police be suspended, advocates decided to return to court work from Monday.
The boycott affected the litigant public greatly, particularly those whose cases were pending in lower courts. After the Madras High Court issued a notification that it would take up matters and decide them on merits from March 16, parties argued their cases in person and some of them obtained orders.
On Monday, uniformed police personnel, who had manned the High Court gates in the past to regulate entry, were conspicuous by their absence.
The State-level joint action committee of lawyers, after due deliberations, has unanimously decided not to participate in the inquiry by Mr.Sundaradevan, according to committee convenor R.C.Paul Kanagaraj.
Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president S. Prabakaran also said advocates would not appear before the Sundaradevan Committee, appointed by the State government, to inquire into the police action and fix responsibility for the alleged excesses committed during the incident in the High Court premises on February 19. Mr.Prabakaran said the inquiry would be an “eyewash”. Also, the High Court was seized of the matter. The CBI was probing the incident.

Taj Corridor ghost returns to haunt Maya
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Taj-Corridor-ghost-returns-to-haunt-Maya/articleshow/4311955.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0333 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The ghost of Taj Corridor case seems to have returned to haunt UP chief minister Mayawati on Lok Sabha poll eve. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has proceeded to hear certain public interest litigations (PILs) challenging dropping of the case against the BSP supremo and her cabinet colleague Naseemuddin Siddiqui in the multi-crore scam. Simultaneously, the HC has also cast aspersions on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for its failure in challenging the special judge’s order that relieved the accused named in its report submitted on Supreme Court directions. The high court on Tuesday directed the Central government to produce the UP governor’s order refusing sanction to CBI to prosecute Mayawati and Siddiqui and also the special court’s order passed on June 5, 2007, whereby it dropped the case against them. The bench also directed the Central government to produce the entire order-sheet of the special CBI court relating with the case. The court posted in a bunch the three PILs filed by Kamlesh Verma, Anupama Singh and Atiq Ahmad individually for April 16. The division bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Hasnain, however, made it clear that at this stage the court was not making any comment on merit of the case by calling the records. Appearing for the petitioners, senior Supreme Court lawyer Siddhartha Luthra argued that the CBI undermined the faith of public in this most capable investigating agency as it seemed to be playing in the hands of politicians.

Rs 1.35 cr required to destroy explosives found
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/rs-1.35-cr-required-to-destroy-explosives-found/438689/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 0418 hrs IST
Chandigarh Three city dealers summoned by HC
Commissioner of Customs Talkeshwar Singh today filed an affidavit in the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the issue of the tentative cost involved to destroy a stock of explosives lying at the Dry Port near Ludhiana.
The commissioner said after consultations with the Army, it was assessed it would cost Rs 1.35 crore to destroy explosives, which pose a danger to the life of people. The Commissioner stated that that the Army has informed the District Magistrate (MA Branch) Ludhiana regarding the issue in which three importers from the city are also involved.
The information has been supplied in the wake of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Advocate H C Arora. On the last date of hearing, the court had directed the Custom Commissioner to state the tentative cost of destroying these explosives and to apportion the expenses amongst nine importing companies, which had imported the scrap, from which the explosives were found. Chandigarh-based Bhushan Steels, Upper India Steels Ltd, Raghav Industries and Sharu Steels, all Ludhiana Based industries, are the parties in the case. The HC had also directed to issue notices to the nine importers. An analysis of the statement submitted by the Custom Commissioner today along with his affidavit reveals that the Army Authorities will have to use “explosives and accessories” worth Rs 1.17 crore.
Besides, it would cost Rs.15 lakh on the pay and allowances of officers and persons below officers’ rank (PBOR); fuel, oil and lubricants will cost Rs 80,000 and Rs 68,000 rations, and the operation may also involve the payment of Rs 2 lakh for incidental damage, if any, to the Army property.
Amongst the importers, Bhushan Steels is liable to pay Rs.1.19 crore; Upper India Steels Rs.7.87 lakh; Raghav Industries Rs.3.44 lakh and Sharu Steels, Rs.1.70 lakh.
The High Court has given two-week time to all the importers, 8 out of which were represented today through counsels, to submit response to the affidavit filed by the Customer Commissioner as to why they should not be penalised.

Signboard PIL man to fight Mumbai North
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/signboard-pil-man-to-fight-mumbai-north/438542/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 2315 hrs IST
Mumbai Secretary of the Mumbai Mahanagar Vyapari Parishad, who has filed a lot of PILs, including that against mandatory Marathi signboards, Rajendra Thacker, is the Professionals Party of India (PPI) candidate for the Lok Sabha in Mumbai North.
The PPI formed by professionals from across the country, announced its second candidate in Mumbai, Dr Mona Shah, for Mumbai South. She has an ophthalmology surgery practice in South Mumbai and is consulting surgeon at three of the city’s eye hospitals. Thacker, who has filed several PILs had filed one against the compulsory rule of displaying names of shops in Marathi when BMC amended the Act. A resident of Borivali, Thacker was born in Bihar.
In 2002, he became the secretary of the Mumbai Mahanagar Vyapari Parishad. He has contested the civic elections as an Independent from Borivili, and in 2004 was an Independent assembly candidate from Mumbadevi.
“We are in process of reviewing candidates for other constituencies. We have not finalised them yet,” said R V Krishnan, president, PPI.

A gesture of charity for rail mishap victims
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/a-gesture-of-charity-for-rail-mishap-victims/438534/
Mohan Kumar
Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 2310 hrs IST
Mumbai Rail accident victims may now have no worries about getting to a hospital and footing the treatment bills.
Charitable hospitals in the city have sent out a positive signal for treating victims, where money will take the backseat and the victim’s recovery would be of prime concern. The suggestions will soon be communicated to the Bombay High Court, which is hearing a PIL on treatment of rail accident victims. Another case on charitable hospitals where guidelines were formulated last year for the treatment of poor patients too is pending disposal.
Amicus Curie (friend of the court) Jamshed Mistry, who appears in the charitable hospital case, came up with the idea which he shared with the president of the Association of Hospitals Colonel M Masand who agreed to the cause.
Masand said that every charitable hospital closest to the victim will extend its full cooperation irrespective of the victim’s financial status.
“We won’t charge anything. We will give treatment and admit the victim if necessary,” Masand stated.
Masand said that matters of money will come later and if the victim cannot afford it he won’t be charged. “Saving life will be the priority,” Masand said.
Mistry, who also appears in the railway case, feels it would be helpful to rail accident victims if charitable hospitals extend their services to such victims. “I spoke to the association president and he has agreed to this. Now, we will inform the court about this when the case comes up for hearing this week,” Mistry said.
In the railways case, the court had last month asked Mistry and others to make surprise visits to small and big stations to verify claims made by the railways including number of ambulances kept ready.
The court had said that the case has been pending for long and so far the railways had not even provided a well-equipped ambulance.
“You are not even concerned about a person who is dying,” Chief Justice Kumar had remarked while passing the order.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by Samir Zaveri who himself had lost his legs in a rail accident 20 years back. Zaveri had told this newspaper how a passenger had taken him to a hospital as there was no help from the railways.
Following the PIL, a committee was constituted in 2004 which recommended upgradation of railway facilities.
As for charitable hospitals, in October 2005, the HC had constituted an expert committee headed by the joint charity commissioner to give recommendations under the BPT Act. The panel filed its report in April 2006 following which the court accepted the recommendations with modifications.
The scheme obliges the charitable hospitals to reserve beds for poor patients, give emergency treatment to poor patients and have a fund for poor patients.
As per the HC order, these hospitals are expected to reserve 10 per cent of beds free for poor patients (annual income less than Rs 25,000) and provide treatment at concessional rates for 10 per cent patients from economically weaker sections (annual income less than Rs 50,000).

High Court serves notice of motion
http://www.e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=20..240309.mar09
Source: Hueiyen News Service
Imphal, March 23 2009: The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench has on Monday issued a notice of motion, returnable within six weeks against the state Government authorities following a Writ petition filed by Ningthoujam Devdas Singh of Keirenphabi village, Bishnupur district, an unsuccessful candidate of the recruitment of Sub-Inspector of the police Department held in 2006. The Imphal Bench of the High Court headed Justice Mutum Binoykumar Singh had issued the notice of motion to the respondents listed as the State of Manipur through Principal Secretary (Home) to the Government of Manipur; the Joint Secretary (Home) to the Government of Manipur; and the Director General of Police, Manipur and 54 selected candidates of the recruitment, according to a release issued by the Director of the Human Rights Law Network, Meihoubam Rakesh.The Petitioner stated that he participated in the recruitment of SI in Police (male) in 2006 in response to a requisition for recruitment for certain number for the same post.He said that he had undergone all required tests conducted by the Selection Committee.The petitioner has stated that his Answer Sheet of the written test (for 60 marks) was not properly evaluated and said that there were various forms of manipulations, malpractices and tampering of marks in the Answer Sheet.He also said that his total would be higher than the last selected candidate if his answer sheet had been evaluated correctly.As such, the Petitioner has challenged the validity of the selection of candidates by filing the Writ Petition, it said.

HC asks SEBI to probe Bhushan Group’s stake purchase in OSIL
http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/28251720.htm
CUTTAK/NEW DELHI: The Orissa High Court has directed the Securities and Exchange Board of India to investigate Neeraj Singhal-led Bhushan Group’s stake purchase in Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel Ltd and has suspended its voting right in the secondary steel p roducer.
“It is directed that the regional manager of the SEBI, Kolkata, shall investigate into the affairs of opposite parties No 7-24 (Bhushan Group) regarding acquisition of/ dealing in their shares in the OSIL,” the division bench comprising Justice I M Reddy and Justice S Panda said.
The court further directed the market regulator to investigate “whether there was any violation of SEBI (Substantial Acquisition of Shares and Takeover) regulations 1997” in buying stake of the Orissa Sponge Iron & Steel Ltd (OSIL).
The division bench also directed SEBI to submit its investigation report by next hearing on June 22. The court also held that Bhushan Steel and other respondents which are alleged to be its affiliates “shall not acquire, alienate, transfer, and sell any of their shares in OSIL to any third party”.
Meanwhile, the bench also suspended the voting rights of the Bhushan Steel till its further order. “… their voting rights which represent the Bhushan Steel Group as regards their acquisition of any share in OSIL shall remain suspended until furthe r orders of the court,” the court ordered further. – PTI

HC rejects plea on FIR, Varun to move SC
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-rejects-plea-on-fir-varun-to-move-sc/438832/
Agencies Posted: Mar 25, 2009 at 1605 hrs IST
Allahabad: In a setback to BJP Lok Sabha candidate Varun Gandhi, Allahabad High Court turned down the plea for quashing an FIR against him for his alleged anti-Muslim speeches even as his counsel indicated that he is likely to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
“The petition stands dismissed,” a division bench comprising justices Imtiyaz Murtaza and S C Nigam said in its order pronounced in a packed court room.
29-year-old Gandhi had challenged the FIR filed on March 17 at Pilibhit’s Barkheda Police Station under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act.
The charges entail a maximum punishment of three years jail term or fine or both.
On whether the order will be challenged in the apex court, Varun’s counsel Gopal Chaturvedi said outside the court, “I am sure they will, although it may not be necessary as far as the proceedings are concerned.”
“But I am sure when a petition is being filed, then everything that has been said against Mr Gandhi will be questioned before the Supreme Court,” he said.
Asked if Gandhi could be taken into custody, Chaturvedi said that ‘arrest is a matter of satisfaction of the investigating officer’.

HC sees red over babu’s touch to minister verdict
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC-sees-red-over-babus-touch-to-minister-verdict/articleshow/4311678.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0452 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The high court on Tuesday came down on the practice of government babus drafting the verdicts that state ministers pass after hearing cases in quasi-judicial matters. Criticising the practice, the court also fined energy minister Sunil Tatkare for two contradictory orders in a case related to the allotment of a ration shop in Malad in 2006 (Tatkare was the food and civil supplies minister then). “(It is) a very sorry state of affairs prevailing in Mantralaya with regard to the decision-making process adopted by various departments,” Justice Vijay Daga said, framing guidelines on the procedure to be adopted while granting orders in quasi-judicial matters. Ministers are the appellate authorities in matters concerning the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, Bombay Tenancy Laws and the Agricultural Land Act among others. One of the important guidelines the court laid out for ministers was that they should not entertain requests from political leaders in such cases. “No application or request or prayer from a political worker, MLA, MP or a third party shall be entertained unless such a person is a party to the proceedings,” said the judge. The case concerned the allotment of a ration shop at Pimpripada in Malad. A plea was filed with the minister by local resident Savitri Pal after she was denied the allotment. Advocate Poonam Bhosale, counsel for Pal, said there were two contradictory orders: a draft order allotting the shop to Pal and a signed one that dismissed her plea. The HC ordered the chief secretary to conduct an inquiry when it came to light that Tatkare had not dictated the order, which was prepared by a desk officer who had not even attended the hearing. Tatkare admitted as much in his affidavit. “After hearing the parties I did not dictate the order. Neither is it possible for me to dictate each and every order considering the voluminous work of my ministry,” Tatkare said, adding, “After hearing the application, I ask my officers to go through the merits of the case and submit a note accordingly for approval.” The court directed the state to issue fresh advertisements for allotment of the shop.

Law and order has ‘collapsed’ in Kerala: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Law-and-order-has-collapsed-in-Kerala-HC/articleshow/4310911.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: In stinging remarks ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday observed that the law and order had “collapsed” in the state, but those wielding power were sitting pretty oblivious of the situation. The comments came from a single bench of Justice V Ram Kumar, while hearing a bail plea by three men accused in the case of attempted murder of self-styled spiritual leader Rahim Pookkudasseri. The police had filed a preliminary report in the First Class Judicial Magistrate Court in Aluva near Kochi. The report had indicated possible terrorist links of the accused. But due to prevailing election scene, authorities were not concentrating on this, the bench observed. The source of the weapons or explosives recovered from the scene have also not been traced, it added. Contract gangs were roaming the streets and attacks had become common on the highways, it said adding offences against women were also on the rise. But the police have failed to take any action against the culprits, the court added. The high court also took to task the state home minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan saying there were many criminal gangs in his constituency Thalassery and that they were roaming free. A visibly shaken Balakrishnan reacted that the government would approach the Supreme Court against the court’s observations.

HC raps govt for influencing appointment of bank officials
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/HC-raps-govt-for-influencing-appointment-of-bank-officials/articleshow/4311509.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0149 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court has come down heavily on the state government and political leaders for influencing nationalised banks into appointing party loyalists as non-official directors’ instead of experts. Acting on a PIL filed by an NGO, Senior Citizens Service Trust, against appointment of 37 non-official directors in a dozen nationalised banks, a division Bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi has taken serious notice of political interference in banking affairs. The court scrutinised files and complaints filed by bank chairman where these directors were accused of pressurising them to settle non performing assets cheaply. Court then observed, “All these factors will give wrong signal to public and do no good for public sector banks, many of them are reeling under tremendous economic crisis. Government should show serious attention while exercising their statutory powers.” “We have no hesitation to state that in many cases, appointments of above non-official directors are made not on merit or following statutory requirement or on recommendation of Reserve Bank of India,” the court observed, adding that public money is being spent for their upkeep so politicians should give proper assistance in policy formulation rather than interfering and projecting their political views for ulterior motives. It directed government, “Primary consideration of the government should be interest of public sector banks, its depositors and not that of nominees or driven by any other vested interest.” Interestingly, Union government also agreed to the complaint that the administration had bowed to political pressure and some people having clear party leanings were appointed in covetous positions in country’s important banks. However, for others, the government obtained clearance from required departments. Division Bench disposed of the PIL with a clear observation that most board of directors in nationalised banks, who are appointed as non-official directors, are political workers and in several cases, guidelines have been given a go-by. “There are instances where the opinion of RBI was also ignored,” the court concluded.

HC permits casinos to get food from outside
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC-permits-casinos-to-get-food-from-outside/articleshow/4311734.cms
5 Mar 2009, 0436 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Tuesday permitted three floating casinos operating in the Mandovi to make alternative food arrangements for their guests in view of their onboard restaurants being sealed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A division bench, comprising Justices P B Majmudar and U D Salvi, was hearing separate petitions filed by Goa Coastal Resorts and Recreation Private Limited operators of Pride of Goa, High Street Cruises and Entertainment who operate Casino Royale and Victor Hotels and Motels operators of Arabian Sea King. The three casinos said they were facing difficulties in conducting business due to their onboard restaurants being sealed by the FDA. The FDA had raided the onboard restaurants and sealed them for operating without licenses on March 17. Mahesh Sonak appearing for the casinos informed the court that applications for licenses filed by the three casinos were pending before the FDA and that the casinos should be permitted to obtain food from other restaurants until the license was granted. The bench then disposed off the petitions directing the casinos to make other arrangements provided they first intimate the FDA from where they will be procuring the food.

School fee hike ‘highly objectionable’: Delhi HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/School-fee-hike-highly-objectionable-Delhi-HC/articleshow/4315024.cms
25 Mar 2009, 1753 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said the fee hike by private unaided schools in the capital was “highly objectionable”, and sought a response from the city government on the issue. A division bench headed Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna asked the government to file its reply by April 29. “This (hike in fees) is highly objectionable. Let there be some examination on the whole aspect,” observed the bench hearing a public interest petition. The court asked the government if the schools were following the mandatory provision of law with regard to their accounts. Appearing for a parents’ association, counsel Ashok Aggarwal told the court that the government had gone contrary to the recommendation given by the S.L. Bansal Committee, constituted to look into the fee hike of schools. The court asked the government to place on record before it the entire report of the committee on the next date of hearing. The Delhi Abhibhavak Mahasangh, aided by NGO Social Jurist, had challenged the Directorate of Education’s (DoE) notification on the grounds that it violates the orders of the high court and the Supreme Court that the accounts of each school be examined before they are allowed to hike fee. The schools have been demanding up to 50 percent tuition fee hike in order to implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations on teachers’ salaries and arrears. The DoE has created five slabs on the basis of the existing tuition fee in schools, allowing them a maximum fee hike of Rs.500.

Panchayat can appoint commissioner to inspect illegal constructions: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Panchayat-can-appoint-commissioner-to-inspect-illegal-constructions-HC/articleshow/4311722.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0434 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: In a significant judgement, the high court of Bombay at Goa has held that panchayat authorities can appoint a commissioner to inspect illegal constructions and verify their factual positions. The court was hearing a matter questioning the powers of the deputy director of panchayats to appoint a commissioner and determine the validity of a structure. Gabriel Fernandes from Calangute had challenged the demolition of a construction by a deputy director after receiving a report from the commissioner. The order had been confirmed by director of panchayats in appeal and Ferndandes had approached the high court. Fernandes’ lawyer argued that the deputy director had acted illegally in appointing the commissioner to inspect the property. He submitted that there is no such power to appoint a commissioner under the Goa Panchayat Raj Act. “Even section 239 (C) of the Panchayat Raj Act says that the proceedings before the authority shall be judicial proceedings. It is therefore obvious that the inquiry that is conducted is in fact a judicial inquiry. There is therefore nothing wrong in the appointment of the commissioner, to have a factual position before him,” justice C L Pangarkar observed. Though the power to appoint a commissioner is not specifically conferred on the panchayat officer by the Act, the fact that the same provisions of the civil procedure code are made applicable suggests that the proceedings before the authority are quasi-judicial in nature, the judge further held. While dismissing the petition, the court said that the deputy director has rightly taken into consideration the report of the commissioner particularly when the petitioner failed to produce any document showing permission to build such a construction.

District court, HC lawyers hold protest
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/District-court-HC-lawyers-hold-protest/articleshow/4311864.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0632 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: The lawyers of the district court and Allahabad High Court took to streets on Tuesday in protest against the murderous assault on two lawyers near the Indian Press crossing on Monday evening while the two were returning home. The Lawyers of the district court assembled outside the court premises and marched in a procession towards the district collectorate where they blocked the road near the crossing and raised slogans against the district authorities for their failure to protect the interest of lawyers. Thereafter, they left for the high court where lawyers were already agitating to express solidarity with their district court brethren. A group of lawyers set afire the effigy of state government and raised anti-administration slogans. The high court lawyers abstained from judicial work in protest against Monday’s incident. During the course of a meeting earlier in the day in front of gate No 3 of the high court, the lawyers condemned the dastardly act and observed that criminals were having a free run under the present political dispensation. President of the Allahabad High Court Bar Association VC Mishra pointed out that chief minister Mayawati was encouraging goons and anti-social elements by giving them tickets to contest the Lok Sabha elections. The office-bearers of UP Bar Council would be requested to call for a day-long statewide strike in protest against the assault on the lawyers. Litigants were seen running here and there at the district court as well as high court as they were unaware about the sudden strike. Litigants at the district court were critical of the strike as the lawyers were abstaining from judicial work on one pretext or the other after Holi, causing hardships to the them.

State govt a dodger: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/State-govt-a-dodger-HC/articleshow/4311702.cms
25 Mar 2009, 0349 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Describing the governance in the state as a fine art of dodging, Justice Goda Raghuram on Tuesday sarcastically advised the state government to abolish judiciary so that it can free itself from the inconvenience of violating court orders repeatedly and then to answer the courts for the same. The judge was hearing a contempt petition filed by one K Trinadh Reddy who told the court that its 2005 order regarding an application he made for grant of an iron ore mine in Tummuluru of Kadapa district was still not being implemented. J Sudhir, special government pleader, appeared for the state and told the court that they have filed an affidavit duly admitting that there was an inordinate delay in disposing of the application of the petitioner and sought time till Thursday for arguing the case. In the event of a `no judiciary’ scene, the judge warned, that the “seven crore people of AP would throng Secretariat for the redressal of their grievances and let us see then which army will save you. The citizen will try to express his anger through contempt petitions and if he loses his faith here (judiciary), in the next nano second he will lose faith in the government also,” justice Raghuram said. When the counsel for the petitioner told the court that the government was trying to mislead the court, the judge told him: “These authorities will apologise to you. They will acknowledge the fact that as a citizen you are sovereign and that they are your subordinates. With this, you have to feel satisfied.”

LEGAL NEWS 19.03.2009

Allahabad HC serves notice as defence land sold at low price
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?ab1dfa5b-11f9-4e54-ac25-fe408143e044
3/17/2009
The Allahabad High Court issued notices to the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and the Defence Ministry for selling at a very low price a piece of land belonging to the ministry in industrial city of Kanpur and sought their replies within three weeks. A bench comprising Justices S R Alam and Sudhir Agarwal passed the order, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by one Awadhnarayan Singh.The court has asked Principal Director of the Defence Property Department and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Cantonment Board to file an affidavit.The prosecution has alleged that the officials of the Central government, the Defence department and the Registration department conspired to sell the land at a much lower price.A notice has also been served on the purchaser of the land.The court has fixed April 10 for the next hearing.UNI

HC to take up record number of bail pleas today
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/HC-to-take-up-record-number-of-bail-pleas-today/articleshow/4273517.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0425 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : To speedily dispose of pending criminal cases, the High Court will take up a record number of petitions on Tuesday, especially bail matters. Six judges, including Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and other senior judges, will take up 50-70 cases each from 4 pm to 4.45 pm. This is a first such instance in the High Court. Gutkha ban hearing A division Bench directed impleading of the Central Food Laboratory, Pune, in a PIL seeking a ban on manufacturing and sale of RMD gutkha by Dhariwal Industries. The court was not happy with the lab report wordings, particularly when, under Rule 62, the very presence of any harmful substance is not permitted. Channel asked to give cassettes A division Bench directed a Kannada TV channel beaming the teleserial `Muktha Muktha’ to furnish cassettes/CDs containing sequences relating to the judiciary. City advocate G R Mohan filed a criminal contempt petition against the channel owner and director T N Seetharam. Stay on resort continued While continuing the earlier stay order on cutting of trees and defacing land leased out to a private party to develop a resort in Chikmagalur, a division Bench directed the principal secretary to file a report on the status of 34 acres of land. On April 24, 2008, the HC had directed the forest department and Chikmagalur DC to ensure there was no further construction on the 34 acres of gomal land in Arishinakuppe village, close to Bhadra Tiger Reserve area, in the Western Ghat belt. The court also directed them to ensure that no trees were cut and land was not dug up. The land was allegedly leased out for 30-year period to Brigade Hospitality Pvt Limited to form a hill resort and spa. Counsel for petitioner D V Girish and other petitioners told the court the lease was clandestinely given on January 1, 2004, and the company had started digging, and felled around 250 trees, in violation of the conditions of the lease agreement. PIL admitted The High Court admitted a PIL filed by advocate S Vasudeva, seeking action based on the report given by the Lok Ayukta on illegal mining. Meanwhile, the Green bench hearing mining cases fixed March 30 as the date to continue day-to-day hearings, to speedily dispose of the cases. Injunction order A division bench issued an injunction order in respect of laying a railway track by a mining company in reserve forest areas in Challakere, in Chitradurga district. The court ordered notices to KSPCB and others on a PIL filed by Animal and Environmental Welfare Association, which claimed that the 7-km railway track would be laid between Bedarabommanahalli Amruthapura station, of which 1 km passes through reserve forest, and permission was not obtained for this.

‘Allow traffic on overbridge at Helmet Circle’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Allow-traffic-on-overbridge-at-Helmet-Circle/articleshow/4274175.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0352 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: An NGO called Vikalp has filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court seeking directions to Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and concerned departments to open the overbridge near Helmet Circle at Memnagar. The petitioner has urged the HC to get it opened for traffic because in wake of general elections and when the model code of conduct is implemented, the authorities might wait to get it inaugurated by a political leader. The petitioner has sought to involve civic body, state government and Election Commission to open the projects — which are completed but yet to be inaugurated — to the public, since the inaugurations will not be possible before the Lok Sabha elections are over. The PIL will come up for hearing before a division bench headed by Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan on Tuesday morning.

HC go-ahead on road widening
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/HC-go-ahead-on-road-widening/articleshow/4273509.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0424 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : The Karnataka High Court on Monday asked BBMP to proceed with road-widening works as per the stipulations of the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act and Karnataka Preservation of Trees rules. The division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran gave this clarification on a PIL filed by Environmental Support Group and Civic, Bangalore. The petitioners claimed the authorities only wanted to cut trees while widening roads and no tree officers supervised this exercise. The division Bench had earlier issued notices to the Union forest, roadways, and urban development ministries as well as state forest, home, urban development departments apart from BBMP, BDA, BMLTA and BMRCL in this matter. “Road-widening programme, being undertaken in some city roads like Bellary Road, M G Road, Palace Road and Race Course Road, are not following legal norms as required under the Karnataka Town and Country Planning Act as well as Karnataka Preservation of Trees Act. Only widening of roads would not decongest traffic as such. The tree patta scheme should be extended to urban areas and necessary guidelines for greening urban space and landscape is necessary,” the petitioners said. The issue was referred to Lok Adalat which formed an expert committee and directed authorities to take the permission of its committee before cutting trees. But this is delaying work, Government and BBMP told the court. The issue was returned to the Chief Justice.

Maya target of political game, lawyer tells Gujarat High Court
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200903172066.htm
Ahmedabad (PTI): Lawyer of state minister Maya Kodnani, accused in the 2002 riot cases, on Tuesday told the Gujarat High Court that his client was target of a political game initiated with vested interest.
Ms. Kodnani’s lawyer S V Raju made the statement before Justice D H Waghela during the hearing on cancellation of anticipatory bail given to state minister of higher education Ms. Kodnani in post-Godhra riot cases, by a lower court.
He further submitted that the statements of witnesses stating Ms. Kodnani had instigated the mob during 2002 riots, were concocted and should not be considered while hearing her anticipatory bail cancellation plea. The matter has been adjourned for Wednesday.
The Supreme Court appointed SIT, investigating some of the post-Godhra cases, had appealed against a lower court order granting anticipatory bail to Ms. Kodnani and former VHP leader Jaydeep Patel in connection with 2002 riot cases.
Mr. Raju in his argument said that Ms. Kodnani is the target of a political game involving some with vested interest in putting her behind bars. Submitting that the statement of witnesses, on which the prosecution has built its case, were concocted, he said that the delay in recording the statements and filing of complaint against Ms. Kodnani itself raises doubt.

E-Judiciary In India: E-Court Committee
http://legalnewsandviews.blogspot.com/2009/03/e-judiciary-in-india-e-court-committee.html
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Disputes are not welcomed anywhere. This is more so if they result into court cases in India. The time taken by Indian courts to dispose of cases is a discouraging factor for people to litigate. We cannot blame the Judiciary for the heaping backlog of cases as in the absence of adequate infrastructure and sufficient manpower the courts cannot do much. We can hold the Judiciary responsible for its lapses and inactions only. These hurdles for Judiciary were there and are going to be there for some more years in the absence of political will and insight. A viable solution to the problem is the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) for judicial functioning in India. In short, we must establish and manage E-Courts in India.To meet this laudable objective we must have both accountability and transparency in the e-courts project in India. There is a need to systematic analyse and monitor the progress and development of e-courts in India. We are providing a regular update of e-courts projects in India. The First Update and Second Update have already been provided. This is the Third Update covering the issue of “Management of E-Courts” in India. The Project Monitoring website managed by NIC is far from satisfactory. Not only there is an absence of guidelines and applicable model but also there is no information about the composition of e-court committee. The situation is so absurd that we are even not aware who is managing e-courts project in India and what is the progress so far. A big project like this should not be managed in a casual and non-transparent manner. Of course, this is the point where Judiciary has fallen well short of its commitments and efforts. After all, e-court committee is neither affected by political blockage nor infected by bureaucratic hurdles. E-court committee is a judicial commitment and only judiciary can be held liable for its failures.There is an emergent need for the government to bring some transparency and accountability in the e-governance projects of India. This is the main reason why e-governance projects in India are failing to materialise. We would be back with our latest update on e-courts project very soon.
Posted by Gunjan at 4:09 AM

Why Shiv Sena Hindustan can’t be registered as party: HC to EC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Why-Shiv-Sena-Hindustan-cant-be-registered-as-party-HC-to-EC/articleshow/4277570.cms
17 Mar 2009, 1823 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Election Commission on why a political party naming ‘Shiv Sena Hindustan’ cannot be registered with it. Justice S Ravindra Bhat asked the Commission to file its affidavit explaning why it refused to register the Punjab-based political party. The court passed the order on a petition filed by the party alleging the Commission had rejected it’s plea for registration in gross violation of its discretionary powers. “The non-registration of the party name is arbitrary, capricious, gross violation of discretionary powers granted to the Commission,” advocate Ajit Nair, appearing for the party, contended. The Commission, however, defended its action saying the party name cannot be registered as it is similar to Shiv Sena which is already a recognized and registered political party. The petitioner objected to the Commission’s stand saying numerous political parties carrying similar names have been registered in the past by the EC. “The Commission has been registering parties in similar name of an existing party like Janata Dal and subsequent registration of Janata Dal Secular, Janata Dal United,” Nair said. The Court, after hearing both sides, asked the EC to file its response.

Lahore HC postpones hearing in Akhtar case
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/C4B552EDD5541FC86525757C00383D59?OpenDocument

Karachi, Mar 17 (PTI) A busy schedule today forced the Lahore High Court to postpone the hearing on fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar’s 18-month ban, imposed by an appellate tribunal of the Pakistan Cricket Board, by a fortnight.PCB’s legal advisor Tafazzul Rizvi told PTI that due to busy engagements of the court, the Chief Justice could not hear and the case will come up for hearing after a fortnight.”Normally when a hearing is adjourned without being heard the court office sets a new date in two to three weeks’ time,” he said.The Court has to give a ruling on a petition filed by Shoaib against the ban and a seven million rupees fine that was imposed on him by the tribunal last year in June.The tribunal has set aside a five-year ban by a PCB disciplinary committee which had found him guilty of several violations of the players code of conduct including violating terms of a two-year probation period for behaviour.The tribunal then reduced the ban to 18-months but imposed the fine of seven million which the fast bowler has still not deposited with the PCB.Shoaib was allowed to return to the national team after filing a petition in the Lahore High Court, which suspended the 18-month ban until a final decision is reached but also asked the PCB to submit necessary evidence confirming the disciplinary record of the bowler. PTI

IPL: HC reserves order in BCCI-Sony case
http://cricket.expressindia.com/news/IPL–HC-reserves-order-in-BCCI-Sony-case/435654/
Agencies
Posted: Mar 17, 2009 at 1536 hrs IST
Mumbai: After having directed BCCI not to enter into any fresh deal on IPL telecast rights, the Bombay High Court today reserved its order on a petition filed by broadcasting major Sony, challenging termination of its contract for T-20 broadcast with the cricket board.
Justice S J Kathawala made it clear that till the order is pronounced, BCCI shall not enter into any new agreements on broadcast rights.
BCCI, on March 15, had concluded a new contract for broadcast and other rights for the coming IPL season with World Sports Group (Mauritius), and terminated its earlier contract with Sony.
Sony obtained injunction from High Court the same afternoon, restraining BCCI from entering into contracts with third parties. However, the cricket body says that it concluded the contract with WSG before the injunction came.
Sony’s lawyer Iqbal Chhagla refuted this claim, arguing that the notice of termination, given on Saturday, a non-working day, would have come into effect only on March 16 (Monday).
BCCI lawyer V Tulzapurkar contended that BCCI was earning much more because of the new agreement with WSG. He also said that the contract was terminated because of “quality of broadcasting” by Sony was “bad”.
BCCI also alleged that insertion of graphics and advertisements by Sony led to blocking of view of play during telecast.

Derabassi toll plaza: HC issues show cause notice
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Derabassi-toll-plaza-HC-issues-show-cause-notice/articleshow/4273718.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0454 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: The issue of heavy toll tax collection at Derabassi flyover on Zirakpur-Ambala national highway by a private company weighed heavily on the mind of justices Uma Nath Singh and AN Jindal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday when they issued a showcause notice for contempt to RK Sondhi, ADJ, Chandigarh. While sitting in an arbitration tribunal, Sondhi had given a seven-month extension till October 2009 to the company to collect toll. The HC wanted to know reasons for giving extension even as the Union counsel had informed the court early this year that there would be no extension beyond March 14, 2009. When the division bench was told that Sondhi was duly apprised of the Centre’s stand before the HC, judges took serious note of the situation seeking an immediate explanation from Sondhi. On January 22, the judges had perused an affidavit filed by Brahm Dutt, secretary, department of road transport and highway, Union of India, and directed him to clarify as to whether the escalation in cost of project was included in the toll fee being collected from road-users.

CJ gives in to Bar, changes HC roster
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/CJ-gives-in-to-Bar-changes-HC-roster/articleshow/4274422.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0600 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN
CHANDIGARH: In an apparent fallout of the face-off between justice Uma Nath Singh and High Court Bar Association over his “indecent behaviour towards lawyers“, chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur is said to have ordered a change in the HC roster on Monday. Though no official word was available, sources said the change in roster would be effective from Wednesday and that justice Uma Nath Singh is likely to sit with a senior judge, in all likelihood justice J S Khehar, in a division bench. “I’ve heard the news but have not been able to confirm it as I’m in the USA and will return by tomorrow evening only,” Bar association president Rupinder Khosla told TOI on Monday. There will be more changes in the roster. While justice S K Mittal will sit in a single bench (civil), justice Daya Chaudhary is likely to join justice Mehtab Singh Gill in division bench. The chief justice will remain with justice Hemant Gupta in the first division bench. At present, justice Uma Nath Singh sits as a senior judge with justice A N Jindal in a division bench and managed smooth business despite the near month-long boycott by lawyers. The Bar had refused to relent till “an acceptable solution” was found.

HC stays probe into number plate tender
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/HC-stays-probe-into-number-plate-tender/articleshow/4273626.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0050 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday stayed the order of an ACB court directing the DGP to order a probe into the alleged corruption in the Rs 400-crore tender for high security registration plates given to one Shimnit Utsch Inida Pvt. Ltd. Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore’s order came on a petition filed by the company challenging the ACB court order saying that it has been passed without looking into the fact that the validity of the tender procedure has been upheld by the high court and that a special court appointed under a particular Act of the legislature has no authority to ask for investigation in any case on an application made under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC. Senior advocate from the Supreme Court, Rajeev Dhawan argued the case on behalf of the company. The ACB court had directed the DGP to ask an officer of the rank of SP to investigate the corruption charges and role of the persons named in the complaint. A complaint was filed by one Chandrabihari Sharma on Feburary 10 alleging that there has been a huge scam in the allotment of tender to the Shinnit Utsch company by the state government and for which a huge gratification has been given to the various officials at different levels. The complaint named former transport minister Yunus Khan, personal secretary of BJP leader LK Advani, Deepak Chopra, director Manoj Patel and 10 others including former director of the company Nitin Shah who resigned from the company in 2005. It was alleged by the complainant that the number plates for the vehicles that were being provided by the company were exorbitantly priced whereas the number plates of the same specifications are available at a very low price in the market. “We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court. The court passed the order without hearing the complainant. The court was not apprised of the proper facts of the case and there is no such fetters on the power of a special judge in ordering a probe into such corruption issued,” said Ajay Kumar Jain, counsel for the complainant. The state government, meanwhile, has suspended the work licence granted to the company and the same has been challenged by the company before a single judge of the high court but no stay was granted by it.

HC issues notices to defence estate dept, others
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/HC-issues-notices-to-defence-estate-dept-others/articleshow/4273269.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2239 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has taken a serious note that property worth crores of rupees, belonging to the defence estate department (DED) in Kanpur, was sold away at throwaway prices in connivance with the officials. The court has asked the Union of India, DED and the state government to file replies within three weeks and fixed April 14 to hear the case. The order was passed by a bench comprising Justice SR Alam and Justice Sudhir Agarwal, on a petition filed by Awadh Narain Singh of Kanpur. Defence estate officer, Circle at Lucknow, has been impleaded as respondent in the petition. CB Yadav, appearing for the petitioner, had contended that the government land has been sold in connivance of the authorities of the defence estate department and the local administration, including the registration department. The court, in its order, has clarified that the counter-affidavit on behalf of the defence estate department, shall be sworn by the principal director himself and for the Cantonment Board, it shall be sworn by the chief executive officer. The court has directed to produce all the records related to the property in question. The court has also issued notices to the purchasers through chief metropolitan magistrate, Kanpur Nagar.

HC upholds life for man who got wife killed
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC-upholds-life-for-man-who-got-wife-killed/articleshow/4273347.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2317 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Upholding the verdict of a trial court, the Delhi HC on Monday awarded life sentence to a south Delhi property dealer for getting his wife murdered eight years ago. The court also convicted the hired shooter and awarded him life sentence. A division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Aruna Suresh awarded life sentence to Vijay Pal who had hired Vinod Kumar to murder his wife in 2001. The Bench relied upon the statement given by the brother of deceased, Rajni, in which he stated that he had heard Vijay speaking with the killer over phone, plotting the murder. The brother claimed to have heard Vijay telling someone that he would start from his in-laws’ house within an hour and asked the caller to be ready. He also expected the caller to complete the work “today itself.” It was alleged by the prosecution that Vijay wanted to get rid of his wife as she was suffering from some health problems. Rajni died after being shot twice in her head and chest by Vinod on the night of August 13, 2001 when she was coming from her parents’ place in Ashok Vihar to her matrimonial home in south Delhi.

New deal with WSG already done: BCCI tells HC
http://cricketnext.in.com/news/new-deal-with-wsg-already-done-bcci-tells-hc/39141-13.html
Press Trust Of India
Posted on Mar 17, 2009 at 09:22
Mumbai: The BCCI on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it has already approved the terms on which WSG can enter into contract with a TV channel for IPL telecast after the court restrained the board from entering into any contract on telecast rights following an appeal by Sony Entertainment.
The board on Sunday concluded a new contract with World Sports Group (WSG) for broadcast and other rights for the second season of IPL after terminating its earlier agreement with Sony.
Justice S J Kathawala will continue hearing of the case on Tuesday.
BCCI lawyer V Tulzapurkar contended in the High Court that the board terminated the contract with Sony for two “violations” on the latter’s part.
He alleged that as per the contract, Sony was supposed to offer the ‘broadcast sponsorship’ to the official sponsor of IPL, which was Reliance Big TV. Sony, instead, gave the rights to Bharti Airtel, he alleged.
Secondly, Sony introduced “commercial elements” which was against the contract.
However, Sony’s lawyer Iqbal Chhagla denied the arguments and claimed that Reliance Big TV was never the official sponsor for IPL.
Sony moved the Court on Sunday and obtained an injunction restraining BCCI from entering into contract with third party. But the country’s top cricket governing body claimed it had already concluded contract with WSG by then.
As WSG doesn’t have its own channel, it will have to tie-up with outside company, the BCCI lawyer said, adding the cricket body has already approved the terms on which WSG may enter into contract with a channel. According to one of the terms, the channel must have 60 per cent or above reach in the Indian market.
Chhagla, Sony’s lawyer, said the contract with WSG was inked giving very short notice to Sony.
“Dark deeds were done in the dark,” he said, apparently referring to the fact that the agreement with WSG was concluded in the early hours of Sunday (March 15).
This was done keeping in mind that it would be difficult for Sony to get any relief from the courts on Sunday, a holiday, he said.
BCCI, however, maintained that notice had been given to Sony as per the terms of the contract between the two.
Last year, Sony-WSG (India) combine won the broadcast rights of the cash-rich Twenty20 tournament for over USD 1.3 billion. Sony was given rights for Indian territory, and WSG (India) the overseas rights.
By the March 15 agreement, Sony has been completely pushed out, and WSG (Mauritius) has replaced it.
The second season of IPL is scheduled to start from April 10, but the Centre has requested the BCCI-backed league to work out new dates in view of security concerns as general elections are also being held in April-May.

Madras HC resumes without lawyers
http://www.asianews.com.pk/madras-hc-resumes-without-lawyers-2-38255
Posted by Nagpal Jee on Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 7:58
With lawyers refusing to resume work, the common man in Chennai has been been forced to bear the brunt,and now, with the Madras High Court returning to work without the protesting lawyers pending cases continue to pile.
Madras High Court has seen just ten working days in the past month. And, as cases continue to pile up, and advocates stay away from the court, the chief justice has taken a stand that judges will dispense cases purely on merit.
67-year-old Jyotindra K Gandhi has been trying to get an injunction on the demolition of his shop.
He said, “My lawyer has made his papers but he is not filing it, not letting me file it also. What will I do?”
Elizabeth John another victim of this stalemate said, “Me and my husband are old, still we are coming to the court everyday.”
It’s not just the litigants, but is another disturbing fallout of the stalemate. The number of inmates lodged in prisons across Tamil Nadu has increased by at least 10 per cent and the criminal justice system of the state is in tatters.
The lawyers have refused to return to work demanding action against top police officers for this bloody faceoff nearly a month back.
But, with both the Supreme Court and the Madras High court chief justice taking a dim view of their request, the conflict has just deepened.
S Prabhakaran, President, TN Lawyers Assocation, said, “The chief justice has no business issuing orders to other judges to dispose matters.”
R Vaigeyi, Senior Counsel, reacted, “Lawyers are very clear, as long as the court is under the control of the government, we will not go back.”
The High Court is trying to finish off as many cases as possible of the 4,30,000 pending cases, tackling the issue head on appearing to be the only solution out of the deadlock for the judiciary.

Judgement day for ‘guilty’ Shahabuddin
http://www.timesnow.tv/NewsDtls.aspx?NewsID=32332
3/17/2009 9:19:30 AM
The Patna High Court is expected to announce its verdict on two interlocutory applications of Mohammad Shahabuddin today (March 17). The controversial MP from Siwan, who is currently serving life term for kidnapping and murder has sought bail and suspension of a lower court order in a kidnap and murder case.A division bench of the High court had reserved its order on the high-profile MP’s pleas on Monday after hearing the arguments of both sides. All eyes will be on the Court’s verdict because if Shahabuddin’s sentence is suspended, then it would pave the way for several other convicted politicials to walk freely in society.To add to his Shahabuddin’s woes, he now faces another case regarding violation of prison laws, three days after Rs 13,000 were found on him during a raid on Siwan jail.A case has been filed against Shahabuddin under section 616(1) (a) of the jail manual by Siwan jail Superintendent Ansar Ahmed against Shahabuddin in the court of Chief Judicial Magistrate, B D Pandey following seizure of the money. Shahabuddin was sentenced to life imprisonment on May 8, 2007 for kidnapping and murder of CPI(ML) activist Chote Lal Gupta on February 7, 1999.

Supreme Court judges ready to declare assets, but with riders
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/75641.htm
Mar 17th, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, March 17 (IANS) Judges of the Supreme Court are not opposed to declaring their assets but the information should not be misused and should be kept out of the ambit of the Right to Information Act (RTI) act, Additional Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati told the Delhi High Court Tuesday.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by the apex court challenging a Central Information Commission (CIC) order directing that the assets of the judges be made public.
Vahanvati argued the matter before Justice S. Ravinder Bhat, who slated the matter for further arguments March 24.
Vahanvati said: “Declaration of assets by judges to the CJI are personal information which cannot be revealed under the present RTI and the same should be amended accordingly.”
He, however, had made it clear that the judges are not opposed to declaring their assets but there is no legal obligation to do so.
“It is submitted that the information which is sought (pertaining to judges assets) is purely and simply personal information, the disclosure of which has no relationship to any public activity,” he said.
The voluntary declaration given by the judges cannot be said to be information in public domain, he added.
The seven-page affidavit was filed in response to a reply of an RTI applicant who said that all information given to the CJI comes within the public domain and he cannot be denied such information.
The apex court had said that the resolution passed by its judges pertaining to declaration of assets is not binding by law.
“The said resolution dated May 7, 1997, does not have force of law. In these circumstances, the RTI applicant has no right to access information as such information is not held by any public authority under any law,” the affidavit said.
“It is submitted that the voluntary declaration made are outside the purview of the RTI Act.
The Delhi High Court had Jan 19 stayed the order of the CIC that the office of the CJI comes within the ambit of the RTI Act and information given to the chief justice has to be revealed to the RTI applicant.
The petition was filed by the chief public information officer of the Supreme Court challenging the Jan 6 order of the CIC.

PR withdraws petition for common symbol
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/18/stories/2009031850410100.htm
Legal Correspondent
Party leadership exploring, with renewed vigour, several options available
PR in search of a party that would allow use of its symbol: Mitra
Praja Rajyam challenged constitutional validity of the rules
HYDERABAD: In a surprise development, the Praja Rajyam withdrew the case it filed in the A.P. High Court seeking a common symbol for its candidates for the ensuing Lok Sabha and Assembly elections.
Vedula Venkata Ramana, counsel for the petitioner, informed a bench comprising Justice B. Prakasha Rao and Justice Bhavani Prasad on Tuesday that his client had asked not to press the writ petition.
The Praja Rajyam had challenged the constitutional validity of the rules stipulating that only those political parties which contest in one general election and get six per cent of the votes polled and, in addition, win at least two Assembly seats will be eligible for allotment of an exclusive common symbol in the next elections.
The Election Commission had rejected the PR’s application seeking allotment of a common symbol for its candidates.
Following this, the party approached the High Court which sent the matter back to the EC asking to reconsider the issue. As the Commission rejected the plea, the party filed the present writ petition.
Any party can get itself registered and its candidates be allotted symbol from among the free symbols available.
As per the provisions of the symbols order, the candidates of the recognized parties will get exclusive symbol. The PR wanted this status which the Commission was not willing to confer.
Special Correspondent adds: After withdrawing its case, the Praja Rajyam leadership began exploring with renewed vigour several options available for it, in its quest for a common symbol. These include moving the Supreme Court seeking a direction to the EC and sharing a symbol with a recognised party outside the State.
Divergent views
Party general secretary Parakala Prabhakar described the decision as “a strategic withdrawal”.
He said “we are fully confident that our candidates will contest the elections on a common symbol and are hopeful that justice will be delivered to us”.
Another general secretary P. Mitra admitted that the party was in search of a recognised party that would allow its symbol to be used by the Praja Rajyam.

Notice to KPTC on interrupted power
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Notice-to-KPTC-on-interrupted-power/articleshow/4278773.cms
17 Mar 2009, 2357 hrs IST
Bangalore: A division Bench has ordered notice to KPTC and the government on PIL filed by a city advocate, seeking a direction to the authorities to ensure uninterrupted power supply this summer. “Children have to face examinations in March and April, but unscheduled load shedding is continuing. The authorities are not adhering to the principles laid down in the Electricity Act, 2003 and Rules, 2005,” G R Mohan stated in his petition. “While the power availability is 110 mu, the power minister is giving false information to the public by saying the shortfall is just 9 mu,” he said.

CJ leads speedy disposal of bail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/CJ-leads-speedy-disposal-of-bail/articleshow/4278770.cms
17 Mar 2009, 2358 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE : In a special drive to prevent pendency of cases, the high court on Tuesday disposed of numerous bail applications out of around 300 petitions in a record time. Each bail plea was dealt with in about 30 seconds. Chief Justice P D Dinakaran himself disposed of 46 cases in 20 minutes by granting bail (some conditional) in all of them. The rapid-fire sequence went something like this: What is the charge (section)? What stage is the trial? Completed or not? Chargesheet has been filed? Final report submitted. Bail granted. The cases were marginal and some pertained to charges of rape, theft, murder and dacoity, including Vasanth Salian, accused in the Chemmanur Jewellers dacoity case. The chief justice and five judges heard these cases between 4 and 4.45 pm. No loudspeakers in parks, playgrounds The high court passed an injunction order related to giving permission for using sound systems, loudspeakers and playing music in public parks and playgrounds maintained by the BBMP. The division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran passed this order after hearing PIL filed by former city police commissioner and ex-MP P Kodandaramaiah and JP Nagar Nagarika Vedike secretary B S Kumaraswamy. The court also ordered notices to BBMP commissioner, Bescom and city police commissioner. Contempt plea filed over BBMP polls Former city mayor P R Ramesh once again moved the high court by filing a contempt petition seeking action against chief secretary Sudhakar Rao and state election commissioner M R Hegde. “The high court had given three months on the first occasion by its order on July 2, 2008. But the authorities violated it and sought 144 days. Then the court gave further four months as last chance by its order November 10 order. “That deadline has expired and the authorities are in no mood to hold the BBMP elections. The administrator appointed on November 23 is still continuing although there is no provision to continue the administrator for this long. “The authorities have wilfully disobeyed the court’s directive and are indulging in pushing through projects worth Rs 1,000 crores without having an elected BBMP,” the former mayor stated in his petition. Ramesh also sent a letter to the President seeking President’s Rule in the state, citing flouting of court orders by the B S Yeddyurappa-led government. BBMP commissioner summoned The high court has told the BBMP commissioner to appear in court on Wednesday with documents related to the tender process for gantries and structured signboards in the city. The court pulled up the BBMP, saying that neither in the Act nor in the by-laws is there any provision for erecting gantries. Messrs Greenline, which has invested in the pilot project for gantries, challenged the tender notification of February 27. Action ordered over gutkha A division Bench directed the authorities concerned to take action against Messrs Dhariwal Industries under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and the Tobacco Products Act. Tested samples of RMD Gutkha contained more than the specified amount of magnesium carbonate. Notice to state and Centre A division Bench ordered notices to the state government and the Centre on petition filed by the Coorg Wildlife Society and Kaveri Sene, challenging felling of 144 trees for undertaking a 10-MW mini hydel power project in forest area.

Housing scam: Deepak Kumar to file PIL against DDA, Delhi Police
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/housing-scam-deepak-kumar-to-file-pil-against-dda-delhi-police/435788/
Neeraj Chauhan
Posted: Mar 18, 2009 at 0025 hrs IST
New Delhi Deepak Kumar, the whistleblower in the multi-crore DDA Housing Scheme 2008 scam who later turned out to be one of the main accused in the case, is going to file a PIL in the Delhi High Court on Wednesday seeking action against the Delhi Police and the DDA.
Jinendra Jain, Kumar’s counsel, said they will demand action against those who did not act on Kumar’s complaints before the DDA announced the result of the draw for 5,238 flats.
Kumar filed the first complaint with the police commissioner, DDA Commissioner (Housing) and the Paschim Vihar police station on October 31, informing them of the fraud. “We are not saying that any benefit should be given to Deepak but when he had filed a complaint, the draw could have been stopped if the DDA and the Delhi Police had acted earlier. It would not have led to the loss of crores for several lakh applicants,” Jain said.
Kumar was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing on January 11 for helping the other accused, Laxmi Narain Meena, Vijay Kumar and M L Gautam, a former DDA employee, in the fraud.
Jain alleged that if the authorities had acted on time the scam would not have taken place. “Deepak was arrested because somebody wanted to halt the investigations,” he alleged.
“Before the whole scam came to notice in December, Deepak had already filed complaints on October 31, November 5, November 10 and two more in December. But the police and DDA officials were not keen to take up his complaints. Now, we want action against those seven to eight officers who did not want this fraud to be investigated. We want to know why any action was not taken against the real beneficiaries,” Jain said.
Kumar had also complained that he was receiving threatening calls from two property dealers. Jain said he would be attaching all the complaints filed by Kumar to the PIL.

Obscene SMS Case Court pulls up police, VC http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090318/himachal.htm#5
Lalit MohanTribune News Service
Dharamsala, March 17Taking suo motu notice of a report published in these columns on February 25 regarding the SMS case in Palampur Agriculture University, the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Kangra, at Dharamsala JK Sharma has pulled up the police and university authorities.
In a judgment passed today the CJM has decided to monitor the investigation in the case. He has directed the investigating officer concerned to file a weekly report of investigation in the court till challan is filed before the judicial magistrate at Palampur.
Serving a reprimand on the vice-chancellor of the university the CJM has held that record shows that certain girl students made a written complaint that was received by the vice-chancellor on November 18, 2008. Subsequent complaint was made on February 3, 2009. However, no action was taken by the VC that shows indifferent attitude on his part towards the problem being faced by girl students.
The vice-chancellor should have acted in a fair manner and tried to see that girl students are not harassed in any manner. The VC should have reported the matter against the head of the department to the police, instead of trying to shield him. Therefore, inaction on the part of the VC has to be depreciated in strongest words.
The court has also pulled up the police authorities for not registering the FIR in a cognizable offence (allegedly sending obscene SMS to girl students). As per the order in Lalita Kumari Vs Govt. of UP case, the Supreme Court on July 14, 2008 has given clear directions to all states and union territories that a CJM or metropolitan magistrate will initiate action against the police officers who fail to register FIR in such cases.
The court has also observed that the FIR in matter was registered under Section 354 of IPC after the court sought information from the VC and the SHO on the basis of this newspaper report. Both the above authorities tried to hush up the matter as FIR was registered just under Section 354 of the IPC and accused was bailed out. The court later asked the investigating officer why action was not taken under Section 67 of the IT act to which state had no answer. Today the SHO who was present in the court stated that action under the said IT act was being taken.
The VC through the registrar has also been directed to circulate the copies of judgment among the girl students and hostel wardens. The girl students, including day scholars, will also be intimated by the registrar that if they have any complaint of criminal misbehavior they will be free to report the matter directly to police or to the court.
The matter pertains to alleged sending of an obscene SMS by a head of the department of Palampur Agriculture University. He is now under suspension.

Ragging case: Cong seeks judicial probe http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090318/himachal.htm#5
Tribune News Service
Shimla, March 17Building further pressure on the government on the Aman Kachru ragging murder issue, the state Congress today asserted that the magisterial inquiry will not serve the purpose and demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident.
General Secretary of the party Sukhwinder Singh said that as per available information the victim had informed the college principal and the local administration that he was being harassed 12 days before the incident but no action was taken in the matter. The authorities woke up only after Aman died after being beaten up by the seniors. It was a case of “administrative breakdown” for which the government was equally responsible.
The unfortunate incident, which prompted the Supreme Court to intervene, had lowered the image of the peaceful hill state and dealt a serious blow to the plan of the government to make the state an education hub of the country.
He said good governance had been the main casualty under Chief Minister PK Dhumal who had failed to provide clean, transparent and performing government. It was functioning only in the media and had nothing to show on the ground to back its claims on the development front. He said the popularity graph of the BJP had nose-dived rather fast and it would reflect in the ensuing Lok Sabha poll.
Regarding the delay in finalisation of party nominee form Hamirpur seat he said that there was no controversy and all the party men would strive for the victory of whosever was given ticket by the high command. He said anyone who was a member of the party had the right to seek ticket but the final decision rested with the high command.
Replying to a question he said no one was invincible and P.K.Dhumal himself lost the 1996 Lok Sabha polls from the seat. His son would meet the same fate in the ensuing election as people wanted to teach a lesson to the BJP.

Law alone may not help end ragging, say academics http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090318/himachal.htm#5
Rakesh LohumiTribune News Service
Shimla, March 17Enacting an anti-ragging law will not help put an end to the menace of ragging in educational institutions unless other factors responsible for vitiating the academic atmosphere are taken care of.
There are several other aspects of the problem which create ideal environs for seniors to torment the juniors. The use of drugs and liquor has become common and there is no effective check on such undesirable activities within the campuses. Almost all serious incidents of ragging and violence on the campus involve students who were in the state of intoxication.
The secluded locations away form the main towns, where most of the institutions have come up in recent years provide conducive environment for drug peddlers and liquor smugglers who are on the look out for young boys and girls. The fact that as most of the institutions lack basic facilities like eating joints and shopping complexes make the students dependent on dhabas and tea shops which come up in the periphery within no time.
Liquor and drugs are freely available at such dhabhas and the management could not do anything as they are located outside the campus, laments director of a well-established professional institution in Solan district. As anti-social elements also converge on such joints it becomes more of a law and order problem the impact of which is felt inside the campus. Once under the influence of drugs or liquor the students could do anything. Proper policing around the instutions is the only solution but the responsibility rests with the administration, he points out.
Such problems emerge as the safety and security of students is not taken into consideration while setting up institutions and it is hardly surprising that most of the new institutions are coming up at most inconvenient and unsafe location from the students’ point of view. Even the police and administration is not in position to keep a regular watch on the happening around the campuses.
A senior professor of the local Indira Gandhi Medical College, however, maintains that the main reason behind the failure to curb ragging is that the managements usually succumb to pressure from various quarters, particularly politicians, and show leniency. The offenders are more often than not let off with light punishment. It only emboldens the wrong doers who know that they could get away with anything. The woes of the new entrants could be mitigated if the freshers’ party is held within the first week and they were introduced to seniors in the presence of the faculty, he suggests.

Magisterial probe to be over by March 26 http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090318/himachal.htm#5
Our Correspondent
Kangra, March 17Additional District Magistrate Sandeep Kumar, who is the inquiry officer in the Aman Kachroo alleged ragging murder case, today assured that as on now the magisterial inquiry would be completed within the stipulated time frame and the report may submitted to the government by March 25 or 26 if there was no delay in deposition by some important witness in this case.
He was talking to the mediapersons at Tanda today. He said former principal of the college Dr Suresh Sankiyian, present prinicpal Dr Anil Chouhan, suspended hostel warden Dr Bansal, the doctor who conducted the postmortem and the SHO deposed before him. He said Dr Rajinder Kachroo, father of the victim Aman Kachroo, has been asked to depose before him in person or through mail on March 20.
Meanwhile, the students and the faculty members of Dr RP Government Medical College (DRPGMC), Tanda, today took a pledge to make the college ragging free and paid tributes to Aman Staya Kachroo, 1st year student who died allegedly of ragging on March 8.
Rajesh Sharma, president, Teachers Association, TMC, read out the pledge which was followed by the students and the faculty members. Earlier Dr. Parveen Sharma delivered speech on the concept of ‘ ‘Sankalapa’ and its implementation for the betterment of the self and society as per the guidelines of Bhagwat Geeta. Prinicpal Dr Anil Chouhan and medical superintendent Dr Bhano Awasthi headed the faculty members while taking the pledge. They took the pledge to make the DRPGMC to ‘Zero Ragging Campus’.

Maytas fails to reach financial closure; seeks extension
http://www.livemint.com/2009/03/17224812/Maytas-fails-to-reach-financia.html
Maytas Infra owns 26% in the consortium, Nava Bharat Ventures, 16%, while IL&FS and Ital-Thai hold 5% each
C. R. Sukumar
Hyderabad: Aconsortium headed by Maytas Infra Ltd has failed to achieve financial closure for the Rs12,312 crore Hyderabad Metro Rail project and has sought an extension for the same from the Andhra Pradesh (AP) government in a move that is as much a reflection of the fate of any company looking to raise money in a market strapped for cash as it is of Maytas’ provenance.
Maytas Infra is promoted and headed by B. Teja Raju, the elder son of B. Ramalinga Raju, the jailed founder of scandal-scarred software firm Satyam Computer Services Ltd, who admitted to have fudged the accounts of the software firm to the tune of Rs7,136 crore over several years.
The metro project was awarded on 8 August 2008 to the Maytas-led consortium that includes Hyderabad-based ferro alloys and power producer Nava Bharat Ventures Ltd, infrastructure lending firm Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Ltd (IL&FS) and Thailand’s civil infrastructure firm Italian-Thai Development Public Co. Ltd (Ital Thai). According to the original agreement, Tuesday was the last day to achieve financial closure.
C.V.S.K. Sarma, the chairman of Hyderabad Metro Rail Ltd and the state’s principal secretary, municipal administration confirmed that the government has received a letter seeking an extension from Maytas and said, “We are examining it.”
According to an official of Hyderabad Metro Rail who did not want to be identified, the government will take a decision on an extension after discussing the issue with legal experts, especially because the state goes to the polls next month. Apart from not seeking to displease the electorate before the elections, governments also need to ensure they do not flout the Election Commission’s code of conduct on policy decisions. The official added that Hyderabad Metro Rail’s board would meet on Wednesday to discuss the issue.
This official, however, added that the original agreement provided for a 120-day extension to the consortium if it failed to achieve financial closure within the stipulated 180 days. In return, the consortium would have to pay every day after the deadline, 1% of the bank guarantee of Rs240 crore. This amount—Rs24 lakh a day—will have to be paid till financial closure is achieved. Interestingly, the consortium has not met the Tuesday deadline of furnishing the bank guarantee of Rs240 crore and has sought extension on that front as well, according to Maytas Infra spokesperson Anil Uttarwar.
“Since we were unable to achieve the financial closure within the stipulated time, we have sought an extension from the AP government for financial closure,” the Maytas Infra chief financial officer V.V. Rama Raju told Mint.
Maytas Infra owns 26% in the consortium, Nava Bharat Ventures, 16%, while IL&FS and Ital-Thai hold 5% each. The government plans to take a 11% stake in the project, while 37% will be parcelled off among financial partners expected to buy into the project.
The consortium had offered to pay around Rs30,311 crore to Andhra Pradesh as revenue over 35 years, which was one of the key reasons for the government awarding the project to it. Another factor that worked in favour of the consortium was its refusal to take the financial assistance offered by central government to the tune of around Rs1,639 crore as so-called viability gap funding.
Rama Raju said representatives of the consortium members were currently in discussions with the state government. The consortium, in a statement, blamed global recession and the credit squeeze in national and international capital markets for its troubles.
Uttarwar claimed that despite not being able to achieve financial closure, the consortium has made some progress in the project; these include completion of topographic surveys, alignment designs, architectural layouts of stations and preliminary designs for civil works, and the appointment of consultants for engineering, project management and traffic management.
Insisting that Maytas Infra was unable to achieve financial closure for the Machilipatnam port project as well, C. Ramchandriah, convener of Citizens for Better Public Transport (CBPT), a non-profit organization, asked the government to scrap the metro rail project. CBPT had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Andhra Pradesh high court on 26 August last year seeking to stay the project as it did not have the required environment clearances.
While Uttarwar blamed the public interest litigation for some of the company’s ills, Ramchandriah said this was unlikely to be the case.
Uttarwar said “the ongoing PIL is having an extremely deleterious effect on our ability to achieve the financial closure.” Ramchandraiah said “It appears (to be) only a pretext since there was no stay granted by the high court, which only served notices on all the parties and there is no progress on the case. How will this deter the ability of Maytas consortium to achieve financial closure?”
Maytas Infra had come under the scanner of regulators and government departments investigating Satyam. Several of its board members resigned and the company lost a few contracts awarded to it previously. They have been cancelled by the awarding companies and local governments.
Lenders to Maytas, IL&FS, Sicom Ltd and IFCI Ltd acquired around a 30% stake in the company through invocation of shares pledged by some shareholders. These lenders subsequently approached the ministry of corporate affairs, seeking reconstitution of the infrastructure firm’s board of directors.
Following this, the ministry asked the Company Law Board (CLB) to dissolve the board of Maytas entities. Rejecting this plea, CLB allowed the government to appoint four nominees on the company’s board. The government has already appointed two of these.
Shares of Maytas Infra gained 2.41% to close at Rs33.95 each on the Bombay Stock Exchange, on a day that saw the exchange’s benchmark index losing 0.89% to end at 8,864 points. The company had reported Rs1,660.15 crore in revenue and a net profit of Rs99.99 crore for the year ended March 2008.

HC directs state to inspect Apna Ghar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-directs-state-to-inspect-Apna-Ghar/articleshow/4284228.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0150 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday granted a time period of three weeks to advocate general of the state Subodh Kantak and advocate S D Padiyar to conduct an inspection of the conditions at Apna Ghar. The court was hearing a suo motu petition regarding the unhygienic conditions which children at the Apna Ghar are forced to live in. The court had taken a story published in the The Times of India’ issue dated October 22, 2008, along with a report of the principal district and sessions judge, Panaji, as a public interest litigation. The court had appointed advocate S D Padiyar as amicus curiae in the matter for assisting the court. When the petition came up for hearing on Wednesday, Padiyar told the court that he wanted to pay a visit to Apna Ghar in order to ascertain the ground reality. Subsequently a division Bench comprising Justices P B Majmudar and U D Salvi opined that the advocate general should also accompany the amicus and fixed the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

Hasten Blueline end, HC to government
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Hasten-Blueline-end-HC-to-government/articleshow/4284029.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0632 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government to fastrack its phasing out of Bluelines. Though, a division bench comprising Chief Justice AP Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna also admitted that mere shelving of Bluelines would not solve traffic ills plaguing the city unless there was strict monitoring and regulation of traffic. “Traffic problem is prevalent in every big city but seems to be most acute in Delhi,” the bench remarked while hearing the Bluelines accident case. Meanwhile, the city government urged HC to permit it to extend temporary permits of four months for Bluelines as it awaits their replacement buses to be inducted. This is the fourth time such an extension has been sought. On HC’s query about the status of new purchases, the government said about 1,500 more low-floor DTC buses would ply on the city roads by September this year to help ease public transport. Appearing for the government, counsel Mukta Gupta reeled out statistics on the government’s purchases. “The government has placed an order for 2,500 low-floor buses. Out of which about 1,500 would be supplied by the companies (875 from TATA and 625 from Ashok Leyland) before September this year, ” she said. She added that the process for installation of Global Positioning System (GPS) is also being carried out. Regarding the corporatization of state carriages, the counsel said the government has opened the tender for the first cluster and the process would be completed soon. Appearing on behalf of the Centre, lawyer P P Malhotra informed the court that government would soon complete drafting of a comprehensive scheme for disbursement of compensation money to accident victims. Taking suo motu cognizance of recurring accidents by blueline buses, the court had in October 2007 directed the government to frame new guidelines and phase out all blueline buses from city roads.

Batla House encounter: Govt under HC pressure to hold inquiry
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/3D2488164B62B45F6525757D0061DED4?OpenDocument

New Delhi, Mar 18 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today indicated that it could direct the National Human Rights Commission to conduct an inquiry into the Batla House encounter if government refused to follow the commission’s guidelines of holding magisterial inquiry in such cases.A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that Batla House encounter case stands on different footing as compared to the Mumbai terror attacks and government’s reluctance to follow NHRC’s guidelines would undermine the commission.”No one would say that the terrorists killed in 26/11 (Mumbai terror attacks) died in an encounter. We won’t like to direct investigation in the case but we have an option to direct the commission to conduct an inquiry in the case,” the court said when the NHRC pleaded that it is mandatory to conduct magisterial inquiry when people are killed in a police encounter.”There would be a serious problem if it (following guidelines) is left to the discretion of government authority,” the court said, adding “It would undermine the role of the commission.” The court, however, did not pass any order even as the city government pleaded its ignorance about the commission’s guidelines on the inquiry aspect. PTI

Bombay HC orders demolition of all illegal Yeoor bungalows by Apr 15 http://www.zeenews.com/states/2009-03-18/515913news.html
Mumbai

, March 18: There are still 117 illegal constructions on the Yeoor hill in neighbouring Thane district, the Bombay High Court was informed on Wednesday. According to the Thane Municipal Corporation, 39 bungalows have been demolished so far. Nineteen of them were demolished after a PIL raised the issue. Division bench of Justices J N Patel and V K Tahilramani today said that corporation should cut off the power and water supply to illegal bungalows, and demolition drive must be continued. A PIL filed by four local tribals claimed that some 250 bungalows had come up on the hill, in clear violation of the law which says that tribal land cannot be purchased. According to advocate Suhas Oak, the petitioners’ lawyer, all the prominent politicians in Thane, including many corporators, and several government officials had bungalows there. Petition alleged that Land Revenue Code bars sale of tribal land, and if such a sale occurs, government has to take over the land and restore it to original tribal owner. The court has now asked Thane collector and chief conservator of forest of the concerned area to file affidavits by April 15, giving details of the lands owned by tribals and the lands under the forest cover. Bureau Report

Lawyers stir: Madras HC suspends two top police officials
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903182031.htm
Chennai (PTI): A month after violent clashes between police and lawyers inside the Madras High Court premises, a three-judge bench of the Court today ordered suspension of two top city police officials and asked the striking advocates to call off their agitation and return to courts.
The bench, comprising Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice K Chandru, held that prima facie a case had been made out to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Additional Commissioner of Police A K Vishwanathan and then Joint Commissioner of Police (North) M Ramasubramani.
“They were the persons who were at the helm of affairs and under whose direct supervision the operation was carried out,” the bench said. The lawyers were demanding action against DGP and Chennai city Police Commissioner.
The Bench also came down heavily on lawyers for their state-wide boycott of courts following the February 19 clash.
“It is needless to say that the lawyers have no right to strike, ie to abstain from appearing in the courts in cases in which they hold vakalats for the parties,” the Bench said.
It was below the dignity, honour and status of the members of the noble profession of law to organise and participate in strike though, “it is open to the lawyers to adopt some other mode of protest without interrupting or disrupting the court proceedings or adversely affecting interests of litigants. We therefore ask the associations and Bar Council to recall their strike forthwith and resume work”, the Bench said.

Madras HC orders suspension of two top police officials
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903181732.htm
Chennai (PTI): The Madras High Court on Wednesday ordered suspension of two top police officials over the February 19 lawyers-police clash inside the Court premises in which several advocates and police personnel, besides a judge were injured.
The court ordered suspension of then Joint Commissioner of Police (North) M Ramasubrmani, who was transferred last month following the incident, and Additional Commissioner of Police A K Viswanathan.
A bench, comprising Justices S K Mukhopadhaya, V Dhanapalan and K Chandru, gave the order.
A bloody clash broke out between lawyers and police on February 19 inside the Madras High court premises which witnessed stone-pelting incidents and lathicharge by police.

Batla House encounter: Govt under HC pressure to hold inquiry

http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/526700/EthicsAndLaw/7/20/7
Published: March 18,2009

New Delhi
The Delhi High Court today indicated that it could direct the National Human Rights Commission to conduct an inquiry into the Batla House encounter if government refused to follow the commission’s guidelines of holding magisterial inquiry in such cases.
A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna said that Batla House encounter case stands on different footing as compared to the Mumbai terror attacks and government’s reluctance to follow NHRC’s guidelines would undermine the commission.
“No one would say that the terrorists killed in 26/11 ( Mumbai terror attacks) died in an encounter. We wont like to direct investigation in the case but we have an option to direct the commission to conduct an inquiry in the case,” the court said when the NHRC pleaded that it is mandatory to conduct magisterial inquiry when people are killed in a police encounter.
There would be a serious problem if it (following guidelines) is left to the discretion of government authority,” the court said, adding”It would undermine the role of the commission.”We are not shying away from holding inquiry but it is for the first time that it has come up that inquiry in such cases is mandatory,” advocate Mukta Gupta, appearing for the government, pleaded and placed before the court a letter written by the commission which said that the investigation can be conducted by any senior officer.
The bench, however, was not convinced by her reply and said that guidelines are very clear on this regard.”You are confusing us between the guidelines and letter written by the commission,” the court said, adding” There would be a serious problem if it (following guidelines) is left to the discretion of the government authority.”
The NHRC also contended that a magisterial inquiry?”must invariably”?be held in all cases of deaths which occur in the course of police action and no exception should be made in this case.
Earlier, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor had refused to allow inquiry in the case.?
Source: PTI

Missing baby case: HC directs municipal corporation to deposit Rs 5lakh
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Missing-baby-case-HC-directs-municipal-corporation-to-deposit-Rs-5lakh/articleshow/4282193.cms
18 Mar 2009, 1557 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to deposit Rs five lakh with the registrar general of the court in the Sion hospital
missing baby case. Court’s direction came after municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak denied the responsibility to pay compensation in affidavit. The registrar will invest the amount in fixed deposit and monthly interest will be paid to Mohan and Mohini Nerurkar, whose baby-boy was stolen from government-run Sion hospital on January 1. Nerurkars moved high court after police failed in tracing the unidentified woman, who stole the two-day-old boy. Earlier, division bench of Justices Bilal Nazki and A R Joshi had asked how much compensation the corporation was ready to pay to the parents for the lax security at hospital. Phatak has said in the affidavit filed today that corporation was not liable to pay as such a precedent will encourage bogus thefts of children. “Precedent of payment of compensation can encourage consensual temporary thefts through friends or relatives with a view to claim compensation,” affidavit said. It also said that if MCGM is liable to pay for child’s theft, then “by the same logic” it will be liable to pay for thefts of watches or cellphones too.

Tourism association moves HC over garbage issue
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Tourism-association-moves-HC-over-garbage-issue/articleshow/4279002.cms
18 Mar 2009, 0518 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG) of Goa has now approached the high court of Bombay at Goa complaining that the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has not been collecting the garbage generated by the various hotels in the capital city. Senior advocate Atmaram Nadkarni appearing for the petitioners told the court that the garbage is not being collected by the CCP and is posing a potential health hazard for the residents of Panaji. When the petition came up for hearing on Tuesday, advocate Agnelo Diniz appearing for the CCP told the court that he had not received any instructions from his clients regarding the matter and prayed that the matter may be kept on March 19. Subsequently the court has adjourned the matter to March 19 for further hearing.

Justice Bannurmath sworn in as Kerala HC CJ
http://keralaonline.com/news/justice-bannurmath-sworn-kerala-hc-cj_26126.html
Thiruvananthapuram, Wednesday, March 18, 2009: Justice SR Banoormath, senior most judge of Karnataka High Court was sworn in as the new Kerala High Court Chief Justice today by Governor RS Gavai.
Born on January 23rd 1948, Justice Bannurmath was enrolled as an advocate on July 28th 1973. He practiced in the Karnataka High Court and Supreme Court before he was appointed as an additional judge of Karnataka High Court on June 11, 1977, and permanent on June 3 1999.

Mizoram CM ready to accept judgement on corruption cases

http://www.samaylive.com/news/mizoram-cm-ready-to-accept-judgement-on-corruption-cases/614390.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Thu, 19 Mar 2009 at 02:20 IST
F Prev Next L
Aizawl, Mar 18 : Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla today told the state assembly that he would accept the judgement on the corruption cases pending against him.While reacting to Opposition member’s allegations, Lal Thanhawla said, “I accept that the law should take its own course.” However, he said the graft charges initiated by a church leader and senior politician, who submitted Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against him in the Supreme Court, has never been a matter of concern.”I am ready to accept any kind of orders the presiding judge on the case may pass,” Thanhawla said.In his supplementary question, former minister and Opposition Mizo National Front (MNF) member B Lalthlengliana asked whether the public prosecutor and five assistant public prosecutors were sacked to ensure that the graft case against chief minister was tried in the absence of government advocates appointed by previous MNF government.”Is it legal to dismiss the case even before hearing in the court of law?” Lalthlengliana asked.State Law Minister Lalsawta, however, replied that the public prosecutors and government advocates were not government servants and it is mandatory that they should resign if there is a change of government.

Two top Chennai policemen suspended over attack on lawyers (Lead)
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/76227.htm
Mar 18th, 2009 By Sindh Today
Chennai, March 18 (IANS) The Tamil Nadu government Wednesday suspended two senior police officials for their role in the clashes with lawyers a month ago, but some advocates expressed dissatisfaction over the move terming it as “too little, too late”, while a lawyers’ association said they were happy and would attend the courts from Monday.
The bench comprising former chief justice S. Mukhopadhyay, V. Dhanapalan and K. Chandru also asked the agitating advocates to return to work immediately.
A government source said police officials A.K. Vishwanathan (additional commissioner of police) and J. Rama Subramani (former joint commissioner since transferred to Coimbatore) were being placed under suspension.
T. Mohan, an activist lawyer spearheading the movement against policemen, said they were unhappy with the action.
“Is this not too little too late? The Home Secretary (S. Malathy) admitted on record that Vishwanathan was in charge until Commissioner (K.) Radhakrishnan arrived on the scene Feb 19.
“Not only Vishwanathan but Director General of Police (K.P.) Jain, Additional DGP (Law and Order) T. Rajendran and Radhakrishnan ought to have been suspended and arrested for masterminding the predetermined attack on lawyers,” Mohan told IANS.
“The lawyers’ struggle for justice will not yield or lie dormant until all the guilty police officers are brought to book and pay the penalty for the assault on the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law,” Mohan added.
Many lawyers expressed happiness with the move and said their protest rally Thursday would turn into one of celebrating “a well-earned triumph of law and justice”.
“It is a well-earned triumph for justice, law and democracy. From now on police officials will think twice before breaking the law anywhere – especially within the precincts of the Madras High Court. Heeding the judges’ request to return to work, most of us would be attending courts from Monday,” S. Prabhakaran, former president of the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association, told reporters.
“Our rally tomorrow (Thursday) will be peaceful,” Prabhakaran told IANS.
Meanwhile, sources in the Central Bureau of Investigation probing the clashes told IANS on condition of anonymity that First Information Reports accusing at least 30 advocates and over 11 police officials are “almost ready”.
“Though the court has slammed policemen, the fact remains that lawyers too were at fault. After all, many were seen on television vandalising vehicles and many took part in the burning down of the police station. The FIR is almost ready,” the source told IANS.
Commissioner of Police K. Radhakrishnan told the court in an affidavit that Vishwanathan and Subramani were responsible for ordering baton charge on lawyers twice in the high court premises without proper authorisation Feb 19.
The violence had resulted in injuries to over 50 lawyers and a judge and led to destruction of public property, including government and private vehicles, and the burning of a police station within the precincts of the Madras High Court.
Retired Supreme Court judge B.N. Srikrishna had blamed the lawyers and police officials in his interim report submitted to the apex court. But advocates in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry rejected the report. Work in courts has come to a halt since February.
[SU]

Truth as defence
http://mktayal.blogspot.com/2009/03/truth-as-defence.html
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
FRONTLINE – Article on the story on Ex CJI Y K Sabharwal
Volume 24 – Issue 20 :: Oct. 06-19, 2007
Truth as defenceV. VENKATESAN in New Delhi
IN 2006, Parliament amended the Contempt of Courts Act (CCA) to introduce Section 13(b), which states: “The courts may permit, in any proceedings for contempt of court, justification by truth as a valid defence if it is satisfied that it is in public interest and the request for invoking the said defence is bona fide.” The object of this amendment was to introduce fairness in procedure and meet the requirements of Article 21 of the Constitution, which guarantees that no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law.The amendment failed to achieve its object when the Delhi High Court Bench comprising Justices R.S. Sodhi and B.N. Chaturvedi found three journalists and the publisher of Mid-Day, Delhi’s afternoon daily, guilty of contempt of court, and sentenced them to four months’ imprisonment on September 21.The Bench found journalists M.K. Tayal and Vitusha Oberoi, cartoonist Md. Irfaan Khan, and publisher S.K. Akhtar guilty of contempt. In its view, they, in the garb of “scandalising” a retired Chief Justice of India through their publications, have, in fact, attacked the very institution of judiciary. The Bench arrived at this conclusion through convoluted reasoning and a procedure that is glaringly flawed.Mid-Day published on May 18 a story hinting that the sons of the former Chief Justice of India, Y.K. Sabharwal, benefited by the Judge’s orders directing the sealing of commercial properties in the residential areas of Delhi, and that the sons were operating their businesses from the Judge’s official residence. Irfaan Khan’s cartoon, which was carried in the daily on May 19, depicted Justice Sabharwal in his robes holding a bag bursting with currency. It also depicted a man sitting on the sidewalk saying, “Help! The mall is in your court.”In response to the notices issued to them by the Bench, the accused journalists claimed in their affidavits that whatever was published in Mid-Day about Justice Sabharwal was the truth, which is a permissible defence. They also contended that the stories carried in the daily focussed on the life of the former Chief Justice of India after he had left office and, therefore, could not be termed as denigrating the authority of the Supreme Court. They also argued, through their counsel Shanti Bhushan, that the Chief Justice ought not to have been on the Bench that passed orders concerning the sealing of properties in Delhi where non-conforming activities were going on and further that it was the duty of a journalist to expose corruption in the judiciary at the highest level. Shanti Bhushan also told the Bench that the material on record was ample proof that the sons of the former Chief Justice were beneficiaries of the sealings.Shanti Bhushan clarified to the Bench that he was not challenging the correctness of the order of the Supreme Court but the order of the former Chief Justice, who was the presiding member of the Bench and who, by his impropriety, passed orders sealing premises in which commercial activities were being conducted, in order to benefit his sons’ business.But these arguments failed to convince the High Court Bench. It appeared to the Bench, from the manner in which the entire incident has been projected, that the Supreme Court was portrayed by Mid-Day as having permitted itself to be led into fulfilling an ulterior motive of one of its members. “The nature of the revelations and the context in which they appear, though purporting to single out a former Chief Justice of India, tarnishes the image of the Supreme Court. It tends to erode the confidence of the general public in the institution itself. The Supreme Court sits in divisions and every order is that of a Bench. Imputing motive to its presiding member automatically sends a signal that the other members were dummies or were party to fulfil the ulterior design. This we find most disturbing,” the Bench said. Observers note that by no stretch of imagination can it be held that the Mid-Day stories on Justice Sabharwal suggested that other members of the Bench had connived at his “impropriety”.The Bench, as is clear from this order, did not find it necessary to consider truth as a defence while holding the journalists guilty of contempt. It may be of interest to point out that the amendment to the CCA providing for truth as a defence is by way of addition to Section 13, which says that contempt is not punishable in certain cases. In other words, the CCA envisages two types of offences of contempt of court: those which are punishable and those which are not. Section 13(a) says that no court shall impose a sentence under this Act for contempt of court unless it is satisfied that contempt is of such a nature that it substantially interferes or tends substantially to interfere with the due course of justice.During the arguments over the sentencing of the contemners on September 21, the counsel for the journalists again raised the plea of truth as a defence under Section 13(b) of the Act. The Bench, however, brushed aside the plea, asking “truth of what?” It is clear, therefore, that the Bench considered the case as one of punishable contempt. The Bench, however, failed to ensure that the requirements of the Act were met in letter and spirit.
The Bench obviously found the journalists guilty of contempt under Section 2c (i) of the Act. Under this section, “criminal contempt” is defined as the publication (whether by words, spoken or written, or by signs, or by visible representation, or otherwise) of any matter or the doing of any other act whatsoever which scandalises or tends to scandalise or lowers or tends to lower the authority of any court. Observers have pointed out that law has implicitly provided for truth as a defence under this section as it is only falsehood that can scandalise or lower the authority of any court.The procedural flaws in the case were substantial. One is about the High Court’s jurisdiction to entertain the case suo motu. It has exercised its jurisdiction under Article 215 of the Constitution. This Article says that every High Court shall be a court of record and shall have all the powers of such a court, including the power to punish for contempt of itself.Section 11 of the CCA says: “A High Court shall have jurisdiction to inquire into or try a contempt of itself or of any court subordinate to it, whether the contempt is alleged to have been committed within or outside the local limits of its jurisdiction, and whether the person alleged to be guilty of contempt is within or outside such limits.” Going by this provision, it is not clear how the High Court Bench considered the matter as falling within its jurisdiction, even though the contempt alleged is of the Supreme Court, which is not subordinate to it. Under Article 129, only the Supreme Court has the power to punish for contempt of itself.On September 28, the Supreme Court Bench comprising Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice P. Sathasivam admitted the appeals of the journalists concerned and stayed their sentence until the disposal of the case. On the directions of the Supreme Court, the High Court granted them bail on September 21. The Bench appointed senior counsel T.R. Andhyarujina amicus curiae and directed that the appeals be listed for hearing on January 16, 2008.The case has brought to the fore the effectiveness of the amendment incorporated in the CCA. The Bill on this amendment was cleared by a Parliamentary Standing Committee (12th Report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice) in August 2005.In its report, the Committee hoped that the higher judiciary would give due regard to this statutory provision (guaranteeing truth as defence), maintaining the principles of fairness and reasonableness it was known for. The Committee also believed that such procedure would give the contemner full opportunity to make his defence and ensure that the principle of natural justice was not violated.
More important, the Committee had recommended that the defence of truth be inserted as one of the exemptions or defences under Section 8 of CCA rather than under Section 13 because it felt it would give the contemner additional help in that he could defend himself on the grounds of truth. But the government did not accept this recommendation while enacting the Bill.The National Commission to Review the Working of the Constitution (NCRWC) recommended in 2002 an amendment of Article 19(2) of the Constitution to provide for defence of truth in contempt proceedings. The Commission took this view, considering the inherent powers derived by the Supreme Court and High Courts from Articles 129 and 215. The Commission had reasoned that a total embargo on truth as justification would be an unreasonable restriction on the freedom of speech and expression, which is guaranteed by Article 19(1)(a). The government, however, felt that a constitutional amendment for this purpose would be a time-consuming process, and thus opted to amend the Act.The question raised in legal circles is whether the journalists held guilty of contempt would have succeeded in establishing the truth of their allegations against Justice Sabharwal, even if the Delhi High Court had allowed truth as a defence during the proceedings against them.As Prashant Bhushan of the Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reforms (CJAR) told the Standing Committee: “If anybody does a story and even if he says it is bona fide, he may not be able to prove the truth of what he is saying. He may legitimately believe as true what he is saying. But he may not be able to prove in a court of law unless statutory investigation is made by the police agency and documents are seized.”The pressure mounting on the Chief Justice of India, Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, to constitute an inquiry into Mid-Day’s allegations against Justice Sabharwal – later authenticated by the CJAR’s painstaking documentation available on its website – thus makes sense.
Posted by Capt M K Tayal at 10:51 PM

Varun moves HC challenging FIR, alleges political conspiracy
http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/6E6738CA8F4277816525757E003B00B9?OpenDocument

Allahabad, Mar 19 (PTI) BJP leader Varun Gandhi, against whom a criminal case has been filed on the directive of the Election Commission over his anti-Muslim speeches, today moved the Allahabad High Court seeking quashing of the FIR which, he claimed, was a result of “a political conspiracy”.In his petition, 29-year-old Varun has challenged the FIR filed on March 17 at Barkheda Police Station under Sections 153 A (promoting enmity between different groups on ground of religion) and 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 125 of the Representation of the People Act.The grandson of former prime minister Indira Gandhi who is planning to make his electoral debut in the upcoming general elections as BJP candidate from Pilibhit alleged in his petition that the FIR, which was lodged nine days after he made the speeches, was “a part of a political conspiracy” to spoil his political career and tarnish his “secular image”.He has also alleged that the video footage of a public meeting, on the basis of which the Election Commission has taken the action, “has been tampered with” and did not contain his voice. PTI

Delhi HC: Desi viagra gets nodhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?ee1bac47-720a-423b-9eba-6a5998e07982

3/19/2009
The Delhi High Court allowed Kamagra, the desi version of the American-based anti-impotency drug, Viagra to continue sale of its products but with a changed colour and packaging.American multinational drug company Pfizer, which claimed to have spent millions of dollars on research and development of Viagra, approached the high court complaining that its brand name was being used by Ajanta Pharma and they were selling Kamagra, which is confusingly similar to Viagra.A division bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and S K Mishra allowed the settlement reached between both the pharma giants before Mr Amarjit Singh, appointed as mediator by the court. The counsel for Pfizer disputed this settlement but the court allowed the agreement reached between both the pharma giants thereby allowing Ajanta Pharma to continue to sell its products by changing the colour and packaging of Kamagra. The Court allowed the Pfizer to withdraw its suit, which was filed in 2001 against the Indian company, with a liberty to file a case if any fresh dispute arises.According to the agreement, the Indian version, which is about eight times cheaper than the American version, will now come in a green colour instead of the blue tablets earlier and with green outer packaging.Pfizer did not challenge the formulation of the Indian tablet as the active ingredient bulk drug, Sildenafil Citrate, is common in both the tablets and is easily available in India without violation of any law.The American company had challenged the trademark Kamagra, stating that it is phonetically similar to Viagra but Mr Y N Bhardwaj, lawyer for Ajanta Pharma, argued that Kamagra is Kama+gra.Kama, which is a Sanskrit word, and Agra also a Sanskrit word and is a suffix common to the pharma trade, thus Kamagra denotes the product.He further contended that ‘via’ is an English word and ‘gra’ is common to Pharma trade, thus no exclusivity can be associated with the trademark Viagra.A battery of lawyers, including Mr Bhardwaj, Mr Kamdar and Mr Rakesh Khanna appeared for the Indian company, while the American company was represented by lawyer Chander Lal. Similar suits are pending in the Delhi High Court.An interim injunction sought by Pfizer to restrain Indian companies from making their products was refused by the court on April 10, 2002.Earlier Pfizer took up the issue with Cadila in court on the basis of the trademark for the brand name Penegra. Penegra, as is clear, is deceptive and anyone will relate it to Viagra. Moreover, the Cadila product is reported to have a shape and look similar to Viagra.Since the Drugs Controller General Of India approved sildenafil citrate, many other Indian companies have brought out related versions. Anjanta Pharma has marketed Kamagra, Cipla has marketed Silagra and Sun Pharma has brought out Edegra. Other Indian brands with the gra suffix are Erix from Unichem, Androz from Torrent, and Caverta from Ranbaxy.UNI

HC notice on bad road
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-notice-on-bad-road/articleshow/4284388.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0440 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Following a plea highlighting the dismal condition of 17.5 km stretch of road from Pinjore to Maranwala near Baddi, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday issued notices to Haryana government and engineer-in-chief, PWD, for April 24. The petitioners, BBN Industries Association and Laghu Udyog Bharati (Himachal chapter), Baddi, had prayed for directions to repair, recarpet and widen the stretch from Pinjore to Maranwala, NH-21-A. The petitioner’s counsel Chetan Mittal said that dismal state of the stretch was causing massive traffic congestion and public inconvenience.

HC cancels admission of 150 MBBS students
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-cancels-admission-of-150-MBBS-students/articleshow/4284209.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0338 hrs IST, Abhinav Sharma, TNN
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday cancelled the admission of nearly 150 MBBS students
of Geetanjali Medical College, Udaipur and directed fresh counselling for the seats. It was found that all the seats of the private college were filled through management quota and no candidate who cleared the Rajasthan Pre-Medical Test-2008 managed to get admission, making the whole process illegal. The case was filed by Abhishek Saini, one of the successful RPMT candidates and 16 others. Justice Prem Shanker Asopa held that the counselling was unlawful as the same was not in consonance with the directives of the Supreme Court and guidelines of the Medical Council of India, which say that all the private medical colleges in the country are required to maintain a ratio of 85:15 for merit seats and management quota respectively. Delivering the judgment, Justice Asopa made it clear that no educational institution or a student can seek mercy from the court if they break the law. The court maintained that the students who knowingly took admission in such an illegal manner are themselves guilty for ruining their future. Geetanjali Medical College is a new 150-seat private medical college that got the Union government’s recognition on September 16 last year. Instead of admitting meritorious candidates in general seats, the college administration floated advertisements in Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh and admitted 150 students after taking donations in the range of Rs 40 lakh to 60 lakh, alleged Rajendra Soni, counsel for the petitioners. The court directed the Rajasthan Medical Health University to conduct fresh counselling for the successful candidates of RPMT-2008 for their admission in the current session. The court, however, clarified that the counselling shall be done for only 85% of the seats of the total 150, leaving apart the management quota, which the college claimed to have filled by way of Private College Pre-Medical Test held in 2008. “The college admitted all the students taking huge amount to the tune of Rs 8 crore as fee. None of the eligible candidates from the selection list prepared by the RPMT merit list were admitted by the college. This is violation of rules,” Soni told the court. The Rajasthan Medical Health University, the state government and the Medical Council of India also told the court that the admissions were illegal. Besides, the University refused to register the students admitted by the college, the court was informed. The order, meanwhile, is a relief to nearly 150 successful candidates of RPMT-2008, who will now be considered for admission.

Traffic snarls in city irk HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Traffic-snarls-in-city-irk-HC-/articleshow/4283576.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0233 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday took a dim view of the lack of political will on the part of the government to keep the city roads free for smooth traffic. A division bench comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Sheema Ali Khan made such a remark while hearing a PIL filed by one Ravindra Kumar Rai who has alleged that PRDA lapses have led to irregular construction of multistoried apartments in the city. Petitioner’s counsel Basant Kumar Chaudhary submitted vehicular traffic has been badly affected due to the construction of multistoried apartments on narrow roads with no parking facilities. The judges remarked encroachment on road flanks was rampant on Boring Road and Bailey Road near the secretariat with vendors selling vegetables and fruits. Traffic policemen are nowhere in sight to clear the roads. Additional advocate general Lalit Kishore agreed that things need to be improved.

HC allows Parsi punchayat to sell Andheri flats
http://blog.propertynice.com/hc-allows-parsi-punchayat-to-sell-andheri-flats/
Wed, Mar 18, 2009
Mumbai Property
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on We d n e s d ay stayed the charity commissioner’s order, revoking permission to the Bombay Parsi Punchayat (BPP) to sell 108 flats in Panthaky Baug in Andheri.The charity commissioner had stalled the BPP’s move to sell these flats to community members on ownership basis. On Wednesday, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhanajay Chandrachud gave the green signal to the punchayat, but asked it and other parties to come up with an eligibility criteria for the sale of these flats. The next date of hearing has been posted on March 24.Nine years ago, the BPP had decided to sell around 108 flats measuring around 800 sq ft each in Panthaky Baug on ownership basis to Parsi families for Rs 20 lakh each. The monthly outgoing for these flats would be around Rs 4,000, according to the BPP. The charity commissioner in 2002 permitted the sale, but revoked it two years later following protests from members of the community. BPP chairman Dinshaw Mehta and four trustees moved the HC challenging this order.“The project envisages some 300 flats for Parsi families,’’ said Mehta. “The money raised from the sale of the flats would be used to construct 80 flats of 400-500 sq ft each for poor Parsi families. The monthly out going for these flats would not be more than Rs 1,500 a month,’’ Mehta added.The chairman said the BPP may urge the court to allow it to raise the selling price of the flats. The norms that will be agreed upon by the parties may be vetted by the retired Supreme Court judge, who is to be appointed in another case concerning the allotment of flats in Parsi colonies in the city. The BPP is in charge of over 4,500 flats located in Parsi enclaves of Cusrow Baug in Colaba, Rustom Baug in Byculla, Godrej Baug in Nepean Sea Road among other locations.In the case of Panthaky Baug, some community activists had maintained that all the flats proposed by the BPP in this Parsi enclave be allotted to poor members.
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HC for amendment to marriage reg rules
http://keralaonline.com/news/hc-amendment-marriage-reg-rules_26251.html
Kochi, Thursday 19 March 2009: A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court has observed that the government should seriously think of amending the Kerala Registration of Marriages (Common) Rules 2008 to prohibit registration of agreements styled as marriage agreements.
The Bench of Acting Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice K.T. Sankaran made the observation while disposing of a habeas corpus petition recently.
The court said it had seen many instances of marriage agreements executed by man and woman for living together and the plight of woman who had been thrown away like ‘squeezed lemon.’ The court noted that by the time the woman realised that she could not claim any marital right against her so-called husband, it would be too late. The plight of the children born in that relationship would be more heart-rending.
The court observed that as far as the registration of an agreement was concerned, the sub-registrar could not go into the legal or otherwise of an agreement. The High Court had already held that such marriages were not valid.
Therefore, the only way out was to introduce an amendment to the marriage registration rules for safeguarding the plight of the unfortunate girls who were misled and unaware of the gravity of the consequence of such agreements.
The court observed that with effect from February 19, 2008, the Kerala Registration of Marriages (Common) Rules, 2008 had come into force. As per Rule 6, marriages should be compulsorily registered, irrespective of the religion of the parties, before the secretary of the local body unless the registration had been made under the Special Marriage Act.

Fake stamp paper scam: Telgi gets 7-year jail term
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Fake_stamp_paper_scam_Telgi_gets_7-year_jail_term/articleshow/4286357.cms
19 Mar 2009, 1414 hrs IST, PTI
AHMEDABAD: Fake stamp paper scam kingpin Abdul Karim Telgi was on Thursday sentenced to seven years imprisonment by a special CBI court in Ahmedabad. Judicial magistrate A P Gohil, who presided over the special court, also sent Telgi’s aide Sadik Ibrahim to seven years in jail. His another aide Siddarth alias Peter Fernendes was awarded five years’ imprisonment. While Telgi and Sadik have been fined Rs 35,000, Siddarth has been fined Rs 30,000 by the court. All the three had yesterday pleaded guilty before the special court in a fake stamp papers case filed in Gujarat. The multi-crore fake stamp paper scam was first unearthed in Maharashtra. Telgi and his Gujarat based aides were also running the racket in the state.

Chargesheet filed in Sucheta Anand case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Chargesheet_filed_in_Sucheta_Anand_case/articleshow/4284182.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0114 hrs IST, Vijay V Singh, TNN
MUMBAI: The Mumbai police recently filed a chargesheet in the sensational case involving the suicide of Indigo airhostess Sucheta Anand. The chargesheet was filed in January against co-pilot Arjun Menon, who the police arrested last year on charges of abetting Anand’s suicide. However, Menon’s lawyer A Pargaonkar has stated that the Mumbai police’s evidence is insufficient to prove the abetment charge. Anand was 25 years old when she committed suicide by hanging herself in a room at Palm Grove hotel, Juhu, on June 7, 2008. Menon, then 28, had spent most of the day with her and she killed herself after he left the room to have dinner with another woman. When Anand did not respond to Menon’s call later, he requested the hotel’s management to open her room, which was when her body was discovered. The city police have alleged that the suicide occurred after Anand and Menon had a fight. Anand was a resident of Delhi who had separated from her husband. She had also filed harassment charges against her husband. Menon too had separated from his wife in February 2008. In the charge sheet, the police rely on statements given by common friends to show a close relationship between Anand and Menon. They also rely on SMSes exchanged between Menon and Anand. A police officer said the evidence shows that the two were close to each other. However, Menon’s advocate said, “An exchange of friendly SMSes is not strong enough evidence to prove abetment to suicide charges. She was emotionally dependent on him and they were good friends, it does not mean that he was responsible for her suicide.” Turbulent End February 14, 2009 Anushree Dutta, 24, ground staffer for Kingfisher Airlines, hangs herself from a fan at her Andheri (East) residence after a fight with her boyfriend, who too was working for an airline. The two had been staying together for a year. February 14, 2007 Marliyn Dunston, a US national, is found dead in the bathroom of her hotel room at the Taj, Colaba. The police claim that it is a case of suicide, while Dunston’s family members disagree. She had been an airhostess for Delta Airlines.

BMC gets HC nod to cut mangroves for sewage plants
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/BMC_gets_HC_nod_to_cut_mangroves_for_sewage_plants/articleshow/4284033.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0147 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday allowed the BMC to go ahead with its plans to set up sewage treatment plants and lay pipelines on coastal areas in the city, which house mangroves. A division bench of Justices J N Patel and Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani asked the municipal corporation to ensure “minimal intervention” so that mangroves are cut only if absolutely necessary. Emphasising the concept of “sustainable development’, the judges justified the modification of the high court’s 2005 order banning destruction of mangroves, saying the sewerage treatment plants were “essential services and basic civic amenities”. The plants and pipelines form part of phase II of the Mumbai Sewerage Disposal Project that will cover Versova, Erangal, Dharavli, Malad, Bhandup, Ghatkopar, Dharavi and Gorai. Permission was also granted to drill bore holes at these locations for soil testing. The projects are spread over an area of around 100 hectares, with a substantial mangrove cover. City NGO BEAG, which had filed a PIL to protect mangroves in the city, did not oppose the BMC’s plea. “The city cannot do without these sewerage disposal projects,” said BEAG counsel Gautam Patel. The NGO, however, opposed another application by the BMC seeking permission to carry out land fill activities in mangrove areas at the Kanjurmarg dumping ground. Spread over 141 hectares, the dumping ground includes 20.76 hectares of mangroves. The judges asked the corporation to furnish more details, saying while the project was important, it “cannot be at the cost of the ecology”. The case will now be heard on April 8. In 2007, the high court had allowed the BMC to widen the Mahul creek near Chembur by cutting down mangroves. It had also permitted Navi Mumbai authorities to construct two road bridges and a stormwater drain project.

Court asks parents to produce son
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Court_asks_parents_to_produce_son/articleshow/4284071.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0143 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has directed a city resident to produce his three-and-a-half-year-old son in court on Friday.
The court’s directions came on an application filed by the child’s mother who is an Australian resident. She had claimed that her estranged husband, who is an Indian citizen, had violated an Australian court’s order which had permitted him to take the child on a 10-day holiday.
The man has filed an application before the Bandra family court for the child’s custody.

Flouting of NHRC norms in Batla probe irks HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Flouting_of_NHRC_norms_in_Batla_probe_irks_HC/articleshow/4284051.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0632 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday expressed its unhappiness with the stand of the Delhi government that there was no need for a magisterial inquiry into the Batla House encounter. A bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna demanded to know from the government why it didn’t adhere to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) guidelines of holding magisterial inquiry in every encounter, saying adherence to NHRC guidelines shouldn’t be left to “discretion of government.” The query came on an NHRC status report to HC where the commission said its probe into the encounter was being hampered due to absence of a magisterial inquiry report. Besides postmortem and inquest report, an inquiry report is the third pre-requisite for NHRC to proceed, it told HC, while urging it to issue directions. The bench also cut short attempts by counsel of the Delhi Police to compare the Batla House encounter with earlier terror attacks like the Parliament attack case and to argue that a probe wasn’t possible in every case. HC made it clear the Batla House encounter case stood on a different footing as compared to say, the Mumbai terror attacks, adding that the government’s failure to follow NHRC’s guidelines would undermine the commission. “No one would say that the terrorists killed in 26/11 (Mumbai terror attacks) died in an encounter. We won’t like to direct investigation in the case but we have an option to direct the commission to conduct an inquiry in this case,” HC said when NHRC pleaded that it is mandatory to conduct magisterial inquiry when people are killed in a police encounter. The court, however, did not pass any order even as the city government pleaded its ignorance about the commission’s guidelines on the inquiry aspect. “We are not shying away from holding inquiry but it is for the first time that it has come up that inquiry in such cases is mandatory,” advocate Mukta Gupta, appearing for the government, pleaded and placed before the court a letter written by the commission which said that the investigation can be conducted by any senior officer. But HC pointed out there were clear guidelines in this regard. “You are confused between the NHRC guidelines and letter written by the commission,” the court said, adding “there would be a serious problem if it (following guidelines) is left to the discretion of the government authority.” The NHRC in its report had contended that a magisterial inquiry “must invariably” be held in all cases of deaths which occur in the course of police action and no exception should be made in this case. Earlier, Delhi’s Lieutenant Governor had refused to allow inquiry in the case and had intimated his decision to HC. The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NGO, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy, seeking a judicial inquiry into the September 19, 2008 encounter, in which two suspected terrorists, allegedly involved in the Delhi serial blasts, and police inspector Mohan Chand Sharma were killed. Two suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists, who were killed were identified as Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid. Two other, IM suspects, Mohd Saif and Zeeshan, were arrested from the Batla House area. The incident took place a week after the serial blasts rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.

Haryana vows to save Aravalis. But will it?
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Haryana_vows_to_save_Aravalis_But_will_it/articleshow/4284482.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0106 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Haryana has finally come forward to undo some of the damage to the ravaged Aravalis. On Wednesday, it undertook before the Supreme Court that it will follow every recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee. This means all mining leases will be permanently revoked in Faridabad and Gurgaon districts and a proper survey will be conducted for identifying 600 acres which will be auctioned and mined for stones in small patches. The upshot is that there will be no further mining in the ravaged mines of Khori Jamalpur and Sirohi which the state had planned to flog for another two years when it held an auction of March 3, despite the CEC’s recommendation to stop mining here altogether. The SC-appointed Monitoring Committee had earlier observed that these mines should be kept as an exhibition to show what not to do while mining. The state of these mines and the fallout of reckless mining has been highlighted by TOI for the past six months with reports and pictures. This newspaper also carried front page pictures of popular lakes going stone dry. The special SC bench, headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, referred to the dried up lakes. When amicus curiae A D N Rao showed the satellite image of Badkhal Lake and said that the lake was once full of water and now totally dry because of mining has disturbed the hydrology of the area, the Bench said: “Now you can probably play cricket on it.” At the end of the day-long hearing that spilled over to Thursday, the special Bench referred to the Haryana chief secretary’s affidavit, saying: “If the state wants to take action as per the CEC recommendations, we cannot say this should not be done. If they want to work out a total ban, let them work it out. The CEC has given the recommendation and the state is in concurrence. Let it go ahead.”

FIR a must, insist on it
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/FIR_a_must_insist_on_it/articleshow/4284095.cms
18 Mar 2009, 2342 hrs IST, Jayashree Nandi , TNN
BANGALORE: An acknowledgement slip is not equivalent to a registered FIR. Increasingly, citizens are growing desperate as in most cases their trouble is not treated serious enough to register an FIR – which can then spur action. The police officers scribble the report in their diary and forget about it. More than half of the complaints are dismissed in this way. Senior officials acknowledge that `burking’ or putting it in the police diary is the only way to get rid of the headache of regular investigations, to show that the crime rate is under control and to finish work smoothly with whatever manpower they have. Lacreu Stephany, a French national working in Bangalore, was recently chased by two youths and her passport snatched, but the Koramangala police refused to register an FIR till the media wrote about it. Lakshmi (name changed) was chased, slapped by men in Indiranagar and the police just gave her an acknowledgement token to say her complaint was taken. Parents whose 12-year-old child was missing and was later found working in a bar were refused by the police in Kolar when they wanted to register an FIR. The unrecorded list goes on, a trend rampant more in rural areas where people hardly know what an FIR means. Police commissioner Shankar Bidari is confident his staff register FIRs. “They are supposed to register all cognizable offences. If they don’t, then please bring it to my notice. It only depends on whether the offence is cognizable or not,” he says. Former IPS K S Suresh Babu said: “In some cases the police officers do not understand the plight of the victim, and, in some, they want to avoid the extra work of investigations. But if you look at it from the policemen’s point of view, then each FIR requires enough investigations, manpower, manhours and facilities which the department does not have,” he adds. But former police commissioner L Revannasiddiah observes: “The writing of the complaint is an eye-wash. It is to avoid investigations and work. But the counterfoil or acknowledgement is a record. You can take the issue to the police commissioner and report it. Even if it is not a cognizable offence but is being repeated and is affecting your peace of mind then you can file an FIR.”

Activists assert their right to rally
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Activists_assert_their_right_to_rally/articleshow/4284099.cms
18 Mar 2009, 2345 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Traffic jams, specially of the sorts created by Kumaraswamy’s rally last November which left hundreds of children and citizens stranded, has pushed the government to file a draft law on regulating rallies. But has the law been taken a bit too far? Being one of the oldest modes of protest and expression, this regulation will be a violation of democratic spirit for many civil society members. Hundreds of activists and individuals will submit an objection petition to the draft law at police commissioner Shankar Bidari’s office by the end of this week. Public can file objections till March 24. The draft law, Regulation of Public Processions and Assemblies (Bangalore City) Order, 2009, makes it mandatory for people to seek licences for processions and public assemblies. The objection petition raises many questions on issues covered in this notification. “Public assemblies by themselves do not impede traffic flow, so we do not see why they comes within the ambit of Rule 3 of the order,” the petition states. It also points out: “The idea of obtaining licences strikes at the root of the freedom under article 19(1).” “Any expression critical of the government can be denied permission using the wide power given to the licensing authority. Hence, it has no place in a democratic setup. Regulation 3(4) requires that a seven-day notice be given before holding any procession or assembly. In a democracy, spontaneous expression can’t be suspended for a moment, leave alone seven long days as required by the rule,” says B N Jagdeesh, advocate and campaigner, Fearless Karnataka. President of People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Professor Hasan Mansoor also said the Constitution assures the right to assembly. According to the notification, if a procession is to be conducted on a route within the jurisdiction of one zone, apply to deputy commissioner of police of the zone concerned. If procession moves from one zone to another, seek permission of additional commissioner of police, law and order.
Each application should include a demand draft of Rs 100, payable in favour of the Commissioner of Police, Bangalore City. This also applies to assembly. Make an application for procession or assembly at least seven days in advance. In exceptional cases, the licensing authority may entertain an application within short notice.

Saravana Bhavan founder gets life term for murder
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Saravana_Bhavan_founder_gets_life_term_for_murder_/articleshow/4286162.cms
19 Mar 2009, 1313 hrs IST, IANS
CHENNAI: Founder of the popular Saravana Bhavan hotel chain, Rajagopal, was on Thursday sentenced to life in a murder case by the Madras High Court that enhanced his 10-year rigorous imprisonment awarded by a trial court. The verdict was announced by a division bench comprising Justices P K Mishra and R Banumathi, who convicted Rajagopal and six others for the 2001 murder. The court also increased his conviction from culpable homicide not amounting to murder, to culpable homicide amounting to murder. Rajagopal, 59, who had founded the Saravana Bhavan chain of hotels worldwide in 1981, had been found guilty of murdering an employee Prince Shantakumar in 2001. A fast track court had in 2004 sentenced him to 10 years rigorous imprisonment and fined him Rs5.5 million. Rajagopal had also been accused of sexually harassing Shantakumar’s widow, Jeevajothi, and the daughter of another employee Ramaswamy. Of the fine, Rs5 million was to be handed over to Jeevajothi, the court had ruled. Rajagopal, who was rearrested for violating bail conditions during his trial after allegedly attempting to threaten Jeevajothi, had appealed to the high court. The Saravana Bhavan chain of hotels and restaurants, popular for their range of idlis, dosas and the like, gained further notoriety in November 2008 after Rajagopal’s son P Shiva Kumar was arrested on a charge of forging documents to smuggle people into the US. The charges were based on the findings of the US consulate. The arrest also resulted in the cancellation of several lucrative contracts of the hotel chain to supply food to American diplomatic missions. According to the hotel group’s website, its outlets are located “across 22 outlets in South India, three in the North and seven countries with 22 outlets across the globe”.

First RTI on wheels’ completes one year
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/First_RTI_on_wheels_completes_one_year_/articleshow/4280354.cms
18 Mar 2009, 2311 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : The country’s first RTI on wheels’, a mobile multi-media van for creating mass awareness on the Right to Information (RTI) Act in far flung areas completed a year on Tuesday. In the past one year, RTI on wheels’ has reached about 80,000 people in 450 villages and 13 cities. Launched by Mahiti Adhikar Gujarat Pahel (MAGP), contribution from Association for India Development (AID), USA covered the alteration and retro-fitment cost of the vehicle. RTI on wheels’ visited neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Rajasthan in the last year. In Mumbai and Pune it was invited by Public Concern or Governance Trust and Bombay Chartered Accountant’s Association, and in Rajasthan Majdoor Kissan Shakti Sangathan invited it for conducting awareness campaigns in Bhilwada, Udaipur and Alwar districts.

HC directs state to inspect Apna Ghar
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_directs_state_to_inspect_Apna_Ghar/articleshow/4284228.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0150 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday granted a time period of three weeks to advocate general of the state Subodh Kantak and advocate S D Padiyar to conduct an inspection of the conditions at Apna Ghar. The court was hearing a suo motu petition regarding the unhygienic conditions which children at the Apna Ghar are forced to live in. The court had taken a story published in the The Times of India’ issue dated October 22, 2008, along with a report of the principal district and sessions judge, Panaji, as a public interest litigation. The court had appointed advocate S D Padiyar as amicus curiae in the matter for assisting the court. When the petition came up for hearing on Wednesday, Padiyar told the court that he wanted to pay a visit to Apna Ghar in order to ascertain the ground reality. Subsequently a division Bench comprising Justices P B Majmudar and U D Salvi opined that the advocate general should also accompany the amicus and fixed the matter for further hearing after three weeks.

Justice Uma Nath requests CJI for transfer
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Justice_Uma_Nath_requests_CJI_for_transfer/articleshow/4284251.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0337 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: In a standoff between Bench and Bar, two important cogs of justice delivery system, a judge seldom wins. This frustrating realization dawned on Justice Uma Nath, who has requested Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan for a transfer. The Punjab and Haryana High Court judge, facing prolonged boycott by the HC Bar over issues he terms trivial, wrote to the CJI last month explaining his deep anguish over the manner in which the Bar was targeting him by refusing to appear before the Bench headed by him. The lawyers’ unanimity in shunning him completed his isolation as he was an outsider at Chandigarh – having done his legal practice in Madhya Pradesh – before being elevated to the Bench and later transferred to Punjab and Haryana HC. The letter requesting a transfer to another HC, sources said, reflected his agony of being constantly put under pressure by the Bar. The feeling was reflected in the March 16 order passed by a Bench comprising Justices Singh and A G Masih. The Bench said, ‘‘Learned advocates of Punjab and Haryana HC Bar Association are boycotting this court since February 19, 2009. Even the law officers deputed to this court are abstaining from appearance. Needless to say that the expenses on government litigation and the payment of fee and retainer to government advocates are made from public exchequer, and any adjournment in the government cases on the ground of boycott/strike would amount to legalise such boycott which would be contrary to the mandate of the judgment of the Supreme Court.’’ Justice Singh, presiding over Benches, had passed several orders facilitating speedy work on flyovers on GT Road linking Chandigarh to Delhi in addition to ordering removal of encroachments from public land. In his letter to the CJI, he mentioned that vested interests had influenced the Bar to boycott his court and it had become difficult for him to function as a judge being constantly under pressure from the Bar association.

Seminar on law against piracy
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Seminar_on_law_against_piracy/articleshow/4284438.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0028 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: One time petty criminals if left unchecked end up becoming undisputed dons. This is a basic principal of crime and criminals and applicable on the Rs 1,000 crore strong piracy industry in India. Hence, checking the small timers involved in piracy was as important as netting the big fishes said Julio Rebero, retired chief of Maharashtra Police.
Speaking at a seminar on `Piracy, legal provisions to check the menace and powers of the police in such crimes’ organised jointly by the UP Police Training Directorate and Indian Music Industry (IMI) at the Radio headquarters in Mahanagar, Rebero said that Dawood Ibrahim too was a petty criminal in Mumbai before he jumped into the big league only to rule the underworld at the international level in the present times. In his introductory address, director, police training, additional director general (ADG) D P Sinha highlighted the need for such training programmes to create awareness among the investigating agencies about their role in checking the menace.

HC stamp on Patel as CVM chief
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Vadodara/HC_stamp_on_Patel_as_CVM_chief/articleshow/4283754.cms
18 Mar 2009, 2202 hrs IST, TNN
VADODARA: Gujarat High Court on Wednesday cleared way for Dr CL Patel to function as full-fledged chairman of Vallabh Vidyanagar-based Charutar Vidya Mandal (CVM). It was on February 28 that elections for the 11 posts of Central Gujarat’s richest educational trust were held at New Vallabh Vidyanagar under observation of a high court representative. On March 8, after counting of the votes, Dr Patel was declared winner by a narrow margin over his rival Bhikhubhai Patel. The results enabled Patel, who had held the post since 1994, to retain it for a term of another three years. “Earlier, pending declaration of results, pursuant to interim order passed by high court, Patel was permitted to remain as chairman of CVM but restricted in his functioning by a rider that he should not transact any business. This embargo has been lifted now,” CVM’s advocate Dhaval Dave told TOI. Dave, who appeared on behalf of CVM office-bearers in the court of Justice CK Buch, submitted that in view of the declaration of the election results in which Patel was elected as chairman, there should not be any restrictions on his functioning. The high court has fixed further hearing of the case on March 24. Reacting to the judgment, Patel told TOI that the decision will help him to function without caps. “For this year alone, we have chalked out four new projects apart from small ones in our various educational institutes. We are setting up a fourth engineering college and coming up with a third pharmacy college. With these steps, we will take both our trust and Vallabh Vidyanagar forward,” he added.

Demand for judicial probe in Batla House encounter
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/Demand_for_judicial_probe_in_Batla_House_encounter/articleshow/4283422.cms
18 Mar 2009, 2207 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: National president of All India Muslim Majlis, UP, Manzarul Islam has demanded a judicial probe in the Batla House encounter. In a press statement issued, Islam said that only the people of Azamgarh but all the justice loving people of the country seek a fair probe into the encounter. He said that it is shocking that despite vigorous public demand and protest rallies at Delhi and Lucknow, the Union government has not yet ordered a judicial probe in the encounter. Islam added that the Centre has adopted an indifferent approach on the issue because it pertains to the minority community, which is always relegated to the receiving end. Else, there is no just reason to deny a demand for a judicial probe, which will serve the ends of justice, and also of just governance, Islam said. It may be recalled that in the Batla House encounter, which took place in the Jamia Nagar area of New Delhi last year, police claimed to have killed the terrorists who were behind the Delhi serial blasts. Further, Manzarul exhorted Muslims to endeavour for a political change to achieve the goal of good governance in the country by taking active and effective part in the coming Lok Sabha elections under the banner of Muslim Majlis.

CAT abolishes 90 ex-cadre posts
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/CAT_abolishes_90_ex-cadre_posts/articleshow/4284704.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0437 hrs IST, M Sagar Kumar, TNN
HYDERABAD: In an order that is likely to revamp the whole administrative machinery in the state and have far reaching consequences for the IAS community, the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Wednesday held that a state government has got no unbridled power to create ex-cadre posts and ordered the abolition of all ex-cadre posts that are in existence for more than five years in the state. In practical terms, it would mean abolition of nearly 90 IAS posts in the state. There are 135 ex-cadre posts in the state now while its permissible level is only 47. The CAT also ordered the abolition of all those ex-cadre posts in the state which are existing without any approval from the central government for more than two years.

Court prohibits media from publicising Kasab evidence
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Court_prohibits_media_from_publicising_Kasab_evidence/articleshow/4285793.cms
19 Mar 2009, 1139 hrs IST, IANS
MUMBAI: The media has been prohibited from telecasting or publishing any material that may be used as evidence against Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only terrorist caught alive after the Mumbai terror attack. Special Judge M.L. Tahilyani passed his order in response to an application filed Wednesday by Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam, who expressed the fear that the evidence published by the media was acting as a deterrent to the Nov 26-29 terror attack case. “The investigating officer and special PP have got serious apprehension that the witnesses pertaining to that part of the evidence will be scared and the publication will endanger their lives,” Tahilyani noted in his order Wednesday evening. As the allegations were of a serious nature, he felt the court’s intervention was necessary in the public interest and passed the order prohibiting the publishing of the case proceedings. Nikam said in his application that certain print and electronic media had started publicising proceedings pending before the court. This resulted in part of the evidence being disclosed on TV before it was produced in court. It could result in prejudicing the interests of the court, prosecution and the accused, he pointed out. Nikam also argued that the telecasting of certain recording clips seized by the investigation officer as part of the probe raised serious doubts about how they were leaked to the media. Kasab and two others, alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, will face trial for their involvement in the terror strikes, which claimed over 170 lives.

Haryana to prosecute cops in Sarita case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Haryana_to_prosecute_cops_in_Sarita_case/articleshow/4284687.cms
19 Mar 2009, 0421 hrs IST, Sukhbir Siwach, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Haryana government prepared the sanction draft on Wednesday to prosecute around six Rohtak cops in the infamous Sarita rape case. The action follows CBI recommendations after probe into circumstances leading to Sarita’s suicide at police headquarters in Panchkula on June 9, 2008. The CBI has sought prosecution of DSP Dhiraj Setia, inspectors Pawan Kumar, Ramphal, Balraj and Silak Ram under 120B (criminal conspiracy) read with 306 (abetment to suicide) and 506 (criminal intimidation). Two more cops — Randhir Singh and Ramdhari — are facing allegations of criminal conspiracy. A senior Haryana officer told TOI, “We would soon be issuing sanction orders for the prosecution of accused cops.”

Reliance Energy moves SC against tribunal’s tariff order
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/reliance-energy-moves-sc-against-tribunals-tariff-order/56794/on

Press Trust of India / New Delhi March 17, 2009, 19:41 IST
Anil Ambani-run Reliance Energy Ltd today moved the Supreme Court challenging the sectoral tribunal’s ruling that asked the firm to refund additional electricity tariffs of more than Rs 250 crore collected from multiplexes and shopping-malls in Mumbai. A bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, however, today refused to give interim relief and directed that the matter will be heard on March 27, the notified date. Reliance Energy has filed two appeals challenging the tribunal’s order of January 19 setting aside the Maharashtra Electricity Regulatory Commission’s tariff order that classified multiplexes and shopping-malls under a new category, LT-9, and brought them under the ambit of high tariffs on the grounds of their higher capacity to pay. The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity (APTEL), while quashing the MERC order, had also directed REL and Tata Power Company to refund the additional amounts collected from the multiplexes and shopping-malls after they were placed under the LT-9 category. It further directed these distribution companies to adjust the amounts in future bills over the next one year.

Batla House fit case for magisterial probe: NHRC
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/76181.htm
Mar 18th, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Wednesday told the Delhi High Court that a magisterial inquiry is mandatory in every case of death due to police action and the Batla House shootout was no exception.
It also said the Delhi Police was dragging its feet over conducting a probe into the Sep 19, 2008, gunbattle in which two alleged terrorists were killed.
The court was hearing NHRC’s view on whether a magisterial inquiry can be held into the Batla House shootout.
Counsel for NHRC submitted before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna that the commission relies on three basic criteria to conduct an inquiry like a post mortem report, inquest report and magisterial inquiry.
“And if these criteria are not there then permission from the court is sought,” the counsel for NHRC told the court, adding that a magisterial inquiry is a mandatory guideline and it should have been done in the Batla House case.
On this, the court pulled up Delhi Police on why the probe was not conducted even after six months of the incident, and said: “We have no option left but to ask the NHRC to conduct a magisterial inquiry so that no one can undermine the commission.”
Counsel for Delhi Police Mukta Gupta told the court that the entire study material of the case will be given to the commission in two weeks’ time.
The court, after giving time to Delhi Police, slated the matter for Apr 8.
The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by an NGO – Act Now For Harmony and Democracy – seeking a judicial inquiry into the Sep 19, 2008 firefight in which two suspected terrorists, allegedly involved in the Sep 13 Delhi serial bombings, were killed.
The two were suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists, Atif Ameen and Mohammed Sajid. The police also arrested Mohammed Saif and Zeeshan for the serial bombings in the capital.
The Batla House shootout took place a week after serial bombings rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.
[SU]

LEGAL NEWS 17.03.2009

VC seeks reply from legal institute http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/himachal.htm#1
Pratibha ChauhanTribune News Service
Shimla, March 16Following allegations of mismanagement of funds and overcharging by the Himachal Institute of Legal Studies, vice-chancellor (VC) Prof Sunil Kumar Gupta of Himachal Pradesh University (HPU) has sought a reply from the management of the institute within a week’s time failing which action would be taken.
With parents of students studying in the institute, affiliated to HPU, here being up in arms against the management, the vice-chancellor today asked the institute to file a detailed reply, addressing each and every allegation levelled against them.
For the past time, the parents of the children studying there have alleged that the institute authorities were acting in partisan manner and favouring students close to the ruling BJP. They have alleged that the institute had become a money-minting venture where students were being tortured mentally.
“The authorities have virtually turned a blind eye to the activities of certain students who have been forcefully collecting money in the name of entertainment and even threatening students,” said a parent on condition of anonymity.
The students on being contacted alleged that students close to the ruling BJP and the RSS were being given higher marks as merit was being completely ignored.
The parents of the students enrolled at the institute in their complaint to the vice-chancellor of the HPU have alleged that students were being compelled to pay money of which no proper accounts were being maintained. They point out that what is even worse is that those who refuse to pay are being threatened that they would be failed in the practical.
The parents have alleged that there was no proper account of the Rs 55,000, which had been collected from the students for arranging a party last year. They said despite spending Rs 65,000 on admission of their children, the quality of education was not up to the mark.
The university authorities said it was only after receiving a reply from the institute that they would be in a position to comment on the situation. They, however, admitted that the parents had levelled serious allegations against the management of the institute.

Govt begins exercise to frame anti-ragging law http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/himachal.htm#1
Rakesh LohumiTribune News Service
Shimla, March 16The medical fraternity is hopeful that the intervention of the Supreme Court in the Aman Kachru ragging murder case will help stamp out the menace of ragging from institutions of professional education in the state.
The contempt notice issued by the court to the principal and the registrar of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Tanda, has shaken the medicos and they are coming out with guarded response to the development.
‘The intervention of the apex court was welcome as it will help enforce the anti-ragging guidelines and directions of the court effectively,’ says president of the Himachal Pradesh Medical Association Ajay Dutta. It is the duty of the administration to provide a ragging-free environment in educational institutions and it was answerable if such unfortunate incidents take place, he added.
Now that the apex court was seized of the matter the truth would come out and those guilty would be brought to book, general secretary of the association Jiwanand Chauhan said. He did not consider it as a simple case of ragging but of a pre-planned attack and those responsible for the murder must be handed out the serest punishment. However, he said that for effective functioning of the anti-ragging committee a suitable law should also be enacted to strengthen its hands. He was against de-recognition of the institution as it would jeopardise the future of over 400 students.
A member of the Medical Council of India (MCI), Ashwini Sood, asserted that college managements were fully responsible and accountable for implementing the Raghvan Committee recommendations. The members of the anti-ragging committee should be selected carefully and not chosen on the basis of personal equations with the principal.
Referring to the move of the government to enact an anti-ragging law he said incorporating a section in the IPC would be a better option as it would ensure uniformity and, moreover, the menace of ragging was countrywide. Meanwhile, the home department and the education department have started the exercise to frame a new anti-ragging law which the government proposes to enact at the earliest by promulgating an ordinance. Besides the lapsed anti-ragging ordinance promulgated by Shanta Kumar government in 1992, the laws enacted by Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and other a few other states are being consulted.

Raghavan panel report remains unimplemented Accused’s police remand extended, classes start today http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/himachal.htm#1
Lalit MohanTribune News Service
Dharamsala, March 16States have been ignoring the Raghavan committee recommendations that were accepted by the Supreme Court in 2007. The major recommendation of the committee was that central regulatory bodies should take ragging situation as an important factor in accreditation of education institutions.
The committee had also recommended anti-ragging cells should have been established at central, state and college level and toll free helpline should be provided for ragging victims. Strong law against ragging with responsibility to prove not guilty lying on the perpetrator was also recommended.
The committee had also suggested that NCERT and SCERT school books should include chapter on ragging and psychological counselling on anti- ragging and human rights should be conducted at higher secondary level. Colleges should organise interactive sessions between juniors and seniors and scattered entry of freshers and senior should be allowed, the committee had recommended.
Though after acceptance by the Supreme Court the recommendations were circulated to all the states, very little was done to implement them. In Himachal hardly any of recommendations is implemented by the educational institutions.
Some of the principals of educational institutions when contacted even feigned ignorance about the Raghavan committee recommendations. The Supreme Court has now issued notice to the Chief Secretary of state to know what the government did to implement the Raghavan committee recommendations after 2007.
The Himachal government in 1992, much before the landmark judgment of the Supreme Court on ragging in 2001, has moved an ordinance against ragging. However, the ordinance never became a law as it was not passed in assembly. The ordinance later lapsed and the situation now is that there is no anti-ragging law in the state.
The parents of deceased student Aman Satya Kachroo have welcomed the move of the Supreme Court. In a message to The Tribune Rajendra Kachroo, father of Aman, has stated that is very encouraging to see that the Additional Solicitor General has taken deep interest in the matter and moved the Supreme Court on his own initiative.
Meanwhile, the police remand of two of the accused students in the case, including Mukul Sharma and Abhinav Verma, was today extended till March 19. The police authorities sought more time to extract more information from the accused in the case.
The classes in Tanda medical college start tomorrow after winter vacation. The students would report in college tomorrow after the unfortunate incident.
The principal of the college when contacted by The Tribune said two close circuit cameras had been installed in each hostel. The first-year students have been divided into groups of five each and they would be accompanied by one senior student. The college authorities have also called meeting of Parent Teachers Association (PTA) on Saturday to discussion possible anti-ragging measures.
ADM Kangra Sandeep Kumar who has been entrusted with magisterial inquiry into the incident has called all concerned, including parents of deceased Aman to dispose before him on March 20.

Sony TV drags BCCI to court
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/main8.htm
Mumbai, March 16A fresh row broke out over the issue of telecast rights of the IPL with Sony Entertainment dragging BCCI to the Bombay High Court which restrained the Cricket Board from entering into any further agreement related to the T-20 tournament.
Adding to the misery, the IPL organizers are likely to submit a revised schedule for the league tomorrow after the Home Ministry rejected the cosmetic changes in the fixtures. The ministry bluntly told them to consult the state governments while finalising the dates.
Sony had moved the High Court against BCCI’s move to enter into a contract with World Sports Group (WSG) after terminating its agreement with Sony on broadcasting rights in the country.
The court yesterday granted the injunction to Sony restraining the Board for Control of Cricket in India from entering into any further agreements related to the IPL.
When the petition came up for further hearing before Justice SJ Kathawala, the BCCI lawyer sought time to take instructions and produce the relevant documents.
The court said till the matter was heard, the BCCI shall not grant any approval to the WSG under the newly entered contract.
According to the BCCI counsel, the agreement with Sony was terminated on the evening of March 14 and the new one with WSG was signed on the morning of March 15 and the court’s injunction came only in the afternoon on that day.
Sony with Singapore-based sports marketing and management agency WSG had won the telecast rights of the IPL for ten years for approximately $1 billion.
Sony has alleged that the BCCI terminated the original contract and signed a new one with WSG without giving any notice to them.
According to the original agreement, WSG has the rights for broadcasting content related to the IPL abroad while Sony held them for India. — PTI

Aman Kachroo’s death
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/edit.htm#3
SC takes serious notice, rightly
THE Supreme Court has rightly sought explanation from the Himachal Pradesh government and the Principal and Registrar of Dr Rajendra Prasad Medical College at Tanda in Kangra for the death of 19-year-old student Aman Kachroo allegedly due to ragging by his seniors on March 8. In a directive on Monday, a Bench consisting of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice Asok Kumar Ganguly has asked why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for Aman’s torture and cold-blooded murder. Justice Pasayat has squarely blamed the state government and the college administration for the horrendous incident which has caused national revulsion. Indeed, he has observed that financial aid should be cut off to the institutions that permit ragging. A similar incident in Andhra Pradesh the other day in which a girl student of the Bapatla Engineering College had attempted suicide after she was allegedly forced to dance in nude by her seniors shows that the menace is not confined to one state or region but is widespread. The Bench has also issued notice to the AP government.
The college authorities’ brazen indifference to Aman’s murder is particularly glaring because they have done precious little to save him from the clutches of the hoodlums even though he had complained to them about ragging. The Supreme Court had after the Raghavan Committee report ruled that no institution should neglect or ignore a complaint of ragging; it had warned that the complaint should not be suppressed or let the accused go without exemplary punishment if the guilt is proven. Despite complaints against the four accused students earlier (now in custody), no action was taken against them. This shows the negligence of the authorities and as such are culpable and unfit to run an institution which has to train doctors.
Shockingly, the Centre and most states have failed to enact an anti-ragging law so far. The Central Bill has been pending for the last three years.

HP ragging shows official apathy, ASG tells SC
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090317/main1.htm#2
R SedhuramanLegal Correspondent
New Delhi, March 16Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramanium today maintained in the Supreme Court that the death of Aman Kachroo, the first year medical student of a college in Kangra, “clearly indicates the apathy and negligence” shown by institutional authorities in implementing apex court directions for checking ragging.
The Himachal Pradesh incident and the ragging in an engineering college in Andhra Pradesh earlier this month must be viewed as “gross violation of human rights and as acts of savagery and cruelty” that must be tackled effectively, the ASG said in his 13-page application filed in the court.
Institutional sensitivity was required to take quick action and bring the guilty to book, he said in his capacity as Amicus Curiae to assist the court on the issue of ragging.
The ASG said according to Aman’s father, Rajendra Kachroo, the victim had complained to his parents about ragging after moving into the college hostel on August 16, 2008. But he was advised to try and cope with it till December 31 and later on “firmly deal with the seniors.”
According to Aman’s father, four senior boys entered Aman’s dormitory at 2 am on March 7, 2009, and proceeded to rough up 12-14 junior boys present, including Aman. The senior students, reportedly identified as Ajay Kumar Verma, Naveen Verma, Abhinav Verma and Mukul Sharma, were in an inebriated state. Ajay Kumar Verma had previously been suspended thrice for ragging.
Complaint reports filed by Aman and his fellow victims show that the said senior students allegedly slapped and assaulted the junior students present. In the process, Aman suffered a perforated eardrum and internal injuries. He was treated for his injuries and then discharged, but later succumbed to hemorrhaging and expired on the night of March 8. “It is regretted that the examining doctor did not ask Aman as to how he had been injured; neither did he undertake a detailed examination of Aman.”

‘Court ruling disproves charges against Pariyaram polls’
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031755400700.htm
Special Correspondent
KANNUR: The Pariyaram Medical College Hospital Society said here on Monday that the recent ruling of the High Court Division Bench dismissing an appeal by its former chairman and Communist Marxist Party leader M.V. Raghavan was a fitting reply to the false propaganda in connection with the elections to the board.
T.K. Govindan, chairman of the governing body of the Kerala State Cooperative Hospital Complex and Centre for Advanced Medical Science, (KSCHC & CAMS) told a press conference that the court had observed that the ‘real voters’ had no difficulty in casting their votes in the election to the society held in September 2007.
Theruling had now proved wrong the charges of the United Democratic Front and a section of the media that the polls were not fair, he said.
Mr. Govindan said that the victory of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)-supported Pariyaram Medical College Samrakshanan Samithi indicated the heightened sentiments of co-operative democracy against “attempts” by Mr. Raghavan and Congress leader K. Sudhakaran to take control of the institutions by issuing membership to their “family members and supporters.”
He alleged that the previous governing body was not transparent in recruitment and purchase procedures. The new director board had been successful in improving the functioning of the medical college, he said.

Human rights panel orders compensation
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031753980400.htm
Special Correspondent
Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala State Human Rights Commission Member A. Lakshmikutty has ordered the payment of Rs.2,500 to P.J. George, a non-resident Keralite, for delaying the issue of a valuation certificate to him by about a year.
She asked the government to make the payment and realise the amount from the salaries of the Village Officer of Alappuzha West Village and the Tahsildar. Mr. George gave the application for the certificate in November 2006. She asked the government to ensure that the certificates were not delayed.

Sentenced to life
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031759410400.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The second Fast Track Sessions Court has sentenced a worker to life on finding him guilty of murder of his 25-year-old wife in July 2005. The prime witness in the case was the 10-year-old son of the accused.
Judge Jeevan Rao Kulkarni convicted Shivaraj, a resident of Chamundi Nagar, for setting his wife Komala ablaze. Shivaraj suspected the fidelity of his wife, the police said. He came drunk to his house and had a quarrel with Komala on July 16, 2007. Later, he bolted the door and set his wife ablaze, the police said.
Hemanth, who was witness to the incident, supported the case of the prosecution.
The R.T. Nagar police had registered the case against Shivaraj and his mother Mayamma. The public prosecutor examined 35 witnesses, including the police inspector, who recorded Komala’s dying declaration. The judge acquitted Mayamma.

Mining lease list placed before court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031754640500.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The State Government on Monday placed before the Karnataka High Court a list containing the names of 31 enterprises to whom it had given mining leases in Karnataka.
The State submitted the list after the Karnataka High Court directed it to place before it the names of companies and individual to whom it had issued mining leases.
The State list contains the names it has recommended to the Centre for grant of mining lease during the Kumaraswamy regime and Governor’s Rule.
Recommendation
The Additional Solicitor-General and Government advocate said the State could only recommend the names of companies for lease to the Centre and that the Centre would take a final decision.
The court was also told that mining companies would have to obtain permission or no-objection certificate from the Forest Department only if the mines came within the forests.
The Bench adjourned several cases relating to mining.

Widen roads but follow law, court tells BBMP
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031758390300.htm
Staff Reporter
Division Bench passes order on BBMP memo
‘Work on 91 roads has come to a standstill’
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday permitted the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to go ahead with the road widening projects in Bangalore.
However, the High Court made it clear that BBMP should adhere to the provisions of the Karnataka Preservation of Tree Act and the Town and Country Planning Act.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice V.G. Sabhahit passed the order after the BBMP filed a memo seeking an early decision on road widening saying more than a month had elapsed after the Lok Adalat referred the case to the High Court. The BBMP also said that work on 91 roads had come to a standstill.
When the matter came up for hearing, the petitioners — Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group and CIVIC Bangalore — said the BBMP was indiscriminately cutting trees in the name of road widening.
They said the city was losing much of its greenery because of indiscriminate felling of trees in Bangalore by the BBMP.
The petitioners termed as illegal the road widening programme as it violated the provisions of the above Acts.
The petitioners said many trees are likely to be felled over various stretches of 300 kilometres in the city.
The palike had deliberately cut trees even if they did not come in the path of widening of roads, they said.
Earlier, Additional Advocate-General Ashok Harnahalli, appearing for the BBMP, said the civic body was not able to take up any road widening work for a month.

HC chews up lab officials over gutkha analysis
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031754630500.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday took to task officials of the State and Central laboratories for the lax and indifferent manner in which they had analysed Manikchand Gutkha, manufactured by Dhariwal Industries, for the presence of magnesium carbonate.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinarakan and Justice V.G. Sabahit expressed anguish at the manner in which the laboratory officials had treated directions of the High Court to analyse gutkha for magnesium carbonate and file a report.
It was dealing with a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by Lakshman Pachhapure seeking a direction to the authorities to ban the production and sale of gutkha in the State as it is harmful to human health.
The Government advocate said before the samples were sent to Pune, the Chief Chemist of the State had filed a report confirming the presence of magnesium carbonate.
The Bench said it was not satisfied by the report of the Pune laboratory and asked the Additional Solicitor-General Aravind Kumar to ensure that top officials of the Food Laboratory at Faridkot carried out the analysis.
When the gutkha company said it did not add magnesium carbonate and that traces of the chemical were present in the raw materials used in the manufacture of the gutkha, the Bench orally observed that it could not compromise on the health of crores of people.
The Bench asked Dhariwal Industries to stop production, sale and manufacture of gutkha. When the company sought time to look into the report of the Pune laboratory and make its submission, the Bench said it was willing to give time provided it filed a memo undertaking to stop manufacture, production and sale of gutkha.

Consumer forum offers farmers help
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031751780300.htm
Staff Correspondent
It can take up cases relating to agriculture
It can order payment of compensation for lost crop Lack of publicity cited as main reason for lack of awareness
Chitradurga: Since its inception in 1992, 2,806 cases have come before the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, of which 2,781 have been disposed of.
Surprisingly, the forum has received only two cases relating to crop insurance in the district, which has witnessed drought for 50 years.
It is a lesser known fact that the forum also takes up cases relating to crop insurance, crop loss owing to supply of substandard seeds and other such agricultural problems.
Statistics reveal that only 80 cases relating to farming have been registered at the forum. “The number of such cases received may be few, but the redressal ratio is 98 per cent,” said its president, G.C. Neeralagi.
He said several farmers had petitioned the forum seeking action against distributors who supplied poor quality seeds. Farmers also filed cases relating to the inadequate supply of fertilizers.
Mr. Neeralagi said the forum could not only order payment of compensation for lost crop but could also levy penalties for agony caused to farmers.
Asked why farmers had not been able to make full use of the forum, he felt the lack of publicity was the main reason.
“It is important for farmers to be made aware of such dispute redressal mechanisms. Owing to lack of awareness, farmers either don’t register any complaint or keep asking the Government for compensation. Instead of wasting time running from pillar to post for compensation, farmers should directly approach us to get their problems solved,” he said.
Mr. Neeralagi said the primary job of the forum was to accept and redress cases, while spreading awareness was the responsibility of the District Consumer Council, headed by the Deputy Commissioner.
“On the contrary, we are giving this facility publicity when the job should be done by the Department of Food and Civil Supplies,” he added.
Admission
Speaking to The Hindu, Deputy Commissioner Amlan Aditya Biswas admitted that adequate publicity was not given to the issue, but, however, said he would direct the department concerned to work on awareness creation.
“We will ensure that the information is passed on to farmers mainly during public grievances meetings,” he said.
Mr. Neeralagi said the forum could take up cases for hearing under 14 categories, such as those relating to medical negligence, education, postal services, telecom, airlines, defective household goods and appliances and road transport.

Judges answerable to citizens: Gokhale
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031753920400.htm
Mohamed Imranullah S.
MADURAI: Madras High Court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale is of the view that judges in the State are answerable to citizens and hence should decide cases on meritdespite the ongoing boycott of courts by lawyers.
He expressed his mind during an interaction with judicial officers of 13 districts here on Saturday. “The CJ said it was not appropriate for judges to draw salary without doing any work,” one of the participants, preferring anonymity, said.
The Chief Justice and his companion judges also ascertained from judicial officers the problems the latter might have to face while taking up cases in the absence of lawyers holding ‘vakalats’ (authorisation to appear on behalf of their clients).
According to the source, most of the judicial officers expressed apprehension that they might face the wrath of lawyers who could indulge in violence and create disturbances during court proceedings.
“The CJ said that any such untoward incident should first be brought to the notice of the High Court Registry. He also said that police protection could be sought, if necessary,” the participant said. Further, Mr. Justice Gokhale reportedly told the gathering that lawyers did not resume work despite an assurance given by the representatives of Bar Associations at a meeting in Chennai on March 8, a day before he was sworn in as Chief Justice.
District Judges, Munsifs and Judicial Magistrates from Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Tuticorin, Madurai, Dindigul, Theni, Ramanathapuram, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Pudukottai, Thanjavur, Tiruchi and Karur participated in the interaction.
Meanwhile, M. Subash Babu, secretary of Madurai Bench High Court Advocates Association, denied reports that lawyers here would withdraw vakalats as a mark of protest against the High Court’s decision to decide cases on merits.
“As of now, around 300 lawyers, including 25 women in Madurai Bench, have planned to participate in a rally in Chennai on Thursday demanding action against police excesses on the High Court premises on February 19,” he said.

UGC to issue stringent rules
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031757300100.htm
New Delhi: In the aftermath of the death of medical student Aman Kachroo because of ragging, the University Grants Commission has decided to issue stringent regulations to prevent such acts in future. The regulations are likely to be finalised by April first week, a UGC official told PTI. “The Commission has also decided to have wider consultations with other statutory bodies like the AICTE, the DCI, the NCTE, the PCI and the Medical Council of India,” the official said. The UGC would convene a meeting of these bodies along with the chairmen of State Councils of Higher Education and Education Secretaries.

Why Shiv Sena Hindustan can’t be registered as party: HC to EC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Why_Shiv_Sena_Hindustan_cant_be_registered_as_party_HC_to_EC/articleshow/4277570.cms
17 Mar 2009, 1823 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought a response from the Election Commission on why a political party naming ‘Shiv Sena Hindustan’ cannot be registered with it. Justice S Ravindra Bhat asked the Commission to file its affidavit explaning why it refused to register the Punjab-based political party. The court passed the order on a petition filed by the party alleging the Commission had rejected it’s plea for registration in gross violation of its discretionary powers. “The non-registration of the party name is arbitrary, capricious, gross violation of discretionary powers granted to the Commission,” advocate Ajit Nair, appearing for the party, contended. The Commission, however, defended its action saying the party name cannot be registered as it is similar to Shiv Sena which is already a recognized and registered political party. The petitioner objected to the Commission’s stand saying numerous political parties carrying similar names have been registered in the past by the EC. “The Commission has been registering parties in similar name of an existing party like Janata Dal and subsequent registration of Janata Dal Secular, Janata Dal United,” Nair said. The Court, after hearing both sides, asked the EC to file its response

Speaker’s nod must to make netas’ assets public, says CIC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Speakers_nod_must_to_make_netas_assets_public_says_CIC/articleshow/4273035.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0221 hrs IST, Himanshi Dhawan, TNN
NEW DELHI: Wealth owned by ministers and their kin can only be made public if the Speaker allows it, the Central Information Commission ruled and asked the Prime Minister’s Office to seek the Speaker’s nod for making public ministers’ assets. For those ministers who are Rajya Sabha members, the commission has advised a similar procedure with the presiding officer. The controversial issue of disclosure of minister’s assets has been hanging fire for over a year. Applicant Subhash Chandra Agarwal had asked for information related to assets owned by Union ministers and their kin. In his order, chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said the “information is not disclosable except with the permission of the Speaker”. This is with reference to the disclosure of information related to ministers who are members of the Lok Sabha. He added, “If there is any equivalent rule with regard to the Rajya Sabha, this may also be exercised.” The CIC has stipulated a time period of 30 days. According to sources, there has been precedent when the Speaker has allowed disclosure of assets of Lok Sabha members. Rules framed by the Parliament ethics committee stipulate that each member of the Lok Sabha must submit assets and liabilities in a sealed cover to the Speaker. The information is kept confidential till such time as the Speaker deems fit. It is learnt that there have been instances when MPs’ wealth has been made public under the RTI Act. So far, the government has been reluctant to part with the information. The PMO had initially forwarded the application to the cabinet secretariat asking for information to be disclosed. In his appeal, Agarwal pointed out that in a letter written on May 19, 2008, the PMO had provided details of assets and liabilities of members of the Union council of ministers to cabinet secretariat to deal with such RTI applications. However, Agarwal was later informed by the PMO that the information sought was exempt under section 8 of the RTI Act. After six months, PMO in a letter dated December 17, 2008 told Agarwal that the information sought could not be provided as it was exempt under the RTI Act provisions. The PM’s office sought exemption under clauses 8(1)(e) and 8(1)(j) which relate to immunity granted to “documents fiduciary relationship” and “Cabinet documents” under the RTI Act.

Fine cannot substitute custodial sentence in rash and negligent driving: SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Fine_cannot_substitute_custodial_sentence_in_rash_and_negligent_driving_SC/articleshow/4273013.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0302 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN
NEW DELHI: Disturbed by increasing fatalities on roads, the Supreme Court in a landmark judgment ruled that in cases of rash and negligent driving resulting in deaths, courts should not adopt a lenient approach and substitute custodial sentence with fine. Fearing that the rich and mighty may get away in road rage and rash and negligent driving cases, the apex court said the provision in penal laws prescribing jail term could not be bartered away by allowing a convict to walk free after paying a hefty fine. The ruling came in a rash driving case against a bus driver. A 16-year-old had died because of the bus hitting an auto-rickshaw in which he was travelling. The trial court convicted him under Section 304A of Indian Penal Code and imposed a sentence of one year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 5,000. However, the Karnataka High Court allowed the driver’s appeal by increasing the fine amount in lieu of doing away with the jail term. Allowing the appeal of Karnataka government against the HC order, a Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and A K Ganguly said, “This is a case where the HC has without considering the relevant aspects and even without indicating any reason, waived the custodial sentence and imposed only fine. The judgment therefore is clearly unsustainable. The HC order is set aside and that of the trial court is restored.” The Bench, perturbed by rising fatalities in road accidents, said, “As vehicle use in developing countries are increasing, road traffic injuries are expected to become the third leading cause of death and disability worldwide by 2020.” “The human toll in such accidents is tragic. Survivors and family members are affected not only by an immediate death or disability, but also lifetime psychological and physical suffering. Crashes often result in orphans, and some victims, as young as infants, spend the rest of their lives with medical help,” said Justice Pasayat, writing the judgment for the Bench. Referring to the global estimated annual cost of road crashes, pegged at $500 billion, the Bench said India needed to quickly find a solution to this menace and could take cue from the tools developed by developed countries. However, the apex court said undue sympathy to persons indulging in rash and negligent driving resulting in deaths would prove counter-productive. “Imposition of sentence without considering the effect on the social order in many cases may in reality be a futile exercise… Any liberal attitude by imposing meagre sentences or taking too sympathetic a view merely on account of lapse of time in respect of such offences will be, result-wise, counter productive in the long run and against social interest which needs to be cared for and strengthened by a string of deterrence inbuilt in the sentencing system,” it said. dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

RTI Act fails to revitalise admin
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/RTI_Act_fails_to_revitalise_admin_/articleshow/4272870.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2149 hrs IST, Anshul Jaiswal and Harsh Pandey, TNN
KANPUR: When Right to Information (RTI) Act came into existence in 2005, people in India hailed it as a revolution. But, contrary to their perception their right to seek the information has been left in lurch. Thanks to laid-back attitudes of bureaucrats and department officials. They felt empowered and thought that it will revamp stinky babucracy existent in country and revitalise it with doses of honesty, integrity and transparency. But the charisma has not lived up to reputation and RTI Act has failed to yield proper results. Very few government departments within time-bound limit furnish the answers and most of the officials who have been appointed as PIOs do not consider job seriously and even some of them go to extent by misleading the public by providing improper details. Interestingly, number of people using the act is increasing each passing day standing as a testimony of growing awareness among people about the act. Running a RTI voluntary task force in the city, Dr Sunil Gupta said, “the awareness level has definitely gone up as even illiterate people coming from remote areas are using the act.” We start from the quote of the best man available on the topic, Arvind Kejriwal. Straight away, Kejriwal shot down, “success rate has gone down within four years of act because of corrupt officials who are not informing people how to use the act to their utmost benefit.” Detailing about where lies the rot, Kejriwal said,”the problem lies in the fact that government workers tend to grow loyalists and even corrupt officials are appointed by ICs.” The technical aspect for some officials remains a bottle-neck in effective realisation of the Act. DM, Anil Kumar Sagar, said, “Due to lot of paper-work involved, the work proceeds sluggishly. Computerisation will bring more clarity and speediness in the work.” So will the Act die a pre-mature death? Kejriwal said, “The solution lies in putting pressure on government to appoint corrupt officials. Unless and until government appoints honest officials as information commissioners (ICs), the act will never realise its main goal, achieving transparency in working style of government.”

Lawyers up in arms against minister
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/Lawyers_up_in_arms_against_minister/articleshow/4273272.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2245 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: A piquant situation arose at the district collectorate here on Monday noon after two groups of lawyers came at loggerheads. The situation was normalised following intervention of senior members of the warring groups. Pointedly, a section of lawyers were up in arms against minister of state for institutional finance Nand Gopal Gupta for allegedly misbehaving with a district court lawyer. They began staging a road blockade outside the court, shouting slogans against the minister, even as the police stood as mute spectators. On hearing the slogans, another group of lawyers, owing allegiance to the minister, tried to reason out with the protesters apprising them about the reality. However, the protesters refused to budge and went ahead with the protest. They also misbehaved with high court lawyer Vikas Gupta, who happened to pass that way. Gupta was critical of the manner in which the lawyers were creating a ruckus, having scant regard for the sanctity of the bar. The protesters alleged that when the district court lawyer had gone to exchange Holi greetings with the minister at the latter’s office in the city, he was manhandled by the minister and his supporters. Members of Yuvjan Adhivakta Sangh later held a meeting at the court premises to condemn the unwarranted action of a section of lawyers. The meeting was presided by sangh president, Krishna Gopal Pandey. The members said that the lawyers were acting as puppets in the hands of political rivals of the minister. They appealed to the lawyers to maintain harmony. Talking to TOI, the minister, while rejecting allegations against him pointed out that the said lawyer has filed a civil suit against him which is pending in the court. “Is it not ridiculous to assume that he would have approached me to wish a Happy Holi?” he questioned. The suit relates to a property Nandi had purchased in 2005 when he was neither a MLA nor a minister. After the owner had sold the property, the registry formalities were completed and Nandi stepped into the political mainstream, the said lawyer began staking claim, declaring himself to be one of the rightful owners. The issue remains to be decided in the court. The minister pointed out that the lawyer was being used by his political rivals to tarnish his image.

HC issues notices to defence estate dept, others
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/HC_issues_notices_to_defence_estate_dept_others/articleshow/4273269.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2239 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has taken a serious note that property worth crores of rupees, belonging to the defence estate department (DED) in Kanpur, was sold away at throwaway prices in connivance with the officials. The court has asked the Union of India, DED and the state government to file replies within three weeks and fixed April 14 to hear the case. The order was passed by a bench comprising Justice SR Alam and Justice Sudhir Agarwal, on a petition filed by Awadh Narain Singh of Kanpur. Defence estate officer, Circle at Lucknow, has been impleaded as respondent in the petition. CB Yadav, appearing for the petitioner, had contended that the government land has been sold in connivance of the authorities of the defence estate department and the local administration, including the registration department. The court, in its order, has clarified that the counter-affidavit on behalf of the defence estate department, shall be sworn by the principal director himself and for the Cantonment Board, it shall be sworn by the chief executive officer. The court has directed to produce all the records related to the property in question. The court has also issued notices to the purchasers through chief metropolitan magistrate, Kanpur Nagar.

Chawla case: Police submits interim report
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/Chawla_case_Police_submits_interim_report/articleshow/4273650.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0055 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: The city police have submitted its interim investigation report on the alleged irregularities in land allotment to the educational trusts related to election commissioner Navin Chawla in the district court here. The report, however, has not confirmed the allegations and the police have demanded another two months for further investigation. The court, on the other hand, gave the police a month’s period and submit the report by April 16.
The police submitted a three page report and demanded more time which was partially granted. As the police is unable to contradict any of the documents submitted by us, thus our point can be said to be acceptable” said advocate Yogendra Tanwar who has filed the case. “The police have also written to some other involved departments for further investigation The complainants have alleged that the Urban Development ministry and JDA have allotted land to Lala Chaman Lal Educational Trust for Boys and Bhagwan Devi Educational Trust for Girls’ in order to please the bureaucrat, during previous tenure of Ashok Gehlot government. Though Chawla and Congress have repeatedly denied the allegations, the case has been subjudice and is less likely to affect the appointment of Chawla as the chief election commissioner.

HC stays probe into number plate tender
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/HC_stays_probe_into_number_plate_tender/articleshow/4273626.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0050 hrs IST, TNN
JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday stayed the order of an ACB court directing the DGP to order a probe into the alleged corruption in the Rs 400-crore tender for high security registration plates given to one Shimnit Utsch Inida Pvt. Ltd. Justice Raghuvendra Singh Rathore’s order came on a petition filed by the company challenging the ACB court order saying that it has been passed without looking into the fact that the validity of the tender procedure has been upheld by the high court and that a special court appointed under a particular Act of the legislature has no authority to ask for investigation in any case on an application made under Section 156 (3) of the CrPC. Senior advocate from the Supreme Court, Rajeev Dhawan argued the case on behalf of the company. The ACB court had directed the DGP to ask an officer of the rank of SP to investigate the corruption charges and role of the persons named in the complaint. A complaint was filed by one Chandrabihari Sharma on Feburary 10 alleging that there has been a huge scam in the allotment of tender to the Shinnit Utsch company by the state government and for which a huge gratification has been given to the various officials at different levels. The complaint named former transport minister Yunus Khan, personal secretary of BJP leader LK Advani, Deepak Chopra, director Manoj Patel and 10 others including former director of the company Nitin Shah who resigned from the company in 2005. It was alleged by the complainant that the number plates for the vehicles that were being provided by the company were exorbitantly priced whereas the number plates of the same specifications are available at a very low price in the market. “We will file an appeal in the Supreme Court. The court passed the order without hearing the complainant. The court was not apprised of the proper facts of the case and there is no such fetters on the power of a special judge in ordering a probe into such corruption issued,” said Ajay Kumar Jain, counsel for the complainant. The state government, meanwhile, has suspended the work licence granted to the company and the same has been challenged by the company before a single judge of the high court but no stay was granted by it.

I am not pro any caste or religion: CJ
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/I_am_not_pro_any_caste_or_religion_CJ/articleshow/4273625.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0048 hrs IST, Abhinav Sharma, TNN
JAIPUR: The new chief justice of Rajasthan high Court Deepak Verma has made it clear to the Bar that he believes in work and has no respect for those who seek unnecessary adjournments and delay disposal of cases on some pretext. Justice Verma was speaking at a meeting to felicitate him on Monday. He said he wanted to be a humane judge. The chief justice a asked the Bar Association of Rajasthan and the Bar Council of Rajasthan to seriously consider opening of a training academy for new advocates on the pattern of Karnataka High Court. He called attention to the fact that the young lawyers are not paid stipend by their seniors. He pointed out that Karnataka government has started a scheme to pay sustenance allowance of Rs. 2,000 per month for a period of two years to new lawyers. He said that this practice should be followed in the state. Justice Verma practised mainly on the civil side in the district courts and high court at Jabalpur He held additional charge as welfare commissioner to help of Bhopal gas victims from 2003 till March 28 last year. Justice Verma is the fifth judge from Madhya Pradesh high court to head the state judiciary. “I will try to follow in the steps of those who has preceded me and I have a big dream for the state’s judiciary. Hope I may be able to realize it,” said Verma. He also asked the lawyers to cooperate with the bench in order to increase the working days and time of the court. He gave examples of Gujarat, Karnataka and other states that have already started evening courts. Justice Verma, who is being considered for Supreme Court judgeship, said, “Whether my one-day performance was sufficient for my felicitation or not is a million dollar question, it is too early for the bar to judge my functioning. I hope I will atleast be able to set the ball rolling, even if I do not succeed in realizing all my dreams and plans about state judiciary. Justice Verma also stress on the arrears and pendency of litigation in the court, he sought cooperation of lawyers in evolving quick disposal mechanism.

Guv administers oath to new CJ Koshy
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/Guv_administers_oath_to_new_CJ_Koshy/articleshow/4273565.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0220 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: Governor R L Bhatia on Monday administered oath to new Chief Justice (CJ), Patna High Court, Justice Jacob Benjamin Koshy at a simple function organized at Raj Bhawan. The present and former judges of Patna HC, CM Nitish Kumar, assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary, legislative council acting chairman Arun Kumar, law minister Ramnath Thakur, member, board of revenue, K D Sinha, State Farmers’ Commission chairman Ramadhar, DGP D N Gautam, ADGP (police headquarters) Neelmani, were among the other dignitaries present at the oath taking ceremony. Koshy’s family members and friends from Kerala HC were also present at the function. Born on May 13, 1947, Koshy was enrolled as advocate on October 12, 1968, and was elevated as judge of Ernakulam High Court (Kerala) on January 17, 1996. Koshy did LLM with specialisation in Mercantile Law and Law of Contract from Kerala University. He practised in Ernakulam HC, labour court, industrial tribunal and excelled in constitutional law. He was standing counsel of the Central and state governments’ undertakings and also contested cases of private sector companies. Noted for his judgements and juristic excellence, Koshy is due to retire in the middle of May, 2009.

HC reserves order on Shahabu’s plea
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/HC_reserves_order_on_Shahabus_plea/articleshow/4273558.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0201 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday reserved order on the petition of RJD MP from Siwan, Md Shahabuddin, seeking stay on his conviction in a case of kidnapping and murder of a CPI(ML) worker, Chhotelal Gupta. A sessions court of Siwan had awarded life term to the MP in this case. A division bench comprising Justice Shiva Kirti Singh and Justice Sheema Ali Khan also reserved order on the bail plea of Shahabuddin in the same case. The additional public prosecutor of the state government opposed the petitions of Shahabuddin on the ground that he was involved in many criminals cases, including cases of felony.

Salem produced in special CBI court, hearing on Mar 30
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Salem_produced_in_special_CBI_court_hearing_on_Mar_30_/articleshow/4276585.cms
17 Mar 2009, 1518 hrs IST, PTI
LUCKNOW: Under world don Abu Salem was today produced in the special CBI court here in connection with a 1993 fake passport case. After Salem was produced in the court the special judicial magistrate Saif Ahmad fixed March 30 as the next date of hearing. The CBI court had earlier issued a production warrant against Salem in the 15-year-old case, in which he along with his wife Damira Zumani and others are accused of procuring passports on the basis of fake documents from the regional passport office at Lucknow. These passports were also issued under fake names. Salem, also an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case, was brought to the state capital this morning by Mumbai police and was taken to Kaisarbagh police station and later to CBI court for hearing amidst tight security arrangements. He will be taken back to Mumbai this evening.

Stop ragging or face aid cut: court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/17/stories/2009031755821100.htm
J. Venkatesan
Directions issued on the basis of Raghavan report to end menace have not been complied with
Bench issues show-cause to medical college principal and registrar
Medical Council asked to probe doctor’s failure to properly examine Aman Kachroo
New Delhi: Time has come for cutting off financial aid to educational institutions which are not complying with the directions to put down ragging, the Supreme Court said on Monday.
Expressing serious concern over the death of Aman Kachroo, student of Dr. Rajendra Prasad Medical College, Kangra in Himachal Pradesh, due to ragging on March 8, a Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and A.K. Ganguly issued a show-cause to the principal and the registrar, asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them for not complying with the court directions to prevent ragging.
Earlier, Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam made a special mention about the death of the student and sought urgent directions. He also mentioned about the suicide attempt by a girl student of Agriculture and Engineering College, Bapatla in Andhra Pradesh, after she was allegedly forced by ser seniors to dance obscenely.
Justice Pasayat observed: “It appears that the concern shown by this court has not been taken seriously by the authorities. Prima facie it is contempt of this court. The directions issued by this court on May 16, 2007 and February 11, 2009 [on the basis of the R.K. Raghavan Committee report to end the menace] have not been complied with. Time has come for cutting off financial aid to these institutions which are not complying with the directions.”
The Bench, while issuing the notice, sought the response of the principal and the registrar in two weeks on what action was taken after the ragging incident was brought to their notice.
It asked the Medical Council of India to inquire into allegations that though Aman Kachroo suffered a perforated eardrum and internal injuries, the doctor who attended on him failed to conduct any detailed examination and the victim succumbed to his injuries on March 8.
The Bench said: “It shall be stated by the MCI whether the doctor was negligent in providing treatment to Aman Kachroo and what action is proposed against the delinquent doctor if any.”
It asked the Chief Secretaries and the Directors-General of Police of Himachal Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to file separate affidavits explaining the steps taken by them to comply with the earlier directions, and the action against the two institutions and the erring students.
Further hearing is posted to March 30.

Given HC nod, NHAI to clear NH-22 today
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Given_HC_nod_NHAI_to_clear_NH-22_today/articleshow/4274421.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0559 hrs IST, TNN
PANCHKULA: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday allowed the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) to carry out demolitions along the

national highway in Kalka as per Supreme Court orders. The court also directed the Panchkula administration and NHAI to file status report on March 19. The Supreme Court had allowed NHAI to remove encroachments along the highway without damaging the residential premises of petitioners. Following a late evening meet with civil administration officials for security cover during the drive, the highway authority decided to start demolitions from Tuesday. There are around 250 unauthorised structures in Kalka. On January 31, the high court had ordered demolition of illegal structures on national highway-22 in Kalka following which the residents and shopkeepers had moved a special leave petition in Supreme Court. The apex court disposed off the petition on March 2, allowing demolition with a rider.

CJ gives in to Bar, changes HC roster
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/CJ_gives_in_to_Bar_changes_HC_roster/articleshow/4274422.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0600 hrs IST, Vishal Sharma, TNN
CHANDIGARH: In an apparent fallout of the face-off between justice Uma Nath Singh and High Court Bar Association over his “indecent behaviour towards lawyers”, chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur is said to have ordered a change in the HC roster on Monday. Though no official word was available, sources said the change in roster would be effective from Wednesday and that justice Uma Nath Singh is likely to sit with a senior judge, in all likelihood justice J S Khehar, in a division bench. “I’ve heard the news but have not been able to confirm it as I’m in the USA and will return by tomorrow evening only,” Bar association president Rupinder Khosla told TOI on Monday. There will be more changes in the roster. While justice S K Mittal will sit in a single bench (civil), justice Daya Chaudhary is likely to join justice Mehtab Singh Gill in division bench. The chief justice will remain with justice Hemant Gupta in the first division bench. At present, justice Uma Nath Singh sits as a senior judge with justice A N Jindal in a division bench and managed smooth business despite the near month-long boycott by lawyers. The Bar had refused to relent till “an acceptable solution” was found.

Life term for rapist stepfather
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Life_term_for_rapist_stepfather/articleshow/4273752.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0533 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Chander Pal, 35, who was found guilty of repeatedly raping his 17-year-old stepdaughter, was sentenced to life imprisonment in the court of justice Raj Shekhar Attri on Monday. He was also directed to pay Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the victim. Prosecution had stated that Pal had been violating the girl since she was 12. Justice Attri gave a chance to the accused and victim to say something before the sentence was pronounced. Pal refused to give the girl the hut where he stayed. Sister Pauletta of Sector-23 based Missionaries of Charity Home (MCH) and Child Welfare Committee member Madhu P Singh accompanied the victim, who expressed her wish to stay at MCH instead of Nari Niketan. After the hearing, the victim, who was in tears, said, “I am missing my mother. Now, I will study and take care of my five-month-old baby.” Prosecution said her mother had committed suicide because Pal was involved in an extramarital affair. At that time, the victim was three years old. The trial in the case took just six hearings with the charges being framed on February 13. Pal had been booked under sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code.

Two sentenced in murder case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Two_sentenced_in_murder_case/articleshow/4273740.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0527 hrs IST, TNN
PANCHKULA: Court of additional district and sessions judge Sanjeev Jindal awarded 10-year imprisonment to Mansa Devi Complex (MDC) resident Sanjay Kumar, 30, on Monday for the murder of one Raju on December 31, 2007. His co-accused Subhash Kumar, 50, was awarded two-year imprisonment. Fine of Rs 5,000 each was also imposed on them. The victim was 28 years of age and worked as a painter. Police arrested the accused on January 1. Prosecution had stated that the accused and victim had been drinking and gambling on new year eve. It was stated that Raju won Rs 30 from them and that led to a scuffle. Police said Sanjay hit Raju in the head with a baton. The victim was badly hurt and the accused took him behind a hut and left him there, said cops.

Derabassi toll plaza: HC issues show cause notice
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Derabassi_toll_plaza_HC_issues_show_cause_notice/articleshow/4273718.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0454 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: The issue of heavy toll tax collection at Derabassi flyover on Zirakpur-Ambala national highway by a private company weighed heavily on the mind of justices Uma Nath Singh and AN Jindal of the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday when they issued a showcause notice for contempt to RK Sondhi, ADJ, Chandigarh. While sitting in an arbitration tribunal, Sondhi had given a seven-month extension till October 2009 to the company to collect toll. The HC wanted to know reasons for giving extension even as the Union counsel had informed the court early this year that there would be no extension beyond March 14, 2009. When the division bench was told that Sondhi was duly apprised of the Centre’s stand before the HC, judges took serious note of the situation seeking an immediate explanation from Sondhi. On January 22, the judges had perused an affidavit filed by Brahm Dutt, secretary, department of road transport and highway, Union of India, and directed him to clarify as to whether the escalation in cost of project was included in the toll fee being collected from road-users.

HC warns municipalities of contempt proceedings
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_warns_municipalities_of_contempt_proceedings_/articleshow/4274268.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0423 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday warned seven municipal councils of contempt proceedings if they failed to comply with the court’s earlier directions with regard to garbage disposal within a week. The court was hearing the suo motu petition relating to garbage disposal in the state, at which the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) filed a detailed inspection report. The court on February 18, 2009 had directed the GSPCB to conduct an inspection of the garbage disposal facilities of Cuncolim, Curchorem, Pernem, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Sanguem and Quepem municipal councils and to submit its report to the court. Atmaram Nadkarni appearing for GSPCB told the court that after conducting the inspection, it had appeared to the board that the seven civic bodies had inadequate composting facilities, and that some of them did not segregate waste into bio and non biodegradable waste. Referring to the report, amicus curiae Norma Alvares pointed out that it appeared that the Curchorem-Cacora municipal council was burning non biodegradable garbage, while the other six municipalities had not taken steps to set up new composting stations. This was, Alvares argued, in violation of the court’s earlier orders. At this juncture the division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice N A Britto sought to know whether the chief officers of the seven municipalities were present as per the court’s orders. When it was brought to the notice of the bench that with the exception of the chief officer of the Valpoi municipality, the others were present in the court, the bench observed that it was obvious that the court’s orders were being taken lightly by the civic bodies. Giving the municipalities a “last opportunity” the bench directed them to comply with the directions within a week’s time failing which the court would “take action” against the chief officers, including initiating contempt proceedings against them. The matter has been fixed for further orders on March 23. Regarding biomedical waste, the GSPCB member secretary Ashok Daiwajna filed an affidavit detailing the board’s inspection of the state’s health care facilities as directed by the court on January 30, 2009. The affidavit states that the board had conducted an inspection of 144 health care facilities and found that 108 had complied with the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1988. The board issued directions to 31 health care facilities and would re-inspect the remaining five as they were under renovation. Of the 108 units which had complied with the rules, 51 had been granted authorization and the board was in the process of granting authorization to 24 others. The affidavit also states that 45 health care facilities remain to be inspected. Further, the affidavit disclosed that the GSPCB was in the process of issuing directions to the Mapusa Municipal Council for complying with the recommendations made by it after inspecting their waste disposal facilities.

Govt to await court view on casino shifting
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Govt_to_await_court_view_on_casino_shifting_/articleshow/4274236.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The state government has decided not to proceed with its decision to shift the floating casinos from the Mandovi until further orders from the high court. This was conveyed to the high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday by state advocate general Subodh Kantak. Kantak was replying to petitions by two more floating casinos operating on the Mandovi who approached the high court seeking relief from the government’s decision to shift them from the Mandovi to Aguada Bay. The petitions filed on Monday were by High Street Cruises and Entertainment who operate Casino Royale and Victor Hotels and Motels who run Arabian Sea. In their petitions, both casino operators claim that the government has issued them notices despite their possessing the necessary permissions to operate on the Mandovi. When the petitions came up for hearing Kantak repeated the argument he had made in the previous cases saying that the government had decided to shift the casinos as they were causing navigational problems for ore carrying barges on the river. The court fixed March 19 as the next date for hearing the matter, which will be clubbed with the petitions filed by two other casinos, the Pride of Goa and the Leela. According to the notice sent by the government to the casinos, they have to shift their vessels from the Mandovi by March 19.

HC warns municipalities of contempt proceedings
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/HC_warns_municipalities_of_contempt_proceedings_/articleshow/4274268.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0423 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday warned seven municipal councils of contempt proceedings if they failed to comply with the court’s earlier directions with regard to garbage disposal within a week. The court was hearing the suo motu petition relating to garbage disposal in the state, at which the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) filed a detailed inspection report. The court on February 18, 2009 had directed the GSPCB to conduct an inspection of the garbage disposal facilities of Cuncolim, Curchorem, Pernem, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Sanguem and Quepem municipal councils and to submit its report to the court. Atmaram Nadkarni appearing for GSPCB told the court that after conducting the inspection, it had appeared to the board that the seven civic bodies had inadequate composting facilities, and that some of them did not segregate waste into bio and non biodegradable waste. Referring to the report, amicus curiae Norma Alvares pointed out that it appeared that the Curchorem-Cacora municipal council was burning non biodegradable garbage, while the other six municipalities had not taken steps to set up new composting stations. This was, Alvares argued, in violation of the court’s earlier orders. At this juncture the division bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice N A Britto sought to know whether the chief officers of the seven municipalities were present as per the court’s orders. When it was brought to the notice of the bench that with the exception of the chief officer of the Valpoi municipality, the others were present in the court, the bench observed that it was obvious that the court’s orders were being taken lightly by the civic bodies. Giving the municipalities a “last opportunity” the bench directed them to comply with the directions within a week’s time failing which the court would “take action” against the chief officers, including initiating contempt proceedings against them. The matter has been fixed for further orders on March 23. Regarding biomedical waste, the GSPCB member secretary Ashok Daiwajna filed an affidavit detailing the board’s inspection of the state’s health care facilities as directed by the court on January 30, 2009. The affidavit states that the board had conducted an inspection of 144 health care facilities and found that 108 had complied with the Bio Medical Waste (Management and Handling) Rules, 1988. The board issued directions to 31 health care facilities and would re-inspect the remaining five as they were under renovation. Of the 108 units which had complied with the rules, 51 had been granted authorization and the board was in the process of granting authorization to 24 others. The affidavit also states that 45 health care facilities remain to be inspected. Further, the affidavit disclosed that the GSPCB was in the process of issuing directions to the Mapusa Municipal Council for complying with the recommendations made by it after inspecting their waste disposal facilities.

Govt to await court view on casino shifting
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Govt_to_await_court_view_on_casino_shifting_/articleshow/4274236.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0418 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The state government has decided not to proceed with its decision to shift the floating casinos from the Mandovi until further orders from the high court. This was conveyed to the high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday by state advocate general Subodh Kantak. Kantak was replying to petitions by two more floating casinos operating on the Mandovi who approached the high court seeking relief from the government’s decision to shift them from the Mandovi to Aguada Bay. The petitions filed on Monday were by High Street Cruises and Entertainment who operate Casino Royale and Victor Hotels and Motels who run Arabian Sea. In their petitions, both casino operators claim that the government has issued them notices despite their possessing the necessary permissions to operate on the Mandovi. When the petitions came up for hearing Kantak repeated the argument he had made in the previous cases saying that the government had decided to shift the casinos as they were causing navigational problems for ore carrying barges on the river. The court fixed March 19 as the next date for hearing the matter, which will be clubbed with the petitions filed by two other casinos, the Pride of Goa and the Leela. According to the notice sent by the government to the casinos, they have to shift their vessels from the Mandovi by March 19.

Election symbol to Praja Rajyam: SC dismisses PIL
http://www.samaylive.com/news/election-symbol-to-to-praja-rajyam-sc-dismisses-pil/614008.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 at 21:09 IST
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court today dismissed a petition filed by a voter on the issue of allotment of a symbol to Praja Rajyam Party, floated in Andhra Pradesh by Telugu film icon Chiranjeevi, so it can be used to fight the coming polls across the state.A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices V S Sirpurkar and P Sathasivam dismissed the petition as “infructous” since the Election Commission has already rejected Chiranjeevi’s plea.The petitioner S Siva Prasad had filed the PIL in the apex court pleading that no such allotment can be made to the Praja Rajyam in view of the Elections Symbols Allotment Order which stipulates that only recognized political parties can be alloted a symbol with which they can fight elections in all the places.Prasad had moved the apex court after the Andhra Pradesh High Court directed the Election Commission on February 6, 2009 to examine the plea of the Praja Rajyam Party to allot it a common symbol to contest coming assembly and Lok Sabha elections.

‘Eateries aboard casinos operating without licence’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Eateries_aboard_casinos_operating_without_licence/articleshow/4273351.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0324 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Stating that restaurants aboard floating casinos are operating without permission from the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), opposition leader Manohar Parrikar has demanded immediate action and also the closure of these eateries. Until the matter is cleared by the government of India, sea vessels that do not have a licence under the Goa Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act should be stopped from selling any item covered under the act. This is specifically applicable to casinos selling food illegally without a proper licence.’ Parrikar’s letter stated. Kindly note that rules applicable to small time eateries along the road side are equally applicable to big establishments. Therefore, until licenses are granted and due clarification is received by you from the government of India, you should take action against casinos selling food illegally without any licence under the Goa Prevention of Food and Adulteration Act and stop them from operating their restaurants and bars,’ the opposition leader’s letter stated. The BJP leader further accused Ahmed Patel, political secretary to UPA president Sonia Gandhi, of calling on the chief minister twice and pressurizing him and home minister Ravi Naik to clear permissions to some floating casino operators. “All three of them are involved in the illegal clearing of files,” he said on Monday. Mocking the current drama of the casino operators dragging the government to court, Parrikar alleged that the entire play has been fixed. The opposition leader further criticized the cabinet for considering a note from the advocate general defining the meaning of an off-shore casino without taking the departments concerned into confidence. “This style of functioning, where the government has asked the casinos to move in an irrational manner, has been deployed by the government in other situations before,” he said. Parrikar said that this situation was engineered to suit the casino operators. “The government is hands-in-glove with the casino operators,” he said. He further alleged that some floating casinos were operating even without the NOC from the captain of ports, while others had their NOCs expired. “The NOC of Casino Royale expired on February 18. Why is the captain of ports not throwing these casinos out?” Parrikar asked.

Industrialists file PIL for repair of national highway
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/industrialists-file-pil-for-repair-of-national-highway/435391/
ARVIND KASHYAP
Posted: Mar 17, 2009 at 0149 hrs IST
Solan Peeved over the alleged indifference of the Haryana state government and the Centre towards the bad condition of the Pinjore-Baddi stretch of National Highway 21A, the Baddi-Barotiwala-Nalagarh Industries’ Association (BBNIA) and Laghu Udyog Bharti (LUB) have filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court, urging the court to direct officials concerned to repair the highway.
BBNIA president Rajender Guleria and LUB president M P Sharmam in a civil writ petitionm have urged the court to direct the Government of Haryana and the officials concerned to repair the entire stretch of road from Pinjore to Maranwala-Baddi. Earlier, the BBNIA had taken up the issue with the both the governments, to little consequence though.
The members of the Association have also urged the officials to construct a Baddi-Kona-Chandigarh link road via Jayanti Majri and a Basolan-Prempura-Nayagram-Chandigarh link road to avoid traffic jams at Pinjore.
They have also demanded necessary directions from the Union government to the Punjab and Haryana governments to expedite construction work of Chandigarh-Siswan-Baddi road, which would help reduce commuting time.
A deputation of the association had also met Director General (Road Development) few months ago and had apprised him that owing to poor condition of the road, thousands of commuters, including industrial workers of over 5,000 industries of Baddi industrial belt, were facing great inconvenience. “Since the announcement of industrial package for Himachal Pradesh, the Baddi industrial belt has witnessed arrival of large scale industries. Due to this, vehicular traffic on the highway has increased manifold, leading to long traffic jams at Pinjore,” said Guleria.
The petitioners have also urged the court to issue needed directions to convert the road into four or six lanes on account of the heavy traffic density, which was examined by the officials some months ago.

Contempt notice to ADJ for ‘disobeying’ HC orders
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/contempt-notice-to-adj-for-disobeying-hc-orders/435415/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 17, 2009 at 0216 hrs IST
Chandigarh The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued showcause notices to R K Sondhi, Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ), Chandigarh, asking him to explain as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him. The ADJ has been asked to remain present in court on Tuesday at 10 am.
The directions were passed by a Division Bench, comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice Augustine George Masih, regarding a PIL on construction work on various national highways. On January 22, the court had made it clear that no further extension will be given to the toll plaza located at Dera Bassi after the expiry of the operator’s term on March 14.
It was brought to the notice of the High Court today that the Court of ADJ R K Sondhi had stayed the orders of the Union of India according to which the term of toll plaza was to expire. Producing a receipt of the toll plaza to prove his statement, the petitioner submitted that the ADJ had stayed the orders despite the HC directions. Taking a strong note, the court issued a contempt notice to Sondhi.
Superintending Engineer (Ministry of Roads, Transport Highways) A K Nagpal and Sunil Pahalwan, General Manager, M/s Valecha Engineering, were present in court today.
Meanwhile, the Bench also expressed disapproval on litigation being affected owing to the High Court Bar Association’s ongoing boycott of Justice Uma Nath Singh. The Bench referred to Rule 16 of Chapter 6 Part B of Rules & Orders of the Punjab and Haryana High Court which reads: “Strike by advocates would be considered interference with administration of justice and advocates participating in a strike may be barred from practice.”
The advocates are boycotting the judge’s court since February 19 after advocate M K Tiwari complained that Justice Uma Nath had insulted him in court.
“Even the law officers deputed to this court are abstaining from appearance. Needless to say that the expenses on government litigation as well as payment of fee and retainer to government advocates are made from the public exchequer and any adjournment in government cases on the ground of boycott would amount to legalising such boycotts, which would be contrary to the mandate of the judgments of the Supreme Court,” the Bench held.
The court also directed Cabinet Secretary/Law Secretary to the Government of India and Chief Secretaries to Punjab and Haryana to ensure representation in government cases.
Justice Uma Nath to sit as junior judge, boycott to end on March 18In a significant development, aimed at putting an end to the ongoing boycott, the roster of the High Court has been changed. According to the new roster, in effect from March 18, Justice Uma Nath Singh will sit as a junior judge with Justice J S Khehar, who is the first Puisne Judge (senior-most after the Chief Justice).
Welcoming the development, President of the High Court Bar Association Rupinder S Khosla said: “Since it is an honourable solution devised by the Chief Justice, the Bar will end its boycott on March 18.”
Earlier, the Bar had passed a resolution demanding that Justice Uma Nath been made a junior judge in a Division Bench or run a single Bench in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. As per the new roster, there will be eight Division Benches, 21 single civil Benches and 11 single criminal Benches.

HC allows KMC to snap defaulters’ water
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kolkata_/HC_allows_KMC_to_snap_defaulters_water/articleshow/4273854.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0314 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has regained the power to disconnect the water supply lines of citizens not paying property tax for more than a year. A Calcutta High Court division Bench on Monday set aside a single Bench order that restrained KMC from taking such stringent action for collecting property tax arrears. While allowing the appeal filed by KMC, the Bench of Justice Asim Banerjee and Justice Prasenjit Mondal observed that the civic body could enforce Section 275(1)(aa) of the KMC Act that empowers it to stop supplying water to property tax defaulters. Mayor Bikash Bhattacharya said the civic body would now start snapping off supply lines as a penal action to realise outstanding property tax. “We’ll conduct raids mainly on owners of commercial establishments and households who have not paid tax for three years,” he said on Monday. Municipal commissioner Alapan Bandyopadhyay said he was yet to get a copy of the verdict. He, however, felt that a section of tax defaulters was really posing a threat to KMC as it was becoming increasingly difficult for the latter to offer the best possible services to the citizens of Kolkata without realizing outstanding dues. Snapping of water supply was successfully used as a weapon by former mayor Subrata Mukherjee in 2002, when the civic body conducted a number of raids on several commercial establishments and stopped supplying water to realise unpaid taxes. That yielded results as KMC mopped up more than Rs 50 crore that year. In response to a writ petition filed in 2001 by Nilambar Finvest Pvt Ltd and two others of Kolkata to challenge a KMC notice, Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya had declared in 2002 the particular provision in KMC Act was unconstitutional. The civic body had to stop disconnecting water supply lines to collect tax arrears. KMC then appealed against that order before a division Bench. While advocate Anindya Mitra, counsel for the petitioner, argued that every citizen had the fundamental right to have water, KMC counsel Ashok Das Adhikary said the KMC Act had empowered it to snap supply lines to collect dues that have not been paid for more than a year.

What are the rights of a litigant?
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/What_are_the_rights_of_a_litigant/articleshow/4273676.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0319 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: A series of agitations and court boycotts by practicing lawyers in Tamil Nadu since the third week of January 2009 have brought quality judicial work to a standstill. Litigants, who include those in jail and under preventive detention, are unable to get their pending matters heard and disposed of by courts. The gravity of the situation can be gauged by the fact that the Madras High Court has had only 10 full working days so far this year. With the striking lawyers’ decision to intensity agitation in coming days and the prospects of resumption of court work remaining bleak, what are the lawful options open to bonafide litigants? Who is a litigant? What are the obligations of an advocate to his clients? And what should a litigant who has either already filed a case or is waiting to file a case do during these unusual times? Litigant You become a litigant once you engage the services of an advocate, who files his vakalatnama or memo of appearance which authorises him to represent you in a court or tribunal. He sets the ball rolling when he files your signed affidavits and gets those papers numbered by the court registry. Lawyers’ obligations A lawyer’s duty towards his client is well-codified in the Bar Council of India (BCI) Rules as well as the Advocates Act of 1961, besides, of course, various orders of the Supreme Court. As per the standards of professional conduct and etiquette explained in detail in the BCI Rules, an advocate should not ordinarily withdraw from engagements, once accepted, without sufficient cause and unless reasonable and sufficient notice is given to the client. If he chooses to withdraw, he shall refund “such part of the fee as has not been earned”. Therefore, it is incumbent upon advocates to quantify the unrepresented portion of the case and refund the proportionate amount of fee he had taken from his client. The rules also specifically bar abrupt and unreasonable withdrawal of advocates from the accepted cases. Litigants’ options A litigant is entitled to file and argue his own case at all times, more so during troubled times like this. First, if your case is taken up for hearing and your counsel is not representing you in court, you can step forward and demand audience. While there exists a legal bar for you to argue a matter filed by your advocate, it is up to the presiding officers to make your submissions even in such cases. Two, even if your counsel had withdrawn his vakalatnama, courts are mandated to individually intimate the development to you and give you an opportunity to “make alternative arrangements”. Three, if you are unhappy with the manner and quality of legal assistance provided by your advocate, you are free to complain to the state Bar Council, which is a statutory body empowered to initiate disciplinary proceedings and to suspend the licence to practice in deserving cases. Four, as legal service is also covered by the Consumer Protection Act, you can approach the jurisdictional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for compensation for deficient service. subramani.a@timesgroup.com

Stoppage of judicial work in TN has no parallel in country: Jurists
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Stoppage_of_judicial_work_in_TN_has_no_parallel_in_country_Jurists/articleshow/4273665.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0306 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: An entire state suffering total cessation of judicial work for 20 continuous working days has no parallel in the country, say senior jurists in the city. Although not willing to be quoted in these charged times, they said lawyers revoking vakalatnamas’ (memos of appearance) and pulling out of cases halfway through reflected a systemic breakdown. “Lawyers are officers of the court and they take a monopoly licence to protect the Constitution as well as the interests of their clients fearlessly. Their latest form of agitation is due to the fact that the Bar Councils are working under the guild supervision’ method and the office-bearers of this statutory body are elected from the same profession,” said a former advocate-general. Justice BN Srikrishna, who was asked by the Supreme Court to go into the February 19 violence on the Madras HC campus, did address this very problem in his interim report. Calling for amendments to the Advocates Act of 1961, the former judge called for a radical change in the composition of bar councils. Besides recommending a code of conduct for advocates, he said courts, along with the bar councils, needed to have powers to debar lawyers. Another senior advocate, flaying the state government for its hands-off approach in the aftermath of the February 19 violence on the high court campus, said: “The government is an important stake-holder, and it is unfortunate that it is adopting a wait-and-watch attitude instead of unveiling a package acceptable to all.” A judicial officer said it was not uncommon for certain pockets in the state to see frequent work disruptions, but this is the first time Tamil Nadu has witnessed a concerted and prolonged boycott across all courts. “In 2007, the district courts in Madurai lost 42 days in boycotts. While other districts lost about 25 days, the high court lost 14 days. In 2008, while the subordinate courts lost between 35 and 40 days to local boycotts, the Madras high court witnessed 18 days of boycotts.” The 2007 incident was sparked off when advocate R Shanmugasundaram, who went on to become a Rajya Sabha member of the DMK, was subjected to a murderous attack. “We lifted the boycott only after criminal proceedings were initiated against the suspects,” said a senior counsel for the central government. The present round of agitations is comparable only to the 1981 Ayyathurai incident-related strike, said a jurist, adding that stir led to unprecedented steps like imposition of prohibitory orders inside the high court premises and cancellation of the association’s right to host lawyers’ meetings on campus. “The strike did not end even when judges started dismissing the cases,” he said, adding that the transfer of the then commissioner of police and appointment of an inquiry commission alone led to resumption of normal work.

RTI activists take to streets for speedy disposal of cases
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/RTI_activists_take_to_streets__for_speedy_disposal_of_cases/articleshow/4273703.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0327 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: A group of organisations working for the right to information took out a demonstration in the city on Monday demanding speedy disposal of cases pending with the State Information Commission. Activists from eight organisations including Anti-corruption Movement, Citizen Consumer and Civic Action Group and Makkal Sakthi Iyakkam staged the agitation, saying that the Commission was taking at least nine months to take up appeals for hearing. It was also not strictly adhering to the provisions of the Right To Information Act to impose penalty on officials who refuse to disclose information to RTI applicants, they charged. The number of hearings conducted by the Commission was about 1,000 last year and the disposal rate came to an average of only 19 cases per month by each of the seven commissioners. As of February this year, the Commission was hearing only appeals that were filed in June 2008, the organisations said. In their joint representation sent to the Commission, the organisations charged that the Commission was not strictly adhering to the penal provision in the RTI Act against officials who failed to provide information to RTI applicants. Officials who don’t provide information within the stipulated time of 30 days are liable to pay a fine of Rs 250 per day up to a maximum of Rs 25,000. “Penalties are imposed in only a few cases. If the Commission does not impose penalties, the public authorities would have no reason to be afraid of the Commission, thus rendering the Act ineffective,” the representation said. The Commission had no data on number of appeals received, heard and disposed of, the organisations said. Transparency International, Tamil Nadu Lanjam Kodathor Iyakkam, Fifth Pillar India, Corporate Accountability Desk and Association for India’s Development were the other organisations in the group took part in the protest.

SC dismisses PIL
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/SC_dismisses_PIL/articleshow/4273765.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0220 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by a voter on the issue of allotment of a symbol to Prajarajyam party so that it can be used to fight in the coming polls. A bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, justices V S sirpurkar and P Sathasivam dismissed the petition as infructous since the Election Commission has already rejected Chiranjeevi’s plea. The petitioner S Siva Prasad had filed the PIL in the apex court pleading that no such allotment can be made to the Prajarajyam in view of the election symbols allotment order which stipulates that only recognized political parties can be alloted a symbol. Prasad had moved the apex court after the Andhra Pradesh high court directed the election commission on February 6 2009 to examine the plea of the Prajarajyam party to allot it a common symbol to contest coming assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Pti

HC notice to Maytas Infra, stays case on Vedanta
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/HC_notice_to_Maytas_Infra_stays_case_on_Vedanta/articleshow/4273771.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0302 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD:Justice K C Bhanu of the AP High Court on Monday stayed all the criminal proceedings launched by Punjagutta police in Hyderabad against Vedanta Aluminium Limited. It can be recalled Maytas Infra company had filed a criminal complaint against the company following its alleged unilateral invoking of bank guarantee worth Rs 47 crore furnished by Maytas Infra to Vedanta Aluminium. The judge, while hearing the petition filed by Vedanta which justified the invoking of bank guarantee, gave notice to Maytas Infra asking it to file its reply and stayed the criminal proceedings for a period of six weeks. Vedanta wanted a township for its employees to be built by Maytas Infra at a cost of Rs 232 crore at Jharsiguda in Orissa. According to it, Maytas failed in fulfilling the work and hence as per the contractual obligations revoked the bank guarantee because it had already paid mobilisation advances to Maytas Infra.

Politicians in criminal cases: the saga goes on 8 Criminal Cases
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Politicians_in_criminal_cases_the_saga_goes_on_8_Criminal_Cases/articleshow/4273767.cms 17 Mar 2009, 0222 hrs IST, Mahesh Buddi, TNN
HYDERABAD: Police slapped cases against seven city legislators for indulging in violent and criminal incidents during the term of the present Assembly. In all, eight criminal cases were registered against the MLAs. Not surprisingly, charge sheets have been filed only in three cases, while only two of them reached trial stage. Cases were registered against the MLAs for participating in protests in the Old City against a Danish cartoonist’s caricature of the Prophet in February 2006, communal clashes at Madannapet in April 2007, attack on Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen at Press Club in August 2007, attack on medicos of Niloufer hospital in December 2007, attack on CPI (M) MP, Madhu by Congress workers in Chikkadpally in May 2008, firing into the air by Karwan MLA when GHMC officials demolished an illegal construction in Abids in July 2008. Apart from Karwan MLA Afsar Khan, cases were also registered againstChandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, Asif Nagar MLA Mouzam Khan, Yakutpura MLA Mumtaz Khan, Charminar MLA Syed Ahmed Pasha Quadri, Himayatnagar MLA G Kishan Reddy and Maharajgunj MLA M Mukesh Goud. In rioting incidents during the protest against cartoons of the Prophet by a Danish newspaper on February 17, 2006, several cases, including rioting, unlawful assembly, damage to property cases were registered against Chandrayangutta MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi, Charminar MLA Pasha Quadri and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi. Nearly two years after registration of the case, trial has begun recently. According to DCP (South Zone) Atul Singh, the public representatives had appeared before court once and trial began recently. Rioting, house trespass, voluntarily causing hurt and damage to property cases were registered against Afsar Khan, Mouzam Khan, Quadri and Akbaruddin Owaisi for attacking Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen at Press Club in August 2007. According to Punjagutta inspector of police M Malla Reddy, a charge sheet was filed in January 2008 and recently summons have been served on the legislators and other accused to appear before court. However, a charge sheet is yet to be filed in the criminal intimidation case registered against Akbaruddin Owaisi for allegedly threatening Taslima. The state government has transferred the case on attack on junior doctors of Niloufer by Afsar Khan and others to CID. According to IG (CID-GOW) M Punna Rao, the charge sheet has been filed and trial has commenced. The sensational case of Afsar Khan firing in the air during a tiff with the GHMC officials at Abids has reached a dead end. According to DCP Central Zone P Hari Kumar, GHMC officials had withdrawn their complaint against the MLA. “GHMC officials have withdrawn their complaint. The MLA has also surrendered his weapon. The APFSL report confirmed that the bullets were fired from his weapon. The MLA said he fired in self defence,” Hari Kumar said. So, the case has been put in cold storage. During bypoll in the Musheerabad Assembly constituency, Congress and CPI (M) activists lodged complaints against each other after an alleged attack on CPI (M) MP P Madhu. Cases were registered against Madhu and BC welfare minister Mukesh Goud, but the case has been closed with both parties withdrawing their complaints. “Both the complainants withdrew their respective complaints and the case is closed,” Chikkadpally inspector of police D Vasanth Rao said. The Narayanguda police registered an assault case under section 323 of the IPC against Himayatnagar MLA G Kishan Reddy for allegedly manhandling a car driver, Yella Reddy, at Old MLA Quarters in Hyderguda on February 27, 2008. Cases were also registered against Yakutpura MLA Mumtaz Khan and Charminar MLA Pasha Quadri in April 2007 for allegedly inciting a mob which led to stone pelting in Madannapet. But these cases were closed due to `lack of evidence’.

HC to take up record number of bail pleas today
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/HC_to_take_up_record_number_of_bail_pleas_today/articleshow/4273517.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0425 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : To speedily dispose of pending criminal cases, the High Court will take up a record number of petitions on Tuesday, especially bail matters. Six judges, including Chief Justice P D Dinakaran and other senior judges, will take up 50-70 cases each from 4 pm to 4.45 pm. This is a first such instance in the High Court. Gutkha ban hearing A division Bench directed impleading of the Central Food Laboratory, Pune, in a PIL seeking a ban on manufacturing and sale of RMD gutkha by Dhariwal Industries. The court was not happy with the lab report wordings, particularly when, under Rule 62, the very presence of any harmful substance is not permitted. Channel asked to give cassettes A division Bench directed a Kannada TV channel beaming the teleserial `Muktha Muktha’ to furnish cassettes/CDs containing sequences relating to the judiciary. City advocate G R Mohan filed a criminal contempt petition against the channel owner and director T N Seetharam. Stay on resort continued While continuing the earlier stay order on cutting of trees and defacing land leased out to a private party to develop a resort in Chikmagalur, a division Bench directed the principal secretary to file a report on the status of 34 acres of land. On April 24, 2008, the HC had directed the forest department and Chikmagalur DC to ensure there was no further construction on the 34 acres of gomal land in Arishinakuppe village, close to Bhadra Tiger Reserve area, in the Western Ghat belt. The court also directed them to ensure that no trees were cut and land was not dug up. The land was allegedly leased out for 30-year period to Brigade Hospitality Pvt Limited to form a hill resort and spa. Counsel for petitioner D V Girish and other petitioners told the court the lease was clandestinely given on January 1, 2004, and the company had started digging, and felled around 250 trees, in violation of the conditions of the lease agreement. PIL admitted The High Court admitted a PIL filed by advocate S Vasudeva, seeking action based on the report given by the Lok Ayukta on illegal mining. Meanwhile, the Green bench hearing mining cases fixed March 30 as the date to continue day-to-day hearings, to speedily dispose of the cases. Injunction order A division bench issued an injunction order in respect of laying a railway track by a mining company in reserve forest areas in Challakere, in Chitradurga district. The court ordered notices to KSPCB and others on a PIL filed by Animal and Environmental Welfare Association, which claimed that the 7-km railway track would be laid between Bedarabommanahalli Amruthapura station, of which 1 km passes through reserve forest, and permission was not obtained for this.

Lawyers beat up litigant
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Lawyers_beat_up_litigant/articleshow/4273505.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0424 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore : First, he was beaten black and blue by lawyers, and, even as he underwent treatment in hospital, a dalit atrocity case was filed against him. The incident took place at the city civil and sessions court on Monday afternoon, when Jeevan Kumar (22) and his father Nanjappa of Kengeri satellite town were returning after a hearing in a case about their land. Jeevan had parked his vehicle near the DC’s office and tried to take it out of the parking lot. He noticed three advocates chatting nearby, obstructing his way. Jeevan asked them to give way, but they just stared at him and continued talking. When Jeevan requested them again, the advocates ignored him. This triggered a verbal altercation, and one advocate hit Jeevan on the head, though he was wearing a helmet. Soon, other advocates joined the melee and beat up Jeevan. Nanjappa, who tried to intervene, was also beaten up. From the DC’s office, the advocates took him to the police outpost in front of the court complex. Throughout, they beat and kicked Jeevan, who was rolling on the ground. They continued their abuse inside the police outpost, as the ASI and constables present watched mutely. The cops sent out a wireless message and the situation came under control only after additional forces reached the spot. By this time, Jeevan was exhausted and lying on the ground, with injuries on his face, head and legs. About Rs 5,000, a gold bracelet and chain were missing. He was rushed to Victoria Hospital. Around 5 pm, the police brought Jeevan back to Halsoorgate police station. To his surprise, three advocates — Kaliah, Venkatesh and Srinivas — had filed a dalit atrocity case against him, saying he had called Kaliah by caste and insulted him, as Kaliah belonged to the SC community. Jeevan too lodged a complaint about the assault and loss of money and gold articles. Halasoorgate ACP Gachinakatti said he was looking into both cases.

Duo use pepper spray on lawyer
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Duo_use_pepper_spray_on_lawyer/articleshow/4273343.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2320 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: In a bizarre incident on Rohini court complex, a woman and her boyfriend sprayed pepper spray in a lawyer’s eyes on Monday. The victim, Hirendra Sharma, was appearing in a recovery suit for his mother. The respondent, Jyoti Rajput, had come along with her boyfriend Amit Gupta and four family members for the hearing. After the arguments got over, Jyoti and her boyfriend allegedly used abusive language and threatened to kill Sharma. Sharma threatened to lodge a complaint against them and while he was going to the police station in the Rohini court, Jyoti and Amit sprayed pepper spray in his eyes. The duo were caught on the spot by the police while others fled from the spot. A complaint has been registered against the accused persons. Talking to Times city, Sharma said, “I fell unconcious for 2-3 hours after the incident. Infact, two more lawyers sustained injuries while trying to save me.”

HC upholds life for man who got wife killed
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC_upholds_life_for_man_who_got_wife_killed/articleshow/4273347.cms
16 Mar 2009, 2317 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Upholding the verdict of a trial court, the Delhi HC on Monday awarded life sentence to a south Delhi property dealer for getting his wife murdered eight years ago. The court also convicted the hired shooter and awarded him life sentence. A division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Aruna Suresh awarded life sentence to Vijay Pal who had hired Vinod Kumar to murder his wife in 2001. The Bench relied upon the statement given by the brother of deceased, Rajni, in which he stated that he had heard Vijay speaking with the killer over phone, plotting the murder. The brother claimed to have heard Vijay telling someone that he would start from his in-laws’ house within an hour and asked the caller to be ready. He also expected the caller to complete the work “today itself.” It was alleged by the prosecution that Vijay wanted to get rid of his wife as she was suffering from some health problems. Rajni died after being shot twice in her head and chest by Vinod on the night of August 13, 2001 when she was coming from her parents’ place in Ashok Vihar to her matrimonial home in south Delhi.

Salem case: Court no to prosecution plea
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Salem_case_Court_no_to_prosecution_plea/articleshow/4273596.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0225 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The designated Tada court on Monday rejected the prosecution’s plea to re-examine 684 witnesses in the trial against gangster Abu Salem for his alleged role in the 1993 serial blasts.
The defence had taken objection to it saying that the trial could be inordinately delayed if so many witnesses were re-examined.

Lawyer gets notice for Kasab case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Lawyer_gets_notice_for_Kasab_case/articleshow/4273607.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0256 hrs IST, Prafulla Marpakwar, TNN
MUMBAI: Amravati-based lawyer Mahesh Deshmukh is in trouble for planning to take up the case of Ajmal Kasab, the sole terrorist captured alive in the 26/11 carnage, as the Bar Council of Maharashtra has served him a showcause notice for professional misconduct. A senior bar council member on Monday confirmed the report. “We are invoking the provisions of the Advocates Act for initiating disciplinary action against Deshmukh,” he told TOI. Under the Act, he said, soliciting clients is an offence, as such Deshmukh was liable for disciplinary action. Deshmukh denied the charge, saying as he has offered his services to Kasab, there was no violation of the Advocates Act.

ATS clean chit to IM leaves Crime Branch red-faced
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/711_ATS_clears_IM_Crime_Branch_in_a_spot/articleshow/4273196.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0152 hrs IST, Mateen Hafeez, TNN
MUMBAI: The Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) is likely to discharge Indian Mujahideen (IM) co-founder Sadiq Shaikh in the July 11, 2006 train blasts case, indicating that no evidence was found to link the outfit with the terror attack. The move may, however, leave the city crime branch red-faced. In September and October last year, Mumbai crime branch arrested 21 people, who, it said were IM members and stated that during interrogations, Sadiq revealed his involvement in the blasts. This revelation came as a shock to the ATS since it had already arrested 13 suspected SIMI members in the train blasts case and filed a 11,000-page chargesheet against them. It is learnt that the ATS, which questioned Sadiq for over two weeks, was not convinced with the crime branch’s theory. An ATS officer said that Sadiq (31) was giving contradictory statements — sometimes he said his group was involved and at other times he said he gave this statement under pressure. “We arrested him on February 28 in the train blast case and questioned him. However, there is no evidence to link him with the train blasts. We will soon file a report in court asking for Sadiq to be discharged in this case,” an ATS officer said. A news channel had recently aired a CD containing Sadiq’s confessional statement about the train blast. However, the ATS has rubished all these claims, giving Sadiq a clean chit. TOI had earlier reported that during a polygraph test Sadiq told the forensic experts that he had lied about the outfit’s involvement in the train blasts. This brought a new twist to the tale as Sadiq, till then, had told the Mumbai crime branch, the Ahmedabad police and the Delhi police that he and his accomplices engineered the explosions. The state forensic science laboratory on Saturday sent a brain mapping and polygraph test report to the ATS saying as per the tests he was not involved in the train blasts and that he had lied during the interrogations conducted by other agencies. The crime branch had claimed that the bombs for the blasts were manufactured in a Sewree flat and the RDX was procured by a wanted accused, Riyaz Bhatkal. But the ATS is sticking to its old theory that the bombs were assembled at a 100 sq ft flat in Govandi and not at Sewree. The ATS said that the RDX was procured by a Pakistani Ehsanullah, who had illegally entered India along with 10 other Pakistani accomplices. mateen.hafeez@timesgrouop.com

LDA board’s no to relocating police outpost
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/LDA-boards-no-to-relocating-police-outpost/articleshow/4273792.cms
17 Mar 2009, 0350 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The police chowki on the bandha situated on the left bank of Gomti close to Ambedkar Udyan would not be relocated. The decision was taken by the board of Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) which met on Monday. The board upheld its earlier decision after the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court asked the authority to reconsider it on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the Nishatganj residents’ welfare association in September 2008. The matter was put forth at the meeting presided over by divisional commissioner Prashant Trivedi and the decision was taken on the basis of the fact that the state government is already getting a railway overhead bridge (ROB) on the road parallel to it for connecting Gomtinagar with Gomtinagar extension. The board officials said that the state government has already sanctioned Rs 50 crore for the project. The officials observed that the road does not lead to any residential colony so there was no question of the road being opened for any traffic. Moreover, it has also been observed that the said road on which the police chowki is situated would be meant only for the visitors coming to Ambedkar Udyan. The road would also be used as a parking for the VIP visitors to the Udyan. Meanwhile, the LDA has claimed of completing the ongoing construction of Gandhi Setu by April 30, which incidentally happens to be the polling day in Lucknow.

Gujarat HC appoints amicus curie to inquire safety of undertrials http://www.zeenews.com/states/2009-03-16/515307news.html
Ahmedabad, March 16: Raising doubts about the safety of undertrials in prisons in the wake of murder of a prisoner, the Gujarat High Court on Monday appointed an amicus curie to inquire if its directions issued in 2005 are being implemented in the Sabarmati Central Jail. The order was passed by the division bench comprising of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi which had initiated suo motu proceeding against the state of Gujarat and the Sabarmati Jail Superintendent following murder of an undertrial inside the prison early this month. An undertrial Suresh Kakadia was allegedly stabbed to death by one Mahendra Vala, a life convict inside the prison on March 1. Raising concern over safety of under-trials in prisons, the court observed that this was a serious incident which requires serious introspection. The court appointed Shalin Mehta as amicus curie in the case and asked him to visit the prison and prepare a report on whether the directions issued by Justice Jayant Patel in 2005 regarding safety of undertrials are being followed properly. In reply to the Court notice issued on March 5, the government today filed an affidavit giving details of the incident. The matter has been posted for further hearing on March 23. In 2005 Justice Jayant Patel had directed the state government to take required steps to improve safety measures in Sabarmati Jail, following a similar incident. The court initiated suo motu proceeding following media reports about the incident. As per details, a convict Mahendra Vala had allegedly stabbed an undertrial Suresh Kakadia using a metal spike weapon which was designed by sharpening a thin metal rod. It further said that incident had occured during lunch time. While issuing notice to the state government and the jail superintendent on March 5, the court has asked them to file a report as to how the incident had occurred and who is responsible for safeguarding life of the undertrial prisoners. Court had asked the respondents to explain as to how undertrials and convict prisoners had taken lunch together, and whether there are separate barracks for them. Bureau Report

Par comm for immediate settlement of standoff bt HC & lawyers
http://www.samaylive.com/news/par-comm-for-immediate-settlement-of-standoff-bt-hc-amp-lawyers/614013.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 at 21:16 IST
New Delhi, Mar 16 : As the standoff between the Madras High Court and the striking advocates paralysed the functioning of courts, a Parliamentary Committee today favoured immediate settlement of the issue.”There should be immediate arrangement for settlement of the issue by the concerned authorities,” E M Sudarshana Natchiappan, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice said.The Committee had received petitions from the Madras High Court lawyers seeking its intervention in the matter.Since the matter was “very sensitive” and related to the state government and the administration of justice, the Committee cannot directly intervene, Natchiappan said.However, he said, the Committee could “sensitise” the authorities to arrive at an amicable settlement so that such events could be prevented in future.Work in city courts, including the Madras High Court, has remained virtually paralysed because of the state-wide boycott of courts by lawyers in protest against the February 19 police action in the high court premises.The lawyers are demanding action against police personnel responsible for the alleged excesses in the court premises.

Madras HC resumes without lawyers
http://www.timesnow.tv/NewsDtls.aspx?NewsID=32316
3/16/2009 10:06:09 PM
With lawyers refusing to resume work, the common man in Chennai has been been forced to bear the brunt,and now, with the Madras High Court returning to work without the protesting lawyers pending cases continue to pile. Madras High Court has seen just ten working days in the past month. And, as cases continue to pile up, and advocates stay away from the court, the chief justice has taken a stand that judges will dispense cases purely on merit. 67-year-old Jyotindra K Gandhi has been trying to get an injunction on the demolition of his shop. He said, “My lawyer has made his papers but he is not filing it, not letting me file it also. What will I do?” Elizabeth John another victim of this stalemate said, “Me and my husband are old, still we are coming to the court everyday.” It’s not just the litigants, but is another disturbing fallout of the stalemate. The number of inmates lodged in prisons across Tamil Nadu has increased by at least 10 per cent and the criminal justice system of the state is in tatters. The lawyers have refused to return to work demanding action against top police officers for this bloody faceoff nearly a month back. But, with both the Supreme Court and the Madras High court chief justice taking a dim view of their request, the conflict has just deepened. S Prabhakaran, President, TN Lawyers Assocation, said, “The chief justice has no business issuing orders to other judges to dispose matters.” R Vaigeyi, Senior Counsel, reacted, “Lawyers are very clear, as long as the court is under the control of the government, we will not go back.” The High Court is trying to finish off as many cases as possible of the 4,30,000 pending cases, tackling the issue head on appearing to be the only solution out of the deadlock for the judiciary.

Raj HC stays construction of road to airport int terminal
http://www.samaylive.com/news/raj-hc-stays-construction-of-road-to-airport-int-terminal/614027.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 at 22:29 IST
Jaipur, Mar 16 : The Rajasthan High Court today stayed the construction of an access road to the international terminal of the Sanganer airport here.A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Deepak Verma and Justice R C Gandhi stayed the construction of the access road from the Jawahar Circle to the main entrance of the terminal on a special appeal filed by a person Dhanna, whose land was acquired for it.Dhanna has challenged an order of a single judge bench which had earlier dimissed his writ petition against the acquisition of his land.Jaipur Development Authority counsel A K Gupta told court that a ‘kuccha’ (unmetalled) road has already been laid down.After hearing the JDA counsel, the Bench directed the authority to maintain status quo till the disposal of the appeal.

HC sets aside DHD (J) leader’s detention order
http://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=mar1709/at09
GUWAHATI, March 16 – The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice BP Katakey today set aside the order of detention dated 16.10.2008 of Thousen alias Paiprang Dimasa under Section 3 (2) read with 3 (3) of the National Security Act, 1980 passed by the District Magistrate, NC Hills, Haflong. Subrata Thousen, self-style publicity secretary of DHD (Joel) faction was initially arrested on 18.6.08 in connection with Diphu Police Case No. 113/08 U/S 120 (B)/121/121 (A)/`122/302 of Indian Panel Code and thereafter he was shown to be arrested in a number of cases of different Police Stations under NC Hills district and Karbi Anglong district.The detection order dated 16.10.08 was challenged before the High Court by filing a writ petition (crl) No. 39/08 and after hearing the case the Court by judgement and order today set aside the order of detention passed under National Security Act, 1980 with a direction to release the detenue forthwith if he is not otherwise wanted in any other cases.The petitioner was represented before the Court by advocates Bijan Mahajan, Arshad Choudhury, Nayanjyoti Das and Pranob Kumar Das while PS Deka, Govt advocate represented the State Government before the Court.

Pyramid Saimira to challenge I-T dept in court on Monday
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/006200903151651.htm
New Delhi (PTI): Leading theatre chain Pyramid Saimira will move court on Monday against the Income-Tax department’s decision to attach the company’s over Rs 240 crore bank accounts for alleged non-payment of tax.
“We will file a case against the Income-Tax department at the Madras High Court on Monday,” a company source told PTI.
On Friday, the tax department in Chennai had attached the bank accounts of Pyramid Saimira as the company had allegedly not paid the complete self-assessment tax.
As far as Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd is concerned, there are no tax dues as of now, company Chairman and Managing Director P S Saminathan said in a statement.
The company has filed a revised return wherein it has claimed a refund, he said, adding there is no tax demand on the company based on a completed assessment.
“We feel this continued attachment by the I-T department is not in accordance with law and further their purported demand was for (Rs) 26 crore and for that they have attached Rs 165 crore of investment/(Rs) 50 crore of normal trade receivables and (Rs) 30 crore of theatre receivables, totalling Rs 245 crore,” Mr.Saminathan said.
He also complained that the tax department’s move has crippled the company’s normal operations.

HC quashes lifer of 2 murder accused
http://www.risingkashmir.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11299&Itemid=1
Challenges trail court’s mandate to decide criminal cases Rashid Paul Srinagar, March 15: A division bench of the State High Court has set aside life sentence of two elderly men by a trial court on the ground that the trial court dealing bank matters lacked mandate to hear criminal cases.
Justices H Imtiyaz Hussain and Sunil Hali declared the conviction order by Additional District Judge (Bank cases) Baramulla null and void. The accused Alam Din Dana, 85, and Mangra Chichi, 75, of Sarkali Kupwara were convicted by the Bank court for life imprisonment and a fine under sections 302 and 34 of RPC in 2006.After an appeal by the accused, the bench declared that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. “The proceedings conducted before the trial court are without jurisdiction and cannot sustain,” it said and directed the Principal Sessions Judge Baramulla to rehear the case and pass the judgment in accordance with law.Assailing the trial court judgment, advocate Imtiyaz Sofi, the lawyer for the accused, said the conviction and sentence was “bad in law”. Under Section 9 of CRPC, to try the cases of criminal nature it should have been a court of sessions.The trial court was in fact a civil court with the designation of Additional District Judge (Bank Cases). It was temporarily shifted to Baramulla until the creation of a regular Additional District and Sessions Court at the place, Sofi said.According to the police challan, Alam Din had killed his son-in-law and nephew Neki in 1991. The accused planned to marry his daughter Noor Jehan with Chechi and colluded with Chechi to eliminate Alam Din.The police further reordered that the duo after strangulating the victim threw his body in Sarkali stream. Noor Jehan, who was part of the plan, turned an approver and confessed before the magistrate of the deal of her father and Chechi.However, immediately after filing of the charge Noor Jehan died and the court made her confession statements as the ground for conviction. The trial court judgment is deficient of the provisions of law as Noor Jehan, the approver witness, could not be cross examined by the defending counsel, advocate Sofi said.The police challan was initially filed before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Kupwara wherefrom it was committed to the court of sessions Kupwara in 1992. The case was later transferred to Sessions Court Baramulla for disposal which in turn reassigned it to the Additional District Judge (Bank cases).

IPC should be amended to deal with ragging: Former HC CJ
http://www.samaylive.com/news/ipc-should-be-amended-to-deal-with-ragging-former-hc-cj/613892.html

Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Sun, 15 Mar 2009 at 23:22 IST
Shimla, Mar 15 : The Indian Penal Code should be amended and more deterrent provisions included to deal with the menace of ragging, former Chief Justice of Punjab and Haryana High Court Justice Vijender Jain said here today.”There is a need to amend the IPC to effectively deal with cases of ragging in professional and educational institutions,” Jain, who is the president of Asia Pacific Jurists International Association (APJIA), told reporters here.There should be a foolproof mechanism at the state and Central level to curb the menace of ragging and no leniency should be shown to those who engage in it, he said.He expressed sadness at the recent incident of ragging in a medical college in Himachal Pradesh, which allegedly led to the death of Aman Kachroo, a first-year student.Justice Jain also said that corruption in the judiciary could erode faith in it.

The government has to provide basic amenities
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1239348
MS Kamath
Monday, March 16, 2009 3:14 IST
Mumbai: The life of a person is dependent on water, electricity and other basic facilities from the government, municipality and other statutory bodies. These services are often inadequate in quality and quantity which the authority conveniently brushes aside. Worse still, lack of funds and environmental conditions are blamed for the situation. An order from the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission in Brij Mohan vs. sub-divisional engineer and others will soon change these perceptions.
Brij Mohan was a resident of Nupur Bedi Village. The water supplied to the village was contaminated with sand and silt. As a result, his mother and some people in the village fell ill. Repeated complaints to the authority fell on deaf ears.
Sick of the attitude of the sub-divisional engineer handling the water department, the consumer dragged the public authority to the local District Forum alleging deficiency of service. The forum ordered the water to be tested by the senior chemist of the district. Based on the report, the Forum dismissed the complaint. Brij Mohan went in appeal to the State Commission, but here too the appeal was dismissed.
Mohan took the matter to the National Commission. The National Commission compared the test report of the water in the village with the standards laid down by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on potable water. It noticed that the standards of the water supplied did not meet these parameters.
Taking serious note of the fact that the water was not fit for human consumption, the National Commission said that it could not be the case of the respondent authority that they had no duty to supply drinking water which was not potable to the consumers of the village. The commission ordered the authority to pay a sum of Rs 10,000 as compensation along with Rs 5,000 as costs of litigation.

Marking of only 40 silence zones upsets Bandra locals
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Marking-of-only-40-silence-zones-upsets-Bandra-locals/articleshow/4268883.cms
16 Mar 2009, 0531 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: It took the BMC only a few days to demarcate over 1,000 silence zones across the city, but it seems to be taking much longer for the civic authorities to implement them. Take for instance Azad Maidan, which was notified as a silence zone, but since the past one week the ground has been abuzz with political activities and protest rallies. According to civic officials, implementation is not their responsibility. “Monitoring of noise levels,” they said, “has to be carried out by the police. Moreover, if more zones are to be identified, the state government will have to pitch in.” R A Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner said, “The police have the required manpower and machinery to keep the noise levels in check. Our job was only limited to notifying these zones, now it is the responsibility of the police.” People are quick to point out another drawback of the entire exercise. For example, residents of Khar and Bandra who are largely unhappy that only 40 zones have been marked in their areas. According to them, at least 40 more deserve to be on the recently released list of silence zones. They have written a letter to municipal authorities raising this concern. Many more letters are pouring in to civic offices. “We are paying due attention to each complaint and request,” added Rajeev. The list, according to Khar residents, completely excludes entire categories of institutions including all religious places, most schools according to the defined `educational institutions’, government offices such as `courts.’ Not a single institution under the `any other area’ category has been notified despite numerous requests by people. Social activist Sumaira Abdulali, who filed the PIL in court in response to which the high court gave the order to demarcate silent zones, said that she herself had written to the BMC several times requesting the civic body to mark certain zones as silent in the area. However, nothing was done on that front. “Despite my letters, not a single institution named in the H West Ward figures on the list. The civic body has largely taken a proactive stand in welcoming people’ inputs in this exercise,” added Abdulali. Places that have been left out in the H West Ward include Bandra Masjid, Jari Mari temple at S V Road opposite Bandra Talao, St Andrew’s Church, Carmel Church, two mosques at Perry Cross Road and Chimbai among other areas. Similarly, among the areas left out in H East Ward are the Gandhinagar, which includes a municipal school and a temple near the MIG Club ground, Guru Nanak hospital and several masjids at Bharat Nagar, Bandra court, Hanuman Mandir, Chetana college, the collector’s office and others. “Not only these areas, but also those such as the Bombay Hockey Association at Churchgate have been left out. This is despite the listing of clear conditions in the lease agreement of the BMC, saying that neighbouring residents would not be disturbed and the presence of a Jain temple near the institution,” said Abdulali.

Go for surprise checks to see exam centres get power: HC
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/go-for-surprise-checks-to-see-exam-centres-get-power-hc/435063/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 16, 2009 at 0500 hrs IST
Mumbai The state government informed the Bombay High Court on Friday that around 1,400 examination centres in Maharashtra are unaffected by load shedding.
The court is hearing a PIL filed by Navi Mumbai-based social activist Vishnu Gawli, complaining that students appearing for class 10th and 12th examinations have to write their papers without the benefit of lights and fans due to frequent power-cuts.
But on Friday, the SSC Board lawyer told the High Court that there are 1,389 exam centres which do not use any electrical appliances.
“Does this mean that there is no electricity in these areas?” asked stunned Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar. But the counsel had no further information on this. On the last occasion, the court had ordered the SSC board to provide generator sets to all examination centres.
According to affidavit filed by Tukaram Supe, board’s secretary, 287 examination centres have gen-sets or inverters.
As many as 2,608 centres are not affected by load shedding, either because there is no power cut in the respective areas, or the centres are airy enough and have natural light, the affidavit states. So, there are 1,255 centres hit by power cuts, of which 463 have rented generator sets, it said.
Gawli, the petitioner, however told the court there were hundreds of centres in rural Maharashtra where power cuts are rampant and the affidavit does not reflect the true facts.
A Division Bench of Chief Justice Kumar and Dhananjay Chandrachud then set up a committee of Education Secretary, Managing Director of Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) and a board representative.
The court has also directed the Education Department to issue a circular stating if the schools don’t comply with HC order in this regard, action will be taken against them. The court also said there should be surprise checks to ensure that power supply is being provided to exam centres.The hearing has been adjourned for two weeks.

Committee formed to felicitate ‘PIL man’
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/committee-formed-to-felicitate-pil-man/434890/
Parimal Dabhi
Posted: Mar 16, 2009 at 0050 hrs IST
Ahmedabad Girish Patel is famous for his PILs, which saved many lives
Celebrating the movement of human rights and civil liberty in Gujarat, a group of social workers, academicians, trade union activists and lawyers is planning to felicitate Girish Patel, a senior advocate of the Gujarat High Court, for his contribution towards the cause.
Patel, said sources, is known to have used the tool of Public Interest Litigation (PIL) ever since it came into practice in Indian Judiciary, to initiate many human rights movements.
The group has now formed the “Girishbhai Patel Sanman Samiti” and is planning to release three books at an event in May.
One of the books will contain Patel’s views on various issues including those on important PILs. The other two books will be a compilation of his ‘Letters to the Editors’ and articles on Patel written by 25 eminent personalities.
This could perhaps be the first incident in the state where a lawyer is being felicitated for his attempts to guard the rights of the underprivileged through the use of PILs.
Patel has till date filed more than 200 PILs in the Gujarat High Court on issues such as education, shelter, water, livelihood, health, atrocities on Dalits, tribals, women & children, and civil and political rights.
Manishi Jani, a member of the Sanman Samiti said: “Gujarat has witnessed many movements since its inception . Whether it is the movement for bonded labour or for human rights of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes or the Nav Nirman Andolan, Girishbhai has played a key role in all of these.”
Girish Patel, a native of Nadiad, is the son of a sanitary inspector. Patel did his LLM from Harvard University in the United States. Initially, Patel was the professor at the then New Law College in Ahmedabad. Later, he was selected as member of the Gujarat State Law Commission in 1972. After serving the commission for three years, he started practising law in the Gujarat High Court from 1975.
Patel says: “Right from childhood, I had a soft corner for the down-trodden and wanted to do something for them. So, I made it a principle not to fight any case against Dalits, tribals, labourers and women.”
He added: “The introduction of the PIL in judiciary in 1980 gave me the greatest satisfaction and an opportunity to work for things I liked.”
Patel has filed most of his PILs under the banner of the “Lok Adhikar Sangh.” He describes PILs as a means by which the voice of the poor reaches the Gujarat High Court.
Top five PILs
Girish Patel considers the following PILs filed by him to be the most important as they have directly or indirectly affected the lives of more than 10 lakh people.
* With the help of a number of PILs and Habeas Corpus Writs, Patel helped release around 300 bonded labourers from Vadodara and Bharuch. Rich farmers of Sabarkantha district used to bring these tribal labourers to their farms. Patel fought the legal battle on behalf of the Rajpipla Social Service Society.
* Patel helped a woman who was gangraped during her pregnancy by uppercaste people in a village in Surendranagar district. Instead of helping the woman, the police allegedly harassed her and forced her to leave the village. Reading the woman’s plight in a local newspaper, Patel filed a PIL and made sure that the accused policemen got their due. The woman, later, got elected as the village Sarpanch. At present, she runs a small business in the same village and owns two cars.
* After reading an article in a fortnightly about the sub-human conditions in which around 1.5 lakh sugarcane workers lived in south Gujarat, Patel filed a PIL in the High Court which helped increase the minimum daily wages of the workers. He, however, says that more could have been done for the workers, had the people’s movement continued.
* A committee formed at the order of the Gujarat High Court found that the textile processing industry in Surat, in which around 1.8 lakh workers were working, was lawless. The committee was formed following a PIL filed by Girish Patel. “The committee suggested means to bring a change in the industry and some of them were also implemented. But, a lot could have been done,” says Patel.
* Concern for the health of the textile mill workers in Ahmedabad made Patel file a PIL against the “Rokdi System” adopted by the mill-owners. Under the system, the mill-owners used to employ the workers during holidays and recess time, which could have harmful impact on their health. Following the PIL, the system was discontinued at many mills.

Jurisdiction of CJ under Arbitration Act http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/jurisdiction_of_cj_under_arbitration_act.asp
Posted on : 14 March 2009 by ravidevaraj
SECTION 16 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996 (`the Act’) does not take away the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice of India or his designate, if need be, to decide the question of the `existence’ of the arbitration agreement.Merely because the new Act permits the Arbitrator to decide this question, it does not necessarily follow that at the stage of Section 11 the Chief Justice of India or his designate cannot decide a question as to the existence of the arbitration clause.In cases where to start with there is a dispute raised at the stage of the application under Section 11 that there is no arbitration clause at all, then it will be absurd to refer the very issue to an arbitrator without deciding whether there is an arbit ration clause at all between the parties to start with.In this case, the parties used in the relevant clause, the word `may’ not without reason. Under the preceding Clause 4 parties desired that in case of disputes, the Civil Courts at Bombay are to be approached by way of a suit. Then follows Clause 5 with the words `it is also agreed’ that the dispute `may’ be referred to arbitration implying that parties need not necessarily go to the Civil Court by way of suit but can also go before an arbitrator.Reading Clause 4 and Clause 5 together, it is not the intention of the parties that arbitration is to be the sole remedy. It appears that the parties agreed that they can `also’ go to arbitration in case the aggrieved party does not wish to go to a Civil Court by way of a suit. But in that event, obviously, fresh consent to go to arbitration is necessary.So decided Mr. justice M. Jagannadha Rao of the Supreme Court as designate of the Chief Justice an application filed under sub-clauses (2), (6), (10) and (12) of Section 11 of the Act.Deciding that there was no arbitration agreement the application for appointment of arbitrators was dismissed.However, the honourable judge stated that in case a civil suit is filed, it will be for the petitioner to seek an early disposal of the case, and he has no reason to doubt that the civil court will treat the request of the petitioner for early disposal w ith due consideration. That was in Wellington Associates Ltd vs. Mr. Kirit Mehta (Arbitration Petition No, 9 of 1999 decided on April 4, 2000).The brief facts are that the petitioner-company having its registered office in Mauritius entered into two agreements with the promoter and managing director of CMM Ltd, Mumbai, (`respondent’) to subscribe to a private placement of two lots of 85,000 equ ity shares each of CMM Ltd. Each share was of face value of Rs. 10, and the shares were to be acquired at a premium of Rs. 20 per share.The respondent agreed to compulsorily purchase back the shares after the expiry of one year in the following manner (i) under the first agreement, 85,000 with an assured return at the rate of 35 per cent per annum and (ii) under the second agreement, 85, 000 with an assured return at the rate of 29 per cent per annum. It was also agreed that upon default, the respondent would be liable to penal interest at three per cent per annum from the date of subscription till actual date of payment.Another company, namely, Sigma Credit and Capital Services Pvt Ltd, wrote to the petitioner that it had taken up the deal of CMM Ltd. It ensured, inter alia, that the agreements would be fully complied with by the CMM Ltd. It further undertook to buy-bac k the 85,000 NRI shares of CMM Ltd at the end of 12 months from the date of investment, at the rate of 25 per cent per annum in case the respondent failed to meet the commitment of buy-back.Pursuant to the above agreement, the petitioner paid Rs. 51 lakhs to the respondent on October 9, 1995 and 1,70,000 shares were allotted to the petitioner. As regards buy-back, by October 8, 1996, the respondent did not buy back the shares, nor did the S igma Credit and Capital Services Pvt Ltd buy-back the shares.The detailed judgment by Mr. Justice Rao was based on the following reasoning:I Section 33 of the Indian Arbitration Act, 1940 vested jurisdiction only in the court to decide whether there was in `existence’ an arbitration clause or not.I In Renusagar Power Co Ltd vs. General Electric Co AIR 1985 SC 1156, it was stated that ordinarily an arbitrator has no authority to clothe himself with power to decide the question of his own jurisdiction. This disability has been removed by Section 16 of the new Act.I The provision in Section 16 is only an enabling one which, unlike Section 33 in the old Act of 1940, permits the arbitral tribunal to decide a question relating to the `existence’, of the arbitration clause.I Section 16 does not exclude the jurisdiction of the Chief Justice of India or his designate in this behalf if a question as to the existence of the arbitration clause is raised by the respondent in his reply to the petition filed under Section 11.I Even if the Chief Justice of India or his designate under Section 11(12) is to be treated as an administrative authority, when the said authority is approached seeking appointment of an arbitrator/arbitral tribunal under Section 11, and a question is raised that there is, to start with, no arbitration clause at all between the parties, the Chief Justice of India or his designate has to decide the said question.I Where the matter has gone to the arbitrator without the intervention of an application under Section 11, if the question as to the existence of the arbitration clause is raised before the arbitral tribunal, the arbitral tribunal has power to decide the question.I Similarly, where the arbitration clause is not in issue at the time of section 11 application but a point is raised before the arbitral tribunal that the said clause or the contract in which it is contained has ceased to be in force, then also the arbi trator can decide whether the arbitration clause has ceased to be in force.

Pace of work speeding up in MP’s consumer courts
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/pace_of_work_speeding_up_in_mp_s_consumer_courts.asp
Posted on : 13 March 2009 by Y.Prakash
The pace of work in Madhya Pradesh’s consumer courts is accelerating as a direct consequence of awareness among the state;s denizens.While the state-level Commission for Consumer Protection has ensured justice in 28,654 of 31,466 cases registered so far — a healthy 91.06 per cent — district fora sorted out 1,23,946 of 1,33,279 cases — 92.65 per cent.In the market, consumers have become alert vis-à-vis prices of products, quality and other useful aspects resulting in a rapid rise in the number of those moving consumer courts.Official sources said the Commission received 2,970 complaints in 2006, 3,101 in 2007 and 3,250 last year. The number of solved cases were 2,780, 2,706 and 3,201 respectively.The district fora received 10,850, 12,008 and 12,267 complaints in the years under review and the number of cases solved were 9,597, 10,398 and 11,006. Rapid disbursal of cases also boosted customers morale.Most of the cases sorted out related to insurance, power, housing, banking, railways, post, telecommunication and medical services.Consumers interests will be discussed at an open forum during a state-level programme here on Sunday, which is World Consumer Day. A Customers Awareness Programme will be organised on March 18 and 19 in the Bhopal Haat.The event, accompanied by an exhibition, will accord special importance to power and cement cases as such consumers are high in number. Stalls will highlight adulteration and weights and measures-related irregularities plus how to avoid falling victim to them.Consumer protection is a form of government regulation which protects consumers interests. For instance, a regime may require businesses to disclose detailed information regarding products — particularly in areas where safety or public health is an issue, such as food.Consumer protection is linked to the idea of consumer rights and to formation of consumer organisations that aid consumers make better choices in the market.Consumer interests can also be protected by promoting competition in markets which directly and indirectly serve consumers, consistent with economic efficiency. Consumer protection can also be asserted via non-government organisations and individuals as consumer activism.Consumer protection law or consumer law is considered an area of public law that regulates private law relationships between individual consumers and the businesses that sell those goods and services.It also covers a range of topics, including product liability, privacy rights, unfair business practices, fraud, misrepresentation and other consumer or business interaction.Such laws deal with credit repair, debt repair, product safety, service contracts, bill collector regulation, pricing, utility turnoffs, consolidation, personal loans that may lead to bankruptcy and much more.

Statement of person on deathbed has its own sanctity: SC
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/statement_of_person_on_deathbed_has_its_own_sanctity_sc.asp
Posted on : 13 March 2009 by Y.Prakash
The dying declaration of a person should normally be relied upon by courts as rarely does a person on his deathbed speaks falsehood, the Supreme Court has held.”The situation in which a person is on the deathbed is so solemn and serene, when he is dying that the grave position in which he is placed, is the reason in law to accept the veracity of his statement”.”It is for this reason that the requirement of oath and cross-examination are dispensed with. Besides, should the dying declaration be excluded, it will result in the miscarriage of justice because the victim being generally the only eyewitness in a serious crime, the exclusion of the statement would leave the court without a scrap of evidence,” the apex court observed.However, the court has to be on guard that the statement of the deceased was not as a result of either tutoring, or prompting or a product of imagination, a Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly of the apex court said.The Bench passed the observation while dismissing an appeal filed by Satish Ambanna Bansode who was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing his wife Satyawwa by setting her ablaze on 5th October, 1999 in Mahrashtra’s Sangli district.

CJI warns of misuse of traditional knowledge
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/cji_warns_of_misuse_of_traditional_knowledge.asp
Posted on : 13 March 2009 by PIRAVI PERUMAL. M
Alerting Indians to misuse of their traditional knowledge, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan has called for a national registry to comprehensively list what needs protecting.”India des not even possess a complete catalogue or a full knowledge of the many different expressions of traditional knowledge it possess,” Justice Balakrishnan noted at a seminar on Safeguarding Indian Traditional Knowledge late evening.The CJI stressed having a “National Registry” so as to obtain “a fairly comprehensive knowledge” of what has to be protected.He suggested steps to prevent erosion of traditions, stimulate innovation and creativity based on such knowledge and protect traditional innovators’ dignity and moral rights.He also suggested adopting a legal scheme which allows a community to offer traditional knowledge for public use and receive equitable remuneration or benefits in case of private commercial use.Noting how meetings on protecting traditional knowledge are seldom attended by its possessors– healers, village elders, Justice Balakrishnan stressed setting up a body “representing the community concerned.” “Interestingly, whenever an intellectual gathering or academic deliberation regarding these issues des occur, it des not include the participation of the very people whose knowledge we are striving to protect– traditional practitioners, cultural healers, village elders and the like.”It is important, therefore, that the rhetoric and discourse for protecting and safeguarding traditional knowledge be cast in terms of the indigenous peoples’ world views and not only from the perspective of intellectuals and academics.” He reminded that such people see their very existence as linked to such knowledge, and for them practice and protection of traditional knowledge is more an assertion of self-determination than anything else.”The foremost need, therefore, is to establish a body representing the community concerned and the relevant sectors of civil society to balance the competing interests of access and control of traditional knowledge.” The event was organised by Asia Pacific Jurist Association presided over by Punjab and Haryana Chief Justice Vijender Jain, who emphasised reinforcing “our indigenous entitlements” through the framework of law.Justice Jain said the matter touches not only products and knowledge, but the cultural lineage as well as socio-economic aspects of the generations that nurtured and carried them to the present status.”If we condemn our past, we are likely to doom our future as well. If we fail to protect them, our inheritance is being lost and the essence and beauty of our culture get trampled upon.” Speakers included two experts, Dr Suman Sahai of Gene Campaign, and Dr Philippe Cullet of the International Environmental Law Research Centre in Switzerland.According to Dr Sahai, global treaties on indigenous knowledge are often “not binding.” For instance, the International Labour Organisation’s convention 169, which talks a lot about legal standards for indigenous rights, “fails to protect the intellectual property rights of indigenous people.”

Give protection to witnesses, at least in heinous crimes: SC
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/give_protection_to_witnesses_at_least_in_heinous_crimes_sc.asp
Posted on : 11 March 2009 by Y.Prakash
New Delhi, Mar 10 (UNI) Being forced to acquit a alleged murderer due to lack of evidence, the Supreme Court has ruled that criminal justice system in the country would be at crossroads unless and until witnesses were given protection to enable them to depose freely against the mighty criminals, at least in heinous crimes. A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and Mukundkam Sharma, while upholding the acquittal of Mangilal, which was recorded by the Bombay High Court noted, ”The accused persons with money and muscle power can trample any witness who dared to depose against them. The victor will be injustice and it will be a slur on the criminal justice system if it so happens”.

HC asks Delhi to publicise school scheme for poor
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/hc_asks_delhi_to_publicise_school_scheme_for_poor.asp
Posted on : 11 March 2009 by Jithendra
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked the Government of Delhi to give adequate publicity to a scheme under which students from poor families can get admission into schools for free.The court was hearing a public interest petition filed by Social Jurist, an NGO, seeking direction from the court to 384 unaided recognised private schools in Delhi, reports IANS. These schools were allotted public land on concessional rates on the condition that they should also admit students from economically weaker sections (EWS). “The government is directed to give adequate publicity to the reservation for EWS category on its website, newspapers, Doordarshan and other (television) channels as well as in cinema halls by way of slides,” a division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Sanjeev Khanna said this week. “We are informed that the admission process for the academic session 2009-10 is in process and is likely to be completed by April and an assurance has been given on behalf of the respective schools that the interim order of this court for reservation admitting to 15 per cent of EWS students could be maintained and complied with in letter and spirit,” the court said. The government informed the court that 10,262 children were admitted under the freeship quota in the academic year 2008-09. Ashok Aggarwal, counsel for Social Jurist, submitted before the court that there were complaints that some schools do not issue admission forms to parents of children from poor families. The court directed the lawyer to approach the director of education for such cases and said the department would take appropriate action under the law. It also directed all schools to submit their statement to the director of education by the first week of May showing the number of students admitted under the EWS category. The next hearing in the case has been set for July 8

Court to pronounce judgement in Ramabai Nagar firing case
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/524954/National/1/20/1
Published: March 16,2009
Mumbai , Mar 16 The sessions court here is likely to pronounce on March 30 its judgement in the sensational Ramabai Nagar firing case, in which State Reserve police officer Manohar Kadam is the main accused.
The case dates back to 1997 and Kadam is charged with ordering an indiscriminate firing on a Dalit mob which was protesting against the alleged desecration of an Ambedkar statue on July 11, 1997.
The firing had left ten dead and over 25 injured.
Following the incident, the state government had appointed a commission under Justice S D Gundewar in November 1997 to investigate the incident. It completed its inquiry by August 1998 and submitted a report which indicted Kadam.
Based on the report, the state sanctioned Kadam&aposs prosecution in August 2001 and an FIR was lodged against him.
During the trial, Kadam had denied the allegations and claimed that it was necessary for him to order firing on the mob to control the situation.
The Sewree sessions court is likely to pass the judgement in this case on March 30.
Source: PTI

LEGAL NEWS 15.03.2009

Manifesto of an unborn party http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090315/edit.htm#1 People want to live in an India managed bycompetent rulers, says Ram Jethmalani The nation is getting ready to elect a new Parliament. It is by no means amused by the antics of the current occupants whether on the government benches, the Opposition or even known independents. Except for a few honourable exceptions, politicians are held in contempt. The chances are that most of the current herd will face ignominious defeat. Parliament will doubtless have a new look. Will it be pleasing or even uglier than before remains a troublesome question. No one should venture a prediction. Surveying the political scene, I do not see any possibility of any principled coalitions or electoral alliances. All the ones being negotiated or planned have no discernible ideological rationale nor any public weal in view. Naked and sordid pursuit of power appears the sole motivation. Mortal enemies seem to be shaking hands and allies till yesterday are ready to stab and destroy one another. This is a draft manifesto of a party that exists only in the imagination of a few likeminded citizens. Their only qualification is that they are not in the power game but want to live in a better India whose management is in credible and competent hands. A party or coalition that swears by this manifesto may never be born but at least the voter will find in it some useful advice who to vote for. Naturally we first turn to foreign affairs. India is now facing a totally new world order which hardly bears any resemblance to that which our first Prime Minister encountered. Communism has proved to be a total failure and both Russia and China are Communist only in name. Both have switched over to the free market and Russia even pretends to some kind of political democracy. The US has emerged as the only military super power. Globalisation has made obsolete many economic shibboleths and conventional trade tariffs have fallen by wayside. The current rulers have no expertise for surviving in this totally unfamiliar milieu. However, the Constitution makers have left for all succeeding generations a compulsory lesson about how our foreign policy should be conducted. The lesson is written in the first Article which reads as under: India shallpromote global peace and security;maintain just and honourable relations between nations;foster respect for international law and treaty obligations in the dealings oforganised peoples with one another; andencourage settlement of international disputes by arbitration. Our commitment to world peace and security is the constitutional obligation. Maintaining just and honourable relations between nations and fostering respect for international law or encouraging settlement of disputes by peaceful arbitration are just corollaries from this grand theorem. Thirty years of research has shown that democracies do not easily go to war. The horrendous consequences of war fall heavy upon the citizens in their character of soldiers and taxpayers. Modern International Law has created an elaborate system of human rights. Starting with the Declaration of 1948 the effort has culminated in the too elaborate Covenants of 1966. The governments which do not practice rigorous democracy cannot pretend to be upholding human rights. With all its faults and failures, India has a vibrant democracy and we have to promote the spread of democracy in all parts of the globe. It was a proud moment for India when Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and former US President George Bush entered into a partnership for furthering democracy. In its conduct of foreign relations, this shall be the basic agenda of the new Indian government. It also follows that India will do nothing to encourage or enrich those states which are well known enemies of democracy and whose acceptance of human rights is only a pretence or a fraud. September 11, 2001 and now November 26, 2008 have precipitated a climactic confrontation between the irresistible forces of good and evil, reason and unreason modern civilisation and primitive barbarity. Time has come when we have to recall what President Theodore Roosevelt said almost hundred years ago: “We stand at Armageddon and we battle for the Lord”. Relations with Pakistan require the highest statesmanship. Partition and its horrible aftermath have unfortunately coloured our response to Pakistan. We cannot honestly claim that we have ever gone out of our way to win the hearts and minds of the people of that country. India had always been opposed to the two-nation theory but we forget that Qaid-e-Azam Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan, had himself repudiated it as soon as he won independence for his state. He had declared that Pakistan would be a democratic liberal and just state. It would live peacefully with its minority Hindu population and relations with India would be of friendship and cooperation. Unfortunately, Jinnah died soon of tuberculosis and the first Prime Minister Leaqat Ali Khan was cruelly assassinated. Its excellent first Constitution of March, 1956 was superseded and luckless Pakistanis have had to suffer long and repeated spells of autocratic military rule. The present is the chance to undo the past. Pakistan has got back its democracy; its war mongers are lying low; the establishment understands the futility of war and the Pakistan-created Frankenstein of Terrorism has now turned on its creator. External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherji must stop his silly claptrap of “All options open”. War is not the option. A No War Pact with no loopholes and escape routs is the only option to pursue. Every thing else will take care of itself. People blessed with a genuine democracy, constitutionally protected rights and duties of individuals and an independent judiciary to enforce them have attained Azadi. Any violent action to secure more of it or of a different kind or content is the crime of terrorism or treason or both. Pakistan and India must be transparent in their dealing with the local populations on both sides of the LoC and the international community must be able to certify that there is no colonial type exploitation of their material resources. The Kashmir problem found its solution long ago but the political will has been lacking. President Zardari is ready; Manmohan Singh has to be willing. The BJP wants immediate cessation of diplomatic relations. People of India should and will dismiss it as political bankruptcy and electoral insanity. A genuine settlement with the Pakistan Government will make the Army retire to its barracks and make Pakistan’s revolving door democracy stable for a change. Threats of war from India only make our neighbour’s democracy wobbly and vulnerable to its old enemies. India must guarantee that Pakistan does not turn out to be a failed state. India and the US are pledged to fight a war against terrorism. Our ministers,however, are not acting like warriors but policemen. Their emphasis does notseem to be elimination of terrorists but on catching a few and punishing themthrough our judicial process. All our attempts to make Pakistan admit that the Mumbai terrorists are Pakistanis and prepare elaborate dossiers for the consumption of Pakistan and other world states are futile and wasted effort. India and the US must persuade Pakistan to believe that terrorists are also a threat to its fledging democracy. It is in its own interest to cooperate with us in exterminating this lethal virus. The three governments must together hunt them out in their habitations and destroy them. This action is urgently called for and must be undertaken before any terrorist organisation can lay its hands on nuclear weapons. The war against terrorism cannot be fought without neutralising the states which foster, finance and harbour terrorism. We know the birth place of both Sunni and Shia terrorist organisations. We must persuade the Security Council to take decisive action. If the Security Council’s action is paralysed by the veto of one or the other member, we must be prepared to act alone in exercise of our right of self-defence expressly recognised by the UN Charter. The heart warming development which we have failed to notice or publicise is the declaration made by thousands of Muslim clerics who under the inspiration of Darul-Ulloon declared that terrorism is condemned by Islam. There is not one word in the Holy Quran to sanctify the killing of innocent, unarmed, children, women and old men. The terrorists are too cowardly to engage the military forces and regular combatants. Tackling terrorism will require unapologetic honesty and total moral clarity. The rogue states must be identified, named and tamed. To hobnob with them for whatever reasons is treason against the Indian nation. One of the priceless legacies of the British rule is the judicial system with its emphasis on absolute integrity of character and a high degree of technical competence in the shape of deep knowledge of law and tremendous facility in sifting facts and analysing evidence. At the same time, justice was prompt and cheap. Every citizen today knows that our judicial machinery has totally crumbled. Itshould be the primary duty of government and Parliament to restore the systemto its pristine glory. Lord Brougham in a speech on “Law Reform” said, “It was the boast of Augustus that he found Rome of brick and left it of marble. But how much nobler will be the sovereign’s boast when he shall have it to say, that he found law dear and left it cheap; found it a sealed book, left it a living letter; found it the patrimony of the rich, left it the inheritance of the poor; found it the two-edged sword of craft and oppression, left it the staff of honesty and the shield of innocence.” The present method of recruitment and dealing with judicial delinquents is totally outdated and impracticable. India has the experience of 1993 when a credible and foolproof impeachment motion failed, because the ruling party did not vote and the required 2/3rd majority could not be collected. It was a case in which Parliament’s corruption cooperated to sustain its companion, the judicial corruption. Moreover, judges are made to sit on Benches before which all sorts of matters turn up. Some of them arise out of areas of law of which one, more or all the judges on the Bench have not the faintest idea. Litigants have had the misfortunate of appearing before Benches in serious criminal cases where not one of the judges could claim any familiarity with criminal law. The counsels even find it difficult to decide, how much enunciation of the relevantlaw they must attempt or when to stop in the belief that their argument has at lastbeen understood. It is easy to deal with a loquacious Judge, but it is difficulty to fathom a non-speaking one and the ignorant usually adopt a sphinx-like posture. Repeated suggestions that matters relating to specific branches of law should be put before Judges who are experts in those branches of law have fallen on deaf ears. Perceptive practitioners only, while sitting in court, observe the frequent miscarriage of justice happening before their eyes. These go unnoticed by others and do not evoke a protest. Dealing with this deficiency does not require any legislation. It can be done by setting up traditions binding on the Chief Justice of the court. It is a scandal that 30 million cases are pending in the subordinate courts and thousands in the higher courts. Successive Law Commissions have time and again reported that we need to multiply our courts five times. This shall be speedily done by the new government. By reason of its unpardonable dilatoriness, criminal justice has lost its deterrentpunch. Crime and criminals continue to grow and threaten the stability andsecurity of society. About four years ago, Transparency International and the Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies undertook study of corruption in India. The result published the same year said that Indians pay out more than Rs 20,000 crore as bribes every year and scores of public servants at all levels are involved. Connected with the question of competent courts is the issue of corruption. The political system and our legislators have become totally insensitive to this galloping cancer. But the people know that corruption has permeated into every part of our body politic and it has ascended to the level of the Apex Court. The public suspicion is heightened by the Supreme Court Judges’ reluctance to declare their wealth. Once the people’s faith and confidence in the judicial process are gone, the vacuum will be filled by musclemen and murderers. Legislation has failed to deal with this menace proving the old adage that we cannot legislate character. Our schools and colleges curricula need to be reformed to include ethics and moral science as compulsory subjects. The current tenure of Parliament even saw large wads of currency notes beingbandied about in the Lok Sabha. Voters must ensure that only persons of thehighest integrity are voted into our legislatures, Cabinets at the Centre and inthe state level. For the last six months, practically the whole world is reeling under economic meltdown. India too has not escaped the catastrophe. Wise economic policies will have to be put in place but dealing with growing corruption should be an urgent and conspicuous strategy. On the economic front, the solution is not to revert to the old system of government controls, licenses and permits. That will be a remedy worse than the disease. Our Finance Ministry must now study the principles of Keynesian economics which worked for the US during the 1930s and for almost all European countries during World War II. Massive investments in infrastructure and creation of new jobs for employing those who have lost their earlier ones for the new ones who are entering afresh the employment workforce are called for. Private entities must have easy access to public funds with checks to prevent misuse. Our pluralist multi-religions and multi-lingual society can march forward only by demolishing dividing walls and cultivating a dominating Indian identity. Lesser identities will coexist. This is best secured by a rational secularism which makes the needs of the Republic paramount with power to trump all religions beliefs and practices. Secularism, correctly understood, requires every Indian life to be guided by reasonand logic. In the distribution of economic, political and social rights, the state shallremain neutral and treat all as equals; religion of a citizen shall never justify anyhostile discrimination. The new government shall expound and enforce this secularism without deviating from it to get some electoral advantage. The Constitution of India recognises the need for reservation in legislatures and in public employment for those sections of society, who historically have been unjustly treated and suppressed. The women of India doubtless belong to this category. On democratic principles half the members of every legislature must be women but as a compromise it has been proposed that one third of the seats in Parliament must be reserved for them. Unfortunately, a male-dominated society is still resisting this proposal becoming law. The next government and Parliament must secure this justice for women in the first six months of its tenure. This makes our Parliament more orderly, purposeful and, certainly, more colourful. This missive is our advice to voters to identify honest candidates with high liberal education committed to international peace and domestic unity with a past record which guarantees that they will not abandon principles when seeking public office. The writer is a jurist and former Member of Parliament Honour killing: HC’s lifer to mother, daughter http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/616172A01C5FC66E65257578005C756A?OpenDocument New Delhi, Mar 13 (PTI) In a case relating to honour killing, the Delhi High Court today sentenced a woman and her younger daughter to life imprisonment for murdering the family’s elder daughter who was unmarried but pregnant.Upholding the trial court’s findings and sentence against Darshana Devi and her younger daughter Rajni, the court cancelled the bail bond of Rajni and directed her to be taken into custody immediately.”They (Dharshana and Rajni acted thinking that by doing away with Raj (deceased) they could hide the social shame and stigma of Raj being an unwed mother,” observed a Division Bench of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Aruna Suresh and dismissed their appeal.About Rajni, the court said that “Rajni, 18 year, was under the influence of her mother who in turn was concerned about the fate of Rajni because she thought that even her future would be clouded if the reputation of the family was sullied”.”The motive of the crime was to save the honour of the family,” the Bench said in a judgment.”If the society would not frown upon sex outside marriage and would accept a single parent, there would have been no motive and hence no murder,” the court observed. MORE In April, 2002, Dharshana Devi, along with Rajni, killed Raj, elder daughter of Darshana, as she was 19 weeks pregnant and the doctor had declined to abort the pregnancy at that stage. PTI CIC imposes penalty of Rs 25k on Delhi HC official http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cic-imposes-penalty-of-rs-25k-on-delhi-hc-off…/434147/ New Delhi: The CIC has imposed the maximum fine of Rs 25,000 on a Delhi High Court official for failing to respond to an RTI application forwarded to it by the Supreme Court of India. “…it appears that he has no submission justifying the failure to respond to the application transferred to him by the CPIO, Supreme Court of India. He has therefore rendered himself liable for the full penalty of Rs 25,000,” Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah ordered. This is the maximum fine permitted by RTI Act. Habibullah directed the Registrar of Delhi High Court to recover this amount from Jt Registrar (establishment) and PIO P S Chaggar either directly or through deductions from his salary not exceeding Rs 5,000 per month from April 3. The case relates to RTI application filed by one Vijay Pal Singh who sought information, regarding a case filed by MCD against him, from the Supreme Court of India. The apex court forwarded the application to MCD and Delhi High Court as it was not the custodian of the information. While Central Public Information Officer (CPIO) of MCD provided the information, though unsatisfactory as per Singh, the High Court representative did not even appear during the final hearing of the case at the CIC. Habibullah said Singh was free to move an appeal against the response given by MCD and a second appeal before CIC if dissatisfied. Improve mental health services in a year: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Improve-mental-health-services-in-a-year-HC/articleshow/4257467.cms 13 Mar 2009, 0204 hrs IST, TNN NEW DELHI: Accepting suggestions of a committee it had constituted on mental health services in Delhi in the aftermath of the shocking Gitanjali Nagpal case of 2007, the Delhi High Court on Thursday gave the state government a time of three months to a year to put these sweeping reforms into place. A division Bench of HC disposed of a PIL filed last year by a DU law student following the episode in which Gitanjali Nagpal a former model suffering from chronic psychosis was rescued from the streets in south Delhi. Srirupa Mitra Chaudhary, chairperson of NGO Sudinalaya, was asked to come up with suggestions on the basis of which the court asked the committee to frame a report. With HC’s stamp of approval on the report, the government will now have to revamp Nirmal Chhaya Shelter Home Complex, the MCD’s night shelters, improve labour welfare centres and also help IHBAS set up a child psychiatry ward. At Nirmal Chhaya complex, HC has asked the government to set up mental health treatment centres within three months for proper treatment and rehabilitation of women suffering from mental illness. Giving a year’s time, HC asked the government to act upon another recommendation of the committee to establish half-way homes in the complex to provide treatment to women and children who have been discharged by hospitals, but are unable to find their addresses and family members. The HC has appointed a committee, headed by the principal secretary of health and family welfare, and asked it to monitor the progress and file a compliance report by July 6. Delhi HC rejects PIL against Satyam http://sify.com/finance/fullstory.php?id=14869606&?vsv=TopHP8 Friday, 13 March , 2009, 08:55Last Updated: Friday, 13 March , 2009, 09:37 New Delhi: The Division Bench of the Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Manohar Lal Sharma, who claims to be a shareholder of Satyam Computer Services. Sharma had approached the High Court against the Ministry of Corporate Affairs and the present Board of Satyam, on the recent Company Law Board (CLB) order regarding preferential issue of shares, and for increasing the authorised capital of the Hyderabad-based IT company, without the members resolution. The petitioner claimed that such an action is ‘ultra vires’ and has been done without prior approval of the existing shareholders. Power to save The Division Bench, while rejecting the contention of the petitioner in toto, observed that the petition could not be termed as a PIL. The Division Bench directed the petitioner to seek other remedies as provided in the statute. Satyam bidders face deadline The Division Bench also observed that “as such a petition under Section 397/398 of the Companies Act, the CLB has wide power and scope to save the company from being wound up”. ‘Hinduja Group will not bid for Satyam’ In its argument, the Government counsel had submitted that such a petition would derail the entire roadmap for continuing operations, infusion of capital and tapping a strategic investor. More India business stories Subsequent to the order, Central Government representatives stated that it would have far-reaching consequences and would pave the way for Satyam to find a strategic investor. HC sounds election bugle for Pachaiyappa’s http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-sounds-election-bugle-for-Pachaiyappas/articleshow/4257634.cms 13 Mar 2009, 0235 hrs IST, TNN CHENNAI: Pachayappa’s Trust, one of the biggest charitable organisations in Tamil Nadu, will have elections soon, as the Madras high court has formed a committee and asked it to complete the poll process within two months. Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, passing orders on a batch of applications filed by the administrator-general and official trustee of Tamil Nadu, which is administering the trust properties now, seeking the appointment of a committee to hold elections, said a retired judge of the high court, justice P Thangavel, and a retired district judge A Ahamedulla, along with the Pachaiyappan’s College principal, would hold elections to the trust. Among the institutions run by the Panchayappa’s Charities are Pachaiyappan’s College, Chennai; C Kandaswamy Naidu College for Men at Anna Nagar; Chellammal College for Women at Guindy; Pachaiyappa’s College for Men at Kancheepuram; Pachaiyappa’s Colleges for Women at Kancheepuram and Cuddalore; etc. The Charities is governed by a scheme decree dated February 12, 1909, and the scheme was modified in 1920, 1963, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Referring to the elaborate scheme laid down by these orders, Justice Kalifulla said the committee would hold elections smoothly and without any hindrance. After holding the elections and declaring the results, the committee is to file a report, all within two months, the judge said. The election date, however, shall be the discretion of the committee, he added. To prevent trouble from any quarters, the judge asked the Chennai City commissioner of police and the superintendents of police of Cuddalore and Kancheepuram to provide adequate security during polls. While the former HC judge would receive Rs 30,000 per month as fee, besides other expenditures, the former district judge would get Rs 20,000 a month. The principal, however, would not be given any remuneration for the assignment, the court said. Shift hazardous waste treatment plant: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Shift-hazardous-waste-treatment-plant-HC/articleshow/4257529.cms 12 Mar 2009, 2356 hrs IST, TNN BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday asked the authorities to stop construction of treatment, storage and disposal facility for hazardous waste at Dobbspet, and shift it elsewhere. A division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran suggested such sites in different parts of the state to avoid transportation of hazardous material. “PCB itself is the biggest polluter. You are wasting money to shift waste. We ourselves have started circuit Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga as part of decentralization. Then why can’t you have such facilities in different parts of state? According to the Basel Commission report which you have mentioned here, facilities should be closer to the source of generation (waste) and also avoid transportation,” the Bench observed. Umashankar and others filed PIL challenging locating the facility at Pemmanahalli and Thimmanayakanahalli villages in a 93.18-acre plot claiming that the area falls within the catchments area of T G Halli reservoir. Explain steps taken since 26/11: Bombay HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Explain-steps-taken-since-2611-Bombay-HC/articleshow/4257971.cms 13 Mar 2009, 0159 hrs IST, AGENCIES MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government about the preventive steps taken in the aftermath of audacious November 26 Mumbai strikes. “Has the state-appointed committee (state security council) met even once?” division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud queried. The HC was dealing with PILs, filed by Indian Society of Law Firms and others regarding the attack. The court also asked whether any departmental action was initiated against those who were found to be negligent in their duties which failed to prevent the terrorist attacks. However, public prosecutor Satish Borulkar asked the court for some time, after which the court adjourned the hearing till Friday. HC notice to Mayor on postponement of polls http://allaboutbelgaum.com/news/hc-notice-to-mayor-on-postponement-of-polls/ Posted on 13 March 2009 The Dharwad-based High Court’s Circuit Bench on Thursday issued notice to the Belgaum Mayor, Belgaum City Corporation Commissioner and the Deputy Commissioner to appear in the court of Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar on Monday in connection with a writ petition challenging the decision of the Mayor to postpone the mayoral election. Corporator Dhanraj Gauli had filed the petition challenging the decision of the Mayor and returning officer Prashanta Budavi to postpone the election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor scheduled to be held here on March 13. Source: The Hindu High Court dismisses Raju, others’ plea against CBI custody http://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1&ui=1 Hyderabad, March 13 (PTI) The Andhra Pradesh High Court today dismissed the application moved by former Satyam Chairman B Ramalinga Raju and others against sending them to CBI custody.”There was no error in order passed by the trial court and it is only natural that whenever there is change in investigating agency, custodial examination is a must and there is absolutely no irregularity,” Justice K C Bhanu observed.Earlier, the XIV Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate — the designated CBI court hearing the case pertaining to Rs 7,800-crore fraud in Satyam Computer — had on March 9 granted custody of the accused to CBI from March 10 to 17, after taking over the case from the state CID last month.Following the order, the CBI sleuths on March 3 took custody of Ramalinga Raju and his brother and former Satyam MD Rama Raju, former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas, besides suspended partners of Price Waterhouse S Gopalakrishnan and Talluri Srinivas, from the Chanchalguda Jail where they were lodged and took them to Dilkusha guest house for further interrogation. PTI High court snubs Delhi Lokayukta on purchase of low-floor buses http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/74072.htm March 13, 2009 by: Sindh Today New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday set aside a Lokayukta order asking the government to submit the tender records for the purchase of 625 low-floor city buses. Justice S. Ravindra Bhat, while setting aside the order, also asked the Lokayukta to thouroughly examine Bharatiya Janata Party legislator Vijay Jolly’s petition alleging corruption in purchase of the buses. The petition alleged that the buses were bought at an inflated price of Rs.2.5 million per vehicle as compared to the purchases made by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation, Chennai. The court also asked the Lokayukta to follow proper procedure while summoning government records. The court last month reserved its final orders on the wrangle between the Delhi government and the Lokayukta, a recommendatory authority to probe corruption among public functionaries. [SU] Human rights violation maximum in UP, Delhi: Survey http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Human-rights-violation-maximum-in-UP-Delhi-Survey/articleshow/4266607.cms 15 Mar 2009, 1013 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of states with maximum number of complaints relating to human rights violation and New Delhi follows a close second, according to NHRC statistics. The statistics reveal that out of the total 94,559 cases of human rights violation last year, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received 55,216 from Uttar Pradesh alone. This accounts for about 58.39 per cent of the total complaints received by the Commission from across the country, followed by Delhi from where a total of 5,616 such complaints were filed till December last year. Gujarat, which stands third in the list, accounts for a total of 3,813 complaints of human rights violation. The NHRC received a total of 3,672 such complaints from Bihar. Haryana too was close with 3,493 complaints, followed by Maharashtra (3,483), Rajasthan (2,640), Madhya Pradesh (2,246) and Punjab (1,082). However, the Commission did not receive a single complaint of human rights violation from Lakshadweep, while only seven such complaints were filed from Dadar and Nagar Haveli last year. 18-year-long battle for house still not over for late Vasant Karode http://www.indianexpress.com/news/18yearlong-battle-for-house-still-not-over-for-late-vasant-karode/433487/ Anuradha Mascarenhas Posted: Mar 11, 2009 at 0205 hrs IST Pune: It can be only termed a case of justice denied for Vasant Karode, whose fight to get possession of a twin bungalow of 1,000 sq ft that he purchased in Baner in 1991, went on for 18 long years. The District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum where the case was being argued, first passed a judgment in favour of Karode in 1993. This was upheld at the state and national levels subsequently. Still Karode never got possession of his house. Finally, a non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against city builder Uday Manerikar this Monday, but it came a little late for Karode, who passed away in November last. Now, it is left to Karode’s son Ashish Karode to continue the fight and hope that he can get justice so that his father’s soul may rest in peace. Ashish Karode who stays in Delhi was in Pune for the hearing and told The Indian Express that his father who had retired as an executive with an Oil company had put in his life savings to buy his dream house. “However, under one ruse or the other, the builder did not let him occupy the house,’’ rued Ashish. Advocate N P Bhog who represented the case at the forum said that Vasant Karode had entered into a `composite agreement’ with the builder for purchasing a twin bungalow of 1000 sq ft that was to be built on an area of 1000 sq ft. But over the over the last 18 years the builder made additional constructions and occupied the whole bungalow space, said Bhog. The sale agreement of Rs three lakh was made between Karode and the builder on May 4, 1991. However the latter failed to deliver possession of the bungalow to Karode and from there on the matters got into the purview of the Pune district consumer redressal forum. The forum, in 1993 allowed Karode’s complaint and directed the builder to give peaceful possession of the house to Karode. State Consumer Redressal Commission upheld the order on October 3, 2001, but after a lapse of eight long years. The National Commission too confirmed the order of the state commission, but quickly, in 2002. Subsequently the builder’s appeal against the orders was dismissed in the Supreme Court in 2006, after a four-year delay. The apex court had also directed the builder to hand over possession of the bungalow to Karode. But it took another couple of years before the builder eventually agreed to hand over possession of the premises – on February 2, 2009, an agreement he failed to adhere to. In an order on March 9 the Pune district consumer redressal forum called for the issue of a non-bailable warrant against Manerikar. The forum presided by P K Gaikwad in its order ruled that the non-bailable warrant should be executed against the builder by the Chatushrungi police station. Meanwhile, Karode’s son is still waiting for that his late father’s dream – to get possession of a house that he paid for – to come true. ‘Aap ki kachehri’ takes a break before 2nd series http://www.indiantelevision.com/headlines/y2k9/mar/mar119.php Indiantelevision.com Team (12 March 2009 11:15 pm) NEW DELHI: India’s first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi today said that the programme Aap ki Kachehri on Star Plus where she had played the role of the judge was an exercise in social engineering and not just a programme to get TRPs. She said that she had applied her knowledge of policing, law and working in non-governmental organizations in resolving the 60 odd-cases that she had dealt with in the first series. According to Bedi, the programme should lead to a movement of social change where even Resident Welfare Associations can be turned into alternate dispute redressal forums for preventive and curative counseling. CBI moves special Tada court against Salem http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/CBI-moves-special-Tada-court-against-Salem/articleshow/4265372.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0151 hrs IST, TNN MUMBAI: The CBI has moved a special Tada court in the 1993 serial blasts case pending against gangster Abu Salem, seeking to re-examine the original 684 witnesses. Special Tada judge D U Mulla is scheduled to pass an order on the application on Monday. “We want to re-examine all the witnesses in the case,” special public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam. The move was initiated by the CBI following a Supreme Court order on not permitting the confession of a co-accused in place of an absconding accused. HC slams ex-CM for ‘shielding’ moneylender http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC-slams-ex-CM-for-shielding-moneylender/articleshow/4265374.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0155 hrs IST, Kartikeya, TNN MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has taken strong exception to former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh’s office asking the Buldhana district administration in Vidarbha to go easy on Gokulchanda Sananda, a moneylender and father of Congress MLA Dilipkumar Sananda, in 2006. The court has labelled the action “gross abuse of power”. In May 2006, the money-lending prevention committee headed by Buldhana collector Ganesh Thakur registered an FIR against Gokulchanda alias “Dalwale Sheth” after receiving a complaint from a debt-ridden farmer, Rajendra Kavadkar. He charged Gokulchanda with robbery and kidnapping. The police also filed chargesheets in seven other criminal cases against the Sananda family. The influential Sanandas have been involved in the moneylending business for years. While Dilipkumar is an MLA, his brother Ashok was leader of Congress in the Khamgaon Nagar Parishad. According to petitioner Sarangdharsingh Chavan, within hours of Kavadkar’s complaint, the chief minister’s office intervened and his personal secretary Ajinkya Padwal contacted the police station asking it not to proceed against Gokulchanda. The fact that a call was made was noted down by the inspector in the station diary. In June 2006, Thakur issued a letter under orders from Deshmukh asking the police not to take cognisance of further complaints against Dilipkumar’s family without sending them for opinion to a district-level committee. The reason given was that “false and frivolous complaints were being made against the family of an MLA”. Justice A H Joshi and A B Chaudhari said a committee could not be used to “dilute the powers of police” to act against moneylenders and observed that had Chavan not filed the petition before the HC, no investigation would have been carried out against Gokulchanda at all. Padwal tried saying that he had not contacted the Buldhana police asking them to go slow. But after going through the evidence, the judges held that someone did call up the police station and that too at the behest of Gokulchanda. The court struck down instructions given by Deshmukh to refer the complaints to a panel. It also noted that whenever any farmer in Buldhana said he had withdrawn a complaint against Gokulchanda under duress, his grievance should be considered by the administration. The court imposed a token cost of Rs 25,000 on the state. HC: States can recruit guides http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC-States-can-recruit-guides/articleshow/4265079.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0630 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg, TNN NEW DELHI: In a key judgment paving the way for increased availability of qualified tourist guides in northern India, including Delhi, the Allahabad High Court has held that a state government can also recruit guides who can practice in monuments protected by the Archaeological Survey of India. Though the Allahabad HC verdict pertains to Uttar Pradesh, it spells greater leverage to state governments like that of Delhi, to augment its number of qualified guides as it settles the law in this regard. The capital is in dire need of more guides in the run up to the Commonwealth Games next year but due to confusion over this legal issue, hasn’t begun recruiting state guides yet. The verdict by a division bench of the court came in response to a batch of petitions filed by various regional tourist guide associations challenging the decision of UP government to advertise applications for state level guides. The petitions sought quashing of the advertisement by citing a 2003 guideline of the union government. They argued that only regional guides given license directly by the tourism department can guide tourists at ancient monuments falling under ASI, in a specific state and on that ground claimed no state guide could be given the same privilege. However, HC interpreted the guidelines differently to conclude any such restriction on state guides will violate their fundamental right to carry on their profession, “State guides are chosen to guide tourists in an entire state including protected monuments. Scheme doesn’t contain any rule they have to be excluded.” This was also an issue raised by Agra Tourist Guides Association who were impleaded as a party in the case through their counsel Anjana Gosain. HC added that “When state level guides are selected almost by similar process..by prescribed selection committee of an officer of Central government and ASI, excluding them from taking tourists to protected monuments may affect their rights under Article 19 (1)(g).” Cops’ RTI reply on missing kids costs Rs 78,927 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Cops-RTI-reply-on-missing-kids-costs-Rs-78927/articleshow/4265098.cms 14 Mar 2009, 2307 hrs IST, TNN NEW DELHI: How much could asking for information on missing children under the RTI Act possibly cost? Well, if the questions are addressed to Delhi Police, it could be as high as Rs 78,927. That’s exactly how the office of DCP (southeast) responded to an application filed by the NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), seeking details of Delhi’s missing children (2006-08). In a reply to the BBA application, the DCP’s office said, “We have to suspend our regular work in order to furnish the requisite information sought by you for which considerable manpower will be utilised/diverted to discern this information. Hence, as per provisions of Sec 7(3)(a) of RTI Act, 2005, the requisite details/information can be provided on payment.” The letter then provides the project’s financial details. For instance, one head constable each from 15 police stations in the district would work for three days at the rate of Rs 840 per day costing Rs 37,800. Similarly, one constable each from the 15 police stations working for the same would cost another Rs 36,945. Similar charges for the sub-inspector associated with the work for three days adds another Rs 4,182 to the cost. Section 7(3)(a) of RTI Act, 2005, says the public information officer shall send intimation to the person making the request giving “the details of further fees representing the cost of providing the information as determined by him, together with the calculations made to arrive at the amount in accordance with fee prescribed…”. The police seems to believe it is playing by the rules. However, activists are wondering whether the letter is just a way of making it difficult to obtain information. “The question of public authorities charging citizens the cost of manpower employed for collection of information does not arise. Compliance with the Act’s provision is like any legal duty performed by a public servant,” says RTI activist Commodore Lokesh Batra. Interestingly, Rakesh Sengar of BBA, points out that other police districts such as northeast and west have offered information on the same without asking for any legwork money as done by the southeast police. The NGO has appealed to the Central Information Commission, says Sengar. It is not an open and shut case though. Wajahat Habibullah, Chief Information Commissioner, says there are similar cases pending before the commission. “This is a live issue before us. We have not passed any judgment in this regard,” he says. Those in favour of right to information would be hoping a favourable decision comes sooner than later. Delhi govt plans Tourist Safety Act http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Delhi-govt-plans-Tourist-Safety-Act/articleshow/4266490.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0927 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: In a bid to protect tourists from being fleeced and harassed, Delhi government is mulling a proposal to legally empower them by enacting a Tourist Safety Act in the national capital. “The draft of the proposed Delhi Tourists Safety Act is being fine-tuned to ensure that all aspects related to tourists’ safety in the city are covered by it,” a senior official in the state tourism department said. He said the proposal is at a very nascent stage and is being envisaged to ensure safety of domestic and foreign tourists, visiting the national capital. “Such a law is necessary as Delhi is ranked one of the favourite tourist destinations in the world. Moreover, it is relevant in view of the Commonwealth Games next year when around 10,000 foreigners besides 10,000 sportsmen and women are expected to throng the city,” he said. Among several proposals being considered in the draft is the registration of tour operators to prevent fleecing and misbehaviour with the tourists. Fine and punishment against those found guilty is also under consideration. Judges selection lopsided http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/Judges-selection-lopsided/articleshow/4265360.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0416 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: Former Supreme Court judge justice K Ramaswamy on Saturday found fault with the way in which judges are being appointed to various high courts and the apex court. Addressing the legal fraternity at a seminar organised by the Osmania Graduates Association, he came down heavily on the `oligarchical methods’ being followed by the collegiums of the higher courts. “These collegiums are not functioning well. Though talented advocates and legal brains are emerging from the depressed strata of society, these elitist collegiums are not taking the aspirations of these social groups into consideration,” he said. While all other democratic institutions are acquiring representative and pluralistic character, the judiciary is still lagging behind and is refusing to accommodate the best talent coming from the new social groups, he said. This is despite several recommendations from the parliamentary committee on judicial reforms to include them, justice Ramaswamy said. “I was also invited for one of the meetings of this committee in which one of the members of this committee made a startling statement that as many as 14 persons from a single family were appointed as judges of a particular high court in the country’, he said. In a participatory democracy, qualified and eligible advocates from every social segment are entitled to be considered for appointment to the higher judiciary, he said. HC panel to look at ways to power exam centres http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC-panel-to-look-at-ways-to-power-exam-centres/articleshow/4262335.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0220 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Friday set up a committee to suggest measures for ensuring uninterrupted power supply at examination centres. The committee will comprise state education secretary, managing director of the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (MSEDCL) and a representative of the examination board. The state, in an affidavit, stated that 1,255 centres are hit by power cuts. Of these, 463 centres are provided with generator, the state claimed. According to the state’s affidavit, around 2,608 centres were not affected by load shedding at all. There are another 1,389 exam centres which do not use any electrical appliance, the SSC board lawyer informed the court. The court was hearing a PIL claiming Std X and XII students had to write their papers in dark due to power-cuts. CID to probe tree felling at Botanic http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/CID-to-probe-tree-felling-at-Botanic/articleshow/4262520.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0105 hrs IST, TNN KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court on Friday directed CID to probe the alleged tree felling at the Indian Botanic Garden (IBG) last year. The green Bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder ruled that the inquiry should be completed in three months and monthly reports on its progress placed in court. On November 24, days after the alleged incident, the court had constituted a high-powered committee to look into it on the basis of a PIL, filed by environmentalist Subhas Datta, on mismanagement and poor maintenance of the garden. Claiming that the Botanic authorities had chopped several full-grown trees illegally, he sought a CBI probe into it. The committee, comprising police commissioner Gautam Mohan Chakrabarti, advocate Anindya Mitra and principal chief conservator of forests Atanu Raha, in its preliminary report stated that 38 full-grown trees had been chopped and that the garden employees had taken part in an auction of the wood. It had been auctioned off for Rs 32,000. The IBG authorities had violated West Bengal (Protection and Conservation in Non-Forest Areas) Act, 2006, the committee pointed out. Then, the court asked advocate-general Balai Ray to declare the government’s stand on a CBI probe. On Friday, he said the state had no objection as trees had been felled illegally and the authorities were not above board. IBG lawyer R N Das objected to that, saying the authorities had filed an FIR and the case was being investigated by both police and the state forest department. The court then recorded that neither police nor the forest department had taken steps yet. Ray suggested that CID could also probe the matter because a CBI deputy director, known for his competence, had recently joined the CID. Residents up in arms over destruction of mangroves http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Residents-up-in-arms-over-destruction-of-mangroves/articleshow/4262393.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0259 hrs IST, S Balakrishnan, TNN MUMBAI: Several acres of mangroves behind Bangur Nagar in Goregaon (West) have been encroached upon by the land mafia. When TOI visited the area on Monday, it found that a large automobile repair garage, a marble cutting unit, a temple and a church have been built by destroying valuable mangroves that act as a buffer between the sea and the huge housing colony. Just last week, the land mafia dumped huge boulders at night and covered a large water body. A resident and convenor of the Deshbhakti Andolan, Dr Avisha, said that for the last several months, her organisation has been complaining to the P/south assistant municipal commissioner B P Kolekar about the large-scale destruction of mangroves. Information under the Right to Information Act revealed that the church authorities have been issued a notice under Section 351 of the BMC Act calling them to produce proof of the legality of the structure. But no documents have been presented. A member of the managing committee said efforts were on to “regularise” the massive structure, but BMC sources argued that there was no law to regularise illegal structures on mangroves and those that fall in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ). A nearby structure that was built for a reading room and dispensary is being used as a marriage hall. A temple has also come up in brazen violation of the laws, while a local politico has fenced a large patch of encroached land to build a school. A 15ft-wide road has been built by cutting the mangroves to facilitate the movement of cars and autorickshaws to the unauthorised repair garage. The police had put up poles to block access to this road, but these have been removed. “Debris is brought at night and dumped on the mangroves. We have complained to the police, but in vain,” said Avisha. In response to a PIL filed by Debi Goenka of the Bombay Environmental Action Group, the HC had placed the responsibility of preventing the destruction of mangroves on the deputy police commissioner of the area concerned. When TOI asked the local DCP Makarand Ranade about this, he said he would direct the Bangur Nagar police to “look into the matter”. The Andolan has sent a legal notice to Ranade threatening to initiate contempt proceedings against him. Local deputy municipal commissioner, Kiran Achrekar, who was arrested in the Sara Sahara illegal construction case, did not respond to queries from TOI. Illegal structures – Encroachments include a large automobile repair garage, a marble cutting unit, a temple and a church. – These structures have destroyed the valuable mangroves that act as a buffer between the sea. Haryana to seek amnesty for Aravali structures http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Haryana-to-seek-amnesty-for-Aravali-structures/articleshow/4262531.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0121 hrs IST, Manveer Saini, TNN CHANDIGARH: Under fire for allowing construction in notified forest land, Haryana government will now approach the Supreme Court for amnesty for constructions in authorised colonies in prohibited areas of the Aravalis in Faridabad. This would include Kant Enclave and Lakewood View where the CEC has recommended demolition. The state government has, however, decided to undertake to abide by all the other recommendations made by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for revival of ravaged hills. Some of these recommendations deal with construction in prohibited areas and some of them deal with mining in the Aravalis. A meeting was convened by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday to fine-tune the government’s response to recommendations of CEC, a Supreme Court appointed watchdog for the Aravalis. Haryana chief secretary Dharamvir is likely to file a joint affidavit on behalf of various departments and wings of government who are parties in a public interest litigation (PIL) pending in the apex court. While the chief secretary and CM’s principal secretary M L Tayal expressed their inability to give the details, sources said Hooda has approved in principle the decision to file a common affidavit. “In fact, 80% of recommendations are related to mining, and the remaining 18% to HUDA (Haryana Urban Development Authority) and town and country planning department. Except for the demolition of existing structures in authorized colonies, all were in agreement on recommendations,” reliable sources informed. If this is, indeed, true, mining in Sirohi and Khori Jamalpur should stop for good now because the CEC has recommended that all existing mining leases should be permanently revoked (the only legal leases until February 5 were for these two mines). In addition, the CEC has laid down detailed guidelines for fresh auction and highly controlled mining in 600 acres in Faridabad district. Among others who attended the Friday meeting were D S Dhesi, financial commissioner principal secretary (FCPS), town and country planning department, P K Gupta, FCPS, forests and environment, Y S Malik, FCPS Mining, T C Gupta, Huda chief administrator, S S Dhillon, director, special secretary, town and country planning, and R K Khullar, municipal commissioner, Faridabad. If past meetings are anything to go by, the amnesty appeal may not go down too well. The state government had pleaded with the CEC during a recent meeting that the committee recommend regularisation of these colonies on the ground that they had been granted licence long before Punjab Land Preservation Act (PLPA) came into force. According to the minutes: “The CEC was unable to agree with the above contention of the state of Haryana. The CEC also did not agree with the view of the state of Haryana that at least the buildings already constructed after obtaining permission/approvals from the concerned authorities of the state should be considered for regularisation. It was stated by CEC that such large-scale illegal use of forest land for private use or profit would not be in public interest and should not be condoned.” Huda has already given affoerstation land and money for the Aravali Rehabilitation Fund that the CEC had recommended as a one-time quid pro quo for regularising its own projects. ‘Banks should declare properties under mortgage’ http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1238511 Mayura Janwalkar Thursday, March 12, 2009 22:23 IST Mumbai: A PIL filed before the Bombay High Court has sought a court direction to the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to ask all the banks in the country to publish a list of all properties mortgaged with them so that buyers of the properties are not cheated. The PIL, filed by Borivili resident Rajendra Thacker, states that in many cases buyers purchase a flat in housing schemes, not knowing that the land or the building is mortgaged to a bank, and the title is not with the builder. Thacker, in his petition, stated that he had experienced this when an advertisement for Evershine Global City and Rustomjee Estate in Virar got him interested. However, later he saw a public notice in a newspaper on January 5, 2009, issued by Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) stating that Evershine had mortgaged a part of the land to Syndicate Bank, through HDIL, for a loan of Rs90 crore in 2005, and hence HDIL and the Syndicate Bank had a claim over the land. Thacker’s advocate Sumedha Rao told the court that the brochure of the scheme did not mention that the land was mortgaged with the Syndicate Bank and it was also distributed at a real estate expo on March 4.The RBI lawyer said that when a mortgage deed is signed, it is a deemed notice to the general public. Chief Justice Kumar and Justice DY Chandrachud have asked the RBI and the builders to file their reply to the PIL in four weeks. The PIL has also urged the court to direct banks to erect boards on properties that are mortgaged with them. B-town votes for the right change http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bollywood/B-town-votes-for-the-right-change/articleshow/4255069.cms 13 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, PAYAL PRUTHI, TNN Vote for change is the war cry among Bollywood stars determined to see a change in the country’s current political scenario. And they’re going the extra mile to send their message out to the youth. Take actor Kunal Kapoor, who gets into Rang De Basanti mode when he says, “We should not vote to show how angry we are with the system, but for the change that we wish to see by selecting the best candidate.” Advocating the right to vote, Kunal says, “Politics has been perceived as something dirty. But there has been a sea change and we see many educated and young people being part of it.” He urges the country’s youth to come forward and make the right choice. “By not voting, we are denying ourselves the chance to make things better for us and the whole nation,” he says. The young actor plans to file a PIL seeking government accountability post 26/11 and is already part of a community in Mumbai working for the same cause. Kunal is also reaching out to schools and colleges with a speech on the importance of voting. Rock On!! star Farhan Akhtar is also using his youth icon status to mobilise young voters. “This is the one opportunity we get in five years to make a difference and to question the set-up. The voice of the youth will certainly matter as a large percentage of voters is young,” he says. Farhan has also been talking on various websites about how the youth can trigger change. The celebrity face behind the Jaago Re initiative, Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, is a regular voter and also spreading the word. “There is a growing awareness among the youth to be part of the political process. We have been abstaining from our responsibilities and have paid the price for it,” says Rakeysh, adding, “We do need experience and wisdom, but a new, young crop in the Parliament brings with it renewed energy and new ideas.” On the jury of Natak Kar, Desh Badal, actor Rahul Bose says he’ll be fully committed to the voting campaign this year. “It’s nonsense when you say you can’t or kiske liye. Engage in the process, select your own candidate if you don’t like those already there, but you must vote,” asserts Rahul. Meanwhile, John Abraham also held an interactive session with youngsters encouraging them to vote; others like Mugdha Godse and Shamita Shetty are sticking to their resolutions of voicing their opinions and voting to be responsible citizens. ‘Age is no bar to study law’ http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1238607 Mayura Janwalkar Friday, March 13, 2009 2:42 IST Mumbai: The Bar Council of India (BCI) in September 2008 introduced an age limit for admissions to law courses. However, Yasmin Tavaria, 52, a practising advocate of Bombay High Court who feels one can never be too old to be a lawyer, has filed a PIL challenging BCI’s decision. Tavaria in her PIL has urged the court to direct the BCI to withdraw Rule 28 from the Bar Council of India Rules, which lays down the age bar for entry to law courses. As per the new rule adopted by the bar council, no candidate above the age of 20 would be admitted to the five-year LLB course, which students opt for after class XII. And nobody above 30 years of age can join the PG LLB course. Tavaria, who enrolled for the three-year LLB course at the age of 42, feels “commitment to the profession and age can never be inversely related to each other and that the age of a person has no bearing on the degree of commitment with which he or she would pursue a profession.” Tavaria completed her post-graduation from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management studies in 1981 and served in a public sector company till 1997. After she gave up her job owing to personal constraints, she enrolled for a law course in 1999 and started practising as a lawyer in 2003. Tavaria says in her PIL that by introducing age bars the BCI “is depriving deservingpersons from pursuing further education at a later stage in life which perhaps they could not do earlier due to financial or other constraints and which now they could pursue due to changed circumstances.” Tavaria said her PIL would be heard in court on March 26. Zardari to review SC ban on Sharif brothers http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Zardari-to-review-SC-ban-on-Sharif-brothers/articleshow/4264954.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0027 hrs IST, Omer Farooq Khan I SLAMABAD: In a clear sign that President Asif Ali Zardari has been cornered by rising waves of protests across the country, the Pakistani government on Saturday announced to go in for a review of a court decision that banned former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his brother, ex-chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, from contesting elections and holding office. The government’s decision, announced by prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani on Saturday, came amid the crisis caused by the resignation of Pakistani information minister Sherry Rehman, who quit her post on Saturday morning in protest against Zardari’s decision to ban Geo TV, a popular channel which has been extensively covering the anti-government protests. According to sources, Zardari, who is rarely seen in public, might have decided to accept PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif’s demands after the US gave him an ultimatum to defuse the crisis within 24 hours. On Saturday, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton made a telephone call to Nawaz Sharif, who has been leading a ‘long march’ that is expected to culminate into a huge rally in the capital on Monday. Zardari has been under siege for some time with almost everyone — prime minister Gilani, army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani, the Sharif brothers and the lawyers community — turning hostile to the PPP leader, who became president a few months after the assassination of his wife Benazir Bhutto last year. The on-going crisis deepened on Friday night during a high-level meeting co-chaired by Zardari and Gilani as differences emerged on how the government should handle the media’s coverage of the long march launched by the lawyers’ movement and PML-N to pressure the PPP to reinstate judges sacked during the 2007 emergency imposed by Gen Pervez Musharraf. Earlier on Friday, Zardari had tried to defuse the crisis by offering talks to Opposition leaders and lawyers, but the former prime minister refused to budge, urging the restoration of deposed chief justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry as a precondition for the talks. IPS officer moves HC, drags in city police chief http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/IPS-officer-moves-HC-drags-in-city-police-chief/articleshow/4266156.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0522 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: In a fresh twist to the ongoing unrest in the ranks of copdom, IPS officer Sundar Kumar Das has moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a direction to the city police to register an FIR against additional director general of police K Aravinda Rao under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. Hyderabad police commissioner B Prasada Rao has been named as the respondent in the case. A similar case filed by Srikakulam SP Ch Srikant against another high-profile IPS officer Soumya Mishra is before the same court. In his complaint lodged with the Saifabad police in January, Das accused Aravinda Rao of blocking his posting as a district superintendent of police. Das, a promotee from the ranks of the AP Police Service and an M Phil from Jawaharlal University, has contented that he is being discriminated against because of his caste. But no FIR has been filed in the case as the Hyderabad police feel that Aravinda Rao has nothing to do with the posting of Das who is presently working as chief security officer of AP Genco. Das made representations to the deputy commissioner of police (central) of Hyderabad and the city police commissioner urging them to register an FIR against the senior officer, but finding no positive response, has now moved the high court. “SPs seeking legal action against their superiors is unprecedented in the history of the AP police. It reflects a total lack of leadership to amicably resolve disputes,” a senior police officer told STOI. J-K HC asks Army to compensate for dead porters http://www.indianexpress.com/news/jk-hc-asks-army-to-compensate-for-dead-porte…/434483/ Majid Jahangir Posted: Mar 14, 2009 at 1152 hrs IST Srinagar: Taking a strong note of failing to provide compensation to five porters who were killed in an avalanche in north Kashmir’s Uri sector eight years back, the High Court has directed the Army authorities in Kashmir to immediately pay compensation to the next kin of porters. In December 2001, five porters identified as Abdul Rehman Lone, Muhammad Shafi Lone, Imtiyaz Ahmad Khan, Abdul Gani Lone and Abdul Sattar – all resident of Lachipora Uri- were killed in an snow avalanche while carrying ration for the Army post on Line of Control (LoC).Soon after the tragedy the Army refused to pay compensation to the families saying the five were killed in a natural calamity. After the denial by Army for compensation, the relatives of the five slain porters in early 2002 approached the court of Assistant Labour Commissioner Baramulla for seeking justice. The Assistant Labour Commissioner, after hearing the plea, directed the Army authorities in July 2003, to give Rs 21 lakh compensation to the families whose kin have died in the avalanche while performing the duty for Army. The Army later filed an appeal in the High Court and challenged the Assistant Labour Commissioner’s direction. Army later pleaded before the High Court that even as the porters were working with Army, but they were killed in a natural calamity so there was no reason why the Army authorities should pay compensation to the families of the five porters. The Army also pleaded that they were in no way responsible for the death of five men. “They (porters) did not die because of the negligence of the Army men,” the Army pleaded before the High Court. After hearing the plea from both the side, High Court Judge Mohammad Yaqoob Mir upheld the decision of the Assistant Labour Commissioner Baramulla and directed the of Army to immediately release the compensation money to the families of the porters. “It will be injustice if the compensation is not paid the five porters who died while working for Army,” Justice Mir observed in his judgement. ’84 case: HC relief for Cong leader http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/84-case-HC-relief-for-Cong-leader/articleshow/4261959.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0445 hrs IST, TNN NEW DELHI: Echoing the state’s logic that any criminal proceedings against a former Congress councillor will only lead to “agitating the matter and re-opening wounds and scars of the past which have healed”, the Delhi High Court has upheld the discharge of Harcharan Singh Josh in an anti-Sikh riots case of 1984. “..Now a dust has started settling on the riots of 1984. Keeping in mind the lapse of time of about 24 years, the trial court was fully convinced that it was in the interest of public at large not to raise the storm again as it was important to create harmony between two sections of society,” Justice Aruna Suresh noted in her order on Friday. She dismissed the petition filed by one Jamuna Devi, a widow whose son Chander Bhan was shot in the rioting that followed the assassination of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Devi had moved HC challenging the prosecution’s move to close the case against Josh, which had led to his discharge. Josh is a member of the National Minority Commission. Justice Suresh upheld the findings of the lower court and saw no fault in the grounds cited by the state in pressing for withdrawal of criminal proceedings against Josh. “Trial court rightly observed that permission sought by prosecutor didn’t seem malafide and was to serve public interest by not agitating the matter and re-open wounds which have healed with lapse of time,” HC concluded. The court made it clear it was not going into any documentary evidence and saw no malafide intention in the prosecution’s claim that “public interest” demands the 24-year-old case be given a burial. In her arguments, Devi wondered how the state could cite such grounds when other 84 riot cases were regularly being adjudicated upon by the same HC and witnesses in her case were alive. According to the FIR lodged by Devi, her son was shot by Josh on November 1, 1984 during the anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. She also claimed there were eyewitnesses to the incident. After prolonged investigations the Delhi Police filed a closure report before the magistrate in 1989, with the prosecutor informing the court there was no evidence against Josh, leading the MM to accept the closure request in 1998. The same year Devi moved HC against the MM order and the latter was set aside prompting the state to approach SC to insist the case be closed. This too was dismissed but the prosecution remained adamant there was no evidence and refused to revive criminal proceedings. HC deals double blow to striking TN lawyers http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/HC-deals-double-blow-to-striking-TN-lawyers/articleshow/4261979.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0339 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN CHENNAI: Dealing a double blow to striking advocates of Tamil Nadu, Madras high court on Friday said all courts would start passing orders from Monday even if advocates stayed away and declined to order suspension of top police officers for the February 19 violence in the high court complex. The unprecedented decision to dispose of listed cases on merits may lead to the dismissal of a large number of cases for non-appearance of counsel. The decision was taken after Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale’s efforts to convince the bar leaders to resume court work failed. The lawyers have been boycotting courts demanding action against top police officers for the use of violence against them in the court premises. In the evening, registrar-general R Mala despatched a circular to all courts and tribunals in the state, asking them to inform advocates that cases would be heard and disposed of on merits even if advocates, who are on indefinite strike since February 20, fail to show up for the hearing. As for criminal matters, the court would either engage the services of an amicus curiae or panel advocates of the Legal Services Authority, or contact the petitioners and ask them to make alternative arrangements to represent them in courts. Earlier, the first bench comprising chief justice Gokhale and justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla rejected the persistent pleas of advocates to order the immediate suspension of top police officials involved in the February 19 violence on the high court campus. “In our view, this is not a fit case where any ex parte order to suspend any police officer could be passed,” the judges ruled. The bench asked the government to deposit in court the log record, the general diary and the telephone details relating to the violence. The bench adjourned the matter to March 26. State’s 26/11 panel a joke: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/States-2611-panel-a-joke-HC/articleshow/4262324.cms 13 Mar 2009, 2335 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas , TNN MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government’s 66-member jumbo committee set up after the 26/11 attacks invited the Bombay High court’s censure. “It is a joke,” said the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud said of the State Security Council. “It would be unmanageable,” they said, asking the government to trim it down. Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar listed out a series of proposals by the state–creating a special commando contingent Force One on the lines of the National Security Guards, new weapons, 20 additional bomb detection squads and high-speed boats to maintain vigil at the coastline. The judges said these proposals should have been in place three months after the attacks. “By this time, the first batch of trained commandos should have been ready. The decisions should not remain only in government files,” said the judges. “You cannot take human lives for granted.” The court asked the state to ensure that its security plan does not remain Mumbai-centric. “Police in the upcoming industrial belts in Pune, Nagpur, Nashik and other places will also have to be equipped to fight terrorists. Another incident (like 26/11) could destroy the industrial progress that the state has made in the last 50 years,” said Chandrachud. Borulkar told the court that the two-member committee of former chief secretary R D Pradhan and former IPS officer V Balchandran, which was set up to identify security lapses and negligent officers, was yet to submit its report. The court also sought an explanation from the government for the delay in calling on NSG during the 26/11 carnage. The case will be heard next after two weeks and the state has been directed to place on record a status report on the measures taken to improve security. Madras HC cracks whip on lawyers http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Madras-HC-cracks-whip-on-lawyers/articleshow/4262700.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0318 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN CHENNAI: In an attempt to break the legal logjam in Tamil Nadu, the Madras high court on Friday said all courts and tribunals would start passing orders, even if advocates stayed away from the proceedings, from Monday onwards. The unprecedented decision to dispose of listed cases in the absence of lawyers may lead to the dismissal of a large number of cases for non-appearance by counsel. The decision was taken after chief justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale’s efforts to convince Bar leaders to resume court work, which has been stalled since the violence on February 19, failed on Friday afternoon. The lawyers have been boycotting courts demanding action against top police officers in connection with the violence against them on the court premises. Dealing a double blow to the striking advocates, the HC also declined to order immediate suspension of top police officials in connection with the February 19 violence while hearing cases filed by bar associations demanding action against the police brass. In the evening, registrar-general R Mala despatched a circular to all courts and tribunals in the state, asking them to inform advocates that cases would now be heard and disposed of on merit even if the advocates, who are on indefinite strike since February 20, fail to show up for the hearing. In case of criminal matters, the court has decided that in the absence of lawyers, it would either engage the services of an amicus curiae or panel advocates of the Legal Services Authority, or contact petitioners and ask them to make alternative arrangements to represent themselves in courts. Taking a strong stand, the first bench, comprising Chief Justice Gokhale and Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla, rejected the persistent pleas of advocates to order immediate suspension of top police officials involved in the violence on the HC campus. This has been the main condition placed by the lawyers for returning to work. “In our view, this is not a fit case where any ex-parte order to suspend any police officer could be passed,” the judges ruled. The bench asked the government to deposit in court the log record, the general diary and the telephone details relating to the violence. The state government has already deposited Rs 25 lakh towards compensation for injuries and damage to vehicles, and the 250 claims received so far would be duly scrutinised by a committee, it said. The bench then adjourned the matter to March 26. On hearing of the long adjournment, the huge gathering of advocates heckled the judges and raised slogans against them and the government pleader J Raja Kalifulla. Advocates, disappointed with their failure to win an interim order against police officials, were engaged in heated debates in the court campus over the notification on disposal of cases issued by the registry. Describing it as a hasty decision, the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president S Prabakaran said it would not help restore a conducive work atmosphere in courts. R C Paul Kanagaraj, leader of the influential Madras High Court Advocates Association (MHAA), said: “It is a fresh challenge in our continuing struggle. But, unless our demands are met, we will not return to courts.” NGR Prasad of the All India Lawyers’ Union (AILU) said the decision would unnecessarily aggravate the situation. K Balu, president of the Advocates Forum for Social Justice, said: “The real struggle has begun only now. We know how to face it.” G Mohanakrishnan, MHAA secretary, who was injured in lathicharge on February 19, said: “Now it is a do-or-die situation. The decision to conduct court proceedings in the absence of advocates would fuel the controversy further.” K Santhakumari, president of the Women Lawyers Association (WLA) said, “Our hopes have been dashed. We are saddened because even the judiciary has not rushed to our rescue when we needed it the most.” A senior judge, however, said, “passing orders on merits does not mean dismissal of cases. We will pass orders on the basis of available records, and assistance from law officers. In criminal cases, we will engage panel advocates from the Legal Services Authority.” HC notice to govt, Jagan on Sakshi ads http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-notice-to-govt-Jagan-on-Sakshi-ads/articleshow/4262436.cms 14 Mar 2009, 0147 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: Justice L Narasimha Reddy of the A P High Court on Friday issued notices to the state government, the special commissioner of information and public relations (I&PR) department and to Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and director of Jagathi publications that brings out Sakshi Telugu daily and directed them to file their affidavits explaining the procedure being followed in respect of releasing of government advertisements . The judge was responding to a petition filed by Ushodaya Enterprises, the publisher of Eenadu Telugu newspaper, which charged the state government with showing undue favour to Sakshi and accused the authorities of discrimination against Eenadu. When the counsel for Eenadu told the court that the authorities have been acting with undue haste in respect of both empanelling Sakshi paper in the official list of newspapers with the I&PR department and also in releasing advertisements to it despite the fact that it could not show any authentic figures of actual circulation, the judge enquired about the parameters and procedures being followed by the authorities in this regard. While advocate general C V Mohan Reddy saw a political motive behind this petition, the counsel for Jagathi Publications S R Ashok too doubted the veracity of the timing of the petition in view of the elections. The AG told the court that the state has a clear policy in this regard which the authorities have been following and he would narrate those details in his counter. The judge posted the matter to April 15. Land mortgaged with banks: HC seeks RBI reply http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Land-mortgaged-with-banks-HC-seeks-RBI-reply/articleshow/4257692.cms 13 Mar 2009, 0146 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN MUMBAI: “Why don’t nationalised banks make it mandatory for builders to declare if a land being developed by them is mortgaged with a financial institution,” asked a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud. The Bombay high court, which was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Borivli resident Rajendra Thaker, has now asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reply within two weeks. Pointing to an upcoming residential-cum-commercial project-Rustomjee Estates being developed by Enigma builders-at Evershine Global City in Virar, the petitioner has claimed that the land is involved in a legal dispute between Housing Development and Infrastructure limited (HDIL) and Evershine. The public interest litigation further claims that the land is mortgaged with Syndicate Bank. “The brochure doesn’t mention that the land is mortgaged and buyers may purchase flats without being aware of the dispute,” said Sumedha Rao, counsel for the petitioner. “The buyer will be left in the lurch as no conveyance deed can be executed till the dispute goes through the entire legal process, which may take years,” Rao added. The petitioner has urged the court to direct all banks to put up notice boards at construction sites giving details of the mortgage. Satyam Raju’s plea against custody quashes by AP High Court http://crimecriminal.blogspot.com/2009/03/hc-quashes-raju-plea-against-custody.html By S A IshaquiHyderabad, March 13: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday quashed the petitions filed by the former Satyam CEO, Mr B. Ramalinga Raju, and his associates, challenging their CBI custody.On March 9, the 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court had remanded Mr Raju and other accused for seven days CBI custody for interrogation in the multi-crore accounting fraud. Mr Raju, his brother and three other accused challenged the order in the High Court.While dismissing the petitions, Justice K.C. Bhanu agreed that was no provision in the CrPC to grant police custody after the expiry of the first 15 days of remand period. But he added that the facts and circumstances were different in the Satyam case which was being probed by a multi-disciplinary team of the CBI.The judge pointed out that the first remand period started from March 7, when the case was transferred from the Sixth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court to 14th Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court. Posted by Ishaqui at 5:22 PM HC notice to govt, Jagan on Sakshi ads http://www.andhrarajakeeyam.com/2009/03/hc-notice-to-govt-jagan-on-sakshi-ads/ Friday, March 13th, 2009 Justice L Narasimha Reddy of the A P High Court on Friday issued notices to the state government, the special commissioner ofinformation and public relations (I&PR) department and to Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, son of chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and director of Jagathi publications that brings out Sakshi Telugu daily and directed them to file their affidavits explaining the procedure being followed in respect of releasing of government advertisements. The judge was responding to a petition filed by Ushodaya Enterprises, the publisher of Eenadu Telugu newspaper, which charged the state government with showing undue favour to Sakshi and accused the authorities of discrimination against Eenadu. When the counsel for Eenadu told the court that the authorities have been acting with undue haste in respect of both empanelling Sakshi paper in the official list of newspapers with the I&PR department and also in releasing advertisements to it despite the fact that it could not show any authentic figures of actual circulation, the judge enquired about the parameters and procedures being followed by the authorities in this regard. While advocate general C V Mohan Reddy saw a political motive behind this petition, the counsel for Jagathi Publications S R Ashok too doubted the veracity of the timing of the petition in view of the elections. The AG told the court that the state has a clear policy in this regard which the authorities have been following and he would narrate those details in his counter. The judge posted the matter to April 15. J&K HC will continue hearing delimitation writ petition on Friday http://www.kashmirlive.com/story/JK-HC-will-continue-hearing-delimitation-writ-petition-on-Friday/434129.html Express News Service Posted online: March 13, 2009 at 1558 State HC started the hearing in the writ petition, on Thursday, which has sought the direction to the State govt to constitute delimitation commission . Jammu A Division bench of the State high court comprising, Chief Justice, Biren Ghosh and Mansoor Ahmed Mir, will continue the hearing in a writ petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir National Panther’s party (JKNPP), in Jammu on Friday, seeking the fresh delimitation of assembly constituencies in the state. State high court started the hearing in the writ petition, on Thursday, which has sought the direction to the State government to constitute delimitation commission for fixing the boundaries of the assembly constituencies in the state. Arguing in favor of the delimitation, JKNPP Chairman, Prof Bhim Singh, submitted before the court that the refusal by the sate to appoint a delimitation commission amounts to discrimination against the people of Jammu and Kashmir and it destroys the basic structure of the constitution. Prof Bhim Singh submitted that 29-th of the state constitution doesn’t bar the constitution of Delimitation Commission. He said that the Delimitation Commission was constituted by the Parliament under Justice Kuldip Singh in spite of the 84th Amendment to the Constitution which banned the increase in the Lok Sabha constituencies. Singh was assisted in the case by H C Jalmeria, B.B. Kotwal and Bansi Lal Sharma. Advocate H C Jalmeria, said, “the hearing in the case will continue tomorrow as well. We presented our case before the court today pleading that the delay in the delimitation of assembly constituencies was against the interests of Jammu region.” expressnewsservice Jurisdiction and Forum Non Conveniens: Part I Saturday, March 14, 2009 http://spicyipindia.blogspot.com/2009/03/jurisdiction-and-forum-non-conveniens.html A recent post had led to an interesting discussion on the appropriateness and applicability of the principle of ‘forum non conveniens’ in domestic law. Usually, the principle is applied in the context of private international law. Within a domestic system, the principle is applied in cases where the judicial structure is federal and not unified in structure. The debate assumes importance given the expansions in jurisdiction under certain legislations which allow the plaintiff a choice to file a suit in his place of residence, as opposed to the principle in the Code of Civil Procedure which requires filing of suits in the defendant’s place of residence. Now, if a Court does have the jurisdiction under either the CPC or under the specific provisions such as S. 62(2) Copyrights Act or S. 134(2) Trademarks Act, can it refuse to hear the case on the ground that a more alternative forum is available? Does the private international law principle of forum non conveniens extend to the jurisdiction of Courts within India in a solely domestic context? The Delhi High Court decision in St. Ives Laboratories v. Arif Perfumers, [CS (OS) No. 78/2009, decided by Justice S.N. Dhingra] suggests that it does. The case involved allegations of trademark infringement. It was not the case of the plaintiff that it resided in Delhi. Thus, for the purposes of the case, the special jurisdictional sections were irrelevant. The question had to be decided in accordance with the rules of the Civil Procedure Code. In particular, the issue was whether part of the cause of action arose in Delhi, so that the Delhi Courts could assume jurisdiction. There was a clear allegation in the plaint that the defendants were surreptitiously and clandestinely trading their goods under the impugned trademark and labels in Delhi and in other parts of the country. The trademark was registered in Delhi, and the plaintiff alleged that it was suffering losses in Delhi too. In deciding jurisdiction, a Court usually satisfies itself with the averments made in the plaint. In the facts of the case, those averments indicated that part of the cause of action did arise in Delhi. It was argued that in view of this, Delhi Courts would have jurisdiction under Section 20(c) of the CPC. The Court held: Looking at the entire plaint, it only seems that the plaintiff had filed this suit at Delhi only as a device of harassment calculated to force the defendant to come to Delhi, engage a Counsel at enormous expense and contest litigation. The plaintiff, who was resident of USA could have easily filed this suit at Courts at Bombay/Maharashtra and pursued the matter. Filing of suit in Delhi on the basis of vague allegations that the goods of defendants were being sold clandestinely throughout the country including Delhi makes no sense. No cause of action can be said to have arisen in Delhi. Such allegations of clandestine sale can be made against any person without any foundation and the plaintiff even during trial can always escape giving proof of such clandestine sale saying that he has stated in the plaint that the sale was clandestine and no bills were being issued. The Court cannot be used as a tool to put such a burden on the defendant that the defendant is unable to even defend the suit. The plaintiff cannot be given absolute liberty to choose the place of suing a defendant out of entire country on the basis of unfounded and vague allegations. In such a case CPC provisions regarding jurisdiction stand rendered useless. (Emphasis added) Now, it might well be possible to hold that the Court had concluded that no part of the cause of action arose in Delhi. There are at least three reasons, however, for believing that the Court was in fact applying the doctrine of forum non conveniens. First, on the averments made in the plaint, it was not possible to say that no part of the cause of action arose in Delhi. The veracity of those averments cannot be gone into for the purposes of determining jurisdiction. Secondly, if indeed no part of the cause of action arose in Delhi, there was no reason to make observations concerning the hardship and burden faced by the defendant. Thirdly, in its reasoning, the Court referred to a Supreme Court decision – Kusum Ingots v. Union of India – holding that a Court is not bound to entertain a plaint if a small part of the cause of action arose within its jurisdiction. This indicates that the Court was holding that even though a part of the cause of action arose in Delhi, the Delhi Courts were not the most appropriate forum for adjudication. The judgment in Kusum Ingots itself appears to accept the forum non conveniens principle. That case was concerned not with private law disputes but with the public law question regarding the appropriate High Court in cases of writ jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution. Nonetheless, it was held that the CPC principles of jurisdiction were equally applicable to writ proceedings. The Supreme Court went on to say that “indisputably” even if a small fraction of the cause of action arises within the jurisdiction of a particular Court, that Court shall have jurisdiction in the matter. Yet, on appropriate cases, the Court could refuse to exercise that jurisdiction on the ground of forum non conveniens. Thus, the Court recognised the distinction between the existence of jurisdiction and the exercise of jurisdiction. The principle of Kusum Ingots has been followed subsequently. In Jayaswals Neco, the decision was analysed in depth; and was held to be authority for the proposition that when a cause of action arises partly in one jurisdiction and partly in the other, it is ordinarily for the petitioner to choose his forum. Yet, “in appropriate cases” the Court concerned may refuse to hear the matter because of forum non conveniens. The Delhi High Court decision in St. Ives seems to now settle the issue that the doctrine would also apply outside writ jurisdiction to an ordinary civil suit between two private parties. A question which arises in such a scenario is, “What are the principles which would determine the application of the doctrine of forum non conveniens?” A subsequent post will try to answer that question. Posted by Mihir Naniwadekar at 3:48 PM Law prevails; bungalows of the mighty face axe http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/law-prevails-bungalows-of-the-mighty-face-axe/434703/ PrashantRangnekar Posted: Mar 15, 2009 at 0132 hrs IST Mumbai Santosh Ganpat Bhurkud (28), a Warli tribal and bonded labourer from Yeoor village, is heir to some 11 acres of land along with five brothers and three sisters. He shares the land with one Debashish Devnarayan Ghosh and two bungalows now stand on the property. His grandfather Babu Jadhav had adopted Ghosh, after which even his name was added to the land revenue extract along with grandmother Ladkibai and mother Jaibai, both dead. Ramesh Haware (29), a landless Warli tribal, has 41 guntas of land in Yeoor, which was handed over to a rich Thane businessman by his uncle long back. A sprawling bungalow on the site was demolished by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) last week. Haware has filed a petition in the Bombay High Court to get his land back. These are a few of the numerous cases in which authorities have detected irregularities in the transfer of tribal land to non-tribals in Yeoor village over the last two decades. The village is surrounded by the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP), but falls under the jurisdiction of the TMC. After the demolition of 19 bungalows since February, the TMC on Thursday issued showcause notices to more than 40 illegally-built structures in Yeoor. “We should soon start the demolition,” said B G Pawar, deputy municipal commissioner (encroachment), referring to the illegal bungalows, some of which belong to local political heavyweights. According to Pawar, this mini hill station has 176 structures, including bungalows, hotels and small apartments, of which 16 were demolished this year. Of them, only 66 (40 bungalows and 22 other constructions) had the TMC approval. The rest were allegedly illegal and the TMC has already ordered a survey to verify this. Now, even the state forest department has issued notices in over 35 cases for violating forest laws. The entire demolition process throws light on how bungalows were built in these misty and picturesque hills by taking advantage of the poor and illiterate tribals, some residents alleged, adding that action was hardly taken against the rich and powerful who own the properties. The Thane collector had, in January 2008, given a list of 19 structures to the TMC, asking them to demolish them but no action was taken. It was only after Chandrakant Jadhav, a tribal, filed a PIL in the Bombay High court in February that the TMC took action. He demanded that a piece of land, which once belonged to a tribal but was now occupied by a non-tribal, be given back to the tribal, In response, the court asked the TMC and Thane collector to furnish a list of people having bungalows in Yeoor. Villagers say the construction of bungalows on tribal land started in the late 80s. In many cases, land transfer was not done owing to the Maharashtra Restoration to Scheduled Tribes Act 1964, but the possession of land was with non-tribals. But what followed after possession of land was the destruction of the habitat in the surrounding forest. Along with it came parties, loud music and narcotic substances. “It would be wrong to say tribal people in Yeoor were exploited. They were paid money. Why are we blamed for their misery?” said a local politician whose bungalow was among those demolished. The tribals are, however, yet to receive their land. “We have handed over the land to the Thane district collector after the demolition,” said Pawar. The tribals are also confused about using the land. “We do not know what is to be done with the land as the concrete structures were erected on our fertile lands. Neither can we do farming nor have enough money to build a house there,” said Parshuram Hindole, whose land was given to a politician for building a bungalow. Beyond Candlelight Vigils http://blogs.outlookindia.com/default.aspx?ddm=10&pid=1625&eid=5 Sundeep Dougal Veena Ramanna writes in the Indian Express: The urban educated class in India is beginning to show renewed interest in the political process. While there are some groups that have chosen to take a plunge into the political arena head on by contesting elections, several others are choosing to engage with the electoral process in different ways. In this election season, it is not just the political parties who are preparing to reach out to the masses. A host of other professionals are getting involved in their own ways to be part of the process. She goes on to enumerate and describe the work of some of these groups. While some of these are well-known enough, it’d be useful to record them here for reference. Association for Democratic Reforms: Founded in August 1, 1999 by a group of Professors from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad and National Institute of Design and some alumni of IIM to work towards strengthening democracy and governance in India by focusing on fair and transparent electoral processes. Its PIL filed in Dec 1999 culminated in a Supreme Court order on Mar 13, 2003 requiring disclosure of criminal, financial and educational background of all contesting candidates. Since then ADR has done Election Watches in almost all State Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. For the current elections, there is a National Election Watch which has regularly been putting out press-releases on candidates with criminal records. These are revealing lists as they show the rot cutting across party lines. Click here for the latest list: SmartVote.in is focusing on three constituencies in urban Bangalore Mumbaivotes.com is focusing on six constituencies in Mumbai city Jaago Re began as an effort to enable new voters to register. In its work over the past several weeks, JaagoRe has over four lakh people registered on its website from across the country. Still cynical? Read Veena Ramanna’s full article: It’s Your Vote. Please help us expand this database. Tell us about more such groups and your experiences with them. POSTED BY Sundeep ON Mar 14, 2009 AT 16:33 IST Bombay HC flays Mah. govt on Mammoth Committee for detecting lapseshttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?21549a91-4701-4b53-be4f-4e2536b128ac 3/13/2009 Bombay High Court came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for forming a huge 66-member committee to look into security lapses and identify the officer responsible during the 26/11 terror attack in the city, saying that the committee is mammoth and will not be manageable.A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud, during the hearing of petitions filed regarding the terror attack, directed the state to reduce the size of the committee and strictly implement its recommendation.The court, however, adjourned further hearing for two weeks.The directions were made during the hearing of two public interest litigation (PILs), one filed by the Indian Society of Law Firms and another by a city-based lawyer V P Patil. The PILs have questioned the security lapses that had led to the terror attacks.In the PIL, Advocate Patil alleged that there was a systemic failure, which allowed terrorists to carry out their operations. The other PIL has sought setting up of a Citizens Committee to tackle the menace of terrorism.UNI Madras High Court judges will take up matters from March 16 http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031550280100.htm Special Correspondent Joint action committee of lawyers demands immediate withdrawal of notification Lawyers not to attend courts till demand for suspension of police officers is met Joint action committee resolves to withdraw vakkalats/memo of appearance in all courts CHENNAI: Acting tough with the agitating advocates, the Madras High Court has issued a notification that its judges will take up matters listed before them and decide them on merit from March 16. The High Court has further notified that in criminal matters, if advocates are not available at the time of hearing, either advocates from the panel of amicus curiae will be requested to appear for the accused or notice sent to the accused, who are on bail or in jail, informing them that they should make alternative arrangements. The court had issued a similar instruction to Principal District Judges on Friday. The notification has evoked sharp reaction from advocates, who say they are not at all been satisfied with Friday’s court order on the incidents on the High Court campus on February 19. President of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association S. Prabakaran told reporters that advocates would not attend courts till their demand for immediate suspension of senior police officers responsible for the attack on lawyers was met. The joint action committee of advocates resolved to withdraw their vakkalats/memo of appearance in all courts. The committee said the notification should be withdrawn immediately. At a meeting here on Saturday, it resolved to abstain from courts/tribunals till the demands were met. It requested advocates not to address judges as “My Lord/Your Honour,” and, instead, address them as “Mr. Judge or Sir.” Another resolution requested advocates to desist from attending functions of the Supreme Court, High Court and district judges, or those organised by courts and tribunals. The committee said legal aid panel lawyers should not accept any brief referred by any court or any assignment as amicus curiae. New turn to advocates stir in Tamil Nadu http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200903141758.htm Chennai (PTI): In a new turn to the ongoing Advocates’ stir, the Madras High Court on Saturday notified that its Judges would take up matters listed before them and decide them on merit from March 16 but lawyers said they would continue boycott of courts insisting on action against police officials responsible for the Feb 19 ‘attacks’ against them. As the lawyers’ indefinite stir continued for the fourth week, the High Court said in the event of advocates not being available when criminal matters were being heard, either advocates on the panel of amicus curiae would be requested to appear for the accused or notice would be sent to accused, who are on bail or in jail, telling them to make alternative arrangements. The High Court’s notification in this regard came a day after it directed subordinate courts to start functioning from Monday. Advocates have been boycotting courts since the February 19 clash between police and lawyers in the High Court premises demanding suspension of top police officers. Sticking to their stand, Madras High Court Advocates’ Association and Tamil Nadu Advocates’ Association on Saturday submitted memoranda to the High Court Registrar General stating that advocates will be withdrawing their ‘vakalats’ (civil side) and memos (criminal side) for appearance. TNAA President S. Prabhakaran told reporters that the notification ‘suppresses democratic rights of lawyers’. The agitation by advocates was fair and being conducted in a democratic manner, he said. Stating that advocates would not attend any case till police officers responsible for the attack were suspended, Mr. Prabhakaran said the notification “adds insult to the injury of advocates”. He requested the Chief Justice H L Gokhale to withdraw the notification immediately. Several advocates and policemen, besides a judge were injured in the February 19 clashes between lawyers and police in the High Court premises. Cases to be decided if Tamil Nadu lawyers continue strike http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/74435.htm March 14, 2009 by: Sindh Today Chennai, March 14 (IANS) Madras High Court Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale warned Saturday that cases would be disposed off on merit Monday onwards if lawyers in Tamil Nadu continued to stay off work. “To help litigants suffering due to the mass action by lawyers in Tamil Nadu, matters will be disposed off on merit by all courts ex parte in the absence of lawyers Monday onwards,” Gokhale said. Agitating advocates indicated they would not suspend their protests including picketing the Madras High Court here. “Till the offending police officials including Director General of Police K.P. Jain and Commissioner K. Radhakrishnan are suspended and prosecuted for beating up unarmed harmless lawyers and judges within the precincts of the Madras High Court Feb 19, we will continue boycotting courts,” T. Mohan, an activist advocate told IANS. According to Madras High Court Advocates’ Association President Paul Kanagaraj, various lawyers’ bodies are scheduled to meet in Chennai to decide the future course of action in the light of Gokhale’s announcement. Meanwhile, lawyers supporting the state’s ruling party DMK, who attended courts in nearby Vellore, were assaulted Friday by their colleagues who were on strike, witnesses said. Police watched the fracas as mute spectators, as lawyers tore off each others’ shirts and gowns, the witnesses added. The confrontation between police and lawyers began two months ago after a section of the legal fraternity began vociferously protesting against the Sri Lankan army’s actions against Tamils in the island’s war-torn northeast. Besides public property, a police station was set ablaze Feb 19. A one-man probe headed by retired Supreme Court judge Srikrishna faulted both the parties but accepted the overall version of the police which angered the lawyers further. [NF] Candle-light vigils demand justice for ragging victim (Lead) http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/74489.htm March 14, 2009 by: Sindh Today New Delhi/Tanda (Himachal Pradesh), March 14 (IANS) Hundreds of people marched and held candle-light vigils in New Delhi and Himachal Pradesh’s Tanda town Saturday evening to demand justice for Aman Kachru, a medical student who died after ragging. Emotions ran high as relatives and friends of Aman, 19, and their hundreds of supporters marched from the Jantar Mantar observatory near Connaught Place on the Parliament Street in the capital and on the college campus and within the Himachal town. “I am thankful to everyone present here for their support. The movement for justice will continue not only for Aman, but also for other victims of ragging,” said an overwhelmed Rajender Kachru, Aman’s father, in Delhi. Aman died March 8 after he was beaten up in the name of ragging allegedly by four final-year students of his medical college in Tanda. Police said he died of wounds in head and other parts of body. Rajender Kachru said he met Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium in the morning. “He (Subramanium) assured me that he will be filing a petition in the Supreme Court for Aman’s case to be moved in the fast-track mode, and that this case will serve as an exemplary one for future cases of ragging,” Kachru said. Aman, whose family originally hails from Jammu and Kashmir but is now settled in Gurgaon near Delhi, was a brilliant student, family members said. The four senior students involved in the incident have been arrested and booked for murder charges. The Himachal government has ordered a magisterial probe in this regard. Neelam Katara, who fought hard for justice after her son Nitish was murdered, also participated in the protest march in Delhi. She said: “We can’t get anywhere by keeping quiet. Ragging should be given zero tolerance. There should be implementation of laws, and people must feel scared to commit a crime like ragging. This will happen only if it is deemed and considered a crime.” The protesters also demanded the implementation of existing laws and passing of an anti-ragging law. Pooja, a 22-year-old mass communication student, said in Delhi: “Sadly this is not a stray case. Cases of students committing suicide fearing ragging are all well known. The government must act.” Meanwhile, a team of the Medical Council of India (MCI) is visiting the medical college next week to inquire about the incident and the steps taken by college authorities to check ragging. Anil Chauhan, the new principal of the medical college, said a communication from the MCI regarding the visit had been received. “College authorities will cooperate with the visiting MCI team members,” he said. [LM2] Court upholds life term for mother, daughter for honour killing http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/74101.htm March 13, 2009 by: Sindh Today New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Friday upheld the life term for a woman and her daughter who in a honour killing stabbed to death the woman’s other daughter who was unmarried but pregnant. A division bench of Justices Pradeep Nandrajog and Aruna Suresh upheld the life imprisonment of Darshana and her daughter Rajani and stated, “It is our social thinking that forces Indian community to take such drastic steps of killing family members.” “The duo had taken this step to save their family’s respect in society and killed their own blood,” said the bench. According to the prosecution, the duo killed Raji, 20, while she was asleep during the night of April 16, 2002, in Uttam Nagar here when the girl’s father was away in Punjab to attend a wedding. A total of 50 knife wounds were found on the body of the deceased. The trial court had found the two guilty and sentenced them to life imprisonment in 2004. [SU] Hydroelectric Power Corp to commission two projects by 2009-end http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/74022.htm March 13, 2009 by: Sindh Today New Delhi, March 13 (IANS) State-run National Hydroelectric Power Corp (NHPC) plans to commission two of its projects with a combined capacity of over 250 MW by 2009-end, a top official said here Friday. “We plan to commission one of the Teesta hydro-electric projects (in West Bengal) with 132 MW capacity and the 120-MW Sewa-II project in Jammu and Kashmir by December this year,” NHPC chairman and managing director S.K. Garg told reporters. Eleven projects of the company are under construction, of which the remaining eight are expected to be completed by 2011. NHPC is planning to double its power generation capacity from the present 5,200 MW by 2012 for which it has outlined expansion plans worth Rs.280 billion. NHPC accounts for over three percent of India’s installed power generation capacity of nearly 144,000 MW. Asked about the company’s proposed initial public offering (IPO), Garg said the issue was put on hold due to volatile market conditions. NHPC had proposed to come up with an IPO last year to raise Rs.16.7 billion (Rs.1,670 crore) for funding its power generation projects, but the plan was later put off. The power giant has approached domestic bankers for raising funds, Garg said. The company has already tied up with state-run Power Finance Corp (PFC) for about Rs.40 billion and with Life Insurance Corp (LIC) for nearly Rs.65 billion, he added. [SU] Banks don’t want CAs to appear before Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) http://www.taxguru.in/chartered-accountant/banks-dont-want-cas-to-appear-before-debt-recovery-tribunal-drt.html Citing a need for legal knowledge and skills, banks have shot down a proposal by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) to allow chartered accountants to appear before the Debt Recovery Tribunal (DRT) to plead cases. The debt tribunal was set up to adjudicate bank recovery suits. It works in lieu of civil courts. Advocates having specific knowledge of the subject are deemed competent to handle cases before the tribunal, bankers said. Hence, it is not advisable to permit chartered accountants to appear before DRT for banks as they would not be competent enough to handle a case before the tribunal, they added. Sources said that the Union Finance Ministry had sought the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) views on a suggestion made by ICAI to amend the recovery of debts due to banks, and in the Financial Institutions Act 1993 (DRT Act) and other rules. The amendment was mooted to allow chartered accountants to represent matters before the DRT on behalf of their clients. ICAI cited various legislations that permit CAs to represent their clients. But, the IBA stressed that proceedings at DRT requires knowledge of various laws and day-to-day legal developments. Posted by Sandeep Kanoi IPS officer moves HC, drags in city police chief http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hyderabad/IPS-officer-moves-HC-drags-in-city-police-chief/articleshow/4266156.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0522 hrs IST, TNN HYDERABAD: In a fresh twist to the ongoing unrest in the ranks of copdom, IPS officer Sundar Kumar Das has moved the Andhra Pradesh High Court seeking a direction to the city police to register an FIR against additional director general of police K Aravinda Rao under the SC/ST Atrocities Act. Hyderabad police commissioner B Prasada Rao has been named as the respondent in the case. A similar case filed by Srikakulam SP Ch Srikant against another high-profile IPS officer Soumya Mishra is before the same court. In his complaint lodged with the Saifabad police in January, Das accused Aravinda Rao of blocking his posting as a district superintendent of police. Das, a promotee from the ranks of the AP Police Service and an M Phil from Jawaharlal University, has contented that he is being discriminated against because of his caste. But no FIR has been filed in the case as the Hyderabad police feel that Aravinda Rao has nothing to do with the posting of Das who is presently working as chief security officer of AP Genco. Das made representations to the deputy commissioner of police (central) of Hyderabad and the city police commissioner urging them to register an FIR against the senior officer, but finding no positive response, has now moved the high court. “SPs seeking legal action against their superiors is unprecedented in the history of the AP police. It reflects a total lack of leadership to amicably resolve disputes,” a senior police officer told STOI. Lawyers harden stand, to withdraw from cases http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Lawyers-harden-stand-to-withdraw-from-cases/articleshow/4266215.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0554 hrs IST, TNN CHENNAI: A day after the Madras high court instructed all courts and judges in Tamil Nadu to decide on cases on merit, even if advocates did not appear for arguments, the agitating lawyers have decided to withdraw from cases filed by them on behalf of their clients. Their decision means that all ‘vakalatnamas’ (authorisations by clients appointing the lawyers) will be withdrawn, and that courts will have to directly deal with the parties in connection with the cases. The decision was taken at a meeting of the joint action committee, presided over by RC Paul Kanagaraj, its convenor and president of the Madras High Court Advocates Association, on Saturday. The meet resolved to indefinitely continue the boycott, and confirmed that a state-level rally of advocates would be held here on March 19. Perhaps turning their ire on judges, the committee resolved that henceforth advocates would not address judges as ‘My Lord’. Citing a Bar Council of India decision, the meet said they would address the presiding officers of courts as either ‘Mr Judge’ or ‘Sir’. Probe ill-treatment complaint: Court http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/Probe-ill-treatment-complaint-Court/articleshow/4265317.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0354 hrs IST, TNN PUNE: Taking cognisance of an ill-treatment complaint made by notorious criminal Balu Suryakant Andekar (50) of Nana Peth against the officials of the Samarth police, the magistrate court here has referred the complaint to the district and sessions court to conduct an inquiry and take action against the concerned policemen. In its order (dated March 7), judicial magistrate first class V U Misal referred Andekar’s complaint to the sessions court under chapter one of the Criminal Manual. Andekar’s lawyer Bilal Shaikh said the medical certificate issued by the Sassoon hospital to the court has stated that his client had received “four hard blunt injuries” on various parts of his body. The court has taken cognisance of Andekar’s complaint and the affidavit filed in support of the allegations made against the policemen and medical report while referring the matter to the sessions court for further action, Shaikh said. Andekar, who was arrested on February 21, had filed an application before judicial magistrate first class Girish Deshpande, alleging that he was subjected to third degree measures by the policemen. Andekar was arrested for allegedly erecting flex boards defaming the police for initiating externment proceedings against him and his family members. He had complained that he was severely beaten up by inspector Dattatreya Temghare (crime) and others after he was picked up from his Hadapsar residence. He claimed that his leg got fractured due to the assault. And his family members were not informed about his arrest as per the law. Deshpande had referred Andekar to the Sassoon general hospital for conducting medical examination and had directed the hospital to submit the report on February 24. Temghare had refuted Andekar’s allegations earlier. He had said, “On February 21, when we went to Andekar’s house for arresting him, he fled after spotting the police. And he fell down while we were chasing him. His leg might have fractured then,” Temghare said. He further said that Andekar was arrested in the presence of his daughter and other family members. But his wife was not present at the time of arrest. Sinhagad Society case dismissed by court http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/Sinhagad-Society-case-dismissed-by-court-/articleshow/4265321.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0417 hrs IST, TNN PUNE: Civil judge (senior division) G K Rathod recently dismissed the case filed by the Sinhagad Technical Education Society, claiming ownership of over 100 acres of private forest land at Mauje Kusgaon Budruk near Lonavla on the Pune-Mumbai expressway in Maval taluka. The forest department, Pune, is in possession of land at gat (section) nos 309, 310 and 311s. The land acquired from private persons was declared private forest as per the Maharashtra Private Forest Acquisitions Act 1975. The sub-divisional officer at Maval had restored some portions of the land at gat nos 309 and 310 to the real owners, but the land continued to enjoy the status of private forest. The society, through its chief trustee M N Navale, filed a special civil suit before the civil court against the forest department, Union government and state of Maharashtra to declare it the owner of the disputed land. Special forest counsel Abhijit Sakurkar told the court that the society, without obtaining the approval of the central government, had encroached on the land by constructing multi-storied buildings. Sakurkar submitted that the society had indulged in non-forest activities by encroaching on the land and produced notices that had been issued to the society by forest officials, asking that it leave the premises. Sakurkar submitted that the department had earlier filed a case against the society under a section of the Indian Forest Act. The society had asked that the order passed by the assistant conservator of forest directing it to evict the land be set aside and that it be declared owner of the land. The judge, however, upheld the plea of the forest department counsel and dismissed the case. PCNTDA plans to construct a subway near Akurdi railway station http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/PCNTDA-plans-to-construct-a-subway-near-Akurdi-railway-station-/articleshow/4265329.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0423 hrs IST, Siddharth Gaikwad, TNN PUNE: The Pimpri-Chinchwad New Township Development Authority (PCNTDA) is planning to construct a new subway near the Akrudi railway station due to the problem of waterlogging in the old subway. Suhas Divse, the PCNTDA’s chief executive officer (CEO), said that a provision for it has been made in the annual budget of 2009-10. The old subway near the Akurdi railway station links Ravet, Kiwale, Walhekarwadi and other areas to the Old Pune-Mumbai highway and Nigdi-Pradhikaran areas. However, water overflowing from the PCMC’s water purification plant in Nigdi enters this subway, resulting in extensive waterlogging. To make matters worse, sewage from the nearby areas also comes into the subway. Anil Mane, a resident of Nigdi, said, “The subway provides a shorter route for the residents of Nigdi-Pradhikaran to go to the areas around DY Patil college in Akurdi that are located on the other side of the railway tracks. But the subway is always waterlogged. The alternative route to cross the railway tracks is the railway overbridge at Bijlinagar, which is far away.” Anita Jadhav, a resident of Akurdi said, “Minor accidents occur in the subway as two wheelers sometimes skid due to the water in the subway. A permanent solution to the waterlogging problem should be found so that the motorists do not have to suffer.” Sangeeta Kale, another resident of Akurdi, said, “The subway offers a safe passage to the pedestrians to cross the railway tracks. But the pedestrians have to be careful while going through the subway because of the slippery surface caused by waterlogging.” A PCNTDA official said that survey will be conducted to find the apt location for constructing a new subway. The site will be finalised by the railways. This survey will be conducted after the Lok Sabha elections when the model code of conduct ends. The survey will be completed in one to two months. He added that a consultant will be appointed first to prepare the estimated cost and other details of the subway project. The PCNTDA will bear the construction cost. “The railways will take a decision on whether only light commercial vehicles (LCV) are to be allowed on the new subway,” said the official. GGRM threatens stir over laws http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/GGRM-threatens-stir-over-laws/articleshow/4265433.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0533 hrs IST, TNN PANAJI: Ganv Ghor Rakhon Manch (GGRM) has demanded that the government immediately revoke all legislations and ordinances passed or promulgated by it till date after the Task Force was constituted; including amendments to sections 16 & 16A of the TCP Act, proposed Goa PR Act Amendment Bill 2009 and the Land Acquisition (Goa Amendment) Ordinance 2009 as they are anti-people and discriminatory’. A delegation of GGRM members met chief minister Digambar Kamat on Friday and submitted a memorandum regarding various issues related to Regional Plan 2021. The members urged Kamat to give a positive response to their demands within ten days. “We would be forced to begin a state-wide agitation if the government fails to respond effectively,” GGRM sources said. In his response, the chief minister indicated that he would present a verbal response to the GGRM within a period of 7 days from the presentation of the memorandum. The GGRM also pointed out that effective realization of the Regional Plan process depended on the immediate outlining of a coherent legal framework which currently does not exist. As such, the GGRM demanded that the government immediately re-enact/amend, after a thorough public debate and discussion as necessary, the Town and Country Planning Act, 1974, the Municipal Act, 1968, The Corporation of City of Panaji Act, 2002 and the Goa Panchayati Raj Act, 1994, as well as other related legislations that need to be harmonised. As an interim measure till RP 2021 is adopted, GGRM demanded a total and immediate freeze on the construction of structures in villages. In keeping with its pro-people and pro-livelihoods position, the body pointed out that individual houses built for personal occupation could be left out. GGRM also demanded the government’s assurance that the ODPs will be integrated into the regional plan process. Further, GGRM has also indicated that it plans to protest against the ordinance promulgated to benefit the Cidade de Goa hotel. Case against alleged rape victim http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Case-against-alleged-rape-victim/articleshow/4265343.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0341 hrs IST, TNN PANCHKULA: In a case wherein the owner of KC Theatre and former senator of PU Pawan Valecha allegedly raped his domestic help, Panchkula police on Saturday registered a case against the victim under Section-182 of CrPC. Police thereafter sent the report to Panchkula court. The case was registered after cancelling the FIR against Valecha. The step was taken after taking legal opinion. Earlier, police were reluctant about taking action against the victim as she changed her statement, under Section-164 of CrPC. But they later sent the case for legal opinion and after recommendation from legal department, police initiated the action, sources added. According to the initial medical report, there were no injury marks on the victim’s body. The victim earlier said she was being threatened, but she later retracted her statement in court. Sector-5 police station SHO Baljeet Singh said, “A case has been registered in this matter and the compliance report has been sent to court.” The domestic help of Pawan Valecha, owner of KC Theatre, had alleged he had raped her at his house on March 2. On the complaint of the victim, police had registered a case under Section-376 of IPC. ‘Society still has long way to go in realizing human rights’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Society-still-has-long-way-to-go-in-realizing-human-rights/articleshow/4265412.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0009 hrs IST, TNN CHANDIGARH: Centre for emerging areas in social sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh organized a seminar on Equality and Human Rights at CIL auditorium on Saturday. Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar from Punjab and Haryana High Court was the chief guest on the occasion. RC Sobti, vice-chancellor, Panjab University, was the guest of honour. Delivering the presidential address, justice Khehar said humanity is still at a very basic stage when it comes to human rights and it would take time before we graduate to advance stages of realizing human rights. People living below poverty line including children suffering from malnutrition are yet to be brought within the ambit of equality. Sobti, in his address, said the university is creating a corpus fund to give loans to poor but meritorious students. Sobti said in order to bring about equality, we must look within and discharge our duties fully. Earlier, Prof RK Gupta welcomed guests, introducing to them the theme of the seminar. Dr Swarnjit Kaur said the objective of the seminar was to focus on concrete or tangible problems, issues and challenges in the wake of emerging global realities. The world today is fraught with fundamentalist tendencies of various kinds. These are manifested through religious, social, gender, regional and market issues, putting at stake the very norm of equality put forth through philosophical deliberations spreading across centuries. The proceedings of the seminar were divided into three technical sessions. In the first session, Prof PS Jaswal, Prof Ujjawal Kumar Singh, Ronki Ram and Madhu P Singh discussed equality with regard to special arrangements or mechanisms. Prof Bhupinder S Brar, delivering the valedictory address, said discussion on human rights tends to proliferate at the cost of precision. Despite RTI, information remains forbidden http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Despite-RTI-information-remains-forbidden/articleshow/4265605.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0156 hrs IST, Neha Shukla , TNN LUCKNOW: RTI is apparently the `road to infinite’ wait for common man before he gets in the know of not-so-common knowledge. Meant to assure a peep into the forbidden corridors of power within 30-days time, the Right to Information Act is far from achieving its motive in the state especially when even half-a-dozen hearings held by information commission fail to help the cause. The case of an applicant, Naresh Dikshit firmly meets the aforesaid. He had sought information about the allocations made from the chief minister’s discretionary fund every year over a period between January 1991 and July 2007, people and organisations who had been the beneficiaries and also about the rule book, if any, followed while disbursing money from the fund over the said period. “After two years, the information that I have got is wrong and incomplete”, rued Dikshit. The case has already been heard five times in the state information commission on April 21, July 10, October 20, December 11, 2008, and March 13. The latest hearing has been fixed for May 27, 2009 after the applicant complained that he has been provided with wrong information. “I had asked for the certified copy but all I have got is a simple paper and I do not know how far to trust the figures printed on it”, he added. Though the official figures show the annual budget allocation for the discretionary fund ranging between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 25 crore from 1991-92 till 2007-08, there is no information on the beneficiaries. The application requesting a five-point information was made to the Public Information Officer (PIO), chief minister’s office, on August 24, 2007. But, information to the applicant has been constantly denied since then. Three months later on November 30, 2007, an appeal was filed with the first appeal authority but even that did not help. The half-baked information could reach him only on December 8 last year. The PIO has mentioned that there has been no complaint received regarding the misuse of the money disbursed from the discretionary fund. And about the audit of the fund, as was questioned by the applicant, the PIO stated that it is conducted every year by the auditor general, Allahabad. To get the copy of the same, the applicant was told to contact the said official. On the `rule-book’ for disbursement of funds, the information was provided only about November 2006 rule-book. “I have asked them to clarify if it was the common rule-book all through”, said the applicant. The next hearing at the commission is the only hope he has. It is worth mentioning that Lucknow bench of the High Court in its verdict dated July 2008 held that information regarding disbursement and utilisation of CM’s discretionary fund can be sought under the RTI Act by people on lawful demand. Being a public fund it comes within the ambit of the Act. Flesh trade thriving in Allahabad under police patronage http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Flesh-trade-thriving-in-Allahabad-under-police-patronage/articleshow/4265600.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0147 hrs IST, TNN LUCKNOW: Some social activists have lodged a complaint with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) against Allahabad police for not rescuing minor girls being forced into prostitution by brothels in the city. Instead, they have complained that, police is harassing social workers there who had informed the district administration about the racket. On the complaint of Ajit Singh, president of an non-government organisation (NGO) working against human trafficking, district magistrate (DM) Allahabad directed the police to raid the brothels. The DM also deputed an additional city magistrate to supervise the operation. The police team led by officers of the district administration and escorted by Singh raided the brothels situated in Meeraganj on March 6 and rescued 20 girls. However, officers were surprised to see that brothels were running right under the nose of Meeraganj police station. Later, according to Singh, an FIR was lodged against a brothel keeper while others were let off by the police. He also claimed that there were many other minor girls in these brothels but the police did not rescue any of them, expect for the 20 which were found in the presence of the city magistrate. When Singh asked the police to arrest other brothel keepers as well, some police officers started harassing him and even threatened him of dire consequences. “They told me to keep away from the area and not to utter a single word,” he told TOI. After running from pillar to post for action, Singh along with other social activists in Allahabad has now shot off a complaint to the NHRC asking it to take cognizance of the issue and direct district administration to provide security to the social workers involved in the operation. Singh said that more than 70 minor girls brought from Bihar and Nepal are yet to be rescued. He also demanded proper inquiry into the matter so that the flesh trade racket flourishing under police protection can be busted and girls be saved. When contacted, senior superintendent of police, Allahabad, PB Tripathi told TOI that investigations were still on and the matter would be sorted soon. Chand-Fiza talaq: Ulema now talk of screening http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/Chand-Fiza-talaq-Ulema-now-talk-of-screening-/articleshow/4265619.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0237 hrs IST, Manjari Mishra , TNN LUCKNOW: The Haryanvi love story gone sour has left maulanas fuming, though for different reasons. While ultra conservatives lobby is incensed at the audacity of the former deputy chief minister Chandra Mohan for bending shariat to sneak in bigamy, radicals have raised a banner of revolt against “the error of judgment made by ulema in dubious cases”. Their latest demand is to make a pre-marriage screening before a ulema reads out the nikah in a conversion cases. Talking to TOI, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali said that the issue will be raised in the next meeting of the executive council of the Islamic Centre of India. “In Chand-Fiza drama, the officiating maulvi should have been more cautious. The much hyped nikah had all ingredients of a phoney plot. The man was already married and a father of two, neither his family memebrs nor hers were present at the time of nikah. So it was not difficult to put two and two together under the circumstances. Had the ulema been a little more guarded or selective all this embarrassment could have been averted, Maulana Rasheed said. Shaista Ambar, president of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board (AIMWPLB) dittoed the view. It must be made incumbent upon the ulema-e-deen to do a thorough screening of couples in such controversial cases. The maulvi in this particular instance should have insisted upon finding out the motive for the conversion of the high profile couple. Whether they were converting to Islam because of their faith in its tenets or just to serve their ulterior purpose, she said. Interestingly, while young hawks were vociferous in their demand for guidelines in conversion cases the orthodox lobby was more restrained. Shahar Qazi, Lucknow, Mufti Abul Irfan slammed Chandra Mohan for the lowly act. “Yeh nikah ya talaq nahin makkari hai,” said the septuagenarian cleric. Culprits like the Haryana politician need to be ostracised and shunned by the public, he added. However, muftis have little or no role to play in such matters he claimed. Meanwhile Darul-uloom Deoband distanced itself totally from the sordid saga. Mufti Habiburehman the spokesperson of darul qaza declined to make any “verbal comment”. The seminary had on December 10 last year given its approval to the nikah. The two member panel had even said that “there was enough evidence to suggest that Chand Miyan did not resort to conversion for perpetrating a fraud.” The matter will certainly not end here, said Maulana Khalid. The convent educated maulana claimed that he would personally lead an awareness campaign among the religious heads who need to be extremely careful in cases like this which are potent enough to vitiate communal harmony. Released bonded child labourers to be rehabilitated http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/Released-bonded-child-labourers-to-be-rehabilitated/articleshow/4265134.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0311 hrs IST, TNN PATNA: As many as 31 bonded child labourers of Bihar, who were rescued in New Delhi due to joint efforts of the state labour department and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), an NGO, on February 10 and February 17, reached Patna on Saturday. They were working in hotels, dhabas and other industries in New Delhi. These labourers were released in course of two separate raids carried out by the state labour department in New Delhi under the Bonded Labour Abolition Act, 1976. They were given release certificates by state labour minister Awadhesh Narain Singh and Bihar State Child Labour Commission chairperson Ramdeo Prasad at Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA)-run rehabilitation centre, Mukti Ashram, in New Delhi. The released labourers were received by joint labour commissioner Ramchandra Choudhary and BBA state coordinator Mokhtar-ul Haque. These children would return to their native places where they would be given Rs 20,000 each and be accorded priority in admission in schools run under National Child Labour Project and poverty alleviation schemes as well as in allotment of Indira Awas Yojana houses, according to a BBA release issued here on Saturday. Provide all facilities to disabled: NGO http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Nagpur/Provide-all-facilities-to-disabled-NGO/articleshow/4265468.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0038 hrs IST, Snehlata Shrivastav, TNN NAGPUR: As we observe the World Disabled Day today, a survey conducted by the Human Rights Law Network at the city railway station comes as a shocker. The survey team found porters and coolies charging exorbitant sums from the disabled to carry them to the train on wheelchairs. At times they were extremely rude and even refused to take the disabled on wheelchairs if an argument ensued, the team found. Lawyer JPS Uppal, city co-ordinator for HRNL, a branch of India Centre for Human Rights and Law (ICHRL), who conducted the survey along with his team at the station, was critical of the way the disabled were treated. He said, “Additional solicitor general Rajendra Raghuvanshi had told the Bombay high court that the Centre would try to make all railway stations disabled-friendly. The assurance had come in response to a public interest litigation filed by ICHRL, seeking implementation of Disability Act, 1995 at the railway stations. But Nagpur station does not have such facilities in place,” Uppal said. “The disabled are entitled to same rights as all other human beings and must have equal access to all public places, facilities, opportunities and services. As per the 1995 act for disabled, all public transports and public places like railway stations, airports and building complexes should have special facilities for disabled. Not providing these facilities amounts to discrimination,” said Uppal. Citing a personal experience, Uppal said he himself had to convince a coolie to charge suitable amount for taking his relative to a particular platform. “Such incidents could be avoided if the railway administration displays porter charges on all the platforms or where the wheelchairs are kept,” he said. This would save the disabled from discomfiture, he said. Central Railway PRO Suhas Lohkare, however, did not accept all the findings to be true. He said that the toilet on platform number 1 was locked for repairs. “We try our best to keep wheelchairs in good condition. But the people use them roughly and dump them at wrong places. The railway gets all these chairs repaired on a day’s notice. Besides, two spare chairs have also been made available in case of an emergency,” Lohkare said. He assured to look into the issue and also welcomed the efforts put in by the NGO for helping the railway administration provide better facilities to passengers. Cases cannot browbeat me: Amarinder http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ludhiana/Cases-cannot-browbeat-me-Amarinder/articleshow/4264708.cms 14 Mar 2009, 1914 hrs IST, PTI LUDHIANA: Former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh said he will not be “browbeaten into submission” by the cases being registered against him by the Parkash Singh Badal-led SAD-BJP government in the state. “I will not be browbeaten into submission or my enthusiasm will not be dampened in my campaign for Congress candidates in Punjab by the series of politically-motivated cases full of vendetta and ill-will against me,” Singh told reporters here. Singh also claimed that elections were being held in two phases in Punjab only at the request of the Congress as they had expressed fear against rigging of polls in the state by the Akali-BJP combine. Singh, who is the Chairman of the state Congress’s Campaign Committee, was speaking after appearing in a local court in connection with the Ludhiana City Centre case (LCC). The court of Session Judge G K Rai adjourned the hearing of the LCC case against Singh and 17 others to April 18. The mega shopping mall, LCC, was allegedly constructed illegally during Singh’s regime and incurred a loss of around Rs 3000 crore for the state exchequer. File complaints before Lok Ayukta from March 17 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mangalore/File-complaints-before-Lok-Ayukta-from-March-17/articleshow/4265053.cms 14 Mar 2009, 2210 hrs IST, TNN MANGALORE: Senior officials of Mangalore Lok Ayukta division headed by the superintendent of police will accept complaints under the Karnataka Lok Ayukta Act in various places in the district from March 17. A press release from Udaya M Nayak, police inspector (Lok Ayukta), here stated that people may obtain the complaint form, fill it and submit along with an affidavit through the notary public at the hearing. The Lok Ayukta police will accept complaints pertaining to delay in attending to official work in government work at Ujire gram panchayat office in Belthangady taluk on March 17 from 11 am up to 1 pm, and at inspection bungalow (IB), Bantwal in Bantwal taluk from 3 pm up to 4.30 pm on the same day. The officials will receive grievances from people at IB, Sullia from 11.30 am to 1 pm, and at Puttur IB from 2.30 pm to 4.30 pm on March 23. They will also receive complaints at the Beluvai gram panchayat office from 11 am to 1 pm on March 25. People are also free to submit their petitions, grievances to SP, deputy superintendent of police or police inspector on other days during office hours. People may contact the SP on 2429197, DySP on 2443420 or PI on 2427237, the release said. AU to host seminar on social justice http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Allahabad/AU-to-host-seminar-on-social-justice/articleshow/4265011.cms 14 Mar 2009, 2229 hrs IST, TNN ALLAHABAD: The Rajiv Gandhi Chair in contemporary studies, Allahabad University, would organise a seminar on `Social justice in India: Constitutional vision and reality.’ The three-day seminar would start from March 17. The seminar holds significance in view of continuing backwardness of the downtrodden sections of the society despite constitutional guarantees on social, economic and political justice. Scholars from Delhi University, Indian Institute of Public Administration, University of Rajasthan, Jaipur, MDS University, Ajmer, CCS University, Meerut, BHU, DDU Gorakhpur University, BR Ambedkar Bihar University, LN Mithila University, Bihar, Ranchi University, Jharkhand, Jivaji University, Gwalior, Barkatullah University, Bhopal, Madras University, Chennai, Pondicherry University, Puducherry and University of Kerala, Trivendram. Justice JS Verma, former Chief Justice of India, will inaugurate the seminar. Subhash C Kashyap, former secretary general, Lok Sabha, will deliver the keynote address. KG Srivastava, officiating vice-chancellor, AU, will preside over the inaugural session. NK Jha will introduce the theme of the seminar and Krishna Gupta, professor, department of political science, Allahabad University will propose the vote of thanks. Chidambaram issues legal notice to CPI MLA http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Chidambaram-issues-legal-notice-to-CPI-MLA-/articleshow/4263617.cms 14 Mar 2009, 1202 hrs IST, PTI MADURAI: Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has slapped a legal notice on CPI MLA Gunasekaran demanding an apology from him for making the allegation that the Union minister had supported allocation of 500 acres of government land to a private company in his constituency Sivaganga. “It is a total lie to say that 500 acres of land has been gifted to a private company. Some political parties are accustomed to reeling out lies and false charges for the sake of politics. My name has been dragged unnecessarily over an issue between the government and a private firm,” Chidambaram said. The MLA had reportedly mentioned Chidambaram’s name during an agitation led by him against the Union minister at Karaikudi on March 12 to protest allocation of land in Kazhanivasal in Sivganga district to a private firm. Chidambaram pointed out that even the Sivaganga district collector had issued a statement denying land allocation for a private firm. Only a recommendation had been made to allocate 3.5 acres to a private firm on lease basis, as there was a potential for the company to give employment to 1,500 people. Chidambaram, who represents Sivaganga constituency, recalled that the MLA had called on him on Mar 8 and “praised” him for his role in developing Sivaganga during the last three years and even sought his recommendation for some work. 1993 blasts case: CBI moves TADA court to re-examine witnesses http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/1993-blasts-case-CBI-moves-TADA-court-to-re-examine-witnesses/articleshow/4264868.cms 14 Mar 2009, 2028 hrs IST, PTI MUMBAI: The CBI in the 1993 serial blasts case, pending against extradited gangster Abu Salem, has moved the special TADA court seeking to examine the 684 witnesses of the original marathon trial afresh. The original trial, famously known as the BBC trial, against 123 accused including Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt took 15 years to end. Special TADA Judge D U Mulla is likely to pass an order on this application on Monday. Salem is part of the entire criminal conspiracy of 1993 serial blasts case. “We therefore want to re-examine all the witnesses in the case,” Special Public Prosecutor Ujwal Nikam said. He added that as per Supreme Court directions, Section 299 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), the prosecution can rely on the depositions recorded earlier in case the deponent is dead or incapable of giving evidence or cannot be found. The move was initiated by the CBI following the Supreme Court’s order on not permitting the confession of a co-accused in case of an absconding accused. Terming this as a delay tactic, Salem’s lawyer Raja Thakur said, “When the prosecution opened the case against Salem, they said they would examine only 12 witnesses from the BBC trial. Why do they want to examine 684 witnesses now?” Shahabuddin’s plea for name in voters’ list rejected http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Shahabuddins-plea-for-name-in-voters-list-rejected/articleshow/4265881.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0340 hrs IST, Alok Mishra, TNN SIWAN: In a major setback to controversial Siwan MP Mohd Shahabuddin’s bid to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, district election officials have rejected his plea to re-register him as a voter. The MP’s name was deleted from the electoral rolls in 2005 when a non-bailable warrant of arrest, issued in connection with a criminal case, was pending against him and he was absconding. According to rules, official sources said, a voter is de-registered if he is not residing at the address furnished by him for six months or more. Shahabuddin was later arrested and is currently serving life term in the Siwan divisional jail in connection with abduction and suspected murder of CPI(ML) worker Chhote Lal Gupta on February 7, 1999. He has also been awarded imprisonment of varying durations in a few other cases, including that pertaining to the murderous attack on the then Siwan SP SK Singhal on May 3, 1996. Trial has been going on in several other cases in which he is an accused. Siwan SDO-cum-electoral registration officer Prabhat Kumar Sinha said the MP, through the jail superintendent, submitted necessary forms on May 29 last year for re-inclusion of his name in the voters’ list. During investigation, the district administration found that he had been in jail for over one-and-a-half years till then. “Section 5.3 in Chapter 3 of the Handbook of Electoral Registration Officer says that the names of those languishing in jail as convicts should be removed from the voters’ list,” Sinha said, adding it was on this ground that he rejected the MP’s plea. EC disqualifies 3,423 candidates for non-filing of expenses http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/EC-disqualifies-3423-candidates-for-non-filing-of-expenses/articleshow/4266576.cms 15 Mar 2009, 1002 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: Election Commission has disqualified 3,423 candidates for not filing the details of the expenses incurred during the last Lok Sabha or recent assembly polls which they contested. Of them, a major chunk of 1,075 candidates are from Uttar Pradesh and 616 from Bihar who had contested the assembly polls in these two states respectively. They have been disqualified for three years, the EC said, adding that almost 99% of the candidates were independents. Noting that after elections every candidate was required to file an account of expenses, the EC said if candidates did not comply, showcause notice would be served and action taken under the Representation of the People Act. Section 10A of the Act states that if the EC is satisfied that a person has failed to submit an account of expenses within the timeframe and has no good reason or justification, it can disqualify that person for three years from the date of the order. Interestingly, seven candidates, who had contested the Lok Sabha polls, were disqualified in Uttar Pradesh, which has the maximum number of 80 seats. In Bihar, 15 candidates were disqualified. Outer Delhi Lok Sabha seat and Deeg assembly constituency in Rajasthan saw one candidate each being disqualified for not filing the accounts. Rape victim’s uncorroborated statement can be trusted: Delhi court http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Rape-victims-uncorroborated-statement-can-be-trusted-Delhi-court/articleshow/4266437.cms 15 Mar 2009, 0848 hrs IST NEW DELHI: A rape accused can be convicted based on statements of the victim under oath even if they are not supported by any independent witness, a Delhi court has held. “If the victim of rape states on oath that she was forcibly subjected to sexual intercourse, the said statement will clearly be accepted, even if it is uncorroborated,” additional sessions judge Ravinder Dudeja said. The court said an accused could be convicted on the basis of the victim’s testimony alone if it “inspired confidence” and looked “natural”. “In the tradition-bound and non-permissive society of India, a woman is more conscious of the danger of being ostracised by the society and being looked down by the society and would want to avoid publicity on account of fear of social stigma,” the court said. The court’s observations came in a verdict, sentencing 19-year-old Sandeep Kumar, an electrician, to a seven-year jail term for raping a woman after trespassing into her house on the pretext of repairing a fault. It was alleged by the convict that the woman cannot be trusted as her testimony indicting him was not supported by any independent witness despite the fact that the alleged offence was committed in a densely populated area. Human rights violation maximum in UP, Delhi: Survey http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Human-rights-violation-maximum-in-UP-Delhi-Survey/articleshow/4266607.cms 15 Mar 2009, 1013 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: Uttar Pradesh has topped the list of states with maximum number of complaints relating to human rights violation and New Delhi follows a close second, according to NHRC statistics. The statistics reveal that out of the total 94,559 cases of human rights violation last year, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) received 55,216 from Uttar Pradesh alone. This accounts for about 58.39 per cent of the total complaints received by the Commission from across the country, followed by Delhi from where a total of 5,616 such complaints were filed till December last year. Gujarat, which stands third in the list, accounts for a total of 3,813 complaints of human rights violation. The NHRC received a total of 3,672 such complaints from Bihar. Haryana too was close with 3,493 complaints, followed by Maharashtra (3,483), Rajasthan (2,640), Madhya Pradesh (2,246) and Punjab (1,082). However, the Commission did not receive a single complaint of human rights violation from Lakshadweep, while only seven such complaints were filed from Dadar and Nagar Haveli last year. NREGA barrier to economic development: World Bank http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India-Business/NREGA-barrier-to-economic-development-World-Bank/articleshow/4266637.cms 15 Mar 2009, 1030 hrs IST, PTI NEW DELHI: The World Bank has described the much-acclaimed National Rural Employment Guarantee (NREGA) scheme of the UPA government as a policy barrier hurting economic development and poverty alleviation. Various schemes of the Indian government like NREGA, watershed programmes and schemes for development of small and medium towns are acting as “policy barriers to internal mobility”, the bank said in its ‘World Development Report’ 2009. The internal mobility, the report argued, is necessary as “lifting people out of poverty requires shifting populations from villages to cities”. The process of migration should be encouraged, the bank said. “Negative attitudes held by (the) government and ignorance of the benefits of population mobility have caused migration to be overlooked as a force in economic development,” it said. The report said economic benefits of migration are not always recognised by policy makers and, in fact, two forms of policy have been attempted in India to counter migration. “The first response has been to increase rural employment, in an attempt to stem movement out of rural areas … These measures include the recently introduced National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme,” it said. Madras High Court judges will take up matters from March 16 http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031557790100.htm Special Correspondent Joint action committee of lawyers demands immediate withdrawal of notification Lawyers not to attend courts till demand for suspension of police officers is met Joint action committee resolves to withdraw vakkalats/memo of appearance in all courts CHENNAI: Acting tough with the agitating advocates, the Madras High Court has issued a notification that its judges will take up matters listed before them and decide them on merit from March 16. The High Court has further notified that in criminal matters, if advocates are not available at the time of hearing, either advocates from the panel of amicus curiae will be requested to appear for the accused or notice sent to the accused, who are on bail or in jail, informing them that they should make alternative arrangements. The court had issued a similar instruction to Principal District Judges on Friday. The notification has evoked sharp reaction from advocates, who say they are not at all satisfied with Friday’s court order on the incidents on the High Court campus on February 19. President of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association S. Prabakaran told reporters that advocates would not attend courts till their demand for immediate suspension of senior police officers responsible for the attack on lawyers was met. The joint action committee of advocates resolved to withdraw their vakkalats/memo of appearance in all courts. The committee said the notification should be withdrawn immediately. At a meeting here on Saturday, it resolved to abstain from courts/tribunals till the demands were met. It requested advocates not to address judges as “My Lord/Your Honour,” and, instead, address them as “Mr. Judge or Sir.” Another resolution requested advocates to desist from attending functions of the Supreme Court, High Court and district judges, or those organised by courts and tribunals. The committee said legal aid panel lawyers should not accept any brief referred by any court or any assignment as amicus curiae. Confusion over Food Adulteration Act http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031556510100.htm N.J. Nair Central government has not given any guidance on implementation THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Central government decision to enforce the provisions of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Amendment Rules in the State from March 19 is understood to have created confusion among State government officials, manufacturers and traders. While setting a deadline for implementing the rules, the Union Ministry for Health and Family Welfare has not given any guidance to the State government on disposing of the existing stock of packaged food products which do not meet the specifications of the amended rules. Official sources told The Hindu that on enforcing the rules, manufacturers will have to compulsorily furnish nutritional information of food products on the packets. Stringent action, including imprisonment will be initiated against those who fail to comply. If implemented in its true spirit, food inspectors will have to take action against manufacturers and traders. Replenishing the stock according to the standards set in the rules will be a tough task. Being a consumer State, Kerala is a potential market of many major food producers and would be the first State to feel the pinch, sources said. In the absence of precise directions from the Union Ministry, the State government officials are groping in the dark about the measures to be initiated before implementing the rules. As per the amended rules, the name of the ingredients used in a product at the time of manufacturing should be listed in the packet. A variety of products, including wheat, rice, cereals, spices, salt, jaggery, packaged drinking water, mineral water and such products have been exempted from the rules. In the case of food products which do not have shelf-life for more than a week, producers need not have to mention the manufacturing date, but will have to furnish the expiry date. Though the rules have been amended in the interest of the consumer, the Centre should give some time for the State governments to implement it. “Law can’t turn a blind eye to breakdown of marriage” http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031559620800.htm J. Venkatesan New Delhi: The Law Commission has recommended to the Centre that ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ be incorporated as an additional ground for grant of divorce under the Hindu Marriage Act (HMA), 1955. The suo motu suggestion for immediate action comes within days of the Supreme Court denying divorce to a husband on the ground of ‘irretrievable breakdown.’ A Bench held that it was for Parliament to amend the law and that the court could not add new grounds in the statute. In its report to be submitted to the government next week, the Commission, headed by Justice A.R. Lakshmanan, said: “The foundation of a sound marriage is tolerance, adjustment and respecting each other. Tolerance of each other’s fault to a certain extent has to be inherent in every marriage. The court does not have to deal with ideal husbands and ideal wives. It has to deal with the particular man and woman before it.” The report said: “Once the marriage has broken down beyond repair, it would be unrealistic for the law not to take notice of that fact, and it would be harmful to society and injurious to the interest of the parties. Where there has been a long period of continuous separation, it may fairly be surmised that the matrimonial bond is beyond repair. The marriage becomes a fiction, though supported by a legal tie; by refusing to sever that tie, the law in such cases does not serve the sanctity of marriage; on the contrary, it shows scant regard for the feelings and emotions of the parties.” The Commission said: “The public interest demands not only that the married status should, as long as possible and whenever possible, be maintained, but where a marriage has been wrecked beyond the hope of salvage, the public interest lies in the recognition of that fact. Since there is no acceptable way in which a spouse can be compelled to resume life with the consort, nothing is gained by trying to keep the parties tied forever to a marriage that in fact has ceased to exist.” At present ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ was not one of the grounds for divorce mentioned in Section 13 of the HMA. Citing earlier Supreme Court judgments which pointed out the lacuna in the law, the Commission said the legislature had not thought it proper to provide for dissolution of marriage on this ground. The Commission said: “Whenever the question of inclusion of ‘irretrievable breakdown of marriage’ as a ground for divorce is mooted, the opponents argue that ‘divorce’ by mutual consent introduced in the HMA in 1976 more than covers the situation. It is important to note that mutual consent requires the consent of both parties and if one or the other does not cooperate, the said ground is not available.” “Irretrievable breakdown of marriage, on the other hand, is a ground which the court can examine and if the court, on the facts of the case, comes to the conclusion that the marriage cannot be repaired or saved, divorce can be granted. Law cannot turn a blind eye to such situations, nor can it decline to give adequate response to the necessities arising therefrom.” Honour killing: lower court’s order upheld http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031554820700.htm Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has upheld a judgment by a lower court here sentencing a woman and her daughter to life imprisonment for killing her elder daughter at Uttam Nagar in West Delhi in 2002 to protect “the honour of the family in society.” The two, mother Darshana and her daughter Rajni, had killed Raj because she had conceived in an illicit relationship. The two thought that no one would marry Rajni if people came to know about her unwed pregnancy, the prosecution said. The Court cancelled Rajni’s bail and directed her to surrender and undergo the remainder of her sentence. Her mother is already in judicial custody. Commenting on the facts of the case, the Court said: “The appellants are the unfortunate victims of social thinking in India. They acted thinking that by doing away with Raj they could hide the social shame and stigma of her being an unwed mother. ” ‘Form anti-women harassment councils’ http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031552710300.htm Special Correspondent Rally taken out denouncing female foeticide OMALUR: Making a plea that girl children should be allowed to live, women, in hundreds, took out a massive rally on Saturday urging the government to enforce stern measures against abominable practices of female foeticide and infanticide. The rally organised by ‘Rights Trust’ to mark the International Women’s Day, covered important thoroughfares in the town. The participants carried placards denouncing female foeticide. Omalur has the lowest sex ratio at birth of below 750 live births against 1000 male births in the State. Omalur DSP R Sivakumar flagged off the rally. Later a seminar on ‘Women’s rights,’ was also organised in which women activists, judicial officers and others participated. Chief Judicial Magistrate K. Elayarani said that efforts were made to make the women aware of their rights legally. Social activists Umarani Selvaraj wanted the women to have courage and confidence while Lifeline Trust Director K. Kalpana recollected her experiences on the fight against female infanticide in Omlaur block. Omalur Town panchayat chairman R Mohan, Omalur union chairperson Uma Maheshwari Thangaraj and Trust Directors P. Sumathi, P. Vijayal, A. Asokan, P. G. Vidyasagar, V. Govindaraj and S. D. Kumaresan also spoke on the various issues that concerned with women’s rights. The seminar resolved to urge the state to form anti-women harassment councils at work places both in private and government offices. The social justice department should not ignore the complaints on family disputes and solve their problems. Police stations should not resort to mediations on complaints, particularly in cases concerning with women’s issues. Judiciary in State facing difficult times: Gokhale http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031559840900.htm Staff Reporter Actions of “some people” have damaged image of the Bar MADURAI: The judiciary in the State is passing through difficult times and actions of “some people” have damaged the image of the Bar, said Chief Justice of the Madras High Court Hemant Laxman Gokhale here on Saturday. Replying to the welcome address on his maiden visit to the Madurai Bench, he quoted a Tirukkural couplet – “Do not do that which your better sense tells you not to, you will regret later for having done that.” The spurt in the number of public interest litigation petitions showed that people were unhappy with the executive. “More and more people are coming to the courts… and we (Bench and Bar) have to meet their expectations,” he said. “I appeal to you to render full assistance to the Bench to see to it that all courts functioned to the best of their ability so that justice is done to litigants,” he told a gathering of government advocates, judicial officers and court staff. Additional Advocate General T. Raja said that the Chief Justice had delivered several landmark judgments, including granting three hours of extra time to a student suffering from cerebral palsy to write examinations. In another judgment delivered in the Bombay High Court in 2000, Mr. Justice Gokhale had exempted women litigants, except those who were directors or partners of private companies, from payment of court fee. “Each one of the judgments not only sent a strong and clear message but also exhibited your lordship’s clear vision and purpose,” Mr. Raja said. Judges F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, M. Chockalingam, S.K. Krishnan, P. Murgesen, S. Manikumar, A. Selvam, K.K. Sasidharan, M. Venugopal and V. Periya Karuppiah participated. Log record submitted to High Court http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031559560600.htm Special Correspondent CHENNAI: The government on Saturday submitted to the Madras High Court the log record and general diary of the police station concerned, complying with a court order with regard to the incidents on the High Court campus on February 19. The First Bench, comprising Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla, on Friday directed Government Pleader Raja Kalifulla to produce the log record and general diary of the police station concerned by Saturday. Accordingly, the documents were submitted. “No judges in consumer courts in 24 districts” http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031553220300.htm Special Correspondent CUDDALORE:Executive secretary of the Consumer Confederation of India M. Nizamudeen has said that consumer courts in 24 districts are functioning without a judge for the past two years. Addressing a press conference here, Mr. Nizamudeen said that this had resulted in accumulation of consumer-related cases much beyond the stipulated 90 days clearance. Though the Centre had sanctioned funds to the State government specifically for the construction of consumer courts, the funds were not properly utilised, he said. Stressing these demands, consumer organisations would stage a hunger strike in Chennai on March 17. Secretary of the Consumer Guild of Tamil Nadu C.D. Appavu also said that all measures should be taken for the proper functioning of consumer courts. Chamber of Additional Public Prosecutor attacked http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031552500300.htm Special Correspondent The incident was sequel to the attack on Friday VELLORE: The chamber of M. Parthiban, Additional Public Prosecutor, Fast Track Court, Vellore, on the Integrated Courts Complex here was allegedly attacked by a group of advocates on Saturday. Saturday’s incident was sequel to the attack on Friday when there was a scuffle between lawyers belonging to the Bar Association, Vellore, who were boycotting the courts indefinitely, and the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam men who included some lawyers. The glass panes of the chamber were broken in the attack on Saturday. Based on a complaint filed by Mr. Parthiban, the Sathuvachari police have registered a case against Mohan and some other advocates in connection with the incidents on both days. Kiran Bedi wants special courts for domestic violence cases http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031554010500.htm Special Correspondent Cases not being disposed of in 60 days, says advocate Bangalore: The judiciary should play a “pro-active and innovative” role in implementing Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005, and set up special courts to ensure speedy disposal of cases that come under it, said Kiran Bedi, the country’s first woman IPS officer. Speaking at a seminar on “Domestic Violence: Issues and Challenges”, organised by the Women Empowerment Committee of the Rotary Club of Bangalore on Saturday, she suggested that an expert team be set up to zero in on the reasons for judicial delay. The discussion followed an observation by High Court advocate Rama Iyer who said that cases were not disposed of within 60 days as stipulated in the Act and emphasised the need for special courts with “sensitive judges” to deal with them. The former Karnataka State Women’s Commission president Pramila Nesargi said the aggrieved women were not getting interim order within three days as mandated by the Act. Justice N. Kumar, judge of the High Court, suggested that lawyers invoke the provisions of “writ of mandamus” if the courts were delaying judgment beyond 60 days as provided by the Act. Ms. Bedi emphasised the need to open more family counselling centres and increase legal literacy on the Act. There should be regular programmes in the media so that information about the Act was “constantly transmitted” just as commercial advertisements. She said that “Indian crime clock” on women was ticking at an alarming rate, with one woman beaten every minute, one dowry death occurring every 77 minutes and one act of cruelty on women reported every nine minutes. On the international scale, India stood third on abuse of women, with 45 per cent of women admitting to suffering it, she said. She said that wives were treated as “utility services” by men. S.T. Ramesh, Additional Director-General of Police (Recruitment and Training), said that Karnataka police were being trained to deal with “gender-neutral ways” through a UNICEF-funded Gender Sensitisation and People-Friendly Police Project. However, sexism continued to be a “vexing problem”. Judge cautions against unfair criticism of judiciary http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031558290300.htm Web site of judicial officers’ association launched Kochi: Supreme Court judge Cyriac Joseph on Saturday said that judicial officers and judges should maintain absolute integrity and honesty so that there would not be any room for criticising the judiciary. Inaugurating the 57th annual general body meeting of the Kerala Judicial Officers’ Association (KJOA), Justice Joseph said that the judiciary was passing through a difficult period. There had been “deliberate attempts to malign” the judiciary by persons who were at the receiving end of various judicial actions. Persons in the legislature, executive or the government who did not get favourable orders, “retaliated in a sadistic” manner against the judiciary. He said this was because they could not target an individual judge who passed the relevant order since such a move might give rise to contempt of court proceedings. He said that sometimes, a section of the media also resorted to such “unhealthy and destructive criticism” of the judiciary. It often made “a mountain out of a molehill” by exaggerating minor things in the judiciary. He stressed the need for the practice of austerity by judicial officers. Austerity “is a virtue and luxury a scandal for judges”. He called upon the judicial officers to avoid extraneous considerations in their decisions. Launching the web site of the association, acting Chief Justice Kurian Joseph said that the seniority list of various judicial officers would be published soon. Presiding over the function, P. Mohanadas, president of the association, demanded raising the age bar of district judges for elevating them to the High Court and also the re-fixing the ratio of appointment of High Court Judges from the judicial service and the bar at 50:50. P.S. Antony, vice-president of the associaton, welcomed the gathering. G. Pramod Kumar, secretary, proposed a vote of thanks. Sub-court sought in Kannur http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031551550300.htm Special Correspondent Existing sub-courts situated in two ends of the district Action committee warns of agitation if plea is ignored KANNUR: The longstanding demand to establish a sub-court in Kannur town will be raised with the support of political parties, local bodies, people’s representatives and mass organisations, according to an action committee. Chairman of the action committee P.P. Lakshmanan and Kannur Bar Association president T. Nisar Ahamed said at a press conference here on Saturday that Kannur was one of those rare revenue district/taluk headquarters in the country without a sub-court — an original and appellate court with civil-criminal jurisdiction between the district court and munsif-magistrate courts and has powers to decide civil suites up to the value of Rs. 1 lakh and to inflict imprisonment up to seven years in criminal cases. At present, 60 per cent of cases being handled by the sub-courts at Thalassery were from Kannur taluk, including government-related cases in which the district administration headquartered in Kannur town was one of the parties. Thalassery had a principal sub-court and an additional sub-court and a third sub-court in the district was at Payyannur in Taliparamba taluk. Litigants in Kannur taluk were facing inconveniences as the existing sub-courts were located in two ends of the district, Mr. Lakshmanan and Mr. Nisar said. They said that the district court was functioning at Thalassery because the town was the judicial headquarters of the district. All other courts located in Thalassery had clear jurisdiction, they said adding that the demand that courts having jurisdiction outside Thalassery taluk be established there was not acceptable. Pending cases They said that there was a huge backlog in the sub-courts at Thalassery because of the large number of pending cases from Kannur and Thalassery taluks. As a result of repeated representations over the past several decades, the High Court had sanctioned a sub-court for Kannur, they said adding that a powerful lobby was apparently working against the establishment of the court here. It was now the government’s responsibility to set up the sub-court, they added. Mass agitation They said that the town has all the facilities required to set up a sub-court. If the government turned a blind eye to the demand, the action committee would resort to mass agitation, they said. MVR to move Supreme Court http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031553920500.htm Special Correspondent High Court Division Bench ruling on Pariyaram poll KANNUR: Communist Marxist Party (CMP) leader M.V. Raghavan has said there is an element of puzzle in the High Court Division Bench ruling dismissing an appeal questioning the court’s Single Bench ruling upholding the election to the governing body of the cooperative society controlling the Pariyaram Medical College. Mr. Raghavan, former chairman of the Kerala State Cooperative Hospital Complex and Centre for Advanced Medical Science (KSCHC & CAMS), said at a press conference here on Saturday that he would approach the Supreme Court against the ruling that asked the appellants to take up the complaint before the Cooperative Tribunal. He said the time for approaching the tribunal had already expired. He said he would appeal to the Supreme Court against the ruling. The case It was alleged that the Communist Party of India (Marxist) had rigged the election held on September 23, 2007. Mr. Raghavan said the CPI(M), which had taken an uncompromising stand on seat sharing, was now forced to tone down its earlier position. FERA proceedings quashed by Delhi High Court http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031557300400.htm Staff Reporter Two cases filed against elderly couple 22 years ago Continuation of proceedings will not serve the interest of justice: High Court The CBI had filed a separate charge-sheet against the couple NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has quashed prosecution proceedings against an elderly couple initiated 22 years ago by the Enforcement Directorate under the now-defunct Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FERA), saying continuation of proceedings “will not serve the interest of justice”. Quashing the proceedings against 79-year-old S. K. Bahadur and his 80-year-old wife Asha Bhatnagar, Justice S. Muralidhar said: “Keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case, the Court is of the view that pendency of two criminal complaints against the two, who are 79 and 80 years old respectively, and in particular when even arguments on the charges have not been heard for 22 long years, will not serve the interest of justice.” However, Mr. Justice Muralidhar made it clear that the Court had passed the order on the peculiar facts of the present case. The Directorate had filed two separate cases against the couple following seizure of 2,596 dollars and 1,220 sterling pounds and certain other documents during a Central Bureau of Investigation raid at their residence on Satya Marg in Chanakyapuri on December 4, 1987. Mr. Bahadur at that time was a Joint Secretary and Legal Adviser in the Union Commerce Ministry. The Directorate alleged that Mr. Bahadur has gone abroad in 1984 and acquired 294,100 Japanese yen and 15,490 (Hong Kong) dollars. It had filed complaints against the couple alleging that acquisition of foreign currencies by them was in contravention of FERA as they did not have permission of the Reserve Bank of India. The CBI had filed a separate charge-sheet against the couple under the Prevention of Corruption Act for possessing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. The petitioners had sought quashing of the proceedings in the FERA cases submitting that despite the lapse of so many years charges were yet to be framed. Judgment of lower court upheld http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/15/stories/2009031557260400.htm Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has upheld a judgment by a lower court here sentencing a woman and her daughter to life imprisonment for killing her elder daughter at Uttam Nagar in West Delhi in 2002 to protect “the honour of the family in society”. The two, mother Darshana and her daughter Rajni, had killed Raj because she had conceived in an illicit relationship. The two thought that no one would marry Rajni if people came to know about her unwed pregnancy, the prosecution said. The Court cancelled Rajni’s bail and directed her to surrender and undergo the remainder of her sentence. Her mother is already in judicial custody. Commenting on the facts of the case, the Court said: “The appellants are the unfortunate victims of social thinking in India. They acted thinking that by doing away with Raj they could hide the social shame and stigma of her being an unwed mother. We feel sorry for the mother and the daughter, more so for Rajni whose life would be spent in the four corners of a prison but our sympathy cannot be a justification to bend the law.” The Court expressed hope that the Government would take into account its feelings about the two convicts in case the two filed any mercy petitions. FCI violating Punjab VAT Act, says court Saurabh MalikTribune News Service http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090315/punjab.htm#14 Chandigarh, March 14The Punjab and Haryana High Court has held that the Food Corporation of India (FCI) is violating Section 16 of the Punjab Value Added Tax Act, 2005. The Section prohibits the corporation to charge sales tax for goods falling under Schedule “A”, pertaining to tax-free items. The ruling by the Division Bench of Justice MM Kumar and Justice HS Bhalla comes on a petition filed by Garg Cattle Feed Industries against the corporation and other respondents. The Bench, at the very onset, observed: The short question arising in the petition is whether the respondent-corporation is entitled to charge tax on the sale of damaged food grains, despite the fact that it is a tax free item falling under Schedule “A” of the Act. The Bench observed the petitioner was engaged in manufacturing and sale of cattle feed and was registered as an approved party for purchase of damaged food grains from the corporation. The petitioner was awarded tender for the disposal of damaged food grain for cattle feed. The petitioner pleaded it was not liable to pay sales tax on damaged food grains, as no tax was payable under the Act on such sales and, in fact, the corporation was actually prohibited from “collecting sales tax on the sale of tax-free goods as per Section 16 of the Act”. The Bench asserted in “such like circumstances, the petitioner had no other option but to knock at the door of this court by filing a writ petition” for directing the respondents to deliver the damaged food grains, subject to the payment of amount mentioned in the tender, “without charging any VAT/sales tax”. Speaking for the Bench, Justice Bhalla ruled: In fact, the corporation is violating Section 16 of the Act, which prohibits it to charge any sale tax for the goods, which fall under Schedule `A’. What is exempted under the Schedule is cattle fodder and the definition of cattle fodder would also include damaged rice. “In the present case, viewing the matter from every angle, it is crystal clear that the petitioner is not liable to incur liability of sale tax and the question posed is answered in favour of the petitioner and against the respondents….The writ petition filed by the petitioner succeeds and is allowed”. Before parting with the orders, Justice Bhalla ruled: Accordingly, the respondent-corporation is directed to deliver the damaged foodgrains to the petitioner without charging any VAT/sales tax, since the goods are cattle feed and are exempt from levy of tax under Section 16 of the Act. HC: Punjab violated ‘canons of justice’ Fresh inquiry against reinstated copSaurabh MalikTribune News Service http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090315/punjab.htm#15 Chandigarh, March 14Punjab has violated all the norms of justice in a service matter. After losing legal battle “up to the last court” on technical grounds, the state reinstated a cop dismissed from service and allowed him to join duty. But simultaneously placed his services under suspension from the date of his dismissal some eight years back. The Punjab and Haryana High Court believes by doing so, the state and other respondents acted “contrary to all canons of justice”. Ex-constable Massa Singh was placed with the 80th battalion of Punjab armed police, when his services were initially placed under suspension on March 9, 1988, on the allegations of creating nuisance in a mess under the influence of liquor. The suspension was followed by an inquiry and dismissal from service on May 24, 1988. The dismissal orders, however, failed to find favours with the courts. A special leave petition too was dismissed in July 2006. He was allowed to join duty, but the services were placed under suspension and a fresh departmental inquiry was initiated, compelling him to move the high court through counsel RS Bajaj. After hearing Bajaj, Justice Permod Kohli observed: “It appears the respondents decided to inquire the matter primarily on the ground that the earlier order of dismissal, and that of the appellate authority, and the inquiry, were set aside on technical grounds, due to non-observance of principles of natural justice. “It is, however, not disputed that the subsequent inquiry relates to the same incident and on the same facts and circumstances. From the perusal of the judgment of the trial court, it is evident the order of dismissal of the petitioner and that of the appellate authority were set aside not merely on the basis of non-observance of principles of natural justice, but also on the ground that the inquiry was not conducted in accordance with law, and the petitioner was not permitted to defend himself…. “I am of the considered view that once the order of dismissal and the appellate order have been set aside by the civil court and the order of the civil court has been upheld up to the Supreme Court, the respondents cannot be permitted to re-agitate and re-determine the issue afresh and nullify the judgment and the decree of the civil court by their administrative action. “Apart from that, fresh inquiry is not sustainable in law. The respondents have placed the petitioner under suspension retrospectively with effect from the date of his dismissal, which order has been quashed by the civil court and has attained finality. Such an action is also contrary to all canons of justice”. Non-residents can’t seek info from govt dept under RTI Ravi Krishnan KhajuriaTribune News Service http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090315/j&k.htm#4 Jammu, March 14Even though Chief Minister Omar Abdullah kept his word setting out the regime of right to information for the people replacing the flawed J&K RTI Act 2004, the Draft Bill passed by the state legislative Assembly still has certain glitches. Though Governor NN Vohra’s assent would pave the way for the Draft Bill to become a legislation, it has no provision for non-residents to access information from the state government departments, said Dr Raja Muzaffar Bhat, convener, J&K RTI Movement. The permanent state residents could seek information from the Central government departments via the Central Act, but non-residents had been kept out of the purview of the Draft Bill, he added. Further, the state government after putting up the Bill on official website had solicited suggestions to come up with a foolproof Bill in the Assembly but our submissions were simply given a cold shoulder, he said. However, State Law Secretary AH Kochak out rightly denied the charges. “Suggestions will be given due consideration. However, if required, further amendments could be incorporated later,” said Kochak. Dr Bhat said, “We have suggested that the committee should appoint the Chief Justice of the state high court as a state Information Commissioner or IPOs despite a Cabinet minister to ensure Commission’s integrity. Under this Bill, the committee headed by the Chief Minister has leader of the Opposition and a Cabinet minister, he added. Similarly, the Bill still has several typographic errors reflecting hurriedness on the part of the state government, he said. Our suggestion of entertaining applications written in regional languages other than the official languages (English, Urdu and Hindi) was also neglected, he added. Talking to The Tribune Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) programme coordinator in India, Venkatesh Nayak said, we had made 29 recommendations, out of which only one minor change was incorporated. He said, “Instead of expanding the scope of Section 3 of the Bill, the state government drastically narrowed it down by providing the right to seek and obtain information only to the people residing in the state.” Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Sunday, March 15, 2009

LEGAL NEWS 13.03.2009

HC dismisses PIL on Satyam’s fresh shares
http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/522379/National/1/20/1
Published: March 12,2009
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed the PIL filed by a lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma, saying this writ petition is not maintainable in the court.
Filing the petition, Sharma said the Company Law Board (CLB) does not have any power to amend the provisions of the Companies Act in order to appoint a new management in a private company and permitting the management to issue fresh shares.
Contending that it was violation of citizens&aposfundamental rights, Sharma said that on January 9, the CLB, in an order, has allowed the government to constitute a fresh board and after a few days, permitted the new management to issue fresh shares.
He sought the court to direct the government and the new management of Satyam not to issue fresh equity shares without offering the same to existing share holders in equal manner.
Source: PTI

Banks should publish list of properties under mortgage: PIL
http://www.samaylive.com/news/banks-should-publish-list-of-properties-under-mortgage-pil/613347.html
Published by: Noor KhanPublished: Thu, 12 Mar 2009 at 18:47 IST
Mumbai, Mar 12 : The Bombay High Court today sought a reply from the Reserve Bank of India on a petition which demands that banks should publish list of the properties on which they have a mortgage, or a charge.The petitioner contends that in many cases, buyers purchase/book a flat in housing schemes, not knowing that the land or the building is mortgaged to a bank, and the title is not with the builder.The division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud has given RBI two weeks to file the reply.Petitioner Rajendra Thacker has also demanded that RBI direct all the banks to put up boards at the construction sites where they have any charge on the property.Thacker has highlighted the case of a housing scheme called Evershine Global City and Rustomjee Estate in Vasai area of the neighbouring Thane district.According to Thacker, he first saw the advertisement of the scheme in the newspapers. A few days later, he came across a public notice in the newspapers, issued by Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL).HDIL had said in the notice that Evershine had mortgaged a part of the land to Syndicate Bank, through HDIL, for a loan of Rs 90 crore in 2005, and hence HDIL and the Syndicate Bank had a claim over the land. (MORE)

Retired CJI to oversee bidding
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Infotech/Software/Retired-CJI–to-oversee-bidding/articleshow/4257916.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0118 hrs IST, Hema Ramakrishnan & Sai Deepika Amirapu, ET Bureau
HYDERABAD: Justice SP Bharucha, retired chief justice of India, will oversee the bidding process at Satyam. At least three domestic suitors, including L&T, Tech Mahindra and the Spice Group, expressed their interest in acquiring Satyam on Thursday. The decision to appoint a retired Chief Justice to oversee the bidding process was taken by CLB to ensure that the process of selection of a strategic investor would be made in a transparent and open manner. The Hyderabad-based outsourcer crossed a hurdle in the process of roping in a strategic investor with the Delhi HC, dismissing a petition filed by a lawyer that challenged the board’s move to appoint a buyer for Satyam. The two-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court AP Shah and his brother judge Sanjeev Khanna, dismissed the petition which challenged the valuation of Satyam, among other things.

HC seeks info on action against negligent cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_seeks_info_on_action_against_negligent_cops/articleshow/4257665.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0113 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Three months after 26/11, police officers who failed to take timely action may now find themselves in the line of fire. The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the state to furnish details of the action taken against officers who were responsible for security lapses that led to the terrorist strike. Hearing a bunch of PILs on the carnage, a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud has asked the state to submit the information on Friday. The state was represented by public prosecutors Satish Borulkar and Rajeshree Gadhvi who told the court that a panel comprising former chief secretary R D Pradhan and ex-intelligence officer V Balachandran had been appointed in December 2008. “The committee is looking into the security lapses and is also identifying the officers responsible,” said Borulkar. “A special force on the lines of the NSG is being raised by the state.” The court has asked the government to place on record the steps it has taken to prevent a 26/11-like incident in the future. The judges also inquired about the high-profile panel comprising citizens set up by the state to look into the attacks. “Has the committee met even once?” asked the judges. The court is hearing PILs filed on the terror strikes in the city that killed more than 170 people and injured over 300. The petitioners include organisations like the Society of Indian Law Firms, the Malabar Hill Residents Association (MHRA) and advocates Amit Karkhanis and V P Patil. The common thread in each of the PILs is the concern of how to make the city safe. Suggestions include a high-powered committee to review the security arrangements, a risk management system and monitoring the progress of such mechanisms.

Land mortgaged with banks: HC seeks RBI reply
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Land_mortgaged_with_banks_HC_seeks_RBI_reply/articleshow/4257692.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0146 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: “Why don’t nationalised banks make it mandatory for builders to declare if a land being developed by them is mortgaged with a financial institution,” asked a division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud. The Bombay high court, which was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Borivli resident Rajendra Thaker, has now asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to reply within two weeks. Pointing to an upcoming residential-cum-commercial project-Rustomjee Estates being developed by Enigma builders-at Evershine Global City in Virar, the petitioner has claimed that the land is involved in a legal dispute between Housing Development and Infrastructure limited (HDIL) and Evershine. The public interest litigation further claims that the land is mortgaged with Syndicate Bank. “The brochure doesn’t mention that the land is mortgaged and buyers may purchase flats without being aware of the dispute,” said Sumedha Rao, counsel for the petitioner. “The buyer will be left in the lurch as no conveyance deed can be executed till the dispute goes through the entire legal process, which may take years,” Rao added. The petitioner has urged the court to direct all banks to put up notice boards at construction sites giving details of the mortgage.

Observations in verdicts are not binding precedents: Supreme Court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031360401400.htm
J. Venkatesan
“Judgments of courts are not to be construed as statutes”
Judges interpret statutes, they do not interpret judgments
Don’t match the colour of one case against the colour of another
New Delhi: Observations in judgments are not binding precedents to be blindly followed by courts in arriving at a decision, the Supreme Court has held.
“Courts should not place reliance on decisions without discussing how the factual situation fits in with the fact situation of the decision on which reliance is placed. Observations of courts are neither to be read as Euclid’s theorems nor as provisions of the statute and that too taken out of their context. These observations must be read in the context in which they appear to have been stated” said a Bench consisting of Justices Arijit Pasayat and A.K. Ganguly.
“Judgments of courts are not to be construed as statutes. To interpret words, phrases and provisions of a statute, it may become necessary for judges to embark on lengthy discussions but the discussion is meant to explain and not to define. Judges interpret statutes, they do not interpret judgments. Circumstantial flexibility, one additional or different fact may make a world of difference between conclusions in two cases. Disposal of cases by blindly placing reliance on a decision is not proper.”
Justice Pasayat, who wrote the judgment, quoted Lord Denning in the matter of applying precedents: “Each case depends on its own facts and a close similarity between one case and another is not enough because even a single significant detail may alter the entire aspect, in deciding such cases, one should avoid the temptation to decide cases (as said by Cordozo) by matching the colour of one case against the colour of another. To decide, therefore, on which side of the line a case falls, the broad resemblance to another case is not at all decisive.”
In the instant case, M. Radha Krishna Murthy, excise inspector was prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act on the charge that he received Rs. 4,000 as a bribe.
The trial court found the evidence acceptable and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. On appeal, the Andhra Pradesh High Court, relying on a Supreme Court judgment, held that since part of the prosecution version of the demand for and acceptance of the bribe had not been proved, the remaining part about laying a trap and recovery of the amount could not be accepted.
Allowing the State’s appeal against this verdict, the Supreme court Bench said: “On a bare reading of the judgment, it is clear that no rule of universal application was laid down [in the case relied on by the High Court] that whenever a part of the case relating to demand and acceptance is not acceptable, the whole case would fail even if the case relating to trap, recovery of money and chemical test by the prosecution is established. In that view of the matter the judgment of the High Court is clearly unsustainable and is set aside and that of the trial Court is restored.”

Arrest warrant against IPS officer
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031354711100.htm
Mumbai: The Chandigarh police arrived in Mumbai on Thursday with an arrest warrant for Indian Police Service officer Saji Mohan Verghese, a source at the court said.
Mohan was serving judicial custody in a heroin possession case registered in Mumbai.
He was arrested by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for heroin possession in January this year.
His latest designation was Deputy Director of Enforcement in Kochi. Before that he was with the Narcotics Control Bureau in Chandigarh. — PTI

Lawyer gets bail in Phoolan Devi case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Lawyer_gets_bail_in_Phoolan_Devi_case/articleshow/4257475.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0204 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: A sessions court on Thursday granted bail to an advocate alleged of helping Sher Singh Rana, prime accused in Phoolan Devi murder case. Accepting the bail plea of advocate Praveen Mittal additional sessions judge Brijesh Kumar Garg said, “I order the release of accused Praveen Mittal on bail on furnishing of personal and surety bond of Rs 50,000 each.” Mittal, a Roorkee-based advocate who was in jail since his arrest in 2002, had allegedly advised Sher Singh to fabricate evidence about his presence in Uttarakhand on the day of Phoolan Devi’s murder in the capital. While giving relief to Mittal, the court took into account the bail granted to another accused Amit Rathi, an alleged arms dealer, by Delhi High Court.”Mittal’s role in the case is minor as compared to Rathi’s,” the court said. Out of 12 accused, Keshav Chauhan, Rathi and Mittal have been granted bail in the eight-year-old case. In February, Rathi was granted bail by Delhi High Court, after remaining in jail for eight years. Earlier, the court had asked Tihar Jail authorities to provide specialized medical help to Dheeraj Rana, one of the accused, for his acute depression. Rana, along with 11 others, allegedly conspired and killed Phoolan Devi, Samajwadi Party MP, on July 25 in 2001 to avenge the 1981 Behmai massacre in which she had killed 17 people of Thakur community.

Lawyers to continue boycott of courts
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031358860300.htm
Staff Reporter
Tirupur: Lawyers attached to Tirupur Bar Association have decided to continue their boycott till further announcement adopting a resolution passed at the general body meeting of Federation of District and Subordinate Courts Bar Associations of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday evening.
M. Sathiyanarayanan, secretary, Tirupur Bar Association, said that the boycott was in protest against the police excesses that took place on the Madras High Court premises on February 19.
Demand
“Our demand is for action against the erring police officials involved in the attack on the lawyers in Chennai,” he added.

DK lawyers to resume work today
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031359990800.htm
CHENNAI: The lawyers’ wing of the Dravida Kazhagam has decided that its members will resume work from Friday. A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting on Thursday. — Special Correspondent

High Court clash: advocate seeks action against police officers
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031356800400.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: An advocate has filed a petition in the Madras High Court seeking a direction to the CBI to register a case based on the complaint given by him to the Esplanade police station on the High Court incidents on February 19, arrest the accused and proceed with the investigation.
S. Doraisamy said that he had lodged a complaint with the police on February 21 alleging that police officers had been directed to beat advocates indiscriminately, unmindful of their lives. Nearly 500 policemen headed by a Joint Commissioner of Police illegally entered the High Court premises, restrained advocates from leaving the campus and beat more than 100 advocates and also Justice A.C. Arumugaperumal Adityan.
The police caused heavy damage to cars, vans, motorcycles and window panels of the High Court, advocates chambers and Bar Council of Tamil Nadu. Thus, the police had committed cognisable offences and the CBI and the State police were bound to take action.
More than 100 persons were grievously injured. The petitioner submitted that he gave a complaint to the Esplanade police station narrating the incidents and requesting them to register a case. But no case had been registered as on date. Unless a case was registered and investigation was taken up, he would be put to great loss and hardship. His own car was heavily damaged.

Three convicted in forgery case
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031358810300.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Three persons who forged documents to cheat a nationalised bank to the tune of Rs.1.14 lakh were convicted by a court here on Thursday.
According to prosecution, J.V. Stephen, Managing Director of Stevens Soaps Manufacturing Company, and E. Louis Ravikumar and K. Mohan, both employees of the company, had entered into a criminal conspiracy to cheat the Central Bank of India, Sowcarpet Branch.
The accused created fictitious purchase orders and delivery receipts to claim as if they supplied soaps to the Integral Coach Factory. They induced the bank to discount three supply bills of the company drawn in ICF.
The CBI took up the case based on a specific complaint. On completion of trial, B. Sarojini Devi, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate, convicted all three accused and sentenced them to one year rigorous imprisonment each. In addition, a fine of Rs.6,000 was levied on Stephen and a penalty of Rs.8,000 each on the other two.

When litigants don the role of lawyers
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031356840400.htm
Staff Reporter
Men in dhotis and women in ‘churidhars’ were seen arguing their cases
MADURAI: The ongoing boycott of courts by various Bar associations has forced litigants to argue cases on their own.
On Thursday morning, the Madras High Court Bench here presented an unusual sight with many advocates in mufti occupying back benches in the visitors’ gallery in almost all court halls and their clients sitting on cushioned chairs normally occupied by lawyers.
Advocates, especially those who do not take part in the decision-making process of Bar associations, helped their clients with relevant points whenever judges posed questions on legal aspects.
The proceedings were bilingual as judges spoke in English to government advocates and in Tamil to litigants. There was no dress code as men in dhotis and women in ‘churidhars’ were seen arguing their cases.
“I was nervous. But, it was so nice of the judge to have spoken so softly and that too in Tamil,” said K. Vasimalai, who sought anticipatory bail for his father in a cheating case. He was asked to file a memo for appearing on behalf of his father.
In another instance, a writ petition filed by ‘Idol of Arulmighu Sri Renganathaswamy’ at Srirangam against alienation of properties was argued by M. Kavitha, temple’s Executive Officer-cum- Joint Commissioner of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department. She obtained interim orders.
While much was said and written about the plight of litigants, shopowners on the court premises felt that they have been neglected.
They have lost business due to the boycott.
Court officials here said that Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale was likely to visit Madurai on Friday and preside over court proceedings in the Bench on Saturday.

Lawyers exchange blows in court complex
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031357310600.htm
Special Correspondent
SALEM: Tension prevailed in the integrated court complex here on Thursday when two groups of lawyers exchanged blows following a wordy duel over the continuation of indefinite boycott of court. No one was injured.
A group of lawyers, owing allegiance to Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), resumed work today, defying the boycott call. Their law officers also attended the proceedings in various courts, which evoked a protest from a section of lawyers in the Salem Bar Association. However senior lawyers intervened and pacified them.
After attending the proceedings in courts, the DMK lawyers tried to enter the office of the Salem Bar Association to which the members of the Bar objected. This led to a heated exchange of words, which resulted in a scuffle. The members of the Bar charged that the lawyers’ wing of DMK had brought a few “outsiders, including non-practicing advocates and thugs”, into the court premises.
“In fact we first asked the outsiders to vacate our premises. But when they refused, a few of our members forced them out,” said the Salem Bar Association secretary V.S. Vivekanandan.
He said the Bar had reported the matter to the Principal District Judge. An urgent meeting of the Bar would be held soon to decide the future course of action, he added. Meanwhile, a senior police official told Hindu The that no complaint had been received in connection with the Thursday’s incident.

Shift hazardous waste treatment plant: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Shift_hazardous_waste_treatment_plant_HC/articleshow/4257529.cms
12 Mar 2009, 2356 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday asked the authorities to stop construction of treatment, storage and disposal facility for hazardous waste at Dobbspet, and shift it elsewhere. A division Bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran suggested such sites in different parts of the state to avoid transportation of hazardous material. “PCB itself is the biggest polluter. You are wasting money to shift waste. We ourselves have started circuit Benches in Dharwad and Gulbarga as part of decentralization. Then why can’t you have such facilities in different parts of state? According to the Basel Commission report which you have mentioned here, facilities should be closer to the source of generation (waste) and also avoid transportation,” the Bench observed. Umashankar and others filed PIL challenging locating the facility at Pemmanahalli and Thimmanayakanahalli villages in a 93.18-acre plot claiming that the area falls within the catchments area of T G Halli reservoir.

Court says no to landfill in T.G. Halli catchment area
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031361260300.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday took a dim view of the permission granted by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) for setting up a hazardous waste treatment plant at Dabspet in Nelamangala taluk of Bangalore district as it falls within the catchment area of Thippagondanahalli (T.G. Halli) lake.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice K.L. Manjunath passed the order on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by T.M. Uma Shankar and other villagers who had challenged the decision of the State and the KSPCB to allow a hazardous waste treatment plant to be set up near the T.G. Halli reservoir.
The Bench took to task the KSPCB for blindly permitting such a plant to come up in a catchment area. It observed that the BWSSB was supplying drinking water to residents of Bangalore from T.G. Halli and that the board could not have been blind to this.
The board said the plant was a sophisticated one and that it was meant as a landfill to house hazardous waste from all over the State. It said there would be zero discharge from the plant and that it was 40 km from the T.G. Halli reservoir.
Terming the board as a polluter, the Bench sought to know the rationale behind the setting up of such a plant near a water source. It said transporting hazardous waste from areas as far as Bidar and Gulbarga to Bangalore through the national highways would make no sense. It suggested that such hazardous waste treatment plants could be set up in different districts.
When the High Court itself could set up two benches and decentralise its functioning, why cannot the Government do so by setting up at least four waste disposal plants, it asked. It said plants to treat waste should be closer to their generation.
The Bench made it clear that it was staying only the hazardous waste plant. It said the KSPCB could utilise the area it had acquired for setting up the plant.

Coop. employees not government staff, HC told
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031351671200.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The State Government on Wednesday submitted to the Karnataka High Court that employees of the cooperative sector and milk unions cannot be categorised as government servants.
The State Government has made this submission when a Division Bench of hte High Court comprising Justice V. Gopala Gowda and Justice N. Ananda was hearing writ appeals by some employees of cooperatives, including the Dakshina Kannada Milk Union and others, seeking a direction to the State Government to increase their retirement age from 58 years to 60 years.
Retirement age
The petitioners contended that the State Government had increased the retirement age of government servants from 58 years to 60 years.
They said this benefit of increase in retirement age should have been given to them also.
However, they were told that since they are not government servants, the benefit could not be given to them.
The Bench adjourned further hearing of the matter.

In a first, man gets life term for pouring acid on wife
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/In_a_first_man_gets_life_term_for_pouring_acid_on_wife/articleshow/4257524.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0001 hrs IST, TNN
MYSORE: In the first-ever severe conviction in an acid throwing case in Karnataka, Fairoz Ahmed Khan was sentenced to life term until death, on Thursday, by Fast Track Court Judge G D Narasimha Murthy. He faced charges of pouring acid on his wife, Heena Fathima, 24, who died two weeks later, in August 2007. Public prosecutor Shashi Chinawal termed it a “rare judgment”. Fairoz was convicted under Section 302 of the IPC and also fined Rs 5,000. Earlier cases have attracted mild sentences. Investigation officer Dhananjaya, now an inspector in Ashokpuram police station, said Fairoz and Heena married in 2000, and were living in Nehru Nagar. It was a love marriage, and at the time, Heena’s family had given gold and cash. Everything was fine till 2005, when Fairoz started harassing Heena to bring money from her parents. Once, Heena had refused and Fairoz had tonsured her head, but they had later compromised. On August 8, while returning home from work, Fairoz bought half litre of acid in the city. It was 5.45 pm when he reached his Nehru Nagar residence. Later, he sent their three kids out of the house and forced Heena to drink the acid. He also poured acid on her face and body. Heena was shifted to Krishnarajendra Hospital, and later to Victoria Hospital in Bangalore, where she died on August 22.

Abhaya case: CJM court allows narco-analysis test
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031351480500.htm
Special Correspondent
CBI opinion sought on examining CDs
Test to be conducted at FSL, Ahmedabad
CBI hopes to get more information from test
Kochi: The Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court on Thursday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to conduct narco-analysis tests on K.T. Michael, former Superintendent of Police who had investigated the Sister Abhaya case; Sister Sherly, roommate of Sister Abhaya at Pius X Convent; and Achamma and Thresyamma, staff of the convent; at the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL), Ahmedabad.
The CBI, in a petition, said these people had sufficient knowledge about the case. The petition said that more information could be collected from them if they were subjected to the test.
Though the CBI said that former Superintendent of Police Samuel could also be subjected to narco-analysis test, it did not press for it as he was undergoing dialysis in hospital.
The magistrate court sought the opinion of the CBI on the plea for sending the compact discs (CDs) of the narco-analysis test conducted on the three accused in the case to the Centre for Development of Imaging Technology (C-DIT) for verifying its genuineness. The court had earlier directed the CBI to send the CDs to C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing). However, C-DAC sent them back saying that it did not have the facilities to examine the CDs.
Proceedings closed
A Division Bench of the Kerala High Court on Thursday closed the proceedings relating to the Sister Abhaya case pending before it.
The Bench of Justice K. Balakrishnan Nair and Justice M.K. Joseph Francis passed the order when a pending petition by Thomas Aikkarakunnel, father of Sister Abhaya, came up before it. The court had earlier directed the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court to monitor the investigation and asked the CBI to file a progress report before the magistrate court and the High Court.
The Bench, taking note of the fact that the CBI had filed progress reports from time to time, said that since the magistrate court was monitoring the investigation, further proceedings were closed without prejudice to the contentions and rights of the parties concerned and their right to approach the High Court again if they so desired.
Bail condition relaxed
The High Court relaxed certain conditions in the bail granted to Fr. Thomas Kottur and Sister Sephy, accused in the case, to meet their parents after obtaining the permission of the magistrate court. They were allowed to stay along with their parents if they wished so.

Act fails to protect migrant workers
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031350030200.htm
Special Correspondent
KOCHI: In spite of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen (Regulation of Employment and Conditions of Service) Act, workers from other States continue to be denied many statutory benefits in Kerala, a workshop on migrant labour held here has pointed out.
Though the Act insists that the workers be provided with suitable accommodation, medical aid and protective clothing apart from timely wages equal to or higher than the minimum wage, these provisions were most often violated, the workshop found.
While the Act provided for penalties, including imprisonment, for the employers not complying with it, the loopholes helped the principal employers to go scot-free. The Act failed because regulatory mechanisms were inadequate and the civil society lacked the will to enforce the Act.

Lawyers hold human chain, plea to include CM’s name in CBI case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Lawyers_hold_human_chain_plea_to_include_CMs_name_in_CBI_case/articleshow/4257650.cms
13 Mar 2009, 0248 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: It’s more than 20 days after the February 19 violence on the Madras high court campus, but the controversy refuses to die down. While advocates formed a human chain encircling the sprawling court premises, another advocate filed a petition seeking inclusion of chief minister M Karunanidhi in the criminal case being investigated by the CBI. Referring to the big turnout of lawyers who stood hand-in-hand around the court campus, the Madras High Court Advocates’ Association (MHAA) president R C Paul Kanagaraj said: “This is our answer to those who hoped to split the lawyer fraternity on political lines. So many lawyers are here only because our demands are genuine.” The court boycott by advocates too continued, with only government lawyers and some petitioners appearing in person for either adjournments or interim orders. Meanwhile, advocate S Doraisamy filed a petition in the high court seeking a direction to the CBI to register a criminal case against chief minister M Karunanidhi and a host of officials including the home secretary S Malathi, director-general of police K P Jain and city commissioner of police K Radhakrishnan. In his petition, Doraisamy alleged that the decision to attack advocates was taken on February 18 and said it was codenamed Operation Black Coat’. The high court registry informed advocates that the state government has already deposited Rs 25 lakh to meet compensation claims for personal injury and damage to vehicles. “The registrar-general has already received 96 petitions seeking compensation for the damage to four-wheelers and 150 petitions for damages to two-wheelers,” the notification issued by registrar-general R Mala said on Thursday. Three court officials — registrar (management) Vijayan; principal judge of city civil court P Devadoss; and chief judge of the small causes court KBK Vasuki — have been nominated to receive claims for the damage suffered by advocates. While injured persons should furnish medical certificates to claim compenstation, those who lost their vehicles must produce proof of damage along with ownership details of the vehicles concerned. Meanwhile, the CBI, which registered a case on its own on March 9, has called many injured advocates, including the MHAA secretary G Mohanakrishnan, for inquiry on Friday.

Murder accused not allowed to fly
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Murder_accused_not_allowed_to_fly/articleshow/4259516.cms
13 Mar 2009, 1249 hrs IST, PTI
CHENNAI: Immigration officials at the airport here denied permission to an accused in the Sankararaman murder case to fly to Singapore. Appu alias Krishnaswamy was not allowed to fly to Singapore last night as he was one of the prime accused in the case, in which Sankararaman, managing trustee of Lord Varadharaja Perumal temple, was hacked to death in the temple premises in Kancheepuram, officials said. Kanchi seers Jayendra Saraswathi and his junior Vijayendra Saraswathi are the other accused in the case.

Judicial probe demanded into violence
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/13/stories/2009031356560300.htm
Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) President Suresh Pachouri here on Thursday demanded for a judicial probe into the communal violence in Mahidpur town in Ujjain district, a party release said.
Mr. Pachouri also demanded a compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the deceased person and Rs two lakh each for the injured persons in the violence. He termed the incident as a conspiracy of the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh and alleged that whenever polls are approaching, the saffron party adopts such tactics to vitiate the communal atmosphere, the release said.
Memorandum
Meanwhile, a Congress delegation led by the party general secretary Rajiv Singh submitted a memorandum to the State Governor, Balram Jakhar on the issue demanding judicial probe into the incident, it said.
The memorandum also said maintaining law and order and ensuring peace in the State in view of the coming Lok Sabha elections should be the top most priority of the State, the release added.
One person was killed in firing and nearly 17 others, including six policemen, were injured on Tuesday as members of two communities clashed in Mahidpur town when a religious procession, taken out on the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi, was returning from Ram Mandir area of the town, in Ujjain district, where people were taking part in ‘Akhand Ramayan Path’. — PTI

Killing in self-defence is one’s right: SC
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=1&theme=&usrsess=1&id=246632
Our Legal Correspondent NEW DELHI, March 12: In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court today acquitted two accused in a case of murder holding that they were entitled to be let off as the act was not a crime but committed in exercise of self-defence which is a legal right and thus permitted under the law. Letting off two persons 30 years after they were accused of killing a man, a Bench of Justices Mr Dalveer Bhandari and Mr HS Bedi observed: “A person can kill another when there exists a reasonable apprehension that his adversary is going to cause him grievous injury even though he might not have actually inflicted any. “In that event he can go even to the extent of causing the latter’s death in the exercise of the right of private (self) defence even though the latter may not have inflicted any blow or injury on him,” the Bench ruled. The Bench passed the ruling while dismissing an appeal filed by the UP government challenging the acquittal of Gajey Singh and Rajpal Singh in a murder committed on 27 January, 1979 in Meerut. In this case, one Lakhi Ram died when Rajpal and Gajey fired at him in a bid to protect themselves as the former along with a few others had come to the latter’s place and assaulted them with sharp weapons. Rajpal and Gajey fired in retaliation. The trial court had convicted the duo of murder and sentenced them to life imprisonment, but the accused were acquitted by Allahabad High Court which held that they had committed the act in self defence. The state government then appealed in the SC. Interpreting Section 100 of the IPC, the SC said the law justifies the killing of an assailant under the “right of private defence” which was rightly exercised by Gajey and Rajpal. According to Section 100 of the IPC, killing of another person is not an offence if the same is done in the exercise of self-defence. The SC said there was sufficient evidence to indicate that Ram and his accomplices had come to the house of the accused and assaulted them with sharp weapons resulting in grievous injuries to both of them.

Death by ragging
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=3&theme=&usrsess=1&id=246648
Despite the Supreme Court directiveThe memory of the republic’s first President has been disgraced. The authorities of Himachal’s Dr Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College are as much culpable for the death of the first-year student, Aman Satya Kachru, as the four seniors who have been arrested for ragging. Clearly, no counter-measures were taken despite last year’s Supreme Court directive to educational institutions to file criminal cases against those who derive sadistic pleasure from such aberrations in behaviour that afflict both engineers and doctors in the make. Mercifully, the institutions that offer the general streams have been relatively free of the scourge. Far from highlighting the failure of the college administration, the union health minister has been rather insensitive in his response. A somewhat simulated and breathless outpouring of condolence as “killing is not really acceptable” will scarcely afford solace to the bereaved family. Anbumani Ramadoss almost suggests that short of death, ragging can grudgingly be condoned from Kharagpur to Kangra.The Chief Minister, Prem Kumar Dhumal, has been fairly prompt in ordering a magisterial inquiry though there is nothing more routine in the Indian context. Indubitable is the fact that Kachru was kicked and lynched with the college authorities totally unaware of the mayhem till he succumbed. A police team has now been stationed on the campus. That enforcement of the law, which ought strictly to have been in place after the Supreme Court order, is merely an afterthought after the worst has happened. As is the shake-up of the internal administration with the suspension of the hostel warden, the manager and two guards. The fact that the dismissed principal is a family friend of one of those arrested deepens the suspicion.Valued verdictBut who will implement it?The Delhi High Court has just come up with a medal-winning performance. Rising above the limited issue before it pertaining to the affairs of the Indian Hockey Federation, it scored a golden goal for sport in general by directing the government to ensure the implementation of its guidelines limiting to two terms (eight years) the tenure of office-bearers of sports federations. Rightly did Justice Gita Mittal, in a comprehensive judgment that diagnosed the shortcomings in sports administration, observe “if such a tenure clause is not enforced, office-bearers could be repeatedly elected from a particular region and continue to dominate the affairs of the association/ federation after having created a monopoly over the sport”. She also held that it could result “in a diversion of funds, selection of players from a particular region and development of sport from only a particular region. The national federation would not then remain representative of the hopes of sportspersons of the entire nation.”Genuine sports lovers would salute her Lordship, for she also upheld the government’s right to issue such guidelines and noted that the federations had not rejected them. In reality they had to acquiesce, most of them are critically dependent on the government for funding, coaching programmes and expenses incurred on participation in international events. Yet those who hail that landmark verdict would have grave doubts about its implementation. It was on the Asiad-82 bandwagon that a number of political figures had jumped on to expand their clout. They obviously liked what they got, and since then their political influence has prevented the sports ministry from enforcing the limited-tenure rule. It was no surprise that the people who have hung on to office like limpets ~ some high-profile folk to be sure ~ have not reacted kindly, and with typical bureaucratic bumbling the ministry has said it would have to study the details of the court order. Now there will be a hunt for loopholes: who will want to relinquish office when the opportunity to further personal interests (interests of several kinds to be sure) is provided by the coming Commonwealth Games? Will the next government throw up a sports minister with the guts to carry a judicial verdict to its logical conclusion?

HC in aid of constable sacked for bigamy
http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=23&theme=&usrsess=1&id=246724
KOLKATA, March 12: Calcutta High Court has ruled today that a state constable removed from service in 2005 on charge of bigamy was dismissed unlawfully, as the charge of bigamy had not been proved in court. The Division Bench of Mr Justice Amit Talukdar and Mr Justice Sadhan Gupta pointed out that that the purported second marriage had not been legally proved. Furthermore, Mrs Sulekha Samanta, the petitioner’s wife, had previously sought to be his nominee. She did not allege that her husband had contracted a second marriage. Neither did she initiate any criminal case on grounds of bigamy. Mr Subrata Samanta had been posted at Bishupur. His dismissal has been deemed unlawful as it was not in accordance with the order of the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). A departmental enquiry has been ruled out, with liberty granted to the police to issue a fresh charge sheet if they so choose. The state constable’s punishment was set aside when he moved SAT and was reinstated. However, later on the SAT ordered that the inquiry against Mr Samanta was to be conducted afresh from the submission stage of the enquiry report. Challenging this decision to restart the enquiry, Mr Samanta had moved Calcutta High Court, pointing out that his purported second marriage had not been legally proved, so the department cannot conduct an investigation against him. n SNS

Lokpal reports recommendatory: Govt
Prabhjot SinghTribune News Service
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/punjab.htm#4
Chandigarh, March 12Does the Lokpal enjoy general powers of judicial review?
No, says Advocate-General Hardev Singh Mattewal, holding that the reports of the Lokpal are recommendatory in nature and it is for the government to take action on the recommendations.
The Punjab Lok Pal, while dealing with 44 complaints regarding the recruitment of art and craft teachers, had recommended in June last year that the state government or the Director of Public Instruction should make a fresh selection committee and put the candidates, not selected earlier, to a fresh interview test. If found suitable for the job, earlier unselected candidates may be offered appointments against the existing vacancies or against vacancies that may arise in the near future by allowing them a concession in age.
The Education Department, however, pointed out several legal and technical difficulties in implementing the directions of the Lok Pal.
The state government sought the opinion of its Advocate-General on whether the Lokpal could have recommended like he did in his report on art and craft teachers. Since it was an important issue of settling the powers and jurisdiction of the Lok Pal, Mattewal, in his five-page opinion, held that the jurisdiction of the Lokpal is confined to making an inquiry into any matter arising or connected with any allegation of misconduct against a public servant.
After inquiry, the Lokpal is to make a report either that no allegation is substantiated or that all or any of the allegations made had been substantiated either wholly or partially and communicate his findings and recommendations to the competent authority.
“It is clear that this is a limited jurisdiction and the Lokpal does not enjoy general powers of judicial review to adjudicate on the validity of the action of the government or other official action which is available to the constitutional courts namely the HC and the SC.
“Thus, under the Act, the Lokpal has no jurisdiction to hold and direct that the complainant shall be deemed to have been selected for a particular post and that she be given appointment against any existing vacancy and in case there is no vacancy may be given appointment against the next available vacancy.”
Mattewal added the Lokpal Act, 1996, is primarily an Act to secure a proper investigation of inquiry against public men and thereby ensuring eradication of corruption, adherence to the rule of law by observing rules of natural justice. In various states, the recommendations of the Lokpal/Lokayukta are not binding on the government.
Under Section 16(3) of the Lokpal Act, the Lokpal may make a special report on reviewing the decision to the Governor. There does not appear to be any other provision in the Act whereby the matter could be sent to the Governor to review his orders. The AG held that it was for the government to take decision or action on the recommendations of the Lokpal.

Indian Forest ServiceState told to prepare list for each year http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/haryana.htm#3
Saurabh MalikTribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 12The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the State of Haryana to prepare a fresh list for each year separately for Indian Forest Service (IFS) by considering officers eligible for selection in that particular year.
With this, the Division Bench of Justice Ashutosh Mohunta and Justice Nirmaljit Kaur has made it clear that the “select list” can be prepared for a particular year. Candidates eligible in that particular year alone can be considered for selection.
The Bench has also directed the state and other official respondents to “convene a fresh selection committee for 1990, and consider all those who fall within the zone of consideration in that particular year….”
The ruling comes on four petitions with common question of law. In one of the petitions, it was contended Ravinder Singh Lamba was eligible to the post of IFS. But the respondent delayed select committee’s annual meeting for appointment to IFS by promotion. It was to be called before March 31, 1990, but the review select committee meeting was held on January 3, 1994, and recommendations were approved on February 1, 1994. Lamba was then appointed to IFS, along with other selected members.
Lamba filed an application before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT). His grievance was that he would have got 1986 as the year of allotment, had the meeting been held in 1990. It was claimed due to non-calling of the meeting in violation of the 1966 regulations, 10 officers directly recruited to the IFS in 1987 and 1988 were given senior-time scale after completion of four years. His representation in the matter was rejected.
The application was dismissed by the CAT, following which he moved the high court and the matter was remanded back to the tribunal for reconsideration. The application was then allowed with direction that “even though the meeting could not be held in the years 1990, 1991 and 1992, and the panel was prepared in the year 1993 and review panel in the year 1994, this shall have to be considered as panel of selection relating to the year 1990”.
Aggrieved by the CAT orders, direct recruits filed the petition before the high court. After going through the rival contentions and listening to Deputy Advocate-General Gagan Deep Singh Wasu, the Bench ruled that the CAT judgment was being modified.
Speaking for the Bench, Justice Nirmaljit Kaur directed: While convening a fresh selection committee in accordance with the directions, officers promoted in pursuance to the review select committee meeting held on February 1, 1994, should not be not disturbed till the outcome of the result of the fresh select committee.

Corruption CaseHC: No pre-arrest bail for accused facing many complaints http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/haryana.htm#6
Saurabh MalikTribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 12The extraordinary relief of pre-arrest bail cannot be granted to a person facing several complaints of corruption, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has made it clear in its latest judgment on the issue.
The ruling by Justice MMS Bedi came on a petition filed by Raj Pal against the State of Haryana. Taking up the matter, Justice Bedi observed: “The petitioner, as per the contents of the FIR, has been stamped a thoroughly corrupt official, indulging in demanding and receiving a sum of Rs 200 per consumer, while providing electricity connections under a scheme of the government to provide electricity connections to the persons below poverty line.
“On the basis of allegations leveled by the consumers, the FIR stands registered and he has also been suspended. The counsel for the petitioner has submitted no recovery of any tainted amount has been made from the petitioner, and that it is not within the jurisdiction of the petitioner to provide any electricity connection to any of the consumers under the scheme”.
The Judge also took note of the submission that one of the complainants, Satpal, was inimical towards the petitioner, as Raj Pal was responsible for permanent disconnection of power supply due to non-payment of the bill.
After hearing rival contentions, Justice Bedi asserted: The petitioner, no doubt, has got a probable defence against complainant Satpal, but there have been consistent complaints against the petitioner for demanding and receiving money from the consumers.
The plea of the petitioner that it is not his duty to provide electric connection, may be a good defence and ground for seeking the concession of regular bail, but a person against whom there are a number of complaints of corruption, cannot be granted the extra-ordinary relief of pre-arrest bail.
Dismissing the petition, Justice Bedi, however, clarified the order would not, in any manner, affect the rights of the petitioner to seek regular bail.

Upper House passes RTI Bill http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/j&k.htm#1
Tribune News Service
Jammu, March 12The Upper House of the state legislature today passed the amended Jammu and Kashmir Rights to Information Bill. The Bill that was passed by a voice vote would pave the way for the creation of a state information commission.
The Bill was passed by the Assembly on Monday. It would now be sent to the Governor for approval. It would then become an Act facilitating the creation of a state information commission.
The Legislative Council also gave concurrence to the recommendations of the Assembly that the council join the Joint Select Committee on “a Bill to provide for equitable opportunities of employment in the civil services in the state keeping in view its complex socio-economic and geographical, topographical, linguistic, security concerns and matters connected therewith and incidental thereto (LA Bill No. 1 of 2009), that had already been referred to the Joint Select Committee by the Assembly.”

Hearing in delimitation case begins http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/j&k.htm#1
Tribune News Service
Jammu, March 12A Division Bench of Jammu and Kashmir High court headed by Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Mansoor Ahmed Mir today started hearing in the delimitation case.
The writ petition was filed by the Panthers Party seeking direction of the high court to the state government to constitute a Delimitation Commission to delimit the Assembly constituency regarding extent and boundaries.
Arguing Bhim Singh submitted that refusal by the state to appoint the Delimitation Commission amounts to discrimination against the state people, destroys the basic structure of the constitution and amounts to a fraud on the constitution.
Bhim Singh submitted the 29th Amendment to the Jammu and Kashmir Constitution didn’t place any Bar on the Constitution of the Delimitation Commission. He said the Delimitation Commission was constituted by Parliament under Justice Kuldip Singh in spite of the 84th Amendment to the Constitution.

Another maid rescued in Srinagar http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/j&k.htm#1
Ashutosh SharmaTribune News Service
Jammu, March 12After Meera Bai, who was rescued from a Jammu University hostel warden’s home some time ago, another case of Sunita Kumari (17), a resident of Mahuari in Jharkhand, has surfaced.
Sunita was allegedly sold to her employer in Srinagar in October 2008. She was forced to work against her wishes. With the efforts of the Child Line, Jammu, the girl was restored to her family here today.
Reliable sources have disclosed that such maids are not paid any remuneration in lieu of work. The agents get Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for each girl from the Maid Bureau. Once the maid is handed over to the employer, the contact between the employer and the agent ends. The employers hardly pay anything to the domestic help and do not let them go home or correspond with their families.
The Women Helpline, Ranchi, wrote a letter asking for professional help to the Child Line Jammu, stating “Sunita Kumari is in Srinagar and her life is in danger. She wants to come back home.”
“She (Sunita) telephoned us that her life was in danger. She said her employer was brutalising her and not letting her even go out,” said Sakroo Oroa, father of the girl. He added that the family did not get anything in lieu of her services.
“I was told that I will get employment in Jammu, but Manzoor Ahmad took me to Srinagar, where he handed me over to my employer,” said Sunita. She added: “My employer used to give me food in a spittoon, besides abusing and beating me over petty matters.”
“We were three girls. Besides me, there were Sita and Sheela (both underage). I don’t know their whereabouts, but they are somewhere in Srinagar,” she added.
According to co-coordinator, Child Line, OP Gupta, an agent, Lakhan Oraon, of the nearby village allured Sunita’s family with a promise to get her a job. Having convinced her family, he took her along with two other minor girls to Delhi. Subsequently, Sunita was purchased by Habla Begum of Shanpura, Lal Chowk, in Srinagar for Rs 10,000 through agent Manzoor Ahmed.
“We got a complaint from the Women Helpline, Ranchi, and thereupon we took up the matter with the deputy commissioners of Jammu and Srinagar. We sent a team to Srinagar to get the custody of the girl,” Gupta said.
We are taking up the matter with our counterparts in Ranchi and Delhi so that people running such maid bureaus could be brought to justice.
SHO, Sadar City police station, Feroz Qadri, said, “The father of the girl had willingly sent her through some maid-providing bureau. He did not register any complaint against anyone.”

Over 2.27 lakh cases pending
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/j&k.htm#1
Jammu, March 12Over 2.27 lakh cases are pending in subordinate courts and the High Court in Jammu and Kashmir, which is facing a shortage of judicial officers. “As many as 2,27,609 cases are pending in various courts, including 48,827 in the High Court,” a senior Law Department official said here today.
Among the cases pending in the High Court, 1799 were criminal and the rest civil, he said.
Similarly, 1,13,916 criminal and 64,886 civil cases were pending in subordinate courts in, the official said, admitting that a shortage of judicial officers was one of the reasons for the pendency of cases. As many as three posts of district and sessions judge and 35 posts of ‘munsif’ were vacant in the state, he added. — PTI

British court asks India to speed up probe
Dharamsala, March 12A court in Britain has reportedly asked the Himachal Pradesh Police to speed up the probe into the murder of a British charity worker.
“We (the police) have received findings of a coroner’s court in Britain through the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) regarding the murder of Michael Blakey,” Additional Director-General of Police ID Bhandari said.
Blakey’s battered body was found beneath boulders in a shallow stream running through an old British cemetery here in November, 2006. He had been bludgeoned to death. Blakey was part of an Indian charity that was running community-based projects in the Kangra valley.
“The findings will help speed up investigations and tie the loose ends in the case,” he said.
The coroner’s court of Lancashire has sent an inquest report that includes statements of Blakey’s colleagues and friends, including the victim’s co-volunteer Rachel Owen and her Indian husband Pawan Bhardwaj, who is believed to be the prime suspect in the case.
Bhandari said the police still suspected the involvement of Bhardwaj in the crime.
“Bhardwaj was arrested and questioned for several days, but was later released,” he said. He was released after taking a lie-detector test in New Delhi.
He said the police was investigating the case on two counts: the first being that Bhardwaj was jealous of his wife’s friendship with Blakey and the second reason could be that Blakey might have uncovered some financial chicanery in the charity, perhaps involving Bhardwaj. At present, both Rachel and Bhardwaj are settled in Scotland.
According to the police, Blakey visited this hill town in 2004. He met Rachel, who was planning to run a charity here with a Buddhist monk Jamyang. Blakey showed interest in the charity and helped Rachel form the Tong-Len charity.
Between 2004 and 2006, both Blakey and Rachel visited Britain many times to generate funds for the charity.
Bhardwaj met Rachel in a small tea shop belonging to his uncle in October, 2005. They fell in love. In July 2006, they married as per traditional Hindu ceremonies.
Three months after the marriage, Blakey suddenly went missing from the monastery where he was staying. On November 28, 2006, two days after his disappearance, his body was found in a graveyard.
According to the police, Blakey had suffered extensive injuries on the head and died of asphyxia. Afterwards, the body was sent to his family in Britain.
“Even the role of the police official (who questioned Bhardwaj in 2006) seems to be doubtful. Departmental inquiry against him is on and action is likely to be initiated against him soon,” Bhandari said.
“Now (after receiving the findings of the coroner’s court), the police will examine the case afresh. The report of the coroner’s court carries the psychiatric analysis, which says Bhardwaj has a bipolar personality,” he said.
“As the case is still under investigation, we will send a notice to Bhardwaj in Scotland to join the investigation. If he fails to join the probe, arrest warrants will be issued against him,” he added. — IANS

SHRC chief inspects site of thermal power plant
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/region.htm
12 Mar 2009, 2322 hrs IST, TNN
KARWAR: The chairman of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) S R Nayak visited Hanakon village near Karwar on Monday and inspected the site of the proposed thermal power plant and interacted with villagers opposing the project. People in the area expressed their opposition to the plant saying it would affect the environment in the region. The proposed project will destroy the ecological balance in the area, since the project would use the water from the Kali river for cooling the turbines and thermal plants and leave hot water into the river, they said. The Kali river has many species of rare fish and shells belonging to the Mollusc kingdom, which would be extinguished if the temperature of the river is altered, they added. The people also objected to the storing of steel materials in the proposed plant area without the permission from the authorities. To this, Nayak said that he would ask the district administration if the company violated any guideline issued by the district administration. Later, while speaking to reporters, Nayak said, “The state is going through an acute shortage of electricity, so we need to generate electricity. But the company dealing with the thermal project should obtain the permission from all departments concerned and fulfil all legal requirements before commencing construction work.” Nayak said that the SHRC would not allow the company to destroy the ecological balance in the region, because, when the SHRC had asked for details from the company about the project after his last visit, the organization had furnished all the necessary details, he added. The deputy commissioner of Uttara Kannada Channappa Gowda and superintendent of police Raman Gupta were also present during the visit.

Amritsar
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090313/region.htm
Tobacco Act: Deputy Commissioner Bhagwant Singh said violation of the Tobacco Control Act, 2008, could be reported at toll free number 1800 110 456. He said this had been conveyed by the Health and Family Welfare Department, New Delhi. The act came into force on October 2 last year.

Court restrains eviction order
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Court_restrains_eviction_order/articleshow/4257129.cms
12 Mar 2009, 2205 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: The high court of Judicature in Allahabad restrained the labour commissioner Kanpur from evicting Umakant Verma and Mithai Lal from Shastri Nagar Labour Colony. The bench of justice Vineet Saran, granting temporary injunction, asked the petitioners to deposit a sum of Rs 10,000 with the respondent as security within 15 days. The presiding judge in his judgment passed recently (March 5, 2009) observed that standing counsel had accepted notice for respondent state and labour commissioner and had sought one month’s time for filing counter affidavit. The petitioner thereafter shall have two week times for filing rejoinder. An especially constituted court under Illegal Possession Holders Eviction Act 1972 had asked the two petitioners on January 28,2009 to vacate the accommodation.

LEGAL NEWS 12.03.2009

HC refuses to hear Raju plea
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-refuses-to-hear-Raju-plea/articleshow/4251544.cms
11 Mar 2009, 0548 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: Justice K C Bhanu of the A P High Court on Tuesday declined to hear a house motion moved by B Ramalinga Raju and four others, challenging the decision of the designated court which granted CBI seven-day custody of the accused in the Satyam scam
. Their main contention was that there should be no police custody after the first 15 days of the judicial remand. The accused will have to now file a petition or move a lunch motion on Thursday during the normal working hours of the court.

SC drops HC clean chit to husband
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1238096
Rakesh Bhatnagar
Tuesday, March 10, 2009 21:29 IST
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has revived criminal proceedings against an Indian Muslim software professional settled in the US, for demanding dowry from his Indian wife, assaulting her, and subjecting her to cruelty by justifying his “relationship” with an American woman.
Saimra Khanum married Mohammad Asfar Towheed at Patna in 1999. But her turbulent marriage was all over by 2003 when Saimra returned home. A year later, Towheed secured a decree in the US to divorce her.
Khanum filed a criminal complaint before the Patna magistrate seeking action against her husband and in-laws for cruelty, demanding dowry and cheating her. She charged her husband and in-laws of assaulting her when their demands were not met. Besides, Towheed harassed her when she protested against his “illicit relationship” with an American girl. He told her to shut up, as “it was a status symbol to have a girl friend (in America)”. He also “demoralised” her by saying she “belongs to an orthodox and backward family”.
The Patna court had summoned the Towheeds but the high court quashed the summons against Towheed and his Patna-based parents. However, the Supreme Court scrapped the HC order.
A bench of justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly allowed Khanum’s appeal against the HC order, which they said had been passed in a casual manner. The HC quashed the charges and the summons, giving a clean chit to Towheed, without a proper trial.
Khanum’s lawyer stressed that the HC exceeded its power in rushing relief to the husband, who had not established before the trial court that the charges made against him by his wife were false.
“We find substance in the plea of Khanum’s counsel that HC has not indicated any basis or reason for exercising jurisdiction under Section 482. The application was disposed of in a casual manner. Therefore, the order of HC is clearly indefensible and is, accordingly, set aside,” the apex court said.

Gujarat HC takes plea to cancel Minister’s bail
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?0cb413ec-2884-4469-b85a-bb634614b3aa
3/10/2009
The Gujarat High Court postponed till March 12, hearing of an application seeking cancellation of anticipatory bail granted to Women and Child Welfare Minister Maya Kodnani and VHP leader Jaydeep Patel for their alleged involvement in the post-Godhra riots of 2002 in the city.Justice D H Vaghela postponed the hearing, after prosecution counsel J M Panchal argued that the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) wanted to interrogate both as at least 8 witnesses had stated in their statements about the presence of Kodnani during the riots in Naroda Patia area of Ahmedabad.‘Prima facie, there is a case against Kodnani and Patel’, the counsel said.The SIT, re-investigating nine major cases during the riots, sought cancellation of bail after declaring them absconders as they did not respond to repeated summons for interrogation and they could influence witnesses for being influential. A local sessions court had last week granted them anticipatory bail as they approached it fearing arrest. They were wanted for allegedly leading and instigating rioting mob in Naroda Patia and Naroda Gam in Ahmedabad during the riots.The SIT, headed by former CBI Director R K Raghavan, is re-investigating nine major riots cases including the Godhra carnage after burning of a coach of Sabamati Express at Godhra station on February 27, 2002.UNI

Madras HC CJ recommends transfer of Mukhopadhaya to save HC decorum
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?1f38389f-4ce4-4d6a-8d66-be9e4f166b9f
3/10/2009
Newly appointed Madras High Court Chief Justice H L Gokhale recommended to the Supreme Court that former acting Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, who came under attack by the Srikrishna Commission, who probed the police- lawyers clash on February 19, be transferred to some other High court with promotion.Chief Justice recommended that the apex court transfer Justice Mukhopadhaya to any other court in the country with elevation ‘to save the decorum of the High Court and the judge’ in the wake of Srikrishna Commission passing adverse remarks against the former acting Chief Justice.High Court Registrar General R Mala sent the letter to the Supreme court on behalf of the Chief Justice, highly placed sources told UNI.Justice Srikrishna, in his interim report, accused the lawyers of behaving like hooligans, while indicting the police for their excesses.The retired judge also said the soft attitude of the former acting Chief Justice had resulted in the clash and virtually blamed him for his inaction.After the Commission’s interim report, Justice Mukhopadhaya fell sick with high Blood Pressure and viral fever and was admitted to a hospital, the Chief Justice said, while recommending his elevation. ‘This is to save the decorum of the Madras High Court and the former acting Chief Justice’, he said.UNI

Gauhati HC seeks report on shooting incident of a student
http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?ef7fffd4-7b13-46cd-954b-ab2623a8c4be
3/10/2009
The Gauhati High Court, issued a notice to the Manipur government in connection with police firing on a post graduate student last year.The Imphal bench of Justice Asok Potsangbam issued the notice, which is returnable within six weeks, following a petition filed by Thokchom Ranjit Singh (24). Advocate Meihoubam Rakesh appearing for the petitioner said his client T R Singh, a student of M. Sc. (Chemistry) second semester of the Manipur University, on 14 May, 2008, had gone for some work when he was stopped by Manipur Police Commando and was shot at on his right thigh without any provocation. The injured was evacuated to Jawaharlal Nehru Hospital, Porompat, for treatment. No financial assistance was given and he was still under going treatment, the advocate said. His client even could not appear his M.Sc. 2nd semester examination.UNI

Mangalore: HC Stays Order on LPG Kits in Autos
http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=57642&n_tit=Mangalore%3A+HC+Stays+Order+on+LPG+Kits+in+Autos

Daijiworld Media Network – Mangalore (SP)
Mangalore, Mar 10: The state High Court on Monday March 9, stayed operation of a government order making it compulsory to fix LPG kits to all the autorickshaws plying in the city.
The government order had made it mandatory for all the autorickshaws operating in the city, registered on or after April 1, 2006, to be fitted with the LPG kit before March 31 this year. The government had issued notification in this connection on October 17, 2008.
Dakshina Kannada Autorickshaw Drivers Association had filed a petition against the said order, in the state High Court. It cited reasons like insufficient number of LPG stations in the city time given is too short etc in the petition.
The HC bench led by Justice Ravi Malimutt, which took up the hearing of the petition on Monday, stayed operation of the government order with immediate affect.

Tamil Nadu lawyers would continue their struggle
http://judisndia.blogspot.com/2009/03/tamil-nadu-lawyers-would-continue-their.html
Wednesday, 11 March, 2009
The Madras High Court Advocates Association on Monday prayed the High Court to initiate criminal contempt proceedings in a summary manner against the Tamil Nadu Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary, and senior police officers in connection with the incidents in the High Court premises on February 19. R.C. Paul Kanagaraj, president of the association, which had been impleaded as a respondent in a suo motu writ petition, said the State government and the police had committed gross contempt by assaulting Judges of the High Court, subordinate judiciary, court staff and advocates, destroying court property and obstructing justice by referring to the CBI a case for investigation contrary to the High Court’s order dated February 19. The police were also guilty of committing various cognisable offences within the court premises. Mr. Kanagaraj said if the assault on advocates by the police was allowed to go unpunished, it was impossible for the legal community to fulfil constitutional obligations. The Constitution guaranteed to every person who was detained by police, the right to consult and to be defended by a legal practitioner.Since the State government failed to take any action against the erring officials, the Supreme Court at the preliminary stage ordered the transfer of some officials, including the then Joint Commissioner of Police (North). The State government had not taken any other action though several cognisable offences had been committed by the police and even the High Court had recorded them in its order. The association prayed for issuing interim orders for placing under suspension 15 police officers, including the Chennai Police Commissioner.The First Bench comprising the Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice F.M. Ibrahim Kalifulla on Monday said a plea for initiating suo motu contempt proceedings based on the report of Justice Srikrishna, which probed the February 19 incidents, could be placed before a regular Bench comprising Justices S.J. Mukhopadhaya, V. Dhanapalan and K.Chandru. When advocates’ counsel made a mention that it was a serious matter, the First Bench asked him to file appropriate proceedings. “We are equally concerned,” it said. Both the matters would come up before the regular Bench on March 11.Meanwhile, the MHAA in a press release said Justice Srikrishna had offered no reason for not recommending any action against the police, who even according to the committee “went berserk using excessive force, raining lathi blows, targeting heads of judges, staff, lawyers and litigants and wantonly breaking court property.” The association said Tamil Nadu lawyers would continue their struggle “to restore rule of law and to oppose police raj in the State.”

Madras High Court chief justice worried over lawyers’ stir
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/73133.htm
March 11, 2009 by: Sindh Today
Chennai, March 11 (IANS) Chief Justice of the Madras High Court H.L. Gokhale Wednesday expressed concern over the difficult situation arising out of lawyers agitating nationwide while a section of advocates here returned to work after a long break.
“Lawyers are creating difficulties by agitating on various issues solvable amicably through peaceful dialogue. This is happening not only in Tamil Nadu but also on a nationwide basis and is a cause for concern,” Gokhale said.
Gokhale was addressing subordinate judicial officers on the sidelines of a training session within the precincts of the high court.
“The misunderstandings within the legal fraternity must end quickly. Further, the need of the hour is continuing with complete honesty and high moral standards amongst all officials of the court, which include judges and lawyers alike,” Gokhale added.
Work in the courts, however, remained paralysed as most of the lawyers stayed off work against the backdrop of the city police prosecuting over 100 lawyers for burning copies of the interim report on the law and order situation that prevailed in the court premises for three days since Feb 19.
An interim report was submitted to the Supreme Court by retired apex court judge B.N. Srikrishna last week after a probe. He had faulted the behaviour of lawyers and police personnel alike.
“Our strike will continue till police officials who assaulted our brethren illegally and brutally are brought to book. Further, those 30 odd advocates belonging to the ruling party will be removed from all posts in lawyers’ independent bodies,” Madras High Court Advocates’ Association president Paul Kanagaraj told reporters.
Meanwhile, over 30 lawyers owing allegiance to the ruling DMK and those representing various wings of the government returned to work.
“We have understood the gravity of the situation and litigants’ travails and therefore decided to return to work from today (Wednesday). The rest of our brethren should hopefully give up their confrontationist attitude and emulate us,” R.S. Bharati, who heads the DMK lawyers’ wing, told reporters upon returning to work following a ruling party decision.
Two separate benches of the Madras High Court are scheduled to hear cases pertaining to the lawyers’ strike following police action against them and the pelting of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy with eggs last month.
During police baton charges Feb 19, several lawyers and a judge were injured.
Last week, advocates in Tamil Nadu and the neighbouring union territory of Puducherry rejected Justice Srikrishna’s probe report.
Protests by lawyers have been underway for almost two months now expressing solidarity with the suffering ethnic minority Tamils of Sri Lanka at the hands of the island nation’s army.
[NF]

Sweet PIL for Gujarat’s naturopathy doctors
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sweet-pil-for-gujarats-naturopathy-doctors/433528/0
Express News Service Posted: Mar 11, 2009 at 0253 hrs IST
Ahmedabad: They should be allowed to practise without registration, says public interest petition
A Vadodara-based naturopathy practitioner has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court to allow naturopathy doctors in the state to practise without getting themselves registered with an authority. The PIL has also asked the court to ensure that people practising naturopathy are allowed to add the prefix ‘Dr’ to their name without violating any law. Besides, the state authorities should not harass them over the issue, Dr Prakash Chavda, the national president of Doctor of Naturopathy Society of India, said in his PIL.
He said the petition is the result of a show cause notice served by the Health Department to a Vadodara-based naturopathy practitioner, Bhagwat Singh Parmar.
The Block Health Officer of Pavi Jetpur, Vadodara had served a notice on Parmar dated February 26, asking why the department should not initiate legal steps against him as he is not registered with the Gujarat Medical Council (GMC). Besides, he also does not have the degree conferred by the GMC, necessary for carrying on private medical practice, the notice said.
Chavda said that under the provisions of the Gujarat Medical Practitioner Act 1963, doctors practicing naturopathy, hydrotherapy, and physiotherapy have been exempted from getting permission from the authority.
Chavda has made the Gujarat Board of Ayurvedic and Unani System of Medicines, and the Government of Gujarat as respondent parties in the petition.
In support of his petition, he has also annexed 11 documents, which include Government resolutions and a judgement by the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Ahmedabad Rural district.
The petition says:“No incident of death or physical damage has been reported during the treatment of naturopathy as is the case with some other medical treatments. It is a very simple remedy and there is no ban on it in India. Still, the two respondents in the matter have been illegally and unconstitutionally violating the fundamental rights of a person to get voluntary guidance from another person of his choice to cure his ailment.”
Chavda told Newsline:“Attempts are on to disturb the practitioners of Naturopathy, Yoga, Electro Therapy and Herbal Medicine. Following the Hepatitis B outbreak in Modasa, the state government has been harassing Naturopathy practitioners on some pretext or the other.
He added:“If we practice allopathic treatment, then the government can take steps against us. But, when somebody is not doing it, he should not be harassed.”
The petition has also demanded that the government should not initiate criminal steps against naturopathy practitioners unless there is a complaint by the patient.

Plea for judicial panel on Dangs case dismissed
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Plea-for-judicial-panel-on-Dangs-case-dismissed/articleshow/4251451.cms
11 Mar 2009, 0030 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : Gujarat high court has dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a rights organisation Centre for Justice and Peace (CJP). The PIL demanded constitution of a judicial commission to probe allegation against an IAS officer of threatening minorities in Dangs to convert to Adivasi faith. CJP had also requested the high court to lodge an FIR against erring officers for falsely implicating people in various criminal cases. The petitioner also sought compensation of villagers who suffered alleged government atrocities. The division Bench headed by Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan, however, didn’t issue any direction in this regard. It asked petitioners to approach the district collector and superintendent of police and make representations. As per case details, CJP as well as a couple of residents of Nandanpeda village in Dangs complained last year that in-charge secretary of the district had in September 2008 asked villagers to convert to Adivasi religion. The NGO as well as villagers maintained that the villagers continued to be harassed by police as well as revenue officials. The petitioners have alleged that the authorities tried to evacuate them from their cultivable land and built a false case of illegal slaughtering of cattle. On the other hand, advocate general Kamal Trivedi rubbished these charges and submitted a report along with a state government’s affidavit in this regard. The state government told the court that local tribals of Nandanpeda had made a representation in June last year before collector and DSP that minorities were encroaching upon their private land. The DSP had looked into the case and submitted a report to the collector highlighting illegal occupation of forest land in certain cases. The affidavit explained how confrontation between police and local minorities took place after interception of a truck carrying cattle. Moreover, it said that police have been investigating the allegations of pressurising non-tribals to convert by a higher official. Hearing both the parties, the judges dismissed the PIL asking CJP to make representations regarding investigation and compensation before district authorities. The division Bench dismissed the PIL on grounds that a civil suit has been pending in the high court with regards to allegations on the issue of conversion.

Madoff pleads guilty to fraud, sent to jail
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Madoff-pleads-guilty-to-fraud-sent-to-jail/articleshow/4257102.cms
12 Mar 2009, 2124 hrs IST, AGENCIES
NEW YORK: Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty on Thursday to an epic fraud that robbed investors worldwide of billions of dollars, avoiding eye contact with swindled investors before he was led out of court with his hands cuffed behind his back. US district judge Denny Chin denied bail for Madoff, 70, and ordered him to jail, noting that he had the means to flee and an incentive to do so because of his age. Madoff spoke steadily in court as he addressed the judge before his guilty plea was accepted. “I am actually grateful for this opportunity to publicly comment about my crimes, for which I am deeply sorry and ashamed,” he said. “As the years went by, I realized my risk, and this day would inevitably come. I cannot adequately express how sorry I am for my crimes.” Madoff did not look at any of the three investors who spoke at the hearing, even when one of them turned in his direction and tried to address him. After arguments began as to whether Madoff should remain free on bail, his lawyer Ira Sorkin described the bail conditions and how Madoff had, “at his wife’s own expense,” paid for private security at his $7 million penthouse. Loud laughter erupted among some of the more than 100 spectators crammed into the large courtroom on the 24th floor of the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan. The judge warned the spectators to remain silent. The fraud turned a revered money man into an overnight global disgrace whose name became synonymous with the current economic meltdown. Madoff described his crimes after he entered a guilty plea to all 11 counts he was charged with, including fraud, perjury, theft from an employee benefit plan, and two counts of international money laundering. Prosecutors say the disgraced financier, who has spent three months under house arrest in his $7 million in Manhattan penthouse, could face a maximum sentence of 150 years in prison at sentencing. Madoff explained his scheme by telling the judge that he believed the fraud would be short-term and that he could extricate himself. The plea came three months after the FBI claimed Madoff admitted to his sons that his once-revered investment fund was all a big lie — a Ponzi scheme that was in the billions of dollars. Since his arrest in December, the scandal has turned the 70-year-old former Nasdaq chairman into a pariah who has worn a bulletproof vest to court. The scheme evaporated life fortunes, wiped out charities and apparently pushed at least two investors to commit suicide. Victims big and small were swindled by Madoff, from elderly Florida retirees to actors Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel.

EC issues notice to Mulayam over ‘cash distribution’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/EC_issues_notice_to_Mulayam_over_cash_distribution_/articleshow/4256338.cms
12 Mar 2009, 1708 hrs IST, AGENCIES
NEW DELHI: The Election Commission on Thursday slapped a notice on Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for alleged distribution of cash by his party workers at a Holi function. Taking cognisance of video footage telecast by television channels, the EC served a notice on the SP leader and sought a reply by March 14, an EC spokesman said. Earlier, a report from Lucknow said that the EC has also sought a report from the district magistrate on the incident. The news regarding distribution of money at a “Holi Milan” programme in Yadav’s native Saifai in Etawah district was aired by some news channels. According to the footage, Mulayam Singh’s supporters distributed Rs 100 currency notes among a large number of people at the gathering, in his presence. “It is apparent that the distribution of money in your presence has been made with a view to soliciting votes and support for yourself and your party,” the statement said. The model code of conduct provides that all parties and candidates shall avoid scrupulously all activities which are ‘corrupt practices’.

HC asks state for details of babus seeking change in date of birth
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/HC_asks_state_for_details_of_babus_seeking_change_in_date_of_birth_/articleshow/4253733.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0433 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas , TNN
Mumbai: Babus applying for a change in their birth records on the cusp of retirement to squeeze in a few extra years in service is not unknown. The practice, however, has now come under the Bombay high court scanner with a division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice Vijaya Kapse-Tahilramani asking the state to furnish details of all such officers who had been allowed to modify their birth certificates. The court’s orders came following a public interest litigation filed by a resident , Dr Jagannath Lone, who alleged that government officers were granted extension at the “fag end of their tenure’ ‘ after changes were made to their date of birth. The PIL pointed claimed that such an extension was granted to Abhimanny Shindekar, secretary of the law and judiciary department at Mantralaya. With government pleader Dharyasheel Nalavade pointing out that Shindekar had already retired from service, the court turned its attention on other officers who had sought changes in their date of births. The next hearing is slated for March 25. Government sources alleged that there was nothing new in this and even several senior officials have applied for such “corrections” . These officials claimed that the date of birth, which was recorded while applying for the government job, was not correct. “Official documents’ ‘ in the form of birth registers and school certificates are produced to back their claim. Recently, another bench of the high court had dismissed a similar application filed by Ananda Ballal, a senior officer in the meteorology department under the ministry of science and technology . When joining the department, Ballal’s date of birth was recorded as June 1, 1942, which was also mentioned in his school-leaving certificate. Later, he sought changes, claiming that he had discovered that the birth register maintained by the tahsildar in his native village of Islampur had entered his date of birth as September 22, 1945. Ballal contended that he came from an illiterate family and when his mother admitted him to school, the date was wrongly recorded. A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice J H Bhatia, however, did not buy the argument. They said if Ballal’s date of birth was taken as 1945, it would mean that he had passed his Std VII when he was less than 10 years old and his Std XII exams when he was barely 15. “( This) is improbable,” said the judges, adding that if his year of birth was 1942, then he would have taken his Std XII exams when he was 18, “which appears to be quite reasonable” . shibu.thomas1@timesgroup .com

Magistrate gives 2 orders in same case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Magistrate_gives_2_orders_in_same_case/articleshow/4253839.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0530 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: Shocked that a magistrate had passed two differing orders on the same day in the same case, the Bombay high court recently called for administrative action against him. On August 30, 2008, additional chief metropolitan magistrate S N Chinchamekar of the Esplanade court had first, in a handwritten order, held that a particular dispute appeared to be “civil in nature’’ and it was “totally wrong for the complainant to approach a criminal court’’. But later, a typed version of the order, signed by the magistrate, said that it was “necessary to direct the police to investigate under Section 156 (3) Criminal Procedure Code’’. The HC order, seeking punitive action against the magistrate, is significant because it’s not unusual for litigants to try to give civil disputes a criminal hue. Lawyers say this helps ensure a police probe for offences like cheating and criminal breach of trust. The police then threaten to arrest the “accused to facilitate a settlement’’. But it’s rare to find a magistrate passing two conflicting orders on the same day.

5,354 Delhiites challaned during Holi
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/5354_Delhiites_challaned_during_Holi/articleshow/4254975.cms
12 Mar 2009, 1332 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: For over 5,300 people, Holi celebrations turned a little colourless on Wednesday when police cracked down on them for violating traffic rules in the national capital. A total of 5,354 challans were issued during an intensive drive between 9.30 am and 3.30 pm, and 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., a senior police official said. Of the 4,577 people who were challaned during the drive between 9.30 am and 3.30 p.m., the majority, 1,517, were pulled up for riding motorcycles without helmets. As many 186 minors too faced the music with 39 being challaned for riding vehicles while 147 were caught driving without a valid licence, the official said. Red light jumping (644), triple riding (559), drunken driving (491), dangerous driving (219) and stop line violation (119) were the other major reasons for the issue of challans. During the second drive, 1,777 were caught for being on the wrong side of the law. Out of this, 200 were cases of drunken driving.

Lok Ayukta probes: No action taken
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/Lok_Ayukta_probes_No_action_taken/articleshow/4253226.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0424 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Over the past five years, the Lok Ayukta has raided 176 officers and recommended to the government action against 29 for having assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. According to information procured under the RTI Act by Bheemappa Gundappa Gadaada, the officers against whom action has been sought hold high posts in the revenue department, commercial taxes, Karnataka Soaps and Detergents, BBMP, police, Mysore Minerals and PWD. However, when the same RTI queries were filed with the government, the replies were disparate. Here is what the DPAR’s under secretary said: Lok Ayukta has recommended action against seven KAS officers. This is contrary to information provided by the Lok Ayukta office. The DPAR has also stated that no action has been initiated against any officer in the past five years. Objecting to this seeming discrepancy between the two reports made available to him, the RTI applicant has sought action against the officer who provided false information. And, on a query whether the Lok Ayukta will be given full powers to deal with these officials, the DPAR said it is beyond its purview.

CBI books unkown cops for court clash
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/CBI_books_unkown_cops_for_court_clash/articleshow/4253288.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0459 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: Exactly 20 days after the February 19 violence on the Madras high court premises, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a criminal case against “unknown police officials”. The first information report (FIR), registered by the special crime branch of the central agency on March 9, has been taken on file by the additional chief metropolitan magistrate at Egmore for further proceedings. Against the column requiring details of the accused persons, the agency had stated “unknown police officials and unknown others.” This is the first FIR being registered against the police in connection with the February 19 incidents. As for the first informant/complainant, the CBI said it was being registered as per the direction of the Madras high court. A full bench of the court comprising the then acting Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice K Chandru held a sitting while the violence was still raging on the court campus on February 19, and ordered the transfer of the case to the CBI for probe. Passing further orders on March 2, the same bench asked the CBI to consider its February 19 order as first information and do the needful. It also flayed the state police for having registered a separate FIR at 7.20 pm on February 19, even though the full bench had taken cognizance of the sequence of events and passed a judicial order at 6.40 pm that day. The second order made it clear that it was open to the CBI to register a case on the basis of the court’s February 19 order. A week after this second order, the central agency has registered the FIR for offences such as unlawful assembly, rioting, causing hurt with dangerous weapons, trespassing and mischief. Unknown police officials have also been charged with offences punishable under Section 3(1) and 4 of the Tamil Nadu Properties (Protection and Damage and Loss) Act 1992.

CJ cautions 183 newly inducted judges
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/CJ_cautions_183_newly_inducted_judges/articleshow/4253303.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0451 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: Sounding a warning of sorts to the newly inducted judges of the subordinate judiciary, Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale said, “if you are found in undesirable places, it will affect your growth.” Addressing 183 recently selected district munsifs and judicial magistrates at the state Judicial Academy on Wednesday, Justice Gokhale said judicial officers must be in control of the situation when they are on the dias. “After working hours, judges should spend their time usefully and purposefully…These days media and members of the public are watching the judges.” On Wednesday all the 183 district munsifs and magistrates, including 68 women, were formally inducted in the subordinate judicial service. Hoping to see more women magistrates in the next recruitment, Chief Justice Gokhale said was happy to note that at least 29 persons were practising in various courts as advocates before being selected for the job. “The job of a judge is not a difficult one, but it is a responsible one,” he said, adding that the new recruits would be part of a “significant limb of the state.” While Justice P K Misra said the training programme was designed to enrich the knowledge of the new officers, Justice D Murugesan stressed the need for the subordinate judicial officers to discharge their duties in a disciplined manner.

CJ’s no to early hearing of case against cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/CJs_no_to_early_hearing_of_case_against_cops/articleshow/4253792.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0443 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: Unfazed by the presence of a large number of advocates and their persistent demands for the early hearing of contempt of court cases relating to February 19 violence, Madras high court Chief Justice Hemant Laxman Gokhale on Wednesday declined to hear them out of turn. “We understand the gravity of the situation… It is not proper to say that unless the matter is taken up for hearing you will not work… How can you say that just because you are advocates you should be treated differently? Start your work at the earliest. Enough is enough. Litigants have suffered enough,” he said. The chief justice, sitting in the first bench along with Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifulla, made these sharp observations when a big gathering of advocates sought the expeditious hearing of the pending as well as new contempt cases against police officials incharge of the February 19 operation on the court campus. In the evening, the Madras Bar Association, which was originally scheduled to call off the boycott, merely adjourned its scheduled general body meeting.

2 builders booked in the case of girl’s death
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Pune/2_builders_booked_in_the_case_of_girls_death/articleshow/4253184.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0446 hrs IST, TNN
PUNE: The Sahakarnagar police on Wednesday booked two builders for allegedly’ committing an offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. The case pertains to the death of a one-and-a-half-year-old girl who had died after falling into a water tank near her house in Upper Indiranagar on February 12. The girl was identified as Desna Sonawane of Krishnanagar. The police have identified the builders as Siddharth Manohar Yewale and Yawalkar (full name and address not known). The police are on the lookout for the suspects as they had gone absconding after they were charged with causing the girl’s death. Sub-inspector Narendra Sawant told TOI that the investigations have revealed that there was negligence on the part of the builders as they had kept the water tank open without taking any preventive measures. The negligence on their (builders) part had caused the child’s death, Sawant said. “After coming to the conclusion that the builders were responsible for the death, the police have registered a case against them under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code,” Sawant added. Desna’s father Arun Sonawane had filed a case with the Sahakarnagar police station. Sonawane is a journalist with the Buddha Mahasangh’ newspaper. Sawant said: “On February 12 evening the girl, who was playing near her house, fell into an open water tank at a construction site nearby. The incident came to light when one of the locals saw her struggling in the tank. She was pulled out and rushed to the Sassoon general hospital. However, the doctors declared her dead around 7.30 pm.” Sawant added that the tank in which the girl had fallen was built for constructing a compound wall at S.No.659/16 at Krishnanagar in Bibvewadi. Investigations revealed that the land originally belonged to More who had sold it to the builders. They used the water tank on the property for construction work.

Under pressure, govt notifies TCP rules
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Under_pressure_govt_notifies_TCP_rules/articleshow/4253316.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0335 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Following public and opposition hue and cry over the government’s controversial amendment of section 16 of the Town and Country Planning Act, the government has notified the Goa Town and Country Planning (Public projects/schemes/development works by the Government) Rules, 2008. This is in line with the assurance given by chief minister Digambar Kamat in the assembly that the rules would clearly define what are the government projects that would fall beyond the purview of the Regional Plan. The amendments to section 16/16A of the Town and Country Planning Act empowers the state and the central government to undertake any public projects, schemes, development works’ which need not conform to the provisions of the Regional Plan for Goa as may be in force. Following widespread criticism to the amendment from the public, the opposition leader Manohar Parrikar had even moved a private member’s bill in the August 2008 assembly to repeal the amendments. The bill was however defeated. Parrikar had said that the government projects’ which are kept beyond the purview of the Regional Plan through the controversial amendments, are not clearly defined. Describing this as dangerous, Parrikar had said even Private-Public-Projects will get under the umbrella of the government projects’ and thereby escape scrutiny of the Regional Plan prohibitions. Officials of the Town and Country Planning (TCP) department recently told the assurances committee of the legislative assembly, that as per the chief minister’s assurance the rules have been notified and they define what exactly public projects are. According to the notification Public projects, schemes, development works’ means and includes works undertaken by the central government and the state government like state highways, major district roads, other roads, educational institutions, complexes, libraries, community halls, court buildings, sports complexes with supporting allied, auxiliary facilities, fisheries complexes and facilities for allied uses, tourism infrastructure, public toilets, rain or cyclone shelters, hospitals, panchayat ghars, dispensaries, police stations, police outposts, fire stations, markets, bus terminals, parking lots, rehabilitation colonies and state sponsored schemes under 20 point programme, government offices, operational constructions, etc. But public projects shall not include Information Technology parks, industrial estates, industries, projects under private partnership (PPP) or housing schemes of Housing Board and corporations. The TCP officials also informed that a separate committee, headed by the chief secretary, has been notified to scrutinise all such public projects. In case of land acquisition by the central or state government, while proposing acquisition of land for carrying out public projects, the concerned agency shall apply to the department for No Objection Certificate (NOC).
The department will refer the proposal to a committee. The committee after studying the proposal, will either recommend or reject the proposal. The committee shall communicate its decision in writing to the department.

Panel set up to monitor political ads
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Panel_set_up_to_monitor_political_ads/articleshow/4253311.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0319 hrs IST, TNN
The Election Commission of India has constituted a committee to entertain applications for certification of advertisements on television channels, cable networks and radio, submitted by all registered political parties having their headquarters in Goa and all organizations, groups of persons or associations having their registered office in Goa. The committee will be headed by the joint chief electoral officer.
The other members of the committee are collector (North Goa), returning officer for 1- North Goa parliamentary constituency, and Doordarshan Kendra station director, Altinho.

Nine cases of impersonation in 2008
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Goa/Nine_cases_of_impersonation_in_2008/articleshow/4253336.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0313 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Of the nine cases of impersonation of government officials in 2008, in eight cases the accused persons impersonated policemen and in one case naval officers to cheat and defraud people. While the two accused who impersonated naval officers have been arrested, the police is still clueless about the identity of persons who impersonated police officials and cheated people of their gold and jewellery worth lakhs of rupees. The modus operandi in all these cases was more or less similar. Two or three persons would impersonate police officers and approach any elderly woman. They would warn the victim about several incidents of thefts and that they should not be wearing gold ornaments. They would ask the victims to remove the gold from their possession and would then pretend to wrap the gold in a paper and give it to the victim. The victim on reaching home would find the jewellery missing. The first offence was registered in September 5, 2008, when two unidentified persons approached a lady Lila Shirodkar at Caranzalem and claimed to be policemen. They asked her to remove her gold chain worth Rs 29,500 and put it in a paper packet. Later, on reaching home, she found that the paper packet had stones. Later in the day, thieves approached 65-year-old Malati Pednekar at Goa Velha posing as police officers and induced her to give her two gold bangles to them to be properly packed. When she returned home, she found that her two gold bangles worth around Rs 22,000 had been replaced with fake gold bangles. In October, the thieves struck Siridao, Margao and Pernem. They induced their women victims to hand over their gold ornaments on the pretext of putting the same in a purse. In this manner they got gold ornaments worth Rs 1.3 lakh in these three separate incidents. A month later they struck in Curtorim, where three unknown persons presented themselves as police officers and persuaded the victim to hand over her gold chain. In the process, they cheated the lady of her gold worth about Rs 30,000. Similarly, in Taleigao a woman walking on the road was approached by two persons who said they were police men. They asked her to give her jewellery and wrapped it in a handkerchief before returning it to her. The woman was shocked to find her ornaments missing when she returned home. The last incident occured on December 16, 2008. But this time the modus operandi was different as an unknown motorcyle rider posing as a police officer stopped a mini pick-up vehicle at Quepem and directed the driver to produce his licence. He then took Rs 25,000 from the victim Sadanand Naik, 58, and asked him to sit on his bike and when the victim was about to sit, the rider fled from the place. In the naval officers impersonation case, two persons a father and his son went into a shop claiming to be navy officers. They purchased jewellery and said that payment would be made at the Naval premises at Vasco. They took the jewellers assistant in a jeep and left him near the naval base and escaped. The duo were later arrested.

Anti-begging drive: Nine caught, sent to homes
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mangalore/Anti-begging_drive_Nine_caught_sent_to_homes/articleshow/4253035.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0032 hrs IST, TNN
MANGALORE: Nine beggars from different parts of the city were caught and sent to the rehabilitation centre at Pachanady, during a special drive against the menace of begging held on Wednesday. Students of different social work colleges and the Samajika Baduku and Manava Hakkugalu Karnataka, a non-governmental organisation, undertook the drive along with the officials of the department of social welfare. The NGO that has been working to eradicate the menace of begging organised the drive to help students of social work to study the subject and have a wider perspective. Begging is not only a social menace but it is also turning in a mafia business where some vested interests engage women and children to beg for their gain, the NGO said in a release. District social welfare officer P A Ganapathi, who launched the campaign in front of the district commissioner’s office, said MSW students took part in the drive as part of their studies. The students and the NGO collected information about the background of the beggars for case studies. All the beggars were shifted to the rehabilitation centre located at Pachanady in the outskirts of the city, he said and added that the department undertakes weekly drives to identify the beggars and shift them to rehabilitation centres.

Show cause notice to Hescom under RTI Act
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hubli/Show_cause_notice_to_Hescom_under_RTI_Act/articleshow/4253012.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0029 hrs IST, M L Kapur, TNN
HUBLI: The Karnataka Information Commission has issued a notice to Hubli Electricity Supply Company (Hescom), to show cause why its principal information officer (PIO) should not be penalized for delay in providing information sought under the Right to Information Act. Hescom general manager and PIO U S Nayak had taken 100 days instead of the maximum stipulated period of 30 days for furnishing information to an RTI applicant on steps taken by it to conserve energy in view of the prevailing power shortage in Karnataka. Even after so much delay, applicant A S Kulkarni, power secretary of the Hubli Citizens Forum, was given what he called vague information without specific details only when he filed a petition with the state information commission after lapse of the stipulated period. Under section 20 (1) of the RTI Act, Nayak may have to pay a fine of Rs 17,500 from his own pocket for the undue delay of 70 days over and above the stipulated 30 days, as the law provides for a fine of Rs 250 for each day of delay, and the liability is personal. According to legal experts, this penal provision is mandatory, and even the state information commissioner has no discretionary powers in this regard. The petition is listed for hearing before the commission on May 4, and the PIO has the option personally appear to explain reasons for undue delay. Kulkarni, a senior citizen and former law officer with the Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation, has also secured an order from state information commissioner K A Thippeswamy for a payment of Rs 600 from Hescom management towards cost of appearing before the commission in Bangalore. Referring to the vague reply given by the PIO, Kulkarni said he was told that Hescom has no information about the number of consumers using energy saving devices, or how many offices were using solar energy despite direction that usage of solar energy was compulsory all government offices. He said even the Hescom corporate office here has yet to install solar power devices. Moreover, if they treat requests under the RTI Act so casually, the very purpose of the law enacted to ensure transparency and accountability of public authority would be defeated.

Revised – 10-03-09 SHRC chief inspects site of thermal power plant
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Hubli/Revised_-_10-03-09_SHRC_chief_inspects_site_of_thermal_power_plant/articleshow/4253016.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0031 hrs IST, TNN
KARWAR: The chairman of the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) S R Nayak visited Hanakon village near Karwar on Monday and inspected the site of the proposed thermal power plant and interacted with villagers opposing the project. People in the area expressed their opposition to the plant saying it would affect the environment in the region. The proposed project will destroy the ecological balance in the area, since the project would use the water from the Kali river for cooling the turbines and thermal plants and leave hot water into the river, they said. The Kali river has many species of rare fish and shells belonging to the Mollusc kingdom, which would be extinguished if the temperature of the river is altered, they added. The people also objected to the storing of steel materials in the proposed plant area without the permission from the authorities. To this, Nayak said that he would ask the district administration if the company violated any guideline issued by the district administration. Later, while speaking to reporters, Nayak said, “The state is going through an acute shortage of electricity, so we need to generate electricity. But the company dealing with the thermal project should obtain the permission from all departments concerned and fulfil all legal requirements before commencing construction work.” Nayak said that the SHRC would not allow the company to destroy the ecological balance in the region, because, when the SHRC had asked for details from the company about the project after his last visit, the organization had furnished all the necessary details, he added. The deputy commissioner of Uttara Kannada Channappa Gowda and superintendent of police Raman Gupta were also present during the visit.

Murder accused escapes from police custody
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Kanpur/Murder_accused_escapes_from_police_custody/articleshow/4254981.cms
12 Mar 2009, 1333 hrs IST, PTI
KANPUR: Taking advantage of Holi festivities, a murder accused undergoing treatment at a hospital escaped from police custody leading authorities to register a case of dereliction of duty against the three policemen guarding him. Yogendra Singh, who was suffering from jaundice was admitted to a jail hospital. On February 27 his condition deteriorated after which he was moved to Halet hospital, SP (west) Dayanand Mishra said, adding three policemen were deputed to guard him. On Wednesday, Singh took advantage of Holi festivities and escaped from the hospital. When the policemen on duty came to know of the incident they filed a missing complaint in Swarupnagar police station. A case of dereliction of duty has been registered against Umed Singh, Dharam Singh and Dwarka Prasad, who were deputed to guard the accused, the SP said, adding that investigations are on in the matter.

For court, recession blues cannot affect alimony
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/For_court_recession_blues_cannot_affect_alimony/articleshow/4253590.cms
12 Mar 2009, 0301 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: Here’s a somewhat different perspective on the recession blues. A man filed a plea in the high court recently, asking for the reduction of the maintenance payable to his separated wife. Reason: recession and cut in pay. Srinivas and Sapna (name changed) tied the knot when there was a boom in the market and the BSE was soaring skywards. But within two years, things went wrong not only in their married life, but also with the economy. They opted to separate a year before the recession hit. A family court had then ordered the husband to pay Rs 15,000 a month maintenance. Now with the economy in doldrums, Srinivas, a software engineer settled in Pune, approached the Karnataka high court seeking reduction of the maintenance amount. He cited the recession and pay cut. However, the single bench refused to interfere. He then approached a division bench. His counsel also told the court that Sapna had finished her MA in English, besides possessing a computer studies diploma and other qualifications. So, she can fend for herself by getting a suitable job, he submitted. This did not convince the judges. They read out reason for the separation—mental cruelty. The woman also submitted that she couldn’t hold on to jobs because of mental agony and the stigma of being deserted by her husband. “She lives with her brothers and needs maintenance,” the bench remarked and dismissed the appeal.

Killing another in self-defence is one’s right: SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Killing_another_in_self-defence_is_ones_right_SC/articleshow/4255362.cms
12 Mar 2009, 1505 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Thirty years after they killed a man, the Supreme Court today let off two accused holding that they were entitled to acquittal as the act was committed in exercise of self-defence which is permitted under the law. A person can kill another when there exists a reasonable apprehension that his adversary is going to cause him/her grievous injury even though he might not have actually inflicted any, the Supreme Court ruled. “In that event he can go the extent of causing the latter’s death in the exercise of the right of private (self) defence even though the latter may not have inflicted any blow or injury on him,” a bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H S Bedi observed. The bench passed the ruling while dismissing an appeal filed by the UP Government challenging the acquittal of Gajey Singh and Rajpal Singh in a murder case that occurred on January 27, 1979 in Meerut town following an old enmity. In this case, Lakhi Ram along with a few others had gone to the place of Gajey and Rajpal where a scuffle took place and the duo was assaulted with sharp weapons. In retaliation, Rajpal at Gajey fired a shot resulting in the death of Ram.

HC asks Maha govt: what preventive measures taken after 26/11

http://www.indopia.in/India-usa-uk-news/latest-news/522136/National/1/20/1
Published: March 12,2009
Mumbai , Mar 12 The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra government about the preventive steps taken in the aftermath of audacious November 26 Mumbai strikes.
“Has the state-appointed committee (state security council) met even once?”division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud queried.
The High Court was dealing with the PILs, filed by Indian Society of Law Firms and others regarding the terror attack.
The court also asked whether any departmental action was initiated against those who were found to be negligent in their duties.
However, Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar asked the court for some time, after which the Court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow.
The state security council headed by the Chief Minister was set up immediately after the November 26 terror attack.
Source: PTI

HC withdraws from Abhaya case
http://keralaonline.com/news/hc-withdraws-abhaya-case_25275.html
Kochi, Thursday 12 March 2009: The Kerala High Court has withdrawn from the primary responsibilities of the Abhaya murder case. The case will be heard by the Ernakulam Chief Judicial Magistrate Court from Thursday onwards, said Justice K Balakrishnan Nair.
The Division Bench of the High Court will not oversee the development of the case every 3 months. The court took this decision while hearing the petition of Abhaya’s father Thomas and Jomon Puthurpurakkal.
Earlier Jts K Basanth had withdrawn from the primary responsibilities of the case and Jts Balakrishnan Nair took over the case.

Malaysian Indian lawyer wins US award
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Indians_Abroad/Malaysian_Indian_lawyer_wins_US_award/articleshow/4254289.cms
12 Mar 2009, 1054 hrs IST, IANS
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian bar council president Ambiga Sreenevasan, an ethnic Indian, is one of the eight women who received the prestigious “women of courage” award from secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton in the US. Sreenevasan, who has been at the forefront of the civil liberties movement in Malaysia, was present at the ceremony in Washington Monday, The Star newspaper said. The Malaysian women’s bodies have hailed Sreenevasan’s award as a recognition in the international arena for taking a firm stand on national issues such as judicial independence, gender equality and good governance. Chew Mei Fun, Malaysian Chinese association women’s wing chief, said Sreenevasan was “a living proof of this”. “Ambiga’s efforts should not only be viewed from a gender perspective as a woman, but as a Malaysian individual who champions justice and equality,” Chew said. Ethnic Indians, an estimated two million-plus, form about eight percent of Malaysia’s multi-racial population of 28 million.

Insurance company’s appeal against tribunal order dismissed
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/11/stories/2009031156810600.htm
K.T.Sangameswaran
CHENNAI: Under a package policy or a comprehensive policy of motor insurance, gratuitous passengers travelling in a private car or pillion riders carried on two-wheelers are automatically covered, the Madras High Court has ruled.
In its judgment dismissing an appeal filed by an insurance company, a Division Bench comprising Justices Prabha Sridevan and K.K.Sasidharan said that except occupants who were carried for hire and reward, and in the case of death of and injury to a person in the course of employment of such person by the insured to the extent necessary to meet the requirements of Workmen’s Compensation Act, the insurer should indemnify the insured against all sums he is legally liable to pay.
The appeal by Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance Co.Ltd, Coimbatore, challenged an order of March 2008 of the Motor Accidents Claims Tribunal, Fast Track Court No.2, Coimbatore. The deceased was a passenger in an insured vehicle. Due to the negligence of the driver, who was also the owner of the vehicle, an accident occurred in July 2004 resulting in the death of the driver and three passengers. While the driver and two persons died in hospital, one passenger died on the spot. The claimants, A.Meenakshi and four others, were the legal heirs of the passenger who died on the spot.
The tribunal awarded Rs.19.10 lakh. Hence, the present appeal by the insurance company.
The Bench said the present policy and the terms contained therein were in accordance with the Standard Forms and therefore, the risks of the occupants carried in the motor vehicle so long as they were not carried for hire or reward were automatically covered when a comprehensive policy was taken.
A comprehensive policy covered the liability of pillion riders.
It was clear from the law itself, the words of the policy and a Supreme Court decision that a comprehensive policy covered the risk of gratuitous passenger to the extent of the liability incurred.
The Bench said the Tariff Advisory Committee explicitly came out with a clarificatory circular in 1978.
“We cannot forget that the words used are ‘third party’ and ‘comprehensive,’ so we cannot deny this relief to the third party occupant in a car covered by a comprehensive policy.”
It said the policy holder should know as to whose risk was being covered. It should be brought to his knowledge that even his family members would be gratuitous passengers travelling in his car.
“We also hope that in addition to English and Hindi, the insurance companies, both public sector as well as private sector undertakings, would consider publishing the instructions and guidelines in the language of the State.”
The law governing the insurance policy was a law of contract.
So both parties should understand exactly the terms of the contract and for exactly what extent and what type of coverage the policy holder was paying premium.
The Bench decided the issue relating to coverage of risk to a gratuitous passenger travelling in a private car in favour of the third party and against the insurer.

Good judge must have basic virtues, says Gokhale
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031259830700.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Quality, integrity and punctuality are the basic virtues required of a good judge, Chief Justice of Madras High Court H.L. Gokhale said on Wednesday.
Taking part at the ceremony for induction of civil judges (junior division) at the Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, Mr. Gokhale said working hard and efficiently would help them get elevated as Supreme Court judges.
The new recruits should take notes of important judgments. They could also take the help of district magistrates and senior advocates. Good lawyers would quote from different judgments, and this would help them deliver better judgment, he said. Mr. Gokhale wished that the next batch would have more women civil judges. He was happy that of the total number of judges inducted, 30 practised law for three years before being appointed civil judges.
“You are going to be part of the State; you are a very significant limb of the State. When you are on the dais, you have to control the situation. For this, the new recruits can take the advice of their seniors,” Mr. Gokhale said.
After working hours, the judges should spend their time usefully and properly. “If you are found in an undesirable place, it will affect your growth. Moreover, these days both the media and the public are watching the judges,” he said.
He also asked the new judges to be careful about their friends and relatives. They should not waste much time on public functions, he said adding that the job of a Judge is not a difficult one but a responsible one.
A total of 183 civil judges, including 68 women, were inducted.
P.K. Misra, Judge, Madras High Court, and president, Board of Governors, Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, and Murugesan, judge, Madras High Court, and Member, Board of Governors, Tamil Nadu State Judicial Academy, felicitated the civil judges.

Cases booked against lawyers
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031254100300.htm
CUDDALORE: Barring a handful of lawyers owing allegiance to the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, majority of them abstained from courts here on Wednesday.
However, after a while, those lawyers also came out of the court.
By that time, a group of lawyers had assembled in front of the court and burnt the copies of the interim report of Justice Srikrishna, a retired Supreme Court judge, on the Madras High Court incident. Police booked cases against 12 lawyers under Sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 188 (violating the orders) and 285 (negligent conduct with fire).

Notice served on Minister
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031256860400.htm
ANANTAPUR: Notice was served on Minister for Agriculture N. Raghuveera Reddy and Kalyanadurg Bar Association president K. Thippeswamy with charges of violation of election code of conduct by Returning Officer for Kalyanadurg on Wednesday. The Minister had allegedly held election campaign by visiting the Junior Civil Judge Court premises and holding a meeting with the Bar Association members on March 9. — Staff Reporter

Legal literacy camps
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031253760300.htm
TIRUPATI: Legal awareness will now be available in jails, hospitals, melas, schools, markets, tourist spots and even slums.
As part of the ‘Micro legal literacy scheme’, the National Legal Services Authority has identified core areas and subjects for conducting four legal literacy camps per month in select places.
— Staff Reporter

Court admits appeal against order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031259720600.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday admitted an appeal by the Government against an order of a single judge quashing the appointment of 11,313 anganwadi workers.
A single judge had on March 28, 2008, allowed petitions by Prema and others and quashed the appointment of 11,313 anganwadi workers.
The single judge had said that the anganwadi scheme was formulated by the Centre and that the State did not have the power or jurisdiction to tamper with it.
The single judge had also struck down a July 15, 2006 Government Order relating to the constitution of committees under the local MLAs to select anganwadi workers.
The State had appealed against the single judge order and sought a stay against it.

Chief Justice swearing-in
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031257190400.htm
Kochi: S.R. Bannurmath who has been appointed Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court will be sworn in on March 18 by Governor R.S. Gavai in Thiruvananthapuram. Justice Bannurmath had served as judge of the Karnataka High Court before his elevation as Chief Justice. Kerala High Court Acting Chief Justice J.B. Koshy will be sworn in as the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court on March 16. — Special Correspondent

Legal adalat
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031255090300.htm
KOLLAM: The District Legal Services Authority will conduct a mega adalat on the district court premises here on March 14. The adalat will begin at 10 a.m. MACT cases, civil cases, compoundable cases at magistrate courts and pre- litigation cases of various banks will be taken up by the adalat. Complaints with regard to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Programme can also be lodged, District Judge Thomas Pallikkaparambil said.

ASG to move Supreme Court over ragging case
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/12/stories/2009031257620300.htm
To seek exemplary action against those involved
New Delhi: Outraged by the death of 19-year-old medico Aman Kachroo because of ragging, Additional Solicitor-General Gopal Subramaniam has announced he would move the Supreme Court seeking exemplary action against those involved in the heinous offence.
Mr. Subramaniam, who was earlier appointed as amicus curiae (friend of the court) by the Supreme Court which had passed a series of directions to curb the menace, said he would move a special application pressing for the constitution of a fast track court to speed up the trial in the case and bring to book the culprits responsible for Kachroo’s death.
He said that the application would be moved on March 16, immediately after the Supreme Court reopens after the Holi vacation. Mr. Subramaniam said he would ensure that the “conduct of the State government would be called into question. It would include the role of the students, the Principal and the Vice-Chancellor.”
Fast track court
“I will be seeking action for contempt, inaction, negligence and failure of all those responsible for preventing such an incident. I will ask for a fast track court to decide the case in an expeditious way,” Mr. Subramaniam said. Stern action should be taken against those responsible for Kachroo’s death. – PTI

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