Legal News 05.03.2009

TN violence: CJI gets interim report
NDTV Correspondent
Thursday, March 05, 2009, (Chennai)
In the latest development in the Madras High Court violence, Justice Sri Krishna submitted his interim report on violence to the Chief Justice of India on Thursday.The Supreme Court will examine the report on Friday and pass orders for action on those involved in the violence.The apex court had appointed Justice Sri Krishna, a retired judge of the SC, to probe what had led to police-lawyer clash at Madras High Court on February 19. Large number of lawyers, a judge and some policemen were injured in the clash. A police station in the high court campus was also burnt.

HC declines relief in suit against film’s title
Mumbai (PTI): The Bombay High Court has declined to grant any interim relief in a suit filed against the film `13 B’, releasing on Friday.
One Sanjay Haran had filed the suit over the title of the movie contending that his film (yet to be made) named just `13′ was registered much before `13 B’.
Haran’s lawyer argued that he had a right to object to the title, which is similar to his own and registered in December 2007. `13 B’ was registered only last month, he said.
Haran’s claimed he had written to Film and Television Producers’ Guild (FTPG), with which the title `13 B’ has been registered, in this regard.
Haran’s counsel said the FTPG had written a letter to BIG Pictures and Adlabs, the producers of the `13 B’, to not use the title.
However, lawyer for `13 B’, Amit Naik maintained that the film’s title is actually `13 B’ (Fear has a new address)’.
He further argued that Haran’s movie never took off and its shooting is yet to commence.
He aruged that the suit is too late as `13 B’ is set to release on Friday, and 100 theatres natinwide had been booked.
Observing that Haran could have moved court earlier Justice A V Nirgude yesterday declined to grant any interim relief. The case will be decided in a due course.

UN reform sans permanent seat expansion futile: India
United Nations (PTI): India has rejected as fallacious a proposal to increase the non-permanent seats in the UN Security Council as an interim measure saying any reform that does not increase permanent membership would be “incomplete and futile”.
Pointing out that an overwhelming majority of member states strongly supports expansion in both the categories, India’s UN Ambassador Nirupam Mr. Sen said any reform would be “incomplete and futile” if there is no increase in the number of permanent members from the existing five.
Participating in the informal inter-governmental discussion on the expansion of the 15-member Council, Mr. Sen strongly rubbished the argument of a minority of member States that since the expansion of both categories cannot be fulfilled, the interim option is the best way forward. Though he did not name any country, Pakistan is one of the supporters of the intermediate option which envisages expanding non permanent category and reviewing the issue after a set number of years.
Mr. Sen said such an argument is “fallacious” as the number of countries which oppose the interim model far exceed those who support it. Currently, the Council has 15 members including five permanent – the United States, Britain, Russia, France and China with veto power – and ten non-permanent members who are elected by the General Assembly for a two-year term.

Dutt seeks suspension of conviction in 1993 Mumbai blasts case
New Delhi (PTI): Actor Sanjay Dutt on Thursday filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking suspension of his conviction in connection with the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Dutt, who recently joined Samajwadi Party and is the party nominee from Lucknow parliamentary seat, was convicted under the Arms Act and was sentenced to six-year imprisonment.
The actor was absolved of the serious offence under the TADA.

Gender equality policies can counter recession: ILO
New Delhi (PTI): The economic downturn has hit women harder but the trend can be arrested if governments adopt gender equality policies, the ILO said on Thursday.
In its latest report titled `Global Employment Trends for Women’, the UN’s labour body said unemployment of women – a vulnerable group – might rise between 6.5 per cent to 7.4 per cent during the year.
Noting that women were among the “more vulnerable” of the working population than men in terms of disadvantages in accessing labour markets, ILO said in most regions around the globe the impact of the economic crisis would be more detrimental for them.
The global unemployment rate for women in 2008 was projected at 6.3 percent and at 5.9 per cent for men by the report.
While the international report suggested women workers in Latin America and Caribbean would be the most effected by the crisis, interestingly, it said, the impact was almost similar among both genders in developed economies where there was little or no gender divide.
In India and Africa, where women were mostly engaged in non-economic household work and agriculture was the biggest source of employment, there remained a chance of considerably higher incidence of poverty, it said.
Suggesting that “backwardness” of South Asia and Africa could in fact offer protection to large number of women engaged in agriculture, an ILO expert here said that “those in construction and other export oriented production activities will be severely impacted, resulting in an increase in overall poverty.”
According to employment data available with ILO, more than 65 per cent of South Asia’s women workforce were employed in agriculture in comparison to 40 per cent men.
In developed economies of the Americas and EU, about 83 per cent of the women work force were engaged in the services sector.
The study suggested that maintaining “gender equality” in any policy response would not only better the position of working women, but also impact the overall stability of society.
As ways and means to tide over the effect, the report recommended that “when governments design and implement fiscal stimulus packages, it is important to recognise the labour market disadvantage that women face through the equity challenge, and to consider explicit employment growth targets for women.”
It also stated that the impact on the unpaid family care work that women were mostly responsible for – which may expand as the crisis worsens – is another fundamental dimension to address, as it may further limit women from accessing labour markets if policies to improve sharing of these responsibilities with men were not forthcoming.

Court rejects former bureaucrat’s plea in corruption case
New Delhi (IANS): The Delhi High Court on Thursday rejected the plea of former Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary Akhand Pratap Singh, challenging his prosecution in a disproportionate assets case saying no prior sanction was taken before initiating proceedings against him.
Justice S.L. Bhayana dismissed the petition of the former bureaucrat, saying the issue had already been decided by the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), in a charge sheet filed against Singh in March last year, alleged that the accused as an Indian Administration Service (IAS) officer of 1967 batch amassed disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs.28.8 million during the period April 1982 to March 1998.
A total of 40 immovable properties located in posh localities of New Delhi, Lucknow, Bahraich and Nainital worth Rs 18.3 million, allegedly acquired in false names, were owned by Mr. Singh.
More than 85 properties and over 100 bank accounts were allegedly unearthed during CBI investigation.
He is also accused of forging the signatures of his late father and a friend for transferring the properties and routing financial transactions through several fictitious bank accounts.
The CBI had registered a case against him March 19, 2005 under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Mr. Singh, who retired in 2003, had invested huge sums of money in several private limited companies with his relatives, friends and family members, who were shown as promoters and directors of the companies.
He is the second Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh to be caught in a corruption case. Earlier, his predecessor D.S. Bagga was nailed and suspended in the multi-million Taj Corridor scam.

Violence against women in Bangalore: official numbers tip of iceberg
Bangalore (IANS): When it comes to the number of women being subjected to violence on the streets of this tech hub of India, official figures conceal far more than they reveal, according to women’s rights activists.
“For every single reported case, 10 or more lie hidden,” says Jagdeesh B.N., one of the founder members of Fearless Karnataka/Nirbhaya Karnataka (FKNK), a social group working for safety and security of women. Most of the cases of physical and verbal abuse on women on the streets of Bangalore were not reported, he added.
“Our experience says that out of every single reported case of violence against women in Bangalore, around 10 or more go unreported,” Jagdeesh told IANS. “That makes one equal to 11.”
Jagdeesh, who is also a member of Alternative Law Forum, said that so many cases were going unreported because police were not very cooperative and Indian society often ended up by blaming the victim, rather than punishing the culprit.
“Victims often avoid going to police station and filing FIR (First Information Report), as most often police is not cooperative and makes the victim undergo unnecessary trauma by their interrogation. Moreover, our society sees the victim of harassment and violence, as a woman with loose morals. Thus most of these incidents don’t come to the fore and victims prefer to silently endure the trauma and pain.”
According to the figures available with the police here, 170 cases were reported in Bangalore under section 354 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) in 2008. Around 180 cases were reported under the section in 2007. Section 354 of IPC refers to outraging the modesty of a woman.
The police said that compilation of the number of cases registered under the section in 2009 was still going on.
FKNK had been formed to make Bangalore streets safe for women and to encourage the victims to report at police stations about their trauma, Jagdeesh explained. The forum was started Feb 26 as a joint initiative by several social groups of Bangalore, almost an immediate reaction to the five cases of attack on women on various streets of Bangalore within a fortnight.
There was a patern to the five cases – motorcycle borne attackers targeted women by physically and verbally abusing them for wearing western outfits.
“In recent episodes of attack on women on streets in the city, molesters told the victims to stop wearing western outfits. Moreover, all the attacks happened in crowded places and sizeable number of spectators simply watched the horror unfolding in front of them, instead of helping the women,” rued Shakun Mohini, a member of Vimochana, a women’s rights group that is a part of FKNK.
Shakun added that FKNK has already started sensitisation programmes among people across Bangalore, so that they help the women in distress.
On International Women’s Day March 8, members of the group and other citizens will walk down various prominent roads of the city. Christened “Take Back the Night Walk”, this will be an attempt by women to reclaim their right to be safe at night across the state.
Shakun said that Bangalore immediately needs a special helpline for quick help to women who are abused and harassed on the roads. “The helpline will ensure that immediate rescue measures for the victims could be ensured and arrest of those involved in such assaults on women.”
In a memorandum submitted to Bangalore Police Commissioner Shankar Bidari Monday, FKNK has demanded that a dedicated 24 hour helpline be set up, exclusively for women in distress.
Bangalore has Vanita Sahayavani, a helpline dedicated to women. NGO Parihar runs the service along with a toll free telephone number 1091. But the helpline mostly deals with cases of marital discord and provides counselling to estranged couples.

Judge commits suicide in Chhattisgarh
Raipur (IANS): A 45-year-old additional district and sessions court judge in Chhattisgarh’s Bilaspur district committed suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills and then setting herself on fire at her official residence, police said on Thursday.
The judge, Amrita Lal, was posted at Mungeli town. Her body was recovered on Wednesday night when her domestic help entered the house and found the charred body.
“The judge has left a three-page suicide note and termed depression as the sole reason for the extreme step,” K.L. Dhuruv, Bilaspur district additional superintendent of police, told IANS.
He said that a case has been registered and a probe has begun.
The judge had been living alone at her official residence for the past 18 months. She married Sanjay Lal of Dhamtari district about 18 years ago.

Juveniles protest delay in getting bail
S. Vijay Kumar
Threaten to commit suicide from treetop
Lawyers’ boycott results in jails getting overcrowded
CHENNAI: The ongoing boycott of courts by advocates has resulted in prisons and juvenile homes getting overcrowded.
While the number of inmates lodged in prisons across Tamil Nadu has increased by at least 10 per cent, police are sending accused persons to remand only when it is imperative.
A few juvenile offenders lodged in the Saidapet sub-jail here complained of inordinate delay in getting bail on Wednesday and threatened to commit suicide by jumping from trees. The incident occurred around noon.
They alleged congestion in the sub-jail due to overcrowding.
After prolonged negotiations, jail authorities agreed to shift some of them to the Puzhal central prison.
Infrastructure inadequate
Besides the delay in getting released on bail, they said infrastructure (in the sub-jail) was inadequate for the inmates.
Senior officials negotiated with the agitators and promised to shift them to a more spacious campus.
The juvenile offenders were also given the hope that courts would start functioning soon and they would get released on bail, prison sources said.
The process of releasing remand prisoners on bail has come to a standstill due to the boycott of courts by advocates.
The number of inmates in juvenile homes was also steadily on the rise, the sources said.
Shifted to Puzhal prison
“Since there is no release (on bail or on completion of sentence) in the last few days, there is overcrowding in some prisons. While the capacity of the Saidapet sub-jail is 80, we have now lodged 160 juvenile offenders there. About 30 of them were shifted to the Puzhal central prison on Wednesday evening,” Director-General of Prisons R. Natraj told The Hindu.
He said a majority of prisoners were either remand prisoners or undertrials.
Congestion in some jails
“As they are not being released on bail, there is congestion in some prisons…The number of inmates increased from 16,000 to 17,500 in the recent weeks,” he said.
When contacted a senior police official said the accused apprehended in different cases were being sent for remand only when it was imperative.
“We are aware that there is overcrowding in prisons. We are releasing the accused on bail at the police station itself when it comes to bailable offences,” the official added.

Restrictions on ‘poor and meritorious’ quota go
Deepa Kurup
Seats not confined to Kannada medium, rural students
Criteria based on 2002 GO on creamy layer policy
BANGALORE: The State Government has spelt out the qualifying criteria for the “poor and meritorious” category of students for admissions to private engineering colleges. All such students can apply under the quota unlike earlier when it was confined to those who had studied either in rural areas or in the Kannada medium. The Department of Higher Education issued an order to this effect on Monday.
According to the order, a student whose annual family income is less than Rs. 2 lakh, or whose family owns not more than 10 acres of farmland or 20 acres of C-class land will qualify for the 25 per cent government quota seats. Private colleges will offer these seats, allotted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority (KEA), at a concessional rate of Rs. 15,000, as against the full fee of Rs. 25,000.
The Higher Education Department rejected the guidelines submitted by the KEA, the nodal examination agency, in January. The KEA had proposed two-fold selection criteria. To be eligible for this concession, students would have to have studied in Kannada medium schools/rural or backward areas, or the annual family income should be below Rs. 2 lakh.
Higher Education Secretary A.S. Srikantha said that the department decided to stick to the norms previously framed by the Department of Social Welfare. The criteria are based on a 2002 Government Order that frames the creamy layer policy. Mr. Srikantha said that the KEA recommendations could not be used as it would not be a fair classification to discriminate on the basis of urban/rural background.
Sources in the KEA said that the Higher Education Department had dismissed the idea of using Kannada medium as a selection category. “Relying solely on family income can be dicey because people can furnish any income certificate. We wanted this to benefit the rural student and those who have studied in Kannada medium as we have found that they do not have to the same level of training as their urban counterparts,” a KEA official explained.
Last month, private colleges agreed to offer concessions to 25 per cent students seeking admissions through the government quota. In return, the seat matrix for private and government quota seats was altered. The ratio of government quota seats to private seats (in private colleges) was 55:45. This year, the seat matrix divides seats equally between the two categories.

Gigantic gem is subject of court case
LOS ANGELES: An 840-pound emerald-encrusted rock will remain in the custody of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department while a judge decides which of a half-dozen claimants owns the boulder-sized gem.
The emerald is one of the largest ever found and a judge conceded Tuesday it will take awhile to sort out all of the competing interests. The lawyer for one of the purported owners suggested outside court the gem may be a curse for his client. And the man who first reported it stolen said he was giving up his claims because “I have been threatened.”
Larry Biegler, who refused to elaborate on the threats, told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge John A. Kronstadt he was bowing out of the case. But it was his call to sheriff’s deputies reporting that the emerald had been stolen that led to a multi-State caper in which two deputies trucked the mammoth object from Las Vegas.
Another of the claimants, Todd Armstrong of Eagle, Idaho, said outside court that he moved the emerald to Las Vegas after a gem dealer gave it to him as collateral for a shipment of diamonds he paid for but never received. He was trying to sell it when the law arrived.
The parties told the judge that the huge object is worth about $400 million. Lawyers said that museums including the Smithsonian and the Getty have expressed interest in obtaining it for their collections. Its value is as an art object and it cannot be broken down to make jewellery, they said.
The emerald was dug up in Brazil in 2001 and became known as the Bahia Emerald. Its first owner was a Brazilian gem trader who made the first sale of it. But after that, its route became muddled. — AP

Court rejects KMF plea to hike milk price
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday rejected an interim prayer by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and several other milk unions seeking a direction to the government to allow them to increase the price of milk by Rs. 2 a litre.
The federation and the district unions had petitioned the High Court after the State Government issued a notice under Section 30 B of the Milk Procurement Act restraining them from increasing the milk price.
The federation said that the price of raw material, including fodder and cattle feed had gone up and there had been an increase in price of other materials.
It said the Government had deliberately restrained it from increasing milk price.
The federation said the rising costs had caused losses to the federation and its members.
It said a hike of Rs. 2 would only be minimal.
The State Government, however, defended the notice, saying there was no rationale for the demand to increase the price.
It said the cost of diesel and fodder had come down and that the unions were on the profit path.
‘No public interest’
The Government said there is no public interest in increasing the price of milk.
Admitting the petition, Justice D.V. Shylendra Kumar refused to grant the interim prayer.

Court to hear petition against Chawla on March 20
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday posted for hearing on March 20 a writ petition filed by the United Communist Party of India questioning the continuance of Navin Chawla as Election Commissioner after Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami recommended his removal.
The petition filed by the UCPI, a registered political party, was mentioned by counsel Sugriv Dubey before a Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices P. Sathasivam and J.M. Panchal which decided to hear it on March 20.
The petitioner said the allegations made by the CEC in his recommendations to the President should be examined and verified by the Supreme Court as otherwise it would erode the impartiality of Election Commissioners.

IAEA Board approves Indian Additional Protocol
Siddharth Varadarajan
New Delhi: India on Tuesday won formal approval for an Additional Protocol (AP) to its safeguards agreement with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from the agency’s Board of Governors, thereby completing all of its major commitments stemming from the July 2005 nuclear agreement with the United States.
IAEA sources confirmed the Board’s decision but declined to provide details of the protocols text pending its release for public distribution.
The sources, however, confirmed that the Indian text differed from the standard AP applicable to non-nuclear weapon states in a number of crucial aspects.
The text was finalised mid-February after four rounds of discussion between an Indian delegation led by the Department of Atomic Energy and the IAEA secretariat.
According to the German news agency DPA, the Indian protocol does not mention verification of nuclear imports, short-notice inspections or the IAEA’s right to take chemical samples which can reveal hidden nuclear activities.
All of these provisions form part of the standard template for Additional Protocols.
The first public announcement that the Indian text was ready for approval was made by IAEA Director-General Mohammed El-Baradei in his address to the Board on March 2.

Hindu rashtra is against Constitution: judge
Staff Reporter
Mumbai: It is one thing to form a Hindu organisation and quite another to speak of forming a Hindu state, which is not in keeping with the Constitution, the special court under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act noted on Wednesday.
“Forming an organisation is fine, but wanting to create a Hindu ‘rajya’ [state] is against the Constitution. We are working under the Constitution,” judge Y.D. Shinde said during a hearing in the Malegaon blast case.
The judge’s remark came when counsel Shrikant Shivade, arguing the case of bail for an accused, Lt. Col. Prasad Shrikant Purohit, said there was nothing wrong with his vision of a Hindu ‘rashtra.’ “If I say, ‘remove the word secular and insert the word Hindu,’ there is nothing wrong in that,” counsel said.
The charge sheet reveals that the blast accused were led by the ideology of forming a Hindu ‘rashtra.’
The transcripts placed on record highlight Lt. Col. Purohit’s contempt for secularism and the Constitution.

New Chief Justices for 5 High Courts
Legal Correspondent
New Delhi: President Pratibha Patil has appointed Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad of the Patna High Court Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court.
He will succeed H.L. Gokhale, who has been transferred as Chief Justice of the Madras High Court.
Justice Samindar Rudrayya Bannurmath of the Karnataka High Court will be Chief Justice of the Kerala High Court.
Justice Jacob Benjamin Koshy of the Kerala High Court has been appointed Chief Justice of the Patna High Court.
Justice Aftab Hussain Saikia of the Gauhati High Court has been appointed Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court. Justice Deepak Verma of the Karnataka High Court will be Chief Justice of the Rajasthan High Court.
All appointments will take effect from the date the judges assume charge of their office.

Advocates’ strike illegal: Swamy
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday said that advocates of naxalite, VCK and LTTE persuasions should be isolated and debarred from the legal profession.
Talking to reporters, Dr. Swamy said the real malaise today in the legal profession was just five per cent of the advocates.
“They have to be isolated and debarred under section 34 of the Advocates Act and as per the Supreme Court judgement in 2003.”
He said the strike called by the advocates was illegal, since it flouted the order of the Supreme Court in a case in 2003.
Dr. Swamy also demanded an investigation into the link between the Al Qaeda and the LTTE in the attack on the Sri Lankan cricketers.
“Sri Lanka and the US should help Pakistan in the investigation. An investigation by Pakistan alone will not bring out the truth.”
He said if the AIADMK combine won the Lok Sabha polls, a Tamil would become the Prime Minister of the country.
“I will pull strings in Delhi and install a Tamil as Prime Minister.”

Detained under Goondas Act
Special Correspondent
TAMBARAM: R. Manimaran, a 22-year-old youth of Kodungaiyur, has been detained under the Goondas Act.
A release said that in the latest offence, he had threatened a 40-year-old man at knife point and robbed him of his gold jewellery in Madhavaram a fortnight ago.
As he was involved in similar offences in the past in different places of the city’s suburbs, he has been detained under the Goondas Act, the note said.

Trade union’s plea dismissed
Special Correspondent
Court says it was filed to stall ongoing election process
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has dismissed, with costs of Rs.10,000, a petition filed by a trade union seeking modification/clarification of a judgment in a matter pertaining to recognising unions.
The court said that the union should pay the money to the Chief Justice’s Relief Fund within two weeks.
In its order, a Division Bench, comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and R. Subbiah, said the clarification was sought to give a different colour, meaning and interpretation to guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in a case that had been followed by the High Court while delivering judgment on the appeal filed by the union. The prayer was impermissible.
The Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation Pirivu Anna Thozhir Sangam (TNCSCPATS) had filed an appeal against the order passed by a single Judge on a writ petition. The court disposed of the appeal following the Supreme Court judgment in an FCI case.
The present petition was filed praying to clarify/modify the court order of January last year in the appeal to the effect that the words “union/unions” would mean that if one union secured 51 per cent of the votes polled then that would be the only recognised union. But, if a union did not secure 51 per cent votes, then the union/unions, which, together secured 51 per cent of the votes polled, would be the recognised unions as stated in a judgment of the High Court in an NLC case.
The Bench said the High Court judgment in the NLC case was not brought to the court’s notice when it disposed of the TNCSCPATS appeal. The judgment in the NLC case ran contrary to the Supreme Court’s order in the FCI case and hence it was unable to concur with the same.
It said the appellant had earlier filed a writ petition praying to quash an order of the TNCSC and obtained an interim injunction. Thereafter, the petition was withdrawn, resulting in its dismissal. Thus, having failed in his attempt to stall the ongoing election process, the union had filed the present petition seeking a modification of the court’s order on the appeal. The union had resorted to this type of practice only with a malicious motive of stalling the ongoing election process, the Bench said.

Advocates to form ‘human chain’
CHENNAI: Advocates, demanding action against senior police officers responsible for the incident on the High Court premises on February 19, plan to organise a ‘human chain’ on Thursday.
The agitation will be organised by the Madras High Court Advocates Association in front of the High Court, association secretary M.Velmurugan said on Wednesday. Advocates are already observing fast in support of their demand. — Special Correspondent

HC rejects Secretary’s plea
Staff Reporter
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has dismissed a writ appeal filed jointly by the Revenue Secretary and Kanyakumari Collector against a single judge’s order to grant pension to a retired ‘Thalaiyari’ (village assistant).
The officials contended that a Government employee should have served for a minimum of 10 years to become eligible for pension. The Thalaiyari, who retired in November 2000, had served only for five years since regularisation of his service in July 1995.
Acting Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice M. Jaichandren rejected the appellants’ contention that the services rendered by the retiree prior to his regularisation could not be taken into account as he was only a part-time employee.
The Judges pointed out that K. Raman Nair’s appointment order dated July 21, 1975 clearly stated that he was being appointed on temporary basis (not part-time) at a scale of pay fixed for the post under the Tamil Nadu pattern.
“The question whether the nature of appointment is part time with honorarium or temporary with a fixed scale of pay not only depends upon rules and guidelines but also on the letter of appointment issued in favour of the employee,” they added.
Writing the judgement, Mr. Justice Mukhopadhaya said that Rule 11 of the Tamil Nadu Pension Rules, 1978 stated that services rendered by a Government servant in an officiating or temporary capacity should also be counted for granting pension.
Even Tamil Nadu Village Assistants Pension Rules, 1996 stated that temporary, officiating and permanent (full time) services should be reckoned as qualifying service for calculation of pension.
“In view of our finding… we make it clear that the appellants should pay pension in favour of the respondent within one month, if not yet paid, failing which they will be liable to pay 12 per cent interest per annum from the date of retirement,” the judges concluded.

Two held under Goondas Act
Staff Reporter
TIRUNELVELI: Two rowdies ‘Bullet’ Murugan of Valliyoor and ‘Kozhi’ Arul of Surandai have been detained under the Goondas Act.
According to Superintendent of Police Asra Garg, ‘Bullet’ Murugan was involved in a number of extortion cases while ‘Kozhi’ Arul was an accused in good number of murder, attempt-to-murder case and the recently registered case involving seizure of lethal weapons, a pump-action rifle and several rounds of ammunition. ‘Kozhi’ Arul’s close associate ‘Rocket’ Raja is still absconding in this case.

Encounters: A.P. High Court order stayed
J. Venkatesan
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an Andhra Pradesh High Court judgment directing registration of cases against individual police officers responsible for encounter deaths or killings of naxalites in the State.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal stayed the impugned judgment dated February 6 after hearing senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the appellant A. P. Police Officers Association.
The Bench issued notice to the State and other respondents including the A.P. Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC), the petitioner in the High Court.
Mr. Salve said going by the High Court order, cases would have to be registered even against those police officers involved in the Parliament attack and against the NSG commandos in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack. He said no police officer would be able to counter terrorist or subversive elements.
On a petition from APCLC, a five-Judge Bench of the High Court ordered registration of cases of homicide against the police officers for the killing of eight Maoists in the alleged encounter on July 23, 2006 in the Nallamala forests in Prakasam district. The special leave petition (SLP) is directed against this judgment.
Important questions
The SLP raised important questions of law — whether police officers were entitled to claim protection against investigation and prosecution for acts done in the course of their duty and whether such acts would constitute a cognisable offence; whether in the event of any injury or death to a person arising out of exchange of fire between such arrested person and police officers, the only defence available to police officers was on the ground of private defence and no other defence.
The SLP said the High Court had erred in holding that provisions of Criminal Procedure Code would not give any immunity to police officers involved in exchange of fire while dispersing an unlawful assembly and would be treated on a par with any civilian who “uses force in his self-defence.”
The High Court failed to appreciate that police had special responsibilities and obligations in maintaining law and order and they could not be equated with others, the SLP said and prayed for quashing of the impugned judgment and an interim stay of its operation.

CBI seeks 7-day custody for Satyam accused
Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD: A court here posted for hearing on Friday a petition by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) seeking seven-day custody to interrogate former Satyam bosses B. Ramalinga Raju, Rama Raju and Srinivas Vadlamani and Price Waterhouse auditors S. Gopalarkrishnan and Srinivas Talluri.
The Fourteenth Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate S. Samuel Victor Emmanuel served the notice about hearing to the counsels of the accused on Wednesday. He would also hear the third bail applications of Vadlamani and the auditors.
Meanwhile, the Fourth Additional Metropolitan Sessions Judge T. Easwara Rao who heard the second anticipatory bail application of Suryanarayana Raju, a brother of Ramalinga Raju, reserved orders for Thursday.
The prosecution argued that the bail plea be rejected as his arrest was crucial to dig out several hidden facts. The main contention of the prosecution was that Suryanarayana was a director in 50 of the 357 companies floated by Satyam group.
The guilt of the accused could not be established without examining him since he was one of the conspirators in the scam. The prosecution also stated that the Crime Investigation Department had seized a huge quantity of records pertaining to the companies in the possession of Suryanaryana. An employee of Suryanarayana, D. Gopalakrishnam Raju, who was arrested in the fraud and released on bail later, confessed to shifting the records on instructions from the former.
The defence counsel B. Vijaysen Reddy said the CBI wanted to arrest Suryanarayana merely on a presumption that he was also connected with Satyam and had knowledge of its lands transactions. However, the court was not convinced about the argument when Gopalarkrishanam, was released on bail.
The CBI also wanted to arrest him on a charge that he might screen evidence by tampering with records.

EC bans Indira logo on Indiramma houses
Special Correspondent
‘Removal of Rajiv picture from Arogyasri emblem on ‘108’ ambulances being examined’
‘GOs issued by the government after the election code came into force being scrutinised’
HYDERABAD: The Election Commission (EC) has imposed a ban on displaying the tricolour or affixing Indira Gandhi’s portrait on houses built under the Indiramma programme.
It imposed this restriction on Wednesday on the ground that these symbols violated the model election code and would tend to influence voters in favour of a political party. The decision came a few hours after Electionwatch, a citizens group, made a representation to Chief Electoral Officer I. V. Subba Rao, complaining against the three-colour painting and logo.
Mr. Subba Rao clarified that the ban would not apply to the houses already constructed and in cases where the beneficiaries painted their houses and put up the logo on their own. R. Subrahmanyam, MD, AP Housing Corporation with whom the CEO held discussions before the EC imposed the ban, said all the 3.5 lakh houses planned for construction from March to May would not have tri-colour painting and the logo, he added.
Mr. Subba Rao said the EC was examining another plea made by Electionwatch Advisor K. J. Rao for removal of Rajiv Gandhi picture from Arogyasri emblem on the ‘108’ ambulances. He said he was scrutinising the GOs purported to have been issued by the government after the election code came into force, and would take action if any of them were found to be objectionable.
The demand for replacement of P. Ramakantha Reddy and S.S.P Yadav as Chief Secretary and Director-General of Police could not be considered as charges against them were “substantiated”.

Implement revised Act’
Sirsi: Of the 7.25 lakh cases of forestland encroachment, 91,000 cases are from Karnataka. In Uttara Kannada district, 35,500 families are living in 19,000 hectares of encroached forestland, according to the district backward class forum president Ravindranath Naik.
In a release here on Wednesday, he said that encroachment of forestland till December 13, 2005 has been legalised under Central Forests Rights Act.
However, Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa has, in a recent statement, said that forest encroachment after 1978 will not be legalised. Perhaps, the Chief Minister is ignorant of revised Act, Mr. Naik said.
He urged that the revised Act should be implemented.

Court rebukes officials for ignoring law officers
Staff Reporter
Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday came down heavily on officials of the State Government for not responding to the queries of law officers regarding cases which come up before the court.
The court took a dim view of the lax manner in which the officials furnished information to law officers (government advocates) and summoned the Law Secretary to apprise him about the conduct of the officials.
When the Law Secretary appeared before the court, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran and Justice K.L. Manjunath pointed out that government advocates could not argue a case properly or assist the court as they did not have suitable instructions.
The Bench expressed displeasure over the manner in which the officers choose to brief the advocates. In some cases, they furnished wrong or incomplete information, the Bench said. The Bench said law officers were only doing their duty. It said it would pass strictures on the Chief Secretary and the Law Secretary if the government continued to seek adjournment on flimsy grounds.

Ragging case: plea by convicted dismissed
Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by two students who were convicted in a ragging case at the School of Medical Education in Kottayam, seeking to suspend the punishment of 10-year rigorous imprisonment.
The students were sentenced by the Kottayam Special Court.
Dismissing the petition filed by first-accused Ranjith Varghese and second-accused S. Sherin, Justice V. Ramkumar observed that under the guise of ragging, the petitioners who were third-year nursing students, with the aid of their friend, were found to have committed gang rape of a first year nursing student hailing from a poor family.
The court said the petitioners had been found guilty after a protracted trial. f they were to be released on bail after suspending the sentence, “this court will be sending a wrong message to the peace loving community. Once a court convicts an accused person, the presumption of innocence comes to an end.”
The court also pointed out that the accused hailed from wealthy families while the victim was said to hail from “impecunious circumstances”.
The judge, however, clarified that this court shall not be understood to have expressed any opinion on the merits of the matter one way or other and the observations shall be taken “as confined only to the disposal of these petitions.” he petition seeking to suspend the sentence was filed along with the appeal submitted against the Kottayam special court’s verdict sentencing them to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment and imposing a fine of Rs.20,000 each on them in the case.
The incident took place on October 21, 2005.
The third-accused, Sheffeeq Yusuf, was sentenced to three years’ rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs.5,000.
Directive to CJM
Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan on Wednesday directed the Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Court, Kasaragod, and Superintendent of Police, Kasaragod, to inquire into an incident in which a mentally challenged person was chained at Cherkala.
The court also directed them to file an action-taken report before the court. The order was passed in a suo motu proceeding issued based on a report submitted by the amicus curie in cases relating to the condition of the mental health centres in the State. The report said the young man was chained, as his parents could not afford to treat him.

Lawyers urged to stand united
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: President of the Thiruvananthapuram Bar Association C.K. Sitaram has urged lawyers to desist from bickering along political affiliations on the High Court Bench issue.
In a statement issued here on Wednesday, Mr. Sitaram warned that such wrangling would only jeopardize their ongoing struggle. Meanwhile Abdul Aziz, a FRAT representative who was on an indefinite fast outside the Vanchiyoor Court complex, was arrested and shifted to the hospital after his health deteriorated.

Jail term for impersonation
Staff Reporter
Kozhikode: The Kozhikode Judicial First Class Magistrate’s Court- I here on Wednesday sentenced a person to six months’ imprisonment for impersonation during the three-tier local body elections held in September 2005.
Magistrate K. Soman found C. Siraj, 30, guilty under Section 171-F of the Indian Penal Code. Siraj had attempted to cast a vote impersonating another voter, Rajindran, at the No.4 polling booth at Chelavoor Islahiya Arabic College on September 26, 2005. The presiding officer had filed a complaint after booth agents of the United Democratic Front (UDF) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) raised objections against Siraj exercising his franchise.
It was detected that Siraj had impersonated Rajindran. The Chevayur police registered a case against the accused.

Judicial staff demand
KOZHIKODE: The district committee of the Kerala Civil Judicial Staff Organisation has demanded that quarters be built for civil court staff on the court premises. The 24th district conference of the organisation held here recently demanded that accommodation be provided to the court staff. The conference demanded setting up of the proposed court at Thamarassery, creation of supervisory posts in view of heavy work in family courts, among others. Additional District Judge K. Bhaskaran inaugurated the meeting. — Staff Reporter

Adalat for NRI women
Special Correspondent
Kozhikode: An adalat to examine problems of NRI women is being organised at the Town Hall on March 23 jointly by the State Women’s Commission, District Legal Services Authority, NoRKA and the Kerala Pravasi Sangham.
An awareness programme on the Migration Act, recruiting agencies and visa verification has also been arranged. The women’s commission will be setting up cooperatives and charitable societies to arrange training programmes for NRI women, a press note said.

98 p.c. public support for anti-smoking laws: Survey
Bindu Shajan Perappadan
An overwhelming 99 per cent favour enforcement of a smoke-free environment at the work place
92 per cent believe exposure to second-hand smoke is a serious public health hazard
NEW DELHI: Bollywood biggies might disagree, but a vast majority of Indians (98 per cent) support the ban on smoking in public places, including restaurants and bars, and an overwhelming 99 per cent favour enforcement of a smoke-free environment at the work place.
These are the findings of a new survey released by Voluntary Health Association of India and Healis Sekhsaria Institute for Public Health. The survey was conducted through Synovate’s Global Omnibus to sense public attitudes and preferences in four major Indian cities: Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai.
Ninety-nine per cent of the respondents in Delhi said the Government should strongly enforce rules prohibiting smoking at public places and 92 per cent believed exposure to second-hand smoke is a serious public health hazard. Ninety-four per cent supported the rights of non-smokers at public places.
The smoke-free laws came into effect in the country on October 2 last year, envisaging all public and work places being rid of smoke in order to provide comprehensive protection from second-hand exposure to tobacco.
Says Voluntary Health Association of India senior director Bhavna B. Mukhopadhyay: “It is the Government’s responsibility to protect people’s health and the citizens of this country are sending out a clear message to their elected representatives that they applaud the introduction of smoke-free public and work places. Clearing the air of tobacco smoke with stronger enforcement and compliance of the legislation can potentially turn this initiative into a major public health success story for India in the near future.”
The majority of respondents said restaurants and bars are healthier and more enjoyable now that they are smoke-free. Eighty-five per cent of the respondents agreed to this, and 72 per cent agreed very strongly that these places are now healthier. Eighty-eight per cent agreed that it was nice to go out and visit local restaurants and bars without smelling like smoke when they got home.
“The results of the survey have highlighted the fact that Indians have decisively spoken out against smoking in public, and….recognition of the fact that second-hand smoke is a health hazard. This clearly shows that there is ample scope for the ban on smoking in public places to succeed in the country, and it is the responsibility of civic bodies to ensure that the rules necessary to achieve this are uniformly enforced,” said the report.

Police officer granted bail
New Delhi: A court here on Wednesday granted bail to a suspended Delhi policeman accused of demanding bribe from a restaurant owner here.
Special Judge A.S. Yadav allowed the plea of accused Ram Kumar Tyagi after he contended that he was no longer required for investigation in the case. “Taking into considerations the facts that the accused is in custody since February 26 and is no longer required for investigation, no useful purpose would be served by keeping in pre-trial detention and the accused is admitted to bail,” the court said. — PTI

Amarinder gets anticipatory bail
Mohali: Former Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh did not appeared before a Mohali Special Court but he was granted anticipatory bail in a graft case pertaining to Amritsar Improvement Trust land scam here on Wednesday. However, former Punjab Local Government Minister Jagjit Singh, former AIT chairman Jugal Kishore Sharma and 12 others named as accused in a criminal case registered by Punjab Vigilance Bureau ( were granted regular bail.
They were handed over copies of the charge-sheet presented against them after they appeared before Additional District-cum-Special Judge S.K. Garg, who was holding the trial of the high-profile case.
Capt. Singh and another accused Rajeev Bhagat, a former AIT member, sought exemption from court appearance, which was allowed on medical grounds.
The next hearing in the case was posted to April 4 when Capt Singh will appear to seek regular bail in the case. PTI

HC grants bail to Aussie doctor
He was arrested in 2008
CUTTACK: The High Court on Wednesday granted bail to Australian doctor Alan Herbert Rose alias Paul Allen, 65 who was arrested by Puri police on November 12, 2008 on charges of abusing orphan boys of 14-18 years in a local orphanage.
Paul, who worked as a volunteer medical consultant at the orphanage was arrested following a complaint lodged by the orphanage founder.
He was in judicial custody for last three months after his bail was granted by a Puri lower court.
However, a single judge bench of HC presided over by Justice R.N. Biswal granted bail to the Australian doctor on Wednesday. It may be mentioned here that the police had filed charge-sheet against Paul recently after gathering sufficient evidence against him that he was involved in the heinous crime of sexually abusing the orphans.
It may be mentioned here that a French national Mary Ellen, who runs a number orphanages in India and abroad, is the founder of the Puri orphanage under Mary Ellen Gerber Foundation.
Police investigations had revealed that Paul was looking after the children of the orphanages run by the Foundation in Andhra Pradesh and Puri.
A native of Bunbury in Western Australia, Paul had come to India in 2001 but currently he does not have a valid legal document to stay in India.
Investigations had further revealed that Paul had also been arrested on similar charges in Andhra Pradesh a few years ago.

Dispose of cases quickly: CJ
Staff Reporter
BHUBANESWAR: Chief Justice of Orissa High Court Justice B. S. Chauhan here on Wednesday inaugurated the new court building of executive magistrates under Police Commissionerate for Bhubaneswar-Cuttack. Speaking on the occasion Justice Chauhan exhorted commissionerate of police not to sit over any case for long and dispose of cases as quickly as possible.
He said Orissa High Court would extend its cooperation by instituting a Judicial Academy where police officials conferred with power of executive magistrates could undergo refresher course.
The three court rooms have come up on the premise of office Deputy Commissioner of Police here.
Earlier, DGP Manmohan Praharaj said it was a matter great satisfaction that there had been no credible allegations against police officials disposing of cases.

HC quashes Raje Govt ruling on RAS cadre seniority…/431161/
Posted: Mar 05, 2009 at 0939 hrs IST
Jaipur: In a major decision affecting the promotion of RAS cadre officers of the state being considered for promotion to Indian Administrative Services, the Rajasthan High court has quashed the seniority list of the officers prepared by the Raje Government.
The Jaipur bench of the court has further directed that the vacancies of the IAS cadre for year 1991-92 be filled not by way of promotion but by considering the rule of seven outstanding and very good entries in the ACRs in the span of seven years as against five outstanding entries in the period of seven years.
The order came on the petition filed by Ajay Singh Chittor, a senior RAS officer, who was the only one contesting the illegal preparation of the seniority list of RAS official by the Government since year 2002.
“The selection criteria on the basis of merit has been changed from 7 out of 7 to 5 out of 7 outstanding/very good ACRs, which does not apply to those officers who were already considered on the basis of 7 out of 7 outstanding/very good ACRs and the same cannot be changed in view of the notification dated 30.11.1991 as this notification is having prospective effect not retrospective effect,” Justice Karni Singh Rathore noted.

Pay parents of stolen baby at least a million, HC tells BMC…/430886/
Express News Service
Posted: Mar 05, 2009 at 2325 hrs IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and the police for not initiating proper action in the Sion Hospital baby kidnap case.
A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi asked the BMC to state what amount will it pay as compensation to the parents of the baby for the mental torture and agony they are going through.
The court made it clear that the sum should not be less than Rs 10 lakh.
Commenting on the reports submitted by BMC and the police, the court said its efforts are frustrated by the authorities. “You want to hide the reasons from the court,” the judges said.
The court asked the BMC as to why it had to initiate another departmental inquiry against two security officials for dereliction of duty. The police submitted that they are making sincere efforts to trace the child and the kidnapper. The court remarked that even a clerk could have filed the report submitted by them.
“The court adjourned the hearing till Thursday and directed the DCP Zone IV to be present in court. The BMC will also have to state tomorrow how much compensation it will pay,” said petitioners’ lawyer Amit Karkhanis.
The confidential inquiry and progress reports in the case were filed earlier by BMC inquiry committee and the Mumbai police. The BMC had submitted a report filed by the dean of Nair Hospital for fixing responsibility on the person concerned while the police detailed their progress in tracing the baby and the culprit.
City Police Commissioner Hasan Gafoor had earlier submitted that all possible steps have been taken to trace the baby who went missing from Sion Hospital last month.
The BMC had informed the court that an inquiry committee headed by the dean of Nair Hospital has been constituted to fix the responsibility in the case.
The parents of the baby boy had filed a habeas corpus petition in the court 13 days after the incident. In their petition, the parents — Mohan and Mohini Nerulkar — has sought response from the hospital, the state Government and the police investigating the matter.

HC suspends dist judges for not vacating residential quarters
5 Mar 2009, 0339 hrs IST, A Subramani, TNN
CHENNAI: In a development that has shocked the entire subordinate judiciary in Tamil Nadu, two senior district judges have been suspended from service for delay in handing over their official residential quarters after they were transferred. The administrative decision of the Madras high court was conveyed to the principal district judge of Tuticorin district P S Avadi Thiagaraja Moorthy and the principal district judge of Ramanathapuram K Jayabalan on Wednesday. “Suspension for a non-service issue, such as residential quarters, is disproportionate, and certainly not acceptable to the subordinate judiciary,” said a magistrate, who added that the two judges had children studying in Chennai. “Imagine the plight of the children whose annual examinations have already commenced. Worse, it is a big loss of face for the judges, who now cannot face litigants and advocates confidently,” he said. While Avadi Thiagaraja Moorthy was a special judge at the court for exclusive trial of bomb blast cases and TADA cases at Poonamallee at the time of his transfer over four months ago, Jayabalan was the first additional family court judge when he was shifted to Ramanathapuram. “They were transferred out of Chennai in the middle of an academic year. While responding to the high court’s eviction notice, which warned them of disciplinary action, the judges had said they should be permitted to remain in occupation till April-end when the examinations would be over,” another resident of the judges quarters on Pantheon Road in Egmore said. “They were even ready to remit penal rent at market rate,” he added. Though many judges who were transferred to Chennai are waiting for allotment of quarters, the shortage is not very acute, another resident of the complex said, adding, “two flats are vacant already. And, two flats are occupied by high court judges, who were elevated from service.” Not long ago, two district judges, one of whom was appointed member of the state police commission, were permitted to remain in their quarters even one year after their retirement,” he added. The two senior judges were not heard before their suspension, and they have been directed to hand over the keys to the flats within 24 hours, said their colleague. When asked, a high court registry official said, “once the judges hand over the keys, we will revoke their suspension.”

I-T dept moves HC over ITAT decision on allowability of Depreciation on BSE card
The Income-Tax Department has challenged the income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) decision in the Bombay High Court that allowed over 100 stock broking firms entitlement to depreciation claims on the cost of their Bombay Stock Exchange membership cards.
The appeals against various stock brokers have been pending over the past three years and are likely to be heard together before the division bench of Justices FI Rebeillo and RS Mohite on Monday.
The stock brokers include the likes of ICICI Brokerage Services, J M Morgan Stanley Fixed Income Services, Jhunjhunwala Stock Brokers, Net Worth Stock Broking, R R Chokani Stock Brokers, Kotak Securities and K Damani Securities.
According to section 32 of the I-T Act, depreciation can be claimed either in respect of “buildings, machinery, plant or furniture, being tangible assets” or “know-how, patents, copyrights, trade marks, licences, franchises or any other business or commercial rights of similar nature, being intangible assets”.
The appeal filed by the I-T Department states that depreciation is not allowable on the membership card of the Stock Exchange as the card is not a depreciable asset. As such, it is not capable of diminshing in value due to its use, wear and tear and obsolescence.Also, the stock broking firms are not the owners of the membership cards. The card is, in fact, a privilege given by the stock exchange to its members, the I-T Department’s appeal states.
However, the broking firms were given respite by the tribunal, which allowed them to claim depreciation on the ground of their submission that the membership card was a capital asset through which a right to trade on the stock exchange is acquired by the broker.
Also, the card is an intangible asset within the definition of the section 32 of the I-T Act. The I-T Department, then filed appeals before the high court, challenging the tribunal’s decision in favour of the said brokers.
Posted by Sandeep Kanoi

HC sets 15-day deadline to clean up St Inez nullah
5 Mar 2009, 0448 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Wednesday set a time bound programme for the state government and the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) to jump start the much delayed clean-up of the St Inez nullah. Setting a 15-day deadline, the court directed the government and the CCP to take up work on a day-to-day basis’, beginning from March 6, for cleaning up the nullah. The court also directed the CCP to suggest a site for dumping the waste removed from the nullah, by March 5. A division Bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice U D Salvi passed the orders during the hearing of a public interest litigation filed by W K Parab and others, who have pointed out that the nullah is in an unhygienic state and is creating health hazards for the residents of the area. During the hearing, the Bench remarked several times that “the ultimate sufferer of the lack of coordination between the CCP and the governement for the past seven years has been the common citizens”. While pointing out that “the citizens are suffering great torture”, the Bench stated that the citizens tolerance towards the stink generated from the nullah is “remarkable”. The Bench has also observed during the hearing that there is nothing on record to show that the authorities have taken any strict action’ for cleaning up the nullah. The CCP has failed in peforming its duties, the Bench stated. The division Bench has further directed the authorities to file a compliance report on March 25, informing the court about how much work has been completed.

HC’s ministerial officers plan stir
5 Mar 2009, 0329 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court Ministerial Officers’ Association has decided to resort to agitation after Holi festival (vacation) in protest against the state government’s decision not to pay the salary and benefits recommended by the Sixth Pay Revision Commission to them. The state Cabinet had on December 31, 2008 decided to give new pay-scales and benefits to HC’s ministerial officers on the basis of Shetty Commission report. “The Shetty Commission report is applicable for payment of salary and benefits to the members of judicial service and superior judicial service only,” said ministerial officers’ association general secretary Kashi Nath Shukla. He told TOI that Justice Aftab Alam Pay Fitment committee had in 1999 held that the high court ministerial officers and staff should be given the same scale of pay and benefits as given to the secretariat officers and staff which they were earlier getting. He said the registrar general of Patna High Court has already written to the state finance secretary requesting him for modification in the state Cabinet resolution. Shukla said the HC’s ministerial staff, to begin with, would wear black badges followed by demonstration on the high court premises during lunch time.

HC holds Maya govt move `arbitrary’
5 Mar 2009, 0158 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: The high court on Wednesday held that letting-up of shops by lottery system without inviting open tenders and following the procedure of public auction on the payment of fixed amount was a highly arbitrary act of the Mayawati government. The court said that the lottery system in no way enhanced the finance of the government. The court, however, fixed Thursday directing the state lawyer to seek instructions on the matter from the state government. The state government issued a government order on February 11 and a consequential circular on February 12, regarding fresh lottery system in the allotment of liquor shops on the fix licence fee. Suffering due to the new system, one Anil Kumar Dixit lost his shop licence in Hardoi. He challenged the new policy in the HC and sought renewal of his shop number 268 in Hardoi. The matter came before the division bench of Justice DP Singh and Justice VD Chaturvedi on Wednesday. Petitioner’s counsel Rajiv Singh submitted that the procedure with regard to grant of licence was governed by UP Licence (Tender cum Auction) Rules 1991. The rules provide for open tender-cum-auction procedure to let out the country and foreign liquor shops etc. The submission was that 1991 rules had not been repealed till date and the procedure given therein in conformity with laws laid down by the Supreme Court and the high court. It was submitted on behalf of the government that the procedure with regard to grant of licence for country-made and foreign liquor was governed by new rules viz. The UP Excise (Settlement of Licences for retail sale of country liquor) Rules 2002. The standing counsel submitted that 2002 rules permitted the excise department to let out the shops through lottery system. In consequence of 2002 rules, the GO dated February 11 and circular dated February 12 have been issued. The policy has been challenged on the ground of arbitrariness and capriciousness.

HC revives case, issues warrant for acquitted doc
5 Mar 2009, 0002 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: Revising a verdict issued by a magistrate, the Bombay high court has issued a bailable warrant against a Nashik-based ayurvedic doctor who was accused of negligence and performing a surgery on a patient who died subsequently. The division bench of Justices Bilal Nazki and A R Joshi asked the prosecution to ensure Dyanesh Nikam’s presence. Interestingly, the case would have been buried in the files if not for the high court’s intervention. Justice Nazki was evaluating the performance of first-class judicial magistrate S S Randive, who was up for promotion, when the judge discovered the verdict. The magistrate had acquitted the doctor in the case, saying that the police had failed to prove charges of negligence against the medical practitioner.
“Prima facie, I feel the judgement needs to be revised,” remarked the judge, while sending the files to the Chief Justice. A suo motu revision of the case was registered despite the fact that the state had not filed an appeal in the case. The incident goes back to September 2001, when Nashik resident Gautam More approached Nikam, a BAMS doctor, for treatment of piles. The doctor operated on More, who died on September 16, 2001. The post-mortem report had found an anal abscess. Following a complaint by the victim’s wife, the police registered a case against the doctor, accusing him of negligence. In court, Nikam asserted that his study for the BAMS degree had included training to conduct surgery, gynaecology and obstetrics. The magistrate held the doctor not guilty and said that the prosecution had not examined any expert to prove that an ayurvedic doctor could not have conducted the surgery. The magistrate further held that Nikam had paid for More’s further treatment, which showed his “sympathy for his patient and relatives”. Additional public prosecutor Poornima Kantharia said the police was verifying whether the warrants had been served on the doctor.

HC directive on speed governors
5 Mar 2009, 0014 hrs IST, TNN
HYDERABAD: The AP High Court on Wednesday, while admitting a petition that questioned the legal sanctity of the state transport authorities’ directive to install speed governors in all notified transport vehicles, issued notices to the state and central governments asking them to file their replies explaining whose power is it to do so. The writ petition was filed by the managements of nine schools in the outskirts of Hyderabad challenging the order of the government that made it mandatory for them to fix speed governors in their school busses. They also challenged Rule 118 of the Central Motor Vehicle Act and also the notices issued by the transport commissioner. The commissioner issued the notices to the petitioners last month directing them to install the governors within 6 days. The Centre passed a rule in 1989 mandating that all notified transport vehicles should be fitted with speed governors. Later, the Centre amended the Rule by giving power to the state governments to notify the category of vehicles in which the speed governors are to be installed. Following this, the state government issued an order in 2007 that light, medium and heavy goods vehicles and medium and heavy passenger vehicles should install speed governors. Initially, the speed limit was fixed at 60 km per hour. Later, the transport commissioner reduced it to 40 km per hour. The petitioners told the court that their school buses ply at a speed not exceeding 40 kms even in the absence of any regulators. These do not ply on the highways, they said. They contended that conferring the power on the state government to choose the transport vehicles for the fixing of speed governors was ultra vires of the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Act and urged the court to declare the said order as ultra vires and unconstitutional.

Sanjay Dutt moves SC seeking nod to contest elections
5 Mar 2009, 1130 hrs IST, Dhananjay Mahapatra , TNN
LUCKNOW: Actor Sanjay Dutt, who is all set to make his political debut from Lucknow as the Samajwadi Party candidate for Lok Sabha elections, has moved Supreme Court seeking a stay on his conviction under the Arms Act. The SC stay is required to clear his path for contesting the elections. Dutt’s petition will be mentioned on Friday in the apex court for early hearing. The petition was filed on Thursday morning. Ace defence counsel V R Manohar, who represented the actor in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts case, said few weeks ago: “His nomination will be rejected and he cannot contest unless the Supreme Court stays the conviction and suspends the sentence.” Dutt is out on merely on bail following his conviction in the blasts case. So his conviction stands. There is another hitch. The apex court may be less likely to suspend Dutt’s conviction and sentence pending his appeal because — despite his name being cleared of terror charges — it is the blasts case that he is connected with, say legal experts. “Dutt’s acquittal under the more stringent Tada may not be his ticket to contest if that and his release on bail are what he is banking on,” Mumbai-based advocate Hitesh Jain, now representing an accused in the Malegaon blasts case, said. While granting bail to the actor on November 27, 2007, the court had directed him to surrender his passport and asked him not to leave the country without its permission. The Bollywood star, who was sentenced in July 2007, had spent 18 months in jail during the pendency of the trial. The actor had in the first week of February got Supreme Court’s permission to extend his foreign visit by two weeks to fulfil his commitments as United Nations’ Goodwill Ambassador on malnutrition. One near-parallel that comes to mind is cricketer-turned-politician Navjyot Singh Siddhu’s case. He had to give up his Lok Sabha membership after the Punjab and Haryana High Court set aside his acquittal on charges of culpable homicide not amounting to murder. He then appealed in the Supreme Court against his conviction and made a specific plea for staying his conviction to enable him to contest in the bypolls. The SC, just a day before the deadline for filing his nomination in 2006, stayed Siddhu’s conviction in the road rage case and ensured that he could contest the Amritsar Lok Sabha bypoll. What the law says Under the Representation of the People Act, anyone sentenced to more than two years’ imprisonment is barred from contesting elections till a court of law stays the conviction and sentence.

HC seeks state info in Jalgaon murder case
5 Mar 2009, 0211 hrs IST, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday directed the state government to give details on when a murder accused contracted AIDS and on the treatment given to him in custody till his death in a Pune prison. The case pertains to the 2005 murder of a Jalgoan Congress leader Vishram Patil. The murder victim’s wife Rajani Patil had moved the high court for a proper probe into the incident which she claimed stemmed from political rivalry and was `allegedly’ masterminded by President Pratibha Patil’s brother G N Patil, also a local Congress leader. Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani, representing the widow, pointed out that despite ample evidence coming up against G N Patil and another politician Ulhas Patil, it was surprising that they were being given such differential treatment by the CBI which is investigating the case after it was transferred from the state CID.
A bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud was informed that an assailant Raju Mali had died in jail just after he told his wife that he had “been set up” and had asked for blank papers. When inquiring about the cause of the death, the CBI counsel said it was a pulmonary infection that led to the death. Not satisfied, the Chief Justice asked that the medical records be shown at the next hearing. The matter will come up on March 17.

PIL filed against age bar in legal studies
5 Mar 2009, 0002 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: There may still be some hope for those in their 30s who want to enrol for law this year. The newly introduced age bar on admissions to law colleges is being challenged. Terming the new rule brought in by the Bar Council of India (BCI) to prevent the 30-plus from joining a three-year LLB degree course as an unjustifiable restriction and violation of the basic fundamental rights to education and profession, a Mumbai-based lawyer on Wednesday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Bombay high court to have it quashed before the 2009-10 academic year began. Yasmin Tavaria, a 52-year-old lawyer who completed her LLB in 2003, said she was filing the PIL in the larger interest of society and in ensuring that “a citizen’s constitutional rights are not taken away by the whims and fancies of the BCI”. The BCI, the apex lawyers’ body in India, is empowered to deal with issues governing admission to law colleges. The petitioner said she moved the PIL after reading a report regarding the new rule on age of admission in TOI recently. “The very upholders of law and legal rights are now grossly violating a citizen’s fundamental rights,” the PIL said. She pointed out that the old rules contemplated even the setting up of a correspondence course in law studies to widen the student base. The old regulations “expected” that “universities and colleges in the country will continue to impart liberal education in law and expand it to large sections of people by conducting correspondence programmes if necessary”. THE AGE ISSUE * Those over 20 years of age are barred from the five-year integrated law degree which one joins after the HSC exam (22 years in case of SC/ST) * Those over 30 years are barred from the three-year LLB degree course that one can join after completing a bachelor’s degree in any faculty (35 yrs in case of SC/ST) * There is no age bar abroad for legal studies * The state government is introducing an age bar for other professional studies as well from 2011-12

Court raps cops for inaction in youth’s death
5 Mar 2009, 0002 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday rapped the Mumbai police for its tardy investigations into the death of a 24-year-old youth, whose body was found in his car at Borivli on November 2, 2008. Jeevan Dudhane was found dead soon after he attended the the bachelor’s party of a friend. Hearing a petition filed by the youth’s father Rajaram Dudhane, a civil contractor, a division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi directed the police to produce all files in the case. “What sort of investigation was done by the police?” the judges asked, when it was pointed out that Jeevan’s phone had photographs of his friends that were taken in the wee hours of the morning – some time before his body was found. “The police haven’t even seized the mobile phone. If the accused had got their hands on the phone, they would have destroyed it,” the judges said. Jeevan resided at the posh Moti Apartments on Devidas Lane in Borivli. His body was found in his car outside his friend Kartik’s building at Yogi Nagar, also in Borivli. According to the family, Jeevan had gone to attend the bachelor’s party of a friend at Hotel Sea Princess in Juhu the previous night. “The death was mysterious and the family suspects foul play,” said advocate Mallika Ingale, advocate for the Dudhane family. Additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal told the court that a forensic report of the body had revealed that Jeevan was under the influence of alcohol. “The cause of death is being investigated,” said Kejriwal. Advocate Ingale, however, pointed out that the police had not registered a first information report (FIR) despite a complaint lodged by the family four months ago. The Dudhane family has named four of Jeevan’s friends as suspects, including the son of a prominent builder. Besides the photos taken on his cellphone hours before his death, the advocate also said that Jeevan’s shirt was missing when his body was found.
“The police has not taken cognisance of the case with an intention to screen the offenders who belong to very affluent families with tremendous influence over the police machinery,” the petition stated, adding, “Inaction on the part of the police has given ample time to the culprits to destroy evidence in the case.” The court has asked the assistant commissioner of police to remain present in court on the next day of hearing. The judges also directed the police to furnish the interrogation reports of Jeevan’s friends who were at the party. “Submit them to narco-analysis if the need arises,” the judges said.

NHRC can probe Batla encounter: HC
5 Mar 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday gave the go ahead to the National Human Rights Commission to go ahead with its probe into the Batla House encounter. HC’s green signal came after it realised that the NHRC had kept proceedings on hold because the HC was seized of the matter. The human rights body was impleaded in the case on the last date of hearing. During Wednesday’s hearing when an HC division bench sought the status of probe from the NHRC lawyer, the latter replied it had not gone ahead with its probe because HC was seized of the issue. But HC cleared all doubts and said it had made it clear in many previous orders that NHRC has got the machinery to conduct the inquiry. “We thought you were already on it so we refused to express any opinion till now. Anyway, we want you to go ahead,” the court noted. HC also wondered if the LG can ask Delhi police not to follow NHRC guidelines which make it mandatory for a magisterial inquiry after an encounter. The court wanted to know from NHRC if its guidelines of conducting a magisterial inquiry into encounter cases could be followed in the Jamia Nagar incident despite the government being unwilling to hold one. “What is your stand on conducting inquiry in the case? Would you allow your guidelines not to be followed if the executive (government) decides against it?” HC asked when the commission said that the LG has decided against holding a magisterial inquiry in the case. HC then asked NHRC to furnish a status report on the complaint filed before it questioning the genuiness of the encounter. 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 Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid were killed and two others, Mohd Saif and Zeeshan, were arrested from the Batla House area. The incident took place a week after serial blasts rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.

High court seeks mining lease details
5 Mar 2009, 0220 hrs IST, TNN
Bangalore: The high court on Tuesday directed the government to provide all details of the mining lease granted during former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s tenure, apart from submitting original records pertaining to non-consideration of 45 mining lease applications wherein Kabini Minerals was favoured at the then CM’s instance. A division Bench headed by chief justice P D Dinakaran also asked the additional solicitor general representing the Centre to give details by March 11 about the condition rules and regulations governing grant of mining lease and the action to be taken against parties who violate the terms. The court also wanted to know how many leases have been issued by the present government and whether the policy guidelines have been adhered to or not. The single Bench had quashed the CM’s recommendation for granting mining lease to Kabini Minerals. In a related development, the same Bench ordered notices to both the central and state governments on PIL seeking ban on issuing fresh mining lease and lease renewals to those who don’t own a steel industry and also for curbing ore exports. In his PIL, Sathyamoorty of Bangalore claimed: “In 2007-08 , thanks to 120m tonnes of iron ore exports, the mining industry made a gain of a whopping Rs 60,000 crore. “But domestic consumption that was in the region of 55% has shrunk to 42%. Though they get Rs 5,000 per tonne in the international market, they pay only at a range between Rs 15-27 per tonne as royalty. The government has not heeded to the applications of domestic steel companies for captive mining… Even in Karnataka, which has 1,150m tonnes of ore deposits, 400m tonnes are being exploited.”

HC adjourns hearing on Banerjee panel report
5 Mar 2009, 0214 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : Gujarat High Court on Wednesday adjourned to March 18 hearing on Centre’s appeal seeking tabling of UC Banerjee Committee report on Godhra train burning incident in Parliament. After going through bulky records of the case, division Bench of Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi deferred proceedings after the original petitioner Neelkanth Bhatia’s lawyer sought adjournment. However, chief justice was quick to remark that there would not be any parliamentary session after declaration of general elections. Therefore, there is no question of placing the report before polls. A single judge had in 2006 ruled that constitution of the committee, that dubbed Godhra carnage as an accident and not a terror conspiracy, was unconstitutional as Nanavati-Shah Commission was already probing the case. The Centre had then challenged the decision before a division Bench. Later, Centre also requested high court to give permission to table the report in Parliament with a condition that it wouldn’t be implemented. However, proceedings in this case haven’t been taking place for quite sometime. Last month, Centre moved Supreme Court with the same request and apex court directed HC to decide the case within six weeks.

HC frees pregnant Bangladeshi’ detained in police station
5 Mar 2009, 0209 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad : A slumdweller residing on Sabarmati riverside near Nehru Bridge, Zamir Shaikh’s (24) struggle to free his pregnant wife from custody of the city police ended on Wednesday. His wife Anjuman (19) was illegally’ detained in Karanj police station with her parents and brother since last November on suspicion that they were Bangladeshis. Anjuman’s father Maqsood Shaikh, mother Rabia and elder brother Munir Hussain were called for interrogation on November 22 last year because they were suspected to be Bangladeshis residing illegally in India. Police did not lodge any offence against the family but kept them in the police station since. Zamir, who fell in love with Anjuman and married her last April, filed a petition in Gujarat High Court which granted her freedom on Wednesday. During final arguments, Zamir’s advocate MM Shaikh cited constitutional articles on equality and liberty and produced Anjuman’s school leaving certificates and voter identity card. Shaikh also urged court to consider her advanced state of pregnancy. Police filed an affidavit citing a notification of 1960 empowering them to restrain movement of a foreign national under the Foreigners Act. Cops also claimed that after a confidential report, six agencies including CID (IB), BSF, Coast Guard have been interrogating this family. Police justified Anjuman’s detention in the police station saying, only Anjuman’s movement is restricted’. But Justice AS Dave, who heard this case, was not convinced with police’s stand and ordered the girl be freed immediately, particularly because she was pregnant. Court also observed that their detention in police station cannot be defined as restricted movement’. However, court has released Anjuman on a condition that if and when the Centre orders for deportation of this family, she will have to come back to police. For now, Zamir, who survives by selling ready-made garments is looking forward to life. Distributing sweets, he said, “First, I will have to take her to a hospital.”

Blow to prosecution in Chhoto Angaria case
5 Mar 2009, 0103 hrs IST, TNN
MIDNAPORE: In what came as a surprise to Trinamool Congress supporters present in the court on Wednesday, Rama Prasad Tewari, Trinamool Congress state general secretary and a witness to the Chhoto Angaria case, could not identify chief complainant Bakhtar Mandal’s signature. Tewari’s silence came in handy to the prime accused Tapan Ghosh and Sukur Ali, both CPM district committee members, against whom Bakhtar had complained to Garbeta police after the ghastly incident in January 2001. Eleven Trinamool supporters had been burnt alive while they were at a meeting inside a hut, allegedly by CPM men led by the accused. Replying to CBI counsel Tapas Basu’s queries at the special court in Midnapore, Tewari admitted that Bakhtar had come to his house and reported to him about the incident. But when the counsel pointed to the papers carrying two signatures and asked Tewari if they were Bakhtar’s, he said: “I am unable to identify them because Bakhtar did not sign anything in front of me.” The CBI counsel claimed Tewari chose to go silent under pressure. “We’ll take other means to identify Bakhtar’s signature,” he said. Priyabrata Dutta, the then fifth judicial magistrate, who recorded the statement under Section 154 CrPC and is a witness, was absent from the court.

Bail rejected in fake certificate case
5 Mar 2009, 0444 hrs IST, TNN

PANAJI: A fast track court on Wednesday rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by one Steve Cardoz apprehending arrest by the crime branch for allegedly preparing a fake secondary school certificate for obtaining a passport in 2007. The prosecution pointed out to the court that the accused had produced the fake documents to the passport office for obtaining an “emigration check not required” endorsement on his passport. A complaint was filed by the passport office regarding the forgery. The prosecution pointed out that there are 10 similar cases and in order to bust the racket custodial interrogation of the accused was necessary.

Forensic report awaited in rape case
5 Mar 2009, 0407 hrs IST, Rajinder Nagarkoti, TNN
PANCHKULA: Police are waiting for forensic report from Madhuban in Karnal before taking any action against former Panjab University senator and president of Punjab unit of Bharatiya Janshakti Party (BJS) Pawan Valecha, who allegedly raped his domestic help on Monday. Sources said a delay in the medical test of the victim might work to Valecha’s advantage. A case was registered against him at the Sector-5 police station on Tuesday. Forensic science experts had visited his house in Sector 9 to collect samples. SP Amitabh Dhillon said, “We are investigating every angle in this case.” Sources said police were looking for DNA evidence. They added cops did not have any substantial proof in the case yet. They also said that doctors at Government Hospital, Sector 6, had not found any injuries on the victim’s body. The woman, aged 35, alleged that her medical examination took place 36 hours after the incident. Two helpers working at Valecha’s house had said there was no rape. The victim had said they were present in the house when she was raped. As the case involves a known businessman and politician, police don’t want to take any chances. Valecha also owns the KC Theatre here. The woman had said that she received threats from Valecha and also an offer to pay her if nobody got to know what happened.

‘Violated’ by stepdad, girl recounts horror
5 Mar 2009, 0359 hrs IST, Supriya Bhardwaj, TNN
CHANDIGARH: A few months after the story of a 17-year-old girl who was allegedly raped by her stepfather shocked the city, the ‘victim’ recalled horrifying details of her past in the courtroom on Wednesday. Presently staying at Nari Niketan, the teenaged mother – her baby was allegedly fathered by the accused – narrated her ordeal, claiming she was repeatedly raped by her stepdad, Chander Pal, 35. A labourer, Pal, who is a resident of Rajiv Colony in Sector 38 (W), married the victim’s mother when the girl was three years old. The minor’s mother allegedly committed suicide after she learned of Pal’s extramarital affair. ‘‘The victim informed the court that she was 12 when Pal first violated her. She claimed he used to brutally thrash her and threatened to kill her,’’ said a court source. An FIR was registered under Sections 376 (rape) and 506 (criminal intimidation) IPC on October 3, 2008, on the complaint of girl’s neighbour. At that time, the ‘victim’ was almost six months pregnant. ‘‘She said she had become pregnant after Pal repeatedly raped her,’’ the source added. After charges were framed against Pal on February 13, the case came up for hearing for the first time before court of additional district and sessions judge Raj Shekhar Attri on Wednesday. The victim’s statement was recorded by the court, which fixed the trial on day-to-day basis.

Police forward blood samples for DNA testing
5 Mar 2009, 0420 hrs IST, TNN
PANCHKULA: To ascertain facts relating to alleged murder of Panchkula-based financier Vinod Mittal and his four-year-old son Yashan, Panchkula police on Wednesday sent blood samples collected from Santro car recovered from Hanumangarh in Rajasthan, for DNA test in Madhuban forensic lab in Karnal. Meanwhile, Panchkula police on Wednesday conducted DNA test of Ved Prakash Mittal, father of Vinod Mittal, in Madhuban in Karnal. Police would later compare it with samples collected from the car to arrive at a conclusion. Parents of the financier were suspecting that their son and grandson could be alive and the accused were misleading the police. To ascertain this, SP Panchkula directed forwarding of the DNA samples. On the other hand, SP Amitabh Dhillon told The Times of India that a team of divers is still trying to locate the bodies. Regarding ransom call made by the accused to the family members, he said during interrogation of the accused, nothing of the sort has come out yet. Mittal’s relatives on Wednesday went along with a team of divers to Karnal and nearby areas of Delhi. But after a day’s effort by divers, they didn’t find any body.

Two acquitted for attempt to murder
5 Mar 2009, 0439 hrs IST, TNN
The court of additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi acquitted Harsharan and Ankur in an attempt to murder case which had taken place in October 2005. An FIR was registered under Section 307 of Indian Penal Code along with various provisions of the Arms Act in Sector 3 police station. The duo, who was accompanied by two others, had an altercation with few members of Chandigarh Club and later one of them fired at complainant Ravinder Pal. It was in January 2009 that the accused were chargesheeted by the court.

HC’s ministerial officers plan stir
5 Mar 2009, 0329 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court Ministerial Officers’ Association has decided to resort to agitation after Holi festival (vacation) in protest against the state government’s decision not to pay the salary and benefits recommended by the Sixth Pay Revision Commission to them. The state Cabinet had on December 31, 2008 decided to give new pay-scales and benefits to HC’s ministerial officers on the basis of Shetty Commission report. “The Shetty Commission report is applicable for payment of salary and benefits to the members of judicial service and superior judicial service only,” said ministerial officers’ association general secretary Kashi Nath Shukla. He told TOI that Justice Aftab Alam Pay Fitment committee had in 1999 held that the high court ministerial officers and staff should be given the same scale of pay and benefits as given to the secretariat officers and staff which they were earlier getting. He said the registrar general of Patna High Court has already written to the state finance secretary requesting him for modification in the state Cabinet resolution. Shukla said the HC’s ministerial staff, to begin with, would wear black badges followed by demonstration on the high court premises during lunch time.

Speedy trial led to conviction of many criminals
5 Mar 2009, 0338 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The continuing speedy trial campaign, in which the state’s police machinery carries out foolproof investigation and also musters deposition of witnesses, led to conviction of 2,555 criminals during January and February this year. The three of the convicted criminals were sentenced to death by the trial courts concerned. Of the criminals convicted during the two-month period, three were sentenced to death by the trial court, while 339 others were served life term. Besides, the court awarded 10-year punishment to 50, and less than 10 years of incarceration to 2,163 criminals, a police department release said. Those who got the death sentence pertain to the Bara massacre, which the Maoists had engineered on February 12, 1992. Accordingly, the speedy trial of criminals has yielded conviction and incarceration of 31,254 criminals, including the death sentence served on 86 of them, since 2006. In all, 6,203 got life term, and the court served more than 10 years of punishment on 1,706 criminals.

‘I was gang raped’
5 Mar 2009, 0146 hrs IST, TNN
AJMER: A Dalit woman, who was stripped and beaten up by the villagers of Moyada in Masuda block of Ajmer last week, has alleged that the heads of community had not only publicly humiliated her but also gang raped her in the name of punishment that night. She moved an application in a court in Beawar describing her trauma. “They raped me for hours in the village and not a single man came to my rescue,” she said. She wrote in the application that after humiliating her openly in the village in the night, she was taken to a room where Bhanwar Singh, Hari Singh and Puna Ram raped her for more than three hours. They also put chilly powder in her eyes. Meanwhile, others were standing outside the door and keeping a watch on the surroundings to ensure that nobody intervened. The court has ordered registration of rape cases against the accused and asked the police to arrest them immediately. The woman, a resident of Moyada village, had been charged by her husband Mithu of having illicit relationships with others. On last Thursday, the panchayat of the Bhambi community gathered in the village and they pronounced a verdict that she should be tied by a tree and villagers beat her black and blue. “She came to us and told the reality and we took her to court. The court on Wednesday ordered the arrest of all the accused in the case,” said Ramesh Chandra Bansal, district coordinator of Dalit Adhikar Kendra. He said that they took her for medical examination. “Even I told the facts to the police but they registered a simple case against my husband and in-laws and arrested them but the main accused are roaming free,” she said. When she returned from police station, the main accused approached her and threatened to kill her if she repeat the incident again, she alleged. “I do not want the same thing would repeat with other women and I want Justice.” According to the application, Meena (name changed) wrote that when she was raped in the room by a few people. Just after the day, she moved to her parents house in Makreda village. “The main accused Bhanwar Singh approached her and threatened her family that if she said anything to anyone they would kill her,” she said in the application. “The incident is being hushed up under political pressure and we got the information that two MLAs are trying to help the accused,” said Pushpender Godhra, advocate of the victim. “Police knows everything and are still not taking action against the accused,” said a woman of the village who are terrified by the incident. “The whole village witnessed the incident, but no one is coming out in the open.” On the other hand, police officers denied commenting on it and said that the matter is in the court and they would do whatever they are asked to.

There is too much on my plate, says Joseph
Mayura Janwalkar
Thursday, March 5, 2009 2:20 IST
Mumbai: Chief secretary Johny Joseph, in an affidavit submitted to the Bombay High court on Wednesday, stated that he is a member of over 100 committees and, with the elections approaching, his responsibilities have multiplied.
In a PIL against illegal constructions in Thane, mainly the Vasai-Virar belt, the HC had, on January 28, appointed a committee presided over by Joseph that would have to list the steps to be taken for the removal of over 5 lakh illegal constructions and submit a report in six months.
“I am already a part of more than 100 committees as a member, chairman or head,” Joseph said in his affidavit dated March 3, and added, “The announcement of general elections at the Lok Sabha has increased my responsibilities to a considerable extent.”Joseph, in his affidavit, urged the court to set up the committee under the principal secretary (urban development), TC Benjamin.
“Keeping in view the magnitude of the problem at hand and the time required to be devoted to this work by the head of the committee, it would be administratively more expedient, if the court kindly permits to set up this committee under the chairmanship of principal secretary, urban development department,” Joseph said.
He also stated that the government will set up civic policemen and special police stations for offences like unauthorised constructions and encroachments. He added that the government had also taken a decision to set up special courts for trial of offences under the civic laws and the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act, 1966.
He added that the government had decided to table a bill before the legislature for amending certain provisions of the civic laws and the MRTP Act to make offences of illegal constructions a cognisable offence.
“The state feels that these amendments would make the administrative machinery more accountable which would bolster administrative action against encroachments and illegal construction,” Joseph added.
Uday Warunjikar, advocate for Harit Vasai Sanrakshan Samitee, one of the petitioners, said, “The decision to set up civic police and special police stations will be a milestone in this cause.”

MP High Court issues notices to government, BJP leader
Published: March 5,2009

Jabalpur , Mar 4 Madhya Pradesh High Court today issued notices to the State Government, State BJP chief Narendra Tomar and others on a PIL that alleged unlawful allocation of land to the ruling party.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A K Patnaik and Justice A K Saxena issued the notices during hearing of the PIL filed by two local corporators, Dinesh Yadav and A Khan.
The petition alleged that the government had unlawfully allotted 60,000 sq feet land to the BJP for building its office near Ranital Stadium here.
The PIL said in 2000 the then Congress Government in the state took a decision to give 4,000 to 10,000 sq feet of land to political parties for constructing offices.
But, the petitioners, said the government last year allotted 60,000 sq feet to the BJP on Rs 6 lakh premium, overlooking the ceiling limit of 10,000 sq feet.
Furthermore, the PIL said, 50,000 sq ft of the total land alloted to the BJP had been earmarked for a hostel of Ranital Stadium in the City Development Plan of 2005.
Source: PTI

Parks not for marriages: HC to MCD, DDA–/articleshow/4225115.cms
5 Mar 2009, 0251 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday instructed MCD and DDA to desist from turning parks into community halls for marriage functions. The court also directed DDA to furnish a list of sites allotted to MCD for construction of community halls. Both MCD and DDA were asked to file their affidavits before the court within four weeks. HC’s direction came on a PIL filed by an NGO Patanjali Siksha Sansthan seeking the court’s intervention on the matter. It had claimed that both MCD and DDA were brazenly violating the master plan and allowing misuse of parks. The petitioner alleged that despite repeated orders from the Supreme Court and the high court to maintain the demarcated areas for parks, MCD granted permission for marriage and other social functions in the parks. While hearing the PIL, the Bench pulled up the agency and said: “Do not convert the parks into community halls. Construct more community halls for marriage and other functions.” MCD counsel submitted before the court that the civic body has proposed construction of 55 new halls so that pressure on parks can be eased. He also claimed that more number of halls have been constructed in the past few years. “MCD allows marriages to be held only in 37 parks as there is no community halls in those localities,” MCD counsel said.

PIL against Chawla
5 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Centre may have announced that Naveen Chawla will take over as the next chief election commissioner on April 20 but there is a small hitch — a PIL in the Supreme Court has sought implementation of incumbent CEC N Gopalaswami’s recommendation for removal of Chawla as election commissioner. The PIL does not appear to be a serious challenge to Chawla’s elevation as CEC but the question “what if” will remain till the top court hears the plea filed by United Communist Party of India on March 20, exactly a month before Chawla gets the constitutional post. The petition was mentioned by advocate Sugriv Dubey before a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal on Wednesday. But refusing to hear any argument on it, the Bench posted it for hearing on March 20. The PIL requested the SC to issue a direction to the Centre to implement Gopalaswami’s recommendation for Chawla’s removal. The PIL did not mention the Centre’s subsequent decision to dismiss Gopalaswami’s missive and recommend Chawla’s elevation as CEC to the President. The PIL also said the CEC should be selected as suggested by the Veerappa Moily-headed Administrative Reforms Commission, under which the chief election commissioner should be chosen by a five-member collegium including the PM, Leader of Opposition and Chief Justice of India.

LDA V-C summoned
5 Mar 2009, 0153 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: A division bench of the high court comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Hasnain summoned LDA vice-chairman, Mukesh Meshram for hearing on Thursday. On a PIL preferred by Gomtinagar Jan Kalyan Mahasamiti, BK Singh argued that LDA blocked the tri-roads near Gandhi Setu in Gomtinagar. The act of LDA is against the master plan of the city and is causing inconvenience to public. Threat case: Chief Judicial magistrate, Suresh Chandra, summoned ex-LDA vice-chairman, Ram Bahadur for hearing on March 28 in a threat case. The complainant, a lawyer, Rajendra Prasad Maurya had urged in his complaint that he along with his two clients had approached the V-C on April 17, 2008 to ask him to appear in a case. The V-C demanded Rs 3 lakh from him for settling the matter and on denial threatened him and ordered his guards to push them out of the cabin. The V-C has been summoned for the offences under Sections 504 and 506 of IPC.

HC seeks details of all JSEB members
4 Mar 2009, 2229 hrs IST, TNN
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court on Wednesday asked the state to furnish details of all members of the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB), while hearing on the PIL challenging appointment of board chairman. The PIL, filed by one Sashodhar Mahato, challenging the appointment of JSEB chairman HB Lal came up for hearing in the division bench of Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice DK Sinha. The petitioner said Lal’s appointment was unjustified as he was accused of unlawful appointments of retired executive engineers and other staff, for which former chief secretary VS Dubey had made adverse noting against him in 2001. The court in its earlier hearing of the case sought details of all former chiefs who had served the board and observed that why should not the post of chairman be a tenure post. On Wednesday, the state filed an affidavit of all the former chiefs of the board giving details of their qualifications and the duration they had served as chairman in the state electricity board. The petitioner’s counsel Mahesh Tiwary, argued that Lal had retired in 1978 and had to resign as JSEB chairman after the high court intervention in 2004, which made serious remarks against the functioning of JSEB under his leadership. Appearing for JSEB chairman, Vinod Kanth said Lal was holding the post of chairman which was very much in accordance of statutory provisions and the Jharkhand State Electricity Act does not prohibit a person attaining the age of 80 years to be appointed as the chairman. After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the court in its order sought the details of other board members from the state and adjourned the hearing for March 20.

Gujarat HC to hear CVM case
4 Mar 2009, 2158 hrs IST, TNN
VADODARA: It will take some more time before results of the recently concluded elections at central Gujarat’s richest educational trust Charutar Vidya Mandal (CVM) are declared in the education town of Vallabh Vidyanagar. It was on February 28 that elections for the 11 posts of the trust, including its chairman and 10 council members, were held but counting of the polls and annual general meeting of the trust are awaiting clearance from Gujarat High Court. The HC had fixed Wednesday as the date of hearing of arguments from both sides representing CVM office-bearers and respondent Dilip Patel. The HC posted the matter to March 6 on Wednesday. While CVM’s advocate Dhaval Dave said the court posted the case to March 6 as nobody from the other side turned up for hearing on Tuesday, those fighting the case on behalf of respondent argued that advocate representing CVM office-bearers had submitted a leave note. Elections on February 28 witnessed a direct contest between CVM’s present chairman Dr CL Patel and Bhikhubhai Patel, a CVM member for the past 20 years. Both of them had declared their panels of 10 members each. After the polls, the ballot papers have been sealed and kept in the strong room of ADIT College in New Vallabh Vidyanagar. While restricting counting and AGM of the trust, the High Court had also barred CVM’s office-bearers, including its chairman, president and vice-president, from transacting any business of CVM till further orders.

VMC bid to favour builders under HC scanner
4 Mar 2009, 2158 hrs IST, TNN
AHMEDABAD: Vadodara Municipal Corporation’s bid to help certain builders develop private land and shorten a water channel is now under Gujarat High Court’s scanner. The court has sought explanation from various authorities on the matter. Acting on a PIL filed by local residents, a division bench headed by chief justice KS Radhakrishnan on Tuesday issued notices to the civic body in Vadodara and state government asking them to reply within two weeks. The petitioners have objected to the corporation spending Rs 3.58 crore in turning a 15-m wide flood water channel in Manjalpur area in Vadodara to a five-metre wide underground drainage channel in order to help local builders. The PIL filed through advocate Bipin Mehta claimed that three builders – Akshay Kothari, Tarun Sheth and Punam Patel – had requested Baroda Urban Development Authority to permit them to fill the 15-m water channel and shorten it to five metres. The proposal was forwarded by the civic body to the state government. However, before the state government gave sanction, VMC took the initiative and filled the channel on its own. In its place, it constructed the smaller drainage line so that builders can utilise land properly. In this process, the civic body spent around Rs 3.58 crore, the petitioners have alleged. They have expressed reservations about benefits conceded to the builders even before the state gave the nod for private parties to develop the land. The court has reserved issuance of notice to the private parties till explanations come from the authorities.

Chargesheets against 19 top MC officials
4 Mar 2009, 2105 hrs IST, Manvinder Singh, TNN
LUDHIANA: Taking a serious note of the widespread irregularities in road construction, Punjab local bodies minister Manoranjan Kalia has issued charge sheets to 19 senior officials of the municipal corporation’s engineering branch for executing substandard work. A few months ago the minister had asked the local bodies department’s vigilance cell to conduct checks on the work done on the city’s major streets, including Dhandran Road, the street in front of the Civil Hospital, Hambra Road, Gill Road and the road from Kochar market to Pakhowal. Also, Punjab Engineering College as well as the vigilance Cell had taken samples of the roads. During laboratory tests of the samples certain discrepancies in the construction quality were found, following which Kalia had ordered the department to issue chargesheets to all the concerned senior officials of the MC’s engineering branch who had been involved in the projects. Accordingly, two superintendent engineers, 4 corporation engineers, 8 assistant corporation engineers, 4 junior engineers as well as the civic body’s DCFA have been issued chargesheets. Talking to TOI, AK Prabhakar, chief vigilance officer of the local bodies department, confirmed 19 senior MC officials had been issued chargesheets by the minister. “Strict action would soon be taken against these officials. Following the minister’s directive we are making every effort to ensure quality control in road construction.”

Constables jubilant over HC verdict
4 Mar 2009, 2226 hrs IST, TNN
ALLAHABAD: It was a seen to be believed situation outside the Allahabad High Court premises on Wednesday noon when hundreds of Uttar Pradesh Police constables celebrated the verdict reinstating their services which had been terminated by the Bahujan Samaj Party government. As soon the judgment came out, there was a marked jubilation among the constables. They distributing sweets and smeared each others’ faces with colours. Heavy security arrangements had been made in and outside the court premises keeping in view the sensitivity of the situation as the terminated constables had started arriving in the city from Tuesday night. Personnel of the local intelligence unit too had been pressed into service to gauge the mood of the constables and sound an alert in case there was a possibility of any violent outburst on part of the constables. Meanwhile, district president of the Samajwadi Party, Kamal Singh Yadav while hailing the verdict stated that during the appointment of constables, which had been made during the regime of Mulayam Singh Yadav, transparency had been maintained and it was ensured that only genuine and deserving candidates were inducted into the police force. Yadav pointed out that the step of state chief minister Mayawati was politically motivated and hence the judiciary saw reason in the appeal of constables. He warned that people will not forget the atrocities of the BSP government and pay it back in equal terms during the next assembly elections.

Rapists sentenced to 7 years RI
5 Mar 2009, 1957 hrs IST, TNN
KANPUR: A fast track court of Kanpur Nagar on Thursday convicted two rapists and sentenced them to seven years of rigorous imprisonment. The two are Ram Sumer, a resident of village Chauganpur under Maharajpur police, and Sanjay alias Dhawan, a resident of Safipur. According to prosecution, they had kidnapped a minor girl of Village Chauganpur on July 24, 2002. The police had arrested Sanjay and recovered the girl after one month. The girl informed that the two had kept her at different places in the state and physically exploited her.

Sacked Assam minister gets bail
4 Mar 2009, 2305 hrs IST, TNN
GUWAHATI: Sacked education minister Ripun Bora got a reprieve on Wednesday when the Kamrup chief judicial magistrate granted him bail in the murder case of tea tribe leader Daniel Topno in 2000. Two months ago, the CBI had chargesheeted the leader accusing him of being involved in the crime. The charges brought by the central investigating agency were based on a confessional statement by Ankur Nath one of the co-accused in the murder case. The CBI had also identified Pulin Phukan as the third conspirator. “It was the first hearing on the case and the court granted him (Ripun) bail. The court has fixed the next date of hearing on March 16,” said Bora’s counsel Angshuman Bora. Ripun said, “This is a false, fabricated and political campaign against me and the people of the state know it. Two agencies have investigated the case. While one has given me a clean chit, the other has implicated me. Even Gauhati High Court had earlier ruled that there was no evidence against me in the murder case.” The former minister was produced before the court by CBI last year seeking permission for a polygraph test. He is also facing separate charges under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC besides the Prevention of Corruption Act, also brought by the investigative agency, after his arrest on June 2 last year for ***allegedly*** trying to bribe a CBI official investigating the Topno murder case. On June 7, a New Delhi court sent Ripun and his two associates to Tihar jail. After almost two months in the jail, Ripun was freed on bail by a special court in New Delhi on August 5 last year. His two associates in the graft case businessman Ramesh Maheswari and journalist Mukul Pathak were also granted bail.

India has 34 births, 10 deaths every minute: Report
5 Mar 2009, 2049 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: At least 34 births and 10 deaths are registered in the country every minute, a census body on Thursday revealed. According to the Registrar General of India, a mind boggling 49,481 births and 14,475 deaths are registered in the country every day but the figure accounts for less than 70 per cent of the actual data. It also revealed that even though registration of births is an universal right of the child under a UN Convention, to which India is a signatory, the current level of birth registration is 68 per cent. The death registration in the country stood at 63 per cent of the actual occurrence. While states like Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh have made considerable improvement in the last four years, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar lagged behind, Registrar General of India D K Sikri told a national conference of Chief Registrars of Births and Deaths. Presenting the statistics at the two day meet, Sikri said the National Population Policy 2000 has mandated 100 per cent level of registration of deaths and births by 2010. He said the total number of Registration Units in the country was 2.55 lakh in which 18.6 million births and 5.28 million deaths were registered during 2006.

HC directs Sunny, Karisma to appear in 11-year-old case
5 Mar 2009, 1650 hrs IST, PTI
JAIPUR: Staying an arrest warrant against actors Sunny Deol and Karisma Kapoor, Rajashthan High Court today directed them to appear before a Railway court and submit bail bonds within a month in connection with an 11-year -old case of disrupting rail traffic during a film shoot. Dismissing a petition by the actors that was pending for last 11 years, Justice Mahesh Chandra Sharma directed Deol and Kapoor to appear before the Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate (Railway) Court Jaipur and furnish a person bail bond of Rs. 25,000 for their alleged non-appearance before the court despite a warrant being issued against them. The two actors, fight master Tinu Verma and Satish Shah were accused of illegally entering Narena railway station of Phulera in Ajmer division of Railway for shoot of the film ‘Bajrang’ and pulling the chain of a train in 1997. The unit was shooting at village Sanvarda when the director followed by large crowd entered the platform as soon as the train was about to stop there. When the train was leaving, the unit members allegedly pulled the emergency chain, delaying it for 25 minutes and disrupting rail traffic. A report was lodged with the Police station GPR, Phulera and an FIR was filed against the film crew. The ACJM (Railway) court Jaipur took congisance of the matter and issued a warrant against the accused.

SC stay on FIRs against cops a relief for 26/11 commandos
5 Mar 2009, 0000 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed an Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing registration of FIRs against police officers involved in any operation leading to death of suspected terrorists or naxalites. The HC order virtually meant that FIRs should also be registered against the commandos who cleansed the Taj and Trident hotels by eliminating terrorists who launched the audacious Mumbai attacks on November 26 last year. This would also mean that the personnel who neutralised terrorists during the Parliament attack could be booked, senior advocate Harish Salve said. With Salve raising these fundamental questions over a five-judge Bench judgment of the Andhra Pradesh HC, an apex court Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal took little time to stay the HC order and issue notice to the state government. The petition filed by AP Police Officers Association raised some important objections to the HC order as its members were involved in anti-naxal operations that often led to sudden ambushes by naxalites and prompt response from the personnel. The HC, acting on a PIL filed by AP Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) had ordered that in the course of exchange of fire between police officers and members of various extremist organisations resulting in death of such members, it was required to register a case of homicide against such officers who had acted in the course of duty or where the police officers claimed the right of self-defence. The plea of acting in the course of duty and self-defence could be urged before the courts, the HC had said and added that the investigating officer could not close any criminal complaint merely on these grounds. The petitioner, which had members from the ranks of constables to inspectors, said that naxalite movement started in the state in 1969 and till date, anti-naxal operations had claimed 551 police personnel and 2,928 civilians. Salve said the HC order threatening police officers with FIRs for encounter deaths would deter action against naxalites and other extremist elements.

IMH has the second highest number of deaths’
Ranjitha Gunasekaran
First Published : 05 Mar 2009 03:05:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 05 Mar 2009 08:34:03 AM IST
CHENNAI: The Institute of Mental Health, Chennai, is second only to Thiruvananthapuram in the number of patient deaths, according to Dr Lakshmidhar Mishra, Special Rapporteur, National Human Rights Commission.
Participating in a workshop on ‘Human Rights and Mental Health’ recently, Mishra, whose report on IMH was submitted to the institute and the Tamil Nadu Government last August, told The New Indian Express that in spite of such a high death rate, there was no system for death audits.
“NHRC guidelines require a death audit, as it is important to know how and why patients are dying. IMH does not have such a system and, in fact, in many of the deaths I consider the institute culpable of negligence,” he said.
While there were redeeming features at the IMH, there was a lot of work to be done. “For instance, when I visited last year, dinner was being served at 4.30 pm with breakfast coming only 14 hours later. I recommended that the timing be changed to 6.30 to 7 pm.” (The change was made recently when NGOs raised the issue again.)
“The physical infrastructure needs to be replaced as the present structures are old and threaten the safety of inmates,” he said. “The ECT and EEG machines are not functional and the ECT room is not fully air-conditioned. Also, they do not have a full-time anaesthesiologist.”
Patient records were not computerised. There should also be a general health screening on admission. Food was served in open spaces, which could lead to contamination, he said.

No schools for coastal kids
Cuttack, March 4: The Orissa State Human Rights Commission (OSHRC) has ordered an administrative inquiry into how hundreds of children in the Satavaya area of Kendrapada district were denied academic opportunities.
The commission had taken up the allegation after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) referred to it a petition seeking its intervention for protecting the children’s Right to Education.
Committee for Legal Aid to Poor (CLAP), a Cuttack-based legal advocacy outfit, had moved the NHRC after a fact-finding team constituted by it under its liberated childhood movement programme found how the children of the Satavaya area had no access to primary or secondary education.
“The commission has directed the commissioner-cum-secretary of the department of school and mass education to submit a report within three weeks,” CLAP executive vice-president Bikash Das told The Telegraph today.
A cluster of villages — Satavaya, Balisahi, Rabindrapalli, Magarkanda, Kanhupur and Barahipur over 50km from Rajnagar block headquarters in Kendrapara district — have received scant attention from the education authorities both at the district and state level. The villages are located on the edge of Bay of Bengal.
“Over 520 children in the age group of 6-14 are deprived of quality primary, upper primary and secondary education. There is no high school within a distance of 10 to 18km,” Das said.
“The area is surrounded by the sea and the Bhitarkanika National Park. The Baunsapada river, 50m wide, is a natural barrier for the children to walk over 10 to 18km a day to pursue secondary education,” he added.
Das said the report of the fact-finding team indicated that there were only two primary schools for all the six clusters of villages. Both primary schools had a one-room (20ftx10ft) makeshift structure which was used as classrooms for students of standard I to V.
There was only one teacher at the Magarakanda primary school with 220 children from classes I to V. At Barahipur’s Panchbarahi Nodal U.P. School, there were three teachers for 300 children of classes I to VII.
There was no high school within a distance of 10-18km. “Frequent tidal waves make communication difficult. During the rainy season, the black soil melts and therefore, the area is cut off,” the report submitted to the NHRC said.

Satbhaya children deprived of education, SHRC seeks report
By chennaivision at 5 March, 2009, 4:10 pm
Kendrapada, The Orissa State Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the School and Mass Education department on the allegation that the children of Satbhaya, a sea erosion prone village, have been deprived of education.
The SHRC asked the Department to submit a detailed inquiry report within three weeks while forwarding the petition received from one Bikas Das, Director of ”Mukta Saisaba Andolan”.
Sources said some NGO activists and social workers under the banner of the Mukta Saisaba Andolana visited the Satabhaya area and during their investigation, came to know that an estimated 520 children were being deprived of education every year in the Satabhaya gram panchayat.
Children between the age group of six- and 14 years from Satabhaya, Rabindrapalli, Magarkanda, Kanhupur and Barahipur villages under+ Satabhaya Gram Panchayat were unable to attend schools.
It was also revealed that there was no high school within a radius of 10-18 km from the Satabhaya Gram Panchayat. The Magarkanda Primary School and Barahipur Panchubarahi Primary School were the only two schools functioning in the area for the children of six villages under the Satabhaya Gram panchayat.
The Mukta Saisaba Andolana Director had also brought to notice of the NHRC the non-availability of adequate classrooms in the two existing primary schools.
Each of the two primary schools have been running in a single classroom and a single teache has been entrusted to run the Magarkanda Primary School having 220 students.
Mr Das alleged that because of non-availability of schools in the area, the children were forced work in several factories and go outside for jobs.
The sources said the NHRC, realising the gravity and importance of the petition, forwarded it to the State Human Rights commission with a direction to look into the allegation and take necessary steps.


4 Responses

  1. […] legal news 05.03.2009 Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)LA: Congress Checks Conditions In New OrleansRed wine, success! […]

  2. Please ask Yasmin Tavaria to modifiy her PIL regarding Law Education Bill of Bar council of India as follows. As present BCI does not allow Correspondence courses for LLB. While There is no practical involved in a Law courses and Government expects every Citizen must be law abiding, why should BCI should restrict students to have Correspondence course in LLB

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