LEGAL NEWS 07.03.2009

Justice Saikia takes over as Sikkim HC Chief Justice
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200903071313.htm
Gangtok (PTI): Justice Aftab Hussain Saikia on Saturday took over as the Chief Justice of Sikkim High Court.
Governor B.P. Singh administered the oath of office at a function held at Raj Bhawan this morning.
Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling, council of ministers and officials of the state government and Sikkim High Court were present at the swearing in ceremony.
Justice Saikia was the senior most judge of the Guwahati High Court.

Discrimination against women weakens society: UN
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/001200903071553.htm
New York (PTI): Deeply rooted discrimination against women in political, economic, social and cultural spheres weakens society as a whole, the UN human rights chief has said on the occasion of International Women’s Day.
Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, noted that the negative effects of discrimination are magnified by conflict as well as natural and man-made disasters such as the current economic crisis.
The effect of meltdown in global markets and financial institutions and ensuing recession is likely to have a disproportionate impact on millions of women, who already formed the majority of the poor and disenfranchised even before the crisis developed.
“Unless gender-sensitive policies are adopted, I fear we may well witness a serious setback in areas where progress has taken decades to achieve,” she said in message for the Day, observed annually on March 8.
In an opinion piece published in today’s edition of USA Today, Ms. Pillay said that “growing up in apartheid South Africa as a person of colour and raised in poverty, I had experienced gender, race and class discrimination.” But, “I have (also) seen the power of ordinary people who have stood up against injustices they faced and triumphed,” stressed the High Commissioner.

Complaint filed with EC on Babbar’s appointment
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/002200903071860.htm
New Delhi (PTI): A compliant has been filed with the Election Commission seeking a stay on the appointment of former Congress MLA Tajdar Mr. Babbar as the Vice Chairperson of New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) claiming that it was in violation of model code of conduct.
Balkrishan Gautam, who claims to be a BJP member, alleged that the decision to appoint Mr. Babbar was taken by Union Home Ministry on March 4 after the schedule for Lok Sabha elections were announced and the decision was communicated to NDMC at 7 PM on the day. “The said decision will influence the voters of particular community at large which is against the code of conduct after declaration of election,” Mr. Gautam said in his complaint.
He demanded that the Election Commission take necessary action in this regard. The Commission had received a similar complaint from one Bimla who claimed that the appointment was “politically motivated”.

Defamation case: Court issues summon to Gadkari
http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200903071531.htm
Mumbai (PTI): A magistrate’s court here on Saturday issued summon to BJP State President Nitin Gadkari in a criminal defamation case filed by former Maharashtra Chief Minister and Congress leader Vilasrao Deshmukh.
“Gadkari will have to appear personally in 29th metropolitan magistrate’s court on June 6, the next date of hearing,” said advocate Pradip Patil, representing Deshmukh.
Mr. Gadkari on December 18 had alleged in a press conference at Nagpur that during Deshmukh’s term as chief minister, regular process was bypassed in awarding tenders for Sion-Panvel highway expansion project to Indiabulls last year.
Mr. Deshmukh’s son Amit, and Congress leader Ahmed Patel’s son had stake in this company, Mr. Gadkari had alleged.
The decision to award the tender was not put before the cabinet, Mr. Gadkari had claimed.
In the criminal case filed before Magistrate’s court, Mr. Deshmukh has refuted all the allegations saying that neither his son nor Mr. Patel’s son had any interest in Indiabulls and the procedure regarding the contract had been approved by the cabinet in October 2006.

Unruly lawyers started violence, police exceeded limits: Srikrishna
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030757420100.htm
J. Venkatesan
Soft-pedalling policy of Madras High Court judges led to the present situations; report submitted to Supreme Court
New Delhi: Justice B.N. Srikrishna, retired Supreme Court judge, has blamed lawyers for behaving as “hooligans and miscreants” and provoking the police to resort to a lathicharge on the Madras High Court premises on February 19, and also strongly indicted the police for exceeding the limits in controlling the situation.
In his interim report submitted to a three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Srikrishna said: “In my view, the circumstances facing the police on the fateful day without doubt justified quelling the unruly and rioting mob of lawyers by use of force, but the police went beyond what was permissible use of force.”
The report said: “There is no doubt that the violence was started by the unruly mob of lawyers, some of whom were even dressed in robes and bands, but once the police got into action, there was no stopping them. It was as if the police force, as a body, went berserk. The lathicharge continued irrespective of whether a lawyer was a miscreant or otherwise.”
Though the Srikrishna Committee was asked to name the police officers who had given orders for the lathicharge, the report says: “Unless a detailed inquiry is made into the role played by each of the lawyers in the rioting mob as well as each of the constables and/or officers of the police force, it will be difficult to pinpoint the responsibility on the individuals.”
Justice Srikrishna said: “The agitated lawyers whom I interviewed were demanding the scalp of the DGP and other senior police officers.” He pointed out that as a result of the Supreme Court order on February 26, four officers were already transferred from Chennai. “As far as the Commissioner of Police [K. Radhakrishnan] is concerned, I do not think that any blame can be laid at his door. He was actually present at the spot only after 17.14 hours.”
Justice Srikrishna said: “My view, albeit prima facie, is that the soft-pedalling policy followed by the Madras High Court judges has led to the present piquant situations. The lawyers appear to have been encouraged by the wrong signals sent out and seemed to think that they could do anything and get away within the court premises. Regretfully, far from being the upholders of the rule of law, the lawyers seem to have behaved as hooligans and miscreants.”
The incidents that transpired over the last month or so “make it clear that the lawyers seemed to be under the impression that, because they are officers of the court, they are immune from the process of law and that they could get away with any unlawful act without being answerable to the law enforcing agency. It is most unfortunate that the soft policy adopted by the Acting Chief Justice of the Madras High Court and its administration sent out clearly a wrong message that encouraged and emboldened the lawyers into becoming lawbreakers.”
Tracing the sequence of events, the report pointed out that a large number of police officers were present in the court apprehending some untoward incident in view of the presence of Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy (in connection with a case). Around 2.20 p.m., some of the accused advocates, who claimed to have come to the B-4 Police Station on the court campus, refused to surrender and allow themselves to be taken into custody, and entered into an argument with the police officers insisting that Dr. Swamy be arrested first, after which alone they could be arrested. This led to a wordy duel.
The report said that when the police started pushing the accused advocates into a police van, the mob of lawyers swelled. They started shouting derogatory and provocative slogans and making aggressive gestures at the police. At 5.30 p.m., the unruly mob of lawyers was seen breaking open the police station and setting it on fire.
“At this time there appears to have been an order for lathicharge and the policemen are seen chasing the mob with their lathis and charging at them. Once the policemen were given the order to lathicharge the unruly mob of lawyers to quell them, it would appear that the police interpreted it as a licence to unleash mayhem at will. The policemen behaved in the same fashion as the unruly mob of lawyers.”
The report said: “The policemen, who undoubtedly had lawful authority to subdue the rioting mob, are seen using force disproportionate to the occasion and even after some of the rioters had actually been overpowered and apprehended. I noticed extensive damage to the court’s properties. The court staff were unanimous that all this damage was inflicted by the policemen.”
The report said: “It would be ideal if the Advocates Act is amended to ensure a better disciplinary mechanism of the profession of law, since it affects not only lawyers but also litigants, the administration of justice in the country and finally the rule of law itself.”

“It is open to High Court to order judicial probe”
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030757430100.htm
J. Venkatesan
Supreme Court adjourns petitions filed by advocates
With this report we can’t order suspension of police officers, says CJI
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday left it to the Madras High Court and the Tamil Nadu government to take appropriate action on the basis of Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee’s report on the February 19 clash between lawyers and the police on the High Court premises.
With Justice Srikrishna informing the three-Judge Bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan that he was not inclined to continue the probe further, the Bench said it would be open to the High Court to order a fresh judicial inquiry commission, in consultation with the State government, under the Commissions of Inquiry Act.
The Bench that included Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice J.M. Panchal adjourned by four weeks petitions filed by advocates R. Vaigai and others demanding action against police officers responsible for the attack on lawyers.
Findings disputed
Ms. Vaigai disputed the findings of the Justice Srikrishna report giving a clean chit to Chennai Police Commissioner K. Radhakrishnan and said even according to the FIRs registered by the police the Commissioner was present on the High Court premises prior to 4.30 p.m. “But, the report says he was not present till 5.14 pm.” She said from day one “they [State] were not willing to name the officers responsible for the lathi charge and the report is also silent on this aspect.”
Senior counsel K. Subramanian said since the report was based on doctored video tapes, it should not be relied upon. He said under the Police Standing Orders and the City Police Act, lathi charge could be ordered only by senior police officers. Once the committee recorded a finding about the presence of senior police officers, they should be held responsible for violating the provisions of the Standing Orders.
Senior police officers, including the Commissioner, should be placed under suspension to facilitate a free and fair enquiry.
He said the uncharitable remarks in the report against the acting Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court should be expunged.
Senior counsel R. Balasubramanian, appearing for the Madras Bar Association, also wanted the police officers to be placed under suspension. The CJI responded saying, “With this report we can’t order suspension.”
Tamil Nadu Advocates Association president S. Prabhakaran said “it will be difficult to bring back normality and conducive atmosphere without suspending or taking some action against the Commissioner and other police officers named in the report.”
He said there was no need to appoint one more inquiry commission as it would also meet the same fate.
The CJI suggested setting up a panel of senior advocates K. Parasaran, Fali Nariman and K.K. Venugopal to visit Chennai and talk to the lawyers to sort out the issues. Mr. Prabhakaran said the visit of the panel would not serve any purpose and said the matter should be referred back to the High Court, which was seized of the matter. However, R. Karuppan, advocate, welcomed the constitution of such a panel.
The CJI told the leaders of the Bar: “The judicial system is completely paralysed in Tamil Nadu. You think of the plight of the litigants and resume work.”
Madras High Court Advocates Association president Paul Kanakaraj; Women Lawyers Association president K. Santha Kumari; Elephant G. Rajendran of the Madras High Court Practising Advocates Association; and Loganathan, representing the Madras Bar Association, were unanimous that normality could not be restored without taking action against the erring police officers.
Solicitor General G.E. Vahanvati and Senior counsel Ashok Desai appeared for the State and Mr. Venugopal for the High Court.

Teachers get life term for Patan gang-rape
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030758130100.htm
Manas Dasgupta
AHMEDABAD: A fast track court on Friday sentenced to life imprisonment six teachers of the Patan Government Women’s Teacher Training College in north Gujarat for repeatedly gang-raping a Dalit student.
The ghastly incident came to light in February 2008 when the 19-year-old victim fell unconscious in the college and reported the traumatic incidents to the authorities and the police. Agitated relatives of other girl students and the public ransacked the college and beat up the accused teachers.
Repeated assault
According to the court, Mansinh Parmar, Mahendra Prajapati, Ashwin Parmar, Kiran Patel, Suresh Patel and Atul Patel had sexually assaulted the girl repeatedly between November 2007 and February 2008.
She told the police that the teachers had threatened to fail her in internal assessment and ruin her career if she refused to submit to their lust.
She was frequently called to the college library or other secluded places.
Soon after one such incident of rape, the girl fell unconscious on the campus and was taken to hospital.
A sympathetic teacher then took up her fight and reported the matter to the police. Later several students in the same college and other women’s educational institutions in the State also complained that they too suffered sexual harassment by male teachers from time to time. This forced the government to scrap the internal mark system in the teacher training colleges. It also decided to replace male teachers by women.
The CID (Crime) investigated the case and all the accused admitted to their guilt. Kiran Patel, who had produced medical certificates in the court to prove that he was impotent, was convicted for unnatural sex.

Court notice to CBI on Sanjay’s petition
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030755931300.htm
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation on a petition filed by actor Sanjay Dutt for suspension of his conviction in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case to enable him to contest the Lok Sabha polls.
Mr. Dutt, who recently joined the Samajwadi Party, was convicted by a designated TADA court in Mumbai under the Arms Act and was sentenced to six-year imprisonment. He is now out on bail.
A three-Judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice Markandey Katju and Justice P. Sathasivam issued notice after hearing senior counsel Harish Salve, for the actor, and posted the matter for further hearing on March 30.
In Supreme Court
Under Section 8 (3) of the Representation of the People Act, those who are sentenced to imprisonment for two years and more could not contest elections if the conviction is not stayed by an appellate court.
Mr. Dutt said his appeal against the designated court’s judgment was pending in the Supreme Court, which was not likely to dispose of it in the near future in view of the huge pendency. In the event of the appellant succeeding in his appeal, the damage caused by the bar under Section 8(3) of the Act could not be undone in future.
Mr. Dutt said the legal position on suspension of sentence was laid down by the Supreme Court in a catena of decisions including the Navjot Singh Sidhu case, in which the conviction of the former cricket player in a case of road rage death was stayed, enabling him to contest an election.
The court had also laid down the parameters for suspension of conviction and his case would fall within their ambit, he said.

At stake is credibility of credit cards Law & Order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030759410300.htm
The vulnerability of credit cards and the ease with which they can be misused are exposed, writes S. Vijay Kumar
Four persons, including a woman, were arrested by the Chennai Police a few weeks ago on charges of committing a novel and complex crime.
They were accused of using fake credit cards to purchase jewellery and other valuables from different shops in the city. When their credit cards were swiped in the Electronic Data Capturing (EDC) machine, it approved the sale.
But no money came from the bank as the actual credit card holders were all foreign nationals based abroad. Images captured in surveillance cameras at the jewellery shops helped the investigators track down the suspects.
How could the accused make a credit card that contained the data of an account holder in London in its magnetic strip?
Even if a sale is approved by the EDC machine, is there any other mechanism that can help a merchant detect a fake credit card? Is it safe to use credit cards to pay bills through a bearer? Can visible features on a credit card enable misuse?
Answers to these questions expose the vulnerability of credit cards and the ease with which they can be misused without the knowledge of the account-holder till the next bill statement is issued.
According to the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Central Crime Branch), M. Panneerselvam, data stored in the magnetic strip of a credit card can be copied by a skimming machine by a simple swipe.
“This can be done by anyone who has access to the credit card of another person. For instance, a waiter who is given a credit card as payment towards the bill in a restaurant can swipe it in the skimming machine which is a small equipment. The data copied can be transferred to the magnetic strip of a dummy credit card in some other country,” he says.
Though such frauds are common in developed countries, a complaint or two surfaced in Chennai recently.
“A merchant can easily detect such frauds. The data printed on the charge slip will not match with that on the card. The name, account number and other security features on the slip would be those of the original card holder which cannot be embossed on the fake card easily. The visible data on a credit card is enough to enable frauds such as purchase of tickets online,” says Mr. Paneerselvam. Posters containing the various types of credit card frauds and safety tips that could help in detecting fake credit cards easily were distributed to shops, he adds.
In an attempt to prevent misuse of stolen or lost credit cards at Automated Teller Machines, Chennai Police have written to all banks to ensure that camera, security guards and access-control systems were in place at all the ATMs.

Advocates meeting today to decide next course of action
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760460700.htm
Staff Reporter
They will discuss directives of the Supreme Court
CHENNAI: The State-level Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Advocates will meet on the Bar Council premises here on Saturday to decide the next course of action. This follows the Supreme Court referring Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee’s report to the Madras High Court in the matter pertaining to the February 19 incident.
Advocates have been on strike for the past 12 days demanding action against top police officers responsible for the police action on the High Court premises.
Speaking from New Delhi, Madras High Court Advocates Association president R.C. Paul Kanagaraj, who also heads the JAC, said leaders of various associations and members would discuss the directives of the apex court.
On Justice Srikrishna’s report, he said though the committee was asked to probe the February 19 incident, he had probed incidents even prior to the date. “Though the committee has condemned the violence in the court, he did not name the officer who ordered the lathi charge.”
Reacting to the committee report, president of the Tamil Nadu Advocates Association S. Prabhakaran said it was “biased and only the police version had been taken into account by the judge.” Various advocates associations had presented evidence and documents to Mr. Justice Srikrishna but they were not taken into consideration by the committee.
Mr. Prabhakaran, who alleged that committee was trying to shield police officers, said “the committee had pinpointed the names of lawyers but not mentioned names of any police officers.”
Most government advocates attended court on Friday and many petitioners appeared as party-in-person before the courts.

Swamy’s call to senior advocates
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760571000.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: Janata Party president Subramanian Swamy on Friday said senior advocates and democratic minded lawyers of Madras High Court must now decisively reject the forces of disruption and anti-nationalism and resume work on Monday in the wake of the interim report of the B.N. Srikrishna Committee.
The committee, in its report, judiciously considered all the facts and came to its conclusions, he said.

RTI Act helps physically challenged youth get job
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030758270200.htm
Mohamed Imranullah S.
He might soon join TNSTC as a conductor
His name was not in list of eligible candidates
He was suffering from a congenital disability
MADURAI: K. Sudalai, a physically challenged youth of Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, might soon join the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation as a bus conductor, thanks to the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.
The youngster suffering from a congenital disability on his leg was caught unawares in April 2008 when his name did not find place in the list of candidates eligible to apply for the post of bus conductor in Madurai Division of TNSTC.
He had completed Standard X in 1996 and possessed a conductor’s licence issued by the Regional Transport Authority.
The youth had also worked as a conductor temporarily with TNSTC during a festival season in 2006-07.
Wondering why he was dropped from the selection process despite necessary qualifications, Mr. Sudalai made representations to the Transport Secretary and Tirunelveli Collector on May 7, 2008. But there was no reply.
He submitted an application under the RTI Act. Replying to it, District Employment Officer said the General Manager, TNSTC (Madurai Division), had informed that physically challenged persons were not fit to be appointed as conductors.
The reply helped the youngster file a writ petition in the Madras High Court Bench here to consider his candidature as enunciated in Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995.
Justice K. Venkataraman pointed out that as per a notification published in the Union Gazette on March 15, 2007 bus conductor was one of the jobs that could be occupied by persons with orthopaedic disabilities.
He agreed with petitioner’s counsel G. Prabhu Rajadurai that there was no reason for the Madurai Division alone to reject physically challenged persons to the post of conductor when other Divisions were not doing so.
“When the petitioner could be appointed temporarily as conductor during festival seasons, while running special buses, it is not known why he cannot be appointed on permanent basis,” the Judge observed and directed TNSTC to consider the petitioner’s plea within four weeks.

Prevention is better than cure Law and order
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030759160300.htm
Small security steps can go a long way in stemming burglaries, writes Marri Ramu
Heists, robberies and dacoities go up as the mercury begins to soar. There are various reasons for it and this year seems to be no exception. Burglars took away nearly Rs. one crore worth gold jewellery from a shop in Siddiamberbazar on Thursday.
In fact, the alarm bells began ringing three days earlier when thieves stole 50 laptops by lifting shutters of two shops in Mahankali area of Secunderabad. Burglars struck in another house making off with Rs. 5 lakh worth gold ornaments in Miyapur the same day. Police are confident that a breakthrough could be achieved in these three major heists sooner or later, but say there are security lessons to be learnt from these offences.
Easy access
In the Miyapur burglary, thieves sneaked inside the house by bending window grills of the house using a crowbar left outside by the house owner. As the almirah was not locked, the job of the offenders was made easier. It might sound strange but investigators found in many burglaries that almirahs or shelves are never locked. Even if locked, locking, the keys are usually left in the open in good number of cases. People spend lakhs of rupees on building houses but forget to ensure that windows, doors and ventilators -common entry points for thieves- are strong and secure. Mostly, the grills are thin and affixed to the wooden frames with screws. Such grills can be unhooked with help of a simpe screwdriver .
Security equipment
Despite frequent campaigns for installation of basic security equipments, many business establishments are devoid of them. Except the central locks to the shutters, the two computer shops burgled at Mahankali had no security apparatus installed. Police say there are gangs that gained expertise in breaking locks of shutters, and hence security alarms and security cameras would be helpful in alerting and tracking the offenders.
Interestingly, the Sri Lakshmi Venkateshwara jewellery shop at Siddiamberbazar on the rear wall of which thieves dug a hole had closed circuit television. Strangely, the shop owner used the system only to monitor movements of his staff and customers but did not put in place a system of recording visuals at night.
The complex in which the shop was located had two watchmen but they stood guard at the front gate leaving the backyard unprotected. The three crimes prove that small security steps like making all the entry and exit points of a place secure would reduce chances of falling prey to burglars.

Four malpractice cases booked
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030751410300.htm
Kakinada: Four malpractice cases have been registered during the degree examinations in the purview of Andhra University in the last four days. Government Degree College, Tuni, H.I.S. Degree College, Addateegala, Government Degree College, Rampachodavaram and Mahendra Women’s Degree College at Rajahmundry were the institutions where the cases were filed, chief inspection officer and A.U M.S. Naicker P.G Centre special officer P Rajendra Karmarkar stated in a press release.

Court directive on film-maker land case
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760390600.htm
Legal Correspondent
HYDERABAD: A Division Bench of the A. P. Pradesh High Court comprising Justice T. Meena Kumari and Justice Bhavani Prasad on Friday directed the authorities to finalise their proposed action and pass orders pursuant to the notices issued against K. Raghavendra Rao, well known Telugu film director in respect of allegations of not using the land given to him for correct purpose.
The Bench was disposing of the writ petition filed by TRS leader T. Harish Rao, TRS leader, who complained that prime land in the city was given to the film-maker for development of film industry whereas now a shopping mall and other activities have come up there.
He said that though the authorities had given notices to Mr. Raghavendra Rao, no final decision was being taken. Another Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A.R. Dave and Justice Ramesh Ranganadhan ordered status-quo regarding the alienation of 43 acres of land to the Institute of Public Health in Ranga Reddy district.
The Bench was dealing with the writ petition filed by O. M. Dibara complaining that though the district Collector and the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration had indicated the value to be nearly Rs. 1 crore an acre, the government had given 43 acres of prime land in Ranga Reddy district at a throwaway price of Rs. 1 lakh.
The petitioner said that the alienation of land must not be done in such a secretive manner.
The Bench ordered notice and ordered status-quo in the case.

Filmmaker’s land: pass orders, authorities told
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030759940400.htm
Legal Correspondent
HYDERABAD: A Division Bench of the A. P. Pradesh High Court comprising Justice T. Meena Kumari and Justice Bhavani Prasad on Friday directed the authorities to finalise their proposed action and pass orders pursuant to the notices issued against K. Raghavendra Rao, well known Telugu film director in respect of allegations of not using the land given to him for correct purpose.
The Bench was disposing of the writ petition filed by TRS leader T. Harish Rao, TRS leader, who complained that prime land in the city was given to the film maker for development of film industry whereas now a shopping mall and other activities have come up there.
He said that though the authorities had given notices to Mr. Raghavendra Rao, no final decision was being taken. Another Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A.R. Dave and Justice Ramesh Ranganadhan ordered status-quo regarding the alienation of 43 acres of land to the Institute of Public Health in Ranga Reddy district.
The Bench was dealing with the writ petition filed by O. M. Dibara complaining that though the district Collector and the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration had indicated the value to be nearly Rs. 1 crore an acre, the government had given 43 acres of prime land in Ranga Reddy district at a throwaway price of Rs. 1 lakh. The petitioner said that the alienation of land must not be done in such a secretive manner. The Bench ordered notice and ordered status-quo in the case.

High Court stays case against Soumya Mishra
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760080400.htm
Legal Correspondent
HYDERABAD: Justice K.C. Bhanu of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Friday stayed all further actions in the criminal case booked pursuant to the directions of a court at Vizianagaram to register a case against Soumya Mishra, DIG of Visakhapatnam Range, under the SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989.
It may be recalled that Srikakulam Superintendent of Police Ch. Srikanth complained to the local court that Ms. Soumya Mishra had snubbed and humiliated him as he belonged to Scheduled Castes community. When the local police did not register the case, he approached the court which directed the police to register an FIR against her and the Three Town CI of Visakhapatnam.
Approach court
As the case was taken on file, Ms. Mishra and the Circle Inspector approached the High Court. They said no ingredients of ‘atrocity’, as defined under the Act, had been made out. The judge granted an interim stay.

Chief Minister clarifies on SC categorisation
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030760100400.htm
Special Correspondent
HYDERABAD: Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy has appealed to leaders of MRPS not to doubt the sincerity of the Congress on categorisation of Scheduled Castes for reservation.
He told a media conference here on Friday that the Assembly had adopted unanimous resolutions twice, seeking efforts by the Centre to give effect to SC categorisation. When the Supreme Court order came in the way, Usha Mehra Committee was constituted to study the issue.
The UPA government was going through the Usha Mehra Committee report now, with a view to introducing a Constitutional amendment providing for the categorisation so that benefits could be accorded from the next academic year.
He said it was Parliament which was empowered to amend the Constitution. While the rule position was like this, the MRPS leaders were demanding the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to adopt the same Constitutional amendment. This was against the set procedure.

Sandur Power Company moves High Court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030754690500.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: Sandur Power Company on Friday petitioned the Karnataka High Court against what it termed as arbitrary action of the State Government in invoking emergency powers and directing private power producers to only sell power within the State. The company challenged the December 31, 2008, order of the Energy Department, issued under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2006, directing it to sell power within the State.
Agreement
Sandur said its mini hydel power plant has a capacity of 22,500 kilowatts (KW). It said it had entered into a power purchase agreement with Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited on February 3, 2004, for supply of power.
However, Mangalore Electric Supply Company had between February and March 2008 defaulted several times in payment.
Sandur said it had then entered into an agreement to supply power to Tata Power Company.
It then applied to the State seeking permission for open access. The State then invoked Section 11 and barred it from selling power outside the State. It urged the court to stay the December 31 order.
Justice N. Kumar admitted the petition and posted the case to April first week.

Bail plea
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030754100400.htm
BANGALORE: A bodyguard of film producer Govardhan Murthy, who has been arrested on charges of murder, has petitioned the Karnataka High Court for bail. Deenu alias Dinesh is alleged by Bangalore police to be involved in the fatal shooting of an actor Vinod Kumar last year. Both Murthy and Deenu were nabbed by the Bangalore police for Kumar’s murder. Vinod Kumar was shot dead in a drunken brawl at a resort. While Murthy was nabbed from a house in Kerala, three others — Deenu, Prabhakar and Srinivas Murthy — were nabbed subsequently.
— Staff Reporter

Seeks relief from HC
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030754680500.htm
BANGALORE: An American national, James Larry Alford of Enterprises Electronics Corporation, USA, who is accused by the High Grounds Police of attempting to rape a British national, Anita, in her hotel room in Bangalore last year, has petitioned the High Court for further relief.
Mr. Alford is on bail and in the U.S. He wanted the court to relax certain pre-trial conditions. — Staff Reporter

High Court notices to Delhi police, CBI
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030759900400.htm
Staff Reporter
Respondents asked to file their replies by April 20
High Court had ordered the CBI to investigate the charges of the two accused
The Special Cell alleges that the accused are members of terrorist outfit Al Badr
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Friday issued notices to the Delhi police and the Central Bureau of Investigation on an appeal by two accused challenging the order of a Sessions court here rejecting a plea by the CBI to close a case against them and dismissal of their discharge petitions.Issuing the notices, the Court asked the respondents to file their replies to the appeal by April 20.
According to the Special Cell of the Delhi police, it had arrested the two accused, Irshad Ali and Moarif Qamar, at Mukarba Chowk in North-West in 2006 on a tip-off that two persons carrying arms and ammunition would be coming to Delhi from Jammu & Kashmir.The Special Cell alleged that they were members of terrorist outfit Al Badr.
The two had later challenged their arrest in the Delhi High Court, submitting that they had been falsely implicated in the case. The High Court had ordered the CBI to investigateon the charges of the two accused. After conducting a thorough investigation, the CBI submitted a status report to the Court, saying that they had been implicated in the case as the charges against them were found to be false.
The High Court then directed the CBI to file a report in the trial court as per the law.
The CBI filed a closure report in the trial court, seeking closure of the case but the court had rejected it. The court had also rejected discharge petitions filed by the accused following the filing of the closure report by the CBI.

Vizhinjam project: court notice to State
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030754290400.htm
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday asked the Kerala government to inform it by March 19 whether Hyderabad- based Lanco Kondapalli Power Ltd is out of race for the Vizhinjam harbour project coming up in the State.
A Bench of Justice Arijit Pasayat and Justice S.H. Kapadia sought information on Lanco’s status and its effect on the project, if it was out of the race. It also issued notice to Lanco, the Kerala government, IL&FS Infrastructure Development Corporation, Portia Management Services and Vizhinjam International Seaport, the nodal agency for developing an all-weather deepwater seaport and container transhipment hub, on various cross-pleas.
The Bench sought the explanation after the Mumbai-based Zoom Developers alleged that Lanco was out of the race and the highest marks in the technical bid had been given to Maytas-Nagarjuna consortium by the evaluation panel headed by L&T. While the Kerala government has sought directions with regard to the financial bid of Zoom Developers, the latter has sought to restrain the State from finalising or awarding the contract. The Kerala government, which was asked to consider the bids of Zoom within 15 days by the apex court on February 10, said the evaluation committee had found that the latter was not qualified technically to bag the contract for the project at Vizhinjam in Thiruvananthapuram district. — PTI

Bail plea by Nigerian rejected
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030759590300.htm
New Delhi: A court on Friday rejected the bail plea of a Nigerian national who is accused of duping a man of Rs.2.23 lakh by seeking his bank account details through emails. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Kaveri Baweja refused to release Freeman Anosike Aluma on bail, allowing a plea of CBI that the accused being Nigerian national could try to influence witnesses if he jumps bail. “Since the accused is a Nigerian national, it would be difficult to secure his presence if he jumps bail,” the court said.

HC questions the gap in mineral policy
http://www.hindu.com/2009/03/07/stories/2009030752150300.htm
Correspondent
Royalty was fixed at Rs. 21 per tonne about 10 years ago
The State is losing nearly Rs. 5,000 cr. every year, says HC
CUTTACK: Whether the Central Government or State Government, who should formulate mineral policy in the State, who should have the primacy in having final word in fixing the mining royalties? These questions have now come up for discussion in the High Court.
Admitting a writ petition in this regard, a division bench of HC comprising Justice I.M. Qudusi and Justice Kumari Sanju Panda on Thursday issued notices to the Central Government and the State Government. The notices are returnable within four weeks and the case will come up for further hearing in the third week of April.
Questioning the improprieties in the mineral policy, a native of Cuttack city Manoranjan Sahu has moved the High Court saying there is no word like “Center” appears in the Indian Constitution. “But the Central government mis-utilising this concept is destroying the federal structure of the country”, the petition said. The petition further alleged that many mine-rich states like Orissa are suffering due to this and are becoming poorer and poorer day-by-day. Giving details of the mineral available in Orissa, the petitioner alleged that the State Government is not getting adequate royalty for the minerals available in the State. “The royalty from the minerals excavated from the State has not been revised for past ten years. Every time the State Government approaches the Union Government to raise the royalty, the Center doesn’t listen to it”, said the petitioner advocate Milan Kanungo. Speaking to newsmen here on Friday, Kanungo pointed out that the mineral royalty, which was fixed at Rs. 21 per tonne about ten years ago continues to remain the same for which the State is losing nearly Rs. 5000 crore every year over this period.
“Moreover, there is no jurisdiction for the State to control the mineral royalty”, Kanungo added.

HC Violence: SC report slams lawyers, calls them hooligans
http://www.morungexpress.com/national/16355.html
Agencies
NEW DELHI, March 6 (Agencies): The Justice Srikrishna Committee report on the Madras High Court violence has slammed Tamil Nadu lawyers calling them hooligans. The report submitted to the Supreme Court raps lawyers for their unruly behaviour.The interim report was submitted to Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan on the panel’s preliminary probe into the February 19 incidents at Madras High Court leading to clashes between police and lawyers.Retired Supreme Court judge B N Srikrishna indicted the lawyers in his report submitted to the apex court. In his report, Srikrishna urged the Supreme Court to “take this opportunity to exercise its extraordinary constitutional powers and lay down sufficient guidelines for the behaviour of the lawyers within and without the court premises as the bar councils have not been acting as an effective regulatory body of their professional conduct”.Lawyers contested the report on Friday. The Supreme Court has thrown up its hands on the issue, saying it refused to hear the matter anymore, and sent it to the Madras High Court for further action. It said the high court could decide on the issue of holding a judicial inquiry into the incident.The report accuses lawyers of behaving like hooligans and miscreants. Lawyers think they are immune from the law, the report adds. Soft-pedalling policy by the lawyers led to the situation, the report goes on to say.Lawyers have been on strike since February 19 demanding action against police officials responsible for the alleged assault. The advocates have refused to accede to the CJI’s request to resume work even after the apex court ordered a probe by Justice Srikrishna and temporary removal of police officers named by the Tamil Nadu lawyers as responsible for the ugly incidents.

Strike: SC does not pay heed to Madras HC plea
http://www.samaylive.com/news/strike-sc-does-not-pay-heed-to-madras-hc-plea/612532.html
Published: Fri, 06 Mar 2009 at 20:19 IST
New Delhi, Mar 6 : The Supreme Court today did not pay any heed to the complaint of the Madras High Court that the remarks against its acting Chief Justice by the B N Srikrishna Committee, which probed clashes between laywers and the police in Tamil Nadu, was uncalled for.Senior advocate K K Venugopal, appearing for the High Court, said certain remarks in the report against the Acting Chief Justice was unnecessary considering the sensitive situation during the protest and strike by the lawyers.The senior advocate expressed concern over the remarks in the report which said that the acting chief justice adopted a soft policy and the High Court administration sent out a wrong message that encouraged and emboldened the lawyers into becoming law breakers.A Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, which was hearing the matter was not impressed with the submission, and said the report has to be seen in a larger context as the strike has been going on for a longer time.”It is a very sorry situation,” the Bench, also comprising Justices P Sathasivam and J M Panchal said.”I was pondering how meetings were taking place inside the court complex,” the CJI said referring to the report which pointed out that lawyers supporting LTTE and Tamil cause in Sri Lanka were using the court complex for raising polictical issues since November last year.Recalling his days as judge in the Madras High Court, Justice Balakrishnan said “in my time there was no public meeting”. MORE

Court master’s wallet stolen, thief goes shopping
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/court-masters-wallet-stolen-thief-goes-shopping/431532/
Posted: Mar 06, 2009 at 0137 hrs IST
The court master of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has reported to the New Delhi district police that he lost his wallet last week and that his debit card was used for shopping.
A case has been registered with the Parliament Street police station under Sections 379 (theft) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Rajesh Dham, the court master of the CJI, reported in his complaint, that he had gone to Nirman Bhawan on February 27 and upon returning to his residence at Krishna Menon Marg, he noticed that his wallet, containing his debit card, his Supreme Court identity card and cash was missing. The court master looks after all the documentation work of a judge.
Dham said Rs 40,000 had been withdrawn from his card. Investigations showed that the person who used Dham’s card had purchased a mobile phone and other electronic items with it. “We are making our best efforts to catch the thief,” said a senior police officer.

Govt order denying appointment to an orphan quashed by HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Govt-order-denying-appointment-to-an-orphan-quashed-by-HC/articleshow/4236999.cms
7 Mar 2009, 0548 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: Justice Rajiv Sharma of the high court has directed the state government to consider the appointment of an orphan within two months in Samaj Kalyan and Mahila Kalyan department. The court set aside May 11, 2007 order of the government whereby it had taken a stand that the petitioner, Deo Sharan Singh cannot be given appointment. Petitioner’s counsel, Ramesh Pandey argued that the petitioner was an orphan and was brought up in a government children home, Rae Bareli. He is BA pass. The government issued an order on February 4, 1993 providing that the orphans shall be employed on vacant posts in the department of Samaj Kalyan and the Mahila Kalyan. The counsel argued that the petitioner was qualified and he claimed appointments on the post of hostel superintendent/manager in pursuance of an advertisement but the government denied him appointment in the garb of UP Women Welfare Department Non-Clerical Employees Service Rules, 1998. Justice Sharma said that the denial of appointment was the result of biased exercise of power and therefore, deserved to be quashed.

HC directs MLA to reply in four weeks
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-directs-MLA-to-replyin-four-weeks/articleshow/4236821.cms
7 Mar 2009, 0501 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Friday directed Calangute MLA Agnelo Fernandes and his wife Danny to file an affidavit within four weeks in connection with a Cabinet decision reverting government land at Candolim back to them. The court was hearing a petition filed by one John Sequeira challenging the Cabinet’s decision to revert around 3,575 sq m of land back to the MLA’s wife. The land belonging to Danny’s parents had been acquired in 1993 by the department of tourism. However a Cabinet decision was taken in December 2008 reverting the land back to Agnelo’s wife. The court also directed the Directororate of Panchayats, town and country planning (TCP) department, Town and Country Planning Board, and Calangute ex-sarpanch Lawrence Fernandes to file affidavits in the matter. The case will now be heard after four weeks.

SC responds to Gujarat govt’s plea on HC order, issues notices to Centre, accused
Express News Service
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/sc-responds-to-gujarat-govts-plea-on-hc-order-issues-notices-to-centre-accused/431949/
Posted: Mar 07, 2009 at 0052 hrs IST
New Delhi HC had upheld POTA Review Committee’s recommendation to drop POTA charges against those accused in Godhra carnage
Barely a few days after the Modi government approached the Supreme Court to challenge the Gujarat High Court’s decision to uphold the Central POTA Review Committee’s (CPRC) recommendation on the Godhra episode, the apex court issued notices to the Centre and the accused.
A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, while issuing notices to the Centre and the accused on the appeals filed by the Gujarat government and one of the relatives of the victim, also sought a reply whether the order could be stayed or not.
The High Court had recently dismissed the petition challenging the decision of the CPRC to drop POTA charges against the 134 accused in the Godhra train burning case.
Sardarji Maganji Waghela, who lost his son in the carnage, had also filed an appeal against the High Court order that had dismissed his petition challenging the CPRC’s decision.
Senior advocate L Nageshwar Rao, appearing for the state government, contended that the High Court verdict has to be stayed, otherwise the Godhra case will be shifted from the special POTA Court to the regular court, and the accused will seek bail.
The bench, also comprising justices Markandeya Katju and P Sathasivam, however, said that relief to the state cannot be granted at the cost of personal liberty of an individual. “On one hand, we are opposed to terrorism, but we also have to uphold the fundamental rights and personal liberty of a citizen,” said Justice Katju, expressing his disagreement with the argument.
Although the High Court had not interfered with the findings of the CPRC, it had allowed Sardarji to approach the apex court within two weeks against its verdict by extending the stay on all proceedings in connection with the Godhra case. The transfer of the case from the designated POTA court to the Sessions Court was also stayed.
The POTA review committee, which was set up to repeal POTA, while examining the veracity of terror charges against the accused, had recommended dropping of the stringent charges under POTA against them.
It had asked the state government to try them under the penal offences of rioting, murder and the like for allegedly burning the S-6 coach of Sabarmati Express, which killed 69 people.

HC order on night pollution
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-order-on-night-pollution/articleshow/4236970.cms
7 Mar 2009, 0615 hrs IST, TNN
The green Bench of Calcutta High Court, comprising Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice Biswanath Somadder, on Friday directed the state government to file an affidavit within two weeks outlining steps it has taken to check auto pollution at night. The court also wanted to know the position on installation of photo-sensor remote sensing mobile auto-pollution checking units to check a large number of vehicles on a particular day. The order came after environmentalist Subhas Datta, who filed a PIL complaining of higher air pollution due to auto emission during night hours, alleged that night checking was inadequate. Hospital ruckus: Family members of a patient who died at Medical College Hospital created a ruckus late on Friday after they found his name spelt wrongly on the death certificate. They allegedly tried to ransack the front desk counter, prompting the staff to abandon it. This frustrated other patients’ families, as admissions were held up for about an hour. Police later controlled the situation. Fliers in the lurch: A dust storm in Guwahati left over 1000 passengers in the Kolkata-Guwahati sector in the lurch on Friday afternoon. While a Kingfisher flight got delayed for over two hours, several flights in this sector were either cancelled or diverted. Met officials said the storm was caused by a prolonged dry patch. It caused visibility to fall below 1000 m. Woman kills self: Munmun Pan (26), a housewife, was found hanging in the dining room of her house in Regent Park on Friday. Police arrested her husband, Himangshu, after a complaint was filed by her father. A search is also on for her mother-in-law, who is absconding.

GSI to probe illegal mining along rivers in the state
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/GSI-to-probe-illegal-mining-along-rivers-in-the-state/articleshow/4236996.cms
7 Mar 2009, 0546 hrs IST, TNN
LUCKNOW: Taking serious note of illegal mining along river with the help of heavy machines in Uttar Pradesh, the high court on Friday constituted a probe committee to be presided by the Geological Survey of India. The court has directed the committee to submit its report in a sealed cover to the court by May 10. The committee will comprise the members of environment
and ground water departments of the Central and state governments, state secretary of mining and environment and geological scientist nominated by IIT Kanpur. The order was passed by a division bench of Justice DP Singh and Justice VD Chaturvedi on a writ petition filed by one Noor Mohammad, while converting it into a public interest litigation (PIL) petition. The court appointed a local lawyer, BK Singh as amicus curiae to give assistance to the court in the matter. In course of hearing of the petition, the court came across the fact that illegal mining is being done by JCB machines at the river beds, especially in Hamirpur, Saharanpur, Bagpat, Jalaun, Sonbhadra, Banda, Jhansi, Chitrakoot, Allahabad and Kaushambi. The bench has sought clarification from mining secretary, Ram Bodh Maurya for not taking action against the guilty of illegal mining in Bijnore on the report of Geological Survey of India. The bench said that illegal mining in the area has become a threat to environment and rivers. The court has asked the government if it has prepared any plan to check illegal mining and take action against mining mafia. The court said that the state government has ample powers under Mines and Minerals (Development Regulation) Act 1957 to stop illegal mining in forests and along river beds. The court fixed May 8 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

No shrines on public sites, HC tells govt
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/No-shrines-on-public-sites-HC/articleshow/4237411.cms
7 Mar 2009, 0502 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: The high court on Friday said no church, temple or masjid should exist in public sites and asked the state government to come out with a uniform stand within two weeks. It asked the government what action it proposes to take about places of worship encroaching upon civic amenity sites and other public properties. “If a poor man encroaches upon one cent of land, you make it a big issue. But in the name of god if it is encroached, you take it as blessings. As far as we are concerned, rule of law should prevail. You have to evict those people by giving notices in accordance with law, even issue notice to God if required. A principle of natural justice applies to God also. Don’t favour anybody. “No church, temple or masjid in public sites, this is the stand of judiciary. It seems you are afraid to take any decision. There should be no sentimentalities in this issue,” the division Bench headed by the chief justice remarked while hearing a PIL connected to encroachment of Lakshmana Rau Park in Okalipuram area.

Probe into PSC exam paper sought
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/probe-into-psc-exam-paper-sought/432048/
Express News Service Posted: Mar 07, 2009 at 0240 hrs IST
Allahabad: Three advocates of the Allahabad High Court have filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on Friday, seeking an inquiry over the paper setting of the preliminary examination of Public Service Commission, 2008. The court has fixed March 27 as the date for hearing the case.
Arguing on behalf of petitioners J A Azmi, K K Roy and K P Pathak, senior advocate SMA Kazmi argued that in the objective type question paper, question number116 was extremely bewildering. The candidates were asked: Which of the four cities in undivided Uttar Pradesh is being branded as breeding ground for terrorism? The correct answer was Azamgarh.
Kazmi contended that this question was against the historical facts and the glorious past of Azamgarh and was factually incorrect. Plus, question number 121 has been framed declaring Hari Prasad Chaurasia, the flute maestro, as dead. Kazmi said this reflected the casualness of the paper setters for such prestigious exam.
Arguing on behalf of the Chairman of Public Service Commission, PS Baghel said the setting up of an inquiry and publication of regret in the newspaper has already been done by the Commission. Hence, the petition does not stand.

PIL on mine revenue
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090307/jsp/jharkhand/story_10635034.jsp
OUR CORRESPONDENT
Cuttack, March 6: Questions regarding the Orissa’s mines and mineral policies have been raised before Orissa High Court through a petition seeking judicial intervention and asking the Centre to pay Rs 50,000 crore to the government for “illegally depriving it from enhancing royalty for 10 years”.
Discriminatory royalty and fixing of price (of minerals) by the Centre resulting in losses for the state, have been contentious issues for years.
It was first raised in the Seventies and later in the Nineties by the Biju Patnaik government. In 2007 the government had asked the planning commission to alter the royalty calculation from fixed rate basis to a value-based one, as the state was losing in terms of annual revenue.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had urged the 13th Finance Commission, during its visit to the state recently, for a levy of royalty on minerals on an ad valorum basis and had asked for a revision on regular intervals to ensure benefits for both the Centre and state.
The dispute assumes significance as the state has 59.5 per cent bauxite, 98.4 per cent chromite, 24.8 per cent coal, 71 per cent graphite, 32.9 per cent iron ore, 67.6 per cent manganese and 91.8 per cent nickel ore reserves in India.
Production during 2007-08 in Orissa was 3,284,100 tonnes for chromite, 89,686,365 tonnes for coal, 74,504,876 tonnes for iron ore and 7,06,207 tonnes for other minerals.

Haryana Lok Ayukta to probe Tohana colony case
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090307/main5.htm
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 6The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked Haryana Lok Ayukta to look into the Tohana illegal colony case allegedly involving state-cadre IAS officer OP Langayan, the former deputy commissioner of Fathehabad, and other state functionaries.
The colony, allegedly set up in connivance with the state government officials, now stands demolished. Taking up a PIL seeking directions to restrain the state of Haryana and other respondents from carving out unauthorised colonies on agricultural land, the High Court today directed the Lok Ayukta to probe the possible role of public servants, as alleged by Hawa Singh of Tohana and other petitioners. The petitioners had claimed that two plots were allegedly given to the son of the former deputy commissioner.
Commenting on his role in the entire controversy, the High Court had, in an earlier order, observed: “It is admitted that OP Langayan, the previous Deputy Commissioner, and Bhim Singh, the then Superintendent of Police, who were at the helm of affairs, did not provide police force…”
As the matter came up for resumed hearing this morning before the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Tirath Singh Thakur and Justice Hemant Gupta, counsel for the state of Haryana, Randhir Singh, said two inquiries had been conducted in the matter. He said the director, urban bodies, had indicted two municipal officials, as they were allegedly involved in clearing the building plans.
In the other inquiry by the Town and Country Planning department, a clean chit had virtually been given to the district town planner for intervening in the matter from time to time.
Disposing of the petition, the Bench also asked the Lok Ayukta to make recommendations in the matter. The petitioner was also asked in the open court to forward a representation to the Lok Ayukta for further inquiry and action in the matter. Detailed judgment was not yet available.

HC serves notice on juvenile Justice PIL
http://e-pao.net/GP.asp?src=7..070309.mar09
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, March 06 2009: Acting on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) the Gauhati High Court today issued notices to the Government of manipur’s secretary (law and Legislative Affairs), Director (social Welfare Department) and the Director General of Police concerning implementation of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act 2000. A Division Bench comprising Justices Maibam Binoykumar Singh and AC Upadhyay served the notice based on a PIL filed by one wahengbam Joykumar – a progressive social activist, informed a Human Rights Law network statement.The petitioner is said to have pointed out to the State respondents regarding enactment of the Juvenile Justice Act by the Indian Parliament on December 30, 2000 and an amendment six years later that is more children-friendly envisaging proper care and protection of Children.However, as the State Government has taken no tangible action on the matter even after lapse of eight years with the effect that the Respondents’ obligation to establish various statutory bodies and institutions for effective implementation of the Act remains null and void till date, the Network maintained.W Joykumar is also said to have formally approached the listed officials to do the needful which is yet to evoke any positive response, thereby leading to the compulsion of filing the petition before the Court, the Network under whose active initiative the PIL was filed, added.

Meghalaya to approach SC to solve boundary issue with AssamPosted on : Thursday, March 05, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/meghalaya_to_approach_sc_to_solve_boundary_issue_with_assam.asp

Meghalaya to approach SC to solve boundary issue with AssamShillong Thursday, Mar 5 2009 ISTThe Meghalaya government today asked its Advocate General G S Massar to sort out the vexed border dispute with Assam.The government approved the formation of ‘Legal Committee’ during the Cabinet meeting today, which discussed at length the long pending dispute with its neighbouring state Assam.The Committee would be headed by Advocate General G S Massar and other officials from the law and political departments.Meghalaya Progressive Alliance (MPA) government spokesperson and Cabinet Minister Conrad K Sangma told reporters that the Committee would take 90 days to submit a report to the Cabinet after which the government would decide whether to approach the supreme court.Meghalaya has 12 areas of differences with Assam.The dispute between Meghalaya and Assam over Langpih has remained unsolved for a long time and so the Cabinet decided to form the Committee to build up a case, Mr Sangma said.In fact, Assam and Meghalaya agreed to maintain status quo at the disputed area. However, the hoi-polloi of the disputed areas regularly complain of harassment by Assam police, which has a police outpost in the area.Mr Sangma stated that neighbouring states like Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have sought legal recourse in solving boundary disputes with Assam. The Cabinet also thought that it is appropriate to take the same step and approach the Supreme Court to help in solving the Langpih dispute, the Meghalaya minister said.In 1985, the Assam and Meghalaya governments entrusted Justice Y V Chandrachud to head the committee of experts for opinion on the constitutional aspects of the boundary demarcation between the two neighbouring states.Assam had dispute with Arunachal Pradesh over the boundary of forest land.Another neighbouring state, Nagaland, has similar dispute with Assam and security forces have been deployed in a large area of Upper Assam’s Golaghat district adjoining Nagaland for maintaining status quo in the disputed areas.– (UNI) — 05CA26.xml

Court directs JS to admit accused to NIMSPosted on : Thursday, March 05, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/court_directs_js_to_admit_accused_to_nims.asp

Court directs JS to admit accused to NIMSVijayawada Thursday, Mar 5 2009 ISTThe Vijayawada Mahila Sessions Court today directed the Chanchalguda Jail Superintendent in Hyderabad to shift Satyam Babu, the main accused in the rape and murder case of first year B-Pharmacy girl student Ayesha Meera to Nizam Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) for better treatment.Satyam Babu, who was shifted from here to Hyderabad few days ago as he was suffering from ”Gyllian Barious Syndrome” disease, was presently lodged in the Chanchalguda jail after getting treatment in the Osmania General Hospital in Hyderabad.The Magistrate V Appa Rao also directed the NIMS Director to examine Satyam Babu on his admission to the hospital after hearing a petition filed by his mother Mariyamma who suspected that there was an attempt to ‘poison ‘ her son.She prayed that permission be accorded to conduct DNA tests on him. She contended that Satyam Babu was ‘innocent’ and police had wrongly implicated him in the case.Mr Appa Rao directed the NIMS Director to submit a report to the court after conducting necessary medical tests on Babu. Ayesha Meera was brutally raped and murdered in a private hostel at Ibrahimpatnam near here on December 27, 2007.– (UNI) — 05MS34.xml

HC DIRECTS TO LODGE FIR AGAINST ERRING PEOPLE, EVEN MINISTERSPosted on : Thursday, March 05, 2009 by AEJAZ AHMED
http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/news/2009/3/hc_directs_to_lodge_fir_against_erring_people_even_ministers.asp

HC DIRECTS TO LODGE FIR AGAINST ERRING PEOPLE, EVEN MINISTERSRanchi Thursday, Mar 5 2009 ISTJharkhand High Court today directed the state government to file FIR against ministers, officials and contractors who had taken commission for allotting road construction work at Saraikela, Kandra and Kharswan to the construction company.The Court also directed the construction company to file an affidavit before March 26 regarding allegations made in the court in connection with the allotment of the road construction at Saraikela, Kandra and Kharsawan.During the course of hearing, Mr Kalyan Roy, appearing on behalf of the contractor, informed the court that around 20 per cent of the commission was paid in advance to the officials concerned and the ministers for procuring the work. Taking serious view of the allegations, the Court directed to file an affidavit in connection with those allegations.A division bench comprising Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and Justice D K Sinha passed the order while hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by one Non Government Organisation Jan Kalyan Morcha. Mr Abhay Kumar Mishra, appearing on behalf of the petitioner, pleaded that around Rs 35 crores were spent by the state government to construct the 35 km road.Mr Mishra said construction of the road was completed in November, 2007, but the entire road was washed away in June last year.At present there was no road, therefore the government should make arrangement to construct the road and lodge FIR against the people involved in this scam, Mr Mishra pleaded.Earlier P K Prasad, Advocate General appearing on behalf of the state government, had given clean chit to the state government to file FIR against the erring.– (UNI) — 05CA36.xml

Patna HC stays single bench order of quashing BPSC exam
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Patna-HC-stays-single-bench-order-of-quashing-BPSC-exam/articleshow/4234272.cms
6 Mar 2009, 1553 hrs IST, PTI
PATNA: In a relief to Bihar Public Service Commission (BPSC) examinees, the Patna High Court has stayed the single
bench order quashing the results of the preliminary tests for the 48th to 52nd combined competitive examination conducted by the commission. A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad and Justice K K Mandal stayed the order on a petition filed by the successful candidates challenging single
bench’s decision which had set aside the preliminary test results on January 30. Admitting the appeal, the bench also issued notices to the unsuccessful candidates and sought their response. The single bench of Justice Navin Sinha on January 30 this year had pronounced the verdict on a bunch of analogous petitions filed by unsuccessful candidates alleging irregularities in holding the examination. Justice Sinha had also directed the BPSC to conduct afresh the preliminary test and work out the modalities for it. The BPSC had conducted the preliminary tests on May 25, 2008 at 530 centres across the state and 19,318 candidates were declared successful by the Commission on September 19, 2008.

Delhi HC slaps fine on firm over ‘false claim’
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/delhi-hc-slaps-fine-on-firm-over-false-claim…/431699/
Utkarsh Anand Posted: Mar 06, 2009 at 1246 hrs IST
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a jewellery firm for filing a frivolous complaint against a bank which took possession of cars belonging to the owner of the firm over default in paying the installments.
Justice S N Dhingra slapped the monetary penalty on Enchante Jewellery after observing that its accusations of forcible possession of the vehicles by the recovery agents of the bank and theft was a “false claim” made only for “pressurising” the bank.
“The suit of plaintiff is false, frivolous and baseless. The plaintiff made false averments about placing jewellery within the car and the jewellery having been taken away,” said Justice Dhingra in his order on Thursday.
According to CitiBank, the owner of the jewellery firm had obtained an auto loan from the bank and bought four Qualis vehicles between December 26, 2000 and February 7, 2001. The firm stopped paying the EMI after March 2003 over any of the cars and the post-dated cheques issued to the bank were dishonoured, the bank responded in its defence. In October 2003, the bank agents took away one of the vehicles used by the owner’s brother.
The firm, through its director Chand Mehra, had contended that the CitiBank’s recovery agents forcibly took away one of the vehicles from Mehra’s younger brother. It also alleged that the agents did not allow him to withdraw jewellery worth Rs 7 lakh in the car.
The court decreed that the suit would be dismissed with a fine of Rs 1 lakh and directed the jeweller to pay the amount to CitiBank.

Replace DCP if he’s not keen on probe: HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Replace-DCP-if-hes-not-keen-on-probe-HC/articleshow/4230977.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0015 hrs IST, Shibu Thomas, TNN
MUMBAI: “`Ek baccha gaya toh kya badi baat hai’ seems to be the police’s attitude,” stated the Bombay high court on Friday as the Mumbai cops and the BMC tried hard without success to convince the judges about their diligence in tracing the three-day-old baby kidnapped from Sion hospital earlier this year. A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi refused to accept the BMC’s offer of Rs 5 lakh to the baby’s parents. The judges asked the municipal corporation’s lawyer to come back on Friday with a new figure. During the last hearing, the judges had made it clear that the interim compensation should be at least Rs 10 lakh. On Thursday, the court’s ire was reserved for the police. “We know the Mumbai police is not incompetent, but tell us what happened to the child,” said the judges. The court also took umbrage to the fact that deputy commissioner of police Sanjay Baviskar, who is heading the Special Investigation Team (SIT) set up to trace the baby, was on leave and had not even signed the weekly reports. “Replace him if he is not interested in the probe,” said the judges. “He will have to bear the consequences for not having done anything.” The judges told the prosecution, in no uncertain terms, that DCP Baviskar would have to remain present in court during the next hearing on Friday. Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar told the court, “Serious efforts are on to find the missing baby. The police are trying to ascertain whether it is the handiwork of an individual or a professional gang.” The civic body counsel, too, said that the two officials responsible for the security at the hospital could be suspended and even offered for a judicial probe. The court said it was not “satisfied”, and asked the BMC to use this “tragedy” to implement measures so that such incidents do not ever occur at civic-run hospitals. The three-day-old child of Chembur residents, Mohan and Mohini Nerurkar, was kidnapped by an unidentified woman on January 1, 2009 from the maternity ward of Sion hospital.

Bombay HC free to decide on national park encroachment: SC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Bombay-HC-free-to-decide-on-national-park-encroachment-SC/articleshow/4230913.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0003 hrs IST, Swati Deshpande, TNN
MUMBAI: In a significant development, the Supreme Court on Thursday said it will not interfere with the judgments passed by the Bombay high court on the removal of illegal encroachments in the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The apex court did not grant any stay on the demolitions but allowed the slumdwellers to approach the statutory authority with their grievances. A bunch of special leave petitions had been filed by groups of slumdwellers before the SC against the HC directives of 2000. The slumdwellers – represented by senior counsel Indira Jaisingh – had objected to the classification of all occupants as being illegal and called for a re-survey of the forest boundary a right to approach the forest officials according to the rules and not just before a monitoring committee appointed by the HC. The Bombay Environmental Action Group (BEAG) an NGO, has been fighting to protect the forest and ensure that it is free of encroachment. On Thursday, Debi Goenka of BEAG said that with the SC not accepting the slumdwellers’ demands, it meant “an end to the 14-year-old struggle to preserve and protect the national park from slumlords and politicians”.

CRZ row: HC raps coastal sarpanchas
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/CRZ-row-HC-raps-coastal-sarpanchas/articleshow/4231559.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0438 hrs IST, TNN
PANAJI: Ahead of the government’s bid to regularize illegal structures in CRZ areas, four sarpanchas from Canacona taluka were recipients of a severe reprimand from the high court of Bombay at Goa on Thursday for not demolishing structures violating CRZ rules and built after February 19, 1991. A division bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice U D Salvi directed the sarpanchas of Poinguinim, Agonda, Loliem and Khola to produce documentary evidence about the validity of such structures in their jurisdiction on March 6. The directions came after the panchayats claimed that the disputed structures “appear” to be built before the CRZ notification came into force on February 19, 1991. Following court instructions, Agonda sarpanch Jovy Fernandes, Loliem sarpanch Vipal Lolienkar, Poinguinim sarpanch Mrunali Pagi and Khola sarpanch Bhiva Velip were present for the hearing and were asked to explain how they had decided to regularize the structures retrospectively. During the hearing, the sarpanchas filed affidavits and justified regularization citing “social backwardness” of the locals. They explained that due to illiteracy, the locals did not know the legal formalities for constructing houses. At this juncture, a visibly angry division bench comprising Justice P B Majmudar and Justice U D Salvi asked each of the four sarpanchas their educational qualification. On learning that none had studied above the higher secondary level, the bench asked, “How can these people who don’t know anything about law, rule the people?” Subsequently, the court warned the four panchayats not to pass any orders with regard to the structures that are a subject matter of the petition. “If you pass any such further orders we will see to it that you go to jail for contempt,” the bench said. The bench also warned the officials that they would be tried for cheating and forgery if they attempt to create any new documents. Pranay Kamat appearing on behalf of the four panchayats told the court that if necessary, the sarpanchas would tender an apology to the court. However, the court refused to accept the apology and instead asked the sarpanchas why they should not be suspended for filing false affidavits before the court. The bench also remarked that it appeared that the sarpanchas were “fooling and cheating the court and the citizens and for this the sarpanchas will have to face the music.” The court also asked the state advocate general (AG) Subodh Kantak to point out provisions of law as to what action can be taken if the sarpanchas are found guilty of contempt of court in this issue. Earlier, Norma Alvares submitted a chart with details of action taken by the panchayats against the illegal structures. She told the court that most demolition orders issued by the court had been stayed by the directorate of panchayats. She also brought to the notice of the court that Poinguinim, Agonda, Loliem and Khola panchayats had decided that toilets, bathrooms, storerooms, sheds, distilleries were “basic needs” and so would not be demolished. The AG informed the court that while the remaining panchayats had passed demolition orders, these could not be enforced due to stay orders from the appellate authority. The directorate of panchayats will require time to take a decision with regard to 87 such structures, he said. Subsequently the court granted the directorate 10 weeks to complete the hearing. The matter will be heard on June 16. The court also directed the Benaulim panchayat and the municipalities of Mormugao and Canacona to file affidavits in the matter within 3 weeks.

LPG switch: HC summons oil firms
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/LPG-switch-HC-summons-oil-firms/articleshow/4231485.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0407 hrs IST, TNN
KOLKATA: Calcutta High Court has directed oil companies to be present in court to depose on the possibility of setting up more LPG outlets in the city. The order was passed after state advocate general Balai Ray, during hearing of the auto

-pollution case, submitted in court that there are only 12 LPG outlets in Kolkata and oil firms would set up 10 more by this month. Ray said the city needed at least 18 more outlets to cater to thousands of converted autorickshaws, but these could not be set up within the city limits due to the Explosives Act. It is then that the division bench of Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Justice P C Ghosh ordered oil firms to send representatives to court to get their view. Filing a progress report on the conversion of two-stroke autos to LPG, Ray said applications for 19,548 of the 40,000 autos running in the city were filed but only 2,229 could be sent to banks for financial assistance. The remaining 17,319 applications were found to be “incomplete”, Ray said. He also claimed that banks were taking “more time to deal with the applications”. The court asked Allahabad Bank and United Bank of India to send their representatives on the next (March 17) hearing for “taking directions from the court to expedite the loan process”. The HC observed that the 17,319 auto owners who filed incomplete applications should come forward to complete the applications. Ray also told the court that bus and mini-bus owners were not responding adequately to the government’s scheme for phasing out old commercial vehicles, although the deadline for conversion is less than a month away. Only the taxi association has expressed eagerness for conversion. The court made a note of this. In July 2008, the green bench had fixed December 31, 2008, as the deadline for conversion of autorickshaws from two-stroke petrol/diesel to four-stroke LPG in Kolkata. After three days of violence by auto operators, the state sought extension of the deadline but was turned down.

HC Bar body to continue boycotting justice Singh
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-Bar-body-to-continue-boycotting-justice-Singh/articleshow/4231014.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0415 hrs IST, TNN
CHANDIGARH: Deciding to continue boycott of the court of justice Uma Nath Singh until an ‘honourable solution’ was worked out by chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur, the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar association on Thursday sent the message loud and clear that any behaviour aimed at lowering the dignity of lawyers would not be accepted. Before arriving at the conclusion, lawyers at the general house meeting

left nothing to imagination of their utter disgust at the way justice Singh reportedly functioned. One of the most vocal speakers among bar representatives, Anupam Gupta, minced no words in hammering that justice Singh had not learned the knack of putting things behind him and that “history has a habit of repeating itself in his case”. The reference was apparent to when the judge had directed that HC lawyer Tahar Singh be taken to a mental asylum in Agra, leading to unprecedented protests against him by the Bar association. This time round, however, the legal fraternity was livid regarding justice Singh indicating about the issuance of a notice to Bar president Rupinder Khosla and counsel MK Tiwari for interfering in the administration of justice. Earlier, Gupta had suggested that the chief justice “do within 24 hours what was promised to us”, pointing towards a deal offered by a two-judge panel that justice Singh would never sit singly or as senior judge on a division bench. While it never materialised, Gupta again asserted, “Change the roster tomorrow, we resume work the next day.” Khosla had, on his part, wished the CJ would resolve the issue on his own but the view wasn’t seconded by the Bar.

HC directive on Amber mishap case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-directive-on-Amber-mishap-case/articleshow/4230937.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0224 hrs IST, TNN
The Rajasthan High Court took suo motu cognizance of the investgation ordered by a trial court in the Amber mishap case and justice R S Rathore directed the trial court to send the entire matter for the perusal of the high court.
The court was of the view that since the entire Amber Fort matter was pending with the HC division bench then how come the cognizance has been taken into the same. The entire record of the matter has now been directed to be place before the acting chief justice R C Gandhi.

‘Why burden state with sugar debts?’
http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?newsid=1236736
Mayura Janwalkar
Friday, March 6, 2009 2:02 IST
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday questioned the state government for being guarantor for the debts of sugar factories in the state. The debt amount for 15 sugar factories is Rs209 crores. “How can you (state government) put this burden on the state exchequer?” chief justice Swatanter Kumar asked.
The court said that the government could hold a certain portion of the shares of the sugar factories, but asked how it could be a guarantor when it had no interest in the factory.
Government pleader DA Nalavade told the court that the sugar co-operatives were the backbone of the rural economy, therefore the state was trying to aid them.
Under the Seventh Five-Year Plan, the central government provided letters of credit to 38 new sugar factories in the state, and the state government guaranteed the repayments of the loans these factories took.
A PIL filed by petitioner Dnyaneshwar Mahajan contends that Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank Ltd and Mumbai District Central Co-operative Bank gave loans to sugar factories. But in the last few years, 15 of these factories defaulted on repayments, and state is not “keen on fulfilling guarantees” given to the two banks.
The court has now directed the government to file an affidavit stating what steps would be taken for the repayment of the loans taken by the factories.

Date set for hearing on multiple land scams
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/date-set-for-hearing-on-multiple-land-scams/431473/
Nisha Nambiar
Posted: Mar 06, 2009 at 0049 hrs IST
Pune Various land scams that rocked Pune — in Maval, Mulshi and Shirur — over the past five years or so will finally come up for hearing on March 19 as part of hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by city-based advocate Dinesh Gonjare. A division bench of the Bombay High Court, comprising Chief Justice Swanteentra Kumar and DY Chandrachud, on Thursday ordered the Pune district collector and Pune police commissioner to be present with relevant documents for the hearing.
The PIL contends that since agricultural land can only be sold to an agriculturalist, the land mafia has devised a way around it through “development agreements”, by which owners surrender all rights, except ownership, to developers.
The litigation was filed on April 10 and copies were served to the respondents through the district government pleader. It came up for urgent admission thrice. The Chief Justice had directed the respondents to file their reply within six weeks and this was complied with in December.
Advocate Jayesh Kocheta, who represents the petitioner, said the PIL gives several instances of agricultural land turned into non-agricultural land through power of attorneys and development agreements. “Agriculturists have been deceived in this process,” said Kocheta.
Pune doctor Rohit Mehta, who had sought a probe into an eight-acre land deal in Shirur, has also joined the litigation. Advocate Amit Bhowmick, Mehta’s lawyer, said the PIL seeks a special committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to probe into the alleged scams.
Kocheta said affidavits filed by the Maval deputy collector, subdivisional officer, joint district registrar and controller of stamps and superintendent (rural) have admitted some scams and said these are under investigation.
Gonjare’s litigation draws inputs from news reports about strong-arm tactics used by developers in Maval in connivance with revenue officials and the police. He has named the chief minister, revenue minister, Pune divisional commissioner, district collector and rural superintendent of police as respondents. He has asked the court to issue a writ order under Article 226 of the Constitution directing the respondents to reply in affidavits, to the allegations levelled against them. The respondents should also be asked to state the action taken by them to curb the land mafia, it says.

HC cracks down on officials, contractors
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ranchi/HC-cracks-down-on-officials-contractors/articleshow/4230554.cms
5 Mar 2009, 2327 hrs IST, Manohar Lal, TNN
RANCHI: Jharkhand High Court on Thursday asked the state government to lodge an FIR against contractors and engineers for building sub-standard roads along the Adityapur- Kandra and Kandra- Saraikela stretch. The PIL filed by Jan Kalyan Morcha came up for hearing in the division Bench of chief justice Gyan Sudha Misra and justice DK Sinha. The court had earlier directed the defense counsel to submit details of bank accounts and all payments received by the contractors for the construction project from the state. The PIL alleged construction work for Adityapur- Kandra (15 km) and Kandra- Saraikela (23 km) stretch in Saraikela-Kharsawan district started in 2005, under the supervision of Kolkata-based contractor Maheswari Brothers. But within a year the road was washed away during monsoons. The petitioner demanded action under Bihar Prevention of Corrupt Practices Act and alleged the road was constructed with sub-standard materials at a whopping cost of Rs 32.06 crore for the 38 kilometer stretch. It was completed in 2006. “What action has the state counsel taken in this direction? The court wants the National Highway Authority of India to assess costs incurred per kilometer of the road with 50 to 55 mm of thickness in the relevant year,” the court said. Advocate Kalyan Rai appearing for the contractor argued, “The road was constructed where there was virtually no road at all and at present heavy vehicles carrying minerals are using it daily”. The court in turn pulled up the contractor and asked him why he did not bother to refund 50 per cent of the total amount received. Rai went on record saying, “My client has paid 20 per cent of the amount to construction officials to secure the contract worth Rs 32.06 crore”. This infuriated the court which went on to say, “From top to toe you are immersed in corruption”. After listening to both sides of the argument the court ordered the state government to lodge an FIR against the contractors and engineers involved in the project and adjourned the hearing for March 26.

HC seeks report on Bedo milk poisoning case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ranchi/HC-seeks-report-on-Bedo-milk-poisoning-case/articleshow/4230563.cms
5 Mar 2009, 2322 hrs IST, TNN
RANCHI: The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday asked the state government to file the inquiry report specifying the progress made in the Bedo milk poisoning case in which five schoolchildren of a residential school had died while several took ill. The incident occurred on the eve of Children’s Day at Baridih Adivasi High School under the Bedo block of Ranchi district. A PIL was filed by a human rights activist, Ranjit Roy, who had sought action against defaulters and payment of ex gratia to the kin of the deceased students. The PIL came up for hearing in the division bench comprising Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Misra and Justice D K Sinha. The court was informed by advocate general P K Prasad that the Governor had sanctioned the ex gratia amount which was given to the kin of the students. Citing the example of Simdega and Mandar residential schools, where students fell ill after consuming adulterated food, the petitioner’s counsel said that such incidents are happening frequently in several schools of the state. He said that the incident at Mandar residential school took place on Tuesday in which several students fell ill after they consumed poisoned mid-day meal. After hearing the argument, the court asked the state to file an action taken report in the Bedo milk poisoning case. It also sought specific details regarding repetition of such incidents.

HC nod to Lajpat Rai Mkt development
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-nod-to-Lajpat-Rai-Mkt-development/articleshow/4230664.cms
6 Mar 2009, 0519 hrs IST, Ruhi Bhasin, TNN
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday gave Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) the green signal to start work on the redevelopment plan for Lajpat Rai Market in Chandni Chowk as per Master Plan-2021. The market, built for refugees after Partition, was single-storeyed to start with. However, over the years floors have been added to each shop. A PIL on unauthorised construction in the market was filed by one R C Jain in 1990s. In response to this, traders in the area had said they were allowed 300 floor area ratio as per Master Plan-1962 and could therefore build more floors. MCD had, however, contended that this was not the case and it should be maintained in its original form, with only single-storeyed shops being allowed. While the court is yet to take a final decision in this matter, on Thursday a division Bench comprising Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Vipin Sanghi permitted the agency to carry on with the market’s redevelopment plan in accordance with MPD 2021. The HC will take up detailed arguments on behalf of both parties on April 24. There are approximately 1,500 shops in Lajpat Rai Market dealing in electronic goods. President of the market, V M Mehta, said: “A PIL about unauthorised construction in the market was filed in 1997 by R C Jain. We then approached the court saying that as per MPD-1962, we were allowed 300 FAR and got a stay in this matter. Meanwhile, a contempt notice was issued by the court against 96 MCD officials and police officials for not taking any action against the unauthorised construction.” The Lajpat Rai Market is one of the few next to the Red Fort. Said the deputy commissioner of city zone, Vijay Singh: “We want to restore the market’s original glory and its heritage look. The market was made of red stones earlier. We want to make uniform sized shops with parking under the market area and proper storage place. Presently, goods are kept outside shops encroaching on walking space. As per MPD-2021, only single-storeyed shops are allowed here.” The civic agency also plans to make the market air-conditioned. According to Mehta: “The market was made by the rehabilitation ministry and handed over to MCD. Since this dispute is ongoing, we have not paid rent for our shops. We want to look at the redevelopment plan MCD has to offer and ensure it takes into account all our needs.” The MCD had recently made makeshift shops at Diwan Hall Market next to Lajpat Rai Market in an attempt to decongest the area.

HC fumes over pending files
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/HC-fumes-over-pending-files/articleshow/4230652.cms
5 Mar 2009, 2332 hrs IST, TNN
BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday took government officials to task for sleeping over files for years, terming them “sleeping giants”. Shocked to hear about pendency of files regarding 5,000-MW power projects for 12 years, the court suggested that the government formulate a green channel or single-window system for speedy clearance of projects. “There is power shortage on one side; here, officials are sitting on files as sleeping giants for years together. You have to encourage entrepreneurs. But they are made to wait for a decade. A 5-MW mini-hydel project is yet to take off though permission was given in 1997… make a fool-proof system so there is no scope for such litigations,” the division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran told K Jairaj, principal secretary, energy department, and counsels of KPTC and KREDL. The court also told them to file an affidavit containing the guidelines. Earlier, Jairaj told court that about 4,000 MW of wind energy projects and 800-1,000 MW mini-hydel projects are awaiting clearance. The court gave Prabhakar Power Projects Private Limited two years to complete the 5-MW mini hydel project at Narayanapur dam in Raichur district. The dispute was between Sparta Power Projects (Hyderabad) and Prabhakar Power Projects. GO on liquor challenged The High Court ordered notice to the finance department and state excise department over a petition filed by two liquor vending licence holders challenging the February 28 GO seeking to reduce the profit margin of retail sellers from 20% to 10%. “The state government has taken this decision without consulting the affected parties. It has no legal support,” G K Bhat, counsel for the petitioners, told court. The state government, citing the arrack ban, said that since 2007, liquor business has doubled and there is need to regulate profit margins. The GO came into effect on Thursday. Clear encroachments The court asked PWD authorities to clear unlawful encroachments along NH-19 and NH-63, which run along Sindhanur town, within two months. The court also asked the authorities to take action against Surendra Babu, PWD (NH)executive engineer, for his failure to give proper instructions. Tree felling A division bench directed the authorities not to permit cutting of trees on coffee estates. The order was passed based on a PIL filed by the Kaveri Sene. Injunction order The court passed an injunction order on one acre of kharab land along the NH in Devanahalli town. V S Murali and others moved court, claiming that the land belonged to the government, while Shivanna filed a petition, seeking change of khata of the property in his name.

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