LEGAL NEWS 13.03.2009

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DK lawyers to resume work today
CHENNAI: The lawyers’ wing of the Dravida Kazhagam has decided that its members will resume work from Friday. A resolution to this effect was adopted at a meeting on Thursday. — Special Correspondent

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


One Response

  1. Thank for your information
    It is very necessary to us
    same we have all necessary information about M.P nagar

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