LEGAL NEWS 13.0.2009

HC fixes April 29 for Jet-Sahara case hearing http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/businessline/blnus/28131820.htm MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court will hear on April 29 the dispute between Jet Airways and Sahara India Commercial Corporation over the alleged violation of takeover agreement of erstwhile Sahara Airline. Counsels for both the parties informed Justice D Y Chandrachud that they would be ready with their arguments on that day. Jet’s counsel Janak Dwarkadas on April 9 had urged the court for time to file a rejoinder to Sahara’s application seeking Rs 2,000 c rore from it as the buyout price on the ground that the agreement has allegedly been violated. Sahara had moved the High Court contending that the Naresh Goyal-led airline was liable to pay Rs 2,000 crore instead of the renegotiated amount of Rs 1,450 crore agreed between them. Sahara said the takeover price had been brought down to Rs 1,450 cror e from Rs 2,000 crore provided Jet Airways would not default on payment. But Sahara said there is default in payment and, therefore, concession on the takeover deal was not tenable. Jet bought Sahara Airlines from Sahara Group in April 2007 for Rs 1,450 crore after an arbitration award. It paid Rs 900 crore and agreed to pay the balance in four instalments. – PTI HC issues notice to Gehlot on PIL challenging probe panel http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/004200904131607.htm Jaipur (PTI): The Rajasthan High Court on Monday issued show cause notice to the Congress party, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, senior government officials and a retired judge in connection with a Public Interest Litigation filed to challenge the authority of the inquiry commission probing allegations of corruption and abuse of power by the BJP government prior to them in the state. The notice was issued by the division bench of Justice R C Gandhi and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati and the parties were told to file their replies in four weeks time. Issuing the show cause notice, the court observed, “The terms of reference are wide sweeping and no minister or chief minister or any other guilty person has been named in the order of reference of inquiry to the commission which was required under the law.” After coming to power in January 2009, the Ashok Gehlot government had formed the inquiry commission headed by Justice (retd) N N Mathur to investigate the corruption, negligence, irregularities and abuse of power charges against the Vashundhara Raje government between 2004-2008. In the PIL filed, the petitioners Kashi Purohit and Krishmurarilal Asthana said that the inquiry commission was not formed under the commission of inquiry Act, had not got a clearance from the Assembly and it smacked of political vendetta. Madras HC directs college to reinstate scavengerhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?4ece7ed6-2641-4b62-8cee-680306a29822 4/13/2009 The Madras High Court has directed a government arts college here to reinstate a scavenger, who was dismissed on the ground that she belonged to Backward Class.Setting aside the dismissal order on Thursday, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said the petitioner should be reinstated in the post without disturbing the person appointed in that place, either in any existing vacancy in the college or in the immediate arising vacancy if there was no vacancy now.Till a regular vacancy arose, the college should pay her salary from the date of reinstatement without backwages. She was not entitled to claim any backwages by applying the principle of “no work, no pay.” When a regular vacancy arises, she should be accommodated with continuity of service from the date of appointment, June 1998, without backwages and with all other service benefits.In her petition, C Clara alias Gomathi said she was born as Christian Adi Dravidar, a backward class community. In 1991, she embraced Hinduism and changed her name as Gomathi. She got married in 1991 to one Govindaraj, also a Hindu Adi Dravidar. She had registered herself as Christian Adi Dravidar in 1986, mentioning the community as BC. Subsequent to conversion and wedding, she informed the same to the employment exchange.Due to conversion and marrying a Hindu Adi Dravida, she also became a Hindu Adi Dravida, a scheduled caste community. After being sponsored by the employment exchange, she was appointed as a scavenger in the Government Quaid-e-Milleth Arts College for Women, Chennai, in June 1998. In March 1999, she was served a memo and called upon to submit her explanation, which she did however she was without considering it, dismissed.The college submitted that the post was meant for SC candidate. While joining, the petitioner did not disclose that she converted to Hindu and changed her name to Gomathi. Based on a reply to a clarification sought from the District Employment Officer, the petitioner’s services were terminated. UNI J&K HC dismisses petitions in Gulmarg land scam casehttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?a1e2d324-6911-49ee-95eb-c8a9ce161cf7 4/13/2009 Dismissing a writ petition filed by the accused in the Gulmarg land scam, Jammu and Kashmir High Court refused to interfere with the investigation of the State Vigilance Organisation (SVO).A single bench of the High Court, comprising Justice Hakim Imtiyaz Hussain, dismissed writ petitions filed by three accused in Gulmarg land scam case seeking quashing of the cases against them.The court said it was premature to interfere as the investigation in the matter was at the initial stage. The SVO had registered a case against senior officials of the government including a Commissioner Secretary for misusing official position for illegal transfer of state land at Gulmarg worth crores of rupees by misusing the provisions of Roshni Act.The SVO said the accused public servant (members of the empowered committee) and other officials by abuse of their official position under a conspired plan, dishonestly in gross-violation of law/rules, processed and vested the ownership of the leased land to beneficiaries in Gulmarg estate, meant for construction of Hutments, under master plan of GDA, to confer undue benefit upon the beneficiary applicants, occupants and themselves.The SVO pleaded that the land had been transferred to the accused in a place where Roshni Act was not applicable.According to the provisions of the J&K State Land, (Vesting of Ownership Rights to the Occupants) Act, 2001, known as Roshni Act, any occupant of the state land shall apply to the territorial tehsildar for having such land vested or transferred to him under the provisions of the Act.Under the Act the concerned tehsildar after holding an inquiry and verifying the contents of application, would send a report to district collector of the area with his recommendations. The district collector would subsequently make further inquiry and forward the application along with his report to the committee, which is required to pass appropriate order for disposal of land and also determine the price to be deposited by the applicant (occupant) for vesting of such state land.The SVO said the provisions of the Act, shall however, not apply to such land as is earmarked for a specific purpose in any master plan.It said the Gulmarg had Master plan in 1960s and the transfer of land in the area was illegal. UNI Tata to move SC against Delhi HC decision on Sasan http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/tata-to-move-sc-against-delhi-hc-decisionsasan/58475/on BS Reporter / Mumbai April 13, 2009, 14:32 IST The Delhi High court today dismissed a petition filed by Tata Power Company (TPC) challenging usage of surplus coal from the captive coal mines of Sasan ultra mega power project (UMPP) for other projects of Anil Ambani controlled Reliance Power. Tata Power said the company would appeal the decision in the Supreme Court. Tata Power has no locus standi to file petition and hence it is not maintainable, said a division Bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Siddharth Mridul. “The Delhi High Court decision gives judicial approval for EGOM decision and the judgment paves the way for Reliance Power to expedite the 4000 mega watt Chitrangi project,” said a Reliance Power executive. In August last year, an empowered group of ministers (EGOM) had approved Reliance Power’s request to allow utilization of coal reserves from Sasan for projects other than the ultra mega project. Reliance Power’s plans to set up a 4000 MW project at Chitrangi in Madhya Pradesh, utilizing the excess coal from Sasan. Tata Power, which had participated in the earlier rounds of bidding for Sasan, challenged the decision in the Delhi High Court in January this year, citing the decision violated Sasan UMPP’s tender conditions. “Tata Power strongly believes that it has raised an important issue concerning the Government of India’s decision to permit the diversion of coal from captive mines allotted exclusively to Sasan UMPP to other projects of Reliance Power, after the conclusion of the bidding process. We would be filing an appeal before the Supreme Court as we strongly believe that the issue has larger national ramifications,” said Tata Power. Tata Power contended that any excess coal should be handed over to Government controlled Coal India Limited, as it could benefit the state exchequer. The captive coal mines of Sasan are estimated to have coal reserves of about one billion tonnes. A Tata Power executive had told Business Standard that the EGOM decision would allow Reliance Power to save about Rs960 crore in an year as captive coal mines give cost savings of upto Rs240 crore a year for every 1000 mega watt capacity. “This has disturbed the fairness, transparency and the level playing field, and is not in accordance with the bidding documents. The issue assumes further significance in view of the PPP model being adopted for the country’s infrastructural development,” said a Tata Power spokesperson. The Ministry of Power, another defendant in the case, countered the petition saying Tata Power had suppressed material facts and all bidders including Tata Power were aware of surplus coal and the provisions for its utilization. Tata Power has no legal right to file the petition since it withdrew from Sasan UMPP’s tender process, the Government counsel said. “We believe that we have not suppressed any facts or provided any incorrect information,” said Tata Power. Reliance Power had signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Madhya Pradesh Government in September 2007 to establish the project and has applied for land for the project. Major clearances for the project including environmental clearance are in advanced stages. The company has already tied up 1241 MW net power supply with Madhya Pradesh Power Trading Company at a rate higher than the rate being offered by Sasan UMPP, said sources with Reliance Power. HC dismisses Tata`s plea on Sasan coal diversion by RPower http://www.myiris.com/newsCentre/newsPopup.php?fileR=20090413131834198&dir=2009/04/13&secID=livenews The Delhi High Court (HC) has dismissed Tata Power (Q, N,C,F)* Company`s petition challenging the government`s decision to permit Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power (RPower) to divert coal from the captive mines of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project for use in other projects, reports Economic Times. The division bench of the Delhi High Court noted that the writ petition suffered from delay and said that it did not see any warrant for exercising the power. Tata Power had filed a petition claiming government`s decision as `arbitrary` and `illegal,` and had requested the government be directed to produce all records along with the letter of intent issued to RPower on Aug 1, 2007, for the Sasan UMPP. However, RPower opposed the argument and stated that a lot of international funding had gone into the Rs 24 billion project and any intervention or stay on the project would affect it badly. Shares of Tata Power gained Rs 5.7, or 0.64%, to trade at Rs 889.90. The total volume of shares traded was 49,283 at the BSE (1.09 p.m., Monday). HC to hear dual-SIM patent case today http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News-by-Industry/HC-to-hear-dual-SIM-patent-case-today/articleshow/4393430.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0444 hrs IST, Niranjana Ramesh, ET Bureau CHENNAI: The Madras High Court will hear a petition filed by a Madurai-based engineer Somasundaram Ramkumar seeking the enforcement of patent protection for his invention, the dual SIM card technology used in mobile phones. Mr Somasundaram, who says that he got his patent in 2008 after filing for it in 2002, is upset that mobile phone companies such as Samsung, Spice are using the technology without paying him any royalties. He has got the court to stay the manufacture of phones using dual SIM technology in February 2009 when he filed his initial petition. Imports have also been stopped but the sale of phones using this technology from companies’ inventory is continuing. On Monday, the court will begin hearings on the subject which has already caused losses of about Rs 35 crore to companies such as Spice. Mr Ramkumar had applied for a patent on dual SIM mobile phones in 2002 at the Chennai branch of the Indian patent office (IPO), and obtained the grant six years later, early in 2008. “By then, dual SIM card phones had become common place; but, I couldn’t commercially exploit the property and the technology, till I was awarded the patent,” Mr Ramkumar told ET. On February 23, Mr Ramkumar filed a petition before the Madras High Court against 13 companies engaged in the import or sale of dual SIM card mobile phones in India, seeking patent protection. He also filed a writ of mandamus, following which the HC enforced protection of his patent through the customs department, by stopping imports of such phones. Demonstrating a prototype, which is a prerequisite to claim patent protection, Mr Ramkumar claims that he has patented a circuit that enables the plurality of any removable/insertable device in a mobile handset from SIM cards to earphones. “That the circuit seems basic now or that nobody bothered to patent is not a fault of our client’s,” said Mr V Balasubramaniam, partner at BFS Legal, the firm representing Mr Ramkumar. Denying reverse engineering of any sort, he said, “One should remember that when he applied for the patent in 2002, mobile phones themselves were a novelty, and there was no possibility of existence of a dual SIM phone.” The Chennai-based Mohan Associates, the law firm defending a company that manufactures components for dual SIM card phones claims that the patent is in fact only for plurality of earphone jacks, which enables plural usage of multiple SIM cards. Jet-Sahara dues row: HC to fix hearing date today http://avindia.blogspot.com/2009/04/jet-sahara-dues-row-hc-to-fix-hearing.html Monday, April 13, 2009 Mumbai : The Bombay high court will on Monday announce a final date of hearing in a payment dispute case between Sahara India Commercial Corp. Ltd, or SICCL, and Jet Airways(India) Ltd.Jet Airways on Thursday sought more time from the court to file a reply to an affidavit filed by SICCL, claiming Rs2,000 crore in dues. The court will hear the case either on 29 April or 4 May, Jet Airways’ lawyer Janak Dwarkadas told Mint.SICCL’s 26 March application claimed that Jet Airways had defaulted on payments towards the purchase of Air Sahara, and had asked for permission to seize Jet’s assets. Jet Airways bought Sahara Airline Ltd, which operated Air Sahara, in April 2007 and later rebranded it JetLite. Jet said it had paid SICCL money in instalments after making deductions for liabilities from before the completion of the acquisition.12/04/09 P.R. Sanjai/Livemint SC stays HC’s comments on Law& Order http://keralaonline.com/news/sc-stays-hcs-comments-law-order_32801.html By KOL News , Written on April 13, 2009 New Delhi, Monday, April 13, 2009: The Supreme Court division bench consisting Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, and Justice P Sadashivam today stayed Kerala High Court Justice V Ramkumar’s statements that the law and order situation in the sates is in complete chaos. The government counsel Nageshwara Rao argued that the statements had created unwanted debate in the wake of elections and the opposition has taken it as a weapon to slam the government. The counsel also cited Crime Records Bureau’s report that compared to other states the incidents of crime is low.Dismissing the bail application of three men accused of attempting to murder the Spiritual Movement head Rahim Pukersery, the Kerala High Court had rapped the state government on the law and order situation in the state Justice V. Ramkumar said that the law and order situation in the state had “collapsed.”“The highways have become unsafe. Likewise, women find it difficult to move around. The authorities seem to be silent and if this situation continues, then the court will have to intervene in a very strong manner,” he said in his judgment which is seen here as a setback to the Left government when the state is voting for its 20 Lok Sabha seats April 16.The judge also took State Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan to task, noting there were quite a few criminal gangs that are based in his constituency in Tellichery which are on a rampage in the state.Pukersery was attacked near the Infopark campus in January last year and the bail application was moved in the High Court after the lower court refused bail to the accused. HC verdicts “obeyed more in breach than in compliance” http://cynicalindian.blogspot.com/2009/04/hc-verdicts-obeyed-more-in-breach-than.html Monday, 13 April 2009 The Delhi High Court, through various public interest litigations (PILs), has issued several orders over the last few years that intended to make sweeping changes in the Capital. The issues ranged from monkey menace to the stray cattle problem, saving the Yamuna to nursery admissions, and subways beneath the India Gate hexagon to Blueline accidents. All decisions, however, exist on paper only, after taking up valuable time of the already overburdened court. The judges’ verdicts have been “obeyed more in breach than in compliance”, Justice R S Thakur had once described the trend Posted by Anand Chakrapani at 12:28 Sintex gets court nod for development reserve http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/stocks-in-news-home/Sintex-gets-nod-for-development-rund/articleshow/4394121.cms 13 Apr 2009, 1041 hrs IST, Ramkrishna Kashelkar, ET Bureau MUMBAI: Gujarat-based Sintex Industries Ltd has obtained approval from the Gujarat High Court for shifting Rs 200 crore from its securities premium reserve to a special reserve called International Business Development Reserve. As on March 31, 2008, the company carried over Rs 885 crore in its securities premium account. In June 2008, the board had approved setting up this special reserve to provide for possible takeovers in future. Subsequently, the company’s shareholders approved this scheme of arrangement in September 2008. The matter, since then, was pending with the Gujarat High Court. The company, which acquired seven outfits in last two years, had raised $225 million through FCCBs and Rs 750 crore through qualified institutional placement and warrants to promoters in early 2008 to fund its organic expansion plans as well as acquisitions. Although the acquisition plan was delayed due to the economic conditions for some time, the company has again started actively scouting for candidates in plastic moulding and plastic composites space. During the nine months ended December 2008, the custom moulding business was the largest growth driver for the company with 140% jump in revenue to Rs 1035.4 crore. The company intends to utilise the special reserve towards any future R&D expenditure, purchase of patents, due diligence or legal costs necessary in overseas buyouts. In the plastic composite business, several producers hold patent rights to different recipes of composites and the company (or its subsidiaries) may have to purchase such rights for specific client needs. Going forward, the company intends to write off such expenditure against this special reserve rather than capitalizing them on assets side of the balance sheet. The Sintex scrip has done well in the last one-month gaining nearly 59% as against 32% gain in Sensex. However, over a three-month period, the stock has lost 40% compared to the 15% gain in the Sensex. Double taxation in indirect tax law ? an ongoing problem http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/double-taxation-in-indirect-tax-lawan-ongoing-problem/354900/ S Madhavan / New Delhi April 13, 2009, 0:45 IST Earlier articles in this column had highlighted the problem with regard to double taxation of a particular transaction under the indirect tax laws that are prevalent in India today. The central problem is with regard to the taxation of a transaction as both a supply of goods as well as a provision of service, with the tax consequence of both the State VAT and the service tax being applicable thereto. The advent of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) could considerably mitigate, if not all together eliminate, the problem and for this reason alone, its earliest possible introduction is very desirable. In yet another illustration of the serious challenge faced by taxpayers in regard to double taxation, the Karnataka High Court, in a recent decision in Bharti Airtel Ltd. Vs State of Karnataka (2009-TIOL-99) has held that a particular transaction was chargeable to the State VAT, as a sale of goods, notwithstanding the factual position that it had already been charged to the service tax, as a provision of service. This decision has taken note of the decision of the Supreme Court in Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd. Vs. UOI (2006) 145 STC 91) and nevertheless has come to the above conclusion. In this case, the issue at hand was the taxability of the provision of broadband connectivity by the assessee to its subscribers. On the particular point of whether the activity of provision of broadband connectivity would at all amount to a supply of goods, as opposed to a provision of service, the High Court considered the technical aspect of the matter in very great detail. It also took note of the decision in the BSNL case (ra) that transfers of the right to use electromagnetic waves or radio frequencies could not be charged to the sales tax or State VAT since they did not constitute goods, for the purpose of Article 366 (29A) of the Constitution of India. The High Court distinguished broadband connectivity from electromagnetic waves and held that the provision of such connectivity amounted to a sale of light energy and was hence taxable under the Karnataka VAT Act 2003, as a sale of goods. In other words, the Court held that broadband connectivity was essentially the ability to carry data through an optical fibre network whereby light energy was created at the time of commencement of transmission of data/information and was extinguished once the data/information was delivered at the place of intended destination. The High Court distinguished such energy from electromagnetic waves, which were incapable of abstraction as they traveled through free space from one point to another and were also not extinguished for that reason. Sice broadband was qua the optical fibre network, the properties of ‘goods’ were attracted to the case in point. The Court then took up the point that the provision of broadband connectivity to its subscribers had already been charged to service tax. It must be mentioned here that the Union Government was also a respondent in this particular appeal and had argued that the appellants had rightly discharged service tax on the activity and that the Court should, if at all it came to the conclusion that the transaction amounted to a sale of goods, nevertheless hold that the appellants were liable both for the service tax as well as the State VAT. The appellants argued that they had entered into service level agreements with subscribers in relation to the provision of broadband connectivity and it was clearly demonstrated consequently that the dominant objective and intent was the provision of service. Hence, even if there was a determination that a sale of goods had taken place, it could only be incidental to the aforesaid dominant objective. Consequently, in terms of the decision in BSNL, the lease rentals received from the subscribers for the provision of broadband connectivity could not be taxed under the VAT laws but could only be taxed under the provisions of the service tax laws. The High Court took note of the decision of the Supreme Court in State of UP Vs. UOI (2003-TIOL-14) in regard to composite contracts for sales and services. In particular, it took note of the observation therein that an activity could be regarded under one statute as a sale of goods and equally as a provision of services under another statute. Accordingly, the High Court came to the conclusion that in the case in point, the activity of provision of broadband connectivity did undoubtedly answer the description of ‘sale’ within the meaning of the Karnataka VAT law and was taxable therein notwithstanding that the same activity was also correctly held to be a service under the Finance Act 1994. On the dominant nature test, the High Court concluded, based on a scrutiny of the underlying documentation with regard to the recovery of lease rentals from subscribers, that the dominant intent was actually the sale of artificially created light energy and that the provision of infrastructure in the form of the optical fibre network to facilitate the carrying of the data/information, which alone could constitute the service element in the contract, was only ancillary to this intent. Thus, the Court determined that the dominant nature of the contract was one for sale of goods and rejected the arguments that the dominant nature of the contract was the provision of service. Thereupon, the High Court held that given the inability of separation of the service and sale element in this particular composite contract, the entire consideration received by the appellant from its subscribers towards lease rentals would be chargeable to the VAT. In arriving at this conclusion, the High Court again relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in State of U.P. vs. UOI (supra). It can thus be seen that the High Court has come to a conclusion which clearly brings about a double taxation of one transaction to both the goods tax and the service tax, based purely on a determination that the transaction was essentially one for sale of goods and not for provision of service. The Court has apparently concluded that this determination can be done by each of the two taxing authorities in question and if such respective determinations resulted in a double taxation of a transaction that was an unavoidable legal consequence and that there was nothing improper or illegal as a result. The central point of the BSNL case regarding the need for taxing entries in the respective statutes for goods and services to maintain exclusivity appears to have been either overlooked or impliedly understood and interpreted in a particular sense. It was commonly understood subsequent to the BSNL judgement that the dominant nature test in relation to composite contracts other than those specifically covered by Article 366 (29A) could only result in a determination of either a sale of goods or a provision of service and not both. To be sure, the Supreme Court in the above case did not lay down rules as to how the problem of double taxation could be effectively avoided by a proper application of the dominant nature test by one or the other of the taxing authorities and not by both. Therein lies the problem. This decision of the Karnataka High Court once again brings to the fore the real and persistent challenge faced by tax payers with regard to double taxation under indirect tax laws of a particular transaction to both the goods and the service tax. SUPREME COURT of India, Responsible for LEGAL TERRORISM http://supari.org/sci/ By sunita ⋅ April 13, 2009 He who has Authority and Power, when he see some malpractice, Misuse and Harassment of innocent and doing nothing, turning blind eye then he should held Responsible and he is part of this Injustice. This is none oher than SUPREME COURT OF INDIA. Years Ago Supreme Court Judge Pronounced 498A is a Legal Terrorism, Along with other gender biased laws like Domestic Violence, Divorce, Custody and Alimony which are totaly Against men. Years Passed, still there is no Change nor Misusers never brought to Justice. “ The law which is weak and Biased and strikes the innocent 98% of times will never be able to eradicate the evil which it was intended to eradicate” The Supreme Court has held that a law cannot be declared invalid simply on the ground that it is likely to be misused. A bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat and M K Sharma while upholding the conviction of a husband under section 498-A IPC (Cruelty for dowry) noted ‘It is well settled that mere possiblity of abuse of a provision of law does not per se invalidate a legislation.’ ‘It must be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, that administration and application of a particular law would be done ‘not with an evil eye and unequal hand.’ The apex court also took note of the fact that the object of introducing Sec 498-A IPC was to check dowry as the increase in the number of dowry deaths was a matter of serious concern. The court, however, reduced the sentence of appellant Satish Kumar Batra, the husband, from two years to 13 months imprisonment which he has already undergone. Other accused in the case were let off by the Punjab and Haryana High Court and the Supreme Court also upheld their acquittal. Batra was married to Santosh Kumari on October 21, 1985 and the case was registered at Sonipat at the behest of the wife. Writing the 15-page verdict for the bench, Justice Pasayat while rejecting the argument that Sec 498-A is being abused and therefore should be declared unconstitutional, said, ‘The principle in India as well as in the United States of America appears to be well settled that if a statutory provision is otherwise intra-vires, constitutional and valid, mere possibility of abuse of power in a given case would not make it objectionable, ultra-vires or unconstitutional.’ In such cases, ‘action’ and not the ‘section’ may be vulnerable. If it is so, the court by upholding the provision of law, may still set aside the action, order or decision and grant appropriate relief to the person aggrieved. The apex court further noted ‘It must be remembered that merely because power may sometimes be abused, it is no ground for denying the existence of power. The wisdom of men has not yet been able to conceive of government with power sufficient to answer all its legitimate needs and at the same time incapable of mischief.’ The lakhs of unscrupolous empowered women aka 498A extortionists headed by the likes of Mrs Kausar Begum heaved a sigh of relief when the Supreme court of India announced in a landmark judgment that although IPC section 498A was misused in 98% if cases ( Center for Social research statistics ) there was no need to scrap it or amend it . 498A extortionists across various parts of the country thanked the Supreme court for abetting the misuse of the law by preventing its scrapping or amendment to prevent misuse . The extortionists already know that there is no penalty for misusing this law and they can go scot free while the husband and his family have to battle it out in courts for 7 to 10 years trying to prove themselves innocent in totally false cases. The law will continue in its current form for now and will result harassment to lakhs of innocent men women and children, not to mention filling the pockets of the unscrupulous wives , Policemen , lawyers and Judiciary . The judgment also made a mockery of the 56000 married men who were committing suicide every year due to marital harassment. The Govt of India regularly investigates the death of married men as Dowry deaths but the deaths of married men are conveniently brushed under the carpet as due to financial reasons . The empowered and vicious women of India were finally happy that the supreme court of India also supports injustice and will allow the misuse to continue unabated while 126000 innocent women have been arrested under this act in the last 4 years itself. They also prayed for the Supreme Court to give decisions like these in the future in areas like alimony Child custody and Domestic violence which will the result in innocent Husbands and their families getting victimized. The people of India are however are shocked beyond belief that the despite having such overwhelming evidence of misuse and such overwhelming evidence of men’s suicides and suffering due to the misuse of the section the Learned judges of the Supreme court passed such a decision. The Judgment will result in the misuse to continue unabated and the number of falsely accused victims will only rise .The same court which until sometime back termed the misuse of this section as Legal Terrorism now wants to allow this terrorism to continue . The people of India know that a law which is weak and bised and strikes in the innocent 98% of times will never be able to eradicate the evil of Dowry . The people of India have the following questions for the supreme court . 1. Why no women till date has been prosecuted and convicted for giving dowry when so many husbands have been convicted for Dowry taking whereas both GIVING and TAKING are crime as per Section 3 Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 for the kind information of the Learned and Honorable Supreme Court Judges ? 2. Every year 57,000 husbands are committing suicides which is almost double the number of wives committing suicides in spite of the so called dowry deaths then why no protection to men ?? 3. Which other law in India makes ‘arbitrary arrest’ of innocent persons without investigation, constitutional? 4. Which law is used as a weapon to extort lakhs of rupees from men and also projected as such? 5. Is it only the possibility of misuse or actual misuse to the tune of 98% happening ? 6. When there are ample examples, Men are harassed in their women hand, why Judiciary Treat all men as Villains. 7. Why Fathers are not getting Even Visitation of their Child, which lead them to committe suicide. 8. Why Men are forced to pay, when wife who runaway from his house and working and staying with her Lover. 9. Why Laws made only to protect women, why not a single law for Family or men. 10. Why Judiciary treat all men as Villains and Criminal wives as Victims. Everyone knows these facts, and Supreme court is aware of this, still doing noting, so now you know, who is Responsible for “LEGAL TERRORISM” in India. Delhi HC quashes Tatas’ plea on Sasan coal diversion by RPower http://www.ptinews.com/pti/ptisite.nsf/0/41F696ED16481300652575970026735F?OpenDocument New Delhi, Apr 13(PTI) The Delhi High Court today dismissed Tata Power’s petition challenging the Government’s decision to allow Anil Ambani-led Reliance Power to divert coal from the captive mines of Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project for use in other projects.A division Bench comprising Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Siddharth Mridul dismissed the petition filed by Tata Power after observing that the company has no locus standi to file this petition and was not maintainable.”The writ petition suffered from delay … We do not see any warrant for exercising our power. This writ petition stands dismissed,” said the Division Bench. PTI Paperjam In Lawcourts http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/paperjam-in-lawcourts/446253/ Posted: Apr 13, 2009 at 0055 hrs IST The Delhi High Court, through various public interest litigations (PILs), has issued several orders over the last few years that intended to make sweeping changes in the Capital. The issues ranged from monkey menace to the stray cattle problem, saving the Yamuna to nursery admissions, and subways beneath the India Gate hexagon to Blueline accidents. All decisions, however, exist on paper only, after taking up valuable time of the already overburdened court. The judges’ verdicts have been “obeyed more in breach than in compliance”, Justice R S Thakur had once described the trend. KRISHNADAS RAJAGOPAL lists some of the cases Simian trouble Room-size cages strategically placed across the city, heavy penalties against feeding monkeys, a sanctuary in Bhatti Mines and sterilisation were some of the solutions hit upon by a Bench led by Justice Swatanter Kumar on March 14, 2007. With cages failing to materialise and the walls around the sanctuary hardly posing a hindrance, many simians have found their way back to the city, stubbing out a seven-year-old PIL. “Why, a monkey recently fell to death from the roof of the HC building,” says monitoring committee member Meera Bhatia. Stray menace One of the longest pending PILs — since the late 90s — to rid the city of stray cattle. On September 17, 2008, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) confessed before Chief Justice A P Shah that any action against the owners of the cattle was next to impossible due to the political backing enjoyed by them. A dozen hydraulic trucks meant to ship cattle, meanwhile, are rusting. As the next hearing is slated for July 22, the menace claimed two lives on April 4, when twins Love and Manish Jain were hit by a DTC bus after they swerved their bike to avoid a stray cow. Urinals On February 2, 2007, a Bench gave a “last warning” to the MCD and the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) to clean toilets or face contempt proceedings. The case is still pending. No-parking zone On March 26, 2007, a Bench led by Justice Swatanter Kumar declared the Lutyens’ Zone as “no-parking” area with effect from April 9, 2007, to check pollution. The public would park vehicles at Delhi Gate and use public transportation, the judge had said. No action taken yet. Tinted glasses — A flip – flop On March 26, 2007, the then HC Justice Swatanter Kumar banned tinted glasses in private cars. In the next six months, the traffic police publicly stripped dark films and slapped Rs 600 fine on the violators. Film manufacturers subsequently challenged the decision, after which the HC did a U-turn, saying the ban was “in direct conflict with the Central Motor Vehicles Act.” Save yamuna On November 3, 2008, a Bench of Justices A K Sikri and Rekha Sharma bowed out of a PIL to save the Yamuna from “massive” construction work for the 2010 Games. The court allowed construction with a vague warning to builders that they were doing so on their “own peril”. In a separate verdict, Justice Sharma described the concrete invasion of the Yamuna riverbed as “a sad story of men fiddling with major issues and resultantly playing havoc”. Nursery rhymes Six years of litigations to usher in uniformity in nursery admissions in private schools later, the HC on November 19, 2007, put the responsibility of vetting admission procedures on the Directorate of Education. Irate schools moved the Supreme Court, which returned to the institutions their autonomy to decide their own admission guidelines. Blueline blues An accident in Badarpur that killed seven commuters on October 7, 2007, prompted Justice Mukul Mudgal to take suo motu cognisance to rid the city of Blueline buses. Today, about 3,500 Blueline buses form the bulwark of public commuting. Further, it is the HC that has to extend their permits every fourth month — the last one was done on March 19, 2009 — for lack of an alternative. “The PIL stands to an extent diluted,” admits amicus curiae Anup J Bhambhani. Traffic fines On March 26, 2007, the HC hiked traffic fines by Rs 500 to check violators. The same year logged Rs 82.66 crore in revenue from challans — the highest in seven years. On May 6, the Supreme Court overruled the hike on a petition by liquor transporters, Brindco Sales. MCD demolitions On October 8, 2008, the HC gave in to the MCD’s persistent attack against the functioning of the much-dreaded demolition monitoring committee. The panel by this time had reclaimed 4,400 acres of public land from encroachers. Plastic ban On July 8, 2008, the HC restricted the use of plastic bags in main shopping areas. Overzealous authorities, however, went on to issue a blanket ban on January 7, 2009. The campaign to save the city from plastic bags is back at the HC’s door in the form of a challenge from plastic makers. India Gate subways On November 19, 2007, Justice Mukul Mudgal pulled up the NDMC for sleeping over a Rs 8.08-crore project to build four subways under the India Gate hexagon. The Delhi Urban Arts Commission submitted proof that it had cleared the subway plans way back in 1992. The Bench mooted the idea of handing over the work to Delhi Metro. There has been no progress on this front ever since. Free beds in hospitals An HC judgment on March 22, 2007, directed hospitals on public lands to provide free 10 per cent ‘in-patient’ and 25 per cent outpatient treatment for the poor. Some private hospitals are “playing mischief”, says amicus curiae Ashok Agarwal. Today, Agarwal says, free wards can boast of only 15 to 20 per cent occupancy in 38 hospitals. A contempt of court action is pending against three hospitals — Moolchand, St Stephen’s and Rajiv Gandhi. In Apollo Hospital, only 37 of the 600 beds are reserved for the poor, an HC panel reported on April 8, 2009. Free seats in schools The 78th Report of the Public Accounts Committee of the Lok Sabha in December 2008 revealed that most schools on public land failed to provide 25 per cent reservation to poor students, in violation of a High Court direction dated May 30, 2007. A panel led by V K Malhotra said the Urban Development Ministry and the DDA failed to pull up errant schools. Illicit liquor A PIL was filed in 2006, seeking to stop the sale of illegal liquor in the Capital. While the case is pending till date, several deaths in the last two months have been blamed on hooch. Rising court litigations threaten to derail port development projects http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/News-By-Industry/Transportation/Shipping–Transport/Rising-court-litigations-threaten-to-derail-port-development-projects/articleshow/4393117.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0046 hrs IST, ET Bureau The unfailing regularity with which ‘aggrieved’ bidders of various port development projects queuing up before courts with litigations of various hues is likely to mar the government’s ambitious plans to augment and modernize port infrastructure. Whether it is a prestigious project of Kandla or at Chennai, Jawaharlal Nehru or Paradip, Vizhinjam or Ennore, most have been subjected, now or before, to court litigations by competing bidders and resultant delays. As a Mumbai-based port consultant associated with a foreign agency noted, most of the litigations have little to do with technicalities and more to do with politics. He said, on condition of anonymity, the delays at times are so prolonged, as in some projects in the past, that it makes the ports and port community unable to enjoy the benefits they are supposed to derive from the project. Not only that precious time is lost and schedules are sent haywire, the project execution becomes all the more tiring due to land acquisition becoming more difficult with prices going up and banks developing cold feet about financing such ‘tainted’ projects. Given this propensity, many wonder about the fate of 54 port projects which the government plans to execute during the current 11th Five Year Plan. The committee of secretaries, under cabinet secretary, has reviewed awarding of concessions in the port sector. It has decided to give 54 projects through PPP during the 11th Plan. Of these, nine projects have already been cleared in 2008-09 and some others mentioned above feature prominently in the list. During the current financial year, i.e., 2009-10, the ministry is targeting to take up 20 projects. The remaining 25 projects would be taken up during the rest of the Plan period ending 2012. According to a source close to the shipping ministry, in order to achieve such an ambitious target during the current year, the department has already instructed chairmen of respective ports to issue RFQs by June and RFPs by December 2009. “We should definitely avoid such litigations,” said Atul Kulkarni, who was a port consultant with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India before becoming CEO of Chowgule Ports & Infrastructure. “As it is we are taking so much time in awarding a project, I do not see a reason for any litigation after selecting a bidder. Whatever needs to be done needs to be done affront and be satisfied with all kinds of requirements for the project.” “The number of litigations reflects that either we are not following the laid-down procedures properly or we are getting carried away by any Tom, Dick and Harry who go to court and file a PIL without requiring to actually justify the reasons for it,” he said. No one could wish away the litigations in a democratic setup, admitted a port official based in New Delhi. “The objections are also because of government policies and guidelines. “The government should come forward and make policies that are forward looking and clear-cut,” said an official from Indian Port Association. “It is a two-way process,” he said, adding, “the bidders also should be more enlightened and behave in such a way that they do not go overboard on aspects that do not affect them.” Parties find criminals most suitable candidates http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Varanasi/Parties-find-criminals-most-suitable-candidates/articleshow/4392116.cms 12 Apr 2009, 1638 hrs IST, Binay Singh, TNN VARANASI: The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo and chief minister Mayawati, who came to power in the state with a promise to send the criminals and mafia elements to their “right place”, is today seeking votes for them in the Parliamentary elections. Mayawati was here on Sunday to address the election meeting in favour of her jailbird candidate Mukhtar Ansari, accused in several cases including BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case. Along with Mukhtar Ansari, the BSP has fielded seven candidates with criminal records from different Parliamentary constituencies which are going to poll in the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on April 16. The BSP is not alone that has fielded candidates with criminal background, but both Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) have also fielded equal number (seven each) of tainted candidates, while Congress has fielded four such persons and many of them have been charged with serious IPC sections like 302 and 307 for murder and attempt to murder respectively. According to the report, as many as 47 candidates with criminal records are in the fray for the 16 Parliamentary constituencies in the first phase of elections. However, the percentage of candidates with criminal records contesting the election is 17 per cent this time, in comparison to 19.6 per cent in 2004 general elections. The UP Election Watch (UPEW), part of National Election Watch (NEW), which has been monitoring the candidates contesting the Lok Sabha elections, has released its first report of the first phase election in the state. The report was compiled on the basis of the affidavits submitted by the candidates along with the nomination papers. Anil Bairwal, national coordinator, Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR), told TOI over phone that various aspects like criminal history of the contestants and their financial status as well as educational qualifications have been included in the report to inform the electorates about candidates they are going to vote. The ADR is a non-political, non-partisan and a non-governmental organisation whose PIL filed in December 1999 culminated in a Supreme Court order on Mar 13, 2003 requiring disclosure of criminal, financial and educational background of all contesting candidates. Since then, ADR has conducted election watches in almost all state assembly and Lok Sabha elections. It continues to work towards strengthening democracy and governance in India by focusing on fair and transparent electoral and political processes. The National Election Watch (NEW) is a nationwide campaign comprising more than 1,200 NGOs and other citizen-led organisations working on electoral reforms, improving democracy and governance in the country. The NEW is active in almost all states. SC: OBC reservation can be provided at final stage of selectionhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?629d90c5-c891-43bf-9fba-0973da1e377f 4/10/2009 The Supreme Court has ruled that OBC reservation can be provided at the final stage of selection of candidates and not at the initial stage.A bench comprising Justices S B Sinha and Cyriac Joseph set aside the judgement of Andhra Pradesh High Court and allowed the appeal of Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission against the judgement which had held that the reservation should be provided from the initial stage of the selection process. The apex court while setting aside the impugned jugement said that giving reservation at the threshold will amount to shortlisting the candidates, which is illegal. Earlier, counsel for the State Service Commission had contended that providing benefit of OBC quota in the beginning will violate the principles of free and fair selection. Any candidate who has not gone through the selection process and has not qualified in terms of the merit list, is not entitled to the benefit of reservation policy, he said. The apex court agreed with the contention and set aside the High Court judgement. UNI Gujarat HC: Summer vacation from May 18http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?329765b7-b22d-4184-aea3-e10284a19097 4/12/2009 Gujarat High Court will observe summer vacation from May 18 to June 14.During the period, two vacation courts will work from 0900 hrs to 1200 hrs to hear urgent cases of criminal and civil nature and the court office will function from 0800 hrs to 1300 hrs. The High Court, having 30 judges and 20 courts, normally observes its vacations during Diwali, Summer and Christmas. It also observe holidays on Saturdays and Sundays. Subordinate courts will observe summer vacation from May 15 to June 15. Two urgent courts would be working during the period. There are 20 metropolitan courts in the city. Ten metropolitan courts will remain closed for 15 days during the summer vacation and the remaining courts will work as usual. In the second phase, ten courts will remain closed and those ten courts which observed vacation in the first phase, will be working, sources added.UNI Allahabad HC: Mukhtar Ansari’s bail application plea to be heard on Apr 15http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?5dbc3219-cc9e-4dc5-a8e4-7a115837edbe 4/11/2009 The Allahabad High Court fixed April 15 as the date of hearing of mafia don turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s bail application.Justice S K Jain fixed the date of April 15 for next hearing into the matter. Mukhtar, the BSP candidate from Varansai parliamentary seat, is in Ghazipur district jail in connection with BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case. Rai was murdered in Ghazipur on November 29, 2005 near his native village Gandaur,Ghazipur, along with his eight followers. An FIR was lodged at police station Bhanwarkol, Ghazpiur, in which apart from Mukhtar, his MP brother Afzal Ansari was also named as accused. The High Court had granted bail to Afzal in this case.UNI Madras HC orders CBI probe in land deal fraudhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?501beff1-6cb3-4414-a4f5-3a49173d3f6b 4/10/2009 The Madras High Court ordered a CBI probe against a Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) candidate, contesting the May 13 Lok Sabha polls, in connection with the embezzlement of Rs 171 crore given by a quasi-government firm in United Arab Emirates (UE) for purchase of lands in Tamil Nadu.Allowing the petition filed by Messrs Rakindo Developers Private Limited, a quasi-Government Association of UE, Mr Justice R Regupathy ordered the CBI probe against VCK Villuppuram (Reserve) candidate S P Velayutham, who was in real estate business.As huge money was involved and allegations were serious in nature, the CBI should probe the matter, the Judge said and directed the petitioner to hand over all records with him or with the Central Crime Branch (CCB) to the CBI, Joint Director, Chennai.The Judge also directed the Director of CBI, New Delhi, to depute an officer not below the rank of Inspector General of Police to conduct a preliminary inquiry and said thereafter, the task must be entrusted to an officer not below the rank of Superintendent of Police.The CBI should take into account the serious allegations made against the controversial police officers of the state and proceed strictly in a proper perspective as none is above law.’If the theory of influence is allowed to rule over the police administration, then injustice would be rampant defeating the rule of law, sometimes even resulting in deprivation of judicial remedies to the victimised persons,’ the Judge said.UNI Allahabad HC declines Mukhtar Ansari’s bail applicationhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?65e60c18-2040-48ea-b4b3-56074c44d2bd 4/10/2009 Justice Saroj Bala of the Allahabad High Court declined to hear the bail application of mafia don turned-politician and BSP’s Varanasi candidate, Mukhtar Ansari, in the BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case.Now, the Court of Justice S K Jain has been assigned by an order of the Chief Justice to hear Mukhtar’s bail application.The BSP candidate from Varansai Parliamentary seat, Mukhtar Ansari is in Ghazipur district jail in connection with BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai murder case. Rai was murdered in Ghazipur district on November 29, 2005 near his native village Gandaur, Ghazipur along with his eight followers. An FIR was lodged at police station Bhanwarkol, Ghazpiur in which apart from Mukhtar, his brother and MP Afzal Ansari along with several others were named as accused people. The High Court had granted bail to Afzal in this case.UNI Allahabad HC orders for reinstating dismissed policemenhttp://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?be14e9d3-8fe6-4a42-8f91-0ed142e8876b 4/10/2009 The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court ordered reinstatement of constables of Police PAC, Wireless department, with immediate effect.A single Judge bench of Justice Devi Prasad Singh passed the order on a petition filed by Suvnesh Kumar and 39 others.The bench passed the order, while cancelling the dismissal order of the cops by Uttar Pradesh Director General of Police.UNI Govt moves to lift HC ban on onshore exploration http://www.thefinancialexpress-bd.com/2009/04/12/63781.html M Azizur RahmanThe government has stepped up a move to open up onshore hydrocarbon blocks for exploration by international oil companies (IOCs) in a desperate attempt to meet the country’s mounting energy demand.Gas exploration in most of the country’s 46 onshore blocks remained frozen since 1998 after the High Court (HC) banned awarding the areas to the international oil companies (IOCs). Petrobangla Chairman Jalal Ahmed told the FE Saturday that a move was underway to vacate the court injunction, which would pave the way for new oil and gas discoveries.”We have already lodged a petition with the High Court bench to lift the ban on assigning foreign companies for onshore hydrocarbon explorations,” he said. Eminent lawyer Dr Kamal Hossain, an expert in mines and mineral litigation, has been tasked to expedite the process, he added. The ban has stood on the way to striking fresh production-sharing contract (PSC) with foreign companies for more than a decade at a time when the demand for energy trebled, putting strain on existing discoveries.The High Court gave the ruling immediately after the government launched its second round exploration bidding process, offering both onshore and offshore blocks to IOCs.Because of the ban, in the past decade the government could sign only one PSC with a foreign company, but that’s last year and was limited to only offshore blocks.The Petrobangla chairman said the country needs extensive explorations in both onshore and offshore blocks in the wake of soaring gas supply crunch, caused mainly by lack of drilling in prospective blocks. Experts said the gas crisis has created a ‘snow-ball’ effect on the country’s economy, as hundreds of factories could not start operation and half a dozen power plants remain idle, dragging down industrial growth.A Petrobangla official said the government would keep some blocks reserved for exploration by the state-owned Bangladesh Exploration and Production Company Ltd (BAPEX) to lessen dependence on IOCs. “We need the IOCs because gas exploration is a highly capital intensive work. But we would also engage Bapex in some of the exploration work to lessen over-dependence on the IOCs,” he said.More than 97 per cent of the total gas output, amounting to 1850 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd), comes from the onshore gas fields while only three per cent, or 56mmcfd, comes from the lone onshore gas field at Sangu.The IOCs were awarded 12 hydrocarbon blocks — both onshore and offshore — since gas exploration began in the country in late 1960s. But they now hold only six blocks after recently giving up rights on the rest.”Fresh exploration in the onshore blocks would require huge investments. We can’t do without the IOCs due to our limited resources,” said the Petrobangla official.Petrobangla projected that the country will need a further 24 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas and investment worth US $ 7.7 billion in the next 16 years to maintain seven per cent economic growth rate.The country’s proven reserve of 8.39 tcf gas would start drying up from 2011. If proven and probable reserves of around 14.4 tcf are taken together, the country’s gas stock will be emptied by 2015.After 2015, the country will require new reserves to meet the growing demand. Orissa High Court grants stay on fee hike by schools http://orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=12016 Saturday, April 11, 2009 Report by Orissadiary correspondent; Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Friday put an interim stay on the 25 per cent fee hike allowed by the Government to the private English medium schools, while hearing a petition filed by the parents of the Rajabagicha based DAV School who alleged that the Government’s decision was arbitrary and whimsical.On March 27 the Government had allowed 25 per cent hike on the fee structure of the last years tuition fee to those schools which have paying their employees on the scale of 5th Pay Commission and promising to pay by the 6th Pay Commission scale. The secretary of School and Mass Education Department, Director of Elementary Education, Central Board of Secondary Education, DAV School’s regional director, the chairman and principal of Rajabagicha DAV School’ has been made parties in the case. Justice MM Das hearing the case asked for a report within a week. The case while again come up for hearing on May 4. On the behalf of petitioners advocates Mahendra Kumar Sahu, Aptakam Mishra, Durga Patnaik and Ajay Mohapatra were pleading the case. High court dismissed PIL against IPL http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/High-court-dismissed-PIL-against-IPL/articleshow/4390242.cms 12 Apr 2009, 0512 hrs IST, TNN JAIPUR: Rajasthan High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a restraint order for the IPL commissioner and BCCI for holding the Indian Premiere League matches in Johannesburg, South Africa and requiring the Centre to provide adequate security for the matches to be held in the country itself. The PIL filed by the president of All India Karate Federation, Rameshwar Nirvan and one Krishna Murari Lal Asthana was heard by division bench comprising Justice R C Gandhi and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati. The court after lengthy arguments by the counsel Abhinav Sharma agreed that there would be a huge revenue loss to the country but at the same time Justice Bhagwati who delivered the judgement on behalf of the bench observed, “From no stretch of imagination, it can be inferred that any interest of public at large is involved in not holding the Indian Premier League matches in India. It may at the most cause sufferance to those few who generate huge money out of it or it may affect few local advertisers and on ground sponsors or it may cause loss of revenue to merchandise companies and entertainment companies but unequivocally and undeniably does not seem to affect the public at large as their legal and constitutional rights are not found to have been infringed.” The Bench further ruled that the litigation is a misconceived public interest litigation. Rather it has an element to gain cheap popularity. The court, however, refrained from making any observation as to the legality of the decision for not providing adequate safety measures during the election. The PIL had specifically alleged that the decision to shift the venue had sent out a bad message that the country is helpless in facing any terror threats and with elections all other social issues becomes secondary in the country. Right to Fair Trial and Ajmal Kasab http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article1291.html Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 17, April 11, 2009 by Nandita Haksar, 12 April 2009 Mohammad Ajmal Amir Kasab must be given a fair trial. Protection of all his rights under the international human rights law is not to protect one individual but to uphold the basic norms of rule of law and human rights. The question is not whether he deserves our sympathy or not, the question is whether we love our Constitution and cherish the principles enshrined in it. I believe that those who support the right to fair trial for Kasab are really the true patriots while those who want him publicly hanged without trial are chauvinists and anti-nationalists because they do not wish to uphold the principles upon which Indian democracy is based. There are five reasons why Kasab must be given a fair trial and defended by the lawyers of his choice. First of all, if we ensure a fair trial to Kasab or for that matter to any other militant, we prove the superiority of our democratic ideals over the ideology of terror. The Supreme Court, in its judgement in the Parliament attack case, held that Mohammad Afzal deserves to hang “to satisfy the collective conscience” of the country and did not take into account the fact he did not have a proper defence lawyer at the trial court. This became a major reason for such a massive outcry against the Indian justice system in Kashmir. European Parliament members and nearly 50 members of the British Parliament also expressed their concern over the denial of fair trial to Afzal. Secondly, by denying Kasab or any other militant a fair trial we corrupt our own police force which gets an exaggerated idea of its importance and instead of carrying out proper investigation it resorts to illegal means such as torture and even encounter killings. In fact the police force has been arresting hundreds of Muslim youth all over the country and in a majority of cases it has been found that there was no evidence against the youth. The most blatant cases have been the arrests in Hyderabad and the subsequent release of the young men. Similarly, many of those accused of being members of SIMI and jailed for years had to be acquitted because the prosecution could not prove its case. Once the police has been corrupted, then it treats all cases in the same way as we saw in the Arushi murder case. Or take Rajbir Singh the officer of the Special Cell who was charged with being involved in land deals. Thirdly, a fair trial for Kasab or any other person accused of terrorism ensures that the criminal justice system and the courts are not corrupted. When courts are used as a political arena they will inevitably undermine the entire criminal justice system and destroy the most important pillar of democracy. The beating up of an elderly lawyer, Noor Mohammad, in the district court by suspected members of the Bajrang Dal because he was representing someone accused of terrorist act was caught live on TV. The Bar Associations failed to condemn the act and instead Bar Associations all over the country have been passing resolutions forbidding their members from taking up cases of people accused of terrorist activity. By doing this they have undermined the principle of fair trial, the right of the accused to be presumed innocent and thus damaged the entire legal system. Rohini Wagh, President of the Mumbai Metropolitan Magistrate Court’s Bar Association, has done great injustice to the Indian judiciary by passing a resolution barring its members from defending Kasab. Fourthly, the denial of justice to men accused of terrorist acts further communalises the society and proves to the religious minorities that there is no justice for them in secular India. Instead of isolating those involved in crimes, an entire community feels under siege and this leads to their large scale alienation from Indian democracy. The refusal to concede to the demand for an enquiry into the Batla House encounter has resulted in massive alienation of Muslim citizens in Delhi and UP. The denial of justice also resulted in the bomb blasts in the court premises in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad in November 2007. Lastly, the concepts of human rights and rule of law have been evolved after centuries and centuries of violence, wars, barbarity, dictatorships and authoritarian rule. The millions of continuous and unrelenting struggles for justice and democratic principles have contributed to the evolution of human rights standards which have been accepted across continents. Of course, we are still far from being able to achieve those standards, but at least we, the inhabitants of planet earth, have agreed on our goals. And now there is a very real possibility of these standards being set aside and even completely destroyed in the name of nationalism. ¨ The hate filled cry for revenge against Kasab shows we are not confident about our own democratic ideals. We do think these ideals make for good politics and good governance. Perhaps we could learn a few good things from the USA apart from getting their help to fulfil our nuclear ambitions. Barack Obama’s nominee for Assistant Attorney General was Tony West, the defence lawyer for the only American Taliban, John Walker Lindh. Did that mean the US President supported the Taliban ideology? In the end, even the Americans have had to negotiate with the “good” Taliban. The point is not whether there is a “good” Taliban and a “bad” Taliban. The point is that ultimately, we have to recognise that political Islam is a political ideology and the only way it can be eradicated is by addressing the root causes which have given rise to it. The cry for revenge and the hate filled politics of communalism of the Shiv Sainiks distract us from that basic task. In the midst of the din for revenge the voice of Kavita Karkare has been drowned. She told the media that she did not seek revenge from a 21-year-old Kasab. She wanted that he be given an opportunity to rethink his ideas. This was from the widow of the police officer who was killed by Kasab and his companions. Demonising Kasab or Mohammad Afzal helps the cause of both the Hindu and Islamic militants. Understanding them, even if we do not agree with their politics and their ideology may be repugnant to us, forces us to examine our own beliefs, ideology and politics and our ability to provide a viable alternative political ideology. The author is a human rights lawyer and writer. Tata Steel moves HC against tribunal order http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/blnus/28121807.htm NEW DELHI: Tata Steel, which is planning to set up a steel plant in Chhattisgarh, has approached the Delhi High Court against an order of the Mines Tribunal, which has rejected its petition on the ground that the company has delayed in challenging state government’s order. The state government had rejected Tata Steel’s claim over 4,800-hectare iron ore mining field at Rawghat. This was earlier challenged by Tata Steel before the Mines Tribunal, but it had rejected company’s claim on the ground of time period under limitation. Senior counsel and former Attorney General, Mr Soli Sorabjee appearing for Tata Steel submitted before the court that the company could not approach the mining tribunal within the specified period, as it had approached the High Court against the state go vernment’s order. “There was not any deliberate delay from our side. We had filed condonation of delay application before the tribunal but it was rejected… How could you shut down a person like it,” submitted Mr Sorabjee. Consenting to him, the single-member Bench of Justice Mr Ravindra Bhat said, “There was an overlapping of jurisdiction.” The State of Chhattisgarh was represented by its counsel Mr Atul Jha. – PTI Notice issued to GU V-C, tribunal restores faculty’s powers http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Notice-issued-to-GU-V-C-tribunal-restores-facultys-powers/articleshow/4387040.cms 11 Apr 2009, 0535 hrs IST, TNN AHMEDABAD : In a setback to Gujarat University, its tribunal has stayed academic council’s order of withdrawing academic powers of faculty member Dr Pradeep Prajapati and issued notices to vice-chancellor, registrar, director of school of social science and head of economics department. Gujarat Universities Services Tribunal has asked them to explain their action of withdrawing academic powers of Prajapati in last November, particularly when academic council is not vested with the powers to do so. Authorities are expected to file their replies by April 20, when further hearing is scheduled. Prajapati, who is also dean of faculty of arts, has entered into a conflict with university authorities by filing a number of litigations in the court challenging decisions taken by vice-chancellor and registrar. He is also the only witness in the complaint against V-C Parimal Trivedi filed by another faculty member Pankaj Shrimali. Amid these litigations, in a meeting held on November 16 last, the academic council resolved to withdraw Prajapati’s academic powers on the pretext of his low attendance in academic sessions. Prajapati was also kept away from exam work as per the decision. He was told about the decision later that month, when a letter was addressed to director of school of social science. Prajapati rushed to tribunal challenging the decision on legal grounds. He alleged that under guise of this decision, university authorities were not accepting research work done by students who had been guided by him. Tribunal judge RA Patel observed, “As prima facie case appears in favour of Prajapati, he is entitled to act as a lecturer.” Citing Section 22 of Gujarat University Act, tribunal stated that academic council doesn’t have powers to decide on the issue and therefore if the same is permitted, it will cause irreparable loss to the image, reputation and dignity of the lecturer. Legal notice served on BJP spokesman http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090413/himachal.htm#2 Tribune News Service Shimla, April 12The Congress has served a legal notice on BJP spokesperson Rajender Rana for allegedly distorting the facts pertaining to the defamation case filed by Chief Minister PK Dhumal against Congress leaders Anand Sharma, Amarinder Singh and Moti Lal Vohra. It has been pointed out in the notice that Rana had deliberately distorted the court order wherein costs were imposed on the Congress leader for non-appearance while he had stated that they had been fined in the case. He had been asked to made amends for making such misleading statement, failing which the party would be constrained to initiate legal action against him. Recording of Dying Declaration Presence of magistrate not mandatory, rules SC http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090413/nation.htm#13 New Delhi, April 12The Supreme Court has held that courts can rely on dying declaration even if a judicial magistrate does not record it. “There is no requirement of law that a dying declaration must necessarily be made to a magistrate and when such statement is recorded by a magistrate there is no specified statutory form for such recording,” the apex court said quoting its earlier observation in the Laxman Vs State of Maharashtra (2002). A Bench of Justices Arijit Pasayat and Asok Kumar Ganguly said a dying declaration could be oral or in writing or by the means like words or signs. When it is recorded, no oath is necessary nor is the presence of a magistrate absolutely necessary, the apex court said. The Bench passed the ruling while setting aside a Rajasthan High Court judgement, which had acquitted Champa Lal, who murdered his wife Panni Devi on December 11, 1995 by setting her ablaze. The Jodhpur Sessions Court convicted and sentenced Champa Lal to life imprisonment, but the high court on an appeal acquitted him of the charge on the ground that the dying declaration was recorded by the SHO, Joga Ram. The apex court also asked the convict to surrender to serve the reminder of sentence, if any. Though Panni Devi stated in her dying declaration that Lal set him ablaze after accusing her of having a number of paramours, the high court felt that since the statement was recorded in the absence of a magistrate, it could not be relied upon for convicting the accused. Aggrieved, the state moved the apex court. The apex court said the high court had erroneously discarded the dying declaration despite the fact that it was recorded by the police officer in the presence of a doctor. The Bench further said the dying declaration was also supported by the statements made by certain eye witnesses, who rushed to the rescue of the victim after she was set ablaze by the accused. “That being so, the appeals deserve to be allowed which we direct. The judgement of acquittal passed by the high court is set aside and that of the trial court is restored. The respondent shall surrender to custody forthwith to serve the remainder of sentence, if any,” the Bench said. — PTI Criminal cases on the risehttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090413/edit.htm#1 Need for due reform of system There is reportedly a 3 per cent rise in criminal cases but a 6 per cent fall in civil cases in the country. Understandably, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan finds this trend “disturbing”. Obviously, a criminal case is often followed to its logical end but in a civil case the aggrieved party usually has a choice to seek a legal remedy, try an out-of-court settlement or stay away and suffer in silence. If fewer people approach courts for the redress of their civil wrongs, it is largely because cases drag on for years and the cost of litigation is prohibitive. Pursuing a case in court after court and dealing with unscrupulous lawyers is a nightmare many would like to do without. Besides, a vast majority of Indians, especially the poor and uneducated, are unaware of their legal rights. States with higher literacy levels report more civil cases than those with lower literacy rates. Dependent women tend to cope with domestic violence, torture for dowry or/and denial of property rights rather than get entangled in a judicial battle. Justice has, obviously, gone beyond the reach of an ordinary citizen. It is not difficult to understand why people with a choice keep off courts. The Chief Justice of India is aware of the malaise afflicting the judiciary but appears helpless in failing to break out of the mould. The huge backlog of cases can be cleared if lower courts are further empowered, more judges appointed, procedures simplified, second appeals discouraged at the high court level and advocates guilty of professional misconduct are debarred from practice for life. There is greater chaos at the lower level. According to the Chief Justice, 87 per cent of the total cases pending in India are in the subordinate courts. Lawyers have a vested interest in prolonging cases but judges too often fail to rescue litigants. Concerned at the possible loss of business, advocates have even opposed the latest Cr.P.C. amendments, making arrests optional for offences punishable up to seven years in prison. Commission after commission has suggested ways to clear the judicial mess. Yet political will is lacking to implement their reports. SC: PSUs have a right to force retire on ‘erring’ staff http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=1&theme=&usrsess=1&id=250773 Statesman News ServiceNEW DELHI, April 12: In a significant ruling, the Supreme Court has held that a public sector undertaking or a government company has a right to compulsorily retire an employee whose retention is detrimental to the interest of the institution without giving any reason for doing so. A Bench of Justices Mr RV Raveendran and Mr Markandey Katju gave the verdict while upholding the action of National Aviation Company of India Ltd, a successor of Indian Airlines, compulsorily retiring its security assistant SMK Khan on the grounds of indiscipline, negligence, insubordination, sleeping on duty and unauthorised absence from office. The apex court in its judgement noted: “The concept of public interest would get replaced by institutional interest or utility to the employer where the employer is statutory authority or a government company and not the government when the performance of an employee is inefficient or his service is unsatisfactory, prejudicial or detrimental to the interest of the institution and is of no utility to the employer.” “Therefore compulsory retirement can be resorted to (on a review of the service on completion of specified years of service or reaching specified age) in terms of relevant rules or regulations, where retention is not in the interest of the institution or of utility to the employer,” the Supreme Court stated. “It is however not necessary to use the word ‘not in the interest of the institution or service not of the utility to the employer’ in the order of compulsory retirement as the regulation provide that no reasons need be assigned.” In the particular case, Mr Khan was first demoted from security assistant to chowkidar on 26 May, 1971, and later re-promoted to the same rank. But when he did not mend his ways he was compulsory retired from his service on 26 August, 1999. Kasab to be in court on 15 Apr http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=250788http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=2&theme=&usrsess=1&id=250788 Press Trust of IndiaMUMBAI, April 12: Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab, the only 26/11 terrorist to be caught alive, will appear in person for the first time on 15 April before the special court housed at high security Arthur Road central jail here.Earlier, he has been produced before the court on television through video conferencing. Police have provided a thick security cover in and around the jail, regulated vehicular traffic and restricted movement of people in bylanes near the prison.Judge Mr ML Tahilyani had, on last occasion, ordered that the proceedings would begin in his court on 15 April at the Arthur Road jail where Kasab is also lodged. He had also directed the prosecution and defence lawyers to come prepared for the trial on that day. The trial, which was expected to commence early this month, had been delayed because of re-construction of the special court in the jail. The work has now been almost completed, police sources told PTI.Special public prosecutor Mr Ujjwal Nikam is expected to deliver his opening address on the same day to establish the involvement of Kasab and other LeT suspects who unleashed terror in Mumbai by firing indiscriminately at public places killing more than 160 persons. Prosecutor Mr Nikam is also likely to table crucial evidence against accused Kasab, Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed, facing the trial as well as against those who have been arrested in Pakistan by the local police there. While filing charge-sheet on 25 February, Mr Nikam had told the court that further investigation in this case was on. In view of this statement, everyone in legal circles is waiting to hear when the supplementary charge-sheet would be filed.Pakistan had raised a volley of questions in this case and the Indian government has already forwarded the dossier to the neighbouring country, answering its queries.“I am ready for the trial. My aim is to conclude the trial within the shortest possible time,” Mr Nikam told PTI. The trial is expected go on at least for six months on a day-to-day basis, Mr Nikam said. More than 2,000 witnesses have been cited but the prosecution has not announced how many would be examined. Scarlette case: contempt petition disposed of http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041360201100.htm Special Correspondent PANAJI: The Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court has disposed of a contempt petition filed by a local activist against Anjuna police inspector Ramesh Gaonkar in the British teenager Scarlette Keeling death case. Mr. Gaonkar informed the court that he was still conducting an inquiry against Fiona Mackeown for her alleged role in the death of her daughter Scarlette, whose body was found on the Anjuna beach of north Goa in February last year. In his reply to the contempt petition, Mr. Gaonkar said he had contacted Ms. Fiona’s lawyer and requested him to direct her to be present for the investigation. To avoid delay, he also submitted a questionnaire to her through her lawyer. Justice A.P. Lavande disposed of the petition filed by Rodrigues stating that it would not be proper to initiate contempt proceedings against Mr. Gaonkar at this stage as the investigation was in progress. Appellate authority must give reasons: court http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041356941800.htm J. Venkatesan “Will give people confidence in the judicial authorities” “Giving reasons minimises chances of arbitrariness” Contrary view would mean one-line orders New Delhi: The Supreme Court has held that the Appellate Authority (AA), even while affirming the order of the Disciplinary Authority (DA), must give reasons for arriving at the decision. “In our opinion, an order of affirmation need not contain elaborate reasons as an order of reversal, but that does not mean that the order of affirmation need not contain any reasons whatsoever,” said a Bench of Justices Markandey Katju and B. Sudershan Reddy in a recent order. The Bench said: “The order must contain some reasons, at least in brief, so that one can know whether the appellate authority has applied its mind while affirming the order of the disciplinary authority.” It said: “The purpose of disclosure of reasons is that people must have confidence in the judicial or quasi-judicial authorities. Unless reasons are disclosed, how can a person know whether the authority has applied its mind or not? Also, giving of reasons minimises chances of arbitrariness. Hence, it is an essential requirement of the rule of law that some reasons, at least in brief, must be disclosed in a judicial or quasi-judicial order, even if it is an order of affirmation.” The Bench said to take a contrary view would mean that appellate authorities could simply dismiss appeals by one-line orders stating that they agreed with the view of the lower authority. In the instant case, the appellant, Chairman, Disciplinary Authority, Rani Lakshmi Bai Kshetriya Gramin Bank, was aggrieved by the order passed by the Allahabad High Court in March 2007 allowing the writ petition of Jagdish Sharan Varshney on the ground that the DA had affirmed the order passed by the DA without assigning reasons. Partly allowing the plea, the Bench remanded the matter to the AA to decide the issue afresh in accordance with law after affording an opportunity of being heard to Mr. Varshney and by passing a speaking order. “Court should look into IMG representative’s remarks” http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041354620500.htm HYDERABAD: APCC campaign committee chairman K. Rosaiah has urged the Supreme Court and the Andhra Pradesh High Court to take serious view of ‘objectionable’ remarks made by IMG Bharata representative Ahobila Rao alias Billy Rao on functioning of the judiciary. Referring to a report published in a vernacular daily, he told a press conference here on Sunday that the judiciary, which takes suo motu note of various happenings, should take the remarks seriously. “The statement made by Mr. Billy Rao has cast aspersions on the functioning of the judiciary itself,” he said, adding that courts should take note of it suo motu. Asserting that such remarks would demoralise the judiciary, Mr. Rosaiah reiterated the Congress party’s stand that the Telugu Desam Party government had allotted over 800 acres to IMG Bharata to develop state-of-the-art sports training academy besides entrusting it with maintenance of major sports complexes. High Court allows revision petition by former Union Minister http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041358140300.htm Staff Reporter CBI had booked Dr. Thakur and the tenant of the shop under Section 120-B ‘For offence of criminal conspiracy committed by Dr. Thakur no sanction is needed’ NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has allowed a revision petition by former Union Health and Family Welfare Minister C.P. Thakur challenging an order by a special court for Central Bureau of Investigation cases here rejecting a request by the investigating agency to close a corruption case against him in connection with re-allotment of a shop to a person on the campus of PGIMER in Chandigarh in 2001. Dr. Thakur as president of the institute had re-allotted the shop to Parminder Singh following his eviction from it by the governing body of the institute on the ground of extension of the area of the shop without simultaneously increasing the rent. The CBI had sought closure of the case following rejection of its request for sanction for prosecution of Dr. Thakur by the competent authority. However, the special court had rejected the CBI’s plea and taken cognisance of the case against and summoned him last year. The investigating agency had booked Dr. Thakur and the tenant of the shop under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The CBI had sought closure of the case because the competent authority had refused to give sanction for prosecuting Dr. Thakur. While dismissing the CBI’s plea for closure of the case, the Special Judge said that “for offence of criminal conspiracy committed by Dr. Thakur, no sanction was needed”. Dismissing the order of the special court, Justice M.C. Garg of the Court said: “Taking into consideration the law on the subject, it cannot be said that Dr. Thakur had not acted at the relevant time except in discharge of his official duties and thus it cannot be said that no sanction was required.” High Court to hear paternity leave case today http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041353990400.htm Staff Reporter NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court will on Monday take up a petition by a post-graduate commerce teacher of an un-aided public school at Rohini in West Delhi challenging rejection of his paternity leave application and deduction of his salary by the school management for the period he had been on leave to take care of his wife after she had given birth to a baby in December last year. The N. K. Bargodia Public School management had deducted the salary of the petitioner, Chandramohan, on the ground there was no provision for paternity leave at its institution. The management further told him that it did not grant paternity leave to its staff as no un-aided public schools in the Capital provided this leave to its staff. The petitioner had gone on paternity leave for 15 days as per the provisions on January 3 and joined duty on January 18 on conclusion of it. However, when he got his salary for January he found that his leave had been rejected and salary deducted for the leave period. In his petition filed through his lawyer, Ashok Aggarwal, he submitted that every unaided school in the Capital was bound to provide paternity leave for a fortnight within 60 days before or after delivery. He submitted that the Delhi Education Act and Rules say that the staff of un-aided public schools shall be given salary, allowances, leave and other benefits equivalent to their counterparts in government schools. The Centre in 1999 notified that all its employees would get paternity leave for a fortnight. Following the Centre Government’s notification, the Delhi Government also notified it for its employees as well as for the staff of the un-aided public schools, the petitioner submitted. The petitioner urged the Court to issue a declaration that the facility of paternity leave also applied to the staff of un-aided public schools. He also sought refund of his deducted salary. All parties for setting up of HC Bench in city http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041352680300.htm Staff Reporter Ganjam Chamber of Commerce organises meeting with candidates BERHAMPUR: The Ganjam Chamber of Commerce on Sunday morning managed to get warring political candidates of Berhampur come together on a single platform to discuss the issues and problems facing the city. This special meeting was chaired by C.Ravindranath, the president of the Ganjam Chamber of Commerce. The candidates who could take out time to attend this meeting included the Congress candidate for Berhampur parliamentary constituency and union minister, Chandrasekhar Sahu and his BJP rival Bharat Paika and an independent candidate from this Lok Sabha seat A.R.Varma. Sitting BJD MLA of Berhampur R.C.C.Patnaik, Bikram Panda of the Congress, Ramchandra Panda of the BJP, who are contesting for the Berhampur Assembly seat also attended this meeting. The Chamber of Commerce had prepared a list of problems and needs of the city. This list was handed over to the candidates and the audience. The candidates were urged to provide their opinion regarding these issues. “We were happy that despite their political rivalry all candidates agreed that the issue listed by us happened to be burning issues facing the city”, said Mr. Ravindranath. One after the other the political leaders tried to give their opinion regarding the different issues listed up by the trading community. Leaders of all political parties agreed to the demand of establishment of a permanent Bench of the High Court in the city. They promised to take up the issue after getting elected. Exorcising 1984 http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041355440800.htm Jagdish Tytler and Sajjan Kumar might want to attribute their current miseries to a shoe hurled by an attention-seeking Sikh journalist. But the protests by large sections of the Sikh community against the allotment of Lok Sabha tickets to the two Congress leaders have their genesis in an atrocious official cover-up that reflects very poorly on the Indian criminal justice system. A sloppy and non-serious process of investigation and prosecution meant that the perpetrators of the genocidal violence against thousands of innocent Sikhs in the wake of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination, on October 31, 1984, by her Sikh bodyguards have gone scot-free. The killing spree by Congress activists and supporters, allegedly orchestrated and led by some party leaders, left 2,733 people dead in Delhi alone. But after two Commissions of Inquiry and eight committees set up to probe various aspects of the horrific violence, and prolonged trials, only 13 persons have been convicted (and one declared a proclaimed offender). As during Gujarat’s genocidal anti-Muslim pogrom of 2002, there were clear indications of complicity by the police and the official machinery in the terror unleashed. The Congress as a party has also found it difficult to live down Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s notorious rationalisation of what happened: “there are always tremors when a great tree falls.” The Indian experience is that law enforcers and investigating agencies almost invariably incline towards the ruling establishment. This meant that with a Congress government in power for 10 of the next 12 years, the victims of 1984 never got within smelling distance of justice. Actually, several of the committees indicted Congress leader H.K.L. Bhagat and Messrs Tytler and Sajjan Kumar for their alleged roles in the 1984 massacre. The Nanavati Commission concluded that there was “credible evidence” against Mr. Tytler and that “very probably” he had a hand in organising the attacks. However, in its Action Taken Report, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government took the stand that a person could not be prosecuted merely on the basis of “probability.” Quite predictably, the Central Bureau of Investigation — India’s premier but patently non-independent criminal investigation agency — has concluded that it did not have sufficient evidence to prosecute Mr. Tytler. But after the controversy erupted, the CBI, which did not raise any jurisdictional issues when it filed a charge sheet in 2006 and a closure report in 2007, suddenly challenged the Metropolitan Magistrate’s power to hear the case. Such clumsy efforts to help the ruling party wriggle out of messy situations have further eroded the agency’s credibility. By dumping Messrs Tytler and Sajjan Kumar, the Congress has done some damage control but what it needs to realise is that the ghosts of 1984 cannot be exorcised unless the victims get full justice. Codifying social obligations http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/13/stories/2009041355430800.htm The United Nations initiative to evaluate national corporate laws and practices in terms of their consistency with human rights norms follows in a long series of steps to ensure transparency and accountability of multi-national corporations. This is critical to achieving equitable growth in today’s globalised world where competition to attract capital inflows among developing countries exerts a downward pressure on corporate governance standards. The duties of direct ors, standards of reporting, and shareholder engagement in 40 jurisdictions — in advanced industrial countries and emerging economies such as India and China — would be evaluated under a move led by the U.N. Secretary General’s Special Representative on business and human rights, John Ruggie. The extent to which the courts reflect environmental and human rights concerns, as well as access to remedies for the victims of abuses, would also be assessed by 15 cross-regional corporate law firms. The complicity of firms in violations of rights by governments in the world’s conflict zones, particularly in Africa, has come under intense scrutiny among others by the International Commission of Jurists. But the United Kingdom’s 2006 Companies Act is by far the most audacious attempt to give a statutory basis to the corporates’ obligations to promote sustainable development. While recognising the primary duty of directors to advance the interests of companies, the law requires them to consider issues relating to employees, suppliers, customers, the community, and the environment insofar as failure on these fronts can entail financial risks. The European Union is considering ambitious proposals to guarantee legal remedies for the victims of violations by E.U.-based enterprises and their global subsidiaries. Corporations in the 30 constituent countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development are also governed by a non-enforceable code of conduct; not to mention the 2000 U.N. Compact that brings together over 5,000 companies in pursuit of the same objectives. Underlying all these is a wider recognition that the ethical, environmental, and social imperatives of entrepreneurship are not incompatible with the creation of value in the long-term. The current momentum to accord formal recognition to normative standards is but a logical next step. Supreme Court defers Varun Gandhi’s plea http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Supreme_Court_defers_Varun_Gandhis_plea/articleshow/4391221.cms 13 Apr 2009, 1258 hrs IST, AGENCIES NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday deferred a petition filed by Varun Gandhi challenging the slapping of National Security Act (NSA) by the Uttar Pradesh government against him for his alleged hate speeches. Varun Gandhi’s plea will now be heard on April 16. Meanwhile, the apex court has asked him to submit an undertaking stating he will not make provocative speeches during his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections. The matter will be heard by a bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, which on April 2 had issued notices to the state government and the district magistrate of Pilibhit on the allegation by Varun that NSA was invoked against him with a political motive to sabotage his electoral debut. However, the Uttar Pradesh government has refuted the allegations of the 29-year-old BJP leader, saying NSA was invoked against him for his communal speeches and the chaos created by him while surrendering before a court in Pilibhit in connection with the cases registered against him. In its 35-page response to the notice issued by the apex court, the state government said the inflammatory statement by Varun and the manner in which he surrendered on March 28 amounted to breach of public order, warranting invocation of the NSA against him. Varun has challenged his detention under NSA for his alleged hate speeches in Pilibhit last month. He was taken to the Pilibhit district jail and later shifted to Etah jail for security reasons. Varun has claimed that the district magistrate passed the order of invoking NSA without any authority and he was not supplied with the material which formed the basis for such an action. However, the state government contended that there was no need for the authority to supply entire material, including the CDs of the speeches and events, relating to Varun’s surrender for booking him under NSA. It denied the allegation that NSA was imposed against him with any political motive or to sabotage his electoral debut. The petition filed on behalf of Varun says that “the entire attempt is a combined effort of the District Magistrate of Pilibhit and Uttar Pradesh government to ensure that he is not able to contest and campaign for general elections so as to sabotage his electoral debut.” The BJP leader has sought quashing of the District Magistrate’s order invoking section 3(2) of NSA for allegedly making inflammatory statements and causing a breach of public order when he went to Pilibhit to surrender. Varun has also alleged that he was detained under NSA as there was apprehension to Uttar Pradesh government that he will be released on bail in the cases registered against him for the hate speeches. He claimed that there was a breach of peace on the day of his surrender due to brutality and excesses by the police. Crime branch submits report in threat case http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/Crime_branch_submits_report_in_threat_case/articleshow/4393066.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0131 hrs IST, S Ahmed Ali, TNN MUMBAI: Investigating alleged threats to a magistrate who had earlier contended that a certain police encounter was not genuine, the crime branch has submitted a report saying a proper case be registered against the accused. The crime branch had initiated a probe after Andheri metropolitan magistrate R A Shaikh complained to the Bombay high court about the threats. A senior crime branch officer confirmed submitting a report before commissioner of police Hasan Gafoor. In her complaint made in mid-February, Shaikh had said that Pradeep Suryavanshi, senior inspector at the Andheri police station, asked some lawyers and a public prosecutor to generate complaints against her and submit the same to him for investigation. Shaikh also accused Suryavanshi of threatening her through a lawyer. Expressing concern, lawyers questioned how an officer-Suryavanshi in this case-could continue to hold the same position at the Andheri police station despite having an inquiry against him. Suryavanshi, however, did not respond to an SMS seeking details of his side of the story. Shaikh had contended that the police killing of Ramnarayan Gupta, an alleged Chhota Rajan aide, was not genuine. A police team headed by Suryavanshi shot dead Gupta on November 11, 2006, at Versova. The police claimed that Gupta, who had come to meet his associates, refused to surrender and fired at the cops. The police retaliated and Gupta was killed, officers claimed. Gupta’s family members challenged the police claim and alleged that the cops had picked him up from Vashi a few hours before the encounter. They also claimed to have sent a telegram to then police commissioner A N Roy’s office a few hours before the encounter, informing that Gupta was picked up by policemen from Vashi. Gupta’s brother Ramprasad moved the high court following which an inquiry by Shaikh was ordered. In July 2008, Shaikh submitted her findings based on forensic reports and circumstantial evidence, suggesting that the man was abducted by the police and killed in custody. 33 chargesheets to be filed against father, son http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/33_chargesheets_to_be_filed_against_father_son/articleshow/4393045.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0258 hrs IST, Saurabh Prashar, TNN CHANDIGARH: The net of fraud was spread wide in this case and now it is returning to trap the accused father and son. However, the 100 supplementary statements against Manohar and his son Krishan Kumar, have put UT police’s economic offences wing (EOW) in a tight spot as it will need to file 33 different chargesheets against them. That is because rules state one chargesheet can only include three complaints. The father and son from Indira Colony, Maninajra, were arrested on March 6 for allegedly duping 100 persons through establishing Time Cooperative Thrift & Credit Society. EOW sub-inspector Naveen Sharma said when the investigation started, about 100 people approached the police and complained against the duo. He said prima facie all complaints seemed correct. A senior police official told TOI that the number of investigations pending with EOW was already quite high and such complicated cases made the situation worse. The initial FIR was registered at Sector 26 police station, but later, the inquiry was transferred to EOW as the amount involved in the fraud was above Rs 2 lakh. Sources said there had been speculation in the preliminary stage of inquiry that the accused duo had defrauded people of more than Rs 60 lakh. Later, it came to light that the father and son had duped people of Rs 28 lakh in the span of three years, sources added. Police have also slapped charges under Chit Fund Act, 1982, against them. The initial FIR included charges under sections 420 and 120B of the Indian Penal Code. ’’Manohar Lal and Krishan Kumar had filed a regular bail application in the court, but it was rejected. If we fail to file a chargesheet in court, accused will get bail,’’ said Sharma. Both the accused are lodged in Burail jail. HC judges reserve verdict in B Manjunath case http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/HC_judges_reserve_verdict_in_B_Manjunath_case/articleshow/4392721.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0322 hrs IST, TNN LUCKNOW: The high court on Friday reserved its verdict in the sensational murder case of B Manjunath case. The trial court had awarded death penalty to an accused while life imprisonment to seven associates in the crime. These convicted persons challenged the judgment and sentence of the trial court in an appeal before the high court. On Friday, the division bench comprising Justice K K Mishra and Justice D V Sharma heard final arguments on the appeal and reserved its judgment. A sales officer of Indian Oil Corporation and IIM Lucknow alumni, B Manjunath was murdered in Lakhimpur Kheri on the intervening night of November 19 and November 20, 2005 by oil mafia as he was campaigning against adulteration in petroleum products. The incident came to light on November 20, 2005 in the morning in district Sitapur, when a police head constable, Ram Bhawan Singh, on suspicion during checking, chased and intercepted a Maruti car in which the dead body of Manjunath was found. The police arrested Vivek Sharma and Rakesh Anand from the car and registered an FIR. The accused confessed to their crime and divulged names of other accused persons. They told that Manjunath was murdered in Lakhimpur at the petrol pump of Pawan Mittal alias Monu. The matter was transferred to police station Gola, Kheri. During investigation, the police found evidence against Mittal, Vivek Sharma, Rakesh Anand, Sanjay Awasthi, Devesh Agnihotri, Rajesh Verma and Shivkesh Giri alias Lalla and filed charge sheet against them. The trial of the accused was conducted before sessions Judge, Kheri, S M Abdi, who sentenced Mittal to death penalty and other co-accused with lifer. The convicted persons challenged the judgment of the sessions Judge before the high court, pleading that they were innocent and there was no evidence against them to convict them for murder of Manjunath. After prolonged hearing, in the high court, the lawyers of appellants and the prosecution concluded their arguments on Friday. SHRC notice to UP Police http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Lucknow/SHRC_notice_to_UP_Police/articleshow/4393128.cms 13 Apr 2009, 0311 hrs IST, TNN LUCKNOW: The State Human Right Commission (SHRC) has served notice to UP Police seeking explanation on an incident wherein a nine-year-old boy Babu Ansari died after allegedly being beaten by the police. The commission has directed to submit reply within three weeks. The case of minor’s death was raised by advocates Harjot Singh and Vivek Kumar Rai who requested for an inquiry into the incident. The incident took place in Sitapur district where police personnel while investigating a rape case brutally assaulted a nine-year-old boy who later succumbed to the injuries. The boy belonged to the family of the rape accused. TIMES VIEW A tribute to democracy http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Editorial/TIMES_VIEW__A_tribute_to_democracy/articleshow/4396305.cms 14 Apr 2009, 0010 hrs IST By deciding to contest the Lok Sabha polls, People’s Conference leader Sajjad Lone has taken a welcome cue from J&K’s electorate. In the 2002 assembly elections, Kashmiris surprised their self-proclaimed secessionist mouthpieces and the issuers of terror threats by voting in relatively healthy numbers. In 2008, the voter turnout reached an astonishing 68 per cent, in defiance of separatists’ poll boycott calls and the terrorist’s bullet. Kashmiris signalled that their day-to-day concerns bijli, sadak, paani could be best addressed by embracing the ballot. Throwing his hat into the electoral ring, Lone has bowed to this popular sentiment. As the first separatist to join the poll fray, Lone has crossed the political if not ideological Rubicon. His decision is an inadvertent tribute to Indian democracy, despite his assertions to the contrary. He may be uneasy about swearing by India’s Constitution. But he can do so precisely because democracy allows issues, however ideologically charged or seemingly intractable, to be resolved through political negotiation. Lone’s shift of “strategy” rides on a desire to represent Kashmir’s aspirations on a “bigger platform”. He thus admits that secessionist non-cooperation and violence have had their day. Son of slain Hurriyat leader Abdul Gani Lone, Sajjad is clued in to Kupwara district’s political life and is even said to have put up poll proxies in the past. Thanks to his connection with ordinary Kashmiris, he sees that no movement can survive in a vacuum or in defiance of popular will. By being blind to this, Hurriyat’s pro-azadi and pro-Pakistan hawks have consented to their own irrelevance. A Syed Ali Shah Geelani may never junk hardline postures. But moderates like Mirwaiz Umar Farooq should realise the futility of hoping to thrive in a political void when Kashmiris are themselves saying yes to democracy. Meanwhile, both Srinagar and New Delhi must work to strengthen the democratic process and fulfil Kashmir’s mandate for social peace, political moderation and good governance Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Monday, April 13, 2009

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2 Responses

  1. true… but ultimately, like the how a wise man once said: Money is truthful. If a man speaks of his honor, make him pay cash.

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