LEGAL NEWS 23.04.2009

Probe Batla House shootout for ‘transparency’: high court
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/90510.htm
Apr 23rd, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) Suggesting a magisterial inquiry into the controversial Batla House shootout last year, the Delhi High Court Thursday said the government’s reluctance in conducting the probe “might create suspicion” over the police version in the case.
“The more the government hardens its stand, the more suspicion it might create,” a bench comprising Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul said.
Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Gopal Subramaniam, appearing for the government, vehemently opposed the idea of conducting the magisterial probe, prompting the court to say it was to bring in transparency.
“It is to bring transparency by conducting such an inquiry… This is the minimum protection (against human rights violations),” the court said and asked the solicitor to take instruction from the government on the issue.
Two suspected terrorists and a police inspector were killed Sep 18, 2008 last year – a week after serial bombings rocked the capital killing 26 people.
The court, however, made it clear that the report of the inquiry, if conducted, would not be used for any other proceeding and would be submitted before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) which would decide on further course of action on the basis of finding.
“Take instruction from the government. The inquiry is only a fact-finding exercise and its report would not be used by any other body. The NHRC will look into the report and would decide what is to be done,” the court said while adjourning the matter for May 4.
The remark came on a petition by an NGO, Act Now For Harmony and Democracy (ANHAD), which has demanded a judicial probe into the shootout.
Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta had told the court in the last hearing that a magisterial probe would have “demoralising impact” on the police force.

Salary cut for paternity leave: teacher moves court
http://www.sindhtoday.net/south-asia/90156.htm
Apr 23rd, 2009 By Sindh Today
New Delhi, April 23 (IANS) The Delhi High Court will Friday hear a petition by a private school teacher challenging the deduction in his salary while he was on paternity leave.
The teacher, Chandramohan, had challenged the rejection of his paternity leave application and deduction of his salary by N.K. Bagrodia Public School at Rohini in West Delhi here.
He had stayed away from work to take care of his wife after she gave birth to their child in December 2008. The school deducted his salary on the ground that it had no provision for paternity leave.
In his petition filed through his lawyer Ashok Aggarwal, Chandramohan said 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 had in 1999 notified that all its employees would get paternity leave for a fortnight. Following that, the Delhi government also notified the same for its employees as well as for the staff of un-aided public schools.
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 his salary that had been deducted.
Chandramohan may be distressed but there are others who think he is lucky. One of them is Rohit Sharma, who was not granted paternity leave by his company and couldn’t challenge this because private sector companies are under no compulsion to have this provision.
“I was helpless and had no option but to leave my wife and daughter in the hands of a maid as I could not devote time to them. I asked my company for leave but they said they didn’t have any provision like this so I had no option but to stick to my job,” Sharma said.
“At least Chandramohan has some grounds to fight in court,” he added.

Salary cut for paternity leave: Teacher moves Delhi HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Wage-cut-for-paternity-leave-challenged/articleshow/4438548.cms
23 Apr 2009, 1118 hrs IST, IANS
NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court will on Friday hear a petition by a private school teacher challenging the deduction in his salary while he was on paternity leave
. The teacher, Chandramohan, had challenged the rejection of his paternity leave application and deduction of his salary by N K Bagrodia Public School at Rohini in West Delhi here. He had stayed away from work to take care of his wife after she gave birth to their child in December 2008. The school deducted his salary on the ground that it had no provision for paternity leave. In his petition filed through his lawyer Ashok Aggarwal, Chandramohan said 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 had in 1999 notified that all its employees would get paternity leave for a fortnight. Following that, the Delhi government also notified the same for its employees as well as for the staff of un-aided public schools. 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 his salary that had been deducted. Chandramohan may be distressed but there are others who think he is lucky. One of them is Rohit Sharma, who was not granted paternity leave by his company and couldn’t challenge this because private sector companies are under no compulsion to have this provision. “I was helpless and had no option but to leave my wife and daughter in the hands of a maid as I could not devote time to them. I asked my company for leave but they said they didn’t have any provision like this so I had no option but to stick to my job,” Sharma said. “At least Chandramohan has some grounds to fight in court,” he added.

Tahilyani appointed Commissioner to visit Arthur road area: HC
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/tahilyani-appointed-commissioner-to-visit-arthur-road-area-hc/59120/on

Press Trust of India / Mumbai April 23, 2009, 12:01 IST
The Bombay High Court today appointed special judge M M Tahilyani, who is presently conducting the 26/11 trial, as a Commissioner to visit the area around the Arthur Road premises.A PIL was filed yesterday that had taken exception to partial closure of the road along Aurthur Road jail in central Mumbai, where the trial of Ajmal Kasab, the lone arrested terrorist of 26/11 terror attack, is going on.The Court has asked Tahilyani to file a report by Monday stating whether there is a possiblility of maintaining a balance of providing security to the accused Kasab without causing inconvenience to the residents living in the vicinity.The matter will come up for hearing on Tuesday.

HC allows RIL to amend plea in case with NTPC
http://www.business-standard.com/india/news/hc-allows-ril-to-amend-plea-in-casentpc/356026/

Press Trust Of India / Mumbai April 23, 2009, 0:49 IST
The Bombay High Court today allowed Mukesh Ambani-owned Reliance Industries (RIL) to amend its written submissions in its case with NTPC, to take into account the government’s stand regarding allocation and pricing of gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin.
However, Justice Anup Mohta at the request of NTPC lawyer allowed NTPC six weeks to file an appeal if the power major wants to.
RIL, which won the bid to supply NTPC with 12 mmscmd gas in 2003, is now locked in a court battle with the power major as to whether contract between the two parties has been concluded or not. Seeking to amend its submissions, RIL had said last month that it wanted to incorporate the Union Government’s stand on pricing and allocation of gas, as made clear by the government’s affidavit in RIL and RNRL (Reliance Natural Resources Ltd) case. (RIL-RNRL dispute was heard by another bench of High Court, and judgement is awaited.)
RIL contends that even if NTPC won the case, the supply of gas would be subject to the government policy, as finalised by an Empowered Group of Ministers.

Kissing row: HC raps cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Kissing-row-HC-raps-cops/articleshow/4436893.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0148 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Angry with the Delhi Police for conducting a shoddy in-house enquiry into allegations by a couple that they were harassed by the police after being arrested for kissing in public, the Delhi High Court has asked the police commissioner to take charge. “This court is unable to understand why the police hasn’t been able to conduct a responsible enquiry into the matter in the face of specific allegations made. Therefore, this court requires the commissioner of police to examine the matter concerning the conduct of the police officials and lawyer in the episode,” Justice S Muralidhar noted in his order on Wednesday, asking the top cop to probe deeper and submit a proper enquiry report. HC was hearing the case of a couple that had approached it seeking relief after the police registered an FIR against them for allegedly kissing each other near Dwarka Metro station. HC had then quashed the FIR and wondered how it could be construed as indecency. When it was further alleged by the couple that they were duped by a lawyer, on Shilpi Saini, who promised to get their marriage registered, HC asked the DCP of the area to investigate her role as also that of the concerned officers of Dwarka police station. However, the HC was clearly unimpressed by the enquiry conducted, noting the inconsistencies in the statements of the lawyer and that alleged by the victims.

Failed NIFT student moves HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Failed-NIFT-student-moves-HC/articleshow/4437161.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0403 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday raised several questions on the exam evaluation system of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar (NIFT). During a hearing of a writ petition by a 3rd semester student of NIFT, Garima Tiwari, Justice RR Tripathi raised questions since the institute’s authorities had failed to satisfy the court on the issue of assessment of students’ assignments. Tiwari has been failed in her third semester on various grounds by the institute. She has been accused of copying her two-volume assignment named Fashion studies scrap book’ from another student, Jivan Upadhyay. However, this assignment had a weightage of only 10 marks. Besides this, the authorities have said that Tiwari had little attendance in classroom. After the results were declared, Tiwari protested against the evaluation before the management and even took up the issue to the head office at New Delhi. But when she did not get a satisfactory response, she approached the high court and argued before the court as party-in-person. She claimed that she had submitted two assignments, while other students made only one submission. But the institute didn’t take this into consideration. Tiwari also objected to the institute’s ground that she was not regular in classroom. After she argued before Justice Tripathi on April 17, the court summoned the competent authority of NIFT and inquired into the mode of evaluation. The deputy registrar of NIFT told the court that there is no system in the institute to verify whether the student has submitted an assignment, as the copies are not countersigned. When asked about evaluation of these assignment, the court was told that Tiwari’s assignment was assessed by a visiting faculty. Moreover, records reveal that the girl has got more than 90 per cent attendance in classroom. Tiwari has also secured first class during first two semesters at NIFT. After hearing the institute, the court asked it to supply a copy of its affidavit to the girl and the hearing was adjourned till Friday.

Don’t arrest Karanam, HC tells police
http://latestnews.stanzooblogs.com/?p=5899
Thursday, April 23, 2009, 12:26
Hyderabad: Justice G V Seethapathy of the A P High Court on Wednesday directed the police authorities not to arrest Ongole TDP leader Karanam Balaram and two others till the elections are over.
The police authorities had earlier registered a criminal case against these leaders for disturbing public life and caused traffic jam by organising a road show in Podili area of the district by actor Balakrishna without obtaining any prior permission from the authorities.
A non bailable warrant was issued by a local court which is pending against them.
Responding to another petition filed by Telugu Desam Party leader Kodela Siva Prasad’s election agent, the court directed the election commission to install CCTVs and deploy police force in nine sensitive villages of Narasaraopet constituency of Guntur district.

HC directive to APSC on ACS examhttp://www.assamtribune.com/scripts/details.asp?id=apr2309/at06
Law Reporter GUWAHATI, April 22 – The Division Bench of the Gauhati High Court, comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice BK Sharma, after hearing the writ petition filed by Pranab Kumar Das and others, today directed the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) to produce the answer scripts of the sons and daughters and near relatives of the members and officers of the APSC along with the answer scripts of the writ petitioners who appeared in the written Combined Competitive Civil Services Examination 2006 held in July 2008. The writ petition was filed challenging the entire process of selection of last ACS examination interalia on the ground that some of the close relatives of the members and officers of APSC have been called for interview without considering their merit. The court after hearing the writ petition directed the APSC to file an affidavit stating the marks obtained by the sons, daughters and near relatives of the members and officers of the Commission who appeared in the said examination. The court also directed to provide the marks obtained by the last candidates of different categories of the said examination and also to produce the answer scripts of the sons and daughters and near relatives of the APSC members and officers along with the answer scripts of the petitioners.Further hearing of the case is fixed on April 28.

No relief to NRI housing group
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/No-relief-to-NRI-housing-group-/articleshow/4437077.cms
22 Apr 2009, 2353 hrs IST
BANGALORE: The high court on Wednesday stayed the single judge Bench directive asking the BDA to consider the case of Messrs Bangalore Villas Pvt Limited, an NRI housing concern, for allotment of 50 acres of land anywhere in the city as promised by the government and BDA in 1986-87. The division bench headed by the Chief Justice stayed the operation of the Jan. 9, 2009 order upon a writ appeal filed by the BDA which claimed that there was no contract in operation between the parties. The petitioners had claimed before the single judge Bench that they came to India on the basis of promises made by the then Ramakrishna Hegde government and the BDA. They claimed that instead of 50 acres
, 18 acres were offered in H B Road Layout.

Action taken on money stashed in foreign banks: Govt tells SC
http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=2233e5c6-391c-4132-9b66-bd5f490adfaf&Headline=Action+taken+on+money+stashed+in+foreign+banks%3a+Govt+tells+SC
Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, April 22, 2009
First Published: 19:02 IST(22/4/2009)
Last Updated: 19:07 IST(22/4/2009)
The government on Wednesday questioned in the Supreme Court the filing of a petition during election time on the issue of black money stashed in foreign banks and said action has already been taken in this regard.
“We will file an affidavit within 48 hours even though we have taken action,” Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium told a Bench headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan which posted the mattter for hearing on May 4.
Government questioned the timing of filing of the PIL by former Law Minister and eminent jurist Ram Jethmalani and five others including former Punjab DGP K P S Gill and former Secretary General of Lok Sabha Subhash Kashyap.
“Government is acting on the matter and to receive the petition during the election time leaves ground for mystification,” the ASG said when the PIL seeking a direction to take action to bring back money to the tune of Rs 70 lakh crore stashed in foreign banks was mentioned by senior advocate Anil Divan.
Subramanium refuted the allegation that government was not taking action on the issue and pointed out that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his opening speech at the recent G-20 submit in London, had said that “there should be an absolute transparency and banking secrecy should be over”.
“We are the leaders in seeking transparency in these types of matters,” the ASG said and had a dig at the petitioners by saying that they have not noted the speech of the Prime Minister at the G-20 submit.

PIL against black money.
http://iyerdeepak.wordpress.com/2009/04/21/pil-against-black-money/
If there is one thing I have learnt in life, it is that you don’t snatch a toy from a small child and an election issue from an old man (okay two, in case you are a snob).
So a wag of my finger (© The Colbert Report) to lawyer Ram Jethmalani for taking up this issue in a recent PIL :
The heated political debate over recovery of money siphoned out of India and allegedly stashed in foreign banks reached the Supreme Court on Tuesday with eminent lawyer and former law minister Ram Jethmalani along with prominent personalities filing a PIL seeking urgent remedial measures to bring back the black money estimated at Rs 70 lakh crore.
Evidently, we don’t really need an NDA government to get back the black money. It is a pity that Shri L.K. Advani doesn’t hold the copyrights of the issue. He raised the issue as recently as a second ago (and is going to talk about it a second from now too).
Having said the NDA would take action to bring back in 100 days, crores of rupees in black money hidden away in Swiss accounts and tax havens if voted to power, senior BJP leader L K Advani on Saturday it was people’s money.
Claiming that the money was ‘hidden treasure’ and ‘the people’s money’, Advani told an election meeting here all villages across the country could be developed with the money.
Now this is quite innovative. The BJP stands for development and Hindutva; something this solution magically addresses. We all know that a majority of our cows live in villages and that the cow is a sacred Hindu animal, so this would be a ‘one bird with two stones’ attack.
So a double wag of my finger (or more optimally, the wag of two of my fingers) to Mr. Jethmalani for being the sole cause of under-development of our villages and cows.

Public Interest Litigation filed for Swiss Accounts!
http://www.mifindia.org/2009/04/public-interest-litigation-filed-for.html
The black money or illegal money that is sitting in Swiss accounts has become a hot topic these days. It is to the tune of 71 lakh crores rupees (somewhere I read that if distributed evenly, every Indian family will get 2 Lakh rupees!). I am waiting for it for sure! All political parties know it, respective governments in last several decades have been sitting on it! It is of vital importance that this money should come back to India. Now a PIL has been filed in Supreme Court of India by emeinent citizens.The Tribune (april 21, 09) reports: Now, PIL in SC over black money ( R Sedhuraman Legal Correspondent)● Former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, former Punjab police chief KPS Gill and four other prominent citizens have filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, seeking a direction to the Centre to bring back black money running into thousands of crores stashed away in tax havens overseas.● A three-Judge Bench, headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, agreed to hear the petition tomorrow after senior counsel Anil Diwan sought an urgent hearing. Former Lok Sabha Secretary General Subhash Kashyap is also a party to the PIL, which has named the Centre and five others – RBI, SEBI, Enforcement Directorate and CBDT (Finance Ministry) – as respondents.● Quoting media reports, the PIL placed the black money at Rs 70 lakh crore or 1.4 billion dollars. The amounts given in rupees and in dollars vary as Rs 70 lakh crore works out to 1.4 trillion dollars, while 1.4 billion dollars is equivalent to Rs 7,000 crore. The confusion was compounded as counsel Diwan, while mentioning the matter, gave a third figure – Rs 70,000 crore.● The PIL said the issue had been raised by BJP leader LK Advani while former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had “publicly acknowledged” that he was in the know of all these facts.● Citing actions taken by the US and other developed countries to bring back such money to their respective countries from Swiss and other secret bank accounts and the success achieved therein, the PIL said the Centre should take similar measures.● According to the petition, the Income Tax Department had served notices on one Hasan Ali Khan of Pune and his co-conspirators, demanding a tax of Rs 40,000 crore and Rs 20,580 crore, respectively.● The petitioners said the black money was siphoned off between 2002 and 2006. Half of this period pertained to the NDA rule and the remaining part to the present UPA government.
Author: Dr. Munish Raizada on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Recovery of black money from foreign shoresCentre assures SC of details in 48 hourshttp://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/main4.htm
R SedhuramanLegal Correspondent
New Delhi, April 22The Centre today assured the Supreme Court that it would provide “within 48 hours” the details of the steps it had taken to bring back the black money stashed away in secret bank accounts oversees.
Questioning the timing of a PIL that had sought the court’s direction to the Centre to unearth unaccounted funds running into thousands of crores, Additional Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium said the government had swung into action within 24 hours of the first media report in this connection.
Arguing before a Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, the ASG said the PIL had quoted a media report that had appeared on August 18, 2008, but the government had initiated action on February 28 last year, just a day after the publication of a similar news item.
The reports had talked about Germany willing to share information it had secured from a bank that offered anonymity to its clients. The government approached Germany immediately, seeking details of accounts held by Indian citizens, he said.
Former Law Minister Ram Jethmalani, former Punjab Police chief KPS Gill and Constitutional expert Subhash Kashyap are among the six “super senior citizens” who have filed the PIL.
In his strong defence, obviously aimed at taking the sting out of the charge that the Centre had virtually done precious little to deal with parallel economy, the ASG said the timing of the PIL in the midst of the 15th Lok Sabha poll was mystifying.
He said the PM had taken up the issue with the G20, comprising advanced nations, at the recent summit at London. Singh had raised the subject of ending the secrecy in banking operations in some countries both in his speech and at the interactions he had with G20 leaders. This resulted in the summit declaration acknowledging the need for coordinated efforts, the ASG contended.
Further, India was the torchbearer of the issue at the 30-member Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), taking it up under the Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) mechanism.
The ASG, however, refused to disclose whether the government had succeeded in unearthing black money, stating “I can’t make further disclosure.”
The Bench posted the next hearing for May 4.

Sukh Ram gets bail in assets case
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/main5.htm
New Delhi, April 22The Delhi High Court today granted interim bail to former Union Communications Minister Sukhram, who was sentenced to three years imprisonment in a disproportionate assets case by a lower court.
Justice S Muralidhar suspended the operation of sentence till May 14 and issued notice to the CBI to file its reply on his petition challenging his conviction and sentence in the assets case.
The octogenarian Congress leader was sentenced in a 13-year-old corruption case by the lower court on February 24.
The court had also ordered forfeiture of Rs 4.25 crore disproportionate assets amassed during his tenure in the PV Narasimha Rao government.
The court had then suspended his sentence for two months giving an opportunity for him to appeal in the High Court against his conviction in the case in which the CBI had seized a whopping Rs 3.61 crore in cash from his houses in Delhi and other places.
He was also slapped with a Rs 2 lakh fine by the court which did not award him the maximum imprisonment of seven years under the Prevention of Corruption Act. — PTI

Notice of motion Tribune News Service
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/punjab.htm#22
Chandigarh, April 22The Bench of Justice Jagdish Singh Khehar and Justice Uma Nath Singh today issued notice of motion for May 15 to the state of Punjab on plea for appointing a retired high court judge as the state’s chief information commissioner. The post has been lying vacant since incumbent Rajan Kashyap’s term came to an end in August last year.
The application has been moved by advocate HC Arora in a public interest litigation seeking directions to fill the vacant posts without further delay have been sought. Arora in his latest plea submitted that the state never considered appointing a retired judge of the high court as the Chief Information Commissioner or Information Commissioner, though he did write to the Chief Minister, state assembly speaker and the leader of the opposition Rajinder Kaur Bhattal.

Charges Against Suspended HPSC MembersFile affidavit by July 15, SC asks state http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/haryana.htm#1
R SedhuramanLegal Correspondent
New Delhi, April 22The Supreme Court today accepted the state government’s draft charges against nine suspended Haryana Public Service Commission (HPSC) members, including chairman MS Saini, and directed the state to file an affidavit by July 15, listing all witnesses and producing material that would serve as evidence.
The suspended members would be at liberty to raise their objections at the time of final hearing of the case that had arisen from a presidential reference to the court, a three-Judge Bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan said.
The Bench, which also included Justices Lokeshwar Singh Panta and P Sathasivam, posted the next hearing for July 21. President Pratibha Patil had, on July 31, 2008, referred the charges against the nine to the SC “for inquiry and report” whether they could be removed from the office.
Under the draft charges, explained to the court by senior counsel Harish Salve, Saini faces the maximum number of nine allegations, followed Dungar Ram, Chattar Singh and Om Prakash Bishnoi (six each). The remaining five members face five charges each. They are Yudhvir Singh, Satbir Singh, Ranbir Singh Hooda, Santosh Singh and Ram Kumar Kashyap.
The presidential reference had listed three charges–lack of qualification for occupying their respective position and serious irregularities, non-cooperation in the investigation and misbehaviour.
The charges, however, talked about additional lapses, to which senior counsel Shanti Bhushan, appearing for the accused, took exception, stating that the state could not go beyond the presidential reference. Salve, however, said the new charges were an offshoot of the primary allegations.
Saini’s appointment, after obtaining the resignation of the then chairman, was aimed at ensuring that he would “further the objectives of the political party then in power. By, thus, conniving in the subversion of the Constitution, he is guilty of misbehaviour under the Article 317 (1) of the Constitution, the draft charges said.
Shanti, however, argued that the Article 317(1) had not properly defined misbehaviour. Salve maintained that the charges of misbehaviour, favouritism and nepotism had been framed in order to protect the integrity of the institution.
Another main charge against Saini pertained to recommending one Pradeep Sangwan for the post of drug inspector on the basis of a bogus certificate. In this case, Saini was arrested and released on bail. The final investigation report has been placed before the trial court.

Sarita CaseCops’ bail plea dismissed http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/haryana.htm#17
Our Correspondent
Ambala, April 22The anticipatory bail application of two police officers of Rohtak, who have been made accused in the Sarita suicide case under Section 120-B read with Sections 306 and 506 of the IPC, was dismissed by special judge of the CBI court, Haryana, AK Verma here today.
The CBI had filed an additional chargesheet in the Sarita suicide case last month in the CBI court in which it allegedly held responsible five police officials, including then DSP Dheerj Setia and CIA inspector Pawan Kumar for the suicide of Sarita. Sarita, a resident of Rohtak, had committed suicide outside the Police Headquarters in Panchkula on June 9 last year

Murder of Kashmir varsity VC Acquittal of 7 accused shocks Kheras http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/j&k.htm#12
Ravi Krishnan KhajuriaTribune News Service
Jammu, April 22The clean chit to seven accused by a TADA court in a case of kidnapping and then murdering former Kashmir University VC Mushir-ul-Haq, his secretary Abdul Gani and HMT General Manager HL Khera in April 1990 has come as a rude shock to the Khera family.
Reacting to the TADA court judgment, Bharat Khera (an IAS officer presently posted as secretary to the Himachal Pradesh Governor) and Manish Khera (marketing manager with GAIL in Delhi) – the two sons of deceased HL Khera – described the judgment as denial of justice to the family.
“Firstly, the trial took 19 long years and now it has culminated in the acquittal of seven accused for such a heinous crime,” Bharat said today.
He said their mother Sushma Khera was also anguished on learning about the judgment. Kheras observed that there had been instances in the past when people booked under the TADA Act for less heinous offences had been convicted.
However, in this particular case, the accused, despite being known terrorists and despite their confession, had been allowed to go scot-free, he said.
If terrorists were acquitted like this under the TADA Act, then very purpose of the Act was defeated. The judgment has delivered another blow to our family, he said.
Kheras hoped that the government while using its wisdom files an appeal against the TADA court judgement. The CBI had investigated the high-profile case.
However, CBI officials in New Delhi refused to share further course of action. ADG (CBI), Media and Communication, Harsh Bhal said there were certain strategic points, which could not be discussed with the media without taking consent of the higher authorities.
Meanwhile, special public prosecutor PS Bhardwaj, a former district and sessions judge, who appeared for the CBI had reportedly said the investigating agency would file an appeal in the Supreme Court within 30 days.

HC quashes Centre’s decision http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/himachal.htm#14
Legal Correspondent
Shimla, April 22The Himachal Pradesh High Court has held that the condition of fixing income criterion for granting special family pension to parents of the deceased is unreasonable and it quashed the decision of the Central government in this regard.
The order came on a petition filed by Savitri Devi challenging the action of the Defence Ministry whereby it had rejected the claim of the petitioner for grant of the special family pension on the ground that the income of the petitioner and her husband is more than Rs 2,550 per month. The respondent stated that the Central government vide its decision dated August 26, 1998, and November 24, 1999, had decided to grant the special family pension to those families of deceased soldiers, whose family income is less than 2,550 per month.
While passing this direction, Justice Rajeev Sharma observed that the very purpose of granting pension to the parents, who were dependent on the Armed Forces personnel when he was alive, had been rendered otiose and nugatory by imposing the income criteria of Rs 2,550 per month. The court observed that pension is a fundamental right and condition imposed for restriction in grant of pension must have reasonable rational with the object sought to be achieved.
The court observed that the respondent Central government had committed illegality by dividing a homogeneous class by imposing the income criteria without having any intangible differentia or rational nexus. It said the objective of including parents in the family for the purpose of special pension would be defeated by applying the restriction of income.
The court said no reasons have been assigned as to why this criterion had been fixed therefore it is unreasonable and is quashed. It directed the respondents to consider the case for grant of pension to the petitioner.

Four sentenced in cheque-bounce case http://www.tribuneindia.com/2009/20090423/himachal.htm#20
Our Correspondent
Sundernagar, April 22In a recent order passed in a cheque-bounce case, Sundernagar Judicial Magistrate Subash Chand has sentenced Managing Director (MD) of Himachal Gramin Sanchayka Ltd (Sanchyaka Bhawan, Upper Kaithu, Shimla) SP Saklani to undergo imprisonment for two years.
The other accused Director Indra Thakur, Manager (Personnel) Vinod Thakur and Sundernagar Branch Manager of Himachal Gramin Sanchayka Ltd Mahesh Chandel were also sentenced to one-year imprisonment each.
The court further directed all convicts to pay Rs 1.6 lakh to complainant Khem Raj, a resident of Dhonutu, as compensation under Section 357(3) of the CrPC.
The complainant has opened two RD accounts with daily deposit of Rs 50 in the Sundernagar branch of Himachal Gramin Sanchyaka Ltd (a banking company) and the company had issued two cheques (Rs 73,350 each) dated September 9, 1998. The complainant deposited the cheques on February 2, 1999, but they bounced. Afterwards the complainant filed a complaint under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act on March 9, 1999.
During the pendancy of the complaint the complainant died and his son Lalit Raj further perused it. Though the convict argued that they were not liable to pay anything, the court turned down the plea.
The court held that they were guilty of offence under Section 138 of the Negotiable Instrument Act. The court passed the sentence order after hearing the convicts on quantum of sentence. It also directed all convicts to pay Rs 1.6 lakh as compensation.

Court rejects Ajmal’s plea
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042360960100.htm
Mumbai: A special court on Wednesday rejected the plea of Mumbai terror attack case prime accused Mohammed Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab’ for Urdu translation of the 11,000-page charge sheet. It, however, granted his lawyer time till May 2 to argue on charges proposed by prosecution. — PTI

26/11 case: Antulay, Narayan Rane to be asked to depose
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042360481300.htm
Staff Reporter
Mumbai: Union Minority Affairs Minister A.R. Antulay and Maharashtra Industries Minister Narayan Rane have been proposed as defence witnesses in the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks case.
Defence lawyer Ejaz Naqvi, who represents the accused Mohammad Sabahuddin Ahmed, told the special sessions court here on Wednesday that the Ministers had raised questions about the death of senior officers in the attacks. Judge M.L. Tahaliyani then asked Mr. Naqvi if he would want them as defence witnesses. Mr. Naqvi agreed.
Counsel told the media that both Ministers had said the investigation was suspect. They would be called to depose. “I have told the court and will make an application. The court will then issue them summons,” he said.
Last December, Mr. Antulay was in the eye of the storm for his statement to a television news channel raising doubts on the circumstances leading to the death of Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare and two other senior officers. He had linked Karkare’s death to the Malegaon blast investigation.
Mr. Rane had said that some leaders had provided financial and logistical support to the terrorists.
Question of prejudice
The court rejected the plea seeking Urdu translation of the charge sheet by Mohammad Ajmal Amir ‘Kasab,’ the lone surviving gunman of the attacks. Mr. Tahaliyani noted that the issue was of prejudice, not of legal technicality. He said the court had to examine whether prejudice was caused to the accused if the translation was not provided. He referred to the judgments of the Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court, according to which no prejudice was caused if the pleader understood the language of the court.
Ajmal’s lawyer Abbas Kazmi had been practising for 16 years in Mumbai, where the language of lower courts was Marathi, the judge observed. And, it was for the advocate to understand the contents of the charge sheet and the client’s instructions need not always be based on the charge sheet.
The voluminous document of 11,000 pages had a large number of reports on panchnama, post-mortem, and similar such investigation records. Their reading was irrelevant to Ajmal’s understanding, Mr. Tahaliyani stated.
The court had granted Mr. Kazmi and Saba Qureshi, newly appointed lawyer of another accused Fahim Ansari, time till May 2 to prepare their case. Mr. Tahaliyani felt that Mr. Kazmi’s demand for four weeks was not reasonable; eight working days were sufficient to study the charge sheet.
Probe demand
The order on the demand for a probe into Ajmal’s age is pending. The court will decide on Friday.
On Wednesday, Mr. Kazmi demanded that the inquiry be conducted in accordance with the procedure stipulated in the Maharashtra Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules 2002, before a competent authority like the Juvenile Justice Board.
Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam told the media later that the prosecution had asked for dental examination, which included examination of the wisdom tooth, and an ossification test (bone age) as medical procedures, to determine if Ajmal was a major or a minor.
He said the prosecution also had statements of the doctor who examined Ajmal immediately after the incident, the jailer at the Arthur Road jail and the Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate.
Mr. Naqvi said K.B.N. Lam would be fighting Sabahuddin’s case hereafter while he would assist Mr. Lam.

Court asks SHRC to look into a case of rights violation
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042359530400.htm
Special Correspondent
It was reported that some policemen beat up a passenger of the Kanyakumari Express
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has requested the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to look into an incident of alleged human rights violation of a train passenger at the Nagercoil Railway Station last month.
Disposing of a writ petition, the First Bench consisting of the Chief Justice H.L.Gokhale and Justice F.M.Ibrahim Kalifulla said the Commission had got sufficient powers to call the persons concerned, record their evidence and arrive at a conclusion after conducting a proper enquiry.
The petitioner, the Madras High Court Practising Advocates’ Association, filed the petition, drawing the court’s attention to a news item in an English daily on March 7 wherein it was reported that some policemen beat up a passenger of the Kanyakumari Express at the Nagercoil Railway Station. It was reported that the passenger had told “the wife of a police officer that he had the right to stay put on his side seat till 9 p.m. during the train journey the previous evening.” The report said the man had entered into an altercation with the woman, who was allotted a side seat after she wanted to pull the bed down and sleep soon after the train left Egmore around 5.30 p.m.
The Bench said “This appears to be a serious incident of violation of human rights of a passenger travelling by train.” Following the petitioner’s plea that the matter be heard early, the Bench requested the Commission to take up the matter on April 27 and directed the petitioner to appear before the rights body on that date.

Court order on PIL petition
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042359560400.htm
Special Correspondent
CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday said the counsel for Chennai Port Trust (CPT) would file a comprehensive affidavit as to how the port is implementing the suggestions given by a committee to control pollution arising out of coal and iron ore handling at the port.
The First Bench comprising Chief Justice H. L. Gokhale and Justice F. M. Ibrahim Kalifulla passed the interim order on a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to restrain the CPT from dumping chemicals in the port area and to shift the chemicals to Ennore Port immediately.
In its petition, the Madras High Court Practising Advocates Association said that near the northern end of the harbour, the port authorities dumped chemicals dangerous to animals and human beings. The chemicals posed a health hazard. Apart from this, the chemicals also damaged the High Court building, built by the British nearly 150 years ago. The chemical particles settled on the building, corridor and court halls. If the grime was allowed to increase, the monument would lose its importance in a short period.
The petitioner submitted that the chemicals may be shifted to Ennore Port. The Pollution Control Board may be directed to inspect the chemicals and file a report about the real character of the harmful substances present in them.
The matter was later posted for June 17.

Anticipatory bail plea of ragging accused dismissed
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042355050500.htm
Staff Reporter
Coimbatore: The Principal District Sessions Judge, G. Chockalingam, on Wednesday dismissed the anticipatory bail applications of the two of the five students accused of ragging one of their college mates here.
On April 10, Akhil Dev, a student from Kerala, studying in PSG College of Arts and Science here preferred a complaint with the Police Commissioner, K.C. Mahali, that he was ragged and physically assaulted by five of his seniors at a private hostel on March 7. He also alleged that the assault on his eyes resulted in injury. Based on the complaint the city police on April 11 registered a case against five students – Ajmal, Ashwin, Arjun, Mihshail and Shameer invoking sections 147 (unlawful assembly), 323 (causing hurt), 355 (use of criminal force with an intent to dishonour a person otherwise than on a grave provocation) and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Ragging Act. Police also constituted special teams in search of the five accused all hailing from Kerala.
Nature of injury
Meanwhile, the anticipatory bail applications of two of the accused students – Ashwin and Arjun – came up for hearing before the Principal District Sessions Judge.
According to prosecution, the Judge dismissed the anticipatory bail applications of the two students considering the nature of the crime, nature of the injury sustained by the victim, the impact of the incident on the society and the conduct of the student community.

HC Bench quashes detention order of 19-year-old accused
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042360010600.htm
Staff Reporter
He was detained under Goondas Act for attempting to murder a woman SI
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has quashed a preventive order passed under the Goondas Act against a 19-year-old accused of murdering a youngster and assaulting a woman sub-inspector of police in public view.
Allowing a habeas corpus petition, a Division Bench of Justice M. Chockalingam and Justice R. Mala held that the detention order passed by G. Srinivasan, Collector (in-charge) of Tirunelveli on July 23, 2008 suffered from various infirmities.
The Judges said that the detaining authority’s observation that there was possibility of the detainee being enlarged on bail in the criminal cases pending against him was not substantiated with necessary documents such as bail applications.
Further, there was a delay of one month in submitting the file before the Under Secretary to the Government, the Bench pointed out and said that the delay was unreasonable and detrimental to the interest of the detainee.
According to the prosecution, A. Ramar alias Ramachandran of Kammalankulam of Sethurayanpudur in Tirunelveli was an accused in the murder of a youngster in a case registered by the Manoor police station in June last year.
The Gangaikondan police station had also registered a case against him under Sections 294 (b) and 506 (ii) of the Indian Penal Code for threatening a person with deadly weapons and abusing him in filthy language near a liquor shop.
Similarly, on June 23, a woman sub-inspector of police spotted him quarrelling with a passerby near Seevalaperi bus stop. When she attempted to catch him, he attempted to assault her with a bayonet. But she escaped by rolling down the floor.
The detention order also stated that the accused made belittling remarks against the woman police officer and his associates too attempted to assault her.
On seeing this, people ran helter skelter and the nearby shopkeepers pulled down the shutters.
A case under various Sections, including 307 (attempt to murder) of the IPC, was registered against him on the basis of a complaint given by the sub-inspector. He was also branded as a goonda for acting in a manner prejudicial to maintenance of public order.

Bench restrains ACP from conducting ‘kangaroo’ court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042359150300.htm
Staff Reporter
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here has restrained Assistant Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Anna Nagar sub-division and a sub-inspector attached to K. Pudur police station here from conducting ‘kangaroo’ court in a civil dispute.
An order passed by Justice K.K. Sasidharan read: “There will be an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents 2 and 3 from conducting ‘katta panchayat’ in respect of the subject matter of the civil suit on the file of Principal Sub court, Madurai.”
In his petition, M. Kamal, president of Maattuthavani Sunnath Val Jamath Mosque here, said that the Jamath was managing a mosque opposite to the integrated bus terminus here. It also recently purchased 4,160 sq.ft., of land near the mosque.
The property was purchased from a couple, K.S. M. Mohamed Ali and his wife, for constructing a community hall for Muslims. It was registered in the office of Tallakulam sub-registrar in the name of the Jamath.
“When the matter stood thus, M. Boominathan, Disrict Secretary of Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, made an attempt to encroach upon the land with the assistance of goondas on March 12,” the petitioner alleged.
Stating that the politician claimed to be the power agent of the vendor couple, Mr. Kamal said: “The power document was cancelled by our vendors in 1999 itself. However, Mr. Boominathan using his influence dragged us for police enquiry.”
Further, the Principal Sub-Judge here on April 6 refused to grant interim orders on a civil suit filed by the politician. Despite this, the two police officials continued to harass members of the jamath to part with the land, the petitioner said.

Court stays proceedings against murder accused
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042359080300.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday stayed proceedings by a Bangalore court against Shubha, an advocate, who is one of the accused in the B.V. Girish murder.
The Additional Sessions Judge and Fast Track Court-10 of Bangalore Court had on March 2, 2009 framed charges against Arun Verma, A. Venkatesha, Dinesh and Shubha for the murder of B.V. Girish, a software engineer in Bangalore on December 3, 2003.
Girish and Shubha were standing on the pavement of Ring Road in Viveknagar when Girish came to be assaulted. Shubha shifted Girish to a nearby hospital where he died. Shubha was later arrested for conspiring with others to get rid of Girish.
Application rejected
Shubha, in her petition, said she had filed an application for amendment of the charge against her in the lower court. She said the Bangalore court had dismissed the application. She then moved the High Court saying that the question of framing charge against her under Section 120 B read with Section 302 did not arise.
She had petitioned the court to call for records and to set aside the March 2, 2009 proceedings of the FTC.
Justice K. Ramanna stayed proceedings in the lower court against Shubha. He gave liberty to the State to file application for vacating the stay during the High Court vacation.

High Court directs BDA to allot site to former MLA
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042359070300.htm
Staff Reporter
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to allot a site under the Chief Minister’s discretionary quota to a former MLA.
Justice Mohan Shantangouder passed the order on a petition by former Dharwad Rural MLA Shivanand who had represented the constituency between 1999 and 2004.
Mr. Shivanand said he had neither a house nor a site in Bangalore.
He said in 2004 he had given a representation to the Chief Minister seeking a site in Bangalore. The Chief Minister, he said, had marked his approval on the representation and sent it to the BDA for further action.
When the BDA did not allot any site to him, Mr. Shivanand once again met the Chief Minister and sought allotment of a site.
This time too the Chief Minister approved the request again and sent it to the BDA which did not allot any site.
Mr. Shivanand said people who had approached the BDA after him were allotted sites. Justice Mohan Shantangouder allowed the petition and directed the BDA to allot a site to Mr. Shivanand.

VCK moves Supreme Court for ‘star’ symbol
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042360351000.htm
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday will hear a writ petition filed by the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), for a direction to the Election Commission to allot the party the ‘star’ symbol in the Lok Sabha elections, scheduled to be held in Tamil Nadu on May 13.
A three-judge Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Justice L.S. Panta and Justice P. Sathasivam posted the petition for hearing on Friday when senior counsel Rajiv Dutta sought early listing, pointing out that April 27 was the last date for withdrawal of nominations.
The VCK, represented by its treasurer Mohmed Yousef, submitted that it was part of the alliance with the Indian National Congress and the DMK for the elections and was contesting from Chidambaram and Villupuram constituencies.

Ganjam lawyers boycott court
http://www.hindu.com/2009/04/23/stories/2009042351690300.htm
Staff Reporter
Protest against last year’s lathicharge
BERHAMPUR: Lawyers of the Ganjam Bar Association boycotted court and observed black day on Wednesday. They were protesting against the lathicharge against their members on the Berhampur court premises on the date, a year ago.
Long agitation of lawyers of Ganjam Bar Association, demanding establishment of a permanent bench of the Orissa High Court in the city, had led to unruly situation and police lathicharge. The members of the association alleged that at least four of their members were seriously injured by the police action. Police had also arrested 30 lawyers of the Bar.
On Wednesday, the lawyers of the city wore black badges and boycotted court proceedings. They held demonstration in front of the Berhampur court demanding establishment of High Court bench in the city.
The general secretary of the Ganjam Bar Association, Pradeep Panda, said they decided to hold a general body meeting of the association after the declaration of election results. At the meeting, they would decide their future course of action regarding their long-standing demand and the modes to take it up with the new government in the State. Till date, lawyers of the city have been continuing their token strike for the demand of High Court bench. They have been boycotting court on last four days of every month for their demand. It may be noted that the members of the Ganjam Bar Association had resorted to strike of over five months on the issue. They called off their strike in May 2008. The long agitation had totally disrupted legal process in Berhampur court and at several other courts of south Orissa.
During their demonstration, Mr. Panda and other lawyers of the association criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for sidelining the issue by forming a commission to enquire into it. “The commission that had been formed to enquire into the matter is yet to furnish its report even after a year,” alleged the senior lawyers of the association. They also pointed out that even the police had failed to submit charge-sheet against the 30 lawyers it had arrested on April 22, 2008.

Judge to study way out of traffic woes due to Kasab security
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Mumbai/_Judge_to_study_way_out_of_traffic_woes_due_to_Kasab_security/articleshow/4439213.cms
23 Apr 2009, 1340 hrs IST, PTI
MUMBAI: Special Judge M L Tahilyani, who is conducting the 26/11 trial, was on Thursday appointed as Commissioner by the Bombay High Court to look into the inconvenience caused to persons residing near the Arthur Road court premises in view of the security provided to Mohammad Ajmal Kasab. The appointment was made following a PIL filed by people living near the Arthur Road jail premises, where the trial is being conducted, objecting to the partial closure of the road along the jail. A division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice V K Tahilramani directed Tahilyani to visit the area and hold meetings with the residents and shopkeepers and then file a detailed report by April 27. Government pleader Dhairyasheel Nalavade told the court that the police has received reports that there is a threat perception to main accused Kasab. “Persons living in the vicinity had been consulted before the commencement of the trial. The road adjacent is still functional,” Nalavade told the court. Justice Nazki, however, questioned how the police can stop traffic on a road. “You have the power to only regulate traffic and not stop it completely. We will not allow any inconvenience to citizens,” Justice Nazki said.

Prone missing cases, HC tells child rights panel
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Prone_missing_cases_HC_tells_child_rights_panel/articleshow/4436894.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0149 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Clearing the confusion arising out of too many bodies taking suo motu cognizance of missing children in the capital, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) to take charge and probe the issue of missing children in the city and file a report within three months. Appearing before the division bench of chief justice A P Shah and justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul, the Chairman of DCPCR Amod Kanth told the bench that the commission has already taken suo motu cognizance over the alarming issue soon after media reports. The commissioner of police has sought more time to complete the preliminary inquiry and register the cases of kidnapping, abduction or trafficking under IPC, Kanth said. The commission has also sought reports from the Ministry of Women and Child Development and state and national level agencies taking care of the children, he added. To the chairman’s submissions, the bench said the commission should be a “social investigator” and go into the reasons why children run away from home. “This is a social problem. Why do kids run away? The reasons can vary from poverty to search for a job to separation of parents,” HC remarked, asking the commission should look into all these angles. In early March, HC had taken a suo motu cognizance and sought the police report after the police failed to check the growing number of missing children from the capital. According to media reports, 2,210 children went missing in the national capital between June 1, 2008 and January 12, 2009. On its part, however, the Delhi Police maintained before HC that a majority of minors had either eloped or left their parents to live with friends and relatives.

Kissing row: HC raps cops
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/Kissing_row_HC_raps_cops/articleshow/4436893.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0148 hrs IST, TNN
NEW DELHI: Angry with the Delhi Police for conducting a shoddy in-house enquiry into allegations by a couple that they were harassed by the police after being arrested for kissing in public, the Delhi High Court has asked the police commissioner to take charge. “This court is unable to understand why the police hasn’t been able to conduct a responsible enquiry into the matter in the face of specific allegations made. Therefore, this court requires the commissioner of police to examine the matter concerning the conduct of the police officials and lawyer in the episode,” Justice S Muralidhar noted in his order on Wednesday, asking the top cop to probe deeper and submit a proper enquiry report. HC was hearing the case of a couple that had approached it seeking relief after the police registered an FIR against them for allegedly kissing each other near Dwarka Metro station. HC had then quashed the FIR and wondered how it could be construed as indecency. When it was further alleged by the couple that they were duped by a lawyer, on Shilpi Saini, who promised to get their marriage registered, HC asked the DCP of the area to investigate her role as also that of the concerned officers of Dwarka police station. However, the HC was clearly unimpressed by the enquiry conducted, noting the inconsistencies in the statements of the lawyer and that alleged by the victims.

SHRC seeks probe into Chennai man’s kidnap
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Bangalore/SHRC_seeks_probe_into_Chennai_mans_kidnap/articleshow/4437067.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0207 hrs IST
The State Human Rights Commission has sought a report from the additional chief secretary on the city police `allegedly’ kidnapping and illegally confining a businessman from Chennai at Bowring Institute. SHRC has taken suo motu cognizance of the case. A notice has been issued to the DCP (South).

Panel to probe assault on train
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chennai/Panel_to_probe_assault_on_train/articleshow/4437219.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0314 hrs IST, TNN
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has asked the State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) to probe into the police assault on a train passenger at Nagercoil railway station on March 6, 2009. The petitioner, Madras High Court Practising Advocates Association president Elephant G Rajendran, quoting a newspaper report said an innocent passenger of the Kanyakumari Express was brutally beaten up by an assistant superintendent of police and 20 other police personnel because the man had an altercation with the police official’s wife travelling on the same train. The passenger, in his late 30s, was travelling in an a/c coach with his two children and aged parents. He entered into an altercation with a co-passenger, the wife of a police officer in Kanyakumari district, after she wanted to pull down the beds and sleep as soon as the train chugged out of Egmore around 5.30pm on March 5. On getting the news from his wife on the mobile, the police officer along with his colleagues came to the Nagercoil railway station the next morning, barged into the coach, punched the man on the face and head and dragged him away while his family members watched, the petitioner said. The first bench, comprising Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Justice F M Ibrahim Kalifullah, asked the SHRC to take up the matter on April 27 and take necessary action if found that any employees of the State police or the railway police were responsible for the incident. As per the court’s earlier directive, the journalist who reported the incident and an eye witness to the incident had filed affidavits, the Bench said and observed: “In view of the seriousness and gravity of the alleged incident, we are of the view that it will be better if the SHRC looks into the matter.”

Court issues summons against complainant
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Court_issues_summons_against_complainant/articleshow/4437180.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0404 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad: The metropolitan court on Wednesday issued summons for Kirti Thakar, the complainant in dummy writers’ scam. Thakar, former principal of AG high school, had filed a complaint at the Gujarat University police station against Komal Patel and Harsh Kotak, two students of XII (Science), and their dummy writers – Dharmik Patel and Kevin Desai, on March 14, 2008. Komal and Harsh had faked fractures in their right hands and were caught using dummy writers to answer the exams on their behalf. After more than a year of investigation, the Gujarat University police station gave a clean chit to all the accused, including students, school authorities and officials of Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB). In this regard, Thakar has been summoned by the court to be present during a hearing on May 2. With the police’s C Summary report – where police claims to have no evidence against the accused – in the back drop, Thakar’s statement becomes critical. If Thakar maintains what he had mentioned in the complaint, city police’s C Summary report would come under fire. There are other loose ends in the case too. Like, the then secretary of GSHSEB, HN Chavda, had been found guilty in the investigation conducted by the board’s examination committee. Chavda had been transferred to district institute of education and training (DIET), Anand. The then board chairman, Rohit Pathak, had sent a report to the state government for departmental enquiry and suspension of Chavda. This is the pre-requisite norm for disciplinary action against a class I government officer like Chavda. But, till date, punitive action has not been initiated even after a year. The file, said sources, is still lying with the education department.

Failed NIFT student moves HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Ahmedabad/Failed_NIFT_student_moves_HC/articleshow/4437161.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0403 hrs IST, TNN
Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday raised several questions on the exam evaluation system of National Institute of Fashion Technology, Gandhinagar (NIFT). During a hearing of a writ petition by a 3rd semester student of NIFT, Garima Tiwari, Justice RR Tripathi raised questions since the institute’s authorities had failed to satisfy the court on the issue of assessment of students’ assignments. Tiwari has been failed in her third semester on various grounds by the institute. She has been accused of copying her two-volume assignment named Fashion studies scrap book’ from another student, Jivan Upadhyay. However, this assignment had a weightage of only 10 marks. Besides this, the authorities have said that Tiwari had little attendance in classroom. After the results were declared, Tiwari protested against the evaluation before the management and even took up the issue to the head office at New Delhi. But when she did not get a satisfactory response, she approached the high court and argued before the court as party-in-person. She claimed that she had submitted two assignments, while other students made only one submission. But the institute didn’t take this into consideration. Tiwari also objected to the institute’s ground that she was not regular in classroom. After she argued before Justice Tripathi on April 17, the court summoned the competent authority of NIFT and inquired into the mode of evaluation. The deputy registrar of NIFT told the court that there is no system in the institute to verify whether the student has submitted an assignment, as the copies are not countersigned. When asked about evaluation of these assignment, the court was told that Tiwari’s assignment was assessed by a visiting faculty. Moreover, records reveal that the girl has got more than 90 per cent attendance in classroom. Tiwari has also secured first class during first two semesters at NIFT. After hearing the institute, the court asked it to supply a copy of its affidavit to the girl and the hearing was adjourned till Friday.

Man gets 10-yr term for raping niece
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Chandigarh/Man_gets_10-yr_term_for_raping_niece/articleshow/4437251.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0415 hrs IST
Stating that the accused did not deserve leniency, the court of additional district and sessions judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi handed down 10 years rigorous imprisonment to city’s Ram Karan for raping his seven-year-old niece. A fine of Rs 6,000 was also imposed on the guilty.

HC to hear plea against Lalu for Varun remark today
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/HC_to_hear_plea_against_Lalu_for_Varun_remark_today/articleshow/4436694.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0416 hrs IST, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court will on Thursday hear the maintainability of a PIL of lawyer S N Pathak, seeking removal of Lalu Prasad from the Union cabinet for betraying oath of office by stating that he would have let a roller over the chest of BJP leader Varun Gandhi for delivering a hate speech. On Wednesday, the matter was listed under the heading `For Orders’ before a division bench comprising Chief Justice J B Koshy and Justice Ravi Ranjan. The bench was not convinced with the plea of Pathak that the writ of quo warranto could apply in this case. Pathak argued the matter should be heard at admission stage as Lalu had flouted the Constitutional provision under which he had taken the oath that he would conscientiously discharge his duties as the Union minister and that he would do right to all people without fear or favour, affection or ill will. He alleged Lalu violated provisions of Section 153 of IPC by making a provocative speech with an intent to cause riot; of Section 153A of IPC by promoting enmity between classes and of Section 153B of IPC for making assertions to affect national integration.

HC denies bail to Shahabu in arms case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Patna/HC_denies_bail_to_Shahabu_in_arms_case/articleshow/4436585.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0415 hrs IST, Ravi Dayal, TNN
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Wednesday refused to grant bail to Siwan MP Mohd Shahabuddin in a case relating to alleged recovery of arms and ammunitions, including prohibited cartridges, from his home at Pratappur village under Hussainganj police station in Siwan district. The high court, however, granted bail to Shahabuddin in another case in which he has been accused of having threatened the jailor of Siwan. A single bench presided by Justice Navin Sinha rejected Shahabuddin’s bail plea when state counsel Shyameshwar Dayal submitted an affidavit stating that recovery of the prohibited cartridges could invite up to 10 years’ imprisonment under Section 26(3) of the Arms Act. He said the state government has taken steps to move a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the high court verdict dismissing its criminal revision petition challenging the order of Siwan judicial magistrate M V Gupta. The magistrate has not allowed prosecution’s plea to add charges of recovery of prohibited cartridges to the other charges framed against him. Shahabuddin’s counsel Kanhaiya Prasad Singh sought grant of bail under Section 436(A) of CrPC which provides that if the accused is in jail for half of the period of the maximum punishment for which he is being prosecuted, bail should be granted to him. As the maximum punishment for the charges Shahabuddin is facing in this case is three years and he had been in jail in this case for more than half of this period, he should be granted bail, Singh submitted. Dayal countered this plea, submitting that under Section 437 CrPC if the maximum punishment for the charges against an accused is 10 years, he should not be granted bail. Justice Sinha held that the charge being levelled against Shahabuddin under Section 26(3) for possessing prohibited ammunitions is a grave one, for which the state government is to move the Supreme Court. Also, keeping in view the criminal antecedents of Shahabuddin, his bail petition is liable to be dismissed.

Four get life-term for murdering Dalit woman
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Jaipur/Four_get_life-term_for_murdering_Dalit_woman/articleshow/4437165.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0446 hrs IST, TNN
AJMER: Four men were sentenced to life imprisonment by a court here on Wednesday for murdering a Dalit woman in 2004. The special court of K K Bagadia, hearing offences under SC/ST Act, also imposed a fine on them, failing which they have to undergo further imprisonment. According to the prosecution, Tikam Chand, Mahfooz, Chandar Parkash alias Chandia and Subhash, all residents of Ajmer, murdered a woman, Puja, on November 6, 2004. “Chandia was forcing Puja to marry his brother Subhash and when she refused, they threatened to kill her. On the day of the incident, Tikam and Mahfooz attacked Puja with knives and sharp-edged weapons,” said Bhawani Singh, special public prosecutor. Puja died on January 13, 2005 and gave a dying declaration to the police. Police also found a note written by Tikam intimating Chandia about killing Puja. “They were booked under Section 304 and 120B of IPC for murder and conspiracy,” said Bhawani Singh. According to police, Puja said in her dying declaration that she had registered a rape case against Subhash and his father and they were taking revenge for it. The court then sentenced them to life imprisonment and also convicted Tikam Chand with Mahfooz under Arms Act and SC/ ST Act.

Kerala court orders case against Chandy
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Thirupuram/Kerala_court_orders_case_against_Chandy/articleshow/4437616.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0415 hrs IST, TNN
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A court in Kerala’s Kannur district ordered filing of an FIR against senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy over a complaint of breaching election code. According to the petition, Chandy tried to influence voters by visiting Kannur, the scene of a series of political violence in the past, on April 16, the day of polling, with the help of Congress candidate K Sudhakaran, who arranged the visit. The chief electoral officer also issued a notice to Chandy seeking explanation. Chandy defended his visit saying there was nothing secretive about it and that he had told the police about it.

Panels formed by SC under RTI ambit, rules CIC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/India/Panels_formed_by_SC_under_RTI_ambit_rules_CIC/articleshow/4436567.cms
23 Apr 2009, 0346 hrs IST, Nitin Sethi, TNN
NEW DELHI: In a far-reaching order, the Central Information Commission has ruled that any specialized committee formed by the Supreme Court is also a public authority and therefore falls under the purview of the Right To Information Act. The order came in the specific case before the CIC about the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) created under the orders of the apex court. The CEC, initially a five-member body and later enlarged after a long-running controversy about its original members, was set up by the court to handle all the forest-related matters before it. The CEC had contended that it was not a `public’ authority under the RTI Act as it was not created or funded by the government but formed by the court. But the commission disagreed with the contention pointing out that any body created under the Constitution is an agency that is answerable under the information Act. The order has come as a reaction to a controversial case that TOI had first reported. A forest official was persecuted by the Haryana government for booking culprits pointing out violations of the Wildlife Protection Act and the Forest Conservation Act in a wildlife sanctuary in the state. While he was shunted out and discriminated against, the case was taken up in the apex court. The case went before the CEC. It ruled that there had been clear violations of not only the Forest Conservation Act, the Wildlife Protection Act, which attract penalties including jail, but also of earlier apex court orders. But the CEC then went on to condone the acts and give a reprieve to officials and others involved with a mere warning. It asked for a compensatory amount of Rs 1 crore against the crimes committed. The applicants asked the CEC under what powers granted by which rule or regulation had it condoned the acts as the acts violated did not provide for such authority to any agency. The CEC did not reply to the applicants and instead claimed that it was not answerable under the RTI and the information asked pertained to one of its report that was in public domain. Now, the Central Information Commission has ordered that not only should the CEC reply to the queries as they are not part of the report it had put out but also set up adequate offices under the RTI Act to answer all future applicants.

Advertisements

4 Responses

  1. Hi, I would like to subscribe for this weblog to take most recent updates, so where can i do
    it please help out.

  2. yeah,the Central Information Commission has ordered that not only should the CEC reply to the queries as they are not part of the report it had put out but also set up adequate offices under the RTI Act to answer all future applicants.

  3. Mr. Pandey,
    Thanks for the link to my blog.

    Deepak Iyer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: