LEGAL NEWS 16-19/07/2009

SC rejects petition to remove CJI http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?1ee057b2-f7bf-4205-877a-b95a01ff1b9f 7/17/2009 The Supreme Court dismissed a petition, seeking removal of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan through impeachment. The petitioner, P V Chandran had alleged that elevation of Justice Balakrishnan as Judge of the Kerela High Court in 1985 was illegal as he was only a Munsif and did not belong to Kerala Higher Judicial Services. A bench comprising R V Raveendran and Justice B Sudershan Reddy asked the petitioner how he could challenge the elevation of Justice Balakrishnan after over 24 years. UNI PIL to quash FIR against Joshi http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Allahabad-PIL-to-quash-FIR-against-Joshi/articleshow/4793411.cms TNN 18 July 2009, 10:10pm IST ALLAHABAD: A writ petition has been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking quashing of an FIR lodged against UPCC president Rita Bahuguna Joshi in Moradabad. The writ petition is likely to come up for hearing before a division bench of the High Court on Monday. The plea in the writ petition, apart from others, is that the sections under which Joshi has been booked were not made out. The plea is that Joshi had not committed any crime under the SC/ST Act and therefore imposition of the Act on her was wrong. The petition also alleged that imposition of sections 153 (A) and 109 of the IPC on her are also wrong as involvement of Joshi under these sections were not made out. Women’s group files PIL for more stringent, effective prohibition law http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Women-s-group-files-PIL-for-more-stringent–effective-prohibition-law/491063 Express News Service Posted: Saturday , Jul 18, 2009 at 0438 hrs Ahmedabad: Following the recent hooch tragedy in the city, which claimed over 130 lives, a women’s rights group has filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Gujarat High Court with a plea to make the prohibition law more stringent and effective. The petitioner has also urged the HC to give directions to the respondents in the matter with the implementation of the Prohibition Act. Recently, a division bench of the HC has taken suo motu cognisance of certain complaints received by it in connection with the Prohibition law and the recent hooch tragedy. The PIL has been filed by the founder secretary of Ahmedabad Women’s Action Group (AWAG) — a voluntary organisation, headed by Ila Pathak. In the petition, she has raised a number of issues with reference to the Prohibition law, security of women and the police-bootleggers nexus. The petition demands to direct the respondents to initiate actions against its officials responsible for the hooch tragedy, to place a comprehensive plan for the effective implementation of the Prohibition policy in Gujarat, to form a monitoring cell to coordinate with concerned departments to supervise the implementation of the Act, and to create a suitable rehabilitation package for the family members of the victims. Pathak has also asked the court to direct the respondents to place data regarding schools premises used for consumption of illicit liquor and direct the authorities to take strict action against the responsible persons. The respondents named in the petition are the State of Gujarat, director general of police, inspector general of police and Ahmedabad commissioner of police. The court has issued notices to the respondents and asked them to reply after two weeks. Court admits PIL http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090718/jsp/nation/story_11250257.jsp OUR CORRESPONDENT Cuttack, July 17: Orissa High Court today admitted a PIL challenging the election of senior BJD leader and finance minister Prafulla Ghadei from Sukinda Assembly constituency. Former minister and senior Congress leader Sarat Rout had filed the petition alleging that his rival had won because of double voting by at least 3,000 BJD supporters. “There were double entries of names of as many as 5,000 voters in the electoral roll and 3,000 votes were registered twice within the constituency in favour of the BJD in violation of Section 62 of the Representation of Peoples’ Act, 1951,” the petition alleged. Ghadei had defeated Rout by 2,403 votes in April. “The single bench of Justice R.N. Biswal after a preliminary hearing on the petition issued notices to finance minister Prafulla Ghadei and other candidates who had contested from the Sukinda seat,” petitioner counsel Advocate Bidyadhar Mishra told The Telegraph today. “The court fixed August 3 for the hearing,” Mishra added. The PIL has further alleged that the acceptance of the nomination of BJP nominee Dolagivinda Mahanta was “improper as he had not subscribed his oath.” Guj HC issues notice to state govt after PIL on hooch tragedy http://www.zeenews.com/news547985.html Updated on Friday, July 17, 2009, 22:13 IST Ahmedabad: Gujarat High Court on Friday issued notices to state government, DGP and others while hearing a PIL on the recent hooch tragedy that claimed over 130 lives. The notice was issued by a division bench of Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi, while hearing a PIL filed by social and women’s rights activist Ila Pathak, in which she has contented that the government has “failed” to implement the Prohibition Law in the state. The court asked the respondents — the state government, DGP, IGP (prohibition), Police Commissioner Ahmedabad, secretaries of Home, Health and Family Welfare, Social Justice and Empowerment, and Women and Child Development departments — to file their replies within two weeks when the next hearing is scheduled. Appearing on behalf of Pathak, advocate Amee Yagnik sought appropriate direction from the court for stern action against those responsible for the hooch tragedy which has claimed over 130 lives in the city. She also demand that government should explain what it was doing to effectively implement the Prohibition Law. Yagnik submitted that the deaths due to consumption of spurious liquor in the city makes it clear that there exists an “unholy nexus” of police and bootleggers which was responsible for the tragedy. The PIL filed by Ila Pathak who runs the NGO AWAG also demanded specific answers from the government departments on the matter. The NGO wanted to know what the Home department was doing to effectively implement the Prohibition law in the state. The petition also suggested that there needs to be a separate monitoring cell to supervise the implementation of the Act. The PIL sought more stringent punishment for violators of the Prohibition Law. It wanted to know from the Social Justice and Empowerment department if it had any rehabilitation package for victims of the hooch tragedy. Stating that women are main sufferers in the aftermath of such incidents, Pathak also sought to ask the Women and Child Development department if it had any plans to counsel the victims and family members affected by the social evil. The PIL also demanded compensation for family members of the victims. Earlier, the Gujarat High Court had taken suo motu cognizance of the hooch tragedy and asked the state government to explain how its machinery was enforcing prohibition laws in the state. The court also sought explanation from the government on what steps it has taken with regard to the hooch tragedy, and how such incident occurred despite the liquor prohibition policy. Bureau Report Petition against Jharkhand police chief for secret fund withdrawal http://www.worldlatestnews.com/nation-india/petition-against-jharkhand-police-chief-for-secret-fund-withdrawal By ians on Saturday, July 18th, 2009 Ranchi, July 18, A public interest litigation (PIL) petition has been filed against the state police chief and others in connection with withdrawal of millions of rupees from the secret services (SS) fund. The PIL was filed by Om Prakash, a resident of Ranchi, in the Jharkhand High Court Friday. The PIL was filed based on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and media reports. Jharkhand Director General of Police (DGP) Visnu Dayal Ram has been charged with withdrawing a huge amount of money from the SS fund and not submitting the utilisation certification to the concerned authorities. The DGP had withdrawn Rs.5.6 crore in a single day from SS fund in 2006. The PIL says that the CAG had sought the utilisation certificate of the SS fund between July 2005 and March 2008 during which Rs.14.5 crore was withdrawn. The PIL has sought a CBI probe into the withdrawal of the SS fund and removal of Ram from the post of DGP for a fair probe. “The CAG has pointed out that the Bihar Finance Rules and manual of the special branch were overruled while withdrawing the SS fund,” says the petition. It further said: “I am a tax payer and the fund raised through taxes are being misused. The doubt also arises regarding use of the SS fund as the Maoist incidents are rising in the state.” The SS fund is being used by police to fight Maoist rebels. The money is paid to police informers. Details are kept secret but police officials have to submit utilisation certificates to the CAG. Centre requests SC to declare Ambani family gas pact null and void http://www.sindhtoday.net/news/1/31944.htm July 18th, 2009 SindhToday New Delhi, July 18 (ANI): The Central Government on Saturday filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking its direction to declare the Ambani family’s agreement to distribute gas as null and void. The dispute between Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) of Mukesh Ambani and Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) of Anil Ambani to distribute the gas available in the Krishna-Godavari Basin was sorted before their mother Kokila Ben. The Petroleum Ministry asserted in the petition that it had no knowledge of the family agreement and that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by the two Ambani groups was in contravention of the production-sharing contract (PSC). A day after filing an affidavit by the centre, the Ministry of Petroleum filed a special leave petition in the dispute of distribution of gas available in the Krishna-Godavari Basin in Andhra Pradesh. The centre has told the apex court that the government has sovereign ownership over natural gas and its distribution, and RIL was acting only as a contractor on behalf of the government. The centre made it clear in the petition that any agreement between the warring brothers will not be binding upon the government. The government’s petition has named both Mukesh and Anil who have separately filed cross-petitions against the ruling of the Bombay High Court, as the respondents. The Ministry has also sought a stay on the Bombay High Court judgment asking RIL to supply gas to RNRL after mutually working out the modalities. The petition also sought clarification related to gas utilization policy and PSC mentioned in the ruling of the Bombay High Court. Meanwhile, Anil Ambani led RNRL filed its second affidavit before the apex court saying the Petroleum Ministry’s affidavit filed on Friday was aimed at expanding its role and file pleadings that was not permissible to an intervener. RNRL’s petition also alleged that the Petroleum Ministry is biased towards the RIL of Mukesh Ambani.(ANI) [NF] Poll budget: HC seeks response from Maken http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Poll-budget–HC-seeks-response-from-Maken/490846/ Express News Service Posted: Saturday , Jul 18, 2009 at 0024 hrs New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday sought a response from Union Minister Ajay Maken and the returning officer of his Lok Sabha constituency over a petition seeking to declare his election null and void for over-spending during the poll campaign. Accusing the Congress leader of violating the Model Code of Conduct and provisions of the Representation of People’s Act, the petition has claimed he spent over Rs 5 crore during his campaigning, while the rules fixed Rs 25 lakh as the maximum limit. Senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi and Ajay Digpaul, appearing for petitioner Adesh Gupta, said Maken, the Minister of State for Home, had wrongfully claimed to have spent around Rs 20 lakh in his campaign, when he issued full-page ads in various national and local dailies. He also got numerous hoardings put up and distributed calendars, diaries and pamphlets. Issuing the notice to Maken and D K Mishra, returning officer for New Delhi, the Court has fixed August 21 as the next date for hearing. Housing societies not liable to pay tax on transfer fee: HC http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Housing-societies-not-liable-to-pay-tax-on-transfer-fee–HC/490938/ Express News Service Posted: Saturday , Jul 18, 2009 at 0147 hrs Mumbai: In a significant order on Friday, the Bombay High Court held that cooperative housing societies are not liable to pay income tax on transfer fee. Most housing societies charge transfer fee, which is a sort of admission fee, when a flat or a plot of land in the society changes hand. The Income Tax department’s stand was that societies must pay tax on transfer fee. But the Income Tax appellate tribunal held in an order in 2004 that only when the incoming member or the buyer of the property pays the fee, it is taxable. A division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice J H Bhatia, however, held that whoever may pay the fee, the society is not liable to pay income tax on it. The judgment states that cooperative housing societies across the state, “which has as its predominant activity, maintenance of property” is not liable to pay tax on transfer fee “as long as there is no taint of commerciality to its operations.” HC notices to bar councils http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Allahabad-HC-notices-to-bar-councils/articleshow/4790285.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 11:13pm IST ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court, on Friday, issued notices to the Bar Council of India, New Delhi and the Bar Council of UP, Allahabad, to show cause as to why the resolution passed by the Bar Council of UP, asking the lawyers to abstain from judicial work be not set aside. The court has also directed the state government to take appropriate action in the matter which had resulted into the said resolution. “Since the strike has seriously affected the work of our Court, overburdened with urgent fresh cases, unlisted and listed ones, we have taken suo-moto action in the matter and directed the registry to register the matter and place it before the Chief Justice to nominate appropriate bench to hear this case,” the bench remarked. The court passed this order, taking serious note of the call given by UP Bar Council, asking the lawyers and bar associations of all the 71 districts to abstain from judicial work on July 17. The bench consisting of Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Ranvijai Singh observed, “The law laid down by the Supreme Court is binding upon the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh. It has no authority to give a call for strike.” The call given by the Bar Council of UP on Friday has not only affected the functioning of the High Court at Allahabad and Lucknow but also paralyzed the work in 71 district courts, consumer courts, labour courts, revenue courts, UP Public Service Tribunal and all the income tax and sales tax authorities in the state, causing loss of crores of rupees and putting litigants to hardships.” “We are deeply concerned with this situation prevailing in UP. While we take cognizance of the resolution passed by the Bar Council of Uttar Pradesh, we also express our concern on the indifference of the state government over the matters concerning advocates. The advocates were lathi-charged at Gonda about a week ago. There was lathi-charge on advocates at Kanpur and Allahabad and the senior members of the Bar at Firozabad. The resolutions of the Bar Council of Ultar Pradesh appear to be the result of the inaction of the state government in taking appropriate steps in these matters at appropriate time. The state government is under the constitutional duty to maintain law and order,” the judges maintained. The court further remarked, “If a section of society is aggrieved against the administration, which results into call for strike, the state government must take appropriate measures.” Govt formally joins Ambani brothers’ KG Basin gas feud http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4791538.cms?flstry=1 18 Jul 2009, 0704 hrs IST, ET Bureau NEW DELHI: The government has formally shown its hand in the ongoing battle between the two Ambani brothers over the Krishna Godavari basin gas by filing an affidavit on Friday in the Supreme Court. It has sought a stay on the Bombay High Court order that directed Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries (RIL) to supply gas to his estranged brother Anil Ambani’s firm Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) at $2.34 per million British thermal unit (mmBtu). The government’s contention is that the agreement between RIL and RNRL violates its production sharing contract (PSC) with RIL for developing the gas field, deters fresh, particularly foreign investment, in exploration and development of hydrocarbons in India and thwarts the government’s gas utilisation policy, which privileges fertiliser as the priority customer for gas from the KG Basin field. The government has filed the affidavit as an intervenor which means that it gets to assist the court in coming to a conclusion. The govermnent wants to be impleaded in the case as a respondent, or as a party to the case, on the ground that the sovereign owns the gas. RIL supports the government’s stance. The government’s status is one of the early issues the Supreme Court will have to decide on. The government’s position, as spelt out in the affidavit, comes as no great surprise. Its stand before the Bombay HC was essentially the same. In that case, it did not succeed, with the HC ruling that RNRL has a valid contract with RIL for supply of gas from the KG basin. The government petition has claimed that its sovereign rights “cannot be subjected to private negotiations by mutual understanding”. The government further goes on to say that “a private dispute between two parties and their alleged agreement (family MoU) cannot threaten the interests of other stake holders i.e. the government in the contract. The MoU by its very nature is in contravention of the PSC which both the signatory parties were aware of before entering into this agreement (2005 agreement of RIL and RNRL)”. The matter is listed for hearing on Monday before a bench headed by Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan. The government said RIL’s agreement to sell the gas to RNRL at $2.34 per mBtu is not based on an arms-length price. A sale made in 2004 would not be relevant for determining the sale price at which the gas is to be sold in 2006 or 2007, it said. The prevailing gas prices for domestic gas under the PSC are significantly higher, said the affidavit prepared by the additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran, who is government’s counsel in the case. While RNRL’s views could not be immediately obtained, it had argued before the Bombay High Court that RIL has the freedom to price its gas and this price could be different from the one set by the government. This view was upheld by the high court. The government, for its part, has argued that the agreement between the two brothers could adversely affect the government’s policy of attracting foreign investment in oil and gas exploration and also affect the allocation of gas to the priority sectors such as fertiliser and power. It also claims that the move would harm RIL’s partner in the block Niko which has also signed the PSC. The foreign partner of RIL in the KG-D6 block has a 10% stake in the project. A foreign company should not be penalised for no fault of its own, the government said in the affidavit. “The interest of foreign investors should be protected under the PSC,” it said. In its affidavit, the government added that “any interpretation which is not in line with the PSC would severely impact the effort of the government to attract foreign investment — especially when the government is in process of attracting investments through NELP bidding rounds”. Earlier on Friday, RIL also filed an affidavit through PH Parekh and Co in the apex court opposing RNRL plea. RIL said it is a contractor under the PSC entered into with the government and “has no unfettered rights on the quantity and the price of gas and is bound by the terms of the PSC and the policies and directions issued by the government from time to time”. In the affidavit, the government said, “The whole structure of a PSC would collapse and be rendered completely unworkable in a situation such of this (RIL vs RNRL case) even the fundamental aspect of the PSC such as determination of each parties ‘take’ or ‘entitlement’ would be rendered impossible of determination.” The role of the government in fixing the sale price of a scarce resource like natural resources like natural gas ensures a level playing field among all the producers of power/fertiliser which are priority sectors, it said. HC to govt: Make books available at start of year http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Goa-HC-to-govt-Make-books-available-at-start-of-year/articleshow/4791448.cms TNN 18 July 2009, 04:53am IST PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has directed the state government to take steps to implement the mandate of Article 21 (A) of the Constitution, which deals with the right to education as a fundamental right of children aged between 6 and 14 years. It also directed the government to ensure that textbooks are available before the beginning of the academic year. A division bench of chief justice S Kumar and justice N A Britto passed the orders in a petition filed by two book vendors. A Nadkarni, appearing for the Maharashtra State Bureau for Textbook Production and Curriculum Research, told the court that textbooks for standards 1 to 4 were available at the Goa Handicrafts Rural and Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Ltd and that textbooks for standards 5 to 7 are available with an agency in Ponda and those for standards 8 to 12 are available with all major booksellers in the state. Legal | Madras HC sets aside IPAB order on dual SIM Earlier this week, IPAB had, on an appeal filed by mobile phone importer Spice Mobile Ltd, passed an interim order on staying operation of patent No. 214388 Mumbai: The Madras high court on Friday set aside a Monday order by India’s Intellectual Property Appellate Board (IPAB) that suspended a patent for dual SIM (subscriber identity module) mobile phones granted to S. Ramkumar, a Madurai- based electronics engineer. The patent was granted in 2008 by the Chennai patent office. Earlier this week, IPAB had, on an appeal filed by mobile phone importer Spice Mobile Ltd, passed an interim order on staying operation of patent No. 214388. On the basis of his patent, Ramkumar had sought seizure of imports and local production of multiple SIM card mobile phones by companies such as Samsung India Electronics Ltd, Spice Mobile, and LG Electronics India Ltd, among others. Ramkumar’s lawyer K.M. Aasim Shehzad told Mint the Madras HC passed the order. All Muslims not terrorists: Bombay HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4791386.cms Shibu Thomas, TNN 18 July 2009, 03:45am IST MUMBAI: “Terrorists may have been Muslims, but all Muslims are not terrorists,” said a Bombay HC judge on Friday sending out a clear message against stereotyping on the basis of a person’s religious beliefs. Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud, who was part of the full bench, made the remark during the hearing of a petition challenging the ban on a book authored by a city lawyer. The bench also comprised Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R S Mohite. The judges admonished a lawyer who tried to link 26/11 attacks in Mumbai to teachings in the Quran. The court pointed to statistics in US where many persons arrested for criminal offences were found to be black. “On that basis every black person cannot be said to be a criminal,” he said. The full bench of HC was set up to hear a petition filed by Mumbai-based advocate R V Bhasin against the Maharashtra government’s 2007 ban on his book ‘Islam: A concept of Political World Invasion by Muslims’. The state had banned the book on the apprehension that it may lead to communal disharmony. Bhasin claimed that his book “analyses intellectually, the background of world history in context of the effect of Islam over the world and in particular over the social, cultural and political systems in India”. An intervention application filed by a clutch of organisations — Jamat-E-Islami-E-Hind, Islamic Research Foundation, Bombay Aman Committee and the Maharashtra Muslim Lawyers Forum — said the book was intended to hold ideology of Islam in contempt and create hatred for Muslims. Terminate pregnancy of mentally challenged rape victim, orders HC http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/terminate-pregnancy-of-mentally-challenged-rape-victim-orders-hc/490988/ Express News Service Posted: Jul 18, 2009 at 0248 hrs IST Chandigarh In a categorical and elaborate judgment, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Chandigarh Administration to “promptly and forthwith” medically terminate the pregnancy of a 19-year-old mentally challenged girl who was raped at Nari Niketan in Chandigarh a few months ago. The UT Administration has been directed to submit a compliance report on August 3. A Division Bench comprising Justice Surya Kant and Justice Augustine George Masih ruled: “We firmly hold that the victim deserves to be liberated from the agonising responsibility forced upon her. Notwithstanding her physical age, she is just a child mentally.” It was a one-of-its-kind case that had reached the court, which was to take the decision on behalf of the orphan girl. The UT Administration had moved the High Court seeking termination of pregnancy of the girl who was raped inside an institute run by the government for mentally challenged women. Two security guards working at the institute are in judicial custody on charges of rape. To reach a prudent conclusion, opinions of the advocate generals of Punjab and Haryana were sought and senior advocate R S Cheema was appointed as amicus curiae. While the two advocate generals, H S Mattewal and H S Hooda, opined in favour of abortion, Cheema had objected to it, saying consent of the girl was a must. An expert panel of doctors was constituted, which said the girl had no understanding of her pregnancy. Senior Standing Counsel for UT Administration Anupam Gupta, too, had strongly advocated for a termination of the pregnancy. While Cheema argued on an emotional pitch that the girl had expressed her desire to give birth to the child, according to the medical report, Gupta highlighted that doctors felt a child was like a “toy” for the victim to play with. Taking a holistic approach and giving due emphasis to social, physical, mental capacity and financial conditions, the Division Bench directed the UT Administration to immediately carry out an abortion. Based on a psychiatry report of Prof Ajit Avasthi, the judgment reads: “We find that the victim is neither intellectually nor on social, personal, financial or family fronts able to raise a child. We are satisfied with the reports that the victim is incapable of understanding the concept of motherhood or of pregnancy or pre and post-delivery implications. Asking her to continue with the pregnancy and, thereafter, raise the child would be a travesty of justice and a permanent addition to her miseries. The ‘toy’ with which she wants to play would want her to invest hugely which she is incapable of,” the judgment reads. The Bench further ruled: “We cannot also overlook the fact that if allowed to be born, the child’s own life and future prospects may be highly disappointing. The grooming and education of the child would again be at the mercy of the government-run/aided institutions…” A Delhi-based advocate, meanwhile, filed a special leave petition challenging the orders. The petition will come up for hearing in the Supreme Court on Monday after the Chief Justice of India reportedly agreed to list the matter for urgent hearing. Chief Justices’ conference: HC will work more http://www.indlawnews.com/newsdisplay.aspx?6997ce46-921c-4444-a235-2c049bb2f4fb 7/15/2009 The Chief Justices’ Conference held on April 17, 2008 had, inter-alia, resolved that: High Courts will consider either extending working hours upto 5 ½ hours or suitably increasing the working days; High Court Judges be requested to work during vacation, on voluntary basis; and High Court Judges will not go for holidaying on working days. This Conference had also resolved that: Wherever feasible, the High Courts will take steps to set-up Courts of Special Metropolitan Magistrates/Special Judicial Magistrates presided by retired government servants and court servants, possessing a professional degree in Law, for trial of petty offences, including traffic cases and cases under Local Municipal Acts. Such Special Magistrates/Special Judicial Magistrates shall work under the control and superintendence of a senior Judicial Officer. Working hours in the Supreme Court and High Courts are regulated by the rules framed by the respective Courts. The working hours of the subordinate courts are decided by the respective High Courts. In matters of administration of subordinate courts such as appointment of judges, recruitment of persons other than judges, decision rests with the respective State Government in consultation with the concerned High Court. This information was given by Dr. M.Veerappa Moily, Minister of Law and Justice, in the Rajya Sabha in a written reply. PIB Supreme Court and CJI cannot be distinct entities: CIC http://www.zeenews.com/news548016.html Updated on Saturday, July 18, 2009, 00:01 IST New Delhi: The Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court cannot be two distinct entities, the Central Information Commission has held directing the registry of the apex court to provide information to an RTI applicant even if it is held by the office of the Chief Justice. “The Institution and its head cannot be two distinct Public Authorities. They are one and the same. Information therefore available with Chief Justice of India must be deemed to be available with the Supreme Court of India,” Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibuallah said. The Commission was hearing the plea of RTI applicant 77-year-old P K Dalmia who sought to know the fate of his complaint, filed with the Chief Justice of India, of alleged malpractices by a designated company judge Sunil Ambwani in the liquidation of UP State Cement Corporation Limited. Dalmia has filed three complaints to the CJI last year alleging that the assets of corporation were sold for Rs 459 crore whereas certificate obtained by him from a Chartered Accountant showed that amount actually payable to banks worked out to only Rs 216.9 crore. After not getting any response, he filed RTI application to know the fate of his complaints, which was rejected by the registry of Supreme Court claiming that complaint against High Court or Supreme Court Judge are not under its control hence cannot be provided. CIC gave an out-of-turn hearing to Dalmia’s plea, considering his deteriorating health condition. Dalmia’s appeal before the registrar of Supreme Court did not yield any positive response. He then moved the Central Information Commission with his plea last year. Dalmia argued before the Commission that even if the cases had been disposed of by the Central Public Information Officer as a matter concerning the Chief Justice only in his personal capacity, he required to have been informed as much. “The issue that needs to be determined is as to whether the Chief Justice of India and the Supreme Court of India are two distinct Public Authorities (respondents of RTI applications) or one Public Authority,” Habibullah said. The Chief Information Commissioner, quoting Article 124 of the Constitution said Supreme Court of India consisting of the Chief Justice of India and such number of Judges is an institution of which CJI is head. “The registrar of the Supreme Court of India, which is only the part of the Supreme Court, cannot be categorised as a Public Authority independent and distinct from the Supreme Court itself,” Habibullah said. “The question of disclaiming information about correspondence with the Chief Justice of India by the CPIO of the Supreme Court cannot arise,” he further said. The CIC in its decision yesterday directed that the Additional Registrar will obtain the information sought, even if the complaints moved by Dalmia have been filed, and convey the same to him within 15 working days. Bureau Report Writ petition filed in HC http://ptinews.com/news/179815_Writ-petition-filed-in-HC STAFF WRITER 19:59 HRS IST Chennai, Jul 17 (PTI) A writ petition has been filed in the Madras High Court seeking action against an advocate who had allegedly tried to influence a judge of the court in a case using the name of an union minister. Seeking a writ of Quo Warranto, directing the advocate R K Chandramohan, who is also the Chairman of Bar Council for Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry, to explain under what authority he continued to hold the office after all that had allegedly taken place, petitioner G Rajendran sought a direction to the High Court Registry to initiate contempt of court proceedings against Chandranmohan. The advocate also sought a direction to Chandramohan to name the minister who had allegedly wanted to talk to the Judge in connection with the case relating to anticipatory bail pleas by a student and his father which sparked a nationwide controversy. Repeal of the MRTP Act, 1969: Reducing the Twilight Period http://www.lawyersclubindia.com/articles/article_list_detail.asp?article_id=1409 By : Nirav Pankaj Shah on 17 July 2009 Repeal of the MRTP Act, 1969: Reducing the Twilight Period T. Ramappa, ACS, Advocate, Chennai. THE BACKGROUND The MRTP Act has been the subject of repeal twice. Section 66 of the Competition Act, 2002 declared that the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 [“MRTP Act”] be repealed and the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission [“MRTPC”] be dissolved. In addition to providing for the settlement of the status of the employment of those working in the MRTPC, consequent on such dissolution, it also laid down the principle on which cases and investigations pending under the MRTP Act were to be transferred to the Competition Commission of India or the National Commission constituted under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, as indicated in the section. This section was not brought into force and as the Competition Commission was not duly constituted, the MRTPC was receiving complaints and deciding them under the MRTP Act. THE AMENDED SECTION 66 Along with a number of other amendments to the Act made by the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007, the date of commencement of which was October 12, 2007, a new section 66 was substituted in the place of the original section 66. Under section 66, as amended, which has not yet been notified as having been brought into force, the basic position is that the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (54 of 1969) has been repealed and the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission established under section 5(1) of the said Act (hereinafter referred to as the repealed Act) shall stand dissolved. However, under section 66, the MRTP Commission is permitted to continue to exercise jurisdiction and power under the MRTP Act for a period of two years from the date of the commencement of the Competition [Amendment] Act of 2007, which in effect means two years from the notification of section 66 as being brought into force. But the MRTP Commission cannot decide or adjudicate any case or proceeding arising under the MRTP Act on or after the said commencement. The present section 66 also provides for the vacation of the offices of the Chairman and Members of the Commission and the officers of the Commission on its dissolution and for settlement of conditions of service of those working in the MRTP Commission. The section also provides for saving any right that may have accrued and for continuance of any liability that may have been incurred under the repealed Act. PENDING CASES All cases pertaining to monopolistic trade practices or restrictive trade practices pending (including such cases, in which any unfair trade practice has also been alleged), before the Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Commission shall, after the expiry of the said two years, stand transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal and shall be adjudicated by that Appellate Tribunal in accordance with the provisions of the MRTP Act, as if that Act had not been repealed. As far as cases relating to unfair trade practices pending at the relevant time , the amendment provides that all cases under section 36A[1] of the MRTP Act, excepting those falling under The starting point of the twoyear period for the repeal of the MRTP Act and the dissolution of the MRTPC has not yet been determined. In the nature of things the Central Government will be in a position to notify section 66 as having been brought into force only on its appointing members and other officers of the Competition Commission and the Competition Appellate Tribunal. e-mail : ramappat92@gmail.com Articles Articles clause [x] of that section* shall stand transferred to the National Commission established under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, and that those falling under section 36A[1][x] shall stand transferred to the Competition Appellate Tribunal. In both cases, they shall be disposed of as if they were cases filed under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. PENDING INVESTIGATIONS OR PROCEEDINGS Investigations or proceedings, other than those relating to unfair trade practices, pending before the Director General of Investigation and Registration on or before the commencement of the operation of section 66 shall, on such commencement, stand transferred to the Competition Commission of India, and the Competition Commission of India may conduct or order for conduct of such investigation or proceedings in the manner as it deems fit. All investigations or proceedings, relating to unfair trade practices, other than those referred to in section 36A[1][x] of the MRTP Act pending before the Director General of Investigation and Registration on or before the said commencement shall, on such commencement, stand transferred to the National Commission constituted under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (68 of 1986) and the National Commission may conduct or order for conduct of such investigation or proceedings in the manner as it deems fit. Investigations or proceedings relating to cases falling under section 36A[1][x] of the MRTP Act pending before the Director General of Investigation and Registration on or before the said commencement shall, on such commencement, stand transferred to the Competition Commission and the Competition Commission of India may conduct or order for conduct of such investigation in the manner as it deems fit. AVOIDABLE TWILIGHT PERIOD The new section 66 has so far not been notified as having brought into force. It means that the starting point of the two-year period for the repeal of the MRTP Act and the dissolution of the MRTPC has not yet commenced. In the nature of things the Central Government will be in a position to notify section 66 as having been brought into force only on its appointing members to the Competition Commission and the Competition Appellate Tribunal and the other officers. The ground on which the Government decided to repeal the MRTP Act was that it considered that the Act was enacted to contain concentration of economic power and that it was not the right mechanism suited to deal with issues relating to the preservation and protection of competition and that too in the new industrial scene. Today, seven years after the first section 66 repealed the MRTP Act, in 2002, the question whether the repeal was justified and on the grounds stated by the Government, is no longer relevant. But what should be a matter of concern is the loss of time in changing over to the full operation of the Competition Act, 2002. The delay in bringing into force of the pre-amendment Competition Act, 2002 was forced on the Government by its having to await the decision of the Supreme Court in Brahm Dutt v. Union of India, where the validity of the Competition Act, 2002 and Rule 3 of the Competition Commission of India (Selection of Chairperson and Other Members of the Commission) Rules, 2003 were challenged. But there is no justification now for the present delay after the Competition [Amendment] Act, 2007, after the proceedings before the Supreme Court, has been notified as having been brought into force. Section 66 repealing the MRTP Act and providing for the dissolution of the MRTPC and disposal of pending cases and investigations could be brought into force only after the positions in the Competition Commission and the Competition Appellate Tribunal are filled up. But the Government chose a very inappropriate method to select persons to be members of the Competition Commission. Having agreed to arrange a structure in which the Competition Commission would only function as a market regulator, an expert body performing advisory and regulatory functions, the Government resorted to the procedure of inviting applications for filling up the posts of Chairperson and other Members of the Competition and lost much time. This is done in no country and it is only here that the impression is sought to be given that in the process of appointing members to the Competition Commission, India is inventing the wheel. It is now reported in a newspaper, which has been reproduced on the website of the Competition Commission of India, that the Central Government has appointed five members, including the Chairperson of the Competition Commission. The Chairman and members of the Competition Appellate Tribunal will have to be appointed and the offices of the Director General and others will have to be filled up and then only the system will be fully operational. This should be done as expeditiously as possible so that the transition from the MRTP Act regime to the mechanism under the Competition Act is completed well in time even before the prescribed period of two years. The delay also breeds other undesirable consequences. The first is the uncertainty as to which agency will ultimately decide the case and this is no inducement for anyone to quicken the process. Added to this, handing over to newly constituted bodies, viz. the Competition Commission and the Appellate Tribunal, unfinished part-heard cases is certainly of no advantage to anybody, since the process will, in actual practice, have to be virtually started de novo. In the matter of investigations, with two successive * This is an unfair trade practice which gives false or misleading facts disparaging investigators, with different outlooks, it is certain that there will the goods, services or trade of another person. Repeal of the MRTP Act, 1969 : Reducing the Twilight Period Articles be little co-operation and coordination. What is the pace at which this vital legislation has progressed, if there is progress in any sense? The record is highly disenchanting. The High level committee on competition policy and law submitted its report to the Government of India in 2000 and the Competition Act, 2002, excepting the key sections, were notified in 2003 on different dates as having been brought into force. The challenge to the validity of the Act and the mode of selection of the Chairman and Members of the Competition Commission left it in a state of dormancy till the 2007 amendments were made. The Central Government notified 12th day of October, 2007 as the date on which section 1 of the Competition (Amendment) Act, 2007 (39 of 2007), shall come into force. By a separate notification on the same day, certain other sections of the 2007 Amendment Act were brought into force with effect from 12th day of October, 2007. The key sections including the new section 66 have not yet been brought into force. By a notification dated February 27, 2008 the Competition Commission of India (Term of the Selection Committee and the Manner of Selection of Panel of Names) Rules, 2008 were issued. The Competition Appellate Tribunal [Term of the Selection Committee and the Manner of Selection of Panel of Names] Rules, 2008 were published on May 16, 2008. The appointments to the Competition Commission have been made one year after the Rules for the selection of members of the Commission were issued. It is a sad commentary on the spirit in which the mechanism for preserving competition in the market is taking shape. The number of countries that have established legal regimes for the preservation of competition in the market is very large and they are at different stages of industrial growth and India should not be seen as dragging its feet in establishing such a regime. Recognizing that in a growing economy such as ours, which seeks participation of enterprises from across the globe, the establishment of a machinery for the preservation of effective competition is crucial and urgent. Credibility will be established only when it is seen as staffed with the best that the country can obtain. Therefore, all the other positions should be filled quickly, thus reducing the twilight area of as short a duration as possible. 􀂉 Repeal of the MRTP Act, 1969 : Reducing the Twilight Period UT fined Rs 5K for failure to file reply http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Chandigarh-UT-fined-Rs-5K-for-failure-to-file-reply/articleshow/4787550.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 06:30am IST CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has imposed costs of Rs 5,000 on Chandigarh administration on Thursday for its failure to file a reply within the stipulated time on a writ petition pending before it seeking removal of encroachments from the corridors of shops and office buildings in various sectors of the city. A division bench headed by chief justice Tirath Singh Thakur and justice KS Ahluwalia passed the orders on Thursday, as UT administration failed to file its reply despite giving several opportunities and warnings. The matter pertains to a PIL filed by Sector 22 Welfare Association seeking directions to ensure that SCOs, SCFs and booths in various sectors of the city are to be kept free from encroachments by way of stalling of goods by hawkers or squatters. After hearing the PIL, the high court had issued notices to MC, Chandigarh and UT administration to file their reply. While MC had filed its reply, the UT administration failed to present its position. Orissa HC reserves verdict on interim stay on Forest Dwellers Act http://www.zeenews.com/news547866.html Updated on Friday, July 17, 2009, 15:51 IST Cuttack: The Orissa High Court has reserved its verdict on a plea by the state government to vacate an interim stay imposed about a year ago on the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act. The Act was enacted in 2006 to recognise and vest forest rights and occupation of forest land to traditional forest dwellers for generations. Accordingly, the Orissa government had identified more than 30,000 forest dwellers to be benefitted by the Act of whom about 20,000 tribals were from Kalahandi, Koraput and Kandhamal district. But the Act was challenged in the Orissa High Court through a PIL filed by the Society of Retired Forest Officers’ of Orissa stating that the new Act went against the spirit of the National Forest Policy of 1998, Indian Forest Act of 1927 and Forest Conservation Act of 1980. Adjudicating over the PIL, the High Court in an interim order passed in July last year had allowed the state government to go ahead with the process of identifying the beneficiaries, but had restricted issue of title deeds especially in sanctuaries, national parks and bio-sphere reserves. After this, the process of giving rights over forest to traditional forest dwellers slowed down, giving rise to resentment among tribals. It was also believed that the recent upsurge in Narayanpatna in Koraput district, where tribals are forcibly snatching away land of non-tribals, was an outcome of it. However, after the recent visit of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to the troubled areas of Koraput, the government took initiative to vacate the interim stay imposed by the high court and to facilitate distribution of land rights to tribals dwelling in jungles. Accordingly state Advocate General Ashok Mohanty had moved the High Court last week to vacate the July, 2008 stay. The bench of Acting Chief Justice I M Qudussi and Justice Kumari Sanju Panda after completing the hearing yesterday has reserved its verdict which is likely to be pronounced next week. Bureau Report HC stay on forest act plea http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090717/jsp/nation/story_11245275.jsp OUR CORRESPONDENT Cuttack, July 16: Orissa High Court today reserved its judgment on a PIL presented by the Retired Orissa Forest Officers’ Society that challenged the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006. However, before the two-judge bench of Acting Chief Justice I.M. Qudussi and Justice Sanju Panda reserved its verdict, the government presented its predicament over the distribution of land pattas to tribal citizens, because of an interim restriction imposed nearly a year ago on the implementation of the Act. Advocate-general Ashok Mohanty stated that land deeds were pending distribution though the final recognition of rights was over. In an interim order presented in July 2008 on the officers’ PIL, the court had allowed the state to continue with the implementation of the act, but had imposed restrictions on issuance of title deeds, especially in national parks and biosphere reserves. For the first time, an act was recognising and vesting forest rights and occupation over forestland to Scheduled Tribes and traditional forest dwellers residing in jungles for generations. The hold over land and forest are important issues in the state since tribal people account for more than one-fifth of the population. Nearly 40,000 tribal people are slated to benefit from the act, while 20,000 would receive forestland in southern Orissa districts such as Koraput, Kalahandi and Kandhamal. In fact, revenue minister Surya Narayan Patra had already announced that the government would grant land deeds to citizens in jungles under the Forest Rights’ Act as soon as the stay on it was vacated by the high court. NHAI asked to set up panel for grant of relief http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Patna-NHAI-asked-to-set-up-panel-for-grant-of-relief/articleshow/4786435.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 03:11am IST PATNA: The Patna High Court on Thursday directed the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to constitute a committee to work out the compensation package to be given to the people of Sangi Phulparas village in Madhubani district against use of the soil of their land for construction of an express highway. A division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Shivakirti Singh and Justice Anjana Prakash issued the directive on a PIL of one Mahendra Jha who submitted that the NHAI had not yet given compensation for cutting the soil of the land of the villagers. The court adjourned the case for four weeks. Humlog Trust: The same bench directed the petitioner Humlog Trust to give details of the Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services (IL&FS) Ltd which has been outsourced the work of cleaning the main secretariat and the new secretariat in Patna by the state government. The order was passed on the PIL of Humlog Trust which submitted that the IL&FS had been assigned the cleaning work in New Secretariat at a cost of Rs 4.35 lakh for a year in 2008. But in 2009, the cost of the cleaning work was raised manifold with the IL&FS being assigned the cleaning work of the main secretariat at Patna at Rs 11.93 lakh per month and cleaning work of New Secretariat at Rs 11.64 lakh per month. The Humlog Trust challenged the state government’s decision to assign the cleaning work to IL&FS at an exorbitant cost without issuing advertisement and tender. SC grants relief to in-laws in dowry death case http://www.bombayblasts.com/2009/07/16/sc-grants-relief-to-in-laws-in-dowry-death-case/ By | July 16, 2009 Taking note of the dying declaration of a woman who succumbed to burn injuries in December 2007, the Supreme Court reversed a Bombay High Court and granted anticipatory bail to her in-laws, who had been accused of bride burning. The apex court observed that the HC had committed… This post is provided to you by BombayBlasts.com Check encroachment outside rly station: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Delhi-Check-encroachment-outside-rly-station-HC/articleshow/4786847.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 04:56am IST NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the Delhi Police and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi to inspect the area outside the New Delhi railway station to check encroachment. Justice G S Sasthani directed the ACP traffic and MCD officials to see if people had illegally occupied space outside the Paharganj and Ajmeri Gate entrances of New Delhi railway station, leading to traffic jams and chaos. The court’s order came after a petition claimed that the area near New Delhi railway station was still congested despite the MCD claim that it had recently carried out a major anti-encroachment drive near the station to clear all illegal structures, occupants and squatters from at least two main roads in the area. The court also asked a committee to file a report after carrying out an inspection in the area. Earlier, the petitioner alleged that the encroachment was leading to a lot of chaos and the area was congested. After the complaint, the MCD claimed that its demolition squad removed encroachments. A large number of dhabas, motor mechanic shops and other small makeshift shops that have come up over the years were removed during the drive, claimed the civic agency officials. They said encroachments on footpaths that were causing difficulty to pedestrians were also removed. According to senior MCD officials, encroachment on the roads leading to New Delhi railway station was a major hurdle in allowing free flow of traffic. HC frames guidelines for withdrawal of weapons http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Pune-HC-frames-guidelines-for-withdrawal-of-weapons/articleshow/4786870.cms Asseem Shaikh, TNN 17 July 2009, 04:49am IST PUNE: In a major relief to firearm licence holders, the Bombay high court (HC) has framed guidelines to be observed by the district police and police commissionerates while withdrawing weapons from them during elections or other emergency situations. The guidelines, framed by a division bench of justices Ranjana Desai and R G Ketkar on July 10, come at a time when the assembly elections are round the corner. The HC has directed to set up screening committees at district and commissionerate levels to scrutinise firearm licences once the election schedule is declared. The district magistrate and the superintendent of police will preside over the committee at district level, while the commissioner of police, joint commissioner of police/additional commissioner of police will head the committee at the commissionerate level. The committee will have to scrutinise the cases as per the guidelines of the Election Commission, which has laid down three categories for surrendering of weapons. The categories have specific guidelines for people released on bail; persons having a history of criminal offences and persons involved in rioting at any time, especially during election period. The HC order says that the above categories are only illustrative and not exhaustive. According to the guidelines, the committee will have to complete the exercise of screening licences before the first date of filing nominations. After the committee submits its report, the licensing authority shall issue notice to licence holders, asking them to deposit their firearms before the last date of withdrawing the nominations. The licence holders will have to deposit their firearms within seven days of receiving the notice and obtain a receipt from the licensing authority. The licensing authority has to inform the licence holder that failure to deposit the weapons would result in prosecution, under section 188 of the IPC. The committee’s decision will be final and binding on the licence-holders. The firearms will be returned within a week of the election results being declared. The guidelines were framed following a writ petition filed by Govind alias Bhai Ganesh Tilve of Sindhudurg district. Tilve had moved the HC after he was prosecuted for not surrendering his weapon at the time of Lok Sabha elections. Tilve’s lawyer S R Chitnis contended that his client did not fall under the categories laid down by the Election Commission for surrendering of firearms. The HC has come up with the guidelines as it was of the view that the review of firearm’s policy, conducted by the review committee, was not done as per the directives of the Election Commission. Shanno died of epilepsy, cops tell HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Delhi-Shanno-died-of-epilepsy-cops-tell-HC/articleshow/4786726.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 04:56am IST NEW DELHI: Contradicting the stance of Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR) in Shanno death case, Delhi Police on Thursday informed the Delhi High Court that MCD schoolgirl Shanno Khan had died due to epilepsy. DCPCR, which also filed a status report, had blamed the death on negligence on the part of the school and teacher’s role. Filing a status report before Justice GS Sistani, police counsel Mukta Gupta said that the detailed medical report of Shanno indicated epilepsy as the cause of the girl’s death. However, DCPCR member Shashank Shekhar said: “We have completed our investigations after going through the reports provided by the Delhi Police, LNJP Hospital, Directorate of Education. Our report suggests that Shanno was fine at the time of going to school but her condition worsened when she returned. She was subjected to corporal punishment.” DCPCR has requested the HC to constitute an independent medical board to ascertain the facts of the case. It was alleged that Shanno died due to corporal punishment after she had failed to recite English alphabets on April 17. Manju, the school teacher, who allegedly asked the girl to stand in the sun, was suspended by the authorities. Filing a petition, Shanno’s father Ayub Khan had sought court’s direction for registration of FIR under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the IPC. He said that he would be waiting “patiently” for a favourable judgment. “I am worried about other students. But the case is subjudice and I do not want to comment on it. However, I plan to meet the chief minister soon as she had earlier heard me out patiently and I hope she can help us. The MCD, so far, has not given any money which it had promised as compensation,” said Ayub. HC fiat to DGP over cop union http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Mumbai-HC-fiat-to-DGP-over-cop-union/articleshow/4786962.cms TNN 17 July 2009, 02:30am IST MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Thursday gave another ray of hope to police personnel who have been seeking to form a union to collectively air their grievances for the last 27 years. A division bench of Justices D K Deshmukh and R S Mohite asked the Director General of Police to take a decision on the application to form an association within six months. The state government had dissolved the police union in 1983, following the infamous “police mutiny” in the previous year. The strike by the police force had resulted in large-scale damage to public property. According to petitioner Sakharam Yadawade, though the IPS officers have their own association, police personnel belonging to the category of sepoys, naiks, hawaldars and assistant sub-inspectors do not have a legitimate organisation to put forth their problems. According to advocates Sanjay Udeshi and Mahesh Londhe, the police have a long list of grievances such as 12-hour shifts, nominal refreshment allowance, meagre compensation for not taking weekly offs, entitlement to only 48 days of government holidays (while state government employees have 160 days), no bonus for the lower constabulary, accommodation problems and misuse of police welfare funds. In 1997, an application to form a union was rejected by the DGP, saying that it would lead to indiscipline and would result in a repeat of the 1982 police strike. The judges said that as over two decades had passed since the incident, in the light of changed circumstances, the DCP could look at the demand for an association again. Mangalsutra not a must for Hindu marriage: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-India-Mangalsutra-not-a-must-for-Hindu-marriage-HC/articleshow/4787447.cms PTI 17 July 2009, 04:41am IST MADURAI: A woman’s 21-year legal quest to prove that she was married bore fruit with a Madras High Court Bench here upholding the validity of her wedding saying it was not mandatory for the groom to tie a ‘mangalsutra’ around the bride’s neck to prove a marriage between Hindus. “It is not mandatory for the groom to tie mangalsutra around the bride’s neck to prove a marriage between Hindus. It was sufficient to prove solemnisation of marriage in any recognised form as per the Hindu Marriage Act section 7,” Justice M M Sundresh said, dismissing an appeal challenging a lower court order upholding the marriage validity. According to the woman, her marriage with Kaladhar was solemnised on December 13, 1987 at a local temple after she became pregnant. The couple exchanged garlands in the presence of a priest. She alleged that her husband harassed her for dowry and deserted her five months later. Her baby also died during delivery, she claimed. HC stays GO on school fee http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Kanpur-HC-stays-GO-on-school-fee/articleshow/4786668.cms TNN 16 July 2009, 10:58pm IST KANPUR: Giving respite to the management of private schools, the Allahabad High Court has stayed the government order relating to determining of fees to be charged by ICSE, CBSE and other private schools. The order has been issued on a petition filed by UP Vidyalaya Prabandhak Mahasabha (UPVPM). Addressing newspersons, general secretary of UPVPM, Kanpur chapter, Abhishek Chaturvedi said, “The government order said that a committee headed by the DM should be constituted for determining the fees to be charged by the institutions and that the fees determined by the committee would remain in effect for a period of three academic sessions.” “However, we went against the government order and challenged it in the court. This type of order is a clear violation of Act 245 of the Constitution.” The stay on the GO has given a lease of life to the management of various schools who were compelled to revert back to the fees which they used to raise earlier. On HC duty, warrant officer gets a taste of Kharar police treatment http://www.indianexpress.com/news/on-hc-duty-warrant-officer-gets-a-taste-of-kharar-police-treatment/490484/0 Express News Service Posted: Friday , Jul 17, 2009 at 0152 hrs Chandigarh: Not just ordinary citizens, even law officers have to face the “highhandedness” of Kharar police. In a detailed report, a warrant officer appointed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court has highlighted the harassment meted out to him by the CIA staff when he went to locate a missing man in Kharar. The HC has issued notices to the Mohali Senior Superintendent of Police and Sub-Inspector Gurvinder Singh of the Kharar police station to explain the reason behind such “misconduct”. On July 3, Satish Kumar Wig was appointed warrant officer on a habeas corpus petition filed by Zeenth, a resident of Mohali. The woman had alleged that a few officers of the CIA Staff, Kharar, forcibly took away her husband, Harminder Kumar, from their house. Claiming that Kumar was illegally detained, Zeenth demanded that he be traced. Accompanied by Kewal Krishan, Kumar’s uncle, Wig and Zeenth went to the CIA Staff’s office in Kharar on July 7. “The sentry stopped us at the main gate and, after revealing my identity and the purpose of visit, I asked him to immediately open the gate. At this, he started talking to someone inside. When I asked again, he said they were trying to locate the key. Even after repeated knocks and requests, he did not open the door,” the report of the warrant officer reads. In the mean time, a man, escorted by four to five policemen, came in a vehicle (PNJ-6565). “The door was immediately opened but I was still not allowed in. Later, I was told by Sub-Inspector Gurvinder Singh that the said person was DSP Satinder Pal Singh. After he entered, the main gate was again locked from inside. After some time, the said officer came out and went away in the same vehicle. Only after that was I allowed to enter the premises,” Wig reported. Inside, Sub Inspector Gurvinder Singh checked Wig’s identity card and then allowed Zeenth to look for her husband. Calling out her husband’s name, Zeenth went around the premises whereupon she heard voices coming from the adjoining grounds, separated by a seven-feet-high wall (stated to be the Narcotics Cell). The petitioner stated that it was her husband calling out to her, hearing which Wig rushed outside to go to the adjoining building. But again, he found the main gate of the CIA Staff office closed. “I asked the policemen to quickly open the gate, but once again, the key was apparently missing. Finally, after around five minutes the gate was opened and I noticed that somebody had latched it from outside. We ran into the street towards the gate of the Narcotics Cell and I saw some people struggling to carry a man to a vehicle parked at the door. There was a commotion as the man seemed to be offering resistance. As the petitioner started shouting ‘save my husband, they will kill him’, the vehicle zoomed off, followed by a motorcycle. In the dim streetlight, I tried to note down the registration number of the vehicle, which I believe was HR-05-2358,” Wig stated. HC fines land corporation for denying arrears to ex-employee http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-fines-land-corporation-for-denying-arrears-to-exemployee/490508/0 Express News Service Posted: Friday , Jul 17, 2009 at 0211 hrs Chandigarh: The Punjab and Haryana High Court has slapped a penalty of Rs 50,000 on the Punjab Land Development and Reclamation Corporation for denying arrears to a former employee and unnecessarily delaying the payment by indulging in litigation for over 17 years. A Division Bench comprising Justice A K Goel and Justice Daya Chaudhary passed the orders while dismissing the Corporation’s appeal challenging an order passed by a Single Judge Bench that had directed the Corporation to pay arrears to Kanwar Singh, a resident of Sirsa. Kanwar served as a Block Officer with the Corporation from July 23, 1966 to February 18, 1969. His services were terminated in 1969 after a dispute with the Corporation, following which Kanwar challenged his removal in the High Court. In 1978, the Corporation was directed to reinstate Kanwar with continuity of service. The Corporation, however, challenged the orders and its appeal was allowed. It was finally decided that the Corporation will pay the outstanding arrears to Kanwar. A total of Rs 8,93,503 was outstanding on part of the Corporation, of which Rs 2,00,000 had been paid to Kanwar. He moved the High Court for payment of the outstanding amount and the said order was passed by the Single Bench on September 25, 2006. Rather than paying the same, the Corporation moved in an appeal. Dismissing its appeal, the Division Bench on Thursday held that the management (of the corporation) is liable to pay the due amount without taking into account the alleged income during the period of unemployment. Interestingly, this is the same case that saw a dispute arise between Advocate M K Tiwari and Justice Uma Nath Singh (now transferred to Allahabad High Court) after which the Bar had decided to boycott the Court of Justice Uma Nath Singh. Govt to file memo in HC on language row http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Bangalore-Govt-to-file-memo-in-HC-on-language-row/articleshow/4782764.cms TNN 16 July 2009, 06:50am IST BANGALORE: The state government has decided to submit a memorandum before the high court on Thursday regarding the hearing of contempt of court petitions on language policy in the light of the July 14 stay granted by the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has granted stay till July 24 on contempt proceedings against state government officials in HC. R G Nadadur, principal secretary to primary and secondary education department, and other officers are arrayed as parties in the contempt petitions relating to the non-implementation of full Bench verdict on language policy. Bail plea adjourned The high court has adjourned to next week the hearing on bail petition filed by S Manoj Kumar, a consultant with IBM, who is facing trial on charge of murdering his wife Lakshmi on November 11, 2008. Lakshmi was found murdered in their house in Murugeshpalya with chilly powder thrown around the body, three months after their wedding. The police rounded up Manoj Kumar on December 12 who refused to have committed the crime. Police said CCTV images showed that the petitioner had gone out of office and came back at the time of occurrence of crime. Kerala student’s plea dismissed The Karnataka High court has dismissed a petition filed by a student who did his high school and PUC in Kerala and came to court saying he was denied a professional seat even though he had studied classes I-VII in Karnataka. Justice B S Patil dismissed the petition after perusing the guidelines contained in CET brochure which stipulated that a candidate to be eligible only if he had done his SSLC or PUC in Karnataka apart from 7-year study in the state between I standard to II PUC. The petitioner B Binny had studied in Thilak Memorial School in Magadi Road in Bangalore city between 1996-2003 from I standard to VII standard. Thereafter he studied in Kerala. He appeared for the May 7-8 CET. On June 12, the Karnataka Examination Authority ruled that he is not eligible for a professional seat in Karnataka. Govt told to take action A division Bench has directed the state government to take action against the then DC, tahsildar and other revenue officials who were responsible for renewal of the mining lease for Jyothi Brothers in Theertharamapura village in Chikkanayakahalli during 1992-93. The court also pulled up the company for suppressing the fact that they were doing mining in an area where 96% falls under forest area. The court however quashed the demand notice issued by the authorities for the recovery of Rs 38.3 cr from the company and asked the government to reassess the damage. The company had claimed that it had got valid lease right from 1938 in a 100-acre area. COD asked to file report A division bench has directed the COD (Corps of Detectives) authorities to file an investigation report with regard to the allegation of ill-treatment of an under-trial prisoner in Central Prison, Bangalore. One Saira, wife of a prisoner Dinnu, had written a letter to the high court alleging the prison authorities beat up her husband and admitted him to a mental hospital saying he was mentally unsound. The court has treated the letter as a suo motu habeas corpus petition. Garbage still being burnt at Pallikaranai, says HC panel http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Chennai-Garbage-still-being-burnt-at-Pallikaranai-says-HC-panel/articleshow/4782113.cms TNN 16 July 2009, 04:27am IST CHENNAI: In a damning report, an expert committee formed by the Madras high court to visit the Pallikaranai marsh and submit a report, has said burning of garbage continued unabated at the marsh and Perungudi despite several court rulings. “The fire in the dumpsite continues despite specific orders of this court,” said the report, which was tabled before the first bench comprising chief justice HL Gokhale and justice K Venkataraman. The bench has already appointed advocate V Karthik as amicus curiae, to assist the court in the matter. The report said the existing method of handling municipal solid waste at Perungudi is not scientific and it violates mandatory provisions of law. Noting that the dumping area is progressively increasing, it said that no source segregation was done. If power generation from waste is considered at the site, the air emission would adversely affect residents in the region, the report cautioned, adding, “if power generation is not considered, and if the stage is only up to manufacture of pellets, the end-use of pellets has to be established.” The available options are neither economical nor viable, it said, adding that the Chennai corporation and other civic bodies in Pallikaranai region must put a system in place to achieve zero waste management project within four years. Citing the case of West Bengal, New Delhi, Himachal Pradesh and Chandigarh, the report also wanted the government to enact the Tamil Nadu Throwaway Plastic Articles (Prohibition of Sale, Storage, Distribution and Transport) Bill 2003. On Wednesday, the court asked the Chennai corporation to file its reply by July 29, after the Alandur Municipality stated that it had stopped indiscriminate dumping and burning of garbage at the site. Four ’93 blast convicts move HC over jail terms http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Mumbai-Four-93-blast-convicts-move-HC-over-jail-terms/articleshow/4782009.cms Shibu Thomas, TNN 16 July 2009, 07:06am IST MUMBAI: Four 1993 Mumbai serial blast convicts have moved the Bombay high court to challenge the decision of the Maharashtra government to keep them in jail for 50 years or till they turn 65. A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Rajesh Ketkar on Wednesday adjourned the hearing of the petitions by two weeks to allow the four to carry out necessary changes in their pleas. The convicts Salim Mira Shaikh alias Salim Kutta, Niyaz Shaikh, Shaikh Ali and Moin Qureshi were held guilty under the now-repealed Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act for their roles in the 1993 serial blasts. A special court sentenced them to life imprisonment. The CBI charged Salim with helping land arms and explosives at Dighi Jetty in Raigad which were later used in the blasts. Niyaz was accused of getting trained in Pakistan and also conducting a recce of the BMC building. Ali was charged with smuggling, packing arms and explosives and recruiting people to help execute the blasts. Moin, who was 17 years old in 1993, was convicted of hurling grenades at the fishermen’s colony in Mahim. They have all spent 14 years in jail. Under the law, once a life convict has completed 14 years in prison, his files are put up before the government for premature release. The state then categorises the convicts according to the gravity of their crimes and sets specific prison terms. In April, following an application by the four blast convicts, the high court asked the state to consider their cases. In June, the state set their prison terms at 50 years or till the four turned 65 years old. The government also said the benefits of remission imprisonment period credited to a prison term for good conduct would not be available to the accused. In their petition, they have said that the 1992 guidelines specify that their prison terms should not be more than 30 years. ‘HC can’t condone I-T dept’s delay in filing appeals’ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Mumbai-HC-cant-condone-I-T-depts-delay-in-filing-appeals/articleshow/4782007.cms Shibu Thomas, TNN 16 July 2009, 07:05am IST MUMBAI: The Bombay high court last week dismissed over 1,000 appeals filed by the Income Tax (I-T) department and ruled that it did not have power to condone delays in filing appeals. The ruling will translate into loss of revenue to the tune of hundreds of crores to the I-T department. Under section 260 A of the I-T Act, an order of the the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) should be challenged in the high court within 120 days. Delays in filing appeals within the prescribed time are rife–last Wednesday, around 518 matters were listed before the court for condoning delay, and another 500 matters were heard on Thursday. A division bench of Justices V C Daga and J P Devdhar held that the court did not have the jurisdiction to condone delays committed by the I-T department in filing appeals. Advocate J D Mistry, counsel for Grasim Industries, one of the assessees, pointed to Supreme Court judgments which had held that the HC had no power to condone delays for appeals filed under the Central Excise Act (CEA). Mistry said the provisions relating to the time limits in the CEA and The I-T Act have the same meaning. Advocate J S Saluja opposed this and contended that the provisions were different in both the Acts and the HC could condone delays. The HC, however, did not agree. Last year, the HC, while commenting on the inordinate delay in filing of appeals by the I-T department, had observed that the attitude of the officers was “I will deal with the matter at leisure and my convenience”. One of the most common reasons was that court fees stamps were not readily available, but many times, the reasons for the delay were vague, the court had then said. HC ire forces BMC to re-submit Deonar plan http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Mumbai-HC-ire-forces-BMC-to-re-submit-Deonar-plan/articleshow/4782035.cms Clara Lewis , TNN 16 July 2009, 07:25am IST MUMBAI: In an effort to save municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak from the fury of the Bombay high court, the civic administration on Wednesday re-submitted to the standing committee the proposal for the partial closure of the Deonar dumping ground. According to the proposal, the dump will be fully closed over the next 25 years. The Rs 4,408 crore proposal had been earlier rejected by the standing committee. It had directed the BMC to re-tender it and return with a fresh proposal within 21 days. Once a proposal is recorded by the standing committee, it can only be re-opened by a standing committee member who was absent when the proposal was rejected. But with the high court breathing down its neck, the administration preferred to break the precedent and re-submit the proposal. The high court has initiated contempt proceedings against Phatak for BMC’s failure to reduce pollution in and around Deonar. In view of the serious health hazard caused by the proximity to the dumping ground, The Smoke Affected Residents’ Association had filed a public interest litigation in the high court in 1996 demanding the closure of the dump and shifting it out of Deonar. On June 7, an angry high court said the court had given numerous opportunities to the civic administration to rectify the situation but it had repeatedly failed. “Prima facie, it appears that apart from taking some superficial steps, the BMC has not made any concrete efforts. This is the last opportunity to the administration and related civic committees to bring about improvements. It is a matter of public health and we will not tolerate any further delay,” reads the high court order. The project for eventual closure of the dump over the next 25 years had been put up before the standing committee earlier but it had summarily rejected it, saying the cost was too high. It had then directed the administration to bring in a new proposal within 21 days. R A Rajeev, additional municipal commissioner, informed the committee that it was not possible to re-tender and submit a new proposal within 21 days. Re-tendering alone would take around eight months. With the proposal being scrapped, the BMC would have to appoint a consultant as the term of the present consultant (ILFS) had expired. Appointment of a consultant was necessary as the project is to be executed under the Jawaharlal National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). The consultant’s report would take at least 16 months after which tenders will be invited. “We do not have the time for the procedure,” Rajeev said. The standing committee has agreed to discuss the issue on July 20. State med council polls under HC scanner http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Mumbai-State-med-council-polls-under-HC-scanner/articleshow/4782011.cms Shibu Thomas, TNN 16 July 2009, 07:10am IST MUMBAI: Elections to the Maharashtra Medical Council, the watchdog body of the medical profession, that were held after a gap of 10 years have come under the scanner of the Bombay high court. Incidentally, the high court had dissolved the last elections held in 1999 because of electoral malpractice. This time too, a petition has been filed by a city-based urologist challenging the polls held in April 2009, claiming that doctors who contested the election adopted “malpractice and unfair means.” A division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice S C Dharmadhikari on Tuesday declined to grant any immediate relief to the petitioner Dr Jaikrishin Lalmalani. Additional government pleader G W Mattos said that the government had already notified the MMC on June 11, 2009: “The petitioner himself had made a representation to the government `alleging’ malpractice but it did not find an iota of truth in the claims.” The court has now allowed the petitioner to make necessary changes in his plea. In 2002, the government had framed rules for conduct during the elections. Fresh elections were held on April 26, 2009. According to the petitioner, there were instances of local associations asking voters to gather at a place and arranging buses to transport them to the nearest polling booth. The petitioner claimed that the Indian Medical Association, the Association of Medical Consultants and the Maharashtra Gazetted Medical Officers Association had blatantly violated various election rules. Shopian rape case: After HC rap, SIT arrests four cops http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-India-Shopian-rape-case-After-HC-rap-SIT-arrests-four-cops/articleshow/4782636.cms M Saleem Pandit , TNN 16 July 2009, 05:25am IST SRINAGAR: Within hours of Jammu & Kashmir High Court directing police’s Special Investigation Team to arrest four suspended cops, collect their DNA samples and subject them to the naro analysis test in connection with the alleged rape and murder of two Shopian women, the four were arrested on Wednesday. The four — then SP Shopian Javid Iqbal Mattoo, his deputy Rohit Baskot, SHO Shakil Ahmad and SI Gazi Abdul Karim — were suspended on the recommendations of an inquiry commission for destroying the evidence. An FIR was also registered against them. The bodies of the two, Neelofar Jan (22) and Asiya Jan (17), allegedly raped and murdered by security forces, were found near a canal, a day after they went missing from their orchard on May 29. The government initially maintained that the two had drowned, but the inquiry commission later confirmed they were raped and killed. Shopian town has observed a complete shutdown for more than a month now to protest the incident. A division bench of Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice M Yaqub Mir directed the cops to conduct the narco analysis test on the four at the Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory as the facility wasn’t avaliable in J&K. ‘‘The civilian witnesses, who have deposed before SIT, should also be subjected to the test,’’ the bench said. The SIT is investigating the case. The court wondered as to why the four weren’t arrested and interrogated so far even as the FIR was lodged against them. ‘‘The four should be arrested and produced before the judicial registrar to take their DNA samples. The samples should be matched with the semen found on the victim’ bodies,’’ the court said. The court asked the people of Shopian to call off the 48-day strike to help the investigations. ‘‘We assure them that like the people of the state we’re with them and it would be our collective effort to solve the case and deal with the perpetrators of the heinous crime,’’ the court said. The court had earlier this month ordered exhumation of the bodies of the victims for a fresh post-mortem and collection of DNA samples and directed the SIT to submit its progress report every week. Ensure safety, education for child workers: HC http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ensure-safety-education-for-child-workers-hc/489947/0 Utkarsh Anand Posted: Thursday , Jul 16, 2009 at 0113 hrs New Delhi: The Delhi High Court, on Wednesday, directed the Government of National Capital Territory and all it concerned departments to “immediately” implement the recommendations of the action plan, comprehensively drafted by the National Commission on Protection of Child Rights for protection and interim care for rescued children. Accepting the report with minor modifications, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah noted it was high time that the mandates of a 1997 Supreme Court judgement be followed to prevent any further harm to the children. As per the court’s directive, which has come in pursuant to a PIL filed by Save the Childhood Foundation (Bachpan Bachao Andolan), every child rescued from an unsafe job will receive Rs 20,000 in compensation, which will be recovered from the employer. Removing the bar on disbursement of the compensation, the Bench, also comprising Justice Manmohan, said it was not essential to obtain a conviction order against the employer in order to make him shell out the compensation. “The said amount will be recovered as arrears of land revenue and will be utilised for the educational needs of the rescued child even if the child has subsequently crossed the age of 14 years,” held the court. Fastening several departments like the Delhi Police, Department of Labour, Women and Child Welfare Department, Education department, Health department and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, with the responsibility to prevent child labour and to put in place an effective rescue mechanism, the Bench also called for motivating NGOs to enhance their capacity to accommodate more children and to register more children’s homes in the Capital. Considering a status report submitted by the Child Welfare Department over the limited capacity of the children homes, the court has asked the Labour department to begin implementing the Delhi Action Plan by accommodating, for the time being, about 500 children every month. The Bench also realised that implementation of the action plan could encounter problems and said the departments could approach it in future for amendment or clarification in this regard. The NCT Government has been asked to file the first status report over the execution of the plan on January 13, 2010. The PIL filed through senior counsel H S Phoolka had demanded that all government departments and agencies should work in co-ordination in rescuing child labourers across the city, especially the ones engaged in zari units. The petition had alleged a lack of planning and implementation of the rehabilitation process of the government. Responsibilities under Delhi Action Plan Delhi Police The concerned Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) should participate in the raids by the Action Force. The employers of child labourers should be arrested. The police should treat the liberated children with respect and honour. Department of Labour Ensure continuous active surveillance and immediate action to rescue children. To recover the penalty from the employers. Child labour should be prevented even if it does not fall under the dangerous job category. Care for the liberated child labourers. Child Welfare Department To generate awareness against child labour. Help rescued children return to mainstream education. Education Department To initially set up 250 Alternative Innovate Education Centres in areas of high child labour concentration and/or in the areas having large number of out-of-school children. To ensure that all the children at NRBCs/RBCs are given free mid-day meals. MCD Under its Slum Development Programme, the MCD should enhance the standard of living for all children living in slums. Ensure access to free health check-up and medical care, quality education, recreation, vocational training and community life. MCD schools should provide free and compulsory education to all rescued child labourers without any discrimination. To mentor non-formal education programmes run by NGOs to bring all out-of-school children into the fold of mainstream education. Govt can cancel lease if payments not made: HC http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-City-Allahabad-Govt-can-cancel-lease-if-payments-not-made-HC/articleshow/4781763.cms TNN 15 July 2009, 11:19pm IST ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has passed an order benefiting state government with crores of rupees by directing the lessees to pay Rs 10,000 per hectare per year for unexpired fishery lease of ponds. Passing this order, Justice S U Khan directed that in case lessees fail to offer Rs 10,000 to the state government all the continuing fishery leases or renewals would stand cancelled. The court passed the order on a bunch of writ petitions after hearing additional advocate general Zafar Naiyer who represented the state government. Disposing of the writ petitions the court directed that in those cases, where leases or renewals of lease already granted have expired, possession of the pond shall positively be taken back by the revenue authorities by August 31, 2009. NCW to probe virginity case, unconvinced by Govt’s report http://www.indianexpress.com/news/NCW-to-probe-virginity-case–unconvinced-by-Govt–s-report/489152 Agencies Posted: Tuesday , Jul 14, 2009 at 1449 hrs New Delhi: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has found “unsatisfactory” the report of Madhya Pradesh government into the alleged virginity tests conducted on brides during a state-sponsored mass marriage there and decided to probe into the matter itself. “The report submitted to us by the Shahdol district administration of the state in this matter is not satisfactory,” NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas said outside the Parliament. She said a five-member team of the Commission led by NCW member Yasmin Abrar will now thoroughly study the execution of the scheme. The team will also have two experts a lawyer and a member of Madhya Pradesh Woman Commission. The team will focus on the controversial event of virginity tests and also study the scheme execution. Earlier, NCW taking a suo motu cognizance of the matter had sought an interim report from the MP government after the incident evoked a strong condemnation from non-BJP parties. The issue also had its echo in the Rajya Sabha yesterday where the Congress and the BJP clashed. Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal described such tests as shameful, an insult to women and a throwback to the 18th century. MP chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, however, denied such tests were carried out saying the one carried out on June 26 was not “virginity test” but just a “procedural medical examination”. Frown for policy of rape compensation http://www.telegraphindia.com/1090717/jsp/nation/story_11247780.jsp CHARU SUDAN KASTURI AND JAYANTH JACOB New Delhi, July 16: Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s alleged comments against Mayavati are unacceptable but the chief minister’s policy of financially compensating rape victims is not enough to tackle the rising crimes against women, women’s activists have said. Joshi, the Uttar Pradesh Congress chief, has been arrested on the charges of violating a woman’s modesty and under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act for comments allegedly made at a public rally in Moradabad yesterday. Joshi is accused of saying: “The Dalit women should throw the money back at Mayavati’s face. The money is too little…. When Mayavati gets raped, I will pay her Rs 1 crore,” “If she has made the comments she is accused of having made, it is completely unacceptable. But it is also sad that the ensuing politics has blanketed the issue at hand —the security of women,” Ranjana Kumari of Women Power Connect (WPC) said. Kumari said her recent experiences while working with women in Uttar Pradesh had shown her that rapes and other crimes against women were increasing. “Mayavati was seen as someone who would enforce law and order. But the security situation for women is deteriorating. And compensating victims is no substitute for security,” Kumari said. Syeda Hameed, Planning Commission member in charge of women and children, agreed that compensation was no substitute for security. But the former National Commission for Women (NCW) member, who has campaigned on women’s issues for decades, argued that financial compensation was, however, useful. “Under the 11th Five Year Plan, we have allocated funds for a scheme for compensation to rape victims. The scheme is yet to be launched but I believe financial assistance helps a victim’s rehabilitation process,” Hameed said. The scheme, initially drafted by the NCW in 2005, has been under the government’s consideration for over three years now. Hameed also said it was “not done” to suggest that Mayavati was favouring any community while awarding compensation. “To say that compensation is being given only to Dalit women or Muslim women is not done. One of the things I recall from my experiences at the NCW is the wide abuse of Dalit women… the massive number of rape cases against Dalit women,” Hameed said. CPM leader Brinda Karat too said Joshi’s (alleged) remark was unfortunate. “A woman has made such a comment on a women-sensitive issue. Women leaders should not be making such comments and should be sensitive to the issue of rape,” Karat said. She said “it’s good that Rita” had apologised. “We condemn Joshi’s statement. What happened after that also should not have happened,” CPI leader D. Raja said. Over 50% of crimes against women reported from UP: NCW http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/NEWS-India-Over-50-of-crimes-against-women-reported-from-UP-NCW-/articleshow/4786730.cms Himanshi Dhawan, TNN 17 July 2009, 04:04am IST NEW DELHI: UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi’s statement on the dismal state of law and order in Uttar Pradesh may have been in poor taste but it has a ring of truth. According to data, 50% of the complaints registered with the National Commission for Women (NCW) are from UP. Between January 2009 to date, NCW received 8,179 complaints of atrocities against women. Of these, 4,601 complaints are from UP. The commission receives complaints of rape, dowry harassment, sexual harassment, molestation and domestic violence amongst other gender-related crimes. UP tops the list with 4,601 complaints while Delhi is a distant second with 1,100 complaints followed by Rajasthan at 534. Incidentally, the number of complaints in UP has been steadily increasing. In January 2009, the number of cases registered was 572 which nearly doubled to 1,012 in June 2009. July has already recorded 564 cases. According to the ministry of women and child development, crime against women is up by 31%. AIDWA’s Sudha Sundharaman condemned Joshi’s statement and the political sparring between Congress and BSP saying that it trivialised the trauma of a rape victim. “This political upmanship underestimates the trauma that rape victims go through. Instead of these tiffs, the powers that be should address the issue of rehabilitation of rape victims,” she said. Centre for Social Research director Ranjana Kumari said, “The real issue of security and safety of women has got lost. Instead of tightening the law and order machinery and enforcing law effectively, the UP CM is compensating with money. That cannot restore dignity of women. The discourse has become extremely indecent in UP.” The National Crime Records Bureau supports UP’s lawless tag to some extent. Its 2007 report ranked the state second, after Andhra Pradesh in crimes against women. NCW and the WCD ministry have been mulling over a scheme to provide compensation and relief to rape victims. In fact NCW had recently written to the PM asking for the scheme to be looked at as a priority. NHRC issues show cause notice to J&K govt in Anara case http://www.ptinews.com/news/176778_NHRC-issues-show-cause-notice-to-J-K-govt-in-Anara-case STAFF WRITER 14:13 HRS IST New Delhi, July 15 (PTI) Noting that the allegation against former Miss Jammu Anara Gupta of indulging in prostitution was not substantiated during investigation in Jammu and Kashmir, the NHRC has sought the state government to show cause within six weeks why a monetary relief should not be recommended for the “humiliation heaped on her”. “It appears to be a case of persecution…..the allegation (against Anara Gupta) of indulging in prostitution has not been substantiated during investigation by SIT (special investigation team). Even the alleged recovery of porn CD from Anara Gupta is doubtful,” National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) observed.

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