LEGAL NEWS 28-29.07.2009

HC issues notices to Haryana Home secy, police chief on PIL

 Published: July 29,2009    
Chandigarh , July 28 The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to the Haryana Home Secretary and police chief on a PIL filed by an organisation which sought direction to the state government for taking action against caste-based Khaap panchayats.

The petition filed by Lawyers For Human Rights International submitted that Khap Panchayats were functioning like parallel courts in Haryana pronouncing punishment on individuals and families considered to be violating its code, especially governing marriages.

It sought directions to the state government to declare the decisions of the Khap Panchayats as illegal and initiate action against them.

Referring to the recent death of a man Vedpal, who was lynched in Jind district when he had gone to take his wife from her parent&aposs home, the petitioner prayed the probe into the incident be entrusted to a special investigation team headed by a senior IPS officer under the supervision of the court and the victim&aposs family be given compensation.

The court sought the response of the officials by September 22.

Source: PTI    





Contempt petition against state for forcing quota

TNN 29 July 2009, 06:03am IST

LUCKNOW: The high court asked the UPTU registrar and secretary, education department, to file their response on a contempt petition moved with allegation that despite stay order the state government was forcing the petitioner that is private engineering colleges to implement 50% reservation for SC/ST and OBC in admission. Justice Sanjai Mishra fixed August 4 for next hearing of the case.

Ram Swaroop and Ram Murthi Engineering Colleges moved the petition stating that division bench of the court had restrained the government from implementing 50% quota in their respect but still the government was forcing them to do so.

Bail to arson accused rejected: Bail pleas of two accused, involved in torching the house of UP Congress president, Rita Bahuguna Joshi on July 15, have been rejected here on Tuesday. SC/ST judge, Satish Chandra Singh rejected the application of accused Zamir Khan, while judge Anil Kumar turned down the plea of Inder alias Pappu.

The two were arrested along with three others on the allegation of involvement in the case lodged by complainant, B R Saroj with Hussainganj police. The accused pleaded in their bail application that they were innocent and have been falsely implicated. They are not BSP workers and just to save three culprits they have been challaned in the case. It was also said that there was no evidence against them and their names figured in the case on the statement of co-accused, which is not admissible.

Maintenance of city parks: The high court has restrained the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) from transferring 25 parks of the city to non-governmental agencies for their upkeep and maintenance. The court fixed August 3 for next hearing of the matter and directed the LDA to apprise it, in the meanwhile, of rules and regulation under which the parks are being handed over to private agencies.

The orders were passed by a division bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice R R Awasthi on a PIL filed by a local lawyer, Pankaj Srivastava. It was said in the PIL that on June 26, LDA decided to transfer 25 parks, including Begam Hazrat Mahal Park, Buddha Park, Neembu Park and Nehru Bal Vatika to NGOs. There are no rules or regulations under which LDA is transferring these parks, said the petitioner and added that LDA had handed over these parks to NGOs earlier also but they were left in a very pitiable condition. Therefore, transfer of these parks to NGOs is not in public interest, said the petitioner.




Govt trying to shield dummy writers scam accused: PIL

DNA Correspondent

Wednesday, July 29, 2009 8:26 IST

Ahmedabad: The state government has sought to file reply to a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in connection with the dummy writers scam. The petitioner, Manish Doshi, executive council member of the Gujarat University, has accused the government of not taking actions against the alleged prime perpetrators of the scam by sitting on the report given by the inquiry committee. The case will come up for hearing next on August 10.

The PIL seeks strict action against the people responsible for the dummy writers scam. Doshi, through his counsel, DP Kinariwala, submitted in the court that, an inquiry committee formed by the Gujarat State Higher Secondary Board, has recommended actions against trustees of HB Kapadia high school and Swastik Shishuvihar high school and Sant Kabir school besides the then GSHSEB secretary, HN Chavda.

However, the government has not acted according to the report and is shielded the main accused by issuing petty punishments to the other accused in the case, it alleged.

The scam, unearthed during the HSC examination in 2008, caught Kamal Patel and Harsh Kotak, two students who belong to well-known families, using dummy writers faking hand fracture.





Govt pulled up over Abhishek episode

TNN 29 July 2009, 02:38am IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Tuesday asked the chief secretary to issue guidelines with respect to the representation to be filed by an NGO to prevent tragedies like the Abhishek episode. The six-year-old boy was washed away in a drain during a heavy downpour and his body was never found.

“We express our deep anguish about this tragedy. We’ve all the sympathy. But there is no use in finding fault with anybody. We all have to coordinate so that such things are not repeated. The chief secretary should give appropriate directions to PWD authorities, the DC and all local authorities so that such an incident is not repeated in any part of the state,” the division Bench headed by chief justice observed while asking the petitioner NGO to file necessary representation to the government in this regard.

Citizen Action Group in its PIL alleged that despite the Abhishek tragedy on May 31, the authorities had not taken any effective protective measures. “The Abhishek incident was not an isolated one. Ten days earlier, a security guard was washed away with his scooter. The authorities have so far shown a callous attitude. They have not issued any comprehensive guidelines with respect to covering open drains. No one has been held accountable for the tragedy,” Nalina, the petitioner’s counsel, told the court.




SC rejects PIL on EVMs manipulation

July 27th, 2009 – 6:00 pm ICT by ANI

New Delhi, July 27 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging susceptibility of electronic voting machines (EVM) to manipulation.

India is using the electronic voting machine from the last five years for the elections of Lok Sabha and state assemblies.

A Bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan declined to hear the PIL, filed by V. V. Rao, of Jana Chaitanya Vedika. The Bench asked the petitioner to make a representation before the Election Commission of India in connection with the matter.

Rao, himself an engineer argued in the petition that, several experts and election watch groups have found that the EVM could be manipulated. Rao also claimed that his organization analysed the results in several constituencies, which indicate that there is something drastically wrong with the EVMs.

The existing EVMs are vulnerable and should not be used for any elections till the time the machines are made tamper proof, Rao said in the petition.

Earlier, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha L.K. Advani also raised doubts about the functioning of the EVMs, and also demanded to reintroduction of ballet papers for elections.

The Election Commission of India rejected all such allegation claiming that all EVMs are protected against tampering. (ANI)





Govt buys time to soothe anti-gay sentiment

29 Jul 2009, 0152 hrs IST, Bharti Jain, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The decision to ask the Union Cabinet to take a final call on the recent Delhi High Court judgement legalising adult gay sex may only help the government buy more time to soothe the angry feelings it has invoked among various religious communities.

The latest move by a three-member panel comprising home minister P Chidambaram, law minister Veerappa Moily and health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad – tasked by the prime minister to formulate a view on whether Section 377 needed to be updated/scrapped – to seek a consensus within the Cabinet comes even as their own opinion is in favour of the judgement legalising sex between consenting adult homosexuals.

At the meeting on Tuesday, there was broad agreement that HC judgement scrapping a particular provision of Section 377 regarding consensual gay sex between adults was “balanced”, as it had left the provisions criminalising non-consensual sex between homosexuals as well as sodomy intact.

In fact, according to government sources, the Centre is unlikely to fault the judgement in the Supreme Court. However, the opposition from various religious leaders — including Muslim clerics, Sikh and Christian clergy as well as right-wing Hindu groups — and the political cost it entails have made the government jittery about openly welcoming the HC order as of now.

Some ministers feel that a consensus should be built among the political class as well as within the society before publicly backing the HC verdict. This, however, needs time, which is why the Centre has sought six weeks to present its views on the matter before the court. Given the differences that may emerge within the council of ministers on Section 377, it could even take longer before the government takes a final call on enforcing the HC order.

In any case, Section 377, as interpreted by HC, is already the law of the land. So, effectively, gay sex between consulting adults is legal. As time passes — possibly six months to even an year — and not so-called “adverse” effects of legalisation of adult homosexual relations are visible, the reservations of the various communities and religious groups, MHA feels, may just wear off.






HC dismisses petitions challenging telecast of ‘Sach Ka Samna’

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 at 1240 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court dismissed two petitions seeking a stay on the controversial TV show ‘Sach Ka Samna’, saying that moral policing is not its function.

A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah suggested the petitioners to approach the central government over it.

“It is for the government to decide whether the programme should be banned or not. It is not the function of the court … There are far more serious problems in this country which we have to settle,” the Bench said.

Two petitioners, Deepak Maini and Prabhat Kumar, had approached the court seeking a stay on the show being telecast on Star Plus channel alleging that the programme was against the values of the Indian society.

Rejecting it, the court said, “Our culture is not so fragile that it would be affected by one TV programme.”





HC seeks info on Katihar red-light area

TNN 29 July 2009, 12:01am IST

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Tuesday directed the Katihar DM to file a counter affidavit to a PIL seeking rehabilitation of the people living in the red-light area in Kulipara locality of Katihar town.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Shivakirti Singh and Justice Anjana Prakash issued the directive on a PIL of Naseema Khatoon who alleged police atrocities on the women residing in Kulipara.

Claiming herself to be a social activist, dancer and singer, Naseema sought a direction to police not to violate the human rights of Kulipara residents. She said she has already submitted a memorandum to the chief minister, requesting for measures for the uplift and rehabilitation of the residents of all the red-light areas in the state.

She said when the CM visited Katihar, residents of Kulipara sought rehabilitation. Thereafter, the local police gave a report that Kulipara children were being imparted education and that the situation had improved there. On July 8, however, a team of policemen reached Kulipara and molested women, Naseema added.





HC asks official liquidator not to take charge of Pyramid Saimira
TE Narasimhan / Chennai July 29, 2009, 0:24 IST

The Madras high court has asked the official liquidator (OL) not to take charge of Chennai-based Pyramid Saimira Theatre Ltd (PSTL) for the time being. The court’s direction comes after the theatre chain informed the former that it would pay its entire dues to Patni Financial Services before October 31, 2009.

 It may be recalled that on June 19, the Madras high court had appointed the OL to take charge of Pyramid Saimira’s assets. The order was passed on the basis of a petition filed by Mumbai-based Patni Financial Advisors, which had given a loan of Rs 5 crore by way of inter-corporate deposit to PSTL.

During today’s hearing, PSTL paid Rs 32.5 lakh, the interest portion, to Patni and said it would pay the entire amount before October 31. Following this, Justice P Jyothimani said the “appointment of PL stays in abeyance”.





Juvenile Act provides for adoptions: HC

TNN 29 July 2009, 05:33am IST CHENNAI: Couples intending to adopt children without being inhibited by the personal laws of their religion can do so under the provisions of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2000, the Madras high court has ruled.

Allowing an application from a Christian couple who sought legal rights for their adopted daughter, Justice K Chandru faulted Air India, employer of the adoptive father, for refusing to recognise the adoption based on the “spurious argument” that Christian law did not recognise adoptions.

Noting that Sections 40 and 41 of the Juvenile Justice Act provided for adoption through the juvenile justice board, the court criticised Air India for failing to note the present legal position. “It shows their insensitiveness and ignorance regarding the development of law in this country,” Justice Chandru said. Besides, AI’s stand was opposed to the law of the land, he said.

The court directed AI to recognise that Gywneth Dhanya, aged two and a half, as the child of the applicants, RR George Christopher and his wife Kristy Chandra, and confer all service benefits available to a child of an AI staff.

“The Juvenile Justice Act for the first time provides adoption’ as a means to rehabilitate and socially reintegrate a child. It empowered the state government and the JJ Board to give a child for adoption. This is the first secular law in India providing for adoption. The provisions in Sections 40 and 41 are not restricted to persons belonging to a particular religion alone,” the judge said.

Even though the Christian couple in the case before the court did not utilise the JJ Act, but obtained a guardianship order from the court and followed it up with adoption as per Christian rites and customs, the judge dealt with the provisions of the juvenile justice law also to highlight the fact that regardless of personal law, there are avenues of adoption for people subscribing to any faith.

Air India’s argument was that Christian law did not recognise complete adoption, as Christians had no enabling law to adopt a child legally on the lines of Hindu law on the subject. There could only be a guardian-ward relationship, it argued. However, the judge cited judicial pronouncements on the subject to show that Canon Law applicable to Christians did not prohibit it and also provided for adoption if the relevant country’s laws permitted it.




Father of suspected IM terrorist moves HC

TNN 29 July 2009, 03:43am IST

NEW DELHI: Even as the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) gave a clean chit to the Delhi police special cell in the Batla House encounter, father of a suspected Indian Mujahideen (IM) terrorist on Tuesday approached the Delhi High Court seeking its direction to initiate criminal proceeding against police officials involved in the shootout.

Ansarul Hassan, a resident of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh has written a letter to Chief Justice of Delhi High Court A P Shah, pleading that an FIR should be filed against the police personnel claiming his son Mohd Sajid, who was killed in the encounter last year, was innocent.

In a three-page letter addressed to the Chief Justice Hassan said that his son Sajid and his friend Atif had come to Delhi to pursue studies and were staying at Batla House. The police, in its encounter, killed them. He said that he had to approach the court as no FIR had been lodged in the case and the NHRC also refused to take action on his plea. He also alleged that even after the death of his son, officers of the special cell still harass them and threaten them of dire consequences.

The Court is likely to take into consideration the letter and would take cognizance on Wednesday. The letter has come a week after the NHRC submitted its report before the chief Justice of Delhi High court stating that the encounter was not fake and the police fired on the alleged terrorists in “self defence”.

Atif Amin and Mohd Sajid, the two suspected IM terrorists allegedly involved in the September serial blasts in the capital, were killed on September 19, 2008 and two other IM suspects Mohd Saif and Zeeshan were arrested from the Batla House area. The incident took place a week after serial blasts had rocked the capital killing 26 people and injuring 13 others.




HC was ‘stunned, aghast’ over VIPs on list but admitted there’s no proof

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 29, 2009 at 0329 hrs Srinagar:

After PDP leader Muzaffar Beigh alleged that Chief Minister Omar Abdullah — and his father Farooq Abdullah — figure in a “list of suspects” in the 2006 Srinagar sex abuse scandal, he claimed this list surfaced during the CBI investigation monitored by the Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The fact is that this list was never made public and charges against those named in it were subsequently denied. In fact, the High Court decided not to make it public saying further investigation was needed.

In its order on October, 8, 2007, the court said that this list includes the “category of persons who have been alleged by Sabina (the woman kingpin of the sex abuse scandal) to have had illicit sex with girls procured by or known to her”.

The order, however, added: “…The concerned girls, though much after the allegations leveled by Sabina, have denied the alleged occurrences. With no other circumstance to support Sabina’s statement being on record which renders further investigation in their cases imperative”.

“Since cases of this category of persons are required to be investigated further, I would, as already said, abstain from naming them,” Justice Bashir Kirmani said in the order.

“But I am totally taken aghast to find names of some highly placed people in this list particularly from police department and political field; high ranking police officers and political functionaries including some former and sitting ministers of the Cabinet. I wish they figure wrongly in this shame list but even a mere incriminating mention of their names in a case of this type, not to say of any involvement like others, already mentioned, is simply stunning,” the judge said.

When asked why as Deputy CM, he didn’t take any action, Beigh claimed: “It was on my letter to then CM Azad that the CBI probe began. But now we think the CBI is going slow and that’s why we have raised the issue.”




HC commission visits project-affected Pahur village, rehabilitation site

T O Abraham, TNN 29 July 2009, 03:30am IST

YAVATMAL: The one-man commission appointed by the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court visited the Bembla river irrigation project-affected Pahur village to have an on-the-spot inspection of the available infrastructure and the civic amenities. Around 25 kms from the city Pahur, is a village in Babhulgaon tehsil and is proposed to be the new site for the rehabilitation of the villagers.

According to sources, the one-man commission of Advocate Narayan Fadnavis appointed by the HC visited both the affected village Pahur and the proposed sites of their rehabilitation. He interacted with the villagers and also took stock of the situation. He is expected to submit his report to the HC shortly.

Sources said, the villagers apprised Fadnavis about their hardships. They told the commission what sort of problems they would face once they shift to the new site which doesn’t have necessary civic amenities. The villagers have asked for time till May 2010 so that their houses would be completed at the new site and necessary civic amenities be provided.

A joint meeting that followed was attended by the project-affected villagers including sarpanch Gunwant Jirapure, executive engineer of Bembla project Sharad Dhoble, executive engineer of Lower Painganga Borse, district rehabilitation officer Ashok Khandare, sub-divisional engineer Nimje, tehsildar of Yavatmal Santosh Shinde and others.

It may be recalled that the district rehabilitation authorities have given an ultimatum to project-affected people (PAP) asking them to accept the possession certificate of their allotted plots at the rehabilitation site immediately failing which the land patta’ would be cancelled and their habitat in the village would be razed.

The gram panchayat then moved the high court and pleaded for granting an interim stay on the forcible shifting of their village. They have alleged that the rehabilitation site doesn’t have adequate civic amenities and pointed out that they would not able to construct the houses during the rainy season.

The counsel for district administration, however, denied the allegations and told the court that the village would submerge during the current monsoon as the project authorities have targeted 100% storage in the dam.

After hearing both the parties, the court granted status quo to the order issued by district administration and ordered them not to make any forcible rehabilitation. The court then appointed a senior lawyer Narayan Fadnavis as one-man commission who would visit both the affected village and the proposed site to ascertain the veracity of the respective claims and report within 15 days. The court has also directed the district administration to appoint a representative to assist the commission.




HC to look into Maytas’ Metro plea

TNN 29 July 2009, 03:18am IST

HYDERABAD: Justice G Rohini of the High Court on Tuesday ordered status quo on the termination of the Hyderabad metro contract awarded to Infra and allowed the authorities to continue with the ongoing Request for Qualification (RfQ) process with the rider that the bidding process would be subject to the further orders of the court.

Responding to the petition filed by Maytas Infra director Bandaru Narasimha Rao challenging the termination of the concession agreement by Hyderabad Metro Rail Corporation, Justice Rohini on Tuesday issued notices before admission to the state and the corporation and posted the matter to August 11 for further hearing.

Meanwhile, Justice G Bhavani Prasad on Tuesday directed the CBI not to conduct lie detector tests on Satyam Ramalinga Raju, his brother Rama Raju and the former CFO Vadlamani Srinivas of the scam hit Satyam computers till August 6.

While hearing a petition moved by the Raju brothers who challenged the lower court’s permission given to CBI to conduct these tests on them, the judge after hearing the arguments, posted the matter to August 6 for further hearing and directed the CBI not to conduct these tests in the meantime.

Appearing for Ramalinga Raju, senior counsel C Padmanabha Reddy told the court that narco analysis tests on human beings is a violation of rights and will have negative effects on the health of those who face them. A final order is expected from Supreme Court on this matter and now no narco tests are permitted in the country, he contended.

CBI special public prosecutor T Niranjan Reddy told the court that the polygraph tests are non invasive and are only external in nature and hence would not harm the health of those who face them. “We have got the nod from the court only for polygraph and not narco analysis,” the CBI counsel said. The judge then posted the matter to August 6.

In another Satyam-related development, Justice V V S Rao on Tuesday dismissed the petition filed by M L Sharma, a Supreme Court advocate who challenged the company law board’s order that permitted the induction of a new investor in Satyam Computers. “An appeal against the CLB’s order has to be preferred on time and this appeal is not filed within that time frame. This court is not inclined to condone the delay in this regard,” the judge said and dismissed the petition.




HC upholds rights of 1947 refugees

By | July 28, 2009

The Bombay HC recently quashed an order of the state government cancelling the allotment of additional lands made to them.

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Judges welcome proposed Bill on asset declaration, says CJI

Special Correspondent

Failure to declare, or misdeclaration, of assets would be deemed misconduct

CHENNAI: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Saturday said that under the proposed Judges Assets Bill, judges of the higher judiciary failing to declare their assets or providing a false declaration would be deemed to be misconduct. Misconduct is a ground to remove a judge, he said.

The Chief Justice, who was here in connection with a High Court function and to lead an interaction at a workshop on ‘Some of the recent developments in law,’ was answering journalists’ queries. He said the judges were already declaring their assets to the Chief Justice. “We [the judges] welcome it. We only wanted it,” he said. The assets of not only judges but also their dependants would be declared.

Answering a question with regard to making the declaration public, the Chief Justice said the details would not come under the purview of the Right to Information Act. “We do not want the judges to be harassed.”

There was no proposal to further increase the judge-strength of the Madras High Court. “We have been increasing the strength of almost all the High Courts.”

To a question on the controversy over the remark made by R. Regupathi, Judge of the Madras High Court, while hearing an anticipatory bail plea, and about the follow-up action, the Chief Justice said the press had reported that a Minister contacted the judge in the matter. Because of this, the CJI said, he was worried. Then he came to know that no Minister had called the judge. “That’s the information I got,” he said.

On strike action by lawyers, he said “we discuss with members of the bar” regarding their problems. The Chief Justice would also interact and try to solve problems. That was the only way. “It is working well.” Strikes by lawyers were happening only in some places.

To another question regarding police security in the Madras High Court complex after the February 19 clash between lawyers and police, the Chief Justice said security had been restored. He said the High Court was a public place. Everyone should have a feeling that it was a place to seek justice. It should not have to look like a fortress.





DM summoned for sitting on arms licence plea

TNN 28 July 2009, 02:06am IST

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday directed the Rohtas DM to appear before the court on August 3 and give reply to the allegation that an application for an arms licence has been pending for the last ten years.

In his writ petition, Ram Bharat Choudhary submitted that he submitted an application for an arms licence ten years back. But despite repeated efforts, he is yet to get the licence.





Land acquisition for BMIC: status quo ordered

TNN 28 July 2009, 04:13am IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Monday ordered status quo with respect to 3 acres at Chikkathogur village, which the Karnataka Industrial Areas Development Board (KIADB) had acquired in 2003 for the Bangalore-Mysore Infrastructure Corridor’s (BMIC) peripheral road.

Petitioner and land owner G Shrinivas claimed the authorities included the land in the final notification though it was not required for the project and also not part of the alignment. “The land is outside the alignment of the peripheral road project. This court has already considered the contention of a similarly placed land owner in September 2008 and issued a stay order,” counsel for the petitioner told the court.

Hotel refused interim relief

A division Bench on Monday refused to grant any interim relief on the writ appeal filed by the management of Empire Hotels, challenging the July 3 verdict of a single judge dismissing their petition. They had challenged the May 19 order issued by the police commissioner, fixing midnight as closure deadline.

The hotel’s counsel told the court that only the government has power to fix time-schedule of business establishments, and not the police. But the single Bench had observed that the order is a regulatory measure and asked the government advocate to seek further instructions in the matter.

“There is no pick-and-choose involved in this order issued in the nature of a delegatory legislation under Section 31(w) of Karnataka Police Act, 1963. It was issued as a measure for maintenance of law and order in Bangalore, which is a fast-growing metropolitan city… There are no grounds for this court to interfere,” the single Bench had observed in its order.

The state had defended the move, claiming the order was general in nature and not directed against any particular establishment. The police had directed all hotels and restaurants mentioned under the Public Entertainment Order issued in August 2007 to comply with the midnight closure deadline.

Plea against registration circular admitted

A division Bench has admitted a PIL challenging the government’s April 6, 2009 circular, asking sub-registrars not to register properties if conversion certificates and sanctioned plan from the competent authority is not enclosed with applications.

The petitioners have claimed that Section 22-A of the Registration Act, under which the circular was issued, had been declared unconstitutional both by the high court as well as the Supreme Court. “Moreover, the move will only harass the general public, causing hardship and misery,” the petition states, adding: “The settled position is clear that it is only a civil court and not a sub-registrar that has the power to decide the title, deed and other related issues.”

The government has filed a statement defending the circular, saying it is a regulatory measure taken with a view to end the harassment of public by way of specifying the documents needed for registration.

Railway ministry told to consider representation

The HC has asked the ministry of railways to consider a representation to be filed by a petitioner, seeking increase in compensation to railway accident victims, and increasing height of platforms at stations.

A Bench headed by the chief justice disposed of a PIL filed by V Padmanabha Kedilaya, a retired district and sessions judge and former member of the Railways Claims Tribunal, seeking Rs 15 lakh as compensation for accident victims.

“At present, if a person dies in a railway accident the maximum compensation payable is Rs 4 lakh, which was fixed 11 years ago. A family which gets that amount can only get an interest of Rs 24,000 per year, which is insufficient by any standard. In the last 11 years, dearness allowance of central government employees has been increased 24 times, but the compensation remains static. At least it should be increased to Rs 10 lakh immediately and to Rs 15 lakh finally,” the petitioner had stated.

The petitioner also sought directions to increase the height of platforms at railway stations across India to the level of train coaches, to make it easy for passengers to board or alight.




Sessions court public prosecutors to speed up human rights cases

Express News Service Posted: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 0054 hrs Mumbai:

The state government has issued a notification authorising all public prosecutors of sessions courts to act as special public prosecutors for the human rights courts.

The move is aimed at speeding up trials. The notice was issued in response to a public interest litigation (PIL) that had pointed out irregularities and delays in implementing notifications as well as other irregularities, illegalities and violation of law by the members and office bearers of Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC).

A PIL filed by Dombivali businessman Pushkar Damle had alleged irregularities in the MSHRC and urged the Bombay High Court to take action against erring officers. Damle has supported his PIL with information sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The PIL states that although the Human Rights Act was amended by the Central government in 2006, the state government is yet to notify the amended Act. Damle also pointed out that other provision of appointing special public prosecutors for conducting the cases of violation of human rights were yet to be appointed.  

The PIL also stated that there was delay on the part of the government to set up Human Rights Courts even though the Government Resolution (GR) of declaring all the sessions court as “human rights courts” as per the provisions of the Protection of Human Right Act, 1993, was issued way back in May 2001.

According to his petition, the MSHRC received approximately 31,000 complaints of violation of human rights, out of which the action taken report was received only in eight complaints.  

Petition contended that establishment of human rights courts and its functioning was required as the victims has to come all the way from the interior parts of the state by spending money from their own pocket for registering the complaint against the public servants who have violated their rights, while the accused public Servant comes by spending public money to attend the case.

Petitioner’s advocate Ashish Chavan said that this is a welcome move and will result in speedy justice to the victims as MSHRC has got recommendatory powers whereas human rights courts have got punitive powers. The trial will be conducted on the basis of Criminal Code of procedure, he said.








PIL in high court seeks regulatory body for TV

Anshika Misra / DNA

Tuesday, July 28, 2009 2:32 IST

Mumbai: Even as the merits of reality television are being debated in Parliament, the Bombay High Court will this week hear a PIL demanding appointment of a regulatory authority to monitor television content.

The PIL filed by social activist Pratibha Naitthani has cited several examples of “absurd” television programmes currently on air “which are not only in bad taste, have foul language and no entertainment value”. The PIL also alleges that the live broadcast of the military rescue efforts during the 26/11 terror attack compromised the nation’s security by revealing confidential strategydetails. It has sought a ban on live telecast of terror attacks.

Naitthani has stated that despite having filed complaints against shows like Big Boss, Splitsvilla and Dadagiri for their “obscene and vulgar” content,neither the Information and Broadcasting (I&B) ministry nor the police have taken any action. According to her lawyer, Mukesh Vashi there should some checks on “offensive” television programmes like, Sach ka Samna, “where bedroom talk is being discussed in public”.

Naitthani has also pointed out that in a 2005 affidavit filed by I & B ministry in another PIL filed by her, the government had stated that it was contemplating setting up a Broadcast Content Regulatory Authority. The government had stated that it was also planning to set up an exclusive facility for round-the-clock monitoring of various TV channels. However, till date no concrete steps have been taken, Naitthani alleged.

The PIL, which is likely to be heard on Thursday, has also sought framing of uplinking and downlinking guidelines for television channels.




Court makes Centre party in language row

TNN 28 July 2009, 03:13am IST

BANGALORE: The ongoing language policy issue took a turn on Monday with the Supreme Court making the Centre party to the case, and ordered notices following a PIL by 15 Kannada litterateurs.

The writers have contended that education comes under Concurrent List and the Centre, in all respects, should be a necessary party. The SC has also issued notice to the state.

HC adjourns contempt petition: A Karnataka HC division Bench on Monday adjourned the hearing on a batch of contempt petitions filed by private managements against education department officials. The court is awaiting the decision of the apex court.




Court asks Kumble’s wife to negotiate with former husband on daughter’s custody

J. Venkatesan

Bench grants three weeks to parties, asks counsel to convey outcome

“Asking the petitioner to face proceedings in family court again is harassment for child”

“The father is interested in cheap publicity, and petition was filed with oblique motive”

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked cricketer Anil Kumble’s wife and her former husband to have negotiations on sharing the custody of their 14-year-old daughter.

A Bench of Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice R.M. Lodha granted three weeks to the parties and asked counsel to inform the court of the outcome.

Kumar V. Jagirdar is Chetna Kumble’s first husband, and they had a daughter before they divorced in April 1999. Ms. Chetna married Anil Kumble the same year. A family court in Bangalore gave Mr. Jagirdar the custody of the girl. On Ms. Chetna’s appeal, the Karnataka High Court reversed the order and granted her the custody of the child. Mr. Kumar’s appeal in the Supreme Court was dismissed, and he was given visiting rights.

Mr. Jagirdar approached the Karnataka High Court again, contending that Ms. Chetna had given birth to two children through Anil Kumble, and considering the change in the circumstance, he should be given custody of his daughter. Since the High Court referred the matter to a family court, Ms. Chetna moved the Supreme Court again in April, and the proceedings were stayed.

When the matter was taken up on Monday, senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for Ms. Chetna, submitted that asking the petitioner to face the proceedings in the family court again was harassment for the child, especially when the issues had been concluded by the Supreme Court in 2004. “The girl, who will be 15 years this December, cannot be expected to go back to his father after 15 years. The father is only interested in cheap publicity, and the petition was filed with an oblique motive. It is causing immense hardship to the child and the [Kumble’s] family,” he said.

Prashant Bhushan, counsel for Kumar, said the circumstances changed since the Supreme Court disposed of the matter. The girl had now attained puberty. The growing consensus worldwide was that in such cases, the custody of children should be shared by parents.

At this juncture, Justice Lodha asked Mr. Bhushan: “Has the girl shown any inclination to stay with the father? Why should you disturb? Why should you do something which may harm the child’s interest?” Mr. Bhushan said: “I [father] will be the last person to do any harm to the child psychologically.”

The judges then asked counsel whether something could be done to sort out the issue. Since counsel agreed to consider the proposal, the Bench granted three weeks.





Water shortage: Mohali councillor to move HC

TNN 28 July 2009, 06:27am IST

MOHALI: Irked over never-ending shortage of water in the city, a councillor after writing to the local bodies department on the issue has now decided to move the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the issue.

Residents have been complaining that water has not been reaching first and second floors, especially in houses up to 10 marlas, due to low pressure. They further alleged that water supply hours too have been reduced, putting residents into great inconvenience.

Kuljit Bedi, councillor of Ward Number 27, who recently had written a letter to Punjab chief secretary demanding necessary directions to the authorities to start the process to installing five tubewells already approved by the municipal council, said that within a couple of days he would approach the high court as authorities have failed to do the needful.

He said that erratic water supply has made the residents life miserable while the municipal council had also failed to stop people from wasting water. ‘‘No drive was launched and not even a single person was challaned for wasting water while residents were left without water,’’ he said, adding that residents of Phase X, phase IX, Phase IIIB2, Phase V besides other areas were facing water shortage.

Bedi said that against the demand for 23 million gallon per day, the city was being provided only 12.5 million gallons of water per day. Lt Col (retd) S S Sohi, president, Ex-servicemen Grievances Cell, said that the city was facing severe water problem as demand was more than supply and authorities were yet to make arrangements to fill the gap.

Senior vice-president of municipal council Harmanpreet Singh Prince said that over one-and-half-years back a proposal to install 33 tubewells was approved in the MC and director, local bodies, had directed that money be sanctioned to the Sewerage Board for installation of tubewells, but the MC president had insisted that the civic body would itself install tubewells. The local bodies department had argued that MC did not have technical staff to install tubewells. Price claimed that confusion over who would install the tubewells was causing undue harassment to residents.




SC refuses relief to Lodha; HC to hear matter–HC-to-hear-matter/494641/

Agencies Posted: Monday , Jul 27, 2009 at 1243 hrs New Delhi:

The Supreme Court refused to offer relief to Harsh Vardhan Lodha, who had sought a stay on a Company Law Board interim order that barred him from chairing the Birla Corp annual general meeting (AGM).

The AGM was slated for Monday.

The Supreme Court also directed the Calcutta High Court to hear petition by Lodha and Birla camps on Tuesday.

Lodha had moved to the Calcutta High Court challenging the CLB interim order on the AGM of the Birla Corp, to which Harsh’s father R S Lodha had staked claim to citing the purported 1999 will of Priyamvada Birla.

Some Birla family members have contested the Lodha family claim on Rs 5,000 crore M P Birla estate.




Trinamool candidate moves HC for recounting in Balurghat

Express News Service Posted: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 0158 hrs Kolkata:

The election procedure and counting of votes in Balurghat parliamentary constituency has come under the scanner of the Calcutta High Court.

Biplab Mitra, the Trinamool Congress candidate who lost the Lok Sabha poll from Balurghat, filed a petition in the High Court last week challenging the election procedure. Mitra has sought a recounting of votes.

Mitra alleged in the petition that the electronic voting machine (EVM) had not been properly checked before counting in front of the Trinamool agents in various counting stations. The agents were not allowed to enter the counting rooms in various places, he alleged. Advocate Bimal Chatterjee on Monday pleaded that counting procedure had not been followed by the returning officer of the district.

After the hearing, Justice Anirudha Basu directed the court to serve notice to the Election Commission of India and the case will come up for hearing on Friday.

The Calcutta HC also ordered that the seal of the EVMs would not broken till disposal of the case. Normally, the EVMs are preserved for six months after declaration of the result, said Chatterjee. The EVMs should be kept in safe custody of the Election Commission, the court ruled.

Mitra was defeated by Prasanta Kumar Mazumdar of the RSP, by a margin 5,195 votes.

After the declaration of results, The Trinamool had demanded recounting and the party had protested at district headquarters many times.




HC gives relief to Bhikhi

Express News Service Posted: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 0444 hrs Ludhiana:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today stayed the arrest of Advocate Daman Preet Singh Bhikhi of Ludhiana who was accused by Major G S Benipal (Retd) of presenting fake sale deeds before him.

Arguing the anticipatory bail filed by Daman Preet his counsel, Advocate Vivek Thakur contended that allegations leveled by Benipal in the FIR do not make out any case of cheating or forgery against Daman Preet. “Allegations against Damanpreet are that he had presented fake sale deeds before the Tehsildar. Neither it has been alleged that Daman Preet is a beneficiary to these sale deeds nor he has purchased any sale deed” averred Advocate Vivek Thakur.

Taking note of the contentions of Thakur, Justice Harbans Lal today stayed the arrest of Advocate Daman Preet and issued notices to the Punjab State and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ludhiana. It might be mentioned here that it was this FIR after which Benipal was beaten up by SAD and Akali supporters.

FIRs were registered after Benipal was thrashed. Some of the accused have been arrested and are in police custody.





Gujarat HC short by 15 judges

TNN 28 July 2009, 03:46am IST

AHMEDABAD: A statement presented in the Rajya Sabha on Monday stated that most high courts in India fall short of the approved strength of judges.

Gujarat, for instance, has 42 approved positions for judges but there are only 27. There is approved strength of 886 judges in 21 high courts of India but there are only 646, leaving shortfall of 240 judges.

Responding to an un-starred question on vacancies in high courts by Parimal Nathwani, MP from Jharkhand, union minister for law and justice Veerappa Moily said that the Gram Nyayalaya Act 2008 has been enacted to establish 5,000 gram nyayalayas (village courts) which will bring justice to the doorsteps of the people in the rural areas.

Moily informed that the government had requested all high courts to fix the vacation period in such a way that the number of working days didn’t fall below 222 days in a year.





HC suggests immediate ban on all plastic

TNN 28 July 2009, 03:31am IST

CHENNAI: Three weeks ahead of the ban on plastic coming into force on the Marina, the Madras high court on Monday suggested an immediate ban on all plastic bags and items upto 60 microns.

It has also passed severe strictures against the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) authorities for their failure to effectively enforce Central rules to regulate use of plastic in the state.

A division bench comprising justice D Murugesan and justice K Venkataraman, passing orders on a public interest writ petition said: “The state government may take into consideration the various steps taken by other states, and give its serious consideration to ban the use of plastic bag and other items upto 60 microns as an immediate step.”

The observation comes on a day when minister of state for environment Jairam Ramesh said in the Lok Sabha that the government was working on a “concrete plan to ban polythene bags” entirely, and the Chennai corporation conducted an awareness meeting on the ban for shopkeepers on the Marina.

Refraining from imposing a ban, as it would amount to legislating, the Madras high court judges said a state legislation Tamil Nadu Throwaway Plastic Articles (Prohibition of Sale, Storage, Distribution and Transport) Act 2003 was yet to be notified even six years it was announced. Noting that even this legislation is not enough to tackle the challenges posed by plastics use, they said the government must bring in stringent clauses.

Pointing out that TNPCB could not spell out any action it had taken, the bench said: “The board seeks to shirk its duty and responsibility solely on the ground of want of legislation by the state government. It cannot be accepted as the board is empowered to act in terms of the Central rules.” Except in places like Ooty, the Central rules have not been implemented, the judges said, adding that TNPCB had disregarded the rules.

The petitioner, A Narayanan had cited the secretaries of municipal and water supply, and environment and forest departments as respondents, besides the Chennai Corporation, and wanted the court to direct them to ban manufacture, distribution and usage of all types of plastic carry bags of all size and thickness. He wanted a blanket ban on all plastic items such as disposable cups, plates, buckets and vessels below the 150 micron thickness.

Though plastic poses serious hazards to environment, it is of great assistance to humanity as a whole, the bench said, adding that banishing plastic completely was not the answer to pollution. Asking TNPCB as well as the state government to look into implementing the central rules in true letter and spirit, the bench said they should undertake a campaign to spread awareness about the devastation caused by plastic to environment.

Meanwhile, Chennai corporation officials conducted a meeting with shopkeepers on the Marina to inform them about the ban on use of plastic, including as cups, carry bags or as packaging material.

The civic body has not yet fixed the fines for those found violating the ban. About 15 of its employees will patrol the Marina to enforce the regulation. “Our intention is to promote awareness about the ill-effects of the use of plastics. We will decide on the fine later,” a senior Corporation official said. The local body is also planning to put up signboards on the sands, the official added.




HC against awarding bonanza’ in accident claims

TNN 28 July 2009, 03:28am IST

CHENNAI: Frowning upon “bonanza” and “extravagant” compensation being awarded to accident victims and lack of consistency in injury assessment, the Madras high court has urged the government to form medical boards to vet injury claims.

The accident claims tribunals, on their part, should neither be niggardly in awarding compensation in deserving cases nor consider claims petitions as an occasion to award bonanza even in cases of minor fractures, the court cautioned.

A division bench comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice TS Sivagnanam, referring to a suggestion in a book A Critique on Motor Vehicles Laws said that if the guidelines evolved by the Union ministry of social justice and empowerment in June 2001 are adopted it would bring uniformity and consistency in the assessment of permanent disability.

Noting that the book had recommended formation of medical boards in every district, the judges said all the injured claimants should appear before such boards to get their injuries assessed. If that is done, motor accident claims tribunals could pass awards without further examination. “We hope Parliament will take note of this,” the judges observed.

The case relates to an accident claim by an civil engineering student, R Sivakumar, who was injured in a bike-autorickshaw smash on the Old Mahabalipuram Road here. In 2004, the tribunal awarded Rs 18 lakh to the boy, taking note of the medical opinion that the boy had suffered permanent disability of about 50 per cent.

Drastically slashing the compensation to Rs 5.5 lakh, the judges said: “The erratic manner in which disability is assessed for fractures and other injuries which are not as grievous as loss of limbs or amputation is neither fair nor just. We feel that there should be some consistency and some uniformity. It pains us to see extravagant awards for what is really not a major disability. The pain that the injured feels is not something we are ignoring, but what we have to assess is the diminishment of his capacity to work and to the loss of earning capacity.”

The judges expressed astonishment at the award and said, “claims tribunals should neither be niggardly while awarding compensation to somebody who is totally paralysed…living death position. At the same time, the accident claim petition is not an occasion to award bonanza for persons who have sustained fractures.”

Disagreeing with the tribunal’s finding, the judges fixed the disability at only 20 per cent. The judges said the book noted that expert witnesses or doctors, who appear before the tribunals are stock witnesses. “They know no standards, do not conform to any uniform practices. They do not follow any criteria. The tribunals are also under work pressure and therefore they just accept or slightly modify the disability as certified by those doctors,” the judges said.




HC bans UPTU admission process

TNN 28 July 2009, 02:34am IST LUCKNOW: The high court here on Monday imposed a ban on the admission process in engineering colleges affiliated to UP Technical University (UPTU).

The court, however, has declined to stay the ongoing counselling process. It has fixed August 4 for the next hearing.

The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi on a public interest litigation (PIL) petition. Earlier, in compliance of the HC’s order, the state government produced the July 22 government order (GO) whereby the government had directed private engineering colleges to ensure 50% reservation to SCs/STs and OBCs in the admission.

At the time of hearing, UPTU registrar US Tomar was present before the bench. He told the court that the counselling process for admission to the colleges affiliated and recognised by the UPTU was going on at present. He also intimated the court that admission to courses would likely be finalised in September.

Filing the PIL, retired professor Ajai Swaroop demanded quashing of all GOs of the state government having effect of interference in affairs of the private engineering colleges. His counsel, senior advocate Prashant Chandra on Monday pleaded the arbitrariness of the state government saying that despite restraint order of the high court, the government was forcing the engineering colleges to implement 50% reservation quota.




Maytas moves HC on metro

TNN 28 July 2009, 01:55am IST

HYDERABAD: Refusing to let go the Hyderabad Metro project, Maytas Infra Ltd on Monday filed a writ petition in the Andhra Pradesh High Court challenging the termination of the concession agreement by the state government that the two had entered into for executing the proposed project.

With the matter likely to be taken up for hearing on Tuesday, a high-profile legal battle is on the cards with Maytas having flown in advocates from New Delhi to argue the case. ‘‘Clearly, the Maytas-Metro saga is far from over,’’ an official said.

In its petition, Maytas Infra contended that the action of the government was unreasonable and did not take into account hindrances and hurdles which were beyond their control.

The petitioner urged the court to declare the action of the government as illegal and to stay all further proceedings pursuant to the bid notice issued by Hyderabad Metro Rail Corporation issued on July 16. The petition also mentioned that the Maytas-led consortium had submitted a bid security amount of Rs 60 crore and bid offer amount of Rs 11 crores to the Metro Rail Corporation.

The Maytas metro venture came to an end when the state cancelled the concessional agreement on July 7 on the grounds that the consortium had not achieved financial closure which it should have done by March 17 this year.





HC orders CMO to appear in person

TNN 27 July 2009, 11:06pm IST

ALLAHABAD: A division bench of the high court directed the chief medical officer of Gorakhpur on Monday to appear in person in the court on August 4. The court directed for the CMO’s personal presence as he failed to provide information sought in a case.

The bench comprising Justice Amitava Lala and Justice Shishir Kumar passed the order, when standing counsel Ramanand Pandey failed to provide information which was sought from the CMO.

It might be recalled that high court had passed an order on July 21, 2009, seeking information from the CMO whether a doctor junior to petitioner Nagendra Ram has been posted as incharge of the primary health centre (PHC), Brahmpur, Gorakhpur. The information had to be provided in the court on July 27, but it was not provided despite a faxed message sent to him.

The petitioner, Dr Nagendra Ram has filed a writ petition, seeking quashing of an order passed by CMO on June 26 through which he had directed Dr Mahendra Kumar to work as incharge of PHC, Brahmpur, Gorakhpur. The petitioner stated that Dr Mahendra Kumar is junior to him and therefore he cannot be posted as incharge of PHC. The court will hear the case on August 4.




HC orders CVC inquiry into Prasar Bharati issue

By: PTI   Date:  2009-07-27   Place: New Delhi


The Delhi High Court on Monday ordered a Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) inquiry into alleged financial irregularities in Prasar Bharati Corporation and appointed a former judge to supervise board meetings of the public broadcaster.

A bench headed by Chief Justice AP Shah directed the board to convene its meeting within 15 days. The bench, also comprising Justice Manmohan, passed the order after the government failed to bring reconciliation between the chairman of the board, Arun Bhatnagar, and CEO BS Lalli, who have been at loggerheads.

The court said that day-to-day work of the Public Broadcaster would be handled by the CEO, Member (Finance) and Member (Personnel) of the board.

The court on July 24 had said that it would pass an interim order for proper functioning of Prasar Bharati.

The chairman had contended that the allegations of financial irregularities must be investigated by the CVC as no internal audit has been done in the organisation for the past several years.





Guj HC approached on whether eating ‘niaz’ is permitted

Submitted by admin3 on 27 July 2009 – 9:47pm.

By Staff Correspondent,

Ahmedabad: A debate between Ahl-e-Hadis and Barelvi sects of Muslims in the border district of Kutch over the issue of whether the eating of sacramental food(niaz) or flesh of an animal slaughtered in gratitude to anyone other than Allah, is allowed in Islam has reached the Gujarat High Court.

Though the court has no jurisdiction to decide on it as it has already told the parties verbally to settle it out of court, what the petitioner’s party has prayed is quashing of an FIR registered against Ahl-e-Hadis leaders on charges of promoting enmity between two groups under Sections 153-A and 505 of IPC.

The genesis of the dispute lies in some members of the Ahl-e-Hadis sect in Anandsar village of Nakhatrana taluka of Kutch district refusing to eat `niaz’ on the third day after `Yaum-e-Ashura’ in January this year.

Those who refused to eat `niaz’ believed in Barelvi traditions till recently. However, they gave up the Barelvi traditions after they came in contact with Ahl-e-Hadis preachers in the district.

But the majority of the villagers, who still follow the Barelvi school of thought, did not like the changed behaviour. They tried to force the neo Ahl-e-Hadis people to fall in line by organizing their boycott.

This led to a debate between the two sides. But the Ahl-e-Hadis members well-versed in Quranic knowledge put a question to other villagers: “Is it permitted in Islam to eat food consecrated to somebody other than Allah?’’

Ahl-e-Hadis members said they would have no objection to eating `niaz’ if it was allowed by the Quran and Sunnah of the Prohphet.

In support of their argument that `niaz’ was not allowed, Ahl-e-Hadis group presented translation of verse no. 173 of Surah Bakra which says: “Allah has made unlawful to you only carrion (dead animal) and blood and the flesh of swine and that over which there has been pronounced the name of some one other than Allah…’’.

Another verse quoted by them was verse no.3 of Surah Al-Maidah which translates as: “Forbidden to you are carrion, the flesh of swine, the animal slaughtered in any name other than Allah’s….’’.

Explaining the two verses, the Ahl-e-Hadis group argued that the `practice of pronouncing the name of anyone or anything other than Allah and dedicating the animal as an offering, or consecrating the food, to a holy personage, dead or alive’, is totally inappropriate and amounts to showing gratitude to some other being, instead of Allah.

As the `niaz’, a food, is dedicated to someone other than Allah, Ahl-e-Hadis members ruled that it was forbidden for eating as per instructions of the two verses of the Holy Quran.

Their arguments led to panic in Barelvi camp. They said that if it was not allowed by Quran, why should they eat it. As they had little knowledge of the Quran, 11 of the Barelvis, accompanied with an Ahle-Hadis follower, went to 85-year-old Barelvi spiritual leader Mufti Haji Saiyed Ahmed Shah Bawa and put the question to him.

Haji Juma Raima, a follower of the Barelvi sect and representative of the Mufti, told Twocircles.Net that Mufti sahib told Ahl-e-Hadis people clearly that if they did not want to eat `niaz’, they were free. But they should not disturb others.

But Ahl-e-Hadis group was not satisfied by the answers of Mufti. They wrote a letter to him saying that his interpretation of the Quranic verses were not proper and that he was misguiding Muslims with regard to worship of shrines, pirs and the dead.

In another letter, Maulana Suleman Siddiq of the Ahl-e-Hadis reportedly asked the Mufti to apologise publicly if he has justified the eating of `niaz’ by mistake and “let’s all think of what will happen to us after death’’.

The discourses between the two sides were also got published in a local Gujarati daily published from Bhuj. The Barelvis suspected another Ahl-e-Hadis religious leader Ibrahim Bachchu behind it.

Feeling that the Ahl-e-Hadis group will not restrain itself, Juma Raima lodged a criminal complaint in Bhuj Police Station against several persons belonging to Ahl-e-Hadis sect, including Maulana Siddiq and Ibrahim Bachchu, levelling charges of promoting enmity between two groups.

While Ibrahim Bachchu was arrested and kept in police lock up for more than 24 hours before being let out on bail, Maulana Siddiq is still wanted in the case by the police.

Subsequently, Ibrahim Bachchu moved the Gujarat high court seeking quashing of the the FIR.

With a total population of 14 lakhs in Kutch district, Muslims account for about 4 lakhs, 90 per cent of them Barelvis, running several schools, hospitals and other institutions as they are financially quite strong.





CJI to inaugurate seminar on construction workers

BANGALORE, JULY 28, 2009: The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India Mr Justice K. G. Balakrishnan will inaugurate a two-day Seminar on building and other construction workers ( Regulation and Employment) ACT – 1996  on August 9 in Bangalore.
The Seminar organized by the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority in association of various agencies and departments of Government will deliberate on various issues connected with construction workers. 
The Governor Mr Hans Raj Bharadwaj, the Chief Minister Mr B. S. Yeddyurappa, the Minister for Labour Mr B. N. Bache Gowda, the Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Mr S. Suresh Kumar will participate in this Seminar, for which the Union Minister for Law and Justice Mr M. Veerappa Moily and the Union Minister for Employment and Labour Mr M. Mallikarjuna Kharge  would be extended Special Invitation to attend.
This was disclosed at a High-level Meeting Chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Karnataka State Legal Services Authority Mr Justice V. Gopala Gowda, who is also Judge of the High Court of Karnataka here on Monday. Mr Justice K. L. Manjunath, Mr Ram Mohan Reddy and Mr Justice V. G. Sabhahit were present on the occasion.
Mr Justice Gopala Gowda said the meeting will throw light on many aspects of Construction Workers and suggest workable solutions to provide them a dignified life. Members from Government, Labour and Trade Unions, Advocates and Legal Luminaries will be provided a platform to give their thought and solution to the construction workers, especially migratory workers.
It is mandatory to issue Identity Cards to construction workers to get them basic amenities and benefits from Government including social welfare measures like extending insurance and pension, he said.
The Principal Secretary to Government in the Department of Public Works Mr D. Thangaraj, the Principal Secretary to Government in the Department of Infrastructure Development Mr V. Madhu, the Principal Secretary to Government in the Department of Labour Mr Ramesh Zalki, Commissioner for Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike Mr Bharat Lal Meena, the Commissioner for Bangalore Development Authority Mr Siddaiah, the Managing Director for Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation Limited Mr Siva Sailam, the Director of Information Mr N. R. Vishu Kumar and other senior officers were present at this hour-long meeting.

Our Correspondent





Pending cases a cause of concern: CJI

New Delhi, DHNS:

Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan has said that the growing number of pending cases in India is a real concern for judiciary.
 While releasing a book ‘Justice, Courts and Delays’ by senior advocate Arun Mohan, Justice Balakrishnan said a chapter on causes of pending cases would be included in the curriculum of training programme of the judges of the District courts at the National Judicial Academy in Bhopal.

 The judicial officers should be taught how to reduce the number of cases as the common people were suffering due to delay in granting justice, said the CJI while asking the author to bring out an abridged version of his book.

 Speaking on the occasion, former Chief Justice A S Anand said, “The judicial system is facing a crisis, a crisis of credibility due to pending number of cases.’’

More judges

The government should have more judges at different levels as India has one of the lowest per capita number of judicial officers in the world, he added.

 Law Minister Veerappa Moily said that the government was spending an enormous amount on the judicial system in the country.

 Former Solicitor General Hrish Salve said due to delay in the disposal of the cases the ‘rule of law is a casualty’.

Mohan has written the book after taking a break from the legal profession for the past 10 years to go to the roots of the delay in disposal of the cases in courts from district level to the Supreme Court level.

The book with full of illustrations from everyday life, is more for the common people than for the lawyers and jurists.





SC panel seeks three-fold pay hike for trial court judges

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN 28 July 2009, 01:40am IST

NEW DELHI: In what could be the biggest ever salary hike for lowly-paid trial court judges, the Supreme Court-appointed National Judicial Pay Commission (NJPC) has proposed more than three-fold jump in their pay that translates to a monthly increase of Rs 20,000 at the entry level.

Less than three months after being appointed head of the second NJPC, Justice E Padmanabhan, a former judge of the Madras HC, submitted his report to the SC proposing an average 3.07-fold hike in the existing salaries that was recommended by the first NJPC in 1999. The recommendations of the first NJPC headed by Justice Jagannatha Shetty had entitled civil judge (junior division) starting salary of Rs 11,775, civil judge (senior division) Rs 15,200, district judge (entry level) Rs 20,800 and district judge (super time scale) Rs 23,850.

With the increase proposed by the second NJPC, the starting salary of a civil judge (junior division) is expected to be around Rs 35,000, a hike of nearly Rs 24,000. As per Justice Padmanabhan’s recommendations, salary of civil judge (senior division) would be around Rs 45,000, which means a hike of around Rs 30,000. Similarly, the salary of district judge (entry level) would be around Rs 60,000 and that of DJ (super time scale) Rs 70,000.

The logic given by Justice Padmanabhan, after extensive research and hearing of parties almost on a daily basis, was that the first NJPC had recommended salaries of the lower judiciary keeping in view the then salaries of HC judges which was fixed at Rs 26,000 and that of HC CJ at Rs 30,000, SC judges at Rs 30,000 and CJI at Rs 33,000. However, with the CJI and SC and HC judges getting more than three-fold hike in their salaries, the second NJPC thought of applying the same logic for trial court judges.

The salary structure for the higher judiciary got changed with retrospective effect, as the government in January this year agreed to revise the salary of HC judges to Rs 80,000, HC Chief Justices Rs 90,000, SC judges Rs 90,000 and CJI Rs 1 lakh.

The appointment of the second judicial pay commission had come through a judicial order of the apex court on April 30 in an application filed by the All India Judges Association.




Protest rally denounces NHRC report, Muslim leaders give memorandum to Home Minister

Submitted by admin3 on 28 July 2009 – 10:58pm.

By Mumtaz Alam Falahi,,

New Delhi: Mounting pressure on the Congress-led UPA Government at the Centre for a judicial probe into the Batla House encounter, the Coordiantion Committee of Indian Muslims (CCIM), an umbrella body of leading Muslim organizations, held a protest demonstration today at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. CCIM was formed last year in the wake of rising incidence of minority witchhunting following terror strikes in the country.

Addressing the protest rally, CCIM leaders denounced the National Human Rights Commission report on the September 19, 2008 encounter as, they said, it is just a copy of the police version of the encounter. They rejected it saying it one-sided as the apex human rights body did not bother to talk to families of the victims, neighbors and civil and human rights groups who had exposed loopholes in the police story about the encounter.

Two Azamgarh youths, whom police described as terror suspects, were killed by the police in the shootout. Delhi police inspector M C Sharma had also sustained bullet injuries which he succumbed to in the evening on the same day.
NHRC in its report submitted to the Delhi High Court last week said the police did not violate any human right in this case. It opened fire in its self defence, said the report.

Addressing the protest rally Dr S Q R Ilyas, executive committee member, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, termed the NHRC report a blot and a question mark on its credibility. He described the report as shameful because it just toed the line of the police.

Abdur Rasheed Agwan, executive committee member, All India Muslim Majlise Mushawarat, said there should be a judicial enquiry for every encounter, not only for Batla House encounter. He refuted the government’s argument for not allowing probe that this will demoralize the police force. “Police can commit mistakes in executing its duty and so if it is found guilty in some case this will not demoralize them. But no enquiry in the Batla encounter will certainly demoralize the minority community,” he said.

Addressing the protestors Maulana Nizamuddin, leader of Ulema Council which has now become part of CCIM, said time has come for the people to rise against the opressive government. There is a need to change the power system so that the marginalized and minorities could get their rights, he maintained. We won’t sit unless our demand of judicial probe is accepted, he announced. Ulema Council had brought its supporters in three buses from Azamgarh.
Shia leader Maulana Zeeshan Hidayati also lambasted the NHRC for the report. “It is shameful that protector of human rights could not protect the rights of the innocents,” he said.


At the end of the protest rally, a delegation of the CCIM in the leadership of its convenor Mujtaba Farooq, who is political affairs secretary of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, went to meet Home Minister P Chidambaram and demand judicial probe into the encounter. As the minister was not in the office, the delegation submitted a memorandum to his office.

Text of the memorandum:

A demonstration by citizens of Delhi was organized on July 28, 2009, under the auspices of the “Coordination Committee of Indian Muslims”. The gathering demanded the following from the Government of India.

1) To ensure justice and transparency, all riots and disruptive acts of the last decade, should be probed into; by an independent high powered commission. The commission, should, is a time bound frame, identify the real culprits; the report of the commission should be made public.

2) The Batla House encounter 2008 should be enquired into, by a high powered judicial probe, to ascertain the truth. The gathering rejects all attempts to justify the police version; without conducting an independent inquiry based on independent accounts, by reliable witnesses.

3) Reforms should be initiated in the Police and Law Enforcement machinery and the recommendations of National Police Commission should be immediately implemented.

4) Effective legal mechanism should be evolved to check and curb police atrocities, illegal detentions, fake encounters, tortures, custodial deaths and fabricated accusations.

5) Harassment of relatives and well wishers of the detainees should be stopped and a whole locality should not be targeted or victimized.

6) Confidential reports and confessions extracted under duress must not be leaked to the media. Effective regulations and legal mechanism should be enacted to ensure fair and unbiased reporting in media.

7) All initiatives for undemocratic and unjust legislation should be stopped and all those legislations in various states should be cancelled wherein confessions in police custody are made admissible in courts or which allow police to keep persons arrested without filing charge sheets or which violate human rights in anyway.

8) Measures should be adopted to promote human values, respect for human life, tolerance and co-operation so that we can build a hatred free and peaceful India.

9) Justice should not be delayed. Comprehensive reforms in the judicial system should be initiated to ensure speedy delivery of justice. All those residing in jails for more than five years, pending a judgment in their case; should be immediately released. All those who are eligible for bail, but lack financial resources, should be granted bail and released from custody.

10) The horrible conditions in jails should be changed through comprehensive measures of j ail reform.

11) Those arrested in the aftermath of the deplorable Batla House episode are on police remand, even now after a passage often months. Under some pretext or other, they are being continuously harassed and tortured. This cruel process should immediately stop; their cases should be speedily brought to trial and decided, as per law.

Signed by:

Mr. Mujtaba Farooq, Secretary, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind,

Ml. Abdul Hamid Naumani, Secretary Jamiat Ulema Hind

Ml. Muqeem Faizi, General Secretary Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith,

Ml. Abdul Wahab Khilji, President Indian Islahi Movement

Ml. Ameeduzzama Keranvi, President Tanzim Abna-e-Qadeem Darul Uloom Deoband

Mr. A. R. Agwan, AIIMM

Dr. Tasleem Rahmani, President Muslim Political Council

Mr. Suhail K.K. President Students Islamic Organisation of India

Ml. Aamir Rashadi, President Ulema Council, Azamgarh

Ml. Zeeshan Hidayati, President Majlis-e-Fikro Amal

Dr. S.Q. R. Ilyas, All India Muslim Personal Law Board

Member Organisations:

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, Jamiat Ulema Hind, Jamiat Ahle Hadees, All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat, Muslim Political Council of India, Ulema Council Azamgarh, Students Islamic Organisation of India, Majlis Fikr o Amal, Majlis Ulema Hind




Ulema Council to protest at Jantar Mantar today

TNN 27 July 2009, 10:18pm IST

VARANASI: Questioning the report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Batla House encounter, the Muslim clergy and other members of community left for New Delhi from Azangarh, Jaunpur and Bhadohi in several buses on Monday. They will stage a dharna at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi on Tuesday.

It will be the third such show of Ulema Council after holding dharna at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 29 and at Teele Wali Masjid in Lucknow on February 20.

Describing the NHRC report giving clean chit to Delhi police in Batla House encounter as the biggest lie of the century, president of Rashtriya Ulema Council Maulana Aamir Rashadi Madni alleged that it was not an impartial report, but aiming to save the skin of the then Union home minister and some officials. “We reject this report of NHRC and demand a CBI probe under the guidance of a judge of the Supreme Court,” Madni told TOI over phone on Monday.

He said it was a symbolic programme to express protest against the biased attitude of the institutions like NHRC. “Several other organisations including Jamait-e-Islami Hind, Jamiyat-ul-Ulema Hind, Markazi Jamiyat-ul-Hind and Jamiyat Ahal-e-Hadeesh are taking part in the dharna,” he said and added members of the community and other supporters left for Delhi on five buses and many other small vehicles. The dharna would begin at the Jantar Mantar at 11am on Tuesday.

It may be mentioned here that two youth, Atif and Sajid, killed in the shootout with police at Batala House in Jamiya Nagar area in Delhi, were the natives of Sanjarpur village of Azamgarh district. The arrested suspect Saif is also a native of the same village. Saif was also interrogated for his involvement in March 7, 2006 serial blasts in Varanasi.




NHRC awards Rs 3 lakh to false encounter victim’s kin in UP

Agencies Posted: Tuesday , Jul 28, 2009 at 1915 hrs New Delhi:

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the UP government to pay Rs three lakh to the next of the kin of a woman who was killed by two police constables in a fake encounter in Agra in 2000.

The Commission also directed the UP Chief Secretary to submit the compliance report, along with proof of the payment of the monetary relief, within eight weeks from the receipt of its recommendation in the case.

Two constables of UP police — Netrapal and Vijendra — gunned down Manisha, 40, under Tajgang Police station area of Agra district in Uttar Pradesh on September 8, 2000 and cooked up a false story of encounter, the rights body said.

According to police, the NHRC noted, Manisha had an “illicit” relationship with one Shiv Narayan and on the night of occurrence she had gone with him inside a shed near a tubewell when the owner of the well Champa Ram, felt that some criminals were hiding inside and raised an alarm.

Police claimed that constables Netrapal and Vijendra who were passing by asked Narayan and Manisha to surrender but Narayan fired at them. The two constables retaliated and Manisha was killed, they claimed.

Dissatisfied with the police version, the rights panel directed the state government to order a CB-CID inquiry into the incident on July 18, 2001. NHRC 2 LAST

“CB-CID found that Manisha and Shiv Narayan had no arms with them and the police had made a false story of an encounter,” the Commission noted.

The investigation by CB-CID also revealed that the seizure memos and other police records had been “fabricated”, the Commission said.

CB-CID recommended prosecution of the two constables under Section 304 (culpable homicide) Indian Penal Code (IPC), it added.

The Commission took cognizance of the case on the basis of a complaint filed by Shir Gafoor, son of Manisha, in connection with the incident.





Bharti-MTN merger awaits nod from competition authorities

29 Jul 2009, 0115 hrs IST, Joji Thomas Philip, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The proposed $23-billion strategic equity alliance between Bharti Airtel and South Africa’s MTN will require clearance from the competition authorities of both countries, a person with direct knowledge of the deal told ET.

According to South African laws, its government must be notified of any deal on mergers before the proposed transaction is implemented. Then, if the deal creates an equity, whose combined annual turnover or assets are more than 560 million rand ($67.97 million), it will have to be investigated and cleared by the competition authorities, this executive added.

A Bharti-MTN merger will lead to the creation of one of the top five telcos globally with over 200 million customers and combined revenues of about $20 billion. The combined net worth of both companies will exceed the $60-billion mark.

The proposed $23-billion transaction between the largest mobile phone operators in India and Africa involves a complex structure through which both entities would pay cash and equity to each other for stakes in the two companies. The formula, if it works out, will result in Bharti Airtel getting a 49% stake in MTN and the South African telco a 36% “economic interest” in Bharti Airtel.

South African laws also state that large deals must also be cleared by the Competition Tribunal, which is part of the country’s Competition Commission. Any deal where the annual turnover or assets of the combined entity is more than 6.6 billion rand ($1.1 billion) is referred to the Competition Tribunal and the latter has 40 days to clear it, the executive explained. The Competition Tribunal can extend its 40-day tenure by a maximum of an additional 15 days.

“The Tribunal’s main functions are to grant exemptions, authorise or prohibit large mergers (with or without conditions) or prohibit a merger….,” according to the website of the Competition Commission of South Africa.
With regard to clearances from the Competition Commission in India, two executives aware of this development said it would be a mere formality as the deal did not have any bearing on the domestic telecom market here.

“Only provisions related to abuse of dominance or anti-competitive agreements are notified under the Competitions Law in India — the Bharti-MTN deal relates to neither of these,” the executive pointed out. He also added that Competition Law provisions relating to combinations (M&As) are yet to be notified by the Indian government, and therefore, the commission currently cannot investigate the deal even if were to receive complaints against it.”

Last week, an executive familiar with the discussions had told ET that both Bharti Airtel and MTN are likely to extend the July 31 deadline to finalise the deal.





NCW not satisfied with M.P. report on ‘virginity tests’

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday described as “unsatisfactory” the report of the Madhya Pradesh government on alleged virginity tests conducted on brides during a State-sponsored mass marriage and decided to probe the matter on its own.

A five-member team of the Commission led by NCW member Yasmin Abrar will visit Shahdol in the State to study the execution of the scheme. The team will also have two experts, including a lawyer and a member of the Madhya Pradesh Women’s Commission.

“The report submitted to us by the Shahdol district administration of the State in this matter is not satisfactory,” said NCW Chairperson Girija Vyas.

Taking a suo motu cognisance of the matter, the NCW sought an interim report from the State government after the incident evoked a strong condemnation.

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan denied such tests, saying only “procedural medical examination” were carried out on June 26.





Resident doc gets bail in rape case

Kartikeya , TNN 29 July 2009, 02:25am IST

MUMBAI: Grant Medical College resident doctor Rahul Deshwal, charged by one of his juniors of raping her, has been granted bail by a court. Deshwal, an MS (orthopaedic) student who came to the city from Haryana, was arrested on July 7 after the 21-year-old MBBS student alleged that he repeatedly raped and assaulted her. He was in judicial custody at Arthur Road jail.

Deshwal’s advocate, Niteen Pradhan, argued that he had been falsely implicated in the case, saying Deshwal was a “victim of circumstances”. Pradhan also said the doctor had not administered any birth-control pills to the victim as had been alleged by the police.

According to the police, Deshwal had first proposed to the victim some time ago and then, after promising to marry her, raped her. It was also alleged that he even physically tortured and raped her eight to 10 times in the past one year on the pretext of marrying her.

However, Pradhan said all charges were a “figment of the victim’s imagination”. He also said Deshwal came from a respectable background and had no criminal antecedent. Moreover, it was argued that police had already collected evidence from his laptop and no further recovery was to be made from him. Deshwal said he was ready to abide by any condition that the court imposed on him at the time of granting him bail.




BMW case: SC upholds R K Anand’s conviction, clears I U Khan

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN 29 July 2009, 10:51am IST

NEW DELHI: In an important judgment, the Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld the conviction of high-profile criminal lawyer R K Anand for contempt of court in the BMW hit-and-run expose and issued notice for enhancement of punishment. The apex court found special public prosecutor I U Khan’s conduct inappropriate but set aside his conviction and cleared him of contempt charges.

A three-judge Bench comprising Justices B N Agrawal, G S Singhvi and Aftab Alam, pronounced the verdict on Wednesday after watching original footage of the sting operation provided by the TV channel.

The court said that sting operation by the TV channel was in public interest. It was not trial by media and served a public purpose.

R K Anand and I U Khan had been stripped of their senior advocate designation by the Delhi High Court. The HC had found both culpable of influencing controversial prosecution witness Sunil Kulkarni in the infamous BMW hit-and-run case involving Sanjeev Nanda.

Both had appealed in the SC and pleaded that the HC had exceeded its jurisdiction by stripping them of the senior advocate designation, a decision which the regulatory body, Bar Council of India, alone could take.

They had also questioned the authenticity of the tapes relating to the sting operation on their alleged dealing with Kulkarni, which was broadcast by a TV channel, saying the HC had repelled their repeated plea for a forensic examination of the tapes.

The HC, in an unprecedented order, had convicted the two prominent lawyers, debarred them from practising in Delhi for four months and also imposed a fine of Rs 2,000 each for obstructing the course of justice by trying to influence the star witness.



Notice to ACP for wrongly jailing woman

TNN 29 July 2009, 03:33am IST

AHMEDABAD: A sessions court has issued show-cause notice to city crime branch sleuths to explain why a woman should not be compensated because they had wrongfully confined her for more than a year in a narcotics case.

Additional sessions judge RH Sharma has sought an explanation from assistant commissioner of police Usha Rada and police inspector DH Waghela in connection with the drug peddling case.

Rada lodged a complaint with the DCB police station against a Karnataka-based couple, Allasha Mastabnsha Durvesh and his wife Shahin, on June 25 last year. They were allegedly found in possession of 12.3 kg cannabis worth Rs 1.23 lakh from Chandola locality. The crime branch filed a charge sheet against them stating that the duo had come to the city to deliver narcotics to two persons — Ramdas and Khalil — and they were caught on their way.

During the trial, the crime branch could not establish its case and it transpired that Shahin did not have any of the drug on her. And she had to go to jail merely because she was implicated in the case after her husband was made accused. However, the court found loopholes not only in the chain of events presented by the investigating officer Waghela, but certain legal aspects could not be explained by the prosecution.

Ultimately, Durvesh was acquitted by the court by giving a benefit of doubt, but the judge gave an honourable exoneration to Shahin and pulled up the crime branch for unjust action against the woman. Along with the order of acquittal, the court served show-cause notices on Rada and Waghela.

The judge has categorically asked the two police officers regarding “heavy compensation” that could be given to Shahin for her wrongful confinement of 13 months in the central jail.




SIT records Rahul Sharma’s evidence

TNN 29 July 2009, 03:33am IST AHMEDABAD: The Supreme Court is likely to decide on the extension to be given to the Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the Godhra riots by end of this week. Sources told TOI that SIT had also recorded statement of IPS officer Rahul Sharma who has submitted critical evidence on the calls made during the riots, thus establishing political leaders’ association with riots accused.

Before this, SIT had already used Sharma’s phone call records as evidence to establish the culpability of former minister Dr Maya Kodnani and to arrest her.

Reacting to a TOI report published on Tuesday, retired director general of police RB Sreekumar said that his statements were recorded by Gujarat officers, one of a superintendent of police rank, VV Chaudhary who is posted in CID (Intelligence) and another deputy SP in the presence of retired CBI officers A K Malhotra and Paramveer Singh.




Lok adalats lower court load

TNN 29 July 2009, 01:29am IST

CHANDIGARH: From minuscule 97 in 1999 to massive 4,678 by June-end, the beneficiaries of the State Legal Services Authority continue to swell. Playing the role of a quasi-judicial adjudicator-cum-mediator, the authority has been successful in settling disputes between parties amicably and expeditiously at pre-litigation stage, thereby reducing the workload of courts.

Its most popular modus operandi remains lok adalat, an innovative mechanism evolved for resolving disputes in a spirit of conciliation outside courts and without delay and recrimination. The number of beneficiaries bears testimony to effectiveness of this tool. The authority had been constituted in 1998 under the State Service Authority Act, 1987, with the objective of providing legal aid to the poor, downtrodden and weaker sections of the society to secure their legal rights.

With pendency of the motor challan cases touching a record 30,000, the authority decided to hold mega lok adalats to dispose them of. In 2007-08, it held three mega lok adalats where 13,024 summary cases pertaining to Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act and traffic challans were disposed of. And in 2008-09, it held three mega lok adalats and disposed of as many as 14,340 cases and recovered fine to the tune of Rs 13,33,850.

The authority also organized Samadhan-2008 where cases pertaining to execution, the Hindu Marriage Act, civil suits, rent cases, criminal appeals, revision succession, MACT, labour cases, cases under Section 138 of Negotiable Instruments Act, Section 125 CrPC were taken up. A total of 34,446 cases were settled and an amount of Rs 7.78 crore was awarded as compensation.

It also arranged 19 special lok adalats in 2007 to settle cases of bank recovery, financial institutions, and matrimonial disputes in 2007 and decided 256 cases at pre-litigation stage. In 2008, the authority disposed off 804 cases at 35 special lok adalats.




Court clears air on security cheque bounces

Supriya Bhardwaj29 July 2009, 02:02am IST

CHANDIGARH: When the court acquitted Kuldip Kaur recently, it also cleared the air on security cheque bounce cases to provide relief to many harassed litigants facing trials for allegedly dishonouring bank documents.

Even as Negotiable Instrument Act (NIA) clearly stated that a person was liable to face criminal proceedings only if a cheque issued for discharge of a legal liability bounced, legal experts were wary about the rise in unwarranted cases related to those concerning security cheques. Thankfully, that has now been taken care of.

The court of judicial magistrate, while acquitting Kaur, held that if a cheque issued as security bounced, then one was not guilty as provisions of NIA could not be applied to such a case. Dismissing the criminal complaint filed under various sections, including 138, of NIA against Kaur and her husband by an immigration consultancy company, the court held, “The cheque was issued undated at the time of execution of contract, when there was no liability of the accused to pay balance fee. It was only to be paid on receipt of visa or in case of a breach of contract, but none of these conditions was fulfilled… it does not entitle the company to present the cheque to recover balance fee which was issued as security.”

According to the complaint, in January 2003, the Sangrur couple had approached the immigration company in Sector 8, seeking assistance to get permanent residency in Canada. The amount settled between them was Rs 64,000, of which Rs 10,000 was paid and a cheque of Rs 54,000 issued to the company, with an instruction that it should be encashed whenever professional fee became payable.

The company claimed that they had asked for some documents to process the visas, but the couple didn’t provide the same. But even as the company claimed the couple might have become disinterested in emigrating, it nonetheless presented the security cheque in a bank.

Advocate Ravinder Sharma said, “This order will impact 150 such cases filed by the same immigration company…. In case someone misuses cheque issued as security, under Section 406 (criminal breach of trust) of IPC, an FIR can be lodged.”

While 55,000 cheque bounce cases of varwere pending in district courts, advocate Sandeep Suri, representing various financial institutes, said, “This verdict will be applicable to all cases where post-dated cheques were received as security….”




2 acquitted of murder charge

TNN 29 July 2009, 01:48am IST

CHANDIGARH: The court of additional district and sessions judge Raj Rahul Garg acquitted Uma Shanker and Ram Pratap in a murder trial wherein it was alleged that these brothers had killed Abhay Tiwari just for Rs 3,200.

Allegations levelled were that the accused had borrowed Rs 3,200 from Baddi resident and had called him to town to return the amount to him. Allegedly, instead of making payment, the duo killed Tiwari near the drain in Sector 52 on the intervening night of June 10 and 11, 2008.

An FIR was registered in the year 2008 on the complaint filed by Tiwaris nephews and a local court had framed murdered charges against the two in March 2009.

Though prosecution had produced 18 witnesses to prove its allegations, the court didn’t find evidence to convict them.


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