LEGAL NEWS 30.07.2009

SC green signal for C’Wealth Games village construction


New Delhi, Jul 30 (PTI)

Clearing the uncertainity over the conduct of the Commonwealth Games-2010, the Supreme Court today gave its green signal to the government to go ahead with construction of the Games village contending that it did not pose any environmental hazard.

A three-judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan set aside a Delhi High Court direction for appointment of an expert committee to review the constructions as the same was being constructed on the Yamuna riverbed as alleged by certain environmentalists in a PIL.

“The observation and conclusion of the High Court that the site in question is on a “riverbed” cannot be sustained.




HC dismisses PIL seeking regulation in ‘dahi handi’–dahi-handi-


Mumbai, July 30 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking regulation of children participating in ‘dahi handi’ festivities.

The Court said that formation of human pyramid which is a feature of ‘dahi handi’ in Maharashtra is “a regular sport and minors cannot be prohibited from participating in them.”

However, the Court said that the government may consider petitioners suggestion for making ‘dahi-handi’ safer and may frame guidelines.

A city-based NGO, Support India Foundation, had filed a PIL in Bombay High Court seeking a ban on participation of minors in ‘dahi handis’, a popular way of celebrating Janmashtami in Maharashtra.

The Foundation used RTI and found that children are getting injured while participating in the traditional ‘dahi handi’ celebrations where they climb on a human pyramid, which is some time as tall as a five-storeyed building, Geeta Singh, Director of the Foundation had told PTI.





Hooch tragedy: High Court seeks report on amendments in prohibition law–High-Court-seeks-report-on-amendments-in-prohibition-law/495797

Express News Service Posted: Thursday , Jul 30, 2009 at 0145 hrs Ahmedabad

Hearing on the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by a women’s group, AWAG, in connection with the recent hooch tragedy in Ahmedabad and the prohibition law was adjourned today for the next two weeks

The adjournment came after the government counsel sought time to annex the recent amendment in the prohibition law passed by the Gujarat Legislative Assembly. The court has now asked the state government to file the reply along with the amendment in the form of an affidavit and submit it before the court in two weeks.

In the petition, AWAG Secretary Ila Pathak had asked for stringent implementation of the Prohibition Law in the state. Apart from the PIL, HC has also taken suo moto cognisance of a few complaint letters it received in connection with the recent hooch tragedy and prohibition law.

The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice K S Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi had, subsequently, issued notice to the state government to explain it on how the prohibition policy is being implemented in the state.

Pathak’s counsel Amee Yajnik said, “The Additional Advocate General had sought time to annex the recent amendment made in the prohibition law. So, the court has asked the government to do the same and submit the report in the form of an affidavit by two weeks.”




PIL against Kankaria entry fee to be heard today

TNN 30 July 2009, 05:48am IST

AHMEDABAD: Nearly seven months after Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities started charging Rs 10 entry fee from visitors of Kankaria lake, a public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Gujarat High Court against the decision.

The PIL was filed by Kirti Bhatt through advocate Perseus Banaji, who refused to divulge more regarding his litigation stating that the petition was yet to come up for hearing. However, he said that entry fee to visit the 500-year-old lake is one of the issues included in the plea.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan and Justice Akil Kureshi, is scheduled to take up the PIL for hearing on Thursday morning.

Ever since the AMC decided to impose fee on Kankaria visitors last December, the decision has met with opposition from various groups, including Congress, the opposition party in the civic body. After the surrounding of the lake was renovated under the Rs 36-crore Kankaria Lake Front Development Project (KLFD), many demonstrations were held to protest imposition of the entry fee. However, Bhatt’s petition is the first to challenge the decision in a court of law.

The lake witnessed 4,457 visitors the day the entry fee was introduced. Since then, AMC has been collecting a good amount from the visitors as fees. AMC’s decision to introduce an imported toy train has also proved a hit. Buoyed by this, the civic body is now planning to introduce a tethered helium balloon ride at the lake. Moreover, the Kankaria lake is also to get a modern-day architectural landmark an 80 feet-tall moving steel tower, which will twist, change shape and colour with the help of powered sophisticated robotic motors and a software.




Is begging a crime? Court wants government’s reply

2009-07-29 21:30:00

The Delhi High Court Wednesday sought a reply from the central and city governments on a plea seeking to decriminalise begging in the capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice Ajit Prakash Shah and Justice Manmohan sought the response from the ministries of law and justice, social welfare and the Delhi government, and slated the next hearing for Sep 16.

The court issued a notice to the attorney general to assist the court on the public interest petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Bombay Prevention of Begging Act.

The PIL was filed by noted social activist Harsh Mander who has argued that poverty can never be a crime.

‘If a person is destitute and begs for living, such a person cannot be treated as a criminal. He cannot be arrested or sentenced,’ the petitioner said while referring to the plight of a destitute who was jailed and sentenced for begging

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Drunk driving: Now, cars may be forfeited

TNN 29 July 2009, 11:44pm IST

NEW DELHI: The next time you are caught behind the wheel in ‘high spirits’, you might get your vehicle forfeited by police. That’s not all. More such stringent rules are in the offing for regular offenders of drunk driving with the Delhi High court directing the Delhi government to consider implementing the suggestions given by the amicus curiae to curb the growing number of accidents due to drunk driving.

With an aim to have more stringent punishment for those who risk their lives and that of others by driving under the influence of alcohol, a Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Manmohan granted two weeks’ time to Delhi government for consideration of the matter and sought a status report by September 2.

The Bench agreed with the suggestion of the amicus that the licence of the repeated offender be revoked and the vehicle forfeited. The court also agreed with the suggestions of a strict vigil at the bars, uniform checks by police and special drive during the festival season.

“Check points for breath-test should be placed at locations that are impossible to avoid. Regular checks at vulnerable places like bars and pubs would help. Refusal to take the breath-test should automatically result in cancellation of licence,” the amicus further suggested.

Though the court agreed to most of the suggestions given by the amicus curie, it rejected certain other suggestions which did not fit the feasibility bill. The court refused to accept the suggestion that managers of the restaurant/bar should provide substitute drivers to its guests who come to the bar.

Court also rejected the suggestion that guests can leave their keys with the restaurant drivers and then ensure that the guest is allowed to drive only when he is in a proper state to drive.

The Bench was hearing the suggestions referred by a single judge, after treating them as PIL. The judge had asked the counsel to give suggestions while hearing a motor accident claim matter.




 ‘Make BTC area a green zone’
URA, Karnad And 5 Others File PIL


Bangalore: Even as the tussle between Bangalore Turf Club (BTC) and the government over shifting of the race course continues, seven citizens have moved the high court, seeking directions to maintain the place as a green zone.
Jnanpith awardees U R Ananthamurthy and Girish Karnad, environmentalist Suresh Heblikar, litterateur K Marulasiddappa, theatre personality G K Govinda Rao, painter S G Vasudev and journalist Ammu Joseph have filed a PIL seeking to restrain the authorities from entering into a contract or lease for a building on the said premises.
“In Bangalore, air and sound pollution levels are high. The city needs green cover and the BTC area should be converted into a lung space. The 70-odd acres should be declared a green zone and necessary rules should be framed to safeguard Bangalore from environmental degradation,” the petition states.
The petition is likely to come up for hearing this weekend.
The 73.35-acre land on Race Course Road where the Bangalore Turf Club is situated at present is considered an important lung space in the heart of the city. The BTC had requested the state to extend the lease but the state was not inclined. They then sought for alternative land to shift the race course. The government considered this and a site measuring 152.02 acres in Jaala hobli was identified.
The government had sought modification of the August 22, 1995 interim order of the court which asked the authorities not to make any grant of lands pertaining to tank bed areas.
On July 13, the high court had given the government liberty to take appropriate action in the matter of shifting the race course from the heart of the city. A division Bench headed by chief justice P D Dinakaran told the authorities to act ‘strictly in accordance with law’ while dealing with the matter.

posted by The Bangalorean @ 7/30/2009 09:38:00 AM  





State to move SC over Hogenakkal

TNN 30 July 2009, 03:34am IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka government has decided to move the Supreme Court over the Hogenakkal drinking water project.
“We will appeal before the Supreme Court to ask the Tamil Nadu government to stop the proposed project at Hogenakkal falls,” water resources minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Wednesday.

The government has taken note of Tamil Nadu supplying drinking water to Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts by constructing a reservoir near Chamarajanagar district. If necessary, Karnataka will ask the Centre to intervene, he said.





SHRC raid in vain

TNN 30 July 2009, 03:33am IST

BANGALORE: State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) officials raided Amruthahalli police station on Wednesday afternoon after receiving information about a person being illegally detained there.

The officials suspected a man was detained there over recovery of gold in a burglary case. However, they did not find any illegal detention.




HC puts off GHMC poll

TNN 30 July 2009, 02:38am IST

HYDERABAD: The AP High Court on Wednesday stayed the ongoing process for the GHMC polls and told officials that the polls cannot be held until the objections of various sections of the society who knocked the court’s door for redressal of their grievances in this regard are heard.

The final hearing in the case is slated to begin in Aug. third week and polls will depend on the timing and the outcome of the verdict. The slew of petitions that came before the division bench comprising Chief Justice Anil Ramesh Dave and Justice Ramesh Ranganathan raised several objections, including the collection of data pertaining to Backward Classes, reservation of wards to them, extension of political reservations to Muslims under the BC quota, quota for the creamy layer, disproportionate division of wards and delimitation issues.

The Bench observed that reservations provided to Muslims in education and employment by the AP government cannot be extended to the ‘political spectrum’ in the form of reserving certain seats to Muslims in GHMC elections. Quoting the Supreme Court, the Bench said that it has become mandatory to exclude creamy layer from BC groups. Polls cannot be held on the basis of illegal determination of BC voters, the Bench said.

“As GHMC elections are long overdue, it is necessary that this batch of writ petitions is finally heard at the earliest. As pleadings are yet to be completed in some of the writ petitions which form part of this batch, let all these writ petitions be listed for final hearing in the third week of August 2009,” the Bench said.

“We make it clear that the order now passed by us will not preclude the authorities from identifying and excluding the creamy layer among the BCs, providing group-wise reservation in favour of the BCs and, thereafter, conducting elections to the GHMC in accordance with law. We also make it clear that our observations on the several issues raised in this batch of writ petitions are only for the limited purpose of deciding the interlocutory applications and shall have no bearing on the final adjudication of the writ petitions,” the Bench said.

The court however upheld the process of identification of BC voters on the basis of executive guidelines and rejected the contention of the petitioners that the BCs can be identified only by the BC commission. The GHMC had hurried in its preparation for the polls as it wanted it to be held before Ganesh Chaturthi and Ramzan. “The idea was to hold it around August 21, but now we are not sure as to when they can be held,” said one GHMC official.

As per the directive of the state election commission that everything has to be in place by July 15, the GHMC had readied the division-wise electoral rolls, identified the wards reserved for BCs, enumerated the BC voters as well as identified the quota for SCs and STs by the stipulated deadline. However, going by the court’s verdict, there appears to have been many flaws in these.





Common University law to focus on VC quality

TNN 30 July 2009, 04:27am IST

CHENNAI: The issue of appointing persons with credible credentials to the post of vice-chancellor would be addressed in the proposed common legislation for universities in Tamil Nadu, higher education minister K Ponmudy said on Wednesday.

A high-level committee comprising eminent academics M Anandakrishnan and VC Kulandaisamy and three other members would examine these provisions in the draft Common Universities Bill, he said at a press conference here.

Ponmudy’s assurance on the issue came just days after Union human resources development minister Kapil Sibal wanted states to show, as part of a vision document, as to how they proposed to improve the quality of vice-chancellors.

However, Ponmudy sought to overlook the controversy over the appointment of kith and kin of ministers and politicians as vice-chancellors in Tamil Nadu over the past year, saying “such a practice has been in vogue” for many years. The minister also acknowledged that eliminating political interference in the appointment of vice-chancellors was impractical.

The state was willing to cooperate with the Centre’s initiatives to clean up the higher education system, including reviewing the functioning of deemed universities.

As for some private colleges demanding capitation and excess fee, the minister said, “Even today I received a couple of complaints and forwarded it to the monitoring committee.”

Meanwhile, he said that the Anna University (Chennai) would on August 1 confer honorary doctorates on deputy chief minister M K Stalin, Oscar award winning musician AR Rahman and the man behind the country’s first moon mission Mylswamy Annadurai for their contributions to the society.





Raja case: HC restores gag order on Tamil mag

TNN 30 July 2009, 04:08am IST

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has restored a gag order against a Tamil magazine, Junior Vikatan, restraining the biweekly from publishing any article, news item, photograph or caricatures against Union minister A Raja. It also stayed the imposition of Rs 10,000 as case cost on the minister.

A division bench comprising Justice K Raviraja Pandian and Justice PPS Janarthana Raja, which delivered this interim ruling on Wednesday, passed similar interim orders in two other cases as well. The bench stayed a single judge order imposing Rs 25,000 as cost on industrialist and former BCCI president AC Muthiah, and issued an order of status quo with regard to the publication of Periyar EV Ramasamy’s works by the Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam (PDK). Coincidentally, all these appeals arose out of the orders delivered by Justice K Chandru.

The present gag order was first passed by a single judge in April this year, when Junior Vikatan was carrying reports about the controversy relating to spectrum allocation by the Union ministry of information technology and telecommunications.

On July 20, Justice K Chandru vacated the prior restraint against the biweekly on the ground that there was no law empowering the state or its officials to prohibit or impose a prior restraint upon the press. He had said that “any attempt to stifle or fetter criticisms will amount to political censorship and the Supreme Court has held such attempts as insidious and objectionable.” The court had also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 on Raja.

Granting interim orders against the single judge order on publications as well as the case cost, the division bench posted the matter after four weeks for further proceedings.

In his appeal, Raja and his wife MA Parameswari argued that the single judge had misdirected himself when he held that all the impugned news reports were not related to their private life. Noting that right to freedom of expression is not absolute, they said blanket approval of the right is too dangerous and will amount to violation of human rights.

“No citizen has the right to make a defamatory statement and the impugned judgment sends a clear message that there is a right to defame recklessly, commit forgery and fudging of family photograph when the respondent is part of the press,” said the appeal.

Raja said the magazine defamed him, intruded into the privacy of his family, and revealed the identity of his minor daughter, which amounted to violation of human rights.




HC stays order against ex-BCCI chief Muthiah

TNN 30 July 2009, 12:21am IST

CHENNAI: A single judge order imposing a case cost of Rs 25,000 on former Board of Control for Cricket in India president AC Muthiah, who had questioned the propriety of BCCI secretary N Srinivasan owning the Chennai franchisee of the Board, has been stayed by a division bench.

The bench comprising justice K Ravijara Pandian and justice PPS Janarthana Raja granted the interim relief to the industrialist after senior advocate Nalini Chidambaram submitted that Muthiah moved the court only to “uphold the probity in the activities of the BCCI…and to establish that the power of amendment has been abused by a public body to protect the interest of an individual.”

Muthiah had alleged that as BCCI treasurer, Srinivasan flouted rules when he bade for the Chennai team of the Board’s Indian Premier League (IPL). The board later amended rules excluding Srinivasan from the ambit of the rules and to enable him to contest for BCCI secretary post, he said. On July 13, Justice K Chandru declined to interfere with BCCI’s affairs, dismissed the application and imposed a cost of Rs 25,000 on Muthiah.

Assailing that order, Muthiah said the court could not refuse to exercise the power of judicial review, and adopt a self-imposed policy of judicial restraint in the matter of management of public bodies.

Noting that amendment to Clause 6.2.4 was made with the private interest of Srinivasan in mind, he said the move suffered from the vice of malice in law. “The single judge failed to appreciate that confidence of the public will be shaken if persons who use undue influence in public bodies to bend the law to suit their private interest are allowed to hold influential positions in public bodies,” he said.

He wanted the bench to set aside the single judge order, and to stay his direction to Muthiah to pay case cost of Rs 25,000.




HC defers engg college counselling

TNN 30 July 2009, 04:58am IST

CHANDIGARH: Counselling for admission to PEC University and other engineering colleges of Chandigarh that was scheduled for Thursday, has been deferred till further orders by the Punjab and Haryana High Court. HC has also summoned records pertaining to the number of candidates who applied for admission under different categories. The matter would come up for hearing on Friday.

Justice MM Kumar passed these orders while hearing a writ petition filed by two candidates. In their petition, the petitioners had challenged the admission committee’s decision clubbing the UT pool quota and all India quota of seats reserved for the wards of military and paramilitary personnel for admission to engineering colleges.

While replying to the petitioner’s contentions, UT administration on Wednesday submitted that the clubbing of the quota was done erroneously but they cannot change it at present because it has been published in the prospectus. UT also deposed before the HC that they will separate the quota from the next academic year because the prospectus cannot be changed at this juncture.

However, contesting UT’s reply, counsel for the petitioners said that UT has committed a mistake while mentioning such rules in the prospectus and the mistake can be corrected by issuing a corrigendum. Earlier in their petition, Avneet Hira and Arshdeep Sandhu had sought the quashing of the provision in section B relating to admissions in PEC regarding defence quota and to conduct admissions in accordance with a letter issued by Chandigarh administration on July 15.




Trespassing: HC lawyers manhandle DSP

TNN 30 July 2009, 04:35am IST

CHANDIGARH: High drama was witnessed in the parking area of Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday when some lawyers manhandled a DSP of Haryana police because he had tried to get his vehicle an entry from the wrong side and allegedly abused the lawyers who had objected to it.

The matter was later resolved with the intervention of the executive body of the high court bar and challaning of the DSP’s vehicle for wrong parking by traffic police.

The incident took place in the afternoon when DSP Nathu Singh Rathi, posted in Haryana vigilance department, tried to enter the high court through the exit point. When he was stopped by the HC bar staff, he overpowered them and got his official vehicle to enter the premises through the prohibited passage. When some lawyers objected to this, the DSP allegedly started abusing them. Advocate Punit Bali had a heated argument with the DSP. Bali was joined by other lawyers. The DSP alleged that he was not only abused by the lawyers but they also thrashed him and punctured all the tyres of his vehicle.

Thereafter, the DSP was taken to the office of president of High Court bar room by the lawyers and a police team from Sector-3 Chandigarh was called in.

After arguments between the DSP and the lawyers, a compromise was arrived at between both the parties.

However, during the arguments, the DSP suffered a bout of hypertension and was taken to the dispensary located on the premises of the high court.

The DSP later alleged that he was not only beaten up but also humiliated by the lawyers, but he did not lodge any formal complaint.

Talking on the issue, High Court bar association president Sukhjinder Singh Behl said it was a minor tussle and was amicably sorted out.





Act on parole applications in 6 weeks: HC

TNN 30 July 2009, 03:42am IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa directed the inspector general of prisons to decide on applications for furlough/parole filed by prisoners in the state within six weeks.

The court passed the order after a case, where authorities took one year to decide on an application, came to light. The HC set the time frame after no time limit was prescribed under the Goa Prison Rules, 2006.

In a step towards prison reforms, Justice N A Britto said, “The IG (prisons) should ensure that all applications of the prisoners for furlough/parole, who are otherwise permanent residents of this state, should be decided within a period of six weeks and in case of others who are residents of outside the state within a period of eight weeks. These are only outer limits within which the applications are to be decided.”

The order came in the wake of a petition filed in the court this year by Francis D’Sa, a prisoner in central jail, Aguada. The high court found that his application dated July 9, 2008, was decided only on July 13, 2009, while the petition was pending before the high court.

The court was prompted to issue the directions as in a number of cases the prisoners were compelled to approach the high court because their applications were not decided within a reasonable time frame.




Moradabad court grants bail to Joshi

TNN 30 July 2009, 05:30am IST

LUCKNOW: A Moradabad court on Wednesday granted bail to Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee (UPCC) president Rita Bahuguna Joshi in connection with the alleged objectionable remarks made against chief minister Mayawati a fortnight ago.

The court accepted Joshi’s application for regular bail and granted the same against two sureties of Rs 20,000 each and a personal bond furnished by Joshi’s lawyers thereafter. Joshi was already on interim bail granted by the court on her application filed along with the application for regular bail on July 18 last.




Man accused of stealing cops’ bikes acquitted

TNN 30 July 2009, 02:47am IST

In a surprise development, a youth charged with stealing three motorbikes belonging to three policemen has been acquitted by the court. Two of the policemen were the complainants in the case.

Javed Sattar (19) of Manora in Washim district and his friends were charged with having stolen three motorcycles from the premises of the Regional Police Training School (RPTS) at Godanki in Old City area on January 24, 2009. Sattar is reported to have abandoned one of the motorcycles since it ran out of fuel just outside the RPTS premises. However, the other two motorcycles were found in Akot town in Akola district some time later.

Sattar had been booked under sections 379, 380 of IPS. The accused was provided defence lawyer K H Giri by the legal aid centre.

The prosecution examined six policemen, including head constable Dilip Vasant Tidke, constables Anil Zunz and Sunday Kshirsagar, whose motorcycles had been stolen. JMFC G K Nandanwar acquitted the accused after hearing the defence lawyer and advocate Gajanan Patil who represented the state.




Session court to hear bail plea in Simi case today

Suhas Vyas, TNN 30 July 2009, 02:43am IST

would hear the bail plea of five Simi activists, who are currently in jail, on Thursday, informed the defence lawyer Dildar Khan.

The investigating officer had made a volt face on Saturday by requesting the Murtizapur court to release the five accused under section 169 of criminal procedure code 1973 following lack of sufficient evidence against them. However, magistrate YD Gaud refused to release the accused and ordered police to reinvestigate the case.

On Monday evening, the investigating officer again produced the accused before the magistrate stating that their police custody was no more required as the case investigations were over and hence the accused be sent to jail under magisterial custody. As per the law, an accused can immediately apply for bail after being sent to magisterial custody. As expected, the accused immediately applied for bail. But the magistrate rejected the bail application despite the fact that the government pleader had given a no objection to their release on bail.

Following this development, Khan applied for bail in the sessions court on Tuesday which will be heard on Thursday. The police maintained that they had no concrete evidence against the arrested persons. The five accused were rounded up during a Muslim religious meet held at Mana village on July 19.




RTI reveals rly protects erring staff

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN 30 July 2009, 03:03am IST

NAGPUR: The question is whether to spend money on litigation after a complaint is lodged or take action against the erring employees? The railway prefers the former as an RTI query pertaining to negligent and inefficient service to passengers.

A query under RTI has revealed that the railway spent Rs 3,570 for fighting a legal battle. It also recovered a fine of Rs 6,200 from the erring contractor towards poor services. However, when it came to taking action against the erring staff, the railway says: “It’s not applicable”.

The brief history of the case refers to District Consumer Forum, Nagpur ruling in January 2009, ordering the railways to pay one of the passengers A V Prabhune, a resident of railway colony, Ranapratap Nagar, Rs 6,200 for not providing proper linen and poor condition of the AC-III compartment of 2649 Yashwantpur-Nizamuddin Sampark Kranti Express in which he was travelling with his wife to Bangalore on September 2, 2007.

Although Prabhune won the case and got compensation from the railways as per the court order, he was curious to know as to what action the railway took against the erring employees and contractor. Reply to a query under the RTI Act on July 25 has revealed that the railway protects erring employees. This is despite the fact that railway circulars clearly define the role and responsibilities of officials deputed on station and train duties.

Prabhune, who’s working to protect rights of consumers, says getting compensation is not the sole issue. “I wanted to know steps taken to avoid recurrence of such incidents, compensation and cost of litigation are paid and action is taken against the erring staff. However, the public information officer (PIO) and additional divisional railway manager (ADRM), South West Railway, Bangalore, gave incomplete and incorrect information,” Prabhune told TOI.

When Prabhune appealed to the DRM, he informed that a compensation of Rs 6,200 was recovered from the contractor but no action was taken against the erring employees. He further said that their division has not incurred any cost on litigation. Not satisfied, Prabhune filed another RTI with Central Railway, Nagpur.

Prabhune says information received from PIO, Nagpur, reveals that the Central Railway paid Rs 3,570 to its lawyer against his original bill of Rs 8,190. On action against the erring employees, the reply says not applicable’. “This clearly indicates that instead of taking action against erring employees, top officials protect them,” an aggrieved Prabhune said.

Action was not taken against the PIO of South West Railway also for providing incorrect and incomplete information. Prabhune said the cost of fine is ultimately passed on to consumers. “The key question is why consumers should suffer for failures and inefficiency of the railway administration?”

“Many times, railway officials are adamant and force passengers to go into litigation as they don’t lose money from their pockets. But it definitely matters to a common man who cannot take on the mighty administration. I had to suffer a lot of physical and mental agony while fighting the legal battle,” Prabhune said and demanded to recover money towards litigation from the erring employees.

It is clear that the railway spent Rs 3,570 as litigation cost and recovered a compensation of Rs 6,200 from the contractor. However, even if this is true, it is the duty of the rail officials to monitor contractors’ working.






Quota for hiring from Bar to stay

TNN 30 July 2009, 03:58am IST

NEW DELHI: The quota for recruitment from the Bar to fill vacancies in the higher judicial service (HJS) of the states would remain intact at 25% of the total vacant positions.

But, the Supreme Court has posed a question to the HCs whether it would be prudent to reduce the fast track promotion quota for filling another 25% of the vacant posts in HJS to 10% in the absence of suitable candidates.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said: “It is noticed that in many of the states, the HCs find it difficult to fill up 25% of the fast-track promotions as sufficient number of candidates are not available and it is pointed out that in the written test most of the candidates fail and the 25% quota remains unfilled thereby creating more vacancies in HJS.”

“We, therefore, request the various HCs to file the details of the promotions given to the HJS since 2006 after the commencement of the new rules in the HJS and also give their suggestion, if any, as to whether 25% of the vacancies is in excessive or whether it should be reduced to a reasonable percentage, say 10. All HCs are requested to file their response within four weeks,” the Bench said.

This makes it clear that the 25% recruitment quota for HJS from the Bar would remain intact while the apex court is mulling reduction in the 25% quota reserved for recruitment through fast-track promotions.





SC rejects RNRL plea for final hearing on Sept 1


2009-07-30 15:00:00
Last Updated: 2009-07-30 18:46:06
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear Reliance Natural Resources Limited (RNRL) plea for commencing final hearing on gas dispute from September 1.

Mukesh in pursuit of corporate greed: Anil Ambani

A bench headed Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said it would decide on final hearing date on September 1.

Gas dispute case: RNRL versus Reliance

As the entire Bombay High Court record was before the apex court, the company’s counsel Mukul Rohtagi requested that final hearing be taken up on September 1.

Anil seeks probe into RIL’s ‘huge scandal’ in gas investments

Questioning the need for early final hearing, Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) counsel Harish Salve said, “What public interest would this serve?”

Ambani gas war: Plan panel not worried

On Wednesday, the dispute over gas distribution between the Ambani brothers echoed in Parliament with Samajwadi Party (SP) members led by party president Mulayam Singh Yadav, demanding Petroleum Minister Murli Deora’s resignation over the Centre’s failure to ensure gas supply to the Dadri Power project in Uttar Pradesh.

Oil Ministry stand will erode investor confidence: Anil Ambani

Yadav alleged that the Centre had committed an injustice to Uttar Pradesh by denying gas to the Dadri Power plant and this in turn could cost the national exchequer Rs 30,000 crore.

Court admits petition for early end to Reliance gas dispute

The Anil Ambani owned RNRL has taken up Dadri project.

More India business stories

On Tuesday, Anil Ambani had flayed the Petroleum Ministry for colluding with his elder brother Mukesh’s RIL in blocking gas supply for its power projects despite a firm commitment, upheld thrice by the Bombay High Court

Last month, the Bombay High Court had asked Reliance Industries to supply 28 million units of gas to Reliance Natural Resources for 17 years at 2.34 dollars per unit, after assigning 12 million units to the state-run power utility NTPC. (ANI)










Setback for Anil: SC rejects RNRL plea for early final hearing

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, July 30, 2009

The Supreme Court today refused to take up a gas dispute between Reliance Industries and RNRL for final hearing on September 1, rejecting the prayer of Anil Group company for expeditious proceedings.

A bench headed Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said it will decide on the date of final hearing on September 1 when
it will consider various petitions related to the dispute.The RNRL prayer came up for mentioning and the company’s
counsel Mukul Rohtagi requested that final hearing be taken up on September 1 as the entire Bombay High Court record was
before the apex court and nothing was left to be filed.

“All parties are here,” he said, referring to Mukesh Ambani-led RIL, the government and gas users. RIL counsel Harish Salve, however, questioned the need for early final hearing, saying “what public interest would this serve?”

The court enquired whether the petitioner wanted interim arrangement on the September 1 or the final order, Rohtagi
said that RNRL was not looking for interim arrangement. At this point Salve requested the court that there should
be complete silence from all parties as people are going to the media.

Earlier on Wednesday, in a no holds barred attack, Anil Ambani landed an emotional punch on elder brother,
saying Mukesh no longer saw a role for their mother Kokilaben in resolving their gas dispute and has traded Dhirubhai’s
vision for “corporate greed.”

Asserting that he had made sincere efforts at every stage to amicably resolve all issues, but without success, Anil told
PTI that “unfortunately, in the pursuit of corporate greed, RIL has even forgotten the vision of the founder chairman
(late Dhirubhai Ambani)!”

Expressing anguish over Mukesh’s disregard to elders in the family, he said: “My respected elder brother has already
made it amply clear both within the family and externally that he does not visualise any further role for my respected mother in resolving this (gas supply dispute) or any other matter.”

It was Kokilaben who oversaw the division of the Reliance empire in 2005, two years after the differences between the
two brothers became public.





HC drives home point: replacement drivers ‘impractical’

Utkarsh Anand Posted: Thursday , Jul 30, 2009 at 0103 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday termed as “impractical” the recommendation to make it mandatory for all bars and discotheques in the Capital to keep ‘replacement drivers’ — a suggestion that was earlier sent by a single judge Bench to the Delhi Police for consideration.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Manmohan in fact pulled up the amicus curiae A J Bhambani for giving suggestions that were imprudent and liable to be rejected. After perusing the report containing various suggestions to rein in drunken driving, the court said, “I am also surprised by your references to Wikipedia reports and about what happens in other countries like South Korea. The suggestions have to be good and not fancy,” Justice Shah said.

“The suggestion of replacement drivers is not only impractical but will also give rise to various other issues. We cannot allow this,” said Justice Shah.

Notably, a single judge Bench had in May issued a slew of directives for the Delhi Government and the Delhi Police.

While the police were asked to post personnel outside pubs, bars and restaurants which serve liquor and slap penalties on those driving out drunk, the government was directed to examine if it could be made mandatory for the bars to keep ‘replacement drivers’, as is prevalent in some foreign countries.

The logic advanced by the counsel was that since the establishment profits from the customer, it was their responsibility to ensure safety of the patron and of innocent people on the road

Striking down this suggestion, the Bench further said that another recommendation asking for installation of an ignition interlock device, which would analyse a driver’s breath and disable the ignition if he is found drunk, also defied logic and substance.

Another suggestion held “illogical” by the court included “marking licence plates to indicate that a driver’s licence is suspended or revoked for alcohol offences can also act as a deterrent in the form of a social sanction against offenders.”

“These suggestions simply cannot work,” said the Bench and asked Delhi Police counsel Mukta Gupta about what was being done to check the drunken driving.

“We have been keeping a close vigil in the areas where bars and discotheques are located. It is noteworthy that 3,872 people have been booked for drunken driving till July 15 this year while 1,203 vehicles were impounded and 1,200 driving licenses were punched as punishment,” Gupta informed the court.

The bench, however, was unhappy over the mild punishments prescribed for drunken driving under the laws and said, “A monetary penalty will not do alone. It has to be backed up by something more stringent like suspending or cancelling a licence. It is disappointing that while other countries have severe punishments for drunken driving, we lack a stern legislation.”

The court then asked the Delhi government to consider suggestions like suspension and revocation of licenses, uniform checks and creating awareness, to curb the growing number of drunken driving accidents. The next date of hearing has been fixed for September 2.





ADM Manhandling: Accused MLA moves HC against FIR

TNN 29 July 2009, 10:41pm IST

ALLAHABAD: SP MLA from Varanasi and a corporator of Nagar Nigam, Varanasi filed a writ petition in the Allahabad HC on Wednesday in connection with an FIR lodged against him for manhandling a senior PCS officer, ADM (Protocol) posted in Varanasi.

MLA Abdul Samad Ansari and a corporator of VNN Manoj Rai have filed a writ petition in the HC, challenging the validity of FIR lodged against them with police station- Cantt- Varanasi. The FIR has been lodged against the MLA and corporator under Sections 323, 504, 506, 332, 353 and 7 Criminal Law Amendment.

The allegation in the FIR was that the MLA and the corporator along with their 10 to 15 supporters approached the office of the ADM (Protocol), Varanasi, Rajendra Kumar Singh, on July 27, for issuance of a solvency certificate but after some time, they manhandled the ADM on some issue and tore his clothes.

The alleged accused SP MLA and corporator have alleged in the writ petition that they had not manhandled the ADM but had been falsely implicated in this case due to political rivalry. The case would be heard by a two judge bench of the HC.


One Response

    CRUSHING SEASON 2008-2009.
    OF S.L.P. (C) Nos.25361-25363 of 2007.

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