LEGAL NEWS 19.09.2009

PIL urges SC to monitor CBI’s probe in Aarushi murder case

PTI 19 September 2009, 05:47pm IST

NEW DELHI: A PIL was filed in the Supreme Court on Saturday urging it to monitor the investigations being conducted by CBI into the sensational murder of teenaged girl Aarushi Talwar and her domestic help Hemraj.

The petition filed by advocate Ajay Agrawal has alleged CBI and the Noida police have failed to crack the case even 16 months after the gruesome killings and have come out with conflicting versions on the motive and identity of the killers.

Aarushi and Hemraj were found murdered in the family’s Jalvayu Vihar apartment on May 16, 2008.

The petition said that besides a number of discrepancies in the investigations, there has been reports that the vaginal swab of the victim was tampered with to shield the accused.

It was pointed out that even the mobile phone of Aarushi was recovered by the Delhi police and not CBI which has been investigating the case from June 1, 2008.

According to the petition, it was ironical that while the Noida police had accused Aarushi’s father Rajesh Talwar, a dentist, as the prime accused and listed his compounder Krishna as a key witness, CBI had overturned the findings giving a clean cheat to the dentist while arraigning the compounder as a prime accused.

It was further alleged that CBI was embroiled in internal politics and a number of the officials associated with the investigations had been transferred.








Gauhati HC dismisses PIL against minister, fines petitioner

Gauhati High Court today dismissed the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against state Health Minister Dr Himanta Biswa Sharma and instead fined the petitioner Padma Hazarika, an MLA of the Opposition.

A division bench of the court, comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Amitabh Roy, rejected the PIL filed by Mr Hazarika, seeking the reopening of two TADA cases against the Congress minister.

The Court upheld the earlier decision by the Supreme Court in a similar PIL against Dr Sharma by former Bihar MP Sukhdeo Paswan.

Paswan had filed another PIL against the minister in Gauhati High Court also but had later withdrawn it, though the court fined him Rs one lakh for filing litigation without sufficient grounds.

Dismissing Hazarika’s petition, the HC also imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on the petitioner, who is a legislator of the Asom Gana Parishad.








Med college under HC radar

Shibu Thomas, TNN 19 September 2009, 04:55am IST

MUMBAI: The fate of over 2,000 medical students pursuing post-graduate courses hangs in balance following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed against the College of Physicians and Surgeons (CPS) in Parel. The court has asked the Centre to spell out its stand on the issue of recognition to courses run by the institute.

Filed by two medical practitioners Arun Date and Dhananjay Kshirsagar, the PIL has sought the court’s intervention on the Centre’s inaction.

CPS has been handing out degrees termed as Fellowship of the College of Physicians and Surgeons (FCPS) as well as diplomas. According to the petition, nine of its courses-six FCPS and three diplomas-were given deemed recognition. Eleven other courses run by it are not recognised by the Medical Council of India (MCI).

“The college has no hospital, no faculty or infrastructure,” claimed advocate V M Thorat, counsel for the petitioners. Thorat contended that since 1997, the MCI has been recommending to the Union government to withdraw the recognition to CPS, but the Centre has failed to act. The advocate cited admission figures to point out the magnitude of the problem: While the 12 government and nine private medical colleges in the state have 822 seats, CPS has around 2,012 post-graduate students pursuing various courses.

Sudhakar Sane, secretary-general, CPS, said, “For the nine courses which have deemed recognition, we sent our students to MCI-approved medical colleges.” With regard to the 11 unrecognised courses, Dr Sane said they were approved by the Maharashtra Medical Council, which means “the students can practice in any part of the state”.

Earlier this week, the Centre’s counsel informed the court that the union government had decided to derecognise CPS. The court has now asked the Centre to file an affidavit in this regard before September 29.








PIL challenges IPRS warning

TNN 19 September 2009, 05:56am IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court is to decide whether playing or performing songs having copyright during the Navratri festival is an infringement on somebody’s right.

Devendra Dwivedi has approached the court after Indian Performing Rights Society Ltd (IPRS) published advertisements warning people against usage of lyrics, songs and compositions on which their members have a copyright during the garba.

IPRS issues licences to users of music and collects royalties from them on behalf of its 1,500 members who are authors, composers and publishers of music. IPRS distributes royalty among them. This body came into existence in 1969, and is now a representative body of owners of music and the sole authorised body to issue licenses for usage of musical works and literary music within India, as it claims.

Following its warning issued for garba organizers, Dwivedi filed a PIL in the high court claiming that IPRS has not clarified which songs are not to be performed during the festival. Moreover, the performance during these nine days takes place as part of religious festivities, and playing music that has copyright is exempted under Section 52 (Z) of the Copyright Act during religious ceremony. Thus, the garba performances do not cause any infringement on anybody’s right on songs.

Besides this, Dwivedi has also raised objection to the warning issued by IPRS that anybody found infringing on music copyright would be sent to jail and fined. He has argued that imposing punishment is a court’s discretion and an organisation cannot issue such warning.

On Thursday, the state government told the court that it has not come across any complaint in this regard. Hence there is no question of taking any steps on organisers in this connection.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan heard the case at length on Friday and reserved its order for pronouncement on the subject.








Rights activists urge JK CM to constitute Child Rights Commission


News Agency of Kashmir

9/18/2009 8:25:37 PM


Press Release/Jammu, Sept 18(NAK): Chief Minister Omar Abdullah has said that J&K Government will soon look into the legalities for constituting Child Rights Commission in J&K for the protection of the child rights and make efforts for the strict implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act, 1997 that has not been implemented even after the passage of 11 years in the militancy infested state.

The was stated by Deeepika Thussoo, advocate and CRY Project holder Jammu in a press conference here today, She said that Chief minister made this statement while interacting with the delegation of Child Rights and You (CRY), an NGO working across 18 states in the country. Delegation met him at his residence here on Wednesday, urging him to constitute of the Child Rights Commission in the state and strictly implement the Juvenile Justice Act, 1997.

She said that after listening to the views of the delegation on the issue, Omar expressed concern over the non implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, 1997 during the three previous regimes since 1997. She said that Omar told them that he will pass on the necessary directions to the Social Welfare department and instruct them to work on the issue in a time bound manner.

She said that Omar expressed optimism that that by the time the durbar moves to winter capital Jammu later this year, Social Welfare department would have taken some positive steps regarding this pressing matter.

“Omar said that he will also discuss the issue with the Social Welfare minister and other concerned officials and see what can be done’’, Deepika added.

When asked about the constitution of the Child Rights Commission in the state, Omar assured that even if it calls for framing a new legislation, he will go ahead after discussing the legalities of the same with the concerned department and officials in the state government, added Deepika, a human rights activist and a freelance journalist.

Deepika Thussoo, a practicing lawyer in J&K High Court, has recently been awarded the Sanjoy Ghosh media fellowship by Charkha Foundation for year 2008-09 and Rippen Kapur fellowship for 2008-09 by CRY for her work on child rights violations in Jammu province.

Advocate Sheikh Shakeel Ahmed apprised the CM about the legalities of the Juvenile Justice Act 1997 and Child Rights Commission, stressing the importance on the part of the CM to intervene into the sensitive issue personally. Shakeel told Omar that the said Act was enacted by the state Legislative Assembly and as such it is the responsibility of the state government to implement it.

He informed the CM that a PIL by Deepika Thussoo stands admitted in the state J&K High Court on non implementation of Juvenile Justice Act, 1997. Shakeel said that as a prerequisite to the PIL, they had sent legal notices to the state government including the office of the chief minister on January 14 this year, but the government didn’t respond, following which they filed the PIL.

“The PIL has not only been admitted by the High Court, but also the Chief Justice of J&K High Court has asked the state government to reply through filing the affidavit regarding the present status of the Act in the state The case is now being heard in the next hearing of the chief justice J&K High Court, ’’Shakeel added.

Human Rights expert Dr Arvind Jasrotia, who teaches Law at Jammu University, told the CM how the child rights were being violated due to non implementation of the Juvenile Justice Act 1997. He said that there are no juvenile homes, juvenile courts, juvenile boards, or juvenile jails in the state, adding that juvenile delinquents are paraded handcuffed in the courts and kept with hardened criminals in jails, in gross violations of the set norms.

“If the Child Rights Commission had been set up in state, it would have looked into the violations of child rights, non implementation of laws providing for protection and development of children, non compliance of policy decisions, guidelines or instructions aimed at mitigating hardships and ensuring welfare of the children and to provide relief to such children or take up the issues arising out of such matters with appropriate authorities. But in the absence of the Commission most of the issues related to the child rights violations are being ignored in the state’’, he said.

Deepika Thussoo said that given the child rights scenario in the militancy infested J&K and the weak implementation of the child rights related legislations, CRY has decided to intensify its activism in the state and take up cause of the children in the state in a more vigorous manner. She said that CRY is a reputed NGO working towards restoring to underprivileged children their basic rights to- survival, protection, development and participation.

J&K, Atayandra Dass Gupta, CRY General Manager, Sheikh Shakeel, Dr Arvind Jasrotia, Saroj Razdan, senior correspondent The Indian Express, Vikram Sharma, from The Hindustan Times and Irfan Mohammad Khan, advocate . (NAK)







Taj Corridor case: High Court notice to Maya, Siddiqui

Express News Service Tags : taj corridor case Posted: Saturday , Sep 19, 2009 at 0540 hrs Lucknow:

The Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court issued a notice on Friday to Chief Minister Mayawati and PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui, seeking resumption of proceedings against them in the Taj Heritage Corridor case.

Hearing a petition filed by Mahoba residents Kamlesh Verma and Anupma Singh, a Bench comprising Justices Pradeep Kant and Shabihul Husnain observed that the prima facie evidence in the case is “worth arguable” and asked the duo to file their replies within six weeks.

While the PIL challenges the dropping of the case against the BSP chief and her cabinet colleague, it also questions the role of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in failing to challenge the special judge’s order that relieved the accused.

Reacting to the court notice, BSP general secretary Satish Chandra Mishra said the government will file a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court. Earlier, the government had filed three petitions in the apex court on this issue but they were all dismissed.

 “It is not proper to get an order from the High Court when the apex court has already decided on the case,” he said.

The Taj Heritage Corridor scam worth Rs 175 crore was exposed in 2003. The then BSP-BJP coalition government, led by Mayawati, had drawn a grand plan of constructing a corridor around the Taj Mahal and other monuments in Agra for the convenience of the tourist. The award for the construction of the corridor was given to the National Building Construction Corporation.

Following a PIL in Supreme Court, in July 2003, the apex court directed the CBI to conduct an inquiry and file the status report within two weeks. The CBI conducted the inquiry and prime facie charges of corruption, violation of environment and forest law were upheld.  Based on the CBI report, the Supreme Court asked the Central investigation agency to conduct a detailed probe into the matter.

The CBI in its report said Rs 74 crore were spent though no actual civil construction was done and only stone boulders were dumped at the site. Findings of the CBI led to a political furor and Mayawati resigned from the office on August 23, 2007. Later, the CBI chargesheeted Mayawati, the then minister for environment Naseemuddin siddiqui, the then principal secretary environment RK Sharma and Rajendra Prasad, under secretary environment.

The CBI in 2007 filed the chargesheet in the Special Court in Lucknow. The CBI then approached the Governor TV Rajeswar in same year seeking sanction for the prosecution of Mayawati. By that time Mayawati had again taken over as the chief minister of UP on May 13, 2007. The state governor rejected the plea of the CBI.

The PIL, which was filed in Allahabad High Court on February 20, 2008, wanted to know why the agency after drawing a chargesheet sought Governor’s sanction to prosecute Mayawati.

The petitioner cited the case of Prakash Singh Badal versus state of Punjab in 2007, whereby the Supreme Court had stated that in cases of forgery and cheating, “no sanction is needed, irrespective of whether it is against a public servant because it does not come under the discharge of official duty”.

The state, however, contended that the Supreme Court ruling in one particular case cannot be treated as a general law. According to the law, if a public servant is charged under any section of the IPC, it is mandatory for the investigating agency to seek sanction from the competent authority, which is also the appointing authority, under Section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code. Besides, if the public servant is facing charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act, sanction of the competent authority is required under Section 19 of the Act. The petitioner — lawyer Rohit Tripathi—- said Mayawati was facing charges under Sections 420, 467, 468 and 471 and the court had issued notices after argument.








Indian Government Defers Decision on 377 to Supreme Court

Submitted by arvan on 18 September, 2009 – 14:58

The government of India decided on September 17, 2009 that it will not oppose the Delhi High Court verdict on Section 377 of the Penal Code, which decriminalizes homosexuality by “reading down” the section pertaining to same-sex relations between consenting adults in private. Indian activists are praising this decision as a symbol of tacit support for decriminalization in this landmark case.

Following the High Court’s ruling on July 2, 2009, a panel composed of Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily, Home Minister P. Chidambaram, and Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad was assembled to consider the advantages and disadvantages of changing the law. After reviewing the findings of the panel, the government has opted not to join the appeal and to let the Supreme Court determine the “correctness” of the High Court’s ruling. Upon announcing the decision, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni added that the Cabinet would ask Attorney General Goolam Vahanvati to assist the Supreme Court in any way possible, suggesting that the government could still weigh in during the appeal.

The Cabinet’s deference to the judiciary effectively leaves the fate of Section 377 in the hands of the Supreme Court, which can be unpredictable or unwilling to intervene on moral issues. The Supreme Court has received several private challenges to the Delhi High Court’s verdict in this case, some of which are led by religious organizations using language reminiscent of Christian fundamentalism in the United States. The government’s neutrality on the issue – despite varying degrees of support for reading down Section 377 from all three members of its exploratory panel – suggests that the government may be reluctant to bear the furor of opponents from conservative political parties and unleash a backlash from conservative community groups.

Gay journalist and activist Vikram Doctor says, “We knew there was resistance from some members of the government but saner voices have prevailed, and this is a really important signal to the Supreme Court on how the government would like the case to proceed.”

While IGLHRC appreciates that the Cabinet has refused to join the appeal, the government must also be a proactive voice for vulnerable segments of India’s society who are targeted for their sexual orientation and subjected to all kinds of abuses, including sexual violence, physical assaults, blackmail and intimidation by unscrupulous members of the community and police force who use the presence of Section 377 to act with impunity. Unequivocal support for the Delhi High Court’s decision by the central government will send a powerful message that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in India are entitled to human rights.

As noted by Chief Justice A.P. Shah of the Delhi High Court in his ruling on Section 377, “Indian Constitutional law does not permit the statutory criminal law to be held captive by the popular misconceptions of who the LGBTs are.” Enacted by the British in 1868 when they ruled India, Section 377 is inconsistent with the Indian Constitution, specifically Article 14 on equality before the law, Article 15 on non-discrimination on grounds of sex, Article 19 on freedom of expression, and Article 21 on right to life and personal liberty.

At a September 16, 2009 forum on HIV, human rights and MSM in Washington, D.C., Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS linked homophobia and continued criminalization of homosexuality to a lack of HIV-related services. According to Sidibe, “We have to remove these laws as they reflect deep-seated stigma and prejudice. Instead of universal access, we have universal obstacles. Gay people are the ones who brought attention to HIV and AIDS but as we moved on to generalizing services for people with the virus, we forgot them.” Sidibe added that India’s decision on 377 is a huge victory because “removing laws that criminalize and discriminate herald a new framework and new commitment and a new movement to universal access to health and human rights.”

Click to see the full text of the Delhi High Court decision.

Click to read the court proceedings on the 377 case.






Court ordeal for British woman: HC orders probe into goof-up

TNN 19 September 2009, 06:26am IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court on Friday directed the chief metropolitan magistrate to conduct an inquiry into the case of British national Kaya Eldridge, who was allegedly humiliated by a lawyer during the hearing of a molestation case in a city court.
Taking serious note of the issue, Chief Justice KS Radhakrishnan has initiated an inquiry into how the proceedings commenced without the provision of ‘in-camera’, and why there was no interpreter to help Eldridge since everybody knew that she does not know Gujarati.

The chief justice expressed concern over the issue and sought a status report on the case following accusations by Kaya that she was humiliated in the courtroom by the lawyer on Monday. The issue was taken up at the HC by a group of NGOs.

High Court registrar general PP Bhatt said the chief metropolitan magistrate would inquire how metropolitan magistrate NM Bundelia allowed the trial to take place in open court and what were the factors that made the victim feel hu- miliated in the courtroom.

In her complaint last month, Eldridge had said that a plumber, Pragnesh Chhtrada, had molested her when he came to her flat to do some repaid work. In rape or sexual harassment cases, Supreme Court guidelines say that court proceedings should take place ‘in-camera’ to avoid embarrassment to the victim and to protect her identity.







HC directs CMO for inspection against private practice

TNN 18 September 2009, 10:46pm IST

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad HC has directed the Chief Medical Officer (CMO), Allahabad to carry out inspections of all hospitals, nursing homes, clinics, diagnostic centres and drug stores in Allahabad to find out whether any teacher in the medical college was doing private practice at such places.

The bench, consisting of Justice S Ambawani and Justice Dilip Gupta has said that if any teacher of the medical college was found practising, the licence of such hospitals or nursing homes shall be cancelled by the CMO.

This order was passed by the bench, while hearing a PIL filed by Satish Chaturvedi, an advocate of the HC for the betterment of the medical college as well as government hospitals in Allahabad.

Before passing this direction, the court was of the view that the doctors of medical college were not entitled to do private practice under their service rules and they had also given affidavits that they would not do private practice as long as it was prohibited by the government. The court will now hear this case on October 9, 2009.









HC refuses to quash FIR against Ojha brothers

TNN 18 September 2009, 10:43pm IST

ALLAHABAD: A division bench of the Allahabad HC comprising of Justice Ravindra Singh and Justice Yogesh Chandra Gupta has refused to quash an FIR registered against builders of Leelakunj apartments in New Katra, Vijay Kumar Ojha and Sharad Ojha filed at Colonelganj police station. The FIR was registered under Sections 419, 420, 467, 468, 471 and 504 of the IPC.

The judges, however, clarified that in case the petitioners appeared before the court within 30 days from the date of delivery of the order (September 7, 2009) and apply for bail, the same shall be heard and disposed.

According to the facts of the case, Ananad Kumar Pandey, a practising lawyer in the HC had purchased a flat from the builders after making the due payment. The cheques were drawn in favour of Baba Sahkari Awas Samiti, owned by Vijay Ojha.

However, as the construction was declared illegal by the HC and the flats were accordingly demolished, Pandey sought refund of his money. At this juncture he was shocked to learn that the builders, in connivance of the then manager of Bank of Maharashtra had fraudulently transferred a cheque amounting to Rs four lakh to the account of Sharad Sahkari Awas Samiti, owned by Vijay’s brother, Sharad Ojha.

Counsels appearing on behalf of Pandey submitted that the matter relating to the case was purely criminal in nature as the cheque issued in the name of Baba Sahkari Awas Samiti had been transferred in a different account of Sharad Sahkari Awas Samiti, owned by real brothers.







Batla encounter: Delhi HC’s clean chit to police challenged in SC

PTI 19 September 2009, 06:39am IST

NEW DELHI: A petition was filed on Friday in the Supreme Court against the Delhi High Court’s order giving a clean chit to the city police in the controversial Batla House encounter case in which two suspected terrorists and a police officer were killed.
The petition filed by an NGO ‘Act Now For Harmony and Democracy’ submitted that the High Court has erred in accepting the findings of NHRC which had refuted the allegation that it was a fake encounter.

It pleaded that the High Court did not go into the merit of the case and only relied on the finding of the Commission’s report on the ground that it is a statutory body whose report cannot be questioned.

The petitioner argued an independent judicial inquiry is required in the case as serious doubts were raised by different groups of civil society on the conduct of the police officials in the encounter.

It also contended that NHRC has failed to conduct a proper inquiry in the case as its officials did not visit the site of the encounter and only made a report by accepting the police version.







Allahabad HC notices to Maya, Siddiqui in Taj corridor case

PTI 18 September 2009, 05:53pm IST

LUCKNOW: The Allahabad High Court today issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and her cabinet colleague Naseemuddin Siddiqui on PILs seeking resumption of proceedings against the two in the Taj corridor case.

A division bench of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justice Pradip Kant and Justice Sabehul Hasnain passed this order on PILs filed by Anupama Singh, Kamlesh Verma and others challenging the special CBI court order dated June 5, 2007 by which the proceedings were dropped against the two in the case.

According to counsel for the petitioners C B Pandey, the the court has directed that these PILs be listed in the month of November for final hearing.

The petitioners had challenged the CBI court’s June, 2007 order saying that it was bad in the eyes of law as there was no need to seek the prosecution sanction from the UP Governor for proceeding in the case.

It may be recalled that the UP Governor had refused to grant permission for prosecution sought by the CBI against the two in the case on June 3, 2007.






CP shootout case: HC awards lifer to ex-encounter specialist

Agencies Posted: Friday , Sep 18, 2009 at 1726 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court upheld the conviction and life sentence of ten policemen, including a senior officer, for the killing of two Haryana-based businessmen in a fake encounter due to mistaken identity at Connaught Place here in 1997.

A Bench comprising Justices B N Chaturvedi and G S Sistani concurred with the trial court judgement of October 24, 2007 holding the dismissed Delhi Police Assistant Commissioner of Police S S Rathi and others guilty of murder.

The other nine convicts are Inspector Anil Kumar, Sub-Inspector Ashok Rana, Head Constables Shiv Kumar, Tejpal Singh and Mahavir Singh and Constables Sumer Singh, Subhash Chand, Sunil Kumar and Kothari Ram.

A Delhi Police Crime Branch team led by encounter specialist Rathi had on March 31, 1997 fired indiscriminately after suspecting that the businessmen were Uttar Pradesh-based gangsters wanted by the police.








HC adjourns Yogita

TNN 18 September 2009, 03:58am IST

NAGPUR: The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Thursday adjourned the hearing on high-profile Yogita Thakre death case till October 1. The seven-year-old kid was found dead inside a car belonging to state BJP president Nitin Gadkari.

The HC expressed surprise over police department’s efforts to file a case of negligence against Yogita’s mother, police guard and driver of the car. The court asked the cops to take a fresh look at their decision and inform about it by October 1. The petitioners — Vimal and Ashok Thakre, parents of the deceased — had prayed for a CBI inquiry into the death of their daughter.

According to the petitioners, Yogita’s body was found in the evening on May 19 inside a vehicle on the premises of Gadkari’s residence in Mahal while her mother Vimal, a maid servant, was busy in her work in the area. However, it took police over six hours to formally register a complaint. Even after that, the cops were allegedly found wanting in the investigations and led the evidence to get destroyed. They also failed to seize the vehicle in which the body was found. Shockingly, they first registered a case of accidental death, then making a U-turn, made it a murder case and again on Tuesday, the cops came back to their original stand stating that Yogita’s death was “accidental smothering”. And hence, the petitioners were pressing for a CBI inquiry into the episode.







No decision taken by SC collegium on Dinakaran row: CJI–CJI


New Delhi, Sep 18 (PTI) The Supreme Court collegium, met here today to discuss the issue relating to its recommendation for elevation of Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, accused of amassing wealth, but did not arrive at any conclusion on the demand to review its decision.

“No decision has been taken on the issue,” said an official message sent verbally by Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishanan’s office to reporters waiting outside his residence.

The official of the CJI said he has been asked to communicate to the media that no decision has been taken on the issue of Dinakaran at the collegium meeting.






Lawyers differ on proposal to elevate Justice Dinakaran to SC

Published: September 18,2009

Advocates of the Madras High Court have expressed divergent views on the proposal to elevate Chief Justice of Karnataka High Court P D Dinakaran to the Supreme Court.

A section of advocates questioned the rationale of raising the issue of alleged malpractices by Justice Dinakaran now, after remaining silent when he was appointed as a judge of the Madras High Court and his subsequent promotion as Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

However, the forum for judicial accountability, comprising some senior lawyers, has appealed to Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan not to elevate him. They also demanded a probe into the allegations of corruption charges against Dinakaran.

The Bar Council of India member, Dhanapal Raj, questioned the motive and timing of the forum’s memorandum to the CJI.

“I never expected a former Union minister to stoop to the level of tarnishing the image of the CJI. It is the decision of a collegium of five Judges of the Supreme Court (to elevate Justice Dinakaran) and not the individual decision of the CJI,” Ravindran said.

Senior Advocate R Vaigai, a signatory to the memorandum, said the forum had placed’disturbing’ materials before the CJI.”You (CJI) make an inquiry and see what is right or wrong.”

The forum has sufficient material to point out all is not well. There is a prima facie case of land grabbing which is not proper of a judge, she claimed.

Source: PTI








Collegium defers decision on Justice Dinakaran

J. Venkatesan

Moily urged to keep Judge’s elevation in abeyance

New Delhi: The Supreme Court Collegium headed by Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishan on Friday could not arrive at a decision on whether the elevation of Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court P.D. Dinakaran as judge of the Supreme Court could be reconsidered or not.

The meeting was convened in the wake of allegations that Justice Dinakaran had acquired “huge assets,” including a large extent of land holdings. It lasted about 45 minutes and was attended by Justice B.N. Agrawal, Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Tarun Chatterjee and Justice Altamas Kabir.

An official at the CJI’s office said, “No decision has been taken at the meeting.” Without elaborating, he said the CJI had asked him to convey this to the media.

However, according to highly placed sources, a decision was deferred as some of the Judges felt that the matter required a detailed and thorough examination as fresh material about Justice Dinakaran had come to the notice of the Collegium.

Justice Dinakaran is one of the five Chief Justices of various High Courts recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court and the matter is now pending with the Union Law Ministry.

Meanwhile, senior lawyers Shanti Bhushan and Anil Divan and advocate Kamini Jaiswal met Law Minister Veerappa Moily at the Shastri Bhavan here and appealed to him to keep the elevation of Justice Dinakaran in abeyance till a proper probe was conducted and his name was cleared.

Fresh complaint

Talking to journalists after the meeting, Mr. Bhushan said, “We have handed over to the Minister a copy of a fresh complaint given to us by the Tamil Nadu Bar. A copy had already been sent to the collegium,” he said.

He said that while recommending Justice Dinakaran for elevation, the collegium had not consulted Justice Markandey Katju and Justice A.K. Ganguly, two Supreme Court Judges who were earlier Chief Justices of the Madras High Court and were familiar with the affairs of Justice Dinakaran.

Mr. Divan said, “Since it concerns the integrity of a person recommended to the high office, we have requested that the matter be referred to the retired Judge of the Supreme Court, Justice N. Santosh Hegde, Lok Ayukta in Karnataka, who will give a report one way or the other. Justice Dinakaran has to be given proper opportunity to defend himself in the probe.”

Asked whether the recommendation could be kept in abeyance, he said, “When new facts emerge and till they are properly enquired, Justice Dinakaran’s elevation can be kept on hold.”

He said, “We have to fashion a new system of Judicial Appointment Commission as in the United Kingdom. This will require a Constitutional amendment and the government will have to push for it.”






Maya says sorry for ‘violating’ SC order

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN 18 September 2009, 02:00am IST

NEW DELHI: A day before the crucial hearing, the Mayawati government on Thursday took the safety first approach and tendered a “most profuse” unconditional apology to the Supreme Court for alleged breach of its undertaking to stop work at the memorial sites in Lucknow, but added in the same breath that it had not violated its solemn promise.

It explained in detail the measures taken to scrupulously adhere to its September 8 undertaking, but in the face of the court’s stinging “playing with fire” observation on September 11, it left nothing to chance by offering an apology for any unintentional breach of the promise.

Meeting Thursday’s deadline to file an “unambiguous” affidavit detailing the nature of work that was carried out at the memorial sites after the September 8 undertaking, chief secretary Atul Kumar Gupta said: “Not only does the state government had highest regard for the orders passed by the Supreme Court, but has also issued appropriate instructions and directions to ensure that the undertaking given to this court would be complied in letter and spirit.”

“Notwithstanding this, it is respectfully submitted that if any transgression has occurred, I tender the most profuse apology for the same and humbly submit that (if any transgression has happened) the same was entirely unintended,” the chief secretary said.

It said the state’s undertaking applied to a limited number of properties and conceded that some work was going on only for removal of unutilised construction material and debris to clean up the sites and give it a tidy look since these have become functional recreation areas frequented by public.

It said the media mixed up the photographs of the sites where work was permitted and at those places where only cleaning work was going on to create an impression “that there was rampant breach of the undertaking given to the Supreme Court”.

It gave details of the status of work at each memorial site vis-a-vis the undertaking:

* Samajik Parivartan Sangrahalaya (Stupa): It was not a subject matter of any of the writ petitions pending in Allahabad High Court or the Supreme Court. Photographs of this site were shown to the court by the respondent and carried by the media

* Pratibimb Sthal and Pyramid (Drishya Sthal): Not subject matter of any writ petition. Photograph of this property was published by `The Times of India’ in its September 10 report

* Smriti Upvan: Construction permitted by the SC on December 12, 2008 and most of the work completed before the September 8 undertaking. Work done after undertaking related to repair of road, footpath, drain, toilet and finishing. Its photograph in `The Hindu’ does not depict any ongoing work

* Kanshiram Smarak Sthal: Only chiselling and finishing work of boundary wall outside the premises

* Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar Sthal and Ramabai Ambedkar Maidan: No construction activity was being carried out as is sought to be portrayed by the print and electronic media

After giving details of other properties as an abundant caution, the Mayawati government said: “The undertaking given on September 8, 2009, before the Supreme Court is being fully honoured and the question of the same being flouted does not arise at all.”


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