LEGAL NEWS 05.10.2009

Karnataka CJ presides over court


Bangalore,Oct5 (PTI) In the eye of a storm, Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, whom the local bar had asked not not to sit in court proceedings till he is cleared of allegations of land grab, presided over the proceedings today.

Since very few cases were posted for hearing, he sat for an hour, completed the proceedings in the court, which resumed work after a 16-day vacation, and then left for his chamber. The court proceedings went on smoothly without any protest from any quarter.

Justice Dinakaran had reportedly expressed unwillingness to sit on the Bench following a resolution passed by the Advocates Association of Bangalore asking him to refrain from attending or presiding over judicial proceedings until he was cleared of the charge.

All our judges are declaring assets before CJI: SC–SC


New Delhi, Oct 5 (PTI) Five days after the deadline given by the Delhi High Court, the Supreme Court today said all its “sitting” judges are declaring their assets before the Chief Justice of India.

Earlier, the Supreme Court Registry had resisted sharing any information with RTI applicant Subhash Chandra Agrawal, who had sought to know how many judges were complying with the 1997-resolution of the Full Court of May 7, 1997 in which it was had decided to declare judges’ assets before the Chief Justice of India.

The Central Information Commission had turned down the stand taken by the Registry and directed that the information should be given to Agrawal, a decision which was challenged by the apex court at the Delhi High Court.

The High Court in its September 2 order upheld the decision of the Commission and asked the Supreme Court to provide the information within four week

SC challenges HC order on judges’ assets declaration–assets-declaration


New Delhi, Oct 5 (PTI) The Supreme Court today moved the Delhi High Court challenging its order holding that the office of Chief Justice of India came within the ambit of the RTI Act and that information pertaining to declaration of judges’ assets could be made public.

The apex court filed an appeal against judgement of a single bench of the High Court which had on September 2 stated that the CJI is a public authority and his office comes within the purview of the transparency law.

The High Court judgement was against the stand taken by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, who had consistently been maintaining that his office is beyond the purview of the Right to Information Act.

Orissa HC judges want ‘corrupt’ colleague out

An additional judge of the Orissa High Court has been recommended for removal for rigging a selection test for subordinate judges, according to documents seen by Hindustan Times.

The judge, to be confirmed as a full-fledged judge next January, had “wrongly increased the marks of two candidates”, says a letter written by the high court to Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and the Union law ministry.

Citing an inquiry by Orissa high court’s acting chief justice I.M. Quddusi, the letter recommends “suitable action” and “reconsideration of the decision to appoint him as a judge”.

In continuing embarrassment for higher judiciary, this is the third case in the last 14 months of the judiciary seeking the removal of a judge for corruption or misconduct.

Chief justice Balakrishnan had sought last August the removal of Justice Soumitra Sen of Calcutta High Court. And a committee appointed by the CJI recommended the removal of Punjab and Haryana High Court judge Nirmal Yadav in December 2008.

The Orissa court judge under fire said during the inquiry, the “difference in marks may have appeared due to a wrong dictation given to him, which was not cross-checked in good faith”

Justice Quddusi declined to comment on the issue.

The error was detected, when the interview board insisted on seeing the answer sheets of all six candidates called for the interview.

The court, in a notification posted on its website on September 15, admitted the error and withdrew the August 26 notification announcing the results of the test.

HC: Admit girl who had not studied in regular school–Admit-girl-who-had-not-studied-in-regular-school


New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) A 12-year-old girl, who was denied admission in a government school on the ground that she had not studied in a regular school upto class V, has found a ray of hope with the Delhi High Court directing the NCT government to ensure her admission in class VI within a week.

Justice Manmohan, in a recent order, directed the Directorate of Education to give admission to Ruby in class VI in Government Senior Secondary School at Jahangirpuri.

On July 30, the girl was denied admission by the school on the ground that she has not studied in a regular school upto class V.

In a petition, Ruby’s counsel Ashok Agarwal submitted that the girl could not study in a regular school due to financial constraints.

He contended denial of admission to her is violative of fundamental right to have education.

Bofors: Joginder Not in Favour of Giving Legal Burial

New Delhi Oct 04, 2009

A former CBI Director, who had brought to India documents relating to the Bofors pay-off case, today did not favour the agency seeking its legal burial saying it is a “legally sound case” to show there was corruption.

“Documents are there to show that he (Ottavio Quattrocchi) received money”, said Joginder Singh during whose tenure the documents were brought to the country. Singh was CBI’s Director during 1996-97.

“It is a legally sound case…Documents were brought and submitted to the government and to the courts in the country,” he told PTI when asked about CBI seeking a legal burial to the case.

Singh also said a decision to withdraw the two-decade old case against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocchi is taken by the government and not by the CBI.

“It is not the CBI but it’s the government’s decision because it is the government’s advocate who has said this… you can put all the blame on CBI because he (the advocate) is representing a CBI case,” he added.

“It is the the government which decides whether to go in for an appeal in a particular case from lower case to the High court and from the High court to the Supreme court,” he added.

If the government says there is no case it means that the CBI says there is no case, he said.

Singh said that “no one has gone behind that who and why the legal opinion for seeking the withdrawal of the case against Italian businessman was given?”

On the flak that the premier investigating agency of the country was receiving in the two-decade-old case, Singh said, “It is not CBI’s case and no one (in CBI) will talk about it for the simple reason that they are bound by the conduct rules.

“After all, the CBI functions as per the law in the country and the Attorney General is the highest authority to decide,” he said.

The former CBI director also rued that the agency even does not have the independence of hiring an advocate on its own or pay fees to him.

The CBI on Saturday sought legal burial of the 20-year-old Bofors pay-off case against Quattrocchi by moving for its withdrawal before a Delhi Court which refused to pass any immediate order.

CBI sought withdrawal of the case against the 69-year-old Italian businessman on the ground that “continuance of his prosecution will be unjustified”.

Didn’t mislead SC on Ambedkar memorial, says state govt

Express News Service

Posted: Sunday , Oct 04, 2009 at 0303 hrs Lucknow:

The state government has clarified it has not misled the Supreme Court in the case relating to the Ambedkar Samajik Parivartan Sthal, which is pending in the apex court.

In a fresh affidavit, Mithilesh Kumar Singh, one of the petitioners on whose petition the construction work of parks and memorials was stayed by the Supreme Court on September 8, had said the Mayawati government misled and confused the apex court and filed a false affidavit denying further construction activity on the memorials.

The petitioner said the UP government, in its affidavit on September 17 filed before the apex court, coined new names for some structures to claim they were not subject to the writ petition pending in the Allahabad High Court.

The apex court on September 8 had stayed construction work on memorials and parks under construction here at Lucknow. The UP government had then given an undertaking to the Supreme Court that no further construction would be made over the properties which are subject matter of the writ petition pending before the Allahabad high court.

“No misleading fact or false information has been mentioned in the affidavit filed by the state government before the Supreme Court,” the government said in a statement today. “Petitioner Mithilesh Kumar Singh is not aware of the facts and is unable to differentiate between the properties which are not subject to the writ petition filed before the Allahabad High Court.”

The government said the land of Ambedkar stadium is not the subject matter of any writ petition filed before the Allahabad High Court.

GC Rules amended to enable pvt colleges get grants


Posted: Thursday , Oct 01, 2009 at 1429 hrs New Delhi:

The government has amended the 34-year-old University Grants Commission (UGC) Rules to enable more private institutes get grants.

The UGC (Fitness of Institutions for Grants) Rules 1975 have been amended by the HRD Ministry, a senior official said.

The University Grants Commission (Fitness of Institutions for Grants) (Amendment) Rules, 2009 will enable the UGC to relax one or more of its conditions for giving grants to private and unaided institutions in the country.

As per the earlier rules, those private institutes, which met certain criteria with regard to faculty and infrastructure, got grants from the UGC.

The criteria laid down that a private institute should have at least five departments each having one professor, two readers and three to four lecturers. They should have administrative and academic buildings.

MRTP Act will be replaced in 2011

October 4th, 2009

By Our Correspondent


Oct. 3: The Monopolies and Restrictive Trade Practices Act, 1969 (MRTP Act) will cease to be in force from 2011 and will be replaced by the Competition Act, 2002.
The Centre had earlier notified the provisions dealing with anti-competitive agreements (Section 3) and abuse of dominance (Section 4) in the Competition Act in May 2009. However, Sections 5 and 6 that deal with combinations, mergers and acquisitions are yet to be notified.
This has resulted in ambiguity and confusion as there were effectively two independent statutes, the MRTP Act and the Competition Act having concurrent jurisdiction. This has led to the uneasy coexistence of two anti-trust regulators without reconciled powers and functions, the MRTP Commission and Competition Commission of India (CCI).
“The Centre is in the process of notifying Sections 5 and 6 in the Competition Act. Once it does, the MRTP Commission will be repealed. It is under active consideration of the government. Then, the Competition Commission of India will remain the single regulatory authority in the country to protect the interests of consumers, ensure freedom of trade carried on by other participants in markets, eliminate unhealthy practices having adverse effect on competition,” said Mr Dhanendra Kumar, chairman, CCI, at Babul Reddy Foundation seminar here on Saturday.
Justice Altamas Kabir of the Supreme Court and Justice Arijit Pasayat, chairman, Competition Appellate Tribunal, participated at the meeting.
As per Section 66 of the Competition Act that was notified in September, the MRTP Commission will function for two years from September 1, 2009, to dispose of the pending cases dealing with Restrictive Trade Practices (RTP), Monopolistic Trade Practices (MTP) and those involving a combination of RTP, MTP and Unfair Trade Practices (UTP).
After that, these cases will be transferred to the appellate body formed under the Competition Act, that is, the Competition Appellate Tribunal (CAT). CAT is required to decide these cases in accordance with the MRTP Act, as if the MRTP Act had not been repealed.

NHRC help sought to improve city

TNN 4 October 2009, 10:17pm IST

LUDHIANA: Irked by the lackadaisical attitude of the government and civic authorities in providing reprieve from dilapidated roads in the city, residents have requested the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to intervene into the matter.

Acting on a report published in the Times of Ludhiana on October 2 wherein the condition of broken roads in Industrial area-A had been highlighted, local resident Arvind Sharma has written to chairman of the NHRC and urged him to bring the local bodies to task.

Sources said though the civic body had initiated carpeting of roads after laying stones at many places, work had failed to kick off, creating problems for commuters coming to the industrial area. Despite numerous complaints by residents to civic body officials, authorities are least bothered to address the issue.

Even posh localities, including Model Town, Model Town Extension, Sangeet Cinema Road and Transport Nagar from where huge revenue is drawn are lying in a deplorable state.

The letter further states that some roads constructed by the MC a few months ago had returned to their earlier condition. This had resulted in frequent accidents and had become a major reason for causing backaches to people.

“The roads have failed to pass the sample test but local bodies are not paying attention to improve their condition and MLAs keep busy in their vote politics,” the document states.

As such, the complainant has asked for the immediate intervention of the NHRC chairman so that erring officials can be strongly dealt with.

Man moves court against recovery agents

TNN 4 October 2009, 10:57pm IST

NEW DELHI: Despite strict guidelines by Reserve Bank of India and numerous court orders against them, recovery agents continue to use coercive methods with impunity. A trial court recently received a complaint from a man, alleging his family members were harassed by recovery agents of a leading telecom company who posed as officials from Patiala House courts.

R C Mathur, a resident of Patparganj, alleged the recovery agents not only threatened his son-in-law but also extorted money from him apart from the bill amount, claiming it would save the family from further trouble. Taking cognizance of the complaint, metropolitan magistrate Jitendra Mishra told the police to file FIR against the accused.

In his complaint, Mathur claimed that Amit Chawhan, posing as an “arrest warrant processor from Patiala House”, called his daughter and claimed there was an arrest warrant against her husband because he had failed to pay his phone bill.

Chawhan reportedly claimed to have received a “closed” file on Mathur’s son-in-law and they wanted him to pay the pending bill to avoid any trouble. He also made him talk to one Neeraj Goal, allegedly a lawyer at Patiala House courts. Goal reportedly told the family to pay Rs 2,500 to escape arrest even though the outstanding bill was just Rs 862.

Following court’s direction, the police have registered an FIR under Section 419 (cheating) and Section 507 (criminal intimidation by anonymous communication) of IPC.

Accused in Siridao gang fight case gets bail

TNN 5 October 2009, 06:45am IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has granted bail to Domnic Nazareth, one of the accused in the Siridao gang fight case. The single bench of Justice N A Britto granted bail to the accused on his furnishing a bail bond of Rs 25,000 with one surety of like amount.

It may be recalled that on May 10, 2009, a gang fight broke out between two rival gangs on the Siridao beach in which one person died, while three were injured. According to the police, there was a known rivalry between the two groups. The groups attacked each other with glass bottles and knives at a shack on Siridao beach.

Santosh Kalel, 37, from Zuarinagar of the Mirand gang was declared dead by doctors at Goa Medical College and hospital. He had knife wounds on his knees and he may have been punched hard on the chest, due to which he collapsed and later died in the hospital.

Francis Manuel D’Souza alias Mirand, 36, from Merces and his aide Johnny Fernandes, 36, were injured and had suffered stab wounds in the chest. From the other group, the alleged leader Zenito Cardozo, 20, was also injured.

Granting the bail, the court held: “One fails to understand on what basis the learned sessions judge came to the conclusion that the present applicant had instigated Zenito to inflict injuries on Johnny and Santosh.”

The court has further observed that if the accused initially stood behind Zenito, it was because he had no other option. The sessions court had rejected the bail application of the accused on September 4 after observing that the accused had allegedly played a role in encouraging and instigating Zenito.


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