LEGAL NEWS 17.11.2009

Taj Corridor scam: SC refuses to junk PIL against Mayawati

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0311 hrs New Delhi:

In another legal setback to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati, the Supreme Court on Monday rejected her plea for quashing a PIL filed against her in the Taj Corridor scandal. Instead, a Bench comprising Justice B S Sirpurkar and Justice B Sudershan Reddy asked the Uttar Pradesh government to approach the High Court on the issue of maintainability of the PIL

In her petition, Mayawati had prayed for quashing the PIL in the Allahabad High Court on the grounds that opposition parties could try to destabilise her government on the issue.

The Mayawati government had filed the appeal challenging the Allahabad HC decision to admit a PIL filed by Kamlesh Verma and two others, who challenged the refusal of the then UP governor T V Rajeswar to grant sanction to the CBI to prosecute Mayawati in the matter.

The Taj Corridor scam pertains to a project for construction of a massive shopping mall and recreational centres near the Taj. The cost of the project was to be borne by the public exchequer, and rules and regulations were given a go-by while finalising the project. “What the Opposition is going to demand to destabilise the government, we are not bothered,” the court said in response to the contention of the counsel that the PIL could destabilise the government.

The counsel had pleaded that if the PIL was allowed to be heard, it would only give the Opposition an excuse to demand her government’s resignation. “Destabilisation, why should we go into all those things?” the Bench asked.

The court also refused to accept the UP government’s argument that the case was politically motivated, pointing out that four similar petitions on the same issue were earlier dismissed by the court.

Earlier, on November 6, the court had refused to hear the matter out of turn. In her petition, Mayawati had questioned the locus standi of the petitioners as well as the authority of the High Court to entertain the PIL. She contended that only the CBI was entitled to question the decisions of the governor or the CBI court, and the agency had chosen not to do so.







Deemed varsities: Court adjourns hearing on PIL

TNN 17 November 2009, 03:30am IST

NEW DELHI: Given the controversy surrounding the slip-shod functioning of deemed universities that have mushroomed across the country, the Supreme Court on Monday was at loss to understand the reluctance of the Centre to place on record a report of an expert committee that probed the issue.

Granting eight weeks to the Centre to place on record the report submitted to the HRD ministry in October by a high-powered committee headed by Professor P N Tandon, a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and M K Sharma adjourned the hearing on a PIL filed by advocate Viplav Sharma on the assurance of Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam that the recommendations of the committee would be placed before the court.

“Why are you keeping the report away from us,” the Bench asked the SG, who responded that “we (the government) do not want anybody to be prejudiced at this stage”.

But, he gave an indication that the Tandon committee’s recommendations were damning to say the least as far as it related to the functioning of the deemed universities. “We want to bring lasting changes. The report has indicated the present situation. Before taking any step we have to look into the interest of students studying in these universities,” he said.

Adding its suggestion to put things in perspective, the Bench said: “We want you (the government) to examine whether the concept of deemed universities prevails in countries outside India and also whether there is a need to have deemed universities at all.”

Explaining the reluctance of the ministry to place the report at this stage before the court, Subramanium said the ministry has returned the report to the Tandon Committee for further consultations. “We don’t want to do a piecemeal work. We will come up with a blueprint by providing effective solutions,” he said.

Out of around 130 deemed universities in the country, the panel had reportedly suggested urgent steps to cancel the deemed status for close to 40 universities. It had raised serious concerns on the front of infrastructure and teaching faculty forcing the ministry to consider if such universities should be allowed to function in the first place.








PIL seeking price regulation of essential goods


Express News Service

First Published : 17 Nov 2009 04:30:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 17 Nov 2009 07:44:49 AM IST


BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Centre and state government to regulate prices of essential commodities.

Rita Mahajan, a resident of Bangalore, aggrieved by the ever increasing prices of essential commodities and vegetables had filed the petition.

However, a division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran dismissed the petition on the ground that court could not exercise executive powers.

The petitioner argued that the state and Centre have failed to control price of foodgrains. Because of price rise many families do not get enough food, with the landless and the slum dweller being the most vulnerable, he argued.

The petitioner contended that the price monitoring cell working under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs was not able to monitor the prices of foodgrains. According to the cell, the retail dealers should sell the foodgrains at prices fixed by the cell on a weekly basis.

The petitioner sought a direction to the Centre and the state to control the prices of foodgrains and ban open trading of all essential commodities.

The petitioner also sought a direction to the state and Centre to strictly enforce the provisions of Essential Commodities Act, 1955 and prevent black-marketing of essential commodities. While dismissing the petition, the court has given liberty to the petitioner to approach appropriate authority regarding prices of foodgrains.






Law exempting child labour? SC notice to govt

TNN 17 November 2009, 03:23am IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Centre on a PIL pointing out a loophole in the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, permitting families to engage their minor sons and daughters in rolling beedis.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam issued notices to the ministries of labour, women and child development and health and family welfare on the PIL filed by NGO “Health for Millions”.

Appearing for the petitioner, advocate Anand Grover said the proviso to Section 3 of the 1986 Act created the mischief as it “permits employment of children in hazardous processes of beedi rolling being carried on in workshops as part of family labour”.

This negated the object of the social welfare legislation to ameliorate and mitigate the distress of working children, he said. “While Section 3 precludes employment of children in factories manufacturing beedis on the ground that the beedi making process was hazardous to children, the proviso permits children to be employed in beedi making processes as part of family labour in workshops,” the NGO said pointing out the dichotomy.







‘Can DNA profiling help in identifying unclaimed bodies?’

TNN 17 November 2009, 03:20am IST

NEW DELHI: Over 35,000 dead get tagged as unidentified and are cremated every year. It is possible that 35,000 families keep hoping for their return thinking they are alive somewhere, not dead. Of these, more than 1,500 are found dead on the streets of the national capital.

Will mandatory DNA profiling of these unidentified bodies help in providing the last news of these unfortunate people to their families, the Supreme Court asked on Monday and issued notices to the ministries of health and home affairs on a PIL by a doctor who conducts the post-mortem of dead.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice P Sathasivam shared the concern of petitioner Shamsher Malik working as a Junior Resident in the Department of Forensic Medicine, Maharaj Agrasen Medical College in Hissar, Haryana.

His job profile of conducting autopsies included many unidentified bodies and the doctor started thinking about the families of these unfortunate persons, which continue to pray to God for the return of their near and dear ones little knowing that they have died and have been cremated as unidentified and by the authorities.

Terming the method adopted by the police to unravel the identity of unclaimed bodies as faulty, as it involved giving an advertisement in the local papers which may not reach the families staying in far flung areas given the expanse of India, the doctor suggested mandatory DNA profiling of unidentified bodies and matching them with those family members who have registered missing persons reports with police stations.

According to the information he had obtained from National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the number of unidentified bodies found in the year 2005 was 39,157, for 2006 the figure was 36,131 and in 2007 it was 37,282. “This shows that on an average 102 unidentified bodies are recovered every day across the country,” the petitioner said.







Set up canteen at civil court: HC
Express News Service

First Published : 17 Nov 2009 04:27:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 17 Nov 2009 07:45:11 AM IST


BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday advised the government to work out the possibilities of setting up a canteen at the City Civil Court premises.

Hearing a PIL by one Chandrashekar, a division bench headed by Chief Justice P D Dinakaran advised the government to take steps for setting up a canteen at High Court and City Civil Court premises.

The petitioner had sought a direction to vacate the existing food courts situated at the City Civil Court premises, saying they were unhygienic. The court has adjourned the petition.







Need to curb unauthorised media leakage of case investigation: CBI

TNN 17 November 2009, 03:27am IST

NEW DELHI: The CBI has virtually agreed that irresponsible and unauthorised leakage of information to media on investigations in criminal cases could irreparably harm a person’s reputation, as happened in the sensational Arushi Talwar murder case, and told the Supreme Court the need for disciplining both police and media.

While recognising the public interest involved in sharing vital information about case investigations with the media in a professional manner, CBI said it should be done “without violating the rights of individuals”.

The doctor parents of Arushi remained in the dock through media coverage based on UP police briefings before being given a clean chit by CBI. The manner of reporting had forced advocate Surat Singh to move the Supreme Court for framing of a code of conduct for the police and media.

In response to the PIL, CBI said: “Sharing of information with the media has to be done in a professional manner without violating the right to dignity and privacy of individuals and also without violating the right of the accused to a fair investigation and trial.”

It suggested drawing up of a model code for police applicable to all states relating to interaction of cops with the media on investigations into a case and said “non-compliance of instructions and unauthorised leakage should lead to a departmental inquiry followed by disciplinary action” against the erring officer.

“If after departmental proceedings it is established that the officer has violated the instructions deliberately and caused harm in dignity, reputation, character or privacy of the individual, then suitable criminal/civil action may be taken as per the due process of law in addition to departmental action,” CBI said.

On setting up of a watch dog to monitor the coverage of news events in the print and electronic media, the agency agreed with the petitioner that this authority could evolve and enforce a code of conduct, norms and standards of reporting on newspapers and TV channels.

It suggested that all TV channels be directed to maintain proper record of news coverage footage for at least six months so as to allow people to proceed in case of misreporting.

“In case it is felt by anyone that the laid down norms have been violated, copies of telecast footage, duly authenticated, should be supplied to the designated authorities and citizens by the TV channels against payment of cost to enable them to take legal action,” the agency said.







Four new Supreme Court judges take oath

November 17th, 2009 – 4:42 pm ICT by ANI 

New Delhi, Nov 17 (ANI): Four High Court (HC) Chief Justices were today sworn in as judges of the Supreme Court (SC) taking the total tally of Supreme Court Judges to 26.

Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan administered oaths of office to Justice A K Patnaik of (Madhya Pradesh High Court), Justice T S Thakur of (Punjab and Haryana High Court), Justice K S Radhakrishnan of (Gujarat High Court) and Justice Surinder Singh Nijjar of (Calcutta High Court) here today at a simple ceremony attended by judges and advocates of the apex court.

The appointment of Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran has been put on hold.

Dinakaran’s name has figured in the disproportionate assets case and he has been accused of amassing wealth and grabbing land.

The names of all the four judges were cleared by the apex court collegium headed by Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan.

This takes the judges tally to 26 against the formal strength of 31 judges. (ANI)








High Court grants bail to Sreeleather senior GM

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0248 hrs Kolkata:

The Calcutta High Court today granted bail to Hirak Subhra Chatterjee, senior general manager of shoe-makers Sreeleather, who was arrested for violating the Wild Life Protection Act by the Regional Director Wild Crime Control Bureau (RDWCB) on October 30 when he surrendered in the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court in Kolkata.

The RDWCB had seized an animal skin from the showroom of Sreeleather at Lindsay Street on May 11.

Following this, the RDWCB had summoned Chatterjee on various occasions for clarification. Chatterjee had said that Pravat Kumar Sahoo, an eminent leather technologist, had gifted a cow skin after being processed by him to the company and it was displayed in the showroom.

After his surrender, Chatterjee was shifted to a hospital from the court on grounds of ill-health. The court had rejected his bail petition on November 11 following which Chatterjee moved the High Court.








HC sets Dec 7 deadline for unveiling civic poll calendar

Odeal D’Souza / DNA

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 10:12 IST

Bangalore: The High Court of Karnataka has finally cracked the whip to get the state government get its act together on conducting the much-delayed elections to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahaganara Palike (BBMP).

Going by the deadlines set by the court on fixing the ward reservations and also announcing the calendar of poll events, the BBMP elections are likely to be held by the first or second week of January.

On Monday, the High Court directed the state government to publish the ward reservation notification within November 30 and asked the State Election Commission (SEC) to announce the calendar of events for the BBMP polls by December 7.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice PD Dinakaran and Justice VG Sabhahit allowed an interlocutory application filed by the SEC and directed the applicant to announce the calendar of events for the BBMP elections and file a report on the same with it on or before December 7.

The SEC had filed the interlocutory application in the High Court, requesting the court to direct the government to publish the ward reservation notification.

SEC advocate KN Phaneendra submitted that the SEC was all set to hold the elections and had finished all related work including publication of the final voters’ list.

He pointed out that the court had earlier ordered to announce calendar of events on or before October 23 but a single-judge bench of the High Court had stayed the reservation guidelines issued by the urban development department.

On behalf of the state government, Advocate General Ashok Harnahalli submitted that the government would finalise the ward reservation within two weeks.

On the basis of the advocate general’s assurance, the High Court ordered the state government to publish the reservation notification within November 30.








’06 Malegaon blasts: why case given to CBI, HC asks state

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0018 hrs Mumbai:

The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the Maharashtra government to explain why the September 2006 Malegaon blast case was transferred to the CBI. The court observed that the reason for the transfer of the case when the ATS had already got the chargesheet ready needs to be examined.

The court was responding to a petition by three of the accused. “The court has asked the state to explain why investigation was handed to CBI after chargesheet was filed,” said public prosecutor P A Pol.

The petitioners had also urged the court for a report from the CBI on the progress made in the investigations after the case was transferred in 2006. They claimed that the CBI did not carry out proper investigations due to political intervention.

The CBI has sought two weeks to explain their stand, said petitioners’ lawyer Amin Solkar.

The three accused, Noorulhudha Samsudoha, Shabbir Masiullah and Moahmmed Jahid Ansari, expressing dissatisfaction over the investigations, have also sought a Special Investigation Team monitored by HC to probe the case.

The accused stated that they have been languishing in prison on the basis of fabricated evidence. They claim the government and police had shut their eyes to the alleged involvement of Hindu fundamentalist groups.

They stated that several incidents resulting in recovery of illegally possessed explosives and deaths of Hindus belonging to extremist groups in untimely explosions suggested that the perpetrators could not be Muslims.

The petitioners have also raised doubts on the police role in the case. They allege that police deliberately neglected prior information on the blasts. The petition states that Noorulhudha was under constant scrutiny of the police after he was picked up and detained in the Aurangabad arms haul and 2006 train blasts cases. “How could he have hatched the conspiracy when he was constantly under police scrutiny,” states the petition.

The applicants, relying on a recent affidavit by the lone approver in the case, Abrar Ahmed, who turned hostile this year, said Abrar was a police informer roped in to give false evidence in lieu of money. Abrar, through an affidavit in April 2009, had chosen not to remain an approver.

The petitioners have also raised doubts on the role played by Rajwardhan (a party to the petition), the then Superintendent of Police Nashik (Rural) who is now with the Intelligence Bureau, in the probe.








St Stephen’s case internal dispute: HC

Krishnadas Rajagopal

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0200 hrs New Delhi:

Court lifts interim stay against Election Commissioner Qureshi from attending college governing body meet

Are disputes between the governing members of St Stephen’s College internal grievances, or do they come under “public law”? A Division Bench led by Chief Justice A P Shah on Monday wanted to know how the Delhi High Court has writ jurisdiction to pass orders or even admit a “purely internal dispute in the governing body of a college society”.

The query came even as the court lifted an interim stay against Election Commissioner S Y Qureshi from attending the college’s governing body meetings.

The order comes in the nick of time for Qureshi, as the next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday.

The stay order had been passed earlier by Justice Gita Mittal of the High Court on a petition filed by a former student, Ajay Singhla, who alleged that his removal was illegal. Singhla had argued that despite having a tenure till 2011, he was removed to accommodate Qureshi, who was nominated to the governing body by principal Valson Thampu.

Singhla had even accused Thampu of running the prestigious Delhi University college management in an “autocratic” manner following which, a temporary stay against Qureshi was granted.

Aggrieved by the single-judge order, Thampu had then moved the court of Chief Justice Shah in appeal. But matters came to a head today when the Division Bench questioned how the dispute had reached the High Court in the first place. “How does this come under public law? Please address us on our jurisdiction,” the court noted. The term “public law” means a body of law which governs relations between a State and its citizens. It deals with the structure and operation of the government and covers administrative law, constitutional law and criminal law.

“Do you consider this (college) society as a State?” the court asked, challenging the lawyers to explain why the court should even “admit” Singhla’s allegations.

Making it clear that the court is not prima facie disposed to maintain petitions on “internal disputes”, the Bench told the parties to file a civil suit if they wanted, and not evoke laws meant for repairing disputes which may have a public flavour.

Though the Bench referred the case back to Justice Gita Mittal for further hearing, Singhla’s lawyers, at that point, preferred to withdraw the litigation from High Court in toto. Today’s hearing follows a somewhat similar incident on Friday when another High Court judge said it is time the college authorities settle their own disputes.

Justice P K Bhasin had expressed concern about the continued legal battles among administrators of the elite institution. “Why do you keep fighting? Why don’t all of you sit down and settle down the differences?” Bhasin had asked the battery of lawyers appearing variously for the college, Thampu, and the governing body.

The High Court is seized with a number of rounds of litigation, engaged in by various members of the college administration, mainly the college governing body, the supreme council and the Bishop of Delhi, Reverend Sunil Kumar Singh, who is the chairman.








Failure to explain wife’s death can lead to husband’s conviction: HC–HC/542431/

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0154 hrs New Delhi/Noida:

The Delhi High Court has said that a man’s failure to explain the mysterious death of his wife in her matrimonial home can lead to his conviction.

As per the Indian Penal Code, a man and his immediate family are natural suspects under Section 498 (A) in case of his wife’s unnatural death within the first seven years of their marriage. The police, on receiving a complaint, should as a mandatory exercise probe if the woman was subjected to dowry harassment.

“In the case of an unnatural death of the wife on a premise to which an outsider may not have any access, it is for the husband to explain the ground for the unnatural death of his wife. The husband having failed to do so can be convicted under Section 302 of the IPC,” Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Ajit Bharihoke said.

The court put forth its view while rejecting an appeal against a trial court order convicting Sanjay Kumar Jain for strangling his wife Anju to death on April 10, 1991 at his home, a year after their marriage. Jain remained absconding for three days before he was arrested.

A resident of Kailash Nagar, Jain was sentenced by the trial court to life term with a fine of Rs 20,000 in 1997. The convict, in his appeal, alleged the police framed him as it could not find the culprit and also on the ground that the weapon of the offence could not be recovered.

The High Court, however, did not find any infirmity in the lower court’s order and upheld the conviction on the ground that he could not give any cogent reason for his absence after his wife’s death and also that the convict alone had access to the place of death of the victim.








Comply or pay fine, HC warns panchayats

TNN 17 November 2009, 06:54am IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa on Monday warned coastal panchayats in the state that it would impose a fine on a “day to day basis” on them for not complying with its directives regarding garbage disposal.

A division bench comprising Justice V K Tahilramani and Justice N A Britto made the statement during the hearing of a suo Motu writ petition questioning the garbage disposal system in the state. On February 18 this year the court had passed an order directing the coastal panchayats to collect, segregate and dispose garbage by constructing composting units. The court had also directed them to collect plastic waste for recycling.

During the hearing, amicus curiae Norma Alvares told the court that some of the panchayats had not yet filed their affidavits to explain how far they have complied with the court’s directives. It appears that some of the panchayats have not been able to finalize the sites for composting units, she pointed out. The court had also directed the panchayats to give details of the shredders used to dispose the plastic waste which has not been done till now, she alleged.

At this point, the bench said that if any panchayat is found to have not complied with the its earlier directives, then the Rs 25,000 deposited with the court registry by the panchayats would stand forfeited.

The court also directed the coastal panchayats who have not filed their affidavits to do so by November 19 failing which their affidavits won’t be taken on record. The court will hear the petition further on November 25.

The court had on June 23, directed the panchayats to deposit Rs 25,000 each for showing their bona fides in dealing with the serious garbage issue. This order was passed after a report was filed by the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB) indicating that not a single panchayat had been sincere about complying with the courts directives.








ASI projects: Delhi HC orders to reconsider proposals

Tanvir A Siddiqui

Posted: Tuesday , Nov 17, 2009 at 0442 hrs Ahmedabad:

The six-member Expert Advisory Committee (EAC) headed by director-general of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has processed as many as 400 projects for renovation or construction in the vicinity of ancient monuments.

This includes 10 of the 12 such proposals recommended by the Superintending Archaeologist of Vadodara Circle. But in a recent ruling, the Delhi High Court has not only asked the ASI to stop accepting new proposals, but also reconsider all proposals cleared since July 2006. This has put a big question mark on the future of hundreds of projects across the country.

These proposals include the controversial Kankaria Lake Front Development Project, construction of six commercial buildings within 22 metres of Bibi Achyut Kuki’s mosque in the Dudheshwar area, construction of Vir memorial near Rani Ki Vav in Patan and construction of residential buildings near Jami Masjid in Bharuch.

The approvals go against a Central government notification of 1992, which prohibits any construction activity within 100 metres of ancient or protected monuments. Deciding on a petition by a Supreme Court lawyer, a Delhi High Court bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice S Murlidhar described the EAC as “illegal” and the permissions as an “exercise without the authority of law”. “We have no doubt that the committee, formed with the approval of the Minister for Culture and Tourism, for advising the director-general on granting permission for construction/renovation in a prohibited area was without any legal basis,” the court ruled.

The bench also expressed concern over the ASI’s functioning, saying: “The ASI, which is entrusted with the constitutional and statutory responsibility of ensuring preservation of our ancient and protected monuments, is facilitating the violation of the notification by granting permission for construction in protected areas… For the ASI to set up a committee to consider relaxation of that norm (set in the 1992 notification) is unacceptable and impermissible.”

ASI director (monuments) A K Sinha said the “High Court order will have to be complied as directed”. He said the ASI was working on issues relating to this when asked if there was any plan to move the Supreme Court.







HC questions collection of advt tax

TNN 17 November 2009, 05:42am IST

LUCKNOW: The high court on Monday asked the municipal commissioner and deputy municipal commissioner (Advertising) to explain as to under which authority they were engaging private agencies for survey and collection of advertisement tax from the companies, which want to put advertisement kiosk along the roadside.

Municipal commissioner, Shailesh Kumar Singh and deputy municipal commissioner (Advertising) Pratap Singh Bhadoria, appeared on Monday before the bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi in compliance of earlier order. The officials could not clarify and justify before the court that under which part of the Municipalities Act, the municipal action was taken. Municipal Commissioner assured the court that within the next 15 days, he would explain the entire position before it.

The order came on the writ petition of the petitioner, Shobha Publicity, which stated that a private agency, M/s Astha Vigyapan Agency, engaged by the municipal corporation illegally took down its advertisement kiosk and replaced it with own kiosk. The court restrained the private agency from compelling the petitioner to remove its kiosk. It provided that MC was at liberty to take necessary action in accordance with law. The court fixed December 2 for the next hearing of the case.








HC fixes Nov 25 as date for no-trust motion

Ravi Dayal, TNN 17 November 2009, 06:35am IST

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday fixed November 25 as the date of meeting of Arwal Zilla Parishad to take up motion of no-confidence against its chairman and vice-chairman.

A single Bench presided by Justice Navniti Prasad Singh issued the directive when the state chief secretary submitted in its affidavit before the court that he would take action against the Arwal DM as per direction of the court. The chief secretary submitted that he received a report wherein it stated that the DM had first fixed the meeting for no-confidence motion for which he was not authorized under the Bihar Panchayat Act. Later, the DM cancelled the said meeting after realising that he had erred in calling the meeting.

Earlier, the court had issued directive to the chief secretary for taking action against the DM after the petitioner’s counsel submitted that the DM had wrongly called the meeting, and, when he had called the meeting, he ought not have cancelled it as per the legal norms.

A member of the Arwal Zilla Parishad, Madheshwar Prasad Singh, had submitted in his writ petition that the chairman and vice-chairman did not pay heed to a petition submitted by him and other members to the duo requesting them to call the meeting of Zilla Parishad to take up a motion of no-confidence against them for alleged violation of norms.

The petitioners had moved the DM requesting him to convene the meet and the DM had called the same but cancelled it later.







Lawyers’ arrest aggravates judiciary-lawyers’ stand-off

Bhuvaneshwar Prasad, TNN 17 November 2009, 06:37am IST

KATIHAR: The stand-off between the judiciary and the striking lawyers was further aggravated with the arrest of 15 agitating lawyers in Katihar on Monday.

Katihar subdivisional police officer (SDPO) said the lawyers were arrested on the fourth day of their strike on Monday on charges of breaching prohibitory orders under Section 144 CrPC.

With no end in sight to the four-day indefinite ceasework and strike, a five-member delegation of lawyers, led by Katihar Bar Association secretary Mahanand Yadav, will call on Patna High Court acting Chief Justice (CJ) Shiv Kriti Singh. The representatives of the Bar Council will go along with them, too.

No wonder, work at the courts, including that of the Katihar district and sessions judge, remained grounded as the lawyers’ stir spilled over into the fourth day, said a spokesman of the striking lawyers, who demanded an immediate transfer of the district judge.

“Unless the DJ rescinds his order to remove the makeshift lawyers chambers’ from the court premises, we will not resume work,” he added notwithstanding the huge inconveniences being faced by the litigants and others.

As the district administration has already clamped prohibitory orders, the entire court premises wore the look of a virtual fortress.







Law students should speak about rights of people: CJI

Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan said law students should take responsibility to speak for rights of people.

Justice Balakrishnan, while speaking as a chief guest on the occasion of convocation of the National Law Institute University, Bhopal, said syllabus of law course should be designed as per the needs of democracy.

He stressed on the need for change in syllabus for law courses in view of changes in technology, international trade, economic development and intellectual rights.

Praising the educational standards of the National Law University, Justice Balakrishnan said the university has created a benchmark in the field of legal education.

He provided degrees to students of graduate and post-graduate courses. He also gave medals to meritorious students.

Madhya Pradesh High Court Justice A K Patnaik presided over the function. University Governing Council member and Higher Education Minister Lakshmikant Sharma and Law Minister Narottam Mishra were also present.

Earlier, Justice Balakrishnan administered oath to students receiving degrees.

Earlier, meeting of University Governing Council chaired by Madhya Pradesh Chief Justice and University Chairperson A K Patnaik concluded. Higher Education Minister Lakshmikant Sharma and Law Minister Narottam Mishra also took part in the meeting.









Preventive detention of Polish national nullified

Legal Correspondent

The appellant was found carrying foreign currencies worth Rs. 40.72 lakh. His writ petition was dismissed by the Madras High Court

The Supreme Court has quashed the order of preventive detention of a Polish citizen under the Conservation of Foreign Exchange and Prevention of Smuggling Activities Act (COFEPOSA) for trying to smuggle foreign currency into India.

On October 28, a Bench of Justices Dalveer Bhandari and H.L. Dattu ordered the release of Gimik Piotr forthwith and said it would give reasons later.

Giving its reasons on November 13, the Bench said: “preventive detention essentially deals with curtailment of a person’s liberty and is, therefore, a potential weapon for human rights abuses. In the United States, some State statutes authorise preventive detention, where there is clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is a danger to another person or to the community and that no condition or combination or conditions of pre-trial release can reasonably protect against that danger.”

Writing the judgment, Mr. Justice Dattu said: “pre-trial detention is not to be employed as a device to punish a defendant before guilt has been determined, nor to express outrage at a defendant’s evident wrongdoing, but its sole purpose is to ensure public safety and the defendant’s future appearance in court when the government proves that conditions of release cannot achieve those goals.”

In the instant case, the appellant came to India on September 5, 2008 from Singapore and when he was due to return on September 7, he was intercepted at the Chennai airport by the Customs authorities and he was found carrying foreign currencies valued at Rs. 40.72 lakh. The foreign currencies were seized and subsequently he was detained under the COFEPOSA by an order passed by the Tamil Nadu government. His writ petition was dismissed by the Madras High Court and he filed the present appeal against that order.

Allowing the appeal, the Supreme Court Bench said the contention of the authorities that the detenu was part of a smuggling ring had no merit. Accepting the appellant’s counsel K.K. Mani’s submission that he was not a habitual smuggler, the Bench said, “There was no pressing need to curtail the liberty of a person by passing a preventive detention order.”

“There is higher standard of proof required in these circumstances involving the life and liberty of a person. The material provided by the respondents is not enough to justify the curtailment of the liberty of the appellant under an order of preventive detention in the fact and circumstances of the case,” the Bench said and quashed the detention order.








SC notice to Centre, J&K on mobile ban

 Monday,16 November 2009 20:10 hrs IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Cout Monday sought a response from the Centre and Jammu and Kashmir government on a petition alleging imposition of ban on pre-paid mobile phone services in the state has plunged militancy-affected areas and security of civilians into a “catastrophe”.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justice P. Sathasivam issued notices to the Ministries of Home and Telecom and the state government asking them to respond within two weeks about security concerns and economical issues raised in the PIL.

The PIL, filed by Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party which has challenged imposition of the ban on pre-paid mobile services in the border state, said “about 25,000 SPOs and village defence committee members who are operating in forests stand cut off from their operational headquarters plunging the militancy affected areas and security of the civilians into catastrophe”.

Advocate Bhim Singh, who is the Chairman of the party, contended the government’s order to ban pre-paid cell phone services in the state from November 1 was “authoritarian and arbitrary”. “The ban order is unconstitutional, improper, authoritarian and arbitrary and violative of the Article 14, 19 and 21 among other provisions of the Constitution of India,” according to the petition.








Supreme Court quashes irrelevant bail condition

J. Venkatesan

To examine if courts can impose odd conditions

The duo was held for trying to burn Indian and Sri Lankan flags

They must hoist the national flag in front of their houses every day for a week

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has set aside the bail condition imposed by the Madras High Court on two persons that they perform community service in an orphanage for three hours a day for one week. However, it has retained the condition that they hoist the national flag in front of their houses every day for a week.

A Bench of Justices B. Sudershan Reddy and Deepak Verma set aside the order after hearing the arguments of counsel for the petitioner and former Union Law Minister Ram Jethmalani and counsel for Tamil Nadu S. Thananjayan.

Admitting the appeal, the court said it would examine whether the trial courts and the High Courts could impose odd and irrelevant conditions while granting bail to the accused in a criminal case.

The prosecution case was that on April 25, the two persons assembled in front of the Coimbatore Collectorate. They were arrested when they attempted to burn the Indian and Sri Lankan flags to protest what they called the Sri Lankan Army’s attack on the Tamils.

After the trial court denied them bail, they approached the High Court, which enlarged them on bail on June 9, on the condition that they erect a pole in front of their houses and hoist the national flag, with due respect, every day for a week. The flag should be hoisted at 6 a.m. and lowered at 6 p.m. It should be monitored by the police. Another condition was that they do community service at an orphanage, to be named by the magistrate, for three hours daily for one week. As their plea for modification of the conditions was rejected on July 1, they moved the special leave petition.

While Mr. Jethmalani contended that such irrelevant conditions could not be imposed, counsel for the State said that asking the petitioners to hoist the national flag was not an onerous condition.

In its order, the Bench said: “The controversy centres on the condition that the appellants report before an orphanage that would be named by the magistrate to perform community service three hours a day. It is difficult to appreciate why such a condition has been imposed by the High Court . The said condition is totally unsustainable in law.”

The Bench set aside that condition and said the appellants should be released on bail on the modified condition, and the condition that they hoist the national flag should not be treated as a precedent for any purpose.








Insurance firm asked to pay for stolen truck, with interest


November 16th, 2009

CHANDIGARH – United India Insurance has been asked by the consumer forum here to pay Rs.400,000 plus interest to a customer who got a truck insured with the company but was not paid when the vehicle was stolen.

The district consumer disputes redressal forum directed the insurer to pay Rs.400,000 as cost of the lost truck to owner Anju Joshi and an interest of 7 percent from the date of her filing the theft report.

“My truck was insured with United India for Rs.400,000 from June 6, 2000 to June 5, 2001. I had paid the premium amount on time but my truck was stolen in July 2000,” Joshi, a resident of Mandi Gobindgarh town in Punjab, told IANS here Monday.

“Following this, I informed the police and the insurance company. I submitted all documents but the company did not entertain my claim, so I approached the consumer forum.”

Counsel for United India said in the company’s argument that the firm had not received the requisite documents from the complainant on time, which led to the delay in proceedings.

The forum, after hearing all arguments, directed the insurance company to pay the compensation amount along with interest to Joshi.







Top architect moves HC over nomination snub

TNN 16 November 2009, 02:28am IST

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra government’s chief architect has moved the Bombay high court after the Delhi-based Council of Architecture (CoA) his nomination to the country’s apex body of architects.

Sankhe, the chief architect of the state, is in charge of designing public buildings and also coordinating with the team selected for designing the statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji off Marine Drive. Any architect desirous of practising within the country has to be registered with the CoA, an autonomous and independent body.

The high court has issued notices to the CoA and its

officers asking them to respond to Sankhe’s petition before the next date of hearing scheduled for November 30.

The petition is the latest development in the tussle between the Union government and the CoA, which began with the Centre transferring the function of regulating architecture education from the council to the All-India Council for Technical Education.

Sankhe was initially nominated to the CoA in November 2004 for a three-year term. The state renominated him in December 2008, but the CoA – through a communication dated January 9, 2009 – rejected his nomination. It asked the state to nominate another person, presumably on the grounds that there was a break in Sankhe’s term.

“The law provides that members of the council shall be eligible for renomination not exceeding three consecutive terms,” said advocate Mohan Gawade, Sankhe’s lawyer. “Sankhe has completed just one term and is eligible for two more terms. It is up to the state to decide who it wants to nominate and this decision is binding on the CoA.”

The act of rejecting the nomination was a “gross violation of the powers and rights vested to the state government and is a direct interference in its rights”, claimed the petition. Sankhe urged the court to ask the Centre to appoint a panel to conduct an inquiry into the “the illegal and arbitrary affairs and mismanagement in the functioning of the CoA”.






HC framing new rules for international adoptions

Swati Deshpande, TNN 16 November 2009, 01:59am IST


MUMBAI: International adoptions hold a fascination for many adoption agencies across the country. For the child, it is an opportunity to get a family’s love. But in a rising number of cases, children given in for adoption abroad, are abandoned or forced to come back to India for other reasons. And when that happens, usually they have nothing to fall back on. To fill in this lacuna and to ensure a safety net for cross-border adoptions, the Bombay high court is for the first time suggesting the establishment of a National Children’s Trust Fund for their rehabilitation.

Justice Dhananjay Chandrachud is in the process of finalising path-breaking guidelines on foreign adoptions and the steps that need to be taken to ensure the welfare of these children. On Friday, the judge at an in-chamber hearing in which Asha Bajpai of TISS and additional solicitor general Darius Khambatta are participating, the court considered shortlisting several key systemic changes to the procedure. The judge is of the view that children who are abandoned or forced to return to India cannot be left to chart their course through unknown territory and with no institutional help. In a radical proposal, it was suggested that $5,000 should be deposited by each foreign adopting parent/s before the adoption is finalised. The funds thus collected would then be used for supporting children who return to India.

In one case, that is still pending before the Bombay HC, Jennifer Haynes, now 27 and adopted 20 years ago by a US couple, was sent back on certain charges. She moved the high court, saying she has no identity left and nowhere to stay. In another case, a 14-year-old girl also adopted by a US family is now back after she developed psychiatric problems. The question is who would fund her treatment-Wide Horizons for Children (WHC), the adoption agency that had placed her for adoption and then flew her back in 2008 September or Indian government’s Central Adoption Resources Agency which gave the permission to bring her back or the Indian Council for Social Welfare (ICSW) under whose care she is now. The Indian council wants the adoptee parents and the WHC to pay for the medical treatment.

The HC has said that proper psychiatric evaluation prior to such international adoptions is also a must.

Advocate Jamshed Mistry, who has dealt with several cases of issues cropping in foreign adoptions, said that what needs to be done immediately is to ensure that records of foreign adoptions must be scrupulously kept by the agency that facilitated it for the 60-year period as mandated by the Hague Convention to which India is a signatory. But the practice is sometimes not followed. On adoption by a foreign national, the process of naturalisation of the child ought to begin immediately.







Lawyers, judges discuss challenges facing judiciary at seminar–judges-discuss-challenges-facing-judiciary-at-seminar/542091/

Express News Service

Posted: Monday , Nov 16, 2009 at 0739 hrs Mumbai:

The Progressive Lawyers Forum organised a seminar on ‘Role of lawyers in the current judicial scenario’ on Saturday. Speaking on the challenges of the present judicial system Justice SC Dharmadhikari, a sitting judge of the Bombay High Court, said that every attempt is being made to see that the common man loses his faith in the judiciary. He said the current judicial scenario is passing through a great crisis and vested interests encourage the media to come out and say openly certain things difficult to collaborate. He added that muscle power, mafia and especially media power have the potential of causing damage to the reputation and dignity of the system.

Justice Dharmadhikari said there is a tendency for lawyers to be seen adding that most of the times the cause of those making a show of injustice is espoused.

He said that a mediocre lawyer is a threat to the existence of the judiciary. “Every lawyer wants to go and straight away practice in the higher courts. The real pillar is the subordinate court where they learn the basics and get their foundation,” he opined.

Advocate Sureshkumar Panicker said there are those lawyers who earn in a dignified manner and those who earn crores through unfair means. “We are not mouth-pieces for our client,” Panicker said adding that lawyers must have self-imposed discipline. He criticised the recent incidents at the Madras High Court where lawyers clashed with the police and at the Bangalore High Court where judges were locked up. “A protest should be done in a strong way but in a dignified and polite manner,”said Panicker.








Judiciary should be made more accountable: Moily–Moily


Kochi, Nov 15 (PTI) Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily today said the government was planning to make judiciary “more accountable” but without compromising its independence and the respect for it.

“The government is planning to make judiciary more accountable. However, at the same time we would not like a compromise with the independence and respect for the judiciary,” he said here.

“I’m confident that steps which are being taken up by our government for judicial reforms would bring fruitful results,” he said speaking on ‘Judiciary Reforms’ in connection with the 95th birthday celebrations of former Supreme Court Judge V R Krishna Iyer.

The Judges Standards and Accountablity bill will be introduced in the next session of Parliament after consulting the judiciary. “We do not want to have confrontation with the judiciary,” he said.








Neglect of duty, rights abuse are different,+rights+abuse+are+different&artid=fi0VqVAbO7Y=&SectionID=lifojHIWDUU=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=rSY%7C6QYp3kQ=&SEO=
Express News Service

First Published : 15 Nov 2009 03:23:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 15 Nov 2009 06:45:10 AM IST


CHENNAI: Negligence by a public servant in discharging the duties and committing human rights violation are two different offences attracting two different punishments, the Tamil Nadu State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) has ruled.

SHRC member Dr K Mariappan gave the ruling while passing orders on a complaint from S Paramasivam of Virasigamani village in Tirunelveli district against Senthamaram police inspector Mohammed Hussain.

The police department had already taken displinary action against Hussain. This might be the solution for the gross violation in discharging his responsibility, but not for the rights violation, the commission observed and imposed a fine of Rs 30,000 on the inspector, which should be given as compensation to the victim. The State should pay the amount in two mo nths and recover the same in instalments from the inspector’s salary, it said.

The charge against Hussain was that he demanded a ‘commission’ of Rs 5,000 from Paramasivam for settling a money dispute between the latter and one Mohammed Hanifa.

As Paramasivam refused to oblige, the inspector lodged a false case against him and produced him before a judicial magistrate, who remanded him to 15 days of judicial custody. After spending four days in prison, Paramasivam came out on bail and lodged the present complaint. During the argument, Hussain said that the department had already punished him.

PROVISIONS OF ELECTRICITY ACT UPHELD: The Madras High Court has upheld the amendments made to the Electricity Act, 2003, and the subsequent rules that provided for stringent punishment to persons indulging in power thefts.

“If it is seen in the light of the object of the 2003 Act and the need to check energy theft cases due to which revenue is siphoned off and the regulations having been made in a lawful manner, the attempt of the petitioners to attack the Act and the regulations as ultra vires the Act, cannot be countenanced,’’ Justice K Chandru observed. The judge was dismissing writ petitions challenging the Act, which provided for immediate disconnection of power supply and levy of penalties.

PLEA AGAINST LAND ACQUISITION: The Madras High Court has directed the land acquisition Officer, Mylapore-Triplicane taluk to consider the plea from three persons, whose land was acquired for laying a service road beneath the over-bridge on Cenotaph Road- Turnbulls Road junction.

When the writ petitions from J Gunalakshmi, J Raviraj and Sumathi Arul came up on November 10, Advocate-General PS Raman told Justice P Jyothimani that in respect of the petitioners’ property, beyond what was notified under the Land Acquisition Act, no other portion of their property was encroached upon for the formation of the service road.

“In view of the above submission of the AG, The LA officer shall consider the representations dated October 1 and 5, 2009, in accordance with law and pass appropriate order within two weeks,’’ the judge said and disposed off the writ petition.






Minority quota in 50-yr-old B.Ed. course at Shibli College


Submitted by admin3 on 14 November 2009 – 10:00pm.

By Salman Sultan, Special Correspondent,

Azamgarh: Shibli National College, Azamgarh, a premier minority institution in North India was established as National School in the year 1883 by the great oriental Scholar and Nationalist Allama Shibli Nomani. It was the vision of Principal (Late Shaukat Sultan) and College Management that B.Ed. classes were started in 1959. As 50% of the seats (100) were reserved for the minority community, the college was producing trained Muslim teachers in good number every year. But three years ago some official hurdles were created to block this flow of Muslim teachers, and consequently the college has not been able to run the B.Ed. classes since the 2007-2008 academic sessions.

Mrs. Nasreen Ahmad, Head, Department of Education said that in the beginning Shibli National Degree College was affiliated to Agra University and the College controlled the admission. In the beginning intake of students was in the teacher-student ratio of 1: 10 but when the College got affiliated to Gorakhpur University the ratio was enhanced to 1: 15 (1972-73) and it remained so even when the College (now Postgraduate) was affiliated to Purvanchal University, Jaunpur (1989). Later on, P.U. reduced the intake to 1: 10.

Dr. Iftekhar Ahmad, Principal told that as per 1995 G.O. College was empowered to take 50% admission to B.Ed. classes through test. The V.C., P.U., in order to maintain standard, was advised to send its nominee as an observer. Thereafter evaluation of answer sheets was done in presence of V.C. nominee and a list of 50 minority students were prepared duly signed by the Principal and V.C. In 2007-08 Kanpur University was asked by P.U. to conduct admission test in a single window system. As there was no specific order we conducted our own admission test in order to select 50% students (minority) and went to the V.C seeking an observer for evaluation. A deputy registrar of P.U. looking after B.Ed showed extra ordinary interest in seeking clarification from U.P. government. U.P. government sent an order, which was actually meant for self-financed Colleges though it was addressed to us. A 15% NRI quota was also given to us by Kanpur University, which, in fact, is given to self-financed Colleges. In 2008-09 Agra University conducted the test and given us only 50 seats. As selection process got delayed this session was declared as zero session.
Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi, Chairman U.P. Minority Commission was invited on 31st October 2009 in a function organized by Old Boys Association of Jamiatul Falah, Bilariyaganj (Azamgarh). On the invitation of College Principal, Mr. S.M.A. S.M.A. Kazmi briefly halted in the College on his way back to Lucknow in the afternoon. Principal discussed with him the problem faced in admission of minority students in B.Ed course and apprised him of the futility of accepting 50% minority students selected through a single window system. He argued that Department of Education was established to provide employment opportunities to Muslim minority of the region and therefore, College should be allowed to have a say in the admission of 50% minority students. Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi patiently listened to the grievances and assured him of an affirmative action. Principal gave copies of letters sent to C.M. and others in this regard to Mr. S.M.A. Kazmi.

As per news item in Urdu newspaper a letter has been sent by Mr. S.M.A Kazmi to the Secretary Higher Education seeking a report in 15 days.

Isabella Thoburn (IT) College, Lucknow, a constituent College of Lucknow University (as per Lucknow University Act 1921) is imparting B.Ed course since 1954. In 1987 State government framed U.P. State Universities (Regulation of Admission to Courses of Instruction for Degree in Education in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent Colleges) order. After this “order 1987” Lucknow University restrained I.T. College from holding Entrance test for admitting students. Committee of Management of I.T. College assailed action of Lucknow University by filing a writ petition no. 4530 of 1989 and a division bench of High Court passed an order dated 10.07.1987 allowing I.T. College to admit members of the minority community (whose interest they cater) on priority basis. Since then I.T. College was admitting students of minority community every year. On 7.8.1995 govt. issued G.O. no. 1310/1511-95-3(101)/92. As per G.O. a Committee will be constituted in every minority institution comprising of a representative of the University to be nominated by the V.C., Principal of the Minority Institution, a representative of Higher Education Department not below the rank of Higher Education Officer. This Committee was to lay down guidelines to maintain standard in University Institutions. In the G.O it was also mentioned that the same (guidelines) is being issued pursuant to the direction issued by S.C. in its order dater 6.12.1991 passed in writ petition no. 1868 of 1980 and 13213 of 1984.

I.T. College was, however, restrained to declare result for entrance test for admission to B.Ed course by Committee for Fairness and Transparency in Admission Procedure of Technical, Medical and Other Professional Courses (in short “Fairness Committee”) through its order dated 13.4.2007. Further by its order-dated 22.5.2007 Farness Committee held that I.T. College is not a minority institution. I.T. College filed a writ petition no. 2907 (2007) in the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad sitting at Lucknow. Honourable High Court allowed the writ petition and quashed the order dated 22.5.2007 passed by opposite party no. 2 (“Fairness Committee”).


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