LEGAL NEWS 23.02.2010

SC to hear PILs on Telangana issue

New Delhi:The Supreme Court today decided to hear a petition seeking laying down of guidelines for exercising powers by the government to go into the contentious issue of carving out separate state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh.

The apex court allowed the plea for deleting the prayer in the petition challenging the validity of the government  action appointing the Justice B N Srikrishna Commission to look into the creation of new Telangana state.

A Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and Justice B S Chauhan posted the PIL for hearing after four weeks in which it has been contended that no constitutional power can be exercised arbitrarily and at will without there being any guidelines or basis.

Mont Blanc Apologises for Gandhi Pen

Kochi | Feb 23, 2010

Swiss luxury giant Mont Blanc today tendered an unconditional apology in the Kerala High Court on the issue of sale of its high-end Mahatma Gandhi edition pens, saying it did not intend to hurt the sentiments of any citizen.

Mont Blanc Simplo GmBH also gave an undertaking before a division bench that the limited edition pens, each of which cost Rs 14 lakh, would not be sold until further orders.

The Bench comprising acting Chief Justice P R Raman and Justice C N Ramachandran Nair was hearing a PIL filed by Dijo Kappan complaining that sale of pen in the name of Gandhi violates the provisions of Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950.

The company said they were tendering an “unconditional” apology if the sentiments of any of the citizen had been hurt.

The bench directed the company to file a further affidavit incorporating the assurance given to the court.

In the counter affidavit filed by Marc Frisanco, authorised signatory of the company, it claimed that they have a long history of supporting charitable causes as well as the heritage and importance of iconic historical figures from art and culture to world leaders in different platforms.

It was further stated that they would be donating USD nine lakh to charitable institutions in India especially those recommended by Gandhi’s great grandson Tushar Gandhi.

The company submitted it had no intention of violating the provisions of the Act.

Mont Blanc said they were under the erroneous impression that permission from the central government was not required for bringing out the limited edition pens.

They had no intention of using Gandhi’s name or picture as part of the trade, it said.

The company sought a direction to the central government to regularise use of Gandhi’s name and picture on the pen.

Earlier, Mont Blanc’s request was rejected by the central government on December 20 last year.

Filed At: Feb 23, 2010 19:03 IST ,  Edited At: Feb 23, 2010 19:03 IST

The Krishna Iyer effect on the Supreme Court

DYNAMIC LAWYERING: Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer; Universal Law Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., C-FF-IA, Dilkhush Industrial Estate, G. T. Karnal Road, Delhi-110033. Rs. 350.

This is a compilation of 31 essays and lectures of Justice Krishna Iyer on a range of issues, not all of them on law. Some are on contemporary concerns such as global warming, secularism, tribal rights, the rights of pensioners, PIL, animal rights, and India-Pakistan relations. Also included are opinion pieces, reflecting his inimitable style, on individuals such as E.M.S. Namboodiripad, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Mahesh Yogi, besides a few correspondences and addresses from the bar.

It is hard to select the best from the bunch, since his essays philosophise, inspire, nudge, provoke, and shake you to work towards ethical standards in life. Therefore, I have opted to cite a few select quotes from the writings which are illustrative of the sharp and incisive nature of his opinions.

Code of conduct

The book starts with his speech on the theme ‘Dynamic lawyering, juristic engineering and ethical standards’, where he exhorts lawyers to spiritualise the practice of law. In a scathing remark, he describes the practice of the Supreme Court turning down petitions under Article 32, with a direction that the petitioners approach the High Court, as shirking of duty and observes that the seeming short cut “has sterilized Article 32,” apart from needlessly multiplying work at a time when courts at both levels are choked with arrears. He advocates a constitutional amendment to provide for a Judicial Performance Commission and an Advocate Performance Commission.

In another article, Justice Iyer seeks public regulation, a Selection Commission, and a code of conduct for judges. On the critical question of appointment of judges to the higher judiciary, he observes that to be a judge one need not be a “versatile genius.” “It violates all noesis and commonsense to empower a lay collegium which has no constitutional foundation except a self-serving ruling. The court is under the Constitution and not over it.”

In the Shankar Guha Niyogi memorial lecture, he minces no words in speaking up for tribal rights. He says, the Indian Constitution is “deaf and dumb in these tribal regions. The locomotive of people’s liberation is the spirit of autonomy, more human right, less centralism, less illusions about peace through police action.”

Talking of secularism, in his Hakeem Abdul Hameed memorial lecture, he observes: “Indian secularism, without borrowing from Western nationalism or Marxian materialism, must go to its roots of comity of religions, camaraderie of faiths, [and a] beautiful blend of divine light and cross fertilization of divergent teachings which made for a vibrant fellowship of church, mosque, temple and other shrines.”


The book also has vignettes from legal history including his order granting conditional stay of the verdict of the Allahabad High Court that held Indira Gandhi’s election as void, as also his last judgment that addressed the discrimination of historically disadvantaged groups in matters of employment in the railways. ( Akhil Bharatiya Soshit Karamchari Sangh vs Union of India)

Justice Krishna Iyer introduced the concept of public interest litigation in Ratlam Municipality vs Vardichan. His landmark verdicts on criminal jurisprudence, giving a new dimension to human rights and the rule of law in the 1980s, continue to have great relevance today. As Harish Salve says, the Supreme Court of India was ‘Krishnaiyerised’ to become the ‘Supreme Court for Indians.’

These essays need to be read by all those who are concerned with not just the judiciary but with probity in public life. A flaw in the book is that the dates of the speeches and articles are not indicated.

Uproar in Bihar assembly over multi-crore excise scam

February 23rd, 2010 – 5:08 pm ICT by IANS

Patna, Feb 23 (IANS) The opposition created an uproar in the Bihar assembly Tuesday over the demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the multi-crore excise scam.
The opposition, on the second day of the month-long budget session of the Bihar assembly, raised slogans for a CBI probe into the scam that forced assembly speaker Udai Narayan Choudhry to adjourn the state assembly till noon.

Some opposition members neared the speker’s podium and raised slogans against the state government led by Nitish Kumar.

Opposition members announced they would march to the governor’s house to submit a memorandum demanding a CBI probe into the scam.

Last week Bihar Excise Minister Jamshed Ashraf was sacked after he alleged there was a “multi-crore scam” in his department that involved people in the chief minister’s secretariat.

Ashraf created a storm nearly two weeks ago when he spoke of a Rs.500 crore fraud in the excise department, with alleged connivance of senior bureaucrats.

He also questioned Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s “silence” on the issue, claiming he had shot off letters to him and Chief Secretary Anup Mukherjee asking for a probe into the graft. He also threatened to reveal more on a public platform in the coming days.

Last week Nitish Kumar rejected the opposition demand for a CBI probe into the scam.

Nitish Kumar brushed aside the charges by Ashraf stating that nobody could influence or purchase him.

A public interest litigation (PIL) was filed in the Patna High Court seeking a probe by the CBI into the alleged excise scam.

SC asks EC to see if elephant statues violate poll code

23 Feb 2010, 0423 hrs IST, ET Bureau

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Election Commission to decide within three months whether installation of statues of elephants by Uttar Pradesh chief minster Mayawati under her pet statue project at huge cost of public money is violative of the poll code.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B S Chauhan asked the poll panel to decide the issue by May. The state government, however, has taken the stand that the statues of elephants should not be construed as a mere election symbol of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), but it is a welcome symbol.

“We have given reply to the Election Commission that the elephants installed in parks are not the election symbol of the party as alleged, but a welcome symbol.” “Even in North Block and South Block (which has offices of key ministries) here, You have elephant statues,” said senior advocate and Mayawati’s close aide S C Mishra appearing for the state government.

The court was hearing a PIL which said that 60 statues of elephants were being installed by Uttar Pradesh government at a cost of Rs 52.20 crore at public places by utilising state funds.


SC to hear PILs on statehood

TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 02.08am IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court decided on Monday to hear a petition seeking laying down of guidelines for exercising powers by the government to go into the contentious issue of carving out a separate state of Telangana from Andhra.

The SC allowed the plea for deleting the prayer in the petition challenging the validity of the government action appointing the Justice B N Srikrishna Commission to look into the creation of a new Telangana state.

A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan posted the PIL for hearing after four weeks. The PIL contends that no constitutional power can be exercised arbitrarily and at will.

Choudhary to continue probe in Koda scam case


Ranchi, Feb 23 (PTI) Ordering status quo, the Jharkhand High Court today directed the Income Tax department that its transferred senior official Ujjwal Choudhary will remain in his previous post and continue to probe the Madhu Koda case.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and Justice R R Prasad, while hearing a PIL observed that Choudhary, Director (Income Tax-Investigation), should remain in Ranchi Circle in the same post.

Shortly after the court order, Choudhary told PTI, “I will continue to work to the best of my ability.”

The PIL filed by social activist Durga Oraon sought status quo in the case of Choudhary who was transfered on February 19 when he was in Chaibasa during countrywide raids at 70 places in connection with the RS 2000 crore money laundering charges against the former Jharkhand chief minister and some others.

SC moved against holding of IPL matches at night


New Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) A PIL was today filed in the Supreme Court seeking a ban on holding of IPL cricket matches at night citing reasons ranging from security threat to waste of energy in illuminating the stadium.

“The probability of extremists’ attack is more during night hours… Power cut is very common in all parts of the country. We should, therefore, be rational in using power. In order to cater to the requirements of the cricket matches, there will be accelerated power cut in more and more areas,” the PIL filed jointly by a Kolkata-based forum and others said.

The Howrah Ganatantrik Nagarik Samity which filed the PIL along with Howrah residents — Subhash Datta and Subhash Chandra Basu — said public money cannot be used for the commercial venture of private organisations or individuals.

High Court quashes proceeding against Manoje Nath

(BiharTimes) In an important judgement Patna High Court quashed the proceeding against senior police officer and Director General of Sports Authority, Manoje Nath on Monday.

The proceedings were initiated against him after his refusal to conduct an inquiry into the incident of seizure of liquor and arms from the RJD candidate from Jamui constituency , Vijay Prakash Yadav  during 2005 assembly elections.

The judgement delivered by a bench headed by justice S K Katriar paved the way for his elevation for the post of DGP as he would be the senior most IPS officer after the retirement of current DGP Anand Shankar on 28th February this year.

Gujarat HC sanctions scheme of arrangement between Aditya Birla Nuvo and its wholly-owned subsidiaries

Diversified conglomerate Aditya Birla Nuvo has informed that the scheme of arrangement between the holding company Aditya Birla Nuvo (ABNL) and its wholly-owned subsidiaries, viz. Madura Garments Exports, Peter England Fashions and retail and MG Lifestyle Clothing Company and their respective shareholders and creditors has been sanctioned by the Gujarat High Court (HC).

Further, the company has informed that March 9, 2010 has been fixed as the record date for ascertaining the preference shareholders of Peter England Fashions, who will be entitled for preference shares of the company as per the said scheme of arrangement.

Aditya Birla Nuvo has a balanced portfolio of traditional and new age businesses under its fold, ranging from textiles to life insurance.

HC reserves order on Sajjan’s bail plea; no interim relief–no-interim-relief/583014/

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Feb 23, 2010 at 0048 hrs New Delhi:

Facing the prospect of arrest in the wake of a non-bailable warrant (NBW) issued against him, Congress leader Sajjan Kumar will have to wait for some time before the Delhi High Court decides whether or not he deserves protection from the coercive order. The court on Monday reserved its verdict on Kumar’s bail plea after the CBI said putting him behind bars would dispel the fear of witnesses, while he expressed readiness to undergo scientific tests to prove his innocence in the 1984 anti-Sikh riot cases.

Justice A K Pathak, however, refused to grant any immediate relief to the politician whose NBW is returnable by Tuesday before the magistrate at the lower court. “I will not do any job which is to be done by the magistrate,” Justice Pathak said, when Kumar’s advocate pleaded for interim relief by exempting him from personal appearance on Tuesday before the trial court.

The court, however, said it will try its best to pass its order on his bail plea at the earliest.

Divorced woman cannot use ex-husband’s name: HC


Posted: Friday , Feb 19, 2010 at 1729 hrs Mumbai:

Bombay High Court has held that a divorced woman cannot use her former husband’s name.

In an order passed early this week, High Court directed a woman to refrain from using husband’s name and surname.

Earlier, Principal judge of the family court in Mumbai had restrained the woman, Asha, from using her ex-husband Ramesh’s name and surname as their marriage had ended four years ago.

Court granted divorce to Asha and Ramesh (both names changed) in 2006. But when Asha filed application for maintenance, Ramesh took a stand that she was still using his name and surname, and urged the family court to restrain her from doing so.

He alleged that she was misusing his name, was posing as his wife, and putting him in embarrassing situations.

Asha, on the other hand, argued that since she had challenged divorce in the Supreme Court, where her appeal was still pending, she was still his wife.

The family court held that the marriage had come to an end and she could not use husband’s name any longer.

Asha then filed appeal in the High Court.

However, the High Court refused to interfere with family court’s order, saying that she has to abide by family court’s order, and would not use husband’s name anywhere, including her bank accounts.

Briefly Mumbai

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Feb 23, 2010 at 2352 hrs Mumbai:

HC seeks police reply on illegal detention
The HC has sought a reply from two officers with Matunga police station for detaining a person illegally for over 20 hours in August 2009. According to Abhaychandra Yadav (28), the petitioner, he was illegally detained by senior police inspector Deshmukh and police sub-inspector Arjun Sawant. Justices Ranjana Desai and Mridula Bhatkar directed Deshmukh and Sawant to file their reply in a week.

Man who kidnapped stepfather gets bail
The Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to Mikhail Zaveri who had kidnapped his stepfather for ransom last year. The court granted bail for an amount of Rs 20,000. The court told Zaveri he should not keep any contact with his mother or stepfather while on bail.

Move to hike retirement age of SC, HC judges flounders

TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 12.50am IST

NEW DELHI: A strong push to increase the retirement age of Supreme Court judges from 65 to 68 years and high court judges from 62 to 65 years seems to be floundering, with those behind the move finding it difficult to mobilize support from within the government and political parties.

Though the sentiment among the political class seems to be in favour of the move, it has not gelled into solid political backing for the constitutional amendment that would be required for the age hike.

Law minister Veerappa Moily said there was no such move. However, sources in the ruling coalition as well as in Opposition parties confirmed that efforts were on to mop up support.

Under the Constitution, raising the age limit will require amending Article 124(2) by a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Government managers, it is learnt, have sounded out the Opposition, but the non-Congress parties have not warmed up to the idea till now. There are misgivings within Congress as well — one reason why its support to the move has appeared tentative to many.

The issue of timing is crucial, for Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan is due to retire in April.
While the idea may not come to fruition immediately, it is not seen without merit. For instance, it is pointed out that increase in retirement age of HC judges would solve the problem of more than 250 vacancies in high courts as sitting judges would get three more years.

Wife or husband’s attorney cannot appear in family courts : Bombay HC


Tuesday, February 23, 2010 9:24 IST

Mumbai: In a significant order, the Bombay high court has held that persons holding power of attorney cannot appear or argue for wife or husband in a matrimonial dispute in family court.

“If constituted attorneys of the parties are allowed to appear, the court would be overrun by any number of unqualified, unenrolled persons”, justice Roshan Dalvi ruled.

The order was passed last week on a petition filed by Neelam Shewale challenging a family court ruling which refused her plea to be represented by a constituted attorney.

The petitioner pleaded that she may be allowed to be represented by her constituted attorney as she is ill, does not know English, has been mentally tortured at the hands of husband and would not be able to stand the court proceeding.

The family court had also rejected an application filed by her attorney seeking permission to represent the wife as she cannot financially afford a lawyer. It was argued that in family courts, lawyers are normally not permitted and that she would be entitled to help of a person she has faith in.

Under Section 13 of Family Courts Act, no party is entitled as a matter of right to be represented by a legal practitioner. However, the Court may appoint legal expert as amicus curie to assist her/him. A party has right to appear before the Family Court. No one can object to such appearance.

In this case, the wife did not desire to have an advocate. She had even refused legal aid offered to her and said she had faith only in her attorney.

The court observed that the object of Section 13 of Family Courts Act is to allow a party to represent her/his case and consequently right of lawyer to plead and appear in Court is limited but the right given to the party to appear is not extended to that party’s constituted attorney.

Hence, the general law of procedure under Order 3 Rule 1 as also the special laws contained in the Bar Councils Act and the Bombay Pleaders Act would apply even in a Family Court, justice Dalvi ruled.

The object of that provision is that only qualified persons are entitled to appear in courts and represent the case of their parties. The qualification is of the knowledge of the law and the enrollment under the Act, the judge noted.

“If constituted attorneys of all the parties are allowed to appear, the Court would be overrun by any number of unqualified, unenrolled persons. Since Civil Procedure Code would generally apply to a Family Court under Section 10 of the Act, the restraint upon appearance under Order 3 of the Code must hold good,” justice Dalvi observed.

“Consequently both the orders of the Family Court disallowing constituted attorney to appear for the wife are correct and cannot be interfered with,” the judge noted and dismissed the petition filed by the wife challenging the impugned orders.

BBMP polls: SC to HC, the ping-pong goes on,+the+ping-pong+goes+on&artid=7TnXxPVkkp8=&SectionID=Qz/kHVp9tEs=&MainSectionID=wIcBMLGbUJI=&SectionName=UOaHCPTTmuP3XGzZRCAUTQ==&SEO=

Express News Service

First Published : 23 Feb 2010 04:36:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 23 Feb 2010 08:02:03 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed the state government’s special leave petition against the Karnataka High Court order which said that BBMP polls be held before March 30. The day also saw the State Election Commission (SEC) tell the SC that it was pegging the poll date for March 14 — four days before the start of the PUC exams.

The development was yet another setback to the government which has been persistent in its bid to defer the long overdue elections. The state government’s only relief was in the SC’s observation that the government can approach the HC if it has any problems in issuing the list on reservation of wards.

The SC bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Varma and Justice B S Chauhan at one point also suggested that the exams be deferred awhile, if it will facilitate the BBMP elections which has been pending for nearly four years now.

As per the standing order of the Karnataka High Court, the government should have sent the list on reservation of wards to the SEC by Monday. With the notification on reservation of wards itself yet to be, no list reached the SEC.

Pending the SC verdict on its SLP, the state government had on last Friday filed an application before the HC seeking relaxation of two days to notify and issue the wards list.

Interestingly, appearing for the government, senior counsel PP Rao on Monday told the SC that Friday’s application was “a mistake” and insisted on three months time — till June — to hold the polls.


Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, who appeared for the SEC, noted that the March 14 slot would be ideal for polls in the wake of the PUC exams beginning on March 18 and the census and GP polls down the line.

The state government snubbed it pointing out that the CBSE exams will be starting in the first week of March and the state government has no control over the central board exams. The SC bench wondered if the Karnataka government realises that it will be in contempt of the HC if polls are not held by March 30.

HC quashes proceedings against cop

Ravi Dayal, TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 04.06am IST

PATNA: In a development described as important by many in state police circles, the Patna High Court on Monday quashed the departmental proceedings initiated against Sports Authority DG Manoje Nath.

The proceedings were initiated for his refusal to investigate an incident involving seizure of liquor, cash and ammunitions from RJD’s Jamui candidate Vijay Prakash Yadav during assembly elections in 2005.

The HC ruling should be music to the ears of Nath, more so because it clears decks for his elevation to the post of DGP after current incumbent Anand Shankar retires on February 28 this year. Nath, a 1973-batch officer, happens to be the seniormost officer among the remaining three DGs after Shankar retires with J K Khanna belonging to the ’74 batch and Neelmani to the ’75 batch.

If the state government goes by the seniority, chances of Khanna and Neelmani getting to the top cop’s post would be bleak with both of them retiring in 2011 while Nath is to retire in 2012.

Allowing Nath’s petition that sought quashing of proceedings against him, a single bench presided by Justice S K Katriar also quashed the charge that he made indecent remarks in his representation to state officials following
his refusal to probe the Jamui incident.

Nath’s counsel Shrawan Kumar, Rajiv Nayan Singh and A K Dubey submitted before the court their client stayed away from the investigation into the case as desired by the then DGP, Ashish Ranjan Sinha, simply because the local police had already lodged an FIR and were investigating the case. A fresh probe by Nath would have amounted to a parallel police investigation, the counsel said and wondered why the then DGP Sinha did not appreciate the legal position taken by Nath.

The counsel further submitted that Nath had duly communicated his decision and explanation thereof to the Election Commission of India. Satisfied with his explanation, the ECI entrusted the probe to the Munger division commissioner, the counsel said and added the state government was not even competent to initiate the proceedings as any such incident happening during elections falls under the control of the ECI.

The counsel also submitted that Nath’s representation to the principal secretary to the governor regarding the “demoralising effect on police due to the utterances of the then DGP against him (Nath)” had wrongly been construed by the government to be indecent. The same was the case with Nath’s letter to the then DGP Sinha, the counsel added.

Government advocate Prabhakar Tekriwal opposed Nath’s petition, submitting the state government rightly initiated the proceedings against him.

HC reprieve for Modi in flag dishonour case

Abhinav Sharma, TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 04.01am IST

JAIPUR: Rajasthan High Court on Monday stayed the investigation into the alleged dishonour of the national flag during the India -Pakistan match of IPL-1 held at SMS stadium on November 18, 2007, allegedly by some Pakistani guests of IPL chief Lalit Modi.

The order was passed by Justice Karni Singh Rathore while modifying an interim order passed earlier which directed the police not to take any coercive steps against Modi. The direction came on a criminal miscellaneous petition filed by Modi challenging the order of a city court directing registration of FIR and investigation into the case.
According to complainant Kamlesh Sharma, liquor was served in the VIP lounge of the SMS stadium and the national flag was used as a ta-ble cover on those tables where wine was served to the Pakistani visi-tors at the behest of Lalit Modi.

Earlier, the trial court had asked the circle officer of Ashok Nagar to file the final report of the investigations within one month. However, instead of filing any conclusive report, the police informed the court that a notice has been issued to Modi but he did not respond. A photograph has been taken to Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, but the persons could not been identified so far.

HC notice to collector of Dausa in hostage case

TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 03.52am IST

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday issued show cause notices to Dausa collector Lal Chand Aswal, Rajasthan DGP, principal secretary DOP, principal secretary home and station house officer of Dausa police station in a case of beating and keeping hostage a class IV employee.

A class IV government employee, on February 15, filed a petition in Rajasthan High Court stating that Dausa collector Lal Chand Aswal kept him hostage and beat him up when the petitioner refused to do domestic work at his Jaipur residence. The high court has asked investigation officer of the case in Dausa district to present the case diary in the court on February 22.

The complainant’s counsellor A K Jain said Gopal Lal Meharawal who was appointed as class IV employee at Sikrai tehsil in Dausa district and was deputed at the residence of district collector, Dausa for household work. He was asked by Dausa collector Lal Chand Aswal to do household work at his Jaipur residence.

When Meharawal refused to do so, Aswal allegedly took him to Jaipur forcefully and kept him hostage there.

Aswal also allegedly beat him up. Meharawal said that he managed to flee from the house and tried to lodge an FIR with Dausa police, but they refused to do so. On this, he approached a local court in Dausa which directed the police to lodge the first information report. Despite that, no investigation was conducted in the matter.

The complainant’s counsellor, Jain, told TOI that show cause notices have been issued in the matter. “The high court, commenting on the fact that investigation in the matter was finished by the Dausa police station on the same day when it was reported, has issued the notices. The highcourt observed that the matter was not properly investigated by the police,” said Jain.

CJI: Separate HC can be in UT

Saurabh Malik
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, February 22
Haryana’s demand for a separate high court in the existing building at Chandigarh has received a fillip with Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan categorically stating that it could be “anywhere” and that every state had the constitutional right to have its own high court.

The Chief Justice made it clear he was not averse to the idea of Haryana having its own high court and “the building does not matter, it can be anywhere.”

He was talking to the media at a party organised by Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Jain in honour of Attorney-General Goolam E Vahanvati. Haryana’s Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was present at the function too.

The assertion is significant as Haryana has been demanding a separate high court and that too at Chandigarh in the existing Punjab and Haryana High Court building. The CJI, for the first time, has commented on the location of the high court.

Hooda reiterated his stand by saying: “It is our legitimate right to have a separate high court for Haryana.”

The Chief Minister said he wanted the high court to be located at Chandigarh as the city was Haryana’s capital too. “Once the decision to carve out a separate high court is taken, funds will be released immediately for the upgradation of infrastructure,” he said. “The only question is of jurisdiction, but we are confident very soon all issues will be settled and Haryana will have its separate high court.”

Hooda has all along been saying Chandigarh is the capital of both Punjab and Haryana and same laws hold good for both states. Only recently, Hooda had asserted they had “full right” over the union territory. If Punjab was ready to pull out of Chandigarh, they would have no problem in establishing their high court at some other place in Haryana, he had argued.

Hooda believes Haryana needs adequate representation in the apex court as so far not a single judge from the state has been elevated to the same ever since the state was established in 1966.

As of now, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has 46 judges. If Haryana has its way, judges from the state could be shifted from the existing High Court to the newly carved out one. The move is expected to increase the state’s representation in the judiciary. It will also bring down the pendency of cases, particularly in Haryana, as approximately 70 per cent of the litigation is from Punjab.

Additional Solicitor-General Mohan Jain does not see any problem in the co-existence of two high courts at the same place. Hosting the function to honour the Attorney-General, Jain remarked: “If two Chief Ministers, two Speakers and two Governors can stay side by side in the same city, I see no harm in having two high courts at the same place”.

Haryana’s former Advocate-General, Jain said a substantial number of advocates from Haryana had been crusading for a separate high court in Chandigarh.

Top court sceptical on demands on Telangana

Tuesday, 23 February 2010 02:22

New Delhi, Feb. 22: The Supreme Court on Monday showed skepticism over the various kinds of relief sought in different petitions on the Telangana issue being filed on regular intervals and directed three petitioners to strike down all frivolous prayers from their joint petition before it could be considered for hearing.

K. Srinivas Reddy, Vasireddy Venkata Krishna Rao and Mrs K. Pushpalatha filed the joint petition. They raised several issues on the Telangana controversy, including those related to various aspects of Justice B.N. Srikrishna Commission set up by the Centre.

While directing them to amend their petition and confine it to legal and constitutional questions, a three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan also raised doubts about the kind of relief sought by advocate Bondada Purushottam Yadav in a separate petition. He had sought to restrain the Union government from taking any further action on the pronouncements of home minister P. Chidambaram made on December 9 and 23, 2009 respectively relating to initiation of the process for creation of separate state.

“How can such a relief be given?,” the CJI told Mr Yadav during a brief hearing when he prayed for restraining the Centre from acting on the pronouncements of Mr Chidambaram.


Review scribe’s threat perception’

Nandita Sengupta, TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 01.19am IST

NEW DELHI: He was allegedly kidnapped by the police, forced to write a suicide note and survived only because he told them he had already met the state DGP and written to the Chief Minister anticipating such an event. Earlier this month, the National Human Rights Commission directed UP government to pay Amar Ujala’s Lakhimpur Kheri-based journalist Samiuddin a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for illegal detention by police in 2005.
And on Monday, the Press Council recommended a six-monthly review for five years of threat-perception to Samiuddin. It also recommended barring the allegedly complicit superintendent of police (SP) from postings where she can interfere with press freedom.
“It’s a rare case that called for serious attention. Samiuddin’s a journalist from a small town. Our committee found that he was indeed badly persecuted. We took particular notice especially because a senior police officer, the SP herself, was taking interest in his harassment,” said Justice G N Ray, chairman, Press Council of India.
NHRC directed that UP government reply on status of the journalist’s complaint within six weeks. It also directed state chief secretary to send compliance report within six weeks. “This case is a stark example of not only total apathy but outright antagonism towards a person whose right to life was seriously endangered by the acts of the concerned police authorities,” said the Commission.
Police allegedly targeted Neelu and six others for focusing on police high-handedness, political nexus and corruption. On February 9, 2005, Samiuddin, better known as Neelu, says he was kidnapped and taken to the town’s outskirts. He was allegedly made to write a suicide note. They took off his belt and strapped it around his neck, he says.
Keeping his nerve, Neelu told them that in anticipation of just such an event, he had already written to the state DGP, the chief minister, Press Council of India and NHRC. The police, says Neelu, got onto their phones, after which they took him to their lock-up where he was forced to sign several papers, blank and written-out sheets.
On her part, N. Padmaja, then SP at Lakhimpur Kheri now posted in PAC, Sitapur, says she read about the compensation in the papers, “I have nothing to say. I saw the order in the newspaper. I don’t want to respond,” she told TOI over phone.
Neelu had met the state DGP on February 5, saying that the SP in Lakhimpur Kheri was threatening him. “It’s not as if we were doing any out-of-the-way reporting. There was no campaign or anything,” says Neelu. The reports were on foodgrain scam, showing poor people as dead for land-grabbing purposes and an arms licence scam, he says. In the last, authorities assured fee-waiver for arms license if applicants adopted the ‘parivar yojna’ programme. Rich applicants forced poor farmers into sterilisation. The last straw was the report of police who stormed a college and beat up students and teachers in the college in August 2004 at the behest of local politicians, claims Neelu.
Since his complaints, the CID has cleared him on cases framed against him for possessing animal skin and body parts. But the police officers involved were let off lightly, says Neelu — only their annual increments stopped. The SP was simply transferred.
For Neelu, the vindications are the first step. He waits to know why local police are not heeding his application to file an FIR against Lakhimpur Kheri’s then SP for kidnapping and attempt to murder. “It took 20 years for a case to be filed against Rathore in the Ruchika Girhotra case. I’m waiting,” says Neelu.

Probing questions

Volume 27 – Issue 05 :: Feb. 27-Mar. 12, 2010

The Supreme Court directive to the Special Investigation Team adds a qualitative dimension to the Gujarat riots cases.

On February 10, the Supreme Court directed the Special Investigation Team (SIT) investigating the 2002 communal riots cases in Gujarat to respond to allegations that it had withheld vital evidence regarding the involvement of senior politicians and top bureaucrats in the riots. The SIT has to file its response before the next hearing in the case, scheduled for March 15.

The development highlights once again the tortuous course of the probe into one of the worst communal carnages in independent India. In fact, the intervention of the Supreme Court led to the setting up of the SIT under R.K. Raghavan, a former Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

But even that happened in March 2008, nearly six years after the bloodbath in the State. This was followed by the May 2009 order stipulating trials under the supervision of the SIT. Barely a year later, a new chapter has been added to the investigations.

The February 10 directive of the Supreme Court has come in the wake of petitions filed by a number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social activists such as Devendra Bhai Pathak and Teesta Setalvad of Citizens for Justice and Peace. They expressed serious concern about the manner in which the trials were proceeding and alleged serious lapses in the progress of the SIT investigation itself. The petitioners alleged that the SIT refused to look into key aspects of further investigation, especially those dealing with mala fide intentions and complicity of state actors. The petitions stated that police witnesses, working directly with the SIT, had turned hostile, much to the shock of the trial court, and that the SIT did not ensure adequate safety for the witnesses. The petitions also pointed out that several people, including Chief Minister Narendra Modi, had not been questioned by the SIT.

Affidavits, which run into 3,000 pages and include those of several riot victims, filed along with the applications of the NGOs and separately, give crucial and detailed information on the handling of the communally charged situation after the Godhra train burning incident. They relate essentially to nine cases being probed by the SIT and cover a variety of facts such as the phone records of policemen and the key perpetrators, locations of officers and statements of witnesses.

The documents emphasise the tacit involvement of top police officers in the carnage and the fact that most of them hold prominent positions in the Gujarat government now. The petitions and the affidavits also assert that the build-up of arsenal, men and arms for the post-Godhra riots has not been investigated sufficiently.

The build-up, according to the petitioners, was exposed in Tehelka’s Operation Kalank and the affidavits of police officers R.B. Sreekumar and Rahul Sharma. The petitions also alleged that the SIT failed to investigate thoroughly the documentary evidence, including phone call records, mobile van records, control room registers, station diary entries and fire brigade registers. A scrutiny of these would have indicated the extent of “pre-planning” that went into the post-Godhra violence, the petitions stated.

Highlighting SIT’s lapse

They pointed to the failure to take adequate steps to prevent threats to witnesses and also highlighted the SIT’s lapse in not seeking the cancellation of bail of influential accused persons, who remain free during the trials.

Thematically, the affidavits relate to eight cases concerning incidents and personalities. According to Devendra Bhai Pathak, in the cases relating to the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam incidents, in which more than 110 persons were brutally murdered and many women and girls were raped, the SIT has not recorded the statements of 129 witnesses.

Additionally, witnesses referred to the active involvement of Inspector K.K. Mysorewala (now a Superintendent of Police) in ordering police firing on Muslims after discussions with former Minister Mayaben Kodnani, but he has not been arraigned. Incidentally, Maya Kodnani was arrested following investigations by the SIT in the early phases. According to witnesses, Mysorewala is said to have told those seeking protection that there were “instructions/orders from higher authorities not to protect you. There is no order to save Muslims… you have to die today.”

An analysis of calls from Mysorewala’s phone, as reflected in Pathak’s petition and the affidavits, shows that he received a call from Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Jaydeep Patel, who is accused in the Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam cases. The timing of the call, as recorded, was when the massacre was at its worst, says the petition. Witnesses also recount Special Reserve Police (SRP) officer K.P. Parekh as telling the hapless victims that no one would save them as they had orders from higher authorities to kill them. Parekh has not yet been arraigned.

The infamous case of Babu Bajrangi has also been brought up in the petitions. Pathak’s petition says 15 witnesses named Bajrangi as the leader of a mob that slaughtered 95 people and cut open the abdomen of Kauserbanu and killed her foetus. The SIT has not sought the cancellation of his bail, and he has been allowed to travel abroad. According to the petitioners, 53 witnesses named Suresh Langda Richard Chara as the person who led a mob to kill, rape and burn Muslims. Chara roams free and the SIT has not arraigned him either.

In spite of cries for help, as is evident from the hours and hours of recorded phone records, no help came to the Gulberg Society, where 70 Muslims were burned or hacked to death over a period of 11 hours. Congress Member of Parliament Ahsan Jaffri was one of them. The petitioners said the SIT had failed totally to “inquire/investigate into the circumstances in which repeated calls for police assistance went unheeded”. In this case the SIT has arraigned 25 persons, including Inspector K.G. Erda of the Meghaninagar Police Station, who was in the area at the time of the carnage. The petitions state that Erda’s phone records show that during the hours of the carnage on February 27 and 28, 2002, he made several calls to the police control room, Police Commissioner P.C. Pandey, Joint Commissioner M.K. Tandon and Deputy Commissioner of Police P.B. Gondia.

While the SIT has interrogated Tandon, it has taken little action, say the petitioners. In fact, Tandon admitted to the Nanavati Commission that he was informed that Ahsan Jaffri was in danger. Pandey, the records show, had even visited Jaffri and told him that police protection would be provided. Phone records prove that both Tandon and Pandey were in touch with the police officers in the riot-hit areas. Yet, Jaffri was killed. The petitions point out that there were records to show that Jaffri made nearly 200 calls for assistance. Some of these were to the police control room. At the time, Cabinet Ministers Ashok Bhatt and I.K. Jadeja were in the control room, but no one helped Jaffri.

The case of Shivanand Jha, Assistance Commissioner of Police, Ahmedabad, is even stranger. He was in charge of the control room at that time and the needle of suspicion should point to him. But he is a key member of the SIT.

There has been no further investigation by the SIT in the Godhra trial too. The petitioners say the SIT has accepted the investigation carried out by a clearly biased Gujarat Police. The affidavits delve largely into the actions of senior policemen. Many pages are dedicated to location details and phone calls made by the victims. Ahmedabad Police Commissioner Pandey was given a clean chit by the SIT in April last year as he claimed that he was in charge of the bodies of those who died in the Godhra train fire and was unaware of the actual situation in the city. Phone call records indicate that he was very much in touch with police personnel in all the riot-hit areas during the worst hours of the massacre.

Activists such as Teesta Setalvad have said there should be a re-investigation into his partisan role. They wonder why the Police Commissioner was handling dead bodies when the city was burning. Similarly, Tandon’s actions on that day have not been questioned. He visited Naroda Patiya after speaking to Pandey. Once there, he found the crowd restive and so was compelled to order a curfew, at 12.29 p.m. Yet he left the area at 12.33 p.m. without ensuring that it was implemented. Naroda went up in flames soon after.

The petitioners believe that the singular lack of investigation has to be viewed in the context of the fact that the main investigation officers of the SIT – Geeta Johri, Shivanand Jha and Ashish Bhatia – are all Gujarat-cadre officers who were subordinate and answerable to Pandey until recently.

They are also in the service and under the control of the Gujarat government, which for obvious reasons has resisted any form of investigation into the riots. Johri’s role in the Sohrabuddin encounter case was criticised recently by the Supreme Court itself. In the context of all this, Teesta Setalvad and many other activists have demanded the reconstitution of the SIT.

On the overall treatment of the victims, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had filed a petition against the Gujarat government, pointing out that the government was hostile towards them. The manner in which evidence was being recorded and the questionable trial court procedures were also in focus. For instance, the NHRC says that in the Gulberg Society trial it has been noticed that there is a significant change in the manner in which the court is treating the witnesses after four or five crucial witnesses deposed.

In the case of Saeed Khan Pathan, while he was attempting to explain how he was being threatened by the accused, the court refused to record his explanation. Even after his lawyer made a detailed application saying his explanation should be recorded in its entirety, the judge refused to oblige. Three Muslims visiting from the United Kingdom in 2002 were hacked to death by a group of people near Pratij in Gujarat. Two eyewitnesses have turned hostile in this case, too. The petitioners have sought better security measures after a car with shaded windows drove dangerously close to one of them within the court premises.

It remains to be seen how the SIT will respond to the Supreme Court directive. Speaking to Frontline on the phone, its Chairman, R.K. Raghavan, said that the response would be filed before the March 15 hearing. He added that the SIT had responded to many of the issues raised by the petitioners in the note it had given to the amicus curiae.

“Now, the court wants to take a look at our responses directly. It will be placed before the court in a sealed cover. It is up to the court to decide whether to make it public or not,” Raghavan said. Hemantika Wahi, counsel for the Gujarat government, told Frontline that the State government would have no role in preparing the response and it was wholly up to the SIT to draft the response.

Clearly, the court directive has added a qualitative dimension to the Gujarat carnage cases. Whether this will ultimately result in justice for the victims depends on several factors, including the SIT response.

Tribunal quashes court of inquiry against Lt-Gen

TNN, Feb 23, 2010, 02.12am IST

NEW DELHI: In an interim relief for Lt-Gen Avadhesh Prakash, the seniormost of the four indicted generals in the alleged Sukna land scam, the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on Monday ordered the re-opening of the court of inquiry (CoI) into the case to allow the recently-retired officer to cross-examine six of the witnesses.

AFT principal Bench, comprising Justice A K Mathur (retd) and Lt-Gen S S Dhillon (retd), said Lt-Gen Prakash should first be given the depositions of the six witnesses and then be allowed to cross-examine them ‘‘in order to meet the principles of natural justice’’.

Lt-Gen Prakash had not got the opportunity to cross-examine the six — Lt-Gen P K Rath, Lt-Gen Ramesh Halgali, Major-Gen P C Sen (the other three generals indicted in the case), Col N K Dabas, Lt-Col Jiji Varghese and Naib Subedar Surjit Singh — since they had deposed before him during the CoI.

It was only after Lt-Gen Prakash deposed as the 19th witness that the CoI take ‘‘cognizance against him’’ and then indicted him. Rule 180 under the Army Act lays down that an accused has the right to be present when some other personnel depose against him during a CoI.

NCW writes to Health Ministry on emergency contraceptive pills


Taking up the issue of emergency contraceptive pills, the National Commission for Women has written to the Health Ministry and the Medical Council of India seeking their opinion on the matter.

The NCW said in a statement on Monday that it has been brought to the notice of the Commission that wide-scale advertisement campaign in favour of the oral pills known as an emergency contraceptive pill, is being carried out by pharmaceutical companies.

“These pills are gaining popularity among young girls, despite repeated warning from doctors against its use,” it said.

With concern, it is seen that the drug is being projected as an after saviour of unsafe sex. The advertisements of these wonder pills are quite misleading and its side effects as well as efficacy are not at all being disclosed. It is being projected as an alternative to the safe sex method and thus may lead to an everlasting impact on the younger generation and in turn lead to government and the society losing its battle as far as AIDS and STDs are concerned besides putting the women through grave emotional and physical trauma and everlasting effect of hormonal imbalance, the statement said.

The commission said that the pills have been designed for women over 25 and accordingly it is felt that it may have dangerous side effects on teenagers and on women using it too regularly.

The commission has written to the MCI and the Health Ministry seeking their views in the matter.


LEGAL NEWS 21.02.2010

Himachal High Court Targets To Achieve 1 Year Pendency Within Year

Posted by Ravinder Makhaik on Feb 21st, 2010

Shimla: Setting out an ambitious target of making Himachal High Court a one year pendency court, incoming new chief justice Kurian Joseph on Saturday declared that the court would have Green Bench which would specifically deal with environmental issues.

Talking to the media, he said within 10 days of assuming office here, parameters had been laid out to reduce pendency. “For a start all old cases pending since the 1987, which number about 3000, would be cleared by 30th April,” said Justice Joseph.

He disclosed that the court had a total pendency of about 53,000 cases which was pretty high for a small state like Himachal. Within a year, this would be brought down to a level that no case would be lying pending before the High Court for more than a year, he said.

To get an overview of pendency in lower judiciary, a meet of all judicial officers was being organised on 13th and 14th April. After looking at the situation only would parameters for clearing pendency in lower judiciary been put out, he added.

Taking a leaf out from Kerala High Court, where Justice Joseph was the acting chief justice before being appointed chief justice of Himachal, he said that a Green Bench presided over by the senior most judge belonging to state would start functioning from 26th February.

For the purpose of consistency and consistency, the judges on the Green Bench would hail from the state and would sit on every Friday and if need be on Saturday’s also. Cases relating to environments, forests and mining would be heard by this bench, he said.

Responding to a central law ministry move about having administrative tribunal in states, the chief justice said that the possibility would be explored. However he cited that though the Himachal Administrative Tribunal was set in 1986 and yet there was pendency lying with the tribunal from 1987.

Speaking about the media being the messenger of the justice delivering system, he said that while criticism of judgements was welcome ‘don’t criticize the judge’ for he is only an instrument in justice delivery.

He said that while disposing of a case, a judge only hears two parties but the media listens to many people.

On the occasion, he also announced setting up of a media room in the High Court, and about initiating the process for appointing a public relation officer where information needs of media could be met at one point.

Court frames charges against Congress MP Raj Babbar

New Delhi: Pelting stones at a policeman during a protest march proved costly for Bollywood actor and Congress MP Raj Babbar as a city court framed charges against him and others for the incident here.
‘I charge you that you along with co-accused on May 9, 2000… in furtherance of your common intention formed an unlawful assembly and restrained complainant Sub-Inspector (SI) Mahender Singh and other policemen from performing their duties by throwing stones,’ the court said in an order passed earlier this week.

Babbar, the then Lok Sabha MP from Agra, expelled Samajwadi Party leader Amar Singh and MP Sarvraj Singh, along with over 800 activists, tried to stage a rally outside the residence of the then prime minister against water crisis in his constituency, the chargesheet said.

Babbar, however, pleaded not guilty and claimed trial.

The court will now start recording the statements of prosecution witnesses on July 1.

Amar Singh was discharged from the case in 2004 by Delhi High Court which had set aside the lower court’s order of taking cognisance of the offence.

The leaders have been charged under provisions of the Indian Penal Code dealing with rioting, causing hurt, and assaulting policemen to deter them from performing duty.

Court pulls up government for investors’ plight

February 21st, 2010 SindhToday

New Delhi, Feb 21 (IANS) Coming to the rescue of an elderly couple who were fighting for their investments, Delhi High Court has pulled up the central government for subjecting them to litigation. It also directed the government to pay back their savings, along with the cost of Rs.15,000 each.

Justice S. Muralidhar directed the Commissioner of Payments to release Kishni Devi and her husband Ganga Dutt Gupta’s savings along with the interest.

Gupta had deposited his hard earned money with Ajudhi Textiles Mills Limited (ATML) in the form of five fixed deposits of Rs.6,500, Rs.3,136, Rs.2,500, Rs.6,000 and Rs.5,000, respectively, nearly four decades ago in 1970.

“By today’s standards, these may be moderate sums but for Kishni Devi and Ganga Dutt Gupta, they constituted their entire life’s savings,” the judge said in the order passed last week, while slapping a cost of Rs.15,000 each to be paid by the government for dragging the case for so long.

In 1971, ATML was taken over by the central government and later it was nationalised under the Sick Textile Undertakings (Nationalisation) Act, 1974 (STUN Act) and a commissioner of payments was appointed by the government for settling the claims of creditors and depositors of ATML.

Kishni Devi and Gupta presented their claims before the commissioner but were denied the same on various grounds.

They filed appeal against the commissioner of payments but the same was rejected.

“For the second time in September 2000, the court allowed their appeals. Fortunately, this time they were not sent back to the Commissioner. The court held that the liability of the government continued since it arose after the company in question had been taken over,” the judge said in the order.

Resultantly, a decree was awarded in favour of Kishni Devi and Gupta but the government remained unmoved and refused to honour the two decrees in their favour.

They then filed two execution petitions in September 2002 in the trial court, which ruled that payments should be made to the petitioners.

Challenging the order of the trial court, the government filed a petition in the high court in 2002 and the order was stayed.

“The harsh reality is that two small investors have not been able to recover from the central government their hard-earned life savings for nearly four decades. And for absolutely no fault of theirs. And that too after successfully fighting the government in court battles twice over for three decades,” the court said.

“The government cannot hide behind a statute that permitted it to take over the company in question and wash its hands off stating that in its ordering the priorities of claims… As a principle of law, as an instrument of social and economic justice ordained by the Constitution, this is simply unacceptable,” it said.

“Today when Ganga Dutt Gupta appeared in this court, he appeared shrivelled by the long years of waiting for justice, worn out by litigation fatigue, and weighed down by the unbearable burden of a vexatious case so mercilessly imposed on him by the mighty government.

“It was a pathetic sight to behold and signified the failure of the legal system to render timely justice to the weakest among our citizenry. It is the duty of a constitutional court in a situation like this to ensure that the law is not operated to mete out injustice to a citizen,” the court said while dismissing the petition.

RPMT examination paper was leaked: Raj Police tells HC–Raj-Police-tells-HC

Jaipur, Feb 20 (PTI) Rajasthan Police has told the State High Court that the RPMT examination 2009 paper was leaked and “impersonators” had appeared in the exam.

In a report filed by them in court, police said 15 candidates had secured admission in medical colleges owing to “cheating by impersonation”.

Police had begun the probe after the High Court took cognisance of the allegations levelled in a petition that some candidates had secured medical colleges in the state by engaging professionals to write their entrance examination.

The police said it found that the question papers of absent candidates at four examination centres — Jaipur, Jhunjhunu, Kota and Sriganganagar — had all the three seals broken.

State not to submit ward quota list

Express News Service

First Published : 21 Feb 2010 04:41:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 21 Feb 2010 08:00:48 AM IST

BANGALORE: Opting to confront the High Court on BBMP elections, the government has decided not to submit the ward wise reservation list as directed by it.

Transport Minister R Ashok, who is also in charge of Bangalore, told reporters that there was no question of submitting the reservation list. “It is impossible to prepare the list in such a short span of time,” he said.

The HC, on February 11, had ordered the government and the state election commission (SEC) to conduct BBMP elections by March end. It had asked the government to prepare the reservation list by February 20 and make it available to the SEC by February 22.

But the government filed a special leave petition (SLP) in the apex court on February 16, challenging the HC order and subsequently filed an interlocutory application in the HC asking for more time for submitting the list.

HC okays pension for ACP Tyagi

Abhinav Garg, TNN, Feb 21, 2010, 12.41am IST

NEW DELHI: Convicted for custodial violence leading to the death of two men in his charge, Delhi Police’s retd ACP, R P Tyagi, will now get his provisional pension with arrears, the Delhi High Court has ruled.

A division bench comprising Justices Anil Kumar and M C Garg, while upholding the decision of Central Administrative Tribunal, has dismissed the appeal by ministry of home affairs.

“In the circumstances, there are no grounds to interfere with the order of CAT as no illegality has been pointed out” HC bench noted, asking the MHA to release Tyagi’s provisional pension along with arrears since February 1, 2008.

The MHA had come in appeal against CAT ruling, arguing since Tyagi was a convicted cop, the ministry had blocked his pension. However, during the hearing, it transpired that Tyagi’s file is lying with the President who has to take a final call on.

Return Ramani her freedom: HC to cops

Utkarsh Anand

Posted: Sunday , Feb 21, 2010 at 0122 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has abolished restrictions on movement put by the police on socialite Bina Ramani, accused in a cheating and forgery case related to model Jessica Lall murder.

The court, in its recent order, slammed the police for failing to file a chargesheet more than three years after registering a case against Ramani on charges of illegally serving liquor at South Delhi’s Tamarind Court restaurant where Lall was shot in 1999.

Justice V K Shali observed: “It is very strange that despite three-and-a-half years, the investigating agency is still not able to file a final report before the competent court. If on account of agency’s inept attitude or handling the final report is not filed within a reasonable time, it does not mean the accused, who has been enlarged (freed) on bail with the condition of surrendering his (or her) passport or seeking permission from the court to travel abroad, can be made to suffer.”

Referring to various Supreme Court rulings, Justice Shali held that continuing the restrictions on Ramani would be equivalent to taking away her right to go abroad, which is part of personal liberty.

Following the HC order, Ramani is not required any more to apply to a court for her passport and permission to go abroad. Instead, she can only inform the Registrar General of High Court of her itinerary and make herself available before investigators whenever required.

According to Ramani’s petition, she had been abiding with the conditions of her 2006 bail order but failure of the police to file the chargesheet should not curb her fundamental right to travel abroad.

Ramani’s petition also claimed she had “testified as a witness in Jessica Lall murder case and but for her testimony it would not have resulted in conviction of the accused”.

The police theory is Ramani made use of forged documents to claim she owned ‘Once Upon A Time’, a restaurant-bar also known as ‘Tamarind Court’, and that she had a licence to serve liquor there.

V-P may head committee on complaints against judges


New Delhi, Feb 21 (PTI) Vice-President Hamid Ansari, who is also the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, is likely to head the Judicial Oversight Committee, a part of the proposed Judges Standards and Accountability Bill, to look into the merits of complaints against members of the higher judiciary.

The proposed committee would comprise the Chief Justice of India, a High Court Chief Justice nominated by the CJI and two distinguished jurists to be nominated by the President.

The bill is yet to be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval.

When asked to confirm the development, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI: “He (the Vice-President) is now listed to be the chairman of the Oversight Committee in his capacity as the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha.”

Moily hopes that the bill would be tabled in the Budget session of Parliament commencing next week.

“CIC need not be made party to writ petition when its order is challenged”

K. T. Sangameswaran

Whenever an order of the State or Central Information Commission is challenged, it is not necessary to make the Commission a party to the writ petition, the Madras High Court has ruled. The Commission is a statutory appellate authority and is expected to function within the four corners of the RTI Act.

In his order on two writ petitions challenging an order of the Tamil Nadu Information Commission (TNIC), Justice K.Chandru said if the Commission’s order was challenged, it was not expected to defend it. In a writ for certiorari, the order would have to speak for itself. “If the Commission is made as a party, it will be an unnecessary drain on the Commission to engage counsel to defend its orders.” In no case a court was expected to defend its decisions. More often, the Commission’s orders were being challenged by government departments or information officers at the government’s expense.

For calling for records or sending an order copy, the Commission need not be made a party. If proper records were not filed, a notice may be sent by the Registry to call for the records if the courts ordered it. Likewise, in complicated matters if any legal assistance is required, the court could appoint an amicus curiae. The Registry should, henceforth, tell the counsel who files petitions to delete the information commission from the array of parties. This would not only reduce paper work and administrative difficulties faced by the Commission, but also save it from draining its meagre resources, Mr.Justice Chandru said.

M.Velayutham and S.Pandian filed writ petitions against a TNIC order dated March 17, 2008. The Commission said Mr.Velayutham, who was the secretary of Rasipuram Teachers and Government Servants Cooperative Housing Society, should be placed under suspension. Disciplinary action should be initiated against Mr.Pandian, Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Societies (Housing), Salem, for disobedience of the Commission’s order. A maximum penalty of Rs.25,000 was imposed on them.

The first petitioner’s stand was that he and the other petitioner had submitted a reply to all 33 questions by an ex-president of Rasipuram Teacher and Government Servants Cooperative Housing Welfare Association. The petitioners said the penalty had been imposed on them without issuing notice.

Partly allowing the petitions, Mr.Justice Chandru set aside the direction to impose penalty and to take disciplinary action without due notice. It is left to the TNIC to pursue the action further in accordance with law after hearing the petitioners.

GI marker of Tirupati laddus gets nod

Express News Service

First Published : 20 Feb 2010 05:28:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 20 Feb 2010 08:12:39 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Geographical Indication (GI) Registry has not committed any illegality by registering Tirupati laddus as a geographical indication, the Registry has submitted in its counter-affidavit filed in the Madras High Court on Friday.

The counter-affidavit was filed in response to a public interest writ petition from J Mohan Raj, general secretary of the Jebamani Janata Party of Mylapore, seeking to declare the grant of GI registration to the laddus as ultra vires the Constitution.

The counter, filed by Assistant Solicitor General J Ravindran said that the registration had not endangered religious harmony and did nothing to damage the secular image of the country, as alleged by the petitioner. The registration was neither in transgression of constitutional and statutory safeguards nor was it violative of Articles 14, 21, 25 and 26 of the Constitution.

The writ petition was liable to be dismissed as the alternative remedy had not been availed of, the ASG contended.

Nothing lost in Mullaperiyar case: Karunanidhi


Friday, February 19, 2010

Chennai, Feb 19: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Friday said that the state has not lost anything nor has it given anything to Kerala in the Mullaperiyar Dam case that is being heard by the Supreme Court.


The chief minister was reacting to the decision of the apex court to form a five member committee under the chairmanship of former Chief Justice of India A.S. Anand to go into all issues relating to the safety of the dam and the storage level.


In a statement issued here, Karunanidhi said: “The Supreme Court under Article 131 has appointed the five member committee, which will analyse the dam safety and its storage level and submit a report to the court in six months time.”


He said: “The Tamil Nadu government has not given out anything nor is the decision favourable to Kerala.”


Reacting to the apex court’s order, Kerala Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan Thursday said: “We are delighted by this judgment. We will present more facts before the committee as to why we say that the present dam is unsafe.”


Kerala and Tamil Nadu have been at loggerheads over the dam built under an agreement signed in 1886 between the then Maharaja of Travancore and the British administration.


The dam is on the headwaters of the Periyar river in Kerala. According to a 999-year lease agreement signed during the British rule, it is operated by Tamil Nadu.


Citing safety concerns, Kerala has been demanding the construction of a new dam, which Tamil Nadu has vehemently opposed while demanding to increase the storage capacity of the existing dam from 136 feet (41.5 m) to 142 feet (43 m) to meet the increasing demand of water for drinking and irrigation.


In 2006 the apex court had permitted Tamil Nadu to raise the water level in the dam up to 142 ft after carrying out some repairs. Subsequently, the Kerala Legislature passed the Kerala Irrigation and water Conservation (Amendment) Act 2006 to circumvent the Supreme Court order the legal validity of which is now being contested by Tamil Nadu in the apex court.


According to Kerala, the over a century-old dam has outlived its utility and its continued existence on its territory with the raised water level would be a consistent threat to lakhs of people in the state.


Reacting to the latest decision of the apex court in setting up of a five member committee, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said: “While the court’s decision is to be respected it seems the Supreme Court has let down Tamil Nadu with its decision.”


The safety of the dam and the environmental concerns were looked into in detail by experts earlier based on which in 2006 the apex court had permitted Tamil Nadu to increase the storage level to 142 ft, he added.


He said that the Tamil Nadu chief minister should call an all party meeting to find ways and means to make Kerala understand and stop its “intractable attitude”.




Posted by Selvam at 6:58 AM

CAT steps in to rescue AIIMS employees on pay scale


Sunday, February 21, 2010 11:43 IST

New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal has held that an employee ofan autonomous organisation like AIIMS is entitled to similar pay and allowances akin to Central government servants.

“Applicants cannot be discriminated against despite being in autonomous organisation, where the government rules and instructions and the decision in pay and allowances would
mutatis mutandis (the necessary changes) extend to him,” the
Tribunal, comprising Members Ramesh C Panda and Shanker Raju, said.

The CAT passed the order on a plea of Sudesh Kumar and others, working as private secretaries and personal assistants in AIIMS, seeking parity in terms of pay scale with Central government employees.

Referring to its earlier order, the CAT said a discriminatory and contradictory stand is antithesis to the fairness in law and that the parity has always been maintained between the applicants and their counterparts in Central Secretariat Stenographers Service (CSSS), and the governing body of AIIMS has also approved the proposal.

Non-extension of the same, when all the functional requirements are identical, is violative of the principal of “equal pay for equal work”, which has assumed a fundamentalright, the Tribunal said.

Earlier, the Finance Committee recommended parity in grade pay scale between employees of CSSS and AIIMS but the finance ministry had conveyed to AIIMS that it was not possible.

Ministry of health and family welfare had also rejected the proposal of the Finance Committee following which the applicants approached the Tribunal.


SC: Do not renew lease of 157 mines in Aravallis

Anindo Dey, TNN, Feb 20, 2010, 04.46am IST

JAIPUR: In an order aimed at stopping further devastation of the Aravallis, the Supreme Court on Friday ordered closure of about 157 mines in the Aravallis whose lease had expired on December 16, 2002.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by the Bandua Mukti Morcha against the state of Rajasthan for illegal mining in the Aravalli hills.

According to the Binu Tanta, the advocate on record for the Bandua Mukti Morcha, “The court order would affect about 157 mines in the state. The leases of these mines had expired on December 16, 2002, and were to be renewed. However, now the court has ordered that none of these leases should be renewed.”

The court order will immediately affect about 34 mines whose renewal process was almost complete.

“Moreover, the state of Rajasthan has been giving affidavits saying that these mines were legal and that these mines are not in the Aravallis. So the court order is a blow to the state government,” added Tanta.

The court has granted the state four months’ time to complete its proposed satellite imagery of the entire 15,000 km of the Aravalli range spanning 15 districts and present the status to it.

“The survey is to be conducted by the Forest Survey of India, the Rajasthan government in consultation and coordination with the Central Empowered Committee on the Aravallis. The court specifically mentioned that money will not be a problem and has asked the state to take Rs 5 crore from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) for the same,” a source said.

The CAMPA fund consist of money collected as penalty from various states in the country for diversion of forest land for non-forest use. This fund amounting to a total of Rs 11,000 crore, after a SC, has been released to all states for their use.

SC allows paramilitary forces to stay at Osmania University campus

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, February 19, 2010

First Published: 14:10 IST(19/2/2010)

Last Updated: 17:42 IST(19/2/2010)

The Supreme Court today stayed till February 23 the Andhra Pradesh High Court order directing withdrawal of Central paramilitary forces from Osmania University campus, the hotbed of the volatile Telangana agitation.

A bench of Justices GS Singhvi and T S Thakur, however, directed the state Home Secretary to ensure that the
paramilitary forces are not allowed to misbehave in any manner with the students at the campus.

The apex court said the paramilitary forces shall operate strictly under the personal supervision of the Home

The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by the Andhra Pradesh government, challenging the High Court’s
direction to withdraw the paramilitary forces from the campus.

The AP government has also alleged that they strongly suspect that Maoists have infiltrated the movement and perhaps
are inside the campus among the students.

However, this allegation was rebutted by Counsel Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the students.

Andhra Pradesh government had on Thursday approached the apex court against the direction of the High Court asking it
to move out paramilitary forces from the University campus.

The state government had assailed the February 16 order, saying the High Court cannot order the removal of
paramilitary forces from the campus which is a hotbed of the agitation for a separate Telangana state.

A division bench of the High Court had on February 16 upheld the directions of a single judge to move out special forces from Osmania University campus.

The division bench had also said that the police should interfere with the administration of the university
only on a specific request from the university authorities.

The bench had observed that the single judge was right in his analysis that the Rapid Action Force was deployed in
the university campus without any study of the situation.

Banks can’t prosecute if collateral cheque bounces: Bombay HC

Shibu Thomas, TNN, Feb 20, 2010, 01.32am IST

MUMBAI: Bombay HC has ruled banks cannot prosecute borrowers under the stringent anti-cheque bouncing laws if blank post-dated cheques issued by them as collateral security are dishonoured.

‘‘It is doubtful if the provisions of Section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act can apply to a case in which a blank or post-dated cheque is obtained by a bank or money lender before or while sanctioning or disbursing loan amounts as security for the loan,’’ said Justice P R Borkar. The order is likely to come as a huge setback to lending agencies who ask borrowers to deposit blank post-dated cheques as security. ‘‘Law-makers must not have intended or imagined that money lenders or banks would obtain blank or post-dated cheques while sanctioning/disbursing loans as securities and would use them to make debtors/borrowers repay the loan under threat of prosecution and punishment (under the cheque-bouncing law),’’ added the judge.

The court upheld the acquittal of Ahmednagar resident Rajendra Warma, who was prosecuted after a blank cheque issued by him for a loan was dishonoured. Ramkrishna Urban Cooperative Credit Society (RUCCS) had given a loan of Rs 2 lakh to Warma in 2000. Warma had issued 10 blank post-dated cheques at that time as security. One of these cheques, dated January 2008, bounced, following which RUCCS lodged a criminal complaint against Warma.

The magistrate’s court held that Warma was not guilty under the Negotiable Instruments Act and acquitted him. It also held that while Warma had receipts to prove that he had repaid the entire loan amount in 2005, the bank failed to produce records after 2003.

Save my child: Girl tells HC

Ajay Sura, TNN, Feb 20, 2010, 04.34am IST

CHANDIGARH: Desperate to save her life and that of her unborn child, a 20-year-old mother-to-be made an unusual request to the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday, after her plea for protection was turned down. Allow me and my foetus an “honourable” death, she told the chief justice, adding that both faced a brutal killing at the hands of her entire village.

Her desperate plea prompted the court to provide her security immediately. The court had earlier refused her security as her “husband” was a minor.

In her appeal for permission to end her life “honourably”, Reena, a resident of Hisar district, told chief justice Mukul Mudgal that she would be butchered by her family and other villagers the moment she left the court premises. Reena had married a distant relative against the wishes of her parents.

Hearing her pleas, Mudgal directed the state government counsel to ensure the life and liberty of the girl and her unborn child. A letter from the Haryana advocate general office was immediately sent to the DGP, SPs of Panchkula and Jind informing them about the case and HC directions.

In her petition, Reena had made her father and entire village party, alleging that she along with her husband would be eliminated brutally by them.

Reena, who is seven months pregnant, was a resident of Kharak Punia village, Hisar, while her husband Anil Kumar, 19, is a resident of Dohana Khera in Jind district. The duo had eloped, since they knew their relationship would not be accepted by their families, and married at a temple in Nagpur, Maharastra. However, they were traced by Reena’s family and had to leave Nagpur. They were pursued relentlessly by their kin and approached the HC on the advice of some friends.

On Friday, while Reena’s relatives opted to wait for her outside the court complex in six-seven vehicles, around 30 to 40 people were seen trailing the couple inside the complex. Reena’s counsel Jasbir Mor said that her family had got a case registered a case against Anil and seven others for luring her into a marriage.

Delhi HC given provisional permission to US based CFA institute to conduct exams in India

Feb 20, 2010 Chartered Accountant

The Delhi High Court has given ‘provisional permission’ to the US-based Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute to register candidates for its exam slated to be held in India this June.

“There was a change in the bench hearing our matter at the high court. The court had indicated that if the verdict comes before the June 2010 exams and if it’s not in our favour, we might have to cancel the examination,” explained Ashvin Vibhakar, Managing Director of Asia Pacific Operations, CFA Institute.

In December 2007, the Delhi HC had dismissed the CFA Institute’s petition against the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), stating that the former should seek the latter’s approval to operate in India. Following this, the CFA Institute decided to approach AICTE in January 2008 to do so. Simultaneously, it appealed to a division bench of the HC against the order.

In the event of a cancellation, CFA Institute has notified the candidates registered for an India test centre; the institute would either refund fees or suggest a test centre outside India.

However, adding: “We urge any candidates considering an India test centre to be aware of the risks, and to carefully consider the uncertainty of the situation. All test centres have limited seats, and test centre change requests are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. This means that if a candidate requests a test center change, the requested test centre may not be available if it is already at capacity,” the institute had told candidates in a note on its website.

The institute has already reached capacity at its test centre in Kathmandu, Nepal, for the June 2010 exam. Around 14,500 students applied for the 2009 CFA exam registrations (including the December 2008 and June 2009 exams). The number of registrations for the year 2010 CFA exam (including the December 2009 & June 2010 exams) would be finalised after March 17, 2010, the deadline.

HC : Malpractice warrants stern action

February 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm · Filed under News

The Kerala High Court on Thursday said that misadministration, breach of office, willful misconduct and deliberate inaction resulting in loss to the government or preventing recovery of amounts will generate situations warranting action.
The court said this while considering a petition filed by D Vineesh regarding the dispute on a land, which he acquired through auction conducted by the Revenue Department.
Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan made it clear that it does not mean that there would be blanket action.

Karnataka HC: Bribes not expenditure

TNN, Feb 20, 2010, 03.06am IST

BANGALORE: If you want to pay hafta to rowdies or bribe the police to maintain law and order, do it from your personal account; don’t bill the amount to your company.

The Karnataka High Court on Friday ruled that illegal payments made to police and rowdies to maintain peace and order on a business premises are not allowable as expenditure under Section 37 of the Income Tax Act. The court’s ruling comes in the wake of business establishments and companies paying protection money and showing it as an expenditure and even claiming tax deduction.

Setting aside an order of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, the court said only payments made towards security are allowable as expenditure and for tax exemption.

M N Swaminathan (now deceased), who owned Vinayaka Tourist Talkies and Sri Krishna Theatre, had claimed the benefit after the IT department rejected his application in 1994 for the assessment year 1992-93.

In brief

Press Trust of India , Express News Service Tags : IE, briefs lucknow Posted: Saturday , Feb 20, 2010 at 0153 hrs

Rita house arson: No CB-CID chargesheet till March, says HC

The Allahabad High Court restrained the CB-CID, probing the incident of arson at the residence of UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi, from filing a chargesheet in the case till March 12.

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justices Satyendra Singh Chauhan and Shrikant Tripathi passed the order on a writ petition of Joshi seeking a CBI probe into the incident of arson at her house in July last year.

On behalf of the state government, a prayer was made at the Lucknow Bench of the High Court for adjourning the case till some other date. On behalf of the petitioner, an apprehension was expressed that the petition seeking a CBI inquiry into the case would become infructuous if the chargesheet was filed by the CB-CID, a state investigating agency.

Accordingly the court restrained the CB-CID from filing a chargesheet, if any, in this case till March 12.


Nitish Katara case: SC dismisses petition filed by UP govt

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by the Uttar Pradesh government seeking permission to file an appeal in the Nitish Katara murder case.

“After the case has been transferred outside Uttar Pradesh, does it have anything to do with the case?” a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justice Deepak Verma asked the state government before declining its plea.

Besides Uttar Pradesh government, main accused in the case, Vikas Yadav, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, had also filed a similar petition which was heard together. “Once the case is transferred outside the state, it is the end of the matter (for that state government),” the Bench said. The UP government had contended that the Delhi High Court was wrong in admitting the petition of the Delhi Police in the case.

Prepare list of advocates promising insolvency: HC to cops–HC-to-cops/582213

Express News Service

Posted: Saturday , Feb 20, 2010 at 0444 hrs Kolkata:

Hearing a petition on the insolvency case, Justice Sanjib Banerjee on Friday asked the Joint Commissioner of Kolkata police to prepare a list of advocates who have published advertisements to attract borrowers on promises that they would be proven insolvent. Justice Banerjee asked the Joint Commissioner to hand over the list to the Advocate General of the state.

The judge also directed the Registrar of Insolvency Court to file an affidavit stating how many borrowers have been declared insolvent since 2008. Justice Banerjee also asked the Bar Council of India to take resolution against those advocates who had published advertisements to attract borrowers on such issue.

He observed that no advocates could publish advertisement according to legal provisions.

Several private banks had moved the Calcutta High Court last week for judicial intervention in what they called as a sharp rise in insolvency cases in Kolkata.

The banks alleged that over 1,000 individuals have been declared insolvent in the last three years, as a result of which they didn’t need to repay bank loans or make credit card payments.

Banks get respite from CBI probe

Partha Sinha, TNN, Feb 20, 2010, 12.07am IST

MUMBAI: A group of banks, who were being investigated by the CBI for alleged violations of several foreign exchange rules including Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), got a temporary respite from the SC on Friday.

The banks, under FIMMDA had moved the apex court to direct the CBI to stop its investigations, since banking regulator RBI was already doing its investigations in the same matter.

After the preliminary hearing in the morning, the case was transferred to the court of the CJI. March 15 is the next day for hearing the case in detail, A K Jain of law firm Jaina Associates told TOI. Till the next hearing CBI is unlikely to proceed with the investigations, sources said. CES Azariah, CEO, FIMMDA, could not be reached for his comments.

CBI was investigating the role of several banks related to foreign exchange derivatives contracts they had sold between 2007-2008 that allegedly led to losses running to thousands of crores for a large number of Indian firms.

GST to reduce tax-related litigations: Moily
Press Trust of India / New Delhi February 19, 2010, 21:24 IST

The introduction of goods and services tax (GST) would cut down on the number of litigations by revamping the current multiple indirect tax structure, Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said here today.

“Multiple tax complexity increases the transaction cost, litigation and uncertainty,” Moily told a conference on international taxation organised by the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal here today.

The law minister pointed out that GST would help the government earn more revenues.

The GST implementation, which has been deferred from its earlier scheduled date of April 1, will replace most of the indirect taxes at the Central and the state level.

He said the current tax structure is a major constraint on competitiveness as it results in increasing the cost of major goods and services. “The cascading impact of taxes increases cost of indigenous goods by 10-20 per cent. It is a barrier to a common market for growth and leads to production and distribution inefficiency,” he said.

Citing proposed reforms in the direct tax front, wherein the new direct tax code is to be effective from April 2011, he said the country’s taxation regime is dynamic.

Saying that the country has the potential and opportunity to become a growth engine for the global economy it it takes appropriate policy initiatives and reforms, he said, “Key enablers would be competitiveness, improved productivity infrastructure, good governance and social harmony.”

Addressing the conference, Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan said the differential treatment in direct tax would help people who earn less. He said tax laws ensure that unduly high tax rates are not imposed and everyone pays as per their earning.

The CJI also said with the inflow of foreign direct investment, tax laws come handy in handling disputes.

Cash-for-judge: HC Bar flays CJI

Ajay Sura, TNN, Feb 10, 2010, 04.11am IST

CHANDIGARH: The Bar Association of Punjab and Haryana High Court passed a resolution on Tuesday, condemning the Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan and former Attorney General (AG) of India, Milon Banerjee for giving a clean chit to the controversial high court judge, Nirmal Yadav in the cash-in-bag scam.

The CJI has been condemned by the Bar for his “willful and palpable abdication of duty” in denying sanction for prosecution of Justice Nirmal Yadav, based on the opinion of the Attorney General for India.

AG was condemned for his opinion, holding that no case is made out against Justice Nirmal Yadav.

The scam had broken out after in August 2008, when a bag containing Rs 15 lakh was delievered by the clerk of the then additional advocate general of the Haryana High Court at the house of Justice Nirmaljit Kaur. Later, it was found that the money was meant for another judge, Justice Nirmal Yadav. However, the CBI, which investigated the case, filed a closure report in December last year saying that the it had not got clearance from the CJI and former AG to continue with the case.

The resolution was passed at a specially convened general house of the high court bar.

While rejecting the closure report filed by the CBI in the scam as “grave and flagrant miscarriage of justice,” the association said it expects the special judge, CBI, Chandigarh to rise to the occasion and to do his duty as per law and to decide the matter fairly and judiciously.

The association also authorized advocate Anupam Gupta, who has been associated with this case from the very beginning, to represent the bar association along with the other counsels before the special judge, CBI. Chandigarh in opposing the closure report and assisting the court in proceeding with the prosecution and trial of justice Nirmal Yadav and the other accused.

Decision was also taken to authorize the executive committee of the bar to nominate an 11-member committee, to call upon the President of India and the Union law minister to convey the concern of the association over the “miscarriage of justice that has been caused by the CBI’s closure report.”

The general house met for over one-and-half-hour on Tuesday. The resolution, presented by bar president SS Behl, was passed by an overwhelming majority against the dissent of two members only.

“The opinion of AG procured by the then union government best represents the view of the government of India but it cannot represent the view of the CJI,” said lawyer Anupam Gupta.

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