LEGAL NEWS 24.03.2010

No stay on Nityananda case probe
TNN, Mar 24, 2010, 12.23am IST
BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday ordered notice to Bidadi police upon a criminal petition filed by Swami Nityananda challenging the registration of the First Information Report (FIR) against him. Justice Arali Nagaraj who heard the two petitions filed by the swami directed the government advocate to place before the court by Thursday the police papers regarding the case available with the Investigating Officer. “There will be no stay on investigation. Let me go through those papers,” the judge observed when the counsel for the petitioner pleaded for interim order of stay on the proceedings apprehending arrest following the filing of the FIR. “If that is the case, you can move anticipatory application,” the judge said before adjourning the hearing. Swami Nityananda, whose original name is Thiru Rajashekaran, has alleged that the complaint is based on hearsay statements filed with an ulterior and oblique motive to tarnish his and also the Ashram’s image. “With modern technology aid of graphics anything can be manipulated and concoted as was done in the alleged video clippings. There was no complaint by any victim or aggrieved person. The complaint itself is without any essential ingredients. No identity of alleged aggrieved person is there. This unfortunate incident was glorified by the media assassinating the petitioner’s character,” the counsel for petitioner told the court. As per the complaint lodged by Swami Nityadharma alias Lenin who was Swami Nityananda’s driver on March 4, the Chennai police had lodged cases under 295A (hurting religious beliefs), 506 (criminal intimidation), 420 (Cheating) and also 376 (rape) and 377 ( unnatural offence) IPC and 120-B (conspiracy). The complaint was later transferred to Bidadi police station. The FIR is likely to come before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ramanagaram. Notice against loudspeakers A division Bench has ordered notices to state government, BBMP and the city police upon a PIL seeking a direction to the authorities to restrain use of loudspeakers during the BBMP election campaign. “It is too late to give any direction with only three days remaining for campaigning. But in future guidelines can be issued,” the Bench observed while adjourning the hearing of the PIL filed by city advocate M K Vijayakumar. The petitioner has complained that due to the constant use of loudspeakers by candidates in the ongoing BBMP poll campaign, students who are taking examinations are affected badly which will have a negative bearing on their performance.

Centre’s decision to confer award to hotelier Chatwal challenged in Delhi HC
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 22:02 IST
New Delhi: A PIL was filed in the Delhi high court challenging the Centre’s decision to confer ‘Padma Bhushan’ to US-based NRI hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal, saying he was involved in various economic fraud cases.
The petition, which may come up for hearing this week, has sought a direction to the Centre to rescind the decision to confer the award to Chatwal on various grounds including his alleged involvement in various cases.
Besides Chatwal, the Centre and CBI have also been made parties in the PIL, which was filed by the petitioner S K Shah.
“The decision of the Centre to confer the award to Chatwal is not only in the violation of the Fundamental rights of every citizens, but is also against the policies to award the Padma awards,” it said.
The petition has sought direction that Chatwal and his firms and others related to him be not given any loan or money by the banks here.

HC asks state govt to negotiate reconstruction of religious structures outside court
Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0122 hrs Ahmedabad:
Petitioner organisation had based its case on NHRC report, which said government had failed to provide security to 294 structures
The Gujarat High Court has asked the state government to negotiate the issue of reconstructing the religious structures, which were affected during the 2002 riots, with the concerned party for an amicable resolution of the matter.
A Division Bench headed by Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya passed an oral order to this effect on Tuesday, while hearing a PIL.
The PIL has been filed by an organisation, the Islamic Relief Committee Gujarat (IRCG), praying inter-alia directions to the government to compensate the repair work of the structures damaged in the riots.
One of the grounds on which the petitioner organisation has based its case is the report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It had said that the state machinery failed to provide security to 294 structures that were damaged. Therefore, it was under an obligation to pay compensation towards their reconstruction. The petitioner has also contended that the state government has agreed before the NHRC in principle to get these structures repaired.
The state government has been disputing this saying that it is under no obligation to compensate for the damage to the structures.
The government is also disputing the number of such structures. On Tuesday, the Advocate General said only 37 such structures were left to be repaired. During the hearing, the Chief Justice observed that the government should resolve the issue amicably and that the court should be the last resort in such issues.
The Advocate General agreed to the Chief Justice’s direction to negotiate the issue with the petitioner, saying he will ask the state government on the same.
The Chief Justice asked the Advocate General to file an affidavit if the state government thinks it cannot compensate or reconstruct the structures.
In such a case, the court will pass an order on the petition, which will hurt the government, he said.

by Syed Ameen Kader on Mar 24, 2010
It’s a well know fact that construction workers in India work in extremely poor conditions. They are badly paid, work without any safety gears, not been offered proper living facilities and remain deprive of welfare schemes. Though some of the big infrastructure companies have taken initiative to implement various safety measures for their construction workers, the remaining vast section is still to follow those. The Delhi High Court-appointed committee which was set up to investigate alleged exploitation of construction workers attached to Commonwealth Games-related projects reveals no new surprise. The NGO who filed the PIL in High Court claimed in its report that workers continue to work without being paid minimum wages and they are being made to work overtime. There are no clean and hygiene place for them to live, the report alleged. The committed said that the charges made in the PIL are ‘well founded’ and recommended exemplary fine for errant authorities. This is very sad to know that projects of such magnitude which involves major infrastructure companies and draws lots of global attentions are levelled with charges of exploitation. Many blame the contractors who hire these migrant workers on contract basis, depriving them from welfare schemes. The government needs to become stringent on this issue and make sure those workers are given their dues. Otherwise, the issue of workers’ exploitation which is probably confined to India only, will very soon become a known thing for whole world.

Quake relief: HC asks whether MLA wants to repay money

Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0137 hrs Ahmedabad:
The Gujarat High Court has acted on a petition regarding the misuse of the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund by BJP legislator Shankar Chaudhary to re-construct an earthquake-affected school building. It has asked Chaudhary’s lawyer to take instructions if the MLA wants to repay the sum of Rs 20.78 lakh together with interest.
According to the details, one Farsubhai Goklani from Mehsana district had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the HC in 2007 alleging that Chaudhary had fraudulently obtained Rs 20.78 lakhs from the relief fund to construct a building.
Chaudhary ran the school — Nalanda Kanya Vidhyalay —through a trust from a rented building, which suffered damage during the 2001 earthquake. According to Goklani, Chaudhary obtained the money to construct a building elsewhere. Calling this a fraud, Goklani filed a PIL seeking the HC’s intervention in the matter.
Recently, the HC asked the state government and Chaudhary to file an affidavit to ascertain the ownership of the damaged building for which the grant was given.
Goklani’s lawyer said the state government and Chaudhary have confessed that the latter did not own the building. The state government also pleaded ignorance on how the grant was sanctioned to Chaudhary.
On Friday, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi asked Chaudhary’s lawyer to take instructions whether Chaudhary wants to repay the amount to the Centre along with the interest.
The court said: “The Counsel appearing on behalf of the fifth respondent (Chaudhary) is allowed two weeks’ time to obtain instruction whether he is agreeable to pay back the amount invested from the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund for construction of the school building in question ,along with interest.”
Further hearing has been kept for April 7.
Court rejects demand for gag on mediaAfter the court passed the order, Chaudhary’s lawyer demanded a direction to the effect that the news related to the matter does not get published or broadcast in media. Rejecting the demand, the Chief Justice observed that the court is not concerned with the media

US must provide direct access to Headley: Moily
Wednesday, March 24, 2010,15:47 [IST] Mumbai, Mar 24: A day after United States said that it has not yet decided on India’s access to Headley, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said that US has to relent to India’s wishes and give direct access to American LeT operative.
“….one day or the other, (the) US will have to agree and expedite the issue that Headley will have to undergo interrogation by our agencies”, Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily said.
On whether US denial to give India a direct access to Headley was ‘unfair’ and ‘unjustified’ on the grounds that Indian government had allowed the FBI to interrogate gunman Ajmal Kasab in Mumbai, Moily said it would be unfair to pass judgement on their legal systems.”We don’t want to pass a value judgement on their policy and matter,” he said.However, Moily said that India will continue to press hard until United States agrees to its demand.”But this is a matter we need to hard press our argument and you know we have a strong bargaining and tell them (the US) what’s necessary…we have to make a strong case which we have already made out. Here (Mumbai attacks) he (Headley) is involved, he is really involved”. Earlier on Tuesday, Mar 23, US Ambassador Timothy J Roemer said that US is yet to arrive on any decision on India’s direct access to David Headley, just four days after he publicly said in Delhi that Indian investigators would have an access to Headley.OneIndia News

‘Govt employee has fundamental right to be considered for promotion’
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 1551 hrs New Delhi:
The Supreme Court has ruled that a Government employee has a fundamental right to be considered for promotion and it is mandatory for the Centre and States to carry out cadre review of eligible officers for promotion to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
“The right of eligible employees to be considered for promotion is virtually a part of their fundamental right guaranteed under Article 16(Equality of opportunity in matter of public employment) of the Constitution,” a bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and A K Ganguly held in a recent judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while directing the Centre and the UP Government to consider the promotion of two State cadre officers-Hemraj Singh Chauhan and Ramnawal Singh to the IAS.
“We hold that the statutory duty which is cast on the State Government and the Central Government to undertake the cadre review exercise every five years is ordinarily mandatory subject to exceptions which may be justified in the facts of a given case,” the bench said.
Both the Centre and the UP government had challenged the direction of the Delhi High Court to consider the two officials’ promotion due to them in 2003 since the cadre review exercise was undertaken by the State government only in 2005. This was done despite repeated reminders from the Centre.
The guarantee of a fair consideration in matters of promotion under Article 16 virtually flows from guarantee of equality under Article 14(Equality before Law) of the Constitution,” the apex court said while upholding the high court’s judgement.
The apex court ruled that state governments are under obligation to recommend names of its administrative officers every five years to the Centre for their promotion to the IAS and pulled up the UP government for failing to do so despite several reminders from the Union Government.
The court said that a government cannot deny an eligible state officer from being promoted due to the delay on its part in conducting such exercise and pulled it up for “lethargic” approach resulting in two state officers being denied promotion.
“It is clear that legitimate expectations of the state officers of being considered for promotion has been defeated by the acts of the government and if not of the Central Government, certainly the unreasonable inaction on the part of the state government stood in the way of the officers’ chances of promotion,” the court said.
“The Court is satisfied that in this case for the delayed exercise of statutory function the Government has not offered any plausible explanation. The state officers cannot be made in any way responsible for the delay,” the court added.

HC strikes discordant note for Adnan Sami
Swati Deshpande, TNN, Mar 24, 2010, 04.22am IST
MUMBAI: Over a year after their bitter battle began and almost six months after the family court threw her divorce petition out, it is Sabah Galadari who will be humming a happy tune. The Bombay high court on Tuesday held that Sabah’s remarriage to Pakistani crooner Adnan Sami was valid and directed the family court to hear as well as decide her plea for divorce from her singer husband on merit and within 12 weeks. Significantly, the HC held that Sabah was not required under the Muslim personal law to have married, consumated that marriage and divorced another man under the provisions of Halala before remarrying Sami whom she had first divorced in April 2004. The HC order is a victory of sorts not just for Sabah but for any Muslim women who might face a similar situation. The HC accepted the contention of advocates Mahesh Jethmalani, Mrinalini Deshmukh and Edith Dey who argued for Sabah that her first divorce was a Talaq Ahsan (a single pronouncement of talaq with abstinence form sex over a limited duration of time) and not a khula ( divorce initiated by wife and treated as talaq-i-bain or irrevocable) as claimed by Adnan through his lawyer Vibhav Krishna. The divorce drama began over a year ago in Mumbai where the couple had remarried each other in May 2007 under the Muslim law. They first fought over their five-in-one spacious Andheri flats and their labrador. She said he had gifted her the flats, he denied it later. She also said she had lent him lot of money and wanted it back. The problem escalated when she said he had a girl friend in his bedroom and both sides traded allegations and produced CDs in court. But when Sabah finally filed for divorce and for protection from being dishoused under the Domestic Violence Act in the family court, Adnan said theirs wasn’t even a valid legal marriage as she had failed to comply with the halala and had hid the fact from him. Outraged at his belated and “absurd’’ plea, she denied that halala was required. But the family court last year agreed with Adnan and held Sabah’s divorce plea as untenable. Sabah then moved the high court in appeal. The HC decided only the question of law whether their divorce was a talaq ahsan, if halala was required and if family court was right. Sami will appeal the HC order in the apex cort, his lawyer said.

HC asks Mansa Devi Shrine Board to decide in four weeks

Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0303 hrs Chandigarh:
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Mata Mansa Devi Shrine Board and its officers to decide a representation demanding free parsad by a local resident within four weeks.
A public interest litigation (PIL) demanding directions to the shrine board and its officers was filed today in the High Court by one Ravinder Kumar Garg. The petitioner had sought directions to the authorities to offer parsad free of cost and stop charging for it.
“No parsad is being given to devotees free of cost. Buying parsad leads to discrimination amongst devotees as only a devotee who has the financial capacity to buy parsad can have it. Those who want to have parsad are supposed to buy sweets, fruits or similar items and bring the same as offerings,” the petition reads.
The court did not issue notices to the authorities, but asked the petitioner to file a representation before them, which shall be decided by the authorities within four weeks.
5 lakh devotees visit Mansa DeviOver five lakh devotees visited Mansa Devi temple on the eighth day of Navratra on Tuesday. The eighth day, which is also known as “ashtami”, saw devotees worshipping young girls in the temple. Meanwhile, the Mansa Devi Shrine Board has received over Rs 83 lakhs as part of donation from devotees. Some devotees also donated foreign currency, according to temple management. The shrine has received over 120 American dollars, 75 Australian dollars and 65 Euros. Gold and silver ornaments also formed part of the donation.

HC dismisses petition of Matuk Nath
TNN, Mar 23, 2010, 11.44pm IST
PATNA: The Patna High Court on Tuesday dismissed the petition of a former teacher of the local B N College, Matuk Nath Chaudhary, seeking quashing of the order of a lower court taking cognizance of complaint petition of his wife alleging cruelty. A single bench presided by Justice K K Mandal dismissed the quashing petition of Chaudhary who was charged by his wife, Abha Chaudhary, in her complaint case that he had resorted to matrimonial cruelty against her after having an affair with a young unmarried woman. HC seeks govt reply: A division bench of Patna High Court (HC), comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Mihir Kumar Jha, directed the state government to reply to the allegation made in an affidavit of National Council of Technical Education (NCTE) that some government teachers’ training colleges and teachers’ training colleges in some universities were being run with some deficiency. The court asked government pleader Arvind Kumar to file counter affidavit on behalf of the government to NCTE’s affidavit filed by its lawyer S N Pathak. The order was passed during hearing of a writ petition of Vijay Kumar who submitted that B R Ambdekar College of Education, Gaya, was being run without infrastructure so its recognition by the NCTE should be withdrawn. Earlier, the NCTE had informed the HC through an affidavit that B R Ambedkar College of Education had been issued notice as to why its recognition cannot be cancelled. Later, the NCTE formed a three-man committee after the HC directed it to submit status report of other teachers’ training colleges in the state.

Bombay HC orders Indage to wind up
Indage had come under financial pressure after it raised multiple loans from banks and other institutions to finance two strategic overseas acquisitions in 2008
C.H. Unnikrishnan and Baiju Kalesh
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Monday ordered the liquidation of troubled wine maker Indage Vintners Ltd following a series of winding-up petitions filed by aggrieved lenders and unpaid employees, the company said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Indage said it had been granted a stay of 15 days following a submission by the company that it had plans to meet all its obligations.
Indage, which was until recently India’s largest wine maker by sales, owes around Rs750 crore to lenders such as ICICI Bank Ltd, State Bank of India, Barclays Bank Plc and Axis Bank Ltd, among others, said two people familiar with the development.
Managing director Ranjit Chougule did not respond to phone calls on Tuesday. An Indage official in charge of media communications also did not respond to queries. In a July letter to the employees, Chougule had admitted to defaults of payments to lenders and employees.
Indage had come under financial pressure after it raised multiple loans from banks and other institutions to finance two strategic overseas acquisitions in 2008. The promoters of the company, the Mumbai-based Chougule family, had also ventured into unrelated businesses, including hospitality and liquor distilleries.

HC nullifies govt’s order for zero session of BEd courses
Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0313 hrs Lucknow:
The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday set aside the state government’s order declaring 2009-10 as zero session for BEd courses in state-run colleges and universities.
Quashing the October 15, 2009, government order, the Bench comprising Justices Pradeep Kant and Rituraj Awasthi imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the government, said Prashant Chandra, main counsel of the petitioners.
“The court ruled that the state government on the pretext on regularising the academic session cannot declare the session zero and cause inconvenience to thousands of students and colleges,” said Manish Kumar, another petitioner’s counsel.
After the state government amended the UP State Universities (Regulation of Admission to Course of Instruction for degree in Education in Affiliated, Associated and Constituent Colleges), Order, 1987, in October last year to declare the 2009-10 session as zero citing that 2007-08 and 2008-09 academic sessions were running late, over two dozen people and institutions had moved the High Court.
The High Court had reserved the order on February 11, 2010.
While stating that it would not be possible for the colleges to admit students for the current session since they would not be able to impart “minimum days” of studies, the court directed the government to streamline the session from the next academic session.
“The colleges have been asked to initiate the admission process for 2010-2011 academic session on June 1 and complete it by June 30. The court also directed the government to conduct classes from July 1,” said M M Asthana, petitioner’s counsel.

Is use of `India’ in a company logo valid, asks HC
TNN, Mar 24, 2010, 01.45am IST
LUCKNOW: Is use of the word `India’ on the pitch with the name of sponsoring DLF company in IPL gala against the national honour as the same is walked over and again by the cricketers when the game is on? Has the DLF company got the right to use the word `India’ in its official logo? The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the additional solicitor general to obtain instructions on the matter from the Central government. The matter would come up for hearing on March 26. A PIL raised the issue saying that neither can DLF be permitted to use India in its official logo nor can it depict `India’ on the cricket pitch for the purpose of advertisement. Citing the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950 and the Prevention of Insults To National Honour Act, 1971, it has been urged that the use of `India’ is improper. During the last IPL also, dishonour was shown to the name of the country in the same way. The petitioner, a society styled as `We the people’ said that after last IPL it had lodged a complaint on website against this act but the same has been repeated with view to economic game only and no heed was paid to the objection to the use of word `India’ in such manner. It is the duty of every citizen of the country, leave alone any company, to have respect for the name of our country. The law restricts the improper use of the name, emblem or official seal of the government of India or of any state. In such circumstances, the players, match officials and grounds men cannot be permitted to walk over the place or land where the name of our country `India’ is engraved or depicted, stressed the PIL. After hearing, a division bench of acting chief Justice, Amitava Lala and Justice Anil Kumar required the Central government to present its stand and as such the court directed the additional solicitor general of India, Dr Ashok Nigam to get instructions from the government, by the next hearing.

HC refers 8 colleges back to fee panel
TNN, Mar 23, 2010, 12.21am IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court, on Tuesday, sent cases of eight self-financed colleges back to Justice RJ Shah committee for reconsideration of fee structure after the SFIs complained that fees fixed by the committee was not enough to match the rising salary scale of faculty and cost of education. Acting on petitions of eight colleges, including AD Patel Institute of Engineering, GH Patel Institute of Engineering and Birla Vishvakarma Mahavidyalaya, a division bench of Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi quashed the Fee Regulatory Committee’s decision fixing the fee structure for the current academic year. The high court has asked the committee to decide the fee structure afresh as expeditiously as possible, keeping in mind all the relevant facts and more particularly the aspect of pay revision. The bench also observed that the colleges concerned shall have to undertake that they will implement the pay revision as per the Sixth Pay Commission’s recommendations. Appearing for the SFIs, advocate Dhaval Dave argued that without according any opportunity of hearing to the colleges, Justice RJ Shah Fee Regulatory Committee prescribed the fee structure which was not commensurating with the cost of imparting education and reasonable provision for future development. Hence it was not possible for the colleges to sustain themselves. The counsel also pointed out that though there was pay revision due to acceptance of the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission by state government, because of which the component of the cost of imparting education referable to the salary of the teaching and non-teaching staff increased substantially, the committee did not consider the issue while prescribing the fee structure.

Raj Agarwal murder: HC grants bail to Shaikh
Express News Service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0023 hrs Mumbai:
The prime accused in the Raj Agarwal murder case, Nadim Shaikh, has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court on grounds of parity. The court had granted bail to other accused earlier.
The court has released Nadim Shaikh on a bail bond of Rs 25,000 and a surety of the same amount, and directed him to be present at the R A K Marg police station every alternate Monday for a period of one year and the first Monday of every month thereafter.
Although the court had heard at length on the admissibility of DNA test evidence, the order did not mention anything on the same other than the arguments regarding the tests that were contested in court.
During the hearing, the court wanted to know admissibility of DNA test as evidence wherein it was observed that the test can be conclusive evidence.
Shaikh’s lawyer Hasanali Mooman had pointed out that as per the doctor’s deposition the bone sample of the victim does not match with the blood samples of mother Aarti Agarwal. He had also contented that the body was not the biological offspring of Aarti and the fact that both the mother and father Kunjbihari did not identify the remains of the body.
Additional public prosecutor Usha Kejriwal vehemently opposed the bail saying that the body was found at the instance of the accused and also that the sample of skeleton matched the paternal genealogy of the father which was established through Y-STR test.
Today, the division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Mridula Bhatkar in their order observed that a different bench of the court had already granted bail to the other accused in the case.
The court said it was inclined to grant bail on grounds of parity and suspended the substantive sentence.
Shaikh and six others were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for kidnapping 14-year-old Raj Agarwal in November 2003 for ransom and later murdering him.

`Stop mud-slinging the judiciary’
TNN, Mar 24, 2010, 03.46am IST
BANGALORE: Justice V. Gopalagowda, the new Chief Justice of Orissa High court, said mud-slinging about the judiciary must be stopped, keeping in view the people’s high esteem and faith in it. At a felicitation given by the Advocates Association of Bangalore on Tuesday, he said: “They speak of luxury cars and other benefits. Do they know how much a judge has to sacrifice? Have we come from heaven? The Bar and the Bench are part of the system, both forming the base of the Indian judiciary. Both are two wheels of the chariot. This mud-slinging job should stop.” Lokayukta Justice N. Santosh Hegde, who was the chief guest, felt there is nothing called as pro-judges. “Everyone should decide according to the law and based on facts of the case.” At his farewell function earlier, Justice Gopalagowda said recent developments in the judiciary are posing a threat; vested interests, both within and outside the system, are responsible. “It needs the guidance of responsible and foresighted leaders in the Bar. But these senior members are maintaining silence.”

Shilpa Shetty writes to CJI for checking harassment of actors
Tuesday, March 23, 2010, 10:39 [IST]
Mumbai (UNI): Bollywood actor Shilpa Shetty has written to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) Y K Sabharwal, requesting to initiate appropriate orders which could set a guiding precedent in maligning cases by lawyers against film artistes.
Shilpa’s letter comes in wake of the High Court order staying the arrest warrant issued by a magisterial court in Madurai against her in an obscenity case.
Earlier, she had sought help from National Commission of Women (NCW) Chairperson Girija Vyas by submitting a written complaint.
In her letter addressed to the CJI, Shilpa has said such people, in order to gain cheap publicity for themselves, not only cause damage to the reputation of artistes, but end up wasting the courts’ precious time also. She has also thanked the NCW and Dr Vyas for standing up for her rights and supporting her at the time of crisis.
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Chief justice of India refuses information on cash-at-judge’s-door scam
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 14:48 IST
Last updated: Wednesday, March 24, 2010 0:27 IST
New Delhi: Chief justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan, who had rubbished the CBI claim that he didn’t allow it to prosecute Punjab and Haryana high court (P&H HC) judge Nirmal Yadav, accused of involvement in the cash-at-judge’s-door scam, now says the matter is confidential.
The central public information officer (CPIO) of the Supreme Court (SC) told the Central Information Commission on Tuesday that it could not reply to an applicant’s query whether CBI approached SC in connection with the scam as the matter was “confidential and exempted from disclosure under section 8 (1) (e) and (j) of RTI Act”.
“You have no right to access the said information,” CPIO told applicant Abhishek Shukla.
Clarifying the position of the highest judicial institution under RTI, an issue that’s been pending before SC for final adjudication, CPIO Raj Pal Arora said, “Further as the information is not held by or under the control of CPIO, Supreme Court, India, your request cannot be acceded to….”
But SC’s secretary general MP Bhadran had earlier said that CBI did not approach CJI.
Justice Yadav’s name had figured in the scam after the recovery of a mysterious bag containing Rs15 lakh at the door of another P&H HC judge Nirmaljit Kaur. The bag was said to have been delivered to her door due to confusion over names.
CBI probed the matter on the orders of the administrator of Chandigarh after Kaur lodged a police complaint, but filed the case closure report after, a CBI court observed, it “failed to get sanction from CJI to prosecute Yadav”.
However, dealing with another sensational case involving around 30 judicial officers and high court judges, who allegedly benefited from the ill-gotten money that the late Ashutosh Asthana, former officer of the government treasury in Ghaziabad, fraudulently withdrew from the accounts of court employees, SC examined his viscera reports to ascertain whether he was poisoned or died due to cardiac arrest inside Dasna Jail.
Ashthana had given a statement before the judicial magistrate two years ago, listing the names of judges who received cash or gifts from him and explaining the modus operandi of his operation which couldn’t have been possible without the active help of some subordinate court judges.
A bench of justices DK Jain, VS Sirpurkar and GS Singhvi noted on Tuesday that the viscera samples did “not indicate poisoning”, as alleged.

Living together a part of right to life, not an offence: SC
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 at 0243 hrs New Delhi:
The Supreme Court threw its weight behind live-in relationships on Tuesday, observing that for a man and a woman in love, to live together is part of the right to life, and not a “criminal offence”.
“If two people, man and woman, want to live together, who can oppose them? What is the offence they commit here? This happens because of the cultural exchange between people,” a special three-judge bench of Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan observed.
The court was hearing a batch of petitions filed by actress Khusboo to quash 22 FIRs filed against her by Tamil activist groups and forums for her alleged comments on pre-marital sex in interviews five years ago.
“If living together is an offence, then the first complaint should be filed against the Supreme Court, because we have permitted living together,” the court said. It was referring to a 2006 judgment in which the Supreme Court directed the administration and police across the country to protect runaway couples from harassment, and to initiate action against those resorting to violence.
“It is part of right to life to go away with someone you love,” the bench said. The Supreme Court had earlier stayed a Madras High Court order of April 2008, which allowed criminal proceedings against the actress.
Khusboo was alleged to have said there was nothing wrong in “sex before marriage”, provided girls were careful about pregnancy and sexually-transmitted diseases. Her detractors argued that the implied advice to the educated male to not expect virginity from modern girls was “offensive” and a source of “public nuisance”.
To an argument that Khusboo’s comments on pre-marital sex would mislead gullible youths and minors, the court said: “The scenario is highly unlikely in this age of the Internet where we do not know what our children are doing or where they are going or what pornography site they are watching.”
To this, the lawyer appearing for one of the complainants, Miniammal, a lawyer in Tamil Nadu, responded that “there should be some morality in the comments made by people of prominence like Khusboo, who has a temple in Tamil Nadu where she is worshipped as a goddess”.
“And this is how you revere your goddess, by dragging her to court?” retorted Justice Verma.
The bench made it clear that Khusboo’s comments could at best be termed as “personal opinions”, and did not amount to a cognizable offence.
But the lawyer persisted that Khusboo’s comments on pre-marital sex would lead to the “spoiling of the entire institution of marriage. Statements like this can result in chaos in the society.”
Even as the CJI at this moment responded that people were better off listening to themselves than to others, Justice Verma asked the counsel to point out how many marriages were “spoilt” or how many instances of chaos happened in the past five years because of her comments on pre-marital sex.
The court said it cannot stop anyone from expressing their opinions before reserving the petitions for final verdict.
Besides, the court said, Khusboo (who was present during the day-long hearing) had said “nothing new” about the concept of living together.
Justice Chauhan pointed out that even the “ceiling limit” for the construction of temples for twin deities like Radha and Krishna or Ram and Sita were calculated under the consideration that they were “husband and wife”.

Couples must wait six months after marriage to get divorce: Supreme Court
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Wednesday, March 24, 2010 0:38 IST
New Delhi: Cracking the whip on the quick marriage and quicker divorce culture, the Supreme Court (SC) has said that a couple separated within two days of tying the knot doesn’t have any fundamental right to divorce unless they stay away from each other for six months.
The separation period is mandatory under the Hindu Marriage Act.In a rare case, a newly wedded couple in a hurry to get divorce, had invoked Article 32 of the Constitution. Under the provision, the apex court can be moved to direct the state or its functionaries to enforce the fundamental rights (FR) or restore it.
A woman, Poonam, had filed a writ petition in SC, challenging a family court order that had refused her an immediate divorce. Invoking Article 32 of the Constitution, Poonam had said in her plea that the family court order violated her FR. She had made her husband, Sumit, a respondent in the case.
Rejecting her plea, the SC said merely signing the consent for divorce without raising fingers at each other wouldn’t be acceptable to law.
Poonam and her husband Sumit will have to fulfill the six month test and approach the family court again for divorce, the SC said.Poonam’s lawyers could not enlighten the apex court as to how the family court’s order violated their FR. The SC also couldn’t fathom how the family court could have directed the husband, an individual, to restore her FR.
Initially, Poonam’s lawyer, who is registered with the apex court, didn’t appear. At last, one lawyer appeared in the case and expressed ignorance as to how such a writ petition was filed.
An anguished bench of justices Aftab Alam and BS Chauhan on Tuesday termed the conduct of the lawyers and the couple ‘reprehensible’ and dismissed the petition.
“The petition has been filed without any sense of responsibility by the parties or their counsel. This is tantamount to not only disservice to the institution but it also adversely affects the administration of justice,” said the bench, adding “conduct of all of them has been reprehensible”.

Nityananda Swami files writ in High Court
BANGALORE: Self-styled godman Nityananda Swami, facing allegations of involvement in sleazy activities, has filed a writ petition before the Karnataka High Court seeking quashing of cases filed against him by the Ramanagar district police.
Nityananda, who is at large ever since the video clippings of his alleged sleaze activities involving an actress were telecast by private channels on March two, contended in his petition yesterday that he was innocent.
32-year-old Nityananda, alias Rajasekharan, charged that one of his former discipline and driver Kurup Lenin had conspired to defame him and his Ashram by levelling such allegations.
The whereabouts of Nityananda are a mystery. However, the followers of Nityananda at his Ashram at Bidadi on the city’s outskirts claim that he is in Haridwar attending the Kumbh Mela.
The writ is yet to come up for the High Court registry, according to sources in the High Court.
Tamil Nadu police, which had registered cases under various sections, including rape, against Nityananda, transferred them to the police in Ramanagar, as the Ashram falls under it.
Ramanagar police had re-registered the cases against Nityananda.

NHRC asks Guj to submit report on harassment of tribals
Updated on Friday, March 19, 2010, 17:42 IST
New Delhi: The National Human Rights Commission today directed the Gujarat government to submit a report on the “migration” of over 1000 nomadic herdsmen from a village in the state allegedly due to harassment by an upper caste community. The rights body took cognisance of the matter following a complaint filed by lawyer and right activists Radhakanta Tripathy who alleged that the state had remained a “mute spectator” to the harassment of tribals. The NHRC directed the state secretary to submit a detailed report within six weeks from the date of the receipt its notice.
According to the complaint, over 1000 Maldharis, who are nomadic herdsmen in Gujarat, were “forced to leave their village in Surindernagar district by people from upper caste and are waiting in makeshift tents for justice”, the rights body noted. The complainant referred to media reports which claimed that Maldhari women were harassed by the upper castes. “Hundreds of lower caste villagers (Maldharis) of Gujarat’s Surindernagar district request this Commission to protect human rights….women face eve teasing and sexual harassment from upper caste men and government remains mute spectator of all the ordeals faced by the victims,” the complainant charged.Tripathy urged the Commission to intervene into the matter and take necessary step “to stop caste based atrocities and protect the human rights of hundreds of these tormented and tortured villagers”. PTI

NCW petition to be heard in open court
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Mar 24, 2010, 04.14am IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to review its own 2009 verdict in the case between Bhaskar Lal Sharma and his daughter-in-law Monica after the NCW, through counsel Aparna Bhat, moved a curative petition requesting reconsideration. Curative petitions normally have a 99% failure rate in the apex court. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices S H Kapadia, Altamas Kabir and Cyriac Joseph entertained NCW’s curative petition and issued notice to both parties — Sharma and Monica. This means the curative petition will now be heard in open court for the parties to point out the anamoly in the July 27 ruling and suggest corrective measures. NCW had reflected the views of CPM leader Brinda Karat who had said the apex court’s decision — that a mother-in-law who kicks her daughter-in-law or repeatedly threatens her with divorce attracts no punishment for cruelty under Section 498A of the IPC — would only “further deepen the miseries of women and undo the effect of various legislations passed for the emancipation of women”. “Such a judicial understanding of cruelty will be a licence for domestic violence. It may also encourage wife-beaters. It will undo the positive steps taken by government to provide a just legal framework to address domestic violence,” Karat had written.

NCW seeks report on UP rape verdict
Headlines Today Bureau
New Delhi/Rampur, March 23, 2010
The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Tuesday sought a report on action taken against a panchayat in Rampur area of Uttar Pradesh that had let off a rape accused with a mere fine of Rs 30,000. The NCW sought the report from the district administration after the story was aired on Headlines Today. The panchayat not only settled the matter by ordering a fine, gram pradhan Yaqub Ali also threatened the victim’s family not to approach the police. The victim’s family alleges that the accused barged into their house when the girl was alone and raped her. They were allegedly not allowed to lodge a police complaint and forced to approach the panchayat for justice. But instead of listening to their plea, the panchayat brazenly sided with the accused. “We wanted to go to the police but everyone put pressure that the matter be settled in the panchayat. The panchayat ordered the accused to pay a fine of Rs 30,000,” said Shahid, the victim’s uncle. When Headlines Today questioned the pradhan, he denied the incident. “There was no case of rape and therefore no hearing in the panchayat,” claimed Ali. Even the police denied the incident. “We questioned the villagers and found that no such incident had happened,” said Harvir Singh, a police official.


One Response

  1. Past destroyed our future
    Do you think LAW had ruined my life? >>mine and my daughter life got exploited.
    I am victim in a rape case as in now the guy is in jail from last 2months I got case registered because to teach them a lesson so that no other girl become target to them after 3years they dumped me just because I had been married once and have a daughter initially they accepted me with my daughter but now they could see society, I have all the strong evidence with me against those people There was a case against me 7years back to survive I had working girls at my place but they were involved into prostitution they staying with me police thought even I was also into it the case is still on and I appear in the court my address was given and those girls vanished the other day, as I have seen hard time in my past .I am working women and my daughter is studying we live together my main purpose is to tell you about as in now the case against a guy I am a victim and when ever there is a bail application applied for the guy and I have to listen too abusive language in a courtyard from accused side and too much of insult in front of my daughter I guess you can well understand taking abusive language before your own child what would be a feeling I am downhearted.
    Is it that big a crime? Is it bigger then what this guy had done with me? If it is yes then I should be thrown behind the bar why he isn’t it.
    Will my past never leave me in future then I think I should stop thinking about my daughter future. Look at me 1st>> unfortunately I am single again 2nd>>I have a child 3rd>>I have a case registered on me from last 7years but this family had accepted me with everything now after 3years they have all these reason to kick me out.

    Why dig deep into women past and bring it in front. Suppose Even if I was into prostitution, is it in law that guy is allowed to rape any prostitute? Or misuse? And ruin her life? Or is it that big a crime? I have no1 except my daughter the accused knew everything about me as I did not hide anything from him I never wanted to start my life with any lies he was aware of my case but now to show the world that he is innocent and clean he got a chance to finger on my character. It has effected my reputation, my life, my job, my daughter and her future it’s not a justice to us.
    I am working and having very deferential image my daughter is grown up girl and understands everything and trusts me a lot as her statement in this case is important because she has been with me through out when this guy and his family was misleading us I got case registered just to give others a warning and making other women alert for future and making them aware that its not only guys who do plotting ,and take advantage there are parents also who can be a part of there son dirty plotting and can give fake promise and mislead you to be there future daughter in law so be alert not to make contact with these kind of animals.

    I went through a shock when guy and his family after 3years deprived for everything ,then went through a shock when the guy who was intensely in love with me and had a courage to face everything for me, just got controlled by his insecure mother and forgot who I am, then went through shock when he was sent behind the bar as per my complaint, it was painful for me but thinking about the pain they all gave me was more, then went through a shock again when I hear them talking filth about me and my daughter in courtyard, then again a shock when these people who were aware of everything and got my case in front and showing each an every person from my friends to my work place that I am of bad character and they are innocent .
    1mistake which I haven’t done I cant go an give my explanations to every one to prove myself clean, it has spoiled my life we stopped stepping out of our house my friends and everyone knows me in and out and they are with me but I feel it is a shame, don’t you think for women its hard to face all this in front of our kids.
    I believe using faulty words and vulgar for women and talking about her character should be stopped, in this way no other girl will take step against abusive guys or anyone and will sit home and take torture rather then going against. I lost every thing me and my daughter is going through big time mental trauma my daughter young girl her future is ended. I was only earning member being single mother we have no male by our side my job had come to an end just because of these animals who pretend they are human. I was with the guy for 3years so why law allows to get her past record why not only that 3years if law says there would be no value of past things and those years will be only counted when the incident was held I think no one will waste there time in grabbing the history of the girl isn’t it in these kind of cases there should be investigation I don’t deny but police should see what is important and what not like in my case I don’t think that was a big crime if I would have been into any ill legal things I would have taken it.
    I was respectfully doing my job and made my name these people have made my life miserable to fight against domestic violence I am fighting with my life now. What I got in return exploitation, insult and end of my daughter and my future. If these things are happening when the guy is in jail and if he gets bail and he is out what all will happen don’t know.
    Can I get back the name and everything back what all I have lost before they said that I never told about my daughter and not even about my past as the guy is bachelor and me sadly now single now there is a twist in the statement after my case they took it out whole family statement is they never promised me for marriage and she is a prostitute its killing when everything is said in front of my daughter.

    This is what we wait for is this justice? He and his family have twisted my life horrible and I am entitle as prostitute do you think any graceful guy will wed my daughter? Who will get us foodstuff as I not working now those people sending threat for us to withdraw the case. I wanted to make them realize I am not from those girls who will sit a cry and forgive its not easy to cheat and play with anyone emotions even they have to suffer this all is facts of my life EVERYTHING GOT ENDED.
    I was honest about this guy he was bachelor but accepted me with a matter-of-factness but after 3years they wounded me took advantage of me PYSICALLY, MENTALLY, EMOTIONALLY and most important FINANCIALLY when he approached me to be his other half there was no flag on him for me to know that he was unmarried, as his parents are revealing to the people that the girl took lead of my innocent son. I have all the evidence which confirm in details. I could not accept as true that we have elder people also who can encourage there son in filthy tricks I complaint in police to save other women even my daughter could become target to these kind of cheaters but after all that, I got all the more exploited world is small who will marry my daughter in future rather then feeling guilty they exploiting me and threatening they got a chance to show the world that I was of bad character .This is no justice my past had turned present and future of my daughter and mine. We both had been through traumatic experience just because of that family.
    I’m a passionate one about life but the guy and his family they have gotten me to the point of being suicidal and only thing that cease me is my daughter. My only sin was that I valued them loved them and been supportive to them and accepted their arrogance, ignorance and attitude towards me. In return they gave me and my daughter complicatedness and sorrow they operated me as an ATM CARD whenever they required cash they are desperate and desperate community are the most corrupt they are curse to family and others who take advantage in manipulating and ruining others life. They have bought me to death bed and that barefaced family is still wid there tantrums on me and no guilt, and sending threats for us to take back the case We both had enough of pain in the past but our future where is it? We are treated wrongly. Whom to blame Law, my ill fortune, or the family? For the guy those 3years were passing time with me and was taking advantage physically and financially and was a tricky fun and game for them but for me those 3years which I have lost due to him and his family ,I am sure you could imagine what me and my daughter must be going through.
    1st>>>> unfortunately, unluckily. I am single mother but, the guy and family felt awkward to recognize me after 3years.
    2nd >>>I have a teenager. I feel blessed but, the family whom I had faith in felt embarrassment after 3years.
    3rd>>>>my earlier error. Which guy knew but, they took lead to talk about my personality to make sure he is spotless.
    What did I achieve? Why only we undergo nervous tension? Or is it to destroy us
    Ruins us so much that they get rid of the case.
    IS this a good judgment? What do I solve?

    What do I kill time for? What do I do?

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