LEGAL NEWS 30.03.2010

PIL plea against occupation of Assembly building dismissed

Special Correspondent

The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to the Public Works Department that the new Assembly building on Omandurar Estate should not be occupied without getting the completion certificate as per rules.

In his petition, K.R. Ramaswamy, founder-chairman, Tamil Nadu Social Workers Organisation, stated that the multi-storied new Assembly complex was being built in haste. There was no need and urgency to construct the building. There was no notice from either the Centre or Defence authorities to vacate Fort. St. George, which houses the present Secretariat.

The petitioner said there was no urgency that the budget session (starting from March 19) should be conducted in the unfinished complex. When constructing a multi-storied building, the curing time must be strictly followed. This had not been done in the complex. It would not be fair to encourage the government to occupy the unfinished complex.

The building had to be certified finally by statutory authorities before giving electricity, water and drainage connections. Mr. Ramaswamy submitted that he was not interested in preventing the construction of the building. But, it was unnecessary to spend more than Rs.450 crore on the new structure.

When the matter came up before the First Bench, comprising Chief Justice H.L. Gokhale and Justice V. Dhanapalan, the Government Pleader (GP) submitted that presently one section of the Assembly complex had been declared open. It consisted of the ground and first floor where the Assembly session is to be held.

The other sections would not be opened until they were completed.

In its order, the Bench said that in view of the GP’s statement, nothing further required to be done. It dismissed the petition.

‘Clarify if night safari approved or not’


Express News Service

First Published : 30 Mar 2010 05:19:00 AM IST

Last Updated :

BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday directed the Central government to clearly state if it had approved the night safari project in Bannerghatta National Park. The Central Zoo Authority had approved the route plan for the night safari.

BR Deepak, a city-based advocate, had filed a PIL requesting the court to direct the Central government to clearly state if it had approved the entire project or just the route plan.

A division bench consisting of Justice Manjula Chellur and Mohan Shanthana Gowder directed the Central government to state if it had approved the entire project.

The proposed Night Safari at Bannerghatta National Park is inspired by the night safaris in Singapore, which are a major tourist attraction.

The safari will house animals in big enclosures which will resemble their natural habitat.

About 112 hectares of forest land has been earmarked for the safari.

The Rs 178-crore project is expected to be over by 2012.

PIL in Bombay HC for probing Kripashanker’s wealth


Mumbai, Mar 29 (PTI) A PIL in the Bombay High Court today sought directions to the government to probe into the alleged accumulation of unaccounted wealth by former state minister and MLA Kripashanker Singh and his family members.

The PIL, requesting for constitution of a special investigation team for the probe, was mentioned by Lawyer Mihir Desai before Justices Anil Dave and S C Dharmadhikari who decided to hear the matter on April 15.

The PIL alleged that former chief minister of Jharkhand Madhu Koda, currently in jail for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore hawala scam, was close to Singh, a Congress MLA, who thrived in his close proximity and a lot of money transactions took place between them.

The PIL stated that Singh’s son is married to Ankita, daughter of Kamlesh Singh, a minister in the Koda cabinet who is also in jail in connection with the scam.

Plea to reduce vacations of High courts dismissed


Kochi, Mar 30 (PTI) Kerala High Court today dismissed a petition seeking to reduce the vacations of courts.

Dismissing a PIL by one Geroge of Ernakulam, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice J Chalemeswar and Justice K Balakrishnan said whether working days of high courts should be increased or vacations reduced are all matters of policy, which had to be considered by authority including, the Centre, Supreme Court and the high courts.

The bench also said that by exercising constitutional powers, the court cannot issue directions to the rule making authority to frame or amend rules.

According to the petitioner, accumulation of arrears of cases is due to reduced working days and long vacation besides other issues.

Making justice accessible to the poor


Amartya Sen in his recent book An Idea of Justice commends the comparative method of discoursing on key questions of social justice. Even as one finds Sen’s suggestion unexceptionable, its practical application is difficult because of the paucity of comparative material. To be precise, the Anglo-American outlook on key social questions occupies so much of the knowledge space that it virtually blocks every other perspective. This book breaks this embargo as it deliberates on the accessibility of justice to the poor through essays which specially dwell on the UNDP-supported experiments.


The 18 essays in this collection have been organised around five themes: access to justice, first, in the international context and then in plural legal systems; the link between public interest litigation and access to justice; the relationship between democracy, governance and justice programming; and the developments and obstacles encountered in the implementation of various regional initiatives. And the editors have provided an introduction to each of these segments, apart from the one for the entire group. This methodology has, apart from ensuring that no contribution suffered editorial neglect (because a succinct summary of each essay is given by the editors), rendered the work reader-friendly in the sense that one can easily zero in on the theme of one’s interest. However, in opting for the descriptive, the editors have lost an opportunity to interlink the various contributions and meld them into a composite entity. As a consequence, the book remains just a collection of discrete essays.

The book is truly a mine of information on the state of justice in various countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Central and Eastern Europe. In some cases, these rich descriptions are accompanied by a deep analysis. For example, the piece by Geof Budlender is a fascinating analysis of how, in South Africa, public interest lawyering combined with work at the level of the public interest movement and subverted an unjust system. Jill Cotterell and Yash Ghai point to the difficulties of using the Constitution as an instrument of empowerment in Kenya, where large sections of the people are poor and marginalised. And Upendra Baxi provides the overarching conceptual framework to these country-wise descriptions by bringing out the multiple connotations of globalisation and the resultant interplay between neo-liberalism and access to justice.

Since authentic information must come ahead of analysis, the material provided in the book can form the basis for a comparative study and assessment of developments vis-à-vis access to justice in India. Thus, for example, the liberalisation of locus standi, a precursor to the concept of ‘public interest litigation’ (PIL), has come to be regarded as ‘routine.’ Both the legal profession and the lay people have ceased to appreciate the radical import of this development. In order to continue reflecting on legitimate liberalisation, it may be appropriate to keep examining the purpose of the standing rule and to study case law where the refusal to liberalise is manifestly unjust. The essay on ‘PIL in Nigeria’ provides umpteen such examples.


In India, the colonial lineage of the legal system provokes questions about its relevance to the poor and the dispossessed who neither understand the language nor the practice of the courts. This situation often causes people to hark back to institutions of community justice. Such nostalgia is far from uniform on account of the sexist and casteist decisions that are pronounced by many an institution of the non-state legal system. The need to adopt a nuanced approach is ably brought home by Julio Faundez, who in his analysis of the community justice institutions in rural Peru exposes the limitations of that system and also explains how it often helps in restoring people’s faith in a political system. That there is no right without a remedy is a clichéd proposition of rights jurisprudence. The 13th Finance Commission has earmarked Rs.5,000 crore during the five-year period, 2010-15, for improving the justice delivery system. If this allocation is to yield the intended result, it is imperative that those involved in drawing up action plans stop recycling worn-out ideas and come up with something fresh and innovative. This book could be of great assistance in such a reform process.

JUSTICE FOR THE POOR — Perspectives on Accelerating Access: Edited by Ayesha Kadwani Dass and Gita Honwana Wench; Oxford University Press, YMCA Library Building, Jai Singh Road, New Delhi-110001. Rs. 895.

PIL against withdrawal of Bofors case dismissed

30 Mar 2010, 1530 hrs IST

The Supreme Court on Tuesday (March 30) dismissed a PIL challenging the government’s decision to withdraw the Bofors case against Quattrocci. A plea was moved in the Supreme Court to direct the center not to drop cases against Quattrocci and to extradite him to India.

The plea comes even as the center and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) have made their stand on the issue clear. The have filed a closure report and want all cases against Quattrocci to be dropped. The Bofors deal is on the verge of getting a final closure.

An application was moved in the Supreme Court on March 22 seeking to restrain government from closing criminal cases against Italian businessman Ottavio Quattrocci relating to Bofors payoffs and to take steps to extradite him to face trial in this country.

Advocate Ajay Agrawal approached the court pleading it to constitute a Special Investigative Team to probe into the alleged role played by some government officials leading to withdrawing of Red Corner notice against Quattrocci and defreezing of his accounts.

He said the court should direct the CBI to withdraw the application filed in the trial court against Quattrocci.

Questioning the role of the Centre and its authorities, the lawyer submitted that there was conspiracy of not providing all the relevant documents before the extradition court in Argentina where he was caught by the local police.

Agrawal had earlier challenged the high court verdict after CBI had failed to file the appeal within the mandatory 90 days. The apex court has admitted his petition and issued notices to CBI and others in 2005.

IT director probing Madhu Koda case to continue in his post till next orders: Jharkhand HC


Tuesday, March 30, 2010 18:08 IST

Ranchi: Jharkhand high court today said the director (Income Tax-Investigation), who is probing the multi-crore scam allegedly involving ex-chief minister Madhu Koda and his associates, should continue in his current post till further orders.

Admitting a PIL seeking a stay on the IT officer Ujjwal Choudhary’s transfer till the conclusion of the probe, the bench of chief justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and justice R R Prasad said he should continue in his post till further direction.

The bench had on March 16 asked the officer to continuetill March 30.

A social activist, Durga Oraon had on February 24 filed a PIL when Choudhary was among the 29 officers to be transferred during internal transfer/postings of the Income Tax department on February 19.

Oraon claimed that the transfer might affect the investigation into the multi-crore scam.

Choudhary was in Chaibasa overseeing country-wide raids when he got the transfer orders.

The I-T had on October 31 stumbled upon the Rs 2,000 crore alleged illegal investments and hawala transaction during country-wide raids conducted, including at the premises of Koda and his associates.

Karnal sessions court to pronounce judgement against Khap Panchayat killers

Tuesday, March 30, 2010,7:19 [IST]

Karnal (Haryana), Mar 30 (ANI): A sessions court in Karnal will on Tuesday deliver its verdict against the six Khap Panchayat members, who have been charged for the murder of a newly married couple.

The Khap Panchayat members had killed the two for they married against their will.
The court had earlier on Monday after recording the statements of all the accused deferred the hearing for Tuesday.

Last week, in a historic judgement, the court had delivered a guilty verdict against the six members on charges of kidnapping and murdering Manoj and Babli.

Babli”s brother Suresh, her uncles, Rajender and Baru Ram, her cousins, Gurdev and Satish, and village strongman, Ganga Raj, were declared guilty of the murders that took place in June 2007. (ANI)

HC stays CAT order against suspension of accused officers

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 30, 2010 at 0141 hrs Allahabad:

The Allahabad High Court on Monday stayed the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), which had stayed the suspension of two senior IAS officers Rakesh Bahadur and Sanjeev Saran, named for their alleged involvement in a multi-crore plot allotment case in Noida.

The duo was allegedly involved in the fraud that caused the state exchequer a loss of Rs 4721.14 crore.  Rakesh Bahadur was the chairman of Noida and Sanjeev Saran was the chief executive officer, Noida, during the allotment of plots for hotels.

Following the state government passing suspension orders against them, the duo filed their counter appeals with the Centre. Since the Centre passed no order on their appeals, the officers filed an original application in the CAT, challenging their suspension. The CAT later stayed the suspension order and directed the state to reinstate them with all consequential benefits, including payment of their monthly salaries and other emoluments due.

The state government filed a writ petition against the CAT order challenging the stay. Appearing for the state, additional advocate general Satish Chaturvedi assisted by chief standing counsel M C Chaturvedi contended that by way of the interim relief, CAT had granted final relief to the IAS officers.

They objected the order of the CAT that allowed the accused to avail of the service benefits. “A court can grant interim relief, like staying suspension order, but cannot dispose of the entire case pending in the Allahabad High Court,” observed the Bench.

HC warns DFO for threatening advocate

TNN, Mar 30, 2010, 03.51am IST

HYDERABAD: Wondering how a forest officer could resort to threatening tactics against an advocate for filing an application under Right to Information Act, Justice C V Nagarjuna Reddy of the high court on Monday expressed displeasure at the attitude of the Sunder, district forest officer of Chittoor.

The DFO was charged for threatening the advocate, K Ajeya Kumar, who had filed an application for information regarding the action taken under the Forest Act against his client.

Parents pledge won’t marry off bright teenager, HC may see which law governs Muslim minors

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 30, 2010 at 2320 hrs Mumbai:

It is unfortunate that an intelligent girl who desires to pursue medicine is forced to get married at a minor age, the Bombay High Court observed today.

The court was hearing a petition for the custody of a teenager, filed by her mother Zakia Begum of Aurangabad. The court granted the custody after the parents undertook that they would not marry off the girl till she turns 18.

Zakia’s daughter, 14, was to marry last December, but her uncle filed a complaint with the police against a violation of the Child Marriage Restriction Act (now replaced by Prohibition of Child Marriage Act or PCMA).

A division Bench of Justice D B Bhosale and Justice A R Joshi today interviewed the girl in their chamber where she said she did not wish to get married since she wanted to pursue her education and desired to study medicine.

“We found her to be very intelligent and it is very unfortunate that the parents wanted to marry her off,” Justice Bhosale said.

Bhosale observed that the girl even knew the name of the woman sarpanch of her village near Aurangabad while her mother could not remember it. The girl, who had scored 71 per cent the previous year, has been handed over to her parents; the court felt there was no point in keeping her in a Child Welfare Home as her studies would suffer and her exams are due next month.

The court has also sought a reply from the police whether they are ready to drop the charges against the girl’s mother and five others since they have given an undertaking.

The judges sought to know if the offence is compoundable or not. It was informed that the offences slapped under the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act were cognisable and non-bailable. The court hinted that it can stay the prosecution till the petition is finally decided on.

Lawyers Prakash Wagh and Vivek Sudhade, appearing for the petitioners, pointed out that the marriage had not taken place, so the offence has not been committed yet. Since the girl has been handed over to the parents, the court has sought to know if some officer can be appointed for keeping track.

Advocate Mihir Desai and additional solicitor general D J Khambata submitted that an injunction would be appropriate if the parents violate the undertaking and decide to marry her off. The injunction would make such a marriage null and void, they told the court.

Senior counsel Yusuf Muchhala, appearing for the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, told the court that the board had issues with Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.

The court has adjourned the hearing till April 1 to see if it should go into the larger issue of deciding whether a Muslim girl child can be married, which would mean looking into which of the two – Muslim Personal Law or Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (PCMA) – is applicable in such cases.

Salboni police camp demolition: HC rejects bail plea of ‘Maoists’–HC-rejects-bail-plea-of–Maoists-/597399/

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 30, 2010 at 0106 hrs Kolkata:

The Calcutta High Court on Monday rejected the anticipatory bail plea of three suspected Maoists, accused of being involved in the demolition of a police camp at Koima in Salboni in June 2009. The trio — Srikanta Mahto, Jyoti Mahato and Sanat Mahato — had filed their anticipatory bail plea last week in the High Court, even as the case against them is pending in a West Midnapore court.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Amit Talukdar and Shayamal Kanti Chakraborty rejected the bail plea today. Opposing the plea, public prosecutor Asimesh Goswami pleaded that the three worked in connivance with Maoist outfits as well as the PCAPA in Lalgarh. The three were aides of Chattradhar Mahato, booked under UAPA, and were present during the demolition of the police camp at Koima, alleged Goswami.

Advocate Jaymalya Bagchi, counsel of the three accused, pleaded that they are active members of the Trinamool Congress. Srikant Mahato is a Trinamool leader and panchayat member of Binpur I block while Jyoti Mahato and Sanat Mahato are Trinamool members of the Salboni block, claimed the counsel, while alleging that the police have fabricated the case.

Re-evaluate medicine PGET papers: Karnataka HC

Odeal D’Souza / DNA

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 9:56 IST

Bangalore: The Karnataka high court on Monday ordered re-evaluation of the answer sheets of 8,000 students who had appeared for the post-graduate entrance test (PGET) in medicine conducted in February.

Justice Nagmohan Das gave the direction while listening to a petition filed by three students, including Dr Rahul S Patil of Koramangala, who had appeared for the entrance test (for admission to MD and MS courses).

The petitioners contended that the key answers to 18 questions were wrong. The court directed the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences to re-evaluate the answer sheets of the post-graduate entrance test within a week.

The entrance test was held throughout Karnataka on February 7. The results were announced on February 19.

On March 12, while hearing the petition, the high court had directed that an expert committee be constituted to check if the evaluation of these 18 questions were done correctly.
The committee submitted its report to Justice Nagmohan Das on Monday.

The report said some of the 18 questions were evaluated correctly while some others were evaluated wrongly. After going through the report, the court ordered that the PGET answer sheets of the about 8,000 students who had appeared for the entrance test be evaluated again to see if the marks for the 18 questions had been awarded properly.

Nooriya drank and drove but didn’t kill intentionally: HC

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 30, 2010 at 2312 hrs Mumbai:

The Bombay High Court said today that Nooriya Haveliwala’s car crash can at the most be an offence under Section 304 (II) of IPC, which would mean the accident was not intentional.

The court was hearing a bail application by Haveliwala, charged with drunken driving and killing two persons. The police had charged her under Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder with intention) under which the quantum of imprisonment can be between 10 years and life. Under 304 (II), the maximum imprisonment is 10 years.

The court observed this is a case where the vehicle was driven under the influence of alcohol and with knowledge of this, but not with an intention to kill anyone. “It is a very sad and tragic case,” Justice RS Mohite said. Haveliwala may not be allowed to drive, the court said.

“If you can show this is a case for life imprisonment then we will look into it seriously,” the court told the state, directing it to file a reply before the next hearing on Thursday.

The judge concluded that this is a case where maximum punishment can be 10 years.

Justice Mohite had referred to the Alister Pereira case in which a division Bench had made the same conclusion. “This is a very serious case. No doubt about it,” Justice Mohite said.

Additional public prosecutor A S Gadkari had said investigation is on and Nooriya’s case is not one of a simple accident. “What’s there to investigate now?” the court asked.

Gadkari said Haveliwala was under the influence of drugs, but the court said the stringent provisions of the NDPS Act wouldn’t be applicable in the case.

Two of the victims of the accident, including a constable, have moved court against the bail plea.

The accident involving Haveliwala, a US citizen, happened on January 30. Her car killed a biker, Afzal Ibrahim, 35, and a policeman, Dinanath Shinde, 46, who was testing drivers for drunken driving.

HC tells man to pray at Rajghat for lying in court

TNN, Mar 30, 2010, 12.48am IST

NEW DELHI: A man who lied before a court has been asked by the Delhi high court to offer prayer at Rajghat daily for two hours and clean the areas surrounding the memorial of Mahatma Gandhi as “atonement” for the “sin”.

HC, however, directed the Samadhi management committee to pay a compensation of Rs 35,000 to Kanhaiya Lal, who worked as a security guard for illegally sacking him.

The petitioner claimed he was working there from 1990 to 1999. But the HC noted the records proved that he had been working since September 1997.

CJI shares dais with Modi, ignores appeal

March 28, 2010 17:09 IST

Ignoring calls of shunning a function attended by Narendra Modi [ Images ], Chief Justice of India [ Images ] K G Balakrishnan on Sunday shared the dais with the Gujarat chief minister at a convocation in Gandhinagar, hours after he was questioned by Special Investigation Team in a 2002 riots case.

Some of the riot victims and kin of former MP Ehsan Jafri, who was killed in the Gulburg Society riots — the case in which Modi had been quizzed– had made an online appeal urging the CJI and Justice A M Ebrahim, former judge of Zimbabwe Supreme Court, not to share the stage with Modi at the first convocation of Gujarat National Law University.

At the function, Balakrishnan sat on the right side of Modi, while Gujarat High Court Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyay was seated on the left of the chief minister.

During his address, Justice Ebrahim acknowledged Modi for his statement yesterday after his questioning by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT that ‘no one was above the law’.

Justice Ebrahim said he “very much agreed” with the statement of Modi.

The Gujarat chief minister, however, did not make any speech during the convocation.

The Gujarat Congress, too, had said that “it would not be proper” for Balakrishnan to share the dais with Modi as he had been questioned by the SIT on a complaint by Ehsan’s widow Zakia Jafri.

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CJI for inter-disciplinary agenda in law education

Manas Dasgupta

GANDHINAGAR: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan has suggested promoting a “strong inter-disciplinary agenda” in law education.

Delivering the first annual convocation address at the Gujarat National Law University here on Sunday, Mr. Justice Balakrishnan said the insights gained from disciplines like political science, sociology, economics, history, philosophy and literature would help legal practitioners enrich their understanding of the evolution of laws and help them initiate reforms for the future.

He said an important lesson he had learnt was that laws could not be interpreted and applied in a mechanical and insulated manner. In the course of interpreting statutes and regulations, the courts must also take into account policy concerns and legislative intents. Very often the judges encounter situations neither contemplated by the legislature nor discussed in judicial precedents. On such occasions, the judges need to draw insights from a wide variety of sources, often going beyond the plain reading of statutes and the submissions made by counsel.

Besides, with the growth of the specialised practice areas such as natural resources, international trade, intellectual property and technology, the inter-disciplinary inputs, which also must come from the natural sciences and commerce-related subjects, could go a long way in solving cases, he said.

Expressing happiness at the success of the five-year model of legal education, which he attributed largely to the intensive environment of a residential campus, Justice Balakrishnan said while the focus of the curriculum tended to be on the absorption of theories, doctrines and case-law, the peer-to-peer interaction helped in dissolving the traditional social boundaries based on caste, religion, class and regionalism.

He said he was happy that more and more female students were taking up legal studies and performing exceedingly well. “This augurs well for the future, since a larger number of female lawyers and judges are needed to mitigate the existing gender gap in our legal system.”

Pointing out that the legal profession itself was undergoing massive changes with the young law graduates now having a greater range of opportunities in their professional careers like working in foreign countries or international institutions and multinational corporations, he urged talented graduates to think of careers in mainstream litigation, the judiciary and teaching as well as public service.

He said though some measures had been taken to encourage law graduates to take up teaching and research, much more required to be done so that “our best minds choose this line of work,” he said.

He said the country was facing an acute shortage of motivated and committed law teachers. Most of the colleges and departments were perennially cash-strapped and struggle to retain qualified and motivated law teachers.

“Some colleges function in a ‘very politicised’ environment where serious academic pursuits often take a backseat,” he regretted.

The Chief Justice decried “unnecessary litigation” and said very often the advocates tend to impose solutions on clients rather than listening to them and suggesting the best course of action. Alternatives like mediation and negotiated settlements are often not explored. Even in courtrooms, both lawyers and judges often get entangled in excessive argumentation and technicalities, losing sight of the real interests of the litigants.

“We are all encouraged to think like a lawyer and win arguments rather than coming up with mutually beneficial solutions,” he regretted, and said this “predisposition towards an adversarial and combative style of functioning” could be attributed to the “structure of our educational system.”

Admitting that in the present age of competition every one tried to do well in academics and eventually secure good job opportunities, Justice Balakrishnan said the spirit of competition should also be channelled in creative and innovative ways. The law schools should be viewed as “spaces that encourage rational and critical inquiry into socio-economic realities.”

Stressing the need for “meaningful practical experience through participation in legal literacy programmes to observe the law-in-action as opposed the law-in-the-books,” he advised the law graduates to play a vital role in spreading legal awareness among the disadvantaged sections to become the “agents of real social change.”

The former judge of the Zimbabwe Supreme Court, Ahmed Musa Ebrahim, who was the guest of honour, said the function of the legislature in a free society was to create and maintain the conditions which would uphold the dignity of man as an individual, recognition of his civil and political rights as well as the establishment of social, economic educational and cultural conditions which were essential for the full development of his personality. The judiciary should ensure “satisfaction of a judgment” if the person suffered any “injury” in his dignity.

More courts, more judges can deliver timely justice: CJI

Published on March 30, 2010 by admin

News4u-News Desk-More courts, more judges and increase in infrastructure facilities is the only solution to bring efficiency in judicial system and deliver timely justice to the citizens, Chief Justice of India, Justice K G Balakrishnan said Sunday.

The CJI was in Ahmedabad to attend valedictory function of West Zone Judicial Conference on “Enhancing Timely Justice: Strengthening Criminal Justice Administration” organised by the Gujarat High Court and National Judicial Academy.

“To deliver justice in time and bring efficiency in the judicial system, we have to set up more courts, appoint more judges and create more infrastructure facilities,” he said, stressing that timely justice is the right of the citizens of the country.

The CJI said that in recent years, there has been focus on infrastructure which has started delivering results but still much needs to be done.

“A judge in the lower court has to deal with hundreds of cases on daily basis. In such scenario, you cannot expect him to deliver justice in time,” he said, underlining the burden of enormous pendency of cases in various courts in the country.

According to him, there should be more courts so that people can come to the courts seeking resolution of their grievances and complaints.

“We have set up family courts so people are going there with their problems regarding their family. Similarly, there should be courts to resolve other problems and issues of the citizens,” Balakrishnan added.

The CJI said that in criminal justice system, role of prosecution and investigation agencies was equally crucial.

There has to be improvement in all the players like judiciary, prosecution and investigation and only then justice could be delivered to the needy and deserving people, he added.

Balakrishnan said that introduction of technology in the system has helped in bringing speed and transparency in the functioning of the judicial system in the country.

Judges of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat High Courts, besides judicial officers of lower courts attended the three-day conference.

The conference was inaugurated by the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court Justice S J Mukhopadhya on 26th March.

SC rejects TN’s plea against committee on Mullaperiyar

TNN, Mar 30, 2010, 03.31am IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Tamil Nadu’s plea against the fact-finding committee on Mullaperiyar dam’s safety and maintained that the Justice A S Anand-headed panel would start functioning from April 30.

The court also pulled up the Centre for saying that it could not meet the expenses of the committee.

Rejecting the TN government’s U-turn and plea for recall of its earlier order appointing the committee headed by former CJI A S Anand, a constitution Bench comprising Justices D K Jain, B Sudershan Reddy, M K Sharma, R M Lodha and Deepak Verma faulted the state for trying to wriggle out of its earlier consent to the committee just because the Kerala chief minister welcomed it.

“We do not pass orders to make someone happy or sad. We pass orders which we think are correct,” the Bench said while pointing out to its earlier clarification that it was for the Bench alone to deal with legal issues involved in the matter and that the committee was just aiding by studying the ground situation relating to the safety of the dam.

Appearing for TN, senior advocate K Parasaran said the committee being headed by a former CJI was fraught with the danger that it could give its view on legal issues. “No one other than the SC can deal with the legal issues in such a sensitive water dispute case,” he said.

Kerala’s counsel, senior advocate Harish Salve, said the TN government had filed the affidavit just because of the statement from the Left Front government that it welcomed the setting up of the committee.

After rejecting TN’s plea, the Bench turned its attention to an application filed by the Centre seeking a direction to the two states to share the expenses that would be incurred by the Justice Anand committee.

Not making any attempt to hide its disappointment at the Centre’s plea, the Bench said, “Its shocking to learn that the Centre is pleading no funds because budget estimates were completed.”

Keeping additional solicitor general Harin Raval in the line of fire, the Bench said, “It is not an inter-state water tribunal that the states would be required to share the financial burden. It is a committee appointed by the Supreme Court and the Centre would do well not to raise such pleas.”

The court said the committee would start functioning from April 30, by which time other experts to the body would be nominated by the parties concerned. Justice Anand committee has been asked to give its report within six months.

Modi shameless: Cong–Cong/597461

Express news service

Posted: Tuesday , Mar 30, 2010 at 0153 hrs New Delhi:

The Congress on Monday suggested that Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who was questioned by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT in connection with the 2002 riots, should resign to ensure “impartial inquiry”. Congress spokesman Manish Tewari also criticised the Chief Minister for sharing the dais with Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan at a function in Ahmedabad on Sunday.

“What could the CJI do when a Chief Minister is so shameless that one day he is interrogated by the SIT and the next day he goes and sits with the CJI only to embarrass him? If there was any dignity left in him (Modi), he would not have gone to the function. He had gone there deliberately to embarrass the Chief Justice,” Tewari said at a press briefing here on Monday. Legal Department of the Gujarat Congress had on Saturday publicly requested the CJI not to share dais with Modi.

 “People of Gujarat have to think seriously whether it enhances Gujarat gaurav (pride) that its Chief Minister is summoned for interrogation like a common criminal. You should ask the CM to resign immediately so that there could be impartial inquiry,” he said.

MEA spanner in CJI, Moily’s US visit

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Mar 30, 2010, 02.49am IST

NEW DELHI: Government has put a spanner in the trip of a high-level delegation, comprising CJI K G Balakrishnan, law minister Veerappa Moily and attorney general G E Vahanvati, citing a severe protocol mismatch.

The delegation, which was to visit Georgia University from April 2 to 4 to participate in a discussion, aborted its travel plans after being told by the MEA that the level of participation from the other side did not warrant a delegation of this standing from India.

When political clearance from the government was sought for the delegates, the MEA’s comments were sought. The ministry, in turn, asked for inputs from its consul office and after making inquiries, it responded by saying that the level of participation from the other side did not warrant a delegation of this standing from India.

The caution was sounded by secretary (west) in the MEA Vivek Katju who, based on inputs from the Indian consulate in Atlanta, questioned the desirability of CJI, law minister and AG featuring in the large delegation selected by the Indian Law Institute (ILI).

Katju pointed out that neither a judge from the US Supreme Court nor the US attorney general was participating in the deliberations at Georgia University. He stuck to his guns when government asked him to revisit the issue but clarified that the dignitaries could go ahead if they so wished despite the glaring protocol incompatibility.

The CJI, the law minister as well as the AG decided, after being told of MEA’s caveat, to pull out without waiting for PMO to take the final view on political nod for the trip.

The strong intervention by the MEA is significant because so far political clearance for CJI’s foreign trips was seen as a given.

The CJI was unavailable for comment but the law minister said he opted out of the visit as he was indisposed. “I have a bad cough and cold. Hence I opted out,” he said.

When he was told about MEA’s objections, Moily said, “It was my indisposition that made me opt out of the trip. MEA’s objections could have been answered easily.” Vahanvati cited his busy schedule and the long flight to US as reasons for his opting out of the visit.

The delegation was to fly out on Tuesday and the development came as a surprise to many in the judiciary. It was pointed out that the MEA had no objection when the CJI visited Georgia University last year for a topic as mundane as `restatement of Indian laws’. Others saw the timing of MEA’s intervention — at a time when sections of judiciary are seeing the RTI campaign as meant to target the institution — as significant.







Day after marathon session with SIT, Modi shares dais with CJI

Express news service

Posted: Sunday , Mar 28, 2010 at 1156 hrs Gandhinagar:

Declining to comment on pleas that he stay away from sharing the dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan said today: “What can I do if GNLU invited me for the function? I have nothing to say, I don’t want to add to the controversy.”

Justice Balakrishnan was speaking at the sidelines of the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) convocation here on Sunday, a day after Modi was questioned by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) for his alleged role in the 2002 Gulberg Society killings.

The children of former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri — who was among the 69 killed in Gulberg Society — Nishrin Hussain, Zuber Jafri and Najid Hussain, had, on Saturday, launched an online petition, which got hundreds of signatories within hours, pleading with Justice Balakrishnan and a retired Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, Ahmed Musa Ebrahim, not to share the platform with Modi.

 “An association of the Chief Justices of India and Zimbabwe with a person who is being examined for his role in the killing of innocent people, under the directives of the Supreme Court, will send out wrong signals and undermine the process of justice in Gujarat. Not long ago, Supreme Court of India had called the Chief Minister Narendra Modi a modern day ‘Nero’,” the three had stated in their petition.

The CJI and Ebrahim, however, accompanied Modi today at the function, which was also attended by Justice K S Radhakrishnan of the Supreme Court and Gujarat High Court Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya among others.

While the CJI made no mention of Modi in his speech — and Modi himself did nor speak a word — Ebrahim referred to the CM’s statement after the SIT interrogated him for over nine hours yesterday, lauding him for saying he would abide by the rule of law and that nobody is above the law and Constitution of the country.

When asked about the online petition, Ebrahim, who is also a referee with the International Cricket Council (ICC), said: “I am not aware of it. Please allow me in my humility not to offer any comments on the issue.”


SC: won’t interfere with HC order on anticipatory bail for Sajjan Kumar

Legal Correspondent

The Supreme Court on Monday refused to interfere with an order passed by the Delhi High Court granting blanket anticipatory bail to former Member of Parliament Sajjan Kumar, accused in the Delhi anti-Sikh riots cases.

A Bench comprising Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice H.L. Dattu in a brief order said: “In view of the reasons stated in the impugned order, we are not inclined to interfere with the same. We make it clear that the observation and conclusion arrived by the High Court are confined only for the disposal of the anticipatory bail.

“At the time of the trial, the court concerned is free to decide the issue on the basis of the materials placed and uninfluenced by any of the observations made in the impugned order. The SLPs are dismissed.”

The Special Leave Petitions were filed by Jagdish Kaur, who lost her husband and son in the riots. She alleged that her statement was not recorded and challenged the High Court order granting anticipatory bail to Mr. Kumar.

Senior counsel Anil Divan argued that the court could not grant a blanket anticipatory bail till the end of the trial as had been done in this case.

Supreme Court raps Centre on Lafarge mining

Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 2:46 IST

New Delhi: The Union government suffered a jolt as the Supreme Court on Monday refused to accept its plea for allowing French cement major Lafarge to continue mining of limestone in the forests areas of Meghalaya for its cement project in Bangladesh.

“We do not give permission without environmental impact assessment (EIA)… If this court has not allowed anyone to do mining without EIA permission, why would you (government)?” the green bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices S H Kapadia and Aftab Alam asked attorney general Goolam E Vahanvati.

The judges asked the attorney general to prepare the modalities for EIA and the conditions imposed on Lafarge and submit the same by the next hearing on April 9.

Vahanvati proposed an arrangement based on the Sterlite model as suggested by advocate Harish Salve, who is assisting the court as amicus curiae in the matter.

The government has suggested formation of a special purpose vehicle with equal participation from locals and the State of Meghalaya, which would administer a fund for development, health, education and irrigation, etc within 50 km of the project site.

The apex court had stalled mining operations by the French concern on the ground that it was being done in the forest area and that it didn’t meet the requirements set by the central empowered committee appointed by the court. A civil society group, Shella Action Committee, had earlier challenged the sanction granted to the company for transfer of tribal land to the Lafarge group for exploitation of forest land.

Following the stay, the government had moved the court expressing concern over its ties with Bangladesh.

The attorney general submitted that if the restriction stayed, “the whole image of the country would suffer” as the mining was allowed long ago in an agreement between former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and her then Bangladeshi counterpart, President Mujibur Rehman.

The stay “is causing a huge international problem” as India had in 2001 guaranteed uninterrupted supply of limestone to Bangladesh, the government side stated.

The $255 million Lafarge Surma Cement project at Chhatak, Sunamganj, in Bangladesh is wholly dependent on limestone extracted from East Khasi Hills of Meghalaya. The quarries are operated by Lafarge subsidiary Lum Umiam Mining Pvt Ltd and limestone is transported from Meghalaya to Bangladesh in a 17-km-long conveyor belt.

According to the government, stoppage of limestone supply has led to a 15% fall in cement production in Bangladesh and is a severe setback to its housing projects.

Sukhna case: Supreme Court to hear Lt. Gen. Prakash’s appeal


March 29th, 2010

NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court will on Monday hear an appeal filed by former Military Secretary Lieutenant General Avadesh Prakash in connection with the Sukhna land scam case.

The Armed Forces Tribunal had on February 22 given interim relief to Lieutenant General Prakash.he court also granted permission to Lt. General Prakash to cross-examine witnesses, who had earlier given statements against him in a Court of Inquiry.

According to Lt. Gen Prakash’s lawyer, both were not present during the cross examination of the eight officers, who provided evidence against Lt. Gen. Prakash in relation to the land scam.he court also ordered the re-examination of Lt-Gen Ramesh Halgali and Maj-Gen P C Sen, who have also been indicted by the Court of Inquiry.

The tribunal directed the Court of Inquiry to submit a report within two months and said it can decide on the court martial of Lt. Gen Prakash only after receiving the Court of Inquiry report.

Earlier in January, following a direction from Defence Minister A K Antony, Army Chief General Deepak Kapoor ordered for the court martial of the four senior officers after a Court of Inquiry ndicted them for misusing their positions. (ANI)

CET to be mandatory for PG medical courses from 2015

Shubhlakshmi Shukla

Posted: Monday , Mar 29, 2010 at 0131 hrs Ahmedabad:

The state government has recently issued a government resolution for conducting a Common Entrance Test (CET) for all postgraduate courses in medicine from 2015. The move follows a February 2 Gujarat High Court contempt notice for not keeping its word to the court.

The HC had acted on a plea made by the parents’ association.

State Minister of Health and Family Welfare Jaynarayan Vyas told The Indian Express: “In response to the PIL filed by the parents’ association with the HC a few months ago, the state government has decided that CET will be held from 2015 onwards. The government has decided to do so as the students, who have enrolled for the MBBS course in the current academic session, will have enough time to prepare for CET when they become eligible for it after four years.”

In 2008, the state government had made a resolution that admission to PG courses would be regulated by CET and that there would be a single window system. But, the government and the universities did not implement it, which is why the parents’ association filed a PIL demanding that the institutes should not hold separate entrance test. In reply to this PIL, the state government had in June last year, told the court that a report in this regard prepared by a committee headed by Kanubhai Kalsaria was under consideration.

Following this, a three-member committee was set up by the state government to go through the Dr Kanubhai Kalsaria Committee report on CET.

The members of the committee were Dr M F Shaikh, head of the Plastic Surgery department, B J Medical College; Dr Bharat Shah, dean of B J Medical College; and Dr J G Buch from Rajkot’s PDU Medical College. It was suggested that the entrance be held in Gujarat University.

SC refuses direction against Shiv Sena for hate campaign


New Delhi, Mar 29 (PTI) The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a PIL seeking de-recognition of Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Nava Nirman Sena (MNS) and prosecution of its leaders for their alleged hate campaign against non-Maharashtrians, particularly north Indians.

The petition filed by Mohan Pandit through counsel Manish Mohan cited various instances of the two political parties targetting north Indians during railway recruitment exams in 2008, assault of Samajawadi MLA Abu Azmi in state assembly and other incidents.

The PIL, besides seeking criminal prosecution of Bal Thackeray and Raj Thackeray, sought a direction to the EC to de-recognize the election symbols of the two politcal parties as provided under Section 16 A of the Election Symbols Reserve Order, 1968.



It is not a court’s job to bring M.F. Husain back to India. But it is a little bizarre that the Supreme Court should have to waste time saying so. A public interest litigation had requested the court to quash the cases against the artist so that he could return to India and live with dignity. For one, the court said that it could not simply quash cases filed by individuals. And second, Mr Husain could come back to India and live with dignity if he wishes — he can live with dignity wherever he chooses. Neither the court nor the prime minister — whom the PIL asked to intervene — can force Mr Husain to come back, just as no one can force him to stay in Qatar.

The absurdity of the PIL raises questions about Indians’ understanding of law and justice. Undoubtedly, there are some passing thrills to be got from filing a PIL of this sort, demonstrating both an overwhelming concern for Mr Husain as well as a patriotic fervour meant to shame the chauvinists whose depredations drove him to self-exile. But the court is not the place to air such sentiments. Mr Husain’s return or otherwise does not depend on law. And it would be an injustice to Mr Husain if it is implied that he does not know what is best for himself. The PIL was developed after the Emergency so that civil society groups or concerned citizens could file cases cheaply on behalf of poor or otherwise disadvantaged people whose rights were being violated. Mr Husain does not fit the category. The abuse and frivolous application of this tool had led the Supreme Court to lay down strict guidelines for the filing of PILs. It seems truly strange that the PIL for the quashing of Mr Husain’s cases should have slipped past those guidelines, for it does not merit PIL status at all. There must be a rigorous screening procedure that would prevent such petitions from reaching the courtroom and wasting the court’s time. With India’s enormous and overdue caseload, its courts cannot afford to waste time on the obvious.


Justice delayed is often justice undone

Pankaj Vohra, Political Editor

Email Author

March 28, 2010

The deposition of senior IPS officer Anju Gupta highlighting the role of BJP leader L.K. Advani during the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, can be interpreted as a clear pointer to his involvement. But it is not sufficient to hold him guilty. The conclusion establishing either guilt or innocence can only be pronounced by the relevant court after all the depositions are completed. So, it is premature to comment on the final outcome of the case which is an example of the slow pace at which justice is delivered in our country.

It is not the Ayodhya case alone but several other landmark cases where the law has taken more time than necessary without reaching any conclusion. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases are pending in the courts and there is nothing to suggest that the guilty will be punished any time soon. Similarly, in the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots, the judiciary is taking its time to come to a judgement. On the whole, the state of our judiciary needs to be examined so that courts do not sit on cases.
The problem with cases like Ayodhya, the 1984 riots and the 2002 killings is that a perception has been created about the involvement of certain individuals in the crime. It is difficult to convince people who have prejudged the issues on the merits of the law. In a way, the media have helped to strengthen these perceptions and it is, therefore, not easy for any court to come to a judgement that is different from the commonly held view.

It is in this context that it becomes important for the media to understand that it should not interfere in the process of justice by pronouncing people guilty before they are actually given such a verdict by a proper court of law which alone is empowered to pass the final judgement. Interference by the media does impact the progress of the case and it is not in the interest of justice. Anju Gupta’s deposition is just one of the many statements before the court. To reach any conclusion on its basis is premature. There are many dimensions to the Babri Masjid demolition case.

It is true that the BJP leaders and those from the VHP were present there. But it has also to be ascertained whether the central government then headed by P.V. Narasimha Rao did enough to prevent the demolitions despite being warned of the threat well in advance. In fact, Rao had been cautioned by his Cabinet colleague M.L. Fotedar but somehow did not take adequate measures to prevent the disputed structure from coming down.

The overall case will, of course, take these points into account. The Ayodhya case has been allowed to drag on because of non-cooperation from many quarters as well as the lack of  will of the state to prosecute the guilty. The same will is lacking in the Gujarat case as also in that of 1984. These cases have political dimensions and each player wants to obviously extract as much as possible. There are vested interests which have been formed and do not allow matters to move forward. Each time such a case comes up in public purview, someone seems to benefit.

In the latest instance, the Hindutva forces must be pleased with so much focus on the deposition of Anju Gupta. The issue has come alive once again. The point is that, on the whole, the judiciary must act fast. Because justice delayed is justice undone. But it certainly does not mean that a trial by perception should be allowed to succeed whether in cases with political dimensions or those that have social ramifications. The truth is a combination of many facts. This must be clearly understood. The judiciary as a whole must pull up its socks and not behave like other organs of our system.


3 Responses

  1. sir if u plz. in news send about latest citations of bare injunctions

  2. how about sania mirza marriage taking name(shined) from india but b4 in mumbai a big controversy was arised as it was only orally but now it is practically, why now kept quiet

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