LEGAL NEWS 30.04.2010

Bombay HC dismisses PIL against ban on motorcycles on J J flyover
The Bombay High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the ban on riding motorcycles on the JJ Flyover bridge in South Mumbai. A Division bench, consisting of Justices FI Rebello and justices J N Patel, while dismissing the petition, agreed with the notice by traffic department imposing ban on motorcycles on the ground that a large number of motorcyclists had died while using the flyover. The petition was filed by a social activist Salim Shaikh, challenging the notification stating that imposing ban on motorcycle, while allowing four wheelers to use the flyover, amounted to discrimination against motorcyclists. The petitioner urged the court to direct the traffic department to cancel the said notification and allow the motorcyclists to use the JJ Flyover. Notably Samsher Khan Pathan, Senior Inspector of Paydhuni police station, had recommended the traffic department to impose ban on motorcyclists in view of large number of accidents on the flyover. Between 2002 and 2010, there have been 254 accidents on the 2.4 kms stretch of which 183 involved two-wheelers. Of the 33 people who lost their lives, 31 were bikers. Following the recommendations of Pathan, the traffic department had issued the notification.UNI

Corrected story Sebi moves apex court–Sebi-moves-a.html

Capital market regulator approaches SC to settle dispute over jurisdiction with Irda
Manish Ranjan
New Delhi: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has independently moved the Supreme Court through a transfer petition asking the court to settle its dispute with insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), over jurisdiction.
Sebi’s petition sought the transfer of two pending cases before the Allahabad and Bombay high courts, which had named the insurance regulator and the Union government among the respondents.
Also See Clarification by Mint editor R Sukumar on Sebi-Irda story
Sebi’s move precluded the need to approach the judiciary jointly with Irda, as envisaged in the temporary truce hammered out by the finance ministry that had stepped in to sort out the dispute between the two regulators over jurisdiction over (Unit-linked insurance plans) Ulips, a hybrid product sold by insurers.
The matter is to come up for hearing on Friday and the court will either provide immediate relief or seek a detailed hearing, wherein status quo will prevail. This will be the first instance in which the court will intervene in a dispute between two regulators.
Mint had reported on 23 April that the legal battle between Sebi and Irda over the regulation of Ulips is set to be fought in the country’s highest court.
In its petition, Sebi has argued that since different high courts across the country could rule differently in the cases, it made sense for the regulators to escalate matters to the apex court. Accordingly, it has requested the apex court to pass appropriate orders restraining the high courts from entertaining any cases over the regulation of Ulips.
The long-festering controversy erupted after Sebi directed that insurers selling Ulips will have to be registered with it and sought to act against 14 insurers for issuing Ulips. Irda reacted adversely and claimed that since the hybrid product included insurance, it had jurisdiction over it and the insurer; the regulator then issued a statement challenging the Sebi order. After the finance ministry brokered peace, Sebi issued another order saying that the registration condition would apply only for the sale of new Ulip schemes.
Ulips are hybrid products that comprise investments in both debt and equity and life insurance cover. The existing law permits insurers to pay commissions of up to 40% to their agents for selling Ulips, motivating insurance agents to aggressively sell Ulips. In fact, Ulips account for up to 90% of the new business premium for some of the private sector life insurers.
The Sebi move comes at a time when its efforts to jointly move the courts with Irda was not making headway. While Sebi believes the existing civil code does not permit a joint permission before a high court, Irda argues otherwise.
Advised by its legal counsel, Sebi chairman C.B. Bhave on Wednesday wrote to Irda saying the plan to jointly move a high court to settle the dispute was not legally feasible as under Section 90 of the Civil Procedure Code, regulators cannot do so. This section deals with special proceedings if any particular law or regulatory decision affects the public at large. The capital markets regulator had sought the views of the attorney general, the highest law officer of the country, on this.
Irda has not yet formally responded, but seems to be disputing the Sebi claim. A senior Irda official, who did not want to be identified, said: “There is still a valid case of filing a joint application with a high court, according to our legal counsel.”
“If that’s the case, why hasn’t Irda shared with us its legal counsel’s opinion?” asked a Sebi official, who, like the Irda executive, did not want to be identified.
Meanwhile, Irda chairman J. Harinarayan said in Hyderabad: “Sebi has written a letter to us that, according to their legal counsel, the joint application is not valid in this (Ulip) case under Section 90 of Civil Procedure Court.”
Even as the Sebi-Irda disagreements continued, on 13 April, Mumbai-based investor Rajendra Thacker filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court over the Irda-Sebi spat. The PIL seeks the reversal of the Sebi ban on the sale of Ulips. The PIL has been filed on the ground that several hundred thousand investors were suffering from anxiety and uncertainty about their investments due to the Sebi order.
On the same day, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee brokered a temporary truce between the two regulators, asking them to maintain status quo and approach the courts. A day later, Sebi said its ban on the sale of new Ulips remained.
Dhruv Kumar, a lawyer and former insurance professional, filed a second PIL in the Allahabad high court against Irda, seeking Sebi’s intervention and regulation of Ulips.
Anirudh Laskar in Mumbai and PTI contributed to this story.

Bombay high court allows unveiling of mural at Shivaji Park
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Thursday, April 29, 2010 22:58 IST
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday allowed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to inaugurate the partly beautified Shivaji Park on Friday to kick start the state’s golden jubilee celebrations.
The order comes as a relief to the Shiv Sena, which wanted to unveil a mural of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the Dadar park as part of the celebrations of Maharashtra Day.
A division bench of justices FI Rebello and Amjad Sayed allowed the corporation’s prayer considering its importance for the state. “I used to play on that ground as a child and then a youth,” said justice Rebello when the BMC counsel started explaining the layout of the park to the judges.
The court, however, clarified that the entire beautification work will be subject to the final outcome of the PIL.
On Wednesday, the high court had had stayed the work on beautification of the park as well as construction of murals depicting the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj.
However, on Thursday the BMC filed an urgent affidavit seeking modifications to the order. The affidavit, filed by Narayan Pai, assistant municipal commissioner of the G-North Ward, said the corporation had completed construction of one wall and one mural. “Only the cleaning and polishing of the mural is remaining,” it stated.
Prabhadevi residents, Durgesh Warty, 47, a businessman, and Manoj Govekar, 31, an art designer, had initiated the PIL alleging that the municipal corporation had awarded contracts for beautification of Shivaji Park without inviting tenders. They also alleged political influence in awarding the contracts.
The next hearing on the PIL is scheduled for May 5.

Penalty for silly PIL: Rs 5 lakh
Mumbai, April 29 (PTI): Bombay High Court today imposed Rs 5 lakh as cost on a petitioner for filing a frivolous public interest litigation that sought action against top bureaucrats and police officers for failing to avert the 26/11 terror attacks in the city.
Petitioner Goldie Sud had contended that top government officers, including the director-general of police and the chief secretary, failed to protect citizens from terrorists and action should be taken against them.
The high court held that the petition had no “foundation or basis” and amounted to “abuse of the process of court”.
The court has directed the petitioner to pay the cost within four weeks.
In case Sud fails to pay up, the collector of the Mumbai suburban district may take action to recover the amount.
On November 26, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked two hotels and a Jewish prayer house, killing over 170 people.

Guj HC issues notice to Western Railway over PIL
Ahmedabad, Apr 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the General Manager, Western Railway, and its Divisional Managers at Vadodara and Ahmedabad, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on railway toilet disposal system.The Division Bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Akil Kureshi, hearing the PIL, posted the matter for the second week of June.One Joseph Chelliah from the city has filed the PIL demanding that the Railways need to change its open toilet disposal system.He has contended that due to the present form of toilets in railway coaches, traffic gets jammed wherever there are roads under railway bridge.Joseph cited a couple of examples in the city saying the traffic under railway bridge in Ellisbridge comes to a standstill whenever a train passes through the bridge.

SC Judges: We were misquoted on live-in relationships in Khushboo case
The three Supreme Court Judges, who had heard the case of Tamil actress Khushboo, have said they were misquoted regarding their remarks on live-in relationships. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan, in their judgement, had said ‘ …it is, therefore, not only desirable, but imperative that electronic and news media should also play a positive role in presenting to the general public as to what actually transpires during the course of the hearings and it should not be published in such a manner so as to get unnecessary publicity for its own papers or news channels. We hope and trust, in future, they would be little more careful, responsible and cautious in this regard.’ Justice Chauhan also took note of the fact that they were flooded with letters from the public with a request to review their orders on live-in relationships, ‘while in fact no such order was passed by us and only during the course of hearing, we had either given some instances or put some questions to the learned counsel which were answered by them.’ The Judges further said, ‘this hyperactive attitude of the common men was indeed not called for. Some have even gone to the extent of telling us that we should have known Indian mythology before putting such questions. ‘Since all those persons who have sent such letters could not have been present in the court on that particular date, they must have got information from the print and electronic media. ‘Morality and criminality are far from being cextensive. An expression of opinion in favour of non-dogmatic and non-conventional morality has to be tolerated as the same cannot be a ground to penalise the author,’ they said. Khushboo had made some controversial remarks on pre-marital sex which were subsequently denied by her. She also sent a legal notice to some Tamilian papers seeking withdraw of the remarks attributed to her after which 23 criminal complaints were filed against her. The high court refused to quash the criminal proceedings against her. The Supreme Court, however, cautioned the lower judiciary that the process of criminal trial should not be set into motion unless and until strong prima facie evidence is there. It is the reputation of an individual person which must be in question and only such a person can claim to have a legal beg for justifiable claims to hang on. The apex court also cautioned the magistrates to use their statutory powers to direct an investigation into the allegations before taking cognisance of the offences alleged as the criminal trial carries an implicit degree of cersion and it should not be triggered by false and frivolous complaints, amounting to harassment and humiliations of the accused. The judgement was pronounced and the copies of the judgement were made available to the media.UNI

Supreme Court to have a woman judge after four years
30 Apr 2010, 0055 hrs IST,AGENCIES
NEW DELHI: Former Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice, Gyan Sudha Mishra, will take oath as a Supreme Court Justice on Friday.
She will be the fourth woman judge in the apex court. Mishra (61) was initially appointed as judge of the Patna High Court in March 1994, but was transferred to the Rajasthan High Court. After 14 years there, she was elevated to the post of Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court in Ranchi in July 2008. Mishra enrolled as an advocate in the Bihar State Bar Council in November 1972 at a time when women entering the legal profession was a rarity. She was appointed a government advocate for Bihar in 1982. Alongwith Mishra, Tamil Nadu High Court Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Bombay High Court Chief Justice A R Dave will also be sworn in. The number of Supreme Court judges will rise to 30 after Friday’s swearing-in.

Housefull restrained by Calcutta High Court
The much-hyped film Housefull has been hit hard from the very outset. The Calcutta High Court has ordered the makers of Housefull not to use the 1981 hit song “Apne To Jayse Tayse” from the film Laawaris starring Amitabh Bachchan.
The High Court has ruled in favour of Anandji and the heirs of music directors Kalyanji, who had filed a suit claiming that the makers of Housefull had used the song without their permission. Meanwhile, the heirs of Prakash Mehra, producer of Laawaris, have also filed a separate suit, claiming that the song was written by the late Mehra, and thus the copyright of the song belonged to them.
Justice Patherya has ordered an interim stay on the use of the song till June 2. He has also directed both the parties to file affidavits in two weeks and the matter would be heard after three weeks.Housefull directed by Sajid Khan releases today and is expected to open big. It features Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Riteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan in the lead roles.

Except adultery, consensual sex no offence, says SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Apr 30, 2010, 03.39am IST
NEW DELHI: Consensual heterosexual relation between adults, including pre-marital sex, is no offence except in cases where the partners are liable to be charged for “adultery”, ruled the Supreme Court. It said the courts attach a lot of importance to personal autonomy and a person indulging in an immoral act need not necessarily be a culprit in the eyes of law. “Morality and criminality are non co-extensive,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan on Wednesday. The SC said in the present social milieu, some view pre-marital sex as an attack on the centrality of marriage while a significant number see nothing wrong in it. This conflict of opinion on morality did not make pre-marital sex an offence, it ruled. “Notions of social morality are inherently subjective and criminal law cannot be used as a means to unduly interfere with the domain of personal autonomy,” it said. This clear finding and the judicial logic supporting it got substantial space in the apex court’s judgment on Wednesday quashing 23 complaint cases against South Indian actress Khushboo, who was harassed through litigation for her remarks on prevalence of pre-marital sex in cities. Justice Chauhan, writing the 41-page judgment for the Bench, said, “While it is true that the mainstream view in our society is that sexual contact should take place only between marital partners, there is no statutory offence that takes place when adults willingly engage in sexual relations outside the marital setting, with the exception of `adultery’ as defined under Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code.” Section 497 provides, “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case, the wife shall be punishable as an abettor.” The Bench also did not understand the uproar over its comments on pre-marital sex and live-in relationships saying the apex court had in 2006 held that a live-in relationship between two consenting adults of opposite sex did not amount to any offence with the obvious exception of adultery. It said there was an urgent need for reactionary forces to tolerate unpopular opinions expressed on sensitive issues by writers, authors and other persons and not hound them by instituting complaint cases against them. “It is not the task of criminal law to punish individuals merely for expressing unpopular views. The threshold for placing reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression is indeed very high and there should be a presumption in favour of the accused in such cases,” the Bench said. It said Khushboo’s remarks did provoke a controversy since the acceptance of pre-marital sex and live-in relationships was viewed by some as an attack on the centrality of marriage. “While there can be no doubt that in India, marriage is an important social institution, we must also keep our minds open to the fact that there are certain individuals or groups who do not hold the same view. To be sure, there are some indigenous groups within our country wherein sexual relations outside marital setting are accepted as a normal occurrence,” the SC said.

College girl’s murder: HC upholds life term for accused
Asseem Shaikh, TNN, Apr 30, 2010, 07.59am IST
PUNE: The Bombay high court on Wednesday upheld the 2002 order of the Pune district and sessions court awarding life imprisonment to Satish Bhavbande, the accused in the sensational murder of city college girl Neeta Hendre in 1999. The judgement was delivered by a high court division bench of justices Mridula Bhatkar and B H Marlapalle. Neeta (16) was a Std XI student of Garware College of Commerce while Bhavbande, who was then 27, was a resident of Rakshalekha housing society at Dattawadi and worked as a part-time electrician. He first accosted Neeta, who lived in the neighbourhood, in the first week of September 1999. Six days later, he threatened to kill her if she did not marry him. On September 23, he took Neeta to a small alley behind the Swargate police lines and brutally murdered her. Bhavbande was absconding for four days even as Neeta’s father lodged a complaint of kidnapping against him. The accused was not tracked down by the police till residents of Dattawadi staged a protest march and pelted stones at the local police chowky. Students of several colleges too had staged protests demanding action against Bhavbande. Bhavbande was arrested on September 26. The state government had appointed special public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam in the case. The case was based on circumstantial evidence, but the prosecution examined 28 witnesses to prove the guilt of the accused. Former additional sessions judge N V Deshmukh, who had conducted the trial, sentenced Bhavbande to life imprisonment on April 2, 2002. The court, however, acquitted Bhavbande of the kidnapping charges even as it passed severe strictures against the police. Bhavbande challenged the conviction before the high court. Arguing before the division bench, Bhavbande’s lawyer S V Kotwal said his client had been falsely implicated in the case, merely on suspicion. He contended that the prosecution could not prove that Bhavbande was in love with the victim and that he had expressed his intention to marry her. He said there was no material evidence to connect Bhavbande with the crime as the prosecution had not examined material witnesses. Additional public prosecutor S V Gajare, while seeking confirmation of the trial court order, said there was sufficient evidence against the accused. Dismissing the accused’s appeal and confirming the sessions court order of life sentence, the division bench said the prosecution case that no one other than the accused had committed the crime had been rightly accepted by the trial court, despite the prosecution not being able to prove certain circumstances. “Having re-appreciated the evidence of the prosecution case and the reasoning set out by the trial court, we are satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused that he committed Neeta’s murder,” the bench said.

HC extends stay on Indage Vintners liquidation
30 Apr 2010, 0107 hrs IST,ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday extended stay on the liquidation of Indage Vintners, formerly Champagne India, till June 15. The division
bench of Justice FI Rebello and Justice Amjad Sayed has granted the extension while hearing the company’s appeal against the winding up order. Last month, the winding up order was passed by a single judge of the High Court after some unsecured lenders sought Indage Vintners’ liquidation. In the course of his argument on Thursday, Indage counsel Dinyar Madon told the court that the promoters, Chougule family, will infuse Rs 75 crore into the troubled company as part of the corporate debt restructuring scheme. The corporate debt restructuring cell, comprising local banks, approved the company’s proposal to rejig loans on Wednesday. Indage MD Ranjit Chougule told ET that the company will file a petition under section 391 of the Companies Act, 1956 by June to compromise and restructure debts. If the compromise scheme is approved by 75% lenders, the package will be binding on all the creditors. Mr Chougule said a few unsecured creditors are opposing the CDR proposal, whereas most banks, including ICICI Bank and SBI, have approved the package.

Can’t control bird hit menace, shift airport: HC
Mohan Kumar
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 2358 hrs Mumbai:
Concerned over the menace of bird hits threatening air traffic and lack of action from the municipal corporation against slaughter houses and garbage near the airport, the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that the best solution would be to shift the airport.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Datta Mane pointing out that slaughter houses, meat shops and dumping grounds cannot be allowed within a 10 km radius of the airport premises.
Division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice S C Dharmadhikari pulled up the corporation for sleeping over this “serious matter” which has been going on for years. “You are aware of all illegal slaughter houses which have been operating for years,” justice Patel said, asking the corporation what steps they are going to take. If you don’t do anything then “Bombay does not require a corporation,” the judge added.
Talking about the slaughter houses and the garbage that it generates, the court said that it was a menace to airport security. The court also pointed out the event in which a bird hit might cause a plane crash. “Who all will die if the place crashes in the vicinity,” the court asked.
“Best solution would be to shift the airport,” Justice Patel said.
Arguing for the petitioner, advocate Kunal Cheema, said that cleanliness has to be maintained around the airport.
The petition states that as per regulation 31 of the Development Control rules “the location of the slaughter house/abattoir/butcher houses or other areas for activities like depositing of garbage which may encourage the collection of flying birds, like eagles and hawks, shall not be permitted within 10 km from the aerodrome reference point.”
“Has your municipal commissioner never gone to the airport?” justice Patel asked. The court said that let the municipal commissioner and chief secretary go to the airport and see for themselves.
“Otherwise they will never realize it,” the court said.
The bench has directed Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya, principal secretary of civil aviation and state chief secretary to file an affidavit in this regard by June 30.
The petition also states that as per media reports, the airlines industry has lost around Rs 7 crore because of “bird hits” in the year 2009. The petition also says that till October 2009, there were 241 bird hit cases.
Petitioner has urged the court to direct removal of all open garbage dumping areas/bins, including the Deonar dumping ground.

Provogue gets HC approval for Nagpur property dvpt, stk up
Published on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:12 Updated at Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:13 Source :
Provogue (India) has touched an intraday high of Rs 52.35 and an intraday low of Rs 49.80. At 11:49 hours, the share was trading at Rs 51.80, up Rs 2.30, or 4.65%.
Provogue has received HC approval for development of retail infrastructure project on Nagpur property. Honerable High Court set aside the proceedings of State Government of Maharashtra initiated against the said property under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. By virtue of the said Order, the said property is free from all ULC proceedings, as per notice available on BSE website. It was trading with volumes of 510,843 shares, compared to its 5-day and 30-day average of 909,926 and 538,064 shares, an decrease of -43.86% overs its 5-day avg / decrease of -5.06% over its30-day avg. Yesterday the share closed up 0.92% or Rs 0.45 at Rs 49.50.

Madras HC asks P&G to modify ‘Tide Naturals’ ad again

BS Reporter / Mumbai April 30, 2010, 0:56 IST

The Madras High Court, in an interim order today, directed Procter & Gamble (P&G) to modify its ‘Tide Naturals’ advertisement again, with a prominent disclaimer that ‘Tide Naturals does not contain lemon and chandan’ in all scenes of the ad.
On December 1, 2009, P&G began airing a Tide Naturals commercial, which said the product could provide cleanliness and whiteness without too much effort. It also said that while other washing powders caused harm to the hands and skin, ‘Tide Naturals’ caused no harm due to the presence of lemon and chandan (sandalwood).

Rival Hindustan Unilever (HUL) moved court on February 25 this year, objecting to the claim of natural ingredients in the product. On March 1, P&G was directed to make modifications to the ad for the first time, displaying the disclaimer — Tide Naturals does not contain lemon and chandan — which it did in select scenes.
HUL had also objected to the use of the word ‘Naturals’ in the brand name, packaging, advertisement and sales promotions of Tide Naturals. The court, however, is yet to take a decision in this regard.
When asked, a P&G spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the interim order of the Madras High Court that has not accepted the contention of HUL to modify the Tide Naturals brand name or packaging in any way. The interim court order further allows us to continue the airing of our Tide Naturals commercial, with certain modifications.”
The spokesperson added: “We have never tried to communicate in our Tide Naturals advertising that our product contains lemon and chandan. Our packaging continues to say ‘The freshness of lemon and chandan’, which we do have in the product through the fragrance of lemon and chandan. Usage of terms like these are industry practice and P&G is not drifting from the norm. The Madras High Court prima facie believes that a few frames in our TV commercial misrepresent the presence of these ingredients and therefore need to be dropped from the commercial. We respect the court order and will fully comply with the actions and modifications requested of us.”
A HUL spokesperson could not be reached for comments.

HC Asks Why No Entertainment Tax On IPL Matches

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 29, 2010
MUMBAI – The Maharashtra government on April 22 faced tough questions from the Bombay High Court over non-levy of entertainment tax on IPL matches and wondered why there was special exemption especially if industrialists are involved.“If industrialists are party to it, why special exemption is being given by the state to the IPL? This is a serious issue,” the court said.While asking the state government to clarify whether it intended to impose entertainment tax on IPL, a Division Bench also commented upon consumption of electricity due to the day-night matches.“Government should have some control on this…such a waste of electricity, only for this entertainment?” the judges said, referring to power cuts in neighboring townships while a semi-final match took place in Navi Mumbai on April 21.Earlier, during the arguments, judges quipped, “Is this(IPL) an entertainment or a sports activity?”Seeking to know whether Indian Premier League was a profiteering activity, the judges asked Board of Control for Cricket in India and IPL to give information on the income generated from T-20 matches that were played in Maharashtra.The court’s directive came in response to a PIL filed by Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Desai, demanding that the state collect entertainment tax from the IPL.The judges also asked the IPL to maintain accounts of remaining matches in current season to take place in the state.The Court also directed both the cricket bodies to furnish copies of their respective constitutions, and memorandum of articles at the next hearing.Among other things, court has sought information as to “whether IPL is a profiteering activity…the manner in which IPL and BCCI are functioning in organizing T20 matches”, as well as how BCCI “controls IPL”.Shocked to hear that IPL tickets are priced at as high as Rs 40,000, the court also sought to know the ticket rates.Desai’s petition alleges that the government decided to levy tax on IPL at a cabinet meeting in January, but the decision was not implemented.The court also expressed dissatisfaction about BCCI not instructing its lawyer properly.The court warned that if it accepted the petitioner’s argument eventually, it would ask the state to recover tax from the IPL “retrospectively”, i.e. even for the last two tournaments. (PTI)

AAU ‘corruption’: SC disposes of plea against HC stay
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0131 hrs Ahmedabad:
The Supreme Court has disposed of the special leave petition (SLP) filed against the stay granted by the Gujarat High Court in the matter of inquiry against Anand Agriculture University (AAU) Vice-Chancellor M C Varshneya and Registrar A J Pandya.
Vinodchandra Bhatt, a senior clerk at AAU, had filed the petition against the stay on Thursday.
Bhatt had filed the complaint against the duo for relaxing the norms regarding the National Eligibility Test (NET) and alleging corruption in recruitment and other matters before the Anand district magistrate. The district magistrate had ordered an inquiry by the deputy superintendent of police. Against this order, the university appealed in the High Court and was granted a stay, said a statement.
According to the AAU, the regulation to pass NET was recommended by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), making it mandatory for the posts of assistant professor. But looking at the shortage of staff in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), it had to relax this rule for the recruitment.
A total of 28 universities out of 45 have relaxed this clause. The statement further said that based on these facts, the SC disposed of the SLP and directed the HC to expedite the matter.

Govt violated HC order by issuing challans: Autorickshaw union
Anupam Bhagria
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0214 hrs Ludhiana:
Following yesterday’s drive by the district transport office and traffic police against 150 illegal autorickshaws, the Autorickshaw Workers’ Federation held a meeting with Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and District Transport Officer (DTO) Ashwani Kumar on Thursday.
Kulbir Singh Khalsa, president of the federation, said: “We clarified that issuing challans against autorickshaws is a violation of the stay orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The hearing in an ongoing case in this regard is scheduled for May 3. It is not justified to take action against the autorickshaws till the court gives its decision.”
Ashwani Kumar, however, said: “We are not challenging the stay orders of the High Court. Issuing challans to illegal autorickshaws is my inherent power and we will continue our campaign. The court did not ask us not to challan an illegal vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Khalsa said, “The Federation will safeguard the rights of all auto owners and will honour the decision of the High Court.”
The srate Transport department ordered the district administration to stop plying diesel autos from May 1. But the district Autorickshaw Workers’ Federation succeeded in getting a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 15. The next date of hearing in the case is May 3.
The DTO further said: “We tried to convince the autorickshaw owners to switch over to LPG, but they are adamant to run the vehicles on diesel.”

HC upholds PU rule on vacant NRI seats
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0009 hrs Chandigarh:
In a judgment which will have far-reaching consequences, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ruled that seats reserved for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) in Panjab University cannot be converted into general category seats, in case these were left vacant.
Justice Permod Kohli passed the judgment, which would be applicable to all seats reserved for NRI students.
The decision comes as a breather for PU, as the High Court has upheld the university rule in this regard.
Justice Kohli observed, “In any case, (the university) prospectus also achieves the status of binding law and should not be casually and lightly interfered with. I find no valid reason to strike down the condition in the prospectus merely because there are candidates desirous to seek admission against the NRI seats…in the event the seats are converted into general category. Conversion of such seats is impermissible.”
Justice Kohli further ruled: “The object and purport of NRI seats is to provide opportunity to non-resident Indians to unite their children with Indian culture and to explore the possibility of their return to India at some stage.”
The directions were passed on a petition filed by one Rajiv Chugh, who had applied for admission to the LLB course in 2009. The petitioner could not get admission, as all seats in the general category were filled up, except 27 NRI seats which remained vacant.
Appearing on behalf of PU, advocate Anupam Gupta had submitted that there was a specific embargo on conversion of NRI seats into general category seats in the ‘Handbook of Information and Rules for Admission’. Gupta had said it was not permissible to convert these seats and give admissions to candidates from general category.
On the other hand, the counsel for the petitioner had said if NRI seats were allowed to be taken up, the university would not have to expand its infrastructure to accommodate more students.
Justice Kohli, however, observed that there was no merit in the petition and dismissed it.
Later, while talking to Newsline, Gupta said, “The NRI quota is an island of privilege. It is an unfortunate exception to the Constitutional mandate of equality. Any attempt to enlarge it must be stoutly resisted. I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court will overrule itself and reject the NRI quota as unconstitutional.”
50% NRI seats go vacant every year
In the 65 departments and three regional centres of Panjab University, 453 seats are reserved for NRIs. Officials said nearly 50 per cent of these seats go vacant every year.

HC bans sand mining machines, stays arrest of workers
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0149 hrs Allahabad:
The Allahabad High Court has imposed a ban on the use of machines in sand mining on the riverbeds of Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad and Kaushambi districts, and stayed the arrest of sandmine workers who held pro-tests against the use of machines.
On Wednesday, a Division Bench of Justice Sunil Ambawani and Justice KN Pandey passed the order on a PIL filed by People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL). The Bench asked the government to take action against the contractors using the machines, and ordered that the state Human Rights Commission be made a party to the case.
In its petition, the PUCL had contended that the contractors were using JCB machines and other equipment for sand mining in violation of government orders. Traditionally, the fishermen who lived on the riverbank are hired for sand mining, but the use of machines has deprived them of a job.
According to the petition, on January 24, the Kaushambi police raided several houses and arrested over three dozen people as they had held a meeting to demand removal of the machines. Eighteen FIRs were lodged by the Allahabad and Kaushambi police. The counsel for PUCL, Ravi Kiran Jaini, told the court that the use of machine created a serious problem for livelihood for these workers who have begun an agitation under the banner of All Indian Kisan Mazdoor Sabha.
Appearing on behalf of the government, Additional Advocate General S G Hasnain said the protestors had assembled with arms despite prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and did not disperse despite repeated warnings by the police.
“The court has stayed the arrest of sand workers,” said Jaini. The court also requested the Human Right Commission to help the workers and the government resolve the issue.

Under RTI issue SC issues notice on CJI
By Sunita ⋅ April 29, 2010 ⋅ Post a comment
The Supreme Court sought a response on Monday from Delhi resident Subhash Chandra Agrawal on an appeal it had filed to itself challenging the high court order bringing the office of the chief justice of India within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
Acting on Agrawal’s plea, the high court gave on January 12 the landmark judgment which is considered to be a setback to the chief justice K.G Balakrishnan who has been opposing the opening up of the affairs of the higher judiciary to the public gaze.The apex court has given Agrawal four week’s time to send his written arguments.
Siniority criteria for promotion of HC Judges to SC
The Centre has admitted that seniority is a criterion for promotion of high court judges to the Supreme Court, after having maintained that it was not a factor for consideration in their elevation.
The contradiction came to light in the law ministry’s reply to Right to Information (RTI) queries on why former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah was overlooked for elevation to the top court despite being “one of the finest judges”.
The Department of Justice, in response to RTI queries by Delhi-based activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, informed him on February 21: “Seniority is not a criteria prescribed for elevation of judges to the Supreme Court in terms of Article 124 (3) of the Constitution of India and Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.”
Asked whether Justice Shah was denied promotion (superseded) ignoring seniority, the department replied, “The question of supersession does not arise. Nor was any complaint received against Justice Shah. Due process was followed and since the process is initiated by the Chief Justice of India, further queries may be referred to the Supreme Court.”
However, in response to fresh queries, the department admitted seniority was a criteria. “As per the Memorandum of Procedure, the CJI initiates proposal and forwards the recommendation to the government to fill up the vacancies of judges arising in the Supreme Court and of chief justices in the states. Consideration is given to the merit, ability, suitability and seniority of the recommendees,” the April 21 reply said.
It added that the rules reinforced by the advisory opinion of the top court in 1998 “make it clear the senior most judge would be considered for the post of the Chief Justice of India”.The procedure for appointment and promotion of judges based on recommendations of a panel of top judges (collegium) has been criticised for its secretive style of functioning. It does not give any reasons for selection or rejection of judges.
Justice Shah retired in February, and jurists such as Fali S. Nariman and Ram Jethmalani described him “as a good judge who could not make it to the Supreme Court”.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Saturday, May 01, 2010


LEGAL NEWS 29.04.2010

Bombay High Court dismisses PIL against Shiv Sena over MNIK


Thursday, April 29, 2010 19:57 IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking action against Shiv Sena and its leadership for inciting violence at the time of release of Shah Rukh Khan starrer My Name is Khan.

Actress Kunika Lal’s PIL said that the entire police machinery had to be deployed to maintain calm because of Sena’s threat to disrupt screenings of the film.
Lal said that the cost for this security be recovered from Sena, its chief Bal Thackeray, executive president Uddhav Thackeray, and senior leader Sanjay Raut, it said. She also sought criminal action against them.
However, a division bench of justices JN Patel and SC Dharmadhikari said that “PIL does not make out the case against the state that it failed to provide security to people” during this episode.
“Law and order is the concern of the state… petitioner is at liberty to raise the issue before the legislature,” the bench held.
The court also remarked, during the argument, that “majority of people are following them (Shiv Sena). What can be done?”
Trouble began when Shah Rukh questioned the absence of Pakistani players from the third edition of IPL. Protesting against his remarks, Sena tried to halt the screening of MNIK.
But the film was released in Maharashtra and other parts of the country as scheduled amid tight security bandobast.

HC seeks reply on PIL regarding meat shops near airport


Mumbai, Apr 29 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today sought reply from Principal Secretary of the aviation ministry on the menace caused by meat shops and slaughter houses in the vicinity of Mumbai International Airport.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by one Datta Mane alleging the shops selling meat and chicken attract birds, which sometimes result in aircraft being hit by them.

Division bench of Justices J N Patel and S C Dharmadhikari asked the Union aviation secretary as well as Maharashtra chief secretary and Commissioner of Mumbai Municipal Corporation to file replies by June 30.

According to the petitioner, the information obtained under Right To Information Act reveals that there are over 200 shops selling meat or chicken within 10 km radius of the airport.

The waste generated by these shops ends up in open garbage dumps and attracts birds, the PIL said.

HC Notice TN Government on Sri Lankan Refugee’s petition to close Camp

Thu, 2010-04-29 11:46 — editor

Sathyalaya Ramakrishnan reporting from Chennai

Chennai, 29 April, (

The Madras High Court has ordered notice to Tamil Nadu Government, on a Public Interest Litigation(PIL) writ petition filed by Sri Lankan refugee, seeking to close the Poonamallee Camp and shift the refugees to other camp in the state.

While admitting the PIL on Wednesday, the division bench comprising, Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice K K Sasidharan directed the state government to file response within two weeks.

In his PIL , Gangadaran alias Murthy, a Sri Lankan refugee, said he was earlier lodged in the Special Camp at Chengalpattu “which was totally unfit for a person to reside along with the members of his family.” The rooms were small and the inmates did not have sufficient space even for moving around. When some of the inmates went on a hunger strike on February 2 this year seeking redressed, there was a lathi charge and the inmates were seriously injured.

The injured persons were remanded to judicial custody. They were later granted bail. After their release on bail they were taken to the Poonamallee special camp. In all, there were now 19 refugees in the camp.

The petitioner further alleged that the camp was worse than the one at Chengalpattu. The refugees were living like prisoners in the camp which could not be considered as a residence. The facilities in the camp were poor. Thus, a discriminatory treatment was being meted out to the inmates of the Poonamallee camp as compared with the other refugee camps in the State.

He also sought a direction to the authorities to complete investigation in all cases registered against the petitioner and other refugees in the camp within a reasonable time.

– Asian Tribune –

Astrology a time-tested science more than 4000 years old, can not be banned,_can_not_be_banned_9017.htm

Posted by Rajni Sharma    29/04/2010  

In the affidavit filed in a reply to a PIL  to ban astrology and related activities, Government of India has said, astrology is a time tested science and can not be banned. The PIL has sought ban of astrology and advertisements related to astrology. The next hearing of the case will be in June 2010.

The petitioner has named popular astrologers of the country as party to the petition. However, most of them have not filed their replies and hence hearing has been deferred further.

In affidavit filed by government in reply to PIL, Dr R Ramkrishna, Deputy Drugs Controller, government of India, said, “”ban on astrology and related sciences sought by the petitioner, which is a time-tested science more than 4000 years old, is totally misconceived and unjustifiable”.

The basis of reply in affidavit is based on Supreme Court statement which says that the act can be applied only for misleading practices and their promotions which are not based on facts or scientific logic like improvement of sexual power.

Astrology has been practiced in India for centuries and has been widely followed by many people in their professional and personal life. Astrology is used to get information on right time for various activities, getting rid of bad times etc.

‘Ecocab can become viable and eco-friendly means of transport’

Express News Service

Posted: Thursday , Apr 29, 2010 at 2318 hrs Chandigarh:

Hight Court makes IE report on Ecocab a PIL, sends notices to Punjab govt

Taking cognisance of a news item, “With Ecocab, Fazilka shows the way”, which appeared in The Indian Express on April 26, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal has converted it into a public interest litigation (PIL).

Taking suo motu notice of the news item, the chief justice held: “If the facts appearing in the report are correct, the matter deserves to be looked into in this court’s PIL jurisdiction.”

The order said: “With its (cycle-rickshaws’) transformation into Ecocab, it is on the way to become a viable and eco-friendly means of transport for all. It will be available on a phone call, to be made to Ecocab booths. The initiative is praiseworthy. Various organisations are said to be taking interest in the project. Ecocab has the potential to replace carbon dioxide emitting cars and other motor vehicles.”

A division bench comprising the chief justice and Justice Jasbir Singh has issued notices to the Punjab government.

The news item highlighted the role of School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), New Delhi, at the asking of Graduates’ Welfare Association of Fazilka (GWAF) in designing a lighter cycle-rickshaw named as Ecocab. The Fazilka Nano, as the model is named by a member of the GWAF, was launched on April 4 on the occasion of Fazilka Heritage Festival. Not only lighter in weight than the traditional rickshaw, it has been designed to give a comfortable ride to people travelling short distances in towns and cities, the report had noted.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren will resign if the BJP initiates government formation with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, his son Hemant, says.–SC


Pre-marital sex not a statutory offence: SC

New Delhi, Apr 29 (PTI) The Supreme Court has held that pre-marital sex is not a statutory offence and criminal law cannot punish individuals merely for expressing “unpopular views” justifying such acts as it would violate freedom of speech and expression.

“While it is true that the mainstream view in our society is that sexual contact should take place only between marital partners, there is no statutory offence that takes place when adults willingly engage in sexual relations outside the marital setting, with the exception of ‘adultery’ as defined under Section 497 IPC,” the apex court said in a judgement.

A three judge bench of Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan rpt Balakrishnan and justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan passed the judgement while quashing the criminal cases filed against popular south Indian actress Khushboo for her views on “pre-marital sex”.

HC stops work on Shivaji Park beautification

Shibu Thomas , TNN, Apr 29, 2010, 06.15am IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Wednesday put paid to the Shiv Sena-ruled BMC’s plan to unveil a mural of Chhatrapati Shivaji at Shivaji Park as part of the celebrations of Maharashtra Day on May 1. A division bench of Justice F I Rebello and Justice Amjad Sayed passed an interim order, directing that work on the corporation’s Rs 4.43-crore beautificaiton plan for the Dadar park be stopped.

Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by two citizens challenging the makeover plan, the judges directed the BMC to respond to the allegations before the next date of hearing slated for May 5.

Shivaji Park is a landmark maidan for Mumbai, establishing its reputation as the playground of cricket icons, including Sachin Tendulkar and Sunil Gavaskar. The park is spread over 93,700 sq m.

The petitioners, Durgesh Warty and Manoj Govel, alleged arbitrary and illegal action even as the contracts, which ran into crores of rupees, were given out without inviting tenders.

The Shivaji Park beautification was planned in three phases. The first phase, for increasing the green cover, was completed at a cost of Rs 1.90 crore. In the second phase, the pathway was to be relaid, fibre benches installed and wall repaired at a cost of Rs 3.15 crore. The third phase involved the construction of two walls behind the Meenatai Thackeray statue and murals depicting the coronation of Chhatrapati Shivaji at a cost of Rs 1.28 crore.

According to the petitioners, the work on the second phase was given to Ms Valson and Karan builders. The third phase was sanctioned in a meeting on March 10 at the mayor’s bungalow, where Sena MLA Diwakara Raote was also present, the petitioners said. The work orders were issued to Ms Ana Associates without tenders or the authorisation of the standing committee, the petitioners claimed, adding that it was done under political pressure.

“The mural would have reduced the width of the approach road to the park. It is not allowed to build any structure in a playground like Shivaji Park,’’ said the PIL.

HC dismisses petition against Kamal

IndiaGlitz [Thursday, April 29, 2010]

The Madras High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition seeking a direction to the police to register a criminal case against Kamal Haasan, claiming that he had stolen an assistant director’s story to make ‘Dasavatharam’.

Justice R Regupathy was passing orders on a petition filed by Senthilkumar, an assistant director, who claimed that he had submitted a script titled ‘Arthanari’ to Kamal who had made it as ‘Dasavatharam’.

When the matter came up for hearing, the government advocate told the court that an Inspector-level officer inquired allegations made by Senthilkumar (that he was threatened by men owing allegiance to Kamal) and found they were not true.

Following this, the Judge recorded the statement of the government advocate and closed the matter without passing any orders. ‘Dasavatharam’, which had Kamal in 10 different roles, hit the screens in mid-2008.

Return Rs 80 lakh to Rajmata kin: HC

TNN, Apr 29, 2010, 05.40am IST

JAIPUR: In a major relief to the ex-royal family of Jaipur, the Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Union government to refund Rs 80 lakh to the family, which the I-T department had collected as fine for keeping 800 kg of undeclared gold.

The gold, listed as the private property of Rajmata Gayatri Devi’s husband, late Maharaja Sawai Man Singh, was seized by Income Tax department in 1975 as the family had not declared it to the authorities as stipulated by the Gold Control Act (GCA), 1968.

The case was dragging in the court for the past 35 years ever since the I-T sleuths recovered the “undeclared” gold from the family in 1975. The I-T move was also seen as a fallout of the soured relations between Rajmata Gayatri Devi and the then prime minister Indira Gandhi. In fact, Gayatri Devi had to go to jail on the same issue.

On Wednesday, Justice S Muralidhar held that the action taken by the government was not in accordance with the law as Maharaja Sawai Man Singh had died prior to tax officials’ raid at the premises of the royal family in 1975.

“Proceedings under the GCA, which have not been initiated against a person during his lifetime, cannot be initiated and continued against his estate after his life time,” the court observed. Gayatri Devi had died on July 29 last year.

The order came on a petition filed by Man Singh’s successor and eldest son Brigadier Bhawani Singh (retd), who had challenged the government decision to impose a fine of Rs 80 lakh for possessing undeclared gold.

The court directed the Centre to refund Rs 80 lakh together with simple interest of 6% per annum from the date on which the fine in lieu of confiscation was paid till the date of its refund.

The government, during previous hearings, had argued that under the Gold Control Act and the Indian Defence Rules 1968, possession of raw gold was illegal and, if found, it had to be sold to the authorised dealers or a goldsmith within six months. The Centre had also cited that the family had violated both the rules, so a fine of Rs 1.5 crore was imposed on them by the government. It was later reduced to Rs 80 lakh.

Countering the act of I-T department, petitioner Bhawani Singh, among other things, had cited as how he risked his life and fought for the country in the 1971 India-Pakistan war in spite of his parentage and position in life. He was so devoted to the country that he fought the war and got Mahavir Chakra for gallantry during 1971.

“A person of such high devotion to the country’s cause would not go and break the laws of the country knowingly,” his counsel had contended, urging that the confiscation order and fine be quashed and the government’s action be declared null and void.

Sarojini Nagar shelter lacks basic facilities, NGO informs HC

TNN, Apr 29, 2010, 06.26am IST

NEW DELHI: If governmental apathy and bone chilling winter took its toll on Delhi’s homeless, the summers has brought little respite, the Delhi High court came to know on Wednesday.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta was informed by an NGO involved in providing shelter for the homeless that the facility being run by the authorities at Motia Khan near Sarojini Nagar suffered from lack of even basic amenities like water and proper sewage system.

HC then appointed a lawyer as local commissioner to go and inspect the site and report back on what is lacking at the facility. It also asked the NGO, NDMC and MCD to come up with alternate locations where minimum basic facilities could be provided to the homeless and they could be sheltered.

‘‘Your report must clearly indicate the sewage and water facilities at the site. The civic authorities must come up with alternate sites where the residents can be shifted,’’ the HC bench directed while giving the lawyer, Firdaus Wani, a weeks time to submit her findings.

Earlier, the NGO alleged there was only one tap installed at the ground floor of the three storey shelter at Motia Khan and all bathrooms were blocked giving rise to unbearable stench and forcing the residents to flee outside.

While the NGO blamed the authorities like NDMC for harassing the homeless, HC pointed out that it was not an adversarial litigation. ‘‘We have to keep the best interest of the homeless in mind’’ the court remarked asking all parties to propose other places where homeless can be provided with temporary shelter.

HC was hearing a matter it took up suo moto on the basis of a TOI report highlighting death of homeless at Pusa Road in December last year because they were not provided with a shelter and had to spend nights in the open in biting cold.

HC asks hospital if 13-year-old rape victim can undergo abortion

Express News Service

Posted: Thursday , Apr 29, 2010 at 0235 hrs Ahmedabad:

The Gujarat High Court (HC) has demanded a certificate from the head of the Gynaecology Department of Surendranagar Civil Hospital whether the minor rape victim — seeking permission to terminate her pregnancy — is physically fit for abortion.

Justice A S Dave passed an order while acting on a petition filed by a 13-year-old rape victim.

According to the details of the case, the victim, daughter of a labourer couple in Surendranagar district, was repeatedly raped by her neighbour who had employed her as a cook at his home.

The girl and her family lodged a complaint with the Halvad police station on March 11 after they found her pregnant.

Her parents took the girl to a local clinic for an abortion but the doctor refused, telling them to first secure permission from a court.

The girl, through her mother, moved a petition in the Dhrangadhra Sessions Court under the provisions of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971.

But the court rejected the plea saying there was no evidence on record to show that the health of the girl would suffer because of her pregnancy.

Racing against time to get legal permission to abort within a medically safe period, the girl moved the High Court, saying that pregnancy from rape was a mental agony.

The counsel for the girl submitted that it had been established beyond doubt that rape had led to her pregnancy and this fact could affect the girl’s mental health.

The High Court on Wednesday ordered that the girl be examined by a head of the Gynaecology department to see whether the girl is physically fit to undergo an abortion.

The case will come up for hearing on May 4.

Govt to HC: Will hold camps to inform Games site workers about their rights, wages, benefits

Utkarsh Anand

Posted: Thursday , Apr 29, 2010 at 0048 hrs New delhi:

With the Delhi High Court keeping an eye on violation of labour laws at Commonwealth Games construction sites, the Delhi government has decided to approach the workers by organising awareness camps.

These camps will be organised between May 1 and 7 at all nine districts of the city, the court was told on Wednesday. The workers would be told about their rights relating to wages, safety measures and other beneficial schemes at these camps.

The government has also formed a six-member committee to simplify disbursement of various benefits to labourers working on projects for the October 3-14 sporting event.

A court-appointed monitoring committee had earlier indicted all government authorities involved in Games projects for appalling work conditions at these construction sites.

In reply, the government’s counsel on Wednesday submitted a status report before a Division Bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta.

The report, forwarded to the Bench by the government’s standing counsel Najmi Waziri, said the Delhi government has served notices to all agencies involved in hiring workers for Games projects. The agencies have been asked to furnish all information along with a list of workers engaged at various construction sites, the report said.

After receiving the information, the Construction Board would register the labourers and issue them a passbook, it said. .

The report said 26,340 workers have been registered till date, with 658 registered in the last 10 days.

The 226-page report said a six-member committee was formed on April 13 to delegate financial and administrative powers to district deputy labour commissioners. This is to simplify the process of disbursing various benefits to the workers, the court was told.

According to the report, the Labour department had issued inspection notices to 48 establishments carrying out construction work. “In these notices, employers or contractors have been directed to furnish wage records, facilities and safety provisions available to workers at construction sites,” it said.

While the report said action would be taken against contractors who fail to file a compliance report, Waziri submitted that only the Central Public Works Department and the Delhi government had given a “partial reply”. No other government agency — MCD, NDMC, DDA, Delhi Jal Board, Delhi International Airport Limited, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and the Sports Authority of India — have responded to the notices.

Satisfied with the contentions, the Bench adjourned the matter till next week and directed other agencies to file their affidavits by the next date of hearing. The report submitted in March had recorded 43 deaths at various Games construction sites till then and had criticised the working conditions.

Jharkhand HC serves showcause on state govt regarding Madhu Koda case

The Jharkhand High Court served a showcause on the state government why CBI inquiry could not be conducted against Chandra Prakash Choudhury, Dulal Bhuniya (both former ministers) and close associate of former chief minister Madhu Koda–Sanjay Choudhury and Vinod Sinha– in connection with Disproportionate Assets (DA) case.

A division bench of Chief Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra and Justice R R Prasad passed it while hearing a PIL filed by one Durga Oraon.

During the argument, Income Tax department filed its progress report about Koda and associate in a sealed cover as per court’s earlier order.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) asked for some more time to file the progress report as investigation was going on in six other countries against Koda and his associates.

Vinod Sinha pleaded before the court that as per the Supreme Court order, the CBI could not be directed to investigate the case without the state government’s consent.

The petitioner informed the court that no case was registered against Chandra Prakash Choudhury, Dulal Bhuniya, Sanjay Choudhury and Vinod Sinha till date.

Even no action was taken so far against two other former minister– Bhanu Pratap Shahi and Bandhu Tirki.


Thachankary row: AG not to appear in HC

Kochi: Advocate general Sudhakara Prasad informed his unwillingness to appear in the Kerala High Court on Thachankary row. He informed his inconvenience when the state government is going to file a writ petition before the Division Bench of High Court against the stay order on Thachankary’s suspension issued by Central Administrative Tribunal, today. Additional advocate general will be present for the government The Advocate General’s office after completing the procedures regarding this had send the petition for approval to the CM’s office. The appeal which was thoroughly scrutinized by the Chief Minister’s office and the Law department together so as not to give any chance for loop hole, would be submitted in High Court.

Earlier the government pleader failed to submit the claims prepared by the government during the trial by the CAT which resulted in CAT issuing a stay order on suspension. Chief minister who was thoroughly dissatisfied with the move sought explanation from the AG in this regard. Though CM asked AG to present himself in the trial, AG did not represented government and send junior government pleader instead of him. In its calims the government had pointed out that it is not for the first time that Tomin J Thachankary had made breach of laws and hence he couldn’t be exempted from action. He had already been warned, for making unauthorized foreign trips before the present issue. Also the findings of the DGP and Vigilance ADGP was added along with the petition to prove their argument.

Cong leader moves HC against criminal plea

DNAHM31125 | 4/29/2010 | Author : DNA Correspondent | WC :215 | Crime & Law

Adam Chaki says he has been falsely implicated in a case
A Bhuj-based Congress leader has moved a petition before Gujarat high court seeking to quash a criminal complaint against him made allegedly on behest of a corporate group. After primary hearing of the petition, justice Anant Dave has issued notices to local police and others and posted the hearing for next month.
Adam Chaki, vice-president of Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC), claimed that he had been falsely implicated in a case for creating public disturbance by staging demonstrations against a medical college run by the Adani group.
He claimed that he was targeted as he was from the opposition party and had reported irregularities in Bhuj medical college run by Adani group, to the inspection team of Medical Council of India (MCI). The state government has handed over the running of the medical college of Bhuj to Adani group.
Chaki, through his counsel Hashim Kureshi, claimed that on February 16, the Kutch Medical College Ladat Samiti had carried out demonstrations before the MCI team to highlight their grievances against the staff and management of the medical college.
He had left the place after handing over his representation about the irregularities in the college, to the MCI team. But, later on, police included his name as an accused with others for creating trouble through the demonstrations.

Supreme Court quashes criminal proceedings against Kushboo

J. Venkatesan

New Delhi: In a big relief to actor Kushboo, the Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside a Madras High Court judgment directing the chief metropolitan magistrate, Egmore, to conduct a joint trial of the 23 defamation complaints filed in various places in Tamil Nadu for her alleged remarks on pre-marital sex.

A Bench of Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan allowed Ms. Kushboo’s appeal against the April 30, 2008 judgment, which ordered consolidation of all cases for a joint trial and disposal of the complaints filed by Kanniammal and others in six months.

Ms. Kushboo said that in a survey conducted by India Today in September 2005 on ‘pre-marital sex’, she expressed her views on the need for teaching the younger generation sexology either in educational institutions or by parents. However, she said, certain groups having political affiliation, in view of a by-election in October/November 2005, started a vilification campaign against her solely for achieving political mileage and publicity. Objecting to her statement in the magazine, 23 complaints were filed against her under Sections 499 and 500 of the Indian Penal Code (criminal defamation) in various places to harass and victimise her.

Ms. Kushboo argued that the fundamental right of freedom of speech and expression could not be impinged upon by vested interests which had unleashed a campaign of systematic complaints. The Supreme Court accepted her contentions and quashed the criminal proceedings pending against her.

In May 2008, it had stayed these proceedings.

The ULIPs controversy and a Delhi High Court decision

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The ULIPs SEBI/IRDA tussle takes new turns practically every week and would not warrant further posts to my last one, (which was also followed by another post by a learned contributor) till either the Court decides the issue or the law is amended. However, I stumbled across a recent decision of the Delhi High Court (Chanchal Jain vs. SEBI (95 SCL 31 (2009)) dated July 24, 2009) on a related matter that is worth a quick mention here for several reasons.

Firstly, it apparently goes back to what is said to be the root of the current controversy and that is the ban on entry load/commission payment by mutual funds. Secondly, it also, albeit indirectly, considers mutual funds schemes vis-à-vis insurance policies and the fact that insurance policies command a higher commission. Finally, though not specifically on ULIPs, it is perhaps the only other recent decision (as far as I know) that deals to some extent directly with the current controversy.

Curiously, as will be seen later, on one hand the initial statements of the Court specifically state that SEBI has no power over life insurance policies and thus on first impression may appear to go against the recent SEBI Order on ULIPs. On the other hand, the reasoning given for distinguishing insurance policies and mutual fund units actually support the SEBI decision.

I have focused here on just one point of this decision but readers may find it generally worth reading the decision for other points.

Readers may recollect SEBI had issued a circular on June 30, 2009 whereby entry load on mutual fund schemes was banned and certain further disclosure requirements made. A writ petition was filed against this circular before the Delhi High Court.

While various contentions were raised, one relevant point made was that Article 14 of the Constitution was infringed since the petitioners have been discriminated. It was submitted that, “LIC agents are entitled to commission, which can go upto 40 per cent”.

The Court rejected this submission and it is interesting to read the reasoning of the Court:-

“The said contention has no merit. Life Insurance policies serve a different purpose and object. Life Insurance policies form a separate class and cannot be clubbed with mutual funds. SEBI does not control and regulate life insurance policies. It is well known that rate of return in an LIC policy is substantially lower. The primary object of a life insurance policy is to secure and benefit beneficiaries on death of the insured. The rate of return in mutual funds is market driven. It is not possible to accept the contention of the petitioner that insurance policies and their agents and mutual funds, agents and distributors form the same class and must have same rules of trade and charges. Article 14 does not prevent classification but ensures that there is no discrimination by treating two equals differently. Role of a distributor of a mutual fund is distinct and separate from the role of a life insurance agent.”. (emphasis supplied)

To reiterate, the first part makes it clear that SEBI has no jurisdiction over life insurance policies. However, the Court quickly followed this by briefly explaining what is a life insurance policy and how it is different from mutual funds.

Unfortunately, the peculiar concept of ULIPs which, as SEBI has shown with calculations, are often 98% mutual fund units, was not placed before the Court. Thus, while one cannot apply this decision directly to ULIPs, this decision should provide one more piece in the unraveling of the complex legal jigsaw concerning ULIPs and the powers of the two regulators.

–         Jayant Thakur, CA.

Delhi HC grants bail to rape convict who is terminally ill

Apr 28, 2010, 04.49am IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Tihar jail authority to release on bail a rape convict who has been reportedly suffering from an “incurable” disease since May last year.

Justice Siddharth Mridul in an order directed that Satyam Singh, sentenced to seven year imprisonment for raping a minor girl, to be released on furnishing a bond of Rs 5,000 and a surety of like amount to the satisfaction of the trial court. “Prisoner (Singh) is reported to be terminally ill and suffering from what is commonly termed as incurable disease. In the circumstances, it is directed that the appellant to be released on bail…” said Justice Mridul while referring to a court’s 2007 order in which it was directed that the under trials who were terminally ill could be released on bail on humanitarian grounds.

Justice Mridul’s order came following a medical report filed by the jail authority stating that Singh has been suffering from chronic liver decease with symptoms like loose motion, bleeding from rectum, pain in abdomen and weakness. In April last year, a city court had sentenced Singh to seven-year imprisonment and a fine of Rs 1,000 for raping a 12 year-old girl, his neighbour, in 2008. PTI

HC stays construction of Dabolim mega project

TNN, Apr 28, 2010, 05.34am IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa has on Tuesday directed the developers of a residential project coming up at Dabolim not to carry out further construction until the Union ministry of environment and forests takes a further decision in the matter.
A division bench of Justice S J Vazifdar and Justice U D Salvi issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by Goa Foundation and one Edwin Mascarenhas.

The petitioners have challenged the project being developed by Sarasvati Builders and Constructions and Anand Builders.

The petitioners’ lawyer, Norma Alvares, pointed out that the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had taken a decision to keep the environment clearance granted to the project of Sarasvati Builders and Constructions “in abeyance” till the matter is reviewed by the union ministry.

The order dated April 15, 2010, directs the builders not to proceed with the construction on survey No. 43/1 till a detailed examination of all the issues raised in this writ petition are re-examined by the Expert Appraisal Committee, Alvares told the court.

The lawyers, appearing on behalf of the developers, informed the court that the developers had sold the plots in the property after taking approvals from the government .

The bench, thereafter, directed the builders not to carry out any further construction in view of the order passed by the ministry.

The court also directed the individual owners of around 43 plots in the project to maintain status quo.

The court has made it clear that even if the required permissions are obtained by them, no further construction should be carried out without seeking permission from the high court.

The petitioners have claimed that the project comes under a forest area, which has been demarcated as a No Development Zone in the draft Regional Plan 2021.

Inmate’s education: HC issues notice to states, UT

TNN, Apr 28, 2010, 05.26am IST

CHANDIGARH: Empowering those behind bars is essential for their rehabilitation into the society. Punjab and Haryana High Court acted in this regard when it took suo motu notice of a letter from a Gurdaspur central jail prisoner Hiresdeshwar Singh, who wants to continue his MBA in spite of financial constraints, and asked Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh administrations to file replies.

The letter of the life-term prisoner had reached justice Mahesh Grover. He had stated that he wanted to complete his course with the Sikkim Manipal University but lacked financial resources. Justice Grover observed that it ought to be endeavour of any civilized society to bring into the mainstream, people who have to stay out after coming in conflict with law, “Education can be important tool in achieving the objective because an enlightened man can become a reformed citizen.”

Justice Grover further observed, “Parliament… has also granted right to education the status of a fundamental right. But convicts, who are languishing in jail, are sometimes deprived of that on account of infrastructure or lack of finances, as seems to be the case in the present scenario.”

‘Government violated HC directive on hartal’

First Published : 28 Apr 2010 01:55:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 28 Apr 2010 12:36:32 PM IST

KOCHI: The State Government has violated all the nine directives issued by the High Court, to be considered while calling a hartal, Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy said in Kochi on Tuesday. He told reporters that the government had forgotten its primary responsibility of protecting the life and property of the people.

“It was the people of Kerala who suffered the maximum in Tuesday’s nation- wide hartal. Everyone has the right to protest. The Home Minister should be aware that people have the right not to support the hartal,” Chandy said. “The harthal supporters went on the rampage, as they had the government’s protection. The police also remained mute spectators to the atrocities,” he alleged.

21 years on, HC frees man from ‘cruel’ wife

DNMUM170734 | 4/28/2010 | Author : Hetal Vyas | WC :240

A couple married for over two decades, but who stayed together for less than five months, was granted divorce by the Bombay high court on Monday.
While dismissing an appeal filed by the wife, the court observed that a husband is entitled for a divorce on grounds of desertion and cruelty as the wife had voluntarily left the matrimonial house
The couple, based in the Central suburbs, got married on February 1, 1989. On June 7, the wife returned to her parents’ house as she found her husband’s home too small. The family court granted divorce in 2004, which was challenged by the wife.
A division bench of justices AP Deshpande and RP Sondur-Baldota observed that the wife was guilty of desertion and cruelty as she refused to cohabit with the respondent on non-existing grounds.
According to the husband, who was working as a diamond cutter and earning Rs1,400 per month at that time, he had informed his wife before marriage that he lived in a one room-kitchen house with his family.
The family court had granted divorce and directed the husband to pay Rs1,800 as monthly maintenance to the wife and Rs2,000 to their minor daughter.
The high court rejected the wife’s appeal seeking enhancement of maintenance to Rs25,000.

Honeymoon travails
In his petition, the husband said his wife started demanding they live separately while they were on their honeymoon. He claimed that she even abused him for his weak financial position

Punjab and Haryana HC rejects bail application of

Spokesman Editor

Punjab Newsline Network   

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana High Court has rejected the pre arrest bail application of Joginder Singh editor in chief of Punjabi daily ‘Rozana Spokesman’ published from Delhi in a case of ‘hurting religious sentiments of Sikhs’.

Punjab police had registered case under section 295 A of Indian Panel code for “alleged malicious writings about Sikh Gurus, Guru Granth Sahib, and various institutions of the Sikhs”.

The bench of justice Gurdev Singh on Tuesday after hearing arguments on the peition didnt grant any relief and asked the petitioner to go to the lower court for bail as petition cant be entertained directly. The prosecution told the court that Joginder Singh had failed to appear before the police on five opportunities given to him. He was summoned by Amritsar police for recording his statement.

It all started on April 2, 2010, when SGPC chief Avtar Singh Makkar accompanied by a delegation of the Sant Samaj and chief of Damdami Taksal met the Punjab Chief Minister to demand action against the newspaper. Chief Minister had formed a three member committee to examine the editorial and it recommended the registration of case. The matter was subsequently referred to Amritsar police.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that Amritsar police has dispatched police parties to arrest Joginder Singh who is reportedly hiding in Delhi. He fled away from his residence in Chandigarh immediately after registration of case. 

Gujarat HC asks Nirma to protect Mahuva’s ecology

DNAHM31079 | 4/28/2010 | Author : DNA Correspondent | WC :434 | Politics & Governance

Job generation shouldn’t be at the cost of community resources: HC
While giving a green signal to the cement plant of detergent giant Nrima Limited, Gujarat high court has also raised concerns about environment issues in Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar district and laid down conditions over the issue of preservation of the natural water reservoir in the region.
“Our prime concern has been to protect the sweet water reservoir created by construction of Samadhiyala Bandhara. Undoubtedly, progress and development would require construction of factories. Such factories would inevitably increase production and generate employment in a remote rural area which is dependent mainly on agricultural activities, which in turn depends on unpredictable and erratic monsoons and other inadequate sources of irrigation,” the bench said.
It also pointed out that, “However, such development or generation of income cannot be at the cost of permanent damage to common community resources. It will be sad if a small farmer deprived of his rightful source of irrigation is turned overnight into a landless unskilled labourer forced to seek employment in some factory constructed on the land which till the other day was his agricultural field.”
In its order, the court also directed the government to check the input of water in Samadhiyala water reservoir. The court said, “The government shall, on the basis of the records of rainfall in the region and the total amount of water collected in the reservoir immediately after the monsoon, judge whether on account of setting up of the factory there has been any significant reduction in income of the fresh water in the reservoir. If so, the government shall require the company to take such remedial measures as may be found necessary.”
Looking to the industrial growth, the court said: “By preserving the water body, if industrial development can still be achieved, surely the same should not be objected to. The cement plant would bring in substantial investment in addition to generating employment in the region and would also sustain ancillary and incidental industries and businesses.”
During the hearing, Anand Yagnik, counsel for the petitioner, stressed upon the Shelat committee report that returning the land will not resolve the issue of preservation of environment. The Shelat committee in its report said: “By giving back 54.295 hectare area by the company, surrounding farmers will not have any benefit because it is flanked on three sides by the plant and mining area of Nirma Limited. So, in future this area will be useful to the company itself.”
The farmers also had rejected the proposal of returning of 46 hectare land to the government because it does not contain the land of the original water reservoir.

HS Kapadia to become CJI on 11 May 2010 : Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist

MIL, Apr 27, 2010
C.L.Sahu, Adv. Supreme Court of India

New Delhi, India: April 27, 2010 – Author: C.L.Sahu, Supreme Court of India:

Dr. Raj Baldev, famous Cosmo Theorist, Social Reformer and Lead Man of God Believers, is considered a great predicator of present time like Nostradamus, the French Seer, even though some grade him better than that of Nostradamus.  Dr. Raj Baldev is also considered a great Soothsayer with great hidden powers of spiritualism which he is observed to use only on rare cases to give relief to the extreme/dieing patients and good souls, but his main mission is to serve world peace and earth saving mission through proper fighting Global Warming and other appropriate measures.

Dr. Raj Baldev, Comso Theorist, said in his general prediction on 10 March 2010 giving strong indication that Mr. Balakrishnan, CJI, Supreme Court of India,  is most probably retiring on 11-5-2010. Even though there was a strong lobbying going on to get three years extension to Mr. Balakarishnan, including a change to extend the retirement age of all other judges of the higher courts, but Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, told our group of advocates on 10 March 2010 that astrologically no extension is possible and the stay of CJI Mr. Balakrishnan can’t be prolonged beyond 11 May 2010, and Mr. S.H. Kapadia, he said, would definitely replace him.

Astrologically, Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, further said, “Mr. Balakrishnan will have to retire and may face certain problems due to his upcoming stars, of which one star is negative and may cause some tension to him after retirement, he may face some enmity from certain quarters and even may affect his health to some extent. 

Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, dismissing the scope of Judges’ retirement age, gave his clear prediction on Internet on 11 March 2010 under the title of Judiciary’s Dignity in danger, who will become CJI, in which he confidently stated that Mr. S.H. Kapadia would become CJI on 11 May 2010. Thus his prediction gave strong implied indication that Mr. Balakrishnan would retire on 11 May and on the very day Mr. Kapadia would take the oath of CJI of Supreme Court of India.

The words of predictions by Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, are as reproduced as under:

“After the retirement of Mr. Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Chief Justice of India on 11-5-2010, Hon.’ble Mr. Justice S.H. Kapadia stands strong chances of becoming the next Chief Justice of India astrologically as per my working based on 10-9-1974, his birth date as well as Occult No. of his name, governed by Saturn associated with Mars.”

 Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, said on 10 March 2010 in his prediction given on the Internet on 10 March 2010:

“Mr. Balakrishnan is most probably retiring on 11-5- 2010 and if this date is correct, it shall carry somewhat unfavorable time for him thereafter, not an easy sailing after retirement. This year comes to No. 3 but when date is calculated, it comes to 11+5+2010 = 10 or 1. The figure ‘3’ is controlled by Mercury and No. 1 is controlled by Sun, both these stars occupy the house of Mars. i.e. Aries.

The govt. on Monday has said it is not considering any proposal to increase the retirmenet age of judges, putting an end to months of speculation in the political and legal circles on the issue. Govt. is at present not considering to increase the age of retirment of judges, Law Minister M.Veerappa Moily informed the Rajya Sabha yesterday. This announcement by the govt. has made the prediction of Dr. Raj Baldev, Cosmo Theorist, as correct.

SC verdict on RIL-RNRL gas case in next few days: Sources

Published on Tue, Apr 27, 2010 at 20:32   | Updated at Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 12:18  |  Source : CNBC-TV18

India’s most fiercely fought corporate battle—Reliance Industries (RIL) versus Reliance Natural Resources (RNRL) at the Supreme Court could reach a conclusion soon.

It is being learnt that the Supreme Court may pronounce a judgement on the case in the next few days, reports CNBC-TV18’s Nayantara Rai.

There are chances that the verdict may be announced this week itself as the Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan retires on May 11, sources inform. The case has been heard by a three-member Supream Court bench led by CJI.

LEGAL NEWS 27.04.2010

Supreme Court overturns ex-CM’s expulsion from assembly

Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 1:20 IST

New Delhi: Asserting that the Constitution is above the legislature and the judiciary, a five-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Monday scrapped the Akali Dal-dominated Punjab legislative assembly’s resolution that disqualified former chief minister and Congress leader Amarinder Singh from the House on grounds of committing a “breach of privilege”.

Restoring Singh’s status as lawmaker, the bench, comprising Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan, justices RV Raveendran, P Sathasivam, JM Panchal and RM Lodha, said a legislature cannot expel its member for his executive actions committed during an earlier term of the House.

Hailing the verdict, noted constitutional lawyer PP Rao said this “trend-setting judgment” should act as an eye opener for the legislature which should desist from passing illegal diktats merely for political vengeance.

When asked if there was a possibility that the legislative assembly might refuse to allow Singh to attend sessions on the ground that the judiciary cannot interfere with legislative functions, Rao said a presidential reference in 1964 had dealt with a similar issue. It was a tussle between Uttar Pradesh assembly and the judiciary.

Then, a Supreme Court constitution bench, too, had upheld the supremacy of the Constitution, and said that Indian legislators cannot claim sovereignty similar to the parliament in the United Kingdom.

On Monday, the Supreme Court said “state legislatures in India could not, by virtue of Article 194(3), claim to be the sole judges of their powers and privileges to the exclusion of the courts. Their powers and privileges were to be found in Article 194(3) alone and nowhere else, and the power to interpret that Article lay, under the scheme of the Indian Constitution, exclusively with the judiciary of this country”.

The SC said if legislatures were permitted to expel members for their executive actions, then there was the risk that with every change of regime, the new legislators will seek to claim privileges to expel their rivals. “Such a scenario would frustrate some of the basic objectives of parliamentary democracy,” the court held.

Singh was expelled from the Punjab assembly on 3 September 2008 for “breach of privilege” after a House-appointed special committee held him guilty of alleged irregularities that took place in Amritsar when he was the chief minister of Punjab.

The report claimed that the former CM had granted illegal exemption to certain developers, causing a loss of several crores of rupees to the exchequer, when he granted exemption on 32.5 acres of land in violation of the rules.

Incidentally, this case is pending before the high court.

Madras High Court lawyers clash again in front of CJI and Law Minister

Bar&Bench News Network

Apr 26, 2010

A year after the large scale lawyers protest at the Madras High Court, history has repeated itself. The Madras High Court today witnessed a fresh round of violence and attacks by its lawyers. The Hon’ble Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan,the Hon’ble Chief Justice of the Madras High Court H.L. Gokhale, Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Supreme Court Judge P. Sathasivam, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Karunanidhi and Tamil Nadu State Law Minister Durai Murugan were present at the Madras High Court premises to unveil the statute of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar.

A group of lawyers were objecting to the participation of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi at the function as he had failed to take action against the police force for the attack on lawyers in February 2009.

The Hindu reports that immediately after the Chief Minister began his speech, a dozen advocates, belonging to a Tamil nationalist fringe group, Manitha Urimai Paathukaapu Maiyam (MUPM), waved black flags and raised slogans against him. Shouts of “Anumathiyom! Anumathiyom! (We won’t allow!)” rang the air.

Speaking to The Hindu, Suresh, the leader of MUPM, said they objected to the presence of the Chief Minister, because he had failed to take action against the four officers who the MUPM alleged were responsible for the police action against the advocates at the High Court campus on February 19, 2009.

Amidst this chaos, the Chief Minister proposed the use of Tamil as a language in the Supreme Court. As a first step he requested the judges of the Madras High Court to use Tamil as a language for court proceedings.

The common man is fazed by the question of what aspect of our democracy is worse? Lawyers responsible for upholding the rule of the law, resorting to violence against fellow lawyers and media personalities? Or, the police, responsible for safeguarding the public resorting to violence against lawyers and judges? This instance just goes to show why the freedoms enshrined in Article 19 of our Consitution need to be limited by Article 19(2).

Pending cases a challenge: CJI

April 26th, 2010

April 25: Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan on Sunday noted that unless there is an increase in the number of courts and judges, there will be no way to reduce the backlog of cases in the country.

Justice Balakrishnan, who unveiled a B.R. Ambedkar statue in the Madras high court, said the most important challenge that the judiciary now faces is a huge pendency of cases. “We need more courts. Tamil Nadu has proved by disposing of 20,000 cases in a short time that an adequate number of judges can ensure that fewer cases are pending.”

Like any public institution, the quality of justice delivered also depends on the trust and confidence of the public, Justice Balakrishnan said. “We rely on an active bar, a free press and vigilant citizenry to point out unintended mistakes we make so that we can improve our functioning,” he added.
Referring to the statement of Union law minister Veerappa Moily, who also spoke on the occasion and stressed on the importance of gender justice, Justice Balakrishnan said the judiciary is conscious and emphasises the need for gender equality. “There has never been any problem or injustice on the basis of gender,” he said.

After unveiling the Ambedkar statue, Justice Balakrishnan lauded the freedom fighter and prime architect of the Constitution as a great economist and labour leader and among the greatest thinkers India has ever produced.
Chief minister M. Karunanidhi promised to increase the advocates’ welfare fund from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh and allot 10 sites to develop medical facilities for advocates after the ongoing budget session of the Assembly. He also appealed to judges to pave the way to make Tamil the official court language in the state.

HC: can interests be in conflict if minister part of sports body?

Express news service

Posted: Tuesday , Apr 27, 2010 at 2356 hrs Mumbai:

The Bombay High Court today questioned if there can be a “conflict of interest” if a minister is part of BCCI, or of any other sports body for that matter.

After the BCCI counsel failed to comment on this, the court asked the state government to reply by May 5 whether there is a possibility of such a conflict and also whether there was any “code of conduct” for ministers on this aspect.

The question came up during the hearing of a PIL filed by Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Desai, demanding that state collect entertainment tax from the IPL.

The division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Rajesh Ketkar asked BCCI lawyer Raju Subramaniam whether a minister could be a functionary of the cricket body. They questioned the morality of such a decision and asked whether “a conflict of interest will arise if a minister is head of a sport association”.

Subramaniam said that he could not comment on this, but added the BCCI constitution does not prevent any minister from contesting Board elections.

Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, asked by PTI for his reaction, said the government would seek legal advice before replying.

On the primary subject of the petition, Government lawyer D A Nalavade said the state had waived entertainment tax on all sport activities in 1964, but is mulling lifting the exemption. “The government now intends to withdraw the exemption because these are not just sport activities,” Nalavade said, adding that a policy was needed for all sport events where entertainment was a primary element.

The judges remarked that now that the IPL is over, it would be difficult to recover entertainment tax in retrospect. “The damage done is unpardonable.” The BCCI lawyer said that should the government levy entertainment tax, the cricket body would pay up. But Chavan told PTI, “It is not possible to levy tax on IPL since the season is over.” Subramaniam said except for the final, the semis, and the play-off for third spot, tickets were sold by the franchisees; hence, BCCI would not be liable for tax, he said.

The court had wanted to know if IPL was a “profiteering” venture and expressed dissatisfaction with the BCCI’s approach. The next hearing is on May 5.

Farmers’ stir falls flat as HC clears Nirma plant

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Apr 27, 2010 at 0026 hrs Ahmedabad:

But asks the company to surrender 46 hectares in 4 weeks; petitioners may move Supreme Court

In a major setback to the movement against Nirma Limited’s proposed cement plant in Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar district, the Gujarat High Court on Monday gave the defendant permission to resume work, provided they surrendered 46 hectares of land to the state government in four weeks. The Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya and Justice Akil Kureshi pronounced the verdict.

The petitioners, Shree Mahuva Bandhara Khetiwadi Pariyavaran Bachav Samiti and others, had prayed for court directions to the state government to cancel the land allotment to Nirma, claiming it would jeopardise local ecology and livelihood of the farmers.

The petitioners’ lawyer, Bhushan Oza, said that after going through the judgment, they would take a decision on challenging it in the Supreme Court.

Earlier, the state government had sanctioned 268 hectares near Mahuva to Nirma Limited to set up a cement plant in 2008. The petitioner organisation had challenged this on the ground that out of the 268 hectares, 222 was part of a water body that came into being after prolonged efforts to build check dams in the region to check salinity ingress.

The petitioner had also contended that the HC had, in 2002, ordered the state government to identify and notify all the water bodies in the state and held that the state government cannot give land of such water bodies to anyone for any purpose. The proposed project had invited a mass protest by local farmers led by BJP legislator Dr Kanu Kalsariya.

During the hearing, senior counsel Dushyant Dave, appearing on behalf of Nirma Limited, proposed to surrender 46 hectares more to the government as per the report of an expert committee led by former Chief Secretary of Gujarat, S K Shelat.

The Committee had stated in its report regarding the feasibility of giving land for the cement plant that only 168 hectares must be allotted. Subsequently, Nirma surrendered 54 hectares.

Prakash Jani, who represented the state government in court along with the Advocate General, said, “The court has rejected the petition stating that there is no water body on the land given to Nirma.”

The petitioners had prayed for a stay on the judgment for four weeks to challenge it in the apex court, but it was rejected.

The Mahuva story
May 1, 2009:

Farmers led by Dr Kanu Kalsariya begin agitation after work begins at the proposed cement plant in Mahuva. The land was allotted to Nirma in 2008
May 27, 2009:
Government calls agitating farmers to resolve the issue
May 28, 2009:
Government forms a committee to look into the demands of farmers and requests them to halt the agitation
March 27, 2009:
Shree Mahuva Bandhara Khetiwadi Pariyavaran Bachav Samiti and others file a PIL in the HC challenging the land allotment
February 26, 2010:
Kalsariya detained with 700 others in Gandhinagar after the former tried to meet CN Narendra Modi over the issue
March 16, 2010:
HC stays work on the Nirma plant at Mahuva till further orders
March 31, 2010:
Nirma offers to surrender 46 hectares to the government for amicable resolution of the issue
April 8, 2010:
Petitioners do not accept the Nirma offer
April 26, 2010:
HC allows Nirma to go ahead with the plant with the plant

NET, SLET must for lecturer post, says HC

TNN, Apr 27, 2010, 03.15am IST

CHENNAI: The legality of the University Grants Commission’s July 2009 notification making the National Eligibility Test (NET) or the State-level Eligibility Test (SLET) as the mandatory qualification for lecturer posts has been upheld by the Madras high court.

Justice K Chandru, dismissing a batch of petitions filed by persons who claimed exemption from the NET/SLET on the ground that they had completed their MPhil courses before the cut-off date of December 31, 1993, said that the petitioners’ demand was contrary to the UGC regulations.

On July 11, 2009, the UGC issued a notification saying that NET/SLET qualification would be the minimum eligibility for all lecturer-aspirants, including those who had completed their MPhil before December 31, 1993. That is, the notification effectively dispensed with the exemption that had been extended to those who had completed their MPhil before the cut-off date, from clearing the NET/SLET. The state government issued the government order on March 29.

Assailing the orders, the petitioners said the special exemption available to the pre-1993 MPhil-holders had been withdrawn arbitrarily, without any notice. They would not be able to claim the benefit of the ongoing selection process, the petitioners said.

Justice Chandru, tracing the history behind the introduction of a standard test for recruitment of college and university teachers, said the state government was bound to follow the UGC regulations.

Mobile cos spared of taxes, penalty for installing towers: HC

TNN, Apr 27, 2010, 03.31am IST

AHMEDABAD: In a big relief for mobile companies, the Gujarat High Court has quashed a 2008 Government Resolution (GR) by which the civic bodies were levying taxes and penalty on companies for installation of mobile towers.

Acting on various petitions filed by all major cellphone companies BSNL, Vodafone Essar Gujarat Ltd, Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel Ltd and others, a division bench of Justices DA Mehta and HN Devani quashed the GR and set aside demand notices issued by different municipal corporations, municipalities and village panchayats demanding huge amounts towards tax and penalty.

The telecom service providers are required to have base trans-receiver stations installed, and such mobile towers are placed on the terraces of buildings or on private open spaces. In 2006, director of municipalities issued a circular empowering civic bodies to issue NOC permit to mobile towers after levying property tax and permission fee as well as annual fees.

This issue reached the high court and in December 2008, the Urban Development and Urban Housing Department issued a GR making provision for recovery of installation charges, annual permission fees, administrative charges in lieu of penalty fees by the municipalities and corporations. On basis of this arrangement, the civic bodies started collecting money from mobile service providers towards tax and penalty.

Issuance of notices by civic bodies across the state and the GR were challenged by the mobile companies in the high court. The division bench heard the case at length and relied upon an order delivered in this regard earlier.

Quashing the GR and the demand notices, the judges observed that the legislations in this regard are very old, and there was not law regarding mobile technology. “Necessary amendments are required to be made in the Acts making provision for bringing the technological advances within the purview of the Acts. However, till such exercise is undertaken by the legislature, it is not permissible for the authorities to levy and collect taxes or fees in respect of mobile telecommunication towers,” the court order reads.

With these observations, the high court held the GR ultra wires the provisions of the Bombay Provincial Municipal Corporations Act as well as the Gujarat Municipalities Act.

Can I sell kidney to pay lawyer, convict asks Bombay HC

Mayura Janwalkar / DNA

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 2:17 IST

Mumbai: For death convict Mohammed Hanif Sayed, 47, the phrase ‘I’ll have to sell my kidney for it’ is not an exaggerated figure of speech. In one of the strangest applications before the Bombay high court, Sayed on Monday sought its permission to sell his kidney to pay his advocate’s fees.

Sayed, his wife Fehmida, 45, and Anshrat Ansari, 33, were sentenced to death by a special Pota (Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act) court in August last year for their involvement in the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar bomb blasts of 2003 that killed 54 people and injured 244. During the ruling, the court called them “blood-thirsty”.

To the high court, Sayed, lodged at the Yerwada central prison, made an application that he had no means to pay his lawyer’s fees to argue against his conviction and should therefore be allowed to sell his kidney to generate funds.

The additional public prosecutor, Mankunwar Deshmukh, told the court that the nature of the relief sought by Sayed was beyond the purview of the court and should therefore not be entertained. Baffled by Sayed’s plea, justices DB Bhosale and AR Joshi said the court could not issue a directive. But they said Sayed was free to donate his kidney if he so wished and prison rules permitted the same. Refusing to pass any orders in the case, the judges allowed Sayed to withdraw his application.

“I’m deeply hurt by this application,” Sayed’s advocate Khan Abdul Wahab told DNA on Monday. “I filed his appeal in the high court at my own expense and I took up his case as charity.

“I never asked him for a single penny. He may want the money for something else. I will seek the court’s permission to withdraw from the case.”

HC asks Ludhiana CJM to probe case

Express News Service

Posted: Tuesday , Apr 27, 2010 at 2315 hrs Ludhiana:

A medical officer of the Ludhiana Central Jail is in the dock for not performing duty. Justice Gurdev Singh of the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Director Health Services (DHS), Punjab, to take departmental action against the erring medical officer in accordance with Punjab Civil Services (PCS) Rules and to report action taken within six months to the court.

Meanwhile, the “negligence” shown by the former executive magistrate of Ludhiana has also come under the scanner. The directions were passed in the wake of a petition filed by Mohinder Kaur whose husband died allegedly due to the negligence of jail officials in Ludhiana .

“Had the medical officer performed his statutory duty of recording state of health of the deceased, same would have been very helpful for deciding the controversy,” Justice Gurdev Sing held in his order.

The allegation against medical officer was that he did not record the health of the deceased at the time of admission to the jail, the day he had died.

 “The way in which the inquiry was conducted during the inquest proceedings by the executive magistrate, it becomes necessary that further inquiry be conducted regarding custodial death of deceased,” the court held. The Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM), Ludhiana, has been directed to hold a thorough inquiry and submit a report within three months.

The incident dates back to 2004 when Amar Singh who was convicted in a criminal case was sent to Ludhiana Jail. His widow, Mohinder Kaur alleged in the petition that Singh was repeatedly forced to spray pesticides through out the day in the jail without any rest and against his wishes.

It was alleged that no proper equipment for spraying of pesticides was given to him as a result of which he fell unconscious on December 29, 2004 .

“He kept shouting for medical help but the jail authorities did not turn up,” the petitioner alleged. Singh was rushed to hospital where he died.

A perusal of the inquest report revealed that the then executive magistrate did not make any effort to record the statements of the jail inmates, who were with the deceased. “Thorough inquiry was never conducted by the executive magistrate,” Justice Gurdev Singh ruled.

HC upholds life sentence to tutor who killed student

Utkarsh Anand

Posted: Tuesday , Apr 27, 2010 at 0048 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has upheld the life imprisonment awarded to a 43-year-old private tutor who killed a student of St Stephen’s College in 1999 after she refused to marry him.

Dismissing the appeal of Uttam Kumar, who killed his student Priyanka 10 days before her wedding, the HC upheld the ruling of a Rohini court that had awarded him life imprisonment in September 2007.

“It is a case of a crafty man warming and worming into the heart of a young girl and emotionally, may be physically exploiting her,” Justice Pradeep Nandarajog said .

On April 19, 1999, Kumar had stabbed to death 20-year-old Priyanka, a second-year student of St Stephen’s College. He had locked himself inside the bathroom of the victim’s Adarsh Nagar house and the police had found him with a blood-stained knife while the girl’s body lay in a pool of blood.

Taking note of the circumstantial evidence that proved his crime beyond doubt, Additional Sessions Judge Bharat Parashar had said Kumar’s act was “diabolic and revolting”. Slapping a penalty of Rs 5 lakh on him, the lower court had further taken into account his unremorseful behaviour during the trial as he had written threatening letters to the victim’s family from jail. It also took exception to his attempt to prolong the trial by submitting various applications.

Justice Nandarajog upheld the trial court’s observations and held that his guilt was established in view of several incriminating evidence —- both direct and circumstantial. The HC, however, dismissed the appeal of the prosecution seeking death penalty for Kumar.

Justice Nandarajog also took to task the investigating officer as he had failed to recover the buttons of the victim’s shirt and bolts of the bathroom door.

“With pain and anguish we must write that in 4 out of 10 cases we are seeing errors of stupidity committed by the investigating officers. It is time for the police to find an answer as to why in 4 out of 10 movies in India, the policeman is shown as a buffoon,” he noted.

HC refuses to entertain deficient application by PPSC chairman


Posted: Tuesday , Apr 27, 2010 at 2259 hrs Chandigarh:

In his over enthusiasm to become a party to the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by K P S Gill, former Director General of Police (DGP), Punjab, the Chairman of Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), S K Sinha apparently forgot to mention his name in the application.

Refusing to entertain such a “deficient” application, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Monday directed his counsel, Barrister Himmat Singh Shergill to file a “better application with full particulars”.

Interestingly, in the ten page application filed by Sinha to be impleaded as party to the PIL filed by Gill against the PPSC, his name has been mentioned even once. Expressing surprise and disapproval over the incomplete application, the Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh questioned Shergill who the applicant was.

“Who is the applicant?” Justice Jasbir Singh questioned Himmat Singh Shergill who filed the application on behalf of Sinha. Shergill submitted that the applicant (Sinha) was the chairman of the PPSC. “So what! Where is his name? Have you mentioned his name anywhere?” Chief Justice Mudgal questioned the lawyer.

The Bench directed the lawyer to read the application. In his defence, Shergill submitted that the affidavit filed by Sinha mentions his name.

“The entire application does not mention his name. To know the name of the applicant one has to go to the affidavit!” Justice Jasbir Singh quipped.

Refusing to entertain the application, the Chief Justice told Shergill to come up with a better application. “You better come back with a better application with full particulars,” the Chief Justice told the lawyer. The application was dismissed as withdrawn.

On April 20, questioning the integrity, objectivity and impartiality of the selection of doctors made more than a year back by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC), Gill had moved the High Court. Gill, in his PIL, had not made Sinha a party to the PIL.

Gill had submitted that “Punjab is not the only state to witness the degradation, devaluation and subversion of the Public Service Commission by inner corruption; but surely the grim experience of the Ravi Sidhu Commission, an experience the consequences of which the constitutional and legal system in the state is still grappling with, cannot be allowed or suffered to be periodically replicated”.

A similar petition filed by Sinha prior to Gill is already pending before the High Court. “Taking a high moral ground”, Sinha had demanded CBI probe into the matter maintaining that all the allegations leveled in the newspaper reports are “vague”.

Maintaining that Gill was not informed about the petition filed by him, Sinha through his lawyer Shergill had filed an application today to be impleaded as party to the PIL. The lawyer will now file the application afresh.

Jaipur trial court reserves judgement on Modi

27 Apr 2010, 1301 hrs IST,ET Bureau

JAIPUR: The city trial court, on Monday, reserved its judgement on a criminal complaint seeking police investigation into the alleged fraudulent purchase of ‘heritage haveli’ of Amber by Lalit Modi and his wife Minal Modi. After hearing counsels of both the parties, court reserved the judgement.

The court would either send the matter for investigation to police or would dismiss it.

Complainant and district president of Nagrik Morcha Jaipur division, Sandeep Bhatra, has alleged that government-owned heritage havelis situated in the protected area of Amber fort was sold to Modi and his wife at a throw away price.

“Modi used his clout in the then Vasundhara Raje government and purchased the havelis through a ‘bogus’ company – Heritage City Construction Pvt. Ltd – with the help of a few government official,” he alleged. The complainant argued that the company’s address mentioned in the registration papers is fake. He produced photograph of the company’s site mentioned documents.

“The address mentioned is, 125, Ashok Vihar extension, Ward no. 16, Sanganer, but there is no such office at the aforesaid address,” he said On the other hand, Modi’s counsel argued that the matter is already with the High Court.

LAGAL NEWS 26.04.2010

Activists welcome stay on mega-housing project in Goa
2010-04-23 22:30:00
Activists opposed to mega projects in Goa have welcomed the central environment ministry’s order keeping a massive DLF-backed housing project in the state in abeyance following a writ petition in the Panaji bench of the Bombay High Court.
The activists had earlier alleged that Chief Minister Digambar Kamat was responsible for the massive irregularities in granting permissions for the housing project which envisages 600 top-of-the-range homes in an ecologically sensitive area.
In a pressnote issued here, Goa Bachao Abhiyaan (GBA), an umbrella organisation representing more than a dozen planned development-oriented NGOs, has hailed the ministry order staying all constructions of the DLF promoted project, allegedly built illegally on a hill slope after felling hundreds of trees.
‘GBA and Save our Slopes have petitioned the government to institute an enquiry into the illegal permissions given under the ‘deemed’ clause and to fix responsibility and take punitive action against the erring officers,’ GBA convenor Sabina Martins said in the note.
The ministry’s order comes in the wake of a writ filed by Goa Foundation and Edwin Mascarenhas against Saravati Builders (executing the DLF project), in which the ministry is also a respondent.
In its order of April 15 (obtained by GBA earlier this week), Bharat Bhushan, director (impact assessment) in the ministry, said that issues raised in the writ petition relating to destruction of forest area and destruction of ecologically sensitive habitat were serious.
‘The above issues are important and require detailed re-examination of the project. In the meantime, you are directed not to proceed for the construction of the group housing project in the aforesaid plot, till a detailed examination of all issues raised in the writ petition are re-examined by the expert appraisal committee,’ the order stated, adding that environmental clearance given to the project Jan 11 this year have been kept in abeyance.
GBA earlier alleged that the role of Kamat – who is also the minister for town and country planning – in the DLF project was ‘full of suspicion, especially the manner in which permissions were given to DLF by his department’.
Kamat has dismissed these allegations, stating that he had done nothing wrong.

Indians on death row a mockery of justice: Amnesty International to UAE
PTI, Apr 24, 2010, 08.47pm IST
DUBAI: Describing the death sentence awarded to 17 Indians in UAE as a “mockery of justice,” leading rights watch Amnesty International has asked the country to probe allegations of torture and ensure a fair trial on appeal.

The Indian migrants, all from Punjab, were sentenced to death on March 29, three months after their arrest, after being convicted by a Sharjah Shariah court for killing a Pakistani national.

“This is a mockery of justice. These 17 men have been tortured, forced to confess, and sentenced to death based on a fake video,” Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement.

The convicts, aged between 21 and 25, have launched an appeal in an appellate court seeking a review of the death penalty. The case was regarding a fight, believed to be between rival gangs for control of an illegal alcohol business, in which a Pakistani died and three were injured.

The Indian government sought consular access to the Indians after the verdict was pronounced, following which the Indian embassy here assisted them in launching an appeal. Amnesty also said the men were held for months before the Indian government was notified of their arrest.

The Indians have alleged they were tortured and abused by police over nine days to make them ‘confess’ to the crime.

Amnesty cited the allegations of Indian NGO Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI) that they were “beaten with clubs, subjected to electric shocks, deprived of sleep and forced to stand on one leg for prolonged periods”.

“The authorities must investigate these reports of torture and ensure that the results are made public and those allegedly responsible are held to account,” said Sahraoui.

The LFHRI has also alleged that the conviction was based on a “fake video” filmed one month after the arrest, after the men were taken to the scene of the crime and “forced to re-enact it,” the statement said. The videotape was presented at the trial as genuine CCTV footage of the killing, the NGO has alleged.

Taking note of the allegations, Amnesty asked the UAE authorities to investigate the allegations of torture and ensure a fair trial on appeal.

“They must be protected from further torture and other ill-treatment, and any evidence obtained using such methods should not be used in court,” it said.

Govt wants to give final say to PM on CJI appointment
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Apr 25, 2010, 04.54am IST
NEW DELHI: The government has seen a devil in the existing Memorandum of Procedure (MoP) for appointment of the Chief Justice of India and has initiated the process to amend it and give the final say to the Prime Minister in tricky situations.

Since the executive had lost primacy in the appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and the high courts nearly 17 years ago, it is the senior-most judge of the Supreme Court who is appointed to the top post after the retirement of the CJI.

But, there is a catch. The process for appointment of the senior-most judge to the top judicial post can be initiated only after the incumbent CJI gives a recommendation saying he is eminently suitable for the job.

The government feels once the apex court’s constitution Bench had ruled that the senior-most judge would get elevated to the top post after the retirement of the incumbent CJI, there should not be any leverage given to the CJI for choosing his successor.

What happens if the CJI refuses to send any recommendation or sends a recommendation proposing the name of a judge junior to the senior-most judge? Should the appointment process for the CJI come to a standstill for this purpose?

Law ministry sources said that the government has already drafted the proposed change in the MoP that would empower the Prime Minister to step in such eventualities. If the CJI gives a recommendation proposing the name of a judge other than the senior-most judge of the SC or sends no recommendation, then the PM would advise the President to appoint the senior-most judge as the CJI.

The proposed change in the present MoP, which was drafted during the time when Ram Jethmalani was the law minister, would soon be discussed with the judiciary for clearance and implementation, the sources said.

HC pulls up MoEA for denying permission to sue Iranian embassy
The Delhi High Court has pulled up the External Affairs Ministry for denying permission to a person to file a case against Iranian embassy for not compensating him for illegally terminating his service.
“Union of India is directed to issue a letter to the petitioner within a period of four weeks permitting him to execute the decree dated 14th November 2007 (regarding payment of Rs 7.8 lakh compensation),” the court said, adding if the Centre fails to permit him then the petitioner can take legal action against Embassy without government approval.
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Ashraf Rizwi contending that the government did not grant him permission to pursue a case against the embassy despite the latter’s failure to comply with a district court order to pay him a compensation of Rs. 7,89,600.
A district court, in a decree on November 2007, had asked the Iranian embassy to pay the compensation along with nine per cent annual interest.
Mr. Rizwi, who worked with the Science and Education section of the embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran here since October 1, 1989 was allegedly terminated from services on May 15, 2002 through an oral communication without any reason.
He then approached the lower court which passed the order in his favour but the embassy refused to comply with the order. He then sought sanction from the Centre to take action against the embassy which was refused.
Aggrieved by the decision, Mr. Rizwi approached the High Court which admitted his plea saying, “It is difficult to appreciate the objection taken by the MoEA in this case.”
The court also imposed a cost of Rs. 5,000 on the Centre and asked it to pay the same to the petitioner.

HC allows blind student to appear in entrance test
Mumbai, Apr 24 (PTI) In a novel gesture, the Bombay High court has allowed a 17-year-old blind student to appear in an entrance test for admission into a physiotherapy course, although rules in Maharashtra do not permit physically and visually challenged persons to write the test.

Hearing a petition filed by Krutika, who was refused permission to appear in the Common Entrance Test (CET), Justices J N Patel and A P Bhangale allowed her to write the test to be held in the first week of May.

The Director of Medical Education opposed the petition saying the rules do not permit physically and visually challenged persons to write the test. He said 70 per cent handicapped is sufficient to consider such a person disabled.

Physiotherapy involves movement of limbs and muscles which is difficult for the blind and handicapped persons to practice, he said.

BCS, BJS Exam Candidates with Disabilities
HC order on writs April 25
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Staff Correspondent
The High Court (HC) will pass orders on April 25 on two writ petitions that sought directions from the court upon the government to allow the candidates with disabilities to sit for Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) and Bangladesh Judicial Service (BJS) examinations.
An HC bench of Justice Md Mamtaz Uddun Ahmed and Justice Naima Haider fixed the date after concluding the hearing on the petitions yesterday.
Four human rights organisations — Ain O Salish Kendra (ASK), Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST), Action on Disability and Development (ADD) and National Council of Disabled Women (NCDW) — and Swapan Chowkidar, a lawyer, and Ridwanul Hoque, a teacher of law faculty of Dhaka University, jointly filed the petitions on April 19.
The secretaries to the establishment, law, social welfare, and health ministries, Bangladesh Public Service Commission (BPSC) and its chairman and secretary and the controller of examinations (Cadre), the judicial service commission and its chairman and secretary, the director general of the directorate of health, and the national disability welfare coordination committee and its chairman and secretary have been made respondents to the petitions.
The petitioners prayed to the court to issue a rule upon the respondents to explain why the provisions of the Bangladesh Civil Service (Age, Qualification and Examinations for Direct Recruitment) Rules 1982 preventing the candidates with disabilities from appearing in the BCS and BJS examinations should not be declared unconstitutional.
Advocates Shahriar Shakir, Qazi Zahid Iqbal, Taufiqul Islam and Nusrat Jahan appeared for the petitioners, while Attorney General Mahbubey Alam represented the government.

HC issues notice to Narayan Rane
Nagpur, Apr 25 (PTI) The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court has issued a notice to Maharashtra Revenue Minister Narayan Rane for allegedly helping a city-based industrialist grabbing a plot of land illegally.

A single judge bench of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari responding to a writ petition, on Friday asked Rane along with Revenue Secretary, Forest Secretary and Managing partner of a local distillery company, Aspi Bapuna to reply to the notice within two weeks.

The Nagpur bench of the High Court also directed the state government not to implement any orders passed by the concerned minister related to the petition till pendency.

The petitioner Shailendra Sahu and his brother, who jointly own a Nazul land in Indora in northern part of city, had been alloted the land on lease by the then Central Province and Berar Government (CP & Berar) in March 1942.

The agreement was renewed till 2008.

Minimum punishment for murder by spurned man is lifer: Delhi HC
Sunday, April 25, 2010 11:15 IST
New Delhi: The killing of a woman by a man whose proposal she rejected would be treated as an offence not less than murder with the minimum punishment being life imprisonment, the Delhi high court has said.
The court refused the plea of a man who had submitted that he should be convicted for culpable homicide not amounting to murder as the offence was committed under emotion.
“If the argument is accepted it would mean that every male who has an infatuation for a female, on being spurned, would be entitled to kill the female under pain of a lesser offence i.e. the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder,” justice Pradeep Nandrajog said.
The minimum punishment for the offence of murder is life imprisonment and the maximum is death penalty while in case of culpable homicide not amounting to murder a person can be sent to any jail term up to life imprisonment.
“Repelling the overtures of an infatuated lover would not make out a case of Exception IV to Section 300 IPC (murder) being attracted. The concept of acting under the impulse of passion envisaged under the provision is premised on the passion and the impulse being preceded upon a sudden quarrel,” the court said.
The court passed the order on appeal filed by a man Ashok Kumar Kohli who had killed a woman he was in love with.
He had approached the High Court challenging the trial court’s order of convicting him for the offence of murder and sentenced him to undergo life imprisonment on the ground that he was overcome with emotion and acted in a fit of rage.
The court refused to grant him any relief and dismissed his appeal.

1 extra hr to dyslexic student to write AIEEE: HC rules
Express News Service
Posted: Sunday , Apr 25, 2010 at 0038 hrs Chandigarh:
In a first of its kind decision, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday directed the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to give extra time of one hour to a dyslexic student appearing in the All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE).
The exam will be conducted throughout the country on Sunday.
Also, the High Court has suggested that the CBSE and the Central Counselling Board (CCB) grant similar facilities to all such students appearing for the exam in the country.
After hearing a petition filed by Chandigarh resident Pranjay Jain, Justice Permod Kohli observed, “I direct that the petitioner should be provided one hour extra time in AIEEE for each paper. However, this permission shall remain subject to (the) outcome of the writ petition.”
Justice Kohli added: “Mr Harsh Aggarwal (counsel for CBSE) has expressed his concern about similarly situated persons, who are appearing in AIEEE throughout the country. In view of the matter, it may be observed that the CCB may consider granting similar facilities to all dyslexic students, who are appearing in AIEEE test.”
Jain, a dyslexic student, had moved HC, seeking extra time and permission to take a scribe along in the examination hall. The HC agreed to award extra time to the student but turned down the plea to have a scribe.
“Since it is an objective test, no scribe is required. However, in view of the disorder with which the petitioner is suffering, I am of the considered opinion that extra time as per the guidelines framed by the CBSE for 10+2 examination, should be given to the petitioner to provide him a fair opportunity to compete with other students, who don’t suffer from any such disability,” the court observed.
Initially, the petition was filed for the Class XII examinations. Subsequently, the HC had passed an order on March 2, 2010, directing the CBSE to provide a scribe and extra time to the petitioner.
After the exams, the petitioner again approached the High Court, seeking similar relaxations for AIEEE.
The CBSE had raised various objections to the petition. One of them was that since AIEEE was a competitive exam in which thousands of students appear, the petitioner could not be given advantage over others.
In response, the court observed, “Suffice it to say that even 10+2 examination is a competitive examination and so is the position with every examination.”

Dome to be heritage site: Gujarat HC
Nikunj Soni / DNA
Sunday, April 25, 2010 9:33 IST
Ahmedabad: Justice MR Shah of the Gujarat high court has directed Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) to preserve the historic Calico dome by restructuring it in its original design within a year.
The court also pointed out that the civic body cannot use this historic memorial for any other purpose.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by the AMC seeking permission to purchase the structure from the official liquidator of the Calico Mill. The official liquidator was looking after the assets of the closed mill.
The court issued many directives to preserve the Calico dome in its original form by allowing its purchase by the civic body for Rs30 lakh. The dome, which is situated on the Relief Road is in bad shape and is included in the list of heritage structures of the city.
This nearly 12-metre-wide structure formed a segmental dome, anchored at the edges, crowning over the steel tube space frame over the part-buried Calico mill shop. Built in 1962, the structure remained the epitome of the glory of textile mills .
The official liquidator insisted on selling the structure according to market price. The state government had valued it at Rs1.20 crore. However, thecourt accepted the AMC’s argument that the value of the heritage structure can’t be evaluated as per market pricing.

Tamil to be Supreme Court language, hopes Karunanidhi
2010-04-25 16:30:00
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Sunday hoped Tamil will be one of the Supreme Court languages in the future and as a first step it should be accepted in the Madras High Court.
Speaking at the unveiling of B.R. Ambedkar’s statue in the Madras High Court premises, he said: ‘Tamil language should resonate in the precincts of the Supreme Court. As a first step, Tamil should be the high court language here for which the judges should take necessary steps.’
He said the DMK government does not lag behind any other government in following the ideals of Ambedkar regardless of the opposition.
Referring to the petition submitted by Madras High Court Advocates Association President R.C. Paul Kanakaraj for 10 acre ground for setting up a medical trust to render medical assistance for advocates, he said a decision will be taken after consulting with the state officials.
Unveiling the statue, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said: ‘In all the courts across the country, cases are pending for several years. Setting up of more courts and appointing more judges is the only way to settle the pending cases.’
The Chief Justice of Madras High Court H.L. Gokhale said the lawyers should assist in the smooth functioning of the court.
He said the judges cite Ambedkar’s philosophies in their judgments. It is the duty of the lawyers and judiciary to uphold the Indian constitution framed by Ambedkar.
The function witnessed some tense moments with a section of lawyers waving black flags and shouting slogans against Karunanidhi demanding action against police officials for last year’s clash in the high court premises.

Bombay HC asks Maharashtra govt about steps to avert fresh terror attacks
Sunday, April 25, 2010 14:03 IST
Yavatmal: A Nagpur bench of Bombay high court in a notice to state government has sought the steps it proposes to prevent fresh terror attacks in the state.
The division bench comprising justice JN Patel and justice BR Gavai hearing a criminal petition filed by one Digambar Pajgade proposing various measures to avert terror attacks, issued notices to state and senior officials asking them to reply in six weeks time. The matter would come up for hearing on May 6.
Pajgade has filed a criminal PIL on July 16, 2009 with a plea to order the state government to take preventive measures to avert fresh terrorists’ attacks on public institutions and properties in Mumbai and other parts of the state.
He has also suggested a number of effective measures to be considered by the state government through his plea.

Wanted: A Board of Control to Control the BCCI
R Krishna
Sunday, April 25, 2010 2:53 IST
In 2000, Rahul Mehra, a lawyer and cricket lover, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), demanding transparency and accountability in the way cricket is run in the country. The BCCI responded by arguing that it was a private society and that the Indian team was not a national side, but one picked by the BCCI. And therefore it couldn’t be subjected to a PIL of any sort. The court quashed this contention, thus establishing that the BCCI is indeed answerable to the public.
Ten years later, the BCCI is embroiled in what is perhaps the biggest controversy in its history, and it is facing many uncomfortable questions: Why was one man given so much power to run a lucrative league such as the IPL? Why aren’t rules, rather than the whims of an individual, governing important processes such as franchisee auctioning? What prevented others in the BCCI from taking action?
In an interview with The Mag, Mehra says that we need to take a hard look at the way office-bearers are elected in the BCCI and the state associations that come under it. But the reforms won’t come from within the BCCI; the government has to step in to clean up the act, says Mehra. Excerpts:
Is there a conflict of interest between those running the IPL and those participating in it?
N Srinivasan was a treasurer when Sharad Pawar was the BCCI president. When Shashank Manohar took over as president, Srinivasan became the honorary secretary of BCCI. So you are the honorary secretary of the parent body of IPL. You are also the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association. You also happen to occupy a position in the governing council of IPL — which is a sub-committee of the BCCI and takes all decisions regarding the governing of IPL. And then you are a stake-holder in Chennai Super Kings. Any of your decisions — be it as the secretary of the BCCI or the governing council member of IPL — can have a direct impact on Chennai Super Kings. Can there be a clearer case of conflict of interest than this?
Clearly, the administration needs reforms. But how can such reforms be carried out?
Nobody (within the BCCI) will carry it out because they have their vested interests. It has to be an outside agency. It has to be the sports ministry because the BCCI is performing a public function. The government should say we will derecognise you if you don’t toe our line. They could say that we will take away your right to select Team India. The point is that there has to be political will at the Centre, because obviously this is not going to come from within the BCCI.
The government only acts when there is a hue and cry. The ongoing investigations are highly motivated, but it is still good for the general public. At least something is happening now, which otherwise wouldn’t have.
Do elections at state-level associations also need reforms?
At the local level, the key question is, what kind of electorate do you have? The problem is that you cannot do much about the current electorate since it’s the legacy of the past. But surely, in future, you can ensure that only sportsmen get voting rights. Ultimately, these are not social clubs. These are sporting clubs.
In most associations, you see that there is one individual who has ruled the roost for 30-40 years, and ensured that his cronies, drivers, cooks, peons, relatives and close friends were inducted as members. Since they happen to be in a majority as members (of the association), time and again, the same person keeps coming back to power.
Instead, the BCCI should lay out guidelines whereby, while you might have anyone as a member, voting rights are given only to district-, state-, and international-level players.After all, the office-bearers will be looking at sporting requirements and some relative [of an office-bearer] who has no knowledge about the game is not the ideal person to elect the office-bearers of the association.
When I did my research in 2000, I found that in state associations, not even 5 per cent of the electorate are people who have played cricket in their life. If you don’t understand the technicalities and nuances of the game, how can you elect the right person? That’s why there is so much politics, backbiting and all the dirt that’s coming out now.
For example, Narendra Modi might be a great administrator and a great chief minister, but what are his credentials to come into cricket? Overnight, one saw him catapulted into the central politics of the BCCI because the Gujarat Cricket Association elected him as the president. How can that happen? There has to be some work that you’ve done at the grassroots, some credentials — apart from being a state or national-level leader — for you to be able to run a sports body.
What about the current manner of electing the top functionaries of the BCCI?
First of all, there should be a standardised way of registering a member association. There are some member associations of the BCCI which are registered under the Societies Registration Act. Others, like the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA), are registered under the Companies Act. The BCCI should standardise this — member associations should all be registered under the Societies Registration Act or under the Companies Act.
In a body registered under the Societies Registration Act, you can’t vote by proxy. But in a body registered under the Companies Act, proxy voting is allowed.
This aspect is critical because in the proxy system, there are proxy forms that can be filled and misused in certain ways. However, in an organisation registered under the Societies Registration Act, there is no proxy system and voters have to be present at the time of voting. The key, however, is that voting has to be by secret ballot. Most of the time, we see that there is no polling officer and no fixed agenda. An independent person is not present to monitor the election process. There are only people who are motivated to see one side win. So power, money, muscle all come into play.
To clean things up, you should have an independent returning officer. You need to have a very honourable person — say, a jurist —and request him to conduct the election. There are around 30 state associations, apart from one or two organisations like the Railways which are members of the BCCI. All of them have a single vote (to elect the BCCI office-bearers).
Generally, a single member association sends two representatives to the BCCI at the time of election. So who is going to cast the vote eventually? That is decided by the BCCI. And who decides (within the BCCI)?
The incumbent office-bearer decides who will be voting in the subsequent election. So there is a clear conflict of interest. I believe every election should be telecast on TV. If you can’t do that, at least have it video-recorded. Every minute of the election should be on tape. This is the standard practice anywhere.
What will it take to clean this up?
To clear the current mess and in the larger interest of the game, I do feel there should be a regulatory body. The form of the regulatory body could be debated. It could be government-run or it could consist of distinguished people from society. But clearly, the regulation is never going to come from within the BCCI.
How can we ensure there is no cartelisation among the IPL franchisees?
By being fair and transparent. For instance, the moment the auctioning became transparent, teams like Kochi came on board. Otherwise there would only have been a cartel. A larger point here is that if the prime minister of India or the state chief minister falls under the RTI, why not a public body like the BCCI? If you go by the law, you have to be a government body or have to be substantially funded by the state (to fall under the purview of the RTI). Now the BCCI can say that it isn’t funded by the State. But this can actually be challenged, saying that they are given exemptions worth thousands of crores in the form of stadium costs, that they are offered thousands of crores worth of security for every game, that they are being allowed to use the name ‘India’ etc. You can really come down hard on them.
Recently, one of the IPL franchise owners suggested on a TV channel that since the franchisees are the ones putting in the money, they should run the IPL. What is wrong with that idea?
This is nonsense. If these eight or ten people are allowed to run the IPL, then what is the requirement of the BCCI? The BCCI has been given de-facto recognition by the government of India to run the game of cricket on its behalf. To now say that the franchisees are pumping in money and therefore should be allowed to govern and choose a leader amongst themselves would sound the death knell of a tournament like the IPL. Right now we are already debating whether these matches have been betted on and fixed, but these eight people may well decide amongst themselves which team should win each year. That would be a joke of sorts. Every year they will keep siphoning off money for themselves and keep showing losses and diverting funds overseas. Who will stop that? Unless and until there is aa watchdog — a role which BCCI should have assumed and which it didn’t — you can’t allow corporate entities a free run.

Who is to blame for the current controversy?
The fault lies mainly with the watchdog. If Lalit Modi was doing what he is alleged to have done, what were the BCCI, and the IPL governing council members, including independent watchdogs like Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, and MAK Pataudi, doing? Why were they giving their assent to every document or decision taken by Lalit Modi? Weren’t they supposed to look into all the documents? They have lawyers on the governing council. The BCCI president himself is a senior lawyer in Nagpur. You don’t get bigger names than these. What were these people doing there? The fault lies with BCCI, not just Lalit Modi. Modi was allowed to have a free run. The real fault lies with people who let him have the free run.

Support legal aid programme: CJI
Staff Reporter
The Chief Justice of India, Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, on Sunday called upon the stakeholders in judicial system to extend whole-hearted support to the para-legal and legal aid training programme conceived by the National Legal Services Authority.
Launching the nation-wide training programme at the Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur, the Chief Justice said the programme was launched with the objective of ensuring access to justice for the marginalised sections.
Noting that conduct of ‘lok adalats’ and provision of legal services to the poor and needy through the NLSA and State-level LSAs had not brought in the desired results in terms of providing speedy justice, Mr. Balakrishnan said mass mobilisation of individuals with the inclination and capability to provide legal assistance to the poor and needy would help prevent legal disputes.
“It will be easy to prevent legal disputes if awareness of legal rights and laws is created among the general public. The large number of youth to be roped in as para-legal service providers will help achieve this objective”, he added. The training aims at identifying committed individuals as para-legal volunteers at district and taluk levels and equip them with knowledge and skills to act as intermediates between the people and legal service institutions at Central, State, district and taluk-levels.
Union Law Minister M. Veerapa Moily said the objective of the judicial system was to render justice to everyone, even the one last in the row. At the same time, the Union Minister said that protracted litigations were hiccups in the system.
“When I was Chief Minister of Karnataka, I found that several litigations over land acquisition blocked the implementation of Hassan irrigation project, an 18-year dream of ryots in that region. Subsequently, all litigations were cleared within a short period and the project was completed successfully to provide irrigation for 20 lakh acres since I felt justice denied to water is justice denied to everyone”, he added.
The blueprint for the National Legal Mission has been prepared, Mr. Moily said, and the Ministry was engaged in evolving the second generation legal education system. “Hitherto, a lower-level judicial officer was able to reach up to the district or State-level judicial position only. Efforts are being made to change the legal education system so as to help legal officers entering at the lower-level of the system reach higher positions,” he said.
Outlining the programme, the Chairman, National Consultation for Para Legal Training and Legal Aid Activities and Supreme Court Judge, P. Sathasivam said 400 out of 6400 blocks in the country would be covered under the programme initially. About 1000 members from NSS, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sankatan etc. would be trained at RGNIYD in association with Indira Gandhi National Open University, which is offering diploma course in para-legal services.
Chief Justice of Madras High Court H. L. Gokhale, Madras High Court judge E. Dharma Rao, Vice-Chancellor of the IGNOU V. N. Rajasekharan Pillai, vice-president, RGNIYD, C.R.Kesavan, director, RGNIYD, P.Michael Vetha Siromony and others participated in the function.
Later speaking to reporters, the Union Law Minister said the impasse relating to the new posting for former Karnataka Chief Justice P. D. Dinakaran would have to be dealt with by the judiciary.
When asked whether the introduction of para-legal services in Indian legal system could be construed as a preliminary step to open up the Indian legal education system to foreign universities, Mr. Moily replied in the negative and said that it was an effort to raise the legal education system to international standards.

More courts, judges needed to reduce pendency of cases: CJI
Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan on Sunday said that in view of the increase in number of cases, the country needed more courts and judges to reduce the pendency.
“Our problem is large number of cases. Unless the number of judges and courts increase there is no other way to reduce pendency,” Justice Balakrishnan said.
“Tamil Nadu had good number of judges and pendency of cases in the Madras High Court has been reduced by 30,000 within a short time,” he said.
According to him, the public would have more confidence in the judiciary only if the pendency was reduced. “Like any public institution, quality of justice delivery also depends on the trust and confidence of large public,” he said.
After unveiling a statue of B R Ambedkar in the high court premises, he said, “It is apt tribute to Ambedkar’s life and contributions (to society).”
“Despite many constitutional democracies withering away in recent times, Indian democracy stood firm because of a strong Constitution.”
Noting that the judiciary was conscious of gender equality, Justice Balakrishnan, who retires next month, said “We have upheld laws protecting it.”
Union Law Minister Veerappa Moily said the UPA government was striving to realise the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi, former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Ambedkar.
Describing Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, whose party the DMK is a UPA constituent, as a ‘pillar of strength’ for the government, he sought his support on reservation policy and ‘gender justice’.
“We require some more support (from you). We are all for equality of justice including reservation policy and gender justice. Even now there are personal laws which are gender biased. However, we recently brought in two to three laws that are gender neutral,” Mr. Moily said.
“I think it (gender justice) should enter all courts…only then our justice system can be perfect. He (Ambedkar) understood the meaning. It is left to you (judges) to interpret it,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi was also present at the function.

Violence mars CM’s function at Madras HC
A Subramani, TNN, Apr 26, 2010, 03.10am IST
CHENNAI: Violence returned to haunt the Madras High Court campus on Sunday as attacks on journalists and black flag demonstrations marred chief minister M Karunanidhi’s participation in a function to unveil Dr BR Ambedkar’s statue.

The CM was visiting the court premises for the first time after the violence on the campus on February 19, 2009 when lawyers and policemen clashed.

The protest started when some advocates sprang to their feet soon after Karunanidhi commenced his speech. Even as they were waving black flags and shouting slogans, an unidentified group flung chairs at them, resulting in a fight. Camerapersons were also targeted. At least two video cameras were snatched and smashed by the rampaging mob.

Karunanidhi continued his speech amidst the melee, saying he would not be deterred by such indecent interference. He said he bore no ill-will against advocates or police and went on to promise a hike in the ex-gratia paid in the event of the death of a lawyer from a public welfare fund.

Parab must show up in court, police to tell HC
TNN, Apr 26, 2010, 03.52am IST
PANAJI: With no clue of constable Sanjay Parab’s whereabouts, crime branch has decided to insist that he remains present in the high court of Bombay at Goa, which will hear Parab’s anticipatory bail application on Monday.

“We will insist that Parab should be present in court. We are also looking into the legal aspects of the matter before declaring him an absconder,” said police sources.

Incidentally, the police took more than a month to arrive at this decision. “A month back, Parab had filed an anticipatory bail application and the case got transferred from one court to another. But, the police didn’t file any application in the court to ensure that the accused would be present in the courtroom”, said sources.

Despite issuing a look-out notice against Parab, police couldn’t trace the constable, who is wanted by the crime branch for his alleged nexus with Israeli drug dealer Atala. He is absconding from the time a police inspector and four constables were arrested for their alleged nexus with the drug dealer.

Parab has been booked under Section 59 (b) of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, which deals with a government officer’s connivance or wilful aid that results in the contravention of any provision of the NDPS Act. He is also booked for offences under Section 120 (b) of IPC, Sections 11 and 12 of Prevention of Corruption Act, and Sections 28, 29, 30 and 59 (b) of the NDPS Act.

After the arrest of the five policemen involved in the case, searches were on to trace Parab, who after being suspended, had failed to report to the Goa Reserve Police on a daily basis. Incidentally, unlike the five policemen arrested, Parab has never worked in the Anti Narcotics Cell.

Ensure environment audit reports don’t gather dust: Gujarat HC

Press Trust Of India / Ahmedabad April 26, 2010, 0:42 IST
The Gujarat High Court has directed the state pollution control board to ensure that environment audit reports are put to meaningful use to control pollution in the state. A division bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi issued the directives while dismissing a petition of Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers Association which sought scraping of the environmental audit for industries manufacturing specified products, last week.
“Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) is directed to take all necessary follow up steps on the basis of (environmental) audit reports to control environmental pollution,” the court said in the order. “GPCB shall also ensure that the data collected through such audit reports does not collect dust in the archives of its office but is put to meaningful use for understanding the environmental impact,” the court added.

The audit scheme was finalised by the High Court in 1996 after it received several petitions on rising pollution. The court had then asked GPCB as well as the state government to protect the natural resources. The court said the environmental audit is required to make the industry realise the impact of its activity. The petitioner, Gujarat Dyestuff Manufacturers Association, had contended that no useful purpose was being served by filing environmental reports as the GPCB had not put the said data collected to any effective use.
The association also pointed out that the environmental audit scheme was framed when industrial pollution was at its peak, but now most of the polluting industries have been brought under control. The association said its members are mainly small scale industries and they should not be burdened with providing environmental audit every year which involves huge cost.
But, the Court directed GPCB to continue with the environmental audit scheme, given that an agency like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) has recommended that the scheme followed in Gujarat should be replicated across the country.

Petition seeks stay on declaring IIT entrance result
2010-04-26 15:30:00
Citing an error, a non-government organisation (NGO) has approached the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on the publication of the result of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exam held April 11.
The petition has also sought a fresh entrance test. It is likely to come up in court Tuesday.
Raising the issue of an error in the instructions for examinees who took the IIT joint entrance examination (IIT-JEE) in Hindi, the NGO filed the public interest litigation (PIL) Saturday.
‘In the interest of justice, the court may pass an interim order or stay directing the respondent (IIT) not to announce the result in the meantime, till the pendency of the writ petition,’ the PIL said.
‘Due to the error, students who took the entrance exam in Hindi suffered a blow in more than one way,’ M. Shakeel Khan, counsel for the NGO told IANS.
Chairman of the IIT-JEE, T.S. Natarajan has denied any plan to re-conduct the entrance examination.
‘There is no need for re-conducting the examination. For the Hindi question paper problem, corrective measure will be decided in a committee meeting and it will be shared with people,’ Natarajan told IANS over phone.
He also added that the results will be declared as per schedule.
Anand Kumar, director-cum-founder of Bihar-based Super 30 coaching centre for the economically poor, has favoured a fresh exam.
‘The IIT must re-conduct the entrance examination as the problem in the question paper is very serious and meeting of the directors of the IITs held on Sunday also could not find any concrete solution,’ Anand told IANS over phone.

No place for half measures
Pankaj Vohra, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, April 25, 2010
The government appears to be in a dilemma over whether to order a probe into the functioning of the Indian Premier League (IPL) by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) or allow its agencies to investigate the matter that could have wide-ranging political ramifications.
The controversy seems to be leading to a situation where the IPL may make way for a PIL (public interest litigation) given the amount of money that has allegedly changed hands illegally in the name of cricket.
It is only a matter of time before the apex court will have to step in if the credibility of the system has to be restored in the eyes of the people who have been under the spell of the IPL for over a month now.
In the eye of the storm is the IPL tsar Lalit Modi whose alleged murky dealings may open a Pandora’s box that could jeopardise the political future of many top politicians. Shashi Tharoor, the former minister of state for external affairs, has already fallen by the wayside and no one knows who may follow suit.
The entire IPL circus has turned out to be the biggest scam of our times and could expose the ugly nexus among tax evaders, film stars, politicians, cricketers, corporate giants and the underworld. The IPL has also cast a shadow on its parent body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that has as its members senior politicians from the NCP, the BJP and the Congress besides some smaller parties. Designed to help develop cricket, the League has got entangled in allegations of gambling, prostitution, match-fixing, money-laundering and tax evasion.
The most difficult problem before the government is that there is no one who is willing to believe that Lalit Modi acted on his own and without the patronage of those in the BCCI in general and the IPL Governing Council in particular. Therefore, for their own sake, in order to absolve themselves of any taint, each member of the IPL Governing Council as well as top cricket bosses would do well if they voluntarily subject themselves to scrutiny by government agencies.
The problem before the government is that a JPC probe may not yield the whole truth, as members of parties associated with those under the scanner are likely to be viewed with suspicion. The JPC will be expected to investigate even those in the government, a task that could lead to the souring of relations between, say, the Congress and the NCP at one level and the Congress and the National Conference on the other. This could have a huge impact on the governments in Maharashtra, J&K and the Centre. The JPC could also prove inconvenient for the BJP, the principal opposition party, since some of its top leaders are seen as those who helped Modi at some stage or have been associated with the conduct of the games.
As people watch the unfolding developments, the government and Parliament’s credibility will take a beating if nothing comes of the probe and the accused get off scot-free. Therefore, if the JPC is approved, its members should be those who have no stakes in cricket and who have a clean public image.
If the apex court gets involved through a PIL or through a presidential reference, the independent probe committee should comprise eminent people who should give their report within a specified period of a month or 45 days. The IPL chapter appears to be the most unfortunate one in the country’s sporting history. It raises questions about the involvement of politicians in cricket administration. The guilty should be brought to book. The probe should not lead to a situation where it undermines the credibility of the government and Parliament in the eyes of the people.

12 ‘expert’ MLCs aren’t experts: PIL
Mayura Janwalkar / DNA
Monday, April 26, 2010 0:23 IST
Mumbai: Twelve members of legislative council (MLC) appointed by the state government as “experts” do not actually fit the bill, states a public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the Bombay high court. After hearing the PIL, chief justice Anil Dave and justice SC Dharmadhikari have issued a notice to the government and sought a reply within four weeks.
The PIL filed by Birudeo Lavate and Sunil Kate, social acitivists from Sangola, said the appointment of the MLCs is politically motivated and has deprived deserving candidates of their right.
The petition stated that under clauses of article 171 of the constitution, the governor of a state has the power to appoint members to the legislative council who have “special knowledge or practical experience in respect of literature, science, art, co-operative movements and social services”.
However, the 12 MLCs appointed by the governor in 2008, are not experts as prescribed in the relevant clause of the constitution, said Machhindra Patil, advocate for the petitioners. Patil added that in an application filed under the Right to Information Act, under secretary RG Salvi had replied stating that information regarding the expertise possessed by these 12 MLAs was “not available”.

IPL PIL: HC asks Maha govt to file reply by May 5–HC-asks-Maha-govt-to-file-reply-by-May-5
Mumbai, Apr 26 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today asked the Maharashtra Government whether there was any code of conduct for Chief Minister or any other minister who is taking part in the activities of sport bodies such as BCCI.

The court asked whether any conflict of interest arises if a minister holds a post in a sports organisation.

The government was also asked to clarify whether it has decided to levy entertainment tax on the IPL tournament.

The court has asked the government to file its reply by May 5.

The court’s direction came in response to a PIL filed by Subhash Desai, Shiv Sena MLA, alleging that the government had decided to levy entertainment tax but did not implement it.

SC holds expulsion of former Punjab CM
Monday, April 26, 2010, 12:35 [IST]
New Delhi, Apr 26: Terming it as unconstitutional, the Supreme Court on Monday, Apr 26, quashed the expulsion of former Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh from the State Assembly.
A five-judge constitution bench led by chief justice KG Balakrishnan directed the immediate restoration of Amarinder Singh’s membership to the present assembly.

Singh was thrown out of the House on Sep 3, 2008, for ‘breach of privilege’ following the passing of a resolution based on a report of a special committee appointed by the Punjab Assembly on the alleged irregularities.

The report concluded that the former Chief Minister has granted illegal exemption to certain developers which has resulted in a loss worth over several crores of rupees to the exchequer.

The scam relates to grant of exemption on 32.5 acres of land in a prime area by Singh as the Chief Minister to certain land developers allegedly in violation of the rules.

During his tenure as the Chief Minister, Singh is said to have granted an exemption on 32.5 acres of land in a prime area to certain land developers, which was allegedly in violation of the rules.

OneIndia News

Govt confesses Justice Sabharwal not considered for NHRC post
Union government has confessed that former chief justice Y K Sabharwal was not made chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a post where appointee has to be a former CJI of India, because he was not considered fit for the post


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 10:39:16 IST

THE UNION government has confessed that formers chief justice of India (CJI) Y K Sabharwal was not made chairperson of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a post where an appointee has to be a former Chief Justice of India, because he was not considered fit to become NHRC chairperson. It is unfortunate that a person, who was not considered fit even for post of NHRC chairperson, headed Indian judiciary by virtue of seniority amongst Supreme Court judges.

Non-transparent appointment-system in higher judiciary has sparked many controversies where even the then Chief Justice of Delhi AP Shah cited injustice to him in denying him elevation to Apex Court. Appointment-system for higher judiciary including for Chief Justice of India should be modified so that controversies in appointments may not emerge, and a non-deserving person may not become Chief Justice of India just by virtue of seniority.

Aarushi murder: Accused file complaint with NHRC alleging torture by CBI
IANS, Mar 12, 2010, 03.30pm IST
NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), approached by counsel of the accused in the Aarushi murder case alleging torture by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), said they “may or may not” take a view on the case.

“The commission will take its due course of time to take a decision on the complaint. Since the case is already in the court, the commission may or may not take a view on the case,” an official of NHRC said.

According to the official, Naresh Kumar Yadav, counsel for accused Rajkumar and Vijay Mandal, filed a complaint to the NHRC on Thursday alleging torture by the CBI while conducting the narco-analysis tests.

“Yadav said that the way in which the narco-analysis tests were conducted by the CBI on the accused, it seemed that there was an effort to put words in their mouth by the officers. The investigations, he said, were conducted in an inhuman manner by the team of doctors that made them go through physical and mental torture,” the NHRC official said.

The counsel added that he filed the complaint after a TV news channel aired footage of the narco-tests.

“The counsel has asked the commission for a fair enquiry and to take action against the CBI officers who conducted the investigation and the doctors. He has also asked for compensation (for) his clients,” the official added.

Teenager Aarushi Talwar was found murdered at her home in Noida on the outskirts of Delhi in May 2008. The family’s domestic help Hemraj, who was initially suspected, was himself found killed the next day.

Dumped foetuses: NCW asks govt to submit report
Express News Service
Posted: Sunday , Apr 25, 2010 at 0126 hrs Ahmedabad:
National Commission of Women (NCW) chairperson Girija Vyas on Saturday asked the state government to submit a report on the finding of 14 foetuses near Bapunagar in Ahmedabad. Vyas was in Gujarat to meet officials from the Women and Child Welfare Department.
Vyas said, “The commission is also concerned about low rate of conviction in cases registered under the PC-PNDT (Pre-Conceived and Pre-Natal Diagnostic Technique) Act.” She further said, “In Gujarat, around 68 cases were registered over the last few years but there has been conviction in only one case while 14 are pending.”
Vyas also said that there was a need to create awareness about saving the girl child as the current sex ratio is quite skewed. She said there is not a single state where the number of girls is higher than that of boys.
The sex ratio in Gujarat stands at 1000:878, Himachal Pradesh 1000:820 and Chhatisgarh 1000:845 against the all India Ratio of 1000:927. Vyas asked the state government to have more programs such as “Save the Girlchild”.
“We have asked the state governments to launch more awareness programmes regarding women empowerment and implement the laws effectively,” said Vyas.
Meanwhile, the police are still waiting for the FSL report in the case. According to police, the FSL is conducting a DNA test of the foetuses and the final report is expected to take some more time.

CAT to Delhi Police: Use caution while cancelling candidature
Sunday, April 25, 2010 10:53 IST
New Delhi: The Central Administrative Tribunal has advised Delhi Police to exercise its power with caution in cancelling the candidature of provisionally selected candidates on the ground of their involvement in past criminal cases.
“There is a need for extreme caution… so that the quasi judicial authorities do not overstep their legitimate domain and give a finding over and above the findings recorded by a trial court,” the Tribunal, comprising Members Shanker Raju and Veena Chhotray, said.
It cautioned Delhi Police against over-reaching the judicial findings as it needed careful consideration before denying appointment to a personnel.
“What is required is a very thorough consideration of all the attending circumstances of the case while carefully guarding the thin line of remaining within the legitimate domain and not overreaching the judicial findings. Arriving at hasty conclusions on isolated facts is also to be cautioned against,” the Tribunal said.
It was hearing a plea of a provisionally selected constable Mahesh Dahiya, whose candidature was cancelled by the Delhi Police over his alleged involvement in a criminal case related to kidnapping.
Though no charge was proved by the prosecution against Dahiya, the Delhi Police decided not to appoint him citing his premeditated tendency of crime and his disrespect for law, the Tribunal noted.
“The Delhi Police have a right to verify the character and antecedents of Dahiya before issuing the final appointment order, and mere acquittal in the criminal case would not entail a claim for suo-motu appointment,” it said.
Citing several decisions of the apex court over the issue, the police had contended that what would be relevant was the conduct and character of the candidate to be appointed to a service and not the actual result in the criminal case.
It had said the decision regarding cancellation has been taken after a very careful consideration by a high powered screening committee constituted by the police commissioner.
Dahiya had submitted that once a person was acquitted, the stigma from the criminal case was also obliterated. He claimed that the police had exceeded its jurisdiction in cancelling his candidature after he was acquitted by the court.
The Tribunal, however, refused relief to Dahiya as it found no justification to interfere with the decision of Delhi Police cancelling his candidature.

LEGAL NEWS 24.04.2010

PIL seeks CBI probe into IPL financial dealings

PTI, Apr 23, 2010, 07.26pm IST

BANGALORE: A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered issue of notices to the Centre, Karnataka government and other respondents on a PIL filed seeking an iquiry into alleged betting, match-fixing, money laundering in the IPL.

The petitioner, S Vasudev, an advocate, also prayed for a direction to the Director, CBI, to investigate the financial dealings of both the Commissioner of IPL and the Secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.

Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice Mohan Shantanagoudar comprising the division bench, ordered issue of notices to the Union of India, State of Karnataka and other respondents and adjourned further hearing of the case.

According to the petitioner, there has been large scale violations in the money involved in the tournament conducted by the IPL. The petitioner further submitted that there have been instances of match-fixing and betting in the matches.

‘Govt considering restoring anticipatory bail provision’

TNN, Apr 23, 2010, 04.40am IST

LUCKNOW: UP advocate general Jyotindra Mishra on Thursday apprised the High Court that the state government is actively considering to restore anticipatory bail provision in the state with certain conditions. He sought some time from the court so that the state government may be able to take a final decision on the matter and intimate the court thereof.

As the above statement came from the state government, a division bench headed by the acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala postponed the hearing till May 10.

The advocate general assisted by chief standing counsel (CSC) Devendra Upadhyay on Thursday told the bench that after recommendation of the HC long back, the state government had constituted a high powered committee. The committee considered the aspects of restoration of the anticipatory bail provision and recommended for its implementation in UP. The committee, however, expressed certain reservations that while reviving the anticipatory bail provision, certain conditions should also be imposed.

A PIL has sought invocation of anticipatory bail as the state government had put it on hold by a legislation in 1976. Seeking enforcement of the provision, the PIL counsel Ashok Pandey stressed for implementation of recommendations of Supreme Court, Allahabad High Court and Law Commission in favour of anticipatory bail as contained in section 438 CrPC.

BEST cancels Santa Cruz depot deal

Nauzer K Bharucha, TNN, Apr 23, 2010, 03.04am IST

MUMBAI: A day after chief minister Ashok Chavan announced an inquiry into the Santa Cruz bus depot land sale to Indiabulls, the BEST Undertaking on Thursday cancelled the transaction. TOI has learnt that termination letters were issued on Thursday morning to all the four developers who participated in the auction on April 8.

This brings to an end the controversy over the BEST’s decision to hand over the three-acre plot to the highest bidder, Indiabulls, for a “throwaway’’ price of Rs 50 crore. TOI had carried a series of reports over the past few days, exposing how the reserve price of Rs 369 crore mentioned in the tender document was suddenly scrapped two weeks before the bids were to be opened.

Indiabulls’ offer was 86% lower than the reserve price. Indiabulls and BEST both claimed that the price offered was high enough, considering the limited development potential of the plot. The BEST Workers’ Union, who described it is an “obvious scam’’, is all set to file a PIL against this land deal in the Bombay HC on Friday..
The termination letters merely mentioned that “due to administrative reasons, the said contract of redevelopment of the Santa Cruz property stands cancelled’’. The earnest money deposit will be returned by the BEST to the bidders within a few days. However, senior officials of some of these construction companies claimed they had not received any termination letter. “We have not received anything or heard from the BEST on this,’’ said an SMS sent to TOI by Indiabulls CEO Vipul Bansal.

The letters were issued following a directive by BEST GM Uttam Khobragade before he left for Delhi on Wednesday afternoon. Sources in the CM’s office had earlier told this newspaper that the process of scrutinising the tender documents and other relevant papers was already underway. “The CM has taken a very serious view of this,’’ they said.

Early this week, the CM had told TOI that the transaction “sounds suspicious’’ and that he would get to the bottom of this controversy. When Chavan finally ordered the inquiry, the BEST administration decided that it was no longer prudent to go ahead with processing the acceptance of Indiabulls’ bid. Government officials also indicated that Khobragade was expected to get his transfer orders soon as he had already completed his three-year tenure in the BEST last year.

Even after the controversy broke out, BEST tried to justify to the state government the price paid by Indiabulls. In a five-page note submitted to the CM’s office on Tuesday and accessed by this newspaper, the BEST administration claimed that “the reserve rate worked by us, appeared to be on higher side and therefore, as directed by GM (Khobragade), the condition in respect of participation in auction process was revised by allowing all responsive bidders to participate irrespective of the rate of non-refundable premium offered by them’’.

Shiv Sena Leader filed PIL seeking levy of entertainment tax on IPL

Apr 23, 2010

The Indian Premier League organisers could now face a public interest litigation (PIL) over payment of entertainment tax in Maharashtra. Senior Shiv Sena leader and MLA, Mr Subhash Desai, has filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court, seeking such a levy on the cricketing event. The Board of Control for Cricket in India; the Commissioner of the IPL, Mr Lalit Modi, and the Maharashtra Government are the respondents in his petition.

Mr Desai has said that at least Rs 15 crore could be recovered from the organisers as taxes. He told reporters at the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday that IPL matches were only entertainment with Bollywood stars, cheerleaders and an “occasional game of cricket”. Hence, the matches should not be exempted from entertainment tax, he said. “Maharashtra’s finances are under tremendous strain and even Rs 15 crore can be used for development work,” Mr Desai added.

When States such as Punjab and New Delhi levy entertainment tax, there was no reason for Maharashtra to give an exemption, he said.

In his petition, Mr Desai has said that between 2007 and 2010, the State recovered Rs 1,159 crore as entertainment tax, which is substantial revenue.

Is withdrawal of PIL under pressure: HC asks appelant

TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 05.05am IST

LUCKNOW: It seems Mayawati government is in a comfortable position, at least for now, in the multi-crore Taj Heritage Corridor (THC) case as the high court has to first decide a `side issue’ about the withdrawal of PIL by the appellant.

On the withdrawal application of Anupama Singh, who had preferred a PIL along with two separate ones, seeking reopening of the case before the special CBI court against chief minister Mayawati and cabinet minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui in THC case, a division bench at Lucknow, on Friday, asked her if she wanted to take back her petition under some pressure.

The bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Hasnain asked her lawyer, Mohd Arif Khan as to under which circumstances she had filed two earlier affidavits alleging that she was under pressure from some sources to withdraw the PIL. She, a school teacher, later lost her job and her husband was also allegedly harassed for taking back the PIL. Interestingly, in her third affidavit, she levelled several allegations against her previous lawyer C B Pandey, including that he had misused her blank papers signed in advance.

Supreme court lawyer Kamini Jaiswal, while pleading for the previous lawyer, stressed for an inquiry into the conduct of Anupama as the trend to withdraw a PIL, after much exercise has been done on it, would give wrong signal to the system.

Advising to refrain from mud-slinging, the bench said that it was for the court to decide on withdrawal but it certainly wanted to know from Anupama if she had been under pressure for it.

It is alleged that the state government has exerted pressure on her to withdraw the PIL. The allegation gains support from the statement of Kamini Jaiswal, who disclosed that a special leave petition (SLP) was filed in the supreme court seeking the same withdrawal and in the matter an additional advocate general of UP government briefed the senior counsel in the supreme court at the presentation of the case.

Amid this controversy, the battery of state lawyers present in the court curiously remained silent.

The court has postponed the matter till April 27 to enable Anupama’s counsel to submit reply on an affidavit handed-over by her previous lawyer.

HC for video cameras in court room: Senior judge Justice Pradeep Kant while hearing the THC case, advocated for installation of video cameras in courtrooms in order to record all the proceedings for the purpose of transparency. He also added that cameras should directly be linked to the supreme court to enable it to know the manner of the court proceedings. The remark came as a lawyer retracted from his statement made on previous date in the court.

Lie test on Rajus: HC bench divided

TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 03.23am IST

HYDERABAD: The division bench of the AP High Court examining the request of the CBI for conducting lie detector tests on the Satyam scam accused, B Ramalinga Raju, B Rama Raju and Vadlamani Srinivas, was divided on the issue on Friday.

While Justice A Gopala Reddy was against it, Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu favoured lie tests on the accused. As a result, the matter would now go back to Chief Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru who will refer it to a third judge for a fresh hearing on the matter.

Following an application by the CBI which is probing the Satyam scam, the lower court had allowed the agency to conduct polygraph tests on the accused. Aggrieved by this order, the accused challenged this order in the high court as unconstitutional and violative of their fundamental rights.

Justice A Gopal Reddy and Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu heard the arguments of both the sides and reserved their order a few months ago.

While Justice Gopal Reddy ruled that there is no law governing such tests which are violative of the right to life and hence rejected the CBI’s plea, Justice Govindarajulu concluded that these tests can be conducted on the accused to protect the interests of several victims who suffered a lot due to their actions.

Govindarajulu said that any hindrance to these tests would affect not only the CBI’s right to investigate but also the interests of various victims within and outside the country who are affected by the activities of the accused. He allowed the CBI to conduct these tests on the accused. The matter would now go to a third judge.

HC refuses to stay awards function

Express news service

 Posted: Saturday , Apr 24, 2010 at 0309 hrs New Delhi:

With a few hours to go before the start of IPL 3 award function in Mumbai, the Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed a plea by an event management company asking to stay the ceremony. The court held that it was too late to accord the relief and that the company, claiming that it was not given the credit for conceptualising the function, should have approached it earlier.

“It is too late. Why did you not come earlier? You always knew about the date of the award function and hence knew when your deadline would end. The relief cannot be given to you on the nth day,” Justice Rajiv Shakdher told the counsel for Propaganda Media and Marketing.

Appearing for the company, advocate Abhishek Malhotra tried to convince the court that his client Gaurav Garg came to know a week ago that he was not being given the credit and then they served the legal notices to Morani Brothers, Cineyug and the BCCI. The court told the counsel that notices were not required to be given and the delay was such that the function could not be halted now.

Justice Shakdher, however, agreed to hear the main petition that has sought credit to Garg for reportedly conceptualising, marketing and execution of the award for Cineyug as he worked with them in 2008-09.

The court issued notices to Morani Brothers, Cineyug and the BCCI and asked them to file response by May 12.

HC annuls govt order on Balia civic body

TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 05.27am IST

PATNA: The Patna HC on Friday set aside the government notification on creation of Balia nagar panchayat by incorporating the Balia, Lakhminia and other panchayats in Begusarai.

A single bench passed the order while hearing a writ petition of Chaudhary Ezharul Haque who challenged the government’s claim that the Balia nagar panchayat was created as more than 75% of the population was non-agriculture.

Patna mayor: A division bench of the high court will on April 28 hear a Letters Patent Appeal of a PMC ward councillor, Vinay Kumar Pappu, challenging the verdict of a single bench reinstating PMC mayor Sanjay Kumar and deputy mayor Santosh Mehta on their posts.

HC notice to revenue minister in land grab case

TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 06.21am IST

NAGPUR: Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Friday issued show cause notice to revenue minister Narayan Rane for allegedly helping a noted industrialist from the city grab the petitioner’s land.

A single-judge bench of justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari asked Rane along with other respondents including state secretary for revenue and forest department, industrialist Aspi Bapuna and Vidarbha Distilleries on Kamptee Road where he is a managing partner, to reply within two weeks.

The court directed that any order passed by the minister about the land would not be carried out till the pendency of the petition filed by Shailendra Sahu and his two brothers through their counsel Ram Parsodkar. Parsodkar said, the petitioners are joint owners of the Nazul Land at Khasra Nos. 104/3 and 106/3 at Mouza Indora in the city. it was allotted in favour of their grandfather Sunderlal by the Central Provinces (CP) and Berar governor in March 14, 1942, on a 30-year lease. The total land was 5.10 acres. The lease was later renewed from 1972 to 1978 (and later till 2008).

In 1975, the Sahu family in association with Aspi Bapuna and three others started Vidarbha Distilleries for producing liquor on 30,000 sq ft of the said land. The land was given to the company on rent by Sahu family at Rs 1,100 per month.

In 1996, a dispute started between Sahu and Bapuna over encroachment by Vidarbha Distillaries over former’s land. On March 8, 2008, Bapuna made complaint to the revenue minister who had no jurisdiction in the matter stating that the petitioners had breached the lease agreement and therefore the lease of their land should not be renewed. He also demanded a fresh lease in favour of Vidarbha Distillers.

On April 17, this year, the petitioners received a letter from state additional secretary for revenue and forest Ravindra Nalwade calling them for the urgent meeting with Rane in minister’s chamber in Mumbai on April 20. Accordingly, Sahus along with their counsel Prakash Misar went to meet the minister.

The petitioners alleged that during the meet, Rane was taking personal interest in the case and was ready to pass the order favouring Bapuna without giving them a chance to reply. He also allegedly scolded Misar and threatened to pass the order in Bapuna’s favour. Rane issued a notice to them and kept the hearing on April 26.

Families to move HC in Lajpat Nagar blast case

23 Apr 2010, 1718 hrs IST,PTI

SRINAGAR: Family members of two Kashmiris, sentenced to death in the Lajpat Nagar blast case, today said they will challenge the verdict in the Delhi High Court.

“We are shattered by the verdict. But we will appeal against the verdict in Delhi High Court,” a visibly upset Mirza Muzaffar, brother of Mirza Nissar Hussain, told reporters.

Terming the death sentence awarded to his brother and two others as “total injustice”, Mirza alleged, “There was no solid witness and evidence. Yet the court convicted my brother and others.”

A Delhi court yesterday sent to the gallows three out of six convicted members of militant outfit Jammu Kashmir Islamic Front (JKIF) for the 1996 Lajpat Nagar market blast which had claimed 13 lives.

Elder brother of Mirza Nissar Hussain, Mirza Iftikhar Hussain has been acquitted by the same court some time back.

The family of another convict, Mohammad Ali Bhat is equally dismayed at the quantum of sentence.

Haji Sher Ali, father of Mohammad Ali Bhat, said his son, now 43, was just 29-years-old when he was arrested in the case.

“As a father, this is my moral responsibility to fight till our ward gets justice. We will definitely challenge the verdict in the higher courts,” Haji Ali said.

Dilawar Hussain, brother of Syed Maqbool Shah, who was acquitted by the court, termed the verdict as “injustice”.

Meanwhile, Firda Dar, one of the two convicts allowed to walk free, arrived here from Delhi and went to downtown city to express solidarity with the family members of those awarded death penalty in the case.

Another convict Farooq Ahmad Khan, an engineer from Anantnag, allowed to walk free, has been taken to Rajasthan for trial in a Dausa case.

After sentencing Farooq to seven years imprisonment in the case yesterday, the court, however, ordered his release since he has already completed 14 years in jail after his arrest.

The trial in Dausa case was suspended some years back on the orders of Supreme Court, which passed the ruling on a petition filed by the family members of the arrested persons. They had pleaded that the hearings in one case must be taken at one time.

“We are hopeful that he will be acquitted in Dausa blast case also as he is not involved in it”, Javid, Farooq’s brother, said.

HC rubbishes woman’s will story

Saeed Khan, TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 04.18am IST

AHMEDABAD: Wills always tell an interesting tale. In a dispute over inheritance, when a woman tried to spin a tale around a will by her father, which she claimed to have discovered 37 years later, the Gujarat High Court dismissed it.

Lilavati Kadia from Ahmedabad told HC that her father had transferred properties worth crores of rupees to her through a will prepared nearly four decades ago.

She has had a long legal dispute with her brother and his sons regarding the inheritance which includes houses and shops in old city. She approached city civil court two years ago with claims that her father Bapalal Kadia had prepared a will in 1970 by which he had transferred his property to her name. She urged the court to get the will executed in her favour. But the court refused to entertain the suit.

She approached the Gujarat high court earlier this month against the lower court’s decision. When the court inquired, it was revealed that Bapalal died in 1989 at his son Shamaldas’ house. Shamaldas, who looked after Bapalal, also passed away in 2002. Lilavatiben told court that her father was not happy with Shamaldas and had lodged two FIRs against him, and he was also convicted. The criminal cases between father and son had even reached the high court.

Lilavati’s case was heard by Justice RR Tripathi, who asked the petitioner how she came to know about the will prepared in 1970 in 2007, when her father had died in 1989. She replied that the document was accidentally found from a bunch of papers lying at her house for years. The court posed more questions, but did not get satisfactory answers.

After completing the hearing, Justice Tripathi dismissed the plea on the ground that her claim regarding the will has come 37 years later and such a long delay cannot be accepted. “To believe a daughter saying that a father having strained relations with the son against whom he filed two criminal complaints and obtained order of conviction, later on shifted to the place of his son and he did not take the daughter in confidence while executing a will in favour of his daughter, is too bald a proposition. This court is not able to accept the same despite all sincere efforts,” the court observed.

2 yrs on, HC acquits ‘murderer’

Swati Deshpande, TNN, Apr 24, 2010, 01.20am IST

MUMBAI: Saving a youth from the gallows, the Bombay high court this month quashed his 2008 conviction and death sentence as being “unfounded and unfair’’. The HC also acquitted the man sentenced to death for allegedly kidnapping and murdering a minor girl in 2003.

Reflecting on the need of proper prosecution practice, the court even reprimanded the lower court, the police and the public prosecutor for not conducting fair and transparent investigations and trial.

“When any public prosecutor appears before the trial court, he is duty-bound to assist the court in ensuring that the trial is conducted in a fair and transparent manner so that no innocent person is held guilty. The prosecution must ensure that a guilty person is punished but not that every trial must end in a conviction,’’ a bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and Ahmed Sayyed said, while setting aside the order of a Nashik sessions judge.

“The special public prosecutor failed to assist the trial court in ensuring that the trial was conducted in a fair, legal and transparent manner,’’ said the judges directing the director of prosecution for the state to issue guidelines on the issue soon.

The court said that the prosecutor had not followed certain procedural rules in leading evidence against the accused and had wrongly relied on statements by the wife of the accused who herself was also a co-accused in the case and later turned an approver. Her statement could “not have been relied upon unless she was examined as a prosecution witness on her turning an approver’’.

Pappu Salve of Nashik, who worked at a video parlour in Malegaon, was tried and found guilty of kidnapping, murdering and then dumping the body of his employer’s minor child in a well in 2003. His wife and three others were also tried. But while two got acquitted by the trial court in Nashik, his wife after spending five years in jail was sentenced to six months in jail for intentionally not divulging information of an offence to the police. Another accused was sentenced to seven years for giving false information to screen an offender.

The HC rejected a plea by the state to send the case for retrial saying that “no useful purpose would be served in ordering a retrial particularly since no DNA test conducted and hence there was no evidence to ascertain whether the dead body recovered was of Nikita and whether it was a homicidal death’’. The police file also did not indicate even prima facie evidence to justify a fresh trial, the HC said and held that the state had failed to prove its case that the accused had kidnapped Nikita, the minor child and killed her and then dumped her body in well.

The HC found that there was not evidence, not even proper circumstantial evidence, against the accused. “Both the circumstances sought to be relied up on by the prosecution are very weak to support its case against Salve,’’ said the judges who also found the initial investigation to be “sloppy and riddled with lapses”.

HC judges wanted to attend Paris meet on NPT, Centre says no need

Maneesh Chhibber

 Posted: Saturday , Apr 24, 2010 at 0322 hrs New Delhi:

The Centre last week denied permission to two judges of the Delhi High Court to visit Paris to participate in a conference on nuclear non-proliferation treaty (NPT) and nuclear disarmament.

The decision was taken at the highest level after the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) objected to the visit, pointing out that India was not even a signatory to the treaty. The MEA also refused the mandatory political clearance required for such visits.

It is learnt that after the MEA red flag, the Prime Minister’s Office also didn’t clear the trip of Justice Sudershan Kumar Misra and Justice Siddharth Mridul. The conference started on April 21 and will end April 28.

Sources in the MEA told The Indian Express that the government was of the view that senior functionaries, particularly judges, should not participate in such conferences as it could lead to controversy.

 “Also, their (judges) attending the conference could be viewed as India’s willingness to sign the treaty, something that the country’s leadership has refused so far,” said an officer.

Earlier, the Central government used to clear foreign trips of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts without asking too many questions but in recent times the MEA has started objecting to “needless” and “questionable” trips.

Last month, the Centre stalled a foreign visit by a high-level delegation, comprising among others the Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan, to Georgia University for a discussion.

AMRITSAR NEWS: After HC Flak, Amritsar MC Lists Parking Lots In Walled City

Posted by admin in Saturday, April 24th 2010

AM­RI­TSAR: Afte­r in­vitin­g­ flak­ fro­m the­ Hig­h Co­urt, the­ Amr­i­tsar­ Mu­n­i­c­i­pal C­o­r­po­r­ati­o­n­ has fi­nally w­oke­n u­p to de­m­­arc­ate­ are­as for parki­ng ve­hi­c­le­s i­n the­ w­alle­d c­i­ty, apart from­­ fi­nali­z­i­ng tw­o plac­e­s for re­hri­ m­­arke­ts.

In­ a let­t­er t­o­ t­he Poli­c­e C­ommi­s­s­i­on­­er­, th­e­ M­C h­as­ lis­te­d p­lace­s­ it h­as­ e­arm­arke­d fo­r p­arking in th­e­ walle­d city. “V­e­h­icle­s­ in are­as­ o­uts­ide­ H­all Gate­ and P­ink P­laz­a m­arke­t wo­uld b­e­ p­arke­d in th­e­ P­andit De­e­n Dayal Up­adh­yay p­arking lo­t o­n th­e­ B­h­andari B­ridge­, wh­ile­ v­e­h­icle­s­ ins­ide­ H­all Gate­ and H­all B­az­aar up­ to­ Goal Ratti­ Chowk­ wo­­ul­d b­e parked in t­he f­ish market­ parking­ l­o­­t­, which has b­een f­urt­her ex­panded,” t­he l­et­t­er said.

It­ said vehicl­es f­ro­­m G­o­­al­ Hat­t­i Cho­­wk t­o­­ Kairo­­n Market­ wo­­ul­d b­e parked at­ Kairo­­n Market­ and t­he b­asement­ o­­f­ t­he RS T­o­­wer b­uil­ding­ had b­een marked f­o­­r vehicl­es arriving­ at­ t­he B­o­­o­­ks Market­ and R.S.T­o­­wer.

Vehicl­es at­ Ka­t­ra­ Ja­im­a­l­ Sin­g­h and K­a­rm­­on D­ea­ri Chowk­ wo­u­l­d be parked in­ th­e o­pen­ spac­e o­u­tside Bh­arawan­ Da Dh­aba. Veh­ic­l­es in­ Dh­aram Sin­gh­ Market an­d Katra Sh­er Sin­gh­ wo­u­l­d be parked at th­e m­ulti-s­tor­eyed­ par­kin­g n­e­a­r ol­d Sarag­urhi Sen­ior St­.C­on­d­ary Sc­hool­ a­n­d th­e op­en­ sp­a­ce n­ea­r th­e Red Cross disp­en­sa­ry, resp­ectively.

Th­e M­C h­a­s a­lso p­a­ssed resolu­tion­s f­or settin­g u­p­ reh­ri m­a­rkets on­ th­e roa­d n­ea­r th­e C­ivil Su­rg­e­o­n­’s o­ffi­ce a­n­d­ un­d­er­ t­he Hussa­i­n­pur­a­ fly­ o­ver­. “Per­so­n­s ca­r­r­yi­n­g o­ut­ t­hei­r­ busi­n­ess o­n­ r­ehr­i­s i­n­ d­i­ffer­en­t­ pa­r­t­s o­f t­he ci­t­y wo­uld­ be d­i­r­ect­ed­ t­o­ t­hese pla­ces,” sa­i­d­ t­he MC.

T­he let­t­er­ fur­t­her­ cla­i­med­ t­ha­t­ t­he MC wa­s r­emo­vi­n­g en­cr­o­a­chmen­t­s o­n­ a­ wa­r­ fo­o­t­i­n­g. “Sho­pk­eeper­s who­ ha­ve en­cr­o­a­ched­ upo­n­ r­o­a­d­s a­r­e bei­n­g st­r­i­ct­ly d­ea­lt­ wi­t­h,” i­t­ sa­i­d­.


Bombay HC asks BCCI to provide info about income from IPL matches

Posted on April 23rd, 2010

By V Kamboj
Bombay High Court has sought explanation from the BCCI on the manner in which IPL and BCCI are organizing the T-20 matches in Maharashtra. It also wants to know how BCCI controls the IPL.

The Court also wanted to know if IPL was a profit making venture and how the tickets are priced. The court’s directives have come in response to a public interest litigation filed by Shiv Sena Leader Subhash Desai.

Court dismisses public interest lawsuit as ‘personal’


April 23rd, 2010

GANDHINAGAR – The Gujarat High Court Friday dismissed as “personal” a public interest lawsuit (PIL) which claimed that the officer bearers of Surendranagar Peoples Cooperative Bank Ltd were responsible for irregularities and had duped the bank of Rs.85 crore of the depositors’ money.

The bank is under process of liquidation. The PIL filed by Gunvant Naraniya sought directions to the Reserve Bank of India, the registrar of cooperative societies and the chief executive officer of the bank to ensure return of the deposits of the account holders.

Alleging that the chairman, directors and other bank officials did not follow the banking regulations and disbursed the money amongst their “nearest and dearest ones”, the petitioner also urged the court to direct a criminal investigation against them.

A division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi however rejected the petition, observing that the matter was not of a public interest but personal interest.

The court also observed that the present petitioner was one of the share holders of the bank and hence such petition could not be considered as a PIL.

“If you are one of the affected persons then the petition has nothing in public interest. The application is dismissed,” the court said.

PIL seeking action in co-operative bank scam rejected

DNAHM30954 | 4/24/2010 | Author : DNA Correspondent | WC :243 | Crime & Law

A division bench of the Gujarat high court has rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking action in the closure of the Surendranagar Peoples Co-operative Bank. The bank was closed down following an alleged scam of Rs85 crore.  However, the bench of the high court rejected the petition on the grounds that there is no ‘public interest’ involved in the case. The bench observed that the case is not of public interest but of personal interest. By taking note of the fact that the counsel for the petitioner is also an affected person, the court said “If you are one of the affected persons then the petition has nothing in public interest and we are not inclined to decide the case hence the application is dismissed.” One Gunvant Naraniya had filed a petition before the high court seeking that the court direct the Reserve Bank of India, registrar of cooperative societies and the chief executive officer of the said cooperative bank to make arrangements for payment of deposits to depositors, account holders and share holders.  He contended that the chairman, directors and other office bearers of the bank had misused the public deposit of crores of rupees by disbursing loan to their near ones and committed irregularity of Rs85 crore.  Gunvant also sought that the court direct a criminal investigation against the office bearers of the bank as they are roaming free after duping the public of Rs85 crore.

Court notice on PIL plea

Special Correspondent

The Madras High Court on Friday ordered notice on a public interest litigation petition seeking a direction to the authorities to take action against various private companies and organisations for encroaching upon road margins in north Chennai and putting up parking signs for their vehicles alone there. The matter has been posted for June 17.

In his petition, K. Krishnamani of Acharappan Street, George Town, said the companies and organisations had posted security personnel and used the road margins as if it were a private parking area. He addressed letters to the Commissioner of Police, Chennai and the Chennai Corporation. From the information furnished, it would be seen that the establishments and organisations were monopolising the parking place through hired security personnel to the detriment of the public. They had no right to occupy the public road. The Chennai Corporation and the police were duty-bound to take action against the illegal practice.

Muthiah-Srinivasan rivalry resurfaces

24 Apr 2010, 0233 hrs IST,ET Bureau

Amidst raging controversy over the IPL, the rivalry between former BCCI president A C Muthiah and present secretary N Srinivasan has resurfaced, with Muthiah filing a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Supreme Court on Friday, challenging Srinivasan’s direct or indirect interest in IPL.

It may be noted that Srinivasan is the de-facto owner of Chennai Super Kings, as his company India Cements owns the IPL franchise. Earlier, Muthiah lost the case before the Madras High Court.

Now, Muthiah has filed the petition before the apex court against BCCI, praying that no office bearer should have any commercial interest either indirectly or directly in the IPL franchise or any other commercial ventures of BCCI.

Senior lawyer Nalini Chidambaram, who represented Muthiah, told ET on Friday that Regulation number 6.2.4 of the BCCI covers players, umpires and administrators, both past and present. “No administrator shall have commercial interest directly or indirectly in any of the events of the BCCI. Mr N Srinivasan has derived direct commercial interest and hence he cannot hold on to his post,” she said.

She said the board had amended the by-laws of the society to suit the needs of certain officials. She said the amendment was the abuse of power by Mr Srinivasan, after he was appointed as treasurer.

Associates close to Mr Srinivasan, however, found no merit in the new case and expressed confidence of winning it.

PIL against CPS appointments: Notice to Haryana–Notice-to-Haryana/610540

Express News Service

Posted: Saturday , Apr 24, 2010 at 2319 hrs Chandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notices to the Union of India and the Haryana government on an application filed by Advocate Jagmohan Singh Bhatti. The petitioner has sought directions to the state’s finance department not to bear the salary bill, travelling expenses and the salaries of staff attached to nine chief parliamentary secretaries, their medical bills, telephone bills and other financial benefits. The application was filed in connection with his public interest litigation (PIL) demanding removal of the chief parliamentary secretaries. The petitioner had averred that their appointments were completely illegal and unconstitutional.

Gujarat high court asks Gujarat, Centre details of compensation to riot victims


Friday, April 23, 2010 23:32 IST

Ahmedabad: Gujarat high court today directed the state and the Union government to file compliance reports with regard to payment of compensation to the 2002 riot victims, while hearing a PIL.

A division bench of chief justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and Akil Kureshi also asked them to include in the report the steps taken for providing employment or pensionary benefit to those who have left jobs due to riots and crossed age or super-annuation.

Report has to be submitted by June 17.

The directives were issued by the court while hearing a PIL by one Gagan Sethi, member of the Special Monitoring Group appointed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) after the 2002 riots.

Sethi had prayed for quick disbursement of compensation announced by the Centre to the 2002 riot victims.

The high court in May last year asked the state government to disburse Rs262.44 crore it received from the Centre as relief package for 2002 post-Godhra riot victims.

Petitioners lawyer Amit Panchal today submitted before the court that there were many riot affected families who have not yet received compensation despite high court order.

Panchal further submitted that state government had not complied with the Union Government’s decision of May 2008 providing additional benefits to riot victims.

The Union government counsel told the court that the Centre has already released funds to the state for payment of compensation.

Following these submissions the court directed the respondents (State and Union government) to file “respective affidavits with regard to payment of compensation and steps if any, taken for providing employment or pensionary benefit to those who have left the jobs due to riots and crossed age of

The court has further said that pendency of the case should not stand in the way of the respondents to provide the benefits.

The Central government’s relief package included compensation to the family of over 1,169 people who died during the riots and over 2,549 victims who were injured in the post-Godhra communal violence.

NGOs, citizens may move court

DNPUN25832 | 4/24/2010 | Author : Nilanjana Ghosh Choudhury | WC :279

They appeal to PMC to involve citizens for transparency
The Pune Metro Jagruti Abhiyan (PMJA), a group formed by NGOs and like-minded citizens opposing the lackluster attitude of the Pune Municipal corporation (PMC) in approving the Vanaz-Ramwadi corridor of the Pune Metro, on Friday said they may file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) if the PMC rushes through with the project.
“We might consider filing a PIL,” said PMJA co-convener Girish Deshpande. He was addressing a press conference after the launch of a mass protest on the proposed Vanaz-Ramwadi corridor. The group demanded that citizens be made a part of the entire process in order to ensure greater transparency.
It demanded an independent third party appraisal and scrutiny of the Detailed Project Report (DPR) prepared by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).
PMJA co-convenor Prashant Inamdar said, “The PMC standing committee has approved the Pune Metro plan as per the DMRC report without any independent study and detailing in understanding the fabric of the city. Therefore, there needs to be a dialogue and open debate on the feasibility of the project.”
The group is holding the first Pune Metro citizen orientation workshop on April 26 at the Moolgavkar Hall in the ICC Centre on Senapati Bapat Road. The Pune Technical Coalition for the Pune Metro, which is a group formed by town planners and architects rooting for the underground metro, is also part of the campaign.
According to PMJA officials, the DPR clearly mentions that at least 50 buildings on its route have to be demolished to create the elevated route. “These are private buildings including a portion of Pataleshwar temple on JM Road and several private complexes. But no one has been informed about it,” said Deshpande.

LAGAL NEWS 23.04.2010


Come clean on income: HC to BCCI, Modi

23 Apr 2010, 1141 hrs IST,Swati Deshpande,TNN 

MUMBAI: It’s not just the I-T department which is breathing down IPL czar Lalit Modi’s neck. The Bombay high court too got into the act. On Thursday, observing that the matter “requires serious consideration”, the HC delivered a series of bouncers directed at BCCI and Modi to “point out, without fail, their total income so far from the IPL-3 matches played in Maharashtra”, including the income from TV and ad rights and to maintain proper accounts of the remaining matches to be played.

“BCCI and Modi are directed to point out the manner in which they are organising the T20 matches and whether they are profiteering from the activities ,” said a bench of Justices P B Majmudar and R G Ketkar. The court also directed the cricket body to produce constitution or Memorandum of Articles of the BCCI as well as IPL and to point out the manner in which these bodies are functioning and whether the BCCI has control over the IPL.

The judges spun into action the moment advocate B K Joshi moved a PIL against IPL filed by Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Desai questioning the government’s apathy in collecting entertainment tax, though decided in January 2010, from the BCCI thus causing a loss of “crores of rupees’ ’ to the state exchequer. “The charitable view of the government… requires serious consideration,” said the HC.

The judges also remarked that it was a “sorry state of affairs’ ’ that the BCCI and IPL advocate Bhide did not even have a copy of their constitution and that no officer of either body “thought it fit to appear in court to assist’ ’ her. Bhide said, due to the “commotion and the matches”, the officers were busy.

“They should have given more importance for the court matter,” the judges remarked. The BCCI lawyer sought time till April 26 to file a reply and get a senior counsel to appear. The government pleader Nalawade denied that no “final decision’ ’ was taken on whether or not to levy an entertainment tax on IPL. The HC directed the state to inform by April 26 whether or not it was interested in doing so now.

When Joshi said that, IPL tickets were being sold officially for Rs 40,000 which were then going for up to Rs 1.3 lakh in black, Justice Majmudar looked at the BCCI and IPL lawyer Neha Bhide and said: “We restrict even school fees. Here there is no limit. You have to tell whether IPL is a profiteering body. And it’s not just the income that’s bothering the judges, they also want to know who is paying the huge electricity bills for these matches.”








Gujarat HC comes to rescue of Kesar Sal med students


Friday, April 23, 2010 8:48 IST

Ahmedabad: After five years of litigation, students of the Kesar Sal medical college, whose recognition was discontinued by the Medical Council of India (MCI) in 2005, heaved a sigh of relief on Thursday as the Gujarat high court ensured their recognition in medical studies.

As many as 400 students of the self financed medical college had to endure a series of litigations after they were stranded following closure of the college. A division bench of the Gujarat high court, consisting of chief justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and justice Akil Kureshi, delivered a significant judgment which has paved the way for a bright career for the students.

The court accepted arguments tendered by senior counsel Sudhir Nanavati and Saurin Mehta that, the state government is obligated to provide transfer of students to other recognised institutes if their college’s affiliation discontinued by the MCI.

Delivering the order, the bench said, “without intervention of the court perhaps, instead of obtaining MBBS degrees, they would have had nothing further to show beyond passing 12th standard. All along we built an opinion that students were at no fault. We are therefore, of the opinion that for no fault of theirs, several young bright students should not meet with such a cruel fate.”

According to the order, the Gujarat University has to give degree certificate of MBBS, once the students complete their studies and internship. They will also consider as eligible, candidates for post graduate courses.

The court further said, the students who are on the verge of completing the course shall be accommodated at BJ and NHL medical colleges for their internship without stipend and they shall be granted recognised degree certificates once they complete the same.

The students othe Kesar Sal college are able to pursue their studies upon an interim high court order. The high court had ordered the formation of a four-member committee to look after the studies of the students and the study facilities be continued in the medical college.

Some of the students are studying in the final years of MBBS and a few have completed their studies and are doing internship in BJ and NHL medical colleges. The court also pointed out in the order that Kesar Sal medical college continue to bear the expenses.

The students had to pursue their studies at Kesar Sal as the authorities of BJ and NHL refused to absorb the students due to lack of infrastructure.







PIL filed in Allahabad HC against IRDA

Published on Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 22:27   |  Updated at Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 22:29  |Source : CNBC-TV18

A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the Allahabad High Court against the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA), reports CNBC-TV18. The PIL alleges that insurers are guilty of promising high return on unit-linked insurance plans (ULIPs).

The PIL highlights cases of mis-selling of ULIPs and alleges that some insurance companies are indulging in multi-level marketing activities. It has called for stringent regulations of ULIPs.

The PIL alleges that 80% of ULIP policies are lapsing, causing losses. A PIL has already been filed in the Bombay High Court against the Securities Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) order on ULIPs.

Gujarat HC orders probe against senior engineer

Express News Service

Posted: Friday , Apr 23, 2010 at 0143 hrs Ahmedabad:

The Gujarat High Court, in a recent judgement, ordered an inquiry against a Deputy Executive Engineer who is facing charges of corruption and not releasing water from a dam under his jurisdiction to some farmers of Jamnagar district.Justice K A Puj ordered the probe to be conducted by an officer not below the rank of a superintendent engineer while acting on a petition by a group of farmers from villages of Dhrol and Jamnagar talukas of the district.According to case details, the farmers had demanded release of water from Und Dam built on the Und river in the region for irrigation. The farmers had also deposited an amount of around Rs 1.42 lakh at the office of the Deputy Executive Engineer for release of water. The farmers’ lawyer S K Patel said that after depositing money the farmers started sowing operation worth lakhs of rupees. However, when the Deputy Executive Engineer did not release the water they made a series of representation for release of the water.

However, the authorities did not release the water as demanded by the farmers. One of the most important reasons for not releasing water from the dam by the authorities was the objection to the release of water by some cultivators.

According to petitioners, those who opposed the release of water were encroachers. Ultimately, the authorities passed an order that water cannot be released due to certain unavoidable circumstances.Challenging this order, the farmers moved the High Court. According to their contention, not releasing water was a motivated effort by the Deputy Executive Engineer who instigated some people living on the riverbed to protest against the release of water. The farmers alleged that the Deputy Executive Engineer had instigated the people to protest against the release of water as petitioner farmers had not paid him Rs 20,000 bribe money demanded by him. Justice K A Puj while disposing off the petition held that under the present circumstances it was not possible to release the water from the dam as demanded by the farmers. The court ordered the authorities to pay them back the amount they had deposited in proportion.Looking at the circumstances under which the water was not released which resulted into heavy loss to the farmers and allegations of corruption against the Deputy Executive Engineer, the court ordered a probe against him. The court also ordered the state government to take steps so that all the persons living on the riverbed or farming there illegally must be removed with immediate effect.







Indian Matrimony Site Awaiting HC Verdict Against Google

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 22, 2010

CHENNAI – Consim India Private Ltd, owners of various matrimonial websites in India, including have said they are awaiting the Madras High Court verdict on the case against Google for ‘infringing’ on their trademark.

“The talks (between the two firms) have been completed and we are awaiting the verdict. Our contention is that Bharat Matrimony’s trademark should not be used by competitors and Google should not allow it”, Consim India CEO Murugavel Janakirman said.

The issue pertains to Google advertisements using Bharatmatrimony’s platform to sell space to its competitors.? Consim contends it has trademarked names like Tamil Matrimony, Telugu Matrimony and as such, Google should not allow advertisements on such trademarks.

Consim India has sought an an injunction against Google for not allowing the competition to bid on trademarks of Bharat Matrimony. ??? ??? ???? (PTI)

Teen moves HC against disrespect to National Emblem

Express News Service

 Posted: Friday , Apr 23, 2010 at 0023 hrs Chandigarh:

A 16-year-old girl moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday, demanding action against those showing disrespect to the National Emblem. Deepshikha Singh, a resident of Sector 48-A and a student of Class X at the Sacred Heart School, argued in person before a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh.

The division bench appreciated the effort of the girl and issued notices to the Union of India and States of Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Deepshikha, in the public interest litigation (PIL), sought directions to prohibit states from showing disrespect to the National Emblem by using it on number plates of vehicles, which are affixed on bottom of the vehicles, violating the State Emblem of India (Prohibition of Improper use), Act 2005 and Rules. The PIL further demanded directions to the states to prescribe a proper and respectful place on vehicles of dignitaries to affix the National Emblem or any other state or provincial emblem or signia containing National Emblem.

Appreciating the effort, the Chief Justice complimented Deepshikha. On a query, she informed the Court that she had taken a leave from the school to argue the PIL. She clarified that her uncle Ravi Sharma, who is an advocate, helped her in drafting the PIL. The Court made it clear to the girl that she need not skip her school to attend the court, as the case can be argued by her uncle in future. Advocate Ravi Sharma has been appointed as amicus curiae in the case. The litigation expenses for the case will be borne by the state Legal Services Authority, UT.

Quash charges against policemen in Shopian case: CBI tells HC

PTI, Apr 22, 2010, 05.12pm IST

SRINAGAR: CBI has again approached the Jammu and Kashmir High Court seeking to dismiss criminal charges against four policemen, including then Shopian Superintendent of Police Javed Mattoo, arrested for alleged destruction of evidence in connection with death of two women.

Submitting a fresh affidavit in the High Court recently, the CBI gave details about the lie-detector test conducted on the four police officials and said “no deception was found on their part in reply to any of the questions put to them.”

Besides Mattoo, the three others who continue to be suspended since July last year are Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohit Basgotra, Station House Officer Shafiq Ahmed and Head Constable Gazi Abdul Kareem.

“Further, no criminality could be attributed to anyone of them and as such they have been sought to be discharged from this case,” the CBI affidavit said.

CBI had approached the High Court in March this year seeking an end to the monitoring of the case by the High Court as the agency had already filed a chargesheet against 13 people including doctors and lawyers.

The case relates to death of two women — Neelofar (22) and Aasiya (17). Their bodies had been found in a stream at Shopian in May last year and the locals alleged that the duo had been murdered after being raped by security forces.

Life came to a standstill in the area for nearly 47 days due to protests and the case was handed over to CBI for a probe. The probe agency, in its chargesheet filed before a court in Srinagar, said that Aasiya was a virgin and the death of the two women was due to drowning in the stream where water level was too high on those days.

CBI has also contested a letter written by a so-called criminologist on the issue as malafide and gave a para-wise rebuttal of charges levelled against the forensic doctors who had conducted the post-mortem as well as DNA examination.

The CBI investigations claimed that doctors in the district hospital had not conducted the port-mortem properly and had in fact fabricated evidence.

CJI likely to take over NHRC chief post


New Delhi, Apr 22 (PTI) Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan is likely to take over as the new Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), after his retirement on May 12.

The post of NHRC chairperson is lying vacant since June 1, 2009 after former Chief Justice of India S Rajendra Babu retired from the post on May 31.

Though two other former Chief Justices of India-R C Lahoti and Y K Sabharwal are also eligible for the post, they could not be appointed due to different reasons.

As per the provisions of Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993, only a retired CJI below the age of 70 years is eligible for the post, which makes only Justices Lahoti and Sabharwal eligible for the important assignment.

Judges appointment: Govt may get veto

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 08.41pm IST

NEW DELHI: Controversies over a few recommendations relating to appointment of judges to the Supreme Court and high courts sent by the Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India (CJI) has forced the government to prepare the ground for some radical changes in the procedure in vogue for more than a decade.

The recommendation of the Collegium for appointment of Karnataka HC chief justice P D Dinakaran as a judge in the Supreme Court and reiteration of it despite the government pointing out the allegations levelled against him appears to have been the last straw and the government has drafted changes in the Memorandum of Procedure (MoP).

The key one among the several changes under consideration before law minister M Veerappa Moily is the one which would for the first time empower the executive to put its foot down when it comes to appointment of judges against whom very serious allegations of corruption and misconduct have been made.

Importantly, this would allow the government to turn down a recommendation even if the Collegium reconsiders the objections and reiterates its proposal in favour of a person for elevation to the apex court or appointment to an HC.

The existing provisions of the MoP permit the government to raise objections to a proposed name and send the file back for reconsideration by the Collegium. If the Collegium reiterates the proposal, then the government is left with no option but to advise the President to give effect to the recommendation.

Though the government is serious about the urgent need for changes in MoP in the post-Dinakaran era, it is careful not to rub the judiciary the wrong way as in the amended draft of MoP it reiterates that the Collegium would always have the primacy in matters relating to appointment of judges to the higher judiciary.

It says that the Collegium would always be the initiator of the proposal relating to appointment of judges, which means the onus to select a person and recommend his name to the government would not be diluted in any manner.

The change in the MoP could pass the muster as the judiciary has been feeling the heat over a few wrong choices and is finding the criticism too hard to digest. But, given the era of coalition politics, it also feels that ceding ground on appointment could lead to political nominees being pushed for appointment in the higher judiciary.

Former CJI Bhagwati inducted in Nigerian judicial hall of fame

News Date: 22nd April 2010

Former Chief Justice of India P. N. Bhagwati, who has been inducted into Hall of Fame of top Nigerian judiciary establishment, has asked the African nation government to prevent misuse of

power and ensure justice to disadvantaged people.

“Governments have the chance to ensure rights protection for the disadvantaged sections of the community and to ensure distributive justice to them,” 88-year-old Bhagwati said at the honour function here.

Bhagwati, who was CJI during 1985-86, became the first person to enter into Hall of Fame of Nigerian Institute of Advance Legal Studies (NIALS) on Wednesday.

While calling for justice to all people irrespective of their social or educational background, Bhagwati said in many countries only “well to do” can approach the courts to protect their “vested interest”.

However, the former CJI said “the have-nots and the handicapped began to feel for the first time that there was an institution to which they could turn for redress against exploitation and injustice.”

Director General of NIALS Epiphany Azinge said that the institute established the award to honour individuals who have made monumental contributions to law and related disciplines especially areas that impact on


“Bhagwati was chosen for his role in recognising the justice in economic and social rights in so many other jurisdictions globally,

including Nigeria and has particularly given impetus to the Institute’s research in this area,” Azinge told PTI.

The Nigerian courts were said to be slow in dispensing justice, leading to prisons being congested with detained persons awaiting trial.

Governors of Nigerian states yesterday agreed to sign death warrant for the execution of those on death row in order to decongest the


Governor Theodore Orji of South Eastern Abia State noted that 80 per cent prisoners are awaiting trial.

The agreement, which is trailed by criticism from human rights groups like Amnesty International, came against the backdrop of a jail break which led to the death of scores of prisoners.

Source: GNA

Apex court gets it right in fourth attempt


April 22nd, 2010

NEW DELHI – Conceding it erred, the Supreme Court has released four Madhya Pradesh natives who were sent to jail by it in November 2008, in a 1991 murder-cum-riot case, without affording them a hearing.

This was the fourth time that the matter came up before the court, as on earlier three occasions the court had failed to resolve the issue related to wrongful imprisonment of the four accused.

A four-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan, Wednesday ordered release of Bhoja, Puran, Balveer and Raghubir, conceding that they had been sent to jail without being given an opportunity to have their say in the court proceedings – a serious violation of the principles of natural justice.

When the mistake was pointed out by counsel Aftab Ali Khan for the four accused, the CJI’s bench, which also included Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice Altmas Kabir and Justice R.V. Raveendran, on April 20 promised to correct the judicial mistake, if committed, in the first week of May.

But following news reports on the queer judicial mistake, the court promptly took up the matter Wednesday and rectified it.

The four – Bhoja, Puran, Balveer and Raghubir – all residents of Negma village of Shivpuri district in Madhya Pradesh were originally convicted by a Shivpuri trial court in October 1991 in a murder-cum-riot case along with four others from the village – Sugar Singh, Laxman, Onkar and Ramesh.

The eight subsequently went in appeal to the Gwalior bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court, which acquitted them all in January 2003.

This led the state government to move the Supreme Court, challenging the acquittal of four of the eight persons – Sugar Singh, Laxman, Onkar and Ramesh – of murder charges.

But in November 2008, Justice Arijit Pasayat’s bench restored the conviction of all eight, without hearing Bhoja, Puran, Balveer and Raghubir.

They could not get an opportunity to have their say in the court hearings as the state government had not challenged their acquittal and they had not received any notice to appear in the court to defend themselves.

But Justice Pasayat’s bench went on to restore their conviction and 6-year-long sentence on charges of rioting and culpable homicide not amounting to murder, imposed by the Shivpuri sessions court in 1991.

The four eventually surrendered to the court in November 2008 and sought review of its order jailing them. But the court dismissed their review petition, repeating the mistake.

The four subsequently moved the apex court yet again through a curative petition, which was heard by a bench of chief justice and three other judges.

But while deciding the curative petition, the four judge bench ended up ordering release of four others, against whom the state had come in appeal to the court, while virtually forgetting all about the other four, who had been sent behind bar without being heard. This was the mistake committed the third time.

The court eventually corrected the mistake Wednesday in its fourth attempt.

Tribunal reinstates Kerala cop suspended for foreign trip

April 23rd, 2010 – 6:45 pm ICT by IANS

Kochi, April 23 (IANS) The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) Friday stayed the Kerala government’s order that suspended Inspector General of Police (IGP) Tomin J.Thachankary and asked for his immediate reinstatement.
The state government last week decided to suspend Thachankary for allegedly going abroad without government authorisation.

The officer approached CAT here with a petition that he was being singled out and was a victim of the ongoing factionalism in the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).

He filed another affidavit Thursday, saying six top officials belonging to the Indian Administrative Service (IAS) and Indian Police Service (IPS) also had gone abroad but no action was taken against them after they wrote an apology, but he was being victimised.

Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan was adamant that action should be taken against Thachankary for going abroad on leave without taking prior permission.

At Friday’s hearing, counsel for the government pointed out that the officer had gone abroad and after media reports about this, he returned and put in a back dated leave letter.

But Thachankary’s counsel argued that his client had not violated any rule of law and specifically asked the government to show the exact rule that was violated.

Thachankary was suspended after Achuthanandan found out that he had gone abroad. An inquiry determined that he had gone to the Middle East.

CAT has now posted the case for April 28.

‘Accident victim can withdraw Rs49 lakh’

Hetal Vyas / DNA

Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:17 IST

Mumbai: Shweta Mehta, a 27-year-old ‘who lost her childhood’ following a near-fatal car accident in 1993, can finally look forward to a financially independent life.

Early this week, the Supreme Court allowed Shweta to withdraw Rs49.48 lakh deposited with the Bombay high court by The New India Assurance Company as compensation for the accident that left Shweta paralysed below the waist.

The directives came following a Special Leave Petition by the insurance company, which has challenged the high court order of enhancement of compensation to Shweta.

The high court had, in December, 2009, enhanced the compensation to nearly Rs80 lakh. Shweta, too, had filed a separate appeal in the high court, seeking revised compensation of Rs91 lakh.

A Kolhapur Motor Accidental Tribunal (MACT) had, in August, 2007, awarded her compensation of Rs21.23 lakh, which presently stands at Rs49.48 lakh with interest. The insurance company moved court challenging the order.

The judgment had come as an eye-opener for the insurance company, which had earlier refused to compensate Shweta and had told the court that the accident ‘was in fact a blessing in disguise for her’, as she had only benefited from it.

Anara Gupta case transfered from NHRC to J-K SHRC


New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) The sensational Anara Gupta porn CD case has been transferred from NHRC to State Human Rights Commission following Jammu and Kashmir government’s plea that the national body did not have jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Incidentally, the plea came at a time when the case was in its final stages of hearing before the National Human Rights Commission.

Seeking transfer of the case, J&K government said it had its own human rights body to inquire into complaints of rights’ violations and to recommend action on such complaints, official sources said.

NHRC pulls up Ghaziabad administration

J. Balaji

For violation of labour laws by brick kiln owners

District Magistrate directed to take strict action against the violators

‘Workers were tortured and forced to live as bonded labourers in the kiln’

NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has pulled up the Ghaziabad district administration for its “casual manner” in preparing a report on the implementation of minimum wages to the workers and trying to help the brick kiln owners who violated the labour laws.

In the report, pertaining to a specific case, NHRC found the information provided was “factually incorrect.” It detected that 113 brick kilns were not making payments to the labourers as per the provisions of the Payment of Wages Act, 1936 and Minimum Wages Act, 1948, and directed the District Magistrate (DM) to take strict action against the violators.

The Commission observed: “that the earlier reports submitted before the Commission were conducted in a casual manner and appear to have been prepared in order to help the brick kiln owners.” The labourers of these kilns were neither released nor rehabilitated and packed back to their villages without being paid even their dues. “But this is only a tip of an iceberg, as out of 423 brick kilns in this area of major construction activity, the district administration is yet to inspect 310 brick kilns.” The inspection had to be completed by six months. The case was taken up following a complaint by a worker on December 4, 2008, who alleged that he, his family and fellow workers were not being paid their full salary by their brick kiln owner. When sought they were tortured by the brick kiln owner and their staff and forced to live as bonded labourers in the kiln. Seven children below 14 years were also detained by the owner, he said.

Following this NHRC asked DM to hold an inquiry at the spot for identification of bonded labourers, if any, and release them. However the DM said the kiln was not functioning and no worker was found there.

The complainant however maintained the officer in-charge OP-Pipeline Police Station, Muradnagar, released all the labourers from the kiln without taking any action against the owner. They were also not paid their pending dues.

Later the Commission asked DM to hold an inquiry and also appear in person on February 2, 2010 when another inquiry report submitted by him was also not found satisfactory.

SC asks Govt to fill post of NHRC chief within a month

It refers to Supreme Court on 20.04.2010 directing Union government to fill post of NHRC chief in four weeks, which is lying vacant now for about a year ever since Justice S Rajender Babu.


Thu, Apr 22, 2010 09:56:32 IST

IT REFERS to Supreme Court on 20.04.2010 directing Union government to fill post of NHRC chief in four weeks, which is lying vacant now for about a year ever since Justice S Rajender Babu retired from the post. This post could not be filled because of only two retired Chief Justices of India eligible for the post, Justice R C Lahoti declined to accept the post while Justice Y K Sabharwal was not considered fit by Union government to be appointed on the important post.

This post could otherwise also be practically filled within four weeks even without any Supreme Court direction, with present Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan becoming eligible to be appointed as NHRC Chief within this four-week period. But such situations can again arise in future because of a very limited choice for the post from only amongst retired Chief Justices of India.

NHRC Act should be amended to widen scope of choice for post of NHRC Chief by making all retired Supreme Court judges and retired Chief Justice of states eligible for the post. Already there is a fine mechanism to check favouritism in such appointment, because the post can only be filled by consensus amongst Prime Minister and Opposition Leader.

LEGAL NEWS 22.04.2010

Web column | Regulatory turf wars|regulatory-turf-wars/392705/
Krishnava Dutt / New Delhi April 22, 2010, 15:22 IST

The jurisdictional war over Ulips between Sebi and Irda is not the first conflict between regulators and certainly not the last that we will be witnessing. With the establishment of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) under the Competition Act, 2002 and with enough teeth being given to it to cover all sectors of the economy and impose paralysing penalties, conflicts between the CCI and sector regulators are set to become a common feature in the days to come.

The overarching reach of the Act is further emphasised by section 60 thereof which states that the provisions of the Act will have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent contained in any other law. However, section 62 states that the provisions shall be in addition to and not in derogation of the provisions of any other law.

On one hand CCI has the mandate to regulate competition issues across sectors and on the other hand, various industries in India are subject to specific regulatory control. Some of the sector regulators include the CERC/SERCs, PNGRB, Sebi, RBI, Trai, Irda and Airports Economic Regulatory Authority, all established under their respective statutes. Most sector regulators have been given the express mandate to regulate competition in their spheres. Even if such power has not been given expressly, it can be implied from the extensive powers given to some regulators. Though turf wars among sector regulators are not new in this country, the entry of the CCI adds a whole new dimension to this battle.

Already there are tensions between the RBI and the CCI over the issue of merger control among banks. While CCI seeks to control mergers across sectors including banking, RBI is unwilling to share its turf with the CCI. In the electricity sector, CCI is probing into allegations of abuse of dominance by power distribution companies in Delhi. It has been reported that CCI has issued notices to distribution companies alleging that they have been installing faulty meters and overcharging their customers. The CCI intends to commence investigations into allegations by the MCX Stock Exchange that NSE has been abusing its dominant position by waiving transaction fee on currency derivatives. The CCI, therefore, has been very proactive across sectors and sooner or later conflicts between the CCI and sector regulators are bound to emerge.

The legislature has tried to resolve the conflict by introducing provisions which allow cross referral of issues between the CCI and other regulators. A harmonious co-existence among the regulators is therefore envisaged. Significantly, the opinions of the CCI and the statutory authority are not binding on the other.

This discussion becomes even more interesting if one examines the other regulatory legislations. The Electricity Act, 2003 provides that the appropriate commission may issue such directions as it considers appropriate to a licensee or a generating company if it enters into any agreement or abuses its dominant position or enters into a combination which is likely to cause or causes and adverse effect on competition in electricity industry. The Electricity Act also contains provisions similar to sections 60 and 62 of the Competition Act. We, therefore, have two legislations with a non-obstante clause, both covering the same area. Applying principles of statutory interpretation, it may be argued that the non-obstante clause in the subsequent enactment i.e. the Electricity Act, 2003 should prevail over the previous enactment i.e. the Competition Act. Another principle of statutory interpretation is to determine the ‘general’ and ‘special’ legislation, as a ‘special’ legislation will prevail over a ‘general’ legislation. The Supreme Court has, however, held that the above tests are merely illustrative and by no means should they be considered as exhaustive. It is for the court, when it is called upon to resolve such conflict, to harmoniously interpret the provisions of both the competing statutes and give effect to one over the other. Though enactments such as the PNGRB Act, Irda Act and Trai Act do not contain such non-obstante provisions, there is still scope for confusion as far as jurisdictional issues are concerned. Interestingly, the Trai Act and the AERA Act make an exception for matters which are under the purview of the MRTP Commission and the Competition Act respectively.

The current framework, therefore, does not provide an adequate solution to the impending problem. The real purpose of preventing anti-competitive practices will be lost if the regulators who have been given the power to prevent such practices enter into a turf war among themselves. One possible way of addressing the problem is to clearly delineate the regulatory functions and assign the functions among regulators. This has been suggested by Unctad (2006) as a possible method for resolving conflicting mandates. For example technical regulatory tasks can be assigned to the sector regulators while pure competition issues can be left to the CCI. In theory this seems like an ideal solution, but in practice trying to define and dissect functions will have its own set of problems.

Giving exclusive jurisdiction to either regulator is a possible solution, but highly inefficient. Though competition authorities have the expertise in the subject, the sector regulators have sector specific technical competence necessary, which competition authorities may lack, to determine a particular case. At the same time, sector regulators may not have the adequate training to deal with pure competition law issues. Therefore, an efficient way of resolving the conflict is to ensure that while deciding on a case involving a particular sector, apart from competition authorities, technical experts from that sectors be also mandatorily involved. The composition of the CCI, being itself considered as an expert body, may be such that it includes sector regulators as well. Alternatively, the CCI may look at entering into separate agreements with other regulators to clearly enunciate the procedure to be followed in a case involving that particular sector and in respect of which both the regulators are entitled to exercise jurisdiction.

India may learn a few tricks from the UK where Competition Act, 1998 gives concurrent powers to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) and sector regulators for communications matters, gas, electricity, water and sewerage, railway and air traffic services in enforcing anti-competitive agreements and abuse of dominance provisions. UK has enacted the Competition Act (Concurrency) Regulations, 2004 which contains provisions for the co-ordination of the performance by the OFT and the regulators of their concurrent functions. The OFT and the regulators are required to consult with each other before acting on a case where it appears that they may have concurrent jurisdiction. If no agreement can be reached, then matter is referred to the Secretary of State. Double jeopardy is prevented because simultaneous exercise of jurisdiction by more than one authority in relation to a case is prohibited. Interestingly, an appeal from both the OFT and the sector regulators lies to the competition appellate tribunal.

It is clear that unless the government takes a proactive measure, jurisdictional conflicts are bound to surface and perhaps, as in the conflict between the SEBI and IRDA in the Ulips issue, it will be left to the courts to finally resolve the conflicts as and when they will arise in future.

The author is Managing Partner, Argus Partners, Advocates. Views expressed are personal.

Doctors recruitment scam: K.P.S. Gill files lawsuit
Chandigarh, April 21 (IANS) Former Punjab police chief K.P.S. Gill Tuesday filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court in connection with allegations of malpractices in the recruitment of doctors in the state.

In March, media reports had highlighted irregularities in the recruitment of doctors made recently by the Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC).

“After this scam was highlighted in PPSC, exposing corruption and favouritism in the selection of 312 doctors, Punjab chief minister had ordered an inquiry and asked state chief secretary S.C. Aggarwal to submit an inquiry report within 30 days,” Anupam Gupta, counsel for Gill, said here.

“Despite the passing of more than a month no such report has been submitted or has been brought to light in the public domain. In our PIL we have sought replies in this connection from the government,” he said.

There are allegations that 45 doctors were interviewed by the PPSC within minutes and selected for government jobs.

However, earlier a Punjab government spokesperson said that over 19,000 teachers had been recruited and there had not been a single complaint in any of the appointments made.

DLF, IPL remove `Building India’ from pitch

TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 05.31am IST

LUCKNOW: DLF and IPL on Wednesday apprised the high court of removing the caption `Building India’ from both sides of bowlers run up as well as at the place of presentation ceremony of cricket grounds where T-20 matches are being played.

In this view, a division bench of the HC comprising acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala and Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi dismissed a PIL as the grievance no longer remained. The PIL had termed painting of name of the country at cricket grounds during T-20 matches as insulting as the players walked on the name of the country during matches.

Parents plan fight to take on private schools’ might

Priya Ramakrishnan / DNA

Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:13 IST

Mumbai: In order to fight private schools over “exorbitant” fee hikes, parents’ associations from across the country are planning to come under one umbrella and file a PIL in the Supreme Court.

Last week, over 20 representatives of various associations mulled coming under the Forum for Fairness in Education, a parent-teacher organisation registered in Maharashtra.

The forum, which has local chapters in Raigad, Thane, Pune, Amravati and Nanded, will be the apex body with local chapters in other parts of the country, such as Delhi, Kanpur, Bangalore, Ghaziabad and Faridabad.

Jayant Jain, president of Forum for Fairness in Education, Mumbai, said: “The objective of becoming a part of one organisation is to ensure that parents can effectively deal with the malpractices in private unaided schools.”

Bipin Arora, general secretary of Summerfield School Parent Association, South Delhi, said: “In Delhi, we are fighting private schools which have bogus parent-teacher associations.”

The local chapters will help parents in a particular state know about issues in other states.

Rajinder Katoch, general secretary, Green Fields School Parents Welfare Association, Delhi, said: “We can refer to the laws or court orders passed by other states and fight a case against private schools. Currently, there is no united parent body to fight against private schools. It becomes expensive for individual associations to pay litigation charges, which are anything between Rs50,000 to Rs1 lakh. With a single parent organisation, we can pool in money and resources and not let the expenses pinch us.”

The local chapters plan to file PIL in the Supreme Court within two months after discussing problems faced by parents from other states.

Why isn’t Shivaji Park a ‘silence zone’: Bombay high court

Hetal Vyas / DNA

Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:26 IST

Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has irked the Bombay high court by not declaring Shivaji Park as silence zone.

The court on Wednesday directed municipal commissioner Swadheen Khsatriya to file a personal affidavit explaining why it had not been done.

Taking note of a PIL, filed by Wecom trust and two local residents, the court said that there were several educational institutions, hospitals and religious structures in the vicinity of Shivaji Park.

“Any area falling within 100 metres around educational institutions and hospitals should be noted as a silence zone. It is a law made by you, and you have to enforce your own law,” a division bench of justice FI Rebello and justice Mridula Bhatkar said.

The PIL has demanded that Shivaji Park be declared a ‘silence zone’, and all kinds of ‘non-sporting’ activities be banned from the park.

G Pai, assistant commissioner of G ward, filed an affidavit saying that the area surrounding the Bal Mohan Vidyalaya had been declared as silence zone. The BMC counsel too told the court, “Shivaji Park is quite a big area and several parts of it have been marked as silence zones.”

The court, however, insisted that the municipal commissioner (the highest ranking officer in the BMC) should file a personal affidavit explaining the reasons for not giving Shivaji Park the ‘silence zone’ tag.

How much income earned from T-20 matches, Bombay HC asks BCCI & IPL–IPL/articleshow/5844483.cms

22 Apr 2010, 1713 hrs IST,PTI

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked Cricket Board and IPL to give information regarding the income generated from the T-20 matches

played in Maharashtra.

The High Court also asked the BCCI to inform how it controls the IPL.

The information is to be provided by Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Indian Premier League (IPL) on April 26.

The Court directive came in response to a PIL filed by Subhash Desai, Shiv Sena MLA, alleging the state was not collecting entertainment tax from IPL, resulting in loss of revenue to the exchequer.

PIL against insurance cos for ULIP `fraud’

TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 05.27am IST

LUCKNOW: In a public interest litigation (PIL) filed with the high court, a lawyer has charged insurance companies of fleecing people of their hard-earned money through unit linked insurance policies (ULIPs).

The PIL comes after the insurance regulatory and development authority (IRDA) allegedly failed to protect the interests of the insured persons despite an order by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) issued with the aim to check malpractice by insurance companies. Besides prominent insurance companies, the PIL makes the IRDA also a respondent, charging the regulatory authority of being “most unsympathetic” towards complaints of policy holders with a grievance. In fact, “when it comes to protecting the interests of insurance companies,” IRDA “is most proactive”, the PIL alleges.

The PIL gives as an example the IRDA order to defy the ban of SEBI and continue selling ULIPs. The PIL claims that the sale of ULIP is in violation of sub-section (11) of section (2) of the insurance Act, 1938 because ULIP contracts are based on share market fluctuations which are not a contract upon human life.

Charging IRDA of being “hand-in-glove” with the insurance companies, the PIL brings to the court’s notice certain cases in which insurance companies had duped the insured persons, one a doctor, another a scientist and even a lawyer.

The PIL primarily requests the court to issue an order commanding insurance companies not to sell any ULIPs and IRDA not to approve any new ULIP. The PIL also requests that the Union government institute a committee to thoroughly investigate the fraud committed by private life insurers along with the role of IRDA on complaints against insurance companies.

Lawyers to file PIL in murder case


Cuttack, April 21: The Orissa State Bar Council has decided to take the PIL route against police apathy in investigating the sensational murder of Kalicharan Pradhan, a lawyer of Baripada in Mayurbhanj district.

Bar Council chairman Gopal Krushna Mohanty said the decision was taken at a special meeting yesterday to discuss the demands of the Mayurbhanj District Bar Association. The body has been agitating for two months in connection with the murder.

The octogenarian lawyer was found dead on February 8 at his house at Kumbharmundakata village under Bangriposi police station, about 27km from Baripada town.

The district bar association had demanded identification of the culprits involved in the murder of the lawyer. They also called for a dawn-to-dusk bandh on April 6 to protest against police failure to achieve a breakthrough in the case.

Defamation case: Bihar court takes cognizance of Asaram Bapu’s role


April 22nd, 2010

PATNA – A Bihar court on Thursday taken cognizance of spiritual guru Asaram Bapu and two others role in connection with a defamation case lodged by the Bihar State Religious Trust Board.

Judicial Magistrate Divya Vashishtha took cognizance of the charges against Asaram Bapu, Swami Narendra Goswami and Jai Kumar Singh under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court would decide on issuing summons to Asaram Bapu on April 24.

In March 2009, Board’s Administrator Kishore Kunal had lodged a complaint in the court against the three persons, accusing them of organising a procession and using unparliamentary language to tarnish his image.

Kunal had alleged that Bapu’s men had assaulted police officials and Board staff when they had gone to execute a court order to free the property of Bhikhamdas Ram Janki Thakurwadi Kadamkuan here from forcible occupation of Bapu and his men on May 4, 2009. (ANI)

Parent writes to HC over domicile rule

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 06.28am IST

NAGPUR: The Maharashtra government’s controversial move to change domicile norms for admissions to engineering and other courses to benefit sons-of-the-soil has found its way to the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court. Meanwhile, a Thane-based aggrieved father has written a letter to the HC judge praying for quashing of the new rule to save the academic careers of thousands of promising students.

A division bench of justices Dilip Sinha and FM Reis on Wednesday adjourned till April 29 hearing on the petition filed by city-based lawyer GC Singh challenging the government move. Government pleader Nitin Sambre had sought time to take instructions from higher authorities.

Meanwhile, Kingusuk Kumar Mondal, working with a private firm as joint vice-president, cited a TOI report of April 16 published in Mumbai in his letter to the judge. “We hope that you will understand the mental agony my daughter is undergoing along with thousands of similarly affected students and parents. The change in conditions of domicile is against the fundamental right of Indian citizens, which will spoil children’s career,” he mentioned in the letter citing opinion expressed by Pune-based legal expert A Sarode.

A copy of Mondal’s letter is in possession of TOI. It states that due to his transferable job, his daughter had to study in Madhya Pradesh, then Andhra Pradesh and finally Maharashtra. She secured an impressive 93.8% in SSC and was expecting similar results in HSC examination. However, she received a shock when the MHT-CET-2010 brochure said she was ineligible for centralised admission process (CAP) for admission to engineering courses in government or aided colleges.

She is now eligible to take admission only in management quota of a private college, which means exorbitant fees. Mondal said he and other parents could not bear education in private institutes. He also claimed that his daughter is already under depression as she apprehends that she would not be able to pursue her dream career despite working hard.

MPSC scam: accused moves HC–accused-moves-HC/609546/

Express News Service

Posted: Thursday , Apr 22, 2010 at 2334 hrs Mumbai:

An accused in the MPSC scam, Dr Tukaram Shiware, has moved the Bombay High Court seeking to quash a second chargesheet filed against him in 2006.

Dr Shiware, who was a member of the Maharashtra Public Service Commission from 1994 to 2000, sought the quashing of the chargesheet since it has been merged with an earlier chargesheet of 2002 which was quashed by the High Court in October 2009.

His lawyer Samir Vaidya contended before Justice Kanade that since the first proceedings had been quashed, the second case merged with the earlier one could not survive.

The petition states that after the High Court quashed the first case, Shiware had moved a special court seeking discharge from the second case. The special court, however, rejected his application.

Shiware stated that the special judge erred in rejecting the application as the second chargesheet was also filed based on the same witness’s statement.

It’s further contended that petitioner cannot be prosecuted twice for the same offence since the same witnesses are relied upon. Due to this, the FIR is liable to be quashed, especially in the absence of sanction for prosecution as the petitioner is a government servant, contended his lawyer.

Shiware urged the court to call for the records and quash the case until which time the proceedings should be stayed. The court has now directed the state government to file a reply within two weeks.

Muslim woman has right to maintenance, says HC

Ravi Singh Sisodiya, TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 05.32am IST

LUCKNOW: Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad high court, in a significant judgment, has ruled that a Muslim woman is entitled for maintenance pending litigation as well as payment of cost of litigation under the Family Courts Act, 1984. A division bench comprising Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice S C Chaurasia, while elaborating the Right to Life and the Right to Livelihood guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India observed — “In case wife is suffering from paucity of funds or is unable to maintain herself or she has got no sufficient means for livelihood, then, the court in a pending suit for restitution of conjugal rights, has got ample powers to direct for payment of maintenance in pursuance to the powers conferred under section 151 of the Code of Civil Procedure”.

Needless to say that right to life and livelihood does not need animal living but quality of life suiting to the status of the person concerned, said the Bench adding that the provisions of the Family Court Act, a Central legislation, shall be applicable to family disputes of every citizen, whoever they be, ignoring their caste, creed or religion.

The court further ruled that the maintenance provided under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is in addition to other legislations. While ruling in favour of Muslim married lady, the Bench drew analogy from Act, 2005 where the Parliament deals with the situation with regard to plight of women without differentiating on the basis of caste, creed or religion.

Brushing aside the Personal Law, the Bench clarified the philosophy of the Constitution saying — “The statutory protection granted by Parliament is to meet out the requirement of Article 21. Accordingly, even if there is no statutory provision, temporary injunction may be granted or an order may be passed by the family court for payment of maintenance, including cost of litigation, without discriminating among women of the country on any basis”.

The ruling which may have far-reaching effects on interpretation of Muslim Personal Law came from the high court as Samaun Khan, a Faizabad resident challenged principal judge family court, Faizabad, order whereby it had provided Rs 800 per month as maintenance during proceedings of restitution of conjugal rights case filed by him and Rs 5,000 as the cost of litigation to his wife, Roshni Parveen. The couple had married on November 23, 2005 but separated on December 22, 2007 due to differences and a bitter relationship.

As Samaun filed a suit for restitution of conjugal rights, Roshni sought maintenance pendente-lite and cost of litigation. The principal judge awarded maintenance to Roshni but Samaun challenged the principal judge order in the HC on the ground that it was against Muslim Personal Law.

HC to hear FMC-CERC dispute over electricity futures jurisdiction

22 Apr 2010, 0059 hrs IST,Ram N Sahgal & Almas Meherally,ET Bureau

MUMBAI: The department of legal affairs in a note last year had said that the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) appears to have “erroneously” assumed jurisdiction in dealing with the matter of regulating electricity futures.

The note may assume significance in light of the ongoing FMC and CERC feud in the Bombay High Court over the jurisdiction of electricity futures. Commodity exchange MCX is a respondent in FMC’s petition and has also independently filed a petition in February against CERC. The cases are listed for hearing on Thursday. MCX has sought FMC’s permission to launch trading of electricity futures on its platform.

The department had said last June that the order of CERC “may be challenged before the high court” after the FMC’s parent ministry, ministry of consumer affairs, sought its advice on the issue. In April 2009, in response to a complaint by NSE and NCDEX-promoted Power Exchange India (PXIL), CERC passed an order to the effect that it had jurisdiction for regulating all trading in electricity.

In its closing arguments last Thursday, the HC reportedly suggested that it would be more appropriate, if the government sorted out the issue regarding the regulation of futures contracts relating to electricity. The department of legal affairs’ note, highlights a number of functions over which CERC has regulatory jurisdiction under Section 79 (1) of the Electricity Act, 2003, and said “…it appears that CERC has erroneously assumed jurisdiction in dealing with the matter…”

“In view of the department of legal affairs’ note, the court will have to decide the issue of jurisdiction regarding futures contracts in electricity,” said Cherag Balsara, counsel for MCX. When contacted, Aspi Chenoy, who is appearing for CERC, declined to comment.

The CERC’s main point of contention on why it should regulate futures in electricity is that futures contracts need not just be cash settled, where there is no delivery of the underlier, but can also be mandatorily settled by way of physical delivery. According to the regulator, it is well settled that futures contracts in international markets impact the spot price because of the presence of arbitrageurs, who seek to bridge any price gap between spot and futures markets. It also said that allowing speculation in electricity would be akin to placing commercial interests over consumers’ interests were the prices to rise.

The FMC’s argument, according to a person privy to the case, is that under the FCRA Act of 1952 futures trading in electricity vests with it and MCX, which is registered with FMC, can offer such contracts on its trading platform. Further, the futures contracts of electricity would be cash settled and not involve delivery.

The government has taken a similar line in the spat between the insurance and capital markets regulators over Ulips by saying that the tussle should be settled after both parties obtain a view from the courts.

Andhra HC stays Tirupati gold-plating plan

A. Srinivasa Rao

Hyderabad, April 22, 2010

The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday stayed the gold-plating project of the Lord Venkateshwara temple at Tirumala in Tirupati.

A division bench gave the order on a petition filed by Raghava Reddy of Hyderabad. The bench has directed the Tirupati Tirumala Devasthanam (TTD), the temple authority, to file its counter within four weeks.

The petitioner argued that the goldplating project – “Ananda Nilayam-Ananta Swarnamayam” – would damage the centuries-old inscriptions on the temple walls. These inscriptions in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil, and the images of gods and goddesses are from the time of the Vijayanagara Empire, he stated.

“If these walls are gold- plated, the people won’t be able to view these inscriptions and ancient images,” Reddy stated.

The project has also faced resistance from purists, particularly the BJP and the Janata Party. A petition filed by Janata Party president Dr Subramanian Swamy is pending before the HC. Swamy argued that such projects served the personal agenda of some individuals who had no respect for traditional values. “Any interference with the basic structure of the temple should not be allowed,” he said.

Other purists argue that the project interfered with the temple structure.

Differences have also cropped up within the temple board over the viability of the multi-crore project.

TTD chairman D.K. Adikesavulu Naidu, the brain behind the project, asserted that all precautions were being taken to preserve the wall inscriptions.

“We have taken the consent of agama pundits before embarking on this project. All the ancient writings and epigraphically valuable texts on the temple walls are being digitised,” Naidu said.

Dismissed Kasab lawyer moves HC against judge

Mustafa Plumber

Posted: Apr 22, 2010 at 2304 hrs IST

Mumbai Lawyer Abbas Kazmi today moved a contempt petition in the High Court against 26/11 trial judge M L Tahaliyani, who had sacked him as terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s defence counsel on charges of non-cooperation and purposely delaying the trial.

Kazmi has urged the High Court to take suo motu cognisance and action against Tahaliyani under section 15(1) of the Contempt of Court Act.

The presentation of evidence and arguments in the 26/11 case are over and the judge has reserved the judgment for May 3. Kazmi says in his plea, “The facts of the complaint should not be taken as a reflection on the merits or legality of the proceedings of the trial and no part of the petition should be taken advantage of by any accused.”

The special court had given Kazmi the brief on April 16, 2009, at a fee of Rs 2,500 per day, and sacked him on November 30. The judge had called him a liar when he said he was not aware of the affidavits handed over to him by the Crime Branch.

Kazmi had requested the court to ask the prosecution to first move an application for tendering the formal evidence in court before he could reply how many witnesses he would cross-examine. Kazmi says the judge, instead of rejecting his plea or accepting the prosecution’s stand, dismissed him, “which is unheard of in any trial”. He questioned the court’s right to do so.

Kazmi says he has not yet got a certified copy of his removal order, nor has the Advocate General replied to an application for his consent before filing the contempt petition.

In his plea, Kazmi says Judge Tahaliyani, by “humiliating” him in court, has “committed contempt of his own court as well as the High Court”. He said Tahaliyani has lowered the dignity of the entire legal system. He added that the prosecution and sometimes the judge tarnished his image by terming him a “terrorist lawyer”.

HC to state: Provide alternate shelter to people staying on government land prior to 1991

Express News Service

Posted: Thursday , Apr 22, 2010 at 0319 hrs Ahmedabad:

The Gujarat High Court observed that people, who have been staying in houses on government land prior to 1991, should be given alternate accommodation in case the settlement has to be evicted for any public purpose.

A Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice made oral observations to this effect on Wednesday, while acting on a petition filed by 266 families of Khodiyar Nagar in Ghatlodia area.

The families have challenged the government move to demolish their homes without providing them alternate accommodation.

They had earlier filed a petition before a single judge bench, seeking directions for the authorities to stop the eviction till the time alternate accommodation is provided. The petitioners had made the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, the District Collector and the state government as respondents in the petition. The bench had rejected the plea.

Subsequently, the petitioners had filed an appeal against the order before the Division Bench. On Wednesday, opposing the petition, the government counsel said that some residents f Khodiyar Nagar have “illegally” constructed more than one room in the locality and are collecting rent.

To this, Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya observed that families living in the rented rooms should also be considered for alternate accommodation, if they are living there prior to 1991.

Counsel of the petitioners, Sudhir Nanavati, said the court has stayed eviction of all families staying in Khodiyar Nagar since 1991.

The next hearing has been fixed for May 11.

HC for panel to look into Gurjjars’ quota demand

Posted: Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 2155 hrs IST
Updated: Saturday, Apr 17, 2010 at 2155 hrs IST

Jaipur: The Rajasthan High Court on Friday directed the state government to appoint a committee to look into the agitating Gurjjars’ demand for reservation.

A Divisional Bench of Chief Justice JC Bhalla and Justice MN Bhandari passed the order on a PIL filed by JP Dadeech. “The court directed the government to constitute a committee led by a retired HC judge to look into the Gurjjars’ demand for reservation. The court has also asked the government to appraise it of security precautions taken,” said Dadeech’s counsel RP Garg. He said the committee will have a parliamentarian, a bureaucrat, a member of the Bar Association and Gurjjar community leaders as its members.

Dadeech had filed the PIL 15 days ago to seek details of the security precautions taken by the state to prevent untoward incidents during the current agitation. “My client maintains that there have been agitations like this twice, both of which ended in a breakdown of civil life and destruction of public property. The PIL was filed to prevent such incidents,” Garg said. The HC, Garg added, has now directed the state to take action against anyone who breaks the law.

Gurjjar leaders are, however, not reading much into the judgement. “This particular hearing was over a PIL and does not concern another case that deals with the implementation of 5% reservation for Gurjjars. Our agitation will continue,” said a senior Gurjjar leader.

Meanwhile, Kirori Singh Bainsla, who is spearheading the agitation for reservation, said their protest march towards Jaipur would continue despite the government inviting him for another round of dialogue.

The march reached Sikandra in Dausa district on Friday, around 70 km from Jaipur. The march started from Hindaun on Tuesday and is expected to enter the state capital in three days.

Ex-CJI’s sons pay Rs 89.75cr to buy Delhi house

TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 04.12am IST

NEW DELHI: Chetan Sabharwal and Nitin Sabharwal, the two sons of former chief justice of India Y K Sabharwal, have bought half of one of the most premium residential properties, 7 Sikandra Road, in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi. The other half of the property has been bought by the promoter and MD of real estate company BPTP, Kabul Chawla. The total deal is worth Rs 117 crore.

On Tuesday, the Sabharwal brothers and Chawla together paid Rs 89.75 crore as part payment for the property.
“Kabul Chawla has purchased 50% of this residential property in his personal capacity. This is not a joint property,”said a spokesperson in Kabul Chawla’s office. It means that the Sabharwal brothers will have to pay separately Rs 58.5 crore to complete the deal.

The name of Chetan Sabharwal and Nitin Sabharwal had cropped up earlier for running their businesses from the then CJI’s official residence. Also, the government had while responding to an RTI application in April 2009 revealed that the CBI was investigating allotment of a piece of land in Noida to Sabharwal’s daughter-in-law. The income-tax department is also investigating a South Delhi land deal by the Sabharwal brothers.

The part payment of Rs 89.75 crore for the 7 Sikandra Road bungalow deal has been made by the Sabharwal brothers and Chawla with the approval of a single-judge bench of Delhi high court. In fact, Triveni Infrastructure had bought the 2.70-acre property for Rs 117 crore in 2008 in a court supervised auction. Triveni paid Rs 29.25 crore — 25% of the total amount — upfront. But, it could not pay the rest — Rs 89.75 crore — on the due date.

Instead of paying the rest of the amount, Triveni Infrastructure filed a suit in the court praying that another company, Angle Infrabuild Private Ltd, be allowed to pay the balance with a penalty of Rs 5 crore. But as some of the original co-owners opposed the request, the court did not accept the offer. Meanwhile, the Sabharwal brothers approached the court saying they would pay the balance amount of Rs 89.75 crore of the original deal.

Following the payment made by them, the court ordered execution of the sale deed in the name of the Sabharwal brothers and their associate.

The rest of the amount — Rs 29.25 crore — which was paid by Triveni Infrastructure in 2008 will also be paid by the new set of buyers.

To beat ash cloud, CJI took 700km road trip

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Apr 22, 2010, 01.48am IST

NEW DELHI: Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan’s quick decision to hit the road –from Minsk in Poland to Moscow in Russia — helped him escape the dark clouds of volcanic ash from Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland which grounded flights in Europe.

By the time he got over with his speech at an international conference of chief justices on April 16, he was informed that Minsk airport was closed because of the volcanic ash clouds.

Acting fast, Justice Balakrishnan, who was scheduled to hear important matters in Supreme Court on Monday, requested the Indian ambassador to arrange for a car to take him to Moscow, a good 700 km away.

There was no certainty of getting a flight from Moscow to New Delhi as the ash clouds were getting closer to the airport with every passing hour but the CJI was game for the gruelling 12-hour journey and take his chance.

He did beat the ash clouds and reach Moscow in time to catch virtually the last flight home and he was presiding over a Bench in Chief Justice’s court on Monday and disposing of cases.

He was lucky because on Monday, Moscow airport got paralysed with 277 flights getting cancelled and 77 posponed leaving over 2 lakh passengers stranded.

But one of the top lawyers of the country, Harish Salve, had no such luck and has been grounded in London since the last one week. He was scheduled to come back to India to argue cases by Friday but the ash clouds left him with little choice but to remain in London as the airport there was rendered non-functional.

Many cases he was to argue, which would have earned him fees in lakhs of rupees, had to be adjourned.

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