LEGAL NEWS 02.04.2010

Audit finds financial irregularities in NCW activities
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Audit-finds-financial-irregularities-in-NCW-activities/598342
Express news service
Posted: Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010 at 2249 hrs New Delhi:
The Office of Director General of Audit has found huge financial irregularities in the functioning of the National Commission of Women (NCW), and summed up its performance as “not serving its very purpose”.
The latest audit report has found huge pendency in the disposal of complaints by the NCW. “Out of the total 7,509 complaints received by the Commission during the period 2008-09, only 1,077 complaints (14 per cent) were disposed of,” said the report. “A shortfall of about 84 per cent in achievement of conferences/seminars against the target indicates slackness in the function of the NCW,” added the report.
According to the report, the NCW entrusted the task of undertaking research studies and organising workshops and seminars on various issues to NGOs. However, in about 450-odd cases, utilisation certificates worth Rs 2 crore are still awaited from the NGOs, said the report. “This is not the first time,” said the audit report, adding, “Similar observations were also included in the previous year’s inspection report, but no remedial action has been taken by the commission so far.”
During the course of audit for the year 2008-09, the auditor also observed non-adjustment of advance payment of travel allowances amounting to Rs 23 lakh. Scrutiny of TA advance register reveals that in many cases, TA advance was given to the official without adjustment of the first advance. “It is evident that there is no control mechanism over the TA advances,” the report added.

NCW wants more teeth for domestic violence law
http://www.ptinews.com/news/589547_NCW-wants-more-teeth-for-domestic-violence-law
STAFF WRITER 14:14 HRS IST
New Delhi, Mar 31 (PTI) The National Commission for Women today said that the law to protect women from domestic violence needs to be given more teeth at the level of implementation and people working on it should ensure that its provisions are not watered down in revision.The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Rules, 2006 has recently been referred to a Committee on Subordinate Legislation of the Rajya Sabha, headed by BJP leader Najma Heptulla.”The NCW will also present its suggestions to the committee as we want to ensure that the bill is not diluted as the rules governing it are revised,” commission chairperson Girija Vyas said at a national consultation programme on the implementation of domestic violence bill by the Centre for Social Research.The committee has invited suggestions from individuals, organisations, institutions and experts on the efficacy of the rules by April 19.

Judgement on homosexuality would affect India’s ethos: guild
http://www.hindustantimes.com/rssfeed/goa/Judgement-on-homosexuality-would-affect-India-s-ethos-guild/Article1-525737.aspx
Press Trust Of India
Panaji, April 01, 2010
The Delhi High Court judgement decriminalising homosexuality is of great concern and it would adversely affect the ethos in India since most of our values are shaped and nurtured by customs and religion, association of Catholic doctors in Goa has said.
St Luke’s Medical guild, an association affiliated to Catholic Church, has said that the judgment would open the floodgates to a “culture of self indulgence and human destruction.”
The Court, on July 2, 2009, passed a ruling de-criminalising homosexual intercourse between consenting adults and judged section 377 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as conflicting with the fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution of India.
The guild, in the latest issue of their mouthpiece, ‘HOPE’ (Holiness Obtained by Practising Ethics), has said, “the unwarranted hype, discussions, debates and distortion by media on homosexuality has put human understanding into oblivion.”
“The church hates homosexuality but loves homosexuals and invites them to experience God’s liberating grace and come to attain the wholeness and holiness of life that every person is called to live,” the guild said.

Move not to call Modi not final: Nanavati panel to High Court
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Move-not-to-call-Modi-not-final–Nanavati-panel-to-High-Court/599081
Express news service
Posted: Friday , Apr 02, 2010 at 0238 hrs Ahmedabad:
Days after the SIT summoned and questioned Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in connection with a 2002 riot case, the Nanavati-Mehta Commission, probing the Godhra train attack and the riots that followed, has said its decision not to summon Modi and others until now was “not final”.
This was conveyed today by the Commission to the Gujarat High Court which had asked it to clarify its position on the matter.
The Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM), spearheading the legal battle for riot victims, had moved an application before the Commission to summon Modi and six others in connection with the Godhra attack and the riots. But last September, the Commission turned down the JSM plea.
The JSM took the matter to the High Court. Justice K S Jhaveri upheld the Commission order and the issue moved to the division bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhyaya and Justice Akil Kureshi.
The petitioner argued that since the terms of reference of the Commission itself have the provision to probe the role of the CM and others, the Commission must summon them. The term of the Commission ends on June 30.
The division bench asked the Commission to clarify whether its decision not to summon Modi and others was final or tentative. The Advocate General today produced in court a letter from the Commission Secretary.
Adjourning hearing on the petition to June 17, the court, in an oral order, observed: “The details of the steps taken by Commission and likely to be taken by the Commission are mentioned in this letter. It appears that order dated September 18, 2009 of Commission is not final.”

More than three lakh cases pending in Bombay HC: RTI
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5754090.cms
PTI, Apr 2, 2010, 12.53pm IST
THANE: Over three lakh cases are pending in the Bombay High Court, according to an information revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. The details, dated till December 31, 2009 were given after local social worker Omprakash Sharma sought information in this regard. According to the RTI reply statement, there were as many as 3,38,183 cases were pending in the Bombay High Court and the sanctioned number judges in the court is 75 while the working strength presently is 63. Also, the figures of the division bench vary as per the assignment of judicial work. During the present assignment there are ten division benches at Bombay, three at Nagpur, three at Aurangabad and one at Goa, it said. Normally, the assignment is changed five times in a year and matters are being placed in due sequence before the respective benches, it stated. Sharma has demanded the Union law ministry that additional benches be set up in Nanded, Jalgaon and Pune to clear the pendency.

HC stays suspension of AMU’s gay prof
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-stays-suspension-of-amus-gay-prof/599106/
Vijay Pratap Singh
Posted: Friday , Apr 02, 2010 at 0315 hrs Allahabad:
The Allahabad High Court today stayed the suspension of Aligarh Muslim University lecturer Srinivas Ramchandra Siras over charges of gay sex.
The court also stayed the AMU order asking him to vacate his official residence and restricting his movements. Siras was suspended on February 9. The court, however, declined to stay the AMU inquiry against him.
In an interim order, the division bench of Justices Sunil Ambwani and K N Pandey directed AMU to allot Siras a residence on the campus. The case will be heard next on May 4.
“The court agreed to our argument that it is constitutionally wrong to intrude into anybody’s private life or action,” Siras’s counsel Anand Grover told The Indian Express.
He said he had accepted in court that his client was homosexual. “But it is none of the university’s business to peep into the private life of any person. The court took cognisance of my argument and gave my client relief.”

HC quashes ’15-yr-old’ domestic violence case
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/HC-quashes-15-yr-old-domestic-violence-case/articleshow/5753163.cms
TNN, Apr 2, 2010, 03.47am IST
MUMBAI: A 44-year-old woman who approached the court with a complaint under the Domestic Violence Act against her husband, a junior college lecturer, who had “deserted” her 15 years ago was shown the door by the Bombay high court. Justice A B Chaudhari quashed Amravati resident Shalini Kale’s complaint against her estranged husband Kishore Kale (52) and ruled that she was not entitled to any benefits of the 2005 law enacted to protect woman from violence at home. “According to me, domestic violence having been alleged only after 15 years by the wife would constitute an abuse of the process of law,” said Justice Chaudhari. “It is true that the Act of 2005 is a beneficial piece of legislation, but (the provisions of the law) clearly show that domestic violence cannot readily be inferred, but will have to be found out on the facts and circumstances of each case.” Kale had married Shalini in 1990, but their marital life lasted barely two years. According to Shalini, Kale deserted her and their son in 1992. Shalini and her son filed a domestic violence complaint in 2007 on the ground that they were deserted and neglected. The complaint further said Kale had reportedly shown Shalini as dead in the service records. She claimed maintenance of Rs 7,000 per month for herself and her college-going son and suitable accommodation. When an Amravati court allowed her complaint, Kale moved the HC. His lawyers claimed that no incidents of violence had been alleged in the near or recent past. Shalini’s lawyers contended that economic abuse, refusal to provide maintenance, house accommodation or financial resources or such other facilities as the wife is entitled to from the husband without there being any actual violence amounts to domestic violence under the law. The HC, however, pointed out that Shalini and her son were receiving maintenance according to a 1996 court order. The court held that the allegations too were vague. “Suddenly, after a big gap of 15 years the Act of 2005 having been brought into force, they approached the Court with the grievance that they want higher amount of maintenance and rental in lieu of accommodation as there is domestic violence on the part of the petitioner,” the court said and held that no such offence could be inferred. “(Shalini and her son) could have adopted their remedy available under the other laws for enhancement of maintenance or accommodation or rental or as the case may be, but certainly they were not entitled.

No jams during IPL, cops to HC
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5753346.cms
Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN, Apr 2, 2010, 06.17am IST
NAGPUR: The Maharashtra government on Thursday assured the Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench that there will be no roadblocks on the busy Wardha road during the Indian Premier League (IPL) matches to be played at Jamtha stadium on April 5, 10 and 12. The Deccan Chargers are scheduled to play three of their games in the Orange City owing to disturbances in Andhra Pradesh over Telangana issue. A division bench of justices Dilip Sinha and FM Reis then disposed of the petition filed by a city-based cricket fan Harish Dhapodkar through counsel Smita Sarode Singalkar for providing better facilities and ensuring uninterrupted traffic during the matches. The two affidavits filed by Nagpur rural SP Chhagan Wakde and ACP (traffic, east) Suryabhan Ingle assured the court that elaborate arrangements have been made for ensuring smooth flow of traffic during the highprofile matches. The affidavits said that the stretch of road from Hotel Pride to Jamtha would be managed by the rural police while the city cops would be in charge near the hotel area. As many as 1,688 police personnel, including Bomb Detection and Disposal Squad (BDDS) and State Reserve Police (SRP) would be deployed on the entire stretch of the road up to the stadium to avoid any eventuality. Over 1,150 police constables, 100 traffic personnel and 125 women would manage the affairs from a makeshift check-post to be set up at Hotel Pride. Parking would be prohibited on the stretch of road leading to Jamtha and heavy vehicles banned from entering the city at least three hours before the matches and two hours after it. Heavy vehicles would not be allowed to ply on Wardha road three hours before and after the match schedule. During the last hearing, the court had issued notices to IPL chairman Lalit Modi, state government through the commissioner of police, SP (Nagpur rural), NHAI and VCA chairman Sudhir Dabir.

SC stays HC order on marriage jurisdiction
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5753305.cms
PTI, Apr 2, 2010, 05.38am IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court stayed a Delhi High Court order which had ruled that Indian courts cannot entertain matrimonial disputes if the couple are foreign citizens. A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and T S Thakur posted the matter for further hearing to May 7 after additional solicitor general Indira Jaising and counsel Akshay Bhan, appearing for the divorced wife, argued that the issue has to be examined at length as it involved important questions of Constitutional law. The apex court had last week in an interim order restrained the Interpol from taking custody of the minor boy.

HC out to end lawyers’ strikes, bar association promises battle
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hcouttoendlawyersstrikes-barassociationpromisesbattle/598971/0
Maneesh Chhibber
Posted: Friday , Apr 02, 2010 at 0100 hrs New Delhi:
In a first-of-its-kind move, the Delhi High Court has decided to ban strikes by lawyers. If the move comes through, the court will be the first in the country to bar lawyers from abstaining from courts or boycotting judicial proceedings.
The HC is proposing to arm itself with the authority to debar any lawyer or office-bearer or any lawyers’ body for a “period not less than one year but not exceeding five years” if they resort to strike. The HC Chief Justice will constitute a disciplinary committee comprising one or more judges to decide on the quantum of punishment.
The legal fraternity is already up in arms against the move, with the Delhi High Court Bar Association gearing up to oppose it “tooth-and-nail”.
According to sources in the court, the decision was made at a meeting of senior judges on February 18. Delhi High Court Bar Association president A S Chandhiok, who was a special invitee at the meeting along with the association secretary and vice-president, opposed the move, saying the HC didn’t have the authority to do so. He is also learnt to have told the judges that the association will submit its stand in writing, which it has not done so far.
Chandhiok told Newsline that he had told the judges that the move to make it illegal for lawyers to resort to strike was out of their jurisdiction.
“We put the issue before our executive committee and there is unanimity that we will oppose the move. How can the judges take away our right to protest?” Chandhiok said. “It is not as if we resort to strike on frivolous or trivial matters. But to go on strike or abstain from court work or boycotting judicial proceedings is a weapon for us. How can the judges expect us to give it up?” Asked if there was any possibility of the association accepting the proposal, Chandhiok, who is an Additional Standing Counsel for the Government of India, said, “There is no question of accepting it.”
In a landmark judgment in 2002, a Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court had ruled that lawyers should not resort to strikes except in the “rarest of rare cases where the dignity, integrity and independence of the Bar and/or the Bench are at stake”. Last month, the Delhi Judicial Service (DJS) Association, which represents judicial officers in Delhi, had sought the High Court’s intervention to stop lawyers from resorting to strikes against corruption in the judiciary.

Boy’s eye lost in school fight, mother in HC for guidelines
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/boyseyelostinschoolfight-motherinhcforguidelines/598888/0
Sukanya Shetty
Posted: Friday , Apr 02, 2010 at 2347 hrs Mumbai:
Months after a seven-year-old boy lost an eye following a fight with a classmate in a school run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, his mother filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court on Thursday, seeking guidelines to ensure safety in schools run by the civic authorities.
On January 15, Sohail Mohammad (7) got into a brawl with a classmate and was jabbed in the left eye with a pencil. According to the petition, the child bled for over two hours but was not taken to a hospital, though the school is adjacent to the Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital, Sion.
Sohail’s mother Sherbano Khan, in her public interest litigation, has challenged the role of the civic authorities and has also sought compensation for her child. “Sohail was made to sit with his injured eye for over two hours. After school, he was asked to go home,” she says.
Sohail was operated at the civic body-run KEM Hospital at Parel, but doctors could not save his eyesight. Sherbano approached the school authorities and the Sion police seeking action against the teacher.
“Till date nothing has been done. The school told Sherbano on February 22 that an inquiry has been initiated. But no action has been taken,” said the petitioner’s lawyer, Bhavesh Parmar.
“The child’s eyesight could have been retained had the teacher immediately rushed him to hospital. Also, we in the petition are pointing out a crucial aspect, on whether the school in whose custody a child is handed over is responsible for the child’s safety too,” added Parmar.
Citing a Supreme Court judgment, the petition focuses on the aspect of the “golden hour” rule in case of accidents.
“According to the apex court’s judgment, a person should be attended to and taken to the hospital within two hours. There should be guidelines which make it mandatory that a child should be attended within two hours in case of such accidents,” added Parmar.

Godfrey files appeal against HC order on Sunflake Gold
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/news-by-industry/cons-products/tobacco/Godfrey-files-appeal-against-HC-order-on-Sunflake-Gold/articleshow/5753152.cms

2 Apr 2010, 0331 hrs IST,Almas Meherally,ET Bureau
MUMBAI: Godfrey Phillips has filed an appeal before a division bench of the Bombay High Court challenging an order that temporarily restrained it
from marketing its newly-launched Sunflake Gold cigarettes. Justice RY Ganoo had passed an order on March 19, saying, prima facie, Godfrey violated copyright of ITC. The court asked Godfrey not to sell Sunflake Gold cigarettes until it concludes the initial hearing of the case. After the launch of Sunflake Gold this year, ITC had filed a petition against Godfrey in February alleging the packaging, price & size of Sunflake Gold cigarettes were similar to its product — Wills Flake Excel. ITC launched Wills Flake Excel in April 2009. “Godfrey Phillips’ product was launched in a fashion so that it could pass off for ITC’s product and confuse the consumer,“ ITC counsel Virendra Tulzapurkar had contended during his course of arguments. Godfrey counsels Aspi Chinoy and Venkatesh Dhond said colour, size and dimension of the cigarette packs were common in the industry, and hence, Godfrey had not violated ITC’s copyrights.

HC allows govt to sell sugar units
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5753319.cms
TNN, Apr 2, 2010, 05.52am IST
ALLAHABAD: A division bench of Allahabad High Court delivered an important judgment on Thursday declaring provisions of UP Sugar Undertakings Acquisition (Amendment) Act 2009 as intra-vires to the Constitution of India and held that this provision is within the legislative competence of state legislature. By holding the amended Act 2009 as intra-vires to the Constitution the court has given the state government the right to sell or transfer any of its assets or liabilities or part thereof which has vested in the corporation in public interest in accordance with the provision of the corporation. The bench comprised Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Vineet Saran.

Judiciary against time limit on reserving verdicts
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics/nation/Judiciary-against-time-limit-on-reserving-verdicts/articleshow/5753250.cms
2 Apr 2010, 0512 hrs IST,Bharti Jain,ET Bureau
NEW DELHI: It were not only differences within the Union Cabinet on the mechanism to hold judges accountable for alleged misconduct that stalled
clearance of the proposed Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill. It is now reliably learnt that reservations of the higher judiciary, conveyed informally to the government, against the bill’s provision requiring judges to deliver a judgement within 90 days after conclusion of arguments, also forced the government into a rethink. According to sources in the government, the higher judiciary was not willing to be bound by a time-limit for reserving verdicts as it perceived this as impinging upon the “independence” of the judiciary. There is no maximum timeframe mentioned in the present law for which a judge can reserve his judgement after conclusion of arguments. There are cases where the judgement has been reserved and not delivered for years together. Reserving judgements for long periods runs the risk of a re-trial from the scratch in the event of death of the judge in the intervening period. The 90-day limit between conclusion of arguments and delivering of the judgement was thought as reasonable for a judge to read through the case files and finalise the verdict. It may be recalled that the Centre had last month put off a decision on the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, 2010, which seeks to lay down judicial standards and establish a mechanism to deal with complaints of misconduct of judges of the Supreme Court and high courts. The Union cabinet discussed the bill but a decision on the matter was deferred. The bill has now been referred to the GoM. Besides other issues, the bill aims to address the anomaly in the four decades-old Judges Enquiry Act, 1968, that currently exists in dealing with judges facing complaints of misconduct, as the only option available against such judges is impeachment. The new Bill, prepared by the law ministry, provides for a series of committees to probe the allegations against judges before an impeachment motion is introduced in either house of Parliament.

Top court bans entry over cap
http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/india/Top-court-bans-entry-over-cap/Article1-526015.aspx
Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 02, 2010
Mansoor Ahmad, a law student from Aligarh Muslim University, has been barred from entering the courtrooms of the country’s top court because he wears a cap.
The 24-year-old came to the Supreme Court with 82 other BA LL.B. final-year students for an internship programme that started on March 10.
“After two-three days, I was told by a security guard in front of the CJI’s court to remove my cap before entering. When I asked why, he said it was against court decorum,” Ahmad said.
“I offered to get my cap checked but they were not ready to let me in with my cap on,” Ahmad, who is from Kashmir, told HT.
Thereafter, he started attending proceedings in courtrooms at the back of the premises. “But after a few days, the security men there too stopped me from entering with my cap,” he said.
Ahmad does not want to remove his cap as he says lawyers are allowed to wear caps as part of their sherwani-pajama dress code. Also, he wears it for religious reasons.
He took up the matter with an additional registrar and a registrar, but both asked him not to make an issue of it. “Bete (son), you are here for training, concentrate on that. What if you put off your cap?” Ahmad quoted the registrar, Ashok Kumar, as having advised him. When he asked for a written reply, Kumar reportedly told him it would take time.
After failing to make any headway with the court authorities, Ahmad filed a right to information application and is waiting for a response. Supreme Court secretary general M.P. Bhadran said: “It’s a question of decorum in court. It has nothing to do with religion.”

Moily, CJI, Vahanvati decide against going to US
http://www.siasat.com/english/news/moily-cji-vahanvati-decide-against-going-us
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
New Delhi, March 30: Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Attorney General G E Vahanvati have decided against going to the United States following the Ministry of External Affairs contention that the programme does not merit presence of so many higher ups.
They were planning to attend a three-day programme at the Dean Rusk Center for International Legal Studies at University of Georgia beginning April 2.
But MEA, in a letter to Secretary (Justice) in the Law Ministry said the proposed programme does not seem to merit the participation of the Law Minister, the CJI and the AG.
“The MEA has not put a spanner. In fact, they were told that they could go ahead if they wish to.–PTI

Why do illegal buildings resurface so fast: HC
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_why-do-illegal-buildings-resurface-so-fast-hc_1366320
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Friday, April 2, 2010 0:21 IST
Mumbai: The state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) faced the ire of the Bombay high court on Wednesday for not taking timely action against the alleged illegal constructions at Bandra (East).
“This happens (failure to take action) regularly. One day the illegal constructions are cleared, but the structure promptly reappears the next day,” remarked a division bench of justice F I Rebello and justice Amjad Sayed.
The court pulled up the state for not providing police protection to the BMC while it carried out demolition of illegal structures. The court also questioned BMC if they asked for police protection during demolition or not.
“We want the state to provide the machinery. If you [the state] are providing protection to the corporation, then how are illegal structures mushrooming in the city?” the judges demanded to know.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) alleging that the underworld was financing a redevelopment project in the Naupada area of Bandra (East).
A PIL, which was filed in September, 2009 by one Ashraf Mansuri, a resident of Naupada, alleges that Anees and Imran Khan, sons of Yakub Yeda – an absconding accused in the 1993 bomb blasts case – are developing and constructing at least 40 properties in Bandra (East). The petition states that keeping in mind the underworld connection of Yakub, there are chances of the underworld financing these constructions.
The petition also states that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was not taking enough steps to prevent these constructions.
BMC, on the other hand, told the court that they had issued stop-work notices last year. The advocate for the BMC sought time to file a detailed reply.
Yakub Yeda has been declared absconding by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) along with the main conspirator Tiger Memon, Dawood Ibrahim and several others. Yakub is believed to be hiding in Dubai.

“Centre alone could appeal against Lalu in assets case”
http://www.thehindu.com/2010/04/02/stories/2010040260220100.htm
J. Venkatesan
Bihar plea in Patna High Court not maintainable: Supreme Court
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday held that a State government could not prefer an appeal in a High Court against a trial court order in cases exclusively investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
By giving this ruling, a Bench of Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan and Justices R.M. Lodha and B.S. Chauhan granted a major relief to Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi, who challenged the appeals filed by Bihar in the Patna High Court against a trial court verdict acquitting them in disproportionate assets cases, the fallout of the fodder scam. The Bench held that the appeals filed by Bihar were not maintainable.
On December 18, 2006, Special CBI judge Muni Lal Paswan acquitted the couple in the corruption cases in which it was alleged that they amassed assets worth Rs. 46 lakh beyond the known sources of their income when Mr. Prasad was Chief Minister between 1990 and 1997.
Since the CBI did not file an appeal in the High Court, the State government moved it. The High Court, by an interim order on September 20, 2007, held that Bihar’s appeal was maintainable. The appeals in the Supreme Court by Mr. Prasad, Ms. Rabri Devi and the CBI are directed against this order.
Justice Lodha, writing the judgment, agreed with senior counsel Ram Jethmalani that the State government was not competent to file an appeal as such a right was the exclusive jurisdiction of the Centre in a matter dealt with by the CBI.
The Bihar government argued that under Section 378 of the Cr.PC the State would have the right to file an appeal if the CBI did not do so in respect of an offence committed within its jurisdiction. To this, the Bench said, then “we would have to say that no matter that a complaint was not lodged by the State government or its officers; investigation was not done by its police establishment; prosecution was neither commenced nor continued by the State government; a public prosecutor was not appointed by the State government; the State government had nothing to do with the criminal case; all steps from the launching of prosecution until its logical end were taken by the CBI and yet the State government may file an appeal from an order of acquittal under Section 378 (1) of the Cr.PC that would be rendering the exception clause in Section 378 (2) redundant, meaningless and unnecessary.”
Under Section 24 of the Cr.PC, the Centre or the State government could appoint its public prosecutors for conducting the trial, appeal or other proceedings on its behalf and one would have no control over the other. The public prosecutor had to be associated in an appeal against acquittal. In the present case, since the CBI conducted the probe and its public prosecutor handled the case, it was only the CBI which could prefer an appeal.

Bench dismisses writ petition
http://www.thehindu.com/2010/03/26/stories/2010032667370200.htm
Mohamed Imranullah S.
Filed by a tea stall owner
MADURAI: The Madras High Court Bench here on Monday refused to interfere with an administrative order passed by the Kanyakumari Principal District and Sessions Judge directing a tea stall owner, who had been supposedly doing business for the last 23 years, to vacate the district court premises.
Dismissing a writ petition filed by the individual, Justice K. Venkataraman said that the petitioner had not submitted any documentary evidence to prove that he had put up the tea stall in the court premises after obtaining necessary permission from the authorities concerned.
Circular
The judge also pointed out that the District Judge had initiated the action against the tea stall owner only on the basis of an administrative circular issued by the High Court on May 6, last year calling for the details of the commercial establishments functioning inside the premises of the subordinate courts.
Clean and tidy
The details were sought for pursuant to a report submitted by the Justice Shetty commission which enquired into the functioning of the subordinate judiciary and recommended that the court premises should be kept clean and tidy so as to impress upon good and healthy surroundings. “Even otherwise, the petitioner is not having any legal right to say he shall be permitted to run the tea stall within the court premises. A person who does not have any licence to run a tea stall cannot expect a seal of approval from this Court for such commercial activities,” Mr. Justice Venkataraman said.
However, the judge made it clear that the petitioner, R. Vijayakumar alias Vijayan, would be entitled to participate if the District Judge or the Public Works Department happened to conduct any public auction for renting out a portion of the premises for a tea stall.

‘Education act should have come 50 years back’
http://www.hindustantimes.com/newdelhi/Education-act-should-have-come-50-years-back/525812/H1-Article1-525857.aspx
Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, April 01, 2010
Terming the landmark Right to Education (RTE) Act which came into force on Thursday as “marvellous and great”, India’s leading educationist and an advisor to the central government, Prof. Yash Pal said the act should have come five decades back.
“This is great. This is marvellous. But I believe it should have come 50 years back,” said Yash Pal, who is also a former chairman of the University Grants Commission.
“Let this act start functioning. I think there will be an amendment in future to incorporate all students and just not of the six to 14 age group,” he said.
“I think, there should be some provision for children below six and above 14,” said the former scientists, who was also a key figure behind developing new curricula under the national curriculum framework.
He was, however, very optimistic about the fact that the act, which promises freedom from illiteracy, will focus on helping over eight million out-of-school children gain education.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh dedicated the act to the nation as a fundamental right and hoped to empower the nation through the light of education.

HC rejects plea to order temple entry to Yesudas
http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?Title=HC+rejects+plea+to+order+temple+entry+to+Yesudas&artid=DcVDfbWhRWc=&SectionID=1ZkF/jmWuSA=&MainSectionID=fyV9T2jIa4A=&SectionName=X7s7i%7CxOZ5Y=&SEO=

Express News Service
First Published : 01 Apr 2010 02:41:00 AM IST
Last Updated :

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to issue a directive to Guruvayur Devaswom Board not to prohibit singer K J Yesudas from entering Guruvayur temple.
The court imposed a symbolic fine of Re 1 on the petitioner saying that unnecessary litigation of this nature flood the courts wasting space, time and executive energy.
Dismissing the petition filed by Lalitha Vasudevan, Ponnadiparambath, Elathur, Kozhikode, a Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice P S Gopinathan said the petitioner was trying to extend an unsolicited aid to Yesudas.
“The right of the petitioner to freedom of conscience and her right to profess, practise and propagate religion cannot be mixed up with any similar right,” the Division Bench ruled.
The court said the right to profess and propagate religion did not include the right to insist that a third person be permitted to act in terms of a particular religion.
The petitioner had said that Article 25 of the Indian Constitution guaranteed the right to practise religion of one’s faith. “Prohibiting Yesudas from entering the temple would be a violation of the fundamental right to propagate my religion. It is part of my fundamental right to insist that a person of Hindu belief be allowed to enter the temple,” the petitioner had argued.

‘Bullet-proof jackets can’t protect from powerful weapons’
http://sify.com/news/bullet-proof-jackets-can-t-protect-from-powerful-weapons-news-national-kd5wEcjhijf.html
IANS
2010-03-31 22:40:00
The bullet-proof jacket worn by slain ATS chief Hemant Karkare returned to haunt the Maharashtra government Wednesday when the opposition Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party slammed it for purchasing sub-standard jackets.
Senior Sena leader Ramdas Kadam, who raised the issue in the Maharashtra Legislative Council Wednesday evening, alleged that the vests purchased by the government did not offer protection to the neck of the person wearing it.
Hence, Karkare died in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks as he sustained bullet injuries in his neck, Kadam said.
In a related development, an affidavit filed in the Bombay High Court Wednesday by the government made the startling revelation that the bullet-proof jackets were not meant to offer protection from powerful weapons like the AK-47 and 7.52 SLR.
The affidavit, filed by Deputy Commissioner of Police Vijay Jadhav said that the order for the jackets was placed in 2001 when a situation like the Mumbai terror attacks was not anticipated.
Hence, the jackets were meant for protection from smaller weapons like 9 mm pistol and carbines, and ‘not for AK-47 rifle and 7.62 SLR’, Jadhav’s affidavit said.
He added that similar jackets are still used even by the Indian ‘military forces’. The affidavit was filed in reply to a public interest litigation by social activist Santosh Daundkar a few months ago following the controversy over Karkare’s missing jacked.
Besides Karkare, additional police commissioner Ashok Kamte and encounter specialist Vijay Salaskar were felled by the Pakistani terrorists’ bullets on the night of Nov 26-27, 2008.
Daundkar has alleged in his PIL that Karkare died because the jackets were of a sub-standard quality and that there was corruption in their purchase.
The government had floated a tender in 2001 for the purchase of a total 110 jackets which were supplied by MS Corporation and Ganesh Yarutext in 2004.
He had earlier contended that Karkare died as the bullet-proof jacket left the neck and shoulder areas exposed.
Further hearing in the PIL will continue next month.

Bombay HC warns director general of civil aviation of contempt
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_bombay-hc-warns-director-general-of-civil-aviation-of-contempt_1365936
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Thursday, April 1, 2010 0:34 IST
Mumbai: A division bench of the Bombay high court on Wednesday took exception to the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) failing to file a reply on the air-traffic congestion issue.
Irked by the central authority’s ‘lethargic’ attitude, justices FI Rebello and Amjad Sayed gave the DGCA a last chance to file the reply in two weeks or to face contempt of court charges.
The court was hearing a public interest litigant (PIL) initiated by the Resources of Civil Aviation Redressal Association and seven others. Filed in 2009, the PIL claims the air congestion at Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport jeopardises the safety and security of travellers.
Petitioner’s advocates Joaquin Reis and Vinay Hegde argued that there was too much traffic congestion at the airport which often causes delay in flights to take off and land.
“Many times, the flights have to circle over the airport for nearly an hour before it allowed to land. This consumes more fuel which costs thousands of dollars,” Reis argued.
However, an affidavit filed by V Balasubramanian, deputy general manager (law), with the Airport Authority India on Wednesday said there was no illegality, irrationality and procedural impropriety.He refuted the allegations that all flights departing from or arriving at Mumbai airport were delayed.
Partha Ganguly, general manager (legal), the Mumbai International Airport Private Limited, also filed an affidavit which states that the traffic movements at the airport is not a matter capable of judicial determination.

SC rejects PIL for Husain’s return
http://www.deccanchronicle.com/national/sc-dismisses-plea-return-husain-withdrawal-cases-117
March 26th, 2010
PTI
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to direct the government to take steps to ensure return of self-exiled painter M.F. Husain, who has been residing in a Gulf country, to India and withdrawal of cases against him.
A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan refused to entertain a petition seeking a direction to the government to withdraw all criminal cases against the 95-year-old artist to ensure his return to the country.
“If he is in Doha, what is the problem,” the bench queried while asking the petitioner to withdraw his plea.
Husain had recently given up his Indian passport and accepted Qatari citizenship. He has been living in self-exile for nearly four years following a spate of cases in India over his controversial paintings of Hindu goddesses.
“The prayer made in the petition cannot be granted,” the bench said.
The judges were hearing the petition filed by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party Chief Bhim Singh in which he had pleaded that the court should ask Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to bring Husain back to India.
The apex court said it cannot direct the Union of India to withdraw the cases as the complaints were filed by private individuals.
The bench pointed out that it had transferred all the cases against him for adjudication in Delhi.
The PIL was filed on February 26 seeking direction to the Centre for withdrawal of all cases lodged against Husain and ensuring his return to the country.
Mr Singh, a former MP, had claimed that Husain’s fundamental rights stood violated as he was unable to return to India due the 900-odd cases slapped against him for his alleged blasphemous paintings of Hindu deities.
The PIL referred to an earlier Supreme Court observation in connection with one of the cases against Husain that no exception should be taken to artistic expressions.

Private firms not bound to re-deploy disabled employees: apex court
http://www.livemint.com/2010/04/01175458/Private-firms-not-bound-to-re.html?h=B
The apex court said the statutory provision which mandates that an employee who is disabled during the course of his employment should be re-deployed in some other posts instead of being sacked would apply only to in government service
PTI
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has upheld the sacking of an employee who became deaf during his employment and said private employers were not under any legal obligation to re-deploy such persons in some other posts.
The apex court said the statutory provision which mandates that an employee who is disabled during the course of his employment should be re-deployed in some other posts instead of being sacked would apply only to in government service.
“Private employers, whether individuals, partnerships, proprietary concerns or companies (other than government companies) are clearly excluded from the ‘establishments’ to which section 47 of the Act will apply,” a three-judge bench of justices R.V. Raveendran, R.M. Lodha and C.K. Prasad said in a judgement.
The apex court passed the judgement while quashing a Bombay high court order which directed Dalco Engineering Private Ltd to re-deploy S.P. Padhye, a telephone operator whose sevices were terminated after he developed 85% hearing impairment.
The high court held that the Dalco, though a private limited company, was an “establishment” as defined under section 2(k) of the “Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995” Act and consequently section 47 of the Act enjoined it not to dispense with the services of its employee who developed a disability.
Aggrieved, the company appealed in the apex court contending that provisions of the Act would not apply to private organisations.

Any appeal would be made before the high court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Any-appeal-would-be-made-before-the-high-court/articleshow/5748911.cms
TNN, Apr 1, 2010, 02.24am IST
MUMBAI: Ajmal Kasab has a little over a month to mull his fate. If special trial judge M L Tahaliyani holds the slightly built Ajmal Kasab guilty, the Pakistani would have the option of appealing the verdict. The appeal would have to be made before the Bombay high court. Kasab would not be able to go straight to the Supreme Court if he wants to challenge any verdict against him. If Ajmal Kasab’s defence lawyer, K P Pawar, is able to convince the court of his innocence, then it would be the state running to the high court in appeal. In either case, it is only after the Bombay high court decides the appeal that the matter can be raised before the Supreme Court. The maximum punishment Ajmal Kasab would attract is a death sentence, which is what special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam could plead for if the court convicts Kasab. If a death sentence is given, it can be challenged all the way to the Supreme Court. The matter can even be brought up before the President of India. It remains to be seen what strategies the lawyers adopt when the judge announces his verdict on May 3.

HC reserves order on removal on ad-hoc judges
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/HC-reserves-order-on-removal-on-ad-hoc-judges/articleshow/5748509.cms
TNN, Apr 1, 2010, 04.25am IST
AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Wednesday reserved its judgement on petitions filed by retrenched fast track court (FTC) judges challenging the high court’s decision to discontinue their services with a remark that they are unsuitable’ for the job. In November last year, the high court and the state government removed 56 FTC ad-hoc judges from their posts. Out of 66 such judicial officers, some 30 persons challenged the decision of retrenchment before the high court. A division bench of Chief Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya and Justice AS Dave heard their case. The division bench asked the high court authorities about parameters on which it assessed the services of these judges and decided to remove them. The bench was not satisfied with the data provided by the registry as the judges felt that the registry had placed, even filed’ and dropped matter before the committee of judges who took decision of discontinuing FTC judges. The bench pulled up the high court for paying heed to some frivolous’ charges made against FTC judges. The division bench came down heavily on the judicial officer who prepared the report on performance and conduct of FTC judges. “The officer is not the chief justice…He made the high court judges biased,” Justice Mukhopadhaya said and pulled him up for doubting the integrity of all FTC judges. Upset about the way registry maintained the reports, Chief Justice observed that certain comments, which were not part of the report that was placed before the standing committee of high court judges for consideration, were added later. “Something is wrong somewhere… HC should act in a decent manner, for it is not a general litigant,” he commented.

Karkare’s bulletproof vest was sub-standard: Govt tells Bombay HC
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_karkare-s-bulletproof-vest-was-sub-standard-govt-tells-bombay-hc_1365875
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Wednesday, March 31, 2010 22:11 IST
Last updated: Thursday, April 1, 2010 1:39 IST
Mumbai: The state government made a startling revelation to the Bombay high court on Wednesday — the bulletproof jacket worn by slain anti terrorism squad chief Hemant Karkare on 26/11 was sub-standard as it was not the one originally ordered.
According to the submission, the original jackets were resistant to AK-47, SLR 7.62, 9mm carbine, 9 mm pistol and .38 revolver, but the jackets finally delivered were of sub-standard quality. However, the affidavit filed by deputy commissioner of police Vijaysingh Jadhav on behalf of the state, says that even if Karkare was wearing the original jacket on 26/11, it would not have prevented his death because the bullets had pierced his throat and neck.
The affidavit states that tests on sample jackets provided in March 2001 had shown that they could give protection against AK-47, SLR 7.62, 9 mm carbine, 9 mm pistol and a .38 revolver. But jackets received in June 2004 could protect only against .9 mm ball FMJ and grenade fragments.
Contrary to the affidavit, a report on tests on the jackets in March 2002 says the sample was tested for AK-47, SLR 7.62, 9 mm carbine, 9 mm pistol and .38 Revolver. The report was signed by Ashok Kamte (then DCP Zone-I) — who died along with Karkare on 26/11.
The affidavit also denies any corruption on the part of the staff of the CP’s office in placing the order for two consignments of the jackets.

Won’t interfere in skywalk construction: HC
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Won-t-interfere-in-skywalk-construction–HC/598393/
Express News Service
Posted: Thursday , Apr 01, 2010 at 0016 hrs Mumbai:
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it would not interfere in the
construction of skywalks, as it is a policy matter of the state. The statement
came in response to advocate Mukesh Vashi’s contention in a petition that
skywalks are neither part of regional plan nor development plan. Yet it has
been proposed by the state that 67 new skywalks be constructed. The Division
Bench comprising Justice FI Rebello and Justice AA Sayed disposed off the
petition observing that the issue is of vital importance as public resources
are employed in the construction of skywalks.

Plea in HC seeks CBI probe into encounter death
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/Plea-in-HC-seeks-CBI-probe-into-encounter-death/articleshow/5748274.cms
TNN, Apr 1,
2010, 04.19am IST

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court on Wednesday issued notices to the state government and the police on a petition seeking a CBI investigation into the killing of Pandi alias Dindigul Pandi in a police encounter near Neelankarai on February 8. In a writ petition, Pandi’s mother Tamilarasi of Pattukkottai in Thanjavur district, asked for a direction to the authorities to register a first information report in connection with the “unnatural death” of her son and the transfer of the investigation to the CBI. She also sought an inquiry by a judicial magistrate into the suspected custodial death as required under Section 176 (1A) of the CrPC, besides a direction to the state government to award compensation of Rs 20 lakh to her. According to the petitioner, Pandi and his associate, Guduvancheri Velu, were arrested at Thangam Nagar in Erode on February 7. However, the police claimed that they had received information that the two were travelling to Chennai from Erode by car and that Pandi was shot dead on the afternoon of February 8 near Neelankarai. “My son was deliberately killed by the police, and it was not in self-defence as claimed. The story of the police is highly questionable,” she said, adding that an investigation by People’s Watch’, a non-governmental organisation, the duo were arrested in Erode on February 7 and killed on the way to Chennai. Also, when the petitioner and others saw the bodies, the stench indicated that the bodies were in an advanced state of decay and that they might have been dead for a much longer period than claimed by the police. She and her family members were forced to sign statements prepared by the police and even the inquiry conducted by the revenue divisional officer was also improper, she said. Justice Paul N Vasanthakumar, before whom the petition came up for admission, issued notices to the police and government, returnable in two weeks.

Nalini to challenge TN govt order in HC
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Nalini-to-challenge-TN-govt-order-in-HC/598529
Press Trust of India
Posted: Thursday , Apr 01, 2010 at 0243 hrs Chennai:
Nalini, a life convict in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case, will move the Madras High Court challenging Tamil Nadu government’s decision rejecting her request for premature release.
Nalini, 24, conveyed her decision to her lawyer P Pugazhendhi, who met her at the high security women’s special prison at Vellore on Tuesday evening.
Pugazhendhi, who was the first to meet Nalini after the government’s rejection of her plea, said she was shocked to hear about the decision, which was conveyed to the court on Monday through Advocate General P S Raman.
The lawyer claimed that though the Prison Advisory Board (PAB) committee members, who considered her premature release request, had given a report in her favour, the government has gone by a report of the Royapetta Police Station, which had anticipated law and order problem in the area if she was freed.
Though Nalini’s mother and brother were staying in the area for over a decade, there was no law and order problem, he said, adding that Nalini felt that it was wrong on the part of the government to “totally rely” on the inspector’s report to reject her request.

HC rejects KF’s plea against CCI probe into Jet alliance
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articleshow/5748817.cms
1 Apr 2010, 0134 hrs IST,Almas Meherally,ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed Kingfisher Airlines’ application challenging a Competition Commission of India (CCI) notice
that sought to inquire into Kingfisher’s alliance with Jet Airways. The division bench of Justices JN Patel and CL Pangarkar dismissed the application, saying the case does not merit interference from the court, Union government lawyer Rui Rodrigues told ET. Justice Patel and Justice Pangarkar were connected through video conference when the judgement was announced as they were not in the same courtroom. Justice Patel was in the Bombay High Court, while Justice Pangarkar was in Nagpur. Kingfisher spokesperson said the company needs more time to formulate its future plan on the issue. The Competition Commission had ordered an inquiry in August last year after Kingfisher and Jet announced an alliance to rationalise their resources to reduce cost. The commission wanted to investigate into the alliance to ensure that the deal would not create a monopoly in the aviation industry. Kingfisher approached the court against the notice, challenging the jurisdiction of the commission. Kingfisher contended that the Competition Act was amended after the alliance was formed and as such, the new rules could not have a retrospective effect. The airline also said that the alliance would improve efficiency for Kingfisher and Jet. Advait Sethna, another government lawyer, told ET that the commission was set up to prevent anti-competitive practices and it has the jurisdiction to pull up companies if they are found guilty.

Ruchika case: HC slams Haryana for dropping charges against Rathore
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ruchikacasehcslamsharyanafordroppingchargesagainstrathore/598438/0

Express News Service
Posted: Thursday , Apr 01, 2010 at 0116 hrs Chandigarh:
The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday lambasted the state government for dropping departmental proceedings against former DGP S P S Rathore in the Ruchika Girhotra molestation case while it had no jurisdiction to do so.
The state government had submitted that Rathore was on deputation with the Central government in 1994 and hence it was the Centre which had to initiate proceedings against him.
“How did you exonerate him (Rathore) from the charges when you did not have the jurisdiction to do so? When you admitted he was a Central government employee you had no jurisdiction to drop proceedings against him. You should have forwarded the case to the Centre,” a visibly astonished Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal told the Haryana law officer.
Dumbfounded with the query, the law officer sought time to respond and verify the facts. “This matter deserves attention in public interest. A complaint cannot disappear. This is the matter we need to look into,” Justice Mudgal said.
The Chief Justice reacted strongly when Abha Rathore, wife of S P S Rathore, claimed her husband was a victim.
“We are not sure if he is a victim. We will reserve our comments on that. You can call him a respondent or an accused,” he said.
The case has been adjourned for four weeks and the court has directed the Haryana government to explain how Rathore was exonerated when he was admittedly a Central government employee and was on deputation.
Haryana pleads for dismissal of PIL
Meanwhile, in a reply filed by the Haryana government, the state sought the dismissal of the public interest litigation (PIL) filed by the World Human Rights Protection Council demanding action against Rathore and Sacred Heart School.
To a reply filed by Shrikant Walgad, Special Secretary to state of Haryana, the Home Department, Haryana, has sought dismissal of the PIL terming it “infructuous” in the wake of the three FIRs registered against Rathore in January this year by the Panchkula police.
No record of FIR with Haryana
Interestingly, the Haryana government has no official record of any complaint filed by the family members of Ruchika Girhotra in 1990. The state has submitted that the official record of 1990 has been “destroyed”.
The High Court had asked the state to explain non-registration of an FIR against Rathore.
Stating that no official record was available to corroborate whether any complaint was received, the reply reads, “Panchkula was created in 1995. Earlier it was part of Ambala district”.
It further submitted that relevant record of 1990 has been destroyed. The reason given was “records were allowed to be destroyed as per provisions of DDR (Daily Diary Report)”.
Police officers says he received complaints
However, statement of the then inspector Anil Dhawan, posted in Panchkula in 1990, has been annexed. The statement assumes significance since Dhawan submitted that he had received a complaint from Anand Prakash on August 18, 1990, with regard to molestation of Ruchika by Rathore.
In his statement, Dhawan has stated he was on duty on August 16, 1990, when he received a message on his wireless, of people raising slogans against Rathore. Dhawan has submitted that when he reached the Haryana Law Tennis Association (HLTA), Rathore along with the manager of HLTA complained that few youngsters had misbehaved with them and damaged the furniture of HLTA. Dhawan has further submitted that he had informed about both the complaints to his seniors.
The statement assumes significance as it clearly establishes that the Haryana Police were aware of the incident yet did not take immediate action.
Meanwhile, Abha Rathore in her detailed reply continued to blame the media, Anand Prakash and his family members for registering false cases against Rathore.

No threat to six city advocates: Maharashtra government tells Bombay HC
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_no-threat-to-six-city-advocates-maharashtra-government-tells-bombay-hc_1365937
Mayura Janwalkar / DNA
Thursday, April 1, 2010 0:36 IST
Mumbai: The state government on Wednesday told the Bombay high court there is no threat to six criminal lawyers as claimed in a few newspapers.
The court was hearing an application filed by a criminal lawyer (name withheld), seeking a direction to the state government to expeditiously decide his appeal seeking an arms licence, which he sought in December 2008. However, the deputy commissioner of police (DCP), arms and ammunition, rejected his application on June 6, 2009, stating that it would disrupt public peace.
In his application, the advocate stated that after advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in February this year, he apprehends a greater threat to his life. He also cited newspaper reports that said that the underworld elements had six more advocates on their hit list.
“The nature of the petitioner’s professional work is almost identical to that of deceased advocate Shahid Azmi and the petitioner seriously apprehends that he would meet the same fate as Azmi if the gangsters/underworld dons carry out their threats in pursuance to the “desh bhakti (patriotic)” ideology to kill lawyers defending terror suspects arrested in blast cases,” the petition said.
The additional public prosecutor, however, informed the court that the accused had not said anything about other advocates they plan to kill.
Justices DB Bhosale and justice AR Joshi directed home minister RR Patil to expeditiously decide the advocate’s appeal within four weeks. “Advocates present in this court must know there is no threat to six advocates as said in newspapers,” Bhosale said.
“Prima facie, we feel you [state government] haven’t considered his application properly,” Bhosale said. The court said the DCP hadn’t given a reason to substantiate his order.

Rs 70-cr bank scam: HC tells CID to arrest 33
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/rs70crbankscamhctellscidtoarrest33/598561/0
Anupam Chakravartty
Posted: Thursday , Apr 01, 2010 at 0301 hrs Vadodara:
The Gujarat High Court has directed the CID (Economic Offences) to arrest all the 33 accused beneficiaries in the Rs 70-crore scam in the Karamsad Cooperative Bank at Vallabh Vidyanagar by the end of next month. The court of Justice M R Shah dismissed CID’s plea to extend the investigation for another two months and asked the action taken report to be tabled by April 30.
After a seven-year long wait, the CID (Economic offences) took over the investigation from Vidyanagar police station and arrested nine people in the case, including five of the bank’s directors. Among them were former state minister Dilip Patel and former BJP MP Natu Patel. “Around 33 loan-takers are yet to be arrested as many of them have left the country,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police B J Jadeja.
However, Hitesh Patel, who had reportedly filed an RTI application seeking details of borrowers and guarantors, says that if borrowers are booked for misappropriation of Rs 70 crore from the bank, then the guarantors have to be nabbed. The RTI reply shows that the arrests could go well beyond 240.
Meanwhile, in a February 26 ruling in the same case, Justice Shah had directed the CID to investigate the reasons for the bank’s liquidation. “But a more detailed investigation is required to find out why the Karamsad Urban Cooperative Bank Limited has gone into liquidation,” Shah said while passing an oral order.
According to the CID (Economic Offences), policemen from Anand and Ahmedabad, who investigated the issue in a span of six months found that the trustees involved their own relatives. “They gave loans to various parties, who had produced forged documents,” said a CID officer.
A report made by the Anand Economic Offences Detection Cell says that the bank gave loans violating guidelines laid down by the Reserve Bank of India. “The Bank also invested Rs 9 crore in Home Trade, which was against the directives of the Reserve Bank of India. The bank also extended loans to Keval Land Developers and Ghanshyam Patel on the basis of bogus documents,” wrote Inspector B J Pathan in the report made to the Gujarat High Court when the issue had come to the light.
Further, four persons, including a managing director of a farm implement manufacturing company based in Palanpur of Sabarkantha district, and his brother, were reportedly booked by the CID for producing fake bills for farm implements that were never bought, but approved by the bank trustees.

Supreme Court orders national panel probe into trafficking in children
http://www.thehindu.com/2010/04/01/stories/2010040151660400.htm
J. Venkatesan
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) to conduct an enquiry into allegations of trafficking in children from Manipur and Assam to Tamil Nadu on the promise of giving them good education and health care.
A three-judge Bench comprising Chief Justice K. G. Balakrishnan, Justice Deepak Verma and Justice B. S. Chauhan asked the Commission to complete the probe in four weeks and submit a report and posted the matter for further hearing in May.
The CJI said, “There was need for some investigation as children belonging to the poor families from north-eastern regions were lured by some illegal organisations on the pretext of providing better education.
It also appears that in the name of providing better education, some organisations must be getting foreign aid. Initially, they admit children and on that basis receive huge grant and invest some part of it on the children.”
The Bench was hearing a petition relating to illegal trafficking in 76 children from Assam and Manipur. The court after taking on record an affidavit filed by the Tamil Nadu government asked the State to furnish the names of the children who were rescued from the orphanage.
Corrections and Clarifications
(There were two reports (Chennai, April 1, 2010) on the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) being asked to look into allegations of child trafficking. The first (and more detailed) one was “Supreme Court orders national panel probe into trafficking in children” (page 5), while the second was a PTI report titled “Court orders NCPCR to probe trafficking in children” (page 10).)

NCM seeks parity with other national commissions
http://www.ptinews.com/news/593185_NCM-seeks-parity-with-other-national-commissions
STAFF WRITER 16:54 HRS IST
New Delhi, April 2 (PTI) Complaining of lack of powers, the National Commission for Minorities has made a strong pitch for parity with other such panels in the country.In a letter to the Secretary of Ministry of Minority Affairs, the Commission has said, “It can discharge its mandated function fully and effectively only if it is invested with instrumentalities on the lines of those given to National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).”The Commission had earlier said that while NCSC is more powerful as it is a constitutional body, NHRC’s mandate gives it vast powers, unlike NCM, which is a mere statutory body whose activities are confined to very few areas.In the letter, the Commission said it needs the powers to inquire and investigate at par with National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST), NCSC and NHRC.

Decision on NHRC top post after Supreme Court order

http://www.newkerala.com/news/fullnews-78060.html

New Delhi, March 26 : A decision to amend the law on appointment of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson will be taken after considering the Supreme Court’s order on a similar petition pending before it, the central government informed Delhi High Court Friday.
A division bench
of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta asked the government to file an affidavit by April 7 stating the present status. Conveying the government’s stand on the issue, Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandhiok said: “A similar petition is pending before the Supreme Court. A decision would be taken after perusing the orders passed in that petition.” According to the existing law, only retired Chief Justices of India can head the NHRC. Prashant Bhushan, appearing for petitioner Centre for Public Interest Litigation, an NGO, said “changing the law to enable others except retired Chief Justices of India to become the chairperson is not a difficult task”. “The central government, which had assured the court that it would amend the law, has taken seven adjournments in the case. Moreover, it has so far not filed its reply,” he said. The petition claimed there are two retired chief justices of India eligible for the post, but the government is reluctant to appoint them. “Non-appointment of chairperson in accordance with the Act (Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993) in such a situation despite the presence of two eligible candidates is arbitrary, unreasonable and in violation of principles enshrined in Article 14 of the constitution,” Bhushan said. Earlier, the central government had told the court that it is considering amending the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993 to allow a retired judge of the Supreme Court or a chief justice of high court to head the panel.
–IANS

Clarifications sought on women’s representation in Hindi serial
http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article364997.ece
Aarti Dhar
The National Commission for Women (NCW) in consultation with the National Human Rights Commission has written to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting seeking a clarification from a private television channel on a Hindi serial that shows women in poor light.
Strong objection
Taking a strong objection to the serial Na Aana Is Desh Meri Lado aired on Colors TV, NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the Commission has sought clarifications from the channel for presenting women in poor light.
The serial depicts women in a derogatory fashion and outrages the modesty of women which is likely to deprive, corrupt or injure the public morality and is thereby violative of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986 as well as the Cable TV Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995, the NCW said.
Condemns episodes
The Commission strongly condemned the recently-aired episodes of the serial where a woman is subjected to torture and coerced into sexual acts outside marriage.
Shocking
This shocks the social and moral values of society and therefore, such episodes should not be telecast, Ms. Vyas said.

Karnal court verdict will prove a deterrent: NCW
http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/01/stories/2010040162551000.htm
Special Correspondent
No caste panchayat could take the law into its own hands
NCW, along with NGOs, to hold public awareness workshops
NFIW urges lawmakers and courts to take serious cognisance of honour killings
NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday said the court verdict sentencing five persons to death for honour killing of a couple in Haryana would prove a “strong deterrent.”
Talking to journalists here, chairperson Girija Vyas said the entire community panchayat should be held responsible for such illegal acts.
“The acts of khap panchayats [caste councils] have been causing concern to us as well as civil society and the media for quite some time. We feel this verdict will give a new direction.”
The Commission was undertaking a study on the issue and would, along with NGOs, hold public awareness workshops to curb such incidents.
In Tuesday’s landmark judgment, a Karnal court awarded capital punishment to five persons and life sentence to one for murdering a couple on the diktats of a self-styled community panchayat for marrying against societal norms.
Ms. Vyas said no caste panchayat could take the law into its own hands. If the illegal action of such panchayats led to the death of any person, the death penalty or life imprisonment should be imposed.
The All India Democratic Women’s Association, in a statement here, said the Karnal court verdict was the outcome of the courageous stand taken by Manoj’s widowed mother, and his sister, both of whom refused to buckle under threats and other intimidatory tactics. The AIDWA expressed the hope that the verdict would set a precedent for exemplary punishment in such pending cases. It would deter future crimes in the name of honour.
The association demanded that the aggrieved family be financially compensated as Manoj was its sole breadwinner.
The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) also welcomed the judgment. It impressed on lawmakers and courts to take serious cognisance of this type of crime, which, it said, was taking place with alarming frequency.
These ‘criminals’, who acted in the name of caste or religion, should be expeditiously dealt with. “They violate not only the Constitution of the country, but also the rights of women and young people to lead their lives as they choose to,” the NFIW said in a statement.

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