LEGAL NEWS 10.10.2010

UAE court to hear Indians’ appeal against death sentence on May 19


The case of 17 Indians, sentenced to death for murdering a Pakistani national in Sharjah, will be heard by a UAE appellate court on May 19, the lawyer handling the case on behalf of the Indian consulate here has said.

“We filed the appeal on Wednesday (April 8) and are awaiting the full file for defence which will help us study the entire case,” Bindu Suresh Chettur said.

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for May 19.

According to her, further to this preparation, a national lawyer will take up the case in the appellate court. As per local laws, foreign lawyers cannot appear in the local court.

The Indian consulate entrusted Chettur’s law firm, Mohamed Salman Advocates and Legal Consultants, with the case following a March 29 judgement by a Sharjah Shariah Court sentencing the 17 to death.

The Indians were convicted for killing a Pakistani and injuring three others in January last year.

“Our plea will be based on the premise that 17 people cannot be implicated for the same crime as the degrees of crime must be different,” Chettur said.

She said she is positive about the outcome of this appeal process as she has handled such cases in the past.

“We have to be positive and I am positive because of the faith reposed in me,” she said, adding, the appeal will be based on the facts of the case.

According to the initial judgement, 50 people attacked the Pakistani with knives.

Police rushed to the site and arrested the 17 Indians, who allegedly led the attack. The others were let off due to lack of evidence.

During court hearings, all the suspects confessed they had fought with and murdered the victim.

Forensics reports and DNA tests also proved their role in the crime, earlier reports said.

Justice Dinakaran transferred to Sikkim High Court

Agencies  | 2010-04-09

New Delhi: Karnataka Chief Justice P D Dinakaran has been tranferred to the Sikkim High Court on Friday, reports said.

The decision was taken by the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan. 

The collegium had earlier asked Justice Dinakaran to go on leave.

Justice P D Dinakaran asked to go on leave

After the collegium’s decision, senior advocate Shanti Bhushan had said that Justice Dinakaran can defy the collegium’s advice to go on leave. He said an acting chief justice can only assume charge if the chief justice proceeds on leave.

Sources said that one of the members of the collegium had tried to persuade Dinakaran to abide by the advice of the collegium.

Law Minister M Veerappa Moily had on Thursday said that Dinakaran is not above the law.

“The hand of law is quite long enough to catch anyone. I don’t think Justice Dinarakan is above the law, or he is beyond the reach of the law,” he had said when asked about Justice Dinakaran’s refusal to go on leave.

The 59-year-old Karnataka High Court Chief Justice has not been performing judicial functions after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion in December seeking his removal on charges of corruption, land-grab and abuse of judicial office. He has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The collegium has also cleared the name of the Acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Madan B Lokur to be appointed as the Acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

Land grab charge to stall elevation to apex court: Dinakaran

The SC collegium also discussed shifting other judges of the high court and it is likely that Justice Meenakumari of Andhra Pradesh High Court may be shifted to some other high court.

Gay community demands probe in AMU teacher’s death

Indo-Asian News Service

New Delhi, April 08, 2010

First Published: 17:38 IST(8/4/2010)

The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community and social activists on Thursday demanded an impartial investigation into the mysterious death of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor S R Siras, who was earlier suspended on charges of “gross misconduct” on campus following his homosexual act with a rickshaw puller.

Siras was found dead in his home on Wednesday with blood oozing out of his mouth.

A statement by a coalition of NGOs working for gay rights and others  said: “We, as concerned citizens — and for many of us, as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Indians ourselves —  express our shock, outrage and deep sadness at the loss of a teacher, a loyal member of the AMU community, a gay man, and a kind, gentle soul”.

“Dr Siras’ suspension had provoked outrage from countless citizens across the country. He had challenged the AMU administration in the Allahabad High Court. Just this past week, the court stayed his suspension and his unlawful removal from his official accommodation,” according to the the statement

The signatories included representatives from organisations like the Naz Foundation, Saheli, Nigah, Voices Against Section 377, and Lesbians and Bisexuals in Action (LABIA, Mumbai) among others.

Quoting Siras after the order, the statement added: “I am happy because I have been judged in a wrong way. I have already said that I am gay. I am the same man, with the same qualifications, with the same features and personality. Now I can go back to my beloved university”.

Siras was the chairman of the Modern Indian Languages department at the AMU and was to retire in September.

“We demand that the police conduct a full, fair and impartial investigation into the cause of death. A step in the right direction has been taken by sending his body for a post-mortem examination. The results of this examination must be made public immediately,” the statement said.

“That Dr Siras had to undergo the trauma, fear, harassment and humiliation in his own beloved university in what would turn out to be his last weeks is condemnable. If these events and that trauma are in any way linked to his death, then all actors involved must be held culpable,” it added.

J&K high court asks govt to ensure essential services are not disrupted


Saturday, April 10, 2010 18:37 IST

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir high court today directed the state government to ensure that essential services are not disrupted in the wake of the strike by its 4.5 lakh employees.

Issuing a notice to the government on a PIL seeking a direction on strict implementation of essential services maintenance Act (ESMA), the high court asked it to explain the steps taken to mitigate the sufferings of common people due to the strike which began on April 3.

A division bench comprising justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and justice Hasnain Masoodi issued notices to the state through
the chief secretary and directed it “to ensure uninterrupted supply of essentials and essential services”.

About 4.50 lakh government and PSU employees are on strike to press their demand for payment of arrears of 6th pay commission and raising of retirement age from 58 years to 60 years.

Two lawyers of the high court, Raja Riyaz A Khan and Bashir Ahmad Dar, yesterday filed the PIL claiming that people were facing hardships due to the strike.

The petition claimed that the invoking of ESMA was merely an “eyewash” and sought its strict implementation.

The matter has been listed for further hearing on April 12.

High Court allows lawyer to argue case in Hindi

2010-04-09 19:30:00

The Delhi High Court Friday allowed a lawyer to argue his case in Hindi, giving the official English language the go-by.

Advocate Das Goninder Singh filed an application before Justice Rekha Sharma demanding that he should be allowed to argue his case in Hindi.

Allowing the application, the judge heard his arguments in Hindi.

However, the arguments remain inconclusive and will resume May 19.

Singh in his written submissions to the court, though in English, said he had Hindi as the medium of education throughout his career. He will be able to express himself more effectively about the facts of law if he is allowed to argue his case in Hindi, Singh stated.

On asking Singh why his petition is not drafted in Hindi, he said: ‘Then my petition would not be allowed to be heard by the registry.’

Hindi is the official language in many high courts like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan but in Delhi it is English.

Earlier this year, the court had rejected the plea of a group of lawyers to argue their cases in Hindi.

‘When lawyers argue in Hindi, judges do not pay attention to them. English has become a status symbol,’ said Advocate Ashok Aggarwal, president of the Delhi unit of the lawyers’ association.

Moreover, Article 348 of the constitution provides for arguing court cases in English as well as in regional languages, he pointed out.

Kerala HC lifts stay on Islamic banking, says no to govt role

George Joseph  | 2010-04-09 01:42:00

Asks Centre, RBI to file its views by June.

There is no problem in forming an Islamic bank if the procedures and permissions in this regard are adhered to, but neither the government nor its enterprises can associate with such an effort, the Kerala High Court (HC) said today, in an interim order.

The order partly modifies a January 5 order, which had frozen the Kerala government-sponsored process of setting up an Islamic bank.

Chief Minister VS Achuthanandan said the state government would decide what to do after a detailed examination of today’s developments.

The next hearing is on June 3. The Union finance ministry and the Reserve Bank of India are supposed to file their replies by then (notices in this regard were issued on January 5).

On that latter date, the HC had issued an interim stay on the decision to help establish such a bank. The Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) had been made the nodal agency for the project. The state government, KSIDC and Al Barakah Financial Services, a company formed to take the endeavour forward (in which KSIDC took 13 per cent stake), asked the HC to remove the January 5 stay.

Al Barakah was formed as a non-banking finance company (NBFC), as the first step to have a bank which functioned in full compliance with the traditional Islamic code, the Shariah.

Since there are strictures on usury-based lending in Islamic beliefs, many Muslims are opposed to modern banking or depositing their money with banks. The proposed Islamic bank was meant to help draw more Muslims (20 per cent of the state’s population) into the modern economy and tap their savings. The partners in this effort were various businessmen, including many non-resident Keralites based in West Asia. The plan was to raise Rs 500 crore with the state government also putting in some equity.

Ernst & Young, commissioned to report on the viability of an Islamic bank, said in August last year there was a market for it.

The January 5 order was issued by a two-judge Bench of the high court comprising the then Chief Justice, SR Bannurmath, and TB Radhakrishnan. Today’s order was also from a two-judge Bench of the present Chief Justice, J Chelameshwar, and CN Ramachandran Nair.

The HC got into the issue due to a public interest suit filed to stop the government effort. The suit was filed by former Union law minister Subramanian Swamy and a body called the Hindu Aikya Vedi.

Swamy had challenged the October 14 order of the state government’s principal secretary (industries) to allow KSIDC to register a company to provide banking services on Sharia lines. The NBFC was registered as the Banking Regulation Act does not permit Islamic banking.

The suit argued that such an institution would be against the basic principles of the Constitution, which provided equal status to all religions. Starting a bank that followed Shariah principles and worked under a Shariah board would be preferential treatment to a religion, it said.

KSIDC had invited applications for posts of chief executive officer and company secretary for the NBFC through its website. The notification said the selected officers would report to the Shariah board that governed the NBFC and that the institution would be governed by the Muslim Personal Law. Since the Shariah is confined to Muslims, starting a bank under this law would be against the basic principles of India’s Constitution, the petitioner said.

No music, crackers in IPL after 10pm in Jaipur: HC

TNN, Apr 10, 2010, 04.36am IST

JAIPUR: The two remaining IPL matches scheduled for April 11 and 14 may not have the same fun and frolic. A division bench of Rajasthan High Court on Friday rejected Rajasthan Cricket Association’s (RCA) plea to allow drums, DJ music and trumpets between 10 pm and midnight.

Rajasthan Royals take on Mumbai Indians on Sunday. The 8pm high-voltage match will decide Royals’ fate. Royals have already played 11 matches and won six. On the other hand, Mumbai Indians have played 10 matches and won seven. It was again Kings XI Punjab that spoiled Mumbai India’s run-up to the semis on Friday night. Mumbai Indians are expected to reach here on Saturday.

The division bench comprising Justices K S Rathore and Justice Mahesh Chand Sharma on Friday refused to allow use of any high-pitch musical instruments in the remaining two matches.

HC asks DGP to probe DSP for misuse of power

TNN, Apr 10, 2010, 01.09am IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat High Court on Friday criticised the police for misusing its powers and framing criminal charges against people even when the dispute was civil in nature. With this observation, the court directed the DGP to conduct an inquiry against a deputy superintendent of police (DSP) of CID (crime) who has been accused of such misuse.

While hearing a quashing petition filed by a builder, Justice AS Dave observed, “This court has come across many such cases in which, either with active involvement or connivance of police personnel, disputes pertaining to property/assets/land etc are brought within the purview of offences under the Indian Penal Code and pursuant thereto machinery of investigation and the court of law is set into motion which results into abuse of process of law.”

A builder from Vadodara, Haji Yusuf Shaikh, had pleaded before the high court that BJ Jadeja, a DSP with CID (crime) Economic Cell, had falsely framed him in a criminal complaint, whereas the dispute was of purely civil nature.

In his plea urging the court to quash the FIR against him, Shaikh accused Jadeja of using power to achieve ulterior motives, to safeguard the interest of his son Janak, who is also a builder.

Jadeja lodged the FIR against Shaikh at Gandhinagar and not Vadodara, which is the place of the alleged offence, to harass Shaikh, Suhel Tirmizi, Shaikh’s counsel, argued before the court.

Acting on the plea, Justice Dave stayed the probe against Shaikh and asked the DGP to divest Jadeja from the investigation. The court also directed the DGP to submit a preliminary report of his inquiry against Jadeja and other police officials involved in this case by May 4, when further hearing is scheduled.

Reply on objections in audit report: HC to Haj committee

HT Correspondent

Email Author

Mumbai, April 09, 2010

First Published: 01:01 IST(9/4/2010)

Alleged illegitimate earnings of the Central Haj Committee have come under scanner of the Bombay High Court for allegedly exploiting pilgrims under the guise of fees and earning huge interest on refundable deposits.

A division bench of Chief Justice Anil Dave and Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari on Thursday directed the committee to state on an affidavit whether the Rs 16.14 crore it earned in 2006-07 due to fluctuation in foreign exchange rates was returned either to Haj pilgrims or the Central government, which subsidises the pilgrimage.

The court was hearing a petition filed by NGO Khuddam-ul-Haj-o-Umrah Foundation seeking orders to initiate action against the alleged financial irregularities committed by various chairpersons of the committee.

Referring to the reports of Comptroller and Auditor General that in 2006-07, the NGO’s lawyer Firoz A. Ansari said the committee had earned Rs 16.14 crore because of variations in foreign exchange rates.

Ansari contended that the committee had been compelling pilgrims to receive fixed amount of foreign exchange — Saudi Riyals — from it and was making huge profits from foreign exchange transactions.

He claimed that the committee had such huge deposits that it was receiving Rs 10 crore annually in just interest on their bank balances.

Refuting the charges, the Haj committee’s lawyer said the Rs 16.14 crore must have been returned either to the pilgrims or the Central government.

Every year, the committee receives nearly 2.5 lakh applications against its fixed quota of 1.10 lakh pilgrims.

The petition alleged that deposits are received from the applicants much before the scheduled date of draws and the persons whose applications are rejected had to move from pillar to post to gets refunds.

The committee had been making money out of interest on the deposits, it alleged.

Cops not only for security of VIPs: HC

Hetal Vyas / DNA

Saturday, April 10, 2010 0:42 IST

Mumbai: The good work of drastically reducing the number of pending cases must be continued beyond its deadline, the Bombay high court observed on Friday. The National Mission for Delivering Justice and Judicial Reforms had aimed to reduce the number of pending criminal cases by two-thirds by July 31, 2010.

Hearing a suo-motu PIL on undertrials languishing in jails, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice V K Tahilramai expressed satisfaction on the implementation of the Mission in Maharashtra.

While the court was hearing the PIL, amicus curie R P Behre argued that most times undertrials were not produced in courts due to lack of escorts, which delays trials. The judges observed that authorities should avoid diverting the police force meant for escorting prisoners to courts for security of VIPs.

The Mission started work on January 26 in which 464 accused were released on bail during special sittings of the courts started in each district.

The court also noted that under the mission, a task force of three high court judges was set up to ensure trials of prisoners languishing in jails were expedited. Shailesh Gandhi, a social activist, had taken up the issue of undertrails languishing in prisons. The high court took a letter written by Gandhi as a suo-motu PIL.

In brief

Express News Service

Posted: Saturday , Apr 10, 2010 at 0220 hrs Mumbai:

Building damage: HC tells petitioner to approach civil court
The Bombay High Court on Friday disposed of a petition that alleged damage to a building due to Metro construction work. The HC held it is a writ court and cannot act like a trial court nor can decide the cause of the damage. The petitioners were directed to approach the civil court if they wished to pursue the matter. Dr Monica Matani, a Versova resident, had filed a PIL alleging the vibro-hammer used for Metro construction caused damage to her flat. Gautam Niwas Society later intervened in the case.

‘For VIP security, don’t use cops who escort undertrials’
Authorities should avoid diverting police force meant for escorting undertrials to court, the Bombay High Court said on Friday. Senior counsel S R Chitnis argued that many a time policemen on ‘escort’ duty are deputed to provide security to VIPs. Division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice V K Tahilramani observed that “policemen are deputed for VIP security resulting in inadequate staff for escorting prisoners to court… such a situation should be avoided,” the court said.

HC notice to govt, CBI on father’s plea

Express News Service

Posted: Saturday , Apr 10, 2010 at 0123 hrs Shimla:

Teacher suicide : Continue investigation but don’t harass family, court tells state police

The Himachal Pradesh High Court issued notices to the Himachal Pradesh government, the state’s director general of police and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on a petition filed by S S Kalmotia, who had sought a CBI probe into his daughter’s suicide. A division bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice R B Mishra also observed that the petitioners should not be harassed “in the name of investigation” by the police.

Kalmotia’s daughter Ritu, a 29-year-old BEd teacher, committed suicide in Shimla on March 28, allegedly because her marriage proposal with Siddharth Sarpal, son of IGP (Law and Order) P K Sarpal, had been turned down by the latter. The two had reportedly known each other for the last 15 years.

In the petition, Kalmotia has sought an inquiry by the CBI into the role of the IGP and his son in Ritu’s suicide. Apart from abetment to suicide, the IGP has also been charged with destruction of evidence at the crime spot.

The family had rejected the inquiry by the state CID, saying accused senior officer could influence the investigation. The bench, however, said the investigation by the CID would go on, but the petitioner or his family should not be harassed. The CBI, the government and the DGP have been told to submit their replies by April 28, the date for next hearing.

Presenting the case in the court on Friday, Advocate Pankaj Bhardwaj and his team also furnished details of the telephone calls between Siddharth and Ritu before she ended her life.

According to the FIR lodged in the case, Sarpal went to Ritu’s house at Dhanda in Totu area after she committed suicide and allegedly tried to tamper with the evidence. None of the family members were present in the house then she allegedly took the extreme step and no suicide note was found from the spot.

Kajauli project: HC directs authorities to hold meeting and resolve dispute

Posted: Saturday , Apr 10, 2010 at 0401 hrs

In order to settle the dispute among Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh over the issue of Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme Phase V and VI, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Haryana government, the Executive Engineer of Chandimandir and the UT Adviser to hold a meeting.

The authorities have been asked to resolve the dispute over several issues due to which the project, enhancing water supply to the city, has not taken off. The directions were passed by a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Jasbir Singh over a petition filed by local resident Kuljit Singh Bedi.

The Punjab government had not given its consent to release water to Chandigarh for the project. The civic body had mooted Augmentation of Water Supply Scheme Phase V and VI.

Under the scheme, 40 million gallons daily (MGD) additional water would be received. After giving Punjab and Haryana their share, the city would receive 29 MGD of water.

The Central government had recently approved a grant of around Rs 119.1 crore for the scheme under the Jawaharlal Nehru Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM). However, till the Punjab government gives its approval, no progress is possible.

The city receives 113 MGD water daily. Of this, around 80 MGD is canal water and the remaining is pumped through tubewells. The officials of the Municipal Corporation say the argument of the Punjab government is that Chandigarh is already drawing its fair share of water.

The Central government in its affidavit had clearly stated that if the three states did not resolve the dispute, the fund issued by the Central government would go waste as it had to be spent within a stipulated period of time. The authorities have been directed to hold a meeting to resolve the dispute and file a status report by the next date of hearing in May.

When the land for the project was acquired, Chandigarh had paid two-thirds of the compensation amount and Punjab one-third. The total cost of the project is around Rs 171 crore while the Centre had approved Rs 130 crore.

Chandigarh, which was planned for a population of five lakh, now has more than double that number. Rehabilitation colonies have come up over the years. Proposals are on the anvil to rehabilitate slum dwellers who have encroached upon land in the city. Tubewells are drying up due to the receding water table. Due to all these factors, there is need to enhance water supply to the city.

RTI revelation: PM and Sonia differ on… RTI

Puneet Nicholas Yadav / PTI, DNA

Friday, April 9, 2010 21:16 IST

New Delhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi and prime minister Manmohan Singh are not in sync with each other over the Right to Information (RTI) Act. While the prime minister (PM) is open to ‘revisiting’ the act to protect the independence of the higher judiciary, Gandhi is firmly against any dilution of the original form.

Interestingly, the disagreement between them came to the fore through an RTI application. Activist SC Agarwal has obtained copies of the correspondence between the two.

In a letter dated November 10, 2009, Gandhi wrote to the PM making a strong pitch against any dilution or amendment of the legislation. She has repeatedly hailed it as “one of the most efficient pieces of legislation that has made governments more responsive”.

“While there are problems of proper implementation, the RTI Act has begun to change the lives of our people and the ways of governance… It will, of course, take time before the momentum generated by the act makes for greater transparency and accountability… But the process has begun and it must be strengthened,” she wrote.

Further, she said, “It is important that we adhere strictly to its (the act’s) original aims and refrain from accepting or introducing changes in the legislation or the way it is implemented that would dilute its purpose. There is no need for changes or amendments.”
While the PM agreed to Gandhi’s suggestion to improve dissemination of information under the act, he seemed out of tune with her suggestion regarding amen-ding it. Citing issues in the act that need to be revisited, the PM wrote to Gandhi on December 24, 2009: “The act doesn’t provide for the constitution of central information commission (CIC) benches, though this is how the business of the commission is being conducted”.

The chief justice of India (CJI) has pointed out that the independence of the higher judiciary needs to be safeguarded in the implementation of the act. There are some issues relating to cabinet papers and internal discussions.”

The PM assured Gandhi of not proceeding with any amendments without consultation with all stakeholders.

RTI activists, meanwhile, feel the PM’s arguments for amending the legislation are “flawed”. “I fully concur with the Congress president. It is unfortunate that the government is trying to dilute the act using flawed arguments,’’ said noted RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal.

Rebutting the issues raised by the PM, Kejriwal said, “As far as the CJI’s apprehensions are concerned, they have been suitably dealt with in the Delhi high court’s judgment which says that the judiciary is under the ambit of the act. Unfortunately, apart from the CJI, all other judges, including most previous CJIs, feel that bringing the judiciary under RTI would enhance its image.”
Further, Kejriwal said, the issue of the CIC conducting its business through benches has also been settled in favour of the act through various judgements pronounced by high courts across the country.

High Court admits writ petition of B.Ed. college

Legal Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Justice C.V .Nagarjuna Reddy of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday directed the authorities concerned to inspect the new premises of St. Mary’s B.Ed. College and certify its fitness, after admitting a writ petition filed by the institution on the manner in which the statutory authority must act in granting permission to run B.Ed. institutions.

The petitioner had complained that although its new building was in place, authorities were not giving permission to run the college on the ground that the management had not got the building ready within the stipulated time. The authorities refused permission on the ground that the college had not shifted to its own premises within the time granted and refused to take note of the building now ready.

Bt cotton seed

Justice C.V .Nagarjuna Reddy admitted a writ petition filed by Global Transgenes questioning the government’s possible action in fixing trait charges for Bt cotton seed and posted the case for hearing on April 22. The petitioner said that though the government could fix the maximum price of cotton seeds, it did not have the power to fix a trait price and the issue of price of trait value was between the dealer and the patent owners. The judge posted the case after he was informed that similar petitions filed with regard to BG I and BG II cotton seeds were pending. The petitioner contended that the government could not regulate the trait charges determined under the contract between the party holding the patent right to the special kind of seed and the retail user.

Avoid deputing escort police for VIP security: Bombay HC

PTI, Apr 9, 2010, 03.41pm IST

MUMBAI: Dealing with a PIL on undertrials languishing in courts, the Bombay High Court today observed that authorities should avoid diverting the police force meant for escorting prisoners to courts for security of VIPs.

One of the contentions raised during the hearing of the PIL was that undertrials are not taken to courts for scheduled hearings, because often there are not enough policemen to escort them.

During the hearing today, senior counsel S R Chitnis pointed out that many times the policemen on the “escort” duty are deputed to provide security to VIPs.

Taking note of this, division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and V K Tahilramani observed in the order that “..policemen are deputed for VIP security which results in inadequate staff being available for escorting the prisoners to the court.”

“Such situation should be avoided,” the court said, adding that “production of prisoners (before courts) is a prime obligation.”

Gandhi’s PIL was about large number of prisoners who are languishing in prisons as their trials are pending.

High Court had passed various orders in this PIL earlier, but today, disposing it of, court observed that under “national mission for judicial delivery and reforms,” steps are being taken to dispose of cases speedily.

War memorial battle moves to court

TNN, Apr 9, 2010, 05.32am IST

BANGALORE: The battle over the proposed war military memorial site will now be fought in court. The PIL will unveil the truth over the controversial war memorial, proposed to be set up in the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park.

When work suddenly started at the site three or four days ago, opposite Raj Bhavan, and there was contradictory RTI information on the number of trees to be felled, walkers and residents made up their mind to knock the doors of the Karnataka High Court.

“We are not against the project but work cannot happen here yet. We have asked the court to intervene and stop work. The exact plan is not clear at all: while Rajeev Chandrasekhar and ABIDe assure it will be just four eucalyptus trees, the RTI reply we got from BDA says that 18 trees will be cut. We will not allow work to proceed until we are clear,’’ a resident explained.

At present, work on the site for the Rs 15-crore project in the park has been abandoned. However, on Wednesday evening, there were rumours of a probable reconsideration of the memorial’s location. “It’s not confirmed yet. But, considering the growing public resentment, there could be a possible alternative,’’ government sources told TOI.

A February 8 order issued by the BBMP tree officer had cleared the cutting down of 14 eucalyptus trees, three Ashoka trees and one coconut tree. According to BBMP sources, the order was issued based on the BDA’s application for the same.

“They had asked for 30 trees, but we have granted permission only for those possible,’’ a senior BBMP official explained.

Interestingly, sources say BDA had started preparatory work on the site at least three days ago. However, even horticulture department workers here say they were not aware of it until digging began on Tuesday morning.

HC asks govt to respond on CBI probe in Nacil mismanagement

Thursday, April 8, 2010 20:31 IST

New Delhi: The Delhi high court today issued a notice to Centre and CBI on a PIL seeking a probe into alleged mismanagement of public carrier Air India and Indian Airlines, leading to losses to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees.

A bench headed by acting chief justice Madan B Lokur asked the government to file its response on the allegation that “deliberate and misdirected” decisions and actions drove Air India and Indian Airlines into huge losses.

The court asked the government to file its response by May 12 when the matter would be taken up for further hearing.

It passed the order on a PIL filed by an NGO centre for Public Interest Litigation alleging that government went in for a huge unnecessary fleet expansion programme in which purchase orders for 111 aircraft were given costing a whopping Rs67,000 crore.

“It is in the fitness of things that when such a huge loss has been caused to the public exchequer and reputation and functioning of national carriers have been damaged irreparably, an investigation be made so as to fix individual responsibility,” advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the NGO, said.

He referred to the findings of two Parliamentary Committees which came to the conclusion that aircraft acquisition programme lacked transparency and needed to be probed.

“Direct an SIT/CBI investigation into the unnecessary purchase and lease of a large number of aircraft and deliberate loss of market share of National Aviation Corporation of India Limited (Nacil), formed through the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines, through loss of profit-making routes, for unearthing the role of senior officers of the civil aviation ministry and top management of Nacil,” the petitioner submitted.

Did Haj Committee of India swallow Rs16.14 crore payable to pilgrims?

Mayura Janwalkar

Friday, April 9, 2010 0:23 IST

Mumbai: The Haj Committee of India (HCI) will have to file a reply in a PIL taking exception to the findings in its internal audit report.

A PIL filed by NGO Khuddam-ul-Haj-O-Umrah states that an internal audit report for the year 2006-07 notes that HCI has saved Rs16.14 crore because of “variation in rates of Saudi Riyal”, which should have been returned to the pilgrims.

The petitioners had contended that an observation was made in the internal audit report that the money raised through applications filed by aspiring pilgrims that is unused should be returned to the pilgrims or a policy should be framed for its appropriate usage.

Sandeep Marne, advocate for the HCI, said the final audit in the case was conducted by the comptroller and auditor general which should be relied upon, and not the internal audit report of the HCI.

The petitioners had also contended that over Rs100 crore were deposited by HCI in Centurion Bank of Punjab, whereas as per its rules, money should have been deposited in a nationalised bank. Their advocate stated that every applicant is charged Rs200 at the time of filling the Haj pilgrims form and this money is not refunded to the lakh of people who are not selected through the lottery process.

Marne, however, told the court that the Rs200 is charged by the HCI as expenses towards conducting the lottery process. He added that the amount towards further expenses, Rs10,000, is refunded to those who are not selected through the lottery process.

Chief justice Anil Dave conceded that the committee would require some funds to conduct the lottery process. Marne also stated that the pilgrims are informedat the time of filling their application that this amount (Rs200) is non-refundable.

CJ Dave and justice SC Dharmadhikari asked the HCI to file an affidavit before the court and adjourned the case till April 26.

Saryu Rai charges Saubhik with fraud & forgery

TNN, Apr 8, 2010, 09.46pm IST

JAMSHEDPUR: A criminal case of fraud and forgery against Saubhik Chattopadhyay, the man who gate-crashed Saryu Rai’s press conference in Ranchi last month, has been lodged in the court of the chief judicial magistrate, Jamshedpur, on Thursday.

Saryu Rai, a senior BJP leader, said the case has been lodged with the CJM court against Saubhik and his wife on charges of practising fraudulent means to influence a section in the famous Durga Oraon PIL case.

“He tried to influence two advocates of Ranchi High Court, namely Ritu Kumar and Rajendra Krishna, for getting favour from scamsters in the Durga Oraon (Koda corruption cases) PIL case in Ranchi,” said Rai in his press communique.

He alleged that Saubhik had also prepared a sting operation type CD to blackmail the advocates and later on filed a case against them.

The former MLA, who is running a battle of sorts against ex-chief minister Madhu Koda and his associates for allegedly looting the state exchequer through fraud, claimed that he would soon bring to light the details of Saubhik’s property purchased with scam-tainted money.

On March 7, Saubhik barged into the press conference called by Rai in Ranchi and later lodged an FIR with the Chutia police station in the state capital against the BJP leader after he was thrashed by some unknown people at the conference.

Justice Dinakaran’s transfer: a sigh of relief to many

B. S. Ramesh

The Hindu A file picture of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P.D. Dinakaran. Photo: V.Sudershan.

The State Government and the legal community on Friday heaved a sigh of relief when news of the transfer of the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court, P.D. Dinakaran, was communicated to them.

Justice Dinakaran has been in the eye of a storm ever since allegations of land grabbing and corruption have been levelled against him. He has not been sitting on the judicial side since December 2009 as advocates in Bangalore have joined hands with their counterparts in Chennai and Delhi in protesting against Justice Dinakaran.

The officials of the High Court and a large section of the advocates too were a relieved lot as they felt that the Collegium of the Supreme Court had done the right thing in transferring Justice Dinakaran as Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.

They hoped that the incumbent Chief Justice, Madan Lokur of Delhi would take charge as the Chief Justice as expeditiously as possible. They regretted that administrative work in the High court had been affected due to the stand off between the judges and the advocates. They hoped that the rift between the Bar and the Bench would heal once Justice Dinakaran leaves.

Several senior designated advocates hoped that with the departure of Justice Dinakaran, the strained relationship between the advocates and judges would become a thing of the past.

The Chairman of the Karnataka State Bar Council and senior advocate, Jayakumar S.Patil, termed the Collegium decision as the right Constitutional move. He said the earlier decision of the Collegium asking Mr. Dinakaran to go on leave was not constitutionally appropriate.

The president of the Advocates Association of Bangalore, K.N. Putte Gowda, welcomed the transfer and said it is the right decision.

The convenor of the State level Committee for Judicial Accountability, Sadashiva Reddy, said the transfer is belated move and that this step should have been taken months ago.

He said the reputation of the judiciary in the State was tarnished as the Supreme Court Collegium had delayed in taking a firm stand on the Dinakaran episode.

Advocate-General, Ashok Harnahalli, said the High Court would be getting a working Chief Justice after almost five months.

The president of the Federation of Bar Associations in Karnataka, K.N. Subba Reddy also welcomed the transfer and hoped that the court work would not go on smoothly. Meanwhile, the High court is now getting ready to welcome Justice Lokur and give a send off to Justice Dinakaran.

Supreme Court rejects Prakash plea against COI


Observing that many skeletons can tumble out if it starts digging into the matter, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed Lt Gen (Retd) Avadesh Prakash’s petition challenging the Court of Inquiry (COI) ordered against him in a land scam case.

“Once we start digging, many skeletons will tumble out. Either it will spite you or them (Army),” a bench of Justices V.S. Sirpurkar and Mukundakam Sharma, snapped at senior counsel Mukul Rohtagi who claimed violation of rules by the Army in directing the COI.

Lt Gen Prakash was indicted by an Army COI for his alleged role in issuing of No-objection Certificate to a private realtor Dilip Agarwal for building an educational institute on a 71-acre land adjacent to the Sukna military station in West Bengal.

The apex court also rejected Lt Gen Prakash’s argument that the COI was untenable as the three-member panel included two major general rank officers who were junior to him in the hierarchy.

“Your argument is not valid. Even the Supreme Court judges submit themselves for inquiry before the High Court,” the bench remarked, in an oblique reference to the apex court’s petition in the Delhi High Court challenging the CIC’s order that the office of the Chief Justice of India comes within the purview of the RTI Act.

The apex court said the army officer should submit himself before the COI and can later approach the court if he feels aggrieved by the final outcome.

“It is only a fact finding committee. Why don’t you face it? We will go only by the rule and the Act. This is all premature,” the apex court said referring to the petition.

Earlier, the counsel argued there was no scam involved and the status of the land has not changed as it was still in the possession of the Army.

“You have lost the battle!” the bench remarked in a lighter vein while dismissing the petition.

Lt Gen Prakash had approached the apex court challenging the order of COI after the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) directed a fresh Court of Inquiry giving him opportunity to cross-examine six witnesses.

Lt Gen Prakash, who retired from the Army on January 31, had contended the COI was bad in law as it was not in accordance with the Army Rule 180 which requires that examination (recording of statements) of witnesses have to be done in the presence of the accused officer.

The AFT, which had given him partial relief of cross-examining the witnesses, had asked Prakash to report before the COI in Kolkata at the Army’s Eastern Command Headquarters.

Lt Gen Prakash would have to face a court martial in the case if the court of inquiry finds prima facie evidence of his culpability.

Justice Dinakaran shifted to Sikkim High Court


April 9th, 2010

NEW DELHI – Under scrutiny Karnataka High Court Chief Justice P D Dinakaran, was shifted to the Sikkim High Court in a late night decision by the Supreme Court collegium, consisting Chief Justice KG Balakrishnan and Justices SH Kapadia, RV Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari.

The collegium had earlier asked him to go on leave.

The proposal for shifting Justice Dinakaran has been sent to the President for approval.

However, Law Minister Veerappa Moily said Justice Dinakaran must not think he is above the law.

“The hands of law are big enough. Justice Dinakaran is not above the law. It’s not like the law can’t reach him,” warned Moily.

After Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion seeking Justice Dinakaran’s removal in respect of certain corruption charges, he had not been coming to court to perform judicial work since December last.

On April 1, the Supreme Court collegium asked him to go on leave and appointed Justice Madan Lokur as acting Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court in his place.

The 55-page notice had in it all the 12 acts of misbehaviour by Justice Dinakaran under the Judges (Enquiry) Act, 1968.

Earlier, Chief Justice Balakrishnan had withheld the name of Justice Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court on alleged charges of corruption and land encroachment.

The apex court has now decided to consider the appointment only after Justice Dinakaran is cleared of all charges. (ANI)

Auction of 3G spectrum to go ahead as SC, Delhi HC reject stay

PTI, Apr 8, 2010, 06.39pm IST

NEW DELHI: The auction of the 3G spectrum (radio waves) will go ahead from tomorrow as scheduled with the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court today rejecting pleas to stay the exercise.

An apex court bench comprising Chief Justice K B Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan said it cannot stop the auction process now.

However, the bench has directed to list the Special Leave Petition filed against the order of the Delhi High Court, which had earlier dismissed the petition of one Umesh Joshi, for hearing on April 16.

Nine mobile operators, including India’s top six private mobile operators, will bid for the 3G spectrum and Broadband Wireless Access(BWA). Winners will be able to offer customers high-speed voice and data transfer and multimedia services.

The apex court also raised questions on the credentials of the petitioner asking “you are not a bidder in this … you have no right to pray for stay of the auction process.”

“You are here for someone else,” the bench said. The apex court’s direction came on a petition filed by Joshi who alleged that by auctioning 3G spectrum, government was violating the doctrine of “level playing field” by not placing all the competitors equally.

He submitted that in its notice on February 25, 2010, inviting bids in just 20 to 25 days for the auction of 3G spectrum and BWA was “arbitrary and whimsical”.

Joshi also requested the apex court to lift the stay the order of the High Court which had on March 19 directed him to pay a cost of Rs 15,000 after observing that he has not come here with clean hands and approached the court on the behest of some other persons interested in the auction.

Another petition filed by an NGO to stop the auction was also set aside today by the Delhi High Court which said the objections raised against it were “misconceived”.

A bench headed by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur rejected the objections raised by an NGO regarding auctioning of 3G spectrum.

The NGO, Society for Awareness and Development, said in its plea that government did not follow the guidelines of the regulatory body TRAI and only existing players participated in the process.

The government, on the other hand, contended that the petition was filed with the sole purpose for halting the auction and there were some vested interests behind the filing of the petition.

HC acquits Telgi of key charge

TNN, Apr 9, 2010, 06.12am IST

CHENNAI: The mastermind behind the multi-crore counterfeit stamp paper scam, Abdul Karim Telgi, has been acquitted by the Madras High Court of a key charge for which he was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for 10 years.

Justice T Sudanthiram acquitted Telgi after his senior counsel S Shanmugavelayudham pointed out that though he had pleaded guilty in the special court for CBI cases and was consequently awarded 10 years, the fact remained that his offence did not attract Section 255 of IPC.

Elaborating, he told the court that though Telgi never printed any counterfeit stamp papers in Chennai, the CBI had charged him with offences under Section 255, which is about printing fake stamp papers. “Telgi did all the printing in Pune, and he only stocked and circulated them in Chennai. But instead of punishing him for the appropriate offences, for which he had pleaded guilty, the CBI court had sentenced him to 10-year RI,” Shanmugavelayudham contended.

Concurring with his submissions, Justice Sudanthiram acquitted him of offences punishable under Section 255, and confirmed the sentences for less serious offences.

HC rejects defamation suit against Salman

Express News Service

Posted: Friday , Apr 09, 2010 at 2347 hrs Mumbai:

How do you hold actor Salman Khan responsible for publication of your photograph with him in some newspapers, the Bombay High Court on Thursday asked Phoolbanoo Bakshi Ilahi, a paraplegic woman, who had accused Khan of exploiting the picture for publicity of his film Veer.

Ilahi had dragged the actor and the producer of his film Veer to the high court alleging criminal defamation, and she has sought damages of Rs 25 lakh from Khan and others. The court had earlier issued notices to all the parties including the police, Khan, producer Vijay Gilani, and a city tabloid.

The court refused to entertain the petition and disposed it.

Ilahi confesses to be an ardent fan of Khan, and that she had met him in Film City in April last year with her mother and a sister. Her petition claims that the actor himself asked his photographer to click their picture with him, and she had asked Khan not to sell the photograph to anyone as she was a religious and veil-wearing woman.

Lawyer Mohammed Iqbal Solkar, appearing for the petitioner, had stated that due to publication of the photograph, Ilahi’s younger sister’s engagement has been broken.

Division Bench of Justice D B Bhosale and Justice A R Joshi, however, pointed out that it was the petitioner who on her own had gone to meet the actor. “Are you saying that Salman keeps photos of all his fans?” Justice Bhosale asked.

The court observed that this is not a case for criminal defamation since there is nothing defamatory about the grievance made out by the petitioner. At the most you can file a private complaint, the court said.

According to the petition, in December last year, she saw the photographs in the tabloid, along with a report that said Khan had given her Rs 1 lakh out of compassion. However, Ilahi said that this was false.

SC shunts Justice Dinakaran to Sikkim HC

Updated on Friday, April 09, 2010, 11:31 IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Controversial Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran, who refused to go on leave, was shunted to the Sikkim High Court Friday.

The decision was taken by the Supreme Court collegium consisting of Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan, Justice SH Kapadia, RV Raveendran and Dalveer Bhandari.

The proposal of shifting the controversial Karnataka High Court Justice is being sent to the Centre for approval of the President.

The collegium took the decision in the light of reports that the judicial work of the Karnataka High Court was being affected as Dinakaran was not been performing any judicial work since December last.

Reports further claimed that the apex court collegium has also cleared the name of the acting chief justice of the Delhi High Court Justice Madan B Lokur to be appointed as the Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court.

The collegium has also recommended the name of the senior-most judge of the Jharkhand High Court MY Eqbal as the new chief justice of the Madras High Court. He will succeed Justice HL Gokhale, who has been recommended for elevation to the Supreme Court.

59-year-old Dinakaran has not been performing judicial functions after Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari admitted a motion in December seeking his removal on charges of corruption, land-grab and abuse of judicial office.

Allegations listed in the impeachment motion against Justice Dinakaran included possessing wealth disproportionate to known sources of income, unlawfully securing five housing board plots in the name of his wife and two daughters, entering into benami transactions, and acquiring and possessing agricultural holdings beyond ceiling limit.

Other allegations related to illegal encroachment on government and public property to deprive dalits and poor of their livelihood, violation of human rights of dalits and poor and destruction of evidence during official enquiry.


PIL filed for strict implementation of ESMA

Sat, Apr 10 12:20 PM

Srinagar, April 9 — The high court in Srinagar on Friday heard a public interest litigation (PIL) asking the government to ensure strict implementation of the Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against protesting employees. The PIL was filed by advocate Reyaz Khan and Basher Dar before a division bench headed by justice Yaqoob Mir and justice Hasnain Masoodi.

The PIL argued that the common man is suffering because of the employees’ strike, from hospitals to ration depots. “It seems the government and the employees leaders are hand in glove.

It’s the common man who is suffering. The strike should be resolved as soon as possible and the ESMA should be implemented strictly.

so far ESMA seems mere eye wash,” said the advocates in the petition.

Hindustan Times

Only Indian nationals can represent country in sports: top court

Krishnadas Rajagopal

Posted: Friday , Apr 09, 2010 at 0133 hrs New Delhi:

The Supreme Court agrees with the government that only citizens of India — either those resident in India or Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) — can “carry the flag of India or walk under it and represent the country” in competitive international sporting events.

Foreign nationals, including foreign nationals of Indian origin, or Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) are not eligible, the court observed on Thursday.

“An Indian team should consist of only Indians. There is no doubt about it,” Chief Justice of India KG Balakrishnan said. A three-judge bench comprising the CJI and Justices Deepak Verma and BS Chauhan, said foreign nationals of Indian origin or OCI, cannot, unlike NRIs, “claim any right to represent India in international sporting events”.

The observations came after Solicitor General (SG) Gopal Subramanium said this question of law must be settled because “many international sporting events are immediately due”.

The SG quoted government policy circulars of December 2008 and March 12, 2009 sent to all national sports federations in the country, specifying that “financial support from government is restricted to Indian nationals alone, the inclusion of players in national teams is restricted to Indian nationals only. In other words only Indian nationals are eligible to be part of the national team and walk under the Indian Flag”.

Subramanium affirmed that though OCI status enables “certain privileges, but it certainly does not in any manner make a person a citizen of India”.

The Bench was on a preliminary hearing of a petition filed by the Union Government against a Punjab and Haryana High Court judgment of March 18, 2010, according OCIs the same status as NRIs with regard to representing India in international sports events.


The court said that an OCI is “different” from an NRI who, though a resident of a foreign country, retains his or her Indian citizenship.

A 2003 amendment in the Indian Citizenship Act of 1955 introduces the ‘OCI’, but denies this category equality of opportunity in matters of public employment, among other rights.

The Punjab Bench’s verdict came in the case of shotgun shooter Sohrab Singh Gill, an OCI, who was barred from representing the country in international events as part of the Indian contingent.

Gill, son of Punjab Director-General of Police P S Gill, was born in the United States but returned to India at the age of one. He was granted OCI status on April 4, 2007, and went on to represent India in junior world events and won two medals at the Asian Championships in Kuwait in 2007.

The 23-year-old had won his case in the High Court by seeking refuge in a Home Ministry notification of April 11, 2005 that overseas citizens are to be treated on par with NRIs in respect of “economic, financial and educational” matters. Gill contended that the expression “education” in the notification includes “sports”.

“Education certainly does not mean participating in international competitive sport events,” Subramanium said.

“The High Court judgment has far-reaching ramifications on the entire sports policy of the Government of India and in particular with regard to the issue of non-nationals representing India in international sporting events,” the SG submitted.

“My client has been representing India for five years. He has been in this country since the age of one,” said senior advocate Mukul Rohtagi, representing Gill.

“There is no dual citizenship here. You are a citizen of another country. Why don’t you opt for Indian citizenship? You cannot have both. Why did you not opt for Indian citizenship on attaining the age of majority?” the court observed, while posting the case for further hearing on April 19.

Face probe to prove innocence, court tells Lt. Gen. Prakash

Legal Correspondent

“You are a soldier, you can fight”

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal filed by Lieutenant General Avadhesh Prakash, questioning the Army Tribunal’s order declining to quash the court of inquiry (CoI) against him in the Sukna land scam.

A Bench of Justices V.S. Sirpurkar and Mukundakam Sharma asked the petitioner to face the inquiry to prove his innocence.

Lt. Gen. Prakash was indicted for his alleged role in issuing a ‘No-objection Certificate’ to realtor Dilip Agarwal for building an educational institute on a 71-acre land adjacent to the Sukna military station in West Bengal. He and Lt. Gen. P.K. Rath were facing the CoI.

The Tribunal held that the proceedings were bad in law and the inquiry was unfair but remanded the matter back to the CoI with a direction for a de novo examination of witnesses in the presence of Lt. Gen. Prakash and permitting him to cross-examine them. He was aggrieved that the Tribunal, instead of quashing the proceedings, had asked him to report before the CoI.

In his appeal, Lt. Gen. Prakash said he retired on January 31 and was likely to face disciplinary proceedings pursuant to an attachment order. He said the CoI was not held in accordance with Army Rule 180, which required that examination (recording of statements) of witnesses be done in the presence of the accused officer. In a show-cause notice he received on January 11 certain allegations, which were completely false and baseless, were levelled against him, and he was asked to explain why administrative action in the form of a censure should not be taken against him, said Lt. Gen Prakash.

Senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the petitioner, said the character of the land had not changed; and the government had done nothing with the land. Moreover, the persons who were to conduct the inquiry were junior to Lt. Gen. Prakash.

Justice Sirpurkar said: “These are not valid points for consideration. After all, it is only a fact-finding inquiry. The Tribunal’s order is in your favour. You have been asked to face the inquiry only as a witness. A charge sheet can be filed only if there is a prima facie case. You are fighting a losing battle. You are a soldier, you can fight.”

Mr. Rohatgi replied: “Yes, I [petitioner] will fight till the last bullet.” Justice Sirpurkar said: “You can approach the court at a later stage if you are aggrieved by the inquiry report.”

NHRC condemns ‘growing cult of violence in society’

Special Correspondent

Disturbed over the massacre of 76 CRPF jawans in Chhattisgarh

NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission is “disturbed” over the massacre of 76 Central Reserve Police Force jawans by Maoists in Chhattisgarh.

Condemning the “growing cult of violence being adopted by certain vested interests in society”, it said in a press release here that it hoped the families of the deceased personnel would be suitably compensated.

The Commission said any movement or action in the name of a struggle for the rights of citizens would lose its legitimacy the moment it resorts to violence, which is the anti-thesis of protection of human rights.

The Commission acknowledged the role of the police and paramilitary forces in maintaining the security of the State. It was expected that the State would take note of the sacrifices made by them in maintaining the rule of law and creating an environment of peace and security for the citizens.

Wrong policy

Meanwhile, the People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) in a statement has described the killing of CRPF jawans as an “unfortunate fall-out of the Government’s wilful policy of pursuing Operation Green Hunt”.

It said it considered the war against the so-called “Left-wing extremists” a wrong policy at a time when the country was reeling under an unprecedented drought, crop failure and price rise.

“War at home against our own people, under any pretext, should be ruled out as an option, for once and for all, and the issues arising out of tribal people’s opposition to memorandums of understanding signed by the State governments with mining and other industrial conglomerates and the consequent land grab, forest displacement and river water privatisation need to be resolved peacefully rather than imposed on the people against their will,” it said.


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