LEGAL NEWS 16.04.2010

HC dismisses PIL seeking take over of BCCI by Centre
16 Apr 2010, 1958 hrs IST,PTI
MADURAI: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court today dismissed a PIL seeking a direction to the Union Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports
Welfare and Finance ministry to take over administration of the cricket board to promote the game and charity effectively and transparently. Justices F M Ibrahim Kalifullah and K B K Vasuki said if the petitioner felt the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was not meeting the objectives of society, then he could complain to the registrar of societies. “If they violated income tax rules, then the same could be taken up with the I-T department,” the court said. The petitioner could not straightaway file a PIL without approaching the authorities concerned to get a proper remedy for his grievance, the bench held. The petitioner B Stalin, a city advocate, contended that the BCCI, under the category of a charitable institution received grants, donations and contributions and enjoyed tax exemption (till 2006-07). But it was not spending even eight per cent of its total income to promote the game. The cricket body has billions of rupees as surplus in its account, but lacked infrastructure, he said. He claimed that certain activities of BCCI were totally commercial and there was no element of charity in its conduct, the major income arises not from the game, but from business of cricket. BCCI’s intention was to promote business and not the game, he charged. PTI

Delhi govt shows apex court how it is curbing begging
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Friday, April 16, 2010 0:45 IST
New Delhi: Sheila Dikshit government, which has been indicted by the Delhi high court for denying safety equipments to a large number of workers engaged in construction sites of the fast approaching Commonwealth Games, has sought to pacify an anguished Supreme Court saying it is committed to curb begging in the capital.
Additional solicitor general Mohan Parasaran on Thursday listed steps the government has taken in this regard and said 13 anti-begging teams have been formed to round up beggars and also declared certain areas “zero-tolerance zones”.
Besides, two exclusive mobile courts are already in operation for conducting trial of beggars, the government said in an affidavit.
The government affidavit came in response to a PIL seeking direction to the authorities to check increasing menace of begging in Delhi and taking appropriate steps for their rehabilitation.
In a matching development relating to the plight of the hard-pressed worker force striving to make the Games a success, a Delhi HC bench headed by chief justice Madan B Lokur asked Dikshit government and all civic authorities in the capital to register all labourers working in different sites and provide them safety equipments.
Seeking details of workers employed at various sites and the contractors who have employed them, the HC expressed concern at violation of basic rights of the workers.
A committee set up by the HC had pointed out that workers at the Games’ construction sites were not being paid minimum wages and made to work overtime for no extra money.
It had also recommended “exemplary fine” to be levied on errant authorities and stressed the need for stringent steps to start time-bound registration of workers and extend to them benefits like weekly offs and hygienic living conditions.
A PIL filed by People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) said the workers, ignorant about their rights, were housed in “crowded hovels” with no protection during winter. They don’t have electricity and live in filthy atmosphere and don’t have toilets.
PUDR had sought insurance, wage slips, weekly offs and proper medical care for about 4.15 lakh workers.

PIL filed against Tharoor over IPL row
fe Bureaus Posted: Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010 at 2330 hrs ISTUpdated: Wednesday, Apr 14, 2010 at 2330 hrs IST
New Delhi: A Delhi-based lawyer on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking a CBI or a high-level probe into the alleged role of minister of state for external affairs Shashi Tharoor in the purchase of Kochi’s IPL team by a consortium, which also includes one of his friends.
“As per reports coming, there are records which proves that 5% free equity was given to Sunanda Pushkar, Tharoor’s woman friend, in the franchise. This figure has been confirmed by IPL sources,” the PIL stated.
“It is shocking news that for everybody that some influence was exercised by a Union minister and this is evident by the fact that fiancee of the minister got a stake of around Rs 70 crore free,” the petition which is yet to be listed for hearing before the apex court said. fe Bureau

Nirma plant: High Court reserves judgment on PIL
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 16, 2010 at 0134 hrs Ahmedabad:
The Gujarat High Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the state government’s decision to allocate 268 hectares in Mahuva taluka of Bhavnagar district to Nirma Limited for a cement plant.
The final arguments by both sides concluded on Thursday before the Division Bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi.
The state government has granted 268 hectares to Nirma Limited to set up a cement plant in the region. But the move has faced opposition from the local farmer community led by Mahuva BJP legislator Dr Kanu Kalsaria.
The Shree Mahuva Bandhara Khetiwadi Pariyavaran Bachav Samittee had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the HC in 2009 praying direction to the state government to cancel allocation of the land to Nirma Limited.
Petitioner lawyer Anand Yagnik had argued before the HC that the allocation of land was in complete violation of the HC order.
He said 222 of the 268 hectares is part of a water body, which came into existence after prolonged efforts to build check dams in the area to check salinity ingress.
Besides, the HC order states that such land on which water bodies are situated, cannot be acquired by anybody for any purpose.
The petition had further contended that though the water body was identified, it was for some unknown reason, not notified as a water body.
The state government and Nirma Limited have, on the other hand, contended that the cement plant will not come up on any water body and that the land allocation has been done after considerable debate at various levels.
Advocate General Kamal Trivedi and senior Supreme Court Counsel Dushyant Dave argued on behalf of the state government and Nirma Limited respectively.

Kudko murder case transferred, a day before judgement–a-day-before-judgement
Giridih (Jharkhand), Apr 16 (PTI) The Kudko murder case in which Jharkhand Chief Minister Shibu Soren is the lone accused has been transferred to another court, a day before its judgement was to be delivered.The First Additional District Sessions Judge, N N Singh, who had concluded hearing and reserved the judgement in the case, yesterday sent a letter to District and Sessions Judge, Sanjay Prasad requesting him to transfer the case from his court to any other court “due to some reasons”.Court officials said here today that a court order for transfer of the case from Singh’s court to Additional District Judge Mohammad Qasim’s court has been released.On April 3, First ADJ, N N Singh, had concluded hearing in the 36-year-old case and set tomorrow as the date for delivering the verdict.

Tata Power moves SC seeking review of judgement
New Delhi, Apr 15 (PTI) Tata Power today approached the Supreme Court seeking a review of its judgement given on stand by charge of electricity, directing the company could not unilaterally increase the tariff for BSES.The petition seeking a review of the October 17, 2003 order was mentioned by the Tata Power Ltd before a bench comprising Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Cyriac Joseph and Justice Deepak Verma.However, the bench directed Tata Power that the as per normal rules, it would be reviewed in the chambers only and not in the open court.In its petition, Tata Power has submitted the apex court had on March 19, 2009, held that the state Electricity Board had the requisite jurisdiction to revise a tariff till such time Electricity Regulatory Commission was constituted.

PIL on Kochi IPL scam withdrawn from SC, filed in Delhi HC
TNN, Apr 16, 2010, 01.56am IST
NEW DELHI: When the Supreme Court showed no urgency to hear a PIL seeking CBI probe into Union minister Shashi Tharoor’s role in facilitating a consortium’s bid for the Kochi IPL franchise, the petitioner withdrew his plea and moved the Delhi High Court. Petitioner advocate Ajay Agrawal on Thursday morning mentioned his petition before an SC Bench comprising Justices S H Kapadia and Swatanter Kumar seeking urgent hearing on the ground that there had been huge tax evasion, surreptitious infusion of money and suspected involvement of hawala and black money. But the Bench asked just one question: “What is the urgency?” When the petitioner could not give cogent reasons for urgency, the Bench refused to fast-track the hearing and directed that the petition be posted for hearing in the usual course. Agrawal waited for a few minutes and dramatically requested the court to permit him to withdraw the PIL as he wanted to move the Delhi HC. The Bench obliged and dismissed it as withdrawn. Within hours of withdrawing his petition, Agrawal was in Delhi HC and filed his plea with minor changes. The prayers in the PIL withdrawn from the SC and filed in HC were identical — direct CBI, or constitute a special investigating team (SIT), to probe the matter within a week and submit a report. It said though the junior minister for external affairs had all along been claiming to be the mentor of the Kochi franchisee’s bid for next edition of IPL, “the transfer of equity, valued at around Rs 70 crore, without any consideration, to a person so close to the minister, raised many questions”. Appearing before a division Bench headed by acting Chief Justice A P Shah, Agrawal reiterated his prayer. Though HC agreed to hear his petition, it refused to grant early hearing to the matter.

NSE comes under RTI ambit, says Delhi HC
April 16, 2010 11:32 IST

The Delhi [ Images ] High Court on Thursday said the National Stock Exchange was a public authority and was bound to reveal information under the Right to Information Act.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna dismissed NSE’s plea that it could not be forced to disclose information under the transparency law since it was an autonomous body and not controlled by the government.
The court upheld the decision of the Central Information Commission, which had declared stock exchanges a public authority. The CIC, in 2007, had held that stock exchanges were “quasi” governmental bodies that are bound to disclose information to the public under the RTI Act.
“A stock exchange, being a quasi-governmental body working under the statute and exercising statutory powers, has to be held to be a public authority under the Act,” the Commission had said, while directing the NSE to put in place a mechanism for the purpose.
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HC offers mediation to solve family dispute
Utkarsh Anand
Posted: Friday , Apr 16, 2010 at 0200 hrs New delhi:
Unable to offer help in a legal battle being fought between a mother and her sons, a Delhi High Court judge has offered the parties an alternative solution — help of the mediation centre.
“This court can do no more than advise the parties to bridge the gap by taking recourse to mediation proceedings. If and when the parties desire to do so, the Delhi High Court Mediation and Conciliation Centre will ensure senior and experienced mediators assist the parties in resolving the dispute between mother and sons for the acquisition of property…” Justice Reva Khetrapal said in her recent order.
Adjudicating the petition of the woman, in her late 50s, Justice Khetrapal noted that at the heart of the matter were two different wills that gave the right over a certain property separately to the mother and her sons.
The petition by the woman had sought a declaration by the court that she was the co-owner of a property in Shanti Niketan, the front portion of which had been let out to the British High Commission. She had submitted the will prepared by her father in 1985 whereby she was categorically termed the owner of 50 per cent of the house, comprising the rear portion of the building.
Another will prepared by the woman’s mother in 2003 bequeathed, among other properties, the Shanti Niketan house to her grandchildren — the petitioner’s sons.
The sons had recently written to the British High Commission, informing that the rent should be paid to them and not their mother. During this time, the woman was staying abroad with her husband, an IFS officer, on his official deputation.
After the High Commission intimated her of the letter, she filed a suit in the High Court seeking declaration of her right and a restraint order against her sons.
The sons argued on the basis of the second will but also made it clear to the judge that they did not want to throw their mother out of the house — they only sought legal permission to stay in the same house.
Justice Khetrapal noted that the second will, awarding ownership to the sons could not to be held legally tenable as the woman was the co-owner, as established by authentic documents. “The balance of convenience is also in favour of the plaintiff, who is presently in possession and is admittedly very sick, apart from being advanced in years,” the judge noted.
When the sons requested for a place in the house, the court expressed its inability to pass such an order and noted that was essentially a family matter.

HC restrains Loyola College from collecting ‘excessive’ fees
D Suresh Kumar, TNN, Apr 16, 2010, 04.05am IST
CHENNAI: The Madras high court has retrained Loyola College, a leading government-aided arts and science college in Chennai, from collecting excess fees from students in the coming academic year. Significantly, the college has not denied the allegations that it was collecting excess fees. In a related development, the director of collegiate education has informed the court that a special audit of accounts would be undertaken at Loyola College to verify allegations about collection of excess fees raised by the Tamil Nadu Catholic Minorities Welfare Association, Choolaimedu. The association’s secretary, V Amalraj, had in a petition alleged that as against the government-fixed fee of Rs 265 for the arts group courses (BA) conducted with the government aid, the college was collecting Rs 5,146 per semester. The college was charging approximately Rs 10,000 per annum from students who joined courses in the science stream (BSc), as against the government-fixed fee of Rs 500, he said. The petitioner argued that since the college received the government aid, it has to charge the fees as prescribed by the state government. “Respondents (Loyola and its management) have filed a counter. They have not denied this allegation in any way. To a specific allegation, a specific denial is expected,” the first bench comprising Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Justice V Dhanapalan observed in their interim order. The judges said that in the absence of any specific denial from the college, there is no reason why they should not accept the allegations made in the petition. Pointing out that the college secretary had informed the court that he would submit a proposal to the director of collegiate education regarding the fee structure for approval and accordingly charge the fee, the judges said, “It is also clear that there is no such approval as of now.” Noting that the government audit will take time, the judges said: “The new academic year is going to start shortly in June or July 2010. Respondents cannot be permitted to charge excess fee, about which a clear allegation is made in the petition, to which there is no specific denial. In the circumstances, the petition is allowed.”

HC cancels appointment of Panchmahals school principal
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 16, 2010 at 0344 hrs Ahmedabad:
The Gujarat High Court (HC) has cancelled the appointment of a school principal in Panchmahals district allegedly done under the influence of her relative who was a member of the selection panel.
The case pertains to Gayatri Vidhya Mandir in Hardaspur village of Lunavada taluka. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi directed the authorities to start the appointment process afresh and complete it within three months. The Bench was acting on a petition filed by the Jai Khodiyar Yuvak Mandal trust, which is handling the management of the school.
According to Mamta Vyas, the petitioner’s lawyer, the post of principal was vacated in 2007. Subsequently, a selection panel started the process to recruit the new principal. One Leela Patel, who worked as Assistant Teacher in the school also applied to the post. She happened to be the sister-in-law of Mangaldas Patel, the vice-president of the trust. Mangaldas was also one of the members of the selection panel.
After the completion of the selection process, Leela emerged as the second preference for the post. But Vyas said that one Paras Pandya who was selected as the first preference, withdrew his candidature under duress from Leela and Mangaldas. Pandya had also written a letter to this effect to the District Education Officer.
Following Pandya’s withdrawal, Leela was appointed the principal. The trust, however, challenged the appointment calling it a case of nepotism by Mangaldas. The single judge bench of the HC had upheld the appointment. The trust challenged the order in the Division Bench.
Vyas said the Division Bench quashed the order of the single judge bench and cancelled the appointment of Leela as principal. It also ordered the DEO to initiate the appointment process afresh and finish it within three months.

SHRC cannot direct government: HC
Express News Service
First Published : 16 Apr 2010 04:35:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 16 Apr 2010 08:12:10 AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Thursday said that the findings of the State Human Rights Commissions should be treated as recommendations and not directions to the government.
The HC’s remarks came while disposing off the petition filed by Deputy Superintendent of Police of Uttara Kannada district and six other police personnel. The division bench headed by Justice Manjula Chellur observed that the findings of SHRC need not be treated as directions, the SHRC can only recommend the government to take actions against erring police officials.
The SHRC on October 23, 2009 recommended the then Chief Secretary to suspend police officers of Karwar district for human rights violations against the villagers who were protesting against proposed Hankon Thermal Power project in the district.
The SHRC had also recommended the state to suspend Babu D Kolekar, SP of Karwar and also DySP of Anti Naxal Force and other six policemen.

PIL against ban on two-wheelers on JJ Flyover
By Anand Holla
Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 02:01:20 AM

Trashing the traffic police for banning two-wheelers on the J J flyover, since April 1, a PIL was filed before the Bombay High Court today, seeking quashing of the order which is “depriving the two-wheeler riders the benefit of saving precious travel time and fuel.” The police should keep a watch on errant motorists and ensure upkeep of the signboards and devices on the flyover to prevent accidents, the PIL says.
The petition filed by Salim Shaikh of the NGO Impact, through lawyer Mubin Solkar, says that until May 2001 – when the 2.4 km-long flyover was inaugurated – the congested Mohammad Ali Road replete with narrow lanes was notorious for its round-the-clock traffic. “Motorists would take almost 35-40 minutes to cover the stretch.The government found constructing the flyover to be the only solution to resolve the daily traffic snarls,” the petition states, adding that the flyover shrunk the 35 minute-travel time to five minutes even during peak hours.Referring to the traffic police statistics of 31 fatal accidents having occurred in the last five years, 23 of which involved two-wheelers, the petition attributes it to several factors like rash driving by both two-wheeler and four-wheeler motorists, and also the police’s failure in safeguarding the flyover.The petition elaborates, “Instead of this ban, the police should initiate effective measures like reinstalling latest safety gadgetry like cat-eyes, speed regulators, high-powered reflectors, warning boards etc.” Calling the banning decision ‘wholly arbitrary, illegal and in violation of basic rights of two-wheeler riders’, the petition says that the police is only trying to use a short-cut to escape from its basic duty of ensuring accident-free commuting on the flyover.Solkar said, “ The police must undertake serious traffic safety measures and step up vigil to ensure all rules are followed.Also, like on Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the police here should install proper signboards, fresh cat-eyes, which get stolen from J J flyover and never get replaced.For instance, three cm-thick speed arresters are put in a zig-zag manner on the BWSL, while on J J flyover they are one cm-thick and are put in a straight line.Obviously, bikers cheat these arresters on J J, by maneouvring their way out.” The petition also points out that one of the drastic fallouts of the ban has been an increase in fuel consumption by motorists, as what consumed 62.5 ml of petrol for a flyover commute now takes around 500 ml of petrol to cover the same stretch below the flyover.

Joint plea by insurers against Sebi order seen
Khyati Dharamsi / DNA
Thursday, April 15, 2010 2:53 IST
Mumbai: Haze hangs heavy over unit linked insurance plans (Ulips) a good five days after Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) passed an order barring 14 insurance companies from collecting premiums from such policies.
On Wednesday, with offices and markets closed for Ambedkar Jayanti, conjectures and speculations flew fast and furious over the next move of the key stakeholders — the government, Sebi and Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), and the insurance companies, among others.
The government reiterated that it wants Sebi and Irda to move court immediately to decide once for all who should have jurisdiction over Ulips.
“We want them to go to the court at the soonest. The larger issue on who has the regulatory oversight authority (over Ulips)… will be decided by the court. We want them to go to the court at the soonest,” finance secretary, Ashok Chawla said.
“Irda and Sebi will jointly settle the issue in courts as suggested by the minister,” Irda chairman J Hari Narayan said, without specifying when or where the legal battle would start.
At the same time, Chawla told reporters there was nothing wrong with Sebi’s Tuesday order asking insurance companies to get a clearance from it in case they want to launch a new Ulip. Sebi’s contention is that the bulk of the Ulip premium is invested and only a minuscule portion goes towards insurance, which makes makes the structure of these schemes very similar to that of mutual funds.
Irda, however, asked insurance companies to ignore this order just as it had asked them to ignore the earlier order. “There is no fresh clarification. The earlier one stands good,” Hari Narayan said.
A Sebi spokesperson said it being a holiday any decision would come only on Thursday.
Lawyers in the city weren’t sure what the procedure for filing a joint reference would be. “There are two writ courts —- High Court and Supreme Court. There is a need for clarification on what is a joint reference,” says Somasekhar Sundaresan, partner at J Sagar Associates.
Lawyers said the case could be filed in any high court by either Sebi or the 14 life insurance companies whose products had been banned in the first place.
“Irda was not given a notice and hence it cannot file a case. It can only be one of the parties,” Archit Jayakar, a solicitor with KJSV Solicitors & Advocates, said.
The 14 life insurers could either file a joint petition or file a case through a recognised body such as the Life Insurance Council, lawyers said.
“In all likelihood, it would be a joint petition by the insurers with Irda being one of the parties. If the 14 life insurers file cases separately, then a directive on any one case will be applicable to all others,” Jaykar said.
Queering the pitch somewhat is a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Rajendra Thacker against the Sebi order in the Bombay High Court, although some lawyers make light of it.
“The PIL doesn’t have much substance, as they have said the investors are suffering anxiety. But it is not that through the decision on the regulatory overlapping that all the Ulips issued are going to be made void,” Jayakar said. “The PIL doesn’t usurp the power from the ministry to negotiate. It doesn’t prevent Sebi or Irda from going to court. All that can happen is that they might give them a certain timeframe to decide.”
Another set of lawyers, however, believes the legal proceedings would be different now, since a PIL has been filed.
“A public interest litigation has been filed and now the court will direct all concerned parties to resolve their differences in the larger public interest,” said Shreyas Patel, partner at Majmudar & Co. It is clear that the courts will decide the issue.
“Now that the issue has moved out of the domain of regulation, the genie of the quasi-judicial order cannot be put back in the bottle even by Sebi,” Sandeep Parekh, faculty member at IIM Ahmedabad and former executive director (legal affairs) at Sebi, wrote on his blog.
According to Parekh, ignoring the Sebi order on new Ulips could land insurance companies in some trouble. “The insurance regulator setting the order aside is an attempt to do what only the Securities Appellate Tribunal, high court or the Supreme Court can do, and is patently illegal and contrary to basic rule of law principles… What happens if the insurance industry breaches the order without a stay order? The only thing Sebi does on breach of its orders is file criminal prosecution —- mainly because it has no other tool to enforce its power,” he wrote.
“…no court will entertain a mediation between two regulators (or any two persons). The Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that it will not (and the high courts too) cannot act as mediators. They will only decide a controversy where something is legally challenged by one party against another (in a writ in this case),” he added. (With PTI inputs)

‘Some activists abuse the PIL platform’
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Thursday, April 15, 2010 1:34 IST
Mumbai: Representing the state in the Bombay high court is a dream for every lawyer. So, it was a proud moment for senior counsel Ravindra Kadam when he was appointed to the post of Advocate General of Maharashtra in March, 2005; this is his second term. He has represented the government in some of the most crucial public interest litigations. His landmark cases include the mill land case and the Alistair Pereira case. Kadam speaks to DNA on the Right to Education Act, pending cases in courts and the 9.30pm deadline for women working in bars.
How important will the Right to Education Act be in curbing child labour, and also for poor children deprived of an education due to high fees?This is a landmark Act in the history of our country and, if implemented effectively, will certainly ensure that children between the ages 6 and 14 go to school. The Act bans capitation fees for school admission and bars schools from failing students between Stds I and VIII.
What could the solution be to curb the large number of pending cases, particularly in lower courts? The bottlenecks in litigation in India are well-known. Now, what is needed is to clear them which, of course, is easier said than done. The government must always be a reluctant litigant. Another immediate step which we are intending to take, and place before the government, is to identify petty offences under various statutes and get them speedily disposed of, but for this the most important thing needed is the cooperation of the bar.
Is the state government doing enough to protect social activists? It is. The government has taken a very serious view of the attacks and has instituted a mechanism to ensure that bona fide activists are protected. I have asked the ACS Home and the DGP to issue instructions to all police stations, which has been done. However, a few people masquerading as ‘activists’ abuse the PIL platform to blackmail others. Hence, there is a need to segregate the two so that the real activists are protected.
There is a new trend in more and more law graduates opting for corporate jobs over practising law. How will this affect judicial work?This is not a new trend. Everyone who attends law college is not cut out for court practice. Only those with an aptitude for litigation and huge patience should join the bar. With globalisation the opportunities for law graduates increasing manifold, it is but natural that students will get distributed. What is more important is that non-litigation practice globally employs 10 times more lawyers, so that gets reflected in India as well. If I was a young law graduate I would think really hard before joining the litigation side of practice.
Will declaration of assets by judges really make a difference? It will boost public confidence in the judiciary. Other than that it will have no impact whatsoever. Look, we have to be very careful in selecting our judges but once appointed it is essential that we trust them completely. The present system of selection of judges is grossly inadequate to meet the needs and expectations of our people.
Did the government seek your opinion on reconsidering the 9.30pm deadline rule for women working in bars, after the HC compared the state to Nazis Germany?Firstly, the high court didn’t say that. Every rhetorical question posed by a judge during the course of an argument is not a judgment. And, no, as of now I have not been asked.

‘What is the illegality in promoting Kochi franchise?’
April 14, 2010 19:07 IST

Shashi Tharoor [ Images ] and controversy have become synonymous in recent times.
The latest one concerns the Union Minister’s involvement in the Koch franchise deal and his subsequent standoff with IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi over the issue, following the latter’s disclosure of the names, in his Twitter account on Sunday, of the free equity holders in Rendezvous Sports World, which eventually bagged the franchise.
What makes matters worse is a petition filed in the Suprem Court on Tuesday seeking a CBI probe into Tharoor’s alleged proxy stakes in the franchise.
Ajay K Agrawal, the petitioner, has contended that the Minister of State for External Affairs had used his official position to help get 19 per cent of the stakes (pegged around Rs 70 crore) in the Rs 1533-crore franchise, free to Sunanda Pushkar.
Though Agrawal has reportedly said that he would make a plea before the apex court seeking early hearing of his petition, there aren’t many who are convinced about the same.
“It is ridiculous,” says lawyer Rahul Mehra, adding, “This PIL could have been pre-planned because it seems to have been filed overnight. The main player in it is something that needs to be understood.”
Mehra, who took the Board of Control for Cricket in India [ Images ] to court a few years back and forced it to become more transparent, doesn’t hide his disappointment over the petition.
“It seems, these days anybody can file a PIL,” he says. “I don’t know if it is independently filed or motivated, but you need to do a lot of investigations before you proceed to file one.
“I have filed three PILs myself and it takes about two years to file one,” he explains.
The minister in question, Tharoor, has all along denied having a stake in the Kochi franchise, saying he played merely a facilitator’s role.
And the lawyer, who has now filed a PIL against almost all major sporting bodies in India demanding them to come clean, also doesn’t believe Tharoor is at fault in this case.
“According to me, his office has not been misused in any way,” says Mehra.
“He perhaps shouldn’t have promoted the franchise per se but what is the illegality in it?
“If one can prove that he has been given a free equity, then there’s definitely a case of corruption. But that is not the case and, therefore, there’s no case of corruption, but only impropriety, if at all.”
Mehra goes to the extent of saying that the PIL will lead to nowhere.
“I don’t think the PIL will achieve anything. In fact, I am surprised that it hasn’t been dismissed yet,” he says.
Whether the PIL achieves its purpose or not remains to be seen. What is certain, however, is the fact that this is definitely not the Union Minister’s last tryst with controversy.
Bikash Mohapatra in Mumbai

Scheme for Gujarat farmers under court scanner,scheme-gujarat-farmers-court-scanner.html
Published on : Thursday 15 Apr 2010 16:46 – by IANS
The Gujarat High Court has questioned the central and state governments over alleged irregularities in implementation of a scheme for farmers in the state.
A division bench of Chief Justice S.J. Mukhopadhaya and Justice Akil Kureshi sought the clarification over a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Vikramsinh Chudasama alleging misappropriation of funds in the central government-supported Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).
After admitting the PIL, the division bench issued notices Wednesday evening to the authorities and posted the matter for hearing May 3.
The petitioner alleged government officials and few heads of village councils in Ahmedabad district were involved in corrupt practices.
According to the petitioner, Rs.1.5 crore was allocated to Gujarat State Land Development Corporation Limited under RKVY for the schemes meant for farmers in villages of Ahmedabad district.
The funds were to be used for construction of ponds and small water bodies in farms and for other activities for the benefit of farmers.
The petition alleged: “The authorities have shown the dead as living, obtained false thumb impressions and forged signatures of those who are not even present in the village, and made out consent letters in their names to carry out the work.”
According to the petition, 565 of 1,150 farmers were covered by the scheme. Not all of them were given the full benefits.
The petition said a total 113 ponds were to be constructed but only 79 were actually built. The remaining 34 were never built but in records the officials showed them as completed.
Against the actual expenditure of Rs.4,150,000, the records showed the cost of construction works as Rs.5,386,000, the petition alleged.
Copyright Indo Asian News

Boy blinded, school pressures mother–school-pressures-mother/606856/
Agencies Posted: Thursday, Apr 15, 2010 at 1446 hrs ISTUpdated: Thursday, Apr 15, 2010 at 1446 hrs IST
Mumbai: The mother of a seven-year-old, who lost vision in one of his eyes after a mishap in his school, has approached the police alleging that she is been pressurized by the school authorities to withdraw the case filed against them.
Sherbano Khan has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court seeking guidelines for having a safe environment for children in municipal-run schools.
Sherbano’s son Sohail Mohammad, a second standard student in a municipal run school in suburban Sion, lost sight in his left eye when one of his classmates accidentally jabbed a pencil into Sohail’s eye on January 15.
According to Sherbano, his teacher in spite of being informed about the incident did not take any immediate steps to provide medical aid or treatment to Sohail.
The Bombay High Court has last week directed the school authorities and BMC Commissioner to file their reply on Sherbano’s PIL.
“The school authorities and local Muslim bodies are pressuring Sherbano to withdraw the PIL, failing which they would remove Sohail from the school and ensure that he would not get admission in any other school in the city,” Sherbano’s lawyer Shakeel Ahmed said.
Sherbano has now filed a complaint with the Antop Hill police

Delhi HC asks govt, civic bodies to register CWG workers
Updated on Thursday, April 15, 2010, 19:52 IST
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed the government and civic bodies to register all labourers working in Commonwealth Games projects and provide them safety equipment. A bench headed by acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur also asked them to provide details regarding workers employed at various sites and the contractors under which they were working.
The High Court passed the order after taking into consideration findings of a report which pointed out violation of human rights of workers involved in construction work at various sites of the games. The High Court on April seven had sought a response from the Delhi government on whether it could implement a court-appointed panel’s recommendations relating to fixing of wages and working conditions of labourers employed at sites across the capital. A four-member committee, appointed by the court, had said in a report that workers at Games-related construction sites were not being paid minimum wages and made to work overtime for no extra money. The panel recommended “exemplary fine” to be levied on errant authorities and said steps needed to be taken to start timebound registration of workers and extend to them benefits like weekly offs and hygienic living conditions. The committee report claimed the labourers were being exploited since they were hired by contractors who were unaware of labour laws. The report said many accidents at these sites were never reported while workers continued to work without safety gear and that muster rolls were not verified. The committee comprised Arundhati Ghose, former representative to the UN, NHRC’s special rapporteur L N Mishra besides labour commissioner and labour secretary of Delhi government. The directions were passed on a PIL filed by Peoples’ Union For Democratic Rights (PUDR) which alleged the workers were being housed in “crowded hovels” with no protection during winter and no power and filthy or no toilets. PUDR had sought the high court’s intervention to ensure the workers get insurance cover, wage slips, paid weekly offs, proper medical facilities and workmen compensation, among other things. Estimating the daily wage contract workers to number roughly 4,15,000, the PIL alleged the Games-related construction work had been granted to private contractors who provided inhuman working and living conditions for the labourers. PTI

MSU to challenge tribunal’s judgement over sacking of teachers
TNN, Apr 14, 2010, 10.33pm IST
VADODARA: MS University (MSU) is likely to challenge the tribunal’s judgement of reinstatement of five teachers, who had been recently terminated from the varsity. Vice-chancellor Ramesh Goyal, who had terminated the teachers after getting directives from the state government, is likely to approach Gujarat high court. The sacked teachers were appointed in 1998 on a conditional basis. As they had not cleared the NET examination, they were asked to clear the exams within a stipulated period, but failed to do so. “I took this decision after getting written communication from state government that these five teachers should be relieved from their services since they do not meet selection criteria. One of the terminated teachers approached the tribunal challenging MSU’s decision. The tribunal in its judgement has asked for reinstatement of terminated teachers,” said Goyal. “We are likely to challenge this decision as whatever action was taken, was done so after getting directives from state government. There were 12 teachers who were appointed in 1998 with seven of them clearing the NET. Only five of these teachers could not clear the exams, despite assuring university that they will clear the test,” added Goyal.

Woman refuses to return to NZ with kids, HC steps in
Abhinav Garg, TNN, Apr 15, 2010, 01.35am IST
NEW DELHI: A woman who came to Delhi with her kids in June last year and is refusing to go back to her matrimonial home in New Zealand has been summoned by the Delhi high court. A division bench comprising Justice A K Sikri and Justice Ajit Bharihoke recently ordered the runaway mother to be present before it on April 29, along with the two children who are citizens of New Zealand. HC was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the father of the kids seeking the court’s intervention to trace his wife and kids. The father has also placed on record an order by an Auckland court asking the woman to return the children back to New Zealand under the court’s guardianship. Petitioner Vineet Singh has said that he married Jaswinder (all names changed) in 2003. With Singh being a permanent resident and citizen of New Zealand, Jaswinder joined him there once the wedding was completed. Through his advocate Jauhar, Singh informed HC his wife is a resident of Rajinder Nagar and visited the city only once in the intervening years between 2003 to 2009 — during which the couple was blessed with two daughters (4 years and 2 years). In June 2009, the couple visited India.While Singh, an employee with the New Zealand government, returned to resume his job, his wife allegedly refused to return, instead preferring to stay with her parents in Rajinder Nagar since the past one year. Jauhar has further alleged that the couple, in the process of settling down in New Zealand, had jointly taken several loans, including one for a new home. Since past year in the absence of Jaswinder, the husband has been bearing the brunt of the repayments, the petition adds. Alleging that Jaswinder is hiding in Delhi to “shield herself from international law”, the petitioner has said she is guilty of flouting orders of a foreign court. The bench has asked the Rajinder Nagar police SHO to trace the mother and kids and produce them before it.

Madras HC reserves verdict on new state education policy
Submitted by admin3 on 14 April 2010 – 8:07pm.
By Shafee Ahmed Ko,,
Chennai: The Madras High Court yesterday concluded hearing on the petitions filed against “Samacheer Kalvi” (Equitable Standard of Education) policy of the state government but reserved the judgment. The much debated Samacheer Kalvi System of education has already been introduced in Tamil Nadu in phased manner commencing this academic year from June for the Class 1 and Class 6 where in Tamil and English only will be treated as examination languages.
Eleven associations of private management schools and 3 individuals, not favouring the system of education, challenged the education policy in the Madras High Court. Justice Palva Santhakumar heard the matter initially. Since the case carried legal implication and public interests, he referred it to a Division Bench. The bench comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice Janardha Raja took up the matter. On behalf of the petitioners senior advocates who appeared were R. Krishna Murthy, N.R. Chandran, Muthu Kumarasamy, K. Durai Samay, Venketachala Murthy and Silambannan. On behalf of the Tamil Nadu Government Additional Advocate General Wilson and Special Advocate Pleader Sankaran were present. The argument on both sides ended yesterday. The Divisional Bench reserved its judgement on the case.
It is feared that no languages other than Tamil and English will be treated for public examinations from the year 2016. The Arabic and Sanskrit Oriental schools, languages such as Urdu, Arbic, Persian, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada will be only an extinct after 2015 says P.K.Shabbir of OMEIAT (Organization of Muslim Educational Institutes and Associations of Tamil Nadu).
When TCN contacted Kunjan Rasheed Ahmed, President of India’s Best Teachers’Awardee (from President Shankar Dayal Sharma -1995) and the spokesperson of Ambur Muslim Educational Association, he pleaded ignorance of the fact whether Ambur Educational Association (A major Muslim Orgnisation in Vellore Dist TN) filed a petition against the new system of education or not. All that he informed was, “We will approach the Chief Minister M.Karunanidhi and solve the problem”. Mr. G.M. Sharif a social activist said,” A group of associations like Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada is seeking legal remedy” and he was optimistic that a favourable solutions would be obtained.

HC okays pension for ACP Tyagi
NEW DELHI: Convicted for custodial violence leading to the death of two men in his charge, Delhi Police’s retd ACP, R P Tyagi, will now get his provisional pension with arrears, the Dolce & Gabbana Bags Replica Delhi High Court has ruled.
A division bench comprising Justices Anil Kumar and M C Garg, while upholding the decision of Central Administrative Tribunal, has dismissed the appeal by ministry of home affairs.
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“In the circumstances, there are no grounds to interfere with the order of CAT as no illegality has been pointed out” HC bench noted, asking the MHA to release Tyagi’s provisional pension along with arrears since February 1, 2008.
The MHA had come in appeal against CAT ruling, arguing since Tyagi was a convicted cop, the ministry had blocked his pension. However, during Replica Audemars Piguet the hearing, it transpired that Tyagi’s file is lying with the President who has to take a final call on. For Reprint Rights:

Ecole Mondiale staffer arrested for defaming ex-Bombay HC judge
Ex-principal of Indian school in Singapore ran defamatory blog about former employers, including Chief Justice Dharmadhikari

By Abhijit Sathe
Posted On Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 04:44:03 AM

A senior employee of Ecole Mondiale World School has been arrested for allegedly posting defamatory information on the Internet about his former employers, the Global Indian Foundation (GIF) of which former Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court Chadrashekhar Dharmadhikari is a governor.
Fifty-one-year-old Nandakumar Venkataraman, currently on deputation as CEO-designate of Ecole Mondiale International School, Chennai, was picked up by the Thane Cyber Crime Cell for hosting an allegedly libellous blog about the GIF’s board of governors.Venkataraman was associated with GIF’s Global Indian International School in Singapore between 2004 and 2007, when he was asked to quit after the management discovered alleged financial irregularities in the school’s accounts. “Apart from that, the school also found that he had leaked some confidential information,” Additional Police Commissioner (Crime), Prashant Burde of Thane Police, told Mumbai Mirror.
Months after leaving the Singapore school, Venkataraman allegedly co-started a ‘fake’ blog that supposedly represented parents of children studying at GIIS. Called Global Indian International School Parents Forum For A Better GIIS, this blog carried defamatory information about GIF and some of its governors, which include Dharmadhikari, scientist MGK Menon, and former Indian cricketer Chandu Borde.One of the posts about Justice Dharmadhikari blames him for the institution’s “lack of moral leadership”. Because GIF Vice President (CS Dharmadhikari) has abdicated his responsibility, failing to respond to the pleas of the parents raised in our open letter. Dharmadhikari’s ‘slip’ has clearly revealed to us, where the loyalties of this ex-’Justice’ really belong: far from the side of Justice, but closely tied to his kith, kin and clan.”When contacted, Dharmadhikari said: “There is substance in the complaint of defamation lodged by GIIS. Although I have not read the blog on a computer, I was shown hard copies of the posts which Venkataraman had posted.”GIIS also alleged that some of the school’s confidential financial documents, in his possession during his tenure, were also put up on the site.A complaint of defamation was first lodged with the Thane Police against unknown persons back in June 2008, and it took almost two years for the cops to track down Nandakumar. “Initial inquiries into the matter revealed that the blogs were posted from Singapore. Therefore, the School Authorities decided to take up the matter with police there,” Burde said.GIIS, which has 11 branches abroad and nine in, also lodged a complaint in Singapore. In April 2009, investigations revealed that a local parent, Ajith Narayanan, was co-moderator of the site. Till then, the police did not have an idea of Nandakumar’s alleged involvement. His name finally came up when Ajith Narayanan gave an affidavit accepting he was a co-moderator and making several references to Nandakumar in his statement.The Thane police then chased blog-hosts Google to provide details of blog’s Indian moderator. “It took time to collect the technical details. Only last month, we were informed that the blogs were now being posted from Chennai. A team of Thane police visited Nandakumar’s house in Chennai and seized two laptops and his mobile phone, from which the blog posts were made. “The seized articles are been sent for forensic examination and we are sure that they contain material that exists on the blogs,” said API Usha Suryavanshi.Venkataraman, who has been booked under sections 66(a) and 66(d) of the Information Technology Act, has denied involvement in the blog in his statement to the police.Advocate Sanjog Parab, legal spokesperson of GIIS, confirmed the development saying: “We had referred the matter to the Cyber Cell and the school is co-operating with the police.”

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Friday, April 16,

3 Responses

  1. very informative and commendable continue and expand

  2. Very imformative.

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