LAGAL NEWS 23.04.2010

 

Come clean on income: HC to BCCI, Modi

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ET-Cetera/articleshow/5847616.cms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gujarat HC comes to rescue of Kesar Sal med students

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_gujarat-hc-comes-to-rescue-of-kesar-sal-med-students_1374543

DNA

Friday, April 23, 2010 8:48 IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

PIL filed in Allahabad HC against IRDA

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/legal/pil-filedallahabad-hc-against-irda_453165.html

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

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

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

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

Gujarat HC orders probe against senior engineer

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gujarat-hc-orders-probe-against-senior-engineer/610296/

Express News Service

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Indian Matrimony Site Awaiting HC Verdict Against Google

http://www.indiajournal.com/pages/event.php?id=10818

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 22, 2010

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

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

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

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

Teen moves HC against disrespect to National Emblem

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Teen-moves-HC-against-disrespect-to-National-Emblem/610200

Express News Service

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

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

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

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

Quash charges against policemen in Shopian case: CBI tells HC

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Quash-charges-against-policemen-in-Shopian-case-CBI-tells-HC/articleshow/5844476.cms

PTI, Apr 22, 2010, 05.12pm IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CJI likely to take over NHRC chief post

http://www.ptinews.com/news/621929_CJI-likely-to-take-over-NHRC-chief-post

STAFF WRITER 20:27 HRS IST

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

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

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

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

Judges appointment: Govt may get veto

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Judges-appointment-Govt-may-get-veto/articleshow/5845248.cms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dhananjay.mahapatra@timesgroup.com

Former CJI Bhagwati inducted in Nigerian judicial hall of fame

http://www.businessghana.com/portal/news/index.php?op=getNews&news_cat_id=&id=125930

News Date: 22nd April 2010

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

power and ensure justice to disadvantaged people.

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

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

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

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

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

humanity.

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

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

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

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

prisons.

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

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

Source: GNA

Apex court gets it right in fourth attempt

http://blog.taragana.com/law/2010/04/22/apex-court-gets-it-right-in-fourth-attempt-21651/

By IANS

April 22nd, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tribunal reinstates Kerala cop suspended for foreign trip

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/tribunal-reinstates-kerala-cop-suspended-for-foreign-trip_100352701.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CAT has now posted the case for April 28.

‘Accident victim can withdraw Rs49 lakh’

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_accident-victim-can-withdraw-rs49-lakh_1374105

Hetal Vyas / DNA

Thursday, April 22, 2010 1:17 IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anara Gupta case transfered from NHRC to J-K SHRC

http://www.ptinews.com/news/623190_Anara-Gupta-case-transfered-from-NHRC-to-J-K-SHRC

STAFF WRITER 18:20 HRS IST

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

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

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

NHRC pulls up Ghaziabad administration

http://www.thehindu.com/2010/04/18/stories/2010041859370400.htm

J. Balaji

For violation of labour laws by brick kiln owners

District Magistrate directed to take strict action against the violators

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.merinews.com/article/sc-asks-govt-to-fill-post-of-nhrc-chief-within-a-month/15804740.shtml

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

CJ: SUBHASH CHANDRA..

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

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

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

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

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