LEGAL NEWS 29.04.2010

Bombay High Court dismisses PIL against Shiv Sena over MNIK

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_bombay-high-court-dismisses-pil-against-shiv-sena-over-mnik_1377054

PTI

Thursday, April 29, 2010 19:57 IST

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

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

HC seeks reply on PIL regarding meat shops near airport

http://www.ptinews.com/news/632174_HC-seeks-reply-on-PIL-regarding-meat-shops-near-airport

STAFF WRITER 19:10 HRS IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/04/29/hc-notice-tn-government-sri-lankan-refugees-petition-close-camp

Thu, 2010-04-29 11:46 — editor

Sathyalaya Ramakrishnan reporting from Chennai

Chennai, 29 April, (Asiantribune.com):

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Asian Tribune –

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

http://www.infocera.com/Astrology_a_time-tested_science_more_than_4000_years_old,_can_not_be_banned_9017.htm

Posted by Rajni Sharma    29/04/2010  

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-Ecocab-can-become-viable-and-eco-friendly-means-of-transport-/612632

Express News Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.ptinews.com/news/631680_Pre-maritial-sex-not-a-statutory-offence–SC

STAFF WRITER 16:46 HRS IST

Pre-marital sex not a statutory offence: SC

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

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

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

HC stops work on Shivaji Park beautification

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/HC-stops-work-on-Shivaji-Park-beautification-/articleshow/5870776.cms

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HC dismisses petition against Kamal

http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/tamil/article/56583.html

IndiaGlitz [Thursday, April 29, 2010]

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

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

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

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

Return Rs 80 lakh to Rajmata kin: HC

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Return-Rs-80-lakh-to-Rajmata-kin-HC/articleshow/5870166.cms

TNN, Apr 29, 2010, 05.40am IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sarojini Nagar shelter lacks basic facilities, NGO informs HC

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Sarojini-Nagar-shelter-lacks-basic-facilities-NGO-informs-HC-/articleshow/5870798.cms

TNN, Apr 29, 2010, 06.26am IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-asks-hospital-if-13yearold-rape-victim-can-undergo-abortion/612829/0

Express News Service

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The case will come up for hearing on May 4.

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

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/govt-to-hc-will-hold-camps-to-inform-games-site-workers-about-their-rights-wages-benefits/612714/0

Utkarsh Anand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jharkhand HC serves showcause on state govt regarding Madhu Koda case
http://www.indlawnews.com/Newsdisplay.aspx?296b968d-c919-4f3d-b8df-061dc3b8df1b

4/28/2010
The Jharkhand High Court served a showcause on the state government why CBI inquiry could not be conducted against Chandra Prakash Choudhury, Dulal Bhuniya (both former ministers) and close associate of former chief minister Madhu Koda–Sanjay Choudhury and Vinod Sinha– in connection with Disproportionate Assets (DA) case.

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNI

Thachankary row: AG not to appear in HC

http://www.mathrubhumi.com/english/news.php?id=90831

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

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

Cong leader moves HC against criminal plea

http://www.3dsyndication.com/showarticlerss.aspx?nid=mYeSYHIge3PcDHDuK9tw6HiP8con3dPuls4bzezHvldntVDY=

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

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

Supreme Court quashes criminal proceedings against Kushboo

http://www.thehindu.com/2010/04/29/stories/2010042951060100.htm

J. Venkatesan

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

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

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

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

In May 2008, it had stayed these proceedings.

The ULIPs controversy and a Delhi High Court decision

http://indiacorplaw.blogspot.com/2010/04/ulips-controversy-and-delhi-high-court.html

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

–         Jayant Thakur, CA.

Delhi HC grants bail to rape convict who is terminally ill

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Delhi-HC-grants-bail-to-rape-convict-who-is-terminally-ill/articleshow/5865553.cms

Apr 28, 2010, 04.49am IST

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

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

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

HC stays construction of Dabolim mega project

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/goa/HC-stays-construction-of-Dabolim-mega-project/articleshow/5866135.cms

TNN, Apr 28, 2010, 05.34am IST

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chandigarh/Inmates-education-HC-issues-notice-to-states-UT/articleshow/5865638.cms

TNN, Apr 28, 2010, 05.26am IST

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

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

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

‘Government violated HC directive on hartal’

http://expressbuzz.com/states/kerala/government-violated-hc-directive-on-hartal/168888.html

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.3dsyndication.com/showarticlerss.aspx?nid=wsKuc4J4FKcTzlCb4fSQwkk8r57oVaYRiGU76Q13dPulsbw0=

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

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

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

Punjab and Haryana HC rejects bail application of

http://www.punjabnewsline.com/content/view/25464/38/

Spokesman Editor

Punjab Newsline Network   

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Gujarat HC asks Nirma to protect Mahuva’s ecology

http://www.3dsyndication.com/showarticlerss.aspx?nid=RERVOTqYDqPOMsW3dPulsZRcaVqlHjfjqz8U3dPulsuVTUiHpiJBw=

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

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

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

http://internationalreporter.com/News-5691/hs-kapadia-to-become-cji-on-11-may-2010-dr-raj-baldev-cosmo-theorist.html

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cnbc-tv18-comments/sc-verdictril-rnrl-gas-casenext-few-days-sources_454134.html

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

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

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

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

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One Response

  1. False promises for marriage the guy is charged as rape isn’t it? But what and where the righteousness is for a girl, guy is put behind bars but he is legitimate to put a bail application anytime and endless times. he speaks false words for the same girl whom he promised for marriage in courtyard yard to rescue him self and converse about girl character which comes 1st isn’t it ?when he gets bail then trial goes for many years isn’t it? But where is the justice to the girl even she also has mental pressure and constant worries then she has too kill time for so long. What did she get even for her the case might not be that easy isn’t it? In this way as per law waiting for long time for justice isn’t it a torture to a girl? Guy is out for trial he will alwaz clear his picture to the outside world that he wasn’t on fault isn’t? So it means girl who registered a case against the guy her future is over isn’t it? when the girl has all the evidence with her then why she has to undergo so much mental trauma why not get inspect those evidence to check if she is rite I think then she should get the justice same movement don’t you think or can you see justice here? When it is judged as a rape then why consider as simple normal case y not like a rape, when guys forcefully have sex with a girl are those rape cases judged in this way? with too much of pressure, stress mental torture get insulted in courtyard with shit words spoken by the guy lawyer and what not it means no other girl will take an action against these kind of guys or she might not be able to take mental pressure and take the case back isn’t it? Why will a girl invite trouble for herself and get into so much of mess when she knows she has to suffer a lot more in future and won’t get anything.
    So this law is made without a justice?

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