LEGAL NEWS 30.04.2010

Bombay HC dismisses PIL against ban on motorcycles on J J flyover
The Bombay High Court dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL), challenging the ban on riding motorcycles on the JJ Flyover bridge in South Mumbai. A Division bench, consisting of Justices FI Rebello and justices J N Patel, while dismissing the petition, agreed with the notice by traffic department imposing ban on motorcycles on the ground that a large number of motorcyclists had died while using the flyover. The petition was filed by a social activist Salim Shaikh, challenging the notification stating that imposing ban on motorcycle, while allowing four wheelers to use the flyover, amounted to discrimination against motorcyclists. The petitioner urged the court to direct the traffic department to cancel the said notification and allow the motorcyclists to use the JJ Flyover. Notably Samsher Khan Pathan, Senior Inspector of Paydhuni police station, had recommended the traffic department to impose ban on motorcyclists in view of large number of accidents on the flyover. Between 2002 and 2010, there have been 254 accidents on the 2.4 kms stretch of which 183 involved two-wheelers. Of the 33 people who lost their lives, 31 were bikers. Following the recommendations of Pathan, the traffic department had issued the notification.UNI

Corrected story Sebi moves apex court–Sebi-moves-a.html

Capital market regulator approaches SC to settle dispute over jurisdiction with Irda
Manish Ranjan
New Delhi: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has independently moved the Supreme Court through a transfer petition asking the court to settle its dispute with insurance regulator, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (Irda), over jurisdiction.
Sebi’s petition sought the transfer of two pending cases before the Allahabad and Bombay high courts, which had named the insurance regulator and the Union government among the respondents.
Also See Clarification by Mint editor R Sukumar on Sebi-Irda story
Sebi’s move precluded the need to approach the judiciary jointly with Irda, as envisaged in the temporary truce hammered out by the finance ministry that had stepped in to sort out the dispute between the two regulators over jurisdiction over (Unit-linked insurance plans) Ulips, a hybrid product sold by insurers.
The matter is to come up for hearing on Friday and the court will either provide immediate relief or seek a detailed hearing, wherein status quo will prevail. This will be the first instance in which the court will intervene in a dispute between two regulators.
Mint had reported on 23 April that the legal battle between Sebi and Irda over the regulation of Ulips is set to be fought in the country’s highest court.
In its petition, Sebi has argued that since different high courts across the country could rule differently in the cases, it made sense for the regulators to escalate matters to the apex court. Accordingly, it has requested the apex court to pass appropriate orders restraining the high courts from entertaining any cases over the regulation of Ulips.
The long-festering controversy erupted after Sebi directed that insurers selling Ulips will have to be registered with it and sought to act against 14 insurers for issuing Ulips. Irda reacted adversely and claimed that since the hybrid product included insurance, it had jurisdiction over it and the insurer; the regulator then issued a statement challenging the Sebi order. After the finance ministry brokered peace, Sebi issued another order saying that the registration condition would apply only for the sale of new Ulip schemes.
Ulips are hybrid products that comprise investments in both debt and equity and life insurance cover. The existing law permits insurers to pay commissions of up to 40% to their agents for selling Ulips, motivating insurance agents to aggressively sell Ulips. In fact, Ulips account for up to 90% of the new business premium for some of the private sector life insurers.
The Sebi move comes at a time when its efforts to jointly move the courts with Irda was not making headway. While Sebi believes the existing civil code does not permit a joint permission before a high court, Irda argues otherwise.
Advised by its legal counsel, Sebi chairman C.B. Bhave on Wednesday wrote to Irda saying the plan to jointly move a high court to settle the dispute was not legally feasible as under Section 90 of the Civil Procedure Code, regulators cannot do so. This section deals with special proceedings if any particular law or regulatory decision affects the public at large. The capital markets regulator had sought the views of the attorney general, the highest law officer of the country, on this.
Irda has not yet formally responded, but seems to be disputing the Sebi claim. A senior Irda official, who did not want to be identified, said: “There is still a valid case of filing a joint application with a high court, according to our legal counsel.”
“If that’s the case, why hasn’t Irda shared with us its legal counsel’s opinion?” asked a Sebi official, who, like the Irda executive, did not want to be identified.
Meanwhile, Irda chairman J. Harinarayan said in Hyderabad: “Sebi has written a letter to us that, according to their legal counsel, the joint application is not valid in this (Ulip) case under Section 90 of Civil Procedure Court.”
Even as the Sebi-Irda disagreements continued, on 13 April, Mumbai-based investor Rajendra Thacker filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay high court over the Irda-Sebi spat. The PIL seeks the reversal of the Sebi ban on the sale of Ulips. The PIL has been filed on the ground that several hundred thousand investors were suffering from anxiety and uncertainty about their investments due to the Sebi order.
On the same day, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee brokered a temporary truce between the two regulators, asking them to maintain status quo and approach the courts. A day later, Sebi said its ban on the sale of new Ulips remained.
Dhruv Kumar, a lawyer and former insurance professional, filed a second PIL in the Allahabad high court against Irda, seeking Sebi’s intervention and regulation of Ulips.
Anirudh Laskar in Mumbai and PTI contributed to this story.

Bombay high court allows unveiling of mural at Shivaji Park
Hetal Vyas / DNA
Thursday, April 29, 2010 22:58 IST
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday allowed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to inaugurate the partly beautified Shivaji Park on Friday to kick start the state’s golden jubilee celebrations.
The order comes as a relief to the Shiv Sena, which wanted to unveil a mural of Chhatrapati Shivaji at the Dadar park as part of the celebrations of Maharashtra Day.
A division bench of justices FI Rebello and Amjad Sayed allowed the corporation’s prayer considering its importance for the state. “I used to play on that ground as a child and then a youth,” said justice Rebello when the BMC counsel started explaining the layout of the park to the judges.
The court, however, clarified that the entire beautification work will be subject to the final outcome of the PIL.
On Wednesday, the high court had had stayed the work on beautification of the park as well as construction of murals depicting the coronation of Shivaji Maharaj.
However, on Thursday the BMC filed an urgent affidavit seeking modifications to the order. The affidavit, filed by Narayan Pai, assistant municipal commissioner of the G-North Ward, said the corporation had completed construction of one wall and one mural. “Only the cleaning and polishing of the mural is remaining,” it stated.
Prabhadevi residents, Durgesh Warty, 47, a businessman, and Manoj Govekar, 31, an art designer, had initiated the PIL alleging that the municipal corporation had awarded contracts for beautification of Shivaji Park without inviting tenders. They also alleged political influence in awarding the contracts.
The next hearing on the PIL is scheduled for May 5.

Penalty for silly PIL: Rs 5 lakh
Mumbai, April 29 (PTI): Bombay High Court today imposed Rs 5 lakh as cost on a petitioner for filing a frivolous public interest litigation that sought action against top bureaucrats and police officers for failing to avert the 26/11 terror attacks in the city.
Petitioner Goldie Sud had contended that top government officers, including the director-general of police and the chief secretary, failed to protect citizens from terrorists and action should be taken against them.
The high court held that the petition had no “foundation or basis” and amounted to “abuse of the process of court”.
The court has directed the petitioner to pay the cost within four weeks.
In case Sud fails to pay up, the collector of the Mumbai suburban district may take action to recover the amount.
On November 26, 2008, ten Lashkar-e-Toiba terrorists attacked two hotels and a Jewish prayer house, killing over 170 people.

Guj HC issues notice to Western Railway over PIL
Ahmedabad, Apr 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today issued notices to the General Manager, Western Railway, and its Divisional Managers at Vadodara and Ahmedabad, while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) on railway toilet disposal system.The Division Bench of Chief Justice S J Mukhopadhaya and Akil Kureshi, hearing the PIL, posted the matter for the second week of June.One Joseph Chelliah from the city has filed the PIL demanding that the Railways need to change its open toilet disposal system.He has contended that due to the present form of toilets in railway coaches, traffic gets jammed wherever there are roads under railway bridge.Joseph cited a couple of examples in the city saying the traffic under railway bridge in Ellisbridge comes to a standstill whenever a train passes through the bridge.

SC Judges: We were misquoted on live-in relationships in Khushboo case
The three Supreme Court Judges, who had heard the case of Tamil actress Khushboo, have said they were misquoted regarding their remarks on live-in relationships. A bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan, Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan, in their judgement, had said ‘ …it is, therefore, not only desirable, but imperative that electronic and news media should also play a positive role in presenting to the general public as to what actually transpires during the course of the hearings and it should not be published in such a manner so as to get unnecessary publicity for its own papers or news channels. We hope and trust, in future, they would be little more careful, responsible and cautious in this regard.’ Justice Chauhan also took note of the fact that they were flooded with letters from the public with a request to review their orders on live-in relationships, ‘while in fact no such order was passed by us and only during the course of hearing, we had either given some instances or put some questions to the learned counsel which were answered by them.’ The Judges further said, ‘this hyperactive attitude of the common men was indeed not called for. Some have even gone to the extent of telling us that we should have known Indian mythology before putting such questions. ‘Since all those persons who have sent such letters could not have been present in the court on that particular date, they must have got information from the print and electronic media. ‘Morality and criminality are far from being cextensive. An expression of opinion in favour of non-dogmatic and non-conventional morality has to be tolerated as the same cannot be a ground to penalise the author,’ they said. Khushboo had made some controversial remarks on pre-marital sex which were subsequently denied by her. She also sent a legal notice to some Tamilian papers seeking withdraw of the remarks attributed to her after which 23 criminal complaints were filed against her. The high court refused to quash the criminal proceedings against her. The Supreme Court, however, cautioned the lower judiciary that the process of criminal trial should not be set into motion unless and until strong prima facie evidence is there. It is the reputation of an individual person which must be in question and only such a person can claim to have a legal beg for justifiable claims to hang on. The apex court also cautioned the magistrates to use their statutory powers to direct an investigation into the allegations before taking cognisance of the offences alleged as the criminal trial carries an implicit degree of cersion and it should not be triggered by false and frivolous complaints, amounting to harassment and humiliations of the accused. The judgement was pronounced and the copies of the judgement were made available to the media.UNI

Supreme Court to have a woman judge after four years
30 Apr 2010, 0055 hrs IST,AGENCIES
NEW DELHI: Former Jharkhand High Court Chief Justice, Gyan Sudha Mishra, will take oath as a Supreme Court Justice on Friday.
She will be the fourth woman judge in the apex court. Mishra (61) was initially appointed as judge of the Patna High Court in March 1994, but was transferred to the Rajasthan High Court. After 14 years there, she was elevated to the post of Chief Justice of the Jharkhand High Court in Ranchi in July 2008. Mishra enrolled as an advocate in the Bihar State Bar Council in November 1972 at a time when women entering the legal profession was a rarity. She was appointed a government advocate for Bihar in 1982. Alongwith Mishra, Tamil Nadu High Court Chief Justice H L Gokhale and Bombay High Court Chief Justice A R Dave will also be sworn in. The number of Supreme Court judges will rise to 30 after Friday’s swearing-in.

Housefull restrained by Calcutta High Court
The much-hyped film Housefull has been hit hard from the very outset. The Calcutta High Court has ordered the makers of Housefull not to use the 1981 hit song “Apne To Jayse Tayse” from the film Laawaris starring Amitabh Bachchan.
The High Court has ruled in favour of Anandji and the heirs of music directors Kalyanji, who had filed a suit claiming that the makers of Housefull had used the song without their permission. Meanwhile, the heirs of Prakash Mehra, producer of Laawaris, have also filed a separate suit, claiming that the song was written by the late Mehra, and thus the copyright of the song belonged to them.
Justice Patherya has ordered an interim stay on the use of the song till June 2. He has also directed both the parties to file affidavits in two weeks and the matter would be heard after three weeks.Housefull directed by Sajid Khan releases today and is expected to open big. It features Akshay Kumar, Arjun Rampal, Riteish Deshmukh, Deepika Padukone, Lara Dutta and Jiah Khan in the lead roles.

Except adultery, consensual sex no offence, says SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Apr 30, 2010, 03.39am IST
NEW DELHI: Consensual heterosexual relation between adults, including pre-marital sex, is no offence except in cases where the partners are liable to be charged for “adultery”, ruled the Supreme Court. It said the courts attach a lot of importance to personal autonomy and a person indulging in an immoral act need not necessarily be a culprit in the eyes of law. “Morality and criminality are non co-extensive,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice K G Balakrishnan and Justices Deepak Verma and B S Chauhan on Wednesday. The SC said in the present social milieu, some view pre-marital sex as an attack on the centrality of marriage while a significant number see nothing wrong in it. This conflict of opinion on morality did not make pre-marital sex an offence, it ruled. “Notions of social morality are inherently subjective and criminal law cannot be used as a means to unduly interfere with the domain of personal autonomy,” it said. This clear finding and the judicial logic supporting it got substantial space in the apex court’s judgment on Wednesday quashing 23 complaint cases against South Indian actress Khushboo, who was harassed through litigation for her remarks on prevalence of pre-marital sex in cities. Justice Chauhan, writing the 41-page judgment for the Bench, said, “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 of the Indian Penal Code.” Section 497 provides, “Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case, the wife shall be punishable as an abettor.” The Bench also did not understand the uproar over its comments on pre-marital sex and live-in relationships saying the apex court had in 2006 held that a live-in relationship between two consenting adults of opposite sex did not amount to any offence with the obvious exception of adultery. It said there was an urgent need for reactionary forces to tolerate unpopular opinions expressed on sensitive issues by writers, authors and other persons and not hound them by instituting complaint cases against them. “It is not the task of criminal law to punish individuals merely for expressing unpopular views. The threshold for placing reasonable restrictions on the freedom of speech and expression is indeed very high and there should be a presumption in favour of the accused in such cases,” the Bench said. It said Khushboo’s remarks did provoke a controversy since the acceptance of pre-marital sex and live-in relationships was viewed by some as an attack on the centrality of marriage. “While there can be no doubt that in India, marriage is an important social institution, we must also keep our minds open to the fact that there are certain individuals or groups who do not hold the same view. To be sure, there are some indigenous groups within our country wherein sexual relations outside marital setting are accepted as a normal occurrence,” the SC said.

College girl’s murder: HC upholds life term for accused
Asseem Shaikh, TNN, Apr 30, 2010, 07.59am IST
PUNE: The Bombay high court on Wednesday upheld the 2002 order of the Pune district and sessions court awarding life imprisonment to Satish Bhavbande, the accused in the sensational murder of city college girl Neeta Hendre in 1999. The judgement was delivered by a high court division bench of justices Mridula Bhatkar and B H Marlapalle. Neeta (16) was a Std XI student of Garware College of Commerce while Bhavbande, who was then 27, was a resident of Rakshalekha housing society at Dattawadi and worked as a part-time electrician. He first accosted Neeta, who lived in the neighbourhood, in the first week of September 1999. Six days later, he threatened to kill her if she did not marry him. On September 23, he took Neeta to a small alley behind the Swargate police lines and brutally murdered her. Bhavbande was absconding for four days even as Neeta’s father lodged a complaint of kidnapping against him. The accused was not tracked down by the police till residents of Dattawadi staged a protest march and pelted stones at the local police chowky. Students of several colleges too had staged protests demanding action against Bhavbande. Bhavbande was arrested on September 26. The state government had appointed special public prosecutor Ujwal Nikam in the case. The case was based on circumstantial evidence, but the prosecution examined 28 witnesses to prove the guilt of the accused. Former additional sessions judge N V Deshmukh, who had conducted the trial, sentenced Bhavbande to life imprisonment on April 2, 2002. The court, however, acquitted Bhavbande of the kidnapping charges even as it passed severe strictures against the police. Bhavbande challenged the conviction before the high court. Arguing before the division bench, Bhavbande’s lawyer S V Kotwal said his client had been falsely implicated in the case, merely on suspicion. He contended that the prosecution could not prove that Bhavbande was in love with the victim and that he had expressed his intention to marry her. He said there was no material evidence to connect Bhavbande with the crime as the prosecution had not examined material witnesses. Additional public prosecutor S V Gajare, while seeking confirmation of the trial court order, said there was sufficient evidence against the accused. Dismissing the accused’s appeal and confirming the sessions court order of life sentence, the division bench said the prosecution case that no one other than the accused had committed the crime had been rightly accepted by the trial court, despite the prosecution not being able to prove certain circumstances. “Having re-appreciated the evidence of the prosecution case and the reasoning set out by the trial court, we are satisfied that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused that he committed Neeta’s murder,” the bench said.

HC extends stay on Indage Vintners liquidation
30 Apr 2010, 0107 hrs IST,ET Bureau
MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Thursday extended stay on the liquidation of Indage Vintners, formerly Champagne India, till June 15. The division
bench of Justice FI Rebello and Justice Amjad Sayed has granted the extension while hearing the company’s appeal against the winding up order. Last month, the winding up order was passed by a single judge of the High Court after some unsecured lenders sought Indage Vintners’ liquidation. In the course of his argument on Thursday, Indage counsel Dinyar Madon told the court that the promoters, Chougule family, will infuse Rs 75 crore into the troubled company as part of the corporate debt restructuring scheme. The corporate debt restructuring cell, comprising local banks, approved the company’s proposal to rejig loans on Wednesday. Indage MD Ranjit Chougule told ET that the company will file a petition under section 391 of the Companies Act, 1956 by June to compromise and restructure debts. If the compromise scheme is approved by 75% lenders, the package will be binding on all the creditors. Mr Chougule said a few unsecured creditors are opposing the CDR proposal, whereas most banks, including ICICI Bank and SBI, have approved the package.

Can’t control bird hit menace, shift airport: HC
Mohan Kumar
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 2358 hrs Mumbai:
Concerned over the menace of bird hits threatening air traffic and lack of action from the municipal corporation against slaughter houses and garbage near the airport, the Bombay High Court on Thursday said that the best solution would be to shift the airport.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by lawyer Datta Mane pointing out that slaughter houses, meat shops and dumping grounds cannot be allowed within a 10 km radius of the airport premises.
Division bench of Justice J N Patel and Justice S C Dharmadhikari pulled up the corporation for sleeping over this “serious matter” which has been going on for years. “You are aware of all illegal slaughter houses which have been operating for years,” justice Patel said, asking the corporation what steps they are going to take. If you don’t do anything then “Bombay does not require a corporation,” the judge added.
Talking about the slaughter houses and the garbage that it generates, the court said that it was a menace to airport security. The court also pointed out the event in which a bird hit might cause a plane crash. “Who all will die if the place crashes in the vicinity,” the court asked.
“Best solution would be to shift the airport,” Justice Patel said.
Arguing for the petitioner, advocate Kunal Cheema, said that cleanliness has to be maintained around the airport.
The petition states that as per regulation 31 of the Development Control rules “the location of the slaughter house/abattoir/butcher houses or other areas for activities like depositing of garbage which may encourage the collection of flying birds, like eagles and hawks, shall not be permitted within 10 km from the aerodrome reference point.”
“Has your municipal commissioner never gone to the airport?” justice Patel asked. The court said that let the municipal commissioner and chief secretary go to the airport and see for themselves.
“Otherwise they will never realize it,” the court said.
The bench has directed Municipal Commissioner Swadheen Kshatriya, principal secretary of civil aviation and state chief secretary to file an affidavit in this regard by June 30.
The petition also states that as per media reports, the airlines industry has lost around Rs 7 crore because of “bird hits” in the year 2009. The petition also says that till October 2009, there were 241 bird hit cases.
Petitioner has urged the court to direct removal of all open garbage dumping areas/bins, including the Deonar dumping ground.

Provogue gets HC approval for Nagpur property dvpt, stk up
Published on Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:12 Updated at Fri, Apr 30, 2010 at 12:13 Source :
Provogue (India) has touched an intraday high of Rs 52.35 and an intraday low of Rs 49.80. At 11:49 hours, the share was trading at Rs 51.80, up Rs 2.30, or 4.65%.
Provogue has received HC approval for development of retail infrastructure project on Nagpur property. Honerable High Court set aside the proceedings of State Government of Maharashtra initiated against the said property under the Urban Land (Ceiling and Regulation) Act, 1976. By virtue of the said Order, the said property is free from all ULC proceedings, as per notice available on BSE website. It was trading with volumes of 510,843 shares, compared to its 5-day and 30-day average of 909,926 and 538,064 shares, an decrease of -43.86% overs its 5-day avg / decrease of -5.06% over its30-day avg. Yesterday the share closed up 0.92% or Rs 0.45 at Rs 49.50.

Madras HC asks P&G to modify ‘Tide Naturals’ ad again

BS Reporter / Mumbai April 30, 2010, 0:56 IST

The Madras High Court, in an interim order today, directed Procter & Gamble (P&G) to modify its ‘Tide Naturals’ advertisement again, with a prominent disclaimer that ‘Tide Naturals does not contain lemon and chandan’ in all scenes of the ad.
On December 1, 2009, P&G began airing a Tide Naturals commercial, which said the product could provide cleanliness and whiteness without too much effort. It also said that while other washing powders caused harm to the hands and skin, ‘Tide Naturals’ caused no harm due to the presence of lemon and chandan (sandalwood).

Rival Hindustan Unilever (HUL) moved court on February 25 this year, objecting to the claim of natural ingredients in the product. On March 1, P&G was directed to make modifications to the ad for the first time, displaying the disclaimer — Tide Naturals does not contain lemon and chandan — which it did in select scenes.
HUL had also objected to the use of the word ‘Naturals’ in the brand name, packaging, advertisement and sales promotions of Tide Naturals. The court, however, is yet to take a decision in this regard.
When asked, a P&G spokesperson said: “We are pleased with the interim order of the Madras High Court that has not accepted the contention of HUL to modify the Tide Naturals brand name or packaging in any way. The interim court order further allows us to continue the airing of our Tide Naturals commercial, with certain modifications.”
The spokesperson added: “We have never tried to communicate in our Tide Naturals advertising that our product contains lemon and chandan. Our packaging continues to say ‘The freshness of lemon and chandan’, which we do have in the product through the fragrance of lemon and chandan. Usage of terms like these are industry practice and P&G is not drifting from the norm. The Madras High Court prima facie believes that a few frames in our TV commercial misrepresent the presence of these ingredients and therefore need to be dropped from the commercial. We respect the court order and will fully comply with the actions and modifications requested of us.”
A HUL spokesperson could not be reached for comments.

HC Asks Why No Entertainment Tax On IPL Matches

Date Submitted: Thu Apr 29, 2010
MUMBAI – The Maharashtra government on April 22 faced tough questions from the Bombay High Court over non-levy of entertainment tax on IPL matches and wondered why there was special exemption especially if industrialists are involved.“If industrialists are party to it, why special exemption is being given by the state to the IPL? This is a serious issue,” the court said.While asking the state government to clarify whether it intended to impose entertainment tax on IPL, a Division Bench also commented upon consumption of electricity due to the day-night matches.“Government should have some control on this…such a waste of electricity, only for this entertainment?” the judges said, referring to power cuts in neighboring townships while a semi-final match took place in Navi Mumbai on April 21.Earlier, during the arguments, judges quipped, “Is this(IPL) an entertainment or a sports activity?”Seeking to know whether Indian Premier League was a profiteering activity, the judges asked Board of Control for Cricket in India and IPL to give information on the income generated from T-20 matches that were played in Maharashtra.The court’s directive came in response to a PIL filed by Shiv Sena MLA Subhash Desai, demanding that the state collect entertainment tax from the IPL.The judges also asked the IPL to maintain accounts of remaining matches in current season to take place in the state.The Court also directed both the cricket bodies to furnish copies of their respective constitutions, and memorandum of articles at the next hearing.Among other things, court has sought information as to “whether IPL is a profiteering activity…the manner in which IPL and BCCI are functioning in organizing T20 matches”, as well as how BCCI “controls IPL”.Shocked to hear that IPL tickets are priced at as high as Rs 40,000, the court also sought to know the ticket rates.Desai’s petition alleges that the government decided to levy tax on IPL at a cabinet meeting in January, but the decision was not implemented.The court also expressed dissatisfaction about BCCI not instructing its lawyer properly.The court warned that if it accepted the petitioner’s argument eventually, it would ask the state to recover tax from the IPL “retrospectively”, i.e. even for the last two tournaments. (PTI)

AAU ‘corruption’: SC disposes of plea against HC stay
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0131 hrs Ahmedabad:
The Supreme Court has disposed of the special leave petition (SLP) filed against the stay granted by the Gujarat High Court in the matter of inquiry against Anand Agriculture University (AAU) Vice-Chancellor M C Varshneya and Registrar A J Pandya.
Vinodchandra Bhatt, a senior clerk at AAU, had filed the petition against the stay on Thursday.
Bhatt had filed the complaint against the duo for relaxing the norms regarding the National Eligibility Test (NET) and alleging corruption in recruitment and other matters before the Anand district magistrate. The district magistrate had ordered an inquiry by the deputy superintendent of police. Against this order, the university appealed in the High Court and was granted a stay, said a statement.
According to the AAU, the regulation to pass NET was recommended by the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR), making it mandatory for the posts of assistant professor. But looking at the shortage of staff in Krishi Vigyan Kendras (KVKs), it had to relax this rule for the recruitment.
A total of 28 universities out of 45 have relaxed this clause. The statement further said that based on these facts, the SC disposed of the SLP and directed the HC to expedite the matter.

Govt violated HC order by issuing challans: Autorickshaw union
Anupam Bhagria
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0214 hrs Ludhiana:
Following yesterday’s drive by the district transport office and traffic police against 150 illegal autorickshaws, the Autorickshaw Workers’ Federation held a meeting with Deputy Commissioner Rahul Tiwari and District Transport Officer (DTO) Ashwani Kumar on Thursday.
Kulbir Singh Khalsa, president of the federation, said: “We clarified that issuing challans against autorickshaws is a violation of the stay orders of Punjab and Haryana High Court. The hearing in an ongoing case in this regard is scheduled for May 3. It is not justified to take action against the autorickshaws till the court gives its decision.”
Ashwani Kumar, however, said: “We are not challenging the stay orders of the High Court. Issuing challans to illegal autorickshaws is my inherent power and we will continue our campaign. The court did not ask us not to challan an illegal vehicle.”
Meanwhile, Khalsa said, “The Federation will safeguard the rights of all auto owners and will honour the decision of the High Court.”
The srate Transport department ordered the district administration to stop plying diesel autos from May 1. But the district Autorickshaw Workers’ Federation succeeded in getting a stay order from the Punjab and Haryana High Court on March 15. The next date of hearing in the case is May 3.
The DTO further said: “We tried to convince the autorickshaw owners to switch over to LPG, but they are adamant to run the vehicles on diesel.”

HC upholds PU rule on vacant NRI seats
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0009 hrs Chandigarh:
In a judgment which will have far-reaching consequences, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday ruled that seats reserved for Non-Resident Indian (NRI) in Panjab University cannot be converted into general category seats, in case these were left vacant.
Justice Permod Kohli passed the judgment, which would be applicable to all seats reserved for NRI students.
The decision comes as a breather for PU, as the High Court has upheld the university rule in this regard.
Justice Kohli observed, “In any case, (the university) prospectus also achieves the status of binding law and should not be casually and lightly interfered with. I find no valid reason to strike down the condition in the prospectus merely because there are candidates desirous to seek admission against the NRI seats…in the event the seats are converted into general category. Conversion of such seats is impermissible.”
Justice Kohli further ruled: “The object and purport of NRI seats is to provide opportunity to non-resident Indians to unite their children with Indian culture and to explore the possibility of their return to India at some stage.”
The directions were passed on a petition filed by one Rajiv Chugh, who had applied for admission to the LLB course in 2009. The petitioner could not get admission, as all seats in the general category were filled up, except 27 NRI seats which remained vacant.
Appearing on behalf of PU, advocate Anupam Gupta had submitted that there was a specific embargo on conversion of NRI seats into general category seats in the ‘Handbook of Information and Rules for Admission’. Gupta had said it was not permissible to convert these seats and give admissions to candidates from general category.
On the other hand, the counsel for the petitioner had said if NRI seats were allowed to be taken up, the university would not have to expand its infrastructure to accommodate more students.
Justice Kohli, however, observed that there was no merit in the petition and dismissed it.
Later, while talking to Newsline, Gupta said, “The NRI quota is an island of privilege. It is an unfortunate exception to the Constitutional mandate of equality. Any attempt to enlarge it must be stoutly resisted. I look forward to the day when the Supreme Court will overrule itself and reject the NRI quota as unconstitutional.”
50% NRI seats go vacant every year
In the 65 departments and three regional centres of Panjab University, 453 seats are reserved for NRIs. Officials said nearly 50 per cent of these seats go vacant every year.

HC bans sand mining machines, stays arrest of workers
Express News Service
Posted: Friday , Apr 30, 2010 at 0149 hrs Allahabad:
The Allahabad High Court has imposed a ban on the use of machines in sand mining on the riverbeds of Ganga and Yamuna in Allahabad and Kaushambi districts, and stayed the arrest of sandmine workers who held pro-tests against the use of machines.
On Wednesday, a Division Bench of Justice Sunil Ambawani and Justice KN Pandey passed the order on a PIL filed by People’s Union For Civil Liberties (PUCL). The Bench asked the government to take action against the contractors using the machines, and ordered that the state Human Rights Commission be made a party to the case.
In its petition, the PUCL had contended that the contractors were using JCB machines and other equipment for sand mining in violation of government orders. Traditionally, the fishermen who lived on the riverbank are hired for sand mining, but the use of machines has deprived them of a job.
According to the petition, on January 24, the Kaushambi police raided several houses and arrested over three dozen people as they had held a meeting to demand removal of the machines. Eighteen FIRs were lodged by the Allahabad and Kaushambi police. The counsel for PUCL, Ravi Kiran Jaini, told the court that the use of machine created a serious problem for livelihood for these workers who have begun an agitation under the banner of All Indian Kisan Mazdoor Sabha.
Appearing on behalf of the government, Additional Advocate General S G Hasnain said the protestors had assembled with arms despite prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC and did not disperse despite repeated warnings by the police.
“The court has stayed the arrest of sand workers,” said Jaini. The court also requested the Human Right Commission to help the workers and the government resolve the issue.

Under RTI issue SC issues notice on CJI
By Sunita ⋅ April 29, 2010 ⋅ Post a comment
The Supreme Court sought a response on Monday from Delhi resident Subhash Chandra Agrawal on an appeal it had filed to itself challenging the high court order bringing the office of the chief justice of India within the ambit of the Right to Information Act.
Acting on Agrawal’s plea, the high court gave on January 12 the landmark judgment which is considered to be a setback to the chief justice K.G Balakrishnan who has been opposing the opening up of the affairs of the higher judiciary to the public gaze.The apex court has given Agrawal four week’s time to send his written arguments.
Siniority criteria for promotion of HC Judges to SC
The Centre has admitted that seniority is a criterion for promotion of high court judges to the Supreme Court, after having maintained that it was not a factor for consideration in their elevation.
The contradiction came to light in the law ministry’s reply to Right to Information (RTI) queries on why former Delhi High Court Chief Justice AP Shah was overlooked for elevation to the top court despite being “one of the finest judges”.
The Department of Justice, in response to RTI queries by Delhi-based activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, informed him on February 21: “Seniority is not a criteria prescribed for elevation of judges to the Supreme Court in terms of Article 124 (3) of the Constitution of India and Memorandum of Procedure for appointment of judges to the Supreme Court.”
Asked whether Justice Shah was denied promotion (superseded) ignoring seniority, the department replied, “The question of supersession does not arise. Nor was any complaint received against Justice Shah. Due process was followed and since the process is initiated by the Chief Justice of India, further queries may be referred to the Supreme Court.”
However, in response to fresh queries, the department admitted seniority was a criteria. “As per the Memorandum of Procedure, the CJI initiates proposal and forwards the recommendation to the government to fill up the vacancies of judges arising in the Supreme Court and of chief justices in the states. Consideration is given to the merit, ability, suitability and seniority of the recommendees,” the April 21 reply said.
It added that the rules reinforced by the advisory opinion of the top court in 1998 “make it clear the senior most judge would be considered for the post of the Chief Justice of India”.The procedure for appointment and promotion of judges based on recommendations of a panel of top judges (collegium) has been criticised for its secretive style of functioning. It does not give any reasons for selection or rejection of judges.
Justice Shah retired in February, and jurists such as Fali S. Nariman and Ram Jethmalani described him “as a good judge who could not make it to the Supreme Court”.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Saturday, May 01, 2010


One Response

  1. sir,
    I want to know that what was the decision of supreme court of india to sbi recruitment dated on 30 april 2010

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