LEGAL NEWS 15.05.2010

Himachal HC orders CBI to probe suicide

PTI, May 16, 2010, 03.06am IST

SHIMLA: The Himachal Pradesh High Court on Saturday ordered a CBI inquiry into the suicide by a girl here in which a senior IPS officer has been booked.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Deepak Gupta accepted the request of family members of the girl and recommended a CBI probe for “fair and impartial” inquiry into the matter.

The girl, Ritu Kalmatia (28), committed suicide on March 28 this year after the IG (law and order), Pardeep Sarpalher, turned down a proposal for her marriage with his son.






Indian Penal code embodies tenets of Islam, Hinduism: Gujarat HC

Saeed Khan, TNN, May 16, 2010, 03.31am IST

AHMEDABAD: Gujarat High Court has observed that Indian Penal Code embodied the basic tenets of Islam and Hinduism that attack is permissible for self defence only and not to inflict injury to others. The order also defined Hinduism and the concept of jihad in detail.

Upholding a seven-year jail term awarded to two Muslims by a special Pota court in a firing incident on Surat-based lawyer Hasmukh Lalwala in 2002, a Bench comprising Justice Jayant Patel and Justice ZK Saiyed deprecated the act of violence as being revenge for post-Godhra violence.

Stressing that India is wedded to secular policy, the judges observed if citizens of the country start with mental strategy of division based on religion, it may result in damaging the unity of nation and consequently would tinker with the integrity and security of the nation.

“Neither Hindu nor Muslim religion permits taking of revenge… no religion professes that if a person from one religion has committed misdeed, revenge should be taken from all persons following that religion,” the Bench observed.

The judges also dwelled on historical aspects and noted, “The Hinduism is based on principles of ‘Sahanshilta’. It has been cited so many times that it is on account of receptivity and adaptability of Hindu culture, it has survived for more than 5,000 years, though the number of persons following Hindu religion are less as compared to others in the world — Christians, Muslims and Buddhists…”

The judges cited Maulana Wahiduddin Khan’s book ‘True Jihad’ to explain ‘Jihad’. Islam never permits “use of violence for taking revenge, but power is to be used only as a protective measure. It is only by way of self defence, attack is permissible. Such principles are interwoven even in the IPC for invoking the right of self defence,” the order states.

The court also observed, “The country is like a family having members of different ways of thinking and sometimes different way of praying to the God. Merely because the ways to get the blessings of God are different, one cannot divide the family…” The accused sentenced are Mohammed Tahir Bakaswala and Ashraf Nagori. Two others Liversingh Chikhligar and Ishaq Makrani died as undertrials and Salim Variava is absconding in this case.



HC allows use of speakers for Kho Kho at Shivaji Park

Rebecca Samervel, TNN, May 16, 2010, 03.08am IST

MUMBAI: Making a “one-time exception”, the Bombay high court on Saturday allowed the use of loudspeakers, albeit with restrictions, during the 44th Senior National Kho-Kho Championship at Shivaji Park. The five-day event will begin at the park on Sunday.

The Maharashtra Kho-Kho Association had on Friday requested the court to grant them permission to use loudspeakers during the event. The association had knocked on the high court’s door after the Shivaji Park police, in keeping with the court’s May 5 interim order directing BMC to notify Shivaji Park “a silence zone”, refused to grant it permission to use loudspeakers.

While allowing the association to use loudspeakers during the championship, a vacation division bench of Justice R M Savant and Justice Mridula Bhatkar made it clear that “this was only a one-time exception carved in special circumstances and should not act as a precedent”.

The judges said the planning for the tournament had begun in January 2010, way before the high court’s order. Reiterating that the high court’s order stated that the park be used only as a play ground, the judges observed that “it is a national tournament under the aegis of a national body affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association and selections have to take place for future games and not a political rally”.

The petitioner’s lawyer, Aditya Khanna, had told the court that some 1,200 players and officials from different parts of the country were expected to participate in the event. “In order to conduct the event effectively, we would require loudspeakers,” Khanna had contended. The judges concurred with the petitioners and said that “unless players are given directions, the conduct of the whole tournament would be seriously affected”.

Ashok Ravat, trustee of Wecom Trust, the NGO that had filed a petition which resulted in the high court ordering that the park be classified as a silence zone, said, “We are satisfied with the conditions of the court.”



Steel & scrap traders move HC against poor infra facilities—scrap-traders-move-HC-against-poor-infra-facilities/619399

ENS Economic Bureau

Posted: Sat May 15 2010, 01:12 hrs Mumbai:

The Darukhana Iron Steel & Scrap Merchants’Association (DISMA) has filed a contempt petition before Bombay High Court against the State of Maharashtra, the City Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) and others for non-compliance of various undertakings, including infrastructure facilities, as promised before Bombay High Court in the year 2008.

“DISMA had filed the petition for directing CIDCO and MMRDA to comply with its statutory obligations and provide basic amenities including infrastructure facilities to wholesale iron and steel traders at Kalamboli as promised to them. But they failed,” it said.

Earlier, in reply to the writ petition, the Government of Maharashtra gave various undertakings, which were accepted by the Bombay High Court and based on these undertakings, the court passed an order and disposed off the petition on June 23, 2008. “Despite the undertakings given before the Bombay High Court, no steps were taken for its implementation under one pretext or other, thus avoiding its compliance,” the association said.

Bombay HC agrees to designated court: CM


Bombay HC agrees to designated court: CM
Chief Minister Digamber Kamat today said the Chief Justice of Bombay High Court has assured to have designated court to hear the cases related to foreigners in Goa on a day to day basis.  “I had asked the chief justice to have to a designated court to hear such cases, which he agreed. We want that the culprits involved in offences against foreigners be punished,” Kamat said.
The chief minister also said that the existing beach management safety scheme has been extended till 11 p.m. so that the security on beaches is not compromised.
 Kamat was addressing a gathering on the occasion of handing over patrolling vehicles to the Goa Tourism Department by World Travel and Tourism Council, India Initiative (WTTCII), this evening.
Kamat said that offences against tourists are unfortunate incidents which happen where tourism is the backbone of the economy. “The government is trying their best to nab the culprits and in many cases, the judicial process has already started,” Kamat said.
 The chief minister asked Tourism Secretary M Modassir and Director Nikhil Desai to ensure that the vehicles donated by WTTCII should not be misused. “In the past there have been instances wherein ambulances donated were seen outside theatres in the night,” he cautioned.
The private players in the tourism field donated 15 jeeps and seven two wheelers to the Tourist Security Force, an elite force that is being conceived to look after safety of guests in this coastal State. These vehicles will patrol the coastline from extreme South to North.
 Chief Secretary Sanjay Srivastava, speaking on the occasion, lauded private players joining hands with the government over safety of tourists. “Goa is a safer place, government is very much interested in booking the culprits and making this a safe destination,” Srivastava said.
 WTTCII Chairman Arjun Sharma said that the attacks on foreigners in Goa shook not only international tourism but also domestic tourist inflow. He said that this is for the first time that such an initiative has been taken in the country.
He said that some incidents of attack of foreigners are blown out of proportion which brought bad repute to the State.          
Sharma said that this is first step towards imbibing safety of tourists visiting the State.
WTTCII Vice President Vivek Nair and renowned journalist, Dilip Cherian also spoke on the occasion.

Panel to consider demands for HC benches: Moily–Moily


New Delhi, May 16 (PTI) Amid growing clamour for setting up High Court benches in various states, the Government has decided to form a one-man committee to look into the issue.

“We have decided to form a one-man committee to look into demands for setting up High Court benches,” Law Minister M Veerappa Moily told PTI here.

A former Chief Justice of India would be entrusted with the task and the Law Ministry would move the Union Cabinet shortly for its nod to set up the committee.

Sources said former CJI Justice A M Ahmadi is a frontrunner for the post. But Moily said no name has been decided so far. “It is too early to comment,” he said.

Moily said as of now, unless the Chief Justice of the High Court agrees, the government cannot consider any request to set up a high court bench in any state.

HC fears misuse of Section 145 of CrPc by police

May 15th, 2010 04:58

Posted by Harita Shah in Daily Buzz

Hyderabad, May 14: Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu of the AP High Court has expressed apprehensions on the misuse of Section 145 of the CrPc by the police.

While delivering his verdict in an issue of registering the FIR under Section 145 CrPc, the judge observed that it was uncommon in the law.

The relevant section prescribes a procedure to be followed where a dispute concerning immovable property or water is likely to cause breach of peace.

The judge said, “there is every possibility of misuse of power by an unscrupulous police officer in case a crime is registered under Section 145 CrPc and it is kept pending in the records maintained in the police station, by way of forcing persons to come to the police station and harassing them in the police station for extracting any pecuniary or offer benefits.”

He said, “this court is of the view that even though provisions of CrPc do not contemplate registration of a crime and issuing of FIR by a police officer in proceedings relating to the section, giving FIR after registering a crime in such cases is not only out-side the realm of law and would likely to lead to abuse of power by certain unscrupulous police officers.”

Justice Govindarajulu was dealing with a petition filed against the action of the Kurnool II town inspector, Mr. P Srinivas, in registering a crime under the Section. The judge summoned the official, who admitted that by mistake FIR was issued under Section 145 and that it is a bonafide mistake.

The judge said if it was a mistake, it would be a question of fact whether the mistake was a bonafide one or a malafide one tainted with oblique motive.

HC rap prompts paddy fiat


Bhubaneswar, May 13: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik today asked the district collectors to ensure prevention of distress sale of paddy by farmers and personally monitor paddy procurement after Orissa High Court took cognisance of the matter yesterday.

“It must be ensured that farmers are not harassed and they get the minimum support price,” Naveen told the district collectors through a video-conference. “At the district level, you should coordinate with state agencies to ensure that they procure paddy against the given target,” he added. Complimenting the collectors of Bargarh, Bhadrak, Ganjam and Sonepur for successfully achieving procurement targets during kharif season, Naveen directed others to follow suit.

Yesterday, the high court pulled up the government for its failure to abide by its last week’s direction to stop distress sale in Bolangir and warned of contempt proceedings. The issue had also rocked the Assembly in pre-budget session in February.

First demand justice from executive, then move PIL before courts: SC

TNN, May 15, 2010, 03.15am IST

NEW DELHI: After warning that those filing frivolous PILs would be saddled with deterrent fines, the Supreme Court on Friday said even genuine PIL petitioners would have to first seek justice from the executive.

“No one, howsoever genuine their cause may be, should approach the courts with a PIL without even sending a notice to the authorities for redressal of the grievance,” said a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar.

When counsel for NGO `Ankush’, which had sought implementation of road safety measures by the Andhra Pradesh government, said it had no personal interest and that it was acting in public interest, the CJI asked: “Where is your notice to the concerned authorities demanding justice in this issue.”

“A proper procedure has to be followed by the coruts for entertaining PILs. There is no way that a petitioner, who comes straight to the court with a PIL, will be entertained,” said the CJI, speaking for the Bench.

Addressing a long standing grievance of the executive that the judiciary has been encroaching into its turf, Justice Kapadia said: “The PIL petitioners have been moving the courts straightaway without even bringing the problem to the notice of the authorities. And the courts have been entertaining these PILs, virtually taking over the function of the authorities. We will not allow such bypassing of the authorities to take place any more.”

The new rules would drastically cut down the rate of filing of PILs in the court. For, those filing frivolous ones would be scared of being saddled with heavy costs, which the CJI had said on Thursday would be utilised for improving infrastructure of the subordinate judiciary. Secondly, even genuine PILs would not be entertained if the petitioners have not brought their problem to the notice of the concerned authorities for justice.



Dummy writer scam: Two builders quizzed–Two-builders-quizzed/619224/

Express News Service

 Posted: Sat May 15 2010, 03:55 hrs Ahmedabad:

Two Ahmedabad-based builders — Pravin Kotak and Sanjay Patel — appeared before the Ahmedabad Crime Branch on Friday in connection with the 2008 dummy-writer scam.

The inquiry is part of progress report that the Crime Branch will be submitting to the Gujarat High Court on June 21. After Gujarat University Syndicate member Manish Doshi had filed a PIL against Kotak and Patel for keeping dummy writers for their daughter and son during the state board exams, the High Court had asked Ahmedabad Crime Branch to investigate into the issue, last year.

Doshi said, “After police unearthed the scam, where both the builders showed fake certificates of their son and daughter, FIR was lodged on March 13, 2008. However, the matter was hushed up till a PIL was filed in 2009.” “This matter is sub-judice, we cannot comment on it. Five persons had appeared at the crime branch office,” said Ahmedabad ACP Mayursinh Chavda.

In April, one tutor, Bhagawatsinh, was arrested for his role in the case. Along with two builders, Rajendra Pathak from Swastik Shishu Mandir School, Rajendra Pathak, Bhupendra Shah and H M Chavda from Education department were present during the interrogation.

Problems with a ‘truly’ Constitutional Court

Somnath Chatterjee, Former Speaker of the Lok Sabha, propogated yesterday, in the Economic Times, the establishment of circuit benches with apex appellate jurisdiction, leaving the Supreme Court at the Centre to decide on “questions of constitutional importance”. From his article:

I was asked whether it was necessary to curtail the SC’s jurisdiction to only very important issues and not burden it with ordinary litigation, including appeals. I feel 2-3 SC judges could constitute the circuit benches and dispose of the appeals at different centres in their capacity as SC judges, making their judgements final.

The Chief Justice of India will remain in Delhi with other learned judges who would decide on issues of constitutional importance or of great national importance — those cases that may be so designated by the bench in Delhi or other circuit benches.

A similar argument had been made by former Justice Krishna Iyer (“Questions of Judicial Access,” The Hindu, February 3, 2010) and subsequently elaborated upon by Mr. K.K. Venugopal:

The Supreme Court would then be left with only those cases which would fall within the jurisdiction vested in it by the framers of the Constitution and covering essentially the following matters:

1. All matters involving substantial questions of law relating to the interpretation of the Constitution of India or matters of national or public importance;

2. Settling differences of opinion on important issues of law between High Courts or between Courts of Appeal;

3. Validity of laws, Central and State;

4. After the Kesavananda Bharati case, (1973) 4 SCC 217, the judicial review of Constitutional Amendments;

5. Resolving conflicts between States and the Centre or between two States, as well as the original jurisdiction to dispose of suits in this regard; and

6. Presidential References under Article 143 of the Constitution.

The suggestion is ingenious, and if implemented could indeed reduce a lot of backlog from the courts. While we hail it as a welcome step for expedient litigation, we feel called upon to make a few comments regarding the effectiveness and possible consequences of such a policy.

To start with, this move would effectively terminate the ever-present debate on judicial activism, begun by well-intentioned judges such as Justice Bhagwati in the eighties and carried forward into the new millennium with all the sanctity of black-letter law. Hitherto, the Court had allowed Public Interest Litigation as an effective means of seeking speedy redressal in the face of legislative and executive “inaction”. With the new scheme in place, the circuit courts would be limited to hearing appeals from judgements of High Courts, effectively cutting out scope for innovation (sic). The Supreme Court at the centre would be limited to the six categories outlined by Venugopal, none of which include any direct path towards PIL. I am sure several litigants as well as judges would try to read into “matters of national or public importance” the issuing of directives, but technically everything is a “matter of public importance”, and moreover this would frustrate the purpose of dividing the Supreme Court’s work, as it would lead to a flurry of new litigation masquerading as PIL as a short cut to the Centre. It would be interesting to see/read the response of a pro-activism judge such as Ruma Paul, Bhagwati or the former CJI regarding the accommodation of activism within a bifurcated court.

Secondly, the distinction between matters 1 and 6 remain unclear. Article 143 (in matter 6) grant the President the power to seek reference from the court on the grounds that are enumerate in matter 1 . This would mean the new constitutional court would have the ability to look at questions of constitutional interpretation or public importance independent of the President’s reference. I have already said how “public importance” would become a tool for the introduction of PIL and frustrating the new scheme. As for questions of “constitutional interpretation”, the line demarcating ordinary appeals from questions of constitutional interpretation is very thin. Most appeals involve (a) a statutory provision that has been claimed to be violated; and (b) objections regarding jurisdiction filed by the opposite party, challenging the locus of the court to decide the case. Most objections regarding jurisdiction argue Articles 226 or 136 of the Constitution; this would mean that any ingenious lawyer could lift a matter out of a circuit bench by simply challenging the jurisdiction of the bench, calling into question the interpretation of either jurisdictional Article, which would put the matter up before the Supreme Court.

Matter 2, ‘Settling differences of opinion on important issues of law between High Courts or between Courts of Appeal’ sounds ambitious and is ambiguous. Who is to decide whether the issue of law is important enough to be warranted the Supreme Court? In case of a difference of opinion between High Courts, shouldnt the Court of Appeal be the next likely forum?

The Validity of laws, Central and State, is Venugopal’s third suggestion. However he confuses us by continuing:

Similarly, I would omit Article 32 from the original jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. This means that actions alleging breaches of fundamental rights would be brought before any of the Courts of Appeal instead of the Supreme Court which would only exercise its appellate jurisdiction in such cases if questions are presented whose resolution will have immediate importance far beyond the particular facts and parties involved.

So while the Courts of Appeal decide whether fundamental rights have been breached, the Supreme Court decides the validity of the laws that breach those rights. Unfortunately the two are linked in so far as Article 13 declares unconstitutional (and void) any law that breaches fundamental rights. This means that the minute a Court of Appeal declares a law to breach any FR that part of the law would become invalid – but the validity of laws is the domain of the Supreme Court.  Admittedly Venugopal qualifies his claim by mentioning that the Supreme Court would continue to decide questions of ‘ immediate importance far beyond the particular facts and parties involved’. In the discourse of fundamental rights and Part III of the Constitution, these words however mean nothing. Breaches of fundamental rights under Article 13 are by definition not limited to the facts and parties involved.

While the step is welcome, I would insist that the technicalities of implementation be subject to more rigorous academic debate. All of the objections above can be redressed by further streamlining the jurisdiction of the Courts and introducing caveats into the generalisations. We look forward to comments and criticisms about the same.

Post Published: 15 May 2010
Author: Arani


SC refuses to alter Madras HC order on Parvati Ammal’s treatment

TNN, May 15, 2010, 03.16am IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain a request from a Chennai-based advocate for immediate air-lifting of Parvathi Ammal, mother of slain LTTE chief V Prabhakaran, to Tamil Nadu for treatment of her serious ailments.

The SC disposed of the petition saying the Madras High Court order of April 30 was correct and there was no ground for the apex court to alter it. The HC had asked petitioner advocate R Karuppan to move a representation before the TN government on behalf of Ammal and that the state would place it before the Centre within two weeks.

Ammal was sent back to Malaysia after landing in Chennai last month as immigration authorities found her travel documents to be deficient. However, TN chief minister M Karunanidhi on May 11 suo motu informed the Assembly that the Centre had granted permission on humanitarian grounds to Ammal to avail medical treatment in the state subject to certain conditions.

Karunanidhi also said that following the state government’s request, the Centre had instructed the Indian mission in Kuala Lumpur to issue a six-month visa to her.

As per the conditions, Ammal was to confine herself to the hospital and not stay anywhere else. She could take treatment at a government hospital if she so desired and the state government would provide necessary assistance to her. However, she shouldn’t have contact with any political party or those having connections with banned organisations and interact only with specified relatives.

The CM had said the Centre had sent to his government a copy of the communication to the Indian mission without causing prejudice to a case pending before the Madras HC.

Students file writ petition in HC

TNN, May 15, 2010, 05.00am IST

CHANDIGARH: Ten Indian students, out of the 29 who were not allowed to join a Dutch university despite paying fees, along with an immigration consultant have filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the Ministry of external affairs to oversee the matter.

The students individually and later through their lawyer had approached the Ministry of external affairs, however, they did not get any satisfactory response from the ministry. Thereafter, on May 12, 10 students along with the director of the immigration consultancy firm filed a writ petition in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Acting on the petition, Justice AK Mittal has issued a notice to the Union Ministry of external affairs for May 26 asking it to file its reply.

Counsel for students, DN Ganariwala, said that the students, predominantly hailing from Punjab, have been waiting since September 2009 to get admission in the Netherlands. The students desired studying at the European University of Professional Education (EUPE) in Hague and all of them had already received a permission letter from the Dutch immigration authorities (India) granting them a visa.

He added that the Dutch ministry of foreign affairs had been blocking the visa label due to which students have failed to travel to the Netherlands to initiate their courses. Following this, when the students asked EUPE for the refund of their fee, it failed to reimburse their money.

Simranjit Singh, one of the students hailing from Sirhind, said that he had paid Rs 4.80 lakh to the university in August, 2009, however, when they asked the university to refund the money the authorities stopped entertaining them. “The incident has come as a major set-back for me as being from an agricultural background, I cannot afford to reapply in any other university,” he said.

Harpreet Singh hailing from Hoshiarpur, said he had paid over Rs 5 lakh, and now when he tries to contact the university for refund, the authorities do not respond.

HC asks school to take back dyslexic student

TNN, May 15, 2010, 01.07am IST

NEW DELHI: Shocked at the manner in which a Delhi school treated a student by asking him to leave once he was found to be dyslexic, the Delhi high court has ordered the school to take him back.

Giving relief to Priyam Kumar, a student of St Mary’s School in Safdarjung Enclave, Justice Kailash Gambhir directed the school to take back the student in class IX since he has cleared the class VIII annual examination.

Criticising the school’s attitude, the court noted that instead of providing him with special care the student was meted out “harsh and inhumane treatment”.

“School poses multiple challenges for students with dyslexia and such other disorders, but it is the responsibility of the school to provide a friendly and conducive environment to channelize their energies so that such children can successfully thrive in the classroom,” the HC observed while asking the school to immediately take back Kumar on its rolls.

HC also empathized with the parents of children with dyslexia. “Parents of such children already have an arduous task and schools are expected to make concerted effort to make their task easier and not subject them to their administrative tyranny leaving them in the lurch,” the court said.

Priyam’s father had approached the court after the school ignored the state education directorate’s order directing the school to take back the student.

On its part the school pleaded that such students need more attention and hence it is difficult to handle them.

HC took a dim view of the school’s submission and said, “Giving education to such students will make the environment more congenial and other students will also learn as how to cooperate with each other.”

The court also sought a status report from the school by July 14.

Mayor ‘rigged’ ward panel polls, says plea in HC–rigged–ward-panel-polls–says-plea-in-HC/619068/

Express News Service

Posted: Sat May 15 2010, 00:31 hrs Mumbai:

The Opposition parties in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation on Friday filed a petition in the High Court against Mayor and Shiv Sena corporator Shraddha Jadhav, alleging she had “rigged” the F South and F North ward committee polls.

Congress leader and MLA Rajhans Singh said the Mayor had allegedly adopted unfair practices during the ward committee elections. “It is shameful for the first citizen of Mumbai to be involved in cheating. We have filed a petition and the hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.”

The Opposition had claimed at the BMC general body meeting on May 6 that Jadhav had cheated the council in the appointment of the chairperson of the ward committee. Jadhav is a three-term corporator from Parel-Bhoiwada in the F North ward.

The Opposition claimed that both Shiv Sena-BJP candidate Anil Pawar and Opposition candidate Raghunath Thavai had eight votes each. “The Mayor had to pick a chit out of two that bore the names of both candidates. While putting them into the box, she discreetly folded the edge of one of the chits to identify them,” Singh alleged.

The Mayor had maintained that she had done nothing wrong. She said any one could file a petition in the court if they wished to. On Friday too, she maintained her stand. “I have nothing to fear as I know that I am innocent.”

3 new co-ops under RTI, rules Delhi HC

AGENCIES, May 15, 2010, 12.12am IST

NEW DELHI: Observing that the RTI Act is a “small but potent key in the hands of India’s little people” the Delhi High Court on Friday brought three co-operative societies under the ambit of the transparency law.

The Court passed the order while declaring cooperative societies—NAFED (National Agricultural Cooperative Federation of India Ltd), NCCF (National Cooperative Consumer Federation of India) and Krishak Bharti Cooperative— as public authorities.

HC dismissed their plea for not bringing them under the transparency law on the ground that government does not have majority stake in them and are not controlled by government agencies.

Ishrat Jahan’s mother urges HC to expedite her case

Press Trust of India

 Posted: Sat May 15 2010, 04:05 hrs Ahmedabad:

Shamima Kausar, mother of Ishrat Jahan who was killed in a police encounter along with three others in 2004, has approached the Gujarat High Court requesting it to expedite the hearing in her plea for CBI inquiry into the death of her daughter.

Kausar, in her petition filed on Thursday, has cited Supreme Court’s order in April, directing the Gujarat High Court to complete hearing in her case within six months.

She said that since the apex court wanted her plea to be decided within six months, the HC should expedite the process and assign the case to a division bench at the earliest.

High Court sources said the court registry has been ordered by the Chief Justice to put the case before a division bench.

The matter is likely to come up for hearing in June as there will be vacation in the High Court from

May 15. Mumbai-based Ishrat (19) was killed in an encounter along with three others — Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani by Ahmedabad crime branch officials in June 2004.

Following this, Ishrat’s mother had approached the High Court in August 2004, demanding a CBI probe into the entire case.

HC order unseats mayor, deputy

TNN, May 15, 2010, 03.04am IST

PATNA: A division Bench of Patna High Court, comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Mihir Kumar Jha, on Friday set aside a single Bench order that had restored status quo at Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC), allowing mayor Sanjay Kumar and deputy mayor Santosh Mehta to resume their posts.

The judges admitted the appeal of ward councillor Vinay Kumar Pappu, challenging the earlier order of the single Bench.

The division Bench order unseated Kumar and Mehta again after they had assumed charge about 42 days ago. Earlier, the ward councillors had voted them out of their posts last year. The two had then moved HC and a single Bench restored the status quo on the ground that the rules for removing the mayor and his deputy had not been framed.

Pappu was represented by B K Mangalam and PMC by Y B Giri.

Pollution board gets HC nod to inspect Durgapur plant

Express News Service

Posted: Sat May 15 2010, 00:22 hrs Kolkata:

The Calcutta High Court has given permission to the West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) to inspect the Durgapur Project Limited (DPL) and check if installations are in place to curb pollution caused by the plant.

Delivering the order on Friday, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit S Shan and Justice Kalyan Joyti Sengupta asked the WBPCB to file a report on the same by June third week. The case will come up for hearing on June 25.

In December 2009, the WBPCB had filed a contempt petition against DPL alleging that despite a 1994 Supreme Court ruling to curb pollution level, the DPL had taken no measures. 

Advocate Joydeep Kar, counsel of the DPL, averred the company has taken short-term measures to curb pollution and that the long-term measures would be implemented soon.

Advocate Kallol Bose, meanwhile, pleaded that the WBPCB wanted to verify the installations set up in the plant. It was alleged that liquid effluent containing toxic elements were discharged from the plant in Tulah Nullah, which polluted the Damodar and Ganga rivers.

Mixed reaction to CJI’s fiat on oral mentioning

J. Venkatesan

Chief Justice of India S.H. Kapadia’s fiat to lawyers that he would not permit ‘oral mentioning’ in the Supreme Court at 10.30 a.m. before the commencement of proceedings, has evoked mixed reaction from the members of the Bar.

Justice Kapadia on his first day as CJI on Wednesday told lawyers that mentioning matter would have to be submitted to the Registrar who would decide the case for the next day for inclusion in the mention list.

While some lawyers felt that the old practice should be continued, others felt the new system was worth a try.

Senior advocate K.K. Venugopal said: “Justice Kapadia has laid down a procedure and has institutionalised it. Instead of the court looking at the matter, the Registrar will look into the matter and decide on the basis of urgency. Under the earlier system lawyers used to crowd the court and it became impossible to even enter the court hall. I think by this new procedure a lot of court time is saved. It is good enough if the Registrar is able to decide and post matters on the same day in certain cases.”

Welcoming the new measure, Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati said: “Mentioning has not been completely taken away. Mentioning was done more because of the default of the lawyers and it was taking much of the court’s time. It will now be structured and done in a more disciplined way.”

According to senior advocate P.P. Rao, “There is nothing wrong in adopting a new system. It is premature to make any adverse comment.”

President of the All India Bar Association Adish C. Aggarwala said it would benefit everyone. “Earlier only well established and senior advocates were benefited under the oral mention procedure. Now everyone including young lawyers will be benefited as they will have to go through the Registrar for getting their matter included in the ‘mention list.’

However, senior advocate K. Subramanian felt it was convenient to adhere to a practice. “The practice of oral mentioning of urgent matter is in vogue for over 30 years.” He quoted a Supreme Court judgment which said, “the practice of the court is the law of the court. Where a practice has existed it is convenient to adhere to it because it is the practice. The power of each court over its own process is unlimited.”

He expressed the hope that the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) would take up the issue with the CJI.

Former SCBA president M.N. Krishnamani said the practice should not be stopped altogether. In certain cases like habeas corpus, where the liberty of an individual was involved, oral mentioning must be permitted and cases would have to be heard the same day.

“In the High Courts cases are listed for hearing within a day or two. If such a system is followed in the Supreme Court, there is no need for mentioning. Since it takes at least 10 to 15 days for getting the cases listed for hearing, mentioning becomes necessary. The Bar must take up the matter with the CJI to permit mentioning in select cases.”

SCBA treasurer K.K. Mani said mentioning in certain cases was inevitable and it should be permitted.


Apex court rejects anti-Sonia Gandhi ‘PIL’

Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA

Friday, May 14, 2010 0:57 IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a certain P Rajan, filed after the Delhi high court had scrapped his petition seeking the disqualification of Congress president Sonia Gandhi as a member of parliament for receiving an award from the Belgian government. The Delhi high court had also, in January, fined him Rs10,000 for misleading the country through his petition.

When Rajan’s plea came up before a bench headed by newly sworn-in Chief Justice SH Kapadia, praying that the Rs10,000 fine be dropped, the bench refused to entertain his plea and, in fact, remarked that it might well enhance the amount.

The amount so recovered from petitioners who file frivolous public interest litigations (PIL) would be used for strengthening the court’s infrastructure, the bench said.

Rajan’s counsel Sebastian Paul submitted it wasn’t a PIL but an appeal challenging the Delhi high court’s verdict. Paul said Gandhi incurred a ‘disqualification’ from being an MP as she had accepted the Order of Leopold, the second highest civilian award of Belgium, and an honorary doctorate degree during her visit to that country in November 2006.

Earlier, the Election Commission had rejected Rajan’s plea saying the Order of Leopold is a decoration, not an award.
Incidentally, chief justice Kapadia statements against frivolous PILs, made soon after he was sworn in chief justice of India (CJI) on Wednesday, was a reiteration of the Supreme Court’s assertion, made in January, that the trend of filing frivolous PILs should be checked by imposing hefty costs on persons who filed such PILs.

Taking a strong exception to the growing misuse of PILs being filed and to reduce the chances of PILs being filed for personal or even pecuniary reasons, the Supreme Court had issued detailed guidelines for accepting a PIL, whether in the SC or in the high courts.

The apex court had then also imposed a whopping fine of Rs1 lakh on a lawyer, Balwant Singh Chaufal, for filing a PIL against the appointment of the advocate general in the Uttarakhand high court.

The PIL was born in 1982 as a mechanism to make available justice to poorest of the poor, who often had no representation in the courts, after then SC Justice PN Bhagwati converted a postcard into a plea. The postcard had sought the court’s help, saying imprisoned petty criminals in Bhagalpur,Bihar, had been blinded.

The PIL jurisprudence soon expanded, often benefiting the poorer sections of society. But in recent years, it had become something of an epidemic with all and sundry filing a PIL for all sorts of cases, leading to a desire to curb frivolous PIL that took away the courts’ time and increased the number of cases.

SC to hear PIL to scrutinise accounts of BCCI and IPL

The Supreme Court will hear on July 5, after summer vacations, a PIL seeking direction to the Union Government to scrutinise the accounts of BCCI and IPL and also of last ten years office bearers of the two cricket bodies.

Alok Varshney, a freelance journalist, in his petition filed in person has also urged the apex court to also order an enquiry into the distribution of telecast rights of international cricket matches awarded by BCCI and till such time the enquiry is complete all international cricket matches featuring team India should be telecast only on public broadcaster, namely Doordarshan.

Varshney has also prayed to the apex court to remove all politicians including ministers, MPs and MLAs from the posts they are holding in these bodies which are controlling cricket in India.

The petitioner has also requested the apex court to direct the Union Government to take immediate steps to ensure transparency in the working of BCCI which should be made accountable to the people as well as the government.

Varshney has alleged that huge illegal money is involved in this game and illegal activities like betting, gambling and match fixing are being encouraged and the game of cricket is no longer a gentleman’s game.

The petitioner has also quoted the internal report of CBI warning the Union Government that the control of cricket has gone into the hands of mafia.

According to the petitioner, BCCI has an annual income of over Rs two thousand crore without paying any income tax causing huge loss to the state exchequer running into crores despite the fact that BCCI is working as a commercial organisation.


Allahabad HC amends rule regarding PILs

To keep a check on the frequent filing on Public Interest Litigations (PIL) in the Allahabad High Court and its Lucknow bench, the High Court has made an amendment in its rule, known as Allahabad High Court Rules, 1952.

After the amendment, sub rule 3-A in rule 1 of chapter 22 has been inserted, which mandates a petitioner to file an affidavit disclosing its credential among other things, while filing a PIL in the High Court.

Now, the petitioner, seeking to file a PIL will have to precisely and specifically state through an affidavit, to be sworn by him, giving his credentials and the public cause, he is seeking to espouse.

The petitioner will also have to give an affidavit that he has no personal or private interest in filing the PIL and also there was no authoritative pronouncement by the Supreme Court or High Court on the questions raised in the PIL. He would also say in the affidavit that the result of the litigation will not lead to any inducement to him or anyone associated with him or anyone undue loss to any person, body of persons or the state.

This amendment was made in the High Court rules, as the Supreme Court in its judgment delivered in the case of Uttaranchal versus Balwant Singh Chaufal had observed that the court was frequently abused in the name of PIL. The Supreme Court, therefore, has directed all the High Courts to frame rules or prevent the same.

Amendment were made by the High Court on May 1 to achieve the objectives of the Supreme Court.


Sonali Chander

Sonali Chander wrote a post :

Interviewed Rahul Mehra,a lawyer and a sports activist. Here’s the full transcript of the interview.

Sonali: Rahul you’re perhaps the most famous sports ‘person’ these days who is neither a sports administrator or a player! Do you see yourself as a crusader?

Rahul: I am a sports enthusiast trying to do my bit for the betterment of the sports administration and rid the various sports disciplines of malice they are suffering from. Towards that end, I had sought the intervention of the Court through my Public Interest Litigations. My primary concern is to ensure that every sport in India is managed by professionals who are accountable and transparent in their functioning.

Sonali: On to the PIL which looks to get the govt to reinstate its 1975 regulation limiting the tenures of sports federation heads to no more than 12 years or beyond the age of 70. Why do you think this will make a big difference?

Rahul: It is common knowledge that various National Sports Federations (NSFs) in the country have become the monopoly of few politicians, traders, businessmen and bureaucrats. There is an urgent need to introduce reforms to streamline them. Revolutionary steps are therefore required to be taken urgently such as overhauling the electoral college of the National and State Association by making at least 25 per cent elite sportspersons as their Members with voting rights, fixing the tenure of all office-bearers, enforcing the various provisions and guidelines which hitherto have been kept under cover, ensuring free, fair and transparent elections to be held through the Election Commission or any other independent body, handing over the day-to-day administration of the Federations in the hands of able and independent professionals by abolishing the “honorary” system, declaring the various office bearers of the IOA and NSFs as public servants / authority so as to bring them under the Right to Information Act and Sports Regulatory Authority, thus making the entire system more democratic, accountable and transparent to the stakeholders. These radical measures should be welcomed by well-wishers of Indian Sports.

Sonali: But is it not true that powerful politicians control sports even by proxy in a sense. If a VK Malhotra steps down as Archery president, what stops him from installing a puppet in his place?

Rahul: Yes, I totally agree with this view. In fact, people who are heading various NSFs for decades should voluntarily step down as according to them the posts are honorary and time consuming. It is quite surprising as to why they are clinging on to them. The reason is quite obvious. Unless the aforementioned radical reforms are undertaken and implemented, the monopoly of few shall not end.

Sonali: Mr Kalmadi told NDTV that he is a 5 time MP and if there is nothing stopping that from happening then why can he not continue as IOA President where he is democratically elected.

Rahul: I am a strong votary of change which is unchangeable law of nature. Politicians of all shades, in fact, realize the need for radical electoral reforms in the running of the country but due to vested interests nothing has been done so far. United States of America is a super power and a vibrant democracy where an incumbent President can hold two terms of four years each in his / her lifetime. Why can’t the same rule be adopted in India providing only two terms for an individual to become an M.P. or to be office bearer of any Sports Federation? If the same person continues for decades and till perpetuity, either himself or through proxies, it becomes fiefdom of that person leading to its autocratic functioning. It is common knowledge that elections held in these bodies are a sham. Electoral College of these NSFs consists of such persons as are yes men of those who enroll them. Not more than 5 per cent of elite sportspersons and / or sports enthusiasts are members of these NSFs where elections are held and candidates elected unanimously by show of hands or proxies and not by way of secret ballot completing shutting the doors for young blood and fresh vigor.

Sonali: Mr Kalmadi also told NDTV that nobody wants to be involved with non-cricket sports & how he can’t convince anyone including Sahara Shri Subroto Roy from taking over as hockey president?

Rahul: I do not wish to offer my comments on what Mr. Kalmadi had told you. However, I can assure you that if necessary reforms are undertaken and the entire system is cleaned, there will no dearth of professional, able administrators and persons of integrity to come forward to run the NSFs.

Sonali: Is it not true that politicians are needed in sports in India, because while sportspeople or professionals may be more efficient they have their limitations with ‘organizing’ funds or getting permissions. Apparently events like the Chennai Tennis Open only survive because of govt patronage?

Rahul: Let me state that it is a wrong notion about me that I am against the political class. What I am against is maladministration, lack of transparency, accountability and integrity in the running of various NSFs. The emphasis is on neat administration and end of the monopoly by few for their own vested interest. Some influential politicians who are heading the NSFs can also contribute towards fund raising, seeking and getting permissions from authorities that be and contributing towards improving sports without heading the NSFs for unreasonably long time in case they really have love for the games.

Sonali: Now how do you see this panning out, the IOC apparently say all sports federations in their member countries cannot change rules on the orders of the courts or the govt?

Rahul: This is just an excuse. The fact is that the IOA and NSFs while applying for Government recognition from the Sports Ministry give an undertaking to follow various “Guidelines for Recognition” thus laid down. Clause 3.5 of the said Guideline clearly stipulates a cap on the tenure of every office bearer of the Recognized NSFs and the same provision is also incorporated in clauses 3.3, 19.2, 19.3 and 20.1 of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Charter. Only the Recognized NSFs are allowed by the Sports Ministry to select the State and National Teams including the team “INDIA”, to maintain monopoly over their sports discipline, to make use of the infrastructure provided by Sports Authority of India in the form of stadia, to have exemptions from income tax, entertainment tax, excise duty, etc., to have security free of cost from the Government, to enjoy grants in the form of remuneration to Foreign coaches, trainers, conducting national / international camps, etc., and to take the Indian contingent for Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, etc., with hundreds of free loaders, amongst others.IOA and NSF’s cannot be allowed to blow hot and cold in the same breadth. While seeking Recognition and financial assistance from the Government of India, undertakings are given to abide by the Guidelines and then the same Guidelines are violated invoking some provisions of the IOC Charter in an arbitrary manner.
The Rules in question have been in existence since 1975 in the Government Guidelines which were duly accepted by all NSFs and also are a part of the IOC Charter. Should it not be incumbent on every National Olympic Association including IOA to voluntarily align itself with the international best practices being followed by the IOC Charter (Parent body of IOA)? Therefore, where is the question of Government interference or court intervention? IOA and NSF’s are only using it as an excuse to further their vested interests.

Sonali: You made a name for yourself taking on the BCCI & forcing them to be more transparent. But do you believe that’s unfinished work for you given that the BCCI still does not even have a proper website?

Rahul: Yes it surely is unfinished work. Recent events will go to prove that the more BCCI changes, more it remains the same. Being an ardent sports lover, I have diligently and honestly persevered with my cases to bring about a change in the way various sports are administered in India. I did taste some success when the Hon’ble High Court of Delhi on October 4, 2004 pronounced a landmark judgment wherein it held that BCCI though a private body performs key public functions which are akin to State functions and therefore is accountable to every citizen and not only its selected few members. Implementation of the said order is not the job of the Hon’ble Courts. It is for the BCCI and more importantly for the Sports Ministry, Government of India to ensure implementation of the said order since “Cricket” also happens to be listed as “Category C” sport duly recognized as a National Sports Federation.

Sonali: A big question that you probably can’t answer in a few lines but your dream for Indian sports

Rahul: I dream of an India where sports culture is inculcated in every young Indian by parents and / or schools at an early age as a means of education, recreation, health and fitness. I dream of an India where every Indian is given a right to freely access sports facilities (RTS), be it in schools, clubs, parks, community centers or stadiums, just like the RTE. I dream of an India where amateur sport is transformed into professional sport. I dream of an India where all sportspersons (not only cricketers) are respected and earn a respectable livelihood. I dream of an India where every Indian sport becomes self sufficient by re-inventing itself and generates billions of dollars annually. I dream of an India where ‘Sports’ is allocated Thousands of Crores of Rupees in the Union budget. I dream of an India where sport is broad based and state-of-the-art facilities are provided to its elite sportspersons. I dream of an India where there is no wasteful expenditure in the name of Commonwealth Games and where “Olympic” bid is made only when India becomes a Sporting Super Power, capable of topping the medals tally. Finally, I dream of an India which is proud of its sporting achievements and is second to none in the world.

Sonali: And finally we know you as a lawyer and a sports activist, tell us something about yourself that we’re not likely to know!

Rahul: It is sheer providence that I happen to be both a lawyer and a sports activist. In fact, I always dreamt of being an entrepreneur. Fate had a big role to play in the way events unfolded. Every time I file a PIL, some major scam gets unearthed which propels my petition. Right after April 2000 when I filed my PIL against BCCI, the cricket match-fixing scandal came to light and this time a few months after I filed the PIL against IOA and various NSF’s, it happened to be IPL Gate.


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