LEGAL NEWS 24.05.2010

Environment Support Group alleges ‘criminal’ negligence in developing Mangalore airporthttp://moneylife.in/article/8/5561.html
May 24, 2010 06:11 PM
Moneylife Digital TeamMangalore-based Environment Support Group (ESG) and Vimana Nildhana Vistarana Virodhi Samithi (Local Communities’ Alliance Against Airport Expansion) has alleged gross negligence and lack of safety standards as a main reason for the Air India plane crash that killed 158 passengers, including crew. There were 160 passengers plus six crew members on board the flight from Dubai to Mangalore, among them 19 children and four infants.
The Group had filed a number of public interest litigations (PILs) to stop the construction of the second runway at Mangalore airport on the grounds that the design did not conform to the most basic national and international standards of airport design. The PILs also highlighted that the airport does not conform to the most minimum safeguards for emergency situations—particularly during landings and takeoffs, and could not have emergency approach roads within a kilometre on all sides of the airport as required.
Despite making several presentations to authorities like the Director General of Civil Aviation, National Building Code of India and the Ministry of Civil Aviation, nobody paid any heed to the Group and the Samithi.
Both the ESG and the Samithi, through a variety of representations, demonstrated that the site chosen for expansion at Bajpe was surrounded by deep valleys on three sides of the runway and did not provide for emergency landing areas as required.
Raising a key concern that the second runway at Mangalore could not meet the standards required in dealing with an emergency, particularly during landings and takeoffs—a time when air crashes are most likely to happen—the ESG and the Samithi then filed a PIL in the Karnataka High Court.
The Airports Authority of India (AAI) filed an affidavit in the Court. AAI said: “It is submitted that as regards the apprehensions of the petitioner that the length and width of the runway is insufficient for a plane making an emergency landing, the same is without any basis. It is respectfully submitted that all the requirements as per the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recommendation will be met and that there has been no infringement of any of the recommendations and limitations therein.”
Following AAI’s submission, the Court dismissed the PIL filed by ESG and the Samithi. The Court said the expansion of the Bajpe airport project was at the initial stage and the second respondent (AAI) had in its objections mentioned above, unequivocally stated that all the safety measures, stated by the petitioners in their writ petition will be followed during the progress of the project and nothing can be said before the land is handed over to the second respondent.
“Considering these facts, we are of the view that the petitioners have rushed to this court before commencement of the project itself and the writ petition is premature. It is not, therefore, necessary to consider the various grounds taken by the petitioners in the writ petition to allege that the respondents have been proceeding with the project in a casual manner. There is nothing to doubt about the statement made by the second respondent in their objection statement and we are sure that the respondents will be taking all necessary measures under the different enactments etc., before proceeding with the project in question. The writ petition stands dismissed,” the Court had said.
Later on, the ESG and the Samithi twice filed PILs in the Karnataka High Court, which were also dismissed. In their second exhaustively-researched PIL, the ESG raised many significant concerns citing that the second runway could not conform to ICAO norms. The PIL said, “Minimum Area for Stop-way: At page 155 of the said (ICAO) report, para 2-1 prescribes standards for providing the minimum area for a stop way and/or a clear way in the event an aircraft undershoots or over-runs the runway. For instance, if an aircraft has initiated take-off, and a technical flaw requires emergency stop, the standard prescribes the minimum area that should be kept free to enable such a stop. In the instant case, the runway distance itself is about 2,400 metres, and even if the area left is most cautiously utilised, what is left is only about 300 metres on each end of the runway. By the prescribed standard, this is far below the required distance needed for an emergency stop way. Therefore, the chances for an aircraft that has achieved the decision speed forcing an emergency stop are critically minimised, and the inevitable consequence could be that the plane would come crashing down the hillsides from a height of 80-100 metres on either side of the proposed runway.”
However, the High Court dismissed the PIL saying that the authorities concerned have to complete all formalities as per law before commencement of the project. The ESG and the Samithi then approached the Supreme Court. In a ruling dated 7 February 2003, the apex court said, “We see no reason to interfere with the impugned order. Accordingly, the special leave petition is dismissed. We, however, clarify that in constructing the Airport, the Government shall comply with all applicable laws and also with environmental norms.”
Seeing the Supreme Court ruling as a victory, the authorities began construction in 2004 and commissioned the second runway in 2006. “No techno-economic assessment, feasibility study, or even a comprehensive Environment Impact Assessment was ever done for the second runway. Simply put, the runway was built in comprehensive violation of applicable laws, standards and direction of the Supreme Court,” the ESG alleged.
The Group further said that, today, India is frenetically building airports all over, and for all sorts of flaky reasons. Such is the political, bureaucratic and corporate pressure to build and expand airports that anyone questioning the rationale is quickly dubbed as a ‘busybody’, ‘useless interloper’, ‘promoted by vested interests’ and raising ‘frivolous’ concerns, it added.
“To ensure such incidents do not recur, we demand that the Union Minister of Civil Aviation orders an impartial Commission of Enquiry into the causative factors of this crash, especially investigating the absolute lack of conformance with basic runway design standards and emergency approach measures,” the ESG and the Samithi said in a release.

IIT-JEE 2010
http://hasanpurluhari.blogspot.com/2010/05/iit-jee-2010.html
Monday, May 24, 2010
The Delhi High Court refused to stay declaration of results of prestigious IIT Joint Entrance Examination for 2010-11 on the allegations that there were errors in instructions in question papers and a faulty marking system was adopted by the organizing committee for the tests.A division bench of acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta declined to stay the declaration of IIT-JEE (joint entrance examination) result but directed the IIT to explain by way of affidavit how the mistakes occurred. ‘Demonstrate to us the software with which you set these papers and also how the papers are scrutinized,’ the court said when the counsel for IIT claimed that their system is foolproof and is up to standard. The High Court also declined to give a direction to IIT for holding the examination afresh. “We are dismissing the applications (for staying the declaration of results and conducting afresh the entrance tests),” a Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta said on two separate PILs filed in this regard.The court directed the IIT to file an affidavit by June 2. The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) of a non-government organization (NGO) that has sought a stay on the declaration of result of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) entrance exam held April 11. Raising the issue of errors in the instructions for examinees who took the IIT-JEE in Hindi, the NGO, Satya Foundation, filed the PIL. Chetan Upadhyaya, secretary and counsel of Satya Foundation, submitted before the court a list of serious blunders in the IIT-JEE 2010 and said that instead of accepting the faults and re-conducting the examination, the Joint Admission Board was trying to cover up the issue with ‘corrective measures’ which are ‘totally illogical and can’t be digested by anybody’. ‘The IIT-JEE board evolved corrective measures May 2 to ensure that genuine candidates were not affected by the examination errors. It formulated a point-by-point remedial action and posted the same on the IIT-JEE website,’ Upadhyaya argued. However, after dismissal of Upadhyaya’s petition, he said he will approach the Supreme Court. The results were scheduled to be declared on May 26. However, the court kept the petitions filed on the issue pending by directing the IIT’s organizing committee for JEE to demonstrate before it on June 2 the software adopted for evaluation of answer sheets. The IITJEE exam is conducted by the IIT on rotation basis for admission into various IITs. As on today there are 15 IITs [7 Old IIT and 8 new IIT] in addition to these students get admission into IT BHU Varanasi and ISMU Dhanbad by qualifying the IIT JEE examination.The Lakhs of students appeared for the admission into the IITs and related institutes by cracking the IIT JEE 2010. There candidates selected for the admission into the IIT JEE will be called for the counselling and choices will be filled by the students and on the basis of the availability the students will be alloted the IIT and courses in IIT.The students qualifying in IIT JEE 2010 will get admission into the IIT Delhi, IIT Mumbai, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Kharagpur, IIT Guwahati, IIT Roorkee, IIT Mandi, IIT Ropar, IIT Jodhpur, IIT gandhinagar, IIT Indore, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Patna, IIT Bhubaneshwar, IT BHU Varanasi and ISMU Dhanbad for more than 10000 seats of undergraduate courses, integrated courses, dual degree programs etc.
Posted by ajay saini at 12:08 PM

Tragedy On Day Break: Could This Have Been Avoided?
http://shortofmatch.blogspot.com/2010/05/tragedy-on-day-break-could-this-have.html
158 lives perished within no time. The unfortunate event at Manglore airport brings us back to the same question again. Are we safe as fliers in India and how safe are our Sky’s? Answer to both is ‘Not Much’. What happened is for sure unfortunate and can’t be rewind back but tough questions need to be asked and disturbing answers need to be digged out from the derbies out there much like our investigating authorities working overtime for that dreaded black box.A casual look at one of our busiest airport at Mumbai would confirm on how serious we are for security. The slums surrounding the airport with a waist length boundary wall doesn’t give that confidence on security aspect. Much worse none seems guarding those venerable areas and I am sure if some one wants can just jump upon the walls and go for a evening walk along the air strip. Many would say that’s nothing to do with aviation security but physical. Agreed! but this small effort of ours definitely suggests our attitude towards the very word: ‘Security’.I had some first hand experience of Manglore airport. Not the one where the flight skidded off, as it is operational for last couple of years only, but the older one which was no less worse than the current one. The approach for landing is a fearing one, at least for first time flyers. Initially I thought, the flight might be heading for an emergency landing somewhere in those deep valley and the pilot has gone insane for deciding to do so, only to be relieved when actually we landed on some sort of airstrip. The moment I got out I did pointed the funny topology of the airport to one of my friends who was accompanying me and equally frightened with that nightmarish landing. I am no aviation expert, but definitely I have some reservation on that very airport, much less making that one international airport.As all idiots across the globe do to figure out some details, I also got my hands dirty on Google to find out what and where we were wrong for this incident to happen, and trust me, if the results of Google are to be believed then they are disturbing to say the least. For the records there were at least 10 PILs lining on the very geography of the airport. Like a modern day Nostradamus, one such PIL outlines exactly what happened on Saturday morning from the skidding part to the plunge deep down the valley. If a complete novice on aviation security can fore see to that detail are the so called experts on this sleeping when they approved this death strip to go operational?There is this perpetual controversy of foreign pilots flying all over the place on Indian sky and bringing that ever existent communication problem to the fore. Even if we can somewhat overlook it, but the core of the issue remains. Are we so bankrupt when it comes to having our own pilots, so that we have to borrow all those expat from all over the planet? The answer is no. We certainly are not bankrupt, but it is the shear talent and brilliance of guys like Tulsi Das who was ex Air India chief who could run a consultancy somewhere in London to stuff our own national aviation office with all those retired, non-english speaking pilots on daily basis. If we think Mr.Das was doing this for charity and social well being of few retired individuals then we won’t need any second opinion to confirm that we are fools of highest order. As usual, whenever there is some catastrophey of this magnitude we promptly get hold of some scapegoat and get our backs off the mud. Pilots are dead, so so long live the pilot error happens to be the mantra this time around. When a novice individual can see the horror coming someday and file a PIL to stop it, how in earth the authorities can’t see this? Or is it also has got something to do with politics and lobbying? If so then all those individuals who were responsible in commissioning it should be brought to justice with criminal negligence tucked behind them. We just can’t keep our arms folded and blame entirely on couple of guys who were flying the beast.Who will book DGCA authorities for giving the green signal, who would book Tulsi Das for his continuous feeding of expat pilots, who would book Prafull Patel for thinking the Aviation ministry is at the disposal of his daughter’s wish, who would book those who behind the close doors lobbied for the airport to be there, who would book the big mouth Air India spokes person who is going around uttering nonsense on disaster management when the disaster management is a disaster itself? There are so many such uncomfortable questions need to be answered and answered in a hurry. 158 lost their lives and lets not talk about their bereaved families. No words can define there stigma, and I won’t be surprised if few of them won’t fly in future.Far from getting into the truth our investigating authorities are busy searching for the black box and running around the offices of NTSB with their request of helping them with this. Is this the disaster management that big mouth spokes person was touting about? From 26/11 to today, it seems we are a clown lot when it comes to investigation. When we can’t find of our own on what went wrong, much less expected, if we could ever learn anything from it. The simple reason could be we don’t want to learn. The classic example of it could be the miraculous escape of our law minister Mr. Veerappa Moily on this very airport a decade back in much more the same scheme of events, only that his flight never tipped off the runway to the valley and the same person was seen giving all the gyan about aviation on the day that this new death strip opened for operation. This shows we didn’t learned anything from past mistake, as we don’t want to learn at the first place. As simple as that!
Posted by Cynical at 9:35 PM
Justice Dipak Misra takes over as Delhi High Court chief justice
http://www.prokerala.com/news/articles/a138273.html
New Delhi, May 24
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Justice Dipak Misra Monday took over as the new chief justice of the Delhi High court.
Chief Justice Misra, 56, who was the Chief Justice of the Patna High Court before his new appointment, was administered the oath of office by Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna at Raj Bhavan here.
A Raj Bhavan official said the ceremony was attended among others by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, her cabinet colleagues and high court judges.
Born Oct 3, 1953, the chief justice started practice as an advocate in 1977 at the Orissa High Court. He was appointed additional judge of the high court in 1996.
In 1997, he was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court where he became a permanent judge.
He became chief justice of the Patna High Court in 2009.
Former chief justice of Delhi High Court A.P. Shah retired Feb 13. Justice Madan B. Lokur was working as the acting chief justice since then.

HC notice to PMC over Baner foothill construction
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/HC-notice-to-PMC-over-Baner-foothill-construction/622839
Express News Service
Posted: Mon May 24 2010, 05:14 hrs Pune:
The Bombay High Court has issued notices to the Pune Municipal Corporation, Municipal Commissioner Mahesh Zagade, the state government, Department of Town Planning and a builder questioning the construction at the foothills in Baner.
The notices follow a PIL by the Baner Citizens’ Forum. “Construction of a commercial project is on at survey no 1 and 6 in Baner. Extensive digging is being carried out, eating into the slope,” said forum president Lt Col (retd) Ashok Thombre.
The forum had sent an e-mail to apprise Zagade of the issue a couple of months ago. “After two more reminders and visits to PMC, we got a written reply that was ambiguous and misleading. It did not address the issue, after which we decided to get the facts ourselves. Later, we filed the PIL,” Thombre said
The HC has admitted the petition and asked all the five parties mentioned above to file replies by June 24. It also declared that the said construction would be subject to the result of the petition. “We received the HC notice last week. Since it is the court’s vacation, we shall file our reply by June 24,” said PMC deputy engineer (building permission department) Sudhir Pansare.
He said the PMC had permitted construction legally after completion of all formalities.

HC to hear plea against cabinet
http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/hc-to-hear-plea-against-cabinet/622860/
Mohd Arshi Rafique,Mohd Arshi Rafique
Posted: May 24, 2010 at 0540 hrs IST
Lucknow Five months after the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court questioned Cabinet Secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh about the “authority under which he is holding the post (of cabinet secretary)” despite not being an IAS officer, the high-profile case will come up for hearing in the High Court on Monday.
The hearing assumes importance in the wake of an application moved by one of the petitioners, Lok Prahari, an organisation represented by retired IAS officer Satya Narayan Shukla, claiming the government is contemplating a service extension for the officer whose retirement is due soon. Shukla had moved the latest application in the Court of Chief Justice, which on May 10 ordered the matter to be posted to an appropriate Bench.
After almost two years of hearings on the maintainability of the PILs challenging the appointment, the High Court had issued a notice to Shekhar on December 24, 2009.
Admitting the PILs moved by one Shiv Prakash Shukla and Lok Prahari, the court had granted Singh four weeks to file the reply. Prahari later moved the Court of Acting Chief Justice Amitava Lala in February.
“I had moved an application seeking interim relief on the ground that since the officer had failed to file a reply to the High Court notice, our grievance is established,” said Shukla. The Court of Chief Justice took notice of the delay in the cabinet secretary’s reply and contended that expeditious hearing is required.
On February 26, the court, while rejecting the state’s plea that short counter affidavit has been filed and it will soon be followed by para-wise affidavit, gave ten days to the state government to file a detailed reply and posted the matter for hearing in March.
“In March, even when ‘urgency’ was mentioned, the matter got listed for March 29, but again it could not be taken up for hearing,” saidShukla.
The PILs, which challenge the creation of the post of the Cabinet Secretary and appointment of a non-IAS officer on the post, argues that the post of cabinet secretary may overshadow and undermine the post of chief secretary, who is governed by the All India Service Rules.
Singh, who was also given the status of a Cabinet minister in 2007, had relinquished the minister status while also choosing to shed the powers of chief secretary that were conferred on him through an amendment in the rules of business of the State Secretariat. He, however, continues to be the cabinet secretary and one of the most trusted men of BSP chief Mayawati.

Two Chief Justices on same Bench, HC to set new precedent
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/two-chief-justices-on-same-bench-hc-to-set-new-precedent/622773/0
Utkarsh Anand
Posted: Mon May 24 2010, 02:11 hrs New Delhi:
On monday when the Delhi High Court formally gets its new Chief Justice after three months, it is going to be an unprecedented affair for the state judiciary.
Justice Dipak Misra, the new Chief Justice, will be sharing Division Bench-I with Justice Madan B Lokur, also a designate Chief Justice expected to take charge at the Gauhati High Court in June.
Legal experts say it is for the first time that a Chief Justice has shared the Bench with a designate Chief Justice in the Delhi High Court.
Justice Lokur has been the acting Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court since February following the retirement of Justice A P Shah. While Justice Lokur will shed the tag of ‘acting’ Chief Justice after Justice Misra takes over, he will still be a designate Chief Justice till a formal declaration of his appointment by the government.
Senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul says as per his memory and knowledge of the history of the Delhi judiciary, this going to be “a first”. “It certainly is a great advantage for the new judge to have the senior-most judge of the High Court on the same Bench. It not only shows the confidence of the new judge in him, but will also prove valuable for gaining knowledge of the rules and procedures of the new court, backgrounds, administrative functioning and several other such significant aspects,” adds Kaul, who went back to the Bar after resigning from the post of a Delhi High Court judge last September.
Concurring with the views, Ashok Agarwal, known for his PILs for good schooling for the Capital’s poor and powerless, says: “This is surely unprecedented and I am expecting of some great legal opinions from the Bench that has the two senior-most judges of the High Court. It must also be remembered that when two judges share the Bench, they are equal in stature.”
JUSTICE MADAN B LOKUR,56, born on December 31, 1953, is a graduate in History from St Stephen’s College. He obtained his law degree from the Delhi University in 1977 and enrolled the same year. He practised in the Supreme Court of India and the Delhi High Court and was subsequently registered as an Advocate-on-Record in the apex court. As he possessed vast experience in civil, criminal, constitutional, revenue and service laws, Justice Lokur became the Central government Standing Counsel from 1990 to 1996. He was designated as a Senior Advocate in February 1997 and appointed as Additional Solicitor General of India in 1998. Justice Lokur was appointed as an Additional Judge of Delhi High Court in February 1999 and a Permanent Judge that July.
JUSTICE DIPAK MISRA,56, has been transferred from the Patna High Court where he had been serving as the Chief Justice since December 2009. Born on October 3, 1953, Justice Misra was enrolled as an advocate in February 1977 and practised in constitutional, civil, criminal, revenue, service and sales tax matters in the Orissa High Court and the Service Tribunal. He was appointed Additional Judge of the Orissa High Court in January 1996. Justice Misra was transferred to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in March 1997 and became a Permanent Judge later that year. During his stint in Madhya Pradesh High Court, he also acted as the Executive Chairman of the State Legal Services. Justice Misra takes over as the new Chief Justice on Monday.
Junior prof’s promotion: PGI docs urge Talwar to wait for HC order
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Junior-prof-s-promotion–PGI-docs-urge-Talwar-to-wait-for-HC-order/622749
Express News Service
Posted: Mon May 24 2010, 01:11 hrs Chandigarh:
Resentment is brewing among senior PGI professors, who have urged Director Prof K K Talwar not to implement the CAT orders vis-a-vis the promotion of Medical Superintendent Dr A K Gupta, till the Punjab and Haryana High Court takes the final decision.
In a letter written by the PGI Faculty Association, head professor A Rajwanshi has stated that if Gupta was made a professor with retrospect, as was ordered by the CAT earlier this year, the entire seniority list of the PGI faculty would be disturbed, which would lead to resentment among professors, who have waited much longer to attain professorship.
The association even said if seniority of the faculty was altered after the decision, there could be mass exodus of doctors from the institute.
“There is great resentment among senior people, which is demoralising and might result into mass exodus at some stage or the other,” the letter stated. The Health ministry has approved candidature of Dr Gupta, for retrospective promotion as professor since January 9, 1996, when his experience was only seven years, bypassing 40 professors senior to him, with 14 to 25 years of experience at the time of appointment as a professor.
The PGI faculty moved the High Court against the order and the case is pending. The ministry’s approval came after the CAT ordered in favour of Dr Gupta on February 24 this year. “All faculty members have been working at the institute for a longer duration than Dr Gupta. It is totally unjustified,” remarked the association.
Signature in a different language does not make will bogus: Bombay HC
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_signature-in-a-different-language-does-not-make-will-bogus-bombay-hc_1386699
PTI
Sunday, May 23, 2010 16:35 IST
Mumbai: Signature in a language which is ordinarily not used by a person does not make the document bogus, the Bombay high court has held while validating a will.
The will in question was of one Smt Melwani, a Sindhi by birth. She had signed it in Gurumukhi, her mother tongue.
By this will, dated March 20, 1991, she had bequeathed her flat in suburban Bandra to her son, Giridhari Melwani.
Soon thereafer, she passed away. When Giridhari filed probate application in the high court to get the will validated, Veena Giridhari, her daughter-in-law, challenged it.
Veena contended that the flat in Bandra had been purchased from the funds given by her late husband Chandru, and the will was a bogus document, made to usurp the flat.
Apart from alleging that her mother-in-law was not in a sound state of mind, Veena’s lawyer also pointed out that prior to the execution of the will, Smt Giridhari always signed in Urdu.
To prove this, two earlier Vakalat-namas (letters authorising lawyers) and the flat’s nomination made by her was produced, all of which bore signatures in Urdu.
However, refuting the contention, justice Roshan Dalvi said in the judgment early this month that this was not too significant, as “since Urdu is a better known language, she could have signed those papers in Urdu language.”
“That would not prevent her from signing her own will in Gurumukhi,” the judge said, upholding the will.
To catch a thief
http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-catch-a-thief/622766/0
SIDHARTHCHAUHAN
Posted: Mon May 24 2010, 01:54 hrs
In recent times, the controversy about the applicability of the Right to Information Act to the office of the Chief Justice of India has turned the spotlight towards concerns about accountability in the higher judiciary. However, the sustained focus on the top of the system also ensures that not enough scrutiny is directed towards the flaws in the administration of our lower judiciary. Last week’s report of a trial judge in Indore whose involvement in a criminal case caught up with him after 16 years of service, ( IE, May 21) highlights the shortcomings in the existing mechanism for oversight over judicial officers.
Contrary to popular perceptions, the Supreme Court does not have a direct say in the administration and supervision of lower courts. As per Article 235 of the Constitution, it is the high court in each state which exercises administrative control over the lower courts falling under its territorial jurisdiction. In this sense, the description of the position of the Chief Justice of India as a “serpent without fangs” cannot be easily rebutted since the CJI’s administrative authority is largely confined to the Supreme Court. For instance, the decision of Supreme Court judges to voluntarily declare their assets has not been followed by several high courts.
When it comes to matters such as the removal, suspension or disciplining of erring judicial officers in the lower courts, it is the chief justices of the respective high courts who have the final say. The usual practice is that the relatively senior judges of each high court are assigned administrative responsibilities for overseeing the performance of lower court judges in each district. Reports of misconduct are then inquired into by disciplinary committees consisting of high court judges. Even in the matter of recruitment of judicial officers, the high courts have a substantial say in the state judicial services examinations which are conducted by the respective State Public Service Commissions.
The over-reliance on the personal initiative of the designated administrative judge often creates a situation where the fate of all the judicial officers in a district depends on the whims of the former. While the ideal scenario is that of a vigilant high court judge who thoroughly examines the background and performance of all trial judges, the reality is far more complex. Just as a supervisor with an authoritarian bent of mind can strike fear in the minds of workers, an apathetic boss can create a climate of laxity and corruption. Reports of the prevalence of these two sums up the sorry state of judicial administration in most states. In many districts, judicial officers are burdened with the additional task of pleasing their respective administrative judges, which often sparks allegations about favouritism in appointments and protection from disciplinary proceedings. In the same vein, an easy-going administrative judge could overlook serious instances of misconduct on part of lower court judges.
There are two structural problems in the subordinate judiciary. The first is that the number of judges in our country is far too less to handle the increasing case-load. As of data available on September 31, 2009, there were 16,746 posts in the subordinate judiciary, out of which 13,946 were occupied. 2,800 vacancies in an already under-staffed and under-funded judicial system is certainly a cause for immediate action. The second problem is weak mechanisms for oversight and accountability. While the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill has been designed with the higher judiciary in mind, the law ministry should examine proposals for accountability in the subordinate judiciary as well.
One suggestion is to amend the Constitution so that the supervision of the subordinate judiciary becomes a subject in the “Concurrent List” in the Constitution, thereby enabling the Central government to have some say in the matter. It is a well known fact that many state governments have been reluctant to release funds for the maintenance and upgradation of courts as well as the recruitment of more judicial officers. A certain degree of centralisation is necessary to give effect to the ongoing efforts, especially since the 13th Finance Commission has allocated more than Rs 5,000 crore for improving the judicial system.
The proposal for creating an All India Judicial Service also needs a meaningful push. At present, the judicial services examinations conducted in most states are merely a test of rote memory and do not attract the finest legal minds. Add to this, allegations of nepotism and favouritism in the interview component of the examinations. A centralised examination which tests analytical skills as well as legal knowledge could go a long way in ensuring uniformity in the quality of personnel recruited to the lower judiciary. Concerns about linguistic differences can be addressed by components in vernacular languages. In its present form, the proposal for an All India Judicial Service entails that 25 per cent of the officers of the rank of an additional district / sessions judge in each state will be drawn from all India cadre.
Apart from streamlining recruitment and pay of lower court judges, it is also important to give them opportunities for career advancement. At present, the composition of high courts is dominated by those who began as practitioners in the respective state capitals and only a small proportion of trial court judges are elevated to the high courts. This is also a factor which contributes to the unequal relationship between those from a “practicing” background and those from a “services” background. While changes to the higher judiciary are welcome, the real fortune — in terms of reform benefits — lies at the bottom of the pyramid.
The writer was law clerk to the Chief Justice of India from July 2008-May 2010
Train blasts trial will restart today
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Mumbai/Train-blasts-trial-will-restart-today/articleshow/5966469.cms
Kartikeya, TNN, May 24, 2010, 01.31am IST
MUMBAI: Four years after the 7/11 serial train blasts, the trial in the case is scheduled to restart in a special court on Monday. Seven RDX bombs kept in first class coaches of Mumbai’s suburban trains exploded on July 11, 2006, killing 188 people and injuring 817. The ATS said the conspiracy was hatched in Pakistan and at least five of the 13 arrested persons had gone to that country for terror training. The police also said Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) had used the banned organisation, SIMI, to engineer the blasts. The trial started in a special court in December 2007. However, matters could not progress as the accused had challenged the application of certain provisions of law. The legal dispute was finally settled by the Supreme Court in April this year before the trial court in Mumbai could hear the case again. The process involved a delay of more than two years. In 2007, Saeed Ahmed, son of 7/11 accused Sohail Shaikh Shabbir Masiullah arrested for the 2006 Malegaon blast, and Zameer Rehman, accused in the Aurangabad arms haul case, had filed petition in the Bombay high court challenging the constitutional validity of MCOCA. When the HC upheld the decision to slap MCOCA, the accused moved the Supreme Court in 2008 and it stayed their trials. But now with the Supreme Court’s order, decks have been cleared to restart the trial of the 13 accused.
Evidence against Faheem, Sabauddin ‘doubtful’, says 26/11 court
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Evidence-against-Faheem-Sabauddin-doubtful-says-26/11-court/articleshow/5969899.cms
PTI, May 24, 2010, 09.13pm IST
MUMBAI: The 26/11 special court has come down heavily on the prosecution and investigating agency for submitting “doubtful” and “fragile” evidence against accused Faheem Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed that led to their acquittal in the Mumbai terror attack case. “The evidence of the only prosecution witness is doubtful and unreliable. The investigating agency has failed to provide quality evidence against the duo (Faheem and Sabauddin),” the 1600-page judgement, a copy of which is with PTI, said. The court had acquitted Faheem and Sabauddin on May 3 by giving them the benefit of doubt. Witness Nooruddin Shaikh had deposed in court that he and another person, Bharat Thakur, had travelled to Nepal in January 2008 where he saw Ansari hand over maps of Mumbai target locations to Sabauddin at a Kathmandu guesthouse. According to the prosecution, these maps were used by the Pakistani terrorists, including Ajmal Kasab, and one such map was found in the trouser pocket of slain terrorist Abu Ismail. “Shaikh has not produced any documentary evidence of his travel and stay at Nepal. The witness has admitted that a record is maintained at Sonavali border with regard to entry of persons into Nepal. He was not able to produce any entry slip. The investigating agency has not made any attempt to collect this evidence and not even tried to verify if Shaikh had visited Nepal,” the court observed. “The prosecution has also not examined Bharat Thakur to corroborate Shaikh’s evidence. The prosecution’s explanation that Thakur is not traceable is very feeble and does not appeal to the court’s reason,” the judgement states, adding Thakur was one of the most important witnesses to prove the prosecution’s case against Faheem and Sabauddin. The court accepted the arguments of Faheem’s lawyer R B Mokashi that there were no wrinkles or bloodstains on the map recovered from the body of Ismail. “In my consideration, had the map remained in the trouser pocket of Ismail for such a long time it would have in fact been spoiled to a large extent. This evidence is thus highly doubtful,” Judge Tahaliyani observed. All the evidences submitted by the prosecution to connect Faheem and Sabauddin to the 26/11 terror attack case are found to be “doubtful and tainted”, the court remarked. “There are many loose ends and there is scope of doubting each and every piece of evidence. I do not think such fragile pieces of evidence are sufficient to prove the charges against Faheem and Sabauddin,” it states. “The main conspirators had used best available technology like VOIP and Google Earth. Therefore this rustic sketch map allegedly prepared by Faheem does not fit in the scheme of the conspirators,” Judge Tahaliyani observed.
26/11 court indicts some cops for ‘cowardice’
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/26/11-court-indicts-some-cops-for-cowardice/articleshow/5969907.cms
PTI, May 24, 2010, 09.16pm IST
MUMBAI: Though the Mumbai police came in for praise for taking on the terrorists during 26/11 attacks, the special court which conducted the trial has criticised personnel of Azad Maidan police station, saying they acted in a “cowardly” manner and “ran away” instead of stopping the militants. Instead of coming to the aid of Additional Commissioner Sadanand Date, who engaged the terrorists in a gunfight on the terrace of Cama Hospital and got grievously injured in the process, the officers from the police station possibly “ran away”, Judge M L Tahaliyani said in the judgement, a copy of which was made available to PTI on Monday. The police station is at a stone’s throw from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus and Cama Hospital where Ajmal Kasab and his companion Abu Ismail killed scores of people. After firing indiscriminately on the passengers at CST, Kasab and Ismail proceeded to Cama Hospital, and went up to the terrace. Date had rushed to the hospital after instructing constable Suresh Kadam to go to the police station, collect some bulletproof jackets, weapons and ammunition, and come to the hospital. But, as according to Kadam’s testimony, he along with Senior Police Inspector Thorawade and four others went only upto the rear gate of the hospital in a Bolero jeep and did not venture further. Noting that other witnesses had mentioned that the Bolero was parked at the hospital’s rear side, Judge said “It is therefore possible that witness no. 138 (Kadam) and others had entered the Cama Hospital and ran away back… apprehending danger to their lives as around this time(11.45 pm) the accused had come out of the hospital.” “This definitely is cowardliness and lack of devotion towards duty,” the judgement said. The judge had orally observed earlier that had Sadanand Date got timely help, Kasab and Ismail could have been stopped at the hospital itself and further incidents could have been averted. On the role of Inspector Thorawade, the court has noted that he was in-charge of Azad Maidan police station, but “lacks courage to take initiative” and as a result, those accompanying him, including Kadam, “could not do anything to stop the accused”. “I am aghast to note that witness no. 128 (Thorawade) did not even bother to go to B.T Road despite the fact that he had seen the accused entering the road…. Authorities will take care of the attitude of this officer on the night of the incident.”
Aarushi crime scene disturbed intentionally: CBI sources
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Aarushi-crime-scene-disturbed-intentionally-CBI-sources/articleshow/5966433.cms
Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui, TNN, May 24, 2010, 02.46am IST
LUCKNOW: Over two years after the murder of Aarushi Talwar and her families’ domestic help Hemraj in Noida, the CBI team probing the case has zeroed in on one of the first few individuals who visited the crime scene for tampering with evidence. The focus is particularly on those who visited the site right after Aarushi’s murder came to light, but before the body of Hemraj was traced. Aarushi was found murdered in her Jalvayu Vihar Colony flat in Sector 20 police station area of Noida on May 16, 2008. The next day, Hemraj — who was missing since the teenager’s body was discovered and was hence suspected to be the murderer — was found dead on the terrace of the building. Investigators are believed to have reached the conclusion that quite a few things at the crime scene were shifted from their original positions which hampered investigations. Initially, it was assumed to be because of carelessness of the family or visitors who came to offer their condolences. However, sources say, it now stands established that most of the things were shifted from their original place by/at the instance of only one individual. The actions that are suspect, include the disposal of the blood-soaked mattress that was on Aarushi’s bed when she was murdered. Sources in the CBI say that the sleuths are of the view that there was some mala fide intention behind shifting the objects in question. The agency is planning to soon summon all those who visited the crime scene before Hemraj’s body was found, to establish this. Officials are not ruling out some arrests either. The spotlight now is also on some family friends/social contacts of the Talwars who have not so far been screened by the investigators. These include at least one woman doctor based at Noida, apart from four other individuals. Meanwhile, on Saturday, sleuths completed their latest round of questioning of the Talwar couple in Dehradun, that started from May 19, 2010. The agency had summoned the Talwars to Dehradun to keep the investigations away from the media glare.
Is television more powerful than SC?
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/TheSiegeWithin/entry/is-television-more-powerful-than
M J Akbar, 23 May 2010, 12:55 AM IST
The Supreme Court is rather less supreme than its nomenclature might suggest. It can pass a death sentence, but cannot execute it. The pun is unintended but apposite. Government dare not disobey the court, but subversion is always an option, which is why Afzal Guru has still not encountered his moment with justice.

Pace, or the lack of it, is the preferred form of subversion. It took one formal letter and 15 reminders over four years from the Union home ministry to the Delhi government to shuffle the Guru file towards its next legal step, the office of the lieutenant governor of Delhi. This is not snail mail. This is blackmail.

What fear, or perception of fear, persuaded the Congress government in Delhi to delay the death sentence of Afzal Guru? As ever, there is someone who drops a clue; as usual, it has been dropped by mistake. When the Delhi government did activate due process, about four years too late, on May 18, its official spokesman told media, “The government…does not have any objection (to the death sentence). But the Centre must examine the law and order implications if the death sentence is executed.”

What could the phrase “law and order implications” mean? Did the official imply that Delhi’s citizens would erupt in anger, destroy public property and bring the capital to a halt because they were livid at the execution of a convicted terrorist? Or did he believe it would lead to a massive invasion by Guru’s fellow terrorists? Terrorists are not waiting for a file to crawl from point A to B; Guru’s life, or death, is immaterial to their programme. Their summer infiltration from bases in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is in full flow. There are near-daily reports of firefights and battles with the Army in Kashmir. Stockpiles of arms have been discovered this week during combing operations around Kupwara.

What, then, was the anonymous but widely quoted Delhi official so anxious about? Shall we mention what he left unmentioned? Was he warning the Centre that Indian Muslims would react by instigating violence, and the very prospect was sufficient to terrify the mighty government of the Union of India into frozen chicanery?

This is communal and racial profiling at its worst. In effect, the Congress government is saying that Indian Muslims treat a convicted terrorist as their icon. If this is the secret reason why Afzal Guru is still alive, then Delhi has lost its sanity.

Chidambaram could have activated the Guru file at any time during the last 18 months he has been home minister; all he had to do was pick up the phone. It isn’t as if the government of Delhi is based in Pakistan, and needs periodic dossiers on Afzal Guru. Chidambaram did not do so because he did not want to do so. Nothing happened for four years, and lots more of nothing would have happened were it not for the public reaction to the Kasab verdict. Even as Indians cheered (including, since the two blindsided governments of Delhi appear not to have noticed, in Mumbai’s Muslim areas) they were also reminded of the fact that an earlier Kasab was sitting comfortably in jail because the government had lost its nerve. Their anger was evident.

It was only a question of time, and intent, before someone asked RTI for the documents, and since they were not secret, they entered public space. A TV news channel got them, and pointed out the obvious: Guru was the beneficiary of political indecision. When public opinion prodded the government in the pants, the dormant file began to spurt.

Governments protect who they will, and punish those they want to. The system has collaborated to keep Sajjan Kumar beyond the reach of judgment a quarter century after the Sikh riots of 1984. This week’s reason for another pause in the judicial process is a typo. The CBI pointed out, virtuously, that Section 339 has been mentioned instead of Section 449 in the order on filing of charges. This is where we are after 25 years, discussing the order on filing of charges. Where are all the award-winning human rights activists who pursue perpetrators of riots? Maybe they will turn up on the 30th anniversary of 1984.

We have a law now that prevents underage children from being sent to prison. By 2014 they should have a law in place by which anyone above retirement age could serve out a sentence in his personal air-conditioned drawing room. That would keep Sajjan Kumar safe till God was ready to pass His judgment.

Unless, of course, the Ultra Supreme Court of Television intervened, and even that might be too little, too late in the case of Sajjan Kumar.

Force should be met with force
http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/right-and-wrong/entry/force-should-be-met-with
Swapan Dasgupta, 23 May 2010, 12:33 AM IST
Earlier this year, a fashionably ‘progressive’ essayist lauded India’s Maoist terror squads as “Gandhians with a gun”, a description that is about as persuasive as ‘celibate rapist’. Not that either mockery or public anger plays any role in tempering the perversity of those who flaunt democracy only to subvert it. In the wake of the second massacre in Dantewada in two months, the experts of terror have raised their sophistry to bizarre heights.

Take the justification of the May 17 blast that killed 44 bus passengers – all local inhabitants and all poor. Since the earlier claim of paramilitary forces being a legitimate target is clearly untenable, it has been suggested that the presence of a few off-duty special police officers in the bus was a direct provocation. “If there were indeed civilians in the bus,” writer Arundhati Roy told The Times of India, “it is irresponsible of the government to expose them to harm in a war zone by allowing police and SPOs to use public transport.”

The logic is revealing: anyone remotely connected with the state, even a SPO drawing a pathetic Rs 3,000 allowance each month, is an enemy and must face the bloody consequences. It is further implied that by using public transport, these functionaries are inviting collateral damage on fellow passengers. The real Mao once wrote that “revolution is not a dinner party”; his disciples have reminded us that there is no place for squeamishness and table manners.

How the conduct of these armed ‘Gandhians’ squares with the Mahatma who called off the Non-Cooperation movement in 1922 after an angry mob killed 23 policemen in Chauri Chaura, is best brushed aside. For the moment, it would be unwise to disregard the menacing overground message from the underground.

Those who can conduct military operations with such ruthless efficiency have long lost the right to be called “misguided ideologues” and treated with benevolent indulgence. What is the difference between Kasab and the Maoists who ambushed the CRPF jawans on April 6 and detonated a deadly explosive under a bus last week? Kasab believed that he was part of God’s army and that every Mumbai resident was a legitimate target for murder. The Maoists too believe they are a People’s Liberation Army waging war on the state and its flunkeys.

The only obvious difference is that while Kasab came from Pakistan, the foot soldiers of the Red army are Indian by birth. In every other respect, the Islamists and the Maoists are the same: both have transformed grievance and utopia into inhumanity. They may well have had a place in the statecraft of preceding centuries; judged by contemporary norms, they have forfeited all claims to human rights.

It is important to stress the mismatch between Maoist insurgency and Indian democracy, if only to drive home the necessity of a unified response from both the state and civil society. The argument that equitable economic development will blunt the anger of those who resent their marginal status is true only up to a point. However, if the benefits of state welfare and the market economy are to reach every corner of India, it is necessary for the state to be in physical control of territory. The Maoist approach is not to present the wretched of the earth with a revolutionary alternative that can compete with bourgeois politics on equal terms. It aims to exercise a military stranglehold over a region and either intimidate or eliminate dissent. Maoists don’t believe in choice; they are committed to total control.

It’s literally a chicken and egg situation. Sonia Gandhi may feel that NREGA and a Food Security Act will deliver the deviants to the Indian Constitution and isolate the doctrinaire Maoists. However, the district administration and the panchayats need to be physically present to undertake good works. To undertake Bharat Nirman in a large chunk of forested, central India, the state must uproot an illegal military presence first. The development route to counterinsurgency is, ironically, prefaced on a military victory. Reduced to essentials, the difference between the hardliners and the appeasers is one of articulation.

It may be tactically prudent to keep the language of retaliation less robust and peppered with piousness but there is no escaping the fact that the Maoist leadership will not be moved by either persuasion or bribery. To make Maoism unattractive to frightened villagers, force will have to be met with force. Siddharth Ray showed the way in West Bengal in the 1970s.

Unlike separatist movements that can be coerced into compromise, there is no halfway house in confronting Communist insurgencies. In the war for state power, it’s either us or them. One side has to yield. The choice is stark: it’s either Maoism or the democratic way of life.

PGI doc booked under Dowry Act
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/PGI-doc-booked-under-Dowry-Act/articleshow/5966793.cms
TNN, May 24, 2010, 05.34am IST
LUCKNOW: A Sanjay Gandhi Post-graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPGIMS) doctor was booked under the Dowry Act following a complaint from his wife at Kaiserbagh police station on Saturday. According to complainant Ranjana Bharti, daughter of R R Bharti, director general of medical health and resident of Kaiserbagh, her husband, Dr Gyan Chand, a doctor in SGPGIMS and a resident of Haridwar, started demanding dowry after eight months of their marriage on November 29, 2005. Initially, she tried to ignore his demand thinking that everything would be fine in a few months. However, the situation didn’t improve and Ranjana left her husband’s house on SGPGI campus and started living with her father in Kaiserbagh. However, on May 21, Ranjana’s husband came to her and forcefully tried to take away their 3-year-old son. Ranjana alleged that he started demanding Rs 10 lakh and even threatened her. A case against Dr Gyan Chand was lodged at Kaiserbagh police station and the matter was being investigated.

A writ issued by Kiwi Chris Cairns against Lalit Modi
http://www.allindiatoday.com/7434/a-writ-issued-by-kiwi-chris-cairns-against-lalit-modi
Posted by Shailesh Vyas on 5/23/10
Chris Cairns, the former New Zealand all rounder acted on his threat to sue Lalit Modi and initiated legal action against the suspended IPL commissioner. Cairns submission to join IPL of this year was rejected by the powerful chairman of the Indian Premier league Lalit Modi. Modi barred him from the tournament and stated in his twitter page that the Kiwi was removed due to ‘his past in match-fixing’. January, the name of Cairns was taken off the list of players auctioned for the 3rd Indian Premier League and Modi suggesting that he was involved in match-fixing.
For his distress, Chris reported claims against IPL Commissioner and the writ was issued in the High Court, London, on Friday. He said on Saturday, “I had no alternative but to sue Mr Modi for libel.” He also said, “Until he retracts what he has said, my name will always be tainted by the cheat label. Instead he chose to make his allegation in public and to repeat it in public. For any doubting Thomases out there, I have never rigged a match.”
In the ICL, he was captain in the Chandigarh Lions and due to fitness issues, he insist his sacking in 2008. Before that his sister Louise died in a train accident in 1993. Cairns setup his own foundation to increase rail safety awareness in New Zealand and walked 1000 km. Cairns told, “We are trying to have Modi served with papers. We’re going through that process in India but it takes time to get through the court system. We’re waiting for him, though.”
39 years old Chris Cairns now living in Dubai and probable he will never play cricket again. He also said, “Cricket was not part of my life at the moment. It’d be great to help out in a New Zealand capacity one day but because of what has happened I’m a bit of a poisoned chalice, really.”

Operators move telecom tribunal against TRAI
http://beta.profit.ndtv.com/news/show/operators-move-telecom-tribunal-against-trai-54555
NDTV Correspondent & Agencies, 24 May
GSM operators Bharti, Vodafone and Idea have moved Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) against TRAI’s 2G spectrum recommendations.Among its many recommendations on pricing of 2G spectrum, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, recently suggested pricing 2G spectrum at the same rate and in some cases at 2.5 times the rate of 3G spectrum. It also asked operators like Bharti, Vodafone etc to vacate spectrum in 900 MHz band when their licences come up for renewal.These issues are crucial for incumbent mobile operators as paying higher fees for existing as well as future 2G spectrum will be a big financial burden, especially for telcos like Bharti, Vodafone and Idea.These players are also opposing vacating 900 MHz spectrum because that will mean moving from a more efficient spectrum band to a less efficient one.

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Vyas wants more teeth for NCW
http://www.ptinews.com/news/664703_Vyas-wants-more-teeth-for-NCW
STAFF WRITER 14:33 HRS IST
Srinagar, May 23 (PTI) NCW Chairperson Girja Vyas today pitched for making the Commission more powerful to handle the situation arising out of increasing incidents of harassment of women.”The need of the hour is to make the Commission more powerful to handle the situation arising out of increasing harassment of women with each passing day,” Vyas said in her inaugural address at a workshop organised by the State Commission for Women (SWC) here.”There are stringent laws in this regard (to check harassment of women) which need to be implemented firmly”, she said.Vyas said the Commission has submitted seven new draft laws to the Centre. However, she did not elaborate.Students from various educational institutions and several NGOs, besides a large number of women participated in the workshop.She said NGOs and social organisations should come forward for empowering women in every field.

What’s the rating?
http://www.hindustantimes.com/What-s-the-rating/Article1-547368.aspx
Hiren Kotwani, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, May 23,
It might seem to many that the wait for Prakash Jha and UTV to get the censor certificate for Raajneeti got longer. But Jha asserts that unanticipated developments will not affect the release date. The filmmaker is now moving the appellate tribunal against the revising committee’s decision to grant an ‘A’ certificate with certain cuts in the movie.
Wonder if the National Award-winning filmmaker plans to postpone the release of his film in lieu of the revising committee’s decision? “It depends on how early the tribunal reviews and clears the film. But I’m sure Raajneeti will release on June 4.”
The film top-lining Katrina Kaif, Ranbir Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Ajay Devgn, Naseeruddin Shah and Arjun Rampal, has been in the news for the last couple of months since it was reported that Katrina Kaif’s character is based on Congress president, Sonia Gandhi.
When asked if that had irked the Censor Board and had them objecting to certain portions of the film, Jha snaps, “I don’t know if anything has triggered off anything in the minds of the members of the examining committee or the revising committee. I can’t comment. But from the onset, I’ve been saying that Katrina’s character is not based on Sonia Gandhi and I continue to maintain that.”
Buzz is that the Congress party workers and office bearers contacted him, asking for a special screening of the film for Sonia Gandhi. Jha rubbishes the rumours and says that no one has approached him yet.
Everyone’s welcome“I’m ready to show my film to anyone who wants to see it. I have no problems with anyone over anything. Raajneeti is a work of fiction, it’s a story of a family in politics and the politics of power.”
Reportedly, the examining committee, which viewed the film on Wednesday, was unsure of the certificate that should be issued to it. While some members felt that it should be given a ‘U/A’ rating with cuts, others felt that an ‘A’ certificate without any changes was appropriate for the political drama.
The revising committee finally saw Raajneeti on Thursday and cleared it with ‘A’ certificate but asked for some changes. The revising committee has asked for dialogue like Vidhwa vote le jaayegi (The widow will take away the votes)’ to be deleted from the film.
The members also felt that the level of violence and foul language is higher than tolerable levels. They also feel that the intimate scenes between Ranbir Kapoor and Sarah Thompson, and Arjun Rampal and Katrina Kaif are quite bold. Jha gets agitated when asked if he would give in to the cuts if the appellate tribunal upheld the revising committee’s verdict of ‘A’ certificate with the recommended changes.
“That’s is undue speculation. Why do you ask if I’d agree to the changes until the appellate tribunal decides? Let the tribunal review the movie and then, we shall see,” he states.

Police preparing case against SIMI
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Police-preparing-case-against-SIMI/Article1-547315.aspx

Vignesh Iyer, Hindustan Times
Email Author
Mumbai , May 23, 2010
A special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act tribunal will conduct a hearing on the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) in the Bombay High court on May 28 and 29.
“On these dates, the police will produce the evidence gathered against the organisation and will seek a ban on it for two years,” said advocate Mobin Akhtar, who is representing SIMI. He said the tribunal goes to every state once in two years and the police present their case against SIMI. “This is a routine exercise,” he added.
SIMI, an Islamic student organisation formed in April 1977, was banned by the Indian government in 2002, for its alleged involvement in terror acts. On August 5, 2008, the special tribunal lifted the ban on SIMI. The Supreme Court brought back the ban the next day.
Under UAPA, an organisation can only be banned for a maximum of two years, after which the government needs to go to the tribunal to get the ban extended. Mumbai Police, in a press note, have asked anyone with any evidence against SIMI to submit it to the tribunal by way of an affidavit.
“The police do not have any fresh evidence against SIMI, and one person’s wrongdoing cannot be attributed to the entire organisation,” Akhtar said. He said the police are only submitting what they already have earlier.
SIMI has been accused of carrying out bomb blasts across India, including the 2006 train bombing and the blasts in Malegaon. Police had arrested SIMI members and charged them with carrying out these attacks.
Activists of the organisation have also been accused of being part of several earlier bombings in Mumbai, in 2003, in which more than 50 were killed. SIMI leader Saqib Nachan was alleged to have been behind those blasts.
A government crackdown on SIMI followed the ban, and its senior leaders were arrested. Currently, of SIMI’s important leaders, Safdar Nagori is under arrest, Subhan Qureshi is absconding.

CAT dismisses BSNL employees’ plea for quashing exam
http://www.ptinews.com/news/664403_CAT-dismisses-BSNL-employees–plea-for-quashing-exam
STAFF WRITER 9:28 HRS IST
New Delhi, May 23 (PTI) The Central Administrative Tribunal has held that a candidate cannot challenge the examination procedure after voluntarily appearing in it.The Tribunal passed the judgement while dismissing a plea of seven BSNL employees who had appeared for the departmental examination but failed to qualify.Naresh Singh and others sought to declare the examination as invalid on the grounds that the procedure adopted by the PSU was “arbitrary and violative of their fundamental rights”.Rejecting their plea, the Tribunal said the aspirants were well acquainted with its methodology much before the result was declared and it was not permissible for them to challenge it.”The applicants were fully aware of the syllabus, they appeared in the exam and it is only after they failed that they are challenging the examination process.

NCW chairperson congratulates Omar
http://www.ptinews.com/news/664230_NCW-chairperson-congratulates-Omar
STAFF WRITER 20:42 HRS IST
Srinagar, May 22 (PTI) Chairperson of National Women Commission Girja Vyas today congratulated Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah for bold stand of his government in passing Women’s Domestic Violence Act, 2010.Vyas, currently on a visit to the state, called on the chief minister.While appreciating the steps taken by the State Government for empowerment of women, Vyas said the time has come, when the State Government should take steps for transferring legal and judicial powers to the State Women Commission in tune with Central Women’s Commission so that their action would be more affective, an official spokesman said after the meeting.The State Chairperson of Women’s Commission, Shamima Firdous was present during the meeting.Omar assured Vyas that State Government is committed to take all possible steps to safeguard women folk from any domestic harassment or any kind of mental torture.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Monday, May 24, 2010

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One Response

  1. Bengal train derailment: 90 dead, more bodies still trapped…

    I found your entry interesting thus I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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