LEGAL NEWS 05.06.2010

Former CJI Balakrishnan appointed NHRC Chairperson
The President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, has appointed former Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
New Delhi, June 3 : The President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, has appointed former Chief Justice of India (CJI) K G Balakrishnan as Chairperson of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
Justice Balakrishnan, who was the 37th Chief Justice of India retired from his position on May 12, 2010.
As an advocate, he pleaded both criminal and civil cases in the Ernakulam court. He was later appointed as a Munsiff in the Kerala Judicial Services in 1973. He later resigned from the services and resumed practice as an advocate in the Kerala High Court, and was transferred to the Gujarat High Court in 1997.
Justice Balakrishnan became the Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court in 1998, and in 1999, he assumed charge as the Chief Justice of the High Court of Judicature at Madras. While being Chief Justice of Gujarat High Court, he also discharged duties of Governor of Gujarat for about two months.
He was appointed as a judge of the Supreme Court on June 8, 2000 and sworn in as the Chief Justice of India on January 14, 2007 by the then President of India A P J Abdul Kalam.

Nine terrorists have sought commutation of death sentence
Vidya Subrahmaniam
26 petitions pending with President’s Secretariat
Terrorism knows no religion, and as much emerges from a scrutiny of 29 mercy petitions filed by Indian death row prisoners. Of these, 26 are pending with the President’s Secretariat, while the others, including the petition filed by Afzal Guru, who was convicted in the Parliament attack case, are “under examination” in the Home Ministry.
The details, which were accessed by Right to Information activist Subhash Chandra Agrawal, show that in all, nine convicted terrorists, including Afzal Guru, have sought commutation of the death sentence.
But, significantly, Afzal Guru is the only “Muslim” terrorist on the list. His petition is also the most recent. Rajiv Gandhi’s assailants — Murugan, Santhan and Arivu — top the list with a mercy petition that dates back to 2000. The petition took five years to reach the President’s Secretariat, where it has since been pending
Next comes Devender Pal Singh, who was sentenced to death for a terrorist act by a Special TADA Court in August 2001. The sentence was confirmed by the Supreme Court in March 2003. The same year, Singh, who was convicted in a bomb blast case, filed a mercy petition. It reached the President’s office in 2005.
The third terrorism case involves Simon, Gnanaprakash, Madaiah and Bilavendra, who were convicted of killing 22 Karnataka police personnel by blasting landmines. In September 2001, a trial court in Karnataka awarded all of them life imprisonment, which was enhanced by the Supreme Court to the death penalty. Their collective mercy petition, filed in 2004, has been pending with the President since 2005.
Afzal Guru was sentenced to death in December 2002. The trial court’s sentence was confirmed by the Delhi High Court in November 2003 and by the Supreme Court in August 2005. His mercy petition, filed in 2006, has been going back and forth between the Home Ministry and the Delhi government.
Mercy petitions can be sent to either the President’s office or the Home Ministry. However, the Constitution prescribes no time limit for their disposal, leading to indecision by successive Presidents, and in some cases, by governments.
President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam decided only two mercy petitions — in 2004 he rejected the plea of rape convict Dhananjoy Chatterjee, who was later hanged, and in 2006, he commuted Kheraj Ram’s death penalty to life imprisonment.
President K.R. Narayanan did not clear any mercy petition.
President Pratibha Patil, who inherited a backlog of 25-odd cases, the earliest dating back to 1997, has decided only one case so far. In November 2009, she commuted R. Govindasamy’s death sentence to life imprisonment.

PIL filed in Gujarat against vacation in courts
DNA Correspondent / DNA
Friday, June 4, 2010 11:23 IST
Ahmedabad: A lawyer of the Gujarat high court has set in motion the debate over court vacations by challenging the practice in a public interest litigation. Girish Das, a practising lawyer, who filed the PIL in the high court said that the courts enjoy 155 days of vacation in a year and it is a violation of the fundamental rights of the citizens.
He has asked that in the interest of the people this practice should not be permitted. However, Das withdrew his PIL after justice DH Waghela asked him to make a representation before the chief justice of Gujarat high court.
Das moved a PIL on Thursday amid a month long summer vacation in the Gujarat high court and other civil courts of the state. Das argued in the high court that the Supreme Court in the case ofHussainara Khatoon v/s. Home Secretary, had held that speedy trial is an integral and essential part of the fundamental right to life and liberty.
He has requested the high court to hold that vacation by the court infringes the fundamental right of the litigants and such infringement cannot be permitted, in the interest of justice.
He also sought stay on the circulars issued to all district and sessions courts by the Gujarat high court asking them to observe the vacation. Das in the PIL also pointed out to the current scenario of unjust treatment of poor litigants who have no access to justice on account of vacation in courts and thus depriving them of their fundamental right to speedy trial guaranteed under article 21 in the constitution.
He further said that the challenge in the present petition was against the modality and patent of celebrating blanket “vacation” which totally paralyses and causes stagnation of the entire judicial apparatus.
He also said that during the vacation no alternate arrangement is made to maintain regular court proceedings. Das also mentioned a recent instance of a lawyer in the high court who opposed adjournment given by a high court judge beyond the vacation in case of his client’s bail plea.
He also said in the PIL that there are certain organisations, institutions and offices in the country that work 24/7 for 365 days.

HC: Pay Rs 4 lakhs on midday meal fiasco
Jun 04th, 2010 — Age Correspondent
New Delhi
The Delhi high court on Thursday directed the Delhi government to pay over Rs 4 lakhs as compensation to 126 students who has fallen ill after consuming midday meal in a state-run school last month.
After hearing a public interest litigation from an NGO Harit Recyclers Association, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Madan B. Lokur said, “The scheme has public character. It is the obligation of the state to see that it is properly worked out. No one becomes a victim and suffers from any kind of health hazard due to consumption of bad food. Here there can be no shadow of doubt that the state has to pay the compensation.”The court directed the government to pay Rs 3,000 each to 121 students who were taken ill after eating the midday meal.The court observed, “Young children suffered physical pain and mental agony. The mental shock of a child who goes to the casualty ward can be well imagined. The children who were admitted in ICU have suffered more than others. The psychology of young children has to be understood in proper prospective.” The bench passed the order after hearing a PIL from the NGO seeking direction to the government for implementation of Supreme Court’s guidelines relating to mid-day meal scheme. Filing the PIL, the NGO sought the court’s direction for a probe and prosecution of guilty officers responsible for such incident, apart from compensation for the victims.The NGO claimed that at least five girl students out of 126 in government girls’ middle school in Hauz Qazi, Lal Kuan area of old Delhi fell sick and others suffered from nausea and stomach ache after eating the meal provided by an NGO on May 6.

Kasab appeals against death sentence
2010-06-04 12:50:00Last Updated: 2010-06-04 12:59:17
Mumbai: Pakistani Ajmal Amir Kasab, convicted for the 26/11 Mumbai terror strike, has challenged the death sentence awarded to him by a Mumbai special court, an official said on Friday.
He did so even before the special court could send its judgement to the high court for confirmation of the sentence.
Kasab, awarded the death penalty by special judge M.L. Tahaliyani May 6 on various counts, approached the Bombay High Court through authorities at the Arthur Road Central Jail last week, it is learnt.
He forwarded an appeal along with the copy of the 1,588-page judgment to the high court through the jail authorities. Kasab has also requested that a lawyer be appointed to represent him in the high court. India should respect Pak court verdicts: Malik
Confirming the development, special public prosecutor Ujjawal Nikam said ‘every accused has a right to appeal the judgement in the higher court’.
‘Kasab did the same. It is perfectly fine and there is nothing illegal about it,’ Nikam said.
‘Kasab has an option of choosing a lawyer to represent himself. He also has the right to free legal aid, which was provided to him during his trial. The same will be repeated in the trial at high court, if the need arises.
‘As for presenting the judgment before the high court, it will be done soon. Then the high court will fix a date for the hearing,’ Nikam added.
Nikam – who successfully led the prosecution case against the sole surviving Pakistani terrorist – declined to give a specific date when the trial court judgment would be submitted to the high court. Kasab’s confessional statement presented before Pak SC
Kasab’s application is likely to be placed before acting chief justice J.N. Patel and senior judge, Justice Ranjana Desai.
Kasab and nine of his accomplices had held Mumbai hostage for 60 hours from Nov 26, 2008, killing 166 innocent men, women and children. Kasab was the only one captured alive.
On May 6, after an 11-month long trial, the special judge had sentenced Kasab to death charging him guilty of murder of seven people directly and 65 others in common intention with his dead partner Abu Ismail.
He was also convicted of waging a war against India, attempt to murder, kidnap and robbery. Kasab may be hanged in 2010: GK Pillai
Kasab had been represented by S.G. Abbas Kazmi and later by K.P. Pawar, both appointed by the government, in the trial court.

No relief for Rathore yet, bail plea hearing on June 29
Former Haryana DGP S.P.S. Rathore, undergoing an 18-month jail sentence in a molestation case, will remain behind bars till this month-end as the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday denied him relief saying that he had been found guilty of an “odious offence”.
Vacation judge Justice Ajay Tewari fixed June 29 for hearing, before an “appropriate” bench, the revision petition filed by the 68-year-old Rathore for suspension of the sentence and his bail plea.
The judge noted that normally where the sentence is up to three years, bail should be granted liberally since long pendency of the appeal/revision may result in the convict having to complete the jail term.
“In a case like the present, where the accused has been found guilty of a particularly odious offence, this rule can be departed from,” the judge observed.
He, however, held that in order to safeguard the right of the accused, hearing on the main petition must be expedited. With the judge fixing June 29 for hearing arguments on the revision petition filed on Rathore’s behalf by his lawyer-wife Abha, the former top cop will have to remain behind bars as his bail plea is also pending.
The judge admitted the revision petition of Rathore for suspension of sentence but held that “even though a detailed analysis of the merits is not necessary yet a broad brush overview of the facts would be required for the purpose of deciding an application under section 389/397 CrPC (for suspension of sentence in a revision petition, release of appellant on bail).”
Hours after the 15-page court order, Ms. Abha Rathore, in a last ditch effort to secure the release of her husband on bail, submitted that he was unwell but the court categorically told her that the matter has been fixed for June 29.

HC hands out rare penalty to unruly lawyers
Prabhash Dutta
New Delhi, June 4, 2010
Lawyers taking the law into their own hands is something rare. So the punishment meted out to them also had to be commensurate with the crime.
The Delhi High Court decided to hand out a unique punishment to nine lawyers who were involved in manhandling a judge and slapping him inside the court’s premises last year.
While hearing a suo motu contempt petition, the Delhi High Court on Thursday asked the lawyers to take up 24 cases each in one year and finish them without charging any money from clients.
In addition to this, the lawyers were also directed to deposit an amount of Rs 50,000 for the Rohini bar library fund.
The lawyers – Munish Chauhan, Rekha Sharma, Rajeev Tehlan, Jai Prakash, Vikas Gupta, Suresh Tomar, Rishi Pal, Praveen Dabas and Radheshyam – had already apologised in the court for their unruly behaviour.
The judgment is meant to send a signal to the legal fraternity towards maintaining the dignity of the country’s judicial system.
A special bench of Justices Vikramjit Sen, A. K. Sikri and Sanjay Kishan Kaul gave the verdict, bringing to an end the ugly chapter which tarnished the image of the judiciary.
Expressing satisfaction over the court’s order, Inder Singh Saroha, president of Rohini court bar association said: “This judgment of the court is well balanced.” In July last year, a group of lawyers had allegedly entered into an altercation with the then additional district judge Pankaj Gupta inside the Rohini courtroom.
The lawyers were incensed that the judge had issued a bailable warrant against a litigant.
Tempers flared and the lawyers allegedly manhandled the judge and slapped him inside the courtroom.
The incident had drawn the ire of the judicial services associations but the Rohini bar association denied that any manhandling had taken place and said it was a case of ‘ verbal altercation’. An FIR was registered against all the nine lawyers and Vikas and Rekha were arrested under various sections of the Indian Penal Code relating to rioting, damaging public property, hurting a government servant and obstructing him from discharging his duty.
The then chief justice of the high court, Ajit Prakash Shah, had taken suo motu cognisance of the matter after a letter of the district judge referring to the incident came to his notice.
A notice of contempt was also issued to the nine lawyers and a special bench was constituted by the high court to hear the case.

HC not to stay JIPMER entrance exam on June 6
TNN, Jun 4, 2010, 05.08am IST

CHENNAI: The June 6 all-India entrance examination for MBBS course in JIPMER, Puducherry will take place as scheduled, as the Madras High Court has refused to interfere with the admission process. When a writ petition, filed by a JIPMER faculty member apprehending denial of admission to his daughter came up for hearing on Thursday, the vacation judge N Paul Vasanthakumar refused to either stay the examination or order withholding of the declaration of results. Instead, he adjourned the matter by two weeks. The petitioner, M Bala Soudarassanane, contended that to ensure transparency and openness in the conduct of examination and to minimise the scope for any corrupt practices, the JIPMER authorities must allow the candidates to retain the coded answer sheets with them. They must also public the answer keys expeditiously so that the candidates would remember their answers and compare them with the keys. The JIPMER faculty member also levelled certain allegations against the authorities and apprehended that they might deny admission to her daughter Abirami as he had been making several representations against them. Denying the allegations, the JIPMER director KSVK Subba Rao said the prospectus for the entrance examination mentioned clearly that candidates have to return the question booklets along with answer sheets, and that non-return of the question paper would be considered as an unfair means of seeking admission. Noting that several other reputed central institutions too followed the similar pattern, Rao said JIPMER had never faced any criticism for unfair admission procedures. He said the petitioner ought not to have levelled such unsubstantiated allegations against JIPMER, that too without any concrete evidence. Noting that the institution had not received any complaint regarding evaluation process or the examination system, he said the petitioner had made false allegations against the office of dean and the institution with ulterior motives.

Cops defy Gujarat HC order, invite contempt of court charge
DNA Correspondent / DNA
Friday, June 4, 2010 11:18 IST
Ahmedabad: Two senior cops of the Gandhigram police station in Rajkot have been allegedly charged with contempt of court. JB Babariya (PSI) and Pravin Sinh (ASI) of Gandhigram police station allegedly went to a man’s house defying the Gujarat high court order in connection with the custody of a five-year-old boy.
The divorced parents of the boy had been fighting a custody battle for the child. Earlier, DNA has reported that the division bench of Gujarat high court comprising justice Jayant Patel and justice ZK Saiyed had ordered that the custody of the child be give to his father, Akram Sanghvani (name changed).
The mother, Rubina (name changed) had claimed custody of the boy before the court, but the boy had expressed his wish to stay with his father. Taking into consideration the child’s ‘sentiments’, the court had given custody of the child to the father for six months. Moreover, the court also directed that Rubina should be allowed to see the boy during the intervening period.
It also directed that Rubina be permitted to allow some time with the child in a separate room on the first of every month. The first visit was scheduled on June 1, 2010 from 9 am to 6 pm. The division bench had also directed that as there was no other complication, the concerned police inspector of Gandhigram police station should depute a lady constable during the said period. On June 1, Rubina was to visit to see her child.
But, she instead reached Akram’s house along with Babariya, Sinh and a lady home guard Kalpana.The women and the cops not only defied the high court order but also created a ruckus at Akram’s house.
“The cops along with Rubina assaulted me and my father,” said Akram. When Akram and his family members objected that as per HC order, Rubina was to visit the house along with a lady constable, the cops argued that they had come to prevent any untoward incident.
The situation was brought under control following the intervention of the neighbours. Moreover, the Gandhigram police station registered a complaint against Akram, his father, his brother and his sister-in-law who was not present at the spot during the ruckus.
They were charged for obstructing government officials from discharging their duties. Akram and his family members have written a letter to Rajkot commissioner of police.

HC stays transfer of doctors
Posted on: 04 Jun 2010
Kochi: The Kerala High Court on Friday stayed the mass transfer of doctors in speciality cadre, till Monday. High court directed the state government to maintain statusquo in respect of transferers and postings of specialist cadre doctors. The direction was issued by Justice Antony Dominic while considering a batch of petitions by doctors challenging newly introduced rules relating to seniority of service of specialist doctors. Petitioners had sought to quash certain portions of a newly introduced rule, as per which seniority of doctors was not fixed on the basis of length of service.The court posted the case to Monday for further hearing. Alleging anamolies in the seniority list published, the Kerala Government Medical Officers Association (KGMOA) had urged its members not to accept relieving orders following which district medical officers had been asked to relieve the doctors imemdiately. Most of the doctors have opted for long leave instead of joining duties to their place of posting. Patients of various government hospitals in the state have been put to great hardships since yesterday as most of the doctors had kept away from work.

Cell phone towers must be installed with caution
Cell phones came as a boon for us but now we are having troubles with the cell phone towers. While few of them have been installed illegally, the legal ones are also not causing any less tribulation.
CJ: Priya Seht

Fri, Jun 04, 2010 17:26:56 IST
CELL PHONES came as a boon for us but now we are having troubles with the cell phone towers. While few of them have been installed illegally, the legal ones are also not causing any less tribulation.

These towers not only cause health hazards to humans but also to innocent animals and birds. The evident example is the decreasing number of house sparrows, which used to perch with their delicate wings on the bright days. The harmful electro magnetic radiations (EMRs) from the towers affect children and women the most adversely affecting their health.

These EMRs cause tumour, skin cancer, DNA disorders, death, etc. Studies reveal more than this data. EMR can cause memory loss, headache, allergies, etc. The rays have a frequency of 1900 Mega Hertz which can easily penetrate human bodies. The standards set by the International Commission of Non-Iodised Radiationare not being followed by the mobile tower operators. They tend to provide services to customers but in turn deplete their health. Instead of help, they are rendering hell.

Shimla has recorded 118 towers out of which only 18 are legal. It’s not that the legal ones are not causing any problem. The guidelines say that such towers need to be installed beyond 500 metres (in radius) from the schools and congested areas. The government needs to wake up soon otherwise there would be serious repercussions on the society both health wise and bio-diversity wise.

These towers cause electromagnetic Pollution also. Campaigns to save birds are launched but no one thinks about the other activities carried down. Inhabitants definitely can register a PIL and seek the redressal.

The Sealing of towers in Delhi is also a welcome step.

Child rights body to probe pupil’s death
TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 04.49am IST
KOLKATA: The National Commission for Protection of Children’s Rights has instituted an inquiry into the death of La Martiniere for Boys’ Class-VIII student Rouvanjit Rawla this February, following allegations that corporal punishment by the school’s principal and teachers pushed him over the edge. Rouvanjit’s father Ajay Rawla moved the commission with a clutch of evidence, that included voice recording of principal Sunirmal Chakravarthi admitting to caning his son days before his death, and a spate of accusations by classmates on social networking sites. “The commission believes there is merit in the case and will be here on Tuesday and Wednesday to conduct an enquiry into the matter. The evidence placed before the commission was vindicated by the school’s actions against its board members when they protested against corporal punishment,” Rawla said. The two board members, CISCE board chairman Neil O’Brien and former corporate top boss K S David, had lashed out at the school administrators for sweeping the issue of corporal punishment under the carpet. “We had attempted to instil a degree of good governance and integrity in the functioning of the schools and the board but failed as their stand was not compatible with that of the management,” one of them said. Murmurs about corporal punishment at the school increased after Class VIII student Rouvanjit Rawla committed suicide. When Rawla began digging into the past, a lot of murky details appeared. Social networking site Facebook, very popular among students, was abuzz with posts on how students at La Martiniere for Boys were suffering at the hand of Chakravarthi and other teachers. One of the students who was very vocal and graphic about corporal punishment at the school was allegedly thrown out. “Worse, when I confronted the principal, he brazenly admitted to caning by him and fellow teachers. Clearly, in the principal’s book, it is acceptable to hit and physically abuse students,” Rawla said. Corporal punishment was prohibited by Calcutta high court on February 6, 2004. Then chief justice Ashok Kumar Mathur, along with Justice Asim Banerjee, while hearing a PIL filed by Tapas Kumar Bhanja, ordered that if schools carry out corporal punishment, they would face action. “I hope students who have been victimized in the past depose before the commission on conditions of anonymity. I expect a lot of things that should not happen in school but are a feature at La Martiniere are exposed so that no other child is lost,” Rawla added.

‘Soft drink plants cause chromium pollution’
Special Correspondent
Coca Cola rejects findings; Pepsico says its plants meet Pollution Control Board norms
Your daily dose of cola could be poisoning the lives of communities living near soft drink manufacturing plants, according to a study by Hazards Centre.
The NGO found high levels of toxic chromium and other pollutants in the soil and water around five Coca Cola and Pepsico plants in northern India.
The study was released two months after a Kerala government panel ruled that Coca Cola must pay Rs.216 crore in compensation to villagers affected by pollution, and a depletion of groundwater resources, by its Plachimada bottling plant.
Now, five other communities — Mehdiganj and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh, Kaladera and Chopanki in Rajasthan, and Panipat in Haryana — are also claiming that the soft drinks plants in their vicinity are responsible for their woes.
Could file PIL
“Our water is being contaminated…and the level of water has also dropped,” says Sharafat Ali, a Ghaziabad farmer who is also a member of the Azadi Bachao Andolan movement. “Our people are suffering from skin problems, stomach sickness,” he said, speaking at the release of the study in the capital on Friday.
Mr. Ali says villagers will first complain to local authorities, and could consider filing a PIL in the High Court later.
“We found that chromium was the most common pollutant,” said Dunu Roy, director of Hazards Centre. He said 59 of the 85 water samples showed chromium concentration above the permissible limit of 0.05 parts per million (ppm), with some samples going as high as 5.64 ppm.
“Chromium can cause skin rashes, upset stomachs and ulcers, respiratory problems and cancer,” said Mr. Roy.
Cadmium and lead were also detected in samples from Ghaziabad. Concentrations were high in samples collected from the drains where factory effluents were discharged, showing that it is finding its way out from the manufacturing process.
Interestingly, the Hazards Centre says that since these heavy metals are not supposed to be part of the process for manufacturing beverages, no standards are specified for them for this industry sector in the Environmental Protection Act, 1986. High Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) levels also show that the effluent must contain a significant amount of chemicals other than the three heavy metals analysed, according to the study.
The Coca Cola rejected the study’s findings, saying that their operations conform to Pollution Control Board (PCB) norms.
The company says that a comprehensive 2009 study carried out by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute and IL&FS Ecosmart at Kaladera and Mehandiganj found no adverse impacts on soil and groundwater quality.
“Water is the main ingredient in all of our products and we have a shared interest in protecting the quantity and quality of this precious resource. It would be unreasonable for anyone to think the company itself would contaminate its main raw material,” said a release from Hindustan Coca-Cola beverages Private Limited.
Declines to comment
The Pepsico insisted that its plants met PCB norms, but declined to comment on the specific charges, saying that the report had not been shared with them.
The study was conducted between 2006 and 2008, with samples being tested at the People’s Science Institute, Dehra Dun.

Chembur of commerce… & pollution
Simit Bhagat, TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 12.35am IST
Mumbai may be the commercial capital, but the impressive growth fails to hide the grim realities of the toll on the environment. Nowhere is this more evident than the suburban region of Chembur, where pollution levels have soared. Several decades after Chembur was planned, a survey by IIT-Delhi along with the ministry of environment and forests (MOEF) revealed some worrying facts. It found that as many as 88 industrial clusters in the country — Chembur being 44th on the list — were highly polluted. The comprehensive environment pollution index (CEPI) of the area was found to be a very high 69.19. The report, however, didn’t come as a surprise to lakhs of Chembur residents, who share their neighbourhood with major polluters like chemical factories and refineries. Besides the 110-hectare Deonar dumping ground and unauthorized slums, vehicular pollution and construction activities have all contributed to the soaring pollution levels. Dr Indrayani Gupta, senior scientist at NEERI, which had carried out an air monitoring survey in 2007, said, “We found that there were high levels of particulate matter around the Mahul area. The levels were way above the normal mark and even today things have not changed.” Shockingly, municipal records reveal that over 25% of the deaths registered in Chembur over the past two years were due to respiratory problems. In contrast, the figure for Matunga area, 8km from Chembur, was only 0.41%. Dr Neelam Rane, member of Smoke-Affected Residents Forum that filed a PIL against the dumping ground, says, “Chembur has been known as a gas chamber and people would even avoid marrying off their daughters to residents of the area.” A survey by KEM Hospital’s environmental pollution research centre revealed that a significant number of residents near the dumping ground had impaired lung function, persistent cough and asthma.

Tech-ing note: Gauhati HC converts an email into PIL
Akshaya Mukul, TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 02.25am IST

NEW DELHI: In a rare case, the Gauhati High Court has turned an email complaint about violation of National Council of Teacher Education norms into a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The email by one Jitendra Sharma to the Chief Justice of Gauhati HC, Justice R S Garg, pertained to violation of the NCTE norms in admission to the BEd programme. Sharma pointed out that NCTE by a gazette notification of August 31, 2009, had said that a candidate should have at least 50% marks either in the bachelor ‘s degree, master’s degree or any equivalent qualification for admission into BEd. However, Dibrugarh University, Sharma wrote to Justice Garg, issued a notice prescribing 45% marks in major or in aggregate at the bachelor’s degree or 45% marks in the master’s degree which is contrary to the instructions issued by NCTE. He had requested the HC to intervene and quash the university’s notice. Sharma also told the HC that any deviation from NCTE norms is illegal. The HC has issued notice to the state government, Dibrugarh University and the Centre to reply within four weeks. Sharma had earlier written to the university that fixing the eligibility criterion at 45% was illegal. NCTE sources also said that dilution of the eligibility condition was illegal and that it would take appropriate action. “Under the Right to Education Act, there is a lot of emphasis on the quality of teachers. The new law will have no impact unless there is a seminal change in the quality of teachers,” an NCTE official said. NCTE has already decided that in the next 2-3 years, BEd will become a two-year course, instead of the current one year, and the Diploma in Education course will be phased out.

JEE-2010 was not the first time that ambiguous instructions created confusion for the candidates. A close look at the JEE since 2006, when questions were first made available, reveals that it has been quiet frequent.
In fact, senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan, who is arguing a PIL on anomalies in the JEE, says he has been receiving a number of phone calls from parents and students who claim they did not get the expected result.
“Our plea is that candidates should be allowed a carbon copy of the answer sheet that they can take out. After the JEE, IIT should provide the answer key so that a student knows exactly how much he is going to score,” he says.
Ambiguous instructions relate to Multiple Choice Questions which have one or more correct answers without having any negative marking for selecting a wrong choice.
In 2006, questions carrying 72 marks had one or more correct answers without attracting any negative marking for a wrong choice. In 2007, such questions rose to 108 marks. In 2008, there was a marginal decline to 102 marks. In 2009 and 2010, questions carrying 96 and 93 marks, respectively, had oneor more correct answers without any negative marks.
In fact, after 2008 JEE, IIT itself published the questions and the answer key. It was found that for many questions all the options were correct. Therefore, it was possible for a candidate to get full marks by darkening all the bubbles.
When the matter came to light after this year’s JEE, IIT-Madras, which conducted this year’s JEE, told the Delhi High Court, which is seized of a PIL on the exam, that if any of the choices in such a question was found to be a wrong choice, the candidate would get zero.
The PIL has been filed by Rajeev Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur. As per the evaluation scheme submitted before the court, a candidate will get zero because he darkened a wrong choice along with correct answers.

Posted by Shashank

Bangalore fights to stay green
Maya Sharma,
Saturday June 5, 2010, Bangalore
Bangalore’s Garden City tag has been a little dusty off late, with thousands of trees lost to road-widening and infrastructure projects. People living near a Bangalore park, soon to be the location of a war memorial, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the project. But the High Court has ruled that the memorial can and will go ahead. Sajan Poovayya, lawyer for the project said, “We at the National Military Memorial Committee welcome that judgement. The Honourable High Court has considered all aspects of the matter and has come to a conclusion that the military memorial being constructed at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park is not illegal in any manner.” But some do believe the memorial would be a violation of the Parks Preservation Act – and they still hope to prevail. “We are very disappointed with the judgement, we are slightly shocked. There is a law for this purpose of preventing the use of a public park for anything else,” said Mohandas Pai,Infosys. “The legal recourse is – Special Leave Petition to the Supreme Court. We need to study the judgement,” added BC Thiruvengadam, advocate for the petitioners. Those using the park say they would miss the trees. “To cut them down and make it into a war memorial I don’t think is a good idea. It could be done somewhere else and leave this park for the enjoyment of people who walk here – the children who play,” said Sheela Panicker, a walker.

SC deplores land allotment in Mohali
TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 05.21am IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has held that making hasty allotment of land to individuals is “arbitrary, unreasonable and unconstitutional” and deplored the Punjab government’s decision of sanctioning a residential plot to an “influential woman” in just 48 hours. “This is a unique case which reveals that an influential person can get the allotment of a residential plot under discretionary quota within 48 hours of submission of application and then assert in court that she has a right to the land at a throwaway price and not deposit the sale price for a quarter of a century,” the apex court said in a judgment. The land allotment was made in 1987. A bench of justices BS Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar gave its judgment while dismissing the appeal of Fuljit Kaur who challenged Punjab’s decision of seeking an additional Rs 2.19 lakh over and above Rs 93,000 “provisional” amount fixed for a 400 sq yd plot in Sector 70 of SAS Nagar. The administration on the basis of an application fro m Kaur on February 23, 1987, allotted her within two days a residential plot at Urban Estates, Mohali, through a letter dated February 25, 1987. In the allotment letter, it was made clear that as proper calculation could not be made and tentative price not determined, the allottee had to deposit provisional price of Rs 93,000 in four instalments by 15 October, 1989. Subsequently, through a letter dated 25 March, 1992, additional demand of Rs 2.19 lakh was made. However, instead of depositing the said amount, Kaur challenged the demand which was dismissed by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, following which she moved SC. Interpreting the rules, the apex court said the authorities had rightly sought the additional money as the initial amount was only provisional in nature. “It may be pertinent to mention here that the allotment had been made to the appellant within 48 hours of submission of her application though in ordinary cases, it takes about a year. The appellant had further been favoured to pay the aforesaid provisional price of Rs 93,000 in four instalments in two years, as is evident from the letter dated 8 April, 1987. Making the allotment in such a hasty manner itself is arbitrary and unreasonable and is hit by Article 14 (equality before law) of the Constitution,” the apex court said.

SC admits petition on NRI child custody
Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
Email Author
New Delhi, June 05, 2010
The Supreme Court has admitted a petition to decide whether the custody of a child holding Indian passport can be given to a parent on the basis of a foreign court order.
A vacation bench headed by Justice G.S. Singhvi has issued notice to an NRI woman who got her eight-year-old daughter’s custody even though the girl has been living and studying in India.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had permitted her to leave the country with the child for London.
The high court order had based its decision on a London court order that had in December last passed an ex-parte order granting the girl’s custody to the woman.
The Supreme Court bench yielded to the father’s request and restrained the mother from leaving the country until June 19 and directed the couple to appear before the court on that day.

Women too can face action under domestic violence Act
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Saturday, June 5, 2010 1:39 IST
New Delhi: Women relatives living in a joint family can face criminal action under the domestic violence Act (DVA) if a member’s wife lodges a plaint.
Putting to rest a long-standing dispute over whether section 2(q) of DVA applies only to men, the Delhi high court said on Friday though the provision used the term “male”, which wasn’t “satisfactorily worded”, it included female members, too.
Thus, a petition under DVA is “maintainable even against a woman”.
If a restricted interpretation is given, the very purpose for which this Act was enacted would be defeated, justices AK Sikri and Ajit Bharihoke said, rejecting a plea by Varsha Kapoor challenging the constitutionality of DVA and seeking quashing of the criminal proceedings initiated against her on her daughter-in-law’s complaint.
Dismissing her contention that DVA provided for action against males alone, the judges said it would be easy for a husband or other male members of a family to frustrate remedy by ensuring only female members perpetrated violence against a woman in that case.
It’s a fact that violence exists in matrimonial homes and the legislature enacted law making dowry-related violence a criminal offence by introducing sections 498A and 304 of IPC.
The judges said except for residence under section 19(1)(b) of DVA, a magistrate was competent to pass orders against relatives of a husband, including females.
It can restrain the respondent or his kin from entering any portion of a shared house in which the aggrieved person resides.

IM declared terror outfit
Vinay Kumar
NEW DELHI: The government has declared the Indian Mujahideen (IM), suspected to be a shadow outfit of the banned Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) and Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist outfit.
The IM is allegedly involved in the serial bomb blasts in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Bangalore and Mumbai. It has been added to the list of terror groups under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.
“An order has been issued adding the Indian Mujahideen and all its formations and front organisations to the list of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967,” the Home Ministry said in a statement on Friday. Under the Act, the government has banned 34 groups and declared them terror outfits.
The IM came to light after the February 23, 2005 blast in Varanasi. Its hand was suspected in the incident. In 2008, it was allegedly involved in many terror attacks.
Intelligence agencies believe that the outfit is also a front group of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami (HuJI).

Legislative route by Centre for say in appointment of judges
The Union Government has decided to take the legislative route to have a say in the appointment of Judges of superior courts. At present the Supreme Court Collegium headed by the Chief Justice of India and comprising five senior most Judges of the apex court, including the CJI, has a final say in the appointment of the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court. According to Union Law Minister M Veerappa Moily, the Union Government will not seek the review of the two Supreme Court judgements which introduced the collegium system and had laid down that the opinion formed by the CJI in consultation with other senior most Judges of the Supreme Court shall be final and binding on the government. The Union Government, which is planning to introduce a Bill in Parliament in the monsoon session for abolition of the collegium system will have to face the charge of trying to nullify the law laid down by the Supreme Court which is not permissible under the Constitution. The settled law is that the government cannot legislate a law to overreach the Supreme Court. Recently, the collegium system has been under fire from many quarters particularly in case of the recommendation of the name of Karnataka High Court Chief Justice PD Dinakaran for elevation to the Supreme Court against whom allegations of corruption and land grabbing had cropped up.UNI

Karnataka high court okays National War Memorial in Karnataka
Odeal D’Souza / DNA
Saturday, June 5, 2010 11:13 IST
Bangalore: The Karnataka high court on Friday allowed the construction of the National War Memorial at the Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain Park.
A division bench of justices Manjula Chellur and Mohan Shanthangoudar, dismissed a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the memorial’s construction, saying a National War Memorial was a laudable initiative, since it would instil patriotism in the hearts of the country’s citizens. Those against the memorial at the park said they would challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court (see box).
The PIL, filed by Krishna Apartment Welfare Association, a resident welfare association and non-profit organisation, wanted the HC to restrain the Bangalore Development Authority and the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) from constructing a hall, to be called the National Military Memorial, at the park. It contended that the memorial would alter the landscape of the park, since trees would have to be felled.
The petitioners contended that information obtained by them from the BDA and BBMP through the Right to Information Act indicated that the proposed structure would cover an area of 1,000 sq mt and that 31 trees, including 14 Nilgiris and three Ashokas, besides a few eucalyptus trees, would be cut for the memorial.
The petitioners also told the court that the government had framed a policy not to allow any building within the park. In fact, on November 14, 1979, the government had not allowed even Bal Bhavan authorities to put up a temporary structure, citing the policy.
The petitioners had contended that the area covered by the park was formerly used by Electronics Research and Development Establishment (LRDE), a defence establishment, and it worked from temporary structures till 1998. The structures were removed and the park was created at the spot by retaining the old trees and planting fresh saplings. A musical fountain was also constructed at the park, they said.
But, dismissing the PIL, the court said that the proposed war memorial would not only make people curious to know what it contained, but also inspire Kannadigas to work for the betterment of the country. The proposed project was not meant to be an amusement park for the public and it would not create any inconvenience for those using the park, the court said.
The structure would be under the National Military Memorial Trust, headed by the chief minister. Since the chief minister himself would be in charge of the administration and maintenance of the structure, there was no reason for the petitioners to be worried about the park losing its appeal.
The project would be a pride of Karnataka. None of the objectives of the trust posed any kind of danger to society, the court said.During the hearing, the BDA had submitted to the court that the memorial would have a park, museum and a symbolic stone in memory of the martyrs. It said Rs15 crore had been allocated for the project.
The land was handed over to the BDA by the home department, which got the land from the Public Works Department (PWD) in 2009. The BDA said it was trying to create a park and a playground in the same area.
The National Military Memorial Trust, which was formed on February 28, 2009, had also filed a statement saying it proposed to have a sixty-foot monolithic stone at the motivation hall with names of martyrs etched on it. The hall would also have the national flag. There would be a bandstand of the army, air force, navy, and war materials would be exhibited in the hall. There would also be a 120-foot flag pole. The monolithic stone would have writings in Kannada and English, explaining the sacrifices made by Indian soldiers during wars.
The petitioners’ advocate, Thiruvengatam, had submitted that the memorial would be in contravention of the Parks Act. It would affect ecology and restrict movement of people in the park. The park would be without adequate lung space if seven acres were to be taken away for the memorial, he had said. Thiruvengatam had also said if the memorial became a reality, its sanctity would have to be maintained. But there was no guarantee that the sanctity would be protected against mischief by public.

Court refuses to grant bail to Ketan Desai
Nirnimesh Kumar
The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to grant bail to the dismissed Medical Council of India president, Ketan Desai, in a bribery-cum-disproportionate assets case. Justice S. L. Bhayana dismissed the application, admitting a submission by the CBI that it had received 225 complaints against Dr. Desai from various places in the country that had to be probed.
The counsel for the CBI further said if Dr. Desai was enlarged on bail, there was a strong possibility that he would influence witnesses and tamper with evidence.
However, the Court granted bail to one co-accused Jitendra Pal Singh, on furnishing of a personal bond of Rs.1 lakh, with one surety of the same amount.
A Delhi court had on May 3 dismissed his bail application saying that the probe into the allegations against him was at the initial stage.
In his bail application, Dr. Desai submitted that the alleged bribe money of Rs.2 crore was not recovered from him.
So far as granting recognition to medical colleges was concerned, decisions were by taken by a three-member committee, of which two happened to be independent medical professionals, the petition said.
Dr. Desai and three others were arrested by the CBI on April 23 for allegedly demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs.2 crore from the owners of a medical college in Patiala for permitting them to admit students despite lack of infrastructure. Later, searches at the premises owned by Dr. Desai led to recovery of huge amounts of cash, investment papers and gold worth several crores of rupees.

Best-of-five: ICSE-affiliated schools to move court–ICSE-affiliated-schools-to-move-court/629821/
Express News Service
Posted: Sat Jun 05 2010, 04:23 hrs Pune:
The schools affiliated to the ICSE Board in the city have decided to move court on the “best-of- five” formula applicable to SSC students. The parents and school authorities will file a petition in the Bombay High Court through Unaided Schools’ Forum next week.
The Bishops’ School on Friday had convened parents’ meeting on Friday to deliberate on the issue. All the parents present for the meeting showed readiness to move the High Court on the issue.
The parents of the ICSE board students are not happy with the state government’s best-of-five formula for the SSC board students. It will automatically increase their percentage while taking admission in class 11. However, for ICSE Board students marks of all seven subjects will be calculated.
“It is unconstitutional and unfair on the part of state government to come up with such move. The government has been compromising with the quality. Our students will stand no chance to get admissions in the good colleges,” said Frank Freese, principal of Bishop’s School.

Delhi’s ‘tongas’ forced to ride into the sunset
By Neha Lall (AFP
NEW DELHI — India’s rapid modernisation is set to claim another victim with the expulsion of the horse-drawn carriages, or tongas, that have plied the streets of Delhi since the days of the Mughal emperors.
The favoured mode of transport for the city’s elite at the height of the British Raj, the status of the iconic tongas has now officially been downgraded to “public nuisance”.
Barely 250 tongas remain in the capital, but the municipal government has ruled that — in a city of five million cars — getting rid of the carriages will somehow help ease Delhi’s chronic traffic congestion.
The decision is being challenged with a last-ditch appeal to the High Court and by a public outcry over what many see as an unnecessary effort to erase a part of the capital’s cultural heritage.
Delhi Mayor Prithvi Sawhney is unmoved.
“With traffic congestion increasing, a tonga ride is a waste of time and problematic for both passenger and driver,” Sawhney told AFP.
“In the old days, tongas were used to carry passengers. Today they just carry luggage and a few tourists. Barely anyone uses them for daily travel,” he said, adding that the new metro system had “revolutionised” transport in the city.
In the absence of any last-minute reprieve, Kishen Lal, a third-generation “tonga-wallah,” may hang up his saddle and reins on Sunday for the last time.
The government has offered the drivers a path to alternative employment in the form of a vendor’s licence, but those like Lal, who is 73, say it is far too late to change trades.
“We know no other profession except this,” said Lal, whose grandfather drove a tonga in Delhi back in the early 1940s, before independence.
“If they want to stop the tongas, they should do it in phases and not all in one go,” he said. “It will give us all great sadness if we have to stop riding tongas. They are the pride and majesty of this city.”
The decision to banish the tonga-wallahs coincides with the general facelift that Delhi is receiving ahead of the Commonwealth Games in October.
The government is looking to the Games to showcase the “new India” — an emerging economic powerhouse which aspires to the same sort of infrastructural transformation undertaken by its giant neighbour China.
It’s a vision that has no place for the humble tonga — a fact that distresses people like Delhi historian and writer Radha Kumar.
“Growing up, I often used tongas to commute from Old to New Delhi. Feeding the horse was my biggest high,” recalled Kumar, while insisting that his objection to their disappearance wasn’t based on nostalgia alone.
The argument that expelling several hundred horse-drawn carriages would improve traffic congestion in a city of more than 20 million souls is, Kumar argues, barely credible.
“And the government has no right to make arguments or decisions on the economic viability of such a small group of people,” he said.
“They are not causing any damage. You can maybe go after them on sanitation grounds — the hygiene of the stables. But you can’t just evict them.”
As well as offering a flavour of a bygone era when Delhi city devoid of flyovers and shopping malls, tongas are lauded by their fans as a clean transport alternative in a city choked by vehicle pollution.
Supporters also point out that most of the carriages ply their trade around tourist spots and are particularly popular with out-of-town visitors.
“I think they give you a feel of the real India,” said tourist Sadaf Hussain.
The High Court appeal will be heard on July 14, but the municipal government has insisted that the tongas get off the roads from Monday, having already given them a one-week stay.
“We are praying for God to intervene,” said Lal. “But in the end we will also comply by the court’s ruling.”
Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.

High Court Ahmedabad asks woman to breastfeed love childJun 5, 2010 The Gujarat High Court has ordered Ahmedabad Civil Hospital authorities to ensure that a woman breastfeeds her newborn girl, who was weaned away by her parents because this was a love child and they did not approve of the relationship.When the court was informed that the parents had forced the separation of the mother and child, the court asked the hospital staff to take help of woman constables if the parents interfered.Last year Sarita, a married Marwadi woman in Vadaj area of Ahmedabad eloped with a Marathi boy, Hitesh. Sarita’s parents filed a habeas corpus petition in the high court. She was brought to the court by cops on July 27 last year, but she refused to go with her parents. The parents claimed she was already married, but the court silenced them saying Sarita was not a minor and had expressed her intention to live with Hitesh.The couple began living together and Sarita got pregnant. That’s when her family took her away. Sarita later lodged an FIR against Hitesh and his two friends for rape. Shocked, Hitesh approached the court to get the FIR quashed and explained how the girl preferred to stay with him instead of going with her parents last year.Hitesh was in the meantime arrested by police and sent to the Sabarmati Central Jail in February. The high court immediately ordered release of the boy on bail and stayed the probe. The girl was called before the court to explain why she had complained against Hitesh even as he asserted that the unborn child was his and he was willing to stay with Sarita for the rest of his life.But looking at the advanced stage of pregnancy, Sarita was ordered to stay with her parents, who shifted her to the Civil Hospital for delivery. The high court also ordered the hospital staff to take proper care in this case, and not to discharge her after delivery till further orders.On May 10, a girl was born to Sarita, but as per the hospital’s report it was found the mother was not feeding the infant at the behest of her parents, though she was capable. The neonatology unit was looking after the baby. This led the court to ensure that the infant got right to her mother’s milk. The court asked Sarita to be present in court fo another hearing scheduled next week.(Names have been changed to protect identities)

State lacking in providing for disabled: High Court
4 Jun 2010
Dealing with the challenge to the dispossession of over-age inmates at the blind hostel,the Delhi High Court in a recent decision ruefully noted the stark lack of facilities for the under-privileged in the country. Noting the facts relating to overstay by inmates uptil age of 25-35 years in a hostel meant for young visually challenged students in Classes I to VIII, the High Court couldn’t express its resentment to the aghast shortage of infrastructure.

The High Court observed in this regard as under;
13. The above submissions have been considered by this Court. The facts narrated underscore the problem of acute shortage of decent accommodation for the economically disadvantaged disabled students in the capital city. They also are a pointer to the general problems that beset state managed institutions for social welfare. It appears that the institutions that provide shelter to the disabled are no different from other state-run quasi-penal custodial institutions like Observation Homes for children and Nari Niketans. The problems are essentially of lack of resources, trained and sensitive manpower, poor standards of hygiene, overcrowding, lack of accountability and the continued affront on the rights to life, liberty and dignity of the inmates. The decisions of the Supreme Court in B.R. Kapur v. Union of India (1989) 3 SCC 387, Rakesh Chandra Narayan v. State of Bihar 1989 Supp 1 SCC 644, Supreme Court Legal Aid Committee v. State of Madhya Pradesh (1994) 5 SCC 21 and Dr. Upendra Baxi v. Agra Protective Home (1983) 2 SCC 308, (1986) 4 SCC 106 are some instances in the past where the courts have noted with anguish the decrepit state of state-run institutions, meant for the care and protection of the socially, economically, physically and mentally disabled. This Court too repeatedly confronts these issues in its PIL jurisdiction while dealing with state-run institutions in Delhi like the Beggars‟ home at Lampur (See e.g. the order dated 15th October 2001 in M.S. Pattar v. Govt. of NCT of Delhi). The obligation of the state to protect and respect the rights to life, liberty and dignity of inmates of state-run institutions have been repeatedly emphasised in the above decisions. Therefore, while examining the problems faced by inmates of a state-run institution like the Andh Mahavidyalaya the above basic principles which are traceable to Article 21 of the Constitution require to be foregrounded.
14. In the context of the inviolable human rights of the disabled, it is necessary to take note of the binding and mandatory provisions of the Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 (specifically Sections 26 and 30) (`PDR Act‟) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (`CRPD‟) which has been ratified by India. In particular, Article 7 which set out the obligations of the States towards children with disabilities, Article 9 which obliges the States to take appropriate measures to ensure access to “schools, housing, medical facilities”, and Article 24 which deals with the right to education are relevant. In the context of the present case, reference may be made to Article 24(2) CRPD which read as under:
“Article 24 – Education . . . .2. In realizing this right, States Parties shall ensure that:
(a) Persons with disabilities are not excluded from the general education system on the basis of disability, and that children with disabilities are not excluded from free and compulsory primary education, or from secondary education, on the basis of disability;(b) Persons with disabilities can access an inclusive, quality and free primary education and secondary education on an equal basis with others in the communities in which they live;(c) Reasonable accommodation of the individual’s requirements is provided;(d) Persons with disabilities receive the support required, within the general education system, to facilitate their effective education;(e) Effective individualized support measures are provided in environments that maximize academic and social development, consistent with the goal of full inclusion.”
15. More recently in the context of the right to education we have the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 (`RTE Act‟). The statute operationalises the constitutional mandate which obliges the state to provide free education to a child between the ages of six and fourteen. It appears that on 31st March 2010 an amendment was introduced to the RTE Act in Parliament to specifically include within its ambit a child with disability.
16. Therefore, in the context of a disabled child housed in a state-run institution there are a cluster of laws and a bouquet of rights, all of which can be traced to the fundamental rights to liberty and life with dignity. Given the Parliamentary intent of making the right to education a fundamental right for every child between the ages of six and fourteen, which naturally therefore would include a disabled child, the primary responsibility of taking measures that preserve and protect this right is on the state. International human rights law, in the form of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights would view this as an obligation of conduct of the State which cannot be avoided on the plea of lack of resources. The State will be obliged to take positive measures to enable realization of this right for those who are relatively weak and disadvantaged. In a lexical ordering of priority of rights, those that involve the weakest, socially and economically, deserve special treatment.
17. In the facts of the present case, the Andh Mahavidyalay is a state-run educational institution which also provides shelter to a doubly disadvantaged child, up to the age of fourteen. Such child combines in herself or himself a bundle of inviolable rights: as a person, as a young person, a disabled young person, a disabled young person whose right to education is guaranteed. In the context of a young person receiving education in a state-run institution as a resident scholar, the right to shelter and decent living is an inalienable facet of the right to education itself. Then we have other survival rights of such child including the right to health which is an integral part of the right to life under Article 21 of the Constitution. Therefore, when the State takes over the running of an educational institution that caters to the needs of the disabled children its constitutional and statutory obligations are manifold. It has to account for the `cascading effect‟ of multiple disadvantages that such children bear the burden of.
18. Viewed in the above background, it is clear that primary purpose of having a hostel attached to the Andh Mahavidhyalya was to ensure that visually challenged young students, up to Class VIII, are provided shelter during their stint at the school. The policy of restricting the hostel facility to children who have not yet completed Class VIII is a reasonable one considering the limited scope of availability of the fundamental right to education to the age group of six to fourteen. At a practical level also, it is understandable given the shortage of space in the hostel attached to the Andh Mahavidyalaya. If inmates, are permitted to stay on in the hostel long after completing Class VIII, then it restricts the right of access to the institution by other deserving young visually challenged students who are in need of education and shelter. There is limitation as to resources and all the visually challenged persons at present at the Andh Mahavidhyalya, irrespective of their age, cannot possibly expect to be allowed to live there irrespective of their age. The primary purpose should be to cater to the needs of young children studying up to Class VIII. If this primary object is not kept in view, then it may result in an unfair denial of the right to education of other deserving young students who are visually challenged.
19. The present case highlights the competing demands by two groups of disabled inmates of an hostel attached to an educational institution: one comprising the young children studying up to class VIII and the other comprising the older inmates who have completed Class VIII, some of them many years ago, and are still staying in the hostel for the simple reason that they have not yet been evicted. It is not possible to agree with the submissions on behalf of the five inmates who are facing eviction that only because there are others of the same age group or older who are staying on in Andh Mahavidyalya they should also be permitted to stay on. It is not desirable to have different age groups of inmates living under the same roof in a cramped space. This will not be healthy for either the body or the mind. If there are other older inmates, they too will have to make way for the younger and more deserving lot of students in need of shelter during their studying years. That cannot justify the petitioners who have been asked to be evicted staying on indefinitely.
Have a look at the decision.
Penned by Tarun Jain on 6/04/2010

Students hail common law test
TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 05.11am IST

JAIPUR: As the Bar Council of India (BCI) gears up to organise common test for law graduates, the aspirants see it as a step forward in the right direction. The five-year integrated law programme at the National Law University, Jodhpur and Rajasthan University has hailed this as a revolutionary move. However, colleges with three-year law programme have termed it non-relevant. The BCI on April 10, 2010 had adopted a resolution on conducting an All India Bar Common Entrance Test, the passing of which will entitle an advocate to practice law in India. Mridual Srivastave, director, Integrated Law College, RU said, “This examination will add to the credibility of law graduates. It will enable the serious and devoted students to practice law.” She feels that it will draw the line of demarcation between the good and bad lawyers. “In this exam only those candidates will succeed who will pay full attention in the classroom,” added Srivastave. The five-year integrated law programme is different from three year course. The eligibility for latter is graduation with 45% marks whereas, students have to clear the entrance test after Class XII for admission in five-year degree programme. On the contrary, the students of three-year law programme have decided to oppose the move. “It seems that BCI has lost its faith from its own designed curriculum in law colleges across India,” said Rishi Raj Singh, a third-year law student, at law department, RU. Experts said the decision has been taken in order to minimise the entry of unscrupulous elements in the profession. It is observed that many with the vested interest seek admission in the law colleges in order to harbour their illegal activities from legal angles. U C Sankla, vice-principal, law department, RU confirmed that every year many students with an intention of staying in the college enrol for the law course. Seeking admission at RU’s three year law programme is like a cakewalk. It has 720 and 360 seats in the morning and evening college, respectively. The admission is based on the graduation marks in which minimum required in 45%. Most of the student unions leaders have enrolled for this programme which means they can contest elections in the RU for three years. They hold a view that students who clear entrance test should be assured a place in court or an opportunity to fight government cases. Students said the government should make uniform rules and regulations for the exam. BCI has empowered state bar councils to set the question papers and date. Few also fear that this will encourage private coaching institutes to open a new branch and to mint money. Already, they are exploiting students on every entrance test, now they would start the coaching institutes. The claims of experts are confirmed by a private tutor, who said, “We are thinking to open a crash course on the test soon,” said a private coaching institute head.

Delhi HC orders govt to educate kid born on road
Parikshit Luthra , CNN-IBN
Posted on Jun 05, 2010 at 11:29 Updated Jun 05, 2010 at 11:56
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has ordered the state government to bear the cost of education of a child who was born on a pavement because no hospital in Delhi admitted his mother when she was in labour.
After the court’s order directed the Centre and state governments to compensate her for the hardships she endured from the stage of pregnancy till the time she gave birth to a baby girl 24-year-old Fatima is all smiles.

Months before delivery Fatima had visited the maternity centre run by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi for vaccination and also to inquire about the cash benefits she was entitled to. But she got no response, and then on the May 29, 2009 she gave birth to a child under a tree in full public view without any medical assistance.
“The court’s order is absolutely correct. We were made to run around a lot,” says Fatima.
Finally with the help of human rights groups she knocked on the doors of the Delhi High Court which after hearing her plea ruled that while there were several schemes such as the Janani Suraksha Yojana, the Integrated Child Development Scheme and the National Maternity Benefit scheme there was a huge gap as far as implementation was concerned.
“The court has asked the government to implement all schemes properly,” says lawyer Divya Jyoti.
The court also directed the government to aid her daughter Alisha’s education till the time she completed high school. For a child who celebrated her first birthday just a week ago, there could not have been a better birthday gift.

HC tells govt to stop debris dumping into Durgam Cheruvu
TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 04.56am IST

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the A P High Court comprising Chief Justice Nissar Ahmad Kakru and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar on Friday directed the state government and local authorities to take steps to prevent dumping of debris and other waste material into Durgam Cheruvu near Madhapur here. The bench took up suo motu the reports that appeared in newspapers aboutdebris being dumped into the lake. Treating the reports as a writ petition, the division bench had directed the authorities to take steps to save the water body. Subsequently, a writ petition filed by the Forum for Sustainable Development complaining encroachments into Durgam Cheruvu and inaction of the government departments concerned was also clubbed with the suo moto petition. On Friday, the counsel for the respondent informed the court that the persons dumping the debris were identified and the process of issuing notices was underway. The bench directed the various departments, local bodies and government to ensure that dumping was stopped forthwith and then adjourned the matter by two weeks to enable the respondents to place all the material before the court. Writ closed A division bench of the A P High Court comprising Chief Justice Nissar Ahmad Kakru and Justice A P Sanjay Kumar on Friday closed two writ petitions pertaining to repairs to the high court buildings. The bench took on record the fact that the restoration works were underway. The writ petitions were filed complaining that both government and the high court failed to take up any restoration work after the fire damaged the court building last year. They complained that even after several months, no substantive work was taken up. The counsel for the high court reported that the works were underway and the bench closed the writ petitions. Land acquisition notification quashedJustice L Narasimha Reddy of the A P High Court on Friday quashed the notifications issued to acquire 112 acres of land in Ambapuram village of Vijayawada rural mandal. The judge gave the ruling on a batch of writ petitions filed by MVN Sailaja and others who argued that the Vijayawada Guntur Tenali Mangalagiri Urban Development Authority (VGTMUDA) issued the notification seeking to acquire 112 acres in their village allegedly for township development. The judge called for records and stated that the public purpose mentioned in the notification was vague and not specific, and set it aside.

HC to govt: Students of other boards also eligible for Vidhya Sahayak posts
Express News Service
Posted: Sat Jun 05 2010, 01:40 hrs Ahmedabad:
Education officials have assured of necessary modification in website for other students to apply
The Gujarat High Court, on Friday, ordered the state government to consider applications from students clearing their Class XII from schools in Gujarat — affiliated to any board besides the state board — for the 10,000 posts of Vidhya Sahyaks to be filled by the state Education Department.
Justice D H Waghela passed an interim order to this effect while acting on the 30 petitions moved by students of the Central Board of Secondary Education.
The students had moved the application following an advertisement by the state Education authorities in a local daily on May 26 inviting applications from eligible candidates for the 10,000 posts of Vidhya Sahayaks across Gujarat.
One of the petitioner lawyers, S H Iyer, said that one of the eligibility criterion for applying for the posts was passing the Class XII examination from the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board (GSHSEB).
“This was clear a discrimination towards students who had cleared their examination from boards other than GSHSEB. So, we moved the petition praying direction to the state Education authorities to consider students from other boards for the appointments too,” he added.
The state government and the Director of Primary Education have been named as respondents in the petitions.
The petitions were heard by the HC on Friday.
Iyer said the court has passed an interim order and directed the government to consider all eligible candidates who have passed their Class XII examination from schools in Gujarat, but affiliated to any other board in the country. The procedure to apply for the posts has been made available online and candidates have to apply online too.
But due to the confusing eligibility criterion, the petitioners and many others were unable to apply for the posts. The last date for applying for the posts is June 6. State Education Department officials who were present in the court on Friday have assured that a necessary modification will be made on the website so that the students of other boards can apply for the posts in time. Further hearing of the petitions is slated for June 16.

Dholikui demolition: HC grants interim stay
TNN, Jun 4, 2010, 11.03pm IST
VADODARA: The Gujarat high court on Friday ordered the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) to maintain an interim status quo at Dholikui where people affected by a demolition drive were staying till further hearing of the case on June 15. The order was given on a petition filed by People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) that had urged that the persons whose houses were demolished be allowed to stay at the location till they were provided housing facility by the civic body. PUCL moved the high court on Thursday stating that it in 2000 had ordered the VMC to provide alternative accommodation to the residents of Dholikui within six months when the civic body had had started a demolition drive. The petition states this was not done and in 2007, a government resolution was issued for providing alternative accommodation to the residents of the area. On May 12, 77 families were given allotment letters for houses and these houses and those of even others were demolished on May 25 forcing the people to live in the open. The petition has stated that the residents were forced to live in the open in summer and the monsoon was also set to arrive.

PIL against blockade : HC gives 10 days to DG
Source: The Sangai Express
Imphal, June 04 2010: A Division Bench of Gauhati High Court has given 10 days’ time to the Manipur Police to produce the president of All Naga Students’ Association, Manipur (ANSAM), David Choro.A ruling to this effect was issued today following assurance given by DGP Y Joykumar that effective steps would be taken up to produce David Choro before the Court on June 16 .The DGP gave the assurance before the Court that all possible steps including declaring David Choro a proclaimed offender and a wanted person with a prize on his head would be taken up within a week.A Division Bench comprising of Justice TNK and Mutum BK Singh issued the ruling after hearing a writ petition.The Court also asked Senior Government Advocate Th Ibohal to report to the Court about the action taken by the DGP.It further instructed Central Government Standing Counsel C Komal to report the steps and actions taken up by the National Highway Authority.The petition filed by RK Joysana mentioned that ANSAM imposed the indefinite economic blockade on both NH-39 and NH-53 from April 6 demanding amendment of the Manipur (Hill Areas) District Council (3rd Amendment) Act 2008 .Due to the blockade, essential commodities have become quite scarce in Manipur leading to sharp increase in the prices.The petitioner contended that resorting to highway blockades in pursuit of some demands from the Govt was illegal.The indefinite blockade is anti-national and is an act of terrorism which challenges the right to life of all citizens of Manipur, it asserted.Advocate M Hemchandra appeared on behalf of the petitioner.Earlier hearing the case on May 13, the Court asked the DGP to give explanation for failure of the State Police to produce David Choro.It also asked as to why contempt proceedings should not be initiated.In response, the DGP produced show cause statement before the Court on June 2.Respondents listed in the case the Union of India (represented by the Union Home Secretary), the Chief Secretary, DGP, IGP (L/O), IGP (Intelligence) and ANSAM (represented by David Choro).

HC refuses to allow MCD to seal illegal mobile towers
New Delhi, Jun 4 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today stayed its order for constituting a committee of technical and medical experts to examine potential health hazards from over 5,000 mobile phone towers in the capital and refused to allow MCD seal 2,952 illegal towers in the city.A division bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra stayed the single judge Bench order of May 31 directing Telecommunication Secretary and the MCD Commissioner to constitute a broad-based committee drawing representatives from NGOs working in the field of telecom, associations of cellular operators.The court had on May 13 restrained the civic body from sealing illegal mobile phone towers after cellular operators approached it challenging the decision of the MCD to seal the towers of the operators who did not deposit the raised fee of Rs. five lakh.

HC stays NPSC results
Dimapur, June 4 (MExN): Gauhati High Court has clamped Stay on the Nagaland Public Service Commission results for NCS, NPS, NSS and allied services 2009. The court’s order was passed on April 8, 2010 in the Chakhesang Public Organization Vs State of Nagaland & Orgs. The results are held until further order. The government sought permission of the high court to declare the 2009 NPSC results but the court “was not inclined to pass any order and had deferred the case to be listed after June 16, 2010,” a notice from NPSC secretary Dellirose M Sakhrie informed today.

HC chides Goa police on failure to get model’s statement
Panaji, Jun 4 (PTI) The failure of Goa Police to record the statement of a Swedish model Lucky Farmhouse, a crucial witness in police-drug peddlers nexus case, has drawn criticism from the Bombay High Court.”The records show that an interview was recorded by PTI of a lady who claimed to be friend of the said Atala but till date her statement has not been recorded (by the police),” the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court said in its June 2 order granting bail to one of the accused, police inspector Ashish ShirodkarJustice N A Britto granted bail Shirodkar, who is among the seven policemen arrested for their alleged nexus drug peddlers, but not before pointing out the glaring loopholes in the investigation by Crime Branch which is probing the case for more than two months now.

HC adjourns plea against setting up Islamic bank
Express News Service
First Published : 04 Jun 2010 04:00:40 AM IST
Last Updated :

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Thursday adjourned the petition challenging the establishment of a financial organisation under the Islamic banking system in Kerala to September 7.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Jasti Chelameswar and Justice P N Ravindran adjourned the petition on a request of Reserve Bank of India (RBI) seeking more time.
“The contentions raised by the petitioner involves a policy decision to be taken by it, which is under consideration,” counsel for the RBI submitted.
The petition challenging the decision of the State Government to establish Al-Barakh Financial Services Corporation, a non-banking finance company based on Shariah law, with 11 percent stake for Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), was filed by Janata Party chief Subramaniam Swamy.
Considering Swamy’s petition, a Division Bench of the High Court on January 5, 2010, had restrained the State Government and KSIDC from commencing the operation of an Islamic financial institution on the lines of Islamic bank till further orders.
The KSIDC, in 2009, had proposed the first state-aided Islamic Bank in Kochi. The proposal was to register the bank as a non-banking finance company (NBFC) and later transform it into a Shariah- compliant bank.
Another petitioner, R V Babu, submitted that it was unfair that the KSIDC, which has a mandate to promote industrial activities in the State, is joining hands with a non-banking financial company.

HC directive on civic issues in city
LAW REPORTER GUWAHATI, June 4 – The Gauhati High Court today heard all the PILs filed on issues relating to water-logging, encroachment, disposal of garbage, etc., of the Guwahati city.
After taking a public hearing by the Minister, Guwahati Development Department as per a direction of the court earlier, the Commissioner & Secretary, Guwahati Development Department Dr AK Bhutani filed an affidavit before the court informing the steps proposed to be taken by Guwahati Municipal Corporation to tackle the problems of water-logging, encroachment, garbage collection, etc., problem facing the city.
Advocate BD Das, appearing for Ketaki Bardalai and Dr Swantana Bordoloi in PIL No. 81/09, submitted before the court that specific direction may be issued to the authorities to impose penalty on persons littering garbage, as provided under the Municipal Corporation Act.
The Division bench of the Gauhati High Court, comprising Chief Justice Ramesh Surajmal Garg and Justice Hareswar Baruah, after hearing all PILs and after going through the affidavit filed by Dr Bhutani, directed the Municipal Corporation/State Govt./Administration to inform the court by filing an affidavit as regards the action taken by the said organization on the proposed steps as reflected in its affidavit.
The case is fixed for further hearing on June 8.

Deny consitutional releif SAD (Panch Pardhani): Govt urges HC
By Parmjit Singh
Published: June 4, 2010
Chandigarh/ Ludhiana (June 04, 2010): During the hearing on a petition moved by Shiromani Akali Dal (Panch Pardhani) in Punjab and High Court to seek judicial relief against ban on “Holocaust memorial march” imposed by Punjab Government, State’s counsel raised serious objections and claimed that Panch Pardhani is not entitled to receive any sort of relief under Indian Constitution, as it adhere to the ideology of Khalistan.
The Punjab Government also objected that this party places the photo of Baba Banda Singh Bahadur along with that of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhidranwale. Government’s contention is that Bhindranwale was a terrorist who was killed during an army operation in June 1984. Addn. Advocate General, Amarjeet Singh Jatana, while pleading the case on State’s behalf, argued that Article 4 of Panch Pardhani’s Constitution pleads for securing federal structure in India as per Anandpur Sahib resolution and Amritsar Declaration, but this Article says that ultimate goal of Sikh Nation is to implement the concept of Raj Karega Khalsa. This clarifies that this party do not believe in Indian constitution; thus it is not entitled to claim any relief under it. State’s counsel also asserted that “bans on various activities of Panch Pardhani were imposed earlier also”.
On the other hand SAD (Panch Pardhani) maintained that earlier no ban was imposed by the Government on any activity of the party. Rajwinder Bains, counsel for Panch Pardhani, strongly contended the claim of State’s attorney and pleaded that pleading of implementation of federal structure does not deprive his client from seeking judicial relief for protection of its’ lawful rights.
While talking to media persons Panch Pardhani’s secretary general, Harpal Singh Cheema, said that they should be allowed to exercise their democratic rights. He said that Sant Jarnail Singh was declared to be Great Sikh of 20th Century in year 2001 from Sri Akal Takht Sahib. “Sant Bhindranwale occupies same place in 20th century Sikh history, that was occupied by Baba Banda Singh in 18th century.” he added.
It is notable that it was Shiromani Akali Dal, the current ruling party of Punjab, that adopted the Anandpur Sahib resolution in 1973 and led a struggle, for decades, to seek its implementation. Recently the Governor of Punjab, Shivraj Patil, in his inaugurating address in Punjab assembly, affirmed that Punjab government is committed to secure the demands mentioned in Anandpur Sahib resolution and advocated implementation of federal structure in India.
Hon’ble Judge of High Court, Rajan Gupta, said that this matter required serious and detailed discussion, therefore he has fixed 5 July, 2010 as next date of hearing.

HC reopens 1993 custodial killing case

CJM directed to probe the matter afreshIshfaq TantrySrinagar, June 04: In a judgement which can be a trend setter, High Court Friday re-opened 17-year-old custodial killing case of a Batamaloo resident and directed Chief Judicial Magistrate Srinagar to inquire into the matter afresh and submit the report within four weeks.Munawara Sultan widow of late Gowhar Amin of Srinagar had approached High Court with a writ petition through her counsel Advocate Mian Qayoom to seek fresh probe into the custodial killing of her husband by BSF men in 1993.In the petition, she submitted that her husband was picked up by 4th battalion BSF on April 7, 1993 from his Batamaloo residence. “He was killed in custody by BSF men. Several bullets were pumped into his head and chest and his body was handed over to PCR Srinagar. After conducting post mortem at Police Hospital, police handed over the body for burial on April 8, 1993.”The petition further states that FIR No 74/93 was registered by Police station Shergari under section 364/302 RPC on April 20, 1993 but no investigations were carried out and the guilty BSF men were not punished.The widow sought fresh investigations into the case and arrest of the accused BSF men involved in killing of her husband. She has also demanded an exgratia relief of Rs. 2 lakhs, a government Job and further compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs from the accused for dragging the petitioner from pillar to post from 1993 to 2007 for seeking justice. After entertaining the petition, High Court issued notices to respondents in the case including SDPO Shergari. Subsequently, the SDPO Shergari in his compliance report on February 26, 2010 submitted that on 8/4/1993 a written report was lodged by Commanding Officer of 4th bn BSF in P/S Shergarhi in which he had said that during a cordon operation undertaken by 4th, 21st, 22nd 82, 92, 107th 109th ,110th and 137 battalions of BSF, militants had attacked the search party. “In the retaliatory firing, two militants were killed and some arms and ammunition recovered from the spot,” SDPO had said.He said a case under FIR No 65/93 U?S 3/25 I A Act, 3(2) TADA (P) Act was registered at PS Shergari and investigations taken up by D O Batamaloo SI Ghulam Nabi Nawabaz. “The alleged militants were identified as Gowhar Amin son of Mohammad Amin of Batamaloo and Javaid Ahmad son of Ghulam Qadir of Baran Pather Batamaloo,” SDPO told the court.Quoting opinion of the doctors, who conducted post mortem of the deceased at Police Hospital, the cause of death was stated as multiple gunshot wounds, damage to vital organs (brain and lungs), shock and sudden cardio respiratory arrest. In his compliance report, SDPO Shergari further submitted that the case was closed as ‘untraced’ on 10/4/1995 by IO and it was agreed by the then SHO PS Shergari on 12/4/1995. After hearing arguments of both sides, Justice Hakim Imtiyaz in his interim order announced this week said that in view of the conflicting stands taken by the parties, an inquiry in the matter is required. He directed Chief Judicial Magistrate (CJM) Srinagar Mohammad Ibrahim to inquire into the case and submit his report within four weeks. The CJM has already issued notices to the parties involved in the case. On June 3, SDPO Shergarhi presented the case diaries to CJM for his perusal. The CJM has directed the CPO, the counsel for the BSF Advocate S Gouhar and counsel for the petitioner to submit their statements in writing before the court on next date of hearing.

HC puts on hold chargesheet against Virbhadra
Shimla: The Himachal High Court today put on hold putting up of challan against Union minister Virbhadra Singh in the CD case till disposal of another application put up by the latter seeking quashing of FIR in the case. The court has now listed the case for final hearing on June 25. Earlier, Virbhadra’s lawyers had moved the court against the vigilance bureau’s move to file a challan till they application on quashing of the FIR was decided by the court.
Release on recorded telephonic conversations by a CD released by former Congressman Vijay Singh Mankotia before the Parliamentary by-election in Hamirpur in May 2007, having conversation, allegedly of Virbhadra Singh and his wife with a former bureaucrat regarding some finantial dealing. The BJP government had ordered an inquiry after coming to power in the state, and a case was registered in August, 2009.

Punjab and Haryana HC gives interim relief to sacked PUNWIRE employees
Punjab Newsline Network
Friday, 04 June 2010
CHANDIGARH: At last law have considered the apathy of the workers of Punjab Wireless Systems Limited, Mohali which was one time blue chip company in India in the field of Electronics and Communication. The Punjab & Haryana High Court have accorded interim relief of 25% of claims as assessed by the Chartered Accountant for the said purpose. The payment is to be made by the Official Lequidator within a period of six weeks this would result in payment of more than 4 crores to the workers as their past dues. This was stated here Friday by Shahid Ahmed President and Bhal Singh General Secretary of the PUNWIRE employees Federation

Kerala HC: Devaswom Board cannot be constituted without politicians
The Kerala High Court observed that in the present political situation, the Travancore Devaswom Board could not be constituted without politicians in it. A Division Bench, comprising Justices C N Ramachandran Nair and P S Gopinathan, also observed that ‘in a democracy like ours, political parties have their own role.’ The court further observed that the Board should be constituted with politicians of impeccable character as public and courts were observing the constitution of the Board. The administrative decisions get implemented in countries like China in 30 days, where as their comrades here would take more than 30 years to implement the decisions, the court said. The Division Bench, however, declined to interfere in a writ petition filed by SNDP challenging the proposed constitution of the Board, as it was an anticipatory writ petition. The court directed the petitioner to amend the writ petition suitably and move it, if found necessary, after the constitution of the new Devaswom Board. The court made the observations while hearing a writ petition of K K Mahesh of Kanichukulangara SNDP Yogam challenging the proposed constitution of the Board. UNI

Case of missing chargesheet waits for judge
TNN, Jun 5, 2010, 02.08am IST
NEW DELHI: Eighteen years and two judges later, the fate of the ‘missing chargesheet’ in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case still remains undecided. A trial court on Friday deferred till July 14 the pronouncement of order on an application filed by prosecution seeking clarification on whether a chargesheet allegedly involving Congress leader Sajjan Kumar can be clubbed with another 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. It is the second time in a fortnight that the matter was deferred at the time of delivering the order. district judge Bimla Maken had decided to adjudicate the matter after a sessions judge recused himself from hearing the case. Additional sessions judge V K Goyal, who earlier heard the arguments on the matter, had on May 21 recused himself from the case citing personal reasons on the day when he was to deliver the order. The district judge, to whom the matter was referred to by ASJ Goyal, had then decided to hear the matter herself after allowing the plea to transfer the case. The judge had reserved the order on June 2 after hearing the arguments at length from the prosecution as well as the victims’ counsel. Interestingly, sources said the order in the matter is not likely to be decided even on July 14 as the incumbent judicial officer is going to retire on June 30. In fact, the sources added, the matter will be taken up by the new district judge who will replace Maken and it would now be heard afresh on the next date of hearing. Meanwhile, riots victims association counsel H S Phoolka said he will move the Delhi high court to know the reasons as to why ASJ Goyal had recused himself. His decision to move the HC comes after Maken had asked Goyal to spell out the reasons for seeking transfer of the case in a sealed envelop. The judge had then ordered that the documents would not be opened without an order of the Delhi HC. The matter before the district judge pertains to clubbing of a chargesheet, prepared against Sajjan Kumar but never produced before a judicial officer, with another anti-Sikh riots case. According to the prosecution, the chargesheet was prepared in the case based on FIR number 67/87 in police station Nangloi, naming Sajjan Kumar as accused on April 8, 1992, but it was dumped in the police file and never brought before the court. The prosecution had then sought clubbing of the chargesheet with the case.

Forest workers under NREGS: Circular misunderstood by junior officers, says department
Anupam Chakravartty
Posted: Sat Jun 05 2010, 01:45 hrs Vadodara:
On april 21, Justice K S Jhaveri of the Gujarat High Court passed an oral order reiterating an earlier HC order stating that NREGS funds were not to be utilised for making payment to workers who have been on the state government rolls for many years. Justice Jhaveri’s order was on a petition filed by the Gujarat Forest Produce and Forest Workers’ Union against the state government’s move to bring them under NREGS.
The HC had merged the forest workers’ petition with that of the Public Works Department (PWD) Workers’ Union that had approached it with a similar plea, and got the court to bar Deputy Conservators of Forests (DCFs) from issuing job cards under NREGA.
Incidentally, the same day, Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the state cabinet had a meeting where it was decided to order all “labour oriented” work to be brought under NREGS. Various departments were asked to put up the proposals.
An official order to this effect was issued to the Forest Department on April 22, stating: “Van Vibhag Haithan na “Labour oriented” shakya tamam kamo NREGA yojana haithan haath dharva babat” (“all labour-oriented works of the Forest Department are to be brought under NREGA”). But now, with the Union Ministry for Rural Development investigating the issue of proposed usage of NREGS funds to pay regular forest workers, senior Gujarat Forest officers say the circular was “misunderstood” in some areas, including Gora Range.
In the wake of the government circular, K J Maharajah, Gora Range Forest Officer in Narmada district, had issued a notice on May 14, asking all forest workers within his range to enlist themselves under NREGS before June 15. But he was soon asked to withdraw it. Maharajah said: “We had issued a notice to get all workers registered under NREGA. But on the advice of senior officials and demands from the workers over a disparity in pay, we had to scrap the move.”
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Pradip Khanna said the circular actually meant only to say that labour-oriented work “as far as possible” should be under NREGA. “Lower ranking officers sometime misunderstand circulars, this has now been rectified,” he said. He added that the workers’ unions had started panicking while the Gujarat government was only ensuring that they can earn more, with the help of various state and Central schemes.
On being asked why workers already employed by the Forest Department were being brought under NREGA, Khanna said, family members of workers are issued NREGA cards, and on many occasions, existing workers also get included as a member of that family.
State forest officers further said the government’s move was only to “augment the work opportunities” in the forest areas. Workers were to be brought under NREGS as they were quite irregular in turning up for work and also because they could not have consistently enough work, they said.
Khanna said: “Not all of them work round the year. Depending on the available works, the labourers are called from the neighboring villages and this is how they get employment. Earlier, such work used to be undertaken by the Forest Department, but now it is NREGA which is employing them.”
Elsewhere, both PWD and Forest workers, cite pay disparities between NREGA and the state Forest Department wages as justification for opposing the move.
On his part, Khanna said the pay disparity depends on the work. “If they do not show up for work, be it under NREGA or the Forest Department, they will lose employment. Now, the Gujarat government has assigned work amounting Rs 60 crore under NREGA,” said Khanna.
NREGA promises 100 days of wage employment in a financial year to every rural household whose adult members volunteer for unskilled manual work at the minimum wage rate notified for agricultural labour in the state, or else an unemployment allowance. The Act’s objective is to supplement wage employment opportunities in the rural areas, and in the process, also build up durable assets.
Now a probe panel headed by Amita Sharma, the Joint Secretary of the Union Ministry for Rural Development, will investigate the NREGS issue on the orders of the Central government following a report by The Indian Express.

Justice for Kargil heroes

Next month India will commemorate its victory in the Kargil war and the extraordinary sacrifices of the soldiers. They fought in some of the most brutal terrain in the world to achieve the objective of throwing the Pakistani intruders out. In his speech of July 26, Union Defence Minister A.K. Antony, a politician known for his commitment to probity, must set to rest the ghosts that haunt the battlefield. It has long been known that many who played a key role in ensuring victory were disgraced so that superiors who ought to have been penalised for their wartime failures could receive medals and honours. Last week, the Armed Force Tribunal held that the officer with direct supervisory responsibility for the conduct of the war, former XV Corps commander Lieutenant-General Kishan Pal, falsified battle records to deny a key subordinate credit for his stellar conduct of operations. This action, which seems to have been driven by a desire to cover up command failures, cost 70 Brigade commander Devinder Singh a medal and a promotion. That it took 11 years to deliver justice to Brigadier Singh is shocking: the Tribunal’s judgment has only affirmed what the Army has known all along. Several accounts of the war, including Lieutenant-General Y.M. Bammi’s magisterial, Kargil: The Impregnable Conquered, former army chief General V.P. Malik’s memoirs, and Brigadier Gurmeet Kanwal’s official history of the war, made it clear that Brigadier Singh had been instrumental in India’s victory in the Batalik sector. The Tribunal received testimony from Brigadier Singh’s subordinates and superiors lauding his bravery and acumen — testimony that was available to Army headquarters years ago. Yet successive Chiefs of Army Staff and Defence Ministers did nothing to undo the mischief.
In the build-up to Kargil Day, Mr. Antony will do the Army, his Ministry, and the country proud if he summons the courage to offer Brigadier Singh an apology and restore to him the honours to which he is entitled. But he needs to do more. There are other cases pending before the Tribunal seeking redress; they revolve around decisions made by XV Corps — notably those of 121 Brigade commander Surinder Singh and Major Manish Bhatnagar. Some officers with reason to consider themselves aggrieved, like Colonel Pushpinder Oberoi, chose not to move the court for justice. The Defence Ministry must set up a body to conduct a transparent audit of these cases and set wrongs right. It must also conduct a thoroughgoing examination of the official Kargil Review Committee, which relied heavily on a tainted account of events. Armies in which promotions depend on personal prejudices, rather than dispassionate assessments of professional capability, will see poor quality leadership rise to the top. In the end, their war-fighting capacities will be eroded. Telling the truth will, doubtless, be a painful process — but the Army as well as India will emerge the stronger for it.

Sukna scam: Tribunal turns down Lt Gen Prakash’s plea…/629444/
Posted: Fri Jun 04 2010, 10:46 hrs New Delhi:

The Armed Forces Tribunal on Friday turned down former Military Secretary Lt Gen Avdesh Prakash’s plea to allow his realtor friend as a witness in the reconvened Court of Inquiry (CoI) in the Sukna land scam case.
“Calling prosecution witness as defence witness is uncalled for. Prosecution witness cannot be juxtaposed as defence witness,” the Tribunal bench headed by Justice S S Kulshreshtha said here.
Lt Gen Prakash, who has been indicted by a CoI in the Sukna land scam, had approached the Tribunal on Wednesday to allow him to produce the witnesses before the reconvened CoI in the case.
Prakash had filed a plea seeking permission to produce as witness his realtor friend Dilip Agarwal, who is alleged to have benefited by the ‘No Objection Certificate’ issued by the Army for construction of an educational institute on a piece of land adjacent to the Sukna Base in West Bengal.
The Army counsel had opposed the petition, saying that Agarwal had already appeared before the CoI and could not beproduced as a defence witness again.
Army’s COI had blamed Prakash for influencing the former 33 Corps Commander Lt Gen P K Rath for issuing the NoC.
After hearing both sides, the Tribunal Bench had reserved its order till the next hearing.
After his retirement on January 31, Prakash had approached the Tribunal against Army’s decision to initiate disciplinary proceedings against him and contended that Army Rule 180, which allows Army personnel to be present if somebody is raising questions over their military character, was not applied.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Saturday, June 05, 2010

2 Responses

  1. Wonderful blog & good post.Its really helpful for me, awaiting for more new post. Keep Blogging!

  2. Very good blog all posts are good

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: