LEGAL NEWS 21.07.2010

Skewed growth to blame for rise of Naxals: SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 02.29am IST

NEW DELHI: This is the worst that the government could have ever got from the Supreme Court. Terming the developmental policies as “blinkered”, the apex court has said that the promised rights and benefits never reached marginalised citizens fuelling extreme discontent and giving birth to naxalism and militancy, which are threatening the sovereignty of the country. Referring to largescale displacement of tribals from forest land in the name of mining and development, the SC said non-settlement of their rights and non-provision for timely compensation of their lost land has created the worst kind of hatred among them towards development, possibly giving birth to extremism. “To millions of Indians, development is a dreadful and hateful word that is aimed at denying them even the source of their sustenance,” a Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and B S Chauhan said on Monday. “It is cynically said that on the path of `maldevelopment’ almost every step that we take seems to give rise to insurgency and political extremism which along with terrorism are supposed to be the three gravest threats to India’s integrity and sovereignty,” it said. The anguish of the apex court brimmed over when it dealt with a case relating to acquisition of tribal land by Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd in Sundergarh district of Orissa, which is a Maoist hotbed, and found that those who lost their land were not paid compensation for 23 years. This extreme example of governmental apathy shook the conscience of a Bench forcing it to ask a series of questions — “Why is the state’s perception and vision of development at such great odds with the people it purports to develop? And why are their rights so dispensable? Why do India’s GDP and human development index (which is based broadly using measures of life expectancy, adult literacy and standard of living) present such vastly different pictures?” It said: “With the GDP of $1.16 trillion (of 2008) Indian economy is 12th largest in US dollar terms and it is the second fastest growing economy in the world. But according to the Human Development Report 2009 (published by UNDP), the HDI for India is 0.612 which puts it at 134th place among 182 countries.” It said the counter argument was that very often the process of development that most starkly confirms the fears expressed by Dr Ambedkar, who had said though politically one man had one vote of equal value, in social life one continues to deny one man one value. Justice Alam, writing the judgment for the Bench, said this was because despite the philanthropist approach of entrepreneurs and governmental efforts the human factor in the most mineral rich areas have not been able to solve their displacement from forests, despite they being called the oldest dwellers of the area. On the yet-to be-settled rights of tribals whose land was acquired and no compensation was paid for 23 years, the Bench took assistance from Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam and counsel Janaranjan Das to frame a scheme. Under the scheme, the Centre being the owner of Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd would determine and pay the compensation to the erstwhile landowners. The SC appointed a former judge of the Orissa HC, Justice A K Pasricha, as chairman of a commission to prepare a report on the land acquired within four months and submit a report to the apex court.

Delayed response forces MCX-SX to drag SEBI to court
Published on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 21:59 Updated at Wed, Jul 21, 2010 at 10:13 Source : CNBC-TV18
Last Friday the MCX-SX put out an advertisement on SEBI’s delayed response with regard to MCX-SX application to be recognized as a stock exchange. Today it has gone a step further and filed a writ petition in the Bombay high court against SEBI, reports CNBC-TV18’s Sajeet Manghat.
The MCX Stock Exchange or MCX-SX has lost its patience against SEBI and is seeking the Bombay High Court’s intervention to get a response from SEBI on its application that it filed on April 15, 2010.
On April 15, MCX-SX had filed an application with the Securities Exchange Board of India complying with MIMPS regulation which requires the promoters of a stock exchange to bring down this stake to nearly 10% and that has been done through the scheme of capital reduction and arrangement which was approved by the Bombay High Court.
As per that requirement MCX-SX and FT have brought down this stake to 5% each and in return MCX-SX has also issued 119.66 crore warrants. This was in lieu of the cancelled shares that has happened as part of the scheme of arrangement.
It is these warrants which has been issued to the promoter entities, i.e. FT and MCX, which is the bone of contention and the reason why SEBI hasn’t responded to the application yet.
Sources say that SEBI has been served a copy of the MCX-SX writ petition and it has confirmed that they have received it. SEBI is not likely to respond before they appear before the court.
Sources add that the MIMPS guidelines is silent on the issue of convertible instruments. Though the guidelines talk about bringing down equity to 10%, it doesn’t talk about convertible instruments.
In this case, it is the transferable warrants which could be converted after a period of 6 months into equity leading to the entire issue. Sources say the Bimal Jalan Committee on stock exchanges and market infrastructure is expected to come out with its recommendations in the next two months and SEBI doesn’t want to take a decision before those recommendations come in.

Notification to hire district judges stayed

Express News Service
First Published : 21 Jul 2010 03:58:28 AM IST
Last Updated : 21 Jul 2010 08:43:18 AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras HC has stayed the operation of a notification dated June 24, 2010 of the Secretary, Public (SpecialA), inviting applications for recruitment to the post of 17 District Judges in the State.A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice KK Sasidharan granted the injunction on Tuesday while passing interim orders on a writ petition from advocate Manikandan Vathan Chettiar of Egmore, seeking to declare the notification as ultra vires of Articles 14 and 141 of the Constitution and consequently praying for a direction to the government to issue a fresh notification in consonance with all constitutional diktats.
According to petitioner, an aspirant to the post, there was gross callousness for the law of the land as laid down by the Supreme Court by virtue of Article 141 of the Constitution, inasmuch as the apex court had been consistently upholding for the past 25 years that marks allotted for viva voce should not exceed 12.50 per cent of the total marks. The notification prescribed as much as 25 per cent for viva voce.
Unconstitutionality was writ large on the face of the notification inasmuch as, apart from 100 per cent marks, the length of bar experience was slated as a criteria for shortlisting to the viva voce. It was devoid of any explanation as to the manner in which its was proposed to be done. No syllabi had been prescribed contrary to all canons of reasonableness. He had sent a representation on July 7 last to the authorities concerned, but there was no action, petitioner contended.

NGOs back demolition drive
Shillong, July 20: The Steering Committee against Murder of Democracy, consisting of Civil Society Women’s Organisation and Khasi Students Union among others, met today and demanded that the Meghalaya government should continue the demolition drive against illegal structures on the banks of Wahumkhrah in Polo.
On July 6, the Meghalaya Urban Development Authority could not carry out the demolition drive based on a May 25 court order as the move was stalled by a temporary stay order from Gauhati High Court.
The matter came up in the high court yesterday.
Chief Justice of Gauhati High Court, Madan B. Lokur, yesterday transferred the hearing of the two writ petitions filed by the Greater Iew Polo Welfare Association to the Shillong bench.
The hearing on the two fresh writ petitions will be taken up by the Shillong bench on Friday. The NGOs under the banner of the committee, will meet urban affairs minister Founder Cajee tomorrow to carry on with the demolition drive.

Division bench rejects KSHA secretary’s plea
Bangalore, July 20, DHNS:
A division bench of the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday refused to interfere with the order passed by a single bench directing Hockey India to consider Gayathri Murthy and A B Subbaiah as representatives of Hockey Karnataka at the national body’s elections.

While disposing an appeal filed by K Krishnamurthy, Secretary, Karnataka State Hockey Association, the division bench headed by Justice KL Manjunath observed that the inclusion of two members from Hockey Karnataka to the electoral list of Hockey India is subject to the result of the writ petition pending before the single bench.On July 7, the single bench of the High Court had directed Hockey India to include Hockey Karnataka members in the electoral list for its polls on July 28. On July 13, the single judge modified the earlier interim order, directing Hockey India to consider Gayathri Murthy and AB Subbaiah as Hockey Karnataka representatives. Krishnamurthy challenged the order, stating it was illegal and beyond the scope of the writ petition. Krishnamurthy stated that Hockey India wanted to keep him away from the elections. The division bench observed that if any order was passed at this juncture it would not help the appellant as his nomination papers had already been rejected by Hockey India.The nominations were scrutinised in New Delhi on Tuesday and the returning officer had rejected Krishnamurthy’s nomination.

SC to be moved for law on prevention of cow slaughter
Bangalore, July 20, (PTI):
The Federation of organisations working for cow protection on Tuesday said it will soon a file a writ petition in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union Government to enact a uniform law on prevention of cow slaughter.

“We will soon file a writ petition in Supreme Court seeking directions to the union government to enact a uniform national law on cow protection,” National Convenor of the federation, Dayanand Swamy said during a convention here. Governor H R Bhardwaj was appealed to approve the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill which was recently passed by the state Legislature.A memorandum was submitted to Bhardwaj in this regard. “There is a misconception among the general public that we (Muslims) are against ban on cow slaughter. It is not so at all. The ban is already in force in Gulf countries since long,” Anees-Ul-Haq, national convenor of Muslim Rashtriya Manch, said at the convention.Swamy said the Federation proposed to constitute a 30,000 member force to prevent cow slaughter throughout the country. The Federation also held a rally in the city on cow protection.

Assess environmental impact of gas project, court tells RIL
Express news service Tags : Reliance Industries, gas project, Madras High Court Posted: Tue Jul 20 2010, 01:30 hrs Chennai:
Sternly reminding corporate behemoth Reliance Industries of the importance of social responsibility and environmental concern, a division bench of the Madras High Court asked the company to first assess the impact of its natural gas project on the local population and environment.
Disposing of a public interest writ petition moved by MS Saj Kumar of Yanam, a region falling under Andra Pradesh under the administrative control of Pondicherry Union Territory, the bench directed Reliance Industries to prepare an environment management plan that should be approved by experts. The UT administration must ask for and obtain an impact report from the expert bodies, it added.
In the backdrop of rising environmental concerns, the bench comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice GM Akbar Ai ordered that the government must satisfy itself that any damage, which might be caused by the operations of the natural gas project, was not irreversible. RIL should be prepared and must sufficiently secure the cost of reversing any damage.
The petitioner had alleged that the project to establish a block valve station and pipeline on the Godavari basin in Dariyalatippu village in Adavipulam in Yanam will affect the livelihood of fishermen there and the local environment.
“The attitude of the RIL disturbs us. We expect the RIL to have greater social responsibility. If an environmental disaster strikes, it would strike the mighty and the weak equally. We do not understand why RIL should have commenced the production and then obtained the approval,” said the bench, ordering that the government should set up necessary infrastructure to conduct periodical surveys and enforce the stipulations, subject to which the permit might be granted.
However, before granting approval, the government should ask Reliance to publish its proposal so that the public, particularly those likely to be affected by the project, were made aware of it to ensure transparency. On a critical note, the bench added that this would at least safeguard against the decision of the government based solely upon narrow political objectives.

1 held for cheating company of Rs 90L
S Ahmed Ali, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 03.32am IST

MUMBAI: Dilip Bacchubhai Patel, a former LIC agent who, along with his two associates, duped a sick company of Rs 90 lakh, was arrested by the MRA Marg police on Tuesday. Patel (35) was arrested after the Bombay high court dismissed his writ petition for quashing a FIR of cheating and forgery registered against him. Last year, Vinod Faria, the director of Genelac, had filed a private complaint with the Ballard Pier Metropolitan court, which directed the MRA Marg police to register a FIR and investigate. In August 2009, the MRA Marg police registered a cheating case against Dilip Patel, Shailesh Behra and Mangilal Jain who went into hiding. “The court on Tuesday dismissed Patel’s petition and the police arrested him,” said advocate Vijay Thorat, who is representing Genelac company. Patel has been remanded in police custody till July 27. Genelec, which was declared sick by the Board of Industrial and Financial Reconstruction and owes several crores to various banks and other institutions, has registered a case of cheating against three persons for siphoning Rs 90 lakh under the pretext of liaisoning for it.

Babli dam hearing in SC scheduled in Aug
Wednesday, July 21, 2010, 12:07 [IST]
Nanded, Jul 21: The hearing before the Supreme Court on Babli barrage issue had been scheduled on Aug 2010.
The apex court had permitted Maharashtra government to proceed with the dam project in Apr 2007.
But Andhra Pradesh had claimed that the Babli Barrage was being constructed within the backwaters of the Pochampad Dam in the Telangana region.Andhra Pradesh also claimed that Maharashtra is violating the GWDT agreement of Oct 1975, and challenged the matter in the Supreme Court.TDP chief N Chandrababu Naidu with his other associates were arrested when they were trying to enter into the project site to verify the situation on Jul 16.But Maharashtra government finally had withdrawn its charges against TDP leader and send him to Hyderabad.OneIndia News

No objection for CBI probe – Justice Hegde

By Team Mangalorean Bangalore
Hubli July 20, 2010: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde today categorically stated that he had no objection if the State Government orders CBI inquiry into the illegal mining.
Talking to newsmen here, he denied report in a section of press that he had expressed his dissatisfaction over handing the illegal mining cases to CBI. ” I have already submitted a report on illegal mining to the Karnataka Government long back and there is no objection for CBI inquiry,” he said.
Taking strong objection to a reported statement of Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa giving a clean chit to the owners of mines at Bellary and his ministerial colleagues, Justice Hegde said “if at all they were not involved in such cases why should the Government order an enquiry ?” “Also there was no need for any such institution like Lokayukta if the Government went on giving such certificates,” he added. He said the CM issuing such statements before the start of the inquiry will lead to confusion.
Stating that he had completed his investigation report up to 2008 on the alleged illegal mining and the Government has ordered to further investigate on the mining issue, Justice Hegde said people at the helm of affairs have not taken the report seriously and never took action.
Justice Hegde said iron ore-laden trucks had to pass through seven check-posts from Hospet to Karwar port. “When we seized the iron ore illegally transported to Belakeri port, there was nothing to suggest that it had been checked at the check-posts. A truck owner or a firm can’t ensure such a free passage. You might assume what sort high influence is required to get that done and the persons behind it,” he said without naming anyone.
In his report he had indicated that there were 49 illegal mining companies and suggested action against all those companies. He was awaiting action against these companies.
Justice Hegde said he has now been assigned the work of investigating the recent mining violations. As there was exhaustive information about the ports exporting iron ore in Karnataka, he would try to get information from the ports outside the state through which the ore was exported. If the report was not made available by them, he would appeal the Union Government to provide the information.
According to his information, about 8.5 lakh tonnes of iron ore made “a mysterious” disappearance from the Belekere Port in Karwar in Karnataka, he told reporters. There have been allegations that besides Belekere port, iron ore was exported illegally from Vishakapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.
The Lokayukta probe would also bring under scanner the “raising contract” that has been prevalent in illegal mining, Hedge said. Under the raising contract, a person is permitted to carry out mining activity on behalf of the mining lease holder.
Regarding the power vested to him, he said all his demands were not met. The Government has placed an amendment bill in the House for Lokayukta law and within this framework he would try to contain corruption in the state.
Lokayukta would conduct investigation into illegal mining of sand in many parts of state, he added. Earlier, he honoured senior journalist Dr Patil Puttappa at his residence and enquired about his health.

Will SC give hope to ’93 blasts convicts?
Swati Deshpande, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 02.58am IST

MUMBAI: Actor Sanjay Dutt’s lawyers will be heading off to Delhi next Monday. They are preparing for the final showdown in the Supreme Court against his conviction for illegal possession and destruction of an AK-56 rifle days before the serial bomb blasts that ripped through Mumbai on March 12, 1993. The blasts had killed 257 and left over 700 injured in what is still the largest terror strike on the country’s commercial capital. But it’s not just Dutt, over 60 of the 100 convicted by a special Tada court will be training their sights on the Supreme Court on July 26. On this day, the apex court will decide how and when to fix the date for a final hearing on all appeals against the blasts verdict. In what promises to be a mammoth exercise and a lengthy hearing, the Supreme Court has to decide on the confirmation of 12 death sentences. Those sent to gallows include Yakub Memon, brother of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon, who along with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and Mohammed Dossa are alleged to have hatched the conspiracy in Dubai to target Mumbai after communal riots had ravaged and scarred the city in January 1993. The statistics alone appear daunting. The special trial judge P D Kode, who has since been elevated as a judge of the Bombay high court, convicted 100 of the 123 accused who faced the main trial. He sent 12-the maximum in one criminal trial-to the gallows and 20 for life imprisonment. Soon after the conviction and sentencing that ended in 2007, 51 separate appeals were filed by individual convicts. Some of these were filed jointly by several convicts against the verdict. Those on the death sentence have also appealed. The Maharashtra government, through the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), has also filed 48 appeals against acquittal or to seek enhancement of punishment. The CBI has appealed against the acquittal of Ajay Marwah, a friend of the actor charged with hiding his revolver, but has not filed any appeal against the actor’s acquittal for offences under Tada. Advocate Shree Prakash Sinha, one of the lawyers in the Supreme Court who represents seven convicts, said the SC judges will have to decide which of the appeals it will first hear-confirmation of death sentences or appeals by others in jail. The court has posted the matter on July 26 only to fix the date of final hearing. Of the 59 petitions by the convicts, 32 are from jail. It is expected that given the paperbook in this case, even though the judgment copies and the evidence have been circulated among lawyers in a digital form, is still humngous, the hearing is likely to begin only after two months. Sinha said the CBI submitted CDs of the text of all the evidence that runs into 1.2 lakh pages, a week ago. The CBI filed most of its appeals only on December 24, 2009. Dutt, who is out on bail and freed from charges of terror conspiracy, has claimed that he cannot even be held guilty of possession of a firearm. He says that the conviction is based only on retracted confession statements and hence he must be acquitted. If his case is heard first and decided, it could help others who have gone in appeal. The judge, while holding the actor guilty under the Arms Act, had said, “Lots of evidence has been led. His own (Dutt’s) confession as well as those of his co-accused are there. There is evidence of recovery and statements from four witnesses.” The court had accepted most of Dutt’s confession. A MATTER OF APPEALS No appeal filed by CBI against Sanjay Dutt’s acquittal under Tada The actor on July 31, 2007, was sentenced to six years’ RI under the Arms Act The state has not spared two women, one of whom was convicted CBI has filed appeals against the two women-Zaibunnisa Kazi (convicted under Tada for keeping arms delivered to her by Abu Salem after visiting Dutt) and Rukshana Zariwala (who was acquitted)

Students take bar exam to SC as writ petition count hits 9
Written by Neha Chauhan Tuesday, 20 July 2010 13:21
A group of law graduates from Delhi University have invoked the Supreme Court’s writ jurisdiction under Article 32 of the Indian Constitution as two students of the NUALS Kochi have filed yet another petition before the Kerala High Court against the All India Bar Examinations.The petitioner students Anoop Prakash Awasthi, Rahul Kumar and Prashant Narang told Legally India that their writ petition (diary number 21289/2010) has surpassed procedural hurdles and will be listed for hearing towards the end of July with the Supreme Court registry after having cleared all the objections.The petitioners have challenged the Bar Council of India’s rule making power under which amendments had been brought to provide for the bar exams as ultra vires and arbitrary.While pleading violation of the fundamental rights, the petitioners have relied upon the case of V Sudeer vs BCI as the main point of contention. Awasthi had interned with Sudeer in the past.Excerpts from the petition read: “That the impugned amendment as claimed to be made under section 49(1)(ah) of the Act, is beyond the rule making power of Bar Council of India as held by this Hon’ble Court in V. Sudeer v. Bar Council of India (1999) 3 SCC 176, as: pre-enrolment training and examination constitute a topic which the legislature in its wisdom entrusted to the State Bar Councils and not to the Bar Council of India.” “That the impugned amendment violates the fundamental rights of petitioners as conferred by Constitution of India vide Article 14, Article 19(1)(g) and Article 21.”Meanwhile, the Hindustan Times has reported that the BCI has taken an affirmative step to club together all the pending petitions, seeking their transfer before the SC in order to be heard together. Legally India had reported on 13 July that the BCI’s planned to club the petitions into one Supreme Court petition. In Kerala, the petition filed by Sujith Menon and Sriram of Thripunithura is at least the eighth such case after at least seven writ petitions have been reported as filed before the various high courts of the country.Also, SCBA president and BJP Rajya Sabha member senior advocate Ram Jethmalani has opined against the bar exam.

Insurers to pay more for road deaths: SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN, Jul 17, 2010, 01.56am IST
NEW DELHI: The next of kin of motor accident victims can now expect a much higher compensation from insurers. The Supreme Court has ruled that only the income tax component can be deducted from a victim’s salary to arrive at his net income for the purpose of calculating the claim amount. Till now, the monthly income of the victim was calculated after deducting from the gross salary loan repayment premiums, contribution to provident fund and even life insurance payments. This helped insurance companies greatly reduce the victim’s `income’ on which the compensation is based. While delivering a judgment in a compensation dispute, the Supreme Court has put a stop to this practice. “While ascertaining the income of the deceased, any deductions shown in the salary certificate as deductions towards GPF, life insurance premium, repayment of loans etc, should not be excluded from the income,” a Bench comprising Justices R V Raveendran and H L Gokhale said. Applying this principle, the court ordered an increase in the compensation to the widow, three children and parents of a 36-year-old police sub-inspector who was killed in an motor accident in 1990, from Rs 14.6 lakh to Rs 19.7 lakh. The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal had calculated the income of the sub-inspector as Rs 9,489 after taking into account various deductions from a gross salary of Rs 13,794. Applying the relevant multiplier, the tribunal had awarded a compensation of Rs 14.44 lakh. When the kin of the police official appealed against the tribunal before the Delhi High Court, it enhanced the compensation by Rs 32,000. However, it reduced the interest payable on the compensation amount to 6% from 9% awarded by the tribunal. The SC did not interfere with the interest rate awarded by the HC, but by applying the new rule for computation of income of the deceased, increased the compensation amount by more than Rs 5 lakh.

SC warns RComm on call conversion
Indu Bhan Posted: Tuesday, Jul 13, 2010 at 2300 hrs ISTNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday warned Anil Ambani Group firm Reliance Communications that its interconnect agreement will be cancelled if charges against it of masking international calls as domestic ones through auto call-rerouting were proved.
Public sector telecom service provider BSNL has alleged that RComm had been indulging in illegal conversion of its international calls as local calls since 2004, thereby causing huge loss to BSNL.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia while flaying BSNL for “not stopping the arrangement” with Reliance said: “Why didn’t you stop the arrangement. You just relied on the penalty clause. It is a serious matter. We will examine it. Steps should be taken to stop such practices.”
“ If that is so (BSNL’s allegations), we will cancel its (Reliance) interconnect agreement and take stringent measures against it,” Justice Kapadia observed while posting BSNL’s petition along with the one filed by Reliance for hearing on August 27.
However, RComm’s senior counsel C S Vaidhynathan and counsel Manali Singal said that the company had nothing to do with rereouting of calls.
Reliance has now taken a stand that that some unscrupulous subscriber had been indulging in such illegal activities, the BSNL said in its petition.
BSNL has challenged the TDSAT judgment of May this year that directed it to hand over the relevant call detail records (CDRs).
It submitted that CDRs were already available with Reliance and such direction would serve no useful purpose as the Ambani firm itself had its own records of call details.
“Reliance in a completely malafide and illegal manner tampered with the Caller Line Identification (CLI) of incoming international calls which were handed over to BSNL camouflaging such calls as local calls and by doing so, Reliance had violated the terms and conditions of the interconnect agreement between the parties,” BSNL stated.
It added that the private telecom service provider had deliberately jeopardised the national security and in doing so had connived and participated in illegal activities.
Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium it had found in 2004 that RComm had been indulging in illegally converting its international calls and thereby “securing to itself a gigantic unlawful profit/benefit to itself and unlawful loss to BSNL”.
Such an illegal activity was also found to be fradulent by DoT, which had proceeded to impose the maximum prescribed penalty of Rs 150 crore on the three telecom licences of Reliance, he added.
The tribunal had also upheld the penalty imposed on RComm for violating the licence conditions which resulted in handing over of international calls to BSNL as local calls.
Reliance’s appeal against the tribunal’s order is pending before the apex court.
According to the petition, there were strict clauses in the interconnection agreements between the parties prohibiting Reliance from tampering or modifying CLI of the calls or wrongly handing over the international calls as local calls in trunk groups designated for local and domestic calls.
It further said that international calls had much higher Interconnection Usage Charges (IUC) as compared to local and domestic calls.

Consumer fora can’t direct award of certificates: SC–t-direct-award-of-certificates–SC/649415/
Posted: Jul 20, 2010 at 1949 hrs IST
New Delhi The Supreme Court has held that the consumer fora cannot direct a statutory examination board to award certificates to students as it is beyond the purview of the Consumer Protection Act.
“The respondent as a student is neither a consumer nor is the appellant rendering any service. The claim of the respondent to award B.Ed. degree was almost in the nature of a relief praying for a direction to the appellant to act contrary to its own rules.
“The National Commission, in our opinion, with the utmost respect to the reasoning given therein, did not take into consideration the aforesaid aspect of the matter and, thus, arrived at a wrong conclusion,” the apex court said in a judgement.
A Bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar gave the judgement while upholding the appeal filed by Maharishi Dayanand University challenging a direction to award B.Ed degree to a girl student Surjeet Kaur.
The university had refused to grant certificate to the girl student for her B.Ed course on the ground that she had concealed the fact of simaltaneously pursuing her M.A in Political Science in Government College, Gurgaon.
However, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) directed the University to award her the degree, following which the varsity approached the apex court.
Citing its earlier judgement in the Bihar School Examination Board case, the apex court said the Consumer Protection Act does not intend to cover discharge of a statutory function of examining whether a candidate is fit to be declared as having successfully completed a course by passing the examination.
Moreover, in the present case, the apex court said the student was pursuing the two courses simaltaneously though the rules clearly prohibited this.
The bench said the Commission had come to an erroneous conclusion that the student was “tortured” by the varsity by denying her the certificate.
“We wish to make it clear that the National Commission felt that the respondent had been “harassed” and has also gone to the extent of using the word “torture” against an officer of the appellant.
“The appellant is an autonomous body and the decision of the appellant and the statutory provisions have to be implemented through its officers. This also includes the implementation of all such measures which have a statutory backing and if they are implemented honestly through a correct interpretation, the same, in our opinion, cannot extend to the degree of torture or harassment,” the apex court said while upholding the varsity’s plea.

Court sentences 10 to prison
Dimapur, July 20 (MExN): A landmark judgement was passed by the District and Session Court, Dimapur last week where two persons were sentenced to twenty years rigorous imprisonment and eight others to undergo rigorous imprisonment for ten years for offences under the Arms Act. On November 15, 2005 a gang of dacoits shot dead Rafique Ahmed at around 12:45 midnight at a grocery shop of one Nandu Shah at Ghorapatty, Dimapur. The case was registered at East Police Station, Dimapur and after investigation, Police had arrested the ten accused persons while one is still absconding. In a meet with media personnel, Additional Public Prosecutor, Dimapur Hutoi Yeptho, stated that the case was a one of its kind criminal case in Nagaland. The APP stated that the case involved the highest crime in the state where eleven accused are involved in a case of dacoity with murder. It was also revealed that the accused were also involved in another dacoity case registered at the west Police Station, Dimapur where the victim was seriously injured. It was also informed that all legal process of the case is completed just the judgement is yet to be pronounced. It was further revealed that as per the charge sheet submitted by IO, the accused persons are also involved on other similar crimes committed in Assam and have several cases booked against them. When APP Hutoi was asked why the case took almost five years, he responded that “the delay was because of several reasons like witnesses failing to turn up on fixed date for evidence and also one of the accused was arrested after six months.” Hutoi also stated that the landmark judgement makes an impact on the security of the public as after arresting the accused persons such instances of dacoity with murder have not been reported and wa said to have decreased. He also said that there has been no occurrence of such kind of crimes especially in Dimapur. He also stated that the role of Prosecutors have a vital role in dealing with criminal cases. “With the active investigation of the Police by providing all the necessary information and documents, this case could be successfully disposed off” he said.

Orissa in a fix over Posco mines, had promised iron ore to 49 projects–had-promised-iron-ore-to-49-projects/649431/
Dilip Bisoi Posted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 2103 hrs ISTBhubaneswar: The Orissa High Court’s judgement on Posco-India’s Khandadhar iron ore mines has put the state government’s policy to provide prospective investors with mineral wealth in jeopardy. The judgement is likely to deter the state government from deciding on allotment of mines invoking section 11(5) of the Mines and Minerals (Regulation & Development) Act 1957.
The state government has lined up 49 steel projects in the state with promises that they would be provided captive iron ore mines. Even though there are hoards of applications for each of the iron ore mines in the state, the government was confident that it would be able to prioritise the application of the project promoters taking advantage of provision 11(5) of the MMRD Act.
The Orissa government is consulting with senior counsellors of the Supreme Court to decide its next course of action. Sources in the government told FE two eminent lawyers of the apex court have been consulted on the issue. The government is soon going to take a decision on whether it will contest the high court order in the Supreme Court, sources said.
The state government had recommended the prospecting licence of Khandadhar mines in favour of Posco-India on the ground that it would add maximum value to the iron ore in the state. The Orissa High Court, however, has directed the state government to reconsider its decision and hear all the 226 applications once again, pointing out that the “relative merit is insufficient” while deciding the case in favour of Posco-India.
The Jagatsinghpur district administration, meanwhile, is preparing to launch the land acquisition drive for the Posco site. After the announcement of the Rehabilitation & Resettlement Package for the affected villagers, the district administration is planning to move to the site from July 28, to make arrangements for eviction of villagers.

Congress seeks Naveen Patnaik’s resignation
First Published : 20 Jul 2010 10:16:02 PM IST
Last Updated : 20 Jul 2010 11:43:59 PM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Hours after BJP demanded the chief minister’s resignation in the wake of Orissa High court’s observation on state’s “inconsistent” mineral policy, Congress today asked Naveen Patnaik to step down from office to prove his respect for law of the land.
“Patnaik often says that law will take its own course.
Now the court of law (Orissa HC) has indicted the state government in strongest words finding it on wrong foot while disposing a case relating to recommendation of Posco-India’s name for prospecting license (PL) over an iron ore reserve,” senior Congress leader Narashingha Mishra told reporters here.
Dubbing Patnaik as a person who had “no respect” for the laws, courts and Constitution, Mishra challanged him to go by law in context to recent High Court judgement.
Citing an instance of the chief minister’s alleged lack of respect for law, the senior Congress leader pointed out that Lok Pal’s direction in connection with the land acquisition for Vedanta University project, was also not abided by the state government.
Though the Lok Pal had asked the state government to take action on its recommendation on Vedanta University case within 90 days, nothing was done, Mishra said.
In the much-hyped mining scam also the state government failed to arrest the real culprits or seize minerals worth Rs 110 crore stolen by a private company even after one year, he alleged.
Cautioning the chief minister, the Congress leader said that Patnaik should step down voluntarily as the law has been chasing him on different cases.
“Now the chief minister is liable to criminal prosecution in view of the observations made by the High Court on mineral policy,” Mishra said.
Quoting a portion of the HC judgement of July 14, Mishra said “This clearly shows that the stand taken by the government is totally inconsistent and the mineral policy of the state is totally in a mess and the state government has adopted a policy that would suit to the situation and suit to favoured parties.”
Meanwhile, the agitating Congress MLAs already on dharna over coal scam demanded a probe by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG).
Accusing the chief minister of shielding the two ministers in the coal scam, leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh alleged that more ministers could be part of the irregularities.

Former Attorney General Milon K Banerji passes away
PTI, Jul 20, 2010, 05.21pm IST

NEW DELHI: Milon Kumar Banerji, who held the office of Attorney General of India twice between 1992-96 and 2004-09, died here today after months of illness, family sources said. Banerji, 82, was not keeping well since he suffered a stroke in December 2009. He breathed his last at around 3:30 am at the Apollo Hospital. His last rites will be performed at the Lodhi Road electric crematorium tomorrow evening, the family said. Banerji is survived by two sons who are also practising advocates. His wife had predeceased him some years ago. Debal Banerji, his elder son, is a senior lawyer practising in Calcutta High Court and the Supreme Court while younger son Gourav Banerji is the Additional Solicitor General. Banerji was first appointed the Attorney General in the P V Narasimha Rao Government from 1992 to 1996 and then in the UPA-I government of Manmohan Singh. He also served as Solicitor General from 1986 to 1989 and as Additional Solicitor General from 1979 to 1986. Banerji, during his 50-year career, had appeared in the Supreme Court and various High Courts and was associated with a number of important cases. During the Narasimha Rao government, the day he took over as the AG on November 24, 1992, he had appeared in the Ayodhya Ramjanambhoomi Babri Masjid case and told the Supreme Court that the situation had reached a boiling point and any inaction would make it irreversible. The judgement in the case upholding the validity of the Acquisition of Certain Areas in Ayodhya Act, 1993, was another landmark in his career. He had also argued cases involving issues of Election Commission’s power and the citizenship of Congress President Sonia Gandhi. The national awards, like the Bharat Ratna and the Padma awards, were revived by the Supreme Court after a long break, accepting Banerjee’s arguments and suggestions. More than a decade after the apex court’s judgement, he was awarded with Padma Vibhushan in 2005. Banerji obtained his LLB degree in 1950 from Allahabad University and completed his LLM from Cambridge University in 1953 before enrolling as an advocate of the Allahabad High Court in 1955. He also practised in the Calcutta High Court. He became a designated senior advocate in May 1972. He was a member of Permanent Court of Arbitration and was recently appointed as a member of the Permanent Court. He was recently elected to the prestigious position of Honorary Bencher of the Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London, which also included Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair among its Benchers.

‘BJP MP behind whistleblower’s murder’
21 Jul 2010, 1125 hrs IST
A day after an RTI activist was shot dead outside the Gujarat High Court in Ahmedabad after filing a recent PIL against illegal mining, the family of Amit Jethwa allege BJP MP behind his murder. Jethwa’s family on Wednesday (July 21) alleged foul play saying that BJP MP from Junagadh — Dinu Solanki was behind the murder. Bhiku Jethwa, Amit’s father said, “I strongly suspect that Dinu Solanki is behind my son’s murder. Because he has threatened me on telephone. He also threatened Amit many times. Amit was threatened in Kodinar and Khamba towns in front of large crowds, a thousand strong. But nobody dared to report the matter.” Amit Jethwa was killed by 2 unidentified assailants on a motorcycle as he was coming out of the court. Police say the assailants ran away from the spot after shooting Jethwa. He had recently filed a PIL in the Gujarat High Court against illegal mining in Gir forest. Following his PIL, the authorities had cracked down on the illegal mining activities in Gir forest and other areas on the Saurashtra coast.

Bangalore: Upa Lokayukta’s Appointment Questioned in Court
Daijiworld Media Network – Bangalore (SP)
Bangalore, Jul 20: A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in the state High Court, seeking to quash the appointment of Justice S B Majage as the state Upa Lokayukta. Justice Majage had taken over charge as the Upa Lokayukta on Monday July 19.
In the PIL, a person named R L N Murty, who is a city-based advocate, has claimed that Justice Majage’s appointment to the post is illegal as it violates Karnataka Administrative Tribunal Act 1985. The division bench of the High Court comprising Justice N K Patil and Justice A S Bopanna, which took up the petition, said that the same would be heard on Wednesday July 21.
The main contention of the litigant is that a person, who has already worked in an administrative tribunal, is barred from being appointed to any other post of the government. He has pointed out that Justice Majage has functioned as the vice president of Karnataka Administrative Tribunal (KAT) from 2005 to 2008. As per section 11(e) of the act, a member, president or vice president of KAT is barred from being chosen for government appointments. Further, section 3 (2)(b) of Karnataka Lokayukta Act 1984 prescribes that only High Court judges can be appointed as the Upa Lokayuktas. As such, Justice Majage is not eligible to hold this post, the petitioner has contended in his petition.

Cabinet plugs holes in Arms Act
Satya Prakash, Hindustan TimesEmail AuthorNew Delhi, July 21, 2010
First Published: 00:52 IST(21/7/2010)Last Updated: 00:54 IST(21/7/2010)
Taking cognisance of a large number of licenced weapons falling into the hands of criminals, particularly in Rajasthan and Punjab, the UPA government has finally decided to amend the Arms Act, 1959 to plug loopholes in the law. The Cabinet on July 15 approved an amendment to Section 13 of the act making it mandatory for the police to file verification for issuance of an arms licence within 60 days. It also approved deletion of Section 13(2A) that was being misused for issuing licences without verifying antecedents of applicants.
The amendment comes months after the Centre told the Supreme Court it had issued detailed guidelines for issuance, renewal and transfer of arms licences. It had also asked the states to dispense with Section 13(2A), which empowered authorities to grant arms licences without waiting for police verification.
HT first reported on September 5, 2007 that army officers had been selling their personal weapons illegally in the grey market in Rajasthan. Thereafter advocate Arvind Kumar Sharma had filed a PIL seeking a CBI probe into the gunrunning scandal, allegedly involving the army and Rajasthan government officials.
Responding to the PIL, the Union home ministry told the court it had written to states and union territories to ensure strict compliance of the rules.
The proposed amendments would obviate chances of arms licences being issued to persons with criminal background.
Earlier, admitting irregularities in issuing arms licences, the Centre had instructed state officers not to delegate powers given to them under the act to any other officer. It requested state governments to advise their deputy commissioners or collectors to follow scrupulously the provisions of the Arms Act.
The Rajasthan government has admitted before SC irregularities in 325 cases, out of which 227 licences had been cancelled and 98 were under review.

Oppn netas spend night in House
Gyan Prakash, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 03.48am IST

PATNA: In probably a first in the annals of Bihar legislature, nearly 100 opposition MLAs and MLCs spent the whole night in the state legislature building after the honourable ruling and opposition members of the legislative assembly, in an unusual display of muscle, had their sleeves rolled up earlier in the day when they trooped into the well of the House, uprooted the reporters’ table ahead of the Speaker’s podium and threw reporters’ chairs at each other, leaving quite a few among them-selves bruised on Tuesday. Rumour mills worked overnight and SMSes were sent saying the legis-lators had been locked and denied food while power supply to the premises had been snapped on the orders of chief minister Nitish Kumar. However, the agitating legislators had a different tale to tell. “We are sitting on an indefinite dharna in the well of the House,” RJD MLA Akhtarul Iman said, adding power supply was on. “We had our dinner and we are now going to sleep,” RJD MLC Ghulam Gaus told TOI around midnight. It all started with opposition members pressing for an adjournment mo-tion and demanding the resignation of chief minister Kumar and deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi for the government’s involvement in the alleged irregular withdrawal of Rs 11,412.54 crore from the state exchequer for various welfare schemes. Opposition members shouted slogans and entered the well of the House. Ruling NDA members followed them in the well, and demanded the resignation of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government for its fail-ure to contain rising prices. Slogans like “Khazana loot ki andhi ayee, Nitish-Modi mausere bhai”, “Khazana chor, gaddi chhor” and “Nitish, Modi hai-hai”as well as “Yeh dekho Congress ka khel, kha gayee chini, pi gayee tel” and “Jo sarkar mehangai na roke, woh sarkar nikammi hai” rent the air. One MLA snatched the writing pads of reporters to use them as missiles, and a free-for-all ensued. Cooperative minister Giriraj Singh joined NDA MLAs in throwing the huge reporters’ table at the RJD bench. RJD’s Abdul Bari Siddiqui came under the table but somehow saved himself. However, it left Lalit Yadav (RJD) and Murari Gautam (Congress) hurt. Elsewhere, others were engaged in scuffles. As the Speaker’s repeated pleas for peace and calm fell on deaf ears, he adjourned the House for the day. Yet, the entire opposition stayed back in the well of the House. “We will sit on an indefinite dharna against the `goondagardi’ of the government in the House,” Siddiqui said. RJD su-premo Lalu Prasad later reached the legislature building to express solidarity with the agitating legislators. He was, however, not allowed in. At least five opposition members — Lalit, Prema Chowdhary, Vibha Kumari (all RJD), Gautam (Congress) and Rajendra Prasad Singh (CPI) were seen nursing their wounds. Ruling JD(U)’s chief whip Shrawan Ku-mar said four of his party MLAs — Jai Kumar Singh, Bilat Paswan, Ram Prit Paswan and Ashok Yadav — too had to be given first aid. Both the opposition and ruling NDA members later said it was “a black day in the parliamentary democracy”. Siddiqui and Awadhesh Narain Singh of Congress blamed it on the CM and deputy CM. “Had they not instigated their party MLAs to take on us, the situation would not have worsened,” Siddiqui said. Incidentally, the Patna high court is also seized with the matter of al-leged irregular withdrawals. While hearing a PIL, the HC on July 15 even favoured a CBI probe into it and directed the CBI director to present him-self before it on July 26. The PIL alleged that the withdrawals took place between the financial years 2002-03 and 2007-08 and that the Accountant General-Bihar was not furnished the required bills. The Nitish Kumar government has moved the HC and pleaded that the CAG report on the withdrawals and expenditures is yet to be adopted by the state legislature as it is under the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee of the assembly. all its drawing and disbursing offi-cers to procure the bills for the expenditures that have now turned controversial. Ironically, the period of controversial withdrawals includes 42 months of the Rabri Devi-led RJD-Congress government and President’s rule and 28 months of the Nitish Kumar-led current NDA government. The opposition, however, has chosen to remain blissfully ignorant of this.

Safety of 150 kids doesn’t bother BBMP
Civic authorities ignore High Court and Lok Ayukta orders to inspect a school building and report on its safety

Shyam Prasad
Posted On Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 05:22:30 AM

The BBMP is sleeping over four orders — one from the High Court and three from the Lok Ayukta — directing it to report whether a school near BEL Circle is safe.Students of Vyasa International School in Lottegollanahalli face danger from falling bricks from floors under construction. A public interest case filed by a neighbour, seeking the school’s closure, is also coming up for hearing soon.At the first hearing, the court had said it did not want to close the school in the middle of the academic year as it would affect the students’ future.It had also set July 17 as the deadline for the BBMP to inspect the building and submit a report.On Feb 23, Bangalore Mirror had reported how the construction had put students in danger. R Venkatesh, who filed the PIL on March 26, has cited this report in his petition.After the High Court heard the PIL and served a notice, the BBMP cancelled the ownership deed of the land (5 acres and 11 guntas) on which the school is situated.“The BBMP’s failure to submit the report amounts to contempt of court. It seems they are deliberately delaying it. A Supreme Court order of March 27, 2009, says that the land does not belong to the school. There seems to be a bigger conspiracy to take over the land under the pretext of running a school,” said advocate Pavana Chandra Shetty, who filed the PIL on behalf of Venkatesh. The school has about 150 students.The Lok Ayukta had on February 19, March 20 and again on March 30 asked the BBMP to inspect the building and submit a detailed report on its safety. The letter had said, “On the face of it, the charges that children are in danger from falling construction material is real.”The BBMP gave permission for the construction on November 27, 2009. After the building is done, the BBMP has to certify that it is safe for conducting classes. The Lok Ayukta has asked: How are classes being conducted without the occupancy certificate being given by BBMP?When the BBMP failed to reply to its notice, Lok Ayukta officers inspected the school on March 18, 2010. On March 30, the Lok Ayukta extended the deadline by 40 days. The BBMP later replied to the Lok Ayukta saying it was waiting for a reply from Srinivasaraju, the owner of the property.

From the frying pan to the fire
Nitin Jain,nitin-jain
Posted: Jul 21, 2010 at 0240 hrs IST
Mohali Earlier, they were made to sit in unsafe classrooms in a dilapidated school building; now, they are exposed to the vagaries of nature.
A week after a report in The Indian Express spoke about how the Government Senior Secondary School at Amlala village continues to hold classes in a building declared unsafe on August 21, 2009, the school authorities have now begun to take classes outside the school building, in the courtyard.
There are 400 students and 17 teachers in this village school near Chandigarh.
There are no desks and chairs in the courtyard and students now sit on the floor. There are no mats and blackboards in the school either.
No recent repair work has also been initiated by the authorities.
The 40-year-old building, which is spread across an acre, was declared unsafe by the Public Works Department; but until last week, classes were held inside the building.
Although eight of the total 13 classrooms were vacated and classes held outside after the building was declared unsafe, they were once again shifted inside after it started to rain.
“We have been asked to vacate the unsafe classrooms again,” said school principal Parneet Kaur.
In the absence of any alternate arrangement, the classes are being held in the open, she added.
The principal’s office has also been declared unsafe. “We are also made to sit in the open or the verandah,” said economics teacher Gurinder Preet Kaur. “Parents had objected when he had shifted the classes outside. Now we don’t know what to do,” said Punjabi teacher Harminder Pal Singh.
The temporary repairs conducted by some villagers and parents at their own cost to make their children study under a roof were also washed away in the recent rains.
Labourer Pal Khan’s son, Rubal, is a Class XII student. “Till our son returns home, we keep fearing for his life” he said.
Like Khan, most parents are so poor that they cannot afford to shift their wards to other private schools in the area.
But despite all odds, the school has shown excellent results over the years.
All its students cleared the 2010 Class X and XII board exams, and six girl students scored between 90-99 per cent marks in mathematics.
Officialspeak“Since the High Court is already apprised of the matter, I can not comment,” said Krishan Kumar, Special Secretary-cum-Director General, School Education, Punjab.
“This is not the only such school; six to seven more schools in the district and many others in other districts of Punjab are also functioning from unsafe buildings. We have sought funds from the government to construct new buildings, and till then, we have requested village panchayats to provide alternate places to conduct classes,” said Niranjan Singh, District Education Officer (Secondary), Mohali.
HC noticeTaking suo motu notice of the news report in Jansatta, the Hindi daily of the Express Group, a Division Bench of Punjab and Haryana High Court, comprising Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and Justice Ajay Tewari had on July 16 sought details from the states of Punjab and Haryana with regard to infrastructure and other issues.
“We are of the view that taking into account the enormity of problems that poor students studying in government schools are facing, it would be appropriate to convert this public interest litigation (PIL) into an all-state exercise,” the HC order read.
The Punjab and Haryana governments have been directed to file affidavits stating the present state of infrastructure in government schools in both states. Affidavits will also state the provision for mid-day meals in the schools, the Bench had ruled.
“Education now being a Fundamental Right under Article 21 of the Constitution, it is evident that education provided in state schools must meet basic necessities that have been designated. How many working days of teachers of government schools are utilised in non-educational activities?” the court has asked the states.
(With inputs from Raghav Ohri and Harjeet Singh)

BAI and SAI to be treated as non-recognised federations
Special Correspondent
The Badminton Association of India (BAI) and the Swimming Federation of India (SFI) would be treated as non recognised federations even though no such official notification had been issued by the Union Government.
The Joint Secretary, Union Sports Ministry, Injeti Srinivas said on Tuesday that the ministry had taken note of the reports of the observers at the recent BAI and SFI elections where officials were elected in contravention of the Union Government guidelines.
The ministry was also in receipt of a letter from the Returning Officer for the BAI elections stating that the elections were held in a fraudulent manner.
“Any federation which is non-compliant (of the guidelines) will have to work as a non-recognised federation from now on. We will submit a report before the Delhi High Court on August 18 (when the court resumes hearing in a PIL). Our position is also known to the International Olympic Committee,” he said.
He clarified that the Indian teams being prepared for the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games would be “insulated” from the consequences of the government stand since the ministry would not think of bringing an abrupt end to such preparations.
The funding, in such cases, would be routed through the IOA or the Sports Authority of India (SAI).

Supreme Court rejects plea for NRI voting rights
By siliconindia news bureau
Tuesday, 20 July 2010, 16:00 IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has made it clear that it will not consider PILs concerning policy matters and refused to entertain a petition seeking voting rights for non-resident Indians (NRIs). The court also noted that since the Bill relating to grant of voting rights to NRIs is pending with the government, it would not like to interfere in the matter.
To bring uniformity in the treatment of PILs, a Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swatanter Kumar said, “From now onwards, the Supreme Court will not entertain matters which strictly fall within the policy domain of the government. And no PIL will be entertained if the petitioner has not represented the authorities about his grievances.” Having clarified about its approach towards PILs, the Bench sought to know from Amar Dave, counsel for PIL petitioner Ahammed Adiyottil, whether the NRI working in Qatar had ever filed his income tax returns in India to claim voting rights. Dave and advocate Harish Beeran pointed out that the provisions of Representation of People Act clearly mandated that absence from a constituency for specific periods, because of working abroad, would not be a ground for striking off the name of the person from the voters’ list. Faced with difficult questions from the Bench about tax returns and property acquisition rights, Dave informed the Bench that the government had drafted a bill in 2006 seeking to give voting rights to NRIs. The Bench immediately said, “That is precisely the point. If the government grants voting rights to NRIs, we are not coming in the way. But we will not grant it as we do not know the consequences of it. So, let the government decide and pass the law.” It allowed the counsel to withdraw the PIL.

PIL filed as higher education in a shambles in Balangir
Pioneer News Service Balangir
After the sorry state of primary education, it is the same state of affairs with higher education in Balangir due to shortage of lecturers and non-appointment of principals.
Seeking appointment of lecturers and principals in different colleges of the town to impart higher education to students properly, PIL has been filed in the Odish High Court by general secretary of the All Kosal Students’ Union Dolamani Pradhan.
According to the petition, Balangir-based Rajendra College, once the premier higher educational Institution of this entire region, is now in a shambles with vacant posts of lecturers and the principal.
Against the sanctioned posts of 64 lecturers, there are only 22 lecturers now posted in the college. And out of them, two teachers have been transferred and another is on long leave, leaving only 19 teachers in the college, which imparts education to students from the Plus-2 level to that of postgraduation.
The Government Women’s College also suffers the same fate. Against the sanctioned 32 lecturers’ posts, as many as 18 posts are lying vacant. Ironically, at least two posts sanctioned in the department of Economics since last five years has not been filled. Moreover, there is no principal in the college.
The Balangir College, established in 1982, also has a similar situation. Functioning in an old and unsafe building in a daily market, it has only six lecturers against the sanctioned strength of 12.
Besides, the continuous neglect of the second Sanskrit College of Odisha, established in 1908, has pushed it to the verge of closure. The only degree Ayurvedic College of the district also suffers from shortage of lecturers as it now functions with only 12 lecturers against the sanctioned strength of 28. Besides seeking appointment of lecturers, principals in the colleges, petitioner Dolamani Pradhan has sought strict implementation of a transfer policy of lecturers.
The All Kosal Students’ Union general secretary has filed the PIL through advocate Ashis Mishra, urging the HC to direct the Government to take appropriate steps in this regard with a stipulated time.

Victims to get protection officers within two months
City lawyer filed PIL regarding Domestic Violence Act after Mirror report. The HC has disposed of the case

By Chaitraly Deshmukh
Posted On Tuesday, July 20, 2010 at 11:12:34 PM

A report published in the Pune Mirror on June 8, 2009 which said the State government had committed to the Bombay High Court that it would appoint full time protection officers to implement the Domestic Violence Act of 2005 within two months, prompted city lawyer Rajendra Anbhule to file a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the regard. On June 26, the High Court had ordered the State government to form a high-level committee to handle this issue. On Thursday, July 15, 2010, the State government filed its compliance report before the High Court bench of Chief Justice Mohit S Shah and justice S C Dharmadhikari saying that the cabinet has taken a decision to form the committee in its meeting on May 26.The State Government also submitted a copy of a Government Resolution dated June 8, 2010 pertaining to the formation of the high power committee headed by the secretary of the Women and Child Welfare department. Other committee members include the commissioner, deputy secretary, deputy commiserate of Woman and Child Welfare department and representatives of the Law and Judiciary department, Home department, State Woman Commission, State Headquarters, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Karve Institute of Social Science and Nirmala Niketan College of Social Work.The State government sought three months time to appoint full time protection officers to implement the Act. It informed the court that advertisements for recruitment of protection officers have been released but examinations and interviews of candidates are yet to be conducted. However, the High Court instructed the State Government to complete the task in two months and disposed of the petition.Anbhule says, “I have been struggling for this cause for the last 11 months and the court has upheld my demand. However, complete outsourcing of the tasks of protection officers may prove against the interest of women. Providing security to women is the core function of only the state and it may not have effective control on the protection officers if their tasks are outsourced. While appointing protection officers, care should be taken to ensure that they are sensible, sensitive and firm enough to do justice to their duty.”Appointment of full time protection officers is crucial for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act because of the nature of the powers vested in them and their duties. As per the law, the protection officer should preferably be a woman with a post graduate degree in social work.Protection officer’s roleA protection officer (PO) works under the supervision of the court. The responsibilities of the PO areFacilitating an aggrieved woman’s access to the court and assisting the court in discharging its functionsService providers engaged in providing services, to women are to be registered under the Act 12. By registering under this law, they attain the status of public officersThe State is to notify medical facilities and shelter homes which cannot refuse services to aggrieved womenPolice are bound to provide information on this law to women approaching them with complaints of domestic violence. This is in addition to their duties to register complaints under criminal lawThe court may also order the police to assist POs in discharging their functions. POs are responsible for facilitating an aggrieved woman’s access to legal aid

PIL alleges malpractices by MLAs, CM; seeks CBI probe
Mumbai Tuesday, Jul 20 2010 IST
A Pune-based social activist today filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court, seeking CBI probe and narco-analysis tests on 65 MLAs, including Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, who allegedly adopted malpractices to win the Assembly elections of 2009. In the PIL, Hemant Baburao Patil alleged that the candidates had adopted malpractices and won the elections and thereby promoted the act of corrupt practices and committed breach of rules and code of conduct framed by the Election Commission.
He demanded that the 65 candidates be disqualified and the respondents–the Maharashtra Government and the Chief Electoral Officer, be directed to hold fresh elections in these constituencies.
In the petition, he said the CBI be directed to conduct the probe into the matter and investigation should be time bound. Those named in the PIL, include Mr Chavan, President Pratibha Patil’s son Rajendra Shekhawat, Samajwadi Party MLA Abu Asim Azmi, Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s daughter Pranati, Maharashtra Industries Minister Rajendra Darda, Gopoinath Munde’s daughter Pankaja Munde, Vilasrao Deshmukh’s son Amit Deshmukh, Mumbai Congress chief Kripashankar Singh and state NCP chief Madhukar Pichad. The petition is likely to come up for hearing before a division bench next week. Patil, 40, is President of Rashtriya Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jana Shakti. Earlier, he had filed a PIL on the same issue. However, the Bombay High Court directed the State Human Rights Commission, Mumbai, to consider the representation. On April 20, the State Human Righs Commission, dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it was beyond the purview of the commission and observed that specific allegations on human rights had not been mentioned in the complaint.
”A government of the people has remained a dream as power is now vested in the hands and in interest of money-holders and money-makers and thus the election process has become a toy in the hand of capitalists. The common man still remains a common man. Harsh action needs to be taken by courts,” Patil said.

Explain income source: Income Tax department to Congress leader Kripashankar Singh
Jul 21, 2010 Income Tax
Congress leader Kripashankar Singh, who is currently under various investigating agencies’ scanner for allegedly amassing huge wealth, has been asked by the income-tax department to explain his income source for properties acquired in the city and elsewhere. The I-T department will also estimate the properties’ value.
In its affidavit, the -IT department informed the Bombay high court that it has asked Singh to submit “documentary material” after registering a complaint filed against him in February 2010. A notice seeking details about how he managed to buy properties worth crores was sent some time ago and that the department expects a reply over the next few days. “There are properties in the name of his family members too. We should be ready with our reply to file in the High Court when the matter comes up for hearing on August 5,” an official told reporters.
I-T sources said that Singh had not filed his returns for 2005-06. In the subsequent years, the returns were filed much after the due date. “However, he has filed the current returns in time. It appears that he got an inkling of the investigation, which prompted him to do so,” the source said. It is not clear how the department chronologically co-related his source of acquistion of alleged assets and their accountablility.
Meanwhile, I-T sources said that a scrutiny of the bank account details has not yielded much positive results. “There have been several transactions with some builders. We are investigating with the builders too,” the source said.
A leading nationalised bank has told the I-T department that neither Singh nor his wife had any account with them. One of the suspects in the infamous Madhu Koda scam held an account in this bank. Meanwhile, the affidavit filed by Kailash Mangal, deputy director of IT (investiagtion) said the “prematurely filed” PIL filed against Singh must be dismissed with “heavy costs.”
Under The Lens
A 1,355 square-foot duplex flat with an exclusive 550-square-foot terrace in Vile Parle East worth Rs 2.5 crore
A 1,100-sq-ft shop worth Rs 1 crore in Panvel
250 acres in Wadapeth, Ratnagiri, worth Rs 25 crore
A commercial complex in Jaunpur, UP, worth Rs 2 crore
Rs 1.17 crore in wife’s a/c with Samata Sahakari Bank
His son allegedly owns:
A triplex flat worth Rs 48 crore in Band Stand, Bandra
22,500-sq-ft office in BKC worth Rs 112 crore
A 12,000-sq-ft office space in Wadhwa building at BKC

AP HC grants bail to all but former chief
HT Correspondent, Hindustan TimesEmail AuthorHyderabad, July 20, 2010
First Published: 13:53 IST(20/7/2010)Last Updated: 12:34 IST(21/7/2010)
The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Tuesday granted bail to five former Satyam Computer executives, including the brother of former chairman B Ramalinga Raju. All accused in the case have now got bail except Ramalinga Raju, whose petition was rejected last month. Ex-managing director B Rama Raju,
ex-chief financial officer Vadlamani Srinivas and their three former colleagues were implicated in the Rs 14,000-crore fraud in January 2009 when Ramalinga Raju, the chief architect of the scam, confessed to diverting Satyam funds to two family-run firms – Maytas Properties and Maytas Infrastructure.
A CBI investigation is on.
On June 25, former PricewaterhouseCoopers auditors S Gopalakrishnana and Prabhakara Gupta, who were arrested last year, also got bail.
The court granted bail despite Solicitor General of India Gopal Subrahmaniam advising it not to for fear the accused may tamper with evidence.
Last year, Tech Mahindra took over Satyam Computer, subsequently renaming it Mahindra Satyam.

HC orders further probe in a ’02 riots case
TNN, Jul 20, 2010, 11.52pm IST
AHMEDABAD: Eight years after the riots, the Gujarat High Court has ordered further investigation in a post-Godhra violence case asking the DSP of Ahmedabad (rural) to complete the probe within three months. Three persons were killed on the outskirts of Viramgam town on February 28, 2002. The police lodged FIR three days after the incident. The local police investigated the case and filed a charge-sheet in a sessions court against 10 persons. The trial began in 2006. On January 19 this year, a witness Dosh Mohammed Bhatti filed an application in the sessions court demanding further probe into the case. His contention was that though there were other eye witnesses to the incident, police did not record their statements. Bhatti claimed that his own statement was not recorded up to his satisfaction. The petition alleged that police deliberately ignored mentioning injury marks despite their clear visibility. The trial judge, however, rejected the petition. Bhatti then moved the high court reiterating his contentions through advocate Bhushan Oza that the registration of FIR was late. One of the deceased, who died much later in Gandhi Hospital in Viramgam, described the violence before policemen but no FIR was lodged on his statement. The police authorities did not even record his dying declaration. After hearing the plea raising doubts on the investigating agency’s objective, Justice Akil Kureshi noticed that though there were several eye witnesses to the incident, the investigating officer had recorded statement of just one. Other witnesses’ testimony may throw some light on the incident and this angle should be probed further, the court observed. The high court finally asked the superintendent of police, Ahmedabad (rural) to carry out further investigation, particularly bearing in mind the possibility of recording statements of other eye witnesses.

RIL pipeline: Avoid environmental damage, says HC
TNN, Jul 20, 2010, 11.49pm IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has declined to restrain Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) from putting up a block valve station and pipeline in the Godavari river bed area in Yanam, which is part of the Union Territory of Puducherry. However, the division bench comprising Justice Prabha Sridevan and Justice GM Akbar Ali laid down social responsibility norms for the company so as to ensure that there is minimal environmental impact due to the project. “After all, when environmental disaster strikes, it would strike the mighty and the weak alike,” it observed. The bench was passing orders on a public interest writ petition filed by MS Sai Kumar of Yanam, which said that the territorial administration had allowed RIL to proceed with the project without mandatory clearance as provided in the Madras River Conservancy Act 1884. The project envisaged drawal of gas from the Bay of Bengal, pipeline for 250 km and construction of a jetty, substation, block valve station, control cabin building, etc. The petition said 25 per cent of the residents of Yanam were fishermen who depended on the river Godavari for their livelihood and the project would destroy coconut plantation and mangrove forests in the region, exposing the region to flooding. AL Somayaji, senior counsel for RIL, submitted that use of natural gas is of great national importance and that the project was producing approximately 45 million standard cubic metres of gas, which is equivalent to 50 per cent of gas production in the country. He said RIL had got clearance from all statutory authorities and that the project would not harm the environment. Within the territory of Yanam, the only activity is the extraction of gas and regulation of gas flow with safety measures, Somayaji submitted. The judges, making it clear that they would have dismissed the PIL had it not highlighted some serious environment and public safety issues, said: “While we accept the claim made by RIL that the project is one of great importance for production of hydrocarbons which is a vital natural source, we do not understand why RIL should have commenced production and then obtained the approval.” Pointing out that the Puducherry government merely regularised the constructions put up by the RIL, the judges said RIL should undertake the social responsibility schemes it had outlined in its affidavit. As regards the RIL’s land use conversion applications pending before the authorities, the judges said the government must ask for and obtain an environmental impact report from expert bodies. To prevent future damage, the state government must also be satisfied that the damage was not irreversible, they said, adding that the government must have in place the necessary infrastructure to maintain periodical surveys. The RIL must be asked to publish its proposals so that the public, particularly those likely to be affected by the project, were made aware of the proposed plan, they said.

Quota row: HC notice to GMADA on Aerocity project
TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 01.23am IST

CHANDIGARH: The much-talked about Aerocity housing project floated by Greater Mohali Development Authority (GMADA) has again come under the scanner of Punjab and Haryana High Court, with the HC issuing notice to GMADA on a petition seeking inclusion of mentally challenged and mentally ill persons in the category of disabled persons. Besides GMADA, court also issued notice to the social welfare department of Punjab, seeking their reply on the contentions raised by the petitioner. Justice Surya Kant of the HC issued the notice on Tuesday while hearing a petition filed by a mentally challenged person from Ludhiana, Gurcharan Singh, through his son. After hearing the petition, Justice Surya Kant also observed that the matter involves public interest and it should be heard as a public interest litigation (PIL) on the next date of hearing, which is August 13. During hearing of the case, Samarjit, son of the petitioner, informed the court that the reservation policy for allotment of houses and plots in Punjab Urban Development Authorities (PUDA) for physically handicapped/blind in the advertisement dated June 7 issued by GMADA is in violation of Section 43 read with Section 2 (i) of the Persons with Disabilities Act. The petitioner also sought directions to modify the reservation policy for allotment of houses and plots in PUDA projects by including mentally challenged and mentally ill in the category of disabled persons since the Act does not differentiate between physically and mentally disabled. He further sought directions to GMADA to consider the application of the petitioner in the reserve category for disabled, who though is suffering from mental illness since 1985 and getting treatment from PGIMER, Chandigarh, was not allowed to apply under the reserve categories due to lacunas in the policy and the advertisement and had to apply in the general category.

Explain delay in funds for new court campus: HC to govt
Ravi Singh Sisodiya, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 02.42am IST

LUCKNOW: While taking notice that the construction of new campus of the Lucknow bench of the high court has yet not started in Gomtinagar, though the then Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan had laid foundation stone of the building in December last with the expectation that construction would be completed within the next two years, the high court has sought reply from the Central and state governments by August 6, on delay in allocation of funds. A division bench comprising Justice Rajiv Sharma and Justice Raj Mani Chauhan has taken note that the work load of the bench has increased manifold in the past 25 years and that there is acute shortage of space in the bench for keeping the court records, what to say about sitting space for the officials and officers of the registry. The court also took note that verandahs, which were once used by the litigants and advocates, have either been converted into court rooms or for accommodating sections of the registry. The court came across the said difficulties by way of an application moved by an official of the registry of the high court, Nawab Agha, who was replying to an inquiry ordered against the conduct of a dealing assistant of the registry in a pending writ petition of 1986, relating to a promotion matter of a professor. In the application, Agha disclosed the difficulties of the officials of the registry further stating that the officials have to work in adverse conditions without any basic amenities, which is bound to result in mistakes being committed by the officials ultimately resulting in affecting the administration of justice. The application preferred through lawyer, Amit Bose, indicated numerous other reasons which cause inconvenience to the litigants, officers and officials of the registry and the members of the bar. To meet the demand of the court, a new compound of the high court is to be constructed at Gomtinagar where the land has been allotted and handed over by the government to the court for construction of the court building. Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan had laid the foundation stone of the building seven months ago, but till date, the construction work has not started, submitted Bose and stressed that the construction has not started because the respective governments, both at the Centre and state, have not allocated funds for the purpose. The state lawyer sought time to seek instructions and to inform the court with regard to the status of sanction of funds for construction of high court building complex at Gomtinagar. The judges also directed the registry of the court to send copy of the order to the chief secretary of the state government in order to apprise him of the situation and take the necessary step. The high court also directed the Assistant Solicitor General of India I H Farooqui to obtain instructions from the Central government with regard to allocation of fund for the purpose of construction of the high court building. The bench of same judges will next hear the matter on August 6.

HC asks govt, Kondaiah to file objections
TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 12.03am IST
BANGALORE: Refusing to intervene, the high court on Tuesday asked the Reddy brothers and health minister B Sriramulu to reply to the show-cause notice issued by the Election Commission of India over the office-of-profit controversy. It, however, extended the deadline to file a reply to July 26 instead of the earlier July 25, which is a Sunday. Justice Mohanashantanagoudar, while adjourning hearing of the petitions by a week, asked the state government and Congress MLC K C Kondaiah to file objections to these petitions. Ministers Karunakara Reddy, Janardhana Reddy and B Sriramulu have challenged the June 3 reference sent by the governor to the Election Commission, based on a complaint by Kondaiah and the June 23 show-cause notice issued by the commission asking them to reply by July 15. The court had given them 10 more days to reply to the notice. The Election Commission, meanwhile, has replied to these petitions contending that it is a design to retard the pending process before the constitutional authorities like the commission and the governor. However, the petitioners have contended that there is no specific question either in the reference or the show-cause notice. They claim that the material on hand doesn’t attract section 9 (A) of Representation of People’s Act, 1951. “To disqualify a person on holding an office of profit as contemplated under Article 191 (1)(e) of the Constitution, there should have been a specific case as per Article 192(1). The complaint is bald and vague in nature and also the governor’s earlier notices sent to the petitioner are general in nature. They speak of illegal mining in Bellary and Chitradurga districts and links him to Anantapur Mining company and also Obulapuram Mining company in Andhra Pradesh. The Supreme Court has clearly held that holding a mining lease doesn’t come under office-of-profit explanation,” the petitioners have said.

HC dismisses SP MLA’s plea
TNN, Jul 20, 2010, 11.00pm IST

ALLAHBAAD: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition filed by Samajwadi Party MLA from Gyanpur Vijay Mishra regarding the show cause notice issued by the district magistrate, sant Ravidas Nagar on February 24, 2010. The DM had issued show cause notice to the MLA, asking reply to him as to why his licence of pistol and rifle be not cancelled. The notice was issued on the recommendation made by the police. Considering the criminal history of Mishra, the police had recommended cancellation of his arm licences. Justice Dilip Gupta passed this order on a writ petition filed by the MLA. The court dismissed the writ petition as pre-mature. The petitioner had alleged that his security had been withdrawn by the state government and there was a threat to his life. It has also been stated in the writ petition that several false criminal cases had been filed against him at the instance of ministers Rangnath Mishra and Rakeshdhar Tripathi.

‘Blacklisted’ firm okayed building HC notice to BMC, MMRDA
Swati Deshpande, TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 01.46am IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Tuesday issued notices to BMC, MMRDA and Mumbai Metro One Pvt Ltd (MMOPL) for allowing a `blacklisted’ firm of structural engineers to carry out an audit of an Andheri building reportedly damaged by the use of vibrohammer during the ongoing work on the Metro project. Advocate Simran Puri for Varshana Co-operative Housing Society informed a bench of Justices Ajay Khanwilkar and Amjad Sayed that Structwel Designers & Consultants Pvt Ltd was “blacklisted by the BMC in February 2010 with no fresh work to be allotted to them for a year”. Yet, she said the firm was appointed by the MMRDA to audit the building later in February. The court was hearing a review petition filed by the housing society against a April 9, 2010 order of the HC. By that order, the HC had expressed its inability to determine under its writ jurisdiction the correctness of two different and varying reports on the same building. It thus disposed of an application filed by the housing society as well as a PIL filed by Monica Matani, one of the residents. Matani had alleged that it was the vibrohammer used without a licence by Mumbai Metro One that was causing structural damage and had weakened their residential building. The residents filed its review petition now saying that it had only on May 17 learnt that the BMC had removed Structwel from its panel on February 5, 2010 for a year. They now want a fresh audit to quantify the damage to their building and to suggest remedial measures. The residents said that an earlier report by independent structural engineers had noted “extensive structural damage to the building…due to violent vibratory motion” and recommended urgent repairs and quantification of the damage. The housing society said Structwel, appointed by MMRDA, had issued an “interim stability report” but in its final report attributed the damage to the age of the building and the poor construction quality, ignoring “rapid deterioration to the building after the metro work had begun.” Earlier this year when the society’s application was being heard seeking a structural audit, MMOPL had voluntarily deposited Rs 10 lakh with MMRDA towards payment of any audit fees and interim repairs. Incidentally, Structwel is one of the two firms which has been entrusted with the task of carrying out the pre-condition survey and mapping all buildings that come on the second metro line of Charkop-Bandra-Mankhurd. MMRDA officials when contacted said they could not comment on the issue but claimed not to know about BMC removing Structwel from its panel. The next date of hearing is August 3 by when the authorities may file their say.

Allahabad HC quashes case against officer who probed Mayawati
Rakesh Bhatnagar / DNA
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 0:45 IST
New Delhi: While refraining from pointedly holding Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati responsible for retaliation against a meritorious deputy superintendent of police who had interrogated her in corruption cases when she was out of power, the Allahabad high court (HC) last week quashed charges filed against Dhirendra Kumar Rai and directed the state to pay him Rs2 lakh in compensation for causing him trauma and agony.
Rai had not made Mayawati a party in his suit though he was able to show that she was responsible for the “oppressive” action.As a member of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) team in 2005, Rai was a part of the team that investigated the Taj corridor scam and Mayawati’s role in the same. Rai had collected evidence linking “fake donors”, who were not traceable earlier, to the corpus of Mayawati, who was then a member of parliament.
For his “skillful investigation”, the CBI had rewarded him Rs5,000. A bench of justices Devi Prasad Singh and SC Chaurasia said that it appeared that Rai had searched Mayawati’s premises and also interrogated her.
The UP government didn’t deny the court’s observation but the state’s counsel said since Rai had not impleaded Mayawati as a respondent, no mala fide intention could be attributed to her without hearing her defence.
The UP government had suspended Rai after he and his team encountered a dacoit gang, in which six policemen were killed, in July 2007. Rai had made 29 calls to his seniors, seeking help, but to no avail. He then led his team back to the police station, losing six men on the way. The UP police later charge sheeted him for misconduct in taking the decision to head back.
The HC said the decision could be called wrong, but it did not amount to misconduct. In fact, the HC wanted action taken those officers who ignored his SOS, and thus put the force at risk.
The judges said the UP government’s action against Rai was based on no evidence or evidence that does not constitute misconduct, and also based on records that appear to have been fabricated. The action was laced with fraud to create evidence against Rai, the bench said.
Deviating from Rai’s case, the Allahabad HC quoted the global corruption index saying India figures at 84 in the list of most corrupt countries and said a substantial number of persons holding high offices have criminal antecedents.
The judgment also expressed concern at criminalisation of politics, in letting then Union Carbide Corp chief Warren Anderson escape from the country. The court also expressed concern at the corruption cases against politicians and the mining scam in Karnataka.

Tata Sons drags Greenpeace to HC
Ronojoy Banerjee Posted: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 2342 hrs ISTUpdated: Wednesday, Jul 21, 2010 at 1048 hrs IST
New Delhi: Tata Sons has moved the Delhi High Court against leading environmental NGOs Greenpeace India and Greenpeace International following a game that makes direct refrences to the company which are “disparaging” and “libelous” in nature. The online game Turtle vs Tata ( is modelled on the popular computer game Pacman.
The game shows four-headed ball-like creatures with Tata insignias embossed on them, trying to catch a helpless turtle which is desperately trying to escape.
Tata Sons has now moved the court seeking an immediate injunction on the game and slapped a Rs 10-crore defamation suit against the NGOs. The company has also claimed that Greenpeace has infringed the Tata trademark.
A Tata spokesperson said, “Greenpeace has used the Tata trademark as well as ‘T within a circle’ device without any authorisation and permission of Tata Sons, thereby infringing its trade mark rights. Greenpeace has also maligned the reputation of Tata Sons. Therefore, Tata Sons has moved the high court to seek protection for its rights on the trademark/ name TATA as well as the ‘T within a circle’ devices.” The company also said the port in question — Dhamra Port Company, which is 50-50 JV with Larsen & Toubro, has been approved by all government authorities.
New Delhi-based law firm Anand & Anand is representing the Tatas. The court has served notice to the NGOs and asked them to respond by July 27.
The game seeks to create awareness on the alleged environmental impact of Tata Steel’s deep water port in Orissa on turtles.
Ashish Fernandez, who is heading the campaign against the Tatas, told FE that so far the NGOs had not received any notice from the court and declined to comment further.
Fernandez explained that the game was an awareness-creating exercise that seeks to compel the government and corporate houses to come up with environment-friendly projects. He added that the NGO was demanding that either the project be relocated or an impact-assessment programme be carried out by the company before starting operations. “The impact assessment should be done to find out the feasibility of the project in an area like this,” Fernandez said. He said the initiative was also to make an appeal to the ministry of environment and forests to come out with stricter guidelines on such projects.
Meanwhile, the NGO has posted a letter addressed to environment minister Jairam Ramesh wherein it urges the minister to insert a…

HC clean chit to man accused of raping wife
Court dismisses case; model now faces charges for sending herself threatening e-mails
Bapu Deedwania
Posted On Wednesday, July 21, 2010 at 03:37:33 AM
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday held a woman, who had complained of rape by her estranged husband, unreliable and acquitted the accused. Further, the HC said the woman had the habit of lodging false complaints.
“We have gone through the complaint of the wife and on the peculiar facts of this case, we are satisfied that even prime facie there is no material in support of the charge under section 376-A of the IPC (forced intercourse with wife during separation).Despite the fact, both the husband and wife are engaged in series of litigation right from civil court to the Supreme Court, as of now, we do not find any reason to subject the husband for an inquiry into this case,” the court said.
According to the prosecution, Rakesh Rohiara, a businessman from Powai, tricked his second wife, Priyanka, to stay with him at a hotel, where he forced her to have a physical relationship with him.After hearing Rohiara’s defence, the Division Bench of Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice Anoop Mohta said, “The couple stayed at the hotel between June 13 and June 15, 2008, and the complaint was filed on July 16.Though the wife has been before this court in August 2008, she did not disclose that she has registered a case against her husband.The complaint, in fact, shows the wife came with the husband on her own and by way of afterthought, the case has been registered one month later and this information was even suppressed from the HC.”Now, Powai police have registered a case against Priyanka for creating an email account in her husband’s name and sending threat messages to herself from that account.Priyanka was unavailable for a comment, while Rohiara said, “For the past three years, I have been harassed by Priyanka in the courts. Now, I have some hope.”

Bombay HC: MCOCA is applicable in Malegaon blast case
The Bombay High Court ruled that the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) will be applicable in the Malegaon blast case of 2008 in which Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit are the prime accused. The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), challenging the MCOCA court order, which had dropped the applicability of the act on the Sadhvi and ten other accused on the grounds that the prosecution failed to produce evidence that the accused were part of an organised crime syndicate. The Malegaon blast investigations were the first instance of an official probe, which charged a Hindu terrorist group with involvement in serial blasts.UNI

HC satisfied with ATS’ response to murder plot of RSS chief

Mumbai, July 20, 2010
The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said it was satisfied with the measures adopted by anti-terrorism squad police in connection with the alleged conspiracy to murder RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat.
Samir Kulkarni, one of the accused in the 2008, Malegaon blast case had sent a letter to the court from the jail stating that two witnesses had confessed to police about a plan to kill the RSS chief.
Kulkarni had sought action on these statements. On the last occasion, ATS had told the court that measures have been taken to ensure Bhagwat’s safety.
Today, after reading the report filed by additional commissioner of ATS, the division bench of Justices B H Marlapalle and Anup Mohta said that no further directions were required. The petition was later disposed of.
The ATS report said the alleged plot as revealed in the statements of Shyam Apte and Nitin Joshi (both prosecution witnesses) was probed, but it led to no further clues.
Concerning filing a separate FIR in this regard, ATS said that the chargesheet in blast case has already been filed and entire evidence, including these statements, will be placed before the special MCOCA court at the time of framing of charges.
“We are satisfied that ATS has taken notice of the statements… No further direction is required,” the division bench said.

Kolkata HC judge questions RS panel’s authority
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Justice Soumitra Sen of the Calcutta High Court, who is facing an impeachment motion for alleged financial irregularities, on Tuesday said the Rajya Sabha-appointed committee did not have the authority to conduct a probe against him as he did not commit any impropriety as a judge.

Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, who appeared for Justice Sen before the committee, said there was no obligation under the law for a judge of a high court to come to the witness box and give evidence when the probe pertained only to his conduct as a court receiver and not as a judge.The committee constituted by Vice President Hamid Ansari comprises Supreme Court judge B Sudershan Reddy, Punjab and Haryana High Court Chief Justice Mukul Mudgal and noted jurist Fali S Nariman and has been hearing charges against Justice Sen. Naphade argued that the panel could not probe into the charges of financial misappropriation against Justice Sen. He said only the order of the high court division bench, exonerating him of any wrong-doing in his professional misconduct, could be challenged before the Supreme Court. Advocate Siddharth Luthra, who appeared for the committee, had on Monday read out various entries of bank accounts held by Justice Sen in his personal and professional capacity as the court-appointed receiver and highlighted the alleged discrepancies. Justice Sen, before being appointed as a judge, had allegedly misappropriated funds to the tune of Rs 33.22 lakh as a court-appointed receiver in a case he was handling, said Luthra.Justice Sen, who was appointed as the judge of the high court on December 3, 2003, deposited Rs 57.65 lakh in a bank in 2006, the amount allegedly received by him while he was a receiver.A single judge bench of the Calcutta High Court, in its order, had held that Justice Sen had “misappropriated” funds. However, a division bench of the high court set aside the findings of the single judge and pronounced him innocent. Justice Reddy wanted to know from the counsel whether the committee could give a report to Parliament that the motion (of removal proceedings) was invalid. He asked: “Can we say that this committee is not competent to look into the charges?”Naphade said no authority, including the present committee, could go into the charges made against Justice Sen as a receiver of the high court as there was a constitutional bar under Article 215 (high Courts to be courts of record) and only an appeal under that order could be made in the Supreme Court.

HC favors Qayoom’s shifting


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State gets notice on Shaheen’s detentionISHFAQ TANTRYSrinagar, July 20: High Court Tuesday asked the government to consider shifting of detained Kashmir Bar Association President Mian Qayoom from Hiranagar jail to Central jail, Srinagar while the Court serviced notices to the State in a writ petition challenging the detention of Bar General Secretary G N Shaheen under PSA.

Qayoom was arrested on July 7 from his home and booked under PSA. He was shifted to Hiranagar sub-jail.Qayoom challenged his detention before the High Court through his counsel Advocate Zaffar Shah and Advocate M Ashraf Bhat by filing a habeas corpus writ petition. The counsels also sought shifting of detained Bar President from Hiranagar jail to Central Jail, Srinagar. While arguing the transfer application (CMP) last week, Qayoom’s counsel Zaffar Shah had told the Court that under Section 10 of Public Safety Act, it is the Government which can determine the lodgment of the detenue and District Magistrate or Divisional Commissioner has no authority to determine the lodgment beyond the jurisdiction of their respective areas.Subsequently, after hearing arguments of defence and prosecution, Justice Hakim Imtiyaz had reserved his decision into the application seeking shifting of Bar President from Hiranagar jail.The case came up for hearing today and Justice Hakim announced that the CMP related to the shifting of Qayoom is allowed.In his 18-page order, Justice Hakim directed the government to consider the lodgment of the detenue in the light of the law laid down by the Supreme Court in A K Roy case (supra) and Shabbir Ahmad Shah case (supra). In a related case, the State today filed its counter into the main writ petition challenging the detention of Qayoom under PSA. After taking the counter on record, the court gave one week time to the petitioner side to file the rejoinder if any, before posting the petition for final hearing on July 29.Meanwhile, Bar Association General Secretary G N Shaheen today challenged his detention under PSA by filing a habeas corpus petition through his counsel Advocate Zaffar Ahmad Qureshi. After entertaining the petition, the High Court issued the notices to the respondents (State) and posted the matter for hearing on July 27.Shaheen was detained on July 18 near Awantipora while on way to home. He was booked under PSA and has now been lodged at District Jail Dongri, Rajouri.In another petition relating to detention of Hurriyat (G) chairman Syed Ali Geelani, the government today filed its objections and opposed his transfer from Cheshmashahi sub jail to Central Jail, Srinagar.After taking on record the objection, High Court posted the matter for final hearing on July 29.Geelani was arrested on June 20 from Kupwara and subsequently booked under PSA. He has been lodged at Cheshmashahi sub-jail.

Ishrat case: HC directs state govt to file affidavit
20/07/2010 20:46:00
A division bench comprising Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari asked advocate general Kamal Trivedi, appearing for the state, to explain why despite instruction from the court before commencement of the hearing the state government did not file any affidavit.If the state is opposed to transfer of Ishrat encounter case to CBI it has to explain it with reasons for its opposition, the court told Trivedi.The court would also like to know what material the state was relying upon to take such a stand. The state needs to file its reply in writing, it said.The apex court has laid down certain parameters for transferring a case to CBI, and the petitioners have contended that the case falls within those parameters, the court said, adding the state has not indicated its stand despite earlier order.Trivedi told the court that he would file an affidavit on Tuesday.Ishrat was gunned down along with Javed Ghulam Sheikh alias Pranesh Kumar Pillai, Amjad Ali alias Rajkumar Akbar Ali Rana and Jisan Johar Abdul Gani by Gujarat Police in Ahmedabad on June 15, 2004.

Twin cities bare claws on HC site
Bhubaneswar, July 20: Members of the Bar associations of the twin cities are on a collision course over the location of Orissa High Court with those in the capital saying it should be located there and not in Cuttack.
The Bhubaneswar Bar Association passed a resolution at its executive body meeting last evening, demanding the shifting of the high court to the capital.
Bhubaneswar Bar Association president Kishore Kar claimed that “nowhere in the country”, the high court was located outside the state capital.
“Bhubaneswar is the only exception. People across the state are suffering on account of it,” Kar argued, forgetting that the high courts of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh are not located in the respective state capitals.
The high court of Uttar Pradesh is located in Allahabad, Rajasthan’s is in Jodhpur and that of Madhya Pradesh is situated in Jabalpur.
Justifying the association’s demand, Kar said the state government had allocated nearly 11 acres of land near Patia for establishment of the high court.
“In the eighties, the government had also allotted a number of plots to senior advocates, including the advocate-general, in Bhubaneswar so they would not have any difficulty in discharging their functions staying in the state capital,” he said.
Kar threatened that the association would intensify the protest in the coming days to press for shifting of the high court.
Hrudananda Routray, senior advocate and a former president of the Bhubaneswar Bar Association, said since the high court was in Cuttack, about 30km from the capital, the entire government machinery had to move during hearing of a case.
“Huge sums of money can be saved if the high court is shifted to Bhubaneswar,” he said.
Orissa High Court Bar Council president Tahali Charan Mohanty rebutted the argument and said shifting was an unjustified demand. “After Bhubaneswar and Cuttack were declared twin cities, there is no need to shift the high court,” he said.
Mohanty pointed to a high court judgement of November 13, 1991. The high court had turned down a similar demand, he said.
“The state government has not yet objected to the judgement,” Mohanty said. He added that on several occasions, the full bench court had also turned down the demands of shifting the high court to Bhubaneswar.
Mohanty said a new eight-storied building had been constructed near Ravenshaw Collegiate School in Cuttack where many offices of the high court would be located in future.
The high court Bar association is also not in favour of establishment of any circuit bench in any part the state.
“We are opposed to it. The entire judiciary process should not be allowed to be fragmented on the wishes of a selective group of influential people,” said a senior lawyer on condition of anonymity.
Other lawyers of the high court argued that as the state government had appointed a commission headed by Justice C.R. Pal to look into the issue, all should wait for it.
However, the Bhubaneswar Bar Association alleged the judgement was misinterpreted.
Sources said the demands for shifting the high court gained momentum after Union law minister Veerappa Moily recently said the Centre would consider the demands of the lawyers to set up a high court bench in western Orissa.
The Bhubaneswar Bar association has supported the demands of the lawyers of western Orissa.
The state capital was shifted from Cuttack to Bhubaneswar in 1948. Subsequently all major offices also shifted to the capital, but the high court remained in Cuttack. It is one of the oldest cities in the state and serves as the administrative headquarters of Cuttack district.

Delhi HC rejects Sajjan Kumar’s plea in 1984 anti-Sikh riots case
The Delhi High Court dismissed senior Congress leader Sajjan Kumar’s petition challenging a trial court’s order for the charges to be framed against him in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case. The former MP was facing prosecution for inciting a mob against the Sikh community in the aftermath of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s assassination on October 31, 1984. The prosecution alleges that it led to killings of six people. Hearing the case, Justice Vipin Sanghi cast aspersions on Delhi Police for cancelling the FIR against the politician when the matter was still being probed by the CBI. A trial court had termed the case as ‘untraced’ in July 2008 after the Delhi Police filed a cancellation report stating that the complainant was not traceable. Rejecting Kumar’s plea, Justice Sanghi directed the trial court to hold the proceedings against him expeditiously in the anti-Sikh riots cases. The trial court had framed charges under Sections 302 (murder), and 153A (promoting enmity between different communities) under the IPC.UNI

HC orders Centre to pay pension to 85-year-old freedom fighter
Madurai, July 20 (PTI)
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Madras High Court today directed the Centre to grant within eight weeks freedom fighter pension to an 85-year-old man who participated in the Quit India movement, observing it may not be fair to ask him to produce official records which have been ”destroyed”.

The Madurai Bench of the court was disposing of a petition by R S Mupidathi of Tirunelveli, who went underground between August 1942 and September 1943 as police were searching for him for participating in the freedom struggle.He submitted that the government directed him to produce arrest warrant or documents of court proceedings for consideration of pension.But the documents had been destroyed, he said.Though he produced personal knowledge certificates from several fellow freedom fighters, including former Maharashtra governor C Subramanian, the government had rejected his application.Justice M Jeyapaul pointed out that one of the certificates issued by fellow freedom fighter Mayandi Bharathi clearly stated that police attempted to arrest Mupidathi.Besides, the district collector had certified that the records relating to 1942 had been ‘destroyed’.The Centre should also consider the fact that the Tamil Nadu government had made some relaxations and granted the state government’s freedom fighter pension to the petitioner, the Judge said.In the absence of documentary evidence the Central government should have given importance to the certificate issued by other freedom fighters, the judge said

Ex CJI A M Ahmadi resigns as chairman of BGMT
The Supreme Court accepted the resignation of former Chief Justice of India A M Ahmadi as the chairman of Bhopal Gas Memorial Trust (BGMT), which is controlling the management of the hospital set up for Bhopal Gas leak tragedy victims. A bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia, Justices K S Radhakrishnan and Swantanter Kumar also permitted the Union Government to take over the management of the trust. Earlier Attorney General of India G E Vahanvati appearing for the Union Government submitted before the court that the resignation submitted by the former Chief Justice of India through his letter dated June 20, 2009, may be accepted and the Union Government may be permitted to take over the management of the trust in larger public interest. Recent media exposures had showed that private patients were being given preference for monetary gains at the cost of gas leak victims, most of whom were illiterate and belonging to the weaker sections of society. The hospital was set up with the money deposited by Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) as compensation in a criminal case and was exclusively meant for the gas leak victims. On December 3, 1984, about 26 years ago, poisonous Methyl Isocyanate had leaked from the Bhopal unit of UCIL leaving 15,274 people dead and thousand others handicapped for the rest of their lives. The patients, though entitled to free treatment, were being told to buy costly medicines from the market, according to media reports.UNI

Honour killings are cold blooded murder: NHRC chief
TNN, Jul 21, 2010, 02.19am IST

NEW DELHI: Former CJI and National Human Rights Commission chief K G Balakrishnan on Tuesday described honour killings as “cold blooded murder”, adding that more than a new law, awareness was needed in society against such inhuman acts. The statement comes at a time when the National Commission for Women and prominent women rights activists have been demanding a separate legislation to define honour crimes. Balakrishnan was speaking at a seminar organised by the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) on honour killings. Underlining the deep-rooted problem, NCW chairperson Girija Vyas said the commission was dealing with 50 cases that had poured in the last two months. AIDWA vice-president and CPM politburo member Brinda Karat slammed political parties for pandering to vote bank politics and remaining silent on the issue. Society should have no right to control what women wear or do, she said, adding, “For example, if we criticise fundamentalists for making women wear burqa, we should also criticise western governments who have banned women from wearing the burqa in public places.” In keeping with its demand to define honour killing and include in its purview all other kinds of physical and mental intimidation, AIDWA has drafted a proposed law that recognises young people’s right to life, liberty and bodily integrity. The government has already set in motion amendments to various laws to recognise such killings as murder and bring speedy justice to the victims.

Whistleblowers who went to CVC suffered, stem rot: Ex-CJI to Sonia
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted: Wed Jul 21 2010, 02:32 hrs New Delhi:
Former Chief Justice of India RC Lahoti has written to UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi to say that the Central Vigilance Commission’s (CVC’s) initiative to protect whistleblowers, started after the murder of NHAI engineer Satyendra Dubey, has failed miserably.
Every whistleblower who has risked his life to approach the CVC has “come to grief”, even as the culprits roam free, Justice Lahoti has said. In the letter dated July 5, Justice Lahoti has squarely blamed the “dysfunctional” attitude of senior officers of the CVC for this situation.
“Let me take but one example, it would be recalled that after the unfortunate murder of Satyendra Dubey, while working in the NHAI, CVC issued a resolution extending protection to whistleblowers to save them from violent consequences,” Lahoti wrote. “Information available show that after the issue of this resolution, every whistleblower who approached CVC came to grief, while culprits remain, by and large, unharmed to this day.”
Dubey was shot dead in 2003 in Gaya for exposing corruption in the Golden Quadrilateral highway project in Bihar.
Lahoti says that he has on previous occasions through his NGO ‘India Rejuvenation Initiative’, tried to draw the attention of “high officials” in the CVC to the “unsatisfactory manner” of its functioning, but with no results.
He points out that two posts of Vigilance Commissioners have been lying vacant for the past seven months, even as the present CVC Pratyush Sinha prepares to demit office in two months.
The “deleterious consequences” at the CVC are not due to systemic failures, but the failure of those appointed to “high positions” in the commission, Lahoti writes.
Noting that the rot in CVC can be eradicated through “political resolution rather legal regulations”, he has pointed out to Sonia that a “wrong selection process” would give the government a “perfect alibi”, but would leave the public with a sense of dissatisfaction.
Advocating a transparent appointment process under public scrutiny, Justice Lahoti acknowledges the role that public scrutiny played in preventing the elevation of Justice P Dinakaran to the Supreme Court. The current practice of keeping the selection process secret only “perpetuates the present state of dysfunctional institutions”, he says.

SC gives last chance to AP on Jogini kids
July 20th, 2010
New Delhi, June 19: The Supreme Court on Monday gave the last opportunity to the Andhra Pradesh government to make its stand clear on the appointment of a commission for looking into the “misadministration” of “Joginis” children’s homes in the state.
“What is your position on appointment of the commission?” a bench, headed by Chief Justice of India, S.H. Kapadia, asked the state government counsel.
The bench said a public interest litigation (PIL) has raised the issue of “deplorable condition” of the children home.
“The state is given four weeks to appoint a commission,” the CJI in an order after acceding to the request by the state’s lawyer for adjournment.
The “Joginis” homes are reportedly run by a women’s organisation as temporary shelters for children, but they lacked basic facilities.
However, even the state government has done little to improve the condition of these homes and for the rehabilitation of delinquents.
As per the PIL the organisation had been running several such homes in the state but the government has not provided substantial help under its welfare schemes.
After the PIL was admitted in 2007, the government had proposed to set up a commission to look into the functioning of the Joginis homes on the court’s suggestion, but till date the court has not received a reply from the government.

NGO headed by former judge fined Rs 1 lakh for ‘frivolous’ PIL–frivolous–PIL/649046/
Krishnadas Rajagopal
Posted: Jul 20, 2010 at 0306 hrs IST
New Delhi Three months after the Chief Justice of India warned public interest litigants of heavy costs for frivolous petitions, a former Delhi High Court judge and an NGO of which he is “patron-in-chief” are the first casualties.
The Delhi Citizen Forum For Civil Rights was today directed to pay Rs 1 lakh as fine for espousing, as public interest litigation (PIL), the “private cause” of two “disgruntled” serving district judges of Delhi.
As for Justice J K Mehra, retired Delhi High Court judge and patron-in-chief of the NGO, the Supreme Court wondered aloud why a “retired judge, one who was part of the judiciary, should be party to this campaign”.
“If he wants publicity, he should do something else. This is vexatious litigation in the name of PIL to espouse the private cause of judicial officers who were not appointed as judges in the Delhi High Court,” a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and A K Ganguly observed.
The NGO has not had a successful run, to say the least. The Delhi High Court dismissed the same case on March 8, 2010 and imposed a fine of Rs 10,000. Today, the Supreme Court said the High Court fine was “too conservative”. It clarified that the Rs 1 Lakh is in “addition” to the High Court’s.
This is the first such instance after the CJI, on May 12, announced the apex court’s zero-tolerance for “frivolous and vexatious public interest litigation”.
“We are convinced that this is a frivolous litigation. A sum of Rs 1 lakh is imposed as additional costs to that of Rs 10,000 ordered by the Delhi High Court. The petitioner (NGO) shall deposit this amount with the Delhi High Court Legal Services Authority within one month,” the court ordered.
Advocate Joginder Tuli, who is the NGO’s chairman, struggled to convince the Bench of the good intentions involved as regards the two senior judges.
But the court countered Tuli: “They are law graduates, they are literate. So why can’t they come on their own instead of through you? What is your locus standi and why do you intervene here?”
The two judges are PS Teji, District Judge, Karkardooma courts and IS Mehta, District Judge, Dwarka courts. Tuli argued that both were denied appointment to the Delhi High Court on the basis of an “arbitrary and unconstitutional procedure”.
“The names of two senior District Judges belonging to SC/ST Shri PS Teji, District Judge, Karkardooma courts and Shri IS Mehta, District Judge, Dwarka courts have not been considered for elevation to the Delhi High Court. This arbitrary and unconstitutional procedure adopted by the Delhi High Court has created great disgruntlement among SC/ST officers from the Delhi Judicial Services as well from other services in the country,” Tuli argued.
To Tuli’s comment that there was already complaints against the appointment of another district district judge to the Delhi High Court, the bench asked him how he got “that information” and went on to suspect that his source was his “patron-in-chief”.
“How did he (Justice Mehra) get hold of the records? He has abused his past position as judge of the high court. This is the grossest abuse of the process of court,” the bench said.
But advocate Tuli is still optimistic: “The court just wanted to know why we were in support of the two judges. Now, this means that court wants the two judges to themselves approach the court. This turns out good for them.”

Most dangerous Judge is one who doesn’t speak – Ram Jethmalani
July 21, 2010
Boris Paul
The Pune Bar Association has opposed the Bar Council of India’s proposal for holding mandatory entrance exam for law graduates. Those who pass can argue in court. Your take on this?I do not agree with the Bar Council of India’s (BCI) decision to make it (exam) compulsory for students who have already got their law degree to allow them to argue cases in the court
Why are you opposed to the entrance exam for the law graduates?The Advocates Act says that one has a right to practice as an advocate once one gets the law degree. The Act does not contemplate two classes of advocates. The exam does nothing.
It is not warranted by law. One cannot become a good advocate by passing an extra entrance exam. Rather, senior lawyers must be encouraged to train young lawyers in their office.
Can any Indian SC Judge stand the kind of cross-examination of the kind Elena Kagan faced?Barack Obama, president of USA, nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. In USA, the judges must be first approved by a committee of Senators.
They have to face the cross-examination by 18 Senators for three days. Kagan’s cross-examination was a televised public hearing.
She was asked various questions regarding the articles she had written, her professorial job, and a lot more. She gave excellent answers on jurisprudence and constitutional law.
Most of all, she could withstand these three days of horror with ease. Questions from Republicans were more tough as she was nominated by Obama, who is a Democrat.
You said during your interaction with law students here that in India, nobody knows why a judge is selected, refused appointment, or who will get promotion. Please elaborate.Not one SC Judge from India can stand the cross-examination that Kagan faced. Judges and lawyers are members of the same family. So, they should not assume that they are somebody superior.
Lawyers must have a say in the appointment of Judges because every lawyer knows whether an aspiring judge is honest or not. But the sad fact is that the Bar has lost its voice, it has turned into a bunch of flatterers.
We don’t need lawyers who want to put their sons and relatives on the Bench. When this happens, people like Justice Dinakaran get through. This lack of transparency must be taken out.
In fact, Justice V Krishna Iyer said, “This appointment system (of judges) is the most incestous”, and all incest is in secrecy.
During the Q&A session, you said non-speaking judges are the most dangerous. Please elaborate.Judges who never tried cases under even section 323 of IPC are deciding matters of life and death in the Supreme Court. I have appeared before judges who have no knowledge of criminal law.
If judges don’t have full knowledge about a particular of law, they must have the decency to go to the Chief Justice of India (CJI) and admit it. How many of them have the gumption to do it?
The most dangerous judge is a non-speaking one, because only if he reacts or talks would you come to know if he has understood the case, or not.
Another statement of yours today — “Out of the past 12 CJIs, half have been corrupt”. Will you comment further on this?Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan said that out of the past 12 CJIs, half have been corrupt. But then, a contempt of court case was filed against him, Is it right do so against a person who has the courage to say such a thing?
Even S P Bharucha when Chief Justice of Gujarat HC, said that more than 80 per cent of judges in this country are corrupt. Does anybody have the gumption to file contempt of court proceedings against him? We all know who gets bitten the most by corruption
(Interview published in

Court’s concern at development at the cost of livelihood of landowners
J. Venkatesan
To millions of Indians, development is dreadful word aimed at denying them even source of sustenance
Why is state’s vision of development at such great odds with the people it purports to develop?
New Delhi: The Supreme Court has expressed concern that the path of development by depriving landowners of their land seemed to give rise to insurgency and political extremism which, along with terrorism, are supposed to be the three gravest threats to the country’s integrity and sovereignty.
A Bench of Justices Aftab Alam and B.S. Chauhan, in a judgment on Monday, said: “the whole issue of development appears to be so simple, logical and commonsensical. And yet, to millions of Indians, development is a dreadful and hateful word that is aimed at denying them even the source of their sustenance.”
The Bench said “the resistance with which the state’s well meaning efforts at development and economic growth are met makes one to think about the reasons for such opposition to the state’s endeavours for development. Why is the state’s perception and vision of development at such great odds with the people it purports to develop? And why are their rights so dispensable? Why do India’s GDP and HDI [Human Development Index, which is broadly used as measure of life expectancy, adult literacy and standard of living] present such vastly different pictures? With the GDP of $ 1.16 Trillion [for 2008] Indian economy is twelfth largest in U.S. Dollar terms and it is the second fastest growing economy in the world. But according to the Human Development Report 2009 [published by UNDP], the HDI for India is 0.612 [for 2007] which puts it at the 134th place among 182 countries. India has maintained the same HDI and rank since the previous year, and it continues to be categorised under ‘Medium Human Development’.”
Writing the judgment, Justice Alam said the fears expressed by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the Constituent Assembly had been confirmed. “A blinkered vision of development, complete apathy towards those who are highly adversely affected by the development process and a cynical unconcern for the enforcement of the laws lead to a situation where the rights and benefits promised and guaranteed under the Constitution hardly ever reach the most marginalised citizens.”
The Bench said: “This is not to say that the relevant laws are perfect and very sympathetic towards the dispossessed. There are various studies that detail the impact of dispossession from their lands on tribal people. On many occasions laws are implemented only partially. The scheme of land acquisition often comes with assurances of schools, hospitals, roads, and employment. The initial promises, however, mostly remain illusory. The aims of income restoration and house resettlement prove to be very difficult. Non-compliance with even the basic regulations causes serious health problems for the local population and contamination of soil and water.”
The court expressed concern that violent group of political extremists had been able to gain sufficient strength to pose a threat to constitutional governance of the state. “This group openly defies the democratic system of the country and is committed to overthrow the Constitution by brutal and murderous means. According to news paper reports, in the district of Sundergarh, where the acquired lands are situated, the extremist group looted 550 kg of explosives in April 2003 and in August 2009 blew up a railway station. The other fact is that this is not an isolated case. We have come across many such cases of land acquisition.”
In the instant case, Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd. the appellant, challenged the order of the Orissa High Court directing the Centre and the MCL to pay compensation to the landowners (petitioners before the High Court) whose lands in the Revenue Village of Gopalpur in Sundergarh district, Orissa, were acquired in 1987 to facilitate mining of coal in those areas.
The Bench took into the consideration the fact that the landowners were not paid compensation for the last 23 years and directed the Centre to set up a Claims Commission to determine the payment of compensation in six months. Thereafter the amount would be paid in two months. The matter was directed to be listed after the receipt of report from the Centre.

Pending PILs fail to pass CJI scrutiny

Mail Today Bureau
New Delhi, July 20, 2010

When it comes to public interest litigations (PILs), Chief Justice of India (CJI) S.H. Kapadia thinks differently from his predecessor K.G. Balakrishnan.
In fact, he doesn’t mind going against the former CJI’s views. A bench presided over by Justice Kapadia on Monday not only screened fresh PILs but also dismissed some others being heard by the court since 2007.
“We are not here to set up public toilets,” Justice Kapadia said while dismissing a PIL, filed in 2007, seeking implementation of a sanitation campaign launched by the government in 1999.
On January 7, 2008, a bench presided over by the then CJI Balakrishnan had issued a notice to the government on the PIL and had sought a report on the progress made in providing sanitation facilities in rural areas.
The matter, thereafter, was listed before the court on seven occasions until it was abruptly dismissed on Monday by the new chief justice.
The PIL on public sanitation was preceded by one relating to road accidents and this, too, suffered the same fate. The petition was filed in 2007 by one Pankaj Kumar Mishra and this was the 13th listing of the case.
“How can this court prevent road accidents?” Justice Kapadia asked while refusing to entertain the petition.
The petition said 1,500 tribals had died in accidents on a 145-km stretch of a road in the Siddharth Nagar district of Uttar Pradesh since 2003, but nothing had been done.
A bench presided over by Balakrishnan had in 2007 issued notice to the UP government on Mishra’s PIL, but CJI Kapadia apparently took a different view.
Another petition relating to the efficacy of some tribunal filed by one R.V. Sheth in January was dismissed during the hearing on Monday. The petition had passed the initial scrutiny, with a bench presided over by Balakrishnan issuing a notice to the Centre on January 5.
Earlier, a writ petition seeking voting rights for NRIs was withdrawn after Justice Kapadia stressed that it was not for the courts to interfere in policy matters.
“These must stop now. We can’t interfere in matters of policy and governance,” Justice Kapadia, who seemed to be on a mission to educate litigants, said.
Dismissing yet another PIL seeking an increase in the quota for women in Parliament, he said the court had no right to issue such a writ.
“How can we increase reservation?” he said while attempting to convince the octogenarian petitioner.
The CJI, however, was not totally averse to taking up matters of public interest. He decided to fast- track a matter concerning the plight of children of joginis (who are similar to devdasis) in Andhra Pradesh.
The matter was pending since 2007 when the court had taken suo motu cognizance of the problems faced by such children.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, the state government counsel said the government would file a counter affidavit.
“We don’t want a counter. We want a statement on constitution of a commission to look into the problems of such children,” Justice Kapadia said.
The counsel thereafter sought an adjournment for seeking instructions from the government.
Justice Kapadia has already made public his strong views against the tendency to consider PILs as a panacea for all ills.
Soon after taking charge, he had stated such petitions would be dismissed with costs.
His decision to dismiss the PILs which had already passed the scrutiny of the court earlier may have surprised the petitioners, but not lawyers who have been witness to such decisions since he took over.
Among other petitions, he had refused to entertain a PIL questioning the relevance of forcing socialism on political parties.

DU, DUTA to continue talks
HT Correspondent, Hindustan TimesEmail AuthorNew Delhi, July 21, 2010
First Published: 00:45 IST(21/7/2010)Last Updated: 00:47 IST(21/7/2010)
The Delhi High Court (HC) on Tuesday said that the negotiation process between the Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) and Delhi University (DU) over the implementation of the semester system would continue. The court set July 26 for the next hearing. The new academic session begins on Wednesday but the impasse over the implementation of the semester system in 13 science courses continues. The negotiations between the representatives of DUTA and DU failed to reach any consensus.
Some colleges have toed the DUTA line till now. They have already prepared the time table according to the annual examination system. Others were waiting for Tuesday’s judgment.
On Tuesday, the registrar of DU, in a letter to all the college principals asked them to implement the semester system in all the 13 science courses.
The letter also asked the principals to follow the new syllabus and prepare the time table according to the semester system.
The high court had earlier asked DUTA and DU to resolve the issue through discussions.

Posted by Kamal Kumar Pandey (Adv. Supreme Court of India) at Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 Responses

  1. Please join your hands with us on the issue of Advocate Pension scheme.
    Thanks & Regard

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