LEGAL NEWS 01.12.2011

Macneil Group ex-D fined, property attached

Express News Service The New Indian Express

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has found S Srinivasan, ex-managing director of Macneil and Magor Kilburn Group of Companies, guilty of contempt of court, ordered attachment of his property in Mylapore and sell it, besides imposing a fine of Rs 5 lakh on him.

The appropriate punishment would be sending him to jail. However, such a punishment would not meet the ends of justice, when the employees were languishing without employment and wages, first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam observed on Wednesday.

The property in Kumara Vilas, No 15, Visweswarapuram Street in Mylapore should be sold by the Industrial Tribunal by public auction.

The children and wife of Srinivasan should vacate the premises and hand over vacant possession of the building to the Tribunal within 15 days.

The sale proceeds should be remitted to the credit of the Macneil and Magor Kilburn Group of Companies Employees Union which filed the complaint with the Tribunal, in 1999.

Necessary orders for disbursement of the said amount to workmen should be passed by the Tribunal.

The fine amount of Rs 5 lakh should also be remitted to the credit of the complainant within four weeks. This amount should be utilised for the settling the workers’ dues in addition to the sale proceeds, the bench added.

It was passing final orders on a contempt application from the union seeking to punish Srinivasan for wilfully disobeying the order and direction issued by the High Court in a writ appeal on April 30, 2004. Originally, the union filed a complaint under Sec 33A of the Industrial Disputes (ID) Act with the Industrial Tribunal in 1999 against Macneil and Magor Limited, Kilburn Electrical Limited, Kilburn Control Systems Limited, Kilburn Starters Limited and Kilburn Fabrication Limited. The complaint alleged that the PF contributions were not remitted, transferred workmen from one company to another, did not pay the wages and finally declared lock-outs.

By an order dated April 30, 2004, a division bench of the Madras High Court directed the companies to implement the award of the Tribunal and the orders of a single judge, which were all in favour of the union.

Contending that the April 2004, order was not implemented, the union filed the present contempt petition in 2006. “Having assessed the attitude of the contemnor (Srinivasan), it appears that he does not have any respect for any of the orders passed by this court and he has been a compulsive litigant by taking inconsistent stand before various forums and making a mockery of judicial orders. Therefore, we are of the firm view that the contemnor should be dealt with a firm hand,” the bench said.





NCW slams Operation Majnu

TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 02.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Commission for Women (NCW) has slammed ‘Operation Majnu’-a Ghaziabad Police drive-where young couples were targeted at parks and malls and publicly humiliated. The Commission has termed the behaviour of the police as retrograde and unfortunate. Commission chief Mamta Sharma said that she would write to the UP government seeking action against the officer.

Sharma’s comments come after TOI front-paged the drive by the Ghaziabad Police. There have been similar attempts in Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and Aligarh, where police officials have “punished” couples with sit-ups, pulling their ear or other physical harassment. NCW chairperson said this was a wrong step. “We are talking about going to the 22nd century, whereas the police are acting like they belong to the 19th century. All the couples were adults and if there was no vulgarity I don’t see the reason behind such actions,” Sharma said.






23 marks to 68, after review

TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 04.06AM IST

KOLKATA: Sourabh Mukherjee got 23 in the eighth paper of his Part-III philosophy Honours examination. He ran from pillar to post for getting the paper reviewed. Finally, following aCalcutta high court direction against his writpetition, his paper was reviewed and the marks increased dramatically – from 23 to 68.

Sourabh, a student of Presidency College, appeared in the Part III examination under Calcutta University in 2011. The result was declared in August. While he scored 66 to 70% in other papers, his marks in Vedanta – the eighth paper – was only 23. He applied for review. “But I was surprised not to find my name and roll number in the review merit list,” said Sourabh.

When he contacted the university office, he was told that he would have to submit a fresh application with the signature of the vice-chancellor. Meanwhile, he had filed a writ petition with the high court. Hearing the petition, Justice Tapen Sen directed Calcutta University to get his paper reviewed by an expert. In the review, the marks in the paper jumped from 23 to 68.

Sourabh’s counsel Subrata Mukherjee had alleged in the petition that Vedanta classes were not held in the university. The counsel also said the college lacks basic infrastructure for Vedanta classes. The university lawyer opposed this submission and said that the required infrastructure is there. The student couldn’t fare well in the paper since he didn’t study properly.

However, the university authorities got alerted after Justice Sen gave the university only a fortnight to review the paper. Meanwhile, Sourabh went back to the university for another attempt for review. But officials told him that his paper was being reviewed so he did not have to submit any application.

Sourabh went back to the university on Monday to find that his review result was sent to his college.

He went to Presidency University – where he is now pursuing post graduate studies – and found his marks in Vedanta has gone up from 23 to 68. On Thursday, the matter will come up in court again.





WSH row: HC seeks HI response on a PIL

TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 02.35AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought response from the Centre and others on a petition filed by a former hockey player alleging that Hockey India (HI) was threatening players against taking part in World Series Hockey (WSH), a joint initiative of Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) and Nimbus Sport.

“Hockey India (HI) would file its response within three days,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said and fixed the matter for further hearing on December 7.

The court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Joachim Carvalho, a former player, that HI, which is fighting legal battles with IHF, is threatening the players that if they take part in WSH they would not be selected for national duty.

Advocate Jayant Bhushan, appearing for Carvalho, said: “For the first time our hockey players are going to get some money by playing in World Series Hockey (WSH) and HI is trying to deny them their right to play.”

Additional Solicitor General AS Chandhiok, appearing for the Centre, said, “The government has no role in it and it has simply let out its stadiums at commercial rates for organising the WSH.”





Conspiracy PIL dismissed

Express News Service The New Indian Express


BANGALORE: The High Court on Tuesday imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a city-based advocate for wasting its time by filing a PIL seeking direction to issue the writ of mandamus against BJP leader Ananth Kumar, Home Minister R Ashok, former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, Governor H R Bharadwaj and former legal advisor Diwakar for targeting former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.
The advocate, H R Vishwanath, had filed a PIL urging the HC to pass an interim order directing the Lokayukta court to stop all further proceedings against the former CM until an enquiry is conducted against the complainants – Y S V Datta and advocates Sirajin Basha and Balaraj.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna issued the orders.





Fleecing by car dealers, notice to transport dept

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 01, 2011

Auto dealers across the city charge thousands of rupees from buyers towards logistics, stocking and loading, without being authorised by the law.

Taking note of a public interest litigation (PIL), assailing this practice, the Delhi high court on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to the state transport department, seeking an explanation as to why no action has been taken against dealers indulging in the illegal practice.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri has sought the department’s response by December 21. It, however, did not issue notice to the 60 dealers named as respondents in the PIL.

The PIL, filed by advocate C Rajaram, has sought an impartial inquiry into the matter and a direction to the transport department to stop the illegal practice.

The PIL has claimed levy of such charges, ranging from Rs 3,500 to Rs 25,000 per car, are in contravention to the Delhi Motor Vehicles Rules of 1993.

Rajaram’s counsel, Amit Khanna, told the court the illegal practice began following an amendment in the act, empowering dealers with trade certificates to register vehicles sold by them.

Before the amendment, buyers got vehicles registered on their own.

As per the petitioner’s calculation, more than Rs 550 crore has been collected by various dealers with the levy of such charges.

“Twelve to thirteen thousand four-wheelers are registered in a month. If the rate of logistic, handling, loading and unloading service charges is accounted from the year 1999 and we take into account the minimum amount of Rs 3,500 charged for each car, these unscrupulous car dealers have collected a staggering sum of more than R550 crore,” Khanna said.

According to the petitioner, the practice continues despite a 2007 public notice issued by the transport department, cautioning buyers from paying extra charges. Condemning the department officials for failing to curtail the “unscrupulous” practice, the petitioner accused them of turning a blind eye to it. Khanna said that dealers were under an obligation not to charge extra other than the taxes and fees, as authorised by the transport department.

An undertaking to this effect is given to the department in lieu of the trade certificate.

“The department can simply cancel or refuse the certificate’s renewal, if this illegal practice does not stop,” he contended.

There was no response to the petitioner’s representation either by the Lieutenant-Governor or the transport department, the PIL claimed.





Punjab seeks two months to probe illegal properties

Express news serviceTags : Punjab government, Special Court, Haryana High CourtPosted: Thu Dec 01 2011, 04:41 hrsChandigarh:

Punjab government on Wednesday sought two months to complete the probe on alleged illegal properties owned by high ups in the periphery of the city. They stated that handing over the investigation to Special Court would further delay investigations.

The state did not give its consent for handing over the investigation of the case to a Special Court, as suggested by a division bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Expressing strong disapproval over the delay caused by the Punjab Police in the case, the High Court on Wednesday asked counsel for Punjab to take conclusive steps to complete the probe and report to the High Court within three weeks.

The development took place during the resumed hearing of a PIL arising out of a suo motu notice taken by Justice Ranjit Singh of the High Court. Equating the significance of the case to that the infamous 2G spectrum case, the HC had asked Punjab to explain why the probe should not be handed to a Special Court.

In total, around 1,035 acres of Panchayat land is under illegal possession in SAS Nagar. An affidavit to this effect was filed by S C Agrawal, Chief Secretary of Punjab last week. Also, the report stated that in “only two cases variations and discrepancies between the information as disclosed by the officers and collected during the inquiry”. The report was prepared by a SIT as ordered by the HC.

Information from a total of 2,734 officers was sought by the SIT of which information regarding “115 officers do not tally, as either they have not disclosed their properties in the prescribed proforma issued by the inquiry officer or in the annual property returns”.




Court reserves order on Bhatt plea in ’90 case

Express news service

Posted: Dec 01, 2011 at 0434 hrs IST

Ahmedabad The Jamnagar District Sessions Court on Wednesday reserved its order till December 9 on an application moved by suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt in connection with a 1990 custodial torture and murder case registered against him and some other police officers.

Bhatt has demanded that the court must decide his revision application first before framing charges in the case. In his revision application, he has challenged an order of a magisterial court to initiate criminal proceedings against him and other cops in the case.

According to the details, in 1990, riots had broken out at Jamkhambhalia in Jamnagar district, and Bhatt — then an Assistant Superintendent of Police — was reportedly directed by the then SP to go and control the situation. He got around 150 persons arrested for rioting, including one Prabhudas Vaishnani. The accused were sent to jail and later released on bail.

After this, Vaishnani was shifted to a hospital where he died reportedly of renal failure. After his arrest, his brother lodged an FIR against Bhatt and six other policemen accusing them of murdering Vaishnani by custodial torture. Investigation of the case was handed over to the CID (Crime).

Subsequently, the investigating agency submitted a summary report in the case, which was rejected by the court. The court then ordered to initiate criminal proceedings against the accused officers. Against this order, the state government had moved a revision petition before the concerned Sessions Court. However, sometime back, the government withdrew the revision application.

Bhatt had challenged the withdrawal at the HC seeking to restore the same. But his petition was rejected. During the pendency of the said petition, he along with some other cops involved in the case moved a revision application challenging the magisterial court’s order.

Meanwhile, Bhatt approached the Supreme Court challenging the HC order. The SC directed him to raise whatever points he wanted to before the trial court first during the hearing of the revision application.

“The Sessions Court wanted to frame charges against Bhatt and others. But, we moved an application that the charges must not be framed till final disposal of our revision application. And after conducting hearing of the application, the court has kept its order reserved till December 9,” said Bhatt’s lawyer I H Syed.






Man gets life term based on dying declaration

Express news serviceTags : Sessions court, ASJ Surinder Kumar Sharma, Gopal ChandPosted: Thu Dec 01 2011, 02:47 hrsNew Delhi:

A sessions court in the Karkardooma Courts Complex sentenced a man to life imprisonment for killing his sister-in-law by setting her ablaze. The court convicted the man on the basis of the victim’s dying declaration.

Additional Sessions Judge Surinder Kumar Sharma sentenced Northeast Delhi resident Gopal Chand, holding him guilty of burning alive his sister-in-law Sangeeta. “It was accused Gopal Chand who poured kerosene oil on Sangeeta and set her on fire. She sustained 90 per cent burn injuries, which later resulted in her death,” the judge said.

Sangeeta was rushed to a hospital with burn injuries on September 28, 2010. In her statement, recorded by the Sub Divisional Magistrate, she said she was married to Gopal Chand’s brother Kishan nine years ago and was his second wife.

Sangeeta said she and her husband Kishan had shifted to his older brother Gopal Chand’s house four years ago, and for the past one year he had been pressurising them to leave the house. On the day of the incident, she said Chand returned home from work and started abusing her. Before she could defend herself he threw kerosene oil on her and set her ablaze. Sangeeta succumbed to injuries on October 6.

The court treated the statements made by Sangeeta before her death as a valid declaration since they were reliable and made voluntarily. It rejected Chand’s contention that the victim’s dying declaration could not be accepted as no certificate was given by the doctor declaring her fit to make the statement.






Forensic proof nails bus conductor in rape case

Rebecca Samervel, TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 06.40AM IST

MUMBAI: A sessions court on Wednesday convicted a former BEST bus conductor for raping his neighbour at Koliwada, Sion (E).

Strong forensic evidence helped the prosecution secure conviction even though the victim, who was 22 years old at the time of the crime, and her mother had turned hostile during the trial.

The accused, Nitesh Bhatkar, was sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment and fined Rs 6,000. Judge S Kadu found Bhatkar guilty on charges of rape and criminal intimidation.

Bhatkar was married and resided at Badlapur. His parents and two younger brothers were the victim’s neighbours at Koliwada.

The victim lived with her widowed mother who worked as a domestic help.

In her statement to the police, the victim said she knew Bhatkar as they went to the same school.

On December 27, 2009, the victim was alone at home as her mother had left for work. The girl, who had left the door to her house open, was doing some household chores when Bhatkar barged in around 11.30pm. He grabbed her with one hand and used the other to bolt the door. He then raped her.

“Bhatkar threatened to break my arms and legs if I told anyone about the incident ,” the victim had said in her statement to the police. When the girl’s mother returned home, she found her sobbing. A little later, the girl confided in her mother, who informed two other women from the neighbourhood about the incident.

The Dadar police lodged a complaint and Bhatkar was arrested the next day. He was released on bail four months later.

The prosecution examined five witnesses, including the victim and her mother . However, they turned hostile during the trial. “Her family did not want to continue with the case,” said public prosecutor Sheela Jamdar. “The victim has low IQ, but she remembered the details of her assault.”

Strong forensic evidence such as fresh injuries on the victim’s private parts and blood stains on her clothes proved that she was raped by the accused. Bhatkar was subsequently suspended.






Three get life term for killing own lawyer

Jayant SriramTags : Dwarka Courts, Deepak Parashar, ASJ Virender BhattPosted: Thu Dec 01 2011, 03:06 hrsNew Delhi:

A sessions court in the Dwarka Courts Complex has sentenced three persons to life imprisonment, and one to seven years, for murdering their lawyer. The body of the lawyer, Deepak Parashar, was found near Mahipalpur in 2005.

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhatt convicted Mohammed Shakeel, Devraj and Kamal Tyagi of murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and sentenced them to life imprisonment. Another person, Sunil, was sentenced to seven years in prison for conspiring to hide evidence.

According to the prosecution, Parashar was engaged by the three main accused to defend them in various criminal cases. However, they failed to pay their fees regularly. When the lawyer insisted on getting his due, they came up with a plan to murder him with the help of Sunil.

Police said the four fixed a rendezvous, where Parashar was told to come and collect his fees. When Parashar arrived, they forced him into a Wagon-R car and strangled him. They also shot him to ensure his death. Subsequently, Sunil was dispatched to burn the car, so as to destroy evidence.

While awarding the sentence, ASK Bhatt took a strong view on the brutal murder and said that the convicts had “killed their own saviour”.

“The convicts… have killed the lawyer, who had been defending them in various criminal cases. They killed him in the most brutal and diabolical manner. They have killed an unsuspecting and helpless person. They have killed their own saviour. The death was cruel and inhuman,” the judge said in his order.

But the case does not merit capital punishment as the convicts had already spent several years in prison, and were in their youth when the offence was committed, the judge said.

“I do not feel that the convicts cannot be reformed or rehabilitated. The long incarceration in jail, in this case, would definitely mould the convicts and transform them into law-abiding citizens. Death penalty is not warranted in this case. The convicts deserve to be given a chance to show that they can shun the path of violence,” the judge said.






Petition in high court against death penalty

TNN | Nov 30, 2011, 11.06PM IST

KOCHI: A lawyer based at Kochi approached theKerala high court on Wednesday with a petition challenging death penalty.

The petition, filed by advocate Manju Antoney, seeks amendment of section 53 of the Indian Penal Code, which deals with punishment for offenders, including death penalty. Death penalty is against the noble principles laid out in the Constitution and most of the countries have abolished this law, the petitioner says.

As of February 2011, 95 countries have abolished death penalty, while eight countries are allowing death sentence in special circumstances. However, death penalty has not been implemented in the last 10 years in 49 countries, the petition says.

The petitioner also highlighted a non-binding resolution by the United Nations in 2007 that called for a moratorium on execution with a view to abolishing death penalty. Many courts in India are awarding death sentences despite these circumstances, and therefore, an amendment is needed, he says.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramamchandra Menon heard the petitioner but said the petition was incomplete to be accepted as a public interest litigation in the present form.

Observing that the amendment should be made at higher platforms, the court asked the petitioner to monitor the proceedings in Parliament related to death penalty as well as study other public interest litigations on the same matter and file an amended petition after four weeks.





2G case: Decision on Chandolia’s bail plea likely today

Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: December 01, 2011 01:26 IST


New Delhi:  A CBI special court is likely to pronounce its order on the bail plea of ex-telecom minister A Raja’s former private secretary R.K. Chandolia, an accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam case, today.

CBI Special Judge O.P. Saini yesterday had reserved the order till today.

Chandolia moved the bail application on the ground that after the framing of charges, the trial in the case was expected to take a considerable time and he should be granted bail as he was similarly placed with the co-accused who were released on bail by superior courts.

“The Supreme Court, the Delhi High Court and the special court have already granted bail to 11 accused and as the trial is expected to take a long time, I have sought bail on the ground of parity,” said Chandolia.

His counsel Vijay Aggarwal said he submitted before the CBI special court that the charges against him were baseless as he only followed the instructions of the then minister.

The special court on Tuesday granted bail to Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, citing the “principle of parity”.

The apex court on November 23 granted bail to Unitech’s Sanjay Chandra, Swan Telecom’s director Vinod Goenka and Reliance Group’s executives Hari Nair, Gautam Doshi and Surendra Pipara.

The Delhi High Court on Monday granted bail to DMK MP Kanimozhi, Kalaignar TV chief Sharad Kumar, Cineyug Films’ Karim Morani and Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Pvt. Ltd. directors Rajiv B. Aggarwal and Asif Balwa.

The high court will on December 1 resume hearing on the bail plea of former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, whose plea was opposed by the CBI.

Raja, along with Chandolia and Behura, were arrested on February 2 for allegedly abusing their official position and manipulating the tendering process to benefit certain telecom companies in getting licences for scarce radiowaves.

Raja, Chandolia and Behura face charges of criminal breach of trust by public servants under the Indian Penal Code which carries a maximum punishment of imprisonment for life or imprisonment for a term which may extend up to 10 years with penalty.

They are the only three accused, out of the 14 individuals arrested by the CBI initially, left in jail. Raja is still to seek bail.





Court notice to CBI on Kalmadi bail plea

Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, November 30, 2011

First Published: 11:41 IST(30/11/2011)
Last Updated: 11:46 IST(30/11/2011)

The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the bail plea of jailed MP Suresh Kalmadi, accused of corruption in the organisation of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games (CWG). Justice Mukta Gupta issued the notice to the CBI seeking its reply by January 6, 2012. Kalmadi, who headed the CWG Organising Committee, is lodged in Tihar Jail.

A trial court had earlier rejected his bail plea after which he approached the high court.

The CBI in its first charge sheet in the case against Kalmadi and 10 others described him as a prime accused and the mastermind in the corruption case related to financial irregularities in awarding a Rs 141 crore contract for the timing, scoring and result (TSR) system for the October 2010 mega event in the national capital.

The accused officials and two companies were charged under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for cheating, criminal conspiracy and forgery, and under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Kalmadi, Organising Committee joint director general (Sport) ASV Prasad and deputy director general (Procurement) Surjit Lal were arrested April 26 and sent to Tihar Jail.






Show restraint, CJI advises judiciary

Satya Prakash, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, November 26, 2011

First Published: 18:52 IST(26/11/2011)
Last Updated: 11:44 IST(27/11/2011)

Amid criticism of alleged judicial overreach, Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia on Saturday said the “judiciary has to exercise considerable restraint to ensure that the surcharged democracy does not lead to a breakdown of the working of Parliament and the government”. Addressing a gathering of judges and advocates on Law Day — celebrated to mark the adoption of the Indian Constitution in 1949 — the CJI advised his “brother judges” to work within the area demarcated for them by the Constitution. Law minister Salman Khurshid was also present at the event organised at the Supreme Court premises.

The CJI has himself said in the past that constitutional courts’ power of judicial review was a guarantee against arbitrariness in government actions.

On corruption, Justice Kapadia said that if any judge was corrupt, he/she should be named in public, but cautioned against putting all judges in “one basket”.

“Don’t bring the entire judiciary in disrepute. Please don’t dismantle the established system and institution unless and until you’ve something better to offer.”

He also said that anybody making allegations against judges should have solid material to back it.
Maintaining that judicial integrity was above judicial independence, the CJI said: “If judges are of integrity, they will not worry on accountability and the Judicial Accountability Bill.”

On the issue of judicial arrear of three crore cases, the CJI said, “Wrong impression is being projected regarding pendency of cases in judiciary.” Kapadia said it was wrong to say 56,000 cases were pending in the Supreme Court. In fact only 8,710 ‘ready cases’ (after completion of procedural formalities for hearing) were pending in the SC, the CJI said.





HC upholds reservation for women

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 06.35AM IST

MUMBAI: There was nothing arbitrary or discriminatory in the state legislature’s decision to bring women on a par with men , the Bombay high court said on Wednesday while upholding 50% reservation for women to participate in elections to urban local bodies .

A division benchof Justices P B Majmudar and Mridula Bhatkar dismissed a petition filed by Kapoorchand Gupta stating that the increase from constitutional provision of 33% to 50% along with other statutory reservations brought total reservations to 66%. His counsel Navroze Seervai , with advocate Ranbir Singh , argued that it would impact the February 2012 civic elections in Mumbai and only 77 out of 227 seats would be available for the general category and men .

The judges upheld assistant government pleader Uma Palsuledesai’s submission that the decision was taken after one third reservations resulted in women participating in the political process more effectively and had to be sustained . The judges said that the state legislature decided “to uplift women and put them equally with men’ ‘ and it could not be struck down on the ground that it is arbitrary . “The legislature in its wisdom has decided that looking into the need of society and may be to encourage women so that they may become able to take part effectively in all important local bodies, municipalities , etc,” they stated .

The judges said reservations for civic elections would not be excessive as women within the SC /ST categories would merge with the 50% reservations. “The women’s quota will take care of SC /ST women also ,” they said . The judges said the state legislature was competent to frame legislation in consonance with the mandate of the Constitution and if it felt there should be equal participation, it cannot be said to be discriminatory or violative of Article 14 (right to equality ). Judicial review cannot look into the basis for enacting such legislation and it was ultimately within the legislature’s domain, they said .

The judges did not accept Seervai’s argument that women in Mumbai were much enlightened , compared to their rural counterparts , and don’t need further reservations . They said that even if there was a high percentage of educated women in cosmopolitan Mumbai , there were also women within weaker sections and in slum areas . “We cannot take judicial notice that women in the city are so refined that they don’t need more than one-third reservations in municipal elections ,” they said .

“Today , considering the need to encourage women’s participation , reservation has to be sustained ,” they concluded .





Mullaperiyar dam row: HC asks Kerala to identify safe zones, disagrees with plan of action

Mahir Haneef, TNN | Nov 30, 2011, 05.57PM IST

KOCHI: State should think about immediate steps to ensure safety of the people residing nearby Mullaperiyar dam than submit about alerts and studies about the issue, the Kerala high court observed on Wednesday.

Considering five petitions asking the court’s intervention in ensuring the safety of people, division bench of acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice PR Ramachandra Menon expressed strong displeasure towards the steps being planned by the state government, observing that the government needs to prioritize the steps to be implemented, with precautionary measures taking priority over others.

The court disagreed to the advocate general’s submission that the state is planning a study in association with IIT-Rourkee about the possibility of the dam bursting as well as regarding a system to monitor the dam.

When the bench asked for concrete plans to ensure safety of the people, advocate general asked for 48 hours to get information from the government. The court expressed displeasure by saying, “You are asking for 48 hours when danger is knocking on our doors. What if something happens in 45 minutes?”

Based on Tuesday’s court direction to the advocate general to inform about state’s plans to ensure safety, the AG submitted to the court that the government is planning to request Tamil Nadu government to reduce water level in the dam.

The state is also planning to bring down water levels in other dams nearby so that water can be contained in the event of a burst. The water being drained would be used to generate power from tomorrow onwards, the AG said.

Further, the government is planning to convene a special meeting of the legislative assembly in the first week of December, after obtaining the approval of the opposition, to pass a resolution to reduce water level at the Mullaperiyar dam. After this, the government would approach the central government and the Supreme Court as well as request to Tamil Nadu, the AG stated in court.

As an immediate step, a team of cabinet ministers from the state would meet counterparts of Tamil Nadu government within two days to discuss the issue, the AG added. He also pointed out that water cannot be released in other dams immediately as it would lead to a flood as well as leave the state in dark due to lack of power generation.

Disagreeing to the steps outlined by the AG, the court directed him to come up with a plan that details what all the people in the affected area should do in the event of the dam bursting. The plan should include safe zones for evacuating people and the officials who should be approached by people in the event of emergency. The instructions, along with names and contact details of officials, should be displayed in Malayalm in areas prone for flooding, the court ruled.





HC asks CBI whether competent to look into forest dept corruption

Express news serviceTags : Punjab and Haryana High Court, CBI, Justice Rajan Gupta, Gunraj Singh SainiPosted: Thu Dec 01 2011, 04:46 hrsChandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Wednesday, asked the counsel for Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) whether the premier investigating agency was competent to suo motu take over investigation of a case pertaining allegations of corruption levelled against various officials of the Forest Department.

The query was by Justice Rajan Gupta during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by Gunraj Singh Saini, former honourary wildlife warden, Hoshiarpur.

On the last date of hearing, on July 6, the HC had issued notices to CBI and Tikshan Sud, former Forest Minister and present Minister of Local Bodies and Industry, Punjab. A notices was also issued R R Kakkar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests.

Contending on behalf of the petitioner, Advocate APS Shergill contended, “The scam entails the misuse of state and Central government funds to preserve the forests as enumerated in the petition.”







TISS roped in to make traffic cops behave, govt tells Bombay HC

Published: Thursday, Dec 1, 2011, 8:48 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Next time you are stopped by a traffic constable, don’t be surprised if he greets you pleasantly before drawing a receipt for the traffic violation you just committed.

The state government on Wednesday informed the Bombay high court that they have contacted Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) for conducting behaviour training sessions for constables.
“We have contacted

TISS for designing a training module in behavioural science for the sake ofthe constables,” said assistant government pleader Jasbir Saluja.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi were hearing a petition filed by Bombay Bar Association, seeking strict implementation of traffic rules when Saluja informed them of the development. Saluja also told the court that Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar and Superintendent of Police Rashmi Karandikar would be the officers responsible for instilling traffic discipline.

However, when Saluja informed the court that some training sessions have already been taken for the constables, the Chief Justice retorted with: “But when will we see the difference?”

Further, Saluja also said the government had sent a proposal to the education department to impart traffic knowledge in children as well.

Earlier, during a hearing on November 17, the HC had asked the state government and the traffic police to ensure that sensitisation percolates down the lower rung of the traffic force after there were complaints against certain constables.

The HC has also asked the state and the traffic police to show zero tolerance towards traffic rules violators. Action should also be taken against those officers who are on duty but fail to action against traffic violators, it said. “What we require is action against those who are not acting,” said chief justice.

On a court query, Karandikar informed the court that they regularly undetake special drivesfor different violations like not wearing helmets, strapping seat belts and drink driving.







High court asks govt to identify safe zones

TNN | Dec 1, 2011, 04.30AM IST

KOCHI: The state government should think of immediate steps to ensure the safety of people residing near the Mullaperiyar dam rather than submit alerts and studies on the issue, the Kerala High Court observed on Wednesday.

Considering five petitions seeking the court’s intervention to ensure the safety of the people, a division bench of acting chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice P R Ramachandra Menon expressed strong displeasure over the steps being planned by the government and observed that the government needed to prioritize the steps to be implemented, with focus on precautionary measures.

The court disagreed with the advocate general’s submission that the state was planning to conduct a study in association with IIT-Rourkee on the possibility of the dam bursting as well as a system to monitor the dam.

When the bench asked for concrete plans to ensure the safety of the people, the advocate general (AG) sought 48 hours to collect information from the government on the matter.

The court said: “You are asking for 48 hours when danger is knocking on our doors. What if something happens in 45 minutes?”

The AG said the state was also planning to bring down water levels at nearby dams so that water can be contained in the event of a burst.

The water being drained thus will be used to generate power , the AG said.

Further, the government is planning to convene a special assembly session in the first week of December, after obtaining the approval of the opposition, to pass a resolution to bring down the water level at the Mullaperiyar dam. Thereafter, the state will approach the centre and the Supreme Court, the AG said.

As an immediate step, a ministerial team from the state will meet Tamil Nadu ministers within two days to discuss the issue, the AG said.

He also pointed out that water could not be released from other dams immediately as it would lead to flooding, besides leaving the state in dark due to lack of power generation. Disagreeing with the steps outlined by the AG, the court directed him to come up with a plan detailing what the people in the affected areas should do in the event of the collapse of the dam.

The plan should include safe zones for evacuating people, besides deploying officials who the people can approach in an emergency.

The instructions, along with the names and contact details of officials, should be displayed in Malayalam in flood prone areas, the High Court ruled.

You are asking for 48 hours when danger is knocking on our doors. What if something happens in 45 minutes?




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