LEGAL NEWS 07.12.2001

IM suspect’s brother moves NHRC

Raj Shekhar, TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 06.51AM IST

NEW DELHI: The family of suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorist Gauhar Aziz Khomani has moved National Human Rights Commission against “violations” in his arrest.

In his letter to the Commission, Khomani’s brother Hasan Aziz Amir has alleged that the Special Cell of Delhi Police did not follow Supreme Court’s guidelines.

“They did not inform any of the family members about the arrest. We got to know about it from the media. Finally, they let me meet him when he was produced in court. He broke down after seeing me and said he had no idea why he was being accused of being a terrorist. He was crying like a child, asking me to tell his wife he will see her soon. I asked him to be strong and promised him that I will prove he is innocent,” said Amir.






CPM opposes Bidaris appointment–bidaris-appointment/209491-60-119.html

Express News Service The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The State Unit of Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPM) on Tuesday expressed dissent over the appointment of Shankar Mahadev Bidari as the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG&IGP) and questioned the State government for neglecting the seniority of senior police officer� A R Infant. The party said that Bidari has been facing the charges of violation of human rights when he was heading the Special Task Force constituted to arrest brigand Veerappan.

“The bypassing of one candidate over another is ok. But Bidari has allegations against him. Bidari’s name has figured in a report of a National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) panel headed by Justice A J Sadashiva. How can he be appointed as head of the State Police force?” questioned V G K Nair, the party’s State Secretary.� The CPM urged the State government to reconsider its decision over the appointment of Director General and Inspector General of Police. Also, the party accused the State government of not taking a firm stand on the superstition of Made Snana. “The practice of Made Snana is unconstitutional, unscientific and promotes casteism. The government is doing nothing in the name of respect for feelings of the people,” said Nithyananda Swamy, CPM secretariat member.

The party further called for a legal approach to ban the ‘unacceptable’ practice. “We have had caste system for centuries. The government cannot say that it is respecting people’s feelings. Its stand is unacceptable. There is great need for a legal approach,” added Swamy.

‘Govt Should Invest in Agriculture’

“Facilitating entry of corporates into the agricultural sector is bad. Considering the number of farmers’ suicides and suffering, the entire exercise is not good,” said Nair. He added that it was the result of the entry of corporate investment into agriculture that the suffering of farmers had increased. He alleged that false promises were made to the farmers that their yield would get good rates.

“That is the promise being made. While farmers may get good rates initially, it is dangerous to trust the corporates in the long run,” said Swamy. The party urged the State government to make public all the agreements signed during the Global Agri-Business Meet. “It is not enough for CM to install CCTVs in his office. There has to be transparency in the entire investment process,” said S Y Gurushanth, CPM member. He added that more than corporate companies, the government has to invest in agriculture.






Tribunal Bar Association moves Gujarat SIC for information

Published: Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011, 17:06 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

Gujarat State Co-operative Tribunal Bar Association has moved the state information commission challenging the order of the registrar of cooperative societies denying access to information about cooperative banks. The association had sought details of the cooperative banks which had gone into liquidation in the last decade. However, the department rejected the application stating that only a citizen of India could apply for the information and not the association. 

HS Shah, president of the association, said, “We found this reply strange and decided to move the state information commission. The central information commission had, in 2007, expanded the horizons of the applicability of the act. We have pointed out that an association too can seek information under RTI act.”

Shah said, “The main intention of RTI act is to make the administration of government department more transparent by bringing them under the ambit of information provision. The department is rejecting the application on such flimsy grounds as they want to hide information that can eventually unearth a scandal of crores of rupees.”

Shah added, “According to information from unofficial sources, more than 80 banks have gone in liquidation in last decade. If such information is made public, it may expose many faces.”

Shah said that later, he moved an application on his name and his wife’s name, who is also the vice-president of the association. “However, this application was rejected on the ground that two persons cannot file a joint application. We challenged the order with the appellate authority and the hearing is on Wednesday,” Shah added.






People’s tribunal is on a roll

Published: Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011, 9:39 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Activists, farmers and scores of others rejoiced as the seven-member jury of the Permanent People’s Tribunal (PPT) delivered its verdict after three days of deliberations, on Monday evening. 

The Tribunal, the first such to be held in India, called for more responsibility on part of six agrochemical transnational corporations.

It recommended action to restructure international laws to make corporations more accountable. There should be lesser burden on victims to provide proof, the jury stressed.

“If there is negligence, omission, bad faith, deliberate intent, then the other side has to defend itself. Statements that it is an act or that nobody could control are not enough. Companies cannot make fancy defence,” said Upendra Baxi, a member of the jury, giving the example of the Bhopal Gas tragedy.

During the tribunal, the jury heard 19 witnesses; four technical witnesses and 15 survivors who substantiated the allegations made in an indictment by the Pesticide Action Network International.

The indictment said that “agrochemical transnational companies have committed and continue to commit with impunity violations of the right to life and health by directly causing death, injury and chronic and irreversible impacts on health. Their products continue to destroy the environment.”

The jury heard 25 cases against the ‘big six’ of the pesticide industry. These related to endosulfan poisoning, Monsanto’s genetically engineered crops, poisoning of the Arctic region, child labour in India, Bayer’s pesticides killing bees across the world, harassment of scientists, Syngenta’s illegal field experiments of GE soy and corn, paraquat poisoning in Malaysia and pesticide stockpiles in Africa.

Like other PPTs, India’s first, too, reiterated the need to intensify action to protect human rights. The definition of rights, too, is not what the law says but what the people say, Baxi said. Suffering people are the original authors of human rights, the right to be human, the right to remain human, the right to say ‘I cannot be a site of experimentation,’ the members of the jury said.

Double standards regarding the usage of pesticides cannot be tolerated. “If you consider a substance harmful to your own people, you should not be allowing your corporations to manufacture it and export it,” Baxi said.

Pesticides manufactured by Germany-based Bayer are banned in the country, but continue to be used in other parts of Europe. The population of bees has declined by 40% to 60% across the world owing to the use of these neonicotinoid pesticides.

The verdict was significant not only from the human rights perspective but also because environmental issues were put into it, said Mimkes.






More trouble for Badal government, PHRC and NCW seek details of slapgate incident

Punjab Newsline Network

Wednesday, 07 December 2011

By Naresh Kumar Sharma

CHANDIGARH: The SAD-BJP combine government seems to be in for more trouble as the Punjab State Human Rights Commission (PHRC) and National commission of Women (NCW) have sought the report of the case from the state government pertaining to the slapping of woman teacher by Sarpanch Balwinder SIngh Toti at Daula village in Mukatsar district on Sunday by January 18, 2012.

With the assembly poll near, the slapgate incident which has sent shockwaves in the entire state and country is causing great deal of unease and embarrassment to Badal regime. Though, Chief Minister of Punjab, Prakash Singh Badal said that law will take its own course in the matter, the SAD-BJP combine government has not been able to contain the great deal of damage caused following the incident.

The incident happened when Varinder Kaur, a teacher had reportedly come to meet, Harsimrat Kaur Badal, an Akali Dal MP and wife of deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal to ask for a job. The teacher who is member of Education Guarantee Scheme (EGS) teachers association had assembled at the venue of function to hold demonstration demanding permanent jobs wanted to submit their demands to the MP.

The PHRC Commission after taking cognizance of the case has asked for report from the Principal Secretary, Home Department, Punjab and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP),Muktsar Sahib by January 18, 2012.The Commission comprising of Justice Jagdish Bhalla, Chairperson and its three members Baljinder Singh, L R Roojam and Justice Baldev Singh decided to seek details of the case after taking suo motu cognizance of media reports. The National Commission of Women (NCW) has also asked the Punjba government to submit all the details about the slapgate incident.

Meanwhile, the Sarpanch, Balwinder Singh Toti, who is in the storm of slapgate incident, continues to maintain that he has no regrets about the incident. However, he has also categorically denied that he had slapped a woman teacher despite being reportedly caught neck and crop on camera slapping her (teacher).

Earlier, the (Sarpanch) was arrested by police on Tuesday and later released on bail. The police said that the offence was bailable.





Assault on teacher: Women’s panel slams Punjab’s inaction

Submitted by admin3 on 6 December 2011 – 9:29pm


New Delhi: The National Commission for Women Tuesday slammed the Punjab government for not taking strong action against the sarpanch (village head) who publicly slapped a woman teacher Monday at Gidderbaha in the state.

“We had taken suo-motu cognizance of the incident and we have asked the state to send report why this happened. The reports we are getting from Punjab say the Akalis (Dal) have their monopoly, they bully people and atrocities against women are on rise,” NCW chairperson Mamta Sharma told TV channels.

The NCW chairperson said that a committee will be sent to the state to probe the case.

“I have decided that we will constitute a committee and send it to Punjab to know why is that in this democratic set-up a people’s representative slapped a woman publicly and there was neither any action from the chief minister nor any one else,” she said.

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) sarpanch of Gidderbaha, Baljinder Singh slapped woman teacher Varinder Kaur when she and other teachers tried to meet Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal’s wife and MP Harsimrat Kaur Badal for jobs.

The sarpanch was arrested Tuesday but reports said he has already been granted bail.






NHRC summons UP chief secy over Bhatta-Parsaul rapes
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 6
The Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh is in for trouble with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) taking a serious note of the state’s continued failure to respond to its findings in the cases of police violence and the alleged rape in Bhatta and Parsaul villages of Greater Noida, where the state had brutally crushed anti-land acquisition protests in June this year.

Unable to elicit comments from the BSP government for almost six months now, the NHRC yesterday issued conditional summons to Chief Secretary Anoop Mishra, directing him to immediately submit a reply on the fact-finding report which the commission forwarded to the state way back in June.

The interim inquiry by the commission had concluded that “rapes of women in the twin villages could not be ruled out.”

Speaking to The Tribune, Justice B.C Patel, a member of the Human Rights Commission, said, “We have issued conditional summons to Uttar Pradesh Chief Secretary and asked him to come up with the state’s formal response to our interim inquiry report. If we still don’t get a reply, the Chief Secretary would have to come personally to the commission to explain the delay.”

The commission is concerned over Mayawati’s continued evasion of response in the case despite the fact that it has sent several reminders to the state and afforded it ample opportunity to come on board.

The matter involves the alleged rape of women by police personnel on duty during the anti-land acquisition protests in Bhatta and Parsaul in late June. The National Commission for Women (NCW) has concluded that women were raped by policemen on duty.

The NHRC’s final report has, however, been delayed on account of the apathy of the state. “We must know what UP has to say before we make our final observations in the matter,” Justice Patel said, adding that non-compliance by the state governments is emerging as a principal cause of delay in justice delivery to victims of human rights violations.

In the Bhatta Parsaul case, UP has been denying the involvement of police personnel in the alleged rapes and violence on protesting villagers. However, on October 24, Dhankaur police station SHO in the affected villages registered an FIR against 15 policemen for raping a woman.

The case was registered after Allahabad High Court refused to grant relief to the accused policemen, who had moved the HC seeking a stay on the orders of Chief Judicial Magistrate, Greater Noida, who directed the registration of a rape case. The NCW, however, had said more women had been raped.


The matter involves the alleged rape of women by police personnel on duty during the anti-land acquisition protests in Bhatta and Parsaul in late June. The National Commission for Women has already concluded that women were raped by policemen on duty.


Police atrocity makes up 40 per cent of all cases of human rights violations which the NHRC receives annually. Since the Commission came into being, it has received 10,99,716 complaints of which 4,30,601 are against police personnel and officials.






MP accused of encroaching on forest land

Express News Service The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday ordered notices on the state government, Rajya Sabha member and mining baron Anil Lad, his cousin Ashok Lad and others following a PIL filed against them by city-based RTI activist alleging that a resort being operated by them has encroached 20 acres of forest land.
RTI activist K N Somashekar alleged that Amazing Valley Resorts, a unit of Lad Plantation and Resorts located near Narihalla Dam in Taranagar village of Bellary district, has encroached forest land, and going ahead with construction without permission from authorities concerned.
The Lads, who own a piece of land measuring 3.65 acres adjacent to reserved forest land and Narihalla River at survey number 410 in Taranagar village, Sandur taluk, have encroached upon forest land to construct the resort, the petitioner states.
The activist added that then Assistant Commissioner S G Patil had allowed the conversion of patta land for operating a hotel. However, according to information obtained through RTI, the deputy commissioner is said to have revealed that in order to convert such land, the central forest secretariat should permit conversion under Sec (2) of Forest Conservation Act 1980.
It is said that the Pollution Control Board, too, did not grant any permission for the resort. The Lads have paid a mere `200 to the gram panchayat for the resort, which has no jurisdiction to grant permission to such a huge resort.
A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna, before whom the matter came up for hearing, adjourned the PIL to January 23 for further hearing.






Temple and dist officials asked to consider PIL on tank

PTI | 05:12 PM,Dec 06,2011

Madurai, Dec 6 (PTI): Madras High Court bench has directed officials of the famous Swami Nellaiappar temple in Tirunelveli and district authorities to consider a representation of the public to protect the temple tank. Justices K N Basha and M Venugopal gave the directive while disposing a public interest litigation filed by one T Rajamanickam. Rajamanickam said the tank, constructed centuries back, is used for float festival during ‘Thaipusam’ day in Thai month. However the festival could not be conducted for the past several years as the tank had become polluted due to the ‘indifference’ of the temple or corporation authorities. Shops and small-scale industries around the temple dumped waste in the tank. In addition, chemical and electronic waste was also dumped, due to which the tank was damaged. Hence the officials should be directed to protect the ancient tank and also arrange for holding the festival, he said.






Ruchika murder case: PIL against Rathore for reinvestigation

Source: Bhaskar News

Last Updated 04:50(07/12/11)


Chandigarh: The public interest litigation(PIL) in controversial Ruchika Girhotra murder case seems to have opened up all sorts of trouble for the accused SPS Rathore. The high court while addressing the litigation has summoned the case reports against the accused.

The chairman of Human Rights Protection Council, Ranjan Lakhanpal, had filed the PIL in the case to demand the reinvestigation in the case. The court has summoned the investigation reports in the case by the police. The case report prepared by the SDM Prerna Puri for the alleged barring of Ruchika Girhotra from the Sacred Heart school after the incident has also been summoned. The court has scheduled the next hearing in the case on January 17 in accordance to the timely constraint demanded by the Haryana government.

The Sacred Heart School had barred the victim after the case of molestation surfaced. It is also believed that the barring decision came in lieu to the pressure from Rathore whose daughter was also studying in the same school.







Haryana defends lease, says villager’s PIL filed with ‘ulterior motives’–says-villager-s-PIL-filed-with–ulterior-motives-/884922/

Express news service

Posted: Wed Dec 07 2011, 06:51 hrsChandigarh:

Terming the petition filed by villagers of Ulhawas in Gurgaon as “misconceived” and with “ulterior motive”, the Haryana government on Tuesday defended the release and lease of land to the Rajiv Gandhi Charitable Trust in the Punjab and Haryana High Court. Not only the lease, the Haryana government also defended the change of land use granted to the Trust stating that it was done “in accordance with law”.

A reply was filed by Town and Country Planning and Urban Estates Department Special Secretary T C Gupta in response to a petition jointly filed by six villagers of Ulhawas.

Submitting that the petition filed was “not in public interest”, the government stated that the decision was taken “after a resolution” was passed by the gram panchayat of Ulhawas. “Resolutions passed by the gram panchayat have neither been superseded nor been annulled or cancelled by the gram panchayat till date. The petition filed is totally misconceived and deserves to be rejected,” the reply stated.





Un-stable’ conditions for ailing city horses

By: Saurabh Katkurwar Date: 2011-12-07 Place: Mumbai


The new shed that the NGO has suggested for the transfer of the 170 horses to be seized by BMC has no electricity or water to ensure their well being

Animal lovers who rejoiced after the Bombay High Court ordered the seizure of horses residing at unlicensed stables and pulling carriages, will not be too pleased as the stable provided by the Animal and Birds Charitable Trust (ABCT), the NGO that filed the PIL, has no facilities to keep the horses, including no electricity or water.

The stable that they have suggested is housed on a 7-acre piece of land on the Mumbai-Pune Highway, 15 km away Panvel.

However, the plot is uneven and provides no measures to ensure that the horses will be well protected.

Varsha Rokade, legal advisor of ABCT, said, “We offered the plot to ensure that the 170 horses will be well maintained after they are seized by the BMC officials. We will construct the shed and make fodder available to the horses. But any other facility that is necessary for a stable will be constructed by the civic authority and the state government.”

On the other hand, BMC officials said that the decision would be taken only after the court hearing on December 7 and that they were still drawing up an action plan for seizure of the horses in consultation with ABCT.

‘Court’s decision
Anil Bandivadekar, executive health officer of BMC, said, “We have narrowed down on the plot of ABCT near Panvel, but the final decision will be taken only after the court hearing on December 7. We are still holding meetings with the NGO on shifting of the horses. It is an ongoing process.”

Meanwhile, another NGO in the city has questioned if both BMC and ABCT is ready to for the transfer of the horses. “Both the BMC and ABCT should already have proper facilities in place for the horses. ABCT had filed the PIL in the court because the horses were being ill-treated and kept in pitiable conditions. So what is use of the exercise of seizing horses if standard facilities can’t be provided to them,” said an animal activist.

The entire incident came to light after the Animal and Birds Charitable Trust filed a PIL in the High Court about the horses.

On November 23, the judges directed the BMC to seize the horses that resided in unlicensed stables.

No horsing around
According to regulations not more than 100 horses should reside in a single stable. The premises should be cleaned twice everyday and horse dung should be allowed to pass into the drain of the stable. The rules also state that hay, grass should not be kept inside the stable.






Nuclear plants: No apex court order on PIL

Express News Service The New Indian Express

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to give any direction to the government on the appointment of an independent regulatory body to oversee nuclear plants across the country.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia, Justice A K Patnaik and Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the court cannot convert itself into Parliament.
The Bench, however, kept the issue open by asking the petitioners to come out with a solution on nuclear safety through a public debate and assured them that it would look into it. The Bench further said that it was aware of the fact that the matter was important as it concerned Article 21 of the Constitution, but expressed its reservations in looking into the safety aspect of all nuclear plants saying that it did not have necessary expertise.
“As far as public safety is concerned, Article 21 is in our mind, which can certainly be argued, but for other aspects we cannot convert this court into Parliament,” the Bench remarked.
The Bench directed the petitioners to place before it within four weeks the models adopted by the US, the UK, France, Canada and other such countries on the appointment of regulatory bodies, which are independent of the government to oversee nuclear safety.
“You have a public debate and come out with a solution. We will look into it,” the Bench added. However, when Prashant Bhushan, counsel for the petitioner, an NGO Common Cause, told the Bench that another PIL on Lokpal Bill was also filed, the Bench told him not to mix up things. “Don’t compare this with Lokpal. Lokpal is different,” the Bench told him.
At the outset, when the Bench wanted to know if any Bill on the issue was before Parliament, Bhushan said there was one, which, however, was not about independent regulatory body.
The PIL sought the court’s direction for halting construction of all proposed nuclear power plants in the country till their proper security assessment was done by an independent body.
During the arguments, Bhushan said the people of the country were sitting on a “time bomb” which could explode any moment and referred to an article written by eminent nuclear scientist A Gopalkrishnan, an expert in nuclear safety, who, in the past chaired the convention on nuclear safety to which India was a signatory.
While Bhushan was answering the court’s questions, Attorney General G E Vahanvati said it was for the government to look into the issue of appointment of a regulatory body.
When the argument was put forth that the regulator had to be independent of the government, the Bench said most of the scientists in India were government employees.
Bhushan referred to the model adopted by the United States for appointment of the regulator.
“Why don’t you give us the model,” the Bench said and asked him to place before it within four weeks, the models and posted the hearing after the winter vacation.
(With inputs from Agencies)








DJB officials accused of gangrape move HC against trial

TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 05.17AM IST

NEW DELHI: Three Delhi Jal Board employees, accused of gangraping an executive working in a private company, have moved the Delhi High Court against a lower court order that summoned them to stand trial in the case. The lower court rejected a police report to close the case against them and issued summons.

On the plea by the three senior engineers, Justice Suresh Kait on Monday issued notice to the police, seeking its response. In their plea the accused contended that the trial court summoned them despite the police stating in its closure report that they were falsely implicated in the case.

The lower court has fixed January 12 as the date of hearing of the final arguments of the accused as well as the victim and the police in the case. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate had on May 13 summoned Sharat Chandra, Praveen Bhargav and Ramesh Thakur, rejecting the police closure report against them.





HC defers decision on new industrial policy

TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 07.18AM IST

GURGAON: The decision on the new industrial policy may well stretch into next year as Punjab and Haryana high court deferred the case to January 11, 2012, during its hearing on Tuesday.

The new industrial policy was legally challenged by Gurgaon’s industrialists right after it was announced earlier this year. “During the last hearing, the Haryana State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC) and the state government were told to file a detailed reply.

Now, the HSIIDC sought more time for their reply,” said advocate Dheeraj Jain, who is representing the chamber of industries.

The postponement has caused concern among some industrialists, as the deadline imposed by the HSIIDC for getting registered under the 2011 estate management policy (EMP) is December 31.

But, according to the industry representative, the court order kept in mind even those who might have accepted the new policy terms, and upheld their right to challenge the EMP.

“Even if the HSIIDC does not extend the deadline, the court order protects us. Even those who are registered under the 2011 EMP, that wouldn’t come in their way of challenging the provisions in the court. The deadline wouldn’t apply for the petitioners,” said Jain.

The new EMP has been controversial ever since its implementation on January 1, 2011. Industrialists from Gurgaon, Manesar and other regions have challenged the policy on several clauses, and have demanded their right to full ownership of their plots.





HC asks govt to pay Rs 1 lakh interim compensation to murdered child’s father

TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 05.59AM IST

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Tuesday asked the state government to pay Rs 1 lakh as interim compensation without prejudice to final rights and remedies to Fulbar Ali, the father of Farzan Ali (12) who was killed by a group of people, as police has failed to trace Farzan’s body even after 5 months of his death. The amount has to be paid within three months.

The court also asked city police to submit the final report within four weeks before the court.

“The counsel for the state says that investigation is likely to be completed within four weeks. Let it be completed and the final report submitted before the court concerned as early as possible. In the meantime, consistent with the provision of Section 357-A of Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, we direct the state to pay Rs 1 lakh to the petitioner as interim compensation,” said the order.

The high court has fixed January 6 for the next hearing.

Fulber Ali filed a habeas corpus petition on November 29 after police failed to trace his deceased son’s body. Farzan Ali alias Raja is traceless since July 30 from the city’s Gopinath Nagar. Though police arrested the prime suspect, Mahesh Kalita, and five of his partners in the crime on August 2, they are yet to find Farzan’s body.

“During investigation, the convicts confessed to killing the child and throwing his body in the Deepor Beel. A search operation was done in the wetland but we could not find Farzan’s body. Investigation is on,” said an official of Paltan Bazar police station.

Fulber Ali, however, prayed to the high court to investigate the matter by an investigation agency. “We found some of Farzan’s belongings and sent them for forensic tests. The reports are about to come. We suspect it’s a case of organ trade,” said a police source.





HC bans construction in Ridge, pulls up defence agencies

Dec 7, 2011, 04.38AM IST

NEW DELHI: Two defence agencies have been forced to stop construction of residential flats in the heart of the capital, with Delhi High Court staying construction in the ecologically sensitive Ridge area.

A division bench consisting of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw recently said no fresh construction would be allowed in the Ridge area. The court passed its order after the Delhi government informed it that Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and Border Roads Organization (BRO) hadn’t sought any clearance to carry out construction activities in the Ridge that were threatening the area’s ecology.

The court also pulled up the organizations for not only bypassing the objections raised by the forest department but also violating the Supreme Court guidelines on protecting the Ridge. It rejected their argument that the construction of flats was at an advanced stage and they should be allowed to complete it.

The bench was hearing a public suit filed in 2005 by Naraina village resident A K Tanwar alleging that DRDO and BRO had begun construction of residential flats in the protected Ridge area near the village in west Delhi.

“We are appalled to find that the defence organizations not only overlooked the objections of the government but also began work in violation of the SC guidelines,” the judges observed. Delhi government counsel Najmi Waziri told the bench that while the site of construction was not a part of the reserved forest it was an extension of the same forest area which is highly protected.

The Ridge Management Board (RMB), a seven-member non-statutory body headed by Delhi chief secretary, also said that no prior sanction had been taken for the construction work. “None of the organizations under the defence ministry have sought a nod either from Ridge Management Board or the apex court through the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), before undertaking construction. Such permission is a pre-requisite in view of the SC directions,” the board said in its report

The Supreme Court in May 1996 restricted ongoing construction activities in the Ridge.

While the Central government claimed it had all the required permission and argued that the site in question was actually in the extended Ridge area where it was permitted to carry out construction, the Delhi government told the high court that the land was in the “geological Ridge area”, which was highly protected. It added that in its view there should be no construction activity in the area.

The high court had sought a response from the two organizations after the petitioner argued that the RMB needed to be kept in the loop on the issue to ensure all permissions had been taken.





HC seeks more technical info on Mullaperiyar dam

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 21:49

Kochi: With the Mullaperiyar issue hotting up, Kerala High Court on Tuesday sought more technical information on the 116-year-old structure even as the state said the Navy and Territorial Army are ready to meet any eventuality.

When a batch of petitions raising concern over safety of the dam came up before a division bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon, the court asked the government if it was equipped in case of an emergency.

Advocate General KP Dhandapani said the Navy and Territorial Army are ready to meet any eventuality. Five control rooms have been set up and there is a helipad about 40 km from the dam, he said.

The bench also asked the government to make people aware of precautionary measures through the visual media and distribution of pamphlets in case of an emergency.

Though the AG was present, technical experts M K Parmeshwaran Nair, Chairman of Mullaperiyar Special cell and T M Manoharan, Chairman of Kerala State Electricity Board, clarified various queries raised by the court.

The court had directed them at the last hearing to present themselves before it to answer questions.

The bench today directed them to give further details on distance between the dam and mouth of Idukki reservoir and velocity of water when it starts from Mullaperiyar till it reaches Idukki dam.

The experts also gave details on safety levels of the water at Idukki to be maintained taking into consideration the water required for generating electricity.

Parmeshwaran Nair said Idukki was the strongest dam in India and could hold water from Mullaperiyar.

Manoharan said power generation from Idukki dam,which holds maximum water was four times that of last year. During normal flow, there would not be much danger but in case of any eventuality, it would be devastating with rocks and boulders being swept down by the raging waters, he said.

Following their explanations, the petitions were posted to Dec 15 for further hearing.





NGO moves HC on Mitali’s custody

TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 05.26AM IST

INDORE: The custody of Mitali, the new born girl rescued after being buried alive in a farm land in Burahanpur, has become a bone of contention between her foster parents and the NGO Param Shakti Peeth, which is taking care of her.

The NGO has moved a public interest litigation (PIL) challenging the Burahanpur district court order which permitted Rajkumar Raoji to adopt the girl in Jabalpur high court about a week ago.”We want the custody of the child,” said Amrita Panchal NGO.

The Indore based Maharaja Yeshwantrao hospital where minister Archana Chitnis had brought the new born from Burhanpur had handed over her to the Peeth. The hospital authorities later claimed they had no knowledge of the Burhanpur court order. The newborn was named Mitali by Chitnis.While the Raojis had sought the child’s custody from the Peeth, they had denied to hand him over the child. The NGO has more than 300 orphans from different parts of the state. Inder Panchal, Amrita’s brother who runs the NGO said that the Raojis had come with the court order seeking Mitali’s custody during the night hours.

“How is it possible for us to hand over the baby at 10.30 pm to somebody unknown?”Childless Raoji couple have since been moving from pillar to post to get Mitali’s custody. “We have not lost hope and will fight for the custody of Mitali,” said Khandwa based Rajkumar Raoji. He and his wife have approached the Burahanpur district collector with the court order hoping to break the impasse. The collector has forwarded the documents to the women and child welfare department for necessary action.Mitali was rescued on October 6 from the fields in Burahanpur district. after a farmer found her crying in a pit. State minister Archana Chitnis brought the girl from Burhanpur and admitted her to the government hospital in Indore a day after the beti bachao campaign was launched in the state by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.





Companies approach banks for debt recast of over Rs 28,000 cr

PTI, 06 Dec 2011 | 08:15 PM

Rising interest rates and a slowing economy is hurting businesses. A sharp surge in referrals for corporate debt restructuring is an indicator that businesses are struggling to meet their interest payment obligations.

Rising interest rates and a slowing economy has begun to bite businesses and banks alike. For the quarter ended September 2011, banks are looking to restructure corporate debt worth Rs 28,890 crore. This is a sharp surge from the quarter ended June 2011 when banks received proposals worth Rs 5,670 crore.

The process is called corporate debt restructuring(CDR). The CDR framework provides a timely and transparent mechanism for restructuring the debt of viable corporate entities facing problems outside the purview of the Bureau of Industrial and Financial Restructuring or BIFR, Debt Recovery Tribunal or DRT and courts for the benefit of all concerned.

The number of CDR referrals increased to 35 during the April-September period from 22 in the same period last fiscal. The corresponding amount of loans referred for restructuring has also increased to Rs 34,560 crore in the first half of the current fiscal from Rs 5,180 crore in the same period of 2010-11, it said.

Bank shares, largely public sector, are likely to witness a negative trend as they figure among those leading this exercise. Any concession given to companies on interest rates under this exercise could hurt profitability of these banks.

Punjab National Bank (PNB) has received requests for corporate debt restructuring (CDR) of loans worth an estimated Rs 1,490 crore. PNB was followed by IDBI Bank, with estimated CDR referrals of Rs 1,390 crore, and Union Bank of India with requests for restructuring of debt worth Rs 1,280 crore during the second quarter of the current fiscal.
During the same period, the estimated CDR referrals to Canara Bank amounted to Rs 1,230 crore, while Central Bank of India received debt restructuring proposals worth Rs 1,210 crore and ICICI Bank referrals worth Rs 1,170 crore, according to data compiled by IDBI Capital.





Dad held for raping girl repeatedly

Dwaipayan Ghosh, TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 04.55AM IST

NEW DELHI: A man has been arrested for allegedly raping his daughter thrice reportedly at the instigation of her step-mother.

The 15-year-old victim, who managed to flee her house in Jamia Nagar and contact police with the help of an auto driver on Saturday, was produced before the child welfare committee on Monday and sent to the shelter home Prayas. The step-mother has also been arrested.

According to sources, the girl, who lost her mother at a young age, was staying with her aunt at Okhla. “On November 15, the father, the owner of two kebab shops, and his second wife went to Okhla and forced her to come with them. She was allegedly beaten up the same evening by them and the father also tried to molest her. A neighbour called the cops but they did not register a case as it was only a case of physical abuse. The girl’s father was counselled and the girl told to compromise,” said a police source.





ICWA answerable under RTI Act, says CIC

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 06, 2011, 17:23

New Delhi: The Indian Council for World Affairs, a foreign policy think-tank which is headed by Vice President as its ex-officio President with members including External Affairs Minister, is answerable under the Right to Information Act, the Central Information Commission has held.

The panel has received the complaint against the Council that even after six years of implementation of the RTI Act, the elite think-tank located in Sapru House was not complying with the section four of the RTI Act which mandates suo moto disclosure about its activities.

According to the RTI Act each public authority within 100 days of enactment of the RTI Act in October 2005 was mandated to appoint a Central Public Information Officer for receiving and processing the applications received under the law and comply with section four within 120 days.

When Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi issued notices to ICWA, its Assistant Director Anita Chopra said ICWA was a society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 and was constituted as a body corporate and declared an Institution of National Importance by an Act of Parliament in 2001. Chopra also stated that ICWA is substantially and directly funded by the Government of India.

“Thus from the statement of Ms. Anita Chopra it is apparent that ICWA is a public authority as defined under Section 2(h) of the RTI Act,” Gandhi said.

He said all public authorities were expected to appoint Public Information Officers and First Appellate Authorities as also comply with their obligations under Section-4 of the RTI Act before October 12, 2005.

“It appears that ICWA may not have complied with these requirements,” Gandhi pointed out directing the Council to fulfil requirements of the law before December 30.






Panel okays Rs715 crore plan for 100% sewage treatment in Pune

Published: Tuesday, Dec 6, 2011, 16:58 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

The city improvement committee (CIC) of the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) on Monday approved a Rs715-crore project to develop five new sewage treatment plants and augment capacity of five existing ones to ensure 100% treatment of sewage before releasing it into the river. 

CIC chairman, Arun Dhimdhime told reporters the PMC would be required to provide Rs71 crore as 10% share for the project. The Central government would provide 70% of the funding, while the state government 20%. The project is to be completed within two years. The administration has been told to start work on the project immediately assuming that the general body and the state government would approve the same.

He said 718 MLD (million litres per day) sewage is generated in the city. Out of that 567 MLD is treated in 10 plants in the city. However, 151 MLD sewage is released in the rivers without treatment, which causes serious pollution.

The PMC would establish five new sewage treatment plants at Warje, Wadgaon Budruk, Dhanori, Botanical Garden and Hadapsar. It would also augment capacity of five out of ten existing plants.

The capacity of sewage treatment would be increased by 177 MLD in two years and hence there would be 100% treatment of sewage water after completion of the projects.

The new projects would cost Rs542 crore, while Rs172.23 crore would be needed for maintenance for next five years.

It may be recalled that the then Union environment minister, Jairam Ramesh had commented that the rivers in the city resemble gutters due to untreated sewage water.







CD row: Cops refute Bhushan blame

TNN | Dec 7, 2011, 04.40AM IST

NEW DELHI: Police has refuted Team Anna memberPrashant Bhushan’s claim that PMO and the home ministry were “influencing” investigation in the controversial CD case, featuring his father and former union law minister Shanti Bhushan.

Delhi Police on Tuesday said “it is totally false and baseless” that PMO or the home minister has shown any interest in denying Bhushan or his well-wishers the three different forensic reports on the controversial CD. “The original reports with Delhi Police have been filed in the court,” Delhi Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said.

Delhi police has also decided to challenge the CIC order that had asked the special cell to hand over the FSL reports to RTI activist Subhas Aggarwal.





Kerala Administrative Tribunal yet to take off

Chandrakanth Viswanath

Express News Service

Last Updated : 06 Dec 2011 10:12:32 AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Kerala Administrative Tribunal (KAT), set up a year ago on the lines of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) for dealing with the government employees’ cases is yet to take off, allegedly owing to the lukewarm approach from the State government resulting in a loss of around ` 75 crore to the state exchequer per year.

Further, the delay in operation is affecting the very functioning of the state administration. The Cabinet requesting the Central Government and the Chief Justice of India for repealing two judicial members from the KAT has come as a rude shock.

The three High Court benches which deal with around three lakh cases involving the government employees, amounts to one third of the total number of cases. It was expected that the formation of KAT with Thiruvananthapuram as headquarters, would unburden the High Court. The State Government in 2007, had estimated that it was incurring a loss of around Rs 50 crore a year on travelling allowance alone to employees commuting between Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi. Also it has been pointed out that when the higher officials absents themselves from office for three days to appear in court, it results in piling up of files.

The KAT will have three benches of which two will be based here and one in Kochi to handle the cases from north Kerala. A statutory committee consisting of Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, Chief Secretary, Chairmen of the KAT and Public Service Commission had selected P V Asha and Ashok Mammen Cherian as the judicial members.

But on June 15, the Cabinet decided to request the Centre and Chief Justice of India to recall these two members. ‘This is illegal and the government is acting beyond its powers,” says M Vijayakumar, former Minister for Law. The LDF Government had set up KAT with Justice K Balakrishnan Nair as the Chairman on August 25 last year under the State Administrative Tribunal Act. Old Collectorate building at Vanchiyoor has been selected as its head quarters.

Six members, comprising three judicial members and three non-judicial members were appointed. Around 30 staff members were also deputed out of the 110 posts sanctioned for the Tribunal. Meanwhile, the High Court Advocates Association had filed a case in June last challenging the formation of KAT, which was dismissed by the Kerala High Court, since it was a policy decision of the State Government. The decision to have the principal bench in Thiruvananthapuram was also justified.

An appeal in this case is now pending before the Supreme Court. The State Government has now replaced the counsel, Liz Mathew with Beena Madhavan. The Opposition is alleging foul play in this. “The government has a hidden agenda in this case and it plans to sabotage KAT,” alleges M Vijayakumar.


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