LEGAL NEWS 09.12.2011

Tribunal asks DoT not to encash guarantees of Loop, Etisalat

http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/industry-and-economy/info-tech/article2698915.ece?ref=wl_industry-and-economy

NEW DELHI, DEC. 8: 

Telecom tribunal TDSAT has directed DoT not to encash or seek the renewal of performance bank guarantees by Loop Telecom and Etisalat DB.

In an interim order over two separate petitions filed by Loop Telecom and Etisalat, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal said that till its further direction, the DoT would not demand any new bank guarantees from them.

The petitions sought TDSAT directive to the Department of Telecom for the release of guarantees submitted in lieu of spectrum allotted to them, claiming they have rolled out the networks.

NEXT HEARING

The tribunal has listed the matter on December 22 for next hearing.

Loop Telecom, which has been allotted licences for 21 circles, submitted before the tribunal that it has completed its roll-out obligations and as per the terms and conditions, its PBG should now be released.

It further submitted that its guarantee was slated to expire in the first week of December and requested the tribunal to give interim protection, as DoT may take some action against it.

Etisalat DB had approached the tribunal with the argument that as per Unified Access Service Licence (UASL) terms and conditions, their PBG should be released.

 

 

 

 

SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT WORKPLACE DRAFT BILL
House committee, govt differ on inclusion of domestic workers

http://www.tribuneindia.com/2011/20111209/main3.htm


Aditi Tandon/TNS

New Delhi, December 8
Four million domestic workers of India got a shot in the arm today with the parliamentary committee examining the draft Bill on protection of women from sexual harassment at workplace negating the government stand of excluding them from the law’s ambit.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, which piloted the Bill, ignored this category citing practical difficulties in implementation within households where codes of conduct don’t exist.

But the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Human Resource Development, after year-long deliberations on the law, today slammed the Government’s move saying privacy of households could not be used as an excuse to shield uncalled for acts against domestic workers.

In its report to the Parliament today, the committee reminded the Ministry that India had signed the International Labour Organisation’s Convention 189 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers. “We are in full agreement for inclusion of domestic workers in the Bill. Expecting such a vulnerable group to take recourse to the IPC in a sexual harassment case is not viable,” it said.

The panel has asked the Centre to change the draft law to name house owners in the definition of employers; domestic workers in the definition of employees; vehicles used to move women from workplace to home and back in the definition of workplace; and exclude penalty provision in case of false and malicious complaints.

The draft Bill’s definition of a workplace includes offices in Government, private sector and places a woman visits by air, rail, land or sea during the course of her job.

To negate the ministry’s stand on domestic workers, the committee depended on the National Commission for Women (NCW) which argued that the Government’s privacy of home argument was unfounded as the enactment of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 had busted the myth that legal scrutiny could not be offered in homes.

On inclusion of domestic workers, the committee got letters of support from Punjab, Gujarat and the Sonia Gandhi-headed National Advisory Council. The ministry for its part, strangely, gave the NCW a go by when it finalised the draft bill titled “The Protection of Women against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill 2010” and got it approved from the Cabinet in November 2010. This despite NCW’s involvement in drafting of the law from 1997 when the Supreme Court first laid down the guidelines in the Vishaka judgment. The NCW’s last draft on the Bill included domestic workers.Today the parliamentary committee restored NCW’s stand on several counts and even rejected the Ministry’s title for the Bill as one that overly stressed protection aspect and projected women as victims. “The preventive aspect as mandated by the Apex Court must be reflected in the bill. It should accordingly be titled The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill 2010,” said the panel backing NCW’s title. The Bill is the first comprehensive law covering every workplace in organised and unorganised sectors and contains provisions to protect women from acts of sexual harassment irrespective of whether she is employed or not. It means women who enter workplaces as clients, apprentices, daily wagers would also get protection.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Supreme Court lifts stay on JNUSU elections after 3 years

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Supreme-Court-lifts-stay-on-JNUSU-elections-after-3-years/articleshow/11039632.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.49AM IST

NEW DELHI: Student body elections in the politically and ideologically steeped Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) will be held soon with the Supreme Court on Thursday lifting a three-year-old interim ban on it.

In October 24, 2008, the apex court had stayed students union elections in JNU and asked its vice-chancellor why contempt proceedings be not initiated against him for allowing overage and repeat candidates to file nomination papers in breach of its directions.

The SC had in September 22, 2006, banned candidates over the age of 28 years from contesting elections and allowed only one chance per candidate to have a go at the polls for students body posts in all colleges across the country.

However, the students body pleaded through advocate Sanjay Parikh that JNU had many research scholars who were over the age of 28 years and they should not be deprived of contesting elections. They also said the mandatory 75% class attendance fixed by the apex court should not be applied as there was no system of mandatory attendance for research scholars.

With amicus curiae and senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam agreeing to these recommendations, a bench of Justices A K Ganguly and J S Khehar relaxed the age limit for the candidates to 30 years and exempted them from mandatory 75% attendance in classes.

Though the bench did not relax the election expenditure limit of Rs 5,000 per candidate fixed by the 2008 judgment, it allowed them to circulate photocopied campaign material, which would help students to minimize costs. The students were earlier allowed to distribute only hand made posters and campaign material.

Interestingly, JNUSU elections have been conducted by the students themselves for the last 37 years before the apex court put an interim ban on it. As per the Lyngdoh Committee recommendations, which formed the basis of the apex court’s 2008 judgment, college managements were asked to supervise the poll process, a task which JNU was reluctant to take up.

But with the three concessions in relaxation in age limit, poll material and attendance requirement, JNU students did not press their preference for the traditional system of holding polls in the prestigious institution.

 

 

 

Villagers plan series of protests against proposed ‘sculpture city’

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-08/madurai/30490989_1_art-sculpture-city-villagers-sculpture-city

TNN Dec 8, 2011, 05.38AM IST

MADURAI: Villagers living around Yanaimalai in Madurai have planned a series of protests to prevent the idea of turning the hillock into a sculpture city.

As part of the plan, the villagers staged a protest on Wednesday condemning the idea of Aa Arasu, an art sculptor and lawyer. Arasu filed a writ petition last week in the Madurai bench praying to revive the Art Sculpture City proposal on the hillock. In 2009, following an idea mooted by him, the state government had constituted a feasibility committee and later was given up due to protests by the villagers.

 

 

 

 

 

Silk Smitha wasn’t ‘dirty’ at all, says brother

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/silk-smitha-the-dirty-picture-brother/1/163431.html

There’s trouble brewing for The Dirty Picture despite the rave reviews the film has garnered for leading lady Vidya Balan.

A week after the Andhra Pradesh High Court dismissed his writ petition seeking a stay on the film’s screening, Vadlapati Naga Vara Prasad, brother of late south Indian actress Silk Smitha – on whose life the film is allegedly based – is all set to file a criminal defamation suit against its producers Balaji Telefilms and director Milan Luthria.

“I will get the copy of the high court order in a day or two. Most probably, I will file a criminal defamation petition against the filmmakers,” Prasad said.

Refusing to stall the film’s release, the HC had asked Prasad to first watch the movie and then file a defamation suit against the filmmakers, if he found The Dirty Picture was indeed based on his sister’s life.

Though the producers as well as Balan have made it clear in the past that the film is not based on Smitha’s life, Prasad claims otherwise.

“It was made on Smitha’s life, barring some modifications to suit the film. The only difference is that contrary to the vulgar and cheap manner in which Balan’s character has been depicted, my sister led a dignified life off screen. In the film, Balan’s character is a smoker and an alcoholic, who has several sexual liaisons. Smitha was never like that in her real life,” Prasad said.

He said he had come to know that the film was based on the inputs provided by an alleged boyfriend of Smitha.

“If they wanted to make a film which was true to Smitha’s life, they should have contacted us. Who else, other than us, can tell you about her childhood and her career?” Prasad asked.

He said Smitha, whose original name was Vijayalakshmi, had struggled a lot during her initial days in Tinseltown before making it big.

“We were from a poor family in Kovvali ( about six km from Eluru town in west Godavari district). Smitha dropped out of school when she was in the fourth standard. She had always wanted to become an actress. When she was 17 years old, she left for Madras to pursue her dreams,” Prasad said.

With the filmmakers denying the movie is inspired by the late southern siren’s life, it remains to be seen how Prasad will prove his allegations before the court.

 

 

 

 

HC reserves verdict on plea contesting Municipal Act provision

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/hc-reserves-verdict-on-plea-contesting-municipal-act-provision/923464.html

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 08,2011

Allahabad, Dec 8 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today reserved its judgement on a writ petition challenging provisions of appointment of administrators in municipalities in Uttar Pradesh. A division bench comprising Justices Ashok Bhushan and Sunita Agrawal was hearing the writ petition filed by Congress MLA Anugrah Narain Singh. Singh had challenged Section 8(4) of the Uttar Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act, 1959 which provides for appointment of administrator in case of no civic election was held within five years of its constitution. Opposing the writ petition, the state government pleaded that the petitioner has already challenged the same provision in 2009. It also contended that an another division of the High Court has upheld the validity of the said amended Act through which the provision was incorporated.

 

 

 

 

 

Takeover of land leased to Trust stayed

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/takeover-of-land-leased-to-trust-stayed/210137-60-120.html

Express News Service The New Indian Express

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has granted interim stay on a writ petition challenging a Government Order (GO) taking back six grounds leased to a trust devoted to promotion of fine arts, Tamil music and Indian culture.

In his petition, Vazhuvoor Ravi, Secretary, Muthamizh Peravai Charitable Trust said his trust petitioned the government for allotment of land for conducting music performances. Subsequently, it was allotted six grounds of vacant land near Andhra Mahila Sabha.

The land was leased to it for 30 years on a nominal lease amount in 2010. An auditorium was built with a carpet area of about 9,800 sq ft and completed in April 2011 at a cost of about Rs 4 crore. This was for encouraging young artists below the poverty line. The facility was inaugurated by former Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on August 27, 2011.

On November 9, the petitioner was asked to vacate the premises and hand over possession of the land and building to the PWD within 30 days through a letter dated November 5, 2011. The letter was challenged and the High Court granted an interim stay. The petitioner now wanted an interim stay on the impugned GO -based on which the letter was issued- pending disposal of the writ petition.”The GO does not cancel the lease in explicit terms. It wants the superstructure to be transferred to Tamil Development Department on payment of construction cost as per PWD valuation.”

The petitioner argued that the GO was arbitrary, malafide and vindictive due to the change of the government and contended that it was liable to be quashed. The petitioner was not provided an opportunity of being heard, the plea said. Hearing the petition, Judge N Paul Vasanthakumar granted an interim stay.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Babri case: HC directs court to record evidence on daily basis

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/babri-case-hc-directs-court-to-record-evidence-on-daily-basis/885480/

The Allahabad High Court today directed recording of evidence on a day-to-day basis by the Rae Bareli trial court in the Babri Masjid demolition case, rejecting a plea by a VHP leader.

Justices Shree Narain Shukla and Surendra Vikram Singh Rathore of the Lucknow bench of the High Court gave the direction while disposing of a writ petition by VHP leader Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, who is among the eight accused in the case.

Dalmiya, through his petition, had challenged the July 22 order of the district and sessions court, Rae Bareli, asking the trial court to fix at least 10 days in a month for hearing in the case.

Besides Dalmiya, the accused include BJP leaders LK Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti and Hindutva activist Sadhvi Rithambara.

The division bench was of the view that this was a fit case in which the court must exercise its inherent powers and issue necessary direction to the trial court to ensure speedy disposal of the matter.

The judges said, “When any prosecution witness is in attendance in the court, then his examination-in-chief, cross-examination or re-examination, if any, shall be recorded by the trial court on day-to-day basis until its conclusion.”

Dalmiya had termed that the sessions court order as bad in the eyes of law claiming that the judge did not have the jurisdiction to give the direction.

He had contended that some of the defence lawyers were coming from far off places and faced problems attending the hearings in the court on the basis of the sessions court order.

 

 

 

 

 

Pragya fails to appear in court yet again

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Pragya-fails-to-appear-in-court-yet-again/articleshow/11040325.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 05.22AM IST

BHOPAL: Prime accused in former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi murder caseSadhvi Pragya Thakur, who is lodged in a Mumbai jail, failed to turn up at special designated National Investigation Agency (NIA) court here for the second time. Harshad Solanki, a suspect in Ajmer Dargah blast and Samjhauta Express bombing incident also followed her suit by not appearing in the court of additional district judge Chandra Mohan Garg, government advocate Anand Tiwari told TOI. Solanki too is in judicial custody.

This time, Sadhvi didn’t even send any communication regarding her non-appearance in the trial court for Joshi murder case of December 2007.

On November 25, Sadhvi had faxed an application stating that she was suffering from severe backache problem hence she could not make it to the court. Pragya and Joshi were part of the alleged Hindu terror group that had orchestrated blasts across the country.

However, the three accused Vasudev Parmar, Anandraj Kataria and Ramcharan Patel, who are now out on bail, appeared in the court and registered their presence.

The five accused have been charged under section 302 for murder, 201 for causing disappearance of evidence, 120 b and 34 of IPC for criminal conspiracy with common intention and sections 25, 27 of Arms Act. Mohan and Ghanshayam, two more accused in Joshi murder case, are absconding and have not yet been charge-sheeted. The court has fixed December 22 as the next date of hearing in the case.

A local court in Dewas district had transferred the entire case to the NIA court on November 22 following a Madhya Pradesh High Court’s administrative order. The NIA took over Joshi murder case from Madhya Pradesh police a few months back. Earlier, Madhya Pradesh showed reluctance to the NIA intervention in the case, but later it budged.

 

 

 

 

Yaragola water project: HC notice to ministers

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/yaragola-water-project-hc-notice-to-ministers/209982-60-115.html

Express News Service The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court issued notices to Railway Minister of State K H Muniyappa, Textile Minister R Varthur Prakash, principal secretaries of Irrigation, Forest and Housing and Urban Departments, following a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Human Relevant Research Institute for non-completion of Yaragola drinking water project in Kolar that was scheduled to be ready by 2010.

A Division Bench comprising acting Chief Justice V J Sen and Justice A S Bopanna on Wednesday issued notices to the ministers and officials. The PIL alleged that though `230.13 crore was allocated for the project in 2006, the government had not sanctioned the required land and the officials had just purchased pipes for `55.25 lakh.

 

 

 

 

2G scam: Swamy to depose against Chidambaram

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/210150/2g-scam-swamy-depose-against.html

New Delhi, Dec 8, DHNS:

A Delhi court on Thursday permitted Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy to record his statement as a witness in his private complaint against Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, alleging the latter’s complicity in the 2G spectrum scam.
Special CBI judge O P Saini allowed the politician, who is one of the petitioners of the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the Supreme Court, to depose as witness on December 17.

The court, however, said that the other witnesses, including some CBI officials mentioned by Swamy, would be summoned only after he proves the relevance of their statements.
“In view of the fact that complainant was not aware of the identity of additional accused (s) at the time of filing of complaint, but has now come to know about it, he is not prevented in law from leading evidence on this point, more so when he has referred to the role of other conspirators in his complaint,” the judge noted.

In his complaint, Swamy had sought that Chidambaram be impleaded in the 2G spectrum scam case alleging that the decisions on spectrum pricing and allocation were taken following consultations between him as the Finance Minister and then Telecom Minister A Raja. He had sought framing of charges against Chidambaram as done against Raja.

He had claimed that the official documents given to him by the CBI after the court’s order established that four meetings took place between Chidambaram and Raja in which decision was taken to keep spectrum prices at 2001 level. The court had on December 3 reserved the order on Swamy’s application.

PC’s clean chit
Swamy had relied upon a statement by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the then finance minister consulted Raja and the two worked out an agreed formula on pricing of spectrum.

“Raja had recorded in a file and in a press note that the then finance minister had permitted the sale of licences to foreign companies – Etisalat of Dubai and Norway’s Telenor – despite both the firms being under the home ministry’s scanner,” Swamy said.

“Swan Telecom and Unitech sold their shares to Etisalat and Telenor respectively. They were under the scanner of the home ministry and the ministry had recommended that these two companies should not be allowed to do business in India,” he said.

 

 

 

 

BMC loses file on ‘recreation ground’

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/BMC-loses-file-on-recreation-ground/articleshow/11039745.cms

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 04.01AM IST

MUMBAI: The civic body on Thursday admitted before the Bombay high court that a file pertaining to a Ghatkopar (West) plot that was allegedly marked asrecreation ground is missing. The court directed it to state what procedures it follows to recover original records.

A division bench of Justices Sharad Bobde and V K Tahilramani was hearing a PIL filed by architect Madhav Deshpande over a plot measuring 1,944 sq yards in Sanghani Estate on LBS Road, Ghatkopar (West).

Deshpande said the plot is being developed despite it being reserved as recreation ground in the 1953 civic plan. “When I informed the BMC, it replied that it has lost the plan and files related to the reservation of this plot. It said in absence of these records it can’t proceed against the developer,” said Deshpande, arguing in person. The architect alleged that the local BMC office is colluding with the developer.

BMC advocate Geeta Joglekar admitted to the court that the file is missing. She said Deshpande’s prayer for converting 15% of the plot into a recreation ground cannot be granted because in 1953 there were no development control rules. “As per layout conditions, 7% was reserved for recreation ground,” Joglekar added.

Deshpande told the court that the BMC may have alternate documents but it is not bringing them on record.

The judges asked the BMC to state in an affidavit “what procedure it adopts if the original records are lost and whether any collateral documents are available” with it regarding the plot in question. Adjourning the matter, they also directed the state government to assist the BMC in providing necessary information about recovery of lost records.

 

 

 

‘Almost’ made up mind against 5-year fixed-term job policy: High Court

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/-Almost–made-up-mind-against-5-year-fixed-term-job-policy–High-Court/885819/

A division bench of the Gujarat High Court on Thursday observed that it had “almost” made up its mind that the state government’s scheme to recruit Class III and IV employees on fixed salary for a fixed time frame was in violation of Constitutional provisions.

The bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala made the observation while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) that has challenged the government policy to recruit young people on fixed salary for five years.

The PIL has been moved by an Ahmedabad-based legal-rights organisation, Yogkshem Foundation for Human Dignity. The petitioner has called the policy ‘unlawful’ and ‘unfair’ labour practice, which is exploitative in nature.

Under the impugned scheme, government has been recruiting people on fixed salary and time frame calling them Vidhya Sahayak for teachers, Lok Rakshak for police and Gram Mitra in rural administration.

The petitioner has demanded to quash the system of recruiting people for a fixed time frame. It has also demanded various benefits like provident fund and medical expenses for these employees.

Defending the scheme, Advocate General Kamal Trivedi argued that by recruiting people for a fixed salary and time-frame, the government was trying to strike a balance, as these recruits were fresh and lacked experience. So, the government was in a way giving them employment as well as experience, he added. He also put forward some case laws in defence.

The court, however, observed that the government was not keeping the similar policy for posts of Class I and II. It further observed that the government could not have have parallel recruitment policy.

 

 

 

 

 

Deployment of Central security forces at Mullaperiyar sought

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/deployment-of-central-security-forces-at-mullaperiyar-sought/923573.html

PTI | 12:12 AM,Dec 09,2011

Madurai, Dec 8 (PTI) A PIL seeking to remove illegal encroachments in the Mullaperiyar dam area and replace the Kerala police personnel with Central security forces along with trained fire fighting service staff was filed at the Madras High Court bench here today. R V S Vijaya Kumar, vice-president of Tamil Nadu PWD Senior Engineers Association, submitted that the Intelligence Bureau under the Ministry of Home Affairs had inspected the Mullaperiyar Dam in 2003. In 2006, an Industrial Security Inspection Team also inspected the dam and submitted a report, recommending that the Kerala police personnel at the dam be replaced with Central government forces such as CRPF or CISF, the petition said. The team had also suggested to remove encroachments in the dam area, to post firefighting personnel and install fire fighting equipments but the Union and State governments had not taken any step to implement the recommendations, it charged. The petition also referred to an alleged attack on Dec 3 in which about 200 persons damaged the gate of the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board at Mullaperiyar. On Dec 4, a march taken out by BJP workers towards the dam demanding urgent steps to resolve the Mullaperiyar dispute had also turned violent, it said. It also alleged that various political parties in Kerala, with the support of the state government, had been creating “uneccessary fear and panic” over the safety of the dam among the Kerala public. In light of such developments, the petition also sought direction to the Union and State governments to provide adequate security to the dam, Tamil Nadu PWD engineers and their family members and tourists from other states to the area.

 

 

 

 

 

Kalighat temple: Mystery of locked vault to be solved

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/11039359.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.17AM IST

KOLKATA: The key to one of the vaults at Kalighat temple, containing gold ornaments offered to Goddess Kali, has been missing since 1980. The key to Kalighat temple’s vault, in which lies gold ornaments devotees offered Goddess Kali, has been missing since 1980.

More than 30 years after the key went missing, the Kalighat Temple Committee has finally taken the initiative to resolve the mystery around the locked vault. The move came after the Calcutta high court recently ordered an audit into all the assets of the temple, including offerings to the Goddess.

“The ornaments were offered by devotees from across the country since the 50s and stored in the vault till its key went missing in 1980,” said a temple committee member.

Questions are, however, being raised as to why temple committee members kept mum on the issue of the missing key till the HC order that came in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL). The issue of the locked vault, located within the temple, cropped up when the temple committee met after the HC directive. Members decided to first do the valuation of ornaments stored in a second vault in the committee’s custody since 1980 before resolving the mystery over the first vault’s missing key.

“We have roped in a city-based jewellery firm for valuation of the ornaments in the second vault. The work is on and we need to wrap it up fast. Then we will open the first vault for valuation of gold ornaments in it,” Gopal Mukherjee, general secretary of the Kalighat Temple Committee, said on Thursday.

While hearing the PIL, the division bench of Calcutta high court also directed the temple committee and the state government to clear the temple premises of encroachment and prevent ‘pandas’ from entering its sanctum sanctorum. The court also directed the committee to install closed circuit television sets inside the sanctum sanctorum for foolproof security within the temple.

Kalighat temple is one of the 51 Piths listed among India’s famous religious sites. Though steps haven’t yet been taken to dismantle unauthorized structures around the temple, a special force from Kolkata Police has been positioned at the temple.

“The pandas are being prevented from entering the sanctum sanctorum. We are trying to resolve the problem by issuing identity cards to pandas who have been in the temple for a long time,” said a member of the Kalighat Temple Committee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Unions demand e-meters must be tamper-proof

Somit Sen, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 04.15AM IST

MUMBAI: The auto unions have come up with a criteria to instal electronic meters: the devices will have to be completely tamper-proof. Two big auto unions-those led by NCP’s Sharad Rao and Congress’ Hussain Dalwai-are now preparing the groundwork to file a public interest litigation against the government if the new electronic meters are found to be easy to tamper with.”We have had only one meeting of the technical committee set up for electronic meters, and the outcome was not satisfactory. Both the RTO officials as well as meter manufacturers present at the meeting were not convincing about the new electronic gadgets. A meter manufacturer admitted before senior transport officials that e-meters could be tweaked with an external device and there is no way to prevent it,” said a union leader. The union has decided to wait for the minutes of the meeting. “If the minutes mention the manufacturer’s statement that e-meters can be tampered with, we will use it as a key point in the PIL,” he added. According to a member of Rao’s union, the government committee will have to shortlist a few manufacturers who will give a demonstration on the devices. “If there is any flaw (possibility of tampering), we will move court and not allow the installation of such meters in autos,” he said. An activist from Dalwai’s group said, “A Supreme Court order mentions that any new meter fitted in autos should be completely tamper-proof. We will rely on the judgment and include it in our PIL.”But consumer rights activists feel the unions should accept the gadgets as they did not have any in-built defect. Activist Shirish Deshpande said, “Unlike a mechanical meter, in which commuters cannot detect whether it is rigged or not, the tampering is noticeable in e-meters. The device displays both the fare as well as the distance travelled and so, a passenger can see if the meter is running fast,” he added. According to him, everything, from a credit card to an email account, can be tweaked or hacked into. “The important thing is how difficult it is to tamper with a gadget,” Deshpande said.

PIL effect: International school fee to be regularized

http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_pil-effect-international-school-fee-to-be-regularised_1623181

Published: Thursday, Dec 8, 2011, 18:27 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

If you toss and turn in bed worrying about the high capitation fee, running into lakhs of rupees, at your child’s international school, help is on its way.

The state government, which has already cleared the Maharashtra Educational Institutions (Regulation of Collection of Fee) Act, 2011, is waiting for the President’s nod to enforce it in international schools.

Informing the Bombay High Court of the pace of development, the additional government pleader said, “Both the houses of the state assembly and the council have voted in its favour and now, it has been sent to the President of India, which, as per my instructions, is pending.”

Based on the government’s statement, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice R S Dalvi disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by an NGO, Forum for Fairness in Education, which had asked for a probe into the financial affairs of all international schools in Maharashtra.

The PIL pointed at the imbalance in fees charged by various international schools. While the Ecole Mondiale World (EMW) School, the Witty International School and the Aditya Birla World Academy (ABWA) charge Rs5,000 for processing the admission form for the pre-primary, the Jankidevi Public School and the Sharad Pawar International School take Rs7,000 and Rs5,500, respectively, for the same for classes I to X and junior college. The scales are also lopsided when it comes to admission fee.

Naming 19 such schools, the forum said they ask parents to shell out a hefty security deposit of as much as Rs2.50 lakh, even in the case of pre-primary and primary students.

It asked for CM Prithviraj Chavan’s directives to all international schools to refund all capitation fee.

The bench assured the NGO that its plea will be looked into once the Act is enforced.

 

 

 

 

PIL finds language barrier in new exam rule

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pil-finds-language-barrier-in-new-exam-rule/885824/

Posted: Fri Dec 09 2011, 04:05 hrs Ahmedabad:

An advocate from voluntary organisation Jan Sangharsh Manch (JSM) has challenged a Government Resolution (GR) from the state Education Department under which Class X & XII students pursuing their studies in Urdu, Sindhi, Marathi, Tamil and other mediums would be given examination papers in English, Gujarati or Hindi language but write answers in their respective languages (for Class X students) and in English, Gujarati or Hindi languages only (for Class XII students).

After advocate Shamshad Pathan filed a public interest litigation in this regard, a division bench of HC on Thursday issued notices to the respondents, the Education Department and Gujarat Secondary & Higher Secondary Education Board, and kept further hearing next week.

The petitioner said that through the GR passed in May this year, the Education Department has amended particular provisions of the Secondary and Higher Secondary Certificate Examination Regulations, 2005.

The petitioner contended that the resolution is irrational, arbitrary and unconstitutional.

The students, he argued, who have studied all throughout in their mother tongues like Urdu, Sindhi, Marathi, Tamil etc. cannot understand questions in Gujarati, Hindi or English and consequently cannot answer either in their own language or in any other language.

Notice to govt on litteratteurs’ PIL

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Notice-to-govt-on-litteratteurs-PIL/articleshow/11038602.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 01.44AM IST

BANGALORE: The high court on Thursday ordered notice to the state government on a PIL challenging the state government’s decision to close/merge Kannada schools where the student strength is below five. The PIL has been jointly filed by several Kannada litterateurs.

The division bench headed by acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen posted the matter to December 16.

Girish KarnadUR Anantha Murthy and Chandrashekar Kambar, all Jnanpith awardees, and Rashtrakavi G S Shivarudrappa have sought for a directive to the state government to restore/reopen all those government Kannada primary, secondary schools which are closed or merged after the Right to Education was declared as a fundamental right.

PIL filed over tree felling

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/PIL-filed-over-tree-felling/articleshow/11039356.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.17AM IST

AHMEDABAD: A PIL has been filed in the Gujarat high court against tree felling near Nal Sarovar bird sanctuary for widening of the road from Sanand. The court asked the government pleader to take instructions from concerned authorities on the issue and kept further hearing on next Thursday.

The petitioner trust – Jagega Gujarat Sangharsh Samiti has raised the issue of widening of the Sanand-Nal Sarovar road and expressed concern that this activity could claim nearly 7,000 trees. Petitioner’s counsel, Rashmin Jani contended that the road is 42km long and authorities have decided to stretch it by 3 metres on both sides.

It was submitted that the road widening activity requires large scale tree felling, and since Nal Sarovar is a bird sanctuary, this road widening activity could adversely affect birds and local environment.

The petitioner has proposed that instead of 3 metres on both sides, if the width is extended to only 1.5 metre on each side, it would save trees. Moreover, instead of widening the existing road, another road could be built on the other side of green cover.

 

 

 

 

PIL filed against pvt bus fare hike

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/PIL-filed-against-pvt-bus-fare-hike/articleshow/11038252.cms

Neha Madaan, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 01.02AM IST

PUNE: City-based organisation Sahayog Trustrecently filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court, requesting it to restrain private bus operators from increasing their fares during the holiday season. The PIL also requested the court to direct the ministry of transport to introduce ‘toilets on board’ facility on all long route and nightshift buses. The petition was prompted by growing concern over arbitrary fare hike by private bus operators during the festive season and the dismal infrastructure provided by these buses.

Aseem Sarode of Sahayog Trust said, “We are trying to press for permanent changes in the transport system at the policy level. As there are no rules and regulations by the government to regularise the fare, bus operators increase the ticket rates exorbitantly during Diwali, weekends and other festive occasions. At times, the ‘to and fro’ prices are different for the same route.”

Sarode added that the trust received more than 500 phone calls from passengers, who were charged exorbitantly this Diwali. “We submitted the tickets along with the petition to prove the extent to which the fares were increased. The ticket prices go up by almost 75 to 80% during the festive season. For instance, an air-conditioned bus from Pune to Nagpur may have fares varying from Rs 800 to Rs 2,000, depending on whether or not it is a festive season,” said Sarode, adding that the PIL is expected to be heard next week.

The PIL said, “The railway booking plan opens three months prior to the date of travel. Students who want to travel during festive season or vacation do not always have their exam time table three months early and hence cannot book their tickets in advance. Working professionals do not get their leaves sanctioned three months prior to the travel date and hence have difficulty booking their tickets in advance. They are left with no other option but to travel in private buses because bookings in this case open around 15 days before the season. This booking plan varies with every private travel agency because there is no control or fixed regulation regarding when they can open their bookings.”

Sarode said that the PIL also appealed to the court to direct the Ministry of Transport to introduce ‘toilets on board’ facility on all long routes and nightshift buses. “Women and girls have to face many problems as private buses do not stop at places that are appropriate for women. The PIL said that when a women passenger asks the driver to stop the bus for using the toilet, it is not taken seriously. This issue is very important considering that it may have serious health repercussions,” he said.

“Direct the Ministry of Transport to introduce the ‘toilets on board’ facility on all the long route and night shift buses in Maharashtra, whether private or being run by the State Transport Authority. The existing bus fleet be modified and private toilets be introduced in them,” the PIL said. It also requested the court to direct the state government to frame appropriate guidelines to make all the buses being run by state transport and private bus operators disabled-friendly.

In response, Tushar Jagtap, secretary, Pune Private Bus Association, said, “Prices increase with the increase in demand. This rule applies to almost all services and commodities. The loss borne by us during off-seasons is usually compensated during the festive seasons, through fare hike. For instance, there are times when we have a 40-seater plying to and fro with only four passengers.”

“Tax paid by us in the form of ‘basic registration tax’ is ten times more as compared to that paid by state transport buses. This amounts to Rs 3 lakh per year. The toll is usually as much as Rs 1,600 per day for a Pune to Kolhapur AC bus,” he added.

Jagtap, however, said that fares go up by only 20% during the festive season. “It is usually the travel agents who increase the prices, while the bus operators end up getting only a minimal profit margin,” he said.

The PIL’s respondents are the Ministry of Transport, Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), Mumbai, and Regional Transport Office, Mumbai.

MSRTC MD Deepak Kapoor said, “The state transport bus fares remain consistent throughout the year, as they are bound by a state government-approved formula. The private bus operators do not operate under us.”

 

 

 

 

Group of NGOs demands repeal of AFSPA

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/group-of-ngos-demands-repeal-of-afspa/923477.html

PTI | 09:12 PM,Dec 08,2011

New Delhi, Dec 8 (PTI) A group of NGOs evaluating India’s human rights situation for a UN-sponsored review, today demanded the repeal of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) alleging that the government “routinely violates” the guidelines set by Supreme Court on the law. In its report, the Working Group on Human Rights in India and the UN (WGHR) said India should implement relevant recommendations, including the repeal of AFSPA, and ensure impartial investigation of all human rights violations and justice to the victims. “(Government’s) military approach and the ongoing conflicts contradict government’s position at the UN that ‘India does not face either international or non-international armed conflict’. The AFSPA has come under severe criticism both domestically and internationally for contravening international human rights law. “While upholding the constitutionality of AFSPA, the Supreme Court laid down guidelines, which are routinely violated. Sections of the government are calling for re-examining the law, which is opposed by the army,” it said in the report for UN’s Universal Periodic Review. The NHRC in its report had echoed similar views and called for repeal of AFSPA. “Due to historical and political reasons, there are insurgency movements in the northeast and Jammu and Kashmir. In spite of the decrease in insurgency-related violence, the state’s response to these political issues has remained mainly militaristic, accompanied by draconian security laws, leading to widespread human rights violations,” it said. On the Naxal front, the WGHR report said Supreme Court had strongly condemned the “state-sponsored counter-insurgency militia Salwa Judum — spearheaded by ‘Special Police Officers’ (SPOs) — and directed the disbandment of SPOs in Chhattisgarh. “Grave human rights abuses have been inflicted on the population by security forces, SPOs and even by the Naxalites. Violating the spirit of the court’s order, SPOs have been reabsorbed into the Chhattisgarh Auxiliary Armed Force through law,” it said. “In all these conflict areas, several special security laws operate, which violate national and international human rights guarantees, provide extensive powers (to arrest, detain without trial and ‘shoot to kill’ on suspicion) to security forces and exempt them from prosecution in absence of executive sanction, spawning a culture of impunity,” it said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Missing children being exploited and trafficked’

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/missing-children-being-exploited-and-trafficked_746122.html

Last Updated: Friday, December 09, 2011, 14:34

New Delhi: Nearly 11 children go missing every hour in the country and majority of them are trafficked for forced labour, commercial sexual exploitation, and drug peddling, claims a new study by a rights NGO.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) said 1,17,480 children went missing in 392 districts between January, 2008, to January, 2010, as per data collected from government agencies.

In its book ‘Missing Children of India’, the NGO said it collected the data through RTI from 392 districts and said these children are being trafficked and exploited.

“Police and law and enforcement agencies do not take such cases seriously. There is dearth of agencies for collecting and disseminating data on missing children,” Sunil Krishna, Director-General, National Human Rights Commission, said after the study was released.

The BBA also launched a website where one can access nationwide record and data about missing children.

In 2004-05, the NHRC reported that an estimated 44,000 children go missing every year with one-fourth of them remaining untraced. The number has shown an increase of 32 per cent over a period of seven years.

In 5 years, the number and the percentage of children who missing and remain untraced shot up by more than 30 per cent, the book said.

“If the average number of 150 reported missing children per district (from available data) is extrapolated to all 640 districts in the country, the total number of missing children in India every year would come to the tune of 96,000,” the report said.

According to the data obtained through RTI, 24,744 children have been reported missing from metros like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai and Hyderabad. Among the Metros, Delhi tops the list with 12 per cent of total reported missing children still untraced.

Each year 6,785 children disappear from Delhi with 850 remaining untraced. Out of the total untraced children from these metro cities, Delhi and Kolkata alone constitute 89 per cent.

Among 20 states and four Union Territories, Maharashtra has highest number of children reported missing with 26,211, followed by West Bengal (25,413), Delhi (13,570) and Madhya Pradesh (12,777).

The report also highlights the plight of migrant families residing in semi-urban areas, specially those close to the state, district and international borders.

“Urban centres have high number of children reported missing. Areas with better transport and communication connectivity have high number of missing children. Also, regions with migratory population like slums and families from socially and economically poorer backgrounds form the majority of victims,” the report said.

The report has also laid down few guidelines and recommendations to create awareness and find solutions to increasing number of such cases.

P M Nair, ADG (Operations), CRPF said: “We are the part of the system and need to take strong action collectively as well as individually to solve the problem.

“It is the pull factor that is more potent in this phenomena than the push factor. The children from poor families are more vulnerable and need to be identified for prevention.”

Justice Altamas Kabir, Supreme Court Judge and Executive Chairperson of National Legal Services Authority said defining the term ‘Missing Children’ is difficult but not impossible.

“We propose a nationwide linkage of legal system to the remotest part of the country in order to tackle the problem,” he said and asked BBA to help solving the problem of missing children.

 

 

 

 

Law soon to protect men from sexual harassment?

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report_law-soon-to-protect-men-from-sexual-harassment_1623318

Published: Friday, Dec 9, 2011, 8:45 IST
By Vineeta Pandey | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

With the number of women at higher positions going up, there is a genuine concern among men that they too can be victims of sexual harassment at workplace. Hence, they have sought a gender-neutral law from the government.

Accepting that men too can be victims of sexual harassment at workplace, the parliamentary standing committee on human resource development (HRD), examining the Protection of Women Against Sexual Harassment at Workplace Bill, 2010, has suggested the government to have enabling provisions in the proposed law through which circumstances of sexual harassment cases of men too can be explored and tackled.

While taking note of strong reservation and angst expressed by men organisations regarding this gender-specific bill believed to tilted towards women, the committee suggested regular surveys to be conducted to get an idea on sexual harassment towards men also.

“The committee, keeping in mind the interests of all concerned, feels that the viability of having a provision of enabling nature where circumstances of having a provision of enabling nature where circumstances of sexual harassment cases of men at workplace can be tackled, may be explored. Alternatively an employer/ establishment can be mandated to report cases/instances of male sexual harassment also in their Annual report. This may help understand the real picture,” the report said.

This observation came after the committee was miffed by the fact that the ministry of women and child development (MWCD) and National Commission for Women (NCW) who prepared the legislation did not consult stakeholders representing men’s cause was not done.

When called by the standing committee, the men’s groups said the law was ignoring the fact that men too were sexually harassed at the workplace and the proposed law was heavily biased towards women.

While giving examples about gender neutral laws in countries like Denmark, the UK, Ireland, Finland, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, The Netherlands, men’s organisations argued that since the percentage of women at superior levels was increasing, it was incorrect to presume that only women can be victims of sexual harassment.

Meanwhile, the committee recommended bringing domestic workers and contract employees under the ambit of the proposed law since expecting such a vulnerable groups to take recourse to IPC in a sexual harassment case cannot be considered viable.
The committee believed that the privacy of a household cannot be an excuse to shield uncalled for acts against this category of women in the workforce.

 

 

 

 

 

Cong welcomes SC verdict which was never delivered

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/Cong-welcomes-SC-verdict-which-was-never-delivered/articleshow/11039006.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 02.37AM IST

LUCKNOW: Uttar Pradesh Congress Committeeofficials faced a foot-in-the-mouth situation on Thursday, after party functionaries, issued a press release applauding the Supreme Court’s rejection of a Special Leave Petition filed by the state government appealing for a delay in notifying local bodies’ elections.

Released in the name of spokesperson Dwijendra Tripathi, the release said that it was shameful how the BSP government was having to, repeatedly, face rejection, first by the high court and now by the Supreme Court. The note also takes pot shots at the BSP government for being opposed to democracy.

Till Thursday, the state government had not moved the Supreme Court to file a SLP. Rejection of it by the country’s highest court, therefore, was also not possible.

With news of the ‘incorrect’ release spreading quickly, UPCC, by evening, also issued a quick rejoinder, apologising for the ‘mis-release’. Speaking to TOI, Tripathi said, “We were misinformed about the decision by some people from Allahabad. As soon as we realised the mistake, we issued a rejoinder.”

Senior UPCC officials, however, ridiculed the contents of the release saying that it was indicative of the poor quality of management within the Congress circles. While UPCC chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi was unavailable for comments, when contacted, UPCC spokesperson Akhilesh Pratap Singh, said, “There is a process that is in place, which should be followed when releases are issued by the party. In this case, the contents were given to party seniors, for whetting. To my knowledge, the court has passed no such orders.”

 

 

 

 

 

SC stays HC order to make public Goa Guv’s report

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sc-stays-hc-order-to-make-public-goa-guvs-report/210099-3.html

 

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed all proceedings arising out of a notice by the Goa information commissioner asking the governor’s office to furnish all the reports it had sent to the President during the political turmoil in the state in 2007.

The apex court bench of Justice Dalveer Bhandari, Justice TS Thakur and Justice Dipak Misra issued notice to the petitioners before the information commission saying that some important questions of law had been raised and needed to be addressed.

The court observed that the “question raised in the petition are important and require its consideration”.

The principal information officer (PIO), Goa, moved the Supreme Court challenging the judgment of the Goa bench of the Bombay High Court which held that the governor was a public authority and consequently came under the ambit of the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The judgment was delivered November 14.

Appearing for the PIO, Goa, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Vivek Tankha told the court that the office of the governor was not covered under the act.

Tankha told the court that information sought under the RTI was available with the government and its ministries and the same could be accessed from them.

The court took a grim view of the language used in one of the notices issued to the governor by the state information commission which said that he would present himself before the commission and would not leave without its permission.

Noting that it was very unusual for such notices to use such language, the court observed “don’t bring down the institutions”.

Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Manohar Parrikar of the Bharatiya Janata Party had moved the state information commission seeking copies of reports sent by the governor to the president between July 24 and Aug 14, 2007.

In another case, activist Aires Rodrigues’ November 29, 2010, moved an application seeking details under the RTI on action taken on complaints made by him to Goa governor against a government lawyer.

The court asked the respondents to file their replies within four weeks and gave two weeks to the petitioner PIO to file his rejoinder within two weeks thereafter.

 

 

 

 

SC verdict welcomed, final decision on Jan 6

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/SC-verdict-welcomed-final-decision-on-Jan-6/articleshow/11039728.cms

Manash Pratim Gohain, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.59AM IST

NEW DELHI: Student polls are set to return to Jawaharlal Nehru University campus after a gap of four years after the Supreme Court vacated the stay on the university’s student union elections with certain relaxations.

While the university administration welcomed the decision, various students’ organizations favoured early elections at an all-party meeting.

The final decision regarding elections will be taken at the university’s general body meeting on January 6.

The last JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) elections were held in October 2007 and two days ahead of the 2008 elections the SC had stayed the process citing violations of Lyngdoh Committee’s recommendations on student union elections.

JNU students had then formed the Joint Struggle Committee with representation from various students’ organizations, teachers’ associations and staff associations, and it has been fighting the legal battle since 2008.

“Under the present circumstances, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) is in favour of elections, though the Apex court’s ruling has not been completely in favour of the students. But the students do need a platform to voice the concerns and opinion,” said Sucheta De, general secretary of AISA.

The apex court while vacating the stay relaxed the age limit for candidates from 28 to 30 years for JNU, waived off the 75% attendance criterion and allowed photocopied pamphlets for campaigning. The court maintained that each candidate will be allowed to spend a maximum of Rs 5,000 for canvassing.

“We are in favour of elections. But will go with whatever the UGBM decides in January,” said Manoranjan Mohapatra, activist of National Students’ Union of India.

Although the court has vacated the stay, the election can be conducted only after January 6 as the university is closed for its winter break since December 5.

Welcoming the development, JNU vice-chancellor, professor SK Sopory, said, “We have always been in favour of elections. But I would suggest the students should study the order and conduct the elections as per the SC’s guidelines.”

 

 

 

 

 

Judges must act fairly and be above suspicion: SC

http://zeenews.india.com/news/delhi/judges-must-act-fairly-and-be-above-suspicion-sc_746046.html

Last Updated: Thursday, December 08, 2011, 22:19

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has set aside an order of a single judge of the Delhi High Court who had dismissed an appeal against acquittal in a dowry death case although as a sessions judge he had recused himself from the case on personal grounds.

The apex court gave a clean chit to Justice SN Dhingra (since retired) in the matter however and opined a judge “must not only act fairly but must be able to act above suspicion of unfairness and bias.”

“It is a well settled law that a person who tries a cause should be able to deal with the matter placed before him objectively, fairly and impartially. No one can act in a judicial capacity if his previous conduct gives ground for believing that he cannot act with an open mind or impartially.

“The broad principle evolved by this court is that a person, trying a cause, must not only act fairly but must be able to act above suspicion of unfairness and bias,” a bench of justices HL Dattu and CK Prasad said.

The apex court passed the order while reverting back to the High Court for “fresh disposal” of the appeal by Narinder Singh Arora, challenging the dismissal of his revision petition by Justice Dhingra on September 1, 2010, although the same judge had recused when the matter came up before him during the trial in 2003.

Arora had challenged the acquittal of the accused in a case relating to harassment and murder of a woman allegedly for dowry. After Dhingra as a sessions judge had recused, another took up the matter and acquitted the accused.

However, when the revision petition was filed in the high court, the matter had come up for hearing before Justice Dhingra who dismissed the revision petition.

“It is apparent that the fact of earlier recusal of the case at the trial by learned Shri Justice SN Dhingra himself was not brought to his notice in the revision petition before the High Court by either of the parties to the case.

“Therefore, Shri Justice SN Dhingra, owing to inadvertence regarding his earlier recusal, has dismissed the revision petition by the impugned judgment.

“In our opinion, the impugned judgment, passed by Shri Justice SN Dhigra subsequent to his recusal at trial stage for personal reasons, is against the principle of natural justice and fair trial,” the bench observed.

 

 

 

 

COURT-BABRI 2

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/courtbabri-2/923342.html

PTI | 06:12 PM,Dec 08,2011

The division bench was of the view that this was a fit The division bench was of the view that this was a fit case in which the court must exercise its inherent powers and issue necessary direction to the trial court to ensure speedy disposal of the matter. The judges said, “When any prosecution witness is in attendance in the court, then his examination-in-chief, cross-examination or re-examination, if any, shall be recorded by the trial court on day-to-day basis until its conclusion.” Dalmiya had termed that the sessions court order as bad in the eyes of law claiming that the judge did not have the jurisdiction to give the direction. He had contended that some of the defence lawyers were coming from far off places and faced problems attending the hearings in the court on the basis of the sessions court order. (MORE)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man gets 10 years in jail for raping stepdaughter

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Man-gets-10-years-in-jail-for-raping-stepdaughter/885633/

Express news service

Posted: Fri Dec 09 2011, 03:55 hrs Mumbai:

A 38-year-old man was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment by a sessions court for raping his 12-year-old stepdaughter. The man identified as Pandi, a daily wage labourer, lived with the victim’s mother in a shanty in Jogeshwari.

The accused had — on February 17 — found the victim alone, raped her and threatened her from telling it to anyone. The victim, scared initially, finally mustered courage and narrated the incident to her grandmother. The victim was then taken to her biological father Kandaswamy.

“My parents had separated years ago but I was still in touch with my biological father. On his insistence, we registered a police complaint,” the victim stated in her statement.

Looking at the seriousness of the crime and taking the victim’s age into consideration, a sessions court sentenced Pandi to 10 years’ imprisonment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plot plea pending, Naroda Patiya judge moves HC

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/Plot-plea-pending–Naroda-Patiya-judge-moves-HC/885710/

Express news service

Posted: Fri Dec 09 2011, 01:05 hrs Ahmedabad:

Following a petition by the special trial judge hearing the 2002 Naroda Patiya killings case that her application for the allotment of a residential plot under a government scheme has been pending since 2008, the Gujarat High Court has issued a notice to the Revenue Department.

The petition filed by Jyotsna Yagnik, who is also the additional principal judge at the Ahmedabad City Civil & Sessions Court, stated that the state government has not decided on similar applications by many other district judges within the stipulated time period of 120 days since their receipt.

A single-judge bench of HC comprising Justice S R Brahmbhatt, while issuing the notice on Thursday, posted the matter for further hearing on December 21.

According to Yagnik’s lawyer Chinmay Gandhi, the state government had introduced a scheme to allot residential plots to government employees as per their posts in 2001-02 and judicial officers were also included in it.

“Under the scheme, it is mandatory for the state government to take a decision on an application for the plot allotment within 120 days of its receipt. Yagnik had submitted her application in 2008. However, to date, the application is pending,” said Gandhi, adding that their petition has sought a direction to the Revenue Department to either decide the application or allot the residential plot.

According to Gandhi, Yagnik had mentioned Manipur or Chenpur villages on the outskirts of Ahmedabad city as her preferences for a residential plot.

In her petition, Gandhi said, Yagnik also stated that the state government has cleared the applications of High Court judges and its other employees, but it is yet to clear the applications of 29 district judges and some other state government employees.

 

 

 

 

 

Justice to power consumer, only after panel prod

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhopal/Justice-to-power-consumer-only-after-panel-prod/articleshow/11040277.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 05.16AM IST

BHOPAL: Getting an electricity pole erected is an uphill task. So it seems from Chhindwara’s Sameena Naj’s case.

It took her almost four years of running around in consumer courts and an order from the Madhya Pradesh State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission to get a new pole erected in conformity with quality standards prescribed by the Madhya Pradesh State Electricity Board. This was even after shed deposited required charges.

State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission bench comprising president Justice S K Kulshreshta and member Pramila S Kumar allowed an appeal filed by Sameena Naj and directed contractor to erect new poles in conformity with the quality prescribed by the MPSEB or pay back Rs 11,000 with six% interest to her within two months.

Naj wanted to carry out some construction in her house over which an electricity line passes and she had applied to the electricity board. The board on deposit of requisite charges permitted erection of poles in different parts and subsequently she engaged an “A” class contractor of electricity board for erection of poles. But the line was not shifted for long and later the electricity board officials told her the poles had joints and therefore acceptable for laying low tension (LT) line.

As her efforts to get line shifted failed, she approached the Chhindwara district consumer disputes forum against the MPSEB. However, her complaint was dismissed on the grounds that it was the contractor who was supposed to do the work. Naj later approached the state commission through her counsel Vijay Yadav in appeal where contractor Hafeez Siddiqui took a stand that the poles had been erected in accordance with the plan approved by the electricity board.

After hearing the case, the commission noted that the respondent being an “A” class contractor of the electricity board was aware of requirement type of poles and could not erect poles with joints as it was not permitted. Accordingly, the commission ordered that the contractor either refund the amount with interest or erect new poles.

 

 

 

 

 

Govt sanctions legal aid to jailed Indians in Sharjah

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-sanctions-legal-aid-to-jailed-Indians-in-Sharjah/articleshow/11040911.cms

TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 06.52AM IST

NEW DELHI: Government has sanctioned Rs 17 lakh to arrange legal help for 17 Indians, whose death sentence for killing a Pakistani was revoked in September by a Sharjah court but who are still languishing in a jail there. The 17 Indians, most of them from Punjab, were pardoned after over Rs 4 crore was paid as blood money to the victim’s family. But they could not walk free as two men, who claimed to have been injured in the same incident, petitioned a court in Sharjah for compensation of 1.5 million dirhams (Rs 2.1 crore).

“Government of India is defending these cases through Consulate General of India, Dubai and an amount of Rs 1.2 lakh dirhams has been sanctioned,” overseas Indian affairs ministerVayalar Ravi told Rajya Sabha on Thursday while replying to a question.

Ravi said the court’s judgment did not address charges of attempt to murder of two individuals who claimed to have injured during the incident. “The prosecution citing these technical lapses referred the case to the Supreme Court in Abu Dhabi thereby putting on hold the deportation of the 17 Indians,” he added.

Their death sentence was commuted after 3.4 million dirhams was paid as blood money to the family of Misri Nazir Khan, who died during a turf war of bootleggers in Sharjah in January 2009. PTI

 

 

 

ASEAN justices reach common vision on

Environment

http://www.indiainfoline.com/Markets/News/ASEAN-justices-reach-common-vision-on-environment/5306651504

India Infoline News Service / 11:58 , Dec 08, 2011

ASEAN member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Chief Justices and senior judiciary from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have agreed on a common vision on the  role of the judiciary in tackling regional environmental challenges, such as deforestation and illegal logging, the illicit trade in wildlife, pollution and the destruction of coral reefs. The agreement was reached at a meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia yesterday in a bid to step up cooperation on legal issues linked to the region’s shared environmental threats.

“The Asian Development Bank (ADB) strongly supports the Indonesian Supreme Court in convening this roundtable because Chief Justices and their senior judiciary play a critical role in improving environmental enforcement,” said Jon Lindborg, ADB’s Indonesia Country Director. “This includes championing and leading the legal profession towards credible rule of law systems that have integrity and promote environmental justice.”

The Roundtable for ASEAN Chief Justices on Environment brought together Chief Justices, or their representatives, from member countries of ASEAN. It is jointly organized by ADB and the Supreme Court of Indonesia and supported by the United Nations Environment Programme.

Southeast Asia has a large proportion of its population dependent on agriculture, fishing and other natural resources. These resources are coming under heavy pressure from illegal logging and fishing, and the pollution and destruction of shared marine environments like the world-renowned Coral Triangle. Climate change driven by rising emissions of greenhouse gases also poses an increasing threat.

The roundtable discussed common challenges the judiciary in ASEAN countries face in adjudicating environmental legal cases and the role they can play in championing environmental justice. It culminated in a resolution on shared environmental challenges and areas for future cooperation.  Malaysia agreed to host the next roundtable in December 2012.

The event is a follow-up to the Asian Judges’ Symposium on Environmental Decision Making held in Manila, Philippines in 2010, which brought together over 110 judges, environment ministry officials and civil society representatives from Asia, Australia, Brazil, Europe, and the United States. The symposium proposed the establishment of an Asian Judges’ Network on the Environment to help improve adjudication in environment and natural resource cases. ADB is providing technical assistance to support the network along with a parallel initiative in South Asia.

Asian judges, including some in ASEAN countries, have been involved in pioneering legal cases on the environment and are expected to provide valuable inputs at the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Sustainability that will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in June 2012, immediately prior to the Rio+20 Earth Summit.

ASEAN member countries include Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SC: Last chance for states to implement tamper-free numberplates

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sc-last-chance-for-states-to-implement-tamperfree-numberplates/885367/

Posted: Thu Dec 08 2011, 11:53 hrsNew Delhi:

Giving last opportunity to state governments to ensure tamper-free high security number plates in vehicles, the Supreme Court today directed them to implement the scheme within four weeks.

In a clear warning to the state governments, a Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said contempt proceedings will be initiated against the state authorities without issuing any notice in case of non-compliance of the scheme within the time limit fixed by it.

The Bench said no further time will be granted to put in force the scheme and directed the state authorities to file their affidavits on compliance of its order within four weeks.

The court passed the order on a PIL filed by Chairman of All-India Anti-Terrorist Front M S Bitta seeking its direction to introduce tamper-proof number plates and licences for vehicles, contending that the present system is prone to misuse by anti-social elements.

 

 

 

 

 

HC orders daily recording ofevidence in Ayodhya case

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/lucknow/HC-orders-daily-recording-ofevidence-in-Ayodhya-case/articleshow/11039092.cms

Ravi Singh Sisodiya, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 02.48AM IST

LUCKNOW: Taking suo moto cognisance of the slow pace of hearing in Ayodhya shrine demolition case, a Lucknow bench of theAllahabad High Court on Thursday directed the special CBI court in Rae Bareli to record evidence of witnesses on a day-to-day basis until the conclusion of the case.

Former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, former Union minister Murli Manohar Joshi, former Madhya Pradesh CM Uma Bharati, Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, Ashok Singhal, Acharya Giriraj Kishore, Sadhvi Rithambhara and BJP leader Vinay Katiyar are facing trial before the special CBI court in connection with the shrine’s demolition in Ayodhya in 1992 under Sections 147, 148, 149, 153(A), 153(B) and 505 of the IPC.

A division bench of Justice SN Shukla and Justice SVS Rathore also directed the CBI to make sure that at least a witness is present on every date, so that the hearing is not adjourned for want of witnesses. The high court directed the special CBI court not to adjourn the hearing only because of the engagement of the defence lawyer in any other case. “The defence lawyer shall ensure to hand over the brief of the case to some other lawyer, so that the trial may not be disturbed because of his absence or any difficulty in attending the court on a particular date,” observed the bench.

The judges further directed the special CBI court to ensure appearance of the next witness within seven days from the date the statement of previous witness had been concluded. The court also asked the trial court to fix dates on Saturdays also, which the parties generally avoid.

The high court though set aside an order passed by Rae Bareli district judge on July 22, 2011 by which it had directed the special CBI court to fix the dates at least 10 days in a month as desired by the CBI. Advani and others had challenged this order in the high court. The HC bench, however, itself took suo moto notice of the tardy pace of the trial and passed the aforesaid directives to the special CBI court.

“In the present case, already 19 years have passed after the occurrence, but the trial has not yet reached the halfway mark. Out of 148 witnesses, only 14 could have been examined till date,” noticed the court, and observed, “The delay in dispensation of justice is not good for any society, because the delay encourages people to adopt unethical and illegal means to settle their disputes.”

As a result of delay, the possibility of loss of important evidence cannot be ruled out because of fading of memory or death of witnesses, observed the court.

The HC perused the order sheet of the trial court for the past two years and recorded that average number of dates fixed in each year was about one or two per months, which after the order passed by the district judge, Rae Bareli expedited to three dates per month. The court thus itself recorded a finding that if the trial is permitted to proceed at this speed, it cannot conclude within a reasonable time.

The court discarded the request of the defence that the CBI should be directed to disclose the name of the witnesses it desires to produce before the trial court. The CBI had apprehended that it is a very sensitive matter and in case the names of the witnesses to be examined on next date are disclosed, such witnesses may be tampered with or otherwise they may be forced not to depose against the petitioners by their followers. “The witnesses are not local and they have to come from faraway places, and therefore disclosing of their names may entail danger to their lives also,” submitted the CBI.

The HC also took note of its order passed in 2005 for expeditious disposal of the trial, but found that the order had paid no dividends. The CBI counsel had also submitted that the incident took place in 1992 and till date only 14 witnesses could be examined, whereas there is a list of 148 witnesses. Even if, 50% of the witnesses are discharged, if the trial is permitted with this snail pace, it cannot be completed within the lifetime of the witnesses or accused persons facing trial, pleaded the CBI.

 

 

 

 

 

 

HC stays MCI norms for all-India med entrance test

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/HC-stays-MCI-norms-for-all-India-med-entrance-test/articleshow/11038536.cms

Syed Rizwanullah & Vishwas Kothari, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 01.35AM IST

AURANGABAD/PUNE: The Medical Council of India’s (MCI) amended regulations for under-graduate medical education, which provides for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test(NEET), won’t be implemented in Maharashtra for at least six weeks now.

On Thursday, the Aurangabad bench of theBombay high court granted an interim stay on the implementation of these regulations in Maharashtra till the final disposal of a petition, filed by some students and guardians from Latur, challenging the NEET. The MCI regulations were notified in the gazette of India on December 21, 2010.

Granting the interim relief, the HC division bench of Justices B R Gavai and M T Joshi also directed notices to the Union government, the MCI, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the state director of medical education and research (DMER), seeking their written submissions on the matter within six weeks. The court has since posted the matter for its next hearing on January 20, 2012 when the six-week period is over.

Last month, the MCI finalized the NEET-UG syllabus, which has been jointly prepared by the CBSE, the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT) and the Council of Boards of School Education in India (COBSE). The MCI conveyed its exam plan to the Supreme Court, declaring May 13, 2012 as the date for the maiden NEET-UG, and also forwarded it to the Union ministry of health and family welfare for a final approval and notification of the exam scheme.

However, the NEET-UG plan drew protests from several states including West Bengal, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Maharashtra on various grounds. On November 23, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan wrote to Union health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad urging that students from the state be exempted from the NEET-UG planned for May 2012. Chavan cited reasons like mismatch in the syllabus for NEET-UG and the one being taught to Std XII students in Maharashtra and the absence of a provision to write the exam in Marathi and Urdu.

Prior to Chavan’s letter, the state had filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court challenging the NEET. However, it withdrew the petition after the apex court suggested that the state should move the high court to seek relief, as has been done by some other states like Tamil Nadu. The state government is yet to file a petition in the Bombay high court.

In this context, the Aurangabad bench’s interim stay on Thursday comes as a major relief for the medical aspirants, who were caught between studying for Std XII and the NEET-UG syllabus. Senior advocate R N Dhorde, appearing for petitioner Umesh Kulkarni and others, submitted that the NEET-UG is primarily based on Std XI and XII CBSE syllabus for physics, chemistry and biology. The MCI finalized the syllabus in the second week of November 2011.

Dhorde submitted that Std XII students in Maharashtra are already preparing for the state board’s HSC (Std XII) examination scheduled for February/March 2012. It was, therefore, not possible to prepare for the NEET-UG as the period of five months was very short and there were almost three-four entrance exams required to be given for seeking admission to other professional courses including engineering, he said.

Dhorde also submitted that particular books for the NEET-UG were not available. If the NEET-UG was conducted from May 2012, students from Maharashtra would have no chance of preparing for the exam and securing good ranks in the entrance examination compared to their CBSE counterparts. “It would be beyond their capacity to study the syllabus of two years within a short span. Students from Maharashtra will not get admissions to the MBBS course in the state itself,” he submitted.

When contacted, DMER Praveen Shingare said, “We are still awaiting the Union health ministry’s response to the CM’s letter and are quite hopeful that the ministry will respond positively to the CM’s plea. If this does not happens, then the government will have to think about the available legal options.” Shingare said, “The state advocate general has already readied the petition, which the state has to file in the high court. However, we held up the plan to submit the petition after the CM’s intervention. Six weeks is enough time for us to get a clear picture from the health ministry.”

 

 

HC restrains university from conducting bridge course

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/hc-restrains-university-from-conducting-bridge-course/923560.html

PTI | 11:12 PM,Dec 08,2011

Chennai, Dec 8 (PTI) The Madras High Court today restrained Tamil Nadu Dr MGR University from implementing an expert committee’s recommendation to conduct of a six month bridge course, as in-service training for government employees with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy (BPT) enabling them to appear for Master of Physiotherapy (MPT) examinations. Granting the interim injunction on a petition from city resident, G Utham, a post-graduate in physiotherapy, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar ordered notice to the university. Pointing out that those completing the six month course would become eligible for appearing for MPT examination in their respective electives, the petitioner submitted that the period of the certified study for MPT was two years. Stating that the university had already drawn up regulations for the post graduate course, the petitioner claimed that the aim of the university was “to reduce the decorum of the physiotherapy curriculum”. The bridge course, the petitioner said, was objectionable from the physiotherapists’ point of view. PTI GR ARP ARP 12082227

 

 

 

 

 

Woman files plea in HC for government job

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/woman-files-plea-in-hc-for-government-job/210128-60-120.html

Express News Service The New Indian Express

 

CHENNAI: Contending that delay in not giving appointment order after due selection constituted a violation of the Constitutional rights, a woman in her writ plea has sought the Madras High Court to issue a direction to State authorities to appoint her as a revenue assistant.

In her petition, S Aruna (38), of Sivaganga said she appeared for the Combined Subordinate Service Examination-I 2009 conducted by the TN Public Service Commission (TNPSC). After getting throu­gh in the examination, her name was listed for the post of revenue assistant in Pudukottai on the selection list. “It was announced on October 7, this year, that in pursuant to the said selection, necessary posting will be given,” the petitioner argued. Till date, however, no communication about the appointment order was issued.

When the State government and the TNPSC was contacted, the petitioner was informed that an enquiry was on related to some alleged malpractices in respect of certain posts and Group-I selections. “Based on the enquiry’s outcome, we were told that we will be informed about our placements.”

The said enquiry and the allegations had nothing to do with the appointment process for subordinate services, she contended.

The government and the TNPSC were bound to issue the appointment order based on selection without any delay. The conduct of the respondents were in violation of the basic constitutional rights found in Articles 14 and 21 guaranteed to the petitioner to get a government job, she argued.

Before admitting the plea, Justice K Suguna ordered notice to respondents (State chief secretary, secretary, personnel and Administrative Reforms Department and the secretary, TNPSC) returnable by 4 weeks.

 

 

 

 

HC demands resolution on deteriorating relations between Bench and Bar

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hc-demands-resolution-on-deteriorating-relations-between-bench-and-bar/885743/

Express news service

Posted: Fri Dec 09 2011, 01:25 hrs Chandigarh:

The case pertaining to a show cause contempt notices issued to thirteen lawyers of the UT District Courts for allegedly thrashing a Naib Court on Court premises was adjourned to December 19.

Counsel defending the lawyers, on Thursday, submitted that they will place on record a copy of the resolution passed by the Bar Association of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar on the issue of deteriorating relations between the Bench and the Bar.

Newsline was the first to report last week of the thirteen lawyers who were allegedly involved in thrashing Ram Karan, police constable, employed as Naib Court in UT District Courts, twelve lawyers had tendered “unconditional and unqualified” apology to the High Court.

The thirteenth, Advocate Satinder Singh had however submitted that he was not involved in the incident. Terming it to be a case of “mistaken identity”.

 

 

 

HC orders speedy trial in Babri case

Lucknow: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Thursday ordered the Special Judicial Magistrate (Ayodhya Case) of Rae Bareli to conduct speedy disposal of the Babri Masjid demolition case in which senior BJP leaders Lal Krishna Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi, Ashok Singhal, Uma Bharti and Vinay Kati  ….Read more

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deposit fine or face arrest warrant, HC tells lawyer

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/ahmedabad/Deposit-fine-or-face-arrest-warrant-HC-tells-lawyer/articleshow/11039367.cms

AHMEDABAD: The Lucknow-based lawyer Asok Pande, who wanted recall of governor Dr Kamala, has failed to deposit the amount of penalty with Gujarat high court for filing frivolous litigation. On Thursday, a division bench ordered for the issuance of bailable warrant against the lawyer, if he failed to pay Rs 25,000 within a week’s time.

On October 14, a division bench slapped him with a penalty while dismissing his petition, which was dubbed by the court as “publicity interest litigation” or “political interest litigation”. HC had directed him to pay the amount with Gujarat Legal Aid Service Authority within one month. But Pande did not turn up after the pronouncement of the order. He, however, said that he intended to challenge the HC order before the Supreme Court.

The self-styled president of the Hindu Personal Law Board, Pande had sought removal of Gujarat governor after chief minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to the prime minister to recall her for appointing justice R A Mehta as Lokayukta without his consent. He contended that the governor’s appointment itself was illegal because Modi’s consent was not taken before her appointment.

HC found the litigation politically motivated, and dismissed the petition. The lawyer could not give a satisfactory reply to the court’s query on why the UP-based litigant chose to file a PIL over an issue concerning Gujarat. Pande had made the president, governor and prime minister as party respondents in his litigation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Be sensitive to handicapped students: HC

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.56AM IST

MUMBAI: Be sensitive, said the Bombay High Court to Maharashtra Housing Area and Development Authority (Mhada), directing it to delete a condition stating that visually challenged students and their writers (scribes) should be criminally prosecuted if found indulging in malpractice during exams.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi was hearing a clutch of public interest litigations seeking enforcement of the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, by the state.

Maharashtra Rajya Apang Karmachari Sanghatana’s advocate Uday Warunjikar informed the court that as per the guidelines printed in a Mhada brochure, if any information provided by the candidates or their scribes is false, they would be liable for penal prosecution. Warunjikar said that there is a lack of good scribes already, and such conditions will deter people from coming forward to help visually challenged candidates. The brochure was published in connection with an examination to be conducted by Mhada on December 11, 2011 for clerical staff. “The condition also states that the service of the candidates and the scribes will be terminated. This is too harsh,” said Warunjikar.

The judges agreed with him. “This condition creates a wrong environment. It will not encourage good scribes to come forward,” said Justice Shah. “First show us cases of malpractice, then you (Mhada) place such conditions. Be sensitive toward the handicapped and visually challenged,” he added.

Additional government pleader G W Mattos informed the court that Mhada had inserted this condition as a precaution. “The government is sensitive towards the problems faced by the handicapped persons,” he said.

Advocate Kamchan Pamnani told the court that despite an order passed by the high court earlier this year and a circular in 2006 issued by the commissioner for disabilities, Mhada continues to insist on scribes having lower educational qualifications than the candidates. The judges also directed this condition to be deleted from the brochure.Mattos informed the court that the government received 1,209 applications from its handicapped employees asking for special software and other equipment.

These have been provided to 120 employees. The judges have directed the chief secretary to submit a report of the software to be provided to its employees.

Be sensitive, said the Bombay High Court to Maharashtra Housing Area and Development Authority to delete a condition that scribes (writers) and visually challenged candidates should be criminally prosecuted if they are found indulging in malpractice during exams.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi were hearing a clutch of public interest litigations seeking enforcement of the Persons with Disabilities Act 1995 by the State.

Maharashtra Rajya Apang Karmachari Sanghatana’s advocate Uday Warunjikar informed the court that guidelines printed in a brochure brought by MHADA states that if any information given by the candidate or the scribe is false then they would be liable for penal prosecution. He said there is already a lack of good scribes and such condition will deter others from coming forward to help blind candidates. The brochure was published in connection with an examination to be conducted by MHADA on December 11, 2011 for clerical staff. The condition also states that the service of the candidates and the scribes will be terminated. This is too harsh,” said Warunjikar.

The judges agreed with him. This condition creates a wrong environment. It will not encourage good scribes to come forward,” said Justice Shah. First show us cases of malpractice then you (MHADA) place such condition. Be sensitive toward the handicapped and visually challenged, ” he added.

Additional Government pleader G W Mattos informed the court that MHADA had inserted this condition as a precaution. The government is sensitive towards the problems faced by the handicapped persons,” he added.

Advocate Kamchan Pamnani told the court that despite an order passed by the High Court earlier this year and despite an earlier circular 2006 issued by the Commissioner for Disabilities MHADAis yet insisting that scribes having a lower qualifications than the candidates. The judges also directed this condition also to be deleted from the brochure.

Mattos informed the court that about 1209 applications were received by the government from its handicapped employees for providing them software and other implements and has provided it to 120 employees. The judges have directed the Chief Secretary to submit a report of the software to be provided to its employees.

 

 

 

 

NLS issue to be raised in assembly

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/nagpur/NLS-issue-to-be-raised-in-assembly/articleshow/11039588.cms

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Dec 9, 2011, 03.43AM IST

NAGPUR: The contentious issue of establishing Maharashtra’s first National Law School (NLS) in Nagpur will be in the limelight during the winterassembly session scheduled to begin from Monday. Besides being raised in the House through Legislative Assembly Question (LAQ), the High Court Bar Association (HCBA) and District Bar Association (DBA) are making efforts to push for NLS when elected representatives are in the city.

HCBA president Anil Mardikar said they are going to hold a special executive body meeting on Friday to discuss strategy to press for this demand. “We will meet concerned ministers and officials. We will also try to apprise the chief minister about our demand. Now, NLS is a prestige issue for us,” he said.

MLA Devendra Fadnavis told TOI that the issue was on the priority list, and would be debated in the assembly.

The issue is being heard by the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court after a PIL was filed by Maha-Arya Lawyers Association. The court had asked the state to come clear on the location of the prestigious institution, but the state is yet to make any formal statement.

During the last hearing, state higher and technical education minister Rajesh Tope said he had dispatched a letter to the centre, appealing for the setting up of the prestigious institution at Nagpur. Union law minister Salman Khurshid confirmed having received the letter, but did not give any concrete assurance, saying the final decision will be taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Earlier, support for NLS in Nagpur came from President Pratibha Patil, Supreme Court judges Vikas Sirpurkar and Dalveer Bhandari, chief justice Mohit Shah and the CM. These dignitaries directly or indirectly backed the project during HCBA’s platinum jubilee celebrations on February 6. Local politicians like MP Vilas Muttemwar and others are also raising the issue at various levels.

The state government had suddenly shifted the NLS location to Vasai in Mumbai. It was later revealed by minister of state for higher and technical education DP Sawant that some in the higher judiciary had recommended NLS in Mumbai.

HCBA and DBA members had staged demonstrations and protest marches last month. They were supported by members of Cooperative Court Bar Association, Labour and Industrial Court Bar Association, DRT Bar Association, Vidarbha Economic Development (VED) Council and Vidarbha Industrial Association (VIA). After the protests, chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and deputy CM Ajit Pawar had promised to open three such prestigious institutes at Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur.

 

 

 

 

 

Congressmen in race for lone Rajya Sabha seat

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-12-08/guwahati/30490039_1_lone-rajya-sabha-seat-cwc-party-office

TNN Dec 8, 2011, 11.47AM IST

GUWAHATI: From controversial lottery baron Mani Kumar Subba to 90-year-old former Union minister Santosh Mohan Deb, a host of Congressmen are in the race for the party’s ticket to contest the Rajya Sabha by-election on December 22.

The strong undercurrent in the Congress, however, suggests that former chief minister Hiteswar Saikia’s widow and member of Congress Working Committee (CWC) Hemoprova Saikia is leading the race at the moment. The seat fell vacant after the death of sitting member of the House, Silvius Condpan, on October 10. His term will expire in April, 2016.

 

 

 

Bill to amend law governing Prasar Bharati passed in RS

http://ibnlive.in.com/generalnewsfeed/news/bill-to-amend-law-governing-prasar-bharati-passed-in-rs/923392.html

PTI | 07:12 PM,Dec 08,2011

New Delhi, Dec 8 (PTI) Rajya Sabha today passed a bill to amend the law governing Prasar Bharati, ensuring that recruitments done between November 1997 and October 2007 will be considered as “deemed deputation” till retirement. The Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Amendment Bill, 2010, passed by voice vote will make the status of employees recruited between November 23, 1997 and October 5, 2007 – they are on deemed deputation to Prasar Bharati till their retirement – absolutely clear and unambiguous. Winding up a discussion on the Bill, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, “We are bringing the employees under a structure, but decisions in this regard were delayed as employees had moved the Central Administrative Tribunal and the High Court.” Even as members during the discussion on the Bill demanded winding up of Prasar Bharati, Soni favoured reviewing the functioning of the public broadcaster, Doordarshan and Akashvani to enable them to compete with other commercial channels. She dispelled fears on closure of DD-Urdu channel, saying, “There is a misconception that it is being shut down. The fact is that we are upgrading it and from 2010 to 2013 a total of Rs 80 crores has been sanctioned for the channel. “The UPA government has also sanctioned Rs 110 crore for strengthening transmission in border areas, especially in Jammu and Kashmir,” she said, adding that DD-Kashir is being watched by people in PoK also, thus reflecting its popularity. On the recognition of unions, she said, there is a provision for this in the Department of Personnel and Training. “But for that, they have to fulfil the laid down criterion. It is up to the associations to fulfil this,” she said. Earlier, the Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting C M Jatua said there are a total of 40,173 sanctioned posts in Prasar Bharati of which 11,498 were vacant and the ministry was in the process of filling these. He said with the amendment of the Act, the status of the employees would be settled.

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