LEGAL NEWS 12.12.2011

NHRC seeks report from Delhi govt on quacks

PTI | 06:12 PM,Dec 12,2011

New Delhi, Dec 12 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today sought a report from Delhi government on clinics run by quacks in the capital region and action taken against them. The order comes subsequent to Delhi Medical Council submitting to NHRC a list of 28 clinics operating in Burari area of Delhi which were found to be run by the unqualified doctors, an NHRC spokesperson said. “The Commission has asked the Chief Secretary of Delhi Government for a detailed report on the clinics involved in quackery in the entire Delhi region and action taken against them,” the spokesperson said. It was informed that necessary action for their closure and registration of FIRs has been initiated. The Chief District Medical Officer to Delhi has referred another six cases of suspect quackery to Bharatiya Chikitsa Parishad and Board of Homeopathy System of Medicines for necessary action, he said. This was disclosed in response to a notice of the Commission which was issued on a complaint alleging that a large number of unqualified doctors had been practicing in Sant Nagar, Burari in Delhi and playing with the lives of the residents. The Commission observed that running of clinics by quacks appears to be a serious problem and needs to be checked in entire Delhi.






Women Commissions mega adalat held

Express News Service The New Indian Express

KOCHI: It seems that all is not well with the fair sex. The Women Commission ‘mega adalat’ conducted on Friday analysed that the number of complaints lodged by women in the mega adalat is surging. To add to the woes, the lack of proper intervention from the authorities concerned, especially police, has literally deprived women of justice which they are entitled to.

A hostile workplace is another major problem encountered by women, said State Women Commission member Nurubina Rasheed “The problems encountered by women at workplace are drastically increasing. Complaints seeking justice in this regard have become a routine in such adalats. The Women’s Commission will strongly intervene against the increasing perils on women,” she said.

Nurubina said that molestation cases against women have also not showed any signs of decline. “In this adalat, I came across a case where a deaf and dumb woman was constantly molested both physically and mentally. Shockingly, the culprit was also physically abusing her mother. We have forwarded this case to Inspector General of Police R Sreelekha. She said that owing to such harassment, the traumas experienced by the women are tremendous and needs proper treatment and counselling. “This adalat also had cases of traumatised women and we will present one such case before the magistrate and will make every effort to provide the victim all medical help,” she said.

Nurubina said that the society is the real villain as they are not willing to lend a helping hand. “The society can be held responsible to an extend. The victims are groping in the darkness as they did not know where to go on such occasions. The victims and their families are not ready to open up as the society is reluctant to offer timely help,” she said.

Besides, police officials often show cold shoulder to such grave issues. “Loads of complaints are lodging saying that the police are ducking their responsibility at a time when their help is needed badly,” she said.

About 60 cases were registered in the Women’s Commission mega adalat, of which 13 cases have been resolved. Rest of the 20 cases were postponed to the adalat to be convened soon. Eight cases will be forwarded to full bench. P A Raziya, P R Shaji, Shimi Sadiq, Anjali Cyrus were the other panel advocates in the adalat.








Tribunal recommends more teeth to MPHRC

TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 05.03AM IST

BHOPAL: Human Rights Law Network (HRLN) and a number of civil society organizations today organized an Independent People’s Tribunal (IPT) to look into the functioning of the Madhya Pradesh State Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) on Sunday.

Over 36 victims, many of them women and dalits, hailing from over 15 districts of Madhya Pradesh deposed before the peoples’ tribunal, explaining the horrific tales of alleged torture by the police and harassment by other government officials.

The tribunal consisted of Justice (retd.) R D Shukla (former acting chairperson of MPHRC), Justice (retd.) RC Chandel, Subhash Tripathi (Former DGP), LS Hardenia, senior journalist and Prof Raka Arya of NLIU.

Harsh Dobhal, Director of HRLN, said that tribunals would be conducted in 18 states and at the national level and a comprehensive report on the functioning of these commissions would be submitted.

A well-known case which came up before the panel was that of Arushi Singh Rajput, a new born girl kept by hospital staff under a bulb for keeping her warm, in the absence of appropriate machines. The baby was left unattended by the negligent staff and as a result, when the bulb over Arushi fell on her crib, it burnt her face and hand seriously. Excepting the cost of treatment no compensation was given to her parents.

The adivasis of Betul too voiced their grievances against Forest Rangers and Van Suraksha Samitis, who over the last decade have been harassing and attacking them in an attempt to remove them from their ancestral land. Threatened, arrested on trumped-up charges, their savings and livelihood burnt down and their livestock stolen away, they turned to the MPHRCfor help. Not one of the applications they have sent to the Commission has received a reply.





Supreme Court to hear Mullaperiyar issue on Tuesday

A Vaidyanathan, Updated: December 12, 2011 10:11 IST

New Delhi:  With tensions riding high in Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the Mullaperiyar Dam, the Supreme Court is set to hear the issue tomorrow.

A five judge constitution Bench headed by Justice DK Jain will hear three applications from the two states. This bench, already hearing the dispute, had constituted an Empowered Committee to examine the safety of the Dam and Kerala’s request for constructing a new Dam in lieu of Mullaperiyar.

The issues before the apex court now are:

  • Tamil Nadu’s petition seeking direction to Centre for deploying Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the dam site. The state says that only paramilitary force can avoid any vandalism and damage to the dam.
  • Another petition from Tamil Nadu wants the Court to restrain Kerala government and politicians in the state from spreading panic about the safety of the dam considering the issue is pending before the apex court.
  • Kerala has petitioned the apex court for reducing the water level from 136 feet to 120 feet so that tremors don’t cause damage to the disputed dam.

Meanwhile, two members of the Supreme Court appointed panel will also visit the dam this month to examine the safety issues.

The Mullaperiyer dam, located in Kerala’s Iduki district, has been a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Kerala for years now. The dam caters to farmers in Tamil Nadu, which also controls it per an odd agreement that dates back several decades.

Kerala wants the dam to be razed and reconstructed. Kerala has been arguing that the 116-year-old dam is in danger of collapse. Concerns in Kerala stem from questions about the dam’s ability to withstand high magnitude earthquakes and the possible impact of such natural disasters on the lives of over three million people in the state’s Idukki, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Ernakulam and Pathanamthitta districts. However, Tamil Nadu believes Kerala is manufacturing fear among the public as part of a conspiracy to curtail Tamil Nadu’s share of the water.




A là carte at Parappana Agrahara

Katta Jagadish’s active involvement in the canteen has ensured that VIP visitors in jail are offered a choice of food and beverages

Posted On Monday, December 12, 2011 at 12:06:26 AM

 When VIPs visit Parappana Agrahara Central prison to meet high-profile inmates, the hospitality makes them ‘feel at home’.

The welcome usually includes coffee, tea or buttermilk. If a guest hesitates, they are greeted with questions like: ‘Have you given up sugar? Would you like green tea?’
The homely treatment is thanks to former industries minister Katta Subramanaya Naidu’s corporator son Katta Jagadish whose writ runs inside the prison walls, including in the canteen. From the outside, Jagadish may appear to be languishing in prison since August, but he seems to have settled in comfortably.
Being a former minister’s son, he has ensured that he ranks above all other prisoners in the pecking order. Plus, while prison is a place to repent, he is more than willing to throw his weight around.
With many high-profile offenders landing behind bars, the prison sees a regular stream of VIP guests. Jagadish has taken upon himself the responsibility of ensuring that the hospitality extended to the guests is nothing less than the best possible under the given circumstances. His self-appointed role includes ensuring a supply of quality food and beverages, introducing guests to the inmates and presenting their list of problems.
His daily routine includes a round of games with other inmates. He is known to most of them. He had become very pally with Kannada actor Darshan who was jailed for some time in connection with the alleged assault on his wife and also counselled him. He took personal care of former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa who spent over a month in prison.
Recently, JDS leader H D Kumaraswamy called on former KPSC chairman H N Krishna who has been lodged in the prison in connection with alleged irregularities and malpractice in the selection of candidates. The former chief minister was impressed by Jagadish’s hospitality. Among other things, Jagadish’s offer of a choice of beverages included green tea. Offering green tea, sometimes with a dash of honey, is the current fad among politicians and in government offices.
Kumaraswamy reportedly told his close associates, “I was surprised when the prison canteen offered green tea.”
After enjoying the hospitality of such a generous host, it was difficult for the former chief minister to turn down a request to listen to the grievances of prisoners. Jagadish donned the role of a co-ordinator and summoned a few prisoners who wanted to narrate their woes to HDK. It went somewhat like this: ‘You come here and tell your problems to Kumaranna. Finish quickly. There are others waiting’. After a few minutes, it was time for: ‘Your time is up. Next person’.
HDK is believed to have told associates, “Jagadish was managing things like he has been around for a long time. He has clout in the prison.”

Why Jagadish is behind bars

The corporator from Vasanth Nagar was sent to jail, along with his father Katta Subramanaya Naidu, in connection with the alleged KIADB land allotment scam. On July 8, 2011, the Lokayukta police filed a charge sheet before the special Lokayukta court against the former industries minister and his son for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 87 crore to allot 325 acres of land to Itasca Software Development Company. Naidu is out on interim bail for the treatment of cancer. Jagadish’s request for bail, so that he could be with his father during the treatment, is pending.






Echoes to protect `girl child’ on Human Rights Day at Khalsa College for Education

Punjab Newsline Network

Sunday, 11 December 2011

AMRITSAR:The echoes to protect the `girl child’ in Punjab, which is badly infected with the evil of female foeticide, were writ large during the deliberations held on the occasion of International Human Rights Day on Saturday at Khalsa College of Education. Various speakers while speaking on the topic of protecting the basic human rights said that this is the right time to create an atmosphere where there is a general abhorrence to the harrowing practice of ‘killing of daughters’.

The talks were part of the college’s annual programme to organize seminars and talks on the occasion of International Human Rights Day, said College Principal,  Jaswinder Singh Dhillon while inaugurating the seminar held at newly renovated Bhai Ram Singh Hall.  Jasmeet Kaur Nayyar, Former DPI (Colleges), Punjab gave a powerful speech quoting the real time instances where the immoral practices had been eroding the value system in the society. She also called for education reforms and check on the corrupt practices to protect the rights of children.

Baljeet Kaur, National Trainer, Family Health and Fellow, HIV Medicines gave an impressive PowerPoint presentation regarding the female foeticide and highlighted the role of family and society at large to protect the unborn girl child. She said the unborn child too has its rights which need to be protected. She said though there are some satisfactory results coming out regarding the improvement of sex ratio in Punjab but still there are lot to be achieved. She asked for total transformation of our approach towards the girl child t protect her rights.

DN Sansanwal, Former Chairperson of Northern Regional Committee of National Council for Teacher Education (NCTE), New Delhi who was chief guest on the occasion also stated that the teacher’s role is most important to create an awareness about the protection of children’s rights. Dr. Dhillon welcomed the guests and later honored them with memento. Khalsa College of Education, Ranjit Avenue Principal, Dr. Surinderpal Kaur Dhillon was also present. The stage was managed by Prof. Maninder Kaur.




No deadline for revoking Afspa in state, says Omar

Arun Joshi, Hindustan Times
Jammu, December 11, 2011

First Published: 23:36 IST(11/12/2011)
Last Updated: 02:04 IST(12/12/2011)

Nearly two months after saying the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) would go from parts of Jammu and Kashmir “within days”, chief minister Omar Abdullah on Sunday said “no deadline” had been fixed for revoking the act. Abdullah told HT he would have liked the revocation to “happen that way” (within days), but matters got delayed because of the strong reactions the move evoked – a reference to the opposition of the army and political parties including ally Congress.

He admitted the army’s resistance was the prime reason for the delay. The AFSPA empowers security forces to shoot at sight or arrest people without a warrant in areas declared disturbed. The law shields security forces from prosecution (unless the union government gives sanction).

On October 21, Abdullah had said the “black laws (AFSPA) would go from some areas of Jammu and Kashmir within days”. The army opposed the move saying such a revocation would hamper its anti-insurgency operations and political parties accused the National Conference leader of acting unilaterally.

Abdullah said the issue was being discussed and hoped a way out would be found soon. “There is no deadline. This is an ongoing process. It is clearly proving more difficult than what I would have liked. Unfortunately, positions taken are rather extreme, but we are talking… it is my firm belief that as long as the democratic system in the country remains, the civilian writ would run.”

The AFSPA was invoked in Kashmir Valley and in a few areas of Jammu division in 1990 after militancy erupted in the state. Excluding Leh and Kargil districts, it was later extended to the rest of the state.





Tension over Mullaperiyar stymies flow of pilgrims


PHOTO:R.M. RAJARATHIHNAM.An array of tourists vans in Tiruchi city.

Issue accentuates difficulty of van operators, drivers who are already bogged down by lean marriage season

With the ongoing tension on the borders of Tamil Nadu and Kerala over the Mullaperiyar dam issue snowballing into a major controversy, various sections of society, even in the districts far away from the borders, have started feeling the pinch.

It is the van drivers and owners in central districts who bear the brunt of Mullaperiyar row and subsequent insecurity to the pilgrims of Iyyappa devotees largely from Tamil Nadu offering worship at Sabarimala. Almost all the van drivers and owners have been deprived of their usual trip to Sabarimala and have been finding it difficult to eke out a livelihood. All their hopes of making the most of the Iyyappa season have been belied. With no possible immediate solution in sight, these drivers and owners have been left in the lurch. They all have suspended the trips to Sabarimala for the past 15 days.

“This is the most favourable season for us and the raking up of this controversy at this peak season has badly hit the cable operators and the drivers very badly. We have not witnessed such a situation in the past”, a cross section of drivers lamented. They are sitting with their fingers crossed with the hope that the controversy will end soon and they will be able to make some revenue at the remaining Sabarimala season.

The van drivers and owners say that December to mid-January is normally the peak period, when Iyyappa devotees, mostly in groups rent vans for their pilgrimage. Coinciding with the lean marriage season , Iyyappa season comes as a boon to cab operators and drivers to make good the loss. The absence of ‘muhurtham’ season during this period is being compensated by the Sabarimala season. They allot a part of the profit earned during this period for the annual maintenance of vehicles and also for repayment of loan dues.

A.Saranraj, president of the Jawaharlal Nehru Van Drivers and Owners Association, says the problem is acute on the Kumily sector, the shortest route to reach Sabarimala. The vehicle leaving Tiruchi city will be able to reach Erimalai via Theni, Cumbum and Kumuli on the same evening. Although alternative routes via Shencottai, and Valaiyar were available, van drivers and owners do not prefer these circuitous routes, as it would be too unaffordable for the devotees.

Members of the Anna Tourist Van Drivers Association near the central bus stand already feel the pinch. “We would have netted a profit of Rs.9,000 through three trips till now during this season. On an average, a driver earns an income of Rs.3,000 over a period of five days,” says K.A.S.Sekar, president of the Association.

S.Anandan, another driver, says it is the safety and security of the devotees which counts most. The drivers being the target of attack at Kerala, none of the city drivers dared to accept any trip to Sabarimala.

With the traffic via Kumily totally closed, and even movement via Shencottai and Valaiyar too proving to be dangerous, many Iyyappa devotees, who are yet to commence their pilgrimage, are in a fix . “I have been visiting Sabarimala for over 25 years. For the past many years, a large number of devotees from our village and surrounding areas used to visit Sabarimala in more than ten buses. Now we are yet to plan our trip and are not sure whether we will be able to make it”, says P.Ravi of Valanadu Kaikatti village near Manapparai with sadness writ on his face.

Meanwhile, the Sri Iyyappan Temple in the heart of the city, has been receiving a steady stream of dejected devotees of the northern districts, who could not proceed to Sabarimala, to complete the rituals normally performed at the end of the pilgrimage at Sabarimala. “So far, we have been making arrangements for devotees to commence their pilgrimage, but now we are also making special arrangements to perform rituals which are performed at Sabarimala here,” say temple sources.





Minister reinstates suspended babu even before inquiry report

When questioned about his ‘intervention’, small scale industries minister Raju Gowda claims he was misled by KSSIDC chairman

Posted On Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 09:01:24 PM

 File notings have put many a minister in the dock. Notwithstanding, small scale industries minister Raju Gowda made a file noting that reinstated a suspended official in the Karnataka State Small Industries Development Corporation (KSSIDC) even before a departmental inquiry could determine if the official was innocent or not.
According to documents made available to Bangalore Mirror through RTI Act, the minister wrote on the file, “intervention is necessary” and ordered that the officer be “given back the same posting”. In response to Gowda’s file notings, industries and commerce secretary G V Kongawad observed that the accused officer might tamper with the evidence if posted back to his official position.
Nevertheless, the suspended official, KSSIDC general manager (industrial estates and finance) M Shankara, was reinstated during the second week of November.
When Bangalore Mirror brought this to his notice, Gowda claimed he was misled by KSSIDC chairman Karadi Sanganna. Gowda explained, “I am new to the industries and commerce department — under which KSSIDC comes. I am not aware of the mess in the department though I have heard a lot about mismanagement there. I want to cleanse the department. In this particular case, I was not briefed by the officers and was misled by Sanganna. I could not say “no” to Sanganna who is of a cabinet minister’s rank. If the background of this case was brought to my notice, I would not have ordered that the official be reinstated. I will go through the files once again and initiate appropriate action.”


Before Gowda sets out to “initiate appropriate action” in order to undo his file notings, this is what happened: Shankara was suspended for his alleged involvement in irregularities in the allotment of industrial land and consequently causing a loss of Rs 2.18 crore to the state exchequer. KSSIDC managing director N Prabhakar passed the suspension order on August 3. The order was ratified by the board of directors on August 29.

Shankara filed a writ petition challenging his suspension in the high court, which was subsequently dismissed. Even the chief minister’s office had sought a report in this regard.
Meanwhile, in a surprising move in October, Gowda intervened and asked the KSSIDC to reinstate Shankara. In an order to the KSSIDC on October 17, Gowda wrote, “Managing director of KSSIDC is responsible for decisions taken in the board. Hence, the suspension of Shankara should be revoked and he must be posted back as the general manager (industrial estates and finance). A team of officials will be formed to inquire into the issue.”
Three days after the order, Kongawad recorded his protest against Gowda’s order. “If Shankara is given back his post, there is a possibility of him destroying the evidence. Even the managing director is of the same opinion. Hence, it is necessary to form a committee to inquire into the irregularities. Once, the committee submits its findings, further action could be initiated,” Kongawad said in a letter.
But the minister was not convinced. On the file prepared by the industries and commerce department joint director, recording all communication, Gowda made a handwritten noting which said, “Government’s intervention is necessary, the Oct 17 order be implemented and an inquiry be held.”

A senior officer in the industries and commerce department said, “We never wanted Shankara to be reinstated. We were appalled at the way the minister handled the whole issue, pushing for his reinstatement. It is only fair that the officer be kept away from this position until the departmental inquiry is completed.”
Despite several attempts, Shankara refused to speak to Bangalore Mirror. His office said the general manager could not react since the Legislature was in session.

KSSIDC chief’s U-turn

KSSIDC chairman Karadi Sanganna Amarappa was a part of the board of directors meeting on August 29 that decided to suspend KSSIDC general manager (industrial estates and finance) M Shankara. However, two days later, he wrote to minister Raju Gowda giving Shankara a clean chit.
“Shankara has been doing good work in the organisation and is working for the development of small industries. He has been suspended without any investigation. Since his services are required by the department, I request you to revoke his suspension and post him back,” he said in the letter.
When BM  tried to contact Sanganna, his son-in-law answered the phone and said: “He is away attending Kannada Sahitya Sammelana and will not be available for the next few days. He has not carried his phone.”






Man jailed for using spy cam to record divorce trial in Chennai

High drama unfolded at the family court when a man, posing as an advocate, was found recording the in-camera proceedings of the court using a pen camera.

Karthika Gopalakrishnan, TNN & Agencies | Dec 12, 2011, 04.01AM IST

CHENNAI: High drama unfolded at the family court on Sunday when a man, posing as an advocate, was found recording the in-camera proceedings of the court using a pen camera.

Muthaiyyan Sivathanu, had come to the court in the guise of representing his younger brother Gopal, was caught when others in the room noticed a blue light blinking on his coat pocket. Both brothers have petitions for divorce pending at the family court.

“Both brothers are IT professionals and Phd holders in computer science. Gopal filed for divorce in 2010 on the grounds of cruelty by his wife.






Team searches for man who faked divorce in Bengaluru

TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 05.44AM IST

Read More:Special Police Team|Man From Narasimhanaicken Palayam|Faked Divorce

Coimbatore: A special team of Coimbatore city police reached Bengaluru on Sunday to nab a 36-year-old man from Narasimhanaicken Palayamin the city who managed to fake his divorce from his first wife by producing a proxy in the family court, and marrying for the second time thereafter.

Mobile phone experts with the cyber police attempted to locate the culprit V P Sivakumar by tracking his phone calls but it remained switched off. However, through his IMEA number the culprit was traced to Bengaluru. Police believe he is on the run, travelling by car and changing locations frequently. The special team has approached Karnataka police seeking its support in this case.

Meanwhile, two other special teams are combing areas in Coimbatore and its suburbs for the woman who posed as his wife and the two advocates who handled his case in court. The efforts to locate his second wife to learn about his whereabouts turned futile as her house remained locked. Police believe that the woman and her family may have gone underground fearing arrest.

“We have no intention of arresting or interrogating her and her family as they were unaware of the entire drama. We just want to collect some information from her about the whereabouts of Sivakumar,” said Assistant Commissioner V Chandramohan, who is coordinating the probe.

Meanwhile, police are keeping a tight vigil in airports and seaports as the accused may attempt to escape to Australia, where he works as an applications engineer.

According to police, Sivakumar married S Swarnalatha in May 2004. While his wife worked as a teacher in Singapore, he did not have a job. After the wedding, he accompanied her to Singaporeand lived there for four years, managing on a single salary. Eventually, he got a job in Sydney, Australia and both of them moved there. As differences cropped up between them, Swarnalatha moved to Singapore, returning to her old job.

Last year, Sivakumar filed for divorce in the family court in Coimbatore, but his wife refused to grant it to him. Consequently, he filed another petition in February this year, producing a fake wife in court to acquire his divorce. Two advocates, Anand Raj and Raghupathi had helped Sivakumar in this matter. Swarnalatha, unaware of her husband’s doings, still believed she was married to him. In November, Swarnalatha learned that her husband was to be married again through a social networking site.






Middle-aged, not young, taking more to e-crimes

Arun Dev, TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 02.42AM IST

BANGALORE: The young may be cyber-savvy. But it is the middle-aged Bangaloreans who are finding in the web a vent for their criminal tendencies.

Data collected by the National Crime Records Bureau shows that in Bangalore, those between 30 and 45 years of age are involved more in cyber crimes than youngsters. Among 17 persons arrested for various crimes under the IT Act in the city during 2010, 10 were from the age group of 30-45.

Bangalore is very much unlike other Indian cities in this regard. In fact, it is the youth who top the list of cyber criminals across the country. According to the bureau data, 491 of the 1,193 people arrested for cyber crime during 2010 are people in the age-group of 30-45, while 563 are youngsters in the age group of 18-30.

Since 2008, there has been an increase in the number of middle-aged people booked for cyber crimes in the city.

The bureau records suggest that most cyber offences are for illegal gain, eve-teasing and harassment. According to cyber crime officials, social networking sites have turned hotbeds of eve-teasing.

“Impersonation, posting abusive messages and stealing photos for misuse later are some of the cases that come to us,” the cyber crime cell officials told TOI.

The officials also said that there are a good number of married persons reporting threat or harassment through mails from their spouses or other family members.

Family court lawyers confirm the rise in the instances of ‘online harassment’ within families. This trend of harassment by sending emails and posting messages on social networking sites has been on the rise in the past few years. This is often used as a documentary evidence to prove abuse or cruelty by either party in family courts. In criminal cases also such messages are used by the defence,” said Ramchandra MR, a family court advocate.






Govt stalling Dharavi, need remedy: PIL by residents

Express News Service

Posted: Mon Dec 12 2011, 01:14 hrsMumbai:

Frustrated at the delay in implementing the Rs 15,000-crore Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP), slumdwellers have filed a PIL in the Bombay High Court stating that the Maharashtra government was deliberately stalling the project, contrary to repeated assurances to residents for over seven years.

Stating that they had no faith in the state housing agency, Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA), the PIL sought to revive the original Private-Public Partnership design.

Making the state government, MHADA, the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), Principal Secretary (Housing) Gautam Chatterjee and project management consultant Mukesh Mehta respondents, the PIL filed on Friday says that petitioners Malhari Honkeri, 57, and Manjur Khan, 42, represent “the residents and smallscale commercial, service and business establishments”.

Stating that the government was deliberately creating impediments, the PIL states, “On the pretext of ironing out wrinkles, Respondent 1 has been merely shuffling the DRP file from one department to another for the past two and half years….”

On the recent decision to hand over a sector of Dharavi to MHADA for redevelopment, the petitioners say it was taken without the promised consultative process with slumdwellers. They state agencies including MHADA had failed to tackle slum proliferation in the first place. The PIL says MHADA “remains incompetent and/or incapable of dealing with existing responsibilities leading to the mounting death toll year after year from building collapses….”

Questioning MHADA efficiency, the PIL cited the Rajiv Gandhi Project implemented by MHADA between 1989 and 1994 and stated that constructions were of poor quality. It says courts have in the past had to intervene in anomalies in MHADA’s working.

Alongside the GR on the DRP in 2004, the state government had ruled that no redevelopment of private housing societies within Dharavi would be permitted to ensure sector-wise, planned development of the slum. Because of this, slumdwellers, including the petitioners, are unable to carry out reconstruction or renovation of existing structures, the petition states. “The present condition of accommodations is deteriorating and the petitioners are forced to live or carry on their livelihood in precarious conditions,” it says.

Since the GR of 2004, one election to the municipality, two elections to the Assembly and two elections to Parliament have taken place, the petition states, seeking a direction to the state government to immediately fast-track the project.






Kolkata fire: Knee-jerk reactions stifling due process of law

A Mathur | Dec 11, 2011, 05.29PM IST

A tragic fire broke out in the Advanced Medicare & Research Institute (AMRI) Hospital in Kolkata early Friday morning in which 91 persons have died, making it one of the worst tragedies in any hospital in India. Many patients died while asleep.The government has ordered a judicial probe which shall run parallel to the inquiry under police’s detective department.

AMRI hospital, where the unfortunate incident occurred, is a private hospital and many prominent persons serve as directors on its board.

Reacting to the outrage triggered by the fire, the police in knee-jerk reaction, bypassed all known precedents and procedures under the existing law and arrested seven directors on the AMRI board. They were produced before the court and were remanded to 10 days’ police custody. The Kolkata Municipal Corporation also cancelled the trade license of the hospital without issuing a show-cause notice, much less a proper inquiry.

The AMRI directors have been charged with offences including culpable homicide not amounting to murder, attracting a maximum punishment of a jail term up to 10 years and fine. A mob comprising several hundred protesters outside the court premises demanded death penalty for them, and lawyers, bowing to the popular sentiment, decided not to defend their case.

The court, without going into the issue of liability/negligence, and without considering prima facie evidence, ordered police remand for all the directors. It did not follow the system of absolute liability, or give serious consideration to investigation/inquiry so that a prima facie case is made out against the accused.

It is highly unlikely that all the directors were in charge of day-to-day functioning of the hospital. It was the same when the Bhopal disaster happened. The government went after Warren Anderson, based in the US, on behalf of Union Carbide, while knowing fully well that the state government of Madhya Pradesh held a majority stake (51%) in the Bhopal unit of Union Carbide.

In the pursuit of senior people/owners of facilities, we end up targeting people who have a paying capacity. So, the vested interest for better compensation overtakes other considerations and the actual offenders often go scot-free. The question to ask is: Should we pursue compensation or criminal justice when criminal negligence occurs?

The manner of arrests in the AMRI case is a shame on criminal liability as well as on the Company Law. In Carlill Vs. Carbolic Gas Co, the Court had declined to pierce the corporate veil even when the two directors of the company were husband and wife, as the Court treated the entity called “Company” as sacrosanct.

What could be the liability of directors of hospitals like AMRI? Many of them are on the board only because of their expertise or technical knowledge, but not engaged in day-to-day decisions of the hospital. Only in rare cases is the corporate veil pierced to look at persons actually on the board of directors of a company.

Look at it another way, how will the law treat a similar incident in a Government hospital? Will the Chief Medical Office, Health Secretary or Health Minister be arrested? In the Managalore Air India crash, or Jnaneswari Express train accident, no member of the Railway Board, or the chairman of Air India, was arrested. Are we saying that law is different for different entities? Are we not living in a country where we boast of the rule of law and equality before law – Article 14 of the Constitution?

It is unheard of that criminal liability is saddled vicariously on persons not actually concerned with the running of an establishment/factory/facility or directly responsible for its functioning. In the AMRI case, the police not only bowed to popular demand, even the court bypassed the set procedures and precedents under criminal law.

If the private sector directors are singled out, then it would get increasingly difficult to get good, qualified people to accept director positions in the private sector, as they may feel threatened and such witch hunt approach would create a fear psychosis which will certainly be a disaster for corporate India, and experts and technocrats may not llike to take that additional liability for any offence caused by the company without even being aware about the same.

Directors are agents for the transactions entered into by a company, though they are not agents for individual shareholders or members.

Directors as such are not liable for the torts or civil wrongs of their company. To make a person liable for a tort, for example, for negligence, trespass, nuisance or defamation, it must be shown that he was himself the wrongdoer or that he was the employer or principal of the wrongdoer in relation to the act complained of, or that the tort was committed on his instructions. The courts have narrowed down the liability of directors over the years.

It follows from the fact that if a director of a company who was not in charge of and was not responsible for the conduct of the business of the company at the relevant time, will not be liable for a criminal offence under the provisions.

It is a complainant’s responsibility to explain how a director was vicariously liable. There is no presumption that every director knows about or is involved in day-to-day management of the company.

Technically criminal liability can be fastened only on those directors who, at the time of the commission of the offence, were in charge of and responsible for the conduct of the business of the company.

In contrast, vicarious liability on the part of a person must be pleaded and proved, and not inferred.

If the accused is managing director or joint managing director, then it is not necessary to make specific averment in the complaint and by virtue of their position they are liable to be proceeded with but that cannot be the case of all directors (including Independent directors).

There is a total clarity in law that in respect of such duties as may be properly left to some other official having regard to the exigencies of business or the articles of association of the company, a director is, in the absence of grounds for suspicion, justified in trusting that official to perform such duties honestly and cannot be held liable for any offence caused by such person.

While directors serving on the board of government companies are insulated and protected, the directors on private companies are left to the mercy of popular sentiment.

Does the law change when many perish and there is a public outcry or do the principles of law remain the same? The larger question is: is our jurisprudence evolving for the good or worse?





M Karunanidhi lashes out at Kerala for not honouring SC order

Published: Sunday, Dec 11, 2011, 21:17 IST
Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI

Coming down on the Kerala government for not honouring the Supreme Court’s 2006 order on raising Mullaperiyar dam height, DMK chief M Karunanidhi today said he was yet to get an answer to his query on whether it was right for the state to refuse to accept it and bring an amendment.

“If the Supreme Court’s judgement is considered supreme, why has its order not been accepted? Is it right on the part of the Kerala government to bring an amendment, despite the Apex Court’s March 15, 2006 order to raise the height? I still have not got answer to my query which I raised on November 14, 2009,” he said in a statement.

Karunanidhi sought to know the remedy if a state government itself did this (not complying with the order). “If all state governments go on like this, what will happen to democracy?”

He said DMK’s one day state-wide fast by party workers tomorrow was to demand that central forces be deployed at the dam site until a decision was taken on the issue and to allow immediate implementation of the order to increase the height from 136 feet to 142 feet.

The fast, he said, was also aimed at drawing the attention of both the Centre and Kerala governments “remaining mute spectators” to people of Tamil Nadu being prevented from entering that state by some anti-social elements.

Karunanidhi said the party has also planned to organise a human chain in Theni, Madurai, Sivaganga, Dindigul and Ramanathapuram districts on December 14 over the issue.

The simmering tension over the issue has led to sporadic incidents of violence on both sides of the border.

Kerala has been insisting on a new dam to replace the 116-year-old structure, citing safety concerns, leading to attacks on Tamils and Keralites in some parts of both states.

However, Tamil Nadu maintains that the dam is as good as a new one and moved the Supreme Court on the issue. The dam is located in Kerala, but controlled by Tamil Nadu on a 999 year lease.






Medical terms too complex, use diagram to show injuries’

Posted: Mon Dec 12 2011, 01:37 hrsNew Delhi:

A Sessions Court at the Tis Hazari Courts Complex has directed the city’s doctors to make use of charts depicting the human body while giving medical evidence so that it can be understood easily by the judges and the police. Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar noted that though such pictorial diagrams are available at the back of medico-legal reports, they are seldom used by doctors who often only describe the injuries in technical terms.

“These pictorial diagrams are helpful for all concerned, including the investigating officer and the court as the recording of seat of injuries in these pictorial diagrams explains the injuries observed by the doctor on different parts of the body, in a simple way,” the judge noted while passing an order.

The court was hearing a criminal appeal on the sentence of one Ganesh Ram, a truck driver who had caused the deaths of three persons due to rash and negligent driving. While upholding his sentence, the judge noted that the doctor who conducts medical examination on the persons of the injured are required to depict the exact spots, at which the injuries are present. This would make it easier for both the court and investigating officers to understand if the injuries are life-threatening or not. However, the court noted that doctors generally do not follow this practice.

“Generally, it has been noticed that in these pictorial diagrams, the seats of injuries are not being depicted by doctors. As a result, it becomes difficult to appreciate as to on which part of the body exactly, the injury was observed by the doctor at the time of medico-legal examination or autopsy,” the judge said.

The court said the importance of these diagrams had also been acknowledged in Modi’s Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology, a book that has guided medico-legal practice in India since its publication in 1920. “The actual recording of the road accident cases — living or dead — can be simplified by noting various details in appropriate places on a front and back diagram of the human body showing the skeletal parts,” the author writes.






65-year-old man jailed for five years for cheating NRI

Press Trust of India, Updated: December 12, 2011 07:24 IST

New Delhi:  A senior citizen has been sent to jail for five years by a Delhi court for cheating an Non-Resident Indian (NRI) by giving him a fabricated bank draft of a non-existing branch of a US bank.

Vijay Khanna, (65), was held guilty for forgery, using counterfeit currency, cheating and conspiracy in the 17-year-old case lodged by B S Chhabra which was probed by the CBI.

Besides the jail term, the court also imposed a fine of Rs. 35,000 on Khanna, a resident of Gurgaon, and directed him to pay compensation of Rs. 5 lakh to Chhabra.

“Due to forged and fabricated demand draft of $25,000 besides a loss of Rs. five lakh, Rs. 3.12 lakh were also obtained from Chhabra, which were never returned. Accordingly, compensation to the tune of Rs. 5 lakh is also imposed upon the convict payable to Chhabra,” Additional Sessions Judge Virender Kumar Goyal said.
Chhabra, who had filed a complaint with the crime branch of Delhi Police in April 1994, told the court that in October 1992, he had visited a NRI conference at a hotel here.

In the conference, he met N K Jain, who introduced himself as a NRI consultant and after some meeting, Jain proposed to him that they were setting up NRI consultancies and wanted him to get involve on 50 per cent share holding, Chhabra said.

The complainant said that Jain and his son asked him for a loan of Rs. 5 lakh for business purposes and offered to give a note against the same after which he extended the loan in cash to Jain, who died during the pendency of the case.

The complainant said Jain introduced him to Khanna and in a meeting, he was handed over a draft of $25,000 by them after which Jain told him that draft had a value of over Rs. 8 lakh at the exchange rate of that time and thus Chhabra handed over Rs. 3.15 lakh to them.

The draft was later found to be forged and fabricated and when Chhabra contacted the accused they did not met him.

During the trial, Khanna claimed innocence saying a ACP of the Delhi police was putting pressure on him to help a business man which he refused and thus number of false cases were registered against him. The matter was, however, later on probed by the CBI which also registered an FIR in this regard.

The court held that the forged and fabricated draft of non-existing branch of Chemical Bank, Los Angeles, California in USA was handed over to Chhabra.

“A forged and fabricated draft of Chemical Bank, Los Angeles, California, which was not existing, was given to the complainant Chhabra in discharge of loan amount as per his statement…prosecution has also been able to prove beyond reasonable doubts that signatures appearing on the draft in question, were written by accused Vijay Khanna,” it said.

The court refused the plea of Khanna’s counsel seeking his release on probation on the ground of his old age and ailing condition, saying the offence committed was “grave in nature”.

“Offences proved against the convict are grave in nature and are punishable up to the life imprisonment, hence, I am not of the view to release him on probation. Hence, request of the defence counsel is turned down,” it said.




Katju wants ‘more teeth’ for PCI

Council shall be given powers to take harsher steps where discussion and persuasion prove ineffective

Press Council of India Chairman Justice Markandey Katju has sought “more teeth” for the regulatory body and expansion of its ambit over the electronic media and the Internet for which, he suggested, a legislation should be introduced in Parliament.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, now made public under the RTI Act, Justice Katju said the only power conferred on the Press Council under Section 14(1) of the Act is to “warn, admonish or censure the newspaper, news agency, editor or journalist.”

“Experience has shown that a mere warning, admonition or censure does not ordinarily have any effect on the concerned newspaper, news agency editor or journalist, as they tend to ignore the same.”

“Some more teeth should be given to the Press Council. Among the various suggestion which have been made by the Press Council earlier for taking action against those who violate journalistic ethics are: imposition of fine, withdrawal of government advertisement, suspension/cancellation of license/accreditation,” he said.

He said legislation should have provisions for persuasion and discussion with the “delinquent” news organisation or news person. Only when such methods become ineffective, harsher steps should be initiated against them.

Justice Katju said: “This provision, in my opinion, is necessary because while the defects in the media should ordinarily be sought to be rectified by the democratic method of discussion and persuasion, there must be power in the Press Council to take harsher steps where discussion and persuasion has proved to be ineffective.”

In the letter, dated October 11, which has been provided to activist Subhash Agrawal, Justice Katju quoted his recent speech to say there is no freedom which is absolute and hence the freedom of the media cannot also be an absolute one.

Justice Katju said media must have freedom to perform its functions properly with a sense of responsibility.

“There is a growing perception in the public that sometimes the media goes overboard and acts irresponsibly only to sensationalise the matter,” he said.

On expanding the scope of the Press Council to the electronic media and the Internet, Justice Katju said both the national level parties in Parliament seemed to agree with this proposal.





RTI activist murder: Main conspirator Qureshi arrested

Posted: Mon Dec 12 2011, 02:29 hrsAhmedabad:

The Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) on Sunday arrested Mushir Ismail Qureshi, the main conspirator in the murder case of RTI activist and 2002 Naroda Patiya riot case witness Nadeem Saiyed.

Qureshi was arrested near the Ahmedabad international airport in the early hours of the day following a tip-off. “Qureshi, a builder by profession and a key conspirator in Sayed’s murder, was arrested after he landed at the airport from Dubai,” said ACP Mayur Chavda.

Qureshi has been booked for conspiracy and murder under various sections of the Indian Penal Code. He will be produced before the Metropolitan court here on Monday.

Police, which had earlier questioned gangster Mehboob Senior after he allegedly warned the RTI activist not to depose in the Naroda Patiya riot case, have now changed their line claiming that Nadeem was killed reportedly for giving some information to them regarding the assault on a police team in Juhapura.

Qureshi, who was reportedly hiding in Dubai for the last three months, had allegedly given Rs 5 lakh to Mohammad Sharif alias Kalu Gardan to eliminate Nadeem, who was stabbed to death on November 5.

According to reports, a mob had torched a police van and pelted stones when a team went to Juhapura to seize cattle that was reportedly being taken for slaughtering on October 24. The Vejalpur police had filed a case and arrested 15 persons.

DCB officers said Nadeem had complained to senior officers that the police had spared Qureshi and Gardan (now arrested) deliberately in the case. Nadeem had given statements to police that the duo was behind the torching incident.

According to the DCB, during his interrogation, Gardan told police that Qureshi had given him a contract to kill Nadeem before fleeing to Dubai on November 2.

They added that Qureshi had conspired to get Nadeem killed with the help of Gardan and his manager Maajid Khan Pathan (now in police custody). Maajid had coordinated the strategy and planning, while Gardan and his aides executed the murder, they said.

The DCB added that Gardan and his seven aides — Mohammad Sarfaraz, Mohammad Arif, Nasruddin Kathiyara, Mohammad Saajid, Asif Ali and Gulam Hussain — admitted that after murdering Nadeem they fled to neighbouring Anand district. Gardan’s friend, Pervez Pathan of Petlad town in Anand, had allegedly helped them.

According to DCB officers, Nadeem had filed several RTI applications and police complaints against local butchers.






Bar Council pledges an effective judiciary

TNN Dec 11, 2011, 12.24PM IST

GUWAHATI: The Bar Council of eight northeastern states on Saturday began its two-day golden jubilee celebration function at Rabindra Bhawan here and vowed for a swift and effective judiciary in the region. The council, comprising all NE states, including Sikkim, also emphasized on the need to rediscover and reaffirm the profession’s moral foundation.

Attending the programme, Supreme Court judge J Chelameswar, who was the former chief justice of Gauahti high court, said the region needs a good and effective judiciary system to strengthen the democratic rights of civilians. “The young generation of lawyers should learn to inculcate the ethical principles of judiciary and work according to it for a strong judiciary system,” added Chelameswar.

Nekibur Jaman, a member of the council, stressed the need for a strong judiciary system to bring back public trust in the judiciary system. “There should be an efficient and swift judiciary system in the region. Due to a delay in many cases, people have lost their faith in the system. We need to change it with an effective and strong judiciary urgently,” said Jaman.

Bihar governor Devanand Konwar was also present at the programme along with Gauhati High court chief justice (acting) A K Goel.







Introduce new facilities for quick justice: Patil

TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 03.33AM IST

AMRAVATI: President Pratibha Patil on Sunday said that the basic assumption that justice should not only be done but it must be seen to be done is a constant reminder for maintaining high standards of the judiciary.

Speaking after laying the foundation stone of the new building of the district and sessions court here, Patil said that it was good to hear that efforts were being made to reduce pendency of cases.

Since the sessions court at Amravati is one of the oldest there is a need to introduce new facilities. “I have seen the model of the proposed building. It will be a beautiful edifice,” she said.

Judiciary is an important pillar of democracy which starts with the lower court. Many officers spend most of their service time in lower courts . So it is paramount to have a strong judicial structure, she said.

The President had a word of advise for judges too when she said that they with the advent of new technology, should acquaint themselves with the latest judicial pronouncements and trends in jurisprudence to face the challenges while dealing with cases of cyber law, intellectual property act and environment act.

Union law minister Salman Khurshid said that the ministry was mulling computerization of all the court data over a period of three years. He appreciated the Bombay high court for its alternate disputes resolution system.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said that the chief justice and the state government were making joint efforts to tackle the problem of pendency of cases.

Enhancing legal literacy among people is important, he said.

Governor of Maharashtra Shankarnarayana, Chief Justice of Bombay high court Mohit Shah, Justice Bhushan Gavai and Justice RK Deshpande were present.






Knowledge is no bar

Hindustan Times
December 11, 2011

First Published: 22:55 IST(11/12/2011)
Last Updated: 22:57 IST(11/12/2011)

If India works, it is thanks to its judicial system, never mind the time it takes for it to balance the scales perfectly. But even the most passionate cheerleaders of the Indian judiciary know that the lower echelons of the structure are in a mess and that it’s best to keep a lid on it. However,

even though we know that all’s not well, many will be startled to read a news report that says that all sub-judges in Punjab and Haryana have flunked exams for the superior judiciary. The candidates — lawyers and sub-judges — had applied for the written exam for appointment as additional district and sessions judges. Even though they cleared the first round that had objective-type questions, they failed when it came to essay-type questions some of which they could not answer correctly. Here are two examples: explain the difference between judicial and extra-judicial confessions and what action can be contemplated against an informant if allegations in an FIR are found to be false. Sorry, but we cannot wipe that look of incredulity off our faces. But then, how were they functioning all this while since they are all practising professionals? Maybe there were some generous friends around who would tutor them as and when required. Whatever it is, we must commend their spirit: even at the cost of their reputation and their practice, they bravely applied for the senior positions. Come to think of it, it’s actually a lose-lose situation for those who have flunked. Do you think clients will be queuing up now that the news is out that they don’t know the law all that well?

Having said so, we must not be so rigid about those men in black. After all, can all professionals say that they have a sound knowledge about the subjects they deal in and can come out with flying colours if an exam is held today? So why should lawyers be graded differently?






Between Stephen Court and AMRI, no lessons learnt

Despite an undertaking, hospital basement was not cleared of hazardous substances

The two devastating fires in the space of 20 months — the March 2010 blaze, which claimed 43 lives at Stephen Court, and last Friday’s inferno at the AMRI Hospital, Dhakuria, in which 93 patients died — have shocked the city, but as the tragedy repeated itself it is evident that lessons have not been learnt.

In the wake of the Stephen Court disaster, a high-power committee comprising senior officials of the city police, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation, the West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services department and the power distribution company was set up to inspect 48 buildings and market places in the city and make recommendations to curb violations of fire safety norms. But the panel suggestions have hardly been implemented so far. In the tragedy at the AMRI Hospital, the basement, where the blaze is suspected to have originated, was meant to be a parking lot but was being used to store materials, several of them inflammable — a clear violation of building and fire safety norms.

Hospital authorities had submitted a written undertaking on August 29 that the basement would be cleared of all hazardous substances, but their failure to do so cost 93 lives. Moreover, one of the directors, who has been arrested, admitted in his statement to the police that the fire alarm system was switched off because it went off.

The differences between the two tragedies lie only in details. Even before the flames were brought under control at Stephen Court, there was an outcry over the long wait for the victims as fire tenders took a long time to reach the spot. At AMRI, the hospital staff failed to inform the fire brigade of the blaze — it occurred in the early hours — for hours, until after the situation had got out of hand.

Trapped on the upper floors of the burning building, most of the victims at Stephen Court were consumed by the flames and the bodies charred beyond recognition. In the hospital, nearly all the victims suffocated to death inhaling the noxious fumes that rose up from the basement and through ventilation channels, and quickly engulfed the building.

Soon after the Trinamool Congress-led government assumed office, it was brought to the attention of the new Minister for Fire and Emergency Services that safety air cushions that were available with the fire brigade at the time of the incident at Stephen Court were not used. A departmental inquiry was immediately launched and the findings have been submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.

However, on the issue of ensuring safety of citizens, the focus appears to be on finding fault, instead of on preventing fires. .






Supreme Court ruling is final: Karunanidhi

DMK president M. Karunanidhi on Sunday wondered what would happen to democracy if every State government went on introducing new legislation to nullify Supreme Court orders.

“I am yet to find an answer to the question,” he said referring to the law enacted by the Kerala government in 2006 in the wake of the Supreme Court’s February 2006 order allowing Tamil Nadu to raise the water level at Mullaperiyar Dam from 136 feet to 142 feet.

“The ruling of the Supreme Court is final on every issue. Is it correct on the part of Kerala government to bring in a legislation to nullify the order?” he said.

Mr. Karunanidhi said if the Supreme Court had questioned the Kerala government about the new legislation, Tamils would not have been targeted in the State. He said the DMK had organised a fast and a human chain to remind the people of Kerala about the Supreme Court order and to secure protection for the dam by Central security forces.

He also recalled the Supreme Court’s ruling that there was no basis for Kerala’s argument that the dam was too weak to hold 142 feet of water and the order restraining Kerala and its officers from causing any obstruction to work by Tamil Nadu for strengthening the dam.

The DMK leader said though he was keen on participating in the protests, his party men had decided against it taking into consideration his health condition.






Court Diary: Casteist remarks: Cop, wife, son jailed

Express news service

Posted: Mon Dec 12 2011, 03:06 hrsPune:

Casteist remarks: Cop, wife, son jailed

A 51-year-old police head constable Shantaram Karande, his wife Chhaya and son Rajesh were sentenced to three-year rigorous imprisonment and fined Rs 1,000 each for passing casteist remarks against a neighbour, the widow of a police naik. Maya Shankar Khilare, who worked as a sweeper at the Police Motor Training Centre, Aundh.

Bail plea of 2 murder suspects rejected

The court of additional sessions judge, N P Dhote, rejected the bail pleas of two suspects arrested in connection with the murder of a youth on the premises of Shivajinagar Court. The court rejected the bail applications of Sukesh Suresh Dangat and Umesh Deshmukh, who had been on the run and were arrested on August 31. Since the other suspects in the case were released on bail, Dangat and Deshmukh’s lawyer had moved bail applications.The prosecution, opposing the bail pleas, had stating that the offence was punishable with death or life imprisonment. The court refused to grant bail.

Fake currency case: Youth gets 7-year RI

Principal district and sessions judge Anant Badar sentenced Vikramprasad Harishankar Prasad Singh (20), a man from Bihar, staying in Bhosari to seven-year rigorous imprisonment (RI) and imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 on him for using four counterfeit notes of Rs 1,000 denominations and trying to pass them as genuine notes. According to the prosecution, Singh had purchased soap and hair oil from a grocery shop in Bhosari on January 25 using the fake currency. An expert from India Security Press, Nashik confirmed that the watermark, security thread were fake and the notes were counterfeit.

Aaditi Jathar Lakade







Bombay HC verdict on 2003 Mumbai blasts today

New Delhi: Eight years after the twin blasts that left 57 people dead at the Mumbai’s Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazar, the Bombay HIgh Court on Monday is expected to give its judgment on the fate of the three accused. Earlier the court had reserved its order on whether to confirm the death sentence handed out in 2009 to the accused.

The judgment expected on whether the death sentence will be upheld or reduced to life imprisonment is expected post 11 am on Monday.

The court had also clubbed two other cases, the July 2003 Ghatkopar blast case and the case of an unexploded bomb in 2002 with the twin blast case.


35-year-old Ashrat Ansari, 49-year-old Hanif Syed and his 46-year-old wife, Fehmida Syed were convicted by the special POTA court for planting bombs in two taxis and were held guilty under various sections of the Indian Penal Code, the Explosive Substances Act and the stringent Prevention of Terrorism Act.

Prosecution had alleged that the trio of Ashrat, Hanif and Fehmida belonged to LeT and had planned and carried out the blasts. The POTA court had also held them guilty for blast in a BEST bus in suburban Ghatkopar on 28 July, 2003, that had claimed two lives.

They were also held guilty for planting a bomb which didn’t explode in a bus in the Special Electronics Export Promotion Zone (SEEPZ) in suburban Jogeshwari on December 2, 2002.

At least 103 witnesses were examined during the trial, one accused had turned approver, two others were discharged and another one died during the trail.






HC strikes down ex-AI air hostess’s dismissal

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 02.26AM IST

MUMBAI: In a relief to a retired air hostess, the Bombay High Court held that her dismissal from service by the then Air India (AI) chairman and managing director Arvind Jadhav violated principles of natural justice as she was not given a hearing.

Rani Radhakrishnan, who joined Air India as an air hostess in June 1976 and retired as manager (in-flight services department), challenged Jadhav’s July 15, 2010, order dismissing her from service without full retirement benefits. She was due to retire on July 31, 2010, on attaining superannuation. Her advocate Mohan Bir Singh argued that her dismissal after 34 years of service was “sudden, without any warning, show-cause notice, hearing or other opportunity”. Trouble began for the AI employee, when Soman Allapat filed a cheating case against her husband, Sebastian Felix, a travel agent.

The police complaint stated that Radhakrishnan was present when Allapat paid Felix to arrange some visas. Following this, a chargesheet was filed against her on October 11, 2006 and she was suspended. Later, the complaint was withdrawn and the magistrate accepted the closure report of the police stating that it was wrongly filed. On April 4, 2007, Allapat wrote to AI officials stating that he had lodged the complaint “to teach Felix a lesson” and requested them to withdraw any action against Radhakrishnan. On July 7, 2008, her suspension was revoked by the disciplinary authority, however, Jadhav set it aside and ordered her dismissal. In their December 1 order, a division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar noted that while the disciplinary authority took a very “charitable” view, the original complainant (Allapat) never appeared as a witness and Rani had no chance to cross-examine him.






HC gives nod to elephant camp in Mudumalai

TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 07.42AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has declined to stop the government’s scheme of conducting a month-long rejuvenation camp at Mudumalai for 45 elephants belonging to temples and mutts .

A division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice R Subbiah , concurring with the submissions of advocate-generalAN avaneethakrishnan , dismissed two public interest petitions saying courtswould notinterferewith every action of the government .Navaneethakrishnan informed the court that the government had earmarked Rs 45 lakh for the scheme this year .

“It is the policy decision of the government to conduct the elephant rejuvenation camp at Mudumalai forest , and courts are not expected to poke their noseintoeach andevery action of the government , particularly where no material is available with them to cause interference into the decision of the government ,” the judges said .

While one petition wanted the court to restrain the government from sending temple elephants to Mudumalai , the other wanted the camp to be held at any place other than Mudumalai Tiger Reserve . They also suggested that instead of transporting the pachyderms allthewaytoMudumalai , the camp could be conducted at several places including the banks of Thamirabarani river in Tirunelveli district .






HC orders top cop to look into complaint of illegal detention

Express News Service

Posted: Mon Dec 12 2011, 02:31 hrsAhmedabad:

The Gujarat High Court has ordered the Ahmedabad police commissioner to take a decision within six weeks on a complaint of illegal detention of a city-based man from Goa by some officers of the Ahmedabad Mahila Police Station in connection with a case of domestic violence lodged against him by his wife.

The petitioner, Shaunak Dave, has named at least four women cops and an officer of the rank of deputy superintendent of police from the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) for keeping him in “illegal custody” for over 24 hours.

According to details, Dave’s wife had lodged a complaint of domestic violence against him in in July last year. Based on this, an inspector and three woman constables of the Mahila Police Station allegedly detained him on August 14 from a hotel in Goa where he had gone on a business tour. He was brought back to Ahmedabad in a Tata Sumo the next day. During this entire period, two of his wife’s acquaintances were allegedly accompanying the cops.

Dave has further alleged that he was subjected to mistreatment by the woman police officers during the custody. He was allegedly shown as arrested around 9.30 pm on August 15 and produced before the concerned court, which granted him bail.

Subsequently, Dave lodged a complaint with the police authorities, including the Ahmedabad police commissioner, demanding filing of an FIR and appropriate action against the accused police officers.

When no action was taken on his complaint, Dave approached the HC, seeking a direction to the police to register an FIR and get it investigated by an officer not below the rank of SP.

Dave’s complaint was inquired into by a DCB deputy superintendent of police who made a report to the police commissioner. But it is not known if the commissioner took any decision on the same.

After hearing the petition, a single-judge bench comprising Justice M R Shah recently ordered the police commissioner to take an appropriate decision on the report submitted by the DySP within six weeks.

“It is made clear that the commissioner of police, Ahmedabad City himself to look into the matter and exercise powers under Section 154(3) of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Thereafter, if the petitioner is aggrieved by the decision of the Commissioner of Police, in that case, it will be open for the petitioner to initiate an appropriate proceeding, which can be considered in accordance with law and on merits…,” Justice Shah.






Delhi HC blast case going Malegoan way?–51.asp

Kishtwar Link Yet To Be Established


New Delhi, Dec 11: The investigations into the three-month old Delhi High Court bomb blasts seems to have hit a dead-end with the elite National Investigating Agency (NIA) remaining clueless about the real perpetrators of the crime. The agency is facing the eminent danger of the case going the Malegaon blasts way in which nine accused were recently released after the agency decided not to oppose their bail.
NIA had been probing the possibility of a J&K angle behind the Delhi blasts. It had claimed that the militant groups behind the blasts had a Kishtwar link. It led to arrest of three youngsters from the area.
Highly placed sources said the experts in the Home Ministry have expressed a differing opinion about the line of investigation so far being pursued by the NIA. Six persons including three Kishtwar youth were arrested by the NIA sleuths after the blasts. The other three were Bangladesh natives who were later let off.
The 20-member investigation team of the NIA headed by Mukesh Kumar, a DIG rank officer of Jammu and Kashmir cadre has been hotly pursuing the line that the blasts were the handiwork of a conglomerate of many militant outfits such as Harkat-ul-Jihadi Islami (HuJI), LeT and Jaish-e-Muhammad. This theory has reportedly been challenged by other experts in the Home Ministry who feel that these groups do not operate in unison to carry out attacks.
The sources further said not only this theory has been challenged by the authorities concerned in the Government but they have also asked the NIA officials to “fill in the missing links” visible in their investigation reports so that the case does not go the Malegaon way.  The investigating agency still seems to be clueless about not only the militant group behind the September 7, 2011 blasts but also as to who had made the bomb and who planted it.
The NIA had started pursuing the line about involvement of HuJI in the blasts on the basis of an e-mail received immediately after the incident. This had led to the investigating team travelling to Bangladesh where it had questioned some Indian students studying there. They belonged to Kishtwar and were studying in Jalalabad Ragib Rubeya Medical College and Hospital in Sylhet.
Significantly, replying to a question related to Delhi bomb blasts, Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh said in the Parliament last week that only three persons had been arrested in the case so far. He admitted that the case has not been solved.
Singh denied the charge that there was no coordination among various Central and state agencies which led to the case remaining unsolved despite some students having been arrested on suspicion.
“There exists a very close and effective coordination amongst the intelligence agencies at the Centre and the state levels,” he observed.




Find ways to decongest roads: HC to agencies

PTI | Dec 12, 2011, 01.41AM IST

NEW DELHI: City government authorities, including the traffic police and MCD, have been asked by Delhi high court to devise an effective mechanism to ease traffic snarls on various roads.

A special bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S Muralidhar directed the authorities to convene a meeting and “work out a formula” to implement a court-appointed panel’s recommendations for decongesting city roads.

Earlier, a taskforce appointed by HC had identified congested roads in six localities in NDMC andMCD areas, specially those in the Walled City, and had recommended steps.

The bench asked the city government authorities to examine efficacy of those measures . The agencies were asked to collect data on traffic problems on roads where the recommendations are to be implemented.

The order came after Delhi government informed the bench that lanes were not properly marked in some roads and signage, streetlights were missing making implementation of steps tough. PTI






Land row: Gr Noida Authority files review petition in HC

TNN Dec 11, 2011, 02.16PM IST

GREATER NOIDA: With the NCR Planning Board remaining undecided on the Greater Noida Master Plan 2021, the GNIDA has finally filed a review petition in the Allahabad High Court seeking its nod to resume stalled construction work in the disputed Noida Extension area. The Authority has also expressed its inability to disburse 10 per cent developed plots instead of the earlier norm of five per cent to each farmer whose land has been acquired.

The Authority has argued that as per the state’s norms, it is in no way “bound to get any development project/proposal approved by the NCRPB. Besides, it has already sent details of changes in the Master Plan to the state government which, in turn, forwarded it to the planning cell on November 12. Hence, it must now be allowed to resume development work in the area.”

On October 21, the Allahabad HC directed the Noida and Greater Noida authorities to offer enhanced compensation and rehabilitation deals to the farmers against their acquired land. It had also directed the Greater Noida Authority to get its Master Plan 2021 approved by the NCRPB before resuming any development activity in the area.

Soon after, the Authority had sent details of changes in the master plan to the state government that in turn had forwarded them to the planning cell earlier last month. However, the Authority is yet to get any response from the NCRPB. Meanwhile, the buyers and developers with upcoming projects in the area have been getting increasingly restless.

The approval mainly pertains to change in land use of around 2,500 hectares of land in Greater Noida that the Authority claims was approved by the state government at the time. In 2007, the Authority had created ‘Noida Extension’ by diverting 2,500 hectares of the total 3,000 hectares of industrial land in the area for residential use. This sparked off the controversy that resulted in 40-odd villages approaching the High Court for better compensation or return of their land. Consequently, the High Court ordered mandatory approval from the NCRPB.



Juveniles languish in Tihar in breach of law


Ambika Pandit, TNN | Dec 12, 2011, 01.27AM IST

NEW DELHI: Asia’s biggest prison is bursting at its seams, but this does not stop authorities from throwing juveniles into the crammed barracks.

Shocking but true. And they continue to languish for months before their age is finally detected and they are shifted to observation homes. As many as 114 juveniles had been first lodged in Tihar and later shifted to observation homes between October 2010 and August 2011. This violation of child rights has been vociferously raised by a human rights group.

The report labeled “Human Rights in India- An Overview was released last week. Put together by a network of NGOs that are part of the working group on Human Rights in India and UN. The information was brought to light by a reply from jail number 7 to an RTI application filed by an NGO, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights. Delhi high court took suo motu cognizance of the information through a letter petition on November 22. HC has issued a showcause notice to Delhi government, commissioner of Delhi police and director general, Tihar Jail, giving them time till December 21 to reply. Prisoners in the age-group of 18 and 21 are lodged in jail number 7. Although they are classified as adolescent prisoners, it is not uncommon to find juveniles landing in the adult jail.

The RTI reply (a copy of which is with TOI) reveals a steady trail of transfer of juveniles every month from Jail number 7 to observation homes for juveniles at Delhi Gate, Kingsway Camp and Majnu Ka Tilla. In January, eight boys were transferred from jail number 7, 11 in February, 10 in March, 13 in April, 12 in May, eight in June, 16 in July and 10 in August.

In the HC order of November 23, based on the letter petition and the RTI reply presented by child rights lawyer Anant Kumar Asthana it was pointed out by the petitioner that juveniles lodged in Tihar Jail are often subjected to hardship of adult criminal justice system. At the time of arrest, police authorities do not bother to find out whether the person is a juvenile or adult and send them to jail.

“It is further mentioned that Usually, from the appearance of the person arrested, it can be made out if he is a child or not. But in many cases, cops ignore evidence like birth certificates. Only if the accused is found to be a juvenile after an inquiry, is he shifted to an observation home. Such children are subjected to the hardship of Adult Criminal Justice System in the process that could have been avoided had proper care being taken at the time of arrest of such persons,” the order draws from the petition letter.

“India has 12 special laws for children apart from legal provisions in the penal and criminal codes. The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection) Act, 2000 is the only law in the world based on a preventive approach to juvenile justice. However, poor implementation of the law, lack of support structures, low conviction rates and inadequate resources lead to delay of justice,” the report states.

“Chidren’s age is often falsified and they are tried in adult courts or sent to adult prisons, and child victims find themselves further victimized in non-child sensitive judicial processes. While children’s courts were established by the protection of Child Rights Act, 2005, Delhi was the first state to open such facilities for speedy trials in 2011. Protection of children still continues to receive only 1.26% of the national budget,” the review asserts. Nearly 113 juveniles landed in Tihar Jail between August 2010 and August 2011.

An RTI application filed by a child rights organization shows that 113 juveniles were shifted from Tihar to observation homes for juveniles as they were found to be below 18 years of age. A report by the human rights working group to the United Nations expresses concern over juveniles landing in adult jails in violation of the law.

The Delhi High Court has sought an explanation from the state government on the matter as part of the Universal Periodic Review by the working group of the UN Human Rights Council in India.The startling fact that juveniles were making it to Tihar in violation of the law and were then being redirected by the Central Jail authorities to observation homes under the purview of Juvenile Justice Board, comes through in a reply from Jail number 7 to an RTI application from NGO HAQ: Centre for Child Rights.






High Court stays clearance for DB power coal mine in Chhattisgarh

Mine allottee accused of influencing public hearing through company owned newspapers.

The Chhattisgarh High Court has directed that no further action be taken towards granting environmental clearance to a coal mine operated by DB Power Ltd, a subsidiary of DB Corp, one of India’s largest media corporations. The respondents have been given three weeks to reply. A writ petition filed in the court accuses the company of adopting “deliberate, illegal and manipulative” measures to influence the outcome of a public hearing held to assess the impact of the proposed open cast coal mine. D.S. Maliya, the lead petitioner in the case, also told The Hindu he had been personally targeted by the Dainik Bhaskar in a series of articles published days before the hearing. A spokesperson for DB Corp has denied the charges.

DB Corp reaches out to 17.5 million readers across 59 newspaper editions and 135 sub-editions in four languages in 13 states, including the leading Hindi daily,Dainik Bhaskar, and English language Daily News and Analysis (DNA). The company also owns MyFM, a radio station broadcast in 17 cities across the country.

Financial disclosures submitted to the Security and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), reveal that the company’s promoters also own at least 69 other companies with interests in mining, power generation, manufacturing, real estate, construction, air freight, and textiles. While the company-owned Diligent Power hopes to install 6400 MW of generation capacity, DB Malls Pvt Ltd has built one of Asia’s biggest malls on 6.2 acres of land in Bhopal, while Bhaskar Industries Ltd claims to be one of India’s leading manufacturers of denim cloth.

The writ petition, admitted in July, pertains to a mining project in Chhattisgarh’s coal-rich Raigarh district.

On February 28, DB Power Ltd sought to acquire 693.2 hectares of land for an open cast coal mine in Raigarh, approximately 141 hectares of which falls within the municipal boundaries of the Dharamjaigarh township. The coal is intended for a 1320 MW power plant in the neighbouring district of Janjgir-Champa. At the hearing, 438 residents of Dharamjaigarh registered their opposition to the plant; not a single project affected person gave her or his consent. Protestors said they feared the mine would pollute the air, water and land of Dharamjaigarh, and the relentless stream of coal carrying trucks would lead to a surge of in road accidents.

Anticipating the protests, the company submitted an affidavit stating that it would not undertake mining activities in the Dharamjaigarh Nagar Panchayat area. While the villagers do not believe this undertaking, the petition also alleges that this change in mining plans substantially altered the nature of the project, was not reflected in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) submitted by the company and is a violation of the terms of reference issued by the MoEF. Official summaries of the public hearing, submitted as annexures, make no mention of the affidavit.

In a Right to Information request filed in April this year, the petitioners allege, a public information officer for the Regional Office of the Chhattisgarh Environment Conservation Board stated that his department had not received an application for amending the project proposal in line with the company’s commitments.

A spokesperson for DB Corp has denied these charges.

“The DB group will never do anything that will discomfort the public in any way,” said Sushil Nahar, a spokesperson and special correspondent for Dainik Bhaskar in an interview, “We have listened to the people of Dharamjaigarh and will not take any land that falls in the Nagar panchayat area.”

In a written response to a questionnaire sent to DB Power, a spokesperson for the group stated “in the said affidavit, there is no mention regarding the extent of the area allocated to DB Power which falls in the Dharamjaygarh Nagar Panchayat Area. However, the company has stated and reiterates that it will not carry out any mining activists in the Dharamjaygarh Nagar Panchayat area.” The spokesperson also told this correspondent that the company would not acquire land in the nagar panchayat land, and said that a fresh EIA and public hearing were not required as the project required less land than previously applied for.

“A change involving reduced land area does not necessarily require a new EIA… If it is a reduction [in mining land], it may actually lead to less pollution,” said a senior official handling environmental clearances, making clear he was not commenting on the principles involved and not the specific case. But “if [the company] wanted longer mining leases on the remainder of the land, or if there were key facilities located on the nagar panchayat land according to the original plan which would now have to be re-sited, then a revised EIA, or even fresh Terms of Reference may be required.”

Responding to questions on possible conflicts of interest between DB Corp’s media and mining business, spokesperson Sushil Nahar said, “The newspaper is kept completely separate from the rest of the business.” When asked why, for instance, the Dainik Bhaskar’s Raigarh edition carried stories headlined “Black Diamond to lend sparkle to Dharamjaigarh’s Destiny” and “Villagers move forward in support of DB power,” on the eve of the public hearing for DB Power’s coal mine, Mr. Nahar said, “Because that is what will happen,” he said, “All the coal in India will be mined, but no one will mine with the laad-pyaar[love and care] that we will. There will be prosperity…there will be jobs… Kismet chamkegi [destiny will sparkle]”

Kismet, as the matter currently stands, shall be decided by the courts.

[Disclosure: DNA competes with The Hindu in some markets].







Zaveri blasts: HC ruling on death penalty today–today/Article1-781190.aspx

Press Trust Of India
Mumbai, December 12, 2011

First Published: 08:52 IST(12/12/2011)
Last Updated: 12:22 IST(12/12/2011)

The Bombay high court is likely to give its ruling on Monday on confirmation of death sentence, awarded to three convicts including a woman, in the 2003 Mumbai twin bomb blasts case.

Ashrat Ansari (32), his aide Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and wife Fehmida Sayed (43) were held guilty on charges of planting powerful bombs in two taxis which exploded at the Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar on August 25, 2003, killing 52 persons.

A special Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court had in August 2009 awarded capital punishment to the trio.

A division bench of justices AM Khanwilkar and PD Kode, which has been hearing prosecution arguments seeking confirmation of death penalty and the appeals filed by the accused against their conviction, will on Monday pass its order.

According to the prosecution, the conspiracy of the attack was hatched in Dubai by Hanif, Ashrat and another person named Nasir, who was killed in a police encounter. Some Pakistani nationals owing allegiance to terror outfit LeT were also behind the attack, police had said.

The trio had been convicted under various sections of IPC, POTA, Explosives Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

LeT had used a family for the first time to carry out the blasts with the motive being to seek vengeance for the attacks on the minority community during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002, police had said.




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