LEGAL NEWS 14.12.2011

Amendment Bill puts Cooperative Banks at par

Posted on 14 December 2011 by Dipak Kumar

An anomaly existing since 1993 vis a vis cooperative banks was rectified in an Amendment Bill introduced in Parliament on Tuesday.

The Bill has proposed to amend the RDBF Act 1993 and seeks to bring multi-State cooperative banks under the category of the bank. There are 42 multistate Cooperative Banks which are going to benefit from this amendment.

Now these banks would be better placed to recover their bad loans as the amendment proposes to give them attachment or securitization power.

Giving a notice of 60 days they can go ahead with auctioning to realize their loaned amount.

The bill was  introduced by Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena in the Lok Sabha.

It seeks to amend the Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest (SARFAESI) Act 2002 and Recovery of Debts due to Banks and Financial Institutions (RDBF) Act 1993.

It also seeks “to permit the Multi State Cooperative banks, with respect to debts due before or after the commencement of the proposed legislation, to opt either to initiate proceedings under the the Multi-State Co-operative Societies Act 2002 or to initiate proceedings before the Debt Recovery Tribunal.”

To ensure expeditious adjudication and recovery of dues of banks and financial institutions, remove legal anomalies and strengthen the Recovery Tribunal, the RDBF Act was amended in the years 1995, 2000 and 2004, the Bill said






Shah commission probes Paradip Port Trust

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 10.01AM IST

KENDRAPADA: The M B Shah commission examined papers regarding iron ore exports at the main office of Paradip Port Trust (PPT) on Tuesday. Six officials of the commission examined documents in the export and import sections of the PPT.

“We discussed the export of iron ore through the port with the port officials and examined many documents. We will submit a report shortly about our visit to Paradip,” said U V Singh, senior forest officer and member of the commission.

The members talked to PPT deputy chairman SAnanta Chandra Bose, secretary Naba Kishor Mishra and other officials for three hours.

Many trade union leaders of Paradip tried to meet the commission members, but were unable to do so.

“Many influential persons and companies have been illegally mining iron ore and chromites in the mineral rich Jajpur and Keonjhar districts since long. Some companies in a clear nexus with officials in Paradip have been illegally exporting iron ore and other minerals, due to which the state is loosing crores of rupees,” a trade union leader said.

“The authority established eight check gates from Keonjhar to the port town of Paradip to check illegal transport of the iron ore, chromites and other minerals. But the officials of check gates failed to prevent the illegal transport of minerals. Members of Saha commission made a mistake by not meeting us,” he added.







Can National Green Tribunal look into Lavasa?

Published: Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay High Court has said it will decide whether the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act of 2010 can be used to adjudicate alleged irregularities by the Lavasa township.

A bench will now decide whether the NGT is competent enough to judge Lavasa-related issues, in light of the objections raised by petitioners.

A criminal case had been filed by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) against Lavasa Corporation and others, alleging environment violation.

The tribubal was set up to handle environment protection issues.
During the last hearing in November, the HC had asked M/s Lavasa Corporation Limited and the ministry of environment and forests to consider approaching the NGT, since the NGT Act permits the tribunal to expedite disposal of matters related to environmental protection.

Ashish Mehta, the advocate for one of the petitioners, had argued that the tribunal was not competent to decide on the issues raised by them in the public interest litigation.

Mehta also filed an additional affidavit on behalf of Suniti SR, one of the petitioners, which contended that even the environment and forests ministry does not have the authority to grant clearance to Lavasa.

“On the contrary, the state environmental impact assessment authority (SEIAA) of Maharashtra is the competent authority to deal with it,” states the affidavit.

Stating that a bad precedent was being set by Lavasa, the affidavit says there was no provision for a ‘post-facto’ clearance in the Environmental Impact Assessment Notification, 2006.

“The EIA Notification, 2006, and the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, do not provide for any such ‘post-facto’ clearance, and what is warranted is the ‘prior’ environmental clearance which the project proponent has failed to seek,” adds the affidavit.






Supreme Court permits export of endosulfan formulation

Published: Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 22:10 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: IANS

The Supreme Court Tuesday permitted the export of 2,698 kilo litres of endosulfan formulation, used formanufacturing the pesticide, lying with different companies.

An apex court bench of Chief Justice SH Kapadia, Justice AK Patnaik and Justice Swatanter Kumar said: “We hereby permit the 34 units of manufacturers and formulators (of endosulfan)…to export the existing stock of 2698.05 kl of endosulfan formulation…”

The exports would be subject to conditions specified in its Sep 30 order, the court said.

Cautioning the firms which were manufacturing endosulfan prior to its ban by apex courtMay 13, the court said: “It is clarified that the permission for dilution should in no way directly or indirectly be treated as permission to manufacture endosulfan formulation in any form whatsoever or increase its quantity.”

An expert committee in its report Aug 24 told the court that 12,698.05 kl of endosulfan formulation was lying in stock with different companies.

While permitting the export, the order said that the exports would be channelised through public sector undertaking Hindustan Insecticides Ltd. (HIL) and two private companies Excel Crop Care and Coromandel International.

In its four directions, the court said that “within the week from today, Hindustan Insecticides, Excel Crop Care and Coromandel Int’l shall hold a meeting and decide the existing quantity of endosulfan formulation which each of the three companies could dilute, repackage and export.”

Thereafter, HIL would communicate to the association of endosulfan manufacturers the exact quantity of the existing stock of the formulation which each of the above three companies would be able to dilute and repackage.

On a petition by Democratic Youth Federation of India – the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist – the court May 13 banned the production and sale of endosulfan in the country as it was blamed for causing ailments in humans.






Confidentiality can’t hide RTI information: Supreme Court

Published: Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 8:00 IST
By Rakesh Bhatnagar | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Strengthening the arms of the Right to Information Act in a manner that thwarts the government’s procedural antics to stall information regarding corruption and human rights violations by investigation agencies under the garb of confidentiality, the Supreme Court has ruled that a notification issued by a state for that purpose in mind can’t be made effective from retrospective date.

In a significant judgment on Monday, the apex court held that the notifications under the RTI Act cannot apply retrospectively. It means, information in response to an RTI query can’t be denied merely because a notification has been issued after the date of application.

The right of an aggrieved applicant must be decided on the basis of the law as it stood on the date when the request is made. “Such a right cannot be defeated on the basis of a notification if issued subsequently to time when the controversy about the RTI is pending before the court,” a bench of justices Asok Kumar Ganguly and Gyan Sudha Misra ruled while disposing of an appeal filed by a resident of Manipur, Wahangbam Joykumar, who had moved the state in February, 2007 under RTI seeking information regarding the magisterial enquiries initiated by the state from 1980 to 2006.

The government denied this information on the basis of a notification issued in 2007.

Allowing Joykumar’s appeal, the bench asked him to seek the requisite information now as it directed the state to provide him the information.

Stressing the importance of the RTI Act, the apex court said its preamble would show that it “is based on the concept of an open society”.

Way back in 1975, the apex court had underscored the need of an “open government” and observed that “the people of this country have a right to know every public act, everything, that is done in a public way, by their public functionaries”.

It had also said that people are entitled to know the particulars of every public transaction in all its bearing. The right to know is “derived from the concept of freedom of speech, though not absolute, is a factor which should make one wary, when secrecy is claimed for transactions which can, at any rate, have no repercussion on public security”.

It also warned saying that “to cover with veil of secrecy, the common routine business, is not in the interest of the public. Such secrecy can seldom be legitimately desired”.

Cost imposed for suppression of facts

CHENNAI: Kesavan of Thandava Vinayagar temple, who had been putting up unauthorised constructions on the road margin of Sivan Koil North Mada St in Villivakkam under the guise of temple renovation, was slapped with a cost of Rs 25,000 for filing a writ petition suppressing material facts.
The cost amount should be given to K Dasarathan, a resident of the same street, within four weeks, a division bench comprising Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice D Hariparanthaman said. Originally, Dasarathan filed a writ petition and a division bench on September 10, 2009 directed the Chennai Corporation to proceed with the stop work notice against Kesavan. Subsequently, Dasarathan filed a contempt application seeking to punish the former Commissioner of Corporation and others on the ground that they had not complied with the Sept, 2009 order.
Meanwhile, Kesavan filed a writ petition for quashing the order dated Sept 8, 2009 of the Chennai Corporation, by which he was directed to remove the encroachment and unauthorised constructions. He, however, did not mention about the pendency of Dasarathan’s contempt application.
Dismissing Kesavan’s writ petition, the bench observed that various orders had been passed by the court and based on which the Corporation issued the notice on September 8, 2009.
Suppressing the pendency of Dasarathan’s contempt petition, Kesavan had filed the present writ petition. He claimed that his application for planning permission was pending with the Corporation.










Check use of foul language on social sites’

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 04.14AM IST

LUCKNOW: In order to put a check on the usage of foul language on social networks against gods and high dignitaries, the Lucknow bench of theAllahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the principal secretary (home) and director general of police to provide adequate infrastructure and facilities to the cyber crime investigation units in Lucknow and Agra.

A division bench of Justice SN Shukla and Justice SVS Rathore summoned the progress of the investigation on January 3, 2012.

The order came on a writ petition filed by Nutan Thakur, who sought transfer of cases to the STF for fair probe into the allegations against the Facebook. She had lodged an FIR on April 6, 2011 under section 153(A), 153(B), 290, 504, 596 IPC and section 66(A) of the IT Act with Civil Lines police station at Meerut for using abusive language against Hindu gods and goddesses and Muslim religion also.

Nutan’s husband Amitabh Thakur also lodged an FIR with Gomtinagar police station against the Facebook for using abusive languages against the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi.

On Tuesday, it was told by the state police that special investigating agency to investigate the cases relating to cyber crime has been constituted at two places, one at Lucknow and another at Agra, where police officers of the rank of deputy superintendent of police have been posted as in-charge.

It was however brought to the knowledge of the court that till date no staff has been provided to make the units’ functional and therefore the investigation of cyber crimes is at a standstill.

“In view of the fact of the present case, which requires investigation by technical officers for which a cell has also been constituted by the DGP, we hereby direct the principal secretary (Home) and DGP to provide sufficient staff immediately to make functional the said units, so that the cases can be investigated expeditiously,” observed the bench.

The court also directed the state counsel to communicate the order to the above officials forthwith for necessary actions.








TNPSC members did not have no immunity from PCA: Govt

PTI | 10:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

Chennai, Dec 13 (PTI) Tamil Nadu government today said Chairman and members of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission (TNPSC) did not have any immunity from the Prevention of Corruption Act (PCA). In a counter affidavit in the Madras High Court in response to a batch of writ petitions challenging an August Government Order (G.O) bringing the Chairman and members of the TNPSC under the purview of the State Vigilance Commission and the Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption, state Principal Secretary for Personnel and Administrative Reforms Department M Kutralingam said the government was within its right to bring the TNPSC members, including its Chairman, under the purview of Vigilance Commission and DVAC. The Chairman and Members could not take cover under the service commission for any cognisable offences committed by them, the counter said adding that the proposal to bring the Chairman and Members of the commission under the Vigilance Commission and DVAC was examined and approved by the Governor. As per the conditions of service, they would also fall within the meaning of public servants and as such the G.O was valid and it was not violative of the Constitution, the counter said. The August nine G.O had stated that “the government after careful consideration of the definition given in sub section (c) of section (2) of Chapter (1)(relating to Public Servant) of Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, have decided to bring the Chairman and Members of the TNPSC under the purview of the State Vigilance Commission and Directorate of Vigilance and Anti-Corruption,”.



Nanavati Commission rejects Sarabhai’s plea to recall Bhatt

Press Trust Of India
The Nanavati Commission on Tuesday rejected the application of social activist Mallika Sarabhai seeking to recall the suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt for questioning on the role of chief minister Narendra Modi in allegedly undermining her petition filed in Supreme Court after 2002 riots.

During his questioning by Central Relief Committee advocate B M Mangukia on May 23 in the commission, Bhatt had alleged that Modi had tried to undermine the proceeding in the petition filed by Sarabhai in the Supreme Court with regard to 2002 riots.

After Bhatt’s deposition, Sarabhai moved an application demanding cross examination of Bhatt and his then superior officer former DGP R B Sreekumar.

“The basis for the request made by Mallika Sarabhai before us is the allegation made against Narendra Modi by Mr Sanjiv Bhatt with respect to the writ petition filed by her in the Supreme Court on April 1, 2002,” the Commission said in its order.

“Without going into the question whether allegation is true or not, we are inclined to reject the request of Mallika Sarabhai as we are of the view that what Sanjiv Bhatt and (R B) Sreekumar have stated so far before us in this behalf is not sufficient to indicate that the said event falls within the purview of scope of enquiry that this commission is required  to make,” it said.

The Commission however, made it clear that it was open for Bhatt and Sreekumar to file an affidavit and give further details with respect to the said event to enable the Commission to decide whether it was relevant or likely to help its inquiry.








PIL against rejuvenation camp

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 06.40AM IST

MADURAI: Seeking to restrain the state government from conducting the elephant rejuvenation camp at Mudumalai, a public interest litigation was filed on Tuesday in the Madurai bench of the Madras high court.

V Sundararaj, an advocate and environmentalist has filed a petition seeking to quash the GO passed by the state government on December 5 and also quash the same as illegal. He also sought the court to consequently direct the authorities to conduct the camp region-wise instead of conducting the same at Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. The petitioner said that the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has the highest density of tigers in the country.

“The National Tiger Conservation Authority should not permit the state to conduct the rejuvenation camp since the reserve is an ecologically sensitive area,” he contended. “The elephants are not expected to travel such a long distance that too in the hilly area. Further, without any medical advice the transportation cannot be permitted for such a long distance. Contagious diseases and the possibility of infection to wild animals from the domestic captivated elephant has not been taken into consideration.







Transport policy PIL misleading, say Badals–say-Badals/887674/

Express news service

Posted: Wed Dec 14 2011, 03:39 hrsChandigarh:

Terming the petition filed challenging the alleged manipulations made in Punjab government’s transport policy as “mischievous, misleading and based on surmises”, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Tuesday filed their responses in the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

Raising eyebrows over the “bonafides” of petitioner Barrister Himmat Singh Shergill, the CM and his deputy submitted that the petitioner has not conducted any investigation of his own and filed a petition purely on the basis of newspaper items. They added that “the very timing of filing the petition throws up various questions as to the motive behind this action”.

The reply stated: “The policy was adopted in 2007, yet the petition has been filed in October 2011, a few months before the Assembly elections, casting serious doubts on the timing of the petition.






PIL challenges V-C reappointment

Chandigarh The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to Punjab on a petition challenging the re-appointment of Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia as Vice-Chancellor of Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib. The notices have been issued on a petition filed by one Kuljit Singh Nagra, resident of Fatehgarh Sahib on the ground that Ahluwalia is aged around 77 years and that as per the norms laid down by the Centre, the age of superannuation of a vice-chancellor is 70 years. The High Court has asked Punjab government to respond to the petition.







PIL against BBMP

Express News Service The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been filed against the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike for leasing and renting properties to educational institutions, health centres and private individuals for 99 years, taking meagre amount.
S Umesh, advocate and president of the Five Years Law Course Advocates Association, filed a petition against the BBMP alleging that the civic body had not initiated any action against those who had taken the property on lease, and sub-leased the same for higher prices, making huge profits. He stated that some of the lessees have sub-leased the property for a higher rent.
Information obtained under RTI Act revealed that a 3,000-square yard property leased out at Rs 100 in 1976 on Miller’s Tank Bund Road, has now been sub-leased for Rs 28 lakh to a third-party.







HC Bench orders notice to Centre on KKNPP

Express News Service The New Indian Express

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, on Monday directed� issue of� notice to the Union Government on a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking a directive� to make Koodankulum Nuclear Power Project (KKNPP) operational. Originally, R Sankaranarayanan, president of the Theni District Congress Committee of Traders Cell, filed the PIL stating that the nuclear plant should become operational in order to overcome the power crisis facing Tamil Nadu. He further stated that the economy of the nation would be affected if the plant was not operational since it was built at a cost of Rs 13,500 crores.

On Monday, when the matter came up for hearing before a Division Bench comprising� Justice K N Basha and Justice M Venugopal,� the Bench directed issue of notice to the Union Government returnable within three weeks.

ANOTHER PIL: Meanwhile, K Santhakumar, a Madurai based advocate, filed a fresh PIL� seeking the� commissioning of the KKNPP.

� In his petition, Santhakumar alleged that the poor and innocent people of Idinthakarai village were being misled with false claims and once they are enlightened with the truth,�� they would change their stance. Santhakumar also said that the plant was perfectly safe, but the machinery and materials might be subjected to disuse if they are kept idle without functioning. Therefore, he sought the intervention of the court to make the nuclear plant operational.









High Court issues notices to UT on removal of unauthorised VVIP security tents

Express news serviceTags : Punjab and Haryana High Court, Advocate Aalok Jagga, PILPosted: Wed Dec 14 2011, 01:37 hrsChandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notices to Chandigarh Administration on an application moved by Advocate Aalok Jagga wherein he has sought removal of all encroachments done on “public land/green belt”.

Jagga is the amicus curiae in the ongoing public interest litigation (PIL) demanding removal of unauthorised security tents put up by VVIPs. So that the city beautiful remains green, the amicus curiae had filed a report requesting the High Court to direct the Administration to remove all encroachments done on “public land/ green belt”.

Jagga has sought immediate removal of all the encroachments done by “occupants of official accommodation”. Jagga had alleged that the Administration had turned a blind eye towards the “glaring encroachments” done by public servants.

Jagga has averred that the scope of the PIL pending adjudication should not remain confined to removal of unauthorised security tents and that the encroachments should also be removed to keep the city clean and green.

“Various instances in the city where occupants of official residences have encroached upon the abutting green belt by including the same into their official residences which otherwise as per law, are required to be kept vacant and unencroached in tune with the policy of Chandigarh Administration to maintain the green belt. The same is either being done by putting up fences, temporary barbed wires, pillars with high green bushes etc. With this, the abutting green belt is also included in the private area allocated to them which is impermissible”, reads the application filed by Jagga in the High Court. Jagga has submitted that “the Administration has not taken any steps to ensure the green belt remains green and that there is no encroachment”.

Also, the amicus curiae has sought directions from the High Court that “a status report be also filed depicting the extent of violations being done in such manner in order to enable effective monitoring of the same”.










15% EWS quota only at entry level: UT

Express news serviceTags : UT Administration, EWS, Sanjay KaushalPosted: Wed Dec 14 2011, 02:03 hrsChandigarh:

The UT Administration on Tuesday maintained that 15 per cent reservation for students belonging to the economically weaker sections (EWS) can be allowed only at the school entry level. The statement was made by the senior standing counsel for the UT, Advocate Sanjay Kaushal, during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by social activist Hemant Goswami. The petitioner has sought directions to the Administration to tell schools to reserve 15 per cent seats for disadvantaged children in all classes and not just at the entry level. Kaushal averred that if allowed in each section, students belonging to the EWS category would face several problems. He also read out the affidavit filed on the last date of hearing.

Meanwhile, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has issued notices to the Chandigarh Administration on an application filed by Goswami. The petitioner has demanded a stay on filling of vacant seats in all sections of a school so that children belonging to the EWS category can be granted admission in all the sections.

The High Court has issued notices to the UT asking it to explain why the filling of seats should not be stayed. The High Court, on the request of the petitioner, has also impleaded the Chandigarh commissioner of income tax and the UT registrar-cum-tehsildar (trusts) as respondents to the petition.

Arguing on behalf of the petitioner, Advocate APS Shergill submitted that since the educational institutions have also registered their societies/ trusts with the Registrar of Societies by making a declaration about the non-profit and philanthropic nature of their societies, the two are necessary to be impleaded as parties. Shergill also vehemently argued that the Administration cannot escape from implementing the necessary provisions laid down by the Union government.

He said that the UT is under Constitutional obligation to reserve 15 per cent seats in all classes in the schools.








City Briefs : Bandh hits 7 colleges—Bandh-hits-7-colleges/887611/

Express news service

CHANDIGARH: Functioning of seven private aided city colleges, including house exams, was affected due to a 72-hour bandh which was started on Tuesday by the Punjab and Chandigarh College Teachers Union (PCCTU) and other associations of teaching and non teaching college staff. It was followed by a candle march in the evening.

HC notice on tents

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday issued notices to the UT on an application moved by Advocate Aalok Jagga wherein he has sought removal of all encroachments on “public land/ green belt”. Jagga is the amicus curiae in the ongoing PIL demanding removal of unauthorised security tents by VVIPs.









Mullaperiyar Dam: Navy ready for rescue efforts

Express News Service The New Indian Express

KOCHI: Responding to a request by the state government, the Indian Navy on Monday filed its official reply on the necessary steps that it can take in case the Mullaperiyar dam bursts.

According to highly placed sources, the Navy said it would be able to provide medical help along with other essential disaster support equipment in case of a dam break.

A communication from the Southern Naval Command, on behalf of the Indian Navy, was given to Additional Solicitor General P Parameswaran Nair on Monday in this regard. The Navy was asked for a response based on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed before the High Court regarding the safety of the people in connection with the Mullaperiyar issue.

In the response, the Navy said it would be able to provide medical help, aviation assets, boats and other watercraft to deal with an emergency situation, sources said. The communication from the Navy further said that further action can be taken on the basis of instructions from the Headquarters (Integrated Defence).

In case of a disaster, directions issued from the National Disaster Management Authority would be followed. The Navy can also coordinate the required efforts based on the directions issued, according to the communication.

The headquarters of the Integrated Defence Staff (Operations Branch) under the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has already been assigned with the task of coordinating response to disasters at national and International levels. When asked,� Parameswaran Nair confirmed that a communication from the Navy has been received.

However, he refused to comment on its content before filing it.

The state government had earlier submitted before the Kerala High Court that it had sought assistance from the Navy and the Territorial Army to deal with any emergency situation that may arise in case of a dam break. More than 10 PILs were filed before the High Court seeking the court’s intervention on the Mullaperiyar dam� issue.












Now, law student wants three more gold medals

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 09.18AM IST

VADODARA: Remember Muniruddin Shaikh? The law student whose name was first dropped by M S University from the list of gold medalist was later conferred a gold medal during last year’s annual convocation.

Ahead of MSU’s 60th annual convocation scheduled on December 17, Shaikh is once again running from pillar to post. This time he is claiming that instead of four gold medals that MSU should confer upon him, the university officials have considered him only for one gold medal.

Shaikh who has just completed LLB (special) this academic year with first class and obtained highest number of marks as a regular student says his name has been dropped as another student, who is not regular, has scored three marks more than him.

MSU’s Faculty of Law has decided not to award three medals to either of them. But Shaikh says that like last year, when his name was added in the list of gold medalist, MSU should re-consider and add his name in the list of three other gold medals.

Advocate and senate member Kamal Pandya, submitted a memorandum to MSU vice-chancellor professor Yogesh Singh on Tuesday requesting that the student’s name should be added in the list of gold medalist.

According to Pandya, the conditions to confer three other gold medals are clear. “For eligibility for these three gold medals the student should be securing the highest number of marks and should be regular throughout three year and passed each semester at the first attempt,” Pandya says, adding that as the other student who has scored 635 marks is not a regular one, the three gold medals should go to Shaikh, who has scored 632 marks as a regular student.

Last year too ahead of the 59th annual convocation, MSU had added Shaikh’s name in the list of gold medalist at last moment. Shaikh had got 67 marks in the subject of Hindu law in third semester but as another girl, who had not appeared as a regular student, had obtained 70 marks, the faculty had not considered either of them for the gold medal. It was after the then vice-chancellor professor Ramesh Goyal intervened that Shaikh was added in the list of gold medalists.











Govt ‘chargesheets’ cop with CD on riot calls, gets CAT notice

Ahmedabad Ahmedabad bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Tuesday issued notice to the Gujarat government in connection with a petition moved by IPS officer Rahul Sharma, wherein the latter has challenged the departmental chargesheet issued against him by the state government claiming immunity against any such departmental proceedings as he is a witness before the Nanavati-Mehta Commission. Further hearing is kept for January 12 next year.

Sharma has been issued the chargesheet for not returning the original Compact Discs (CDs) containing 2002 mobile call data to the concerned authorities at the relevant time.

Among others, Sharma has challenged the chargesheet on the ground that he has deposed before the state government-appointed Nanavati-Mehta Commission in connection with the said CDs and under the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, he enjoys immunity against any civil or criminal action by the state government in connection with the same.

Sharma’s lawyer Mukul Sinha said under the provisions of Section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act, the state government cannot initiate any criminal or civil action against a witness in connection with the material on which he has deposed. “Here, Sharma has deposed before the Commission with reference to the said CDs and therefore the state government cannot issue him the departmental chargesheet,” said Sinha.

“The tribunal has issued notice to the state government on this particular issue of immunity to Sharma. After deciding on this particular issue, if necessary, the tribunal would hear the state government on other grounds raised by us subsequently,” Sinha said.

He also added that though Chief Minister Narendra Modi has also been named by Sharma as one of the respondents to the petition, the tribunal has issued notice to the state government to decide on the issue of immunity to Sharma first.

Sharma, presently posted at Rajkot as the Deputy Inspector General of Police (Armed Unit), has also alleged that the Narendra Modi Government is acting with malafide intention against him.

The chargesheet was issued to Sharma in August this year for not giving the original CDs to the concerned authorities of the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch (DCB) which was probing into some gruesome 2002 riots cases like Gulberg Society, Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam. Sharma had got the CDs prepared in 2002 when he was assisting and supervising the probe into these cases under the instructions of the then Ahmedabad Police Commissioner, K R Kaushik.










Cabinet okays three anti-graft bills

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 02.07AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Union Cabinet on Tuesday passed three anti-corruption legislations but home minister P Chidambaram is believed to have raised some points about provisions ofCitizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill and the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill.

The third bill to be cleared was the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, popularly known asthe bill to protect whistleblowers.

Sources said Chidambaram pointed out that many states already had citizens’ charter. He said a practical anomaly would be created if there were two citizens’ charters. Which one would prevail, he asked. In case the Centre’s charter prevails, what happens to the system created by the state government.

As for Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, Chidambaram is believed to have expressed reservation about the provision barring judges from letting his/her relatives and social acquaintances from practising on the same court. However, the cornered government is in no mood to delay these legislations further. Sources said the Cabinet felt that unresolved issues could be taken up during Parliament debate on these bills.

Key Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said the drafts of the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill and citizens’ charter bill were bad. “If the same bills are passed, then it will be a big setback,” he said. Team Anna had criticised the judicial accountability bill earlier saying that it did not deal with corruption in judiciary or appointments of judges.

However, the activists were cautious as the new drafts could have amendments that address these concerns. Aruna Roy-led National Campaign for People’s Right to Information also criticized the draft grievance redress draft saying the structure was faulty and would leave state grievance redress commissions burdened with complaints.

Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill provides safeguards to whistleblowers who complain against corruption or misuse of authority in the government. The bill makes it binding on heads of departments and other authorities to keep secret the identity of a whistleblower. Anyone revealing the identity of a whistleblower can be punished with jail term of three years as well as a fine of Rs 50,000. Anyone trying to misuse the whistleblower protection by making false disclosures can be punished with a two-year jail term.

The bill covers employees of the Centre and state governments as well as any government company or society where government has administrative control. As of now, the Central Vigilance Commission is empowered by a government resolution (No 89 of April 21, 2004) as the designated authority to receive complaints from whistleblowers.

The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill lays down judicial standards and provides for accountability of judges, both in the Supreme Court and high courts. It establishes a credible mechanism for investigating individual complaints against judges. It provides for the establishment of various mechanisms to administer the bill including a National Judicial Oversight Committee comprising a retired Chief Justice of India as the chairperson, a judge of the Supreme Court and the chief justice of a high court, the attorney general of India and an eminent person to be nominated by the President.

The bill enables the declaration of assets and liabilities of judges and prevents close relatives and social acquaintances of judges from practising in the same courts. It also prevents judges from making unsubstantiated comments on persons holding constitutional office or statutory bodies not connected with a case.

The Citizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill 2011 aims to institutionalize a mechanism to ensure delivery of public services in a time-bound manner and redress of public grievances. The key recommendations of the bill include a citizens’ charter, and that a protocol will be put in place. The bill will cover central schemes and central government departments and provide a platform to states to make this a grievance redress mechanism for state schemes and departments.

The bill incorporates the institution of information and facilitation centre in all public authorities to ensure that citizens can be facilitated and grievances are systematically recorded and tracked using telephone, SMS and internet. The first level redress, along the lines of the RTI Act, will be within the department concerned through a grievance redress officer in each department.

If the citizen if unhappy, he or she can go to the head of the department of the public authority. States will be expected to set up a second level of appellate authorities.

Whistleblowers Bill Officially called the Public Interest Disclosure and Protection to Persons Making the Disclosures Bill, it provides safeguards to whistleblowers who complain against corruption or misuse of authority in the government. The bill makes it binding on heads of departments and other authorities to keep secret the identity of a whistleblower. Anyone revealing the identity of a whistleblower can be punished with jail term of three years as well as fine of Rs 50,000. Anyone trying to misuse the whistleblower protection by making false disclosures can be punished with a two-year jail term.

The bill covers employees of the Centre and state governments as well as any government company or societies where government has administrative control. As of now, the Central Vigilance Commission is empowered by a government resolution (No 89 of April 21, 2004) as the designated authority to receive complaints from whistleblowers.

Judicial Accountability Bill The Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill lays down standards and provides for accountability of judges, both in the Supreme Court and high courts. It establishes a credible mechanism for investigating individual complaints against judges. It provides for the establishment of various mechanisms to administer the bill including a National Judicial Oversight Committee comprising a retired CJI as the chairperson, a judge of the SC and the chief justice of an HC, the attorney general of India and an eminent person to be nominated by the President. The bill also prevents judges from making unsubstantiated comments on persons holding constitutional office or statutory bodies not connected with a case.

The bill enables the declaration of assets and liabilities of judges, and prevents close relatives and social acquaintances of judges from practising in the same court.

Grievance Redressal bill One of the key demands of Team Anna has been to provide a mechanism for redress of citizens’ complaints to ensure that government delivers on its assurances whether it is providing a passport within a month or the correct quantity of ration from the public distribution shop. The Citizens Right to Grievance Redress Bill 2011 aims to institutionalize a mechanism to ensure delivery of public services in a time-bound manner and redress of public grievances. The key recommendations of the bill include a citizens’ charter, and that a protocol will be put in place. The bill will cover central schemes and central government departments, provide a platform to states to make this a grievance redress mechanism for state schemes and departments.

The bill incorporates the institution of information and facilitation centre in all public authorities to ensure that citizens can be facilitated and grievances are systematically recorded and tracked using telephone, SMS and internet. The first level redress, along the lines of the RTI Act, will be within the department concerned through a grievance redress officer in each department. If the citizen if unhappy, he/she can go to the head of the department of the public authority. States will be expected to set up a second level of appellate authorities.









2G: Raja seeks copy of chargesheet against Ruias

Former telecom minister A Raja and 16 co-accused, against whom the trial has already begun in the 2G case, today told a Delhi court that they be given copies of the third chargesheet filed against Essar group promoters Anshuman and Ravi Ruia and six others in the matter. Responding to

the demand, special CBI judge O P Saini said the present accused may be supplied copies of the fresh chargesheet after he was convinced that it would “impact” their case.

“I am a judge. I recognise my duties. If it (chargesheet) impacts you (other 17 accused), then I will surely supply the charge sheet to you,” the judge said, adding “Let me decide on it first.” The court’s observation came when defence counsel Vijay Aggarwal said as the CBI had filed the second supplementary chargesheet in the same case, the present set of accused be also supplied the same.

“This is a second supplementary charge sheet in the case and if this is not an independent charge sheet then it should be supplied to us as well,” he said.

Anshuman Ruia, Ravi Ruia, Loop Telecom promoters Kiran Khaitan, her husband I P Khaitan and Essar Group director (Strategy and Planning) Vikas Saraf have been made accused by the CBI in its third chargesheet arising out of the probe in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Besides these five, Loop Telecom Pvt Ltd, Loop Mobile India Ltd and Essar Tele Holding have been named as accused in the charge sheet filed yesterday in the special court.

The court has fixed December 17 for taking cognizance of the 105-page-long charge sheet for prosecution on offences of cheating and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the eight accused.







Bombay High Court defers judgement on death sentence in 2003 blasts case

Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court has deferred its judgement on the death sentence awarded by a trial court to three accused in the twin blasts at Mumbai’s Gateway of India and Zaveri Bazaar in 2003. The blasts, which took place within minutes of each other during the lunch hour, killed 52 people and injured 184.

The trial court had found the three, Ashrat Ansari (32), his aide Hanif Sayed Anees (46) and Hanif’s wife Fehmida Sayed (43), guilty of planting powerful bombs in two taxis which exploded on August 25, 2003 at the two busy spots in the metropolis. They were convicted by the trial court in August 2009 under provisions of the Indian Penal Code, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA), the Explosives Substances Act and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act, and were sentenced to death.

The accused had then appealed against their conviction and sentence in the High Court. Today’s High Court order came from a Division Bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice P D Kode, which also heard the prosecution’s arguments seeking confirmation of the death penalty.

The police had said that some Pakistani nationals owing allegiance to the terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) were behind the attack. The prosecution contended that the conspiracy was hatched in Dubai by Hanif and Ashrat along with another accused, Nasir, who was killed in a police encounter. Police said it was a unique instance of the LeT using members of a family to carry out a terror strike.
According to the prosecution, on the day of the blasts, Hanif Sayed Anees – a former Mumbai auto-rickshaw driver who had gone to Dubai and returned only that year – and his wife Fehmida, arrived at the Gateway of India in a taxi that they had hired from Andheri station. There they allegedly left a bag filled with explosives in the cab and requested the driver to wait till they returned after having lunch. The taxi driver left the vehicle briefly, when the explosion occurred, the police said.

The police had also arrested the 16-year-old daughter of Hanif and Fehmida, who was present in the taxi, for allegedly aiding her parents. But she was later discharged from the case since she was a minor.

The driver of the taxi, Shivnarayan Vasudev Pandey, became a key witness in the case and identified the accused during the trial.

Ashrat Ansari was charged with planting the bomb which exploded in a taxi parked in Zaveri Bazar, the busy jewellery market. His modus operandi, the police said, was much the same. They said Ansari too left a bag containing explosives in the taxi and had asked the driver to wait.

The three were the first to be arrested in the case, less than a week after the twin blasts. Two more accused, Mohammed Ansari Ladoowala and Mohammed Hasan Batterywala, were arrested later and charged under POTA. Both were, however, discharged from the case in 2008 after the Supreme Court upheld a POTA review committee report that said that there was no case against them.

Another accused turned approver during the course of the trial and revealed the role that the LeT allegedly played in planning and executing the blasts. This accused was pardoned by the trial court after the prosecution requested that he be discharged from the case.

This was one of the few blasts cases in which the police managed to secure a conviction, the others being the 26/11 attack and the 1993 blasts. The motive, the police claimed, was to avenge attacks on Muslims during the post-Godhra riots in Gujarat in 2002.













Builders skirt SC order, sell parking slots

Nauzer K Bharucha, TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 06.12AM IST

Ravi Kukreja (name changed) received an ultimatum from his builder last month. He was asked to pay Rs 6 lakh in cash before November 30 for a parking slot in an upcoming residential building in Goregaon (W). “If I missed the deadline, the amount would increase to Rs 8 lakh from December 1,” said a shocked Kukreja, who has booked a 1,700-sq-ft apartment for Rs 1.2 crore. “The builder’s staff warned me they would cancel my booking by month-end and return the money. I have decided to fight it out,” he said.

In Kharghar, a developer asked Sandeep Shah to shell out Rs 5 lakh for parking. “The apartment we booked is itself Rs 45 lakh. There is no choice but to pay up,” he said. In Vashi, another builder is charging Rs 15 lakh for a single car park.

Residents of Mumbai and surrounding regions face daily frustration due to improper parking infrastructure. Even when the infrastructure is there, they are unfairly charged too much for it. It was no surprise then that the respondents in The Times Of India-IMRB Quality Of Life Survey rated parking facilities as poor in all eight mega-cities. Delhi’s and Mumbai’s facilities were considered the best, but the cities scored a poor 2.1 and 2, respectively, on a scale of 1 to 5.






Lawyers boycott courts, stage demonstration

More than 2,000 lawyers in the sessions and various other sub-ordinate judiciary courts boycotted courts and staged a demonstration on Monday demanding that Kerala should abide by the Supreme Court order and honour the rights of Tamil Nadu over Mullaperiyar Dam. Lawyers led by Bar Association president P. Nandakumar and secretary Richard urged the Centre to intervene and ensure an amicable solution to the simmering dispute between the two States over the issue. The demonstration took place at the sessions court entrance on Arts College road, while another section of lawyers burnt the copies of Kerala-based newspapers at the other gate of the sessions court complex.






22 acquitted in rioting case

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

Mumbai, Dec 13 (PTI) A local court today acquitted 22 persons, including a religious figure and two women, in a 2007 rioting case here. The Sessions Court let off these people after the prosecution failed to prove the charges against them. “The case was registered against 23 people, of which one is absconding. The court acquitted 22 people today,” said defence advocate P Dua. The incident occurred on October 24, 2007, when a Crime Branch team came to National Market here to arrest one Ballu. According to the police, they were stopped by the locals from arresting Ballu. There was a scuffle between police and the local people which was followed by stone pelting, in which some policemen were injured, they said. A case of rioting and unlawful assembly was registered against 23 people, including Imam of Hari Masjid and two women.






Court rejects anticipatory bail plea of former corporator

PTI | 09:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

Mumbai, Dec 13(PTI)The sessions court today rejected the anticipatory bail application filed by former Colaba corporator Puran Doshi in a rape case. The Colaba police had registered a case of rape after a 38-year old women lodged a complaint on December 9 that she was raped in 2007 by Doshi. While Doshi in his bail application said that he was innocent and it was a false case, the court rejected the bail application. “The anticipatory bail of Doshi was rejected today”, said public prosecutor Dileep Shah.






Gangster acquitted in Pune

Published: Tuesday, Dec 13, 2011, 12:28 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

A sessions court has acquitted dreaded gangster Gajanan Marne and his six accomplices in an attempt to murder case for lack of evidence and discrepancy in investigation.

The judge stated in his order that “all the memorandum statements and discovery panchnamas as to seizure of weapons and firearms appears to have been made by the investigating officer (IO) in the police station with the help of professional panchas. Therefore, all the panchas did not support the prosecution case.”

On Thursday, additional sessions judge VK Shewale acquitted Marne alias Gajya Pandharinath Marne (46), Srikant alias Babya Sambhaji Pawar (23), Ganesh Namdeo Hundare (27), Bapu Srimant Bagal (24), Pradeep Dattatraya Kandhare (26), Sagar Kalyan Rajput (24) and Shashank Maruti Bodke (23) of Kothrud.

According to the prosecution’s case, on May 13, 2009, businessman Sameer Madan Patil and his friends were driving home near Vanaz company from Chandni Chowk when Marne and his gang had allegedly opened fire and attacked with swords on the car near Bhusari Colony in Kothrud.

Patil, his friends Rajshekhar Birajdar, Ashok Patil and driver Navnath Deokar had escaped with minor injuries.







Can’t escape maintenance payments by saying talaq’

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 01.21AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court has scuttled a 37-year-old Akola resident’s attempt to escape paying maintenance to his estranged wife by claiming that he had pronounced ‘talaq’ thrice to her.

Referring to a full bench order, Justice A P Bhangale said merely pronouncing talaq thrice would not suffice and a Muslim would have to prove that he had divorced his wife following all the procedures. The judge dismissed Salim Khan’s plea that he was no longer required to pay maintenance to his wife, Sania, as he had divorced her according to the Quran command.

“Considering the facts and circumstances, it does appear that (Khan) pleaded divorce in order to avoid paying maintenance,” said Justice Bhangale.

Citing a 2007 full bench judgment of the court, he said, “Mere statement made in writing before the court or in oral depositions regarding talaq having been pronounced in the past is not sufficient to hold that the husband has divorced his wife and the divorce is in keeping with the diktats of Islam.” The law requires that evidence should be submitted by the husband that he had communicated reasons for the talaq, had appointed an arbitrator to reconcile with his wife and establish that the situation had come to such a pass that it was impossible to continue the marital relationship.

“This is required to be proved as condition precedent for the husband’s right to give talaq to his wife in accordance with Muslim law,” said the judge. Khan had produced a person who claimed that he was an eye-witness to the divorce, but the High Court termed his evidence “shaky”. Khan’s lawyers also claimed that his wife was required to prove neglect to claim maintenance under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Sania had moved a magistrates’ court in 2002, seeking maintenance for her and her child.

The magistrate denied her maintenance, but in 2003, a sessions court directed Khan to pay Rs 750 to her every month. Khan challenged the order in the High Court, claiming that his wife was not entitled to maintenance as he had divorced her. Sania’s lawyers pointed out that a 2010 Supreme Court judgment had gone further and held that a divorced wife could claim maintenance till she remarried.

The court dismissed Khan’s petition. Khan then urged the court to reduce the amount of maintenance as his wife was earning money from tailoring. The HC, however, told him that he was at liberty to approach the trial court with his claim and refused to interfere with the quantum of maintenance.








Khurshid admits justice delivery system slow

Admitting that the justice delivery system in the country was slow, the government on Tuesday said efforts were on to ensure matters are decided in courts within three to five years.

“I cannot comment on legal system procedures and rule of law,” Law Minister Salman Khurshid said when asked about the delay in Afzal Guru case.

However, he said, “We are not entirely happy with the pace at which the rule of law is implemented in our country and that is a reason why we have a mission for justice delivery.”

Speaking to reporters outside Parliament House, he said, “The Chief Justice has spoken of this and my predecessor has spoken of it and we are moving ahead with the mission and an enormous amount of effort has to be put in to ensure that matters are decided in courts within three to five years and nothing should go beyond five years.”

“However,” he said, “there are still some cases which go beyond five years.

“We want quick justice in all matters. This (Parliament attack) is of course a symbolic and significant event that we cannot easily forget but nevertheless even for such an event there is not much one can do except to hope that our entire system learns to respond in a much faster manner,” he added.







NHRC asks Punjab to pay Rs 5 lakh to dead jail inmate’s kin

PTI | 06:12 PM,Dec 14,2011

New Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today asked the Punjab government to pay Rs five lakh as compensation in a case of inmate’s death in an Amritsar prison. Holding prison authorities responsible for the death of Sukhchain Singh, the NHRC has recommended payment of Rs five lakh as monetary relief to the next of his kin. Singh died while he was serving his sentence in Central Jail at Amritsar. The jail inmate was lodged in the prison since 22nd September, 2004. The NHRC intervened in the matter on intimation from jail authorities and called for the requisite reports from Chief Secretary of Punjab. In response, the Director General of Police (Prison) informed the Commission that in July 2009 Singh was beaten up by jail warden and subsequently died while undergoing treatment. There have been a number of such cases in various jails of the country wherein the prison authorities have been under the scanner over the death of an inmate.








SC declines to entertain Achuthanandan’s plea against Pillai’s release

TNN | Dec 13, 2011, 11.55PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain former Kerala chief minister V S Achuthanandan’s petition accusing theOomen Chandy government of releasing Kerala Congress-B leader R Balakrishna Pillai by granting him remission of sentence in breach of a February judgment of the SC, which had convicted him in the Idamalayar corruption case and awarded a year’s jail term.

On the basis of an October 24 government order, the 78-year-old Pillai was released along with 137 other prisoners on November 1 on the occasion of Kerala’s 55th formation day.

Achuthanandan’s counsel, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam, attempted to convince a reluctant bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan by arguing that all states were duty bound to honour the apex court’s judgments under Article 144 of the Constitution, which said “all authorities, civil and judicial, in the territory of India shall act in aid of the Supreme Court”.

But the bench stuck to its ground and asked, “Is it for the Supreme Court to monitor implementation of its judgment? Whether the state government had no power to grant remission? Every government has certain parameters for releasing prisoners from jail by granting remission of sentence. You (petitioner) can go to the high court and test the release of Pillai against the rules permitting grant of remission.”

It added, “Unfortunately, our present set-up allows the states to use so many grounds to grant remission. The apex court upholds death penalty in so many cases, but it is ultimately left to the executive to do its job under the Constitution.” Achuthanandan’s counsel withdrew the petition with liberty to move Kerala High Court.

Pillai had started serving the jail term after surrendering before the Idamalayar special court on February 18 in the case dating back to 1980 when he was electricity minister in the Congress-ledUnited Democratic Front government.

Achuthanandan had claimed that during the period of incarceration, Pillai spent a long period in a private hospital for treatment and also violated prison rules by using mobile phones.

The bench said, “We are neither approving nor faulting the grounds of appeal. But right or wrong, the state has granted remission to Pillai. You have to challenge it in appropriate forum, not in Supreme Court.”







Glenmark in legal row with Napo Pharma

It was a collaboration that would have resulted in a proud first for the Indian pharmaceutical industry, but has landed in a legal tangle instead.

Glenmark Pharma has sought that an arbitration panel of the American Arbitration Association issue an interim order to direct its collaborator Napo Pharmaceuticals of the U.S. to comply with the terms of their collaboration agreement.

Glenmark, along with Napo and Salix Pharmaceuticals USA, had developed Crofelemer, a molecule initially discovered by Napo and used in treatment of diarrhoea in HIV positive patients. Glenmark entered into an agreement with Napo in July 2005, to synthesize Crofelemer and has successfully extracted and stabilised the compound. However, Napo terminated the agreement on November 10.

In a statement, Glenmark said it had filed an arbitration notice against Napo to obtain a declaration regarding the exclusive marketing and distribution rights that were granted to it as part of the collaboration agreement. “The subsequent press release of Napo claiming termination is completely unfounded and seems to be a reaction to the arbitration proceedings initiated by Glenmark. Napo doesn’t have any basis to terminate the contract and Glenmark has sought a declaration from the arbitration panel that Napo’s claims of breach are unfounded. The same panel will also rule regarding clarification of marketing rights as requested by Glenmark in the previous appeal.”

As per the agreement, Glenmark holds the exclusive rights to distribute Crofelemer in 140 countries while Salix would sell it in the regulated markets of North America, Japan and Europe. In August, Glenmark had filed an arbitration claim against Napo to disallow Crofelemer sales in the 140 countries through relief agencies. Glenmark received $15 million from Salix Pharma towards upgrading its API (active pharma ingredient) manufacturing facility for Crofelemer in July. Once commercialised, Glenmark would pay Napo a royalty of 10-15 per cent of sales while Salix will pay Glenmark the cost plus mark-up for the API, which would be synthesized at its U.S. plant.

Glenmark has the intellectual property (IP) and Salix has invested in conducting the clinical trials but Napo has raised the issue after completion of Phase 3 clinical trials. The next step involves filing an NDA (new drug application) with the US FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration), which takes around nine months.

Besides, Glenmark is conducting clinical trials for Crofelemer in cases of Acute Diarrhoea and paediatric Diarrhoea and Phase 2 trials would be completed before March 2012. Glenmark said that it “continues to develop Crofelemer for all indications that we have rights to. Filing timelines will be dependent on the availability of the complete regulatory dossier data. We anticipate such filings to begin in the rest of the world markets in 2012 and hope to obtain approvals by the first half of 2014 as planned.

The regulatory submission is dependent on a complete data package, which includes important elements in addition to the Phase 3 data.

Also, a U.S. dossier serves as an important starting point for customization for the rest of the world markets and in most emerging markets, a developed market approval is also considered obligatory prior to approval.”







Supreme Court tells Kerala, Tamil Nadu not to arouse people’s feelings

The HinduThe Supreme Court has asked Tamil Nadu to ensure that water level of the Mullaperiyar Dam does not exceed 136 feet but declined to entertain Kerala’s plea for reducing the level to 120 feet.

There is nothing serious, grave or emergent about the safety of the Mullaperiyar dam warranting our interference at this stage, the Supreme Court observed on Tuesday and asked Tamil Nadu and Kerala not to arouse people’s feelings and create a fear psychosis.

The Empowered Committee, headed by the former Chief Justice of India, A.S. Anand, was looking into all aspects regarding the safety of the dam and no order was required at this stage, observed a five-judge Constitution Bench comprising Justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, C.K. Prasad, Deepak Verma and Anil R. Dave.

The Bench, however, said the apprehensions of Kerala regarding the safety of the dam could not be brushed aside since the water level in the dam had gone up beyond 136 ft on four days from November 26 to December 2, coupled with earthquakes.

Rejecting arguments of senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for Tamil Nadu, that Kerala was creating fear psychosis and Tamil Nadu wanted to allay the apprehensions, Justice Jain said: “You can’t say these apprehensions have no basis. Why did you [Tamil Nadu] allow the water level to go beyond 136 ft when our status quo order is in operation. You are obliged to ensure that the water level is maintained at 136 ft. May be the increase in water level, coupled with earthquakes is a cause of concern to Kerala.”

The Bench made it clear to Tamil Nadu that it should maintain the water level at 136 ft.

Mr. Ramachandran said there was a self-correcting mechanism. The sluices were kept open and water beyond 136 ft would automatically spill over; whether the level went beyond 136 ft on four days as claimed by Kerala had to be verified.

The Bench was hearing applications filed by Kerala, to reduce the water level in the dam from 136 ft to 120 ft, and Tamil Nadu for deployment of CISF for protection of the dam and to pass an order to restrain Kerala Ministers and officials from making statements creating fear psychosis among the people about the safety of the dam.

While dismissing as not pressed Kerala’s application, Justice Jain told senior counsel P.P. Rao, appearing for Kerala: “The whole gamut of the controversy is before the empowered committee. The fact that the committee has decided to inspect the dam shows it is seized of the matter.”

Justice Lodha supplemented Justice Jain saying “if the situation is so grave and serious, the committee would have sought our intervention and sought an order from us. It shows that the situation at the ground level is not that grave as projected by you [Kerala].There is nothing serious or grave which requires modification in the order. Let the committee go into all aspects and submit its report to the court. We will not pass any order or give any direction now.”

Mr. Rao replied that the apprehensions “are genuine and not fanciful as made out to be.” Justice Lodha regretted that both the parties, instead of dousing the fire, were adding fuel to it.”






High Court all set to turn into a fortress

The stage is all set for fortifying the Madras High Court Bench here as the 128 unarmed police personnel deputed in the court campus since November 22 are awaiting the receipt of brand new gadgets such as explosive vapour detectors, letter bomb detectors, electronic stethoscopes, speed dome cameras, closed-circuit televisions, digital video recorders, still cameras and walkie-talkies among others.

The Director General of Police had written a letter to the Home Secretary on September 20 seeking sanction of Rs. 2.3 crore for purchasing security apparatus to be used in the Principal Seat of the High Court in Chennai and Rs. 84 lakh for the Madurai Bench. He had also sought Rs. 8.61 lakh for purchasing arms and ammunition for the use of the police personnel on duty.

After considering his proposal, the Home (Police XII) Department had issued a Government Order (G.O.) on October 13 sanctioning Rs. 2,29,75,500 for purchasing the equipments required for the Principal Seat in Chennai and Rs. 83.89 lakh for the Madurai Bench.

The sanction was made in order to implement a comprehensive security system in the two High Court complexes.

As per the G.O., the Madurai Bench would get five multi-zone metal detectors costing Rs. 2 lakh each, 10 hand held metal detectors costing Rs. 8,000 each, two deep search metal detectors at a cost of Rs. 83,500 each, two explosive vapour detectors at a cost of Rs. 14.5 lakh, one non-linear junction detector at a cost of Rs. 7 lakh and one electronic stethoscope at a cost of Rs. 3 lakh.

The other equipments to be procured include one portable x-ray inspection system at a cost of Rs. 12.5 lakh, five search lights at a cost of Rs. 6,000 each, three under-vehicle trolley mirror at a cost Rs. 2,500 each, 10 extension search mirrors at a cost of Rs. 1,000 each, four day-vision binoculars costing Rs. 20,000 each and four night-vision binoculars costing Rs.45,000 each.

Funds have also been granted to procure two letter bomb detectors costing Rs. 2,500 each, two RSP (render safe procedure) tool kits used for bomb detection at a cost of Rs. 10,000 each, five prodders at a cost of Rs. 9,000 each, two speed dome cameras at a cost of Rs. 4 lakh each, 20 CCTVs costing Rs. 8,000 each, three digital video recorders at a cost of Rs. 50,000 each, one VHF (very high frequency) repeater set costing Rs. 2 lakh, 10 walkie talkies costing Rs. 20,000 each, three VHF mobile sets costing Rs. 25,000 each and two VHF static sets costing Rs. 35,000.

The Madurai list was much less when compared to the principal seat which had been allotted 18 hand held metal detectors at a cost of Rs. 8,500 each, nine door frame metal detectors at a cost of Rs. 5 lakh each, four search lights at a cost of Rs. 10,000 each, two baggage scanners at a cost of Rs. 5 lakh each, sixteen speed dome cameras at a cost of Rs. 3 lakh each and four LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) monitors at a cost of Rs. 45,000 each.

The other equipments allotted for Chennai include five under-vehicle search mirrors costing Rs. 8,000 each, five prodders costing Rs. 300 each, five explosive vapour detectors costing Rs. 5 lakh each, four minesweepers at a cost of Rs. 9 lakh each, 70 VHF (very high frequency) mobile sets costing Rs. 15,000 each, two static VHF sets costing Rs. 20,000 each, two digital video recorders costing Rs. 25,000 each and two digital still cameras costing Rs. 10,500 each.

While the police personnel in Chennai have been given a go ahead to purchase 38 pistols with 380 rounds of ammunition, the guards on duty in the Madurai Bench would get nine new pistols out of the grand total of Rs. 3,13,64,500 allotted by the government .






Opposition forces govt to defer high court bill

A combined opposition in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday forced the government to defer a bill for setting up special benches in all high courts to hear commercial disputes. The opposition members alleged the bill, in its present form, provided a “preferential treatment” to the rich at the

cost of the poor.

Conceding there were deficiencies in the bill, Union law minister Salman Khurshid said, “There are certain aspects that require further consideration… We will be able to bring some new amendments… I seek only little more time now.”

Khurshid said the government “has no problem” if the members felt further consultations were required.

The Lok Sabha had passed the bill, titled Commercial Division of High Courts Bill, in December 2009.

The bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in March last year, but had to be referred to a select committee of the House following objections from opposition members.

The bill aims to set up special benches — to be called commercial divisions — to hear commercial disputes of Rs 1 crore and above.

The disputes have been defined as “arising out of ordinary transactions of merchants, bankers, and traders such as those relating to agreements, export or import of merchandise, partnership, intellectual property rights and similar disputes”.

Earlier, leader of Opposition and BJP leader Arun Jaitley said the bill was “completely misconceived and badly drafted”. “It would lead to transferring these cases from fastest courts to the laziest layer of judiciary,” he said.

Jaitley said more than 30% posts of judges was vacant in high courts across the country and creating special commercial divisions would further reduce the number of judges hearing other cases.

Many other opposition MPs demanded the bill be withdrawn since it favoured the rich.

“This is not in tune with the concept of justice. This bill can be taken back and reconsidered … take sense of the House. Come back, we will consider,” said Communist Party of India leader D Raja.






High Court releases ship on bank guarantee

Mahir Haneef, TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 05.17AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court’s arrest order against a Hong Kong flag vessel for misplacement of more than 1,000 liquor cases was vacated by the court on Tuesday after the shipping company furnished a bank guarantee of Rs 75 lakh.

On Monday, Justice P Bhavadasan had ordered the arrest and detainment of the vessel owned by Maersk Shipping Line until the officials paid Rs 75 lakh as compensation to AV Thomas and Co (AVT).

The company approached the court through advocate Joy Thattil seeking damages for non-delivery of 1,246 cases of liquor that were transported through Maersk from the United Kingdom.

The court directed the registrar to fax the arrest order to the deputy conservator of Cochin Port. Based on the order, the port authorities recorded the arrest of MV Maersk Ronnby, a Hong Kong flag vessel, on Monday.

According to the petitioner, the consignment was boarded at MV Maersk Selester, a vessel owned by Maersk Shipping Line, but was not received by AVT in Kochi.

The petitioner approached the court after Maersk Liner clarified that the consignment was unloaded at the port of Colombo for transshipment to Kochi but was not transshipped to Kochi.

The company received a favourable order from the Kerala High Court after failing to receive any immediate redressal from a suit filed at the High Court of Sri Lanka. The customs department of Colombo had registered a case against Maersk’s Sri Lanka division based on the complaint by the Kochi-based company.

AVT, a clearing and forwarding agent, had placed the order for Cochin International Airport, which was also acting as a clearing and forwarding agent. It approached court after the airport authorities detained the value of the consignment from AVT for non-receipt of goods. The vessel, which was set to sail from Kochi on Tuesday morning, was taken into custody when it arrived in Kochi at 12.30 pm on Monday on the basis of the court order.






SC verdict on Mullaperiyar evokes strong reactions

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 05.18AM IST

KOCHI: The Supreme Court judgment on the Mullaperiyar issue on Tuesday evoked strong reactions from the state.

Reacting to the ruling, Justice V R Krishna Iyer said, “The Supreme Court should never have assumed jurisdiction of the case. It should have been left to the technical experts to look and find a solution to the matter.

“I always believe that humanism should prevail over legalism. Whenever a court is hearing a case which concerns the right to life, then let humanism prevail,” Justice Iyer said.

The state government has suffered a big setback on the Mullaperiyar issue after the Supreme Court verdict stated that the height of the water level can’t be decreased from 136 feet. The residents of Chappath, Vandiperiyar, Vallakkadavu and Kumily, too, are a dejected lot. As the locals have lost faith in the government, the leaders of the agitation demanding a new dam at Mullaperiyar seem to have lost control over the agitating masses.

The people in these areas, who will be the first casualties in case of a dam burst, have been pinning their hopes on the court verdict. “With the adverse verdict from the court, the people here have lost their confidence in the state government. We don’t know how to control them,” said B S Bijimol, MLA, who has been in the forefront of the agitation. “The advocate general’s submission before the high court has already been a blow to the people here. Now, the setback faced by Kerala has only aggravated their disappointment. Now, we can’t predict how they will react,” Bijimol said.

Around 5,000-strong agitators from Tamil Nadu tried to cross the Kerala border on Tuesday, but the police stopped them at Irachippalam near the border. “Some of youngsters here argue that we should camp in the forest so as to stop the protesters from Tamil Nadu from entering Kerala. While some others decided to leave everything to destiny,” said Najeeb of Vallakkadavu.






House panel for 26 % cap on voting rights in private banks

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance has differed with the government’s proposal to extend voting rights to investors in private sector banks to the extent of their shareholding. Instead, it has recommended a hike in investors’ voting rights with a cap of 26 per cent to maintain a balance between economic control and promotion of corporate democracy.

Introduced in the Lok Sabha in March this year, the Banking Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2011, had proposed raising the voting rights of investors, now capped at 10 per cent, to levels commensurate with their shareholding in private sector banks. In its report on the Bill tabled in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, the standing panel headed by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha said: “The [Finance] Ministry may consider increasing the limit only to 26 per cent to keep a balance between conflicting factors underpinning the decision, namely concentration of economic power/control and promotion of corporate democracy.”

In this regard, the panel also suggested that the Reserve Bank of India should ensure that the regulatory mechanism is adequate and strictly complied with to prevent any misuse of the provision of increasing the limit.

Being the banking sector’s nodal agency, the apex bank should conduct due diligence of ‘fit and proper persons/entities’ and also take sufficient safeguards while stipulating conditions as to credentials, source of funds, track record, financial inclusion, before granting approvals under this clause, it said.

The committee, the report said, would also like the government “to consider the merits of issuing non-voting shares as an avenue to expand the capital base of banks without allowing concentration of management control in a few hands and which would also enable them to grow faster.”

The panel agreed with the government’s proposal to keep bank mergers outside the purview of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) temporarily but with certain caveats in that while supporting the proposal to keep bank mergers outside CCI’s purview, it recommended that “this exception should be considered as a special case.”

The committee also made it clear that its report on the Bill referred to it did not convey its views on mergers and acquisition policy in the banking sector as such as “the issue merits a separate discourse”.

On the proposed Depositor Education and Awareness Fund as provided in the Bill, the panel suggested that such a fund should be created without compromising the rights and claims of depositors or their legal heirs who should be able to secure their claims without difficulty. Legal heirs of depositors, it said, should be informed before transfer of money to the proposed fund.







Soon, a new Act to help home buyers

, TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 12.39AM IST

NAGPUR: The state government has decided to replace an existing Act with a new one to bring more transparency in the transactions in the housing sector.

The Maharashtra Ownership Flats (Regulations of Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management, and Transfer) Act, 1963, which was meant to provide relief to flat buyers against abuses and malpractices in the construction, sale and transfer of flats, will be scrapped. It is likely be replaced with the Maharashtra Housing (Regulation and Promotion of Construction, Sale, Management and Transfer) Act, 2011, which the state housing department claims will be more effective in protecting the interests of buyers. It will contain provisions for the setting up of a regulatory authority for the sector. To be applicable for construction projects across the state, the new Act will also contain new provisions to facilitate deemed conveyance in layouts that involve two or more buildings.

The proposal is likely to be tabled before the state cabinet for an approval in the next few days. The government had initially thought of amending the existing Act to incorporate the changes, but the plan was ruled out as it would have meant introduction of a large number of new rules.

Once the new Act is implemented, developers will have to register themselves with the three-member regualtory authority. They will also have to post the details of every of their projects on the authority’s website, which will be made available for public viewing. Only after that can advertisements for the sale or transfer of flats be issued. The “full disclosure” will include details of the title of the land, approved plans, common areas and amenities, including recreation grounds and playgrounds, among others.

In case a developer fails to keep his promises, flat buyers can approach the authority, which will have the power to deregister the builder and bar him from taking up any new project in the event of a default. To be headed by a retired government official of the rank of prinicipal secretary, the panel will also be empowered to impose fine up to Rs 10 lakh and prosecute habitual offenders. The members will also have the authority to judge a case if a flat-buyer defaults on payment.

The panel’s orders could be challenged before an appellate authority, which will be led by a retired High Court judge.






HC to hear Vikas Yadav’s appeal in Feb

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 01.15AM IST

NEW DELHI: Delhi high court on Tuesday fixed February 1 next year to begin the final hearing of appeals by former Rajya Sabha member D P Yadav’s son Vikas and nephew Vishal, against their conviction and sentencing in the Nitish Katara murder case.

The duo was sentenced to life term in May 2008 for killing MBA graduate Katara on the intervening night of February 16-17, 2002, as they were against his relationship with their sister Bharti.

A bench of Justice S Ravindra Bhat and Justice Pratibha Rani decided to hear the final arguments on the appeals of the convicts on February 1 and 2, 2012. It asked the defence and prosecution counsel to file brief synopsis of the case within two weeks.







Allahabad High Court permits Aligarh mayor to continue

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 09.05AM IST

ALLAHABAD: A division bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday refused to grant interim relief to Congress MLA from Allahabad (North), Anugrah Narayan Singh, who had demanded for continuance of old constituted body of Nagar Nigam till the constitution of the new body.

However, the court granted interim relief to sitting mayor of Aligarh Municipal Corporation, Ashutosh Varshney, permitting him to continue in his office till his successor is elected.

This order was passed by a division bench consisting of Justice Ashok Bhushan and JusticeSunita Agarwal on a writ petition filed by MLAAnugrah Narayan Singh and Ashutosh Varshney, mayor of Aligarh.

The court granted interim relief to mayor of Aligarh giving him benefit of section 15 (3) of 1959Uttar Pradesh Municipal Corporation Act.

However, the high court bench made it clear that in case the government thinks it proper for not permitting Varshney to continue as the mayor, then the position should be explained within two weeks.

The court granted one-week time to the respondents to file a counter-affidavit in these writ petitions by December 21, 2011.






HC asks BMC, SevenHills to resolve dispute amicably

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 02.26AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to settle its dispute with SevenHills Hospital at Andheri ‘without making it a prestige issue’.

A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing a petition filed by the SevenHills Healthcare Pvt Ltd (SHHPL) challenging the notices issued by the BMC asking them to vacate the nearly seven-acre premises allotted to them to run the super-speciality hospital as part of a public-private partnership.

The hospital said that it is ready to provide 20% of its services towards beds, outpatient department and diagnostics for the lower strata and civic employees but not free medicines and consumables.






HC declines student’s bank loan petition

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 06.42AM IST

MADURAI: Dismissing a student’s petition to sanction educational loan for his higher studies, the Madurai bench of the Madras high court on Monday said no direction can be issued to the bank to grant loan in violation of the policy framed by the Indian Bankers’ Association (IBA).

Justice V Ramsubramanian said, “If the IBA has taken a decision to fix the cut off mark as 60% for those who secure admission under the management quota, the court sitting in writ jurisdiction, cannot issue a direction to the bank to dilute the said policy.”

A Kasinathan passed BBA course from American College, Madurai and secured admission for MBA course in another private college under the management quota. In the second year of the course, he gave a representation to Canara Bank, Madurai for the grant of an educational loan but was denied the same.

The bank contended that he had secured only 48.4% marks in BBA. As per the revised guidelines for the Model Education Loan Scheme formulated by the IBA, only those students who had secured 60% marks in the examination are entitled for a loan, if they had secured admission under management quota. However, the counsel for the petitioner said that he had secured 77% in the first year MBA examination and hence the bank could consider the grant of loan to him.

Rejecting the plea of the student, Justice V Ramadubramanian said, “If the bank considers that the student has any other handicap, such as lack of merit, the bank is open to refuse to advance loan. After all, the scheme envisages the recovery of the loan after the completion of studies and after the student takes up employment. In a society like ours, the employability of a person depends upon various factors, one of which is certainly the academic performance.”

The judge further said, “The court can not presume that every failed student may hit jackpot likeSteve Jobs of Apple Inc. Out of hundreds of students who perform poorly, one may turn out to be successful in life. His success story may be a source of inspiration for many but not for the bank to gamble with public money.”

“The prescription of a minimum percentage of marks for students ad mitted under management quota is to ensure that he has employability potential. If the student has employment potential, the loan may not become a non-performing asset.” But a student, who is not meritorious, may himself turned out to be a non performing asset both to his parents and to the bank.”






HC notice to Punjab over appointment of Granth Sahib univ V-C

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 05.42AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The continuation of Dr Jasbir Singh Ahluwalia as vice-chancellor of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib has come under the scanner of Punjab and Haryana high court, which on Tuesday issued notice to Punjab government seeking its response on the issue.

The HC was hearing a petition by a former student leader of Panjab University, Chandigarh, Kuljit Singh Nagra, seeking directions for Ahluwalia’s removal and adherence to University Grants Commission (UGC) and ministry of human resource development (MHRD) guidelines in appointment of the VC of the said university.

The petitioner informed that Dr Ahluwalia, 77, has been appointed and continued as VC of the university, ignoring the regulations and guidelines framed by the UGC.

Counsel for the petitioner, Ramandeep Pandher, contended that as per UGC regulations on minimum qualifications for appointment of teachers and other academic staff in universities, the superannuation age of VCs is 70, but Ahluwalia has been allowed to continue in violation of the said norm.

Pandher also asserted that while being VC of Punjabi University, Patiala, Ahluwalia was involved with various controversies, including registration of FIRs against him and thereafter he was handpicked for the present appointment because of his proximity with the power centre, SGPC.

The petitioner also informed that Guru Granth Sahib World University, Fatehgarh Sahib, which started functioning in 2011, has been established under the Sri Guru Granth Sahib University Act, 2008 (Punjab Act No. 20 of 2008). The university was established on the proposal and sponsorship of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Fourth Centenary Memorial Trust created under the Indian Trust Act, 1882 for and on behalf of Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee(SGPC), Amritsar. President of SGPC is ex-officio president of the above-mentioned trust, which comprises 11 members, including ex-officio trust president. Dr Ahluwalia is also secretary of the said trust.

Producing the PAN card showing the age of Ahluwalia as 77, Pandher sought directions to quash the appointment. The case would now come up for further hearing on February 14.






HC asks Govt to pay salaries to shunted teachers
Contempt notice spurs Govt
Source: The Sangai Express

Imphal, December 13 2011: The Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench has directed the Government of Manipur to clear the salaries and pending arrears to teachers of schools under Autonomous District Councils, whose appointments had been annulled after a brief period in service.

The Court had decreed that payment of salaries and arrears should be cleared within three months which the Government failed to comply with consequently leading to the Court slapping contempt of court notice on the SPF Government earlier this year.

According to an informed source, the State Cabinet approved fresh recruitment of 278 teachers for schools under the six ADCs for which the DPC was conducted in 2006 .

Contrary to the number of post approved by the Cabinet, the enrolment exceeded the stipulated figure by over 835 post of teachers consequently leading to termination of the excess enrolment by the Government in 2009 .

It is said that the excess teachers for schools under the ADCs of Senapati, Kangpokpi, Ukhrul, Churachandpur, Chandel and Tamenglong remained in service till the year of their termination even though salaries were paid only upto April/May, 2007 .

While disclosing that even after the termination process was initiated fresh DPCs were conducted in the latter part of 2009 and at the beginning of 2010, the source said some of the shunted teachers filed 18 different cases in the Gauhati High Court, Imphal Bench insisting that the pending salaries for the period they remained in service along with the arrears be paid.

With the court directive on the issue of recruitment and subsequent termination of service of the excess teachers under the Tribal Development and Hills Department not complied with, 14 of the shunted teachers re-approached the same court seeking contempt of Court action against the Government.

The latest Court directive reportedly spurred the Government to constitute a high-power committee under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary which deliberated on the matter in July this year.

As the total expenditure in clearing the pending salaries and arrears would amount to about Rs 15 crores, the committee in its July seating decided to ascertain veracity of the shunted teachers’ claim for salaries and arrears, maintained the source.

It further revealed that as part of the verification process service of forensic experts was sought to determine number of days the teachers reported for duty or were at their respective place of posting (school) .

The source said based on the instruction of the high-power committee, officials of Tribal Development and Hills Department collected attendance registers of schools under the ADCs for the specified period.

The seized attendance registers are currently under examination at the Pangei-based Manipur Police Forensic science Laboratory, informed the source.

Even though genuineness of the teachers’ attendance record is under examination, officials of the Pangei Laboratory citing man-power inadequacy compared to the workload have reportedly suggested to the Tribal Development Hills Department authorities for referring the case to other laboratories.






Reopen temporary night shelters, HC asks govt

TNN | Dec 14, 2011, 01.18AM IST

NEW DELHI: Delhi high court directed the government to immediately reopen 84 temporary night shelters and also ensure that all other such shelters become functional.

It was irked by the closure of the temporary night shelters in the city against its orders.

The order came a day after Supreme Court asked all state governments to provide night shelters to ensure that no one dies of cold.






HC orders release of court martialled Navy commander

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

New Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) An Indian Navy Commander, court martialled and sentenced to two years in jail for his alleged role in a case of financial bungling, was today ordered released by the Delhi High Court. A bench of justices Anil Kumar and Sudarshan Mishra directed the Indian Navy to release Commander N Rajesh Kumar on a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and stayed the Navy’s December 6 court martial order sentencing the officer. The court gave its order on a plea by Commander Kumar contending that he had been sentenced and jailed in violation of its November 24 order which had barred the Navy from pronouncing its court martial verdict unless his plea to the high court against his court of inquiry (CoI) is decided. Appearing for Commander Kumar, a member of the maritime force’s high-profile skydiving team, senior advocate Meet Malhotra told the bench that the Navy had also ignored his client’s argument that he was not given an opportunity to defend himself during the probe. Commander Kumar was court martialled and convicted along with another officer, Lieutenant Commander Mahesh Birajdar, also a member of the skydiving team, on similar charges. The duo had earlier been found prima facie guilty of financial bungling, on the pretext of taking part in adventure sports activities, by the Naval board of inquiry. The two were the senior-most members of the Navy’s adventure team with a series of national record-breaking jumps, including a “freefall” over the South Pole in 2006. They were alleged to have used government funds for personal reasons like availing an extended vacation in Paris. PTI PNM RAX GSN






HC declares medical university’s notification illegal

PTI | 10:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

Chennai, Dec 13 (PTI) Madras High Court today declared “illegal” a notification by Dr M G R Medical University here in August to conduct an examination and award a parallel MD degree in Immuno Haematology and Blood Transfusion medicine, as a one time measure for PG Diploma holders in Clinical Pathology, without them undergoing regular three-year MD course. Setting aside the impugned notification, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar held that it was beyond doubt that the university had to follow the Medical Council of India (MCI) Act and regulations in letter and spirit. The Judge pointed out that the Supreme Court in various orders had held that State Governments and universities were bound to follow provisions of the MCI Act and the regulations, framed for admission of students and conducting examinations. The petitioners, B K Madhankumar and others who had passed three year regular MD course in Immuno Haematology and Blood Transfusion Medicine had challenged the August two notification. The petitioners said that if the university was allowed to conduct a MD examination for diploma holders, even as a one time measure, it would violate MCI’s statutory regulations.







No need to transfer Maval probe to CID, Maharashtra govt tells Bombay HC

Published: Wednesday, Dec 14, 2011, 8:44 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The state government on Tuesday informed the Bombay high court (HC) that it was not inclined to transfer the probe in the Maval firing case to the state Crime Investigation Department (CID) as suggested by the court.

Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol informed the HC that they were opposing transfer of the investigation to the CID, since the government has already appointed a deputy superintendent (DySP) of another district to probe into the incident.

The DySP of Daund district SL Kengar has been appointedthe investigation officer.

Three farmers were killed and scores injured after the police opened fire on farmers who were protesting against a water pipeline project for supplying water from the Pavna dam to the limits of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway on August 9.

An affidavit filed by Sudhakar Chavan, deputy secretary of the home department, states that 45 police officers and policemen from Pune rural division and 20 personnel of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) were also injured in the incident.

Another affidavit filed by Kengar states that he has already initiated investigation and recorded statements of 49 witnesses. Notices were issued to 20 other witnesses and also to a television channel asking it to submit video footage of the incident.

Kengar has further said in his affidavit that they are in process of recording statements of police officers, constables and SRPF personnel who were on bandobast on the date of incident.

“We are not going into the merit of the case. At this stage we are only concerned about whether to transfer the investigation to another agency or not,” said justice SA Bobade. The HC has kept the matter for hearing on December 22.





HC forms panel to demarcate Sukhna catchment area

Express news service

Posted: Wed Dec 14 2011, 01:18 hrsChandigarh:

The Punjab and Haryana High Court today constituted a committee for demarcation of catchment area near Sukhna Lake.

The High Court ordered the constitution of a committee to ensure that there is no illegal construction in the catchment area. The committee has been asked to submit its report on February 13. The committee will comprise senior lawyers M L Sarin, Rajive Atma Ram, amicus curiae Tanu Bedi and representatives of Punjab, Haryana and Ministry of Environment and Forest.

The committee will be coordinated by senior standing counsel for UT Administration, Sanjay Kaushal.

The development took place during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) arising out of a suo motu notice taken by the Punjab and Haryana High Court on the deteriorating condition of Sukhna Lake.

On the last date of hearing, Tanu Bedi had averred that Chandigarh Administration and the states of Haryana and Punjab are keeping a blind eye to the housing schemes which are stated to be constructed very near to Sukhna Lake. Such habitational schemes not only would pose a threat by the construction activities to the ecological sensitive fragile area of lake but also would result in additional use of ground water near the lake which will augment more seepage resulting in decrease in level of water






HC asks EC to file reply on writ petition

PTI | 05:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

Lucknow, Dec 13 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court today directed the Election Commission to file a reply on a writ petition seeking direction to include expenses of a candidate from the date of announcement of his candidature. The order was passed by a division bench comprising justices Devi Prasad Singh and S C Chaurasia on a writ petition filed by Yogendra Singh Chauhan. Chauhan’s counsel Ashok Pandey said the maximum limit of expenses by a candidate has been fixed at Rs 16 lakh, which is presently counted from the date of nomination. The petitioner submitted it has been observed that as soon as candidature was announced a candidate start incurring expenses which goes unaccounted. The court gave two weeks time to EC to file a counter affidavit.






HC: Petition against Ramadas dismissed

Express News Service The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The High Court on Monday dismissed the petition against Medical Education Minister S A Ramadas, in the agricultural land scam involving fake documents.
The division bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice A S Bopanna, hearing a petition by S Lokesh and Gangadarappa seeking directions to the state to initiate action officials for not taking any action against the minister in an agricultural land scam dismissed the petition that there is no proper documents to prove the their allegation.
The petitioners alleged that the minister had forged documents while getting the khata done with respect of 18 acres of agricultural land in Mulalavadi village in Mysore district in the year 1993. It is said that the minister had falsely mentioned that they were residential sites and had not even paid fees for conversion of the land with the alleged involvement of local panchayat officers.
“The incident came to light in an inquiry conducted by a special land acquisition officer in the year which found Ramadas guilty of using forged documents with the help of several officers. The Mysore Deputy Commissioner, based on the inquiry, had written to the housing and town planning development department to initiate action but till date no action has been taken,” petitioners state.
The matter has been adjourned for further hearing.




Assets case: HC acquits Thandal–HC-acquits-Thandal/887683/

Express news service

Posted: Wed Dec 14 2011, 03:47 hrsChandigarh:

Providing relief to former chief parliamentary secretary of Punjab, Sohan Singh Thandal, the Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday acquitted him in a disproportionate assets case. The court also set aside the three-year imprisonment awarded to him by a lower court.

Arguing on Thandal’s behalf, Bipin Ghai contended that the lower court had erred in evaluating Thandal’s income. He submitted that Thandal does not possess any disproportionate assets. On January 29, 2003, Thandal was booked by the Punjab Vigilance Bureau for accumulating disproportionate wealth, benami properties and other charges of corruption.






Delhi HC rejects ByCell Telecom’s plea


Posted: Tue Dec 13 2011, 18:18 hrsNew Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has dismissed the plea of ByCell Telecommunications India Private Ltd, a joint venture company, challenging the single judge’s order which had upheld the decision of the Centre to withdraw the security clearance granted to it for operating GSM mobile services in India.

A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri rejected the plea of ByCell saying the decision of the central government was based on intelligence input and the court was not inclined to interfere with it.

“On the basis of the intelligence inputs which have been shown to us, we are not inclined to direct any further investigation …,” the division bench, also comprising Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, said.

“We therefore do not find any merit in the appeal and dismiss the same,” the bench said.

ByCell is a joint venture company of Switzerland-based ByCell Holding AG and an Indian company Bitcorp Private Limited.







HC notice to Centre, CBI on a plea against AMU VC

PTI | 05:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

New Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) The Centre was asked today by the Delhi High Court to explain its failure to restrain Aligarh Muslim University Vice Chancellor P K Abdul Aziz from taking any administrative or policy decision amid a CBI probe into his alleged role in a case of financial embezzlement in AMU. Justice M L Mehta sought the reply of the Union Ministry for Human Resource Development to a plea by an AMU professor that despite a government order restraining the AMU VC from taking any administrative or policy decision amid the ongoing CBI probe, Aziz continues to take all decisions. The court also stayed an AMU’s Executive Council meeting, which was to be convened today by Aziz to finalise the names of five candidates one of whom would be chosen his successor to the post of AMU VC from which he is to retire on January 17. On a plea by AMU Professor Madihur Rehman Suhaib, who also heads an anti-corruption forum within the university, the High Court issued notices to the University Grant Commission, CBI and Aziz and sought their replies by January 11. On Suhaib’s plea, the court also directed CBI to file its status report on its probe against Aziz.






SC stays HC deadline to Mayawati govt on local bodies polls

PTI | 07:12 PM,Dec 13,2011

New Delhi, Dec 3 (PTI) The Supreme Court today stayed an Allahabad High Court order directing Uttar Pradesh government to issue a notification for panchayat bodies’ elections in the state before December 19. A three-judge bench of justices Altamas Kabir, S S Nijjar and J Chalameshwar granted two more months to the state government to complete the formalities and extended the time limit to February 11 next year. The apex court passed the order on an appeal filed by the state challenging the December 5 direction of the Allahabad High Court which had, in a hard hitting judgement, asked the State Election Commission to approach the Governor if the state government failed to comply with its direction. Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman today appeared for UP government to assail the High Court order and pleaded that the state be given at least 60 to complete the formalities. The High Court had directed the state to “complete all necessary formalities by working round the clock within a period of ten days or maximum by December 18”. The High Court had warned that “in case no notification is issued, the state election commission shall send a report to the Governor of UP who may proceed to uphold the constitution in accordance with law.” Challenging the order, the state government moved the Supreme Court contending the High Court has gone too far in issuing the mandamus to do everything within a period of 10 days ignoring the request of the the state for grant of 45 days’ time required to complete the process of ward-wise reservation.






SAC moves HC for fast-tracking pending cases


Srinagar, Dec 13: Jammu and Kashmir High Court has accepted the plea of anti-corruption watchdog, State Accountability Commission, for fast-tracking trial of graft cases pending for many years.
Top sources disclosed to Greater Kashmir that the anti-graft body had formally made a request with the Court for early hearing of the cases including those in which interim orders had been issued.
In this connection, sources said the Court had sought details from the Commission.
“A complete list of the cases has been sent to the High Court,” sources said.
An official said there are more than 15 cases from Kashmir and 20 to 25 cases from Jammu pending prosecution.
“Many of them are high profile in nature wherein there are serious graft allegations against some ministers and bureaucrats. Besides, there are some cases in which the High Court has passed interim orders. The Commission will re-open all the cases,” the official, wishing anonymity, said.
He said there is every possibility that the SAC will take up the process from next week. “There are more than 20 cases in which the High Court has passed interim orders or has stayed the SAC judgments against the accused public functionaries,” the official said.
Sources said the pendency of the cases had also increased due to the fact that most of the orders passed by the Commission between 2006 and 2008 were challenged in the High Court on the ground that the Commission at that time had no full-fledged body and was only headed by acting Chairman.
Sources said the SAC has decided to hire independent counsel to fight its cases in the Court since the prosecutors remain over busy with government cases.
“All the pending cases have been revived and in many cases notices have already been issued,” an SAC functionary told Greater Kashmir.
The Jammu and Kashmir State Accountability Commission Act of 2003 has been recently amended by J&K State Accountability Commission (Amendment) Act, 2011. The former is now being referred to as the “Principal Act.” The Principal Act has been amended to the extent that the SAC shall exclusively deal with ‘public functionaries’.






HC dismisses former BJP chief’s plea for arrest of approver

Former BJP President Bangaru Laxman’s plea seeking direction to the CBI to arrest an approver in a graft against him was on Tuesday declined by the Delhi high court.

Justice Mukta Gupta dismissed Laxman’s petition in which he had sought arrest of approver T Satyamurthy in the case.

Laxman is facing trial for allegedly accepting Rs one lakh from a fictitious arms dealer in 2001 purportedly to recommend to erstwhile defence minister George Fernandes purchase of some defence equipment.

He had pleaded before the court that the approver should be held in custody till conclusion of the trial to ensure that he is not influenced either by the defence or the prosecution.

Laxman had approached the high court challenging the special CBI judge’s order dismissing his plea for the arrest of Sathyamurthy.

Counsel for Laxman had submitted that as per the law, Satyamurthy should be taken into custody as the trial against him had commenced in the corruption case and 15 witnesses had been examined. The approver, he had said, should not be influenced by either of the parties.

Satyamurthy was granted anticipatory bail by the special court on March 21, 2005, when the CBI had filed an application to make him approver in the case.

The CBI had lodged the corruption case against Laxman on December 6, 2004 on the basis of a video footage of a 2000-01 sting operation that allegedly showed him accepting the money from a fictitious arms dealer. The sting operation, known as ‘Operation Westend’, was conducted by newsportal scribes.



2 Responses

  1. This is very useful to me…

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