LEGAL NEWS 17.12.2011

New Bills for Higher Education violate Constitution – Former Chief Justices

New Delhi: The UPA Government is trying hard to get the new Bills for Higher Education in India approved in this winter session of Parliament. Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD) is leaving no stone unturned to convince the UPA allies and Party MPS on these Bills.

As per the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD, the Union Cabinet has approved the amendments to the ‘Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Technical Educational Institutions, Medical Educational Institutions and Universities Bill, 2010’.

While The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010 was postponed in the Rajya Sabha over a year ago, another controversy regarding the New Bills for Higher Education proposed by MHRD has evoked.

Legal luminaries have pointed out that the move of the UPA Government to control and regulate the Universities is “Unconstitutional”. They informed that according to the exclusion contained in Entry 44 of List I, Parliament does not have legislative competence to legislate in issues of universities.

The State legislatures have a right to alone forming the regulatory regime for universities in their respective state.

Former Chief Justices of India analyzed the Bills named as ‘The Prohibition of Unfair Practices in technical educational institutions, medical educational institution and Universities Bill, 2010’, ‘The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010’, ‘The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010’, and ‘Higher Education and Research Bill 2010’ on the Constitutional Anvil.

Astonishingly, provisions contained in these above mentioned Bills, proposed by UPA to include universities oppose to the provisions of the Constitution and the Federal Structure of the country.

Justice Madan Mohan Punchhi, former Chief Justice of India & former Chairman, Commission on Centre State Relations, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India commented on ‘The Educational Tribunals Bill, 2010’ that the State Legislatures can only draft an enactment for establishment of Educational Tribunals for final judgment of universities matters.

Therefore, the clauses mentioned in the new bill to include universities violates the constitution and the concept of separation of powers. The bill lacks legislative competency and if it is enacted as a law, it will be beyond the powers of constitution.

Justice Punchhi expressed the same opinion in case of other bills as well.

Justice A S Anand, former Chief Justice of India& former Chairperson, NHRC, said that the Parliament does not have power to legislate in matters of universities to establish any regulatory regime according to the exclusion mentioned in Entry 44 of List I and the State Legislatures alone have the power to constitute the regulatory regime regarding universities in the respective states.

Thus, the proposed Bill if enacted by the parliament would lack legislative competence and in that case would be ultra-vires the Constitution.

Justice K N Singh, former Chief Justice of India and former Chairman Law Commission of India analyzed ‘The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill, 2010’ and expressed that the legislative power under Entry 25 of List III cannot override provisions contained in Entry 32 of List II and Entry 44 of List I which do not provide power to the Parliament to enact law to control or regulate Universities.

Therefore, the New Educational Bill is Unconstitutional and the proposed law will be highly controversial to the extent that court may strike it down.

According to R.C.Lahoti, former Chief Justice of India, the creation of tribunals by the Centre has dual impact. Firstly, The Centre envisages taking over the administration of universities including the ones which are enacted by State Legislature. Secondly, the final judgment of any disputes regarding universities will be transferred in hands of the Tribunals set up the Centre.

Overall, several clauses contained in the New Education Bill are against constitutional Provisions as stated time to time by the Supreme Court of India.

Failing to get through the test of constitutional validity and encroaching upon the State’s right, these bills might be the next big issue to be raised by the opposition in parliament.






TDSAT to DoT: Don’t take coercive action against telcos on AGR

Updated on Thursday, December 15, 2011, 18:30

New Delhi: Telecom tribunal TDSAT on Thursday asked the government not to force operators to pay licence fees in accordance with the recent Supreme Court order till January 31, 2012, the next date of hearing in the dispute between telecos and the DoT over components of AGR.

During the proceedings, counsel appearing for Department of Telecom (DoT) informed the tribunal that it was in the process of making a revised demand for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) from companies as per the directions of the Supreme Court.

Counsels appearing for leading operators requested the TDSAT to adjourn the matter as they may challenge the revised AGR bills before the tribunal.

This was accepted by the TDSAT bench headed by Justice S B Sinha and adjourned the matter to January 31.

He said “original dues and revised dues should not be enforced by the respondent (DoT)” till next date of hearing.

The tribunal was hearing the dispute over the components of the AGR between telecom operators and DoT. According to the the Supreme Court’s direction, the tribunal has to decide afresh the issue of what constitutes components of adjusted gross revenue for calculating licence fee and issued notice to the government in this regard.

There are differences over what constitutes AGR on which annual licence fee be charged. Service providers say that income from telecom services only (excluding other income like interest on savings, dividends, bundling of handsets and
others) should not be considered for the purpose.

On the other hand, the DoT takes total income of the firm as an AGR.

TDSAT is hearing the matter on the direction of the Supreme Court which on  October 11 set aside Tribunal’s order and asked it to decide the issue of AGR and to “pass fresh orders in accordance with law”.

The TDSAT on August 30, 2007, had ruled that income from dividend, interest income on savings, capital gains, management consultancy and training as well as gains from foreign exchange should not be part of AGR for paying revenue share or license fee to the government.

This was challenged by the government before the Supreme Court





SC to hear PIL on Army Chief DoB today

Posted: Fri Dec 16 2011, 03:01 hrs New Delhi:

The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a PIL seeking a direction to the government to correctly determine the date of birth of Army Chief General V K Singh as May 10, 1951 as per his school leaving certificate.

The petition filed by the Grenadiers Association (Rohtak Chapter) quotes former CJI JS Verma’s opinion that the controversy over the age of the Army Chief may be an effort to “edge” him out to avoid “inconvenient truths” from coming to light.

The PIL has submitted that the age controversy would have demoralising effect on the personnel and may even affect their overall performance.






PM right person to play lead role, says court

The Supreme Court on Thursday expressed the view that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, being the head of the Union government, is the most suitable authority to take a lead role in finding a solution to the Mullaperiyar dam row between Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

On a proposal from Kerala, a Constitution Bench of Justices D.K. Jain, R.M. Lodha, Deepak Verma, C.K. Prasad and Anil R. Dave suggested that the court could ask the Prime Minister to convene a meeting between the two Chief Ministers. But this was turned down by Tamil Nadu. The court then decided against making such a request.

Earlier, senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for Kerala, submitted that without prejudice to the proceedings before the Empowered Committee and the pendency of the matter in the Supreme Court, the Bench could ask the Prime Minister to convene a meeting of the Chief Ministers.

However, senior counsel Raju Ramachandran, appearing for Tamil Nadu, said that since the Empowered Committee was yet to submit a report, any such meeting would be premature.

At this, Justice Jain observed: “Shall we take it that Tamil Nadu is not interested in the Prime Minister intervening at this stage?” Mr. Ramachandran said: “Yes, not at this stage, before [the] submission of [the] report by the Empowered Committee.”

Justice Lodha said: “There may be sufficient materials existing with the Prime Minister. A solution can be found… and he can make an effort. [The] Prime Minister, being the head of the Union of India, is the most suitable authority to take a lead role in finding a solution in such matters.”

Mr. Salve said: “These reports [the report of the Empowered Committee] will only create problems. Not a single award of a tribunal has solved a problem. It raises [the] temperature of the States. These problems are resolved, not adjudicated. Adjudication is … the last resort.”

However, Mr. Ramchandran argued that since Kerala had stated its position that water level should be reduced to 120 feet, it would be premature to have any such meeting at this stage.”

Justice Jain expressed his helplessness and told counsel: “This [asking the Prime Minister to convene a meeting] is possible only if both sides agree. Let us wait.”

In its response to Tamil Nadu’s plea for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) at the dam site, Kerala said: “The deployment of Central security forces is not called for. In fact, any such deployment would unnecessarily provoke the people who have so far been peaceful. The present panic among the people arises from the fear that the dam may break, releasing [a] huge [quantum of] water, killing lakhs of people.” It was beyond all reason that “people would break the dam and invite floods killing themselves.”

Kerala denied that there was any organised mob attack or that its government or Ministers were spreading fear. “The administration is in complete control of the situation. The State of Kerala denies that there is any need for deployment of the CISF as demanded [by Tamil Nadu],” it said, seeking dismissal of Tamil Nadu’s application.






Courts take steps to curb fake advocates

TNN Dec 16, 2011, 04.06AM IST

COIMBATORE: Hardly a week after police registered criminal cases against two fake lawyers for helping an engineer acquire a fake divorce by having someone pose as his wife in the family court and fabricating documents, the Principal District Judge in Coimbatore has directed advocates in the district to provide essential information to establish identity and ensure authenticity. Advocates are required to mention their names, TN Bar Council number, complete address and contact numbers on all documents to be submitted in the court including vakalats, petitions, counters and written statements to avoid malpractice and impersonation during legal trials.

It has been implemented in all courts in Coimbatore district from Thursday onwards. Meanwhile, the family court in Coimbatore has ordered advocates to affix a copy of their identity card issued by Coimbatore Bar Association along with the legal petitions to be submitted to the court with immediate effect.

The Coimbatore Bar Association (CBA) had passed a resolution on December 3 saying that the members of CBA should mention their names, enrollment numbers, complete address during filing of legal petitions before all courts in the district. A copy of the resolution was submitted to the principal district judge.

We advised all our members to mention their names, enrollment number and their complete address. We hope this initiative will be useful in identifying fake advocates. If the advocate does not provide the required information, he will not be accepted in court,” said S Richards, Secretary, CBA.

Meanwhile, the family court has ordered advocates to affix a copy of their identity card issued by the CBA. The court has advised that during mutual divorce petitions, both parties should affix their marriage snaps or affix photos of complainants and parties.






PIL plea on Mullaperiyar misconceived, says court

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed as “misconceived” a public interest litigation petition for a directive to the Tamil Nadu government to drain water to the extent possible from the Mullaperiyar dam and decommission it to protect the right to life of 5 million people, guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution.

After hearing counsel P.V. Dinesh, a Bench of Justices D.K. Jain and Anil R. Dave dismissed the petition filed by the All-Kerala Anti-Corruption and Human Rights Protection Council, represented by its president Issac Varghese and other villagers from that area.

The petitioners said the Centre was not taking any steps to address the issue of safety.

They wanted a directive to the authorities concerned to put in place the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) urgently and a mechanism for relief and rehabilitation of people living downstream of the Mullaperiyar.

Referring to this prayer, Justice Jain told Mr. Dinesh: “What do you mean by saying that the NDMA, headed by the Prime Minister, is not alive to the threat? Do you think that the Prime Minister is not alive to the problems and is not aware of what is happening? It [NDMA] is a statutory authority, and it has an obligation. Why do you think that the authority headed by the Prime Minister will not act if something happens?”






PIL against Badals’ misuse of transport policy quashed

TNN Dec 16, 2011, 04.37AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation(PIL) challenging Punjab government’s transport policy, which was allegedly manipulated for personal gain by state’s chief minister and his family.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and justice Surya Kant asked why the petitioner had approached HC without approaching investigating agencies. “We would like to put on record, at the very outset, that we find it difficult to entertain this PIL. If respondents—Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Badal – have committed any wrong while in office, which affected public exchequer and benefited their interests, the petitioner should have taken recourse to remedy available under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure rather than approaching the court by way PIL,” observed the bench.







PIL to punish prison officials

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

CHENNAI: A writ plea to punish the Chennai Puzhal prison officials, who made three inmates nude and beat them up severely for not giving bribe, has been made in the Madras High Court.

The first bench comprising Cheif Justice MY Eqbal and Justice TS Sivagnanam, before which the public interest writ petition from advocate P Pugalenthi, also director of Prisoners’ Rights Forum, came up for hearing yesterday, ordered notice returnable in two weeks.

In his public interest writ petition, Pugalenthi submitted that Hari Prathapan,� Jeyaseelan and Mohammed Riaz were stripped of their clothes on December 4 last by the prison officials. They were also severely beaten up, as the trio had refused to bribe them. Petitioner alleged that the prison officials were demanding bribes ranging from Rs 3,000 to Rs 10,000 from the prisoners, who had involvement in cases relating to narcotic drugs.

The trio was not given proper food and treatment for the injuries, petitioner added and prayed for a direction to the prison authorities to take appropriate disciplinary and criminal action against the officials.






2G scam: Salman Khurshid’s clean chit to Essar is an interference says Prashant Bhushan

NEW DELHI: The Centre for PIL, on whose plea the Supreme Court is monitoring the 2G spectrum case, has told the apex court that law minister Salman Khurshid’s clean chit to Essar amounted to an “interference” in the trial of the case.

“The interference of an influential minister in the government, the law minister, Mr Salman Khurshid, is evident. He is publicly giving clean chit to Essar/Loop,” the petitioner, a non-government organisation headed by advocate Prashant Bhushan, said in its application moved in the court on Thursday.

It said, the Essar-Loop case is similar to the Reliance-Swan’s in which public officials have already been charged under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The Centre for Public Interest Litigation informed the apex court that the CBI has filed its third chargesheet before the special court Judge OP Saini in Essar-Loop case.







MCI made party in Adani Medical College Case


16 Dec 2011, 08:59 – Ahmedabad ,  Vijay Shah

The Gujarat high court today issued notice to the Medical Council of India (MCI) to give its view on whether a hospital run on public-private partnership can be eligible for recognition by the MCI. The case pertains to a joint venture between the state government and Adani group for the running of Gujarat Adani Institute of Science located in the Kutch region.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice JB Pardiwala, while hearing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging government’s decision to hand over GK general hospital to Adani group on lease, asked MCI to be a party in this petition.

The PIL was moved by congress leader Adam Chaki through his lawyer Hasim Qureshi.

The PIL stated that, during the earthquake of 2001 the GK general hospital was damaged. The then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Bajpai granted Rs. 100 crores to establish a fully equipped hospital. Treatment in the hospital was free of cost or at nominal charges for patients. Later state government handed over this hospital to Adani group on a lease of 99 years. It is alleged that the current management reserved very few beds for the poor and needy people and levied heavy charges for treatment in the hospital.

Qureshi argued that to give 99 years lease to the hospital without any condition is effect amounts to sale. It was argued that as the hospital was constructed with common man’s tax money the decision of the state government is not in public interest.

The bench sought clarification from MCI on whether a hospital which is run through public private partnership and where the company does not have ownership, in such situation, can MCI continue the recognition of the hospital.

Further hearing is scheduled on December 22.

Advocate Rutwij Bhatt appeared for MCI before the High Court.







Let us know if riot panel will submit report by Dec 31: Guj HC

PTI | 09:12 PM,Dec 15,2011

Ahmedabad, Dec 15 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today issued a notice to the Narendra Modi government on a PIL seeking details of the Nanavati Commission’s present status and whether it intends to submit a final report before the conclusion of its term. The notice was issued by a division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala. The bench asked the state government to inform about the present status of Justice (retd) G T Nanavati-headed Commission, which is probing the 2002 post-Godhra communal riots and also the Sabarmati Express fire. It also asked the government to apprise the court by December 22 if the Commission would be submitting its final report on or before its term expires on December 31. The PIL, filed by Jignesh Goswami through advocate K G Pandit, has also sought to know whether the panel has applied for extension of its term, and if yes, was the government ready to grant it. The petitioner has sought these details on the grounds that public money to the tune of Rs 6.37 crore has been spent on the Commission since its inception in March 2002. Even after over nine years and 17 extensions, it has only submitted an interim report in September, 2008. The panel has also not informed the government or the people of Gujarat when it intends to submit the final report, he said.





CBI to probe charges of graft against Mussoorie MC chairman

PTI | 03:12 PM,Dec 15,2011

Nainital, Dec 15 (PTI) The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the CBI to investigate into the allegations of financial embezzlement against chairman and some other officials of Mussoorie Municipal Council and suspended the board for six months. Bench comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice U C Dhyani also directed the investigative agency yesterday to complete the probe and produce its report before the court within six month, official sources today said. Taking a serious note of the corruption allegations, the Court also asked the CBI to look into the sources of income of the Chairman and other officers of the municipal council. The court’s order came on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by a Mussoorie resident Vinod Prakash Thapaliyal, alleging that Chairman OP Uniyal and other officers of the municipal council had swindled off public funds worth crores of rupees by awarding work contracts to their relatives and friends. The PIL had alleged that municipal council demolished a historic clock tower of the hill town and awarded the contract for reconstruction to one of the relatives of chairman Uniyal. Similarly, the contract of running a ropeway in Mussoorie was also awarded to a private company by the council without adopting the standard procedure. Meanwhile, Uniyal has said the decisions taken by the council were in public-interest and that High Court’s order would be challenged in the Supreme Court.






Sukhbir admits major shareholdings in firms

Punjab Newsline Network

Thursday, 15 December 2011

CHANDIGARH: In the ongoing trial at Punjab and Haryana High Court, Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday admitted that he has substantial shareholdings in Gur-Baz Media Private Limited and G Next Media Limited which are wholly owned subsidiary companies of Orbit Resort Private Limited.

 The following information was given to the court in connection to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Barrister-at-Law Himmat Singh Shergill. Sukhbir further added that during the period from 2007 to 2009, out of an amount of Rs 6.32 crore paid to electronic channels, advertisements worth about Rs 78 lakh were given to PTC channel through Punjab Public Relations Department.

Shergill had earlier pointed out in the court that Punjab government had given advertisements to PTC channel which was under the aegis of G-Next Media Private Limited, a subsidiary of Gur-Baz Media Private Limited, an undertaking of Orbit Resorts Private Limited owned by the Badals.The High Court has reserved the verdict on PIL.







PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 15,2011

The state accused petitioner and Panthers Party MLA The state accused petitioner and Panthers Party MLA Balwant Singh of filing a politically motivated PIL and sought its dismissal. “The preliminary reports of such investigations reveal that the allegations made by the petitioner are imaginary and with a reckless disregard for truth. “The petitioner’s interest is more of political than public interest and thus this petition should not for that reason alone be entertained,” the affidavit said. The apex court had on October 31 issued notices to the J&K government for its reply on Singh’s plea for a CBI probe as Yousuf, according to him, died after visiting the chief minister’s residence on September 29. According to the state, the Justice H S Bedi Commission had become functional from November 29 and there was no compelling reason or exceptional circumstances warranting a CBI probe.






Court notice to NHAI on toll collection

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the National Highways Authority of India basing on a PIL writ petition by Kendujhar Naba Nirman Parishad which challenged the notification of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways. The petition challenged the decision of NHAI to charge toll fee at the enhanced rate from the commuters at Manguli Toll Plaza for use of six-lane road. The HC will hear the case on December 20.

�During the hearing, petitioner’s advocate Kedar Jena submitted before the court that the decision to collect toll by a private company Shree Jagannath Expressways Private Ltd of Kolkata at the enhanced rate was illegal, arbitrary and in violation of law. He also submitted that the NHAI should not have issued such a notification before construction of six lanes.

�On the other hand, the counsel for the company stated that NHAI had entered into an agreement with the Kolkata-based firm for the development, operation and maintenance of existing four lanes on� Bhubaneswar-Jagatpur-Chandikhol section to six lanes divided carriageway on design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis.

�It was further stated that the company has been given 910 days for completing construction of the six lanes and 26 years with effect from December 14 to collect the toll. The division bench of Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BN Mohapatra, while adjourning the case for further hearing, passed an interim order directing the company to keep details of the collection of toll and such collection shall be subject to the result of the writ petition.







Controversies not new to the college

Manash Pratim Gohain, TNN | Dec 16, 2011, 03.14AM IST

NEW DELHI: This is not the first time that Ramjas College has been mired in controversy.

Apart from the police investigation into the fake certificate scam underway, the college is facing a University Grants Commission (UGC) inquiry into charges of illegal admissions, financial mismanagement, administrative irregularities among others.

The probe instituted by Delhi high court in March, 2011 is looking into allegations, some of which date back to late 1980s.

Based on a PIL filed by Delhi University Forum for Accountability and Democratization ( DUFAD), a body of educationists, students, employees and DU alumni, the high court ordered an inquiry by a UGC-appointed committee and set a deadline of three months. The UGC set up a three-member committee in May 2011. But the three-month deadline has already lapsed and the committee is at present waiting for a response from the the DU administration before submitting its report.

The allegations against the Ramjas College Governing Body (GB) and the principal include discrepancy in admitting students with allegations that the principal had repeatedly violated the rules laid down by the staff council with regards to admission and migration of students. It has been alleged that even as OSD, the principal allowed migration of students without following the criteria laid down by the staff council in 1987. He was reprimanded by Delhi high court in 1995 for making illegal admissions.

“Although Delhi colleges come under me, the committee is responsible for the inquiry. So I will not be in a position to comment on its status,” said UGC joint secretary Renu Batra. Meanwhile, the chairperson of the committee, S Satyam, said they were waiting for a response from the university authorities.







Hearing of pleas by SMK, HDK today

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

BANGALORE:� The HC will on Thursday take up for hearing pleas filed by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and former CM H D Kumaraswamy, seeking to quash an FIR registered against them on December 8 following a complaint in connection with illegal mining. In the complaint lodged with the Lokayukta Special Court, social worker T J Abraham accused the duo, another former CM N Dharam Singh of causing huge losses to the state exchequer by being complicit in illegal during their tenures.

Bopaiah Moves HC to Quash FIR

Assembly Speaker and Virajpet MLA K G Bopaiah on Wednesday filed a petition in the HC seeking quashing of an FIR filed against him by the Lokayukta police on a complaint alleging misuse of `40 lakh sanctioned for development in Kodagu in 2006-07. Lokayukta police on December 8 registered an FIR against Bopaiah on the direction of district and sessions judge Ashok Nijagannanavar.

PIL Against MLA

Bellary resident, Maradi Ramesh, filed a PIL in the HC on Wednesday against Vijayanagar MLA Anand Singh for allegedly operating private buses under the name of SVK travels without valid permits for over 20 years. The petition said Singh had not obtained route permit from RTO and was using post as MLA to prevent transport officials from initiating action against him.

BSY Kin’s Bail Plea Hearing Adjourned

HC judge Justice B V Pinto on Wednesday adjourned for argument the petition filed by former CM B S Yeddyurappa’s sons B Y Raghavendra, B Y Vijayendra and his son-in-law R N Sohankumar, seeking relief from the conditions imposed by the Lokayukta Court on October 15. The court asked them to produce documents of transactions of Davalagiri Property Developers and Bhagat Homes Pvt Ltd from the day the operations started till the date of complaint within seven days.






SC admits plea against Khurshid

Express news service

Posted: Fri Dec 16 2011, 01:10 hrs New Delhi:

The Supreme Court Thursday allowed a petition accusing Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid of “publicly giving a clean chit to Essar/Loop”, which have been chargesheeted by the CBI in the 2G scam case.

NGO Centre for Public Interest Litigation, represented by Prashant Bhushan, told the court that senior people in the government and the CBI influenced the investigators to press lighter charges of cheating and conspiracy against Loop and Essar.

It was on an earlier plea filed by Centre for Public Interest Litigation that the SC had ordered a CBI probe into the 2G Spectrum scam.

The fresh petition questions why charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act were not brought against Telecom officials who issued Letters of Intent for 2G allocation. “Interference of an influential minister, Mr Salman Khurshid, is evident. He is publicly giving clean chit to Essar/Loop. A recent opinion by his ministry giving clean chit to Essar is attached herewith,” the plea says.

The plea claims that the Loop-Essar link “through a web of companies” is similar to that of Swan-Reliance. But while the CBI chargesheeted Swan, Reliance and Telecom officials under the Prevention of Corruption Act, Loop and Essar were let off lightly.

The petition also accuses CBI chief A P Singh and its Director of Prosecution Abdul Aziz of having played a role in the outcome of the chargesheet against Loop/Essar. “Aziz overruled the report of investigating officers and said no criminal case is made out… Aziz’s son is employed in Essar-Loop and he reportedly recused himself… Despite this, his opinion was factored in decision making,” the plea claims.

Singh, the plea adds, disagreed with Aziz on the criminal case, but concluded that Telecom officials were at that time “ignorant” that Loop was controlled by Essar.






Govt submits its SC/ST employees figure in court

TNN Dec 16, 2011, 06.52AM IST

JAIPUR: In the controversial issue of quota in promotions, the Rajasthan High Court on Thursday remarked that allowing consequential seniority benefits to the reserved category employees once their representation in the government jobs has exceeded the quota limits was tantamount to contempt of the court judgment.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra and Justice NK Jain-I made the verbal remark, as the Bhatnagar committee that collected data of reserved category employees in state government jobs reported that the Scheduled Caste (SC) representation has exceeded its 16% limit.






SC orders IAF to reinstate cadet axed for card fraud

TNN Dec 16, 2011, 12.13AM IST


NEW DELHI: A woman flight cadet, who was dismissed from service by Indian Air Force for lacking in officer like quality (OLQ), will soon start her career in the coveted force as a ground duty officer, albeit two years later than her batchmates.

The Andhra Pradesh High Court had taken a lenient view of her alleged non-OLQ trait – taking her batch-mate’s ATM card without her permission and drawing Rs 10,000. Though the friend complained to the authorities at the training headquarters, she later withdrew it. The HC said just one lapse was not sufficient ground for her dismissal and ordered her reinstatement.






SC: Why has LN Mishra murder trial dragged for 37 years?

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN Dec 16, 2011, 04.07AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday wanted to know why trial in the murder of then railway minister L N Mishra, who wielded considerable political clout being close to then PM Indira Gandhi, in a bomb attack in Samastipur on January 2, 1975 was dragging in the lower court even after 37 years.






Sankararaman murder: HC dismisses plea seeking release of accused

Published: Thursday, Dec 15, 2011, 20:48 IST
Place: Chennai | Agency: PTI

The Madras High Court has dismissed a petition seeking release of Subramanian, an accused in the ‘Sankararaman Murder Case’, who turned approver and then retracted his statement and was declared a ‘hostile’ witness.

The court held that it did not find any legality in the Habeas Corpus Petition filed by 80-year-old P Rajalakshmi, mother of Subramanian.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices C Nagappan and T Sudanthiram, pointed out that according to section 306 (4) CrPC, a person accepting pardon under sub-section (1) of the section had to be detained in custody until termination of the trial, unless the person was already on bail.

The Bench said an application for prosecuting Subramanian for perjury under section IPC 193 for turning hostile after becoming an approver was still pending. The prosecution had also filed a petition on June 17, 2010 for initiating proceedings against him for the original charges in respect of which the ‘Tender of Pardon’ was granted.

The 2004 murder case, in which Kanchi seer Jayendra Saraswathi is the main accused, is pending before the Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge.

On August 25 last, the Madras High Court had stayed the proceedings on a petition from an advocate alleging that attempts were being made to influence the outcome of the trial.

In the HCP seeking release of Subramanian, arrested on December 13,2004 and lodged in the sub-jail at Kancheepuram, Rajalakshmi pointed out that the other 24 persons accused in the case, including the Kanchi Seer, had been granted bail.

The aged woman claimed that Subramanian was ‘forced to give evidence’ as an approver and was given pardon under section 306 Crpc on January 20, 2006 by the Chengalpattu Chief Metropolitan.Later, he had withdrawn his statement.

Claiming that her son was afflicted with serious liver, kidney and diabetic problems and was not being given proper treatment in jail, she said she had filed the HCP as Subramanian could not move a regular bail application since the trial had been stayed by the High Court.






Suspended DSP, wanted in custodial death surrenders

PTI | 09:12 PM,Dec 15,2011

Ramban (J-K), Dec 15 (PTI) A suspended Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) today surrendered before a local court in connection with a custodial death in 1995. DSP Sonaullah Naik, who was absconding in the case, today surrendered before sessions court in Ramban district and was sent to police custody. Aiyaz Ahmed Wani died in police custody in Banihal area on October 15, 1995. An FIR was registered against the DSP in this connection. Confirming Naik’s custody, SP Ramban Anil Magotra said that he surrendered after his property was attached and a decision to auction it was taken.






Manish Khatau urged by Bombay HC not to drive

Published: Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Nearly five years after being acquitted in a case of hit-and-run that claimed the life of an on-duty police constable, Manish Khatau was on Thursday “advised” by the Bombay high court to either hire a chauffeur or ask his wife-to-be to drive him around. Manish has moved the high court, seeking a modification of a previous court order that restricts him from driving in India.

Senior counsel Amit Desai, appearing on behalf of Manish, started the argument with: “Such incidents take place in childhood leave behind a mark for the entire life”.

Pleading Manish’s case, Desai said, “After being acquitted by the sessions court, Manish even completed his studies abroad and has now returned to join his business, and is soon to be married. However, the high court order of allowing him to study abroad had placed this rider, which now needs a modification.”

Reminding Desai that the state government’s appeal against Manish’s acquittal was still pending in the high court, additional public prosecutor Pradeep Hingorani argued, “The victim in the said case was an on-duty police constable who died a few months after the incident. However, the application of Khatau is not served upon us, thus no reply can be filed.”

Division bench of Justice VM Kanade and Justice ML Tahaliyani also reiterated the same thing and directed the applicants to circulate the application in the registry.

When Desai put forward the argued that, “In today’s world, it is impossible to move without a car”, the bench retorted with: “Why don’t you hire a chauffeur, tell your wife to drive.”






1984 anti-Sikh riots: Hearing on plea against Jagdish Tytler deferred

Published: Thursday, Dec 15, 2011, 20:25 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A Delhi court today deferred the hearing on a plea by 1984 anti-Sikh riots victims against a magisterial court order accepting the CBI report to close a riot case against Congress leader Jagdish Tytler.

Additional sessions judge Sarita Birbal deferred the hearing the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims due to the lawyers’ strike in Karkardooma court premises. The lawyers had resorted to the strike due to alleged misbehaviour of police with one of them.

The victim in their plea had also sought further probe by CBI into the case, claiming that there was further emergence of fresh evidence against Tytler.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on January 25 next year. It is slated to hear the final arguments from the victims on their plea challenging the CBI report to close the case against Tytler.

On April 27 last year, a magistrate had accepted the CBI closure report in the case against Tytler, saying there was no evidence to put him on trial.

Lakhwinder Kaur, whose husband was killed in riots, had approached the sessions court challenging the order of the magistrate.

The CBI had given a clean chit to Tytler on April 2, 2009 claiming lack of evidence against him in the case pertaining to the murder of three persons on November 1, 1984, in wake of the assassination of then prime minister Indira Gandhi.

Tytler’s alleged role in the case relating to the killings of three persons in the riots, including that of one Badal Singh near Gurudwara Pulbangash in North Delhi was re-investigated by CBI after a court had in December 2007 refused to accept its closure report.

The court had allowed CBI’s arguments that Tytler was present at late Indira Gandhi’s residence at Teen Murti Bhavan and was not at the scene of crime, saying its contentions were justified by material, including some visual tapes and versions of some independent witnesses.

Witness Jasbir (now residing in California), in an affidavit, had claimed before the Nanavati Commission that he had heard Tytler on November 3, 1984, rebuking his men for the “nominal killings” carried out in the riots.

The court rejected Jasbir’s version, saying he had deposed for something which took place on November 3 while the case related to an incident of November 1, 1984.






Mullaperiyar: J Jayalalithaa wants full height, nothing less

Published: Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 9:00 IST | Updated: Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 0:23 IST
By Kumar Chellappan | Place: Chennai | Agency: DNA

Tamil Nadu, which is currently at loggerheads with neighbouring Kerala, over the Mullaperiyar issue, on Thursday said it will not under any circumstances give up its right over the 116-year-old dam.

A resolution to this effect was passed unanimously in a specially convened one-day session of the legislative assembly on Thursday. The resolution was moved by chief minister Jayalalithaa.

Through the resolution, Jayalalithaa has called for increase in water level in the dam from the present 136 ft to 142 ft. The resolution wanted the water level to be increased to the full storage level of 152 ft over a period of time.
Jayalalithaa also asked the Centre to deploy para military forces to ensure the safety of the dam from vandals.
The dam has been a bone of contention between Tamil Nadu and Kerala for the last 35 years. Kerala which wants to build a new dam, had approached the Supreme Court with a plea to bring down the water level from 132 ft to 120 ft in view of frequent tremors recorded near the dam site and water seeping out of the body of the dam.
The apex court on Thursday rejected Kerala’s plea and asked Tamil Nadu to maintain the water level at the 136 ft. The chief minister in her resolution said Kerala was deliberately spreading rumors that the dam was not safe and could burst any time.
Jayalalithaa said there was no justification for the apprehensions of Kerala that the dam was weak and a new dam should be built in place of the existing dam. The CM also alleged that Kerala’s ploy for a new dam was with an eye to reduce the water level.
While all political parties including the DMK supported the motion, conspicuous by his absence was the DMK supremo M Karunanidhi. It is a standard practice for Karunanidhi to skip the sessions during Jayalalithaa’s tenure as chief minister.






Pawar slapper claims he ‘lost sense’ at time of incident

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, December 15, 2011

First Published: 23:32 IST(15/12/2011)
Last Updated: 23:33 IST(15/12/2011)

Arvinder Singh, who had slapped union minister Sharad Pawar, has now claimed before a Delhi court to be “unaware” of the incident, saying he had “lost his senses” at that time as he suffered a bout of “mental disorder”. Singh, in a bail application filed on Thursday before a sessions court here, said he was present at the function but “suddenly met with stroke/bout of mental disorder”.

“On November 24, 2011, when he (Singh) was in convention  centre, NDMC building, Palika Kendra, Connaught Place, New  Delhi, he suddenly met with stroke/bout of mental disorder and lost his senses and is unaware what has happened after that,” the application filed through advocate Kapil Dhaka said.

It said that Singh was falsely implicated by the police  “under pressure and influence of senior political persons”.

In the application, which is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow, 27-year-old Singh said he has apprehension of his life and that “political pressure cannot be overruled.”

A magistrate had on Wednesday denied bail to Singh saying he required further treatment at Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS).





Two get lifer in double murder

TNN Dec 16, 2011, 01.12AM IST

AMRAVATI: A district and sessions court awarded life sentence to two persons in a double murder case.

Mahendra alias Vithhal Tidke (26) and Bali alias Pintu Rameshwar Tayde (26) are the names of the convicts. Ashadevi Sarda, a resident of Walgaon village, and her accountant Ramrao Chinche were found dead at Sarda’s home on September 16, 2007. About 400 gm of gold jewellery was also missing from the bungalow.

Sarda used to live alone and would go to her son Rajendra’s house in same village at night. Tidke used to be a servant in Sarda’s bungalow but was sacked from work due to his drinking habit.

Mahendra and his accomplice Pintu had murdered Sarda and Chinche by strangulating them and later destroyed the evidence. Rajendra Sarda filed a complaint with police. After investigation, police arrested Mahendra and Pintu from Indore on May 2008 and seized gold jewellery which the accused sold in Kanpur, Shirdi, Morshi and Washim.

Police had filed a charge sheet on August 2008. Adv Vivek Kale presented the side of the government. Twenty-nine witnesses were examined during the hearing.






HC acquits 4 in Chilkari killings case

Four suspected Maoists, who had been sentenced to death for allegedly murdering 19 persons, including former CM Babulal Marandi’s son Anup Marandi, in 2007, were acquitted by the Jharkhand High Court Thursday.

“No evidence conclusively proves them guilty,” the HC said. On June 23, a Sessions court had sentenced to death Jeetan Marandi, Anil Sao, Chatrapati Mandal and Manoj Rajwar.

The prosecution had claimed that on October 26, 2007, the four men, “members of the Maoist Communist Centre”, came to a cultural programme at Chilkari village in Giridih looking for Marandi’s brother Nunu, who was “running a campaign against them”. When they failed to get Nunu, the four men sprayed the gathering with bullets, “killing 19 persons, including Anup.”





Navi Mumbai cops fare better on probes

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | Dec 16, 2011, 07.36AM IST

MUMBAI: If the police struggled to complete investigation in criminal cases, the conviction rates in the courts too dipped in the city. Of the 1.37 lakh IPC cases pending before various magisterial and civil and sessions court in Mumbai in 2006, just about 2,512, or 1.83%, ended in convictions , while a bulk-6 ,366 cases-resulted in acquittal orders. More than 92% of the cases remained pending.

The trend worsened in 2010, when of the total 1.68 lakh criminal cases awaiting justice, the prosecution could secure conviction orders in just 1,948 cases, plunging the conviction rate to an all-time low of 1.15%. In almost 7,000 cases, the defendants got acquitted. And another 1.58 lakh cases stayed pending. Neighbouring Thane commissionerate fared as badly as Mumbai.

“The conviction rate in cases filed by the Thane police commissionerate has never touched the 1% mark in the last five years. From 0.31% in 2006, the conviction rate slipped to 0.26% in 2010. Out of the 69,481 cases pending in various courts in Thane in 2006, only 218 cases ended in conviction orders, while 2,472 resulted in acquittals,” an officer associated with the statistics branch told TOI.

“In 2010, the acquittal numbers fell to 1,946 but so did the conviction rate. In merely 220 cases, or 0.26% of the times, were people found guilty of offences registered against them by the Thane police,” the officer added.

The officer, however, could not explain the Thane police’s inability to close investigations. The pendency rate of probes in Thane increased to 27% in 2010 from 23% five years before. In 2006, of the 10,305 IPC offences registered by the Thane police, the police could not file a final report or chargesheet in 2,391 cases. By 2010, the figure rose to 3,596.

“It is true that the difference in input and output of cases is growing, but this is largely due to manpower shortage for detection. It does not help that we are burdened with tasks that are not necessarily police duties,” protested a top police official on condition of anonymity.

The picture was better in one respect in Navi Mumbai, the boomtown residential hub. IPC offences pending investigation rose 45% in the five years recorded in the state police data. In 2006, there were 5,181 criminal cases being probed, but 32.5% of them, or 1,685, could not be completed. In 2010, the case figure was 7,501, but the pendency rate decreased to 29.6%.

Again, in Navi Mumbai, only 44 cases , or 0.17%, of the total the 24,704 cases pending trial attracted conviction in 2006. Against this, the total number of cases increased to 32,009 in the year, but the conviction rate slipped to 0.12% (41 cases).

“The acquittal rate in IPC cases in Navi Mumbai shows a significant rise. From 484 instances of acquittals in 2006, it nearly doubled to 848 cases in 2010. Of course, it could be because of the larger number of total cases,” the police officer said.

Times View

Adipping conviction rate is one of the more important indicators of lax governance. It emboldens, if not encourages, law-breakers and contributes to a state of lawlessness and a vicious cycle; lower conviction rates lead to more crime and saddle an inept and alreadyoverburdened system with even more work.

There could be several reasons for the failure of the system to solve crime, book criminals and bring them to justice; but a lack of honesty of purpose has to be the most important.





Impersonation case: Court upholds charges against two girls–Court-upholds-charges-against-two-girls/888387/

A sessions court in the Karkardooma courts complex on Thursday has upheld the cheating and impersonation charges against two girls, one of whom sat in place of the other in a medical entrance test.

Additional Sessions Judge T R Naval also upheld the charge of cheating and criminal conspiracy against the second girl’s father for making his daughter write the paper after taking a payment of Rs 1.5 lakh.

The judge said there was sufficient material evidence in the form of statements of witnesses against all three for framing charges against them.

“The reasons which support my decision to uphold the charges are firstly that all the ingredients which make out the offence of cheating, criminal conspiracy and cheating by impersonation are there in the present case,” the judge said.

The court said the evidence showed that the girl’s father was present at the examination centre and he had brought his daughter there for appearing in the common entrance test in the place of another.

For this purpose, he had also agreed upon a sum of Rs 1.5 lakh from the other girl of which he took an advance of Rs 50,000. He was to receive the remaining amount after his daughter cleared the exam for the other girl, the court said.

As per the prosecution, IP University had conducted a common entrance examination (CET) on June 15, 2005.

The two girls, along with the father of one of them, were caught by the officials at St Lawrence Convent examination centre of Geeta Colony in East Delhi.







Social boycott best punishment for the corrupt, says Justice Hegde

Former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde on Thursday suggested “social boycott” of those who “appear to be corrupt” to act as a deterrent against indulging in corrupt practices besides a strong Lokpal and Lokayukta Act.

Delivering the JP centenary lecture on “Corruption in India and People’s Problems” organized jointly by the JP Centenary Committee, the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and the Gujarat Lok Andolan at the Gujarat Vidyapith here, Justice Hegde said social boycotts could be the “best punishment” for such people pending convictions under the Act.

“Do not invite such people on any public forum, no one should approach them for anything so that they are made to feel that they are not wanted by the people,” he said.

Justice Hegde turned down a suggestion to resume the office of the Karnataka Lokayukta — the post he vacated recently. Commenting on the reported statement by the Karnataka Governor that it would not take more than two minutes for him to clear his re-appointment as the Lokayukta if he was agreeable, Justice Hegde said the Lokayukta should enjoy the confidence of all but in his case both the ruling and the main opposition party had expressed lack of confidence in him and therefore, there was “no question of my taking back the post.”

About the pending cases which he had exposed during his tenure as the Lokayukta but had remained incomplete, he said he would continue to “pursue the cases as a responsible citizen” but it would be for the next Lokayukta to take them to their “logical conclusion”. About his performance as the Lokayukta, he said he was happy that he had at least made the institution in Karnataka a “feared organisation”.

Pointing out that giving bribe was as much an offence as taking it, Justice Hegde also suggested that every citizen of the country should take an oath for himself that he would neither offer nor accept bribe. According to him 90, per cent of corruption thrived only because people wanted to get some illegal things done or wanted to get some legal things done in a hurry bypassing the procedural delays.

“Except for some unforeseen emergencies, most other works can be executed through proper planning. Why should one pay bribe for that?” he said.

He agreed with a suggestion that people should not pay the taxes for any service provided by the government or the civic authorities if the service was not satisfactory. “It is a complex issue, but I agree with the suggestion. If the roads are bad, people may refuse to pay road tax but it should be confined to the particular service and not stretched to total no tax,” he said.

Pointing out that enormous public wealth was being wasted by Parliament and sometimes by the State Assemblies by not allowing the Houses to function on one ground or the other, Justice Hegde said the secretariats of Parliament and State Assemblies should every year publish “performance audit” to inform the people what their elected representatives were doing for them. “It is time to tell the elected representatives that you can not fool all the people all the time,” he said.

He also commented on the people’s representatives who were more committed to their respective political parties than the people who elect them. “Our constitution is not the gift of Parliament, but of the people. We need to encourage people’s politics rather than party politics.” Advocating a strong Lokpal Bill, he said it should be constituted by a committee of judges, representatives of reputed academic institutions and eminent personalities. The government should not have any say in the appointment of the Lokpal or Lokayuktas in the States — institutions which should be subjected to judicial review so that they did not assume “monstrous powers.”

But in no case the politicians should have any control on the institution of Lokpal and Lokayukta. It would be desirable to make the institution of Lokpal and Lokayukta a constitutional body, but since that would take at least about a year’s time to complete the process, it should be immediately started with a statutory body, he said.

Justice Hedge disagreed that he had developed any difference with Team Anna and said the people were drawing the “erroneous conclusion” because he was not often seen with the crusader against corruption.

It is because his engagements were fixed well in advance and it might not be always possible to be seen along with the Gandhian activist at the venue of his fasts.

“But I am very much with Mr. Hazare and doing his job of spreading consciousness against corruption in my own way,” he said.







Paswan demands quota for weaker sections in Lokpal

LJP president Ram Vilas Paswan staged a dharna on the premises of the Parliament for the second successive day on Thursday demanding reservation for weaker sections in the proposed Lokpal, higher judiciary and private sector.

Mr. Paswan claimed that over 100 MPs belonging to the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, the OBCs, the minorities and women joined the dharna staged at the main gate of Parliament to press these demands.

Mr. Paswan said leaders from all the parties at Wednesday’s all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill convened by the Prime Minister had supported his suggestion for reservation to the weaker sections in the Lokpal.

According to Mr. Paswan a delegation of 50 MPs had under his leadership also called on the Prime Minister to press their demand last week.

Mr. Paswan said he would be raising this issue in Parliament on December 20 and resolved to continue his agitation till his demands were met.

The LJP chief also presses for setting up an All India Judicial Services with reservations for socially backward groups, reservation in private sector, and immediate action for reservation in promotion and proper utilisation of funds under the SC/ST sub-component plan.







Court releases Chilkari massacre accused

The Jharkhand High Court on Thursday released cultural activist Jiten Marandi and three others who were sentenced to death by a Giridih court district in the Chilkari massacre case.

They had been charged for offences under 148 (rioting with deadly weapons), 120B (conspiracy), 302 (murder) and some other Sections of the Indian Penal Code; Section 27 of the Arms Act; the Criminal Law Amendment Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act in connection with the October 26, 2007 massacre at Chilkari of 19 persons along Anup Marandi, son of the former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi. Several others were injured. Acquitting Jiten Marandi, Manoj Rajwar, Chhatrapati Mandal and Anil Ram, Justices R. K. Merethia and D. N. Upadhayaas said the prosecution was not able to provide sufficient evidence against the accused.

After the judgment, Jiten’s wife, Aparna Marandi, said: “My husband was framed and today’s court order proved his innocence. The police arrested him in a case of mistaken identity. He only shares the same name with a Maoist who was involved in the crime of killing of 19 innocent people.”

Allegations false

She further claimed that the allegations made by the prosecution were false. Mr. Marandi’s lawyer said: “Jiten was arrested on April 5, 2008 from Ranchi’s Ratu Road. Delivering an inflammatory speech and causing road blockades were given as reasons for his arrest. He was sent to Hatwar Jail in Ranchi. Before he could get bail, the Giridih police remanded him in custody on April 12 for the Chilkhari massacre.”

According to the defence counsel, six witnesses, who were produced before the court by the police, had a criminal background and were proved to be absent from the spot during the incident.

Meanwhile, none of the 12 injured persons could identify Jiten Marandi or the other accused.

“The police was not clear when they started their hunt for Jiten Marandi. The Devri police station had sent a letter (letter no. 205/08 dated February 21, 2008) to the In-Charge at Nimiyaghat police station which asked that a search and arrest warrant be issued in the name of the accused Jiten Marandi alias Shyamlal Kisku who hails fromNimiyaghat. It is clear that instead of arresting the Jiten Marandi that police was searching for, they arrested a different Jiten Marandi,” the defence counsel added.







2G scam: Former bureaucrat Siddharth Behura denied bail

New Delhi:  The Delhi High court has rejected the bail petition of Siddharth Behura, former Telecom Secretary. Mr Behura is among the 14 people who were arrested for the telecom scam allegedly masterminded by A Raja when he headed the Telecom Ministry in 2008.

The court said that Mr Behura was the Department of Telecommunication (DoT) Secretary and there are many crucial witnesses from the DoT who he can influence and he can also tamper with the evidence.

The court added that Mr Behura’s case is different from that of the other accused because he was a public servant and hence, faces more serious charges under section 409 along with Mr Raja. It said being a public servant, Mr Behura was in a position of authority and commanded public trust.

12 people – including executives from Reliance ADAG and Unitech – have been granted bail recently.  There were three public servants accused of criminal conspiracy and breach of public trust-  Mr Raja, RK Chandolia and Mr Behura.  Mr Chandolia, who was Mr Raja’s Personal Secretary, was granted bail a few days ago.
Mr Behura and Mr Raja remain in prison.






Raze Mahim pipeline hutments: High Court

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 16, 2011, 12.59AM IST

MUMBAI: The BMC will finally be able to remove encroachments on the main water pipeline at Mahim after the High Court on Thursday lifted a stay by a lower court.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi heard an appeal filed by the BMC against the October 31 stay given by the city civil court in a suit filed by hutment dwellers of Shivshakti Nagar.

On October 14, 2009, the HC, hearing a PIL stating that the water pipelines are old and need to be replaced and protected from encroachers, had directed removal of hutments on water pipelines within 10 metres on either side.

BMC advocate Geeta Joglekar argued that despite the HC’s order directing removal, the lower court had granted a stay. “As per the HC direction, the BMC had issued notices for removal and after verifying the documents, final orders passed for their removal since were held ineligible,” said Joglekar.

An affidavit filed by sub-engineer (maintenance ) G/ North ward, stated that notices were issued to 161 hutment dwellers of which 117 are on the east side of the water main. Sixty were held eligible as per the 1994 electoral list. Thereafter, the collector issued a letter stating that the list was based on bogus documents and declined to certify it. Since the BMC could not rely on the list, all 60 eligible persons were held non-eligible.

On behalf of slum-dwellers, advocate Ashok Saraogi argued that 127 slum-dwellers were not given a hearing. “We know at some point of time we have to move out of here, but we also have to be considered,” he submitted.

Allowing the BMC’s appeal, the judges in their order censured the lower court, saying “it should not have entertained” the prayer for stay in the suit filed by hutment dwellers.

The first phase of removal was to be completed by December 15, 2011. The judges have extended it to December 24, 2011, granting a week’s time to the hutment dwellers to shift their belongings.






High court seeks reply from government,


TNN Dec 15, 2011, 09.22PM IST

LUCKNOW: The high court has sought response from the state government and the Lucknow Development Authority by December 19 on a petition challenging the change of land use of a land in Gomtinagar, to be handed over to Wave Developers Ltd for constructing a 5-star hotel /multi-complex .

The order came from the bench of Justice Pradeep Kant and Justice Shabihul Hasnain on a PIL filed by a local journalist. The petitioner said the state acquired 2.5 hectare land in Ujariyaon village for public purpose.
The land was given to LDA for developing it for community cultural activities.







High Court seeks answers on drinking water project delay

TNN Dec 15, 2011, 07.48PM IST

KOCHI: State government and director of Kerala Sustainable Urban Development Project (KSUDP) should state the reasons for the delay in implementing drinking water project in Alappuzha, the Kerala High Court ruled on Wednesday.

Admitting a petition filed by a resident of Alappuzha through advocate BH Mansoor, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice PR Ramachandran Menon asked the chief secretary, secretary of Local Self Government department, and KSUDP director to file affidavits stating reasons for not implementing the drinking water project that would have benefitted Alappuzha town and eight adjacent panchayats.

The drinking water project was formulated in 2008 by the State government under the Central government-sponsored Urban Infrastructure Development Scheme for Small and Medium Town Scheme.

KSUDP was appointed as the nodal agency for implementing the scheme for which administrative sanction was granted in September 2007.

Following administrative delay in implementation, another resident of Alappuzha had approached the high court for continuation of the scheme.

The court had ordered for completion of the project within three months in June 2009. Even though a company was selected for laying heavy density polyethylene pipe in 19.2 kilometres based on tender notification in October 2008, re-tendering was carried out in May 2009 following administrative clash between project manager of Kerala Water Authority in Alappuzha and KSUDP.

The company that won the tender was again selected in re-tendering but no finalization on tender has been done by the government even after the formation of an empowering committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to implement the project, the petitioner contends. Due to the apathetic and lethargic attitude of officials, water supply scheme funded by the central government is delayed and has resulted in violation of the fundamental rights of the residents of Alappuzha, the petitioner points out.







Bombay High Court relief for Nimbus

Published: Friday, Dec 16, 2011, 7:59 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai

In a major relief for Nimbus Communications, the Bombay High Court on Thursday directed three banks to give it (Nimbus) three days notice before forfeiting bank guarantee of Rs2,000 crore.

Justice SJ Vazifdar was hearing an application filed by the broadcast rights holder seeking injunction on BCCI’s notice to the banks for forfeiture of the guarantee following default on payments by Nimbus.

Janak Dwarkadas, counsel appearing for the banks, informed the high court that they were not ready to forfeit the guarantee at this stage. After Dwarkadas’s statement, justice Vazifdar remarked that there was no need for high court to hear Nimbus’ application.

Nimbus had also filed a petition challenging BCCI’s decision to terminate the contract for defaulting on payments. Iqbal Chagla, counsel for Nimbus agreed that the company was in default but argued that they had sought extension of time for fulfilling their commitment. Chagla said: “Before that (deciding on extension of time) BCCI sought to terminate the contract and seek forfeiture of the bank guarantees,” argued Chagla.

BCCI counsel Rafiq Dada informed the court that, Nimbus had to make 50 per cent of the payment (Rs137 crore) a month before commencement of the West Indies series on November 6, ie, by October 7. However, when they failed to make the payment, BCCI reminded them through a letter on October 30, said Dada.

A four-year-deal was signed between Nimbus and BCCI in October 2009 for Rs2,000 crore for telecast rights of matches to be played in India. Nimbus’s petition challenging the termination will come up for hearing in due course of time.





Karnataka High Court stays FIR against Krishna, Kumaraswamy

In a relief to External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday stayed an FIR filed by the Lokayukta Police against him on a private complaint accusing him of facilitating illegal mining during his tenure as State Chief Minister.

Passing the interim order on a petition by Mr. Krishna, Justice B. V. Pinto directed respondent T. J. Abraham, on whose complaint the FIR was registered, to file objections by January 6.

The Lokayukta Police on December 8 had registered the FIR against Mr. Krishna and two other former Chief Ministers N. Dharam Singh and H. D. Kumaraswamy, who succeeded him, besides 11 officials, following a directive by Lokayukta judge N. K. Sudhindra Rao.

Mr. Krishna had moved the High Court on December 9 seeking quashing of the private complaint and the FIR.

When the matter came up in the High Court today, Mr. Krishna’s counsel Uday Lalit contended that the allegations made in the private complaint did not constitute an offence prima facie as they were based on the Lokayukta report on illegal mining which, he said, did not refer to his client’s name.

“Hence there was no question of Lokayukta Police filing FIR against Krishna,” he reasoned. Moreover, the Lokayukta report refers to granting of mining lease after 2006 when N. Dharam Singh was the Chief Minister, he argued.

“There was no reference in the Lokayukta report of granting mining lease in 2004 when Krishna was chief minister…hence allegations levelled by the respondent (Abraham) do not constitute an offence,” Mr. Lalit argued.

In his petition, Mr. Krishna had submitted he had not committed “any illegality or irregularity” in the mining sector.

The FIR has been filed against Mr. Krishna under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act, Forest Conservation Act, Forest Act and Minerals and Metals Regulation and Development Act.

Relief for Kumaraswamy

The Court also granted an interim stay on an FIR registered by Lokayukta Police against former Chief Minister H. D. Kumaraswamy following a complaint accusing him of facilitating illegal mining during his tenure and posted the hearing to January 5.

Justice B. V. Pinto directed Lokayukta Police not to arrest Mr. Kumaraswamy and family members. The judge directed complainant T. J. Abraham to file objections to arguments put forth by Mr. Kumaraswamy’s counsel Hazmath Pasha before January 5.

Mr. Pasha contended that false and frivolous complaints were filed with an intention to gain publicity and harass Mr. Kumaraswamy and his family members.

Counsel contended that the complaint was “not maintainable” as an earlier one on the matter of renewing mining lease of Jantakal Mining Company was dismissed by the High Court on October 21. “Therefore since it is the second complaint on the same matter, it amounts to double jeopardy”, he submitted.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: