LEGAL NEWS 22/23.12.2011

2002 Gujarat riots: Nanavati Commission credibility hit again

The Nanavati Commission which is inquiring into the 2002 Gujarat riots has been facing criticism on various counts, especially the delay in submission of its report. Amazingly, on Tuesday it got its seventeenth extension, harming its credibility even further.

The commission’s credentials were always questionable as it was appointed by the same Gujarat government which was in the dock over the riots. The manner in which the commission went about its job did nothing to belie suspicion about its very purpose. Despite its terms being expanded to include examining the role of chief minister Narendra Modi, the commission has not summoned him for deposition so far.

One of the members of the probe panel – Justice Akshay Mehta – was under a cloud due to the revelations of Babu Bajrangi, the prime accused in the Naroda Patiya massacre. In a sting operation, Bajrangi claimed that Justice Mehta had granted him bail as a high court judge without even looking at the files, with Mr Modi having a role in the case being assigned to him.

Further, the acquittal of 63 accused in the Godhra train case was an embarrassment for the panel which had concurred with the police’s story. Expecting an unbiased report from such a panel seems like a long shot.





Supreme Court committee members to visit Mullaperiyar dam


Two members of the Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee (EC) on Mullaperiyar dam will visit the dam on Saturday.

C.D. Thatte and D.K. Mehta, the technical members of the EC, will visit the Idukki, Kulamavu, and Cheruthoni dams on their way to Mullaperiyar dam on Friday. Mullaperiyar Special Cell chairman M.K. Parameswaran Nair and member James Wilson, Irrigation Department Chief Engineer P. Lathika, and Irrigation Department Executive Engineer (Inter-State Waters) Leena George will accompany the committee members.

The members are expected to reach Thekkady by evening and stay there overnight, senior government sources told The Hindu. On Saturday, they will visit Mullaperiyar dam. As per the schedule, they are expected to spend the entire day at the dam. The members will then proceed to Tamil Nadu on Sunday where they will visit among other places the Vaigai Reservoir.

The visit by EC members assume significance in the wake of recurring tremors experienced in the vicinity of the dam and the tension prevailing between the two border States over the safety of the dam.

Tamil Nadu authorities have brought equipment from Maharashtra to check the safety of the dam ahead of the visit of EC members.





Court orders status quo

Special Correspondent

The Madras High Court on Thursday ordered that status quo be maintained till December 23 in a matter relating to a building allotted to M.K. Stalin, Kolathur MLA, to run his office in the constituency.

Justice V. Dhanapalan passed the order on a writ petition by Mr. Stalin.

Mr. Stalin stated that the Chennai Corporation had allotted him the building on First Circle Road in Jawahar Nagar. It was an old structure and had not been used for at least 10 years by the civic body. It was renovated to run the MLA office. On Thursday a resolution was adopted authorising the corporation to recover the building. He alleged that the authorities were determined to take over the building. False information was furnished in the resolution as if there was an order in a writ petition that the building should be used only for educational activities. At no point of time was the 4500 sq.ft. structure used for educational purposes. Ever since a portion of the building was allotted to him, the State government started questioning the same. There was an immediate urgency to protect the office.

Mr. Justice Dhanapalan said after hearing the Advocate-General he intended to hear the action contemplated under the Chennai City Municipal Corporation Act, under which the State government should give an opportunity of hearing to the person concerned. The Advocate-General consistently said that an opportunity was given. The Judge posted the case for Friday.





Actor told to appear before Family Court

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

BHUBANESWAR: A family court has asked actor Dushmant Panda and his wife Kajal to appear on January 25. Earlier, a case had been before the family court by Priti Mohanty who had claimed that the duo was in a conjugal relationship.

�Panda has been surrounded by controversy ever since Priti came up with the claims and even his marriage with actress Kajal was a spoilt affair.� Cases have been filed with the police from both sides in this connection. �






Court directs owner not to run chemical unit

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 03.36AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Thursday directed a chemical factory owner to refrain from running the factory, following gas leakage on January 28, 2011, which had claimed six lives and injured 10 persons.

The order was passed by a division bench comprising Justice Abdul Mateen and Justice SK Saxena on the PIL filed by Uttam Kumar Gupta and others. The PIL demanded compensation to the victims’ families and action against the factory – Amit Hetrochem Labs India Ltd, Hardoi – for violating the provisions of the Environmental Protection Act. On Thursday, the court was apprised that the factory was going to run its business, which is not just. However, the owners of the factory contended that they were shifting to Gujarat.







Vaitarna among most polluted rivers in state

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 06.22AM IST

MUMBAI: Vaitarna, which provides drinking water to Mumbai, is among the most polluted rivers in Maharashtra. The only solace for Mumbaikars is that the BMC has one of the finest water treatment plants in the country. Residents of other towns are not so lucky.

In an affidavit filed before the Bombay High Court, in reply to a PIL filed by former BMC corporator Nicholas Almeida, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has admitted that the bio-chemical oxygen demand (BOD) exceeds its standard of 5mg/litre all the time.

Among rivers where the values are exceeded all the time are Bhima, Damanganga , Godavari, Indrayani, Kolar , Krishna, Mithi, Mula, Mutha, Pawana, Pedhi, Purna , Tapi, Ulhas, Vaitarna, Wena and Wainganga. Many townships located on riverbanks are the sources of pollution , said the MPCB. “High BOD values observed in the downstream stretch of rivers at major cities indicate poor domestic waste water treatment. Locations close to the cities show frequent noncompliance of standards,” reads the MPCB report.

The board has 248 monitoring sites and checked the water quality of all rivers in the state on a monthly basis between 2007 and 2009.

Almeida said he was forced to file the PIL as the state was granting permissions to set up hazardous industries close to riverbanks through the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC). “If the government violates its own notification, what can an ordinary citizen do,” he asked.

The MPCB report states that water quality of 29 seafronts and creeks is poor, except at Ganapatipule, Bhagwati Bunder, Karambhane creek and Mandavi Bunder. Polluted beaches include Malabar Hill, Gateway of India, Nariman Point, Girgaum Chowpatty, Haji Ali, Dadar Chowpatty, Worli sea-face , Mahim creek, Juhu beach, Versova, Vashi, Thane and Kalwa creek and Arnala.

Nitrate pollution is becoming more prevalent in ground water in Maharashtra, states the report. Studies carried out by Groundwater Survey and Development Agency revealed that 87 talukas in 22 districts have shown nitrate levels about desirable limits.

The MPCB told the HC that high nitrate levels are of great concern as it may cause mortality , especially in newborns.

Godfrey Pimenta, Almeida’s advocate, said the HC on Thursday issued a showcause notice to MPCB to explain why polluting industries were allowed to operate near rivers. The next hearing is on January 16.





2002 post-Godhra riots probe: Nanavati Mehta Inquiry Commission to give final report by March

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 04.16AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Nanavati Mehta Inquiry Commission probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots will submit its final report by March 31, 2012. During hearing on a PIL seeking details on the status on the commission, the state government produced a letter from the panel stating that it will submit its report by the end of March.

The submission was made by government pleader P K Jani before a Gujarat high court division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala. Last week, the court had asked the state government to find out from the two-member commission if it had got an extension and when it would be submitting its findings.

The direction was issued on the basis of a PIL filed by Jignesh Goswami through his advocate K G Pandit. Goswami in his petition had sought to know whether the commission has applied for extension of its term, and if yes, was the state government ready to grant it.

On Thursday, the government pleader submitted the letter from the commission. It says that the commission is likely to submit its report by the end of its extended term, which is March 31, 2012. Jani also informed the court that on December 20, the commission’s term, which was to end on December 31, was extended till March 31. This is the 17th extension given to the commission since its inception in March 2002.

After hearing the response from the commission and government, the HC bench said they would wait till March 31, and if no report is submitted by then, the matter would be taken up in first week of April for appropriate orders.

The petitioner had sought 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.

The petitioner has said that even after more than nine years, and 17 extensions, it has only submitted an interim report in September 2008, but not given its final report, neither has it informed the state government or the people of Gujarat when it intends to submit the final report, he added.






ISKCON allowed to have Jagannath Rath Yatra at Shivaji Park

Published: Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, 22:27 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court on Thursday granted permission to the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) to hold Jagannath Rath Yatra at Shivaji Park on January 7, 2012.

A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice Roshan Dalvi have allowed Iskcon to hold the rath yatra, however, with the condition that they would not disturb the scheduled cricket matches at the park.

Sandeep Aole, advocate for Wecom trust, who had originally filed PIL seeking declaration of Shivaji Park as silence zone, said that cricket matches have been scheduled at the Shivaji Park for January 7 and 8, 2012. “If stages are erected then it would damage the cricket pitch,” said Aole.

Sachin Shetye, advocate for ISKCON, assured Aole that the stage would be in one corner and would not damage the pitch. However, Aole contended that it would still damage the outfield. “The outfield would be occupied even if they don’t use the pitch,” said Aole.

The court has allowed ISKCON to use the Park on January 6, 7 and 8, 2012, and asked them to clean the ground immediately after the rath yatra.

They have also been directed to ensure that the cricket pitch is not affected in any ways.




Bombay HC asks BMC to clear Vikhroli hurdles on foot overbridge

Published: Friday, Dec 23, 2011, 8:45 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

In a major relief to commuters at the Vikhroli railway station, the Bombay High Court has asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clear all illegal encroachments on either side of the station by March 31, 2012.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi has also given time till January 5, 2012, to half a dozen illegal shops, which are falling in the line of extension of the foot overbridge (FOB), to give an undertaking that they will remove the structures on their own by March 31. Failing this, the corporation has been directed to demolish these shops.

The HC had, on October 14, directed demolition of illegal shops while hearing a PIL stating that several deaths have been taken place at the level crossing at Vikhroli.

The court even rapped the BMC for failing to take action against the illegal shops, including Vinayak Arcade, which are obstructing extension of the FOB, connecting east and west side of the suburb.

“We clearly said that take action against those shops, which are in the green zone (area acquired by railways) and for the other illegal shops in the area, follow due process of law,” said Justice Dalvi.
When the shop owners sought more time to get documents (showing they existed before the platform 1 was constructed), the court said that their assessment has showed that the documents were fabricated.

Justice Dalvi said, “We have found your (shop owners) documents were fabricated. Probably it is done in collusion with the corporation.”

Refuting the allegation, Geeta Joglekar, advocate for the BMC, said that they have issued notices to the shops and are in the process of passing final orders.

“We didn’t ask you (BMC) to assess. We have already done that. You just had to take action against these shops, which fall in the acquired area,” said Justice Dalvi.

The high court had on December 7 given an ultimatum to the Central Railway authorities and asked them to demolish illegal encroachments outside the Vikhroli station in order to extend the FOB.






Incumbent of SEC being finalized

PTI | 11:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Puducherry, Dec 22 (PTI): A decision will soon be taken to appoint the State Election Commissioner, paving the way for holding of civic polls which are due, official sources said. They said a list of four names has been submitted to the Lt Governor for finalising an incumbent. The SEC post has remained vacant since 2007 after the previous incumbent completed his tenure and goverment would go ahead with preparations for the polls as soon as the name is finalised, they said. Puducherry has two municipal councils (Puducherry and Oulgaret councils) while Karaikal, Mahe and Yanam regions have one council each. There are 10 commune panchayats (all in Karaikal) while there would be 98 village panchayats. The last poll in June/July 2007 was the first civic poll held after a 38 year gap and for the first time under the Village and Commune panchayats Act 1973. The present poll would be second under the legislation. The term of office of the civic bodies constituted in the wake of the polls held in 2006 had ended in July this year. CPI(M) had filed a PIL in Madras High Court for a directive to revive through elections democratically elected civic bodies, following which the court had directed preparation of logistics for the polls. Appointment of the SEC is the first step in this regard. It is feared that want of elected civic bodies would deprive the local administration department of central funds. PTI COR SS







Court orders fresh probe into girl’s death at Nitin Gadkari’s Nagpur

A two-year-old case of the mysterious death of a seven-year-old girl has come back to haunt BJP president Nitin Gadkari . A Nagpur court on Wednesday ordered to reopen the case and asked the Maharashtra Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to probe the matter further.

The body of Yogita Thakre was found in the boot of a car parked at Gadkari’s Nagpur residence on May 19, 2009.

The police had initially registered a case of accidental death, but later made it a case of murder. The post-mortem examination report indicated that the child was smothered. It stated that abrasions and wounds were found on the body.

However the CID, which took over the case in 2010 after Yogita’s father filed a PIL, called the death accidental. Since then the victim’s family has been fighting for justice.

The court rejected the CID’s closure report after the family insisted that the girl did not die accidentally but was murdered.






Proposed citizen charter law to cover pvt sector

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, December 23, 2011

The private sector utilities providing public services such as electricity distribution companies have been brought under the ambit of the citizen’s grievance redressal, also known as citizen’s charter bill, introduced in the Lok Sabha this week. The proposed law provides for designating

a public grievance officer responsible for redressal of grievances of citizens within a period of 30 days. It also mandates each public authority to have a citizen’s charter defining its public services and duty of officials in providing the services.

Failing to redress the grievance in 30 days could result in fine of up to Rs 50,000 by the state grievance redressal commission and action against the erring officer. The bill also prescribes grievance redressal mechanism to be adopted by public authorities. 

The definition of the public authority in the proposed bill mentions that any company which supplies goods or renders services in pursuance of an obligation imposed under any Central or State Act or under any license of authorization under any law for the time being in force by the Central and the State government.

This clearly covers private companies such electricity distribution or municipal service companies which have signed an agreement with the government to provide services to people on behalf of the government. Companies providing other services such as telecom and health would also be covered.

The definition of public authority under the Right To Information (RTI) law was regarding private sector substantially financed by the government. But, the proposed grievance law is a step forward from the RTI law with provisions clearly including private companies rendering public services.

The proposed law explicitly mentions any agreement between the government and private entity including Public Private Partnership agreements to be covered, which the government had refused to bring under the ambit of transparency law RTI.

Once the proposed bill is enacted, the citizens will get another platform to get their grievances redressed apart from consumer courts. With it, the government has tried to address a major concern of citizens regarding companies not heeding to their complaints.




Banks to move SC for more time to shift out

Aniruddha Ghosal, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 01.35AM IST

NOIDA: The Noida Authority on Thursday met banks and residents affected by the SC order banning commercial units in residential plots to devise a solution to the problem. Banks requested an amendment in the city’s master plan allowing mixed land use, however Authority officials said they needed time for such policy changes.

Officials also requested banks to approach the SC for an extension to shift from the residential plots.

“We don’t want to move to a far flung commercial space. The relocation process or any policy level change undertaken by the Authority will take time, which was our primary demand,” said Rohit Sapra of Noida Residents Bank Association.

The banks have requested the Authority for a letter stating more time is needed to effectively deal with the situation so that they can approach the apex court.

“Neither the Authority nor residents can approach the SC. Therefore, banks are the only affected party who can plead for an extension,” said an Authority official.







SC/ST Commission summons Collector

PARADIP: The Chairman of National Commission for SC and ST, PL Punia, has summoned Jagatsinghpur Collector Narayan Chandra Jena and SP S. Debdatta Singh for personal appearance on December 27 in connection with the Kujang firecrackers explosion case.

�As Kujang police have been silent on the issue even a month after the incident,� State Dalit Association president Ashok Biswal and Jagatsinghpur Ambedkar Association president Manoj Bhoi had sought the intervention of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes/Scheduled Tribes seeking proper inquiry into the explosion besides compensation to the injured persons and kin of the deceased.

�Though two persons of Balrampur village had lodged an FIR against the accused, Kujang police are yet to act against those involved. Police have, however, registered a case against the owner of firecracker manufacturing unit.

�The Collector, meanwhile, said he is yet to receive any letter from the Commission� for appearance but the administration has already requested the State Government to compensate the victim families and steps have been taken for the purpose.

�Meanwhile, IG (Crime Branch) Susant Nath visited Kujang police station and inquired about the probe status. He also visited the spot at Kujang bazaar where the explosion took place in November.








SC clarification sought on advancement of 2G cutoff date

New Delhi, Dec. 22:

The Additional Solicitor General of India, Mr Mohan Parasaran, has taken a view that a clear direction should be sought from the Supreme Court on the legality of the Telecom Ministry’s decision to advance the cut off date for applying for new 2G licences from October 1, 2007 to September 25, 2007.

The case relates to an appeal filed by STel, one of the new players who did not get licences in all the areas they applied due to the change in the cut off date. While the Delhi High Court had quashed the Ministry’s decision to advance the cut off date, the Supreme Court did not give a clear ruling as STel pulled out its appeal.

“In the light of the facts that the matter was not heard on merits, it would be improper to sustain the High Court’s findings and therefore a clarification of the Supreme Court’s order is necessary for clearly bringing out the legal anomaly that is created by the Supreme Court’s observation of not interfering with the High Court’s findings with regard to the cut off date,” Mr Parasaran said in response to a query from the Department of Telecom.

STel had applied for 22 circles but was given licences only for 6 areas on grounds that its application for the other 16 circles was made after September 25, 2007. STel challenged the decision and sought that the decision to advance the cut off date from October 1 be quashed. The Delhi High Court ruled in favour of the company and quashed the press release issued by the Telecom Ministry through which it had announced the change in cut-off date. The Government challenged this decision in the Supreme Court. But even as the hearings were going on Stel withdrew its appeal on grounds that market situation had changed and it agreed with the Government’s decision. As a result, the Supreme Court dismissed the entire case. According to Mr Parasaran this has created an anomaly on the legality of the issue.







Pune youngster gets 6 year RI for molesting minor

Published: Thursday, Dec 22, 2011, 11:55 IST
By Team DNA | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

The court of additional sessions judge, MG Chilbule, on Wednesday sentenced a 23-year-old youth to 6 years’ rigorous imprisonment for molesting a minor girl. The court also slapped the convict with a fine of Rs1,000.

The incident took place on July 15, 2007. According to the prosecution, Rahul alias Babu Ashok Shinde of Yerawada, not only outraged the modesty of the minor girl from the same locality, but also used derogatory language as the victim belonged to a Dalit family.

On July 15, 2007, Shinde tried to stop the victim on road while she was going home with her nephew. But when the girl did not stop, Shinde dragged her to a vacant plot and molested her. Disturbed by this incident, the victim stopped eating properly.

During the trial, two eyewitnesses told the court that one month before the incident, Shinde had misbehaved with the girl near Regional Mental Hospital gate and said that since she belonged to the Dalit community, no one could dare to question him.
Swimming coach commits suicide

Unable to deal with rejection from a girl, a 26-year-old swimming coach, Suyog Rajaram Shinde, committed suicide by throwing himself into a stone quarry on Vetal tekdi. He was a resident of

Deccan Gymkhana and worked as a swimming coach in a city-based five-star hotel.

Police inspector (crime) SB Navle of Chatuhshrungi police station said they found a suicide note in his truosers. Navle said Suyog had been missing since December 14 and his family had registered a missing person’s complaint with the Deccan police.






J&K sex scandal: Victim turns hostile, gives clean chit to six accused

After giving a clean chit to five of the accused in the previous two hearings, one of the ‘victims’, on Thursday, gave a breather to another accused in the ongoing trial of the infamous J&K sex scandal in the special court of CBI.

According to the CBI special counsel RK Handa, the 28-year-old ‘victim’ had earlier recorded her statement before CBI, in the presence of District and Sessions Judge of Srinagar court, implicating six persons for allegedly molesting her.

“During cross examination in CBI court, the victim has now diverged from her previous statements saying that she never made a complaint against anyone in the case,” said Handa.

The six accused were identified as Absar Ahmad Dar, Ashraf Mir, Hilal, Mehrajudin Malik, Riaz Ahmad, Ahjaz Ahmad Bhatt. The case is scheduled for next hearing on February 7 and 8. The evidence process will continue in the next hearing.

The scandal hit headlines in March 2006 after an MMS was found doing rounds in Jammu and Kashmir. During investigations it was found that prime accused Sabeena was allegedly engaged in supplying girls to various officials in the state. A number of bureaucrats, politicians and police officials had been named in the case.

Later the case was transferred from police to the CBI. A total of nine cases for various offences, including Section 376 (rape) of Ranbir Penal Code (RPC), Immoral Trafficking Act and the Information Technology Act were registered.

Nine accused were named in one case, while three each were named in the remaining eight cases. Sabina, who had allegedly introduced the ‘victims’ to the other accused, had been named in all the cases.

In September 2006, the apex court had ordered transferring of the case to the Chandigarh Sessions Court from Jammu and Kashmir High Court. The order to transfer the trial to Chandigarh came on a petition of 14 accused who contended that “no lawyer” in Srinagar was willing to defend them and the state bar association had already passed a resolution to that effect.

While the evidence process continued for over three years in Chandigarh Sessions court, the case was transferred to CBI court in October 2010.








Juvenile delinquent’ seeks justice


Guwahati, Dec. 22: Benjamin G. Momin was 15 when they sent him to jail instead of a juvenile home. Having spent his entire youth as an undertrial, Momin, now 27, is still waiting for someone to hear his voice.

Behind the high walls of Guwahati Central Jail, Momin lives in a world of his own, dreaming of justice, which remains a far pavilion.

The plight of the juvenile delinquent, who has spent 11 years in jail pending trial, came to light when he wrote a letter to Gauhati High Court Chief Justice A.K. Goel on December 3, pleading for speedy trial and claiming that gross injustice had been meted out to him.

“I was only 15 years old when I was arrested in January 2000 and since then I have been in jail without any education. My family is very poor and can’t afford a lawyer. Sir, I have spent almost half my life behind the bars and have no idea about my future. Every hour and every day I am waiting for someone to hear my voice and help me,” Momin said in his letter.

I shall ever remain thankful to you if your honour kindly looks into the matter and imparts justice to me,” he added.

He has sent copies of the letter to district and sessions judge, Kamrup, Rumi K. Phukan and the chairperson of Assam Human Rights Commission, Aftab Hussain Saikia.

In his letter, of which The Telegraph has a copy, Momin says despite being a minor when he was arrested in 2000, he was sent to jail instead of a juvenile justice home.

Two certificates — one issued by the school where he studied and the other his birth certificate issued by the Nagaland government — submitted in court mentions his date of birth as May 2, 1984.

According to court records, Momin, who hails from Mendipathar in East Garo Hills district of Meghalaya (it is not known where Momin’s family lives now) was arrested in January 2000 from Dimapur in Nagaland, where he was studying in Assembly of God High School, in connection with a robbery and murder case registered at Boko police station in Kamrup district of Assam on November 7, 1999.

The district and sessions court, Kamrup, where the case came up for trial in 2005, had written to the headmaster of the school and the director of the department of economics and statistics of Nagaland to verify that the documents submitted by Momin were genuine.

The court, where the case (sessions case number 287-K) is still pending, is awaiting the two replies.

Md Mehdi Hassan, a lawyer who visited Momin in jail a few days ago, said, “If the certificates submitted by him are genuine then gross injustice was done to him. According to the law, juvenile delinquents cannot be sent to jail and they should be shifted to juvenile justice homes or observation homes because they are yet to attain adulthood.”

Hassan said before making any such arrest, the police need to make every effort to ascertain if the criminal is a juvenile.

There have been allegations that the police often arrest juvenile delinquents, ignoring documentary proof of their age put forward by their families. The children are sent to juvenile homes only after the fact is established in court.

When asked about Momin’s trial pending in court for so many years, another lawyer, requesting anonymity, said, there is a Supreme Court judgment on the right to speedy trial.

He said a long-pending trial was unjust as it brought uncertainty and anxiety in its wake and this inhibited an undertrial from making future plans or executing present ones. His confidence starts to erode and at the end of the trial, even if he is honourably acquitted, the scars remain.

“He feels condemned despite the acquittal,” the lawyer added.







Case against Moran MLA to continue

Dec 22, 2011, 11.02PM IST

DIBRUGARH: The court of district and sessions judge, Dibrugarh, has ruled that the case against Congress legislator from Moran Jibantara Ghatowar, pertaining to submission of forged documents while filing nomination papers during the 2006 assembly elections, will continue.

In a judgment on November 18, the court observed that there was sufficient ground to presume that the accused had committed an offence u/s 199/471 of the IPC. In 2006, the complainant, Dayananda Borgohain, a rival candidate of Ghatowar, had moved the Dibrugarh CJM court (case no 123 c/2006), challenging that she had shown a false affidavit at the time of filing nomination papers before the returning officer for the election using forged documents as genuine.

According to the complainant, Ghatowar had mentioned that she appeared in the HSLC examination from Chinamara High School in 1979 whereas school records say she left the school in 1975. The legislator, who is the wife of Union DoNER minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, had submitted a photocopy of an admit card wherein it was shown that she appeared in the HSLC examination from the school in 1982.

The principal of Chinamara High school, Dilip Sarma also deposed before the court that the accused studied in his school till 1975 and there was no record of her appearing in any examination from that school after that.

Significantly, the judgment of the court assumes importance as a compromise was reached between the petitioner and respondent and the complainant agreed not to proceed further with the case and withdraw the same from the CJM court Dibrugarh. Sessions judge NK Bora, in his recent judgment, stated that in the event of non-appearance of the complainant in the course of trial, the court will pass an appropriate order in due course of time.

Hailing the judgment, AGP candidate Sunil Rajkonwar, who contested against Jibantara Ghatowar in the 2011 assembly polls from Moran, said the legislator should step down immediately on moral grounds in view of the recent circumstances.

“Being a representative of people, it is unbecoming on her part to resort to falsehood and deceit. She should honour the sentiments of the public and resign immediately. Even before the last assembly elections, I had appealed for disqualification of the Congress candidate,” Rajkonwar said on Thursday.





Court grants bail to Mitrasen Yadav

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 03.57AM IST

FAIZABAD: Additional sessions judge of Faizabad on Thursday granted bail to senior Samajwadi Party leader Mitrasen Yadav in an embezzlement case.

Granting him bail, additional session judge Faridul Haque ordered the suspension of the sentence awarded of additional chief judicial magistrate of Faizabad A K Shukla, who had earlier sentenced Mitrasen to seven years of rigorous imprisonment, and had also imposed a fine of Rs 15,000. The case is related to an embezzlement of Rs 62,000 from the accounts of Kisan Inter College of which Yadav used to be the manager. The case was filed against him in 1997 in Tarun police station of the district.

Mitrasen Yadav, a three term MP is Samajwadi Party’s candidate for upcoming 2012 state assembly polls from Bikapur constituency of Faizabad.







Jethava case: Investigator seeks nod for narco test

Prashant Dayal, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 03.54AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Superintendent of police Surendranagar, Raghavendra Vatsa, who is probing the RTI activist Amit Jethava murder case, has sought permission to conduct narco analysis on six arrested accused. Vatsa has filed an application in the sessions court in this connection.

Vatsa said that the test is necessary to ascertain whether the member of parliament, Dinu Solanki, is connected to the murder case. The slain activist’s father Bhikha Jethava had accused Solanki of masterminding his son’s murder.

Amit was shot on July 20, 2010, at 8.30 pm outside the Gujarat high court by two persons. A complaint was later lodged with the Sola police. Investigation in the case was later handed over to crime branch and six persons were arrested including two shooters. Solanki’s nephew Shiva Solanki was also among those arrested.

Not convinced by the police investigation, Bhikha moved the Gujarat high court, alleging that Ahmedabad crime branch was trying to shield the MP. On November 12, HC handed over the probe to Surendranagar SP. Vatsa had sought police remand for all the six accused on December 7. However, the remand application was rejected. Vatsa then questioned the accused inside the Sabarmati Central Jail.

After this session, Vatsa told the court that the accused were hiding more than they were ready to reveal. To unearth the truth, he felt, that the accused should be subjected to forensic interrogation through narco and lie-detection tests.

Vatsa cited six reasons for conducting the narco test. He told the court that he had grilled all the accused between December 12 and 14. “When I asked them about Solanki, all the accused gave unsatisfactory replies and seemed to be hiding much,” he said . Two other accused – Bahadur Vader and Sailesh Pandya – were questioned about the weapon used to shoot Amit. Vatsa told the court that both gave contradictory statements.

In a similar manner, when an accused Pachan Desai was asked about the car used in the murder, he too gave contradictory statement about the ownership of the vehicle.








‘Will clear Indu Mills in a week

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 05.38AM IST

MUMBAI: The state government on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it would persuade squatters inside Indu Mills to vacate within a week and if they did not, it would evict them forcibly.

A division bench of Justice D K Deshmukh and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing a petition filed by National Textile Corporation Limited, seeking eviction of followers of Dr B R Ambedkar who have taken possession of the mill. Additional government pleader G W Mattos said that the government would make efforts to settle the issue within a week by persuading squatters to voluntarily vacate. If such efforts fail, then the government will remove them forcibly within three days thereafter, he added.

The court got the government to make this statement after upbraiding it in the morning session. Mattos had submitted that the government had initiated dialogue with the various groups and was confident of resolving the issue. Justice Deshmukh retorted, “Where is the question of negotiation? Are you saying that the terrorists who entered the Taj, you would negotiate with them?”

Republican Party of India advocate B K Barve protested. “We are not terrorists. We are followers of Babasaheb Ambedkar,” he thundered. “We are Indian citizens. We are not claiming a territory of India but an inch of land from the map of India near Chaityabhoomi,” said Barve. He said that RPI supporters are “sitting there for worship of Lord Gautam Buddha and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.” Barve said both houses of legislature have agreed to give one-third land meant for Mhada for the memorial. Even if the Union government has given the land to the state, what right did they have to go and squat in the mill, asked the judges. “What right do you have to go there,” asked Justice Deshmukh. “Even if your entire case is accepted, how will your forcible entry on the land serve the purpose,” he asked.

Advocate Sangraj Rupawate, appearing for Anandraj Ambedkar of the Republican Sena, said that they were willing to withdraw after the central government makes an announcement. “This will go on. Otherwise, they will be at the gate. This will lead to a law and order problem for the police.”

“Are you threatening the government,” asked Justice Deshmukh. He added, “You have made your point. You wanted to invite attention. Now you (squatters) leave. If this measure is sanctified and everybody starts behaving like this for fulfilling their demand, then what would remain?”

The judges added that NTC moved court to protect its land. “That is a constitutional method. If you had adopted it, even Dr Ambedkar would have approved,” said Justice Deshmukh. Rupawate said that a public interest litigation for a memorial for Ambedkar was dismissed in 2008 saying “the remedy lies elsewhere”.

The judges said they are dismayed at the stand adopted by the state. “Your attitude is totally baffling. Why are you willing to go on with blatant illegality? This will only show that the government is spineless and has no authority,” said Justice Deshmukh. The matter is adjourned to January 4.







Hasan Ali booked for hiding info regarding passport

Last Updated: Thursday, December 22, 2011, 12:00

Pune: The Pune Passport Office has filed a complaint against the main accused in money laundering and tax evasion case Hasan Ali Khan for allegedly giving false information while renewing his passport in 2004, police said on Thursday.

Khan is booked under sections 420 (cheating), 467 (forgery), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 10 (3) and 12 (1) of Indian Passport Act by Chatushrungi police station.

The passport office has said in its complaint that the city-based stud farm owner, while applying for renewal of his passport, deliberately did not disclose information about the other two passports held in his name.

Police said that Enforcement Directorate’s (ED’s) investigation has revealed this act of forgery on part of Hasan who is currently lodged in Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.

According to the FIR, Hasan also had furnished false residential proof to obtain the passport. He had not given information about the previous passports, which he had obtained from the passport offices in Patna, Chandigarh and Guwahati.

“We will follow the directives given by ED and the court in this regard,” police said.








No bail for Maulana held for forcing conversion

The Metropolitan Court on Thursday rejected the bail application of a Muslim cleric who was arrested for forcing a Hindu girl to convert to Islam after her marriage to a Muslim boy.

The accused, Maulana Yusuf Khan Pathan from Mirzapur area of Ahmedabad, was arrested by Karanj police on Tuesday under the provisions of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act.

According to details, Pathan had performed religious rituals to convert the girl from Hinduism to Islam after she got married to a Muslim boy.

The police had registered a case against the boy, Altaf Mirza, and Pathan under the provisions of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act and Indian Penal Code. The girl’s parent has lodged a complaint in this regard.

According to Karanj police Inspector M N Mirza, “Under the provisions of the Act, one cannot covert a person without the permission and information of the authorities. Therefore, the boy and the Maulana were arrested for forced conversion.”

“Maulana was produced before the court and he had moved bail application subsequently. However, his bail application has been rejected by the court and he has been sent to judicial custody,” Mirza added.







Jharkhand Ex-minister owned DA worth 3217% above his income: CBI

Former Jharkhand health minister Bhanu Pratap Shahi owned disproportionate asset (DA) to the tune of 3217% above his actual income said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The startling revelation was made by the CBI in its charge sheet filed before the court of special judge NN Singh on Thursday. The charge sheet was submitted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Besides Shahi, the agency filed charge sheet against six other associates of the former minister namely Uma Shankar Malviya, the officer on special duty during Shahi’s tenure as minister, Ajay Singh, a Delhi-based businessman who used to convert Shahi’s cash into white money, Santoshi Devi and her husband Anirudha Prasad Sengal, Shahi’s sister and brother-in-law, Prashant Kumar Singh and Abhishek Singh, Shahi’s niece.     

The CBI’s charge sheet mentioned that Shahi, misusing his official post and position, has amassed huge assets to the tune of Rs 6.99 crore, which is above 3217% of his actual income.  The agency informed the court that Shahi had purchased 10 acres of land in Ranchi worth Rs 19 lakh in the name of his sister and niece, a flat worth Rs 22 lakh in Prabodh Tower at Shradhanand Road, Ranchi and another flat in Gurgaon.

The agency also revealed that Shahi had founded Dehati Asthapna Trust in which Rs 25.45 lakh was donated by people whose names and addresses were found to be non- existent.

Shahi, who has been languishing here at the Birsa Munda Central Jail for the last three months, is currently undergoing treatment at the Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS).

One Durga Oraon in a PIL filed before the Jharkhand high court first raised the matter highlighting therein as to how several ministers in the state owned huge properties in excess to their known sources of income.

Responding to Oraon’s petition, the court in August 2010, had handed over the disproportionate asset case lodged by the state vigilance bureau against former chief minister Madhu Koda, his former cabinet colleagues Kamlesh Kumar Singh, Bhanu Pratap Shahi, Harinarayan Rai, Enos Ekka and Bandhu Tirkey to the CBI for a thorough probe.

Shahi is also an accused in another case lodged by the CBI pertaining to Rs 130 crore medicine purchase scam in the state’s health department.








Trouble for Ravi, FIR filed against him

Bangalore, Dec 22, DHNS:

The complaint has been registered under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code. The Lokayukta police have been directed to submit a report on the investigation on January 18.

Chikmagalur councillor R Devi Prasad had filed a private complaint on December 15, accusing Ravi of obtaining civic amenity sites in the name of his wife, Pallavi Ravi, through fraudulent means and also obtaining multiple housing sites.

Prasad had alleged that three civic amenity sites in Chikmagalur were allotted to Anjaneya Education Society in 2007, of which Pallavi was the president and her sister Tejaswini the general secretary. The complaint alleged that the Society, which had been formed 17 years ago, had a completely different set of office bearers and had no activity recorded during those 17 years, until the Society made an application for that site for the purpose of starting a school. The complaint alleged that Ravi and others fabricated and forged documents.

In another instance, Ravi is accused of obtaining two sites from Karnataka Housing Board (KHB) in Chikmagalur. He is charged with lying that he does not own any other property. The complaint accused KHB of executing sale deeds in the name of Pallavi, even though the couple had made delayed payments for the sites and not paid the interest on it. The sites were also allotted in gross violation of rules.

According to rules, the sites should have been allotted by draw of lots. KHB overlooked pending applications for site allotment. Apart from Ravi and Pallavi, the complaint lists Tejaswini and her husband Sudarshan, Pavana Anoop, Revati Dharmapal, K N Puneet, Renuka Ramakrishna, Bhagya Eregowda, KHB Assistant Executive Engineer Siddalinga Swamy and Commissioner Lakshminarayana as accused.

5 yrs RI to traffic inspector

A traffic inspector attached to North Western Road Transport Corporation (NWRTC), caught red-handed by the Lokayukta in 2007 while accepting a bribe of Rs 1,000, has been convicted to undergo five years rigorous imprisonment.

A N Mulla was trapped following a complaint that he was demanding a bribe to allot duty and to sign the way bill. The District Sessions Court and Special Court of Belgaum has also imposed a fine of Rs 12,000. If he defaults on the fine, he will have to undergo simple imprisonment for five years.

SI in Lokayukta net

The Lokayukta police on Thursday trapped an assistant sub inspector in Bangalore, while he was accepting a bribe, following a complaint.

Ibrahim Shariff, a resident of DJ Halli had approached the Lokayukta, stating that ASI of DJ Halli police station Mahadevaiah was demanding a bribe of Rs 10,000 for not registering a case against him, in a family dispute. Following the complaint, the police laid a trap for him and arrested him along with another person, when the ASI tried to collect the money through a third person. A case has been registered with the Lokayukta police.








RTL executives challenge framing of charges

Staff Reporter

Three top executives of Reliance Telecom Limited (RTL) on Thursday moved the Delhi High Court challenging the framing of charges against them by the CBI special court in the 2G spectrum allocation case.

Taking their petitions on record, Justice V.K. Shali asked counsel for Gautam Doshi, Hari Nair and Surendera Piapara to file a synopsis of the charge framing order as the special’s court order was very long. The petitions would be taken up for hearing on January 16 next. The court is also seized of a petition by RTL challenging the framing of charges against it.

While framing charges against all the 17 accused in the 2G case under the Indian Penal Code and the Prevention of Corruption Act, Special Judge O.P. Saini on October 24 framed charges of criminal conspiracy and cheating against the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani-owned company and its three executives. RTL’s petition in the High Court said no incriminating material had been mentioned in the charge sheet or raised by the prosecution during the argument on the charge sheet.

The charges framed had no basis in law. In fact, there was no act or omission attributable to the petitioner that justified the continuation of criminal proceedings, the petition said.

The charges framed against the accused indicated multiple conspiracies. But it was unclear how and when the multiple conspiracies took place and how they formed a cohesive single conspiracy, the petition said.




Bhanwari Devi’s husband Amarchand sent to judicial custody

Amarchand, the husband of missing Rajasthan nurse Bhanwari Devi, was sent to judicial custody by a court in Jodhpur on Thursday, a lawyer said.

He was presented in the court after his Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) remand ended.

Amarchand was arrested by the CBI on December 8 after he failed to give satisfactory answers in connection with the case of her wife’s disappearance on September 1.

He accused the then minister Mahipal Maderna of being involved in his wife’s disappearance.

“Amarchand was presented in the court of an additional chief judicial magistrate. He has been quizzed for about 15 days and the CBI has got vital clues from his interrogation,” a source close to the CBI said.

His lawyer Mahish Vyas said that his client moved an application in the court requesting isolation in the jail as he was concerned about his security in the jail.

“He requested the court that he should be kept away from other three accused Shahabuddin, Baldev Jaat alias Balia and Sohan Lal who have been arrested in the case. The court has accepted his request,” said Vyas.

He was arrested when he did not cooperate with the agency and gave different versions during his interrogation.

Amarchand had tried to escape quizzing by the CBI sleuths in Jodhpur on December 7 a day before he was arrested but was caught within two hours and subjected to intense questioning.

He claimed his wife had been kidnapped at the behest of Maderna, who allegedly featured in a CD showing the two in a compromising position.

Maderna was arrested in Jodhpur on December 3 and Malkhan Singh Bishnoi, Congress legislator from Luni constituency, on December 19.

The agency has also arrested Parasram Bishnoi, brother of Malkhan Singh Bishnoi.

The agency also filed a charge sheet against the other three arrested accused in a court in Jodhpur.

In the charge sheet, Shahabuddin, Balia and Sohanlal were charged under Sections 364 (abduction with an intent to kill) and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in the case.







8 sentenced to life in prison for murder bid

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 02.09AM IST

PUNE: Additional sessions judge S D Tulankar on Thursday sentenced eight people to life imprisonment for attempting to murder a money lender from Nana Peth in March 2010 and also slapped a fine of Rs 9,000 each.

However, the judge acquitted criminal on police records Suryakant alias Bandu Andekar (52), his son, Krishna (20), and one Jaikumar Raghavachari (45) for the same offence. The Andekars were acquitted since the prosecution failed to prove their presence at the spot of crime.

The accused sentenced to life have been identified as Farooq Shaikh Mulani (19), Somnath Gaikwad (27), Amol Shahu Londhe (25), Santosh alias Pinkya Bharat Gawate (30), Sagar Arjun Shinde (28), Bablu Killer alias Bablu Vyankat Gaikwad, Sagar Parkhe (25) and Sagar alias Pappu Rajendra Pawar (25). They have been convicted under section 143 (unlawful assembly), 147 (rioting), 148 (rioting, armed with deadly weapon), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and the Arms Act.

The incident had taken place on March 20, 2010, when around five armed men shot at the complainant, Somnath alias Pappu Baban Padwal, in Kolse galli off M G Road in Pune Camp.

According to the complaint, Padwal was standing with two of his friends at the corner of Kolse galli at 5.30 pm, when the suspects attacked him. The bullets fired had hit him on his chest, shoulders and chin. Padwal claimed that he had seen Bandu Andekar in an autorickshaw and the other accused standing nearby.



Two die as pole knocked down by trash truck crushes vehicles

Two persons died when an electric pole, which fell after a garbage dumper hit it, crushed their vehicles at Barapullah Flyover on Thursday evening. The driver of the dumper has been arrested.

Police said the incident occurred around 5.30 pm on the Nizamuddin-Noida stretch of Barapullah Flyover, Southeast Delhi. “A garbage dumper of the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) hit the pole, bringing it down. The pole first hit the dumper, crushing its front portion, before smashing into a motorcycle and an autorickshaw,” an officer said. While the Pulsar motorcycle was swept off the flyover, the autorickshaw was completely crushed.

The victims have been identified as Sanjay (25), the motorcyclist, and Vijay (28), the autorickshaw driver. Passersby and police officers rushed the two to the AIIMS Trauma Centre, where doctors declared them dead on arrival. The bodies, which are being kept in the mortuary, will be handed over to relatives after a post-mortem examination on Friday morning.

Sanjay, an employee with BSES Power Ltd, used to live in Sunlight Colony with his parents, wife and two-year-old daughter.

Vijay lived in Ganesh Nagar with his family.

“The dumper driver, 26-year-old Abdul Rehman, has been arrested. A case of accident and causing death due to negligence has been registered against him under Sections 279 and 304 (a) of the Indian Penal Code. We have also seized his vehicle,” said Additional Commissioner of Police (Southeast) Ajay Chaudhary. When questioned, Rehman reportedly told police that he had lost control over his vehicle.

The accident led to a massive traffic jam in the area.

The stretch from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Sarai Kale Khan bus stand was packed with honking vehicles, Deputy Commissioner of Police (South-Traffic) Prem Nath said.

“As the accident was a major one, it blocked the whole carriageway — causing the jam. The dumper and autorickshaw lay on the road for some time, obstructing vehicular movement. We sent SMS alerts to commuters to avoid further congestion on the stretch,” he said.







CBI files charge sheet against Minister’s son

Iboyaima Laithangbam

The Central Bureau of Investigation has filed a charge sheet against Nongthombam Ajay, son of Manipur’s Irrigation and Flood Control Minister N. Biren, in connection with the killing of a boy here on March 20 this year.

Ajay allegedly shot dead Irom Rozer, who refused to let him overtake his car near the Imphal airport. He was recently released on bail.

The CBI, however, said there was no evidence of involvement of four other youths in the incident and requested that they be acquitted. Trial of the case in the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal West, is expected to begin shortly.

Reports said that during a joyride on the occasion of the festival of colour, Ajay, miffed at Rozer not giving him side to overtake, whipped out a handgun and shot the boy dead. Ajay will be tried under Section 302 (murder) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 27 of the Arms Act 1959.






No tusker for temple function

Timely intervention by elephant experts prevented an elephant from the Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP) from being taken off to participate in a religious procession in the middle of the city. The incident occurred on Thursday when an order to procure an elephant from Bannerghatta to perform at a temple in Jalahalli was issued by an undersecretary at the forest, environment and ecology secretariat, in the absence of the principal secretary.

The demand was allegedly backed by political leaders. Sources from the Forest Department told Deccan Chronicle that the order was issued without consulting the Wildlife PCCF. “When an elephant has to be moved, it requires a cocktail of procedures to be fulfilled including a medical fitness certificate from the wildlife vet. But we have been told that it was a special case and directly under the orders of Forest Minister C. P. Yogeshwar,” the sources said.

However, forest officials decided not to hand over the animal. “According to the recent rules of the Central Zoo Authority, no elephant can be used for joy rides and processions. This is a clear violation of rules and also several other rules under the Indian Penal Code. When you release a five tonne elephant in the middle of the road, there are chances of it running amok and causing heavy loss to humans and property. Elephants that are used to quiet surroundings are annoyed when they are in the middle of noise,” said an animal rights activist from Bengaluru.

Four years ago, the same temple was accused of keeping an elephant in poor conditions and the government had ordered it to be shifted to a rescue centre. “The latest trend could harm conservation efforts of captive elephants. Elephants from Kerala are brought to Bengaluru and are rented out. You pay Rs 15,000 to rent an elephant named Rajashekar which is now begging on the streets of Bengaluru,” the activist added.





NHRC orders CBI probe into journalist’s complaint

Special Correspondent

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has asked the Director of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to probe into the complaint of Amar Ujala reporter Sammiuddin alias Neelu that he was falsely implicated by the Lakhimpur Kheeri district police of Uttar Pradesh in a criminal case under the Wildlife Act and that the police were threatening that he would be bumped off in an encounter.

The CBI should also probe deep into the role of the then Superintendent of Police of the district and other policemen in the matter.

The NHRC took the decision as there were two contradicting reports of the State Crime Branch CID police, which investigated his compliant initially — first one stating that his complaint was genuine and the second one contradicting it. In fact the NHRC ordered payment of Rs.5 lakh to the journalist based on the CB-CID’s first report, dated March 8, 2007 and the compensation order issued by NHRC on February 4, 2010 as he was victimised by the police for exercising his right to freedom of expression.

However, after the second report of the CB-CID, the U.P. government stopped the payment and thereafter a case was registered against the journalist. The government said that it did not find any justification in granting relief to him (Sammiuddin) as recommended by the NHRC.

The CB-CID’s earlier report concluded that there were no independent witnesses except the police officers to state that Mr. Sammiuddin had in his possession contraband wildlife articles. The Departmental action was also taken against the errant police officials in the case for not procuring independent evidence.

Contradictory CB-CID reports

Now, after the second report of the CB-CID which contradicted its earlier report in the matter, the NHRC said that the matter had gone for a long time. “The protracted correspondence carried out with the State authorities and personal interaction with the Additional DG (Human Rights) on several occasions leads to one and only one escapable assumption that a concerted move is on to deny compensation to the victim — Sammiuddin — whose human rights have been violated by the UP State,” it said.

“It beats comprehension as to why a case registered and investigated by the CB-CID relating to animal skin and nails of tiger etc. allegedly recovered from the victim, culminated in the Final report (FR), but in the subsequent enquiry, the same agency, CB-CID, has changed its version and now trying to prove that the case was genuine one,” the Commission wondered and took a view that it was a case of alleged false implication by the police.

The reporter claimed that he was a respectable citizen and had no criminal history. He alleged that in the absence of independent evidence, the police had falsely implicated him.

The journalist made the complaint to the NHRC on July 13, 2006.







NHRC notice to MP govt over drug trial on mentally ill persons

PTI | 06:12 PM,Dec 23,2011

New Delhi, Dec 23 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today issued notice to the Madhya Pradesh government over reports alleging illegal drug trials on mentally ill patients in Indore. Taking suo motu cognisance of a media report alleging that 233 mentally ill patients were subjected to drug trials in Indore, the NHRC asked state Chief Secretary to submit a report within four weeks. The Commission directed the Chief Secretary to inform whether guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) were followed by doctors while taking approval for the trials from independent ethics committees attached to private hospitals. The report also should contain details about the nature of drugs being tested and whether whether any survey has been conducted about the status of health of the mentally ill patients who have undergone drug trials. 233 mentally ill patients in Indore were subjected to clinical trials to check the efficacy of various drugs, including 42 patients for Dapoxeting, a drug used to cure premature ejaculation. The trials were conducted at private clinics by doctors of the mental hospital attached to the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College, Indore, between January 2008 and October, 2010, an NHRC statement said referring to a recent media report. “The concerned doctors had taken the approval for the trials from independent ethics committees attached to private hospitals both within and outside the State, thus bypassing the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College’s own institutional ethics committee. “Moreover, the clinics where the trials were conducted did not have the mandatory registration certificate from the District Chief Medical and Health Officer,” the Commission said quoting reports.







Foul” play in Army promotion procedure

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) A case of illegality in Army promotions has come to light where a Brigadier’s career records were erased in a “foul” manner which had almost cost him his elevation to the rank of Major General. The matter surfaced in the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) which was hearing the petition of Brigadier V G Gole, who had alleged that a portion of his Annual Confidential record (ACR) was erased, which was illegal, arbitrary and without jurisdiction. The officer had approached the Tribunal for expunging the effaced portion of his ACR and considering his case afresh for promotion to the rank of Maj Gen after he was denied elevation by an Army promotion panel in September last year. Allowing the petition, the Tribunal head Justice A K Mathur said, “It speaks volume that such kind of illegality can be committed against an officer. This is a serious matter and we are constrained to observe that it requires deeper consideration by higher authority. “They should pinpoint the officer responsible who has played foul thereby affecting the career of the officer. We allow this petition with cost of Rs 10,000 and expunge the effacing of the ACR of the Brigadier from January to June 2009”. The AFT said marks of the officer should be restored back and he should be considered for promotion to the post of Maj Gen in accordance with rules. The Tribunal directed the authorities that the impending retirement will not come in way of consideration of the petitioner for promotion to the post of Maj Gen.









PTI | 09:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Focusing on improving accountability, the Lokpal and Focusing on improving accountability, the Lokpal and Lokayuktas in states will be autonomous and independent bodies with powers of superintendence and direction for holding a preliminary inquiry, causing an investigation to be made and prosecution of offences in respect of complaints under any law for the prevention of corruption. The Bill provides a uniform vigilance and anti corruption road map for the nation, both at Centre and States. It also institutionalises separation of investigation from prosecution and thereby removing conflict of interest as well as increasing the scope for professionalism and specialisation. The selection of Chairperson and Members of Lokpal shall be through a Selection Committee consisting of Prime Minister, Speaker and the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India or a sitting Supreme Court Judge nominated by CJI, and eminent jurist to be nominated by the President. A Search Committee to assist Selection Committee in the process of selection will also be set up. 50 per cent of members of Search Committee shall be from amongst SC, ST, OBCs, Minorities and Women. The Prime Minister will be brought under the purview of the Lokpal with subject matter exclusions and specific process for handling complaints against the Prime Minister. Lokpal can not hold any inquiry against the Prime Minister if allegations relate to international relations, external and internal security of the country, public order, atomic energy and space.








HC Bar demands General House to discuss Justice Pal’s transfer

Over 1,000 lawyers of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Bar Association on Thursday requested the president of the High Court Bar to call a General House meeting “without any further delay” to discuss “grave issues of judicial accountability” arising out of a judgment of Justice Mohinder Pal.

The judgment became one of the “major reasons” for transfer of Justice Pal to Gujarat High Court.

In a requisition submitted to the Bar president that was signed by 1005 lawyers, they said “… the silence of the High Court Bar Association on such a vital matter is inconsistent with the highest traditions of the Association and the sensitivity that it has always displayed on issues of judicial accountability.

“This is especially so when even the Chief Justice of the High Court has publicly confirmed that he has, on the asking of the Chief Justice of India, looked into the matter and reported to the CJI about the glaring irregularities committed in a judgment delivered by the High Court Judge (Justice Pal).”

The requisition further states, “The transfer has unfortunately not yet been implemented nor has any other action been taken. The failure of the High Court Bar Association to speak out on the issue, when even the Gujarat High Court Bar Association—the Bar Association of the High Court where the Judge is proposed to be transferred—has spoken up about it, cannot but compromise and undermine our credibility and throw up a question mark over our commitment, as an Association, to judicial accountability.”

On December 8, the executive committee of the High Court Bar Association, without holding a General House meeting, had sent a resolution to Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi of the Punjab and Haryana High Court to take “appropriate action” against Justice Pal.

Earlier this week, the Gujarat High Court Bar Association had also sent a resolution, but after holding a General House meeting, to the Chief Justice of India to “reconsider” the transfer of Justice Pal to the state and till the time it is reconsidered, to “put the transfer on hold”.

The Indian Express had reported on December 6 that Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had conveyed to the Chief Justice of India of “illegalities and irregularities” in an order delivered by Justice Pal.

That order, passed in 13 days, directed Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) to issue an allotment letter to a private developer, M/s Orchid Infrastructure, accepting its bid of Rs 111.75 crore for 9.5 acres put up for public auction in 2004. The auction was held by HUDA for construction of a commercial tower in Sector 29, Gurgaon.

Justice Pal’s order—which has now been challenged in the Supreme Court—set aside the Sessions Court order stopping the allotment and alleging an “unholy nexus” between HUDA and Orchid.

Justice Gogoi told The Indian Express that this order was one of the “major reasons” behind Justice Pal’s transfer. Justice Pal had said that he was not aware of the reason for his transfer.






Lokpal Bill: The ten big questions

New Delhi: As Parliament prepares to debate the Lokpal Bill, ten big questions emerge. The very first – Should the CBI be kept under the Lokpal control? Or should it report to the government?

The Bill in its present form keeps the CBI out of the Lokpal’s ambit. The investigative agency will report to the Lokpal only on probes ordered by the latter. The administrative control of the CBI, meanwhile, will remain with the government.

A panel consisting of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and the CJI will choose the CBI director. This brings us to question – Should CBI director’s appointment be limited to the PM, the CJI and opposition leader?

Should the Lokpal’s appointment be limited to just the PM, the LS speaker, and the opposition leader?

According to the current Lokpal Bill, the Citizens Ombudsman office will be a 9-member constitutional body.

Either an ex-CJI or a retired SC judge or an eminent person will be appointed the Lokpal.

A panel consisting of the Prime Minister, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition, the Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist will choose the Lokpal and its members.

Should minorities be given reservation when choosing the Lokpal?

The current Bill provides for up to 50 per cent reservation in the Lokpal bench for SC/STs, OBCs and women.

Parties such as the RJD, BSP and SP have sought reservation for minorities.

At an all-party meeting convened last week, it was agreed to provide reservation for minorities. However, in a last-minute change, the government dropped the term ‘minorities’ from the draft Lokpal Bill, leading to an uproar in Parliament.

Should graft against the lower bureaucracy be directly probed by the Lokpal?

Should the Lokpal only have oversight powers while probing lower bureaucracy?

Currently, the bureaucracy has been placed under the CVC. The Lokpal merely has appellate powers.

Should the Lokpal have its own investigative wing that allows it to probe cases suo moto?

Should a citizen redressal mechanism be made part of the Lokpal or be kept separate?

The Bill in its current form provides for the Lokpal to function as the final appellate authority for grievances relating to delivery of public services.

Should there be no safeguards for PM when probed by the Lokpal?

The Bill in its present form keeps the prime minister’s decisions on matters related to national security, international relations, maintenance of public order, atomic energy and space out of the Lokpal’s ambit.

The last but not the least – Is impeachment of a Lokpal through 100 MPs the only way to hold it accountable?







No way Lokpal Bill will stand judicial scrutiny: Ex-CJI VN Khare

Published: Friday, Dec 23, 2011, 9:45 IST | Updated: Friday, Dec 23, 2011, 1:21 IST
By Rakesh Bhatnagar | Place: Dead Sea (Jordan) | Agency: DNA

There’s some serious concern about the constitutional efficacy of the cumbersome Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act as former Chief of India VN Khare feels that its section 49 can’t stand judicial scrutiny.

This provision vests in the multi-member Lokpal body the sole power to act as the ‘appellate’ authority to hear appeals against an order passed by a special court that’s proposed to be set up under its ambit for dealing with cases of corruption under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

According to the proposed clause, the Lokpal “shall function” as the “final appellate” authority in relation to appeals arising from the special courts’ judgments.

Does it mean that an aggrieved person can’t move a high court or the Supreme Court against the Lokpal’s order? Justice Khare said if the law is a creation of the Constitutional amendment; it can’t shake the basic feature of the Constitution by denying the remedies to move a HC under Article 226 and the SC under Articles 32 and 136.

If the proposed Bill has been introduced as a new enactment, it can’t betray the basic feature of the Constitution, i.e. the right to appeal and judicial review, Khare added.

Another former CJI, who did not want to be named, said neither the government nor Parliament can strip the citizens of the fundamental right to resort to file writ a petition before the SC or HC.

“They can’t. If they have done it, the court will scrap it,” he said while refusing to believe that lawmakers or the political executive could envisage such a provision.






HC rejects plea of IRS officer against transfer to Ranchi

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

New Delhi, Dec 22 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today rejected an IRS officer’s plea against his transfer to Ranchi as the Income Tax Commissioner saying that there was no allegation of “mala fide” against the finance minister who took the final decision. “We thus do not find any merit in the challenge by the petitioner to the transfer order or to the order of the Tribunal. We accordingly dismiss the petition,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw said. The court’s order came on the petition of S K Srivastava, a 1987 batch IRS officer, challenging the order of the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) which upheld the departmental decision to transfer him from Delhi to Ranchi after promoting him as Commissioner of Income Tax on July 14. Srivastava made allegations of “malice and mala fide” against one of the three members of the placement committee of the IT Department and moreover, the final decision to transfer him was taken by the finance minister against whom no such plea was made, the court said. Justice Endlaw, writing the judgement, upheld CAT’s order saying, “We are unable to find any perversity or illegality in the said finding of the Tribunal. The allegations of malice and mala fides are only against Prakash Chandra, chairman of CBDT, who is but one of the members of the placement committee. “The other two members of the placement committee as aforesaid are also high ranking officers and against whom there is no allegation or whisper of being inimical to the petitioner save for general blaming the entire department, if not the world. Moreover, the placement committee is but to make the recommendation. The competent authority to affect the transfer is the finance minister and there are no allegations of mala fides against him.”








Emblems suggested for judiciary, government

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: Emblems identify on organisation, they are different from logos which can be used and traded by companies who have registered them. Emblems and Insignia, however, create a more permanent association in the minds of the public with the organisation using them. These and more points were raised at the unveiling of four emblem suggestions for the Judiciary and Government of Karnataka on Wednesday.

These emblems have been suggested by the Human Relevant Research Institute and feature the words ‘Constitution of India’ prominently on top along with ‘Government of Karnataka’ at the bottom and ‘High Court of Karnataka’. The emblems were revealed by G Dakshinamurthy, Chairman of Centre for Law and Parliamentary Reforms along with J R Bangera, President, Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FKCCI) and other dignitaries, at a workshop on social responsibility.

“Symbolism exists in two facets, what is plainly shown and what is implied. Emblems identify a organisation that is why we believe it is important to standardise emblems especially for government bodies,” said� Dakshinamurthy.

“It is an intellectual exercise, the choice is upto the government and the court now. Logo’s can be sold or traded but an emblems will last as long as the organisation,” said J R Bangera.

The day also saw the release of a comprehensive album on emblems used by various organisations in the state. This directory will provide a roadmap through the maze of organisations that exist in the state for members of the public interested in such exercises.

“I hope the authorities accept these emblems, they will bring uniformity,” said HKV Reddy, Former President of Rotary Club.







Lokpal Bill is in, jury is out

New Delhi Virtually forced into drafting it, the government today introduced a bill in the Lok Sabha that aims to fight corruption via the Lokpal at the centre and Lokayuktas in the states, an unprecedented oversight body whose members are selected, and which is set to be dominated by members of the higher judiciary.

The singular theme emerging from the proceedings of the house today was the unease across the political establishment in dealing with a bill that virtually all were wary of. The provision for reservations for minorities in the Lokpal quickly became a minority vs majority issue and threatened to overwhelm the debate once it begins on December 27.

That’s not all. Speaker after speaker in the Lok Sabha got up to question the “tearing hurry” in which the bill was being pushed through and the threats by Anna Hazare and his team as they prepare for yet another fast beginning the same day as the debate in the house.

Overriding all objections, minister of state in the PMO V Narayanasamy introduced, along with The Constitutional (116th Amendment) Bill, The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, that includes the prime minister in its domain and binds the states to create Lokayuktas. The new legislation replaces the Lokpal bill introduced earlier.

Going by the applause RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav, CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta and Shiv Sena leader Anant Geete evoked following their attacks on Anna Hazare and his tactics, the political class was visibly anti-Lokpal. This despite the fact that they had gathered to pass the bill under pressure from the very same Hazare.

Congress MPs who thumped their desks as Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee defended the government move, cheered Lalu and Dasgupta. Even Geete drew applause from the treasury benches. Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi repeatedly thumped their desks as Lalu and Dasgupta ridiculed Hazare — Dasgupta, without mentioning his name, said Hazare thought he was another “father of the nation” — and underlined the sovereignty of parliament.

“We are disappointed,” said Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, and listed two objections. She said the provision for “not less than 50 per cent” reservation for SCs, STs, OBCs, women and minorities in the proposed nine-member Lokpal body — including the chairman — violated the Supreme Court ruling keeping the cap on 50 per cent.

The move for a religion-based reservation was “patently unconstitutional,” she said. She said the portion dealing with state Lokayuktas struck at the federal structure because it was done under Section 253, which made it mandatory for states.

The Congress leadership, which initially had the minority reservation provision included in the draft bill, had changed its mind late last night. The provision was brought back following pressure from its allies. The party leadership was aware of the lack of constitutional backing for the move but the game was to go in for it, send a signal to its Muslim constituency and leave it to the BJP to oppose the move. If the court struck down the minority reservation provision, then so be it.

Mukherjee, however, put up a spirited show. He said that the introduction could be opposed only on the ground of “legislative competence” of the house. The finance minister said it should be left to the court to sit on judgment over the legislation. Claiming there was no duress, he told the house: “If you feel it is not necessary, we will not have it. Legislation is the domain of parliament. It is not made on the dharna manch or on the streets.”

The members, Mukherjee said, were free to change the clauses in the bill or drop them. He said, “It is the constitutional responsibility of the house to pass a law. It is for the judiciary to pick holes… Let this house not assume the role of judiciary.”

He reminded the members that the legislation had been on the anvil for 43 years. He said there had been an agitation (of Hazare) and another one was impending. The current events, according to him, could be traced back to April… Where is the question of duress? There is no undue haste.”

The finance minister lost his cool and exclaimed “kaun whip diya” (who issued a whip) as Lalu referred to a supposed “whip” issued by the Congress to its members to back the bill. However, Sonia could be seen gesturing to Mukherjee to calm down and not join the issue. An unsparing Mukherjee also took a dig at Dasgupta and sought to know whose party chief (CPI general secretary A B Bardhan) had spoken from Hazare’s platform.

Leaders of several parties, including Sharad Yadav (Janata Dal-U), Basudeb Acharia (CPM), Bhartruhari Mahtab (BJD), T K S Elangovan (DMK), M Thambidurai (AIADMK), Nama Nageswara Rao (TDP) and Geete (Shiv Sena), made it clear that the rights of states should not be encroached upon.

Lalu, Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Asaduddin Owaisi (AIMIM) opposed the idea of bringing the prime minister under the purview of Lokpal.







Heat on Brigadier after junior alleges harassment

A Brigadier’s promotion has been stalled by the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) on a petition alleging that the officer was harassing a lieutenant-colonel by transferring him to a post to allegedly destroy his career.

Earlier this week, the AFT Kolkata branch passed an interim order, directing the ministry of defence not to take any decision on the promotion of Brigadier P.S. Rathore till the case is resolved.

Rathore is currently serving as deputy judge advocate general (DJAG), HQs south western Command, and was tipped to be the next judge advocate general (JAG) of the Indian Army. JAG is the legal and judicial chief of the army and the branch has legally qualified army officers extending all legal help to the military.

The AFT will resume hearing in February, 2012, on the petition filed by Lt-Colonel Mukul Dev.

A frustrated Dev moved an application to the AFT after a court of inquiry, constituted to decide on his arbitrary transfer and harassment case in 2009, failed to take any punitive action against Rathore, allegedly responsible for hampering the junior officer’s career growth.

The brigadier was earlier indicted in the court of inquiry but got away without any punishment. In his application to the AFT, Dev alleged that the court of inquiry had been manipulated by senior officers and that his transfer was a calculated move to harm his career prospects and harass him.

The probe had found six officers “blameworthy” but only four officers were handed down punishments and two brigadiers – U.K. Chopra and Rathore – were let off.

Not satisfied with verdict, Dev filed a statutory complaint with the defence ministry in October, 2009. The ministry, in its proceeding notes, conceded that there has been a violation of the principle of law ‘equity of justice’.

“Other officers have either been punished lightly or have been left untouched altogether,” the MoD observed.

Earlier in 2008, Lt-Col Dev was transferred to the JAG branch as an assistant JAG but he allegedly became the victim of unfair treatment by senior officers. While he was on ‘adequately exercise’ (AE) – a tenure which would have enhanced his prospects for promotion, a transfer order was served by Chopra (P&A) of HQ central command forcing a legal professional to do an administrative job.

“I was on mandatory AE period and was surprised to receive such a letter. When I approached Rathore to seek a clarification in this regard, he expressed his ignorance about the matter and advised me proceed to a new appointment location and not to disobey or challenge the order of transfer,” Dev said in his petition.

Major-General (Retd) Nilender Kumar, former judge advocate general of the Indian Army, said Dev’s transfer was wrong. “It was non-utilisation of a professional and also hampered the career of the junior officer. Rathore acted on his own with the support of MS branch, central command. This was an improper action and calculated to harm the career of the officer,” Kumar added.

Though court of inquiry found Chopra and Rathore blameworthy, no opinion was extended to punish any officer for the lapses. After the court of inquiry was abruptly closed, Dev was asked to rejoin the JAG branch in August 2009. He was served a showcause notice vide HQ central Command.







Shrewd BJP’s balancing act

The BJP will move an amendment to Lokpal Bill calling for model legislation for the creation of Lokayuktas in states under Article 252 of the Constitution. Under this, if two or more states pass resolutions asking Parliament to regulate a state list matter, the Parliament can invade the state list. Other states too can then pass resolutions to come under the Central law.

Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said the party supported this provision in the interest of the federal structure, rather than making a provision under Article 253, which would make Centre’s law binding on states. But BJP’s dissent note before the Standing Committee on Law and Justice had suggested a law under either Article 252 or 253.

The BJP has sought to benefit politically from the civil society’s anti-graft campaign, while silently steering clear of some of their more extreme demands. It has, however, tactically highlighted points of convergence.

The party had watched from sidelines as Team Anna attacked the government in its early days of the agitation. As Hazare’s fast at Ramlila Maidan reached a crescendo, the party sought to wrest political advantage by first backing his three key demands for the fast to end.

Even when it made its position clear before the standing committee, it had some differences with Team Anna, which it publicly reduced to a subtext: Team Anna’s demand to bring MPs’ conduct in Parliament under Lokpal or giving Lokpal the power to tap phones.

The party struck middle ground by pushing for a second appeal for a separate grievance redressal mechanism, rather than pushing for the citizens’ charter under Lokpal. It, however, converged with Team Anna on the PM’s inclusion.

The party has disagreed strongly on minority quota within Lokpal. Swaraj said there was no Constitutional validity of religious quotas; the “not less than 50% quota” clause would make quota breach the court’s 50% cap in the nine-member body; and there are no quotas in Constitutional bodies.

It will also move amendments for Group C staff to be under Lokpal and for freeing the CBI from government and bringing it under Lokpal’s supervision.




Food Security Act to curb states’ largesse

Nitin Sethi, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 04.10AM IST

NEW DELHI: The states would not be able to provide subsidized food to anyone that the Centre rules out of its beneficiaries’ list under the proposed National Food Security Bill, 2011.

The Bill, tabled in a hurry ahead of the UP polls and facing criticism from non-UPA-ruled state governments like Bihar and Tamil Nadu, is bound to face stiff opposition to this proposal, which prevents states from enlarging its ambit to benefit poor that the Centre does not identify.

“No household falling under the exclusion criteria, to be prescribed by the Central government, shall be included in the priority households or general households,” the bill says.

The Centre intends to use the BPL Census to identify the NFSA beneficiaries. The Census lists categories that are automatically included and excluded as beneficiaries for government programmes. It also lays down parameters to classify the rest in or out of the beneficiaries list. But the UPA-II is yet to decide how to use these parameters. Depending upon the methodology, the total number of beneficiaries could vary by as much as 20% of the population.

Yet the bill has been tabled in Parliament while the Census has got delayed and remains open-ended in its results. Some states like Tamil Nadu have opposed the bill since AIADMK-led government is extending a similar scheme to a larger population at a cheaper rate.

Now, the Centre applies artificial caps on its subsidy based on the Planning Commission estimates while providing foodgrains. But the states circumvent this by picking up costlier APL quota grains while giving an additional subsidy at their end. This way, states give foodgrains to a larger section than the Centre permits.

The states’ options are likely to get curtailed, thanks to the new bill. It would be worse for southern states like Tamil Nadu that run more expansive food security schemes of their own. They would find themselves either bearing the entire burden of subsidy for additional beneficiaries or taking a politically deleterious step of excluding people from the programme.






HC bench rejects poll petitions

The High Court bench comprising Sharad Bobade and Sahalanya Kapse on Thursday dismissed the election petitions filed by MP Gajanan Babar and BJP city unit president Vikas Mathkari.

They had demanded cancellation of the panel formation saying the state election commission had not followed the legal provisions. While Mathkari had filed for the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), Babar had filed for the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC). The election process will now be conducted as announced earlier. State election commissioner Neela Satyanarayan had earlier told The Indian Express that the elections would be held in February, as per schedule.

The bench on Thursday stated that all elections petitions before the bench stand dismissed. Mathkari said he had tried to bring before the court the matter of reservations for SC/ST candidates in the panel formation using the 2001 Census. He had stated that Pune’s population had increased by 20 lakh, which in turn also increased the population of the SC/ST. “My argument was that the SC/ST population were denied their rights. I tried my best but the court has dismissed the petition,” said Mathkari after the verdict.

Mathkari had stated in his petition that as per the legal provisions, the latest published census figures of the city have to be considered for deciding the number of municipal wards and the reserved seats in them for Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST). However, this was the draft census and not the actual figures.

The SEC had considered the provisional figures of Census 2011 of the city to decide the total number of seats in the PMC, which have increased from 144 to 152 on the basis of the increased population. However, he had said the SEC has considered the total number of SC and ST population decided in Census 2001, as the corresponding data of Census 2011 was not available.

SC and ST communities have to be given representation on the basis of share in population. As the SEC considered the figures of Census 2001, the increased population of these communities in the last decade have not been considered. He said the SEC should follow the law and consider only the data published in the gazette about the census.







Stalin moves HC, gets a stay on his eviction from Kolathur office

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 07.16AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has restrained the Chennai Corporation from evicting Kolathur MLA and former deputy chief minister MK Stalin from his office and asked the civic body to maintain status quo until Friday.

Justice V Dhanapalan gave the interim direction on a writ petition filed by Stalin on Thursday. According to Stalin, the premises at Jawahar Nagar in Kolathur was allotted to him in July 2011 by way of a corporation resolution.
Noting that the premises had not been used for nearly 10 years before it was allotted to him, Stalin said he had renovated it and appointed people to take care of it. He said he often visited the premises to meet people and had received more than 200 complaints and requests from them. About 500 calls too had been received from his voters till December 22, he said.

On December 22, the newly-elected council adopted a resolution authorising the corporation to recover the building from his possession, Stalin said. The council had failed to consider the fact that he could not be dispossessed of the premises through a mere resolution, he said.
When the matter was taken up for hearing, Stalin’s counsel N Jothi said the principle of natural justice had been violated as he had not been served any showcause notice or given any opportunity to explain his position before the eviction move was initiated.

Justice Dhanapalan then asked why no notice was served to Stalin. Advocate general A Navaneethakrishnan said though Stalin was given the premises on the basis of a resolution, no separate order allotting the building to him was ever issued. Hence, there was no need for any separate show-cause notice. The government wanted to cancel the resolution, he said. When he said he could furnish all relevant documents by Friday, the judge adjourned the matter and asked the corporation to maintain status quo till Friday.

Meanwhile, Stalin said he would even discharge his duties as a people’s representative from a pavement. “It (resolution ) shows the narrow mindedness of certain elements in the ruling AIADMK. If they reclaim my office, I will even put bench and chair on the pavement at a main location and continue to discharge my duties,” he said.








HC scrutiny on medical preparedness in city’s schools

Fri Dec 23 2011, 01:04 hrs New Delhi:

The Delhi High Court has asked the government to elaborate on the steps it had taken to implement recommendations in a report prepared by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPRC) on medical crisis management in city schools.

The bench, comprising acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, was hearing a suo motu matter, wherein a letter written to the Chief Justice alleged that the authorities of a government school had failed to provide timely treatment to a Class VII student who suffered an eye injury in a stone-pelting incident on August 29. The letter sought action against the government, claiming that it had failed to learn a lesson from a similar incident in the past, when a Class XI girl student of another school had lost her eyesight.

The boy, a student of the Government Boys Senior Secondary School in New Seemapuri, was allegedly left outside the emergency ward of the Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. It was only after the boy’s parents reached the spot that he was taken to the Guru Nanak Hospital, and later referred to AIIMS, the letter claimed.

The court had earlier sought a detailed response from the government counsel, who submitted on Wednesday that a report from AIIMS was still awaited.

Appointed as amicus curiae in the matter, advocate Ashok Agarwal adduced a 2010 DCPCR report, titled ‘Psycho-physical requirement and medical crisis management in schools’. The report suggested measures for dealing with such crisis in schools, including the constitution of an emergency response team, appointment of doctors (full-time or part-time), inclusion of safety and accident prevention in regular curriculum, a dispensary on the ground floor of the school building, and a database of students and their ailments.

“The government must elaborate on what steps have been taken since this report was published. The safety of school students is of paramount importance,” Agarwal said.

Concurring with his views, the court asked the government counsel to submit a report on the actions taken by it in four weeks, and fixed the matter for February next year.









HC stays arrest of Chinmayanand

Fri Dec 23 2011, 02:34 hrs Allahabad:

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the arrest of former Union minister and BJP leader Swami Chinmayanand, who has been accused of rape and criminal intimidation by a female disciple.

The disciple had lodged a complaint on the basis of which an FIR was registered in Shahjahanpur on November 30. Chinmayanand approached the high court seeking quashing of the FIR.

The court has given the state government and the complainant three weeks to file a counter-affidavit. Chinmayanand will be given two weeks time after that to file a rebuttal following which the court will continue hearing the case.

A division bench comprising Justices Devendra Pratap Singh and V K Mathur stayed the arrest of the former minister, pending investigation after hearing all sides.

Chinmayanand’s counsel Dileep Kumar said the quashing of the FIR had been sought on the ground of “absurdity of the charges”. “Our main prayer is that the FIR should be quashed because the charges leveled against my client (Chinmayanand) are such that no intelligent person would believe them by the wildest stretch of imagination,” said Kumar.

The counsel added that the petition based its prayer on a Supreme Court ruling in the Haryana versus Bhajan Lal case, which said that if an allegation levelled is so unbelievable that it can be categorised as “absurd”, then the FIR registered on the basis of such a complaint should be cancelled at that level itself.

The disciple’s counsel, Vikram Chauhan, said: “We told the court that the allegations levelled were direct and grave in nature as it involved rape, wrongful confinement and abortion. A statement has already been recorded under Section 161 (before the police) of the Criminal Procedure Code, while the statement under Section 164 (before the magistrate) of the CrPC was going to be made shortly. Hence, we argued the arrest should not be stayed.”

The disciple, a resident of Badayun, said she came to know Chinmayanand in 2001 and became his disciple. In 2005, she was confined to his Mumukshu Ashram in Shahjahanpur, where he tried to strangulate her. When she tried to escape, she was raped and a video was made. Since then, she was sexually exploited and threatened with dire consequences if she dared to tell anybody about it. The disciple also alleged she was forced to abort twice, in 2006 and 2009.









Govt seeks CISF cover for Madras HC, bench

Karthick S, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 04.39AM IST

CHENNAI: The Centre is likely to accede Tamil Nadu’s request for deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force at the Madras high court and its Madurai bench as a permanent arrangement. The state cited the strained relationship between police and lawyers as the reason for seeking CISF security for the court campus.

Recently, state chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi had written to Union home secretary R K Singh in this regard. Sources in the home ministry said the Centre was likely to respond favourably to the request.

Quoting a report by the Tamil Nadu DGP, Sarangi said in his letter: “The strained relationship between the state police and a section of lawyers has compounded the problems of implementing security systems in the court complexes and the entire security of the Madras high court and the Madurai bench can be entrusted to the CISF, which has enough resources and expertise in managing the security of several establishments in the country.”

Sarangi was referring to the February 19, 2009, clash between police and protesting lawyers, an incident which raised questions about the safety and security on the HC premises. More than 50 lawyers and several policemen besides a HC judge were injured the unprecedented violence.

The chief secretary said, “In the wake of a bomb blast at Delhi high court and following the directions of the Madras high court, the comprehensive security system (CSS) for the court complex was implemented on October 10.” He also said the Tamil Nadu government had sanctioned Rs 3.14 core for procuring various electronic gadgets to strengthen security in the main HC ampus and the Madurai bench.

About 430 personnel of the state police have been provided for round-the-clock security for the 150-year-old HC complex as part of the new CSS. The personnel have been guarding the sprawling 35-acre campus since October 10. “If the CISF is deployed, we can use these police personnel for other purposes. Advocates will also be happy with the CISF,” a police officer said.







HC no to stay release of ‘Don 2’, film to hit screens tomorrow

PTI | 08:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Mumbai, Dec 22 (PTI) Decks were cleared for release of the much-publicised Shahrukh Khan-starrer ‘Don2’ with the Bombay High Court today dismissing a plea seeking a stay on exhibiting the action film due to hit the screens tomorrow. Legal heirs of Nariman Hirani, who owned rights of the original film ‘Don'(1978), had filed a suit before a single judge of the High Court, seeking the stay on the grounds of copyright violation. But the single judge dismissed it on December 19, saying it was too late. Nariman Films and Hirani family then filed an appeal. The contention was that Farhan Akhtar’s upcoming film violated their copyright by adopting signature tune, songs, script and the characters of the 1978 film (which starred Amitabh Bachchan). Hirani’s suit claims that rights for a remake were sold in 2005, when the first film starring Shahrukh was made. However, this agreement was valid only till 2009. The director and producers (which includes Shahrukh), of ‘Don2’ did not buy any rights for making the sequel, it says. Don2 also features Priyanka Chopra. “As per the agreement dated March 21, 2005, permission was given only to make one film. The petitioner saw the movie’s trailer only in October, following which a legal notice was sent to producers,” said advocate Iva Bhansal, lawyer of Nariman Films. However, the division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Roshan Dalvi refused to grant stay, pointing out that words in the agreement were “film/films” and therefore the producers could make sequels.









Residents move HC seeking restoring of original CMRL alignment

PTI | 10:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Chennai, Dec 22 (PTI): Uneasy over prospects of Chennai Metro-Rail operating just 33 feet below their homes, residents of parts of George Town and Seven Wells areas in North Chennai have moved the Madras High Court, seeking restoration of the original alignment of the Metro Rail. When the petition filed by George Town Building Owners Welfare Association came up for hearing today, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar issued notice to the Centre and Tamil Nadu government and Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL). Submitting that a modification in alignment has brought these densely populated areas in the corridor of metro-rail, the association claimed that between 3,000 to 5000 houses would be affected due to the deviation. The association feared the giant tunnel boring machine operating about 33 feet below its members’ homes would pose a grave danger to the lives of those occupying the buildings. CMRL in a Nov 28 last notice directed owners and tenants in these areas to close existing and abandoned bore and open wells within a restricted zone of 16.5 metres on either side of the proposed alignment. The petition claimed CMRL’s plan to use the chemical, Bendrite, to compress loose soil surrounding the underground railway line would block water sources, besides depriving residents of bore and open wells. Seeking to forbear authorities concerned from proceeding further on the proposed alignment, the petitioner wanted a Court direction on restoration of the original alignment via Old Jail Road and Prakasam Road. CMRL said the average depth of the tunnel would vary from 15 to 17 metres from the rail level with a 6.2 metre outer diameter and 5.8 metre inner diameter. The tunnel will start from a depth of nine metres from the surface level. The tunnel boring machines are designed to bore the without disturbing the buildings, CMRL said. PTI GR APR APR








R-ADAG execs move HC against framing of charges

Three top executives of Reliance ADAG on Thursday moved the Delhi high court challenging the trial court order framing charges against them in the 2G spectrum case. Justice V K Shali asked the executives–group managing director Gautam Doshi, senior vice-president Hari Nair and group president Surendra Pipara–to file short synopsis in addition to their petition against framing of criminal charges against them in the 2G case.

“You file short synopsis as the order on charge (of the trial judge) is very long,” Justice V K Shali said and fixed the matter for further hearing on January 16.

Senior advocate Rajiv Nayar, appearing for Doshi, Pipara and Nair, said that he did not want the RTL officials’ petitions to be tagged with the plea of Rajiv Agarwal and Asif Balwa, co-accused and directors of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables.

Reliance Telecom Ltd (RTL) had moved the high court on October 24, two days after the farming of charges by a trial court, seeking quashing of charges against it in the case involving former telecom minister A Raja, DMK MP Kanimozhi and others.

RTL had challenged Special Judge O P Saini’s decision to put it on trial, saying it never held stakes in excess of 9.9% in Swan Telecom and that too was divested prior to the grant of licences in 2008.

A Raja opens defence
Former telecom minister A Raja on Thursday opened his defence with the cross-examination of key CBI witness Aseervatham Achary. Achary was Raja’s former additional private secretary.  Raja called off his protest in the wake of CBI filing its third chargesheet on December 12 against Essar and Loop and their promoters.








Segregate waste at source, says HC

TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 04.51AM IST

KOCHI: A Division Bench of the Kerala high court on Thursday passed an interim order regarding solid waste segregation of Ernakulam district. The order was made after a two hour discussion with mayor Tony Chammani, district collector PI Sheik Pareeth, 11 municipal chairpersons and secretaries in the district at the high court.

The bench that comprises justices PS Gopinathan and CN Ramachandran Nair directed the district collector to ensure that segregation of solid waste starts at the source itself. For this all local bodies should be equipped with dustbins and garbage boxes. The collection of garbage should be entrusted in the hands of local organisations like Kudumbasree.

Observing that vacant private plots in the district are becoming waste dumpyards, the bench asked the collector to make the owners of such plots accountable along with those who dump waste. Making available a space for dumping waste will affect the neighbourhood and hence the owners of such plots are responsible for the menace. The administration should ensure that the practice is stopped. Also vacant government plots can be identified for setting up waste treatment plants.

The interim order, that was made after a public interest litigation was filed by the Kerala Federation of Women Lawyers also directed Kochi Corporation to clean up the Brahmapuram plant and plant trees in an extensive mode in the areas close by.

Tony Chammany who met the media persons after the session with Division Bench told that he informed the bench about the difficulties in dealing with solid waste from neighbouirng local bodies.

“Brahmapuram plant is not capable to treat solid waste brought from other localities and I have informed this to the bench. Corporation has plans to expand the current plant but we are yet to identify a technology for segregating garbage. Until then it will be very difficult to cater the load projected by neighbouring areas,” Mayor said.

Later, the collector said that the sewage plant at Elamkulam would be upgraded to solve this problem to an extent. The plant, currently located at a nine-acre plot, is under-utilized, he said.



HC verdict on Dec 26 on bail for Rajagopal

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

HYDERABAD: Arguments on the petition filed by the CBI opposing bail to former APMDC director VD Rajagopal, an accused in the illegal mining case, concluded in the High Court on Wednesday.

Justice NRL Nageswara Rao reserved his orders till December 26. The Special Court for CBI cases had granted bail to Rajagopal last week but suspended its order after a CBI plea.

CBI’s counsel Kesava Rao urged the High Court not to release the accused as he would influence and threaten the witnesses. “Grant of bail to the accused would jeopardise the ongoing investigation. The CBI wants to complete the probe at the earliest but the magnitude of the case has forced it to take more time. The ill-gotten wealth running into thousands of crores of rupees has to be recovered.,” he said.

Rajagopal’s counsel Padmanabha Reddy wondered if his client had no right to get bail till completion of the investigation. Already, a charge sheet was filed and the CBI itself had stated that no irregularities had taken place in extraction of ore at but its probe related to illegal transportation of iron ore.








Hold elections in six months: HC

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

CUTTACK: The Odisha High Court on Wednesday ordered fresh elections to all the State-run cooperative societies. Upholding the amendment made to the Odisha Cooperative Societies Act, the court directed� the State Government to frame the rules within three months.

�A division bench of Justices BP Das and SK Mishra ordered elections to all cooperative bodies in six months. Till the new elected bodies are constituted, the HC order said, the old ones shall continue. This will automatically mean that the Government-nominated bodies will now stand quashed.

By strength of an amended law of the Cooperative Societies Act, the Government had nominated executives to as many as 90 cooperative bodies in September this year. The HC order shall apply only to those bodies for which writ petitions were filed.

�The HC maintained that the provisions as amended were not ultra vires of the Constitution.

�The directives came in response to multiple writ petitions filed by Ranjita Kahali and others who were the elected directors of various cooperative banks. They had challenged the amendment to the election rules as well as the Government notification appointing the committee on various grounds.

Earlier, the HC had reserved its verdict after hearing the parties in 24 writ petitions and verifying the records.

�The petitioners had stated that there was no election for a long time and pursuant to the direction of the court, the elections of the managing committees were held and the new bodies took charge. While the elected bodies were functioning, there was no necessity for the Government to take such a decision which was illegal and arbitrary.

�The petitioners had alleged that after the amendment, the Government nominated the committee members hurriedly. Indicating other circumstances, the petitioners had appealed to the court to quash the amendment as well as the notification appointing the new committees.








HIV-hit thalassemic kids: HC orders FIR

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday ordered the state government to register an FIR against authorities responsible for the incident where 23 thalassemic children were found infected with HIV in September this year allegedly due to negligence of staff at the Junagadh Civil Hospital and the blood bank there.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala passed the order on a petition jointly moved by a group of 23 parents of these children.

Demanding action against those responsible in the episode, parents of the affected children had approached the HC earlier this month after their complaints to the concerned police authorities and the district superintendent of police were not registered as FIR.

In their petition, the parents stated, “…due to gross negligence and violation of regulatory requirements, blood infected with HIV positive was infused into the children/patients by doctors and staff of the hospital and the blood bank.”

The petition is being heard by the court simultaneously with a PIL in the same incident that demands free medical treatment and compensation for the affected children.

The state government opposed the petitions. An affidavit by the principal secretary (public health) P K Taneja stated that the affected children might have got HIV infection from sources other than the blood bank at the Junagadh Civil Hospital. The affidavit also detailed the steps taken by the state government following the incident.

However, the affidavit did not pass muster with the HC, which ordered the state government to file another affidavit next week with more details to substantiate its claims and first register an FIR on the complaints given by the parents of the affected children.

Advocate Girish Das, who appeared for the petitioners, said, “The state government told the court it has carried out an inquiry into the incident. However, the court rejected the submissions while ordering it to first register FIR before carrying out any inquiry or investigation.”

Further hearing on the petitions has been scheduled for December 29.







HC direction on garbage treatment plant

PTI | 07:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Kochi, Dec 22 (PTI) The Kerala High Court today directed the state Government to initiate a centralised Garbage treatment plant-cum power generator and file report within a month. Kochi Mayor and chairpersons of 11 muncipalities and muncipal secretaries and Ernakulam District collector appeared in court to evolve steps for effective waste managment following a court directive. Bench consisting C N Ramachandran Nair and P S Gopinathan said those muncipalities who have no waste dumping plant can dump waste except plastic in Brahmapuram plant near here, until further orders. The court also granted liberty to muncipalities to identify suitable land and approach District Collector for approval. The court directed District Collector to arrange police protection wherever there was public resistance. Proceeding were initiated in a wirt petiton filed by Indian federation for women lawyers.







No tax relief for Infy’s payment to police: HC

P Vasanth Kumar, TNN | Dec 23, 2011, 06.20AM IST

BANGALORE: Can an establishment seek a deduction under the Income-Tax Act with regard to a donation/ contribution made to police for regulating traffic? No way, says the Karnataka High Court.

The division bench comprising late Justice V G Sabhahit and Justice Ravi Malimath in a recent judgment held that IT giant Infosys cannot claim deduction of income under Section 37 of the Income-Tax Act with regard to its payment to the Bangalore city police for regulating traffic near its premises on Hosur Road. “It is the duty of police to regulate traffic and the amount paid towards the same by the company cannot qualify as deduction under the Income-Tax Act. For anything to be qualified for business expenditure in terms of the Act, it has to wholly for the purpose of the business of the company,” the bench observed while setting aside the finding of the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) on this issue.

The ITAT in its March 31, 2005 verdict held that the Rs 6.93 lakh payment made by Infosys in 1996-97 to traffic police to regulate traffic on Hosur was a “business expenditure ” and therefore it’s entitled for tax deduction.
Originally ,the assessing officer of the I-T department held the payment cannot be considered for deduction and is taxable. However, Infosys challenged this in the ITAT and the tribunal reversed it. The I-T department had filed an appeal before the high court.








Accommodate kids of closed shelter house in training programme: HC

The Gujarat High Court has asked the Ahmedabad Municipal School Board and the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan, Gandhinagar, to ensure that 140 children of a closed shelter house are accommodated under the special training programme at Vatva.

The court, in its interim order early this week, also asked the petitioner, a public trust, to furnish addresses of the children in 10 days to SSA, whose study has been impacted due to the closure of the shelter house.

Navjivan Mahila Mandal, the petitioner, had approached the HC with a public interest litigation seeking accommodation of these children and start a school for them as a long-term solution to their problem.

The court has fixed next hearing after a month when it will decide on the plea for setting up a full-fledged school because a shelter house is a temporary measure where children can study only for two years. They have already been there for almost one and a half years, leaving only about six months till when they can study under the special training programme.

Petitioner’s counsel said that orders have also been passed for providing mid-day meals and educational kits to the children, mainly hailing from families of casual labourer and daily wage earners.








HC: Bailey Bridge a wasteful expenditure

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday observed that the Bailey bridge at Sabarimala, which was built for the pilgrims, was a ‘wasteful expenditure’ and loss of human effort. “The Bailey bridge was a highly propagated idea and was brought in by the government with a laudable objective. But it remains a wasteful expenditure.

This can be rectified only after the present season as any work that is carried out now will only adversely affect the pilgrims,” the court said.

A Division Bench comprising Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice M L Joseph Francis made the observation while considering a petition filed by V K Salin, a licensee who has been allotted shops near the Bailey Bridge.

In the petition, he had sought a directive to the Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) to provide an alternative space for doing the business. He said that none of the devotees are using the bridge and so there was no business. Salin also submitted that this would land him in a huge financial loss. Though he had given a representation to the TDB there was no response, he submitted.

The Madras Engineer Group of the Indian Army had constructed the 40-metre-long, 3.3-metre-wide Bailey Bridge within 25 days with iron girders and other components. Another Licensee Dasan Pillai had earlier approached the court and submitted that the bridge was not being used by the pilgrims.








HC a sitting duck to all and sundry?

Express News Service , The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: The September 7 bomb blasts in the Delhi High Court premises, it seems, has not resulted in any improvement in security in the High Court.
Nothing exemplifies this better than the hand-held weapon detectors at the HC, which do not work at all. Despite the incident of assault on an advocate inside the court hall on July 8, 2010, some advocates still carry loaded revolvers inside.
President of Karnataka High Court Bar Association Subba Reddy said, “As the court is adjacent to the Cubbon Park, anybody can enter it by climbing the grills. Even the city civil court has no gates and street lights and has only minimal police security. All this for a premises which witnesses a daily footfall of 12,000 advocates and nearly 20,000 persons. Police must do something before anything goes wrong.”
ACP Ramesh Babu, who is in-charge of security in the High Court, said, “We have taken necessary security measures, which I cannot disclose; the security in the court is adequate.”







HC asks IOC to cooperate with expert panel

PTI | 12:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Cuttack, Dec 22 (PTI) Orissa High Court has allowed three weeks time to the expert committee it constituted to study the impact of impugned permanent constructions in Mahanadi islet at Hadia Patha here. Allowing a prayer of the panel, the High Court yesterday asked the Committee to submit its report positively by January 18. The HC also asked IOC which is constructing its intake well in the islet for its oil refinery at Paradeep, to furnish all records and documents as sought by the Committee. The five-member Committee headed by a former chief engineer of irrigation department had urged the High Court on Tuesday seeking at least three more weeks to record the views of all stakeholders on the issue and submit its report. The Committee had also brought to the notice of the High Court that IOC had refused to furnish the project report of the intake well to it saying it was not imperative for the panel to see the project report before reaching a conclusion. The Nationalist Lawyers’ Forum in a PIL had alleged that if construction was allowed in the islet, it would spell doom for Cuttack which is surrounded by rivers from three sides. PTI






Allahabad HC orders UP govt to restore security of Kushwaha

PTI | 04:12 PM,Dec 22,2011

Lucknow, Dec 22 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to restore security of expelled BSP leader Babu Singh Kushwaha which he earlier enjoyed as a state minister. A division bench comprising Justices Devi Prasad Singh and Devenrda Kumar Arora passed the order after allowing a writ petition of Kushwaha seeking directions for restoring his security. The court also quashed the order of the state government through which Kushwaha’s security was reduced. The expelled BSP leader had challenged the government’s order on down- grading his security. Kushwaha was sacked from the ministerial post on April 7 after the NRHM scam surfaced following the murder of two Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) in-charge of family welfare department in Lucknow. Accordingly, Kushwaha’s Y plus security was downgraded to X category. The former Family Welfare Minister, once a close confidant of Mayawati, fell out of favour of the Chief Minister and was subsequently expelled from the BSP in November.



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