LEGAL NEWS 04.01.2012

After NHRC intervention, family of dead prisoner gets higher relief


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 07.19AM IST

CHENNAI: The state government has enhanced the compensation to the family of a prisoner who committed suicide in jail after the intervention of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Of the Rs 1 lakh sanctioned to the family , Rs 33,334 was disbursed to the victim’s wife, Nambuthai . The rest was deposited in at the Rameswaram post office in the names of her two minor children .

The matter related to 29-year-old R P Murugan , son of Ponnandi Konar , who was remanded at Madurai central prison . He had tried to commit suicide by hanging on May 20, 2009 anddiedwhilebeing taken toGovernmentR ajajiHospital , Madurai . While the commission passed an order directing state authorities to increase the financial relief by Rs 50,000 in March 2011, no proof of paymentwassubmittedthereafter .

Through its proceedings in June 2011, the NHRC reminded the chief secretary to transmit a copy of the proof of payment within six weeks. In response , state authorities informed the commission two months later that one part of the compensation amount of Rs 1 lakh was disbursed to the victim’s wife and the rest deposited in the names of the children .

A compliance report for this case was the only one that was submitted to NHRC by the governmentin November 2011. The commission received 47 such compliance reports from different public authorities across the country which showed that a sum of Rs 94 ,90 ,000 was paid to victims of human rights violations or their next of kin .

The maximum number of compliance reports was furnished by the Uttar Pradesh governmentfor 11cases ,which included custodial deaths , encounter deaths , abduction and abuse of power by the police and indignity towards women . A sum of Rs 10 lakh was the highest compensation awarded in an individual case (death in a policeencounter )by theUP government .








Election Commission gaze to keep ‘star campaigners’ on edge


Published: Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012, 9:30 IST
By Iftikhar Gilani | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

As campaign for the five state Assembly polls starts to heat up, the Election Commission (EC) has issued elaborate guidelines about the conduct and expenditure of high profile public meetings, addressed by star campaigners.

Expecting a star-studded electrifying campaign, especially in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab, the EC has notified that while travel expenses of the notified star campaigners would not be added to the expenditure of contesting candidate, the expenses of the meeting would be added, in case the candidate or his poll agent is present on the dais or a banner with his picture or name is put up around the dais.

The travel expenses whether by helicopter, aircraft or any other means, will not be added to the expenditure incurred by the contesting candidates. However, if a candidate or his family member or representative travels with the star campaigner, half of the expenditure incurred will be added to his account.

To avail this benefit, the party has to notify its star campaigners within seven days of the notification of the election. A recognised political party can have maximum 40 such campaigners while the ceiling is 20 for other registered parties.

The benefit, however, is not available on expenditure incurred by a star campaigner of another party or a party in alliance as his travel expenditure will be added to the candidate’s expenditure.

The candidate has to bear the lodging and boarding expenses of the star campaigners as also half the cost of the public meetings. The expenditure will be divided among the candidates if the party leader is campaigning for more than one candidate.

Further, the expenditure including lodging/boarding will be also added to candidate’s expenses, if the star campaigner stays in a in a commercial hotel or a lodge for the purpose of campaign.

“The market value of such commercial boarding and lodging is to be calculated towards the poll expenditure of the candidate, even if the boarding and lodging is provided as complimentary. If the star campaigner while availing the boarding and lodging in one constituency, travels to another constituency to campaign for other candidates, then the lodging and boarding expense will be proportionately distributed as the expense of those candidates,” said the notification.







Non-judicial member of KAT sworn in


Express News Service , The New Indian Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Sringaram Pradeep Kumar Naidu, was sworn in as the non-judicial member of Kerala Administrative tribunal(KAT) on Monday.

In a ceremony held at the KAT Headquarters here, Chairman Justice K Balakrishnan Nair administered the oath of office to Pradeep Kumar Naidu.

Pradeep Kumar Naidu was the Commissioner for departmental inquiries in the Central Vigilance Commission and former Special Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh.

KAT member Mathew C Kunnumkal, Additional Advocate-General P C Iype, Law Secretary C P Ramaraja Prema Prasad, Bar Association president K P Jayachandran were present on the occasion.

Nearly 20 cases had been filed since the KAT started its sitting on December 12, 2011. KAT, which was formed to look into cases related with State Government employees consists of three judicial members, including the chairman, and three non-judicial members and three Benches out of which two would be based in the capital and one in Kochi to handle the cases from North Kerala. But three posts, one of a non judicial member and two of judicial members are vacant.

The decision by the government on June 15, 2011, to recall two judicial members P V Asha and Ashok Mammen Cherian, both advocates at Kerala High Court, appointed by the LDF Government, had drawn flak from the Opposition.







Qualcomm offers to clear Tulip’s dues, seeks BWA licence

PTI, 02 Jan 2012 | 06:26 PM


The tribunal was hearing the petition of Qualcomm, which has challenged the DoT notice for cancelling the allotment of BWA spectrum in four circles that it bagged last year in auction.



US-based chip-maker Qualcomm today offered to give an undertaking before telecom tribunal TDSAT that it will clear the dues of its partner Tulip Telecom and requested that the telecom ministry be asked to issue licence to it for BWA spectrum.

Tulip is a 13 per cent shareholder in the consortium which had bid for BWA spectrum along with Qualcomm. As per the rules and regulation, operators has to get a no-due certificate from DoT for a new licence.

However, in December DoT had issued a show-cause notice to Tulip claiming a due of Rs 146 crore for 2009-10 and 2010-11.

During the proceedings, Qualcomm’s counsel submitted that the Department of Telecom was yet to work out the final figure of Tulip’s dues, which is disputed and once done, it would be paid.

Senior advocate S Ganesh appearing for chip-maker said Qualcomm was ready to file an undertaking along with an affidavit in this regard and its ISP licence should be alloted after that.

This was accepted by the Telecom Disputes Settlement & Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT), which asked Qualcomm to file a formal application.

The TDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha also asked the DoT to file reply over the Qualcomm’s new move by Friday and directed to list the matter on Monday for next hearing.

Ganesh submitted that DoT has issued show-cause notice only to Tulip over the due of Rs 146 crore. It is opposed by its Indian partner and some correspondences are exchanged between DoT and Tulip, however, the matter is still at the show-cause stage only.

He said at the time of allotment of LoI on October 10, 2011 there was no dues on Tulip. The show-cause notice was issued two months after that and it is not a final demand yet.

Ganesh further quipped that the US-based company has already paid Rs 4,900 crore towards BWA spectrum and wondered why the licence is not being alloted for Rs 146 crore due which is still under dispute.


The tribunal was hearing the petition of Qualcomm, which has challenged the DoT notice for cancelling the allotment of BWA spectrum in four circles that it bagged last year in auction.

Qualcomm’s application for licence was rejected by DoT on the basis that it had made four nominees for the spectrum. The company was fearing that its licence may be revoked and spectrum may be allotted to someone else.

On December 2, Qualcomm had sought time to verify the authenticity of the dues claimed by DoT and said that if that was correct, then would pay it.

DoT had also informed the TDSAT that if the dues were verified and cleared by them, then the ISP licence would be given to Qualcomm within a day.

DoT had further submitted that after the grant of ISP licence, Qualcomm would have to apply for spectrum and it would be given in two weeks.

On November 8, TDSAT had directed representatives of Qualcomm and DoT to meet and resolve their differences over grant of BWA spectrum.

Qualcomm had bagged BWA spectrum for Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala circles and LoIs were allotted to it.






Pending probe can’t justify long suspension’


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 01.06AM IST

MUMBAI: Pending departmental inquiry or disciplinary proceedings can’t be used as grounds to place government employees under suspension for a long period of time, observed vice-chairman of the Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT) A P Sinha.

“Even the apex court has made it clear that long continuation of suspension and pending disciplinary proceedings make it punitive and unlawful. An employee is placed under suspension to prevent him/her from tampering with the evidence or influencing the witnesses. In the present case, no such material has been placed on record to indicate such a possibility,” Sinha observed in his five-page order while disposing of an application filed by a revenue department employee, S S Gaikwad, against her suspension.

Expressing displeasure over the state government’s failure to appoint an inquiry officer to probe charges of irregularities against her, Sinha said, “Gaikwad was suspended for making irregular mutation entries in land records.

Though a chargesheet was served on her, neither an inquiry officer nor a presenting officer was appointed despite the passage of more than a year. No explanation for the inordinate delay has been offered…..without going into the merits of the case, I am directing the government to reinstate her subject to the outcome of the disciplinary proceedings against her,” Sinha observed.

The MAT observed that the only reason given to justify the suspension order was that the allegations against Gaikwad were serious in nature while the naib tehsildar who had certified the entries made by her was quickly reinstated.

Sinha’s order assumes significance for 19 lakh-odd state government employees. At present, quite a large number of employees is under suspension as the departmental inquiry against them is pending. “Suspended employees are at the mercy of the inquiry officer. Even for a minor error, employees have to suffer for a better part of their lives,” a senior bureaucrat said.

The bureaucrat has called for a permanent mechanism for completion of departmental probes in a time-bound manner. “As has been observed by the apex court, an employee can’t remain under suspension for a prolonged period. Government should set up an independent mechanism for the purpose. Appoint senior officers exclusively to conduct departmental probes. They should be asked to complete the probe within three months,” he said.

While special inquiry officers conduct probes against IAS and IPS officials, no such mechanism exists for the rest of the employees. “Employee organizations should take up the matter with the CM and the chief secretary,” he said.

As has been observed by the apex court, an employee can’t remain under suspension for a prolonged period. Government should set up an independent mechanism for the purpose.







New rules likely to bring back smiles on Sr citizens


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.18AM IST

HYDERABAD: This New Year, the aged and the infirm have a good reason to smile as the state government has framed rules for effective implementation of the Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007.

The rules clearly specify the procedures and the manner in which the tribunals would hold enquiries while dealing with applications filed by parents against their children and childless senior citizens against their relatives for maintenance.

Under the enactment, parents could claim provision of food, clothing, residence, medical attendance or treatment from one or all of their children provided the latter is above 18 years of age. The rules, framed under section 32 of the central enactment, were notified in GO No. 49, which was issued a few days ago.

“The rules will be implemented strictly to help the parents who have been deserted by their children,” women and child welfare minister Sunita Lakshma Reddy told TOI. She said district-wise tribunals would be constituted to inquire into the complaints of parents.

But the aggrieved parents should first approach the appellate committees which would function under the chairmanship of a revenue divisional officer. If the grievance is not resolved at the committee level, then the tribunal headed by the district collector will look into the complaint.

The new rules have also a provision that in case of legal heirs not taking care of the parents, a maximum of Rs 10,000 would be paid to the parents. “It is better to settle the matter amicably through a conciliation officer. Tribunals should play a key role when it comes to dealing with complaints of parents facing serious health problems,” said senior citizen’s activist S Bhuma Reddy.

But experts are worried over the role of tribunals in solving the cases. “A lot depends on the functioning of the district officials in lending a ear to the woes of the complainant and solving their problems,” observed V Yateendra Yadav, programme manager in a senior citizen’s organisation.

The rules also provide for supervision on management of old-age homes under section 19 of the Act for housing those senior citizens who do not have means of a shelter. There are about 500 old-age homes in the state — 100 are being run in Hyderabad alone — where at least 25,000 senior citizens take shelter. Ten per cent of these homes would get government aid henceforth.

The new rules have also a provision that in case of legal heirs not taking care of the parents, a maximum of 10,000 would be paid to the parents








National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources to move Supreme Court after getting report on illegal mining


Press Trust of India, Updated: January 02, 2012 20:12 IST

Bangalore:  The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources today said it would move the Supreme Court after receiving a detailed report on illegal mining at Kappat Gudda hill ranges in Gadag district and asked Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda order a Lokayukta probe into it.

Speaking to reporters here, National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources convenor S R Hiremath said he would move the Supreme Court after getting a substantive report on illegal mining in the hill ranges.

“We approached the Apex Court on the basis of a substantive report submitted by former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde on illegal mining in Bellary. However, National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources first wants to give the government a chance curb illegal mining there,” he said.

Hiremath alleged that a nexus of people’s representatives, officials and mining mafia have looted 50 per cent of the mineral wealth from that area, to which the state government had remained a ‘silent spectator’.

“We will request the Chief Minister, Speaker G Boppaiah and Council Chairman D H Shankarmurthy to discuss illegal mining in Kappat Gudda in the Assembly session this month,” he said.

The illegal mining has caused enormous environmental damage in Kappat Gudda, known for its unique flora and fauna especially medicinal plants for centuries, Hiremath said.

“When we took up the issue of illegal mining in Bellary, we didn’t expect ban orders on illegal mining in the state…likewise we hope the government would take cognisance and order Loakyukta probe into Kappat Gudda issue,” he said.

While major focus would be on Kappat Gudda issue in 2012, National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources’s other objective is to press for stringent action against four former Chief Ministers S M Krishna, H D Kumaraswamy, Dharam Singh and Yeddyurappa, Hiremath said.







Realtors to move court against RR rate hike

Tue Jan 03 2012, 02:27 hrs Mumbai:

The state government might have to brace for a legal battle with certain segments of the realty sector planning to challenge the steep hike in ready reckoner (RR) rates in court.

The revised rates for Mumbai, effective from January 1 this year, show a sharp 10-30 per cent increase from last year. In Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, the hike is a staggering 100 per cent. The move, say realty analysts, will increase the capital gains tax for builders as well as burden home buyers with higher stamp duty charges. “If the government doesn’t roll back its decision, we are planning to file a writ petition in the Bombay High Court,” said advocate Vinod Sampat and president of Registration Fee and Stamp Duty Payers’ Association.

According to estimates by the association, a 1,000 sq ft apartment in Cuffe Parade, that was priced at Rs 3.65 crore in 2011, will now be priced at Rs 4.75 crore. It has seen a 30 per cent revision. The impact will be felt even in places that have seen the least revision. In Linking Road, where the rates have been increased by 15 per cent, a 1,000 sq ft apartment that cost Rs 1.82 crore last year will now cost Rs 2.10 crore.

While the new flats sold by builders are usually 20-40 per cent more expensive than the RR rates, resale apartments would be hit harder as they are usually priced lower than the new stock. The RR rates would turn out to be higher than the agreement value, forcing buyers to shell out a much higher stamp duty.

Brokerage firm Prabhudas Lilladher in its recent report noted that property registrations in November had fallen to a 31-month low in Mumbai. “There have been no sales for the longest time and builders too haven’t increased their rates for the last 8 to 10 months. Just because the government is unable to meet its stamp duty collection targets, it cannot raise the RR rates for buyers who are already bogged down by VAT, service tax and labour cess,” said Paras Gundecha, MCHI president. He also questioned the logic of calculating the RR rates on built-up area when the government urges developers to sell flats on the basis of carpet area.

“We will raise the issue with the CM and revenue minister.”






Child sexual abuse case: docs told to file separate affidavits


PTI | 09:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

Chennai, Jan 2 (PTI): Two doctors, who contradicted their earlier reports on the alleged sexual abuse of a four-year-old girl, have been directed by Madras High Court to file separate affidavits asking them why they should not be prosecuted for giving false reports after examining the child. Passing further orders on a writ petition by her mother,the first bench,comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam directed that the notice be served on them through Deputy Superintendent of police, Crime Branch CID, which is investigating the case and posted the matter for hearing on January 18. In her complaint lodged with police at Kallakurichi in Villupuram district,the mother said her daughter,a UKG student in a private school was sexually harassed by the LKG class teacher and the principal. She was medically examined by a doctor attached to the Government headquarters hospital there and also by Dr M Shyamala Devi of Apollo Children’s Hospital, Chennai, following which a report was submitted. Meanwhile, the investigating agency filed the final report along with an affidavit, seeking more time. The Court said the final report stated that CB-CID had the child examined by a team of doctors, including Dr Anita Anandhi, who had earlier examined her on Aug 4 last year. The team’s report contradicted the earlier finding by Dr Anandhi and also that of Dr Shyamala Devi. The final report stated that Dr Anandhi had admitted her opinion differed from that of other doctors. She had further admitted that the opinion of the team of doctors was correct. The report had also mentioned that Dr Shyamala Devi had denied her earlier statement that on Aug 12, an Inspector attached to Kallakurichi police station had come to her room and threatened her.






Casual workers were also entitled to paid maternity leave: HC


PTI | 11:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

Chennai, Jan 2 (PTI) Stating that casual workers were also entitled to three-month’s paid maternity leave if they had worked for 80 days in 12 months preceding child birth, Madras High Court today told the government to regularise services of a woman who was denied leave and job by authorities. Passing orders on a writ petition filed by L Kannaki, who was denied maternity leave, not allowed to re-join duty and then refused regularisation of her job, Justice D Hariparanthaman said ‘Kannaki was unjustly denied maternity leave and employment when she reported to duty after delivery. The action of the authorities is totally illegal”. The woman was working as a casual labourer at Exotic Cattle Breeding Farm under the Department of Animal Husbandry in Thanjavur district since 1988. Since 1993 the government had regularized services of hundreds of casual labourers there. When in 1996 Kannaki became pregnant and requested for maternity leave, officials told her that she was not entitled for maternity leave being a casual worker. After he child was born in September 1996, she reported for duty.The authorities, however, refused to provide her employment. She kept sending several requests and reminders seeking reinstatement and regularization of her services. In 1999 though the Tamil Nadu Administrative Tribunal directed the department to reconsider its decision to deny her employment, her claim for reinstatement and regularization was rejected by an August 23, 2000 order. Citing legal precedents supporting claims of Kannaki and slamming the authorities for their abject refusal, the Judge said that as per Section 5(2) of the Maternity Act, women employees who had rendered more than 80 days of service during 12 months immediately preceding the date of expected child delivery were entitled to 12 weeks of maternity leave with wages. Rejecting the claim that if a job break was over 90 days, a casual employee could not be reinstated without consulting the employment exchange, the judge said the break in service was due to pregnancy and it had been proved by certificates and documents to prove that she delivered a male baby in September 1996. The Judge directed the department to reinstate Kannaki within two months and regularise her job, besides paying her all monetary benefits from the date of regularisation. PTI GR RC



Another land scam probe against


Bangalore: The Karnataka Lokayukta (ombudsman) special court on Monday ordered an inquiry into the allegedly illegal freeing of government land on the city’s outskirts by former chief minister HD Kumaraswamy in 2007.

Admitting the private complaint filed by Madhuswamy, trial court judge NK Sudhindra Rao directed the ombudsman’s police to investigate the alleged illegalities under section 156/3 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) and submit a report by February 6.

The complainant alleged that Kumaraswamy freed 3.8 acres of land from state control at Thanisandra village after it was acquired by the state-run Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for forming residential sites near Arkavathy lake in the city’s north-western suburb.

Kumaraswamy, younger son of former prime minister HD Deve Gowda and Lok Sabha member from Ramanagara, was chief minister of the first coalition government in the state between Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for 20 months from February 2006 to October 2007.

The complainant also named former minister C. Chennigappa as co-accused and sought action under the Prevention of Corruption Act against the duo.

This is the second land scam Kumaraswamy is facing after he was accused of illegally allotting a huge land to a private housing cooperative society near the city by an advocate (Vinod Kumar) through a complaint Aug 8.

The Karnataka High Court, however, quashed the criminal proceedings by the trial court in the second case Oct 21 against Kumaraswamy and his wife Anita, a lawmaker, who was rewarded with a residential site by the society.

Kumaraswamy is also facing two graft cases in the multi-crore mining scam that rocked the state in 2011 and was named by then ombudsman Justice (retired) Santosh N Hegde in the final investigation report on illegal mining that was submitted to the state government July 27, 2011.



Govt apathy of rape victim shocks court


The post-crime trauma suffered by a teenaged rape victim and her family members and the state’s apathy to their plight has shocked a Delhi court, prompting it to order Rs 1 lakh as interim compensation to her.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau expressed shock after finding that the

victim had tried to commit suicide by consuming acid, leading to replacement of her food pipe with an artificial one. The victim’s father suffered two heart attacks and her mother had to work as a maid to sustain the family with no state aid whatsoever.

“I’m shocked to observe that despite this pathetic state of the victim and her family, who, I find, are feeling a sense of physical and psychological isolation, no assistance has been provided to her by the state,” the judge observed, ordering the Delhi government to award her the compensation.

The case dates to 2007, when the 14-year-old victim was raped by one Vicky Sain of Vikaspuri.

The victim, now 18, had allegedly tried to commit suicide after her rape by consuming acid. Though she survived her suicide bid, she suffered extensive damage to her internal system and despite replacement of her food pipe, she is not able to swallow food and speak properly even now.







Second autopsy on Anuj Bidve


After meeting the Bidve family for the second time on Tuesday, the visiting police officers from Greater Manchester, UK, said they had been able to “fill some gaps in understanding the events leading up to Anuj Bidve’s tragic death”.
Bidve, 23, was shot dead on December 26 in


After the meeting, chief superintendent Russ Jackson read out a statement stating that the UK police’s role was to “meet the family, to explain about the case so far”.

He said in Britain, following the charging of a suspect, the defence is entitled to a second autopsy, which is underway in Bidve’s case.

“After this Her Majesty’s Coroner will be able to consider the release of Anuj,”
he added.





New recruitment rules for zoos


Express News Service , The New Indian Express

BANGALORE: A modified Cadre and Recruitment (C&R) rules applicable for employees of various zoos of Karnataka is ready and has been sent to the government for approval. The new rules will help the Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) to create new posts and depute officers from other departments. The ZAK plans to recruit 60 assistant animal keepers for the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens, Mysore; Bannerghatta Biological Park, Bangalore; and Tavarekoppa Zoo, Shimoga.
The present strength of animal keepers in all state zoos is 463 which is not sufficient. Soon, they will be promoted and treated on par with Group ‘D’ employees. ZAK Chairman Nanjundaswamy told Express that twelve veteranarians of the rank of assistant directors, with a minimum experience of 8-10 years in animal welfare, will be deputed from the Department of Animal Husbandry to Mysore, Bannerghatta and Shimoga zoos. The respective zoos will bear their salary, perks and other expenses as long as they work on their premises. “The modified rules sent to the government for its concurrence is final and will not be revised in the future,” Nanjundaswamy added.
No Elephant for Germany Zoo
He said the ZAK has dropped its plan of donating an elephant calf to Leipzig Zoo, Germany, following a PIL filed in the state High Court against it. The Mysore Zoo had received recently two pairs of black bears from Sri Tirumala Tirupathi Zoo, Andhra Pradesh. One pair from that zoo and another pair of bears which are currently in Mysore Zoo, will be gifted to Leipzig Zoo, for which procedures are being worked out. Nanjundaswamy also said that e-ticketing will soon be introduced for the convenience of visitors.





Hearing on Mudumalai elephant rejuvenation camp adjourned


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.08AM IST

MADURAI: A public interest litigation (PIL) seeking to quash a government order passed to conduct a rejuvenation camp for elephants at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, has been adjourned to Wednesday by the Madurai bench of the Madras high court.

In December last, V Sundaraj, an advocate filed a PIL seeking to quash the order passed by the Tamil Nadu government on December 5 to conduct such camp at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. However, he sought a direction to the authorities to conduct the elephant rejuvenation camp region-wise instead of conducting the same at the reserve.

The petitioner had contended that the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve has the highest density of tigers in the country and that the National Tiger Conservation Authority should not permit the state to conduct the camp since it is an ecologically sensitive area.

He also said the possibility of contagious diseases and infection being spread to the wild animals from the domestic captivated elephants has not been taken into consideration. When the matter came up for hearing on Monday before the bench comprising Justice Chitra Venkataraman and Justice R Karuppiah, the additional advocate general K Chellapandian submitted similar petitions challenging the conduct of the camp were dismissed by the principal seat at Chennai.

Asking him to produce the order copy of principal seat at Chennai, the bench adjourned the case for further hearing to Wednesday.




Govt on notice for CBI probe into BBMP scam


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 02.45AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka High Court on Monday ordered issuance of notice to the state government, BBMP and the CBI with regard to a PIL seeking a probe by the investigating agency into the multi-crore scam in the BBMP.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen posted the matter to January 31 for further hearing. “Out of the 10,109 work files of the BBMP, the team headed by chief engineer (vigilance) perused 153 files and found Rs 1540 crore worth of scam in three divisions of Malleswaram, Gandhinagar and Rajarajeshwarinagar for the 2008-09 to 2011-12 period. If the inquiry is held with respect to the entire 29 engineering divisions, the scam would put the 2G figures in the shade. Though the state government had ordered a CID investigation, the magnitude of the scam requires an investigation by the CBI,” counsel for the petitioners told the court

Notice on noise pollution

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen ordered notice to chief secretary, Bangalore city police commissioner and Karnataka State Pollution Control Board with regard to a PIL seeking a direction to curb noise pollution emanating out of religious places on account of use of loudspeakers/ microphones without permission.

“This has to be stopped across the board. You are totally ineffective so far,” the bench observed while asking respondents to file their objections by the next hearing.

Jayanagar Nagarika Samiti filed this petition claiming that despite directions of the apex court regarding noise pollution and also orders of the high court, loudspeakers and microphones are being used without obtaining police permission under Section 37 of the Police Act.

“The use of loudspeakers at religious places across the city at odd hours is causing noise pollution but also torturing the public at large” the petitioner association stated.

Plea by dog bite victim

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen ordered notice to the state government, BBMP and NGOs involved in stray dog control activities. The bench ordered notice to SPCA, ARF and CUPA on a PIL filed by Master Jishnu, a 5-year-old boy from Yelahanka New Town who was attacked by six stray dogs in front of his house on July 6, 2010.

Jishnu, who was paid Rs 26,500 as compensation, is seeking Rs 5 lakh. The dogs dragged him a considerable distance and bit him on his head, as a result of which he suffered grievous head injuries. “Garbage is not regularly disposed of on an every-day basis and accumulates in many places. Stray dogs tend to feed in these areas and congregate there, creating an intolerable nuisance for residents. BBMP is required to establish a sufficient number of animal shelters and kennels for housing strays. BBMP should discharge its statutory duties and ensure proper garbage disposal from the meat shop in the locality, as well as take regular steps for control of the dog population as required by law. They should also establish a website for the benefit of victims so as to give information regarding do’s and don’ts at the time of dog bite ” the petitioner stated.

Education secretary summoned

Strongly disapproving the kneejerk reaction of the state government with regard to a PIL highlighting the poor school infrastructure across the state, a division bench headed by the chief justice directed the secretary to the education department to appear in court by the next hearing.

The bench was not happy with an under secretary filing an affidavit in this matter and directed the secretary to appear in person and explain the position. Advocate A V Amarnathan filed the PIL highlighting the lack of infrastructure.

Place records

The high court directed the state government to immediately place the records pertaining to the conduct of a meeting by the Karnataka State Scheduled Castes and Tribes Commission headed by BJP legislator Nehru P Olekar. As against government’s statement of 61 meetings, Olekar claimed he had conducted three meetings. The petitioners claimed that information obtained through the Right to Information Act shows that no meetings were held at all. The petitioners are seeking Olekar’s ouster.

Files sought

A division bench directed the secretary to the governor to place files relating to the appointment of H Maheshappa as vice-chancellor of Visvesvaraya Technological University. The petitioners claimed Maheshappa had given false information with regard to his educational qualifications.

Notice on quarters

A division bench issued a notice to the state government and the BBMP with regard to a PIL seeking early completion of EWS Quarters to be rebuilt at Ejipura near the National Games Village in Koramangala.



SC notice to Centre on foreign contribution Act

The Supreme Court wants the Centre to respond to a petition questioning the constitutional validity of provisions in the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act and Rules giving the government power to deny foreign contributions to virtually any “organisation of political nature, not being a political party”.

The petition, filed by INSAF, an NGO, said the rules gave the government “unchecked and unbridled powers” to choke the activities of organisations working for public causes by branding them “political” and stalling their foreign funds.

For instance, the petition points out Rule 3(vi) which, it says, is “drastic” in nature. The Rule says any group that “habitually” indulges in bandhs, hartals, rasta roko, rail roko, or jail bharo would be declared a “political organisation” and their action termed ‘political’.

It also said the term “political activity” is defined too loosely and “arbitrarily” including steps taken towards “advancement of political interests” by groups working for rights of farmers, students; outfits set up by youth on the basis of caste, religion, language even if they are not aligned to any political party.






SC-appointed panel on dam asks TN, Kerala to file response


PTI | 07:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) Despite Tamil Nadu’s objections, a Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar Dam issue today asked the state and Kerala to file their response by Friday on the ownership mechanism of a new dam, if built in place of the existing structure. At a hearing here today, both states stuck to their known stands on the vexed issue with Tamil Nadu contending that the dam was safe and can withstand pressure and Kerala outrightly rejecting them. Kerala’s lawyers argued before the committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand that a new dam has to be built in the interest of lakhs of people residing in Idukki and neighbouring districts. During arguments, the panel sought to know from both states their stands on the ownership mechanism, regulation of water and control of structure of a new dam, if built, sources said. “Tamil Nadu rejected the idea and said the question of building of a new dam does not arise. The state argued that the dam was safe and there was no damage to it. It also argued that the argument of a new dam was unfounded,” a source said. However, the panel asked both states to file their response to the issue by Friday. The states have also been asked to file their response to a number of issues by Friday. The decision of the panel to seek response of the two states comes in the backdrop of a two-member technical committee visiting the dam in Kerala’s Idukki district for a study. The members have submitted an internal report to the committee.





Couple sentenced to death


PTI | 09:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

Jamshedpur, Jan 2 (PTI) A local court today sentenced a couple to life imprisonment for murdering a woman by setting her on fire here in 2007. Sessions Judge (II) R K Choudhury held Anand Deo and his wife Renu Devi guilty of setting afire one Anita Devi who in her dying statement had accused the couple. Anita Devi died in hospital two days after the buring incident.




Youth gets life term for murder


PTI | 04:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

New Delhi, Jan 2 (PTI) A local court has sentenced a 25-year-old youth to life imprisonment for killing a man over financial dispute. Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Kuhar sentenced South East Delhi resident Vipin alias Kake to life term for murdering Humayun in September 2008. According to the prosecution, Vipin had given Rs 80,000 to Humayun’s friend Sanjeev Sharma, a real estate agent, for purchase of a plot but he neither purchased the land nor returned his money. On the day of the incident, Humayun had gone to discuss the issue with Vipin on Sharma’s behalf. They met near DDA flats in Badarpur. During the conversation, Vipin got agitated and shot Humayun with a country-made pistol. He later died in a hospital.






6 youths accused of gangraping girl, let off


PTI | Jan 2, 2012, 05.51PM IST

NEW DELHI: Six youths, accused of gangraping a teenaged girl, have been let off by a Delhi court on the victim’s deposition that she had been forced to implicate them.

Additional sessions judge R Kiran Nath let off the boys, all south Delhi residents, noting that the victim “has turned totally hostile to the case of prosecution”.

The case was registered on a complaint lodged by girl’s father, who had alleged his daughter, aged about 15-16 years, had gone missing since April 22, 2011 and that he suspected someone might have allured her and taken her away.

The girl was recovered from south Delhi. In her statement, she stated that on April 22, she had telephoned Rajesh asking him to come to meet her on which he sent her brother accused Tilak to pick her up. She said he took her to Ansal Plaza where all other accused – Anil, Prateek, Pinku, Rajesh and Sudhir, were also present.

She said she was then taken to a room in Sangam Vihar, where all of them took turns to rape her.

However, in her deposition to the court, she said on April 22, after having a quarrel at home she had gone to her friend Rahul’s house where she stayed with his family for about five days and on April 27, she telephoned all the five accused persons to meet her at South Extension, Part II. She said the police personnel saw all of them together and brought them to the police station.

She further deposed that her father was also called to the police station and she was forcibly asked to make wrong complaint against the accused persons.




Murder accused held after seven years


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 01.07AM IST

NAGPUR: A man wanted for a murder committed in 2004 was rounded up at Ujjain last week by Ambazari police. Sanjay Banode has been arrested with the help of Ujjain’s women police station. He was busted as his wife whom Sanjay would beat up and torture spilled the beans before the cops at Madhya Pradesh. They passed on the information to their city counterparts.

Sanjay was booked in a case of murder along with his elder brother Bablu and two other accomplices Pramod Gajbhiye and Vinod Selokar in November 2004. They had killed Santosh Gulhane at Gokulpeth after Sanjay was released from jail where he was lodged after killing another person earlier to this.

Sources said the sessions court had convicted Bablu, Pramod and Vinod in the case while Sanjay was absconding. The High court too had upheld the sentence of life imprisonment of Bablu and Vinod. The matter is now before the Supreme Court.






30-yr-old man gets lifer for murder


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 02.23AM IST

AKOLA: Judge of the sessions court AK Gunjotikar on Saturday sentenced Gopal Dhandar (30) of village Bahadura to life imprisonment for killing Sanjay Ghayre (32). The judge also slapped a fine of Rs 1,000. The case dates back to February 26 (2009), the day Gyare was axed to death by convict Dhandar.

65-yr-old jailed for rape

Washim’s fast track court sentenced 65-year-old Bansilal Sharma of Malegaon to 3 years’ rigorous imprisonment for raping a 6-year-old girl on June 23, 2009. After luring her with sweets and money, Sharma took the victim to his house and committed the crime.





Justice will be done, Manchester police assures Anuj Bidve’s family in Pune


Amruta Byatnal

PTI Family members of Anuj Bidve who was gunned down in Salford, U.K, talk to media at their residece in Pune on Monday.

Clears doubts in the minds of family members over the killing and delay in contacting them

A week after Anuj Bidve, 23, was killed in Manchester, a team from the Greater Manchester police visited his family in Pune on Monday and cleared the doubts in the minds of the family members. The team assured them that justice would be ensured to Anuj, the family members told reporters after the two-hour visit.

Chief Superintendent Russel Jackson, family liaison officer Peter Christal Rickards and Shireen Mistry, head of communications and public affairs, British Deputy High Commission, Mumbai, visited the grieving family in the evening.

The family, which was waiting for the police to answer many questions and allay several apprehensions, stated that it had “complete trust and confidence” in the Manchester police.

Personal contact

Speaking to The Hindu after the visit, Ms. Mistry said the visit was to make a personal contact with the family and offer them every support it needed.

She stated that the family raised concerns about the fact that they got to know about the incident seven hours later, and that too, through Facebook. “The circumstances around the incident were explained to the family. We are extremely unhappy about the manner in which the family had to find out about their son’s death. The measures taken by the Manchester police to communicate with the family were discussed in person,” she stated. However, Ms. Mistry did not comment when asked if the police had apologised about it.

Ms. Mistry said the police were taking the matter “extremely seriously.”


Speaking to The Hindu, Anuj’s brother-in-law Rakesh Sonawane said the police apologised. “They told us that it was not right, and was not done in the right fashion. However, they told us that they had been looking for the right person to approach the family.”

Asked about the motive for the murder, Suruchi Wagh, Anuj’s cousin, said the police told them that it was a case of an “unprovoked attack.”

“They had not ruled out the possibility of it being a racial attack, but right now told they told us that it was a motiveless crime,” Ms. Wagh told reporters.

She said that while four persons had been released (three on bail), one was charged with Anuj’s murder. “The case will be heard in the Crown’s court on Tuesday, and a trial date will be given,” she said.

A second post-mortem will be done by an independent pathologist, and if both the reports match, Anuj’s body will be handed over to the Funeral Officer at the Indian High Commission, Ms. Wagh said. “According to the police there is no delay in the repatriation as it is a part of the investigation process. The family’s greatest concern remains getting the body back as soon as possible.”

Assuring face-to-face

An official statement from the Greater Manchester police said: “We need to explain to them in person where we are up to in the investigation and what we are doing to ensure Anuj’s body is released to them as soon as possible. Having this conversation face-to-face is absolutely the right thing to do.”

“We know the family members are extremely distressed that Anuj’s body has not yet been returned to them. We have been in close contact with the coroner, who is anxious to release Anuj’s body to his family at the earliest possible time. This remains a complex investigation and the fact we have charged someone does not mean the investigation is complete,” the statement said.





Details of ministers foreign tours to be put online


Published: Tuesday, Jan 3, 2012, 9:00 IST
By DNA Investigations Bureau | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Union Cabinet Secretariat will soon publish online details of foreign and inland tours made ministers and the expenses incurred on them. The decision follows a Chief Information Commission (CIC) direction issued to this effect.

While hearing an RTI complaint, the CIC, on March 29, 2011, said it would be in the interest of transparency if some key information about domestic and international travels by union ministers could be maintained centrally.

A separate RTI was filed with the ministry of personnel, public grievances and pensions in November, 2011 seeking details of action taken by the ministry to make publish online details of foreign and inland travels of union ministers and others at public expenses.

The response said that the department concerned under the ministry of personnel, public grievances & pensions does not host any website of its own. “So in the light of the CIC decision, it has been decided that the said information would be sent on a regular basis to the cabinet secretariat, which will, in turn, upload this information on its website,” the ministry’s response said.




Amidst age row, Army chief meets key aides


Amidst a raging row over his request for reconciling the official records to show his year of birth as 1951 instead of 1950, army chief General VK Singh has met his principal staff officers, particularly the record keepers in the army headquarters in New Delhi, sources said on


Though no official information on what transpired in the meetings held on Friday and again on Monday, sources said the defence ministry’s communication on Friday that the attorney general’s opinion which was against acceding to his request did come up for discussion.

The meeting with his principal staff officers, held twice within a matter of four days, was attended among others by the adjutant general, who is responsible for record keeping and pay and in the army headquarters.

The records with the adjutant general branch, including General Singh’s school leaving certificate, indicated that he was born May 10, 1951. However, records with the military secretary, responsible for postings and promotions, showed it as May 10, 1950.

With the defence ministry rejecting his statutory complaint lodged four months ago with defence minister AK Antony, the army chief has the option of going to the courts, either the armed forces tribunal or the Supreme Court, to get his grievance addressed.

Another drastic move that the army chief could take was to resign ahead of his tenure coming to an end May 31, 2012, which would put the succession line in the 1.13-million-strong army out of gear, sources said.

On Friday, after General Singh was communicated the government’s decision on his date of birth, he met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who was the defence minister when the controversy broke out.

The army chief’s age controversy first cropped up in 2006 when his name came up before the government for appointment as a corps commander.

Antony told parliament, in reply to questions, in September last year that “the date of birth of General Singh has been maintained as May 10, 1950, at the time of his selection as corps commander in 2006 as well his subsequent promotions as army commander in 2008 and the chief of army staff in 2010.”

In the age controversy, the army chief had filed a petition May 25, 2011 before the defence ministry asking it to treat May 10, 1951, as his date of birth. But July 21, 2011 this plea was rejected by the ministry.

The statutory complaint was filed by General Singh in response to the July 21 rejection of his earlier petition.

If the ministry had granted General Singh his request, it would have provided him another 10 months in office and he would have retired in April 2013.

That would have also resulted in Lt Gen Bikram Singh, who is the present Kolkata-based Eastern Army Commander, being denied the chance to become the next chief in May 2012 and his junior Lt Gen KT Parnaik, present Udhampur-based Northern Army Commander, would have become the next chief in April 2013.





Govt should have moved step by step


The government should have moved step by step on the lokpal bill and on granting constitutional status to the proposed anti-graft watchdog, says justice JS Verma, whose opinion formed the basis for the parliamentary panel’s recommendation on the issue.     Former CJI,

justice Verma, on Monday said the government committed an error by moving both lokpal and constitutional amendment bills together.

“In my view, it would have been better had the government only moved the constitutional amendment bill for the creation of lokpal…and lokayuktas…with a constitutional status for both…,” said justice Verma.

 “It was important for the government to have forged a political unanimity on the least controversial issues first, and going by the parliamentary standing committee report, nobody appeared to be opposed for a constitutional status to the lokpal,” the former CJI said.

Asked whether it would have been advisable to split the two inter-related bills into two sessions, he said: “Given the heated debate on the lokpal issue…, a step-by-step approach would have been better. I wish the country should have been first committed for a lokpal and the controversies surrounding it could have followed.” 

On the strong stand taken by the opposition parties against the Lokpal Bill providing for mandatory setting-up of lokayuktas through a single bill to be passed by the parliament, the former CJI termed the confusion as unnecessary.






Chhattisgarh judiciary under SC lens


Appointment of judges in Chhattisgarh’s subordinate judiciary has come under the Supreme Court’s scanner.

A bench of justice RM Lodha and justice HL Gokhale on Monday issued notice to the state’s high court registry on a PIL that alleges manipulations and irregularities in the conduct of civil judges examination, 2008. According to the petitioner, Centre for Public Interest claimed the exam was manipulated to favour candidates related to some judges, bureaucrats and politicians.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, contended that no action was taken even though the alleged irregularities were brought to the notice of the Chief Justice of India (CJI) in 2008.

 “The selection process of the exam is vitiated by favouritism as candidates are close relatives of the senior judges and bureaucrats,” he told the bench.

The petition stated,“The close scrutiny of the answer sheets of the successful candidates related to the judges, law secretary indicates that they have been manipulated.”





Focus on disposing of cases, says CJ


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 02.36AM IST

BANGALORE: Judicial officers must not waste their time and energy on needless observance of punctilio (strictness in formalities). That’s the stern message of Justice Vikramajt Sen, Chief Justice of the Karnataka High Court who held his first sitting in this post.

“On a recent visit to a district outside Bangalore, I was dismayed to find senior judicial officers waiting along the way just to show their respect and as a matter of protocol. This is destructive of the dignity and self-respect of judges and more significantly, their image in the minds of the public. Judicial Officers must not waste their time and energy on needless observance of punctilio. They should adhere to the advice of the Supreme Court,” Justice Sen observed during his reply to the welcome address of the Karnataka State Bar Council president AA Magadum.

“The gravest challenge to us an institution is the dispensation of timely justice .The litigant is not able to get justice expeditiously. Even the CJI expressed deep concern on this malaise. He formulated a strategy wherein cases pending for more than five years should be decided on a preferential basis. The bar should cooperate on this,” he added.

Dravid’s mantra

He also quoted from Rahul Dravid’s now-celebrated Sir Donald Bradman Oration in Australia saying that his comments are relevant to all of us with regard to the essential qualities of life, dignity, integrity, courage and modesty.

“We’re all talking about mounting arrears and low rate of disposal. Several bar associations in the state, including district and taluk, requested me to visit them to lay foundation stones and similar functions. It’s my belief that all my energies should be devoted for timely and expeditious disposal of cases,” he said

The Chief Justice promised to take steps to provide lawyers’ chambers near the precincts of the high court as well as the city civil court. He also sought the cooperation of the advocate fraternity with regard to security measures.





Madhya Pradesh cow slaughter ban Act gets Presidential nod


Mahim Pratap Singh

The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Madhya Pradesh government’s efforts to ban cow slaughter and conserve the “cow progeny” have received a shot in the arm following Presidential assent to the long-pending Madhya Pradesh Gau-Vansh Vadh Pratishedh (Sanshodhan) Vidheyak (Madhya Pradesh prohibition of slaughter of cow-progeny (amendment) Bill).

The amended Act puts the responsibility of proving the prosecution wrong on the accused in a cow slaughter case. A person found guilty of cow slaughter would be liable for 7 years imprisonment, instead of the present 3 years, besides a minimum fine of Rs. 5,000.

The government had passed the amendment Bill in the Assembly in 2010 to “strengthen” the existing cow slaughter prohibition Act (Madhya Pradesh Gauvansh Pratishedh Adhiniyam 2004) and forwarded it to the Union Home Ministry on September 3, 2010.

It received the Presidential assent on December 22, 2011 and was published in the Madhya Pradesh gazette (extraordinary) on December 31, 2011. The Act will soon come into force through an official notification.

The amended Act provides that no person “shall slaughter” or “cause to slaughter” or “offer for slaughter” any cow progeny by any means.

Besides, no person, including a transporter, shall transport or offer to transport or cause to be transported any cow progeny, either by himself or through an agent, servant or any other person acting on his behalf, within the State or outside it, with the knowledge that the calf would be or was likely to be slaughtered. The Act provides that any police officer not below the rank of head constable or anyone authorised by a competent authority shall have the power of entry, inspection, search and seizure and to present the case in the court.







New Lokayukta Act comes into force


Faizan Ahmad, TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 03.03AM IST

PATNA: Without waiting for the passage of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, Bihar government has implemented its new Lokayukta Act. The Act came into force once the governor gave his nod to the related bill and a notification was issued on December 30.

As per the provisions of this Act, incumbent Lokayukta Chandra Mohan Prasad has been re-designated as Chief Lokayukta or chairman. The Act stipulates that the Lokayukta appointed prior to the commencement of this Act shall continue as the first chairperson till the completion of his term.

“Soon, the process of appointment of two more Lokayuktas will be started,” said senior minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary on Monday. “Earlier, the Lokayukta was just an individual, now it is an institution,” he added.

The two other members will be chosen by a selection panel comprising chairman of the Bihar legislative council as convener, Speaker of the Bihar legislative assembly, two senior sitting judges of the Patna high court nominated by the chief justice as members and the immediate outgoing Lokayukta.

Chaudhary said of the two members of Lokayukta, one will be essentially from judicial background. “For the lone seat of Lokayukta to be appointed from other fields, the public and other organizations can also suggest names on the website, which will be considered by the search committee,” he said. No person with political connection will be considered for appointment as Lokayukta. The appointment will be made by the governor on the recommendation of the selection panel. However, there is no provision of reservation in appointment of Lokayukta.

The Lokayukta Act has many provisions to keep its scope wide to contain corruption. Chief minister, ministers, legislators and public servants come under its purview.

For transparency in the selection of Lokayuktas, the Act has also made provision for a search committee. The names shortlisted by this committee will be considered by the selection committee. The search committee will consist of five persons of impeccable integrity and eminence in public life. They will be selected from among retired Chief Justices of India, retired judges of Supreme Court, retired chief justices and judges of high courts, retired Chief Election Commissioners of India and others who have not joined any political party after retirement and who are not holding any office under any government.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar has termed the state’s new Lokayukta Act as better than what was proposed in the Centre’s Lokpal Bill. The new Lokayukta office will have more teeth, said Nitish, as the Lokayukta will constitute an investigative wing for the purpose of conducting investigation of any offence under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988. Till such time the investigation wing is constituted, the state government will make available such number of investigation officers and other staff as asked by the Lokayukta for carrying out investigation under this Act.





High Court cancels Srilakshmi’s bail


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.47AM IST

HYDERABAD: Justice NRL Nageswara Rao of the A P High Court on Monday cancelled the bail granted to senior IAS Officer Y Srilakshmi in the illegal mining case and directed her to surrender before the CBI court before January 6.

Srilakshmi was arrested in the illegal mining case for her alleged role in allotting mining leases to Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC) of Gali Janardhana Reddy, who is also lodged in jail now for perpetrating a mega mining scam. However, the trial court had granted her bail on December 3, 2011, a day after her three-day police custody ended. The CBI that is probing the case challenged the decision of the CBI court in granting bail.

Finding fault with the trial court which granted her bail on the grounds that all the evidence in the case is documentary and cannot be tampered with now, the HC said: “the conspiracy as already stated cannot be proved by documentary evidence alone and unless oral evidence is collected by the investigating agency, mere documentary evidence is not sufficient and the investigating agency cannot be deprived of its right in this regard. There is more than sufficient material available on record to show how Srilakshmi was associated with the grant of lease and issuing of GOs which ultimately favoured the OMC, ignoring the vital condition of the purpose of lease being ‘captive mining’ for the proposed steel plant to be set up by OMC in the GO,” Justice Nageswara Rao said.

In this case so far, as the status and position of the respondent is concerned, there cannot be any two opinion since she is an IAS officer and her husband is an IPS officer.







Paid news case: Supreme Court to hear Chavan’s plea against Election Commission


NDTV Correspondent, Updated: January 03, 2012 09:45 IST

New Delhi:  The Supreme Court will today take up former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan’s appeal challenging the jurisdiction of Election Commission in deciding the paid news case against him.

Based on a complaint regarding Mr Chavan’s spendings during the 2009 state assembly polls, allegedly involving expenses on paid news, the Election Commission had begun proceedings against him.

Mr Chavan had approached the Delhi High Court against the Election Commission, but the court had ruled in the Commission’s favour. He then approached the Supreme Court, which had stayed the Election Commission probe.







PILs against corporates like Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani & Ratan Tata kept Delhi High Court engaged in 201


NEW DELHI: A plethora of PILs and lawsuits seeking action against the who’s who of corporate India kept the Delhi High Court busy in 2011 as it dealt with cases like RIL’s KG D-6 basin row, Air India’s aircraft purchase deal, 3G inter-circle roaming and excess 2G spectrum allotment.

Some petitions were entertained and few others trashed by the high court including pleas to prosecute Anil Ambani and Ratan Tata in 2G case.

However, public spirited litigants kept alleging that corporate bigwigs resorted to unfair means by flouting the law of the land to secure advantage.

The court also rejected the plea seeking cancellation of the license granted to Mukesh Ambani-led firm for exploration of gas in the Krishna-Godavari (KG D-6) Basin on the ground that the JV between RIL and Canada-based NIKO allegedly cheated the exchequer by inflating expenditure in connivance with a top official.

It asked petitioner Furquan to approach the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) which is seized with the issue. The bench, however, made it clear that if the petitioner is not satisfied with PAC’s findings then he may approach it again.

It was alleged the JV cheated the state by inflating expenditures as there was a provision in the revenue-sharing agreement that RIL was entitled to recover all expenses before sharing it with the government.

Taking advantage of the revenue-sharing agreement, RIL inflated capital expenditure from USD 2.4 billion to USD 8.4 billion, causing unquantifiable losses of thousands crores of rupees to the state, the PIL alleged.







Supreme Court-appointed panel on dam asks TN, Kerala to file response


PTI Jan 2, 2012, 07.43PM IST

NEW DELHI: Despite Tamil Nadu’s objections, a Supreme Court-appointed Empowered Committee on Mullaperiyar Dam issue today asked the state and Kerala to file their response by Friday on the ownership mechanism of a new dam, if built in place of the existing structure.

At a hearing here today, both states stuck to their known stands on the vexed issue with Tamil Nadu contending that the dam was safe and can withstand pressure and Kerala outrightly rejecting them.

Kerala’s lawyers argued before the committee headed by former Chief Justice of India A S Anand that a new dam has to be built in the interest of lakhs of people residing in Idukki and neighbouring districts.

During arguments, the panel sought to know from both states their stands on the ownership mechanism, regulation of water and control of structure of a new dam, if built, sources said.

“Tamil Nadu rejected the idea and said the question of building of a new dam does not arise. The state argued that the dam was safe and there was no damage to it. It also argued that the argument of a new dam was unfounded,” a source said.

However, the panel asked both states to file their response to the issue by Friday. The states have also been asked to file their response to a number of issues by Friday.

The decision of the panel to seek response of the two states comes in the backdrop of a two-member technical committee visiting the dam in Kerala’s Idukki district for a study. The members have submitted an internal report to the committee.







MCMC engineer files petition in HC


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.09AM IST

MADURAI: A junior engineer of the Madurai City Municipal Corporation (MCMC) has termed as illegal an order of the commissioner promoting 11 other junior engineers, and has filed a petition in the Madurai bench of the Madras High Court, challenging the same.

Justice T Raja, before whom the matter came for hearing, has ordered notice to the authorities including the commissioner of Madurai Corporation.

The petitioner S Sharbutheen, a junior engineer in the corporation alleged that due to the illegal promotion of 11 junior engineers on a temporary basis, employees in his rank are burdened with additional duty.

The petitioner said, “There were 72 wards in the city corporation, which has now been increased to 100. There are 27 sanctioned assistant engineer (AE) posts and nine junior engineers’ (JE) posts in the corporation. Hence, two wards were assigned to each AE/JE and the allocation of work constituted equal distribution of work among them in the ratio of two wards per AE/JE.”

The petitioner further contended, “The corporation has five sanctioned posts of assistant executive engineers ( AEE) all of which have been filled up. In addition to the sanctioned posts, about 11 persons also have been promoted as AEEs (in-charge) on a temporary basis. In fact, they have been working in the post of AEEs on a temporary basis for more than six consecutive months. Some of the temporary promotees also have been working in the said post for about three years.”

He contended that contrary to the Tamil Nadu Municipal Corporations Service Rules 1996, they have been allowed to continue in the post of AEEs on a temporary basis for more than three months which is illegal and hence the impugned order of the city corporation commissioner is liable to be set aside.

He further pointed out that the city corporation commissioner has not prepared a panel of eligible persons for promotion to the posts which had resulted in maladministration and arbitrariness and denial of rights of eligible candidates for promotion.







HC upholds council nominations


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 03.02AM IST

PATNA: The Patna High Court on Monday dismissed a PIL challenging the nomination of 12 members to the Bihar legislative council. A single bench of the court presided by Justice Seema Ali Khan dismissed the PIL filed by Visheshwar Nath Singh.

Singh, in his petition, had stated that though there exists provision for nominating members to the council from different fields, the same was not abided with.

The court, however, dismissed the petitioner’s pleas and observed that it comes under the jurisdiction of the legislature and that members are nominated on the recommendations of a committee of ministers. The court refused to interfere in the matter and dismissed the PIL.






HC asks Corporation to pay Rs 5 lakh to a boy bitten by dog


PTI | 11:01 PM,Jan 02,2012

Bangalore, Jan 2(PTI)The Karnataka High Court today ordered the city corporation to pay Rs five lakh compensation to a five-year-old boy,who survived an attack by a pack of canines and take necessary steps to check dog menace. The order came on a PIL filed by parents of the boy G Jishnu, who sought compensation for the dog bite and prayed for action from the ciy corporation against canine menace. Jishnu, who was attacked by dogs on July six last year, received Rs 26,500 from the corporation towards treatment on June 21, but the authorities failed to respond to the plea for Rs five lakh compensation. The petitioners contended that the Corporation has not acted as per the Animals Birth Control Rules and failed to discharge its duties in clearning garbage and ensuring that stray dogs do not conglomerate in one place. I Taking serious note of dog menace, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice B V Nagaratna directed Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagar Palike (city corproation) to pay Rs 5 lakh compensation to Jishnu. The court also directed BBMP to ensure packs of stray dogs do not congregate in any locality in large numbers and ensure that streets are cleared of garbage and waste in locations where street dogs are prone to gather. The court also directed BBMP to compile a status report on measures taken by it to curb dog menace.










HC notice on teacher shortage


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 03.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Monday sought a response from the state government on a plea seeking a directive for filling teachers’ posts at a city school.

Justice Siddharth Mridul issued notices to the Directorate of Education (DoE) of the Delhi government and Air Force Senior Secondary School at the Delhi Cantt area in the capital and fixed the matter for hearing on January 20.

The court was hearing the petition of Ashok Kumar and Ram Kumar whose daughters are students at the school. The petition alleged that as many as 10 posts of teachers were lying vacant yet no attempt had been made by the school administration to fill the vacancies. The petition also states that in the absence of adequate teaching staff, nearly 1,900 students are facing difficulties.

“The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act has come into force in 2010 and according to the terms of the Act, there has to be proper pupil-teacher ratio in place within six months of the enactment of the Act,” said the petition, filed through lawyer Ashok Agarwal.

The inaction on the part of the “government-aided school” and DoE has violated the students’ fundamental right to education, the petition said.










HC relief for Assam ex-minister in graft case


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 04.53AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court has quashed a corruption case registered by the CBI against a former Assam minister Ripun Bora finding fault with the manner in which a “trap” was executed by the agency.

Justice G S Sistani quashed criminal proceedings against Bora who was chargesheeted by the probe agency in 2008 after a CBI team from Kolkata set up an elaborate trap to ensnare the then minister in a Delhi hotel without keeping the agency director in the loop.

The CBI lodged the case two weeks after the alleged incident. Bora, who was then a minister in the Assam government, was accused of trying to influence a murder investigation against him by bribing a CBI officer.

Convinced that Bora allegedly wanted to bribe a government servant, the agency, as per its chargesheet, set up an elaborate trap and arranged a room in Jukaso Inn Hotel with electronic surveillance to nab Bora red-handed giving a bribe of Rs 10 lakh.

However, the CBI says Bora became suspicious and stayed away from the hotel for two days, eventually turning up on June 06, 2008, when he was arrested while offering the bribe.

But Bora, through his lawyer Madan Bhatia, questioned the CBI’s version and argued that there were several inconsistencies. Justice Sistani noted, “A perusal of the contents of the chargesheet filed by the CBI itself shows the absurdity in the allegation so leveled and the manner in which the trap proceedings were executed by the CBI.”










HC green signal to Group I interviews


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.33AM IST

HYDERABAD: Ending the suspense over Group I interviews, the AP High Court on Monday gave the state and the AP Public Service Commission the green signal to go ahead with their prefixed schedule to conduct the interviews to those who succeeded in the written test from January 4.

The authorities can now conduct the interviews. However, they cannot issue appointment letters to those who are selected. The officials have to wait for the final adjudication of the matter for the letters.

Earlier, the AP Administrative Tribunal stayed the process following a petition by certain Telugu medium candidates who charged the authorities with thrusting mistakes on them while translating the questions from English to Telugu.

Both the state and the commission challenged the order of the tribunal in the High Court and the bench, comprising Justice Goda Raghuram and Justice Krishnamohan Reddy, allowed the petitions.

Advocate general A Sudarsan Reddy told the court that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to look into matters like these, which are a domain of the experts in relevant fields. The AG also said that in areas where ambiguity prevailed, marks were given to students irrespective of the way they understood the question.

Koneru seeks bail: Koneru Prasad, the sixth accused in the Emaar scam case, filed a petition in the CBI court on Monday seeking bail. Telling the court that he does not fall under the definition of a public servant, Prasad sought bail since the mandatory sixty days are over and the chargesheet in the case was not filed.










Fill up labour court vacancies: Plea in HC


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 07.31AM IST

CHENNAI: Noting that three out of four labour courts in the city are vacant and that the 12,000-odd cases pending before these courts are routinely given lengthy adjournments , a public interest writ petition has sought expeditious filling up of the presiding officers posts .

The first bench before which the PIL filed by the Labour Law Practitioners Association secretary K M Ramesh came up for hearing on Monday has posted the matter to January 9tobeheard along with a similar matter .

According to Ramesh , the presiding officer of the principal labour court was transferred in August 2011 and since then the post is lying vacant . While the I additional labour court’s presiding officer retired in November 2011, the presiding officer of the II additional labour court was transferred nearly 18 months ago . In all , over 12,000 cases are pending in thesecourts ,he said .

Noting that thousands of workmen were adversely affected by the vacancies , Ramesh said that though Rule 10-B (8) of the Industrial Disputes (Central Rules) stipulate that no adjournment should be for more than twoweeks at a time andthat not more than three adjournments should be given in a case , matters coming up for hearing in these vacant courts are adjourned by even three months .

There are cases which are pending for a period ranging from three years to 10 years , he said .

The PIL also took exception to the inordinate delay in the appointmentof district munsifsin thestate .






Delhi HC blast: Judicial custody of 2 accused extended


Published: Monday, Jan 2, 2012, 19:46 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The judicial custody of suspected terrorists Wasim Akram Malik and Amir Abbas Dev, arrested for their alleged role in the September 7 blast outside the Delhi High Court premises, was on Monday extended by a court in Delhi.

District Judge HS Sharma extended the judicial custody of Dev till January 16 while that of Malik till January 17 after National Investigation Agency (NIA) said they want the accused to be produced in the court on separate days, court sources said.

Both the accused were produced in the court during an in-chamber hearing after the expiry of their judicial custody tenure.

According to court sources, NIA told the court that the probe into the blast, which killed 15 people and injured 70, was still going on.

The investigating agency has said Malik is a ‘key link’ in the conspiracy behind the blast outside gate number 5 of the High Court.







SC trauma care centre fails to meet HC deadline


Binita Jaiswal | Jan 3, 2012, 09.55AM IST


CUTTACK: The trauma care centre at SCB Medical College and Hospital is yet to start functioning even though it was inaugurated by chief minister Naveen Patnaik in February last year. It was expected that multi-specialty critical care centre would act as a boon for accident victims.

Irked over the lackadaisical approach of the authorities, the Orissa high court had also intervened and directed the SCB authorities to make the trauma centre functional by December-end last year. But authorities failed to meet the deadline. The high court-appointed advocates committee comprising amicus curiae P R Das, advocate Tarananda Patnaik and Dr P K Pradhan visited the hospital on Saturday and took stock of the situation.

The Centre established at a cost of Rs 6 crore was envisaged to have about 150 beds, two state-of-the-art operation theatres, 16-bed ICU and many other facilities in a five-storey unified complex. But the advocate committee found that the work is still far from completion.

Authorities are yet to appoint specialized doctors to manage the trauma centre and even the construction work has not been completed. The slow pace of work have also raised fears of withdrawal of the central funds for the facility. “The authorities have not managed to make the trauma care centre functional till date. They have clearly missed the December 31 deadline and we will inform the high court about it,” amicus curie P R Das said.

” It is matter of great concern because if the facility in not made completely functional by March 2012 , then the Centre would withdraw the funds. We have asked them to speed up the work and start the centre at the earliest,” Das added.

Hospital authorities have assured the advocate committee to make the facility functional partially by January 6 and fully by February-end. “Efforts are on a war-footing to start the trauma centre. In the first phase, at least 28 beds and one OT will be made functional by January 6,” said Srikant Mohapatra, administrative officer of the hospital.








HC orders Guntur DSP’s suspension


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 06.32AM IST

HYDERABAD: Finding fault with the way the DSP and his immediate subordinates behaved with the accused, Justice Samudrala Govindarajulu of the HC on Monday directed the DGP of the state to suspend YTR Prasad, the DSP of Tenali division in Guntur, immediately. It was dealing with a petition filed by one Alaparthi Chinna, who wanted the court to cancel the bail given to K L Satyanarayana, an accused charged with atrocities against SCs in Tenali.









HC wants progress monitored weekly

To avoid further delays caused in the completion of Zirakpur-Parwanoo bypass, the Punjab and Haryana High Court, on Monday, opined that the construction needs to be monitored on a weekly basis.

During the resumed hearing of a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking directions for quick completion of Zirakpur-Parwanoo bypass and other National Highways coming up in Punjab and Haryana, the High Court questioned the National Highway Authority of India (NHAI) as to why so many delays are being caused in the completion of the bypass.

Senior lawyer M L Sarin, amicus curiae in the case, highlighted the delay being caused in the completion of six-laning of Panipat to Jalandhar and construction of Zirakpur-Parwanoo bypass.

The High Court impleaded the concessionaire in the case as a respondent and directed Punjab, Haryana and NHAI to submit status reports in the case by the third week of January. The High Court also asked NHAI as to why it should not cancel the licence of the concessionaire.

Sarin contended that a former High Court Judge had slapped a penalty of Rs 50 lakh on one of the concessionaire for not meeting the deadline. The case was adjourned with the direction to Punjab, Haryana and NHAI to file the status reports in the case.









Cops needn’t wait for college nod to control violence

TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 07.23AM IST

CHENNAI: When full-blown violence rocks a college campus and armed rioting and bloodbath unfolds right in the presence of police personnel, should the law enforcers await a nod from college authorities to stop the mayhem?

It was a resounding ‘No’ from the Madras high court. The HC was hearing a batch of cases arising out of the forgettable incidents of November 12, 2008, inside the Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law College in Chennai. Neither the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) nor the Indian Penal Code (IPC) nor the Police Standing Orders has any express clause mandating policemen remain mute spectators till the college authorities give them permission to enter the campus and restore order.

Section 149 of the CrPC says every police officer must interpose for the purpose of preventing, and shall, to the best of his ability, prevent the commission of any cognizable offence. And, Section 148 of the IPC says rioting and being armed with deadly weapons is indeed a cognizable offence.

“A combined reading of the two provisions should leave no doubt in the minds of the police: They needn’t have waited for any nod or permission to launch a counter-offensive on the Presidency College campus where students roamed with deadly weapons and caused injuries to others,” said V Kannadasan, former special public prosecutor for human rights court.

“Having failed to stop the violence and having displayed inaction of the highest level, police now cannot use a fig leaf of a justification that they needed permission to enter a college campus on the boil,” said S Prabakaran, president , Tamil Nadu Advocates Association (TNAA).

In 2008, after video grabs and photographs of the violent caste clash among law students shocked the entire nation, the then DMK government suspended nine police personnel, including an ACP, arrested 29 students and suspended the college principal for failing to control the violence. All these actions did not deter courts and lawyers from raising the very basic question: Why didn’t the police intervene and save a student who was being thrashed by a gang of students?

When the government made a suspended ACP file a counteraffidavit in the HC in an attempt to justify the reluctance on the part of the police authorities to stop the violence, the bench headed by the then Chief Justice A K Ganguly disapproved of it and forced the government to withdraw the counter-affidavit . The counter, blaming the delay on the college principal, said he was ‘adamant in not allowing the police to intervene’ .









Sumit Bhuttan charged under Section 304B


TNN | Jan 3, 2012, 04.06AM IST

GURGAON: After a long trial and several flip-flops, an additional sessions judge court has framed dowry death charges against accused Sumit Bhuttan for the murder of his wife Ruchi under Section 304B of Indian Penal Code.

Confirming this, Ruchi’s family lawyer, Vandana Oberoi, said that this came as a ray of hope for the victim’s family. Earlier, the high-profile case was transferred to government railway police (GRP), Ambala, for investigation after the victim’s family had alleged that the city police were trying to save the accused.

Subsequently, the GRP had submitted a chargesheet naming Sumit as the key accused in the case. However, this chargesheet had left out the names of the other accused. In the court, the GRP had submitted that the agency would be filing a separate chargesheet against others soon. Last year, Gurgaon police were criticized for not filing charges against Sumit Bhuttan.









Man given life term for murder


Last Updated: Monday, January 02, 2012, 16:57

New Delhi: A Delhi court has sentenced a man to life imprisonment for seeking to escape punishment in several criminal cases by portraying himself as dead by burning alive a vagabond and placing his own clothes on the charred body.

Additional Sessions Judge VK Bansal convicted Karma, a Punjab native, saying “it is a unique case, where the convict faced trial for his own murder.”

“The facts emerged are repeated here again that he (Karma) killed one innocent person, who was sleeping on footpath, put his clothes on the person of that fellow and burnt him,” the court added.

Detailing the convict’s act of planting his identity card, wallet etc, the court said, “He has done it to screen himself from the punishment of crime of murder and other offences committed by him.”

“Keeping in view all the evidence, in my opinion, there was a strong motive with Karma to kill some person and get that dead body identified as that of Karma,” the judge said.

According to police, Karma was facing trial in seven other cases under various sections of Indian Penal Code, including attempt to murder, besides those of the NDPS Act and the Excise Act.

Karma along with co-accused Satnam killed a 32-year-old vagabond, sleeping on a footpath under influence of liquor on May 21, 2010 night, police said, adding they took him near Bhalswa Jheel and burnt him.

Recover damages of Pune bandh from Shiv Sena


Published: Monday, Jan 2, 2012, 20:14 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

A Pune-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) has written to the commissioner of police, Meeran Chadha Borwankar, urging her to implead Shiv Sena spokesperson and MLC, Neelam Gorhe, and Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray’s personnel assistant, Milind Narvekar, as “conspirators and instigators” in 13 cases of arson and damage to public property during the Pune bandh on December 28, 2010.

The NGO has requested the police to recover damages from the suspects and/ or their political party. The NGO, Navnirman Pratishthan’s president, Vijaykumar Khalatkar, issued the notice on December 21 through his lawyer, Raman Agarwal.

“Public property becomes the target during agitations called by political parties and such instances have increased, causing great loss to public institutions. That the public transport buses are invariably targeted and damaged by stoning or setting them on fire ultimately causes great inconvenience to the public in general,” stated the letter.

On December 28, based on a complaint by inspector Manohar Joshi of the special branch, the Bund Garden police registered a first information report (FIR) against Gorhe and Narvekar under sections 120 B (criminal conspiracy), 153 (causing enmity between groups) read with section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

The complaint was lodged after the special branch intercepted telephonic conversations the previous night wherein Narvekar allegedly gave instructions to Gorhe for organising a bandh in Pune to protest against the removal of Dadoji Konddev’s statue from Lal Mahal.

The letter, citing the chargesheet in the case, stated that after the special branch and Shivajinagar police submitted confidential reports to the deputy commissioner of police, apprehending large scale violence, some telephones of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena leaders were tapped.

After the conversation between Gorhe and Narvekar, their party workers allegedly committed arson and stone throwing at various places in the city on December 28 and offences were registered at 13 police stations. But Gorhe and Narvekar were neither named in the FIR nor was the conspiracy section added.

In the Bund Garden case, the police failed to get voice samples of Gorhe and Narvekar despite obtaining a court order. The duo moved the sessions court against this order and the appeal is pending.

“The police can easily get video recordings of Gorhe from news channels for voice sample comparison. Also, Gorhe and Narvekar should be made ‘conspirators and instigators’ in these 13 cases and damages to public properties should be recovered from them and/or their political party,” the letter added.






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