LEGAL NEWS 30.01.2012

Sadhvi writes to Prez, claims torture by ATS


Vikas Pathak, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 29, 2012

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, who is in Nashik central jail for her alleged involvement in the Malegaon blasts of 2008, has written to President Pratibha Patil from prison, seeking an inquiry into her “ill treatment and torture” by officials of the Maharashtra ATS.

In the letter

written on December 30, 2011, she requested the President to ask the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to take action in this regard and ensure that the officials concerned are brought to book.

Thakur has claimed that ATS officials whipped her severely with belts and subjected her to verbal abuse in jail.

She has added that she often fell unconscious and suffered from stomach pain and disorders because of the brutal treatment. Thakur has also accused the government of trying to appease “a particular community” and deliberately demeaning the path of sanyas (renunciation) prescribed by dharmagurus of Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism).

She also alleged that the late ATS chief Hemant Karkare forced one of her disciples to beat her up.











Child Rights’ panel demands report on Dewas debacle


TNN | Jan 29, 2012, 07.48AM IST

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR) has in a letter to the Collector Dewas district on Saturday sought details about reports of the incident where a small boy was shown bathing under a cold water tap despite the winter chill at the district Municipal Corporation’s tableau during the Republic Day parade on Thursday.

Commission member Vibhangshu Joshi said, “The commission has asked for an investigation report of the incident from the Dewas collector. Also a medical examination report of the boy has been sought.”

Mukesh Chandra Gupta, collector of district Dewas, which is 150 kms from the state capital Bhopal, had attended the Republic Day parade where the tableau of the Dewas Municipal Corporation was shown. With a theme related to water, it depicted a person opening the tap of a water tank and an eight-year-old child taking bath under it.

A few photo-journalists present on the occasion noticed the plight of the child, stripped to the waist and taking bath under the tap and shivering in the winter chill. They asked the authorities to save him from further trouble and to take him off from this live demonstration of the civic body’s ample water supply.

Commission members said they were appalled at the incident and that they also feared for the health of the boy. “The medical examination report has been sought for the same reason as the boy could possibly contract pneumonia,” said a member.

“Not just a medical report, the child should be monitored for a month to check for other symptoms,” said another.

“Increasingly, incidences of child abuse were coming to fore in the state,” rued a member indicating to the Chhindwara incident of the tribal boy tying shoelaces of a minister.

The Dewas collector has been asked to submit the report within a week’s time, informed the members.







Corporate bribe” in U.P. Assembly poll, EC acts tough


The Election Commission on Saturday directed seven district election officers of Uttar Pradesh to register criminal cases against 11 party candidates, who had claimed that they taken money from corporate houses for fighting the poll as quid-pro-quo to serve their interests after getting elected by organising groups of “vested interests” in the Assembly.

The Commission, besides alerting the Investigation wing of the Income-Tax office in Lucknow about the claim, also called for an action taken report from U.P. Chief Electoral Officer by Sunday.

The Commission, which took suo motu action, following a “sting operation” conducted by a Hindi channel – India TV, which was telecast on January 26, was shocked to hear from some of the prospective candidates that they spend between Rs. one to three crores, which includes expense in the name of dummy candidates, liquor for the electors and other expenses, though the maximum expense allowed in a Assembly poll as per rule is only around Rs.16 lakh.

Acting tough on the issue, the Commission directed the election officers in charge of the districts, where the 11 persons (supposed to be candidates) hail from, to file criminal cases against them. As the incident amounted to taking bribe, the persons, if convicted by the court, might have to spend up to one year in jail or pay fine. Besides they might face disqualification for continuing as the MLA, if elected, and also barred from contesting any poll in future, the EC warned.

The Commission, which went through the transcript of the sting – “Operation MLA”, also appealed to the political parties, to which the “candidates’ allegedly belonged to, inquire into the matter and advise all their functionaries to refrain from such activities.

“The Commission has reiterated its stand that such bribery under the IPC should be made a cognizable offence. The Commission has once again approached the government to pass an ordinance to make suitable changes in the law, as the matter is quite serious”, the EC said.

The Commission directed all the poll officials in U.P. to deal with firmly any incident of “bribe” taken by the candidates or offered. The entire liquor production, sale and distribution should be monitored everyday and any illicit liquor seized.

Movement of unaccounted cash should be monitored and seized. “If any person raises funds in cash as mentioned in the sting operation, the Income Tax department has to be alerted to deal with such donors firmly and investigate about the source of such bribe money,” the Commission directed.








PIL against illegal fishing methods


TNN | Jan 29, 2012, 05.40AM IST

MADURAI: Alleging that illegal methods of fishing are used by big fishermen owning high-power boats, those who own country boats and small-sized mechanized boats have filed a petition in the Madurai Bench of the Madras high court seeking a direction against the use of high-power boats and prohibited nets.

The TN Fishermen Labour Union Federation, which consists of fishermen using country boats and small size mechanised boats, has filed the petition. In it, they said Rameswaram and other nearby fishing areas lying in Palk Strait were rich in coral reefs, rare fish and other marine organisms.

Coral reefs being enriched with high vitamins and minerals were places where fish multiply. Hence, the union government had declared the areas around Palk Strait as ‘Mannar Bio Reserve Area’ in order to protect fish and other natural resources. But continuous violations of the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Marine Fisheries Regulation Act 1983 by fishermen who use high-power boats and pair trawlers and seine nets was leading to the depletion of marine wealth in the Mannar Area.

The petitioners stated that the enactments regulating fishing methods and use of vehicles for conservation of fish and scientific fishing were in force, but they were being violated without any remorse. They also claimed that rich fishermen were in cahoots with government officials and were using mini ships for fishing. By the use of such vessels, already a large number of fish varieties had become endangered. The fishermen added that the conventional method of fishing by single trawl nets would be environment-friendly and would not affect the reproduction of fish. But big fishermen were least bothered about the welfare of the environment and were using every means available to earn quick money.

Fishing using purse-seine nets will catch even small fish, which do not attain maturity. Hence fish were being endangered. They further said, “As the authorities also do not take any action, it is ultimately the small fishers who get affected.”









Former Isro chief G Madhavan Nair gives up IIT post; hopeful of getting justice through RTI


Surojit Gupta, TNN Jan 28, 2012, 11.14AM IST

NEW DELHI: Former Isro chief G Madhavan Nair, who has been barred from any government work for his alleged lapse in the Antrix-Devas deal, on Friday voluntarily stepped down from the post of chairman of the board of governors of the upcoming Indian Institute of Technology, Patna.

The government decided to bar Nair and three other ex-Isro scientists from any government work for their alleged lapses in the Antrix-Devas deal.


“I came here to say goodbye. I am voluntarily stepping down. This college is very close to my heart and it’s my moral responsibility to give them the message. I have nothing to do with the government. It has hurt me very badly. I have not been told anything by the government so far,” the top space scientist told TOI on phone from Patna.

Sources said Nair refused to chair the meeting of the board but was persuaded to stay on as he was associated with the planning for the college for a long time. Nair said he had filed an application under the RTI Act and had sought the two inquiry committee reports.

“I am sure the government will not refuse it. After studying the reports , we will take appropriate action. It’s a question of my prestige and it has to be restored ,” he said. “We do not know what were the terms of the committees, what are their recommendations .

We do not know what processes they followed to secure such an unilateral decision from the government,” he added. In February 2011, the UPA government scrapped the controversial contract between Antrix Corporation and Bangalore-based Devas Multimedia for the lease of space segment in S-band. The government had said it could not grant S-band spectrum to anyone including Antrix due to strategic reasons.

The controversy over the deal surfaced at a time when the government was battling corruption charges over the allocation of 2G spectrum. The government promptly appointed two committees – one headed by former cabinet secretary B K Chaturvedi and another by former central vigilance commissioner Pratyush Sinha – to probe lapses in the deal.

Nair said the Chaturvedi panel allowed them to present their case but the Sinha panel only sent a questionnaire, suggesting that they were denied the right to be heard. “We answered all the questions and sent it to them but we have not received any reply,” the ex-Isro chief said, adding that government’s decision to bar him from official work was against the process of natural justice.

Devas Multimedia has moved the International Court of Arbitration to settle the issue but Antrix has not responded favourably to the arbitration . The SC is expected to hear Antrix’s petition on the issue early in February.

The ICA has appointed a three-member panel to go ahead with the arbitration proceedings. Former CJI A S Anand has been appointed as one of the members of the arbitration panel.









CBI gets 5 more days to submit report in Dara case


TNN | Jan 29, 2012, 04.50AM IST

JAIPUR: The CBI has got five more days to submit its report before the Supreme Court in the Dara Singh encounter case. As the court had directed the CBI to complete probe against all the accused in the case, the deceased’s family members are hopeful that the agency will finally say something concrete about the role of former minister Rajendra Singh Rathore, the only accused against whom the probe is pending for the past seven months.

SK Sinha, lawyer of Dara’s wife Sushila Devi, said the CBI is yet to file the status report on the probe before the Supreme Court on February 2.

“The Supreme Court in the previous hearing in the case had asked the CBI to complete probe against all accused by January end. Former BJP minister Rajendra Singh Rathore is the only accused against whom investigation has been pending,” said Sinha.

He added that it is to be seen whether the CBI says something about Rathore’s role in the report.

Dara’s family members have raised doubts over the credibility of agency saying when they are showering praises on their officers for extraordinary competency in solving nurse Bhanwari Devi case, they are yet to complete probe into the encounter case, that too when it had already been cracked seven months ago.

Dara’s wife Sushila Devi claims to have written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Central Vigilance Commissioner demanding action against CBI officers including its director.

She added that CBI had completed its probe against two IPS officers and other police officers involved in the crime but kept the investigation pending against Rathore in its charge-sheet almost seven months ago.

CBI had filed the chargesheet in a court in Jaipur on June 3.

A team of state police’s special operations group (SOG) gunned down Dara Singh in an alleged fake encounter on the outskirts of Jaipur on October 23, 2006. The CBI had named 15 police officers as accused in the chargesheet while investigation was kept pending against Rathore under Section 173(8) of CrPC.

Former minister in the CBI chargesheet

– Rajendra Rathore tried false implication of Dara and his associate in a murder case in the case of FIR 143/05 dated 21.12.2005 P S Malsisar.

– During police remand Arshad Ali, ASP, SOG (an accused in this case) made Vijendra talk to Rajendra Rathore from his mobile phone and then Vijendra apologised to Rajendra Rathore saying SOG put pressure on him to nab Dara Singh.

– Rajendra Rathore as per call details was in touch with ADGP A K Jain from Oct 04 to 19, 2006.

– As per prosecution witness Omprakash, Dara Singh had conveyed to him months before his death that Rajendra Rathore would get him killed.

– Rajendra Rathore on phone told one Debu that he should part company with Dara Singh as his count down has begun.

– After a month of the killing of Dara Singh as per Debu, Rajendra Rathore came to his village and threatened that Dara has been killed and one Tilliya would meet the same fate on release from jail.






Haryana Agri univ prof ordered to be appointed ICAR scientist


PTI | 11:01 AM,Jan 29,2012

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) An associate professor of Haryana Agriculture University has been ordered by the Delhi High Court to be appointed as a principal scientist in the Indian Council for Agricultural Research. A bench of justices B D Ahmed and V K Jain directed the Agriculture Scientists Recruitment Board (ASRB) to appoint Virender Singh Lather as a principal scientist in ICAR within eight weeks. “Respondents (Ministry of Agriculture and ASRB) are directed to appoint the petitioner (Lather) to the available post of Principal Scientist (Genetics/Cytogenetics) in ICAR subject to his fulfilling all the requirements, post interview in which he was selected. The respondent shall comply with this order within eight weeks,” the bench said. The court gave its order after the government informed it that there was no vacancy currently for the petitioner in ASRB but a post of principal scientist was available in ICAR and he could be accommodated there. Hissar-based Lather has moved the Delhi High Court against the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) order dismissing his plea against the ASRB’s decision not to appoint him on the post despite the fact that he had qualified for the post in an interview held for it in 2002. The board had declined to issue appointment letter to the senior professor for the post of Principal Scientist (Genetics/Cytogenetics) in ASRB on the ground that he did not fulfil the requisite criteria of having three years experience as senior scientist.









Panel upholds sacking of IFS officer for bigamy


Published: Sunday, Jan 29, 2012, 11:29 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

An Indian Foreign Service officer had to pay dearly for marrying the second time during existence of his first marriage and getting her treated abroad at the state’s expense with the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) upholding his dismissal by the government.

“The article of charge is not only as regards the second marriage while the first marriage was still subsisting but also taking his second wife to his place of posting (in Columbia) and claiming reimbursement for her medical treatment as well,” the panel headed by its Chairman V K Bali said, while upholding the dismissal of Bharat Singh Rawat.

The CAT order came on Rawat’s plea, challenging his ouster contending that his sacking was inflicted upon him without an inquiry and the punishment was unjust and unfair.

The question of recording evidence in order to prove his guilt never arose as he never denied the charges, it said.

“Present is thus not a case where the punishment inflicted upon the applicant may be shockingly disproportionate to his proved guilt,” the panel said.

Rawat had been charged with marrying for a second time during the subsistence of his first marriage in violation of Rule 21 of Central Civil Services (Conduct) Rules.

He had also been indicted for taking his second wife to his place of posting and claiming reimbursement of over Rs 1.4 lakh for her medical treatment.

Pleading for a sympathetic approach, Rawat said he had also moved court for divorce from his first wife in July 2009.

The Tribunal, however, refused to give him any relief as the records showed that he had a second wife since 2006 for whom he had even obtained a valid passport.









Electricity tribunal for independent person as ombudsman


He should not hold any other position in the Commission

The Appellate Tribunal for Electricity has directed all State Power Regulatory Commissions and the Secretary to the Forum of Regulators to ensure that an independent person was appointed in time as ombudsman to deal with consumer interests.

The tribunal, comprising chairperson M. Karpaga Vinayagam and technical member Rakesh Nath, gave this direction on Friday acting on a petition filed by the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission seeking a review of its earlier order.

It said: “The Ombudsman is a separate body. He has to decide the issues independently and he should act independent of the State Commission. Ombudsman plays an independent role of a judge to decide the issues of the consumers and others and so he should not hold any other position in the Commission.”

The tribunal noted that in response to its earlier directions, “Ombudsmen are functioning in almost all States. We have received the respective reports from all the State/Joint Commissions which have shown that they have acted in compliance with our directions by putting in place the institutional mechanism by filling in any void and as also by submitting periodical status reports.”

Further, it said: “State Electricity Regulatory Commissions are established in all States. Supply codes and standards of performance of licensees are in place and easily available in the public domain. Needless to say, this is a necessary step in the consumers knowing their rights and remedies for their grievances. ”

However, it said since there were a number of posts lying vacant “we feel that there is an urgency to give suitable directions even during the pendency of this review petition in order to ensure that the State/Joint Commissions are not allowed to be inundated with deluge of consumer grievances which will hamper their vital regulatory and specialised role as a Regulator to the power sector in each State.”

Apart from the appointment of an Ombudsman, the Secretary of Forum of Regulators should continue with the dissemination of best practices in consumer interest through annual conferences, the tribunal said.









Aspiring MLAs breaking law with impunity


Himanshi Dhawan, TNN Jan 29, 2012, 04.51AM IST

NEW DELHI: Potential lawmakers have no qualms in breaking the law. Across the three states – Uttarakhand, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh – that are going to polls next week, over 30% of the candidates have never filed their income tax returns. To make matters worse, about 13% have not given their PAN card details.

According to data analyzed by Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) – a think-tank working for electoral reforms – some of the most prominent candidates have not filed their I-T returns.

In UP, a total of 96 candidates (34%) out of the 284 candidates, who are contesting in the first phase of election, have declared that they have never filed I-T returns. About 40(14%) candidates have not declared their PAN details of which 10 are from SP, BJP (9), JD (U) (7), Peace Party (6), INC (4) and BSP (3).

Among the candidates with maximum assets but who have never filed I-T returns are SP’s Farid Mahfuz Kidwai contesting from Kursi with total assets of Rs 3.52 crore, followed by Congress’s Gauri Sankar from Mahadewa (Rs 2.88 crore) and BJP’s Ram Sajivan from Ram Nagar (Rs 2.57 crore).

In Punjab, 23% or about 92 candidates out of 408 have declared that they have never filed I-T returns. These include Congress’s Karan Kaur contesting from Muktsar with total assets of Rs 128 crore, followed by his colleague Ramanjit Singh Sikki from Khadoor Sahib (Rs 20.12 crore) and SAD’s Gurpartap Singh Wadala contesting from Nakodar (Rs 13.71 crore). About 12% or 47 candidates do not have a PAN number of which five each are from Congress and SAD, PPP (7) and BSP (18).

A similar pattern is evident in Uttarakhand, where ADR found that 99 or 36% of the 278 candidates have admitted that they have not filed their I-T returns. Among them Shahjad of BSP has the highest assets of about Rs 6.52 crore, followed by Kaleem of BJP (Rs 3.15 crore) and Congress’s Sarwaryar Khan from Udham Singh Nagar (Rs 1 crore). About 15% or 42 candidates have not declared their PAN card details.









Govt dithers over law to protect journalists


Prafulla Marapakwar, TNN Jan 29, 2012, 05.20AM IST

The attack on the Times of India Building is not an isolated act of vandalism. Acts of violence against reporters and media houses have been rising across Maharashtra, even as the Congress-NCP government dithers on introducing a comprehensive legislation that will protect journalists. Maharashtra has had five chief ministers since the proposal was first taken up by the media more than 10 years ago. Between August 2009 and December 31, 2011, there have been 209 attacks on journalists and 35 acts of vandalism on media houses in the state.

More than a decade ago, when a newspaper office was vandalized, media houses had knocked on the doors of the then CM Vilasrao Deshmukh asking for a law to prevent attack on scribes. At the time, Deshmukh was non-committal and his successor Sushilkumar Shinde, too, showed little interest in the matter. The proposal gained momentum when Ashok Chavan took over as CM in December 2008. He set up a committee headed by principal secretary Anand Kulkarni to draft a legislation to prevent attack on journalists.

Kulkarni drafted a legislation along the same lines of a legislation to prevent attacks on doctors. “It proposed that any attack on a scribe or media house should be a nonbailable offence, and that compensation to the affected party should be double the cost of damage,” said a senior official.

But after a group of journalists in Nagpur were attacked by the police for covering a BJP-called bandh, Chavan, when confronted by the media, expressed his inability to introduce the bill in the legislature claiming that leaders of political parties were against it.

After Chavan’s unceremonious exit in the wake of the Adarsh scam, Prithviraj Chavan took over as CM in November 2010. He set up a committee headed by industries minister Narayan Rane to study the proposal for a special law to prevent attack on journalists. Though he maintains that he is in favour of a law, he has yet to measures to introduce it.

While NCP president Sharad Pawar, deputy CM Ajit Pawar and Shiv Sena leaders have opposed the proposed legislation on the grounds that it can be misused against politicians, home minister R R Patil and leader of opposition Eknath Khadse have extended their support. “The fact that the law can be misused shouldn’t be a reason to prevent it from being enacted. If the government is serious about protecting journalists, a special law must be brought in immediately,” Khadse said.








Varsities in state lax on SC quota’


Express news service : Ahmedabad, Sun Jan 29 2012, 03:22 hrs


The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC), currently on a visit to the state, is not satisfied with the implementation of the reservation policies for scheduled castes in government institutes, including universities, in Gujarat.

Speaking to reporters after having parleys with the authorities of the Gujarat University (GU) on Saturday, NCSC member Raju Parmar said that excepting nationalised banks and some public sector units, he did not find any other institution effectively implementing the reservation policy of the central government pertaining to the scheduled castes.

Parmar, who visited as many as seven universities during the last 10 days of his tour in the state, said he did not find any university, including the GU, which had properly implemented the reservation policy.

Claiming there were a large number of vacancies meant for SC candidates in these universities, he said none of the universities had made provisions of reservation for SC candidates in various bodies like senate, syndicate, admission committee and recruitment committees.

Parmar said thousands of posts meant for SC candidates in Class III and Class IV categories were lying vacant in these universities.

He said he had asked the authorities of these universities to start filling up these posts.

A former Rajya Sabha member hailing from Gujarat, Parmar said representation of SC members in governing bodies of the educational institutions was a must to empower the community.

Parmar said he had asked the vice-chancellors and other authorities of the universities to ensure that SC candidates got suitable representation.

GU V-C Parimal Trivedi, when contacted, said the statutes of the universities needed to be amended to provide reservation to SC candidates in various bodies of different universities. He said he would write to the state government to take appropriate steps in this direction.

Group petitions against GU dean’s suspension

Representatives of the Gujarat Rajya Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes/Other Backward Castes College and University Teachers Association on Saturday submitted a memorandum to the NCSC, saying while the teaching posts for SC candidates were not being filled up in the Gujarat University and its affiliated colleges since 2005, several posts meant for SC members on the administrative side had been filled up with candidates from the general category. The association also took up the issue of suspension of GU Arts Faculty dean Pradeep Prajapati, saying he, being an OBC member, was victimised since he was a witness in the atrocity case against vice-chancellor Parimal Trivedi.









Punjab Poll 2012: Court stays arrest of Congress candidate from Kapurthala


A local court today stayed the arrest of Congress candidate from Kapurthala seat, Rana Gurjit Singh, his son and some other party leaders who had allegedly defied prohibitory orders ahead of January 30 Assembly polls. District and Sessions Judge Sunita Sharma stayed the arrest of Rana Gurjit Singh, his son Vir Partap Singh and a few other local Congress leaders till January 31.

Rana, Vir Partap Singh and some other local Congress leaders were booked for staging a dharna outside the District Court complex on Friday allegedly defying prohibitory orders clamped in the district. The Judge also stayed the arrest of some other local Congress leaders including Councilor Sham Sunder Aggarwal, Jarnail Singh Meripur, Rajesh Verma, Narinder Singh and Baba Jiwan Singh till January 31. All these leaders were booked by Kapurthala police for damaging the four cars of SAD candidate Sarabjit Singh Makkar on Thursday night.

Meanwhile, Rana Gurjit Singh, at a press conference here today, alleged the district administration and police were supporting Makkar in the distribution of liquor to woo voters. He further alleged Makkar supporters were openly carrying lethal weapons and threatening the voters.








Case against Raj Thackeray in UP


Meerut: A case has been registered in a local court in Meerut against Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray for allegedly saying that terror activities are on the rise due to influx of north Indians.

Uttar Pradesh Navnirman Sena leader Amit Jani filed the case in the court of Additional Sessions Judge AK Mishra.

The next hearing for the case is scheduled on February 3. Thackeray had attacked north Indians after two men from Bihar were arrested in the 13/7 serial blasts case.

“I have been saying that due to influx of north Indians, terror activities are on the rise. The arrest of terrorists hailing from Bihar, in the 13/7 serial blasts case, has confirmed my claim,” Raj had said.

Speaking to reporters after filing the case, Jani said, “Before making derogatory comments about north Indians, he should tell where have Chhota Rajan, Dawood Ibrahim and Vadhrajan come from.”

Thackerey is doing this for cheap publicity, he said.

In a first, lower court awards death to one in narcotics case


Express news service : Chandigarh, Sun Jan 29 2012, 00:53 hrs


In a first, a local court of Chandigarh, on Friday, awarded the death penalty in a case of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS). The Court of Shalini Nagpal, Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ), awarded death sentence to 56-year-old, Paramjeet Singh, holding him guilty of possessing

10 kilos of heroin.

Prosecution lawyer Kailash Chander said, “The NDPS Act stipulates that a person caught with possession commercial drugs more than once can be awarded death penalty.”

Till now, no local Court of Chandigarh has awarded death sentence in a case of narcotics. A resident of Amritsar, Paramjeet Singh, was first convicted by a lower Court of Delhi for a period of ten years in June 2005. He was released on parole in 2007. Paramjeet was again caught red-handed in 2007 with 10 kilos of contraband in Sector 39, Chandigarh.

The Court also awarded 15 years of rigorous imprisonment to Paramjeet’s co-accused, Festus Benson, a 35-year-old. The duo were arrested on November 30, 2007 by the officials of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB). According to the prosecution, acting on secret information, the NCB sleuths had laid a trap and arrested the two red-handed with the contraband.

Taking a strict view against Paramjeet, who already stands convicted for possessing narcotics, the lower Court awarded him death sentence.









Ex-Minister files bail plea


DMK functionary and former minister M.P. Saminathan and another party member Kanagaraj moved bail plea before the district sessions court here on Saturday.

The former minister and Mr. Kanagaraj were arrested in Tiruppur district in connection with a land grabbing case a few days ago. Both were produced before a court in Dharapuram, which remanded them to 15 days of judicial custody.

Sources said a lower court in Dharapuram turned down the bail plea moved by Mr. Saminathan earlier. As a result, the former minister moved a bail application in the district sessions court here.

The bail application was expected to come up for hearing in the next week, sources said.









Court turns messiah for runaway couple, orders police protection


Deevakar Anand, Hindustan Times
Gurgaon, January 29, 2012

It seems the city is becoming a safe haven for runaway couples. In the fourth such incident this month, an engineer couple, who married against the wishes of their family last month, approached the Gurgaon district and sessions court seeking protection from the girl’s family. The court directed Gurgaon police commissioner and SHO (City) for ensuring the couple’s safety, who has been sent to a shelter home till February 3 along with a security personnel.

Manoj Sharma (26) from Mathura and Ekta Verma (19) from Agra met each other a year ago while working together as engineers with a company in IMT Manesar.

They got married at an Arya Samaj Mandir in Delhi on December 1 last year. The couple then went into hiding only to re-surface two months later.

Though the boy’s family earlier objected to the relationship due to a caste difference, they have now accepted the couple.

Manoj and Ekta told HT that they would never part ways and were ready to face all challenges.

However, the couple’s lawyer Durgesh Bokan alleged that the girl’s family was threatening to eliminate Manoj.

Earlier, three runaway couples had approached courts in Gurgaon, while seeking police protection.

The couples were subsequently sent to shelter homes.








BJP Councillor among seven held


Express News Service , The New Indian Express

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vattiyoorkavu police have arrested seven people including BJP’s corporation councillor Rajeev in connection with organising a protest march to a place of worship the other day.

The act was reported a couple of days before and had led to eruption of tension in the area. The protest march was said to be in response to an incident of cow slaughter which occurred in central Kerala.

With the arrest of councillor and six others, the total tally of those apprehended have risen to 18. The arrested have been charged under half a dozen sections of Indian Penal Code, including that of unlawful assembly and promoting enmity between different groups on the basis of religion.








Cheating case against groom for calling off marriage


TNN Jan 29, 2012, 04.02AM IST

HYDERABAD: In a bizarre incident, a cheating case was booked against a 30-year-old grocery store owner after he refused to marry his fiancee citing ill-treatment by her family members.

According to LB Nagar sub-insector (SI) M Mallikarjun, family members of the man from Malkajgiri and the 25-yer-old girl from Mansoorabad agreed for their marriage on December 12, 2011,.

Subsequently, on January 25, the couple got engaged in a ceremony held at the girl’s house and the wedding date was fixed as February 29. “However, two days after the engagement, suddenly the groom told the bride’s family that he is not interested in the marriage and it should be called off,” the SI said.

When grilled by the family members of the girl for the sudden change of decision, the groom informed them through his family that he did not like the way he was treated by the bride’s family and hence decided against marrying the girl.

Enraged with the tantrums of the bridegroom, the girl’s family members, who had already spent a lot of money for the engagement ceremony and booking marriage hall, lodged a complaint against him at the LB Nagar police station.

Based on the complaint lodged by the girl’s father, police have booked a cheating case against the bridegroom under section 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).









Liquor parties most likely cause of hit & run cases


Published: Saturday, Jan 28, 2012, 12:39 IST
By Prashant Thakor | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

People in the city are not only ignorant about the technical aspects of the vehicles they drive, they also do not hesitate to violate traffic rules and norms. This has increased the number of hit and run cases in Ahmedabad. According to lawyers, police officials and road safety experts, all accused in hit and run cases must be punished severely for killing innocent citizens because of sheer negligence and ignorance.

IH Syed, a senior lawyer, said majority of the fatal accidents involve people belonging to rich and influential families. Since such families have influence over the system, they somehow manage to save their acquaintances from going behind bars. “As per Section 279 of Indian Penal Code, the court can give punishment up to 6 years of imprisonment. But it can be only done if a proper charge sheet has been filed by the police, which doesn’t happen in most of the cases,” said Syed. He believes that police don’t conduct proper investigation after the accidents. Judgment of the court depends upon the report submitted by police. “I believe that police usually try to cover up the case rather than giving an unbiased report to the court,” said Syed.

According to him, liquor parties happening in the vicinity of the city are the main cause behind the accidents. Youth drive recklessly under the influence of liquor and hit innocent people with their speeding cars.

“Police have failed at all the fronts. If cops are able to put an end to the liquor parties, such accidents will come to an end automatically. The city traffic cops also fail to keep a check on the roads and cite ‘staff crises’ as the reason behind the same,” said Syed.

Similarly road safety experts also believe that there are many loopholes in the law enforcement in India as compared to other countries. According to Samir Pathak, a road safety expert, the fine collected for violation of rules is very less in India.

“In western countries, one has to pay a hefty fine for minor traffic violations. In some cases, even licences are suspended. However, law breakers in India easily get away by paying a petty fine of either Rs50 or Rs 100,” said Pathak. In 2008, RTO suspended licences of 388 persons who were involved in fatal accidents. “In January we have suspended 21 licences till date. We can only suspend the licence for 6 months. However, after this the person has to fight his case for fatal accident,” said JM Bhatt, head of Ahmedabad RTO.








Naroda Patia accused want more people to testify


Published: Saturday, Jan 28, 2012, 12:46 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA

The accused in Naroda Patiya case, on Friday, objected to the Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) decision to not allow more witnesses to testify in the case. The SIT had, on Friday, sought to stop further deposition by witnesses in the Naroda Patiya massacre in 2002.

The accused submitted before the special court that many important witnesses were yet to testify and the court should not allow the SIT to close the procedure of deposition of the witnesses. The court will issue the verdict on the plea on January 31.

The Supreme Court-appointed SIT has showed 650 witnesses in the charge-sheet. Out of these, 327 have already been examined by both, defence counsels and prosecutors. On Friday, the SIT’s counsel moved a plea before the special court judge, Jyotsna Yagnik, to close testimonies.

Defence lawyer Rajesh Kikani said, “Witnesses who can unfold significant facts of the case of the prosecution and who are eye-witnesses as per the charge-sheet, have been dropped and have not been examined before the court. No proper and cogent reason in the matter has been given. Such a situation works against the accused and does not help the cause of justice.”

In the plea, Kikani submitted that important witnesses, who, as per the statements of the accused during the investigation, prepared telephone call details, verified the correctness of the dialogues during the sting operation and who prepared the map of the place of offence in 2002 have not been examined yet.

Naroda Gam counsels put in papers
The Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team’s (SIT) special public prosecutor Ajay Choksi and assistant public prosecutor Vaibhav Vyas have resigned from their assignments of riot cases in Gujarat HCin the cases of Naroda Gam and Prantij British nationals’ murder.

Choksi has reportedly resigned from the service as he wants to be with his wife during her treatment. Vyas resigned as he was assisting Choksi in important assignments of the riot cases.

Confirming the development, Vyas said, “Ajay Choksi has resigned as special prosecutor of the riot cases and I resigned as I was assisting him.”

Choksi was involved in three high-profile important assignments. He was special counsel for all riot cases before HC except the Godhra train carnage case. He was also special counsel in Naroda Gam and British nationals’ murder cases. He was appointed as counsel a year and a half back. Choksi is the second special prosecutor to resign in the Naroda Gam case after Nigam Shukla and his assistant Kalpen Goswami.

Earlier, Gulbarg Society case public prosecutor RK Shah and his assistant Nayna Bhatt had resigned from their assignments.










Govt apathy forces blind children out of home


New Delhi: At a time when the Supreme Court has asked the state governments to provide shelter to the homeless, a group of visually challenged students in Delhi have been forced to live out in the open, after their shelter in the Virender Nagar area near Janakpuri in west Delhi was sealed without notice by the authorities.

Till 2010, the nearly 30 visually-challenged students of the Louis Welfare Blind Association (LWBA) had a roof above their heads. However, two years back, their shelter was sealed without any prior notification. Two years on, hope seems to be ebbing for them.

Ashwin, the group’s caretaker, said, “There were nearly 35 of these children then. Now only 12-13 are there, as they don’t know how to cope with the situation. All their certificates are also inside the shelter.”

Despite a High Court order allowing the children to enter what was once their home, the students are being forced to live out in the open, battling the sun, the rain and the winter chill.

What is worse is that none of the concerned authorities seems to be interested in taking responsibility.

The HC order, dated May 2011, clearly indicates that the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) allowed the students of the LWBA to enter the building. However, the building is yet to be de-sealed.

Kamlesh, one of the students, said, “Nobody is telling us what to do. We have been to many authorities, from the MCD to the DDA to the police. But for the past one and a half years, we are just being made to run from pillar to post.”

When contacted, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit said, “You are telling me this is near Janakpuri area…? I will ask DUSIB why haven’t they done anything so far.”

The students, meanwhile, hope that this promise will possibly turn into action.








HC annuls exemption to FACT


Express News Service , The New Indian Express


KOCHI: The High Court has stayed the government order to exempt the vehicles used by Fertilisers and Chemicals Travancore Ltd (FACT) to transport ammonia during day time by road from its Udyogamandal division. A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice P R Ramachandra Menon passed the interim order that no transportation should be made between 11 am and 3.30 pm.

The interim order was passed while considering a petition filed by former Thiruvamkulam grama panchayat member Vijayan Therampillil and M Sajeev Kumar of Vaduthala. Theysubmitted that the order clearly violated the court’s earlier order directing that no transport of ammonia be made between 7 am and 8 pm.

The petitioners also pointed out that the court had also directed the company to take immediate steps for arranging transport through insulated vessels by water. The govt issued the order on January 9, 2012, on the request of FACT to exempt its good vehicles from rule 336A of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules which banned transportation of hazardous goods during day time by road.

The court had said that the company should ensure compliance with the terms of transport, which meant that no load should be released from Udyogamandal division after 7 am and before 8 pm. While asking the FACT to take steps for transporting ammonia by river, the court had observed that the loads passed through thickly populated areas and therefore there was risk in the event of accidents even during night.

The impact of an accident and possible leak probably might be less during night. However, it was not as if such an eventuality would not affect public safety. Though the company’s counsel had submitted that obstruction was caused by fishermen when it was being transported through waterways, the court asked the company to approach the government.









50% entrance exam marks enough for admission: HC


Express News Service , The New Indian Express


CHENNAI: Doctors who have secured 50 pc marks in the entrance tests for admission to super-speciality courses against the 90 marks are eligible for admission in the open category, the HC has observed.

The 10 marks awarded for doctors in service, at the rate of one mark per year, could be added only for arriving at the rank of candidates and it could not be treated as eligibility for admission, Justice N Paul Vasanthakumar said while disposing of a writ petition from Dr Jayanth V Kumar, on Jan 27, last.

Kumar applied for super-speciality course (M Ch) and appeared for the entrance exam conducted by the DME in May, 2011, and secured 48.75 marks. But he was not selected on the ground that he had not obtained 50 pc out of 100.

He contended that the eligibility criteria fixed by the MCI was only 50 pc . The government could not add 10 marks for experience and fix minimum eligibility as 50 marks out of 100. Since he had secured 48.75 out of 90 marks, he was entitled for admission, he added.

In the light of the stand taken by the MCI that 50 marks were to be secured by a candidate in the competitive test and the experience gained could not be part of competitive test, the judge said that he was of the view that the petitioner could not be treated as ineligible for admission as he had secured 48.75 marks in the entrance exam out of 90 marks.

Since the cut off date for admission for 2011-12 was over on Sept 30, last year, petitioner could be accommodated for 2012-13 if no other general candidate was available with marks higher than his, the judge said.








HC rejects plea to halt Metro Rail project


Express News Service, The New Indian Express


CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has rejected a writ plea from the George Town Building Owners Welfare Association seeking to restrain the government and the Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) from constructing the underground metro rail line from Washermenpet to Mannadi via Seven Wells, GT and Prakasam Road in Corridor-I.
The consequential prayer of the petitioner, which was also rejected, was to direct the authorities to construct the rail line via Old Jail Road and Prakasam Road, as per the original alignment. The petitioner contended that if the construction work was allowed as per the changed alignment, their buildings situated in congested areas, which were already dilapidated, would collapse. Further, the closure of the borewells would deprive them of their right to life.
In contrast, the Old Jail Road route would entail much less damage as the area was poorly populated and was mainly open lands, the petitioner said. Further, no opportunity of hearing was provided.
Dismissing the writ petition, Justice Vinod K Sharma observed that apprehensions of the petitioner that the construction was likely to pose grave danger to their life and building were misconceived. The CMRL had categorically stated that the construction was being raised in a safe manner by protecting the life and liberty of the persons concerned.
The interest of the people had been safeguarded by affording alternative borewells or compensation. The petitioner, therefore, could not have any grievance. Necessary opportunity of hearing and notices had also been issued to the people, the judge pointed out.







Human Rights programme launched


TNN Jan 29, 2012, 01.46AM IST

PUNE: Justice Sambhaji Shinde, of the Aurangabad High Court bench launched the Human Rights and duties Education Programme at the University of Pune on Saturday. He inaugurated the online programme on the university website.

In the keynote address, Shinde highlighted the role of the Indian judiciary and international instruments along with specialised agencies of the United Nations in promoting and protecting human rights.

Sanjay Chahande, vice-chancellor in his presidential address elaborated upon the global significance of human rights programme in the contemporary educational system. He also focused on the relevance of human rights and duties education in the backdrop of recent incidents of gross human rights violation.








Hazare case: Singhvi moves court to annul summons


Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, January 29, 2012

Rajya Sabha member Abhishek Manu Singhvi has moved a Delhi court seeking withdrawal of its summons to him to depose as a witness in a complaint against social activist Anna Hazare and his team.

Singhvi had moved the court of Kamla Market metropolitan magistrate, who had issued

summons to him on complaint by a person alleging that Team Anna instigated the public against the government during his anti-graft campaign in August.

“The applicant seeks direction for withdrawal of the summons issued to him since he has no connection with the complainant or the present complaint case,” he said in an application filed on his behalf.

The complaint by a Haryana resident, Satbir, had named Singhvi as a witness without his consent.

While dismissing Satbir’s plea for registration of criminal case against Hazare and his team members for allegedly instigating the public against the government during his anti-graft campaign, the court had allowed him to lead evidence in support of his allegations.

“The applicant upon receiving the summons made enquiries as to the nature of the complaint and on getting the record inspected wishes to state that he does not know the complainant nor is he in any way connected with the institution of the present complaint,” Singhvi said.

“Even in the status report filed by the police there is no reference to him,” he added in his application for withdrawal of summons, issued by the court of erstwhile Kamla Market metropolitan magistrate Tyagita Singh, who has since been transferred to another court.

Singhvi also said the summons were issued to him despite his name and address being wrongly mentioned by the complainant in his list of witnesses.

While filing the application through his counsel, Singhvi also sought exemption from personal appearance saying, “He is a senior advocate practising at the Supreme Court and is a Member of Parliament. The applicant is ready and willing to abide by the directions of the court but due to exigencies of prior unavoidable professional/official work he cannot appear in person and is moving this application through his duly appointed counsel.”



Judge sets aside warrant against Jayalalithaa


Principal District and Sessions Judge (Cuddalore) K. Uthirapathy on Saturday ordered the setting aside of the Non-Bailable Warrant issued by the Parangipettai Judicial Magistrate against Chief Minister Jayalalithaa in a case relating to the filing of nominations for the 2001 Assembly elections.

The Judge also instructed the JM Court that if it had already issued any NBW in this regard it should take steps to take it back.

The Judge has scrapped the NBW based on two aspects: first, the issuance of an NBW to a person to whom no notice or summons has been sent is against all canons of law; and secondly, the Supreme Court on July 10, 2007 had ordered status quo on the main petition (regarding the filing of nominations).

The Judge observed that “unless otherwise the Supreme Court varies the said order, the trial court shall cease to have any power to make any headway in the trial proceedings and issuing of an NBW to secure the presence of the revision petitioner (Ms. Jayalalithaa) is wholly contrary and in gross violation of the SC order. Therefore, the error that has happened in the proceedings of the trial court has to be rectified.”

The Judge also noted that “there are other matters which require action from this court on the administrative side. This shall be taken up separately in the administrative side.”

Separate enquiry

The Judge also pointed out that Chief Minister’s counsel A. Sankaran of Tindivanam had “thrown a needle of suspicion about the genuineness of the endorsements made by the Judicial Magistrate in a concur sheet. Therefore, the court shall make a separate enquiry about the said endorsements in separate departmental proceedings.”

The case relates to the Returning Officer of the Bhuvanagiri Assembly Constituency A.G. Selvamani filing a case before the Parangipettai JM Court in 2007, alleging that by filing four nominations for the Assembly constituencies of Bhuvanagiri, Krishnagiri, Andipatti and Pudukottai in 2001 Ms. Jayalalithaa violated the provisions of the Representation of People Act, 1951.

Parangipettai Judicial Magistrate Gomathi Sakthi Sorupam, who has since been placed under suspension on the order of the Madras High Court on the charges of corruption and tampering with records in a case relating to a private concern at Salem, had on June 27, 2011 ordered issue of an NBW and posted the case on February 16, 2012, requiring the presence of Ms Jayalalithaa at the JM Court.

The revision petitioner came to know of the JM order on January 4, 2012 and immediately moved the District Sessions Court through counsel Sankaran. Accordingly the court stayed the NBW till Saturday and passed the orders setting aside the NBW.

No other orders

The Judge clearly stated that his order was restricted to the issuing of the NBW only. Since the Supreme Court had already ordered status quo in the matter this court was not embarking on any misadventure of passing any orders in any other aspects.

Counsel commended

The Judge commended the role of counsel Mr. Sankaran for his cooperation and handling the case without sensationalising it.









Demand for Speaker’s resignation quashed


TNN Jan 29, 2012, 07.14AM IST

MANGALORE: Ahead of the legislature session, set to begin on Monday, chief minister D V Sadananda Gowda and home minister R Ashoka have sprung to the defence of the Speaker K G Bopaiah. Dismissing demands of opposition leader Siddaramaiah seeking Bopaiah’s resignation in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling setting aside the Speaker’s order disqualifying five independent MLAs, they said the Speaker has acted legally.

Noting that Siddaramaiah’s criticism of the Speaker was not a correct step, Ashoka told reporters here on Saturday that SC judgment of not recognizing the disqualification has been honoured and already implemented. “There are two types of judgments in this case. While the single and double bench of the high court has upheld the Speaker’s action, the SC has quashed the same,” Ashoka observed.


The apex court’s decision, Ashoka said, is not a loss of face for Bopaiah as the opposition is striving to project it. Ashoka said: “Bopaiah has taken all decisions within the purview of the powers given to the Speaker.” Noting that Congress does not have any issue to confront the government with, the CM told reporters at the helipad said: “This is a two-month-old judgment, full text of which since has been received.”

Describing the SC judgment on disqualification and its fallout a closed chapter, the CM said, with RSS leadership effectively intervening to put a lid on leadership issue in the BJP, the Congress, which was making noises about party issues, does not have any other issue. “The Speaker is capable of holding his own on any matter,” the CM said, adding that Congress is trying to keep it alive and making an issue out of a non-issue.










Court dismisses kin’s petition to exhume body


Rosy Sequeira, TNN Jan 29, 2012, 05.31AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by a man alleging that his brother’s widow and her two children conspired to murder his brother to usurp property. Instead, the court concluded that the petitioner was the villain.

The property, which includes a bungalow, Harbour, on Mount Carmel Road, is valued at over Rs 10 crore. A division bench of Justice A M Khanwilkar and Justice R G Ketkar, in their verdict, said, “We are of the opinion that the writ petition is not a bona fide petition but is completely motivated. In all probability, the petitioner is acting under instructions of persons who wish to redevelop the valued property, Harbour.”

Bertram Dsilva (52), a resident of Jharkhand, filed a habeas corpus petition in January 2011 for the production of his brother, Irwin (60), claiming that Irwin may have been murdered and if so, his body must be exhumed. He said Irwin was “induced” in 1996 into remarrying Suman (now 65), who has two children, Simmi and Faruk, from a previous marriage.

In December 2010, he lodged complaints with the Bandra police, stating that his brother was being wrongfully confined by Suman. In January 2011, he moved the HC, alleging that the police was conniving with Suman. The police told the court that Irwin was admitted to Nair Hospital for a kidney ailment and died on December 22, 2010 in Sion hospital. He was cremated the same day. Bertram alleged that his brother was cremated instead of being buried to destroy evidence.

Suman said she and her children were living with Irwin since 1996 after they got married. Irwin was in good health until he suffered chronic renal failure in 2009, she said. He died and was cremated in accordance with his wishes, she added. She alleged that Bertram and his friends, Robert Sequiera and Dirk Allams, were hell-bent on misappropriating the property.

The judges relied on the notarized declaration written by Irwin on December 16, 2010, saying it “speaks volumes and belies the entire case” of Bertram. Irwin stated that Bertram and his friends threatened him when he was in Nair Hospital on December 14. The judges said the ‘incident’ indicates that the attempt was to get rid of Suman and her children by implicating them in false cases. They noted that Bertram visited Mumbai for the first time on December 11, 2010. “There is no justification as to why the petitioner has become conscious and emotional about the well-being of his brother,” said the judges.










High Court clears 3 govt doctors for PGCET


TNN Jan 29, 2012, 02.56AM IST

BANGALORE: It was 11th hour relief for three government doctors who wanted to do higher studies in medicine and dentistry.

A special bench of the Karnataka high court on Saturday permitted the trio to appear for the Post-Graduate Entrance Test – 2012 today by issuing the necessary hall tickets.


Justice B S Patil directed the Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences (RGUHS) to permit Dr H T Prathima, working as a dentist at the Government Hospital, Koratagere in Tumkur district, Dr Afzal Ur Rahman, general duty medical officer, Primary Health Centre in Sira taluk and Dr K G Jagadish, general duty medical officer at Community Health Centre, Pavagada taluk to appear for the exam.

He also directed issuance of emergent notices to secretaries of department of health & family welfare, medical education and the registrar of RGUHS while adjourning the hearing to February 8.

The court said it needed to check whether the petitioners were diligent enough with regard to filing their application. The court also said they cannot claim any equity based on the interim order.

The petitioners complained that though they applied for PGET-2012 in time through the competent authority (district health officer), RGUHS did not upload their hall tickets till January 24 saying that though online applications were received, the applications sent through the department were not yet received.

They claimed the authorities did not heed their request to consider their case as they did not suffer from any sort of disqualification and due to their age, they may not get another opportunity in future.

The RGUHS issued the notification for applications on November 21, 2011. The petitioners registered online between December 12 and 14. After completing the online registration, they submitted their applications with all necessary testimonials through the district health officer,Tumkur for him to forward to the RGUHS.

The DHO forwarded the applications on December 19 and 20.










CWC says child was found begging on Marina


Denies charges of asking the couple for English translation of proof

Responding to the reports ‘Now, a Norway in Chennai’ and ‘They run from pillar to post to get back their children’ that appeared in The Hindu dated January 28, 2012, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has said that the police had taken custody of the child, Lakshmi, when she was found begging on Marina beach.

The CWC has said its enquiry revealed that the family came to Chennai and was living here for more than two years, but the child had never been to school. “There are several children denied of their rights and neglected, especially the children of migrant labourers,” the CWC said in its response.

But, Santoshi, who was waiting on the CWC premises on Friday, told The Hindu that the family had come to Chennai only one-and-a-half months ago, and were taking up construction work around Poonamallee High Road. Santoshi said she was standing right beside her daughter who was buying sweets at a stall near the Marina on Pongal Day, when three police officials came and took Lakshmi away.

Denying that it had asked Santoshi and Gabbar, the couple from Chhattisgarh, to get their ration card in Hindi translated to English as proof, the CWC has said in its response that it is taking the help of volunteers and its resource centre in translation. However, Gabbar had told The Hindu that the CWC wanted the ration card in English, and that he tried asking in several shops, “even big ones,” if they could translate it, but didn’t succeed.

Lakshmi was sent with her parents on Friday evening, the CWC has said.








Giving unwanted babies a home, better life


Published: Saturday, Jan 28, 2012, 10:51 IST
By Merlin Francis | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Unwanted children of poor parents, who cannot look after them, need not be abandoned. The Missing Children’s Bureau (MCB) of the department of women and child development will be setting up cradles to curb the number of children being abandoned at railway stations and dustbins.

According to an official with the MCB, “Parents who are unable to look after their newly born infants now do not have to dump them in dustbins or kill them. The aim of this project is that every child is looked after and does not have to grow up on the streets or be killed because his/her parents do not want them.”

The bureau plans to put up cradles in parks, railway stations, bus stations, hospitals and major junctions, where parents can leave their unwanted children, said the official.

“Such cradles will be set up in major districts and cities in the state, where children tend to be ‘dumped’,” he added. Apart from Bangalore Urban and Rural districts, cradles will be set up in 18 districts such as Bagalkot, Hassan, Tumkur, Kolar, Mysore, Mandya, Ramanagar, Yadgir, Chitradurga, Raichur, Bidar, Bellary, Gulbarga, Davangere, Dharwad, Haveri, Shimoga and Kolar.
“These are the places where the MCB has its offices and staff in each district, which will coordinate to make sure the children have a home,” said the official, adding that suitable NGOs that are already working with children will be given the responsibility of coordinating with the MCB in the project.

The official added that such a project already exists in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. “We felt the need for such a project in the state, considering that a number of infants are found in the garbage in cities like Raichur, Mysore and, to a large extent, in Bangalore too. As a start, we are beginning the project in all the cities where the MCB has an office.”

Although the project was inaugurated recently at Gadag, it currently has no funds. “We are looking at IT companies and so on to sponsor the cradles that we will put up. The infants will then be handed over to the CWC, who will, in turn, take care of the education of the child,” he said.









Revisit RTI provisions you framed: CIC to Rajasthan HC


NEERAD PANDHARIPANDE : Mumbai, Sun Jan 29 2012, 02:25 hrs


The Central Information Commission (CIC) in New Delhi has asked the Rajasthan High Court to revisit a number of provisions framed by it pertaining to the Right to Information (RTI) Act.

The commission passed the order in response to an appeal by a Mumbai-based RTI activist, Sunil Ahya. Ahya sought to know the reasons why the Rajasthan HC framed certain rules under the Rajasthan Right to Information (High Court and Subordinate Courts) Rules, 2006, which he contended, were contrary to significant provisions of the original act. Significant regulations which were brought to light stipulate that the applicant has to attach a self-attested photograph to the application and has to make several declarations in his plea, including a statement that the “motive for obtaining such information is proper and legal.” Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra noted that these rules are “not in conformity with the provisions of the Right to Information (RTI) Act, 2005.”

Further, the rules of the Rajasthan HC in Section 5 (1) hold that “if the requested information does not fall within the jurisdiction of the authorised person, it shall be conveyed to the applicant in Form C as early as practicable.” The original rules, however, stipulate that if the information is not available with public information officer, he should transfer the application to the relevant public authority.

Goregaon resident Ahya approached the commission after he was denied information regarding the reasons for framing these rules. The panel noted, “Section 28 of the RTI Act vests the power to make rules in the competent authority in order to carry out the provisions of the Act; it does not give any power to the competent authority to frame rules to restrict the rights conferred by the Act.”

Adopted daughter seeking rly job gets solace from Tribunal


Karthika Gopalakrishnan, TNN Jan 29, 2012, 05.24AM IST

CHENNAI: After turning a deaf ear to 33-year-old T Amul’s request for compassionate appointment following her father’s death seven years ago, Southern Railway authorities cited technicalities to reject her plea in March 2010.

Setting aside the rejection order, B Venkateswara Rao, judicial member, Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) has now directed the railways to reconsider Amul’s claim and “pass a reasonable order” within three months.

Amul’s father A Thirumalai was a compound gangman – a group D post – in the office of the Section Engineer (Works) in the city. In 1987, he had adopted two children, Amul and Thennarasu, when they were nine and two years old respectively.

Due to medical reasons, he was terminated from service on October 23, 2003.

After he was discharged, Thirumalai sought an appointment for his son in any group D post but this was rejected through a communication dated February 17, 2004 as his son did not possess the minimum qualification of passing standard VIII.

However, Thirumalai was advised to apply for an appointment for any other ward who was suitably qualified. Before he could do so, he passed away in December, 2004. His wife, Rajeshwari, submitted an application on Amul’s behalf on June 24, 2005, but there was no reply. Another representation was made in February, 2009, but still got no response.

Following a direction from a bench of CAT, Southern Railway authorities passed an order in March 2010 rejecting Amul’s claim for compassionate appointment saying the adoption deed was registered only in November 2004 and that certain documents such as Amul’s transfer certificate did not support her stance that she was Thirumalai’s daughter.

Amul contended that as per Section 17 of the Registration Act, 1908, an adoption deed need not compulsorily be registered.

Passing orders, judicial member Venkateswara Rao observed that the general manager and divisional railway manager, personnel branch, Southern Railway were not justified in rejecting her claim.

“Had they ever doubted the genuineness of composition of family members furnished by Thirumalai, they could have taken appropriate action against him for such misconduct in accordance with rules in 1992 itself,” he observed.


State cannot act arbitrarily, tender should be judged on merit, says court


It is a well settled law that presumption has to be drawn that official work has been done according to legal procedure unless proved otherwise.

Also, the government has a right to enter into a contract with any person, but the State or its instrumentalities cannot act arbitrarily as tender should be judged on its own intrinsic merits as per the terms and conditions of the tender notice, the Madras High Court has said.

Justice Vinod K.Sharma said this while allowing writ petitions and quashing a tender and the subsequent act of granting work order to 16 persons for laying highway roads in Villupuram district.

He held that the facts and circumstances of the case showed that the authorities had not discharged their duty in accordance with rules by offering the tender at a much higher rate. They had denied right of participation of the petitioners in the tender.

It is the case of the petitioners, V. Devagi, S. Rama and S.M. Elumalai that in spite of the court order, tender schedule was not issued to them till the threat of contempt proceedings was issued.

The petitioners said no fair procedure had been followed in the entire tender process. The process was stage-managed to show that the tender was awarded in a fair and lawful manner. The petitioners sought to quash the proceedings in the tender advertisement of November 28 last year by the Divisional Engineer (Highways), NABARD and Village Roads, Cuddalore Division, and all acts done pursuant to the impugned order.

The authorities said once it was not admitted that the petitioners were prohibited from submitting the tender application, the petitioners had no locus standi to challenge the grant of tender, having not participated in the process.

Mr. Justice Vinod K. Sharma said the Divisional Engineer had not been able to give any justification as to why the tender applications were not sold to the petitioners and it was sold only pursuant to a court direction. It could not be believed that a person who approached the court to get the tender application would not submit the form within the stipulated time. The petitioners stand was further fortified from the postman’s report.

An attempt was made by the authorities to file a counter to deny that the postman came to their office to deliver the tender applications; but the postman’s positive report left no doubt that the petitioners’ stand deserved to be accepted.

The Judge said it had been proved that the acceptance of tenders of 16 persons was illegal.









Act in film on sports? Sure!: Bhaichung Bhutia


Published: Sunday, Jan 29, 2012, 9:59 IST
By Sneha Mahadevan | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Bhaichung Bhutia, considered the torchbearer of Indian football, announced his retirement from international football at the age of 34. Ever since, he has been involved with causes close to his heart, one amongst them being to help the victims of the Sikkim earthquake. He has joined hands with actor Rahul Bose’s NGO, The Foundation, which will host a sports auction on February 11. Bhutia has donated five items that include former Italian football star, Roberto Baggio’s jersey to the auction, the proceeds of which will go to the victims of earthquake hit-areas of Sikkim.

Talking about the initiative, he says, “Last year when Rahul came to me for the auction, I gave him one of my jerseys. This year, he approached me and said that he would have a special fund for the proceeds that he gets for my jerseys and I have donated five items this time. With the money, I am hoping to build a football ground in Sikkim.” Talking about his farewell match in Delhi against Bayern Munich, he says the turnout was unexpected. “Around 35,000 people watched the match at the floodlit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium. I didn’t expect so many people to turn up in Delhi. All Bayern Munich stars were also kind. After playing for 15 years for the country, I guess it was my moment,” he smiles.

The football icon does enjoy things beyond football. “I watch a lot of sports on TV.I watch F1 if there is any Grand Prix being held. I am not into Bollywood films. I rely on my friends’ suggestions about films that I should go for,” confesses Bhaichung. But he knows Rahul who’s from Bollywood? To whichhe adds, “Besides Rahul,I know John Abraham who’s a huge football fanatic. I’vealso met Shah Rukh Khan. All of them seem genuine.” And what about taking up any film offers? “No plans at the moment, but I am not saying an outright ‘No’ to it. If there is anything that has something to do with sports or football, that would be interesting,” he signs off.







Act against attackers of Times office in Mumbai: Katju to Chavan


PTI Jan 28, 2012, 10.09PM IST

NEW DELHI: Condemning the attack on Times of India’s office in Mumbai as “unacceptable”, press council chief Markandey Katju has written to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithvi Raj Chavan asking him to ensure that action is taken against the hooligans who were part of the act.

“I have come to know through various sources about the attack and vandalism in the Mumbai office of Times Of India. This is totally unacceptable in a democracy,” Katju wrote in his letter to the Maharashtra CM.

“Under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India, the media enjoys freedom, and under section 13 of the press council of India Act, it is the duty of the Press Council to maintain the freedom of the Press,” Katju added.

He said when mediapersons or media offices are physically attacked, it constituted a gross violation of the media’s Constitutional right.

The press council chief said it was Maharashtra Government’s duty is to maintain law and order and also uphold the Constitution.

Addressing the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Katju demanded that action be taken against the perpetrators of the attack.

“Please therefore let me know at the earliest what action have you taken against the hooligans who committed this outrage. In particular, please inform me whether the delinquents have been arrested and any criminal proceedings launched against them,” Katju said in the letter.

He said it was not the first time that such an incident has happened in Maharashtra.

“I had written to you earlier also about such assaults and harrassment of journalists.. I therefore must tell you now that the press council may now have to take a serious view of the matter and take suitable action if such incidents are not curbed in your state,” Katju wrote.

Apparently irked by a report in Marathi daily ‘Maharashtra Times’ which speculated that a sitting Shiv Sena MP was on his way to NCP, alleged Sena workers today vandalised the reception area of Times of India (TOI) building in Mumbai.



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