LEGAL NEWS 28.02.2012

EVMs are safe, say Election Commission observers


TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 03.07AM IST

LUCKNOW: Twenty-four hours after water from an overhead tank flooded a building where electronic voting machines for two constituencies of Lucknow are kept, the Election Commission observers and candidates confirmed there was no damage to the EVMs.

EC observers Arvinder Singh and Ashim Khurana conducted a detailed assessment of the building on Sunday morning. The candidates of the two affected constituencies, Sarojininagar and Mohanlalganj, were asked to remain present when the seals of the strongrooms were broken on Sunday evening. “We’ve had a look at the place. We’ve also spoken to the candidates and the BSP agent who was present,” Khurana told TOI, adding, “They wanted to know whether the EVMs were safe. Prima facie, there doesn’t seem to be much. That was our assessment. But the point was that the rooms were still locked. So we wanted to satisfy the candidates that all is well.”

In accordance with EC guidelines, the entire proceeding – from breaking the seal, candidates’ inspection of EVMs and resealing of the strong room – was video taped. Khurana said Sarojininagar EVMs were stored in two rooms on the ground floor. Although a small puddle was noticed outside one, both the rooms were opened to candidates in assure them there was no damage.

“Everything was done in a transparent and objective manner, in conformity with the EC directives,” said Khurana.

Candidates who inspected the strong rooms said they were satisfied. Congress’s Gaurav Chaudhary said, “Although there were wet patches, the EVMs were safe. We could see dampness in the room, but I don’t think there is any need to ask for a re-poll. We hope though the district administration would be more careful in future.”

There was panic on Saturday after water from an overhead tank flooded the room where EVMs for two constituencies were stored after February 19 polling.










Pipli rape case: NCSC steps in, summons Orissa officials


PTI Feb 26, 2012, 07.32PM IST

NEW DELHI: Taking serious note of the rape case of Odisha’s Puri District where the victim slipped into coma after being treated for snake bite, National Commission for Schedule Caste (NCSC) has issued a notice to senior state and district officials to appear before them and submit an “action taken report” in the matter.

“We have issued a notice to Odisha’s Director General of Police and the SP and DM of Puri District to submit an ATR in the alleged rape case of a Dalit girl in November last year,” NCSC Chairman P L Puniya told PTI.

The 19-year-old girl was found in a semi-naked and unconscious condition in a paddy field in Arjungada village under the Pipili police station in Puri district on November 28 last year.

“She was transfered from one hospital to another without proper medical check-up, and was later administered anti-venom medicine following which she slipped into coma,” Puniya said.

“We have asked DGP, SP and DM as why no action has not yet been taken in the case,” he added.

Puniya also mentioned that such cases are rampant in various backward districts of Odisha.

NCSC officials in Odisha said the Commission has asked DGP, SP and DM to appear before it on March 12.

The state government had ordered a judicial probe into the incident and a team of the National Commission for Women (NCW) probed into the incident.










Banks have to do a balancing act during debts recovery”


The Hindu G.S.Hegde, Principal Legal Advisor to Reserve Bank of India speaking at a workshop on SARFAESI in Madurai on Saturday. Photo: G. Moorthy

Two-day workshop on SARFAESI Act inaugurated

Banks have to do a great balancing act when it comes to the subject of debts recovery. They have to ensure that the bank recovers the debts and protects its liquidity and at the same time it should not put the borrower in embarrassing situation said, G.S.Hegde, Principal Legal Advisor to Reserve Bank of India.

Delivering the inaugural address at the two-day workshop on SARFAESI Act (The Securitisation and Reconstruction of Financial Assets and Enforcement of Security Interest Act, 2002,), titled ‘Is SARFAESI a complete code for recovery,’ here on Saturday, Mr. Hegde talked about the days of debts recovery prior to the days of Debts Recovery Tribunal Act and the transitions and also cited how the Delhi High Court had mentioned that the DRT Act as unconstitutional.

SARFAESI Act allows banks and financial institutions to auction properties (residential and commercial) when borrowers fail to repay their loans. It enables banks to reduce their non-performing assets (NPAs) by adopting measures for recovery or reconstruction.

Mr. Hegde mentioned that the banks should have only trained recovery agents and every bank shall have a grievance redressal forum with regard to debt recovery. He also spoke on how important it is to deal with humaneness and cited Justice A.R.Lakshmanan’s observations in a case where he says how recovery agents have become modern day Shylocks in his words “A man’s self-respect, stature in society are all immaterial to the agent who is only primed at recovery. This is the modernised version of Shylock’s pound of flesh.”

Speaking earlier, D. Stanley David, presiding officer, DRT, Madurai said that bank officers should not have a closed mind and drive out the borrower but have to help him at the maximum to see whether he could avail loan.

A seminar book was released by N. P. Rajan, Deputy General Manager, Indian Bank, Madurai Zone and the first copy was received by K. Lakshmipathikumar, DGM, Canara Bank, Madurai circle.

The workshop among others deals with topics on, What is fair valuation of secured interest, Priority of charges, Agricultural Land and The Companies Bill-2011. Pala Ramasamy, Advocate, L. Balaji, Valuer were the convenors of the workshop.









Haryana: 1,930 cases settled in Lok Adalats

Last Updated: Sunday, February 26, 2012, 18:52

Chandigarh: As many as 1,930 cases were on Sunday settled on in Lok Adalats organised by Haryana State Legal Services Authority.

These Lok Adalats were held at Hisar, Hansi, Karnal, Narnaul, Rohtak and Rewari.

43 cases of Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) pertaining to death or injury arising out of vehicular accidents were settled in these Lok Adalats and Rs 81.19 lakh was awarded as compensation to the victims.

1,887 cases pertaining to other categories including civil, petty criminal, matrimonial and family disputes, 138 cases of Negotiable Instruments Act and of bank loans pending were also settled.











Goldsmiths protest death of man who died in custody


TNN Feb 26, 2012, 06.55AM IST

MADURAI: Even as the police have earned the wrath of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) for the encounter killings of five suspected bank robbers in Chennai, goldsmiths in Madurai raised a banner of revolt against the Madurai police, demanding a through probe into the alleged police torture that led to the death of a fellow goldsmith.

Under the aegis of the Federation of All Viswakarma Workers Associations, goldsmiths in Madurai gathered at the Jhansi Rani Park on Saturday and demanded that the mysterious death of one of their ilk should be probed by a judge. The agitation, led by A Senthil Kumar, state president of Tamil Nadu Viswakarma Youth Forum charged that police torture was the reason behind the death of Saravanakumar (36) from Munichalai. “It was nothing but the inhuman treatment meted out by the police that led to the death of Saravakumar,” he said.

Saravanakumar was arrested for allegedly creating fake gold jewellery and pledging them in unauthorised pawn shops to make money. Police said that when they raided his shop, they found Rs 2.29 lakhs cash and five fake gold bangles. But a day later, he was admitted to the hospital where he died. Police claimed that Saravanakumar was produced before a judicial magistrate after the interrogation. It was after that he was sent to the prison where he developed health complications, police said while denying the charge of torture. But the victim’s father E Arumugam, charged that the police were trying to save face after beating his son to death. Saravanakumar’s wife Kalarani too alleged that when she spoke to her husband after he was taken into custody, the latter had lamented to her that he was being severely beaten by the cops. The relatives of Saravanakumar as well as the goldsmiths demanded that action should be taken against the police personnel who took him into custody and interrogated him.

Meanwhile, a judicial magistrate visited the government hospital where the body of Saravanakumar was kept and inspected the post-mortem. The judicial magistrate also conducted an inquiry of the police and health officials as well as the relatives of the deceased. The entire post mortem process was videographed.












NGO for probe into encounter


The police encounter in which five persons were killed should be probed by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the supervision of the Madras High Court, ‘Evidence’, a human rights organisation, said on Sunday.

Releasing the report of a fact-finding team A. Kathir, executive director of Evidence, questioned the police version that the five persons continued to stay in an apartment in Velachery even after the bank heist at Keelkattalai.

Mr Kathir said the police could have easily arrested the bank robbery suspects because the house in which they had stayed was in a narrow lane with a single entry and exit point.











CAT rules in favour of 3 teachers, can be given posts


Express News Service : Chandigarh, Mon Feb 27 2012, 01:35 hrs


The three teachers who had filed a case in the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) regarding Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan (SSA) recruitment will be considered for appointment.

The full bench of the Central CAT has passed an order in this regard which reads, “Aarti Rana and Simarjit Kaur are declared eligible for consideration for the appointment to the post of Social Studies mistress. In the case of Shalu Chawla, she is declared to have made the grade and becomes entitled for considerations to the relevant appointments”.

The case dates back to 2007 when UT Director Public Instructions (Schools) had advertised the posts of teachers for social studies. The qualifications which were required was 50 percent marks in any two of seven elective subjects by the department.

Rana and Kaur had applied for the post and were not invited for the interview even after faring well in the exam. Rana had been ineligible on the premise that they did not have the required combination of subjects for appointment.

Kaur was declared ineligible stating that she had not studies two relevant subjects in the BEd course.

Shalu Chawla on the other hand had stated that after having announced the appointments, the marks obtained by the candidates in the short-listing process were counted by issuing a corrigendum stating the same. Such an action affected the final merit list ousting her application.

The counsel of both Kaur and Rana had argued that the advertisement did not mention anywhere the relevant subjects which would be deemed to be relevant subjects for the purpose of determination of eligibility. Rana’s counsel had further argued that she was holding a similar appointment under Sarv Shiksha Abhiyaan.

One of applicants had attached information furnished by the NCTE regrading the qualifications that would make them eligible for the post of social science mistress. Moreover, the applications had also given instances where teachers with the same combinations were appointed to the post.

The order has asked for compliance of order within one month from the date a copy is presented in the office of the competent authority.











Court ruling today on fate of Sankararaman murder trial


A Subramani, TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 03.51AM IST

CHENNAI: The fate of the stalled murder trial against the Kanchi Sankaracharyas and others in the Sankararaman murder case will be known on Monday, when the Madras high court delivers its judgment on a batch of writ petitions.

Sankararaman, manager of the famous Varadaraja Perumal temple in Kancheepuram, was hacked to death inside the temple premises on September 3, 2004. Both heads of the Kanchi mutt – Jayendra Saraswathi and Vijayendra Saraswathi – were arrested, along with others, in connection with the murder. On a petition from them apprehending foul play, the Supreme Court shifted the trial to Puducherry.

While the trial was hurtling along in the sessions court at Puducherry with several key witnesses, including Sankararaman’s wife Padma turning hostile, it was stayed by the high court on August 25, 2011, after a petition was filed by advocate P Sundararajan alleging that audio tapes containing certain conversations had surfaced recently, indicating attempts to influence the trial through unfair means.

Several more petitions, including two by Padma, were later filed seeking registration of an FIR facilitating a probe into the origin and authenticity of the audio tapes, besides a fresh trial against the accused. After the interim orders were passed, the matter was placed before Chief Justice M Y Eqbal to be posted before another bench. The matter then went to a division bench headed by Justice D Murugesan, before being placed before a bench of justice K N Basha and justice N Paul Vasanthakumar. According to a cause list published by the high court, Justice Basha, sitting single, will pronounce the judgment. Justice Paul Vasanthakumar is sitting in the Madurai bench at present.

Yet another twist was added to the tale, when the then trial judge, T Ramasamy, was transferred a few weeks ago. The appointment of a new judge is awaiting formal notification by the Union Territory of Puducherry, as it is a deputation.

With most of the trial done and the original trial judge not at the helm anymore, whether the high court would vacate the stay; whether the court would order resumption of trial from where it was stalled last August; or whether it would order a fresh trial will become clear on Monday when justice Basha reads out the judgment.












Special courts to check graft in job schemes


Express News Service

SANGAREDDY: With a view to provide legal assistance to the rural folks at their doorstep, we are planning to set up ‘Grama Nyayalayalu ‘ (Village Courts) in villages, chief justice of the AP High Court justice Madan B Lokur has said.

This is to lessen the burden on the courts at the district level and also to help solve small cases and issue speedy disposals at the mandal level without forcing litigants to rush to the districts, he said.

Speaking after inaugurating a special mobile court here on Sunday, justice Lokur said persons resorting to corrupt practices in the developmental s cheme s pa r t i cul a r l y NREGS would henceforth be tried by special mobile court in the state.

The Sangareddy mobile court will be the first of the 13 such courts being set up in the state as part of the Andhra Pradesh Promotion of Social Audit and Prevention of Corrupt Practices (APPSA&PCP) Ordinance, 2011.

The court would take cognizance of the cases and hold trial in the village, on a dayto- day basis, where the irregularities were reported.

The courts would deliberate at the door steps of the victims on injustice and corrupt practices.

The special courts were intended to fast-track the cases related to irregularities in the rural job scheme.

They would ensure trial of such offences and expedite disposal of cases.

Justice Lokur said just by setting up courts would not serve the purpose and asked the government to appoint the required staff including public prosecutors.

The mobile courts should go to the people, elicit their opinion and thoroughly investigate the malpractices, he said.

Lokur also called upon the people and the public representatives to be alert and follow up the case and not wash off their hands after making a complaint.

The purpose of special mobile courts would be served only when the NREGS functions without any irregularities.

He also asked the people to avail themselves of the RTI Act and suggested to the government to take steps to create awareness among the people about the Act.

Rural development minister D Manikya Varaprasad speaking on the occasion said mobile courts were a boon to curb irregularities in employment schemes.

Law minister E Pratap Reddy and women and child welfare minister V Sunitha Reddy also felt that under the ordinance, criminal prosecution of persons accused of embezzlement of funds would be based on the findings of the social audit rather than the police investigation.

Principal secretary R Subrahmaniam, law secretary Damodar Reddy chief vigilance officer Sudharani, district collector S Suresh Kumar attended the programme.










Court allows foot overbridge project citing safety


TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 02.28AM IST

NEW DELHI: Delhi high court has allowed the railways and the state government to go ahead with the construction of a foot overbridge (FOB) at a residential colony saying that public safety is paramount.

A bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, while dismissing a petition filed by a group of persons claiming the land in Harkesh Nagar residential colony, upheld the single judge’s order dismissing their plea on January 31.

“The railways deemed it necessary in the interest of safety of the public residing in the neighbourhood of the railway tracks to construct an FOB at the said site, the said developmental activity in the larger public interest could not be interfered by the court,” the bench said.

The court also rejected the petitioner’s argument that this very court had earlier dismissed a plea for FOB construction and it should restrain railways, the government, MCD and DDA on the issue.

The court accepted the argument of the railways that the shops of the petitioners are within the boundary of railway land and those were unauthorized occupation and encroachment.

The boundary wall was repeatedly damaged by residents for crossing rail tracks from the said point, endangering their lives, the railways said. PTI










Ex-guv for zero tolerance to rights’ violation


TNN | Feb 26, 2012, 08.20PM IST

PATNA: Former governor of Chhattisgarh and Tripura D N Sahaya said that in a proactive civil society, judiciary and state itself, zero tolerance to violation of human rights and total absence of misplaced sympathy with the delinquents, reorientation, attitudinal change and sensitization of security forces about human rights are essential for checking human rights’ violation.

Speaking at the valedictory session of the two-day UGC-sponsored national seminar on “State: Protector or violator of human rights”, organized by the political science department of Magadh Mahila College, on Sunday, Sahaya said one of the most powerful ideas in contemporary world is human rights. Human rights are, in fact, those conditions of social life without which no man can seek, in general, to be himself at his best. He said human rights are inherent in human nature, ethos of human civilization and inalienable from human dignities.

He added that a distinction must be made between the violation of human rights by the state and its individual functionary and the security forces.

Participating in the seminar, former DGP and member, State Human Rights Commission, Neelmani, said Bihar was better placed in respect of custodial deaths, ranking 12th in the country. Maharashtra tops the list. College principal Dolly Sinha and pro VC J P Singh were among others present at the seminar.









Advocates’ body holds graft seminar


TNN | Feb 26, 2012, 09.32PM IST

GUWAHATI: The Advocates’ Association, Guwahati, which is celebrating its silver jubilee, on Sunday organized a seminar on ‘Role of Judiciary in combating Corruption’ at the District Library and stressed on the need for faster disposal of corruption cases in the state as there are over 300 anti-corruption cases pending in the state’s courts .

Established in 1987-88, the Advocates’ association completed 25 years of service in the region and held a two-day long celebration here, which started on Saturday. Speaking at the seminar, Gauhati high court judge B P Katakey said the state is reeling under the burden of corruption cases for a decade now.

“Till December 31, 2011, there were 189 pending proceeding in anti-corruption cases in lower courts. Out of them, two cases had been registered in 1991, which are still pending. The judiciary must be strengthened to combat corruption cases in the state.”

He said, “119 anti-corruption cases, mostly forwarded from the lower courts, are pending in the high court too. The judiciary has not been able to provide justice to these cases on time.”

“Money is a major factor for the delay. In most of the anti-corruption cases, the complainers are from poor backgrounds and they usually give up the lengthy court procedures due to their poor financial state. We must take steps to change the situation,” he added.

On Saturday, the association took out a ceremonial rally to mark the occasion. Chief justice of Gauhati high court A K Goel also participated in the programme.









AP judiciary proposes establishment of rural courts


PTI | 08:02 PM,Feb 26,2012

Sangareddy(AP), Feb 26 (PTI) Stressing on the need to make judicial system accessible to rural population, Chief Justice of Andhra Pradesh High Court Justice Madan B Lokur today said the judiciary has proposed establishment of ‘Gram Nyayalayas’ (Rural Courts) in the state. “It (Rural Courts) is a part of the judicial reforms that are needed in our state,” Lokur said, adding the matter has been taken up with the state government. Speaking after inaugurating a special mobile court here to deal with cases pertaining to corrupt practices in MGNREGS and other developmental schemes, Lokur said 75 percent of the population in the country stays in rural areas “and we cannot overlook this population and making available justice to them is our responsibility.” The Sangareddy mobile court is the first of the 13 such courts being set up in the state as part of the Andhra Pradesh Promotion of Social Audit and Prevention of Corrupt Practices (APPSA&PCP) Ordinance-2011. The Sangareddy court, that will cover Medak and Karimnagar districts, would take cognisance of the cases and hold trial in villages on a day-to-day basis, where irregularities were reported. Lokur said though the government was implementing various schemes for the benefit of people, they were not reaching the poor and there was a need to look into this. “If the MGNREGS is properly implemented it will definitely contribute for sustainable development of rural regions,” he said. PTI VVK VKV










JGLS wins All India Moot Court


Express News Service

BANGALORE: Bangalore University’s Jnana Bharathi Senate Hall on Sunday was host to a fierce war of words waged by petitioner Rajiv Gandhi National Law University (RGNLU) from Patiala and defence Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) from Haryana in front of five sitting judges from the Karnataka High Court.

As the parties rested their cases, the bench decreed its verdict in favour of Jindal Global Law School, who emerged the winners of the 16th All India Moot Court competition organised by University Law College.

The three day moot court competition that began with 28 participant law colleges from all over the country concluded on Sunday. The case that was fought on the final day was ‘Constitutional Environmental Law and Writ Petition’.

“Moot court helps us understand law in a practical manner. We argued in front of sitting judges, which is the best experience we could ask for,” said Harshitha S, a II year BA-LLB student from JGLS.

“We will not get another chance like this to express our skills in front of real judges from a High Court. I enjoyed the competition that was very well arranged,” said A Velan, a 5th year law student from RGNLU.

The judges who heard the prepositions were Justice Bhaktavatsala, Justice Ram Mohan Reddy, Justice Suhash B Adi, Justice B V Nagarathna and Justice Arvind Kumar.

“Moot court is not a joke. I believe that students, after their legal education, should be in a position to face the court confidently. Moot court helps them let go of any fears or lack of confidence,” said Bhaktavatsala, adding that effective body language is crucial for advocates. Commending the efforts put in by the mooters, Ram Mohan Reddy urged the students to go beyond just mooting. “What I have seen today is tremendous intelligence and confidence. Apart from becoming advocates and judges, you can become good politicians and administrators,” he said.








Justice Iyer seeks assistance for Asraya Bhavans


Express News Service

ALUVA: The organisations like Grameena Asraya Bhavan which aims at protecting the destitute mothers and innocent girls from exploitation, have become the need of the hour, pointed out Justice V R Krishna Iyer in a memorandum to the Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Grameena Asraya Bhavan, a joint venture of Pain and Palliative Care Unit, and Janaseva Sisubhavan, proposed to operate in every panchayat.

The project would be a great relief to the unfortunate mothers and girls. The project proposes to bring them to the mainstream of the society, Iyer pointed out.Krishna Iyer urged the Chief Minister to exempt Asraya Bhavans from the control of Orphanage Control Board and Child Welfare Committee and entrust the controlling power to concerned panchayat.

He sought the interference of the Chief Minister to accord sanction of grant and other financial assistance for Asraya Bhavans. The project was inaugurated by Justice D Sreedevi recently.

The inaugural meeting which was attended by more than thousand women, unanimously elected District Panchayat President Eldhose Kunnappilly as its chief patron.





Letter sent to Chief Justice on Lokayukta


Express News Service

MANGALORE: Chief Minister D V Sadanannda Gowda said he has sent letters the Chief Justice of the High Court, Opposition leader and others highlighting the importance of selecting a suitable candidate for the post of Lokayukta soon.

The chief minister, who arrived at Mangalore Airport on Sunday to participate in the post-death rituals of Dr V S Acharya in Udupi, said six days ago, a letter highlighting the need to select a candidate for post of Lokayukta within 15 days was sent to the Chief Justice of the High Court, Opposition Leader, Speaker and the Chairman of the Legislative Council.

Dismissing JD(S) leader Kumaraswamy’s comments of “not doing anything for state as the chief minister”, Gowda said he was listening from one ear and was getting rid of pointless criticisms from the other.

‘CBI misuse by Congress to be bypoll plank’

Udupi: The Udupi-Chikmagalur Lok Sabha by-election would focus on national concerns like India’s internal security, intrusion by foreigners and the misuse of agencies like the CBI by the Congress, Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said.

Addressing the BJP workers’ convention at Kaup on Sunday, Gowda said though the Congress ruled the state for over 50 years and the JD(S) for a few years, the development was negligible. On the other hand, the BJP’s rule for the last four and a half years brought in real development. “When present Opposition leader Siddaramaiah presented the budget as finance minister its volume was only `27,500 crore. When Yeddyurappa presented the first budget of the coalition government in the state it was for `36,000 crore. In the last budget, it rose up to `85,500 crore. Even the state’s revenue collection went up,” he said.













Seized weapons to be produced before court


Express News Service

KOCHI: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Kerala Police will produce the weapons seized from the Italian oil vessel Enrica Lexie, allegedly used by the Italian Naval marines to kill two Indian fishermen, before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s Court in Kollam on Monday. The weapons were seized on Sunday after an extensive search on the ship, which lasted for 16 hours. The weapons, including eight guns and ammunition along with documents, have been kept in trunk boxes and shifted to the Harbour police station.

The search and seizure of weapons and other documents started late on Saturday and came to an end in the early hours of Sunday. Indian Navy personnel, the Coast Guard, Customs, Central Industrial Security Force, representatives of the Forensic Department, ballistic experts, fingerprint experts, Italian officials, defence attache, Revenue Department officials, advocate Sujesh Menon representing B Raman Pillai Associates, interpreter Jose Hilton and two Italian ballistic experts comprised the large team present in the vessel during the seizure procedure.

Speaking to media at the oil terminal after seizing the weapons, Kochi City Police Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar said, “We have seized almost all material evidence related to the case. The Customs officials have conducted extensive search of the entire ship. The technical aspects were taken care of by the Coast Guard. The arms verification was conducted by the Navy. These materials have been moved to the Harbour police station and will be produced before the Magistrate on Monday. Search and seizure list and the report on the status of the investigation will also be produced before the court,” the Commissioner added.

The Italian ship will remain docked at the Kochi port till it gets a no-objection certificate from the police and the approval from the High Court. “Until the investigation carried out by the Kerala Police is complete and a final decision comes from the High Court in the admiralty petition filed by the kin of the deceased fishermen, the ship cannot leave Indian territory,” Ajith Kumar said. He appreciated the co-operation shown by the Italian delegates and crew members during the search operation and added that the security cover provided by the police will continue. When asked if the police will seek an extension of the custody of the accused, he said that the investigation team will take a call on it. The accused were remanded in police custody for three days. Later, this was extended for seven more days. The remand period comes to an end on Thursday.






Fishermen’s killing: Indian law, not Italy, to dictate probe, says Antony


TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 04.45AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: India will not yield to any pressure from Italy in the investigation into the killing of two fishermen. The investigation into the February 15 incident off the Kollam coast and subsequent action would be under the Indian laws, said Union defence minister A K Antony. He expressed “satisfaction over the probe, which “is on the right direction.”

The centre has pledged all its support to the state government. “The centre would take all steps to strengthen the Coast Guard to avert such incidents in future. I assure you that there should not be any apprehension and the investigation will be carried only as per the Indian law,” he said while speaking to reporters here on Sunday.

The country has a strong and independent judicial system. The prosecution of the marines will be carried out according to the law of the land, in the most independent manner. The investigation is on the right path and the Centre has full confidence in the state police, he added.

Antony later visited the house of Valentine Jelestine, one of the fishermen killed by the Italian naval guards.











Shooting row: Italian foreign minister in India Tuesday


Indo-Asian News Service
With his deputy unable to break the impasse with India over the killing of two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast, Italy’s foreign minister Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant’ Agata is arriving in New Delhi on a two-day visit on Tuesday to push a resolution of the crisis that threatens to cast a shadow on bilateral ties.

The Italian foreign minister’s visit to India was scheduled much before the Feb 15 incident in which two Italian marines on board an Italian ship shot dead two Indian fishermen, mistaking them for pirates, but the shooting row has lent the visit an added significance.

In fact, this would be the first high level visit from Italy since the new government was formed there in November last year.

External affairs minister SM Krishna will hold talks with his Italian counterpart and discuss bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest, the external affairs ministry said in New Delhi on Sunday while formally announcing the much-speculated visit.

Besides bilateral relations, the situation in Afghanistan, the Iranian nuclear crisis and the eurozone crisis are among global issues that are expected to figure in the discussions, said informed sources.

Terzi’s visit comes days after Italy’s deputy foreign minister Staffan de Mistura held talks with Indian officials and also met Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy to find a diplomatic solution to ease the crisis over the fishermen’s killing.

But the positions of the two sides remain poles apart as India maintains that the arrested Marines should be tried according to the Indian Penal Code while Italy has insisted that the incident took place in international waters.

However, the two sides indicated partial accommodation when the Kerala court hearing the shooting case allowed joint ballistic examination of the weapons used in the killing, which started Saturday and is expected to be complete before the Italian foreign minister comes here Tuesday.     

There is a strong possibility that the Italian foreign minister offers a hefty compensation package to the slain fishermen.

The two Italian marines, Latorre Massimillano and Salvatore Girone, the security officials on board the Enrica Lexie, have been arrested for shooting dead two Indian fishermen Feb 15 after mistaking them to be pirates.

Three days ago, a court in Kollam had extended the police custody of the marines after police told the judge they needed more time to interrogate them.

The next hearing will be Tuesday, the day the Italian foreign minister touches down here.

Ajesh Binki, 25, and Gelastine, 45, were mistaken for pirates and shot dead by the marines from the Italian cargo vessel Feb 15, off Alappuzha in Kerala.

The two sisters of Binki have filed a petition in the high court demanding Rs.2 crore (around $400,000) as compensation. Gelastine’s wife has filed a petition demanding a compensation of Rs.1 crore (around $200,000).







You are punishing me for doing my duty, Mahatma told judge


TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 06.41AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The trial, which lasted for 100 minutes on March 18, 1922 at the Old Circuit House in Shahibaug, witnessed an intense conversation that took place between the Mahatma and the judge, R S Broomfield. Gandhi accepted the charge of sedition in court and said: “Some of the most loved of India’s patriots have been convicted under it (Section 124-A ). I consider it a privilege therefore to be charged under it.”

“I do not seek mercy… I am here to invite and cheerfully submit to the highest penalty for what in law is a deliberate crime and what appears to me to be highest duty of a citizen,” he said. Calling upon the judge to convict him with the harshest of punishment , Gandhi also proposed that the judge resign if he considered the system wrong.

“Millions look upon you as a saint. It is my duty to judge you as a man subject to the law, who has by his own admission broken the law,” judge Broomfield said, in his reply, and later sentencing Gandhi to six years of simple imprisonment.

“… I knew that I was playing with fire… I do not ask for mercy. Section 124(A), under which I am happily charged, is perhaps the prince among the political sections of the Indian Penal Code designed to suppress the liberty of the citizen. Affection cannot be manufactured or regulated by law,” Gandhi told the court.











IAC lodges complaint against ward 24 councillor


Express News Service : Chandigarh, Mon Feb 27 2012, 01:30 hrs

In a first of its kind action, members of India Against Corruption (IAC) lodged a complaint with the police, on Sunday, against ward 24 Councillor Rajinder Kaur Rattu under Section 420 of Indian Penal Code. In the complaint they have alleged that even two months after she was elected, Rattu is yet to undertake any work in the ward.

They claimed that Rattu had not attended any meetings in the ward and whenever the residents approach her, it was her husband who takes the call. The complainants claimed it to be a breach of trust.

Team Anna claimed that they have conducted a survey in Vikas Nagar in around 2,000 houses, “There were several problems being faced by people including lack of streetlights, absence of police in beat box, lack of facilities like transport, cleanliness and water supply among others. They complain that a report of the survey was given to her two weeks back, but she has not responded,” said a member of IAC.

The complainants have stated that this amounted to breach of trust as a promise was made during elections and then not fulfilled. A complaint was given to the police to register case against under Section 406/420 of the Indian Penal Code.

Rattu meanwhile said that the name of Anna Hazare was being used for cheap publicity. “The work of the people of the area will be done. I am in touch with the people and listening to their problems regularly. Their grievances will be addressed,” she said.












CCI slaps penalty on 12 regional film bodies for anti-competitive decisions


MUMBAI: India’s trade practices regulator has penalised 12 state film associations across the country for taking anti-competitive decisions, including discrimination against Hindi films and forcing producers to become their members.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has asked film associations of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar and Orissa, among others, to pay 10% of their annual income to the different petitioners, after clubbing all similar cases filed by different producers against different associations.

Producers such as Reliance Entertainment, UTV and Eros called it a landmark judgement that will change the dynamics of film business, while officials of some state film associations said they will challenge the order in higher courts.

“This historic order will change the business dynamics of this country,” said Sanjeev Lamba, CEO of Reliance Entertainment.

KV Chandrasekhar, president of the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, said the association will challenge the order. “We are going to appeal to the tribunal and the Karnataka High Court that these linguistic issues do not come under the purview of CCI,” he said.

Reliance was the first to approach CCI in June 2010 when the KFCC refused to allow its film, Raavan, to be released across the state. A month earlier, it had faced the same problem with Kites. Subsequently, other producers such as UTV, Eros, Ashtavinayak and Filmkraft too filed cases against different state associations.

Their complains included curbs on release of prints of Hindi films, making it mandatory for producers to become members of associations before releasing a film and insisting that DTH or satellite release must be held back for six months to a year, or pay a penalty.

In its order, the CCI said film associations should not discriminate between regional and non-regional films, or compel anyone to become members as a pre-condition for exhibition of the films.

Siddharth Roy Kapur, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures, said the CCI judegment unshackles producers and distributors from the archaic bylaws of defunct associations, driven by vested interests.

“It is a huge step forward in ensuring that the rules that govern the Indian movie business are reflective of current business practices, and not those practiced in the last century,” he said.


Man sentenced to seven year imprisonment


PTI | 07:02 PM,Feb 26,2012

Rewari, Feb 26 (PTI) A person was today sentenced to seven years in prison by a local court for making a bid on the life of his wife two years ago. Additional District and Sessions Judge J R Chauhan yesterday sentenced Samay Singh, holding him guilty of attempting to kill his wife Poonam in May, 2010. The Judge also imposed a fine of Rs 17,000, prosecution said. According to the prosecution, Poonam, a resident of of Gurgaon got married to Singh on February 16, 2004. She was persistently harassed for more dowry by her husband, he said. Samay, in a state of inebriation, brutally thrashed and tried to strangle Poonam to death on May 10, 2010.











Court directs protection, counselling to witness in dilemma


PTI | 12:02 PM,Feb 26,2012

New Delhi, Feb 26 (PTI) A girl, a crucial witness to her brother’s murder, has been ordered by a Delhi court to be given police protection and professional counselling to tide over her dilemma whether to depose in the case against her family members’ wishes. Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Tewari ordered police protection and professional counselling for 21-year-old Neelam after she began crying in the witness box, saying her family members, including her mother, do not want her to depose. At this, ASJ Tewari summoned the SHO of Sultan Puri police station and directed him to “not only take the protection measures of the witness (Neelam) but also get her counselled for her dilemma and fear against her own family members.” As Neelam began crying in the witness box, the judge asked her as to why was she crying. As the judge consoled her, she uttered that she wanted to depose against the accused but was being stopped by her mother and a cousin. She also apprehended legal action against her mother now that she had disclosed she was stopping her from deposing in the matter. Observing that she was under a dilemma whether to depose truthfully or succumb to the pressure from her family, the court said, “Even after her deposition till the pendency of this case, a periodical visit to her house by any responsible police official, not below the rank of SI, and preferably by the SHO himself, be given so as to ensure protection in her mind and confidence in her day-to-day life. “On the dates when she may be coming to the court either for her examination-in-chief or cross examination, she may be escorted not only by female police officials but also by male police officials and certain mobile phone or other device should be provided to her at her residence so that in case of any emergency, she may seek police assistance,” the ASJ said. The court also said in view of her fears, “the accused, who are present in judicial custody in the court, are directed to be seated at the backseats of the court premises.” Neelam had also told the court she was suffering from a neuro-ailment for which she was undergoing treatment at a mental health institute at West Delhi. Neelam is a crucial witness in the killing of her brother in 2009. As per prosecution case, about three years back, when Neelam, along with her mother, was standing outside their house in Sultanpuri, accused Sudhir and Sunil were passing by and made some obscene gestures at her upon which her mother asked them to behave. At this, her brother Subhash came out and picked up an argument with the accused, who left the spot on to return shortly, armed with baseball bat, iron rod, glass bottles and knives and started beating her brother, who was later rushed to the hospital and was declared dead there.









Pune shootout: 3 accused remanded in custody


Published: Sunday, Feb 26, 2012, 14:03 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Pune | Agency: DNA

The three accused in Maharashtra Navnirman Sena’s Bhor unit chief Sandip Bandal murder case, who have been rearrested in Thursday’s shootout outside the district and sessions court, were remanded in police custody till March 3 by judicial magistrate first class MY Doiphode on Saturday.

The arrested include Sangram Dileep Gholap, 26, of Mangalwar Peth, Ravindra Laxman Chavan, 30, and Akshay alias Lala Kaluram Pawle, 26, both residents of Ambegaon Pathar. The trio was produced before the court on Saturday afternoon with a report seeking their police custody.

Arguing for 10-day police custody, assistant public prosecutor Rajendra Suryawanshi informed the court that custodial
interrogation of the trio was necessary for recovery of the pistol and vehicle used in the crime as well as to arrest
other persons involved.

Vijay Dinkar Karke, 25, was injured in the firing that took place at Kamgar putla slums outside the district and sessions court at Shivajinagar on Thursday. The firing took place after Karke stepped out of the court after attending the hearing in Bandal
murder case.

Gholap, Chavan and Pawale are accused in the Bandal murder case. They have been released on bail in that case.

The court had permitted the police take them in custody to facilitate investigations in Thursday’s shootout. The Shivajinagar police arrested them formally on Friday.









Sasikala appears before court


BANGALORE: Sasikala, the estranged companion of Tamil Nadu CM J Jayalalithaa, appeared before the 36th City Civil and Sessions Court and the Special Court forhearing of the disproportionate assets case against Jaya.Sasikala appeared on Saturday and replied to 69 questions, thereby completing 172 questions.

Most of the questions were related to the purchase of vehicles in her name for Sasi Enterprises, Anjaneya Printers, JJ TV, Metal King, Jaya Publications and Namadhu MGR newspaper. Sasikala admitted vehicles were purchased in her name but there was no irregularity in the dealings.

When she was asked about whether the accused persons purchased properties on the the outskirts of Chennai, Vellur and other areas by threatening land owners, she said the allegations were baseless and accused the police of threatening a witness to frame Jayalalithaa and her.

Earlier, Judge B M Mallikarjunaiah rejected the plea filed by the counsels of the three accused to conduct three-day proceedings in a week.

Advocates Manishankar and Kumar, representing Sasikala, Ilavarasi and Sudhakaran, appealed to the judge to hold hearings on Thursday, Friday and Saturday as daily attendance will be inconvenient for the accused.

However, the judge said the court will conduct daily proceedings as per higher court, including the Supreme Court orders.

Further, the hearing was adjourned to February 29.









Aarushi murder: Supreme Court reserves order on Talwars’ case transfer plea


NDTV Correspondent, Updated: February 27, 2012 14:25 IST

New Delhi:  In the Aarushi murder case, the Supreme Court today reserved its order on the petition of the Talwars, who want the trial of their daughter’s murder shifted from Ghaziabad to Delhi.

Aarushi’s parents, Rajesh and Nupur Talwar, had quoted security concerns in the court and also said that most of the witnesses are in Delhi.

During the last hearing, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had opposed the transfer and said since there is no anticipatory bail provision in Uttar Pradesh. The Talwars want the case shifted to Delhi. The counsel of the investigating agency had told the court that it can provide security to Aarushi’s parents. It had, however, sought time to file a detailed reply to their plea seeking transfer of the trial.

In their plea filed in the Supreme Court on February 3, the Talwars had cited security reasons. They had contended that Rajesh Talwar had faced a hostile atmosphere in the Ghaziabad court where he was assaulted with a knife by a person in January 2011. The couple also claimed that most of the witnesses were based in Delhi.

The Talwars did not appear in the Special CBI Court in Ghaziabad on February 4. Their counsel made a request for stopping the proceedings, saying that the Supreme Court is hearing a plea filed by them for transfer of the trial to a court in Delhi.

Last month, the Supreme Court had cleared the decks for the Talwars’ trial, dismissing the couple’s plea to quash criminal proceedings against them for the twin murders of their teenage daughter and their domestic help Hemraj in 2008.

14-year-old Aarushi, the only daughter of the Talwars, was found dead with her throat slit at the family’s residence in Noida on the intervening night of May 15-16, 2008 and the body of Hemraj was found on the terrace the next day.










Post-Godhra riots continue to dog Modi’s political career


HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Ahmedabad, February 27, 2012

Gandhinagar on March 27, 2010.

A decade on, the burning of S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express near Godhra, which left 59 karsevaks dead and triggered massive communal riots across Gujarat, remains the biggest blemish on chief minister Narendra Modi’s political career. Hundreds of Muslims were killed, thousands displaced, and several homes destroyed in the post-Godhra riots of 2002.

Modi, his cabinet colleagues and other government functionaries have been accused of deliberate inaction in containing the anti-minority riots. Even the Nanavati Commission appointed by the state government to enquire into the post-Godhra riots has not submitted its report.

Activists have also accused Modi of subverting justice and protecting perpetrators of the riots. While probe in the Godhra carnage moved rapidly, investigations into the riot cases have been slow, they allege.

In the Godhra carnage case, 11 people have been sentenced to death and 20 others given life imprisonment by a trial court. However, though a decade has gone by, judgments have been pronounced only in a few riot cases.

Social activist and National Advisory Council member Harsh Mander, who runs an NGO that helps survivors of the 2002 carnage, said the carnage “looked planned” as well as the “systematic subversion of justice” that followed it.

In 2008, the Supreme Court had appointed a Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by former CBI chief RK Raghavan to investigate major cases. The cases included the Gulberg society and Naroda Patiya cases in which 95 persons were killed, Naroda Gam case in which 11 people were killed, Dipda Darwaja case in which 11 people were killed, Ode where 30 people were killed in two separate cases, and Prantij where four persons, including three British nationals, were killed.

The accused include several politicians. MLA Maya Kodnani is an accused in Naroda Patiya and Naroda Gam cases, former VHP leaders Jaydeep Patel and Babu Bajrangi in Naroda Gam, and Prahlad Gosa, former BJP MLA, in Dipda Darwaja case. However, no one has been sentenced and the trial is still on.

In September last year, suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt alleged that Modi and others were complacent with the rioters and Modi gave directions to the police and other officers “to allow Hindus vent out their anger” at a meeting on February 27, 2002 which he claims to have attended. Modi has, however, denied the allegation. So far, two commissions have probed the Godhra incident and arrived at different conclusions. The UC Banerjee Commission, appointed by the then railway minister Lalu Prasad, said the fire in the S-6 coach was accidental. The Nanavati Commission in the first part of its report said the Godhra carnage was pre-planned.

Slew of events planned
On Monday, the 10th anniversary of the incident, the VHP will lead a rally to the S-6 Coach, which is now kept at the Godhra railway yard. A number of Godhra carnage-hit families will pay homage to the deceased and offer prayers in temples. Around 45 NGOs have decided to come together to demand justice for the riot victims. Many other rallies, dialogues with the victims and prayers have been planned.

Major riots cases probed by SIT

Feb 27, 2002: Godhra train burning case
59 kar sevaks burnt to death. Trial completed and 11 accused have been sentenced to death while 20 others were awarded life imprisonment by POTA court on March 1, 2011. ‘Main conspirator’ Maulavi Umarji acquitted.

Feb 28, 2002: Gulberg Society (Ahmedabad) massacre
69 people including former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri killed. Trial under way. The court began final hearing last month. Jafri’s widow, Zakia, had sought criminal prosecution of 63 people including chief minister Narendra Modi for allegedly conspiring to allow anti-minority riots. The Supreme Court had asked the SIT to examine the role of Modi and others. The SIT has filed its final report reportedly seeking closure of the case for “for lack of prosecutable evidence” against the persons named in the complaint.

Feb 28, 2002: Naroda Patia (Ahmedabad) massacre case
95 people were killed. Trial under way. Among the main accused are former Gujarat minister Maya Kodanani and VHP leader Jaidip Patel.

Feb 28, 2002: Naroda village (outskirts of Ahmedabad) massacre case
11 people killed. Trial under way. Maya Kodanani and Jaidip Patel are among the accused here also.

Feb 28, 2002: Dipada Darwaja (Mehsana) murder case
11 people were killed. Among the accused are former Visnagar BJP MLA Prahalad Patel. Trial in final stage.

Mar 1, 2002: Ode village (near Anand) massacre cases (two cases)
23 killed. Trial under way.

Mar 1, 2002: Prantij (north Gujarat) massacre case
Three British nationals killed. Trial under way. Around 24 accused are being tried.

Mar 1, 2002: Sardarpura (Mehsana) massacre case
33 killed. Special trial court convicted 31 accused for murder and other charges, acquitted 42.










Jaitley welcomes SC verdict on Ramlila maidan crackdown


New Delhi: BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday welcomed the Supreme Court judgement on crackdown on Ramdev’s supporters but said the charge of “contributory negligence” on the protesters needs to be debated and reconsidered as it amounts to surrender of the right to protest.

In an article, Jaitley said the apex court judgement lays a “landmark law” as it upholds the right to protest in a peaceful way as a fundamental right of speech and assemble.

“However, it shakes the foundation of the fundamental right by laying down a highly doubtful proposition that once the right to protest is denied, the protester must meekly accept the denial or run the risk of a contributory negligence to the police oppression,” he said.

The Supreme Court has held the protesters responsible for “contributory negligence” and asked Ramdev’s foundation-Bharat Swabhiman Trust – to pay 25 per cent of the compensation to the dead and the injured.

“This part of the judgement requires to be extensively debated and possibly reconsidered,” Jaitley said.

The eminent lawyer said this charge by the court against Ramdev and his supporters undoes the advantage of an otherwise landmark judgement.

“If a protester is within his constitutional rights to organise a peaceful protest, he is equally within his rights not to accept an illegal order denying his right to protest.

He runs the risk of being punished if the order is held to be lawful,” Jaitley said.

He insisted that a citizen cannot be compelled to abdicate his fundamental rights merely because the state decides to restrict his right to protest.

Jaitley said the verdict is understood to mean that every time a person’s fundamental right to protest is intercepted by the state, he must immediately comply with the order or run the risk of being liable for contributory negligence.

“Admittedly, neither the imposition of section 144 in this case nor the withdrawal of permission or the manner of forcible eviction were lawful (in Ramdev’s case). Why should the protesters have accepted such an order? How then can the principle of contributory negligence be imposed on a protester who was exercising his fundamental right to protest?” he asked.

Jaitley defined contributory negligence as a defence where a person who is wronged could have acted in his own interest and taken due care and caution so that not to contribute to the injury.

“Its application to restrict the exercise of fundamental right is wholly unwarranted and legally untenable…It cannot be used to dilute the width and exercise of a fundamental right,” the BJP leader said.








SC rules out death penalty for rape & murder accused


Published: Monday, Feb 27, 2012, 9:45 IST
By Rakesh Bhatnagar | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Putting to rest the controversy over whether a person charged with rape and murdering his victim should be sentenced to the extreme penalty of death, the Supreme Court has ruled that in such a rarest of rare case an accused can’t be given the capital sentence but life term till the end of his life.

This ruling has given a new thrust to the raging debate on compulsorily giving the extreme sentence of death to a rapist. But conscious of the consequences of such a legislation that could lead to serious ramifications, it is argued that the victim couldlose the life too after having suffered the worst kind of brutality.

In a recent verdict, the top court has set aside a judgment by the Allahabad high court that upheld the sentence of death to one Amit, a teenager who raped and murdered a 13-year-old school going girl seven years ago.

“In such cases of rape followed by murder by a young man, instead of death sentence a life imprisonment should be awarded with a direction that life sentence imposed will extend to the full life of the appellant (accused) but subject to any remission or commutation at the instance of the government for good and sufficient reasons,” the court added.

A trial court and the HC had observed that the offence committed by Amit squarely fell in the ‘rarest of rare’ category, thus the appropriate sentence would be death.

The court expressed the hope that the accused would be reformed and turn out to be a better citizen in future. They said he had never committed such an offence in the past and a chance must be given to him to become a good citizen.

In 2008, the top court had however taken into account the increasing number of rape and murder cases as it handed down death sentence to a resident of Pune for raping and killing a girl living in his neighbourhood.

“A large number of cases in recent times coming before this court involving rape and murder of young girls, is a matter of concern,” judges had added.

They also rejected the plea for mercy made by the accused and said, “Undue sympathy to impose inadequate sentence would do more harm to the justice system to undermine the public confidence in the efficacy of law.”











Citing SC remark, govt may ban gutkha, pan masala


Express news service : New Delhi, Mon Feb 27 2012, 00:39 hrs
The Union Health Ministry is all set to ban gutkha, pan masala and other such edible forms of tobacco on the basis of a Supreme Court observation that all these products are food and as per the law it is illegal to mix harmful materials like tobacco in food.

Addressing a gathering during the launch of a new tobacco control campaign, ‘Tobacco is eating your baby alive’, Additional Secretary K Desairaju said: “We are in the process of sending a notification to states. The SC in a case on gutkha packaging had observed that gutkha is food. We are awaiting a final SC ruling in the matter, but our stand is that if gutkha is food and as per the Food Safety and Standards Act it is illegal to mix harmful things in food, then tobacco and zarda, which are known harmful items, should not be mixed in food. This is what we will tell the states.”

However, he conceded that it is really a question of law in which the SC has the final word.

The SC had observed that since pan masala, gutkha or supari are eaten for taste and nourishment, they are all food within the meaning of Section 2(v) of the PFA Act.

The ministry has already cracked down on the gutkha industry by making it mandatory for gutkha packets to carry statutory health warnings and the SC ruled that it can only be packed in plastic pouches to ensure there are no metallic contaminants.

“The menace of smokeless tobacco is unique to India, and is especially prevalent among women. So we have our own ways of tackling the problem. This does not in any way mean that we are going slow on cigarettes, but this is a focus area,” Desairaju said.

The ministry is still locked in a tussle with the Information and Broadcasting ministry on the issue of banning smoking in films. The matter will be sorted out “soon” Desairaju said






Dalit rape: SC panel summons Orissa top cop, Chief Secy–SC-panel-summons-Orissa-top-cop–Chief-Secy/917153/


Debabrata Mohanty : Bhubaneswar, Mon Feb 27 2012, 03:20 hrs

Taking serious note of the alleged rape of a Dalit girl in Puri district and the subsequent inaction of the police and doctors, National Commission for Schedule Caste chairman P L Punia has summoned Orissa Chief Secretary and Director General of Police to appear before him on March 13 and submit an action taken report (ATR) in the matter.

“We have issued a notice to Director General of Police and Chief Secretary to submit an ATR in the rape case. The way her unconscious body was found near her home made it clear that she was raped. But the doctors who treated her did not care for medical examination. It speaks volumes about their medical competence,” Punia told The Indian Express over the phone.

The 18-year-old Dalit girl of Arjunagoda village in Pipili block of Puri district was allegedly gangraped by local youths on November 28 last year. After the gangrape, they allegedly tried to strangulate her, which damaged the girl’s cerebral cortex, leaving her in a state of coma. Doctors supervising her condition have said that she has very bleak chances of survival.

Punia said the way the doctors in Bhubaneswar and then in Cuttack treated her, violated all medical ethics. Punia said, “We will soon write to the Medical Council of India to take action against the errant doctors.”

Earlier, the National Commission for Women had also lambasted the local police over its failure in filing FIR.

Surprisingly, the State Women’s Commission’s report says that the girl was not raped. The report does not blame the police for inaction, rather it blames the girl’s parents for not mentioning rape in their complaint.





Court raps police over Iranian’s visa application


Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 01.38AM IST

MUMBAI: Police must not hold grudge against those who move court for enforcement of their rights, said the Bombay High Court while hearing a petition filed by an Iranian.

Mohammad Naeimi was brought up in Pune and passed his Bachelor of Engineering exams in 2007 from Pune University. His petition said he has a resident visa which has been extended from time to time. When he went to get it converted to business visa, he was ordered by the Deputy Commissioner of Police, Special Branch and Foreigners Registration Office, Pune to leave the country by December 3, 2011. He moved HC, which on November 28, 2011 directed the authorities to decide on his application

When he went for a hearing, DCP R S Marathe was angry on him because Naeimi had moved HC and threatened that he would not him grant visa extension and would put him behind bars. Only after he moved HC for further directions, an order was passed on 26th January 2012 asking him to leave India. Naeimi then challenged this order.

On February 23, 2012 before a division bench of Justice V M Kanade and Justice P D Kode , public prosecutor Pandurang Pol denied receiving Naeimi’s application and also that there was a spat between Naeimi and Marathe.

The judges upheld Naeimi’s counsel Vishwas Chitnis ‘s argument that in spite of court’s directions, no hearing was given to Naeimi and an order was subsequently passed to leave the country. The said order therefore is patently illegal and contrary to directions given by this court,” they said, quashing it.

The judges have directed that Naimi be given a hearing and his application decided afresh on merits and in accordance with law. Further, that if any adverse order is passed, it shall not be implemented for two weeks.

The judges said they do not wish to make an issue about non-compliance of their order but expect that in future whenever directions are given, the concerned officer should not take it as a personal affront and should not hold any grudge against the petitioner or any citizen merely because he has approached this court for the enforcement of his constitutional and statutory rights,” they noted. We expect that all the (police) officers act and comply with the spirit of law and not the letter of law,” they concluded.









Delhi HC blast: Indian Mujahideen suspected to be behind attack


Published: Sunday, Feb 26, 2012, 17:44 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Banned Indian Mujahideen terror outfit is suspected to be behind the low intensity blast outside the Delhi High Court in May last year.

The NIA, which took over the probe in December last year after the Special Cell of Delhi Police failed to make any headway, has got some leads to suggest that the blast on May 25 last year was a handiwork of the banned terror outfit, official sources said.

The investigations into this blast had virtually slipped into the background after the High Court premises were rocked on September seven by an explosion that left 15 people dead.

The sources said initial investigations into the case had come with an assumption that it could have been dry run for the blast in September but during the course of probe that the May 25 was a work of a different group all together.

The explosive material used in the May 25 blasts were similar to those used by the terror group on earlier occasions, the sources said and added that “we have some information that would be shared later”.

The NIA has re-registered the case under various sections of Explosives Substances Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The low-intensity blast had taken placed near the footpath of the Delhi High Court boundary wall parking area at Gate number seven and broken eight month lull after a similar explosion near Jama Masjid ahead of the Commonwealth Games in 2010.

The triggering mechanism of May 25 blast remained a mystery for the investigators as it could not be established conclusively so far in the explosion that took place in a service lane outside the court where lawyers’ vehicles were parked.

In the September seven blast, NIA had arrested three people while the probe agency was on look out for three more people who were holed up in higher reaches of Kishtawar in Jammu region.










Setback as Allahabad University fails to get NAAC grading


TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 03.19AM IST

ALLAHABAD: The authorities of Allahabad University have set the ball rolling for the intake of fresh students for various courses being run by different institutions but it would be yet another year when the university would start the admission process without any grading by National assessment and accreditation council (NAAC).

NAAC is an autonomous entity under the University Gants Commission which rates universities on various parameters like infrastructure, teacher taught ratio (TTR), amenities for students etc and gives a specific rating to the institution concerned. The ranking given as grade is for a period of five years. In terms of Allahabad University, it was B++ grade in December 2003 and it expired in December 2008. The university should have got itself inspected before expiry of the time limit given by NAAC, but the authorities failed to do so within stipulated time. The NAAC team, which visited AU in 2003, had also inspected other constituent colleges and given suitable grades. Colleges like Arya Kanya, Hamidia Girls and Rajashri Tandon Degree College got B+ grade. Ewing Christian College (ECC) and SS Khanna Degree College were given B++ while Jagat Taran managed a B+.

The university authorities constituted a four-member committee, chaired by the dean, arts, Prof NR Farooqui, which was entrust the responsibility of preparing a report to be sent to NAAC with a formal request to inspect and give grading. The other members of the committee were Avinash Chandra Pandey, head, department of atmospheric and ocean sciences, JN Bhargava and HC Mukerjee.

Most of the departments finished the work and submitted the reports. As many as 10 departments failed to submit the report. As a result, the university administration, which was determined to send the report to NAAC by February 10, 2011, failed to keep its own schedule.

These departments have still not provided details of achievements, researches and future plans that the university has to submit to NAAC while applying for reaccreditation. “Getting the NAAC grading does help the institution get better stuff as the present day youth are quite aware and when they surf the net in finding the best institution for themselves, NAAC grading is one thing that gives the institution an edge over others,” said a faculty member.











HC grants freedom to doctors, urges better pay


Mahir Haneef, TNN | Feb 27, 2012, 04.40AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court has ordered the immediate release of 17 doctors who have completed one-year compulsory service.

While directing their release from government service, Justice S Siri Jagan also asked the state government whether it was willing to pay salaries, being paid to regular employees, to these doctors also.

All of them have been undergoing compulsory government service after the completion of medical courses in merit seats.

Though they had been signed in for a year’s service as per a 2008-order, the period was extended to three years following a subsequent order issued while they were in service.

The petition was filed by Dr Arjun A from Cherthala and 16 others, after the government denied relieving them from compulsory service upon completing one year of employment after MBBS.

When the petitioners approached the principals of medical colleges, where they were serving, upon completion of compulsory service, they were denied certificates and release, citing a government order that stated senior resident doctors shouldn’t be relieved even upon completion of compulsory service until further government orders.

In the petition, the doctors pointed out that at the time of joining the compulsory service, a government order issued in October 2008, which stipulated service of one year, was in force. However, the government subsequently issued another order that made it compulsory for students to undergo compulsory service for three years.

While the earlier government order stipulated one year compulsory service for doctors, the new order said one year of compulsory service mandatory for each course. Thus, a student who completes super specialty degree would have to undergo three years of compulsory service.

Accepting the argument by the counsel for the doctors that the terms of bonded service was based on the earlier government order, the court directed the government to release all doctors who completed compulsory service of one year, as stipulated in the 2008 order.

While considering the petition, Justice S Siri Jagan asked the government to clarify whether it was willing to pay doctors in compulsory service salaries that were equal to assistant surgeons.

The scale is about Rs 32,000.The court also asked the government to explain its position as the government counsel was unable to provide a ready answer to the court’s query on salary rates. At present, the government is paying Rs 15,000 a per month for doctors who completed MBBS, Rs 23,000 for doctors with post graduation, and Rs 25,000 for super specialty degrees, as per the government order of 2008.



One Response

  1. thanks for sending the detailed legal news. …..Krishna

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