LEGAL NEWS 16.03.2012

After Etisalat, S Tel questions TDSAT jurisdiction, too


Last Updated: Friday, March 16, 2012, 00:05

New Delhi: A day after Etisalat questioned jurisdiction of TDSAT to decide its case against RInfra, another telecom operator S Tel Thursday said the sectoral tribunal cannot give a verdict on its dispute with the telecom infrastructure provider.

Advocate Dayan Krishnan, appearing on behalf of Chennai- based operator S Tel, submitted that as Reliance Infratel was not a licencee and within the definition assigned under the TRAI Act, TDSAT has no jurisdiction to rule on the matter.

On Wednesday, Etisalat has also submitted that as per the TRAI Act, the telecom tribunal cannot exercise its jurisdiction or adjudicate disputes between parties who are not a service provider. It had said the telecom tribunal has erroneously admitted RInfra’s plea.

According to Etisalat DB, jurisdiction for such a petition lies with a civil court and not with TDSAT.

However, senior advocate Ramji Srinivasan appearing for the RInfra, submitted that the TDSAT has the jurisdiction over the matter by virtue of IP-1 registration. This means it was working as an operator and the tribunal could decide on a dispute between the operators.

RInfra also said IP-1 had made it a service provider and it can provide services. The company would continue its submission tomorrow.

IP-I registration is for infrastructure providing firm for leasing assets such as Dark Fibre, Right of Way, Duct space and Tower etc.

Both Etisalat DB and S-Tel had entered into an agreement with the RInfra for sharing telecom infrastructure on a 10-year lease in 2009.

However, following the recent Supreme Court decision cancelling the licences of S Tel and Etisalat along with other new entrants, RInfra moved the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) for recovery of its alleged dues.

S-Tel had got spectrum for six circles. Bahrain Telecommunications, which held stake in S Tel, has decided to quit the joint venture following the apex court verdict.






CAT reserves order on top cop’s plea


Express news service : Ahmedabad, Thu Mar 15 2012, 03:44 hrs

The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday reserved its order on a petition moved by IPS officer Rahul Sharma challenging the departmental proceedings initiated against him by the state government for not submitting the original CDs containing phone call records of the 2002 riots to the concerned authorities.

The tribunal bench of Ashok Kumar and Chameli Majumdar reserved the order while directing both sides to submit their final arguments by March 20.

The tribunal has also ordered extension of the deadline for Sharma to file a reply to the government’s chargesheet till the order in his petition before the CAT.

Sharma had moved the petition alleging he was being victimised by the state government for deposing before the Nanavati Commission and amicus curaie of the Supreme Court, Raju Ramchandran, in connection with the 2002 riots.

The bench has heard the petition on the limited issue whether he enjoys immunity under section 6 of the Commissions of Inquiry Act (CIA), 1952, from all civil and criminal proceeding. The section 6 of CIA provides protection to witness against statements made by him before a commission of inquiry.

The state government has opposed Sharma’s contention claiming there was no connection between the chargesheet filed against Sharma and his deposition before the riot probe panel.











PTI | 08:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

However, the apex court said that if the state government However, the apex court said that if the state government had “taken the decision to order a CBI probe before filing of the writ petition, then you have no case”. The bench said if the state government felt that there was a need for a CBI probe and the high court concurred with the view, there was no reason why the petitioners and others should be given a prior notice on the issue. In his petition, Nandakumar had claimed George had filed the petition for political ends to tarnish the image of the leader of Opposition Achuthanandan on the eve of a bye-election at Piravam. He submitted that no prior notices were issued to them vis-a-vis the CBI probe.








PLAs to hear utility services disputes: High court


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 06.42AM IST

ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court has ruled that disputes relating to public utility services will be resolved by the Permanent Lok Adalats (PLAs), established under sub-section (1) of section 22- B of the Legal Service Authorities Act, 1987.

Passing this order, a division bench of Justice Amitava Lala and Justice P K S Bhaghel disposed of several writ petitions by referring such public utility services disputes to the concerned PDA of the state.

The court in the order said that public utility services under the said Act include transport service for carriage passengers or goods by air, road or water or postal telegraph or telephone service.

Under the Legal Services Authority Act, 1987, supply of power, light or water to public by any establishment or system of public conservancy or sanitation or service in hospitals or dispensary or insurance service are included in public utility services in the state of UP.

The bench passed the order in view of the fact that PLAs have been established under the said Act to resolve disputes relating to public utility services at the district level and the decisions so taken by the PLAs are final and not appealable.



Court pulls the plug on stone mining near airport


A Subramani, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 01.43AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court on Thursday banned stone mining and crushing activities at Tirusulam village, opposite the Chennai airport. Noting that these activities were going on due to weak resistance from government law officers in 2007, the court said that unless the illegal activities are not stopped immediately, it would be presumed that officials are a willing party to the illegality.

The first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam said: “No counter-affidavit has been filed for the reason best known to the state or counsel representing the state. On what basis, therefore, the state allowed the petitioners, who are the encroachers, to carry on the mining operations is not known and it remains a mystery.” The judges were passing orders on a batch of writ petitions filed by the stone quarry owners opposing eviction notice from the government.

This is not the first time quarry owners of Tirusulam are at the receiving end in the high court. On April 22, 2010, a bench of Justice Elipe Dharma Rao and Justice KK Sasidharan refused to direct the Tamil Nadu government to extend quarrying licences of some operators.

On July 3, 2008, a bench headed by Justice S J Mukhopadhaya (now a judge in the Supreme Court) directed the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board to issue closure notice to the stone crusher units found violating mandatory pollution norms. On Thursday, the first bench pointed out that mining operations at Tirusulam had been continuing due to an interim order passed in 2007 following improper pleading from the government law officers. “Since the writ petitioners were not properly opposed from the side of the state, an interim order was passed and on the basis of that interim order, till date, the petitioners are carrying on the illegal mining operations,” the judges said.

Dismissing all the writ petitions filed by quarry operators, the first bench said: “We direct the state government to take immediate steps to stop such mining operations, which are being carried on not only by the petitioners but also by other such encroachers. If the state or the authorities concerned do not take any step to stop such illegal mining, then the court shall have no option but to presume that the persons concerned are also interested in the continuation of such illegal activities.” The judges then directed the court registry to communicate the order to the chief secretary and secretaries of industries and geology & mining departments for taking necessary action.






Review JLMs selection process: HC to APTransco


Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Disposing a batch of writ petitions and appeals relating to appointments of contract junior linemen (JLM) posts, a division bench of the AP High Court on Wednesday directed the APTransco and four distribution companies to review the entire selection process and fill the subsequent vacancies of 7,319 posts that arose pursuant to the govt’s permission in July last.

The candidates, who have applied pursuant to the notifications dated June 2006 and as revised in Oct 2006 and fulfilling all the requisite qualifications such as technical, educational, age, nativity, experience etc. as on the date of first notification, shall alone be considered for the 7,114 posts notified by the APTransco and four Discoms. Persons appointed as on the date of first notification and revised notification shall be treated as freshers, the bench said.

The division bench comprising justice V Eswaraiah and justice KG Shankar, in its ruling, directed the energy authorities concerned to pass appropriate orders to review the selection process within eight weeks from the date of receiving the order copy. Selections made contrary to the above declarations are illegal and they are set aside. The authorities were directed to fill the subsequent vacancies of 7,319 posts by issuing fresh notifications and calling for applications from the eligible candidates by giving preference to the contract labour.

As for the 7,114 posts, the action of APTransco and four Discoms in selecting fresh candidates based on their marks in ITI exams, ignoring the claim of the eligible experienced contract labour is illegal. After considering cases of all the existing contract labour, still if there are any vacancies then fresh candidates shall be considered, it said.

The notifications issued in June 2006 and revised on Oct 2006 are legal, except the condition number 6 (iv)(c) of the revised notification which was already struck down by the AP High Court. The persons appointed as on the date of first notification and revised notification, shall be treated as freshers. Though the selection and appointment of JLM is for one year, the employer is entitled to retain, and regularise appointment and consider them for promotion.








Apex court rejects plea against CBI probe


Role of VS in award of State Data Centre tender

The Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed in limine a special leave petition (SLP) filed by Thannickal Gopinathan Nandakumar of Ernakulam challenging a CBI investigation ordered by the Kerala government into the role of Mr. Nandakumar, the then Chief Minister V.S. Achutanandan, and three others in the award of tender for Information Technology services management in the State during 2008 to Reliance Communications.

By an order dated February 23, the High Court had recorded the statement of the Advocate-General on the State government’s decision to hand over the probe to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The probe pertains to the role of Mr. Achuthanandan, Mr. Nandakumar (who was alleged to have facilitated in the award of tender), and three others in the award of tender for IT services management consisting of operations, maintenance, upgrade, security audit, and certification of the State Data Centre and three Network Operating Centres.

A Bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Anil R. Dave dismissed the SLP after hearing senior counsel P.S. Narasimha and counsel D.K. Devesh, appearing for Mr. Nandakumar.

The Bench, however, granted liberty to the petitioner to file a review petition in the Kerala High Court and said as an when such a review petition was filed the High Court should examine it in accordance with the law.

George’s petition

Mr. Narasimha submitted that the High Court had passed an ex parte order and had merely recorded the statement of the Advocate-General (AG) that a decision had been taken to entrust the case to the CBI. He said the High Court had disposed of the writ petition filed by Government Chief Whip P.C. George stating that nothing remained for consideration. Quoting a Constitution Bench decision, he said that there must be prima facie materials for the court to come to the conclusion to order a CBI probe, but here there was no material before the court.

However, Justice Dattu told the counsel, “If the State government had taken the decision to order a CBI probe before filing of the writ petition, then you have no case. If the decision was taken after the filing of the writ petition you have a case, but you must clearly give us the date when such a decision was taken.”

To this the counsel said “initially when the matter came up for admission, the High Court adjourned it by two weeks. On the next date of hearing, the AG made a statement in the court that a decision had been taken to hand over the probe to the CBI.”

Government against Italian ship leaving Indian waters


Probe into killing of fishermen yet to be over

The government on Thursday submitted before the Kerala High Court that the Italian ship Enrica Lexie should not be allowed to leave the Indian territorial waters as the investigation into the case relating to the killing of two fishermen by Italian marines was yet to be completed.

In a statement filed in response to a writ petition filed by the agent of the ship seeking permission to sail out of the Indian territorial waters, the State government said the forensic report revealed that there had been tampering with the firearms used for the commission of the offence.

Therefore, further investigation would have to be conducted inside the vessel for seizing “material objects and evidence”, for which, the presence of the ship off Kochi was required. A report from the forensic laboratory was expected in 14 days and thereafter, a decision could be taken on the course of further investigation.

Besides, the implication of the Master of the ship in the case would depend on the material collected during further investigation. At present, the investigation had not been concluded , the government said. The State government also pointed out that the investigation was delayed for more than 10 days when the investigation officers were refused entry into the ship.


Meanwhile, arguments on a writ petition filed by Italy seeking to quash the criminal case registered against the two marines resumed before the court of Justice P.S. Gopinathan.

While Advocate-General K.P. Dandapani contended that the State government had absolute jurisdiction to register the case under various laws including the Suppression of Unlawful Act of Violence against Safety of Maritime Navigation and Fixed Platforms on Continental Shelf Act 2001, counsel for Italy pointed out that action under the SUV Act could be taken only against terrorists or pirates.

Counsel also argued that even under the SUV Act, the State government had no jurisdiction to lodge a first information report.

In fact, the Central government had only been empowered to register any case under the Act.

Assistant Solicitor-General Vanchiyoor Parameswaran Nair, appearing for the Centre, supported the action of the State government and submitted that the contention that the State had no jurisdiction to register a case was untenable.

The Advocate-General also submitted before the court that during the course of investigation, the offence under the SUV Act would be incorporated in the FIR. In fact, the investigation was still on. The court adjourned to March 19 for hearing further arguments.

The court also adjourned the hearing on a petition for a directive to take action against the Master of the Italian ship and the naval marines under the Admiralty Offences (Colonial) Act, 1849, and the SUA Act, 2001. In fact, no action had been taken against the Master of the vessel or the owner, the two sisters of a fisherman killed by the marines complained in their petition.











Lawyer moves court against builder mafia, bashed up


Rajat Arora, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2012

Had there been a strong whistleblower protection law in force, Sanjeev Sharma wouldn’t have to be brought to the Delhi High Court on a stretcher on Thursday. Sharma’s 61-year-old mother has been hiring an ambulance to bring her bed-ridden son to the high court to attend the hearing of the


writ petition he filed against the builder mafia of south Delhi’s Chirag Dilli.

His only fault: He tried to expose the mafia by filing a writ petition in the Delhi High Court against illegal construction in the Chirag Dilli area. He was brutally beaten up by the builder against whom he had filed the petition in the high court.

A lawyer by profession, Sharma had moved court after police and MCD failed to take any action against the builders.

“Surinder Shehrawat, a builder, has made illegal additions to a building in Chirag Dilli. I registered a complaint with the authorities but no action was taken. After that, I moved court,” said Sharma, 38.

After he moved court on February 1, Sharma got several threats from builders. “I requested the SHO of Malviya Nagar to provide me protection but nothing was done by the police,” Sharma added.

On the morning of February 15, when he was returning home on his bike from Saket, he was stopped by a car near Bhagat Singh College. “Two men in an Innova car stopped me near Bhagat Singh College. They suddenly started beating me brutally with baseball bats. As I was wearing a helmet, I didn’t get any head injuries,” Sharma said.

He was admitted to AIIMS trauma centre with severe injuries. “The goons kept beating me for 10-15 minutes in broad day light and no one came forward to help me. The incident took place around 11: 20am and there were a lot of people around. The police still haven’t made any arrests in the case,” Sharma added.

Confirming the incident, the crime branch of police said that a case has been registered against the builder but no arrest has been made. “No arrest has been made as the builder is on the run. We are trying to trace his whereabouts,” said a senior crime branch officer.







State wakes up to juvenile protection


TNN | Mar 15, 2012, 10.49PM IST

GUWAHATI: Even a decade after the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, was passed in the Parliament, its implementation remains a distant dream in Assam. Years since lack of manpower in police stations delayed the deployment of special juvenile police units in every police station as per the Act, the state has now geared up to ensure juvenile rights in Assam.

Legal Assistance Forum (LAF), a New Delhi-based voluntary organization, will launch a mission in the state to train the cops to deal with juveniles. Santanu Kumar Sarkar, joint secretary of the Assam chapter of the LAF, said the forum will launch a campaign across Assam to train the officers, many of whom are unfamiliar with the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, but are dealing with the juvenile.

Sarkar said: “The society should keep in mind that children below 18 cannot be an accused as he or she is called a juvenile. In every police station there should be special juvenile unit comprising two social workers and one officer. In Assam, the implementation of the Act has been delayed, but the police have shown interest especially after new DGP Jayanta Narayan Choudhury has assumed charge.” He said around 350 juvenile cases are pending in Assam since 1991.

It is significant to note that Assam Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Rules, 2011 has been formed for effective implementation of the Act. Earlier, the Gauhati High Court, treating a representation from the LAF as PIL, conducted an enquiry wherein 42 minors found in jails were shifted to juvenile homes. The seminar on “Monitoring Mechanism for Juvenile Justice System”, jointly organised by Assam State Legal Services Authority and Legal Assistance Forum on Saturday at Don Bosco Institute in Kharghuli in the city, will be attended by justices Altamas Kabir and Jasti Chelemeswar of Supreme Court of India, chief justice of Gauhati High Court and justice Adarsh Kumar Goel among others.










Bombay court allows Muslim scholar to hold meetings


Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: March 15, 2012 16:48 IST


Mumbai:  The Bombay High Court has granted conditional permission to Pakistani-born Canadian Islamic scholar Maulana Tahirul Qadri to hold public meetings in the city, an official said Thursday.

Justice VM Kanade and Justice PD Kode directed that the maulana must restrict his speeches only to spiritual and religious matters and not digress to any other controversial issue, said Imtiyaz Patel, counsel for Raza Academy, a group of Muslim scholars.

Raza Academy filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the court on Wednesday challenging Qadri’s plans to address two major public meetings in Mumbai, contending that his speeches could pose law and order situation.

“The court has further directed the police to submit tape records, written and translated copies of Qadri’s speech to the court tomorrow,” Patel told IANS.






Central panel on resources welcomes CEC hearing


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 06.56AM IST

HUBLI: The National Committee for Protection of Natural Resources has welcomed the hearing at the Central Empowered Committee court room on March 20 between Adani and Jindal’s related matters in Delhi, said NCPNR president S R Hiremath.

Speaking to media persons in press meet here on Thursday, Hiremath said that in a significant development, the CEC, constituted by the Supreme Curt, has fixed an important hearing at the CEC court room on Tuesday based on the issue of the interlocutory application (IE) dated Jan 16, 2012 filed by the Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (SPS), the petitioner in the major PIL in before the forest bench.

The NCPNR and other similar-minded networks, who have been spearheading the people’s campaign against illegal mining, land acquisition and widespread corruption, along with community control over natural resources and empowerment of gram sabha have welcomed the hearing.

NOC to Metro rail is valid, fire dept to HC


Swati Deshpande, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 06.14AM IST

MUMBAI: The fire department has informed the Bombay HC that its approval, granted two years ago to the Mumbai Metro Rail corridor phase 1 for the Versova-Andheri-Ghatkopar with plans for 12 stations, was on similar lines to the ones granted to the Delhi and Bangalore Metros.

“The NOC is valid,” said a fire officer in an affidavit submitted in reply to a PIL filed by Monica Matani against the validity of the fire department clearances on the ground that they ought to have been given separately for each station and viaduct.

The case has adjourned for a few weeks.












All Pawars not related to NCP leader’


Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 06.22AM IST

MUMBAI: Having the surname ‘Pawar’ does not mean the person is related to Union minister Sharad Pawar, said the Bombay HC on Thursday, while rapping a litigant for making allegations against the NCP leader’s brother.

A division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Ramesh Dhanuka was hearing a PIL filed by ex-journalist Ketan Tirodkar, alleging that several of Pawar’s relatives received flats under the CM’s quota in last 20 years.
The observation followed an application by Pawar’s brother, Pratap Govindrao Pawar, stating he was “shocked and surprised” to find the report mentioning him as the beneficiary of a flat in Pune.

Pawar’s advocate, Subhash Jadhav, said that using the RTI Act, Pawar found that the flat had been given to his namesake. “This Pratap Govindrao Pawar is someone else from Osmanabad and is not related to Sharad Pawar,” said Jadhav.

Tirodkar said, “The entire name was same. I undertake to apologize to Pawar.” Justice Majmudar, however, said, “Because his surname is Pawar, you cannot say he is related to Sharad Pawar. Don’t make allegations without verification.” The judges added, “This case is a glaring example as to how without verification such a bald reckless statement is made in the petition.”











Review closing HEC gate, HC tells govt


TNN Mar 15, 2012, 12.57PM IST

RANCHI: The Jharkhand high court, on Wednesday, directed chief secretary S K Choudhary to see if a public interest litigation (PIL) claiming commuters are facing problems for the HEC gates remaining closed during the budget session of the assembly are valid, and if found correct, initiate action.

The Centre for Media and Development had filed a PIL before the court on Monday, demanding opening of the HEC gate which remains closed during the assembly session, causing problems for over 50,000 commuters everyday. Trustee of an NGO, Vishnu Rajgharia, said in his petition that the government should not close any public road that causes inconvenience to common people and sought courts intervention in getting it opened.

Counsel of the petitioner, Anup Agarwal, said that the division bench of the high court, consisting of Chief Justice Prakash Tantia and Aparesh Kumar asked the chief secretary to initiate action if the matter filed before the court is true. The court also suggested to the petitioner and his counsel that they should hand over a representation to the government, seeking their action.

“On the first day of the budget session, that began on March 5, I saw students crossing the railway track through the gaps between two bogies of a stationary train, risking their lives because they were getting late for examination,” Rajgharia said, adding hundreds of commuters have to tread additional 20 kms to reach Birsa Chowk when the HEC gates remain closed.

Agarwal said acting on the direction of the court, they are preparing to file a representation before the government within a couple of days. “It now depends on the chief secretary whether he wants to take any action so that the gate is kept open during the ongoing session. Otherwise we would prepare to file another petition by the next session of the assembly,” he said.










Treat seized animals with compassion: Gujarat HC


PTI | 06:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Ahmedabad, Mar 15 (PTI) Taking a serious note of dire condition of animals lodged in cattle-pounds, Gujarat High Court today said the animals must be treated with “compassion”. In response to a PIL on the issue, the division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala also issued directions to all the district magistrates to strictly follow the Animal Trespass Act, in order to deal with the problem of cattle straying onto roads. At the same time, animal rights should not be given a go-by, the court said. Mahisagar Mataji Samaj Seva Trust of Vadodara filed the present PIL last year, complaining that the civic body did not return the impounded animals even after payment of fine, under various pretexts. “It is always open to the authorities to curb the menace of cattle straying on public roads and causing nuisance, but when it decides to take steps under the law, then at that stage the authorities are expected and are duty-bound to treat such cattle with compassion even while keeping them at cattle-pound,” the bench observed. “We are constrained to observe this because over a period of time many cases have come to our notice that once cattle goes to a cattle-pound (`Panjarpole’), it is made to suffer and ultimately dies. Many cases have been reported where out of hundreds of seized cattle, hardly one remains alive,” it added. The court directed that the authorities must release the livestock at the payment of fine, and must not hesitate to re-impound if cattle is found again straying on public roads. PTI PB PD KRK HKS

Ready to conduct civic polls, Puducherry govt tells HC


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 01.47AM IST

CHENNAI: Announcing that the Union territory of Puducherry is ready to conduct the local body elections, the territorial administration told the Madras high court on Thursday that an election officer has been appointed too.

A submission was made by T Murugesan, government pleader of Puducherry, when a PIL seeking that civic polls be conducted in Puducherry came up for hearing before the first bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam on Thursday.

Murugesan informed the bench that an IAS officer, Uddipta Ray, has been appointed election commissioner to conduct the polls, which would be held within next six months. The PIL, filed by Puducherry CPI (M) secretary, V Perumal, said the election commissioner’s post had been lying vacant since 2007. The last local elections were held in Puducherry in 2006 after a high court order.

Authorities preferred not to appoint a commissioner, which “itself is illegal,” PIL said.













Selection of Pune Univ V-C: UGC terms search committee invalid


Dharmendra Jore, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 16, 2012

Selection of Pune University’s vice-chancellor could be in limbo after the University Grants Commission (UGC) told to the Bombay high court that constitution of the search committee for the V-C’s appointment was not in accordance with its relevant act, and hence cannot be termed

Hearing a public interest petition (PIL) filed by activist Suresh Patil-Khede, the high court had asked for UGC’s say in the matter. The UGC filed its affidavit to the court earlier this week where it said that it was binding for every university [in the country] to follow its regulations on appointment of a V-C.

In its affidavit, the UGC said that the search committee in question could not be termed valid. The statement put the selection and appointment of V-C of Pune V-C in jeopardy.

UGC regulation says that the search committee must have a commission (UGC) nominee, which the state government’s three-member panel did not have. In Pune University’s case, the committee has finalised five probables. The governor, who is the chancellor of the universities, will select one of them as a V-C. The HC has stayed the appointment till this case is decided.

Similar panels had selected V-C probables for other universities like Mumbai and Nagpur. Similar cases are being heard in the Mumbai and Nagpur benches of the Bombay high court. While the first petition challenges the appointment of the Mumbai V-C, the one before the Nagpur bench has challenged the appointment of all V-Cs appointed under the amended rule.










High Court questions CBI’s delay


Express News Service : Chandigarh, Fri Mar 16 2012, 01:21 hrs


The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Thursday pulled up the CBI for its “silence” in not conveying its “conclusion” in the teachers’ recruitment scam.

During the resumed hearing of a PIL, filed by one Karamjit Singh who sought a CBI probe into the scam, the High Court questioned the agency as to why it did not inform the court of its investigation when the bench was trying to find out whether criminal culpability was made out in the case or not.

While the High Court was hearing the matter to decide as to whether criminal culpability was made out, the CBI had already conducted an investigation and reached a conclusion. But the CBI conveyed its conclusion to the High Court on May 3, 2011, saying though “procedural irregularities” were found, no criminal culpability was made out.

Senior lawyer R S Cheema, the amicus curiae in the case, demanded registration of a fresh FIR by the CBI. An FIR was registered by the Chandigarh Police which had booked two persons in the scam. The scam allegedly involves the then director public instructions (DPI) Samwartak Singh, whose counsel opposed the demand for registration of a case by the CBI.

Cheema had submitted three reports in a sealed cover, blaming the Chandigarh Police for not investigating the scam in a “competent, comprehensive and impartial manner”.

However, senior standing counsel for UT Administration Sanjay Kaushal requested the court not to hand over the investigation of the case to the CBI, and submitted that a senior officer of Chandigarh Police might be directed to further investigate the case.

A division bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover reserved orders over the PIL.











CAT reserves order on Rahul Sharma’s plea


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 04.53AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) on Thursday reserved its order on IPS officer Rahul Sharma’s petition challenging the chargesheet served on him for losing vital evidence of the 2002 riots, in form of CD of call records.

A bench of Ashok Kumar and Chameli Majumdar, however, has asked Sharma and the state government that is opposing the petition to submit their written arguments by March 20. The tribunal has also provided relief to Sharma by extending the deadline for filing a reply to government’s chargesheet till the order in the present matter is passed.

Sharma moved CAT last year against the government’s act on the ground that he was victimized for deposing in connection with the riots before the Nanavati-Mehta commission. The petition is at an admission stage, where Sharma has contended that he was protected by provision of the section 6 of the Commission of Inquiry Act by which no action can be taken against him on basis of information revealed before an inquiry commission.

The state government, however, rebutted it by claiming that Sharma does not have immunity because he had disclosed the fact during his crossexamination and not during his examination-inchief. The government also argued that there was no connection between the chargesheet and his deposition. Government counsel Bhaskar Tanna argued that there are contradictions in Sharma’s deposition, which the government wants to inquire.












Court upholds sentence to driver in 18-yr-old accident case


PTI | 09:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

New Delhi, Mar 15 (PTI) A truck driver, who had crushed a man to death and left two others injured 18 years ago due to his rash and negligent driving, has been directed by a Delhi court to surrender and serve his one year jail term. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Rakesh Siddhartha upheld a magisterial court’s order, which had sentenced driver Suresh Yadav to a year in jail for mowing down a man with his vehicle in 1994. “I do not find the sentence passed against the accused (Yadav) in any way excessive as he had caused the death of Kailash Challani (victim) in the early hours of morning on October 10, 1994. “Accordingly, the appeal stands dismissed. Accused Yadav is directed to surrender before trial court and serve the sentence,” the ASJ said. According to the prosecution, on October 10, 1994 morning, when Challani was going to Vikas Puri on a rickshaw, Yadav hit the rickshaw with his truck near Hari Nagar, crushing Challani to death under wheels of his vehicle. Hari Nagar resident Yadav also injured a pedestrian and the rickshaw puller, who was the complainant in the case. Yadav had challenged the order of magisterial court saying he was not driving the vehicle at the time of the incident. The ASJ, however, rejected his submissions saying there was no infirmity in the judgement of the magisterial court in holding the truck driver guilty of rashly driving the vehicle. “Keeping in view the culpability of accused for offence in driving the vehicle in rash and negligent manner and causing grievous injuries to witness Ishwar Singh, simple injuries to complainant Bahadur Singh and further causing death of Kailash Challani by driving offending vehicle in rash and negligent manner, the prosecution has proved the case against him beyond reasonable doubt,” the ASJ said.












PTI | 08:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Medabai’s dying declaration was initially corroborated by Medabai’s dying declaration was initially corroborated by witnesses that Bhajja had set ablaze the victim. The witnesses however, turned hostile. Though the witnesses turned hostile, he was convicted by the sessions court mainly on the dying declaration of the deceased. The Madhya Pradesh High Court sustained the conviction and sentence following which he appealed in the apex court. The apex court said the law was very clear that if the dying declaration has been recorded in accordance with law, is reliable and gives a cogent and possible explanation of the occurrence of the events, then the dying declaration can certainly be relied upon by the court as sole piece of evidence. “The admissibility of the dying declaration is based on the principle that the sense of impending death produces in a man’s mind, the same feeling as that the conscientious and virtuous man under oath. “Once the court is satisfied that the declaration was true and voluntary, it undoubtedly can base its conviction on the dying declaration, without requiring any further corroboration. “It cannot be laid down as an absolute rule of law that the dying declaration cannot form the sole basis of conviction unless it is corroborated by other evidence,” the bench said.








Court allows 2008 blast accused to contest MCD polls


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 05.43AM IST

NEW DELHI: Zia-ur-Rehman, one of the suspected Indian Mujahideen terrorists facing trial with 12 others in the September 2008 Delhi serial blasts case, will be contesting MCD elections from Zakir Nagar. Accepting his plea, a trial court allowed him to file his nomination papers from ward number 205. Rehman is lodged in Sabarmati Jail, Ahmedabad.

“The applicant is permitted to file his nomination to the returning officer concerned through the superintendent of Sabarmati Jail,” Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar said. Zia-ur-Rehman’s counsel M S Khan submitted that his candidature does not suffer from “any disqualification under Section 9 of Delhi Municipal Corporation Act”. Rehman is not seeking his release, he only wants his nomination to be forwarded through the jail superintendent, said Khan.

Prosecutor Rajiv Mohan did not oppose Rehman’s plea as a 1968 notification issued by Election Commission of India permits any candidate confined in prison to make and subscribe his affirmation in the prescribed form to the returning officer through the prison superintendent. Rehman had moved an application to contest the polls on Wednesday.

In May last year, the court had framed charges against Zia-ur-Rehman and 12 others suspected IM modules for their alleged role in the 2008 serial blasts that killed 26 people and injured 135 others.











Accused in bomb suit scam says he was falsely implicated


PTI | 09:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI)The key accused in the bomb suit scam today filed an anticipatory bail application in the Sessions Court saying he was falsely implicated in the case at the behest of a senior IPS official. Bimal Agarwal, director of Techno Trade Impex India Pvt Ltd, and two other directors of the firm were booked on charges of cheating and forgery in connection with alleged irregularities in purchase of bomb suits for Rs 6 crore. Agarwal in his anticipatory application said that he was falsely implicated at the behest of the senior IPS officer PK Jain. However Jain, who is Managing Director of Maharashtra State Security Corporation Limited, contested Agarwal’s contention and said, “He is a liar of the first order, manipulator of the first order and the law is catching up with him”. Agarwal, in his application, has said that the fact of failure to perform as per tender document was already brought to the notice of the Bombay High Court and the state government. He has also said that he has already approached the civil court and had attended office of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for enquiry. The state police in January 2009 had floated the tender for purchase of the suits post the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai. The bid was won by Techno Trade Impex and an order for 80 suits was placed. In June 2009, an advance of Rs 6 crore was paid to the firm towards the purchase. However, when the suits were supplied in 2010, the government rejected them for not being in conformity with quality standards. PTI VI ABC











Death of CBI officer rakes up fresh row


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 04.27AM IST

KOCHI: The death of CBI officer P G Haridatt has raked up a fresh controversy as he was the main investigation officer who decided to arraign two senior IPS officers as accused in the Sampath custodial death case.

The custodial death of Sampath hit the headlines after the CBI included the name of two senior IPS police officials, additional director general of police (ADGP) B S Muhammed Yasin and deputy inspector general of police (DIG) Vijay Sakhare, as accused. Though the CBI investigation team led by Haridatt were able to get an arrest warrant against the two IPS officials, in the due course of investigation the CBI approached the court and cancelled the arrest warrant. There were reports that Haridatt was under pressure from his higher ups in the CBI ever since he included the two senior IPS officers as accused in the case.

The Ernakulam chief judicial magistrate had issued arrest warrants against the IPS officials on March 23, 2011 after the probe team led by Haridatt included Muhammed Yasin and Vijay Sakhare as accused number 15 and 16, in the report filed in the court. The IPS officials were charged with Sections 302 (murder) and 120B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

The CBI had arrested deputy superintendent of police C K Ramachandran, sub inspectors P V Ramesh, T N Unnikrishnan and civil police officer Shyamaprasad in connection with the case.

Sampath, the prime accused in the case relating to the murder of Sheela of Puthoor in Palakkad, died in police custody in March 2010. The report prepared by Haridatt had claimed that Sampath was brutally tortured at the insistence of the IPS officers Yasin and Sakhare, who were then the Thrissur range inspector general and Palakkad SP respectively. According to the report, Yasin and Sakhare allegedly led a police team to Coimbatore and arrested Sampath and other accused in connection with the Sheela murder case. Later, Yasin went to the riverside cottage at Malampuzha where Sampath was allegedly tortured.

At present, Muhammed Yasin is the managing director of Kerala Police Housing Construction Corporation and Vijay Sakhare is a DIG in the Border Security Force ( BSF) in Delhi.












From US with love: Gay sex literature for Supreme Court


Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 01.22AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court, which is hearing intense arguments both for and against Delhi high court’s historic decision to decriminalize consensual adult gay sex in private, recently received gift boxes for its judges all the way from the US.

The boxes contained printed material on homosexuality, its traits and legal implications, which is being dealt with in great detail by a bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhay.

For the past month, day-to-day hearing on appeals against the HC’s July 9, 2009 judgment had attracted many foreign students and scholars. Watching the proceedings from the visitors’ gallery, they were seen breaking into animated discussions when the judges attempted to dig deep into the legal aspects of the issue relating to decriminalization of Section 377 of Indian Penal Code.

But someone from the US thought of providing inputs to the process of judicial adjudication of the petitions in an innovative way and posted gift boxes full of material on homosexuality not only to the judges hearing the appeals but to all the judges in the apex court.

The Supreme Court Registry, as a practice, does not accept gifts for the judges. But in this case, it made a departure and delivered the gift boxes to the judges.

Narrating the unusual incident on Thursday, Justice Singhvi said, “Some interesting thing happened when the case was being heard by the court. Someone from the US sent boxes for Supreme Court judges. Normally, the Registry does not accept such things. In this case, the Registry accepted it and circulated these among the judges. I refused to accept it and returned it back to the Registry without opening the box. But I was told by my colleague judge that it contained material regarding this case.”

The attempt to provide inputs to the lively discussions taking place before the bench did not achieve its objective as Justice Singhvi did not even open the gift box. But the judges on the bench will not be short of material as a battery of senior advocates – Amarendra Saran, additional solicitor general Mohan Jain, Fali Nariman, Anand Grover, Shyam Divan and Ashok Desai – have already provided reams on the issue to the court, both for and against.











Pak scholar’s visit: HC sees no possibility of communal strife


PTI | 08:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Mumbai, Mar 15 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today ruled out the possibility of communal riots in the city after the Pakistani scholar Tahirul Qadri has delivered his lecture observing that common people would not be instigated. “Even after the verdict of Ayodhya there was no untoward incident, people have now become wise,” a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode said. The bench was hearing a petition filed by socio-religious forum Raza Academy seeking directions to the police to restrain Qadri from entering Mumbai and addressing a gathering. According to the petition, Qadri may deliver speech against India and on Kashmir issue which might hurt the sentiments of the public and result in communal violence. Qadri is to hold two gatherings – one this evening at south Mumbai and another on March 17 in Central Mumbai. Public prosecutor Pandurang Pol informed the court today that the police have given permission to the organisation Minhaj-ul-Quran which is conducting the function. “The highest authority is monitoring the lecture and no law and order situation would arise,” Pol said. An undertaking was also given by the organisation stating that the speech will not be anti-India and that a transcript of the entire lecture will be submitted to the court on the next date of hearing on Friday. PTI SP NSK












Karnataka HC seeks CBI probe into Kumble forgery case


Press Trust Of India
Bangalore, March 15, 2012

The Karnataka high court on Thursday ordered the issue of notices to the home secretary and Commissioner of Police on a petition seeking a CBI probe into allegations of forgery levelled against former cricketer Anil Kumble.
Justice Abdul Nazeer ordered issue of notices to the

respondent on a fresh writ petition by Kumar Jagirdar, former husband of Kumble’s wife Chethana.

The petitioner sought a CBI probe contending that police investigation into the charges against Kumble for forging the signature of Jagirdar to obtain passport for his stepdaughter Aaruni, conducted earlier, was not proper.

Aaruni, born to Chetana and Jagirdar, lives with her mother and Kumble.

On Feb 29, the court had dismissed Jagirdar’s petition after the government advocate informed the court that police enquiry revealed there was no case to proceed against Kumble, as the cricketer had explained he has affixed his signature in the column of parent/guardian and not as Aaruni’s father.

Police had closed the case in view of Kumble’s explanation.

Jagirdar later withdrew his petition.











Settle defamation case out of court: HC to CM


HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 16, 2012

The Delhi High Court on Thursday asked chief minister Sheila Dikshit to settle out of court her defamation case against BJP leader Vijender Gupta. “Why don’t you settle the issue out of court,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir, while asking the counsels to persuade their clients to resolve


the matter by April 24.

The chief minister had filed the suit against Gupta for allegedly erecting hoardings accusing her government of conniving with private discoms and indulging in corruption in determining the new power tariff across the city.

The court passed the order after senior counsel Sanjay Jain, appearing for Gupta, submitted that his client had no intention of maligning any individual, but the government act was projected in a bad light.

Dikshit, who had demanded a token amount of Rs 1 as damages in her suit, had alleged that the BJP, under Gupta’s leadership, in June 2010 had erected hoardings in Delhi proclaiming that her government had “openly looted thousands of crores of rupees”. The suit said Gupta had hoardings put up, accusing Delhi Congress government of misrepresenting facts to city residents on power tariff.

The advertisements also claimed that the Delhi Electricity Regulatory Commission (DERC) was going to recommend reduction in power tariff, but the “chief minister came in the way”.

Dikshit moved the court after Gupta refused to tender a “public apology for the slander” as demanded by her.

As per the suit, the hoardings were erected at Pusa Road, Karol Bagh, Shankar Road, Hari Nagar, Jhandewalan, Delhi Gate, Rani Jhansi Road, Najafgarh Road, Rajendra Nagar Road, New Rohtak Road, Filmistan and Subzi Mandi.












Custodial Death: HC orders Rs 4 lakh solatium

Express News Service

CUTTACK: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday directed the State Government to pay Rs 4 lakh to a woman towards compensation for the death of her son in police custody. A division bench of the HC comprising Chief Justice V Gopalagowda and Justice BN Mohapatra ordered the State Government to pay the amount in four weeks to Ritima Dehuri, a resident of Kanknamendhi village in Banigocha under Daspalla police limits of Nayagarh.

She had alleged that her son Nalita Kumar Dehuri had died in police custody, due to negligence of police authorities and prayed for compensation. If the Government failed to pay within the stipulated time, the compensation shall carry 9 per cent interest.

Awarding the compensation, the division bench directed that while ` 50,000 shall be paid in cash to the petitioner-widow immediately, the balance ` 3.5 lakh shall be kept in a nationalised bank in fixed deposit for a period of five years. After five years, the amount shall be kept in bank and the interest accrued shall be withdrawn monthly for the maintenance.

The petitioner had filed the writ petition seeking a direction to the Government for a compensation of ` 10 lakh for death of her son in custody of Chamakhandi police station. She stated that she came to know from media reports about death of her son in the police custody.

As per the case record, on the intervening night of February 28 and March 1 last year, Chamakhandi police had, during night patrolling, held the son of the petitioner at about 2 am. Nalita was allegedly riding a numberless motor bike and on search, a pistol was recovered from his possession. Since he could not show any document for possessing the firearm, he was taken to police station.

The petitioner’s son allegedly disclosed his name as Raju Nayak and accordingly a case was registered. At about 8.30 am, he went to attend the nature’s call in the hazat toilet but did not return. Later, it was found that he had committed suicide by tearing the blanket and by fastening the same in the ventilator iron rod grill.

He was taken to Chhtrapur Sadar Hospital where he died at 11.10 am. The petitioner alleged that her son had been killed by the police and, therefore, she should be paid compensation. Considering the case and relying on certain decisions of the apex court, the court held that the deceased was very young and accordingly ordered award of compensation.











HC asks Sebi to reconsider MCX-SX application within a month


Last Updated: Wednesday, March 14, 2012, 13:10

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday asked the markets regulator Sebi to reconsider MCX’s stock exchange application in one month and set aside its earlier order.

Justices DY Chandrachud and Anoop V Mohta passed the order today after hearing an appeal filed by MCX-SX in October 2010 against market regulator for rejecting its application to set up a new equities trading platform.

In the last hearing last November, the High Court had reserved its judgment after the two parties– Sebi and MCX-SX, were unable to sort out the matter out-of-court.

The court ruling is considered as a moral victory for the MCX SX, promoted by Jignesh Shah of Financial Technologies, which all along has been maintaining that the regulator did not give a fair hearing to its application.

“The Sebi was, is, and will always remain a respected regulator. The MCX-SX stance was not against regulatory institution, but was for principles. We stand vindicated and always have full faith in our judiciary. We remain committed to growth and development of the country’s financial markets,” MCX-SX spokesperson said after the court order this morning.

The regulator Sebi could not be reached immediately for comments.













LeT operative Sarwar is Pak bomber behind Delhi HC blast?


Deeptimaan Tiwary, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 04.26AM IST

NEW DELHI: Abu Bilal, one of the two Pakistani bombers who had planted IED outside the Delhi High Court in last September, is suspected to be none other than the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) operative Ghulam Sarwar, whose name had first figured in an attack on an Army Major General last year.

Though the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in its chargesheet, filed against six Indians from Jammu & Kashmir including the mastermind Wasim Akram Malik on Tuesday, was silent over details of the bombers Bilal and his fellow Pakistani Abu Saifullah, the agency does not appear to be completely in the dark. Officials suspect that Bilal could just be one of the aliases of the LeT operative Ghulam Sarwar.

“The NIA has strong clues and some tentative evidence to show that Bilal is none other than the LeT terrorist Sarwar,” said an official.

Hailing from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Sarwar’s name had first popped up on security radar last year when he was identified as the mastermind behind the Udhampur blast on May 2, targeting Major General D S Pathania, the commandant of the Northern Army Command’s base hospital. Sarwar was living in Nagrota (J&K) for over seven years, had married a local girl and was even running a taxi and truck service. The agencies have his photograph and background details.

NIA investigations have revealed striking similarities between the IED make of the Udhampur blast and the Delhi HC explosion both in terms of materials used and the assembling technique. Sarwar’s areas of operation too more or less coincide with places that the accused in HC blast hail from.

Though Wasim told his interrogators that he did not know the real identity of the bomb planter, he admitted that Sarwar looks like Bilal when he was shown photograph of the LeT’s operative.

The NIA claimed that Wasim – an MBBS student in Bangladesh – had acted like a ‘leaderless jihadi’ who along with his associates – Amir Abbas Dev, Abid Hussain Bhawani, Amir Kamal, Junaid Akram Malik (Wasim’s younger brother) and Shakir Hussain Seikh alias Chota Hafiz – executed the blast to threaten the judiciary in an attempt to get the death sentence of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru repealed. Of the six accused, Wasim, Dev and Bhawani are in jail, while Kamal, Junaid and Hafiz – all Hizb-ul-Mujahideen operatives – are absconding.

The chargesheet also claims Wasim’s close connection with Tablighi Jamaat. It says Malik was spending most of his time participating in the activities of Tablighi Jamaat or discussing Islamic rule in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt with friends in his room while he was in Bangladesh. He had attended several Jamaats at Korapa, Jai Kali Bari, Rajshahi and other places in that country.

Tablighi Jamaat, which was started as a movement to bring back Muslims to a purer form of Islam, has been of late criticized for becoming a springboard for terror organizations. The movement has wide reach in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Wasim, the NIA claims, was so committed to the idea of jihad and influenced by figures like slain al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden that when the latter was assassinated in Abottabad in Pakistan last year, he went in a state of shock. Later, he went to a nearby mosque to offer a special prayer (Ghaibana Namaz-e-Janaza) to mark ‘shahadat’ of the ‘Great Osama Bin Laden’.











HC orders health department to send team to encephalitis hit Gaya


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 02.58AM IST

PATNA: The Patna high court on Wednesday directed the state health department to take preventive measures and send a team of doctors to those areas in Gaya district which were recently under the grip of encephalitis.

A division bench comprising Justice P C Verma and Justice Vikas Jain passed the order while disposing of a PIL of Dhirendra Kumar.

The court asked the petitioner to file a representation before the chief secretary for his consideration and suitable action regarding his plea for improvement in health services in Gaya district.











Rajasthan HC slams govt over non-payment of wages


Agencies : Jaipur, Thu Mar 15 2012, 17:50 hrs
The Rajasthan High Court has come down heavily on the state government for its failure to clear wages of the employees of a municipal council for the past three years, resulting in the death of one of its workers allegedly due to starvation.

Holding the government guilty of mis-administration, Justice Mohammed Rafiq yesterday directed it to immediately release arrears of the salary, amounting to over Rs 65 lakh, of 30 employees of Rajkheda Municipal council in Dholpur district.

The court was hearing a petition filed by the employees in 2008, who had alleged that their salaries, provident fund and LIC installments had not been paid for the last three years.

Irked by the government counsel’s argument that the petitioners should have approached designated authorities under the Payment of Wages Act within time, the court rapped the government and said it is a case of malfunctioning of the administration.

“One of the employees is alleged to have died and government is waiting for others to die. This reply of the government speak volumes of maladministration. Such a reply cannot be appreciated and the conduct of the state authorities need to be depreciated,” the court observed.

It also took serious note of the state government’s failure to file a reply of the petition in the last two years.

“The government is directed to release special grant-in- aid for helping employees, if so required,” the court ruled.










Teachers recruitment: HC no to deadline extension


HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , March 15, 2012

Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday dismissed Haryana government’s request for grant of further extension of six months beyond March 31 to complete process to select regular school cadre teachers/lecturers in the state. The court directed the Haryana Staff Selection Commission to brook no


delay in completing the process.

The state had failed to make out any justifiable cause for extension of time, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice KS Ahluwalia said while hearing a public interest litigation filed by one Tilak Raj of Ambala.

The petitioner had sought quashing of the orders dated March 27, 2010, by which engagement of guest teachers/lecturers working on contract basis had been extended for a further period of one year i.e. up to March 31, 2011.

The petitioner had stated that many guest faculty teachers were not academically qualified and posts should be filled up on regular basis.

The high court had on March 30, 2011, directed the government for appointment of regular school teachers before March 31, 2012 and that no further extension shall be given to guest teachers working on contract basis since December 2005 beyond March 31, 2012.

It also ordered that from April 1, 2011, there would be no further appointment of guest teachers and if there was any shortfall, the same shall be met by the state by rotating the existing teachers and the selection process shall be strictly adhered to.










HC issues notice to owners of ‘Prabhu Daya’


PTI | 07:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Kochi, Mar 15 (PTI) The Kerala High Court today issued a notice to owners of Singapore flagged vessel ‘Prabhu Daya’, suspected to have collided with a fishing boat off the Kerala coast on Mar 1, resulting in the death of five persons. Justice Harun-Ul-Rasheed issued the notice on a petition filed by relatives of Xavier Antony, one of the fishermen killed, seeking Rs two crore as compensation. The court, however, declined their plea to take the ship into custody. Government also stated that the vessel captain Gordon Charless Pereira, arrested on March 13 from Chennai and remanded to 14 days judicial custody by a court in Kerala, needs to be questioned by the investigating agency. Antony’s wife, mother and three other relatives had yesterday sought a direction to Kerala Police to seize the vessel, now anchored at the outer anchorage of Chennai port. They contended that the accused, including the Captain of the vessel, were liable for the accident as it was caused due to negligence.











HC rejects food officials’ plea seeking stay on transfer


PTI | 09:03 PM,Mar 15,2012

Jaipur, Mar 15 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court today dismissed a plea of three food department officials seeking stay on their transfer orders. Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari dismissed petitions filed by the food supply inspectors, who were accused of supplying food from an unlicensed supplier firm to the Prime Minister and the President during the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas held at Jaipur in January. The food was exclusively meant to be provided to the two VIPs. The petitioners Saurabh Agarwal, Rajesh, and Saurabh were part of the food inspection team constituted to check the quality of the food to be supplied to the two delegates. The officials had earlier moved to the Rajasthan Civil Services Appellate Tribunal arguing that the tender was made by government agencies in New Delhi, and they can not be held guilty for the same as they were never a part of the said decision. The tribunal, however, rejected their plea after which the petitioners approached the High Court. Upholding tribunal’s verdict, Justice Bhandari held that since no mala-fide intention has been alleged by the petitioners behind the transfer nor it can be said to be punitive, as such mere transfer for dereliction in duties cannot be set aside.



HC reserves order on Reddy’s petition


Last Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 22:43

Bangalore: Karnataka High Court on Thursday reserved its order on a criminal petition filed by former state Tourism Minister G Janardhana Reddy challenging the CBI court remanding him to police custody in connection with illegal mining activity by the Associated Mining Company, owned by him and his wife Aruna.

Justice N Ananda reserved the verdict on the petition which also sought quashing of the CBI probe against him. Reddy appeared before the CBI court here on March 2 in connection with the case and was remanded to CBI custody till March 12.

His personal assistant Ali Khan, who is one of the accused in the case, was also remanded to CBI custody till March 12. Their custody was extend till March 16 by the CBI court.

The former minister was brought here from Chanchalaguda prison where he has been lodged along with his brother-in-law B V Srinivas Reddy since September 5 after his arrest by CBI in “illegal” mining case in Obulapuram Mining Company (OMC).

The CBI had last December chargesheeted Reddys and three others in the OMC case accusing them of doctoring documents and hatching a conspiracy along with some public servants violating mining lease agreements.












Hi-tech gadgets surround HC campus


Karthika Gopalakrishnan, TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 01.14AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has come under round-the-clock surveillance with the installation of nine speed-dome closed-circuit television ( CCTV) cameras on Thursday. The court campus will now be monitored better, as these cameras can rotate 360 degrees and zoom in on vehicles, right down to their number plates.

Chief Justice M Y Eqbal unveiled the facility, which marks phase-2 of the comprehensive security system for the court, when he visited the new control room, along with Justices D Murugesan, C Nagappan and city commissioner of police J K Tripathy.

“The cameras have been installed on a trial basis, as the tender process is still to be completed. A total of 16 such cameras are scheduled to come up at different points on the premises,” joint commissioner of police (north zone) N K Senthamarai Kannan, said.

Following a Central alert on rise in threat perception, the Madras high court had mulled options to step up security a couple of years ago. An access control system was put in place in 2008, but it came to naught after the unprecedented violence on the court campus on February 19, 2009.

In December 2011, chief secretary Debendranath Sarangi in a letter to Union home secretary R K Singh, recommended deployment of the Central Industrial Security Force, who guard the Supreme Court and Delhi high court. It would spare about 430 personnel of the state police who are on high court duty at present, he reasoned, adding that they could be used for other purposes if they were replaced by the CISF personnel.

Apart from the cameras, the 3.14 crore Comprehensive Security System envisages hand-held metal detectors, baggage scanners, explosive vapour detectors and minesweepers. As of today, the cameras – equipped with a video-recording facility – will provide 24-hour surveillance.

Each camera can rotate 360 degrees to provide a broader coverage area and can also zoom in on a subject. A camera mounted at any of the court gates can keep track of the people going into the court, turn and hone in on the person at a shop on the opposite side of the road. Similarly, a camera at a vehicle check point can zoom in on the vehicles, right down to the number plate.







HC reserves verdict on pleas of 2G accused


Last Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012, 21:36

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has reserved its verdict on pleas by two 2G spectrum case accused alleging that the special CBI judge had disallowed their posers to a witness during his cross-examination without any reason.

“The judgement is reserved,” Justice M L Mehta said after hearing arguments on behalf of the CBI and accused R K Chandolia, the erstwhile private secretary of former Telecom Minister A Raja and Asif Balwa, a corporate executive.

Chandolia and Balwa, a director of Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Private Ltd, had moved the high court alleging that denial of opportunities to quiz the prosecution witnesses has “prejudiced” their defence in the case.

“If the trial judge disallows a question, put to a witness by defence lawyer in the cross-examination, by terming the query as irrelevant, the presiding officer must give reasons for the denial of opportunity to the accused,” said Vijay Agarwal, counsel for Chandolia and Balwa.

The CBI opposed the plea of the accused, saying “to allow or to disallow a question is within the discretionary power of the trial judge and the writ jurisdiction be not invoked to challenge such interlocutory orders.”

Earlier, Special CBI Judge O P Saini had termed as “irrelevant” a question – Do you have a mobile phone..? – posed to a witness by Agarwal during his cross-examination in the high-profile trial.

Tarun Das, Deputy Director, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, had deposed as 12th prosecution whiteness in the case on the issue of “calculation of average revenue per user as per the TRAI Guidelines”.





HC disposes contempt case against Centre


Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri Mar 16 2012, 03:35 hrs
The Gujarat High Court on Thursday disposed of contempt of court proceedings initiated against the central government while accepting an unconditional apology tendered by the Home Department’s secretary. The proceedings were initiated by a division bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Abhilasha Kumari in connection with the 2004 Ishrat Jahan encounter case.

The court had issued a showcause notice to the Centre after a central government’s IPS officer had expressed unwillingness to join the HC appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe into the case.

The officer’s name was given by the government after given due time by the court to make sure that the officer named takes and carries out responsibilities.

Centre’s counsel Pankaj Champaneri said the home department had produced necessary files before the court related to the issue and also tendered unconditional apology. “Following our explanation the court has accepted our unconditional apology. So, the chapter is closed now,” he said.









HC orders ISPs to block sites offering pirated music


HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 16, 2012

Indian Music Industry (IMI), the umbrella organisation of the music industry, has won a crucial battle in its war against piracy with the Calcutta High Court directing 11 internet service providers (ISPs) to block illegal music websites. IMI, along with Sagarika Music and Phonographic


Performance Ltd had moved the Calcutta high court earlier this year against 11 leading Indian ISPs. However, the ISPs failed to represent themselves in court and an ex-parte order was passed directing them to block the websites that illegally allow the downloading of the songs, which result in piracy.

JF Ribeiro, chief advisor, IMI, said, “There is a lot to be done as there is a long battle ahead to curb piracy. The IMI is now focusing on implementation of the order and ensuring that all unauthorised websites which offer downloading of music for free without license are banned and blocked.”

Vijay Lazarus, president of IMI, said during the press briefing, “piracy is causing losses of about Rs20,000 crores every year due to copyright infringement. The recent study suggests that India’s digital music market is in the range of Rs5,000 crores but only 7% of it is legitimate”.

He added that blocking sites serving pirated music would increase traffic to websites offering legitimate, licensed content.

“Enforcing rights against online infringers has been difficult because of the inherent nature of the internet. But IMI, through its consistent and intensive operations, has managed to obtain court orders prohibiting some prominent illegal music websites to stop operation within 36 hours of intimation,” said Savio D’Souza, secretary general, IMI.










HC grants bail to Parulekar


TNN | Mar 16, 2012, 01.30AM IST

BHOPAL: After spending 41 days in prison, firebrand Congress leader Kalpana Parulekar, who has been charged with morphing the photograph of state Lokayukta Justice PP Naolekar, was granted bail on Thursday by the Madhya Pradesh High Court (MPHC).

The HC decision has come as a big relief to the Congress MLA given that her bail pleas had been rejected thrice by Bhopal-based lower courts – twice by additional district judge (ADJ) and once by chief judicial magistrate (CJM).

A bench of Justice N K Gupta granted bail to Parulekar on a personal bond of Rs 40,000. The Judge observed considering her public duty, it would be proper that she may be permitted to attend the State Assembly and to carry out public work.

She is released on bail to appear before various courts where certain cases are pending against her, he said.

“The HC has granted bail to Dr Parulekar,” her counsel Shashank Shekhar told TOI over phone.

In his submission, Shekhar argued the legislator has been charged with morphing which isn’t punishable in the Information Technology Act (ITA). He contended that his client has been also charged with all bailable sections except one – Section 476 of the IPC – which is related to counterfeiting, but this section is not applicable in this case.

Opposing her bail application, state deputy advocate General Purshendra Kaurav said investigations were underway against the MLA in the case. The prosecution has contacted Google website officials to collect some details. He said the FSL report regarding the morphed photograph clearly mentioned that the picture was touched up, using some electronic device. Kaurav said that 12 cases have been registered against the accused in the past 15 years.

Appearing on behalf of an intervener, senior advocate and former Madhya Pradesh Advocate General RN Singh said the act of the MLA was an attack on the prestigious institution of Lokayukta. Singh said her conduct was unbecoming of a legislator.

The Congress leader has been charged under IPC sections 471 (using forged document as genuine), 473 (making or possessing counterfeit seal etc), 473 (counterfeiting device or mark used for authenticating documents) and 469 (forgery for the purpose of harming reputation).



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