LEGAL NEWS 29.03.2012

CAT to pass order on Rahul Sharma’s petition on April 19

Press Trust of India : Ahmedabad, Thu Mar 29 2012, 05:51 hrs

Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) is likely to pass final order on the petition of IPS officer Rahul Sharma, who has challenged the chargesheet served to him with regard to phone-call records CD of the 2002 riot period, on April 19.

Bench of Ashok Kumar and Chameli Majumdar fixed the date for order after both the petitioner and the state government submitted final written arguments.

At the last hearing on March 15, the tribunal also ordered extension of the deadline set by government for Sharma to file reply to the chargesheet, till the order in this matter is passed.

Sharma’s petition contends that he is being victimised for deposing before the Nanavati Commission which is probing the 2002 Gujarat riots.

The bench heard the petition on a limited issue: whether he enjoys immunity, under section 6 of Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1952, from civil and criminal proceedings.

Section 6 grants immunity to witnesses for the statements made before a commission. But state had opposed this, and termed the petition as premature.

According to Gujarat government, chargesheet against Sharma had nothing to do with deposition before riots panel.

Sharma is charged with misconduct under Sec 3(1) of All India Service Rules 1969. Chargesheet says he did not submit the original CD containing mobile call records related to 2002 riots period to the investigating officers or supervisory officers when he was transferred from erstwhile posting.

Sharma’s petition says he did send the CD in question through a police messenger to the then Joint Police Commissioner P P Pande, after which the CD became untraceable.

Central Information Commissioner writes to PM, says don’t dilute RTI act

NDTV Correspondent, Updated: March 29, 2012 16:15 IST

New Delhi:  An Information Commission with the Central Information Commission, Sailesh Gandhi, has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh against diluting the Right to Information (RTI) Act to shield nuclear safety regulators from coming under its purview.

In his letter, the Information Commissioner has said that the Nuclear Safety Regulatory Authority (NSRA) Bill, that was introduced in Parliament by the government in September last year, aims at amending the RTI Act in order to exempt safety regulators from accountability. Expressing serious apprehensions about transparency, Mr Gandhi said that nuclear energy is as much about the safety and well-being of the citizens as it is about development.

Towards that ends, Mr Gandhi has urged the Prime Minister to prevent amendments to the RTI act which would weaken the fundamental rights of citizens.

The letter comes in the wake of protests over the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu. Locals as well as activists have expressed fears and concerns over the safety of the plant, drawing a parallel to the disaster at the Fukushima plant in Japan that was triggered by a tsunami last year. The state government, after an initial objection to the project, gave its go-ahead this month – something that has upset villagers and activists alike. The Centre, as also experts, though have assured that the plant meets international safety standards.

Mr Gandhi, citing the effectiveness of the revolutionary RTI act that had “stood the test of time”, has said that a high degree of transparency would go a long way to check any mistakes which may be made.

Govt okays CBI probe of I-T tribunal members

Nagendar Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 29, 2012In a major anti-graft move, the government has allowed the CBI to probe allegations against at least 20 members of the country’s top income tax tribunal, who allegedly outsourced writing of judgments to private parties.
Nearly two years after the CBI had first asked the government seeking sanction to begin a preliminary inquiry against these serving and retired members of the Income Tax Appellate tribunal (ITAT), law minister Salman Khurshid on Monday gave the green signal.

Khurshid’s nod came after the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia had expressed displeasure over the lack of action against some tribunal members who allegedly allowed private parties to write judgments on their behalf and sought financial favours in return.

The minister’s decision to let CBI probe the affairs of the tribunal, which deals with appeals worth hundreds of crores of rupees, comes against the decisions of income tax commissioners across the country, following Attorney General GE Vahanvati’s opinion recommending a “thorough probe” into the allegations.

The law minister had informed the Rajya Sabha on March 19 that Justice Kapadia had written to the government in February last year and sent a reminder in January this year to take “appropriate action against some members of the tribunal according to rules.”

Following Justice Kapadia’s letters and his meeting with the minister, Khushid had directed the legal affairs department “to expedite the matter”.

The CBI had been seeking the ministry’s nod to probe these tribunal members posted in different parts of the country.

The ministry had in January allowed the CBI to file a chargesheet in a Kolkata court against a suspended tribunal member, Jugal Kishore.

Following a tip-off, the CBI in May 2008 recovered R28 lakh from Kishore’s Kolkata residence. This amount was allegedly paid by a chartered accountancy firm.

Later, the CBI seized computers from the firm and scrutiny of discs led to retrieval of 75 documents that showed similarities with 69 orders passed by the tribunal’s benches in Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Guwahati.

Income Tax Tribunal asks Kingfisher to make Rs 9-crore weekly payment

PTI, 28 Mar 2012 | 11:42 PM

The Bangalore Bench of the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has directed Kingfisher Airlines to pay the remaining amount of the outstanding demand of Rs 349.09 crore to the IT Department in weekly installments of Rs nine crore starting from April 7.

Kingfisher was also directed in the interim order to furnish bank guarantee against the weekly installment of Rs nine crore only.

The bench had ordered Kingfisher to make a payment of Rs 44 crore out of the outstanding demand on or before yesterday which the Airlines complied with.

It directed the Department to lift the attachment of the bank accounts immediately so that Kingfisher may start smooth functioning and would be in a position to make the payments by earning from business activities.

“The business activities of the assessee (Kingfisher) are disturbed due to the attachment of the bank accounts, the demand of the department may be met out by the assessee when it is allowed to run the business smoothly and earn something from that business, by putting the business of the assessee at halt through attachment is not a solution”, the bench observed.

The bench’s order last week allowed the stay petitions of Kingfisher and fixed April 12 as the date to hear the appeals.

“In our opinion, the assessee has prima facie an arguable case and the balance of convenience also lies in favour of the assessee, so it is a good case where stay can be granted with certain conditions”, it said.

Surgeon accused of employing minor

Prerna Sodhi, TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.02AM IST

NEW DELHI: A senior west Delhi based cardiologist has been accused of employing a minor at home, and the city’s Child Welfare Committee (CWC) has directed the police to register a criminal complaint against him. Police said a group of volunteers and a team from the Kirti Nagar police station rescued the teenage girl from the surgeon’s Kirti Nagar residence on Wednesday noon.

“Preliminary investigations were done today. We will talk to the girl again. However, we have asked for an FIR against the employer under Section 23 of the Juvenile Justice Act, relevant sections of Indian Penal Code and the Child Labour Act,” CWC chairperson Neera Malik told TOI at the committee’s Nirmal Chhaya campus.

Guddi (name changed), a native of West Bengal, was reported missing in January this year. It was later learnt that she had been abducted and sold off to a placement agency in Delhi. Acting on a tip-off from volunteers of an NGO in West Bengal, police and members of the volunteer group Shakti Vahini raided the surgeon’s home on Wednesday.

“We had received a tip-off from our partners in West Bengal. They provided us with a number and we asked the police to trace it,” said Subir Roy, director programmes and projects at Shakti Vahini. “After the number was traced to an address in Kirti Nagar, we decided to rescue the child.”

Roy said the minor was made to do household chores apart from taking care of the surgeon’s two children. “The girl says her work hours were from 6am to midnight, and she was not paid,” said Roy. “She was given to the family by a placement agency, which bought her from the abductors in January.”

When TOI called up the surgeon, he admitted to employing the girl but claimed he was not aware of her age. “The placement agency which gave us the girl said she was 17 years old. Thus we never really thought of complaining,” said the surgeon. All attempts to contact the agency failed.

Law Min go-ahead for CBI preliminary probe against 20 ITAT

Published: Wednesday, Mar 28, 2012, 22:07 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

Law Minister Salman Khurshid is learnt to have given a go-ahead to CBI to hold a preliminary inquiry against 20 members of Income Tax tribunal for their alleged role in outsourcing writing of judgements to private individuals in return for favour.

Law Ministry sources said Khurshid signed the file granting CBI sanction to undertake the preliminary inquiry after Attorney General GE Vahanvati opined that the Ministry can go ahead as there were no legal hurdles.

The sanction came almost two years after CBI had sought permission to hold the inquiry.

The Law Ministry has administrative control over the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT).

The vigilance department of the ministry will coordinate with CBI on the issue.

The move comes close on the heels of a meeting between Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia and Khurshid in which the former is learnt to have asked the government to ensure that the controversy does not linger on for long.

A Supreme Court Judge heads the appointment panel of ITAT.

The CJI had written to the Law Ministry in this regard in February, 2011.

CBI has been seeking sanction from the ministry since 2008 to register a preliminary inquiry against 20 members of ITAT posted in various benches across India.

The agency alleged these members had outsourced writing of judgements to private parties in return for favour.

The ministry had recently granted sanction to CBI to file a chargesheet in a Kolkata court against suspended tribunal member Jugal Kishore and five others.

After the CJI’s meeting with Khurshid, the Law Ministry had sought more details from CBI and other agencies to process the request to grant sanction for a preliminary probe.

Government had recently informed the Rajya Sabha that the Chief Justice of India had asked it to take an appropriate decision in respect of certain members of the Tribunal who are alleged to have an unholy nexus with private persons on account of issuance of orders favouring the clients, resulting in possible losses to the government.

Khurshid had said the matter is under consideration.

Court frames charges against Naxal leader Kobad Gandhy

PTI | Mar 28, 2012, 08.04PM IST

NEW DELHI: A Delhi court today put on trial top Naxal leader Kobad Gandhy for alleged cheating, forgery and impersonation while discharging him on charges under stringent anti-terror law.

Paving the way for the trial, Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain framed charges against 65-year-old Gandhy under various provisions of the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation in the case in which he is accused of trying to set up a base for banned outfit CPI (Maoist).

The court, however, discharged Gandhy of the charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act due to improper sanction from the authorities.

“In my opinion, case is made out against Gandhy under the provisions of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act but I am discharging (of the charges under UAP Act) him for want of proper sanction,” the judge said.

The Maoist leader earlier had opposed filing of a supplementary charge sheet against him saying the police has filed the charge sheet despite there being no fresh material against him.

The Special Cell of Delhi Police, in its main charge sheet, had slapped charges under the UAP Act, besides booking him for various offences under the IPC relating to cheating, forgery and impersonation.

An alumni of the prestigious Doon School, Ghandy was said to be part of the top leadership of erstwhile CPI-ML (People’s War Group) from 1981 and continued as a Central Committee member in CPI (Maoist). He was elected to its Politburo in 2007.

Court grants bail to 2 doctors in AIIMS admission racket

PTI | 08:03 PM,Mar 28,2012

New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) Two doctors, arrested by the CBI for allegedly manipulating admission process for post-graduate courses at All-India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), were today granted bail by a Delhi court. Additional Sessions Judge R Kiran Nath granted bail to doctors Noopur Bajpai and Sonal on a personal bond of Rs 20,000 each with one surety of the same amount. “Both the accused are granted bail,” the judge said. The two doctors have been accused of colluding with the purported mastermind, Dr Mahipal Singh, in manipulating the admission process. The court passed the order after hearing arguments by advocate Promod Dubey, who, appearing for the two accused, contended there was no evidence against them and there was no apprehension that they would tamper with the evidence or hamper the probe. Dubey sought bail saying the investigations in the case is complete and also referred to the CBI’s statement that no further custodial interrogation was required in the case. The bail pleas, however, were opposed by the CBI, which said the nature of the offence was serious. Apart from Bajpai, Sonal and Singh, the CBI had also arrayed two other doctors, Amit Aggarwal and Jyotsana as accused in the case along with Rajiv Ghatak, a data entry operator. The CBI had booked the accused for allegedly committing forgery, cheating and criminal conspiracy. The agency had also slapped Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Mahipal Singh, a 2010 Radiology graduate from AIIMS, who was arrested in June last year and is still under judicial custody. Rajiv Ghatak, who allegedly smuggled out answer sheets while working as a data entry operator in a company hired by AIIMS to process the answer sheets, has also not yet secured the bail. The bail plea of Mahipal Singh is likely to be heard tomorrow by the Delhi High Court.

Encounter death probe transferred to CBI

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Further investigation into the alleged encounter death of K Ravinder, said to be an extremist, in 2000, was transferred to the CBI on Tuesday. ‘’Prima facie materials are available on record to doubt the version of the authorities concerned and to suspect foul play by some police personnel in the death of Ravinder,’’ a divison bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal observed while allowing a writ appeal from Nirmala, wife of Ravinder, who made various allegations against the police team which killed her husband and the police personnel probing the case. “If this type of serious allegations of human rights violations, particularly by the law protectors themselves, were left without

proper investigation, it would shake the confidence of the people in the entire justice delivery system in particular and the democracy as a whole,” the bench said and transferred the case to the CBI.

The CBI should probe the matter in accordance with law and file its final report before the court concerned within six months, the bench added. Originally, alleging that her husband was killed in a fake encounter on January 10, 2000, Nirmala filed writ petitions demanding a compensation of Rs 10 lakh, to register a case against the police personnel involved in the death for an offence under Section 302 of the IPC and to transfer the case to the CBI.

According to the petitioner, her husband was working as a junior engineer in the Telecommunications Department from 1982. He resigned from the post in April 1997 and worked for the poor.

The single judge dismissed the petitions on June 9, 2000. Hence, the present appeal.

Bar making all attempts to prevent prosecution of wayward members: court

Special Correspondent

“Of late, whenever any member of the Bar is involved in a criminal case, there is an attempt to send petitions to all kinds of authorities including the Chief Justice of this court. On that basis, petitions are filed either to quash the proceedings pending before the trial court or to derail the investigation by asking for different investigation,” the Madras High Court has observed.

The court was allowing a writ petition by K.Senguttuvan seeking to quash an order of the Tamil Nadu Home Secretary of March 12, 2008 ordering reinvestigation of a murder case by the CB CID and the order of the Director-General of Police of March 26 the same year directing the withdrawal of the charge sheet already filed in the case and to hand over the case diary file and relevant records to the CB CID, Thanjavur.

“This case is yet another instance where the organised Bar attempts to derail the criminal investigation in their anxiety to make one of their wayward members from facing prosecution, being an accused for an offence involving murder. This case also shows the ever-willing government, instead of upholding the rule of law, succumbing to the dictates of a pressure group, thanks to a green signal given by the court,” Justice K.Chandru said.

At the instance of the petitioner, a resident of Keelathiruppalakudi, the Paravakottai police station, Mannargudi Taluk, Tiruvarur district, had registered an FIR. The petitioner’s case was that his brother, Tamilselvan, was done to death by four persons at Sundarakottai on December 25, 2005. He alleged that they included Elangovan, the then president of Ullikkottaipanchayat, who was also an advocate. The charge sheet was filed before the Judicial Magistrate-II, Mannargudi, in August 2006. The advocate got a letter sent by one A.Selvaraju, claiming to be the president of the Mannargudi Bar Association on April 5, 2006 addressed to the Chief Justice, requesting him to conduct a discreet enquiry and take appropriate action to safeguard the advocate. The letter also stated that Mr.Elangovan was not at all present during the occurrence and had been falsely implicated.

A petition was filed before the High Court seeking a direction to change the investigation from the Paravakottai police station. The Judge disposed of the petition with a direction.

Mr.Justice Chandru said the direction clearly showed that a copy of the memorandum given to the Chief Justice was produced and was strongly relied on by the Judge for directing the State Government to consider the Bar association president’s representation. Following the direction, the Home Secretary and the DGP passed the orders.

He said there was no scope for the State to interfere with the course of trial and that the Home Secretary’s direction was clearly uncalled for and without jurisdiction. From the beginning, an attempt was made by the advocate, who had been arraigned as second accused in the murder case, to derail the investigation even though he faced a serious criminal charge.

It was unfortunate that a High Court Judge must refer to the letter as a substantive document to order the Home Secretary to conduct an enquiry. The credentials of the person who sent the letter to the Chief Justice claiming to be an office bearer of the Bar association itself was doubtful. Setting aside the impugned orders, the Judge ordered the Judicial Magistrate-II, Mannargudi, to proceed with the case.

Maharashtra govt reinstates former Shirdi Saibaba Trust chairman

PTI Mar 28, 2012, 02.26PM IST

SHIRDI, MAHARASHTRA: Maharashtra government has reappointed former Congress MLA Jayant Sasane as the chairman of Shirdi Saibaba Trust which was recently disbanded by the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court.

Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan last night released a list of fifteen members in the wake of the HC’s directives to appoint a new board in 15 days, sources said.

The high court in its March 13 verdict dissolved the seven year old trust comprising 15 trustees for not complying with the constitution of the trust which entails that the term of the body can not be more than three years.

The trust was granted extension for the second term in 2007, but failed to appoint a new body as mandated by the norms.

Ahmad Nagar district NCP president Ghanshyam Shelar has been appointed as the vice-president of the trust which manages the affairs of one of the richest shrines in the country.

In the 15-member trust, Congress has six members and NCP nine.

Other members of the new trust comprise Maharashtra Agriculture Minister Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil, Vilas Kote, Shailesh Kute, Surendra Kharde, Mininanath Pandey, Ajit Kadam, Patangrao Shelke, Snehalata Kolhe, Rajendra Pipada, Suresh Wadhava, Namdev Gunjal, Prakash Nandurkar and Sumitra Kote-a nominated member.

Names of two Congress members are yet to be announced, they said.

A PIL in this regard was filed by Sandeep Kulkarni and Rajendra Gondkar from Shirdi.

The bench had stated that the present board be dissolved and new trustees be appointed within 15 days. The court had asked Ahmednagar district collector to oversee the matters till the new body is put in place.

Meanwhile, a writ petition requesting the high court to not allow members affiliated to political parties on the new board will come up for hearing before the Aurangabad bench on April 4.

Slum-dwellers move HC against eviction

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 01.15AM IST

NAGPUR: Eight slum-dwellers move high court alleging that they were forcefully evicted from there homes by the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) to favour a builder. They wrote a letter to the court highlighting their plight and injustice meted out to them by the NMC and builder Nitin Hande.

Taking serious cognisance of the letter, the Nagpur bench of Bombay high court treated the issue as public interest litigation while appointing Anand Parchure as amicus curiae. A division bench comprising justices Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Arun Chaudhari on Tuesday severely criticised the NMC officials after Parchure pointed out to the court that the civic officials acted in most insensitive manner by forcefully evicting the poor slum dwellers without providing them alternate accommodation. The respondents were told to reply by Thursday when the PIL would be reheard.

Parchure contended that the petitioners are residents of Ward No 96 in Lakadganj and the area was occupied by their forefathers since pre-independent era. It was also notified as slum by the Maharashtra government’s Urban Development Department ( UDD) on September 15, 1994.

He claimed that the corporation officials in collusion with the builder allegedly sanctioned the map of the land by showing the area as vacant. On November 7, 2008, the NMC demolished their houses and shanties without giving any prior notice and flouting all norms. After their protests, the builder agreed to provide them 350 sq ft accommodation at his own cost on a lease of 30 years on the condition that they will vacate the land. Both parties then inked a compromise deal with the condition that both of them will withdraw all rival claims and cases from all courts. However, the builder allegedly started threatening them instead of fulfilling the conditions. After this they dispatched a letter to the court.

The amicus curiae argued that the builder failed to honour the conditions of deed and resulted in serious miscarriage of justice and also violation of Article 14 and 21 of the Constitution of India. The petitioners prayed for directions to the builder to provide them alternate accommodation as per deed. During last hearing, the respondents, including NMC commissioner, builder, state government and Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) were issued notices.

Maharashtra writes to Centre over silence zone issue

PTI | 09:03 PM,Mar 28,2012

Mumbai, Mar 28 (PTI) Maharashtra Government has written to the Centre seeking change in relevant laws to allow holding of rallies at the famous Shivaji Park Ground, which has been declared a silence zone by the Bombay High Court, the Legislative Council was informed today. “We have written to the Central Government requesting it to amend laws related to silence zones to allow public rallies in Shivaji Park here,” Minister of State for Urban Development Bhaskar Jadhav said. Acting on a PIL, the HC in May 2010 had directed the civic body to notify Shivaji Park, which has in its vicinity schools and hospitals, as a silence zone. The court had said programmes can be held at the park only on December 6 (death anniversary of B R Ambedkar), May 1 (Maharashtra Day) and January 26. Political parties had criticised the court order. Permission for rallies can be granted after schools hours and on holidays, Jadhav said. Leader of Opposition Vinod Tawade said the political parties recognised by the Election Commission should be allowed to hold public meetings in the sprawling park located in Dadar area of central Mumbai.

Notice to Centre on power crisis in Tamil Nadu

Express News Service

MADURAI: The Madurai High Court Bench has ordered notice to the Centre on a PIL praying for directions to end the ‘unprecedented’ power crisis in the State.The petitioner, B Stalin, had held the Centre responsible for the power shortage, claiming that Tamil Nadu was being haunted bypower crises for more than five years due to the neglect the Union government shows towards the State. Blaming the Centre for acting in a ‘step motherly’ way towards the State, Stalin said that power generated at Neyveli should not be supplied to other states until the power crisis eased in Tamil Nadu.

File case on burning garbage: MC to cops

Express news service : Panchkula, Thu Mar 29 2012, 01:12 hrs

The Panchkula Municipal Corporation on Wednesday requested the local police to register a case against unknown persons for burning garbage at the dumping site, Sector 23.

The Punjab and Haryana High Court had banned the burning of the garbage at the dumping site while hearing a PIL, which sought directions to the authorities to shift the dumping site.

“We suspect that there are some miscreants who are trying to defame us by burning the garbage. We have written to the Station House Officer, Chandimandir, to register a case against unknown persons involved in setting the garbage on fire at the temporary dumping site in Sector 23,” said executive officer of Panchkula MC O P Sihag. “Someone put the garbage on fire on Monday night, but it was brought under control. Next morning, it was again put on fire.

In fact, residents of Sector 23 had to call a fire tender to douse the flames. The residents have been demanding shifting of the dumping site.

PIL against hotels-in-CRZ policy disposed

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.24AM IST

PANAJI: The high court of Bombay at Goa recently disposed of a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Goa Foundation challenging the government’s hotels and beach resorts policy in CRZ III areas.

A division bench of Justice S C Dharmadhikari and Justice U V Bakre observed that “the challenge to the policy is premature and at this stage when all requisite measures and steps have yet to be undertaken, leave alone completed, we will not be in a position to hold that the petitioner’s apprehension is well founded”.

The court further observed that although the policy, which includes detailed guidelines for considering project proposals of hotels/beach resorts in CRZ III areas, has been notified, the exercise that the high court had directed in an earlier judgment and the steps required to be taken under CRZ Notification 2011 have not yet been completed.

Goa Foundation had sought a stay and the quashing of the policy which envisages the utilization of available open plots in CRZ III areas for establishing hotels and beach resorts. The NGO had pointed out that the policy is contrary to the findings and directions of the high court in its October 13, 2006 judgment.

The court had at that time directed the state government to identify open plots in CRZ III which are available for construction of hotels and to frame an appropriate policy for the plots’ utilization before allowing construction.

The petitioner alleged that no such identification had been carried out before the framing of the policy.

The petitioner further stated that CRZ Notification 2011 had also been violated and even turtle-nesting sites are included in the 4,000 sq m demarcated under the policy as permissible for development of beach resorts.

The state government’s policy was framed in June 2011 pursuant to directions issued by the high court in 2006 following a PIL filed by the Goa Foundation then.

The latter PIL had alleged large-scale violations of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) Notification, 1991. In the new PIL, the petitioner’s lawyer, Norma Alvares, argued that the maps from the policy document would indicate resorts being permitted within the dwelling locality areas/gaothan of CRZ III.

In addition, the policy also shows plots in CRZ I as permissible for resorts, she pointed out.

She expressed apprehension that if this policy came into force it would have an adverse effect on the environment and ecology and would lead to the degradation of Goa’s coastal areas in totality.

The then advocate general Subodh Kantak had submitted that as per the provisions of CRZ Notification 2011 the state government has to identify and map sand dunes, mangroves, khazan lands and prepare management plans for turtle-nesting sites at Mandrem, Morjim, Galgibaga and Agonda.

He had informed the court that the government was awaiting a detailed project proposal from RSI, Hyderabad, for identification and mapping of areas of sand dunes, khazan lands and mangroves along the Goa coast, including mapping of estuaries and riverine areas to determine the suitability of use of land for the purpose of hotel/beach resorts. “At every level there is check and balance provided in the process of approving any proposal. This is the first stage in the assessment. There is a detailed process of analysis, assessment and appraisal and any hotel project that is detrimental to the sustainable growth, protection and development cannot be considered,” Kantak had stated.

PIL on effluents entering water bodies: Centre to reply by May 10

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 05.43AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre was asked by the Delhi high court on Wednesday to respond to a PIL seeking a ban on treated effluents entering water bodies.

The PIL urges HC to issue directions to environment ministry to take steps to stop flow of treated effluent from sewerage treatment plants (STPs) into the water bodies. Issuing notices to environment ministry, Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and also to Delhi Jal Board, a bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw sought their replies by May 10.

The PIL, filed by environmentalist Vinod Jain, alleges that the treated effluent from the STPs is channelled into the water bodies which contaminates the ground water. “The treated sewage water is not only polluting the water bodies, but also contaminating the ground water,” the petitioner said.

Kins of MCD worker awarded Rs 26 L compensation

Agencies : New Delhi, Thu Mar 29 2012, 14:23 hrs

The family members of a MCD worker, who died in a road mishap involving a motorcycle two years ago, have been awarded a compensation of nearly Rs 26 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The tribunal directed the New India Assurance Company Ltd, with which the offending motorcycle was insured, to pay Rs 25,92,184 to the wife, three minor children and parents of Anil Kumar, who was working as a sweeper with the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) and died in the accident.

“I grant a compensation to the tune of Rs 25,92,184 to all the petitioners (family members of Anil) with interest….,” MACT Presiding Officer B S Chumbak said.

The tribunal held the victim died due to the rash and negligent driving of the offending motorcycle by Deepak Kumar at the time of the accident.

“I am of considered view that petitioner successfully proved that deceased received fatal injuries on March 27, 2010 involving the motorcycle which was being driven in a rash and negligent manner by driver (Deepak) and owned by (Raj Pal),” the presiding officer said.

The accident took place on March 27, 2010 when Anil, 35, was returning to his residence in North-East Delhi on his motorcycle and when he reached near Surajmal Vihar here, Deepak came at a high speed on his motorcycle and hit the victim from behind.

Due to this, he fell down and received fatal injuries and was taken to a hospital where he died on April 2, 2010 during the treatment.

Anil’s family told the tribunal that he was earning over Rs 12,000 per month.

CBI gives clean chit to Rane Junior in shooting case

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.08AM IST

MUMBAI: The CBI has given a clean chit to Nitesh Rane, son of state industries minister Narayan Rane, in an attempt to murder case registered against him in 2010. Chintu Shaikh, a former member of Nitesh’s Swabhimaan Sanghatana, had accused Rane Jr of opening fire at him inside the organization’s office in Khar. Shaikh had alleged that Nitesh fired at him twice and one of the bullets grazed his cheek.

On Monday, the CBI filed a closure report in the magistrate court in case. In the report, the CBI said there were no eyewitnesses to the alleged shooting incident.

A senior CBI officer said, “The court is still to take cognizance of the report.”

“The court can either accept the CBI’s findings or frame charges on its own. It can also order further investigation,” said the officer. “Medical reports have concluded that Shaikh’s injuries were not caused due to the alleged shooting. The ballistic investigation, too, does not support his claims.”

Speaking to TOI, Nitesh said, “Until and unless the court finalizes the report and gives me a clean chit, I would not like to make a statement.”

The matter will be heard by the court on April 21.

It was Shaikh’s allegation that on September 23, 2010, he went to the Sanghatana’s office with a box of sweets to celebrate the birth of a child. He went into Nitesh’s cabin where the latter was sitting with his personal assistant and a businessman friend. Shaikh alleged that he offered them sweets and bent down to touch Nitesh’s feet when the Rane scion alleged hit him. According to Shaikh, Nitesh was annoyed because he had suffered losses in business and Shaikh’ s celebrations made him livid. He alleged that while others started assaulting him, Nitesh fired two rounds at him. One of the bullets allegedly grazed his cheek following which he fled and admitted himself to a hospital in Powai.

The Khar police had booked Nitesh and his two aides for under sections 307 attempt to murder and under various sections of the Indian Penal Code , 323 (punishment for voluntarily causing hurt), 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) of the IPC and various sections of as well as the Arms Act. He was however not arrested in the case.

In March 2011, following Shaikh’s petition claiming that the police were trying to shield Nitesh, the Bombay high court transferred the case to the CBI.

Spl Cell files fresh charge sheet against jailed PLA cadres

PTI | 09:03 PM,Mar 28,2012

New Delhi, Mar 28 (PTI) The Special Cell of Delhi Police today filed a fresh charge sheet against two jailed cadres of the banned People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The charge sheet was filed against N Dilip Singh and Arun Kumar Singh Salam, who were arrested in October last year from a Central Delhi hotel and are presently in judicial custody. Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav took cognisance of the charge sheet against them and listed it for further consideration on April 11. The agency, in the fresh charge sheet, said the probe has revealed that Dilip had in 2010 met top Maoist leader Kisanji, who was killed in an encounter last year, and handed him over a letter of consent for training of CPI (Maoist) men by PLA cadres. The agency also told the court that it has initiated the proceedings for issuing Letter Rogatory to the US authorities to obtain the details of emails exchanged between the accused persons and their associates there. The police is looking into the IP addresses and other details of the various email IDs of Dilip and Salam as after their arrest the police had found many “incriminating emails sent to high-ranking cadres of the outfit”. It also said the forensic report of the laptop, phones and CDs recovered from the possession of the accused persons is, awaited. Dilip and Salam are slapped with the charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for being a member of a banned outfit and furthering its activities, besides charges of cheating, forgery and impersonation under the Indian Penal Code. According to police, Dilip had come to the Capital from Manipur, whereas Arun came from Pune on the direction of his superiors to chalk out the modalities for providing arms, ammunition and communication training to the CPI (Maoist) cadre, and for setting up joint training camps in Myanmar. PTI AKI

Govt assures HC to raze Porvorim illegal structure

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.25AM IST

PANAJI: The state government recently assured the high court of Bombay at Goa that an illegal construction at PDA colony in Porvrorim will be demolished within four weeks.

Flora Heredia and three others-residents of the colony-had approached the high court seeking the demolition of an illegal construction of a religious structure on a public place designated for a market in the colony.

In May 2011, the petitioners noticed construction activity at the site and they filed complaints before the authorities. In the complaint, it was pointed out that an illegal construction was under way on a public place reserved for a market. The structure was constructed without permission from any authority considering the fact that the same is in a space reserved for a market, and besides, is in violation of the existing building laws, the petitioners pointed out.

The petitioners stated that they had filed their complaints with the authorities against the structure . However, no action was taken, the petitioners alleged. The petitioner also pointed out that the state government had issued a circular dated February 15, 2010, to all authorities with regard to the survey/identification and action to be taken in regard to any illegal/unauthorized religious structures in public spaces .

During the hearing of the case, the government advocate informed the court that the construction would be demolished within a period of four weeks. The village panchayat also assured the court that they will not interfere with the demolition work.

The high court observed that the petitioner sought the performance of statutory duty by the authorities and the petition is disposed of in view of the statement made by the government advocate on instructions from the Bardez mamlatdar.

HC says its verdicts not applicable retrospectively

Vaibhav Ganjapure, TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 01.21AM IST

NAGPUR: Can the high court judgments be applied retrospectively? The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court said ‘no’, in a case of Akola resident while ruling that “there is no question of its applicability retrospectively or prospectively as it only declared the law as it is”.

“The principle of law pronounced by the court in the judgment is to be considered as law which is prevailing from inception and beginning,” a division bench comprising justices PB Majumdar and Prasanna Varale ruled while providing relief to Rambhau Bhusari, an employee of Panjabrao Deshmukh Krushi Vidyapeeth (PDKV), who had challenged his retirement.

“So far as enactment of law by the legislature is concerned, it may have retrospective effect if the enactment so provides,” the judges further observed.

Bhusari (58), working as laboratory attendant, had challenged his retirement, as the PDKV had not allowed him to continue till his 60 years of age. He was appointed to the post in 1980 and was asked to retire on June 30 last year after attaining age of 58.

The petitioner contended that two verdicts of high court last year (WP nos. 2954 and 2505) had clearly ruled that lab attendants coming under group “D” category working in the agricultural university are entitled to serve up 60 years.

HC to take a call on PCO for disabled kin

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.25AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court will decide whether an able-bodied legal heir of a handicapped person can get a telephone booth transferred in his name.

Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Ranjit More were hearing a petition filed by Jayaben Gala, widow of a physically challenged man. Jayaben’s late husband, Mulchand Gala, was given a HPCO (handicapped public call office) at Lokhandwala Complex, in Andheri, by the BMC through an NGO.

According to her plea, after his death in 2006, Jayaben Gala continued to operate the booth. However, in 2011, its possession was handed over to another handicapped person by the NGO. Her advocate Dipesh Siroya argued that Gala was forcibly dispossessed. He said being unaware of the formalities, she did not apply for transfer of the booth in her name.

Tax dispute: HC restrains I-T dept from taking steps against school–HC-restrains-I-T-dept-from-taking-steps-against-school/929770/

Express news service : Thu Mar 29 2012, 02:15 hrs

Granting relief to the Sarvodaya Balika Vidyalaya in Malad, the Bombay High Court earlier this week directed the income tax (I-T) department not to take any coercive steps against the school pending the hearing of a tax dispute.

The trust, which runs the school — Rajasthani Sammelan — moved the court after receiving a notice from the department directing it to pay an amount of Rs 30 lakh by March 31.

The amount was a part of a total sum of Rs 1.56 crore held as due by the department. This was after the IT department withdrew the status of a charitable institute from the trust.

About 12,600 students are enrolled in various institutes run by the trust.

In its petition, the Rajasthani Sammelan challenged both the decision to withdraw the status of charitable institute, and the notice asking them to pay the interim due amount.

Hearing the case, a division Bench of Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice M S Sanklecha refrained from making any comment on the main dispute involved. However, the judges opined, “In our view, this is clearly a case where the assessing officer ought to have granted a stay on demand.”

The court proceeded to restrain the department from taking any coercive steps against the institute till the issue was decided.

Govt liable to pay up for loss caused by wild animals: HC

Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, March 29, 2012The Bombay HC has held that the state government is liable to pay compensation to citizens who suffer loss or damage because of the presence of wild animals, even if the official rulebook does not cover some of them.
“If a wild animal causes loss to an agriculturist or a citizen, it would be the responsibility of the appropriate government to make good the loss,” a division bench of Justice SA Bobde and Justice PB Varale observed in a ruling last week.

“Certainly, it would be open to a citizen to claim compensation for the loss caused by any wild animal, whether (the animal) is specifically referred to in any provision, government resolution or not,” the bench added while deciding a petition filed by Nagpur-based farmer Baburao Aglawe.

After retiring from a government job, Aglawe, 65, had started a banana farm at Tah in Wardha district. In March 2010, some tigers made his plantation their home after finding water in the area and stayed on till July before heading for the Bor Wildlife Sanctuary nearby.

After the tigers left and Aglawe found his crop damaged. On his plea, the forest department recommended a compensation of Rs 48 per plant. But the finance department rejected this in February last year, after which Aglawe approached the HC.

The finance department had apparently declined to grant compensation after finding that tigers were not covered under Maharashtra’s July 2010 resolution, which entitles farmers suffering loss due to wild animals such as wild boar, bison and elephants to compensation.


Pick up part of security tab for Vikas, Vishal’s trips to hospitals: HC to Tihar

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Thu Mar 29 2012, 04:02 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday said that Tihar Jail will have to foot part of the bill spent on security for Vikas and Vishal Yadav, convicts in the Nitish Katara murder case, during their many trips to AIIMS and Batra Hospital in the last four years.

Told that state authorities have spent more than Rs 20 lakh on security for the cousins during their “treatments”, a bench of Justices Geeta Mittal and V K Shali said: “After it is ascertained how much tax payers’ money has been unreasonably spent, we will examine how much of it will have to be shared between the two inmates. And we will also certainly apportionate it between them and Tihar because they cannot be said to be a non-party to the whole thing.”

The court is hearing a plea by Nitish Katara’s mother Neelam who has alleged that Vishal visited Batra Hospital more than 60 times and Vikas visited AIIMS more than 80 times since their conviction in 2008 by misusing their financial and political influence.

The court asked the counsel for Vikas and Vishal to inform whether they would on their own pay part of the money spent on their security.

“You were allowed to go to Batra Hospital for tuberculosis treatment. Now that there are allegations that there were several visits that were not all required, do you want to pay a part of the money or do you refuse to pay anything?” the bench asked Vishal’s counsel.

Expressing reluctance to pay, his counsel said that all visits were connected to tuberculosis and were completely in sync with the 2004 High Court order that allowed Vishal to go to Batra Hospital for treatment of this ailment.

Warning him, the bench said: “You must take clear-cut instructions from your client on this. It is not certain now but we will finally decide if you misused the court order after a final report from the medical board is ready for our perusal.”

The court also pulled up AIIMS for shifting Vikas to A class luxury ward during his treatment and asked them to file an affidavit. “As per the reports, Vikas was kept in A class ward for 10 days more only on account of non-payment of bills. How many other persons are kept like this? You give us the numbers and tell us where do you keep the prisoners otherwise,” the court asked the AIIMS counsel.

The court was informed by the counsel for the Delhi Police that two constables, who had allegedly allowed Vikas to leave AIIMS on the night of Diwali, have been suspended and an inquiry initiated.

In 2008, a Delhi court convicted Vikas and his cousin Vishal for killing Nitish Katara, an MBA student, in February 2002 for having an affair with their sister Bharati.

Arya Orphanage case: HC censures govt-appointed administrator

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Thu Mar 29 2012, 04:22 hrs

The administrator, appointed by the Delhi government, to look into the affairs at Arya Orphanage, earned the censure of the Delhi High Court on Wednesday for not assisting the court in drawing up the immediate steps required for the welfare of the children due to him being tied up with MCD election duties.

“When all the stakeholders are trying to find a solution as to how a societal institution should function, your administrator is busy with election duties. Nobody wanted an ‘election administrator.’ He should have been here to assist the court and answer our queries so that we could deliver some meaningful directives,” a bench of Justices Pradeep Nandarajog and Pratibha Rani said.

The court censure came after being informed by the government counsel that Bans Raj, the new administrator appointed to oversee the functioning of the orphanage, was not present in the court as he was busy with poll duties.

The counsel had to inform the bench about the administrator’s current job after Justice Nandarajog fumed during the hearing that the administrator was not only supposed to sit in his office but come to the court.

“We wanted him to come before us to help us but he is not there. We have been told that he is visiting the orphanage regularly but what can we expect from him knowing really well that his mind would have been preoccupied with poll-related work. The problem is that the government’s functioning is not up to the mark,” said the bench.

During the hearing, the court took on record 13 suggestions handed out by the Haq Centre for Child Rights, which by posting a letter to the court, had prompted the court to take the matter up as a PIL. The letter by the NGO had sought court’s intervention in ensuring safety and well-being of the children still housed in Arya Orphanage complex, which is mired in a controversy in the wake of allegations of sexual abuse of children there.

These suggestions included preparing a list of children under different categories admitted there, segregation of boys and girls, help-desk for parents and increase in frequency of meetings with parents for certain children, periodical counselling and review, mandatory reporting of all untoward incidents to Child Welfare Committee (CWC) and allowing children to go back home during long vacations.

Senior advocate V P Chaudhary, who appeared for Arya Orphanage, however, objected to allowing children — especially girls — to go back home and contended that there was an apprehension that they might develop “vices” and “bad habits” because of their background and might influence other girls after coming back to the Orphanage.

He further raised objections to the jurisdiction of the CWC into the affairs of the orphanage and claimed that the CWC had no powers to do this.

The bench said it will finalise a draft interim verdict of necessary orders to be passed in the matter by the end of the week.

City briefs : HC blast: Custody of 2 extended

Express news service : Thu Mar 29 2012, 04:19 hrs

HC blast: Custody of 2 extended

New Delhi:A Delhi court on Thursday extended till April 18, the judicial custody of two suspected terrorists, Wasim Akram Malik and Amir Abbas Dev, arrested by the NIA for their alleged role in the attack at the Delhi High Court in September last year. District Judge H S Sharma extended their custody in an in-chamber hearing, and listed the matter for April 18 for scrutiny of documents, filed by the National Investigation Agency.

Design workshop begins at Apeejay

New Delhi:Design Innovation India Workshop 2012, jointly organised by Apeejay Stya University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab (MIT Media Lab), was inaugurated on Monday at the Apeejay campus in Sheikh Sarai. The five-day workshop has brain-storming sessions, talks, tutorials and will end with an exhibition on March 30.

Open gate near Karbala for a day: HC

New Delhi:The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the Delhi Police to open a gate, barricading of which had led to a clash in Jor Bagh in January, for a day. Rejecting the argument of police that its opening could lead to a law and order problem, the court directed them to open the western gate near Karbala Mosque on Thursday, on the occasion of ‘Nauchandi Jumerat.’

Jail suptd to move HC in Rajoana case

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh/Patiala , March 28, 2012A defiant Patiala Central Jail superintendent LS Jakhar said on Tuesday that he was “unable and disabled in law” to accept the warrants and carry out the hanging of Balwant Singh Rajoana – as ordered by the Chandigarh sessions court – and would approach the Punjab and Haryana high Court.

Additional district and sessions judge Shalini Singh Nagpal on Tuesday directed that her earlier orders on carrying out Rajoana’s execution on March 31 at Patiala Central Jail be complied with.

Jakhar claimed there were “legal infirmities” in procedure in the sessions court orders, and requested the court to defer the sentence order till the Supreme Court announced its ruling in the appeals concerning Lakhwinder Singh Lakha and Jagtar Singh Hawara, both convicts in the Beant Singh assassination case.

He said it was his duty to ensure that the procedure established by law is “meticulously followed” before carrying out a death sentence. He said according to Supreme Court guidelines, before carrying out any death sentence, the jail superintendent should ascertain personally whether the death sentence imposed upon any co-accused, of the prisoner due to be hanged, has been commuted.

If commuted, the superintendent should apprise senior authorities of the matter, who in turn must take prompt steps for bringing the matter to the notice of the courts concerned, Jakhar said.

He told the court that both Balwant and Hawara were sentenced to death, but while the death sentence of Hawara was commuted to life by the Punjab and Haryana high court, Lakha’s appeal was pending before the Supreme Court.

Subsequently, the CBI filed an appeal in the Supreme Court challenging the commuting of Hawara’s sentence.

“Since two different appeals linked to two other convicts in the same case are pending in the Supreme Court, there is no question of hanging the third accused before the Supreme Court decides on the two appeals,” Jakhar told HT.

He claimed that after reading the sessions court judgment, it was clear that it has observed that no appeal has been filed by Lakha in the Supreme Court though “we had attached certified copies” of the plea filed by Lakha in the Supreme Court. “So in such a scenario, we would be moving the high court seeking legal remedies in the case,” he said.


HC seeks details of Ganga project

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 03.57AM IST

ALLAHABAD: Taking up a PIL relating to removal of pollution in the Ganga, the Allahabad High Court has directed the state government to file an affidavit detailing the project report on construction of Pakka Ghat in connection with Kumbh-2013 and also the details of grant of project or commissioning of the project.

The PIL was heard by a bench of Justice Ashok Bhushan and Justice Arun Tandon.

Advocate General S P Gupta submitted in the court that the decision of the state government in this regard shall be brought before the court by means of an affidavit with regard to the restoration of roads, where the sewage line is being drawn in the city of Allahabad, immediate action shall be taken.

The Advocate General said that with regard to the restoration of roads, at least the main roads, be restored and details with regard to the restoration shall be brought on record by means of affidavit by the next date.

Regarding the share of state government in the Kumbh Mela-2013, the AG submitted that this issue would again be looked into by the state government and appropriate measures be taken and appropriate funds be provided by the government itself.

The court also directed the UP Pollution Control Board to continue inspecting all the sewage treatment plants and pumping stations and submit periodical reports.

Also, the court directed the counsel of the Central government to file an affidavit by the next date regarding study of environmental flow, which was entrusted to a study group.

The court directed to list this PIL on April 16 for next hearing.

HC for quota in local body posts

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 04.51AM IST

CHENNAI: The Madras high court has suggested that the Tamil Nadu government bring a legislation reserving posts/offices of vice-chairmen or vice-presidents in local bodies to dalits and women.

A division bench comprising Justice D Murugesan and Justice P P S Janarthana Raja came out with the suggestion, while passing orders on a writ petition filed by advocate M Palanimuthu. The advocate had sought a direction to the state government to reserve 33% of all vice-chairmen and vice-president posts in local bodies and municipalities, besides 22.5% reservation for dalits.

In this regard, he pointed out that already such reservation had been provided for dalits and women as heads of various local bodies. He wanted the similar benefits to be extended to deputy chiefs of such civic bodies.

The judges, conceding that reservation was an affirmative action designed to improve well being of under-represented communities, pointed out that the state had restricted such reservation to persons directly elected to posts in civic bodies, such as chairmen, presidents, members and councillors. The law has not extended the quota to vice-chairmen and vice-presidents.

Noting that such direction cannot be issued by the court to the government in the absence of statutory provisions, the judges said: “It is for the state to consider for inclusion of a provision extending the same reservation to the posts/offices of vice-chairmen and vice-presidents, identifying constitutes for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and women candidates.”

HC comes down heavily on lawyer trying to wriggle out of case

PTI | 10:03 PM,Mar 28,2012

Chennai, Mar 28 (PTI): Coming down heavily on a lawyer, accused in a murder case, for trying to wriggle out of it by seeking a fresh investigation, the Madras High Court said the investigation conducted in accordance with law cannot be forestalled by these acts. Allowing a petition by one K Senguttuvan seeking to quash orders of government and DGP to transfer investigation from the police station to state crime branch-CID,Justice K Chandru said the Criminal Original Petition filed by the lawyer was nothing but an abuse of the process of law. Stating that he had made use of a letter sent by Selvaraju, claiming to be Mannargudi Bar Association President, addressed to the High Court Chief Justice, ‘as material to torpedo the investigation,’ the Judge said it was unfortunate that a High Court judge should refer to the same petition as a document to order the home secretary to conduct another inquiry. The petitioner said his brother was done to death on Dec 25 2005 by four identified persons, including the lawyer a Bar member,arraigned as second accused.An FIR was registered the next day for murder and the final report filed on Nov 8, 2006. Meanwhile, the lawyer secured a letter from Selvaraju addressed to the CJ, requesting a discreet inquiry and to take appropriate action to safeguard him.It also claimed the lawyer was not present at the spot when the murder took place. After being told a representation had been sent to the Chief Justice and Home Secretary, the Judge on Apr 25, 2007 directed the latter to consider it and take suitable action. On Mar 12, 2008 the Home Secretary transferred investigation to CB-CID and on June 23 that year, the DGP ordered withdrawal of the chargesheet and handing over investigation to CB-CID. The judge said the case was yet another instance where an organised Bar tried to derail investigation into murder in its anxiety to protect a ‘wayward’ member from facing prosecution. He cited the Supreme Court,which had forewarned High Courts from issuing directions which would cause miscarriage of justice and thwart the criminal process and held no such directions can be issued either at the instance of individual member of the Bar or at the instance of the association. Setting aside the orders, he directed the Mannargudi Judicial Magistrate II to proceed with the case and pass appropriate orders. PTI GR APR APR

HC seeks action plan on Slum Rehabilitation Authority flats

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 02.37AM IST

MUMBAI: The HC on Wednesday sought an “action plan” from the state to deal with the issue of re-sale of flats under the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) before the expiry of the 10-year deadline.

“Come out with an action plan,” suggested a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice Ranjit More, while hearing a petition about a SRA project in Chandivali. There are thousands of flats in the SRA scheme. We cannot pass orders in every matter,” the court added in its oral remarks.

Assistant government pleader Milind More informed the court that four flats in Chandivali were sealed as per orders. In one case the seal was broken and in another the flat was resold for over Rs 8 lakhs,” said More.

The court ordered cops to initiate action against persons who trespass or encroach upon flats that have been sealed.

Last week, the HC ordered the Saki Naka police to seize and seal four flats in the Chandivali slum rehabilitation project. The HC had said no allottee of a rehabilitation flat under the SRA scheme can transfer the flat for a period of 10 years as per rules. The court ruled that gift deeds” and power of attorney” used to transfer the flats were of no consequence”.

Some builders are constructing a slum rehabilitation project in Chandivali.

The SRA scheme had come under the scanner when a PIL revealed that of the 3,198 flats, 329 had been given out on rent, 48 were being used for commercial purposes and 34 had been sold. A second survey showed that of the 121 flats inspected, only 31 were occupied by the original allottees.

In 2010 the HC had suggested that considering the enormity of cases of violation of the SRA scheme, the state should set up a authority to monitor such projects.

“As a large number of SRA projects have been built in Mumbai, it would be advisable for (the state and BMC) take some measures which may include perhaps amendment of the relevant act to provide for the authority which can oversee cases of possession and or subject letting in such projects,” the court had then observed.

HC tells Travancore Devaswom Board to decide on fate of Mohanaru

KOCHI: The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) should decide whether permission should be given to Kantararu Mohanaru to assist the chief priest in rituals at Sabarimala Lord Ayyappa Temple, the high court ruled on Wednesday.

The directive by division bench of Justice Thottathil B Radhakrishnan and Justice C T Ravikumar was on a petition by chief priest Kantararu Maheswararu stating that his son, Mohanaru, should be allowed to help him in rituals in view of his ill health.

The court is not interfering in the matter and the Devaswom Board should take a decision in this regard and inform the court by April 3, the division bench held.

Mohanaru was prevented by the board from performing rituals in August 2009.

The guards had stopped him at the northern gate of the temple based on a directive from Sabarimala executive officer V S Jayakumar following a decision by the Devaswom Board.

The board’s decision not to allow Mohanaru into the temple followed his alleged involvement in a blackmailing case and the Jayamala case of 2006.

Mohanaru’s name had figured in the tantri controversy, which the media had claimed involved politics, sex, and conspiracy.

Allegedly, the tantri was photographed in a compromising position with a woman previously booked for immoral traffic at a flat owned by Sobha John, the main accused in several sex racket cases, in 2006.

In the Jayamala case, the tantri was alleged to have conspired with others for facilitating the entry of the actress into the hilltop shrine, where, according to tradition, no fertile woman should visit.

In the petition, the chief priest had stated that Mohanaru had held responsibilities related to rituals before and he should be allowed to take on the responsibilities in his absence.

Calcutta HC grants bail to 2 AMRI directors

TNN | Mar 29, 2012, 12.52AM IST

KOLKATA: The Calcutta high court on Wednesday granted bail to AMRI directors RS Goenka and Prashant Goenka, saying documents placed before it showed the board of directors wasn’t responsible for the hospital’s day-to-day affairs. The duo was in custody for 111 days since a fire at AMRI-Dhakuria claimed 91 lives on December 9.

Significantly, the court also said it was a committee of management -which included only two of the nine directors arrested in the case, nonagenarian cardiologist Moni Chhetri and gynaecologist Pronab Dasgupta, and was headed by Chhetri himself – that was more responsible for running the hospital’s daily administration. The committee, the court added, met once a week (every Saturday) while the board of directors met once every quarter.

A division bench of justices Ashim Roy and Ashim Ray also noted that Chhetri, Dasgupta and senior vice-president Satyabrata Upadhyay, who was also part of this committee, had already been given bail and the state hadn’t appealed against it. The judges said the trial will take some time as the chargesheet cites 455 witnesses and a large number of documents, and were reluctant to keep the directors confined till that time.

The ruling is expected to have wide ramifications as hearings on the bail pleas of two other directors – Manish Goenka and Ravi Todi – resumed on Wednesday and will continue on Thursday. In all, 16 people – 12 directors and four employees – have been charged in the case of whom 13 were arrested and three, all of them directors, declared absconders.

Apart from Chhetri and Dasgupta, the other AMRI director to have got bail before Wednesday is R S Agarwal. He was granted bail on February 17 by the high court. The Alipore court had granted bail to Chhetri, Dasgupta and Upadhyay. The state will move the Supreme Court against Agarwal’s bail.

Goenka and Agarwal are co-chairmen and co-founders of the Rs 3,000-crore Emami group. Along with the Shrachi group, they have a controlling stake in the AMRI Hospitals. The board of directors also has two government nominees – director of medical education and special secretary (health). The government nominees, though, didn’t come in the ambit of the police probe and weren’t charged. The hospital’s licence, critical to investigations, was issued in Chhetri’s name. Police have said all fire safety norms were flouted by the hospital, leading to the deaths.

The police’s January 30 chargesheet lists several key lapses by the hospital. The central airconditioners were not switched off even after the fire, allowing dense fumes to spread rapidly. Neither the fire alarm nor sprinklers worked.

The basement, meant for a car park, had been illegally converted into an office-cum-storehouse. The fire started in a portion of the basement where the hospital stored cotton and bandages.

HC orders state to hold elections for Pune APMC

Atikh Rashid : Thu Mar 29 2012, 03:23 hrs

The Bombay High Court has directed the state government to hold elections to appoint a democratically elected body in the Pune District’s Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) with immediate effect. For the past four years, the body is being governed by an official appointed by the state government. The court decision came in response to a writ petition by one Shekhar Badade, a trader at Pune APMC.

The APMC was established in 1957 and was converted into a Regional Marketing Committee on January 10, 2008. Though, as per the Maharashtra Agricultural Produce marketing (Development and Regulation) Act, 1963, the committee should be operated by elected representatives, no election was conducted since 2008. In 2008 the elected Board of Directors of the committee was dissolved by the state following allegations of corruption.

Justifying the delay in holding elections, the joint director of marketing had reasoned in an affidavit submitted in the court, that a proposal for bifurcation of territorial limits of the APMC to segregate some of the talukas from its purview and establish Taluka Market Committees was under consideration. He added that an election at this stage would be impractical as upon division, fresh elections will have to be held for the newly-established Taluka Market Committees resulting in unnecessary expenditure.

The bench comprising justice N M Jamadar and justice A M Khanwilkar observed that as no elected committee was put in place, the members of APMC have been denied the opportunity to express their grievances on the issue of bifurcating or on continuation of the administrator to manage the affairs of the body. “We cannot do better than issuing direction to the respondents to forthwith hold elections to install the democratically elected committee in the APMC. The argument of impracticability or avoidable expenditure, in our opinion, cannot legitimise the continuation of the administrator to govern the body, that too, unabated,” observed the court.

The court observed that it was aware of the fact that the government authorities (State Government and the Director of Marketing) have gone on record in an affidavit to state that the division of APMC shall be completed within a period of six months.

“There is no guarantee that the said process will not be objected to at a later stage after a formal decision in that behalf is taken (thus causing further delay),” observed the court. J Deshmukh, administrator of APMC, said he is yet to receive the authentic copy of the verdict.


One Response

  1. sir
    i am having case in supreme court of which is in status quo and which is regularly being postponed is there remedy could you please advise me in this regard
    thanking you sir

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