LEGAL NEWS 03.04.2012APoptional)

AP High Court: No proof of existence of graves at Qila

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 03.28AM IST

HYDERABAD: Citing lack of evidence to prove the existence of graves on survey no. 40 in Naya Qila, the AP High Court declared that it found no merit in allegations made by heritage activists that the Hyderabad Golf Association (HGA) had encroached on the Mustafa Khan Mosque or desecrated graves around it.

The writ petition was filed by heritage activists on November 1 last year stating that HGA was developing the golf course in the area by destroying graves.

In the order passed on March 27, the bench comprising Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice Sanjay Kumar accepted the report submitted by D V Sitaram Murthy, senior advocate, who had conducted an inspection of the site, and said that the five stones claimed as gravesites by the petitioners could not be identified as same.

According to the order, in the report Murthy notes that as per traditional practice, graves of Muslims should be aligned perpendicular to the Qibla ( Mecca). The body is placed in the grave without a casket, lying on its right side and facing the Qibla. Grave markers are simple as outward lavish displays are discouraged in Islam.

While the bench said it found no merit in the petition, it directed the State Wakf Board and ASI to demarcate the mosque area and the 4589 square yards around it to ensure that no controversy crops up in the future.








SC to hear case of teacher who was offloaded from plane

Pratibha Masand, TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 03.39AM IST

MUMBAI: Jeeja Ghosh is awaiting the Supreme Court’s judgment on the writ petition that she has filed against SpiceJet. The airline had allegedly insulted her by not letting her travel because she suffers from cerebral palsy.

The 42-year-old teacher from the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy in Kolkata was all set to travel from Kolkata to Goa on February 19 for a conference in Goa. A spokesperson from SpiceJet had said Jeeja was not carrying her medical documents.Jeeja’s petition will come up for hearing on Wednesday. “It is not just about me. This kind of discrimination has been going on for a while. I want the system to change. I want people to know that there are rules which say that an airline cannot forbid a disabled person to travel unless there is a medical condition,” said Jeeja, who is in Mumbai to attend a conference.

“We have filed for compensation against the insult inflicted on Jeeja,”said Mithu Alur, founder chairperson of Able Disable All People Together (ADAPT).









Army allows Royal Western India Turf Club to use bund school

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 05.45AM IST

PUNE: The Local Military Authority (LMA) has allowed the Royal Western India Turf Club (RWITC) to use the bund school located on the general parade ground to train young colts, as a ‘goodwill gesture’.

The move comes after the RWITC withdrew the writ petition it had filed against the LMA in the Bombay high court, regarding a dispute over the use of land that was extended on lease to the RWITC.

The Army Southern Command issued a release stating that a meeting was held between the committee members of the RWITC and the LMA, Pune, on March 31. “A large number of issues were raised by the committee members during their discussion. The LMA, Pune, stressed upon the need of re-establishing harmonious relationship and has assured RWITC representatives of their concerns being addressed without compromising organisational interest, security and integrity of the Pune Cantonment,” the release stated.

“As a goodwill gesture the LMA, Pune, has allowed the usage of the bund school located on the general parade ground for training of young colts on a formal written request from the RWITC,” the release added.

Meanwhile, the RWITC, too, confirmed the development in a separate release issued here on Monday. “The General Officer Commanding in Chief of Southern Command Lt Gen A K Singh had an informal meeting with the RWITC chairman Vivek Jain at an equestrian event in Mumbai – the first time since the club withdrew its writ petition from the high court,” the release stated.

Jain said, “It was very cordial, as have been all his meetings with Lt Gen A K Singh. The desire to work in harmony and not to create any hindrances in the working of the horses or in the conduct of racing was expressed at this meeting.”

As a first step, the LMA has given approval for the horses to work in the “bund school” and for cars to be parked on the left side of Burnett Road near the Turf Club House, the RWITC release said.

It added that the two organisations would meet at frequent intervals to address the recent differences, which would gradually be ironed out. “The LMA has also written to the RWITC that it would respect both the lease deed and the MOUs signed by the club,” the release said.

Jain said, “We are happy that the legal conflict with the Army has been withdrawn. It is the desire of both sides to ensure racing does not suffer. The LMA desires to make a polo/equestrian field in the general parade ground, which can be used in the off season, and that is certainly desirable. The RWITC committee is unanimous in its views on the relationship with the LMA and we are confident things will progress for the good of the sport and the club.”








HC stays admissions to Medical PG course

PTI | 06:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

Kochi, Apr 2 (PTI) Kerala High Court today stayed admissions to this year’s Medical PG courses. However, a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chelur and Justice V Chidambaresh said counselling can be continued. The stay order was issued on a batch of writ appeals relating to the awarding of negative marks for admssion to service quota. In another proceedings, Justice S Sirijagan, directed issue of question booklets, answer keys and answer sheets of state Post Graduate medical entrance examination for students within 7 days. The order was issued on a writ petition filed by 115 students alleging irreregularities in valuation. According to them, a large number of incorrect questions were included in the question paper.









WB assures NCW of investigating all rape cases

Last Updated: Monday, April 02, 2012, 18:28

Kolkata: Amid reports of growing number of rape cases in West Bengal, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday assured a delegation of the National Commission for Women that all cases referred by it would be investigated.

“The chief minister has assured that neutral investigation will be made by her government in all the cases referred by the NCW,” said Anita Agnihotri, NCW member-secretary.

Asked to comment on Banerjee’s remark on the recent Park Street rape case which she had said was fabricated, Agnihotri, who led the delegation, said, “NCW is concerned about the general situation in the country. This could be particularly difficult if these comments are there.


“They said there could be comments here and there. But this is not going to affect the course of invsetigation in any manner which I think is very reassuring,” she said after the meeting which was also attended by chief secretary Samar Ghosh and other government officials.

Asked whether the NCW visit was intended to create pressure on the state government to act in the face of rising incidents of crime against women in the state, she said, “Creating pressure on the government is not the mandate. Of course we are concerned and that is why we have come all the way, otherwise we would not be here.”








Report indicts two Haryana babus for ‘false info’ to NHRC

Vishal Joshi , Hindustan Times
Panipat , April 02, 2012A probe by Rohtak division commissioner has indicted two Haryana bureaucrats for submitting false information to National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) about a criminal case registered against a rights’ activist in 2005.
In her report submitted to the chief secretary on February 1

(HT has a copy), Suprabha Dahyia has stated that then Panipat deputy commissioner Rajive Ranjan (now posted as joint secretary in Haryana finance department) and then sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) Capt Shatki Singh (now the managing director of a cooperative sugar mill in Shahbad, Kurukshetra) furnished wrong information to NHRC.

They had informed the commission that the police had never registered a case against one PP Kapoor, the Haryana convener of Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), in 2005.

The report said that in earlier communications, the Panipat district administration had confirmed the registration of a criminal case against Kapoor but later the administration retracted.
Presently, the matter is being investigated by the state lokayukta and the officials have been served a May 16 ultimatum on submitting their clarification and “if (a) reply is not filed then it shall be presumed that no reply is to be filed by the respondents to defend the complaint”.

In January last year, Hindustan Times had first reported the matter regarding wrong information forwarded to the NHRC by then Panipat district administration.

PP Kapoor was booked for attempt to murder, extortion and several other charges on November 12, 2005. Kapoor was sentenced to five years imprisonment. On December 31, 2005, Kapoor lodged a complaint with NHRC that he was falsely booked under a case of waging war against bonded labourers in Panipat.

In 2006, NHRC had asked the Panipat district administration to submit a status report on Kapoor’s complaint. Then Panipat SDM Capt Shakti Singh submitted a report that no case was registered against Kapoor on November 12, 2005. He submitted his reply to DC Rajive Ranjan on April 2, 2006, and the same was forwarded to the NHRC.

He had submitted that rather an FIR was registered against several persons on Kapoor’s complaint. Kapoor, however, exposed the district officials’ wrongdoing through a Right to Information Act application on January 7, 2011, and lodged a complaint with the Lokayukta that the two top district officials furnished wrong information to the rights body.









Punjab mass cremations: NHRC orders Rs 27.94-cr relief

New Delhi , April 03, 2012

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has ordered Rs 27.94 crore as monetary relief to families of 1,513 people killed and cremated during militancy period in Punjab.
The order comes as NHRC investigated the “illegal killings and disappearances” which culminated in the cremation of 2,097 bodies in Amritsar, Majitha and Tarn Taran districts between 1984-1994. The case is known as Punjab mass cremations case.

Of the 2,097 cases, only 1,513 could be identified.

“The NHRC has recommended a total of Rs 27.94 crore as monetary relief to the next of kin of 1,513 deceased whose bodies could be identified out of cases of unidentified 2,097 bodies which were remitted to the Commission by the Supreme Court popularly known as the Punjab mass cremations case,” an NHRC spokesperson said.

These include 195 cases where the deceased were in deemed police custody and 1,318 others whose bodies were cremated by the police. A total of 532 bodies remained unidentified despite efforts by the Commission from the date of remittance in December 1996.

The Supreme Court had referred the matter to NHRC on December 12, 1996 saying any compensation awarded by the Commission shall be binding and payable.
Since then, the spokesperson said, the Commission heard the matter from time to time and through its proceedings on October 10, 2006, it found that out of the total 2,097 bodies cremated in the three districts of Amritsar, Majitha and Tarn Taran, 1,245 bodies had been identified.

The Commission held that for the violation of human rights of a total of 194 deceased admittedly in police custody immediately prior to their death and their cremation, their kin were entitled to monetary compensation of Rs 2.50 lakh each.

Regarding 1,051 other identified deceased persons whose bodies were not in police custody but cremated by the state without following Punjab Police Rules, the Commission awarded monetary relief of Rs 1.75 lakh to each of the affected families.

For the identification of the remaining 814 bodies, excluding some duplicate names, the Commission appointed Justice KS Bhalla, a retired judge of Punjab and Haryana high court for receiving evidence and conducting an inquiry to fix the identity of as many dead bodies as possible out of the 814 unidentified deceased persons.

Justice Bhalla  submitted a report in June 2007 mentioning that the committee had been able to identify 143 deceased persons.

For facilitating identification of the remaining dead bodies, the Commission constituted another committee comprising DS Bains, IAS, Virender Singh, district and sessions judge (retired) and DIG Border Range Amritsar as members.

The Bains committee on March 22 submitted its final report which mentions that the panel had been able to identify 125 bodies during the sittings.

The spokesperson said the Commission on March 27 considered the report and recommended monetary relief of Rs 1.75 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased identified by the committee.










BJP corporators attend MCC meeting convened by mayor

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 05.27AM IST

MANGALORE: BJP corporators, after playing hardball over the election of chairpersons of four standing committees of Mangalore City Corporation, attended the meeting convened by mayor Gulzaar Banu here on Monday. They had abstained from meetings convened by the mayor, who is from the Congress, on March 16 and 24 on grounds the BJP had challenged her election before the district and sessions court as well as before the Karnataka high court.

Their action, BJP corporators told The Times of India, was guided by the fact that the party would have lost further ground had they abstained from the meeting. Harish Kumar, commissioner at the general meeting on Saturday had clarified that it is the discretionary power of the mayor to condone absence of members from meetings of the standing committees or the council irrespective of the fact that they had moved an application seeking permission to do so.

In this scenario, nominations of BJP corporators to standing committees would have been annulled on grounds that they were absent for three consecutive meetings of the standing committees and the regional commissioner, Mysore would have had to conduct elections afresh to reconstitute the committees. Unlike, election to the post of mayor and deputy mayor, elections to standing committees is by preferential system of voting.

Congress in this scenario would have gained two seats taking their strength to four in the seven-member committees, reducing the strength of the BJP to three and giving the grand old party the control over the committees. While BJP corporators acknowledged this in private, officially their stand was they were bound by the directive of the party to be present for the elections to the post of chairpersons, which the mayor conducted and BJP nominees won.

Accordingly, Shantha R will now head the taxation, finance and appeals standing committee, Bhaskar Chandra Shetty, the public health, education and social justice standing committee, Yashwanth Meenakaliya, town planning and development standing committee, and Harish, the accounts standing committee. BJP is pinning its hopes on high court, which has reserved its orders on their writ petition challenging Gulzaar’s election, to Tuesday.








Trial court nod to prosecute RIL, 3 officials

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 03.50AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court has allowed criminal prosecution of the then Reliance Industries Ltd and its three senior officials – out of which one is also a prosecution witness in the ongoing 2G spectrum case – for illegally possessing secret documents pertaining to cabinet meetings on economic matters.

The order on framing of charges was passed fourteen years after the FIR was lodged in 1998, when the RIL Group was not divided between brothers Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani.

Additional sessions judge Narinder Kumar said a prima facie case under the Official Secrets Act was made out against RIL, its then group president V Balasubramanian, general manager (corporate affairs) Shankar Adawal and vice president A N Sethuraman, who had deposed as a prosecution witness in the 2G spectrum case in which Reliance telecom is an accused.

“Prima facie case for an offence under Section 5(2) punishable under Section 5(4) (wrongful communication) read with Section 15 of Official Secrets Act is made out against Company accused No.4 (Reliance Industries Limited),” the judge said.

“Prima facie there is material on record to infer agreement and criminal conspiracy between Balasubramanian, Sethuraman and Adawal from the manner in which the information has been received and communicated.”

“Since prima facie case is made out against them, they have to face trial for an offence punishable under Section 120 B IPC (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 5(2) punishable under Section 5(4) of Official Secrets Act,” he ordered. The case relates to recovery of four secret documents allegedly pertaining to government policies on subjects of interest to Reliance Industries Ltd from the company’s office.

However, the court did not find evidence against Ambani brothers, who were also not named as accused in the case. The judge said there was no material to suggest that the documents received by the accused officials reached them.










Court to frame charges in Amboli case on April 27

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 03.19AM IST

MUMBAI: Nearly six months after two youths were knifed to death in Andheri while protesting against the harassment of their female friends, a Sewree sessions court has scheduled the case for framing of charges against four persons.

“The court has scheduled the case for framing of charges on April 27,” said advocate Ujjwal Nikam, who has been appointed as special public prosecutor in the case.

The four accused, Jitendra Rana, Sunil Bodh, Satish Dulhaj and Dipak Tival, informed the court that they had engaged lawyers to defend them.

On October 20, 2011, Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandez (29) were knifed outside a restaurant following a scuffle in Amboli. The duo was standing near a paan stall near the restaurant when a group of men started harassing their female friends. When the duo protested, they were attacked. Keenan died soon after the incident, while Reuben succumbed to his injuries on October 31.

The incident led to a public outcry. The police arrested the four accused and booked them for murder and eve-teasing.

In January, the police filed a 416-page charge sheet before the Andheri metropolitan magistrate. The police have recorded the statements of 21 witnesses, including some pedestrians and passersby. The police also conducted an identification parade in which some of the eyewitnesses recognized the four accused. The metropolitan magistrate subsequently committed the case to the sessions court.

The framing of charges will pave the way for a trial to commence in the case. The police have said they have strong evidence against the accused.










SC flays MCD’s rickshaw policy

Bhadra Sinha, Hindustan Times
Bhadra Sinha, April 03, 2012The Supreme Court on Monday questioned the Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s policy of confiscating and scrapping unlicensed rickshaws, asking, “Why aren’t you prepared to scrap the cars by which drunk drivers commit accident?” The tongue-lashing came as a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and SJ Mukopadhyaya dismissed the corporation’s appeal against a Delhi High Court order that disallowed confiscation and  scrapping of unlicensed rickshaws.

The bench said: “You have not even prepared a law to put them (drunk drivers) behind bars.”

The court found no infirmity with the high court judgment that held rickshaws can ply on Delhi roads without any curb on their numbers. It observed orally: “They (the corporation) thought if they stop plying rickshaws, there would be more space for cars. We appreciate the mindset of the officers for framing such rules.”

The bench did not appreciate the fact that the Delhi government had allowed the corporation to frame such a policy. “Don’t you exercise supervisory control? How can you allow them to take such decision that is not palatable?” it asked the state government counsel.

When the advocate admitted the “weak” section of the society was being targeted and the high court verdict had set things in order, the bench told him: “Why do you leave it to the judiciary and burden us on such issues.”

The court added there was nothing wrong in the high court disbanding the R5 per day fine which the corporation was levying on rickshaw pullers for repeated violations.









SC to hear review petition on 2G licence cancellation

Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, April 03, 2012Justice KS Radhakrishnan has been put on the Supreme Court bench to hear a bunch of pleas by the Centre and various telecom firms, seeking reviews of various aspects of the verdict cancelling 122 2G spectrum licences.

He replaces AK Patnaik, who came in the place of justice Asok

Ganguly, who has retired.

Justice GS Singhvi, who is heading the bench in the 2G matters, earlier on March 16 had said chief justice SH Kapadia has set up a new bench comprising him and justice Patnaik for hearing all cases on the 2G spectrum scam.

The cause list for Tuesday, however, shows that justice Singhvi and justice Radhakrishnan will take up the petitions for in-chamber hearing, which is normally done in case of the review and curative pleas.

A bench of justice GS Singhvi and justice AK Ganguly (now retired) had passed a slew of rulings in the scam including the order cancelling the 122 2G spectrum licences granted by former telecom minister A Raja and had held that the first-come-first-served (FCFS) policy could not be used for the allocation of natural resources.

It had also pulled up the PMO for sitting on the complaint filed against Raja and set a time limit of four months for the government to take a decision on granting sanction to prosecute a corrupt public servant.

In the aftermath of the apex court verdicts, several petitions have been filed by various bodies, including the Centre, the telecom firms, the NGOs and former minister Raja, seeking various reliefs, including review, clarification and recall of the apex court’s order.

Swamy and the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation have moved the apex court against the trial court order giving clean chit to Chidambaram in the scam.

Telecom companies – Tata Teleservices, Sistema Shyam TeleServices Limited (SSTL) and Uninor— have sought review of the verdict cancelling their licences.

The Centre has also sought review and clarification in the 2G verdict which held that sanction for the prosecution of public servants could be sought even prior to the filing of complaint.

It has sought review of the apex court’s January 31 verdict which blamed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for sitting on the plea to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for granting sanction to prosecute Raja.

Faced with the June 2 deadline, when 122 licenses for 2G spectrum will stand quashed, the government has virtually sought extension of time for cancellation of licences .

The main accused in the scam, Raja has also pleaded for a review of the verdict on cancellation of licences, saying it violates the “principles of natural justice” and “judicial norms” and that he was indicted without being heard.

Raja, who has been in jail for more than a year, has contended the findings in the verdict against him are “bound to prejudice” his defence in the trial.

In a separate application, the Centre has questioned the apex court verdict, which has held as unconstitutional the policy of first-come-first-served, saying it has entered into the exclusive domain of the executive and beyond the limits of judicial review.

The review petition has contended the apex court’s prescription of a single method for distribution of all natural resources, including spectrum, through “auction” route is contrary to the principle of separation of powers embodied in the Constitution.

The Centre has also sought review and clarification in the 2G verdict which held that sanction for the prosecution of public servants could be sought even prior to the filing of complaint.

It has sought review of the apex court’s January 31 verdict which blamed the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for sitting on the plea to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for granting sanction to prosecute Raja.

Faced with the June 2 deadline, when 122 licenses for 2G spectrum will stand quashed, the government has virtually sought extension of time for cancellation of licences .

The main accused in the scam, Raja has also pleaded for a review of the verdict on cancellation of licences, saying it violates the “principles of natural justice” and “judicial norms” and that he was indicted without being heard.

Raja, who has been in jail for more than a year, has contended the findings in the verdict against him are “bound to prejudice” his defence in the trial.

In a separate application, the Centre has questioned the apex court verdict, which has held as unconstitutional the policy of first-come-first-served, saying it has entered into the exclusive domain of the executive and beyond the limits of judicial review.

The review petition has contended the apex court’s prescription of a single method for distribution of all natural resources, including spectrum, through “auction” route is contrary to the principle of separation of powers embodied in the Constitution.







Despite red flag, BMC sticks to civil works contract system

Stuti Shukla : Tue Apr 03 2012, 02:06 hrs

Despite controversy over an internal note by the chief accountant of the BMC, which points out flaws in the allegedly corrupt civil works contracts (CWC) system, the civic body has floated tenders for the same.

The two-yearly ward level contracts for 2010-12 expired on March 31 and tenders for 2012-14 have now been floated. The BMC said a new system of thorough checks and balances will be introduced so that no unnecessary work is undertaken and quality is maintained.

Corporators in last week’s standing committee meeting had raised objections to the note circulated by chief accountant (finance) Ram Dhas, which stated how contractors were in a nexus with ward-level officials and corporators and got orders for minor works. Dhas, through his note, sought introduction of a better system in place of CWC for two years on an experimental basis. A similar note suggesting ways to end malpractice at ward-level works was circulated by Dhas last year too.\

However, the civic body has planned to go ahead with the CWC. Additional municipal commissioner (city engineer’s department) Manisha Mhaiskar said the changes proposed in the note are “slightly impractical” and the BMC would ensure that there is no malpractice.

“It is not practical to invite tenders for every small ward-level work costing no more than Rs 2-3 lakh. We have gone ahead with CWC this time too but we have introduced two measures to curb malpractice. Only the ward officer will have the power to sanction works that he thinks need to be undertaken. This way, unnecessary works will not be undertaken. Moreover, sufficient quality audits for the works will be in place,” she said.

To avoid inspection by the vigilance department, the civic officials submit the bills towards the end of the financial year, hence there’s no time for a quality check. “This time we will make it mandatory for bills to be submitted within 15 days of completion of the work,” Mhaiskar added.







Baby girl lies unwanted as two families battle over a new-born boy; court steps in

Reported by Rajan Mahan, Updated: April 03, 2012 09:39 IST

Jodhpur:  The Rajasthan High Court has taken suo moto cognizance of the shocking case of a baby girl who has been abandoned in Jodhpur’s Umaid Hospital. The court has termed this a ”serious incident” and a terrible example of gender bias. It has also has ordered the Chief Judicial Magistrate of Jodhpur to ensure adequate protection for the girl child.

The eight-day-old baby lies in the nursery for new-borns. Her biological mother, who is in the women’s general ward does not see her, or feed her. She remains un-named. She was born a healthy baby. Her shortcoming is that she is not a boy.

When Poonam Kanwar delivered her child at Jodhpur’s Umaid Hospital, mid-wives reportedly eager for a tip said, she had given birth to a son. They brought her a baby boy to hold in her arms, and collected their reward. Then the news was broken two hours later to Poonam and her family that the boy they had embraced was actually born to another woman in the same hospital. Now, Poonam says she wants a DNA test to confirm who the baby boy belongs to. That could take four weeks, say authorities. On the basis of a blood test, hospital authorities claim Poonam is the baby girl’s mother.

Poonam already has a son. Like Reshma Devi, the boy’s biological mother, she comes from a rather modest family of farmers in Barmer district. Reshma Devi has already left the hospital with her son and is taking full care of him.

“It’s the fault of the hospital staff which has caused all this confusion,” says Poonam Devi’s husband, Chain Singh.

Doctors say that they cannot allow the abandoned girl to be fed by Poonam Devi till she accepts this is her child – the family says they will not allow this till they get the results of the DNA test.

The court has sought a progress report from the CJM on April 20 and has appointed advocate Raj Lakshmi Choudhary as the girl’s amicus curie.
Given the insensitivity and negligence of hospital staff, the Rajasthan Women’s Commission has intervened.  “This case smacks of a feudal mindset that discriminates against the girl child. Also it’s the negligence of the hospital staff that has created this confusion and caused so much suffering to this little girl. Our Commission is entitled to issue notices in such cases to seek action against the guilty and we shall definitely do the same”,” said Dr Lad Kumari Jain, Chairperson, Rajasthan Women’s Commission.






OSA case: Court for prosecution of Reliance and three officials

Published: Monday, Apr 2, 2012, 18:52 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

A Delhi court has allowed criminal prosecution of the Reliance Industries Ltd and its three senior officials for illegally possessing secret documents pertaining to cabinet meetings on economic matters.

The order was passed, 14 years after the FIR was lodged in 1998 when the RIL Group was not split between between Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani.

Additional Sessions Judge Narinder Kumar said a prima facie case was made out against RIL, its then group president V Balasubramanian, vice-president AN Sethuraman, and general manager (corporate affairs) Shankar Adawal under the Official Secrets Act.

“Prima facie case for an offence under Section 5(2) punishable under Section 5(4) (wrongful communication) read with Section 15 of Official Secrets Act is made out against Company accused No.4 (Reliance Industries Limited),” the judge said.

“Prima facie there is material on record to infer agreement and criminal conspiracy between Balasubramanian, Sethuraman and Adawal from the manner in which the information has been received and communicated.

“Since prima facie case is made out against them, they have to face trial for an offence punishable under Section 120 B IPC (criminal conspiracy) read with Section 5(2) punishable under Section 5(4) of Official Secrets Act,” he ordered.

However, the court did not find evidence against Ambani brothers, who were also not named as accused in the case.

The case relates to recovery of four secret documents pertaining to government policies on subjects of interest to Reliance Industries Ltd from the company’s office here.







Coal India and The Children’s Investment Fund shadow box over legal eagles

Sanjay Dutta, TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 04.00AM IST

NEW DELHI: A formal legal battle between London-based hedge fund TCI (The Children’s Investment Fund) and Coal India (CIL) may not have begun yet. But the world’s biggest coal miner and its single-largest minority shareholder appear to be engaged in a bout of shadow boxing over their legal eagles.

A day after TCI said it has deployed well-known Indian law firm Luthra & Luthra to go into a legal battle against Coal India and its management, world’s biggest corporate legal eagle – DLA Piper of the UK – has offered to defend the state-run monopoly.

On Saturday, TCI said it had instructed its “Indian lawyers to begin the process of taking legal action” against state-run CIL and its directors for breach of key provisions of Indian corporate laws and acting against the interest of minority shareholders. On Monday, government sources said, CIL received a letter from DLA Piper saying it was “aware of the current situation” facing the company and offering to jointhe front against TCI. It also sought an “opportunity” to make a presentation to the company management or discuss the situation in detail.

DLA Piper and Luthra & Luthra together had served as international counsel to Disinvestment Department and CIL for the company’s Rs 15,000-crore initial public offering in October, 2010. The government offloaded 10% holding in the company through the offer that remains the biggest in India, and was oversubscribed 15 times to value the company at $35 billion.

TCI is the single-largest CIL shareholder after the government and has a 1% stake. It has been at loggerheads with the company management over government’s control on coal pricing. CIL has a dual pricing system – one slab for the power sector and another for industries such as steel and cement. Both are indirectly controlled by the government, and cost nearly 50 cheaper than imports. But the coal ministry had recently written to TCI pointing out that the pricing structure and government’s control over it was clearly mentioned as “risk factors” in the company’s prospectus for the IPO. The ministry argued that coal prices have been kept low to ensure cheaper power to people. It has also said CIL is making profits even after selling at government-controlled prices.






SC notice to govt on sterilisation camps

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 03 2012, 03:49 hrs

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to the Central and state governments on a petition alleging that sterilisation surgeries have been performed on women with the aid of torchlights in various places, especially in rural Bihar, in gross violation of the medical and ethical norms.

A Bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale sought replies within eight weeks on a PIL by NGO Human Rights Law Network (HRLN).

Senior advocate Colin Gonsalves told the Bench that operations “were performed by doctors under torchlight and activists of an NGO were administering anaesthesia to the patients.”

According to HRLN, a sterilisation camp was held at the Kaparfora Government Middle School at Araria in Bihar in January by an NGO in coordination with the State Health Society, where a private doctor used the school classroom as an operating theatre for sterilisation surgeries on 53 Dalit women.

Devika Biswas, the activist in whose name the petition is filed, said the operation left three women bleeding severely and they required treatment at a private medical hospital.

“In clear violation of the government guidelines and the basic human rights, the doctor performed surgeries at night, under torchlight. During the two hours he was operating, the doctor did not wash his hands, change gloves, or wear a surgical gown and cap,” the petition alleged.









High court, GDD, GTC asked to file Judges’ Field affidavits

TNN | Apr 2, 2012, 09.57PM IST

GUWAHATI: The Gauhati high court on Monday asked the Gauhati Town Club (GTC) and Guwahati Development Department (GDD) to furnish affidavits on clearing their stands on public usage of Judges’ Field within two weeks. While the GTC has sought time to prepare the affidavits, GDD said it had already prepared the same and is now waiting for the clearance from the chief minister’s office. The Guwahati Metropolitan Development Authority (GMDA), a respondent in the case, said it has no interest in the case and doesn’t want to file any affidavit in it.

The high court instruction came in response to a PIL filed by Pranjal Bordoloi challenging the district administration’s decision of not allotting the judges’ field for public use. Bordoloi filed the PIL in May last year after the district administration denied them the permission to host a rally against corruption scheduled to be attended by Anna Hazare.

“GMDA expressed that it has no say in the case and doesn’t want to file an affidavit in the matter. GTC sought two weeks time to act on it which the court granted,” said Gautam Singh, Bordoloi’s counsel. Singh added: “GDD said it has prepared the affidavit and sent it to the chief minister’s office for clearance. But the delay was caused due to the state’s budget session. The representative from GDD said it can furnish the affidavit as soon as the budget session is over.”

According to the petitioner, Judges’ Field is public property and should be open for all. “It looks like the GTC is using it as private property. Earlier, the high court, responding to a PIL of 2008, ordered that the field must be opened for public use and important public rallies. How can the district administration deny us the permission?” said Bordoloi.

The high court has fixed May 14 as the next date for the hearing in the case. During May 2011, huge controversy erupted after the Anna Hazare’s rally against corruption had to shift from Judges’ Field after the GTC staged a strike opposing it. Later the district administration also denied permission for the rally.







Bill to eliminate manual scavenging in monsoon session, Centre tells SC

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 02.54AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it would introduce a Bill in Monsoon session of Parliament to amend the 19-year-old Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act to ensure rehabilitation of those engaged in such dehumanizing labour.

A bench, comprising Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, wanted additional solicitor general Harin Raval to tell the apex court the salient features of the Bill and whether it would render the pending PIL by NGO Safai Karmachari Andolan infructuous.

The NGO’s nine-year-old petition had detailed instances about the continuance of the abominable practice in many states, including Delhi, and alleged that the 1993 law against manual scavenging had not been able to eradicate the practice that found over five lakh people engaged in collecting and disposing night soil from homes in various states.

The NGO through advocate Shomona Khanna had filed a contempt petition against Uttarakhand government alleging continuance of manual scavenging in some places of the hill state. The bench asked the government to respond to the charges, while seeking answer from Bihar, UP, Madhya Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir to similar charges.









Bill to ban manual scavenging to be introduced in Parl: SC told

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon Apr 02 2012, 18:53 hrs

Nine years after a PIL said over five lakh people were engaged in manual scavenging across the country, the government on Monday told the Supreme Court that a bill aimed at banning such practice will be introduced in Parliament soon. “I have received written instructions that a bill is being introduced in Parliament in Monsoon session which will take care of the entire matter,” Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval told a Bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia.

“We are committed to it (eliminating manual scavenging). Wait till Monsoon session,” he further said before the Bench, also comprising Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar.

However, when Raval replied in affirmative that the petition would become infructuous upon the passage of such bill, advocates K Parameshwar and Shomona Khanna, appearing for NGO Safai Karamchari Andolan, submitted that pendency of a bill in Parliament is not relevant to the present proceedings.

They said the 2003 petition identifying the existence of around 5,77,228 manual scavengers across the country was for the implementation of the Employment of Manual Scavengers and Construction of Dry Latrines (Prohibition) Act, 1993 to eliminate manual scavenging.

The NGO said over the last nine years several orders have been passed by the court but the implementation has not been proper and the Uttarakhand government has failed to respond to the contempt notice issued in 2009.

The counsel appearing for Uttarakhand government said directions issued by the apex court has been complied with.

However, the Bench said the state government will have to file a response to the contempt notice for alleged violation of the existing law of 1993.










SC declines PIL on ATM, credit cards–credit-cards/931609/

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon Apr 02 2012, 16:33 hrs

The Supreme Court today declined to entertain a PIL seeking a direction to the government to make mandatory imprinting of photograph and signature of holders on their credit, debit and ATM cards issued by banks to prevent their misuse.

“There are already some guidelines,” a bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia said while referring to the instructions by RBI.

“Banks can take care of all these. You have written a letter to RBI in this regard,” the bench, also comprising justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar, said while dismissing the PIL filed by a Kolkata resident Avishek Goenka.

The PIL had submitted that holders of these cards are prone to be targeted by criminals resulting in direct crimes ranging from snatching, pick pocketing to fraud.

“Hence, it is the need to incorporate deterrents in form of mandatory imprinting of photograph and signature of the holder on the face of the card,” the PIL said.










Lookout notice for doctor-couple soon: Delhi Police

Press Trust of India, Updated: April 02, 2012 13:17 IST

New Delhi:  Delhi Police on Sunday initiated the process of issuing a lookout notice against a doctor couple, who allegedly left their minor maid locked up and starving in the house while they vacationed in Thailand, officials said.
“We have written to the authorities. We expect to get the lookout notice issued by tomorrow,” the official said.
Sanjay Verma and his wife Sumita were to return to India on Saturday but they have not landed in Delhi yet, police said. The couple had left for Thailand on a vacation leaving their 13-year-old maid allegedly locked up and with very little food in their Dwarka flat.
She was rescued three days ago after neighbours heard her screaming from the balcony.
Anticipating their arrival on Saturday, a police team was stationed at Indira Gandhi International Airport here only to see the couple not arrive.
Police have lodged an FIR against the couple under the Juvenile Justice Act, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The victim had also complained to Child Welfare Committee that she was beaten up by the couple even for small mistakes.
The couple had also allegedly installed CCTVs inside the house to keep a watch on her.
If they found her committing even small mistakes, they used to beat her up, the girl alleged while giving her statement to the Committee.










Don’t shift Gir lions to MP: Gujarat to SC–Gujarat-to-SC/931718/

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 03 2012, 03:50 hrs

The Gujarat government on Monday opposed in the Supreme Court any effort by the Centre to translocate Asiatic lions from its Gir sanctuary to Kuno Palpur wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

Appearing before a Forest Bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and C K Prasad, senior advocate Shyam Divan said the state had sufficient wherewithal and will to conserve the lions’ population and it was not advisable to trans-locate them.

The state said that efforts should be made for translocation of the cheetah from South Africa to Kuno Palpur instead, and lions should be added gradually after sufficient time.

The Gujarat government is fighting a battle in the Supreme Court against the translocation of lions in the wake of a PIL filed by an environment group seeking their translocation to Madhya Pradesh.

At an earlier hearing, the Gujarat government had argued against the need to move the Asiatic lions from Gir. This had prompted the Supreme Court to observe that the big cats were not the “property” of the state, but belong to the country.

The opposition from the state comes despite the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) also voting against the Gujarat government’s reluctance to shift the lions.









Rickshaw pullers find a friend in SC

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 02.50AM IST

NEW DELHI: Delhi’s rickshaw pullers found an ally in the Supreme Court on Monday with the court slamming the Municipal Corporation of Delhi and Delhi government for seeking to undo a Delhi high court order removing a cap on number of rickshaws.

Batting for rickshaw pullers it described as “weak and meek”, the court also quashed the civic body’s bid to restore its power to scrap rickshaws plying without licences, asking MCD to take on someone its own size. “Are you prepared to scrap cars; Impound those involved in drunken driving or even remove them from roads, say for a period of 10 years?” the SC asked MCD.

The apex court has set the stage for movement of pedal-powered tri-cycle rickshaws in most parts of the city as the civic body is now armed only with powers to impose a fine of Rs 5 in areas outside permitted zones, while it will not be able to use more harsh measures.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya felt MCD officials have a mindset problem in wanting to target poor rickshaw pullers as they upheld the decision to do away with the provision of the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Cycle-Rickshaw) By-laws, 1960, that restricted the number of tri-cycles to 99,000 in ear-marked zones. The Act also empowered authorities to confiscate, crush and sell as scrap rickshaws found plying without a licence.

With the Supreme Court upholding the February 10, 2010 HC order, the civic body is now left only with the option of imposing a fine of Rs 5 per day and authorities may now find it difficult to deter rickshaws from plying in areas that have been “no-go” zone for them.

The HC passed the order on a PIL filed by NGO Manushi Sangathan and MCD through counsel Sanjiv Sen challenged the ruling. The NGO’s counsel Prashant Bhushan pointed to the ineffectiveness of the 1960 era cap, saying over 6 lakh rickshaws are plying in the city though only 89,000 had licneces. He said no licence had been issued after 2007.

Justices Singhvi and Mukhopadhaya came down hard on the targeting of rickshaw-pullers and caustically asked that “It seems in their (civic agency) wisdom they thought if they can remove rickshaws from the road there will be enough space for cars…what type of laws you make for rickshaw pullers?”

Delhi government’s counsel D N Goburdhan was not ready to share the blame and looked to wriggle out of the tricky issue, pleading that its was MCD’s job to supervise rickshaws. But, the bench didn’t let go, asking “Do you not frame the Rules and supervise the functioning of the corporation?”

With the escape hatch closed, Goburdhan said: “We understand what the court is saying. Just because he (rickshaw puller) is weak and meek, it does not mean he has no rights.” Having drive home the message, the bench asked, “So why don’t you decide it on your own without leaving it to judiciary?”

Telling the civic body to be considerate towards rickshaw-pullers, the bench said, “They make a living in the Walled Street by pulling rickshaws. Just because he is a rickshaw-puller you allow them (officials) to take such decisions.”







Guj opposes in SC move to translocate Asiatic lions to MP

PTI | 08:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

New Delhi, Apr 2 (PTI) Gujarat today opposed in the Supreme Court any effort by the Centre to translocate Asiatic lions from its Gir sanctuary to Kuno Palpur wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh. Appearing before a special forest bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and C K Prasad, senior counsel Shyam Divan said the state had sufficient wherewithal and will to conserve the lions’ population and it was not advisable to translocate them. The state said that instead efforts should be made for translocation of the extinct cheetah from South Africa to Kuno Palpur and only after sufficient time efforts if any should be made to add lions gradually to that sanctuary. Otherwise “lions will not allow the cheetahs to survive in the sanctuary”. Further, he said that both the animals being predators it would be difficult for them to find sufficient preys in the sanctuary immediately. The state government is fighting a legal battle in the Supreme Court against translocation of lions in the wake of a PIL filed by an environment group seeking their translocation to Madhya Pradesh. Assailing the assumption that lions were becoming extinct in Gujarat, the counsel quoting statistics from the Wildlife Institute of India claimed that population of tigers in Panna forest reserve of Madhya Pradesh had shown a steady decline as there is no single tiger there by 2009 as against 25 in 2002. It is on account of “systemic failure” involving the forest and bureaucratic officials that the tiger population had come down in Madhya Pradesh, the counsel said. Quoting a number of earlier apex court rulings, the state argued that issues relating to wildlife and translocations should be left to the discretion of the experts and courts should not interfere in such matters.








HC strikes down UP govt order for filling up of Class IV posts

PTI | 09:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

through outsourcing Allahabad, April 2 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court has struck down an order passed by Uttar Pradesh government last year whereby it was laid down that no appointments shall be made for Class IV posts in secondary educational institutions and all such vacancies shall be filled through outsourcing. In a judgement delivered on March 21, 2012, Justice Sudhir Agrawal held government Order dated 6.01.2011 was “illegal, arbitrary and ultra vires” of the Constitution and directed the authorities in the secondary education department not to “obstruct the process of selection and appointment for Class IV posts only on the basis of the aforesaid GO”. The order was passed on writ petitions filed by Managing Committees of a number of Inter Colleges across the state. The petitioners had contended that while appointments against vacant posts of Class IV employees were so far made by the Managing Committees through the respective Principals, the GO intended to outsource the entire process to contractors.










Give natural parents’ name in passport: HC

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 03.55AM IST

NEW DELHI: A person who has adopted parents should disclose names of the biological parents for seeking passport, the Delhi high court has said. Only if the adoption has been legally recognized can the names of adopted parents be used for a passport, the court added.

Justice Vipin Sanghi order came on a plea by a 16-year-old girl challenging the Regional Passport Office’s decision to reject her passport application.

“A passport is not only a travel document, but is also an identity document. The identity of a person is determined, inter alia, by his parentage. Therefore, unless there is a legal adoption of the applicant, he/she is bound to give the name of his/her natural parents and cannot choose to provide the name of the adopted parent’s in his/her application form,” the court ruled on her plea.

The passport for the girl had been sought by her mother, who had divorced the girl’s father soon after her birth. Later she re-married and executed an adoption deed in favour of her second husband, whose name she furnished in the passport application as the girl’s father. After rejection of the passport application, she had moved court on behalf of her daughter.

HC upheld the decision of the RPO and pointed out that both parents of a child, if alive, have equal right to give the child in adoption but one cannot exercise this right unilaterally without the other’s consent.








HC sends notice to JKCA

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 03 2012, 03:04 hrs

The J&K High Court Monday asked the J&K Cricket Association (JKCA) to respond to a plea seeking a CBI probe into allegations that some of its officials ran a Rs 50 crore money laundering scam.

Justice H Masoodi also issued notices to the state government and the J&K Bank, the JKCA’s banker, to respond to the petition filed by a group of former cricketers.

JKCA general secretary Ahsan Mirza had resigned and CEO Saleem Khan was sacked last month for “siphoning off crores of rupees” from the association.





HC begins dictation of orders on PILs on Upalokayukta

PTI | 07:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

Bangalore, Apr 2 (PTI) Karnataka High Court today began dictation of orders on two PILs challenging the appointment of former judge Chandrashekaraiah as Upa Lokayukta on the ground that due consultation procedures were not followed by the state government. The division bench headed by Justice N Kumar will continue the dictation of the verdict tomorrow on the PILs filed by advocates M Anand and Janagere Krishna praying for quashing of the appointment. In the PILs filed separately the petitioners contended that the appointment of Upalokayukta was “illegal and ultra virus as per section 3 sub clause 2 of the Lokayukta Act which states that five persons including the Chief Justice of the High Court, leaders of the Opposition and Assembly Speaker must be consulted before appointing the Upalokayukta”. “In this case, the most important person, the Chief Justice has not been consulted”, they submitted. Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen, in a letter written to Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda early last month, had objected to Chandrashekariah’s appointment as Upa Lokayukta in violation of the Lokayukta Act.








Baby girl lies abandoned; HC takes cognizance

Press Trust Of India
Jodhpur/Jaipur, April 02, 2012An eight-day-old baby girl lies abandoned in a hospital as two couples stake their claim over a boy born on the same night, prompting the Rajasthan high court and the State Commission for Women to take suo moto cognisance of the issue. The girl, who was mistakenly exchanged with the boy by the hospital staff on March 25, has not been accepted by the couples and is currently under the supervision of the nursery unit of Ummed hospital in Jodhpur.

Taking suo moto cognisance, the Jodhpur Bench of the Rajasthan high court on Monday termed the matter as serious observing the country is already facing a skewed sex ratio.

The court ordered action to be initiated by the Chief Judicial Magistrate for providing protection to the girl child, including her right to be maintained by her parents.

It has sought a progress report from the CJM on April 20 and has appointed advocate Raj Lakshmi Choudhary as the girl’s amicus curie.

The hospital has not allowed one of the mothers to breastfeed the infant in the absence of an undertaking that the infant belongs to them.

In Jaipur, Rajasthan Commission for Women chairperson Lad Kumari Jain expressed shock at “negligence” of the hospital administration.

“It is a very serious issue that a new-born girl has been left abandoned for the last eight days,” Jain told PTI.

She has issued a notice to the Hospital Superintendent seeking his response in a week.

“We will also probe whether the exchange of the new-born babies was pre-planned or it was only negligence,” Jain said.








HC says it may increase fine imposed on John in mishap case

PTI | 07:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

Mumbai, Apr 2 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today said it may increase the fine imposed on actor John Abraham who was recently convicted by a lower court in a 2006 rash driving case. Justice R C Chavan today heard the appeal filed by the actor, challenging the 15-day imprisonment awarded to him by sessions court. Two men had been injured in the accident. John had first appealed in sessions court against the order passed by the metropolitan magistrate in October 2006, convicting him for “rash and negligent driving”. While the magistrate’s court had released him on bail upon conviction, the sessions court, on March 9 this year, dismissed his appeal and rejected his subsequent bail plea. The 39-year-old actor approached the High Court on the same day, which granted him fresh bail. “I may increase the fine amount imposed on the applicant (John) or the compensation awarded to the victims,” Justice Chavan said today. At the last hearing, the judge had directed that the two injured victims — Shyam Kasbe and Tanmay Majhi — should be added as respondents to the appeal petition. John’s lawyer, Ashok Mundargi, said today that while Tanmay’s name had been added, Kasbe had died of illness during the trial. Asking the police to find out Kasbe’s legal heirs, Justice Chavan said: “He (Kasbe) suffered injuries. So what if he is dead, his family can receive the compensation.” The next hearing is on April 9. The lower court had imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 for rash driving, and Rs 500 for causing hurt. The mishap had occurred on April 8, 2006, when the Yamaha Hayabusa motorcycle ridden by the actor hit a bicycle on the Carter Road in suburban Bandra.









Freedom fighters’ property: HC appoints authority for scrutiny of names

I P Singh, TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 05.12AM IST

JALANDHAR: After the half-hearted approach of the official machinery to identify cases in which properties of freedom fighters were confiscated by the British regime but were not restored by the government after independence, Punjab and Haryana high court has now asked noted freedom movement historian M J S Waraich, who has filed two petitions in the HC seeing restoration of such lands, to act as the authority for the purpose of scrutiny of names of such freedom fighters and their legal heirs.

The HC has asked Waraich to place such names before the court, after scrutiny and satisfaction, through Amicus Curiae Advocate J S Mendiratta for further orders. It has also asked the state government to handover applications which might have been received by the government authorities after HC order dated December 15 last year, which asked the state to identify such cases of freedom fighters, to Waraich for necessary verification.

The HC has asked the state government that any applications received by government in future would also be handed over to Waraich for the purpose. The half hearted approach of official machinery was evident from the fact that while most of the SDMs took seven weeks in issuing notices even as the order was issued by HC on December 15 last but they gave just one week to such heirs to submit their claims along with documents.

“It appeared that the bureaucracy failed legally but they wanted to scuttle the implementation of high court orders with such tricks as only somebody extremely influential could perhaps arrange such old documents in such a short time,” Waraich had earlier told TOI.








HC extends release of ship by another day

PTI | 06:04 PM,Apr 02,2012

Kochi/Kollam, Apr 2 (PTI) The Kerala High Court today further stayed the release of Italian vessel Enrica Lexie till tomorrow even as a court in Kollam extended for 14 days the judicial remand of the ship’s two marines, charged with gunning down two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15. In the high Court, acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice V Chidambaresh observed that petitioner Dolphin Tankers, owner of the vessel, ought to have approached the magistrate court for the ship’s release. The bench orally observed, “We cannot block the jurisdiction of magistrate court and deviate from procedure. Criminal Procedure Code is applicable in this case also. Procedure cannot be changed in the reason that there is involvement of huge money. We cannot unsettle a settled procedure.” The court adjourned the case to tomorrow for further hearing on the request of petitioners. Meanwhile, the remand of marines Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone has been extended by another 14 days. They were produced before Chief Judicial Magistrate A K Gopakumar after being brought from the central prison in the state capital where they are lodged. The naval guards were arrested on February 19 and charged with murder of fishermen Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki, who had put out to sea from Neendakara in Kollam. PTI COR JRK NM UD APR









Rash driving: HC raises fine on John Abraham

Express news service : Tue Apr 03 2012, 02:01 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Monday said it will increase the fine imposed on actor John Abraham (37), and compensation for the victims in a case of rash and negligent driving involving the actor.

The case dates back to April 8, 2006 and Abraham is also facing charges of causing hurt by endangering personal safety. The High Court had, in the last hearing, directed Shyam Kasbe and Tanmay Majhi, who were injured in the incident, to be added as respondents in the case. The duo was injured after Abraham’s Hayabusa allegedly hit them.

Abraham’s counsel Ashok Mundargi told the court that Kasbe had died a natural death unrelated to the accident. While Majhi had been joined as a party to the petition, Mundargi said he was in Kolkata at present and would remain present on April 9. Justice R C Chavan asked additional public prosecutor Rajeshree Newton to find out if any legal representatives of Kasbe could also be joined in the case.

The lower court had imposed a fine of Rs1,000 for rash and negligent driving and Rs 500 for causing hurt. A Metropolitan Magistrate had, on October 14, 2010, held Abraham guilty and asked him to serve a fortnight in prison. In the sessions court, Abraham had sought the suspension of this order until his appeal against it was decided by it. The sessions court, however, said it had no jurisdiction to hear his application against the magistrate court’s order or his application for bail. The HC granted the actor bail and his review application is pending before it.







Identify abandoned girl’s parents, HC directs Jodhpur hospital

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 06.26AM IST


JAIPUR/JODHPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday took suo-motu cognizance of an eight-day-old abandoned girl’s plight at a Jodhpur hospital and directed authorities to identify her parents. The court warned of action if they avoided her custody and proper care a day after TOI reported the story.

The newborn was abandoned immediately after her birth last week as her mother insisted that she had given birth to a baby boy and that he had got exchanged with the girl, who was born on the same day. Two couples are claiming the boy while the girl remains abandoned. The hospital authorities are waiting for a DNA test from a Hyderabad laboratory to confirm the girl’s parentage.

The court appointed an amicus curiae and asked Jodhpur’s chief judicial magistrate (CJM) to file a report on the matter on April 20.

Justice Sandeep Mehta directed the CJM to provide protection to the girl including her right to be cared by her parents while invoking Protection of Women (Domestic Violence) Act’s section 12. “If any person is found avoiding custody and the duty of proper upkeep of the child, the court shall have to invoke Section 31 of the act,” the court said.







HC stays probe ordered by human rights body into harassment case

HT Correspondent,
Mumbai, April 03, 2012The Bombay high court stayed an order passed by the Maharashtra State Human Rights Commission (MSHRC) ordering an inquiry against two Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officers for the alleged custodial harassment of a Sikh businessman.

Acting on a petition filed by the

DRI’s Mumbai zonal unit, a division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice PD Kode also issued a notice to the registrar, MSHRC, and the Sikh businessman, Mohinderpal Gujral, who had been arrested by DRI for his alleged complicity in the fraudulent import of high-end cars. The matter is now posted for further hearing after four weeks. The incident allegedly took place on June 1, 2008, when a DRI team headed by senior intelligence officer DS Mehta, arrested Gujral after conducting raids at the businessman’s Juhu residence. Mehta was acting on the orders of his senior C Jagiasi, an assistant director in the DRI, Gujral claims.

Gujral then approached MSHRC on June 23, alleging the senior DRI officers assaulted and tortured him in custody and also cut off his beard, hurting his religious sentiments. He alleged it was because he had refused to pay bribe amount of Rs25 lakh the DRI officials demanded.

On December 30, 2011, a bench comprising MSHRC chairman, justice Kshitij Vyas and justice VG Munshi directed the director general (DG), DRI, to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Jagiasi and Mehta.

The commission also directed the DG to take action against the two officers.









HC seeks details of land allotment

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 06.06AM IST

ALLAHABAD: A division bench of the Allahabad high court has directed district administration of Allahabad to apprise the court about the scheme/ guidelines, if any, in respect of the allotment of land in Magh/Kumbh Mela areas in Sangam.

The bench of Justice Amitava Lala and Justice PKS Baghel told the standing counsel of the state, Ramanand Pandey to produce the scheme, if any, in respect of allotment of land in Magh/Kumbh Mela areas . The court will hear the case on April 14.

A writ petition had stated that there should be fair a process in allotting the land in Magh Mela areas. The bench, therefore, has sought details about the scheme for allotment of land.

The court said it wants to see the criteria /scheme for allotment of land and also to resolve the future disputes in this regard.

HC strikes down GO: The Allahabad high court has struck down para -2 of a government order, dated January 6, 2011, whereby the state government had said that in future no appointment on grade IV posts (except the junior cadre of technical posts) shall be made and such vacancies shall be managed by outsourcing.

Passing the order, Justice Sudhir Agrawal stated that the said portion of the impugned government order was illegal, arbitrary, unconstitutional and ultra vires.

Several writ petitions were filed in the high court by the committee of management of various colleges, challenging the said government order.

Setting aside the government order, the court has directed the education authorities not to obstruct the process of selection and appointment on grade IV posts in secondary educational institutions only on the basis of the government order dated January 6, 2011.







HC appoints committee to oversee Arya Orphanage

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Tue Apr 03 2012, 06:10 hrs

In further embarrassment for the Delhi government that had appointed an administrator to look into the affairs at Arya Orphanage, the Delhi High Court has now set up a committee “to administer” the institution.

The court also asked the government if it could substitute its current administrator with someone who was not “disinterested” or pre-occupied so that children’s welfare could be ensured.

“The Delhi government would inform the court whether it can nominate an administrator who works full-time at the Arya Anathalaya and not a disinterested person who visits the Anathalaya on part-time basis and that too with a lackadaisical approach,” said the bench headed by Justice Pradeep Nandarajog, noting that the present administrator was tied up with MCD election duties.

Bans Raj, the current administrator, was to inquire into the functioning of Arya Orphanage, from where alleged cases of sexual abuse of children have been reported.

The bench had taken the matter up as a PIL after Haq Centre for Child Rights had sought the court’s intervention in ensuring safety and well being of the children.

The bench appointed a three-member committee, headed by Judicial Officer Santosh Snehi Mann, to visit the complex and report if the court should pass any urgent directives.

“The impasse created by an administrator, who is overloaded with work and has not much time to administer the functioning of the Anathalaya, requires this court to constitute a committee to administer the Anathalaya for a limited duration, with further course of action to be chartered depending upon the report submitted by the committee,” said the bench.

Adding that the court was not removing the administrator, the court asked him to “act in conjunction” with the committee, which will visit Arya Orphanage every day and spend at least three hours interacting with children.

The bench further asked the committee, also comprising Kiran Jyoti and Afsar Ahmad Khan, to consider the 13 suggestions given on the last date of hearing by Anant K Asthana, Haq’s counsel.

It also and directed the Orphanage officials to assist the committee members in implementing the measures.

“Should the committee decide that any staff member at Arya Anathalaya, be it in the Arya Bal Griha or Arya Kanya Sadan, requires to be shifted from the Anathalaya, the office-bearers of the three societies concerned would ensure that the said persons are transferred to Chhatravas Chandra Arya Vidya Mandir or any other institute established by a society with which or with whom there is interaction by Arya Anathalaya,” said the court.

It has now fixed the matter for April 20 for taking on record the committee’s report.

The court had earlier found severe flaws with the government’s Commission of Inquiry, compelling it to issue another notification in this regard. The court had then pulled up the Chief Minister and the Lieutenant-Governor for not following procedure and hurriedly issuing the notification.








Man moves HC seeking aid for medical negligence

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 05.09AM IST

MADURAI: A coolie based at Srivilliputhur has moved the Madurai bench of the Madras high court seeking a direction to the state government to pay compensation for the death of his wife and child in womb and consequently direct it to initiate action against the medical officer and staff responsible for the death.

Filing the petition in the Madurai bench, M Raja of Srivilliputhur said his wife Maria Lilly Pauline became pregnant and was undergoing regular medical check up at the Srivilliputhur Government Hospital from March 8, 2011 onwards.

He said on September 23, 2011, he took his wife to the government hospital and admitted her. As his wife did not develop labour pain even after two days, he requested Meera, a gynaecologist to go for surgery. But she did not heed to his request and failed to provide attention to his wife, he contended.

Raja said that on September 26, 2011 his wife developed labour pain. But no gynaecologist was available in the hospital at that time. The staff nurse told him to go to Meera’s place in an auto rickshaw and bring her to the hospital. When he went there, Raja found Meera attending to patients at her private clinic. After making desperate pleas with her to save his wife’s life, the doctor agreed to come to the hospital. However, by the time they arrived in the hospital, his wife had already passed away.

The petitioner added, “If any gynaecologist was available on duty at the relevant point of time in the hospital, his wife and his child could have been saved by the doctors. Therefore, the state is vicariously liable for the act of erring doctor.”

When the matter came up for hearing, Justice K K Sasidharan directed the petitioner’s counsel R Alagumani to implead as the party respondent.









Bombay HC upholds bar’s shutdown, says society must not suffer

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 02.48AM IST

MUMBAI: Society must not suffer, the Bombay high court said on Monday, while lauding the police commissioner for rightly closing down a restaurant-cum-bar at Goregaon (W) where waitresses allegedly indulged in vulgarity.

A division bench of Justices P B Majmudar and Anoop Mohta was hearing an appeal filed by Appu Shetty (70), proprietor of Hotel Sona on S V Road, against a judge’s order. The judge had dismissed his petition challenging the closure of his hotel on the commissioner’s order.

Shetty’s petition said a showcause notice was issued by the deputy commissioner of police (headquarters) in February 2010 on various grounds, including that a surprise visit showed that five waitresses were “acting in a vulgar manner on orchestra music and showing undue intimacy with customers after midnight” and that the “customers were throwing Indian currency notes on them”.

Shetty’s licence was cancelled on March 4, 2011; it was confirmed by the home minister on September 6, 2011. Shetty closed his hotel on November 16, 2011. He moved the HC and the judge upheld the commissioner’s power to cancel the licence if a irregularity is found.

Bobby Malhotra, Shetty’s advocate, said the punishment was harsh. Malhotra said the livelihood of other staffers was also affected. The judges said they had come across petitions regarding problems of women working as bar girls/waitresses but the court would not encourage misbehaviour. “For the larger interest of society and people, mainly young people, stop these activities. Society must survive. See to it that waitresses don’t indulge in illegal exhibition of their bodies,” said Justice Majmudar. He also had a piece of advice for Shetty: “Find some other business, you are 70. There are temples. You can go there,” said Justice Majmudar.

The judges said Shetty’s licence was suspended earlier too for violating licence conditions. “The commissioner was absolutely justified… If a hotelier is permitted to indulge in such activities, society is bound to suffer as those visiting hotels are tempted to indulge in illegal activities,” they said. They hoped the commissioner would direct his staff to be “vigilant, carry surprise checks” and take strict action against violators.









HC grants bail to 2 more AMRI directors

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 04.05AM IST

KOLKATA: Manish Goenka and Ravi Todi, directors of the AMRI Hospitals, were granted bail by the Calcutta high court on Monday. They were in custody for 116 days since their arrest after the December 9 fire at AMRI-Dhakuria that claimed 91 lives.

The order was passed by a division bench of justices Ashim Roy and Ashim Ray. The defence lawyers argued that the two directors should be granted bail pending trial since the investigation in the case had been completed and a chargsheet filed. Of the 16 accused in the case, 12 are directors and the rest senior executives of the hospital. All of them have been charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder.

Last Wednesday, the high court 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.

So far, six of the accused, including five directors, have already been granted bail. Dr Moni Chhetri, the managing director of the hospital who holds its license, was granted bail by a trial court. Dr Pranab Dasgupta and senior vice president Satyabrata Upadhyay were also granted bail.

Director R S Agarwal was granted bail by the high court along with R S Goenka and Prashant Goenka on March 28. Three board members – Aditya Agarwal, Preeti Surekha and Rahul Todi – are absconding.

More than 90 persons, most of them patients, died after inhaling smoke on the night of the fire that allegedly started from cotton and other materials stored illegally in the basement of the centrally air-conditioned multi-specialty hospital.








Delhi HC asks CVC to check status of CBI probe into Kandla land ‘scam’

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 02.43AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday directed the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) to examine the status of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged land scam at Kandla Port.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw issued notice to the CVC, and sought a reply within two weeks. Now, the matter is listed for May 8.

An NGO, the Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL), has alleged that a huge land scam has been going on for past few decades in the allotment of 16,000 acres of government land near Kandla port in Gujarat, causing a huge loss to the national exchequer.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan, filing a fresh application in the case on behalf of CPIL, demanded the CVC to intervene to monitor the CBI probe.

“Through this application, the petitioner would like to bring to light the serious shortcomings in the CBI investigation and call for certain urgent orders from this court,” the application submitted. It alleged that several cases relating to land allotment in the Kandla port were forwarded to the CBI for investigation by the chief vigilance officer of the Kandla Port Trust in his report, but no action was taken. The report deals with 16,000 acres of land and encapsulated the role of the shipping ministry, government of India in the scam’s cover-up.

The HC had earlier allowed the CBI inquiry into the scam and asked it to file a detailed status report on all the cases, but Bhushan alleged that the CBI has given a report that is short of details.

The CBI report dated January 18, 2012, gives the current status of only four cases, he argued, adding that in two of the four cases, a chargesheet has been filed against senior officials of the Kandla port including its former chairpersons.

“This is an extremely serious case of cheating and corruption, where clear-cut evidence is present for chargesheeting the accused. The delay in finalization of investigation raises serious suspicions on the conduct of the investigation,” the lawyer alleged.

As per the petition, between 1960s and 1970s, the land near Kandla port was leased out on nomination basis and not through competitive bidding. It is alleged that most of the leases around the port have also expired, and the conduct of the shipping ministry is in violation of provision of Major Port Trust Act, 1963, and the government’s norms.

The petition has prayed before the HC to direct taking back the possession of the 16,000 acres of government land and evict trespassers, who are in illegal occupation of the plot.









HC to clear ambiguity in the Lokayukta Act

TNN | Apr 3, 2012, 04.58AM IST

BANGALORE: The Karnataka high court has observed that there is ambiguity in the Lokayukta act regarding the consultation process and it needs to be set right.

A division bench headed by Justice N Kumar on Monday enlarged the scope of the two PILs challenging Justice Chandrashekaraiah’s appointment as Upa Lokayukta, and said the procedure needs to be set right leaving no scope for ambiguity.

”We want to lay down the law,” the bench observed while framing several questions such as the consultation process and how it has to be undertaken, what inputs each constitutional authority has to give and what should be done if there is no unanimity among consultees.

The bench has started the dictation process on the two PILs challenging the Upa Lokayukta’s appointment and is likely to complete it on Tuesday.

BSY’s letter in court

In another development, a letter written by former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa to the then Chief Justice JS Khehar was placed in the court on Monday.

In the August 2, 2011 letter, the former CM apologized to Justice Khehar for not consulting him in the Lokayukta’s appointment (Justice V Shivaraj Patil). He had also assured that the chief secretary would put in place a ‘revised system’ in place on the lines suggested by the Chief Justice, and that would be acted upon.

What’s the case?

Two advocates filed the PILs challenging Justice Chandrashekaraiah’s appointment on January 21, citing that Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen wasn’t consulted in the process.

The chief justice, in fact, wrote a letter on February 4, saying that he wasn’t consulted while appointing Justice Chandrashekaraiah. However, the government contended that the chief minister is not bound by the advice of any of the consultees, including the chief justice, on the Upa Lokayukta’s appointment.

The government further claimed that consultation is only a ‘procedural requirement’ and none among the consultees has any primacy in the matter.






Aarushi case: HC notice to Rajesh Talwar on CBI plea

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 03, 2012, 13:50

Ghaziabad: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to Rajesh Talwar seeking reply on a plea by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) challenging the Ghaziabad CBI court’s order extending his bail. Talwar is a co-accused in the double murder of his 13-year-old daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.

Issuing notice to Talwar, the court fixed May 7 as the next date of hearing in the matter.

The CBI court in Ghaziabad had last month allowed Talwar to remain on bail till April 11, referring to the Supreme Court’s observation that the accused father was virtually on bail.


Moving the application before the Allahabad HC yesterday, the Central agency had contested CBI Special Judge Preeti Singh’s decision stating that Talwar has to apply for regular bail and that the Ghaziabad court had misinterpreted the apex court’s order.

Dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar had moved the SC seeking the transfer of trial on the grounds of their personal security, and that a large number of witnesses in the case resided in Delhi. But their request was turned down.

Aarushi, 14, was found brutally murdered in their Noida residence on May 16, 2008. The body of Hemraj was found the next day from the terrace of the house.







‘Indecent activities’: HC lauds police for action against hotel

Express news service : Tue Apr 03 2012, 03:09 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Monday appreciated the Mumbai Police’s decision to cancel the licence of a suburban hotel after women employees of the hotel were allegedly found to be involved in ‘indecent exposure.’

“It is good that one such hotel is closed. We have to see to it that the society is purified,” Justice P B Majmudar said.

Appu Shetty, the owner of Sona Hotel in Goregaon (West) had moved the High Court challenging the order of the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) HQ, passed on November 16, 2011, permanently cancelling the license issued to the hotel.

The police had first issued a showcause notice to Shetty on February 2, 2010 alleging that the waitresses employed in the hotel were indulging in “vulgar” and “indecent” behaviour towards their customers. The DCP’s order was confirmed by the state government.

Earlier, not interfering with the police’s decision, a single judge of the High Court had found no fault in it. It was then that Shetty appealed before a division Bench of the court.

Justice Majmudar and Justice Anoop Mohta also observed that in other cases, the court had permitted waitresses to work late in such hotels, but if any conditions of employment were violated, the court would encourage the police to take strict action against such hotels.

“If waitresses are exploited by the employer; if it is found that they are forced to exhibit indecently or vulgarly, then the DCP is justified in passing such an order,” the court said.

Shetty’s lawyer Bobby Malhotra argued that the police could have permanently cancelled the licence if he was convicted for such an offence.

“That is the unfortunate part of our system. There is no conviction,” Justice Majmudar said. He, however, added that in the absence of a conviction, the police’s power to take action against errant hotel-owners would not be restrained.

“There is vulgar exhibition of body….where are we going? The society will suffer. People, especially young people, will be tempted to go to such places,” Justice Majmudar said. He added that this was “a matter of great danger” and it would be in the larger interest of the society that such places are closed down by the police.

Dismissing Shetty’s petition, the court said the police must conduct surprise checks. “Let us start gradually,” Justice Majmudar said.

Malhotra said her client is 70-years old and that he and his 50 employees would be deprived of their livelihood if the license was permanently cancelled. “You can do some other business….there are so many temples in Mumbai, you can work there,” the court said.


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