LEGAL NEWS 24.04.2012

Karnataka DGP row: Supreme Court stays HC order on Bidari

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Karnataka High Court order which had quashed the appointment of Shankar Bidari as Director General of State Police.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C. K. Prasad asked the State High Court to examine afresh the matter and dispose it of before May 31.

The apex court while staying the High Court’s March 30 order, said the latter had passed the impugned order on assumptions without going into the findings of the Justice Sadashiva Commission and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), which, according to Mr. Bidari, had given him a clean chit in the case of alleged excesses and sexual abuse perpetrated by the Joint STF on tribal women.

The High Court had earlier quashed Mr. Bidari’s appointment saying that he was indicted by the commission as he was the deputy commandant at the time of the alleged excesses committed by the Joint STF of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, set up to track down forest brigand and notorious sandalwood smuggler Veerappan.

The apex court said it was of a prima facie view that the findings of the Sadashiva Commission and NHRC were not relevant considerations for the empanelled officers, yet, it said, it was not going into the merits of the issue at this stage and left it to the High Court to decide the same.

While former Solicitor General Gopal Subramaniam appeared for Mr. Bidari, senior counsel U.U. Lalit appeared for the Karnataka government.

Another senior counsel Altaf Ahmed appeared for senior IPS officer A R Infant on whose petition the High Court had passed the impugned order.

The apex court was hearing a petition filed by IPS officer Shankar Mahadev Bidari challenging the Karnataka High Court’s order which had quashed his appointment as DGP while dubbing him as “worse than Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi.”

The High Court had made the stinging remark against Mr. Bidari for the alleged atrocities on women committed by the Special Task Force led by him during the hunt to nab Veerappan.

The High Court had made those remarks in response to his contention that he cannot be held responsible for atrocities as he was only a deputy commander of the Joint Task Force of two states, set up to nab Veerappan and was not “omnipresent and omnipotent like Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi.”

Mr. Bidari’s appointment had been challenged by another DGP A R Infant who was a year senior to Mr. Bidari but had allegedly been bypassed.

Mr. Infant had alleged Mr. Bidari was appointed as state police chief despite the “black marks” on his service record due to atrocities on tribals committed during his stint as the head of the task force set up to nab Veerappan more than 20 years ago.

The NHRC had also filed complaints regarding the sexual and physical assault on tribal women in the area. The Central Administrative Tribunal had upheld Mr. Infant’s plea. Mr. Bidari and the state government had challenged this in the High Court.

The High Court had asked the government to relieve Mr. Bidari forthwith and appoint Mr. Infant in his place.








426 cases of ‘fake encounters’ registered in last 3 years

PTI | 06:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) A total of 426 cases of alleged fake encounters by police, defence and central armed police forces were registered by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) during 2009-12. Minister of State for Home Jitendra Singh said till April 17, 2012, no such case has been registered and during the last two years, in none of the cases, any recommendation for disciplinary action or prosecution of the public servants has been made by NHRC. “Against 426 cases of alleged fake encounters, 84 cases have been solved and the remaining 342 are unsolved,” he said in the Lok Sabha. Singh said for expediting the unsolved cases, concerted efforts are made by NHRC for obtaining the inquest reports, post-mortem report, magisterial inquiry report etc from the state governments concerned. “It is for the state governments to take action in every crime. The Central government issues advisories, while the NHRC issues guidelines and recommendations to be followed by the States/UTs in all cases of deaths in the course of police action,” he said.






Babus ‘forced’ tribal girls to dance, indecent behaviour alleged—forced—tribal-girls-to-dance–indecent-behaviour-alleged/940470/

Agencies : Bhopal, Mon Apr 23 2012, 20:29 hrs

Taking cognisance of ‘Raai’ dance performed by minor Bedhni tribe girls at a fair at Ashok Nagar town and reports of indecent behaviour of some people, the Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission(MPHRC) has issued notices to Principal Secretary of Social Justice Department and Superintendent of Police to seek their explanation on it.

The Commission took cognisance of the incident following a report in a magazine published by Global Earth Society for Environmental Energy and Development.

The MPHRC issued notices to Madhya Pradesh Social Justice Department’s Principal Secretary, Collector of Ashok Nagar and Superintendent of Police to seek their explanation.

The magazine’s editor Dr Subhash Pandey told reporters here today that MPHRC took a serious note of the minor Bedhni girls performing ‘Raai’ dance and reports of indecent behaviour with them and served notices on the concerned authorities recently.

Pandey also submitted a copy of the magazine, CD and photographs to the Commission in this regard.

He also filed a similar complaint with the National Commission for Women (NCW) Chairperson Mamta Sharma yesterday during her visit to the city. The NCW also assured to recommend strong action in this regard, Pandey said.

MPHRC’s Joint Director (Public Relations) Rohit Mehta confirmed that the Commission has issued notice to the concerned officials in this regard and sought their explanation on the issue.







National Commission for Women to hold parallel probe into Shehla case

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 02.27AM IST

INDORE: National Commission for Women (NCW) has decided to carry out a parallel investigation into the murder case of RTI activist Shehla Masood and submit its report to the Centre.

Talking to reporters in the city, NWC chairperson Mamta Sharma said that she condemned BJP MLA Dhruv Narayan Singh, who is under the CBI investigation in the murder case for his alleged proximity with the prime accused, for claiming to be into relationship with eight women at a time.

She said that the commission would constitute a committee in first week of May and handover the report to the Union government. With regard to the significance of commission’s report, when the country’s premiere investigating agency was already doing the job, the NWC chairperson said the committee would collect the fact at its level to bring it to the notice of the Centre.

About the mounting cases of women harassment in Madhya Pradesh, Sharma said there was no let up in atrocities against women and children in Madhya Pradesh.

“There should be much more effective policing in the state to prevent crime against women,” she said. About the recent spate in rapes in the state, she demanded that such cases be tried in fast-track courts and disposed at the earliest.









Masood case: NCW to set up committee to probe

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 00:01

Indore: National Commission for Women (NCW) would form a committee to probe the RTI activist Shehla Masood murder case, its chairperson said on Monday.

“We have decided to form a panel in the case following the alleged statement of BJP MLA, Dhruv Narayan Singh, that he has such relations with 20 women, and his name coming up in the case a number of times,” NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma said.

“We have decided to take a cognisance of the case and form a panel to minutely probe the matter to get to its bottom,” she said.

The panel will probe, specially, how much role this angle (of illicit relations) played in the murder, she said, adding that the report would be forwarded to the government.

The main accused, interior designer Zahida Pervez, and co-accused Saba Farooqui, had alleged on number of occasions that the BJP MLA was the “mastermind” of the murder.

If necessary, NCW panel may also question Zahida and Saba, Sharma said. Both Zahida and Saba are currently lodged in the Indore’s district jail under a judicial remand.

CBI claims that Zahida planned the murder because she had become jealous of Shehla’s growing proximity with the BJP MLA.

The CBI has questioned Dhruv Narayan in the case, but he was not arrested.










SC notice to Centre, Kerala govt on Italy petition–Kerala-govt-on-Italy-petition/940556/

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 24 2012, 00:13 hrs

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the Centre and the Kerala government on a petition filed by the Republic of Italy to quash criminal charges against two marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen while on board Italian vessel Enrica Lexie.

A Bench of Justices Altamas Kabir, S S Nijjar and Ranjan Gogoi asked whether a foreign state could invoke Article 32 of Indian Constitution — a relief used to enforce fundamental rights of an Indian citizen against the Indian government. The Indian government also questioned the very “maintainability” of such a petition.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the Italian government, said his client was also deemed a “person” within the meaning of Article 32 for invoking the jurisdiction of the SC. The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 8.

In its plea, Italy asserted that the Kerala government had no locus standi to register any criminal case as the alleged offence ought to be treated under international law and covenants — India being a signatory to the UN charter. Salve told the Bench that the matter needed to be dealt with between the two countries and the Kerala government had no jurisdiction in interfering with the matter as the incident had occurred in “contigual waters” 12 nautical miles beyond the Indian jurisdiction.

He said the action of the Italian personnel was part of their official duty.









Italy moves SC for release of 2 marines

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 03.24AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Italian government on Monday moved the Supreme Court of India seeking release of two marines, arrested by Kerala Police for allegedly killing two fishermen while guarding merchant vessel Enrica Lexie, on the ground that their detention breached sovereign immunity.

The petition filed by Italian government through its ambassador and the arrested marines – Massimilano Latorre and Salvatore Girone – said the detention by Kerala Police was illegal and their trial under Indian law was in breach of sovereign immunity principle as well as right to life and equality provisions of the Indian Constitution.

This is probably for the first time a foreign government moved a municipal court as Republic of Italy requested the Supreme Court of India to direct the Union government to secure release of the two marines from Kerala and hand them over to the Italian government.

A bench of Justices Altamas Kabir, S S Nijjar and Ranjan Gogoi issued notices to the Centre and Kerala government, both of which had opposed the petition. Noting the seriousness of the issue presented before it, the bench posted the matter for further hearing on May 8.

Counsel for the Italian government, senior advocate Harish Salve said the domestic laws would have no play in the incident as the field was occupied by international conventions. He said, “The Italian government’s case is that no Indian law will apply. These are country to country actions governed by international conventions. We deal with Indian Republic and not with an Indian state.”

Salve the marines aboard Entric Lexie took action in the vessel’s security interest after a pirate alert was sounded. “If the incident happened because of the action of someone on official duty, Republic of Italy takes full responsibility.” He said Italian law grants immunity to such action taken for the security of a ship.

The bench asked how the Italian government could seek relief from under Indian Constitution, while challenging applicability of Indian law to the incident. “On one hand you say Indian law will not apply. If they don’t apply, how are you claiming their arrest to be violative of Articles 14 and 21 of the Indian Constitution?”

Salve was quick with a reply: “Their arrest violates the rule of law principle and the Italian government’s petition is a tribute to the human rights jurisprudence incorporating international covenants developed by the Supreme Court of India.”

For the Union government, additional solicitor general Indira Jaising questioned the basis of the petition, where a foreign government sought enforcement of fundamental rights when this right was available only to individuals, irrespective of nationality.

The petitioner said the marines Latorre and Girone, who were arrested on February 19, were military naval officials in active service of the Italian government and the action taken by them was under the bona-fide belief that they were protecting the vessel from a pirate attack.

After the incident on February 15, the ship had sailed 38 nautical miles in the high seas when it received information by phone and e-mail from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai, requesting it to turn back to Cochin Port to assist and identify suspected pirates who had been arrested.

“In good faith the vessel turned its course and came to Cochin port on February 16. The Master of the Vessel was under no obligation under law to change course but only agreed to do so as part of good faith effort to promote international cooperation in combating piracy,” Italy said.

It said, “The continued acquiescence of the Union of India to the unlawful arrest and detention of the two marines by the State of Kerala is in violation of the long standing customary international law principles of international comity and sovereign equality among states.”











Norway court gives custody of two Indian kids to their uncle

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 01.15AM IST

NEW DELHI: Abhigyan (3) and Aishwarya (1) Bhattacharya will finally be able to return to their family in India after a Norwegian court ruled that their custody should be handed over to their uncle. This brings to a close to a family tragedy that grabbed headlines in India, disrupted ties between New Delhi and Oslo, and even took an intervention by the PM with his Norwegian counterpart.

As soon as the court ruled for removing the children to India, the MEA swung into action. Led by Balachandran from the Indian Embassy in Norway and other senior officials, the children, their Norwegian foster parents and their uncle were whisked out of Oslo on a commercial flight to India. This was also done because the Norway court ruling has prompted a number of other families to file similar cases, which might be disruptive for their system. Sources said the Indian action was intended to prevent a stay order by the court. The parents of the children, though, continue to remain in Norway.

In Madrid, where he is attending a meeting of Indian heads of missions, foreign minister S M Krishna congratulated the MEA officials for their “fantastic work”. Krishna has personally taken up this issue after CPM MP Brinda Karat drew his attention to it. All travel arrangements for the children and their attendants are being made by the Indian government.

In a press statement, the Norwegian authorities said, “The children’s parents and the Child Welfare Services (CWS) at the hearing on April 17. The court issued a ruling granting the application made jointly by the parties. This stated that the grounds for removing the children from the care of their parents were and continue to be present, but that it is no longer necessary for them to stay with a family in Norway as agreement has now been reached that the children are to grow up in the care of their uncle and will not be living with their parents.”

Gunnar Toresen, head of CWS, said, “On behalf of Stavanger municipality, I would like to thank the Indian authorities and the Norwegian ministry of foreign affairs for their help in finding a satisfactory solution to this case. Growing up in the care of their uncle in India is a good, long-term alternative for the children,” he said.

It was almost a year ago that the children were taken away from their parents, Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya, because the Norwegian authorities believed them to be unfit parents and the Bhattacharyas lost custody of their children after they said the kids suffered from an emotional disconnect with the mother, that the children witnessed violence at home, along with having a father who was reportedly under-invested in the children and family.

After the Indian government intervened in December, 2011, and a series of meetings later, CWS agreed to hand over the children to their uncle in January. However, an agreement to give the children to their uncle on March 23 collapsed after Anurup burst out saying he was being beaten up by Sagarika, and he was going for a divorce. The revelations led the Norwegian authorities to keep the children until there was greater clarity.

It took another month of negotiations between all parties for the Bhattacharyas to get relief from the court, and the children to return to India.






Court stays TRB order

Express News Service

MADURAI: A single judge at the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has stayed an impugned order of the Teachers Recruitment Board (TRB) pertaining to a BA, B Ed graduate, after she filed a writ petition alleging that her name was unlawfully dropped from the seniority list of the government employment registry.
According to the petition filed by G Dhanalakshmi, she was given a priority certificate by the special tahsildar (adi-dravidar welfare) in 2004, after 4.5 hectares of her land at Usilampatti was acquired by the government to establish a burial ground for the adi-dravidars.
Subsequently, on April 30, 2010 she was called for a certificate verification process for the post for graduate assistant in Government Higher Secondary Schools, based on her seniority in the employment exchange. She was listed as the 32nd candidate for appointment of graduate assistants for the year 2010 and 2011 and her provisional selection was published in the TRB website, she told the court through her counsel, Arul Vadivel Sekar.
In October 2011, the chairman of TRB is said to have provisionally selected her for the post of graduate assistant and he reportedly received a copy of her appointment order in the last week of October 2011. On January 6, 2012 she also participated in a counselling session to select the district for her posting.
However, her name was not found in the seniority list in an order of the TRB issued on February 23, 2012, Dhanalakshmi alleged. In place of her name, the name of one Jeyamalar was included, she said, adding that this name was not listed in the seniority list for 2010-2011.
“I am already above forty years, and my chance of getting employment in the future is very remote. Deleting my name from the employment registration took away my legitimate right of getting employed in government service,” she said.
Justice K Venkataraman, on hearing the case ordered a notice to the TRB, apart from issuing an interim stay.








SC dismisses plea against Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh

IANS Apr 23, 2012, 08.12PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court Monday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh as the next Indian Army chief.

Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh will succeed General V.K. Singh as the army chief when the latter demits office May 31.

An apex court bench of Justice R.M. Lodha and Justice H.L. Gokhale, while dismissing the petition by Admiral (retd) Laxminarayan Ramdas and six others, said: “We don’t find any justifiable cause to invoke Article 32 of the constitution. The writ petition is accordingly dismissed.”

Justice Lodha asked: “Can a career of a person be put on stake merely on allegations?”

Before rejecting the petition, the court had perused the original files relating to the appointment of Lt. General Bikram Singh as the next army chief.

The judges said Attorney General G.E. Vahanvati placed before them the original files of the cabinet committee on appointments concerning the selection of General V.K. Singh’s successor.

“We have carefully gone through the averments and we do not find anything to warrant invoking Article 32 of the constitution,” said the court.

The court summoned the file related to the appointment of Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh as the next army chief as it wanted to know the procedure involved in selection of army chief.

After perusing the file, the court told Kamini Jaiswal, who appeared for petitioners, that Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh had been cleared on all counts related to allegations made by her clients and others.

One of the allegations was that his daughter-in-law was a Pakistani national before her marriage.

At this Jaiswal told the court that “this means that the report that has been placed before the appointing authority was misleading”.

Jaiswal described Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh’s appointment as “malafide”. It was manipulated from 2005 when General J.J. Singh was the army chief.

She said that Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh’s appointment should be scrutinised in the light of what the court said in a case related to the appointment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner P.J. Thomas.

As Jaiswal was told that the CVC was a statutory appointment which was not the case with the chief of army staff, she said that “even if statutory provisions are not there, can such a person facing allegations be made chief of army staff”.

She told the court that in order to promote Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, when he was a brigadier, Brigadier Ravi Arora, who was a gold medalist, was denied promotion.

When Brigadier Arora moved a statutory complaint to challenge denial of promotion it was delayed for a long time and eventually dismissed.

The court was told that normally the statutory complaint was decided within three months. At this, the court said that Brigadier Arora and others did not pursue their grievance thereafter.

The petition filed by Jaiswal’s clients sought the reconsideration of the decision to appoint Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh as the next army chief as a case was pending in the Jammu and Kashmir High Court on his alleged involvement in a staged shootout death of a 70-year-old man in 2001. The victim was described as terrorist.

Jaiswal told the court that Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh had a low command level over his troops. She said that the court of inquiry was going on in Uttar Pradesh’s Meerut city into the conduct of troops under his command in Congo under the UN peacekeeping mission.

She alleged his indecisiveness as general officer commanding-in-chief (GOC-in-C) 15 Corps resulted in a “stone throwing agitation” in Srinagar. During his current posting as GOC-in-C Eastern Command, almost all the funds at the command’s disposal were returned as unspent.

As Jaiswal made allegations against Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh, Justice Gokhale observed that this “amounted to maligning our armed forces”.

Justice Gokhale said that the shootout that had been referred to, witnessed a colonel and a jawan falling to the bullets of terrorists.

Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman told the court that even Lt. Gen. Bikram Singh was hit in the back and he had to be hospitalised for nearly two months.

“He was seriously injured in the ambush,” Vahanvati told the court.

As court described the incident as “unfortunate”, Jaiswal said that “unfortunate does not absolve him”.







Cost of destroying endosulfan puts govt in a quandary

Viju B, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 03.40AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Supreme Court’s notice to the central government asking to come out with measures to dispose the banned pesticide endosulfan by June 23 has put state government in a quandary.

Kerala has been struggling to destroy around 1,500 litres endosulfan that is being currently stored in different godowns owned by Kasaragod Plantation Corporation following an order by the Supreme Court to ban the toxic pesticide.

Last year, the court, acting on a writ petition filed by the Democratic Youth Federation of India, had banned the production and sale of endosulfan in the country. It had directed the state and central government to freeze the production licences granted to manufacturers of endosulfan till further orders.

The court, but allowed the export of endosulfan to enable the manufacturers to meet their contractual obligations, even as it made it clear that the ban on production of the pesticide would continue.

The manufacturers of endosulfan claimed around 8,000 tonnes endosulfan stock is yet to be commercially used and is being stored in different godowns across the country. They said while the cost of manufacturing one kilo of endosulfan is Rs 300, but to destroy the same quantity it would cost around Rs 4,000.

Endosulfan was banned in Kerala seven years ago, after the central government issued a gazette notification withholding the use of endosulfan in the state, on the basis of reports of the National Institute of Occupational Health. It is estimated endosulfan was sprayed in 10,000 hectares of cashew crop in Kerala prior to the ban.

The Stockholm Convention, a global treaty to protect health and environment has also declared endosulfan as a persistent pollutant .

Last year, India joined the list of 73 countries that have banned the use of this pesticide.

Environmentalists point out that further studies need to be done to confirm whether large scale congenital deformities in Kasaragod district was due to excessive and unscientific use of endosulfan.

“We need to destroy the available stock of endosulfan using non-combustible technology that will not pollute the environment. The higher cost for using such technology should not be seen as a hindrance as there is a larger social and environmental cost involved here,” said C Jayakumar, trustee of Thanal, an environmental NGO which studied the endosulfan issue.









High Court Bench restrains police from arresting lawyer

He was accused of abusing Dalits by their caste nameThe Madras High Court Bench here on Monday restrained the police from arresting or harassing P. Rathinam, a 66-year-old lawyer, in connection with a criminal case registered against him by the Othakadai police near here on charges of abusing some Dalits by their caste name.

Justice D. Hariparanthaman passed the interim order pursuant to a writ petition filed and argued by the lawyer on the ground that a false complaint had been lodged against him though in reality he had been working to uplift the Dalits by fighting for their cause legally in courts.

According to the petitioner, he was whitewashing a wall outside the High Court premises on September 1, 2010 along with a Dalit lawyer named V. Murugan.

A few people belonging to the Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) objected to it. It led to a clash between them.

Mr. Murugan lodged a police complaint with regard to the incident.

Later, a case was filed in the High Court Bench seeking a direction to register a case on the basis of the complaint. Disposing it of last month, Justice K.K. Sasidharan directed the police to register the case.

Subsequently, the police registered a case on the basis of Murugan’s complaint as well as counter case against him and Mr. Rathinam on the basis of a complaint lodged by the VCK cadres who alleged that the latter had abused them by their caste name.

Alleging that the complaint lodged against him was nothing but a bundle of lies, the petitioner sought for a direction to quash the FIR registered against him and Murugan besides an order to the State Government to pay adequate compensation to the Dalit lawyer.









Court imposes Rs. 1 lakh costs on petitioner for wasting its time

The Madras High Court on Monday imposed costs of Rs. 1 lakh on a person for wasting the court’s time by filing a petition that sought the removal of General V.K. Singh from the post of Chief of the Army Staff.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M. Venugopal dismissed as withdrawn a petition by S. Vishwa Murti, founder-chairman of an organisation called ‘Awareness on Anti-Corruption and Crime’. The petitioner had made various allegations against the Army Chief and said he had brought disrepute to the country.

The Bench said that when a question was put to the petitioner’s counsel regarding the principles enunciated by the Supreme Court in issuing a writ of quo warranto, he was unable to answer. [A writ of quo warranto is filed to remove someone from office by raising the question under what authority they continued to hold the post concerned].

Already a CBI probe is on into the charges made by the Army Chief that he was offered bribe.

quo warranto The Bench said the petitioner had not approached the court with clean hands and with bona fide intention. This was clear from his attitude of requesting the court to permit him to withdraw the writ petition after the court had heard both parties for two days. Further more, the petitioner’s counsel was unable to answer the court as to what made him seek such a writ without even understanding its nature and concept.

For wasting the court’s valuable time, the Bench said it was imposing costs of Rs. 1 lakh on the petitioner. The sum should be paid to the Madras Society for Protection of Children, Old Washermenpet in Chennai, within two weeks, failing which the District Collector should initiate revenue recovery proceedings against the petitioner.










J&K Bank issue: CIC to take final call tomorrow

Peerzada Ashiq, Hindustan Times
Srinagar, April 23, 2012

Is J&K Bank a holy cow or a public authority? Finally, the full bench — the chief information commissioner and two commissioners — will decide on the contentious issue on Tuesday in Jammu.  The bank argues it does not come under the purview of the J-K Right to Information Act 2009 despite having the state government as 51% share holder.

The bank returned an RTI application last year of Sayeed Naseer-ullah Shah, a member of the Pensioners Welfare Association, seeking break up of vacancies generated in the bank for Class IV employees’ and clerk-cum-cashiers since 2002 to 2010.

The RTI application also sought the list of those selected against these posts. The application, however, touched a raw nerve by asking about “the manner in which recruitment was made” and “copies of advertisements”.

“We also sought information about the selection committee members,” said Shah.

The J&K Bank is the state’s leading bank and surpassed the business target of Rs. 85,000 crore in the FY 2011-12. With more than 548 branches, the bank is spread across 20 states and one union territory. The bank has become a major job provider in the state.

“During a workshop in Kashmir, former central chief information commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said the bank comes under the purview of the Act,” said Shah.

The bank, however, argues that “J&K Bank Ltd is a company incorporated under the J-K Companies Act 1977 does not come under the purview of RTI Act 2009 in as much as it’s not public authority as defined by Section 2(f) of the Act”.

Shah, along with three petitioners, pleaded before the information commission’s office that the state government has 51% share in the bank and should be brought under the purview of the Act.

“All money in the bank is public money and as per the Act such companies have to abide by the Act,” said Shah.

The bank’s functioning, the petitioners allege, is monarchic. “It has becoming a holy cow and untouchable with no accountability or a sense of democratic structure,” they said.

The state’s oldest bank was founded on October 1, 1938 under letters patent issued by the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir, Hari Singh, and commenced business in 1939.

It was established as a semi-state bank with participation in capital by the state government and the public under the control of the government. But under the extension of Central laws to the state, the bank was defined as a government company as per the provisions of Indian companies act 1956.

Ever since the J-K RTI Act was enacted in the state, the successive chairmen of the bank opposed the idea of opening up to queries about its functioning.

The case is listed before the full bench for Tuesday in Jammu.










Disclose psychiatric info under RTI? Yes, says CIC; No, says HC;-no-says-hc/940662/0

Pritha Chatterjee : New Delhi, Tue Apr 24 2012, 02:53 hrs

Do psychiatry patients have the right to access records of their treatment? While the Central Information Commission (CIC) directed a mental health hospital to provide this information to a patient, the hospital has moved court citing confidentiality.

The Delhi High Court has given the Institute of Human Behaviour and Allied Sciences (IHBAS) a stay order against disclosing the information till the next hearing in September.

The case pertains to a 32-year-old married woman. She was admitted to IHABS in April 2011 by the hospital’s mobile health unit from her Gurgaon home, after her husband approached hospital with her “symptoms”.

According to Dr Nimesh Desai, director of IHBAS, “Confidentiality of psychiatric information — which includes all information disclosed by different parties related to the patient for treatment purposes — is a very fundamental concept. It is something every psychiatrist promises his interviewees verbally. Unfortunately, till date, India does not have a legal provision regarding this. The unique nature of this information — which includes historical information of the patient, his or her recollections, fantasies, feelings, fears and preoccupations from the past as well as in the present — distinguishes it from other medical records.”

The patient was discharged after four days and has since been staying with her mother in Bhopal. After her discharge, she filed an RTI seeking “the basis for my admission, doctor’s observation, and clinical examination reports, and doctor’s observation…”

Meanwhile, the patient’s husband, too, filed an RTI application, seeking the reasons of his wife’s discharge, “without my information.”

In both cases, IHBAS authorities stated that “the information sought was provided by the patient and her husband, which is sensitive/confidential in nature.”

“The need for discretion in disclosing psychiatric information is compounded in cases like this, where there is a possible marital discord and each seeks such history to use against the other,” Dr Desai said.

The December 2011 CIC order by Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi stated that while the hospital was exempted from disclosing treatment records to anyone other than the patient, “these precedents are not relevant when the information is being sought by the patient herself”.

Arguing against this, in their writ before the High Court, IHBAS said, “that every party disclosed information in confidentiality to the psychiatrist and the hospital should not give it away to anyone, including the patient.”

The disclosure of information contained in psychiatry case records would discourage the patients and their relatives to furnish personal and sensitive information and they would prefer to withhold such information, which would largely affect the treatment,” the writ stated.

Meanwhile, the patient’s family said they were “exploring legal options, on this violation of the CIC order.”









Legal glitch gives B S Yeddyurappa breathing time

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 05.03AM IST

NEW DELHI/BANGALORE: The Supreme Court on Monday provided minor relief to former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa , after it refused to entertain a plea to withdraw the special leave petition (SLP ) pending before a bench against the beleaguered leader.

The Supreme Court bench found no merit in the plea of a senior counsel to withdraw the SLP against the Karnataka High Court judgment of March 7, quashing bribery charges against Yeddyurappa . JD(S) leader Vishwanath , a resident of Ramanagaram , had filed the SLP recently in this connection.

“What prompted you to withdraw the SLP ? Why was the precious time of the court wasted ?” the Bench asked , directing the petitioner to file an affidavit justifying reasons for withdrawal , and posted the case for Monday .Thiswill providethe much-needed relief to Yeddyurappa , as the green bench of the apex court may not immediately consider the recommendation of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) for a CBI probe into graft charges against the former CM, in the multi-crore-rupee mining scam in the state , till the SLP filed by Vishwanath is settled.

On April 20, the special bench headed by Chief Justice S H Kapadia had withheld its order for the same reason . As the SLP was before another bench , it felt it might not be proper to consider the CEC report at this stage . To avoid a delay in the disposition of the case pending before the green bench , Vishwanath reportedly decidedtowithdrawthe case and make way for an early decision by the Supreme Court on the CEC’s recommendations , when the case comes up for hearing on Friday.

Yeddyurappa’s counsel Prabhulinga saiditisdifficultfor the green benchtodraw any conclusion till the other bench decides the case , as both are similar in nature . “The recommendations made by the CEC on bribery charges against Yeddyurappa are out of its jurisdiction , as the matter had already been settled by the Karnataka high court . We will explain all these factors when we make a detailed submission on behalf of BS Yeddyurappa in a day or two, to convince the court why his case does not merit a CBI probe ,” he added.


JSW Steel Limited has decided to contest the CEC report, which recommended a probe into donations allegedly paid by the firm to a trust owned by Yeddyurappa’s kin. “The reports are not based on any order of the Supreme Court. The company will file its objections on the CEC report before the Supreme Court and contest its recommendations at an appropriate time,” JSW officials said. TNN









Court acquits man accused of offering tea mixed with sedative

PTI | 02:04 PM,Apr 23,2012

New Delhi, Apr 23 (PTI) A man accused of offering doped tea to a boy to rob him of his belongings has been let off by a Delhi court due to the prosecution failure to prove his guilt. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Pawan Kumar Jain acquitted Sultanpuri resident Zaffar Alam, arrested in February 2011 for offering a cup of tea, allegedly mixed with a stupefying drug in it, to the boy to steal his belongings. While acquitting Alam, the court said there is no evidence on record to establish that the accused had made any attempt to administer stupefying substance to the boy in the tea. The prosecution had alleged the victim had lodged a case with the police that on February 27, 2011 in Paharganj area of Central Delhi, where he had gone for a work, accused Alam developed intimacy with him and offered a cup of tea to him. “After taking a sip of the tea, he found it tasteless, consequently he spit the same and after seeing the police official, he informed them that accused had made an attempt to administer some stupefying substance to him in order to steal his belongings,” the prosecution said. On search, a strip of seven tablets of Ativin, an anti-depressant sedative, was recovered from Alam’s possession and he was arrested, the prosecution said. “From the complainant’s testimony, it is also clear that no article was stolen by the accused. Though from the testimony of witnesses examined by the prosecution, it is clear that the tablets of Ativin were recovered from the possession of accused but mere fact that same were recovered from his possession is not sufficient to prove Alam’s guilt,” the court said. The court added that “the prosecution has miserably failed to prove the guilt of accused Alam.”









Anticipatory bail for ACP after court doubts rape angle

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, April 24, 2012

The Bombay high court on Monday granted anticipatory bail to assistant commissioner of police Anil Mahabole who was suspended by home minister RR Patil last week after a middle-aged married woman filed a complaint of sexual misconduct against him.  The court observed that prima facie it did not feel this was a case of rape.

Mahabole had secured interim protection last week from the high court after failing to get any relief from the sessions court.

After going through the reports and the letter of the complainant to the police commissioner which was treated as a FIR, justice Abhay Thipsay observed that nowhere a case has been made out for rape. “I don’t find any allegation of rape other than a case of sexual exploitation,” the judge said.

Following the court’s query on whether Mahabole has been interrogated so far, his lawyer Rohini Wagh stated that he had visited the crime branch on Saturday.

Additional public prosecutor Rajshree Gadhvi submitted that the investigation is going on and added that Mahabole is yet to surrender some of his mobile phones and SIM cards.

Wagh, however, countered that Mahabole’s three mobile phones and SIM cards have been deposited with the investigating agency.

She also pointed out that the complainant was in the habit of lodging such complaints and gave instances where the complainant had filed such cases against a policeman and a jeweller.

The court also wanted to know whether Mahabole has been suspended from his post of assistant commissioner of police. Wagh said that they have come to know about it from media reports, but he is yet to receive an official communication in this regard.

The court finally held that this is a fit case for granting interim protection while the investigation is going on and directed Mahabole to visit the crime branch on a daily basis till the next hearing on April 30.

The judge also said that in the event Mahabole is arrested, he should be released on a cash bail of Rs30,000.

Mahabole has been in the dock after the Azad Maidan police registered a case of rape against him. The complainant had alleged that Mahabole raped and blackmailed her after allegedly drugging her. The complainant claims that Mahabole allegedly shot a video of her in a compromising position to blackmail her.









Woman teacher denied bail in boy abduction case

PTI | 09:04 PM,Apr 23,2012

Chennai, Apr 23 (PTI): A sessions court here today denied bail to a woman teacher, charged with kidnapping a minor boy studying in the school here in which she was employed. Dismissing a bail application filed by the teacher, Principal Sessions Judge P Kalaiarasan said ‘it appears that the petitioner, who is a teacher aged 35 years exploited a 17-year-old adolescent boy, studying under her taking advantage of proximity to him’. Her actions, the Judge said, prima facie fell within the ambit of IPC section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with the intent to secretely and wrongfully confine a person) ‘as she by deceitful means induced the adolescent boy and took him from Chennai to Gurgaon and kept him secretely. The petitioner forgetting her noble profession exploited her own student for her ‘lust’. The Judge said the investigation was still going on and hence the court was not inclined to enlarge the woman on bail. According to the boy’s father, his son had gone to the school on March 4 to attend practical class and since then dissapeared. Opposing the bail plea, city public prosecutor M L Jagan charged the teacher with abducting the plus one student and taking him to Delhi. Pleading for bail on the ground that she had been in custody for the past 36 days and that she was innocent of the charge against her, the teacher’s counsel claimed that the boy had gone with his client voluntarily. He also claimed that the boy was not a minor. After the boy was brought back to the city, he was handed over to his father by the Madras High Court in the first week of April following a Habeas Corpus Petition.









High court dismisses PIL against Representation of People’s Act

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 06.52AM IST

PATNA: The Patna high court on Monday dismissed a PIL filed seeking court’s intervention for stay on election to any parliamentary constituency of a person if he or she does not belong to that particular constituency.

The order was passed by a division bench of the court, comprising Justice T Meena Kumari and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, on a PIL filed by Dilip Kumar Mishra.

The court while dismissing the petition said that the provisions of Representation of People’s Act makes it clear that a person who is a voter can stand for election to any parliamentary constituency.

The court said that the person should be an elector and it does not indicate in any way that he or she should be the elector of that particular constituency.

The court cited the Section 4 (d) of this Act which clearly states that the person who is an elector for any parliamentary constituency is qualified to become Member of Parliament.

Directive to Saran DM: The same bench on Monday, while hearing a PIL filed by one Lalan Prasad Yadav, directed the Saran DM to take action against illegal brick-kilns running in the district. The court had earlier directed the DM to submit a report in this regard which was complied with. The DM, in his report, stated that action was taken against some brick-kilns which were demolished on the court’s order and that more action would be taken against the violators.










Supreme sense

The Indian Express : Tue Apr 24 2012, 03:06 hrs

PIL against Lt Gen Bikram Singh alleged a Sikh plot. SC was right to throw it out

The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the public interest litigation that sought to quash the elevation of Lieutenant-General Bikram Singh as the next army chief must bring some sober reflection in a runaway public debate. The traditional calm in what’s been termed civil-military relations has been rudely disturbed. First, a chasm opened up between the government and outgoing army chief V.K. Singh over his date of birth. This was followed by the army chief’s unprecedented act of taking the government to court, his public claim that he was offered a bribe, and the clanging of alarmist bells over the army’s obsolescence. The PIL against the elevation of Lt Gen Singh by several eminent persons, including retired naval chief Admiral L. Ramdas and former CEC N. Gopalaswami, was part of this unfortunate series — it alleged that Lt Gen Singh’s appointment was manipulated on personal and political considerations and, effectively, sought to reopen the date of birth row. Most disquietingly, it suggested that Lt Gen Bikram Singh’s elevation was part of a communally engineered line of succession. The court’s refusal to dignify these charges is a message: the poise and dignity of the relationship between the government and the army needs to be restored as does the army’s ease with itself.

The succession of an army chief is a non-controversial, apolitical event. It has happened by rote ceremony and ritual. India takes the army’s secular, non-sectarian ethos for granted. Even as the polity has been churned by political movements based on caste and religious identity, the army is perceived to be, and has been a parallel universe where narrow loyalties are subsumed, without friction, in an overarching allegiance to the nation. The petition against Lt Gen Singh’s elevation did not just do great disservice to this principle but also sought to prop up an artificial spectre of Sikh officers versus the rest.

By insinuating a Sikh conspiracy to wrest the chief’s post — the PIL alleged “langar talk” and claimed the SGPC played a role in the appointment of former army general (retd) J.J. Singh — the petition trod on sensitive ground. It has taken time but India has tried hard to lay the ghosts of 1984 to rest. The misdirected enthusiasms — or outright mischief — of some highly placed and out-of-work petitioners threatened to test this. The Supreme Court has done the right thing by treating the petition with the contempt it deserved.









Govt aiding illegal encroachments in water bodies: HC

Abhinav Sharma, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 01.16AM IST

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan High Court on Monday came down heavily on the state government over illegal allotments and encroachments in the catchment area of water bodies in the state, saying the government was encouraging such illegality with active aide of its officials. The harsh criticism came soon after the government moved an application demanding that the PIL related to encroachments of water bodies shall be heard by a division bench when the court was about to pronouncement its judgment after several months of hearing.

“There seems to be no intention on the part of the government to deal with the problem of water crisis and officials including the chief secretary are totally irresponsible and have failed to take any action in the past eight months. This shows how the state’s claim on seriously handling the ever-persistent problem of potable water in Rajasthan is nothing more than a mirage,” said Justice M N Bhandari. The single judge bench, which has been hearing a PIL demanding restoration of water bodies for the past several months, was expected to pronounce its judgment on Monday.

However, soon after the court took up the hearing in the morning, the state government moved an application requesting that the matter shall be heard by a division bench as the issue is of larger public interest. This was strongly opposed by the members of court-appointed monitoring committee.

“The state government had time and again assured this court that they would take appropriate steps against encroachments. Even the chief secretary who appeared before the court in March along with other principal secretaries had given an undertaking that the government would itself take a conscious decision to see that the water bodies in the state are restored to their original shapes and dimensions as per law. Now, the government’s application that the matter be heard by a division bench when the judgment was to be pronounced is contemptuous,” contended senior advocate Virendra Dangi, a member of the monitoring committee.

Justice M N Bhandari then directed chief secretary C K Mathew to appear in person, who soon arrived in the court. The bench asked Mathew to explain as to why contempt proceedings shall not be taken against him and other principal secretaries who had earlier appeared along with him and wasted court’s time.

“We know the design behind such applications. It is clear that the government machinery is being misused by a few. There seems to be no seriousness towards the issue of consistent droughts and scarcity of potable water and encroachment in water bodies. Not only illegal allotments have been made, but those were regularized by the government itself in river beds, ponds, dams and catchment areas of such bodies,” observed Justice Bhandari.

Earlier, the state government in an affidavit filed in the court had confessed that the catchment areas of rivers, dams and other water bodies have not only been illegally allotted but also regularised against the law. However, the officials had taken a view that in case the original status of all the water bodies — as it existed in 1947– is restored, it will create law and order problem. As such, the court’s order would be complied effective from 2004 when a judgment to that effect was delivered.

Dangi brought to the notice of the court that Section 16 of Rajasthan Tenancy Act, 1955, bars allotment of any land of water bodies to any private persons.

The bench asked Mathew, “What action did you take pursuant to the undertaking given on March 23. What action has been taken against the erring officials and where is the list of their names?”

“We held one meeting thereafter. We came to know that as per the rules, the matter is required to be heard by a division bench. As such, we moved the application and held no meeting. We haven’t prepared any list of officers as required and undertaken by me,” told Mathew.

Reprimanding Mathew, the bench then sought a direction on the issue from the Chief Justice with a clear note on the conduct of the state government.








Writ petition in SC against HC order on Kalighat temple

Express news service : Kolkata, Tue Apr 24 2012, 07:09 hrs

The All India Legal Aid Forum on Monday filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court challenging the order of the Calcutta High Court banning the entry of the visitors inside the sanctum sanctorum of the Kali Temple at Kalighat. On Friday, a Division Bench of the High Court headed by Chief Justice Jaynarayan Patel gave the order citing security reason. Only the two priest of the temple have been allowed to enter the sanctum sanctorum for performing pujas. Joydeep Mukherjee, general secretary of the forum said that the High Court cannot issue such ruling on religious places. Kalighat Kali Temple is one of the 51 Kali temples in India, which are considered as “Shakti Peeth”.







Resolve water crisis by June: HC to govt

TNN Apr 23, 2012, 10.46PM IST

RANCHI: Hearing two public interest litigations filed for non-completion of water supply projects in Pakur and Sahibganj districts, the Jharkhand high court on Monday directed the chief secretary to hold talks with his West Bengal counterpart, Eastern Railway authorities and the Union surface transport department to resolve the crisis by June 12.

The division bench of the court comprising Chief Justice Prakash Tantia and Justice Aparesh Kumar directed officials of the state government to file a reply about the progress in the project by June 25.

Petitioner Neeta Pandey for Pakur and Sidheshwar Mandal for Sahebgunj sought intervention of the court in the matter of water supply system pending in the districts for long despite the fact that government had spent a huge sum in preparing the DPR, plan and other additional work.

Appearing on behalf of the state government, drinking water and sanitation department secretary Sudhir Prasad said the responsibility for completion of the water supply projects in both these districts had been given to one Doshin Valley Water Solutions.

“The company is likely to complete its work by 2014 in Pakur and by March 2013 in Sahebganj,” he informed the court.

Counsel of the petitioner Rajiv Sharma said in operationalizing pump house, availability of power supply was a major concern.

“While water is to be obtained from the Farakka reservoir according to the project plan, the West Bengal government has to supply power for the purpose. Understanding involvement of the two states and other departments, the court has directed the state government to hold talks and resolve the issues at earliest possibility,” he said.








SC refuses to stay HC order to release Cyprus ship

Express news service : New Delhi, Tue Apr 24 2012, 00:05 hrs

The government’s plan to eventually auction a Cyprus ship to recover the over Rs 1,000-crore loss it caused by a collision with an Indian war vessel ship did not pass muster with the Supreme Court on Monday.

The government had on Saturday urgently moved the Supreme Court after a Bombay High Court order to release it.

A Bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad had, however, criticised the government for waking up at the last minute, and posted the case for hearing on Monday.

Refusing to buy the government’s plan to recover the loss, the court said “we wonder how vigilant you are that your naval ship has been hit by a merchant ship”.

Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising argued that the loss to the Indian government was phenomenal and the lost naval ship was “one of its kind” in the Navy.

“And so we have lost even that one ship,” the Bench replied, declining to intervene in the HC order.








HC direction to TN govt on belated terminal benefits

PTI | 06:04 PM,Apr 23,2012

Madurai,Apr23(PTI) The Madurai Bench of the Madras High court today directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay 10 per cent interest on retirement benefits settled belatedly for an official even after dropping disciplinary action against him in 2009 and allowing him to retire from service. Justice D.Hariparanthaman said “since the disciplinary action against the petitioner has been dropped on October 13, 2009,he is entitled to interest for belated terminal benefits.” The Judge said the interest on terminal benefits should be paid within four weeks. The Petitioner S.Kumarasamy submitted that he was working as Assistant Commissioner of the Tirunelveli Corporation.He was issued a charge memo for indiscipline on May 15,2007.But he was allowed to retire. Then the charges were dropped by a government order on October 13,2009.His terminal benefits were settled,without any interest from May 2007, on April 1,2010, it was contended. Hence,he should be paid interest on the belated settlement on all the terminal benefits.









Prima facie no case of rape: HC

Shibu Thomas, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 02.24AM IST

MUMBAI: Dealing a big blow to the Mumbai police, which had booked one of its own, assistant commissioners of police Anil Mahabole, in a rape case, the Bombay high court on Monday observed that “prima facie” no case of rape had been made out.

“Prima facie, it does not look like a case of rape,” said Justice A M Thipsay. “It seems to be a case of an illicit relationship. It may be wrong on moral grounds but we are not here to punish someone for that.”

The court took on record a report of an inquiry conducted by the police. “It seems like they had some kind of relationship. This court does not believe the allegation of rape,” said the judge.

Justice Thispay granted Mahabole an interim anticipatory bail of Rs 30,000 and a surety of the same amount. “A case for interim protection is made out,” said the judge. The court told Mahabole to appear before the investigation officer for questioning every day. Observing that it was not desirable to finally decide on the anticipatory bail application, the court has scheduled the matter for further hearing on April 30.

Additional public prosecutor Rajshree Gadhvi told the court that investigations in the case were on.

The police had registered an FIR against Mahabole last week and booked him for raping a middle-aged woman. The victim had alleged that the ACP had visited her residence a few months ago and offered her sweets. She lost consciousness after consuming the sweets, she claimed. When she regained consciousness, Mahabole allegedly showed her an MMS clip in which she was seen in a compromising position with her. In her complaint she said that Mahabole had repeatedly raped her by threatening to make the video clip public.

Mahabole refuted the allegations and claimed that the woman had been blackmailing him and had sent him threatening messages

. The police had conducted an inquiry in the matter after which they registered an FIR.












HC sets aside appointments of more than 100 principals in UP

PTI | 09:04 PM,Apr 23,2012

Allahabad, Apr 23 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today struck down over 100 appointments to posts of principals in PG and degree colleges across Uttar Pradesh which had been challenged as being “improper and arbitrary”, and directed the state to “frame appropriate guidelines” for filling up the posts which fall vacant. A Division Bench comprising justices Ashok Bhushan and Sunita Agrawal passed the order on a bunch of writ petitions filed by Karuna Nidhan Upadhyay and others who had challenged a total of 156 appointments vide selection lists dated May 15, 2007, June 30, 2008 and July 02, 2008. The petitioners had claimed that the members of Higher Education Services Commission “at the relevant time were not qualified to be appointed as members or to hold selection of principals”. Besides, the petitioners had alleged, that the selection was based on “an interview having 300 marks without giving any credit to academic qualifications and experience” and that no criteria was fixed for conducting the interview either. “Conduct of selection only on the basis of viva-voce test without any criteria for conduct of viva-voce test leads to an improper and arbitrary selection. The viva-voce test does not afford the proper criteria for assessment of suitability of the candidates and it is highly subjective, which is capable of abuse because it leaves scope for favouritism and nepotism”, the petitioners had alleged. Moreover, the petitioners alleged, “the entire selection process by the Commission was tainted with nepotism and favouritism which is fortified from the fact that several candidates who did not fulfil the minimum eligibility had been called to appear in the interview for the posts of principals of post graduate colleges and degree colleges and were actually selected… they were not having the qualifications and the experience but still were called to appear, which clearly proves that the Commission proceeded to select the candidates due to extraneous considerations”. The court, while allowing the petitions, directed the Commission to “frame appropriate guidelines for conduct of interview” and take “early steps for filling the vacant posts of principals of post-graduate/degree colleges in accordance with law”.











HC directs IOB to give educational loan to farmer’s daughter

PTI | 12:04 AM,Apr 24,2012

Madurai, Apr 23 (PTI) The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court today directed a nationalised bank to provide educational loan to a farmer’s daughter studying engineering in a private college. Justice D Hariparanthaman, passing orders on a petition by the farmer, flayed Indian Overseas Bank for making the petitioner run from pillar to post. He directed the bank to provide loan for the student in three weeks time. G S Jeya Ganesan of Ramanathapuram in his petition submitted IOB’s Thenmalai branch Manager refused to give the loan application despite him making three visits and instead asked him in January last to avail the loan from second year. Ganesan said his daugther was doing first year BE in Coimbatore-based United Institute of Technology. He was the sole bread winner of the family. Being a farmer did not help him meet both the ends and therefore spending Rs 4,44,000 for his daughter’s education was a huge expenditure, he added. A representation he sent to the Regional Manager of IOB, Tirunelveli District, was not considered he said. PTI SSN VS









HC directs SP to file status report in boy missing case

PTI | 12:04 AM,Apr 24,2012

Chennai, Apr 23 (PTI): Expressing dissatisfaction over the steps taken by police to trace a minor boy of Hosur missing since October 15 last, Madras High Court today directed the Kishnagiri District Superintendent of Police to monitor the investigation and file a status report on June 7. ‘We are dissatisfied with the steps taken by the first respondent (SIPCOT police station, Hosur) to trace the minor boy’, a Division Bench comprising Justices C Nagappan and P Devadass said while hearing a Habeas Corpus Petition, filed by Sushil Mandal, the father of the boy. According to Mandal,hailing from West Bengal and working for a private granite company at Hosur, though he reported to the police about the disappearance of his son on October 16, an FIR was registered only two days later. He submitted that while going through the mobile phone and school bag of his son, he realised the boy had developed a close friendship with the daughter of a woman, who was tutoring him for the last two years. Hence he suspected that the girl’s family could be behind his son’s disappearance. He claimed that when he insisted police enquire with the girl’s father, he was told it was better not to act against him as he was in a powerful post. He said he had approached the district collector and even the Chief Minister’s Grievance Cell to no avail.










HC absolves Dawood’s aide of MCOCA charges

Last Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012, 22:23

New Delhi: Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim’s alleged aide Khalil Ahmed, accused of attempting to extort money from a trader here, was on Monday acquitted by the Delhi High Court of the charges under stringent anti-organized crime law MCOCA.

Upholding the trial court’s order absolving Khalil of the charges for allegedly running an organised crime syndicate under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA), Justice Suresh Kait dismissed an appeal filed by the state against the judgement of the Special Judge.

The court rejected the prosecution’s argument that Khalil, who was arrested by Delhi police in 2009 at South Delhi here on the complaint of a city-based businessman, was wanted in 34 other criminal cases for offences of extortion, murder, dacoity, kidnapping, assault, intimidation and attempt to murder and hence MCOCA should be invoked against him.

Police also said the accused kept changing his associates in each case.

“The offence under the MCOCA must comprise continuing unlawful activity relating to organized crime undertaken by an individual singly or jointly, either as a member of the organized crime syndicate or on behalf of such syndicate by use of coercive or other unlawful means with the objective of gaining pecuniary benefits or gaining undue economic or other advantage for himself or for any other person or for promoting insurgency,” Justice Kait said.

“In the case in hand, to satisfy the condition of Section 2(d) of the Act, the prosecution has relied upon a list of 34 criminal cases which are filed against the respondent during the period 1985 to 2009. These 34 cases include present one.

The prosecution failed to ascertain whether the offences committed therein was related to organized crime or not,” the court said.









HC is last hope for patient awaiting kidney transplant

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Tue Apr 24 2012, 02:57 hrs

On a ventilator for more than a week now, judiciary remains the last hope for Praveen Begum, awaiting a kidney transplant. Her niece had come forward to donate her kidney to Begum. All formalities were completed and the transplant was found to be medically compatible. This prospect received a jolt when the authorisation committee for human organ transplant at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital rejected her plea.

The committee questioned her husband’s reluctance to be a donor. While declining her request on April 5, it underlined the difference between the financial status of Begum and her niece, suggesting the donation could involve monetary favours.

With no alternative left, Begum and her niece moved Delhi High Court on Monday and seeking to quash the committee’s order.

“When all authorities in Uttar Pradesh, where her niece stayed, gave the NOCs , why should the committee question irrelevant facts? Her niece is a ‘near relative’ under the law,” said Begum’s counsel Vikas Pahwa and advocate B Badrinath.

Appreciating the urgency of the matter, Justice Sanghi called upon Najmi Waziri, standing counsel for Delhi government, to assist the court.

Waziri apprised him that since Delhi was a Union Territory, the appropriate authority to take a final call was the Director General of Health Services (DGHS).

The court issued a notice to the counsel for the Central government and asked the hospital to put all the relevant records concerning Begum before the DGHS by 11 am on Tuesday morning.

“This matter brooks no delay. It is a matter of petitioner’s life and death. If she is entitled to a transplant, she should get it in time,” said Justice Sanghi, while directing the DGHS to decide Begum’s plea within two days.










HC orders interest on retirement benefits

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 07.37AM IST

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Tamil Nadu government to pay an official 10 per cent interest on retirement benefits which were settled belatedly. The court also ordered dropping of charges against him and allowed him to retire from service.

The petitioner, S Kumarasamy, said he had been working as an assistant commissioner of Tirunelveli corporation when he was issued a memo under Section 17 (b) on May 15, 2007. But, he was allowed to retire. Then the charges against him were dropped by a government order on October 13, 2009. His terminal benefits were settled without any interest from May 2007 on April 1, 2010. He prayed that he be paid interest for the belated settlement of his benefits. Justice D Hariparanthaman before whom the petition came up for hearing said that since the disciplinary proceedings were dropped on October 2009, he was entitled to interest on his terminal benefits and that the same should be paid within four weeks.










HC sends custodial torture victim to hospital

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has come to the rescue of a custodial torture victim by ordering treatment for his injuries in a private super-specialty hospital.

Justice K Chandru, who gave the direction, made it clear that it was only an interim arrangement and the question as to who should pay for the medical treatment would be decided later.

C Dhanasekaran was arrested by the New Washermenpet police and admitted in the Government Royapettah Hospital on March 16. The police claimed that he had suffered fractures in a fall from a 40 feet high building. The victim’s teeth were broken, lips torn and legs found fractured.

When his sister Chitra approached the High Court seeking better treatment for her brother, Justice Chandru put a specific question to the government advocate asking how exactly Dhanasekaran sustained the injuries.

In this regard, he pointed out that Chitra had made a detailed description of the circumstances and the manner in which her brother had suffered the injuries.

Giving an insight into the torture techniques of the city police, Chitra said her brother’s legs were wrapped with wet gunny bags and tied with ropes before being beaten with casuarina logs. Two police personnel stretched his legs and stood on his knee and ankle joints. He was hit with the butt of rifles, leaving him with broken teeth and torn lips.

While all this was being done, Dhanasekaran was kept gagged with cotton. “He was denied even the privilege of crying out in pain,” Chitra alleged.

To verify her claims, the judge had directed advocate V Lakshmi Narayanan to meet Dhanasekaran in the hospital, where he was given treatment initially, and recorded his first-hand narration.

The advocate inspected the victim and filed a report, which more or less tallied with the averments of Chitra’s allegations. Convinced that Dhanasekaran had been subjected to custodial torture, the judge referred him to the private hospital and posted the matter to April 25 for further orders.









Haryana govt, police receive HC notice over toll tax collection

TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 07.39AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Acting on an application filed by the Delhi Gurgaon Super Connectivity Ltd (DGSCL), concessionaire of Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway, alleging Haryana cops of allowing vehicles to pass without payment of the toll, Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday put the Haryana police and the state government on notice, seeking their response on the contentions raised by the concessionaire.

In its application, the DGSCL has sought directions to the Haryana government and police authorities “restraining the police officers from opening the boom barrier illegally and forcibly, and allowing vehicles to pass without paying any toll”.

The concessionaire has also sought directions to facilitate it “in the implementation of the Delhi-Gurgaon Expressway project by providing dedicated police teams to assist in the collection of lawfully authorized toll, to ensure safety and security of life and property, and to regulate the traffic at the toll plazas.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the Gurgaon traffic police were forcibly closing the toll operations and facilitating toll leakage by allowing vehicles to flout the statutory rules and pass without payment of the toll fee at the booths, causing a cumulative loss in excess of Rs 4,00,000 till date.

While submitting that the high court, in its February 8, 2012 order, had observed that the traffic police were not allowed to open the boom barriers, allowing the commuters to pass the through toll plaza without paying the toll fee, the DGSL alleged that every day traffic cops have been brazenly showing its contempt to the court’s order by continuing to open the boom barriers and allowing vehicles to pass the KM-24 toll plaza at Gurgaon without payment of the toll fee. The high court has now fixed May 2 as the next date of hearing for the case.











CPI-ML(Liberation) sit-in to protest HC order

Last Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012, 17:14

Patna: CPI-ML (Liberation) Monday held a sit-in demonstration at Kargil Chowk here to protest the recent Patna High Court order acquitting all 23 persons convicted in the Bathani Tola carnage in Bihar’s Bhojpur district.

Party activists led by its central committee member K D Yadav and state secretary Kunal staged the sit-in demonstration at the Kargil chowk here during the day.

State CPI-M Secretary Vijay Kant Thakur and Forward Bloc leaders were also present.

Talking to reporters, Yadav and Kunal described as “an eyewash” the Nitish Kumar government’s announcement to move Supreme Court against the High Court order.

Lambasting the Nitish Kumar government for ‘patronising feudal and criminal elements,’ CPI-ML(Liberation) leaders said Supreme Court should take cognisance of 1996 Bathani Tola carnage case in which Patna High Court had set aside death sentence to three persons.

The HC had lst week set aside death sentence to three and life imprisonment to 20 others after a division bench of Justices Navniti Prasad Singh and Ashwini Kumar Singh allowed appeals against the conviction order of Bhojpur court on the ground that the prosecution failed to prove the involvement of the appellants in the crime beyond reasonable doubt.

The Bhojpur court had on May 3 convicted and sentenced three persons to death and 20 others to life imprisonment for the carnage in which 21 dalits were killed allegedly by the Ranvir Sena on July 11, 1996 at Bathani Tola in Bhojpur district.



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