LEGAL NEWS 25.04.2012

Kerala recorded 132 incest rape cases in last decade

The New Indian Express

NEW DELHI: Is Kerala the most incestuous society in the whole of South India? Yes, it seems if one were to go by the statistics which the Home Ministry has in its hands. Kerala in the last 10 years (2001-11) has registered 132 incest rape cases, highest in South India and fifth in the country.

Worse, Kerala has the dubious record of being the only state where the incest rape cases have steadily increased over the years in comparison to other states. The number of cases was highest in 2006, when 28 women were molested by family members in Kerala. The age of the victims, as per the data available with the National Human Rights Commission, varies from 11 years to 60.

Next to Kerala among the southern states is Tamil Nadu. The state has 118 cases of incest rape registered in the last 10 years. But in the case of TN, the number has been steadily decreasing with no cases being reported in the last two years.

Andhra Pradesh is third with 82 cases. Here also the numbers have been coming down drastically over the years, with only two cases being registered in the last three years.

Karnataka, with the least number of cases recorded in South India, has only 49 cases registered in the last 10 years.

“That Kerala has the highest number of incest rape cases even more than states like UP and Bihar, which normally have high rape cases was something unexpected,” said an official with the NHRC.

“There is no palpable reason from the criminal case point of view to point out why one state has more incest rape cases than others. It could be due to the fact that the state has a better system of recording the crime due to highest standards of social indicators,” said the official.









DG&IGP one-upmanship: Bidari scores in SC

Published: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012, 12:42 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Three weeks after Karnataka High Court quashed the appointment of Shankar M Bidari as the state DG&IGP, the Supreme Court stayed the order and asked the high court to examine afresh the appointment of the incumbent, AR Infant.

But here is the catch: the Supreme Court has asked the HC to dispose of the case before May 31. After this date, the outcome of the decision will cease to matter as both Infant and Bidari will retire from service on that day.

Bidari was asked to step down from the post of DG&IGP on March 30, when the high court upheld the verdict of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) that his appointment was done in a hurried manner and without considering the charges of human rights violation against him. Infant, who had challenged Bidari’s appointment, took over the post of the state’s top cop.

Bidari had appealed against the decision in the apex court, which ruled in his favour on Tuesday. A bench of Justices Aftab Alam and CK Prasad asked Karnataka high court to examine the matter afresh.

The SC on Tuesday observed that Karnataka high court had not gone into the findings of Justice Sadashiva Commission and National Human Rights Commission and passed its order based on assumptions. The high court had, on March 30, set aside Bidari’s appointment, observing that only one-sided version of his service was sent to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC).

While giving its orders, the apex court observed that it was of the view that the findings of the Sadashiva Commission and NHRC—which were the main reasons behind Bidari’s ouster—were not relevant considerations for empanelled officers. However, the SC said it would not go into the merits of the issue at this stage and left it to the high court. The apex court has directed the HC to go through the report of Sadashiva Commission in detail and then arrive at a decision.

Responding to the development, home minister R Ashoka said the government would take a decision regarding the post of top cop after it got a detailed copy of the Supreme Court’s order.
Bidari expressed happiness over the decision of the Supreme Court, stating that justice was done. Infant, on the other hand, said he would wait for the high court’s decision, refusing to comment on the Supreme Court’s order.








NHRC not to intervene in media guidelines issue

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 15:56

New Delhi: National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has decided not to intervene in the Supreme Court proceedings on framing media guidelines for court reporting but flagged concerns about the press breaching privacy laws and rights of accused.

The decision not to intervene in the matter, which is being heard at present by a Bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia, was taken at a recent sitting of the Commission presided by Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan.

“NHRC is a formal party in that litigation. But we decided it is a matter between media and the court. We have no role to play. Ultimately, the court has to decide what should be done. So, we decided not to reply or counter it. We are not intervening,” Balakrishnan, a former Chief Justice of India, told a news agency in an interview.

The Supreme Court constituted a bench to frame media guidelines following “misreporting” of certain proceedings in the court as well as reporting matters which were yet to come to the court.

The case has been vigorously argued in the court with some senior lawyers opposing any attempt to frame guidelines saying it would amount to curbing free speech while one senior lawyer has welcomed it.

Balakrishnan said the problem is that of competition in media and “inexperienced” journalists.

“The problem of electronic media is somebody is saying something from a distant place and it is directly transmitted. There is no editing or intervention of seniors. They are all young journalists,” he said.

“It is very difficult to edit and control such things in electronic media…I don’t say it is done intentionally. It is inadvertent or inexperience without knowing the consequences of the statements,” he said.

Balakrishnan said NHRC was not going to frame any guidelines for reporting of human rights issues but advocated the need for self restraint by media itself.

“No, we do not want to issue any guidelines…It is not like the court reporting. Court reporting sometimes affects the privacy rights, rights of children, rights of the accused,” he said.

When pointed out that he himself was Chief Justice of India and whether he thought that media had gone overboard, he said, sometimes it appeared so though not all reports could be painted with the same brush.

“Every accused is entitled to fair trial. We have seen sometimes some investigation materials are published. I have seen some of the materials, even some private letters, have appeared in media even before it reaches court.

“People have an obsessed mind that they pronounce the accused guilty even before court takes a final view of it. Ultimately, it may come out to be nothing but irrelevant publication. Such publication should be avoided. Media should itself take care of it,” he said.

He said in countries like England media will never publish a naked photo of a body and that they are very careful even without court directions.










Self employed entitled to higher compensation: SC

Published: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012, 19:26 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

Self-employed and those engaged in unorganised sector are also entitled to higher compensation for injuries and deaths in road accidents, the Supreme Court has ruled.

A bench of justices GS Singhvi and Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhayay said judgements relating to accidents and land acquisitions should be revisited by courts in tune with the changing socio-economic conditions of the people.

“In our view, it will be naive to say that the wages or total emoluments/income of a person who is self-employed or who is employed on a fixed salary without provision for annual increment etc. would remain the same throughout his life.

The rise in the cost of living affects everyone across the board. It does not make any distinction between rich and poor, Justice Singhvi, writing the judgement, said.

The apex court passed the ruling while enhancing the compensation amount by Rs1.40 lakh to a woman Santosh Devi whose husband was killed in a road accident in Punjab in 1995.

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal, Gurdaspur(MACT) had pegged the compensation at Rs1,32,000 with interest at the rate of 12% per annum from the date of application, which was upheld by the Punjab and Haryana High Court, following which Devi had appealed in the apex court.

Both the lower courts had relied upon an earlier judgement of the apex court in the Sarla Verma case (2009) to state that the family was not entitled to a higher compensation as the deceased was self-employed. The two courts had also held that the two sons of the deceased cannot be treated as dependent as they were majors.









Traders threaten stir over Central Warehousing Corporation levy at Attari ICP

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 03.58AM IST

AMRITSAR: Unhappy over the service charges levied by Central Warehousing Corporation (CWC) at the newly commissioned integrated check post at Attari, traders have convened a meeting to discuss the hiked service charges before announcing their next course of action.

President of Indo Foreign Chamber of Commerce, B K Bajaj, said, “With imposition of new charges on import and export, ICP, Attari has become the costliest port in India.”

He said they would hold a meeting with CWC officials and other agencies involved in the process to find an amicable solution, else they would be forced to go on strike and suspend trading at ICP.

Mukesh Sindhwani, an exporter, said that CWC had not made a conducive business environment. “If the charges are not withdrawn we will be forced to go on strike,” said Sindhwani.

However, CWC manager Rameshwar said that trade was going on smoothly. Rameshwar said he didn’t receive any representation from traders for lowering the handling charges at the ICP.









13-yr-old Dwarka domestic help returns to home in Jharkhand

Shalini Narayan : New Delhi, Wed Apr 25 2012, 01:02 hrs

Nearly a month after she was rescued from a locked Dwarka apartment of a doctor couple who were holidaying in Bangkok, the 13-year-old domestic help was handed over to her mother on Monday and sent to her hometown in Jharkhand.

After reaching Ranchi, the girl will be produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC). There, a decision will be taken to either keep her at a residential school, or hand her over to her mother.

Chairperson of CWC, West and South Delhi, Neera Mullick told Newsline, “The child has been handed over to her mother. She will, however, have to be produced as and when required during trial of the case.”

The CWC had on April 19 recorded that apart from the minimum wage of Rs 42,240 that the girl was to receive, the couple had promised a compensation amount of Rs 30,000, which was to be paid by them on April 20.

Mullick said, “While the minimum wages have been received, the compensation amount is yet to be recovered. Once the amount is received, we will send a cheque to the CWC in Gumla.”

She said the Jharkhand Police has been asked to keep a watch on the girl and foil any bid by alleged traffickers to get to her.

The girl was rescued on March 29 from a Dwarka flat belonging to Dr Sanjay and Sumita Verma. The couple were arrested on April 4, five days after they returned to Delhi. They were later released on bail.










Orissa High Court orders for DNA test in baby swap case

PTI | 10:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

Cuttack, Apr 24 (PTI) The Orissa High Court today ordered for DNA test to ascertain the parents of the baby girl, who is still lying unclaimed in the SCB medical college and hospital here ever since she was born on March 30. The Division Bench of Chief Justice V Gopala Gowda and Justice S K Mishra adjudicating in a writ petition ordered that blood samples of two newborn babies born on the same day and the two mothers would be collected at SCB Hospital on Wednesday in presence of a court officer. The state government informed the Court that it would bear the cost of the DNA test which would be held in a laboratory outside the state. The outcome of the test findings is likely to be available in two months, sources said. The Hospital authorities are insisting that the baby girl belongs to one Rashmita Mallick of Cuttack district but the Rashmita is claiming that she had given birth to a baby boy. On the other hand, one Nirupama Mallick of Jajpur district gave birth to a baby boy almost at the same time and both the babies were put on a same bed after their birth. High Court, before ordering for the DNA test wanted to take the views of Nirupama and her husband who were summoned to the Court on the day. Nirupama, told the Court that she was willing to offer herself and her son for the DNA test only after if some discrepancies appear after the DNA test of the baby girl and the mother who is refusing to accept the girl. The, HC however, wanted that the tests should be done at one time to clear all doubts and accordingly ordered that the blood samples of both the babies and both the mothers shall be collected on Wednesday in presence of a registrar of the High Court.









High court orders probe into appointment of Urdu translators

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 04.50AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has directed the UP chief secretary to look into the matter pertaining to some of Urdu translators-cum-junior clerks of 5,061 appointees as to how they have been posted in corporations and autonomous bodies instead of taking them in government departments. Justice Shabihul Hasnain directed the chief secretary to examine the matter at his level or through a committee. The matter will come for next hearing after four months.

The order came on a writ petition filed by Syed Hadi Asgar and others. The petitioners’ lawyer Mohd Ali contended that the state government had issued an advertisement in September 1994 for appointment of 5,061 Urdu translators-cum-junior clerks in government departments including the office of divisional commissioners, DMs, tehsils, blocks and police stations. The select list was prepared through direct recruitment and selectees were given appointment letters. The grievance of the petitioners was that they were posted in other than government departments, where they would have to miss pension benefits, age relaxations and other benefits. They also said that they could be only appointed in government departments and therefore their period of service in non-government departments should be considered on deputation and finally they should be posted in government departments.

The court found that apart from petitioners, several other appointees may have same grievance and therefore directed the chief secretary to look into the matter, so that litigations do not flood the court.











Apex court reserves order on plea to shift trio in Rajiv case

Bench expresses concern over some political parties taking up cause of the convicts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday reserved its verdict on the plea to transfer the petitions filed by three convicts facing death sentence in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case — Santhan, Murugan and Perarivalan — from the Madras High Court to the Supreme Court.

A Bench of justices G.S. Singhvi and S.J. Mukhopadaya while reserving verdict expressed concern at the action of some political parties taking up the cause of convicts and said the convicts had now become pawn of political parties.

The Bench had reserved verdict on the petitions filed by Devendar Pal Singh Bhullar, facing death sentence, questioning the delay in disposal of his mercy petition by the President.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by L.K. Venkat, President of G.K. Moopanar Peravai, affiliated to the Congress party seeking transfer of the petitions to the Supreme Court on the ground that the atmosphere in the High Court was not conducive for a fair hearing.

The three convicts had filed the writ petitions in the High Court challenging the rejection of their clemency plea by President Pratibha Patil after 11 years. The High Court on August 30, 2011 stayed their execution.

Mr. Venkat said the High Court, acting on the writ petitions of the three convicts, had stayed their execution scheduled for September 9, 2011. He said on August 30, 2011 when the matter was heard in the High Court, over 5,000 supporters had gathered inside and outside the court campus. They were interfering with the judicial function and also disturbing the proceedings.

‘Unethical behaviour’

He said admittedly the mob that gathered inside the Court hall shouted slogans and resorted to whistling to support the three convicts. This was totally unethical and improper.

Judges who heard the matter were helpless. He said that to ensure fair and free justice, the said writ petitions should be transferred to the Supreme Court

On behalf of the three convicts Mr. Jethmalani argued that the petition was not maintainable as no questions of law had been raised and the petitioner had no locus standi. He said the law was already settled that delay in disposal of the mercy petition had not been explained and the Centre had to file its response.

Additional Advocate General Guru Krishna Kumar, appearing for Tamil Nadu, also opposed the petition stating that the atmosphere in the Madras High Court did not warrant any transfer.










High court stays registration of Emaar villa plots

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 05.34AM IST

HYDERABAD: The high court on Tuesday stayed the recent order of a single judge that allowed registration of Emaar plots. The single judge, after hearing the Emaar villa plot owners association and others, allowed registrations subject to an extra payment to the APIIC.

The division bench comprising Chief Justice Madan B Lokur and Justice P V Sanjay Kumar stayed this order while hearing an appeal by the state and the APIIC that wanted the suspension of the single judge order because it’s fraught with danger of property being transferred to third parties.

“Moreover, when the whole issue is being probed by CBI, allowing registrations may accord legitimacy to the fraudulent acts of the perpetrators of the scam,” the appellants contended. The bench observed that the matter needed deeper probe and sought to know the details of the original promoter of the Dubai company. “What permissions did they possess at the beginning to enter into such deals with an Indian state?” the bench said and posted the matter to be listed after vacation for further hearing.

A division bench of the high court comprising Justice G Rohini and Justice Ashutosh Mohunta on Tuesday stayed the appointment of 13 district judges. However, the bench permitted the authorities to go ahead with appointment of four candidates.

The bench reserved its judgment on writ petitions filed challenging the selection process on various grounds. The HC wanted to fill 17 vacancies of district judges. After the written test results were declared, the minimum marks rule for selection of candidates was done away with. Writ petitions were filed contending that the authorities altered midway the criteria regarding the minimum marks required for interview. It was contended that the rule was not published in a gazette. The petitioners contended that persons who were employees like assistant public prosecutor could not have been considered for the appointment.










Maoist ‘peoples court’ likely to try abducted MLA Jhina Hikaka

Bhubaneswar, April 25, 2012

With a Maoist ‘peoples court’ likely to try Odisha BJD MLA Jhina Hikaka on Wednesday at Narayanpatna in Koraput district, the ultras have taken advantage of the halt in security force operations by digging up roads in the area since Friday to make it inacessible. “As anti-Maoist operations have been stopped as per their demands following the hostage crisis, the present situation will certainly give the Maoists opportunity to re-group and prepare for major attacks”, said a senior official.

It was also not known whether the Maoists would extend their deadline as earlier, but they were lingering with the situation as operations by security forces were halted, he said.

Though the Maoist Andhra Odisha Border Special Zonal Committee holding 37-year-old Laxmipur MLA hostage has said his fate would be decided by a ‘praja court’ on Wednesday, there was no definite information about its exact time and venue.

There was, however, some indication with the state government that the people’s court would be held in Narayanpatna area, the official said.

Narayanpatna area remained cut off from the rest of the state since Friday because of road blockades put up by the Maoists and a ‘Maoist week’ called from Wednesday.

“We don’t think road communication can be restored in the next couple of days as civilians are not cooperating with the administration in removing the road blockades”, a senior district official said.

The police were considering all security measures before taking steps to remove the blockades, he said.








CAT to UT: Pay enhanced salary to contractual teachers

Express news service : Chandigarh, Wed Apr 25 2012, 04:20 hrs

Allowing the petition preferred by Chandigarh’s contractual mistress Rupinderjit Kaur and lecturer Aneet Inder Kaur, a division bench of Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) headed by Justice Shyama Dogra on Tuesday directed the UT Administration to release the enhanced consolidated salary with effect from 2007 in pursuance to the UT Administration’s policy decision.

It was argued before the bench on behalf of the petitioners that the UT administration had taken a policy decision vide circular dated March 13, 2007 to revise the consolidated monthly salary of contractual masters/mistresses from Rs 8000 to Rs 9900 w.e.f. January 1, 2007. Similarly, vide subsequent policy circular dated January 10, 2008 and March 5, 2009, the said salary was further enhanced to Rs 10500 and Rs 11200 w.e.f. January 1, 2008 and January 1, 2009 respectively.

Similar pay enhancements were made with regard to contractual JBT teachers and lecturers. However, since the arrears of the same were not released to the contractual teachers, the petitioners approached the CAT which has directed the UT Administration to release the enhanced salary within a period of two months.









Pension: Rathore moves CAT against Union home secretary

Express news service : Chandigarh, Wed Apr 25 2012, 04:18 hrs

Former Haryana director general of police (DGP) S P S Rathore on Tuesday filed a petition seeking proceedings for contempt of court against Union Home Secretary B P Singh.

In his petition filed before the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT), Chandigarh, Rathore has said despite orders by the CAT passed in December last, his pension had not been restored.

In his application before CAT, Rathore, who was convicted of molesting Ruchika Girhotra, had stated “pension of a person was not bounty. It is legal entitlement, which can only be curtailed by an express provision of law and not otherwise”. He also stated that the orders directing withholding of pension on permanent basis could not be passed as the appeal was pending in the apex court.

The CAT bench had then observed “no competent authority can withhold pension on permanent basis” and had allowed the application filed by Rathore.

However, the pension has allegedly not been restored to date. Aggrieved, Rathore filed a petition demanding contempt proceedings against the Union Home Secretary.

After hearing the arguments, the tribunal posted the petition for resumed hearing on July 10. No notices were issued.










Molester cop’s wife buys VIP number plate for over Rs. 9 lakhs

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: April 25, 2012 10:40 IST

Chandigarh:  Former Deputy General of Police (DGP) of Haryana, SPS Rathore, who was found guilty of molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, is back in the limelight; this time for his lavish lifestyle. Mr Rathore now owns new Mercedes with number plate 0001.

His wife Abha Rathore had won an auction for the fancy number CH 01 AM 0001 and paid over Rs. 9 lakh, the highest bid for any number.

“So far we have auctioned 80 numbers and another 80 remain to be auctioned. So far the highest bid for any number was Rs. 9.05 lakh. That was for the CH 01 AM 0001 number. Mrs Rathore has bought this number for a Mercedes car,” said Kavle Parashuram, SDM Registering and Licensing Authority of Chandigarh.

Last year, there was shock and anger after the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT) restored the pension of Mr Rathore.

The Centre had stopped Mr Rathore’s pension in June 2010 after a CBI court in Chandigarh had, in December 2009, found him guilty and sentenced him to six years of rigorous imprisonment for molesting the 14-year-old tennis player on August 12, 1990. The girl had committed suicide three years later.










Fishermen killing: Victims’ families get Rs1 crore; case to continue

Published: Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012, 14:57 IST | Updated: Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012, 18:22 IST
Place: Kochi | Agency: DNA

In a sudden turn of events, families of two fishermen allegedly shot dead by marines on board ‘Enrica Lexie’ ship have reached a compromise with Italian authorities and accepted Rs one crore compensation but the criminal proceedings against the naval guards marines will continue.

Setting the stage for the settlement, the Kerala High court had earlier in the day permitted the family members of Valentine Jalastine and Ajesh Binki to withdraw their contentions made against Italy’s plea for quashing the FIR against the marines.

Justice PS Gopinathan allowed the petition filed by Jalastine’s wife Doramma and sisters of Binki, the latter hailing from Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.

However, Advocate General KP Dandapani said the legal heirs were not party to the criminal cases pending against the accused marines. The compensation agreement would not affect the case registered by the state, he said.

The marines have been charged with murder under the Indian laws for shooting dead the fishermen in February last when they were fishing in a boat off Kollam coast of Kerala.

The plea for compensation was filed by wife Jalastine’s wife and two children and two sisters of Binki, who will get Rs1 crore each as legal heirs of the victims.

The Italian authorities handed over the Demand Draft for the amount in the High Court’s Lok Adalat.

Shortly after police lodged the FIR in the case, Italian Consual General Giampaolo Cutillio and the two marines –Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone — had approached the High Court seeking to quash the FIR.

The legal heirs of the fishermen impleaded themselves in the case opposing the Italian’s plea. Later, however, they agreed to settle for the amount offered by the Italian government.

In view of this development, counsel for the victims’ families informed the court today they were withdrawing their defence and not pressing for the charges against the marines.

The two marines have been lodged in Central prison at Thiruvananthapuram and the ship is anchored off the coast of Kochi for the past two months.

With both parties agreeing for a solution, the High court under the Alternate Dispute Resolution System referred the issue to the Lok Adalat, which recorded the compensation agreement.

On request from Italian authorities, the family members of the deceased fishermen also gave a letter to the Italian authorities stating that they had pardoned the marines.

“We have decided to withdraw the claim compensation suit after accepting Rs one crore,” Unnikrishnan, counsel for Doramma, wife of Jalastine.

“Here after, we will not file any case against them,” he said, adding,the legal heirs received the compensation amount on Tuesday.







Armed men help 4 prisoners escape from court

Press Trust of India | Updated: April 24, 2012 18:27 IST

Alwar:  Four under-trial men escaped police custody with the help of a group of 12 armed men from outside a court in Alwar, police said.

A police team had brought the prisoners in a vehicle to to the sessions court at Tijara in connection with a loot case.

As soon as the under-trials got down from the police vehicle, the armed men, who were waiting outside the court, surrounded them and took them away in a jeep, a senior police officer said.

The men also fired in the air to create panic, he said.










Court issues non-bailable warrant against sub-inspectors

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 03.44AM IST

KANPUR: Additional district and sessions judge MA Abbasi issued non-bailable warrant against two sub-inspectors for non-compliance of the court order and asked the police authorities seniors to ensure their presence on next date of hearing.

The ADJ issued NBW against sub-inspector Mahipal Singh for not appearing in the court to give evidence in a dowry death case. He is at present posted at Etawah. The court had asked the SP to ensure Mahipal’s presence in the court on May 4.

The ADJ issued NBW against S-I Anand Masih for not appearing in the court to give evidence in a NDPS Act case. The case is passing through prosecution evidence stage.

The S-I, presently posted at Allahabad. was not appearing in the court since last couple of dates. The court had fixed next date for the hearing as May 14.









Court sentences Jharkhand man to life term for murdering wife

PTI | 05:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

New Delhi, Apr 24 (PTI) A 30-year-old man from Jharkhand who strangled to death his wife last year has been sentenced to life term by a Delhi court which said the circumstantial evidence “pinpoint” towards him. Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Atul Kumar Garg awarded life imprisonment to Jharkhand native Subhash Kumar, who had throttled his wife in a rented accommodation at Malviya Nagar in South Delhi and fled away from his house. “If the wife is found murdered at the home and husband was not present and he has no explanation about his absence, then the circumstantial evidence regarding the conduct pinpoint only upon the accused (Kumar),” ASJ said. The murder of a 20-year-old woman came to light on April 24, 2011, when the landlord opened the door after foul smell started emanating from Kumar’s flat and saw that his wife was lying dead in the flat while there was no information on Kumar’s whereabouts. The landlord had informed the police about the death of the woman. Thereafter, the police called deceased’s parents, who lodged a case alleging that their daughter was harassed and beaten by her husband. The father said that on earlier occasions also his daughter had told her mother over phone that Kumar used to beat her and asked her to bring money. Kumar, who was working with a contractor in Gurgaon, was arrested from Jharkhand on May 9, 2011. The prosecution said that coupele, who were married in 2008, were living in a rented room for the last two months in which the body of the woman was found in highly decomposed condition. (MORE)








City briefs : Park Street rape accused refused bail

Express news service : Wed Apr 25 2012, 07:20 hrs

Park Street rape accused refused bail

Kolkata:The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday rejected the bail plea of Sumit Bajaj — one of the accused in the Park Street rape case of February 5. The victim was allegedly raped in the car owned by Bajaj who was arrested on February 18. Opposing the bail plea, public prosecutor Debasis Roy said Bajaj might not have committed the offence but he was present during the incident, he said, adding that he was driving the car and did not stop the car when the woman requested him. An ornament of the woman was also recovered from his car and she identified the vehicle, said Roy. Three persons have been arrested in connection with the case while three accused are absconding.

Outfit protests labours’ arrest

Kolkata:A labour outfit has condemned the arrest of 8 people working for MGNREGS project under Lakhanpur gram panchayat in Purulia district. Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS) said the arrests highlighted the administration’s alleged bid to suppress protests against corruption and drawbacks in the implementation of MGNREGS. Trinamool Congress has been at the helm of affairs at Lakhanpur gram panchayat since 2009, the outfit claimed.

Netai killings: Fresh framing of charges

Kolkata:The Calcutta High Court on Tuesday turned down the Midnapore Additional Sessions Court’s order for framing of charges against the accused in the Netai killing case taking into account the typographical error in the order. Justice Kamaljit Singh Ahluwallia directed the additional sessions court to issue a fresh order for framing of the charges within 15 days after which the trial will begin. The framing of charges was challenged by CPM worker Abani Singh Sardar, who is one of the accused and currently lodged in jail. During the hearing it came to light that the CBI chargesheet mentioned prosecuting the accused under 27(ii) of Arms Act along with other criminal charges. But the order for the framing of charges mentioned 27(c) of the Arms Act instead of the 27(ii).








Court issues summons to Ansal brothers

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 22:03

New Delhi: A Delhi court here has issued summons to realtors Sushil and Gopal Ansal in a cheating case filed by a US-based woman.

Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Ashok Kumar issued summons to Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) Sushil Ansal and Ansal Buildwell Ltd’s Managing Director Gopal Ansal on a complaint by Sunila Wadhawan.

“I have perused the complaint and pre-summoning evidence led by the complainant. I hereby take cognisance against the accused persons… Accused persons be summoned for May 15,” said magistrate Kumar in its order made available Tuesday.

Wadhawan has alleged that the two brothers had “misappropriated” the commission amount of Rs 11.80 lakh to be paid to her husband.

The complaint was filed through advocate Tarun Rana. Rana in the application has stated that complainant Sunila Wadhawan’s husband Ashok Wadhawan was appointed as authorised agent on commission basis for marketing and selling properties of Ansal Properties and Industries Ltd, which was later divided into Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Ltd and Ansal Buildwell Ltd.

Complainant said the Ansal brothers had assured her husband that commission would be paid to him. Ansal brother later offered a plot in Gurgaon telling her husband that commission would be adjusted against it.

The complainant told court that later they shifted to USA and when they came to India they come to know that the plot was not executed in their name.

The complainant has told court that accused has committed offence of cheating, criminal breach of trust and other various section of Indian Penal code.









High Court directs regulation of sand quarrying in Cauvery

Press Trust of India | Updated: April 25, 2012 08:48 IST

Madurai:  The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday directed the collectors of five districts in the Cauvery delta to regulate sand quarrying in the Cauvery and Kollidam rivers.

The directive to the District Collectors of Karur, Tiruchirappalli, Thanjavur, Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur was issued by Justice R Banumathi and Justice B Rajendran, in their interim order, while admitting a PIL petition.

Petitioner TN Mahendra Kumar, Secretary of “Cauvery Neervala Aathara Pathukappu Sangam”, asked the collectors to follow the guidelines issued by the court earlier for quarrying sand.

He alleged that quarrying operations were being carried across the two rivers in violation of the Rules and Regulation of Minor Mineral Concession Rules, 1959.

Also alleging that the above mentioned district collectors granted license to a large number of sand quarries ‘without any application of mind’, Mahendra Kumar prayed for a ban on sand quarrying in the two rivers.

The judges directed the district collectors to ensure that not more than two poclain machines were used in the quarrying operations.

They further asked the collectors to stop the sand quarrying activities from 7 pm to 6 am. Apart from this, the judges also instructed the collectors and quarry operators to be in strict compliance of certain guidelines, which included collection of payment only through demand drafts and loading the sand to the vehicles directly from the quarries.

The petition was posted for further hearing on June 18.










SC dismisses PIL against Lokpal drafting committee

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012, 22:06

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday dismissed a PIL challenging constitution of Lokpal Bill drafting committee saying that task is over and the matter has become infructuous.

“Since the joint drafting committee has already completed the work and has submitted the report, the petition has become infructuous,” a bench headed by Justice A K Patnaik said.

The bench was hearing a PIL challenging the Constitutional validity of inclusion of five civil society members in a committee to draft a Lokpal Bill.

The petitioner had submitted that the notification constituting the 10-member Joint Drafting Committee, was contrary to the Constitutional provision of Article 53 as the power to issue such notification belonged only to the President of India.

It said the notification was also violative of Article 118 of the Constitution under which only Parliament has the privilege of setting up a committee comprising MPs.

According to the petition, no politician, committee or social worker have a right to take part in the drafting of the bill though every citizen’s view ought to be ascertained by way of notification at the time of drafting a Bill.









Petitioner files PIL in Hindi, seeks English medium education in government schools

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | Apr 24, 2012, 11.20PM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday sought stand of the Central government on the demand to provide English medium education in the government primary schools in the states, particularly Hindi speaking ones like Uttar Pradesh.

A division bench comprising Justice Uma Nath Singh and Justice VK Dixit issued notice on a public interest litigation ( PIL) filed by a social worker Anand Prakash Shahi. The petitioner said that there should be compulsory English medium education in the government primary schools as well. He said that students of UP are bright but suffer when it comes to search for jobs or higher education in other states. The Hindi medium students are treated as inferior or become victim of inferiority complex only because they lack in English, he said.

Shahi also argued “”Every child has a right to live with his head held high and it can happen in the present scenario, when he is imparted education in English medium, since his childhood.” He said that government primary schools should teach nursery rhymes, strengthen vocabulary and spoken English to the students on the lines of convent schools.

The petitioner has also attached recommendation of the committee headed by Sam Pitroda constituted by the Central government in 2006. The committee submitted its report in 2008 which recommended inclusion of english in the curriculum of government schools so that their students can compete with their convent educated counterparts

Interestingly, Shahi filed the petition drafted in Hindi. He reasoned the court that if he had been imparted English medium education in his childhood, he would have filed the same in English, which is the popular language of the court.

The court after hearing the arguments of the petitioner observed that every child, including poor who go to government school, have the right to opt for English medium education. The court heard the matter at length and asked the additional solicitor general Ashok Nigam to obtain instructions from the central government in this connection. The court has also asked state government and State Council of Education, Research and Training to make its stand clear on the issue. The case has been listed on May 7 for next hearing.










PIL seeking BCCI follow government regulations

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 24, 2012A public interest litigation (PIL) has been filed in Allahabad High Court seeking direction to the sports ministry to get Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) registered or else set up a separate body for development of cricket in India. The PIL has been filed by a UP cadre Indian Police Service official Amitabh Thakur and his wife Nutan Thakur and slated for hearing on Wednesday.

The litigation says that the Sports Ministry has given recognition to various National Sports Federations but BCCI was not part of it.

Despite that, the BCCI was getting all privileges and benefits of being a de-facto National Sports Federation of cricket from the government. And, the government has not been able to do anything about it. 

The petition also claimed that BCCI was also violating government rules as only a recognised sports federation can send nominations for awards such as Arjun Award or Dronacharya Award. The use of India by BCCI was violation of Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act, 1950, the petition claimed.

The BCCI, which claims itself to be a private body, had refused to come under the ambit of Right To Information law like other sports federations.

BCCI itself strongly insists that it is a private autonomous body having no control and affiliation with the Government. It also insists that it has never applied for being recognized as a NSF. “BCCI is enjoying privileges and breaking laws while strongly resisting any accountability and responsibility towards the Government or the People. This makes it look like being above law of the land,” the petition said.

The petition has asked the High Court to direct that the government to ask BCCI to become a recognized NSF and if BCCI does not agree, then the government should appoint some other Cricket Association as national sports federation as per the prevailing rules to end any anomaly.









HC may hear plea of Padma Tuesday

Express News Sevice

PUDUCHERRY: Puducherry Principal District and Sessions Judge C S Murugan adjourned the further hearing of defence arguments in the Sankararaman murder case to April 25.

Justice Murgan did not proceed with the hearing on a petition by Padma as she had filed a petition with Madras High Court pleading that further proceedings should not continue till her petition seeking a re-examination of her and her children was disposed of in Puducherry court.

The Madras High Court may take up the petition on Tuesday as the petition number could not be reached at the end of day’s proceedingsof the court on Monday.

SPP N Devadoss had already informed the court that he had to be present in the Madras HC on Monday. Padma’s son Ananda Sharma had reached the Puducherry court late. Only eight of the 24 accused were present on Monday.

The Kanchi Acharyas Jayendra and Vijayendra were exempted by the court from personal appearance. It may be recalled that Justice Murugan had asked Padma’s lawyer Manikandan, who argued on Padma’s petition on Wednesday last, that there was ambiguity about the prayer in the petition and there was no mention of re-examination in it.

The judge had asked the High Court lawyer to consult Padma whether she wanted a re-examination, as told to the media, and report back to the court on April 23.

Padma had told reporters on April 11 that she felt re-examination in the case was necessary as she and her family members had been “threatened” on the court premises here on August 6, 2009 by some persons while she was being taken to depose as a witness.

Sankarararman, manager at the Varadaraja Perumal Temple in Kancheepuram, was allegedly murdered on the premises of the temple on September 3, 2004. Kanchi Acharyas Jayendra and Vijayendra were prime accused in the case.

The trial was shifted to Puducherry court from Chengalpattu in Tamil Nadu by an October 2005 Supreme Court order.








UPSC exam papers can’t be re-evalued: Delhi HC

New Delhi: The UPSC cannot re-evaluate the civil service examination answer sheets due to absence of any rule for it, the Delhi High Court has held, while dismissing a plea to re-assess a candidate’s answer scripts of the 2006 main examination. The ruling comes as a big blow to candidates who had the hopes of getting their scripts re-examined and as a major reprieve for UPSC officials as it saves them the extra trouble and embarrassment.

Dismissing the civil service aspirant Syed Shabbir Ali’s plea, a bench of justices B D Ahmed and V K said, “As regards re-evaluation of the answer sheet of petitioner Ali, admittedly, there is no rule of UPSC entitling a candidate to seek re-evaluation of his answer sheets. We, therefore, find no merit in the contention that the petitioner is entitled to re-evaluation of his answer sheets,” the bench said.

The bench was hearing Ali’s plea challenging the Central Administrative Tribunal’s (CAT) order which had dismissed his plea for re-evaluation of his answer scripts in the Civil Services (Main) Examination, 2006.

In his petition, Ali had sought the bench’s direction to the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) to declare him successful candidate in the first rank in the Civil Service (Main) Examination 2006.

According to the petition, Ali had cleared the 2006 preliminary examination but had not been able to clear the main examination as he had not done well in English, a compulsory paper.

The English paper was a qualifying paper, for candidates of all categories, for the Civil Services Examinations 2006, as per the petition.

During the course of hearing, the bench had directed UPSC to re-total his marks in English paper and inform the court about the cut-off marks for qualifying it.

“On perusal of the record, we found that the raw marks obtained by the petitioner in English paper have been moderated and resultantly, he has been awarded higher marks, but despite that he was well below the qualifying cut-off which UPSC had prescribed in respect of the English paper. We also found that all the answers had been evaluated by the examiner and there was no totaling mistake,” the bench said.

“We are, therefore, satisfied that no mistake has been committed by the respondent in evaluating the answer sheet of the petitioner in respect of English paper and the petitioner has failed to obtain qualifying marks in the said paper,” the bench said and dismissed Ali’s petition.







HC backs eviction drive at Prez estate

Harish V. Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, April 24, 2012

The Delhi High Court has cleared the decks for the sealing of shops running from the premises of President’s Estate on Talkatora Road. Some of the shops have been conducting business there since 1946. The court upheld the Centre’s move to seal shops on the ground that commercial activity in the sensitive area was a security risk and would also affect the area’s tranquillity.

Apart from the six shopkeepers in the market in the estate, those facing eviction also include residents of six quarters. Justice Sunil Gaur also ruled that mere acceptance of licence fee during the period after termination of licence agreement does not affect licensor’s right to evict the licensee.

Petitions filed by a dozen other shopkeepers in the premises are pending before the court. The shopkeepers and residents had challenged the eviction process, initiated in 2003 under Public Premises (Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants) Act. The eviction order was issued in 2006.

The Centre said they (shopkeepers) had no right to occupy the premises, as they did not pay licence fee after 1993 and “commercial use of the premises was a high security risk and was affecting the tranquillity in the area”. “Eviction of the petitioners from the subject premises does not suffer from any arbitrariness or material procedural lapse, warranting any interference in these writ proceedings”, Justice Gaur said.

The court rejected the argument of the petitioners that they could not be evicted in this manner, as they had been continuously paying the licence fee. The security angle was something the Centre suddenly raised ; the security issue had no mention in the eviction notice.

Rejecting the argument, the court said: “It is true that issue of security concerns was not there in  the eviction notice but the plea  was certainly there in the eviction petition…. besides, mere acceptance of payment from the petitioners during the period post-termination of the Licence Agreements would not justify raising the plea of acquiescence.”








HC orders Punjab Police to free 70-yr-old Bangladeshi

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Wed Apr 25 2012, 03:59 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Punjab Police to release within three days a 70-year-old Bangladeshi who is in a jail in Amritsar for the past seven years even after serving his three-month jail term.

Mohammad Bilal, who was sentenced for not possessing a valid passport, is lodged in Central Jail, Amritsar since 2005. All these years, he has been claiming that he is a Bangladeshi national, but the Punjab Police has maintained that he is from Pakistan. This, despite repeated communications by the Bangladesh Embassy to the Indian government demanding his release and an inquiry report by an Amritsar Sessions Judge confirming that he is a Bangladesh national.

The Indian Express was the first to highlight Bilal’s case.

The High Court’s direction came after a communication of the Ministry of External Affairs to the Bangladesh Embassy on April 11, requesting the latter to issue travel documents and air ticket for deportation of Bilal, was produced before it last week. This came during the resumed hearing of a petition filed by NGO World Human Rights Protection Council through its chairman, advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal.









NIA to appeal in HC for Pragya questioning

Suchandana Gupta | Apr 25, 2012, 02.33AM IST

BHOPAL: The National Investigative Agency (NIA) will argue before the Madhya Pradesh High Court on May 2 as to why it was necessary for the agency sleuths to interrogate Malegaon bomb blast accused Pragya Singh Thakur in connection with the murder of RSS worker Sunil Joshi. The state High Court had stayed the questioning of Pragya Singh Thakur by the NIA last week.

NIA sources told TOI that after interrogation of other accused persons in the case, the NIA had reasons why they wanted to confront Pragya Singh Thakur and question her. She has not been interrogated by the agency sleuths in this case so far and the first time questioning was initially scheduled for April 20.

But as the NIA reached Bhopal on that day, a single bench of Justice G S Solanki granted stay on her interrogation after Pragya’s lawyer filed a petition before the High Court in Jabalpur. In the petition, it was argued that in March 2011 the state police had already filed a charge-sheet against her in the same murder case in a Dewas court and hence, it was not necessary for her to be questioned again.

RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi was shot dead under mysterious circumstances outside his residence in Dewas on December 29, 2007. NIA suspected his role in the Samjhauta Express, Malegaon, Ajmer Dargah and the Hyderabad Mecca Masjid bomb blasts. Based on Pragya Thakur’s confessional statements before the Madhya Pradesh police in Mumbai, a 432 page chargesheet in the Sunil Joshi murder case was filed against her in a Dewas court on March 1, last year.

The NIA had filed an application in the court of VK Pandey, Special Judge for NIA cases, on April 14 seeking permission for interrogation of all those accused in the Sunil Joshi case. The court granted the appeal and investigators reached Jaipur Jail on April 18 to question some of the accused persons. After their questioning, it was Pragya Singh Thakur’s turn to face quizzing by the agency detectives.

NIA legal team claimed that the stay order came before the agency could present its arguments before High Court. On May 2, we will go to the High Court and argue our case and reasons for the interrogation. It will be maintained that section 21 of the NIA Act which does not permit such a petition to be heard by a single judge bench.

The accused Pragya Thakur’s lawyer does not have the power to challenge the order of the Special judge for NIA. Only an appeal before the High Court is applicable. And the Act says two judges are to hear the appeal,” an NIA legal officer said.







HC orders inquiry against cop, doctor

PTI | 10:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

Allahabad, Apr 24 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh government to conduct an inquiry against a doctor and a policeman for fabricating a false dying declaration of a woman in a dowry death case and, if found guilty, take “stringent disciplinary and penal” action against the officials “so that an exemplary message goes out”. A division bench of justices Amar Saran and Anurag Kumar passed the order while rejecting the bail application of Upendra Singh from Kanpur Dehat, whose wife Kalpana had died in a hospital on April 22, 2006 and the post-mortem report had stated that the cause of the death was “burns and asphyxia due to throttling”. The petitioner had contended that his wife had given a dying declaration stating that her clothes had caught fire while she was working in the kitchen and that neither her husband, who had sustained minor burn injuries himself, nor her in-laws were in any way responsible for her death. However, the court was of the view that “the version contained in the dying declaration appears to be irreconcilable with the condition found in the autopsy” and that “prima facie the dying declaration recorded by the SI Radhey Shyam Yadav and certified to be recorded by him by Dr Surendra Singh appears to be fabricated”. Directing the principal secretary and the DGP to complete the inquiry within three months, the court observed “this is not the first case when suspicion has arisen in the minds of the courts that doctors and police officials at local levels may have colluded with the accused, and engaged in such a grave fraud by fabricating a false dying declaration to save the accused in a case of bride burning for dowry. “It is important that steps are taken to go down to the bottom of such matters and to punish the parties which are found engaged in fabricating such false documents or giving a dishonest opinion for showing a fabricated document to be genuine.”









HC notice to Pallonji in illegal gratification case

PTI | 08:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

Mumbai, Apr 24 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today issued a notice to Pallonji Shapoorji Mistry, father of Tata Group chairman designate Cyrus Mistry, on a public interest litigation filed alleging that his real estate company had given an illegal gratification of Rs 250 crore to a company owned by Nitesh Thakur, former deputy collector of Mhada. Nitesh has been arrested by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau on charges of corruption and for amassing assets disproportionate to his known source of income. According to the PIL filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, Nitesh, along with his brother Nilesh, had formed a company- PRS Enterprises. “Pallonji Shapoorji’s real estate company had paid a sum of Rs 258.88 crore to PRS Enterprises. The Income Tax Department had initiated inquiry into the transaction in December 2010 and had concluded that both the parties have failed to substantiate reasons behind payment of such huge sum of money,” the petition alleges. It further claims that the Thakur brothers were engaged in disbursing bribe to government officials on behalf of Pallonji for facilitating permission for real estate projects. Tirodkar, in his petition, has sought court to direct IT, Enforcement Directorate (ED) and CBI to conduct a joint probe into the transactions between the two companies. A division bench of Justices S A Bobade and Mridula Bhatkar had on the last hearing directed the petitioner to add Pallonji as a respondent to the PIL. Tirodkar today filed an application seeking to include Pallonji’s name, following which, the court issued notice to Pallonji seeking his reply to the application. The reply will have to be filed on May 4. Tirodkar today also submitted an additional affidavit along with a remand note of ACB which states that it was investigating into the financial transaction between Thakur’s company and Pallonji’s company. “The Enforcement Directorate is also looking into commission of money laundering. There is no legal documentation of the transaction and it seems to be illegal gratification,” the remand note states. PTI SP NP









HC directs removal of encroachments in Tiruvannamalai hill

PTI | 11:04 PM,Apr 24,2012

Chennai, Apr 24 (PTI) Wondering how encroachments were allowed in Thiruvannamalai Hill, home to a famous Lord Shiva temple, Madras High Court today directed the government to remove all such unauthorised constructions. Passing orders on a petition by C M Sivababu, District President of the Hindu Makkal Katchi, a bench comprising Chief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam said it was high time that government officers took immediate steps for the removal of encroachments, including a lodging house ‘Bala Dhandayudhabani Thirukoyil,’set up by Vedha Viththu alias Krishnan alias Kanagaraj. ‘We fail to understand as to why the officers of the respondents (government) posted at different places allowed the encroachers to grab land in the name of construction of temple, when there was a clear direction by the Supreme Court not to allow such constructions and to demolish all religious structures standing on government lands or public roads,’ the Judges said. The Bench directed the government to take appropriate action against the officials concerned if they failed to discharge their duty. The petitioner claimed that the Tiruvannamalai hill was no exception to illegal encroachments and land grabbings. Admitting that Viththu had encroached on a portion of the hill, Tiruvannamalai District Collector, in a counter affidavit, said he had been advised not to carry on any further construction. The man had constructed a small temple and was residing in a portion of it. Disposing of the petition, the Bench said it was evidently clear that the officials had allowed the construction. Though they were duty bound to stop the work and remove it, till date nothing had been done, the Judges said.










Shapoorji gets HC notice on Rs250cr kickback petition

Published: Wednesday, Apr 25, 2012, 8:01 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The Bombay high court on Tuesday issued notice to real estate baron Shapoorji Pallonji (father of Tata Group chairman designate Cyrus Mistry) on a public interest litigation (PIL) alleging illegal transaction of money.

The petition alleged that Pallonji’s real estate company had given an illegal gratification of Rs250 crore to a company owned by Nitesh Thakur, former deputy collector of Mhada who has been arrested on corruption charges.

A division bench comprising justice SA Bobade and justice Mridula Bhatkar issued the notice while hearing a PIL filed by former journalist Ketan Tirodkar.

Thakur, along with his brother Nilesh, had formed a company PRS Enterprises.

“Shapoorji Pallonji’s real estate company had paid Rs258.88 crore to PRS Enterprises,” says the petition.

The income tax department that had initiated an inquiry into the transaction in December 2010 concluded that both parties had failed to substantiate reasons behind payment of such huge sum of money, added the PIL.

Tirodkar has alleged that the Thakur brothers were engaged in disbursing bribe to government officials on behalf of Pallonji for facilitating permission for real estate projects.

The PIL has sought a joint inquiry by the I-T department, the enforcement directorate and the CBI into transactions between the two companies.

Tirodkar, in pursuant to an earlier HC order, filed an affidavit adding Pallonji as a respondent in his PIL. He also submitted an additional affidavit along with a remand note of the state anti-corruption bureau (ACB), which states that the ACB was investigating into the financial transaction between Thakur and Pallonji’s companies.

The Shapoorji Pallonji company also allegedly paid Rs141.50 crore to PRS Enterprises to buy a 900-acre land for them. Instead, PRS Enterprises bought land for itself at Alibaug, Murud and Shrivardhan for a hotel and a farm house.

The HC kept the PIL for hearing on May 4.










HC gives Dikshit and BJP chief Gupta another chance to resolve dispute

Express news service : New Delhi, Wed Apr 25 2012, 01:46 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday gave Sheila Dikshit and Vijender Gupta another opportunity to settle the defamation suit filed by the Chief Minister amicably. Dikshit had filed the suit against the BJP leader for allegedly making “unsavoury” remarks against her.

“There have been other more serious issues that this court has witnessed getting resolved… This is not an issue which should be stretched further,” said Justice Kailash Gambhir after being informed by the two leaders’ lawyers that they could not settle the case amicably. The court gave them two weeks’ time to make another attempt to find a solution and fix the matter for further hearing on May 2.

Delhi BJP chief Vijender Gupta, meanwhile, filed an application seeking dismissal of the case saying that fair criticism of the government was part of a democracy. “The statement was made against the government and nothing personal was said against the chief minister,” said senior advocate Aman Lekhi, appearing for Gupta. He also opposed the contention of Dikshit’s lawyer that she was willing to withdraw the petition if Gupta gave an undertaking that he will desist from making uncivilised remarks against the CM in future.

“The mere giving of such an undertaking would amount to admitting that in the past I had made uncivilised remarks,” argued Lekhi while turning down the demand. The court, after a brief hearing, asked the counsel of both parties to sit across the table and resolve the case within two weeks.

Dikshit had demanded a token Re 1 as damages and alleged that the BJP, under Gupta’s leadership in June 2010, had erected hoardings accusing Delhi Congress government of misrepresenting facts on power tariffs.










HC seeks report from Patna Municipal Corporation

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 01.49AM IST

PATNA: The Patna High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed the Patna Municipal Corporation (PMC) to submit its report with regard to the action taken to clean the state capital and also installing streetlights under different wards of the city. The order was passed by a division bench, comprising Justice T Meena Kumari and Justice Chakradhari Sharan Singh, on a PIL filed by one Varun Kumar Sharma.

The petitioner has stated that the state capital was littered with filth and garbage with no light on the streets causing great hardship to the people.

Petitioner’s lawyer Sunil Kumar said that the PMC, earlier on court’s direction, submitted a report to the HC, in which it stated that in 19 wards work is underway for installation of street lights, tender for which has already been issued. The PMC assured the court that work would be completed within six months. It also informed the court that cleanliness

drive would soon be launched in the city to get rid of the filth and garbage. The court directed the PMC to file progress report on the work to be

undertaken by it and said the case would be heard again after summer vacation.










Punjab and Haryana HC asks govt to form compensation commission

TNN | Apr 25, 2012, 03.51AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday asked Punjab government to set up a compensation commission within one month for the victims of large-scale violence witnessed in some parts of the state in 2009, in the wake of the death of a particular community leader, Sant Ramanandm in Vienna of Austria.

The directions were passed by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed on the issue. In its orders, the bench also specified that such a commission should be headed by a retired judge of the high court and the state government provide appropriate staff to the commission.

This commission would invite applications from the victims of violence and after assessment take decision on the mode of recovery of the loss. The HC also directed the state government to widely publicize in print media, asking people to come forward and deport against the culprits.

The death of Sant Ramanand in Austria on May 24, 2009, following an attack in a gurdwara in Vienna, had triggered large-scale violence in Jalandhar, Phagwara, Hoshiarpur and some other towns of Punjab. Importantly, it was only after the high court took cognizance of the matter that the police had swung into action and started registering cases.

The matter had reached before the HC in December last year through a PIL filed by Phagwara branch of General Samaj Manch (Regd), seeking directions for fixing responsibility of each and every official concerned in the administration for failure to anticipate such violence and punish the culprits.

Following HC intervention, 75 cases were registered, around 445 witnesses were identified and statements of around 258 persons recorded so far.









HC for dissolving Co-operative Tribunal

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Wed Apr 25 2012, 01:34 hrs

In what would lead to a first of its kind decision, the Delhi High Court has said that it is inclined to dissolve the incumbent Delhi Co-operative Tribunal. This comes following a reprimand by the court over the Tribunal’s “cut-copy-paste” approach in passing judgments.

The Tribunal, headed by a retired district judge, decides appeals against the orders of Registrar of Co-operative Societies or arbitrators in matters relating to group housing societies in Delhi. Such matters involve registration of a society, election, audit, inspection, dispute resolution, investment of funds, etc.

Opining that having the present Tribunal was as good as having none, a bench of Justices S K Kaul and Rajiv Shakdher has sought a response from the Delhi government over the procedure to recall its present members.

“It is as good as not having a tribunal when all its orders are either set aside or are remanded back. It is clearly unable to discharge its functions. Tell us the procedure to recall its members, for we may have to pass orders for reconstituting the Tribunal,” the bench told Najmi Waziri, government’s standing counsel.

The court had earlier underlined the “unacceptable” modus operandi of the Tribunal, while hearing an appeal against the Tribunal’s order. The parties are asked to submit soft copies of their arguments, which are then entered into the computer. Subsequently, a final order is passed by the Tribunal wherein the pleadings by the parties are simply reproduced by copying and pasting them and a conclusion of merely a few lines are typed out with minimal modification.

The court was further informed about the lack of stenographers in the Tribunal. It, however, said: “Despite the inadequacies, the tribunal, in our view, cannot conduct judicial proceedings in such a cavalier manner.” The bench said the tribunal, instead of reducing such proceedings into a “mere ritual,” should have highlighted its difficulties to the authorities concerned or the Chief Justice of this court.

Waziri was then called upon to look into the matter. The standing counsel was also asked to obtain from the Tribunal copies of all the orders passed by it in the last six months for vetting them.

On Monday, Waziri submitted the government’s report, stating that while vacancy of stenographers was being filled up and three persons have been already selected, issues relating to the 87 judgments passed in the last six months involved serious considerations since these orders were bereft of judicial reasoning. “The opinion is that they must have elaborated reasons to decide cases. Absence of reasons or discussions with respect to contentions of parties could leave a sense of disquiet or injustice and they will tend to move higher forum,” the report read.

Concurring, the bench held that while the Tribunal was created to sort some issues at its level, it in fact was enhancing the workload of the courts too by passing such orders.

“It is headed by a retired judicial officer but judicious mind is reflected nowhere in the judgments,” noted the bench, while asking Waziri to come back on the next date to apprise them about the procedure stipulated to disband the Tribunal by recalling its members and then reconstitute it properly.



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