LEGAL NEWS 31.05.2012

Spiritual guru blames rupee symbol for currency woes

Agence France-Presse | Updated: May 31, 2012 17:47 IST

New Delhi: Businessmen may blame global troubles or inept governance, but a Hindu guru has an alternative theory for the historic weakness of Rupee: the newly adopted symbol for the currency is inauspicious.

Rajkumar Jhanjhari, an expert in the ancient Hindu doctrine of vastu shastra, has called for a new design, arguing that a line on the symbol has “slit the throat” of the rupee and sparked the country’s financial gloom.

The rupee symbol, unveiled in 2010 during happier times for the economy, is inspired by the letter “R” in the Roman alphabet and “Ra” from the ancient Devanagari script used in Hindi.

“India managed to withstand a severe global slump in 2009, before the symbol came up. One must ask why our growth rate is taking a beating now before rubbishing pleas for changing the symbol,” Mr Jhanjhari told the Hindustan Times.

Data on Thursday showed India’s economy grew just 5.3 per cent in January-March, its slowest pace in almost a decade, pushing the rupee to its lowest ever rate against the dollar.

It has shed about a fifth of its value against the US currency in the last 12 months.

Mr Jhanjhari, based in Guwahati, has offered tweaks to the rupee design that he believes would boost the troubled economy, the newspaper reported.

The 50-year-old said that he wrote to the Prime Minister with his suggestions late last year and copies of the letter were also sent to the finance minister and the central bank.

Similar to Chinese Feng Shui, Vastu Shastra is a Hindu system of space design that aims to promote well-being, by auspiciously making buildings or other constructions align with natural forces.

The designer of the rupee’s current symbol, student Udaya Kumar, said a change would be up to the government. “Frankly, I don’t know what to say,” he told the paper.

At the time of the launch of the rupee symbol, Information Minister Ambika Soni said it would establish the arrival of the Indian currency “as a robust currency.”






Cabinet postpones decision on Power Board

Roy Mathew

The Cabinet on Wednesday deferred a decision on corporatisation and unbundling of the State Electricity Board for discussions with the employees’ organisations in the Board.

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy told the media after the Cabinet meeting that the employees’ organisations had submitted differing representations on the proposals. The government wanted to take them into confidence and hold discussions with them.

The Power Minister had earlier held discussions with the employees. He would now convene a conference with the employees which would be attended by the Finance and Power Ministers. He and the Ministers would then place final proposals for approval of the Cabinet.

The Chief Minister said that about 2500 persons would be given promotions in the Police Department in two years. About 1000 constables would be promoted as head constables and 1000 head constables would be promoted as additional sub Inspectors. Besides, 500 additional sub inspectors would be promoted as sub inspectors. The remaining recommendations of the Shetty Commission on revision of pay scales for non-judicial staff would be implemented.

The Cabinet had decided to allocate Rs. 12 crore for building 800 houses for fishermen. This was in addition to the Budget provision of Rs. 4 crore. A project leader and six sectoral officers would be appointed for implementation of the Rs. 148-crore project for development of primitive tribes, funded by the Centre. A branch of the Civil Services Training Academy would be set up at Victoria College at Palakkad.

The Cabinet had sanctioned Rs. 10 lakh each as grant for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations of the Gandhi Smaraka Nidhi and centenary celebrations of Sri Chitira Tirunal Balarama Varma )who was Maharaja of Travancore). The Nadukkara Agro-processing Company near Muvattupuzha would be handed over to the Vegetable and Fruits Promotion Council- Kerala. The compensation recommended by NHRC to endosulfan victims would not be curtailed.

Replying to questions, the Chief Minister said that the police had not tortured anyone who were taken into custody in connection with the murder of T. P. Chandrasekharan as alleged by the CPI (M). The accused had disclosed details of the plot to kill Chandrasekharan when confronted with scientific evidence. “Did CPI (M) State secretary M. M. Mani disclose the details of murders that had taken place in Idukki district because he was tortured by anyone? It showed that the truth could not be hidden for long.”

Mr. Chandy said that none forced Mr. Mani to leave the State after his disclosure. There were precedents of the police investigating old cases in the light of new disclosures as in the case of murder of naxalite Varghese.

He lamented that the communal violence was happening in some parts of the State though Marad, where violence had occurred previously, was now very peaceful. The people of Kerala know who are behind the violence. The government was trying to address the problem. “Communal amity is our strength. If communal incidents happen, it would lead to our destruction.”

He said that the ban on pan masala would be implemented strictly. Existing stocks in Kerala would not be allowed to be sold. However, traders would be allowed to take the stocks out of the State.

He said that the government was considering the Railways’ proposal that the Wagon factory at Palakkad should be set up with private participation. It needed time to examine the proposal.





Former Karnataka DGP Bidari moves SC for reinstatement

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 17:15


Former Karnataka DGP S M Bidari today moved the Supreme Court seeking his reinstatement as state police chief, the appointment for which had been quashed by the Central Administrative Tribunal (CAT).

A bench of justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar, however, recused themselves from hearing the plea and ordered its listing before a different bench.

Bidari approached the apex court challenging Karnataka High Court’s order which had held that Bidari’s empanelment for the post of state police chief was vitiated as the state government had not placed before the empanelling authority the report of the NHRC’s panel on atrocities committed by the Special Task Force (STF), headed by Bidari during the operation to arrest elusive forest brigand Veerappan.

It had dismissed his petition after reviewing findings of the Justice Sadashiva panel, which probed the alleged atrocities committed by the STF headed by Bidari to nab Veerappan.

The high court had noted that there is a specific reference to Bidari’s name in the Sadashiva panel report which was in nature of adverse comments upon his functioning as a commandant of the Task Force.

“As the said panel report/NHRC orders are withheld from the UPSC/not placed before the UPSC, the empanelment of the third respondent by the UPSC is vitiated and consequently the order appointing the third respondent as the DG and IGP of Karnataka is also vitiated”, it had said.





India’s human rights report to UPR flayed

Source: The Sangai Express / Ninglun Hanghal

New Delhi, May 30 2012: India’s human rights review report which was presented at the 8th sitting of the ongoing thirteenth session of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review in Geneva that began from May 4, drew flaks from an activist and Director of ACHR, Suhas Chakma who termed the report as ‘a reflection of India’s anachronistic position on human rights’ .

Eighty countries made their comments and observation during the session which is scheduled to conclude on June 4 .

The delegation of India headed by Goolam E Vahanvati, Attorney General of India, presented 32 case points.

This includes India’s efforts in initiative for good governance such as the RTI, introduction of rights based approach such as MGNREG Act, RTE and NFSB for social and economic advancement, India’s leniency towards refugees from its neighbours, Myanmar, Tibet, Sri Lanka.

India’s presentation stated that an internal challenges posed by terrorism and insurgency is being met with resolve coupled with compassion and people oriented development.

The dialogue session adopted recommendations to be examined and responded by India before the coming 21st session of the HR Council in September this year.

Among others, the sixty nine recommendations include; ratification of the convention against torture, inhuman and degrading treatment, International Convention for protection of all persons from enforced disappearance and Repeal or adopt amendment for accountability of security forces under AFSPA.

Reacting to the precedings of the India case at the UPR, Suhas Chakma, Director of the Asian Centre for Human Rights said “the 22 page report sadly reflects India’s anachronistic position on human rights” .

He lamented that India did not give any report on the implementation pledge taken in the Human Rights Council earlier in May 2008.”What India did was inviting the UN Special Rapporteurs this year,” he added.

Chakma finds that India’s reports gives an impression that there is no Human Righst violation in India, presenting only on the positive aspects.

The Asian Centre for Human Rights Director went on to state that the Indian delegation, led by none other than the Attorney General, should make a commitment that all laws that undermine the supremacy of the judiciary will be repealed.

Suhas countered that there is no evidence that India intends or has intended to ratify the UN Convention Against Enforced Disappearances.

In India Enforced disappearance is not codified as a criminal offence in its domestic law despite NHRC receiving 341 complaints of disappearances in 2010 and 338 in 2011 alone.

He underlined that about 35 per cent of the complaints to the NHRC annually are against the police but custodial justice remains a problem.

Quoting India’s contradictory stand in its 2011 report on the Optional Protocol to the CRC which says India does not face either international or non international armed conflict situations, Chakma said “The Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) is still in force in Jammu & Kashmir and the North Eastern states” .





SC wants to know of mysterious disapearance of NRI

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 17:29 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Following the mysterious disappearance of an Indian engineer from his home in Saudi Arabia over two weeks ago, the Supreme Court has issued a showcause notice to four states including Delhi and Karnataka, the external affairs and home ministries, and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

A bench consisting of justices KS Radhakrishnan and JS Khehar sought their response by June 1 when the petition of Nikhat Parveen, 22, wife of the missing engineer, Fasih Mahmood, 28, will come up for hearing.

On May 13, Mahmood was said to have been taken away from his home in Jubail, Damman, by a group of Indian and Arab men in civil dress after they conducted a search and seized a laptop and a mobile phone.

His wife, Nikhat Perveen, was held in a room by an Arab woman.

While leaving, they informed her that Mahmood would be deported as he was wanted in India. Parveen alleged that Mahmood, who hails from Darbhanga in Bihar, was picked up for alleged terror links.

Avocate Naushad Ahmad Khan, appearing for Parveen, pleaded that the court should direct the government to reveal the whereabouts of Mahmood.

Earlier, Parveen had appealed to several authorities, but to no avail.

First, she approached the Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia. When they failed to respond, Parveen, who had married Mahmood in September last year and joined him in Saudi Arabia in March, returned to India on May 15. Next, she approached the external affairs and home ministries. When they denied having detained her husband, Parveen filed a habeus corpus with SC seeking respite.





NHRC asks Meghalaya govt to stop employing children in mines

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 30,2012

Shillong, May 30 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission today asked the Meghalaya government to “stop” employment of children in all mines and business establishments in the state. “We emphatically have told the government to stop child labour in mining areas and all areas concerned in which children are purportedly employed as direct labourers or as bonded labours,” Chairman of the Commission, K G Balakrishnan told reporters after the meeting. He said the Commission suggested that there should be a detailed survey of all mines in the state to check child labourers and bonded labourers. For such cases, the government should provide compensation and rehabilitate the victims besides taking action against such employers. At present, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences has been appointed by the state government to conduct a survey in the mining areas of the state on the issue of child labour for which a report would be shared with the Commission. The Commission had taken cognisance of the issue after it was reported that more than 70,000 child labourers were present in the coal belts of Jaintia Hills district. The Commission has also taken cognisance of the fact that mining in Meghalaya is not regulated which is resulting in environmental degradation and causing health hazards besides exploitation of the mine workers. On a query about the setting up of a state human rights commission, the NHRC Chairman said it is the prerogative of the state governments to set up such bodies. The Commission had earlier written to all Chief Ministers on the issue.





‘NHRC never recommended AFSPA repeal’


Assam Tribune | Shillong, May 30

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has never recommended repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) but asked State governments to consider review of the controversial Act.

Justice KG Balakrishnan, chairperson of NHRC, said that the Commission has no jurisdiction when it comes to asking States to repeal the Act as it is a State policy. “The State governments have to take a decision to repeal the Act as it is a policy decision. The NHRC has therefore never recommended for its repeal,” he said at the sidelines of the NHRC’s camp sittings here.





Green Tribunal approached for protecting Western Ghat ESZs

PTI | 12:05 PM,May 31,2012

Panaji, May 31 (PTI) A group of non-government organisations (NGOs) have approached the National Green Tribunal in Delhi, seeking ban on projects in Eco Sensitive Zones (ESZs) identified by Professor Madhav Gadgil panel in the Western Ghat region. Five NGOs have pleaded the tribunal that the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF), state governments, respective pollution control boards and environment impact assessment authorities should not be allowed to give permission for projects in the ESZ –I and II, identified by the panel. The Western Ghat Ecology Expert Panel (WWEEP) led by environmentalist Madhav Gadgil had submitted its report to the MOEF in August, last year. After a delay, the report was kept open for the public this month inviting suggestion. The report has demarcated ESZs depending on the bio-diversity present in those areas. The NGOs have said that all the six states through which the Western Ghat passes should respect these ESZs. National Green Tribunal has issued notices to MOEF and all the six states and the case would be heard on July 25, 2012 when tribunal bench will meet after the vacation. Five NGOs – Goa Foundation (Goa), Peaceful Society (Goa), Samaj Parivartana Samudaya (Karnataka), River Research Centre (Kerala) and Parisara Samrakshana Kendra (Karnataka)- have filed the petition. All these organisations were part of Western Ghat Bachao Abhiyaan, a campaign held in 1987-88.






Notice to defence ministry on non-functional AFT courts

Bhartesh Singh Thakur, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 31, 2012

The Punjab and Haryana high court on Wednesday issued a notice to the union ministry of defence (MoD) over the ‘paralysis’ of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) benches due to non-appointment of judges by the ministry.
Major Navdeep Singh, AFT Bar founding president, in a public interest litigation (PIL), highlighted the ‘excessive’ control of the MoD over appointments, infrastructure, rule-making and functioning of the AFT, even as it was this ministry against which the tribunal had to pass all orders. The petition said having the MoD as the parent ministry for the AFT was against the spirit of the law laid down by the Supreme Court.

The petition stated that of the 15 courts in the country, only three were functioning because of non-appointment of judicial members. “The Chandigarh bench is also faced with a paralysis of sorts, with only one court functioning out of three, and that too partially since the court also has to sit in the circuit bench at Shimla. The Chandigarh Bench, which covers Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Chandigarh, and has the maximum pendency, is hence currently at the mercy of the MoD, which has taken no effective steps of filling vacancies of judicial members, though it is learnt that the selection process had been initiated more than a year back.”

The petition added that the MoD had recently informed a parliamentary standing committee incorrectly that only 303 decisions of the AFT had not been implemented, whereas 3,500 to 4,500 decisions remained unimplemented.

“Though the tribunal exercises criminal appellate functions, there is no police presence to undertake such functions as provided for under the AFT Act or under the CrPC; the security is handled by private, unarmed security guards outsourced from a private security agency,” the petition said.

It prayed for directions for placing the AFT benches under the union ministry of law and justice as there was no provision in the AFT Act for the MoD to take over the rule-making powers, authority, functioning, appointments, infrastructure, manpower or administrative support of the tribunal. It also asked for the selection of judges in a time-bound manner, particularly for the Chandigarh bench of the AFT, which covers the largest area and has the maximum load of cases.






Harsher law to crack down on fraud by NRI grooms: Sukhbir

Anju Agnihotri Chaba

Posted: May 31, 2012 at 0319 hrs IST

Jalandhar The Punjab government has announced that it will bring in a strict and comprehensive new law in August to check fraud being committed by NRI grooms who desert their wives immediately after marriage and disappear.

“The law will take these NRI grooms to task,” said Punjab Deputy Chief Minster Sukhbir Singh Badal after attending a national seminar on ‘Overseas Marriage and Deserted Wives by NRI grooms’ organised by Punjab police in collaboration with National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday. He also launched a helpline for women in distress and said that Punjab will not tolerate fraud committed against innocent Punjabi girls.

Sukhbir said that the new law will stipulate verification of NRIs seeking to marry a Punjabi girl, a compulsory registration of such marriages besides sifting of such details from the Indian consulate in that country from where the NRI resides.

“It is painful to witness desperate deserted wives run pillar to post for justice,” Sukhbir said, adding that a district-wise census of ‘deserted wives’ will be conducted to provide them legal assistance.

The Deputy CM said that under the new law, parents of the girl can be taken to task for marrying their daughter off without proper verification of the groom. “In many cases parents marry their daughters off to NRIs due to greed and leave her at the mercy her in-laws,” he said.

Former Union minister Balwant Singh Ramoowalia, who has been fighting this battle along with his close associate R S Bharowal for over a decade and getting relief for such girls, said that out of a total 30,000 such cases in India around 15,000 belong to Punjab, including 10,000 from Doaba region alone.

Sukhbir acknowledged the efforts of Ramoowalia and said that what the government should do was being done by Ramoowalia for years .

SAD MP Harsimrat Badal suggested that a website should be made where photographs of such fraud NRI grooms and their families should be pasted. “It would act as a big shame for these NRI grooms and their families,” she said, while registering her displeasure at the measly number of cases of fraud brought to light by NCW to the Punjab police.

Zonal and NRI Affairs IG Gurpreet Deo said that they have been steadily receiving more complaints. “From 26 cases in 2007 we have had 200 cases till date,” she added, while revealing that only in 102 cases were NRI grooms declared Proclaimed Offenders (POs).

Decide cases in 80 days: Ramoowalia

Ramoowalia suggested a mechanism to tackle marital disputes of NRI grooms including deciding of such cases in 80 days. He also said that the deputy commissioner should take an affidavit from the groom about his immigrant status, while the parents should ask for copies of his various documents like social security, driving license number, bank account statements and guarantees.






Land acquisition for SIPCOT upheld

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The proceedings of the TN government to acquire land belonging to Sri Venkateswara Educational and Charitable Trust in Cheyyar in Tiruvannamalai district� for expansion of SIPCOT Industrial Estate has been upheld by the Madras High Court.

Justice K Chandru upheld the proceedings while dismissing a writ petition filed by the SVEC Trust challenging the notification issued by the State government under section 3 (1) of the Tamil Nadu Acquisition of Land for Industrial Purposes Act, recently.

According to the Trust, the State government had published a notification for acquiring an extent of 25.71.0 hectares. The trust had sent a letter to the District Collector seeking exemption of 14.69.0 hectares to start an engineering college. The letter was forwarded to the Special Commissioner/Commissioner for Land Administration recommending dropping of lands from the acquisition proceedings.

When the matter was pending, the State had issued a final notification asking the petitioner to surrender the land. Even after this notification, the petitioner was corresponding with the government. Since no response was forthcoming from the State, the Special Commissioner had directed the District Collector to send an appropriate report to the government. It was at this stage, the present petition was filed.

During the course of hearing the additional government pleader produced a GO dated March 27, 2012 rejecting the request for exemption on the ground that the exemption, if granted, would disturb the continuity of the scheme.

S Vadivelu, counsel for the petitioner, placed reliance on the fact that the authority below had recommended for an exemption, but that was not considered in the impugned order.

Justice Chandru said that the petitioner could not seek for exclusion of its land from the acquisition. There was no construction activity in the lands in question as per the communication of the District Collector. SIPCOT had opined that any exemption would affect their expansion programme, he pointed out.

“In view of the above, there is no case made out to entertain the petition. This court is satisfied that necessary statutory procedures have been followed before invoking the power under the TALIP Act,” the judge added and dismissed the petition.






Kishangarh international airport gets high court nod

TNN | May 31, 2012, 03.59AM IST

JAIPUR: A division bench of high court comprising Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice R S Rathore on Thursday allowed the construction of an international airport at Kishangarh near Ajmer. The bench rejected the plea of the royal family of Kishangarh and held that the petitioners mislead the court by filing wrong statements and were challenging the acquisition after 24 years.

The matter was strongly contested on behalf of petitioner Brajraj Singh, the eldest son of erstwhile ruler Sumer Singhji and his other siblings whose 3003 bigha of land at Kishangarh-B village was acquired by state government in 1976 for constructing the airport. The Centre had recognized private properties of former estate of Kishangarh by an order dated August 8, 1949 wherein the land in dispute was treated as estate property.

After death of erstwhile ruler Sumer Singhji on Feburary 16, 1971, the Central government recognized Brajraj Singh as ruler of Kishangarh. An acquisition proceeding was initiated by the district collector under Land Reforms and Acquisition of Landowner’s Estate Act, 1963 and on February 20, 1976 the land in dispute was acquired and possession also taken. The tehsildar of Kishangarh passed an eviction order with fine under Section 91A of Rajasthan Land Revenue Act on May 22, 2000 which was challenged by the petitioner in the court. A writ petition, as also an appeal, were dismissed by the high court holding the royal family guilty of suppression of facts and making misleading statements.

It was contended by K K Mahrshi, senior counsel for petitioner that the petitioners were not served with the notice of acquisition proceedings and the compensation commission passed the compensation at their back. The plea was opposed by advocate general G S Bapna who contended that a notice was duly served on Brajraj Singh, who happens to be the main petitioner and once a notice is served to co-owner of a land, the same is deem sufficient service over the other co-owners.

In a review petition file by the petitioner, the division bench of Justice Mohammad Rafiq and Justice R S Rathore came down heavily on the petitioner saying: “The state government is right in saying that the petitioners were duly served. Even this is their own admission in Para no. 15 of the writ petition. In a review, court does not sit in an appeal.”

“The very invocation of high prerogative jurisdiction impales a party to state truth and correct facts. Misrepresentation and misstatement was thus one aspect but the other aspect was that writ was filed after a delay of 24 long years and that too without availing an alternative remedy before the Revenue Board against the order of eviction passed by tehsildar. As such, there is no ground for interference,” Justice Rafiq observed in the order on behalf of bench.





Plea on books with Ambedkar toon

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK) leader Thol Thirumavalavan has approached the Madras High Court with a writ plea to restrain the Centre from publishing and circulating the books containing a cartoon, which denigrated Dr BR Ambedkar, the Father of Indian Constitution.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and CS Karnan on Wednesday ordered notice to the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry, National Council for Education and Research Training (NCERT) secretary and the New Chanab Offset Printers editor in New Delhi, returnable in four weeks.

In his public interest writ petition, Thirumavalavan, who raised the issue in Parliament on May 10 last, submitted that though the HRD Minister Kabil Sibal tendered an apology,� no step had been taken to remove the cartoon from the XI std text book of the NCERT. The schools were due to open after summer vacation shortly. In that case, the same insult would continue.

Unless the authorities concerned were restrained from publishing and circulating the book during the coming academic year, great hardship and prejudice would be caused to the petitioner and the dalit community, petitioner contended in his petition.

He sought to restrain the authorities concerned from publishing and circulating the objectionable portion contained in page 18, chapter I in the Political Science Book of Class XI students under the title `Constitution at Work’.






Direct TNPCB to inspect KKNPP

Express News Service

CHENNAI: A writ plea was made in the Madras High Court for a direction to the TN Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) to inspect the Koodankulam Power Plant in Tirunelveli district with experts and issue consent order to operate the plant only after the project sirector complied with all mandatory requirements as contemplated in the PCB’s order dated February 25, 2004.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and CS Karnan, before which the public interest writ petition from� the Fishermen Care, represented by its president LTA Peter Rayan of Old Pallavaram came up for hearing on Wednesday, posted the matter after summer vacation.

According to petitioner, the TNPCB had stipulated 15 special and 13 general conditions under Sec 25 of the Water Prevention and Control of Pollution Act and 10 special conditions and 10 general conditions under sec 21 of the Air Prevention and Control of Pollution Act.

It had also stipulated that the plant should make a request for grant of consent to commission at least 60 days before the commissioning of the trial production. In response to a query from the petitioner under the Right to Information Act, it was stated that the PCB had not granted the consent order to operate the project. It also stated that the PCB authorities had not made any personal inspection or verified safety measures.






Naroda Patia case: Court issues notice over final report

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.40AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Now that the trial has been completed in the Naroda Patia massacre case, the special court on Wednesday issued notice to the special investigation team (SIT) in connection with witnesses’ plea demanding final report on further probe conducted in this case.

Seeking explanation from the SIT by June 14 on what happened to its further investigation that was on for more than last two years, designated judge Jyotsnaben Yagnik kept further hearing on the issue next month.

The court issued notice on the basis of an application filed by eyewitnesses and convener of Jan Sangharsh Manch, Amrish Patel, seeking direction to the SIT to submit the final report as per section 173(2) of CrPC on basis of earlier applications for further investigation filed before the SIT and special court since 2009.

Earlier, these applicants requested that further probe was required to be conducted with regard to larger conspiracy, connivance or criminal negligence by cops in incidents that resulted in deaths and destruction and analysis of call details contained in the CD produced by senior IPS officer Rahul Sharma.

When the issue came before the court last year, the court rejected the plea on SIT’s claim that further investigation was already under way as per the Supreme Court’s directions.

On Wednesday, petitioners’ counsel S H Iyer argued that the SIT had not filed any report in connection with earlier applications for last two years, though the court had specifically asked them to submit or forward the report to the court that has taken cognizance of the Naroda Patia case.

This development took place before the SIT submitted its closure report on the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri against chief minister Narendra Modi and others for their alleged involvement in the 2002 riots. The SIT also assured the court that it would place the report before appropriate court only after it submits the report as per the SC directions. Accordingly, it placed its report before metropolitan court No 11 on February 8.

Incidentally, the same court also takes cognizance of the Naroda Patia case, as the SIT filed all its supplementary charge sheets before this court only.






2G case: Court allows Behura, 5 others to visit abroad

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 18:37

New Delhi: Former Telecom Secretary Siddharth Behura and five others, facing trial in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, have been allowed by a Delhi court to go abroad in June for varying reasons.

Besides Behura, Special CBI Judge O P Saini also granted permission to Swan Telecom promoter Shahid Usman Balwa, DB Hospitality (P) Ltd’s Vice Chairman-cum-MD Vinod Goenka, Kusegaon Fruits and Vegetables Director Asif Balwa, Cineyug Films Director Karim Morani and Unitech Ltd MD Sanjay Chandra to visit abroad.

Meanwhile, DMK MP Kanimozhi too has moved court for permission to visit her native state Tamil Nadu on the occasion of the birthday of her father and party patriarch M Karunanidhi on June 3. Kanimozhi’s plea is likely to be heard Thursday.

The court directed Behura to furnish a surety of Rs 5 lakh, as he is a “retired public servant”, while the other five were asked to furnish bond of Rs 20 lakh each before taking up their respective foreign jaunts.

Behura had sought permission to visit his daughter in Bangkok and also travel to Hong Kong between June 9 to June 30 while Shahid and Asif Balwa wished to perform religious pilgrimage in Mecca during the same period.

Sanjay Chandra wished to travel to Hong Kong and Shanghai between June 10 to June 16 and also visit Italy, Spain and Turkey between June 22 to July 1 on business matters.

Karim Morani had sought the court’s permission to travel to London and Amsterdam on medical grounds from June 11 to June 29.

In his plea, Vinod Goenka hadaid that he had to attend important business meetings in London had sought the court’s permission to visit the United Kingdom from June 14 to June 29.

“The six accused are facing trial in a very serious matter and it is incumbent upon them to be available… For facing trial. However, at the same time travelling is a natural incident of human life and should not normally be denied without any valid reason,” the court said while allowing their pleas.


First Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 18:37





PIL questions govt takeover of liquor trade

TNN | May 31, 2012, 05.00AM IST

CHENNAI: Assailing the nine-year-old liquor policy in Tamil Nadu, a public interest petition in the Madras high court has questioned the legality of the government decision to take over retail liquor vending in the state by an order dated October 26, 2003.

A vacation bench comprising Justices K Venkataraman and C S Karnan, before which the PIL filed by social activist K R ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy came up for admission, has said the matter would be heard in detail next month.

In his petition, Ramaswamy contended that a government being directly involved in marketing and selling of liquor violates Article 47 of the Constitution. Article 47 says: “… the State shall endeavour to bring about prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks and drugs which are injurious to health.”

Pointing out that the government took over liquor trade in 2003, the PIL said that instead of conceiving and executing welfare measures, officials like district collectors and revenue officers were spending their time auctioning Tasmac bars, scouting for new locations to open outlets and auctioning empty liquor bottles and cartons .

The policy of promoting liquor sales was an affront to constitutional principles, said Ramaswamy, adding that the state was also raising liquor sales target on a monthly basis and new outlets were being opened in residential areas at regular intervals.

Highlighting the poor sanitary conditions at bars, Ramaswamy claimed that local ward politicians were wielding their influence in the running of Tasmac outlets and bars.

Noting that he had sent several representations and reminders to the government, Ramaswamy wanted the court to restrain the government from commissioning new Tasmac outlets in the state, besides quashing the October 26, 2003 order.






HC rejects PIL seeking inquiry into DoB of SC judge A Kabir

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 17:35


The Delhi High Court today dismissed a PIL by an NRI seeking direction to the Centre to hold an inquiry to determine the date of birth of Justice Altamas Kabir who is likely to become the next Chief justice of India in September this year.

“The petition is totally motivated and is dismissed with a cost quantified as Rs 20,000,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said while rejecting the contention that there was a mystery over the date of birth of Justice Kabir who is expected to succeed Justice S H Kapadia as CJI.

The court considered the plea of Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing for the Centre, that the petition was motivated one as once Justice Kabir, as a High Court judge, had decided a case against the petitioner, Nirmal Jit Singh Hoon, an NRI.

“There was no question of an inquiry to determine the age of Hon’ble Justice Altamas Kabir at this stage,” the bench said, adding that a proper verification is carried out before a person is elevated as a judge of the High Court.

The court’s decision came on the plea of Hoon alleging that Justice Kabir’s date of birth is not clear and without determining this, he was elevated as a judge of the Supreme Court and now in due course, he would be the Chief Justice- designate.

“How the issue of the date of birth could be a mystery ? This could be mystery to you, but, it cannot be a mystery for the Government of India and the Supreme Court,” the bench said.

The petition alleged that the matriculation certificate of Justice Kabir was missing from his service records and evasive responses were given to Hoon on his petitions under the RTI.

Justice Kabir, the senior most judge after CJI S H Kapadia, was the Chief Justice at Jharkhand High Court before being elevated to the apex court in 2005.







MoEF stalls approval of Gadgil report

Viju B, TNN | May 31, 2012, 03.19AM IST

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) has stalled the approval of Madhav Gadgil-chaired Western Ghat Expert Ecology Panel (WGEEP) report which had made major recommendations for conservation and protection of ecologically-sensitive areas along the Western Ghats.

Kerala and Maharashtra had submitted strong dissenting notes to MoEF, saying that the recommendations would hamper various developmental projects in their respective states.

Kerala had rejected the WGEEP report that had demarcated around 66% of the taluks in the state as ecologically-sensitive zones. Forty-two taluks out of the total 63 taluks in the state were demarcated as ecologically sensitive zones(ESZ).

There will not be any private development in 14 taluks, lying in close proximity to Western Ghats, which falls under ESZ-1 category.

Usage of private forest land for non-forest purpose or agriculture occupation will be banned in areas coming under ESZ-1. But road and public infrastructure development will be allowed after procuring a green nod from MoEF.

“We are yet to give approval for the report. Now we will invite further suggestions and recommendations from all stakeholders as the issue is very sensitive in nature,” a senior MoEF official said. MoEF officials admitted that there was a huge pressure from various states/ agencies to reject the report as they felt that this will adversely affect many hydel and thermal projects along the Konkan belt in Maharashtra and Kerala.

The Union minister for environment and forest Jayanti Natarajan had written to chief minister Oommen Chandy last year, asking for inputs before declaring areas in the state as eco-sensitive regions.

The state government replied that if zonal restrictions, as per the proposed Western Ghats conservation programme, come into effect, the whole state will come under some type of zonal regulation.

In its reply, the state pointed out that there are a number of ecologically-regulated zones like CRZ, wetlands, Ramsar site etc existing here already and further zonal regulation will make development activities cumbersome.

Meanwhile, environmentalists said that the WGEEP report was prepared after extensive consultations with various stakeholders including state governments and local communities. “The draft report was earlier put on the MoEF website, inviting suggestions from all stakeholders The concept of ecologically-sensitive areas was arrived after detailed interactions with stakeholders, site visits and application of scientific norms.

The report is in accordance with the wishes of the local community and will definitely protect the environment. The report needs to be ratified urgently,” said Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz foundation, an NGO. which has filed a PIL on mining related issues

in Western Ghats.





Jamia to felicitate girl students admitted in male bastion

Last Updated: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 10:08

Tags: Jamia Millia IslamiaGirl studentsNew Delhi

New Delhi: A batch of about 15 girl students, who have made history by taking admission in an institution which has for the last 300 years been a male bastion, will be felicitated by Jamia Millia Islamia vice chancellor Najeeb Jung on Friday.

The Anglo Arabic School has made history by admitting girls for the first time in its over 300 year existence. Having started off as Madrasa Ghaziuddin around 1692, the school had remained an all-boys school thus far.

The school in the capital’s Ajmeri Gate area has produced the likes of Liaqat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, founder of Aligarh Muslim University, JN Dixit, former national security adviser and foreign secretary, among many other luminaries.

In a significant move, the managing committee of the school, in a meeting held on March 26, decided to open its doors to girls. However, this decision was not considered favourably by the staff of the school, which is predominantly male, and it seemed at the time that this decision would not be implemented.

However, a PIL filed by an M Phil student of JNU, Fatima Alvi, was considered favourably by the Delhi High Court recently and the school as also the Directorate of Education, Delhi government, and police were directed to ensure that this decision be implemented.

Following the high court order, the school management swung into action and has so far admitted over 15 girls in Classes 6 to 11. The number is expected to increase in the comings days. Mehvish Rehmani, Darakshan Fatima and Gulafshan Fatima were the first applicants to secure admissions in the institution in Classes 11 (Commerce with Maths) and Class 7 respectively.

Azra Razzak at Jamia Millia Islamia, who is also secretary, Delhi Education Society, under the aegis of which the school runs, said: “We are expecting more girl students in the coming days. At present, we have three women teachers in the 80-member strong faculty. We are planning to recruit more.”

Atyab Siddiqui, honorary manager, said that former president APJ Abdul Kalam’s visit was especially encouraging when he asked the school to consider admitting girls too.

Jung, who is also chairman of the school and president of the Delhi Education Society, will be felicitating these young students at a get-together on June 1 at 4 pm in Yasser Arafat Hall of the university.

Jung has been a votary of women’s reservation in Parliament as well.






Lawyers seek division of Delhi into nine metropolitan areas

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 00:15


A lawyers’ body today moved the Delhi High Court seeking direction to the city government to issue a notification to divide the national capital into nine separate metropolitan areas to deal with criminal cases.

Dwarka Court Bar Association (DCWA), in a public interest litigation petition to the high court, said Delhi, which has already been divided into nine civil district courts, has not been divided into nine metropolitan areas for dealing with criminal cases.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw decided to hear the matter on June 1.

“Issue an appropriate writ/order directing the Government of the NCT of Delhi for issuing a notification for bifurcation of Metropolitan Area of Delhi into nine separate Metropolitan Areas …,” the PIL filed by DCWA leaders, Avnish Rana, P S Singh and Sunil Sehrawat, said.

The Delhi government, in 2000, had created nine separate civil districts in Delhi, the petition said, adding that so far as the criminal courts are concerned, this decision is yet to be implemented.

“That it may not be out of place to state that despite the directions of the Supreme Court …To carry out necessary amendments in the statutes in a time bound manner for the purpose of the creation of the separate sessions divisions in Delhi as provided in the judgement, it took more than 11 years to make the necessary amendments in Section 8 of the CrPC for enabling bifurcation of the Metropolitan Area of Delhi into nine separate Metropolitan Areas and the consequent creation of nine separate Sessions Divisions in Delhi,” it said.

The government, which has amended the CrPC for creating nine separate districts for criminal cases, has failed to issue a notification on the issue.





Yeddyurappa advance bail plea hearing on June 1

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The CBI, which had sought the CBI Designated Court to order the appearance of former CM B S Yeddyurappa and his kin during the hearing of their anticipatory bail petitions, stated that it would not “press” its demand.

On Tuesday, the counsel for Yeddyurappa, his sons B Y Raghavendra and B Y Vijayendra, and son-in-law R N Sohan Kumar filed objections to CBI’s application in the court.

The CBI counsel, then, said the personal appearance of the accused was not important during the hearing of their anticipatory bail pleas, and that he would not press it.

He asked Judge D R Venkat Sudarshan to grant time till June 1 for final argument, following which the court adjourned the hearing till June 1. The CBI filed an FIR, and raided the residences and offices of Yeddyurappa and his kin on May 16, following which they moved anticipatory bail pleas apprehending arrest. On May 25, the CBI opposed their petitions on the ground that their custodial interrogation might be necessary.

Meanwhile, the Lokayukta Court here on Tuesday posted to June 5 a case against B S Yeddyurappa, Housing Minister V Somanna and his family members in connection with alleged irregularities in denotification of 30 guntas of land at Nagadevanahalli in Doddballapur.

Case Against Mutt Head Adjourned

The Lokayukta Court on Tuesday posted to June 5 the hearing on a case against Balagangadharanatha Swami of Adichunchanagiri Mutt alleging land grabbing and forgery.

The petitioner said unauthorised construction of an educational institution on land near Ramalingeshwara Temple had damaged it.

HC Summons to WCW Dept Secy

The HC issued summons to the secretary to the Department of Women and Child Welfare in connection with low salary being paid to the president of Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

�� A PIL filed in this regard alleged that the president’s post, which was above the level of secretary, entailed only `3,500 as salary.

Katari Veera: Notice to Censor Board

The HC on Tuesday issued notice to the Central Board of Film Certification in connection with a PIL petition alleging that Kannada film Katari Veera Surasundarangi was hurting the sentiments of Hindus.

Petitioner Nagaraju Naidu said the film portrayed Hindu gods in poor light.

The director and the producer of the film had stated that such scenes would be removed from the film, but the film was screened in its original form. He sought a stay on screening of the movie.

Hearing the petition, Justice Mohan Shantana Goudar issued a notice to the Central Board of Film Certification seeking an explanation, and adjourned the hearing.





‘BEML must produce permits to disprove charges’

Staff Reporter

BEML Ltd., a public sector undertaking, will have to produce Mineral Dispatch Permits (MDPs) before the Karnataka High Court to prove otherwise the allegation that it had illegally exported iron ore worth Rs. 118 crore from Karnataka during 2007-08.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed an order in this regard after State government counsel R.G. Kolle submitted to the Bench that “copies of the MDPs pertaining to the subject shipment should also be produced so that any doubt that the exported iron ore was illegally sourced may be put to rest.”

Pointing out that it would be difficult for transportation of iron ore without MDPs, Mr. Kolle said production of MDPs and ascertaining its genuineness would ascertain the source of iron ore.

The Bench was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition by K. Subramanyam Sastry, a shareholder of BEML, seeking a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the illegal export of iron ore allegedly by BEML and assets of its Chairman and Managing Director V.R.S. Natarajan.

The petitioner pointed out that the Comptroller and Auditor-General of India (CAG) in its 2009 report pertaining to BEML had stated that “…the statutory auditors had detected sales of Rs. 425 crore shown as receivable from customers where even basic invoices were also not raised on customers… and Rs. 118 crore of sale of iron ore shown as exported without evidencing any document in support of export….

Taken to task

While hearing another case, the Bench pulled up the government for not giving permission for appointment of teachers to an aided minority school in Bellary even after the school management made repeated requests for eight years.

“When a teacher retires, will you appoint a ghost [in that place] or what? You [government] do nothing in these aided schools and interfere in [the functioning of] unaided schools. This is a negative approach of the Education Department. Is education in Karnataka lowest priority? You are directly responsible for falling standards. This is nothing but appalling. Every year some teachers retire. If people are retiring, new people have to come…. We will first call the Secretary and then the Minister if nothing comes from the government by Friday,” the Bench orally observed while adjourning the hearing.

The Bench was responding to the submission made by government advocate that there was a freeze on any appointments in terms of an order in September 2003 as part of austerity measures.

Meanwhile, the counsel for the petitioners — parents of students studying in Zakir Hussein Girls Primary School — run by Bellary Education Society, pointed out that already eight teachers had retired and one more teacher was due for retirement in a few months.

Secretary summoned

The Bench directed the Secretary, Women and Child Development, to personally appear in court in connection with a PIL petition by Campaign Against Child Labour which pointed out anomalies in the monthly remuneration of the Chairperson of the Karnataka State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and its Secretary and other employees.

It was pointed out in the petition that the Chairperson gets a monthly remuneration of Rs. 3,500 whereas Group D employees working in the Commission get payment in the range of Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 7.275, while the Secretary, an IAS officer, draws about Rs. 58,000 a month. The court in June last year had asked the government to set right the anomalies.





Decide on CBI probe into foreign funding: HC

Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:28 IST | Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 23:29 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: New Delhi | Agency: DNA

The Delhi high court on Wednesday directed the Centre to consider in three months a plea seeking CBI inquiry against members of Team Anna for allegedly receiving funds from foreign organisations to run their agitation for Lokpal bill.

A bench of acting chief justice AK Sikri and justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw asked Additional Solicitor General AS Chandhiok to treat the PIL as a representation and dispose it of in three months after giving a hearing to the petitioner who alleged that Team Anna violated the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act (FCRA).

The bench also directed petitioner Manohar Lal Sharma, an advocate, to submit a copy of petition to the home ministry.
In his petition, Sharma submitted that the FCRA mandates the members to seek permission from the central government in order to receive any fund from any foreign company or organisation.

The members have violated FCRA and the Centre has failed to take any action against them, it alleged. Citing a list of some foreign organisations, the petitioner sought the court to declare the agitation launched by Team Anna as illegal.






BSE defends new relisting rules

N Sundaresha Subramanian / New Delhi May 31, 2012, 00:53 IST


The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) has told the Delhi High Court here that it has changed the relisting parameters for companies that are delisted from the bourse. It said the new guidelines took effect from May 16.

The BSE move came after Delhi-based Atul Agarwal took it to court for tightening relisting rules, making it difficult for companies. In a public interest litigation (PIL), Agarwal alleged the new relisting guidelines played into the hands of promoters and worked against the interests of investors. The earlier guidelines disputed by the petition were to take effect on May 15.

The petition had alleged the exchange’s delisting and suspension policies along with its earlier relisting rules put to jeopardy the interests of over one crore public shareholders/ investors in 1,405 suspended companies. “Enormous investment of more than Rs 1,79,560 crore invested in these suspended companies is at stake,” the suit had said.

However, BSE has not put the details of these new rules in the public domain yet.

Ajay Veer Singh, advocate for Agarwal, said, “They have submitted the details of the new rules in the court. They said the new rules have come into force on May 16. But they have not made any public announcement yet. We will study the rules and make our responses.”

This case has now been clubbed with another petition filed by Midas Touch Investors Association in the same matter and hearing will resume on June 11





Open BRT stretch to all vehicles till final order: HC to GNCT

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 19:35


In a relief for commuters, city government was today directed by Delhi High Court to allow all vehicles to ply on the lane reserved for buses on BRT corridor till it passes the final order on a PIL seeking opening of the stretch to all vehicles for smooth traffic movement.

The court asked the government to continue with this arrangement made by by the Central Road Research Institute (CRRI) during the experimental trial run of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor between Ambedkar Nagar and Moolchand from May 12 to May 23 till it decides the issue.

“The arrangement which was made during the trial run was smoother for the traffic…,” a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said and posted the matter for July 18.

The court’s direction came on the plea of Nyay Bhoomi, an NGO, seeking to reinstate the vehicle movement on the BRT corridor which was stopped by the government after the experimental trial run by CRRI in which all vehicles were allowed to ply on the lane meant for buses.

Referring to interim report of CRRI which was filed after trial run, the NGO said CRRI in its report had also given its nod to continue with the trial run arrangemnet on BRT corridor.

CRRI in its report had said that the experimental trial run has proved very effective, almost all vehicles crossed during one cycle, there was no traffic jam and commuters took a sigh of relief.

“The concept plan has received excellent response from the travelling public as well as appreciation by print and electronic media,” said the CRRI report.





Ravi Shanker Kapoor: Welfarism without governance

The government plans grandiose entitlement schemes – but cannot assure the people the simple right to unadulterated milk

Ravi Shanker Kapoor / May 31, 2012, 00:19 IST


All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” said British philosopher and statesman Edmund Burke. In India, the situation is worse: it is not only the good people, but even those who are duty-bound to combat unconscionable practices do nothing. The phenomenon of milk adulteration – which is nothing but mass murder – has been spreading in the country, especially in north India, since the early 1990s. It has been reported by the media in considerable detail — yet, few (least of all those in the government) are bothered.

So, a public interest litigation (PIL) had to be filed to make our netas and babus move. In response to the PIL filed by a group of citizens, led by an Uttarakhand-based pontiff, the Supreme Court recently issued notices to the Centre and Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan and Haryana governments.

In February this year, the Food Safety Standards Authority of India had stated that at the national level “68.4 per cent of the samples were not found to be conforming to the FSS [Food Safety Standards] Regulations”. Moreover, “14 per cent of the samples were found to be non-conforming because of the presence of traces of detergent”.

It is depressing that a writ of mandamus is needed to make the administration do what it should have been doing on its own to check this menace, for the criminality and sinfulness of making and selling synthetic milk is beyond reasonable doubt. Milkmen in our country have been mixing water with milk since time immemorial, but this traditional adulteration is nothing compared to the hideous innovation called synthetic milk. While the milk mixed with water is less nutritious, synthetic milk is actually no milk; it is a lethal concoction of vegetable refined oil, detergents, urea, fertilisers and other inedible substances.

The Indian Council for Medical Research and medical experts have warned of the hazardous health effects of consuming such milk. These include food poisoning, other gastrointestinal complications, liver damage, kidney impairment, heart problems, cancer or even death. They have also pointed out that the effect on children would be more severe. There are no studies or estimates available as to how many people have died because of synthetic milk and how many have suffered. But why have governments not done anything to eradicate the evil?

One reason is corruption. According to a 2010 estimate, while one litre of pure milk usually sold for Rs 30, synthetic milk fetched Rs 20 per litre. However, the cost of the latter was just Rs 2. With such huge margins, the people involved in the business are left with enough money to share with local authorities and police. It is normal.

The situation brings to the mind the phrase “banality of evil,” which was coined by Hannah Arendt. Her 1963 work, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, asserts that ordinary people, rather than some monstrous Dr No or Mogambo, are responsible for great evils like the Holocaust. And they carry out unspeakable atrocities under the assumption that such activities are normal.

This brings us to the second and more important reason for the menace: in the Indian context, it is not some totalitarian state that has occasioned the mass murder; it is the total abdication of essential duties by the state that is responsible for the crime. A political class consumed by the ideology of entitlements has little patience for such matters. This ideology reduces statecraft to an exercise in selling dreams to stay in power. Unsurprisingly, the conventional duties of the government like administration and law and order get short shrift.

It is instructive to note that the term “law and order” does not appear in the 2009 manifestoes of the country’s two largest parties — the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. It is difficult to remember a time when a serious, informed and meaningful political debate took place over issues like law and order and administrative, police and judicial reforms. From politicians’ perspective, these issues are not sexy; entitlements are. Politicians don’t realise that governance precedes welfarism, that the essential duties of the state cannot be efficaciously replaced with poverty alleviation or job generation schemes, that populism is no substitute for administration. In fact, the success of these schemes presupposed the existence of functional administration — for a welfare state is still a state; and a failed state cannot become a welfare state.

The things that were thought to exist in the realms of startling philosophical theses and the pages of history have come to haunt us — and that too as normal. The normal has become frightening. That politicians and bureaucrats would build fortunes is a truism; that the job of police is to provide security to VIPs, serve the interests of the ruling party and collect hafta is an accepted and tolerated practice.

Such being the postulates of our polity, it is not surprising that a basic goal of liberal democracy – harmonising liberty with order – has been forgotten.

In Dostoevsky’s novel, The Brothers Karamazov, a character says something to the effect that “without God… all things are lawful…” I don’t know whether or not God exists, but one thing is indubitable: in the absence of state, or when the state does not carry out its essential duties, everything becomes permissible. Even synthetic milk.





Raj Govt to issue ordinance on fee regulatory commission

Press Trust of India / Jaipur May 30, 2012, 17:25


Rajasthan government is all set to promulgate an ordinance to establish a school fee regulatory commission to ease the burden on parents, who have accused private schools of charging high and irrational amounts.

The measure to constitute a fee regulatory commission will take shape by the end of June this year, this was stated today by Additional Advocate General (AAG) N A Naquvi before the High Court which was hearing a PIL challenging “exorbitant” fee hike by private schools in every academic year.

The division bench of Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice Mahesh Bhagwati on Thursday granted time till second week of July to the government to do the needful.

“I have personally talked to the Chief Secretary and Principal Secretary Education and the process has been finalised.

“We will bring an ordinance in this regard as the legislature is not in session,” Naquvi told the court.

The court directed state government to act sincerely in the matter before the next session of such private schools commences in July.

The state government was pulled up by the high court after the PIL highlighted that earlier also a committee headed by Rtd. Justice P K Tiwari was constituted and it suggested various measures in 2006 itself to check unwarranted hike and irrational fees charged by private schools.

But the government took no steps and the report failed to see light of the day.

According to sources, the law will be on the lines of the one in Tamil Nadu but will address the local needs.

Care is being taken that the parents are not burdened by the unjust fee structures introduced at any point of time without prior notice in any academic session as also no institution is allowed to charge unnecessary money in name of uniform, excursion, etc, the AAG said.

The high court will be informed about the final outcome on the draft of the bill to be prepared in this regard in three weeks, he said, adding the government will constitute a fee regulatory authority headed by a reitred high court judge as its chairman under this new proposed law.

Private education institution have been contending that the state governments cannot interfere in the affairs of the private schools and their decision to raise the fee.





PIL not a bar for Sky City clearance, says high court

TNN | May 31, 2012, 12.49AM IST

KOCHI: The pendency of public interest litigation is not a bar for considering the applications for clearance for the proposed Sky City project by Yashoram Infra Developers at Chilavannoor, the Kerala high court ruled on Wednesday.

While hearing a petition by Indian Institute of Architects, a division bench of acting chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice A M Shaffique held, through an interim order, that the ministry of environment and forests (MEF) and coastal zone management authority (CZMA) can process the applications for clearance for the project even while the petition is pending.

Untrammelled by the pendency of the public interest litigation, MEF and CZMA can consider the application in accordance with law, the division bench ordered.

The public interest litigation filed through advocate Sivan Madathil alleges that the Rs 467-crore project at Chilavannoor would cause violation of coastal zone regulations. The project, which involves construction of two flyovers across Chilavannoor backwaters, is in violation of coastal zone regulations as backwaters are also covered under the regulations, the petitioner had alleged. However, advocate P B Sahasranaman, who appeared for the builder, had contended that the project w ill not cause any damage to any coastal ecosystems or backwater system and no reclamation activities have to be carried out as part of the project.

The builder had pointed out that the bridge construction similar to the Sky City project was approved by the high court in the case of Goshree Bridges. A full bench of the court had held in 1998 that the design of Goshree Bridges will not violate coastal zone regulation rules, the builder group said.





Held guilty of beating cop, let off on probation

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 19:06

Tags: Constable Manoj KumarDelhi High CourtVirender Bhat

New Delhi: Three men convicted for beating up a policeman on duty in April 2010 and languishing in jail since then, has been let off on probation by a Delhi court on the ground that they committed the crime “in heat of moment.”

Additional Sessions Judge Virender Bhat released the trio also saying that they are the sole bread winners of their respective families and keeping them in jail any longer would jeopardise the future of their families and children.

“All the convicts are the sole bread earners of their respective families and there would be nobody to maintain their minor children, if the convicts remain in jail for a longer period.

“It is also a possibility that the children may either starve or take to vices and criminal activities,” said ASJ Bhat, while releasing them on probation.

“I am also satisfied that the convicts had committed the offence in the heat of moment and without any preplanning or premeditation,” the court said, while imposing a fine of Rs 11,000 on the three Najafgarh residents Karambir Singh, Vikram and Rambir Singh.

The prosecution case dated back to April 2010, when the trio had picked up a fight with Constable Manoj Kumar and beat him up after he got their truck, parked on road, towed away to a ‘traffic pit’ in a police station.

As per the prosecution, after spotting the truck, the constable enquired about it and even waited for about five minutes, after which he got the truck towed away.

As the truck owner Karambir, his younger brother Rambir and driver Vikram reached found the truck missing, they reached the police station, where he picked up a fight with the constable and beat him up and even torn his uniform.

The trio were arrested and put on trial and were convicted by ASJ Bhat.






Suspended cop gets life term for killing neighbour

Express news service : Thu May 31 2012, 04:35 hrs

A suspended police inspector was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for shooting a lawyer following a land dispute in 2004. Additional sessions judge D R Mahajan passed the order.

The deceased lawyer, identified as Anand Baubrao Dank (57) of Anand Nagar, Sinhagad Road, was inspector Sadanand Kadam’s (86) neighbour. There was a dispute between the duo over the common boundary wall of their houses.

Police said Kadam had shot at Dank with a revolver around 9.30 am on February 10, 2004, that led to his death. Danke’s son Vishwajit had lodged the complaint of murder and trespassing against Kadam and his daughter Shobhana at the Haveli police station.

Kadam too had registered a cross complaint, claiming that he had opened fire in self defence as the Dankes were beating him badly. Vishwajit was booked on charges of attempt to murder.

While Vishwajit was acquitted, Kadam’s daughter too was discharged form the murder case by the Bombay High court.

Investigations revealed that Danke and Kadam family had good relations earlier. They had purchased the land together in Anand Nagar. But a dispute arose over the fencing of the compound wall later.

Police said Kadam was suspended from service on corruption charges long back. And in 2001, he was sentenced by the lower court to one-year rigorous imprisonment for accepting bribe from a sex worker. He was later granted bail by the Bombay High Court.

Meanwhile, additional sessions judge Mahajan held him guilty for murder. District government pleader and public prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar examined 10 witnesses. Police inspector A D Walture lead the investigation team.





Death sentence for man for killing wife and daughter

Soumittra S Bose, TNN | May 31, 2012, 01.19AM IST

NAGPUR: Convicting Prakash Shingnapure for killing his wife and daughter at Jagruti Nagar (on Kamptee Road) last year, ad hoc district and additional sessions judge KL Vyas, on Wednesday, issued a death sentence and imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakhs under section 302 of the IPC. Additionally, he has also been convicted under section 309 of IPC and sentenced to one year, and fined Rs 500. The sentence has to be confirmed by the high court.

The court has announced that the fine amount would be divided between the district legal aid committee and the state. While the committee is to get Rs 2.50 lakhs, the rest of the amount would be given to the state for expenses incurred by the prosecution. In the event of Shingnapure being unable to pay the fine, he faces imprisonment for another five years.

After stabbing Pranita (34) and Shreya (13), who were in deep sleep, Shingnapure attempted to end his life with a kitchen knife in the early hours of April 8 last year. As per medical evidence, Shingnapure had stabbed his wife 62 times and daughter 45, and himself for about 20.

While Pranita and Shreya died in the bedroom where they were assaulted, Shingnapure was taken to the hospital in a critical condition. In a suicide note, Shingnapure had said that he took the step as he was unable to ‘maintain’ the family.

On the fateful day, Shingnapure, who used to run a grocery shop, and Pranita had taken Shreya, their only child, to a doctor as she was not feeling well. The family dined together and later watched television before retiring to their respective rooms.

It was Shreya’s loud shriek that alerted the rest of the family. Shingnapure’s younger brothers Anup and Ajay forced opened the door and then alerted the Jaripatka police.

Additional public prosecutor Deepak Kolhe said that the court treated the case as ‘rarest of rare’. “The brutality of the murder without any provocation and helplessness of the victims who were asleep provided solid grounds for the judgment along with the fact that the wife and daughter were dependent on him,” said Kolhe.

The prosecution examined 20 witnesses. “The forensic experts had said that there were homicidal wounds on the mother and daughter and self-inflicting ones on the man. This eliminated the theory that there could be someone else who would have done it,” said Kolhe who added that Shingnapure’s brothers too had deposed before the court.

Kolhe added that Shingnapure’s statement was recorded in hospital as dying declaration (DD) under section 32 (1) of the Indian Evidence Act by the executive magistrate even though he survived. The court later transformed the DD to his statement before a magistrate under section 164 of criminal procedure code (CrPc). A handwriting expert corroborated that the suicide note was written by Shingnapure.

“Prakash’s statement too corroborated the case of the prosecution,” said Kolhe who was assisted by Aditya Paliwal and Bharat Borikar.

Pranita’s father Rambhau Aglawe, who was present in the court, said with a moist eye that Prakash deserves the death sentence.





Setback for Reddy, aide in mining case

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 23:32


The Additional Civil & Sessions Court and CBI special court in Bangalore on Wednesday dismissed the bail applications of former Karnataka Minister and Bellary mining don Gali Janardhana Reddy, his personal assistant Mehfuz Ali Khan and three others in the Associated Mining Corporation (AMC) case on alleged large-scale illegal trade.

CBI special judge BM Angadi dismissed the petitions on grounds that the accused had committed an economic offence of “high magnitude, affecting the very economy of the country”. The judge added that “as the matter was under investigation, the possibility of the accused tampering with evidence or threatening the witnesses cannot be ruled out”. He adjourned the matter to June 5.

All five were produced in court via video-conferencing. Even though Reddy and his brother in law BV Srinivasa Reddy were given bail by the CBI special court in Hyderabad, they are in judicial custody in another case in Bangalore and jailed.

Gali Janardhan Reddy and his brother-in-law BV Srinivsas Reddy, managing director of the Obalapuram Mining Company (OMC), were arrested on September 5 from Bellary and taken to Hyderabad.

The CBI had filed a chargesheet against Janardhan Reddy and others on December 3 in OMC case and took them to Bangalore in connection with another illegal mining case in Karnataka.







Wahida Shah’s case: Court overturns verdict of summary trial

By Our Correspondent

Published: May 31, 2012


Syeda Wahida Shah Bukhari, who was caught on camera assaulting polling staff during the by-elections, won one of her two ongoing court battles on Wednesday.

A district and sessions court overturned the punishment of her summary trial which was conducted by the returning officer Asghar Ali Siyal.

The 6th Additional District and Session judge, Shahid Pervez Memon, announced the order which he had reserved on the last hearing. The RO had imposed Rs1,000 penalty or a day’s imprisonment on her. If convicted, she would have been disqualified from contesting the elections.

“I was optimistic about getting justice from the courts,” said a triumphant Shah, who won the February 25 by-elections on PS-53 constituency in Tando Muhammad Khan.

She is fighting two separate lawsuits in the district and sessions court and the Sindh High Court (SHC). In the latter case, she has challenged the verdict of the Election Commission of Pakistan which disqualified her from contesting the elections for two years and also nullified the results of February 25 by-polls in Tando Muhammad Khan. “The outcome of this case will make her plea in the SHC stronger,” contended advocate Hyder Imam Rizvi, Shah’s counsel. The SHC, which earlier stayed the April-26 by-polls in the 53- constituency on the request of Shah, adjourned the hearing.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 31st, 2012.






Man gets custody of minor wife

TNN | May 31, 2012, 12.36AM IST

NEW DELHI: A man facing trial for allegedly kidnapping his minor wife, has been granted her custody by a sessions court. The couple had eloped in 2010.

Additional sessions Judge Sanjay Garg handed over the custody of the 16-year-old girl to her husband from Uttar Pradesh after she told the court that she had married him willingly and wished to stay with him instead of with her parents or at Nirmal Chhaya, a woman-cum-children welfare home.

ASJ Garg gave the girl’s custody to the youth, relying on higher court rulings which said natural guardian of a married Hindu minor girl is her husband and the preferences of minor, who is old enough to make an intelligent decision, ought to be considered by the court.

“The girl is no longer required to be kept at Nirmal Chhaya. The revision petition is allowed,” ASJ Garg said.

The sessions court gave its ruling, setting aside the Child Welfare Committee order, which had denied the youth the custody of his minor wife. The girl had been staying at Nirmal Chhaya for the last five months after the youth’s arrest on charges of kidnapping her.

The youth, after securing bail, had first moved the CWC and then the sessions court, for her custody. In his plea to the sessions court, he had argued that the CWC order was passed in a “mechanical manner” without appreciating the facts.

He said the girl was his legally-wedded wife since 2010 and had been happily living with with him and his family for over a year and she has not consented to go with her parents.

While allowing the minor girl’s custody to her husband, the court rejected her parents’ contention that her marriage was illegal as she was a minor and her custody should be give to them.

The court also noted that an inquiry was conducted by the CWC and the police regarding the age of the girl and as per the report of the Station House Officer, her school records showed her age to be more than 16 years.






Recruitment scam: VB probe indicts Gurdaspur college principal

Prabhjit Singh , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 30, 2012

The Punjab Vigilance Bureau (VB) has indicted the principal of Beant College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur, for his role in the recruitment scam in which better-qualified candidates were left out for about 35 teaching and non-teaching posts three years ago.
After an

investigation that took more than 10 months, the VB had sent the probe findings in the last week of April to the principal secretary, technical education, seeking the nod for action against Dyal Chand, principal of the government-aided college.

The VB is awaiting the technical education department’s directions about whether the government would initiate action against the principal or the bureau would be allowed to register a case against him under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

On Tuesday, the case file was moved from the principal secretary’s office to the directorate of technical education, seeking “comments of the director, technical education, within 15 days for the required necessary action.”

The scam pertains to interviews which were conducted in Bathinda (October 2008) and Gurdaspur (January 2009) to fill college posts.

Two of the non-teaching staffers appointed during the recruitment drive, laboratory attendant Harbhupinder Singh and storekeeper Mandeep Kaur, have already lost their jobs for submitting fake certificates.

While Mandeep was asked to resign after an inquiry revealed that she submitted fake experience certificates, Harbhupinder was sacked.

As per the VB probe report, the selected candidates had lower academic qualifications than those left out but were given more marks in the interview and ‘short talk’.

Only one of the 12 posts reserved for the SC/ST category was filled during the interviews. There was a common note for every rejection: “The committee did not recommend any candidate for appointment.” Only in one instance did the committee cite ‘poor performance’ for the rejection.

Among the rejected candidates was MSc gold medallist Pallavi Mahajan, who had applied for the post of lecturer in applied mathematics.

The first interview for the post was conducted on October 22, 2008. Nearly three months later, Pallavi was called for a second round of interview on the college premises in Gurdaspur. Finally, she was rejected in favour of Rishi Tuli on the basis of interview and ‘short talk’.

A senior official of the technical education department revealed on the condition of anonymity that the file was still ‘on the shelf’ and had never been forwarded to the present minister concerned.

Tainted record

College principal Dyal Chand is facing an inquiry for allegedly tampering with his own ACR (annual confidential report).

The directorate, technical education, had prepared a draft chargesheet in May 2009, but then technical education minister Swarna Ram halted the move on May 27, 2009, as per documents obtained under the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

During Dyal Chand’s earlier tenure as the college principal (August 2004 to April 2005), 14 of the 17 appointees were terminated after their appointment was found illegal, according to documents procured under the RTI Act, on the basis of which a complaint was lodged with the VB last year.





CBI files chargesheet in NRHM case, arrests five

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 22:08 IST
Place: New Delhi, Lucknow | Agency: PTI

The CBI arrested former Managing Director of government-owned co-operative PACCFED VK Chaudhary and four others in connection with alleged corruption in the upgradation of 89 district hospitals in Uttar Pradesh under NRHM.

The agency arrested Chaudhary, the then managing director UP Processing and Construction Cooperative Federation Limited and now MD UP Warehousing corporation, senior engineer AK Shrivastava, chief engineer MM Tripathi and assistant engineer Vipul Kumar Gupta from Lucknow while Sunil Sehgal, owner of CNC Metal Forming Limited, was taken into custody in Delhi, CBI sources said.

The CBI also filed its charge sheet in connection with the case before a Ghaziabad court accusing a close of aide of the then Family Welfare Minister Babu Singh Kushwaha, Saurabh Jain, former Director General Family Welfare S P Ram, already in judicial custody and Sehgal, who was arrested today, of alleged corruption in the upgradation of 89 district hospitals under National Rural Health Mission, the sources said.

The CBI also charged Sehgal’s Ghaziabad based company CNC Metal Forming Limited in connection with the case.

Among others, the agency slapped charges under sections of cheating and forgery of Indian Penal Code on the accused and relevant provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

It was established during investigation that officials of PACCFED in connivance with private persons favoured the ineligible and sick firm CNC Metal Forming Limited which was allegedly front of Jain who was close aide of Kushwaha and released Rs16.93 crore to it without any reciept of material or services on the basis of false and forged documents, CBI sources said.

They said Jain allegedly cornered more than Rs13 crore which was used to pay bribe to officials and bureaucrats and invested in various companies.

Further investigations against accused who are not named in today’s charge sheet is continuing and based on its findings supplementary charge sheet may be filed in connection with the case, the sources said.

The CBI has already arrested former Principal Secretary Health Pradeep Shukla in connection with the case.

The agency has alleged that Shukla and S P Ram, the then DG Family Welfare, along with officials of PACCFED allegedly entered in criminal conspiracy with Saurabh Jain and Rajni Jain DirectoRsof SRJ Infratech Pvt Limited, Seema Varshney Director S S Industries and Suneet Singhal with a motive obtain contracts worth Rs89 crore related to upgradation of district hospitals.

The CBI alleged government suffered losses worth Rs25 lakh per hospital which is about Rs23 crore.






Court frames charges against Santosh Mane

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.46AM IST

PUNE: Additional sessions judge V K Shewale on Wednesday framed charges against bus driver Santosh Mane (40) who, on January 25, had hijacked an empty MSRTC bus and driven it recklessly for almost 14 km, killing nine people and injuring 37.

The court framed charges against Mane after he pleaded not guilty in the presence of his newly-appointed Satara-based lawyer Dhananjay Mane. The case has been kept for formal hearing on June 21.

Additional public prosecutor Kashinath Dighe told TOI that the charges were framed under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act.

Dighe said that Mane was not suffering from a mental illness and was fit to stand trial. The charges against him were framed on the basis of the charges levelled against him in the chargesheet. When the case came up for hearing, the court had not altered or deleted any of the charges levelled against Mane, he added.

Mane’s murderous drive had killed Pooja Patil, Ram Shukla, Shubhangi More, Pinkesh Khandewal, Ankush Tikone, Akshay Pise, Milind Gaikwad, Shweta Oswal and Chandeo Bhandwalkar.

A resident of Solapur, Mane had been working at Swargate depot since 2009. He lived alone at the depot’s restroom. His wife had died a few years ago, after which he remarried. His second wife and children live in Solapur. Mane is currently lodged at Yerawada central prison.






Mangalore air crash: 812 foundation complaint verdict on June 12

Stanley Pinto, TNN May 30, 2012, 11.02AM IST



MANGALORE: The private complaint filed by 812 Foundation, alleging that three government agencies and 12 officials as responsible for the Air India Express 812 crash of May 22, 2010 which claimed 158 lives, was posted for orders on June 12 by the JMFC II court Judge Roopashri here.

Making submissions at the court here on Tuesday, 812 Foundation, president Yeshwanth Shenoy said though at first he thought the persons responsible could be charged under section 304 Part II (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304 A (Causing death by negligence punishable by 10 years imprisonment and fine or both) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), after investigation he had found the charges were grave and made a plea to charge the officials under section 302 (punishment for murder).

In the complaint 812 Foundation has named Air India (AI), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Airports Authority of India (AAI) and 12 officials serving with these agencies. In case the court finds there is a cognizable offence, the private complaint may be changed to a criminal complaint.

Shenoy accused DGCA for failing to verify the Capt Zlatko Gluscia’s Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) licence before issuing the FATA (Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization) licence. Shenoy said AIE 812 pilot did not have the requisite flying hours for 737-800, but had 400 flying hours for 737-400. Shenoy also said the pilot was not under the direct control of AI as he was sourced from Sigmar Aviation, Isle of Man. Shenoy also pointed out the Court of Inquiry (CoI) showed the Instrument Rating Check (IRC) of the pilot was on May 14, 2009 and was valid till May 13, 2010, according to aviation norms. The accident had occurred a week later.

Sheony’s said it was clearly established in the Court of Inquiry that the fire started after the aircraft wing hit the ILS structure making AAI responsible putting the non frangible structure at the end of runway.

“If ILS was not mounted on the concrete structure the pilot may have been able to take off or the resultant crash would not have resulted in such loss of lives in the absence of fire,” he said.





Rs 480-cr loss to govt: chargesheet

Johnson T A : Bangalore, Thu May 31 2012, 03:39 hrs

The CBI on Wednesday filed a chargesheet, along with 18,327 documents in nine trunks, against G Janardhana Reddy and six others in a case related to illegal iron ore mining by the former minister’s Associated Mining Company in Bellary.

The CBI has estimated the loss to the state exchequer from illegal mining at Rs 480 crore.

The CBI has charged them with criminal conspiracy, cheating, theft, criminal breach of trust, forgery, criminal trespass and falsification of accounts under the Indian Penal Code.

The accused have also been charged under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The other six chargesheeted are his wife G Lakshmi Aruna who co-owns AMC; Mehfuz Ali Khan, his associate and employee; M E Shivalinga Murthy, an IAS officer who earlier served as director of the mines and geology department; S Muthiah, an IFS officer who served as the deputy conservator of forests at Bellary; S P Raju, a former deputy director in the mining department at Bellary; and Mahesh Patil, a former Bellary range forest officer. Murthy, Muthiah and Patil are still in government service and the CBI would require a state government sanction to prosecute them.





CBI Court Issues Another Transit Warrant to Jagan

PTI | Hyderabad | May 30, 2012


A CBI court today issued another transit warrant to YSR Congress chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy and summoned five other accused to appear before it on June 11 after taking cognisance of the third chargesheet filed by CBI in the disproportionate assets case against him.

The Court of Principal Special Judge for CBI cases took cognisance of the chargesheet filed on May 7 against Jagan, his financial adviser V Vijay Sai Reddy, Jagati Publications, Ramky Group Chairman A Ayodhya Rami Reddy and group company Ramky Pharma City (India) Limited (RPCIL), which is implementing Pharma City in Visakhapatnam and IAS officer G Venkat Ram Reddy, a former Vice Chairman of Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority (VUDA), while issuing the transit warrrant.

In view of Jagan being lodged in Chanchalguda prison here after his arrest on May 28, the transit Warrant was issued to enable jail authorities to produce him before the court.

The court had yesterday issued a similar warrant to Jagan after taking cognisance of the second chargesheet.

In the third chargesheet, CBI had charged Jagan with conspiring with Vijay Sai to extend benefit to RPCIL by reducing the green belt area in the Pharma City from 250 to 50 meters by prevailing upon his father and late chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, to take a decision to that effect.

Venkat Ram Reddy, abusing his official position and in pursuance of the criminal conspiracy in collaboration with the then chief minister and Ayodhya Rami Reddy, dishonestly approved the layout of RPCIL in violation of rules and VUDA master plan resulting in wrongful gain of 914 acres of land to RPCIL in the Pharma City, which sold the land, dividing into plots and made Rs 133.74 crore, the CBI claimed.

As a quid-pro-quo for the doles it received, Ramky Group of Industries, through its subsidiaries ERES and TWC, invested Rs 10 crore in Jagati Publications as illegal gratification, the CBI had said.

The CBI has so far filed three chargesheets in the DA case against Jagan and others for various offences under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh High Court posted for tomorrow the petitions filed by Jaganmohan Reddy challenging his arrest and subsequent custody, after it directed the CBI to file its counter.

Similarly, the CBI petition seeking custody of Jagan was also posted to tomorrow after the high court asked Jagan’s counsels to file their say over the matter.






HC directs govt to close down unauthorized immigration consultancies

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 30, 2012

The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the protector of emigrants, Chandigarh to provide list of the names of registered immigration consultancies and agents in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh to the respective states and UT so that unauthorized immigration shops can be closed down.

The division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh directed the two states and UT to check the credentials of all the immigration consultancies and agents and take action as per law against the defaulters and file their status reports within four weeks time.

The bench, during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation filed by former high court judge Amar Dutt also issued directions to union ministry of overseas Indian affairs and proctector general of emigrants to put the names of authorited immigration consultancies/consultants on their websites and give it wide publicity so that public could come to know about the genuine consultants. It was also directed that the authorities concerned would also keep a watch on the advertisements being issued in the print and electronic media by the immigration counsultancies to check frauds.

Justice(retd) Dutt is also the chairman of the nodal cell for NRI affairs constituted by the Chandigarh Administration. He had informed the bench through his counsel Anil Malhotra that in the absence of any law made by Parliament to define the offence of human smuggling and illegal trafficking of human beings, unscrupulous agents and unregistered agencies indulge in the illegal business of sending gullible citizens abroad by wrong means upon extracting huge sums of money.

The bench was also informed that the Emigration Act, 1983 is the only legislation on the subject made by Parliament. All the recruiting agents/employers working in any place are duty bound to follow the provisions laid down under the Act, before conducting the business of sending people outside India on the pretext of jobs or employment. The recruiting agents/employers not working as per the 1983 Act are unlicensed and unauthorized, it was informed.

The case would now come up for hearing on July 12.






HC frowns on indiscriminate grant of government lands

TNN | May 31, 2012, 02.05AM IST

BANGALORE: Expressing concern over the way government land is being divested in the name of grants, the high court has asked the state government to account, protect and utilize it in a better way.

“Once the extent of government land is ascertained through digitisation of records, the government could use its own land on priority basis for developmental activities instead of going for indiscriminate acquisition of private land and fertile land,” Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh observed in his order on Wednesday.

“The government lands were being given to unscrupulous persons in the guise of grant in the periphery of the city limits in violation of guidelines. Indiscriminate grants are being made which is being misused by alienating the property for real estate, which fetches crores of rupees to middlemen and the grantee. The government, hereafter, shall stop granting land to individuals,” the judge said.

The judge suggested that the revenue department furnish the statistics of the land available at various places to the government. The grants already made shall also be taken note of and action should be taken as per law to protect government land, he said.

The court has issued many directions while hearing this 2003 petition filed by one Lingappa complaining that records pertaining to his agriculture lands have been lost by the revenue department. The court has been monitoring digitisation of revenue records by way of an order passed in 2010 wherein the state was asked to digitise all revenue records in the state.

Directive to private medical colleges

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri on Wednesday asked private medical colleges affiliated to ComedK and Karnataka Religious and Linguistic Minorities Professional Colleges Association not to fill those seats reserved under “in service quota “for those doctors working in government hospitals under the health and family welfare department.

The judge gave this direction while adjourning the hearing of a batch of petitions challenging the selection of several candidates under the quota.

PG dental counselling verdict reserved

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Wednesday reserved its verdict to Thursday on a writ appeal filed by Comed K challenging the single bench order directing them to redo the counselling for PG dental courses.

Comed K claimed that the single bench’s May 25 order will jeopadise the interests of 194 candidates who have already selected colleges/courses in the May 19 counselling. The single bench’s order followed ComedK’s refusal to allow the petitioner-candidates to select a seat as some of them had not brought demand drafts from the nationalized banks, and a few had not brought the original counterfoils along with their demand drafts.






HC asks NCPCR to inspect city’s 41 children homes

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 30, 2012, 19:45


The Delhi High Court today directed the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (CNPCR) to inspect all children homes in the city to find out their living conditions and submit a report by Friday.

A bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg also directed the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA) to verify the orders passed by all six Child Welfare Committees (CWC) while transferring the children to their native places or their relocations.

The bench passed the order while hearing a report, filed by the court-appointed panel alleging the Child Welfare Committee V, Sansakar Ashram Complex in Dilshad Garden, has failed to monitor an NGO which runs an orphanage “Apna Ghar” at Mansarovar Park in Shahdara and is not following a proper procedure while transferring a child to his native place after his parents were traced.

Expressing anguish over the deplorable condition of Apna Ghar, the bench has set up a team to inspect the home and sought its suggestions for relocation of the children.

The court also summoned the records pertaining to Apna Ghar by May 1, the next date of hearing the matter.

The bench had earlier directed the Ministry of Woman and Child Development of Delhi government to furnish a list of such homes run by the NGOs in the city.

Filing an affidavit. Delhi government’s Standing Counsel Najmi Waziri had said there were 41 children homes run by NGOs in which 2200 children, including orphans, were staying.






Your website is useless, obsolete, HC tells Delhi Police

Utkarsh Anand : New Delhi, Thu May 31 2012, 02:27 hrs

Describing it as “useless” and “obsolete,” the Delhi High Court on Wednesday criticised the Delhi Police website and said it failed to provide helpful information to users, especially those seeking assistance over missing children.

“The Delhi Police website is completely useless. It is obsolete and does not serve any purpose. Users have difficulty retrieving desired information, especially those who surf its service ‘Zipnet’ for information regarding missing children,” said a bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg on Wednesday.

Justice Bhat said he had tried to surf the website and was “disappointed” with its user-interface. “The website looks very complicated. You click on one link and several random pages get opened. You then need to track your desired webpage out of these different pages. I think its very difficult to get what you are looking for,” said Justice Bhat.

The court was hearing a petition relating to Apna Ghar, a children’s home. After the CWC, without making the efforts to trace the parents, had declared a child as abandoned and sent him to ‘Apna Ghar’, his father had moved the court. Subsequent inquiries disclosed the deplorable condition in which the 30-odd children were housed at the home.

Justice Bhat said a more interactive ‘Zipnet’ — designed to share crime and criminals’ information in real-time — could help people get information from the website and act accordingly. “It does not even give complete information about missing children,” said the court.

A senior police officer, acquainted with the working of the website was called upon by the court. The officer helped the court scan the website and reposed confidence in the efficacy of the website. The officer further apprised the court that while information relating to missing children was available on the website, data regarding those found was with the Women and Child Development department.

On Wednesday, the court asked the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to inspect all children homes in Delhi and prepare a status report in consultation with the Delhi Legal Services Authority (DLSA). It also asked the DLSA to vet all orders passed by the six CWCs in the city and submit a report on their correctness. The court will now hear the matter on June 1.





Boy says scrap dealer who reunited him with kin abused him: CWC

Express news service : New Delhi/Gurgaon, Thu May 31 2012, 02:36 hrs

On Monday, Azad Hussain, a scrap dealer from Gurgaon was the hero who helped unite a 12-year-old boy with his family, two years after he went missing.

On Wednesday, the issue took a turn with the boy stating before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) panel and the magistrate that the scrap dealer used to beat him up and also made him work as a rag picker.

The CWC then directed the police to take action on the boy’s statement as per law.

On May 1, two years ago, the boy — then 10 years old — had got on to a JCB parked near his home Savitri Nagar and had ended up in Ghoda Chowk, Gurgaon, where Azad Hussain found him and, according to Hussain, raised him as his own child.

Two days ago, however, the child uttered the words “Chirag Dilli” and it turned out to be the password to reach his family.

Hussain, who said he had been searching for the boy’s parents for the last two years, then came to Chirag Dilli, located his father Iqbal, a stone cutter, and handed the child over to him.

“I was working at Sainik Farms and my son was playing outside,” said Iqbal. The boy spotted a JCB and climbed onto it. The driver of the vehicle drove off and dropped the child off somewhere in Mehrauli.

Police said the child kept walking till he hitched a ride on a bus till Ghoda Chowk in Gurgaon. “The boy told us a man came to him, asked him his name and took him home,” a police officer said.

Hussain, who is unmarried and lives with his three sisters, said, “When I asked the child who he was and where he lived, all he said was that his house was near a nallah. I couldn’t leave him alone and took him home.”

Meanwhile, Iqbal and his family approached police after which a missing child’s complaint was registered. Several advertisements were published in newspapers but in vain.

The day after he found him, Hussain claimed that he took the child to the Sector 40 police station in Gurgaon. “They told me that if I left the child, he would be sent to an orphanage and the chances of locating the child’s parents would be slim. They told me that I should try looking for his parents on my own,” said Hussain.

However, police have denied this claim and said there was no record of any such child being brought to them.

So, for the next two years, Azad said he took care of the child and kept searching for the child’s parents.

On Sunday, the boy uttered the words “Chirag Dilli”. “I knew he had remembered something. I thought I should try just one last time,” said Azad.

“On Monday, I visited Chirag Dilli area, but couldn’t find anything. I was heading back home when I decided to get my helmet repaired,” Azad said.

Azad told a shopkeeper there about the child. “The shopkeeper told me speak to a pakora wallah in the area. It was the pakora wallah who told me that a child had gone missing some time back and pointed out the child’s house. We reached the house and his father recognised him,”said Azad.

The Malviya Nagar SHO was immediately informed and the child then handed over to his family.

Iqbal said, “Now, I don’t let him out of my son even for a minute. His brothers and sister follow him everywhere. Allah has answered my prayers.”





HC pulls up GDA on land, plot allotments

R N Pandey, TNN | May 31, 2012, 06.12AM IST

ALLAHABAD: Taking serious note of the fact that lands, plots, flats and buildings were being allotted to MLAs, MPs and other high dignitaries under various schemes of the Ghaziabad Development Authority (GDA), the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday asked the GDA Vice-Chairman to file a supplementary affidavit producing such a policy before the court.

The order was passed by Justice Sabhajeet Yadav on a writ petition filed by Sharda Prasad, whose services had been dispensed with by the Authority.

While issuing the direction, the court also took note of the fact that “the Authority has also framed a policy wherein blood relations of officers and employees of GDA are allotted lands, plots, flats and buildings. And after this allotment, allottees are permitted to transfer the flats and plots to the employees of GDA or their family members”.

“Such policy framed by the (GDA) appears to be prima facie contrary to the public policy and permits favourtism and nepotism in public body like the GDA,” remarked the court while issuing the direction to the VC of the GDA.

The court also noticed that Plot No. SK-II/Ol Shaktikhand, Indirapuram Scheme at Ghaziabad had been allotted to Satish Sharma, a minister of state during BJP rule in the state, by the GDA on his letter dated August 8, 2001. Also, the allotment of the plot measuring area 395.17 sq. meter at the rate of Rs 2500 per sq meter was made on the same day by the GDA Vice-Chairman.

The court said such allotments were being made by the Authority on the whims of influential persons without adopting any regular procedure. Therefore, it directed the GDA Vice-Chairman to bring on record both the said policies of the Authority and also the correspondence made by it with Satish Sharma and his wife.

The court also directed to bring on record the names of other MLAs, MPs, ministers, officers and employees who had been benefited by these policies.

The court will hear the case on July 3, 2012.





CAT comes to the aid of ISRO scientist

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM:� The Central Administrative Tribunal has come to the aid of an Indian Space Research Organisation� scientist who was denied promotion allegedly because of a flawed assessment of his performance.

�� In a May 15 order, CAT Ernakulam Bench had ordered ISRO to re-examine the performance of Saji K Sam, engineer (SF) with the ISRO Inertial Systems Unit (IISU), Vattiyoorkavu, and consider him for promotion to the grade of scientist/engineer (Selection Grade) for the year 2009. Sam’s troubles began after he was rated ‘average’ in his annual confidential report (ACR) for 2007 and 2008.

�� Continuously from 1996 to 2005, he had been rated ‘very good.’ For the year in

question too, his immediate superiors had given him a higher rating. He was not immediately aware of the cloud looming over his career since he was not informed of the downgrading.

�� Suspecting foul play after being dropped from promotions in 2009 and 2010, Saji took refuge under the Right to Information Act� and obtained a copy of his confidential report. He found that the then IISU director had downgraded him overlooking the assessments of ‘very good’ and ‘tending to be outstanding’ made by his immediate superiors, he said.

�� The Departmental Promotion Committee� should not have heeded� the IISU director’s assessment to deny him promotion.

Also, keeping the decision from him was illegal and arbitrary, Sam said. “Even then, I did not approach CAT. I complained to ISRO chairman K Radhakrishnan. I moved CAT only after waiting for eight months for a decision and still nothing was done,” he said.

�� ISRO told CAT that Sam was denied promotion on the basis of the confidential report which said his performance was not up to the mark. Since ‘average’ was not an adverse rating, he was not informed of it.

�� Sam has countered this saying that it was indeed ‘adverse’ since he was denied his promotions. The CAT concluded that the IISU director had downgraded Sam without showing any reason for doing so.

Also, the reporting officer who directly supervises Sam’s work and the reviewing officer had given him higher ratings.

� “The career of an officer is destroyed by below benchmark rating which is made under the cover of secrecy. A responsible and transparent system can never tolerate such deviant ways. The purpose of writing ACR is not to destroy the career of the officer reported upon. It is a tool to be used for development of human resources,” the CAT observed, ordering a review by the DPC within 60 days.





AFT functioning: HC notice to Law, Defence Ministries

Vijay Mohan
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 30
The administration and functioning of the Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has come under the High Court’s scanner.

Taking up a public interest litigation (PIL) questioning the “excessive control” of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) over the appointments, rules, provisions, infrastructure and functioning of the AFT, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today issued notice to the Union Law and Defence Ministries.

The PIL, filed by president of the AFT Bar Association, Maj Navdeep Singh, pointed out that the Supreme Court had already held that tribunals could not be made dependent upon the sponsoring or parent ministries. To ensure their independence, these could only be supervised by the Law Ministry.

There have been earlier instances where the establishment and composition of the AFT has been challenged before the High Court. The Delhi High Court Bar Association had earlier moved a petition that the establishment of the AFT was against constitutional norms.

A petition was also moved before the Punjab and Haryana High Court questioning the legality and suitability of a retired military officer to adjudicate upon legal and criminal issues. The AFT was set up in 2009 to provide swift judicial redress to members of the armed forces as well as to reduce the workload of the high courts.

The PIL averred that as all orders by the AFT were to be passed against the MoD and that the same ministry was the parent ministry controlling the AFT, it seemed more of an extension of the state rather than an independent judicial body.

The PIL points out that out of 15 courts of AFT in the country, only three are functioning as the government had not appointed judicial members to fill in vacancies arising out of the retirements of earlier incumbents.

This has resulted in absolute absence of judicial remedy to serving and retired personnel in some areas. The Chandigarh Bench, having the largest jurisdiction of five states, was also partially functional with only one judicial member holding the fort against the sanctioned strength of three.







LEGAL NEWS 30.05.2012

DTC victim’s relatives given Rs 17 lakh compensation

Last Updated: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 19:22

Tags: DTCMACTDTC victim

New Delhi: The family members of a self-employed man, who died in an accident while travelling by a DTC bus last year, have been awarded a compensation of nearly Rs 17 lakh by a Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) here.

The Tribunal directed the New India Assurance Company Ltd, with which the vehicle involved in the accident was insured, to pay Rs 16,88,000 to the wife and four minor kids of Rajendra Prasad Yadav who died in the accident.

Yadav had died in the accident in October last year when he was travelling by a DTC bus standing on its foot-board and it was hit by another bus driven rashly.

“In view of the testimony of the parties and supporting documents available on record, it is prima facie proved that the deceased (Yadav) died due to rash and negligent driving of the driver of the offending bus,” MACT Presiding Officer Dinesh Bhatt said.

The accident took place at Burari Road when the driver of the offending bus was reversing it and hit the DTC bus. Due to the impact, Yadav fell down and sustained fatal injuries.

After the accident, the 46-year-old Burari resident was taken to hospital where he was declared brought dead.

Anil Kumar, driver of the offending bus belonging to M/s City Life Line Travels Pvt Ltd, however, denied his involvement in the accident and said it has occurred due to the negligence of the DTC bus driver and because of Yadav’s fault as he was travelling on the footboard.

Yadav’s wife submitted he was engaged in the business of selling and purchasing of goods, had no fixed place of work and was earning Rs 10,000 per month.


Former Chief Justice of India calls for fresh look at International Humanitarian Laws

29.5.2012 (UNI) Justice S Rajendra Babu, Former Chief Justice of India and Former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), today called for a fresh look into the international humanitarian laws to mitigate the effect of destruction caused due to wars across the globe.

‘The existing international humanitarian laws need to be readdressed if they are unable to deal with issues in war-torn countries’ he said, adding ‘with wars being fought using drones and cutting-edge technology, international humanitarian law needs a relook as existing regulations are insufficient to deal with present scenarios’.

Citing the example of frequent wars, he said bombs are now released from the defence headquarters to another country. In such situations, while there is no involvement of soldiers, a country continues to take the beating through guided missiles. In such cases, international humanitarian law should come up with regulations to prevent any country from being attacked.

He was speaking at a three-day South Indian Regional Teachers Training Programme on International Humanitarian Law organised by the Department of Studies in Law, Mysore University and International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC), New Delhi. UNI

Loop seeks 2G licence fee refund

Agencies | May 30, 2012, 05.34AM IST

NEW DELHI: Loop Telecom on Tuesday took the government and Trai before the telecom sector’s tribunal TDSAT seeking refund of Rs 1,454 crore paid for 2G licence and sought Rs 1,000 crore damages for loss of reputation after licence cancellation.

In its petition, Loop Telecom has argued that the decision of Supreme Court to cancel the UASL license issued to it by the government under its “flip flop” first-come-firstserve policy has caused a huge loss to the company. “The reason for quashing the first-come-first-serve policy , the UASLs and the subsequent allocation of the spectrum are wholly and absolutely attributable to acts and omissions of the respondent (DoT & Trai) and as a direct proximate result thereof, the petitioner has suffered huge losses and damages,” claimed Loop in the petition. It alleged that due to “faulty issuance of license and policy flip-flops of government, Loop have had to pay very heavy price” and requested for “compensation of Rs 1,000 crore for loss of reputation” along with 12% interest.

ATDSAT bench headed by its Chairman Justice S B Sinha has issued notice to the Department of Telecom (DoT) and Telecom Regulatory Authority of India. The tribunal has asked the DoT and Trai to file their reply within four weeks and posted the matter on July 17 for next hearing.

Loop was issued 2G spectrum bundled with licences for 21 circles in 2008 during the tenure of the then telecom minister A Raja.The Supreme Court on February 2 held that the process of allocating all the 122 2G licenses, including those to Loop, was ‘arbitrary and unconstitutional’ and cancelled all of them. Loop has requested the tribunal to direct DoT to pay interest of Rs 737.59 crore at 12% per annum on entry fee of Rs 1,454 crore and discharge bank guarantees of Rs 696 crore submitted at the time of allotment of spectrum.

Besides, it has requested TDSAT to direct DoT to pay Rs 265.50 crore for expenses incurred on infrastructure. “Direct the respondent to pay a sum of Rs 565.65 crore towards corporate expenses/finance cost under various heads incurred in bank guarantee renewal commission, processing fees and interest of loans the petitioner for roll out,” it said.

The operator has sought interim protection from the tribunal seeking directions to DoT “not to take any coercive action” against it under the UASL agreement, such as encashment of bank guarantees . Loop rejected contentions of government that it was due to wrongdoing of former telecom minister and said “the licenses were issued by respondent no 1 (government ) and not by one single minister” .

NHRC concerned on violence against women in Assam

Tue 29 May 2012 19:46   Law et al. News Network   Guwahati

After two day long camp in the state and hearing 50 cases on human rights violation, the National Human Right Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday expressed its concern with the growing numbers of crimes against women in the state.

Though the NHRC said that Assam in comparison to other states of the country is on an improved position in terms of human rights violation cases, it recommended the state government to take strong steps for safeguarding the rights of women, bonded labours, children and disables.

Addressing the media here NHRC chairperson Justice (retd) K G Balakrishnan said that the hike in crimes against women in all sections of society must be addressed immediately.

NHRC also said that the state government also needs to work the various issues like childcare, bonded labours and physically and mentally disabled people.

“We received complaints regarding disables’ admission in schools and wage distribution among tea workers and bonded labours. The authority is needed to look into these matters too,” said Balakrishnan.

Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate gets appreciation from National Commission for Women

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 11:28:37 by Imran Shaukat Khan

Bollywood superstar, Aamir Khan, is hosting a TV serial ‘Satyamev Jayate’ which focuses on the social issues of the society. The actor started off by creating awareness among the people about the female foeticide. In the next episode he moved on to the issue of child abuse in the country and his efforts are being appreciated by almost everyone out there.

National Commission for Women’s chairperson, Mamta Sharma, has commended Khan as she believes the actor is doing a great job.

Sharma insisted in the seminar, which was organised by the NGO ‘Message’, that people have a great attraction for the star therefore other Bollywood celebrities should also come forward in order to highlight issues of the society,

“Aamir Khan began with the issue of female foeticide with special reference to Rajasthan. It is a good beginning because it helps in creating awareness,” she said at a seminar in Poornima engineering college in Sitapura area here.

“The government and NGO volunteers have also been making efforts to curb the social evil and their role is definitely prime, but celebrities have their attraction among people which really works,” she said.

In the meantime, Sharma revealed that the commission has launched a 24-hour helpline in Gujarat for women and it will be introduced soon in other cities like Haryana and Rajasthan.

The chairperson stated that these days a lot of complaints about the rape and suicide cases are coming up with the NCW and keeping these things in front what Aamir is doing is great.

The Chairperson of Poornima Group of Institutions, Dr S M Seth, was too present at the event and he emphasised upon the empowerment of women in each sector, especially in the remote areas of the country since he believes this thing will ensure the overall growth of the nation.

Bhatt accuses SIT of tweaking timings of meetings held by Modi

Press Trust of India / Ahmedabad May 29, 2012, 23:25

Suspended IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt today accused the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT) of “deliberately tweaking” timings of the meetings held by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on February 27 and 28, 2002, which he claims to have attended.

“It is now apparent from the report submitted by SIT that certain very crucial portions of my statement, including the timings of extremely consequential meetings with the chief minister Mr Narendra Modi on 27/02/2002 and 28/02/2002, have either been incorrectly recorded or deliberately tweaked by the SIT,” Bhatt said in his additional affidavit filed before the National Commission of Minorities (NCW).

“This has been done possibly with the ulterior motive and intent of shielding certain powerful persons including the chief minister Modi, from legal punishment,” he said.

These “deliberate acts” on part of SIT would amount to offences under sections 218 and 219 of the Indian Penal Code, Bhatt said, adding that he arrived at this conclusion after going through the final report of the agency given to Zakia Jaffery after the court order. The report is in public domain now.

Section 218 deals with the public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture, and section 219 with public servant in judicial proceeding corruptly making report, etc., contrary to law.

In his earlier affidavit with NCW, Bhatt had accused Gujarat Government of playing a “dubious role in shielding the high and mighty including chief minister Narendra Modi from lawful inquisition and legal punishment”.

“I had also averred in my earlier affidavit that the honourable Justice Nanavati and Mehta Commission of Inquiry and the SIT were deliberately turning a blind eye to the overwhelming documentary, oral and circumstantial evidence to conceal the complicity of the government of Gujarat and its high functionaries in the carnage of 2002,” Bhatt said quoting from his first affidavit filed with the NCW.

Conductor to get retirement benefits

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the TN State Transport Corporation to consider a representation from a conductor, due to retire from service on May 31 this year, to allow him to retire with all monetary benefits.

A vacation judge B Rajendran gave the direction last week, while disposing of a writ petition from K Rathinam of Mettur Dam in Salem district.

According to advocate RY George Williams, Rathnam joined the STC as a conductor in 1987. After 23 years service, he was posted as helper in 2010. While so, he received a communication from the management stating that he would be retired from service on May 31. It did not speak anything about the retirement benefits. Apprehending that he would be forced to retire without any monetary benefit, he sent a representation on May 5 last to the STC MD in Salem division, requesting him to either release the retirement benefits on the date of his retirement� or to continue his service till the benefits were released. As there was no response from the STC, he filed a writ petition, Williams said.

Decks cleared for Khoda to be 1st J&K CVC

M Saleem Pandit, TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.32AM IST

SRINAGAR: A day after PDP president Mehbooba Mufti objected to the appointment of incumbent DGP Kuldeep Khoda as chief vigilance commissioner, the J&K high court on Tuesday dismissed a writ petition against Khoda for his alleged role in a fake encounter case in Bhaderwah in Doda, clearing the way for him to become the state’s first CVC.

The screening committee had recommended three names for the post of CVC including Khoda’s to governor N N Vohra. The other two names are of ex-secretary, home, Samuel Verghese, and ex-DGP, CID, Ashok Bhan. Three out of four members of the screening committee for the selection of CVC and two vigilance commissioners on Monday had recommended Khoda’s name for CVC.

Announcing the order, Justice Virender Singh ordered the dismissal of the petition filed by two widows, Nazira Begum and Shaheena Begum, wives of victims Fazal Hussain Dar and Mohammad Hussain. According to the petition, four people, Fazal Hussain Dar, Mohammad Hussain, Fareed Ahmad and Talib Hussain, were allegedly picked up by men in a police vehicle on January 3, 1996, and later killed in a fake encounter near a stream in Doda. The petitioner, after a lapse of over 16 years, had filed a petition last year seeking registration of case against Khoda.

Writ petition in Madras high court against petrol price hike

A Subramani, TNN | May 29, 2012, 06.37PM IST

CHENNAI: Highlighting the crippling petrol and diesel shortage in Tamil Nadu, and demanding the rollback of the last week’s petrol price hike by the Centre, an AIADMK advocate has filed a writ petition in the Madras high court.

Most of the petrol bunks in Chennai and several parts of the state had gone dry and motorists were forced either to queue up in front of petrol bunks or travel extra mile searching for fuel for the past four days. Though short-supply of diesel was building up for nearly a month now, the May 23 announcement of oil companies hiking petrol prices has led to petrol shortage in the city elsewhere.

Describing it as an ‘artificial scarcity’ created by oil marketing companies, the petition, filed by R Balasubramanian wanted a direction to the oil companies to ensure regular and sufficient supply of petrol and diesel in all bunks in the state. The matter is likely to be taken up for hearing by a vacation court on Wednesday.

Noting that he had already sent representations to the union ministry of petroleum and natural gas in this regard, the petitioner sought withdrawal of the petrol price hike as well.

Balasubramanian said that his representation sought details such as the overall quantum of fossil fuel required for the country and the break up of the local production and the quantum of import. These details, along with information relating to duty and taxes levied on fuel, were not furnished by the ministry, he complained, adding that the ultimate sufferer of the opaque pricing policy of the centre and the ‘artificial scarcity’ created by oil companies, were the common people.

Several layers of taxes, imposed under different heads added to the burden of the downtrodden people, who are now starting at the prospect of all round increase of prices of essential commodities and vegetables, Balasubramanian said.

Slamming the Centre for its attempts to blame the price hike on the oil marketing companies and the international trends, the advocate said it was ‘shedding crocodile tears’ for the price hike and said it was acting as an agent of oil companies instead of working towards the welfare of citizens.

Due to the ‘maladministration’ of the fuel prices and availability by the Centre, Chennai had witnessed serpentine queues in front of petrol bunks with vehicle owners waiting for fuel, he said. The commercial attitude of the Centre on the fuel price issue, which results in increase in prices of essential prices and vegetables, cannot be tolerated, he said, and sought the court’s intervention.

Siddiqui trial: Court allows ATS to conceal names of witnesses

Express news service : Pune, Wed May 30 2012, 02:10 hrs

A Magistrate’s court on Tuesday allowed the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to conceal names of the witnesses who would be involved in the identification parade of Mohammad Qateel Mohammad Jafir Siddiqui, who allegedly tried to plant a bomb outside Shrimant Dagdusheth Halwai Ganapti Temple.

The ATS had on Monday requested the court not to reveal names of the witnesses under section 44 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment Act, 2004 for their security. Siddiqui’s lawyers, A Rehman and Kaynat Ali Shaikh, opposed the ATS plea, stating that only the witnesses themselves or the public prosecutor could request the court to do so, while in this case, the investigating officer (IO) Samad Shaikh had tendered the application to conceal witnesses’ names. They added that Siddiqui was in jail and hence there was no threat to the lives of the witnesses.

The court, however, allowed the request of the ATS. The identification parade of Siddiqui is likely to take place next week before his magisterial custody ends on June 8.

Ban on darshan: Lawyers join protest

Express News Service

CUTTACK: The lawyers have joined devotees and public in protesting the Jagannath Temple Administration’s decision to do away with the traditional ‘Paramanik darshan’ inside the sanctum sanctorum of the temple.

�They have moved the Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) and Chief Administrator of the temple at Puri against the decision under Rule 9 of the Orissa High Court Public Interest Litigation Rules,� 2010.

�The members of All Orissa Lawyers’ Association, Bar Council and High Court Bar have demanded lifting of the prohibition since it was illegal and violated the civil and constitutional rights of the devotees to have darshan of Lord Jagannath.

�The ‘Satwalipi’ (RoR) of Jagannath Temple states that Paramanik darshan inside the ‘Garba Gruha’ is permissible thrice a day during ‘Mangala Ararti’, ‘Abakash’ and ‘Chandanlagi’. “This is a legal right of the devotees, flowing from the law, emanating from the RoR, which has been framed in consonance with the constitutional guarantee of the freedom of religion under Article 25 of the Constitution. The temple administration cannot interfere in such recorded right,”� Bar Council member Chinmay Mohanty said.

�Mohanty said Paramanik darshan was a restricted and well-coordinated exercise, which enabled the old, infirm and physically-challenged to set foot inside the sanctum sanctorum and seek blessings of the Lord.

�The ‘Sahan Mela darshan’, allowed twice a day inside the sanctum sanctorum, witnesses a rush of thousands of devotees and thus deprives the old and the physically-challenged from having darshan. “It is an irony that thousands are allowed inside in an disorderly manner amid crammed situations in the Sahan Mela tradition while the regulated activity, allowing limited people at one time, is prohibited. This is a clear case of discrimination against the special class of devotees, who though have an equal right of darshan, are deprived of it due to their physical deficiency,”� Mohanty stated.

�The representation is in compliance with the HC PIL Rules that stipulate exhaustion of all channels and communication with the authorities concerned before filing a PIL. If no step is taken, a petition would soon be filed in the High Court.

Haryana: Land allotment to Subhash Ghai stayed


New Delhi: In a setback to Bollywood filmmaker Subhash Ghai, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the allotment of 20 acres of panchayat land in Jhajjar district to Ghai’s firm Mukta Arts and film school Whistling woods.

Ghai was planning to set up a film institute on the plot. But his plans ran into trouble when villagers from Badhsa filed a PIL challenging the allotment.

Ghai suffered a similar setback earlier in April, when the Supreme Court ordered him to return 21 acres allotted to his institute in Mumbai’s Film City area.

‘Cabinet file on clean-chit to next Army chief doctored’

Wednesday, 30 May 2012 00:22

Pioneer News Service |New Delhi

The appointment of next Army chief Lt Gen Bikram Singh, due to take over from General VK Singh on Thursday, has been dragged into fresh controversy.

The Supreme Court had last month dismissed a PIL against the Army chief designate after being told by the Centre that the Appointment Committee of Cabinet (ACC) had  considered all charges against him. In a new twist, the original petitioners, led by eminent citizens Admiral L Ramdas, former CEC N Gopalaswami among others,  have made a sensational claim that the file shown to Court was “doctored”.

The  petitioners, seeking review of the Supreme Court’s earlier order passed on their PIL on April 23, have alleged that the Centre played a fraud on the Court by showing the file with several “interpolations”.

The review petition filed on Tuesday in the SC said, “The petitioners strongly believe that the original ACC file produced in the Supreme Court was doctored and the suspicion is further strengthened by the presence of page ’15A’ in the file…when the same should normally have been in running numbers.”

Another factor linked to this suspicion was the timing of the grant of clearance to Lt Gen Bikram Singh by the Intelligence Bureau, also placed in the file.

The allegation against Singh was two-fold. One related to his deputation as Deputy Force Commander in Congo as part of the UN Peacekeeping Mission in 2008. An Army Court of Inquiry (CoI) found that soldiers under Singh’s command were guilty of sexual misconduct. The other charge against him related to his alleged involvement in a fake encounter case of 2001 in Jammu and Kashmir while being posted as Commanding Officer of First Sector, Rashtriya Rifles. This issue is currently pending before Jammu and Kashmir High Court.

The review petition further raised questions on how the ACC file on March 3 this year  exhibited an affidavit submitted  before the J&K High Court by Ministry of Defence (MoD) on March 23.  The petition contended if “institutional integrity” alone was the criteria to disqualify former CVC PJ Thomas who had a criminal trial pending against him, applying similar standards here would disqualify Singh,  who was yet to be given a clean chit by the High Court.

With regard to his role at Congo, the petitioners pointed out that on April 13 the MoD sent a query to Army Headquarter seeking clarification on the role and responsibility played by Singh as Deputy Force Commander at Congo operations. However, the notification of his appointment was considered and cleared by the ACC on March 3, over a month prior to sending of the query.

To testify the strength of the Centre’s claim, the petitioners even sought a copy of the documents contained in the ACC file,  but the same was denied to them under the Right to Information Act.

The review petition also challenged the claim of the Government to declare Singh an international civil servant during the Congo deputation. It attached opinions of retired Army officers to suggest that the assignment was purely military in nature and that Singh could enjoy no immunity for actions by soldiers under his command, thus attracting action against him under the relevant military and international laws.

Petition seeks review of SC order favouring Lt Gen Bikram Singh

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 30, 2012, 02.23AM IST

NEW DELHI: Two days before Lt Gen Bikram Singh takes over as Army chief, former Navy chief L Ramdas and others on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking review of its order dismissing their PIL, which had challenged the Centre’s decision to name him as Gen V K Singh’s successor.

On April 23, a bench of Justices R M Lodha and H L Gokhale had perused Lt Gen Bikram Singh’s file cleared by the Appointments Committee of the Cabinet (ACC) and said his appointment as the next Army chief suffered no discrepancy.

When attorney general G E Vahanvati and solicitor general R F Nariman repeatedly argued that it was a petition aimed at reopening the date of birth issue pertaining to Gen V K Singh, the bench had said, “There is no question of indirectly reopening the Army chief’s date of birth issue which has attained finality. Directly or indirectly, the matter relating to the DoB of the Army chief cannot be reopened.”

But the review petition filed by Ramdas, former chief election commissioner N Gopalaswami and others put up a strong ground by making a startling allegation that the government had doctored the ACC file before showing it to the court to convince it on the decision favouring Lt Gen Bikram Singh.

Their counsel Kamini Jaiswal said though the government had told the court that the allegations against Lt Gen Singh relating to the misconduct of the Indian contingent in Congo under a UN mission and the alleged fake encounter in J&K in 2001 were considered by the ACC, it actually could not have been.

For, the ACC file clearing Lt Gen Singh’s appointment as the next Chief of Army Staff was dated March 3 while the Congo incident was officially recorded in the file on April 13 and the counter affidavit absolving Lt Gen Singh was filed before the J&K High Court on March 23, she said.

“That is why the ACC file shown to apex court contained a page 15A, which was not in existence when the ACC headed by the prime minister considered appointment of Lt Gen Bikram Singh as the next Army chief. The normal numbering of a file is 14, 15 and 16. So, how does page 15A come into the file,” the petitioners asked.

But it can hardly come in the way of Lt Gen Singh taking over as Army chief on May 31 as the review petition will be considered by the same bench in the chamber, that too without the presence of advocates or law officers, when it is first taken up for judicial scrutiny.

If the bench gets convinced by the arguments, it will then direct listing of the matter in open court for hearing. And all this could happen only after July 2 when the court reassembles after summer recess.

On April 23, the bench of Justices Lodha and Gokhale had perused the ACC file and said, “We do not find any discrepancy in the appointment.”

Appearing for petitioners, Jaiswal had repeatedly referred to an alleged plan of succession put in place by former Army chief Gen J J Singh because of which the correction of date of birth of Gen V K Singh was denied. Gen V K Singh’s request for correction of his year of birth from 1950 to 1951 was denied by the government and the Supreme Court.

MBA student murder case: 2 acquitted

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Wed May 30 2012, 05:02 hrs

Mahendra Sadhu and Hardik Goel, the two youths accused of killing 22-year-old MBA student Priyanka Ramanuj two years ago, were acquitted by a sessions court on Tuesday.

Principal Sessions Judge G N Patel, who passed the order, criticised the police for failing to present evidence to the court, according to defence lawyer Bharat Joshi.

Sadhu and Goel were arrested in October 2010 by the Sarkhej police days after the decomposed body of Priyanka was found at a canal on the SG Highway near Nirma University.

Mahendra Sadhu, son of a local BJP leader and builder Chandu Sadhu, was engaged to Priyanka.

According to police, Mahendra wanted to get rid of Priyanka since he wanted to unite with his girlfriend (Name withheld on request of witness since the acquittal of accused has not been challenged and the witness has been facing humiliation due to publication of her name by police in media).

Investigators claimed that Mahendra was not happy with the engagement since it was forced on him by his parents.

Priyanka’s father Chandrakant Ramanuj had been working with Mahendra’s father Chandu Sadhu for many years and they were close friends.

The police had claimed that the day Priyanka went missing, she had met Mahendra who was accompanied by his friend Hardik.

The three went to a drive-in cinema to watch a movie. On their way, the accused gave the victim a soft drink spiked with sleeping pills. After she fell unconscious, Mahendra allegedly smothered her with a pillow, which the police had recovered.

Later, the accused allegedly dumped the body at a canal on SG Highway.

The Sarkhej police said they will challenge the acquittal in the High Court, adding they had produced all the evidence since the beginning, which was the reason why the accused never got a bail.

HC asks subordinate courts to adhere to judicial discipline

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 29,2012

Mumbai, May 29(PTI)Expressing resentment over subordinate courts showing scant regard to its judgements, the Bombay High Court has directed them to adhere to judicial discipline and take into consideration judgements of the higher courts cited before them. “Of late, we have been told by lawyers appearing in this court that scant regard or disrespect is shown to the orders passed by the high court in the City Civil Courts and orders are passed without taking into consideration the judgements passed by the high court,” a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode recently observed. The bench said that the subordinate judiciary should adhere to the judicial discipline and take into consideration the judgements of the higher courts cited before them. The issue of insubordination by lower judiciary was brought to the notice of the high court during the hearing of a petition filed by one Veena Shukla seeking quashing of a dowry harassment complaint filed against her by her sister-in-law. Advocate I A Bagaria, appearing for Shukla, pointed out to the high court that when the petition was pending before it, four persons had filed anticipatory bail pleas in the sessions court. According to the lawyer, the high court had sent the matter for mediation and ordered that no coercive steps should be taken against the accused until then. “Certain observations were made by the public prosecutor before the sessions court regarding the legality and propriety of the order passed by this Court (HC) and it was also argued as to how such orders could be passed,” argued Bagaria. Reacting to it, the bench said, “The learned prosecutor at the sessions court is directed to ensure that such types of submissions, questioning the legality and propriety of the orders passed by the high court, are not made.” Shukla had filed a petition seeking quashing of a complaint filed by her sister-in-law alleging harassment for dowry and intimidation with the Amboli police in December 2011. PTI SP ABC

Bathani Tola: Cry for justice

Pranava K Chaudhary, TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.21AM IST

PATNA: Over 300 intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali and Jean Dreze have demanded justice to the victims and survivors of Bathani Tola massacre. The recent acquittal by Patna high court of all the accused in this carnage has shocked everyone.

On July 11, 1996, 21 landless poor were slaughtered in broad daylight at Bathani Tola, a dalit hamlet in Bhojpur district, by the Ranvir Sena, a private army of landowners from the dominant castes. All the victims were from oppressed castes and minorities, and 20 of them were women, children and infants.

In a joint petition to the chief justice of Supreme Court, intellectuals, social activists and filmmakers have urged him to ensure that the perpetrators of this and other massacres of the poor and oppressed in Bihar are tried and convicted.

The Ara sessions court had convicted 23 people for this massacre in 2010, sentencing three to death and 20 to life imprisonment. But on April 16 this year, the high court overturned the conviction, and acquitted all the accused.

“The fact that, 16 years after this massacre, not a single person stands convicted for the brutal and barbaric slaughter of innocents, raises disturbing questions about whether the oppressed and the poor victims of massacres can expect justice in our courts,” the memorandum said.

“One of the survivors of the massacre, who lost six members of his family, responding to the acquittal, asked, “Who, then, killed 21 people that day?” We believe that the entire country and our system of justice owes the people of Bathani Tola an answer to that question. And we write to you in the hope that the SC will correct the deep injustice to victims and survivors of Bathani Tola, and will take all possible measures to ensure that the perpetrators of this and other heinous massacres of the poor and oppressed in Bihar are tried and convicted,” the signatories said.

The memo said the Ranvir Sena was banned after the Bathani Tola massacre – but in spite of the ban, it continued to operate openly, committing several more such massacres in central Bihar. The Laxmanpur-Bathe massacre in December 1998, in which 61 dalit landless poor were killed, had been called a ‘national shame’ by the then president of India, K R Narayanan.

“The Commission of Enquiry headed by Justice Amir Das, which was set up after the Bathe massacre, to probe the political support received by the Ranvir Sena, was disbanded six years ago when the present state government came to power in Bihar. The Ranvir Sena chief, Brahmeshwar Singh, is yet to be named in the FIRs of the Bathani Tola massacre and other massacres. In fact, the police informed the Ara court in 2010 that Brahmeshwar was an ‘absconder’ – when he was, at that time, a prisoner in Ara jail,” the memo said.

Prominent signatories to the memorandum include Arundhati Roy, Amit Bhaduri, Anand Patwardhan, Uma Chakravorty and Kamal Mitra Chenoy. Bharati S Kumar and Daisy Narain of the Patna University and Santosh Kumar of NIT Patna are among the signatories from Patna.

This RTI activist adds colours, logos to his applications

Yagnesh Mehta, TNN | May 29, 2012, 10.51PM IST

SURAT: His questions in RTI applications may irritate any government officer. Yet the officials nonetheless read the applications filed by RTI activist Kanu Shah, 75, with lot of interest and enthusiasm.

“Normally, the applications are filed in a plain paper and have a simple format. However, Shah adds flavour to them. He uses colours, logos and scanned images to make them look beautiful,” said Nagin Halpati, public information officer, District Education Office, Surat.

PIOs ask him why does he put in so much of hard work for writing RTI applications. “The officials initially smile looking at the applications but begin to argue on reading them. My aim is to attract them to read the applications with interest,” said Shah, a lawyer at Surat District and Sessions Court.

Shah uses colour pictures and attractive fonts in the applications to convey his message. Besides, he uses Gujarati, English and legal language for asking specific questions. Foremost, he keeps them short and simple.

“RTI is a very powerful act. Officials should respect it. I started with filing simple RTI applications and then began preparing designer applications. This is my way of telling the officials that the soul of RTI indeed is beautiful,” Shah said.

In the recent past, Shah has filed a few RTI applications in Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) and DEO. The replies to his application had revealed that SMC was charging maximum for blank forms when the rate charged by other municipal corporations in the state was just Rs 2 or Rs 5. From the DEO, he had sought important details about city schools.

10 judicial officials ordered to go

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.47AM IST

RANCHI: Following the recommendation of the Jharkhand high court, chief minister Arjun Munda on Monday ordered compulsory retirement for 10 judicial officials on the grounds of unsatisfactory performance. All the judges are above 50 years and have been offered three months salary as compensation.

The judges are principal judge, family court, Dumka, Mahesh Prasad Sinha, additional law advisor Indradev Mishra , civil judge ( senior division ), Ranchi Murari Prasad Singh, secretary, district legal services authority (DLSA) Jamshedpur Brijesh Bahadur Singh, special secretary, cabinet (vigilance) department Pradeep Kumar Singh, chief judicial magistrate, Sariekela-Kharsawan Indrasan Yadav, district and additional sessions judge, Giridih, Nirmal Kumar Agarwal , DLSA Sahibganj secretary Ashok Kumar, additional chief judicial magistrate Godda Sayed Mohamad Wasim, and subdivisional judicial magistrate Deogarh (Madhupur) Radha Bhatnagar. tnnCivil judge (senior division ) Ranchi Satya Prakash has been transferred as deputy registrar, the Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority Ranchi.

Court discharges two accused in organised crime case

Submitted by admin4 on 29 May 2012 – 8:40pm


New Delhi : Discharging two people, a Delhi court Tuesday said the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) could not be invoked against an accused just because he was earlier involved in cheating and forgery cases.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain’s remarks came while discharging two accused, Judge Chawla and Shonika Chopra, from the stringent provisions of the MCOCA.

“I am of the view that the stringent provisions of the MCOCA cannot be invoked against the accused persons merely on the ground that accused Judge Chawla was previously involved in multiple cheating and forgery cases … the same is against the object of the enactment of the act,” said Judge Jain.

The court was hearing a case against Chawla and Chopra chargesheeted in 2009 under the MCOCA for their alleged involvement in around 13 cheating cases spanning over 10 years.

Police said they had filed charge sheet against them in seven cases, in which courts had taken cognisance.

“Judge Chawla had accumulated huge wealth by continuing with the unlawful activity in an organised manner and he along with his associate (Shonika Chopra) was in the habit of grabbing the disputed properties by way of forged documents and cheating for pecuniary benefits,” said the charge sheet.

The court said that to invoke the MCOCA the prosecution had to show prima facie that Chawla had committed the continuing unlawful activity as a member of an organised crime syndicate.

“But in the instant case, the prosecution failed to establish prima facie that Judge Chawla had formed a gang or organised crime syndicate with Shonika Chopra or anyone else,” said the court.

The court said that as per the charge sheet Judge Chawla was involved in 11 cases. Out of these, three matters were quashed following compromise between the involved parties.

Honor killing: Man who murdered ‘hapless’ wife gets life term

Smriti Singh, TNN | May 30, 2012, 12.55AM IST

NEW DELHI: She was a rape victim but her husband blamed her for the incident and punished her with death. Three years after Devender Pal Singh killed his wife after he got to know that she was raped by his neighbour, the 25-year-old man has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a trial court, after a trial court termed it a case of honour killing. The couple had just been married for a year.

“The case in hands is redolent of the primordial savageness of mankind. It sings vociferously how much cruelty a man can assume and that too for vanity,” additional sessions Judge Rajender Kumar Shastri said while holding Devender guilty of murdering his wife Poonam Pal in 2009.

The court also slapped a fine of Rs 10,000 on the convict, noting that a “mejudice, condign punishment” of life term would “convey to the society the result of killing a hapless woman like victim Pal so brutally”.

Talking about the plight of women in the country, the court said, “A girl is no man’s child. Her parents call her dhan paraya (property of someone else) since her birth. She is brought up and taught to stand to the expectation of he prospective in-laws.”

The incident dates back to September 6, 2009 when Devender beat his wife and then pushed her to death from the roof of his house. Devender took this step after Poonam told him that their neighbour had raped her. He even called his relatives and “publicized” the incident to humiliate her, the court noted.

In its judgement, the court said that a message needed to be sent to the society so that an offence like this should not be dealt with leniency. “It raises hackles to imagine the agony which the victim would have suffered. She was beaten black and blue by her husband (accused) without any fault of her. Even as per convict, she was forced to surrender by the offender by tying her hand and gagging her mouth to commit rape. She was insulted before the relatives including her own family members, i.e brother and his wife. She was beaten repeatedly and was killed like an animal. An offender like convict in this case… who takes away life of another and that of a subservient and subdued lady like his own wife does not deserve to enjoy fruits of life,” the court order stated.

Court discharges alleged land grabber, partner from MCOCA

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 29, 2012, 19:15

A Delhi court today absolved alleged land grabber Judge Chawla and his partner Shonika Chopra of the stringent MCOCA charges holding that the police failed to prove that they were running an organised crime syndicate.

Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain discharged Chawla and his alleged live-in-partner Shonika from the stringent charges, saying “the stringent provisions of MCOCA cannot be invoked against the accused persons merely on the ground that accused Judge Chawla was previously involved in several cases of cheating and forgery.”

While Chawla now faces cheating and forgery charges under the Indian Penal Code, Shonika has been absolved of all charges and was set free on a personal bond of Rs 10,000 and a surety of like amount.

Chawla and Shonika were arrested by police in July 2009. The police had alleged that Chawla, along with his associates, had accumulated huge wealth by grabbing disputed properties by cheating and forging documents.

The prosecution had also said Chawla was continuing his activities in an organised manner and in the last ten years, was involved in 13 cases of cheating and forgery and was chargesheeted in seven cases out of them.

It was also revealed that he was having benami properties and his partner Shonika was also associated with him in various crimes, the police said. (MORE)

Fishermen’s killing: Kerala high court dismisses Italy’s plea, says Indian courts can try naval guards

PTI May 29, 2012, 07.50PM IST

KOCHI: In a setback to efforts by Italy to secure release of its two naval guards charged with murder of two Indian fishermen, the Kerala high court on Tuesday turned down its plea for quashing an FIR against them, holding that they were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Terming the killing of fishermen by the naval guards on board ‘Enrica Lexie’ in February off Kerala coast as “brutal” and “cruel”, Justice PS Gopinathan said the accused were not entitled to sovereign immunity and also imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on them.

“The shooting was ‘cruel’ and ‘brutal’ and hence it can be inferred that they (naval guards) did so on their own. “Shooting cannot be said to be an act of sovereign function and the naval guards are not entitled to sovereign immunity,” it said.

Dismissing the petition filed by Italian consul general in Mumbai Giampalo Cuttilo and naval guards — Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, Justice Gopinathan imposed a cost of Rs one lakh on the two accused, payable within two weeks. The petitioners, who had also sought a stay on all further proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court, contended that Kerala Police had no authority to conduct the probe and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.

Rejecting the contention, the court said Kerala police has jurisdiction to investigate the case and courts have the jurisdiction to try the case and it was not an invasion.

“The marines are liable to the penal jurisdiction of Indian courts and police was right in registering a case and proceeding with investigation irrespective of the fact that they were on board a foreign vessel,” the court held. The high court made it clear that the trial court shall consider the contentions of the naval guards untrammelled by the observations in its judgment.

Marines liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts

KOCHI In a setback to efforts by Italy to secure release of its two Marines charged with murder of two fishermen, the Kerala High Court on Tuesday turned down its plea for quashing an first information report (FIR) against them, holding that they were liable to penal jurisdiction of Indian courts.

Terming the killing of fishermen by the Marines on board Enrica Lexie in February off Kerala coast as “brutal” and “cruel”, Justice PS Gopinathan said the accused were not entitled to sovereign immunity and also imposed a cost of Rs100,000 on them.

The shooting was ‘cruel’ and ‘brutal’ and hence it can be inferred that the Marines did so on their own. “Shooting cannot be said to be an act of sovereign function and the Marines are not entitled to sovereign immunity,” it said.

Dismissing the petition filed by Italian Consul General in Mumbai Giampalo Cuttilo and Marines, Latore Massimilliano and Salvatore Girone, Justice Gopinathan imposed a cost of Rs100,000 on the two accused, payable within two weeks.

The petitioners, who had also sought a stay on all further proceedings in the case pending before a Kollam court, contended that Kerala police had no authority to conduct the probe and courts in India have no jurisdiction as the incident occurred beyond the Indian territorial waters.

Rejecting the contention, the court said Kerala police has jurisdiction to investigate the case and courts have the jurisdiction to try the case and it was not an invasion. “The Marines are liable to the penal jurisdiction of Indian courts and police was right in registering a case and proceeding with investigation irrespective of the fact that they were on board a foreign vessel,” the court held.

The high court made it clear that the trial court shall consider the contentions of the Marines untrammelled by the observations in its judgment.

In its 60-page judgment, the court said the state practice also indicates that in appropriate cases, coastal states can exercise jurisdiction over the vessel in contiguous zone. “As long as vessel is engaged in innocent passage, she cannot be interdicted, but when passage hinders the security of the state, the state cannot be asked to remain a mute spectator,” it said.

The court said as per a 1981 notification, state can exercise its penal laws within the Exclusive Economic Zone, 200 nautical miles from the coast.

“The vessel is not owned by the Republic of Italy. It is a private vessel engaged on commercial activity. There is nothing on record to show that the Italian Marines were allowed ‘absolute freedom’ to shoot and kill any person. They were under command of the captain,” the court pointed out.

It said there was no material to show that the Marines were under the control of the Italian Navy. “There is nothing on record to show that captain gave instructions to shoot,” court said.

The Marines, arrested on February 19 and in judicial custody, have been charged with murder of fishermen Valentine alias Jalestine and Ajesh Binki, who had put out to sea from the Needakara coast in Kollam.

The court also directed the relatives of the two fishermen to deposit Rs10,000 as cost, criticising their dependents for wasting the court’s precious time.

It pointed out that they first impleaded themselves in the case to oppose quashing of FIR and later withdrew their contentions after reaching an understanding under which the two families received Rs10 million each as compensation from the Italian government.

Justice Gopinathan said the court was refraining from imposing heavy cost in view of loss suffered by them and considering they are women.

Meanwhile, the federal government, responding to bail pleas, informed the court that if the two had valid passport, government can issue necessary direction to concerned foreign registration officer to make necessary endorsement in the passport for a visa with a limited validity.

Press Trust of India








INDIA: Student tortured in West Bengal to extort confession

May 29, 2012


Urgent Appeal Case: AHRC-UAC-090-2012

29 May 2012
INDIA: Student tortured in West Bengal to extort confession

ISSUES: Arbitrary arrest and detention; torture; inhuman and degrading treatment; impunity; police violence; judicial system; right to health; right to food; judicial system; fabrication of charges; minorities

Dear friends,

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information from MASUM concerning another case of police brutality by personnel of Raninagar Police Station, under the captaincy of Sub-Inspector Nilanjan Roy of Raninagar Police Station, against 19-year-old Golam Mujtuba and a few of his friends from Char Majhardiar Village. Such impunity on the part of police personnel, tasked to uphold the law, is morally and legally unacceptable. We urge you to write in to appeal to the relevant authorities to take actions against the police personnel responsible for these violations against the victim’s constitutional and human rights.


An inquiry undertaken by MASUM reveals the following facts.

The victim, Mr Golam Mujtuba, is an engineering student of a local college at Narsinghapur. His father, Mr Nazrul Islam, is a respectable and educated figure who tries hard to educate his two sons.

On 3 March 2012, on his way home from his hostel at Narsinghapur College with friends from the same village and chatting in the vicinity of Mr Badal’s shop at Mahardiar Village, Mr Nilanjan Roy, Sub-Inspector, and seven constables set upon Golam from the Raninagar Police Station. Golam and his friends were shoved towards the policemen’s parked vehicle without being informed of the reason for their arrest. The personnel physically abused the youth during the arrest and on the way to Raninagar Police Station in the presence of Mr Sahaban Ali and other villagers.

The youths were conducted to the Raninagar Police Station around 8.30pm. While in custody, the youths were denied warm clothes and were again physically and mentally tortured. They were not provided any food or water throughout their detention. The police were reportedly attempting to extract confessions concerning an earlier scuffle, which broke out a few days before at the adjoining Danrakaci Village, which is also under Raninagar Police Station.

The youths were driven from Raninagar Police Station at 1am on 4 March after the police had obtained their signatures on blank pieces of paper. They were forced to spend the night out in the open and returned to their respective home only hours later.

Golam Mujtuba visited a doctor at Sekhpara Village at 7am on 4 March. The doctor there concluded he had suffered severe mental and physical torture. The families of the other victims did not register complaints with the police concerning the illegal arrest, detention and torture due to paralyzing fear that the local police, who perpetrated the acts of violence in the first place, would react against such a challenge. Later, Golam’s father gathered the courage to lodge a report with the Superintendent of Police of Murshidabad on 9 April and a copy of that report was sent to the Chairman of the West Bengal Human Rights Commission. Unfortunately, no action has been taken to date against the errant police personnel who detained and assaulted Golam and his friends.

The above case highlights several systemic faults in the police administration of Murshidabad:

1. Lack of justification for arrest, detention and physical trauma of victims, Golam Mujtuba and the friends that had been walking home with him that night;
2. Lack of transparency and accountability in judicial proceedings (e.g. coercing torture victims into signing blank pieces of paper with which charges could be fabricated and their “statements” presented);
3. Lack of responsiveness of the provincial authorities (in this case, the Superintendent of Murshidabad) to aggrieved locals who, despite the violations of their rights, demonstrate great courage and confidence in the system by lodging police reports

This general deviation from proper legal procedure is troubling. Such observations also sit uneasily against a backdrop of the guidelines laid down by the case of D K Basu. The police did not seem to have a legal document or memo requiring or justifying his arrest, did not subsequently inform the victims’ family members their arrest and did not conduct the stipulated medical check upon arrest. Instead, they abused their positions of authority to physically injure Golam and his friends, to deprive them of food, water and adequate clothing, to extract blank pieces of paper with the victims’ signatures on them and to detain them unreasonably. These actions violate the victims’ right to security and liberty of person and right to be treated humanely while deprived of their liberty. These are individual rights set out in Articles 6, 7, 9 and 10 of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the Indian state is signatory to in 1979.

Golam’s father has already written to the Superintendent of Police, who has not taken any action to assist the victims and their families. Golam and his friends’ only recourse appear to be to appeal to the very perpetrators who have in the first place violated their rights. Without state intervention and international pressure, Golam and his community face for the foreseeable future continued abuse of their freedoms and physical persons.


The AHRC has documented substantial number of cases from India over the years that reiterates our argument that often, criminal investigation in India begins and ends with a forced confession extracted from a person in custody. The case at hand substantiates this practice. A government agency arresting anyone in India should follow a set of rules prescribed in the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973. This includes (i) informing the person the reason for arrest, (ii) informing a family member about the place where the person would be detained and the court in which the person would be produced. The investigating agency has no right to torture a person while in custody, though it has not been made a crime by way of a separate statute.

For a public servant to physically harm a person while that person is in custody is however a separate offence under Section 330 and worngful restraint to extrort confession is a crime punishable under Section 348 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Section 167 of the Penal Code also states that for a public servant to frame an incorrect document with content intended to be injurious to the person involved is criminal. Yet this is exactly what the Sub-Inspector and the constables from Raninagar Police Station have done by obtaining the victims’ signatures on blank pieces of paper, which could later be used to fabricate confessions or statements unfavorable to the victims in court. Sections 321-323 also define the crime of voluntarily causing hurt, which the Sub-Inspector and his officers were guilty of during the arrest and detention of Golam and his friends. Perhaps the article most damning of the patently unlawful acts of violence and intimidation against the victims is Article 330(a), which launches an indictment against police officers torturing a victim to extract a confession for a particular crime.

Rule of law is crucial to the maintenance of peace in any society. The Indian justice system suffers certain significant weakness which must be soon addressed. The central government of the world’s largest democracy owes its mandate and legitimacy to the masses. Its organs and instruments should be held to account for their failure to uphold the law and consider the best interests of the people accordingly. Lives at are stake and reform is in order – will India’s government respond to its people’s cries for justice?

Please write to the authorities mentioned below demanding an investigation into this case. The victims must be compensated for the physical and psychological torment suffered. The police personnel perpetrators must themselves be arrest immediately and brought to stand trial for their misdeeds. Golam, his family and eyewitnesses should also be provided adequate protection against further retaliatory attacks.

The AHRC is also writing a separate letter to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Chairperson of the Working Group on Arbitrary Arrest and Detention calling for further intervention.

Election panel refuses to intervene in Jagan’s arrest

Agencies | Updated: May 29, 2012 22:27 IST

Hyderabad: The Election Commission of India has refused to intervene in YSR Congress Party leader YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), party sources said.

The commission conveyed to YSR Congress Party President Vijayamma that since the matter was in court, it would not intervene, the sources said.

Mr Reddy was arrested on Sunday in a case of illegally acquiring assets, and sent to judicial custody for two weeks yesterday.

Ms Vijayamma, who is Mr Reddy’s mother, had  on Monday sent a letter to Chief Election Commissioner SY Quraishi, seeking his intervention to direct the CBI to immediately release Jagan Mohan Reddy so that he could continue campaigning for the June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 state assembly constituencies.

Ms Vijayamma had complained that her son was arrested to keep him away from the party’s campaigning. She had also alleged that the arrest was undemocratic and was aimed at helping the ruling Congress in the elections.

According to sources, the commission discussed her letter at a meeting presided over by Mr Quraishi and decided not to intervene.

Meanwhile, taking cognisance of the second chargesheet filed in the disproportionate assets case against Mr Reddy, a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court issued a Prisoner on Transit warrant against him in Hyderabad today.

The court also issued summons to two other accused to appear before it on June 11. Summons were issued against his financial advisor V Vijay Sai Reddy (second accused in the case and currently out on bail) and Jagati Publications Pvt Ltd (JPPL), owned by the Kadapa MP, who were charged under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets in the disproportionate assets case (on March 31, April 23 and May 7) against Mr Reddy and others accusing him of getting investments of several crores from various firms into his own businesses as part of quid pro-quo, when his father Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

812 Foundation’s plea: Verdict on June 12

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.59AM IST

MANGALORE: The JMFC II court judge Roopashri here on Tuesday posted for orders on June 12 a private complaint filed by 812 Foundation accusing three government agencies and 12 officials responsible for the Air India Express 812 crash of May 22, 2010 which claimed 158 lives.

Making submissions at the court here on Tuesday, the foundation’s president Yeshwanth Shenoy said though at first he thought the persons responsible could be charged under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 304 A (causing death by negligence punishable by 10 years imprisonment and fine or both) of Indian Penal Code (IPC), after investigation he found the charges were grave and made a plea to charge the officials under Section 302 (punishment for murder).

In case the court finds there is a cognizable offence, the private complaint may be changed to a criminal complaint.

Yeshwanth accused DGCA for failing to verify Capt Zlatko Gluscia’s Airline Transport Pilot License ( ATPL) licence before issuing the FATA (Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorization) licence. He said AIE 812 pilot did not have the requisite flying hours for 737-800.

He also said the pilot was not under the direct control of AI as he was sourced from Sigmar Aviation, Isle of Man.

The complainant also pointed out the Court of Inquiry (CoI) showed that the Instrument Rating Check (IRC) of the pilot was valid only till May 13, 2010 and the accident occurred a week later.

Yeshwanth said it was clearly established in the Court of Inquiry that the fire started after the aircraft wing hit the ILS structure making AAI responsible putting the non frangible structure at the end of runway.

“If ILS was not mounted on the concrete structure the pilot may have been able to take off or the resultant crash would not have resulted in such loss of lives in the absence of fire,” he said.

Adarsh scam: 7 accused get bail

Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The seven accused in the Adarsh society housing scam were let off on bail on Tuesday.

The special CBI court asked the accused to provide a surety of Rs5 lakh each and have directed them to be present at the CBI office every Tuesday and Thursday until further notice.

Besides the chief promoter and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, the others who got bail are Pradeep Vyas, IAS officer, PV Deshmukh, former deputy secretary in Urban Development Department, Retd Brigadier MM Wanchoo, Retd Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Retd Major General AR Kumar and Retd Major General TK Kaul.

The accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code and also under the various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.

The accused applied for bail saying that the CBI had not filed the charge sheet within the stipulated 60 days.

The Bombay high court is monitoring the probe being conducted by CBI, Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax.

The next date for hearing is June 18. The CBI is likely to file charge sheet next month as per the high court’s directive.

Charges framed in Kush Katariya murder case

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.48AM IST

NAGPUR: District and additional sessions judge GJ Akarte framed charges in the Kush Katariya murder case on Tuesday. The court charged Ayush Pugaliya with Indian Penal Code section 302, 364(A) and 201 for murder, kidnapping for ransom and causing disappearance of evidence respectively. Ayush’s elder brothers Navin and Nitin were charged with only section 201 of IPC.

It is learnt that the court explained the charges to the Pugaliya brothers, accused of being involved in the kidnap and murder of 8-year-old Kush, before he asked them whether they wanted to plead guilty or face trial. The Pugaliyas opted to face the trial in the case.

The next hearing is scheduled on June 1 when the prosecution will issue a notice for denial or admission of list of documents annexed to the charge sheet under section 294 of Criminal procedure code. The step is learnt to be undertaken to invite the defence counsel to admit or deny the documents attached to the charge sheet sent by the police in the case before the court. If admitted, then such documents could be used as exhibit in evidence or the same would be required to be examined with the help of a witness.

Kush was kidnapped and killed on October 11 last year for a ransom of Rs 2 crore. A case was registered at Nandanvan police station. Ayush was arrested within a couple of days of the incident. His elder brother Navin and Nitin were arrested later after it came to fore that they had extended indirect help to Ayush by disposing off his blood soiled clothes near Kasturchand Park.

Additional public prosecutor Jyoti Vajani represented the prosecution. Special public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who has been roped in by the state government for this case, was not present in the court when the charge was framed.

Defense counsel Sudeep Jaiswal too was present in the court. It is learnt that the Pugaliyas were eager to switch to a different lawyer for the rest of the trial. However, Jaiswal said the Pugaliyas were still his clients. “I will fight for them until they formally communicate their decision to me. Initially, when the entire city was after them I came forward to take up their case. I was criticized by all persons for the decision but I braved those brickbats to appear for Pugaliyas,” said the president of the district bar association.

2G scam: Former telecom secretary Behura seeks court’s permission to travel abroad

TNN | May 30, 2012, 02.20AM IST

NEW DELHI: Former telecom secretary Siddharth Behura, accused in the 2G spectrum allocation scam, on Tuesday moved a special CBI court seeking permission to visit his children abroad.

On Behura’s plea to visit Hong Kong for a week in June to meet his children who are settled there, special judge O P Saini sought CBI’s response by May 31.

Behura also moved the court for release of his documents, like his driving licence and those of his financial investments, seized by the CBI during the probe. The special court will hear these applications on Wednesday.

Behura is facing charges of breach of trust by a public servant and criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code for his alleged role in the 2G spectrum allocation scam.

Behura was granted bail by the Supreme Court on May 9 after he was arrested by the CBI on February 2 last year along with former telecom minister A Raja and the latter’s erstwhile private secretary R K Chandolia.

Behura is facing trial in the case along with 13 persons and three companies.

Mulayam receives International Jurists Award 2012

London, May 29, 2012

Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav and Pakistan’s Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry have been awarded  the prestigious International Jurists Award 2012. Yadav, former defence minister and ex-chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, was selected for the award for his unflinching  “contribution to the advancement of the bar and the bench.”

“His support to the development of the legal fraternity is unparalleled in the world,” said the citation, read out at the International Conference of Jurists on Rule of Law, yesterday evening.

Yadav was, however, not present to receive the award. Justice Chaudhry received the award from Lord Phillips, President of the Supreme Court of the UK, for his “unique and tremendous contribution in the field of administration of justice and for the tireless and fearless endeavours towards administration of justice in Pakistan against all odds.”

Shortly before Justice Chaudhry received the award, two persons barged into the auditorium at the Hotel Court House raising slogans against killings of Shias in Pakistan.

 “I accept this award with profound gratitutde on behalf of the Judiciary of Pakistan and the people of Pakistan who had struggled for the independence of Judiciary.” Justice Chaudhry said, in a brief statement.

 “The protest indicated that the freedom of speech is live and well.” Lord Phillips, referring to the protest demonstration said, while presenting the award.

Referring to corruption, one of the topics discussed at the conference, Lord Phillips made an indirect reference to social activist Anna Hazare’s movement against corruption in India without naming him. “India was in lead to stamp out corruption. Unfortunately it did not happen.” He said at the comference.

In his address, Adish C Aggarwala, senior advocate and President of the International Council of Jurists, called upon Jurists from all over the world to stand united and make a “sincere effort to bring about reforms and accountability in the system of administration of justice.

“We shall re-dedicate ourselves to the service of society, and ensure easy, faster and equal justice to all.” He said.

HC reserves order on aviation firm-Global Vectra’s plea

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 29,2012

New Delhi, May 29 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today reserved its verdict on a plea by Ravi Rishi-led aviation firm-Global Vectra Helicorp challenging DGCA’s decision to suspend the company’s operation permit. Justice Vipin Sanghi reserved the order after counsel appearing for the aviation firm and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Home Ministry concluded their arguments. The DGCA had on May 7 scrapped the firm’s permit after the home ministry withdrew the security clearance of the company raising security concerns. The government had also withdrawn security clearance of Ravi Rishi. Appearing for the company, senior advocate Neeraj Kishan Kaul contended before the court that the order on the company’s operating permit had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice. “It cannot be disputed that no explanation was sought from the petitioner nor any enquiry conducted prior to taking such serious action of withdrawal of security clearance and suspending its non-scheduled operator’s permit which virtually brings its business to an end,” Kaul added. The company had submitted that the home ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi had been withdrawn. The DGCA then suspended the non-scheduled chopper operator’s permit. On the other hand, defending the decision, DGCA advocate Anjana Gosai had told the court that it had only followed the process suggested by the home ministry, which was acting on grounds of public safety. “MHA (ministry of home affairs) is the main department to give security clearance, we have followed the process. If security clearance of the company is withdrawn by the MHA, the DGCA has to withdraw operating permit,” she had said. PTI PNM UPT

HC directs random checking of radiation emission

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 29,2012

Jaipur, May 29 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court today directed random spot checking of emission of radiation from any two mobile towers in the state and sought a report in this regard by Wednesday. The checking should be done with instruments provided by BSNL, a Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Arun Mishra and Justice N K Jain (senior) said. It rejected the radiation emission report prepared by the Telecom Enforcement Resource and Monitoring (TERM) cell of the Telecom Department, New Delhi. The TERM Director submitted before the court that a survey of 440 mobile towers of Jaipur district was conducted with the help of instrument provided by the mobile companies themselves as per directions of the Central government. The survey revealed there was no excessive emission below the permissible limit of 4.5 watt per square meter. The Bench took a serious view about alleged health hazards posed by mobile tower radiation and brushed aside the contention of moblie companies that high radiation frequency is required at some places to maintain high audio quality. Additional Advocate General Dinesh Yadav told the court that a committee was constituted on May 21 after the directive of the court to monitor the problem of radiation. The Bench, however, said “mere paper work cannot suffice as it yields no results.” When asked that whether any independent inquiry had been conducted, the government counsel replied that the exercise was being done by a Central government cell known as TERM.

Gujarat HC may hand over custodial torture case to CBI

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 29,2012

Ahmedabad, May 29 (PTI) The Gujarat High Court today indicated that it might hand over a case of custodial torture, involving IPS officer Subhash Trivedi, to an independent probe agency after the complainant backtracked from his stand and wanted to withdraw the case. Justice Anant Dave has shown strong indication of entrusting the custodial torture case of Vishal Singala against Jamnagar DSP Trivedi to independent investigating agency like the CBI. As per the case details, Singala, an alleged bootlegger had filed a complaint in the court against Trivedi, police inspector A P Jadeja and police sub-inspector G N Waghela, whom he accused of thrashing him in police custody. Justice Dave had then told Singala to file an FIR in Jamnagar against Trivedi and two other cops, however, he filed another application in the court, saying that he wanted to withdrew the case against the police officers following pressure from his community elders. The judge made it clear that the court was primarily concerned with issue of custodial torture and asked the state government to transfer the three cops out of Jamnagar so that independent inquiry can take place in the case. Today, the court indicated that inquiry can be given to an independent investigating agency like CBI. At the court’s insistence over handing over the probe to CBI, the government pleader Prakash Jani proposed that the state government is more than willing to hold a preliminary inquiry into whether the complainant was forced by the cops to withdraw his petition. Jani also expressed strong reservations against assigning the inquiry to CBI, saying it would have a demoralising effect on police force, particularly when actions are initiated on basis of a complaint of a history-sheeter. Justice Dave has also roped in the assistant solicitor general P S Champaneri on behalf of the Centre on what disciplinary action could be taken against Trivedi and under which rules his IPS nomination could be suspended. Champaneri is likely to address the court on Wednesday after which justice Dave may pass the final order in this case.

HC seeks report on infant deaths at GB Pant Hospital

South Asian News Agency (SANA) ⋅ May 29, 2012 ⋅

SRINAGAR, (SANA): The High Court directed the Chief Secretary to file affidavit indicating the steps taken by the government to arrest alarming infant mortality reported by the media at GB Pant hospital.

The court asked the Senior Additional Advocate General, A M Magray to file an affidavit on behalf of the government showing what steps have been taken by the government to prevent the infant deaths in the hospital.

A division bench comprising justices Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Hasnain Massodi passed the directions on a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by social activists, Dr Rouf Mohidin Malik and Tanveer Khan, seeking directions for an inquiry into the recent infant deaths and other issues relating to healthcare in GB Pant hospital.

Magray, representing the Health and Medical Education department accepted the notice in the court on behalf of the respondents.
The court also directed Magray to file affidavit from the Principal Secretary to Government Health and Medical Education department by or before June 1, 2012 indicating the total deaths that have occurred in GB Pant hospital since Jan 1, 2012.

“The affidavit should indicate the total sanctioned strength of the doctors in the hospital rank-wise and the number of doctors who have remained in place in the hospital since January 2012,” the court held.
The court also asked for details about the laboratory facility available in the hospital and the sanctioned strength of trained staff meant for it, directing that if there is any shortfall, it should be indicated explicitly.

Seeking details about the nursing staff in the hospital, the court directed the respondents to indicate total sanctioned strength of nursing staff and the number of nurses posted in the hospital.
The court asked the Principal Secretary to provide details about total number of ventilators available in the hospital and the strength of trained staff handling the ventilators. The court also sought details of the available staff operating the ventilators apart from training imparted to the staff to handle the equipments.

“The Principal Secretary shall also give details of the shortfalls which the government thinks need to be attended urgently to mitigate the present healthcare situation in the hospital” the court ordered.
The court directed the Registry to communicate its order through fax to A M Magray and Principal Secretary to Government Health and Medical Education Department forthwith for information and compliance.

Andhra HC striking down sub-quota: IITs seek govt’s direction

Agencies : New Delhi, Tue May 29 2012, 21:42 hrs

In wake of Andhra Pradesh High Court striking down the 4.5 per cent sub-quota to minorities within OBC reservation, the IITs, which are in midst of the counselling process, have sought a direction from the government.

As many as 325 aspirants belonging to economically and socially backward sections of minority communities have been shortlisted for admission to the 15 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) under the sub-quota.

The high court order has not only raised the worries of these candidates but has also left the IITs in a confused state.

“We have sought advice from the HRD Ministry and are awaiting a view from them,” said a source in the IIT joint admission board.

Counselling for admission to 15 IITs and IT-BHU and ISM-Dhanbad is currently underway and the process will go on till 5 pm on June 10.

The web release of the first seat allotment will be made on June 14.

Sources in HRD Ministry said they are evaluating the situation following the high court order even as Law Minister Salman Khurshid today said they would move the Supreme Court against the high court ruling.

The HRD Ministry had asked all institutions to implement the sub-quota from January 2012. The IITs are the first to implement the government’s decision.

Vienna murder aftermath: HC asks govt to set up compensation commission in a week

TNN | May 30, 2012, 04.18AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday directed the Punjab government to set up a compensation commission within one week to decide the claims of 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 Ramanand, in Vienna of Austria.

Directions were passed by a division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh while hearing a PIL filed on the issue.

In its orders, the bench has also specified that such commission should be headed by a retired judge of the high court and the state government should provide appropriate staff to the commission. The commission would determine the perpetrators of violence and the amount of compensation, which should not be more than double the total loss suffered by the victim. The bench also permitted the commission to engage the services of some assessors to estimate the losses, if required.

The commission would work under the supervision of the HC and can approach court at any point of time for any assistance.

The death of Sant Ramanand in Austria on May 24, 2009 had triggered large scale violence in Jalandhar, Phaghwara, Hoshiarpur and some other towns of Punjab.

Importantly, it was only after cognizance of the matter was taken by the high court, the state police swung into action and started registering cases.

The matter had reached the HC in December 2010 through a PIL by Phagwara branch of General Samaj Manch through their counsel, Hitesh Kaplish. Advocate Kaplish had sought directions for fixing responsibility of each and every official concerned in the administration for failure to anticipate such violence and punish the culprits.

Punjab police had to face the wrath of the high court for not taking any tangible action against those involved in the violence and even the state home secretary as well as DGP had also been summoned in person by the high court for their failure to take action in the matter. Following HC intervention, 75 cases were registered, 57 persons were arrested, around 445 witnesses identified and statements of around 258 persons recorded.

HC condemns workers stripping manager naked

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 30, 2012, 12.54AM IST

MUMBAI: Stripping a person naked is an extreme way to protest, observed the Bombay high court while hearing an appeal against the reinstatement of a worker accused of tearing the clothes of the personnel manager of a factory 20 years ago.

On May 2, a division bench of Justice P B Majmudar and Justice Anoop Mohta was hearing an appeal filed by Digvi Metalwares Pvt Ltd against a single HC judge’s order directing reinstatement of a worker, Shrikant Kadam. Granting interim relief to Kadam, Justice Girish Gokhale had observed that “the incident was over 20 years old” and “interests of justice would be served” if Kadam, who was left with barely four-five years of service, was allowed to resume work conditionally.

The case dates back to November 2, 1992 when over some grievances, 20 workers, led by union leaders, went to the factory at Shivare in Pune where they assaulted the manager, forcibly tore his clothes and stripped him. “What? They made him naked?” asked Justice Majmudar, even as the judges were told the manager was left with nothing but his undergarments. “Labour protests 20 years ago used to be vociferous, but you can make someone naked?
This is an extreme way of protest. It can be demeaning,” said Justice Majmudar.

The petition said Kadam was among those who instigated employees to stop work for eight days. A lockout on the factory was declared from November 1, 1992 to March 3, 1993. Kadam’s service was ended on November 24, 1997. The labour court directed Kadam’s reinstatement, saying while the charges had been “proved”, the “punishment was disproportionate”.

The company moved HC, where the single judge directed to reinstate Kadam. The company then filed a plea in the HC and the division bench admitted it. The judges clubbed the petition with another, filed against Prakash Acharya, also involved in the incident. In December 2007, the HC, hearing an appeal against Acharya’s reinstatement, admitted the petition saying “charges were serious” and it pertained to “humiliating the manager by tearing his clothes off”. The hearing has been expedited and posted to August.

On November 2, 1992, over some grievances, 20 workers, led by union leaders, went to a factory at Shivare in Pune where they assaulted the manager, tore his clothes and stripped him.

HC stays admission to dental colleges

TNN | May 30, 2012, 03.06AM IST

AHMEDABAD: The Gujarat high court has stayed the Gujarat University (GU) and certain self-financed dental colleges to go ahead with the admission process in the postgraduate programme on 50-50 management-government seat ratio as per the consensus arrived at between the state government and the consortium of self-financed dental colleges.

Students of dental colleges had questioned an agreement, labeled as amicable settlement/arrangement, between the state government and self-financed dental colleges to admit 50% students on management quota excluding 15% NRI quota and keeping the rest 50% for students getting admission on government seats. This arrangement was in modification of earlier 25%-70% ratio of management-government seats.

The students challenged the move by managements and government claiming that it was in violation of various laws and rules laid by the state government itself. The government and the colleges as well as their consortium opposed the petition. However, justice M R Shah concluded that earlier petitions challenging vires of the laws providing 25%-75% ratio were dismissed by court and the new arrangement has not even been reduced down to writing by the government. In such circumstances, no such consensus or arrangement between the government and colleges can by-pass or substitute statutory provisions and this arrangement can be termed as absolutely illegal and contrary to provisions of law.

With this observation, the HC has directed the university to stall registration/enrollment of certain students who have passed the entrance test conducted as per 50-50 management-government seat arrangement. The court has also directed that those students who have already enrolled after having passed the test, which was held in February this year, to wait till final order of the HC, as their admission is subject to the outcome of final order of this petition.

Further hearing has been kept on June 25.

Court gives minor girl’s custody to her husband

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 29, 2012, 16:15

A youth has won from a Delhi court the custody of his minor wife, whom he had married after elopement and is facing prosecution for allegedly kidnapping her.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Garg gave the custody of 16-year-old girl, an East Delhi resident to her husband from Uttar Pradesh after she told the court that she had willingly married him and wished to stay with him instead of with her parents or at Nirmal Chhaya, a woman-cum-children welfare home.

ASJ Garg gave the girl’s custody to the youth, relying on higher court rulings which said natural guardian of a married Hindu minor girl is her husband and the preferences of minor, who is old enough to make an intelligent decision, ought to be considered by the court.

“The girl is no longer required to be kept at Nirmal Chhaya. She being minor, subject to her wish her custody be given to appellant husband. The revision petition is allowed,” ASJ Garg said.

The sessions court gave its ruling, setting aside the Child Welfare Committee’s order, which had denied the youth the custody of his minor wife, who had been lodged at Nirmal Chhaya for the last five months after the youth’s arrest on charges of her kidnapping.

The youth, after securing bail, had first moved the CWC and then the sessions court, for her custody. In his plea to the sessions court, he had argued that the CWC order was passed in a “mechanical manner” without appreciating the facts.

He said the girl was his legally-wedded wife since 2010 and had been happily living with with him and his family for over a year and she has not consented to go with her parents.

While allowing the minor girl’s custody to her husband, the court rejected her parents’ contention that her marriage was illegal as she was a minor and her custody should be give to them.

The court also noted that an inquiry was conducted by the CWC and the police regarding the age of the girl and as per the report of the Station House Officer, her school records showed her age to be more than 16 years.

Inmates of Mahila Mandiram allege physical violence nightmare

Urgent need of a separate rehabilitation home for girls

Inmates want new superintendent

By Dhanya Ezhuthachan

Kerala Government – Social Welfare Department’s Mahila Mandiram at Ramavarmapuram has become a nightmare for the inmates.

Four girls aged between 16 and 18 from the refugee home reached the Viyyur police station Monday evening with complaints that the temporary superintendent Ramla Biwi tortured them physically and mentally. The girls were sent back home after the mediation effort by Women Police Station authorities with the superintendent. But the problems did not end there. The inmates insisted on their demand of appointing a new superintendent; otherwise, they would commit suicide.

The inmates said that the superintendent beat them with iron rods and make them kneel for many hours. Food is not given properly and they are not taken to hospital if they fall sick.

Considering the seriousness of the issue, the District Collector PM Francis has informed CHILDLINE authorities to file an immediate proposal to the government seeking approval for a separate rehabilitation centre for the girls below the age of 18, said Jomon MC, centre coordinator of CHILDLINE Thrissur.

Jomon said that they have given request to both the corporation and collector regarding the need of a separate shelter for girls. He visited the girls in Mahila Mandiram and took statements from them. Jomon said that the condition is very pathetic at Mahila Mandiram and an urgent solution is needed. He added that the government should be more responsible in handling the cases of children and should give more priority for the well functioning of juvenile homes in the state. CHILDLINE would have a discussion with the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) also.

The district, where many child labour cases are filed, lacks a separate rehabilitation home for girls. The girls below the age of 18 are sent to the Mahila Mandiram after CWC sitting. Mahila Mandiram is meant for widows, divorced and destitute women above 18 years, who have nobody to look after. Those women approaching the institution with their children are also allowed to stay there till their children attain six years. The little girls are sent to stay with the elders and it creates problems between them. Lack of proper caretakers is also a problem. Most of the girls come to the Mahila Mandiram are from other states and are caught in child labour cases.

In September, City Journal had reported the ill treatment to the inmates. No change in the situations so far. The girls from other states are forced to work and they get least attention from the authorities. They are not allowed to take bath daily. Bath soaps are not distributed to all. The capacity of the Mahila Mandiram is 25. Now nearly 30 inmates live in three bed rooms in an overcrowded condition. This also calls for the need of a separate home.

It is also alleged that the authorities delay the release of some inmates even if their parents or guardians come with certificates to take charge of them. This paper’s sources inside the Mahila Mandiram admit the above said problems faced by the girls.

The institutions like Mahila Mandirams are meant to provide social security and welfare to the economically and socially weaker sections, mainly children and women. Human rights violations inside these homes should be strictly controlled by the government.

The 12 Mahila Mandirams in the state come under the social welfare department of the government. The department allocates funds for them. There are a superintendent, a warden and a peon at each home. Warden stays with the inmates. The ill treatment to the inmates is seen despite sufficient funds are allocated for them by the Social Welfare Department.

District social welfare officer Vasantha Kumari told City Journal she would file the proposal for the separate home for the girls after a discussion with the CWC. She said that she held discussion with both the inmates and the superintendent. Both of them have agreed to behave nicely to each other. A transfer is expected soon for the temporary superintendent and a permanent superintendent will take charge, she added.

CWC chairman CO George told City Journal that he would hold discussions with the social welfare officer and CHILDLINE. Further decisions will be taken after that.

FIR stays, HC fines Italian marines Rs2lakh

May 30, 2012

By Rohit Raj

Italian marines Salvatore Girone and Lattore Massimillano (DC-File Pic)

Cracking the whip on the Italian marines for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast, the Kerala high court on Tuesday dismissed Italy’s petition seeking to quash the FIR registered against its marines in connection with the murder case.

Justice P.S. Gopinathan also slapped a fine of Rs 2 lakh on the marines and asked Italy to pay the money for wasting the court’s valuable time. The court held that the state government has penal jurisdiction to try the accused marines in the firing case.

The court criticised the acts of the victims’ family members, who agreed for an out-of court monetary compensation from Italians, and said that by doing so, they wasted the valuable time of the court.

The court imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 each on the families of the two deceased fishermen for this unacceptable action.

The court found that the petitioners, chief master sergeant Massimiliano Lattore and sergeant Salvatore Girone, gunned down the two unarmed fishermen in a brutal manner without any provocation. “So, the FIR cannot be quashed, and the marines are liable to be prosecuted.”

“The incident occurred in the territorial waters of India within India’s Exclusive Economic Zone or Contiguous Zone (EEZ/CZ), making the Indian penal laws applicable,” the court held.

The court relied on the notification issued by the Union ministry of home affairs on August 1981, as per which the incident can be registered under provisions of the IPC and Criminal Procedure Code.

“The Republic of Italy has come to this court without any bona fides. No investigation was initiated by Italy to prosecute the marines. There has not been any attempt to know the truth and to get any statement from the captain of the vessel,” the court observed. The court also clarified that Enrica Lexie from which the shooting took place was a private ship. “So, sovereignty of the nation cannot be claimed.”

HC stays CIC order to make public Prez donations

Last Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 22:20

Tags: CICPresidentdonations

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday stayed a Central Information Commission order to make public the donations made by the Presidents of India on humanitarian grounds between 2004 and 2011.

While staying the CIC’s May 4 order, Justice Vipin Sanghi, however, observed that “the President is not above the law” and the public has the right to know about the donation made by the president out of tax payers’ money.

The court stayed the CIC order, while reserving its own order on the President secretariat’s plea against the CIC order.

The court made critical remarks as Additional Solicitor General A S Chandhiok, appearing for the President secretariat, sought to oppose the CIC order and said that many of the donations are made to people seeking financial help for medical treatment and disclosure of such informations would infringe their privacy.

“If somebody goes with begging bowl, which kind of privacy he wants to maintain? How much money has rolled out and where the money has gone?” Justice Sanghi said.

As ASJ argued that the Right to Information Act is not meant to entertain such applications for disclosure of donations from Constitutional authorities, the court said, “We are not a monarchy but a republic.” “The President of India is not above the law,” it added.

ASJ sought to argue that some constitutional authorities like the Prime Minister, have discretionary power to make donations, which he makes from the PM’s National Relief fund.

At this, Justice Sanghi said if the donations given by the President is from tax payers’ money, the general public certainly has the right to know.

The court made the remarks during hearing of a plea by the President secretariat, challenging the CIC’s order, which has asked the First Citizen’s office to disclose the names of receivers of donation, their address and the amount given.

The CIC had asked the Rashtrapati Bhawan to give these information to applicant Nitesh Kumar Tipathi within 15 days, besides uploading the information on the official website of the President’s secretariat. The court, however, stayed the CIC order, while also reserving its own order on the President secretariat’s plea against the CIC order.


Moily irked by growing demands for selective exclusion from CCI scrutiny

K. R. Srivats

New Delhi, May 29:

The Corporate Affairs Minister, Mr Veerappa Moily, is miffed over the growing calls from industries to be exempted selectively from the scope of the competition law.

After the banking regulator Reserve Bank of India made a pitch for exempting bank mergers from the ambit of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), there have been demands from other sectors, especially those like telecom which have their own regulators.

Insurance and shipping players are also reportedly lobbying through their ministries to be exempted from CCI scrutiny.

Exempting bank mergers from the ambit of competition law is still not a reality as the concerned amendment is yet to be approved by Parliament.

There must be a competition culture in the country, Mr Moily said at an Assocham event here. If this trend of various ministries seeking carve-outs were to continue, then there won’t be any need for a competition commission, he rued.

Later, Mr Moily told reporters that the proposed Competition (amendment) Bill has now been referred to a Group of Ministers headed by the Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee.

On Companies Bill 2011, the Minister said that the Standing Committee on Finance had firmed up itsviews, but the report is not ready as yet.

CCI approves RIL stake purchase in Network18 group

PTI May 29, 2012, 09.38PM IST

NEW DELHI: Competition watchdog CCI has given approval to Reliance Industries’ proposal to acquire stake in media entities Network18 and TV18 Broadcast.

RIL, through a newly-created vehicle Independent Media Trust, is infusing funds through optionally convertible debentures into Network18 Media and Investments Ltd (NMIL), the group’s holding company, and TV18 Broadcast Ltd.

“Considering the facts on records … the Commission is of the opinion that the proposed combination is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and, therefore, the Commission hereby approves the proposed combination,” CCI said in a notification.

The commission noted that the business of supply of TV channels in India is featured by the presence of significant number of broadcasters operating across various genres targeting national and regional audience/viewership.

“It is apparent that the new television channels can be started with ease in India with sufficient scope for innovation and competition, both in terms of technology and content,” it said in the order.

In January, Reliance Industries and Network 18 group had joined hands for a multi-layered deal, under which the Mukesh Ambani-led corporate giant would sell a part of its interest in Eenadu TV channels and would also fund promoters of the media group.

At the same time, RIL group through an independent trust would provide funding to promoters of Raghav Bahl-led Network 18 group for acquiring shares in their two companies — Network 18 and TV18 — through their respective rights issues.

In all, Network 18 and TV18 would raise about Rs 4,000 crore including Rs 1,700 crore contribution of the promoters.

As per the deal, RIL, which is setting up a pan-Indian broadband network, would also get access to content and distribution assets of the electronic media group.

The deal also involves RIL’s broadband subsidiary Infotel entering into an MoU with TV18 and Network18 Media and Investments (Network18) for preferential access to all their content for distribution through the 4G Broadband Network being set up by it.

Infotel is setting up a pan-Indian world class 4th Generation Broadband Network and aims to take a leadership position in content distribution through broadband technology through a host of devices.

Review plea in Supreme Court on army chief selection

By Mail Today Reporter

PUBLISHED: 23:09 GMT, 29 May 2012 | UPDATED: 23:09 GMT, 29 May 2012

Former navy chief Admiral L. Ramdas and some others have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court against its April 23 order virtually clearing Lt-Gen Bikram Singh’s selection as the next army chief.

The petitioners contended that their plea was dismissed after the government’s law officers made an erroneous statement with regard to Singh’s assignment in the United Nations.

The petitioners had questioned Lt-Gen Singh’s selection on the ground that he was facing fake encounter charges and an inquiry for failing to rein in erring officers deputed under him in a UN mission.

The petitioners said the law officers had submitted that Singh was ‘only an international civil servant and had no operational responsibilities’.

The defence ministry had sought a clarification in this regard from the army on April 13, they said.

A reply spelling out the role of division commander and deputy force commander as ‘purely military in nature’ came on April 24.

MCD babus fined for RTI info delay

The chief information commission (CIC) has fined two MCD officials Rs 25,000 each in two separate cases for delay in supplying information to an RTI activist.

The CIC levied the penalty under the RTI Act that will now be deducted from the salaries of the two MCD employees, I.U. Khan and Manoj Kumar Nijhawan, both information officers with the municipal body.

RTI activist Harish Kumar had filed two separate appeals, seeking information about his RTI filed before the MCD on the sealed DCM factory complex at Bara Hindu Rao.

LEGAL NEWS 29.05.2012

NHRC concerned over crime against women in Assam–NHRC-concerned-over-crime-against-women-in-Assam-.html

Assam,Immigration/Law/Rights, Tue, 29 May 2012 IANS

Guwahati, May 29 (IANS) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday expressed concern over the rise in crimes against women in Assam but described the situation as better on the issue of rights violations.

“The data available with the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) shows that Assam is ranked second in the country in the category of crime against women. Most of the cases are related to kidnapping, rape and cases of domestic violence under section 498 (A) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC),” said NHRC chairman Justice K.G. Balakrishnan.

The NHRC described the situation in the state better on the issue of human rights in comparison to other states in the country.

Expressing concern over spurt in crime against women, he said: “Increasing cases of domestic violence indicates that women in Assam are becoming more aware about their rights, the high number of cases of kidnappings and rape are of concern.”

The Commission held a two-day camp sitting at the North Eastern Development Finance Corporation Limited House in Guwahati since Monday and heard about 50 cases, which were pending.

To contain the increasing number of crime against women, the NHRC Chairman, observed that the state government should concentrate on addressing social issues like the health.

NHRC member Satyabrata Pal mentioned that the women in this part of the country enjoy special status as there is no dowry system and no purdah (veil) system exists in this part of the country.

The NHRC member, however, pointed out that Assam is not doing well as far as the IMR (Infant Mortality Rate) and MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate) are concerned.

“There is no reason for high IMR and MMR in Assam but it is high in Assam,” he said and added that the government should intervene to contain the high IMR and MMR here.

The Commission also said that the cases it took up mainly related to bonded labour, prison reforms and crime against women etc.






Shankar Bidari gets HC jolt; Karnataka govt gets a slap in the face

Published: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 10:49 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Shankar Mahadev Bidari’s wish to retire as the state police chief has been shattered.

The high court on Monday —after going through the National Human Rights Commission Report (NHRC) and the Sadashiva Panel Report— dismissed his plea to reconsider its earlier order, which had quashed his appointment as the Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG and IGP).

The division bench— headed by Justice N Kumar—dismissed Bidari’s plea while making extensive references to the Sadashiva Panel Report. The Sadashiva Panel Report had documented several atrocities committed against tribal people and women when Bidari was the head of the Special Task Force (STF), constituted to capture the forest brigand Veerappan.

The division bench said that the panel report and the orders passed by the NHRC— which upheld the findings of the report and recommended payment of compensation —constituted as relevant data, which should have been placed before the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) by the state government while appointing a new DG&IGP. But, the bench noted, only a one-sided version of Bidari’s record was sent to the UPSC.

The division bench further observed that an institution is more important than an individual. While empanelling names for the post, Bidari’s experience and style of functioning – when he was heading a small force like the special task force – is very much relevant.

Since the panel report and the NHRC orders were withheld from the UPSC, the empanelment of Bidari by the UPSC was vitiated and, consequently, the order of appointing Bidari as the DG and IGP of the state was also vitiated, the bench observed.

The division bench held that there was a specific reference to Bidari in the panel report, which is in the nature of adverse comment, with respect to his functioning as a commandant of the task force.

The findings of panel said that the allegation of rape of one Lakshmi – committed by the STF – has been proved.

There are references in the panel report indicting that some witnesses had been subjected to torture, including the outraging of modesty by the STF. Similarly, Erammal one of the witnesses, had suffered indignity at the hands of the STF.

The division bench said this meant that the STF commanded by Bidari had committed excesses as set out in the report. The division bench further observed that the apex court’s direction for appointment to the post is not just confined to a candidate who has very good service record.






J &K high court dismisses petition against DGP Kuldeep Khoda

PTI | May 29, 2012, 01.09PM IST

SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir high court today dismissed a writ petition against DGP Kuldeep Khoda seeking registration of a case against the senior police official for his alleged role in a triple murder case in Bhaderwah.

Justice Virender Singh announced the order dismissing the petition filed by two widows — Nazira Begum and Shaheena Begum, wives of victims Fazal Hussain Dar and Mohammad Hussain — at the Jammu wing of the high court, advocate general Ishaq Qadri told PTI.

Qadri had closed the arguments on behalf of the state last Friday after the petitioners’ counsel had cited a crime branch report and called for a CBI investigation.

The case was heard and disposed by Justice Hasnain Masoodi while Justice Virender Singh announced the judgement.

According to the petition, four people– Fazal Hussain Dar, Mohammad Hussian, Fareed Ahmad and Talib Hussain– were allegedly picked up by men in a police vehicle on January 3, 1996.

While the bodies of three arrested persons were thrown into river Chenab in Jammu division’s Bhaderwah district later, one of them Talib Hussain managed to escape from the clutches of men who abducted them and later shared the tale, the petition said.

A case was filed with the police after investigations directed by the chief judicial magistrate’s court, Bhaderwah. The victims’ families, however, not satisfied with the investigation approached the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). It directed the police’s crime branch to investigate the case.

Khoda, a 1974-batch IPS officer, retires on May 31 after a tenure of four years and 10 months as DGP. His name is believed to have been recommended by the state government for the post of state’s first chief vigilance commissioner.






NHRC move for starvation victims in Assam

Press Trust of India / Guwahati May 28, 2012, 20:55


Taking note of starvation deaths of tea garden workers in Barak Valley of Assam, the National Human Rights of Commission today asked the state government to pay Rs 17 lakh to 15 persons.

“In matters relating to starvation deaths in Cachar district, the Commission has asked the state government to pay Rs two lakh each to two poor and malnourished tea garden workers and Re one lakh each to about 13 dependents of the workers who had died due to starvation”, an NHRC team said in an order here.

“The Commission has also directed the state government to inquire whether the Tea Association of India was distributing food grains properly among the workers”, the order said.






3-member tribunal to probe land grab in Punjab: HC

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 28, 2012In a bid to end illegal ownership of government land by private parties, including politicians, bureaucrats, police and revenue officials across Punjab, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Tuesday ordered setting up of a three-member tribunal headed by former Supreme Court judge Kuldeep Singh.


A division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh asked the tribunal to submit its report within four months period. In case the probe panel required more time to probe the land grab cases, it would have to revert to the high court for extension of the deadline. 

The tribunal would inquire whether the land acquired by various persons was at any point of time public/shamlat/forest/nazul and as to how the ownership of land was changed or mutated in the names of private parties.

It was made clear that the tribunal’s function would be with regard to the investigation of the possession of land and legal issues would be debated before the high court.

The bench also directed the Punjab government to ensure compliance of the court’s directions and to provide office space for the tribunal along with secretarial staff within two weeks.

Advocate PN Aggarwal, expert in revenue matters, has already given his consent to be a member of the tribunal. However, during the arguments on Tuesday, the bench on the suggestion of counsels for various parties for considering the name of retired Haryana district judge Baru Nath Gupta, who is well-conversant with Punjabi language, directed to seek Gupta’s consent. In case of Gupta’s reluctance, the high court directed the counsels to suggest other names.

Showing little conviction in Punjab advocate general Ashok Aggarwal’s arguments that vehemently opposed the constitution of the tribunal, the bench said, “If such cases are to be decided by statutory authority working under influential persons, it would not be decided in common man’s interest. Therefore, there is ample justification for appointment of a tribunal by this bench.”

The bench also reiterated that despite passage of long time after submission of inquiry report by now retired Punjab additional director general of police Chander Shekhar, no steps had been taken by the state to adopt it and to take any action.

It further stated that as per the affidavit submitted by the Punjab chief secretary, about 60 influential persons have been given clean chit by the state government, including chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, director general of police Sumedh Singh Saini, other ministers, IAS and IPS officers with which it was not satisfied.

“We were compelled to proceed with the idea of setting up a tribunal and requested senior advocates ML Sareen and Arun Jain to finalise the terms of reference,” the bench stated.






We don’t appreciate the act of Poonam Pandey: NCW

Shiv Prakash

28 May, 2012

National Commission for Women (NCW) has criticized model Poonam Pandey for her bare all act on the..

NCW’s CHAIRPERSON Mamta Sharma, while speaking to this Citizen Journalist , said that Poonam Pandey could have expressed her happiness over the victory of Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 5 season in many other ways.

“We don’t appreciate the act of Poonam Pandey. Being an Indian lady she should not have done this. There are many other ways to express happiness,” said Mamta Sharma, Chairperson, NCW.

Notably, the 21-year-old model had said that she will pose nude if Shahrukh Khan’s team won the Indian Premier League. She fullfilled her promise by posting her nude picture on the micro-blogging site Twitter with a caption: “Here is a pic as I promised”.

Going further, she had also warned that those who are under 18 should not see this picture.

Read more at:






Bhopal tragedy: Supreme Court slams Centre for ‘failure’ to dispose waste


NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today pulled up the Centre for not being serious on disposal of toxic waste lying in the defunct Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL) plant, now represented by DOW Chemical Company, in Bhopal for the last 28 years and asked it to take a final decision on it soon.

“You are not sure even after 28 years. It is because people affected and living in Bhopal are poor. It is a failure on your part to deal with this,” a bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya said, adding that “there is lack of seriousness in handling this problem”.

It asked the Centre to place before it the decision taken by the Group of Minister (GoM) on the issue by the end of June.

The toxic waste has been lying in the UCIL plant since the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster that left over 15,000 people dead and thousands maimed.

Expressing reservation in interfering in government decision, the bench said it “never wants and should never want to run the government”, but it has to keep in mind public interest.

The court on May 11 had put on hold its order directing disposal of toxic waste lying in the plant at the Pithampur waste treatment storage and disposal facility (TSDF) in Madhya Pradesh’s Dhar district.

It had deferred the implementation of its April 4 order in the wake of various issues raised by Madhya Pradesh government and some NGOs about the “possible fall-out of the trial run” for the disposal of UCIL wastes and the fact that the “GoM considering the issue is yet to take a final decision”.

When the matter was taken up today, the government, however, said that it will soon decide on the issue and the GoM will be meeting on June 8 to take a decision on it.

“In Pithampur, people are bound to protest. They are entitled to protest. You have not taken any decision. Even this affidavit of yours is so vague and you always say that you are hopeful,” the bench said and said that people affected by the toxic waste can approach court for compensation.





Ajai Shukla: Thank God that’s over…

Ajai Shukla / May 29, 2012, 00:26 IST


On April Fools’ Day 2010, while taking over as Chief of Army Staff, General V K Singh identified his foremost goal as restoring the army’s “internal health”. On Thursday, in what surely will be a frosty ceremony, he will hand over to his successor, General Bikram Singh, an army whose generals are badly divided. Not even in the 1950s and 1960s, when the ambitious Lieutenant General B M Kaul exploited his proximity to Jawaharlal Nehru to split the officer community into pro-Kaul and anti-Kaul factions, did India witness the sorry spectacle of an army chief publicly denigrating his top commanders.

Where did V K Singh go wrong? Many argued (including this columnist) that the army chief was within his rights to take his government to the Supreme Court. This after the defence ministry rejected his petition to adjust his date of birth, and thereby allow him another 10 months in office. But once the Supreme Court judges rubbished his case in court, forcing him to withdraw his petition, V K Singh faced the prospect of an anonymous retirement just four months away. His desperate riposte was ill-judged from the start. Soon after his setback in the Supreme Court, a group of illustrious citizens, including a retired navy chief, Admiral Ramdas, filed a writ petition in the Supreme Court that rested on the communal narrative of a Sikh conspiracy to get General Bikram Singh into office. While the petitioners cannot be conclusively linked with V K Singh, the evidence suggests that they were at least manipulated by him. On February 10, the day V K Singh withdrew from the Supreme Court, the general’s henchmen approached me with a detailed briefing on “Operation Moses”. Reduced to its cringe-worthy essentials, this had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his wife; Planning Commission Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia and his wife; former army chief General J J Singh and his wife; and the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (every Sikh down the chain, you get the drift?) in cahoots to get V K Singh out of office on May 31, 2012, when Bikram Singh would be poised to take over from him. I declined to pursue these improbable and slanderous allegations. Regrettably, Admiral Ramdas & Co approached the Supreme Court, challenging Bikram Singh’s appointment.

Perhaps this communalism should not have been a surprise. After all, the Rajput card was played without compunction whilst V K Singh was fighting his date of birth battle. A group of Rajput parliamentarians was dispatched to the prime minister to plead on his behalf. When a proxy was needed to file a Supreme Court writ petition on the general’s date of birth, the “Rohtak Grenadiers’ Association”, packed with the general’s fellow-Rajputs, was conveniently at hand.

Sadly for V K Singh, nothing worked. The PM politely reminded the Rajput MPs that the army must remain apolitical. The Supreme Court, less politely, dismissed the Rohtak Grenadiers’ Association writ petition. And the apex court, while throwing out the “Operation Moses” writ petition in end-April, scolded the petitioners for communalising the issue.

With avenues closing fast, V K Singh apparently decided to use his office to launch himself into politics. By end-March, he had donned the garb of an anti-corruption crusader. First an earlier interview was dusted out in which he described turning down a Rs 14 crore bribe by one of his senior generals; that was followed in short order by the leak of his letter (still a whodunit!) to the PM warning about the army’s poor state of operational readiness. The insinuation was clear: with corruption below him and indifference above, V K Singh alone was a bastion of morality. Last month, in an unabashedly political move, the chief travelled to Ballia for a Samajwadi Party function to unveil a statue of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar.

Last Friday, the outgoing chief proved that he had lost any lingering trace of judgement. Sharing a platform with R K Anand – a disreputable lawyer who the Supreme Court convicted for contempt of court after an NDTV camera caught him buying off a key witness in the notorious BMW kill-and-run case – V K Singh launched a public tirade against one of his corps commanders, Lt General Dalbir Singh Suhag, ironically accusing him of making public a show-cause notice issued to him. Suhag was apparently being targeted as the army chief who would take over from Bikram Singh. Earlier that day, V K Singh had attended an ex-servicemen’s rally in Dharamsala, where he sat listening as former Congressman Vijay Singh Mankotia flayed the government.

Fortunately, it is time to turn the page. It would be a mistake to believe (as Pakistan’s generals are prone to do) that the Indian Army will remain deflated for long. The young and mid-ranking officers, and the rank and file, remain untouched by V K Singh’s shenanigans. Bikram Singh has his task cut out for him: to apply a healing touch and to visibly and conclusively bury the vendettas that V K Singh pursued. The corrosiveness of the outgoing chief will itself make his successor look good. Above all, Bikram Singh must embrace the virtues of silence. An army chief expresses himself with tanks and guns, not in lengthy interviews on news television.





Uncertainty haunts BHEL employees in Bangalore

Published: Monday, May 28, 2012, 14:18 IST
By Y Maheswara Reddy | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

Around 450 employees of the Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) are in a bind as they are not sure if they can live in the houses built at sites allotted to them by BHEL House Building Cooperative Society (RHBCS) near Pattanagere in 1992.

RHBCS formed the layout after acquiring 58 acres and 37 guntas of land from farmers in Pattanagere and nearby areas. The society paid compensation to the farmers when it acquired the land. However, the high court passed an order quashing the land acquisition process. Later, the Supreme Court also directed RHBCS to hand over the land to farmers but RHBCS members filed a writ petition and got permission from the apex court to appeal to the HC again. In its judgment, the HC asked not to evict the residents from the layout.

The BBMP allowed BHEL employees to build houses at the layout and has been collecting property tax from them for many years. The Bangalore Electricity Supply Company (Bescom) provided electricity to all houses. “Farmers did not create any problem till a few years ago. They even encouraged us to construct houses at the layout. But the entry of realtors made it worse for us,’’ said MS Balaraju, president, BHEL Layout Residents Welfare Association.

Recently, the BBMP cancelled the katha certificates that it had issued earlier, putting the residents, who spent their lifetime savings to build houses, in a tight spot. Muddu Mohan, joint commissioner with BBMP’s Raja Rajeswarinagar division, in a report dated August 17, 2007, stated that there were 715 sites and 341 houses in the layout and that the residents had been staying in those houses for more than 10 years. Mohan also stated that the layout was not qualified to be considered as agricultural land. “The residents are facing a lot of problems from the land mafia,’’ said Sidda Hanumappa, a resident.

RHBCS allotted 30×40 sq ft sites for Rs32,000 each and 60×40 sq ft sites for Rs64,000 each to its members in 1992. Now, a 30×40 sq ft site commands more than Rs30 lakh. Encouraged by this steep rise in realty prices, the land mafia has lured a few farmers, who had already received compensation when RHBCS acquired the land, to sell their land to them. “We are planning to submit a memorandum to the chief secretary, requesting him to help us,’’ said Balaraju.

Surprisingly, Vimala Gowda, deputy chairperson, Legislative Council, wrote a letter on October 4, 2011, advising the BBMP commissioner to cancel the katha certificates issued by the BBMP. Vimala claimed that one Mirle Varadaraju of Kengeri Satellite Town had submitted an application to her demanding the cancellation of kathas issued to the residents by RHBCS. “It is disgusting to know the deputy chairperson is supporting a land developer instead of hundreds of BHEL employees who bought sites with their hard-earned money. I am not able to understand the connection between Vimala and Varadaraju,’’ said a resident on condition of anonymity.





Top judge ‘pained’ by road rage case

New Delhi, May 28 2012, PTI:

In wake of recent attack on three trial court judges here, Delhi’s Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri has expressed anguish over the incident and has assured all judicial officers of their personal safety and a fearless environment to dispense justice.

“I am pained to know about the recent incidents of attack on judicial officers. Some of them have been reported in the press and few others have gone unreported,” Justice Sikri said in a letter to the district court judges.

Empathising with the judges who had been attacked, Justice Sikri said, “Without referring to any particular incident and without going into the reasons or provocations, if any, caused by any person or circumstance, I must convey my empathy to all judicial officers who have suffered the attack.”

He said as “the head of judicial family in Delhi” and the supervising and controlling authority “I am very much concerned about the safety and security of the judicial officers.”Justice Sikri, in his letter, also added that he has taken a strict view of the incident on judicial officers.

“I and my colleague judges have taken a very serious view of these incidents. A judicial officer requires a fearless and independent mind to do justice and any apprehension in his/her mind about his/her safety would certainly hamper his/her capabilities to judge fearlessly and impartially,” he said.

Justice Sikri said, “I know that our judicial officers have been performing their judicial duties to the best of their abilities. In the backdrop of these incidents of attack on judicial officers, I would request all officers not to lose heart.”

Assuring them of steps to prevent recurrence of such incidents, he said, “I have discussed the matter with my colleagues and I assure all of you that appropriate steps would be taken at the earliest to prevent such incidents in future.

“The matter has already been taken up with concerned government/police department to provide adequate security to all judicial officers. Action on some concrete measures suggested during the meeting is already underway.”

“We judges are required to do justice without fear, favour or ill will. Let that spirit continue to prevail,” the letter read.

On May 18, Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Garg and two additional sessions judges Inderjit Singh and M K Nagpal were attacked on their way back from court.

While the MM suffered head injuries, the ASJs escaped unhurt. Four persons had been arrested and charged with attempt to murder in connection with the incident.






Jagan Mohan Reddy sent to jail as special prisoner

TNN | May 29, 2012, 01.49AM IST

HYDERABAD: Jaganmohan Reddy took bribes totalling Rs 1,172 crore from various investors and influenced his father and chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy to dole out favours to them in the form of land allotments and leases, the CBI charged while seeking his custody in the trial court on Monday. CBI’s counsel also argued that Jagan had taken recourse to huge hawala transactions.

However, principal special judge A Pullaiah dismissed the CBI’s custody petition and refused to recognize the arrest of Jagan made by the investigationg agency on Sunday. The judge then remanded Jagan to 14-days judicial custody till June 11 as the consequence of the summons served by the court on the accused. He was sent to Chanchalguda Jail after being accorded special prisoner status. Jagan is slated to challenge his remand in the AP high court on Tuesday even as the CBI too will appeal against the denial of his custody.

Hetero Group, Aurobindo Pharma, Penna Group, Dalmia Cements, India Cements, Ramky Group, Vanpic project to Nimmagadda Prasad were named as some of the companies who dealt with Jagan, the CBI said.

“Investigations revealed that Jagan in conspiracy with his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy (also an accused) channeled more than Rs 100 crore of ill-gotten money through various paper/suitcase companies based in Kolkata and Mumbai into Jagati Publications which had no business of its own. Just for routing the said ill-gotten money, the said suitcase companies were used,” the CBI said in its remand report.

Appearing for the CBI, special counsel Ashok Bhan told the court that Jagan could no longer project himself as a victim of circumstances to gain political mileage. “He had robbed the assets of the state that would have been otherwise used for the welfare of the poor. It is called the public private partnership (PPP) model but Jagan had reduced it to private, public and public servants connivance model. Jagan cannot evade the majesty of law,” the CBI counsel said. Jagan, who was present in the court, argued his case on his own for a while with the permission of the court and described the whole case as a political vendetta. “Sakshi newspaper is the eighth biggest newspaper in the country and it makes business sense to invest in the paper. Why is it being made out to be a crime to invest in my paper.

When a rival daily Eenadu valued itself at Rs 6,000 crore, nobody faulted it and when my paper was valued at half of that cost, it is being shown as a scam. When Eenadu sold its shares at Rs 5.25 lakh per share and got Rs 2,500 crore as investment it was not seen as a scam. But when Sakshi sells its share at Rs 350 per share, it is being shown as a scam. Since the bypolls are slated to take place, attempts are being made through the CBI to keep me away from the people,” Jagan told the court.

India’s richest MP is now qaidi no. 6093

He wasn’t on his Odarpu Yatra but Jagan still behaved like he was among people when he entered the Central Prison, Chanchalguda . Cheerful and smiling, Jagan folded his hands greeting the huge contingent of cops and mediapersons at jail. After prison officials checked the identification marks on his body and numbered him qaidi no. 6093, Jagan, who is said to be the country’s richest MP with Rs 356 crore assets, was led away into the old hospital block. Prison sources say Jagan was allotted a special room. The room measures 10 ft x 10 ft and has an attached toilet. He has been provided with a cot and a mattress, as per the jail manual.

A TV set is also there, but only DD channels can be accessed. Being a special prisoner, Jagan doesn’t have to stick to any schedule. At the separate kitchen for special prisoners, Jagan can get his choice of food cooked. “If he wants, he can get 115 gm of non-vegetarian stuff every day,” an officer said.

Lukewarm response to bandh

The state-wide bandh call given by the YSR Congress had little impact on the twin cities with most shops, offices and various other commercial establishments staying open. Offices across the city, including IT firms in Hi-Tec City, recorded almost normal attendance although some reported that employees’ turnout on Monday was thinner than usual.

While there was partial response to bandh in coastal Andhra, it had no impact in the Telangana region.






Thane civic body slaps demolition notices on 171 party offices;slaps-demolition-notices-on-171-party-offices/955095/0

Sharvari Patwa : Tue May 29 2012, 03:25 hrs

The Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) has sent demolition notices to occupants of 171 political party offices in Mumbai’s satellite city. Following a High Court order this month, the municipal authorities found through a primary survey that these 171 offices were illegal or unauthorised constructions.

Thane Municipal Commissioner R A Rajeev said, “Notices have been served to all political party offices found to be unauthorised. The due process of law will be followed now.” He said the parties had been given 15 days to prove the legality of the structures.

As many as 93 of them are Shiv Sena offices. Mayor and Shiv Sena corporator from Thane H S Patil said, “These party offices have been there for 30-40 years and they cannot be termed illegal. We have all gone to court and a stay has been ordered. The civic administation has been told not to take action until July. These are not commercial premises but political party offices conducting public work.” TMC officials, however, clarified that only a handful of offices served notices had procured a court stay on proceedings.

There were 22 Congress offices situated on illegal premises, said Prakash Borse, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (encroachments), TMC. “We have issued preliminary notices to these 171 offices. The parties concerned have been asked why their offices should not be demolished. After proper scrutiny, we will carry out the demolition activity,” said Borse.

The action against these party offices was undertaken after a local group in Thane, the Harit Vasai Samiti, filed a PIL against illegal party offices in the city. The HC has now sought an affidavit from TMC.

Senior Congress corporator and leader of Opposition Manoj Shinde said, “These offices should be considered as places of service for the poor. While some offices identified by the civic administration might be unauthorised structures, most of them are legal. These structures are in slums built before 1995 and come under authorised structures. We have decided to approach the High Court and ask for relaxation to be given to political party offices as they are set up for a larger public good.”






Shift taverns from government land in 30 days’

TNN | May 29, 2012, 04.38AM IST

CHANDIGARH: Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday directed to shift all liquor vends and taverns running from pre-fabricated structures at roadside one government land within 30 days. While issuing directions, a division bench, comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh, also made it clear that if the authorities and concerned parties to failed to shift liquor vends and tavern within a period of 30 days, all such vends would be closed down by June 28.

Bench has also asked the UT administration to inform the court about the compliance of these orders on or before July 2. Pronouncing the orders, bench observed, “In the considered view of this court, for the pre-fabricated structure licence-holder should have in his possession open space in the sector or area of licence either as owner or lessee or licensee.”

Bench also held that it failed to find out any provision in the excise policy which provides that pre-fabricated structures for liquor vends and tavern should only be in a government land near the roundabouts and red lights rather it only specifies the sector number and area.

Directions were passed by the HC in the wake of public interest litigation (PIL) filed by some city residents against the grant of liquor licence in “pre-fabricated temporary structure” in various parts of city.

Petitioners had sought directions to the administration and MC authorities to discontinue with the grant of liquor licence in “pre-fabricated temporary structure” alleging that it is not only illegal, but have also become frequent source of traffic hazards, parking woes, drunken brawls, accidents, crimes and have also become a routine/regular source of public nuisance.






15-yr-old Organ Transplant Act fails to serve purpose

JK without eye banking facility


JAMMU, MAY 28: After the lapse of more than 15 years since the enactment of Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, Jammu and Kashmir continue to lack the facility of an eye-bank, shattering the hopes of physically challenged populace of state to see the world.
Official sources claimed that despite large number of number of physically impaired people, the state government has not been able to fulfill the obligations under the Jammu and Kashmir Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1997, which provides mechanism for the transplantation of human organs and their preservation in a proper and effective ways.
“There is a statutory obligation on the state or appropriate authority within the meaning of section 13 of this Act to establish the required numbers of eye banks with all the requisite modern facilities, but state government has so far failed to do so, even after more than 15 years Act”, sources maintained.
They further said that Jammu and Kashmir has around 1.6 Lakh corneal blind people, out of 15 millions blind people registered in entire country. “The corneal blind people can get sight only after corneal eye transplantation and an eye bank is an organization recognized by the government to collect, store and distribute human eye to those requiring corneal transplantation.” they said, adding that most of the other states across India have eye bank facilities, but J&K government has so far failed to do so.
The nearest eye bank facility, a doctor said, is available for J&K residents at PGI Chandigarh, which too is of no avail to the people of state, “According to the medical science and standards of eye banking, cornea/eye should be removed as soon as possible after death and, in any event, within six hours of the demise of the donor”, the doctor, preferring not to be named said. He added that the outstation eye banks would not serve the purpose of any prospective donor residing in the state.
The non-availability of the eye bank facility has been denying even the prospective donor of the opportunity to donate his eyes, and a blind man to see the world and live a dignified and a happy life.
A social activist and lawyer Rinku Sharma had recently filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in State High Court seeking direction to the state government to establish the banks.






Only registered agencies can provide domestic helps: Govt

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon May 28 2012, 21:52 hrs


The city government’s draft bill on placement agencies, which was today submitted to the Delhi High Court, provides that unregistered agencies will not be allowed to provide domestic helps here.

“No person or private placement agencies shall carry on or commence the business of private placement agency, unless he (/it) holds a license issued under this Act,” said one of the provisions of the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2012.

The copy of the draft bill, likely to be tabled in the next assembly session, was submitted to a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri which was hearing a PIL of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA).

The NGO was seeking a direction for formulation and implementation of a “strong policy” to prevent trafficking of girl and child workers by unregistered and unregulated placement agencies.

The draft bill also provides for the appointment of a controlling authority, which would oversee the registration and subsequent functioning of the placement agencies. The authority would also be armed with the power to cancel licenses of an errant agency if it violates the Act.

“Every private placement agency shall maintain a register containing (a) the names and addresses of the persons managing the private placement agency, (b) the names and addresses of the persons to whom it had provided the domestic workers, © the names and addresses of the domestic workers deployed by it and (d) such other particulars as may be prescribed,” the Act said.

The placement agency will have to issue a photo identity card to a domestic help, employed through it, the draft law said.

The law also provides that the placement agencies would issue a pass book to every domestic help employed through them.

The agencies will have to keep a record of the place and the name of the employer of the domestic help, it said, adding that the details of the “next kin of such a worker” would also be required to be maintained.

“No placement agency shall charge any fee, by whatsoever name called, from any domestic worker,” it said.





Andhra high court rejects sub quota for minorities

TNN | May 28, 2012, 05.55PM IST

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh high court on Monday rejected Centre’s move to create a sub quota for minorities, saying that there was no rationale in creating a religion-based quota.

Hearing a PIL filed against the Centre’s move, the high court observed that the sub quota was not required.

The Centre had moved to provide a 4.5% sub quota to Muslims within the OBCs quota of 27%.

Following a petition by OBC leader R Krishnaiah, who challenged the Centre’s decision, the bench headed by Chief Justice Madan B Lokur had earlier heard the case at length and reserved its judgment.

Meanwhile, the BJP has welcomed the high court’s decision and described the Centre’s move as ‘unconstitutional’.






SEBI’s amended consent rules still has many gaping holes

May 28, 2012 06:06 PM |
Virendra K Jain

Top of Form

The rapid developments with regard to the “Consent Order” mechanism to settle regulatory action initiated by the Securities & Exchange Board of India are rather intriguing

On Friday, 25 May the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) released revised consent rules by amending its Consent Circular of 20 April 2007. It did this even as proceedings related to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) challenging the very legality of the Consent Circular were underway at the Delhi High Court.

Meanwhile, The Economic Times reported today that Reliance Industries (RIL), India’s largest private sector group has moved the Bombay High Court urging that action initiated against it in a massive insider trading case should be allowed to be settled under the now-discarded consent regulations.

RIL’s action comes after SEBI has apparently rejected its consent application twice before. However, it is not clear why SEBI has not initiated regulatory proceedings against the group for so many years. The RIL case suggests that there is no clear process for initiating punitive action once the regulator rejects a consent request. It is also unclear under what rules and circumstances it does this, since there is apparently a very long window available to some entities to keep revising their settlement offers.

The PIL in Delhi HC has prayed, amongst others, for quashing of the 2007 circular and all consent orders passed by SEBI pursuant to it. It has argued that SEBI’s circular does not have clear legal basis.

SEBI’s recent amendment to the consent rules states that it will not settle charges such as insider trading, fraudulent and unfair trade practices, failure to make the open offer, front-running, manipulation of net asset value or other mutual funds defaults, failure to redress investor grievances and failure to make  disclosures under the ICDR. But, having said that, it still keeps a window open for by arming itself with discretionary powers to settle any case even in these defaults!

The original SEBI consent mechanism was obliquely justified on the grounds that it was modelled on the lines of the settlement procedure followed by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This is factually incorrect.

Unlike the SEBI Act, the SEC has specific provisions in its statues to govern the settlement procedure (and not consent) with clear objectives of investor protection and fairness. They focus on disgorgement of illegal gains and compensation to affected investors from the money disgorged and fines collected. The SEBI Act has no provision for awarding compensation or damages for the losses suffered due to fraud or unfair practices. The fines imposed by SEBI are deposited in consolidated fund of the Government of India. Further, settlement terms of the SEC require the approval of a court (which can also reject the settlement). SEBI’s consent orders are entirely negotiated by its staff and ratified by its own chosen committee, headed by a retired judge. There is no known case where this committee has objected to the consent terms or sought their modification.

This means that even after the latest amendment, the fundamental issue of whether SEBI’s consent rules are legally valid has still to be decided by the courts.  Does SEBI have the powers to settle all type of defaults? In my view, it does not. In fact, once it is satisfied that a violation or transgression of rules has occurred, SEBI is mandatorily required to impose the penalty prescribed for that particular offence under the Act. It has no discretion in the matter. For instance, “a penalty of Rs25 crore or three times the amount of profits made out of insider trading, whichever is higher,” is to be levied for insider trading or non-disclosure of acquisition of shares and takeovers or fraudulent and unfair trade practices.

Both SEBI circulars on consent proceedings—dated 20 April 2007 and 25 May 2012—turn the intent of the legislature as well as the letter and spirit of the legislation on its head. The legislation provides for mandatory and specific (in most of the violations) penalties whereas SEBI’s circulars over-ride this and empowers itself to decide matters on a case-by-case basis. A close reading of the latest amendment makes it obvious that it is another exercise in self-empowerment and SEBI’s sympathies lies with the violators rather than in protecting investors’ interest and safeguarding market integrity.

The new regulations are strange in another respect. They in fact formalize the process for those who commit an offence or violate a rule to walk through the consent door every two years (from the date of the previous consent order or even earlier “if the default is minor in nature”). Only those who have already received two consent orders (or pardons) already have to wait for three years before applying for consent again.

SEBI’s consent rulings so far have been extremely opaque and arbitrary, so one can only draw inferences from the amendments. One such amendment says that a consent application cannot be filed until the investigation is complete. Does this mean that in the past, under a more lawless regime, SEBI has allowed entities to file consent applications even before it had completed its investigations and figured the extent of wrongdoing?

Clearly, the new consent regulations are also grossly inadequate. SEBI is India’s capital market regulator, it would do well to regulate, strictly within the parameters set by the legislature and leave legislation to parliament.

(Virendra Jain is the president of Midas Touch Investors Association. His views expressed are personal.)

Disclosure: Midas Touch Investors Association has filed an application for impleadment in a PIL in Delhi HC challenging the power of SEBI to issue such consent guidelines. It is fixed for hearing on 8 August 2012.

PIL against petrol price hike: HC notice to Centre

May 28, 2012 17:57 IST

Bombay High Court on Monday issued notices to Centre, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas and Finance Secretary, besides three oil marketing companies on a PIL which claimed that recent hike in petrol prices is ‘illegal’ since it lacked the Parliament’s approval and “ultra vires” of Constitution.

A bench of Justice R Y Ganoo and Justice N M Jamdar ordered service of notices to the respondents, who apart from the central ministries also include the oil marketing companies, namely the Indian Oil Corporation [ Get Quote ], Hindustan Petroleum Corporation [ Get Quote ] and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd [ Get Quote ].

The bench has posted the matter to May 30.

The PIL, filed by Rajendra Phanse, submitted that the petrol prices were hiked ‘abruptly’ on May 23 at the stroke of midnight after the conclusion of the budget session of Parliament.

The petitioner contended that the raise in petrol prices was “totally illegal” as it has no approval of the Parliament.

The Centre increased prices of petrol by Rs 7.50 per litre.

Terming as ‘undemocratic’, the hike since it was announced after the Budget session was over, the petitioner argued that in the past the decisions like raising the rates of postal and telephone services used to be taken during the budget session.

The petitioner further said that the hike was against the principles of natural justice as it is bound to affect the entire population of the country.

Citing lack of uniformity in the prices of petrol, the petitioner said that in Thane (Maharashtra, the price per litre is Rs 81.70, while it is as low as Rs 58.06 in Port Blair, Rs 81.75 per litre in Bengaluru  and Rs 73.18 in Delhi

This showed that the prices of petrol change from city to city within the country, which is nothing but a geographical discrimination in contravention of Article 14 of the Constitution, he said.

Since petroleum is a Central subject, the prices of petrol must be uniform across the country in tandem with the principles of equality before law, the petition maintained, citing uniformity in scales of pay under the central government, including subordinate judiciary, across the country.

Supply of petrol is a essential service required by the nation and the Centre should set up a Regulatory Commission to draft a uniform policy on the petroleum products, including petrol, diesel, CNG and LPG, and place the policy before Parliament for approval, the petitioner said.

Advocate V P Patil, who appeared for Phanse, a resident of neighbouring Thane, urged the court to direct the respondents to fix a uniform rate of petrol throughout the country.

He also urged the high court to direct respondents to roll back the hike of Rs 7.50 per litre of petrol.

Phanse also requested the court to direct the respondents to take any policy decision pertaining to hiking petrol prices only during the parliament session since such decision affects common people the most.

The PIL also maintained that the Centre be refrained from taking any ‘hasty’ decision –about increasing prices of petrol — when the House is adjourned sine-die because such decision is undemocratic and illegal in nature.

Easing traffic: School timings to be staggered

Express news service : Chandigarh, Tue May 29 2012, 06:28 hrs

From staggering of opening and closing school timings to putting zebra markings outside schools in place, a host of ideas were discussed at the recently held meeting between Chandigarh Traffic Police officials and school authorities. The minutes of the meeting, held on May 16, were placed on record before the Punjab and Haryana High Court today during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL).

The petitioner I S Kohli, a local resident, had moved the High Court seeking directions to the UT Administration to ease out traffic and provide for parking space outside a school in Sector 26 which houses several schools in one lane. In one of the suggestions, the officials discussed widening of the road from SGGS light point to St Kabir School.

“In this widening, double-lane dual carriageways would be constructed which should be separated by a physical median. Moreover, a footpath of approximately six feet width would be constructed adjacent to the boundary walls of all the said Institutions. Beyond the footpath, there should be a bay parking area,” read the minutes of the meeting.

For the widening, the officials have submitted that there might be a need to prune/ cut certain trees. The Traffic Police officials and school authorities “unanimously decided that various school managements should stagger the opening and closing timings of their schools, ie at least 15 minutes to ease out traffic congestion during the opening and closing of schools”.

A copy of the staggered timing will be forwarded to the Traffic Police Department accordingly.

“It was informed that the Sacred Heart School and St John School on one hand and St Kabir School and Strawberry Field School on the other hand were already staggering their opening and closing timings. It was also unanimously decided that various school managements should also stagger their parent-teacher meetings (PTMs) after coordinating with each other and hold PTMs for only a certain number of classes at once,” read the minutes of the meeting.

Moreover, it was further decided that the Traffic Police Department would be informed well in advance by the concerned school management about the PTM so that necessary traffic arrangements could be made. The Traffic Police has also decided to put zebra markings in place and challan violators.

Govt submits to HC draft bill to regulate placement agencies

Press Trust of India / New Delhi May 28, 2012, 19:35


The city government today submitted to the Delhi High Court a copy of its proposed legislation for regulating private placement agencies and preventing trafficking of girl and child workers.

“The draft of the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill, 2012 is ready and suggestions are being invited and it would be presented before the assembly in February next year,” the counsel for Delhi Government told a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw.

The copy of the draft legislation was placed on court’s record during the hearing of a plea of NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) seeking the court’s direction for formulation and implementation of a “strong policy” to curb trafficking of girl and child workers by unregistered and unregulated placement agencies.

The court had earlier asked city police and the Delhi government to ensure registration of all placement agencies and probe allegations that some of them were involved in trafficking of maid servants.

Meanwhile, the bench, which was hearing another PIL filed by the same NGO on the issue of child workers employed here, asked the city government to file by July 30 a status report, detailing the progress made in rescue operation of the child workers and their subsequent rehabilitation plans.

Allowing the plea, made through senior advocate H S Phoolka, the court said the premises, from where child workers have been rescued, be remained sealed till the errant owners deposit a fine of Rs 20,000 per child with the city government.

The court then asked the government to file a status report on July 30, the next date of hearing. (More)

HC pulls up Co-op dept

Bangalore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

The High Court pulled up the Cooperation Department for their apathetic attitude towards mango growers in the State.

Chief Justice Vikramjit Sen, on Monday, noted that the bureaucracy had failed completely in providing benefits to farmers.

“If you cannot work, look for some alternative jobs and close down the APMC. The farmers should receive fair price for their yield,” remarked Sen caustically.

The Division Bench headed by Vikramjit Sen and B V Nagarathna yet again asked the government to provide Minimum Support Price (MSP) for mango. It also directed the State government to submit an action plan in the next one week.

Earlier, the Principal Secretary to the Co-operation Department submitted that production of mangoes was very low this year increasing the cost of production.

“Besides, the horticulture department is the one which fixes price and we need to examine it. The government has provided Rs 84 lakh for the development of Kolar APMC market,” he said.

The PIL was filed by the Kolar District Mango Growers’ and Farmers’ Association which was seeking regulation of APMC markets in Srinivaspur, Chikkaballapur, Bangalore and Ramanagara.





BU withdraws PhD degree of Mylarappa’s student

Bangalore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

Bangalore University (BU) has withdrawn the PhD degree awarded to M Venkataramanappa in 2003, after it was found that the thesis was plagiarised.

Syndicate, BU’s highest decision-making body, passed a resolution by a two-third majority at a special meeting on Monday to withdraw the PhD awarded to Vankataramanappa, Vice-Chancellor N Prabhu Dev said.  The withdrawal was not supported by six members who, the VC said, “indirectly supported copying”. Interestingly, the controversial thesis was prepared under the guidance of BU’s present Registrar (Administration) B C Mylarappa. The move is seen as a fallout of the skirmishes between Prabhu Dev and Mylarappa.

The controversial PhD had come to light when the then BU Academic Council member, Vasudevamurthy, alleged fraud and plagiarism in the award of the doctorate. The BU Registrar (Evaluation) sent the thesis to the Institute for Social and Economic Change (ISEC) to detect plagiarism. The ISEC confirmed plagiarism and copying, the VC stated.

The then Governor appointed a committee under the retired IAS officer, K V Irniraya, to examine the ISEC report. Venkataramanappa, however, filed a writ petition before the High Court, challenging the committee’s formation. The petition was dismissed later.

Venkataramanappa moved the Division Bench against the single-judge order, but could not get a relief. Vasudevamurthy then filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) before the HC, seeking directions to BU to withdraw the PhD. The State government issued an order on March 29, 2011, annulling the PhD. Venkataramanappa challenged the GO before the HC but could not succeed.

According to the VC, the BU Academic Council unanimously decided on May 9, 2012, to recommend to the Syndicate withdrawal of the PhD. Accordingly, the Syndicate withdrew the degree. It also resolved to issue a show cause notice to Venkataramanappa.


Government opposes bail plea of Italian Marines

Express News Service

KOCHI: Keenly opposing the bail plea of the two Italian marines, the state government on Monday submitted that it would be difficult to produce the accused before the court once the bail is granted.

Appearing for the state, Director General of Prosecutions T Asaf Ali has also sought a directive to expedite the trial of the case pending before the Kollam Sessions Court.

However, the marines, sergeant Massimiliano Latorre and sergeant Salvatore Girone, submitted that they would not leave the country without the permission of the court and would cooperate with the trial of the case.

The Republic of Italy would undertake to stand as surety of the accused before the High Court and produce them as and when required.

There was no scope for disquiet regarding their fleeing from justice or tampering with evidence, since an independent sovereign country is taking on the responsibility for the implementation of the required terms and conditions, the marines said.

Meanwhile, NRI John Thekkekara of Kottayam moved the court arguing that he will submit the required surety, stating that he has an acre of land in Kerala and other properties in Italy.

Court denies bail to Maoists, gives 90 more days to NIA for chargesheet

Express news service : Kolkata, Tue May 29 2012, 00:18 hrs

Rejecting the bail plea of five Maoists, arrested from Kolkata on February 29 by the Special Task Force(STF) of the Kolkata Police, the city sessions court today gave another 90 days tto the National Investigative Agency (NIA) to file the chargesheet.

The NIA had approached the sessions court to extend the time limit to frame charges from 90 days to 180 days.

The agency took up the investigation on April 16 as instructed by the central home ministry, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, (UAPA) 1967.

NIA counsel Ashoke Kumar Mondal, stating legal provisions of the UAPA, urged the court to extend the period for filing the chargesheet.

According to the FIR, the STF had arrested two alleged hardcore Maoists Sadanala Ramakrishnan and Dipak Kumar from Kolkata along with their three aides — Bapi Mudi, Sambhu Charan Pal and Sukumar Mondal. Ramakrishnan, who is from from Andhra Pradesh and Dipak Kumar from Chhattisgarh, had allegedly come to Kolkata to hatch a criminal conspiracy against the state. The STF claimed to have recovered components used to make rocket launchers and sketches from their possession.

Citing the reason behind delay in filing the chargesheet, the NIA counsel said another person had been held in Maharashtra in connection with the arrest of the five Maoists. Therefore, more time was required to file the chargesheet since the Maoist links of several states like were involved, he said.

Court rejects plea to hold Goa Cricket Association polls as scheduled

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.46AM IST

MARGAO: South Goa district and sessions court judge Anuja Prabhudesai on Monday dismissed the pleas filed by several cricket clubs seeking orders to the Goa Cricket Association (GCA) to hold elections as scheduled on May 27.

Passing the order, Prabhudesai observed that “considering the fact that fair play is the foundation of free exercise of electoral rights, the balance of convenience lies in the postponement of the elections.” The court had earlier heard arguments on May 26 and adjourned the matter to Monday for orders.

Speaking to mediapersons, GCA counsel Subodh Kantak said fresh elections will be held before the present body’s term ends on July 26. The court also upheld arguments advanced by GCA’s election committee, respondents in the case, that most of the members had not filed nominations owing to the controversy over the elections. The court noted that these members would be deprived of contesting the elections if they were held as scheduled. “As against this, the petitioners have not spelt out any prejudice that will be caused to them if the elections are postponed,” the court held.

Observing that the clubs have failed to establish the “prerequisites essential for granting interim relief”, Prabhudesai rejected the petitions filed under Section 9 (interim measures by court) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act 1996.

During the hearing, senior counsels from Mumbai, Pradeep Sancheti and Jamshed Mistri, who argued on behalf of the clubs, said the election process once set in motion cannot be stopped. On the other hand, the GCA counsel, stated that several clubs had a grievance about holding the elections in view of the conflicting stands adopted by the GCA and association’s election committee.

The issue was referred to arbitrator Vallabh Salkar, who in an interim order, restrained the election committee from carrying on with the election process.

Court raps cops for putting wrong man on trial

Agencies : New Delhi, Mon May 28 2012, 17:34 hrs

Questioning the police for putting a wrong man on trial in a rape case, a Delhi court has asked the city’s North West district deputy commissioner of police (DCP) to take action against the erring officials for it.

Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau also directed the DCP to hold an in-house inquiry to ascertain as to how a wrong man was booked for the offence of rape instead of the actual culprit.

“The DCP concerned is directed to take necessary action against the erring officers for their failure to get the identity of the accused cross-checked / established from the victim before filing the charge sheet in the court,” the judge said.

The matter came to light at the time of recording of the statement of the victim who refused to identify the person facing trial as the real accused and told the judge that the one who had raped her was standing outside the court room and had threatened her not to depose in the case.

The court pulled up the investigating officer (IO) in the case for not cross checking the identity of the accused through the statutory Test Identification Parade (TIP).

“On the face of it, either Jai Kumar has been falsely implicated on mistaken identity perhaps only to work out the case or a deliberate attempt has been made to divert the allegations from Dinesh to Jai Kumar and perhaps it is for this reason that no identification was got conducted. It is this which makes the court suspect the intent of investigating agency and the fairness of the investigation,” ASJ Lau said.

The police had produced before the court one Jai Kumar who was in jail since December 2011 and was facing trial in the case instead of another Jai Kumar alias Dinesh.

Dinesh was arrested after the last hearing of the case when the victim apprised the court about the identity of the accused.

The court said it was necessary for the IO to have Jai Kumar’s TIP done before the victim but the record revealed that at no point of time the officer bothered to get it done.

“A million dollar question which now arises is as to why was it that the IO did not bother to cross check the identity by putting the accused to the victim for identification,” it


The court observed that life and liberty of an individual is most “sacrosanct” and cannot be taken away by the state in the manner as done by the police in this case.

The judge also noted that Jai Kumar was arrested by building pressure on him by getting coercive process issued against him from the court. Due to this pressure, Jai Kumar had surrendered before the police.

The court granted bail to Jai Kumar who said he was implicated in the case by police and the victim had not identified him as one of the assailants.

Hand over Adarsh land: Defence Ministry to Maharashtra government

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 29, 2012 00:09 IST

Mumbai: The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sent a notice to the Maharashtra government claiming the ownership of the land on which the Adarsh Housing Society is built. According to the notice, the land was taken by fraud, connivance between politicians, bureaucrats and defence officials, and that the Maharashtra government is illegally denying property to the Centre.

“The 31-storey building (Adarsh) has been constructed illegally and unlawfully. The MoD is the sole owner of the land. By fraud, collusion and connivance on part of Adarsh members, ministers and bureaucrats of the state government and officials from the defence ministry acting beyond their scope of authority, the land was transferred to Adarsh society,” the notice claims.

The notice, which was sent to the Chief Secretary of Maharashtra, Registrar of Cooperative Societies and Adarsh society, also says that if the Maharashtra government does not reply within 60 days, the Ministry of Defence will file a title suit in the Bombay High Court.

“In a final attempt to avoid litigation, the defence ministry calls upon the government and Adarsh to reconsider their legal position and acknowledge title of MoD within two months,” the notice reads.

However, last month, the judicial commission of inquiry looking into the Adarsh housing scam held that the land on which Adarsh Housing Society stands belongs to the government, and not the Army.

The state government had approached the commission a few months ago seeking an interim report on the points of title and reservation. A two-member panel was set up to probe the scam in January last year.

The panel, which submitted its interim report to the government on April 13, also held that the 31-storey high-rise was not reserved for war heroes and Kargil widows.

When the Adarsh scam broke, politicians, bureaucrats and Armymen were accused of grabbing Defence land. The interim report had come as a vindication of the state’s stand that it was government land and it was free to allot it.

Meanwhile, the Mumbai Sessions Court is likely to pronounce its order in the bail hearing of the seven people accused in the scam today. They had filed bail applications saying the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had not filed its chargesheet even after the mandatory sixty days period from their date of arrest.

The accused in the Adarsh society scam include suspended Maharashtra Finance Secretary Pradeep Vyas, P V Deshmukh, Retired Brigadier MM Wanchoo, former Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Retired Major General A R Kumar, Retired Major General TK Kaul and former Congress MLC K L Gidwani.

CLAT results: Davanagere lad makes it to top 3

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.21AM IST

BANGALORE: Even when the Allahabad High Court was hearing a petition on conducting a re-exam for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) on Monday, celebrations had begun for many, with the organizing committee declaring the results in the morning. While the North bagged a major share of the pie in the CLAT top 10, it was Ashwij Suresh Ramaiah from Davanagere who stole the limelight in the South.

Anhad Singh Miglani from Chandigarh bagged rank one with 159 marks. “The interest in law was inculcated in me from childhood. I’m sure Perry Mason and John Grisham have played a role in my career decision! All the features tested in CLAT are of my interest. Even when I was a child, I liked watching news and kept myself updated on current events. So when it was time for a career decision, I thought why not,” he said. A student of Vivek High School, he scored 91% in the Commerce stream.

While Anhad’s father is an IAS officer, rank two Pallavi Panigrahi’s is an IPS officer.

Ashwij, a commerce student of Sri Vyshnavi Chetana Science and Commerce College, Davanagere, shared the same marks as Pallavi. Aiming for civil service, Ashwij believes law could be a good foundation. “I have the qualities that a law graduate requires, in terms of oratory skills, debating and writing, and I’m interested in political analysis,” said this son of a civil engineer.

Pallavi, from Odisha, secured 157 marks in CLAT and 93.4% in Commerce stream in CBSE Class 12 exam. Says Pallavi: “I wanted to take up a career for which I had the right aptitude and skills. Throughout my school days, I was good at debating and essay writing. I love reading. All these match the requirements of a career in law. Moreover, it’s an upcoming field and is lucrative,” she said.

The obvious choice of all toppers was NLSIU, Bangalore. Boys and girls shared the laurels, with equal representation of both genders in the top 50. In the top 10, it was six boys against four girls. Twelve students — from Chandigarh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra — scored more than 150.

The Q paper hitch

CLAT 2012 came under a cloud after students alleged that the questions were not from the syllabus. According to them, the CLAT website clearly stated that in the general knowledge section, students would be tested “on their knowledge of current affairs (broadly defined as matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012)”. For legal reasoning, “candidates will not be tested on any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. If a technical/legal term is used in the question, that term will be explained in the question itself”, it stated. However, at least 15 questions were static GK and 5-8 questions required some knowledge of law, which the pre law students claimed was unfair.

CLAT was taken by over 28,000 students across the country and holds the key to the 14 law schools of the country.

Times View

The Davanagere young man in the top three in the nationwide law entrance test is more confirmation of the theory that it’s in the small towns that the hunger for success is much more. In recent times, this has gained wider currency, with young persons in cricket, films and many other fields proving time and time again that given the right break, they can do as well if not better than their urban counterparts. It’s up to the system to encourage and mould this raw talent.

CBI searches in connection with teacher recruitment scam

Posted on: 28 May 2012, 01:03 PM

Haryana: The CBI on Sunday carried out searches in connection with the alleged bungling in recruitment of teachers in Chandigarh against three persons, including a Haryana civil services officer.

The case was registered by the CBI after directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act against two persons Hardev Singh and Jolly, CBI said.

The case was earlier registered by Chandigarh Police in September 2009 but was subsequently re-registered by the CBI on the directions of the high court after the police failed to make any headway in the case.

It was alleged that during the period from 2007-09, Singh and Jolly allegedly in collusion with the unknown public servants of the department of education, Chandigarh, were demanding bribe for appointment of teachers, the official spokesperson said in a release.

Searches were conducted today at four places, including that of the residence-cum-office of the then director physical instructor (Schools) Samvrat Singh, a civil service officer of Haryana and premises of Singh and Jolly.

Singh is at present secretary in the Haryana Urban Development Authority.


Activist seeks sanction to prosecute former CMs

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.32AM IST

BANGALORE: A petition seeking sanction to prosecute two former CMs — N Dharam Singh and H D Kumaraswamy — regarding their roles in alleged illegal mining was filed before the Karnataka legislative assembly speaker KG Bopaiah here on Monday by a private individual.

Activist T J Abraham files this petition after his request on the same issue was turned down by the Lok Sabha secretariat on the grounds that the allegations pertained to the period when they were members of the Karnataka assembly. To a similar petition filed by him against Union minister SM Krishna , the Rajya Sabha secretariat said prosecution at this state is unwarranted for and can happen only when a chargesheet is filed, according to Abraham.

In his petition, Abraham said as a social worker he was pained by the deterioration of ethics and morality in public life, more so with alarming levels of indulgence in corruption by people holding public office. “I have decided to initiate criminal proceedings against the three MPs (Krishna, Singh and Kumaraswamy) and get them prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988; The Karnataka Forests Act,1963; The Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980; Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957 and the Indian Penal Code,” he added.

The basic premise, he said, is the revelation by two Lokayukta reports on illegal mining released by Justice Santosh N Hegde when he headed the anti-graft agency. When contacted, Bopaiah said he wasn’t aware of the petitions as he’s in his constituency.

Times View

The Karnataka government must be ashamed that a significant event in its history may well have gone unsung. But in a case of better late than never, it’s finally mobilizing its resources to unearth nuggets of the assembly and showcase them to a generation which is understandably ignorant about the glorious past. It’s also a good opportunity to honour the early pioneers of Karnataka governance who set the tone and tenor for good administration. It may even remind the present lot why the state’s visionaries were hailed across the country.

70 booked for staging protests over power cuts

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Faridabad, May 28, 2012The City police have registered cases against 70 people for blocking National Highway 2 (Mathura Road) in protest against erratic power and water supply on Sunday. Cops have launched a hunt for all the named and un-named people in the FIR.

A large number of people from Aurangabad village near Palwal had staged a protest on Mathura Road, demanding uninterrupted power and water supply. Due to the protest, traffic was disrupted for about three hours. Police on Sunday slapped cases against 10 named and 60 un-named people.

The cases were registered in Palwal Sadar police station.

“Cases under sections 147,149 and 283 of the IPC (Indian Penal Code) have been registered,” a police officer said.

In Faridabad as well, protests have become the order of the day with frequent power cuts. The rural areas of this satellite township witnesses 10 to 12 hours of load-shedding.


Court seeks sworn statement against BSY

Bangalore, May 28, 2012, DHNS:

The Special Lokayukta Court on Monday took cognisance of a private complaint filed against former chief minister B S Yeddyurappa and his son B Y Raghavendra, accusing them of accumulating wealth and possessing properties disproportionate to their income.

Pronouncing the orders, Judge N K Sudhindra Rao directed the complainant Vinod B to give his sworn statement on June 30. The cognisance has been taken for offences Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 13(1)(c) and 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

On May 21, 2012, a complaint had been filed by Shimoga-based advocate Vinod B alleging that the properties had been obtained in the name of Yeddyurappa’s relatives and associates. The complaint also named private persons B K Somashekar, Adilakshmamma, B S Umadevi, B K Radhamani and H V Manjunath as the accused.

It is alleged that Yeddyurappa and his son were indulging in land conversion deals and utilising them for benami transactions. He misused his powers and got the conversion done in a short time and he and his son misused their posts.

Kerala CPI(M) leader faces murder charge

Kerala Bureau

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) in Kerala has suffered a major setback with the State police registering a case of murder against the party’s Idukki district secretary M. M. Mony for his sensational disclosure that the CPI(M) eliminated its enemies during the 1980s according to a list prepared for the purpose.

The Idukki district police registered a First Information Report (FIR) against Mr. Mony and a few more people under Sections 302 (murder), 109 (abetment) and 118 (concealing design to commit offence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The FIR was registered on the basis of legal advice received by the government and the police on the course of action in the light of Mr. Mony’s statement.

Mr. Mony had, while addressing a rally at Thodupuzha in the district on Saturday, said that killings were nothing new to the CPI(M), as the party had finished off around 13 Congress workers in the early 1980s.

The first was shot, the second beaten to death, and a third stabbed. Following these deaths, the remaining Congressmen had fled and later returned only after taking the permission of CPI(M) leaders, he had said.

Idukki Superintendent of Police George Varghese told The Hindu on Monday that Thodupuzha Deputy SP Antony Varghese had been directed to register a case on the basis Mr. Mony’s statement. The Thodupuzha Circle Inspector of Police would investigate the cases in question. State Police Chief Jacob Punnoose told The Hindu separately that evidence was being collected to reopen the cases mentioned in the reported statement.

Soon after reports of Mr. Mony’s statement started appearing in the visual media, inferences were made that Mr. Mony was alluding to the killing of Ancheri Baby, Mullanchira Mathai and Muttukad Nanappan, all of them Congress workers, in the early eighties.

Senior police officials pointed out that the trial process in these cases was completed, and the accused were exonerated for want of evidence.

Ancheri Baby was shot dead on November 13, 1982. It is said that the gun produced in court was rejected as unusable by forensic experts, leading to the acquittal of the accused. Mullanchira Mathai was beaten to death on January 16, 1983, but want of witnesses led to the acquittal of 11 CPI(M) activists arraigned in the case. Muttukad Nanappan was stabbed to death on June 6, 1983, but this case too didn’t stand due to want of witnesses.

Adarsh scam: CBI to add stringent sections of IPC against accused

Published: Monday, May 28, 2012, 20:15 IST | Updated: Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 2:01 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI

Fourteen accused in the multi-crore Adarsh Housing Society scam might land in more trouble, as the CBI told a special court today that it might add stringent sections of the IPC, which could attract life imprisonment for them.

The CBI told the court that it was likely to add section 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant) and section 467 (forgery of valuable security and wills) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against the accused, who could get life imprisonment if convicted under these sections.

The CBI was filing its reply after seven accused arrested in connection with the case – IAS officer Pradeep Vyas, former deputy secretary in Urban Development Department PV Deshmukh, Brigadier (retd) MM Wanchoo, retired Defence Estates Officer RC Thakur, Major General (Retd) AR Kumar, Maj Gen (Retd) TK Kaul and former MLC Kanhaiyyalal Gidwani – filed a bail application.

“If the sections are applied, the maximum punishment would be life imprisonment and the time limit of filing a charge sheet is 90 days,” special public prosecutor Bharat Badami said.

CBI had collected samples of the signature of the accused, which had been sent for analysis for further investigation, Badami said.

He further told the court that the CBI was collecting evidence to prove that the accused had committed the offence under sections 409 and 467.

In their bail application, the accused had said that they were entitled for bail by default as the CBI had not filed the charge sheet in the stipulated period of 60 days.

The court is likely to pass an order on their bail application tomorrow.

The scam pertains to alleged irregularities in construction and allotment of apartments in the 32-storeyed highrise, originally meant for families of Kargil war heroes, in the upmarket Colaba area in south Mumbai.

The FIR had also named the former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who had to step down following allegations that he had recommended allotment of 40 per cent flats in the housing society and that his relatives had got flats in the building as quid-pro-quo for extending favours to the society.

CBI opposes bail pleas of seven accused, says fresh charges likely

Express news service : Tue May 29 2012, 03:33 hrs

Over a year after the CBI registered a case against 14 persons in the Adarsh housing society scam and two months after making the first of nine arrests, the central agency is likely to add two new charges against the accused.

Opposing the bail application filed by seven of the nine arrested accused, CBI counsel Bhart Badami on Monday told the court that while investigations are still on, the agency is finding out if two additional sections under the Indian Penal Code can be applied too — 409 (Criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker, merchant or agent) and 467 (forgery of valuable security).

The accused on May 21 moved a fresh bail application seeking bail on the ground that 60 days have passed since the first arrest and the investigating agency is yet to file a chargesheet. “Under the Code of Criminal Procedure, it is a mandatory provision that an accused can avail bail. We have cited Supreme Court judgment, which clearly stated that it is a court’s duty to inform an accused if he has spent 60 days in jail,” said former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas’ lawyer Swapna Kode.

IAS officer Vyas has been behind bars along with eight others – Maj Gen (retd) A R Kumar, Maj Gen (retd) T K Kaul, former Congress legislator Kanahiyalal Gidwani, retired defence estates officer R C Thakur, Brig (retd) M M Wanchoo, former deputy secretary (urban development) P V Deshmukh, former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak and retired information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari.

In past, too, the accused had moved for bail, but their applications were rejected after the CBI told the court that the accused are influential persons and could possibly influence witnesses.

Meanwhile, a senior IAS officer’s deposition in the two-member judicial commission has revealed that the state government might have delayed taking action against the society for two years regarding issuing a stop-work notice. This came during questioning of the official, Additional Chief Secretary (Urban Development) T C Benjamin, by the Adarsh commission. Benjamin was shown a letter written by the urban development department (UDD) to the Western Naval Command, the MCGM and the MMRDA. The letter had asked the MMRDA to file a reply with respect to allegations against the Adarsh society, subsequent to a complaint received by activist Simpreet Singh regarding alleged civic violations.

The MMRDA, in its reply, had said permission to construct the building had been granted and that construction had begun on the site. According to Benjamin, the UDD had expected a detailed report on the complaint by Singh and the MMRDA “did not address these issues.”

This communication took place between September and November 2008.

However, it was only in October 2010 that the the state government issued to the MMRDA to stop work on the project. Deposing before the commission, Benjamin admitted that in this period, “the construction of the Adarsh CHS was nearly complete.”

Etisalat DB directed not to shift equipment from ATC towers

25 May, 2012, 2251 hrs IST, PTI

NEW DELHI: Telecom tribunal TDSAT today directed Etisalat DB not to shift its equipments lying on the towers of ATC Telecom Tower Corporation till Tuesday, the next date of hearing.

Passing an order, Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal (TDSAT) directed Etisalat not to remove its equipments fixed on ATC Telecom Tower Corporation, which is claiming dues from the operator.

The Tribunal further said that any further consideration on the pleas of the ATS Telecom Tower would be only on Tuesday, when the Chairman would head the TDSAT bench.

Today’s order was passed by its Member P K Rastogi. Earlier, on May 4, TDSAT had restrained Etisalat DB from transferring its equipments lying with the RInfra. The RCom subsidiary is claiming over Rs 1,200 crore as dues from Etisalat DB for using its telecom towers and other infrastructure.

TDSAT’s direction came, while hearing a petition filed by ATC Telecom Tower to recover its dues from Etisalat DB, which has closed operations after cancellation of its license.

In its petition, the Kerala-based firm has requested the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal to direct Etisalat to pay Rs 70 lakh in dues.

ATC Telecom Tower was providing telecommunications infrastructure services to Etisalat DB, a joint venture between UAE-based telecom giant Etisalat and Dyanmix Balwa group.

Presently, Etisalat DB also is facing recovery suits on various forums including High Courts and Debt Recovery Tribunal.

Scribe fined Rs 1 lakh for contempt plea against Katju

Express News Service : Lucknow, Tue May 29 2012, 03:46 hrs

Press Council chairman did not implement ban on troop movement story, petition alleged

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court has slapped a fine of Rs 1 lakh on social activist and freelance journalist Nutan Thakur for filing a “frivolous petition”, which accused Press Council chairman Markandey Katju and four others of committing contempt by not taking action to implement a judgment banning media reporting on movement of army troops. Katju had also criticised the judgment as “not correct”, the petition said.

Justice Devendra Kumar Arora, while dismissing the petition, said, “The applicant has made an unsuccessful attempt to make a case out of nothing just for the sake of sensationalism.”

On April 10, a high court bench of Justice Uma Nath Singh and Virendra Kumar Dixit directed the Union home secretary, the secretary of Information and Broadcasting, and principal secretary (Home) of UP to ensure that there was no reporting of any news item by the media regarding movement of troops.

The order was passed on a PIL of Thakur which contended that a report carried by The Indian Express on April 4 on unauthorised movement of two army units towards NCR on the night of December 16-17 last year, as also some other media reports, were against national interest.

In her contempt petition, Thakur said the Press Council Chairman had termed the judgment as “not correct” and even stated that the council would challenge it in the Supreme Court. Later, the Press Council actually moved the Supreme Court. Thakur said that the Press Council Chairman should carry out the court’s directions instead of commenting on it.

She said other authorities had also not taken steps to enforce the court’s judgment and submitted copies of news items published in some newspapers, including The Indian Express, and said that these violated the high court’s directions.

In his judgment, Justice Arora pointed out that these news items were regarding a statement made by the Defence Minister in the Rajya Sabha about the movement of troops on the night of December 16-17, not any fresh movement. Justice Arora said the Press Council was not a party to the case in which the court imposed restrictions on reporting on movement of army troops, nor had the court given the council any directions. Besides, the Press Council was a statutory body with quasi-judicial functions.

As for the council chairman expressing an opinion on the judgment, Justice Arora said, “…terming the order of the writ court as ‘not correct’ is just an opinion of the chairman of the Press Council of India, who has every right of fair and healthy criticism of the judgment.’’

The bench said, “The petition lacks bona fides and is an abuse of the process of the court. It appears that the petitioner has filed this petition just to come to the limelight and nothing else, which wasted the time of the court.”

Vijayamma’s letter: EC to seek legal opinion

J. Balaji

The Election Commission will seek legal opinion, before deciding on the request made by YSR Congress MLA Y.S. Vijayamma, seeking its intervention to order CBI to release her son and party president Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy, arrested in Hyderabad in a corruption case. Sources said the Commission – Chief Election Commissioner S.Y. Quraishi and Election Commissioners V.S. Sampath and H.S. Brahma – would meet on Tuesday and take up the petition from Ms. Vijayamma and consider it along with the legal opinion.

In her memorandum, the wife of late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, had said the “most undemocratic” arrest of Mr. Jagan, just 15 days before the June 12 by-elections in Andhra Pradesh, was “part of a larger conspiracy to prevent his (Mr. Jagan) participation in the elections with the sole objective of helping the ruling Congress candidates. This is an SOS from YSR Congress Party”. She accused Congress and TDP of misusing every institution with impunity.

Time to discern intl humanitarian laws: Ex-CJI

Mysore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

‘Conflict between countries a concern’

Existing international humanitarian laws need to be readdressed if they are unable to deal with issues in war-torn countries, said former Chief Justice of India S Rajendra Babu.

He was addressing a three-day South Indian regional teachers’ training programme on international humanitarian law organised by International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) and University of Mysore in the city on Monday.

Justice Babu said the law should mitigate the effect of destruction caused due to wars across the globe.

Also, the emphasis should be on reducing human suffering, he added.

With wars being fought using drones and cutting-edge technology, justice Babu said international humanitarian law needs a relook as existing regulations are insufficient to deal with present scenarios.

Citing the example of frequent wars, he said bombs are now released from the defence headquarters to another country. In such situations, while there is no involvement of soldiers, a country continues to take the beating through guided missiles. In such cases, international humanitarian law should come up with regulations to prevent any country from being attacked.

Questioning if killing Osama Bin Laden was legal, justice Babu, who was also former chairman of national human rights commission, said the Geneva convention is valid for matters of conflict between countries and those issues related to insurgency groups.

However, with Al Qaeda and Laden not being either a country or an insurgency group, he asked how the convention would apply. He said even though USA is at war with Al Qaeda, international humanitarian law could have made it unlawful.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sanoj Rajan of ICRC said the organisation is conducting programmes similar to this to spread the message of humanitarian law on international-level. Gaining knowledge in this area would help policy-makers while taking decisions on international matters.

West Bengal University of Juridical Sciences vice-chancellor Prof P Ishwara Bhat, National Law School of India vice-chancellor Prof R Venkata Rao, law department chairman M D Krishna, dean Prof C Basavaraju and coordinator Maruthi T R were present.

Apex court refuses info under RTI on CD relating to Singhvi

New Delhi, May 28, 2012, DHNS:

The Supreme Court has refused to confirm if the Chief Justice of India (CJI) had taken cognisance of the news reports relating to a sex CD allegedly involving Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi.

In a reply furnished under the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the apex court’s registry did not confirm whether the news reports on the CD allegedly containing “some mention of interference in judicial appointments” were considered or not.

“It is beyond the jurisdiction and scope of the duties of the Chief Public Information Officer (CPIO) of the Supreme Court of India under the Right to Information Act 2005 to authenticate news report to interpret the law, or judgments of this court or of any other court, opine, comment or advise on matters, your request cannot be acceded to under the RTI Act,” Additional Registrar and CPIO Smita Vats Sharma said.

The CD allegedly involving Singhvi and a woman lawyer in a purported compromising position was circulated last month, prompting the Congress leader to resign from Chairman of a Parliamentary Standing Committee post. Singhvi had claimed that the CD was “fabricated and morphed” and denied its contents.

Noted RTI activists Subhash C Agrawal had sought the response from the apex court on a news-report stating that Justice S H Kapadia had sent for review names of five persons, recommended for appointment as Judges at the Delhi High Court.

With regard to development on appointments of judges, the CPIO referred to an SC order of December 4, 2009, staying disclosure of any such information, saying that it would amount to contempt of court.

Dissatisfied with the response from the SC registry, Agrawal filed an appeal before the appellate authority. He decried the refusal of information saying “such an attitude on part of registry of country’s highest court is highly regrettable which not only harasses RTI petitioners, but also involves valuable time of all concerned including of already over-burdened Central Information Commission.”

“In an earlier RTI response, CPIO had confessed about being a system at Supreme Court to take cognisance of news reports.”

Allahabad HC directs state CMOs, DMs to take action on ISM doctors practising modern medicine

Peethaambaran Kunnathoor, Chennai
Tuesday, May 29, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

In a significant order, the Allahabad High Court last week directed the Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) and the District Magistrates (DMs) to initiate prosecution against those ISM practitioners who administer modern medicine to their patients by prescribing drugs and carrying out surgeries in their nursing homes.

The Court also ordered to conduct raids in such nursing homes and prohibit those persons from practising modern system of medicine. The judgement said besides initiating prosecution, an FIR should be lodged and those clinics/nursing homes should be sealed. There were reports in the media that large number of unauthorized, unqualified and unregistered persons and physicians in homoeopathy, Unani, Ayurveda and Siddha are practising modern system in several places in the state.

In the judgement it is noted that there was allegation that the quacks were practising modern medicine in connivance with the chief medical officers and their staff.

In his judgement on the contempt application filed by one Rajesh Kumar Srivastava, Justice Sunil Ambwani also directed the chief secretary and the principal health secretary to comply with the earlier orders passed by the Court prohibiting those persons, who are unqualified and unregistered, from practising modern medicine. The court reminded the state’s chief bureaucrats of its earlier orders and directed them to submit a compliance report in the court by July 13, 2012.

In February 2010, in a similar case, the High Court of Madras in an order restrained the ISM practitioners from practising allopathic system. Passing the order, Justice K K Sasidharan had held that police could take action against those who practise modern system without qualification. Following this order, the state police had started widespread crack down on ISM practitioners for practising allopathy.

Desperate over the police action the traditional physicians approached the High Court and on July 30, Justice FM Ibrahim Kalifulla ruled that the registered practitioners in Siddha, Ayurveda, Homoeopathy and Unani were eligible to practice surgery, obstetrics and gynaecology, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, etc. and said penal action against such practitioners should be dropped immediately. The court took note of section 17 (3) B of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970 to issue the order.

After the order came out, the state government wrote to the state police that the institutionally qualified and registered practitioners of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani could practise their respective systems with modern scientific medicines including surgery, gynaecology & obstetrics, anaesthesiology, ENT, ophthalmology, etc. based on their training and teaching in the course. This was based on section 17 (3) B of the Indian Medicine Central Council Act, 1970.

Later the Tamil Nadu branch of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) appealed against the verdict before the High Court and the case is still pending with the court.

HC bails out Gurgaon Citibank fraud mastermind, his father

Sanjeev Verma , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 28, 2012

Mastermind of multi-crore Gurgaon Citibank fraud case, Shivraj Puri, and his father Raghu Raj Puri, who are behind bars at Bhondsi jail in Gurgaon, were granted bail by the Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday.

The high court had earlier granted anticipatory bail to Shivraj Puri’s mother Deeksha Puri.

Shivraj Puri is behind the bars since December 2010 and his father was arrested by the police in February 2011. The first FIR was registered against Shivraj Puri and others on December 27, 2010 by Citibank assistant vice-president Binu Sonam and second on January 4, 2011 by one Sanjiv Aggarwal at police station DLF Phase-II, Gurgaon.

Citibank relationship manager Shivraj Puri had allegedly siphoned off around Rs. 400 crore of various customers to fictitious accounts. Shivraj was denied the bail by the Gurgaon court after which he had moved the high court on March 2.

Raghu Raj Puri was the managing director of a Kolkata-based firm Normans Martin Brokers Pvt Ltd through which Shivraj allegedly used to divert money into stock markets.

The FIR mentioned that an account was opened in Citibank in the name of Deeksha Puri(Shivraj Puri’s mother) and two other relatives of Shivraj Puri(Prem Nath and Sheela) jointly in September 2009.
It was further stated that in December 2009 the bank examined the account and found a lot of transaction had been done from the account.

Shivraj allegedly used to show a forged notification of Securities and Exchange Board of India(SEBI) to sell investment products to clients claiming that these would generate high returns.

HC orders release of arrested Stamp Deptt official

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 28,2012

Allahabad, May 28 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court today ordered the release of a senior official of the Stamp and Registration Department of Uttar Pradesh observing that his arrest here in connection with a fraud case could have been “a case of mistaken identity” even as it ordered an inquiry to verify it. Justice Pankaj Mithal ordered the release of Ashwani Kumar, currently posted as the DIG(Stamp) at Lucknow, “subject to his furnishing personal bond of Rs 25,000 and two sureties of the like amount before the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Allahabad”. Kumar was arrested from Georgetown police station area of the city on Saturday night, following a direction issued by the High Court on May 21 for the arrest of three erstwhile directors of Tathagat Small Scale Industries Ltd, a now-defunct company, charged with having “defrauded innocent depositors” way back in the 1990s. The three ex-directors are Ashwani Kumar, R B Shakya and Manju Shakya. Appearing on behalf of the DIG (Stamp), his counsel Arun Kumar Gupta informed the court that his client “was never the director of the company in liquidation and this fact has come on record but even then he has been arrested, whereas the director of the company is some other person with the same name”. Gupta also pointed out that earlier a warrant had been issued against Kumar because of the same confusion but it was “kept in abeyance” by a court order passed on October 09, 2006. The court remarked “it may be a case of mistaken identity but at this stage it can not be conclusively said that Ashwani Kumar who is present in court is not the same person who happens to be one of the directors of the company in liquidation. The possibility of both being one and the same person cannot be ruled out”. “The Senior Superintendent of Police of Allahabad is directed to make an inquiry about the identity of ex-director of the company in liquidation, named Ashwani Kumar, and also as to whether Ashwani Kumar arrested by him is the same person who at one time was the director in the company in liquidation”, the judge said. A report in this regard, after thorough investigation, shall be submitted before the court in a sealed cover within a period of six weeks”, the court added. “It is made clear that arrest of aforesaid Ashwani Kumar at this stage and his being in jail would not affect his service adversely as on date subject to final order to be passed in this regard.

HC orders medical test of all Rohtak shelter home abused

Ajay Sura, TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.16AM IST

CHANDIGARH: The Punjab and Haryana high court on Monday ordered a detailed medical examination of all inmates of the infamous Rohtak-based shelter home, which was recently rocked by a sex scandal.

The National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) team had rescued over 90 minor girls, between 10 and 15 years, from the home on May 9.

Jaswanti Devi, owner of the home, has been charged with immoral trafficking, torture and promoting bonded labour. Initial investigations have also revealed that some girls were allegedly forced into physical relationship with men, and if they protested, beaten and paraded naked.

A division bench comprising acting Chief Justice M M Kumar and Justice Alok Singh ordered medical examination of all home inmates who were victims of sexual abuse by a special panel of women doctors at PGI, Chandigarh.

The court asked Haryana chief secretary to furnish a medical report on June 1. The DGP and Rohtak superintendent of police will also file their reply in the court that day.

The court took cognizance that Rohtak police and PGIMS, Rohtak, a premier hospital, did not conduct medical examination of girls who were sexually abused and that the district administration treated the case casually.

The high court issued the order following a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by lawyer and child rights activist Utsav Bains.

“Politicians and law-enforcers are known to support and protect brothel owners, pimps and child-traffickers in exchange of money, and are therefore interested in subverting the law,” Bains said, demanding a probe by a special investigation team (SIT) comprising members from outside Haryana.

Referring to a news item published in TOI in which the main accused had “threatened to expose government officials who frequented her place as she had proofs as entries in the visitor book,” Bains submitted that the authorities were trying to cover up the incident.

HC dismisses ABVP plea to make teachers put in extra hours

Express news service : Tue May 29 2012, 04:33 hrs

The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to entertain a demand of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) that Mumbai University (MU) teachers should be asked to put in additional hours per day for correction of answer papers.

The ABVP had initially moved the court against the strike, which had been called to demand recognition for non- National Eligibility Test (NET) / State Eligibility Test (SET) teachers who were appointed between April 1991 and January 2000. The strike, however, was called off on May 19.

In a hearing before a Vacation Bench of the court, counsel for the ABVP Uday Warunjikar contended that the interests of university would be greatly harmed on account of the strike and suggested that the university ask its staff to evaluate answer sheets for 10 hours a day.

He pointed out that the results have already been delayed beyond 45 days after completion of the examination, which is the outer limit laid down for declaring the results.

Reacting to this, a Bench of Justice R Y Ganoo and Justice N M Jamdar said, “In fact, if teachers are asked to check answer sheets for 10 hours, then grave injustice will be caused to the students. It is not mechanical or clerical work and it requires concentration.”

Justice Jamdar noted that the delay in results is a “genuine problem”, but opined that it must be dealt with at the level of the university.

The judges, however, noted that the state government and various universities across the state have not filed affidavits stating their stand and asked them to do so by Friday.

Justice Ganoo, while recalling his own experiences of assessing law answer sheets, said, “Even if a person does his work in an extremely dedicated manner, it is not possible to fairly check more than forty answer sheets.”

In its petition, the ABVP notes that the strike has adversely affected 13 lakh graduate and post-graduate students with their answer sheets remaining unassessed.

Karnataka High Court bench stays order on Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges Karnataka

TNN | May 29, 2012, 03.34AM IST

BANGALORE: A division bench of the Karnataka High Court on Monday passed an interim stay on the single bench order of May 25 whereby the Consortium of Medical, Engineering and Dental Colleges Karnataka (ComedK) was asked to redo the entire selection for post-graduate dental courses.

“For 12 students, we can’t upset the prospects of 194 (admitted) others who are not party before the court,” the division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen observed while admitting a writ appeal filed by ComedK challenging Friday”s order. The next hearing is on May 30.

Earlier, the petitioner students were told they’d be given priority with regard to counselling for surrendered seats. But they refused it as these were leftover seats, even by those who had a much lower rank. ComedK claimed that in the counselling on May 19, 194 students have been admitted and 17 seats are available. The counsel also claimed that since this is an all-India selection, the single bench order cannot be implemented as the Supreme Court had strictly said all admissions should be completed before May 31.

On Friday, a single bench allowed petitions by 12 dentists who were denied permission by ComedK to participate in counselling as they had produced “faulty” demand drafts and related documents.

Aam measures

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen on Monday directed the state government to file an action taken report (ATR) by next Tuesday with regard to measures taken to alleviate the suffering of mango growers. The bench also asked senior advocate S S Naganand to assist the court to prepare a plan of action. The Kolar Mango Growers’ Association had filed a PIL complaining about apathy of the state government with regard to mango farmers.

CMOs murder: High Court grants three more months to CBI

TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.36AM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court on Monday posted the matter related to scam in implementation of the National Rural Health Mission in Lucknow and murder of two chief medical officers Dr VK Arya and Dr BP Singh on August 23, virtually granting about three months further extension to the CBI to solve the murder mysteries. The court had in July 2011 directed the central agency to take up the cases with the expectation that the reputed agency will solve the cases within three months. The CBI over and again sought extension of time, since July 2011 and every time the court accepted its demand with little rebuke.

On Monday, complying with a direction issued by a division bench, the CBI investigating officers appeared before the court with the case diary of the cases. Considering the seriousness of the matter, the judges of the bench called the CBI counsel Bireshwar Nath and investigators in the retiring chamber for perusal of case diary and probe papers. After a considerable period, the bench directed to list the matter on August 23 for orders.

The two sensational murders had rocked the state capital and it was suspected that the murders had close links with sharing of NRHM funds. Earlier, the police took up the investigations and almost reached to the conclusion forwarding a chargesheet against few accused, but the lower courts had returned the chargesheets to the police to do the probe in right direction. Thereafter, the high court issued directives to the CBI in July 2011 for further investigation into the matter. After a year, the CBI is still beating around the bush. Ironically, the accused put in the jail are neither being tried for murder charges nor are they able to get bail.

Senior official moves HC against info commissioner

HT Correspondent, Hindustan TimesAn internal war within the Central Information Commission (CIC) has come out in the open. An IAS official, AD Chakravarti, serving as Joint Secretary (Law) in the commission has filed a petition against Information Commissioner Shailesh Gandhi in the Delhi High Court.

In the petition, Chakravarti has accused Gandhi of “gross and malafide exercise of power and personal bias”. Justice Vipin Sanghi on Monday issued a notice to Gandhi and also stayed proceedings in the case where Gandhi had allegedly initiated inquiry against CIC officials, including Chakravarti.

In his plea, Chakravarti claimed that Gandhi went beyond his jurisdiction to start an inquiry against him though the complaint against him was being examined by a larger bench of the CIC.

Appearing for the officer, advocate Rajiv Bansal, informed the court that Gandhi’s decision smacked of arbitrariness.

PJ Thomas’ empanelment records: Govt to challenge CIC order

May 28, 2012 03:22 PM |
Moneylife Digital Team
Top of Form

The cabinet secretariat has refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre under the RTI Act. However, earlier acting on an appeal filed by Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal, the CIC had directed the government to disclose of the documents

The central government has decided to challenge the Central Information Commission’s (CIC) order in Delhi High Court, directing it to disclose records, including the file noting, related to the empanelment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner (CVC) PJ Thomas for appointment at the Centre. The decision comes three month after the CIC order.

Hearing an appeal filed by Delhi-based Right to Information (RTI) activist Subhash Agrawal, Central Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra had, on 29 February 2012, set aside the orders of the central public information officer (CPIO) and appellate authority and directed the cabinet secretariat to disclose the required documents.

“The entire information relates to a certain rule made by the Central government for empanelment of officers for posting at the level of additional secretary and secretary to the Government of India and the subsequent relaxation in that rule. The framing of the rule and its subsequent relaxation cannot be classified as Cabinet papers. Cabinet papers refer to only those papers which are placed before the council of ministers or any committee of ministers constituted by it for considering any particular proposal; framing of rules for empanelment of officers at the level of additional secretary and secretary, we understand, does not require the approval of the council of ministers.”

The cabinet secretariat had refused to furnish the records of empanelment of Mr Thomas’ appointment at the Centre citing it to be Cabinet documents not to be disclosed under the RTI Act.

In a reply to Mr Agrawal’s RTI application, the CPIO did not provide information on some questions such as if there is any provision that required an officer to serve at least for three years in the central government before joining post of joint secretary and above at the Centre, any changes in those norms, etc. The decision was endorsed by the Appellate Authority.

PTI reported that the Centre had a rule that only those IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officers who had served at least three years at the Centre would be considered for appointment to the post of joint secretary and above at the Centre. Accordingly, officials who were facing vigilance cases in their states could not come to the Centre for these positions. The rule was reportedly changed allowing the officials who had been cleared of vigilance inquiry to come and serve at the Centre.

Mr Thomas had joined the Centre as parliamentary affairs secretary in 2009 before his appointment as telecom secretary and subsequently as central vigilance commissioner, which was quashed by the Supreme Court on 3 March 2011. He was selected as CVC in September 2010 by the three-member high-powered committee (HPC) including prime minister Manmohan Singh, home minister P Chidambaram and leader of opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj. Ms Swaraj had put a dissenting note opposing the selection of Mr Thomas. The Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Mr Thomas as CVC, saying the recommendation made by the HPC did not consider charge-sheet relating to a corruption case pending against him during his tenure in Kerala government.

Answer sheets cannot be checked mechanically: Bombay high court

Rosy Sequeira, TNN | May 29, 2012, 06.47AM IST

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court on Monday said answersheets cannot be assessed in a mechanical manner. The court wanted the state government to reply to what measures it had taken to ensure that answersheets are evaluated on time.

A vacation division bench of justice R Y Ganoo and justice Nitin Jamdar were hearing a petition filed by the Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) seeking action against teachers and associations, including the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers that had given a call to boycott assessment work. While in Mumbai the strike would delay the assessment of only final year answersheets, the assessments of all years would be affected in the rest of Maharashtra.

ABVP’s advocate Uday Warunjikar argued that according to a university rule, papers are to be assessed within a maximum of 45 days after exams get over. He said that due to the strike, the entire schedule was delayed by a further two months and the results will now be declared only in August. “There is no clarity on the assessment of answersheets. How much work has been done till now? Results have to be declared within a specified time. Those who are applying for competitive exams will suffer due to the delay,” Warunjikar added.

The judges observed that it is up to the individual universities in Maharashtra to examine the workload of assessment and to direct their professors on how to tackle it. “Don’t presume that universities will not look after the interests of students,” said Ganoo. The judges also declined to direct examiners to put in extra hours. They observed that an examiner would be able to assess answersheets at the most for five to six hours in a day.

“It will be impossible for us to direct universities to ask their professors to work for 10 hours a day. It would be unjust to students especially since in such cases, an examiner would just be putting a figure at the end of the answersheets,” said Ganoo.

The judges also observed that assessing answersheets is not a clerical job.

“Besides, students’ handwritings differ from one to the other. It is neither arithmetic nor computerised assessing of papers. No matter how diligently an examiner checks answersheets, he will not be able check more than 40 answersheets of 100 marks each,” said Ganoo. The judge added that he would know having corrected law exam papers.

Observing that an earlier order was not complied with, the judges directed the state and Mumbai University to file their affidavits on subsequent steps being taken for evaluation of answersheets. They also directed the presence of a “competent officer” to remain present to answer on behalf of the state government.

Delhi high court CJ assures safety to judges

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 29, 2012Expressing concern over the recent attack on three judges, acting chief justice of the Delhi High Court AK Sikri has assured all judicial officers of their personal safety and a fearless environment to dispense justice.

“I am pained to know about the recent incidents of attack on judicial officers. Some of them have been reported in the press and few others have gone unreported,” Justice Sikri said in a letter to the district court judges.

On May 18, Metropolitan Magistrate Ajay Garg and two additional sessions judges Inderjit Singh and MK Nagpal were attacked on their way back from the court. While Garg suffered head injuries, Singh and Nagpal escaped unhurt.

Four persons have been arrested and charged with attempt to murder in this regard.

“Without referring to any particular incident and without going into the reasons or provocations, if any, caused by any person or circumstance, I must convey my empathy to all judicial officers who have suffered the attack,” said Justice Sikri.

He said as “the head of judicial family in Delhi,” and the supervising and controlling authority, “I am very much concerned about the safety and security of the judicial officers.”

“I and my colleagues have taken a serious view of these incidents. A judicial officer requires a fearless and independent mind to do justice and any apprehension in their mind about safety will hamper their capabilities to judge fearlessly and impartially,” he said.


Delhi High Court attaches BK Modi’s bungalow for loan default

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has attached a prime central Delhi bungalow owned by businessman BK Modi, who was the managing director of Modi Rubber, which failed to repay a Rs. 5-crore loan taken in 2001. The property is valued in the market at Rs. 150 crore.

The value of receivables by the lender, Morgan Securities & Credit, which gave the loan in the form of inter-corporate deposit, rose to Rs. 18 crore, including an interest component of Rs. 13 crore.

BK Modi and his brother VK Modi had stood guarantors for the loan taken by the company and they were jointly and severally liable to repay the amount. Modi has since resigned from the board of the tyre-maker and runs the telecom to entertainment group Spice Global.

A spokesperson for Modi, however, said the principal amount of Rs. 5 crore was deposited on September 17, 2010 and bank guarantees of Rs. 13 crore towards the interest liability were deposited on March 19, 2011 with the Supreme Court. The case is pending before the apex court, the spokesperson said, adding that Modi’s office was studying the high court order. “Dr BK Modi will take appropriate legal steps including moving to the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in the matter, as advised,” said the spokesperson.

Last week, a high court bench presided by Justice Ravindra Bhat and Justice SP Garg passed an order of execution against BK Modi and said that the property – 1, Prithviraj Road – be attached. The court considered Modi’s three immovable properties – one in Panchkula, near Chandigarh, and two in Delhi, including one on the leafy Amrita Shergill Marg. Modi’s lawyers strongly argued that the property on Prithviraj Road was his “main dwelling house”, but the court ruled that Modi was an NRI who spent most of his time in Singapore and hence the property could be attached. Morgan Securities & Credit confirmed that the property got attached through an order pronounced in open court on May 23. “We are still waiting to recover the short-term loan we had given to Modi Rubber 11 years ago,” said Shahzeb Khan, a spokesperson for the company.

The bungalow, built on about an acre of land across the road from the Taj Mansingh Hotel in central Delhi, is a prime property in the Lutyens’ Bungalow Zone. Modi had bought the house in 2010. Legal experts said that the bungalow could be auctioned if further appeals by Modi are dismissed.

When the company and its guarantors failed to repay the short-term loan, Morgan Securities invoked an arbitration, which they won in 2004 and the court asked the Modis to pay Rs. 6.7 crore, which they failed to do. The Modis then filed separate objections. In 2009, the court also rejected their plea that as Modi Rubber had become a sick company and was before the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR), the direction of the arbitration panel to repay the money to Morgan Securities would not be applicable.

Spirit mafias role fictitious: CBI officials

P Ramdas/Toby Antony

KOCHI: The alleged involvement of the spirit mafia in the custodial death of Sampath was the creation of top CBI officials, stated team members investigating the unnatural death of ASP Haridath.

The two CBI officials – S Unnikrishnan and K K Rajan – submitted before the Central Administrative Tribunal� that the higher-ups in the CBI brought the spirit mafia into the picture to divert the case and save the two accused IPS officers.

The documents in possession of Express reveal that the officers stated that some of the top CBI officials in Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi units forced Haridath to alter the case diary.

According to the document, Haridath had pointed out in his two case diaries dated February 4, 2011, and March 5, 2011, submitted before Chief Judicial Magistrate, Ernakulam, that some of the officials in the department are spreading wrong news to divert the case.

The case diary dated February 4, 2011, pointed out that “Haridath had stated elaborately about the threat and harassment the investigation team had to bear because of the high influence of the accused. He had also referred to the spreading of wrong news using some newspapers.”

Similarly, the case diary dated March 5, 2011,� stated that “Haridath had pointed out the attempts made to tarnish the reputation of the investigation team by the CBI officials. They maliciously propagated that spirit and abkari mafia were behind Murukesan, the petitioner.” The application filed by Unnikrishan and Rajan stated that higher officials demanded Haridath on numerous occasions to hand over the case diary to them but he� refused it. It is also pointed out that many times a senior official in the CBI Thiruvananthapuram unit had leaked the departmental news to the local police and the accused IPS officer for assisting them in the case.

The application also suggested that ever since the Supreme Court ordered in April, 2011, to appoint a Supervisory Officer in the case, the situation became more favourable to the corrupt CBI officials.

“Even the statements were re-recorded and some of the witnesses were influenced to keep mum,” the application stated.

Akhilesh government withdraws Gangster Act lodged against Abhay Singh

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 29, 2012, 05.46AM IST

LUCKNOW: A Faizabad court has issued release order of Samajwadi Party (SP) MLA and mafia-turned-politician Abhay Singh after SP government withdrew the Gangster Act slapped on him during previous Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) government led by Mayawati. The Gangster Act is a special law in Uttar Pradesh which is slapped on those running organized gang involved in serious criminal and anti-social activities.

There are over two dozen criminal cases against Singh. They include extortion, kidnapping and murder. He had won assembly election from Gosaiganj constituency on SP ticket by defeating his BSP rival Indra Pratap Tiwari in March earlier this year. Singh was lodged in Faizabad jail since October, 2010 after a case of extortion was lodged against him by local businessman Vikas Singh, a close aide of the then BSP MLA Jitendra Singh Bablu, in Maharajganj police station.

However, Abhay Singh contested election from jail and won. And, after coming to power, the SP government decided to withdraw Gangster Act against him. “The law department on behalf of the state government issued instructions to withdraw the gangster case against Singh. Subsequently, district magistrate, Faizabad, and the senior superintendent of police, Faizabad, issued no-objection certificate, on the basis of which the prosecution submitted a no-objection report in the court,” said a senior officer.

The release orders were issued by the court after police sub-inspector Sanjay Nagvanshi recorded his statement in the court for dropping the case against Singh. Nagvanshi is the officer who had registered case against Singh during his posting in Maharajganj police station. Singh has already got bail from the different courts in two other cases of Gangster Act registered at Raunahi police station and Kotwali city police station, he added.

Significantly, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, son of SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav, had promised during campaign that SP, if voted to power, will put all goons and mafia behind bars. He even had blocked entry of west UP don DP Yadav in SP and refused to give him ticket despite recommendation of some senior leaders of the party. His move was then widely publicized by SP to score over rival parties. The party had also used Akhilesh’s move on DP Yadav to cover up the fact that SP had fielded more than one fourth candidates, out of total 403, with criminal antecedents.

The law and order situation in the state has deteriorated after SP came to power. The seriousness could be gauged from the fact that there have been around 15 incidents in which police was assaulted by the criminals in different parts of the state. A case of murder has been lodged against a minister. In fact, there are 19 ministers in Akhilesh cabinet with criminal records. One of the minister Durga Prasad Yadav had recently created a controversy by saying that ‘even God cannot control crime’.

RTI Act is a powerful tool not a weapon

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA: Unlike several others who termed the Right to Information (RTI) Act a weapon, information commissioner P Vijay Babu has described it as a powerful tool in the hands of people.

Speaking to Express here on Sunday after holding a meeting with the Krishna district officials on implementation of the RTI Act, he underlined the need to remove misconceptions among some government officials and employees that it was meant to target them.

Actually, the Act was enacted for the benefit of all people, he said.

He asked the district administration to conduct a two-day workshop on the RTI Act for all the stakeholders, including citizens, RTI activists and public information officers (PIOs), for its effective implementation.

“Many officials are of the view that the RTI Act is meant to target them on the pretext of seeking information for the benefit of public.

Some RTI activists are alleging that they are denied information under the Act by the officials concerned.

Others are saying that it is being misused by some to settle their personal scores.

Hence, there is a need to conduct a workshop on the RTI Act for all the stakeholders for its effective implementation,” Vijay Babu said.

“I asked district collector SAM Rizvi over phone, who could not meet me due to some reasons, to conduct the workshop on the RTI Act in Vijayawada,” he said.

Speaking on his priorities, Vijay Babu said the RTI Commission wants to reduce the pendency of petitions to a large extent.

�When asked what are the departments that receive more applications under the RTI Act, he said they i n c l u d e d Revenu e , Panchayat Raj, Education and Home.

He said notices would be issued to the officials concerned from June 18 seeking explanation pertaining to pending petitions under the RTI Act.

Action would be initiated against the officials if they failed to give satisfactory explanation for the pendency within two weeks, he said.

Incharge joint collector Janaki Devi, commissioner of police N Madhusudhan Reddy and district officials participated in the meeting.

Goonda Act potent weapon for police: IGP

Mysore, May 28 2012, DHNS:

Day-long workshop for police officers organised at JSS Law College

Observing that the Goonda Act was a potent weapon for police personnel, IGP Southern Range A S N Murthy called upon officers to learn the technicalities related to the act and use it effectively.

He was speaking at the day-long workshop on ‘The Karnataka prevention of dangerous activities of bootleggers, drug-offenders, gamblers, goondas, immoral traffic offenders and slum-grabbers act 1985,’ organised jointly by Mysore district police and JSS Law College here on Monday.

He said the act allows police personnel to use preventive detention as a measure only if the district magistrate or the commissioner of police is satisfied with the reasons. Citing examples, he said a total of 27 cases were booked in four districts of Hassan, Mandya, Chamarajanagar and Kodagu during 2010. However, the police were successful in arguing only one case in Chamarajanagar, while the remaining managed to get their detention cancelled. He said according to the Supreme Court, a solitary case is enough for a miscreant being taken into preventive detention.

E S  Indresh, government advocate, High Court, discussed the aspects related to the act with the police officers. SP R Dileep, Commissioner K L Sudheer, deputy commissioner P S Vastrad, additional deputy commissioner Naganaik and JSS Law college principal K S Suresh were present.

Police top brass arrive late

The top brass of the police force in the district probably wouldn’t be the best to explain to their officers about punctuality.Top brass including IGP Southern Range A S N Murthy, SP R Dileep and police commissioner K L Sudheer arrived at the programme nearly one hour late.

Nearly 200 police personnel including inspectors, sub-inspectors and constables had arrived at nearly 9 am for the programme which eventually started at 11 am. When queried, IGP  said, “I was told the programme was at 11 am.”

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LEGAL NEWS 28.05.2012

Save-Ganga panel on lines of NHRC soon

Nitin Sethi, TNN | May 28, 2012, 04.09AM IST

NEW DELHI: Concerned about the inability of the National Ganga River Basin Authority’s limited control over how states manage the river stretches in their domain, the Centre is preparing a law that will set up a National Ganga Basin Authority along the lines of the National Commission for Women and the National Human Rights Commission.

The move by the central government comes with concerns within the UPA that the agitation by Hindu seers for an ‘aviral’ Ganga could hit a higher pitch ahead of the Mahakumbh in Allahabad in January. Consequently, environment and forests minister Jayanthi Natarajan has asked her officials to draft a bill that would enable setting up a commission. The government intends to table the bill in the monsoon session of Parliament. The commission, the government proposes, will have powers to help override the difficulties the existing authority has been facing in implementing actions across the eight states that the river passes through.

Early discussions about the commission, source said, led to a proposed structure with non-official experts as well as state representatives on board besides central government actors.










Third time on, commission asks TRAI to assess pricing impact

Manoj Gairola, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 28, 2012

In order to build a case for lowering the proposed reserve price for spectrum auction, the Telecom Commission has asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to analyse the impact of pricing on subscribers, operators and government revenues.
This will be third such calculation by the regulator in a month-and-a-half. The TRAI, under the chairmanship of JS Sarma, had twice submitted this calculation to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT). TRAI calculations show that the impact of the proposed reserve price on tariff would be only four paise per minute in the first year and reduce in subsequent years. The government would earn a minimum of Rs. 700,000 crore in about 10 years.

“From the analysis, it is apparent that the recent recommendations do not adversely impact the profitability of the wireless consumers or the entry of new operators. At the same time they provide for the discovery of true value of spectrum, realisation of revenue to the exchequer and ensure efficient utilisation of spectrum, a scarce natural resource,” the TRAI said in a 34 page document titled Impact analysis of recommendations on auction of spectrum,  submitted to the DoT earlier this month.

However, the Telecom Commission believes that the TRAI, under new chairman Rahul Khullar, would lower the price, said a source familiar with the development. In its recommendations on spectrum auction dated April 23, the TRAI had proposed a reserve price of Rs. 3,600 crore per MHz in the 1,800 MHz band.

On Saturday, the Telecom Commission left the decision on reserve price to the empowered group of ministers (EGoM) headed by the finance minister Pranab Mukherjee.

The commission would present an analysis of the impact of various reserve prices on consumers, operators and government revenue. It has asked the TRAI to do a similar analysis. Both reports would be presented to the EGoM.










Jagan Mohan Reddy to be produced in court today; alert in Andhra Pradesh

Reported by Uma Sudhir | Updated: May 28, 2012 10:55 IST

Hyderabad: Jagan Mohan Reddy’s party, the YSR Congress, has called for a three-day bandh in Andhra Pradesh in protest against his arrest last evening by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The arrest came after three days of interrogation at Hyderabad’s Dilkusha Guest House, where Mr Reddy was held overnight. (Read: Who is Jagan Mohan Reddy?)

Mr Reddy is now at the CBI court at Nampally. He was driven there along with his wife Bharati amid tight security. The court had rejected his anticipatory bail plea on May 25; today he is expected to seek bail, while the CBI will seek his custody.

His mother, Vijayamma, an MLA, has launched an indefinite fast outside her home in Hyderabad’s Lotus Pond. Much family drama last evening saw Mr Reddy’s mother, wife and sister picket the guest house where he was held. They had to be taken away. The arrest comes close to the June 12 by-elections to 17 Assembly and one Lok Sabha seat. The YSR Congress is contesting all the seats and Vijayamma has said she will take Jagan Reddy’s campaign forward.

“YS Rajasekhara Reddy (Jagan’s father) won 33 Lok Sabha seats for Congress in 2009. Publicly YSR declared he would work to make Rahul Gandhi Prime Minister in 2014. So her (Sonia Gandhi) son should become PM and my son should suffer in jail,” she said last night. Political commentators say Mr Reddy’s arrest and an emotive appeal from his mother might just turn into an electoral advantage for him in the by-elections. (Read: YSR Congress’ statement on Jagan Mohan Reddy’s arrest)

Mr Reddy has appealed to his supporters to be calm, but the government fears violence and Andhra Pradesh is on high alert. YSR Congress leaders are being rounded up to prevent them from mobilising crowds. Ambati Rambabu has been taken into custody. Konda Surekha and Murali are under house arrest in Warangal and they have said they will complain to the Election Commission that they are being stopped from campaigning for the by-polls; other YSR Congress leaders too are under virtual house arrest in different parts of the state.

Traffic is normal in Hyderabad. From other parts of the state there have been reports of some violence – three buses were attacked in Rangareddy district’s Ibrahimpatnam and state-run buses have been alerted. YSR Congress cadres have blocked the road by cutting down trees in Nellore district’s Tada which has resulted in huge traffic jam. A cellphone tower was burnt in Aithepally.

The police is well-prepared – it got the three days that Mr Reddy was questioned over to prep. Additional forces have been deployed in sensitive places and prohibitory orders limiting the assembly of people under Section 144 of the CrPC have been imposed in Hyderabad, Cyberabad, Kadapa, which is Jagan Reddy’s Lok Sabha constituency and in the sensitive coastal town of Vijaywada which saw YSR Congress workers stage dharnas and and threatened to call for bandh after Mr Reddy’s arrest. In Hyderabad, the area from the Dilkhush Guest House to the Lotus Pond and Nampally areas have heavy security.

Before the arrest, Jagan Reddy said it was a conspiracy by the ruling Congress and the main Opposition Telugu Desam Party (TDP) to create a law and order situation to postpone the June by-elections. Mr Reddy has been campaigning hard and fancies his party’s chances. While he was being interrogated over the last three days, hectic political activity was taking place behind-the-scenes. The YSR Congress party claims that several Congress and TDP MLAs have got in touch with it and are ready to jump ship. On the three days that he was questioned before his arrest, Mr Reddy made it a point to arrive at the CBI camp with rebel Congressmen. (Timeline: Jagan Mohan Reddy’s battle for survival)

The Congress has reacted with caution to the arrest. I don’t want to comment on it. The CBI is an independent body, the law always takes it own course,” said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi. The BJP, however, slammed the Congress. “The CBI is being used by the Congress to attack those people who are against them. There were charges against many leaders… even Savita Reddy, the Home Minister, has been questioned by CBI. Even the Supreme Court has issued a notice to all the eight Cabinet ministers on the charges of corruption. Why no action is being taken against them and why Jagan is being selectively targeted?” said BJP leader Rajiv Pratap Rudy. (Read: Congress reacts with caution to Jagan’s arrest)

The CBI has been questioning Jagan on how their family’s wealth increased dramatically after his father YS Rajashekhar Reddy became chief minister in 2004. The CBI has alleged that Jagan and his father doled out favours to some companies and in return the companies invested in Jagan’s businesses. The CBI inquiry into Mr Reddy’s business empire and the source of its funds was ordered by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in August 2011.

PTI has quoted CBI officials as saying that Mr Reddy was questioned for three consecutive days and that his answers to certain investments made by a few companies to Sakshi Television and Jagriti publications, owned by him, were not convincing. “Some routing of funds have been detected from tax havens like Mauritius and Isle of Mann, indicating that there were quid pro quo investments in his TV channel and publication by some companies which were given land in the much sought after Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Park,” the CBI officials were quoted as saying.

Mr Reddy is the son of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in a helicopter crash in 2009. After his father’s death he split with the Congress and formed his own party, the YSR Congress.

The corruption case against Mr Reddy could affect not just his political fortunes, but that of several other leaders from the party who quit the Congress in a huff. One of those leaders, a minister named M Venkatramana, was arrested after seven hours of interrogation on Wednesday. Mr Venkatramana has been remanded to judicial custody till June 7. Five other Congress ministers are also being studied for possible collusion.










Forest dwellers denied rights as law bristles with lacunae: Deo

Minister asks Chief Ministers to address problems Not too happy with the implementation of the Scheduled Tribes and Other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, Union Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo has asked the State governments to address several lacunae in the law while implementing it at the ground level.

“If a clear signal is given to implementing authorities that all rights of forest dwellers must be adhered to and that the democratic process under the law must be respected, the forest dwellers of the country may finally find succour and could actually lay claim to their rights,” Mr. Deo has said in a letter to the Chief Ministers of States with a substantial Scheduled Tribes and forest dwelling population.

Pointing out that despite five enactments, the law continues to suffer from many problems, as a result of which a majority of the forest dwellers are not receiving their rights, Mr. Deo said this is against the country’s professed rule of law.

In particular, the rates of rejection of claims are still very high, and the claimants have not been given the reason or even an opportunity to appeal against the rejection.

Where land rights are recognised, title is issued only for a fraction of the area to which the people are actually entitled. Recognition of rights to minor forest produce, grazing areas, waterbodies, and habitats of primitive tribal groups, pre-agricultural communities and pastoralists is very low, Mr. Deo has said.

There have been very few cases where the crucial rights of forest dwelling communities to protect and manage their forests are recognised or respected (and in some cases illegal conditions have been imposed on this right).

As a result, a large number of forest dwellers are facing eviction or harassment at the hands of forest authorities. A large number of them have also been illegally displaced from forest land, the Minister has said.

The major issues flagged by the Ministry, which is the nodal agency for implementing the Act, are lack of awareness that the law applies also to non-ST forest dwellers, who are right now being prevented from filing claims, and a tendency to call larger levels of panchayats to identify the genuine forest dwellers — instead of the gram sabha or the hamlet permitted under the Act — thus hampering the democratic process as the larger bodies cannot hold meetings due to a lack of quorum.

Rejection of claims based on official records, despite gram sabha approval, and non-conversion of forest land into revenue land are some other issues raised by the Minister.








Padma Shri awardee coach Arif conducts badminton camp in Delhi

PTI | May 27, 2012, 05.13PM IST

NEW DELHI: Noted coach SM Arif, who trained the likes of Pullela Gopichand, Jwala Gutta and Chetan Anand, recently conducted a badminton camp for a group of students of Air Force Golden Jubilee Institute (AFGJI).

Organised by the AFGJI Alumni Association, the week-long camp was aimed at enhancing the performance of the current players of the school and was attended by 24 students, including nine girls.

The camp included early morning exercise sessions, video screenings of top players, court drills and practices. The camp also emphasized on correct grips and the importance of warm up and cool down exercises.

Arif, who was conferred the Padma Shri award early this year, worked on speed, agility, strength and endurance of the students.

The Dronacharya awardee coach also had special session for parents of the students emphasizing on ‘Importance of Sports’.

“I had come for one week camp and enjoyed every moment. Fantastic premises, disciplined children and dedicated staff made the whole environment every enthusiastic,” Arif said.

“I wish the facilities available would prove to be the factory of champions for the school, state and ultimately for the country,” he added.

Talking about the camp, AFGJI Alumni President, Parijat Punj said, “We thought of an out-of-the-box idea of helping the school and its students and we were overwhelmed by the response from the school.

“By having a coach of the stature of Arif Sir in itself became a motivating factor for the students.”

Kulwant Assija, HOD, Physical Education, AFGJI said, “The camp was a big hit, had we allowed program for beginners, we would have got 200+ entries.”







Noida techie ‘tortures’ maid, Child Welfare Commission steps in

Aniruddha Ghosal, TNN | May 28, 2012, 01.33AM IST

NOIDA: A day after police arrested a software engineer for allegedly torturing and forcibly keeping a 14-year-old girl captive in her Sector 62 flat, the minor underwent a medical examination to ascertain her age. Even though the prime accused in the case, Meenakshi Bhardwaj, a software engineer who works for a technology firm in Gurgaon, claimed the charges levied against her are baseless, the police said the girl had a number of extremely serious injuries and burn marks across her body.

The girl alleged that she had been undergoing the horrendous torture for over a year and had only managed to escape on Saturday when the couple had forgotten to lock the door of their apartment. “The accused, Susheel and Meenakshi Bhardwaj, who had employed the girl in their Sector 62 apartment, are natives of Jharkhand. They claim to have employed the girl from a placement agency in Delhi. We are investigating the placement agency as well. The girl alleged that she was kept locked inside the apartment when the couple went to work and, at times, for even days when they went on holidays,” said Arun Kumar, SHO, Sector 58. The girl found the door had been left open around 5pm on Saturday and ran away. She was found in an injured state by security guards in the apartment complex who took her to the police.

The girl had been hired in August and throughout the period of her employment she was beaten up with a belt and hot utensils, said the police. The girl’s medical examination was videographed by the police, the child labour department and the CWC. “The girl also went through a bone verification test to accurately ascertain her age. In such cases, it becomes important to see what the girl’s age exactly is before charges can be drawn against the accused. If she’s older than 14, then charges of bonded labour can’t be drawn,” explained a senior CWC official.

The entire process was videographed for legal purposes. “The videographic evidence will make it difficult for the accused to later pressure the child and her family in any way during the investigation,” said an official.

“The case in currently under investigation and all the relevant IPC Sections, including those pertaining to child labour, bonded labour and Sections 23-26 of the Juvenile Justice Act have been imposed,” added Kumar.










CBSE Class X marks can’t be revealed under RTI: HC

TNN | May 28, 2012, 05.46AM IST

NEW DELHI: Marks obtained by a student in the Class X CBSE exams cannot be revealed under the Right to Information (RTI) Act as it would defeat the very purpose of the new grading system, the Delhi high court has ruled.

Setting aside a ruling by the Central information Commission asking the Central Board of Secondary Education to reveal marks obtained by a girl in her Class X board examination in 2010, a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice R S Endlaw held that marks could not be treated as “information” under the RTI Act as CBSE awarded only grades now.

The verdict came on the plea of Anil Kumar Kathpal, who wanted the board to disclose the marks secured by his daughter in her Class X exam in 2010. He said the information, specifically subject-wise marks, would help him identify the weak areas in her studies.

Grades enough: HC

The high court has set aside a CIC ruling that asked CBSE to reveal under the RTI Act marks obtained by a girl in her Class X board examination in 2010.

The court also set aside the verdict of a single-judge bench which had asked CBSE to reveal the marks. “We are unable to agree; we feel the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of ‘marks’, in the regime of ‘grades’ have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof,” the high court said, allowing CBSE’s appeal.

“In our opinion, even though there is no express order of any court of law forbidding publication of marks… the effect of bringing the regime of grades in place of marks and of dismissal of challenge thereto, is to forbid publication/disclosure of marks… The objective…was to grade students in a bandwidth rather than numerically, it was felt that (the) difference between a student having 81% and a student having 89% could be owing to subjectivity in marking,” the bench said.








Marks obtained in CBSE exams cannot be given under RTI: Delhi high court

PTI | May 27, 2012, 11.59AM IST

NEW DELHI: In a significant ruling, the Delhi high court has held that marks obtained by a student in CBSE board exam cannot be revealed under the transparency law as it would “defeat” the purpose of the new grading system.

The court set aside the verdict of a single judge bench and the Central Information Commission (CIC), which had asked the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to reveal marks obtained by a girl in her class X board examination in 2010.

“We are unable to agree; we feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of ‘marks’, in the regime of ‘grades’ have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof.

“The objective, in replacing the marks with grades, as can be gathered from the documents on record, was to grade students in a bandwidth rather than numerically … ,” a bench of acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

Writing the judgment, Endlaw said the details of marks, obtained by the student in 10th board, cannot be termed as an “information” under the Right to Information Act (RTI) as its disclosure would defeat the policy of awarding grades instead of marks.

Allowing the plea of CBSE, it said “no weightage can also be given to the plea of respondent (girl’s father) that the marks even if disclosed would not be used for any other purpose.

“The possibility of respondent and his ward, in securing admission and for other purposes, using the said information to secure an advantage over others cannot be ruled out.”

The apex transparency panel had allowed the plea of the student saying “since, the marks were available with the appellant (CBSE) and since none of the exemptions under the RTI Act were attracted to support the non disclosure thereof, the appellant was bound to and directed to provide the information sought.”

Aggrieved by the order, CBSE appealed to the single judge bench of the high court which upheld the order of the CIC.

The CBSE then filed an appeal against the order before a division bench which allowed its plea that disclosure of the marks would dilute and defeat the grading system.

“We have already held above that disclosure of marks, which though exists with the appellant would amount to allowing play to the policy earlier prevalent of marking the examinees. Merely because the appellant/its examiners for the purpose of grading, first mark the students would not compel this court to put at naught or to allow full play to the new policy of grades,” it said.

Anil Kumar Kathpal, the father of the girl, had sought the details of the marks saying “this information will help me to identify her weak areas in studies and take timely action, so that she can pursue her career after class XII.”









RTE Act income limit works against poor’

TNN | May 28, 2012, 02.25AM IST

MYSORE: Speakers at a seminar organized by Kannada activists at the Centenary Hall of Maharaja College here on Sunday expressed their concern over the regulations and guidelines formulated by the state government under the Right To Education(RTE) Act.

They opined that there is a possibility of distortion of the provisions of the Act itself to use it for the benefit of the upper middle and the middle class, denying access to education to the poor and the BPL families.

Addressing the gathering, education experts said there is every chance of miscarriage of the Act.

“Income limit of Rs 3.5 lakh on the children’s parents getting admitted under the RTE Act as per the reservation quota itself smacked of ulterior motto of the bureaucracy to dilute the purpose” they said.

Even the upper middle class and the middle class children of OBC , SC and ST and who hold jobs in organized sectors can get into schools using the provisions of this Act, depriving the facility to the poor children. One of the speakers said the high income limit has been fixed with an intention to help the private schools.

Speakers at the function included head of the women studies department R Indira , Kannada litterateur Panditaradhya, activist P Mallesh, retired Hindi professor P V Nanjaraje Urs and education expert N S Raghunath.







Govt to amend forest Act for tribal rights

Nitin Sethi, TNN | May 28, 2012, 04.41AM IST

NEW DELHI: The tribal affairs ministry is moving fast to amend the Forest Rights Act and bring about changes in rules that would make it easier for traditional forest dwellers to get their rightful claim over forest lands and more difficult for the industry to use the green patches without the former’s nod.

The move comes with the central government recording serious flaws in the implementation of the Act across the country. As a precursor to the expected changes, tribal affairs minister Kishore Chandra Deo has written to CMs pointing out how the implementation of what was UPA-1’s flagship scheme had failed, asking them to remove the shortcomings.

The step had been pending for long, with the NAC too recommending altering the rules and regulations to overcome state prejudices against handing back lands to tribals and other traditional forest dwellers.

After Deo took over the tribal affairs ministry, it was expected that the changes would come through quickly but the minister, who had earlier been the key Congress general secretary advocating the passage of the Act, faced an uphill battle against his bureaucracy, which had also opposed the NAC recommendations. A shuffle of the top bureaucracy within the ministry saw the opposition against changes in the FRA dwindle and Deo has now agreed to work the NAC recommendations into the law. The changes in implementation are expected to come at three levels. The ministry is expected to use its powers under the Act to pass mandatory advisories, amend existing rules as well as go to Parliament for amendments where required.

Deo’s letter to CMs is the first indication of what is in the works. He has said that states have not adhered to rules and tribals still face harassment, threats of eviction and forced relocation in violation of the Act. He has asked for strict adherence to the rule that denies industry the right to forest patches unless affected village councils accept it through a resolution.

“Gram sabha meetings… for critical decisions such as diversion of forest land, should be video taped and videos made publicly available. This will ensure transparency and reduce manipulation and dispute,” Deo wrote.








Govt to challenge CIC order on PJ Thomas’ empanelment

New Delhi, May 27, 2012

The government has decided to approach the Delhi High Court seeking relief from the Central Information Commission’s directives for disclosing records related to empanelment of former Central Vigilance Commissioner PJ Thomas for appointment at the Centre. In February, Chief Information Commissioner Satyananda Mishra, who was former secretary in the Department of Personnel, had directed the Cabinet Secretariat to disclose documents related to empanelment of Thomas at Centre.

The Cabinet Secretariat had claimed that the information was exempted under the RTI because of being cabinet document.

Rejecting the contentions, the CIC found it fit case for making public.

Three months after the order, the Cabinet Secretariat has refused to disclose the documents and told RTI applicant Subhash Agrawal that it has decided to challenge the order of the Chief Information Commissioner in the Delhi high court.

The Cabinet Secretariat in its latest communication said it had sought permission of the competent authority for providing the required documents in compliance with the order of the CIC.

“The undersigned has been conveyed that competent authority has decided to go into an appeal in the Delhi High Court against the directions of CIC for providing copies of the file noting and other records relating to both the framing of rule made by the Central government for empanelment of officers for posting, at the level of Additional Secretary and Secretary to the Government of India as well as its subsequent amendments/relaxations,” said S P Roy, Under Secretary at Cabinet Secretariat.

Thomas had joined Centre as Parliament Affairs Secretary in 2009 before his appointment as Telecom Secretary and subsequently as Central Vigilance Commissioner which was quashed by the Supreme Court on March 3, 2011.

He was selected as CVC in September 2010 by the three-member HPC which had Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister P Chidambaram and Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj as its members.

Swaraj had put a dissenting note opposing the selection of Thomas.

The Supreme Court quashed the appointment of Thomas as CVC, saying the recommendation made by the HPC did not consider charge sheet relating to a corruption case pending against him during his tenure in Kerala government.

The CIC had ordered disclosure of rules for appointment of joint secretary level officers and their seniors at the Centre, saying statutes which reportedly resulted in appointment of Thomas as Union Secretary cannot be termed as Cabinet documents.

The Centre had set a rule that only those IAS officers who had served at least three years at the Centre would be considered for appointment to the post of Joint Secretary and and ranks.

As a result officials, who were facing vigilance cases in their states, could not come to the Centre for these positions. The rule was reportedly changed allowing the officials who had been cleared of vigilance inquiry to come and serve at the Centre.

Agrawal had sought to know details of the older rule for such appointments and subsequent changes in it along with the file notings.











CIC may summon officials over plea by whistleblower’s family

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 27, 2012

After slain RTI activist Ravinder Balwani’s daughter wrote to the Central Information Commission (CIC), the transparency regulator’s chief said, if needed, officials from the respondent public authority/authorities would be summoned for a hearing.
Balwani’s daughter Sonia had written to the commission in wake of the Commission’s resolution passed last year that it would direct the public authority/authorities concerned to declare suo motu the information if a complaint in this regard was received from family members of such activist.

A resident of Vasant Kunj, Balwani extensively used RTI route to dig out information from various Delhi government departments and then lodged complaints at the Delhi Lokayukta office. He died on April 25 after meeting with an accident two days earlier. However, his family suspects foul play and has alleged it to be murder, as he was receiving threats.

Two weeks ago, his family members had approached information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi through a letter/complaint written by Balwani’s daughter Sonia. Gandhi, in turn forwarded it to the CIC chief Satyendra Mishra.

“We received a copy of the letter that Gandhi wrote to Mishra three days ago,” Balwani’s son Varun said.

Mishra told HT, after going through the due process, officials from the respondent public authority/authorities from whom Balwani had sought information would be called. “It can be a regular hearing even in absence of the applicant, who has died/was killed.”

“(However), CIC can direct disclosure of information only if the information is disclosable,” Mishra added.










Freehold property: Three lawyers move High Court on NOC norm

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Mon May 28 2012, 02:59 hrs

Terming the demand for no objection certificate (NOC) for sale/registration and transfer of freehold property “illegal” and “unconstitutional”, three lawyers of the Chandigarh District Courts moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court last week.

The trio sought initiation of contempt proceedings against Adviser to the UT Administrator; the UT Estate officer; Assistant Estate Officer and Joint Registrar for not complying with court directions issued in 2000. Taking stock, the High Court has converted the contempt petition into a PIL. Keeping in view larger public interest, Justice Surya Kant has held that the petition be heard and adjudicated upon by a division bench of the High Court.

The petitioners contended that in 2000, the High Court had made it clear in a judgment entitled Surinder Kaur versus Chandigarh that “no objection certificate is required in relation to freehold properties”. Despite this judgment, the petitioners said, the Chandigarh Administration was demanding NOC from the city residents.

“When there is no condition in the allotment letters or other related documents that a person owning a freehold property in Chandigarh is to sell the same after getting NOC from the Chandigarh Administration or the UT Estate officer, no officer of the Chandigarh Administration is having business to put such limitation on the property of persons owning the same on freehold basis,” read the petition filed by Advocate A S Chahal and two other lawyers.

The petitioners contended that despite having brought this (judgment) to the notice of the UT officials, no action had been taken.

As per a recent change made by the administration, for sale/registration or transfer of any property, the present owner has to obtain an NOC from the original owner. This is in addition to power of attorney. The demand for NOC, as per the UT officials, was introduced to put an end to increase in instances of fraud in sale/transfer of property.








Government to look into legal possibilities

Express News Service

KOTTAYAM: The government will look into the legal possibilities, including registering a case against CPM Idukki district secretary M M Mani for his controversial speech, said Home Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan.

“The statement made by Mani that CPM would kill its political opponents, should be taken as a serious one. Also an investigation will be carried out into all the murders mentioned by him. We will examine whether there was any political conspiracy behind it. The police are now examining the video tape of the speech. We won’t initiate any action that will be against the law,” Thiruvanchoor said here on Sunday.

Earlier, Mani had openly proclaimed in a meeting that the CPM had killed three political opponents in Idukki district who stood against the party.When asked whether the bigwigs will be caught in the T P Chandrasekharan murder case, he said that the police investigation does not revolve around any specific motive.

“It’s the investigating team that should inform the progress of the case. The CPM is trying to obstruct the investigation and give the culprits political protection,” Thiruvanchoor said.

He added that the government will also examine the conspiracy behind the political murders in the state.








CBI searches in connection with teacher recruitment

New Delhi, May 27, 2012

The CBI on Sunday carried out searches in connection with the alleged bungling in recruitment of teachers in Chandigarh against three persons, including a Haryana civil services officer.
The case was registered by the CBI after directions from the Punjab and Haryana high court under

various sections of the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act against two persons — Hardev Singh and Jolly, CBI said.

The case was earlier registered by Chandigarh Police in September 2009 but was subsequently re-registered by the CBI on the directions of the high court after the police failed to make any headway in the case.

It was alleged that during the period from 2007-09, Singh and Jolly allegedly in collusion with the unknown public servants of the department of education, Chandigarh, were demanding bribe for appointment of teachers, the official spokesperson said in a release.

Searches were conducted today at four places, including that of the residence-cum-office of the then director physical instructor (Schools) Samvrat Singh, a civil service officer of Haryana and premises of Singh and Jolly.

Singh is at present secretary in the Haryana Urban Development Authority.










GHPS is minority institution: Sikh body

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 27, 2012

The Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) has claimed that the six pay commission’s recommendations did not apply to educational institutions being run by it, as they are minority establishments.
The declaration by the Sikh body came in response to a plea before the Delhi High Court by a group of teaching and non-teaching staff of the Vasant Vihar and India Gate branches of the Guru Harkrishan Public School. The staff are seeking pay scale as per the recommendations of the sixth pay panel.

In response to the plea, the DSGMC said that institutions under its control were declared minority education institutions pursuant to July 2011 order passed by the National Commission for Minority Educational Institution.

However, DSGMC’s stand before the high court is contrary to its assurance given to Directorate of Education (DoE) to pay the teachers as per the sixth pay commission’s recommendations in a year’s time. DSGMC president Paramjit Singh Sarna had given this assurance in a letter written to the DoE on January 4, 2012.

In its response to the petition by GHPS staff, the directorate has placed a copy of Sarna’s letter before the HC. The management has, however, drawn support from the Lieutenant Governor’s (LG) February 4, 2012 order that set aside DoE’s January 25, 2012 order, withdrawing recognition of GHPS’s Hari Nagar branch. The LG had accepted DSGMC’s contention that the school was an unaided minority institution and financial conditionality could not be imposed on it.

The petitioners have urged the court to direct the DSGMC management to implement the sixth pay commission’s report, arguing that Section 10 of the Delhi State Education Act, 1973, made it mandatory for all aided and unaided schools, irrespective of the category, to implement the pay panel’s report. According to the petitioners, the scheme of management of the schools managed by DSGMC does not mention categorically that the institutions would cater to students beloging to the Sikh community only.

Intriguingly, the GHPS management had implemented the fifth pay commission’s report but this time it had refused to pay the new pay scales, the petitioners had submitted.

The matter is scheduled to come up for further hearing on August 17.







Acid attacks: Haryana women face new form of assault

Deepender Deswal, TNN | May 28, 2012, 07.27AM IST

ROHTAK: Acid seems to have become the new weapon in the hands of criminals in Haryana. Already infamous for its skewed sex ratio and high female foeticide rate, the state has seen a wave of acid attacks against women, even prompting the Punjab and Haryana high court to order a CBI inquiry into one of such case involving three schoolgirls.

Unidentified accused had thrown acid on three schoolgirls — two of them class 10 students and third in class 12 — when they were returning home from tuition classes in Sector 1 in Rohtak last year. While the accused are still to be identified, the HC has handed over the investigations to CBI.

Saturday’s daylight attack on a budding volleyball player in a bustling Rohtak street is 5th such incident in Haryana in a one year span. The motive in all the five incidents — in Rohtak, Sonipat, Kelram village of Kaithal district and Ambala — seems to be similar as the accused resorted to this brutal form of assault to take revenge on girl who had “dared” to snub him. According to police officers, in most cases, acid attacks have been used as revenge on girls who spurned advances of friendship or marriage by the accused.

Two victims had succumbed to acid burns. Paramjit Kaur, 30, was attacked when she was asleep, in Kelram village on May 23 and had succumbed to burns in a Karnal hospital on Friday. Another 17-year-old girl, Kiran, of Sonipat town, died of acid burns inflicted on her by two youths, including one who had been stalking her and pressurizing her to marry him, on July 13, 2011.

“It’s a reflection of the brutal male mentality where the accused took rejection as an insult. They found a soft target in the girl and attacked her with acid to deface her,” said Sandeep Kumar, a psychologist at Guru Jambheshwar University in Hisar. A mixture of psycho-social and sexual factors, like negative feelings, bias towards females, mental sickness and peer pressure could be the driving force behind the accused taking such extreme steps, he said.

Prof Promila Batra, head of psychology department at Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak, said the accused are impulsive and aggressive and unable to think about the consequences of their act.

Police failure to effectively tackle such incidents is also responsible for the repeat of such attacks. “The accused in such cases should be tried under stricter law and punishment, too, must be exemplary,” said a police official. “Easy availability of acid and even easier use (throwing it while driving) is alluring for such accused, who take a sadistic pleasure by leaving a permanent scar on their victims while taking the revenge,” he added.


May 27, 2012: Two biker youths throw acid on volleyball player Ritu Saini, 18, in busy Prem Nagar Chowk area of Rohtak and speed away

May 23, 2012: Paramjit Kaur, 30, attacked by a man, stated to be her relative, while she was asleep in her house in Kelram village of Kaithal, along with her two children. While she succumbed to her injuries, her 10-year-old son is struggling for life with 35% burns

July 13, 2011: Kiran, 17, dies in Sonipat after two youths on motorcycle throw acid on her. She had rejected the marriage proposal of main accused, Sanjay

June 18, 2011: Unknown assailants throw acid on three schoolgirls when they were returning home from tuition classes in Rohtak

February 15, 2011: Jyoti Anand, 21, attacked in Ambala by a youth who had been harassing her. The victim was returning home from office, when the accused and his accomplice threw acid on her and fled on motorcycle









Mani Talks: Kin of slain Congressman to move HC
 Express News Service

THODUPUZHA: The kin of Anjery Baby, a Congressman who was killed in 1982 allegedly for political reasons, is planning to move the High Court in the wake of remarks made by CPM’s Idukki secretary M M Mani.
Baby’s brother Anjery Benny said a Cong mandalam president at Senapathy in Idukki, a case was registered against a few persons, including the then CPM local sec P N Mohandas. However, Mohandas was absolved of charges for lack of evidence and owing to political pressure, he said. Baby, was killed allegedly by his political foes on Nov 13, 1982, following the Assembly election.







HC tells J&K daily not to publish defamatory news

New Delhi, May 27, 2012

The Delhi High Court has asked a J&K-based news daily not to publish “derogatory” news against a joint director of public broadcaster Doordarshan, posted in Srinagar.
“I am of the view that the plaintiff (Bashir Malik) has been able to make out a strong prima-facie case for the grant of an ex-parte ad-interim injunction in his favour. Hence, it is directed that till the next date of hearing the defendants (newspaper Daily Kashmir Images and editors) shall not make any derogatory and defamatory news about Malik  without facts, cogent and clear documentary evidence,” Justice Manmohan Singh said.

Malik, serving as joint director at Doordarshan, had moved the court seeking permanent and interim injunction against the paper from publishing “false, vexatious and malicious” articles aimed to harm his reputation.  










HC clears pension of retd Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation staff

Debabrata Mohapatra, TNN | May 28, 2012, 04.04AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Orissa high court has asked the state government to immediately pay pension dues to around 1,000 retired employees of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) under the fifth pay commission.

The court’s May 4 judgment asked the state government to pay the arrears to the retired employees, who were deprived of the pension benefits between January 1, 1996 and January 1, 2006. Some employees of BMC and CMC had moved the HC against apathetic attitude of the government in 2009.

Quashing a 2006 resolution of state housing and urban development (HUD) department that had debarred employees from availing the pension benefits, the court directed the government to “compute the financial benefit and pay the same within three months from the date of delivery of the judgment.”

The HUD resolution passed on October 13, 2006, said: “The pay fixation as adopted for the state government employees under Odisha Revised Scales of Pay Rules, 1998, will be extended to the employees of BMC and CMC with effect from January 1, 1996, notionally and the actual financial benefit will be given from January 1, 2006.”

“That was sheer disparity. We never got the yearly cash benefits from January 1996 till January 2006 while other government employees enjoyed the benefit without hassle,” said Binayak Rath, member of BMC Retired Employees’ Association. “We are relieved a lot after the HC judgment came in our favour. There is now a hope of getting back the arrears,” Rath said. “The high court has also directed the government to pay us pension benefits under sixth pay commission as we are now getting pension under fifth pay commission,” Rath said.

BMC mayor A N Jena said, “We received the order a few days ago and are examining it.” Jena added that the execution of the HC order would cost the BMC coffer around Rs 15 annually.







Ignoring HC, BDA fells trees, residents protest

Express News Service

BANGALORE: Flouting the authority of a committee set up by the Chief Minister as well as a hearing on the case that was scheduled in the High Court for Monday, the Bangalore Development Authority on Friday and Saturday went ahead and chopped down over 30 trees near the Water Tank junction in Kormangala.

Residents of Koramangala on Sunday staged a protest against the action taken by the BDA and questioned the late night operation which was carried out till 4 am on Sunday morning according to them.

“Don’t they have any respect for authority? We spoke to the Chief Minister two times about this.They still went ahead and chopped the trees,” said a senior resident.

According to the BDA, the tree felling was necessary for various assorted projects related to the Sirsi Agara signal free corridor which will be built at a cost of Rs 119 crore.

However the issue of tree felling was a long standing one between the residents and the BDA since the residents allege that they were not consulted about the project.

Chief Minister D V Sadanda Gowda had constituted a committee to look into the issue which was supposed to be headed by Additional Chief Secretary K Jairaj.

However Jairaj is due to retire on May 30 and the committee has reportedly not started work yet.

However the residents had also filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the High Court, which was due for hearing on Monday.

Residents on Sunday alleged that the BDA authorities had brought police protection with them in order to ensure that their work would not be disturbed.

“It is too late to fight now, what is the use of a committee report or a High Court order now that the trees have been chopped,” rued Rishi, a resident. He added that there were reports of further tree felling which has been planned by the BDA on the stretch and that the residents were contemplating on filing a criminal contempt case against the BDA.






HC to resume hearing on Nupur’s bail plea

Last Updated: Monday, May 28, 2012, 08:48

New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court will on Monday resume hearing on the bail application of dentist Nupur Talwar, accused in Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case of 2008 along with her husband Rajesh.

A Ghaziabad trial court on Thursday charged dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar with the murder of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj.

The court framed the charges in presence of Talwars in an in-camera session.

Rajesh Talwar has also been charged with misleading the investigation in the double murder case.

Special CBI Judge S Lal ordered that Nupur and Rajesh be charged with the crime under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302/34 (murder with common intention) and 201/34 (destruction of evidence with common intention).

Rajesh Talwar was also charged under IPC sections 203/34 (misleading police about the crime with common intention).

The CBI had claimed the Talwars’ maid, the guard and driver corroborate their ‘last scene theory’ according to which there were four people living in the house and there was no sign of a fifth person’s entry at the time of the murders.

The CBI counsel had said, “Four people were there, two died and two were left. When a murder takes place in a closed house and two are dead, the onus then shifts on those who are alive.”

The CBI had also claimed that Aarushi and Hemraj’s injuries were identical. “The golf stick recovered from the house matches the injury. The Talwars refused to identify Hemraj’s body and gave false information regarding the crime scene,” the CBI counsel said.

The Talwars’ counsel had, however, claimed there was no direct evidence to prove the charges that the CBI claimed against the Talwars.

The CBI had also told the court in Ghaziabad that Rajesh and Nupur killed Aarushi and Hemraj in a fit of rage after finding them in a compromising position, a claim strongly refuted by the dentist couple.

Talwars had contested CBI’s claim, saying sex is no big deal in elite society and does not entail murders.

Aarushi was found dead with her throat slit at her Noida residence in Jalvayu Vihar on May 16, 2008 and the body of Hemraj was recovered from the terrace a day later.










Another recruitment of teachers under HC lens

RAGHAV OHRI : Chandigarh, Mon May 28 2012, 02:56 hrs

Yet another recruitment of teachers by the UT Administration has come under the scanner of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

For allegedly allowing “less qualified” teachers from Punjab and Haryana to compete for the posts of JBT teachers in Chandigarh, the High Court has asked the UT Administration to explain.

Also, notices have been issued to Punjab, Haryana, National Council for Teachers Education (NCTE); Director, State Institute of Education; and Secretary, Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan Society. The notices were issued on a joint petition filed by as many as 53 candidates contesting for the JBT posts.

Issuing notices, the High Court has made it clear that the final claim of the petitioners will be subject to the outcome of the petition filed by them.

The petitioners have demanded setting aside of the decision of Chandigarh Administration for opening and allowing the candidates from Haryana and Punjab who have cleared Teacher Eligibility Test (TET) of their respective states to compete for the posts of JBT teachers on contract basis. An advertisement to this effect was issued by the administration on March 13.

Advocate A P S Shergill, counsel for the petitioners, has submitted that the decision to allow teachers from Punjab and Haryana for the JBT posts is totally contrary to the principles of law and against the basic criteria of appointment that is required to be followed.

Shergill contended that as per rules, the candidates who had cleared the Central Teachers Eligibility Test (CTET) were eligible to compete for the posts of JBT teachers in any Union Territory. The petitioners submitted that teachers from Punjab and Haryana who had cleared TET were “less qualified” than those who had cleared CTET.

Levelling serious allegations, Shergill said the babus of Chandigarh Administration were trying to accommodate their favourites from Punjab and Haryana in the administration by “illegally” allowing them to compete for the posts of JBT teachers.

The petitioners have also submitted that the UT Administration has allowed teachers from Punjab and Haryana contrary to the NCTE norms.

Raising an alternative demand, the petitioners have sought directions from the High Court to “Haryana and Punjab to allow the CTET candidates to participate in the selection process in their respective states at par with their own state-level TET selection process if their candidates are allowed to compete in the present selection process”.

The petitioners have submitted that candidates from Chandigarh are not allowed to compete for JBT posts in Punjab and Haryana since the states emphasise domicile.

“Punjab and Haryana governments are not allowing CTET cleared candidates from Chandigarh or other parts of India, because they are following the NCTE rules which UT is not following,” read the petition.

The respondents have been given time till the first week of July to respond to the allegations levelled by the petitioners.


LEGAL NEWS 27.05.2012

Telecom panel refuses to decide spectrum pricing

TNN | May 27, 2012, 04.58AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Telecom Commission on Saturday avoided a decision on recommending the reserve price for auction of 2G spectrum and instead lobbed the ball back into the regulator’s court, asking it to analyse the impact on consumers, investment and government resources.

The analysis from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), which is expected before the end of the month, will then be passed on to an empowered group of ministers for a final decision.

Already the Telecom Commission, which consists of top officials from various ministries, has got Trai to review its own recommendations but reflecting the unease in bureaucratic circles to take a decision amid pressure from private players to water down the suggestions, the panel decided to get Rahul Khullar, the new Trai chief, to analyse his predecessor’s recommendations.

J S Sarma, who had submitted the recommendations and also answered queries from the Telecom Commission, was of the view that his proposals would push up mobile tariffs by 4 paise a minute. But telecom operators who would have to shell out at least 10 times more than what was charged in 2001 have been arguing that they would be impacted severely and call charges would rise by up to 100%.

Even ministers have waded in with commerce minister Anand Sharma taking up the concerns expressed by the operators with finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the ministerial panel.

“We will ask for further analysis by Trai on what the impact of the reserve price will be on the sector. We have not rejected Trai’s recommendation, but have only asked Trai for a detailed analysis on the impact on consumers as well as operators, so that it can be placed before the EGoM for a well-informed decision,” telecom secretary R Chandrasekhar, who also chairs the telecom panel, said.

This analysis will be submitted at the month-end by Trai, which will then be placed before the EGoM without any further delay. The analysis will try to strike a balance between customer impact, return of investment in telecom sector and revenue to the government.

Other key decisions include the favouring of 3% revenue sharing model and the rejection of deferred payment by the operators.







Green tribunal asks MoEF to make public info on projects

PTI | May 27, 2012, 11.23AM IST

NEW DELHI: Stressing on greater transparency, the National Green Tribunal has asked the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to bring in public domain the relevant information regarding ventures in eco- fragile zones.

“We also feel there is need to have more transparency in the EIA process and as such, whatever relevant information regarding the projects are used during the time of appraisal of the project from environmental angle by the Environment Appraisal Committee (EAC) and MoEF should also be made available in public domain including the executive summary of specific studies.

“Therefore, we direct the MoEF to make available relevant information other than EIA report and report of the public hearing considered during the appraisal of the project through its website,” a bench headed by Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson A S Naidu said.

The bench, also comprising G K Pandey as an expert member, passed the directions while suspending the environmental clearance (EC) granted to the proposed 3,600 MW coal-based thermal power plant developed by IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd, at Cuddalore district in Tamil Nadu.

The tribunal also directed MoEF to upload “from time to time the compliance status of various stipulated conditions during the grant of EC to projects so as to bring compliance status in public domain in case of all the projects granted EC under EIA Notification, 2006”.

It said the concerned project proponent must also upload the compliance status of EC conditions, including the executive summary of the specific studies done in respect of the project and update the same periodically.









Bidaris case will be decided on Monday

Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 10:50 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA

The case of former director general and inspector general of police (DG&IGP) SM Bidari is entering a decisive stage as the division bench headed by Justice N Kumar has reserved the order for Monday.

On Friday, a day after the high court dropped Bidari’s plea to change the bench of his case, he withdrew his request.

The arguments in the main writ petition commenced post lunch session.

The counsel for Bidari argued that the Karnataka Administrative Tribunal had no jurisdiction to go into the empanelment of the candidates to the post of DG and IGP. Infant should not be aggrieved because his name figured in the empanelment list.
Counsel for Infant Uday Holla argued that for every selection, the criteria should be length of service, experience and good record of the candidate. However, Bidari’s records were questionable as many atrocities were committed against women when he was heading the special task force to capture forest brigand Veerappan. They were tortured during the investigation.
If Bidari cannot handle a 1,000-member task force, how he will handle a 90,000-strong police force, he asked.
Earlier, the Supreme Court had given a directive to the high court to reexamine its decision to quash Bidari’s appointment as DG&IGP.
Following this, Bidari had filed a petition in the high court requesting that the hearing of his case be referred to a bench different from the one that had quashed his appointment.
He contended that possible prejudice on the part of the division bench headed by Justice N Kumar might come in the way of fair judgment.
On March 30, the bench headed by Kumar had quashed Bidari’s appointment as DG&IGP.










SC upholds conviction of duo for Rs100 bribe

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012, 8:45 IST
Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

More than 17 years after being caught demanding and accepting a bribe of Rs100 from a patient at a government hospital, the Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of two employees under Prevention of Corruption Act.

But since the incident was nearly two-decades-old and the duo – Mukut Bihari and Kalyan Mal – had undergone considerable trauma during the protracted litigation, the court reduced the punishment to one year RI as against the two-year sentence imposed by the trial court and affirmed by the Rajasthan High Court.

“However, considering the fact that the incident occurred about two decades ago and the appellants suffer from severe ailments, they have lost their service long ago and suffered the agony of protracted litigation, the appellant no 1 (Mukut) has been suffering from acute pancreatitis and both the appellants have served the sentence for more than six months, in the facts and circumstances of the case, their sentence is reduced to one year,” the court said.

A bench of Justice BS Chauhan and Justice Dipak Misra, rejected the convicts’ claim that they were falsely implicated and no independent witness was present when the trap was laid by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau in November 1994 in Rajasthan’s Tonk district.

The trap was laid for the two employees of Sahadat Hospital, Tonk on a complaint by one Rafiq that they demanded Rs100 bribe to issue the discharge slip in favour of his father Deen Mohd who had undergone treatment for a urinary infection.

The trial court on September 7, 2001, imposed a two-year sentence on the two, which was affirmed by the high court on October 12, 2011, following which, they appealed in the apex court.

“The explanation furnished by the appellants that they had falsely been enroped due to enmity could not be proved for the reason that no evidence could be brought on record indicating any previous enmity between the complainant and the appellants nor any evidence was available to show that the complainant was not satisfied with the treatment given to his father and he could act with some oblique motive in order to falsely implicate the appellants,” the bench said.

The apex court said the trial court had rightly appreciated the evidence on record before convicting them and the high court was justified in dismissing their plea. Hence, it said there was no infirmity in the two lower court’s findings.

“The courts below considered the facts properly and appreciated the evidence in correct perspective and then reached the conclusion that the charges stood fully proved against the appellants,” the bench said.











Trial court reserves verdict on Sajjan plea

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.31AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court has reserved its order for June 2 on a plea by Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, who is facing trial in a 1984 anti-Sikh riots case, seeking to confront the witnesses with their affidavits submitted to the judicial commissions set up to examine the riot cases.

District judge J R Aryan on Saturday reserved the order after hearing the arguments. Kumar has filed an application that prosecutor R S Cheema had on July 12, 2010, made a statement in the court that affidavits and statement of key witness and complainant Jagdish Kaur, recorded by G T Nanavati and Ranganath Mishra commissions, cannot be used because of contradictions.

Advocate I U Khan and Anil Kumar Sharma, appearing for Kumar, said, “The prosecution is trying to say that it will use those affidavits/statements for securing our (accused) conviction but will not allow the accused to use that part of examination in chief.”









Get to know a bit of law, Hegde tells Yeddyurappa

Former Lokayukta hits back at his detractorsStrongly denying the former Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa’s allegations that the Lokayukta report on illegal mining was prepared within a week to victimise him and that the donations made by a mining company to his family-owned trust were being misinterpreted as bribes, the former Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde on Saturday advised him to “know a bit of law”.

“Nearly 40 lakh bank accounts have been collated by the investigating team while preparing the report. Do you think it is possible to complete such a task within a week?” Mr. Hegde wondered while participating at a meeting organised by the Karnataka Jagruti Janandolana to chalk out its future course of action on speeding up the process of appointing a Lokayukta.

No name dropping

Throughout his speech, Mr. Hegde never mentioned Mr. Yeddyurappa’s name and referred to him as the former Chief Minister “who has been taking my name every day”.

He strongly defended the report on illegal mining that indicted Mr. Yeddyurappa.

Referring to Mr. Yeddyurappa’s claims that he had not shown any official favours to the mining company in lieu of donations made to his family trust, Mr. Hegde asked him to get to know a bit of law saying that according to the law, there was no need to prove the quid-pro-quo towards a bribe amount taken by a government servant. He recalled the episode of the former Bharatiya Janata Party national president Bangaru Laxman, who was awarded jail sentence for accepting a bribe.

“In the case, there was no question of Mr. Laxman showing official favour to the bribe-giving company, as such a company never existed since it was only a ‘sting’ operation. Even then the court has awarded jail term,” he said.

He added: “Let the investigations go on and let the truth come out. My conscience is clear.”

Mr. Hegde alleged that when he was the Lokayukta, there had been a search of all his documents by the State Intelligence wing. “But they kept quiet as they could not find anything,” he said.

‘All that I have’

Hitting out at Mr. Yeddyurappa, Mr. Hegde said: “I have paid more income tax than that paid by Mr. Yeddyurappa and his children put together. But all that I have got is one flat in Bangalore.”

He also admonished the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, who had demanded that an inquiry should be conducted into his spendings on nightlife. “In the 40 years of my career, all that I have earned is one flat and one wife. There is no need for these people to teach me transparency,” he said.








Villagers to move apex court to save farmland

Jaideep Deogharia, TNN | May 27, 2012, 06.34AM IST

RANCHI: Jodha Oraon has replaced his late mother’s place on the protest ground in Chaura Nagri after she (Mundri Orain) succumbed to severe heat wave while sitting under the sun for several weeks in protest. The Oraon family is one among those hundreds of families who once supported the Jharkhand separate state movement and are now looking to the government with bated breath to save their agricultural land from being snatched away.

The land has been acquired by the state government for construction of central education institutions including central law university. The move has been protested by the villagers who are not ready to part with their agricultural land. The land on which the villagers have been sitting on dharna is being brought under a boundary wall.

It was after death of Mundri Devi that the agitation has started gaining momentum. The first human sacrifice in form of the tribal woman succumbing to heat wave has resulted in people from different walks of life coming together.

Social activist Dayamani Barla said of the 153 families selected to be compensated by the government, 128 families had not accepted the money. “After filing repeated RTI applications, I was told that Rs1.33 lakh has been deposited in the district treasury in name of these 128 families who refused to take their compensation and part away with their land,” she said.

Jharkhand high court advocate Rajiv Kumar who has been taking up the cause of these hapless villagers moved to Delhi on Saturday to approach the apex court against the high court order that held land acquisition by state government as legal and proper.

Meanwhile, social activists have started garnering support to mobilize the intelligentsia and also approach the voters in Hatia byelection to understand the political realities in state. Jharkhand Small-scale Industries Association (JSIA) member R P Shahi said the tribal villagers were in dire need of support from other sections of the society because their number was less. “There could be 300 families but in government papers 153 families are residing there. Whatever the real number may be they cannot take on the government,” he said.






Taj corridor case: FIR against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh

PTI | May 26, 2012, 01.46PM IST

LUCKNOW: An FIR has been lodged against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, senior IAS officer Navneet Sehgal and two others for allegedly threatening a litigant in the Taj corridor case.

“The FIR was lodged with Hazratganj Police Station against former cabinet secretary Shashank Shekhar Singh, Navneet Sehgal, founder of Amity University Ashok Chauhan and former MLA Ajay Pratap Singh alias Lalla Bhaiya on a complaint filed by Anupama Singh,” Additional Superintendent of Police Rajesh Kumar said.

He said the FIR was lodged last evening under sections 143 (unlawful assembly), 504 (criminal intimidation), 507 (criminal intimidation by an anonymous communication) and 452 (trespassing) of the IPC.
The ASP said the complainant has alleged that she was being harassed by the accused.

“As the case related to Gomti Nagar police station, investigation has been transferred and further action would be taken on the basis of evidences and facts,” he said.

Anupama said that she had filed a PIL against former Chief Minister Mayawati and PWD Minister Naseemuddin Siddiqui in the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in 2009.

The complainant alleged she was being harassed by the officials, who even got her services in a private educational institution terminated.

Anupama alleged that her service with Amity university was also terminated without any valid reason on May 16.

She alleged that on March 22 and April 11 former MLA Ajay Pratap Singh came to her Gomti Nagar residence along with 30 to 40 people and pressurised to withdraw the PIL while issuing threats.

The Rs 175-crore Taj Heritage corridor scam was unearthed in 2002-2003.







Bench closes PIL alleging harassment of Muslims

The Madras High Court Bench here on Thursday closed a public interest litigation petition filed by an individual alleging that the Madurai police were harassing Muslims and maintaining illegal surveillance in Muslim dominated localities.

Justices K.B.K. Vasuki and R. Karuppiah disposed of the PIL petition after recording submissions made by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) attached to Special Intelligence Cell that the surveillance was conducted in all communally sensitive areas irrespective of religious denominations.

He also said that the surveillance was carried out as a routine measure in view of Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani’s visit to the city on May 10 and 11 to participate in Thamarai Sangamam, the fifth conference of the State unit of Bharatiya Janata Party.

The counter affidavit filed by the ACP denied any selective surveillance in the house of particular individuals. However, it pointed out that the police had opened a history sheet against the PIL petitioner, S. Syed Abdul Kather, as he was an accused in a number of criminal cases.

The petitioner had made the Home Secretary, Director General of Police, Collector and Commissioner of Police as respondents to the case and sought for a direction to them to refrain from harassing the Muslims in the guise of enquiries and stop illegal surveillance in their residential areas.

He alleged that the police were conducting arbitrary searches in the houses of Muslims without following the procedures established under the Code of Criminal Procedure as well the guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court in D.K. Basu’s case and treating them as anti-nationals.










Full transcript: Army didn’t leak confidential letter to the Prime Minster, says General VK Singh

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 26, 2012 21:01 IST

New Delhi: In an exclusive interview to NDTV, the outgoing Army Chief General VK Singh has said neither he nor anyone from the defence services leaked his letter to the Prime Minister. He also said that all controversies that broke out during his tenure were ‘perceived’.

Here is the full transcript of the interview:

NDTV: Let me start with the tenure you had, eventful and controversial. How do you look back at these 2 years?

Gen VK Singh: Well, as eventful as every chief has had. Because you start some things, you push some things, you try to achieve some things. So I think all chiefs must have felt the same. Some controversies were raised or otherwise, not by me, but I think they were perceived by some people. I found it to be a very happy tenure, something which one started with aims and certain things. I think it has been good.

NDTV: But the controversy, apart from your age controversy, which we will talk about later, the latest controversy which everybody is saying that you are going with guns blazing and you issued a show cause notice to a serving Lieutenant General which is not fair. What is your take on that particular incident?

Gen VK Singh: See the problem is people don’t understand how the Army functions. And they start taking out bits and pieces and start making a story out of it. Incident took place in the month of December, and if I can quote the words of a very senior IB officer who was looking after north east, he said “it is a blot on the name of the Army.” It was that type of an incident. It was outside the jurisdiction of 3 Corps, should never have happened. Court of enquiry took its own time despite us trying to push them. It has come only at the end of April. Now, just the month of May is left. By the time it has been finalised, so whatever actions could have been taken two months back, if the court of enquiry had come in time. Now they are appearing as if they are moving at the fag end of the tenure. That’s not the case. And a show cause notice is a show cause notice. So what is so big about it, what is the big deal.

NDTV: No, they are saying that you have tried to upset the succession plan in the Army.

Gen VK Singh: Army is not a monarchy. There is no succession in Army, it’s not hereditary. People come, people are found fit and that is it. Somebody will become chief somebody will not become a chief. More than that there is nothing. My mind is quite clear. Some mistakes have occurred, a show cause notice was given, and I think it has been morally wrong for somebody to go to press with that show cause notice.

NDTV: You mean this serving Lieutenant General went to press?

Gen VK: Obviously. It is a communication between me and him. There is no third party involved. He has got time till May 26 and he should reply, rather than seek the assistance of the TV channels.

NDTV: You said there is no succession plan in the Army, but your entire age controversy is also seen as the part of succession plan. What do you have to say about it?

Gen VK: I won’t put it that way. Yes, certain things were done by some people to put certain things in place. And I won’t say more than that. I think it has received enough ink and paper in days gone by, and there is no point in beating about a dead horse. May be after I retire I will talk more freely about it.

NDTV: Are you bitter about it?

VK: No, I am not bitter at all. I was never bitter. In fact, I can share this, and I have said this in many forums: my ambition in life was to get a rank higher than my father. My father retired as Lieutenant Colonel. If I attained that I felt very happy. And the second part of ambition was that I should command my battalion. I commanded it. I commanded it for 3 years. After that whatever has come is bonus. So I think, even if I had got one day as chief, I would still be okay.

NDTV: So you were not looking for additional…

Gen VK Singh: I was never looking for additional tenure. Let me also say that I have told my honourable Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister) that the day you feel you don’t want me, tell me. I will go away.

NDTV: Did this entire controversy, contrived or manufactured or otherwise, affect your working as the Army Chief, because you came in with lot of ideas. The first day you told me that the Army’s internal health must be set right, do you think that affected it or you could still achieve something?

Gen VK Singh: No, it never affected me. It was something which I put on a different plane all together. My professional life, my commitment to the organisation never wavered. Because that is how I am made. I don’t look at these issues as something which will come in the path of what I am doing.

NDTV: But there is also this criticism, which one is increasingly hearing as day go by, that you are going to leave a faction-ridden Army, a divided Army, when you leave your office..

Gen VK Singh: I really don’t know. When I go around and talk to people, talk to my men, talk to my officers, I don’t find any factions. I don’t find any feuds. I don’t find any divide. I think a lot of people use their imagination to invent certain things and then put it out there. I don’t think that is correct. Let me also say, most of the Army, most of it, does not feel it this way. There may be some disgruntled people in a 1.3 million strong Army like any other organisation you will have. Some people who are disgruntled, people who will bellyache, people who will crib. Well, that’s part of it.

NDTV: You know they point out 2 or 3 incidents which I must point out to you. You must have heard that you went and inaugurated a former prime minister’s bust. Then there was some Jantar Mantar rally and also on communal lines a PIL was thought to be sort of supported or tacitly was given support by you against your successor. What do you have to say to that criticism?

Gen VK Singh: All I would say is that a warped mind will only think of warped things. The former prime minister’s statue was in a school, which had invited me, because I was visiting that area which no chief in the history of Indian Army had visited. And I had gone there to interact with ex-servicemen. When they came to know they invited me they said we have got a statue. I said ex-prime minister (so why not). But then there are some great newspapers, there are some great journalists who say ‘oh! He was a rajput, he (the Army Chief) is a Rajput’. I think you cannot be more sick that that. Tomorrow somebody visits the memorial of our great Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shahstri, are you going to say that he is a brahmin? I think let’s get out of this. Similarly, I have got no this thing with any PIL. In fact I don’t even have time to see what is happening beyond what my profession is. So what is happening in PIL, or people went and sat out on Jantar Mantar, it is there wish. Where am I in it?

NDTV: Somebody, some relative of yours was there at Jantar Mantar or so…

Gen VK Singh: Some relative must have been there, some people from my village must have also gone. How does it make a difference? Let’s not unnecessarily read things which are not there and describe motives which are wrong.

NDTV: But coming to the other controversial part, the press release that the Army issued under your watch against Tejinder Singh charging him, not only offering a bribe but being behind the conspiracy to defame you, do you have regret about issuing that press release and is there is conspiracy against you?

Gen VK Singh: See, I will put it this way: there is a media policy which was made in 2005. Army is authorized to do certain things, especially when somebody is trying to malign the Army. And here was a case where someone was deliberately doing it. It started with so called the bug story, it went on to the off-air monitoring system and it persisted. And I think I have always told to some of the journalists who meet me, it is like a mandi. Anybody who is doing anything in this mandi other people comes to know. And unfortunately, this officer was out briefing people, telling them stories in a particular manner, and therefore the Army had to come out and say here is a man who is planting stories and this is what his character is. We have got no regrets.

NDTV: Was there a conspiracy against you by a group of officers?

Gen VK Singh: See the thing is, when there are some disgruntled elements when some people have some certain agendas like the great Sukna lobby had, and the Adarsh lobby had, there be more such lobbies which will come up. Obviously their interests coalesce. They all come together and they all start thinking that this is the person who has done A B and C, it has troubled us, now let us trouble him. So this makes a coterie, do all kinds of things. Some of them are absolutely sick in mind. I think they all require some sort of treatment because you cannot do such things that are harming the organisation.

NDTV: But what about the government? The perception is that there was a lot of difference between you and the government as such. How do you see that relationship which you had with the government, and, going forward, how it should be?

Gen VK Singh: See I don’t know if there are differences between me and the government. My perception of being a chief is I should be truthful and forthright in telling the government, which is the supreme authority that this is what is required, and these are the fault lines, this is our view. And let me assure you, I have had an excellent relationship with the honourable Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). I admire him for his integrity, equanimity and maturity. And I haven’t found him wanting in any way in the type of support that we wanted. Whatever people might keep saying anywhere else, we have always provided him with the absolutely forthright advice.

NDTV: Do you think the controversies could have been avoided. Would you be happier if all this controversies wouldn’t have come up?

Gen VK Singh: See the problem is that, because we started action in the Sukna thing, that gentleman wanted to start something because he wanted to use this as his defence. So it came up. Well, Sukna should have been avoided, buried. The chap should have been given another tamga, another honour and let go. That is one method of dealing with it. But that is not the correct method. I think they have had a hand, because their interests, they felt, were getting eroded to a certain extent, because we insisted on transparency. We insisted on ensuring that everything is multi-vendored. We insisted on ensuring that everything we take is good. I think that is all we wanted.

NDTV: Same thing happened in Tatra when you actually said that everything must go multi-vendored. What is the thing that took so long in reference to Tatra to come up with that allegation or that charge?

Gen VK Singh:  It didn’t take me long. The day I was given this lucrative offer I went and told my Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). That’s why I said I admire my Raksha Mantri (Defence Minister). He has said so in the parliament.

NDTV: But he didn’t take any action, neither did you that time.

Gen VK Singh: See, what I told him was certain things which I did. And if there were more things to be done then there must have been some lack of understanding where I am concerned. But I think we went as per what was to be done. And in any case, we were trying to make our things multi-vendored. Even before this was done, the multi-vendor thing has started. When I came in, I said, with the technology going up, with better vehicles coming in, let’s go multi-vendor. Why do we have to carry old technology?

NDTV: Let me move away from all these controversies and move on to the transformation study that you have done and the test beds and the implementation of test beds. How far have we come in that aspect?

Gen VK Singh: We have come a long way. Transformation was meant to make the Indian Army ready, relevant, agile, better structured and an Army which can function in a network-centric environment. A great deal of work has been done. We did the test-beddings of our organisations where pivot and strike Corps were concerned. We did organisational changes in certain things in Army headquarters to make it more effective. There were certain things required in the Corps of Military police. There were things required in the theaterisation of combat support. We have test-bedded. We are in the process of implementing logistic support system which will become more responsive. We have been able to bring a fair degree of awareness of network centricity and I am quite sure, by the end of year, we will see the results. I think as part of transformation the biggest thing that was required was change of mindsets.

NDTV: I was just coming to that, did you find a lot of resistance because sometimes I feel more than the civil bureaucracy it is the military bureaucracy which is more obdurate
Gen VK Singh: It is not like that. I think change is something which is resisted everywhere.

NDTV: Is there a change in focus in the Indian Army’s doctrines, just the focus in terms of who will be our main adversary– Pakistan or China?

Gen VK Singh: If you are a capability based Army it doesn’t matter, when you have created capabilities to deal with any threat that may occur. And we are slowly moving towards that.

NDTV: But have you got support from the government, because your letter again became bone of contention which you wrote to the prime minister, who leaked it? Why don’t you shed some light on that particular incident?

VK: I really don’t know who leaked it. But I am quite sure, and my Army is quite sure, that it is not the Army that leaked it. Now there can be all kinds of theories, all kinds of things which we scratch our heads on. Somebody is going to find out this. Something came on PTI. But let me assure you, each man in the Army knows it cannot be leaked out from the Army. Where you talk of support, I think we have got support. At times, because of our procedure, because of our great ability of not taking decisions in time, because of our internal service procedures where things take too much of time, or we don’t push things in manner which they should be pushed, the shorter tenures you don’t have continuity, by the time the person learns his job, he is moving out. So all this have contributed (to the delay). We have put all this in place to sort this out.

NDTV: I have a question on that support itself, in terms of human resource management within the Army we haven’t had, as far as my knowledge goes, a Corps commander in one of the Corps in past 6 months; you haven’t had a DG Assam Rifles for the past 6 months, we don’t know who will be the Army commander in the east or the West in next 3 days when they should be actually be declared much ahead. Don’t you think that there is some kind of disconnect between the Army headquarters and the ministry of defence or some other authority.

Gen VK Singh: This disconnect is sad. All that I can say is that everybody has to make the effort. I have said so in a number of forums in which we meet our officials from the MoD that everybody is a stake-holder in how the Army runs or the air force runs or the navy runs. Let’s not separate out that he is in uniform and he is not. Till the time we don’t combine, we will not be able to achieve result. And some of these things which you are pointing out, they are glaring inadequacies of the system.

NDTV: What is your future plan?

Gen VK Singh: I actually haven’t thought of anything. I haven’t had time to think of what am I going to do after 31st. In fact the first thing that is happening which is I am still working on is my doctorate thesis which I am writing, it doesn’t seem to be finishing, I am not satisfied. The subject is Afghanistan and the geo-strategic importance of Wakhan. So it will take a little time. I am working on that, because finding time out of all other things that one does and then sitting late at night correcting or work out a thesis it is quite strenuous. Like they say in this journey of thousand steps the first step will start only on first of June.

NDTV: Will that step take you towards politics?

Gen VK Singh: I have got no clue at the moment. I haven’t even thought of it and there are N numbers of option available which one ultimately you decide on. Only time will tell.

NDTV: I am asking because you have got an offer from Team Anna also.

Gen VK Singh: That is ok. All kind of offers will come. You have to decide.

NDTV: When you joined the Army in 1970, it’s been a journey of 42 years now, which is your most satisfying or most memorable moment? Because you have participated in the Bangladesh campaign, you have been to IPKF and you have been in Kashmir, the northeast everywhere . What is it that remains in your memory?

Gen VK Singh: Wars will always remain etched for various things. Whether it was 71 where we were busy for a long time it was not just those 16 days but there was more to it. Operation Pawan was very interesting. One was there for 2 years that will remain ever etched. But when you look at a particular tenure, and that tenure is the commanding officer’s, the whole ambition in life was to command your battalion.

NDTV: So these 42 years, if you have to do it again, would you do it differently?

Gen VK Singh: No, I think I would like to live it the same way. Well mistakes are there, other things are there, let all those lessons remain. But then I always give this little advice which I can give it to you also; live your present, don’t think of the future, nobody has seen the future. If you keep thinking about the future then you will spoil your present also. That’s my philosophy. Each day is important, each moment is important, and I think each moment of these 42 years is unique by itself.

NDTV: So when you are hanging your boots on 31st, can we say that you are leaving as a satisfied man, an Army which is as good as it has been?

Gen VK Singh: I am satisfied. I am quite sure my Army, my family is good, and it is a satisfied Army.









NCW chairperson lauds Aamir Khan’s show Satyamev Jayate

Press Trust of India | Sunday, May 27, 2012 (Jaipur

Appreciating superstar Aamir Khan for raising social issues through his TV serial Satyamev Jayate, National Commission for Women’s (NCW) chairperson Mamta Sharma said celebrities should come forward for social issues.

“Aamir Khan began with the issue of female foeticide with special reference to Rajasthan. It is a good beginning because it helps in creating awareness,” she said.

“The government and NGO volunteers have also been making efforts to curb the social evil and their role is definitely prime, but celebrities have their attraction among people which really works,” she added.

Mamta said in the seminar, which was organised by NGO ‘Message’, that the commission launched a 24-hour helpline in Gujarat for women and soon it would be introduced in Haryana and Rajasthan and other states.

Expressing concern over increasing cases of rape and suicide by rape and dowry victims, she said that the cases of rape were on the top of complaints with the NCW these days.

Chairperson of Poornima Group of Institutions, Dr S M Seth emphasised upon empowerment of women in each sector and in the remote areas of the country so as to ensure overall growth of the nation.










CBI chargesheet incomplete: Jagati

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Senior criminal lawyer C Padmanabha Reddy contended before the High Court on Friday that within the meaning of Section 173 CrPC the trial court was not empowered to take cognizance of an incomplete charge sheet.

He was arguing before justice B Chandra Kumar on behalf of Jagati Publications, accused in Jagan’s assets case challenging the order of the Special CBI court in taking cognizance of first charge sheet of the CBI filed on March 31 and to direct the lower court to consider taking cognizance of the matter after entire investigation is completed.

The senior counsel said the courts ruled on several occasions that a trial court could not take cognizance of a charge sheet without completion of investigation. But the principal sessions judge for the CBI cases took cognizance of a charge sheet filed by the CBI in the Jagan’s assets case on March 31, and passed an order on April 24.

He told the court that the CBI had filed the first charge sheet against three companies and some individuals, and filed two more charge sheets later which was not permissible under law.






Ex-DSP booked for shoddy investigation in Nabha murders case

Vishal Rambani , Hindustan Times
Patiala , May 26, 2012

In an exemplary action, the police have booked retired deputy superintendent of police (DSP) Harbhajan Singh, the investigating officer in the Nabha family murder case, for conducting a shoddy investigation which led to the acquittal of the accused.
Harbhajan has been booked under sections 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender), 217 (public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment) and 218 (public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment) of the IPC after the special investigation team (SIT) indicted him for helping the murder accused, Amritbir Singh, get acquitted.

The SIT was set up by deputy inspector general (DIG) LK Yadav after Hindustan Times reported Amritbir’s acquittal. Amritbir’s father Iqbal Singh, mother Jaswinder Kaur, grandfather Hamir Singh and cousin Gurmanbir Kaur had been found murdered in their house at Nabha in Patiala district on August 12, 2010.

The local district and sessions court had acquitted Amritbir last month due to ‘lack of evidence’.
The Special Investigation Team stated that shoddy investigation and concealment of facts and evidence, including fingerprint and ballistic reports, had led to the acquittal in a case in which the public was anticipating a major punishment.

The Special Investigation Team also found Harbhajan guilty of preparing a ‘weak’ challan and including some relatives of the accused as witnesses to favour him (Amritbir).

“Despite a heinous case in which a person murdered four members of his family for quick inheritance of property, the investigating officer failed in his duty to follow the law… with mala fide intention and doing dishonesty with his job, he helped the accused by concealing facts and important evidence, including relatives of the accused as witnesses. Thus, an FIR must be registered against him (Harbhajan) to set an example,” reads the Special Investigation Team report.

Ironically, the Special Investigation Team has found enough evidence to nail the accused.

In its report, the Special Investigation Team, led by superintendent of police (SP) Pritpal Singh Thind, said there was also suspicion of corruption by Harbhajan, who was the SHO at Nabha police station when the crime took place. Harbhajan retired as DSP in 2011.

Talking to the Hindustan Times, DIG LK Yadav said the police would file an appeal against Amritbir’s acquittal. “We have collected vital scientific evidence, which then station house officer (SHO), with mala fide intention, did not present in the court, bringing a bad name to the police. With the new evidence, we will take the case to its logical end to set an example,” he added.

He said another SIT, headed by Barnala senior superintendent of police (SSP) Surjit Singh, had been formed to look into the monetary benefits which the ex-DSP got from the accused, apart from probing his assets.

Harbhajan could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.








Bijal Joshi rape case: Convict gets bail

TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.07AM IST

AHMEDABAD: Sajal Jain, convicted in the infamous 2003 Bijal Joshi rape case by a sessions court, is all set to walk out of jail after spending eight years behind bars. He was given interim bail by the Supreme Court on Saturday.

The case had shocked Ahmedabad because of the gruesome manner in which Bijal was gang-raped by Sajal and his friends during a New Year ‘s Eve party in 2003 which had later led to the victim committing suicide. Sajal, son of a Delhi-based businessman, was married in 2003 and having an extramarital affair with Bijal.

On that fateful day, the prime accused and four of his friends were on a drinking binge in a hotel. Sajal had invited the victim, where her drink was spiked. The five men raped her, beat her up and burnt her with cigarette stubs. They then drove off and abandoned her in a car on a highway. The accused called up her sister early next morning asking her to pick up Bijal.

Unable to bear the humiliation and physical torture, Bijal had hung herself on January 7, 2004. Her suicide note had accused Sajal, 33, Chandan Jaiswal,27, Ashok alias Mandan Jaiswal, 26, Sugam Jaiswal, 26, Dharmendra alias Karan Jain, 30, and Manish Jain of driving her to suicide.

Sajal was sentenced for life imprisonment by a sessions court after he was found guilty of raping Bijal. His appeal is pending in the Gujarat high court.

The Supreme Court, while granting Sajal interim bail, took into consideration his mother’s ill health and the fact that he has a minor daughter. The court also noted that the Gujarat high court had not disposed of the case within six months as it had directed.

Chandan had first approached the Supreme Court in 2010 to get bail. The bench of Justice V S Sirpurkar and Justice Cyriac Joseph has stated it was not inclined to grant bail. “However, we request the high court to dispose of the appeal within six months from the date of receipt of the order,” the bench had added. “If the matter is not disposed of within six months, then the accused may apply fresh application for bail.”

With the case still pending in the high court in 2012, Sajal approached the Supreme Court which granted him bail. The bench of the Justice Deepak Verma and Justice Sudhansu Jyoti Mukhopadhaya in its order stated, “Petitioner has applied for grant of interim bail, as according to him, even though his criminal appeal is being heard by the high court, but has not yet been concluded and it is not known by what time it is likely to be concluded.”

The apex court granted interim bail to Sajal on furnishing bond for a sum of Rs 25,000 and a solvent surety.









Central Vigilance Commission reconstitutes advisory board to check commercial frauds

NEW DELHI: The Central Vigilance Commission has reconstituted an advisory board with the inclusion of two new members to assist the CBI in probing cases related to bank, commercial and financial frauds.

The new entrants are Radha Vinod Raju, former IPS officer and the then Director General of National Investigation Agency (NIA) and R Ramachandran, former Chairman and Managing Director of Andhra Bank.

Other members of the board include retired IAS officer Vivek Mehrotra, ex-Executive Director of Corporation Bank, Asit Pal and Chartered Accountant, T N Manoharan.

The members of the board are entitled to get an honorarium of Rs 30,000 per month in addition to travelling, halting and sitting fees. The CVC had in March announced formation of the six-member board.

“It has later been observed that two of the members i.e. Balwinder Singh, IPS (retd) and A S Bhattacharya, ex-CMD, Bank of Maharashtra of the reconstituted board were not fulfilling the terms and conditions of appointment as members,” a CVC statement said.

The board will have a tenure of two years. It would form part of the organisational infrastructure of the CBI and the Reserve Bank of India, providing the required investigative and secretarial services.

“The Board’s jurisdiction would be confined to those cases where, in disagreement or dispute with the Bank, Public Sector Undertakings or financial institution, the CBI desires to register a Regular Case or Preliminary Investigation in respect of an allegation of a fraud,” an order said.

Besides, it may also advise on any other technical matter referred to it by the CBI or the CVC.

The board, under the chairmanship of former Deputy Governor of RBI Shyamala Gopinath, will be based in Mumbai but it can meet anywhere in the country at its convenience.

“Considering the limiting number of such disputes arising annually, the Commission does not, at the moment, find it appropriate to specify the levels above which the reference could be made to the Board,” it said.

The CBI can refer any case to the Board where it has a difference of opinion with the organisation concerned, irrespective of the level of the officials involved in it.








HC orders fresh PG dental counselling

Express News Service

BANGALORE: The High Court on Friday asked Comed-K to redo PG dental counselling following a petition alleging irregularities in the process.

Petitioners Sharadha Udupa and other dental students stated, “Comed-K had barred us from postgraduate dental counselling on May 18 saying we had not presented DDs from nationalised banks. But nowhere in the notification had they mentioned that DDs must be drawn only from nationalised banks.” The petitioners said some students were even barred because their DDs did not have seals or signatures. “Since DDs these days are computer printouts, they do not bear seals or signatures,” they pleaded, adding that Comed-K had not even arranged a help desk.

The counsel for the respondent replied, “Students had time during counselling and could have brought DDs from nationalised banks.” Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri observed, “Students are tense at such situations and cannot do much.”

The judge then asked the counsel, “Is Karur Vysya Bank a nationalised bank?”

When the counsel replied that he was not sure, the judge observed, “Then, how can one expect students to know whether a bank is nationalised or not? You haven’t mentioned it in the notification too.” Justice Hinchigeri then directed Comed-K to redo the entire selection process.







HC orders relief to sailors kin

Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Madras High Court has awarded Rs 60 lakh compensation to the family of an Indian sailor, who had a fatal fall inside the container hold area from aboard a Panamanian ship berthed at the Chennai Port.
T S Frank Midson (33) of Kanyakumari district was the third officer of Gati Pride. While checking the cargo aboard the vessel, he accidentally fell into the empty cargo hold and died on March 24 last.
The High Court had earlier ordered the ship be arrested and not allowed to leave the port without clearing the wages due to its crew members. Lying in the outer anchorage of the port since November 2011, the vessel owners had cleared the dues in the first week of March and it was preparing to leave the port when Midson fell and died.
Midson’s wife Bino Sesley and her two minor children had moved the High Court seeking `1 crore as compensation. According to petitioner’s counsel S Vasudevan, Justice R Subbiah had first directed the ship owner to deposit `1 crore. However, the owner filed an appeal and a division bench comprising Justices P Jyothimani and R Karuppiah settled the issue for Rs 60 lakh. The judges said that the victim’s wife and her two children would get Rs 20 lakh each and that the money should be deposited in a nationalised bank, where the monthly interest accruals would be about Rs 15,000 each.
The matter again came to the single judge and was then referred to a Lok Adalat for a formal settlement, so that the victim’s families could get refund of the court fee paid by them. As the vessel owner had settled the wages due to the crew members and also paid the compensation, he was permitted by the court to sail away.









HC orders security to Bhuma–to-bhuma/261629-60-114.html

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Justice B Chandra Kumar of the High Court on Friday directed the state government to continue security by providing gun men to former MP and YSR Congress leader Bhuma Nagi Reddy for six weeks and posted the petition for hearing to June 18 for further orders.









HC asks State to file details

Express News Service

KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Friday asked the state government to submit the details of persons who had encroached forest land after June 1, 1977, and the details of the steps taken against them.

A Division Bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Manjula Chellur and Justice A M Shaffique passed the order while considering a petition filed by the Thiruvankulam Nature Lovers’ Movement seeking a CBI probe into the encroachment of forest land.

“The state government said that efforts were on to identify the encroachers and steps were taken to evict some persons from the forest area. However, there are no details about those who were evicted and against whom steps are still pending,” the court observed and asked the government to explain about the areas encroached upon. It also asked the government to explain how much encroached land could be reclaimed.

The court directed the state government to file a detailed affidavit within four weeks explaining the exact action taken by it to evict the encroachers. The government had submitted that the Forest Department officials had been taking all possible steps to evict the encroachers and conserve the forest areas.

In the majority of cases, eviction could not be conducted owing to strong protest romencroachers and local people backed by social and political groups.

“In some cases, the encroachers obtained stay order from courts. There had only been marginal encroachments after June 1, 1977. The decision of the state government to regularise encroachments made before June 1,1977, was followed by a joint verification conducted by the Forest and Revenue officials. Earnest attempts were made to evict the post-June 1977 encroachers, the affidavit said.

However, the process of eviction is yet to be completed in certain forest areas where there were organised resistance.

The affidavit said the intensity and the extent of encroachment on forest land were proportionate to the pressure of demographic growth. The eviction of those who encroached the forest land after June 1, 1977, could be ordered only in accordance with the law.

The affidavit had also pointed out that there was large-scale encroachment in Idukki district with the support of social and political groups. It is to check this tendency that the Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary was notified.









Ill-gotten wealth must be confiscated: HC

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Central and state government authorities concerned must complete the proceedings as expeditiously as possible when the CBI or ACB seeks sanction orders (to prosecute IAS officers allegedly involved in scams), taking into consideration the magnitude of economic offence and its ramifications on national economy, the High Court has said.

Dismissing the bail petition of BP Acharya, accused number one in Emaar Properties scam, justice B Chandra Kumar hoped that the CBI would complete its investigation with regard to end beneficiaries, particularly the monetary benefit, if any, got by the petitioner (Acharya) as early as possible, preferably within the next three months.

‘‘The very object of the directive principles of state policy seemed being defeated because of economic offences. As the state has no sufficient revenue, it is the duty of the state to see that wealth is not concentrated in the hands of a few persons. The problem is not only wealth but also black money. Ill-gotten huge wealth is challenging the very economic and democratic fabric of this country.

‘‘The object of the Constitution cannot be achieved unless the economic offences are dealt with with an iron hand and economic offenders are brought to book and black money is confiscated. It is not only sufficient to register a case against an economic offender but the entire ill-gotten wealth must also be confiscated by the state. Even punishing a few offenders may not yield the required results. It is for Parliament and the legislature concerned to make and amend relevant laws in this regard,” the judge said.

Justice Chandra Kumar remarked that it was most unfortunate that most of the public servants, IAS officers, politicians who had decent salaries and facilities were not bothered about their fundamental duties. They should not forget that every citizen of this country was also paying taxes to the state. Therefore, they should not forget the suffering people and the incidents of starvation deaths in the country.









Jorhat dacoity victim to ask HC for probe

TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.42AM IST

JORHAT: Surajit Gogoi, a contractor with Military Engineering Service, will ask the Gauhati High Court for a proper probe into the “Jorhat dacoity case” on June 1 when the affidavits of the Army and the Assam police will be heard. This is the case for which Army chief General V K Singh sent a showcause notice and imposed a discipline and vigilance (DV) promotion ban on 3 Corps commander Lt Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag, who is the frontrunner to become Army chief in August 2014.

This was supposed to be an “intelligence-based operation” which was botched up. Gen Singh had said a senior IB officer told him the operation last December was “a blot on the impeccable reputation” of the Army. What happened during that “operation”? Around midnight on December 21, 2011, a team of army personnel of Dimapur based 3 Corps, headed by a woman officer Major Robina Kaur Keer, barged into Gogoi’s house. He was not at home then. They tied up his wife, two sons and a daughter and locked them in a room before taking away the almirah keys.

They allegedly looted a licenced .32 pistol, Rs 1.5 lakh cash, five cellphones, gold jewellery and other valuables from Gogoi’s house at Rowriah in Jorhat. Gogoi filed an FIR and Assam police began probe. Tracking the call record of one of the cellphones stolen from Gogoi’s house, the police found it was being used by Army havildar Sandeep Thapa of 3 corps. The police succeeded in finding Gogoi’s pistol and other documents from Army personnel.









Minority quota: HC verdict tomorrow

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.13AM IST

HYDERABAD: The high court will on Monday pronounce its verdict on the validity of the government’s move to provide a 4.5% sub quota to Muslims and linguistic minorities from out of the 27% reserved for OBCs.

Following a petition by OBC leader R Krishnaiah, who has challenged the Centre’s decision in this regard, the bench headed by Chief Justice Madan B Lokur had earlier heard the case at length and reserved its judgment.

However, since Justice Lokur is now slated to be elevated to the Supreme Court any time now after his candidature was cleared by the apex court, the high court bench is especially convening on Monday to deliver the verdict.

The Centre defended its action saying that the decision was not based on religion but backwardness. The centre also brushed aside the argument that it should consult BC commission before taking such decisions.

It contended that the role of the BC commission is limited to the extent that it can only make suggestions about the need of adding new castes and also to delete those BC communities which are deemed to no longer be in need of reservations in education and employment.









93’ blast convict seeks HC nod to attend daughter’s wedding

Express news service : Sun May 27 2012, 02:51 hrs

Abdul Gani Turk, a convict on death-row, on Friday approached the vacation bench of the Bombay HC seeking a day’s release from the Yerwada prison to attend his youngest daughter’s wedding.

Turk’s lawyer Farhana Shah mentioned his case before the court on Friday and said Turk requires the court’s permission to attend his daughter’s wedding on June 4. Turk, who was held guilty in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case, has three sons and two daughters. The court will, however, hear the case on May 28.

Turk’s application states that he may be escorted to the wedding by the jail staff and he will bear the expenses for the same.

Since, Turk is on death-row, the jail authorities do not have the power to decide his application. Although, the Supreme Court is yet to confirm the death sentence awarded to Turk by the special TADA court in 2006, his punishment has not been suspended and he continues to be on death-row.

Convicts on death-row are not entitled to release on parole or furlough like other prisoners. However, they can seek the court’s permission to seek release from prison on certain days.

Turk, who was arrested on March 18, 1993 for his alleged involvement in the serial blasts that killed 257, has contended that he was allowed to attend his mother’s funeral at his Dongri residence in 2009 and urged the court to let him attend his daughter’s wedding.

Turk, a former recruit of prime absconding accused Tiger Memon, was handed out the capital punishment for parking a jeep filled with RDX at Century Bazaar in Worli on March 12, 1993. This blast caused the maximum fatalities – 113 – and injured 227 people. Property damage is estimated to be Rs 2.41 crore.











HC blast accused gives J&K cops the slip

Arun Sharma : Jammu, Sun May 27 2012, 01:48 hrs

Even as the Jammu and Kashmir Police are trying to confirm reports about the killing of Junaid Akram Malik by his own accomplices in Kishtwar, another Hizbul Mujahideen militant wanted in connection with the September 2011 Delhi High Court blast managed to give it the slip last week.

Admitting it, Inspector General of Police, Jammu zone, Dilbagh Singh said that police and security forces had carried out a joint operation at Patimahal and located several Hizbul militants, including Chotta Hafiz and Akhtar Hussain. In the encounter that followed, while Hussain had been killed, Hafiz — wanted by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for the high court blast along with Amir Kamal and Junaid Malik — had escaped.

The NIA has announced a cash award of Rs 10 lakh for information leading to the arrest of the three wanted accused in the blast. The operation to hunt them has so far cost lives of two Army jawans and a constable.

The IGP also admitted that they had not been able to confirm yet if Junaid was dead, amid reports that he had been killed by his own accomplices who feared he would surrender. Junaid’s elder brother Waseem Akram Malik, who was studying medicine in Dhaka, is already under arrest. He is among the three boys from Kishtwar arrested in connection with the September 7 blast.









HC verdict on OBC quota for Muslims on Monday

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the High Court comprising chief justice Madan B Lokur and justice PV Sanjay Kumar will pronounce its judgment on Monday (May 28) on a PIL filed against creation of a sub-quota of 4.5 percent reservation to notified minority groups, including Muslims, from out of the 27 percent reservation meant for OBCs (Other Backward Classes).

As the chief justice is to take charge as Supreme Court judge following his elevation, the bench will sit specially for the purpose in spite of the summer vacation. The bench heard the arguments and reserved its judgment last month.

BC leader R Krishnaiah and others filed separate petitions in the HC challenging the central government’s decision to create sub-quota.

The Centre defended its decision stating that reservation to minorities was provided based on their backwardness but not on basis of religion and the sub-quota was meant for equitable distribution of benefits amongst communities concerned.










D6 Block: Reliance Industries Limited seeks quick government approval

27 May, 2012, 07.23AM IST,

Despite being locked in a legal dispute with the petroleum ministry over cost recovery issues stemming from its D6 block in the Krishna Godavri basin, Reliance Industries Ltd is hopeful the ministry will treat the legal dispute as a separate matter and grant approvals required to resume production in the block.

“We hope that the ministry will have the maturity to delineate the two issues and grant us the regulatory approvals to both resume production and carry out other key exploration and development work or else progress could be severely hampered,” said a senior RIL board member who didn’t wish to be identified.

Last month, consequent to its strategy to preemptively contest a likely government move to restrict the cost recovery at the KG-D6 offshore gas field, RIL had moved the Supreme Court, seeking direction to the government to appoint an arbitrator to resolve the dispute.

RIL requested the Chief Justice of India to appoint the second arbitrator under Article 33 of the production sharing contract (PSC) entered into between it and the petroleum ministry in April 2000 and under Section 11(6) of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act.

Last November RIL had slapped an arbitration notice on the ministry in which it proposed to appoint former CJI SP Bharucha as its arbitrator and asked the ministry to appoint the second arbitrator within 30 days. However, the ministry had asked RIL to withdraw the notice, saying there was no dispute that warranted arbitration.

The company’s move was in the wake of the government’s reported plan to disallow the desired level of cost-recovery by the RIL-led consortium at the KG-D6 block after flagging production led to utilisation of less than half of the infrastructure the consortium had built. “We don’t see this legal dispute as a contingent liability on our balance sheet as of now… we are on a very strong wicket as the PSC does not allow for limitation of cost recovery nor is cost recovery linked to production,” added another RIL official who asked not to be named. Reiterating RIL’s stance on gas pricing, the board member said, “RIL is entitled to market price, all we are asking is to float with the market if the price comes down.”

“We want parity with imported LNG prices as that is the market benchmark,” he added. “We have to justify our costs to investors and all future investments depend on how quickly the government moves on the pricing,” said the board member.

He also said, “It is not true we have recovered all the KG D6 capex, we invested close to $10 billion and are yet to recover a significant part. The costrecovery can be an ongoing process.”









Government, judiciary threat to RTI Act’

TNN | May 27, 2012, 01.26AM IST

HYDERABAD: The biggest threat to the Right to Information (RTI) Act is the government, the judiciary and the information commissioners themselves, believes central information commissioner Shailesh Gandhi.

“The government is not very keen on the RTI Act and may try to amend it in order to render it toothless. A lot of progressive orders by the judiciary are getting stayed due to the Act. If the information commissioners do not expeditiously dispose of cases then pendency will keep rising to finally affect the Act itself,” he said.

Gandhi was interacting with the media at an event organised on Saturday by the Jana Chaitanya Vedika and Association for Promotion of Social Activities in Hyderabad. Stressing the importance of clearing pending cases, he said that if each information commissioner could clear about 5,000 cases a year, the disposal rate would dramatically improve. While accepting that erring public information officers should be penalized by the commission, he suggested that, with a view to improving efficiency, it would be a good idea to have an incentive system introduced for them.

“Only PIO’s are liable to be penalized. Since they are the ones who face the risk of being pulled up, they should also be given an incentive based on their performance,” he said.

According to him, if the paperwork is done away with, the efficiency in most government offices would increase by about 50% to 80%, ultimately helping in the Act’s implementation by decreasing the burden on PIO’s.

As to the stand to be taken by an information commissioner confronted by an uncooperative government department, he said: “The information commissioner should use all his powers. He should take charge of the required information by summoning the officers concerned. But if they still refuse to follow orders, they should be arrested,” he said.










1993 blasts convict pleads court for days bail

Published: Sunday, May 27, 2012, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

A 1993 serial bomb blasts convict, Abdul Gani Turk, who had been sentenced to death for executing a blast at Worli by the special Tada court on September 18, 2006, has moved the Bombay high court seeking bail for a day to attend his daughter’s wedding.

His advocate mentioned his plea before the vacation bench of justice S J Kathawalla and justice P D Kode on Friday as the prison authorities cannot decide on his plea. His plea will be heard on Monday.

The plea states that Turk’s last daughter is getting married on June 4 in Mumbai, which he wants to attend.Turk is currently lodged in custody of the police escort party Yerwada, Pune.The HC had allowed Turk to attend his mother’s last rites at his Dongri residence a few years back when his mother had expired.

The Century Bazaar blast took place on March 13, 1993, in which 113 people died and 227 were injured. It led to a property loss of around Rs2.5 crore. Turk, one of the most trusted lieutenant of Tiger Memon (prime accused in the blasts), had driven an explosives laden Mahindra commander Jeep and parked it outside the Century Bazaar.The intensity of the blast was multiplied due to the open market place (unlike Air India or BSE building car parking lots).










Woman, son give blood samples in Tiwari case

TNN | May 27, 2012, 04.07AM IST

NEW DELHI: Rohit Shekhar, who claims to be the biological son of veteran Congress leader N D Tiwari, on Saturday gave his blood samples along with his mother Ujjawala Sharma in the Delhi high court in connection with a paternity suit.

The mother-son duo made themselves available before a joint registrar as ordered by single judge bench of Reva Khetrapal to give their blood samples. A doctor and nurse took the blood samples for the DNA test of the duo in the chamber of Joint Registrar Deepak Garg and kept them in a sealed cover.

“You (Shekhar and Sharma) come inside the chamber along with your lawyers for collection of the blood samples as the court room is small,” Garg said minutes after a doctor and a nurse entered the court room.

The blood samples of the mother-son duo were taken in presence of Bahar-U-Barqi, the counsel for Tiwari.

Earlier, the high court had also asked 86-year-old Tiwari to give his blood sample before it but that order was modified by the SC on May 24 which was communicated to the joint registrar by the counsel for 32-year-old Rohit Shekhar.









Forgery: HC sets aside CAT order

Express News Service

CHENNAI : The Madras High Court has upheld the dismissal of an employee of the Central government on a charge of furnishing a forged community certificate.

Setting aside an order of the TN bench of the Central Administrative Tribunal, a division bench comprising Justices Elipe Dharma Rao and M Venugopal said the authority who had issued the certificate had denied having issued it. Therefore, the authorities had ample powers to dismiss the employee as per Clause 5 in the Appointment Order.

According to the provision, if any information furnished was proved to be false or if the candidate was found to have willfully suppressed any material information, he would be dismissed.

According to R Ramesh, who belonged to the Kattunaicken community, he had obtained a community certificate dated September 21, 1997, from the PA (General) to the Chennai Collector. He was appointed as a Technical Operator (Drilling) in the Central Ground Water Board under the ST quota in 1998.

At the time of appointment, the community certificate was verified. In November 2005, while travelling in a bus, he lost a file containing all educational records and the community certificate. He had obtained duplicate certificates for the records. But he had not been issued a fresh community certificate.

Following a Delhi High Court order that community certificates of ST employees should be scrutinised, Ramesh’s certificate was verified. In September 2007, the Collector said the certificate was a forged one.

Stating that he was dismissed without any disciplinary proceedings, Ramesh moved CAT, which quashed the dismissal order and ordered reinstatement. Hence, the present petition.










Students not entitled to know marks, says HC

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 26, 2012

In a significant ruling, the Delhi High Court has said that students appearing under the CBSE, or their parents, do not have the right to know the marks secured by them in each subject even through an RTI application. The directive comes two years after the introduction of grading system.
A Bench of Acting Chief Justice AK Sikri and Justice RS Endlaw said this while setting aside the order of a single judge and the Central Information Commission (CIC), which directed CBSE to divulge to a parent the marks his daughter had scored in each subject in her Class 10 exams.

The parent, Anil Kathpal, wanted the information to “identify her weak areas” and take remedial action.

Allowing an appeal filed by the CBSE, the court said, “We feel that the CIC as well as the learned single judge, by directing disclosure of marks in the regime of grades, have indeed undone what was sought to be done by replacing marks with grades and defeated the very objective thereof.”

“We are unable to agree with the reasoning of the CIC and of the learned single judge and allow this appeal. We hold the information, disclosure of which was sought, to be no information and also exempt from disclosure under RTI,” the bench added.

The court noted that the purpose of introducing the grade system was to take away the frightening judgmental quality of marks, to lead to a stress-free and joyful learning environment, was intended to minimise mis-classification of students on the basis of marks, to eliminate unhealthy cut-throat competition and to reduce societal pressure.

The court said no weightage can be given to Kathpal’s submission that marks, even if disclosed, will not be used for any other purpose. “The possibility of the parent and his ward in securing admission and for other purposes using the said information to secure an advantage over others cannot be ruled out,” the Bench said.









Don’t link woman’s character to rape: Supreme Court

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 27, 2012, 03.12AM IST

NEW DELHI: If a woman of “easy virtue” accuses a person of rape, then courts must not discard her evidence but it must be “cautiously appreciated”, the Supreme Court ruled while acquitting a Delhi resident concurrently held guilty of rape by a trial court and the Delhi high court.

“Merely because a woman is of easy virtue, her evidence cannot be discarded on that ground alone rather it is to be cautiously appreciated,” said a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra on Friday.

It is common for accused facing rape charges to term the victim as a woman of easy virtue to lessen their guilt during the trial. The apex court asked the courts to be wary of such arguments.

Writing the judgment for the bench, Justice Chauhan said: “Even in cases where there is some material to show that the victim was habituated to sexual intercourse, no inference of the victim being a woman of ‘easy virtue’ or a woman of ‘loose moral character’ can be drawn.”

“Such a woman has a right to protect her dignity and cannot be subjected to rape only for that reason. She has a right to refuse to submit herself to sexual intercourse to anyone and everyone because she is not a vulnerable object or prey for being sexually assaulted by anyone and everyone,” the bench added.

The ruling came in the case where a woman had accused Narender Kumar of sexually assaulting her on September 16, 1998, near village Khirki in south Delhi by dragging her to the road-side bushes at 8pm. The trial court convicted Kumar on December 7, 1999, under Section 376 of the IPC and sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment. The high court on March 25, 2009, upheld the trial court verdict.

But, amicus curiae Yakesh Anand pointed out to the apex court that the trial court as well as the HC did not consider the evidence placed by the defense that the accused and the alleged victim were having intimate relationship much to the dislike of her husband. Anand said there were defense witnesses who corroborated Kumar’s version that only after he refused to live with her that the rape complaint was filed.

The SC said that though the complainant’s version in a rape case had been traditionally given weight by the courts, but even in such cases the onus was always on the prosecution to prove affirmatively each ingredient of the offence it sought to establish and “such onus never shifts” to the accused.

“However great the suspicion against the accused and however strong the moral belief and conviction of the court, unless the offence of the accused is established beyond reasonable doubt on the basis of legal evidence and material on the record, he cannot be convicted of an offence,” the bench said.

Acquitting Narender Kumar, the bench said: “The given facts and circumstances make it crystal clear that if the evidence of the prosecutrix is read and considered in totality of circumstances along with the other evidence on record, in which the offence is alleged to have been committed, we are of the view that her deposition does not inspire confidence.”









Condition of Delhi’s street children hasn’t improved’

IANS | May 26, 2012, 07.19PM IST

NEW DELHI: The juvenile justice system has been ineffective in safeguarding the rights of around 500,000 street-dwelling children in the capital, representatives of the child welfare committees (CWCs) and police said Saturday.

Lamenting that the condition of such children had not improved despite implementation of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000, Neera Malik, CWC chairperson at west Delhi’s Nirmal Chhaya complex, said: “23 years ago, there were 45,000 children on the capital’s streets. Now, there are as many as 5 lakh and their condition has not improved at all.

“…The main problem that we have to face in rehabilitation of the children that come to the CWC is the lack of political will towards addressing the root causes for the plight of these children, such as lack of employment facilities for the parents and education facilities for children in their home areas.”

Malik was speaking at a workshop organised by child rights organisations — the Childhood Enhancement Through Training and Action (Chetna) and the Consortium for Street Children — to examine the successes and failures of the Juvenile Justice Act.

The landmark act provides a framework for the protection, treatment and rehabilitation of children under juvenile justice system and is considered a very progressive legislation but its implementation remains a concern.

“Most of the street children usually come from dysfunctional or abusive families. In such cases, just sending them back home, is not a solution without addressing the family issues,” said Kamla Lekhwani, CWC chairperson at north Delhi’s Rohini.

Lekhwani said such children often returned to the streets, and malpractices such as substance abuse and theft also made their rehabilitation difficult.

“Returning to the streets, these children often turn to malpractices such as theft and substance abuse. Especially, the abuse of whitener fluid, is rampant in these children,” she added.

CWC chairperson from south Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar, Raj Mangal Prasad said: “Most of these centers do not have the any drug rehabilitation capacities. They usually turn down the street children claiming that they have bad influence on other children living there.”

Senior officials from the Delhi Police were also present at the discussion and put forward their own perspectives on the issue.

“The basic issue that drives children out of their homes is deprivation, and since the facilities at the NGOs and childrens’ homes are usually better than those at their homes, the children often leave home again and return to such institutions,” Shibesh Singh, deputy commissioner of police-3rd battalion, said, emphasising the need for restoration of the street children to their families.








NHRC, fellow panels to jointly apprise PM of their problems

PTI | 11:05 AM,May 27,2012

New Delhi, May 27 (PTI) The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is taking an initiative along with other Commissions to apprise Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about common concerns like getting better infrastructure and working conditions for their proper functioning. At a recent meeting of NHRC Statutory Full Commission, its Chairperson Justice K G Balakrishnan has expressed the need for joint collaboration of all the National Commissions on important issues of common interest and concern. A senior NHRC official said the Chairperson was of the view that issues like better infrastructure and working conditions should be taken up with the government jointly. “It was decided that all the Chairpersons of the National Commissions may have a meeting with the Prime Minister on common issues,” the official said. He said Justice Balakrishnan will soon write to all the Chairpersons of the National Commissions to finalise issues of common interest and areas of concern, including infrastructural requirements and funding. “In the meeting, it was also proposed that under the leadership of Justice Balakrishnan, all Chairpersons of the National Commissions will meet the Prime Minister to raise these issues and concerns with him,” the official said. In a bid to avoid various Commissions taking up the same case, the NHRC has also suggested that all these bodies have a online common complaint register system. “We need to ensure that there is no duplication in taking cognisance of the same complaint or in the registration of complaints and cases by various National Commissions,” the official said. Justice Balakrishnan had said that unless each National Commission and SHRC is inter-linked through a common complaint registration system, it would be difficult to address the issue. NHRC member Justice G P Mathur said that it is often at a very late stage that it is learnt that the same complaint has been taken up for investigation by two different Commissions with sometimes contradictory orders issued by each. “This results in a tremendous waste of time and resources. This problem must be addressed and resolved to ensure that no contradictory orders are issued,” he said. PTI SJY


LEGAL NEWS 26.05.2012

Supreme Court stays cancellation of Jal Mahal land lease case
TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.37AM IST
JAIPUR: The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Rajasthan High Court judgment that cancelled the lease of 100-acre land near Jaipur’s Man Sagar Lake to a private company to develop tourist facilities.

A division bench of Justice Deepak Verma and Justice S J Mukhopadhaya, however, restrained the private company from undertaking any fresh construction at the site. The bench said that the undertaking given by the company to the Rajasthan High Court that it would not undertake fresh constructions in the complex would continue. The company, the Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd, though was allowed to continue the preservation and restoration work of the monument, Jal Mahal, inside the lake.

The apex court also issued notices to have replies from the state government and Prof KP Sharma, one of the petitioners on whose pleas the high court cancelled the lease on May 17.

The apex court’s stay order came as a relief to the state government as well, since the high court had made stern remarks against it while cancelling the lease and license agreements. A division bench headed by Chief Justice Arun Kumar Mishra had remarked that the state government committed “breach of public trust” and “abused the powers” in signing the lease on ‘unreasonable’ terms.

The state government leased out the prime land near the lake and the 17th century monument in it to the private company for 99 years. It was objected that the land estimated to be around Rs 3500 crore was handed over to the company in return for just Rs 2.5 crore annual lease money and the monument was given away for an annual license fee of merely Re 1.

Early this week, deputy leader of opposition Ghanshyam Tiwari said that the BJP wanted the lease agreement to be cancelled and the land’s possession be retaken by the government, as directed by the high court in its May 17 judgment. Tiwari even talked about leading the people to forcibly take possession of the land and the monument if the government failed to do by May 31.

Seniors’ criticism of lower court judges denting judiciary: SC
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.54AM IST
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has admitted that a growing tendency in superior courts to berate lower court judges for apparent mistakes in orders and judgments was denting the judiciary’s credibility.

The apex court said its judgments advising superior court judges to exercise restraint and use temperate and sober language while dealing with appeals against orders passed by lower court judges had fallen on deaf ears. “Such unwarranted observations, instead of enhancing the respect for the judiciary, create concavity in the hierarchical system and bring the judiciary downhill…. Further, the trend seems to be persistent like an incurable cancerous cell which explodes out at the slightest imbalance,” said a bench of Justices B S Chauhan and Dipak Misra.

A superior court judge was expected to maintain “sobriety, calmness, dispassionate reasoning and poised restraint” even when he felt strongly about the lack of merit and faults in an order passed by a lower court judge, the bench said.

The bench removed the Allahabad high court single judge’s caustic observations against Bulandshahar chief judicial magistrate Amar Pal Singh. Expressing deep anguish at the intemperate language used by the HC judge against the CJM, the bench clarified that it was not commenting on the merits of the order which was challenged before the HC.

Justice Misra, writing the judgment for the bench, quoted orders of the apex court spanning four decades on this issue and said superior court judges must understand the difference between sending a message and issuing a rebuke.

“A judge is required to maintain decorum and sanctity which are inherent in judicial discipline and restraint. A judge functioning at any level has dignity in the eyes of public and credibility of the entire system is dependent on use of dignified language and sustained restraint, moderation and sobriety,” the bench said.

The SC said judiciary’s independence was inseparable from its credibility. “Unwarranted comments on the judicial officer creates a dent in the credibility and consequently leads to some kind of erosion and affects the conception of rule of law,” it added. “The sanctity of decision making process should not be confused with sitting on a pulpit and delivering sermons which defy decorum because it is obligatory on the part of superior courts to take recourse to correctional measures,” the bench said. Allowing the CJM’s appeal, the apex court said, “Perceptions of fact and application of law may be erroneous but that never warrants such kind of observations and directions.”

Kazmi has a right to get copies of remand papers: Court
PTI | 08:05 PM,May 25,2012
New Delhi, May 25 (PTI) A Delhi court today said it was the fundamental right of journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, arrested for alleged role in the bomb attack on Israeli diplomat’s car, to be supplied with the copies of the remand papers which are not secret documents. Additional Sessions Judge S S Rathi allowed Kazmi’s plea saying there is “no legal prohibition on supply of documents to the accused in judicial custody subject to the safeguards provided by the relevant statutes.” Terming as “illegal” and “fractious”, the ASJ set aside the part of the May 1 order of the magisterial court where it was held that Kazmi cannot be supplied the copies of the remand papers at this stage and that the same may be supplied after the filing of the charge sheet. The ASJ said it is his (Kazmi’s) fundamental right to be informed about the grounds and documents based on which his detention is being extended from time to time. “Delhi High Court rules and orders clearly empower the accused to seek certified copies of any record at any stage,” the judge said. The ASJ said even constitutionally, by combined virtue of Article 14 (equality before law), 19 (Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech etc), 21(right to life) and 22 (protection against arrest and detention), an accused held in custody by the state does have a right to be treated and dealt with by the state in a transparent manner. Kazmi had moved the court of ASJ seeking copies of the remand papers on basis of which his judicial custody was being extended since March 24. The ASJ noted that the six remand papers sought by Kazmi did not contain the name and addresses of any witness and other information mentioned in them had already been published in several national dailies. The ASJ also observed that neither the state nor the court of CMM on its own motion ever ordered for holding any proceedings in the case incamera. The ASJ also rejected the objection of the investigating agency that Kazmi himself is a press reporter and the media was taking keen interest to cover every aspect of the case and if the remand papers are supplied to him, they would become public.

Aarushi-Hemraj murder case: Time for witnesses to take centre stage
Neeraj Chauhan, TNN | May 26, 2012, 03.10AM IST
NEW DELHI: With the stage set for the trial of doctors Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the four-year-old Aarushi-Hemraj double murder case, CBI will have to begin producing evidence and witnesses in the court from June 4 to prove its charges of murder and destruction of evidence against the Talwar couple.

The investigation agency’s case is built primarily upon 141 documents, which include statements of some neighbours and friends of the Talwars, their maid and their driver, the case’s first investigating officer from Noida police, doctors and forensic experts.

CBI had recently told the court that it had ‘relied upon’ 96 of these 141 documents in the case diary. However, the agency admits to not having material evidence against the couple.
Of the witnesses, CBI feels, some have been crucial in reconstructing the chain of events from the murders on the night of May 15 to the discovery of the corpses on the morning of May 16, 2008.

Among the important witnesses is Punish Rai Tandon, a neighbour of the Talwars in Jalvayu Vihar whose servant Vijay Mandal was arrested by the first CBI probe team. In his statement, sources say, Tandon had told investigators that “his servant Vijay Mandal was in his garage (that day)”.

To prove the CBI’s theory of only four persons being present in the house on May 15, 2008, the Talwars’ driver Umesh, their maid Bharti, another neighbour Anita Durrani, and KN Johri, the landlord of another suspect, Krishna, are important %witnesses.

Umesh had said in his statement, “I had seen Rajesh Talwar, Nupur Talwar, Aarushi and Hemraj in the house around 9.30pm on May 15, when I went there to return their car keys”.

Bharti claimed, “When I went to the house at 6am on May 16, only Rajesh and Nupur Talwar were there. Aarushi’s body lay on her bed and there was blood from a wound on her neck while Hemraj was not there”. The statements of Jalvayu Vihar’s security guards – Virender Singh, Sanjay Singh, Ram Kumar, Chandra Bhushan, Devender Singh and Ram Vishal – support CBI’s theory that ‘no outsider’ visited or left the Talwars’ house that night.

Anita Durrani had stated that her servant Rajkumar was present in her house till 12.30am on the night of murder, while KN Johri, stated that Krishna was sleeping in his house with his family members.

CBI says the testimony of an official of the telecom department, Deepak Kanda, is also important as he had stated that “Internet was switched on and off at regular intervals and that an outsider could not have done that…It (router) was first switched on at 12.08am, while it was switched off finally at 3.43am and it could have only gone off in case of an electricity cut,” Kanda stated.

Another witness from the electricity department, Rajesh Kumar, said there was no power cut from 7pm on May 15 to 7am on May 16.

Dr Rajeev Kumar and Dr Rajeev Kochar, friends of the Talwars, had stated that “they had seen washed dragging marks on the stairs next day”. In his statement, Kochar has also reportedly told the sleuths that the Talwars were wearing fresh looking clothes.

The agency is also banking on the postmortem report. Dr Sunil Dohre had stated that “a surgically trained person could have caused the injuries on the neck”, adding that “V-shaped injury could have been of a golf stick”.

To back the destruction of evidence claim, Dohre’s statement also adds that “there were no marks on Aarushi’s face or body or of any resistance, but private part was wide and there was white discharge near it, however it should be in whole area (sic)”.

CBI will call all these witnesses by turns to the court to examine them June 4 onwards.

Stall trial until CBI probe ends: Jagati Publications’ plea to high court
TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.25AM IST
HYDERABAD: Jagati Publications, the company belonging to Kadapa MP YS Jaganmohan Reddy, on Friday urged high court to restrain the trial court from going ahead with an ‘incomplete’ chargesheet and sought stalling of proceedings till the CBI probe into the FIR lodged in the Jaganmohan assets case was over.

The appeal was filed before justice B Chandra Kumar who is hearing the pleas of both Jagati Publications asking for the trial to be stopped and the CBI’s plea against cancellation of the bail given to auditor Vijay Sai Reddy. Senior advocates C Padmanabha Reddy and Susheel Kumar argued the cases for both Jagati and the auditor and told the court that the CBI could only undertake further investigation if it came across any new evidence and not on strength of merely the FIR.

Just because Vijay Sai would be entitled to bail upon completion of the 90-day time limit, the CBI has filed an incomplete chargesheet, the counsels said.

The CBI has with it the preliminary enquiry report, the high court judgment ordering a CBI probe into Jagan’s assets, the FIR naming 73 individuals and companies as accused and the report of the amicus curiae who cited benefits given to five companies on a quid pro quo basis.

But the CBI so far has named only one of the five companies whose details were given by the amicus curiae, the senior counsel said. Proceeding on an incomplete chargesheet would result in injustice to their clients, the counsels said. The judge posted the case to Monday when he would hear CBI’s version of the case.

Sunil Reddy bail plea dismissed: In a separate development, principal special judge A Pullaiah of the CBI court on Friday dismissed the bail plea of N Sunil Reddy, an accused in the Emaar scam case. The judge noted that since the case is dependent on the statement provided by T Ranga Rao of Stylish Homes against the accused, Sunil, if released, may threaten Ranga Rao against deposing before court.

Allahabad High Court quashes Surajpur land acquisition
TNN | May 26, 2012, 05.43AM IST
ALLAHABAD: The Allahabad High Court on Friday quashed the notifications issued by the state government for acquisition of about three hectares of land in Surajpur village in Dadri tehsil, Gautambuddh Nagar for construction of aqua children’s park. The Allahabad High Court order was passed by a division bench of Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice A N Mittal, allowing the writ petitions of Surajpur farmers.Quashing the notifications dated August 27, 2004 and July 19, 2005, the court ordered to return the land of the petitioners. The court was of the view that application of urgency clause invoked by the government for acquiring the land was without any real or actual urgency.

Green Tribunal agrees to hear plea against Lavasa’s hill city
The National Green Tribunal has agreed to hear a plea challenging the November 9, 2012 environment clearance (EC) granted to Lavasa Corporation Ltd for its $ 31 billion hillside township project in Pune district of Maharashtra.
The Tribunal directed Lavasa, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to file their replies to the petition of a project-hit Pune native before July 24.
Lavasa had opposed the petition at the outset on ground that the plea was time barred as it was filed with a delay of 59 days after the grant of environment clearance.
The company had also said that petitioner Dyaneshwar Vishnu Shedge had not come to the Tribunal with “clean hands” and having sold his land for the project, he is “stopped from raising an objection to the EC granted”.
Mr. Shedge, had contended that he was not aware of the MoEF’s order granting EC and after coming to know about it the villagers of Mugaon, of Mulshi Taluka of Pune assembled and took a decision regarding “the further course of action for setting aside the order granting EC”.
The Tribunal said that the appeal has been filed within 90 days, thus was in consonance with the provision of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) Act.
As per the NGT Act a plea can be filed within 30 days of passing of an order sought to be challenged and the Tribunal can entertain the petition filed within 60 days after the first 30 days if it is satisfied that the appellant was prevented by sufficient cause from filing the appeal.
“On consideration of submissions advanced interse by the parties we feel in a case like the present one where environmental impact of project on local population in terms of their environmental harm has to be assessed, the approach of this Tribunal, especially set up for the said purpose, should be liberal and not “hyper-technical”, a bench headed by the Tribunal’s Acting Chairperson Justice A S Naidu said.
The bench condoning the delay said “in view of the discussions made above, the delay being less than 90 days, this Tribunal after appreciating pleadings and documents referred is satisfied that there was sufficient reason and that deliberate latches (not acting in reasonable amount of time) cannot be attributed to appellant”.
It also said that Lavasa’s allegations against petitioner and questions relating to locus-standi of Mr. Shedge “involve intricate questions of facts and law which can be dealt with only in course of hearing of the appeal”.
Mr. Shedge had submitted that several “substantial questions” relating to environment are involved and “if the project comes up, the right of the appellant as well as other poor villagers living in the vicinity shall be affected under Article 21 of the Constitution (relating to Fundamental Right to life), in as much as they will be deprived of clean environment and a healthy life”.
The petitioner has alleged that the action of MoEF in granting EC to the project was “arbitrary”.
“There are also several other allegations with regard to the faulty procedure adopted as well as de-relegation of statutory provisions by the MoEF which according to the appellant goes to the root of the decision making process, consequently the EC granted suffers from the vice of non consideration of relevant facts and law and cannot be sustained”, the tribunal noted from the Mr. Shedge’s submissions.
The Tribunal is also hearing a separate petition filed by Lavasa challenging the environment ministry’s decision to impose conditions with the EC, which is likely to be heard on July 19.
Lavasa had also questioned the applicability of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2006, requiring environmental clearance from the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), for the project.
The MoEF had on November 9, 2011 granted environment clearance to the first phase of Lavasa’s project subject to “strict compliance” of certain terms and conditions.
The decision came after the Maharashtra government had filed a case in a Pune court against the promoters of Lavasa for allegedly violating the Environment Protection Act.
Filing of the case under the EPA was one of the pre-conditions imposed by the MoEF for granting the clearance.
The ministry had laid down five pre-conditions, as suggested by the Expert Appraisal Committee, for Lavasa to comply with before grant of environment clearance.
The conditions included demarcation of land usage such as open spaces, diverting five per cent of its expenses for corporate social responsibility, creation of an environment restoration fund, which in turn will be monitored by verification and monitoring committee and a submission by the company that violations would not be repeated.
Besides, the ministry has set out for Lavasa a list of 47 conditions, including having a separate budget for community development activities and income generating programmes and vocational training for individuals to take up self-employment and jobs.
The project developers were also asked to make a clear demarcation of ‘no development and construction zones’.

HC hears today plea for inter physics re-exam
Express News Service
HYDERABAD: Justice B Chandra Kumar of the High Court on Thursday asked Intermediate Board authorities to respond to issues raised in three writ petitions filed by students seeking a direction for conduct of Intermediate advanced supplementary examination in physics again for those who had missed it out on May 16 because of non-issuance of hall-tickets.
The petitions will be heard on Friday.
The Intermediate advanced supplementary examinations began on May 16 and hundreds of students could not write the physics examination on the first day due to non-issuance of hall-tickets by the board. Following the High Court orders, the board decided to issue hall-tickets immediately but they were not issued in time for the first examination. As a result, several students could not write the examination on the first day. The students contended that they had lost the opportunity to appear for the physics examination on May 16 though they had paid the fee in time to the colleges and that it was no fault of theirs and demanded that the physics examination be held again for their benefit. They pointed out that physics paper was crucial as about 31 percent students had failed in that subject. Nearly three lakh senior Intermediate students applied for the physics examination to improve their score.

House tax: High court vacates stay, decks cleared for 2% hike
TNN | May 26, 2012, 05.56AM IST
ALLAHABAD: Disposing of a writ petition challenging increase in house tax in Allahabad city, the Allahabad High Court on Friday vacated its stay order granted earlier and held that the minimum monthly rate of rent notified by the municipal commissioner, Nagar Nigam Allahabad, on June 18, 2010 (effective April 1, 2011) is valid.
By this order, it was resolved to increase the house tax by 2 per cent.
However, the division bench of Justice Sunil Ambwani and Justice Pankaj Naqvi directed that all those owners of properties in the municipal limits of Allahabad, who are liable to pay the property tax, shall be entitled to file objections to the individual assessments of their properties by the Nagar Nigam.
The objections regarding carpet area or covered area of a building, calculations, area of land or other rebates should be given in writing to the municipal commissioner within one month from the date of publication of fresh public notice by the municipal commissioner.
The objection will be confined to the individual assessment regarding calculation of the area.
The Court directed that municipal commissioner or officers authorised by him will dispose of the objections after giving objectors an opportunity of being heard with reasons ordered.
The petitioner, corporator Shiv Sewak Singh, Congress MLA Anugrah Narayan Singh and corporator Kamlesh Singh had questioned the authority, manner and process of increase in the property tax levied on the properties situated within the municipal limits of Allahabad by municipal commissioner, Nagar Nigam Allahabad, for the year 2011-2012.
They had challenged the enhancements of the rates of rent and assessments of house tax by municipal commissioner, Allahabad from April 1, 2011.

HC reserves orders on Bidari Case
Express News Service
BANGALORE: A Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court, comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice H S Kempanna, on Friday reserved for Monday its judgment on the review petition filed by DGP Shankar M Bidari, seeking his appointment as DG & IGP be upheld.
Meanwhile, Bidari’s counsel S N Chandrashekar filed a memo seeking permission to withdraw the Interlocutory Application (IA) for change of the Bench. The Bench, then, dismissed the memo and a contempt petition filed by IG & DGP A R Infant against Bidari for “seeking change of Bench” and commenting on judiciary.
Advocate General S Vijay Shankar, who was making his submission on behalf of the state government, said in the National Human Rights Commission report there was no allegation against Bidari of committing atrocities as chief of the STF during operations to nab Veerappan, and hence the state did not feel it relevant to place the report before the UPSC before Bidari’s appointment as IG & DG.
Chandrashekar stated that “During the NHRC prove, victims’ statements were recorded on paper, and not tape-recorded or videographed. Many people gave false statements before the NHRC for higher compensation. When Infant made allegations against Bidari, he should have attached the documents, if any, but he did not do so,” he said.
Counsel for Infant Uday Holla said for empanelment for top post one should have a good length of service, clean service record and range of vital and crucial experience. The DG & IGP had to control and command 90,000 police personnel of the state, but Bidari said he did not commit any atrocities but the officers under him committed them, he added.

NHRC camp in Assam and Meghalaya from May 28
PTI | 12:05 PM,May 26,2012
Guwahati, May 25 (PTI) A delegation of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), led by its chairman Justice (Retd) K G Balakrishnan would hold a three-day camp sitting in Assam and Meghalaya from May 28 to reach out to far-flung areas. The camp sittings aims to dispose of pending cases by hearing senior government officers, sensitise them about importance of human rights issues and compliance of NHRC recommendations, meet local NGOs and brief media for wider dissemination of information on human rights issues, an official release said here today. The first sitting will be held here for two days from May 28 and on May 30 at Shillong. Altogether 50 cases concerning of Assam will be considered for disposal and out of these 17 cases will be heard at the full Commission sitting chaired by Justice Balakrishnan. The rest of the cases would be taken up by two separate division benches. The cases for Assam include rehabilitation of children rendered orphan or destitute in communal riots in upper Assam districts, starvation deaths in Cachar district, alleged eviction of about 6000 adivasis by forest officials from Lungsun forest area. The other cases include denial of basic facilities to the residents of 22 villages in Kamrup district, witch hunting, sexual exploitation of women, deprivation of source of livelihood to 300 families facing eviction, illegal coal mining in Tinsukia district and deaths in encounter and custody.

SC stays removal of Odisha consumer forum chief
Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN May 25, 2012, 04.04PM IST
NEW DELHIl The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Odisha government notification removing A K Samantray, a former judge of Orissa high court, from the post of president, State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
Arguing for Samantray, senior advocate Mukul Rohatgi said the state consumer forum president could be removed only after the state sent a reference and consequent inquiry by the chief justice of the high court into allegations of corruption or misconduct.
“This procedure was given a complete go-by,” he said.
A bench of Justices Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhaya stayed the Naveen Patnaik government’s May 9 notification removing Samantray from the post and sought the state’s response.
Samantray, through counsel Ashok Panigrahi, pleaded that the “manner in which the petitioner had been removed from the post of president of the state commission by the government without any inquiry was illegal, arbitrary and in flagrant violation of the principles of natural justice”.
The removal resulted from the adverse remarks passed by the HC while hearing a PIL alleging irregular functioning of district consumer forums and the state consumer commission.
The petitioner said, “The state government failed to understand that the high court had never directed his removal from the post of president of the state commission.”
The state government, to save its skin from possible contempt proceedings, had issued the May 9 notification without even bothering to conduct any inquiry or referring the matter to the HC for an inquiry into the alleged irregularities, he alleged.

High court slaps Rs 5 crore penalty on mining firms for damaging fort
Ajay Parmar, TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.54AM IST
JODHPUR: In yet another curb on the indiscriminate mining in state, the Rajasthan high court on Friday imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on the Birla White and other miners and ordered mining activities to be suspended with immediate effect in 10-km periphery of the 7th century Chittorgarh Fort.
The order comes a month after a whopping penalty of Rs 50 crore was imposed on the Sangemarmar Khan Vikas Samiti of Makrana for causing irreparable damage to the railway track due to mining activities.
The division bench of Chief Justice A K Mishra and Sangeet Lodha pronounced the verdict while disposing off a PIL filed by one Bhanwar Singh. The petitioner alleged that the blasting of mine barely 1.5 km away from the Chittorgarh Fort was causing irreparable damage to the historic monuments of Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh and Kumbha Mahal. He alleged the companies are carrying out these activities without permission, and several cracks have appeared on the structures due to these.
The court overruled the report of the Indian Bureau of Mining, which had stated that the mining operations were as the standards of the IBM and were not causing damage to the fort by any means. Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson and the counsel of Birla White had appeared in the court during the final hearing of the petition on May 15. The court had then reserved its verdict.
On Friday, the bench while giving its verdict said 90% of the penalty would be borne by the Birla White, while the remaining had to be paid by other mining companies.

Disproportionate assets case: CBI to grill Jagan Mohan Reddy again today
New Delhi: YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy will be quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) again on Saturday. On Friday, he was grilled by CBI sleuths for over seven hours in connection with the disproportionate assets case.
Jagan remained unperturbed by the grilling. The CBI is questioning Jagan on the Vadarevu and Nizampatnam Ports and Industrial Corridor (VANPIC) deal in the presence of industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and senior bureaucrat KV Brahamandna Reddy who are already under arrest.
Prasad is the promoter in the VANPIC deal and allegedly invested Rs 850 crore in the business of Jagan for land allotment made to the VANPIC project by the then YSR regime on quid-pro-quo basis. The CBI had on Thursday arrested Andhra Pradesh Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana in connection with the VANPIC project.
Prohibitory orders have been issued in Hyderabad as police fear that Jagan’s supporters could go on the rampage if he is arrested. His anticipatory bail petition was rejected on Thursday by the Andhra Pradesh High Court, hours after the CBI arrested Venkataramana.
Security has been strengthened security in and around the Dilkhusa Guest House where a large number of police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been deployed. The Raj Bhavan route, which leads to the guest house was barricaded and a lot of traffic restrictions were imposed there.
The High Court as well as the CBI had turned down his pleas seeking exemption from appearing before the agency till June 15 due to his engagement with the by-polls campaign.
The prohibitory orders under Indian Penal Code Section 144 banning assembly of five or more persons came into force at 6 am on Thursday. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma said the orders would be in force till May 29, a day after he is scheduled to appear in the CBI court. A large number of police personnel have been deployed all over Hyderabad to prevent any untoward incident.
There will be no permission for meetings, rallies and processions during the period. Police have launched checking of vehicles and frisking of people, especially at the entry points into the city.
The police commissioner said they had reliable information that “in view of forthcoming by-elections certain political parties are likely to organise large number of supporters in Hyderabad city limits, taking advantage of some local events to derive political advantage.” In the emotionally charged atmosphere, large-scale mobilisation of people is likely to adversely affect maintenance of law and order, the police chief said.
Jagan has alleged that the Congress and the Telugu Desam Party along with the CBI are conspiring to arrest him and then create a law and order problem to postpone the June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 Assembly constituencies. In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jagan alleged that a conspiracy had been conceived to trigger riots after his arrest and put the blame on him.

DNA investigations: BEML society tricked BDA, and sold sites
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 9:39 IST
By Y Maheswara Reddy | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
Looks like some administrators belonging to the BEML Employees’ Cooperative Society Ltd (BECSL) believe in the mantra of “rules are meant to be broken”.
Sample this: Even though an agreement between the BDA and the BECSL prohibited the society from selling 84 sites in its Thubarahalli Layout, the society went on to sell many of them; in fact, seven were sold to a single person in one day.
The sale of restricted sites took place even though the BECSL had intimated the Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) to withhold their release till a case relating to three parks was settled in the court.
In this regard, the then executive director of the BECSL, M Huche Gowda, had sent a letter to the BDA’s engineer member on July 20, 2005. The letter stated that the BDA can withhold the release of 84 sites until the case relating to the civic amenity (CA) sites was settled in the court. A list of sites accompanied the letter.
But even though the BECSL did not get the court’s clearance regarding the CA sites, it started selling sites in January 2008. DNA has a copy of the sale deeds of these sites.
Seven of these restricted sites (site numbers 429C, 429D, 429E, 429F, 429N, 429O, 429P) were sold to one Narsappa Reddy on August 5, 2009. The then executive director Domlur Sreenivas Reddy and president HM Kumar of the BECSL represent the housing society in the sale deed.
KS Periyaswamy, a former employee and shareholder of BEML, said the sale hints at collusion among board of directors of the housing society, officials of the BDA, the BBMP and sub-registrars. He said all authorities involved in the sale of the sites ought to be prosecuted for breach of trust. He said the government should punish them under Section 420 of the Indian Penal Code.

ATS file 13/7 charge sheet against 10 IM members
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 8:00 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
Almost a year after three bomb blasts shook the city killing 27 people and injuring many others, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday filed a 4,788-page charge sheet before the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court against 10 members of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), including its top operative Riyaz Bhatkal who is believed to be hiding in Pakistan.
Of the 10 members of the terror group, six are absconding while four have been arrested. The four — Naquee Ahmed, Nadeem Shaikh, Kanwar Pathrija and Haroon Naik — are facing trial under the stringent MCOCA, the Indian Penal Code and other laws.
A series of three coordinated bombs exploded at Opera House, Zaveri Bazaar and Dadar (West) in the peak evening hours between 6.52pm and 7.05pm on July 13, 2011. The charge sheet has been filed under MCOCA, Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, Indian Penal Code, Explosives Act, Explosives Substance Act, Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and Passport Act against 10 persons of which four are arrested.
According to the charge sheet, Naquee and Nadeem were involved in the criminal conspiracy. The provided logistic support, SIM cards, housing, and transporting the explosives in addition to stealing scooters.
The charge sheet also reflects names of six absconding accused, including IM founder Mohammad Ahmed Sidappa alias Yasin Bhatkal and his brother Riyaz Bhatkal. Two Pakistani nationals, Wakash Shaikh alias Waka and Danish alias Adil alias Tabrez who were alleged to have planted the explosives, are also shown as wanted accused in the case. Two others are Muzaffar Kola Shaikh, proprietor of Dubai-based Kola Enterprise who used to send money through hawala and Mohammad Tahsin Akhtar alias Tahsin.
The ATS has recorded statements of 641 witnesses of which 19 witnesses have identified the arrested accused. The ATS has attached 308 hours of CDs compiled from various CCTV cameras at the three locations.
The recruitment for carrying out the blasts started in December 2010. From February 2011, people who were to execute the blasts started entering Mumbai. The confessional statement given by Nadeem Shaikh also forms a part of the charge sheet although he later retracted the statement.Initially, three different cases were lodged at local police stations under the UAPA. Later, the three blasts cases were clubbed and handed over to the ATS.
The ATS later invoked the MCOCA as the Bhatkal brothers’ were involved in Pune’s German bakery blast and Ahmedabad’s Shahi Baug blast. Yasin Bhatkal, Wakash and Tarbez had rented a flat in Byculla where they allegedly assembled explosives before triggering the blasts.

2G scam: Essar, Loop Telecom executives charged with criminal conspiracy
NEW DELHI: A CBI special court on Friday charged five top executives of Loop Telecom and the Essar Group, including its vice-chairman Ravi Ruia and his nephew Anshuman Ruia, with criminal conspiracy to cheat the telecom department, as part of the 2G spectrum scam, but granted bail to all of them.

In addition to the Ruias, Essar’s director for strategy & planning, Vikash Saraf, and Loop promoters IP Khaitan and Kiran Khaitan were charged under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and Section 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code. If convicted, the five officials could face up to seven years in prison.

Kiran Khaitan is the sister of Essar Group founders Shashi and Ravi Ruia, and is based in Dubai along with her husband IP Khaitan.

The court also charged three companies – Loop Telecom, Loop Mobile India and Essar Tele Holding – under the same sections. It also slapped an additional charge of cheating on Saraf for making false representations to the government.

The special court, set up to conduct a speedy trial in the 2G scam, is trying 17 other accused, including former telecom minister A Raja, government officials and top corporate executives from three mobile phone companies. These people have been charged with criminal breach of trust, conspiracy, cheating, forgery and corruption. The cases pertain to the allocation of telecom permits on a first-come-first-served basis by Raja in 2008.

But the Ruias are the most prominent businessmen to go on trial in the 2G scam. Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra, DB Realty MD Shahid Balwa and executives from Reliance Communications spent several months in jail before being released on bail late last year. Raja was granted bail earlier this month after being in jail for nearly 15 months.

The special court said it would try the five executives for conspiring against and cheating the telecom department to get pan-India permits for Loop Telecom in 2008. It said the accused violated Clause 8 of the licence agreement that operators sign with the government, which bars them from owning more than 10 per cent in another telecom company.

HC grants bail to one accused
PTI | 04:05 PM,May 25,2012
Kochi, May 25 (PTI) Kerala High Court today granted bail to a CPI(M) activist, an accused in the Abdul Shukoor murder case, while it rejected the bail plea of another Marxist. While granting bail to Ajit Kumar, Justice M K Balakrishnan turned down the plea of 13th accused Rajeevan. Kumar was ordered to furnish a bond of Rs one lakh plus two solvent sureties for the like amount. The judge said Kumar had completed 90 days in custody, the maximum detention limit without filing of chargesheet. The state government had opposed the pleas of the two, saying if they were released on bail, it would affect investigation in the case. Shukoor, a worker of the Muslim Students Front (MSF) was stabbed to death allegedly by CPI(M) workers on Feb 20 last at Keezhara Ariyil in Thaliparambu in Kannur district. The incident was said to be sequel to a clash between IUML and CPI(M).

Gujarat HC irked at Shingalas U-turn
Published: Friday, May 25, 2012, 20:32 IST
Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: DNA
The Gujarat high court issued a show-cause notice to Vishal Shingala of Jamnagar, who on Thursday had sought permission to withdraw the petition against IPS officer Subhash Trivedi. Shingala had earlier filed a petition before the Gujarat high court against Jamnagar DSP Trivedi and other cops for torturing him in police custody after he was arrested in a case under Prohibition Act in 2008.
Justice AS Dave was irked with Shingala as he decided to withdraw the petition when the matter was in the final stage. It also directed filing of an FIR against the IPS officer. The court asked Shingala to file a reply before May 29 as to why any criminal action shall not be initiated against him.
Last Tuesday, the court asked Shingala to lodge a complaint before the Jamnagar police against Subhash Trivedi under section 330 of the IPC for voluntarily causing hurt to extort confession. The state government had also initiated departmental action against Trivedi.
However, Shingala’s sudden change of mind has not gone down well with the court and he has been asked to furnish a reply as to why he wanted to withdraw the plea at final stage.
According to the petition filed by Shingala, an FIR was lodged against him in case of prohibition and he was arrested. He was then subjected to custodial torture by DSP Trivedi and the police inspector. He filed a complaint before the local court which entrusted inquiry of the matter to the police, but it did not yield any result.

Shukkoor murder case: HC denies bail to accused
TNN | May 26, 2012, 04.51AM IST
KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Friday denied bail to P Rajeevan, the 13th accused in the murder of Muslim League activist Abdul Shukkoor.

Justice N K Balakrishnan denied bail to Rajeevan after the prosecution pointed out that he had been identified by a witness as part of the mob that kidnapped Shukkoor before murdering him.

The 10th accused in the case, Kerala Fire and Rescue Services employee P K Ajith Kumar, was granted bail by the court as he had served 90 days in jail, which is the maximum number of days a person can be detained without filing a chargesheet.

Bail applications by six more accused in the murder, which was termed by the media as ‘party killing’, are pending before the high court.

Meanwhile, amidst the demand by the Indian Union Muslim League to hand over the probe to the CBI, three more people were arrested on Friday night. They are being questioned.

Decide engg results of 3 plaintiffs: HC to Mumbai University
Published: Saturday, May 26, 2012, 8:13 IST
By DNA Correspondent | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA
While issuing a stiff warning to the Mumbai University, the vacation bench of justices SJ Kathawalla and PD Kode of the Bombay high court has directed the varsity’s Unfair Means Committee (UMC) to decide within one week the results of three engineering students, whose case it had termed under the ‘reserved copy case’ category.
After the university tendered an unconditional apology for delaying appointing the UMC, the high court suggested that it should not waste any more time in declaring the results of the three petitioner students.
What surprised the court was the university being unaware of the fact that the police would make available seized documents only after a charge sheet is filed in the case.
Expressing its surprise, the court said: “The university is a very old institution and it should have known of the available legal recourse, that photocopies of the seized answersheets can be taken. Then, it could have declared the results instead of shooing away the petitioner students.”
The vacation bench was hearing the plea of three engineering students, whose results were withheld after the answer sheets of their first semester exam (May 2011) were found on a peon from the campus in June 2011. Their results were “reserved as copy case’’ by the university.
The students argued that there was no malpractice during the examination and they were not being allowed to appear for further examinations. The HC bench was told by the university that they were subsequently allowed to appear for their second semester.
Recommending strict action against students indulging in unfair practices during exams, the bench said they had the right to be heard by the inquiry panel, which was denied till now.

IPL molestation: Delhi HC hears victim’s plea
New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday heard US citizen Zohal Hamid’s plea to withdraw molestation charge against RCB Player Luke Pomersbach. Zohal was at the Delhi High Court along with her fiance Sahil Peerzada and Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach for quashing of the criminal case, lodged against the cricketer for molesting her and hitting her fiance.
Zohal’s lawyers had told CNN-IBN that and she will not be filing a defamation case against RCB owner Siddharth Mallya too.
The three made the plea jointly, terming as “unfortunate” the incident leading to registration of the FIR and saying that they have amicably settled their disputes and “wish to end it”.
Australian cricketer Pomersbach, playing for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in IPL tournaments, was arrested on May 18 after Hamid alleged that he had molested her in a five-star hotel here an and beat up her her fiance.
Claiming that they have reached a settlement amicably without any pressure or financial consideration, the petition said, “The petitioners have reached settlement as per settlement deed dated 23 May 2012, whereby inter se disputes between the parties have been amicably settled without any pressure, coercion or undue influence.”
The trio said on the advise of their friends and relatives, they mutually decided to end all their disputes.
Hamid and Sahil have agreed not to pursue the criminal case and has decided to withdraw the FIR saying they are fully satisfied and believe in the genuineness and sincerity of regret expressed by Pomersbach.

16 police recruits move HC after being delisted
TNN | May 26, 2012, 03.41AM IST
NASHIK: As many as 16 candidates selected as trainee constables have moved the Bombay high court against the state government delisting their names from the list of the selected candidates even after utilizing their services in the recent civic polls. As a result, the entire recruitment process has been stayed until the court comes out with its final verdict on the litigation filed by the delisted candidates.

In December 2011, the city police commissionerate had taken up the recruitment process for 265 candidates. The Nashik police commissionerate had received 10,099 applications for the post of constables. Only 8,158 candidates including 1,103 females had actually appeared for the recruitment process. After the documents were scrutinized, 3,162 candidates were declared ineligible on grounds of shortcomings in their documents.

Subsequently, a physical test was held for 4,996 candidates out of which 3,728 candidates qualified for the written test. The final result of 265 selected candidates was declared on December 13, 2011. Immediately after the list of the selected candidates was declared, the Supreme Court had given a new directive of parallel reservation. The state home department was asked to prepare a new list of candidates, eligible as per parallel reservation. The Nashik police commissionerate then came out with a new list of selected candidates as per the parallel reservation, which saw 36 selected candidates in the first list of December 13, being sacked.

Of the 36 candidates, 16 candidatesapproached the Bombay high court against the decision. The services of these candidates were utilized during the Nashik Municipal Corporation elections that was held in February. The candidates who have approached the Mumbai high court are of the view that ever since the first list of the selected candidates was announced, they were absorbed as constables and also worked during the civic elections. But removing their names from the second list suddenly imples playing with their future. There are reports that the rural police, which also conducted the recruitment process, has delisted 26 candidates from the second list.

HC directs MU to release results of engineering students
PTI | 07:05 PM,May 25,2012
Mumbai, May 25 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today directed the University of Mumbai to decide within a week the results of three engineering students which were on hold after their answer sheets were lost in an alleged theft case in June 2011. A vacation bench of justices S J Kathawala and P D Kode also directed the university to ensure that such incidents are not repeated and it should not waste more time in deciding the results of the three students. The bench was hearing a petition filed by the three students, whose results were withheld by university for May 2011 examination for Electronics & Computer Programming as “Reserved Copy Case”. Amruta Patil and Virendra Neve, advocates for the petitioners, have sought quashing of a verbal order of the university not allowing the students to appear for the examination this year. At the last hearing, the court had rapped the university for its “insensitive” approach towards the students’ future. The university today tendered unconditional apology to the court for the delay in appointing the Unfair Means Committee to look into the matter and assured the court that such incidents would not be repeated. The students had appeared for their first semester examinations in May 2011 but their results were “reserved as copy case” as a peon was arrested with answer sheets on the varsity’s premises in June 2011. The students argued that there was no malpractice during the examination and they were being punished for no fault of theirs, and they were not being allowed to appear for further examinations. The judges were today informed that the students were subsequently allowed to appear for their second semester.

HC awards Rs 60 lakh compensation to deceased sailor’s kin
PTI | 09:05 PM,May 25,2012
Chennai,May 25 (PTI) The Madras High Court has awarded a compensation of Rs 60 lakh to the family of an Indian sailor, who died in March this year after falling into a cargo hold of a Panamanian ship,docked at Chennai port since November 2011. T S Madison(33) of Kanyakumari district, third officer of the 7000 DWT vessel Gati Pride, while checking cargo on board the vessel, fell into an empty cargo hold and died. The ship, lying at the outer anchorage, had been “arrested” on the direction of the Court in November last year and ordered not to sail till all wages due to its crew were settled. The owners of the vessel had cleared all dues in early March and when preparations were being made for the ship to sail the mishap took place on March 24. The officer’s widow Bino Sesley and two minor children had moved the court seeking a compensation of Rs one crore. A single Judge had directed the owners to deposit Rs one crore. The owners, however, preferred an appeal. A settlement for Rs 60 lakh was reached between the owners and petitioners. Recording the settlement, a Division Bench, comprising Justices P Jyothimani and R Karuppiah,stipulated that the victim’s wife and two children would each receive Rs 20 lakh and the amount should be deposited in a nationalised bank. The matter was reverted back to the single judge who referred it to a Lok Adalat for a formal settlement, to enable the deceased officer’s family to get a refund of the court fee. The court has permitted the vessel to sail.

HC summons UT home secy over illegal occupation
Express news service : Chandigarh, Sat May 26 2012, 02:20 hrs
Taking cognisance of non-assistance by the UT Administration in a case pertaining to alleged illegal occupation of flats by Kashmiri migrants, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has summoned the UT Home Secretary and asked him to remain present in Court on May 28. The UT Administration has also been asked to clarify its stand on the issue. The Administration has been asked to explain as to what action it has taken against those Kashmiri migrants who are occupying flats illegally in Sector 29.
Earlier this month, the UT had issued notices to Kashmiri migrants for eviction. The notices were issued after assistant labour commissioner, Jammu and Kashmir, Chandigarh, had intimated the UT estate office that the migrants were occupying the houses illegally.
On the basis of the communication, the SDM (East), exercising powers under the Public Premises Act, 1971, had issued eviction notices to residents of about 60 dwelling units. The occupants were asked to appear before the estate officer.
Responding to the notices, the Residents Welfare Association had urged UT officials to take a sympathetic view. They had said they would be left on the roads, if evicted, as they had little money to pay rent. The migrants had argued that they had been occupying the houses for many years and had all the necessary documents.

HC slams ‘mechanical’ way to decide bails, paroles for convicts
Express news service : Ahmedabad, Sat May 26 2012, 04:31 hrs
The Gujarat High Court has slammed the “mechanical approach” of the state government officials in dealing with applications for bail or parole from convicts lodged inside jails.
The court’s observation came during the hearing of a petition by a murder convict who was denied parole due to “mechanical” negative remarks by the concerned superintendent of police despite the fact that in past, the convict was released from jail on bail-parole-furlough on 28 occasions and each time he reported back to jail in time.
The petitioner, Bhupat Khachar, is lodged in a jail in Amreli district and his application seeking a 30-day parole for construction of his house was rejected by the district magistrate after the concerned SP gave a negative opinion that it could cause breach of peace.
Khachar moved HC, which allowed his application after examining jail records that showed he had been in jail for around 12 years and was released on temporary bail, parole and furlough on 28 occasions but always reported back to jail in time.
The single-judge bench of Justice R R Tripathi granted the 30-day parole sought by the convict. The court also ordered the home secretary report to apprise it of the steps that are going to be taken to remove such difficulties by July 15.

Bombay HC disapproves of pilots strike
PTI | May 25, 2012, 04.43PM IST
MUMBAI: Deprecating the inconvenience being caused to people due to their agitation, the Bombay High Court today asked the Indian Pilots Guild to first comply with the Delhi High Court order restraining them from continuing their “illegal strike” before sorting out the issues with the management.
“You (IPG) may have problems but first comply with the Delhi High Court order. Then you can go sort out your issues. You cannot harass the general public like this,” a vacation bench of justices S J Kathawala and P D Kode observed while hearing an IPG petition challenging its derecognition.
IPG, the association representing pilots from the erstwhile Air India, have moved the Bombay High Court against an order passed by the Air India (AI) management derecognising the body and sealing its premises.
“The defendant no 1 (IPG), its members, agents and its office bearers are restrained from illegal strike. The pilots are also restrained from reporting sick, holding dharnas, staging demonstrations or resorting to any other modes of strike in and outside the company’s offices in Delhi and other regional offices,” Justice Reva Khetrapal of Delhi HC had said in her May 9 order.
The pilots, under the banner of IPG, are agitating over the rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career progression.
The Bombay High Court bench has directed AI to file its response to the petition through an affidavit within a week and directed the management to permit the petitioner to remove documents from its sealed office.
According to IPG, the order dated May 7, 2012 derecognising their association was a “high-handed and draconian” measure undertaken by AI management.

HC reserves order in defamation case against Army chief
New Delhi, May 25, 2012
A Delhi court on Friday reserved its order for May 28 to decide whether the judicial inquiry conducted by it into the allegations levelled by Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh in a criminal defamation case filed by him against Army chief Gen VK Singh be continued or not.

Metropolitan Magistrate Jay Thareja had been holding an inquiry under section 202 of the CrPC for determining the existence of a criminal conspiracy and complicity among the five persons, including the Army Chief, in issuing the press release on March 5 in which Tejinder Singh was accused of offering a bribe of Rs. 14 crore to Gen VK Singh.
“Today in pursuance of the inquiry, complainant has tendered in evidence a letter of May 4, 2012 and a certificate under the Evidence Act regarding the CD (showing interview of the Army Chief to a TV channel). Put up for orders on May 28,” the court said.
Section 202 of the CrPC empowers the court to hold inquiry for the purpose of deciding whether or not there is sufficient ground for proceeding in a complaint.
The court had earlier said that before passing any order on summoning the respondents, it has to be inquired whether the Army Chief and four others named in the complaint, had any role in the publication of the press release.
It had said that on the basis of evidence available, it cannot draw any positive or negative inference and it would be appropriate for the court to postpone the issuance of process and hold an inquiry as per the provisions of the CrPC.
The judge recorded the testimony of Tejinder Singh in relation to a document, government communication given in the Delhi high court, which he submitted as an evidence and said that there exists sufficient material for the court to proceed against the respondents.
During the hearing, Tejinder Singh’s lawyer Anil Aggarwal said government had communicated to the Delhi high court that the March 5 press release was issued as per the media policy of the Army Headquarters after obtaining approval at the “highest level in the Army”.
He said that being the Army chief, Gen VK Singh is the highest authority in the hierarchy.
He also submitted to the court a CD of an interview of the Army chief by a media house in which Gen VK Singh had levelled bribe allegations against Tejinder Singh.
After the counsel placed the CD before the court, the magistrate posed several queries to him about it.
“How do I know from this (CD) that other accused were also involved in this? What is the purpose of this video?,” the court said.
To this, the counsel said that the March 5 press release contains allegations including the bribery one against him and this was also levelled by the Gen VK Singh in his interview.
“This is not the stage of trial where I have to prove everything. At this stage, I have to show only the prima facie offence,” he said.
Regarding the highest authority in the Army, the counsel said, “Like Mount Everest cannot be excluded from the list of the highest mountains of the world, Gen VK Singh cannot be excluded from the list of the highest level in the Army.”
During the hearing, Tejinder Singh also argued before the court and said all the five persons, named as accused in his complaint, are implicated by the government communication to the high court as the government has said that the press release was issued by the Army Headquarters after obtaining approval at the highest level in the Army.

High court slaps Rs 5 crore penalty on mining firms for damaging fort
Ajay Parmar, TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.54AM IST
JODHPUR: In yet another curb on the indiscriminate mining in state, the Rajasthan high court on Friday imposed a penalty of Rs 5 crore on the Birla White and other miners and ordered mining activities to be suspended with immediate effect in 10-km periphery of the 7th century Chittorgarh Fort.
The order comes a month after a whopping penalty of Rs 50 crore was imposed on the Sangemarmar Khan Vikas Samiti of Makrana for causing irreparable damage to the railway track due to mining activities.
The division bench of Chief Justice A K Mishra and Sangeet Lodha pronounced the verdict while disposing off a PIL filed by one Bhanwar Singh. The petitioner alleged that the blasting of mine barely 1.5 km away from the Chittorgarh Fort was causing irreparable damage to the historic monuments of Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh and Kumbha Mahal. He alleged the companies are carrying out these activities without permission, and several cracks have appeared on the structures due to these.
The court overruled the report of the Indian Bureau of Mining, which had stated that the mining operations were as the standards of the IBM and were not causing damage to the fort by any means. Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP spokesperson and the counsel of Birla White had appeared in the court during the final hearing of the petition on May 15. The court had then reserved its verdict.
On Friday, the bench while giving its verdict said 90% of the penalty would be borne by the Birla White, while the remaining had to be paid by other mining companies.

Bombay High Court disapproves of pilots strike
Deprecating the inconvenience being caused to people due to their agitation, the Bombay High Court on Friday asked the Indian Pilots Guild to first comply with the Delhi High Court order restraining them from continuing their “illegal strike” before sorting out the issues with the management.
“You (IPG) may have problems but first comply with the Delhi High Court order. Then you can go sort out your issues. You cannot harass the general public like this,” a vacation bench of justices S.J. Kathawala and P.D. Kode observed while hearing an IPG petition challenging its derecognition.
IPG, the association representing pilots from the erstwhile Air India, have moved the Bombay High Court against an order passed by the Air India (AI) management derecognising the body and sealing its premises.
“The defendant no. 1 (IPG), its members, agents and its office bearers are restrained from illegal strike. The pilots are also restrained from reporting sick, holding dharnas, staging demonstrations or resorting to any other modes of strike in and outside the company’s offices in Delhi and other regional offices,” Justice Reva Khetrapal of Delhi HC had said in her May 9 order.
The pilots, under the banner of IPG, are agitating over the rescheduling of Boeing 787 Dreamliner training and matters relating to their career progression.
The Bombay High Court bench has directed AI to file its response to the petition through an affidavit within a week and directed the management to permit the petitioner to remove documents from its sealed office.
According to IPG, the order dated May 7, 2012 derecognising their association was a “high-handed and draconian” measure undertaken by AI management.

High court quashes Luke FIR
Abhinav Garg, TNN | May 26, 2012, 02.42AM IST
NEW DELHI: “They are foreigners, let them leave India with happy feeling,” the Delhi high court said on Friday as it quashed the FIR in the IPL molestation row in the face of strong objections from police.

Accepting the joint submissions of Zohal Hamid, Saahil Peerzada and cricketer Luke Pomersbach, Justice M L Mehta ended criminal proceedings against Pomersbach that began when Zohal lodged an FIR alleging he had molested her and hit her fiance in an IPL post-match party in Delhi.

The relief came in the teeth of protests by Delhi Police that favoured Pomersbach facing trial. The police standing counsel, Pawan Sharma, and additional public prosecutor Fizani Husain said the criminal justice system had been misused and the accused should be subjected to trial. But HC said, “They have resolved the issue and would like to leave for their countries.”

LEGAL NEWS 25.05.2012

Court allows Ansari to attend UP Assembly session

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 24,2012

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) Sitting Uttar Pradesh MLA Mukhtar Ansari charged under MCOCA was today allowed by a Delhi court to attend the Uttar Pradesh assembly session. Additional Sessions Judge Savita Rao allowed Ansari, an MLA from Mau, to attend the assembly session beginning May 28. “A letter dated May 23, 2012 sent by jail superintendent, Agra Jail, UP has been placed on record seeking the permission for production of accused (Ansari) to attend the Legislative Assembly Session. “Accused Mukhtar Ansari, as reported, is a sitting MLA from UP Legislative Assembly. Permission is accordingly accorded for his production to attend the Vidhan Sabha proceedings in the coming sessions of Vidhan Sabha, UP,” the court said. An independent legislator form Mau and an accused in the 2005 murder of BJP MLA Krishnanand Rai, 53-year-old Ansari was charged earlier this month under section 3(4) of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for being a member of an organised crime syndicate.










New high for criminal case disposal in Thane

Nitin Yeshwantrao, TNN | May 25, 2012, 04.00AM IST

THANE: Disposal of criminal cases by the sessions court in Thane rose to over 52% towards the end of 2011 as against the 31% disposal in 2009, according to statistics compiled by authorities.

A top police official said that cases are dealt with expeditiously at the Thane district court and convictions or acquittals are pronounced in one to two years. Statistics show that criminal cases disposed of at the end of December 2009 were 1.09 lakh, 1.73 lakh in the next year and 2.04 lakh in 2011.

“Criminal cases registered during these years show a rise of around 13%. In 2009, the district courts were dealing with 3.44 lakh criminal cases which rose to 3.90 lakh in 2011. However, the judgments were pronounced swiftly and many cases including the Mira road incest case or the murder of a girl working in a BPO were disposed of in less than 24 months’ time,” a law official said.

Interestingly, the civil cases disposal paled in comparison. Just about 36% cases related to property or other civil disputes were disposed off by district courts by the end of December 2011 as against 33% in 2009.

As against the disposal of 26,885 civil cases in 2009 in the sessions and civil courts in Thane, Kalyan and Palghar, statistics at the end of 2011 shows that judgments were pronounced in 31,322 cases of the 85,900 pending before the courts. Advocate Mahendra Bajpai said civil disputes tend to drag longer due to reasons including lethargy by litigants. “In quite a few property disputes, landlord remains absent or does not pursue the matter once he secures a stay on a lower court order,” he said.









Car bombing case: Court staff warned for misplaced papers

TNN | May 25, 2012, 02.41AM IST

NEW DELHI: A trial court on Thursday pulled up the court’s record keepers for a “goof-up and wastage of time” after they misplaced some documents in connection with the Israeli diplomat car bombing case.

The court found itself embroiled for over two hours in a lost-and-found drama of some applications of the police for extension of journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi’s judicial custody after his arrest for an alleged role in the attack.

The drama unfolded in the court of additional sessions judge S S Rathi, as he took up for hearing Kazmi’s plea for copies of remand applications of the police for extension of his custody after his arrest.

The sessions court had called for the record of the case including the remand papers from the court of chief metropolitan magistrate, where the case is pending. On perusing the record, the ASJ found five remand applications missing and summoned the CMM’s record-keeper who said that he has given all the documents he had.

The ASJ gave the record-keeper thirty minutes to search all the almirah and bring the record, after which one more document relating to the case was recovered. As the court was hearing the matter, one person came to the court and handed all the remand papers to the record-keeper, who then told the court that his assistant was successful in finding the papers in one almirah.

The court said it was “very strange” that papers were located minutes after the record-keeper stated that he searched all almirah but failed to locate the papers. The court warned the record-keepers, saying that “there was no plausible explanation as to why six original remand papers were not sent to this court earlier”.

Kazmi’s revision petition will be heard on Friday.









Ex-minister Pramila Mallick’s brother held in acid attack case

TNN | May 25, 2012, 05.19AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: Former minister Pramila Mallick’s brother Khirod Chandra Mallick was remanded in judicial custody on Thursday for his alleged involvement in an acid attack on a man in Bhubaneswar’s Mancheswar area in October 2011.

A trial court rejected his anticipatory bail plea following petition by the police on the ground that he was booked under section 307 (attempt to murder). Mallick, who is chairman of Biswa (an NGO), was sent to custody for fourteen days, sources said.

“He was earlier booked for conspiring in the acid attack on the man, whose relatives were working in his NGO. We want to know the nature of his involvement in the case. We have prayed the court to take him on remand for interrogation,” Bhubaneswar DCP Nitinjeet Singh said.

Earlier in the day, Mallick appeared in the court of judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) seeking bail in connection with a firing incident in Mancheswar area. Miscreants had opened fire at a BPO company girl on April 13, 2012. He was a suspect in the case as his driver, who was arrested in the incident, pointed the finger at him. Apprehending arrest, Mallick had moved the Orissa high court seeking bail. The high court recently heard his plea and asked him to get the bail from lower court. Soon after he was granted bail by JMFC, police reached the court to arrest him in the acid attack case. Mallick applied for bail, but to no avail.

“My client has been falsely implicated in the case. He was not at all involved in the acid attack case. Police became vindictive after he managed to get bail in the firing incident,” Mallick’s lawyer Dharanidhar Nayak told TOI.

Incidentally, the firing incident is said to have links with the acid attack and another firing incident in Sashtri Nagar in April 2011. Victims of the three cases belonged to the same family and were earlier working with the NGO, sources said. Police suspect that the family was targeted following monetary dispute with the NGO.









Aarushi murder case: Court orders framing of charges against Talwars

Published: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 14:45 IST | Updated: Thursday, May 24, 2012, 16:25 IST
Place: GHAZIABAD | Agency: PTI

A local court today ordered framing of charges against dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar in the double murder case of their daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj four years back.

The framing of charges will take place on Friday.

The court said charges under sections 302 (murder) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence of offence or giving false information to screen offender) read with 34 of IPC will be framed tomorrow against the couple.

Charges under section 203 (giving false information respecting an offence committed) IPC will be also be put against Rajesh.

“The court agreed with the arguments of the CBI that there were four people in the house in the night and in the morning two were found dead and two were alive,” CBI counsel RK Saini told reporters here.

“Another charge for filing a misleading FIR under section 203 IPC has been ordered to be framed against Rajesh and the case will commence now,” he said.

Saini said the agency’s version that the dressing up of crime scene and no evidence of entry of any outsider shows that the crime was allegedly committed by these two (Rajesh and Nupur), was relied upon by the court.

“Tomorrow charges will be framed and accused will be asked whether they plead guilty or not and the date of producing evidence, i.e, beginning of trial will be given,” he said.

14-year-old Aarushi was found murdered on May 16, 2008 in her bedroom in her Noida house and the body of Hemraj was found the next day from the terrace.

Arguing on behalf of Talwars yesterday, the defence counsel had refuted the prosecution case that their clients could have killed 14-year-old Aarushi and their domestic help Hemraj after having seen them in an objectionable position.

The counsel had contended that the Talwar couple were practicing doctors, had an intercaste marriage and belonged to the elite class of the society and could not have stooped to a level of provocation so as to kill their only daughter.

The defence had also refuted the CBI’s case that since there were four people in the house, the onus was on Nupur and Rajesh to explain what happened on the fateful night of May 15-16, 2008.

It had said the Talwars had gone to sleep and Hemraj had access to the entire house and could have allowed entry of outsiders who could have carried out the killings.

While Rajesh is out on bail, Nupur is lodged in the Dasna jail in Ghaziabad.









UP High Court noitce to NLU Jodhpur on CLAT 2012 question paper ‘anomalies’

Ashish Tripathi, TNN | May 24, 2012, 06.02PM IST

LUCKNOW: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court has issued notice to National Law University (NLU), Jodhpur, on a petition of a class 12th student who pointed out several anomalies in the question paper of Common Law Admission test (CLAT) 2012 and demanded a re-exam.

Justice SS Chauhan, after hearing the petition, issued notice to NLU, Jodhpur, to explain its position. Looking at the urgency of the matter, he has fixed the next date of hearing on May 28. The CLAT result is also expected on May 28. Counsel for the petitioner was permitted by the court to send FAX message to the opposite party informing about the filing of the writ petition and also requesting for appointment of a lawyer to represent the opposite party in the court.

T anaya Thakur in her petition stated that NLU Jodhpur had stated that general knowledge section will only test students on their knowledge of current affairs, that is, matters featuring in the mainstream media between March 2011 and March 2012. Further, it has stated, the exam will test students only on legal aptitude and not any prior knowledge of law or legal concepts. And, if a legal term is used it will be explained in the question itself.

But, Tanya claimed in her petition, at least 22-25 questions in the general knowledge section were beyond the current affairs period. Similarly, there were many legal terms in legal aptitude section whuch were not defined. Since the institution violated its own guidelines and syllabus, Tanaya has prayed that CLAT 2012 should be scrapped and a fresh examination should be held.

The CLAT 2012 was held on May 13 at 46 centres in 20 cities across the country. Almost 26,000 undergraduate and 1,050 postgraduate students took CLAT for admission to bachelor and master courses in law at various National Law Schools. After examinations, many students claimed that more than 25 questions were out of syllabus. Even a protest page against CLAT 2012 came up on Facebook with over 2000 members demanding a re-exam. Some asked for grace marks like last year when 12 marks were awarded to every student because some questions were wrong. One of the student pointed out that some of the questions were similar to Semester one Exams of BA.LLB of Calcutta University.

T he organising committee of CLAT, however, had then denied all charges. Officials had said that the question paper was set by the experts and questions are from within the frame work.







Supreme Court stays CA extension plan

Judicial over-reach, says Bhattarai’s aideResponding to a writ petition, Nepal’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued an interim stay order against the government’s proposal to amend the interim constitution and extend the term of the Constituent Assembly. A single bench of Chief Justice Khila Raj Regmi passed the order.

On November 25, the Court had issued an order in name of the chairman of the Constituent Assembly, the Prime Minister and Office of Council of Ministers, declaring that the extension of the CA, ending on May 27, would be the last one and the CA must promulgate the constitution within the stipulated deadline. If the CA failed to do so, said the Court, its term would end, and there should either be fresh elections for a new CA, or referendum or any other ‘appropriate arrangements’ according to the constitution. A review petition filed against the decision, on the grounds that this was entirely a political decision beyond the prerogative of the judiciary, was quashed by the Court.

On Tuesday, an all-party meeting agreed to initiate the process to amend the interim constitution and extend the CA’s term by another three months. The Cabinet endorsed the decision, and tabled an amendment bill in the legislature-Parliament accordingly. The Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) have since backtracked from the agreement, and opposed an extension.

In its verdict on Thursday, the Supreme Court said instead of taking steps towards the alternatives it proposed — elections, referendum or other appropriate arrangements — the government had acted as if there was no Court decision at all by initiating the process to amend the interim constitution to extend the CA. This, it said, was in violation of the earlier Court order as well constitutional provisions. Since the decision was ‘faulty’, the Court issued the order.

In a separate case against the Prime Minister for contempt of court in proposing an extension, the Court directed both Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Law and Justice Krishna Prasad Situala, who undersigned the amendment bill, to appear personally in court with a written reply within seven days.

Political reactions

Dr. Bhattarai’s political adviser Devendra Poudel however strongly opposed the verdict. He told The Hindu, “This is a direct intervention in the work-spheres of the legislature and the executive. The judiciary has over-reached since this is a purely political matter. We cannot accept this, and will counter this ideologically.”

UML leader Pradeep Gyawali told The Hindu, “The best option would be to agree on a constitution incorporating the areas of agreement between all sides, and promulgate it before May 27. If we do that, the legislature-Parliament will remain intact after that, and it can resolve the other remaining contentious issues like state restructuring.”

But Mr. Poudel said the Maoists would not agree to a ‘constitution without federalism’, as that lies at the heart of the constitution. Madhesi parties and Janjati MPs too have expressed opposition to this proposal however, saying this would be a ‘conspiracy’ to derail their federal aspirations. The party whip will be enforced in Parliament, unlike in the CA which adds to the apprehensions of ethnic lawmakers who want to retain the option of voting against their party decision on issues like federalism. Mr. Gyawali admitted there was a trust deficit. “Madhesis, Janjatis and women feel that future house will not address their concerns. We need to win their trust.”

Lawyers said if the CA gets dissolved without the constitution being written, the institution of the presidency and the government of the day would continue to exist.









EC asked to consider common symbol for YSRCP

A Division Bench of the High Court comprising Justice B. Seshasayana Reddy and Justice K. G. Shankar on Thursday directed the Election Commission of India to reconsider the application submitted by the YSR Congress Party for allotment of common symbol for its candidates in the ensuing by-elections.

The writ petition was filed by a party spokesman B. Govardhan Reddy who contended that the YSR Congress had sought a common symbol but the Election Commission had refused the plea. He filed a writ petition challenging the order of the Commission.

The Bench felt that the application needed to be reconsidered as the rules regarding the allotment of symbols do not deal with the by-elections.

The fledgling party, which is yet to be recognised by the EC, has fielded its candidates in all the 18 Assembly constituencies and to the Nellore Lok Sabha seat.







NCW seeks Patil’s intervention for 33 per cent quota for women

PTI | 11:05 PM,May 24,2012

New Delhi, May 24 (PTI) The National Commission for Women today sought President Pratibha Patil’s intervention to ensure 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies. Led by NCW Chairperson Mamta Sharma, a delegation met Patil at Rashtrapati Bhavan and handed over a memorandum in this regard. They urged President to take action to ensure that there is 33 per cent reservation for Women In Parliament and State assemblies become a reality. The memorandum said it should be appreciated that the bill would not only revolutionize electoral politics in India but would be a harbinger of social change ending age old gender discrimination in the political system, a statement said. The delegation also discussed various women related issues with the President besides submitting the memorandum to her.









UT land grab: Punjab counsel gets the stick from HC

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 23, 2012

Showing little conviction in the Punjab advocate-general’s (AG) repeated arguments objecting to a judicial panel to probe grabbing of public land by high-ups in Chandigarh’s periphery, the Punjab and Haryana high court directed him to assist the court as a ‘friend of the court’ and sit with the amicus curiae (lawyer acting as ‘friend of the court’), Arun Jain, to finalise the terms of reference for the panel by Thursday.

Retired Supreme Court judge Kuldeep Singh has already given his consent to head the two-member commission or tribunal. However, the bench said that it was also considering if advocate PN Aggarwal, who had expertise in revenue matters, could assist the panel.

When the case came up for arguments before the division bench comprising acting chief justice MM Kumar and justice Alok Singh on Wednesday, AG Ashok Aggarwal reiterated that there was no need to constitute a commission as nobody had questioned the state government’s detailed affidavit in which clean chit was handed to all but seven prominent persons alleged to have encroached upon government land in SAS Nagar district.

However, the bench asked him, “How was the public land made private? What was the nature of land before Independence, and how was it changed later? Your affidavit tries to justify that 60 (influential) people have private land.”

The bench further added, “When people like Saini (DGP Sumedh Singh Saini) and Badal (chief minister Parkash Singh) are involved, how can we expect that such people will decide against themselves?”

When Aggarwal again argued that there was nothing wrong in the affidavit, the bench asked, “Mr Aggarwal, you know better what is going on.” It stated that as the affidavit carried “entries which are nowhere on the record”.

“You should have mentioned in the report what as the original nature of land…Let the commission come. It will tell the whole world (what the reality is), and you yourself will be surprised,” the bench told Aggarwal.

During the arguments, senior advocate ML Sareen made a submission that he had also been appointed amicus curiae in a similar case by the high court where a huge number of encroachment cases in Punjab had been highlighted. He said that the bench had directed the state to submit the records of all the cases and make efforts to evict illegal encroachers as per the Supreme Court’s directions.






Green tribunal suspends nod for Srikakulam plant

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

The National Green Tribunal has asked the environment ministry to notify all wetlands in the country to avoid developmental projects in its vicinity as it suspended environment clearance to the thermal power plant in Srikakulam district in Andhra Pradesh.

In an order issued on Wednesday, the tribunal also asked the ministry to finalise the guidelines and site criteria for Thermal Power Plants urgently.  The tribunal had found that the existing guidelines had failed to take note of factors that affect the environment and ecology today.

“It is pertinent to note that the siting criteria produced before us were framed 25 years ago,” the tribunal said, while hearing petitions by six locals against the 2,640 MW thermal power plant of Nagarajuna Construction Company.

The appellants in the case had alleged that the proposed project site was a wetland not suitable for commercial use. It will adversely affect irrigation schemes of the area and lead to scarcity of drinking water and fishing. They also said the project will stop farmers from growing seasonal crops and vegetables, and destroy a breeding area for migratory birds.

The petitioners also contended that the environment ministry didn’t consider objections raised by a majority of those affected.

The project proponents, however, said such claims were baseless and the site was not a notified wetland. The ministry said the project was cleared after taking into account all environmental aspects.

The tribunal said that another opportunity should be provided to locals to express their views on the project and, till then, the approval should remain suspended.

The tribunal also suspended environment clearance to the 1,200 MW thermal power plant in the Cuddalore district of Tamil Nadu.







Tribunal suspends TN power project’s clearance

Nitin Sethi, TNN | May 25, 2012, 03.19AM IST

NEW DELHI: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) suspended clearance to a 3,600 MW project of IL&FS Tamil Nadu Power Company Ltd in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, ordering a cumulative impact assessment before the clearance is reactivated even though the laws do not require such a study.

In another decision that will have wide implications, the NGT also asked for continued suspension of Nagarjuna Construction Company’s 2,640 MW thermal power plant at Sompeta, Andhra Pradesh, where two people died and several were seriously injured in firing upon those protesting against the project being built on a wetland.

In its order, it demanded that the government update its criteria for selecting sites for power plants and that project proponents share detailed and complete studies with the affected people during mandatory public hearings.

Both the decisions are expected to have an impact on the clearance process for future and ongoing projects.

The NGT ordered, “We direct MoEF (environment ministry) to make available the relevant information other than EIA report and report of the public hearing considered during the appraisal of the project through its website. Similarly, the concerned State Pollution Control Board should also make available in their website the pertinent information regarding the public hearing proceedings, compliance status etc.”

In the same order recommending a cumulative emission impact before the Cuddalore project is given a go-ahead, it set a precedent that could impact the areas, such as Himalayan river basins – where the demand for cumulative impact assessments has been partly accepted. The government has carried out or has commissioned studies but permitted projects to continue alongside.

In its order on the Nagarjuna case, the NGT said, “We direct the MoEF to finalize the guidelines and siting criteria for thermal power plant urgently and file a copy thereof before this tribunal as early as possible but not later than three months as it is the most important component of EIA process and cannot be delayed any more.”

It further said, “MoEF may also finalize and notify the important wetlands in the country as early as possible so that location of developmental projects in and around such ecologically sensitive areas could be avoided in future.”






AP: Senior IPS Officer Tewari reinstated

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Senior IPS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre SR Tewari, who was dismissed from service following an enquiry by the Border Security Force in September 2010, has been reinstated into service and is likely to be given a posting shortly.

The Union Public Service Commission had recommended that Tewari be dismissed from service with immediate effect following an inquiry into various allegations against him.

The allegations were made against Tewari, a 1982-batch IPS officer, while he was working as BSF inspector-general in North Bengal Frontier and was based at Siliguri in 2006. The allegations range from “misuse of office” to indulging in “certain acts” which brought disrepute to the BSF.

In November the same year he was suspended from the BSF and was asked to appear before top officials of the paramilitary force at its headquarters in New Delhi. A departmental investigation followed and a report was submitted after which the UPSC wrote to the MHA recommending his dismissal.

Tewari moved the Central Administrative Tribunal, Delhi. The matter then went to the Delhi High Court and subsequently to the Supreme Court.

Recently, the Union ministry of home affairs issued orders directing that Tewari be reinstated with immediate effect.

The orders reached chief secretary Pankaj Dwivedi, sources said, adding that Tewari was likely to be given a posting shortly.










CBI moves closer to Jagan with Andhra minister’s arrest

The ongoing probe by the Central Brueau of Investigation (CBI) into the alleged disproportionate case of YSR Congress party president Y S Jaganmohan Reddy claimed its first casualty in the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh when the CBI arrested minister for excise and prohibition Mopidevi Venkataramana on Thursday afternoon.

The minister was arrested soon after his arrival at Dilkusha guest house, the make-shift office of the CBI in Hyderabad, for the second consecutive day for being questioned in the Jagan case. He was charged with various sections of the Indian Penal Code, including Section 120 (b) read with 420 (cheating with criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 477A (falsification of accounts), as well as Section 13 of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

Before leaving for the CBI office, the minister submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who later forwarded the same to Governor E S L Narasimhan for accepting it. The CBI later filed a memo in the CBI court, including the name of Venkataramana as one of the accused in Jagan’s case, as his name did not figure in the First Information Report (FIR) registered on August 17 last year.

While producing the minister in court, the CBI sought his custody for seven days. The court, however, agreed only to a five-day custory with effect from Friday, after which he would be sent to judicial remand till June 7. The minister was later sent to Chanchalguda jail.

Venkataramana, who held the portfolio of infrastructure and investment in the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy cabinet, had signed the controversial government orders pertaining to land allotments and other sops to the multi-thousand crore Vodarevu And Nizampatnam Port and Industrial Corridor (VANPIC) project involving prominent industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad, the biggest investor in Jagan’s business ventures.

He is among the six ministers of the YSR cabinet who were named by the Supreme Court recently, along with eight IAS officers, to be questioned in the case. The ministers had signed 26 controversial GOs, doling out various sops to several industrialists as a quid pro quo arrangement for their investments in Jagan’s business empire.

The CBI has already questioned home minister Sabita Indra Reddy in the case and is expected to quiz four others — Ponnala Lakshmiah, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Dharmana Prasada Rao and J Geetha Reddy — who held important portfolios during the YSR regime.

Soon, after the media flashed the news about the arrest of Venkataramana, his supporters enforced a bandh in Nizampatnam, his native village, and Repalle town in Guntur district. All the shops and other establishments were forced to down the shutters in protest.

CBI officials, who had grilled Venkataramana for nine hours on Wednesday, charged him with violation of norms and also not taking the opinion of the finance and law departments while issuing the GO allotting more than 15,500 acres of land in Guntur and Prakasam districts to VANPIC and granting it exemptions under Stamps and Registration Act.

CBI sleuths interrogated him in the presence of industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy, who was the then special secretary in the investments and infrastructure department. Both had been arrested on May 16. After cross-checking the information given by the two, the CBI arrested the minister.

Before leaving for the CBI office on Thursday morning, the minister said the allotments to VANPIC were made as per the cabinet decisions, and he was being made a scapegoat while it was a collective decision by the cabinet. He lamented that his cabinet colleagues were not coming to his rescue.









Jal Mahal land lease cancellation challenged in Supreme Court

TNN | May 25, 2012, 03.12AM IST

JAIPUR: The Jal Mahal land lease agreement dispute reached the Supreme Court on Thursday, as was widely anticipated.

The private company, the Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd that was to lose the lease after the Rajasthan High Court declared the agreement illegal, filed a special leave petition (SLP) before the apex court, challenging the verdict passed on May 17. The SLP was mentioned before a division bench of Justice Deepak Verma and Justice SJ Mukhopadhaya that directed that the case to be listed again on Friday.

The state government had leased out 100 acre prime land near Jaipur’s Man Sagar Lake and the 17{+t}{+h} century monument Jal Mahal in the lake to the private company for 99 years. The land estimated to be worth Rs 3500 crore was handed over to the company in return for merely Rs 2.5 crore annual lease money, while the monument was given away for an annual licence fee of just Re 1. The government justified the agreement saying the company would restore and maintain the neglected lake and monument and, thus, boost tourism in the state.

The Ashok Gehlot government, which has been tight lipped ever since the high court termed the lease agreement irrational and illegal, too, appeared before the division bench on Thursday even though no notices were issued to it. The state government was represented by former solicitor general Soli Sorabjee and additional advocate general Manish Singhvi. There were reports, though, that the state government was also examining to file a separate SLP in appeal against the high court judgment of May 17.

Even as the Rajasthan high court verdict was based on public interest litigations (PILs) filed by three separate parties, the private company chose to include only one of them (Prof KP Sharma) as a respondent in its SLP. “We were deliberately not included among the respondents as we had filed a caveat before the Supreme Court in this matter,” said AK Jain, lawyer for the Dharohar Bachao Samiti, which had also filed the PIL in high court.

On behalf of the private company, senior advocate Gopal Subramaniam justified the lease agreement saying that it was signed through international bidding. The company said it was wrong to cancel the agreement seven years after it was signed and when the project’s first phase was almost complete. It was reasoned that the company had invested Rs 80 crore on the project and if the agreement were cancelled now, it would lead to loss of faith against the government among the investors.

The Jal Mahal Resorts Pvt Ltd also opposed the high court ruling that the leased out 100 acre land was not part of the Man Sagar Lake.









Restore Security To Advocate: SC—security-to-advocate-sc/260870-60-114.html

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday pulled up the Andhra Pradesh government for withdrawing security to an advocate that had been provided at the apex court’s direction and asked it to restore it.
Judges Deepak Verma and S J Mukhopadhyay said the state’s director-general of police would have to face contempt of court if he does not provide police protection to R Chandrasekhar Reddy.
Police protection was provided by the apex court after Chandrasekhar Reddy alleged that he was facing a threat to his life after he filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court challenging the state government’s decision to release 1500 prisoners in 2007.
“How can you withdraw police protection when it was done on the court’s orders? You might have to face contempt,” the bench warned the state government. The court was hearing an interim application by Chandrasekhar Reddy in which he said he continues to face a threat.
The apex court had in August 2007 stayed the Andhra Pradesh government’s plan to release 1,500 prisoners, including life convicts, on the occasion of 150 years of the First War of Independence.
The court passed the order on a PIL filed by Chandrasekhar Reddy questioning the release of prisoners, alleging that the government wanted to benefit a Cong worker Gouru Venkata Reddy, who was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment .









Karnataka official’s death: Court takes suo moto cognizance

NDTV Correspondent | Updated: May 25, 2012 10:31 IST

Bangalore: The Karnataka High Court has taken suo moto cognisance and initiated a public interest litigation regarding the the brutal attack on S.P. Mahantesh, the Deputy Director of Cooperative Audit Department who died on May 20.

A notice has now been sent to the Principal Secretary of the Home Department and the Bangalore City Police Commissioner who have been directed to file a progress report at least a day before the next hearing of the case on June 21st.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna said “keeping all the dimensions of the death of Mr. Mahantesh in perspective, we exercise suo motu power.”
Mr Mahantesh was found unconscious on May 15, near a hotel in Bangalore. He succumbed to his injuries, five days later. The official was working as Deputy Director of the Audit wing in the state’s Cooperative department and had reported irregularities in different societies involving officials and politicians. There are allegations that this may be the reason for the attack on him.









High Court initiates PIL in Mahantesh case

Dotices to be issued to Principal Secretary, Home Department, City Police Commissioner

The Karnataka High Court on Thursday initiated a suo motu public interest litigation (PIL) petition into the recent murder of Deputy Director of the Cooperative Audit S.P. Mahantesh.

The court acted on its own, observing from media reports that there was scepticism, if not suspicion, in the minds of people regarding the investigation being conducted. It ordered notice to be issued to the Principal Secretary, Home Department, and the City Police Commissioner.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna said that “keeping all the dimensions of the death of Mr. Mahantesh in perspective, we exercise suo motu power”.

The Bench also directed the city police to file a progress report on the investigation a day prior to the next date of hearing while adjourning the hearing till June 21.

Mr. Mahantesh, who was auditing various house building cooperative societies, was found with serious head injuries lying on the pavement on Palace Road on the night of May 15. He succumbed to the injuries at a private hospital on May 21.









HC stays Sakshi freeze order

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday stayed the CBI Court’s order to freeze the current accounts of three Jagan media companies, Jagati publications, Indira Television and Janani Infrastructure. It, however, left the fixed deposits of about `94 crore at Oriental Bank of Commerce frozen.
Justice B Chandra Kumar, in his interim order, permitted the petitioners (Jagati publications, Indira television and Janani infra) to operate the current accounts. He made it clear that all transactions, including salaries to employees, should be made through cheques and the media house would be obliged to submit monthly statements relating to financial transactions to the lower court dealing with the case. “Not only staff working in these organisations, but those dependent on them will be affected if they are not paid salaries,” he added.
The judge also made it clear that none of the companies should alienate, transfer or sell any of the properties in question. The banks concerned should not release the fixed deposits without prior permission from the court.
It may be recalled that the CBI had frozen bank accounts of the three firms with the SBI, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Indian Overseas Bank. Petitioners’ counsel said the company would provide bank guarantee for the amount in three current accounts, but not for the fixed deposits








NGO moves HC for retrieving black money from foreign banks

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 24,2012

Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) An NGO today urged the Bombay High Court to direct the Centre and Maharashtra Government to submit records pertaining to black money stashed away in foreign banks and order an inquiry into siphoning off unaccounted wealth from the country. The PIL filed by the ‘Rashtriya Brashtachar Virodhi Janshakti’ also requested the high court to monitor such inquiry and direct the authorities to register an FIR against those who have deposited unaccounted wealth in foreign banks. The petition referred to media reports which claimed that between 2002 to 2006, black money to the tune of Rs 70,00,000 crores have been siphoned off from the country and stashed away in banks abroad. The NGO said that both the governments had not put in efforts to retrieve the black money lying in foreign banks, which could be used to cover the budget deficit and for the development of the nation. The PIL will come up for hearing after the summer vacation. PTI SVS NSK








Suicide over education loan: HC grants bail to bank official

TNN | May 25, 2012, 12.45AM IST

KOCHI: The Kerala high court on Thursday granted bail to the deputy manager of a private bank who was arrested following the suicide of a nursing student who was denied education loan.

Jobun Feni, a deputy manager of loans section, who was booked by police as second accused was granted conditional bail by Justice N K Balakrishnan.

Jobun was arrested by police on May 9 in connection with the suicide of the student, Sruthy from Kudamaloor. After being summoned to the police station for questioning, he was arrested and produced before Kottayam judicial first class magistrate court.

In his bail application, the deputy manager had stated that he had no role in granting loan and his duty was only to verify the eligibility and forward the application to higher-ups.

Prosecution opposed the bail plea, stating that investigation and collection of evidence was in progress. However, the court granted Jobun bail, noticing that he had been in remand since May 9.

Earlier, additional director general of prosecution K I Abdul Rasheed had opposed the claim of the bank officials that they had no direct role in granting loans.

The additional DGP had pointed out that the loan was passed by the bank a day after the student had attempted suicide, which means that the student was put to undue hardship even when the loan could have been granted.









Victim will have to request HC to repeal FIR: Police

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
May 24, 2012

Unmoved by the speculation that the US national, allegedly molested by Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Luke Pomersbach inside her room at a five-star hotel wants to withdraw the case, the Delhi Police continued its investigation on Wednesday and said they were ready to file the chargesheet in the case.

The police said that in order to withdraw the case, the victim has to approach the high court. This is because once an FIR is lodged, only the court is authorised to quash it.

“We will close the case only when we receive directions from the high court. We will file a chargesheet in the case. The victim can request the high court to quash the FIR. But the court can reject the request,” said a senior police officer.

Pomersbach, who was arrested on May 18, had also allegedly assaulted the victim’s friend — Sahil Peerzada —who had suffered injuries on his left ear and. Peerzada was discharged from Primus Hospital in Chanakyapuri on Monday.

A family member of Peerzada is claimed to have told media that they did not want to pursue the case. Sources said that both the parties were eyeing for an out-of-court settlement.

Sources further claimed that the victim was planning to withdraw the legal notice issued against Siddhartha Mallya while seeking apology for his tweets.

Police sources said that Miraj, who was also present in the hotel room at the time of the incident, had not recorded his statement yet.

“Only Miraj and a few RCB members are left now, else the investigation is almost complete. After recording their statements, we will file the chargesheet,” the officer added. The statements of 12 people, including the hotel staff and friends of the victim, have been recorded so far. The victim had alleged that five persons had threatened her to withdraw the case.

A woman friend of the victim, an Israeli national, was also questioned on Wednesday. The police said that the Israeli national had alleged that her friend (victim) was threatened by the RCB players to withdraw the case.

The police have also identified two persons and are questioned them, while the remaining three (all foreigners) are yet to be identified. The police also plan to record the statement of other RCB  members such as its coach Ray Jennings and its party coordinator.

“We are still looking for evidence to substantiate the claims made by the victim. If we manage to find evidence, a separate case will be registered,” said the police.

Meanwhile, the victim and her lawyer could not be reached for comments.








Murder case:HC orders suo motu notice to Home Secretary

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 24,2012

Bangalore,May 24 (PTI) Exercising suo motu power, the Karnataka High Court today ordered issue of notice to Home Secretary and City Police Commissioner on a PIL based on newspaper reports regarding the death of State Administrative service officer S P Mahantesh, asking them to file a progress report on the matter by June 20. A Division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen also appointed advocate Clifton D Rozario as amicus curiae to assist the court in the case. “From the articles appearing in various newspapers, it is evident that there is scepticism, if not suspicion in the minds of public at large with regard to the enquiry that is being conducted on the unfortunate fatal attack on late Mahantesh, who was conducting audit of House Building Co-Operative Societies,” it said. “Keeping all the dimensions of the death of KAS officer in perspective, we exercise suo motu power and issue notice to Principal Secretary to Home department as well as Commissioner of Police returnable by June 21, 2012,” the bench said. 48-year-old Mahantesh, said to be a whistle-blower in controversial land allotments by societies, suffered head injuries in an alleged attack by unidentified persons on May 15, and died in a private hospital here five days later. Mahantesh was working as Deputy Director of the audit wing in the state’s Cooperative department and had reported irregularities in different societies involving some officials and political figures.










Will 12,500 more people be able to watch the IPL final?

A Subramani, TNN May 24, 2012, 02.38PM IST

CHENNAI: The fate of three massive stands at M A Chidambaram cricket stadium at Chepauk in Chennai, with an additional seating capacity of 12,500, will be known at 2.30 pm today when a vacation court of the Madras high court hears the matter at a special sitting.

The stadium is set to host the high-voltage IPL-V semifinals on Friday and finals on Sunday. Keen to avoid empty stands during the event, the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association (TNCA) approached the Madras high court on Wednesday seeking permission to put the stands to use for at least on these two days. TNCA told the court that they plan to sell Rs 500 and Rs 750 tickets for the stands, which would fetch Rs 25 lakh as entertainment tax for the state government.

On April 16, the housing and urban development department issued a conditional approval for the galleries, stating that the TNCA authorities must obtain traffic, fire safety and environmental clearance from competent authorities.

Today, the bench of Justice V Dhanapalan and Justice B Rajendran will hear the state government’s stand on the matter and pass orders.

The newly built I, J and K Stands were sealed by the Chennai Corporation in August 2011 as they had been constructed without due planning permission.







Man seeks to withdraw plea against cops, gets HC showcause

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri May 25 2012, 02:55 hrs

After a man sought to withdraw his petition in which he had accused Jamnagar SP and two other policemen of torturing him in police custody, the High Court on Thursday issued him a showcause asking why he should not be prosecuted for furnishing false information.

A day earlier, the HC had asked the petitioner, one Vishal Singala, to lodge a criminal complaint against Jamnagar SP Subhash Trivedi and the two other policemen he had accused of torturing him.

Singala had moved HC seeking directions for prosecution of the three policemen.

Public Prosecutor Prakash Jani said the state government on Thursday informed the court that it had initiated an inquiry against the three policemen to be conducted by a DIG-level officer. “However, after this, the petitioner sought to withdraw his demand saying he did not want to proceed on the matter because his community members did not want him to continue with this,” Jani said.

“The court took this very seriously and issued a showcause notice to the petitioner asking him to explain by next Tuesday as to why he shouldn’t be prosecuted for furnishing false information before the court ,” Jani added.

According to Singala, in August last year, Trivedi and two other

policemen had beaten him severely while he was in police custody after being arrested in a case of prohibition.

He had approached the HC alleging slow pace of progress on his complaint before a magisterial court in Jamnagar district.






HC permits TNCA to use stands of MAC stadium for IPL matches

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 24,2012

Chennai, May 24 (PTI) The Madras High Court today allowed the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association to use three stands, declared as unauthorised by the state government, of the M A Chidambaram stadium here during the semi-finals and finals of the Indian Premier League on May 25 and 27 respectively. Giving the interim injunction, valid for a week, on a petition by the TNCA, the court directed the Association to provide a written undertaking to ensure the safety, security and maintenance aspects of the ‘I’, ‘J’ and ‘K’ stands and posted the petition for hearing after two weeks. A division bench, comprising Justices V Dhanapalan and T Mathivanan, made it clear that the order would be subject to the outcome of petitions being heard pertaining to the stands. Chennai Super Kings take on Delhi Daredevils tomorrow and the winner of that match will play against Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL final on May 27. (More)








HC asks John to approach RPO for passport renewal

PTI | 05:05 PM,May 24,2012

Mumbai, May 24 (PTI) The Bombay High Court today directed actor John Abraham, convicted for negligent driving and injuring two persons, to approach the regional passport office seeking renewal of his passport. Justice P D Kode has asked the passport office to consider John’s application on merits and in accordance with law. John had approached the high court seeking direction to the passport authority for renewal of his passport for a year which expired within six months. John approached the passport office seeking renewal. However, the passport office refused to decide on his application saying if any case is pending against the applicant then court permission has to be taken before renewal or issuance of a new passport. In his petition, the actor claimed that since the High Court has granted him probation there was no case pending against him. The High Court had recently upheld the 15-day sentence awarded to John for rash and negligent driving in 2006. However, his sentence was suspended and the actor was released on probation under the Probation of Offenders Act. John wants renewal of his passport to travel to Turkey for a film shoot. In his petition, John said the Turkish government rules prescribe that work visa should be given only to those who have a passport valid for over six months. PTI SP GK









Zohal moves HC for nixing case against Luke

New Delhi, May 24, 2012

US national Zohal Hamid on Wednesday moved the Delhi high court seeking quashing of FIR against Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach, whom she had accused of molesting her. Zohal Hamid on Wednesday night decided to withdraw molestation case against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) player Pomersbach after both parties reached an out of court settlement.

She will also drop legal proceedings against RCB director Siddhartha Mallya for casting aspersions on her character through tweets after she complained to police about molestation by the cricketer.

“Yes,” Rajneesh Chopra, Hamid’s lawyer told PTI in a text message when asked whether the American national was withdrawing case against Pomersbach and legal proceedings against Mallya.

In a late night Tweet siddharth Mallya said, “So glad that all charges have been dropped and Luke can return down under A FREE MAN!”

“I’ve always been a very loyal person who stands up for friends. The tweets/comments made were unfortunate, being the product of stressful circumstances & I realise people drew meaning and connotations other than and beyond what was intended against Zohal,” he tweeted.

Pomersbach was arrested last Friday after Hamid alleged he molested her and hit her fiance Sahil when he objected to the cricketer’s behaviour. Pomersbach was arrested and a court granted him bail later.

The first indication to this out of court settlement came earlier on Wednesday when Sahil’s brother Feroz claimed they did not want to pursue the case. Feroz said that Pomersbach should not have done what he did.

“He should have respect for women. Luke has done a blunder. He should apologise and we should also forgive and forget.

“We don’t want to pursue against Luke. We have not been pressurised by anyone. No one has approached us,” he said.

He also said they do not want to pursue a case against Mallya.

He also rebutted Hamid’s claim that she was Sahil’s fiancee.

“Whatever happened was most unfortunate. Officially I am saying, Sahil is not engaged to Zohal,” he said.









SC stays HC order on removing cellphone towers

New Delhi , May 24, 2012The private telecom operators in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh are going to be a relieved lot. The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed a Punjab and Haryana High Court order on removing cellphone towers installed in residential areas till further orders.
A bench of justices Deepak Verma and SJ Mukhopadhaya gave these order on a plea filed by private telecom operators against the high court order and issued notices to the state governments, asking it to file their response by the next date of hearing.

The private telecom operators had moved the apex court against the high court’s order, which had said last week that state governments could demolish the towers that did not comply with the norms.

A division bench of the high court on Monday had asked the state governments to direct all municipal councils, corporations and other local bodies to take action against mobile phone towers installed in residential areas without following the norms. The bench had also directed the administration to file a survey report on towers in Chandigarh.











Vectra Helicorp moves HC against DGCA order

New Delhi, May 24, 2012

A Director and a shareholder of Global Vectra Helicorp, the aviation arm of the Ravi Rishi-led Vectra Group, on Thursday moved the Delhi high court against the order of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to suspend its permit to fly choppers.

The court is already hearing the plea of Global Vectra Helicorp against the same order, and today its director Raj Menon and a shareholder Rohit Hans, who has 960 shares in the company, approached the court, questioning the DGCA’s actions.

The CBI probe against Rishi, who is one of the directors of the company and has three percent stake in it, in connection with Tatra truck deal cannot be the basis for blacklisting a company which has been supplying choppers for various purposes in the country since 1998, senior advocate Parag Tripathy contended while appearing for the petitioners.

On May 7, DGCA has suspended the firm’s operating permit after the home ministry raised security concerns.

Tripathy contended that while issuing the order, no reason was cited by DGCA and it has not applied its mind while issuing order.

He submitted that Home Ministry informed the DGCA that security clearance of Ravi Rishi has been withdrawn and as a consequence DGCA has proceeded to exercise its power and suspended the non-schedule operator’s permit.

Currently, the CBI is probing the alleged role of Rishi, London-based Vectra Group chairperson, in connection with the multi-crore-rupee deal for the heavy-duty all-terrain Tatra trucks for the army and the bribery charges made by Army chief Gen V K Singh.

“This is the commercial operation of the company, I have to fly to Vaishno Devi to take pilgrims there, and to operate onshore and offshore operations for oil companies. Commercial operation cannot be stopped,” Tripathy said.

Maintaing that the Directors’s positions has to be protected here, the counsel said that because of Rishi the whole company cannot be come to an end.

The lawyer also argued, “People have been employed there, we have to pay salaries of pilots and by the time government will come with its preliminary enquiry report, whole of my business would be shut down.”

The central government earlier informed the court that a preliminary enquiry has been initiated by it against the Global Vectra Helicorp, and the probe will be completed in three weeks.

“On the basis of preliminary enquiry, we will decide within three weeks whether we want to continue with the suspension order or not, and on that basis, we will pass further orders as to whether the suspension of the permit against the company would continue or not,” the government counsel had said.

Justice Vipin Sanghi, hearing the matter, posted it for Friday hearing.

The company had earlier contended that the order on the company’s operating permit and cancelling the security clearance had been passed without a show cause notice and hence was in complete violation of the principle of natural justice.

With a fleet of 23 choppers, the company operates onshore and offshore operations for oil companies and also caters to tourists in northeast India.






HC: Ensure 25 pc EWS reservation in all classes

Express news service : New Delhi, Fri May 25 2012, 00:32 hrs

The Delhi High Court on Thursday directed all the unaided private schools in the city to ensure 25 per cent reservation in all classes between nursery and Class I for students belonging to disadvantaged groups and economically weaker sections (EWS).

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said all such schools, whenever they admit students between nursery and Class I at at any stage, will have to admit 25 per cent EWS students as per the RTE Act.

While disposing a plea by NGO ‘Social Jurist’, through advocate Ashok Agarwal and Khagesh Jha, the bench relied on a Supreme Court judgment, which had upheld the constitutional validity of the RTE Act and reiterated May 30 as the deadline for admitting such students under a special drive of the Directorate of Education (DoE).

Agarwal had referred to the DOE’s report, mentioning they had sought a clarification from the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) on whether the 25 per cent criterion for EWS admission was also applicable when admissions are given beyond the entry-level in schools.







Disciplinary action can be taken against Gen: HC

TNN | May 25, 2012, 04.48AM IST

NEW DELHI: The Delhi high court on Thursday ruled that the Centre cannot be asked to withdraw a press release issued by the Army against a retired lieutenant general, but disciplinary action “can be taken” against the Army chief and four others who “exceeded their jurisdiction and defamed” the officer.

Justice Mukta Gupta refused to direct the government to withdraw the March 5 press release in which Army chief General V K Singh had accused Lt Gen (Retd) Tejinder Singh of offering him a bribe. “The press release was not issued by the central government, so it cannot be directed to disown, retract or withdraw the press release,” she said.

However, the court noted that the Army chief and four other officers exceeded their jurisdiction and defamed Lt Gen Singh and thus disciplinary action could be taken against them by the concerned disciplinary authority. “Respondent 2 to 6 (Army chief and four officers) exceeded in their jurisdiction and defamed petitioner and thus disciplinary action be taken against them. Taking disciplinary action is a part and parcel of the concerned disciplinary authority,” the court said, adding that Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings.

Lt Gen Singh had approached the court after the Army chief issued the release that said he was offered Rs 14 crore in bribe to clear a tranche of 600 ‘sub-standard’ vehicles for the Army. He moved the court seeking withdrawal of the press release that levelled “serious allegation” against him.

Accepting the government’s argument that the press release was issued by the Army, the court said the statement was not issued by the Union of India or with its approval.

Justice Gupta said that in case Lt Gen Singh made any representation for taking disciplinary action against the Army chief and other officers, action could be taken by the authority in accordance with law.









HC rejects Bidari’s IA, refers it back to the same bench

PTI | 10:05 PM,May 24,2012

Bangalore,May24 (PTI) Karnataka High Court today rejected the interlocutory application filed by former state DGP Shankar Mahadev Bidari praying that his plea seeking reinstatement, be referred to a different bench. Rejecting the application, a Division Bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen referred it back to the same bench which had heard the matter earlier. On May 17,a Division bench, comprising Justice N Kumar and Justice H S Kempanna, referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice. Asked whether bench headed by Justice N Kumar had recused themselves from hearing the matter, senior counsel S N Chandrashekhar representing Bidari said they had not done so and only referred the matter to be placed before the Chief Justice for appropriate orders. “If they recuse themselves, then it is an administrative action. It can be referred to a different bench, it is not a problem. If they don’t, we are not an appellate court….if a CJ has to take back a case every time a bench is not willing to hear it, it is doomsday”, the bench headed by the Chief Justice said. “In these circumstances, we think it proper to post the writ petition and all pending portions before the same bench for taking a decision as to whether the lordships comprising that bench would think it appropriate to recuse themeselves from the matter”, the bench observed. The bench sought to know from counsel whether filing an Interlocutory Application will not amount to “bench hunting.” “If there is going to be bench hunting, I will not do it…. go back to the bench”, the Chief Justice said. “In what capacity do you expect the Chief Justice to move one case from one bench to another bench. We are not an appellate court”, the bench said. Senior counsel submitted that he was not indulging in bench hunting and that he was not given an opportunity to make submissions on his IA. MORE











HC issues contempt notices to pilots, IPG

Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 23, 2012

The Delhi high court on Wednesday issued contempt notices against 67 Air India pilots on strike, including top office-bearers of the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG), for continued defiance of its repeated directions to end their agitation.

The Air India management had moved court seeking contempt proceedings after all efforts to persuade the pilots failed. Pilots and the IPG have to reply to the notices by July 13. If found guilty of contempt, the pilots face a jail term of maximum three months.

On May 9, the court first declared the strike illegal and asked pilots to resume work.

“I still feel better sense will prevail on pilots. Nobody seems to be concerned with the plight of the passengers. A public utility service cannot be held to ransom in this fashion,” justice Reva Khetrapal said.










HC turns tables on Nirmal Baba in libel case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

A defamation suit filed by self-proclaimed godman Nirmal Baba against a media portal seems to have backfired on him.

While hearing a plea by Nirmaljit Singh Narula, popularly known as Nirmal Baba, demanding removal of ‘ defamatory’ articles from the website and Rs. 21 lakh as damages, the Delhi high court on Wednesday sought the response of the vernacular media portal — bhadas4media — in the case.

Justice Kailash Gambhir, however, also asked Nirmal Baba to file copies of complaints and FIRs registered against him to judge as to whether the articles are defamatory or not.

“The plaintiff is directed to place on record the copy of complaints and FIRs against him. In the meantime, summons of the suit and the notice be sent to respondents (bhadas4media and Yashwant Singh) returnable on May 30,” the court said.

Baba, who has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons, had moved court seeking directions to stop the Hindi portal from publishing defamatory articles.

“Around 30 TV channels show programmes of Nirmal Baba who has 3.7 lakh followers on Facebook. Such write-ups have defamed him,” his petition said.









HC directive to EC on YSR Cong’s symbol plea

TNN | May 25, 2012, 02.14AM IST

HYDERABAD: A division bench of the high court comprising Justice B Seshasayana Reddy and Justice KG Shankar on Thursday directed the Election Commission of India to reconsider the application made by the YSR Congress for allotment of common symbol to its candidates who are contesting the ensuing byelections. The writ petition was filed by B Govardahn Reddy.

He contended that his party had sought common symbol and the election commission had refused the plea. The present writ petition was filed challenging the order of the commission. The bench felt that the application needed to be reconsidered as the rules regarding the allotment of symbols did not deal with the byelections and directed reconsideration.

Arguments in the case filed by CBI seeking cancellation of bail granted to auditor Vijay Sai Reddy, close aide of YS Jagan Mohan Reddy accused number one will continue on Friday. Justice Chandra Kumar heard the case for a while and adjourned the case to Friday.










HC refuses to ask govt to withdraw army press release

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 24, 2012

In a boost to army chief General VK Singh, the Delhi high court on Thursday refused to direct the Centre to withdraw the March 5 press release of the army, which accused Lt Gen (retd) Tejinder Singh of offering a bribe to the army chief in connection with a defence deal.

“The Union of India cannot be directed to disown or retract the aforesaid press release,” justice Mukta Gupta said while disposing off a petition by Tejinder Singh seeking withdrawal of the alleged defamatory press release.

The court also considered the reply of the defence ministry that it had no role in the issuance of March 5 press release as it was given out by the army headquarters.

The court, however, said Tejinder Singh could make a representation before the authorities concerned seeking initiation of disciplinary proceedings against five army officials including chief of army staff Gen VK Singh.

Tejinder Singh also wanted vice-chief of army staff SK Singh, Lt Gen BS Thakur (DG MI), Maj Gen SL Narshiman (Additional Director General of Public Information) and Lt Col Hitten Sawhney to be made accused in the case.

He contended that the release issued by senior army officers, including army chief general VK Singh, was “defamatory”.

“Taking disciplinary action is part and parcel of the disciplinary authority. In case a representation is made for taking the action, the same would be considered by the authorities concerned,” justice Gupta said.

In his plea, ex-Lt gen Tejinder Singh had said he was also accused of managing media reports and was questioned for his alleged role in the purchase of off-the-air monitoring system.










HC asks Shankar M Bidari to file objections

TNN | May 25, 2012, 06.51AM IST

BANGALORE: A high court division bench headed by Justice N Kumar has asked Shankar M Bidari, MD, Karnataka State Police Housing Corporation, to file his objections to the application filed by AR Infant, DGP, for initiating contempt proceedings.

In his application, Infant has sought for initiating contempt proceedings against Bidari in the backdrop of his filing an application seeking change of the bench. The hearing will resume on Friday.
As per the Supreme Court’s order, the matter has to be decided afresh before May 31 , when both the contesting officers are due for superannuation .


In the morning session ,the matter came up before a division bench headed by Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen. However , the bench was of the view that since the bench headed by Justice N Kumar had not passed orders on the application seeking another bench, the petition cannotbetaken up by this bench (CJ bench ) as it is not an appellate bench.

As regard to Bidari”s apprehension that the bench headed by Justice Kumar may not change its view vis-a-vis March 30 judgment on the controversy , the Chief Justice said that in many matters like the present one , the judges have taken a different view from the first view.

The Chief Justice also said that Bidari could have told the Supreme Court about this when the matter was returned by it last month. Bidari’s counsel replied that it did not occur to them that the matter would be sent back .


The bench after perusing the March 30 judgment renderedby thebenchheaded by Justice N Kumar wondered why Bidari had invoked names like Saddam Hussein or Colonel Gaddafi in his statements before the CAT .

Counselling for in-service candidates stayed

Justice Ashok B Hinchigeri on Thursday stayed counselling for admission to PG courses under in-service quota. The judge also ordered status quo with respect to counselling already held in this category . Dr Shivanagouda Y Mulkipatil, Dr Mitaxari M Hugar and Dr P Santhosh Kumar have challenged the selection of three candidates under the category. They claimed Dr C Suresh and Dr Hanumantha Raju had been selected despite they not completing six years of service from their absorption. The petitioners claimed the notification issued on Feb. 21, 2012 amending with retrospective effect from December 30, 2011 omitting the key clauses is illegal and arbitrary. They alleged the amendment was brought to benefit these three candidates.









Periphery encroachments: HC expands probe scope

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri May 25 2012, 02:20 hrs

Expanding the scope of investigation of the case on illegal properties owned by high-ups, the Punjab and Haryana High Court today decided to include other cases pertaining to grabbing and encroachment on shamlat/ common land in other areas of Punjab. The development took place during the resumed hearing today of a PIL on properties owned by high-ups in the UT periphery. Today’s hearing was to decide the terms of reference of the investigation to be handed over to a Judicial Tribunal. The High Court observed that other cases can be clubbed together with this petition.

Senior lawyer M L Sarin had pointed out to the Bench on Wednesday that he was appointed an amicus curiae in a case pertaining shamlat/ common land grabbed by highs-up in Mohali and related areas. The Bench today observed that the cases, five in number, can be heard together to be decided whether they (case) should also go to the Judicial Tribunal to be headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh of the Supreme Court.

The cases will now come up for hearing on May 28. On Wednesday the High Court had raised eyebrows over the change in entries of land from public to private, owned by 60 high-ups in the periphery of Chandigarh,. The High Court had questioned the “clean chit” given by the Punjab government to its “elite group” of 60 high-ups.

Rejecting the stout opposition of the Punjab government to handing over of the probe of the case to a judicial tribunal, the High Court had observed on Wednesday, “How do we expect that those who are to decide will decide against themselves?”

Refusing to believe that the investigation has been done by Punjab in a transparent manner, the Bench had made it clear that the probe would be conducted by a judicial tribunal headed by Justice (Retd) Kuldeep Singh, who will be assisted by a District and Sessions Judge (DSJ).


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