LEGAL NEWS 04.05.2012

Supreme Court refuses judicial probe in Azad case

The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to order any judicial inquiry or a probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the alleged fake encounter killings of top Naxalite leader Cherukuri Rajkumar alias Azad and a Delhi journalist Hemchandra Pandey.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C.K. Prasad said there was no reason to believe the allegation that the investigation conducted by the CBI into the encounter was not “honest.”

The bench directed the CBI to file its investigation reports before the jurisdictional magistrate concerned in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, where the encounter took place on July 1, 2010.

The court said that the Magistrate shall not be influenced by any observations or findings of the CBI report and should proceed in accordance with the law as provided under section 173 CrPC which relates to ‘report of police officer on completion of investigation.’

The court passed the order while disposing of the petition by Bineeta Pandey seeking a judicial inquiry or a probe by the SIT into the encounter on ground that the probe conducted by the CBI was not honest.

Counsel Prashant Bhushan appearing for the petitioners alleged that the CBI officers, who gave a clean chit to the Andhra Pradesh Police on the encounter, were under the influence of the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

He claimed that though the CBI was technically under the control of DoPT, the cadre controlling was under the Union Home Ministry and hence was vulnerable to pressure and influence.

The counsel further submitted that the slain Naxalite leader Azad was in constant touch with Chidambaram as part of the Central Government’s efforts to reach a ceasefire with the Maoists.

Additional Solicitor General Haren Raval, appearing for the CBI, and senior counsel Altaf Ahmed, on behalf of Andhra Pradesh Government, however, opposed any judicial inquiry or SIT probe on the ground that the agency had done a fair and professional investigation.

The counsel argued that any fresh probe would reflect on the “credibility, capacity and competence of the CBI to conduct investigations in such matters“.

Earlier on April 13, the court had agreed to consider a plea for an independent probe into the encounter of the two in an allegedly staged gun battle by the Andhra Pradesh police, who were given clean chit by the CBI.

The court had agreed to consider the plea after Bhushan raised suspicions on the credibility of the CBI probe.

On March 16, the court had said that the CBI probe had established that the killings of Azad, a senior member of banned CPI (Maoist) Central Committee, and Pandey, by the AP police, were not in a fake encounter.

The bench, which had gone through the final report of the CBI in the investigation, had said the agency has given evidence to support its probe.

The bench had, however, agreed to Bhushan’s plea to be allowed to go through the final probe report of the CBI.

The court was hearing a petition filed by Bineeta Pandey and social activist Swami Agnivesh, seeking an independent CBI probe into the killing.

They had alleged that post-mortem reports of both the persons and a fact-finding exercise carried out by rights groups clearly indicated that the encounter was not genuine.

It was alleged Azad, 58, who carried a reward of Rs 12 lakh on his head, and Pandey, 32, were shot dead from a very close range, which was evident from their post-mortem reports.









Views of ministries sought for amending anti-dowry law: Government

PTI May 3, 2012, 05.55PM IST

NEW DELHI: The Women and Child Development Ministry is eliciting views of other ministries before amending the anti-dowry Act, the Rajya Sabha was informed today.

“We have sought views from other departments on the issue (proposed amendment to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961),” Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said during Question Hour.

The amendment bill was drafted taking into account the recommendations of the National Commission for Women (NCW).

However, NCW’s suggestions were opposed by NGOs, she said. The NCW had suggested amendment to the definition of dowry, provision of registration of lists of gifts received at the time of marriage, provision of separate penalties for giving and taking of dowry among others, she said.

Tirath said the NCW held further consultation and provided the minutes of the same to the ministry. Thereafter, the ministry held regional and national consultations on the issue.

“Currently, the ministry is examining the proposed amendments in the light of the deliberations made in these consultations,” she said.

Replying to a separate question, she said 19 states, including Bihar and Rajasthan, have formulated dowry prohibitive rules on the model circulated by the Centre.










NCW’s views to be included in anti-dowry law

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 16:33

New Delhi: The Women and Child Development Ministry is eliciting views of other ministries before amending the anti-dowry Act on the basis of recommendations of the National Commission for Women (NCW), the Rajya Sabha was informed Thursday.

“We have sought views from other departments on the proposed amendment to the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961,” Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Tirath said during Question Hour.

The amendment bill was drafted taking into account NCW’s recommendations relating to definition of dowry, provision of registration of lists of gifts received at the time of marriage and provision of separate penalties for giving and taking of dowry.

Replying to a separate question, she said 19 states, including Bihar and Rajasthan, have formulated dowry prohibitive rules on the model circulated by the Centre.










IGL v/s PNGRB case adjourned again, will go to appellate tribunal

ET Bureau May 3, 2012, 05.15PM IST

NEW DELHI: IGL’s (Indraprastha gas limited) hearing in the high court against the petroleum and natural gas regulatory board (PNGRB) has been adjourned to May 8, 2012. The sole supplier of compressed natural gas in Delhi/NCR has appealed in the court against the regulatory board’s decision to regulate its network tariff and selling price.

IGL in its earlier statement has also mentioned that it will file an application in the Appellate Tribunal also.

“The order has various facets some of which will be challenged before the Appellate Tribunal for Electricity as well. There are various issues in the order of the Board which needs clarification, on which IGL will have to await the response of PNGRB before the court during the next hearing,” said the company’s statement dated April 11, 2012.

PNGRB in its order dated April 9, 2012 has asked IGL to cut down its network tariff by 63%. In a retrospective decision, it also asked the company to refund the difference to its customers for the period from April 1, 2008 till the date of issuance of order.

IGL in its petition has however alleged that PNGRB is not entitled to regulate the price of gas sold by the company and the variables taken into account by the board to calculate the network tariff are misleading.










TDSAT restrains Etisalat from taking telecom gear at RInfra

NEW DELHI: Telecom tribunal TDSAT today restrained Etisalat DB from transferring its equipment that is lying with the Anil Ambani group company RInfra, which has claimed dues of Rs 1,270 crore from the operator.

Passing an interim order on RInfra’s plea, the Telecom Disputes Settlement and Appellate Tribunal held that Etisalat DB is “restrained from disturbing the possession” of its transmission equipment installed on the towers of the ADAG group firm.

The tribunal did not agreed with the submissions of the Etisalat DB that it should not pass any order as the matter related to the recovery was pending before various forums.

“Petitioner (RInfra) cannot be put to any disadvantage only because other creditors of the Respondent (Etisalat DB) have approached the other forums,” said the TDSAT bench headed by Justice S B Sinha.

However, it would apply for the equipment, which is not hypothecated to banks, said the TDSAT.

“We are of the opinion that interest of justice will be sub-served if in respect of the equipments of the Etisalat DB, which are in possession and control of the RInfra in terms of the agreement, it is restrained from interfering with the possession or transferring the said equipments,” TDSAT said.

One Viom Network has already taken Etislat DB before the Delhi High Court and Standard Chartered Bank, which is a secured creditor, has approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal.

Moreover, an application for winding up has also been filed at the Bombay High Court by Etisalat Mauritius Ltd to liquidate Etisalat DB.

The DRT has already appointed a receiver to take the possession of Etisalat DB’s inventory.

However, in its order TDSAT has said that if the DRT asks receiver to take possession of the equipment installed on RInfra towers, “it must give access to the Receiver with regard thereto”.

Etisalat DB, a JV between UAE-based telecom major Etisalat and DB group, had entered into an agreement with the RInfra for sharing telecom infrastructure on a 10-year lease in 2009.

However, following the recent Supreme Court decision cancelling the licences of Etisalat along with other new entrants, RInfra moved TDSAT for recovery of its dues.

TDSAT’s directions came over a petition filed by RInfra against Etisalat DB claiming Rs 1,270 crore in dues for the use of its telecom infrastructure.









AP requests Centre to set up CESTAT tribunal in state

PTI | 05:05 PM,May 03,2012

Hyderabad, May 3 (PTI) Andhra Pradesh government today requested the Government of India to create and set up a south-central zonal bench of the Tax Appellate Tribunal under Customs, Central Excise and Service Tax (CESTAT) laws in Hyderabad. In a letter to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, state Information Technology and Communications Minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said the Tribunal covering Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala was now located in Bengaluru. About 45 per cent of the litigation pending before the Tribunal was from AP. “Most of the Information Technology companies are registered as Software Technology Park units or Special Economic Zones in AP, which are eligible for Customs and Central Excise exemption. The indirect tax litigation has touched new heights in AP causing more hardship to the industry, mainly IT and ITeS sectors as personal representation has to be made before the zonal bench in Bengaluru,” the IT Minister pointed out in the letter. Hence, he requested the Union Ministry of Finance to create and set up a south-central zonal bench of the Tribunal in Hyderabad to aid in “effective and speedy delivery of justice” and time and efforts of the industry were saved and put to more productive use.









Kerala: Tribunal hearing on SIMI begins sitting

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 20:06

Thiruvananthapuram: Officials of National Investigation Agency in Kerala on Friday deposed before a tribunal hearing ‘evidence’ that the banned Students Islamic Movement of India continues to function across the state.

In the first day of the sitting before the Tribunal, headed by Delhi High court Judge VK Shali, NIA claimed that SIMI continues to operate in parts of the state in various forms.

According to sources, state police has already submitted a report to Centre, seeking continuation of the ban on SIMI.

The sitting would continue for two more days, the sources said the movement was banned in 2001 under Section 3 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act 1963.











AP seeks Tax Appeallate Tribunal in Hyderabad

Express News Service

HYDERABAD: The state government has requested the Central government to set up a south-central zonal bench of Customs Excise Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) in Hyderabad.

In a letter to Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, IT minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah stated that the tribunal under Customs, Central Excise and Service tax laws for the states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala is presently located in Bangalore although about 45 percent of the litigation pending before it is from Andhra Pradesh.

“Most of the IT companies are registered as software technology park units or SEZs in AP, which are eligible for customs and central excise exemption. However, based on recent representations received from the industry representatives, most of the indirect tax exemptions, benefits available to the IT, ITes industry are rejected on trivial grounds and as such all the matters invariably reach CESTAT level,’’ he said. “Indirect tax litigation has touched new heights in AP, and is causing hardship to the industry, mainly the IT and ITeS sectors, as it requires personal representation before the zonal bench in Bangalore,” the minister pointed out.

Hence, he requested Pranab Mukherjee to set up a south-central zonal bench of the tribunal in Hyderabad to aid in “the effective and speedy delivery of justice”.










Bangalore is likely to host southern chapter of Cyber Appellate Tribunal

Special Correspondent

Two-day third Cyber Security Summit inaugurated Bangalore is likely to host the southern chapter of the Cyber Appellate Tribunal, said M.N. Vidyashankar, Principal Secretary, Department of Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science and Technology, here on Thursday.

The Cyber Appellate Tribunal, established under the Information Technology Act, started functioning in 2006.

Speaking at an inaugural session of the third edition of the Bangalore Cyber Security Summit, Mr. Vidyashankar said that the State has taken a lead by establishing the first cyber security laboratory in the country, at Mangalore.

Mr. Vidyashankar said that a recent study of cyber security across the world showed that it costs 2.7 times more to plug “security breaches” after they are found, than investments made in preventive measures.

He cited examples of the breaches in Sony’s PlayStation last year and of the data security breaches at the National Health Service in the U.K. to underline the importance of the issue.

Suresh Kumar, Minister for Law, Justice and Human Rights, Parliamentary Affairs, Legislature and Urban Development, pointed out that the first exclusive police station in the country to track cyber crime was established in Bangalore.

Mr. Suresh Kumar said that an “organised underworld” is active, which uses fake email identities.

“Internet and email users are particularly vulnerable,” Mr. Suresh Kumar said. “Bangalore,” he said, “is ready to become the cyber security capital of India.”

“The Internet is a double edged weapon,” said K.D. Nayak, Chief Controller, Research and Development, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

A new computer would be compromised in about 2-3 years some years ago; now it takes just eight minutes for a new computer to be compromised, Mr. Nayak observed.

Referring to the problem of ensuring cyber security, he said, “In this field there are no time frames, no boundaries and no laws.”

Latha Reddy, Deputy National Security Advisor, National Security Council Secretariat, called for “a coordinated implementation of security measures.”

The two-day event concludes on Friday.











Green tribunal finally gets office space

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Centre to allot the entire 36,000 square feet space available in the Capital’s Faridkot House to the National Green Tribunal within 15 days and make it fully functional by appointing a chairman and members by September 15.

This means, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) headed by former Chief Justice of India K G Balakrishnan and Press Council of India (PCI) headed by Justice Markandey Katju will have to vacate the space occupied in Faridkot House.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya directed the government to allot alternative space for other tribunals and offices functioning from Faridkot House.

If the urban development ministry had a lot to answer over the long delay in providing office space and infrastructure to NGT and residential accommodation to its chairman and members, the ministry of environment and forests faced questions from the court over the delay in approving Justice R V Raveendran’s name as the chairman and filling vacant posts of members.

Solicitor general R F Nariman blamed the delay on red-tape but the bench was critical of the Centre’s approach towards the tribunals. Terming NGT as the most important tribunal, it asked the government why it was setting up tribunals and asking the judiciary to nominate retired judges to head them when it did not have the wherewithal to provide basic requirements.

The court wanted to examine the veracity of space crunch pleaded by the Centre for the delay in providing accommodation to NGT chairman and members after the urban development ministry said it had no spare official flats/bungalows for the three expert members and four judicial members of the tribunal.

Refusing to buy the Centre’s excuses, the bench directed the ministry to furnish within two months a “complete list of houses/flats and other accommodation being occupied by political parties/individuals and non-political persons beyond the tenure of their appointments”.

On the Centre’s proposal to expand NGT by appointing six expert members and four judicial members, the bench said, “In our view, the green tribunal is the most important quasi-judicial body in the country. For chairmen and members of many other tribunals, houses are earmarked. If this is the attitude of the government, how can you persuade judges to join these tribunals?”

Nariman said 19,000 square feet space in Faridkot House would be available to NGT after NHRC shifted to its own building by the year-end. But the bench directed the ministry to pass orders within a fortnight allocating the entire Faridkot House to NGT.

The bench said, “This institution must have space to expand… NGT is an important statutory tribunal, the functioning of which will impact the country from north to south, east to west.”

Press Council of India, through senior advocate P H Parekh, pleaded against eviction and informed the court that the office space in Faridkot House was allotted to it on November 25, 2011, within two months of Justice Katju becoming its chairperson.

The bench directed the ministry to allot alternative space to PCI, saying that compared to the media regulator, the green tribunal needed the space much more.












Deport Pak prisoners in time-bound manner: SC

New Delhi, May 03, 2012

The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre to put in place a proper mechanism to ensure that the Pakistani prisoners are deported back to their country in a time-bound manner after completing their sentences.

A bench headed by justice RM Lodha gave the direction while expressing concern over the delay in deporting prisoners who remained in the detention centres in the country despite completing their prison terms.

“It should not be an unending exercise. After completion of sentences, the prisoners should be deported in a time-bound manner,” the bench said while pointing out that many such prisoners are mentally unsound.

“There should be some sense of urgency. You should develop some mechanism for timely deportation,” it said.

The bench was referring to 43 prisoners, 19 of whom are mentally unsound and 13 fishermen, who are languishing in jails despite having served their sentences.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by Jammu and Kashmir Panthers Party leader Prof Bhim Singh seeking its direction to the Centre for repatriation of Pakistani prisoners, languishing in various jails across the country despite having served their sentences.

The bench, however, expressed satisfaction over the efforts made by the Centre to deport such prisoners but said it must be done in a time-bound manner.











PTI | 10:05 PM,May 03,2012

The PIL had also alleged that the state government The PIL had also alleged that the state government appointed two sons of Justice Nanavati as public prosecutors to represent the state government. The High Court has also sought to know the rules for appointment of public prosecutors by the state government. The next date of hearing has been kept for tomorrow. Advocate General representing the state government had objected to the personal allegations in the PIL regarding sons of the Justice Nanavati. The PIL filed in December had also questioned about using public money of Rs 6.37 crore on the Commission since its inception in March 2002. And even after over nine years and 17 extensions, it only submitted an interim report in September 2008, but not given its final report, nor has it informed the state government or the people of Gujarat when it intended to submit the final report, it said.











Give reason for Nanavati Commission’s extension’

Last Updated: Thursday, May 03, 2012, 23:11

Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court on Thursday asked the state government to give reasons for giving nine-month extension to the Nanavati Commission probing the 2002 post-Godhra riots case.

The High Court query came on a PIL which said that the state government had disregarded the authority of the high court by unilaterally granting extension of nine months to the 2002 riot probe panel.

Last December, one Jignesh Goswami through advocate K G Pandit, had filed a PIL on the status of Nanavati Commission comprising of Justice G T Nanavati and Justice Akshay Mehta and sought to know as to when the Commission intended to file its final report.

However, even as the PIL was pending in the court, the Gujarat government extended the term of Nanavati Commission by nine months for the eighteenth time.

Hearing the PIL today, Division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and JB Pardiwala asked the state government as to what has prompted it to give an extension of nine months to the Commission.

When the matter was sub-judice, the state should have informed the court before giving further extension to the Commission, the court observed and directed the government to place before it the terms of reference of the Commission.









2002 riots: Verdict in Ode case today, judge gets transfer orders–Verdict-in-Ode-case-today–judge-gets-transfer-orders/945291/

Parimal Dabhi : Ahmedabad, Fri May 04 2012, 04:05 hrs

A day before he was expected to pronounce the verdict in a post-Godhra riot case in which three of a family in Malav Bhagol locality of Ode were killed on March 1, 2002, R M Sareen, the additional sessions judge of Anand district court, was transferred by the Gujarat High Court on Thursday.

Besides Sareen, the principal district judge of Sabarkantha, Gita Gopi, who is conducting trial in the case related to the killing of three British nationals at Prantij during the 2002 riots, has also been transferred.

While Sareen has been shifted to Bhavnagar as additional sessions judge, Gopi has been sent to Ahmedabad City Civil Court as additional sessions judge.

Both have to report on their new jobs by May 18.

Sareen and Gopi were among the judges specially appointed to conduct trials in the nine post-Godhra riot cases which were reinvestigated by the special investigation team (SIT) under supervision of the Supreme Court.

Forty-one persons are undergoing trial in the case related to the Ode killings, most of them from the local influential Patel community. Sareen has conducted trial in the case right from the beginning.

Gopi was about to conclude the trial in the case in which four persons, three of them British citizens, were killed near Prantij on February 28, 2002, by a mob. Her court had examined two former British diplomats to India — Ian Reakes and Howard Parkinson — on video as witnesses in the case.









BPO girl’s killer gets life term from Mumbai court | Updated: May 03, 2012 15:40 IST

Mumbai:  “The judgement does not mean much to me and my family,” said Lincoln Fernandes, father of 26-year-old Paloma, who was stabbed to death by her boyfriend on January 28, 2009 at her Mira Road residence. The killer, Aquino Martis, has now been sentenced to life imprisonment by Thane District and Sessions Court judge AA Sayeed.

However, Lincoln says it is too little, too late and he will move to a higher court. The bereaved father observed that Aquino has already spent three years in jail and only faces 11 more behind bars. At the age of about 40, he would be out and about and live free thereafter, while his beloved daughter will never come back. Public prosecutor Sangeeta Phad, who was pleading the case, said, “I am happy with the judgement, which is based on accounts by independent witnesses and medical reports.” Lincoln, who resides in Goa, always came to Mumbai whenever there was a hearing. He is currently in the city with his family.

How it all began

Lincoln said he is relieved the judgement has finally come because he was expecting further delays, devised by Aquino’s lawyer. He then cast his mind back to 2005, when Paloma came to Mumbai and started working at a call centre in Malad. In June 2008, she shifted to a house in Mira Road. Aquino Martis occupied a flat in the building next to hers. Five months later the two were in love. “My wife Francisca and I were always opposed to this relationship. I spoke to Paloma many times about this, but, like youngsters are, she brushed aside my contentions and said she was old enough to make her own decisions. She was unhappy with me, as I opposed the relationship,” Lincoln recollected.
Blind in love
In December 2008 Paloma fell ill, so Lincoln came to Mumbai to help her. Even then he had asked his daughter to dump Aquino and said she would find a better boy. However, Paloma was unbending and her father returned to Goa. Speaking about the gruesome murder, Lincoln said, “Aquino aimed at my daughter’s heart. He stabbed her several times. He was sitting on the staircase waiting for Paloma the whole night. When my daughter got out of the car and entered the building, he attacked her brutally.”

That night

On January 28, 2009, Paloma, who worked with JP Morgan in Malad, got out of a car outside her Rashmi Hetal residence at Beverly Parks around 3.30 am. As soon as she had unlocked her room, Aquino, who was hiding by the first floor staircase, rushed down and pushed her inside the room. He stabbed the girl in the chest with a kitchen knife and then stabbed himself in the stomach. Building residents rushed the duo to a hospital but Paloma was declared dead. Aquino was shifted to Bhagwati Hospital in Borivli and later recovered. Neighbours said Aquino was unemployed and Paloma had recently withdrawn money from her account and given it to him. That was when Aquino learnt that the victim had a substantial sum in her account. Paloma found her ATM card missing a few days later and, as she suspected Aquino, she complained to her father – who suggested she block the card. This angered Aquino, police officials said.







Aarushi case: Trial may be committed to sessions court on May 9

Agencies : Ghaziabad, Thu May 03 2012, 14:23 hrs

A special CBI judge today fixed May 9 to decide on sending the sensational 2008 twin murder case of teenager Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj to the sessions court for trial.

Hearing the bail plea of 14-year-old slain teenager’s mother and dentist Nupur Talwar, special judicial magistrate Preeti Singh said that the case may be committed to an appropriate court as she did not have powers to try a murder case.

During the proceedings, Talwar’s lawyer cited deficiencies in case documents provided to the defence by the CBI and sought the court’s direction to the agency on submissions.

After hearing both sides, the special judge directed the CBI to reply to the defence plea on May 9 during which she may also decide on committing the case to the district court for the trial.

Nupur, who broke down in the court after hearing the postponement of the date of hearing, was consoled by her husband Rajesh Talwar. She was later taken to Dasna Jail.

Additional District and Sessions Judge S Lal had yesterday denied bail to Nupur in the twin murder case.

Disposing of her petition, the judge had said he could not exercise the discretion of giving bail to her as “there is a prima facie evidence to suggest the involvement of the accused.”

Aarushi was murdered on the intervening night of May 16-17, 2008 at her Noida residence and the body of Hemraj was found on the terrace of the house the next day.

Nupur had faced arrest after the special CBI court in Ghaziabad had issued non-bailable warrant against her on April 11 following which the CBI had carried out searches at her Delhi premises.







Sessions court to hear stockbroker Gautam Vora’s bail on May 4

PTI | 07:05 PM,May 03,2012

Mumbai, May 3 (PTI) A sessions court today deferred till tomorrow the bail plea of stockbroker Gautam Vora, who is charged with sheltering a prime accused in the murder of Delhi-based businessman Arunkumar Tikku after he escaped from police custody. The sessions court today asked Vora’s lawyer to first withdraw his bail petition from the court of Metropolitan Magistrate which did not grant him any relief, following which he moved the sessions court through his lawyer Rajendra Sorankar seeking his client’s liberty. “We have already filed an application withdrawing the bail plea in the metropolitan magistrate’s court,” Sorankar said. Vora, arrested last week, is accused of helping former gangster Vijay Palande alias Karan Sood who is the key accused in twin murders of Arunkumar Tikku and aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad. In his bail petition, Vora claimed that he was unaware of Palande’s real identity. “I was introduced to Palande though Simran Sood (co-accused in the murders) as Karan Sood. Simran had claimed that Karan was her brother and I believed her,” he said. According to police, after Palande gave police a slip on April 10, Vora allegedly picked him up in his car from Marine Lines police station and also helped him check into a hotel in South Mumbai. Vora also allegedly used his own credit card to buy clothes for Palande who was rearrested on the same day.











DGP gets himself a High Court stay

SExpress News Service

HYDERABAD: Director-general of police V Dinesh Reddy earned a breather from the AP High Court Wednesday, with a vacation bench suspending an order passed by a single judge decreeing a probe into the wealth held by him and by his fellow IPS officer Umesh Kumar.
In a related case, judges G Chandraiah and N Ravi Shankar also stayed contempt proceedings against additional DGP (CID) S V Ramana Murthy.
The DGP and Umesh Kumar, both of whom vied for the top post in the state police, have for months been levelling allegations of impropriety against each other. Umesh Kumar, now posted as chairman of the Godavari Valley Authority, filed a petition against Dinesh Reddy. Hearing the petition last month, single judge Ramesh Ranganathan directed the state to appoint a senior officer to enquire into the conduct of both Dinesh and Umesh. The judge had also directed initiation of contempt proceedings against Dinesh Reddy and S V Ramana Murthy for suppression of material facts in their affidavits.
Both Dinesh Reddy and Ramana Murthy separately filed writ appeals against the orders, the former challenging the probe as well as the contempt proceedings. The DGP’s appeal contended that the order was contrary to the material available on record and therefore unsustainable. It said the judge failed to see that the objective of Umesh Kumar’s writ petition was only to prevent a free and fair hearing of the case.








Disproportionate assets case: AFT dismisses petition by Lt Col

Bhartesh Singh Thakur , Hindustan Times
Chandigarh , May 03, 2012

The Armed Forces Tribunal (AFT) has dismissed a petition filed by a lieutenant colonel challenging his trial by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a disproportionate assets case.
The bench, comprising justice NP Gupta and Lt Gen HS Panag (retd), directed Lt Col Ranbir Singh Yadav to approach the CBI court instead as he had claimed that the army authorities had already tried him for the same offence.

Lt Col Yadav was posted as Commanding Officer of the supply depot at Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh from January 2002 to December 2003. The CBI registered a case against him on June 12, 2003, for demanding money from the father of an ice contractor following a raid at his house. The contractor used to supply ice to the army.

The case was transferred to the army, which issued a chargesheet on four charges, for demanding Rs. 10,000, for asking money without proper authority, for disappearance of the bribe money and for having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.

The three charges could not be proved and the charge of disproportionate assets was not pressed as the CBI produced no evidence in support of this.

However, General Officer Commanding, Madhya Bharat Area, Maj Gen Ashok Khosla conveyed ‘severe displeasure’ to Lt Col Yadav on May 19, 2006 for having taken undue interest by involving himself in settling the financial dispute between contractors and also having called one of them to his house.

Meanwhile, the CBI lodged another FIR in the disproportionate assets case. According to the army authorities, Lt Col Yadav was asked to furnish details on assets, but he allegedly failed to do so. Another ‘severe displeasure’ was conveyed to Lt Col Yadav on September 30, 2006.

On October 10, 2006, the CBI Special Judge, Jabalpur, issued summons to Lt Col Yadav. He was advised by his superiors to appear before the CBI court in personal capacity and at his own expense. On November 16, 2008, he filed an application under the RTI for information regarding grounds of prosecution sanction, but was denied that in January 2009.

He moved the AFT, Chandigarh bench, in 2010, for impugning the action of the CBI for violation of Section 125 (relating to a decision whether to undertake a trial in a criminal court or a military court) of the Army Act.

Gurpreet Singh, senior panel counsel representing the Centre, submitted that the charge pertaining to the disproportionate assets case was under investigation by the CBI, which was not impleaded in the case.

The AFT bench ruled that Lt Col Yadav should approach the CBI court rather than the tribunal.








SC reserves decision on media guidelines

Express news service : New Delhi, Fri May 04 2012, 02:39 hrs

A constitution Bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgment on the issue of framing guidelines for media amidst a cautioning note from senior jurists that any attempt to make a “law” to rein in journalists would be branded judicial over-reach and open a floodgate of protest.

Senior advocate Fali S Nariman, whose complaint against the leakage of a privileged communication in an ongoing litigation between SEBI and Sahara Group was quoted as the launching point for media hearings before the Bench, said he had thought of withdrawing his complaint on realising that the Bench had expanded its ambit to media reporting in general. Nariman had said that initially he was under the impression that the court would restrain itself to his complaint alone.

A five-judge Bench led by the CJI S H Kapadia, which had begun hearing on the issue since March 27, was told by lawyers like former attorney general Soli Sorabjee to refrain from taking up the mantle of the legislature and frame laws on media conduct. But the Bench had protested, asking Nariman and Sorabjee as to whether it “can’t come out with some principles (on regulating the media)”.









UP: Mayawati aide booked for duping sportsmen

Lucknow: The Uttar Pradesh police filed a complaint against former minister and Mayawati aide Lalji Verma after several sportsmen accused him of duping them on the promise of holding a cricket championship in the state, officials said on Thursday.

According to police, a first information report (FIR) was lodged against Verma, a senior Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader, on Wednesday night at the Hazratganj police station on charges of duping the sportsmen of several thousand rupees.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Lucknow Ashutosh Pandey said that the case had been registered against the former minister and two of his aides under section 406 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) – breach of faith.

He added that Verma had collected Rs 20,000-25,000 from 20 sportsmen across the state.

According to police, the money was taken to organise a Twenty20 Uttar Pradesh Premier Cricket league. Though the money was deposited, none of the matches happened.

After receiving the complaints, a probe was ordered. Following the completion of the investigations, the FIR was registered.

The complainants had also met Chief Minister Akhikesh Yadav on Wednesday and were assured all possible help.

Verma has been known for his proximity to the party supremo Mayawati. He has held important portfolios such as parliamentary affairs in successive BSP governments in the state.










HC seeks Army jawan’s death probe report from the Centre

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 03,2012

New Delhi, May 3 (PTI) The Centre has been asked by the Delhi High Court to submit it the official records on probe into the death of an Army jawan and removal of his kidney during postmortem in Jammu and Kshmir in 2001. Seeking the probe report into the death of Army jawan Ajay Kumar Tyagi by May 17, a division bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said, “Original records relating to investigation carried out by Indian Army into the death of the jawan to be produced before the court by the next date of hearing.” The bench was hearing the government’s plea challenging the single judge’s order directing Indian Army to pay Rs 10 lakh as compensation to the widow of the deceased for removal of the jawan’s kidney after his death. The single judge had awarded the compensation on a plea by the jawan’s widow seeking a fresh investigation into the death of her husband who had allegedly committed suicide in Jammu and Kashmir. The court had said the removal of the jawan’s organ could have gone unnoticed, were the second postmortem not conducted on his wife’s suspicion about the nature of his death. “The doctor who conducts the postmortem is expected to be a fair person as full faith is reposed on him by the family members. This faith is shattered by such instances,” the court had said. (MORE)









HC accepts plea for handing over probe to CBI

PTI | 09:05 PM,May 03,2012

Shimla, May 3 (PTI) The Himachal Pradesh High Court today directed that the case pertaining to use of alleged fake documents for getting recognition for Thakur College of Education, Dhaliara, and use of “fake” degrees by siblings of the college’s Director to get government jobs. A division bench comprising Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand also directed the Additional Director General of Police, State Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau to handover the entire material collected by them in FIR registered in the case to the Superintendent of Police of CBI, Shimla, within two weeks. The orders were passed while disposing the petition of V P Ahluwalia, a retired Principal, which alleged Rajesh Thakur, Director, Thakur College of Education, Dhaliara, had used fake documents to get recognition for educational courses from the National Council of Teacher Education (NCTE) and demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter as the HP University and the NCTE were not taking any action on his complaints. Ahluwalia had also alleged the siblings of Rajesh Thakur had used fake degrees to get government jobs. CBI had registered a case on complaint of V P Ahluwalia in which he had alleged that Ajit Singh Rana, the then Regional Director of the NCTE, Jaipur, had abused his official position to grant recognition to Thakur College of Education for additional intake of 100 seats for B.Ed and 25 seats for M.Ed during year 2007-08 in gross and criminal violation of laid down norms and guidelines of NCTE. The High Court further directed the SP, CBI, to take appropriate action in accordance with law in three months, as far as this case was concerned.











HC asks govt if it’s serious on contempt action against Bainsla

PTI | 08:05 PM,May 03,2012

Jaipur, May 3 (PTI) The Rajasthan High Court has asked the state government to make it clear whether it wanted to continue with its plea for contempt action against Gurjar leader Kirori Singh Bainsla for the 2008 stir, while holding talks with him on the quota issue “Government wants to buy peace at one end and holds fire after putting a gun on the shoulder of court. That can’t be allowed,” said Justice M C sharma to Additional Advocate General N A Naquvi. The single bench also asked Director General of Police to appear in person and file a detailed affidavit as to how many persons had died during Gurjar agitation. The contempt petition was filed in 2008 against Bainsla for flouting an order not to indulge in violence and disrupt public life issued by the court on an application filed by the state government in September, 2007. The court was, however, annoyed that on one hand the government was pressing for action against Bainsla and at the same time it was holding meetings with over quota issue. “It was observed by the bench that if the government is so serious to see Bainsla punished for contempt of the court then why talks are being held and promise is being given for awarding remaining 4 per cent reservation to the Gurjars. “The court has also called a detailed affidavit from home secretary stating the fact if the state government wants to continue to press for the present contempt petition or not,” said senior advocate for Bainsla, Kamlakar Sharma. The state government yesterday filed an affidavit stating that Bainsla was well aware of the court’s order to maintain peace but he deliberately indulged in activities that resulted in law and order situation. But the court was not satisfied with the government’s reply and directed DGP and Bainsla to appear in person before the court on May 11. In its order passed on contempt petition today, Justice Sharma observed, “It is not clarified from the affidavit filed by the government that how many persons have died during the Gurjar agitation after the high court passed order in year 2007. “For that purpose it will be appropriate for this court to direct the DGP to file a detailed affidavit as to how many persons have died during the Gurjar agitation and he will also give the details in the affidavit about the dates and place of occurrence what steps were taken after the death of such persons.”











HC finds Ansal ‘guilty’ of degrading Aravali

Sanjeev Verma, Hindustan Times
Chandigarh, May 04, 2012

Dismissing a bunch of petitions of Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and its sister concern, the Punjab and Haryana high court on Thursday said “prima facie” the developer committed “indicated offences” and degraded Aravali hills by developing a township in Gurgaon’s Raisina village against the rules.

The inspection committee examining the case had reported that the builder had developed Aravali Retreat for the cluster of 630 farmhouses on about 1,200 acres of land. The panel found that 108 of the clusters had been constructed and allotted in violation of Aravali notification, 1992 by laying roads, water pipes, electricity, barbed wires, fencing and separate gates.

Hearing the petitions, the court of justice Mehinder Singh Sullar directed the builders to appear before the special environment trial court in Haryana with the directions to the trial court to take all the effective steps as per law.

The builders, Ansal Properties and Infrastructure and Ansals Housing and Construction, had approached the court for quashing of the special environment trial court’s summoning orders dated August 14, 2007. The summons were issued on the complaint of Haryana Pollution Control Board (HPCB).

The court was informed by HPCB that the builders had totally changed the nature of ‘Gairmumkin Mountain’, carved out individual farmhouses in complete violation of the provisions of the 1986 act and sold the same after the commencement of the notification dated May 7, 1992 without applying for the prior required sanction and environment clearance.









Sex change: HC warns boy not to threaten suicide

Mumbai, May 03, 2012

The Bombay high court on Thursday warned Bhidan Barua, 21-year-old student from Guwahati, who wants to undergo sex change operation, that he cannot use pressure tactics and threaten to commit suicide unless his petition was heard and orders passed immediately. The court summoned Bhidan’s lawyer Ejaz Naqvi after the student wrote a letter to the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court and other authorities threatening to commit suicide if his petition was not heard immediately.

In the petition, Bhidan, who feels he is a woman trapped in man’s body, has urged the court to restrain his parents from prohibiting him to undergo sex change operation.

Following the summons from the court, Naqvi appeared before Justices SJ Vazifdar and AR Joshi.

“Your client cannot indulge in such pressure tactics and threaten the court. As a lawyer you should understand the court’s difficulties also,” Justice Vazifdar said.

The court had on Wednesday posted the matter for hearing on May 7. Refusing to hear the matter before that, the court told Naqvi that the petition would be heard on May 7 only.

Bhidan, in his letter, had also said that since his parents have blocked his bank accounts he does not have money for lawyer fees.

On this, the judge said if needed the court would appoint an amicus curiae (friend of the court) to assist him.

Bhidan had written letters to Chief Justice of India, Chief Justice of Bombay high court and National Human Rights Commission urging them to intervene and grant him a favourable order so that he could undergo the sex change surgery or else he will commit suicide.

Bidhan, who likes to call himself Swati, alleged that his parents had thwarted the sex reassignment surgery which was to be performed at Saifee hospital here on April 17.

He claimed his parents threatened doctors who had refused to perform the operation unless the High Court gives a go ahead.

Bhidan had contended in his application that he is female trapped in a male body and wants to marry a flight lieutenant in the Indian Air Force.

In the letters to the Chief Justice of India and other authorities, Bhidan wrote, “I was due to undergo sex change surgery for which I left my job but my parents have blocked my bank account. I have no money to pay for the operation fees.”

“For the last two weeks, I am running from door to door seeking justice but the court does not have time to hear me.

I do not have any money for my food, lodging. So I am finally requesting the court to pass an immediate order against my family or grant me an order for an authorised suicide”.

“I will kill myself if I do not get an order for my surgery by this evening. For my suicide, the Chief Justice of the Bombay high court will be responsible”, wrote Bhidan and signed it under his name.

Bhidan contended that he realised early in life that he was born in the wrong sex and preferred to dress like girls. This angered his parents who ill-treated him and beat him up, he alleged.

Bhidan said it was in standard 7th that he learnt through the internet that medical science could provide a remedy to his problem through a sex change procedure and he decided to go for it. He did odd jobs after school hours to earn money for the operation which would cost him anywhere between Rs. 1.5 lakh to Rs. 3 lakh.

On March 2, Bhidan underwent a psychiatric test in Guwahati to check whether he was fit enough to undergo such a procedure. As the result was positive, he ran away from home on March 31 and came to Mumbai where he stayed with a cousin.

However, his father Supti Ranjan Barua traced him to Mumbai.












HC stays trial against Sanjay Dutt over speech

Express news service : Allahabad, Fri May 04 2012, 04:26 hrs

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the trial proceedings and the summons issued by a court in Mau against film actor Sanjay Dutt in a case pertaining to an alleged inflammatory speech while canvassing for the Samajwadi Party in the run-up to the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

The case was registered against Dutt at Dakshin Tola police station in Mau district.

Hearing the revision petition filed by Dutt, a single-judge bench of Justice B K Narayana stayed the orders of the magistrate’s court as well as the sessions court passed on September 15, 2010, and April 18, 2012, respectively. The sessions court had issued summons against Dutt, which, too, has been stayed by the court. The state government has been given six weeks time to file replies.

“Our prayer was that both the magistrate and the sessions court had erred in taking cognizance of the chargesheet filed by the police in this regard. There was nothing on record either at the time of the alleged commission of offence or during the investigation to make out a case against the petitioner,” Dutt’s counsel Kunwar Siddharth Singh said.

Agreeing with the contention of the petitioner, the court said, “Submissions made by the counsel for the applicant prima facie appear to be correct and the applicant has made out a case for grant of interim protection.”

In 2009, Dutt, while campaigning for the Samajwadi Party, had reportedly said in a speech that he was tried under the erstwhile TADA following the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts because his mother Nargis Dutt was a Muslim.











HC puts lens on Nanavati panel, frowns on extensions, delay–frowns-on-extensions–delay/945308/

Express news service : Ahmedabad, Fri May 04 2012, 05:02 hrs

The Gujarat High Court, while hearing a PIL questioning the repeated extensions being granted to the Nanavati-Mehta Commission, on Thursday directed the state government to apprise the court about the scope and exact terms of reference of the panel which is probing the post-Godhra riots.

A division bench of acting Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala also asked the state government to produce rules for the appointments of additional public prosecutors and assistant government pleader along with details on them. The PIL had also raised questions of conflict of interest in the matter while stating that while Justice G T Nanavati headed a commission appointed by the state government, his two sons, Maulik and Dhaval, represented the state government and Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation before different judicial fora. The PIL was moved by one Jignesh Goswami before the Commission was granted its latest, nine-month extension recently.

The Commission’s secretary, in a communication dated December 2, 2011, had informed the court that it was likely to submit its final report soon.

The acting Chief Justice today observed it was very “unusual” for the Commission having got an extension of nine months. He also remarked that while criminal trials in cases related to post-Godhra riots were concluding, the Commission was yet to submit its report. The court is scheduled to hear the petition again on Friday.










HC seeks original copy of inquiry report on Ruchika’s expulsion from Sacred Heart

Express news service : Chandigarh, Fri May 04 2012, 01:41 hrs

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has asked the Chandigarh Administration to produce the original copy of the inquiry report conducted by the then Sub Divisional Magistrate SDM (south) Chandigarh, Prerna Puri into Ruchika’s expulsion from Sacred Heart school.

Also, the High Court has directed the Administration to submit the action taken on the said report. The directions were passed today during the resumed hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking action against the school for allegedly expelling Ruchika at the behest of SPS Rathore, former Haryana Director General of Police (DGP).

On the last date of hearing, the High Court had directed the petitioner, Advocate Ranjan Lakhanpal, Chairman of World Human Rights Protection Council to prove the credentials of his NGO. Lakhanpal today filed an affidavit stating that credentials of his organization cannot be challenged. The respondents have been asked to file their response on the affidavit filed by Lakhanpal.

Ruchika, a budding tennis player was expelled from school in September 1990 for “indiscipline,” following her allegation that she was molested by Rathore.

In her inquiry that was conducted in January 2010, Prerna Puri had found the school guilty of arbitrarily expelling Ruchika almost a month after her molestation at the behest of her molester and former DGP, who was then inspector general (IG) with the Haryana police. The inquiry conducted by the SDM had also found that late fee payment was not a satisfactory reason for expelling Ruchika, as out of the 17 cases of late fee in 1990, eight students had paid their fee after Ruchika did, but no action was taken against them.

The matter had reached the Punjab and Haryana high court in January 2010 after conviction of Ruchika’s molester S P S Rathore. In this public interest litigation , a local lawyer Ranjan Lakhanpal had sought directions to take action against all those officials who sided with Rathore and enabled the trial to continue for 19 years and to investigate the school’s alleged role in driving Ruchika to commit suicide following her molestation.





Delhi HC verdict on erstwhile Indian Airlines pilots’ plea today

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Friday will deliver a verdict on a plea by a pilots’ association of the former domestic carrier Indian Airlines, seeking parity with their counterparts at Air India. The pilots’ have alleged that commanders of basic aircraft of former Indian Airlines have been overlooked for training of advanced aircraft like Boeing 747, 787 and 777.

Meanwhile, the US Transportation Department has slapped a $ 80,000 fine on Air India. The airlines has been accused of failing to post customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans on its website and adequately inform passengers about its optional fees.

This is the first penalty on basis of the new airline consumer rules in US on foreign airlines.

From August 2011, foreign carriers operating to the US with at least one aircraft of 30 or more seats have been required to adopt contingency plans for lengthy tarmac delays as well as customer service plans, and to post these plans on their websites.

“Our new airline consumer rules help ensure that passengers are fully informed about airline services and fees and what to expect if their flight is delayed on the tarmac,” US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said.

US carriers have been covered by this requirement since April 2010, the Department of Transportation said in a statement.

Also both US carriers and foreign carriers with a website that sells tickets to US consumers have been required to include on their homepages a prominent hyperlink that takes viewers directly to a page that shows all fees for optional services the carrier charges, including baggage fees.

Air India failed to post its customer service and tarmac delay contingency plans and to provide a link to its optional fees by the required date, the statement added.

With Additional Inputs from PTI




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